No 5k for the biggest killer — so does anyone really believe it’s a killer?

October is a busy time of year for those who hit the streets for charity.

This month, in my area, there’s a 5k for multiple myeloma, a walk for breast cancer, a 5k AIDS run, a 5k for Lupus, a 5k for juvenile diabetes, a 5k for carcinoid, two separate 5ks for kids with cancer, a 10k for multiple sclerosis, a 5k for ALS and a 5k for children with physical disabilities.

Name a disease and there’s a charitable research foundation committed to finding a cure, and for just about every such foundation there’s a corresponding 5k race or walkathon, lemonade stand, bake sale, golf tournament, banquet, concert, gala or festival to raise funds.

But for the biggest killer of them all, there’s nothing.

No 5k or 10k. No walkathon. No foundation promoting research. No research.

The deadly scourge that claims half of all human lives ever conceived is completely ignored.

Here’s Jonathan Dudley discussing this killer in his book Broken Words:

Due to hormone imbalances, genetic anomalies, and a number of unknown factors, between 50 percent and 75 percent of embryos fail to implant in the uterus and are passed with the monthly menstrual flow. If we agree with pro-life advocates that every embryo is as morally valuable as an adult human, this means that more than half of humans immediately die. This fact provides pro-life advocates with an opportunity to follow through on their convictions. Surely, a moral response to a pandemic of this magnitude would be to rally the scientific community to devote the vast majority of its efforts to better understanding why this happens and trying to stop it. Yet the same pro-life leaders who declare that every embryo is morally equivalent to a fully developed child have done nothing to advocate such research. … Even if medicine could save only 10 percent of these embryos — and we don’t know because no one has cared enough to ask — it would be saving more lives than curing HIV, diabetes, and malaria combined. One could say that this massive loss of human life is natural, and therefore, humans are under no obligation to end it. But it is not clear why the same argument could not be used to justify complacency in the face of AIDS, cancer, heart disease, and other natural causes of human death.

For anyone who genuinely believes the pro-life argument that “every embryo is morally equivalent to a fully developed child,” the sort of research Dudley describes ought to be an inescapable obligation.

And yet there are no charitable events to support the foundations funding such research. No such foundations exist to be supported. No such research exists to be funded.

That suggests one of two things. Either these pro-life advocates are complacent monsters every bit as callously unconcerned with saving unborn babies as those they oppose. Or else, just like those they oppose, these folks do not really believe that “every embryo is morally equivalent to a fully developed child.”

Perhaps there is some third explanation. There must be, right?

I mean there are millions of Americans who insist that every embryo, from the “moment” of conception, is a human person — the full moral equivalent of any other human person. That belief, more than any other, shapes our national politics, frames our national elections, and determines our national government. Because of that belief, millions of Americans will vote for Mitt Romney, regarding it as unthinkable to do otherwise.

Millions of votes will be cast based on this belief. Tens of millions of votes have been cast based on this belief. But there has not been even a glimmer of a notion of a thought in the direction of the sort of human-life-saving research that Dudley describes above.

Why not?

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

    As a kid I used to wonder why if 50 – 75% of embryos never implanted we were also warned that even a single instance of unprotected sex at the wrong time would “almost certainly result in pregnancy”

    Which is to say in general pro-lifers don’t believe the 50-75% figure because pregnancy seems too common for that.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    I mean there are millions of Americans who insist that every embryo, from the “moment” of conception, is a human person — the full moral equivalent of any other human person.

    It doesn’t matter if they do. I don’t see those people screaming that everyone must donate blood regularly. I don’t see them claiming that you must share your home or even extra money with another person who needs it, let alone your body. They’re not trying to pass laws to make people donate kidneys or bone marrow. They don’t even care about after-death organ donation.

    They want women to be punished for being women. They think fetuses are important, but women are not. Not our health, not our lives, not the integrity of our bodies. They think a woman’s body exists to be an incubator and nothing more, and that we must have no say whatsoever in how it is used. The fact that a woman risks her health and her life with pregnancy, that it is hugely painful, that it changes a woman’s body permanently, are absolutely nothing to them. Because to these people, women are absolutely nothing but walking wombs. 

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    we were also warned that even a single instance of unprotected sex at the wrong time would “almost certainly result in pregnancy”

    Wow. Sounds like you had some absolutely terrible sex ed.

  • reynard61

    “They want women to be punished for being women. They think fetuses are important, but women are not. Not our health, not our lives, not the integrity of our bodies. They think a woman’s body exists to be an incubator and nothing more, and that we must have no say whatsoever in how it is used. The fact that a woman risks her health and her life with pregnancy, that it is hugely painful, that it changes a woman’s body permanently, are absolutely nothing to them. Because to these people, women are absolutely nothing but walking wombs.”

    QFT, Lliira. QFT.

  • http://blog.carlsensei.com/ Carl

    In Catholic theology, what makes something bad is its being “unnatural.” (Of course, that term requires a ton of unpacking.) Spontaneous abortion is “natural,” so it doesn’t require heroic measures to prevent. Moral crisis, averted.

    I don’t know how Protestants would defend against this though.

  • EllieMurasaki

    …in that case, why the Catholic opposition to removing life support from someone who will never again show significant brain activity but whose other organs can continue indefinitely given sufficient nutrition? Extending life with a feeding tube = not natural.

  • http://outshine-the-sun.blogspot.com/ Andrew G.

    Catholics have this whole (largely nonsensical) system of morality involving concepts like “double effect” – where you can do a bad thing as a side effect of a good thing, but only if you don’t intend the bad thing to happen.

    (Yes, to Catholics, intent is magic.)

    Removing a feeding tube could only be justified if you did it without the intent to kill the patient, and only if there was a comparable offsetting good (can’t think of one offhand). This kind of attitude leads to some seriously evil consequences (which Catholics of course don’t care about since their moral system is not consequentialist).

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yeah, like the thing where a woman’s chance of future pregnancy is halved if she goes to a Catholic hospital to get her ectopic pregnancy dealt with, because they take the whole fallopian tube without intent to kill the embryo therein, thereby leaving no way for eggs from the ovary on that side to get to the uterus, rather than taking only the bit of the fallopian tube with the embryo attached or using pharmaceutical means to remove the embryo, thus leaving the fallopian tube there and at least mostly intact in order to facilitate future conceptions with eggs from that ovary.

    No comprendo.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    Developing cures for diseases is unnatural: nature fully intends for us to die from them. Extending the human lifespan is unnatural; we are not supposed to live into our 90s and 100s. 

    One might argue the whole of medical science is predicated on being ‘unnatural’. I don’t see how they reconcile this with running hospitals and the like. Pretty insane, if you ask me. 

  • Tom S

    In the Catholic CCD to which I went, we were told that the Church was ok with taking people off of respirators, feeding tubes etc. when they were unable to survive without artificial assistance, with the idea being that you aren’t allowed to kill yourself but it’s ok to die if you can only survive with artificial aid.

    Has that changed since? I always thought that was at least a reasonably coherent policy- I’ve never heard the moral calculus Andrew G is discussing.

  • EllieMurasaki

    http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=26167 discusses Terri Schiavo. My understanding is that the PoV of that article’s author reflects official Church opinion on the case.

    Remember that Terri Schiavo had been comatose for fifteen years when she died. Except for the first couple months of that, her diagnosis was ‘vegetative state’ which more or less means nobody expected her to wake up, doubly so once the first anniversary of that diagnosis passed.

  • http://politicsproseotherthings.blogspot.com/ Nathaniel

     This. This. This. So much. Been having that thought myself lately.

    And whadda ya know, another post on the odious catholic section fits neatly into this post’s point, along with a check mark for the kitten burning coalition.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2012/10/bloodthirsty-baby-killers.html

  • Tom S

    Ugh, I’d forgotten the degree to which the Catholics have allowed themselves to be drawn into the overtly politicized Religious Right bullshit in the last decade or so.

    The key phrase in that article is that Shaivo was “not receiving any ‘extraordinary medical treatment’”- I think I’m still correct on what the Catholic doctrine is overall, but in this case (and presumably others) they’ve chosen to interpret it in a ludicrous way, altering ‘extraordinary’ from the previous and ideologically consistent meaning of ‘anything artificial’ to ‘whatever puts us in line with this idiot shibboleth of a case’.

    Ugh, man, I am grossed out just reading that article, I’d forgotten how noxious and abusive hat situation was.

  • Nirrti

    Okay, so the repubs love the little children so much, huh?  Then why do they want to annihilate  the heck out of programs such as SCHIP, AFDC, WIC, and most public school funding  if children are so darn precious to them?

    Oh, and why does the city I live in have the highest infant mortality rate in the U.S. and the repubs aren’t raising holy hell about it during their political campaigns? I’m sorry, but..fuck them. They don’t give a damn about people in general much less kids.

    And we need to quit playing this stupid game where they can pretend to care about “life” while they consistently promise to send people to die in more senseless wars and do absolutely nothing for the lives that already exist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    Okay, so the repubs love the little children so much, huh?

    Well, you just answered your own question there.  Little children.  They only love them until they’re, what is it, about 20 inches or more.  After they’re bigger than that?  Fuck ‘em.

    (Granted, this doesn’t expain their apathy about the infant mortality rate.)

  • Nequam

    Okay, so the repubs love the little children so much, huh? Then why do they want to annihilate the heck out of programs such as SCHIP, AFDC, WIC, and most public school funding if children are so darn precious to them?

    Like our heroic soldiers, they’re only precious as an abstraction.

  • Baby_Raptor

    The politicians don’t care because they’ll never need those programs. 

    The sheep? Cognitive dissonance. I live with a TeaBagger who pissed and moaned about being denied the Medicare he “deserved” (age-he wasn’t old enough yet) the entire time the Obamacare debate was going on. Medicare was something he was owed, but others getting help to get medical care? Socialism. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    For that matter, the whole agrarian social system that lets us feed more than maybe a few hundred million people* on this planet is unnatural.  So, if they’re OK with that, as they seem to be, then they aren’t really arguing about doing or not doing things because they’re unnatural.  They’re just discussing how far they’re prepared to take their rationalizations for the positions they want for some other reason.

    This one, at least, definitely isn’t unique to the Roman Catholic Church, or even Christianity in general, though.  It’s pretty much all over the place.

    * Just an offhand guess; I’m pretty sure it would be under a billion.

  • Elizabeth2000

    Actually, there *are* some people interested in the failure of embryos to implant, and are doing research into it – IVF specialists. IVF doctors and scientists are critically interested in why some embryos implant and survive and others don’t – and are trying to research to find out how to enhance the ability of embryos to “stick” and be nurtured.

    So the Tea Party, Catholic Church and Fundigelicals should all be falling over themselves to fund IVF research, right? Right? And yet…

  • Darakou Hasegawa

    Kangaroos and about 100 other mammals are able to freeze embryonic development indefinitely after conceiving, effectively storing the pregnancy until ready. If researchers could understand how they do it and even replicate the effect in humans, I wonder how the pro-lifers would react. In theory wouldn’t that be a win-win? Women still get to choose, and all those innocent babies just stay on ice for a while. But it’s not about the babies, is it?

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ mistformsquirrel

     I’m ashamed to admit, but I didn’t even know this statistic until just today – because of this post.

    We got the exact same “Zomg if you sex there will be babies!” thing,  and I guess I just never had cause to give it more than a cursory questioning since.

    I generally like to think I’m reasonably well educated and intelligent, so… that’s pretty damn embarrassing. (x.x) *facepalm at self*

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ mistformsquirrel

     I suspect it would go something like this:

    Pro-Choice side – “Okay so there’s this thing now – instead of abortion, you just freeze the embryo;  this solves our dispute right?”

    Anti-Choice side – “?!?What do we do now?!?” *ten minutes with Frank Luntz later*  “Embryonic freezing is murder!  Popsicles of DEATH!!” *rage* *fume*

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    So those of us who believe that embryos and foetuses do have some essence of humanity, but who don’t vote conservative, don’t lobby for abortion to be criminalised, do strongly advocate blood & organ donation, prenatal care, contraception, poverty reduction and medical research–which corner would the slacktivist community like us to sit in so you can ignore the existence that is inconvenient to your political point?

    Maybe it’s because I don’t live in the insanely politicised abortion mileiu that is the USA, but the abortion posts always give me the shits. Stupid hypocritical pro-life arseholes who are all just as I simplistically characterise–yeah, boo to them!

    Maybe I’m also rather distraught at finding out through your learned commenters that according to the nonsensical morality of “the Catholics” I, my family and a few doctors are all up for excommunication since we took my father off life support and let him die. Imagine my horror to discover on your blog that, despite my experience as a lifelong Catholic, we oppose that. Well holy fuck, isn’t my face red.

  • http://politicsproseotherthings.blogspot.com/ Nathaniel

     You might want to update on what Pope Palpatine has to say on the subject lately. Just because you are Catholic and okay with with drawing life support, doesn’t mean that opposing such actions isn’t the official line.

    Don’t like that fact, take it up with the Vatican. Your concerns are very important to them.

    BTW, if you support legal abortion, you’re pro choice. So this post ain’t about you. 

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    No, I’m not pro choice. It’s been made clear to me, repeatedly, by many pro choice activists–including some people here–that I am not welcome in their camp if I believe that abortion is anything other than always, unreservedly morally neutral or good.

    And besides, Fred didn’t address this post to people who want to criminalise abortion. He addressed it to people who attribute moral worth to embryos.

    As for your other comments…screw it, I’m tired of it. See you around.

  • Tofu_Killer

    Oh man…you just totally gave away the surprise plank in the 2016 Republican Party Platform.

  • Carstonio

     If Fred’s idea were posed to strident pro-lifers face to face, I would be curious to hear their reactions and their rationalizations. I imagine them twisting themselves into rhetorical pretzels in trying to avoid stating the motive that you described.

  • Jim Roberts

    This is what happens when you let other people define you.

    So, if you’re doing the things that he says people should do, we’re still not talking about.

    I feel much the same as you do about abortion – it’s usually the worst option in a perfect world, but too often it’s the best option of those actually available – and do what I can to mitigate its use and support those who end up having to make the choice. The question is, why is it only the two of us? Why aren’t there massive organizations set up to make sure these other choices become possible?

  • AnonaMiss

    Stupid hypocritical pro-life arseholes who are all just as I simplistically characterise–yeah, boo to them!

    This post is criticizing specifically pro-lifers who believe that “every embryo is morally equivalent to a fully developed child.” I think you’re Australian, so you may not have experience with these nutters, but they’re all over the place in the USA. You’re taking a post directed at a subset of the pro-life camp – a subset I take it you don’t agree with – way too personally.

    If you do agree with that camp, though, then yes, you should take it personally. If you do agree that an embryo is morally equivalent to a child, then you need to ask yourself: When was the last time you donated to an anti-miscarriage research fund? Have you ever donated money to any other charity? If the first answer is “never” and the second answer is anything other than “I am too poor to be donating my money to anything”, you should reconsider your attitude to this post, because it is a prophet calling you the fuck out.

    A metaphorical prophet, of course.

  • Carstonio

    Obviously many pro-choicers have no moral qualms about abortion, but I had understood that the term referred to one’s position on the legality and not necessarily the morality. Similarly, I had understood “pro-life” to mean not just opposition to abortion but support for laws that would either ban the procedure or make it very difficult to obtain.

    Plenty of pro-choicers favor the goal of reducing abortions, through empowering women with the tools and education so they conceive only when they wish to do so. But with attempts to ban abortion, the most charitable motive that comes to mind is the clueless idea that passing a law against it will magically make it go away. At least one pro-lifer has told me that even if that law didn’t accomplish anything, it should still be passed to “stand up for the unborn.” As if criminal statutes were mere proclamations. I usually say that making abortion a criminal offense would almost reduce women to wards of the state.

  • Carstonio

    From my reading, Fred seems to be ignoring folks with your positions not because it’s inconvenient to his point, but because he generally agrees with those positions. Your post suggests that you rightly reject any strategy for reducing abortions that involves controlling women.

  • vsm

    When was the last time you donated to an anti-miscarriage research fund? Have you ever donated money to any other charity?
    Now that we’re on the subject of cultural differences, this idea of donations to charity being a reliable measure of your goodness is a rather American idea. I don’t know what the culture is like in Australia, but at least in Western Europe we  generally trust the state to cover things like research funding and social programs from our taxes. There are still charity drives, often for foreign aid or breast cancer research, but the scale seems to be much smaller than in the US.

  • http://flickr.com/photos/sedary_raymaker/ Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Well holy fuck, isn’t my face red.

    I’d be embarrassed, too, if I went on such a self-indulgent tear over an imagined slight.

  • Carstonio

     ” this idea of donations to charity being a reliable measure of your goodness is a rather American idea” – Fred may or may not be using that measure, but his point was about moral consistency or the lack of it. Similar to how many opponents of same-sex marriage claim that the institution is for procreation, but insist that this wouldn’t exclude opposite-sex ones who are infertile by circumstance or choice. Two phrases I’ve heard them use recently are “potential for procreation” and “sexual complementarity.”

  • Cogwell

     I have to cop to something here: I was part of the generation raised aggressively on the either “say no to sex or, if you *absolutely  must*, use a condom and pills and, just for good measure, rhythm it and pull out too right after” generation.

    And all to the good during my teen years, I suppose. Had sex. Used condoms and pills. Enjoyed a disease- and pregnancy-free adolescence and early adulthood.

    But ’roundabouts my late 20s, married and stable, we decided to have a kid. And I have to say, doing it  . . . um, au naturele, felt . . . weird. I mean mentally. Felt *extremely* transgressive, like, “OMG, I am SO not supposed to be doing this!” Like I was an ultra-Ortho rabbi who’d snuck into the International House of BLTs wearing a Groucho nose and glasses.

    Can’t say I’ve been able to bring this up in many conversations or even web forae, but my intuitive feeling is that lots of us raised in the 80s and 90s felt this way: We were raised in, essentially, a postmodern Purity Code. Only difference between us and Leviticus was that we didn’t have to stone adulteresses to death: We were told their inevitable death from AIDS would take care of that on it’s own.

  • AnonaMiss

    this idea of donations to charity being a reliable measure of your goodness is a rather American idea… There are still charity drives, often for foreign aid or breast cancer research, but the scale seems to be much smaller than in the US.

    It wasn’t intended to be a measure of goodness, but a measure of sincerity – putting your money where your mouth is. The idea being that if you’ll donate to breast cancer research over miscarriage research, it indicates that you consider the suffering and deaths of relatively few adult women over the deaths of half of all embryos conceived – which, if you deal in the rhetoric of “embryos are morally equivalent to people”, is a good indication that you don’t actually believe, or at the very least haven’t thought through your rhetoric.

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

     So those of us who believe that embryos and foetuses do have some
    essence of humanity, but who don’t vote conservative, don’t lobby for
    abortion to be criminalised, do strongly advocate blood & organ
    donation, prenatal care, contraception, poverty reduction and medical
    research–which corner would the slacktivist community like us to sit in
    so you can ignore the existence that is inconvenient to your political
    point?

    Um, I’m pretty sure that the corner the Slacktivist community would have you sit in would be “the middle of the room.”

    Seriously, I’m as stridently pro-choice as I can be, but I’m pretty sure you and I would agree on pretty much everything here, with the possible exception that you might be completely against abortion whereas I’m in favor of allowing the choice.  I don’t think it’s either a moral good or neutral.  I tend think, however, that it’s a definite moral negative to force a woman who doesn’t want/can’t afford to bring a child into the world to bring that child into the world.  The planet is already quite well populated as it is.  And while I’d like to believe that every unwanted child could end up in a home that loves and can support that child, I’m a little too aware of how reality actually works to consider that more than magical thinking.

    Believe you me, I grew up with that magical thinking.  I was the sort of Evangelical Fred addresses in his post.  I still remember the time I sat through a sermon wherein the pastor said that unless you were doing everything you could to stop abortion you weren’t a real Christian.  I still remember calling him out on that, not because I disagreed with the fundamental point that abortion was an awful thing, but because I thought he’d gone way too far in making that the only definition of what it means to be a Christian.

    The problem that Fred is bringing up is the Evangelical Just World Fallacy, and it’s one that I know all too well.  The Evangelical Christians who dominate the dialog in America are, largely, suburban, white, and somewhere between firmly middle class and wealthy.  The ones that aren’t are largely rural, white, and possess a rural distrust of the cities (which is why one of the easiest dogwhistles to use is “urban” because “urban” means “black people”).  In their minds women who get pregnant do so because they want to or because they deserve what they get for their behavior.  They also genuinely believe that if that child is born “god will provide.”  The way god provides isn’t articulated and it certainly doesn’t carry over to a belief that the government should give single mothers money to buy food for their children.  But god wants that child to be born, so god will make sure everything happens.

    Evangelical Christians in America are basically like Tom and Daisy in The Great Gatsby.  They casually and cruelly destroy lives through their own insular nature, then they retreat into their wealth without ever realizing what they’ve done.  In America the pro-live v. pro-choice debate isn’t just about abortion.  It’s a central issue in a massive conflict of social parameters that gets pushed forward mostly by people who don’t actually think through their positions and don’t give a shit about who they’ll ruin with them.

    There’s room for disagreement on the actual nature of the fetus.  There’s room for discussion of the morality of abortion itself.  The Christians Fred is addressing don’t want to have those conversations, however.  They want everyone to agree with them that all abortions are bad and that if we just outlaw abortion then god will give us a Just World in which those babies can be raised as good little Christians.

    Fred is writing to a primarily American audience about a specifically American political and religious problem.  As such, the Americans that are on the pro-choice side of the argument and listening to Fred’s are most likely going to make a primary association with a sub-set of Evangelical or Evangelical-minded Christians.  Over here it’s not a matter of polite discussion.  It’s part of an existential fight over the rights of women to choose their own destiny on one side and a culturally hegemonic power that seems to think it’s a persecuted minority even though they have something closely approximating half the political power and 75% of the political will in the country.

    It’s not polite because a lot of Americans aren’t polite about it and a lot of other Americans don’t have the luxury of being polite.

  • vsm

    a measure of sincerity – putting your money where your mouth is
    In my political culture, it would still come off as a very weird question. People don’t generally seek out charities they want to support, but give a couple of euros whenever they see a fundraiser for some good cause. Funding research is not seen as something private citizens should concern themselves over. But, like I said, I don’t know how this works in Australia.

  • Lori

     

    They think fetuses are important, but women are not.  

    They obviously don’t think fetuses are important either, at least not as human beings. They just find fetuses to be a convenient tool for controlling women.

  • Carstonio

     “I tend think, however, that it’s a definite moral negative to force a
    woman who doesn’t want/can’t afford to bring a child into the world to
    bring that child into the world.” – My own stance is more general than that. A woman shouldn’t be forced to carry a pregnancy to term, just as she shouldn’t be forced to have an abortions. What she herself should do with an unwanted pregnancy is another matter.

  • Lori

     

    Removing a feeding tube could only be justified if you did it without
    the intent to kill the patient, and only if there was a comparable
    offsetting good (can’t think of one offhand).   

    With rare, movie-of-the-week-fodder exceptions, no one removes a feeding tube with the intent to kill the patient. A feeding tube is removed with the intent to allow the patient to die. IOW, for the patient to have the natural of his/her health condition. Not the same thing.

    The offsetting good is that it ends suffering and in some cases makes organs available that can save the lives of others. Or doesn’t that count as Catholic-style good since both suffering and dying of diseases that requite organ transplants is “natural”?

    This kind of attitude leads to some seriously evil consequences (which
    Catholics of course don’t care about since their moral system is not
    consequentialist). 

    So very convenient, that.

  • Lori

     

    Oh, and why does the city I live in have the highest infant mortality
    rate in the U.S. and the repubs aren’t raising holy hell about it during
    their political campaigns?   

    They are raising holy hell about it. Didn’t you hear Romney criticizing unwed mothers? That’s their version of raising hell about things that harm children. No need to provide programs to help children and their families (culture of dependence, punishing success by taking money from the rich at the point of a gun, blah, blah, tax cuts, blah).  Just shame the lower orders into not having sex and all will be well.

  • Lori

     

    No, I’m not pro choice. It’s been made clear to me, repeatedly, by many
    pro choice activists–including some people here–that I am not welcome
    in their camp if I believe that abortion is anything other than always,
    unreservedly morally neutral or good.   

    It’s also been made clear to you that many of us think that as long as you’re in favor of a woman having the legal right to make her own decision about a pregnancy you are pro-choice and the rest is personal opinion. You are now (and have been for a while) ignoring us in favor of being butthurt because a couple of vocal posters feel differently. How is that different than what you’re accusing “us” of?

     

    And besides, Fred didn’t address this post to people who want to
    criminalise abortion. He addressed it to people who attribute moral
    worth to embryos. 

    So you think that an embryo has the same “moral worth” as you do? Because that’s the claim Fred is addressing here.

  • fraser

     The same logic behind abstinence-only sex ed and opposition to the HPV vaccine, I think: It doesn’t matter about the consequences, what matters is that they take a stand for chastity. Which allowing their daughters to get the virus would not do.

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

    Pretty much this. Being as I have had sex with men, the lurking horror of condomless sex equalling instant HIV was something that was always in my mind when I would make dern sure I had them when I was ‘doing it’ with someone. :O

    People really don’t realize how much we’ve retreated from the ‘free love’ of the 1960s and 1970s for all that Republicans in particular like to bash young people for seemingly boinking whenever and whereever.

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

    Also? Canada gets some of the spillover from the US abortion debate, and we have our own “Genocide Project” people (who really just throw up lurid pictures of aborted fetuses and use scaremongering crap tactics to try and push their anti-abortion stance) as well as abortion clinic pickets.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

     Not from my school. It was pretty reasonable. This was the impression you got from the early 1980s PSAs and anti-teen pregnancy documentaries that were out and about at the time in the UK. Early 1980s UK sex advice tv was full on doom and gloom even when aimed at adults (AIDS and Cervical Cancer and the dangers of pregnancy oh my!). My mother thought it was hilarious. (Though she went on a lot about the virtues of condoms).

    Things are a lot more sensible now.

  • Boidster

    I am not welcome in their camp if I believe that abortion is anything other than always, unreservedly morally neutral or good.

    Sounds like confusion between pro-choice and pro-abortion.  If you agree with the “safe, legal, and rare” sentiment, then I think you’re in agreement with the great majority of people who label
    themselves “pro-choice.” Arguments over the moral worth of the fetus don’t enter into it, for most of us. Which is not to say none of us see any moral worth to fetuses, only that the consent and choice of the mother is paramount.

    Such arguments about “moral worth” are the very core of the anti-choice side, though, and that is what Fred is addressing here. It doesn’t sound to me like you or people like you were a target.

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

    No, I’m not pro choice. 

    Do you believe abortion should be illegal? No? Then you’re pro-choice. You might be a douche-bag about it, whining and complaining and butting in on other people’s lives to make sanctimonious quips, but at the end of the day, you still believe a woman is allowed to make decisions about continuing her pregnancy.

     I am not welcome in their camp if I believe that abortion is anything other than always, unreservedly morally neutral or good.

    If your belief includes a right to badger, harass, or shame others for making a decision that you object to, then no, you’re not welcome. You’re the asshole dinner guest who accepts the invitation, and then criticizes the menu, complains about the food, pointedly mentions the low-quality of the flatware, and makes endless unfavorable comparisons to other, better dinners.

    And besides, Fred didn’t address this post to people who want to criminalise abortion. He addressed it to people who attribute moral worth to embryos.

    He addressed it to people who attribute the same moral worth to embryos as to fully-developed children. That phrase (“every embryo is morally equivalent to a fully developed child,”) is used twice, almost back to back, yet somehow in your ‘poutrage’ you completely missed it. Either than or you deliberately mis-read his post just so you could make it all about you! 

  • Worthless Beast

    I’m kind of like you, I think.  I’m asexual and have never been pregnant, so I probably shouldn’t even have an opinion here, but I’m a woman, so I do… and it’s kind of “gray.”  I seem to do that – some people go straight black to white/white to black when changing their views on something – I tend to “go gray.”  As for this issue, by technicality I’m pro-choice, but I’ve never felt “rah, rah, yay!” about it.  When I was ardently a “pro-lifer” I thought I was in support of “saving lives and standing up against a cold, evil world,” you see.  I don’t have quite that fervor on the other side of the fence because the issue feels to me more like “necessary evil”, or like my feelings on War – something that should be prevented but you’re being unrealistic if you think it always will be.
    It’s not as fun to have the realistic view as it is to have the idealistic view.  It’s more fun to think you’re “fighting evil” than it is to think you’re only in favor of preventing further pain in an already complicated world.  Sometimes, I wonder if I would have more fun if I “went back.”
     
    Seriously, I think it would be cool to live in the world of a fantasy series I like where babies literally grow on trees and only form when the parents tie a ribbon to a branch and make a wish.  (People in that world still have sex, it just doesn’t make babies).  
     
     
    In the end, I think this *should not* be a “religious” issue like it is in the United States.  I think it should be in the realm of pure ethics.  I’ve *known* atheist and agnostic pro-lifers, and as seen Fred is a pro-choice Christian. Both types go against what the cultural climate says they “should be” because they’ve contemplated the ethics of it, apart from religious beliefs/non-beliefs, for themselves.    Here, Fred is just pointing out some of the oddness and hypocrisy inherent in the platform used by many in the political realm of it. 


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X