Iowa lawmakers trying to make abortion the same as murder.

Quick post before I leave the airport.  Iowa lawmakers are being dumb, trying to equate destroying a handful of unthinking, unfeeling cells to the destruction of a cognizant human being.

Iowa State Rep. Rob Bacon (R) and eight of his colleagues introduced legislation to alter the definition of a person in murder cases to “an individual human being, without regard to age of development, from the moment of conception, when a zygote is formed, until natural death,” the Ames Tribune reports.

“Those charged with murder, under the bill, would include a mother who takes abortion-inducing drugs or a doctor who performs an abortion. It also grants no exceptions for rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother.”

Lame.  Oppose it.  Ok, boarding my plane.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Glodson

    “Those charged with murder, under the bill, would include a mother who takes abortion-inducing drugs or a doctor who performs an abortion. It also grants no exceptions for rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother.”[Emphasis added]

    Fuck you, Rob Bacon and the eight other State reps who brought this bill. Fuck you for your need to punish women, and doctors, for abortions in general. This isn’t new. But I’m particularly outraged by the fact that they want to call doctor and women murders for aborting a pregnancy that might kill the woman, is the result of incest, or the result of rape. Because they have a magical belief, women who are the victims of sexual abuse or in circumstances where their pregnancy might kill them will not receive the medical attention they need.

    This is vile and disgusting. Maybe if they were really concerned about women’s health, they would encourage some good sex education to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. Maybe they would make contraception more affordable and easy to obtain. Maybe they would seek to eliminate parts of our culture that shelters abusers and rapist.

    Nah, fuck that. Let’s just label these women who feel they need to abort a pregnancy as murders. Assholes.

    Of course, we know that this is the will of a loving god, and we all how he felt about the unborn.

  • Sunny Day

    Better lets start calling the police for every late period a sexually active woman experiences. No wait we cant use sexual activity as a discriminator, what if jesus tries to come back? Ok just every period, after all you don’t want to possibly cover up a crime. Demand a report be written and evidence collected for the investigation of the possible homicide.

    A law thats going to treat half the human race as a criminal suspect, what a fantastic ideal.

    • Yoav

      Unfortunately the assholes are ahead of you, such a bill have already been proposed in GA PDF.

  • Stogoe

    Well, at least our State Senate is under Dem control, even if our senile Once and Current governor is a Republican and the House is kook-infested. This probably won’t get passed.

    Maybe I just got infected with The Science and The Book Larnin early enough, but I can’t even wrap my head around why these people think this is a worthwhile goal. When did Christianity become obsessed with taking over the government and enforcing oppressive social control over everybody*? Back when I was a christian, growing up, there was still a nominal amount of compassion, forgiveness, charity, and concern for others, even if most of it was targeted towards poor and desperate people in other countries we could jump on and convert.

    * I do know that it has always been that way, and always will be. But my nostalgia glasses are still struggling with this – as mean-spirited, petty, narrow-minded and completely wrong about the nature of the universe as those people were and are, at least the church leadership wasn’t openly dominionist (that I noticed) while I was attending.

  • Karl
  • machintelligence

    Yet another example of why the Republicans are having a tougher and tougher time getting women to vote for them.

  • iknklast

    Shit. And I thought Iowa was marginally more sane than my home state (Nebraska – transplanted) and/or the state I grew up in (Oklahoma – forced relocation at the hands of a brutal dictator when I was 10 years old!). Now I see they are pretty much as insane and petty and mean.

    I was just reading a book by a journalist who spent time traveling through ChristianAmerica (better him than me – I wouldn’t have been half as nice). He was just trying to decide what message to send the South Dakota lawmakers who had passed their nasty anti-abortion bill (it was supposed to be a message of support – he wasn’t having any of it). He finally decided, because of all the ‘nice’ Christians he’d met, to just say ‘I forgive you’. I saw read. What right did he, a middle-class male from New York, have to forgive the provincialism that would never really affect him in any real way? I realized the abortion problem is, for most people, pretty abstract. They may support a woman’s right, but they don’t FEEL it. I feel it – I’ve been there. I want to scream and stomp my feet and throw things…and then do something. But what? I give money, I talk ’til I’m blue, and I have written a play about the topic (coupled with the right to end one’s life at the other end) that will never see the light of day because it’s hard to get a play produced these days unless you do it yourself – and in this little backwater I live in, I would never be allowed to rent a stage for this even if I payed a thousand times the rental fee.

    I feel like I’m flailing helplessly. I benefitted from the legality of abortion, and I’m not prepared to say I got mine, so who cares? I want to ensure that the world respects the right of women younger than myself, women not yet born, to have the ability to make the same choice I made. And I’m seeing red right now.

    • iknklast

      “I saw read”

      Sorry – need edit feature. This should be I saw RED.

    • John

      “I want to ensure that the world respects the right of …women not yet born…”

      Why do you care about the rights of a handful of unthinking, unfeeling cells?

      • Kodie

        That’s a perversely literal misreading of the sentence. I read it as to preserve the rights to have an abortion for generations (of women) to come.

        • Glodson

          I don’t think honesty is his strong suit. Not sure what his strong suit is as he’s too busy being cute than actually trying to say something of substance.

        • John

          “Perversely literal?”

          Really?

          So when you say what you mean, you don’t really mean what you say. And you wonder why our two sides can’t see eye-to-eye.

          • Kodie

            It’s not my fault your reading comprehension skews “idiot”. You can’t tell the difference between a glob and a woman, or the current rights you prefer for a glob that might become a baby and the rights of all women now and in the future?

          • Iknklast

            I have no doubt you understood exactly what I meant, but I’ll clarify. In the future, there will be fully grown , adult women who deserve the same rights that I now enjoy. This has nothing to do with rights of the unborn, or whatever kind of nonsense you are accusing me of.mthis is a totally normal phrase that everyone understood (yes I include you in that everyone, since I suspect you are deliberately mid-reading; however, I can’t read your mind, and I’m open to the possibility that I might be wrong). So have your fun, go and tell all your friends how you caught someone in a hypocrisy and hope they never come here to check it out and see how not even wrong you were. If you think I’m being harsh, well, let’s just say I’ve had about enough of this sort of thing to last two lifetimes.

    • John

      I understood you perfectly. You want to preserve the rights of women not yet born. But what does it matter if you’re just going to kill those women before they can be born in the first place?

      • Loqi

        You understood, you’re just purposely conflating the two? “I’m not stupid, just dishonest!”

  • Heidi

    Unfortunately, I’m from Iowa. I’m so tired of Steve King et al trying to tell me what I can do with my body. Time for another email!

    • Stogoe

      Do you know if Steve King is allowed to run for both his House seat and Harkin’s open Senate seat in the current election? We might be rid of him in 20 months.

  • Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    I’m going to stretch for some good news and say at least it’s a good thing that they’re determined to put the crazy in 5th gear and make it obvious their intention is to run down womens’ rights, rather than mount a slow and steady campaign that might get somewhere.

  • RowanVT

    I’m a little confused. No exceptions for life of mother. So, do they then prosecute the doctor who had to let a woman AND the fetus die? Does that doctor now get charged for 2 homicides?

    • Glodson

      Nope, the doctor is a hero who protected life. It is the doctor that aborts a pregnancy to save a woman that is a murder. In fact, the woman and the doctor conspired to commit murder to save the mother’s life when allowing the pregnancy to come to term would likely cause the deaths of the woman and the fetus.

  • John

    I don’t know why I continue to be gobsmacked by those of you who violently refuse to connect the dots between “a handful of unthinking, unfeeling cells” and a human being. But I do, indeed, continue to be so.

    • Kodie

      Tissue?

      • John

        Well, we all know that that “tissue” may, if allowed to continue its development unimpeded, become a chair. Or a brick. Or a banana. That’s what’s so magical and wonderful about pregnancy. You just don’t know what you’re going to get in the end!

        But sometimes, of course, that “tissue” becomes something *really* inconvenient. It threatens to actually become a human being who requires care, feeding, and attention. Oh, and love. I mean, if it had had the good sense to become a chair, at least you could put it in the corner and ignore it, or throw a blanket over it and claim that your crazy aunt in Fresno just has no taste. But no. Instead, you have to puncture that “tissue’s” skull, suck out it’s “brains” and pull off it’s “arms” and “legs.” Because it’s inconvenient to your lifestyle.

        Well done.

        • Glodson

          This isn’t even a good strawman.

          In areas with easy access to abortions, the rates of abortion go down. In areas with good sex education, including use of contraception, the rates of unwanted pregnancies and teen pregnancies go down. Prenatal care, and the process of giving birth, are actually more dangerous than getting an abortion.

          Yes, at some point, the cells will become something we can call a human. But I don’t see why the growing mass of cells with no brain functions should have rights that trump a woman’s right to decide what happens in her body. I fail to see why you have a say over what happens in another woman’s body. This argument you put forth isn’t even coherent. No one is saying that the tissues won’t become human, or the cells don’t have that potential. We’re saying it isn’t human yet. It isn’t a person. Aborting the pregnancy is not murder as there’s no person being killed. It is ending a process before it comes to fruition.

          Because it’s inconvenient to your lifestyle.

          Or because the woman feels she cannot take care of the child, isn’t ready for the child, or because of social pressure. Like religion. Yes, many teens get an abortion to hide the fact they had premarital sex. And that would happen even if you made abortion illegal.

          Finally, when is abortion acceptable? Is it acceptable when a woman is raped and becomes pregnant? How about to save the life of the mother?

          • John

            What happens when that mass of tissue *does* have brain function? A beating heart? 10 fingers and 10 toes? Is it okay to chop it into small parts and suck it out of the womb?

          • Kodie

            There’s plenty of time for that later. Early abortions avoid that question very easily.

          • Glodson

            What happens when that mass of tissue *does* have brain function? A beating heart? 10 fingers and 10 toes? Is it okay to chop it into small parts and suck it out of the womb?

            When we reach about the 28th week of a pregnancy, which is about when the fetus can start feeling pain and should have developed a functioning brain, we have something I would consider a person. That’s in the third trimester. I might even go back into the second trimester. At that point, there are ethical considerations. Before that, I see no need for any ethical considerations, as it isn’t something I could call a person.

            I don’t care about a beating heart. That isn’t what really makes a person a person. It is just an organ. Might as well say the gestating fetus as a stomach producing acid. When the brain dies, the person is dead.

            In cases where the woman could die, it is fine to do that, even into the third trimester.

            I’ve answered your questions. Now answer mine. Do you think it is acceptable to abort a pregnancy to save the life of the mother? Do you think it is acceptable to force a rape victim to give birth to the child of the rapist?

          • John

            …and speaking of straw men, the rape question is a total dodge. Less than 1% of abortions are performed on account of rape. We’re not talking about abortion on account of rape. We’re talking about abortion on account of birth control.

          • Kodie

            The rape question is important. If you believe something, it should not matter. If you make exceptions, then you really aren’t holding to your principles, and then it shouldn’t matter what anyone’s reasons are.

          • Glodson

            …and speaking of straw men, the rape question is a total dodge. Less than 1% of abortions are performed on account of rape. We’re not talking about abortion on account of rape. We’re talking about abortion on account of birth control.

            Do you even know what a straw man is? That is an argument. I’ve not made an argument yet. I’m asking you a question. I want to you to state your position on this as it is a part of the debate. Not all pro-life people are comfortable with making abortion illegal for cases of rape or in cases when the mother’s life is in danger. Some are. I am trying to find out which one you are.

            And it is relevant in this discussion.

            “Those charged with murder, under the bill, would include a mother who takes abortion-inducing drugs or a doctor who performs an abortion. It also grants no exceptions for rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother.”

            See? I didn’t pull this out of thin air. It is part of the discussing. You might not want to talk about it, but it is what we’ve been talking about. You don’t get to decide the parameters.

            We aren’t talking about abortion as birth control. Maybe you want to, but we’re not. We’re talking about all cases. But let’s say we are talking about that…. That’s what we call a myth. In fact, it is a lie.

            But let’s say you are correct, your lie is true. So what? It doesn’t change the fact that you are trying to force your moral understandings which are not founded in science or evidence onto other women.

            Let’s try this again, cupcake. In cases of rape, yes or no? To save the woman’s life, yes or no? Answer the questions.

            And oh, your attempt at weaseling out of these was a dodge. If you are going to accuse someone of using a strawman, know what a strawman actually is. I’ve not made a characterization of your position. I am not even “just asking questions.” This is relevant to this thread, this conversation, and any conversation about abortion should include them. Over 32,000 women get pregnant from rape every year.

            Answer the questions

        • Kodie

          It’s for your tears, hon. I’ve gotten to the point where I think it’s actually hilarious if it weren’t so destructive how much sympathy a person can generate over something that’s not a person. It’s as much a person as a kleenex is. Waaah. Anti-abortioners are a pathetic whiny bunch. What are you crying about? What are you really clinging to here?

          • John

            “What are you really clinging to here?”

            Life, Kodie. I’m clinging to life.

          • Kodie

            You spelled superstition and ignorance wrong.

          • John

            But you spelled cynical, jaded, and angry just fine.

          • Kodie

            That the best you can do?

          • Kodie

            What a nasty dehumanizing slap in the face of actual people- women, John. Abortion is a serious topic and you’re trivializing it. Big man!

          • Glodson

            What a nasty dehumanizing slap in the face of actual people- women, John. Abortion is a serious topic and you’re trivializing it. Big man!

            Yea, not surprising at all.

        • Kodie

          It’s like an episode of Hoarders up in here, y’all! Who cares about women? We’re attached to stuff and things.

          • Glodson

            Womenz are the baby makers, that’s there function! A womenz who can’t do that should just let herself die for the pregnancy! Gdfsdfsdgsdgdfg!

        • Andrew Kohler

          “Well, we all know that that ’tissue’ may, if allowed to continue its development unimpeded, become a chair. Or a brick. Or a banana. That’s what’s so magical and wonderful about pregnancy. You just don’t know what you’re going to get in the end!”

          Somehow I missed this the first time I looked through this comment thread. I was quite unaware that human zygotes and blastocysts can become chairs, bricks, or bananas; The Miracle of Life failed to include this. Although, the idea of a woman giving a birth to a chair is most intriguing (I’m guessing it would necessitate a C-section).

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ M

      So, John, let’s say you went to a concert and saw an awesome violinist. At the end, you shook his hand and told him you thought he was awesome.

      Two weeks later, you woke up tied to him by IV lines while he lay on a cot next to your bed. A nurse came in and apologized, saying that he has a blood disorder. In about a year, he’ll be finished with treatment, but until then he needs to someone else’s blood, plasma, and nutrients or he’ll die. Since you’ll be sharing the treatment, you might have some side effects. They probably won’t permanently injure or kill you, but they could be uncomfortable- nausea, swelling, constant urge to urinate, elevated hormone levels, and hypersensitivity of smell are common. There is also a small chance of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, tissue tearing right around the scrotum/anus area, hemorrhage, and death.

      Has your bodily autonomy been violated? Should you have the right to rip out the IV lines and get on with your life? Are you morally obligated to keep this person alive, when you gave him no consent to tie himself to you? Should you be legally obligated to keep this person alive, no matter what the moral obligation is? Should your personal moral opinion be the same one that governs everyone else who might find themselves in this situation?

      If you think a fetus is a person, how is this any different from pregnancy?

      I’ve extended the tied-to-violinist metaphor, but I forget the original author of it. It’s definitely not my original idea though.

  • Pingback: Commenter John on handfuls of unthinking, unfeeling cells.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X