Indiana’s Unconstitutional, Unethical, Thoughtful, Subversive Abortion Law

If you want to kill this no matter what, it's legal and ethical. If you just don't like its skin color or gender and want to kill it because of that, you're a monster....

If you want to kill this no matter what, it’s legal and ethical. If you just don’t like its skin color or gender and want to kill it because of that, you’re a monster….

Feminists, pro-abortion enthusiasts (They like it! They really like it!), the biased, brainless news media and kneejerk progressives who haven’t given abortion and its many ethical problems one-thousandth of the careful, objective thought it deserves are just dismissing the new Indiana law restricting abortion as one more “war on women” maneuver and yet another mindless attack on abortion rights. It is an attack on abortion rights, but hardly a mindless one, and Indiana deserves respect and some ethics points for aiming a law right at the fault line of dishonest pro–abortion logic.

Maybe the law will provoke some quality discussion before it goes down in flames, and maybe some abortion supporters will slap their heads and realize that the rhetorical and rational behind abortion is at its core intellectually dishonest. If so, it will have done some quantifiable good.

Maybe the law will be the tipping point that finally makes a significant number of ethical people who have blindly accepted the tortured logic behind the nation’s casual acceptance of millions upon millions of aborted human lives open their minds.

Maybe if I flap my arms really hard, can fly to the moon.

No, the law itself is surely doomed, at least the portion of it we are discussing here, and since I can’t say for certain that the authors of the law know that, I can’t even give the bill’s authors and supporters credit for using a law that will never be put into action to throw much need illumination on the abortion debate. Nor can I criticize them for intentionally misusing the legislative process to make arguments rather than to pass real laws. I can’t tell what they are trying to do. What they have done, however, should get thoughtful people thinking.

The bill signed into law by Republican governor Mike Pence, among many other things, makes it illegal to  perform an abortion “if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because of: (1) the race, color, national origin, ancestry, or sex of the fetus; or (2) a diagnosis or potential diagnosis of the fetus having Down syndrome or any other disability.” It also “provides for disciplinary sanctions and civil liability for wrongful death if a person knowingly or intentionally performs a sex selective abortion or an abortion conducted because of a diagnosis or potential diagnosis of Down syndrome or any other disability.”

Brilliant! The majority in Roe v. Wade based its opinion that there was a right to abortion on the grounds that a non-viable fetus wasn’t a human life or “a person,” and thus did not itself have the right to exist. Abortion advocates have pressed this construct to the breaking point, completely ignoring any human or life-like qualities of aborted fetuses, comparing them to warts or tumors, and not even flinching at the attitudes revealed, for example, by Planned Parenthood officials. Indeed, abortion advocates go to great lengths to declare the “humanizing” of fetuses to be unfair and misleading. The legal fiction that fetuses aren’t human so nothing is being killed extends, in some increasingly popular feminist theories, right up to the moment of birth (and even after, in Princeton philosopher Peter Singer’s arguments).

This has the advantage of cutting off the argument that abortion is “murder” at the knees. Murder requires mens rea, an understanding of what one is doing, and not only is abortion legal, it cannot even be legalized murder if the “murderer” doesn’t know, think or believe he or she is killing a human being. A pregnant woman who is seeking an abortion solely because of the race, color, national origin, ancestry, or sex of the fetus, or a diagnosis of the fetus having Down syndrome or a disability, is not removing a wart or tumor she has a right to remove as a “choice”, but killing something she believes is human (“solely”in the law  excludes the wart/tumor/invader/”thing”/parasite/ non-consensual body-user rationales). in the manner  of hate crimes, because of what the human is.

She isn’t taking away a human being’s right to live and breathe because any fetus that emerges from her womb magically transformed into a human is going to disrupt her life and limit her “choices”—the official rationale that justifies the abortion right— but because she doesn’t like the type of human being threatening to do that. As law professor Ann Althouse wrote today in the same vein, “the woman is ending the pregnancy because she sees the unborn not as mere abstract potential but as a person, a specific person — someone she rejects.”

That’s how I read the law too. Ann says she once gave a law school class a hypothetical about a law that would require the woman seeking an abortion to swear that she believes the entity she is about to destroy is not a person. The catch in that hypo, of course, is that no law about anything requires a belief in the underlying principles of that law on the part of a citizen taking advantage of it, and no law can, because such a law penalizes thought and belief. (So do hate crime laws, but never mind—they are unethical too.)

That is also why the Indiana law itself is unethical: it makes the same action legal or illegal for different citizens according to what they believe.  However, the doomed law neatly shows how legal abortion is only ethically defensible when a mother isn’t intentionally using her right to choose to choose to snuff out the life in her womb as euthanasia, ethnic cleansing, gender discrimination, or early-warning genocide.

If the Republican authors of the Indiana bill were more astute, they would have included “gay” in their list of prohibited reasons to kill a fetus. Of course, they don’t like gays, so it never occurred to them.

The law is unconstitutional as well as unethical. It exposes the lie at abortion advocacy’s core, however, and its ethical hypocrisy. That’s a contribution to the debate…if anyone notices, or has the integrity to care.

 

115 thoughts on “Indiana’s Unconstitutional, Unethical, Thoughtful, Subversive Abortion Law

  1. 1. Pro-abortion enthusiast? Really? I’ve never met one myself.

    2. I don’t understand why you think this law would get anyone to think further on this issue. You wrote, “A pregnant woman who is seeking an abortion solely because of the race, color, national origin, ancestry, or sex of the fetus, or a diagnosis of the fetus having Down syndrome or a disability, is not removing a wart or tumor she has a right to remove as a “choice”, but killing something she believes is human.” No, for someone who is pro choice, she would be terminating something that believes will BECOME human.

    • for someone who is pro choice, she would be terminating something that believes will BECOME human.

      Or has the potential to do so, yes.

      Personhood doesn’t come into existence at the moment of conception. Whether earlier (as is the case with some religious beliefs) or later (according to other religious beliefs) is another issue.

      I’m willing to argue that it’s sometime during the second trimester, in the usual course of events, but that’s based on biological fact as well as philosophy – what it means to be a person.

      • So you are in favor of supplanting the settled scientific argument (the humanity of the fetus) with a vague religious one (“personhood”) when it suits your purpose. Got it. Maybe we can administer some tests to various special-needs adults next to determine which of them are cognitively aware enough to qualify as “persons?”

      • “Personhood doesn’t come into existence at the moment of conception. Whether earlier (as is the case with some religious beliefs) or later (according to other religious beliefs) is another issue.

        I’m willing to argue that it’s sometime during the second trimester, in the usual course of events, but that’s based on biological fact as well as philosophy – what it means to be a person.”

        I tend to see religion as useless in this discussion. But as to when a person becomes a person… There are events we can point to and say: OK… This could be when a person becomes a person: The first heartbeat, the first neuron firing, the first kick… But these don’t happen at set times, and so any ‘personhood’ designation based on a timeframe is inherently arbitrary. And philosophically, if you accept that the unborn at some point attain personhood, but attach an arbitrary timeframe for the abortion window of Schrodinger’s baby (Is it or is it not a person? Yes.), you run the gambit of possibly killing a person.

        A non arbitrary point for personhood, and one that is based in science is conception. This is the point where two disparate flakes of genetic code come together to form a unique, discreet, living being, that if left alone could be born whole and healthy. Any other point is arbitrary. in comparison if not in actuality.

    • 1. Then you haven’t kept up with the posts. Very recently we talked about the advocates who talk about abortion being a “joyous” experience.

      2. But that’s pure equivocation, Beth. It IS human, and there is no question that it will grow into a functioning human being. The abortion machine doesn’t want women considering abortion to think about what the fetus will become at all. What matters is that it will become a burden, an expense, an inconvenience, a problem.

      • Do you know how IVF works? Eggs are harvested from the mother and is then combined with sperm in a petri dish. Many fertilized are created — if it is successful of course. But, only a couple eggs are implanted because the parents (unless you’re crazy octomom) doesn’t want 8 or 10 children. Are those remaining fertilized eggs human?

        • Yes. I double-checked with my 13-year old nephew, and he also has taken a biology class and believes that the species in question is, in fact, a human.

          • Well then, we have thousands of humans in deep freeze — presumably against their will. That’s a crime. Perhaps we should arrest the tens of thousands of IVF parents out there.

              • Well, not really. If you are a true pro-lifer, then you must believe that IVF is, or should be, a crime — in addition to being unethical.

                On a related note, I met a couple this weekend who had their children via IVF, but they used donated embryos from another couple who had extra after their cycle. That is an incredibly generous act. Typically, the remaining embryos are kept in storage or discarded/killed (depending on your point of view).

                • I’d call that killed. I’m not sure what else you could call it… a group of living cells are purposefully caused to stop living.

                  But I’m also a pragmatist, I need people to understand that killing babies while they actually look like babies is wrong before I try to convince them the same of something the size of a pea (and less).

    • “Pro-abortion enthusiast? Really? I’ve never met one myself.”

      You should get out more. I don’t think you’re in that group, I think you’re in the “necessary evil” camp. But my ability to differentiate between you and an enthusiast should perhaps lead you to the conclusion that you might have a blind spot where those people hang out. I’d suggest reading back in the abortion tag to the post about the woman who was so glad she got her abortion, because after killing her child, she was unburdened to become the empowered woman she became. That’s a tame example.

      “No, for someone who is pro choice, she would be terminating something that believes will BECOME human.”

      That is an awful fine distinction… Are you sure thats where you want to hang your hat?

      • I read that article. “Pro-abortion enthusiast” is a term that suggests to me that pregnancies are irrelevant and why not have abortions for everyone? Yay abortions! Give me an “A”, Give me a “B”!

        Rather, that article — if I recall correctly — was written by a woman who is saying, after the fact, that she was really happy that she had an abortion because it allowed her to get an education and a great job. That does not suggest to me that she thinks that abortion isn’t a weighty decision and that she celebrated the fact that she was having one at the time. She instead is celebrating the life that she now has. That’s an important distinction.

        I know a few women who have acknowledged that they had abortions and they went on to have children later in life (after college). Speaking from my limited sample, they are both sad and happy that they had it done. Sad for the life that could have been, but happy that they are in a more stable relationship, better job, and have children for whom they can provide a better life.

        • Well, from the story I was referring to: “Then, just before graduation, I learned I was pregnant. Knowing that I wasn’t ready to be a mother, I had a friend drive me to a Planned Parenthood clinic, where I had an abortion. This was a deeply personal and private choice that I have never regretted.”

          In which, you’re right, as opposed to enthusiastic, she treats it very nonchalantly. You can see it time and time again. See… I don’t see enthusiasts as a rah-rah kind of advocacy, (although those could be found as well, I remember a woman who called her abortion a joyous experience) I see it as the people who are trying to normalize the act, who don’t want stigma attached to it, who want to treat it like it isn’t a big deal. It IS a big deal. You’re killing someone. A potential someone. Something alive. It deserves more thought, retrospection and remorse than which dress to wear.

          I think that I would be less offended by these pro-choice arguments if the choice was more often to behave responsibly with the responsibility inherent in creating life. Abortion numbers (while admittedly on decline) are still staggering and should be unacceptable to everyone. I said that I think you see it as a necessary evil, I see it as an unnecessary waste.

          • I’m all for people behaving more responsibly, and they are — as you acknowledge. Abortion numbers have been decreasing steadily over the last 6 years. My hope is that this will become a non-issue in a generation or two. But, in the meantime, men bear an equal responsibility in creating the unwanted life. But the stigma always falls on the woman.

            • We’ve had this argument before: Her choice. Her responsibility. This is the flip side of the child support debate:

              Is it unfair to men that they have no say in whether a child is born or not, creating a financial burden for up to two decades? Sure. But it’s also necessary. Don’t want to pay? Figure it out.

              Is it unfair to women that they bear the burden of scrutiny for the choices they make in a situation that another person contributed to? Sure. But it’s also necessary. Don’t want to be a pariah? Figure it out.

                • What a stupid thing to say.

                  On what planet do you think anyone else should be responsible for the choice that you have fought long and hard to be able to make? We’ve come to a point where the wishes of the father are irrelevant, and you wanted it that way. Now take the responsibility that comes along with your privilege or give it away. You want to point to a man and say he’s responsible for the choice? Make it his choice, then he would be responsible for it. What an entitled.. Blargh.

                  You know what? It’s not your fault. Women haven’t really been asked to be responsible. Especially not in the last couple of generations. All the privilege, none of the responsibility, none of the consequences, none of the burden. I can understand why it’s a foreign concept to own the consequences of your decisions, and how it’s easiest to pawn it off on the nearest guy.

                  • “All the privilege, none of the responsibility, none of the consequences, none of the burden.”

                    I’m sorry. I’m laughing too hard to write a suitable response. I don’t know what imaginary planet you live on, but women bear nearly ALL the responsibility, consequences, and burden for unwanted children and many times for wanted children too. There’s a reason that we have a ton of single moms and “deadbeat dad” statutes — and that reason is not immaculate conception.

                    • Yeah. It’s because they don’t say no. Until very recently (I’d point to the advent of cheap and available birth control myself, regardless), women took their roles as the gatekeepers of sex seriously. Then the sexual revolution happened, standards dropped, and what used to be a tightly locked gate turned into a tunnel you could drive a bus through.

                      As rational, self-interested human beings, women should think to themselves. “Hmm. If I let him stick that in there, I could become pregnant, and seeing as that affects me the most, I should be the most interested in whether or not that happens.”

                      Sure it would be nice if the men thought, “Hey, if I stick that in there, she could become pregnant, and then I either become a father, an ATM, or a deadbeat. Perhaps I shouldn’t do that.”

                      But that really is the extent of his responsibilities. He doesn’t get pregnant, he doesn’t give birth, he doesn’t make the abortion decision, he doesn’t even get to decide if his name goes on the birth certificate, or if he sees the kid. Those are her choices. She makes them. She is responsible for them.

                    • And to make this a little personal, because maybe it’ll help you understand where I’m coming from: I’m gay. I came to terms with the fact that I’m not going to have children a long time ago, and that bothers me. I’m a little bit bitter.

                      And so when I hear about some asshole who gets a girl pregnant and runs for the hills, I want to strangle him. He has no conception of how much some people would do to be in his shoes. Abandoning a kid is horrible. Cruel. Stupid. Irresponsible. Insane. I can’t lump enough scorn on them.

                      So imagine how I feel about the women that are every bit as stupid as those men, but then decide as opposed to running away, they’ll just kill them instead.

                    • I know plenty of gay men who have children through adoption — and some have biological children. Of course, you would need to use a surrogate.

                      As for your comments about a woman’s choice and responsibility — I couldn’t disagree more. It takes two to make a baby. There is equal responsibility.

  2. It’s human from its conception. It’s not a seal pup until 25 weeks. ‘Become human’ is an odd choice of words. ‘Becomes viable’ I can see. ‘Becomes human’ I cannot. It’s always been human…

    • Hypothetically, by genetic testing or measuring hormone levels or something. That, however, wasn’t reasoning we were likely to hear from the law’s authors.

    • You don’t. The point being made is that the abortion proponents generally belong to a group that hoists group identity politics on a pedestal. And simply throwing in ‘gay’ might have caused a temporary short circuit. I say temporarily because while being gay is definitely on the progressive victim stack, it’s much lower than womanhood. And so once the drones accurately identify the parties involved, their choice will become obvious and easy.

  3. I think the operative word would be sentient, or viable. An embryo/fetus should have some limited rights after reaching the term of viability or sentience, but before that, I do not believe they should.

    • Non-sentient: Babies, adults in comas, the severely mentally impaired, and fetuses.
      Non-viable (independently): Babies, adults in comas, the severely mentally impaired, and fetuses.
      Shouldn’t have any human rights: Babies, adults in comas, the severely mentally impaired, and fetuses?
      Does not compute. Please develop ideas further.

  4. “If the Republican authors of the Indiana bill were more astute, they would have included “gay” in their list of prohibited reasons to kill a fetus. Of course, they don’t like gays, so it never occurred to them.”

    That would have really been interesting. Would the abortion enthusiasts and the LGBT industrial complex have set upon one another or would they have been stunned into silence? A conflagration or crickets?

    Probably neither. Their spin meisters would have come up with something they could have agreed upon as a counter argument. Which would have been even more depressing.

      • More pro choice, I’d think. The question is would the addition of ‘gay’ to the classes protected by the bill foster some kind of amount of introspection. I…. Have significant doubts. Regardless, I think the LGBT lobby is ideologically neutral, but they support the people who supported them, and find it an easy stance to take.

        • At least until the hypothetical “gay gene” is found At that point, it will be possible to test an unborn child for gayness. If having to grow up poor, or with a single parent, or uncaring parents is enough of a burden to justify an abortion, then surely the hard, stressful, hate-filled life looming before a latently homosexual child would be just cause for an abortion, too.

          Or, ya know, both arguments could hold less water than a thimble with no bottom – also a possibility.

          • I disagree with both your premise and your thought process.

            The best information we have is that gayness is hormonal, as opposed to genetic, and is probably determined in the womb.

            But secondly, if the rest of that list didn’t give them pause, why should this? Are women more or less likely to have a sex selective abortion given that we can identify the gender of the unborn? And does that change a single pro-abortion advocate’s mind on the subject?

            • For some reason I am unable to reply to your other post, regarding being gay and unable to have children. I wanted to say, you CAN adopt. Many gay couples adopt children here in this country. Children that really, really need good homes with stable, intelligent, loving parents.

              • WordPress is weird that way, after so many replies in a thread, it doesn’t allow replies. We usually go a post back and reply so it nests right under the last post.

                As to your point: I’m aware. And I’m sure that adoption is a fulfilling process. But something in the back of my head tells me that having kids of your own is probably quite different. Regardless, it would still bother me that these horrible unparents take the gift that is their children so for granted.

                • Having had both biological and foster children, I can tell you that love is love. You love a child no more because they share your genetic material, or look like you, or came to you as a newborn. Teens drive you just as crazy if they are biologically yours or if they came to you as teens.

                  I would suggest becoming a CASA for a child in the system, it does not require a lot of investment of time or money – and from there you might explore the possibility of fostering or adopting one of the thousands of children who need homes.

                  http://www.casaforchildren.org/site/c.mtJSJ7MPIsE/b.5301295/k.BE9A/Home.htm

                • Hi Humble –

                  I am an adopted child with biological children of my own (one of whom happens to be gay, so the whole hormone theory is of mild interest as I knew my son was gay by the time he was in kindergarten but that’s another conversation for another time) and I can tell you from both experiences that how a child comes to be yours is absolutely, unequivocally irrelevant. I am my mother’s daughter just as my children are my own. Of that I can assure you.

  5. What’s interesting is that this debate has been happening at about the same time period as the concept of animal rights making real inroads into mainstream culture. Where will first term fetuses end up falling on the sliding scale of animal protection, I wonder?

      • But farther than before (I mean, look at the SeaWorld controversies, or even the attitude a lot of urban Americans have towards hunting); hell, Jack’s touched on the issue a few times himself.

        • What those of you who argue the pro-life stance fail to understand is that the majority of those who are pro-choice do not share your steadfast belief that life begins at conception. Most pro-choice believe (just as strongly) that life begins somewhere between the time of sentience and viability. Sure there are some that believe life does not begin until birth, just as some pro-life also believe that birth control (and masturbation!) is also the murder of potential humans. But eliminating the lunatic fringe on both sides what you have is a divided core of people who do not agree on the point independent life begins.

          Both sides have valid points.

              • The age of viability is set at Roe v. Wade at the end of the second trimester. I don’t think the majority of abortion rights supporters are pushing for later. We are just hoping to hold on to that.

                • Regardless of whether we agree on when life, independent life, or personhood begins. We have the overriding and simpler issue of autonomy. If I become ill and require a blood transfusion (or kidney) in order to live, and my mother is the only person who can donate those in order that I continue to live, would we force her to donate in order to sustain my life?? No. We might expect her to, I’m pretty sure most women would, but there is no9 law to force her. We all agree I am living. So, no matter when you believe that life begins: conception, sentience, viability or birth – if a woman can refuse to sustain her grown child’s life, then why can’t she refuse to sustain a fetus’ life?

                  If a stranger needs a kidney in order to survive, and you are found to be the perfect donor, should you be compelled to dobate your kidney in order that this person might live? No. It would sure be fantastic if you did, but no court would force you to.

          • I’m not sure why you’re responding to me on that, since my own views on the issue aren’t what you’d call “set in stone” just yet; my original post was more an passing thought on the implications for future ethical debate as both these issues develop in tandem.

          • If this was true, every state should have a partial birth abortion that passes every legislative body unanimously. Further, as I’ve said here (I can’t take credit for making it up though), if you believe that life begins at conception, and you’re pro-choice, you’re Hannibal Lecter.

              • …. or just pragmatic. How many issues in this world would be solved if women didn’t have too many children and/or children at too young of an age?

                Here are some stats about the US — richest country on the planet. Right now, there are 108,000 children awaiting adoption. Most of them won’t find homes, will age out the system, and will live dismal lives. More than 16 MILLION children live below the poverty line — which I believe is about $23,000/family/per year. Roughly the same percentage of children don’t get enough food to eat each day. And these statistics are not even factoring in cases of neglect and abuse who haven’t yet ended up in foster care. But, yes, we need to give every clump of living cells a chance! So what if there is a good chance that you’ll end up poor, or in jail, or in foster care? You might be the next Steve Jobs! (Although it is far more likely that you will become a parent while still in high school, not graduate high school, and have lots of children who will just make this problem worse.)

                This is unacceptable in the United States, and the problem is out of control in most of the third world. Every health professional (not affiliated with a religious organization) agrees that the first priority is to bring basic family planning services (including abortions) to the poorest of the poor.

                As I’ve discussed many times before, I don’t like abortions either. But the fact is that we need them. And I’m really sick of being labeled “anti-life” because of this stance. I want QUALITY of life for those 16 million children who don’t eat unless they are at school. I want employment for young adults who didn’t get a decent education. I want our poverty and foster care numbers down to acceptable levels. When these things happen, I’ll be willing to entertain what to do about those clumps of cells that are purged before they get to the size of a bean. Until then, go pound sand.

                • It would be fairer to require each individual who has a child they cannot care for to kill themselves, wouldn’t it? In what other realm do we punish the result of the conduct, rather than the author of it?

                • So true.

                  I was a foster parent to two children and a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for three more. All of those clamoring about “the babies could be adopted” have failed miserably to adopt those human lives in need, Lives currently living right here in the US.

                  What it comes down to is those lives aren’t important enough. You would rather have a “better” child – one that fits your needs and wants (real or imagined). You don’t want to be burdened by one that is outside you willingness to accept. How is that any more cold than considering a conglomeration of human cells that is not yet sentient or viable, no more independent from the body than an appendix? If an adopter can pick and choose which child they want, by what works for THEIR family and THEIR life, why can’t a woman facing an unwanted pregnancy?

                  • What it comes down to is those lives aren’t important enough. You would rather have a “better” child – one that fits your needs and wants (real or imagined). You don’t want to be burdened by one that is outside your willingness to accept. How is that any more cold than considering a conglomeration of human cells that is not yet sentient or viable, no more independent from the body than an appendix? If an adopter can pick and choose which child they want, by what works for THEIR family and THEIR life, why can’t a woman facing an unwanted pregnancy?

                    I would classify this paragraph as bypassing logic and common sense in desperation.

                    In our own case, we were prevented from adopting an infant by adoption Rules, and knowing how early life affects children, no, we were not willing to deal with the damage done to a child we did not choose to create. We also didn’t want to go through the ordeal other couples had gone through, involving sudden fathers and grandparents challenging adoptions, law suits and pay-offs. Nobody is obligated to take care of someone else’s neglected or irresponsibly created child. So you attack those who don’t, and your solution…is to kill the child!

                    Brilliant.

                    How is not choosing to take on the burden of another woman’s irresponsible conduct “any more cold than considering a conglomeration of human cells that is not yet sentient or viable, no more independent from the body than an appendix?” Wha? Well, one is a rational decision based on basic principles of responsibility, and the other is a facile false interpretation of reality cynically designed to remove conscience, decency, empathy and respect for life from the process, how’s that? Coldness is not the issue.

                    Below is a graphic of a fetus at three months: that’s no “clump of cells.” There is a material difference between “not viable” and “Viable if you wait a bit.” An accident victim on life support isn’t “viable” if unhooked, but will be. Viability, autonomy, and “sentience” are all rationalizations, every one. I respect the position that an objective analysts reaches regarding how to measure human life begins. Conclusions developed specifically to pretend that abortions involves clumps of cells no different from appendixes warrant no such respect.

                    I would classify this paragraph a DERANGED.

                    • You’re missing my point. The irresponsible conduct in question is by both the man and the woman. She didn’t get pregnant by herself.

                    • I’m just asking you to alter your language. I’m sick of hearing about the irresponsible conduct of women in getting pregnant. Women can’t get pregnant without the help of men. But you know, boys will be boys. It’s okay and natural for them to want to sleep with as many girls as possible, and of course, they would prefer to not use condoms. It’s women’s job to say “no,” and gosh, if they don’t, let’s make them bear their pregnancies to term (even if they are 14) and put a scarlet letter on their maternity dresses while we’re at it, so we can publicly shame them too. But the boys’ conduct should definitely be excused.

                    • Beth, as long as the woman is the one demanding the abortion, the male’s participation in creating the dilemma isn’t germane. The male insisting on an abortion to relive himself of a parental burden? Now you’re talking apples and apples.

                    • Well, often the male insists on the abortion. In any event, the irresponsible conduct was in having unprotected sex, which takes two.

              • Yes, but now we’re just in grey areas. I am raising my daughters such that they should never have to turn to abortion. They are privileged, have money, live in a loving home, and are getting a great education. If I do my job right, they will not have sex before they are ready and, when they do, they hopefully will engage in protected sex. If they act irresponsibly and get pregnant, I will do whatever is in my power to let them know that their children will be safe and loved with me. But I will also not demonize them if they choose otherwise.

                Not every child is as lucky as mine. Some live in abusive households, neglectful households, have little resources, and may even face physical abuse outside of the home. Their parents may be addicted to drugs. They might not have two parents, or even one parent. They may live in crappy neighborhoods and go to horrible schools. They might not be taught the self-worth to say “no” to a boy. These are also the kids who most likely would be horrible parents, because usually this cycle repeats itself. We should not encourage these children to have abortions, but we need to let them know that it is an option.

                And, as for adults with good jobs who have abortions because pregnancy/raising children would be an inconvenience? Well, I really don’t understand how an adult gets “accidentally” pregnant but for that rare circumstance of a birth control failure. I wouldn’t have an abortion in their situation, but it is not my choice. And, they too would have been awful parents.

                • “Not every child is as lucky as mine. Some live in abusive households, neglectful households, have little resources, and may even face physical abuse outside of the home. Their parents may be addicted to drugs. They might not have two parents, or even one parent. They may live in crappy neighborhoods and go to horrible schools.”

                  This was Clarence Darrow’s argument for why we shouldn’t punish criminals.

                  It’s not gray. Right and wrong are not adjustable according to your challenges in knowing the difference. Is a poor person’s theft any less wrong than a rich person’s? No. More understandable, but no less wrong.

                  • Of course it’s gray. If killing a one week embryo means that your other children won’t be pushed below the poverty line, it is not only understandable but possibly the right thing to do. If a teenage girl kills her one month embryo because her parents have said that they will throw her onto the streets if she carries the baby to term, she most likely made the right decision. If a mother kills a two month old embryo because it will be born with fetal alcohol syndrome and she has no resources to treat it, it is possibly the right thing to do. If a mother terminates a 5 month old fetus because she (the mother) will die without life-saving radiation treatment, who am I to say that’s wrong?

                    Every situation is a different shade of gray and It’s not for me or you to decide or judge. The right thing is not always placing the rights of the unborn over the rights of those already in existence — especially when we’re talking about minors. The best thing we can do is to educate on this issue and provide family planning resources. If we do this, we will continue to watch abortion rates drop.

                    • In every one of those examples, the decision-maker needs to have the ethics analysis tools to make a competent decision considering all the interests involved. Of course we can judge those decisions. How do you teach competent life skills without identifying the wrongly decided decisions? You’re just making the shoes argument. My business is putting myself into other people’s shoes. You just make an argument for situational subjective ethics in all dilemmas. When life and death is involved, you have an obligation to know what you are doing.

            • My appendix is alive, it is composed of living human cells. If I don’t keep it in my body, it will die. It doesn’t make me Hannibal Lecter to remove it if it causes me problems though.

                • A fetus before viability is not a separate entity. If I, or your neighbor does not believe a fetus at a certain stage of development is not more autonomously human than an appendix, that is not your concern. You cannot force your beliefs regarding when autonomous human life begins on others. Just like an appendix, a fetus before viability cannot be sustained outside the body. Both are a part of the woman’s body. The point was that you can have clumps of living, human, biological cells, but you don’t have a human until you have “separate life”. However that is defined. If your argument is that life begins at conception, BECAUSE they are living, human cells, then my argument stands. Now you want to further clarify it by saying it must be genetically diverse from the body surrounding it? Does the genetic diversity give it special precedence over the autonomy of the human that surrounds it?

                  • This has nothing to do with beliefs, and beliefs, though this is the trick abortion zealot like to play, do not alter reality. A fetus is human. A fetus is a unique organize from the mother, not an organ, not an appendage. You cannot say it is part of a woman’s body—you will find no anatomy book that says that. It is an organism with a unique genetic structure that is temporarily dependent on that body, but by no definition is that a “part.” The fact that it is not viable outside the body like an appendix doesn’t make it like an appendix in any other respect—trick rejected. Autonomous? That’s an after the fact “requirement” of a right to live made up after the political position was marked desirable. Autonomy isn’t a make-or-break for life.

                    “Does the genetic diversity give it special precedence over the autonomy of the human that surrounds it?” You mean, does it give the separate being the right to kill that human? Why no. But that’s not the minimum right being claimed, either.

                    • Again I will say:
                      Regardless of whether we agree on when life, independent life, or personhood begins. We have the overriding and simpler issue of autonomy. If I become ill and require a blood transfusion (or kidney) in order to live, and my mother is the only person who can donate those in order that I continue to live, would we force her to donate in order to sustain my life?? No. We might expect her to, I’m pretty sure most women would, but there is no9 law to force her. We all agree I am living. So, no matter when you believe that life begins: conception, sentience, viability or birth – if a woman can refuse to sustain her grown child’s life, then why can’t she refuse to sustain a fetus’ life?

                      If a stranger needs a kidney in order to survive, and you are found to be the perfect donor, should you be compelled to dobate your kidney in order that this person might live? No. It would sure be fantastic if you did, but no court would force you to.

                    • “We have the overriding and simpler issue of autonomy.”

                      Yeah… and you’ve really shown a great argument against abortion. Congrats.

                      The reason no one is obligated to perpetuate your life in the “needs a kidney” scenario is because you reached that point in life where you are no longer utterly helpless regardless of who brought you into the world. The reason one is obligated to perpetuate the life of the unborn is they are HELPLESS and had no choice in being brought into the world by the parents. And no, the unborn life not having a say in being conceived IS NOT equivalent to the adult not having a say in having healthy kidneys.

                    • Tex — WHAT? If I am the only match for my daughter, and she is going to die without a kidney, I would feel morally obligated to give her one. It wouldn’t matter if she was 50 years old, I would feel that it is my duty as her mother. However, the law cannot compel me to do so.

                    • No doubt most parents would *feel* morally obligated to do so. I certainly would. Now back to the topic at hand, which is ethical obligation…

                    • Tex, I have never once argued that abortion is ethical. I have argued that it should be legal and that it is a necessary evil.

                      But keep thinking you’re winning — that always amuses me.

                    • Beth, I’m thinking of writing a post about how abortion should be legal, but the culture needs to emphasize that its also wrong. Like having children out of wedlock and promiscuous sex, like raising children to hate “others” and a lot of conduct, we should have a right to do it, but also know it’s not right. This is an ethics vs law issue, I am persuaded. Clinton was right: make it legal, accessible, and rare—and the way to do that is to stop glamorizing it or pretending that no harm is done when a growing human life is snuffed out.

                      What do you think?

                    • “Tex, I have never once argued that abortion is ethical.”

                      No, you’ve only made all the same arguments made by those who do say abortion is ethical, but still by personal fiat don’t support it.

                      Almost miraculous.

  6. Composite list of Asanine comments from the pro-abortion crowd in this thread (recent as of this comment):

    “No, for someone who is pro choice, she would be terminating something that believes will BECOME human.”

    Doozy. The fetus IS human. Denying the science in that is pretty well a lie.

    ““Pro-abortion enthusiast” is a term that suggests to me that pregnancies are irrelevant and why not have abortions for everyone?”

    I don’t think this commenter has paid much attention to the tenor of the pro-abortion crowd, as that is LITERALLY the attitude held by the pro-abortion crowd.

    “I’m all for people behaving more responsibly”

    From a pro-abortionist, as abortion alleviates the need to behave responsibly. Asinine.

    ““Sometime in the second trimester” and “a potential human” respectively.

    To use an analogy, a child is not an adult, and should not have the same rights/privileges/responsibilities as an adult, no matter what Egyptian Military courts might say. A child is a potential adult.”

    Patently silly. A child is a potential adult. But still 100% human, just like the adult. Where this pro-abortionist has asserted that such an analogy is equivalent to saying an fetus is a potential human. Except it’s really saying “an unborn human is a potential human”, which is an outright silly assertion. Nerp. An unborn human is already a human. These definition things really hang up the pro-abortion crowd.

    “What those of you who argue the pro-life stance fail to understand is that the majority of those who are pro-choice do not share your steadfast belief that life begins at conception”

    This pro-abortionist seems to think that science is subject to democratic approval. If 99% of people said that Ocean isn’t primarily composed of water, that doesn’t mean there’s validity to the statement, it just means 99% of people are really stupid or biased on that topic. You see, you have two options, alive and not-alive. A human after conception certainly isn’t not-alive. I’ll let you crunch the easy bit of reducing the term not-not-alive to a simpler term that should reveal alot.

    “The age of viability is set at Roe v. Wade at the end of the second trimester.”

    This pro-abortionist, who can’t seem to keep terminology straight, recognizes now that thea assertion that “the unborn aren’t alive” is roughly at asinity level 10. So now we fall back on the made up “viability” arguement. Which essentially means something has a right to life when it can survive on it’s own. Amusingly, taking to it’s conclusion, aboriton ought be available up to age 3 or 4…or however old a child must be to procure, prepare and consume food completely independently of other humans. Drop a 1 year old off in the forest somewhere and tell me how ‘viable’ they are without caregivers.

    “My appendix is alive, it is composed of living human cells. If I don’t keep it in my body, it will die. It doesn’t make me Hannibal Lecter to remove it if it causes me problems though.

    This pro-abortionist is making the worn out and debunked “it’s just like an organ” argument. At this point, we should consider most people asserting this as willfully dishonest and unreliable.

    “If I, or your neighbor does not believe a fetus at a certain stage of development is not more autonomously human than an appendix, that is not your concern. You cannot force your beliefs regarding when autonomous human life begins on others.”

    As a matter of fact, yes we can. You however, don’t get to arbitrarily decide when humans are no longer protected from your harmful conduct.

    • Bull Pucky.

      I did not say I required a kidney or blood because I was somehow responsible for my condition (should that matter?), I could have been a victim of crime, genetic disease, injury or any number of causes not under my control – I only stated that to have it was essential for me to live and the only person who could provide that was my mother – could she be compelled to sustain my life? Is my life as a living, breathing, person able to feel pain and cognizant of life and death less worthy of “protection” than a fetal life? What if I was a minor? Would you compel a mother to donate blood or organ to her minor child if she were the only possible match and the child would die without it?

      No. You might want to, you might expect her to but there is no legal leg to stand on to compel her to. Will you compel women to carry every invitro-fertilized egg? If 10 are fertilized in the process would you compel her to implant all of them, knowing you just doomed the entire pregnancy to failure? Would you compel her to endure pregnancy after pregnancy until all were either born or miscarried regardless of the risks to her health and her ability to work and support herself and the previous children? Would you indict her for the murder or manslaughter of the embryos that were not implanted? No. Once again you would have no leg to stand on.

      Why would you consider the mother of an adult or minor child owes less to them than to an embryo or fetus, ESPECIALLY a fetus that has no cognizance that it exists? I think a fetus after a point of viability should have limited rights and be protected, but before then you cannot force a woman to give up the right to control what happens to her body in order to protect her non-viable, non-sentient fetus.

      Just because there are people who want to adopt babies, does not mean women and girl children should be compelled to fill that need or be consigned to a frequently disadvantaged life for both themselves and any children they may have because they had sex. Would you make an exception for women who are raped or minor children who are impregnated due to incest or sexual abuse? What about girls or women who are developmentally or psychologically not able to fully grasp the ramifications, but still have the basic sex drive? If so, your argument that all fetal life must be protected over the interests of the mother are null because you find some fetal life more worthy of protection than others.

      Certainly there are irresponsible people. There are even more irresponsible adolescents. People do stupid things regularly. Adolescents do them even more and do not consider the full ramifications and lack the impulse controls that mature adults have. My bet is none of you are free from “sin”. A lot of us are just lucky that the condom didn’t break or the timing was off. While it may be desirable for a woman with an unwanted pregnancy to carry the child to term and surrender it for adoption, you cannot compel her any more than you can compel her to save her already born children.

      • Before I respond to the bulk of this, I will, in summary, address the analogy you constantly assert as discussion concluding. You say that no woman is ethically obligated to carry the child they helped created because it would be like forcing an adult mother to give away her kidney to a dying to adult child of hers. But that isn’t analogous. Here’s what is closer to analogous: the adult child has already received a life sustaining kidney from one of the parents, now that parent is facing difficulties in life for which having their kidney back at the cost of the child’s life would make their life better. Guess what the outcome in that is? Sorry parent, you don’t get your kidney back. That analogy is closer though still not perfect, but far more revelatory on this topic than the incredibly shaky analogy you pose.

        • So she can choose not to donate her blood or her organ because she is afraid she might need them later (blood and liver segments regenerate in healthy individuals, you know) she could also decide not to because she chose not to risk the surgery or give up the earnings she would lose during hospitalization and recovery. Maybe she just doesn’t like her child? It happens. Maybe they are estranged. For whatever reason, be it medical, emotional or just because she does not want to, she can’t be compelled. Even though she willingly (or unwillingly) created me, She cannot be forced to subjugate her rights over her own body to sustain my life, whether I am an adult, a minor, an infant, a fetus or an embryo. I do believe my argument would stand in court.

            • Sure, but where would you draw the line? Is she charged with involuntary manslaughter if she does not run into a burning building to save her child when no emergency personnel are there? Would you compel a mother to save her already born child with an organ or blood donation if that child had killed her husband or it’s sibling? I’m not a lawyer, I don’t have an education past 11th grade, you do. But even I know perfectly well the arguments of “slippery slopes” and eroding personal rights.

              You might find abortion distasteful, think it is wrong, condemn it morally and choose to never have one yourself, but you can’t make that choice for your neighbor or your daughter.

          • Fellow readers, our pigeon chess master here is trying to pull a fast one.

            I demonstrated thoroughly why her analogy was horrendously flawed. I gave her a much better analogy, which upon study reveals her stance to be baseless.

            Her response? Push on as though I conceded her analogy as accurate and attempt to reach some sort of logical conclusion that shows her stance to be ethical. I don’t know, is this a straw man? A gish gallop? Or just plain ole knocking over the chess pieces and screaming “I win!”?

            I can’t figure it out.

            Lisa,

            Your analogy is horribly flawed as I demonstrated. Hanlon’s Razor is forcing me to pick between you being illiterate or you being dishonest. I don’t know which to choose.

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