February 2019

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28    

« Q&A | Main | Transparency the hard way »

Oct 04, 2006

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

johnb

I hope the lack of posts here is because most people view this not as something to cheer and be proud of, but a profoundly sad and gut wrenching thing. A human life was extinguished in each abortion, that's nothing to celebrate and sadly, it shouldn't be made a political issue. Given the idiotic behavior in front of abortion clinics over the past 20 years though, I don't see where else it could have gone.

Spags

Ah... "I had an abortion"...the most coveted of all Left wing merit badges.

Joe Killian

I think it's obviously a way to humanize people who do this and help people with their blinders on realize it's not all crack addicts and trailer park teens who make this very personal decision rather than anyone celebrating anything or having any sort of merit badge.

I think you're also both smart enough to know that but too eager for a fight not to pipe up and sneer anyway.

Spags

Actually, Joe I would understand it more if they were all crack addicts and trailer park teens. That would be better than upper middle class educated people who simply don't want to deal with the "inconvenience"- which by the way, constitute the majority of abortions.

Joe Killian

I sleep better with your expert opinion logged.

Spags

Fine. I have never supported abortion, and I never will. I also won't engage in a debate on it because if you disagree that life begins at conception, there is no point debating because there is no way we will agree on anything.

Joe Killian

I agree.

I also think that, unless you've met a lot of people who have had abortions, been to abortion clinics and had an objective look at who is having them and why that's a little deeper than "I have never supported abortion, and I never will" you shouldn't presume to tell those of us who have (or anyone else) why the majority of women who have abortions are doing it.

Since there's no reliable data on the motives of those having abortions, they're not being polled on their reasons before this operation, the vast majority of them consider it to be as private a matter as any other medical procedure (and many more private) and they're certainly not whispering their motives in your ear I think it would be best if you avoided unfounded proclaimations about the lives of people with whom you are not familiar in the least.

Spags

"I also think that, unless you've met a lot of people who have had abortions, been to abortion clinics and had an objective look at who is having them and why that's a little deeper than "I have never supported abortion, and I never will" you shouldn't presume to tell those of us who have (or anyone else) why the majority of women who have abortions are doing it."

There you go again, Joe. All of 24 years acting as if you and only you have experienced life and met people with various stories and experiences and anyone who doesn't agree with you just hasn't lived.


Joe Killian

I'm sorry...my fault.

Fill me in on your extensive experience in this area.

Your declaration that your ideology was going to trump any discussion about abortion threw me off when compounded with your baseless assertion that you know the motives of the "majority" of people who are doing something of which you do not approve.

Jeffrey Sykes

Joe:

You are a great student. You are beginning to sound just like Ed.

Why do you think the "majority" of women have abortion?

Wait, I can guess ...

You don't know, because it is not possible to know what motivates people. Have to judge each case on an individual basis ... no value judgments can be made a priori to shed light on what motivates human activity ... etc.

Was I close?

Speaking as one who also believes life begins at conception, but also as one who was there for a friend when she called him on the phone from Charlotte to say her boyfriend got her in trouble, I think it is accurate to categorize abortion, especially the meteoric rise in numbers, as an option for those who don't want the inconvenience.

Yes a woman has the right to chose. But we all have the responsibility to prevent unplanned pregnancy.

johnb

Joe,

What in the hell are you cracking on me for? What did I write that would provoke your comment?

This is why abortion is a forbidden topic, knee jerk whackjobs take any statement other than unqualified "ban all abortions" or the inverse "unrestricted abortions for everyone and party" as an unacceptable concession to "the other side".

I didn't realize my statement would bring out Randall Terrys mirror image. My apologies, there is a cave missing it's Neanderthal, don't deprive it any longer.

Bubba

"All of 24 years acting as if you and only you have experienced life and met people with various stories and experiences and anyone who doesn't agree with you just hasn't lived."

That about covers it all, doesn't it?

Ah, the absolutist arrogance of youth! I remember that feeling.....


Roch101

For those of you who think life begins at conception, a question: What do you think the penalty should be for a woman who has an abortion? In NC, pre-meditated murder is a capital offense. The death penalty?

David Wharton

That's a good question, Roch, and one I wouldn't want to give a definitive answer to without some serious thought, discussion, and research.

Let me start answer with a question: what's generally the penalty given to those women who, in a panic after an unwanted childbirth, abandon their newborns to die of exposure?

My impression is that the penalty for them is usually a lot less than someone who, for example, hires a hit man to kill his wife.

I don't know why that's the case, but it seems to make some intuitive sense to me. Maybe we should start by looking at what the law said about this back before state abortion laws were declared unconstitutional. My recollection is that the only people who were prosecuted were the doctors who performed abortions, but that could be wrong. Looking at legal precedent, though, would seem to be a good place to start.

So if your point is that people like me who believe that a fetus is a living human being ought to be in favor of the death penalty for women who have abortions, well, I don't think that follows.

And I'm against the death penalty in any case.

Fec Stench

In this life, I was fortunate to be conceived by two loving parents.

I wonder how many iterations will go down the drain before I have such luck again.

Spags

I'm not getting into this for the reasons I stated above- it is a pointless/fruitless debate.

"...compounded with your baseless assertion that you know the motives of the "majority" of people who are doing something of which you do not approve." Go read some of the statistics.

But I admit I don't know why Joe Killian has had so many abortions.

I thought I knew everything when I was 24 and fresh out of college, too.

Roch101

David, I admire the consistency of your beliefs. I think women who abandon newborns to die are treated differently because the act is not premeditated and their "panic" may also mitigate their punishment. Even so, I believe if a woman who abandons her baby causes its death, she will be, rightly, responsible for a homicide.

Nonetheless, this an important question because, unless people who would make abortion illegal have an answer, they cannot really be taken seriously -- at best, their positions are too incomplete to shape public policy.

If a penalty will only apply to doctors, then that means women will be able to perform an abortion on themselves, just without proper medical care. That has implications worth considering including not just putting women's health in jeopardy but also unequal application of the law: A doctor cannot perform an abortion because it is the taking of a human life, but a woman can if she does it herself?

If a woman who aborts her own baby is to be punished too, for taking a life that began at conception, then there is no way to escape the charge of murder. But if some believe that there should be a lesser charge, I'd like to hear the reasoning behind that.

Ruby Sinreich

I had an abortion 18 years ago, and it was absolutely the best thing for all involved including my future children which I will be able to love, nurture, and support much more effectively.

Any of you who think what I did should be illegal: How many children have you adopted lately? How much additional taxes do you want to pay for public assistance for children and the people who take care of them? How many of you are even capable of getting pregnant?

And how many of you want me making decisions about YOUR family? Now please shut up and start acting like the Christians you claim to be.

johnb

This is a perfect example of why this topic is taboo. Anything other than one intolerant absolutist position or it's extreme opposite brings out the screamers.

Who claimed to be a Christian here Ruby? You've pulled out your bumper sticker slogans a bit early.

Joe Killian

I think everyone's allowed their own position on this issue.

What I think is wrong is pretending any of us know the motivations of a "majority" of women who have made this decision.

You can crack on me for my youth all you like - but the significance of my youth is that I've recently written term papers (one for a very conservative professor who rightly held my feet to the flames over every citation) on this issue - and I can tell you there aren't any reliable statistics on this. I have enough personal experience with abortion clinics and people making these decisions (not in my personal life, in which I have no dog in this fight) that I know this sort of data isn't even being collected in this country by anyone whose research methods are sound, whose samples aren't tainted and whose motivations aren't poltiical.

I think it's disingenuous and wrong for someone to pretend - and state - that they understand the motivations of a majority of these women (who have different lives and circumstances, who make this very personal decision for many different reasons many never discuss) because it conforms to their black-white worldview and makes them feel righteous in their condemnation.

There are plenty of things I don't know about and areas in which I have no experience. I am, after all, 24. But a good way of my acknowledging that is not pretending to know things I don't and not making statements of fact about other peoples' lives and thought processes that can't be substantiated.

johnb

Forget it Joe, if you don't immediately line up with one of the two groups of absolutists in this matter you'll be stoned by both.

Pick your crowd: the "Celebrate Abortion" group or the "All abortions are murder" group or duck.

Spags

Joe, if we disagree about when life begins, there is nothing else to talk about or it will get real ugly, especially in light of your "motivations" argument. Let's just leave it at that.

Roc101

So, Spags, if you believe life begins at conception, what should the penalty be for a woman who aborts her fetus?

David Wharton

Ruby: your abortion may well have been the best for all involved -- except for the one who didn't survive the procedure.

In answer to your questions: (1) I haven't adopted any children, but give financial support to agencies that support adoption. (2) I'd probably support some pretty steep tax increases to deal with families in distress. (3) [needs no answer] (4) You already do make decisions about my family, every time you vote for a public policy or candidate whose policies affect them.

But your questions, really, are logically vacuous: the truth or falsity of an assertion (e.g. "abortion is wrong") in no way depends upon the virtue of the people asserting it.

Your comment basically adds up to, "I'm right because you're a jerk."

Joe Killian

I have no intention of arguing abortion with anyone.

I think it would be useless.

But I did want to point out how ridiculous it is for anyone to - as Spags did in his first comment - assert that they know the motivations of the majority of women who make this decision.

That argument is insulting and can't be substantiated and I think that should be acknowledged.

johnb

Anyone ever read _Freakonomics_ ?

The authors had an interesting analysis of abortion. They viewed it in light of the downward trend of crime rates in this country. The revealing data was that crime rates don't move but marginally in response to "innovative policing strategies" and such nonsense. The rates of violent crime (rape, murder, armed robbey, et al) began to drop 16/17 years after Roe.

The point being that it was those children who would otherwise have been born to women who had no intention/desire/ability to care for them that cause disproportionate amounts of crime in society.

Of course, that does not necessarily mean that every aborted child would have been a crimminal. Statistically, however, it does seem that many of them would have been just that.

Which leads to a secondary thought, a question, not an argument: since care for one's young is a biological instinct, what would one expect from a child born to a parents who would rather have had the child aborted? Over-riding that biological imperative requires, one would assume, a high degree of thoughtlessness or extreme circumstances.

If you've not read the book, please don't respond. There is one chapter devoted to this particular topic. It's not an overwhelming read and it is a rather thought provoking book.

Abortion is reshaping this country in interesting ways. I'm not making a moral argument here, just noting the obvious. With the pre-natal tests for Downs Syndrome now readily available the rate of babies born with particular defect are plummeting. Good? Bad? Neutral? Here's one, *IF* homosexuality is genetically produced, what happens when those babies which test positive for that gene begin to be aborted in statistically significant rates? There is no constituency arguing that testing for Downs Syndrome then aborting those babies is a "civil rights" issue. What about an alleged homosexual gene?

Science has advanced faster than society can assimilate and settle many ethical dilemnas. I would hope, although I know I will be disappointed, that these things could be discussed without throwing stones. Although, I think Ruby has already made clear that won't be tolerated.


Joe Killian

Did read the book after several family members recommended it.

Did find much of it fascinating.

I could be wrong about this, but it seems looking back at the thread that Ruby was responding to stones that had already been cast by absolutists who claimed to know why the majority of women having abortions have them.

Can hardly blame her for piping up as someone with direct experience in the face of that.

Spags

Roch- the same penalty as a woman who kills her 2 minute old baby.

Roch101

Actually, Johnb, the Freakonomics' claim about abortion lowering crime has been convincingly repudiated.

On another note, it seems as if nobody wants to say what they think the penaltly should be for women who have abortions should it be made illegal. Interesting.

Spags

Whatever Joe, the statistics are out there. You were the one that implied that it was wrong to think that all these abortions were crack addicts and trailer park teens. By saying that is NOT the case, you imply that there is data to support that is NOT the case.

Once again, you are getting on your self-righteous 24 year old Joe knows everything soapbox, and we should all be insulted and outraged with anyone who doesn't see it your way.

You're doing a fine job, Joe, passing the smug test which is a prerequisite to becoming a class A liberal. Pretty soon you'll be driving around in a Volvo wagon with "Impeach Bush" bumper stickers on it.

I'm done here on this topic. I'm not going to get into a pissing contest with somebody who still has a whole lot to learn about life and the many people who live outside his microcosm of liberals that don't agree with him. Go write another term paper so you can impress your professors with your ability to regurgitate all the crap they filled your head with.

johnb

"And how many of you want me making decisions about YOUR family? Now please shut up and start acting like the Christians you claim to be."

People that scream bumper sticker slogans generally have nothing of value to add to a conversation. This one is an iota off from the protest favorite "Keep your rosaries off my ovaries".

Most abortions probably do come from a rather small set of motivations. The "rape/incest" justification may be true for a percent or two of the overall number, that's hardly significant. What the motivations truly may be cannot be known from Sinreich's own anecdotal account nor from Spag's broad brush.

What I do believe is that by suggesting that it is not unethical to abort an anencephalic child or a child with Down's Syndrome one set of absolutists will stone you and by suggesting that it's not ethical to allow minors to procure abortions without parental consent the other set of absolutists will stone you.

Legislation will not solve the problem

johnb

Actually Roche, you are wrong as usual:

http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/2005/12/05/back-to-the-drawing-board-for-our-latest-criticsand-also-the-wall-street-journal-and-oops-the-economist/#comments

That data linking abortion to crime remains consistant.

Roch101

Johnb, thanks for the link. I don't know why you offer it to refute the Economist's critiscism of the abortion/decline-in-crime link made in Freakonomics though, if anything, it points out more problems with the book's original methodology.

I don't get the "wrong as usuall" comment. What makes it necessary for you to take personal swipes at people? Aren't you capable of having a discussion without attacking people? And my name is spelled R-o-c-h.

jw

To Joe: Wisdom does not come with age, my friend. I know a lot of old, stupid people.

To Ruby: My heart goes out to you. I know it is not an easy decision and you live with it forever.

To all the men with such strong opinions about womens' bodies: Put up or shut up. Oh, what? You can't put up? Well...

David Wharton

Roch, I've been in contact with people in the pro-life movement for 30+ years, and I've never heard any of the ones that I know personally express any interest whatsoever in prosecuting women who have had abortions.

The ones who are active in organizations like the Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center or Room at the Inn of the Triad always seem to be mostly concerned with helping pregnant mothers deliver their babies and then helping the mothers/children get a good start in the world. Many of their clients are women who have had abortions previously.

Their lack of interest in prosecuting women doesn't seem remarkable to me (although the people who do this work do seem remarkable to me). I'll bet their experience tells them that many women who have abortions are just as panicked as those who abandon newborns, and that they're often under tremendous social/peer/parental pressure to have the abortion (or at least not to be pregnant).

They believe deeply that they're saving lives, and that's what they're interested in doing.

So what in particular do you think is interesting about the fact that no one wants to propose penalties for women who have had abortions?

johnb

Roche,

In answer to your question, I don't know who you think is trying to crimminalize abortion but I'll make sure to ask them to respond to your ridiculous question.

Next, if you had bothered to go to the link you would have noticed it is an analysis and refutation of the the Economists article. Contrary to your assertion, the causal link between abortion and crime exists.

JW,

Can the self-righteous act. Yes it is an easy decision to make. Your act is the mere inverse of Spags broad brush. He posits that most women abort for convenience. You imply it's "not an easy decision". I know women who had an abortion with all the forethought they'd give the color and pattern on their toilet paper and have never been bothered by it in the intervening two and a half decades.

If your intention is to convince others that "most" women approach this from some deeply spiritual place you are under the same burden Spags is in trying to prove his insinuation that "most" women do it for convenience. In short, can the propoganda pieties.

"Put up or shut up. Oh, what? You can't put up? Well..."

Oddly enough, men, by law, are barred from doing what women do: terminate their emotional/financial relationship with their child with extreme prejudice. Your statement is both insultingly stupid and a vicious taunt.

The father, cannot go before a judge and seek a "legal abortion", ie, he cannot emancipate himself from the child. The woman doesn't even need the judge, she simply goes to a doctor and has the child aborted.

This is another aspect of abortion worthy of discussion. Women get the choice, men get the responsibility. Then men are told to butt out. Cute. The father cannot contest the abortion: fair enough. But can the father demand equal legal status? Can the man go to court and sever ties/responsibility to the child? Why not? Why is he obligated to support the child? The woman isn't. She can have the child aborted. The woman gets the choice, the man gets the responsibility. It's humorous in that women demand the status of a child themselves, ie, the man must financially support her decisions, yet at the same time women demand men not be allowed -forget control- equal decision making rights. If that's not bad enough, men are then told to shut up in the debate on the question of abortion.

The hypocrisy on the part of the Abortion Merit Badge crowd is defeaning.

I don't support banning the practice, but at the same time, we, as a society cannot treat 1/2 the population as if they were a damned spoiled brat and leave the other 1/2 of the population in the position of being nothing but a living ATM machine.

Roch101

"Roche,..." - johnb

Sorry, bub. I stopped reading right there. Too bad too, it looks like a lot of words.

Roch101

"Roch, I've been in contact with people in the pro-life movement for 30+ years, and I've never heard any of the ones that I know personally express any interest whatsoever in prosecuting women who have had abortions.

I'm sure that is quite true, David. How many of them think abortion should be illegal? What is interesting to me is that nobody I've spoken to yet, here or offline, who thinks abortion should be illegal can tell me what they think the appropriate punishment would be then, if a woman breaks the law and has an abortion.

David Wharton

OK, Roch, how about this: they should take a short course in human fetal development, and, if circumstances warrant, get counseling on the responsibilities incumbent on those engaging in sexual activity.

Bubba

"What is interesting to me is that nobody I've spoken to yet, here or offline, who thinks abortion should be illegal can tell me what they think the appropriate punishment would be then, if a woman breaks the law and has an abortion."

I think the appropriate punishment ought to be making them read your posts asking what their punishment should be.

Why are you fixating on "punishment/penalty" for women who have abortions?

What purpose does that line of questioning serve?

johnb

"
"Roche,..." - johnb

Sorry, bub. I stopped reading right there. Too bad too, it looks like a lot of words."

Of course you did. Like most closed minded people you are afraid to confront anything or anyone that proves you wrong.

Ed Cone

Actually, I think he's just tired of you spelling his name wrong. It does seem a little hostile.

Bubba

"Actually, I think he's just tired of you spelling his name wrong. It does seem a little hostile."

Not as hostile as inserting an "a" in the middle, and losing the "e" at the end.

johnb


It's sad really. Neither of you see the point. Roch deliberately miscasts others positions and when confronted he continues, I added an "e" to his name and that is definitive for him.

Odd isn't it that Roch seems to think this tangent of his about penalities for abortion is a stunning triumph of logic even though no one has suggested women who procure abortions be prosecuted.

Here's a radical idea, Roch introduces some element of reason to his statements and actually considers what others say rather than the straw men he builds?

Yeah, unreasonable isn't it?

jw

"OK, Roch, how about this: they should take a short course in human fetal development, and, if circumstances warrant, get counseling on the responsibilities incumbent on those engaging in sexual activity."

And now, bring out the "abstinence only" sex-ed folks.

And johnb -- It's not a self-righteous act. I have known many, MANY women, from all walks of life, who have gone through this and I know of no one who took the decision lightly. Nor should they. But I get really tired of men who have NO CLUE what it's like talking about it. Abortion is a horrible thing. If the women you know were cavalier about it, odds are they were trying to mask their own pain.

Abortion is not for convenience. Ask any woman who's had one. But expect that she could be less than honest in talking about it with a man who cannot begin to understand. Dealing with those feelings is hard. Dealing with them to someone who thinks he knows how you're feeling when he can't possibly know is impossible.

Self-righteous? Me? Hardly.

johnb

Yet you, conveniently, do exactly what you demand others refrain from, characterize the motivations of all women who have abortions. You no more "know" what is in the heart and head of any woman aside from yourself than I do. That you state abortion is a "horrible thing" is your opinion and not one universally shared by all abortion supporters or "all" women who've had them. That is patently ridiculous for you to assert.

Second, I find it interesting that you assert that a woman would not be honest about the subject in talking to a man. That's sad really, one would hope that that father of the child would get better than that. I suppose that, too, is simply asking for too much.

Your act is quite self-righteous. Look at how you manage to characterize the actions and motivations of every woman that's had an abortion. That's phenominal. I dare say it takes some chutzpah to speak on behalf of that many people you've never met before.

This act is not intended to do anything but shut down discussion on this topic JW. Period. You and Randall Terry should compare notes.

There are so many important issues within this topic that extremists on both sides will not tolerate being discussed. I notice you don't address anything other than this attempt of yours to grab an imaginary moral high ground and cease discussion of the topic. You're not alone though. The "ban abortion in all contexts" crowd does the same thing. Between the two sides the majority of the public just gave up on ever dealing with it.

-if we accept your implied premise that the woman alone should have the right to decide whether or not to have an abortion, why should the father not have the same right to legally renounce (abort) responsibility for the child too? A mere legal proceeding, not an actual abortion, afterwhich he has no liability for child support?

-are abortions for sex selection ethicallly permissible? It's happening already in foreign nations such that women come here to have abortions for sex selection when their home nation bans the practice.

-what type of genetic conditions is it ethically permissible to abort the child over? Down's Syndrome? Poor eyesight? If homosexuality can ever be demonstrated to be a genetic condition what about that?

I find it odd that leftists who demand Hastert resign over the current scandal involving Republican former Congressman Mark Foley for his involvement with 16-18 year old children, will argue against treating a 17 year old girl wanting an abortion like a child and insist she obtain parental consent for that medical procedure. It's wrong for a Congressman to have a sexual relationship with a 16 year old child but it's okay for a 16 year old child to obtain an abortion without parental consent? Why?

Society is not able to sort out these issues as quickly as science moves and having people blow smoke the way absolutists do on this matter doesn't help. We end up with a festering debate that never ends because the majority just ignores the mess.

I had a feeling at the start of this it'd never get past the self-righteous posturing.

jw

I have a feeling that we will never get past the self-righteous posturing on ANY issue, ever, when the people involved spend more time insisting that their way is the only way, that their belief is the only belief. Oh, and perhaps I should add, "Me included," and beat you to the punch.

Actually, I'm always interested in hearing how others think and feel about all sorts of issues. But that's not what this thread is about.

What is this thread about? I've forgotten. Oh yeah, it's about how everything wrong with the world is 1) Clinton's fault; 2)Not MY fault because I'm better, faster, and/or smarter and can out-think, out-fact, and out-write the rest of you; and 3) I'm not to blame. I'm sorry you're too smart to get it.

Bubba

"I had a feeling at the start of this it'd never get past the self-righteous posturing."

Such as asking things like:

"How many children have you adopted lately? How much additional taxes do you want to pay for public assistance for children and the people who take care of them? How many of you are even capable of getting pregnant?"

Self righteous posturing like that should demand that the writer get an Actor's Guild card.

johnb

Where have I insisted I have a "solution" to any of this?

We, as a society, won't get a solution as long as anyone who tries to engage in a discussion in the matter is shouted down.

Frankly, I think the effects of abortion are sorely in need of an airing. It's a clash between philosophical systems in part; Aquinas' Natural Law (every human is of inestimable worth) vs Mills Utilitarianism (most benefit for the greatest number). What value do we assign to human life? Is there an ethical difference between aborting a fetus at 1 month and one at 8 months? The demonstrated evidence of Roe's impact on decreasing rates of crime provides a tangible benefit from abortion to society at large in the form of lowered crime rates. Are we as a society comfortable with that? Or does it make us so squeamish that some will deny the linkage right before they deny gravity? Why are Fathers treated so differently than the Mother in the matter of child support? How can we profess equality of the sexes in light of that disparity? Are we comfortable with the idea of abortion for sex selection or other 'cosmetic' reasons? How does this get regulated or does it get regulated?

These things interest me and they should interest anyone who thinks beyond ignorant bumper sticker slogans. This is a topic that matters since it touches on how what boundaries we put, if any, on life. Euthanasia, animal "rights", et al, feed off of this.

Sorry all, I thought this was a discussion board. I didn't realize it was a training ground for students of polemics.

David Wharton

JW, I think my comment about "those engaging in sexual activity" probably precludes an abstinence-only approach at that stage of the game.

Please don't attribute ideas to me that aren't mine and don't follow from what I said.

The comments to this entry are closed.