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Author Topic: Reproductive issues  (Read 32474 times)
« on: August 17, 2008, 09:54:23 AM »

by Henci Goer

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Is homebirth safe?

Safety has been held up as the reason why all women should give birth in the hospital. This is despite the fact that no data support the contention that homebirth holds any excess risk provided:

    * the mother is low risk
    * the homebirth is planned
    * she has a trained, experienced birth attendant
    * there is a modern hospital within a reasonable distance

In particular, an analysis of six homebirth studies totaling 24,100 women came to exactly this conclusion (10). Homebirth studies have not only failed to show more than the expected number of stillbirths and newborn deaths (perinatal mortality), but they have not found excesses of other, more common adverse outcomes, such as low Apgar scores (a measure of the baby’s condition at birth), the need for resuscitation, or admission to newborn intensive care units (1, 4-5, 12, 15-16).

As further evidence, researchers in Holland, a country where homebirth never disappeared, compared the perinatal mortality rate in the early 1980s for various cities and regions with the percentage of homebirths and found no correlation, although homebirth rates ranged from very few, to fifty percent of the births (13). In the U.S., an analysis of California data for 1989 and 1990 calculated that low-risk women opting for birth outside of a hospital had a slightly lower perinatal death rate --- including births moved into the hospital for complications, compared with low-risk women managed by obstetricians in hospitals (11).

One recent study of planned homebirths in Australia did find a higher perinatal death rate than for comparable women having hospital births (2). However, the authors note that the perinatal mortality rate was two to three times greater than reported in six other large home birth studies from the Netherlands, the U.K. and the U.S. (6.4 per 1,000 versus 1.1 to 3.5 per 1,000). The authors concluded that the reasons for the difference had nothing to do with home birth per se, but to births that were not low risk and also that most Australian midwives attend only a few births a year, which meant they lacked experience. In other words, the excess risk was due to births that didn’t meet the above criteria.

Page Two: Find out when a homebirth would be inadvisable

Page Three: Learn the advantages of having your baby at home

Page Four: See the potential drawbacks of a homebirth

Page Five: Read the author's references

When would a homebirth be inadvisable?

    * When there are risk factors. Homebirth practitioners agree that some risk factors should rule out home birth. The mother having high blood pressure, or the baby coming early would be two of those factors, while they disagree on others such as the mother having a prior cesarean. In the end, it comes down to you making an informed decision based on the balance between the risks you run at home versus the risks you run in the hospital. To make this assessment, you must weigh your particular circumstances and the skills and experience of the homebirth practitioner against the local hospital care available to you. This last point should be emphasized. For the reasons listed in homebirth advantages, sometimes it isn’t a clear-cut choice.

    * When no trained, experienced homebirth attendant is available. Most of the emergencies that arise without warning at a low-risk birth: the baby’s shoulders are stuck (shoulder dystocia), the baby doesn’t breathe or heavy bleeding, can be resolved or stabilized for hospital transport by a skilled pair of hands and readily portable medication and equipment.

    * If you think you will probably want pain medication. You may also feel hesitant or uncomfortable about having a homebirth. No matter what your intellect says, if your gut says “I shouldn’t be at home,” labor may progress poorly. If you plan a home birth, you must be well prepared and confident of your ability to cope with the pain of labor. A difficult labor may eventually lead to transfer into the hospital for, among other things, pain medication, but you shouldn’t start off indecisive about using it.

What other factors should be considered?

    * Lack of a smooth, efficient means of transferring care. You may need an obstetrician or care in a hospital during labor or for postpartum complications. In many communities, on the grounds that homebirth is dangerous and should be discouraged, doctors have made it difficult or impossible for homebirth practitioners to work with obstetricians or to transfer their clients to an obstetrician’s care or into the hospital. Ironically, these doctors create a safety issue where none would otherwise exist.

    * When there is no back up hospital within a reasonable driving distance that is capable of handling urgent problems. Here’s the dilemma: On the one hand, the ability to get to a hospital in a timely matter may make a difference. On the other hand, a low-risk woman runs risks in the typical hospital that she doesn’t run at home. At home, she would be under close observation by someone who could spot problems early, head most of them off and who wouldn’t potentially be causing complications by inappropriate use of procedures, drugs and restrictions.

Page Three: Learn the advantages of having your baby at home

Page Four: See the potential drawbacks of a homebirth

Page Five: Read the author's references

What are some advantages of homebirth?

    * You are much less likely to be subjected to potentially problematic procedures, drugs and restrictions. Every obstetric intervention carries risk as well as benefit. When interventions are used with women who don’t need them, on a routine or “just in case” basis, or on women whose problem could be resolved by waiting or by simple, risk free measures such as: walking, change of position, talking over worries, or a warm bath, than those women are exposed to the risks without any chance of benefit. The end result is that some women and babies will develop complications, minor or major, that never would have occurred had they not been subjected to the intervention. This truth is why numerous studies examining individual procedures, drugs and restrictions have consistently concluded that outcomes are equally good and often better with restricted use of the intervention (6, 8, 14).

Likewise, numerous studies comparing outcomes between low-risk women receiving standard obstetric management versus similar women receiving the less interventive, midwifery style of care have found that women and their babies receiving the midwifery style of care did equally well or better (Cool.

    * You will have greatly increased attention, care, observation, and monitoring by a trained person or persons. Doctors don’t come into the hospital until close to the birth, and they may never have met the woman before, or know her only through a few brief office visits. Some hospital based midwives may labor sit with their clients, but not all do. Even before the money crunch forced cutbacks in staff, few nurses spent extended time with laboring women (7, 9).This system of providing care has important disadvantages: It flies in the face of a large body of research that says women have fewer problems and complications and feel better about themselves and their babies when accompanied throughout labor by a caring, experienced woman (Cool. A woman’s physical and psychological status has profound consequences for her ability to meet the challenges of adjusting to parenthood.

    * The best judgments will be made by caregivers who are familiar with the woman and whose presence on the scene enables them to pick up subtleties that would be missed by someone who doesn’t know her and pops in now and then. Small problems can be addressed before they become big ones, and overreaction can be avoided because the caregiver has context and perspective.

    * You have a greatly decreased chance of infection. This is for two reasons: Hospitals are reservoirs for microbes the likes of which are never found in homes, including and especially antibiotic resistant ones (3). Women are far less likely to have procedures that increase the risk of infection, such as cesarean section, internal monitoring and rupture of membranes and subsequent vaginal exams.

    * You will be in a familiar, supportive, relaxed environment. It’s a classic tale: The woman has been experiencing strong, regular contractions at home, but they disappear when she gets to the hospital and do not resume until she settles into her new environment. It may take hours before the contractions return to the same intensity. Few stop to think of the reason why, namely that stress and anxiety inhibit labor. Any veterinarian will tell you that laboring animals require a quiet, dimly lit, familiar environment with no strangers and nothing to alarm or disturb them. Humans need the same, and hospitals are generally none of the above.

    * Your family is in charge and you are the center of undivided attention. At a homebirth, all others, including the midwife, are invited guests. This makes for a very different social dynamic than in even the best-intentioned hospital. Moreover, with few exceptions, hospital policies are not intended to meet the needs of the individual woman. Maternity care policies are designed to process as many women and babies as efficiently, cost-effectively, and conveniently for staff as possible.

      Page Four: See the potential drawbacks of a homebirth

      Page Five: Read the author's references

What are some potential drawbacks of homebirth?

    * You may face considerable disapproval from family, friends, and medical professionals. This can be very unpleasant and difficult during pregnancy and may actually lead to problems with care should a woman need to move into the hospital during labor or for problems after the birth.

    * You take on greater responsibility for making decisions and preparing for the birth. Some couples find this liberating, while others find it a burden.

    * The proximity of neighbors or lack of privacy within your home may inhibit you. This, in turn, can inhibit the labor.

How might having a homebirth affect your birth experience and postpartum recovery?

Emerging from the birth feeling capable and confident puts you in the ideal position to meet the challenges of new motherhood. A homebirth gives you your best chance to do this because:

    * You are on your own “turf” where you make the rules.
    * You have the opportunity to discover that you can cope with labor using your own resources and strengths.
    * You have a caregiver who nurtures, encourages and supports you and who respects your right to participate fully in any decisions made about your care.
    * You are least likely to be subjected to procedures such as episiotomy or cesarean section that cause pain and debility.
    * Even the need to move into the hospital, however disappointing, can be empowering. You will have the ultimate say-so, and it will be because you agree that appropriate intervention is now right and necessary.

      Page Five: Read the author's references


   1. Ackermann-Liebrich U et al. Home versus hospital deliveries: follow up study of matched pairs for procedures and outcome. BMJ 1996;313(7068):1276-7.
   2. Bastian H, Keirse MJ, and Lancaster PA. Perinatal death associated with planned home birth in Australia: population based study. BMJ 1998;317(7155):348-8.
   3. Brumfield CG, Hauth JC, and Andrews WW. Puerperal infection after cesarean delivery: evaluation of a standardized protocol. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2000;182(5):1147-51.
   4. Damstra-Wijmenga SM. Home confinement: the positive results in Holland. J R Coll Gen Pract 1984;34(265):425-430.
   5. Duran AM. The safety of home birth: the Farm study. Am J Public Health 1992;82(3):450-453.
   6. Enkin M et al. A Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2d ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
   7. Gagnon A and Waghorn K. Supportive care by maternity nurses: a work sampling study in an intrapartum unit. Birth 1996;23(1):1-6.
   8. Goer H. The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth. New York: Perigee Books, 1999.
   9. McNiven P, Hodnett E, and O’Brien-Pallas LL. Supporting women in labor: a work sampling study of the activities of labor and delivery nurses. Birth 1992; 19(1):3-8.
  10. Olsen O. Meta-analysis of the safety of home birth. Birth 1997;24(1):4-13.
  11. Schlenzka PF. Safety of alternative approaches to childbirth. PhD diss, Stanford University, 1999.
  12. Shearer JM. Five year prospective survey of risk of booking for a home birth in Essex. Br Med J 1985;291(6507):1478-1480.
  13. Treffers PE and Laan R. Regional perinatal mortality and regional hospitalization at delivery in the Netherlands. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1986;93(7):690-693.
  14. Wagner M. Pursuing the Birth Machine. Camperdown, Australia: Ace Graphics, 1994.
  15. Weigers TA et al. Outcome of planned home and planned hospital births in low risk pregnancies: prospective study in midwifery practices in The Netherlands. BMJ 1996;313(7068):1309-13.
  16. Woodcock HC et al. A matched cohort study of planned home and hospital births in Western Australia 1981-1987. Midwifery 1994;10(3):125-35.
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2008, 09:59:24 AM »

I don't agree with all the "analysis" framing the statistics.
 By Malika Saada Saar | August 6, 2008

Last month, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy hosted a congressional briefing on the racial and ethnic disparities in teen pregnancy rates. The research revealed that while 19 percent of white girls will become pregnant during their teen years, 53 percent of Latina and 51 percent of African-American girls will do so.

These facts demonstrate the significant need to develop culturally competent community- and school-based projects to educate teens on the consequences of teenage pregnancy, to inform teens about how to prevent teen pregnancy, and to expand access to the Medicaid, Title X, and State Children’s Health Insurance Programs girls need to manage their fertility and protect their reproductive health.

But there is even more that needs to be done. Teen pregnancy isn’t simply about girls and boys being promiscuous, or lacking access to sex education or contraception. Too often teen pregnancy is about girls losing agency over their bodies because of the unbearable injuries of being sexually violated.

Underneath the discourse about the educational strategies needed to prevent teen pregnancy lies a much harder and complex issue: Violence in girls’ lives leaves them at risk for teen pregnancy—especially for girls of color.

A significant correlation exists between childhood sexual abuse and teen pregnancy. An estimated 60 percent of teen girls’ first pregnancies are preceded by experiences of molestation, rape, or attempted rape. In one study, between 30 and 44 percent of teen mothers were victims of rape or attempted rape. Up to 20 percent of girls become pregnant as the direct result of rape.*

The Harvard School of Public Health’s exhaustive research on the lives of girls demonstrates that girls who are victims of violence from dating partners are four to six times more likely than non-abused girls to become pregnant, and eight to nine times more likely to attempt suicide.

Other research findings compare sexually abused pregnant teens to pregnant teens who have not suffered sexual abuse. The sexually abused girls initiated intercourse a year earlier than their peers and engaged in a wide variety of high-risk behaviors, including substance abuse. The average age of first intercourse for abused girls is 13.8, in contrast to the national average of 16.2. Only 28 percent of the abused girls used birth control at first intercourse, compared to 74 percent of girls in the general population.

Sexual violence is especially pervasive in the lives of girls of color. An unfortunate, historical narrative oversexualizes black and brown girls. Even today this narrative renders their bodies more vulnerable to sexual exploitation and devaluation. Approximately 40 percent of black women report coercive sexual contact by the time they turn 18. Native Americans are victims of rape or sexual assault at more than double the rate of other racial groups—and are more likely to be victimized by non-Native American perpetrators.

Sexual violence can play different roles in teen pregnancy. Many girls become pregnant because of coerced intercourse. Other abused teen girls become pregnant because girls subjected to sexual violence typically lose a sense of control over their bodies and often descend into a “disembodied self.” Unintended pregnancy can be the manifestation of sexually violated girls’ loss of connection to and agency over their physical selves.

Girls affected by sexual violence need support to reclaim their bodies and to make reproductive health decisions from a place of strength and health. Strength-based programs such as PACE Center for Girls in Florida and Girls Educational and Mentoring Services in New York seek to restore abused girls’ self-worth and alleviate the injuries of sexual violence.

The alarming rates of teenage pregnancy in the lives of girls broken by sexual violence—so many of whom are girls of color—require us to revisit the current discourse on teen pregnancy. We must recognize the role of violence in girls’ reproductive journeys, and emphasize the importance of effective, evidence-based, gender-specific programs and interventions to protect girls from abuse and to heal them if or when it occurs. That means any campaign to reduce teen pregnancy must also become a campaign to reduce the unacceptable levels of violence against girls and to give all girls the opportunity to realize their full personhood, equality, dignity, and worth.

Malika Saada Saar is the Executive Director of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights and a member of the Center for American Progress’s Women’s Health Leadership Network.

August 7, 2008: This article incorrectly conflated two studies. Twenty percent of girls become pregnant as the direct result of rape nationally; the figure did not come from the same study as the 30 to 44 percent figure.
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2008, 07:50:48 PM »

I'm feeling obnoxious tonight and I already started a thread for reproductive issues and that is where I am going to post.  I actually originally started this thread with the intention of doing some posts on abortion

Reproductive issues are the one of the reasons I almost always vote democratic.   Whether or not women have a right to an abortion, birth control, etc. is the dividing line for me between women being an object/vessel or an individual person with equal rights under the law. Do I have control over my body or does someone else?

I also see a lack of reproductive rights as a lack of separation between church and state. Judaism and Christianity have very different views on abortion. I will post an article from Orthodox  Judaism point of view. The Conservative movements is even more liberal in its interpretation of mental health reasons.  

Body-by-Guinness that was an excellent article for defense of abortion rights one of the best I have seen.

Do you value the life of the unborn over the  lives  of the pregnant women  (because for example they are  potential  murders  in your eyes)  or are they the same.

If by banning abortion more women were harmed/ killed than unborn babies is that alright with you?

I greatly respect woman  who make the CHOICE to be personally pro-life  and abortion is my least favorite from of birth control.   I would rather people only have sex when they want kids or use birth control. We do not live in a perfect world and it might be a better one if people only had sex in marriage.

If  you want the right to influence your partners decision about reproductive issues you should discuss that before you sleep with them.   I would personally fell  terrible for a guy whose partner decided to have an abortion against their wishes but I don’t think the guy should have legal rights to control the women's  body. 

I actually have a lot of articles that I have been saving up on this topic that I will be posting next

Edited to add-- DougMacG  I certainly don't wish your daughter out of existence.   I just see  legal abortion as a much less evil than illegal abortion

« Last Edit: September 15, 2008, 08:38:39 PM by rachelg » Logged
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2008, 07:52:20 PM »

Abortion in Jewish Law
by Daniel Eisenberg, M.D.

The traditional Jewish view of abortion does not fit conveniently into any of the major ",camps", in the current debate over abortion.

As abortion resurfaces as a political issue in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, it is worthwhile to investigate the Jewish approach to the issue. The traditional Jewish view of abortion does not fit conveniently into any of the major "camps" in the current American abortion debate. We neither ban abortion completely, nor do we allow indiscriminate abortion "on demand."

A woman may feel that until the fetus is born, it is a part of her body, and therefore she retains the right to abort an unwanted pregnancy. Does Judaism recognize a right to "choose" abortion? In what situations does Jewish law sanction abortion?

To gain a clear understanding of when abortion is permitted (or even required) and when it is forbidden requires an appreciation of certain nuances of halacha (Jewish law) which govern the status of the fetus.1

The easiest way to conceptualize a fetus in halacha is to imagine it as a full-fledged human being -- but not quite.2 In most circumstances, the fetus is treated like any other "person." Generally, one may not deliberately harm a fetus. But while it would seem obvious that Judaism holds accountable one who purposefully causes a woman to miscarry, sanctions are even placed upon one who strikes a pregnant woman causing an unintentional miscarriage.3 That is not to say that all rabbinical authorities consider abortion to be murder. The fact that the Torah requires a monetary payment for causing a miscarriage is interpreted by some Rabbis to indicate that abortion is not a capital crime4 and by others as merely indicating that one is not executed for performing an abortion, even though it is a type of murder.5 There is even disagreement regarding whether the prohibition of abortion is Biblical or Rabbinic. Nevertheless, it is universally agreed that the fetus will become a full-fledged human being and there must be a very compelling reason to allow for abortion.

As a general rule, abortion in Judaism is permitted only if there is a direct threat to the life of the mother by carrying the fetus to term or through the act of childbirth. In such a circumstance, the baby is considered tantamount to a rodef, a pursuer6 after the mother with the intent to kill her. Nevertheless, as explained in the Mishna,7 if it would be possible to save the mother by maiming the fetus, such as by amputating a limb, abortion would be forbidden. Despite the classification of the fetus as a pursuer, once the baby's head or most of its body has been delivered, the baby's life is considered equal to the mother's, and we may not choose one life over another, because it is considered as though they are both pursuing each other.

It is important to point out that the reason that the life of the fetus is subordinate to the mother is because the fetus is the cause of the mother's life-threatening condition, whether directly (e.g. due to toxemia, placenta previa, or breach position) or indirectly (e.g. exacerbation of underlying diabetes, kidney disease, or hypertension).8 A fetus may not be aborted to save the life of any other person whose life is not directly threatened by the fetus, such as use of fetal organs for transplant.

Judaism recognizes psychiatric as well as physical factors in evaluating the potential threat that the fetus poses to the mother. However, the danger posed by the fetus (whether physical or emotional) must be both probable and substantial to justify abortion.9 The degree of mental illness that must be present to justify termination of a pregnancy has been widely debated by rabbinic scholars,10 without a clear consensus of opinion regarding the exact criteria for permitting abortion in such instances.11 Nevertheless, all agree that were a pregnancy to causes a woman to become truly suicidal, there would be grounds for abortion.12 However, several modern rabbinical experts ruled that since pregnancy-induced and post-partum depressions are treatable, abortion is not warranted.13

As a rule, Jewish law does not assign relative values to different lives. Therefore, almost most major poskim (Rabbis qualified to decide matters of Jewish law) forbid abortion in cases of abnormalities or deformities found in a fetus. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, one the greatest poskim of the past century, rules that even amniocentesis is forbidden if it is performed only to evaluate for birth defects for which the parents might request an abortion. Nevertheless, a test may be performed if a permitted action may result, such as performance of amniocentesis or drawing alpha-fetoprotein levels for improved peripartum or postpartum medical management.

While most poskim forbid abortion for "defective" fetuses, Rabbi Eliezar Yehuda Waldenberg is a notable exception. Rabbi Waldenberg allows first trimester abortion of a fetus that would be born with a deformity that would cause it to suffer, and termination of a fetus with a lethal fetal defect such as Tay Sachs up to the seventh month of gestation.14 The rabbinic experts also discuss the permissibility of abortion for mothers with German measles and babies with prenatal confirmed Down syndrome.

There is a difference of opinion regarding abortion for adultery or in other cases of impregnation from a relationship with someone Biblically forbidden. In cases of rape and incest, a key issue would be the emotional toll exacted from the mother in carrying the fetus to term. In cases of rape, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Aurbach allows the woman to use methods which prevent pregnancy after intercourse.15 The same analysis used in other cases of emotional harm might be applied here. Cases of adultery interject additional considerations into the debate, with rulings ranging from prohibition to it being a mitzvah to abort.16

I have attempted to distill the essence of the traditional Jewish approach to abortion. Nevertheless, every woman's case is unique and special, and the parameters determining the permissibility of abortion within halacha are subtle and complex. It is crucial to remember that when faced with an actual patient, a competent halachic authority must be consulted in every case.

1 While there is debate among the Rabbis whether abortion is a Biblical or Rabbinical prohibition, all agree on the fundamental concept that fundamentally, abortion is only permitted to protect the life of the mother or in other extraordinary situations. Jewish law does not sanction abortion on demand without a pressing reason.
2 Igros Moshe, Choshen Mishpat II: 69B.
3 Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat, 423:1
4 Ashkenazi, Rabbi Yehuda, Be'er Hetiv, Choshen Mishpat 425:2
5 Igros Moshe, ibid
6 Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Murder 1:9; Talmud Sanhedrin 72B
7 Oholos 7:6
8 See Steinberg, Dr. Abraham; Encyclopedia of Jewish Medical Ethics, "Abortion and Miscarriage," for an extensive discussion of the maternal indications for abortion.
9 Igros Moshe, ibid
10 See Encyclopedia of Jewish Medical Ethics. P. 10, for references.
11 See Spero, Moshe, Judaism and Psychology, pp. 168-180.
12 Zilberstein, Rabbi Yitzchak, Emek Halacha, Assia, Vol. 1, 1986, pp. 205-209.
13 Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Aurbach and Rabbi Yehoshua Neuwirth cited in English Nishmat Avraham, Choshen Mishpat, 425:11, p. 288.
14 Tzitz Eliezer, Volume 13:102.
15 Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Aurbach and Rabbi Yehoshua Neuwirth cited in English Nishmat Avraham, Choshen Mishpat, 425:23, p. 294.
16 See excellent chapter in English Nishmat Avraham, Choshen Mishpat, 425 by Dr. Abraham Abraham, particularly p. 293.

Author Biography:
Dr. Daniel Eisenberg is with the Department of Radiology at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA and an Assistant Professor of Diagnostic Imaging at Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine. He has taught a Jewish medical ethics class for the past 15 years. Dr. Eisenberg writes extensively on topics of Judaism and medicine and lectures internationally on topics in Jewish medical ethics to groups of all backgrounds. Obtain more information on scheduling a lecture or learning more about Jewish medical ethics by visiting Dr. Eisenberg at
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2008, 07:54:02 PM »

Legal or Not, Abortion Rates Compare

ROME, Oct. 11 — A comprehensive global study of abortion has concluded that abortion rates are similar in countries where it is legal and those where it is not, suggesting that outlawing the procedure does little to deter women seeking it.
Moreover, the researchers found that abortion was safe in countries where it was legal, but dangerous in countries where it was outlawed and performed clandestinely. Globally, abortion accounts for 13 percent of women’s deaths during pregnancy and childbirth, and there are 31 abortions for every 100 live births, the study said.
The results of the study, a collaboration between scientists from the World Health Organization in Geneva and the Guttmacher Institute in New York, a reproductive rights group, are being published Friday in the journal Lancet.
We now have a global picture of induced abortion in the world, covering both countries where it is legal and countries where laws are very restrictive,” Dr. Paul Van Look, director of the W.H.O. Department of Reproductive Health and Research, said in a telephone interview. “What we see is that the law does not influence a woman’s decision to have an abortion. If there’s an unplanned pregnancy, it does not matter if the law is restrictive or liberal.”
But the legal status of abortion did greatly affect the dangers involved, the researchers said. “Generally, where abortion is legal it will be provided in a safe manner,” Dr. Van Look said. “And the opposite is also true: where it is illegal, it is likely to be unsafe, performed under unsafe conditions by poorly trained providers.”
The data also suggested that the best way to reduce abortion rates was not to make abortion illegal but to make contraception more widely available, said Sharon Camp, chief executive of the Guttmacher Institute.
In Eastern Europe, where contraceptive choices have broadened since the fall of Communism, the study found that abortion rates have decreased by 50 percent, although they are still relatively high compared with those in Western Europe. “In the past we didn’t have this kind of data to draw on,” Ms. Camp said. “Contraception is often the missing element” where abortion rates are high, she said.
Anti-abortion groups criticized the research, saying that the scientists had jumped to conclusions from imperfect tallies, often estimates of abortion rates in countries where the procedure was illegal. “These numbers are not definitive and very susceptible to interpretation according to the agenda of the people who are organizing the data,” said Randall K. O’Bannon, director of education and research at the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund in Washington.
He said that the major reason women die in the developing world is that hospitals and health systems lack good doctors and medicines. “They have equated the word ‘safe’ with ‘legal’ and ‘unsafe’ with ‘illegal,’ which gives you the illusion that to deal with serious medical system problems you just make abortion legal,” he said.
The study indicated that about 20 million abortions that would be considered unsafe are performed each year and that 67,000 women die as a result of complications from those abortions, most in countries where abortion is illegal.
The researchers used national data for 2003 from countries where abortion was legal and therefore tallied. W.H.O. scientists estimated abortion rates from countries where it was outlawed, using data on hospital admissions for abortion complications, interviews with local family planning experts and surveys of women in those countries.
The wealth of information that comes out of the study provides some striking lessons, the researchers said. In Uganda, where abortion is illegal and sex education programs focus only on abstinence, the estimated abortion rate was 54 per 1,000 women in 2003, more than twice the rate in the United States, 21 per 1,000 in that year. The lowest rate, 12 per 1,000, was in Western Europe, with legal abortion and widely available contraception.
The Bush administration’s multibillion-dollar campaign against H.I.V./AIDS in Africa has directed money to programs that promote abstinence before marriage, and to condoms only as a last resort. It has prohibited the use of American money to support overseas family planning groups that provide abortions or promote abortion as a method of family planning.
Worldwide, the annual number of abortions appeared to have declined between 1995, the last year such a broad study was conducted, and 2003, from an estimated 46 million to 42 million, the study concluded. The 1995 study, by the Guttmacher Institute, had far less data on countries where abortion was illegal.
Some countries, like South Africa, have undergone substantial transitions in abortion laws in that time. The procedure was made legal in South Africa in 1996, leading to a 90 percent decrease in mortality among women who had abortions, some studies have found.
Abortion is illegal in most of Africa, though. It is the second-leading cause of death among women admitted to hospitals in Ethiopia, its Health Ministry has said. It is the cause of 13 percent of maternal deaths at hospitals in Nigeria, recent studies have found.
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2008, 07:55:37 PM »

Graphic article

Repairing the Damage, Before Roe
With the Supreme Court becoming more conservative, many people who support women’s right to choose an abortion fear that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that gave them that right, is in danger of being swept aside.
When such fears arise, we often hear about the pre-Roe “bad old days.” Yet there are few physicians today who can relate to them from personal experience. I can.
I am a retired gynecologist, in my mid-80s. My early formal training in my specialty was spent in New York City, from 1948 to 1953, in two of the city’s large municipal hospitals.
There I saw and treated almost every complication of illegal abortion that one could conjure, done either by the patient herself or by an abortionist — often unknowing, unskilled and probably uncaring. Yet the patient never told us who did the work, or where and under what conditions it was performed. She was in dire need of our help to complete the process or, as frequently was the case, to correct what damage might have been done.
The patient also did not explain why she had attempted the abortion, and we did not ask. This was a decision she made for herself, and the reasons were hers alone. Yet this much was clear: The woman had put herself at total risk, and literally did not know whether she would live or die.
This, too, was clear: Her desperate need to terminate a pregnancy was the driving force behind the selection of any method available.
The familiar symbol of illegal abortion is the infamous “coat hanger” — which may be the symbol, but is in no way a myth. In my years in New York, several women arrived with a hanger still in place. Whoever put it in — perhaps the patient herself — found it trapped in the cervix and could not remove it.
We did not have ultrasound, CT scans or any of the now accepted radiology techniques. The woman was placed under anesthesia, and as we removed the metal piece we held our breath, because we could not tell whether the hanger had gone through the uterus into the abdominal cavity. Fortunately, in the cases I saw, it had not.
However, not simply coat hangers were used.
Almost any implement you can imagine had been and was used to start an abortion — darning needles, crochet hooks, cut-glass salt shakers, soda bottles, sometimes intact, sometimes with the top broken off.
Another method that I did not encounter, but heard about from colleagues in other hospitals, was a soap solution forced through the cervical canal with a syringe. This could cause almost immediate death if a bubble in the solution entered a blood vessel and was transported to the heart.
The worst case I saw, and one I hope no one else will ever have to face, was that of a nurse who was admitted with what looked like a partly delivered umbilical cord. Yet as soon as we examined her, we realized that what we thought was the cord was in fact part of her intestine, which had been hooked and torn by whatever implement had been used in the abortion. It took six hours of surgery to remove the infected uterus and ovaries and repair the part of the bowel that was still functional.
It is important to remember that Roe v. Wade did not mean that abortions could be performed. They have always been done, dating from ancient Greek days.
What Roe said was that ending a pregnancy could be carried out by medical personnel, in a medically accepted setting, thus conferring on women, finally, the full rights of first-class citizens — and freeing their doctors to treat them as such.
Waldo L. Fielding was an obstetrician and gynecologist in Boston for 38 years. He is the author of “Pregnancy: The Best State of the Union” (Thomas Y. Crowell, 1971).
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2008, 07:57:30 PM »
PA report: Abortion is not a threat to women's mental health
Can't say the same for all the quackery to the contrary.
Lynn Harris
Aug. 13, 2008 | This just in from the American Psychological Association: "'Post-abortion syndrome,' post-smashmortion schmyndrome."
According to the latest draft of its new report -- a comprehensive analysis of published English-language, peer-reviewed studies on the topic since 1989 -- abortion does not in and of itself pose a threat to women's mental health.
Specifically: "The most methodologically sound research indicates that among women who have a single, legal, first-trimester abortion of an unplanned pregnancy for nontherapeutic reasons, the relative risks of mental health problems are no greater than the risks among women who deliver an unplanned pregnancy." ("Nontherapeutic" as in elective; see Page 11 of the draft.) And: The prevalence of mental health problems observed among those women "was consistent with normative rates of comparable mental health problems in the general population of women in the United States." (Note: The report draft was the most up-to-date version available at press time. APA associate executive director of communications Kim Mills told Broadsheet that the APA's governing body is expected to vote to accept a final draft later Wednesday morning.)
Yes, the report acknowledges, some women may experience grief and sadness, even "clinically significant ... depression and anxiety" following an abortion. Of course some do. But, it notes, "following an" does not equal "caused by." No smoking-gun study found more than correlation or persuasively separated abortion's emotional aftermath, such as it may be, from other co-occurring risk factors including poverty, exposure to violence and history of substance use. What does seem to predispose women to some degree of emotional fallout? Termination (for medical reasons, say) of a wanted pregnancy, pressure from others to end the pregnancy, and the perceived need to keep a termination secret because, ahem, of the stigma associated with abortion.
Speaking of which, the report comes at a time when -- as noted in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal -- the focus of the abortion battle is shifting from "what goes on inside a woman's womb" to "what goes on inside her head." Result: The prevailing "abortion hurts women" view now peddled by antiabortion advocates. WSJ paraphrase thereof: "A woman may think she wants to end a pregnancy, may even feel relief when she does, but she will suffer for it later. So the state has a duty to stop her." (By the same reasoning, it has been noted, women -- what with the postpartum depression and all -- should be prevented from giving birth altogether.)
This new approach is not just P.R. Studies (and "studies") of post-abortion psychological fallout have had serious legal impact of late. They helped abortion opponents, and the Supreme Court make the case ("case") that, as the WSJ puts it, "the state must restrict abortion to protect women's mental health." State, as in South Dakota, for one, where a spanking-, and punishing, new mandate requires doctors to inform a woman seeking an abortion that she has "an existing relationship" with the fetus that is protected by the U.S. Constitution (this did not come up on "Schoolhouse Rock"!), that "her existing constitutional rights with regard to that relationship will be terminated," and, fingers crossed behind back, that "abortion increases the risk of suicide ideation and suicide." Antiabortion activists there are using the same view to drum up support for a broad abortion ban slated for the ballot in the fall.
No abortion advocate will say that every woman who has an abortion does a jig and throws a party. (Nor, do I think, should anyone be cornered into solemn, self-evident, politically driven proclamations that abortion is a serious emotional decision, that women have feelings, etc., etc.) But interestingly, the WSJ notes that in 35 years of providing abortions, Susan Hill, a clinic director based in Raleigh, N.C., said "she has noticed that 'women today need less counseling, less psychological care than they did in 1973,' when abortion was legalized but still carried an enormous stigma. Ms. Hill, who runs clinics in five southern states, has tried offering postprocedure counseling sessions -- but very few women show up, she said. 'They want to get past it and move on with their lives.'"
In any regard, there's something both repellent and dimly heartening about the abortion-hurts-women gambit and its perceived traction. Over under "repellent": Fuck you and your "studies" and all your contemptuous, contemptible -- and utterly transparent -- "we care about WOMEN" sanctimony. You were so much more convincing, sympathetic, even remotely defensible (at least on an individual level) when it was about saving babies. Over under "dimly heartening": We're the ones who've been on the rhetorical defensive ever since you guys trademarked the term "life." But did you notice that you are the ones using our language now? Much as we've been criticized for "making it about women" when a potential human life hangs in the balance, well, as far as this shift in message is concerned, looks to me like we made it about women.
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2008, 08:02:34 PM »

 BUCHAREST (AFP) — A medical ethics panel in Romania refused Friday to grant an abortion to an 11-year-old who had allegedly been raped by her uncle, a hospital official said.

    “According to the penal code, after the 14th week of pregnancy, termination is only permissible if the mother’s life is endangered or if the foetus suffers from malformation,” said Vica Todosiciuc, head of the Cuza Voda maternity section in the northeastern city of Iasi.

    “Having examined the girl, the panel observes that the pregnancy is proceeding naturally and therefore that termination should not be imposed.”

    The girl’s parents discovered the pregnancy during a medical check-up two weeks ago after she complained of stomach pains. Police are hunting the uncle, who is said to have fled his home.

    “The fact that the pregnancy stemmed from rape was not taken into account by the panel, for two reasons: one, because rape has not been proven; and two, because the penal code does not allow for any exceptions,” Todosiciuc said.

Forcing an 11-year-old rape and incest victim into giving birth against her will: Those are some life-affirming values for you.

Note a couple of things: First, the fact that the rape wasn’t taken into account in part because it had not been proven. Because, you know, the 11-year-old may have had sex with her uncle consensually.

Second, all that matters is whether the pregnancy is proceeding smoothly. Not whether the girl is going to be further psychologically and emotionally traumatized by the forced pregnancy and childbirth. Not whether there should be other factors taken into account — like maybe the little girl. Only: the incubator is doing its job. Even if she’s a baby herself. Even if she’s willing to go through the humiliation and the difficulty of asking a medical review board for permission to terminate a pregnancy caused by an uncle who raped her.

This is why I get so heated about “smaller” battles, like pharmacists refusing to fill birth control prescriptions. It’s a continuum of control and abuse, with women’s reproductive systems as the locus. And no, it is not acceptable. It is not about religious exercise. It is not about letting the market control. It’s not about simple political difference where we can just agree to disagree because we’re all good people here, or where we can discuss reproductive freedom as if it’s just another issue up for legal and philosophical debate.

It is about systematic control of women’s bodies. It is about physically abusing women’s bodies in the name of ideology. It is about a desire to control and harm women so deep that even 11-year-old rape and incest victims get caught in the cross-fire.

And it is about a desire to control and harm so widely acceptable that, pathetically, the only way to really drive the point home is when it happens to an 11-year-old rape and incest victim. An “average woman” isn’t sympathetic enough.

The case was revisited and this  girl was thankfully actually allowed to leave the country to get an abortion. I can't find the link to follow up article
Power User
Posts: 42556

« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2008, 08:54:03 PM »

"I would personally fell  terrible for a guy whose partner decided to have an abortion against their (sic) wishes but I don’t think the guy should have legal rights to control the women's  body." 

From which it follows that she shouldn't be able to impose upon him the obligation to pay for the child's upbringing?

FWIW, my own thoughts on the subject:

1) Roe vs. Wade was a terribly reasoned and wrongly decided decision.  Although I strongly agree that there is a Right to Privacy and a Right to Pursue Happiness, these do not give the right to kill.  The question presented is when human life begins.  No where does the Constitution declare that the SCt gets to determine the beginning of human life.

2) The proper place for the determination of the beginning of human life is:
a) in the States,
b) by the political branches: the legislature and the executive

3)  At the time of Roe, a growing minority of states allowed some form of abortion.  The Supremes simply decided to short circuit the political process to impose their personal predilictions.

4) If Roe is reversed (as it should be) the decision making process will revert to where it was before Roe-- to the State legislatures and Executives.  In that a a majority of American's favor some sort of abortion option, the Left's wail that Reversing Roe equals the end of abortion is a crock of excrement.  I suspect what will be worked out is a compromise-- with early abortions being OK and later ones not.

5) The slippery slope argument cuts both ways.  For example, at one end, we see BO voting for partial birth abortion and to allow living aborted fetuses to die.

6) Much of the issue is driven by the long and increasing interregunum between sexual maturity and being ready to have children.  Many people want to fcuk during this time and do so without the risk of children.  I think it can reasonably be pointed out that completely separating the sex act from reproduction has profound societal implications.
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2008, 10:15:02 PM »

June 24, 2008, 7:31 a.m.

A Dark Past
Contraception, abortion, and the eugenics movement.

By Jonah Goldberg

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an excerpt from Liberal Fascism.

Margaret Sanger, whose American Birth Control League became Planned Parenthood, was the founding mother of the birth-control movement. She is today considered a liberal saint, a founder of modern feminism, and one of the leading lights of the Progressive pantheon. Gloria Feldt of Planned Parenthood proclaims, “I stand by Margaret Sanger’s side,” leading “the organization that carries on Sanger’s legacy.” Planned Parenthood’s first black president, Faye Wattleton — Ms. magazine’s “Woman of the Year” in 1989 — said that she was “proud” to be “walking in the footsteps of Margaret Sanger.” Planned Parenthood gives out annual Maggie Awards to individuals and organizations who advance Sanger’s cause. Recipients are a Who’s Who of liberal icons, from the novelist John Irving to the producers of NBC’s West Wing. What Sanger’s liberal admirers are eager to downplay is that she was a thoroughgoing racist who subscribed completely to the views of E. A. Ross and other “raceologists.” Indeed, she made many of them seem tame.

Sanger was born into a poor family of eleven children in Corning, New York, in 1879. In 1902 she received her degree as a registered nurse. In 1911 she moved to New York City, where she fell in with the transatlantic bohemian avant-garde of the burgeoning fascist moment. “Our living-room,” she wrote in her autobiography, “became a gathering place where liberals, anarchists, Socialists and I.W.W.’s could meet.” A member of the Women’s Committee of the New York Socialist Party, she participated in all the usual protests and demonstrations. In 1912 she started writing what amounted to a sex-advice column for the New York Call, dubbed “What Every Girl Should Know.” The overriding theme of her columns was the importance of contraception.

A disciple of the anarchist Emma Goldman — another eugenicist — Sanger became the nation’s first “birth control martyr” when she was arrested for handing out condoms in 1917. In order to escape a subsequent arrest for violating obscenity laws, she went to England, where she fell under the thrall of Havelock Ellis, a sex theorist and ardent advocate of forced sterilization. She also had an affair with H. G. Wells, the self-avowed champion of “liberal fascism.” Her marriage fell apart early, and one of her children — whom she admitted to neglecting — died of pneumonia at age four. Indeed, she always acknowledged that she wasn’t right for family life, admitting she was not a “fit person for love or home or children or anything which needs attention or consideration.”

Under the banner of “reproductive freedom,” Sanger subscribed to nearly all of the eugenic views discussed above. She sought to ban reproduction of the unfit and regulate reproduction for everybody else. She scoffed at the soft approach of the “positive” eugenicists, deriding it as mere “cradle competition” between the fit and the unfit. “More children from the fit, less from the unfit — that is the chief issue of birth control,” she frankly wrote in her 1922 book The Pivot of Civilization. (The book featured an introduction by Wells, in which he proclaimed, “We want fewer and better children...and we cannot make the social life and the world-peace we are determined to make, with the ill-bred, ill-trained swarms of inferior citizens that you inflict on us.” Two civilizations were at war: that of progress and that which sought a world “swamped by an indiscriminate torrent of progeny.”

A fair-minded person cannot read Sanger’s books, articles, and pamphlets today without finding similarities not only to Nazi eugenics but to the dark dystopias of the feminist imagination found in such allegories as Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale. As editor of The Birth Control Review, Sanger regularly published the sort of hard racists we normally associate with Goebbels or Himmler. Indeed, after she resigned as editor, The Birth Control Review ran articles by people who worked for Goebbels and Himmler. For example, when the Nazi eugenics program was first getting wide attention, The Birth Control Review was quick to cast the Nazis in a positive light, giving over its pages for an article titled “Eugenic Sterilization: An Urgent Need,” by Ernst Rüdin, Hitler’s director of sterilization and a founder of the Nazi Society for Racial Hygiene. In 1926 Sanger proudly gave a speech to a KKK rally in Silver Lake, New Jersey.

One of Sanger’s closest friends and influential colleagues was the white supremacist Lothrop Stoddard, author of The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy. In the book he offered his solution for the threat posed by the darker races: “Just as we isolate bacterial invasions, and starve out the bacteria, by limiting the area and amount of their food supply, so we can compel an inferior race to remain in its native habitat.” When the book came out, Sanger was sufficiently impressed to invite him to join the board of directors of the American Birth Control League.

Sanger’s genius was to advance Ross’s campaign for social control by hitching the racist-eugenic campaign to sexual pleasure and female liberation. In her “Code to Stop Overproduction of Children,” published in 1934, she decreed that “no woman shall have a legal right to bear a child without a permit shall be valid for more than one child.”47 But Sanger couched this fascistic agenda in the argument that “liberated” women wouldn’t mind such measures because they don’t really want large families in the first place. In a trope that would be echoed by later feminists such as Betty Friedan, she argued that motherhood itself was a socially imposed constraint on the liberty of women. It was a form of what Marxists called false consciousness to want a large family.

Sanger believed — prophetically enough — that if women conceived of sex as first and foremost a pleasurable experience rather than a procreative act, they would embrace birth control as a necessary tool for their own personal gratification. She brilliantly used the language of liberation to convince women they weren’t going along with a collectivist scheme but were in fact “speaking truth to power,” as it were. This was the identical trick the Nazis pulled off. They took a radical Nietzschean doctrine of individual will and made it into a trendy dogma of middle-class conformity. This trick remains the core of much faddish “individualism” among rebellious conformists on the American cultural left today. Nonetheless, Sanger’s analysis was surely correct, and led directly to the widespread feminist association of sex with political rebellion. Sanger in effect “bought off” women (and grateful men) by offering tolerance for promiscuity in return for compliance with her eugenic schemes.

In 1939 Sanger created the above-mentioned “Negro Project,” which aimed to get blacks to adopt birth control. Through the Birth Control Federation, she hired black ministers (including the Reverend Adam Clayton Powell Sr.), doctors, and other leaders to help pare down the supposedly surplus black population. The project’s racist intent is beyond doubt. “The mass of significant Negroes,” read the project’s report, “still breed carelessly and disastrously, with the result that the increase among [in] that portion of the population least intelligent and fit.” Sanger’s intent is shocking today, but she recognized its extreme radicalism even then. “We do not want word to go out,” she wrote to a colleague, “that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

It is possible that Sanger didn’t really want to “exterminate” the Negro population so much as merely limit its growth. Still, many in the black community saw it that way and remained rightly suspicious of the Progressives’ motives. It wasn’t difficult to see that middle-class whites who consistently spoke of “race suicide” at the hands of dark, subhuman savages might not have the best interests of blacks in mind. This skepticism persisted within the black community for decades. Someone who saw the relationship between abortion and race from a less trusting perspective telegrammed Congress in 1977 to tell them that abortion amounted to “genocide against the black race.” And he added, in block letters, “AS A MATTER OF CONSCIENCE I MUST OPPOSE THE USE OF FEDERAL FUNDS FOR A POLICY OF KILLING INFANTS.” This was Jesse Jackson, who changed his position when he decided to seek the Democratic nomination.

Just a few years ago, the racial eugenic “bonus” of abortion rights was something one could only admit among those fully committed to the cause, and even then in politically correct whispers. No more. Increasingly, this argument is acceptable on the left, as are arguments in favor of eugenics generally.

In 2005 the acclaimed University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt broke the taboo with his critical and commercial hit Freakonomics (co-written with Stephen Dubner). The most sensational chapter in the book updated a paper Levitt had written in 1999 which argued that abortion cuts crime. “Legalized abortion led to less unwantedness; unwantedness leads to high crime; legalized abortion, therefore, led to less crime.” Freakonomics excised all references to race and never connected the facts that because the aborted fetuses were disproportionately black and blacks disproportionately contribute to the crime rate, reducing the size of the black population reduces crime. Yet the press coverage acknowledged this and didn’t seem to mind.

In 2005 William Bennett, a committed pro-lifer, invoked the Levitt argument in order to denounce eugenic thinking. “I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could — if that were your sole purpose — you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.” What seemed to offend liberals most was that Bennett had accidentally borrowed some conventional liberal logic to make a conservative point, and, as with the social Darwinists of yore, that makes liberals quite cross. According to the New York Times’s Bob Herbert, Bennett believed “exterminating blacks would be a most effective crime-fighting tool.” Various liberal spokesmen, including Terry McAuliffe, the former head of the Democratic National Committee, said Bennett wanted to exterminate “black babies.” Juan Williams proclaimed that Bennett’s remarks speak “to a deeply racist mindset.”

In one sense, this is a pretty amazing turnaround. After all, when liberals advocate them, we are usually told that abortions do not kill “babies.” Rather, they remove mere agglomerations of cells and tissue or “uterine contents.” If hypothetical abortions committed for allegedly conservative ends are infanticide, how can actual abortions performed for liberal ends not be?

Some liberals are honest about this. In 1992 Nicholas Von Hoffman argued in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Free cheap abortion is a policy of social defense. To save ourselves from being murdered in our beds and raped on the streets, we should do everything possible to encourage pregnant women who don’t want the baby and will not take care of it to get rid of the thing before it turns into a monster... At their demonstration, the anti-abortionists parade around with pictures of dead and dismembered fetuses. The pro-abortionists should meet these displays with some of their own: pictures of the victims of the unaborted — murder victims, rape victims, mutilation victims — pictures to remind us that the fight for abortion is but part of the larger struggle for safe homes and safe streets.
Later that same year, the White House received a letter from the Roe v. Wade co-counsel Ron Weddington, urging the new president-elect to rush RU-486 — the morning-after pill — to the market as quickly as possible. Weddington’s argument was refreshingly honest:

[Y]ou can start immediately to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy and poor segment of our country. No, I’m not advocating some sort of mass extinction of these unfortunate people. Crime, drugs and disease are already doing that. The problem is that their numbers are not only replaced but increased by the birth of millions of babies to people who can’t afford to have babies. There, I’ve said it. It’s what we all know is true, but we only whisper it, because as liberals who believe in individual rights, we view any program which might treat the disadvantaged as discriminatory, mean-spirited and... well... so Republican.

[G]overnment is also going to have to provide vasectomies, tubal ligations and abortions. . , . There have been about 30 million abortions in this country since Roe v. Wade. Think of all the poverty, crime and misery . . . and then add 30 million unwanted babies to the scenario. We lost a lot of ground during the Reagan-Bush religious orgy. We don’t have a lot of time left.
How, exactly, is this substantively different from Margaret Sanger’s self-described “religion of birth control,” which would, she wrote, “ease the financial load of caring for with public funds . . . children destined to become a burden to themselves, to their family, and ultimately to the nation”?

The issue here is not the explicit intent of liberals or the rationalizations they invoke to deceive themselves about the nature of abortion. Rather, it is to illustrate that even when motives and arguments change, the substance of the policy remains in its effects. After the Holocaust discredited eugenics per se, neither the eugenicists nor their ideas disappeared. Rather, they went to ground in fields like family planning and demography and in political movements such as feminism. Indeed, in a certain sense Planned Parenthood is today more eugenic than Sanger intended. Sanger, after all, despised abortion. She denounced it as “barbaric” and called abortionists “bloodsucking men with M.D. after their names.” Abortion resulted in “an outrageous slaughter” and “the killing of babies,” which even the degenerate offspring of the unfit did not deserve.

So forget about intent: Look at results. Abortion ends more black lives than heart disease, cancer, accidents, AIDS, and violent crime combined. African Americans constitute little more than 12 percent of the population but have more than a third (37 percent) of abortions. That rate has held relatively constant, though in some regions the numbers are much starker; in Mississippi, black women receive some 72 percent of all abortions, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Nationwide, 512 out of every 1,000 black pregnancies end in an abortion. Revealingly enough, roughly 80 percent of Planned Parenthood’s abortion centers are in or near minority communities. Liberalism today condemns a Bill Bennett who speculates about the effects of killing unborn black children; but it also celebrates the actual killing of unborn black children, and condemns him for opposing it.

Of course, orthodox eugenics also aimed at the “feebleminded” and “useless bread gobblers” — which included everyone from the mentally retarded to an uneducated and malnourished underclass to recidivist criminals. When it comes to today’s “feebleminded,” influential voices on the left now advocate the killing of “defectives” at the beginning of life and at the end of life. Chief among them is Peter Singer, widely hailed as the most important living philosopher and the world’s leading ethicist. Professor Singer, who teaches at Princeton, argues that unwanted or disabled babies should be killed in the name of “compassion.” He also argues that the elderly and other drags on society should be put down when their lives are no longer worth living.

Singer doesn’t hide behind code words and euphemisms in his belief that killing babies isn’t always wrong, as one can deduce from his essay titled “Killing Babies Isn’t Always Wrong” (nor is he a lone voice in the wilderness; his views are popular or respected in many academic circles). But that hasn’t caused the Left to ostracize him in the slightest (save in Germany, where people still have a visceral sense of where such logic takes you). Of course, not all or even most liberals agree with Singer’s prescriptions, but nor do they condemn him as they do, say, a William Bennett. Perhaps they recognize in him a kindred spirit.

— Jonah Goldberg is the author of Liberal Fascism.

— Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online.
National Review Online -
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2008, 10:18:06 PM »

It is not my intention to be condescending ever .    Part of the problem may have been I had  written and gathered together most of the material before  you posted.   I should have read you post more carefully-- sorry

I do not consider mental health reasons or control of her body to be  mere conveniences.  

In terms is a fetus a human life-- my view on the unborn matches the Jewish version.    It has value but less than the pregnant woman.  

I will respond more later.

Here is the some information from plannedparenthood

 Thinking About Abortion
Millions of women face unplanned pregnancies every year. If you are deciding what to do about an unplanned pregnancy, you have a lot to think about. You have three options — abortion, adoption, and parenting.

Whether you're thinking about having an abortion, you're helping a woman decide if abortion is right for her, or you're just curious about abortion, you may have many questions. Here are some of the most common questions we hear women ask when considering abortion. We hope you find the answers helpful.


    * How Can I Know If Abortion Is the Right Option for Me?
    * Who Can Help Me Decide?
    * How Soon Do I Have to Decide?
    * How Is Abortion Done?
    * Are There Any Long-Term Risks of Abortion?
    * If I Have an Abortion, How Will I Feel Afterward?

How Can I Know If Abortion Is the Right Option for Me?

We all have many important decisions to make in life. What to do about an unplanned pregnancy is an important and common decision faced by women. In fact, about half of all women in the U.S. have an unplanned pregnancy at some point in their lives. About 4 out of 10 women with unplanned pregnancies decide to have abortions. Overall, more than 1 out of 3 of all U.S. women will have an abortion by the time they are 45 years old.

Women have abortions because they care about themselves and their families or their future families. The most common reasons a woman decides to have an abortion are

    * She is not ready to become a parent.
    * She cannot afford a baby.
    * She feels that having a baby now would make it too difficult to work, go to school, or care for her children.
    * She doesn't want to be a single parent.
    * She doesn't want anyone to know she has had sex or is pregnant.
    * She feels too young or too immature to have a child.
    * She has all the children she wants.
    * She or the fetus has a health problem.
    * She is a survivor of rape or incest.

Every woman's situation is different, and only you can decide what is best in your case. If you're trying to decide if abortion is the right option for you, you may find it helpful to list the advantages and disadvantages of having an abortion. Think about what advantages or disadvantages are most important to you. Consider how you feel and what you think about abortion, what you want for your life and for your family or future family.
Some Things to Ask Yourself If You Are Thinking About Abortion

    * Am I ready to become a parent?
    * Can I afford to have a child?
    * Can I afford to have an abortion?
    * Would I prefer to have a child at another time?
    * What would it mean for my future and my family's future if I had a child now?
    * Would I consider putting the child up for adoption?
    * Do I have strong religious beliefs about abortion?
    * How do I feel about other women who have abortions?
    * How important is it to me what other people will think about my decision?
    * Can I handle the experience of having an abortion?
    * Is anyone pressuring me to have an abortion? Am I being pressured not to have an abortion?
    * Would I be willing to tell a parent or go before a judge if my state requires it?

Think about what your answers mean to you. You may want to discuss your answers with your partner, someone in your family, a friend, a trusted religious adviser, or a counselor.

Who Can Help Me Decide?

Women can feel alone or isolated when they are considering abortion. You may feel that it's hard to talk to the people you normally reach out to for support. Some people can be very judgmental. When you're around judgmental people, you may feel bad about yourself or your decisions. Seek out people you know will support you and who will understand that you're trying to do what's best for yourself and your family or future family.

Most women look to their husbands, partners, families, health care providers, clergy, or someone else they trust for support as they make their decision about an unplanned pregnancy. And many women go to the clinic with their partners. But you don't have to tell anybody. If you're 18 or older, it is entirely up to you who you tell.

If You Are a Teen …

Teens are encouraged to involve parents in their decision to have an abortion, and most do have a parent involved. But telling a parent is only required in states with mandatory parental involvement laws. Such laws force a woman under 18 to tell a parent or get parental permission before having an abortion. In most of these states, if she can't talk with her parents — or doesn't want to — she can appear before a judge. The judge will consider whether she's mature enough to decide on her own. If not, the judge will decide whether an abortion is in her best interests.

In any case, if there are complications during the abortion, parents of a minor may be notified.

Specially trained educators at women's health clinics — like your Planned Parenthood health center — can talk with you in private. Or you may bring someone with you if you wish. When choosing a clinic, beware of so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" that are run by people who are against abortion.

How Soon Do I Have to Decide?

Abortion is safe, and serious complications are rare — but the risk to your health increases the longer a pregnancy continues. Abortions performed later in pregnancy may be more complicated but are still safer than labor and childbirth. So, even though it's important to take the time you need to make the decision that's best for you, it is important that you understand there may be greater health risks later in pregnancy. So, you may not want to wait too long.
How Is Abortion Done?

If you decide to end a pregnancy, your health care provider may talk with you about different abortion methods. You may be offered the option to have an in-clinic abortion, or you may be offered the abortion pill.
Are There Any Long-Term Risks of Abortion?

There are many myths about the risks of abortion. Here are the facts. Abortion does not cause breast cancer. Safe, uncomplicated abortion does not cause problems for future pregnancies such as birth defects, premature birth or low birth weight babies, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, or infant death.
If I Have an Abortion, How Will I Feel Afterward?

A range of emotions is normal after an abortion. There is not one "correct" way to feel. Some women feel anger, regret, guilt, or sadness for a little while. For some women, these feelings may be quite strong.

For some women, having an abortion can be a significant life event, like ending a relationship, starting or losing a job, or becoming a parent. It can be very stressful and difficult. Other women have an easier time after abortion.

Serious, long-term emotional problems after abortion are about as uncommon as they are after giving birth. They are more likely to happen for certain reasons — for instance, if a woman has a history of emotional problems before the abortion, if she doesn't have supportive people in her life, or if she has to terminate a wanted pregnancy because her health or the health of her fetus is in danger.

Ultimately, most women feel relief after an abortion. Women tend to feel better after abortion if they can talk with supportive people in their lives.
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2008, 09:37:23 PM »

This video is  condescending  but I thought made some interesting points.

One  of the points the video makes is
Unique DNA is not a particularly great measure of individual personhood.
Egg and Sperm have unique DNA different  from their parents. I'm assuming you would not give an unfertilized egg that same rights as a fertilized egg.  Identical twins have identical DNA and are not considered one person.

When I was talking about harm to woman I was mostly referring to the harm that comes from illegal abortions.   Abortion rates compare whether  it is legal or not    Does it bother  you that  many women die or are injured having illegal abortions that would not if it was legal ?
There is a reason that the coat hanger is symbol for the  pro-choice movement or as a friend recently described it the anti illegal abortions movement. 
Most abortions happen before fetus viability so  in  most cases the doctor  couldn't save the baby  and the born alive infant protection act was already passed in 2002.     

I do find it very disturbing that human reproduction has changed more in last 60 years than it has in the last 3,000. I also don't think it is healthy that you can now be a "teenager" into your 40's. I don't think there are any laws that will solve that problem.
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2008, 09:45:49 PM »

Eugenics is horrible and wrong no matter what your political affiliation

It's been quite a week for government violation of the bodily integrity of poor women and women of color. First, there was the judge in Texas who set "not having children" as a condition of a woman's parole. (I just linked in the WFR on Sunday, but Cara discussed it at length. Go read her post.)

And today, via several readers, comes the news that John LaBruzzo, a state legislator from Louisiana, wants to pay low-income women $1,000 apiece to get sterilized. Everything about this is so incredibly offensive, I don't know quite where to begin. Let's start with a quote from LaBruzzo:

    "We're on a train headed to the future and there's a bridge out, " LaBruzzo said of what he suspects are dangerous demographic trends. "And nobody wants to talk about it."

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Low-income women having children is a "dangerous demographic trend"?! Sounds like the recent round of racist propaganda we saw related to the "Demographic Winter" movie. (Film summary: You should be panicked because brown people are reproducing at faster rates than white people.) But LaBruzzo protests that he is not a racist -- he's a problem-solver!

    LaBruzzo said other, mainstream strategies for attacking poverty, such as education reforms and programs informing people about family planning issues, have repeatedly failed to solve the problem. He said he is simply looking for new ways to address it.

    "It's easy to say, 'Oh, he's a racist, ' " LaBruzzo said. "The hard part is to sit down and think of some solutions."

It's not as if this country has ever done a good job providing low-income women with the tools and information to make their own decisions. Programs that aim to do that have been consistently underfunded and poorly implemented. So no, we haven't tried all other options. And even if we had, his idea is still completely appalling.

LaBruzzo is correct that it's very easy to say he's a racist. Because, um, he's espousing a historically racist policy. What he clearly deems to be a new and creative solution has unfortunately been around a long time. Compulsory or coercive sterilizations for low-income women, disabled women, and women of color were extremely common up until the 1970s, and slightly less common but nevertheless occurring with regularity the the decades since. The paternalistic attitude that "certain women" cannot be trusted to make their own reproductive decisions is still an underlying theme of a lot of backwards legal and policy decisions. LaBruzzo and Texas judge Charlie Baird are part of this despicable tradition.

I'm in the midst of reading Jeanne Flavin's soon-to-be-relased book, Our Bodies, Our Crimes. In it, she explains the early-1900s roots of how sterilization became the common way of dealing with poor women's sexuality:

    Birth control was ruled out due to fears that should it "catch on" among the white Protestant middle classes, their birth rates would be even further reduced. So it came to pass that sterilization emerged as a eugenics strategy.

How far is this attitude, really from LaBruzzo's worries about "dangerous demographic trends"? Flavin also writes,

    What is questioned here is the notion that a judge has the right to order them, or anyone, to be sterilized or not to reproduce. This is arguably one of the most difficult premises for the general public to accept: that a woman's reproductive rights--including her right to procreate--are distinct from whether or not she might be a "good" pregnant woman or a "good" mother. These rights reside in her existence as a human being, along with the rights to control her body.

(Emphasis mine.) In her post on the Texas court case, Cara breaks it down further:

    If the government has the right to demand that people stop procreating, it means that the government has the right to control our consensual sex lives.  It means that the government has a right to decide who is and is not worthy of the right to control over their own bodies, and who is and is not worthy of the right to give birth.  It means the government has a right to decide what medical procedures people undergo -- from birth control, to sterilization and/or temporary sterilization, to abortion.

It shouldn't come as a surprise, then that LaBruzzo also opposes any woman's right to choose abortion. This is a Daddy Knows Best approach to women's health. In this case, as is often true, the paternalism has a disproportionate effect on low-income women and women of color. Let's hope his proposed policy does not go through, and the Louisiana legislature instead rededicates itself to providing low-income women with the tools to determine their own reproductive futures.

Check out National Advocates for Pregnant Women, which does great work on these issues. I also recommend Flavin's book, and Dorothy Roberts' Killing the Black Body.

Related Posts:
Voices of Justice Now: Sterilization in the Prisons
Do we have the right to decide the fate of disabled youth?
Who's allowed to reproduce?
Sterilize bad parents?
$450,000 granted to 9 women for forced sterilization
Posted by Ann - September 24, 2008, at 12:49PM | in Class , Disability Rights , Health , Motherhood , Racism , Reproductive Rights , Women of Color
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« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2008, 09:10:19 AM »

The following could have gone just as easily in the Gender thread, but because of the role of abortion I place it here:

A nation without women
India faces a bleak future because of a preference for sons over daughters
Indian filmgoers have a weakness for feel-good song-and-dance spectaculars. So it's not surprising that Matrubhoomi: A Nation Without Women won a handful of international prizes, but flopped at home. It is a tale of unrelieved horror. An innocent young girl is sold to a rural family of five sons and married to all five, plus the father. In the end, the whole woman-less village gets into the act and murderous fights break out for her favours. The film ends with the lass giving birth to a daughter.

Is this a nightmarish fantasy dreamed up by man-hating feminists?

To Western audiences, perhaps, but in India, the notion of “a nation without women” is no fantasy. It could be the future. So many unborn and newly-born girls are being killed as a result of a deep-seated preference for male heirs that millions of young men will find it hard to marry.

At the moment, according to figures from the 2001 census, the national ratio of girls aged 0-to-6 to boys is 927 to 1,000. The normal figure should be 950 to 1,000. However, this conceals enormous regional and social differences. According to the British NGO ActionAid, the situation is worst in the northern state of Punjab. "The most extreme case that we found in our research was among wealthy Punjabi families where in some communities there's only 300 girls to every 1,000 boys,” says Laura Turquet, ActionAid's women's rights policy official.

"The real horror of the situation is that, for women, avoiding having daughters is a rational choice. But for wider society it's creating an appalling and desperate state of affairs," said Ms Turquet. Despite India's growing prosperity – or perhaps because of it -- there is growing pressure on women to produce sons, because girls are seen as an expense, rather than an asset. To marry them off, parents have to pay a huge dowry. “Spend 500 rupees now and save 50,000 rupees later,” is a slogan which every parent has heard.

"The most extreme case that we found in our research was among wealthy Punjabi families where in some communities there's only 300 girls to every 1,000 boys.” 
The practice also reflects a trend towards ever-smaller families. Some couples now choose to have only one child -- and they make sure that child will be a boy. Some doctors excuse their connivance in this by describing abortion as a “social duty” which prevents the ill-treatment of unwanted daughters or helps with population control.

Many couples use ultrasound scans to detect female foetuses and then abort them. Although the practice is banned, a study in the leading medical journal The Lancet has estimated that half a million are terminated every year. In some rural areas deliberate neglect of girls, including allowing the umbilical cord to become infected, is used to dispose of unwanted daughters.

This dismal story has recently been documented in yet another report, Disappearing Daughters, from ActionAid and Canada's International Development Research Centre.

Their researchers looked at a representative sample of about 6,500 households in five districts in states already known to have especially skewed sex ratios: Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The sex ratio had dropped in four of the five districts, compared to 2001 census data. And worst of all, there were only 300 girls for every 1,000 boys among upper-caste Hindus in urban areas of Punjab's Fatehgarh Sahib district.

"There's only a third of the girls there should be in those communities. We're talking about whole villages where there are hardly any girls and we're talking about classrooms with no girls in them, and streets where only boys are playing." Ms Turquet said.

This tragedy is no secret in India – the real tragedy is that Indian society, and even stringent legislation -- seem powerless to stop it. In April Prime Minister Manmohan Singh – who has three daughters -- launched the “Save the Girl Child” campaign. He declared that no nation could claim to be part of a civilised world if it condoned female foeticide. An estimated 50 million girls have been sacrificed because of son preference.

"Census figures illustrate that in some of the richer states the problem is most acute. These states include Punjab which had only 798 girls (per 1,000 boys), Haryana 819, Delhi 868 and Gujarat 883 girls in the 2001 Census. Growing economic prosperity and education levels have not led to a corresponding mitigation in this acute problem," he said.

"Female illiteracy, obscurantist social practices like child marriage or early marriage, dowry, poor nutritional entitlements, taboos on women in public places make Indian women vulnerable. The patriarchal mindset and preference for male children is compounded by unethical conduct on the part of some medical practitioners," the PM said.

But despite the fine words, the gender ratio continues to fall.

A women's rights activist, Dr Ruth Manorama, told MercatorNet, "It is a misconception to think that this is a problem related to extreme poverty and as is revealed, female foeticide is very high in Punjab and Haryana -- some of the best-off states in the country.

“Female foeticide is a consequence of traditional gender bias and gender discrimination. Girls are seen as an economic liability and burden, partly because of the very expensive dowry that must accompany her future marriage. However, dowry is not the only cause for the selective abortion of girls; sons carry on the family name and often the business, usually inherit the property and perform the last rites. The poor eliminate their girls because of the poverty situation and for the rich, daughters are seen as less desirable. This is the deep rooted patriarchal society that we live in.”

“In spite of the progress of India on the global stage, the mindset is still primitive”, lamented Dr Manorama, laureate of the 2006 Right Livelihood Award (also known as the Alternative Nobel). “This social evil is deep rooted in Indian ethos and the most shocking fact is that the innovative and high-end technologies are eliminating our girl-child. Attitudinal change is essential to put an end to this social malaise.

“It is most ironic, that advances in medical sciences which are intended to increas the life expectations and quality of life for millions on the contrary are being abused by unscrupulous people to bring about death our of baby girls. Instead there is a culture of death at times being promoted with these innovative techniques, like biopsy, ultrasound, scan tests and amniocentesis, devised to detect genetic abnormalities.”

And Western technology is being used to promote this genocide. Only last month Google and Microsoft were forced to withdraw controversial advertisements from their websites which had been offering sex selection products, home kits and various genetic technique services in India.

The government has tried to ban ultrasound examinations for sex determination since 1994. Pregnant women who seek help for sex selection can be sentenced to a three-year prison sentence and fined 50,000 rupees (US$1,200), while doctors can be suspended. But there have been few prosecutions. In fact, tougher regulations against sex-selection abortions have had the perverse effect of increasing the level of infanticide.

The words of a woman doctor cited in the Disappearing Daughters report spell out the problem: “Even though many families are happy to have a girl if they already have a son, the social stigma of just having girls is enormous. Just today I was treating a woman who has two daughters already and she is suffering acute anxiety that her third child will be another girl. The abuse she will receive from her in-laws and her husband will make her life very difficult if she has another daughter.

“There needs to be a serious step-change in attitudes. India might be developing economically, but in terms of our attitude to women, we’re not moving forward at all.”

Anjalee Lewis is a freelance journalist writing from Mumbai.
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2008, 08:12:41 PM »

Senator McCain can't you even pretend to care about me.    We may have just seen McCain loose the Women's vote and the election  on live television.

John McCain: Openly Scoffing at Your Health
from Feministe by Cara

I believe that I speak for many American women when I say in response to last night’s debate (video below) that I do not want Senator McCain’s brand of “compassion,” and I sure as hell do not want his kind of “help.” I do not need him to help me have the “courage” to let him make my choices for me about my body.

When it comes to an unplanned pregnancy, the kind of “compassion” I want is not a paternalistic pat on the head. I don’t want to be told how hard this is as if I don’t already know, only to have it explained that for that reason, the decision has been made for me. The kind of compassion I want is the ability to make the right choice for me regarding that pregnancy and any assistance needed to be empowered to make it. It’s the same kind of compassion that I want for each and every woman on this planet, and it’s the kind that McCain is not willing to provide.

I’m tired of the condescension. Do many women who would prefer to not have an abortion need to be provided with the tools and resources they need to feel as though they can carry a pregnancy to term? Yes, absolutely, I’ve said as much and it’s the Democratic platform that is supporting such policies.

But providing resources to carry to term does not solve the problems of every unintended pregnancy. A woman who does not want a child, who does not want a child with the particular man she became pregnant with or has even been raped, who does not want a child at her age no matter how much money she has, who is finished with her childbearing, or who is facing a mental or physical health issue is not “helped” by the McCain “compassion” which would eliminate their access to abortion. And in any case, McCain doesn’t support programs that would do the things he claims he wants to do; that kind of “redistribution of wealth” is for socialists.

If you think that I’m using a lot of scare quotes, rest assured that I’m not the only one. Below is the video from last night’s debate, of McCain talking about his “compassion,” and at the end of the video using scare/air quotes to talk about those radical pro-abortion people.

Yes, you just watched John McCain put scare/air quotes around the word “health,” as in “health of the mother.”

Women’s health is so trivial to McCain that he can’t even force himself to spit out the word with a straight face. Considering the health of women when discussing the issue of abortion is ridiculous to Senator McCain, something he sees as the “extreme pro-abortion” position

Watch McCain's Women line plunge
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« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2008, 08:31:29 PM »

Infanticide is still illegal in all 50 states. Oh when will the oppression of women ever end?  rolleyes
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« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2008, 08:41:38 PM »

**Obama lied to you. Does that bother you, sweetie?**
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2008, 08:50:40 PM »

You can patronize me all you want-- McCain will still loose the election.
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« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2008, 08:55:35 PM »

We'll see. Explain to me the ethics of what to do with an aborted baby that survives, from your moral perspective. Does that match up with Obama's?
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2008, 09:00:40 PM »

I have answered this question already.  I follow Jewish Law here  --once the baby is born it has equal rights.  I do  not agree with everything Obama says or does. The law you are speaking  about has already passed.  A Born alive infant is protected.
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« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2008, 09:29:39 PM »

So, how McCain says "health" is outrageous, but Obama's lies aren't worth commenting on?
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« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2008, 06:34:26 AM »

Concerning Jewish law's position on the right to care of the newly born aborted baby, I am glad Rachel that you recognize that this is the right thing to do.  Bright person that you are I invite you to take the next step in your thinking and deal with the idea that the right to life does not depend upon one's geographic location.  Inside the mother you can be killed, and outside the mother you can't.  I suppose it has the advantage of being a simple bright line test, but surely you can understand that there is a reasonable point of view that finds it utterly unpersuasive.

Thought experiment: Charles Manson's crew cut open Sharon Tate's belly and killed her 8 month old baby.  If I understand your logic correctly, if they killed the baby while it was still inside her sliced upon womb, it was not murder, but if they killed it after removing it, then it was murder. 

Does this not follow from what you say?

Turning to the piece posted:

I had understood how he said health to mean that he thought the claims in these cases were often a facetious claim to justify a late term abortion.

The self-righteous thought process of the piece is in some respects a tedious repetition of one half of a circle of reasoning we have all heard before-- what makes it tedious is that it does not acknowledge the thought process of the other side-- if what is alive and growing in the woman's stomach is a human baby, she doesn't get to kill it-- either privately or publicly.

And the disingenuity of this typical point makes me want to barf:

" Do many women who would prefer to not have an abortion need to be provided with the tools and resources they need to feel as though they can carry a pregnancy to term? Yes, absolutely, I’ve said as much and it’s the Democratic platform that is supporting such policies."

What "need to be provided with , , , resources" reduces to for me is "Pay for my baby or I get to kill it".  NO, YOU PAY FOR IT, THAT's HOW THINGS WORK IN A FREE SOCIETY.  If you didn't want it, you should have been more careful about who and how you let someone between your legs.

Also left out, as is typical in these pieces, is any recognition that the repeal of Roe v. Wade would not mean the repeal of abortion.  It would mean the return of shaping policies in this regard to where it belongs -- to the democratic branches of the States.

In this arena, the great probability is that the legislatures and governors, who are elected after all, will reflect the will of the people, which as best as I can tell is that some form of early term abortion be OK, especially in the case of rape, incest, and defective babies.

As ususal, what the liberal left fails to appreciate is how much the intensity of the opposition is triggered by the arrogance of liberal fascism in avoiding the democractic process in these issues (see e.g. using the courts to impose gay marriage) by using the courts to impose what they want instead of honestly doing the political work of the democratic process.
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2008, 08:34:31 AM »

I see the difference  between a fetus and a  baby  a difference in essence not a difference in location.   A seedling is not a tree.  A miscarriage hellish as it is---is not the same as the death of  a child.

If you value potential human life the same as  human life  why not also protect the egg and the sperm.   How do you see the  difference between fertilized egg  and a unfertilized  egg ?   Both are potential human life and with neither are you guaranteed a baby.   I have no problem outlawing late term abortions as long as there is  an exception  in all cases for the mother's health. I want decisions about my health to be  between my doctor and I not congress my doctor and I.    Would you be willing to let congress decide what medical procedures you need to save your live?    How would you feel if you couldn't  have a life-saving procedures because someone's  religious views didn't allow it. ? 

You argue that Roe Vs Wade will not make abortion illegal everywhere but it will make it illegal in some states?  Why should my rights vary by location?

Economic issues affect abortion rates.  What about a woman who is raped should she have to pay for it then? You don't want to pay blood money to protect the unborn but you are willing to accept the face that  if abortion is illegal woman will die having illegal abortions.    There are ways to reduce abortion rates without making it illegal. Kathleen Sebelius  has  reduced abortion rates 8.5% in Kansas  with social programs.
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2008, 08:40:23 AM »

Remember how the South Dakota abortion ban recently returned with backers alleging that this time it would make exceptions for the mother's health and cases of incest or rape? And remember how we laughed -- cynically , depressively -- at claims that it is "more moderate, more reasonable," and pointed out that, um, it could easily amount to a total abortion ban? Well, our cautionary chorus has a new member: South Dakota's Sanford Hospital.

In an internal memo, Sanford's lawyers performed an analysis of the proposed measure's impact on the hospital's abortion services. Then -- muahaha -- the memo was leaked. It concludes that the ban's exception for the health of the mother "imposes a standard that is not clearly defined." The memo continues: "For those instances where a pregnant woman faces uncertain but potentially very serious health risks, Initiated Measure 11 will require a physician to choose between possibly committing a felony or subjecting a pregnant woman to a higher degree of medical risk than what would otherwise be clinically desirable."

Here's the kicker: Sanford Hospital does not perform elective abortions. In other words, this unfavorable evaluation isn't aimed at defeating the ban and broadly protecting women's right to choose; if anything, it's a defense of the hospital's current policy, which already restricts abortion to cases where the mother's health is threatened. The document concludes that while the elaborate exceptions "on their face, appear to cover ... instances in which pregnancies are permitted to be terminated in accordance with Sanford policy, Initiated Measure 11, if approved, will have substantial legal implications for Sanford Health and its providers."

Note to the ban's supporters: You might want to adjust the sheep's clothing; your fur is showing.

Here is a link to the article about the memo
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2008, 08:49:24 AM »

edited to add
Sept. 29 and 30 on the CBS Evening News and The Early Show.

Couric: If a 15-year-old is raped by her father, do you believe it should be illegal for her to get an abortion, and why?

Palin: I am pro-life. And I'm unapologetic in my position that I am pro-life. And I understand there are good people on both sides of the abortion debate. In fact, good people in my own family have differing views on abortion, and when it should be allowed. Do I respect people's opinions on this. Now, I would counsel to choose life. I would also like to see a culture of life in this country. But I would also like to take it one step further. Not just saying I am pro-life and I want fewer and fewer abortions in this country, but I want them, those women who find themselves in circumstances that are absolutely less than ideal, for them to be supported, and adoptions made easier.

Couric: But ideally, you think it should be illegal for a girl who was raped or the victim of incest to get an abortion?

Palin: I'm saying that, personally, I would counsel the person to choose life, despite horrific, horrific circumstances that this person would find themselves in. And, um, if you're asking, though, kind of foundationally here, should anyone end up in jail for having an abortion, absolutely not. That's nothing I would ever support.

Couric: Some people have credited the morning-after pill for decreasing the number of abortions. How do you feel about the morning-after pill?

Palin: Well, I am all for contraception. And I am all for preventative measures that are legal and save, and should be taken, but Katie, again, I am one to believe that life starts at the moment of conception. And I would like to see

Couric: And so you don't believe in the morning-after pill?

Palin: ... I would like to see fewer and fewer abortions in this world. And again, I haven't spoken with anyone who disagrees with my position on that.

Couric: I'm sorry, I just want to ask you again. Do you not support or do you condone or condemn the morning-after pill.

Palin: Personally, and this isn't McCain-Palin policy

Couric: No, that's OK, I'm just asking you.

Palin: But personally, I would not choose to participate in that kind of contraception.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2008, 08:58:36 AM by rachelg » Logged
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« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2008, 01:40:38 PM »

"I see the difference  between a fetus and a  baby  a difference in essence not a difference in location.   A seedling is not a tree.  A miscarriage hellish as it is---is not the same as the death of  a child."

Or we can say that a seedling is a small tree.  My personal opinion agrees that there is a difference between losing the fetus at 1-3 months and losing the baby at 7-8 months.  My intended point in this thread has mostly been about how tedious I find the self-righteousness of some of the abortion groups.

"If you value potential human life the same as  human life why not also protect the egg and the sperm.
   How do you see the  difference between fertilized egg  and a unfertilized  egg ?   Both are potential human life and with neither are you guaranteed a baby."

No, without a sperm fertiling the egg it is not a human life.

"I have no problem outlawing late term abortions as long as there is  an exception  in all cases for the mother's health. I want decisions about my health to be  between my doctor and I not congress my doctor and I.    Would you be willing to let congress decide what medical procedures you need to save your live?    How would you feel if you couldn't  have a life-saving procedures because someone's  religious views didn't allow it?"

Perhaps I am ignorant of the sort of case where it can be, but I am unaware of how a late term pregancy can endanger the mother.  Why not just have a ceasarian?  Starting from this premise, I tend to see "the mother's health" as a euphemism for killing a late term baby i.e. viable outside the mother's womb.

"You argue that Roe Vs Wade will not make abortion illegal everywhere but it will make it illegal in some states?  Why should my rights vary by location?"

Its called democracy in our federalist republic.

"Economic issues affect abortion rates.  What about a woman who is raped should she have to pay for it then?"

I would support this.

"You don't want to pay blood money to protect the unborn"

What do you mean by "blood money to protect the unborn"?

"but you are willing to accept the fact that if abortion is illegal woman will die having illegal abortions."

Democracy is a messy thing.  Actually I suspect very few states would have an absolute ban.  Whatever the result, it would be the result of we the people, instead of a bunch of lawyers appointed as judges.

"There are ways to reduce abortion rates without making it illegal. Kathleen Sebelius  has  reduced abortion rates 8.5% in Kansas  with social programs." 

Not familiar with it. 

"In an internal memo, Sanford's lawyers performed an analysis of the proposed measure's impact on the hospital's abortion services. Then -- muahaha -- the memo was leaked. It concludes that the ban's exception for the health of the mother "imposes a standard that is not clearly defined." The memo continues: "For those instances where a pregnant woman faces uncertain but potentially very serious health risks, Initiated Measure 11 will require a physician to choose between possibly committing a felony or subjecting a pregnant woman to a higher degree of medical risk than what would otherwise be clinically desirable."

Well, given my previous doubts about the sincerity of the ""mother's health exception" it does not surprise me that those wanting this exception cannot define it clearly.

"Note to the ban's supporters: You might want to adjust the sheep's clothing; your fur is showing."

Well, duh.  If someone believes that killing a late term fetus/baby is murder (try telling someone whose had a baby born a 7 months and lived that it is not!) I find it supremely arrogant of the pro-fetuscide forces to use the force of law to require them to kill it.  Try being less violent about these things-- and yes, the force of law is a form of violence!

Re Palin:  Although I do not agree with her 100%, I find her morally consistent and respect her-- and her sincerity is quite proven.  I infer (please tell me if I am wrong) that you think this segment from Couric shows her in a bad light, whereas I find it quite the contrary.  She has a principled, morally consistent and coherent point of view and, unlike a goodly percentage of her opposition seems to be rather humble about using violence to impose it upon others.

Concerning the clip, I certainly would support an early term abortion by this girl-- but again, Palin's position as VP or Prez would simply be a matter of tending to nominate SCOTUS justices that would revert the decision to the States.  Do you really think there is much risk of people voting against this girl being unable to undo the terrible wrong that was done to her?  C'mon!  Bottom line, the passion here is not directed against a real issue and in a real sense this girl is being used.
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2008, 07:54:57 PM »

Yes I honestly believe that there is a  serious risk that rape victims  along with other women could not get abortions. I don't care if Palin is morally consistent on her body. I don't want her any near my rights. 

 A  C-section is serious surgery and even among healthy  women there is a risk of death for the mother. If a pregnant women is not healthy the risk  goes up.

BTW the location argument was yours originally

The blood money comment was in response to  your pay for it or I will kill  it comment

If you care so much about the saving the lives of the unborn shouldn't you know more about ways that prevent abortion that are not just legislative

Anti-Abortion Measures Can Hurt ALL Pregnant Women
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« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2008, 06:48:39 PM »

Is anyone bothered by this at all?
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« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2008, 07:56:27 AM »

Reshaping the bioethical landscape
Nov 08, 2008 | Comments| Email to friend | Print
The electoral tidal wave which swept Democrat Barack Obama into the White House and Democrat majorities into the Senate and the House of Representatives could reshape the bioethical landscape in the United States.

The most obvious issue isabortion. Mr Obama is a strong supporter of a woman's right to abortion. The leading abortion action group, Planned Parenthood, gave him "100%" on its electoral scorecard. After reviewing Obama's legislative record, Professor Robert P. George, of Princeton University, wrote a scathing analysis of his views on pro-life issues. His conclusion: "Barack Obama is the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the office of President of the United States. He is the most extreme pro-abortion member of the United States Senate. Indeed, he is the most extreme pro-abortion legislator ever to serve in either house of the United States Congress."

Under George W. Bush, a relatively pro-life president, abortion activists felt threatened. On his first day in office he had blocked federal aid to foreign groups that promoted abortion. He appointed two justices to the Supreme Court who apparently took a dim view of Roe v. Wade, John Roberts and Samuel Alito. He signed a ban on partial-birth abortion. His appointees in the Federal bureaucracy tried to thwart sales of emergency contraception to minors and promoted abstinence-only sex education. In Planned Parenthood's eyes, Bush had declared war on women.

Nor, before the election, was the situation in all of the 50 states altogether favourable for abortion supporters. The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court effectively guaranteed abortion on demand. However, opponents have managed to restrict this in a number of small ways on a state-by-state basis - banning late-term abortions, requiring parental notification, mandatory counselling, restricting health insurance payouts and so on. These form a patchwork of regulation throughout the 50 states.

But with the election of Obama and a Congressional majority which is broadly favourable to abortion rights, all restrictions could vanish. In 2007, as both sides of the abortion divide remember well, Obama promised Planned Parenthood that "the first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act" (FOCA). This act has been kicking around Congress since 2004, but Obama became a co-sponsor of the Senate version in 2007. The purpose of FOCA is to codify Roe v. Wade, invalidating every restriction on abortion at least up to the stage of viability.

The website of the new administration's transition team does not mention FOCA. But it does reassure abortion activists that Obama "has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as President. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in that case." It also declares that he will support the Prevention First Act, which will increase funding for family planning and comprehensive sex education and promote emergency contraception.

Obama still has not taken office, so many details remain to be worked out. Will hospitals which currently refuse to do abortions be threatened with loss of funding? Will health care workers effectively lose the right to conscientious objection in abortion and emergency contraception?

Stem cell research is another area which will be affected by the Democrats' victory. Obama supports "research of human embryonic stem cells derived from embryos donated (with consent) from in vitro fertilization clinics". Restrictions on Federal funding for existing stem cell lines are likely to be lifted.

The result is unlikely to be a rapid proliferation of embryonic stem cell research. Few scientists are placing their hopes for cures in ESCs. First of all, after ten years, no one has yet derived a flourishing stem cell line from cloned human embryos. And second, reprogrammed cells, which are uncontroversial ethically, are currently the best hope for useful therapies. Federal funding in the Obama Administration is likely to be directed towards them.

But what will happen when Obama is asked to fund innovative fertility technologies - as he surely will be? The Parliament in the United Kingdom recently approved a thorough-going revision of its fertility act. Apart from authorising saviour siblings, making abortion easier, and doing away with the need for a father in IVF treatment, it also gave a green light to hybrid embryos and cloning embryos with tissue harvested without consent from incapacitated adults or children. The rapid advance of stem cell technologies guarantees that scientists will be creating new dilemmas for law-makers. Artificial sperm and eggs are on the horizon, for example. These would make it possible for gays to create their own children without resorting to donors. Genetic engineering could be used to manufacture children who are free of genetic diseases or who have high IQs. Given his permissive views on abortion, would Obama resist pressure to allow these techniques to proliferate? 

Another important issue which may emerge while Obama occupies the White House isphysician-assisted suicide. Voters in the state of Washington followed the lead of neighbouring Oregon on Tuesday and approved Initiative 1000, which allows doctors to prescribe legal drugs for terminally ill patients. The measure sailed through by a margin of 58% to 42%. This will embolden euthanasia activists in other states, especially California.

His attitudes on bioethical issues like these will show whether Obama is a vote-hungry pragmatist, a progressive ideologue, or basically a Christian social democrat. Any of these interpretations can be supported - although the last of these is increasingly unlikely. A few months ago, fundamentalist pastor Rick Warren organised a forum in which he tried to draw out both McCain and Obama on when life begins. McCain immediately blurted out, "At the moment of conception.". Obama wriggled: "whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade."

Bush also faced the thorny bioethical issue of stem cell research early in his first term. To give him advice he created a President's Council on Bioethics. This body was split down the middle on the issue between "progressives" and "conservatives", but under the leadership of Dr Leon Kass it produced some of the most thoughtful, well-reasoned, and eloquent discussion papers ever to emerge from a government department. Since bioethical questions are above his pay grade, Obama will no doubt appoint his own panel of bioethics experts. Which advisors he chooses will provide the best clues about the future of bioethics in the United States -- and possibly the world.
« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2008, 08:39:59 PM »

The are economic arguments against some of these solutions but that is not the ones the opponents of these programs are making

Pro-Lifers" Oppose Measures That Decrease the Abortion Rate

from Feministe by Jill

Some individual pro-lifers have finally gotten on board with proven, long-standing pro-choice tactics to decrease the abortion rate, and anti-choice leaders are not happy.

    Frustrated by the failure to overturn Roe v. Wade, a growing number of antiabortion pastors, conservative academics and activists are setting aside efforts to outlaw abortion and instead are focusing on building social programs and developing other assistance for pregnant women to reduce the number of abortions.

    Some of the activists are actually working with abortion rights advocates to push for legislation in Congress that would provide pregnant women with health care, child care and money for education — services that could encourage them to continue their pregnancies.

That makes sense. According to National Right to Life, 23 percent of women terminate pregnancies primarily because they can't afford a baby. An addition 19 percent terminate because they have other children/family responsibilities. In a Guttmacher study (pdf), 73 percent of women listed "can't afford a baby right now" as one of their reasons for having an abortion (the wide difference between the numbers comes because the Guttmacher study allowed women select multiple reasons for why they were terminating; the study quoted on the National Right to Life site had women pick one reason). The highest abortion rates occur in countries where birth control access is highly limited; worldwide, socioeconomic reasons are a leading factor in women choosing abortion. Low rates of abortion strongly correlate with universal health care, widely available contraception, and gender egalitarianism. There is little correlation between the legal status of abortion and the incidence of abortion — that is, there's no evidence that countries where abortion is illegal have lower abortion rates than countries where it is legal. Case in point:

    In Uganda, where abortion is illegal and sex education programs focus only on abstinence, the estimated abortion rate was 54 per 1,000 women in 2003, more than twice the rate in the United States, 21 per 1,000 in that year. The lowest rate, 12 per 1,000, was in Western Europe, with legal abortion and widely available contraception.
    Some countries, like South Africa, have undergone substantial transitions in abortion laws in that time. The procedure was made legal in South Africa in 1996, leading to a 90 percent decrease in mortality among women who had abortions, some studies have found.

    Abortion is illegal in most of Africa, though. It is the second-leading cause of death among women admitted to hospitals in Ethiopia, its Health Ministry has said. It is the cause of 13 percent of maternal deaths at hospitals in Nigeria, recent studies have found.

Outlawing abortion only puts women's lives in danger; it doesn't actually address the underlying cause of abortion. So, some pro-lifers have finally looked at the facts on the table and gotten on board:

    "If one strategy has failed and failed over decades, and you have empirical information that tells how you can honor life and encourage women to make that choice by meeting real needs that are existing and tangible, why not do that?" said Douglas W. Kmiec, a law professor at Pepperdine University who served in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. Kmiec, a Catholic who opposes abortion, was criticized by some abortion foes because he endorsed Obama.

Honoring life and helping women? Nope, the mainstream anti-choice movement can't have that:

    The new effort is causing a fissure in the antiabortion movement, with traditional groups viewing the activists as traitors to their cause. Leaders worry that the approach could gain traction with a more liberal Congress and president, although they do not expect it to weaken hard-core opposition.

    "It's a sellout, as far as we are concerned," said Joe Scheidler, founder of the Pro-Life Action League. "We don't think it's really genuine. You don't have to have a lot of social programs to cut down on abortions."

Well, I suppose you don't have to have a lot of social programs to cut down on abortions, but you do have to somehow (1) give women the tools to prevent pregnancy in the first place, and (2) allow women the resources to make childbirth a viable option. Outlawing abortion doesn't do either of those things, which is why it's phenomenally unsuccessful at actually decreasing the abortion rate.

Unless you don't actually care about decreasing the abortion rate, and you're more interested in turning women into criminals or making them put their lives at risk or controlling what they do in their bedrooms. Because, come on, this stuff is common sense:

    A study sponsored by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good cited recent research that found that the abortion rate among women living below the poverty line is more than four times that of women above 300 percent of the poverty level. The authors of the study found that social and economic supports, such as benefits for pregnant women and mothers and economic assistance to low-income families, have contributed significantly to reducing abortions in the United States over the past two decades.

    "Clearly, poverty impacts the abortion rate," said Alexia Kelley, the group's executive director.

    But established abortion opponents dispute that approach. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said last week during a meeting of the conference that social-service spending is no substitute for legal protections for the unborn. He also questioned research showing that improvements in areas such as employment and health care can reduce the likelihood that a woman will want to end her pregnancy. "It's still to be proven what the connection is between poverty and abortion," he said.

…um. Except it has been proven, over and over and over. Will eradicating poverty end abortion? Of course not. But it'll sure help.

Unless helping to decrease the abortion rate isn't actually the goal:

    Undeterred by critics, the activists are pushing for the passage of legislation that would increase funding for social services for pregnant women, such as low-cost health care and day care; provide grants at colleges for pregnant women and new mothers' education; and set up maternity group homes. Two House bills with backing from various groups are the Pregnant Women's Support Act, sponsored by Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.), and the Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act, sponsored by Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who oppose abortion.

    Those bills are largely opposed by antiabortion groups. "You don't work to limit the murder of innocent victims," said Judie Brown, president of the American Life League. "You work to stop it."

And if abortion has never been stopped in any modern society? Well… then I suppose the only other option is criminalizing women while simultaneously opposing measures that improve health care access, help families to be healthier and more stable, and reduce abortion.

That said, individual pro-lifers getting on board with the pro-choice movement's long-standing goals is a good thing for all of us. For too long, pro-choicers have been sidelined in our efforts to work for a full array of reproductive rights because the abortion wars sucked up all the time and energy. Most self-identified pro-life Americans support contraception access, and are uncomfortable with abortion and want to see it happen less often. Pro-choicers are offering an actual plan of action to decrease the abortion rate without punishing women or compromising women's health. All mainstream anti-choice groups can offer is "make it illegal." So it's not suprising that pro-life people who actually want to see fewer abortions are supporting programs which have been proven to do just that. So credit where credit is due:

    The diverse group that has come together to try a different tack includes prominent pastors such as Joel Hunter; Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good; Sojourners, a progressive evangelical organization; and, a coalition of Catholics and evangelical leaders.

    Others include Catholics United, a progressive Catholic lay group; Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals; the Rev. Thomas Reese of Georgetown University's Woodstock Theological Center, a prominent Jesuit thinker; and Nicholas Cafardi, former dean of the Duquesne University School of Law and a Catholic canon lawyer.

And it's telling that the big anti-choice groups almost always oppose those programs. Let's hope that the old anti-choice guard is soon replaced with pro-life people who actually want to see abortion decrease, and who want to see that happen in a life-affirming way.
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Posts: 42556

« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2008, 07:36:07 AM »

My problem with this smoothly written piece is this:

"I suppose you don't have to have a lot of social programs to cut down on abortions, but you do have to somehow (1) give women the tools to prevent pregnancy in the first place, and (2) allow women the resources to make childbirth a viable option. Outlawing abortion doesn't do either of those things, which is why it's phenomenally unsuccessful at actually decreasing the abortion rate."

As a practical matter I have no problem with the first of these--making brith control methods widely available-- but doubt that money really is the issue-- if you can afford to take a woman out, you or she can afford the condom or other method.  If you can't afford a condom you probably aren't getting laid very much anyway.  cheesy   That said, "allowing women the resources" is a glib euphemism for taking money from some people, who might want to spend it on their own children, and giving it to others, who should be not getting pregnant, but are.

The fundamental problem for me with the approach suggested by this article is this-- it seems devoid of a sense that people should be responsible for the consequences of their own actions-- a core principle of a free society.

I simply don't find its logic of poor= higher abortion rates, therefor give the poor money, persuasive.  Yes there may be a correlation of higher abortion rates in the poor (tangentially I wonder if the rate has been the same over time-- if not, does it not suggest other variables are work?), but a discussion of all this there should include a discussison of the fact that birth rates are higher too.  For me, leaving this out is either poor methodology or disingenuous, or both.   Otherwise one could just as easily argue that the far lower than replacement birth rates of higher income people means that we should prevent wealth in order to increase birth rates to at least a replacement level-- and as logically consistent as it might be to do so, one doubt the author of this piece would approve of such logic!

For me, the answer lies in the right values.  That does NOT mean saying "Unless the State takes money from you and gives it to me, I will kill this Life inside me", which is what the logic of this piece reduces to, is a form of moral blackmail.    The right values are rather consistenly denigrated in movies, on TV, in popular culture-- and one suspects that there is a rather direct correlation between abortion rates and the inculcation of these liberal cultural values.   Because it is so important, and so utterly off the typical liberal radar screen, I mention in particular the importance of fathers and marriage.  I'm guessing that one finds a rather strong correlation between a woman considering an abortion and her being unmarried.  Where is the discussion of this in the article? I'm guessing there is a rather strong correlation between the woman wanting an abortion, and not being sure who the father is.  Where is the discussion of this in the article?

The bottom line reduces to this: BE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT YOU DO.  If you want to have sex but don't want to have a baby, use birth control. 

« Last Edit: November 19, 2008, 07:56:45 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2008, 09:32:10 PM »


People should take responsibility for their actions   People should use birth control that is not an abortion.  to In fact I don't think people should have casual sex period ---no matter how much birth control they use.   However we have to live in this world and I don't think those decisions should be legislated. 
Lets be real-- Half of all pregnancies in the US are unplanned.{65CC19DE-62B2-49A4-AFC7-37E0DF26568C}&NRCACHEHINT=NoModifyGuest

What You Don’t Know About Unplanned Pregnancy

     Sarah Brown, chief executive officer of the National Campaign, speaks at a
     symposium on unintended pregnancy.  Photo courtesy of the National Campaign.
Let’s start with a quiz. 

Since the 1990s the rate of teen pregnancy in the United States has:
A. declined by about a third.
B. stayed about the same.
C. increased by a third.

The group of unmarried women in the U.S. most likely to have used an effective method of contraception the last time they had sex is:
A.  teenagers.
B. women in their twenties.
C. women in their thirties.

The group with the highest number of unplanned pregnancies in the United States is:
A. women in their twenties.
B. teenagers.
C. women in their thirties.

The answer to all three questions is “A”: the rate of teen pregnancy has, indeed, dropped by a third; teenagers are most likely to have used an effective method of contraception;  and the group with the highest number of unplanned pregnancies in the United States today is women in their twenties.

If you’re like most Americans surveyed, it’s likely you got all three wrong.

Now, after a year of focus groups and consultations among the Hewlett Foundation, public opinion researchers, and a broad range of experts on reproductive health, those three answers have emerged as central to a new effort to reduce the nation’s rate of unplanned pregnancy.

In a bid to reduce unplanned pregnancy in the United States, and with the support of the Hewlett Foundation, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy has expanded its mission (and its name) to include people in their twenties.

The new National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy—“the National Campaign,” for short— has turned its efforts to these young adults, who account for more than half of the three million unplanned pregnancies that occur each year in the United States. By comparison, teenage girls now account for only 21 percent.

Sarah Brown, chief executive officer of the National Campaign, is quick to say that the new work does not mean the organization she leads has completed its work with teenagers. Despite the decline, the United States still has the highest rates of teen pregnancy and birth among comparable countries. The U.S. teen birth rate is one and a half times higher than the teen birth rate in the United Kingdom which in turn is the highest in Europe. So the Campaign has set itself a new goal: to reduce the teen pregnancy rate by another one-third between 2006 and 2015.

Of course, in the case of teens, it’s clear to the public that pregnancy and teenagers are a bad combination. The issue is less transparent when the discussion is about people in their twenties.

“First we need to explain the magnitude and consequences of the problem,” Brown says of this broadened mission.

Key among those consequences is the fact that about half of all women who have an unplanned pregnancy choose to have abortions, making women in their twenties the most amply represented age group among the 1.3 million abortions that occur in the country each year, she says. So reducing unplanned pregnancies will reduce abortions.

      Fewer young adults are married by age twenty-five, in contrast to a generation ago. 
      This pronounced societal change greatly contributes to today's high levels of
      unintended pregnancies among women in their twenties.  Image courtesy of the
      Brookings Institution.

Women who have an unplanned pregnancy also are at far greater risk of poverty, of starting prenatal care late, and of having a low birth weight baby.

 “It doesn’t do well for mother or child and it doesn’t need to be that way,” Brown adds.  “Seventy-five percent of all unplanned pregnancies are among people under 30. So if we can make progress on these two decades of life, we really have hit the majority of the problem.”

The reasons for high levels of unintended pregnancies among women in their twenties has much to do with societal changes that make that decade of life more unsettled than a generation ago, Brown and those who have studied the age group say.

Among the findings of a research project that social scientist William Galston of the Brookings Institution conducted on “20-somethings,” with funding from the Foundation, is that the number of young adults deferring marriage has risen steadily since 1970.

Getting married, achieving financial independence, and moving away from their  parents’ homes, all are being deferred later and later, the research shows. As New York Times columnist David Brooks noted in a recent column on what he called “the odyssey years,” in 1960 roughly 70 percent of thirty-year-olds had achieved these things. By 2000, fewer than 40 percent of thirty-year-olds had done so.

Alexandra Robbins, co-author of Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties adds, “because marriage and other traditional hallmarks of adulthood have been delayed, there are simply more years available to this generation in which to have an unplanned pregnancy.

“Thirty years ago, I'd venture to say that many if not most twenty-year-olds were planning their pregnancies,” she says. “Today, that's not the case. More single years equals more sex equals more unplanned pregnancies.”

Robbins also observed that the problem is compounded by less education and outreach about the consequences of unplanned pregnancy to that age group, a thought echoed by Brown.

“People say its fine to tell teenagers what to do, but it’s not okay to tell someone who is 28 what to do,” Brown says. “But we tell people all the time what the best recommendations are on auto safety, and diet and exercise and dental flossing. Why not say it about unplanned pregnancy? This has as many consequences as those other things. It’s not telling them what to do. That puts it crudely; it’s telling them what’s in their own best interest.”

And while some of the lessons learned working to reduce teen pregnancy are expected to be helpful to the National Campaign in addressing its broadened mission, the new work will require new approaches.

While teenagers can be reached through schools, young adults in their twenties aren’t so conveniently convened. Brown talks not just of reaching out to community colleges, but potentially trying to address the group in such novel settings as through avatars in the online role-playing world, Second Life, or through blogs and other online venues.

 “People thought we were crazy when we said our goal was to reduce teenage pregnancy by a third,” Brown says. “Social scientists said, “you’re nuts. You’ll never do it. And it’s happened.

“You do it through a lot of hard work and talking to a lot of people. We have to find way to make it not okay to have an unplanned pregnancy. We have to make it not cool.”
« Reply #32 on: November 25, 2008, 09:38:53 PM »

What does a state where abortion is criminalized look like?

It looks like 1,200 women deep investigations where women are interrogated for their personal choices dealing with their own bodies. A family planning center is under investigation in Brazil and subsequently so are potentially 1,200 women that have had abortions. Approximately 150 women are being charged along with 30 partners or medical professionals.

    The authorities only became aware of the clinic following a television interview, which led to a police investigation that could eventually involve more than 1,200 women and some of their partners, as well as medical staff.

    To gather evidence, Judge Aluizio Pereira dos Santos is said to have interviewed husbands, ex-boyfriends and relatives of some of the women accused of having abortions.

Oh, it gets even worse.

    Human rights and women's organisations have complained that the process has been humiliating for those involved, and has included demands for intimate medical examinations.

    At least 30 women have already been sentenced to community work in creches or schools for disabled children.

Perhaps not shocking as we have known the pope's position on abortion for a long time, but upsetting still. Also check out this interesting take from RH Reality Check comparing the treatment of women that have received abortions in Brazil and in Kansas.
Kansas and Brazil Punish Women for Abortion

What does Kansas have in common with the southern Brazilian state of Mato Grosso de Sul? No, not samba, tropical drinks, or a tropical rain forest.

These two distant lands are united in their desire to intimidate and harass women who have had abortions.

In Mato Grosso de Sul, a police raid of a clinic suspected of providing abortions resulted in the interrogation of nearly 10,000 women, whose records were found there, on suspicion of having abortions in 1999-2001. At this time, 36 women have been prosecuted; an additional 2,215 records have yet to be fully reviewed, but it is anticipated that approximately 1,000 women will ultimately be prosecuted and convicted. The official penalty for a woman who has willingly induced an abortion in Brazil is up to one to three years in prison. But the punishment meted out to the 36 women by the judge that ordered the investigation is community service at a local orphanage - just the kind of humiliation that should serve to shame them further.

This might seem unsurprising in a country where abortion is highly restricted, but a similar case has taken place in our own country. In Kansas, Women's Health Care Services, where Dr. George Tiller is a late term abortion provider, was ordered to turn over clinic records of about 2,000 women to police to determine if an illegal abortion procedure had occurred. Despite the considerable efforts of Kansans for Life and the invoking of a 19th century law, the clinic was able to block the subpoena and the grand jury refused to indict Dr. Tiller.

There is a key difference in the two situations: In Brazil, abortion is a criminal offense and is only permitted in cases of rape or to save the life of a woman whereas in the United States abortion is legal, though states have imposed restrictions. The criminalization of this very common procedure (1.3 million abortions take place in Brazil), results in the hospitalization of 250,000 Brazilian women with complications from unsafe abortion every year. In the United States the incidence of abortion is almost the same (in 2005, there were 1.2 million abortions in the United States), but complications and hospitalizations are extremely rare, largely because abortion is legal. But if opponents of women's rights have their way, how much longer will American women stay safe?

The harassment of abortion providers and the seizure of clinic records is simply another tactic to punish women for exercising their right to choose when and whether to be pregnant. Anyone who helps them on this path will be harassed and exposed.

It's clear from both of these cases that opponents of abortion are not simply concerned with a few restrictions here and there. They want to be sure that women and doctors alike are hauled into the public square and condemned openly for ensuring that women have control over their reproductive destinies. But research in Brazil, and elsewhere, shows that legal restrictions will not keep women from ending unwanted pregnancies. They will risk their lives to do it if safe, legal, respectful, high-quality care is not available. We know this. We also know that the easiest way to prevent deaths and injuries is to ensure that this care is available.

In Brazil, Ipas has created a campaign to get Brazilians thinking about the consequences of criminalized abortion, called "Think about it" ("Vai pensando aí," in Portuguese).

Perhaps we need to start a similar campaign in the United States. After all, what would the consequences for women be if those who drove the campaign to "out" women in the courts in Kansas were successful around the country? What if women knew that their doctor might be forced to hand over their private medical records to the courts for inspection, second guessing their medical judgment? We already have a situation where an abortion procedure is the only medical procedure ever to be adjudicated by the Supreme Court.

Are we willing to imprison women and their providers for abortion? Think about it.
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Posts: 15533

« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2008, 10:07:07 PM »

Would aborting a healthy fetus in the 3rd trimester consist of "women for exercising their right to choose when and whether to be pregnant" ?

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Posts: 9483

« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2008, 11:52:47 PM »

Interesting question GM.  Maybe you will get a direct answer.  I don't think any of my points on this topic ever did.

What I see instead is the intentionally inflammatory  "What does a state where abortion is criminalized look like?"

Who said criminalize??? The most extreme pro-life voice on the national stage was Sarah Palin and she didn't.

What a state might look like if they no longer sanction abortion, we could speculate about South Dakota if the ballot issue had not failed.  Right now, they have one "doctor" who flies from Minneapolis to Sioux Falls once a week to perform the abortions. If the law had changed in South Dakota I suppose a few cars a week would potentially have to travel roughly 20 miles further to reach inside the border of Minnesota, Iowa or Nebraska, and have the procedure performed -  safe, legal and rare. 

In order to appreciate the inconvenience, 20 miles of extra travel to have your young terminated, we would need to know how often people like to exercise this popular, unenumerated right.

Did I read the presumption in the post correctly that besides abortion law, other relevant factors between this third world country and any unspecified US red state are essentially equal?

From the Brazil piece, "Human rights and women's organisations have complained that the process has been humiliating for those involved..." - How do you think the fetus feels?

Nearly 3 million views on an Alaskan television interview, not counting broadcasts by Leno, Letterman, Colbert or Stewart,  as liberals across the country are SHOCKED by the sight of a couple of turkeys being prepared for Thanksgiving.  I wonder if Palin could move her next big interview to the garbage bin of a busy abortion clinic and we'll see who's still hungry for dinner. 

My questions unanswered: Is it alive, is it of the human species and does it have genetic code distinct from the mother?

My proposal unanswered: If it is believed to be just early, unviable tissue, why not keep the mother's right to remove it from her body, but not the right to kill it except in self defense. 

My mother's view is far more extreme -  Forget 3rd trimester she thinks the mother should have the right to choose until the 'fetus' reaches the age of 18. She believes women would make more informed choices that way.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 12:02:37 AM by DougMacG » Logged
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Posts: 2004

« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2008, 09:05:31 AM »

DougMacG, you quoted and/or said,

"What I see instead is the intentionally inflammatory  "What does a state where abortion is criminalized look like?"
Who said criminalize??? The most extreme pro-life voice on the national stage was Sarah Palin and she didn't."

"Criminalize".  Correct me if I am wrong, but in a state that prohibited abortion, while the mother may or may not be prosecuted,
if a trained doctor in a sterile hospital setting performs an abortion he could and no doubt would be considered a "criminal" and perhaps jailed,
at minimum incurring significant legal costs, and probably would lose his license to practice medicine.

As for South Dakotans "only having to drive an extra 20 miles" that is all well and good, but the city I live in has more people that the entire
state of Dakota.  And it's a lot further than 20 miles to the next state, even presuming it would be legal in the next state.  So what's a girl to do?
Revert back in time?  Go down a back alley?  Buy a coat hanger?
Or if you are rich, catch a flight to a state that permits a qualified doctor in a sterile setting to perform the abortion?  That sounds fair.

As for third trimester, I don't know of many people advocating abortion.  Even Obama stated during the debates that he is against abortion during
the third trimester unless the mother was in danger.  That seems reasonable to me.
« Reply #36 on: November 26, 2008, 03:04:22 PM »

Here are some views from various Libertarians. Some of them are pretty interesting:

Pro-choice positions

In "The Right to Abortion: A Libertarian Defense," the Association of Libertarian Feminists has a created a "systematic philosophical defense of the moral case for abortion from a libertarian perspective." It concludes: " To sacrifice existing persons for the sake of future generations, whether in slave labor camps for the utopian nightmares of Marxists or fascists, or in unwanted pregnancies, compulsory childbearing, and furtive coat hanger abortions for the edification of fetus-worshippers, is to establish hell on earth."

The website run by the Objectivist-influenced Capitalism Magazine supports the pro-choice position:

"A fetus does not have a right to be in the womb of any woman, but is there by her permission. This permission may be revoked by the woman at any time, because her womb is part of her body... There is no such thing as the right to live inside the body of another, i.e. there is no right to enslave... a woman is not a breeding pig owned by the state (or church). Even if a fetus were developed to the point of surviving as an independent being outside the pregnant woman's womb, the fetus would still not have the right to be inside the woman's womb."

The Pro-Choice Libertarians group lists the following reasons they oppose government involvement in the abortion issue:

"The fetus is not a human being with rights until it is born (based on a number of rationales) and/or only the mother confers rights on the fetus; even if the fetus has rights, and abortion is murder, the rights of the mother to evict trespassers – for whatever reasons – through abortion are greater (based on a number of rationales); the government is the problem, not the solution, including in this issue; it's my body and the government should keep its laws off it; people can decide this issue in their private, contractual communities; only voluntary means of convincing a woman to have a child are libertarian; the decision on whether it is murder is based on political power and adult women have more power; it is wrong to force a deformed baby or unwanted child to come into the world."

U.S. Libertarian Party position

The U.S. Libertarian Party political platform (2008) states: that "Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.".

Rather than pre-judging the solution in specific cases as abortion law does, groups like the Libertarian Party of New Jersey hold the real solution is for citizens to look to the voluntary and subsidiary institutions – person, family, religion – actually competent in the matter. It notes that people are often hindered from sensible acts by government policies with effects such as encouraging abortions, making adoptions difficult, hindering contraception, or turning child support into a lucrative racket.

Pro-life positions

Libertarians for Life argues that zygotes and fetuses should have the same rights as children. The organization notes that the principles of both the U.S. Libertarian Party and Objectivist ethics require some obligation to children and counter with an appeal to the non-aggression principle:

    "Non-aggression is an ongoing obligation: it is never optional for anyone, even pregnant women. If the non-aggression obligation did not apply, then earning money versus stealing it and consensual sex versus rape would be morally indifferent behaviors. The obligation not to aggress is pre-political and pre-legal. It does not arise out of contract, agreement, or the law; rather, such devices presuppose this obligation. The obligation would exist even in a state of nature. This is because the obligation comes with our human nature, and we acquire this nature at conception."

Other Positions

Harry Browne, the Libertarian Party candidate for President for 1996 and 2000, rejected the terms pro-life and pro-choice and stated about abortion: "Whatever we believe abortion is, we know one thing: government doesn't work, and it is as incapable of eliminating abortions as it is of eliminating poverty or drugs." (I'm with Harry on this one)

Dr. Walter Block, professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans, offers an alternative to the standard choice between "pro-life" and "pro-choice": what he terms "evictionism." According to this moral theory, the act of abortion must be conceptually separated into the acts of (a) eviction of the fetus from the womb; and (b) killing the fetus. Building on the libertarian stand against trespass and murder, Block maintains the legitimacy of the first act, but, in certain circumstances, not of the second act. When the following conditions are met, the woman may legally abort: (a) the fetus is not viable outside the womb; or (b) the woman has announced to the world her abandonment of the right to custody of the fetus; and (c) no one else has "homesteaded" that right by offering to care for the fetus.

This is similar to Murray Rothbard's position that "no being has a right to live, unbidden, as a parasite within or upon some person's body" and that therefore the woman has a right to eject the fetus.

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« Reply #37 on: November 26, 2008, 03:57:27 PM »

JDN,  Thanks for replying.  I am alleging that the woman would not be prosecuted.  I don't know of any serious or winning politician that would prosecute the woman.  I gave the example of Sarah Palin who was asked that point blank in her ALaska Gubernatorial debate. She said no.  We restrict where you can put your car too, but we don't jail you.  I work in a licensed profession and I disagree with many of the regulations.  If I act badly or fail to act in certain situations, there is a process where I ultimately lose my license.  A doctor performing a prohibited procedure obviously could lose his license.  That is a heavy and costly consequence and one he is choosing in that situation.  That is NOT criminalization and it is NOT lockup.  Criminalize is not a vague term. I stand by my statement that criminalization is intentionally inflammatory.

JDN, is your state further red than South Dakota that recently voted down the abortion ban.  If not, you won't have to go anywhere to have an abortion if the highest court strikes down a wrongly reasoned decision and leaves the issue rightfully for the states and the people to decide.

Third trimester? Obama's point is in contradiction to his failure to support treatment for living abortion survivors.  Please quote, link or list any pro-abortion advocacy group that favor the restriction you quote from Obama: "he is against abortion during the third trimester unless the mother was in danger."  I know of none.

SB Mig: Interesting range of liberties.  Obviously a libertarian opposes government involvement in the matter - right up until the point where they recognize that the unborn involves a life.  I had that question about Libertarians and was pointed to the view of Ron Paul who I believe is pro-life.

Quoting the ending:"Murray Rothbard's position that "no being has a right to live, unbidden, as a parasite within or upon some person's body" and that therefore the woman has a right to eject the fetus."

As a landlord I find myself ejecting parasites from time to time, but they are entitled to their day in court and even if they lose in court I am not allowed to kill them on the way out.
« Reply #38 on: November 26, 2008, 06:18:01 PM »


Do you want to rephrase your question to include a healthy mother or it that irrelevant.  Assuming you just forgot to mention the the health of the mother ---  I have no problem with not allowing abortions  for healthy women with healthy pregnancies  in the third trimester.
 I have serious problems with gathering evidence on all women  who had late term abortions .  I also have serious problems with the idea that a judge or police officer would tell  my doctor what procedures they can or can not do to save my life. 

In Illinois it is illegal to buy fireworks. It is not illegal to buy them in Indiana.  Near the 4th of July every year cars coming back over the border are searched for possession of fireworks. It is within the realm of possibility if abortions became illegal  that women who have abortions over state lines our out of the country could be searched for evidence of an abortion  crossing the border.

Criminalize means make illegal--I would agree that is somewhat inflammatory but it being used in its correct sense.

Also Here is an elected official wants to criminalize abortion even by your definition

Democrats Question Effect on Supreme Court Nominations

By Charles Babington
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 21, 2004; Page A23

Senate Republican leaders yesterday appointed two of Congress's most outspoken antiabortion members to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is bracing for potentially bruising hearings on nominations to the Supreme Court.

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Sen.-elect Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)( He is now elected) will join the panel's eight returning Republicans next month, assuming the Republican Conference follows tradition and approves the leadership's committee assignments for all 55 GOP senators. The breakdown of Judiciary will be 10 Republicans and eight Democrats.

With Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, 80, fighting cancer, and three other justices in their seventies or eighties, many lawmakers expect that President Bush will fill the Supreme Court's first vacancies in more than a decade. Battles over judicial nominations, which are subject to Senate approval, begin in Judiciary. The panel holds hearings and votes on whether to recommend confirmation by the full chamber.

Abortion is certain to be a focus of debate for any nominee to the high court, which for three decades has upheld the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the procedure nationwide. While Coburn and Brownback will be the committee's newest Republicans, their records suggest they may rank among the most outspoken on abortion.

Coburn, an obstetrician, has advocated the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions. Last year, Brownback introduced the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, which would have required a woman seeking an abortion to be told that the fetus might feel pain and that it could be given an anesthetic.

Antiabortion groups hailed yesterday's appointments, while advocates of keeping abortion legal expressed dismay. "The color code for potential threats to the Constitution just went from orange to red," said Ralph G. Neas of People for the American Way. "It's hard to believe the Judiciary Committee could go any farther to the right, but it just did."

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said: "It appears the far right is massing troops on the border of Roe v. Wade."

Conservative groups see it differently. "I'm very pleased with it, obviously," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice. "Sam Brownback and Tom Coburn are friends of ours."

The Judiciary Committee occasionally holds fiercely contested hearings, such as the 1991 showdown between Clarence Thomas and lawyer Anita Hill, who accused him of sexual harassment. Thomas was confirmed for the Supreme Court.

The committee's new chairman, Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), angered some fellow Republicans last month when he suggested Bush might have difficulty winning confirmation of judges who oppose abortion rights. Specter kept his post by pledging to move promptly to send Bush's nominations to the Senate floor.

"I'm sure Senators Brownback and Coburn will ably assist Chairman Specter in that task," Sekulow said yesterday.

Brownback and Coburn replace Sens. Larry E. Craig (Idaho) and Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), who will shift to other committees. Craig and Chambliss are solid conservatives but are not as focused on abortion as their replacements are. Democrats, who lost four net Senate seats last month, will not replace the retiring Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) on the committee. Their eight remaining members will stay on the panel.

In other Republican assignments announced yesterday, Chambliss will chair the Agriculture Committee, Thad Cochran (Miss.) will chair Appropriations and Pat Roberts (Kan.) will remain as head of the intelligence committee. Ted Stevens (Alaska) will chair the Commerce Committee, and John McCain (Ariz.) will chair Indian Affairs. The changes generally were prompted by the GOP's self-imposed term limits for chairmen.

Doug-- I need to find the post where I originally answered your questions and I will repost it.
« Reply #39 on: November 26, 2008, 06:36:18 PM »

JDN -- Thank you for your comments on criminalization I agree.

 DougMacG M
"My questions unanswered: Is it alive, is it of the human species and does it have genetic code distinct from the mother?

My proposal unanswered: If it is believed to be just early, unviable tissue, why not keep the mother's right to remove it from her body, but not the right to kill it except in self defense."

I believe I answered this as well Born alive infants are protected as they should be. Obama was wrong not to pass that law.   All abortions that are not for the protections of the mothers health and or severe defects  of the baby happen months before fetal viability.  You can't get a late term abortion  in this country unless  your life is at risk or there is severe birth defects.  Also Late Term is after 12 weeks fetal  viability is not untill week 20. Your proposal has no relation to the reality of abortion today. 

Here is my answer earlier

Unique DNA is not a particularly great measure of individual personhood.
Egg and Sperm have unique DNA different  from their parents. I'm assuming you would not give an unfertilized egg that same rights as a fertilized egg.  Identical twins have identical DNA and are not considered one person.

You could also consider sperm  alive of the human species and its genetic code is distinct

A fetus is a potential human life and as such has great value but not that same value as a human being. 

According to Judaism  after human beings ate the fruit  one of the punishments was the choice between good and evil was no  longer  always clear.   A decision is not clearly   good or evil there are always shades of grey in our eyes at least .

Here is my black and white problem --
Either A women are equal have a right to contol their body or B women  are vessels/objects

I think a wonderful thing if a women chose to be vessel for a child but it has to be a choice

You really have to choice women or the unborn someone has to loose.   It is an impossibility for both to have equal rights. 

« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 10:05:49 PM by rachelg » Logged
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« Reply #40 on: November 26, 2008, 10:04:50 PM »


In response to your inquiry, Obama in the third debate stated that "he would support legal restrictions on third-trimester abortions as long as
there is an exception for the health of the mother."  That seems reasonable to me.

As to the "criminal" aspect, if abortion is illegal, sadly, although draconian, losing his license is the least of a physician's worry; a doctor can and will be arrested for performing
an illegal act and may end up serving serious time in jail; he truly does become a criminal...
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« Reply #41 on: November 26, 2008, 10:25:19 PM »


Do you want to rephrase your question to include a healthy mother or it that irrelevant. 

**I think that is relevant. Reality often involves making hard choices, including ones like that.**

Assuming you just forgot to mention the the health of the mother ---  I have no problem with not allowing abortions  for healthy women with healthy pregnancies  in the third trimester.

**So that can be criminalized then?**

 I have serious problems with gathering evidence on all women  who had late term abortions .  I also have serious problems with the idea that a judge or police officer would tell  my doctor what procedures they can or can not do to save my life. 

**Police officers enforce the laws on the books. Judges are also supposed to rule based on the laws and constitution, though activist judges like to move beyond that to create "rights" that fit their personal political agenda. An abortion to save a life is one thing, an elective abortion is very different.**

In Illinois it is illegal to buy fireworks. It is not illegal to buy them in Indiana.  Near the 4th of July every year cars coming back over the border are searched for possession of fireworks. It is within the realm of possibility if abortions became illegal  that women who have abortions over state lines our out of the country could be searched for evidence of an abortion  crossing the border.

**Really? How exactly would these searches be done?**

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« Reply #42 on: December 02, 2008, 09:05:44 AM »

During this little abortion debate the horrific attacks of Mumbai broke out which could be world changing.  Death toll was 174.  Now back for a moment to aborting 20,000 unrecognizable blobs of tissue per week in the US, 98% for convenience reasons.

There were some questions and answers on abortion.  One reply related to what I called unanswered questions but what I saw was a re-post of why the poster thinks my questions are unworthy of answer.

What is there to debate anyway with those who don't acknowledge that a life involved.  If not for that, I certainly don't want government involvement either in decisions that affect no one else.

The question of criminalization keeps coming up. Maybe our state is unique but state licensing is civil, not criminal and our state makes a clear distinction in law between conduct that is prohibited and conduct that is criminal.
2008 Minnesota Statutes -
Subdivision 1.Crime.  "Crime" means conduct which is prohibited by statute and for which the actor may be sentenced to imprisonment, with or without a fine.
Subd. 4a."Petty misdemeanor" means a petty offense which is prohibited by statute, which does not constitute a crime and for which a sentence of a fine of not more than $300 may be imposed."

We were told that it is meaningless to say that a fetus is alive and human because so is a sperm.  I'm sorry for trying to keep things simple  but when I asked about a fetus having a distinct genetic code from the mother, I meant a COMPLETE SET of genetic code.  I'm no expert but highly doubt that a sperm has a complete set of human code ready to grow into what we at least later recognize as a person.  It's hard for me to believe the poster seriously sees a fetus as genetically more like an sperm than like an infant.  The sperm is missing a few things.  What is a fetus missing?  Food, water, nurturing, time to develop?  So is an infant. 

We are told a fetus at the stage of most abortions is un-viable so killing it is irrelevant, but why do they kill it before they remove it? You wouldn't want to say for humane reasons or so that it won't feel pain or suffer, like a human.  It is killed inside the mother for legal, not medical reasons.   If you kill it after you remove it from the mother you have committed what? (a crime)  Because it is a what? (a person?)

The news story of the moment here locally is of a girl, now 19, who hid her pregnancy, delivered it herself, hid the birth, stabbed the baby, hid the remains, got caught and was just sentenced to life in prison.

Somehow we almost all agree stabbing the newborn is a horrific crime, yet only minutes earlier the stabbing would be a constitutionally protected (Huh), legal of her personal privacy and dignity.  I notice no reply to GM's question about 'criminalizing' 3rd term abortions.  Does any abortion extremist ever admit that while the earliest fetus may look nothing special, it is a life and that becomes obvious gradually, recognizable and worthy of protection as the new life that it is.  We value the life and health of the mother higher but in cases like this it would be easy to hold the unknown value of the innocent unborn or newly born higher than the better known value and deficient character of the convicted killer if we are to play God with these choices.

I find Rachel's view: "Either A women are equal have a right to control their body or B women  are vessels/objects" to be even more extreme than mine, that we ought to recognize a human life and treat it with dignity.  IMO, the woman in the story was still the 'vessel' after she cut the cord and the infant was still un-viable without the support of the mother.

Besides the plight of the unborn, frankly I'm amazed and offended with the position that are not 'equal' unless men have zero rights in the matter.  With zero rights, I really shouldn't be discussing this. 
« Last Edit: December 02, 2008, 11:09:36 AM by DougMacG » Logged
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« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2008, 10:59:23 AM »


I am only addressing the legal "criminal" issue.

I don't know MN law, nor am I an attorney, but I think given Roe v. Wade it is difficult to "criminalize" or even make abortion illegal.
But what if Roe v. Wade was overturned as pro-life supporters hope?  While I don't think many people want to call the woman a "criminal",
they will prosecute the physician!  I was raised in Wisconsin.  In Wisconsin, the physician could be jailed for 15 years and fined $5000.00 for
performing an illegal abortion.  And, of course he would lose his license.  I think many states would/did have draconian punishments,
criminal punishments, for the physician in pre Roe v. Wade.  And if overturned, many states might/will revert back to criminalizing the
act of abortion and severely punishing the physician.  It's truly not just a simple licensing issue, but a very real concern.
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Posts: 9483

« Reply #44 on: December 02, 2008, 12:17:10 PM »

Sorry JDN but I stipulated non-criminalization as clearly as I could at least THREE TIMES in this discussion.  You can keep bringing it up with my name attached but it looks like a straw man argument to me when you do.  Can't we trust the people of the states and their representatives to set proportional penalties and if not which other areas of law should be taken from the states?

Contrary to your previous post, acts can be prohibited without being criminalized - even in Wisconsin. (Wisc. Statute 939.12) 

If this wrongly decided case was overturned, yes we might have an overly-restrictive law passed by an individual state.  On the flip-side, you would also still have the power to make all abortions legal, free of expense and free of any restrictions in all 50 states, but done through the legislative process as specified in the constitution.

Curious, was the life imprisonment sentence handed to this woman for committing an act that was perfectly legal for her to do just seconds earlier inside the womb also 'draconian'?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2008, 12:20:55 PM by DougMacG » Logged
« Reply #45 on: December 02, 2008, 08:08:43 PM »


The consequences of a police officer a judge deciding whether or not I can get a lifesaving procedure is not acceptable to me.
I  have no problem with the fact that in the case of a healthy mother and healthy baby  late term abortions are currently not performed. I have problem with a Kansas trying to act in this particular situation like a third world county.

The nightmare scenario I  imagining  at  the border  would be something like checking luggage  for clothing with blood or  carrying  lots of sanitary napkins etc.


You don't have to like me or my arguments and you can think I am not very bright or immoral.

I believe I answered the question you asked. It is not sophistry I believe that both a sperm and a fertilized egg are potential  human life not actual. It is much more likely with a fertilized egg than just a sperm to get a baby at the end of the day but neither  are guaranteed to result  in viable offspring .  At  least 25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Is that as upsetting to you as it would be if 25% of all 4 years old droped dead in a nine month period. I'm not denying   there is great pain in miscarriage or that there  is loss with an abortion but it is not the same the death/murder of a child.

You never answered the question  if genes are what make you a human being  are identical twins a then counted as one person because they have identical genes?

 I don't see humanness or personhood  as entirely  being defined by genes.  I think murdering another person is wrong because all human being are created in G-d's image not because we share the same genes. I don't feel some kind of loyalty to genes of the human race. Gorillas share a lot genes with us should they be protected  for that reason? You are really arguing about souls not genes.    Religiously we disagree.

The born infant actually does not need a mother to survive--  a father with formula would able to raise that child. Inside the mothers womb is a different issue altogether the baby can't survive without using great resources from the mother.  The unborn life can not be separated from the mothers life. A born infant  life can be separated from the mother.  I see inside and outside  the mothers womb as difference in essence not in location.  Pregnant women who are murdered are tragedies period. It doesn't matter if it happens when the women is  2 months pregnant  or 8 and half months.  In a sad related note-- the number one cause of death for a pregnant women may be murder.   

The woman you spoke of would not have been able to get an abortion at that point and would not have been able to kill the the baby inside of her body without killing or seriously injuring herself.   It is a straw man attack.   Since she was willing to carry if for nine months and then give birth she  should have giving the baby up for adoption. 

Also you have never really answered the question that outlawing abortion only succeeds in  increasing the number of  dead women  not in decreasing abortions.    Legal or illegal abortion rates compare. If abortion is illegal or a woman can't get an abortion  from a doctor because of licensing  issues --women will die from  back alley abortions.    I am not saying you  are motivated by the fact that there will be more dead woman just that it would be the consequence of your trying to save the unborn.

I'm sorry it offends you that you don't have legal rights to the bodies of women you have slept  with-- it offends me that you think you should.   
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« Reply #46 on: December 02, 2008, 11:19:59 PM »

Rachel, I am amazed by your words and their implication, that it's not a life, not a minute before birth.  Sorry I don't see an analogy between willful killing (choice) and the quirk of God's creation that identical twins have identical genetic code and I don't understand comparing any other tragedy whether it is traffic accidents, earthquakes or miscarriages with willfully slaughtering your young.

"You are really arguing about souls not genes."   - Agree.  "Religiously we disagree." -   I don't think our core beliefs are much different; I think you aren't listening to yours. sad

"The born infant actually does not need a mother to survive" - My point related to a specific woman, and I attached the link.  She gave birth in private and you are wrong in this case -  THAT infant needed THAT mom to want her to live... just like all fetuses headed for abortion. 

I take from your writing that a 6th month or 24th week 'little one' who is killed on a contract from her mother to be an equal moral event to a sperm discarded without the opportunity to become a new life.  Like I said, I am amazed.  Would you ever acknowledge that a fetus partially developed is an amazing new life and deserves at least some benefit of a doubt of a chance with at least a little protection during gestation a day or two before the 3rd trimester?

Quoting Rachel: "Inside the mothers womb is a different issue altogether the baby can't survive without using great resources from the mother.  The unborn life can not be separated from the mothers life. A born infant  life can be separated from the mother."

 - Denial logic illustrated IMO. For as hard as people try to control the words that define this issue, that was quite a slip-up.  Stephen Breyer made that same error, accidentally referring to the woman carrying the unwanted cellular tissue in her womb a "mother".  Maybe she already had kids and that's why he referred to her as a mother, but how did he know that?  The woman is a mother of WHAT???  In your case you have referred to the fetus as  "the baby" AND the woman as "the mother".  Don't we all know that there is a life involved?

I don't think I'm smarter or more moral than you. I think you know at some level that it is a life and jump all around from rape and incest to 3rd trimesters, viability and identical twins to avoid facing that reality.

I remember hearing from a mother who took her daughter to a peaceful demonstration at an abortion clinic.  She was careful to explain to her daughter that although we believe the fetus is a life and deserving of protection, please don't disrespect the doctors at the clinic.  In their mind it is not the taking of a human life because they don't recognize the unborn as a live, human being.  To that, the daughter responded the obvious: " what else would it be?"  - Doug

« Last Edit: December 03, 2008, 12:06:06 PM by DougMacG » Logged
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« Reply #47 on: December 03, 2008, 08:06:06 PM »


The consequences of a police officer a judge deciding whether or not I can get a lifesaving procedure is not acceptable to me.
I  have no problem with the fact that in the case of a healthy mother and healthy baby  late term abortions are currently not performed. I have problem with a Kansas trying to act in this particular situation like a third world county.

The nightmare scenario I  imagining  at  the border  would be something like checking luggage  for clothing with blood or  carrying  lots of sanitary napkins etc.

**Let me dispel your fears. First, given that women have menstual cycles, the clothing with blood and sanitary napkins are hardly evidentiary items, secondly, being able to conduct such invasive searches with consent or a warrant is pretty much impossible. Thirdly, the state that bans abortion would not have the jurisdiction to prosecute a person that had an abortion in a state where it is legal. As an example, the state of Utah has strict laws against gambling, but cannot do anything to the large number of Utah residents that cross into Nevada to gamble.**

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Posts: 2004

« Reply #48 on: December 03, 2008, 08:42:31 PM »

"secondly, being able to conduct such invasive searches with consent or a warrant is pretty much impossible."

I don't understand;
at the border or at even the airport they they seem to have the "right" and do conduct "invasive" searches all the time
without a warrant.

I do agree that one cannot "prosecute a person that had an abortion in a state where it is legal" but what if a person
crossed a border to a state from and to where abortion is illegal?  Prosecution could result; the same as in your gambling example
if the person gambled in a state where gambling was illegal and went to Utah.
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Posts: 15533

« Reply #49 on: December 03, 2008, 09:03:24 PM »

"secondly, being able to conduct such invasive searches with consent or a warrant is pretty much impossible."

I don't understand;
at the border or at even the airport they they seem to have the "right" and do conduct "invasive" searches all the time
without a warrant.

**Cross into the US at the border or international port of entry and you are subject to very invasive search as a result of entering the US from another nation. Going through security screening by the TSA at the airport is a consent search. You are consenting to being searched in exchange for being allowed to enter the "sterile area" of the airport. You can refuse a search, but then cannot enter the boarding area for your flight.**

I do agree that one cannot "prosecute a person that had an abortion in a state where it is legal" but what if a person
crossed a border to a state from and to where abortion is illegal?  Prosecution could result; the same as in your gambling example
if the person gambled in a state where gambling was illegal and went to Utah.

**Uhhhhh.... No. The state only has jurisdiction over what occures within the boundaries of the state. Utah can charge people for patronizing a prostitute in Utah, but has no jurisdiction over someone that patronizes a prostitute in a legal brothel in Nevada.**
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