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DougMacG
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« on: September 15, 2008, 12:20:28 AM »

Respectfully answering a post that opposed Palin on issues and listed "choice" first, I thought it was time to open the unmentionable topic of abortion.

We avoid the issue IMO by just calling it "choice".  I'm for choice... I favor choice in schools. trade, social security, health care, drilling, disaster relief, bridges to nowhere and putting men on the moon. Just not about respecting innocent human life.

Former President Clinton called abortion a constitutional right that should be safe, legal and rare.  What other constitutional rights should be rare? Freedom of speech? Right to assemble? Freedom of religion? Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure?  The right to vote? I can't think of another individual right that should be rare.

Sen. Kerry and others covered it by saying they are personally opposed to abortion but favor abortion rights.  Again, what other great right would they be personally opposed to?  I can't think of one.

Sen. Biden said a week ago on Meet the Press that he believes that life begins at conception, but that isn't relevant to public policy because it comes from his faith.

But it doesn't come only from faith.  We know through science that that life begins at conception.

President Reagan said in the 1980s we know 3 things about a fetus:

1) The fetus (little one) is alive

2) It is of the human species, and

3) It has separate and distinct genetic code from the mother or father.

Are not all three of these true???

The discussion often comes back to incest, rape and the life of the mother, but most anti-abortion proposals include exceptions.  I recall reading abortion reason statistics published by planned parenthood and concluding that about 98% of the abortions are for reasons I see as for convenience. 

Like it or not, Americans are using abortion as a form of birth control.

What about men?  They have a huge stake and have absolutely no say in the process. Equal protection?  I don't think so.

To me it's also personal - my daughter is a survivor of abortion.  By luck or miracle, she missed her appointment.  Now 14, she is making her little impact on the world and the people she touches.  When I look back I just can't see that she was only a potential human life.

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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2008, 02:55:30 PM »

I think the judicial "penumbra" and "emanation" hocus pocus within Roe v. Wade ensured that abortion will remain a divisive issue for decades to come and am astounded that almost all those who can find an unenumerated right to privacy they then narrowly extrapolate to cover abortion and little else, can't find an enumerated right to keep and bear arms. I think the country would have been better served if the topic had been dealt with legislatively rather than by judicial sleight of hand and worry this sort of add water and stir result serves to ultimately undermine all civil protections.

With that said, as an off brand libertarian, I'm loathe to tell women that they are bound by law to let a creature grow inside of them. I could ruminate further, but it's been done far better than I can in a remarkable treatise by Judith Jarvis Thomson, which I'm appending below:


Judith Jarvis Thomson: A Defense of Abortion
 
From Philosophy & Public Affairs, Vol. 1, no. 1 (Fall 1971).
 
(Reprinted in "Intervention and Reflection: Basic Issues in Medical Ethics," 5th ed., ed. Ronald Munson (Belmont; Wadsworth 1996). pp 69-80.)
 
Most opposition to abortion relies on the premise that the fetus is a human being, a person, from the moment of conception. The premise is argued for, but, as I think, not well. Take, for example, the most common argument. We are asked to notice that the development of a human being from conception through birth into childhood is continuous; then it is said that to draw a line, to choose a point in this development and say "before this point the thing is not a person, after this point it is a person" is to make an arbitrary choice, a choice for which in the nature of things no good reason can be given. It is concluded that the fetus is. or anyway that we had better say it is, a person from the moment of conception. But this conclusion does not follow. Similar things might be said about the development of an acorn into an oak trees, and it does not follow that acorns are oak trees, or that we had better say they are. Arguments of this form are sometimes called "slippery slope arguments"--the phrase is perhaps self-explanatory--and it is dismaying that opponents of abortion rely on them so heavily and uncritically.
 
I am inclined to agree, however, that the prospects for "drawing a line" in the development of the fetus look dim. I am inclined to think also that we shall probably have to agree that the fetus has already become a human person well before birth. Indeed, it comes as a surprise when one first learns how early in its life it begins to acquire human characteristics. By the tenth week, for example, it already has a face, arms and less, fingers and toes; it has internal organs, and brain activity is detectable. On the other hand, I think that the premise is false, that the fetus is not a person from the moment of conception. A newly fertilized ovum, a newly implanted clump of cells, is no more a person than an acorn is an oak tree. But I shall not discuss any of this. For it seems to me to be of great interest to ask what happens if, for the sake of argument, we allow the premise. How, precisely, are we supposed to get from there to the conclusion that abortion is morally impermissible? Opponents of abortion commonly spend most of their time establishing that the fetus is a person, and hardly anytime explaining the step from there to the impermissibility of abortion. Perhaps they think the step too simple and obvious to require much comment. Or perhaps instead they are simply being economical in argument. Many of those who defend abortion rely on the premise that the fetus is not a person, but only a bit of tissue that will become a person at birth; and why pay out more arguments than you have to? Whatever the explanation, I suggest that the step they take is neither easy nor obvious, that it calls for closer examination than it is commonly given, and that when we do give it this closer examination we shall feel inclined to reject it.
 
I propose, then, that we grant that the fetus is a person from the moment of conception. How does the argument go from here? Something like this, I take it. Every person has a right to life. So the fetus has a right to life. No doubt the mother has a right to decide what shall happen in and to her body; everyone would grant that. But surely a person's right to life is stronger and more stringent than the mother's right to decide what happens in and to her body, and so outweighs it. So the fetus may not be killed; an abortion may not be performed.
 
It sounds plausible. But now let me ask you to imagine this. You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. The director of the hospital now tells you, "Look, we're sorry the Society of Music Lovers did this to you--we would never have permitted it if we had known. But still, they did it, and the violinist is now plugged into you. To unplug you would be to kill him. But never mind, it's only for nine months. By then he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you." Is it morally incumbent on you to accede to this situation? No doubt it would be very nice of you if you did, a great kindness. But do you have to accede to it? What if it were not nine months, but nine years? Or longer still? What if the director of the hospital says. "Tough luck. I agree. but now you've got to stay in bed, with the violinist plugged into you, for the rest of your life. Because remember this. All persons have a right to life, and violinists are persons. Granted you have a right to decide what happens in and to your body, but a person's right to life outweighs your right to decide what happens in and to your body. So you cannot ever be unplugged from him." I imagine you would regard this as outrageous, which suggests that something really is wrong with that plausible-sounding argument I mentioned a moment ago.
 
In this case, of course, you were kidnapped, you didn't volunteer for the operation that plugged the violinist into your kidneys. Can those who oppose abortion on the ground I mentioned make an exception for a pregnancy due to rape? Certainly. They can say that persons have a right to life only if they didn't come into existence because of rape; or they can say that all persons have a right to life, but that some have less of a right to life than others, in particular, that those who came into existence because of rape have less. But these statements have a rather unpleasant sound. Surely the question of whether you have a right to life at all, or how much of it you have, shouldn't turn on the question of whether or not you are a product of a rape. And in fact the people who oppose abortion on the ground I mentioned do not make this distinction, and hence do not make an exception in case of rape.
 
Nor do they make an exception for a case in which the mother has to spend the nine months of her pregnancy in bed. They would agree that would be a great pity, and hard on the mother; but all the same, all persons have a right to life, the fetus is a person, and so on. I suspect, in fact, that they would not make an exception for a case in which, miraculously enough, the pregnancy went on for nine years, or even the rest of the mother's life.
 
Some won't even make an exception for a case in which continuation of the pregnancy is likely to shorten the mother's life, they regard abortion as impermissible even to save the mother's life. Such cases are nowadays very rare, and many opponents of abortion do not accept this extreme view. All the same, it is a good place to begin: a number of points of interest come out in respect to it.
 
1.
Let us call the view that abortion is impermissible even to save the mother's life "the extreme view." I want to suggest first that it does not issue from the argument I mentioned earlier without the addition of some fairly powerful premises. Suppose a woman has become pregnant, and now learns that she has a cardiac condition such that she will die if she carries the baby to term. What may be done for her? The fetus, being to life, but as the mother is a person too, so has she a right to life. Presumably they have an equal right to life. How is it supposed to come out that an abortion may not be performed? If mother and child have an equal right to life, shouldn't we perhaps flip a coin? Or should we add to the mother's right to life her right to decide what happens in and to her body, which everybody seems to be ready to grant--the sum of her rights now outweighing the fetus's right to life?
 
The most familiar argument here is the following. We are told that performing the abortion would he directly killings the child, whereas doing nothing would not be killing the mother, but only letting her die. Moreover, in killing the child, one would be killing an innocent person, for the child has committed no crime, and is not aiming at his mother's death. And then there are a variety of ways in which this might be continued. (1) But as directly killing an innocent person is always and absolutely impermissible, an abortion may not be performed. Or, (2) as directly killing an innocent person is murder, and murder is always and absolutely impermissible, an abortion may not be performed. Or, (3) as one's duty to refrain from directly killing an innocent person is more stringent than one's duty to keep a person from dying, an abortion may not be performed. Or, (4) if one's only options are directly killing an innocent person or letting a person die, one must prefer letting the person die, and thus an abortion may not be performed.
 
Some people seem to have thought that these are not further premises which must be added if the conclusion is to be reached, but that they follow from the very fact that an innocent person has a right to life. But this seems to me to be a mistake, and perhaps the simplest way to show this is to bring out that while we must certainly grant that innocent persons have a right to life, the theses in (1) through (4) are all false. Take (2), for example. If directly killing an innocent person is murder, and thus is impermissible, then the mother's directly killing the innocent person inside her is murder, and thus is impermissible. But it cannot seriously be thought to be murder if the mother performs an abortion on herself to save her life. It cannot seriously be said that she must refrain, that she must sit passively by and wait for her death. Let us look again at the case of you and the violinist There you are, in bed with the violinist, and the director of the hospital says to you, "It's all most distressing, and I deeply sympathize, but you see this is putting an additional strain on your kidneys, and you'll be dead within the month. But you have to stay where you are all the same. because unplugging you would be directly killing an innocent violinist, and that's murder, and that's impermissible." If anything in the world is true, it is that you do not commit murder, you do not do what is impermissible, if you reach around to your back and unplug yourself from that violinist to save your life.
 
The main focus of attention in writings on abortion has been on what a third party may or may not do in answer to a request from a woman for an abortion. This is in a way understandable. Things being as they are, there isn't much a woman can safely do to abort herself. So the question asked is what a third party may do, and what the mother may do, if it is mentioned at all, if deduced, almost as an afterthought, from what it is concluded that third parties may do. But it seems to me that to treat the matter in this way is to refuse to grant to the mother that very status of person which is so firmly insisted on for the fetus. For we cannot simply read off what a person may do from what a third party may do. Suppose you filed yourself trapped in a tiny house with a growing child. I mean a very tiny house, and a rapidly growing child--you are already up against the wall of the house and in a few minutes you'll be crushed to death. The child on the other hand won't be crushed to death; if nothing is done to stop him from growing he'll be hurt, but in the end he'll simply burst open the house and walk out a free man. Now I could well understand it if a bystander were to say. "There's nothing we can do for you. We cannot choose between your life and his, we cannot be the ones to decide who is to live, we cannot intervene." But it cannot be concluded that you too can do nothing, that you cannot attack it to save your life. However innocent the child may be, you do not have to wait passively while it crushes you to death Perhaps a pregnant woman is vaguely felt to have the status of house, to which we don't allow the right of self-defense. But if the woman houses the child, it should be remembered that she is a person who houses it.
 
I should perhaps stop to say explicitly that I am not claiming that people have a right to do anything whatever to save their lives. I think, rather, that there are drastic limits to the right of self-defense. If someone threatens you with death unless you torture someone else to death, I think you have not the right, even to save your life, to do so. But the case under consideration here is very different. In our case there are only two people involved, one whose life is threatened, and one who threatens it. Both are innocent: the one who is threatened is not threatened because of any fault, the one who threatens does not threaten because of any fault. For this reason we may feel that we bystanders cannot interfere. But the person threatened can.
 
In sum, a woman surely can defend her life against the threat to it posed by the unborn child, even if doing so involves its death. And this shows not merely that the theses in (1) through (4) are false; it shows also that the extreme view of abortion is false, and so we need not canvass any other possible ways of arriving at it from the argument I mentioned at the outset.
 
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2008, 02:56:16 PM »

2.
The extreme view could of course be weakened to say that while abortion is permissible to save the mother's life, it may not be performed by a third party, but only by the mother herself. But this cannot be right either. For what we have to keep in mind is that the mother and the unborn child are not like two tenants in a small house which has, by an unfortunate mistake, been rented to both: the mother owns the house. The fact that she does adds to the offensiveness of deducing that the mother can do nothing from the supposition that third parties can do nothing. But it does more than this: it casts a bright light on the supposition that third parties can do nothing. Certainly it lets us see that a third party who says "I cannot choose between you" is fooling himself if he thinks this is impartiality. If Jones has found and fastened on a certain coat, which he needs to keep him from freezing, but which Smith also needs to keep him from freezing, then it is not impartiality that says "I cannot choose between you" when Smith owns the coat. Women have said again and again "This body is my body!" and they have reason to feel angry, reason to feel that it has been like shouting into the wind. Smith, after all, is hardly likely to bless us if we say to him, "Of course it's your coat, anybody would grant that it is. But no one may choose between you and Jones who is to have it."
 
We should really ask what it is that says "no one may choose" in the face of the fact that the body that houses the child is the mother's body. It may be simply a failure to appreciate this fact. But it may be something more interesting, namely the sense that one has a right to refuse to lay hands on people, even where it would be just and fair to do so, even where justice seems to require that somebody do so. Thus justice might call for somebody to get Smith's coat back from Jones, and yet you have a right to refuse to be the one to lay hands on Jones, a right to refuse to do physical violence to him. This, I think, must be granted. But then what should be said is not "no one may choose," but only "I cannot choose," and indeed not even this, but "I will not act," leaving it open that somebody else can or should, and in particular that anyone in a position of authority, with the job of securing people's rights, both can and should. So this is no difficulty. I have not been arguing that any given third party must accede to the mother's request that he perform an abortion to save her life, but only that he may.
 
I suppose that in some views of human life the mother's body is only on loan to her, the loan not being one which gives her any prior claim to it. One who held this view might well think it impartiality to say "I cannot choose." But I shall simply ignore this possibility. My own view is that if a human being has any just, prior claim to anything at all, he has a just, prior claim to his own body. And perhaps this needn't be argued for here anyway, since, as I mentioned, the arguments against abortion we are looking at do grant that the woman has a right to decide what happens in and to her body. But although they do grant it, I have tried to show that they do not take seriously what is done in granting it. I suggest the same thing will reappear even more clearly when we turn away from cases in which the mother's life is at stake, and attend, as I propose we now do, to the vastly more common cases in which a woman wants an abortion for some less weighty reason than preserving her own life.
 
3.
Where the mother s life is not at stake, the argument I mentioned at the outset seems to have a much stronger pull. "Everyone has a right to life, so the unborn person has a right to life." And isn't the child's right to life weightier than anything other than the mother's own right to life, which she might put forward as ground for an abortion?
 
This argument treats the right to life as if it were unproblematic. It is not, and this seems to me to be precisely the source of the mistake.
 
For we should now, at long last, ask what it comes to, to have a right to life. In some views having a right to life includes having a right to be given at least the bare minimum one needs for continued life. But suppose that what in fact IS the bare minimum a man needs for continued life is something he has no right at all to be given? If I am sick unto death, and the only thing that will save my life is the touch of Henry Fonda's cool hand on my fevered brow. then all the same, I have no right to be given the touch of Henry Fonda's cool hand on my fevered brow. It would be frightfully nice of him to fly in from the West Coast to provide it. It would be less nice, though no doubt well meant, if my friends flew out to the West coast and brought Henry Fonda back with them. But I have no right at all against anybody that he should do this for me. Or again, to return to the story I told earlier, the fact that for continued life the violinist needs the continued use of your kidneys does not establish that he has a right to be given the continued use of your kidneys. He certainly has no right against you that you should give him continued use of your kidneys. For nobody has any right to use your kidneys unless you give him this right--if you do allow him to go on using your kidneys, this is a kindness on your part, and not something he can claim from you as his due. Nor has he any right against anybody else that they should give him continued use of your kidneys. Certainly he had no right against the Society of Music Lovers that they should plug him into you in the first place. And if you now start to unplug yourself, having learned that you will otherwise have to spend nine years in bed with him, there is nobody in the world who must try to prevent you, in order to see to it that he is given some thing he has a right to be given.
 
Some people are rather stricter about the right to life. In their view, it does not include the right to be given anything, but amounts to, and only to, the right not to be killed by anybody. But here a related difficulty arises. If everybody is to refrain from killing that violinist, then everybody must refrain from doing a great many different sorts of things. Everybody must refrain from slitting his throat, everybody must refrain from shooting him--and everybody must refrain from unplugging you from him. But does he have a right against everybody that they shall refrain from unplugging you frolic him? To refrain from doing this is to allow him to continue to use your kidneys. It could be argued that he has a right against us that we should allow him to continue to use your kidneys. That is, while he had no right against us that we should give him the use of your kidneys, it might be argued that he anyway has a right against us that we shall not now intervene and deprive him Of the use of your kidneys. I shall come back to third-party interventions later. But certainly the violinist has no right against you that you shall allow him to continue to use your kidneys. As I said, if you do allow him to use them, it is a kindness on your part, and not something you owe him.
 
The difficulty I point to here is not peculiar to the right of life. It reappears in connection with all the other natural rights, and it is something which an adequate account of rights must deal with. For present purposes it is enough just to draw attention to it. But I would stress that I am not arguing that people do not have a right to life--quite to the contrary, it seems to me that the primary control we must place on the acceptability of an account of rights is that it should turn out in that account to be a truth that all persons have a right to life. I am arguing only that having a right to life does not guarantee having either a right to be given the use of or a right to be allowed continued use of another person s body--even if one needs it for life itself. So the right to life will not serve the opponents of abortion in the very simple and clear way in which they seem to have thought it would.
 
4.
There is another way to bring out the difficulty. In the most ordinary sort of case, to deprive someone of what he has a right to is to treat him unjustly. Suppose a boy and his small brother are jointly given a box of chocolates for Christmas. If the older boy takes the box and refuses to give his brother any of the chocolates, he is unjust to him, for the brother has been given a right to half of them. But suppose that, having learned that otherwise it means nine years in bed with that violinist, you unplug yourself from him. You surely are not being unjust to him, for you gave him no right to use your kidneys, and no one else can have given him any such right. But we have to notice that in unplugging yourself, you are killing him; and violinists, like everybody else, have a right to life, and thus in the view we were considering just now, the right not to be killed. So here you do what he supposedly has a right you shall not do, but you do not act unjustly to him in doing it.
 
The emendation which may be made at this point is this: the right to life consists not in the right not to be killed, but rather in the right not to be killed unjustly. This runs a risk of circularity, but never mind: it would enable us to square the fact that the violinist has a right to life with the fact that you do not act unjustly toward him in unplugging yourself, thereby killing him. For if you do not kill him unjustly, you do not violate his right to life, and so it is no wonder you do him no injustice.
 
But if this emendation is accepted, the gap in the argument against abortion stares us plainly in the face: it is by no means enough to show that the fetus is a person, and to remind us that all persons have a right to life--we need to be shown also that killing the fetus violates its right to life, i.e., that abortion is unjust killing. And is it?

I suppose we may take it as a datum that in a case of pregnancy due to rape the mother has not given the unborn person a right to the use of her body for food and shelter. Indeed, in what pregnancy could it be supposed that the mother has given the unborn person such a right? It is not as if there are unborn persons drifting about the world, to whom a woman who wants a child says I invite you in."
 
But it might be argued that there are other ways one can have acquired a right to the use of another person's body than by having been invited to use it by that person. Suppose a woman voluntarily indulges in intercourse, knowing of the chance it will issue in pregnancy, and then she does become pregnant; is she not in part responsible for the presence, in fact the very existence, of the unborn person inside? No doubt she did not invite it in. But doesn't her partial responsibility for its being there itself give it a right to the use of her body? If so, then her aborting it would be more like the boys taking away the chocolates, and less like your unplugging yourself from the violinist--doing so would be depriving it of what it does have a right to, and thus would be doing it an injustice.
 
And then, too, it might be asked whether or not she can kill it even to save her own life: If she voluntarily called it into existence, how can she now kill it, even in self-defense?
 
The first thing to be said about this is that it is something new. Opponents of abortion have been so concerned to make out the independence of the fetus, in order to establish that it has a right to life, just as its mother does, that they have tended to overlook the possible support they might gain from making out that the fetus is dependent on the mother, in order to establish that she has a special kind of responsibility for it, a responsibility that gives it rights against her which are not possessed by any independent person--such as an ailing violinist who is a stranger to her.
 
On the other hand, this argument would give the unborn person a right to its mother's body only if her pregnancy resulted from a voluntary act, undertaken in full knowledge of the chance a pregnancy might result from it. It would leave out entirely the unborn person whose existence is due to rape. Pending the availability of some further argument, then, we would be left with the conclusion that unborn persons whose existence is due to rape have no right to the use of their mothers' bodies, and thus that aborting them is not depriving them of anything they have ~ right to and hence is not unjust killing.
 
And we should also notice that it is not at all plain that this argument really does go even as far as it purports to. For there are cases and cases, and the details make a difference. If the room is stuffy, and I therefore open a window to air it, and a burglar climbs in, it would be absurd to say, "Ah, now he can stay, she's given him a right to the use of her house--for she is partially responsible for his presence there, having voluntarily done what enabled him to get in, in full knowledge that there are such things as burglars, and that burglars burgle.'' It would be still more absurd to say this if I had had bars installed outside my windows, precisely to prevent burglars from getting in, and a burglar got in only because of a defect in the bars. It remains equally absurd if we imagine it is not a burglar who climbs in, but an innocent person who blunders or falls in. Again, suppose it were like this: people-seeds drift about in the air like pollen, and if you open your windows, one may drift in and take root in your carpets or upholstery. You don't want children, so you fix up your windows with fine mesh screens, the very best you can buy. As can happen, however, and on very, very rare occasions does happen, one of the screens is defective, and a seed drifts in and takes root. Does the person-plant who now develops have a right to the use of your house? Surely not--despite the fact that you voluntarily opened your windows, you knowingly kept carpets and upholstered furniture, and you knew that screens were sometimes defective. Someone may argue that you are responsible for its rooting, that it does have a right to your house, because after all you could have lived out your life with bare floors and furniture, or with sealed windows and doors. But this won't do--for by the same token anyone can avoid a pregnancy due to rape by having a hysterectomy, or anyway by never leaving home without a (reliable!) army.
 
It seems to me that the argument we are looking at can establish at most that there are some cases in which the unborn person has a right to the use of its mother's body, and therefore some cases in which abortion is unjust killing. There is room for much discussion and argument as to precisely which, if any. But I think we should sidestep this issue and leave it open, for at any rate the argument certainly does not establish that all abortion is unjust killing.
 

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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2008, 02:56:40 PM »

5.
There is room for yet another argument here, however. We surely must all grant that there may be cases in which it would be morally indecent to detach a person from your body at the cost of his life. Suppose you learn that what the violinist needs is not nine years of your life, but only one hour: all you need do to save his life is to spend one hour in that bed with him. Suppose also that letting him use your kidneys for that one hour would not affect your health in the slightest. Admittedly you were kidnapped. Admittedly you did not give anyone permission to plug him into you. Nevertheless it seems to me plain you ought to allow him to use your kidneys for that hour--it would be indecent to refuse.
 
Again, suppose pregnancy lasted only an hour, and constituted no threat to life or health. And suppose that a woman becomes pregnant as a result of rape. Admittedly she did not voluntarily do anything to bring about the existence of a child. Admittedly she did nothing at all which would give the unborn person a right to the use of her body. All the same it might well be said, as in the newly amended violinist story, that she ought to allow it to remain for that hour--that it would be indecent of her to refuse.
 
Now some people are inclined to use the term "right" in such a way that it follows from the fact that you ought to allow a person to use your body for the hour he needs, that he has a right to use your body for the hour he needs, even though he has not been given that right by any person or act. They may say that it follows also that if you refuse, you act unjustly toward him. This use of the term is perhaps so common that it cannot be called wrong; nevertheless it seems to me to be an unfortunate loosening of what we would do better to keep a tight rein on. Suppose that box of chocolates I mentioned earlier had not been given to both boys jointly, but was given only to the older boy. There he sits stolidly eating his way through the box. his small brother watching enviously. Here we are likely to say, "You ought not to be so mean. You ought to give your brother some of those chocolates." My own view is that it just does not follow from the truth of this that the brother has any right to any of the chocolates. If the boy refuses to give his brother any he is greedy stingy. callous--but not unjust. I suppose that the people I have in mind will say it does follow that the brother has a right to some of the chocolates, and thus that the boy does act unjustly if he refuses to give his brother any. But the effect of saying, this is to obscure what we should keep distinct, namely the difference between the boy's refusal in this case and the boy's refusal in the earlier case, in which the box was given to both boys jointly, and in which the small brother thus had what was from any point of view clear title to half.
 
A further objection to so using the term "right" that from the fact that A ought to do a thing for B it follows that R has a right against A that A do it for him, is that it is going to make the question of whether or not a man has a right to a thing turn on how easy it is to provide him with it; and this seems not merely unfortunate, but morally unacceptable. Take the case of Henry Fonda again. I said earlier that I had no right to the touch of his cool hand on my fevered brow even though I needed it to save my life. I said it would be frightfully nice of him to fly in from the West Coast to provide me with it, but that I had no right against him that he should do so. But suppose he isn't on the West Coast. Suppose he has only to walk across the room, place a hand briefly on my brow--and lo, my life is saved. Then surely he ought to do it-it would be indecent to refuse. Is it to be said, "Ah, well, it follows that in this case she has a right to the touch of his hand on her brow, and so it would be an injustice in him to refuse"? So that I have a right to it when it is easy for him to provide it, though no right when it's hard? It's rather a shocking idea that anyone's rights should fade away and disappear as it gets harder and harder to accord them to him.
 
So my own view is that even though you ought to let the violinist use your kidneys for the one hour he needs, we should not conclude that he has a right to do so--we should say that if you refuse, you are, like the boy who owns all the chocolates and will give none away, self-centered and callous, indecent in fact, but not unjust. And similarly, that even supposing a case in which a woman pregnant due to rape ought to allow the unborn person to use her body for the hour he needs, we should not conclude that he has a right to do so; we should say that she is self-centered, callous, indecent, but not unjust, if she refuses. The complaints are no less grave; they are just different. However, there is no need to insist on this point. If anyone does wish to deduce "he has a right" from "you ought," then all the same he must surely grant that there are cases in which it is not morally required of you that you allow that violinist to use your kidneys, and in which he does not have a right to use them, and in which you do not do him an injustice if you refuse. And so also for mother and unborn child. Except in such cases as the unborn person has a right to demand it--and we were leaving open the possibility that there may be such cases--nobody is morally required to make large sacrifices, of health, of all other interests and concerns, of all other duties and commitments, for nine years, or even for nine months, in order to keep another person alive.
 
6.
We have in fact to distinguish between two kinds of Samaritan: the Good Samaritan and what we might call the Minimally Decent Samaritan. The story of the Good Samaritan, you will remember, goes like this:
 
A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was, and when he saw him he had compassion on him.
And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
And on the morrow, when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, "Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee." (Luke 10:30-35)
 
The Good Samaritan went out of his way, at some cost to himself, to help one in need of it. We are not told what the options were, that is, whether or not the priest and the Levite could have helped by doing less than the Good Samaritan did, but assuming they could have, then the fact they did nothing at all shows they were not even Minimally Decent Samaritans, not because they were not Samaritans, but because they were not even minimally decent.
 
These things are a matter of degree, of course, but there is a difference, and it comes out perhaps most clearly in the story of Kitty Genovese, who, as you will remember, was murdered while thirty-eight people watched or listened, and did nothing at all to help her. A Good Samaritan would have rushed out to give direct assistance against the murderer. Or perhaps we had better allow that it would have been a Splendid Samaritan who did this, on the ground that it would have involved a risk of death for himself. But the thirty-eight not only did not do this, they did not even trouble to pick up a phone to call the police. Minimally Decent Samaritanism would call for doing at least that, and their not having done it was monstrous.
 
After telling the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus said, "Go, and do thou likewise." Perhaps he meant that we are morally required to act as the Good Samaritan did. Perhaps he was urging people to do more than is morally required of them. At all events it seems plain that it was not morally required of any of the thirty-eight that he rush out to give direct assistance at the risk of his own life, and that it is not morally required of anyone that he give long stretches of his life--nine years or nine months--to sustaining the life of a person who has no special right (we were leaving open the possibility of this) to demand it.
 
Indeed, with one rather striking class of exceptions, no one in any country in the world is legally required to do anywhere near as much as this for anyone else. The class of exceptions is obvious. My main concern here is not the state of the law in respect to abortion, but it is worth drawing attention to the fact that in no state in this country is any man compelled by law to be even a Minimally Recent Samaritan to any person; there is no law under which charges could be brought against the thirty eight who stood by while Kitty Genovese died. By contrast, in most states in this country women are compelled by law to be not merely Minimally Decent Samaritans, but Good Samaritans to unborn persons inside them. This doesn't by itself settle anything one way or the other, because it may well be argued that there should be laws in this country as there are in many European countries--compelling at least Minimally Decent Samaritanism. But it does show that there is a gross injustice in the existing state of the law. And it shows also that the groups currently working against liberalization of abortion laws, in fact working toward having it declared unconstitutional for a state to permit abortion, had better start working for the adoption of Good Samaritan laws generally, or earn the charge that they are acting in bad faith.
 
I should think, myself, that Minimally Decent Samaritan laws would be one thing, Good Samaritan laws quite another, and in fact highly improper. But we are not here concerned with the law. What we should ask is not whether anybody should be compelled by law to be a Good Samaritan, but whether we must accede to a situation in which somebody is being compelled--by nature, perhaps--to be a Good Samaritan. We have, in other words, to look now at third-party interventions. I have been arguing that no person is morally required to make large sacrifices to sustain the life of another who has no right to demand them, and this even where the sacrifices do not include life itself; we are not morally required to be Good Samaritans or anyway Very Good Samaritans to one another. But what if a man cannot extricate himself from such a situation? What if he appeals to us to extricate him? It seems to me plain that there are cases in which we can, cases in which a Good Samaritan would extricate him. There you are, you were kidnapped, and nine years in bed with that violinist lie ahead of you. You have your own life to lead. You are sorry, but you simply cannot see giving up so much of your life to the sustaining of his. You cannot extricate yourself, and ask us to do so. I should have thought that--in light of his having no right to the use of your body--it was obvious that we do not have to accede to your being forced to give up so much. We can do what you ask. There is no injustice to the violinist in our doing so.
 
7.
Following the lead of the opponents of abortion, I have throughout been speaking of the fetus merely as a person, and what I have been asking is whether or not the argument we began with, which proceeds only from the fetus's being a person, really does establish its conclusion. I have argued that it does not.
 
But of course there are arguments and arguments, and it may be said that I have simply fastened on the wrong one. It may be said that what is important is not merely the fact that the fetus is a person, but that it is a person for whom the woman has a special kind of responsibility issuing from the fact that she is its mother. And it might be argued that all my analogies are therefore irrelevant--for you do not have that special kind of responsibility for that violinist; Henry Fonda does not have that special kind of responsibility for me. And our attention might be drawn to the fact that men and women both are compelled by law to provide support for their children
 
I have in effect dealt (briefly) with this argument in section 4 above; but a (still briefer) recapitulation now may be in order. Surely we do not have any such "special responsibility" for a person unless we have assumed it, explicitly or implicitly. If a set of parents do not try to prevent pregnancy, do not obtain an abortion, but rather take it home with them, then they have assumed responsibility for it, they have given it rights, and they cannot now withdraw support from it at the cost of its life because they now find it difficult to go on providing for it. But if they have taken all reasonable precautions against having a child, they do not simply by virtue of their biological relationship to the child who comes into existence have a special responsibility for it. They may wish to assume responsibility for it, or they may not wish to. And I am suggesting that if assuming responsibility for it would require large sacrifices, then they may refuse. A Good Samaritan would not refuse--or anyway, a Splendid Samaritan, if the sacrifices that had to be made were enormous. But then so would a Good Samaritan assume responsibility for that violinist; so would Henry Fonda, if he is a Good Samaritan, fly in from the West Coast and assume responsibility for me.
 
8.
My argument will be found unsatisfactory on two counts by many of those who want to regard abortion as morally permissible. First, while I do argue that abortion is not impermissible, I do not argue that it is always permissible. There may well be cases in which carrying the child to term requires only Minimally Decent Samaritanism of the mother, and this is a standard we must not fall below. I am inclined to think it a merit of my account precisely that it does not give a general yes or a general no. It allows for and supports our sense that, for example, a sick and desperately frightened fourteen-year-old schoolgirl, pregnant due to rape, may of course choose abortion, and that any law which rules this out is an insane law. And it also allows for and supports our sense that in other cases resort to abortion is even positively indecent. It would be indecent in the woman to request an abortion, and indecent in a doctor to perform it, if she is in her seventh month, and wants the abortion just to avoid the nuisance of postponing a trip abroad. The very fact that the arguments I have been drawing attention to treat all cases of abortion, or even all cases of abortion in which the mother's life is not at stake, as morally on a par ought to have made them suspect at the outset.
 
Second, while I am arguing for the permissibility of abortion in some cases, I am not arguing for the right to secure the death of the unborn child. It is easy to confuse these two things in that up to a certain point in the life of the fetus it is not able to survive outside the mother's body; hence removing it from her body guarantees its death. But they are importantly different. I have argued that you are not morally required to spend nine months in bed, sustaining the life of that violinist, but to say this is by no means to say that if, when you unplug yourself, there is a miracle and he survives, you then have a right to turn round and slit his throat. You may detach yourself even if this costs him his life; you have no right to be guaranteed his death, by some other means, if unplugging yourself does not kill him. There are some people who will feel dissatisfied by this feature of my argument. A woman may be utterly devastated by the thought of a child, a bit of herself, put out for adoption and never seen or heard of again. She may therefore want not merely that the child be detached from her, but more, that it die. Some opponents of abortion are inclined to regard this as beneath contempt--thereby showing insensitivity to what is surely a powerful source of despair. All the same, I agree that the desire for the child's death is not one which anybody may gratify, should it turn out to be possible to detach the child alive.
 
At this place, however, it should be remembered that we have only been pretending throughout that the fetus is a human being from the moment of conception. A very early abortion is surely not the killing of a person, and so is not dealt with by anything I have said here.

http://spot.colorado.edu/~heathwoo/Phil160,Fall02/thomson.htm
 
 

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DougMacG
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2008, 09:44:06 PM »

Rachel already started a topic that I didn't see because a keyword search of the word abortion didn't find it.  I seems we are caught up in word games.  I explained favoring choices especially better ones in most situations and I certainly support the right to reproduce assuming you have consenting parties. 

I agree with Crafty on the legal issues. After it is returned to the states we still have an abortion rights debate. I was just writing one person's opinion about right and wrong.  The legal issues and political process follow.

I didn't notice that Rachel addressed any point in my post, but fired back questions at me that I already addressed, so I guess we are working on two different topics.  I found the questions to be condescending and diversionary which is your right and your choice. I already posted that nearly all pro-life proposals offer exceptions and that 98% of abortions in America are for convenience reasons and back comes a story about an 11 year old girl in a foreign land who actually did find her way to get abortion services. 

If you are comfortable with a system where men have zero rights, where it is women not couples or humans or families that reproduce, where killing 49 million isn't one of your top ten concerns, where the fact that 48 million of those were for convenience reasons doesn't merit a mention even in reply, then I give up on looking for common ground or a beneficial exchange.
----
Quoting BBG: "...as an off brand libertarian, I'm loathe to tell women that they are bound by law to let a creature grow inside of them" and similarly Rachel wrote: "Do I have control over my body or does someone else?"

I see your points and offer this reasonable and pragmatic compromise solution:

Recognize the woman's right to remove the unwanted tissue but not the right to have it killed.  Leave viability issue in the hands of God, the survival strength of the fetus, the medics and the people who would adopt and love it.

Fair enough?
« Last Edit: September 15, 2008, 10:06:54 PM by DougMacG » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2009, 09:55:58 PM »

Probably could have put this under founding fathers, lol:

“Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized - the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old.”  - Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass) 1971

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1193617
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DougMacG
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2009, 06:58:39 AM »

Estimate that a little more than a million slaughtered since the last post here justifying abortion and maybe 3/4 million killed since the last on the Reproductive Issues thread insisting that a beating heart with unique fingerprints is a 'potential life'.

The women's rights argument should keep in mind that roughly half of the victims, who only want to be born, would otherwise grow up to be women - with rights - such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Update from the trenches: An 18 week pregnant abortionist describes terminating an 18 week fetus as she briefly contemplates the ongoing development of her own, soon to be, cute little pre-schooler.  Be warned - you might not want to visualize this process over breakfast lunch etc.  Photo is not actual; the fetus is removed in parts.  


    When I was a little over 18 weeks pregnant with my now pre-school child, I did a second trimester abortion for a patient who was also a little over 18 weeks pregnant. As I reviewed her chart I realized that I was more interested than usual in seeing the fetal parts when I was done, since they would so closely resemble those of my own fetus.

    I went about doing the procedure as usual, removed the laminaria I had placed earlier and confirmed I had adequate dilation. I used electrical suction to remove the amniotic fluid, picked up my forceps and began to remove the fetus in parts, as I always did. I felt lucky that this one was already in the breech position – it would make grasping small parts (legs and arms) a little easier.

    With my first pass of the forceps, I grasped an extremity and began to pull it down. I could see a small foot hanging from the teeth of my forceps. With a quick tug, I separated the leg. Precisely at that moment, I felt a kick – a fluttery “thump, thump” in my own uterus. It was one of the first times I felt fetal movement. There was a leg and foot in my forceps, and a “thump, thump” in my abdomen.

    Instantly, tears were streaming from my eyes – without me – meaning my conscious brain - even being aware of what was going on. I felt as if my response had come entirely from my body, bypassing my usual cognitive processing completely. A message seemed to travel from my hand and my uterus to my tear ducts. It was an overwhelming feeling – a brutally visceral response – heartfelt and unmediated by my training or my feminist pro-choice politics.

    It was one of the more raw moments in my life. Doing second trimester abortions did not get easier after my pregnancy; in fact, dealing with little infant parts of my born baby only made dealing with dismembered fetal parts sadder.

http://americanpapist.com/blog.html
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Dog Howie
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2009, 07:38:37 PM »

My triplets were born early enough to have been aborted in some states. But I remember them well... less than 2.5 pounds each with legs and arms like string beans and their entire torso fitting into the palm of my right hand with their little legs/arms sticking out over the sides of my hand. They moved around, made noise, we could comfort  them with our touches and they expressed pain when pricked or prodded. When one of the triplets (Andrew) died after two days my wife and I bawled our eyes out because we didn't lose a fetus... it was our son who died. The surviving triplets (a boy and a girl, Riley and Gracie) are 12 years old now, doing great BTW, and they were not fetuses either.... they were small, under developed babies who lived for awhile in the womb until it was time to live in the open world. I have some good friends who disagree with me about when life starts and we remain good friends but I tend to be very dogmatic on this issue. Anyone who believes anything else is as uninformed as someone who believes 3+3=10. They may be innocently uninformed but they are uninformed none the less.

Any honest debate about abortion rights has to begin with the honest recognition that a baby is a baby whether living in the womb or living in the open world. I would at least feel intellectually honest about a debate that surrounded whether a person had a right to terminate a pregnancy because the pregnancy itself or the life that would be born would be too destructive to the mothers and/or father's lives and that they had the right to destroy the baby.  I wouldn't agree with that argument, but at least THAT would be an example of what I would consider an  honest debate.

h
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DougMacG
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2009, 10:14:34 PM »

Thanks Howie for writing.  Great post.  With today's imagery or in your case seeing them born early and tiny, it is hard to deny what is real and in front of you.  Last time this digressed into details about criminalization issues, that unique DNA isn't important because identical twins have same DNA, that sperm is alive so it isn't important that that a fetus is alive and whether or not someone personally thinks he/she is/isn't more moral than someone else.  Before we decide what to do about abortion and separate from finding quirks of nature to confuse or undermine the point, separate from personalizing this to who is or is not more moral than someone else, can't we all look and see that the little one is a developing, live human being.  It is alive, it is human, it has its own genetic code separate from the mother and the father, and it is too young to survive on its own - like a baby.

Before figuring out what to do about it, can't we agree that because it is a live, developing human being trying to grow, develop and survive, to kill it for convenience reasons - which fairly characterizes 98% of abortions in America - is wrong.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2009, 10:33:23 PM »

From Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose Driven Life", on Meet the Press apparently quoting Peggy Noonan:  She said, you know, "If you ask the question when does life begin," she said, "any 16-year-old boy who's bought a condom knows when life begins."

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Rarick
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« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2009, 04:44:48 AM »

I have figured out what my decisions will be- before I get emotionally/ situationally compromised.  I simply have given up any discussion on this topic because it it like playing god, who lives, who dies and playing triage in some ways.  I simply have come up with my priciples and framework, and simply wish to be left alone to pracitce them without the government interfering with laws about "morality".  a moral government is an oxymoron, and they are no more qualified to make the decision than I am.

I refuse to use force to make a woman have an unwanted child, but I will let my opinion be known to that individual privately, and why I have arrived at my conclusions.  I will listen to the rebuttal, and that is about it.  The accounting for the individual(s) will come later and it is not my job to decide where and whens.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2009, 08:01:06 AM »

Hard to set policy right if we can't agree (or discuss) when life begins. 

"wish to be left alone...without the government interfering with laws about morality"

Some feel that way about domestic abuse in the privacy of their own home.  It depends on whether or not one believes a separate life worth protecting is involved.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2009, 09:55:21 AM »

I too tend to avoid this can of worms as emotions run so high and feelings are so cast in concrete there is little likelihood of achieving reasoned discourse. I'm offended by tactics on both sides. Every time an anti shows me pictures of aborted fetuses I ask 'em what they had for breakfast; if it included a pork product ask if I showed them pictures of fetal pigs would they stop eating bacon and, if not, why they expect their appeal to emotion to be any more successful. As for the pros, the constitutional convolutions they embraced to take legislative options away from the states and give it to nine guys in robes hearing a very massaged version of Roe's story leaves me dumbstruck. If so dubious a process could be used to foist a "right" in this instance it can be used to enshrine or delete just about anything.

As that may be, like the Judith Jarvis Thompson piece I posted (and heard no comment on) posits acorns are not oak trees, nor is a fertilized egg a person. From there she goes on to make several compelling arguments as to why abortion should be allowed even if it's ceded that a fertilized egg is a person from the moment of conception, with her famous violinist argument being one of her most compelling. I won't bother to recapitulate further, but do think she makes a strong case for why abortions should be allowed in the case of rape and medical complications, and does a somewhat less compelling job for instances where contraception fails.

As for my feelings on the matter, I think abortion is a repugnant means of birth control rife with moral quandaries and as such is something most people would do well to avoid. As stated before, though, I am loathe to tell a woman that she is statutorily required to let a creature she does not want to support grow inside of her so I reluctantly come down on the side of access to abortions.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2009, 12:46:21 PM »

Thanks Guinness,

Quoting: "Every time an anti shows me pictures of aborted fetuses I ask 'em what they had for breakfast; if it included a pork product ask if I showed them pictures of fetal pigs would they stop eating bacon and, if not, why they expect their appeal to emotion to be any more successful."

Disagree. The point to me of the fetal photo is an appeal to logic more than emotion.  Logic, visuals, science etc. tell you the thing has 2 arms, 2 legs, a head, heartbeat, fingerprint etc, although kind of ugly - like a newborn.

Your pork comparison also works in reverse.  We kill for self defense, war, food.  Even good hunters and fisherman are committed to eat what they kill, not to waste one of God's creatures, even with 4 legs or scales and gills.  A pig farmer does not kill and discard.  Repugnant,  but abortive 'mothers' might imagine that standard and think twice before shooting. 

I read the Thompson piece and will be happy to comment as I offend more and more people here.  An acorn is not an oak tree, true, but an oak tree is not a human being.  We tear down an oak tree to build a house or a road in the best location.  We hopefully don't do that indiscriminately but we do cut them down when we decide they are in our way.  The real failure of the acorn analogy is that the tree develops its value gradually; it is not just an acorn or a mighty oak, but also a scrawny seedling along the way.  The newborn, like a fetus, is also an undeveloped, two-bit seedling, totally unviable without assistance, with nothing invested in the real world and nothing to show for accomplishments.  Environmental extremists don't protect a one inch tall sprouted acorn.   Should the newborn's rights only develop gradually as it grows and proves its salt? They don't and no one says they should. 
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2009, 01:23:01 PM »

I dunno Doug, every time I've been stopped by someone brandishing pictures of aborted fetuses there has been a lot of emotion involved on their side, particularly after I point out their fervent embrace of it. Claiming that these sorts of tactics aren't appeals to emotion, or stating you are merely trying to anthropomorphize the issue isn't likely to sway folks who prefer appeals to reason. And perhaps the reverse also works, but I'm not the one trying to make a sale with a glossy picture. If a heart rending glossy picture an informed argument makes then I guess we all ought to get laser printers and photo stock. If they don't try to make the sale then I don't have to point out why the method fails to do so when worn on other feet.

The acorn/oak tree analogy is both logically true and a jumping off point for Thompson as she then goes on to say "but, for the sake of argument let's pretend they are." As such I'm not going to belabor the point as she's already ceded it in her argument.

I'll close by saying I'm not far from being a fellow traveler where abortion is concerned but don't think criminalizing abortion services will work much better than criminalizing drug use has. I would much prefer an approach that mitigated unwanted pregnancy prior to conception. Though I understand your side sees abortion as the moral equivalent of death camps, this stark perspective prevents reasonable people on all sides of the issue from taking steps that could reduce the number of abortions here and now.

If reducing the number of abortions is your goal then I'd say grit your teeth and work to strengthen familial bonds, improve education in the non-NEA sense, and force government to end perverse incentives. If being really freaking self-righteous and strident is your goal then have fun at the margins alienating those you have to sway to accomplish anything at all.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2009, 04:44:21 PM »

IMHO the fundamental tension on this issue has been exponentially increased by judicial liberal fascism imposing its personal opinion via Roe vs. Wade. 

The correct solution is to let the democractic republican principle work it out in each of the 50 states.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2009, 06:44:39 PM »

Amen, Crafty.
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Rarick
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« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2009, 05:29:45 AM »

amen.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2009, 12:28:45 PM »

One add'l comment from the mind-boggling ending of NEJM about abortion funding over on Politics of Healthcare today:

"...social justice and equality between the sexes"

I would love to see this answered from a religious perspective, but is that really what we seek - what women seek, equality meaning identical-ness between the sexes?  That a man can have unprotected sex with a stranger, pick up herpes and the rest, be shot by her husband,r pay child support the rest of his life, or be denied access to his children etc. etc. but he does not get pregnant... therefore a woman should be able to have unprotected recreation sex without consequence.  Termination, it's all about 'me' and no one else is affected.  Is that what God wanted designing the differences in the sexes?  For us to undo His work with a fully funded and medically safe 'procedure'?  Would that even make sense to an atheist who believes this amazing design is by accident?
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Rarick
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« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2010, 04:57:44 AM »

Hard to set policy right if we can't agree (or discuss) when life begins. 

"wish to be left alone...without the government interfering with laws about morality"

Some feel that way about domestic abuse in the privacy of their own home.  It depends on whether or not one believes a separate life worth protecting is involved.


Some peoples abuse is some peoples pleasure- go figure.   I will do something when it comes to my attention (a running "discussion" in the front yard?), which means it has become something out of hand. Otherwise I leave well enough alone, I assume there is some sort of consent there.  That may be a case of a$$, but you have to let adults be adults.
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michael
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« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2010, 11:25:26 AM »

To me, it is a very simple issue. I believe that murder is wrong, justified killing is not (i.e., self-defense, war). I believe that life begins at conception, and abortion is murder. Murder is wrong so abortion is wrong. The right to live trumps the right of the mother to make a "choice". Simple, IMO.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2010, 07:21:41 AM »

From the Kagan thread, JDN wrote: "I personally am against partial birth abortion"

Sounds like something you have given good thought to.  I ask you, if you don't mind, to expand on that.  What is the procedure and why are you against it?
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JDN
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« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2010, 09:03:56 AM »

From the Kagan thread, JDN wrote: "I personally am against partial birth abortion"

Sounds like something you have given good thought to.  I ask you, if you don't mind, to expand on that.  What is the procedure and why are you against it?

I think my quote was taken out of context; my entire sentence read,
"I personally am against partial birth abortion, however, that being said, if it would save my wife's life, I would definitely consider it.  I think many would agree with me."

That was my point and the point of ACOG's change in wording.  If the doctor told me I would lose my wife or lose my child; I would chose my wife.  You may and others
may disagree, but that would be my choice.  While I might get a second or third or even a fourth medical opinion, I would not risk losing my wife.

I am not qualified to explain what the procedure is. 

I tried to find Rachel's posts; she was much more eloquent that I could ever be on this subject.  Further, even she decided not to further discuss this matter; obviously she is also
a lot smarter than I am.   smiley

However, you asked and so I will try to answer your question, "why am I against partial birth abortion".  Try not to attack too hard!   smiley
It's subjective; I guess I am against what I call late term abortion.  For example, I was a preemie baby.  The surgeon flew in to Milwaukee (friend of my Grandfather)
to do a 2nd time ever performed surgery (interestingly, later in life I met another surgeon who said that he saw the film of my surgery at his medical school).  My point; through
God's help and a great surgeon I was able live.  I guess to answer your question, I am against late abortion (with the mother's health caveat given above) if the baby is able to live
and function on it's own.

However, even with that being said, I'm not sure I like to wade into telling other families what to do about abortion.  Nor do I want to discuss and define "function on it's own".


 



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DougMacG
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« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2010, 10:53:44 AM »

JDN, I took your statement away the legal context intentionally because our personal views on the issue are interesting but not relevant to the legal and procedural questions of that thread.  No intent to attack just trying to entice others to acknowledge some living value in the little one, to the point as you suggest that the unborn/almost born/partially born preemie is really one and the same today in science and medical terms as a born preemie.  It HAS to be removed from the mother, one way or another.  It doesn't HAVE to be killed.  That is a choice.

We make the line call there like we do with a sports replay of the ball or puck crossing the goal line.  Sometimes that call can cost you the game.  If we kill it before it gets completely out and the cord is still intact, it is a beautiful free expression of a constitutional right - like to speak, meet, publish or be free from oppressive search and seizure.  If we kill it a millisecond after it crosses that line it is murder in the first degree of the most innocent life among us, punishable by death in some jurisdictions.  Yet the two acts are one and the same functionally and morally I would argue and ask others to recognize.

Like I said It has to be removed from the mother, one way or another.  I'm no expert either but cesarean seems to be what the same group would recommend with acceptable risk ("cesarean birth involves risks. These problems occur in a small number of women and usually are easily treated") for circumstances where vaginal delivery poses unusual risk. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp006.cfm  Perhaps by killing it, deflating the head, crushing the shoulders if necessary and pulling it through carefully would be even lower impact, physically, on the "mother", but that assumes a fully developed preemie like yourself has not living value and I don't buy that.  You may be grateful for your rescue now but at that crucial moment you had no say.
-----
You can look through Rachel posts but I doubt with her comparisons of fetus to sperm and embryo that she has written in support of partial birth killing and she made it extremely clear that she had no plans to jump back into the conversation.
----
Looking through ACOG pamphlet on Cesarean, I see the same mis-speak as Justice Breyer and Rachel have made:

"Fetal Monitoring: A procedure in which instruments are used to check the heartbeat of the fetus and contractions of the mother's uterus during labor."

This should be corrected.  A woman in labor without prior children is not a mother.  She would be the mother of what?
-----
JDN rescued as a preemie and my daughter who didn't show up for her abortion appointment - turning sweet sixteen tomorrow - are both examples of what we already know through the magic of time travel, the fetus (Latin for little one) is the same person that we know later but at a less developed, rapidly developing stage.  Killing it unnecessarily when you know that is not a morally neutral act.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2010, 05:46:00 PM »

Pasting this from the Kagan thread here too:

BO voted for a remarkably extreme partial birth abortion law.  Anyone have details at hand?"
--------------
Just to the left of NARAL and Barbara Boxer, he voted against protecting the surviving babies of botched abortions.  His reasons to oppose do not match the facts told by the people on his committee in IL.

The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA) both in the Illinois and Federal legislatures was meant to make illegal death by neglect of born but unwanted infants.  Or as Obama called it: Restrictive Choice legislation.

At the end of the hearing (IL Senate Health and Human Services Committee, 2003, Barack Obama, Chairman), according to the official records of the Illinois State senate, Obama thanked Stanek (video of RN Stanek below) for being “very clear and forthright,” but said his concern was that Stanek had suggested “doctors really don’t care about children who are being born with a reasonable prospect of life because they are so locked into their pro-abortion views that they would watch an infant that is viable die.” He told her, “That may be your assessment, and I don’t see any evidence of that. What we are doing here is to create one more burden on a woman and I can’t support that.”
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=18647

Video of the testifying nurse:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYRpIf2F9NA

One mainstream reference from when Hillary was the frontrunner:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/01/17/politics/main2369157.shtml
 SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Jan. 17, 2007
Obama Record May Be Gold Mine For Critics
(AP)  Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama may have a lot of explaining to do.
He voted against requiring medical care for aborted fetuses who survive.

Barbara Boxer voted for it when it passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate 98-0 and unanimously in the US House.  She said:  "(H)is amendment [Rick Santorum introducing BAIPA] certainly does not attack Roe in any way," said Boxer. "His amendment makes it very clear that nothing in this amendment gives any rights that are not yet afforded to a fetus. Therefore, I, as being a pro-choice senator on this side, representing my colleagues here, have no problem whatsoever with this amendment." - Barbara Boxer on the floor of the senate, 2001.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2010, 06:15:25 PM »

If anyone admitted being offended by abortion, by partial birth abortion, or by the thought of a Doctor chasing a botched abortion newborn around the hospital room to fulfill her 'choice' , then maybe they could use this footage of Barbara Boxer equivocating on the senate floor some years ago against her now.  George Will mentioned this video after being accused of taking her statement below out of context.  What she did say is that a baby is born when the mom takes it home from the hospital.  Pressed harder she said, it's born when the mom holds it in her arms. She clearly didn't like being asked if it had constitutional rights when all but a foot or a toe is delivered. 

Remember that our sinking Commander in Chief is just to the left of Barbara Boxer on this issue.

Will wrote: "when asked during a Senate debate whether the baby has a right to life if it slips entirely out of the birth canal before being killed, she replied that the baby acquires that right when it leaves the hospital: “When you bring your baby home.” Fiorina believes that science—the astonishing clarity of sonograms showing the moving fingers and beating hearts of fetuses; neonatal medicine improving the viability of very premature infants; the increasing abilities of medicine to treat ailing fetuses in utero—is changing Americans’ sensibilities and enlarging the portion of the public that describes itself as pro-life."

Maybe we will see just how pro-life the elusive Republican Hispanic vote is in this contest when forced to choose between basic values and massive government.
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G M
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« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2011, 08:38:43 AM »

http://www.propublica.org/blog/item/gruesome-pennsylvania-abortion-clinic-had-not-been-inspected-for-17-years

Why a Gruesome Pennsylvania Abortion Clinic Had Not Been Inspected for 17 Years

by Marian Wang
ProPublica, Jan. 21, 2011, 5:40 p.m.

   

A police car is seen posted outside the the Women's Medical Society in Philadelphia, on Jan. 20, 2011. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

While this week's indictment involving a grisly abortion mill in Philadelphia has shocked many [1], the grand jury's nearly 300-page report also contains a surprising and little-noted revelation: In the mid-1990s, the administration of Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, a pro-choice Republican, ended regular inspections of abortion clinics—a policy that continued until just last year.

According to the grand jury report [2][PDF] released this week by Philadelphia prosecutors, Pennsylvania health officials deliberately chose not to enforce laws to ensure that abortion clinics provide the same level of care as other medical service providers.

The District Attorney’s office this week charged an abortion doctor, Kermit Gosnell, with murder and infanticide. Nine other workers at the abortion clinic, the Women’s Medical Society, also face charges. According to the prosecutors, Gosnell and his associates not only broke state law by performing abortions after 24 weeks—they also killed live babies by stabbing them with scissors and cutting their spinal cords. Law enforcement officials found blood-stained furniture, unsterilized instruments and fetal remains scattered about the clinic. At least one woman, a refugee from Nepal, had died under Gosnell’s care after being given repeated injections of a dangerous sedative. Prosecutors said Gosnell made millions from treating and sometimes maiming his patients, who were mostly low-income, minority women [3].

But perhaps most frightening of all? The atrocities were discovered by accident [4], as the Philadelphia Inquirer points out. Warnings—from patients and their attorneys, a doctor at a Philadelphia hospital, women’s health groups, pro-choice groups, and even an employee of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health—failed to prompt state and local authorities to investigate or take action against the clinic.

The grand jury report said that one look at the place would have detected the problems, but the Pennsylvania Department of Health hadn’t inspected the place since 1993. Here’s the grand jury report, in surprisingly strong language:

The Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all. The politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro. With the change of administration from Governor Casey to Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be “putting a barrier up to women” seeking abortions.

“Even nail salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety,” the report states. "Without regular inspections, providers like Gosnell continue to operate; unlawful and dangerous third-trimester abortions go undetected; and many women, especially poor women, suffer."
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G M
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« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2011, 08:55:38 AM »

http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2011/01/22/the-brief-painful-lives-of-baby-boy-a-baby-c-and-baby-x/

Aborted.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2011, 10:57:20 AM »

"Few things rile me more than demands that pro-lifers -- especially those motivated by their faith -- keep out of politics. Quite the contrary, many did just that, quietly going to church and reading their Bibles, until one day they awoke to learn the Supreme Court had passed Roe v. Wade ... and the hellacious assault was on. They entered pro-life activism reluctantly, as a reaction to what was thrust upon their culture and country. The last thing they wanted was to get involved in politics. The Death Culture came to them." --author and columnist Paul Kengor

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2011, 07:25:39 AM »

"This week, the Planned Parenthood abortion business was caught in the latest undercover video investigation -- this time helping two people representing themselves as sex-trafficking-ring operatives bent on getting abortions for the underage girls they victimize. ... It's one thing for pro-choice advocates to talk a good game about women's rights, but it's another for the day-to-day abortion activists to defend these videos to anyone watching as paid staffers help supposed sex-trafficking perpetrators secure abortions. Average Americans viewing the videos will be appalled to see supposed sex traffickers being shown how to get young, illegally imported girls back on the street to further the sex trade shortly after their abortions. They will be astonished to see how those acting as sex traffickers are directed by Planned Parenthood officials to another, shadier abortion center that will give them less grief about abortions on the young women. ... The power of the footage on-screen and the sick nature of the revelations the videos contain have the potential to continue to break the abortion debate wide open." --Steven Ertelt, editor of LifeNews.com
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DougMacG
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« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2011, 11:13:54 AM »

In America, abortion hits black babies at a rate of more than 3 to 1 greater than whites.

In Asia, Mara Hvistendahl contends that selective abortion has resulted in 163 million fewer girls due to selective abortion in Unnatural Selection  (estimate/allegation)

http://www.science20.com/cool-links/unnatural_selection_abortion_war_girls-80205
http://www.amazon.com/Unnatural-Selection-Choosing-Girls-Consequences/dp/1586488503/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1308713473&sr=1-1

Help needed, please complete the following sentence in light of points made below.

This is not analogous to other genocides because.........

-----------------
Let's see,
a) Two dozen times more deaths than the holocaust ?
b) All killings intentional and avoidable
c) Victims selected based on membership in a group
d) Targeted group considered to be of lower value/inferior to those not targeted
e) The rest of us are better off without them, scarce resources etc.
f) Millions turn the other way, pretend this isn't a major issue or it isn't really happening.
g) 100% of those who turn the other way now or find the issue minor, did not face this threat at that point in their life
h) How can one identify gender with certainty, while maintaining with a straight face it is not a living creature, identified as human, 100% genetically distinct from the mother and father?
i) Being silently offended does nothing to stop what is happening.
-----------------
Fetus, Latin for 'little one' - gender neutral, is not the correct word after gender is determined. People don't say they had a baby, they had a little baby boy or a little baby girl.  At some point in the past, gender became knowable only at birth.  Not true now.  Some tests identify gender at 5-6 weeks, ultrasounds show gender starting at 16-20 weeks.

What inanimate object that one freely disposes has gender?

If people are allowing the 'little one' to grow into a 'little boy' or a 'little girl' before killing it selectively, what is the difference - morally - between doing that and killing it after birth? It looks like a similar act to me.

6th Commandment?  Thou shalt not .... do what ??

Comments?  Someone on the board who cares about women's rights and supports abortion rights should come out and explain how killing 163 million girls for gender reasons only is consistent with that. (Should be interesting!)  Anyone who is pro-life but considers it to be a minor or single issue not tied to dignity, principles or respect for life otherwise should explain exactly how that is so.  Which of the other commandments did God intend to be negotiable?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #31 on: July 12, 2011, 10:38:30 AM »

Trying to keep up with all the interest here on this topic (sarcasm).

"The fact of the matter is that no horrors, no matter how often they are uncovered and documented, appear to be too great for the pro-abortion crowd to give up their core belief that a woman is entitled to abort her baby at any stage of pregnancy. "

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/07/a_right_to_kill.html

July 3, 2011
A Right to Kill
By Fay Voshell

The society that embraces the death of innocents as a solution to its problems will itself inevitably die.  It may carry on for many decades after its fatal embrace of the Grim Reaper.  But with the moral heart cut out of its body, it becomes a zombie civilization with only the appearance of life.

For death, once embraced, as Goya illustrated so well in his shockingly gruesome painting "Saturn Devouring One of his Sons," has a way of devouring even one's children, as its appetite is never satiated.

"More," Death demands. "That was delicious.  I want more.

Wholesale carnage can even be sexually titillating, as individual torturers and creators of sadistic-masochistic porn films know well, and as Goya appears to have suggested by initially painting Saturn as having an erection.  Later, it is said, shocked successors edited out the erect penis depicted on the hungry god.

Be that as it may, the sheer perverted joy of insatiable killing is a societal disorder not restricted to renegade individual serial killers.  It's well known all human history is full of pathological societies which fully embraced death as a good thing, as a means of placating the gods, whoever they might be.  For example, the blood-soaked, slippery-slidey steps of the Aztec pyramids and the racks of human skulls of the victims of sacrifice to the Sun god bore testimony to such pathology.

But blood sacrifice is not a thing of the past.  The gods of death are just as richly fed today by innocent human blood as ever, but the justificatory framework for allowing the bloodshed has radically changed.  The old gods needing placation by means of the death of innocents have largely vanished, but they have been replaced by a philosophical and abstract imperative -- a demand for an unassailable human "right" to kill.

It is a relatively new thing for Western civilization to regard death of innocents as a human right.  It is a relatively new thing for mothers-to-be to have the virtually absolute right to put their own children to death before they are born.  And it is a relatively new thing for Western jurisprudence, having at last put to end to the hideously distorted absolute "right" to own other human beings, to now consign an entire class of human beings to destruction at the sole discretion of their mothers.

Time was, some made-up infraction or some offering to the gods was deemed necessary in order to get prove the "guilt" and get rid of a person.  No matter how trivial the accusation, "guilt" had to be established.  For example, one of Goya's etchings depicts a priest about to be garroted merely for possessing a knife.

Even in ghoulish modern times, establishment of "guilt," even when guilt is established by a mere pretext, has usually been necessary for execution to occur, as was evidenced by the Stalinist show trials of the 1930's and by Mao Tze Tung's Red Guard excesses of the 70's. Enemies of the state must be killed or a vengeful god placated by human sacrifice.

Allowing the death of the voiceless and innocent as a "choice" and as an expression of personal "freedom" is a concept that is relatively new. The perverted and absolute "right" to kill unborn humans who by no stretch of the imagination have ever committed a crime was bound to warp the entire societal fabric.  It also would produce revolting horrors those espousing and establishing the abstract "right" to kill did not foresee.

But once in a while, the veil of secrecy is rent and an entire populace is given a glimpse of the true horrors of the lucrative abortion industry, much as the horrors of slavery were revealed by photos such as this one of "Gordon," taken in 1863 and published in Harper's Weekly. 

In less than a period of ten months, the US public has been afforded at least three such glimpses of the horrible realities of the abortion industry.

Case #1: On Good Friday of this year, a dog sniffing around a El Paso,Texas parking lot of Hilltop Family Planning Clinic, found the remains of a dismembered baby of about 12-15 weeks gestation.  The tiny limbs were about the length of a dime.  There is no report as to whether the dog ate some of the baby's remains, but not all the body parts were there.  The person who discovered the grisly bits put them in a garbage bag.  While the police were notified, no police action was taken because Texas law doesn't consider a fetus less than twenty weeks gestation to be human.  There is no legal protection for him or her.

Case #2: Kermit Gosnell operated an abortion clinic in Philadelphia, killing at least two women and uncounted numbers of viable infants.  Among the horrors: infanticide.  According to the Grand Jury report, one incident involved a worker who played with a premature infant while it wiggled around on a counter for 20 minutes before the baby's neck was slit with a pair of scissors in order to sever his spinal cord, a process Gosnell described as "snipping."  Grand Jury investigation photos of the horrors within the clinic included severed babies' feet in jars and trash bags of fetal remains stored in refrigerators.  The grand jury had a few words for the regulatory agencies which were supposed to oversee the clinic:

"The grand jury also had a stern rebuke for regulatory organizations that looked the other way, giving their stamp of approval on his criminal practices. These people who saw the abuses yet stood idly by, or worse, encouraged the behavior that has now shocked the nation bear some responsibility for what happened in Philadelphia. In fact, they deserve criminal prosecution just as much as Gosnell and his cohorts because their silence not only enabled the crimes, but gave tacit consent to them."

Case #3: On August 12, 2010 in Elkton, MD, an 18 year old girl who had been 21 weeks pregnant was rushed to the hospital.  Her uterus, bowel and vagina had been pierced by one Dr. Nicola Riley, who flew in from Utah every other week to do late term abortions.  Not only did Riley lacerate the girl's organs, but the abortion was incomplete.  The baby's head was detached and pushed through the uterine wall into the abdominal cavity.

The semi-conscious teen was dropped off at the hospital via rental car by Riley and fellow abortionist Steven Chase Brigham. Riley then left the bleeding patient to go perform another abortion.  The girl herself was flown to John Hopkins hospital where doctors attempted to repair the damage done by the abortionists.

When police raided Brigham's Elkton "clinic," they found 32 late term fetuses-one of which was 35-36 weeks gestation--tossed in a freezer.

A great lesson is to be gained from the revolting examples given above; namely that there is a strict adherence to a pro-abortion ideology which demands the absolute "moral" principles of abortion on demand must be adhered to, no matter what.  Rush Limbaugh has been much vilified for describing abortion as a sacrament of the deeply religious cult of the Left, but he is not far from the mark.  The fact of the matter is that no horrors, no matter how often they are uncovered and documented, appear to be too great for the pro-abortion crowd to give up their core belief that a woman is entitled to abort her baby at any stage of pregnancy.

The radical feminist coat hanger wavers of the 1960's probably did not expect to see the day girl babies would be aborted at an astonishing rate merely for the crime of being female. Nonetheless, few radical feminists have spoken out strongly against the practice.  They are committed to abortion on demand.

Nor did the advocates of granting abortions to minors anticipate the cases in which fathers; uncles and grandfathers would escort little girls they had seduced and impregnated to abortion clinics in order to get rid of condemning incestuous evidence.  Abortion on demand must remain law of the land.

And scarcely ever has the pro-abortion crowd given credence to grief stricken fathers-to-be whose girlfriends and wives abort their children against their wishes.  One such dad-to-be, consumed by grief and rage, put up a billboard announcing his anger, thus severely straining the concept of free speech, according to pro- abortionists.  He and millions of other fathers are not a consideration to the abortion crowd.

All the above is to say nothing of the embryonic stem cell research of Pepsi designed to improve the flavor and "health" of its drinks, thus causing customers to literally have death run through their very veins.  Nothing to see there, either.  Move along.

In sum, absolutely nothing will deter those committed to abortion on demand to moderate or the question their absolutism, even if it were to transpire that lampshades were being made out of fetal skin.

Because of the distorted absolute imperative of abortion on demand, in spite of the fact the United States of America's Declaration of Independence guarantees "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," our country has long since eclipsed the killing rate of any country with the possible exception of China.  Some 50,000,000 unborn babies have expired since the literally fatal Supreme Court decision "Roe vs. Wade" of 1973.

All of the killing has been justified by the aforementioned absolute, inalienable "moral right" of a woman's right to choose whether or not she wishes to carry her unborn child to term. No matter how gruesome the actualities of the mega-buck abortion industry are, no compromise by "pro-choice" advocates is accepted.  Abortion on demand throughout pregnancy, a woman's inalienable and moral  "right"  is adhered to steadfastly, though the means of killing the pre-born may vary according to efficiency and assurance of result; namely, a dead baby.

But unrestrained mass killing is always the result when human beings create an absolute right to destroy other members of the human race, be it Jews or the unborn.

The Left loves to posture as the truly compassionate segment of humanity, constantly tarring the Right as hopeless ideologues whose rigid morality sacrifices the common good.

But as history shows and current events prove, leftists turn out to be the ones hopelessly and willfully bemired in absolutist thinking that results in absolute carnage.

The Left has committed itself to feeding insatiable Death, who devours all in his path, belches up the bones and says,

"That was yummy, but I want more.

By the way, YOU look tasty..."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #32 on: July 12, 2011, 01:41:44 PM »

Doug:

Dang!  Fay still wields a mean keyboard!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #33 on: October 26, 2011, 10:15:20 AM »


I have often analyzed the flaw of Roe v. Wade as being that the right to privacy does not trump the right to life.  One does not have the right to murder in the privacy of one's home.  Therefore the question becomes one of when does life begin?  In that the Constitution does not grant the power to determine that question to the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade is intellectual gibberish.

MI now appears to have picked up on this line of thought.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/26/us/politics/personhood-amendments-would-ban-nearly-all-abortions.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha23
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DougMacG
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« Reply #34 on: January 23, 2012, 12:15:20 PM »

Crafty, previous post in this thread Oct. 2011: "I have often analyzed the flaw of Roe v. Wade as being that the right to privacy does not trump the right to life.  One does not have the right to murder in the privacy of one's home.  Therefore the question becomes one of when does life begin?  In that the Constitution does not grant the power to determine that question to the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade is intellectual gibberish."

The answer to when when life begins has been enlightened quite a bit by science over the last several decades.  Science tells us when the heart starts beating and when unique fingerprints begin forming.  More obvious evidence would be how early the prematurely born can survive under medical care outside of fetus, if you don't buy the life begins with conception theory.

Posting a piece below that hits on constitutional and moral issues. My look at Planned Parenthood data caused me to believe that of the 60 million lives intentionally ended, 98% are performed for convenience reasons.  Blurring that with what should be done about rape or life risk to the mother is obfuscation.

Our current President apparently doesn't know that one of the main criteria for fetus slaughtering elsewhere in the world is gender selection.  In the US, the main discrimination is against black babies.

President Barack Obama says the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade is the chance to recognize the “fundamental constitutional right” to abortion and to “continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”

My daughter would not have been empowered by being aborted some 17 years ago.  What a bunch of anti-science, anti-constitution, anti-life, anti-reality BS.
----------
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/01/23/the_unbearable_wrongness_of_roe_112866.html

January 23, 2012
The Unbearable Wrongness of Roe
By Michael Paulsen

39 years ago, the Supreme Court delivered a radical, legally untenable, immoral decision. It has forfeited its entitlement to have its decisions respected, and followed, by the other branches of government, by the states, and by the people.

Today, thousands of people at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., are commemorating the thirty-ninth anniversary of a legal and moral monstrosity, Roe v. Wade, and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton. The two cases, in combination, created an essentially unqualified constitutional right of pregnant women to abortion—the right to kill their children, gestating in their wombs, up to the point of birth. After nearly four decades, Roe’s human death toll stands at nearly sixty million human lives, a total exceeding the Nazi Holocaust, Stalin’s purges, Pol Pot’s killing fields, and the Rwandan genocide combined. Over the past forty years, one-sixth of the American population has been killed by abortion. One in four African-Americans is killed before birth. Abortion is the leading cause of (unnatural) death in America.

It is almost too much to contemplate: the prospect that we are living in the midst of, and accepting (to various degrees) one of the greatest human holocausts in history. And so we don’t contemplate it. Instead, we look for ways to deny this grim reality, minimize it, or explain away our complacency—or complicity.

It is important, however, to view reality with eyes wide open, focus clear, and gaze not averted. On this thirty-ninth anniversary of Roe and Doe, I would like simply to set forth what Roe and Doe held, in as clear-headed and straightforwardly descriptive legal terms as possible, and to lay out its human and moral consequences. My brief tour of Roe’s unbearable wrongness begins with Roe’s radicalism—its extreme holding creating a plenary right to obtain or commit abortion—proceeds with Roe’s legal untenability, and concludes with Roe’s immorality and the moral problem of our seeming passivity and quiescence in response to the greatest legal and moral wrongs of our age.

Roe’s Radicalism

Start with Roe’s radicalism, a radicalism that we may no longer grasp because it has become so familiar. Roe created a constitutional right to obtain or commit an abortion of a human life—that is, to terminate the life of a human embryo or fetus. It is important to be clear-sighted about this: abortion kills a living human embryo or fetus. What distinguishes “abortion” from (say) miscarriage is the specific intention to kill a living fetus. What was alive before has been deliberately killed. Abortion takes a life. Further, the life taken is human life. There is really no doubt about that as a matter of biology. The embryo or fetus belongs to the species homo sapiens. It is a separate, living human being that is killed by abortion.

To be sure, that human being is killed at an early stage in its life cycle, and for a substantial part of that time could not live without direct biological connection to his or her mother (the person in whom Roe vests the right to terminate that human life). But that does not make the human embryo any less alive, any less human, or any less a separate life from the mother. It just makes the unborn baby more vulnerable and dependent.

The right created by the Supreme Court in Roe is a constitutional right of some human beings to kill other human beings. I do not mean for my description to be provocative, but simply direct—blunt about facts. One need not presume that the human fetus has a right not to be killed in order to recognize that, as a descriptive matter, Roe creates a right for one class of human beings to kill other human beings.

Roe, coupled with Doe, creates a plenary right to kill the embryo or fetus for essentially any reason, at any time throughout all nine months of pregnancy. Distilled to its essence, Roe created a “trimester” framework for abortion. In roughly the first three months of pregnancy, the right of abortion is avowedly plenary: abortion may be had for any reason. In the second three months, government may regulate abortion to protect the life or health of the mother, but again the right to have an abortion remains plenary. In the final three months—after the point of “viability,” when the human fetus could live on his or her own outside the mother’s womb—Roe says that abortion can be restricted or prohibited . . . except where abortion is necessary to protect the “life or health” of the pregnant woman.

This is a big exception. And here is where Doe steps in. On its face, Roe might appear, to the unwary or uninitiated, “moderate”—its trimester-balancing framework a measured, reasonable-sounding, proportionate act of judicial legislation concerning abortion. It is Doe that does a lot of the work, through an indirect and ultimately disingenuous definition of the “health” reasons that always may justify a woman’s decision to have an abortion and trump any interest of society in protecting fetal human life, even when the child could survive outside the mother’s womb. Doe holds that relevant “health” considerations justifying late-term abortions include “all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age—relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.” (Doe’s understanding of “the patient” did not include the fetus; Roe held elsewhere that the human fetus has no legal rights that any person is bound to respect.)

Roe then cross-referenced Doe’s stylized definition of health and incorporated it into the main holding. The result is that an abortion may be had, under Roe and Doe, for essentially any reason, throughout all nine months of pregnancy, up to the point of birth.

Nothing in any of the Court’s later abortion cases alters this definition of “health” or the right to abortion throughout pregnancy. Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 case reaffirming Roe, tinkered slightly with the trimester framework and the point at which “viability” occurs but did not change Roe’s (and Doe’s) holding that abortion may be had for any reason, before viability, and for any “health” reason throughout pregnancy. The partial-birth abortion cases carried this understanding forward, holding that the state may not prohibit the abortion method of inducing birth and killing the fetus on the way out of the birth canal (Carhart I [2000]), unless an equally effective, equally “healthy” method of killing the fetus is available (Carhart II [2007]).

I suspect that if more people understood Roe’s and Doe’s actual holding fewer would support that constitutional regime. Roe was a truly extreme decision, creating an effectively unrestricted constitutional right to abort a living human being for any reason the mother might have, throughout pregnancy right up to the point of birth.

Roe’s Legal Untenability

This brings us to Roe’s utter indefensibility as a matter of constitutional law. If the U.S. Constitution actually protected such an extreme personal legal right to kill the human fetus, that would be troubling enough, but the trouble would be with the content of the Constitution. The further problem with Roe is that it has absolutely no basis in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution. No rule or principle of law fairly traceable to the text, discernible from its structure, or fairly derived from evidence of intention or historical understanding of an authoritative decision of the people, remotely supports the result reached in Roe. In terms of fair principles of constitutional interpretation, Roe is perhaps the least defensible major constitutional decision in the Supreme Court’s history.

Roe’s reasoning, distilled to its essentials, is that the Constitution creates a “privacy” right to abortion, on the premise that the right not “to bear” a child is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. No serious constitutional law scholar thinks this is a plausible reading of the Due Process Clause. That clause forbids government to “deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law.” Without due process of law  are crucial words. The Due Process Clause does not say that government never may deprive a person of life, liberty or property. It only says that government may not do so “without due process of law”—that is, arbitrarily, lawlessly, not in conformity with duly enacted laws and accepted procedures for their application.

Many nonetheless support Roe’s holding as a policy matter and therefore seek to rationalize the holding some other way. Perhaps the goofiest is the suggestion advanced by a few law professors, in apparent seriousness, that abortion restrictions violate the Thirteenth Amendment’s ban on slavery. Saner, but in the end still unsound as a legal matter, is the notion that abortion laws discriminate on the basis of sex and thus deny “equal protection of the laws.” The defect in this argument is that abortion laws do not classify on the basis of sex or gender and are not disguised attempts to do so. Rather, they aim at conduct—obtaining or committing an abortion—when engaged in by persons of either sex. Abortion restrictions do not restrict acts of women because they are women; they restrict acts committed by men or women because they kill human fetuses. Further, ask a “pro-choice” “feminist” whether abortion should be permitted for reasons of sex-selection—that is, because the unborn child is a girl—and the sex discrimination argument begins to turn back on itself. All but the most blindly pro-abortion ideologues abandon the argument that abortion rights are required for gender equality, if that means abortion can be chosen for gender-selection of boys over girls.

In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court rested the right to abortion back where Roe purported to find it, in the Due Process Clause. Recognizing the embarrassments created by this view, Casey added another prop: the doctrine of precedent or “stare decisis,” which is essentially all that is left to support Roe. But Casey’s invocation of the doctrine was transparently disingenuous: Because the public expects the Court to adhere (usually) to its past decisions, because the Court had staked its authority on Roe, and because the Court might be viewed unfavorably by some of the public if it reversed itself in such a case, the Court said that it had decided to adhere to Roe “whether or not mistaken.” Thus, what Roe held to be required by substantive due process Casey held to be required by stare decisis, even assuming Roe to be wrong.

If Roe was radical, Casey was craven. A majority of the Supreme Court apparently believed that Roe was wrongly decided, fully understood the moral and human consequences of the decision, and deliberately adhered to it anyway. Stare decisis has never been thought required by the Constitution, before or since. Brown v. Board of Education (1954) famously repudiated Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) on the question of whether racial segregation was consistent with “equal protection of the laws.” The Court has overruled scores of its own precedents. Indeed, it overruled two cases in Casey. Casey’s reaffirmation of Roe, in the name of stare decisis, was a sham—perhaps the most transparently dishonest major judicial decision since Dred Scott.

Roe’s Immorality

Finally, there is Roe’s immorality—the abortion holocaust it unleashed—and the problem of our response to it. Roe is a radical decision and a legally indefensible one. But what really makes Roe unbearably wrong is its consequences. The result of Roe and Doe has been the legally authorized killing of nearly sixty million Americans since 1973. Roe v. Wade authorized unrestricted private violence against human life on an almost unimaginable scale, and did so, falsely, in the name of the Constitution.

It is hard to escape this conclusion, but not impossible—and many certainly try. I will not here belabor the question of whether the intentional killing of innocent, dependent, vulnerable human children is a grave moral wrong. My concluding point concerns the lengths to which we will go to deny the reality of this holocaust, because it is almost unbearable to contemplate and still go on living life as if nothing is terribly wrong. The cognitive dissonance is simply too great. And so we have become, in effect, a nation of holocaust deniers.

Here is the problem, undressed: If human embryonic life is morally worthy of protection, we have permitted sixty million murders under our watch. Faced with this prospect, many of us—maybe even most—flee from the facts. We deny that the living human embryo is “truly” or “fully” human life, adopt a view that whether the embryo or fetus is human “depends,” or can be judged in degrees, on a sliding scale over the course of pregnancy; or we proclaim uncertainty about the facts of human biology; or we proclaim moral agnosticism about the propriety of “imposing our views on others”; or we throw up our hands and give up because moral opposition to an entrenched, pervasive social practice is not worth the effort, discomfort, and social costs. The one position not on the table—the one possibility too hard to look at—is that abortion is a grave moral wrong on a par with the greatest human moral atrocities of all time and that we passively, almost willingly, accept it as such.

All of this should tell us a few more sobering things. It should tell us that, much as we would like to believe that human beings have become more morally conscious, more sensitive to injustice and intolerant of clear evil, it remains the case that we often either fail to recognize it in our midst, or refuse to respond to it decisively, out of self-interest or cowardice. It should tell us that, much as we would like to think that we surely would have stood bravely against slavery, even if embedded in a nineteenth-century society that tolerated and accepted it as a legal right, we might have acquiesced or been tepid in our condemnation. It should tell us that, much as we would like to think we would never have put up with what transpired in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and the 1940s, the evidence of our lives in twenty-first century America is that we might have put up with quite a lot.

And it should tell us finally, that, as much as we may claim to admire our governmental and constitutional system, the decisions of the Supreme Court in the abortion cases expose the Court—at least on this matter of life, death, and law—as a lawless, rogue institution capable of the most monstrous of injustices in the name of law. The Court has, with its abortion decisions, surely forfeited its legal and moral legitimacy as an institution. It has forfeited its claimed authority to speak for the Constitution. It has forfeited its entitlement to have its decisions respected, and followed, by the other branches of government, by the states, and by the people. Yet the docility of the American people with respect to Roe and abortion rivals the pliancy of the most cowardly, servile peoples toward ruinous, brutal, anti-democratic regimes throughout world history.

The Supreme Court is empowered by the Constitution to faithfully interpret the Constitution. But it is not alone in that power, and when it exceeds it and violates it, it is the responsibility of other actors in our system to check the abuse. As James Madison wrote in The Federalist No. 49, “the several departments being perfectly co-ordinate by the terms of their common commission, neither of them, it is evident, can pretend to an exclusive or superior right of settling the boundaries between their respective powers.” Moreover, it is “the people themselves” who are “the grantors of the commission” and who “can alone declare its true meaning and enforce its observance.”

The Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade should not be accepted as law, in any sense. It should be resisted by legislatures and it should be refused enforcement by executive officials because it is not the law. It should be resisted by all citizens, with all the resources at their disposal, and perhaps even with resources not (yet) at their disposal.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2012, 07:47:11 PM »

I recently received an email from Sen. Paul making a point that I had missed previously.   Apparently hiding in plain site in the Roe v. Wade decision is language addressing the matter of defining the beginning of life.  In the passage he quotes, it seems to read rather clearly that the Congress could pass a law defining the beginning of life and were it to do so SCOTUS would defer to it. 

Sen. Paul suggests that the Congress do exactly that (over partial-birth abortion fan Baraq's veto no doubt).

Powerful implications here , , ,
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DougMacG
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« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2012, 09:28:52 AM »

"Apparently hiding in plain site in the Roe v. Wade decision is language addressing the matter of defining the beginning of life.  In the passage he quotes, it seems to read rather clearly that the Congress could pass a law defining the beginning of life and were it to do so SCOTUS would defer to it."

VERY interesting.  If one were to look back through the discussions here, Congress could take positions laid out by Rachel and from the science of beating hearts, fingerprints etc and define as human life the point where a fetus is more like born baby than like a sperm cell or an embryo.  That still would allow women control over morning after type treatments of what is inside her own body.  If you let it develop into a distinct recognizable human, civilized society is going to protect it.

Unlike other ways of addressing this, you would lose the distinction of keeping track of whether the origin came from rape or incest.

Obviously Roe v. Wade can be addressed also by amendment.  What is lacking as with other contentious issues is the supermajority that would require.  That is why I have tried to address it in this thread to challenge people to think of this in terms of right and wrong more so than in law.  You need to change the thinking toward life before you can prohibit or criminalize what others find analogous to wart or cyst removal.  As Pres. Reagan said (paraphrasing), a fetus is a) alive, b) of the human species, and c) of distinct genetic composition from anyone else including the father and the mother. 

Even pro-abortion activists and justices refer accidentally to the woman carrying the fetus as the mother.  The mother of what?
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JDN
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« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2012, 11:15:54 AM »

If I recollect the position of Rachel (I take as an authority on Jewish law) was that until the day the child is born, it is considered part of the woman's body.  Anotherwords, it is her choice.

"In principle, Judaism does not regard the fetus as a full human being. While deliberately killing a day old baby is murder, according to the Mishnah, a fetus is not covered by this homicide rule."

I'm ambivalent on the subject; but I tend to defer to women on the subject.  I will say however that if there is any danger to the mother, I'm in favor of abortion.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #38 on: April 17, 2012, 04:22:07 PM »

I too take Rachel as very well informed on things Jewish.

I do not agree that the Manson family did not murder that 8 month old something that was in Sharon Tate's uterus.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2012, 07:55:46 PM »

"If I recollect the position of Rachel..."

Unless the posts were removed you do not have to recollect.  That was not all she said before withdrawing from the conversation.
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G M
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« Reply #40 on: April 17, 2012, 08:06:58 PM »

For sale here:

http://shop.nationalgeographic.com/ngs/product/dvds/science-and-space/in-the-womb-dvd

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/02/0225_050225_tv_ultrasound.html

4-D Ultrasound Gives Video View of Fetuses in the Womb


Brian Handwerk
for the National Geographic Channel
and National Geographic News

February 25, 2005

 The new generation of three- and four-dimensional ultrasound imagery provides striking views of fetuses inside the womb. Parents-to-be appreciate the lifelike pictures, and doctors gain an improved understanding of fetal development and behavior.
 
"It's almost a new science, in a way. It's taught us so much about how the fetus develops at an early stage," said Professor Stuart Campbell of the Create Health Clinic in London. Campbell, one of the world's leading experts in obstetrics, has been working with ultrasound technology since its earliest days and with so-called four-dimensional images since their debut about four years ago.


Four-dimensional imagery shows objects in 3-D moving in something close to real time. Doctors have long known that fetuses move, but the physical behavior revealed by 4-D scans is expanding that knowledge exponentially.
 
"We see the earliest movements at 8 weeks," Campbell said. "By 12 weeks or so they are seen yawning and performing individual finger movements that are often more complex than you'll see in a newborn," he said. "It may be due to the effects of gravity after birth."
 
The images reveal facial expressions, like smiling, at 20 weeks. Beyond 24 weeks fetuses may suck their thumbs, stick their tongues out (perhaps using newly developed taste buds to sample amniotic fluid imbued with the flavors of the mother's food), and make apparently emotional faces.
 
Many of the reflexes seem designed to help the fetus with tasks it will need after birth, such as opening its eyes and sucking.
 
Campbell believes that ever improving imagery—particularly the 4-D scans, which are inching ever closer to displaying real-time movement—represents the tip of the iceberg for fetal-behavior study.
 
"I think we ought to study the behavior of the fetus prenatally," he said. "For example, we don't understand why cerebral palsy occurs in 90 percent of the cases it does, but we believe it occurs in the uterus. I think the future lies in first-trimester diagnosis. I can see diagnosing abnormalities in the first 12 weeks."
 
Computer Advances Drive Improving Imagery

 Ultrasound images are made by sending high-frequency sound waves into the mother's body, where they penetrate fluids but bounce back off solids. The rebounding waves are collected to produce an image, traditionally seen as a two-dimensional "slice."
 
"As computers have gotten faster it's possible for them to process many 2-D slices over a very short period of time and then stitch them together. That's how we got from 2-D to 3-D," said Carol Benson, a radiologist specializing in ultrasound at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
 
"With the 4-D, processing is fast enough that you can watch [movement] as it happens. When it gets faster it will eventually appear to be in real time."
 
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G M
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« Reply #41 on: April 17, 2012, 08:11:27 PM »

One nice thing I've observed about Jewish theological thought is how human life trumps other things. As an example, at one time, the only source of insulin was from pigs. The ruling I know of basically said keeping kosher was important, but keeping diabetics alive was more important. Somehow, I doubt they'd look at 4D images of very young fetuses and rule that they were not human.
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JDN
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« Reply #42 on: April 17, 2012, 10:45:59 PM »

Yes, Jewish theological thought is how human life trumps other things.  Like most people's thought.  But a very young fetus, according to Jewish theological thought is not a "life" i.e."human" until it is born.  Whether they look at 3D or 4D or 5D imaging.   
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G M
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« Reply #43 on: April 17, 2012, 11:13:08 PM »

"Yes, Jewish theological thought is how human life trumps other things.  Like most people's thought."

Not for Obama or other creatures of the left.

"But a very young fetus, according to Jewish theological thought is not a "life" i.e."human" until it is born.  Whether they look at 3D or 4D or 5D imaging."

Care to cite your source on this, Rebbe JDN?
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JDN
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« Reply #44 on: April 17, 2012, 11:17:54 PM »

"Yes, Jewish theological thought is how human life trumps other things.  Like most people's thought."

"But a very young fetus, according to Jewish theological thought is not a "life" i.e."human" until it is born.  Whether they look at 3D or 4D or 5D imaging."

Care to cite your source on this, Rebbe JDN?

Rachel.....   smiley

and according to the Mishnah

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G M
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« Reply #45 on: April 17, 2012, 11:21:22 PM »

"Yes, Jewish theological thought is how human life trumps other things.  Like most people's thought."

"But a very young fetus, according to Jewish theological thought is not a "life" i.e."human" until it is born.  Whether they look at 3D or 4D or 5D imaging."

Care to cite your source on this, Rebbe JDN?

Rachel.....   smiley

and according to the Mishnah



Please link to the quote then.
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JDN
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« Reply #46 on: April 17, 2012, 11:43:20 PM »

"In Jewish law, a baby becomes a human being when the head emerges from the womb."

I trust you can find the links.   It's everywhere.   Or just ask Rachel    smiley
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G M
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« Reply #47 on: April 17, 2012, 11:56:03 PM »

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.

http://www.aish.com/ci/sam/48954946.html
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JDN
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« Reply #48 on: April 18, 2012, 09:05:25 AM »

 "Several sources in the Talmud make it clear that a fetus is not legally seen as endowed with full personhood until the very moment that it (or at least its head) is delivered."  It is clearly not considered murder - you are not taking a human life.   It's similar to property.  It's different than western thought. 

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/colb/20100106.html

GM; perhaps you should read what I said more carefully.  I'll repeat; "In Jewish law, a baby becomes a human being when the head emerges from the womb."  I did not nor do I intend to discuss abortion.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #49 on: April 18, 2012, 09:54:54 AM »

"I did not nor do I intend to discuss abortion."

Good! But what thread do you think you are in??  Drifting from "human being" to "full personhood", do we argue over humans interpreting God's law or go to the source? 

From JDN's link: "Jewish law suggests that abortion is wrong..." - but in the author's opinion, for different reasons, lol.

I don't know how this became about Jewish Law, but I quote and link what I know below.  This is more about liberals denying science and denegrading human life.  And it's about a logic string implied below that because they are going to do it anyway, let's make it legal. It's alive and human, not full personhood, but it is a human life.  What are you to link to make that obvious reality go away?

The point in an abortion thread of discussing whether or not it is a human life is to discover what we think about KILLING it.  Right?  Go to your source and a) it is evil and b) it is against Jewish law.

Rachel said she wasn't going to discuss it further and so for the third time I suggest you could go back and read the ENTIRETY of what she wrote on the subject if she is your guide on this matter.  

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to connect the facts established in science that a developing fetus is alive and human with the following "Jewish Law":

You shall not murder or You shall not kill, KJV Thou shalt not kill (LXX οὐ φονεύσεις, translating Hebrew לֹא תִּרְצָח lo tirṣaḥ), is a moral imperative included as one of the Ten Commandments in the Torah,[1]

References:
Exodus 20:13
Deuteronomy 5:17.

As GM points out, the life of the mother fits the distinction between kill and murder.  Killing in self defense has never been considered a violation of the commandment.  For the record, Rachel confirmed exactly what GM wrote here: http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1678.msg21065#msg21065 "As a general rule, abortion in Judaism is permitted only if there is a direct threat to the life of the mother..."

In that post alone there are NINE references to the "mother".  May I please ask again, the mother of WHAT?? ?? ??  (Obviously she is mother to a new, innocent, developing human life and it is evil and forbidden in religious law to kill it except to save your own life.)

98% of abortions are for convenience reasons.  I fail to see how a commandment-following Jewish woman takes the innocent life of her own unborn baby for reasons other than saving her own life. 

"Thou shalt not..." does not give a lot of wiggle room for justifications like that I need the money to continue my health club membership or prefer not finish my degree by extension.  God's answer to that is Thou Shalt Not.

Rachel wanted out of this conversation so I did not want to selectively bring her words forward, but if you reference her posts but refuse to go back and read them I will post this:  

"I just see legal abortion as a much less evil than illegal abortion"

I may disagree with that but is that not still saying abortion is evil?

A women's rights issue? Hardly:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303657404576361691165631366.html
The War Against Girls
Since the late 1970s, 163 million female babies have been aborted by parents seeking sons

What rights did those dead girls acquire?
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