Is it really about life and death?

H.R. 358 has been dubbed by pro-abortion activists the “Let Women Die” Act, along with top Democrat legislators such as Nancy Pelosi joining in the rhetoric.  Abortion has always been an impassioned issue.  At times, those on both sides can become defensive and heated.  While Scanning the blogosphere I came across a site which lamented,

Under H.R. 358, this critical protection would no longer apply to a woman who needed an abortion to save her life.  It would allow a hospital to deny lifesaving abortion care to a woman (including transferring her to a hospital that would perform the abortion).  Simply put, they could just let a pregnant woman die.

I am always skeptical of claims made by people that the Congress is enacting laws that would deprive citizens life-saving care.  So I searched for the text of the bill and lo and behold, the law says no such thing.  My comment on this blog quoted the relevant text of H.R. 358:

No funds authorized or appropriated by this Act (or an amendment made by this Act), including credits applied toward qualified health plans under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or cost-sharing reductions under section 1402 of this Act, may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion, except–
`(A) if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest; or
`(B) in the case where a pregnant female suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the female in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.

So not only was the claim false, it was explicitly false.  Given the over-exaggerated claims about this Bill, I expected a response like that of a street protester — wrathful with plenty of name calling.  I got neither.  The response was cordial and diplomatic.  However, the response was cordially laced with propagandist language.

You correctly reference the sections relating to insurance coverage for abortion services in the bill.  This language mirrors the exceptions for rape, incest, and life endangerment that are also in the Hyde Amendment.

However, the bill does not end there.  The language empowering hospitals to refuse to provide lifesaving abortion care, including transferring the patient to a hospital that will provide that care, starts on page 7.  It is clear that this legislation allows hospitals to deny care – lifesaving abortion care – based on the religious beliefs of an institution…

The point I made following her response was that there is not a hospital in America that would let a pregnant woman die under their care by refusing an abortion in order to save her life.  I noted that broadly speaking, even the most staunch anti-abortion advocates would not refuse an abortion to save a woman’s life.  In fact, that is an exception that we are willing to grant.  After being referred to some articles documenting a worker from a Catholic hospital who was fired for taking part in an abortion in order to save a woman’s life, and “For the government to tell hospitals that it is ok not to provide lifesaving care, because it’s an abortion is to truly impose one’s own ideology onto others“, I had one final response:

Heres [sic] the problem I have.  Since R v W, in 1973, about 60 million abortions have taken place.  The Hyde amendment was enacted in 1976.  So how many women have been refused “life saving” abortions in that time period?  Are there any examples?  Or are we just talking alarmist hypotheticals here?

BTW, you advocating that I pay for your (the collective your) abortion by using my tax money is forcing your ideology on me.  No one is neutral.  We all have a position, and every law forces someone’s morals on others.

My position would have saved 60 million lives, your position has done the opposite.  Are we really talking about lives here?

Unfortunately, my final comment was rejected.  I was sent an email informing me that their blog is

a forum for discussion among reproductive rights activists and allies, as well as for reaching people who care about advancing social justice…

We believe that thoughtful comments facilitate the exchange of ideas and help create a meaningful dialogue.

Although your initial comments did just that, you are now starting down a path that invites personal attacks on our writers.  In our opinions, the sentiments you expressed in this comment can lead to ugly personal attacks and the use of hateful, misogynist language.

I can understand the atmosphere they are trying to avoid by moderating every comment, so I am sympathetic in this respect.  As I admitted above, both sides can become so emotional that courteous discourse becomes impossible.  However, my point was more than the hateful misogyny it was interpreted to be (sound familiar? See: Haters, Haters Everywhere).  The author’s initial point seemed to be a concern for saving lives — that the passage of H.R. 358 will cost lives.  But there have been conscience protections in place for decades with not a single incident of a hospital letting a woman “die on the floor” due to refusal of a life-saving abortion.  The pro-abortion objection to this Bill is not about saving lives.  If it was about protecting life (See: But Where’s The Body?), they would be anti-abortion.

Comments

  1. Your comment should have been posted, I think. I don’t see any namecalling.
    You also correctly point out that forcing an ideology on someone has to happen to someone when two ideologies are in conflict.
    On the one hand, your ideology allows doctors in a position of power and influence to let a woman die when lifesaving is an option and the alternate position is to always choose the life of the mother over the potential life of a fetus.
    There are two key priorities in play here. First is that patients’ rights supersede doctors’ rights. Second is that the mother’s life supersedes the potential life of a fetus.
    If you want to quibble about ‘life’, the mother’s life would theoretically supersede the life of a newborn child as well, although that would never be in conflict. The fact that it may be in conflict is part of the reason why the host (mother) has rights over the …passenger… (fetus). The second fact is that a grown woman with a whole life to live shouldn’t be sacrificed in favor of a helpless infant who needs some support, presumably the mother, to survive, probably.
    There will still be a fundamental disagreement over whether a fetus has a right to life that supersedes the mothers’ right to bearing and raising a child over 20 years, or at least gestate a fetus for 9 months and then push that burden on the state. The world would be a worse place, all things considered, if we had had 60 million unwanted children roaming around since Roe v Wade. Every child should be a wanted child.

    • The term “potential life” is medically and biologically inaccurate, from conception, it is human and it is alive.

      However, no one is claiming that if the woman’s life was at stake, that an abortion shouldn’t be performed. The point is the number of women who have an abortion because they will die without it is a trivial amount. Advocates want all abortions funded, not just those, otherwise they wouldn’t object when people want to defund elective abortions. The rhetoric that people who dont want to pay for someone else’s birth-control abortion just hate women and want to see them die is disgusting.

  2. If it’s no big deal, then why is the loophole in the bill?
    All abortions should be legal because they are ethical when sought by the mother’s choice. People have a right to their bodies even with a future person is growing inside.
    Think of it this way. If you were a fetus growing inside your mother and she didn’t want to have a child, would you grant her wish? The instinct may be to say no, but the ethical answer is to let her make her choice to be a mother or not, at least well into the pregnancy.

  3. It sounds like you are suggesting that there is no difference between not wanting to give birth to a child and not wanting a child after giving birth to it. I suppose this does a lot to explain the difference between liberal and conservative viewpoints in regards to abortion, at least in your specific case. If I didn’t recognize that it would sound like you were asking an absurd question just to try to hand-wave the argument presented, because while the point you bring may seem valid to you, it’s completely alien to me.

    To me, a fetus is not human life. It is a fetus, a collection of tissue and cells. There is no difference between an egg, which we give no rights nor pay any mind to it, or a sperm cell which we give no rights nor pay any mind to it, or a zygote (which is an egg that has been fertilized by a sperm cell). It’s not until it has developed ‘enough’, which is an ambiguous term and subject to debate, would it make any sense to call it a living human being. So “potential life” makes perfect sense. Aborting a fetus is like removing an unwanted tumor, not murdering a child. When a child is born, it is protected under the law and is the mother/parents responsibility to take care of or pass up for adoption, so it wouldn’t make sense to allow the mother to end the life of a newborn child or toddler.

    So your objection seems absurd to me, and I hope that my explanation is enough to understand why. It may also explain why your comment, that was refused posting, seemed absurd, as “60 million lives” would assume that a fetus is a life, which is generally isn’t considered to be by myself, many other liberals, and I would assume the person who denied your comment. Not that your comment was inflammatory, as I personally see no reason why it should be censored.

    • Heres the problem. It doesnt matter if to you the fetus is not a human life. Medical and biological science says otherwise. If it is alive at the point of conception, and it is human at the point of conception, only its maturity is potential — not its life, and not its humanness. So, when I say save 60 million lives, it is not an assumption that they are lives, it is a statement of scientific and medical fact.

      It seems some people are really fond of science until it prevents them from killing their children.

  4. It’s impossible for me to say this kindly, but I’ve already addressed that in a previous comment and you’ve yet to respond to the argument on this very topic and instead choose to restate what you have already stated/supported, which disheartens me to the prospect of you actually willing to discuss this.

    As I’ve stated earlier, what you are giving is not biological or medical science, but an opinion. A widely shared opinion, yes, a shared opinion of many medical practitioners, perhaps, but not medical/biological canon, and certainly not universal. As such, it cannot be so easily dismissed by arguing that what I am saying disagrees with science. I am disagreeing with an opinion, not science. And if we really want to talk about lives, a fetus is a collection of some large number of organisms, lets say for the sake of argument (as I don’t wish to be bothered with the exact number, it is large but irrelevant)- trillions of organisms, hence trillions of lives, so every time a fetus is aborted trillions of lives are lost. Like when you get a bruise on your arm, or stub your toe.

  5. Speaking the truth in love has become “hate speech.” But speaking the truth in love still requires speaking the truth. The Left is really good at sticking their fingers in their ears and going “La, la, la, la. I can’t hear you.” For him that has an ear to hear, let him hear.

  6. “a forum for discussion among reproductive rights activists and allies, as well as for reaching people who care about advancing social justice…”

    That’s doubly wrong. First, never let them get away with the deadly “reproductive rights” euphemism. Abortion occurs after two human beings have already reproduced, so “reproductive rights” aren’t the issue — otherwise they’d let the human being in the womb live so that he/she could reproduce someday.

    “Although your initial comments did just that, you are now starting down a path that invites personal attacks on our writers.”

    LOL. Translation: You were starting to annihilate our arguments with facts, so you had to be silenced.

    “In our opinions, the sentiments you expressed in this comment can lead to ugly personal attacks and the use of hateful, misogynist language.”

    Yeah, pretty soon you’ll be fined / jailed for preemptive “hate speech, too.”

  7. “The term “potential life” is medically and biologically inaccurate, from conception, it is human and it is alive.”

    Exactly. If it is a potential life then have a potential abortion.

    “The fact that it may be in conflict is part of the reason why the host (mother) has rights over the …passenger… (fetus).”

    Wrong. The mother created the child and has an obvious obligation to her. Using that pro-abortion logic, the mother could have the child destroyed outside the womb as long as the umbilical cord hadn’t been cut (bad example, I know, since our President advocated for that very thing in fighting the Born Alive Infant Protection Act).

    “The second fact is that a grown woman with a whole life to live shouldn’t be sacrificed in favor of a helpless infant who needs some support, presumably the mother, to survive, probably.”

    Wrong. Ignores the even longer “whole life” of the unborn / newly born (did I really have to point that out?!).

    “There will still be a fundamental disagreement over whether a fetus has a right to life that supersedes the mothers’ right to bearing and raising a child over 20 years, or at least gestate a fetus for 9 months and then push that burden on the state.”

    That fetus is a human fetus, i.e., a human being at a particular stage of development. Human embryo ==> human fetus ==> human baby ==> human teen, etc.

    “The world would be a worse place, all things considered, if we had had 60 million unwanted children roaming around since Roe v Wade.

    The sad worldview of Liberalism: “Circumstances never change, ever!” Maybe they were unwanted at a time but wanted later.

    And using your logic, if they were wanted until birth but unwanted later then they can be destroyed. The size, level of development, environment and degree of dependency has no impact on the inherent value of a human being — inside or outside the womb.

    “Every child should be a wanted child.”

    Spoken like a good Planned Parenthood propagandist. Translation: Every (temporarily) unwanted child a dead child.

    The solution isn’t to crush and dismember unwanted human beings. The solution is to want the human beings.

  8. “The instinct may be to say no, but the ethical answer is to let her make her choice to be a mother or not, at least well into the pregnancy.”

    She’s already a mother. She has created a new human being. The question is whether the new human being warrant protection from being destroyed because she is unwanted.

    “As I’ve stated earlier, what you are giving is not biological or medical science, but an opinion.”

    No, you are wrong — http://tinyurl.com/yfje8lq . It is a scientific fact that the unborn are unique human beings. Your point about bruises is just silly.

    Faye Wattleton, the longest reigning president of the largest abortion provider in the world – Planned Parenthood – argued as far back as 1997 that everyone already knows that abortion kills. She proclaims the following in an interview with Ms. Magazine:

    I think we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don’t know that abortion is killing. So any pretense that abortion is not killing is a signal of our ambivalence, a signal that we cannot say yes, it kills a fetus.1

    Naomi Wolf, a prominent feminist author and abortion supporter, makes a similar concession when she writes:

    Clinging to a rhetoric about abortion in which there is no life and no death, we entangle our beliefs in a series of self-delusions, fibs and evasions. And we risk becoming precisely what our critics charge us with being: callous, selfish and casually destructive men and women who share a cheapened view of human life…we need to contextualize the fight to defend abortion rights within a moral framework that admits that the death of a fetus is a real death.2

    David Boonin, in his book, A Defense of Abortion, makes this startling admission:

    In the top drawer of my desk, I keep [a picture of my son]. This picture was taken on September 7, 1993, 24 weeks before he was born. The sonogram image is murky, but it reveals clear enough a small head tilted back slightly, and an arm raised up and bent, with the hand pointing back toward the face and the thumb extended out toward the mouth. There is no doubt in my mind that this picture, too, shows [my son] at a very early stage in his physical development. And there is no question that the position I defend in this book entails that it would have been morally permissible to end his life at this point.3

    Peter Singer, contemporary philosopher and public abortion advocate, joins the chorus in his book, Practical Ethics. He writes:

    It is possible to give ‘human being’ a precise meaning. We can use it as equivalent to ‘member of the species Homo sapiens’. Whether a being is a member of a given species is something that can be determined scientifically, by an examination of the nature of the chromosomes in the cells of living organisms. In this sense there is no doubt that from the first moments of its existence an embryo conceived from human sperm and eggs is a human being.4

    Bernard Nathanson co-founded one of the most influential abortion advocacy groups in the world (NARAL) and once served as medical director for the largest abortion clinic in America. In 1974, he wrote an article for the New England Journal of Medicine in which he states, “There is no longer serious doubt in my mind that human life exists within the womb from the very onset of pregnancy…”5 Some years later, he would reiterate:

    There is simply no doubt that even the early embryo is a human being. All its genetic coding and all its features are indisputably human. As to being, there is no doubt that it exists, is alive, is self-directed, and is not the the same being as the mother–and is therefore a unified whole.6

    Don’t miss the significance of these acknowledgements. Prominent defenders of abortion rights publicly admit that abortion kills human beings. They are not saying that abortion is morally defensible because it doesn’t kill a distinct human entity. They are admitting that abortion does kill a distinct human entity, but argue it is morally defensible anyway. We’ll get to their arguments later, but the point here is this: There is simply no debate among honest, informed people that abortion kills distinctly human beings.

    The problem is, Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 verdict which legalized abortion in the U.S. is actually built on the claim that there’s no way to say for certain whether or not abortion kills because no one can say for certain when life begins. Justice Harry Blackmun, who authored the majority opinion wrote:

    The judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to… resolve the difficult question of when life begins… since those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus.7

    Justice Blackmun’s assertion is a ridiculous one, at least as it applies to the field of medicine. Dr. Nathanson had this to say about the ruling:

    Of course, I was pleased with Justice Harry Blackmun’s abortion decisions, which were an unbelievably sweeping triumph for our cause, far broader than our 1970 victory in New York or the advances since then. I was pleased with Blackmun’s conclusions, that is. I could not plumb the ethical or medical reasoning that had produced the conclusions. Our final victory had been propped up on a misreading of obstetrics, gynecology, and embryology, and that’s a dangerous way to win.8

    Dr. Nathanson would eventually abandon his support for elective abortion and note that “the basics [of prenatal development] were well-known to human embryology at the time the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 1973 rulings, even though the rulings made no use of them.”9 In biological terms, life’s beginning is a settled fact. Individual human life begins at fertilization, and there are all sorts of authoritative, public resources to prove this. Consider the evidence below:

    MODERN TEACHING TEXTS ON EMBRYOLOGY / PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT

    “Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoo developmentn) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”

    “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).”

    Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.

    “Development begins with fertilization, the process by which the male gamete, the sperm, and the femal gamete, the oocyte, unite to give rise to a zygote.”

    T.W. Sadler, Langman’s Medical Embryology, 10th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006. p. 11.

    “[The zygote], formed by the union of an oocyte and a sperm, is the beginning of a new human being.”

    Keith L. Moore, Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2008. p. 2.

    “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a ‘moment’) is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte.”

    Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8.

    “Human embryos begin development following the fusion of definitive male and female gametes during fertilization… This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development.”

    William J. Larsen, Essentials of Human Embryology. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1998. pp. 1, 14.
    OLDER TEACHING TEXTS ON EMBRYOLOGY / PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT

    “It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and resultant mingling of the nuclear material each brings to the union that constitues the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual.”

    Clark Edward Corliss, Patten’s Human Embryology: Elements of Clinical Development. New York: McGraw Hill, 1976. p. 30.

    “The term conception refers to the union of the male and female pronuclear elements of procreation from which a new living being develops.”

    “The zygote thus formed represents the beginning of a new life.”

    J.P. Greenhill and E.A. Friedman, Biological Principles and Modern Practice of Obstetrics. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 1974. pp. 17, 23.

    “Every time a sperm cell and ovum unite a new being is created which is alive and will continue to live unless its death is brought about by some specific condition.”

    E.L. Potter and J.M. Craig, Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant, 3rd edition. Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers, 1975. p. vii.
    GENERAL AUDIENCE TEXTS ON EMBRYOLOGY / PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT

    “Every baby begins life within the tiny globe of the mother’s egg… It is beautifully translucent and fragile and it encompasses the vital links in which life is carried from one generation to the next. Within this tiny sphere great events take place. When one of the father’s sperm cells, like the ones gathered here around the egg, succeeds in penetrating the egg and becomes united with it, a new life can begin.”

    Geraldine Lux Flanagan, Beginning Life. New York: DK, 1996. p. 13.
    PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT VIDEOS

    “Biologically speaking, human development begins at fertilization.”

    The Biology of Prenatal Develpment, National Geographic, 2006.

    “The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception, when an individual’s unique set of DNA is created, a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated.”

    In the Womb, National Geographic, 2005.
    EXPERT TESTIMONY RELATING TO LIFE’S BEGINNING
    In 1981, a United States Senate judiciary subcommittee received the following testimony from a collection of medical experts (Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, Report, 97th Congress, 1st Session, 1981):

    “It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive…It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception.”

    Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth
    Harvard University Medical School

    “I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception.”

    Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni
    Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics, University of Pennsylvania

    “After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being. [It] is no longer a matter of taste or opinion…it is plain experimental evidence. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.”

    Dr. Jerome LeJeune
    Professor of Genetics, University of Descartes

    “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.”

    Professor Hymie Gordon
    Mayo Clinic

    “The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter – the beginning is conception.”

    Dr. Watson A. Bowes
    University of Colorado Medical School

    The official Senate report reached this conclusion:

    Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being – a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.10

    The American Medical Association (AMA) declared as far back as 1857 (referenced in the Roe. vs. Wade opinion) that “the independent and actual existence of the child before birth, as a living being” is a matter of objective science. They deplored the “popular ignorance…that the foetus is not alive till after the period of quickening.”

    Why have all the teaching texts and so many medical experts come to this same conclusion? Because there are simple ways to measure whether something is alive and whether something is human. If Faye Wattleton is correct and everyone already knows that abortion kills a human being, they have come to that knowledge in spite of the information circulated by Planned Parenthood and the rest of the abortion-rights community. The abortion section of the Planned Parenthood website explains abortion this way:

    “Abortion is a safe and legal way for women to end pregnancy.”11

    How’s that for thorough? Maybe they just assume that the method for ending the pregnancy is so obvious (killing the human being living in the womb) that it hardly bears mentioning. More likely, Planned Parenthood is simply accommodating the general ignorance which believes abortion to be the mere removal of potential human life, rather than the actual killing of existing human life.

    Biologically speaking, every abortion at every point in the pregnancy ends the life of a genetically-distinct human being.

    FOOTNOTES
    Faye Wattleton, “Speaking Frankly,” Ms., May / June 1997, Volume VII, Number 6, 67.
    Naomi Wolf, “Our Bodies, Our Souls,” The New Republic, October 16, 1995, 26.
    David Boonin, A Defense of Abortion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), xiv.
    Peter Singer, Practical Ethics, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, 2008), 85-86.
    Bernard N. Nathanson, M.D., “Deeper into Abortion,” New England Journal of Medicine, November 28, 1974, Vol. 291, No. 22: 1189-1190.
    Bernard N. Nathanson, M.D., The Hand of God (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 1996), 131.
    Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).
    Bernard N. Nathanson, M.D., Aborting America (New York: Pinnacle Books, 1979), 163.
    Ibid, 201.
    Report, Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, 97th Congress, 1st Session 1981, 7.
    Planned Parenthood, Abortion, http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/abortion-4260.asp (Sep 21, 2010).

  9. P.S. Nearly everything in the last link was pasted from that site. Just wanted to save everyone a click. People who argue against the unborn being unique human beings are not only hold an anti-science position, they are outside of what many pro-abortion leaders concede. It is sad how people casually repeat these deadly, easily refutable sound bites.

  10. K.Crow, are you equating “organisms” with “persons?”

    To me K.Crow is not a “human life” but a collection of cells. With his logic I don’t believe he has developed “enough” to be called a person. His “potential life” argument is ridiculous because he essentially says “Because we don’t know for certain whether a fetus is a person it is ok to treat him as if he isn’t a person.” What he does is pleads ignorance on the facts then acts as if he knows for sure a fetus is not a person. That kind of logic is not the logic of a human person. Would I then be on firm moral ground to “abort” K.Crow?

    He further demonstrates his lack of sanity by arguing that the law defines morality. He argues if the law allows it, then it is moral to do. He states “When a child is born, it is protected under the law and is the mother/parents responsibility to take care of or pass up for adoption, so it wouldn’t make sense to allow the mother to end the life of a newborn child or toddler.” To him, the law allows for killing the child before birth but not after. Abortion is therefore a morally good choice. Since the law says a woman can’t kill a child after birth it would be ridiculous to let her. What K.Crow fails to contemplate is that the law can easily be changed to prohibit a woman from killing her child before birth. THEN, according to his logic, it wouldn’t make sense to allow for the mother to end the life of the child before birth.

    In the end, morality hasn’t changed, because killing a child is evil whether our government permits it or not. Only the law has changed.

    Only a wicked heart and a confused mind justifies the killing of children.

    http://americancreed.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/the-face-that-changes-everything/

  11. Exactly. They pretend that we are anti-science then proceed to miss the most obvious scientific fact: A new human being is created at conception. Even the non-Christian writers of the Hippocratic Oath realized that. It took a couple thousand years of creative (pun intended) thinking to rationalize that away — and oddly enough, the Planned Parenthood types did so just before the advent of ultrasound and other technologies which proved what even the secularists instinctively knew.

    P.S. Even Planned Parenthood used to be pro-life. Seriously, in a 1964 ad for birth control they said:

    “Is it [birth control] an abortion? Definitely not. An abortion kills the life of a baby after it has begun. It is dangerous to your life and health. It may make you sterile so that when you want a child you cannot have it. Birth control merely postpones the meaning of life.”

    I wonder what scientific discovery made them change their mind? Or was it a financial discovery (abortions make some people very wealthy) or just philosophical (abortions are required to perpetuate the myth of consequence-free sexual freedom)?

    You can see the original ad at http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2007/09/15/planned-parenthood-vs-planned-parenthood/

  12. By the way, my last comment stating that K.Crow was not human was hyperbole to make a point. I really do think that K.Crow is a person like I think pre-born babies are persons.

  13. I will respond to DogTags directly at this point, and go through the rest of the comments at a later time, as it is quite a large sum of reading and I wouldn’t want to rush it.

    @DogTags, you misunderstand my position. I’ve not yet once argued that it was the potentiality that determined personhood, although not stated, I would argue that independence and consciousness would determine personhood, not potentiality. A zygote is not a distinct human being, as it is fully capable of, as in my own case, splitting and developing into identical twins, as well as developing a placenta, an organ that connects the fetus to the mother. If I were to artificially inseminate a human ovum in a petri dish, I feel that it would be absurd to call it murder or the death of a human life if I were to throw it away, set it on fire, crush it, or use it in some odd experiment to determine how long it can last in an acid bath.

    Additionally, you have my argument in reverse regarding morality and law. It is not moral because it is in the law, but it is in the law because it is moral. This is the very reason why anti-abortion-on-demand practitioners are fighting to get anti-abortion-on-demand legislation into law, while pro-abortion-on-demand practitioners wish to prevent such things from happen, the former believe it to be a moral issue, the latter believe it not to be a moral issue and/or the legislation creating moral issues in the form of denying a woman’s right to her own body/future.

    • If I were to artificially inseminate a human ovum in a petri dish, I feel that it would be absurd to call it murder or the death of a human life if I were to throw it away, set it on fire, crush it, or use it in some odd experiment to determine how long it can last in an acid bath.

      This is only because it doesn’t look like a fully mature human. But humans are not human because they look human. It is the distinct human dna than makes one a human being. Not eyes, hair, legs, or arms. A 25 year-old human born with no arms or legs is not less of a human than a 25 year-old with a complete body. A 25 year-old little person is not less human than a normal sized 25 year-old. And a 25 year-old little person born with no arms or legs is not less human than a normal sized 25 year-old. Human-ness is not determined by level of development or relative size. A human being is such because of its very nature.

  14. My hair follicles have distinctive human DNA. You can pluck a hair off of your scalp and by your own argument it would be a human being. Additionally, by “distinct”, are you saying that two people who share the same DNA are the same person?

    Something tells me that your explanation is incomplete.

  15. @Crow

    I did not suggest you said “potentiality equals personhood.” In fact you have said the opposite: “potentiality means we don’t know, since we don’t know, therefore we will treat the fetus as a thing rather than a person.” That is illogical. You made a very large leap of logic when you called a fetus “potential life” and then equated it to a tumor. Does a tumor have the potential to be a human being? You have some more explaining to do to draw that conclusion. You would risk the killing of a child simply because you don’t know if it is a child, but since that bothers your conscience you have to make that illogical leap to equating it to a tumor. That is intellectual dishonesty.

    Secondly, morality is absolute. Just because pro-abortionists transfer the morality debate (i.e. “It is immoral to tell a woman what she can do with her body” rather than “Abortion kills children”) does not make the morality of abortion relative. Abortion is murder whether you agree or not. A woman’s control over he body does not trump the right to life of the child growing inside of her. The law should reflect eternal morality, but it does not. The law as it stands protects those who want to kill children. That is why we are waging this battle.

    Finally, your argument that a fetus has not developed enough is an abitrary criterion. A child still needs its mother to feed him after birth. An infant outside the womb continues to develop cognitive and communication skills. Why should a mother not be able to kill her 3-month old infant? The same arguments for abortion could be used after birth.

    What if the law were changed to allow women to kill their children up to 28 days after birth as Princeton professor Peter Singer suggests? The law would allow her to kill her child. Then your argument would be “When a child is 29 days old, it is protected under the law and is the mother/parents responsibility to take care of or pass up for adoption, so it wouldn’t make sense to allow the mother to end the life of a newborn child or toddler.” You have just moved the arbitrary line further away from conception.

  16. As I’ve already stated, I don’t find potentiality to be relevant, so why you are putting those words into my mouth I have no idea as I’ve never expressed them. You are arguing against a straw man with your first paragraph.

    I disagree that morality is absolute. The very fact that we have a difference in moral opinions suggests that moral absolutism is a farce. The argument that “it is immoral to tell a woman what she can do with her body” doesn’t transfer the moral debate, it doesn’t recognize the moral debate you offer and instead proposes a completely new one. Abortion isn’t killing children, because the zygote/embryo/fetus isn’t a child, it’s a non sequitor to call it such. Stating that “abortion is murder whether you agree or not” trivializes the issue tremendously, as if you are suggesting that I am arguing that abortion isn’t murder in the same sense that triangles have 4 sides. It should be abundantly clear to you that while it may seem obvious to you, it is absurd to me.

    I’ve already stated my prerequisites for personhood, independence and consciousness. I mean independence in the sense that it is not part of the mother, in the womb connected by a placenta. Yes, it’s arbitrary, and there is no reason why it can’t be extended to a month after birth through a little rewording, but the line has to arbitrarily be drawn somewhere, and drawing it at the moment of conception is extreme and absurd, and leads to many other problems, namely women’s rights to their bodies and perspective goals.

  17. Your prerequisites for personhood are arbitrary and therefore subject to the evil human nature inside of you. As infants become inconvenient that wicked nature will create new arguments to push the line even further from conception to beyond birth to beyond 10 birthdays. (And you have argued that mere potentiality does not equal personhood. It’s not a strawman.)

    You are illogical about morality in that becaue two people can have different opinions about morality proves it is relative. The sun revolves around the earth. No the earth moves around the sun. Therefore, there is no movement at all. Your problem with absolute morality, I suspect, is not an intellectual one, but a willful one. I suspect you cannot bear the thought of a divine Creator setting the rules so you simply reject the rules and then try to craft arguments that satisfy your conscience. Only, your intellect is not satisfied with your reasons to reject God’s law. That is why there is little point arguing with pro-abortion advocates. A triangle has 4 sides to you no matter what the argument is.

    What trivializes the argument is transferring the debate from abortion kills a child to pro-lifers hate women.

    Your presuppositions are false and arbitrary and to argue with you is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall.

  18. Are you forgetting that motion is, in fact, relative?

    It is clear that you have no interest in argument, you’ve stated so yourself. You only wish to preach. Your arguments are absurd, and I’ve tried to point out why, but you refuse to understand my position, fully confident that you are correct and that I am wrong.

    This attitude is all I’ve ever received here, and not just from you, and I don’t think I can break any ground, so I’ll drop the argument and leave altogether. I’m fine with discussing our differences and trying to reach an understanding, and I’ve certainly learned quite a bit by browsing these discussions, but when you assume that I just “cannot bear the thought of a divine Creator setting the rules so I simply reject the rules and try to craft arguments that satisfy your conscience”, I get the impression that you are beyond rational argument. The presumptions involves with making such a statement go beyond just begging the question, but betrays a narrow-mindedness. And your blatant Tu-quoque argument in the third paragraph, which is entirely irrelevant and does nothing to refute or even address the argument I presented, only cements this.

  19. “The very fact that we have a difference in moral opinions suggests that moral absolutism is a farce.”

    You may disagree that it is against the law to steal, but that will be irrelevant when you are arrested. Same thing with morals.

    “The argument that “it is immoral to tell a woman what she can do with her body””

    The logical end state for illogical relativists: Trying to make moral claims and assuming we should care about your opinions.

    “Abortion isn’t killing children, because the zygote/embryo/fetus isn’t a child,”

    The claim is that it kills human beings, which is 100.00% scientifically accurate. It is illuminating that the pro-aborts must misstate the argument that way.

    “I’ve already stated my prerequisites for personhood, independence and consciousness.”

    Those are elusive and arbitrary, as you noted. Even pro-aborts can’t agree on them. Those justify infanticide as well (see Peter Singer, the Princeton “ethicist”).

    “but the line has to arbitrarily be drawn somewhere, and drawing it at the moment of conception is extreme and absurd”

    I’m glad you agree a line must be drawn. What more logical place to draw it than when the human being is created?

    “You only wish to preach. . . I’m fine with discussing our differences and trying to reach an understanding”

    Note how the relativist thinks some things are good or bad, yet can’t tell us why we should care about his opinions? Those are just a couple of his examples. They can’t go three sentences without refuting their own worldview.

  20. “My hair follicles have distinctive human DNA.”

    One of the all-time bad pro-abortion arguments. Such desperation.

    Our argument is that abortion kills a unique human being, of course. If abortions just killed hair that would be a great argument. But they kill entire human beings, by design.

  21. It is by my own volition that I comment on this website. And when I am met with hostility and rudeness, am completely misunderstood with rebuttals that leave me scratching my head as to how the hell you interpreted my posts as such, completely taking things out of context and going on wild explanations about how stupid and ignorant I am, followed by patting each other on the back discussing how stupid and ignorant people can be, I can’t help but feel that my time would be better spent doing something else.

    The hair follicle argument was a response to John’s statement “It is the distinct human dna than makes one a human being”. Hair follicles have distinct human DNA, therefor hair follicles are human by that argument. It was simply to point out that the argument was incomplete. I imagine that you failed the grasp that people you are intent in finding fault in a opposing viewpoint, instead of

    I’m increasingly getting the impression that being here is an effort in futility. I’ve unsubscribed, this will be my last post. I consider myself a young far left Liberal, and came here in order to get an impression of the other side as I recognize that the people around me for the most part share my views and there isn’t much in the way of mental stimulation in agreement. I am leaving with an impression of rudeness, irrationality, and intolerance that comes from fully believing in ones view and being confidant that those who disagree do so out of ignorance and abject stupidity. I came here with the idea that I could be wrong and I only need to be shown that I am wrong, but I am not met with the same humility and perhaps it is too much to ask for.

  22. Second paragraph was incomplete, I was mid-editing, got sidetracked, somehow combined sentences together and forgot to proofread. Replace the last sentence with

    “I imagine that you failed the grasp that because you are intent in finding fault in a opposing viewpoint, instead of properly analyzing it to understand the meaning, perception, and intent behind it (See: Reading comprehension).”

    Apologies, I made a liar out of myself saying that the above post would be my last. Quite embarrassing.

    • meeting people online in blogs which discuss passionate issues does not give a true sense of “the other side” Spend some time, you have only been here for but a short time. If I have been rude I apologise. I tend to speak my mind bluntly and it is almost always taken as rude, I dont mean it to be. But sometime too much nuance does not get the point across. Myself, I would prefer if you bring it to my attention first before deciding to leave, sometimes people let their fingers do all the talking for their normal selves. Sorry to see you go so soon.

  23. Marshall Art says:

    And so it goes. Accusations of hostile intent. Why is it that everyone must assume the worst of the opposition especially in a medium that lacks the ability to truly project one’s meaning to the fullest? If K. Crow checks back one more time, I would suggest that this person lighten up just a bit. I haven’t seen any indication that anyone is getting hostile or even condescending. This issue especially deals with human life and is important to those of us who truly value it. The comments expressed in this thread seek to project that as well as to show that the arguments in opposition are as weak as they are, not to show anyone up, but for the sake of those who lives are at risk. It should be understood that no one is trying to find fault in the opposing viewpoint on this issue. The fault is already there to see.

  24. If you want an example of people who don’t understand irony, John, you can look no further than Neil waxing belligerently about comment moderation.
    What a ridiculous heap of foul-smelling irony that is!
    Liberals aren’t the only ones with no sense of irony.

    • George

      I hope you aren’t going to bring the Barron-bash festivities from over at Jeremy’s blog over here. You are usually pretty respectful even if a bit snarky.

  25. Ladies and gentlemen, this string of comments was simply amazing to read.

    The hair follicle argument is a new one for me. “By your logic, a hair follicle is a human”. No, it is not “A” human, but it is human. It is human hair. It is from a human. And not just any human, one specific human. One specific human whose life began… at some point. No other DNA driven mechanism could have produced that hair than that specific human. At various points in time, that human DNA driven mechanism began producing things like hair and skin, and fingernails and before that, the second, third and fourth cell of what anyone can call a living human person. Ok, it was my hair. 

    IF that hair follicle cell IS human (as opposed to being A human), then the zygote from which it originated… IS HUMAN! TA-DA!

    John is right about it having to be human AND alive before we recognize its right to life. I think we’ve covered the human part. Human egg + human sperm= human zygote. It’s human.

    So, what constitutes life? Just because it doesn’t breathe or think, or walk, or can survive without its host, doesn’t mean it’s not alive.

    The zygote operates independently of the mother’s functions, supplied by the mother’s functions. The mother’s body in no way directs the baby’s cells to continue to split, does it?

    How about a tapeworm? Is it alive? Of course it is. And it’s completely independent of its host. The host is some dude. The parasite is IN some dude. If you remove it, it dies. Same thing with a baby at a certain point, but that only suggests that the separate life form needs a host for a certain time. A baby is no more a part of a woman’s body than a tapeworm is.

    And, I think it’s VERY important to point out, that in the beginning, a fertilized egg or zygote, is floating around completely independent of the mother. And only later (at the appropriate stage of maturity) attaches itself to her. 

    A zygote can be started in a dish and put into a woman. Any woman. And if the chosen lucky lady happens to have a nice place to live and grow inside her, the zygote will thrive and grow. So, really, the zygote was its own independent LIVING HUMAN PERSON, before it needed more to continue.

    I’m liking this “by your logic” stuff.

    Sir, by your logic, a zygote is a person.

    In conclusion, the fetus is not a growth. If anything, it’s a former zygote that has taken the initiative to attach itself to a host. A host who is only half responsible for the zygote’s very existence. No, it’s not a growth. It’s a parasite.

    A living human person parasite with natural rights.

    • Thanks C2C, I can agree with the comment with the only exception of describing a fetus as a parasite. I will make a post on this, but there is a very important distinction to be made even if there appear to be similarities.

  26. I won’t bug you too much over the distinction, except to say that a definition of parasite is: animal or plant that lives on another organism.

    This definition more closely resembles our position than that of a person who would argue that a woman has the right to choose what happens “to her own body”.

    Anyway, I look forward to reading your new piece on the subject.

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