Should abortion be illegal?

I have always believed that the topic of abortion isn’t as complex as some people would like to believe it is.  Once we know what it is that’s being aborted, we are better equipped to answer whether it should be legal or illegal.  Should this procedure be permitted by law?  If not, what penalty should the mother and or doctor incur? That is the question I’m asking here.

To make sure we are all talking about the same thing when I say abortion, I mean elective abortion.  An elective abortion is any abortion performed for a reason other than to save the life of the mother.  All others are for matters of convenience no matter how difficult the decision might be.  The truth of the matter is that the vast majority of abortions are performed for reasons other than medical necessity, so we’re talking about virtually every abortion performed in the US.

My conviction on this matter is rather straight forward.  All elective abortions should be illegal.  Taking the life of innocent human beings without proper justification should be illegal in all cases. In fact many states recognize this in the cases where a mother and fetal child is murdered. Why not extend it to a mother who commissions the death of her own child? Elective abortions take the lives of innocent human beings without proper justification.  Even without any argumentation reasonable people — or anyone not trying to defend abortion — should be able to see that given what elective abortion does, it should be illegal and carry criminal consequences.

abortion reasonsBecause there is no substantive difference between (degree of maturity and appearance) a 2 year-old and a 2 month-old, the penalty for intentionally killing the latter with premeditation should be similar for intentionally killing the former with premeditation.  Why should it be any different?

I would also hold those who perform the abortion procedure as criminally culpable as the mother who sought them out, maybe even more.  Self-proclaimed doctors should know better, and they do.  They mislead and blatantly lie to mothers who seek the remedy they offer.  Abortion activists, which include these doctors, mislead, withhold, and lie about what abortion is.  They oppose ensuring the mother sees a sonogram so that she can see what is about to be removed from her body.  They oppose waiting periods which would give mothers an opportunity to reflect so that a decision isn’t made with too much haste.  Every step of the way abortion activists and advocates oppose providing the mother with accurate medical information as it relates to abortion which doesn’t surprise me.  But doctors ought to know better, and they do know better.

What say you?  Should elective abortion be legal or illegal?  What penalty should the mother face for commissioning the killing of her child, if any?

Comments

  1. Look at how we treat women who kill their born children. Most are treated as though they’re mentally ill. I don’t know if that’s the right way to handle women we all can agree actually murdered a “person” (born children). But, certainly, anyone who murders anyone has some kind of mental issue.

    Perhaps that’s what we’re dealing with. Some sort of mass delusion. We need a modern Supreme Court case on the issue. One that lays out what we know now about what exactly is involved in abortion. Then we could get closer to the truth and make law accordingly.

    After that, I think the penalty for the woman should be as much as any woman would get for killing her own born child. Perhaps even treat her as mentally ill, since she obviously is under some delusion about exactly what she’s doing. The abortionist should be charged with first degree murder.

    • I think I can agree with that. It seems obvious to me that convincing a woman to abandon and become hostile toward one of her most powerful instincts: to care for and protect her child, would be a sign of a psychological and emotional malfunction. But for the doctor there’s no excuse.

  2. Abortion should be illegal, period. It is murder.

    When the life of the mother is at risk, it isn’t abortion. Rather it decide which life to save while allowing the other to die.

  3. Jeffrey Kraus says:

    No, abortion should not be illegal. For the religious, life begins at birth.

    Many people think that a human being is created at the time of conception but this belief is not supported by the bible. The fact that a living sperm penetrates a living ovum resulting in the formation of a living fetus does not mean that the fetus is a living human being. According to the bible, a fetus is not a living person with a soul until after drawing its first breath.

    After God formed man in Genesis 2:7, He “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and it was then that the man became a living being”. Although the man was fully formed by God in all respects, he was not a living being until after taking his first breath.

    In Job 33:4, it states: “The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”

    See http://www.thechristianleftblog.org/1/category/abortion/1.html

    For the secular, a human becomes a person after birth and the parents decide whether to include the child into the community. This is why infanticide is not treated the same as murder.

    This is not the story of maternity in which Madonna and child gaze at each other in eternal rapture, but one in which the struggle to survive forces a mother to make hard choices. The hardest of these — killing one’s child — is often assumed to be rare, but Hrdy documents many cases of infanticide in both primitive and modern societies. She notes that infanticide can be evolutionarily adaptive if an infant seems unlikely to thrive or has the misfortune to be of an unwanted sex. Indeed, the majority of human cultures postpone formal acceptance of a child, such as a naming ceremony, until a commitment has been made to rear it. It is impossible to know when these rites of passage first emerged, but Hrdy supposes that they were already in place by the Neolithic period. By casting the rituals in stone the author confers ancient authority on her conviction that nurturing is not an inevitable consequence of parturition.

    See http://www.nytimes.com/books/00/01/23/reviews/000123.23magurrt.html

  4. Jeffrey Kraus says:

    Yes, the biological life of an organism begins at conception. But a human does not become a person with legal rights until after birth. How long after birth is a social and legal decision. Abortion is the killing of a human but it is legal as it is not the killing of a person.

  5. Fetal homicide laws prove wrong that specially plead statement also. This discussion with you in particular wont be very fruitful since you’re ok with killing the elderly and handicapped. Your moral compass is already severely questionable.

  6. Would your god be held accountable for the 1 in 5 pregnancies that end in miscarriage, or natural abortion?

  7. R. Nash,

    Are you really, really that stupid to call miscarriage an abortion? Natural death then would be homicide to you?

    Jeffrey Kraus,

    for the Christian life does indeed begin at conception. To take up the liberal construct of human vs person is unconscionable for anyone claiming the name of Christ.

    Exodus 21:22-23 treats the unborn as a life to be recompensed for if killed during a fight.
    JOb 3:3b and 16: He says a “boy was born,” and not a fetus. vs 16 he calls a still-born child an infant.
    Psalm 51:5 talks about being conceived in sin. Sin only applies to living humans.
    Psalm 139:13-16 talks about how he was knit together in the womb as a living human person.
    Ecclesiastes 11:5 talks about the body formed in the womb – a living human body.
    Isaiah 44:2 God says he formed him in the womb – formed him as a living person.
    Isaiah 49:1 says God called him when he was still in the womb – BEFORE he was born.
    Jeremiah 1:5 God says he was set apart for the work of God before he was born – so God saw him as a living human BEFORE he was born.
    Matthew 1:18 says Mary was with CHILD. A child is a living human being.
    Luke 1:41-44 again calls the pre-born a “child,” and a child in the womb hears a voice and leaps for joy – that describes a living human being – a person!

    • Straight to the name calling. How predictable. And you have missed the point to boot.
      That point being that for you there is no natural death. The death of that fetus has absolute causality from either action or inaction by your god. Anything else is a logical or material fallacy on your part.
      Either your god is an all knowing, omniscient being who knows ahead of time that he will cause the death of this child or not. And if he does then you celebrate the “mystery of his actions. How do you square the premise that your all-loving god is killing all of these “humans”? To what end?

      • R. Nash,
        So, asking if you are stupid is “name calling”? You’ve got to be kidding.

      • R. Nash,

        I don’t get it – you say that for me, “there is no natural death.” Where DO you get such nonsensical ideas! I would guess that most people die natural deaths.

        “Inaction” by my God is Him allowing his creation to run its course. He put the all the workings of the universe to be able to run on their own. The fact that a child dies in the womb is a result of sin being in the world, and when it entered the world it corrupted creation. God is not to blame for natural death.

        You continue to spew total nonsense about what Christians believe and what the Bible teaches. You do this on almost every blog post, demonstrating true ignorance of what you attempt to discuss. So why do you continue proving how ignorant you are in regards to the Christian faith? It just makes you look foolish.

        And I really don’t understand your animosity towards our God. If he doesn’t exist, if we accept YOUR worldview, then you have no right to attack our belief system because it is all just stuff which evolved in our brains and for which we have no choice. You also have no right to be indignant about God allowing babies to die, because you really have no moral standard by which to judge God.

        You really CAN’T live your professed worldview, can you?

        • Glenn I think what Nash means by no natural death is that there is no death beyond the control of God. Each death was either intentionally caused by God or intentionally permitted by God and thus no death that “just happens”. Nash can correct my interpretation if I’m wrong.

          • John,
            Okay, but God put the physical processes in motion to allow procreation and continuation of life of every sort without need for intervention. And the Christian doctrine is that sin corrupted the perfect world God created, which is why there is death and disease.

            So the is no need for God to NOT permit normal, natural death.

            • I know, but he would say even God’s passive allowance counts for his point’s purpose.

              Sin altered the natural state of the world. Prior to the first sin there was no human death. It now happens as a natural side effect of the sin nature of man.

              • Yes John, there is no “natural” death if your god is in control of all things. The death of a fetus via miscarriage must have “causation” rooted in your faith and specifically in your gods powers/mission.

                If he is infallible and omnipotent and omniscient then he alone knew in advance that the pregnancy would be terminated by him. I find this part of the christian faith to be fraught with a suspicious double standard.

                On the one when a bad/negative thing happens, such as a miscarriage, there is no exploration with regards to causality. It is chalked up to gods mysterious ways, or it is not for us to know. On the other hand when a good/positive thing happens, like when christians pray for the Redskins to win on Sunday, and they do, we hear about the effectiveness of prayer. There is always understanding to be had, even manufactured when a good thing unfolds. Yet dumbfounded guffaw at gods mysteriousness can only be found when we talk about a full 5th of pregnancies ending in miscarriage. Why?

                I could extend the curious double standard to the use of the OT (Exodus 21)in Glenn’s earlier post. I hear all the time from christians when the spectre of slavery, murder, incest and genocide arise to ignore the OT. They tell me I am cherry picking. Yet is doesn’t go both ways.

                For instance: Lev. 27:6 places values on male and female victims based on age, with women being worth less, of course.
                Numbers 3:15 seems to place a different value on a fetus/infant.
                Numbers 31:15 is particularly troublesome.
                Numbers 5:21 Where to begin?
                Hosea 9:14-16 are flat out disturbing.
                Hosea 13:16 “women with child shall be ripped up”?
                II Samuel 12:14 seems to suggest that god will be punishing blasphemous parents with infanticide. Surely not a miscarriage or abortion but in one passage in Lev. apparently infants 1 month or younger are not persons.
                Genesis 38:24 In which Judah suggests burning pregnant women.

                I see/hear daily evangelicals/conservative christians using the OT to justify any number of social value predicaments, yet when skeptics use the OT we are in for a lengthy apologist dissertation on how the OT is just meant for the Israelites, or about the New Covenant, etc.

                And my apologies in advance. I am not being purposefully antagonistic, in spite of what my questions do to Glenn’s blood pressure. I actually am curious. I have never gotten a cohesive response to this query.

              • Nash,,

                God did not terminate any pregnancy with a miscarriage. Allowing natural causes to take effect is not actively terminating it. That is where your whole argument falls apart.

                Christians who pray for sports games wins, and those who believe God answered, are all deceived. There is nothing in Scripture which says God will respond to our selfish whims in our prayers.

                Miscarriages happen because this is a corrupt creation. Do you have any better explanation? And, again, what gives you the right to declare something right or wrong when you have no moral foundation against which to judge?

                It is not a “double standard” to use the O.T. to demonstrate universal character traits and teachings of God. Only when laws are specifically addressed for Israel are we at liberty to ignore them. So the fact that God in Exodus treats the baby in the womb as a person, and that the teaching continues throughout scripture, that makes it a universal application.

                Much of the Laws given to Israel were addressed to correct problems which were part of the culture around them. Many were to give restrictions as to just how far Israel was allowed to be like the pagan nations. You have been told this numerous times on numerous blog posts, yet you continue to pretend you’ve never heard this before. This is dishonesty.

                You people keep playing the same atheist/skeptic talking points over and over as if none of them have ever been answered. Same lists of passages show up over and over again. Do you atheists ever think for yourselves? If you do, then why can’t you ever understand context?

                Lev. 27:6 deals with value of people in accordance with vows to God. Men and women at different ages are more valuable to the community because of their respective roles. Economic value is not the same as personal value. I daresay that a heart surgeon has more economic value than garbage collector, which is why they are paid more. Does that mean that they aren’t of equal value as persons?

                Numbers 3:15. How so? They don’t count the unborn in a census today, do they?

                Numbers 31:15. Why? the women who were wives of those who tried to corrupt Israel into following Idols were as guilty as their husbands. They were part of those who worshipped idols, which was a capital offense. Male offspring are clan leaders when they grow up, and would continue to hold to their ancestry and lead people into idolatry. The unmarried women would not be responsible and could therefore be brought into the nation of Israel for marriage.

                Numbers 5:21. Where to begin? How about that adultery is considered by God to be a very grievous sin? And the ritual used was guided by God who knew the guilt or innocence of the woman. God is who guided the judgment.

                Hosea 9:14-16 is not disturbing. If the nation of Israel violates God’s laws and commits spiritual adultery by worshipping idols, then they will be wiped out as a nation. They will not be blessed with children, they will lose what they have and will be taken from them. This is the theme throughout the O.T. God tells them over and over that if they turn away from him, they will suffer severe punishment. The reason is because Israel was chosen to represent God, to teach the world about God, and they had to be holy to do so. To bring shame on His name was deserving of severe punishment.

                Hosea 13:16 is only saying what the enemies of Israel will do to them in war. Hey, that’s what Muslims do today to their enemies, so why don’t you raise hell with them?

                2 Sam 12:14: David wasn’t punished for blasphemy, so you don’t even know what you are reading. He committed adultery and then murdered the husband to cover it up when she became pregnant. God took the child as punishment. That isn’t infanticide, because with God the child still lives, and even David stated as much when he later said he would see his child in eternity (vs 23) when he says he will go to him (referring to his own future death).

                I’d be interested in knowing what passage you refer to in Lev. where a child 1 month or under isn’t a person. I’m thinking it is about census counting, and if you count the child during the period where they were at most risk for dying, then you’ve counted wrong.

                There are indeed many Christians who abuse Scripture to make their agendas look biblical, but just because some people abuse Scripture, that doesn’t mean others can’t use it properly. Those who abuse it most are cults and false teachers, although many ignorant people learning from false teacher will also abuse them. However, it is the atheists and skeptics who really abuse scripture through their abject ignorance of it.

                Your questions do nothing to my blood pressure, by the way.

                Again, your abhorrence and angst against what you consider immoral is illogical since you have no basis for moral complaints.

                And if you can’t find anyone to give you cohesive and consistent answers to questions about the Bible, then try me at my email found on my blog. But only if you are seriously seeking answers.

  8. Jeffrey Kraus says:

    My moral compass works just fine. I don’t support the killing of elerly or disabled persons. Morals are evolved behavior that promotes survival. Good and evil are not objective but only exist within human minds. Good is what promotes survival and evil is what hinders survival. See http://helian.net/blog/category/morality/

    It is only recently that evangelical Christians believed as Catholics that human life began at conception. They came to this belief to prevent the re-election of president Carter for his support of racial desegregation of church schools. See http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2012/02/18/the-biblical-view-thats-younger-than-the-happy-meal/

  9. Is it just me or has Nash not answered the question?

    • It’s not you T, he just decided to make it a religious discussion even though no one brought it up.

    • I apologize.

      Abortion should not be made illegal. Although, I would like to see late-term abortion made illegal, unless it is to save the life of the mother, or to keep her from dire physiological consequences.

      Also I cannot even comprehend the premise of “punishing” a woman for having an abortion. As abhorrent as I find the idea, I do not feel that I am in a position to dictate another persons life in this way. Couple this with my opinion that a human being is not in existence at conception, and this is where our divide lies.

      Will anyone really benefit from having this conversation again?

      How about a conversation about a few ways we could markedly cut the rates of abortions. Maybe tie that into finding some use for the public classroom, other than mediocrity? Classes starting in 4th grade about ethics, morality and personal responsibility and accountability. Critical thinking and how it can be used to change a culture that relies entirely too much on this disgusting practice? Teach children what abortion is and how to avoid the situations that lead to it?

      • Abortion should be made illegal because it is the murder of an unborn human being, a living person.

        No one is advocating punishing a woman for it, rather the abortionist is who should be punished.

        The problem with your worldview, Nash, is that you don’t see life as worth anything until the child is actually born, regardless of whether it is a fully living human being months prior to birth.

      • Nash,

        If science says a new human being’s life begins at conception, why do you not accept it?

        • The materials for a future human being are possible in the biologic material matrix at conception. Stem cells really are amazing.

          Yet there is no heart, no brain, no back-talk, no arms and legs, no eyes, or central nervous system. No right to vote, or own a gun or be counted by the census or IRS, this mass of cells is incapable of consciousness, hence it it is not a human being. Which is why I have zero issue with the morning after pill.

          The mass has potentiality. This does not infer it is a human. If I set this mass in front of you in a dish at the moment of conception and asked you to verify that this was a human being and to confer it all known rights, would you? How without being told ahead of time would/could you know that it was a human being? If it was a human being it could survive outside the womb.

          Blanket statements and generalizations about “science”, and your expectation that I walk lock step with those ideas as religiously as you do yours, is well inaccurate.

          I feel like we have done this before, no?

          I am curious to have you weigh in though on whether or not a woman should be forced against her will to carry the pregnancy that occurs from a rape. And no we don’t need to discuss it’s frequency, that would be a red herring. If you outlawed abortion, would there be a rider to allow the murdering of the fetus if it was the by-product of sexual assault?

          It could be argued fairly easily that to carry the fetus to term would cause irrevocable damages to the mother. What if it drove her to consider or follow through with suicide?

          • abortions due to rape represent 1% or less of all abortion. But even if, since when do we kill children because their father is a criminal? Will it erase the memory of the rape?

            But you are either woefully uninformed on the embryological advances that have determined that a genetically complete human being begins to exist the moment the sperm meets the egg, or you are intentionally obstinate. This is not debated among scientists, only among those trying to justify abortion. Go figure.

            • Here is a link suggesting from no less than 4 separate studies that your 1% claim appears to be off. Although it is the number bandied by christian conservatives in an effort to justify the disturbing thought that under their version of sharia law women will be forced against their will to carry a fetus that was put there by their father or other rapist.

              http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/the-claim-that-the-incidence-of-rape-resulting-in-pregnancy-is-very-low/2013/06/12/936bc45e-d3ad-11e2-8cbe-1bcbee06f8f8_blog.html

              ***So to be clear all of you would force your wives/girlfriends to carry a fetus to term if it was from a rapist or her brother etc? You would raise your father in laws child? This isn’t an argument about statistics. It doesn’t matter that 40-80k women are raped every year and it results in thousands of unwanted pregnancies. I want you to say that you would revoke a woman’s right to use the morning after pill or get an abortion after being raped.

              *** And even if your wife did want to abort it, you would force her to have the child?

              And you keep using the terms “genetic” and “complete”. My position has zero to do with genetics. That’s a gimmee. But how is it a human being without the list of requisites I listed above? How is it “complete” without a heart, brain or consciousness? This is the continual issue with this debate. You say human being at conception. I say it is an eventuality, barring a “natural” abortion from on high. It is an embryo at the moment of conception. It will “become” a human being in 3 weeks, with a beating heart etc. Therein lies our pointed difference. It is not yet sentient.

              Your position is that it’s a human being at conception. I disagree. I seem to have a different set of definitions for what constitutes a human being. And as “uninformed” as that position may seem to you, I can’t imagine that you will be offering anything new up to change my mind. And vice versa.

              • Nash, I cite the Guttmacher Institute, the massively proabortion institution.

                as for being unconvinced, I thought you valued science. Guess not when your ideology gets in the way.

  10. Nash,

    No, it doesn’t benefit anyone to have the discussion again. I have clearly stated my position, but I will briefly state it once more: Embryology 101 says that a genetically distinct, new human being comes into existence the moment conception occurs. The new human then implants and begins the lifelong process of human development we’re all currently experiencing. And I simply do not believe that human value should be based on intellectual or emotional capabilities – precisely because I find it immoral and dangerous.

    Additionally, I find our legal system to be self-contradictory on this matter. In one hand, the murder of a newborn child is treated no differently than the murder of a 90-year-old adult, making it clear, therefore, that our legal system does not place a higher or lower value on the various stages of human development; all human beings are equal under the law – except human beings still in the womb.

    This cannot be reconciled. The fact the child is within the mother’s body hardly matters. And if it does, then why prohibit even late-term abortions? If it’s a woman’s body, it’s a woman’s body; if that doesn’t matter, that doesn’t matter.

  11. Yet there is no heart, no brain, no back-talk, no arms and legs, no eyes, or central nervous system.

    I see. So human value should be based on the possession of organs and limbs? So then obviously a person born with no limbs has less value than a person born with four limbs? And clearly it’s possible to lose value, as would be the case for many soldiers, car accident victims, and those on life-support.

    No right to vote, or own a gun or be counted by the census or IRS, this mass of cells is incapable of consciousness, hence it it is not a human being. Which is why I have zero issue with the morning after pill.

    The late-term child you want to protect has no right to vote, to own a gun, be counted by the census or IRS, and while existing in a state of consciousness is unaware of itself as a distinct being. Hence, by another utterly arbitrary definition of human being. this late-term child does not qualify. So why again would you like to see late-term abortions prohibited?

    The mass has potentiality.

    Once the egg implants and development beings, the new human exists no more in a state of potentiality than you. It is only in a much earlier stage of human development than you, but it is a human being nonetheless.

    If it was a human being it could survive outside the womb.

    Look! Spontaneous evolution! Earlier, the metric was possessing limbs and organs, but Nash’s argument has evolved. Now the metric is the ability to survive without an external support system….

    Blanket statements and generalizations about “science”, and your expectation that I walk lock step with those ideas as religiously as you do yours, is well inaccurate.

    The fact remains that “science” does say that a new human being comes into existence the moment conception occurs. This is not open for discussion. In the past, I have referenced this point extensively. I will not do so again, because obviously this matters little to you.

    I am curious to have you weigh in though on whether or not a woman should be forced against her will to carry the pregnancy that occurs from a rape.

    Yes. And red herring? No. This is merely an emotional screen. Rape resulting in pregnancy occurs less than one percent of the time, and abortions resulting from rape about the same. So it seems face-palmingly asinine to justify the other 99% of abortions for the sake of a circumstance so incredibly rare.

    But I get what you’re doing. You’re trying to catch me. If I say a human being is a human being at the moment of conception, then what difference does the father’s criminal record matter? It doesn’t. And so, yes, I believe women should be “forced” to carry the child of their rapist – and solely because the child is not the guilty party.

    It could be argued fairly easily that to carry the fetus to term would cause irrevocable damages to the mother. What if it drove her to consider or follow through with suicide?

    I have linked many peer-reviewed studies showing abortion to cause irrevocable psychological damage to the mother. What if it drove her to consider or follow through with suicide?

    • Well Terrance for the sake of argument just stick to brain and heart. I thought it was obvious that I was speaking about a mass of cells that was hours old, but alas I can see where I was talking about limbless Soldiers. I apologize for confusing you.

      My argument against late term abortion is based on the ability for a fetus to survive, usually with lots of fancy technological help, outside the womb. I know you think it’s a “gotcha” kind of moment but it really isn’t.

      An “emotional screen”? Not for the rape victim it’s not. And you have dutifully distilled rape victims down to nothing, a statistical anomaly because you think it’s so rare. How convenient that christian conservative men can so predictably use their value system to revoke the rights of another person, especially women. This take on rape is so morally repugnant that it is the reason I so rarely have this conversation with zealots.

      Thankfully you and this idea of revoking the right of the woman to determine and be responsible for her own outcome after rape, places you in the minority of a minority. If this country begins forcing your minority islamic-like, psycho zealot sanctions on others…well of course you already have a long list of christians blowing up, burning and killing people. It will make for an interesting day.

    • John, even now your generalizing is ineffective. Saying that I “value science”, except when it gets in the way, is to suggest that I am some blind sheep worshipping at the altar of science. I can’t imagine any post where i have ever even hinted that. Which leads me to believe that it is a way for you to stereotype others in an attempt to affirm your own awesomeness. I make a living out of debunking bad science. It requires independent thinking skills, a recognition that most people operate with a number of biases, and that those biases almost always shape peoples view of everything around them.

      You are discounting the longitudinal study by Holmes on rape pregnancies? Why? Even the majority of the conservatives in Congress are convinced.

      • the guttmacher institute claims 1% or fewer abortions are performed because of rape. They are as pro abortion as it gets outside an abortion mill itself. I’ll take their word for it.

        • Of course. Any number that supports your premise. Even if it was 1%, are you really going to debase these women by insisting that YOU are in a position to determine their well being and outcomes?

          • Its not only the well being of the mother that is up for consideration. There is a child involved who did nothing worthy of being killed. If you are so willing to kill the child, are you just as willing to kill the rapist, you know, the one who actually did something wrong.

            • I agree, the mother is not the only thing to consider. But again I do not think it is a child. You do. I think that in the hours or days after a rape it is not a child/human being.

              And a resounding yes to putting the rapist down like a dog. Zero issues when conclusive evidence supports the use of the death penalty. Any person who represents this sort of danger to society can get pushed off of a cliff or any other method that alleviates the taxpayer of the bill. Sexual predators cannot at this time be rehabilitated. So off they go.

              • It’s you against the science, not me. It’s not my opinion, its embryologists and biologists in the field who say you’re wrong, I just have the where with all to agree with them.

  12. Not only was your link incapable of pinpointing the actual number of rapes (which is needed for true accuracy, meaning my claim may not be “off”), it referenced studies that put the number at 5%. Even if it were 5%, it’s still asinine to justify the other 95% with a situation so rare, whether 1% or 5% rare. And it is hard to determine true accuracy, but estimates range from 1% to 5%. Regardless, the point stands.

    I have said before that my mind is not made up concerning the morning-after pill. I know that it can take a few days for conception to occur – and not all morning-after pills are true abortifacients. That notion is, regrettably, pushed by very conservative Christians that also oppose just about every form of birth-control save abstinence.

    And I wouldn’t have to force my wife, as she is far more pro-life than even me. Of course, opinions can change under pressure, but she’s stood up well to pressure in the past. We were both very young when she became pregnant with our oldest child – and her mother pressured the hell out of her to have an abortion. And that was the only time I ever heard my wife tell someone to “f*ck off.”

    And how is it a human being without the list of requisites listed? Because they’re your arbitrary requisites, meaning they’re not requisites at all. You don’t have to be conscious to be a human being; you don’t have to have a working heart, or lungs, or kidneys. The fact is that human beings can and do live on external support systems.

    Furthermore, if the unborn child is undergoing the exact same process of human development as you, which it is because it merely develops rather than transforms into something new, then you cannot reasonably argue that he or she exists in a state of potentially, eventuality, or any other kind of ality except REALITY. Once it implants, development begins and does not end until natural death. Yes, it starts to look different and develop new cells, but this, again, is the same process of development we’re all currently experiencing, albeit in a more advance stage. And I’m sorry but I will not place value on different stages of human development. It is wrong, immoral, and dangerous.

    And don’t give me any of your sophistry. It is a gotcha-moment because if you’re trying to base personhood on something as asinine as the possession of organs, limbs, and internal-support systems, then, in Islamic-like fashion, you have excluded a great many human beings from personhood. How intensely Hiterlian of you.

    • So Terrance, to be clear I am not using the “other “5% to white wash the other 95. It was raised because even if it is just one woman forced to bear the child of her rapist, I needed to know just how far you supported the pro life mantra. As you well know there are many positions people occupy somewhere in the middle. I have lost many friends over the years for not being explicitly and unquestionably pro-choice. I am making no friends here by not being the opposite.

      Heaven for bid, if your wife was assaulted, and she did change her mind, what would be your position then?

      Yes human beings can survive on life support. But a mass of cells cannot. In order to be on life support you would have to have those organs to support. Nothing arbitrary at all about it. The embryo is not going through the same process that you or I are. My body has very few stem cells. None of those are attempting to create a brain, heart etc. You say it is a human being at conception. I am saying that it will become a human being. Until then it is mass of cells turning into an embryo, human being etc.

  13. Anyone else notice how often Nash reverts back to our religious beliefs, even when not germane to the topic of discussion? And has anyone else noticed that Nash frequently chides Glenn for “personal attacks,” yet rarely refrains from them himself…

    • Nash and other who inject religion into a discussion where it isnt mentioned is a tactic. It’s done in an effort to merely dismiss the argument/point being made.

    • As if to even remotely suggest that any of you and your radical positions on abortion are not directly a result of your christianity?!?!?! Seriously? Not germane? John writes about abortion to the point of obsessive compulsiveness. And all of you reference your biblical rhetoric in support of his position. I mean I am not even beating that drum. Why bring it up? I went back and forth with Glenn, listed some verses and moved on. Our last 5-10 exchanges have been religion free.

      And what personal attacks? Is the use of irony or sarcasm an “attack”? I guess christians have gotten so used to using the term attacked, persecuted etc. that even my outlandish claims are considered attacks. Can you show me these attacks so that I can know what were talking about?
      I mean crimony I am actually trying to play nice!

      • Nash, perhaps your sarcasm and irony dont translate well in your comments. I am one of the most sarcastic and wry humored people I know and I dont see it in your comments. You come across as hostile and confrontational.

        But you brought religion into the discussion and insisted I insert religion into the issue. In fact you wont find a religious argument I make in defense of the pro life/anti abortion position. Glenn and others responded to your inserting religion, not the other way around.

        • With the exception of my exchanges with Glenn, I have attempted to be neutral. My apologies if the sarcasm hasn’t translated. But I mean hostile?

          But my previous point about christianity, is that you write a lot and seemingly in a fairly absolutist tone that your moral compass and it’s genesis can be found there. Is your position on abortion from some other source?

          • I think your previous comments when you first came here are in people’s mind. So your sarcasm – I appreciate sarcasm btw – doesnt come off as I think you intend it too. Ill be on the look out and try to be more charitable in my interpretation of your comments.

      • Nash,
        Long before I was a Christian, or cared about religion, a very good friend had an abortion. I was horrified. I knew it was a life from conception (biology). So your claim that it is just a religious belief has just been dismantled.

  14. Jeffrey Kraus says:

    John Barron states,
    Taking the life of innocent human beings without proper justification should be illegal in all cases.

    What are proper justifications and who decides? I think that for a pregnant women any reason is proper justification for an abortion. Objective morals do not exists. And even if god was real there would still be no objective morals. Any morals of a god would just be its opinion.

    • Proper justifications are laid out in the murder laws already. Defense of self or another is proper justification.

    • Jeffrey K.,

      Objective morals do not exists. And even if god was real there would still be no objective morals. Any morals of a god would just be its opinion.

      And since YOUR opinion is nothing but the result of evolved mush in your head, your opinion has no rational basis behind it. So why should we accept it?

  15. mmmike917 says:

    Abortion is a rapist’s best friend. A large number of rapes are committed by someone the girl knows, like a relative. They bring these scared and helpless women to get an abortion in order to “hide the evidence” so to speak so that they can continue raping their victim and Planned Parenthood is all too willing to assist them. Abortion defenders who invoke rape as a rationale for abortion are barking up the wrong tree IMHO.

  16. So Terrance, to be clear I am not using the “other “5% to white wash the other 95. It was raised because even if it is just one woman forced to bear the child of her rapist, I needed to know just how far you supported the pro life mantra.

    You refer to my respect for human life as a “mantra” but somehow I’m the zealot?

    Heaven for bid, if your wife was assaulted, and she did change her mind, what would be your position then?

    I wouldn’t support her decision, but I would support her.

    Yes human beings can survive on life support. But a mass of cells cannot. In order to be on life support you would have to have those organs to support. Nothing arbitrary at all about it. The embryo is not going through the same process that you or I are. My body has very few stem cells. None of those are attempting to create a brain, heart etc. You say it is a human being at conception. I am saying that it will become a human being. Until then it is mass of cells turning into an embryo, human being etc.

    You cannot deny that the nature of this “mass of cells” is irrefutably human and totally unique to itself – sort of, ya know, like a person…

    Furthermore, the validity of your argument is severely hindered by the biological fact that these organs exist at the genetic level. And while the stem cells in your body have a totally different function, so too do certain cells in the body of a newborn, who, like the embryo, is also in an early stage of human development. None of this suggests that the process of development is fundamentally different; it’s all human development in fundamentally different stages.

    It’s worth mentioning, too, that the human heart has been totally and successfully replaced by something that mimics a left-ventricular assist device, but actually does the work all by itself. Such a circulatory system does not depend on a biological organ, but a battery operated machine. If we’re truly going to emphasize human value in relation to the possession of biological organs, then some people have a serious problem.

    Of course. Any number that supports your premise. Even if it was 1%, are you really going to debase these women by insisting that YOU are in a position to determine their well being and outcomes?

    Now you’re attacking a straw man. I never suggested I am able to determine their well-being or outcomes; I’ve merely suggested, factually, that unborn children, regardless of their father’s criminal record, are human beings, period.

    As if to even remotely suggest that any of you and your radical positions on abortion are not directly a result of your christianity?!?!?!

    You should probably peruse this blog a little better. I started on this blog as an atheist and “rabid pro-lifer.” Additionally, Christopher Hitchens was pro-life.

    But regardless, I’m much more interested in this insinuation that respect for human life – which is precisely what the pro-life positions boils down to – is directly connected to a belief in God.

    And my pro-life arguments are 100% secular and devoid of scripture. Seriously, what the hell drugs are you on?

  17. mmmike917 says:

    Thanks John. I see pro-choicers bring up rape as if it’s some kind of a defeater for pro-lifers, and it’s exactly the opposite. I think it’s high time they’re called out on it.

  18. Jeffrey Kraus says:

    Why would my opinion not be rational? Rational thought is what a brain created by evolution does. You should accept my opinions if they are supported by evidence and reason.

    Assume god exists, why should I care about his moral opinions?

    • Jeffrey Kraus,

      If there is no reason behind nature, if humans owe their existence to nature alone, how can you trust your reason to give an accurate account of nature? Aren’t your thoughts the results of irrational causes, the effects of Nature’s whims, and therefore sure to be irrational?

      I can’t accept opinions based on evolution, because there is no evidence for it.

      “Assuming god exists” – which He does – you should care about His opinions because He has the power to do with you what He wills!

  19. Jeffrey Kraus says:

    Having an accurate account of nature is a selective advantage. Predators that can predict the actions of their prey are more successful at hunting. This provides selective pressure for improved brains that can reason. My thoughts are based on sensory inputs and not irrational causes.

    So the only reason for caring about gods opinion is your fear of punishment?

    • Jeffrey,
      All you made were assertions about how YOU think evolution did these things. But it still takes rational thought. Rational thought – ALL rational processes – must have an intelligence behind them; an intelligent designer to program them.

      And in answer to your question – um, no. That is not the only reason. My reason is to glorify Him, to honor him. But that’s because I know He is. I responded to an unbeliever – you- as to why you should care. You should care because you are a sinner in need of a savior, because without a savior to pay for your sins, you must pay for them yourself. And that means an eternity separated from God in a place of severe eternal punishment.

      • So John, do you morally/monetarily support the number of christian zealots who have been convicted of murder and other felony charges for blowing up clinics, killing dr’s etc? Since your justification is “in defense of others”, does this allow for support of these guys? Would you support future killings of abortion providers even if it was just quiet support from the sidelines? This support is what the majority of muslims do when radical zealots engage in their asshat behaviors. I mean the doctor and mother are criminals to you right? And how do you begin to reason away the fact that both Johnston and Guttmacher both arrived via the data, at the same conclusion; that not only are there any abortions occurring in rural bible belt states, but that the majority are happening there? From ND, MN to TX and GA. If you care to look at the data through the lens of this study it makes it very interesting:

        012. 2010 U.S. Religion Census: Religious Congregations & Membership Study. Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies.

        Now we understand why young christian women are going out of state for abortions.
        It might suggest that christians in America need to take care of their own backyard before mandating their sharia laws on everyone else.
        For example Maine and NH residents (a conservative lot) seem to be flocking to MA for abortions. Lucky for the legislature and residents they can continue to stick to their “values” and claim they are way down on the list for gross abortion percentages, but it turns out those white christian women are just driving to MA and inflating their numbers. It works for you guys because then you can claim that the liberal, godless lefties are the enemy.

        Why does Glenn keep bringing his god into this conversation? Dismantled? On the one hand you call us non-theists immoral or amoral because we have no way to rationalize biologically our position on anything. And then you give an example on abortion in which you were an atheist. Bu, but, but…. Glenn if you were an atheist how could you know that abortion was wrong? I mean if you refer to that group with so much name calling and insulting of intelligence, how exactly were you so especially imbued to knowing that abortion was wrong? How did you rationalize that as a non believer?

        And Glenn, did you murder, rape or do any other heinous and immoral things as an atheist? Were you a life long felon? Why? I mean if we are non believers and there is no divine inspiration for our ethical standings, why aren’t there more than .01% of us in prison? Is it possible that evolution of bipeds over 4 million years frowned on that behavior? I mean

        I said this at least 3 times yesterday, that you couldn’t have a conversation about abortion and it’s legality without your moral compass and its etiology, your religious bent being a part of the debate. Just because you think you have made a slam dunk without the introduction of your christianity doesn’t mean that your position on the matter is not all or mostly informed via the bible.

        • Nash,

          Your misrepresenting people gets tiresome.

          I didn’t bring my “god” into the conversation. YOU claimed our stance on abortion was because of our religion, and I simply pointed out my stance on abortion BEFORE I became a Christian.

          I never say atheists or non-theists are immoral or amoral; I simply say you have no moral standard by which to base your morality. You have to use Judeo-Christian, biblical morality. Which was what I did as a non-believer. (By the way, I was never an atheist – I believed there was a god of some sort, but wasn’t sure just what He was, and for a while accept the “Chariots of the Gods” version of God being a spaceman).

          I don’t do name-calling to any group. Stating that they are ignorant or foolish is not name-calling, rather it is identifying their education level and their behavior. There are individuals who lead me to total frustration with their stupidity to where I do indeed lower myself to calling them names, such as “fool” and “jackass.”

          And your paragraph about my “life” “as an atheist” demonstrates plainly your ignorance, stupidity, and foolishness.

          Your last paragraph demonstrates lack of comprehension. I said my belief about abortion was formed BEFORE I became a Christian – it is not “all or mostly formed via the Bible.” It was indeed a slam-dunk to your foolish claim that people of intelligence can’t see that abortion is the taking of innocent life – i.e., murder. Oh, and by the way, I know quite a few unbelievers and atheists who also believe that abortion is murder. Go figure – they don’t have their opinions formed via Christianity and the Bible!

  20. Jeffrey Kraus says:

    In the beginning there was no life and so life and intelligence had to evolve without an intelligent designer. Intelligence is a property of life, there is no intelligence that exists without life.

    Sure, god could punish me for rejecting his moral opinions. But that does not make his opinions objective. His opinions are no more valid than my opinions.

    • So, no life and no intelligence existed, and so life just decided to spontaneously show up, and then intelligence decided it was time to evolve to help life along?

      And you say belief in God is irrational?!?!?!?!

      As for God’s opinions being objective, since He is perfect in every way, then His opinions are the ONLY objective ones. He is the moral standard because He is the Moral Law-giver. If you make the laws, then YOU can call the shots. But you didn’t make moral laws, nor did anyone else on earth. God made them and planted them in our heart (mind). Nothing else is an objective standard, rather it is just your opinion vs mine.

      • Glenn if your perfect god gave us morality, why did those “objective” perfect moral standards change? Why is it that slavery, murder, incest, abortion err I mean forced miscarriage, were all the perfect words and actions of a perfect being, why are those same things now frowned upon? If, it was infallible and perfect, have your gods words just become more infallible and more perfect?

        • Nash,

          God’s morality has never changed. Whether slavery is immoral depends upon what type of slavery it is – indentured servants, war captives, etc are slaves, yet it is not immoral to use them unless they are abused. God regulated that type of slavery. Don’t confuse it with buying and selling human flesh for abuse.

          Miscarriage is a natural occurrence due to defects in the human body from the Fall.

          Incest is a term we use nowadays, but marriage between close relatives was the only way of populating the world initially, and after Noah’s flood. There is nothing biologically or physically wrong with marriage with close relatives (nowhere in the Bible will you find parent/child relations condoned). As the population of the world grew, God then put a stop to close relation marriages. We know due to the genetic problems caused by the Fall, that close relation marriages can have higher rates of genetic defects, but those are something which were not a problem originally – defects mounted as time when by, but were introduced after the Fall.

          Murder is never condoned in the Bible – never condoned by God.

          Soe where is the “changing” morality? Man’s, not God’s.

          • I think “types” of slavery and the apologizing for incest is enough.

            “,yet it is not immoral to use them unless they are abused.” Typo? If not I don’t understand.

            • There was not apologizing for incest, merely giving the history of it.

              Indentured servants are slaves – they enslave themselves to pay off debts. Much of the slavery mentioned in the O.T. and regulated by God was of this nature. The relationship was more employer to employee without pay, because the work was for eliminating debts. What is wrong with this if there is no abuse (same as employer to employee today – nothing wrong with the relationship unless the employer is abusing his employees).

              War captives were slaves for manual labor, also regulated by God as to what treatment was to be had. Throughout history war captives have been used for manual labor as they are kept prisoner of their captors. Even prisoners have been used for manual labor (chain gangs) as punishment for their crimes. War captives are being punished for being the enemy who cause death and injury to the side who finally captured them. As long as they aren’t being abused (beaten, raped, etc), where is the moral problem? Would you have our prisons emptied? During war, would you have the captives just given back to cause harm against you again?

  21. For any pro-abort who’d like to answer: Why is being a living human not enough? We don’t talk about “person rights”. We have “human rights”. Right?

    Why must some humans prove they’re worthy of the first human right (to live)?

  22. Jeffrey Kraus says:

    Human rights are for those who are part of the community. It has long been the tradition that the parents would decide whether to include their offspring as part of the community or to abandon or kill them. The rights of those already in the community take precendence over the rights of those not yet part. For more history see Mother Nature by Sarah Hrdy or http://www.salon.com/1999/12/09/maternal/

  23. For the record, I think it helps humanity to have a belief that our neighbors are God’s children. And yes, it guides me to an extent in the abortion argument. But, atheists will tell us that religion is not necessary to tell us how to live morally.

    Fine. So, if reason alone can give us “Thou shalt not murder” (which they claim it can, and I agree), why must they insist that any opposition to abortion is ONLY based on a religious belief?

    Is it not reasonable to say that ten years ago, I was a human being (biologically) that had not yet developed into the human being I am now? And if that’s reasonable, why is it not reasonable to say that a baby born a month ago is the same biological entity that it was four or five or nine months before?

    Am I not the same biological entity that began to BE at my conception? At a certain point, I BEGAN to live. I find it utterly UNreasonable to insist that it was some time (even up to nine months) after my DNA became part of the universe.

    One must not invoke God or religion to come to the conclusion that abortion is absolutely the killing of a human being. It just simply is. If it wasn’t, some fetuses would become fish, instead of “becoming” human persons.

    If we value human life, it seems to me the most important thing to do is find what makes all human beings the same.

    We can find any number of differences between us to rationalize killing each other without just cause. Today, it’s lack of having met some arbitrary set of hurdles that include being able to live on one’s own and being able to think. Yesterday, it was skin color, hair color, eye color. Perhaps tomorrow it will be that, in order to be “fully” human, one must have the “correct” number of chromosomes.

    Already, a perfectly acceptable reason to abort a child is if it has DS. Why not just declare DS folks as subhuman and outlaw giving them any rights at all? Is that so different from any other prerequisite some (who value personhood more than humanity) would place before a human being? “Sorry, DS… er… thing(?). You don’t fit OUR criteria. No school for you. No Social Security. NO RIGHTS! Because WE say you’re not a person”.

    Speaking of DS abortions: People think it’s the kind thing to do, for the sake of the child (that, I guess, it will become). So, if its kind not to let it become a DS person, how do we know that IT WILL become a DS person? Are we able to see the future? Are the doctors and lab techs clairvoyant? No! We know what it will be BECAUSE WE CAN TEST WHAT IT IS! We know.

    What we are killing is THE PERSON we would not have suffer. What we are killing in other cases is THE PERSON who will interfere with our plans! We’re not preventing anyone from becoming a thing with DS, any more than we’re preventing another from becoming a thing without DS when we kill it. We’re killing it. We’re stopping it from continuing to be what it already is! And in all abortion cases, what it is is a living human being, functioning at its current state.

    It shouldn’t be left to anyone to decide what type of human being gets to be a protected member. There is nothing but trouble there!

    1- Is it alive?
    2- Is it OF the human race?
    3- Is it unique?

    If so, it’s just like you and me. It’s a human being. That should be enough.

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