Jesurgislac’s Journal

June 27, 2010

Why is abortion like setting fire to kittens?

As many of you may know, I am a fervent and committed believer in a woman’s right to choose: I support all six demands of the women’s liberation movement: equal pay, equal employment opportunity, free contraceptive services, abortion on demand. (The last demand, free 24-hour childcare, I think is brilliantly utopian, world turned upside down, but the first five are all achievable in our present political state….)

Setting fire to kittens, on the other hand: inarguably wrong. Even if you hate cats, and as many of you may know, I am a fervent and committed cat worshipper whisperer.

Pro-lifers generally run blogs that do not accept dissenting viewpoints. (They’re like gay marriage opponents in that way.) But for pro-lifers, the “dissenting viewpoint” can be anything like “Contraception is a good way of preventing abortions” or scientific facts about how methods of contraception work, to assertions that women have abortions for all sorts of reasons, including the purely economic fear of losing your job, and these reasons are none of them outrageous or wicked. If you don’t want a woman who works for a Catholic school to have an abortion because she can’t afford to lose her job, then – as the ACLU did – you fight the case of a woman fired for getting pregnant, so that Catholic schools in future will refrain from encouraging their employees from having abortions. If you think a high abortion rate is a bad thing, you fund free access to contraception, you put in place sex education in schools that encourages children to think about sex positively as a source of pleasure for themselves and each other and using contraception whenever they have sex unless they intend to engender a child, you provide maternity care and paid maternity leave and rights for working parents to have time to care for their children and earn a living. We know that pro-lifers are not interested in reducing the number of abortions because, as a political movement, and, mostly, as individuals, they support none of these things.

What are pro-lifers interested in?

They hate abortion. And they want you to know they hate abortion.

Part of this goes right along with hating abortion because it means women can have, in the pro-life euphemism, “sex without consequences” – why pro-lifers also oppose free access to contraception. Women, in this view of things, ought not to be allowed to have sex joyfully, for her own pleasure, without fear: the fear of becoming pregnant is something that ought always to be looming over a woman’s mind when she thinks about having sex. Especially an unmarried women: hence pro-life support for firing an unmarried woman who decided not to have an abortion. This hatred of women having sex for pleasure is very strong in the pro-life movement, and for many years I’ve assumed it to be the key motivator. There’s considerable evidence for this in the policies/campaigning of the pro-life movement, as this post by Ampersand outlines:

In contrast, the leaders of the abortion criminalization movement have consistently put their political weight behind policies which make little or no sense if they genuinely think that abortion is identical to child murder. And those same leaders routinely endorse policies that make a lot of sense if their goal is to penalize women who have sex – to, as I’ve heard many of them put it, make sure women “face the consequences” of having sex. And they’ve done so with the apparent backing and blessing of the vast majority of the rank and file. [Further analysis at Alas a Blog.]

This belief – that denying access to abortion is an effective means of turning pregnancy into punishment and babies into “consequences” – is why many pro-lifers say they think abortion ought to be allowed for rape or incest, or to save a woman’s life.

But for some pro-lifers, that’s still not acceptable. For them, the key is hating abortion, and hating people who support the right to have an abortion. They don’t care about women dying: they don’t care about fetuses dying, or babies dying: they certainly don’t care about preventing abortions, because where would their source of hate be then?

I read this post on Slacktivist about false witness some time ago; Fred illustrated his point with reference to an awful incident the paper he worked for had reported on, a “group of disturbed and disturbing children doused a kitten with lighter fluid and set it on fire” and other incidents in which disturbed and disturbing people had done this awful thing. Fred noted that people were universally and unsurprisingly against kitten-burning:

But one also came away from reading that thread with the sense that people seemed to think this ultra-minimal moral stance made them exceptional and exceptionally righteous. Like the earlier editorial writers, they seemed to think they were exhibiting courage by taking a bold position on a matter of great controversy. Whatever comfort might be gleaned from the reaffirmation that most people were right about this non-issue issue was overshadowed by the discomfiting realization that so many people also seemed to want or need most others to be wrong.

The kitten-burners seem to fulfill some urgent need. They give us someone we can clearly and correctly say we’re better than. Their extravagant cruelty makes us feel better about ourselves because we know that we would never do what they have done. They thus function as signposts of depravity, reassuring the rest of us that we’re Not As Bad As them, and thus letting us tell ourselves that this is the same thing as us being good.

Hating abortion is a political tool to get people to vote against their own economic self-interests: as Avedon at the Sideshow summarises succinctly: “the lie that the anti-abortion movement was an organic reaction to Roe v Wade, but of course that’s not true – like everything else, it was orchestrated by rich right-wingers as part of their ongoing program to polarize society.”

In the US in the 1970s, racism was becoming less and less acceptable as a means by which right-wing politicians could convince working-class white Americans to vote and even campaign against their own economic interests. (As an example: By the end of that decade,even the Mormon Church had had to receive a revelation from God that it was unacceptable to ban black men from the priesthood. But in the 21st century, the Mormon Church actively campaigns for discrimination against lesbians and gays.) In 2002, the then-Senate Majority leader, Trent Lott, had to apologize for saying that the United States would have avoided all these problems if the racist Strom Thurmond had been elected President in 1948: in 2004, George W. Bush could endorse a national campaign for homophobic bigotry and inequality.

But if you can’t, any more, use racism as a trigger to get people to vote against their own economic self-interest, what can you use to drum up hatred? In the 1970s, the LGBT equality movement wasn’t widespread enough for gay-hating to work as a national trigger – too many parts of the US where LGBT people just kept their heads down and tried to be invisible and inaudible – but women, everywhere, need access to abortion and contraception. Turn this natural human need into a hate campaign and you’re off to a winner.

Abortion is like setting fire to kittens not because human fetuses are like kittens (there is no lolfetuses website) but because pro-lifers get their buzz out of believing themselves to be better than others. The opposition of pro-lifers to intact dilation and extraction, and their invention of the non-medical term “partial birth abortion”, is otherwise inexplicable: IDX is an abortion technique, one which can be safer for a woman who needs an abortion in late pregnancy, but banning IDX will not prevent any abortions: it merely ensures that a method which may be less safe for the woman must be used. Many pro-lifers have reacted with anger and rejection when asked if their opposition to IDX is because they want women to be hurt or permanently damaged: apparently what they want is a return to the pre-IDX days when the only way to remove a dead or dying fetus from the uterus was piecemeal. This belief that IDX in particular is bad makes no sense to many people, but if what pro-lifers want is the reassurance that they’re better than people who support a woman’s right to choose, thus letting them tell themselves that this is the same thing as “being good”, then it makes sense that they want abortion to appear “extravagantly cruel“. Performing IDX means the fetus can be removed intact, allowing the parents to hold the body as they mourn their loss: to pro-lifers this is as unacceptable as legislation for social justice is to Trotskyites who believe in a worker’s revolution.

I was 27 weeks by this point. I was terrified. The moment I met the doctor, all of that ended. He was a wonderful and loving man. I came in on Monday and gave birth to our baby girl on Friday. We were able to hold her after, and say our goodbyes. That doctor will always be in my heart. (From A Heartbreaking Choice, the website set up to commemorate Doctor George Tiller’s work.)

Pro-lifers are the movement for setting fire to kittens. They are not interested in preventing abortions: they are not interested in protecting women from harm. They are not interested in saving fetal lives. What they want is to compare access to abortion with the holocaust, with slavery, with torture – they want abortion to be performed as dangerously as possible: they want to claim that abortion is dangerous and performed by uncaring people; they want to campaign against evil like brave, brave, brave Sir Robin without actually running any risks because the evil empire they tourney against is entirely of their own invention.

Unfortunately, the women condemned to suffer and die from their tourneying are not.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!

121 Comments »

  1. Sometime last year I had a long, internet-based discussion about abortion with a conservative Catholic (who also believes LGBTQ people are abominations and all Muslims must be deported from the USA). And I didn’t expect much, obviously, but I really did think that I might change his mind about how to think about abortion by laying out the basic research that’s been done on the impact of stuff like accessible child-care and evidence-based sex ed on unplanned pregnancy and abortion rates. It took me at least a week of back-and-forths to finally get that really, truly, he didn’t want to decrease the number of people who wanted or needed an abortion–he just wanted to punish those who did abort (or use contraception. Or talk to their kids about sex. Or have sex that wasn’t missionary. Or..etc) It felt like I was going crazy, because I just could not wrap my brain around the concept that really and truly, he was involved in pro/anti availability of abortion entirely out of a sense of wanting to exact retribution. I wish I’d had this piece to read back then!

    Thank you for so eloquently stating that abortion is often just yet another way to get people to vote against their own economic self-interest. I’m sure we did see a decrease in racist rhetoric to achieve that same purpose in the 70s…but nowadays, it’s reframed in terms of immigration, and is apparently perfectly politically acceptable.

    Comment by wealhtheow — June 27, 2010 @ 5:52 pm | Reply

    • I’ve had that discussion – so many times it sometimes feels as if I could recite their half of it for them.

      It’s like Charlie Brown and the football – I keep thinking, especially if the pro-lifer is civil and apparently intelligent, that this time I can get them to see that if they really care about preventing abortions, promoting contraceptive use and good sex education is the most effective way to do it. And yet… every time, it just slides right into “But abortion allows women to evade consequences!” and then into “Contraception is also abortion!” (either because of some pseudo-scientific junk or because contraception also allows women to “evade consequences”).

      One of the pro-life blogs I linked to has a post up complaining about the decision of a local town to make sure all the public schools provide free condoms, which, in anti-abortion terms, and in public health care terms, is just great – condoms aren’t that expensive, but for a high school kid the difference between “free” and “not that expensive” could be the difference between “so I’ll have a new one in my wallet or my purse ALL THE TIME” and “I bought a couple as a rite of passage and, um, you don’t have to actually use it the second time, do you?”. Naturally this pro-lifer is vehemently against the idea, because OMG if you let high school kids have free condoms, they’ll think about having TEH SEX! (Xander Harris: I’m seventeen. Looking at linoleum makes me want to have sex.) So again: “preventing abortion and the spread of STDs”: not nearly as important to this Andrew Haines as “making clear to teenagers that the adults disapprove of you having sex” is. And I type this knowing that there is no point saying that at Haines’s blog; it’s pro-life enough that comments advocating how to prevent abortion will be moderated/deleted.

      Comment by jesurgislac — June 28, 2010 @ 10:32 am | Reply

  2. This is a theory that makes some sense. I’ve often wondered what anti-choicers could possibly have as a motive. I once got into an internet spat with a woman who thought an 11 year old child who was raped by her uncle should carry the resulting pregnancy to term. I can’t imagine how a human being can be so evil, but at least I can understand the idea that she needs to feel morally superior by looking down on others. Religious people are often afraid of God and Hell and really need to feel holy in order to feel less afraid.

    But, still.

    Comment by Bushfire — June 28, 2010 @ 2:15 am | Reply

    • Yeah. It was the recent argument over the woman in Arizona, who was dying because of her pregnancy, and who needed an abortion in order to live, that really made me grok it. This isn’t just ordinary anti-sex/misogyny: this is a whole set of moral values based on “Abortion is EVIL” which isn’t based on anything – not even on “saving fetal lives”, since as was being repeatedly pointed out to pro-lifers during that discussion, if a woman dies in the 11th week of pregnancy, the fetus inside her is going to die too. The only thing that changes is whether the woman lives or dies, and consistently, the pro-lifers made clear they’d rather just let the woman die.

      Comment by jesurgislac — June 28, 2010 @ 10:35 am | Reply

  3. The opening paragraph mentions six demands of the women’s liberation movement, but lists only five?

    “…equal pay, equal employment opportunity, free contraceptive services, abortion on demand,[and] free 24-hour childcare.”

    BTW, according to whom are those the demands?

    Comment by details — June 28, 2010 @ 11:33 pm | Reply

    • “Six demands of the Women’s Liberation Movement” was such a standard phrase when/where I was growing up as a teen feminist/daughter of a feminist, that not only do I tend to forget it’s not standard everywhere, I also, I realise, forget to cite and forget to check.

      The first Four Demands were passed at the National WLM Conference in 1971: 1. Equal Pay, 2. Equal Educational and Job Opportunities, 3. Free Contraception and Abortion on Demand, 4. Free 24-hour Nurseries. Five and Six were passed at the National WLM Conference in 1974: 5. Legal and Financial Independence for All Women, 6. The Right to a Self Defined Sexuality. An End to Discrimination Against Lesbians. In 1978, a Seventh Demand was passed at the National WLM Conference: 7. Freedom for all women from intimidation by the threat or use of violence or sexual coercion regardless of marital status; and an end to the laws, assumptions and institutions which perpetuate male dominance and aggression to women. But at the same 1978 conference, the structure was revised so that there were still just six demands, usually summarised as: equal pay, education and job opportunities; legal and financial independence; free contraception, abortion and nurseries; and an end to discrimination against lesbians and to institutionalised male dominance/aggression towards women. The chronology is listed here.

      Comment by jesurgislac — June 29, 2010 @ 12:51 am | Reply

  4. Judging people by what you imagine their motives to be is a sure way to spend your time worrying about motivations that are only in your head. Nabbing the ‘no one’s against kitten burning’ meme from Slacktivist doesn’t give you motivation reading powers neither

    Comment by vhash — June 29, 2010 @ 3:48 pm | Reply

    • So you have a better answer why pro-lifers get so het up about the evils of abortion, without their wanting either to prevent abortions, or even to save lives?

      Or are you just randomly snarking by, sure I don’t have the answer Just Because…

      Comment by jesurgislac — June 29, 2010 @ 4:56 pm | Reply

  5. you safe pro life people do nothing is very wrong. pro life people vwho hard to prevent abortions. pro life people make sure women get help to carry out their pregnancy. Crisis pregnancy centers offer help to women seeking other options. most crisis center are ran by pro life people. heres a story about a woman who was raped going to a cris pregnancy center. im glad she decided to go to a cris pregnancy center before going to an abortion clinic. they would only offer her one option at the abortion center. plus she would never have seen the ultrasound as abortion clinics refuse to show them. https://www.care-net.org/ourwork/story.php?id=1 read stories get educated

    Comment by Chris — July 3, 2010 @ 12:34 pm | Reply

    • pro life people make sure women get help to carry out their pregnancy.

      Link me to evidence that pro-lifers are in the forefront of campaigning for the US to have a national health service and a welfare system that supports mothers, and paid maternity leave guaranteed for all, and I’ll admit this is true.

      Pro-lifers are certainly well tied up in the profitable adoption industry, and use poor white women who are pregnant and don’t see a means of supporting their child – or themselves – as breeders to produce babies for adoption. Otherwise, no.

      most crisis center are ran by pro life people.

      Most “crisis centers” do nothing useful for pregnant women: unlike Planned Parenthood, the US’s most effective abortion prevention agency.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 3, 2010 @ 4:39 pm | Reply

      • Crisis_pregnancy_center they do more than planned parenthood does alll planned parenthood does is promote abortion they do not care bot women. crisis pregnancies centers care more than planned parenthood does aboutb pregnant women. planned parent promotes abortion not prevents them someone is brained washed. planned parenthhod makes more off KILLING BABIES than any adotion agency combine. https://www.care-net.org/ourwork/story.php?id=1 these stories are found here

        Jeannette, Miguel, Steven Michael
        Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center, Hawthorne, New Jersey

        [Long story cut-and-pasted has been removed for readability]

        Rachael & Alora
        Choose Life, Huntsville, Alabama

        [Long story cut-and-pasted has been removed for readability]

        Tia’s Story
        Pregnancy Care Center, Rocky Mountain, North Carolina

        [Long story cut-and-pasted has been removed for readability]

        Tina & Isabella
        Care Net Pregnancy Center of Cochise County, Sierra Vista, AZ

        [Long story cut-and-pasted has been removed for readability]

        Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), also known as pregnancy resource centers[1] are non-profit organizations established by pro-life supporters that work to persuade pregnant women to give birth rather than have abortions.[1] Most CPCs are in the United States. CPCs are usually affiliated with pro-life Christian organizations; two such organizations are Care Net and Heartbeat International.[2] CPCs are distinct from centers providing pregnancy options counseling, a non-directive form of counseling where secular, medically-based information about all available choices, including abortion, is provided.

        http://thecrisispregnancycenters.org/2009/baby/information/testimonies/index.php

        [Sorry Chris: but really, the four stories pasted in full made your comment way too long. I've left the names in for ease of finding if people go to the link you included.]

        Comment by chris — July 3, 2010 @ 7:04 pm

  6. I know this might be a radical thought, but could it be, possibly, that people are against abortion because they view the fetus as a human life? And…now hang with me here…they view all humans as having the equal right to life? Could it possibly be that people who are against abortion are against it because they think the willful murder of innocent humans is wrong?

    I know that’s a radical thought, but if you took the time to actually study the pro-life side, you’d find that’s the most common objection.

    Comment by Joel — July 3, 2010 @ 7:58 pm | Reply

    • I know this might be a radical thought, but could it be, possibly, that people are against abortion because they view the fetus as a human life?

      People who are against abortion because they view the fetus as a human life, would naturally want to (a) minimize the number of abortions and reduce the abortion rate, and (b) would want to care for human lives. As pro-lifers – in general, and as a political movement – care for neither (a) nor (b), it follows that they are not against abortion because they view the fetus as a human life, but for some other reason.

      The most obvious “other reason” was outlined in detail some years ago by Ampersand at Alas a Blog, the desire to punish women for having sex.

      Could it possibly be that people who are against abortion are against it because they think the willful murder of innocent humans is wrong?

      People who are against abortion work to prevent abortions. As I noted to Chris, the most effective preventer of abortions in the US is Planned Parenthood – they provide contraception and family planning advice in the poorest neighborhoods.

      Pro-lifers, by contrast, do nothing to prevent abortions. They don’t campaign for paid maternity leave or free healthcare for all: they don’t work to provide free contraception and comprehensive sex education for all: they do nothing but campaign to criminalize abortion, deny access to abortion, spread lies and disinformation about abortion, run terrorist campaigns against health care providers, and occasionally commit murder.

      I know that’s a radical thought, but if you took the time to actually study the pro-life side, you’d find that’s the most common objection.

      It sounds well. But having taken the time to study the pro-life side, it’s clear it’s a lie.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 3, 2010 @ 8:11 pm | Reply

      • jesurgislac you’re fooling yourself planned parenthood does nothing to prevent abortions planned parenthood is tghe largest abortion industry in the world

        [Chris: for your information, here's five ways Planned Parenthood advocates preventing abortion - Jesurgislac]

        Comment by chris — July 3, 2010 @ 10:19 pm

    • Just to reiterate this point: You claimed that “prominent pro-life advocates” were in fact supporting the prevention of abortion by provision of contraception.

      But you were unable to show me any examples of any prominent pro-life advocate actually doing so.

      This is fairly typical of pro-lifers who don’t want to admit the movement they support is actually against preventing abortions: they make stuff up about how their movement is not really like that. Chris and his “crisis pregnancy centers” is actually more honest, if less coherent.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 4, 2010 @ 8:07 am | Reply

  7. “People who are against abortion because they view the fetus as a human life, would naturally want to (a) minimize the number of abortions and reduce the abortion rate, and (b) would want to care for human lives. As pro-lifers – in general, and as a political movement – care for neither (a) nor (b), it follows that they are not against abortion because they view the fetus as a human life, but for some other reason.”

    This is a logical fallacy. You’re pointing to the person’s actions and say, “HA! You don’t do x, y, and z, therefore you don’t really believe what you believe!” That’s not the case at all. It could be that they don’t really believe what they believe, but that’s not always the case. It could also be the case that they haven’t thought through all the logical ramifications of their belief or haven’t thought through how to properly apply their beliefs. In either case, their actions don’t display their true motive, which is to save innocent human lives.

    Secondly, you’re committing the fallacy of stereotyping by assuming that people who are against abortion automatically don’t follow (a) or (b). There are plenty of pro-life advocates out there that do support non-abortive birth control measures. Catholics don’t for religious reasons, but they still suport birth control via abstinence (they advocate this for men and women, so how it’s anti-woman is beyond me). Though I disagree with their view on birth control, I don’t see that is inconsistent with their view on abortion.

    Regardless, you’re making massive assumptions against the pro-life movement, but aside from that, none of your assumptions show why we should allow abortion. None of your assumptions show how a fetus is not a human being or how a woman has the right to terminate the fetus. Even if every pro-life advocate out there secretly hates women and doesn’t want them to have sex, that still wouldn’t negate the moral claim that a fetus is a human being who is deserving of certain rights, most of which is the right to live. You need to deal with the issue, otherwise you’re just engaging in ad hominem attacks and not solidifying your case.

    Comment by Joel — July 3, 2010 @ 8:33 pm | Reply

    • You’re pointing to the person’s actions and say, “HA! You don’t do x, y, and z, therefore you don’t really believe what you believe!”

      No, I’m pointing to a whole movement. The pro-life movement – in general, and politically – does not correlate in any way to campaigns for preventing abortion.

      Individual pro-lifers may well just have failed to think through what they need to do if they want to prevent abortions, and may well become pro-choice once they have thought it through. But as a movement, prevention of abortions goes all against everything pro-lifers do.

      . There are plenty of pro-life advocates out there that do support non-abortive birth control measures

      Really? Prove it. Link me to a pro-life website that even advocates condoms, let alone any kind of contraception for women. The pill, the commonest and most effective contraception in regular use, has been subject to an idiotic and anti-scientific campaign by pro-lifers trying to claim it’s an “abortifacient”. Emergency contraception, which prevents abortions by preventing conceptions when regular contraception fails, has been subject to a truly vicious campaign, with pro-lifers routinely supporting pharmacists refusing to stock it: deliberately confusing emergency contraception with medical abortion. If you know of “plenty” of pro-life advocates that actually argue against the mainstream pro-life movement’s opposition to contraception, you ought to be able to prove it by providing the weblinks – and you ought to be aware that their position in supporting contraception is not mainstream in the pro-life movement.

      Catholics don’t for religious reasons, but they still suport birth control via abstinence

      Abstinence is not birth control. (Or, if you want to call it “birth control”, it’s the method with the highest known failure rate.)

      Catholic doctrine mandates any form of birth control is a mortal sin: abortion is also a mortal sin. In Poland, Catholic women have – with strict theological logic – concluded that it’s better to commit a mortal sin once or twice a year rather than on a daily basis, and have abortions rather than use birth control. In the US, Catholic women have abortions at about the same rate as women of any other religion.

      None of your assumptions show how a fetus is not a human being or how a woman has the right to terminate the fetus.

      You’re missing a very basic assumption: a woman is a human being.

      Attempting to claim special rights for a fetus all rest on the assumption that the woman has no human rights or her human rights can be abrogated when she’s pregnant. I don’t make that assumption. A woman is not an incubator, a slave, or an animal: therefore, she, and she alone, has the right to determine the use of her body. No one else has the right to use her body against her will.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 4, 2010 @ 12:22 am | Reply

  8. Also, you claim to have studied the pro-life position. What books have you read that are pro-life?

    Comment by Joel — July 3, 2010 @ 8:34 pm | Reply

    • “Claimed”?

      I follow the news. The pro-life movement’s actions, ranging from grassroots to politicians, are never, ever, acting to prevent abortions.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 4, 2010 @ 12:03 am | Reply

      • So in other words you haven’t studied it. This fact shines forth in your reply to me.

        I don’t waste time with people who are willfully ignorant. If you wish to educate yourself on the pro-life movement, let me know and I can provide you with some links to books that will not disappoint you. Until then, you’re just a joke to me.

        [I'll take this as a direct acknowledgement from you that you are unable to show that anything I've said about the pro-life movement isn't true. You may indeed be able to provide me with pro-life propaganda that claims otherwise, but the facts are all on my side. To you, the facts of the pro-life movement may be a joke; to me, it's deadly serious. - Jesurgislac]

        Comment by Joel — July 4, 2010 @ 3:14 am

      • What you’ve said about the pro-life movement is irrelevant, that’s the point I’m getting at. Your entire argument is based upon a logical fallacy – ad hominem tu quoque.

        It could be that every person who says, “I’m pro-life” goes out tomorrow and has a barbecue celebrating abortion, but this doesn’t impact the arguments that are presented by the pro-life position. The only thing you accomplish is showing that people who advocate the pro-life position are inconsistent; you don’t, however, negate any of the scientific or philosophical arguments against abortion.

        Again, you haven’t studied this issue. You can’t name a single book you’ve read on this issue (pro-life or pro-choice!). So why should anyone give credence to your opinion?

        Comment by Joel — July 4, 2010 @ 11:50 pm

  9. jesur i posted stories which talked all bout crisis pregnancy centers in the stories it talked bout maternity and clothing also it talked boyut crisis pregnancy centers are part of the pro life movement if you would have read it b4 deleting you would have seen the prolife movement does more than you know to prevent aborting. there goes pro choicers not reading to avoid finding the truth again

    Comment by chris — July 3, 2010 @ 10:25 pm | Reply

    • Your comment was too long and was edited for that reason. You hadn’t formatted it: I cut nothing except the stories you had pasted in from other sites, and I left the story titles and the links to the sites. I don’t like editing people’s comments for anything but actual abuse, but if you wanted people to read those stories, you need to learn a bit of HTML. Seriously.

      I read them before deleting them, of course, and noticed that contrary to your claims, the prolife movement does exactly what I thought it did: nothing. It does not advocate or supply contraception, it does not campaign for free healthcare, free contraception, comprehensive sex education encouraging the use of contraception, paid maternity leave, tax breaks on childcare, or higher minimum wage.

      If you want to research the kind of work crisis pregnancy centers actually do, which I’m guessing you don’t, try: here.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 4, 2010 @ 12:09 am | Reply

  10. aqbortion clinics are not crisis pregnancy centers a woman in crisis gets care from the clinics i posted. planned parenthood don’t give a damn about women

    Comment by chris — July 4, 2010 @ 1:27 am | Reply

    • planned parenthood don’t give a damn about women

      You really don’t know anything at all about planned parenthood, I guess.

      Here’s where you can read about the care Planned Parenthood provides to women in the US and around the world.

      Demonstrably, the most successful method of preventing abortions is to provide contraception, education, and encouragement: Planned Parenthood is the oldest and most successful agency for preventing abortions and providing care to women in the US.

      Unlike many crisis pregnancy centers, Planned Parenthood has no links to the commercial adoption industry.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 4, 2010 @ 8:00 am | Reply

  11. Joel wrote: What you’ve said about the pro-life movement is irrelevant, that’s the point I’m getting at. Your entire argument is based upon a logical fallacy – ad hominem tu quoque.

    That sounds a bit muddled.

    It could be that every person who says, “I’m pro-life” goes out tomorrow and has a barbecue celebrating abortion

    Really? Well, if you say so. It’s not something I’ve ever claimed.

    , but this doesn’t impact the arguments that are presented by the pro-life position.

    The arguments presented by the pro-life position are inherently contradictory. You get pro-lifers almost simultaneously claiming they believe abortion is really, really bad and fulminating about public money being spent to prevent abortions. You get pro-lifers claiming that Planned Parenthood is a eugenics organisation because PP bases its clinics in low-income neighborhoods, which in many parts of the US tend to be black neighborhoods – and simultaneously arguing that “demographic winter” – their “dearth of white babies” – is a big problem. The pro-life position attacks its own arguments – it’s a nest of snakes. That’s what happens when you set yourself up to get morally agitated about something intrinsically false.

    My post here is about why pro-lifers keep fulminating their moral outrage about abortion, when they don’t actually care about preventing abortions or caring for children or for mothers or even for human life.

    The only thing you accomplish is showing that people who advocate the pro-life position are inconsistent; you don’t, however, negate any of the scientific or philosophical arguments against abortion.

    Well, yes. That’s true, for this post, in which I’m just discussing what motivates pro-lifers to whip themselves up into moral agitation about the evils of abortion. I’ve written many other posts pointing out what moral rubbish the “scientific or philosophical” arguments against a woman’s right to choose are, and this one from two years ago is a good summary: The basics: why pro-choice is the only moral option.

    Again, you haven’t studied this issue.

    Your claim that I know nothing about this issue seems to rest on your idea that this is the only post I’ve ever written…

    You can’t name a single book you’ve read on this issue (pro-life or pro-choice!). So why should anyone give credence to your opinion?

    Earlier in this thread, you claimed there were “plenty of pro-life advocates out there” who did advocate preventing abortion by providing contraception. Yet you were unable to name, or to link to, a single one. So why should I give any credence to anything you say?

    I can’t see any point in providing a book-list. You apparently do, and feel free to list the pro-life propaganda you want people to read, but I doubt if any of this is available through my local public library, and you know I’m not going to buy a book based on a random recommendation via the Internet.

    Prove your points by citation. You can cite books, if you like (one presumes you’re not going to the trouble of making up cites) but you’ll find it easier to prove your points by linking to websites that prove them.

    Comment by jesurgislac — July 5, 2010 @ 12:28 am | Reply

    • “That sounds a bit muddled.”

      Translation – “I don’t understand what you’re saying.”

      Ad hominem tu quoque means you’re attacking the person and their actions rather than looking to the merits of their arguments. For instance, if John says, “Smoking is bad for your health” but then turns around and smokes, someone who argues, “I guess smoking isn’t bad for your health” falls under the fallacy of ad hominem tu quoque.

      Another example is if John says, “Smoking is bad” and then announces that he’s even against the Nicotine patch. You point out to John that the Nicotine patch helps prevent smoking and reduces the rate of smokers. You then form the opinion that John doesn’t really care about smoking because he doesn’t support the Nicotine patch. Of course, John may be against the Nicotine patch because he views any voluntary injection of nicotine into one’s system to be a moral wrong and therefore should not be done, even if it leads to desired ends.

      And therein lies your problem – you’re a pragmatist. Most people who oppose abortion are virtue ethicists. Thus, in all your ramblings you’ve argued past them and completely ignored what they’re saying. To us philosophers who deal with this, you’re like a child who wanders into the room full of adults partying yelling and screaming about the noise, but lacking a proper frame of reference for why the noise exists.

      The reason that Catholic pro-life advocates are against birth control or pro-life advocates are against Planned Parenthood isn’t because we secretly don’t care about abortion. That’s a stupid claim that an intelligent person would not make. Rather, to the Catholic apologist, they see birth control as a moral evil and therefore to prevent one moral evil, they argue you should not engage in another moral evil. To the greater populace of pro-life proponents, we reject Planned Parenthood because in seeking to prevent a moral evil (abortion), they still advocate it as a viable solution for some women when the life of the mother is not at an immanent risk.

      Imagine living in Stalin’s Russia. Imagine a group, “Planned Dissenters” existing to help hide and offer refuge to those who dissent to Stalin’s policies. Now, what if this group handed over 9 out of every 50 people who came to them for refuge over to Stalin? While 41 are rescued, 9 are sent to their immanent deaths. Pragmatically, yes, such a group is good because it achieves the ends of saving the most lives. But under a virtue ethic such a group is evil because they still allow for evil, just a lesser degree of it.

      Likewise, with Planned Parenthood, I don’t care if they prevent 20 million abortions in one day; if they advocate one abortion for a woman who’s life is not in immanent danger, then they are advocating a moral evil and I must be against them.

      In claiming there are plenty of pro-life advocates who are not against birth control, why must I offer you websites? The fact is, you took the broad-brush to the pro-life movement, so it is up to you to prove that every single person and every single pro-life group in existence is anti-birth control. All I have to do is show one person who is pro-life, but not against birth control, exists to invalidate your argument. I am pro-life and I’m pro-birth control, so your argument falls.

      Regardless, even if you can prove that every single group that is pro-life is anti-birth control, you’ve ultimately proven nothing. Again, it goes back to the pragmatic point of view; to be pro-life isn’t to be pragmatic, it’s to support virtue ethics. Thus, they’re not going to endorse one moral evil to prevent another. This point seems to escape you and it’s because you’re not taking the time to think rationally on this subject.

      As for the books….again, you just don’t get it. The point in providing a book list means you’ve looked at the SCIENTIFIC and PHILOSOPHICAL aspects of this debate. It shows you’ve actually studied this issue beyond, “Well I read news articles!” That’s not studying the issue, that’s studying the ramifications of the issue. You will find these books both in your local library and local university library (if they have a science and philosophy department that is). But the fact that you don’t know this screams of your ignorance on this issue. I don’t care if this is your only post or your one millionth post on this issue; the fact that you can’t name a single book for or against abortion that you’ve read indicates to me that you’re extremely ignorant on this issue (and your arguments bear fruit to that belief).

      As it were, here’s some links to books and articles that deal with the scientific and philosophical arguments concerning abortion (even though you won’t read them because you’re willfully ignorant, which is the worst type of ignorance in existence):

      Books (a small sampling):

      Articles (a small sampling; you’ll notice I’m linking from Dr. Francis Beckwith, a tenured professor at Baylor University…this is for the ease of posting since I can find his articles the quickest):

      http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics-more/personhood.htm

      http://homepage.mac.com/francis.beckwith/RoeLiberty.pdf

      http://homepage.mac.com/francis.beckwith/Boonin.pdf

      http://homepage.mac.com/francis.beckwith/ChristianBioethics.pdf

      http://homepage.mac.com/francis.beckwith/JLS.pdf

      http://virtueandlife.com/2010/01/10/dealing-with-judith-jarvis-thompson/

      http://en.wordpress.com/tag/intrinsic-human-value-series/

      Now, I doubt you’ll read any of these. With a waive of your hand you’ll say, “I’ve never heard of these people, so they’re obviously crackpots” (which, btw, is a logical fallacy). But to do so again only betrays your own ignorance of this subject.

      Don’t lecture me on how much you’ve written about this subject. Any fool can say a lot on any subject matter; only the wise can point to the sources of their knowledge. Since you cannot point to the sources of your knowledge, I guess that leaves you with one choice as to what you are…

      Comment by Joel — July 5, 2010 @ 1:16 am | Reply

      • Another example is if John says, “Smoking is bad” and then announces that he’s even against the Nicotine patch. You point out to John that the Nicotine patch helps prevent smoking and reduces the rate of smokers. You then form the opinion that John doesn’t really care about smoking because he doesn’t support the Nicotine patch. Of course, John may be against the Nicotine patch because he views any voluntary injection of nicotine into one’s system to be a moral wrong and therefore should not be done, even if it leads to desired ends.

        Fair point. But if I ask John “Why is smoking bad?” and John says “Because it kills people – smokers die of lung cancer, and there’s even increased health risks from breathing second-hand smoke!” and then John starts arguing against the nicotine patch / against public funds for helping smokers stop / against legislation preventing cigarette manufacturers from advertising to children / etc, I have to conclude that either John is very stupid/illinformed, or John is lying about why he thinks smoking is bad.

        And when an entire movement that purports to be anti-smoking and makes claims that they’re anti-smoking because smoking kills, in fact spends most of their time working on political and personal actions that tend to benefit the tobacco industry and increase the number of smokers, you really have to think: that movement is not anti-smoking.

        Likewise with the pro-life movement.

        And therein lies your problem – you’re a pragmatist. Most people who oppose abortion are virtue ethicists. Thus, in all your ramblings you’ve argued past them and completely ignored what they’re saying. To us philosophers who deal with this, you’re like a child who wanders into the room full of adults partying yelling and screaming about the noise, but lacking a proper frame of reference for why the noise exists.

        Yes, but when the child is trying to get the adults partying to pipe down because the child has noticed that a fire has started and wants the adults to call 911 or at least to leave the house, the adults going “yes, but we’re virtue ethicists, we’re discussing important things, don’t bother us with the real world!” are acting like morons, assuming that the child just doesn’t understand that they’re having fun in their own way.

        You say I’m a pragmatist like you think that’s a bad thing: like you think actual practical measures which have been proven to reduce the abortion rate are somehow inferior to virtuous condemnations of “abortion is bad! so is contraception! so is sex! so are women having babies outside marriage!” Sure, this makes sense if you’re partying, you’re stoned, you’re having a good time convincing yourself and your friends that you’re all lovely people – but if it takes a little kid yelling to point out that the house is burning down, you should be grateful to the little kid, not complain that she busted up your party with her yelling!

        Rather, to the Catholic apologist, they see birth control as a moral evil and therefore to prevent one moral evil, they argue you should not engage in another moral evil.

        Which results in the solution in at least some Catholic countries of women having abortions rather than using birth control, because it’s better according to Catholic values to commit a moral evil only once or twice a year than every day. Which, you know, pragmatist here: I think it would be better to have fewer abortions. Catholic apologists prefer a moral system which means more abortions, yet want to be taken seriously as advocates against abortion. In the real world, this is not a serious position you can take: even if you think both abortion and birth control are bad, you really have to decide which you think is worse.

        Likewise, with Planned Parenthood, I don’t care if they prevent 20 million abortions in one day; if they advocate one abortion for a woman who’s life is not in immanent danger, then they are advocating a moral evil and I must be against them.

        So in Stalinist Russia, you would rather let 20 million people die if letting them die meant saving one life? You’re right: as a pragmatist, this makes no sense to me.

        There’s a story of a Christian who, when the Nazis invaded her country, became a criminal. She had never as far as we know committed a crime or told a lie in all of her respectable life before then, but as soon as she saw she could save lives by becoming a criminal, that’s what she did. She lied, she cheated, she stole, she caused the deaths of her father and her sister… and she saved more lives. You, in Connie ten Boom’s position, would presumably have declared yourself quite unable to do moral evil even for the sake of good, but then … Connie ten Boom was a pragmatist, not a virtue ethicist.

        In claiming there are plenty of pro-life advocates who are not against birth control, why must I offer you websites?

        Because I don’t know of any pro-life advocates who advocate birth control to prevent abortions; you claimed you knew of “plenty” but have so far declined to substantiate your claim. You don’t have to substantiate your claim, but you can’t expect to be taken seriously if you don’t. You made the claim: now back up it up with evidence.

        I am pro-life and I’m pro-birth control, so your argument falls

        No, you are as anti-birth control as any other pro-life advocate I’ve met. You said yourself, “I don’t care if they prevent 20 million abortions in one day” – if you don’t care about preventing abortions, you’re hardly pro-birth control. Got any evidence of any pro-life advocate who actually supports birth control on principle, rather than standing around at a party condemning Planned Parenthood for also providing abortions?

        I don’t care if this is your only post or your one millionth post on this issue; the fact that you can’t name a single book for or against abortion that you’ve read indicates to me that you’re extremely ignorant on this issue (and your arguments bear fruit to that belief).

        Ah well, there’s your ad hominem for you. Where you can’t disprove the facts, attack the individual for being “ignorant”.

        Comment by jesurgislac — July 5, 2010 @ 8:18 am

  12. [...] Planned Parenthood, pro choice, pro life | by Joel Once again I have found myself arguing against illogical pro-choice advocates. The most recent one is making the following [...]

    Pingback by Arguing against illogical pro-choice advocates « Of Virtue and Life — July 5, 2010 @ 1:26 am | Reply

  13. “Fair point. But if I ask John “Why is smoking bad?” and John says “Because it kills people – smokers die of lung cancer, and there’s even increased health risks from breathing second-hand smoke!” and then John starts arguing against the nicotine patch / against public funds for helping smokers stop / against legislation preventing cigarette manufacturers from advertising to children / etc, I have to conclude that either John is very stupid/illinformed, or John is lying about why he thinks smoking is bad.

    And when an entire movement that purports to be anti-smoking and makes claims that they’re anti-smoking because smoking kills, in fact spends most of their time working on political and personal actions that tend to benefit the tobacco industry and increase the number of smokers, you really have to think: that movement is not anti-smoking.”

    But none of that negates that smoking is bad for you. Likewise with the pro-life movement. Even if every pro-life individual out there doesn’t really care about abortion, that doesn’t negate the arguments they bring up against abortion.

    “You say I’m a pragmatist like you think that’s a bad thing: like you think actual practical measures which have been proven to reduce the abortion rate are somehow inferior to virtuous condemnations of “abortion is bad! so is contraception! so is sex! so are women having babies outside marriage!”

    Because pragmatism IS bad. Pragmatism can allowed for forced abortions, rape, incest, murder, and any host of other unethical acts because under pragmatism, ethics shifts to what our ends are. Virtue ethics teaches that morality is absolute and that our ends must conform to what is virtuous.

    Again, how much study have you put into this?

    “Which results in the solution in at least some Catholic countries of women having abortions rather than using birth control, because it’s better according to Catholic values to commit a moral evil only once or twice a year than every day. Which, you know, pragmatist here: I think it would be better to have fewer abortions. Catholic apologists prefer a moral system which means more abortions, yet want to be taken seriously as advocates against abortion. In the real world, this is not a serious position you can take: even if you think both abortion and birth control are bad, you really have to decide which you think is worse.”

    That’s a giant leap in logic. Catholic apologists believe in a hierarchy of morality, that is, some morals are more important than others. Birth control, though viewed as immoral by Catholic apologists, is still viewed as subordinate to life. Thus, wherever you’re getting this idea that Catholics somehow prefer women have abortions once or twice a year rather than use birth control everyday is a false source; true Catholicism actually teaches that if a women is going to choose between birth control or abortion, that she choose birth control. However, most Catholics would never say this in public because they still view birth control as immoral. The point being, they oppose both birth control and abortion and if a woman gets pregnant, then want her to carry the baby to term, not have an abortion.

    This is why I asked if you had studied this issue, so we could avoid this fantasies of yours.

    “So in Stalinist Russia, you would rather let 20 million people die if letting them die meant saving one life? ”

    If I had to partake in killing that one innocent person in order to save the 20 million, then I wouldn’t do it. There’s a massive difference between killing someone and letting someone die.

    If an organization actively seeks to kill a person in order to save two other people, then that organization is evil. Planned Parenthood falls under this category.

    “There’s a story of a Christian who, when the Nazis invaded her country, became a criminal. She had never as far as we know committed a crime or told a lie in all of her respectable life before then, but as soon as she saw she could save lives by becoming a criminal, that’s what she did. She lied, she cheated, she stole, she caused the deaths of her father and her sister… and she saved more lives. You, in Connie ten Boom’s position, would presumably have declared yourself quite unable to do moral evil even for the sake of good, but then … Connie ten Boom was a pragmatist, not a virtue ethicist.”

    Are you really this ignorant? For one, anyone who’s anyone knows that she actually was a virtue ethicist (as she talked about the virtues in her story). Secondly, what she did WAS virtue ethics! By putting her life at risk she upheld justice. She didn’t willingly throw people into concentration camps, that is to say, she didn’t do what Planned Parenthood does, which is give up 2-3 Jews to the Nazis so she could save 5-6 Jews. Instead, she tried to save every Jew that came to her.

    Are you really this dense?

    “Because I don’t know of any pro-life advocates who advocate birth control to prevent abortions; you claimed you knew of “plenty” but have so far declined to substantiate your claim. You don’t have to substantiate your claim, but you can’t expect to be taken seriously if you don’t. You made the claim: now back up it up with evidence.”

    Look up “burden of proof.”

    “Ah well, there’s your ad hominem for you. Where you can’t disprove the facts, attack the individual for being “ignorant”.”

    It’s not ad hominem. It’s substantiated. You’re ignorant and every post you make proves it. You’ve obviously never studied (1) logic, (2) science, or (3) philosophy pertaining to the issue of abortion. Your entire education seems to be wrapped up in reading the news and your own bias. Like I said previously, you’re a joke, a punchline to a joke about feminism.

    Comment by Joel — July 5, 2010 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

    • But none of that negates that smoking is bad for you. Likewise with the pro-life movement.

      True. Opposition to safe legal abortion is actually bad for women’s health. Countries where safe abortion is not legally available trend as countries with higher maternal mortality and morbidity, without actually changing the abortion rates – all pro-life campaigners ever succeed in doing is ensuring that women who need abortions have them unsafely/illegally. So not only is John lying about why he’s opposed to abortion, he’s also actively supporting a goal that’s incredibly bad for women’s health.

      Virtue ethics teaches that morality is absolute and that our ends must conform to what is virtuous.

      So it’s virtuous to campaign for more abortions and more unsafe illegal abortions, because … abortion is bad?

      Whereas being pragmatic and campaigning to prevent abortions and ensure that a diminished number of abortions take place as safely as possible, is “not virtuous”, because morality is absolute and so doing good isn’t virtuous?

      Again, how much study have you put into this?

      More than you have, quite evidently, if you were unaware that opposition to safe legal abortion means more women die, and if you were unaware that contraception/education is the most effective means of preventing abortions.

      Thus, wherever you’re getting this idea that Catholics somehow prefer women have abortions once or twice a year rather than use birth control everyday is a false source

      My source is Social and Demographic Determinants of Abortion in Poland, by D. Peter Mazur – first published 1975. (This is one of many reasons why I think booklists on line are somewhat pointless – there’s a first page on Jstor, but you need to have a JSTOR login to read it in full. I couldn’t lend you the copy of the collection in which I read it: it belongs to my parents, and I first read it when living at home.) The theological logic is perfectly clear; Polish women were told by the Catholic church that it was a mortal sin to have an abortion, and a mortal sin to use contraception. As it’s better to commit a mortal sin only once or twice a year and be able to confess and promise a firm purpose of amendment, than to be in a steady state of mortal sin each night without any purpose of amendment, Polish women opted for abortion rather than contraception. 1993 legislation on abortion in Poland has dropped the legal abortion rate to almost zero, similar to equivalent legislation in Ireland. But, this doesn’t mean Polish women are not having elective abortions, since their options are open to find an illegal-abortion provider in Poland or to travel to a nearby country where abortion is legal. See Nowicka W, The effects of the 1993 anti-abortion law in Poland, Entre Nous, 1996, No. 34-35, pp. 13-15., referenced in the 1999 “Recent Trends in Abortion Rates Worldwide” by the Guttmacher Institute. The book Ireland’s Hidden Diaspora recounts how Irish women went to the UK (after 1967) to get legal abortions. (That one is probably available, should you wish to inform yourself of the effects of making abortion illegal in a free country with open borders and a neighbor state with pro-choice legislation.)

      Of course, while a woman who decides to have an elective abortion can simply travel to get one if she can afford it, women who are desperately ill and living in a state with pro-life laws, will be lucky to survive – even where pro-life legislation permits abortion to save the life of the pregnant woman, this can narrowly be interpreted to say it’s okay for her to be forced into disability or otherwise permanently damaged so long as she doesn’t actually die. (This is what I mean by pro-lifers treating women like incubators, to be used till broken: even worse than farmers would treat a breeding animal.)

      true Catholicism actually teaches that if a women is going to choose between birth control or abortion, that she choose birth control.

      Evidence? I’ve seen none. My reference for this is Humanae Vitae and Vademecum for confessors of morality of conjugal life. Got any Catholic sources promoting birth control?

      The point being, they oppose both birth control and abortion and if a woman gets pregnant, then want her to carry the baby to term, not have an abortion.

      Unless she’s working for a Catholic school, in which case she’ll be fired if she doesn’t have an abortion before the pregnancy starts to show. cite Apparently in that case, not using contraception and carrying the baby to term is to “violate the tenets of Catholic morality”.

      Instead, she tried to save every Jew that came to her.

      By lying, cheating, and committing other crimes. Did you ever read her account of her actions as a resistance worker? I did. Brave woman. Very pragmatic. Not your “virtue ethicist” who won’t do anything immoral even if doing that would save lives. Planned Parenthood is the most effective abortion prevention agency in the US – and you, as a virtue ethicist, stand back and go “But! It performs elective abortions on request! That’s wrong! Women should be forced to have babies against their will!” (The Nazis felt that way about abortion too, by the way: proud pro-lifers for Aryan women.)

      If I had to partake in killing that one innocent person in order to save the 20 million, then I wouldn’t do it. There’s a massive difference between killing someone and letting someone die.

      As there’s a vast difference between 20 million deaths and one. Very Pontius Pilate, though: wash your hands and stand well back, having nothing to do with preventing abortions.

      Look up “burden of proof.”

      You are trying to convince me that there are “plenty” of pro-life advocates who advocate contraception in order to prevent abortion. The burden of proof is on you. So far, you’re not doing well with it.

      You’re ignorant and every post you make proves it.

      Abuse from the one who’s refusing to substantiate his own assertions? Ad hominem is no substitute for fact-based, reality-based argument, Joel.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 5, 2010 @ 3:45 pm | Reply

  14. Let’s summarize this debate so far:

    You said that every single person who supports the pro-life agenda is against contraceptives and therefore against birth control

    I said that’s not the case and there are plenty of people who are pro-life, but also pro-contraceptive

    You asked me to prove it

    I pointed to myself (and I can point to any non-Catholic supporter of pro-life)

    You said that isn’t enough and you need evidence

    I said it’s an absurd argument to begin with. I then pointed out that it doesn’t matter because the arguments for pro-life still stand

    You’ve yet to deal with those arguments. I provided you links to online articles that explain the pro-life position…and you’ve ignored it. Shall I assume that your desire is to remain ignorant?

    Comment by Joel — July 5, 2010 @ 2:48 pm | Reply

    • I pointed to myself

      But failed to substantiate it by linking me to any public post or statement you have ever made in which you advocate using contraception in order to prevent abortions.

      And at the same time, you made clear that you were not an advocate of contraception provision, as you attack Planned Parenthood, the most effective preventer of abortions in the US by providing family planning services, for also providing elective abortions.

      I then pointed out that it doesn’t matter because the arguments for pro-life still stand

      And I invited you to take up that argument with me at my post on The basics: why pro-choice is the only moral option. Which you have, so far, declined to do.

      It appears that, rather than attempt to substantiate your own assertions, you had rather turn to ad hominem attacks on me. You do realize that this is making you into an example of the kind of pro-lifer I describe in the OP: you don’t care to defend your ideas in any reasoned debate, you can’t substantiate your claims by citation, all you can do is fulminate over your own virtuous superiority…

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 5, 2010 @ 3:52 pm | Reply

  15. I feels like I need to break out napkins and crayons to explain these arguments to you. Let me explain this in simple terms:

    Catholics view contraceptives as naughty and bad. They view abortion as naughty and bad. That means the Catholics don’t want to do something that is naughty and bad in order to prevent what is naughty and bad. They think that women who get pregnant should carry the baby to term, not have an abortion. That’s how they desire to lower the abortion rate, by having people exercise responsibility and self-control.

    Now, the effects don’t deal with the morality. Even if every Catholic out there secretly gets turned on by the thoughts of abortion, that doesn’t make abortion a moral choice. Even if every pro-life individual out there really just doesn’t like women and doesn’t want them to have sex, that doesn’t impact the morality of abortion. It boils down to this:

    Do humans have the innate right to live? If yes, then it must be the absolute right. If no, then we have no rights and the issue of abortion no longer matters (since women would have no rights).

    Are embryos/fetuses human persons? If yes, then they have the absolute right to live and this trumps all other rights of any other individual. If no, then abortion no longer matters as it’s just the eradication of a non-human.

    Any other debate is superfluous. Trying to find an ulterior motive for the pro-life position doesn’t prove that abortion is moral. Saying, “Well women will have illegal abortions!” doesn’t prove that abortion is moral anymore than “People will still murder their children” proves that infanticide is moral. The issues are do humans have a right to life and are embryos and fetuses humans?

    P.S. You can’t possibly so dumb as to say I haven’t substantiated myself. You have to be smarter than that. I gave you an entire list of articles and books you can link to that argue for my position that abortion is immoral. I would have a rational conversation with you if you exercised rationality. As it is, your entire argument is based upon a logical fallacy and you refuse to see that. How can I have a rational discussion with someone who is so irrational?

    Comment by Joel — July 5, 2010 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

    • I feels like I need to break out napkins and crayons to explain these arguments to you.

      If we were in TGIF, they provide a pack with crayons for free to tables with little kids, to keep them quiet while the adults talk, which is, really, how I think I should treat you.

      I’m not banning you – yet, though I bring down the banhammer for personal abuse when it gets really gross. I just don’t see the point of attempting to engage someone who is childishly abusive to people who don’t agree with him. If you can acknowledge you were grossly uncivil and refrain from such behavior, I’ll get back to you. Otherwise, well, here’s your crayons, kid, have fun.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 6, 2010 @ 10:21 am | Reply

    • (If you don’t mind, Jes…)

      I can tell this is difficult for you to understand, Joel, but the post was about the “pro-life” movement. Not about the morality of abortion. So your shouting “but it doesn’t matter what the ‘pro-life’ movement does because BABIES” is only taking the post off topic.

      Fact is, there is no politically significant movement with preventing abortion as its aim.

      In any case…

      You’d think if the right to life was so very important to Catholics, they’d try to, you know, reduce abortions. Even if birth control is wrong. Because birth control may be a mortal sin, but not everyone is a Catholic; on the other hand, I suspect it would be wrong to characterize Catholic “pro-life” groups as only looking out for the souls of Catholic women and doctors.

      And it’s not as if Catholic “pro-life” groups do anything for non-contraceptive ways to reduce the abortion rate, like supporting financial and medical aid to families.

      Your bullshit about the right to life being the absolute right is just that. If that were the case, the government, or morality, would have compelled you to donate a kidney and a liver lobe or two. You don’t need them, and thousands of people die every year on the organ transplant waiting list. What about their right to life?

      I’m sorry I didn’t use small words for you. I’m a bit too tired to make the effort to dumb down my cognitive processes for the benefit of someone who goes on “BABIES” autopilot the moment he sees the word “abortion.”

      Comment by Rebecca — July 6, 2010 @ 1:54 pm | Reply

      • Why should we expect Catholics to commit what they perceive to be one moral evil in order to prevent another? No one has answered this very simple question.

        Secondly, you’re also guilty of making some of the most absurd claims. Though I am not Catholic, even I can see that Catholic charities have done more to help women who are pregnant than any non-Catholic charities I know of. Catholics love social justice (the entire idea of social justice comes from Catholic philosophers) and have multiple charities set up for lower-income women to help prevent them from getting pregnant (by abstaining from sex). These same charities help with the medical bills if a woman ends up pregnant. Feel free to look these charities up, but you show yourself as ignorant. Again, this is not an attack (like it wasn’t an attack against the author of the post), but a statement of fact – by not knowing even basic truths, such as the existence of Catholic charities, you betray an ignorance on this subject matter.

        As for organ transplants, I’ve dealt with that before. In fact, I responded to jesurgislac on my own site with the following (and she never replied back to it…why? Because she hasn’t actually studied this issue):

        What you’re appealing to is the argument put forth by Judith Jarvis Thompson. I have actually responded to that elsewhere on this site. To summarize the problems with such an argument:

        1) It commits the fallacy of special pleading – just as I don’t have a right to my body when my right harms another (such as in the case of second-hand smoking), I don’t have a right to my body when that right would kill the right of another (notice I use the word kill rather than let die)

        2) It commits the fallacy of special pleading again – it ignores that raising a child can cause mental anguish, which is physical harm. In fact, just as there is a chance that a fetus could kill a mother in childbirth, there is a chance that a child could kill the parent by accident or internally. Thus, to apply the Thompson argument to infants and even children in the home, parents should be allowed to kill their children. Of course, such an argument is a priori absurd, but because it’s absurd we cannot use such an argument when describing the fetus.

        3) The argument assumes that I must volunteer in order to have an ethical obligation – the argument states that a woman having an abortion is like a person having their organs forcibly removed. However, this is a false comparison. When someone engages in sex, that person understand that childbirth is a risk. In fact, US law recognizes this and is unequal in this recognition – a woman can terminate a pregnancy, but if she chooses to keep the child then the male can be forced to pay child support, whether or not he lays claim to the child. If it can be proven that the child is his, then he is responsible for that child. That is because sex comes with the natural production of children (like it or not, that’s how it is; blame natural selection). Having my organs forcibly taken from me is not a natural byproduct of anything, so it’s a false comparison. I am ethically obligated to my child because I engaged in an activity that naturally leads to children (whether I wanted children or not); I did not engage in an activity that forced me to give up my organs.

        4) I have no ethical obligation to those who need my organs – I don’t need to have my organs harvested because I have no ethical obligation to strangers. I do, however, have an ethical obligation to my own flesh and blood, specifically if I engaged in an activity that brought that flesh and blood about. So again, your argument engages in a false comparison

        If you care to examine this defense in detail (which I’m guessing you don’t because you come across as close-minded), please head to Frank Beckwith’s article, Defending Abortion Philosophically. Around page 13 he deals with Judith Jarvis Thompsons’ argument (the one you’re using).

        To deal with what you say about women being slaves, how are they slaves? They willingly had sex without protection and the natural act of childbirth occurred. Are we to say men that have to pay child support are also slaves? Would you advocate eradicating men paying child support? I, for one, am not against men paying child support. I believe that both men and women have moral obligations to their offspring. I believe if men are unwilling to take care of the children, then they should have to pay child support, regardless of how rich the mom is. There should be harsh punishments for men who do not pay child support (prison time comes to mind). But on the same token, I believe that women should have to carry the child to term. The child does not make them a slave. Only a sick person who doesn’t understand the innate value of life would assert such a thing.

        Like it or not, women have uteruses and men do not. If that bothers you because it means men and women are “unequal,” take it up with nature. But your argument simply shows how laughable feminism has become as a legitimate philosophy. The fact that men and women are built differently means they have different responsibilities and moral obligations when it comes to kids. That may not be “egalitarian” to you, but it’s logical and based on science.

        Comment by Joel — July 6, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

      • Because, theoretically, human rights should trump sexual purity.

        I’m referring to the Catholic “pro-life” movement. You know, since the post is about the “pro-life” movement. That same Catholic “pro-life” movement that opposed health care reform, which would make it easier for families to care for their children, because ZOMG TEH ABORTION.

        I would respond to your claims by the numbers, but…none of them make any sense so it’s really not worth it. What you’re ignoring is that people have rights. It really doesn’t get much simpler than that. People have a right to bodily liberty. You are not obliged to donate a single drop of blood to your own child, because it’s your body. All your “logic” just comes down to “The bitch had sex.”

        (By the way, if you see money and organs as equivalent, try negotiating with the government to donate blood/kidneys/liver instead of paying your taxes. Good luck.)

        Comment by Rebecca — July 6, 2010 @ 2:38 pm

  16. By the way, I have no problem debating you on the morality of abortion. The only thing I ask of you is to read the ARTICLES I linked. You can access all of them (and I even wrote some of them). I’m not asking you to read the books (reading a book may be too much to ask of you), just the articles.

    After you have read the articles, put together a refutation, post it on here and I’ll respond (make sure to link me to it on my site).

    Comment by Joel — July 5, 2010 @ 4:18 pm | Reply

    • I have a problem debating you because of your inability to be civil. If you cannot refrain from personal abuse/ad hom attacks, you’re not worth debating with.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 6, 2010 @ 9:37 am | Reply

      • Like it or not, calling you ignorant isn’t a personal attack. It’s a statement of fact that I backed up. If you wish to prove such a claim wrong, then do so by stating what study you have put into this issue beyond, “I read news articles!”

        [Joel, fwiw, I quit trying to take you seriously when you came out with a line like "I feels like I need to break out napkins and crayons to explain these arguments to you." It was an effort before that, because of your childish habit of responding with "you're IGNORANT!" to people who disagree with you. But at that point, I just thought: Why am I bothering with this silly kid? -Jesurgislac]

        Comment by Joel — July 6, 2010 @ 2:22 pm

      • News articles display what the “pro-life” movement does and contains quotes from the most prominent “pro-life” advocates in the world. If you think the articles are misrepresentative, say so.

        Comment by Rebecca — July 6, 2010 @ 2:45 pm

  17. This might be off topic jesurgislac not sure if you are here in the US or not tho abortion was made legal in 1973 by abortion doctors telling lies. http://www.aboutabortions.com/DrNathan.html
    This doctor worked tiressly to get abortion lagalized in the unted states.

    Comment by chris — July 6, 2010 @ 9:04 am | Reply

    • I live in the UK, where the single person most responsible for ensuring that abortion became legally available to women in mainland UK is Doctor David Steel. Though of course the true heroes, everywhere, are the hundreds of thousands of women and men who worked tirelessly for the cause, both before abortion was made legal and afterwards, against attempts by pro-lifers to return to the bad old days.

      You can read more about Bernard Nathanson here.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 6, 2010 @ 9:35 am | Reply

  18. Rebecca, THAT is your reply? Really? Instead of dealing with what I said, you just repeat yourself?

    Again, this is why my declaration of your ignorance (or jesurgislac) is not an ad hominem attack, but instead an accurate description.

    So I’m not obligated to donate a single drop of blood to my child? But where do you get this? The idea of parental obligation would dictate that if my child needs a blood donation and I’m able to, I should give that blood donation. If my child needs a kidney and I’m able to, I should give that kidney. Only at the point where the termination of my life becomes highly probably or immanent do I no longer have an obligation to my child.

    Just because the law fails to recognize this doesn’t mean we somehow don’t have an ethical obligation. We do have a right to our body, but that right is trumped by certain obligations and other rights.

    Comment by Joel — July 6, 2010 @ 3:00 pm | Reply

    • Are you saying, then, that the law should require you to donate your organs (or your blood, continually, for some time) to your child? Because it’s not enough for the “pro-life” movement to claim an ethical obligation for people to donate their blood and organs, if those people are female – they’re also trying to make it a legal obligation.

      If you insist:

      1) Notice how someone whom you might harm by second-hand smoking is not infringing your human rights just by being there?

      2) Notice how no one’s human rights are being infringed once the child is born?

      3) Shorter you: “The bitch had sex!”

      The “I didn’t volunteer for this” is a patently ridiculous argument. If someone is seeking an abortion, unless it’s for health reasons, she most likely didn’t volunteer to be pregnant. Sex has the potential to cause pregnancy, and it is possible that she engaged in consensual sex, but that is not an argument any more than “By choosing to advocate for an absolute right to life in a country where people die on the organ transplant waitlist, you have taken the risk that someone might take you at your word and oblige you to surrender your organs.”

      Hint: Words mean things. If you say the right to life is absolute and the bodily liberty of those silly women doesn’t matter in the face of LIFE, you don’t get to back out when the spotlight’s on your innards.

      4) Already addressed.

      Comment by Rebecca — July 6, 2010 @ 3:32 pm | Reply

      • I never once said that the obligation should be made legal; I merely said it is an ethical obligation.

        Though the issues hold a parental obligation (between donating and giving birth), both are still different ethically. When you attempt to link organ donations to abortion you obfuscate the issue. By denying an organ donation to someone, you are in fact letting them die. You are letting nature run its course and take that person. If you’re climbing up a mountain and a climber slips and instead of grabbing their rope to save them, you hold on to your own out of fear you might slip too (even if the fear is irrational), you have let that person die. You did not actively kill the person.

        With abortion, you are actively killing the fetus. If you truly want to compare the two, if I wake up tomorrow and find that someone has been attached to me for their survival and will be attached for the next 9 months, I could unhook that person and let them die naturally (or find a volunteer to help that person). Either way, my ethical obligation doesn’t exist for that person. If, however, I pull out a gun and shoot that person in the head, or unhook that person in a way that actively kills the person, then I am morally responsible for killing that person.

        If you want to understand the nuanced differences, please reference the academic book, “Killing and Letting Die,” a series of essays by ethicists (http://books.google.com/books?id=7dXZS1ShK40C&printsec=frontcover&dq=Killing+and+Letting+Die&source=bl&ots=oahHCV8mJI&sig=EOG1LB6qkmykl1qEYjSFl8Pb5No&hl=en&ei=23QzTPmILcOMnQf9lomABQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CBYQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false)

        You go on to say that choice has no function in ethical obligation. If this is the case, will you stand before a court and tell them to eradicate child support? If the father unintentionally impregnated the woman and she chose to keep the child, do you think he should have to pay child support?

        Comment by Joel — July 6, 2010 @ 6:26 pm

      • If it’s only about an ethical obligation, then why are you posting in this topic? The “pro-life” movement is one that seeks to ban abortion, contraception and sex ed, and has a large overlap with the movement to keep from reforming health care or other social services. It’s a political movement. Political = having to do with government and laws.

        So, would abortion be okay in your book if the embryo was removed whole and left to die in a petri dish? You’re going to have to define “unhook in a way that actively kills the person,” because I suspect that by it you mean “unhook when the person doing the providing is female.”

        I very much doubt that there is any significant number of “pro-life” people who believe that the above situation would be acceptable. Because it lets women have sex without consequences, the dirty sluts. On the other hand, it would be much more painful and invasive and cost a great deal more for the patient, which, if there’s going to be an abortion anyway, is a plus in their book.

        Absolutely he should. Because the right of the child to be supported is greater than the father’s right to have a specific sum of money. But the right to life is not paramount in any legal or, for that matter, ethical system. I’ve already given the organ donation example, whereby we know that sometimes people just have to die because others’ right to keep all their organs is paramount; there’s also the fact that self-defense against rape is an affirmative defense to homicide, and I doubt most people’s “ethical” system would say differently.

        But if it’s only about an ethical obligation with no actual real-world consequences, why don’t you spend your time persuading “pro-life” groups to support contraception and support for families rather than dancing around here? That might actually prevent people from being put in that situation.

        Comment by Rebecca — July 6, 2010 @ 7:11 pm

      • Oh, I misinterpreted what you said in the second child support question. I mean, ideally the state would provide money so that it wouldn’t be necessary to have two parental incomes in order to support a child, but that’s the sort of thing “pro-lifers” tend to be against, of course.

        Comment by Rebecca — July 6, 2010 @ 7:22 pm

  19. Tell you what Rebecca, read this article (links to a PDF http://homepage.mac.com/francis.beckwith/Boonin.pdf) and get back to me. You’re not understanding what I’m saying and I can’t imagine how I can possibly make it clearer to you.

    So if feminist still read, please read the article.

    Comment by Joel — July 6, 2010 @ 7:30 pm | Reply

    • I can’t read PDFs on this computer, so if “pro-lifers” can still cut and paste, quote me the relevant parts.

      I’ve provided you with a number of examples as to why you’re dead wrong about life being the paramount human right in our ethical (and legal) system. If you want to change to a system where life, and not bodily liberty, is the greatest human right, you’re going to have to sacrifice, too.

      You make the argument that you don’t have an obligation to the kidney patient because you’re not his parent, but as long as we’re constructing hypothetical worlds here (like the one where life, and not bodily integrity, is the most fundamental human right), who’s to say that the ideal world isn’t a more generous one, where you have an obligation to the kidney patient because he is suffering?

      This may be just a philosophical discussion for you, with your talk about “virtue ethics” (translation = “ethics that make it okay to kill thousands of women to save one embryo that might be male”), but this is something that actually affects people. (Reminder: Women are people.)

      Comment by Rebecca — July 6, 2010 @ 7:39 pm | Reply

      • Then find a computer that can open PDF files.

        As for your summarization of virtue ethics…if you’re the representation of the feminist movement, then the feminist movement is in a dire place intellectually.

        Comment by Joel — July 6, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

      • I should also add that I dealt with your examples. You’re the one who keeps regurgitating them after I’ve already explained that there is an ethical difference. I’m in the majority view here among philosophers, but you wouldn’t know that because you haven’t studied this issue.

        Comment by Joel — July 6, 2010 @ 7:43 pm

      • Ah well. I guess “pro-lifers” can’t cut and paste. I knew your movement was intellectually bankrupt, but I didn’t actually think it was that incapable.

        Really? Because going by what you posted in this thread about it, that’s exactly what it means. According to you, it’s “virtue ethics” to commits a lesser evil to prevent a greater evil (Ms. ten Boom), except when the difference between the two evils helps women specifically (“pro-life” Catholics), in which case it’s “virtue ethics” to allow the greater evil to go on because otherwise women might benefit from the lesser evil.

        Comment by Rebecca — July 6, 2010 @ 7:49 pm

      • You see, Joel, in the real world, “dealing with an example” tends to mean “refuting it,” not just saying “LOL IT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE I SAY SO.” Go ahead, tell me why life is paramount in a system that approves of self-defensive homicide against non-lethal force. Tell me why life is paramount in a system that lets people die because others don’t feel up to the “minor inconvenience” of organ donation.

        I’ll help you out: Your virtue is not life. Your virtue is the old chestnut of “personal responsibility,” which is always and ever a shorthand for “punish the sluts (and sometimes poor people, depending on context).”

        Comment by Rebecca — July 6, 2010 @ 7:53 pm

  20. I should have trusted the old adage, “Never debate a fool; they’ll just bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” Apparently I am quite unwise to have engaged in a debate with fools. Regardless, let me continue in my foolish endeavor…

    The article is nearly 18 pages long. I’m not going to cut and paste 18 pages of an article to a comment section.

    As I have explained, I don’t have a moral obligation to keep someone alive unless that person was brought into existence by me. At that point, I have an obligation. Now, certainly if I can rescue someone at no cost to myself, then I should do it. But if such a rescue would come at a great personal cost, then I don’t have a moral obligation to that person.

    If that person has existence because of me, then I do have a moral obligation. If my child needs a kidney then I have an obligation to get tested to see if I am a viable match for my child. If I am a match for my child, then I have the ethical obligation to give my kidney to my child. The reason is that due to my begetting of the child, I have created an ethical obligation.

    So is it justified if we just put an embryo in a petri dish and let the embryo die? No, because the mother and father brought the embryo into existence and therefore have an obligation to prevent the death of the embryo (read: human person).

    It’s not different because I say so; the analogy you’re using is different to abortion because it’s actually different. The female philosopher Philippa Foot is where I’m getting that distinction (and before you attack her, mind you that she’s made great strides for women in the academic world). In abortion we have the active killing of a fetus with the mother’s consent. This violates (1) an innocent’s right to life and (2) the ethical obligation she has to the child (whether she intended to have the child or not is irrelevant).

    The intentions of the mother are irrelevant. Both in legal cases and philosophical cases, we rarely let intentionality hold much weight. If a man gets a woman pregnant, then the court views him as legally responsible to help pay for the child. If a drunk driver unintentionally kills someone while driving, the drunk driver faces manslaughter charges. Why is this? Because both people engaged in activities that increase the chances of an unintended “consequence.” For the drunk driver, by drinking and getting in a car, though he does not intend to kill someone, he still engaged in a high-risk activity that is known to kill people. For the man he engaged in sexual intercourse and though he did not intend to have a child he still engaged in an activity that leads to the probability of the woman having a child. Thus, intention does not matter.

    As for how abortion is different from an organ donation…

    The difference exists in the fact that in the case of an organ donation, we are EXTENDING the life of a human being while in an abortion we are terminating the life of a newly created human being. This distinction is important for two reasons:

    1) This shows the two examples are not symmetrical in terms of human neediness – in the case of an organ donation, we lower the neediness of the patient by giving them an organ. We are extending the life of someone who already exists and has a need; we did not put the person in that condition, we were not the cause of that person’s condition, thus we have no ethical obligation to extend the person’s situation (unless we are responsible for the person’s condition). In a pregnancy, however, the father and mother are responsible for the existence of the child. They are responsible for the existence because they engaged in sex. Like it or not, sex leads to pregnancy. This is not me saying, “Those dirty sluts need to keep their babies” because an EQUAL responsibility exists for the man to help take care of the mother and child, though the physical burden does rest upon the woman (blame evolution, the ultimate chauvinist). However, since the mother contributed to bringing the embryo into existence, she then has an obligation to protect that embryo’s life whereas she wouldn’t have that obligation in the case of an organ donation since she did not cause the condition for the organ donor.

    2) The two cases are not alike in this way either – the neediness of the organ patient is unforeseeable and unintended. In other words, I could not know that Bob would need my kidney and I did not intend that Bob would need my kidney and I did not put Bob in a condition where he would need my kidney. In the case of a child, by engaging in sex it is foreseeable that a pregnancy would be possible and I also put the embryo into existence, therefore I am responsible for that embryo.

    To quote from the article you won’t/can’t read, an analogy that summarizes the above:

    “Consider this illustration. Imagine you are a physician whose patient is a violinist. However, unlike in the previous tale, your patient is healthy and also happens to be your lover. After arriving at your office for his yearly physical, you suggest to him a vitamin regiment in order to maintain his health. You offer him what you think is a sample of the vitamin, but it is really a narcotic to which the violinist is highly allergic. You hand him the samples, he swallows one right there in your office, and then moments later he has a severe allergic reaction. He is rushed to the hospital and soon after his arrival the chief of neurology gives you the tragic news: “Your patient, the violinist, will survive, and live quite a long time. However, he has suffered serious brain damage that has resulted in his losing all his memories, abilities, and skills. He will remain in a coma for nine months, but upon awakening he will be able to relearn all his abilities and skills and acquire new memories. It should take about a decade to accomplish this. This means that he is effectively in precisely the same position as a standard fetus.” According to Boonin, you are clearly responsible for your patient’s neediness and your patient is entitled to your assistance.

    However, suppose while the violinist is laying in his hospital bed in a coma, you obtain some of his DNA in order to clone him. You rush back to your lab, produce an embryo clone, and then implant the embryo in yourself (you are a woman, after all) because you want to bring into the world another human being who is likely to acquire similar characteristics and develop a similar personality as the violinist you dearly love. But suppose you discover a week later that when you implanted the cloned embryo you were pregnant already as a result of sex with the violinist an hour before he had visited your office. You had not intended to become pregnant; but you now are in such a condition. So, now there exist three human beings in precisely the same position: identical twin violinists (though decades apart in chronological age) and a child who is the offspring of the senior twin. All three are needy, unconscious, and require time to develop their latent abilities, basic capacities, they have by nature. In all three cases it seems correct to say that you are responsible for their neediness, but in the second and third cases you are also responsible for the being’s existence, though in the second case you directly intended a needy being to exist but in the first and third you did not. Yet, according to Boonin, you are only responsible for the neediness of the first, the violinist, but not the second and third because
    in the latter two cases you are only responsible for the being’s existence but not its neediness. But that doesn’t seem right. For in the second and third cases neediness is caused simultaneously with existence, because the sort of being brought into existence is needy by nature and the acts performed in each case are ordered toward the production of needy human beings. Thus, Boonin’s argument fails to show that the distinction he makes between responsibility for neediness and responsibility for existence is applicable to the case of pregnancy”

    I hope the above analogy explains why the two events of “organ donations” and “abortion” are different. Thus, I do support an embryo’s right to life and the virtue is life, but there are nuances to it that would prevent me from saving every life in every possible situation.

    In terms of the Pro-life movement being against contraceptives, against health care, and so on…what of it? If health care allows for abortion, why should pro-life advocates be for it? If anything, we support that PEOPLE (both men and women) exhibit self-control. Your attempt to make this into a chauvinistic ideal is absurd; if we don’t want women having premarital sex, then we don’t want men to have it either. But that’s not what it boils down to. The goal isn’t self-control, the goal is valuing life; self-control is simply a method to achieve the end of valuing life.

    Regardless, I’m questioning why I took the time to write out what I did above. Maybe it’s because I’m hoping we can both calm down and look at the issue rationally, but I fear this might be impossible for you. I can, so I hope you can too.

    Comment by Joel — July 6, 2010 @ 8:32 pm | Reply

    • You have no support for this “ethical obligation” other than your say-so. Can you find general support for this assertion (that a living person is ethically obliged to surrender their organs to their children, and only to their children, even if the person is male) in a place other than a “pro-lifer” arguing by proxy against the legal rights of women?*

      *I may have identified a reason why your arguments are so nonsensical. It’s because you have decided, in the face of what people are actually saying, to pretend that the analogy is “forced organ donation in a man ~ abortion in a woman” rather than “forced organ donation in a man ~ forced organ donation in a woman.”

      I’ve done a bit of work for you, and happily for you (as you may think), there’s an article “Do Genetic Relationships Create Moral Obligations in Organ Transplantation?” It concludes that as a general principle, yes. However, unhappily for you:
      1) it lists a bunch of reasons why the parent isn’t, in practice, obliged to donate
      2) it explains that the special relationship is not based in biology, but rather in what the article describes as “intimacy” (which would not seem to create an obligation on the part of a gestating woman)
      3) it also explains that there can be a special relationship whether or not you did anything to cause it (so your “they had sex!!1″ canard is a no-go)

      That was the only one I could find. Care to show me some others to prove that you’re “in the majority view among philosophers”?

      Aside from the other logical issues with the part you’ve quoted, the part where the physician and the patient are lovers is a huge breach of medical ethics…

      As for the rest of it, though…Like it or not, embryos cannot survive outside the uterus and children can. If that bothers you because it means embryos and children are “unequal,” take it up with nature. But your argument simply shows how laughable “pro-life” has become as a legitimate philosophy. The fact that embryos and children are different means they have different rights and moral due when it comes to their parents. That may not be “egalitarian” to you, but it’s logical and based on science.

      Wait, you’re seriously asking why “pro-life” people should support policies that, in addition to saving people’s lives in non-pregnancy related fields, save the lives of both women and embryos? Completely un-ironically? And in a post about just why the “pro-life” movement does that, too? You’re seriously asking why “pro-life” people should support policies that promote valuing life over insurance dollars?

      Comment by Rebecca — July 6, 2010 @ 10:51 pm | Reply

      • I linked an article and supplied you a book that is peer-reviewed. It’s full of essays by different philosophers – most of whom are tenured at respected private and public universities from around the world (or were tenured at one time, but have sense retired) – how does this not suffice for evidence that philosophers agree we have a parental obligation?

        Also, where did you find this article and can you link me to it? It looks like you read the abstract of the article, meaning you missed out on some of the nuanced details. If you actually read this article (considering it was published in Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, which requires you be a member in order to read the articles), then perhaps you could link me to it.

        Regardless, you’re searching in the wrong fashion. If a couple adopts a child and learns six months later that the child requires a kidney transplant and one of the adoptive parents is a match, they hold the ethical obligation to give their kidney to the child. Why is this? Because the child has a need and by adopting the child they accepted that they would do all they could – short of giving their own life – to make sure that this child grows and succeeds. Obviously at some point this obligation is diminished and lessened if not all but eradicated, but early in development the obligation exists.

        As for your argument about an embryo and a child being different, your argument is a case of special pleading. For instance, let us imagine Jim. Jim works construction and he is hit on the head and is left in a coma. The doctors tell us that for the next 9 months Jim must live off an oxygen machine, a feeding tube, etc. If we were to remove him from this equipment, Jim would die (this would be actively killing Jim). But the doctors tell us that after 9 months, Jim will be able to be off of these machines. During this time, Jim’s family realizes that they have to file for bankruptcy because keeping Jim in the hospital costs too much money. Is the family justified in euthanizing Jim?

        It would appear prima facie that the family would be wrong to do so. They would give up his life so that they can live a more comfortable life, which seems inherently selfish and puts their comfortable living (not a right) over Jim’s life (which is a right). Jim is, for all intents and purposes, in a fetal state, but it would still be ethically and legally wrong to kill him. Such it should be with an embryo.

        But what is more disturbing is your blatant disregard for the universality of human rights. If an embryo is a human person (and scientifically an embryo is a human person), and if all people are entitled to certain rights by nature of being human, then an embryo has these rights. Location is not a good argument. An excellent book for you to read would be “Embryo: A Defense of Human Life” by Robert P. George and Christopher Tollefsen. In this book they explain why location is not a legitimate reason to neglect a person’s right to life.

        As for my question, what I was questioning is why the pro-life movement should support universal health care if said healthcare will help pay for abortions. Yes, I am seriously questioning why they should desire their money would be used for murder. Let’s say we came up with an immigration policy that attempted to stem the tide of immigration into America. In this bill, it pumped billions of dollars into Mexico to help improve the economy, it legalized all current illegal citizens, and even offerred education to the children of immigrants so they could make a better life. Within the bill, however, was a provision that said that land-owners in Arizona could kill any unwanted Mexicans around their property (even if not on the property) because they viewed them as a threat to the property and that the Federal Government would pay for the land-owner’s rifles, ammunition, weapons training, and body removal. Let’s take it further and say the provision said that if the land owners hired a Mexican to work on the land owner’s land, but the Mexican became a bother, that the federal government would kill the Mexican for the land owner.

        Now, even though the bill would help cease immigration, create a better life for Mexicans, and present a way to legalize currently illegal immigrants, would you support the bill? Of course not, because it’s still inhumane in that is allows for the deaths of innocent human beings. Such it is with healthcare bills. If the bill allows for and even gives payment to women to have abortions (with the lone exception being to save her life), how can the pro-life group support it?

        Comment by Joel — July 6, 2010 @ 11:24 pm

      • I don’t think you understand; I asked you to provide evidence that people agree with you that a parent should have to donate his organs to his child. The book you linked does not even mention that, let alone discuss it. I also asked you to provide these explanations out of the context of “pro-lifers” grasping at straws for reasons to ban abortion, which rules out the article.

        I read it at the Cambridge Journals web site; if you belong to a university, you should be able to log on.

        And once again you fail to understand that money and organs are not equivalent, and once again I must ask you to try paying for your next hospital visit in organs and see how well that goes.

        Of course humans have human rights. That’s the point I’ve been trying to make the whole time. But humans (by which I mean people, ie. born people) do not have a right to requisition others’ organs for their own use, because bodily integrity is a human right. Even if you’re female! I do love, though, the way you talk about “location” as if someone’s trying to deny the embryo’s rights based on whether it’s in the city or the country, instead of, you know, inside a person who has rights.

        False analogy, as:
        1) your imaginary law would entail legalizing murder, while abortion is already legal
        2) the health care bill does not, either as proposed or as passed, use government funds to pay for abortion.

        But God forbid “pro-life” people support policies that help pregnant women and children.

        Comment by Rebecca — July 7, 2010 @ 12:07 am

  21. pretty nice of planned parenthood to cover up child abuse

    http://www.childpredators.com/States_seek_abortion_clinic_records.cfm

    Comment by chris — July 7, 2010 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

  22. http://www.childpredators.com/Tapes.cfm

    listen to the tapes they are not fabricated

    Comment by chris — July 7, 2010 @ 4:11 pm | Reply

    • So you’re telling me that doctors who work for Planned Parenthood obey the law on patient confidentiality, and that pro-lifers have tapes proving this and they’re pissed as hell that doctors are behaving as if young women are actually entitled to all the same human and civil rights as men?

      Gosh.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 7, 2010 @ 5:28 pm | Reply

  23. gthe girl claimed to be 13 or 14 saying she was having sex with a 22 yr old hello. they did not report this ummmmm strangely enough. there are laws that say and adult sleeping with a MINOR. Laws called statitory rape that should be reported

    Comment by chris — July 8, 2010 @ 5:50 am | Reply

    • Let me direct you to the legal opinion of the Kansas Attorney General. cite

      There’s quite a lot, so let me summarise: An obligation on medical professionals to violate the law of medical confidentiality and report statutory rape is covered under the law on reporting injuries caused by child sexual abuse. But, according to the attorney general, pregnancy is not counted as an “injury”, and “A pregnant, unmarried minor may very likely display signs of emotional, physical or mental injuries which should be reported. However, we do not believe that pregnancy of an unmarried minor necessarily constitutes injury even when that term is understood in its broadest sense. It has been held that pregnancy is not itself an injury but a natural condition. Carter v. Howard, 86 P.2d 451, 455 (Or. 1939).”

      This is a practical, common-sense response. A child that age who is pregnant clearly needs to have an abortion – she’s not old enough to have a baby. Attempting to prevent or discourage her from having an abortion or seeking to access contraception, as pro-lifers want, would be an injury to her health – would go against the principle that informs the child abuse protection laws, which, says the Attorney General, require liberal construction “to the end that each child within its provisions shall receive the care, custody, guidance, control and discipline, . . . as will best serve the child’s welfare and the best interests of the state.”

      A child who is having sex with an older man and who is discouraged away from using contraception by fear that the medical professional she consults will report her and she will get into trouble, is plainly not being served in the best interests of her welfare. (Nor is it, though pro-lifers disagree, in the best interests of the state that the state should attempt to force teenage girls to have babies against their will.)

      Obviously it’s not in her best interest to be involved with an older man. But the best way of ensuring that relationship comes to a clean end and the man gets into the trouble he deserves, is for the girl to remain in touch with someone in a position to help her when she decides to tell, whom she trusts and has confidence in.

      In any case, if she’s pregnant, she needs an abortion, and as soon as possible. It would be very wrong to set any obstacles whatsoever in her way. The law on child abuse is supposed to be upheld to protect the child, not to satisfy the lascivious gloating of pro-lifers.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 8, 2010 @ 7:58 am | Reply

  24. In a time when abortions nationwide are declining, Planned Parenthood is performing more abortions than ever — 264,943 in 2005-06. These abortions bring in at least a third of its $345 million in clinic income.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/mar/26/the-abortion-industry/

    Because Planned Parenthood is America’s biggest chain of abortion clinics
    hard to prevent alot of abortions when you do more than you prevent

    Comment by chris — July 8, 2010 @ 5:54 am | Reply

    • hard to prevent alot of abortions when you do more than you prevent

      Planned Parenthood serves approximately three million people a year across the US.

      So, at most, 8 or 9% of the people whom they helped – from your figure of number of abortions performed – were having an abortion. (And Planned Parenthood will always provide family planning / contraception advice & provision, as part of their post-abortion care.)

      All of the rest of their work – over 90% of it – was preventing abortions.

      Planned Parenthood is America’s biggest and most successful agency for preventing abortions. If pro-lifers were sincere about wanting to prevent abortions, they’d be Planned Parenthood’s biggest fans.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 8, 2010 @ 8:04 am | Reply

  25. http://www.grtl.org/plannedparenthood.asp

    Consider a few brief facts: Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading abortion performer and promoter. In 2001, Planned Parenthood’s clinics performed 16% of the nation’s abortions, If September 11 happened 71 times, you get that many deaths… almost. If you look at the chart, you can see that Planned Parenthood’s plans typically don’t involve parenthood.

    Does Planned Parenthood prevent abortions, or does it increase them? Let’s look at the data. In Minnesota, Planned Parenthood opened a clinic in St. Cloud in 2001. From 2001-2004, abortions in the four-county area around the clinic rose 10%, while abortions statewide went down 7%.2

    In fact, Planned Parenthood nationwide has become increasingly committed to abortion. Planned Parenthood is now responsible for one out of every five abortions in America.3

    Planned Parenthood tries to say that it prevents abortion through contraception. But only 8% of abortions are performed on women who have never used contraception. 54% of women having abortions used contraception that month.4 As a result, as its own representatives admitted in Morgantown, WV in 2005, there is no data to show that a Planned Parenthood clinic in an area reduces teen pregnancy

    Comment by chris — July 8, 2010 @ 12:30 pm | Reply

    • Consider a few brief facts: Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading abortion performer and promoter.

      Abortion doesn’t need “promotion”, Chris. When a woman needs an abortion, she doesn’t need an advert to tell her that!

      Consider this basic fact, Chris: Planned Parenthood prevents about ten times as many potential abortions as it carries out.

      Pro-life organizations prevent no abortions.

      So if pro-lifers managed to get rid of Planned Parenthood, the number of abortions across the US would rise – maybe not tenfold, since some people who go to Planned Parenthood probably have other resources.

      Tell me, Chris, if you actually, sincerely believe abortion is so bad… why do you think it would be better if there were up to ten times more abortions in the US as there are today?

      Why are you so strongly against preventing abortions?

      Let’s look at the data. In Minnesota, Planned Parenthood opened a clinic in St. Cloud in 2001. From 2001-2004, abortions in the four-county area around the clinic rose 10%, while abortions statewide went down 7%.2

      So people would travel to the Planned Parenthood clinic from elsewhere in the state to get abortions. And across the state, the existance of Planned Parenthood providing contraceptives and sex education,reduced the statewide abortion rate by 7.2%. And you seem to think this is a bad thing, so I can only assume you think the higher the abortion rate the better. See my original post about the pleasure pro-lifers get in high abortion rates? It’s like burning kittens for you – you want the higher abortion rate because it gives you more juice to get indignant over, and that’s what you want.

      Planned Parenthood tries to say that it prevents abortion through contraception. But only 8% of abortions are performed on women who have never used contraception. 54% of women having abortions used contraception that month

      Yeah, Chris, you may not realise this, but it’s usually not enough to use contraception just once a month. Each time, every time, whenever you DON’T intend to get pregnant.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 8, 2010 @ 12:43 pm | Reply

  26. Stevenson downplays the fact that Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions. In fiscal 2008, it aborted 305,310 children.

    Don’t take our word about how important the revenue stream for abortion is to Planned Parenthood. Abby Johnson, former director of a Texas abortion clinic, stated her boss hounded her about increasing abortion numbers at her facility.

    Her boss allegedly told her: “ Abortion’s got to be your priority, because that’s where our money is.” Johnson described this as “sick,” and Planned Parenthood’s stated aim of helping women as “a farce.”
    abbey johnson former planned parenthood worker http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2010/jun/24/letter-preventing-abortion-planned-parenthood-it/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Comment by chris — July 8, 2010 @ 12:37 pm | Reply

    • Don’t take our word about how important the revenue stream for abortion is to Planned Parenthood. Abby Johnson, former director of a Texas abortion clinic, stated her boss hounded her about increasing abortion numbers at her facility.

      Chris, honey, when you say “don’t take our word about it” and then link to a pro-lifer sounding off about the evils of her former profession, you do realize you are actually expecting me to take a pro-lifer’s word for it?

      You really do love those high abortion rates, don’t you? Indignation over them must be a pretty strong kick. Have you ever considered that hash or even coffee would be a more socially acceptable form of drug use, and less harmful to women? Lower abortion rates are actually better in general for all sorts of reasons: the pro-lifer eagerness to keep them high is a fairly ugly sight.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 8, 2010 @ 12:45 pm | Reply

    • In fiscal 2008, it aborted 305,310 children.

      No children are ever aborted, Chris. Once a baby is born, she or he can’t be aborted. It’s basic biology.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 8, 2010 @ 12:53 pm | Reply

  27. Hey Jesur? Thanks for writing these things.

    (I meandered over from Slacktivist, btw.)

    Comment by MadGastronomer — July 8, 2010 @ 1:33 pm | Reply

    • Thank you for meandering over! (The first comment gets moderated to save me from spambots.)

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 8, 2010 @ 2:14 pm | Reply

  28. http://www.abortionfacts.com/providers/quotes.asp

    link to abortion providers testimonies

    Comment by chris — July 8, 2010 @ 1:38 pm | Reply

    • Quote from an abortion provider’s testimony:

      Over the years, Tiller gave very little away. He would turn down requests for interview, saying he did not want to inflame the situation. “He was a quiet man,” says Ruth, who lives around the corner from the clinic. “He rarely talked about his problems.” In March, he gave a tiny insight into how he coped with such extraordinary pressure. He told the jury at his trial that: “Quit is not something I like to do.” He said his wife, Jeanne, his three daughters – two of whom are doctors – a son and 10 grandchildren were all sources of comfort.

      Then he recounted to the jury one particular conversation that he said had given him great succour. “My daughters came into my study. I was reading. And they said: ‘Daddy, if not now, when? If not you, who? Who is going to stand up for women with unexpected and badly damaged babies?’ I had the support of my family, and we were able to proceed ahead.”

      George Tiller, murdered by a pro-lifer, Sunday 30th May 2009

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 8, 2010 @ 2:09 pm | Reply

    • More abortion facts:

      After his murder, it’s not clear who will take his place. In the mainstream media, Tiller is frequently described as “controversial.” But in the tight-knit world of abortion providers and pro-choice activists, he was often called a saint, because he took on the hardest cases, whether they could pay or not, and was incredibly tender with his patients. “His clinic was known for really treating women with extraordinary decency and respect,” says Carol Joffe, a professor of sociology at the University of California, Davis, and one of the country’s foremost experts on abortion. They sent him volumes worth of letters of effusive and urgent thanks.

      Tiller’s death is an incalculable loss to women’s health care. There are two other clinics that do late-term abortions, but neither are known for taking patients regardless of their ability to pay or for ministering so comprehensively to their emotional needs. Tiller’s murder leaves a void that could imperil women across the country.

      Late-term abortion is often spoken of as the most morally dubious aspect of the abortion debate. Many people who are nominally pro-choice, particularly politicians, are quick to condemn it, to treat the work that Tiller did as repugnant even if it’s legal.

      Ironically, though, many of the procedures Tiller did were as far away from the much-reviled concept of “abortion on demand” as one could get. Unwanted pregnancy can, to some extent, be prevented. A pregnancy that goes horribly wrong cannot. Almost anyone of child-bearing age could end up needing Tiller’s services. And now some of them will be forced to carry pregnancies to term against their will even when their fetuses can’t survive outside the womb.

      Bill Harrison, an abortion provider in Arkansas, referred hundreds of patients to Tiller over the years. “To do what George does is like doing major cancer surgery,” he says. “It’s a subspecialty all its own. It took a real organization to do it safely and effectively and cheaply like he did it.” Over the years, Harrison had 20 or 30 patients who were so poor that he had to give them money for gasoline to get to Wichita. “I would call him and tell him about the patients, and he would say, ‘Send them up,'” he says. “Obviously if they couldn’t pay for gasoline, they couldn’t pay for anything, and he did the abortions anyway.” The compassion of Doctor Tiller

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 8, 2010 @ 2:13 pm | Reply

  29. pro lifers don’t promote abortion like planned parenthhod does prolifer don’t make money off of abortions like planned parenthood does. umm she meaning abbey johnson is only telling the truth of what she witnessed

    Comment by chris — July 8, 2010 @ 1:42 pm | Reply

    • pro lifers don’t promote abortion

      Oh yes, you do. Every pro-lifer who ever fulminated against contraception and comprehensive sex education and access to family planning clinics was promoting abortion.

      prolifer don’t make money off of abortions like planned parenthood does.

      Planned Parenthood is a non-profit. Providing abortions isn’t a profitable undertaking.

      Pro-lifers make money off the adoption industry. Now that’s a profitable undertaking – selling babies.

      abbey johnson is only telling the truth of what she witnessed

      Just because you want to believe she’s not lying, doesn’t mean she’s telling the truth.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 8, 2010 @ 2:04 pm | Reply

  30. your logic is flawed all because we don’y want contraception etc…….. don’t mean we are for abortion you have your wires crossed.
    Despite legally being classified as a non-profit organization, Planned Parenthood reported an average annual “surplus” of over $40 million from the fiscal years ending in 2001 through 2006.[4] and had over $1 billion in income in 2006. Planned Parenthood had profits of nearly $115 million and received $336 million dollars from the government in order to carry out its operations, including almost 300,000 abortions that year. thats a good non profit organization you have there

    Planned Parenthood annually gives awards to those who support their agenda and the top award which they give is called The Margaret Sanger Award. [6] [7] 80% of those who have won this award have been pro-eugenics.

    Margaret Sanger was the founder of Planned Parenthood and was also a proponent of eugenics, believing that blacks were a racially inferior race, along with being a member of both the American Eugenics Society and the English Eugenics Society. [8] [9] She has been widely praised by many liberal politicians like Hillary Clinton. [10]

    Alan Guttmacher, who was a President of Planned Parenthood from 1962 to 1974 and who was also former Vice-President of the American Eugenics Society,[11][12] stated: “We are merely walking down the path that Ms. Sanger has carved out for us.” [13][14] Similarly, Faye Wattleton, who was the president of Planned Parenthood until 1992, stated that she was “proud” to be “walking in the footsteps” of Margaret Sanger.[15]

    Comment by chris — July 8, 2010 @ 2:23 pm | Reply

    • because we don’y want contraception etc…….. don’t mean we are for abortion

      If you agitate against contraception, you are promoting abortion. If that’s not what you WANT to do, then don’t do it!

      The nonsense pro-lifers talk about eugenics, you’d never know how racist they are as a movement…

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 8, 2010 @ 2:40 pm | Reply

    • I’ve debunked this sort of fallacy: see my post Argumentum ad Sangerum. But if you insist on maintaining this fallacious argument, this sort of reasoning can just as much apply to you, as Sanger was against abortion.

      Comment by Rob F — July 8, 2010 @ 5:58 pm | Reply

      • To clarify due to the positioning of tmy previous comments, I was responding to chris, not Jesurgislac.

        Comment by Rob F — July 8, 2010 @ 6:00 pm

      • Thanks Rob. That saves me time: I was going to move on to demolishing the thing about Margaret Sanger.

        The whole “Sanger believed black people are inferior!” is particularly bizarre, however, since the pro-life/right-wing/white Christian movement is profoundly racist both in origin and in ancillary movements closely-related, such as the demographic winter thing.

        Comment by jesurgislac — July 8, 2010 @ 6:07 pm

    • Despite legally being classified as a non-profit organization, Planned Parenthood reported an average annual “surplus” of over $40 million from the fiscal years ending in 2001 through 2006.[4] and had over $1 billion in income in 2006. Planned Parenthood had profits of nearly $115 million and received $336 million dollars from the government in order to carry out its operations, including almost 300,000 abortions that year. thats a good non profit organization you have there

      Yes, it is. “Non profit” does not mean “Must run at a loss”. You may be confused about this because of certain non-profit pro-life organizations, such as “Focus on the Family”, which have recently been running at a loss, but that’s because their wacky bigotry proved very, very expensive.

      Look up the legal definition of “non-profit”. Let me help. “Non-profit” means a charity or other NPO does not distribute its surplus funds to shareholders, but uses them to pursue its goals. When pro-lifers say “Planned Parenthood isn’t non-profit, look, it has surplus funds at the end of each financial year!” they’re really saying “I’m totally ignorant about what ‘non-profit’ means, and furthermore, it’s too much fun getting indignant about Planned Parenthood to bother looking up facts so I don’t look ignorant!”

      But now you know the facts, Chris, if you repeat the pro-life thing about “Planned Parenthood isn’t a non-profit because it has surplus funds”, you will not be displaying your ignorance, but your willingness to tell wilfully malicious lies in pursuit of your goal. Whatever that is. Patently, it isn’t preventing abortions.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 8, 2010 @ 6:04 pm | Reply

  31. your logic is flawed all because we don’y want contraception etc…….. don’t mean we are for abortion you have your wires crossed.

    Except that the actual result of what you do actually makes abortion rates higher, actually causes more abortions. YOU do that, your confederates do that. No matter how much you say you hate abortion, what you are doing causes MORE ABORTIONS.

    Comment by MadGastronomer — July 8, 2010 @ 2:33 pm | Reply

  32. you are blinded by your pro choice views were not the ones killing the unborn children planned parenthood is. keep thinking planned parenthood is non profit organization. your blind to see i posted money and lots of it from the government. yeah pro lifers standing on the outside of planned parenthood prevent more abortions than planned parenthood ever will. planned parenthood is all about lying to women not pro life people

    Comment by chris — July 8, 2010 @ 6:06 pm | Reply

    • you are blinded by your pro choice views

      Chris, throughout this discussion, you have been making brief (except in the instance when you tried to cut-and-paste in four entire webpages from another site) posts, mostly factless, that communicated nothing but your general ignorance and general opposition to preventing abortions, family planning, women’s health care, sex education, &c. Oh, and also, while you claim you hate abortion, you’re really unwilling to do anything but promote abortions. So when you accuse the various intelligent, well-informed people who have been responding to your comments of being “blinded”, I think this is projection.

      were not the ones killing the unborn children planned parenthood is.

      While you are the ones actively campaigning and advocating for more and more “unborn children” to be killed. So who’s worse? Planned Parenthood, who prevent ten times as many abortions as they perform, or the pro-lifers who try to increase the number of abortions and the abortion rate so they have more and more to get indignant about?

      keep thinking planned parenthood is non profit organization.

      I’ll excuse that because I daresay my comment relieving your ignorance about what “non-profit” means was probably posted as you were posting this. But now you know, so you can’t claim to be ignorant any more if you keep trying to claim this. You’ll just be bearing false witness. I don’t know if you’re a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew, but in all three Abrahamic religions, bearing false witness was regarded as a really bad sin. It’s actually named in one of the Commandments. (Abortion isn’t.)

      your blind to see i posted money and lots of it from the government.

      I really can’t figure out what this sentence means at all. Sorry.

      yeah pro lifers standing on the outside of planned parenthood prevent more abortions than planned parenthood ever will

      Nonsense. And you know it. Bearing false witness again.

      planned parenthood is all about lying to women not pro life people

      Pro-lifers even lie to themselves, pretending they care about “killing unborn children”, when in fact, they love high abortion rates and hate organizations like Planned Parenthood who prevent abortions and lower abortion rates.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 8, 2010 @ 6:18 pm | Reply

  33. MadGastronomer-Except that the actual result of what you do actually makes abortion rates higher, actually causes more abortions. YOU do that, your confederates do that. No matter how much you say you hate abortion, what you are doing causes MORE ABORTIONS. Tell how we make abortion rates higher i like to hear this lie. we make them decline unlike planned parenthood which make them increase

    Comment by chris — July 8, 2010 @ 6:11 pm | Reply

    • Tell how we make abortion rates higher i like to hear this lie

      I’m sure you do. You love high abortion rates.

      we make them decline

      No pro-life organization or pro-life campaign has ever lowered abortion rates. The only thing that lowers abortion rates is what you hate: providing contraception and family planning services.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 8, 2010 @ 6:20 pm | Reply

    • As has already been explained to you here, the best ways to prevent abortions include easy access to contraception, complete and pro-contraception sex education, and providing social services (including welfare, free or low-cost childcare, health care, and other things that allow low-income women to support their children more easily). Since you oppose these things, you are actively engaged in things which cause more abortions.

      Meanwhile, making abortion illegal and unsafe does NOT prevent abortions, but DOES increase the number of women who die from them or are left unable to have more children.

      Comment by MadGastronomer — July 8, 2010 @ 8:07 pm | Reply

  34. were not the one trying to control the population growth by birth control or abortion either

    Comment by chris — July 8, 2010 @ 6:15 pm | Reply

    • were not the one trying to control the population growth

      Promoting abortion and campaigning against contraception is trying to control population growth. Badly.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 8, 2010 @ 6:21 pm | Reply

  35. I’ve debunked this sort of fallacy: see my post Argumentum ad Sangerum. But if you insist on maintaining this fallacious argument, this sort of reasoning can just as much apply to you, as Sanger was against abortion.

    Comment by Rob F you have not debunked nothing rob

    http://www.acts1711.com/sanger.htm

    Mother of Planned Parenthood, pro-abortionist
    and American Eugenics
    Margaret Sanger is founder of Planned Parenthood, and the one who inspired Adolf Hitler in his views of eugenics and “murdering socially undesirable people.”

    Margaret Sanger, through Planned Parenthood, advocated abortions on Afro-Americans in order to eliminate what she called “socially undesirable people”. This site is an excellent Afro-American response against Sanger’s racist eugenics: Genocide against Afro-Americans

    Comment by chris — July 8, 2010 @ 9:09 pm | Reply

    • you have not debunked nothing

      Double negative. So Rob has debunked something: the pro-lifer thing about Margaret Sanger, in which they pretend they actually think being racist and eugenicist is bad. Ignoring the pro-life movement’s own history and present practice of racism and eugenics.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 8, 2010 @ 9:25 pm | Reply

  36. i present facts rob presented falsehood to a site that lies

    Comment by chris — July 8, 2010 @ 9:35 pm | Reply

    • i present facts

      You really, really don’t.

      rob presented falsehood to a site that lies

      And yet, you are unable to debunk a single one of his facts.

      so actually if you read the link i posted it debunks rob

      No, actually. You obviously didn’t read Rob’s post. Rob’s post debunks the silly kind of thinking you presented and which is presented by the link you posted. Which I know, because I clicked on both links, and read both posts. Whereas you evidently did not read Rob’s post.

      your blind in ur views that u won’t click the link to read it

      Projection, Chris. Because you won’t click the link to read Rob’s post, you think that we’re as blind as you are.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 8, 2010 @ 10:06 pm | Reply

  37. so actually if you read the link i posted it debunks rob but your blind in ur views that u won’t click the link to read it

    Comment by chris — July 8, 2010 @ 9:37 pm | Reply

  38. I made my point Sanger was opposed to (some) abortion (for at least part of her life), this means that since Sanger was “evil”, and she was opposed to some abortions, from the link rob posted she was opposed to some abortions not all abortions so might as well call her pro abortion or pro choice.

    Comment by chris — July 9, 2010 @ 12:03 am | Reply

    • I made my point

      You did indeed, though I’m not sure it’s the one you intended to make. You have been a wonderful example of the kind of pro-lifer I was reacting to in the original post: whose kick is getting indignant. The special thing you like to get indignant over is women getting abortions, and this means you’re massively uninterested in preventing abortions, and enjoy getting indignant at agencies that successfully prevent women needing to get abortions. But mainly, evidently, you just enjoy getting worked up and denouncing ABBBBBORTION and don’t want anything to get in your way.

      This would be amusing if not for the actual human lives your IndigniHigh destroys – but I’m pretty sure that’s just ordinary human selfishness and blindness: so long as you get what you want, you really don’t care who dies, so long as they die out of your sight.

      Of course I’m not banning you. The only person you’ve actually got abusive about was Margaret Sanger, and I concede she was a public figure when alive and so people do get to be ruder about her than they do about non-public figures. Them’s the breaks. George W. Bush is a genocidal SOB: his actions have killed people by the millions, not forgetting the victims of AIDS who died because his pro-lifer buddies got him to destroy family planning clinics worldwide because, like you, they loathed the idea of preventing abortions. I have no qualms about saying so (and unlike your indignation about Margaret Sanger, mine is actually a reality-based indignation).

      But given you’re closed-minded and determined not to inform yourself of anything that might get you open-minded, I do not plan to respond to any more of your comments. Hope this helps. Have a nice day.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 9, 2010 @ 7:14 am | Reply

  39. What did Robert Byrd and Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger have in common? Both spoke to the Klu Klux Klan and only one regretted it

    Comment by chris — July 9, 2010 @ 12:11 am | Reply

  40. Lol Im not the one closed minded. All because pro life movement disagrees with contraception don’t mean were promoting abortion. you have that all wrong. were actually trying to get women to have their babies not kill them. thats why we refer them to crisis pregnancy centers when we see women at abortion clinics

    Comment by chris — July 9, 2010 @ 8:17 am | Reply

  41. @Chris – You don’t get it. By “promoting” we mean “cause there to be more,” which you absolutely are doing. There are many circumstances under which a woman CANNOT or WILL NOT carry a child to term, and if you and those like you want to prevent these women from having access to contraception and the knowledge to use it correctly, then we WILL have abortion when we DO get pregnant. By preventing people from using contraception correctly, you are causing more unwanted and untenable pregnancies, which causes more abortions. So, yes, you are causing there to be more abortions, so yes, you are promoting them. Whatever you want or don’t want women to do, what we will actually do, when faced with unwanted and untenable pregnancies, is end them. Period. So the way to prevent abortions is to prevent unwanted and untenable pregnancies, which means giving people better access to contraception and the knowledge to use it. You prevent abortion by preventing pregnancy, and you cause abortion by stopping people from preventing pregnancy. It’s really very simple.

    Comment by MadGastronomer — July 9, 2010 @ 8:54 am | Reply

  42. your theory is flawed madgastronomer abortion. and contraception been around lot longer than the pro life movement. so that that theory is a cop out the real reasons women get an abortion has nothing to do with pro life people not wanting
    contraception. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/psrh/full/3711005.pdf
    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/2411798.html is ru-486 contraception? the abortion pill?

    Comment by chris — July 9, 2010 @ 5:49 pm | Reply

  43. Abortion – Reasons Women Choose Abortion
    In the United States, about 6 million women become pregnant per year.2

    Each year, nearly 1.2 million American women have an abortion to end a pregnancy.3

    The most common reasons women consider abortion are:

    Birth control (contraceptive) failure. Over half of all women who have an abortion used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant http://women.webmd.com/tc/abortion-reasons-women-choose-abortion

    this makes your theory very flemsy

    Comment by chris — July 9, 2010 @ 6:58 pm | Reply

    • Again, no. You have to use contraception every time for it to work; using it in the past month does no good. Sometimes, contraception fails on its own, for various reasons, but more often, it is not used (because it is expensive or otherwise not readily available, or because some men object to it). Other times, it fails because it has been used incorrectly, which is often due to poor education and understanding of it. So, again, things that the “pro-life” movement are actively trying to promote cause unwanted pregnancy, which causes abortion. When you point out that women have abortions because of contraceptive failure, you actually wind up supporting my point.

      Comment by MadGastronomer — July 10, 2010 @ 11:43 am | Reply

  44. natural family planning best way to aviod a unwanted predgnancy no contraception neededhttp://www.flrl.org/NFP_What.htm

    Comment by chris — July 10, 2010 @ 11:33 am | Reply

  45. http://www.flrl.org/NFP_What.htm

    Comment by chris — July 10, 2010 @ 11:34 am | Reply

  46. quit using the pro life movement as an excuse. that all you’re doing by saying that we promote abortion is using it as an excuse for the abortion agenda

    Comment by chris — July 12, 2010 @ 11:22 am | Reply

  47. [...] Jesurgislac's Journal Why is abortion like setting fire to kittens? [...]

    Pingback by Forever In Hell: Bathroom Signs: You Must Obey « Feed — July 23, 2010 @ 1:17 pm | Reply

  48. Abstinence is not birth control. (Or, if you want to call it “birth control”, it’s the method with the highest known failure rate.)

    Really? Not having sex can result in pregnancy? A man putting his bits so close to a womans bits that pregnancy can result is simply not abstinence.

    In Poland, Catholic women have – with strict theological logic – concluded that it’s better to commit a mortal sin once or twice a year rather than on a daily basis, and have abortions rather than use birth control. In the US, Catholic women have abortions at about the same rate as women of any other religion.

    Try not to confuse cultural Catholics/nominal Catholics with Catholics who actually live and practice their faith.

    None of your assumptions show how a fetus is not a human being or how a woman has the right to terminate the fetus.

    You’re missing a very basic assumption: a woman is a human being.

    It appears that you believe that if a woman is a human being, it doesn’t matter whether a fetus is a human being or not. “I’m a human being so who cares what you are, I can do what I like”. Interesting stance.

    Attempting to claim special rights for a fetus all rest on the assumption that the woman has no human rights or her human rights can be abrogated when she’s pregnant.

    How so? Believing a fetus to be a human being is not to claim any sort of special rights. Any human being just has the same right to life you do and I do. Suppose Jane and Judy (both human beings) are kidnapped. One is given a chance of release, the other faces certain death. Both Jane and Judy are human, and both have the same right to life. Saying “Jane is human and therefore has rights, including the right to life” does not mean we can’t also say “Judy is also human and has rights, including the right to life”.

    Comment by Paul — July 29, 2010 @ 5:18 am | Reply

    • Really?

      Yes. “Deciding not to have sex” as a form of “birth control” is the method with the highest known failure rate, since the problem with “deciding not to have sex”, aka “abstinence”, is that when you end up having sex anyway (as most people who’ve decided to use “abstinence” as “birth control” do) you haven’t planned ahead and are not using any more reliable method of contraception – condoms, the Pill, etc.

      Try not to confuse cultural Catholics/nominal Catholics with Catholics who actually live and practice their faith.

      As a non-Catholic, as a non-Christian, while as I wrote a couple of years ago What I like about Christianity, I do value Catholics who attempt to live up to the ideals of charity and kindness and corporeal works of mercy, I do not see that it’s my business to judge – for example – a Catholic soldier fighting in a war decreed by the Pope to be ungodly, as merely a “cultural Catholics/nominal Catholic”. You may feel that you get to judge Catholics on the basis of how you perceive them “living and practicing their faith”, but that would make you a Catholic who is hardly living and practicing your faith, as you presume to set yourself in the position of God for those people…

      It appears that you believe that if a woman is a human being, it doesn’t matter whether a fetus is a human being or not.

      Exactly right. No human being has a right to make use of another human’s body against her will.

      How so? Believing a fetus to be a human being is not to claim any sort of special rights.

      Quite. Which is why it doesn’t matter – a fetus does not have a right of using another human body against her will, because no human has that right. To claim that a fetus has that right because a fetus is human, would be either to assert that women are not human – and so can be used against their will – or that fetuses have a special right that no born humans have.

      Saying “Jane is human and therefore has rights, including the right to life” does not mean we can’t also say “Judy is also human and has rights, including the right to life”.

      Jane is dying of renal failure. Judy is a tissue match and has two healthy kidneys. Jane is human and has the right to life. Does that mean that Jane has the right to claim one of Judy’s kidneys, even if Judy says no, I don’t consent to this?

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 29, 2010 @ 12:22 pm | Reply

      • Yes. “Deciding not to have sex” as a form of “birth control” is the method with the highest known failure rate, since the problem with “deciding not to have sex”, aka “abstinence”, is that when you end up having sex anyway (as most people who’ve decided to use “abstinence” as “birth control” do) you haven’t planned ahead and are not using any more reliable method of contraception – condoms, the Pill, etc.

        As I said, that is simply not abstinence. Abstinence is not ‘deciding’ to not have sex, it is not having sex. Not having sex has rather a low failure rate :)

        You may feel that you get to judge Catholics on the basis of how you perceive them “living and practicing their faith”, but that would make you a Catholic who is hardly living and practicing your faith, as you presume to set yourself in the position of God for those people…

        I am not judging anyone. If a swimmer is someone who gets in the water and moves their limbs in order to propel them through the water, someone who doesn’t do that is surely not a swimmer, by this definition. If a practising Catholic is someone who has, or desires to have, a meaningful relationship with God and does their best to live their life in line with the teachings of the Roman Catholic church, then someone who isn’t doing that isn’t a practising Catholic, by this definition.

        It appears that you believe that if a woman is a human being, it doesn’t matter whether a fetus is a human being or not.

        Exactly right. No human being has a right to make use of another human’s body against her will.

        OK, if it doesn’t matter whether the fetus is a human being not, for now lets say it is. The unborn human being is not willfully making use of its mother’s body – indeed it is surely not conscious at all of the fact that it is living in a woman’s uterus. Do we normally think it is right to kill a human being for doing something he/she is not aware of doing?

        Quite. Which is why it doesn’t matter – a fetus does not have a right of using another human body against her will, because no human has that right. To claim that a fetus has that right because a fetus is human, would be either to assert that women are not human – and so can be used against their will – or that fetuses have a special right that no born humans have.

        Where did anyone claim that a fetus has a right ‘of using another human body against her will’? The right being fought for is simply the right to life – the right to not be killed…. no rights over and above what you or I have. Yes this has consequences for pregnant women, obviously, but those are simply consequences of the right of the unborn human being to continue living.

        Jane is dying of renal failure. Judy is a tissue match and has two healthy kidneys. Jane is human and has the right to life. Does that mean that Jane has the right to claim one of Judy’s kidneys, even if Judy says no, I don’t consent to this?

        It surely does not, but I have no idea what this has to do with anything. As in my example, both Jane and Judy have a right to live. What’s the point here???

        Comment by Paul — July 29, 2010 @ 10:49 pm

  49. Paul: As I said, that is simply not abstinence. Abstinence is not ‘deciding’ to not have sex, it is not having sex. Not having sex has rather a low failure rate.

    If you’re really that stupid, there’s no point continuing this discussion: I prefer not to debate important issues with people who aren’t bright enough to comprehend the arguments they copied from someone else and are moronically typing like a shedload of monkeys trying to write Hamlet.

    Or, in a sentence short enough for you to understand without asking your handler for an explanation:

    Bye.

    Comment by jesurgislac — July 29, 2010 @ 11:56 pm | Reply

  50. If you’re really that stupid, there’s no point continuing this discussion: I prefer not to debate important issues with people who aren’t bright enough to comprehend the arguments they copied from someone else and are moronically typing like a shedload of monkeys trying to write Hamlet.

    Ah… the old personal attack line. Nice. I think you mean you prefer not to debate important issues when flaws in your own arguments are pointed out. I could tell you that one of my degrees is in philosophical logic, but I doubt you would believe me. Bye indeed.

    Comment by Paul — July 30, 2010 @ 12:06 am | Reply

    • Ah… the old personal attack line.

      Yeah… sorry for that. It’s cruel to attack the unarmed in a battle of wits.

      I think you mean you prefer not to debate important issues

      No. What I actually meant was: I prefer not to debate important issues with someone who makes clear in their opening sentence that they either

      (a) Are not bright enough to comprehend that the failure rate of abstinence as a form of contraception is measured by, ah hah, the failure rate – which is high.

      (b) Understand it, but don’t intend to admit their understanding, because

      (b)-i: Admitting that abstinence doesn’t work is a major flaw in their argument for abstinence, and they’re too dishonest to acknowledge flaws in their arguments

      (b)-ii: Admitting that abstinence doesn’t work is a major flaw in their argument, and they’re too intellectually arrogant to acknowledge when they’re proved wrong.

      when flaws in your own arguments are pointed out. I could tell you that one of my degrees is in philosophical logic, but I doubt you would believe me.

      *shrug* Well, that makes sense, actually. If you think of important issues like abortion as a game in which you get to score debating points, it would suggest that the motivation for the stupid claim you made in the initial line of your second comment was (b)-ii: you just plum hate to admit you lost that argument, so you’d go on trying to wear me down with increasingly-detached-from-reality debating points, as if there was someone scoring and you wanted a win on points.

      But, for me this is a serious issue. And in all truth: I find it dull to debate with stupid people, especially those lost in a kind of foggy arrogance; I find it dull to debate with dishonest people: and I find it irritating to debate important issues with someone who thinks of them as a point-scoring exercise.

      I won’t apologize for calling you stupid, because if you’re smart enough to realize it was a stupid thing to say, you ought to be smart enough to take responsibility for making yourself look stupid.

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 30, 2010 @ 7:35 am | Reply

      • I’m really intrigued (and amazed) at how you think you can argue against this simple point. Perhaps this is a simple semantic misunderstanding? I hope so, for your sake. I’ll ignore the continued personal attacks (I’m not playing that game, sorry to disappoint) and try to lay this out as clearly as I can. Try to follow me here, it’s quite easy.
        1) Abstinence from sex, by definition, is not having sex. Really, it is.
        2) Conception requires sex (or something very close to it).
        Therefore…
        3) If abstinence happens, conception can not happen (leaving divine intervention out of the picture lol)
        And conversely…
        4) If conception happens, abstinence can not have happened.
        Please let me know which point(s) you think are fallacious, and why… I would honestly love to know. Otherwise, lets can get back to discussing something meaningful. Perhaps you’d like to address the other points I made in my last post? You know the one… the post that you removed?

        Comment by Paul — July 30, 2010 @ 8:39 am

  51. Paul: I’m really intrigued (and amazed)

    Thanks. But I’m just smarter than you are. No need to be intrigued or amazed: normal range of human intelligence means some people are always going to be smarter than others. Not a “personal attack” this time, just a straightforward assessment: either you are genuinely not bright enough to understand, or you’re playing “not bright”, and either way, further explanations would be a waste of my time.

    Comment by jesurgislac — July 30, 2010 @ 10:03 am | Reply

    • It’s always interesting to see who resorts to the “you’re just dumb so I’m going to ignore you” tactic”. Very telling. I’m going now, it’s been fun, kinda.

      Comment by Paul — July 30, 2010 @ 11:29 am | Reply

      • I guess someone like you would have to learn to be interested in who gets that you’re not worth arguing with.

        Maybe someday you will take that “interest” and put it to good use by learning how to argue intelligently.

        Comment by jesurgislac — July 30, 2010 @ 12:40 pm


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