[Sawyer] What 'Pro Life' Really Means | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[Sawyer] What 'Pro Life' Really Means

As of last month, the Gallup Poll indicated that 23 percent of Americans wish to keep abortion legal, 53 percent indicated legal but with restrictions, and 22 percent support the illegality of abortion. What does this mean? Seventy–six percent of Americans overwhelmingly support the "safe and legal" option often purported by Democrats. I happen to fall into a fourth category that supports a real culture of life, but I'll get to that later on in this column.

Why is it important to list these numbers in a debate about abortion? After all, both sides have polarized the issue to such a degree that one is either anti-women's rights or anti-life. There really is no room in between—at least according to the ideologues. However, the statistics show that most Americans fall into the moderate category on abortion. They see its illegalized history as horrific, and their consciences cannot allow bloody hanger episodes and back-alley abortions. But, in the same way, partial-birth abortions and "on demand abortions" seem to offend the sensibilities of moderate Americans as well.

Yet, in light of the polarizing ideologies and those middle-ground Americans, there are three elements to this debate that are essentially non–negotiable: (1) Abortion is used by the Republican party to split rich and poor and white and black. (2) Pro-life means anti–abortion, not that every human life is not expendable. (3) Illegalizing abortion will not solve the "life" dilemma posed by the right.

I can remember a heartfelt discussion I had recently with some Mississippians regarding the issue of abortion. The question that I posed was this, "How can members of the middle class, like yourselves, vote against your own economic interest, your own children's education and your own health?" The simple answer, in typical Southern style, went something like this: "Now, John, you know that we sympathize with those issues (or issh-ahs). But, we can't let our church down and vote for a man that doesn't oppose abortion. How can anyone, really?"

That hit me like a ton of bricks. After all, I am an orthodox Catholic who plans to be a Jesuit priest. (In fact, just recently a Baptist church in North Carolina expelled nine members who planned on voting for John Kerry.)

Resolutely, I began to think about those folks' answer, and there really is a simple response. Republicans love to use the issue of abortion to stir up poor religious people because it is a real issue of conscience. What those wonderful poor religious people do not realize is that Republicans do not plan on doing anything about abortion. Abortion will always remain legal because it is a major "vote getter-outer" for the base.

Phrases such as "Bible Christian" and "family man" are just key words for "the other guy supports abortion rights." In the long run, though, these "family men" rarely do anything about abortion. They do not pass laws to reduce teenage pregnancy. They do not challenge the Supreme Court by illegalizing abortion or by doing anything, for that matter. Republicans talk about abortion every two years and simply close the door to any change afterward. It's a sad fact that comes at the expense of poor religious people who lose health care and education because they think Republicans are doing something about abortion.

Moreover, pro-life means anti-abortion, and that's it. When Republicans talk about being pro-life, they do not mention free health care for poor children, jobs for the unemployed, prescription drugs for our seniors, Social Security benefits that actually pay out, doing away with the death penalty and lowering defense spending. No, they just stir up abortion as the sole "life" matter. The fact remains that being pro-life means actually supporting the extension of life from conception until natural end.

Bush has cut many programs supporting "life." I think the term should be aptly titled: pro-birth. Republicans seem to only care about life until it's born—then, I guess, it can fend for itself.
Most importantly, abortion will not be illegalized with laws and police forces. Abortion will be done away with when our culture starts to view life from the real pro-life message. That message is this: Human beings are not expendable. From the rich and powerful to the drug addicted and the homeless, we all belong to each other and, in my tradition, to the one who created us. I ask each one of you to think about what pro-life really means for our world. Does it mean that we selfishly guard our tax levels, our private schools and our health care? Or does it mean sharing, peace and justice for all? When we truly rediscover the meaning of life, then, I think, our abortion problem will be solved.

John Sawyer is a recent graduate of Millsaps College and began the process of becoming a Jesuit priest this summer.

Previous Comments

ID
70088
Comment

Mr. Sawyer, let me begin by saying that I found several points in your article to be enlightening and thought provoking. Some of it I agree with, even though I consider it to be tragic, and with some of it I respectfully disagree. For one, I find it unfair to characerize the Republican party as power hungry manipulators who do not care about the poor. My opinion is that both major parties, at least at the high levels of leadership, care only about maintaining, or gaining, whichever the case may be, power. At the same time, I am convinced that the rank and file of both parties truly, strongly, sincerely believe in the things they believe to be right and best for the country. Sadly, I agree that the power players in the Republican party use abortion as an issue to rally an us against them mentality, and then never really seek to make any changes. However, most of your non-elected Republicans are strongly opposed to it and try to do what they can to affect change. Look at the Nebraska Republicans and their success is outlawing partial birth abortion, only to have it brushed aside with the arrogant swipe of the hand by the Supreme Court. As to the question of how people can vote against their own economic interests to oppose abortion. I can only speak for myself, but I am confident that many others would feel the same way. When I have to make a choice between what would be economically best for me (which I might argue is really six in one hand[Dems] and half a dozen in the other [Rep.]) and what I believe to be morally right, I choose ethics over economy. In my mind it would be like being bribed to ignore a helpless person being abused (like a witness to a crime being paid to keep his mouth shut). In the end, I think we would agree that the issue of abortion is not going to be solved in the political arena, but in the human heart, one person at a time.

Author
brandon/jade
Date
2005-06-09T08:27:18-06:00
ID
70089
Comment

brandon/jade i thank you for your comments. you are right that this isn't going to be solved politically, so i guess my question is, then why vote republican if your major issue is abortion? after all, they don't plan on solving any of the abortion/pregnancy dilemmas of our day. also, even more to your point - you suggested that voting for ethics is the top priority of how you engage politics and elections. i commend you for that. I have some points: 1. Poor persons don't have that luxury, they need good schools and health care - none of which the Republicans want to provide because of the increase in taxes. 2. Taxes - it would seem that voting Republican is always narrowly self interested because the cornerstone of their agenda is self preservation e.g. lower taxes, raise defense spending, laissez faire economics, and so forth. Certainly, that can't be ethical - at least from the Christian point of view. 3. Ethics - Do you think that the Bush administration has been morally superior to previous administrations? Does Tom DeLay ring a bell to you? Truth be told, most politicians are ethically challenged - Democrats and Republicans. But, if we are to vote our conscience and our morality - then it seems that the Democratic values of social programs which Christ supported seem to be the more ethically level thing to do. John

Author
John Sawyer
Date
2005-06-09T15:09:37-06:00
ID
70090
Comment

While I understand what you are saying, concerning economic programs that benefit the poor, I can, and do, use my own money to support programs and individuals (who are in need) that benefit the needy. In fact, I trust myself more in using my money where it can do the most good, much more than I do the federal government. Whereas on the abortion issue, there is not much I can do to change the abortion laws on my own (except to try and educate people individually, which I do), therefore I must rely on those in office to do what they can (though I don't think there is alot they can do). I know many of the elected officials do work to oppose abortion, but their hands are tied. I will admit this to you, I am terribly biased on this subject. To me, abortion is perhaps the darkest stain (along with slavery) to soil the United States. My personal belief is that it is just as barbaric and uncivilized as the suicide bombers and terrorists that behead innocent people. Because of this belief, it is impossible for me (conscientously) to vote for anyone that endorses or supports it. I know that makes me unpopular with many people, especially women, but that is just how I see it. This doesn't mean that I don't sympathize and grieve over some of the difficult circumstances where a woman may have an unplanned pregnancy, but I do disagree with this "solution." In 99.9% of the cases (the exceptions being rape), the woman who gets pregnant made the choice to engage in activity that could result in the creation of a life. Anyway, this is a subject very close to my heart so I thought I would share my feelings. I try to listen to those with whom I do not agree, because I know that I don't know everything and haven't considered all points of view. I hope that I can do the same for others. Besides, I prefer this method of discussion/dissent to the protestors who march, chant and scream at one another, accomplishing only the polarization of people.

Author
brandon/jade
Date
2005-06-10T09:19:36-06:00
ID
70091
Comment

brandon/jade thanks for you words again. i commend your staunch anti abortion stance - i am anti abortion. but the problem remains and the republicans have had a long time to deal with the issue. why haven't they? the answer is that they don't want to or if they did, then they would have done something. is it okay for you to vote for someone who is anti abortion, but does nothing about it? isn't that voting for someone knowing their promises will remail empty? also, in regards to your charity - that is admirable to do that. But, unfornately, most people don't give or don't give enough - that's why we have forced giving called taxes. also, your donations are your choice - taxes benefit us all. you certainly don't want "road paving" donations and "defense" donations and "war" donations and "social security" donations, right? THen, your point about personal giving is seemingly moot. peace john

Author
John Sawyer
Date
2005-06-10T11:31:08-06:00
ID
70092
Comment

John wrote: "When we truly rediscover the meaning of life, then, I think, our abortion problem will be solved." John also wrote: "I happen to fall into a fourth category" later adding: "i am anti abortion" I write: In the first place, there is no "fourth category." Either you support safe and legal abortion or you don't. As much as John apparently wants to categorize and seduce people on many unrelated issues, abortion is not a "problem" for a woman facing an unwanted pregnancy. It is merely an OPTION. No one supports forced abortions. John brings up religion, partisan politics, race, and Southern regionalism as bait to confuse readers (pretending that he is above it all). But it doesn't change the fact that women still have legal choices when they are faced with unwanted pregnancies. Either John is willing to support those legal choices or he wants to outlaw them. Which is it? I personally think (Priest candidate or not) John needs to stop his misleading doubletalk and learn to speak his opinions more truthfully.

Author
ed inman
Date
2005-06-11T01:37:41-06:00
ID
70093
Comment

In re-reading my last post I think my use of the term "misleading doubletalk" and some other remarks may come across too harsh. I apologize. I did not mean to attack John's sincerity nor invite a circular debate over abortion. If he personally supports legal abortion, fine. If he personally wants it criminalized (or highly restricted) thats ok too. We are all entitled to our opinions. The point I was attempting to make is that if you are going to write a 'zine column about something as polarizing and controversial as abortion then I believe you need to be upfront from the getgo about whether you believe it should be remain legal or whether you want to see it increasingly restricted or criminalized. You can't have it both ways and the column still seems to me somewhat ambiguous. Again, my apologies for not earlier expressing that view in more civil terms.

Author
ed inman
Date
2005-06-11T16:46:43-06:00
ID
70094
Comment

Ed, Thank for your words and your apology following those less civil words in an earlier post. Dialogue won't get anywhere if we cannot communicate with affection and regard for one another. There is a middle ground on this issue and it is this: the presence of abortion is with us to stay. Even if we do allow states to make independent laws regarding abortions, there will be states to illegalize it and states to legalize it. So, women will have abortions post illegality or not. What I was trying do - I am dissapointed that you did not see this - is to say that SINCE abortion is a permanent reality and SINCE Republicans are not willing to federally illegalize it, THEN a. we shouldn't vote for them, based solely on abortion b. we can be pro women in attempting to provide other options besides abortions This is not being ambiguous, this is seeking ANOTHER way.

Author
John Sawyer
Date
2005-06-12T12:29:55-06:00
ID
70095
Comment

Abortion is far from a permanent reality: if Bush or another conservative president appoints one or more conservative supeme court justices, then a successful 'test case' may be brought that could overturn Roe v. Wade. All it would take is a majority of justices to decide that the privacy rights provided in the US Constitution do not include a right for a woman to terminate her pregnancy. And you can bet that any justice appointed by Bush will be 100% anti-abortion.

Author
buckallred
Date
2005-06-12T22:10:14-06:00
ID
70096
Comment

Hmmm. Nitpicks: 1. It would probably take two appointments, not counting Rehnquist. Right now the only folks on the court who would overturn Roe v. Wade are Scalia, Thomas, and Rehnquist; an attempt to overturn RvW would fail 6-3, just as it did when it came up last in 1993 (when Kennedy, in a surprising twist, upheld abortion rights). If Stevens and O'Connor both retire soon and are replaced by anti-Roe justices, which is not unlikely, then a 5-4 ruling against abortion rights becomes a real possibility. 2. The issue is not whether the right to privacy includes the right to terminate a pregnancy; it's whether a right to privacy exists at all. Scalia and Thomas both believe it doesn't, as would (in all likelihood) Bush's replacement for Rehnquist. Any court that overturns Roe v. Wade to open up the possibility of abortion bans again will almost certainly overturn Lawrence v. Texas and bring back the possibility of sodomy laws, and may even overturn the parts of Roe v. Wade having to do with access to birth control information (and don't think for a moment that our current Republican Congress wouldn't bring back the Comstock laws if they could--it'd be a highly effective way to legally wipe out Planned Parenthood, for starters). 3. On the other hand, it is no clear thing that Bush will appoint justices in the model of Scalia and Thomas to replace Stevens and O'Connor, even if given the opportunity to do so. Consider: Senate elections in 2006 and presidential elections in 2008, two years when Bush will not want to appoint a contentious nominee. My suspicion is that Alberto Gonzales, who leans pro-choice, would be appointed to replace at least one of those justices after he's logged a little bit of time as attorney general. Bush's replacement for Rehnquist as chief justice, on the other hand, is likely to be fairly conservative--my money's on Michael McConnell. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-06-12T22:25:29-06:00
ID
70097
Comment

William, tell your poor friends to go get free birth control pills at the Department of Health. My Republican rear is paying for it. http://www.msdh.state.ms.us/care/ Roe v. Wade is highly regarded as a constitutional joke. Were it not for the black-ball factor of "being against abortion," more judicial candidates would admit this. The decision has gained legitmacy along political ground, not legal ones. Roe v. Wade: In a decision purported to be based upon the US Constitution, Justice Blackmun launches into a discussion about how abortion has been around since the time of Greece and Rome. Well great. So has slavery. I guess it's all okay. I wasn't aware that the Greeks and Romans were at the Constitutional Convention. Regardless, the Romans (probably the Greeks too - I just don't know) also had slave-prisoners slaughter each other for sport. I should add gang rape as well. If they are our guide, should we start that too? I'm sure Veterans Stadium could use the extra business. In three years of law school neither I nor any professor I know can locate the abortion protection clause in the Constitution. But we're still looking. Although I undoubtably don't sound like it from the post above, I think abortion can be a tough, tough issue for many women in certain circumstances. But I think the constitutionaliztion of the issue is ridiculous. The constitution doesn't speak to it; ergo, it's a state issue. Pro-abortion forces have so far won the war by having a Supreme Court make the not-having-to-deal-with-the-constitution-issue having to-dea-with-the-constitution. As for Republicans using the abortion tactic, there's no doubt about it, and its disgusting - equally to that of Democrats using the race issue. which they do all the time.

Author
MAllen
Date
2005-06-12T23:54:36-06:00
ID
70098
Comment

MAllen, Wow, I think this is the first post here that I have agreed with fully. Of course I am sure this will result in being labeled a neanderthal. So be it, I believe what I believe. Thanks for articulating what is in my head.

Author
brandon/jade
Date
2005-06-13T08:10:57-06:00
ID
70099
Comment

brandon, the only thing that "labels you a neanderthal" is the tendency to predict that anyone will "label you a neanderthal." Stick to the topic, and quit putting words in people's mouths, especially on a topic as complex as this one.

Author
kate
Date
2005-06-13T08:55:45-06:00
ID
70100
Comment

And, buck, abortion is a permanent reality, whether or not it's legal. Personally, I'd like to see more focus on ways to reduce abortion, and less focus on making them illegal. Legal or no, there will be abortions.

Author
kate
Date
2005-06-13T08:59:46-06:00
ID
70101
Comment

What I find most amusing about this conversation/topic is that straight men are usually the ones having the conversation and legislating and have been for eons. Hell, Native Americans considered it something similar to "regaining the period" (roughly translated) and even Victorian England allowed abortions by Common Law up until a woman claimed to feel movement of the fetus... As Kate said, abortion is not going away and moral judgements, legislation, and arrogance will hardly reduce the numbers significantly. Why does this topic make men feel the need to opine and seek control rather than realizing it all rests with the female regardless of the laws, the opinions and the wasted exertion of the male ego? Do y'all want middle-aged women dictating castration laws in the near future? Could be the easiest way to prevent pregnancies. ;-)

Author
kaust
Date
2005-06-13T11:17:38-06:00
ID
70102
Comment

kate, thanks for your comments and understanding that abortion is a premanent reality whether or not we illegalize it or not. the key answer is to reduce abortions - illegality just hampers their effort. ALSO, Roe vs. Wade, Buck, and other folks, just kept states from interfering in the privacy rights of women. overturning roe vs. wade would allow states to DO so. SO, you'd have red states with abortion prevention laws and blue states with permissive abortion laws. either way, abortion is not going anywhere, folks

Author
John Sawyer
Date
2005-06-13T12:51:04-06:00
ID
70103
Comment

Knol, Why does this topic make men feel the need to opine and seek control rather than realizing it all rests with the female regardless of the laws, the opinions and the wasted exertion of the male ego? For the same reason that slavery made abolitionists feel the need to intervine, although they were not slaves nor slave owners. I believe the racist southern plantation owners tried that same line of reasoning. "Those Yankees need to mind their own business. Who are they to tell us what we can do down here with our property?" The issue is one of human rights to me, not male or female.

Author
brandon/jade
Date
2005-06-13T14:11:04-06:00
ID
70104
Comment

Brandon, I think there are two factors here and they're both worth considering. The first is that a lot of the pro-life movement is rooted in an attempt to control women's bodies. I never believed this until I wound up in line at the post office with a leader in the pro-life activism movement and he tied in his whole discussion with the idea that women have gotten too uppity, and that they don't know their role in society. But the second is that there is a legitimate issue here about whether the fetus is a human being. If you really believed that a fetus was the same thing as an infant, wouldn't you feel that it's incumbent on folks of both genders to try to get abortion banned? I mean, nobody suggests that infanticide falls under the heading of "a woman's right to choose." This is all about whether or not the fetus really is just a part of the woman's body. If we ever establish clearly that it is, then there will still be a so-called "pro-life movement" made up of totalitarian misogynists, but it will be laughably weak as a political force. I'm pro-choice, but it really bugs me when people say "You're male, so you have no right to have moral concerns about abortion." Truth is that everybody votes on this issue, male and female it, so it behooves us to include everybody in the discussion--even if there do seem to be a lot of creepy misogynists in the lot. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-06-13T15:25:07-06:00
ID
70105
Comment

(Whoops--talk about preaching to the choir. The paragraph beginning "Brandon" shouldn't have; he made the same point I did. Cheers, TH)

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-06-13T15:26:45-06:00
ID
70106
Comment

I'm pro-choice, but it really bugs me when people say "You're male, so you have no right to have moral concerns about abortion." Truth is that everybody votes on this issue, male and female it, so it behooves us to include everybody in the discussion--even if there do seem to be a lot of creepy misogynists in the lot. I see where you're coming from, Tom, but the problem is that there simply is not a moral consensus about abortion the way there is about, say, murder (including infanticide). My strong belief is that it therefore MUST be left up to the individual to decide. Additionally, I find it striking that all the "pro-life" (there's a misnomer if I ever saw one) people are *usually* RABIDLY pro-capital punishment. What's "pro-life" about that? That, to me, strongly undermines the argument that they have serious moral convictions against abortion. Best, Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-06-14T03:26:24-06:00
ID
70107
Comment

What bugs me is when people's moral convictions about abortion get in the way of actually reducing the number of abortions. Like "let's preach abstinence and *hide* the real information on sexuality, fertility, birth control, etc", despite the fact that preaching abstinence does not reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. And, I really think that we should require those people who spend hours with their gorey signs protesting abortion to spend twice the number of hours protesting child abuse, and carrying around signs of abused and neglected children, and another stint chasing down deadbeat dads, and another working with adoption agencies to help place the kids that are already born in good families, and so forth and so on. What are the stats? Something like 75% of the world's poor are children? Can we please fix that before we go after the unborn? Why is it that some insurance carriers still don't pay for contraceptive pills, and yet will pay for Viagra? [If this bit of info is out of date, someone let me know. I haven't read anything reliable on this in a few years, and things may have changed.] The root cause of abortion is not the fact that it's legal. If we all work on reducing the number of abortions, we might actually make some progress.

Author
kate
Date
2005-06-14T06:40:21-06:00
ID
70108
Comment

Thanks for that, Kate. I am SO with you on that. I also think that what you've pointed out here helps to prove what John posted in his column: that the people who are using this and similar issues to get elected aren't doing anything to change the situation. That's probably because they don't WANT to do anything about them, as they realize that they can't blind the electorate into voting against their own economic self-interest any other way -- or perhaps as Thomas Frank says in his book What's the Matter with America?, because these issues by their very nature cannot ever be resolved, and are thus an everlasting ticket to electoral success. Until we get a decent opposition party to take them on, that is. Still praying for that to happen.... Best, Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-06-14T06:59:50-06:00
ID
70109
Comment

Kate, Admittedly we have disagreed on many things in the past, we agree on this totally. Although I don't think Bush means what I mean when he says it, we need to create a culture of life. That not only means protecting the unborn, but caring for those who are born and protecting them too.

Author
brandon/jade
Date
2005-06-14T09:16:25-06:00
ID
70110
Comment

John, A couple things to consider. You say Republicans will never outlaw abortion? What kind of justices do you think Bush will appoint? Also, if you thought the current Democratic leadership where not serious about an issue(s) you cared about, would (a) counsel hopelessness and vote Republican or (b) work to make sure the Democrats lived up to their platform? Why would Republican voters do any different, assuming they bought your "Republicans are all hypocrites" theory? You say that outlawing abortion will not 'solve' the issue. What good, then, are anti-rape, anti-wife beating, anti-child molestation, etc., laws since these are still unsolved problems? Would making them safe and legal help change the culture? Would there be any possibility of improving the culture on these ëissuesí if they were not only legal but also celebrated as inherent rights as abortion is? You seem to give no credit to any of the Republicans' motives. That's a shame, because a cynic would say you yourself are ill motivated by a conflict in which you want to be personally opposed to abortion (because you do seem to have some moral sense) but also want to keep your progressive credentials with your liberal friends. Hence your position that you are anti-abortion but pledge not do anything to make it illegal because you know how much those Republicans are a bunch of jerks and hypocrites. (Here's a hint from someone who's been down that path: you've got to decide what you think about abortion outside irrelevant polemics and non sequiturs, whether it costs your friends and your columns or not.) You also say that you donít want to make abortion illegal because Republicans donít support a generous welfare state. Is there any distinction between quality of life issues and right to life issues? If so, what exactly? Can someone (perhaps even a Republican!) honestly believe that a generous welfare state will not improve quality of life in this country while also being concerned with right to life issues, or is it just Republican hypocrites and those middle class dupes who were so unappreciative of your noblesse oblige? You paint the abortion issue as Republican vs. Democrat. But plenty of Republicans are pro-choice, and plenty of Democrats (especially on the state level) are pro-life. Your thinking seems to be polarized on this and many other issues you write about. (Or maybe it's just the nature of writing opinion pieces?) Perhaps Billy can help you move beyond such thinking. It would help make Arrupe Hall a much more relaxing and enjoyable place for you. Also, you speak of ìthe Democratic values of social programs which Christ supported,î and that ìvoting Republican is always narrowly self interested because the cornerstone of their agenda is self preservation e.g. lower taxes, raise defense spending, laissez faire economics, and so forth.î First, when did Christ speak of social programs? Do you really want to say that the call to charity can be taken over by government? Whatís left for the individual believer, except voting Democrat? Second, you chastise those middle class people youíre so benevolent towards for not voting for their self-interest but claim that voting Republican is self-interested. Which is it? Just one picky correction: due to separation of powers Tom Delay is not part of the Bush administration, just as Tom Foley and Richard Gephardt werenít part of the Clinton administration.

Author
Syndic
Date
2005-06-15T07:27:33-06:00
ID
70111
Comment

Synic: Thanks for your helpful and nuanced comments: 1. Justices a. The Supreme Court cannot ìoutlawî abortion. All they can do is say that the privacy violations of women meet strict scrutiny and then, and only then can States begin to illegalize abortion. So, that in and of itself illustrates that abortion will be legal is some states and illegal in others. Abortion problem, still not solved. 2. Why would Republican voters do any different, assuming they bought your "Republicans are all hypocrites" theory? What I am suggesting is that Republican voters need to stop using the ìpro lifeî line because it is evident that abortion is a permanent reality. Instead, many of them must admit that their votes are motivated by the general Republican Party Platform and NOT abortion which is a really a non issue do the overwhelming support abortion receives by the general public. Then, progressive Christians can start to mention issues of social justice (which dominated Christís missiology) without being assailed as ìpro abortion.î 3. What good, then, are anti-rape, anti-wife beating, anti-child molestation, etc., laws since these are still unsolved problems? ? Those questions and that opening statement seem persuasive, but unfortunately they fail to correlate to abortion. Why is this? Rape, abuse, murder, and the like are done by people with a. malicious purposeful intent b. can generally be counseled only after the fact. We can rarely, except in the long run (e.g. more spending on education, job programs, and ethical lessons), prevent persons from conniving to commit those acts. But, we can counsel women on a personal level to not make that choice and we can make a better environment for the child in the event that a woman does not want to raise that child. So, abortion can be solved in the short run, but murder and rape are dealing with irrational and maniacal people ñ certainly you are saying that pregnant women who seek abortions are malicious? Also, That is not the issue, at all, but I am glad to know you are anti abortion. Rather, my personal anti abortion stance seeks to reduce the numbers (which have gone up under President Bush, unfortunately) of abortion, WHICH is the ONLY way to lessen the loss of life. Illegalizing it isnít the answer. So, it has nothing to do with my progressivism ñ it has everything to do with the right answer to a problem. Conservatives cannot simplify the issue into two categories a. illegal and b. legal. We need to look at why women make these choices and what we can do to prevent them from making them. Unlike the murderer, for the most part we can do many things to bring that child in the world. You also say that you donít want to make abortion illegal because Republicans donít support a generous welfare state. No, I say I donít support illegalizing abortion because it doesnít solve the problem of abortion. Simply illegalizing it, might make us sleep better at night, but that doesnít change the fact that women will still be putting coat hangers into their uterus to end a ìproblem.î Again, unlike murderers and child molesters, this isnít being done out of malice or intent to hurt. Heck, even self defense and accidental murderers are given much leeway. You paint the abortion issue as Republican vs. Democrat. But plenty of Republicans are pro-choice, and plenty of Democrats are pro-life. I paint issues of social justice as Republican versus Democrat. I am attempting to speak to voters who care about both and tell them that the unnuanced Republican belief ìoutlaw abortionî isnít a reason to go out and support them. First, when did Christ speak of social programs? Christ spoke of helping the downtrodden for the most part of the Gospel, I assume you have read it. The New Testament mentions 3,000 times our obligations to help the poor, cleanse the leper, and take care of widows, etc. Why not create a society that implements those plans, if thatís what we seem to profess on Sundayís? Do you really want to say that the call to charity can be taken over by government? I would like children to have health care, yes. I donít really like to see social justice groups struggling to get a child Tylenol. Whatís left for the individual believer, except voting Democrat? Um, being kind to your neighbor, its not like weíll solve all the problems. But at least, some of them will be solved instead of fighting wars and growing the class gap. Second, you chastise those middle class people youíre so benevolent towards for not voting for their self-interest but claim that voting Republican is self-interested. Poor people should vote for their economic interests because their work and their sacrifice make Rich people even richer. So, therefore, Rich people should shy away from voting to keep their money when on Sundayís many of them hear the opposite from the Gospel.

Author
John Sawyer
Date
2005-06-15T12:20:37-06:00
ID
70112
Comment

Simply illegalizing it, might make us sleep better at night, but that doesnít change the fact that women will still be putting coat hangers into their uterus to end a ìproblem.î Wow, John. I do really hope you didn't mean that you'd be sleeping better at night despite the fact that women would be putting coat hangers into their uteri (and probably, in many cases, killing or severely injuring themselves). It would sure as hell keep me up at night. It's one of the main reasons I'm pro-choice. Best, Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-06-15T16:10:01-06:00
ID
70113
Comment

Just one picky point. Abortion has gone down under Bush's term, as documented by the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute. "certainly you are saying that pregnant women who seek abortions are malicious?" To take an extreme example, NAMBLA, the North American Man-Boy Lovers Association, proclaims that their activities are motivated by good intentions to have healthy relationships. Many wife-beaters and child-beaters proclaim their love and concern for their families. Many slave owners were solicitous to the needs their salves and felt paternal affection for them. The question of motivation is secondary to the actual nature of the act. (Given the fact of a high degree of shame on the part of women whoíve had abortions, and the fact the most women keep their abortion decisions a secret, that tells me that in someway theyíre aware what theyíre doing is wrong, even if they feel they have to do it.) "The New Testament mentions 3,000 times our obligations to help the poor, cleanse the leper, and take care of widows, etc. Why not create a society that implements those plans, if thatís what we seem to profess on Sundayís?" Two things. First, it is not at all clear that progressive policies actually will create such a society. Western Europe has a generous welfare state and many believe it to be partly if not primarily responsible for their secularization and population decline. And, several of those countries are moving away from their welfare policies. In this country, it has, I think, been shown that the combination of welfare and housing projects seriously damaged the inner cities of our country. Perhaps not, but again, that is a question of the actual effects of those policies. Pointing to the good intentions of a policy does not demonstrate that they actually work. Second, perhaps I'm just a heartless fiend, but I've never understood the claim that Christ's call to charity and personal righteousness necessarily leads to a political program (even one of demonstrated success). This is partly because I donít think you can separate Jesusí message from personal conversion. I just don't see the textual evidence of Jesus or the early Church talking about implications for society at-large of the Christian revelation. That only seems to come with St. Augustine and the later Fathers.

Author
Syndic
Date
2005-06-15T21:08:53-06:00
ID
70114
Comment

Tim, No. That reference was to the idiocy of the right's idea that illegalizing abortion will somehow stop abortions. many people would sleep better at night knowing they were illegal, but my point was that there will still be helpless women doing such things. of course, i wouldn't sleep better knowing that was going on. john

Author
John Sawyer
Date
2005-06-16T06:29:54-06:00
ID
70115
Comment

Hi John, So when you said "us," you weren't including yourself (which is a common rhetorical device). Got it. I was hoping that was what you meant :-). Best, Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-06-16T08:27:03-06:00
ID
70116
Comment

"there will still be HELPLESS women doing such things"?!?! Unless they are raped (and only a microscopic number of abortion are rape related), they are not helpless. They chose to have sex. They chose to do so without birth control. They chose to abort the baby rather than keep it or put it up for adoption. The only "helpless" one involved is the unborn child. I'm not trying to oversimplify the problem, but to refer to them as helpless is misleading. John, I still agree with you that just making it illegal will not solve the problem, though I do think that needs to happen. The problem will only get better when people are educated about the risks, educated about being accountable for your actions, educated about the options and even after all of that educating, it will still require people have a tender enough heart to respect even the smallest life. Remember what Horton from "Horton Hears A Who" said, "A person is a person, no matter how small."

Author
brandon/jade
Date
2005-06-16T12:05:44-06:00
ID
70117
Comment

Brandon, That's EXACTLY the kind of thinking that prompted Florynce Kennedy to say, "If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament." Why should women be forced -- BY MEN -- to pay a higher price for sex without birth control than men have to pay? That's clearly just another tool to keep women subordinate to men. -- Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-06-16T13:20:46-06:00
ID
70118
Comment

Tim, Why should babies be forced -- BY WOMEN -- to pay a higher price for sex without birth control? Your logic is ridiculous. Unless she is raped, she is not FORCED to do anything. This "logic" seeks to excuse and defend irresponsible behavior. How does this make women subordinate to men? Saying that she should take responsibilty for what she has done is being subordinate? Saying that the only innocent party in this matter (the child) should not be killed for an act he/she didn't commit somehow makes her subordinate to men? Give me a break. If you want to use that flawed argument "her body, her choice", then you should not support the prosecution of dead beat dads, because if the woman has the right to choose to kill the baby without the fathers approval, if she chooses to bring it into the world, perhaps against his wishes, she should have to bear the burden of raising it on her own. I do not agree with this, but by your logic that is the necessary conclusion. And for the record, men should not pay less of a price, for they too should take responsibility for their actions. It took two to make the child and those same two should be responsible for the child. If he will not do so he should face criminal charges of neglect and abandonment.

Author
brandon/jade
Date
2005-06-17T08:29:33-06:00
ID
70119
Comment

Why should babies be forced -- BY WOMEN -- to pay a higher price for sex without birth control? They're not. Nice attempt to implicitly define what a "baby" is and thereby control the debate, though -- but most people do know that the definition of when life begins is at the heart of this issue. And for the record, men should not pay less of a price, for they too should take responsibility for their actions. It took two to make the child and those same two should be responsible for the child. If he will not do so he should face criminal charges of neglect and abandonment. By any reasonable standard that's a hell of a long way from having to go through childbirth, a process which is extraordinarily painful and carries with it a non-negligible risk of death. And saying that the father "should" take responsibility for this doesn't change the fact that the woman is the only party who really can be FORCED to take responsibility, by being FORCED to bear the child, which is the outcome you want. The man can deny paternity if he wants, dragging the mother's character through the mud in the process, to take just one example. -- Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-06-17T10:22:26-06:00
ID
70120
Comment

but most people do know that the definition of when life begins is at the heart of this issue. No Tim, it's really not. Fortunately, modern science tells us when life begins: it's when an organism can perform the 8 (or some number) biological processes (there's a list I learned in jr. high, but I can't remember). In other words, a fetus is alive, just as a flower or a roach is alive. The question that is at the heart of the issue is whether this being inside a womb is a person, i.e. has instrinsic dignity and thus a moral right to life just like you and me. A very thorough analysis of this question is presented by a guy named Schwartz. Here's a link

Author
Justin
Date
2005-06-17T11:16:00-06:00
ID
70121
Comment

I can't agree with you, Justin. "Life" is a moral and philosophical concept as much as "person" is. Not that it matters for purposes of this debate; the issue is the same: you're just splitting hairs over words to little use. -- Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-06-17T11:46:24-06:00
ID
70122
Comment

I can't agree with you, Justin. "Life" is a moral and philosophical concept as much as "person" is. Not that it matters for purposes of this debate; the issue is the same: you're just splitting hairs over words to little use. Then maybe we're using the words synonymously, if you're using the word "life" to denote something about the moral status of a human being. A lot of things, however, are alive yet do not have the same moral rights as those recognized for adult human beings. So I don't think I'm "splitting hairs over words to little use." The way we frame this debate is important. Part of the reason the abortion debate is, in my view, weary beyond all reckoning is because the different sides use words with such different meaning; language has broken down so that people can't understand each other using the same words. So it's one thing to hear about a woman's right over "the products of her conception," but the phrase is literally unintelligible to some. And it's almost impossible hear about "the sanctity of human life" or a "culture of life" because the words are so worn out.

Author
Justin
Date
2005-06-17T12:07:39-06:00
ID
70123
Comment

I agree that using words precisely is important to this debate. I'm just not sure that I agree with the way you've chosen to use them, or that you're the person to be making the rules for the rest of us, as you tried to do with your previous post. -- Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-06-17T12:19:49-06:00
ID
70124
Comment

Tim- I'm not making rules for anyone; I pointed out the way modern science defines life. If you don't like the way I'm using words then define it your way. Most people don't talk about what words life, person, etc. mean, though, when discussing abortion. This is why the division seems so intractable at times. That is why I had some issue with your matter-of-fact statement, but most people do know that the definition of when life begins is at the heart of this issue. I'm not sure most people do.

Author
Justin
Date
2005-06-17T12:29:43-06:00
ID
70125
Comment

Justin, I'm pretty sure they do. -- Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-06-17T12:40:23-06:00
ID
70126
Comment

I'd be interested to hear how "modern science" defines "life," which I hope can be cited from a better source than a not-very-well-remembered section of one's junior high science course, by the way.

Author
buckallred
Date
2005-06-17T13:02:04-06:00
ID
70127
Comment

I'll see you your Schwartx and his pro-life propaganda and raise you one Planned Parenthood: Determination of Viability In Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri v. Danforth (428 U.S. 52 (1976)), the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that judgments of viability are inexact and may vary with each pregnancy. As a result, it granted the attending physician the right to ascertain viability on an individual basis. In addition, the Court rejected as unconstitutional fixed gestational limits for determining viability. The court reaffirmed these rulings in the 1979 case Colautti v. Franklin (439 U.S. 379 (1979)). http://www.plannedparenthood.org/pp2/portal/files/portal/medicalinfo/abortion/fact-abortion-first-trimestert.xml

Author
buckallred
Date
2005-06-17T13:10:54-06:00
ID
70128
Comment

Tim- I'm pretty sure they do. Good to know. Buck- I'd be interested to hear how "modern science" defines "life," which I hope can be cited from a better source than a not-very-well-remembered section of one's junior high science course, by the way. Grab any intro to biology textbook. I don't have one handy, and it's Jubilee Jam weekend; so, I probably won't be able to provide you a source right now. I'll see you your Schwartx and his pro-life propaganda and raise you one Planned Parenthood: Determination of Viability Evidently, you didn't read the Schwartz article to well. He is not addressing the legal abortion question, but the moral one. I think they are different. Anyway, he rejects viability as the beginning point for a similar reason as cited by the supreme court.

Author
Justin
Date
2005-06-17T13:24:20-06:00
ID
70129
Comment

Tim, For those who support abortion I really don't think the issue has anything whatsoever to do with when life begins. Case in point: there is no question whatsoever that a third trimester (since you don't like me using the word "baby") "fetus" (which by the way is just the Latin word for "little one") is alive. Despite the fact that it is clearly alive and viable outside the womb, (many, most, some, but not all) abortion advocates still want it to be legal to kill it by means of a partial birth abortion. As long as Planned Parenthood and NARAL and NOW endorse this procedure, the suggestion that the debate is about when life begins is a farce. If the issue was about the definition of when life begins, partial birth abortion would not exist because life is clearly present at that point.

Author
brandon/jade
Date
2005-06-17T13:38:46-06:00
ID
70130
Comment

Actually the thing is that while when life/personhood/whatever begins reasonably should be the criterion for when abortion becomes impermissible, I seriously doubt that there will ever be a broad consensus on when that happens, so there's no point in discussing that issue. The more telling question is, what leeway do we allow people in the absence of that kind of broad consensus? And my answer is that you pretty much have to leave it up to each person when that's the case. Brandon, The position that personhood, to use Justin's term, begins at birth is a reasonable one that some people find convincing. They're not wrong just because you say so. But again, I don't think that's the issue that's worth discussing, because we're not likely to ever find agreement. -- Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-06-17T13:59:09-06:00
ID
70131
Comment

Tim- Actually the thing is that while when life/personhood/whatever begins reasonably should be the criterion for when abortion becomes impermissible, I agree 100%. I seriously doubt that there will ever be a broad consensus on when that happens, so there's no point in discussing that issue. I'm not sure about this, though. It's a complicated issue, to be sure. But complicated issues require nuanced judgement, not abandoning the debate altogether. I think that good place to start is to examine what makes normal adult human beings persons, or what makes them alive, or have a right to life (whatever semantic is agreed upon)? If we come to some kind of consensus on this question, we would be in a better position to address the moral status of a fetus, namely by examining how a fetus is similar to or different from an adult human being (in a morally relevant way). And my answer is that you pretty much have to leave it up to each person when that's the case. This would work if the decision only affected one person, but it might affect two; that is the crucial question. Even if you are correct in saying that we will never reach an agreement on this crucial question, however, it seems to me that, in adopting public policy, we should err on the side of caution. This is sort of the opinion the supreme court has taken in limiting abortion past a certain stage of pregnancy.

Author
Justin
Date
2005-06-17T14:55:55-06:00
ID
70132
Comment

brandon, lovin' your pro life stance and how it pretty much ends at birth, with no regard to women's lives. The term partial birth abortion is not a recognized medical term: http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_pba1.htm The term "Partial Birth Abortion" was recently created by pro-life groups when the procedure became actively discussed at a political and religious level. One reason those organizations oppose legislations banning the procedure: http://www.now.org/nnt/fall-2004/pba.html Shortly after George W. Bush signed the so-called "Partial-Birth" Abortion Ban into law Nov. 5, 2003, three federal judges issued temporary injunctions to prevent the law from taking effect. After full trials, the three district court judges in New York, Nebraska and California all ruled the ban unconstitutional because it failed to provide an exception to protect the woman's health, as required by the Supreme Court. Where is your hyper sensitivity towards "LIFE" now? One a woman starts ovulating, she no longer has any rights? How do you balance them? And, as Ellen Goodman wrote: When people claim to believe that a frozen embryo is the moral equal of a child, ethicists like to pose this question: If a clinic is on fire and you could save either a 2-year-old or a vial full of embryos, which would you pick? In this case, if an embryo is truly another human being, what are we to make of the Snowflake families? Donielle Brinkman and her husband received 11 frozen embryos from a clinic. After four transfers of multiple eggs and three miscarriages over several years, she gave birth to Tanner. According to their reasoning -- not mine -- if all the embryos were persons, did she produce one child and destroy 10? Couldn't you argue that some Snowflakes are better off in the freezer than sent on the dicey journey to the womb? And what do you say about the 40 percent to 80 percent of embryos that never make it to the womb in the natural scheme of things? brandon, by your logic, anyone who tries any sort of fertility treatment with a high risk of miscarriage is guilty of homicide. And, the anti-choice crowd really might want to stop bombing clinics, threatening doctors and harassing women. Why in heaven's name are these people not out working for the rights of the born? Why are the unborn the only ones getting attention? Brandon, if you care about life so much, and children's rights, why were you not on this blog discussing Donna's article about the abuse of the children at the state's juvenile facilities - why is this more important than that? I don't see you or anyone else writing or starting threads on making men responsible for the children they create, though you give it passing lip service here. You ask if it's "fair" for the "baby" to pay such a high price for a woman's "irresponsible" behavior. Is it fair for unwanted children to be born into messed up homes where no one's ready to care for them? And don't give me a line about adoption. There are more kids that need good homes than we as a society can provide for right now. This whole abortion debate sucks so much energy away from caring for the actually born it drives me batshit crazy.

Author
kate
Date
2005-06-17T15:15:45-06:00
ID
70133
Comment

I think that good place to start is to examine what makes normal adult human beings persons, or what makes them alive, or have a right to life (whatever semantic is agreed upon)? That just begs the question. What is a human being? What is a person? What is alive? What is life? Those are deep philosophical issues that IMO simply are not amenable to broad consensus. Anyone who thinks differently is almost certain to spend about 99% of his time bogged down in the definitional task and will be effectively unable to advance the actual discussion -- case in point, this thread. Even if you are correct in saying that we will never reach an agreement on this crucial question, however, it seems to me that, in adopting public policy, we should err on the side of caution. I agree, but I'm pretty sure we have different definitions of "caution." I think it's quite as serious to force women to bear children they don't want as it is to let them get rid of fetuses they don't want, even if we were to grant that that fetus is a person. One thing that always seems to be lacking in this debate is a sense of what a monumental (and, as I previously said, potentially dangerous) thing it is for a woman to actually bear a child. No wonder one generally sees mostly men protesting abortion. This whole abortion debate sucks so much energy away from caring for the actually born it drives me batshit crazy. Ain't that the damn truth. -- Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-06-17T15:43:02-06:00
ID
70134
Comment

That just begs the question. What is a human being? What is a person? What is alive? What is life? I wasn't begging the question; I was asking it. You just rephrased it and called it begging the question. Those are deep philosophical issues that IMO simply are not amenable to broad consensus. As I said before, just because an issue is comlicated doesn't mean we should give up on it. Surely we can come to some consensus about our common dignity. We'd be a lot closer to coming to a consensus if people would actually engage in discussion rather than what typically constitutes abortion debate: anti-abortionist appealing to religion and calling people who support abortion muderers, and pro-abortionist generalizing about anti-abortionist based on the lunantic fringe and by attacking people's character rather than their ideas, see Kate's last post- And, the anti-choice crowd really might want to stop bombing clinics, threatening doctors and harassing women. Brandon, if you care about life so much, and children's rights, why were you not on this blog discussing Donna's article about the abuse of the children at the state's juvenile facilities - why is this more important than that?

Author
Justin
Date
2005-06-17T16:07:22-06:00
ID
70135
Comment

We also need to let go of the assumption that women practiced unprotected sex. No birth control is 100% effective. Kate, thanks for the point of the frozen embryos. Never thought about that one.

Author
emilyb
Date
2005-06-17T16:15:11-06:00
ID
70136
Comment

And as far as the father's role, enforcing child support is a great idea. But it's forgetting who is missing work when the baby is sick, who is going to the school for the conferences, who is spending the time with the child for homework, etc. etc. etc. There is more to responsible parenthood than dollars, and I don't see any way to enforce that responsibility.

Author
emilyb
Date
2005-06-17T16:19:17-06:00
ID
70137
Comment

I wasn't begging the question; I was asking it. You just rephrased it and called it begging the question. You assumed that the questions were answerable. My whole point is that I don't think they are. As I said before, just because an issue is comlicated doesn't mean we should give up on it. Surely we can come to some consensus about our common dignity. That's exactly the point: we don't all see "our common dignity" as linked to the issue of when an unborn child should no longer be aborted. As for Kate's post, I must say that it contributes more of substance to the discussion than yours have. It may not be what you want to hear, and it may not be brand-new, but at least she isn't trying to answer questions that by their very nature cannot be definitively answered. What you're discussing is like trying to agree on the ideal temperature. Everybody's got an opinion, and the chances of getting all of them, or even most of them, to agree is nil. -- Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-06-17T16:36:33-06:00
ID
70138
Comment

Tim- That's exactly the point: we don't all see "our common dignity" as linked to the issue of when an unborn child should no longer be aborted. "Common dignity" was refering to the question I asked about what gives a normal adult human being a moral right to life. My point was that answering this question could help answer the abortion question. And yes, I assumed this question was answerable. I know that if I were to walk out of my apartment and kill the next person that walks by, that it would be wrong, because this person has moral right to life. I think you would agree. We can't come to a consensus about why this is wrong? As for Kate's post, I must say that it contributes more of substance to the discussion than yours have. It may not be what you want to hear, and it may not be brand-new, but at least she isn't trying to answer questions that by their very nature cannot be definitively answered. If this is what you think, then fine. I have a more optimistic view. If, as you say, this type of moral question doesn't contribute substance to the discussion, then I probably don't want to be in the discussion. Besides, it's time to Jam Y'all!

Author
Justin
Date
2005-06-17T18:08:33-06:00
ID
70139
Comment

Hi Justin, I really should not have said that this question doesn't contribute substance to the debate. It's obviously an important question, but given the standpoint I've made clear, I'm just convinced that that question does not lead anywhere (because it cannot have a definitive answer) and consequently does not advance the discussion. That doesn't make it an insubstantial question, though. Enjoy the Jam! (I wish I could!) Best, Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-06-18T01:20:13-06:00
ID
70140
Comment

Kate, brandon, lovin' your pro life stance and how it pretty much ends at birth, with no regard to women's lives. Why would you make that assumption? That was a personal attack on me instead of attempting to answer my objection. In every post in which we have been on opposite sides you have done this. You do not know that to be true, but apparently you have this preconceived notion of what I must be like simply because I am opposed to abortion. That is really unfair and incorrect. Since I am not writing for a medical journal I don't care if partial birth abortion is a recognized medical term. What part of it is incorrect? Does a partial birth occur? Yes. Does an abortion occur? Yes. Therefore it is a partial birth abortion. Most (although you may not be in this category) pro-abortion folks don't like the term because it defines what is taking place. As far as the judges freezing it b/c it didn't allow exceptions for the health of the mother.....Dr. C. Everett Coop, former U.S. Surgeon General, stated, ì... in no way can I twist my mind to see that the late-term abortion as described is a medical necessity for the mother. It certainly canít be a necessity for the baby.î I'll go with his opinion (as the former highest ranking medical officer in the country) over that of three federal judges. All of the other comments had nothing to do with this discussion, except to slander and attack. Bombing clinics? Give me a break. What does that have to do with me expressing opinions on a blog? Kate you are better than that.

Author
brandon/jade
Date
2005-06-20T08:51:52-06:00
ID
70141
Comment

While we are on this subject, I am curious to know what your opinion would be concerning Susan Smith and others who kill their infants. Is it murder or should we as a society allow the termination of unwanted children up to a certain age? If we kill them in the womb, can we kill them out of the womb up to a certain age? If not, why not? Perhaps she thought she wanted to be a mother and could handle such a sacrifice, but after a time realized it was a mistake. Is it fair to force her to keep that child and raise it? Do we really need another child to become a ward of the state and have to be supported by an already failing and flawed system?

Author
brandon/jade
Date
2005-06-20T08:55:17-06:00
ID
70142
Comment

One last thought: With the exception of emilyb, who barely touched on it, NO ONE who has objected to my opinions has said anything about taking responsibility for your actions. So many have been so quick to attack anyone threatening to take away "rights", but not a single one has said, "Shouldn't people be responsible for their actions." "Where is your hyper sensitivity towards "LIFE" now? One a woman starts ovulating, she no longer has any rights? How do you balance them?" I balance them like this. She has a right to say no to sex or to say yes. She has a right to use birth control or not. When another person is involved (and I know you do not acknowledge the unborn as being a person, but I do) you do not have the "right" to take away their rights, namely the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I can back up my opinion with the constitution, what about you? And please don't cite the "right to privacy" as ruled in Roe v. Wade. Do you really and honestly believe that the founding fathers intended for the right to privacy to extend to taking away the rights of the unborn? Whether or not you admit it, you do believe that the unborn is a person. If you truly do not believe that the unborn is a person: don't every attend a "baby" shower; don't ever say "I am going to have a baby". To suggest that it is a baby only if we decorate the nursery, buy maternity clothes, pick out names, have showers and tell everyone I am having a baby, but it is not a baby if I don't want it, is sheer lunacy! My rant is over, please feel free to rip it apart, tell me how I gleefully hate and oppress women, shoot abortion doctors and bomb clinics while laughing at and ignoring the poor. Signed, a typical male WASP, scourge of the earth, oppressor of all.

Author
brandon/jade
Date
2005-06-20T09:07:31-06:00
ID
70143
Comment

Brandon/Jade: "Do you really and honestly believe that the founding fathers intended for the right to privacy to extend to taking away the rights of the unborn?" The Founding Fathers certainly did not intend for women or blacks to have the right to vote, except the 3/5 of a vote that slave owners were allotted for each slave they owned. . . but we seem to have moved past that as well!

Author
buckallred
Date
2005-06-20T10:34:03-06:00
ID
70144
Comment

i dont get it why not ban fertility drugs and make all of these Pro-Lifers get all of the children out of foster care, that way you get pregnant you know your child will be taken care of and no one has an abortion

Author
skipp
Date
2005-06-20T12:05:26-06:00
ID
70145
Comment

Yeah Buck we moved past not granting rights to human beings (women and blacks), now we need to expand that to unborn children too.

Author
brandon/jade
Date
2005-06-20T13:02:29-06:00
ID
70146
Comment

brandon/jade: "Yeah Buck we moved past not granting rights to human beings (women and blacks), now we need to expand that to unborn children too." But. . . brandon/jade. . . to quote you, "Do you really and honestly believe that the founding fathers intended for the right to privacy to extend to taking away the rights of the unborn?" So do you believe the US Constitution grants us all a right to privacy (which you *sometimes* seem to think needs to be expanded), or do you believe that no such right to privacy exists, since the Founding Fathers did not explicitly provide for it in the language of the Constitution?

Author
buckallred
Date
2005-06-20T15:04:34-06:00

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