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View of a Liberal Pro-Lifer

A progressive liberal who questions the left's support of abortion.
It's a common sight in our town of Little Beirut: protest signs reading "Protect Our Watersheds!!", "Give our houseless a voice!", or "OHSU slaughters monkeys". Indeed, Portland's liberals have a very active and distinct reverence for the environment and the living. In spite of this, one blatant abuse of life is often supported by liberals: abortion.

I'm pretty liberal. I'm a registered member of the Pacific Green Party, I'm vegetarian, I choose not to own a car, I attend the occasional peace rally. I do not understand, however, why my fellow progressives condone the killing of unborn babies. I concede that abortion is more acceptable in extreme cases, like rape pregnancies. Nevertheless, the current practice of slaughtering the unborn simply because they are inconvenient is not acceptable by any terms. Promoting humane alternatives, like contraceptives and adoption, should be the emphasis of the left's efforts -- not defending abortion.

If you have an answer to the left's support of abortion, I'm eager to have a civil discussion about the topic.

I suspect you are disingenuous 31.Mar.2004 01:50

a close reader

"Promoting humane alternatives, like contraceptives and adoption, should be the emphasis of the left's efforts"

Are you saying it's not? It's not the religious fanatics who are promoting contraception.

If you care about reducing abortion you should work on issues of sex education, availability of contraception, and ease of adoption, not to mention working on systems of support for pregnant women. I've always said the christians could stop abortion tomorrow if they really wanted cared to (they certainly have the moeny to do so). But they don't. They care about putting women back into the kitchen. They will always vote against any measure that would reduce abortions if it means empowering women.

Ultimately one must examine he root of the problem. Abortion is not the problem, unwanted pregnancies are. And there are 2 solutions to that problem, the complete empowerment of women or the complete subjugation of women. The pro-lifers would have the latter, I choose the former. If women are empowered in a way that enabled them control of their bodies, freedom from rape, incest we would see abortion rates drop drastically.

Make your choices but if you think aligning yourself with the pro-life movement is about protecting life you are seriously mistaken.

we're ALL pro-life 31.Mar.2004 01:54

as regards abortion, there is only:

pro-choice or anti-choice.

which are you?

to jamby 31.Mar.2004 02:24

anon

An abortion is not killing an unborn baby when done early on. It's not killing anything. Is an egg an unhatched chicken? I'm not saying all this to be rude or to dismiss you, but to point out that a lot of us pro-choice people (and yes we are backed by science) don't consider a feotus to be a little human being. Don't look to me for a debate since I'm just trying to tell you where a lot of people are coming from.

from a spiritual/religious perspective 31.Mar.2004 02:29

understanding life

Life does not begin until one inhales the breath of God (the soul).

Even in the bible this is confirmed (Genesis 2:7, Job 33:44). The bible itself advocates abortion in the case of infidelity (Numbers 5:11-21) and when a woman is caused to miscarry when being struck by a man the penalty is merely a fine (Exodus 21:22).

But then, when have people ever not interpreted their scriptures selectively?

It goes both ways 31.Mar.2004 02:33

Wild Green

"Promoting humane alternatives, like contraceptives and adoption, should be the emphasis of the left's efforts -- not defending abortion."

Promoting contraceptives and sex education should be the emphasis of the right's efforts, not criminalizing abortion.

If this issue was finally settled, with safe access for women, then all the money poured from the right and the left that is currently poured into propaganda and legislative efforts, were instead poured into contraceptives and sex ed, then we would be seeing possitive change.

I'll have a shot at it 31.Mar.2004 05:16

Mike stepbystepfarm <a> mtdata.com

<< though the argument will have NOTHING to do with "left" positions >>

Rights and duties --- does possession of a "right" ever (and if so under what conditions) impose duties on another, especially if that infringes upon the rights of the person upon whom it is proposed to impose dities.

The question of abortion past the period when the fetus is CAPABLE if independent life is very different from the question where this is NOT possible. Now we are probably all agreed that a person who has been born has a "right to life", yes? Well what does this imply exactly? Can we impose a duty upon another person (regardless of what that does to them) to make this right "good".

Imagine this situation. We have a person X who WILL die, absoltuely surely, there is no medical way to prevent this EXCEPT there is a person Y out there, who if we grabbed Y and surgically connected X to Y for a number of months, X probably would survive. and the risk of medical damage to Y would not be VERY great -- only some inconvenience and pain, a couple percent of damega and say a 1/10th percent of death.

Now we would all probably consider Y praiseworthy for volunteering to keep X alive regardless of cost to herself. No question about that. But would you be quite so willing to condemn Y for not voulnteering even though no other person could fill this role? And more to the point, would you be willing to FORCE Y to do so? Under threat of legal sanctions or even having the authorities grab Y so that this procedure could be done involuntarily? Suppose Y were resisting -- would you want to apply legal sanctions against othe rpersons who were aiding Y to resist?

NOTICE --- this argument against preventing abortion applies if/f medical technology and social condiitons prevent replacement of an unwilling Y with a willing Z volunteer. Should the time ever come when a fetus could be removed from one woman and placed into another the whole question has been altered (whether a right to "abortion" in our CURRENT meaniong of the term should still exist). But as things stand now, a jurisdiction can only protect the "rights" of a fetus (assuming you believe a fetus does have rights) by severely curtailing the rights of another person who DEFINITELY has rights.

Forget the right for a sec... 31.Mar.2004 07:37

Jamby

Yes, I too agree that the right should focus less on criminalizing abortions and more on ways to prevent them. But, I think this point is irrelevant to the discussion of this article. I'm not arguing on behalf of the right -- I'm looking for a better explanation for the left's views.

I think those who limit the choices in the abortion struggle to two different categories are ignorantly wrong. Pro-choice vs. anti-choice? I don't describe supporters of abortion as anti-life... That would be rediculous. I am not "anti-choice" -- I'm compassionate. I don't feel compassion for the unborn babies either... I agree that the situation of women is a vital element of this issue. But the suppression of women, in many cases, is no excuse for abortion.

Yes, I believe a fetus is a living being. It will be born, it will take it's first steps, it will go to school... it will live life. I just imagine some of the great civil rights leaders of our time being aborted... The world would have been denied those wonderful people. And they would have been denied the world.

It's a very fundamental issue to me. It's the same reason I'm vegetarian, and the same reason I keep animal tested products out of my house: We have LITTLE right to kill other beings simply because we can, or because they are inconvenient.

Stop the spin for a moment 31.Mar.2004 08:29

random boob

"Abortion is not the problem, unwanted pregnancies are. And there are 2 solutions to that problem, the complete empowerment of women or the complete subjugation of women."

"as regards abortion, there is only:
pro-choice or anti-choice.
which are you?"

I don't like the way that people are using semantics to enforce an 'Us vs Them' mentality and derail intelligent discussion. You sound just like our oh-so-wonderful President (You are with us or wih the terrorists!).

Come on. The lefties are supposed to be the smart ones, right?

I think the guy has a valid point: I've run into liberals that say they treasure all forms of life and will cringe and look at you like you are a murderer if you step on an ant. And at the same time, they are ardent supporters of abortion. I see this as somewhat of a moral hypocrisy. Personally, I am somewhat libertarian and think the laws should be open, but I think it is highly irresponsible and cruel to have an abortion beyond the first trimester. By then you know you are pregnant. if you wait longer, I think you should commit yourself to carrying out the pregnancy. At that point the "thing" in your womb is no longer a wad of undeveloped cells.

Personally, I am pro-choice. In fact, I support a lot of choices. You have the choice to prevent pregnancy (this is an excellent choice). If you make the choice to be irresponsible, then you live with the consequences. If you are responsible but it happens anyway, or your choice is taken by another (rape), then you have the choice to either carry out the pregnancy and adopt, the choice to keep the child anyway, the choice to take the morning after pill (also a very good choice), or the choice to abort early in the pregnancy. What I really do not understand is late term abortion, which is basically terminating a developed infant. Some premature babies are born earlier than the point at which some late-term abortions occur. If someone decides they don't want their baby after all, are they justified in killing it after it is out of the womb? If it is the same age as babies that may have been legally aborted, can someone make the moral distinction for me here? I don't get it.

Oh, by the way 31.Mar.2004 08:31

random boob

I totally agree with WIld Green's sentiment.

Life is a miracle 31.Mar.2004 08:50

Jim Lockhart eagleye@PhilosopherSeed.org

Life is a miracle. Sentience, consciousness and ability to selectively interact with ones surrundings is a miracle and the greatest mystery of the universe. From the one celled organism to the most complex organism, Life and living beings reflect the deeper spiritual currents of the physical universe.
To my mind we live in a multi dimensional universe. The first dimension is that of matter, based upon the atom. The second is the arrangement of matter into living cells-the living universe based upon the cell. This cell includes and resources all the physical laws and interactions of the physical universe, and is the universe of matter becoming conscious of itself. Next is the dimension of the mind, based upon the word, enacting symbolic thought.

At conception, that one celled being is a miracle and their death is a tragedy, and in some cases is actually a criminal act. As living beings, our interaction with the universe is a matter of selection, choice, to some degree. It is the choice of the mother whether this being growing inside her body is to continue on and be born or not. Her choice and upon her soul. To be in this position with an unwanted pregnacy is probably already a sign of one's life being out of balance. Probably, because this decision has to be visited with each case on an individual basis.

We don't live in a perfect world, and many decisions concerning each of us, no matter how distasteful and monumental, must be left to the individual. It certainly is not up to others to foist their religious beliefs upon others by taking away ones ability to make personal decisions about their life. As I say, it is the killing of a conscious being, yet in most cases is not so much a criminal act as a personal decision with the potential for dire spiritual consequences.

There is usually hypocrisy on both sides, left and right, to go around. There is hypocrisy abounding in each of us. Perhaps in a perfect world, we could all keep our values consisant with our actions. Few of us attain, or will ever attain this. Maybe it is something we should strive for, yet can never actually achieve in this dimension of existance. Yet, while here we should understand the miracle that is Life and the spiritual necessity that is Choice.


Logic is tricky 31.Mar.2004 10:21

Frey

"I just imagine some of the great civil rights leaders of our time being aborted... The world would have been denied those wonderful people. And they would have been denied the world."

So, then -- do you imagine the great leaders who weren't born because of contraception? You seem to support contraception, so this portion of your argument is inconsistent. How about the great potential leaders who weren't born because their hypothetical parents chose not to reproduce?

The trouble with trying to debate value issues is that values, while often influenced by outside factors, are intensely personal and prone to inconsistencies. If you want to debate, you need to carefully examine these inconsistencies and determine whether or not you can reconcile them in yourself. If you can't, that doesn't mean you're wrong -- but it might mean that you are in a poor position to debate.

I listened to a fellow on the radio the other day giving a "reasoned" explanation of why gay marriage is a bad idea. It boiled down to the notion that marriage is the state's investment in procreation and because same sex partners can't reproduce, marriage is inappropriate right to bestow upon them. The argument is full of all kinds of holes, but it is also logically inconsistent in the simplest sense because if the argument is accepted, all other types of non-procreative marriages should also be prohibited: individuals who are sterile, who do not intend to reproduce, etc. would also be denied marriage under this logic. I suppose some might agree with those conclusions, but I've never heard it before.

I think people would do better to just be honest and express their "arguments" as personal feelings. Nothing wrong with that.


to 'random boob' - 31.Mar.2004 11:38

as regards abortion, there is only:

"pro-choice or anti-choice."

['random boob' claims to be "pro-choice"]

"I don't like the way that people are using semantics to enforce an 'Us vs Them' mentality and derail intelligent discussion. You sound just like our oh-so-wonderful President (You are with us or wih the terrorists!)."

>>>>the above statement is not "you are either with us or against us".

it's just framing the issue according to a woman's access to safe, legal abortions - OR NOT.

you, 'random boob' said: "Personally, I am pro-choice." - then proceeded to qualify all the SEMANTIC cases in which you would "support" or "not support" certain choices.

your personal opinion, feelings, that's fine - as long as you are not trying to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, assassinate doctors, or bomb clinics (as if those tactics would ever "stop" abortion anyway . . .)

those lunatics may be "anti-choice", "pro-life" etc. -

but no matter what they do, bomb, assassinate, or overturn:

for the remainder of human existence on Planet Earth, women will still be making the CHOICE ('legally' or 'illegally').

Good discussion 31.Mar.2004 11:42

jason

It's nice to see people really thinking about each other's posts and being constructive rather than reactionary.

As far as my own thoughts, I agree pretty much with the original article, but I would add a further thought. While I think that abortion is wrong, and that the overly irresponsible attitudes in our culture--think SUV's and pretty much every other consumtion choice in america--I think that outlawing abortion is simply much worse.

Government is just totally the wrong tool with which to address abortion, At the least outlawing it reinforces outdated gender roles by assuming that the state can control women, and in reality outlawing abortion does not actually stop it, it just stops safe abortion (for the mother of course).

I guess that's why I think the efforts of Pro-Lifers are so disengenuous. If they put all the effort they waste into providing resources to young mothers, and counciling and contraception, etc. they could really reduce the number of abortions. Instead they just fight a silly legal fight and try to disgust us with graphic pictures.

foster childen 31.Mar.2004 11:45

na

Unless Jamby has worked in the foster care system or has adopted a baby I think you should reconsider how you feel about abortion. Abortion is much more humane to both mother and child. I have worked in the foster care system and had to stop for my own mental health. Who the hell is going to take care of all the unwanted children of the world? Over population? Does your hippie, vegetarian, no car owning self rightous self consider over population as well. Either be part of the solution or stop with your anti-woman anti-choice ramblings. Abortion is not as grusome as everyone makes it out to be. Woman have been giving themselves abortions since the begining of time. Let's do it in the safety of a doctors office instead of a back alley. The lives of scared women are more important than your personal feelings about abortion.

It's the system 31.Mar.2004 11:45

*

I'd like to take the comments about lack of resources and support for pregnant women a little further...
Clearly, the religious and political right's push for such asenine solutions as abstinence classes and protection of marriage and underfunding contraception programs will do nothing to reduce abortions.
I am pro-choice but, considering the many options that could be made available to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place, I think there's a lot that could be done to reduce the number of abortions, and that doing so would be positive.
For starters, get insurance companies to cover birth control pills, adequately fund clinics and education programs, and provide the health care and resources necessary for carrying and raising a child.

This is my main point: a friend of mine is studying in Sweden and explained to me that the Swedish government provides ONE YEAR'S SALARY to both the mother and father of a child, not to mention health care, day care, etc, etc. In other words, you can have a baby even if it's unexpected or you're not married, etc, and it's not the end of the world- you even have the right to stay home with it for a year without going into debt, and your partner also has that right.

Yes, some will say this is costly, this is something that only small, scandinavian countries can do, not the big bad USA, but the point is that our system is set up to a) make contraception and sex ed. hard to come by and b) hang new mothers out to dry unless they are the fortunate ones who have plenty of money or their partners earn 6 figures.

Hope this wasn't too far of a digression from the abortion debate but I think it's important to put in perspective that European countries who have had legal abortion for much longer than we have also go the extra mile to support parents of children.

The left isn't necessarily supportive of abortion 31.Mar.2004 12:04

Adammonte9000 adammonte9000@aol.com

I'm not pro-abortion. I'm a guy and I can't have children, so I need not worry about it. I simply believe in people's rights to control their own bodies, as well as women's rights to make their own reproductive choices. An undeveloped fetus (as scientifically proven) is life, yes, but so is sperm, so is bacteria, etc. Wanna make laws protecting those? Being a guy, I can tell you that millions of sperm are slaughtered constantly. OH NO!
I do agree that birth control, sex-education, and contraceptives do work better, but I don't believe the government has the right to tell women what they can and can't do with their bodies. That's ultimatly what this issue is about, not whether you're pro-abortion or anti-abortion. I don't here anybody standing up yelling, "MORE ABORTIONS, WE NEED MORE ABORTIONS!" So if you're personally opposed to abortion, that's perfectly fine. What's wrong is making laws against it to make it illegal. That's a violation of personal freedom and rights. Whether you're pro-life or not has nothing to do with it. It's whether you're pro-choice or anti-choice like the totalitarian right is.

Should human life always be valued above all other life on earth? 31.Mar.2004 12:38

woman who is committed to not having babies

First off, I will disagree with many of my pro-choice comrades by saying that in my view, from the time of conception and onward as a fetus develops it is "alive". It is growing, developing, and maybe even has a spirit. However, there are many other factors one must take into account before bringing life into the world. While writers in this forum have chosen to portray the "inconsistency" of people afraid to "step on an ant" while being supportive of abortion rights, the overwhelming planet-wide paradigm is that the needs (and more insidiously) and greed of humans has come before the rights of all other creatures. Indeed, the cumulative actions of humans over thousands of years has left the entire planet in pretty sorry shape. I won't go into a description of the global environmental crisis we're in because I'm assuming that most folks here might have some clue about that....

Any functioning ecosystem is always in a dynamic process of bringing itself into balance. Both life and death are part of this. When there's plenty of food and other conditions are good in a wild area, plants animals will easy have lots of offspring or growth. When conditions are harsher, lets say it's a drought year, there will either be less reproduction or a lower survival rate for offspring. While it's harsh from a human perspective, some birds will only feed one or two of their offspring even though they had more chicks than that. When they only have enough to feed one chick, they will almost always let some die rather than having them all die. This is survival, not cruelty.

While the average person feels quite removed from making decisions of life and death, it is something that all of us do every day. My decision to use a computer and electricity right now has affected or ended many lives. Dams used to generate hydropower are killing salmon, and it is likely that components in my computer were built by sweatshop workers exposed to many toxics (which is why I'm using an older, recycled computer).

The decision whether or not to bring more humans into the world is an important one, especially in the U.S. where people are consuming a very disproportionate share of the worlds resources. Recently, I had my second, and hopefully, my last abortion. While there were aspects about both times that were and unpleasant, I can't say that the decisions to terminate my pregnancies were the least bit difficult. Both times, I was actively trying not to conceive. One of them was a broken condom incident and the other time, I should have double checked my calender. Yes, I think that there was a life inside me, but not a life that had any chance of surviving without my body. As such, I do not feel the same about a seven week old fetus as I would a baby, or countless other life forms for that matter. If there wasn't global planetary destruction happening in a multitude of ways every second, I might feel differently about the whole breeding thing. And no, the "But you could raise such wonderful little hellraising, super-conscious, eco-warriors!" arguement doesn't fly with me. While I really admire the awesome parents and kids that I've met in the movement, I know personally that I wouldn't be up for the job of raising a kid AND continuing to do as much work to counter planetary oppression.

I don't think people need to fret over every fetus that's aborted and think "that could have been our next great leader!" There is absolutely NO SHORTAGE OF PEOPLE who are effected by what's going on in the world, both globally and locally. It seems way more productive and spiritually satisfying to become involved in the lives of kids WHO ARE ALREADY HERE SHARING THE PLANET WITH US, rather than lamenting all of the fetuses that could have been born.

jeez 31.Mar.2004 12:40

random boob

I get mad when people use semantics to avoid the issue, and what do I get? A semantics lecture. Very nice. Of course, I guess there is nothing written or spoken that doesn't involve semantics.

People are trying to think of this thing on two separate axes: Some say it is pro-choice vs anti-choice. Some say it is pro-life vs anti-life. And a lot of people here seem to think that pro-life HAS to mean anti-choice. People concerned about whether it is right to kill a fetus are not by default anti-woman. People concerned about women's liberty are not by default anti-life. This is not black and white. This is a multifaceted issue. Women's liberty is part of it. Whether or not life is sacred, and what you define as life, is another part. Then there are different sets of circumstances regarding personal responsibility. Can we take a holistic look at this instead of just running around trying to figure out who to brand as the enemy?

I have a personal opinion that when we split things into them & us categories (or, as you put it "frame" things into categories where one side is by default characterized as wrong), we cling to our side and disregard any good idea the other side may have, because it is "them." I favor picking through things, analyzing both sides, and seeing what each have to offer.

Yes, the things I say are personal opinions. Most things are. I agree with everyone that states that legislation is not the answer. I oppose laws against abortion, but also recognize a certain moral/spiritual dilemma according to my personal values system.

Anyway, that is what the original question was about. It wasn't about being anti-choice. It was a curiosity about the consistency of people's moral value systems (call me out if I am wrong here, Jamby). I am curious about this as well. If a vegan is opposed to eating an egg, why is that? Is it out of respect for the life of the potential chicken? If so, why support abortion, since it is the same issue but with humans?

Or is the egg issue more about the hen's right to have her eggs hatch without human intervention? I suppose if you look at it that way, the chicken in theory also has a right to not incubate the egg. In that case, vegans could support abortion with no moral hypocrasy. I'm just curious about where people are coming from and whether they have even thought all of these things out.

By the way, I am aware that the whole situation is more complicated for humans than it is for chickens.

Argument by Analogy 31.Mar.2004 12:41

Titler

Roll the clock back 140 years:

So if you're personally opposed to slavery, don't own one that's perfectly fine. What's wrong is making laws against it to make it illegal. That's a violation of personal freedom and rights. Whether you're pro-slave or not has nothing to do with it. It's whether you're pro-choice or anti-choice like the totalitarian right is.

right on 31.Mar.2004 12:57

random boob

I think we've got two debates going on...one political and one philisophical. Or maybe that last one is just me.

As far as the political side, I think that Adammonte9000 hit the nail on the head. I think everyone here is probably pro-life in the sense that they believe life is an important thing. But the right wing people use it in their campaign to pass legislation to end choice. I guess if you think of this in purely political terms (which I wasn't earlier) then it is true that the only positions are pro-choice and anti-choice. Politically, that's the only issue here. After all, no one is campaigning to outlaw fetuses.

stepping away from "morality" 31.Mar.2004 12:57

person

Morality is a poor way to make a choice as it's based on an arbitrary standard and is constantly shifting. Instead we can move to analyzing things based on what works and what doesn't work. Making laws against human behavior does not stop those behaviors, not for abortion, drug and alcohol use, slavery, crime, or any other aspect of human behavior. What works to reduce abortion rates is sex education, availability of contraception, and support services for pregnant women. If people are interested in reducing abortions they should to work in these areas. I choose to work to help those already living on this planet who need help. That is my choice; others are free to make their own.

Misc. Responses 31.Mar.2004 12:58

Jamby

I have a lot to respond to...

<<So, then -- do you imagine the great leaders who weren't born because of contraception? You seem to support contraception, so this portion of your argument is inconsistent. How about the great potential leaders who weren't born because their hypothetical parents chose not to reproduce?

The trouble with trying to debate value issues is that values, while often influenced by outside factors, are intensely personal and prone to inconsistencies. If you want to debate, you need to carefully examine these inconsistencies and determine whether or not you can reconcile them in yourself. If you can't, that doesn't mean you're wrong -- but it might mean that you are in a poor position to debate.>>

Good point. There are some distinctions between contraceptive use and abstinence however... With those methods (except for some contraceptives) an egg and sperm never meet. They don't mold together... they don't trigger the development of a human being.

I see no inconsistencies with my argument... I see human life starting at conception. Any interference with life after conception is morally wrong, to some degree.

-----------------------------------

<<I think that outlawing abortion is simply much worse.>> Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of outlawing the procedure either. I too think it would simply lead to a greater frequency of unsafe abortions. I advocate a MUCH stronger emphasis on contracepetives, and responsible sexual habits.

<<I guess that's why I think the efforts of Pro-Lifers are so disengenuous.>> Try not to generalize pro-lifers. : ]

----------------------------------

<<Unless Jamby has worked in the foster care system or has adopted a baby I think you should reconsider how you feel about abortion. Abortion is much more humane to both mother and child... Who the hell is going to take care of all the unwanted children of the world? Over population? Does your hippie, vegetarian, no car owning self rightous self consider over population as well. Either be part of the solution or stop with your anti-woman anti-choice ramblings. Abortion is not as grusome as everyone makes it out to be. Woman have been giving themselves abortions since the begining of time. Let's do it in the safety of a doctors office instead of a back alley. The lives of scared women are more important than your personal feelings about abortion. >>

Wow, where to start? No, I haven't worked in either of those industries. I suppose I'm an optimist when I say that resorting to foster care or adoption and giving children SOME hope of a quality life is more disirable than abortion.

Regarding overpopulation... To say that killing unborn children is a viable solution to over population is rediculous!!! Yes, the world is too crowded, and becoming even more so. Should we kill innocent people, born or unborn, to reduce the crowd? No, of course we shouldn't. There are other solutions to overpopulation! Better utilization of resources, etc.

bloody wire coat hangers and dead women 31.Mar.2004 13:03

GRINGO STARS

Whether you like it or not, women WILL have abortions, whether it is illegal or illegal to do so. Keeping it legal makes it much, much safer for the woman. Outlawing something doesn't make it disappear, it just drives it underground.

The right likes to see laws as magic wands that instantly make problems go away. Life doesn't work like that.

jamby 31.Mar.2004 13:07

effectiveness

"I see human life starting at conception"

Then I assume you oppose the birth control pill and emergency contraception, both of which are incredidibly effective at reducing abortion rates.

wrong 31.Mar.2004 13:18

random boob

Unless I am mistaken, birth control and emercengy contraception prevent conception from happening in the first place.

to 'random boob' - AGAIN. 31.Mar.2004 13:18

as regards abortion, there is only:

pro-choice or anti-choice.

period.

"I get mad when people use semantics to avoid the issue, and what do I get? A semantics lecture. Very nice. Of course, I guess there is nothing written or spoken that doesn't involve semantics."

>>>>who's getting "mad"?

the above statement is not "semantic" or "categorization", and does not make "one side is by default characterized as wrong".

it's just framing (yes) the issue according to a woman's access to safe, legal abortions - OR NOT.

you 'random boob' have said, "I agree with everyone that states that legislation is not the answer. I oppose laws against abortion".

fine. thank you for clarifying that you are pro-choice. we understand.

as long as you are not trying to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, assassinate doctors, or bomb clinics (as if those tactics would ever "stop" abortion anyway . . .) I'm not saying those people are "wrong" - just futile.

"People are trying to think of this thing on two separate axes . . . Can we take a holistic look at this instead of just running around trying to figure out who to brand as the enemy? I have a personal opinion that when we split things into them & us categories (or, as you put it "frame" things into categories where one side is by default characterized as wrong), we cling to our side and disregard any good idea the other side may have, because it is "them." I favor picking through things, analyzing both sides, and seeing what each have to offer. Yes, the things I say are personal opinions. Most things are. I agree with everyone that states that legislation is not the answer. I oppose laws against abortion, but also recognize a certain moral/spiritual dilemma according to my personal values system."

>>>>PERFECT. reasonable. well-stated. you are a considerate, deep-thinking human being.

your personal opinion, feelings, on how abortion makes you "feel" or how it causes you consider "moral/spiritual dilemmas" - that's just fine. ponder and discuss these things all you want here.

but remember:

women will still be making the CHOICE, 'legally' or 'illegally',

for as long as human beings exist.

random boob, you are mistaken, somewhat 31.Mar.2004 13:33

one who knows

While the birth control pill and emergency contraception can prevent contraception, they can also prevent implantation. This is territory pro-lifers usually like to stay away from because banning the pill is political suicide. Nevertheless, for anyone that believes that life begins at conception you must therefore oppose anything that prevents implantation, as that would also be "taking a life". And, as was stated, restricting access to contraception causes abortion rates to rise, meaning, if you believe that life begins at conception you are working toward an increase of abortions.

Contraception Clarification... 31.Mar.2004 16:10

Jamby

I should specify that I don't mind contraceptives that prevent a conception. Meaning, when a sperm meets an egg. Condoms, spermicide, etc. (I'm honestly not thoroughly familiar with all contraceptives.

Also, I meant to respond to this earlier: <<Who the hell is going to take care of all the unwanted children of the world? Over population? Does your hippie, vegetarian, no car owning self rightous self consider over population as well.>>

This is ridiculous. I wasn't naming off my "hippie" life choices to brag about how I'm the coolest person in the world. I was illustrating that I am a person who most would call liberal -- and I oppose abortion. I was describing myself as a part of a very under represented group: progressive pro-lifers.

And, as I said before, killing people (including the unborn) is in no way an acceptable solution to over population.

obfuscation 31.Mar.2004 16:27

effectiveness

So you oppose the birth control pill and emergency contraception, both of which drastically reduce abortion rates. I would suggest you really consider if that position is going to be an effective one.

Sympathize 31.Mar.2004 18:45

Wild Green

Jampby, while I disagree with your stance, I can sympathize with having an minority stance within a group of "progressives".

Three issues illustrated:

1) I am absolutely against corporate factory farming and animal testing and all its practices. However, I believe in hunting and free range farming. I am not a vegetarian, but am on the vegetarian side of the aruement quite often, except when issues of small farming and hunting come up.

2) I am absolutely against the military-industrial complex, including the gun manufacturing industry. However, I believe in the right to bear arms - for hunting and for defense of ones community from the police state (the Nazi's took away guns from the common person). While I understand that the police state has us outgunned, I believe it is important that we have the right to defend ourselves when confronted - their is always the possibility the foot soldiers will sympathize and mutiny. . .

3) Education is popularly reduced to the issues of funds (including classroom size and teachers pay), public vs vauchers, test scores, and to a lesser degree control (federal, state, or "local", "local" having various meanings). However, I consider it a vastly more multifaceted issue. While I sympathize with the issue of funding- the poor have access to the least amount of funds while the rich have the most, I believe the frame of the debate is entirely too limited. Education was set up primarily to produce a labor force loyal to corporate industry and to the state*. Education must be fundamentally restructured for personal needs. . .

* see, "The Underground History of American Education":  http://www.johntaylorgatto.com

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As for the issue of abortion, it is multifacited. However, for us anti-authoritorians, it is our philosophical belief that a woman has the ultimate decision making power with respect to her body. Nobody has the right to legislate or punish a women for her personal choice.

I believe that controlling our bodies and health is integral to establishing the quality of our lives. I believe in participatory health care, informed decision making, and individual rights.


BUT THE BIBLE SAYS... 01.Apr.2004 07:34

phred felps

They will fall by the sword, their infants will be dashed to pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.
Hosea 13:16

And a tumult will rise among your people, and all of your fortresses will be ruined, just as Shalman ruined Beth-Arbel in a day's battle. Mothers will be dashed to pieces with their sons. Hosea 10:14

The most entertaining thing about the controversy is the fact that it's a magnet for zealots who are also opposed to the RU-486 pill and contraception, like Mother Teresa. Apparently these people believe that God has a plan for each and every zygote (despite the 10-15% of all pregnancies that end in spontaneous abortion).



So let's face it: God certainly isn't Pro-Life, not by a long shot. If anything, He's the single biggest abortion provider of all time. And He has no qualms about ripping open the stomachs of pregnant women whenever necessary. Hence, people who are categorically opposed to killing unborn babies aren't really doing the Lord's work -- they're just advancing their own agendas.

Rape fetuses differ from non-rape fetuses? 06.Apr.2004 12:23

I Might Be Giants

Jasper wrote: "I concede that abortion is more acceptable in extreme cases, like rape pregnancies. Nevertheless, the current practice of slaughtering the unborn simply because they are inconvenient is not acceptable by any terms."

What?

Your objection isn't really about killing babies. I know you like to think it is, but this statement proves it is, in fact, about judging women for being sexually active beings. How do I know this? I know this because there is no difference between a 5-week fetus conceived from rape and a 5-week fetus conceived when the condom failed besides the judgement you place on how the woman conceived.

When is it all right to kill a fetus? When Jasper thinks the woman who was raped should not have to suffer more for what a man did to her against her will.

When is it *not* all right to kill a fetus? When Jasper thinks the woman who willingly chose to be sexually active should be punished for being a fertile sexually active woman.

When you understand why you think rape fetuses are different than other types of fetuses, then you'll understand why sexism is called "sex-ism" and not genderism.