152 2 mins 14 yrs

From  Yahoo.com    HT: Michelle Malkin

right%20to%20life.jpgWashington D.C., January 22, 2008:  The sheer size of this pro-life crowd is astounding. Thousands came out to march in the freezing cold, to make their pro-life opinions heard and to mark the 35th anniversary of  Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion.

And if it weren’t for talk radio and the internet, I would probably not  know about the annual Right to Life March.

Wandering around Google today, I stumbled on an essay written by a journalism student who had been present at one of the annual Right to Life marches. She wrote of her intense emotions at the sight of so many marchers. And she wrote of her strong belief in a woman’s right to choose abortion, and a citizen’s right to assemble and to protest.

She  wrote that she felt strong conflicting emotions when she realized that thousands of  marchers were expressing their opinion that a woman’s right to choose does not supercede an unborn’s right to life.  And she wrote that she wanted  to shut down the march and to deny the right to lifers their public protest of Roe v. Wade.

It was an interesting essay and notable for the student’s ability to be self-reflective. I don’t think this journalism student is alone; there is very little coverage of this event on the mainstream media.

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152 thoughts on “Right to Life March

  1. I’ve only seen it on the net. But then I haven’t turned on the TV. Have you seen any coverage anywhere?

  2. no not a peep I heard about Fred dropping out, The guy from Brokeback Mtn/Batman/A NightsTale Movie, dieing, and the Hillary Obama spat Not a single mention of the march

  3. Yeah, the 28 year old actor – I wouldn’t have recognized him if I fell on him before but I now know where he lived, etc. etc. I’m sorry for him but why is this news?

    Hundreds of thousands in the streets of Washington, on a cold winter day… nada. Nothing to see here.

  4. It was on CNN, including President Bush’s message of support for the March which is anuual event.

  5. Does being pro-life automatically signify being anti-abortion? Because I’m definitely in favor of life, especially when compared to the alternative, and I’m also in favor of womens rights and the right to choose.

    Women do not have some special obligation that men don’t have, to bring to fruition every union of sperm and egg. Pregnancy and childbirth are both dangerous. Women die from it. When a man takes on a dangerous job, it’s his choice entirely. But women shouldn’t be allowed this choice because men say so?

    Don’t start quoting me figures how it’s more dangerous to cross a busy street or some such stupidity. A lot of things in life are dangerous, but most of them are things we choose to do.

    Legislating womens wombs is fascistic.
    As an American, I believe in Freedom, and that means Freedom To Choose.

    Rastaman

  6. I hadn’t seen this on the news either, Patty. It looks HUGE! I am not surprised that it didn’t get much coverage. When we went last spring to protect the veteran’s memorials in Wash. DC you would have never known that thousands of people showed up with us if you had watched the news.

  7. Rastaman

    Does being pro-life automatically signify being anti-abortion? Because I’m definitely in favor of life, especially when compared to the alternative, and I’m also in favor of women’s rights and the right to choose.

    The terms are slightly misleading in that we are all pro-life and pro-choice in principle. You just have to consider the terms anti-life or anti-choice to understand that there is nobody interested in joining.

    The real questions where does life begin and what are the rights that arise from the answer.

    Biologically and logically life begins at conception. The only reason that is ever disputed is to find excuses for abortion. It is like creationists trying to twist science to support a pre-existing belief. It is not scientific.

    So when faced with a new life what rights should it have. The right to life is the most fundamental right of all. Does the mother have a right to terminate that life. I don’t see how she does. Where could such a right come from?

    In your post you suggest that the inherent dangers of pregnancy and childbirth create such a right. But that is an impossible position. It is simply not the reason people have abortions. It’s just a another makey-up argument which doesn’t address the real issue.

    You might as well argue a right to infanticide on the basis that no woman should be forced to bring up a baby unless she wants to.

  8. Patty,

    "Yeah, the 28 year old actor [Heath Ledger] … I’m sorry for him but why is this news?"

    Because you’re in America, stoopid. And Americans have been conditioned to think of actors as demigods.

    Rastaman,

    Some interesting and fresh POVs there. Hope we’re not going to get the tired old warmed-up arguments now.

    Uh oh, here dey cum …

  9. Henry 94

    Can you confirm that your view is that all abortion should be illegal in all circumsatances.

  10. Peter,

    I would not want to sign up to any absolute position so if you can tell me how abortion could be retricted in practice to rare and particular circumstances defined by law I’d be happy to discuss the merits of the cases involved.

    But we all know in reality that is impossible. If the law says abortion only when a womans health is in danger pro-abortion doctors will sign to that effect. So it is with any other restrictive approach. It means abortion on demand in reality.

    Why not just honestly make the case for what you believe in, rather than trying bring us down the usual cul-de-sacs.

  11. Rasta –

    you are wasting your time though. Just a word of warning – belief in absolute free speech – yeah baby! Belief in right to choose – NO WAY.

    And that is essentially Henry’s argument – there is no middle way + all abortion should be illegal.

    They cannot argue for exceptions – even in rape, incest or where the mothers life is threatened. It makes no sense to do so when they make statements like life begins at conception. Ego, they would be hypocrites and we know ho much God hates those. So to them clustered cells are more valid than a fully grown sentient woman. That’s how much value they put on ‘life’. To witness people confirm their view of a womans role is actually pretty refreshing.

    See, they do believe in forced pregnancy and given half a chance they would legislate as such. In the next breath they will then tell you how much they hate Islamofascists.

  12. "I’m … in favor of … the right to choose"

    Rastaman – would you support the right of a man to choose to commit rape?

    Of course not, therefore the Right to Choose is not an inalienable right (indeed, abortion seems to be the only issue it’s ever applied to!).

    Life confronts us with choices every day, the vast majority of which are trivial but occasionally we are face with a moral dimension. Our responsibility is to choose what is right!

    There is no such thing as a right to choose.

  13. In the next breath they will then tell you how much they hate Islamofascists.

    And how much they respect women – as mothers.

  14. Would right-to-chooses join with me in calling for the extension of the right to choose to include the right to marry the father?

  15. "They cannot argue for exceptions – even in rape, incest or where the mothers life is threatened. It makes no sense to do so when they make statements like life begins at conception."

    I don’t make any such statements – and neither do many other secularists who are also against abortion. And I do believe in exceptions – in fact I’d like nothing more ‘extreme’ than the letter of current British Law to be applied, which it hasn’t been pretty much since that Law was created.

    And comparing pro-lifers with Islamic Fundamentalists? Despicable.

  16. Patty,

    Three days ago you posted that there is absolutely no reason for abortion even to be an issue.

    Today you say, The sheer size of this pro-life crowd is astounding.

    First you say it isn’a an issue, then it’s huge and no one is covering it. BTW, a simple search on Google news (march life washington) produced over 300 news items.

  17. Henry,

    "Biologically and logically life begins at conception."

    Untrue. There are two main dictionary definitions of life. One does not begin at conception and the other cannot begin at conception.

    "The right to life is the most fundamental right of all."

    And that cannot be so either since walking talking children die all over the world, and meanwhile you are apparently perfectly free to spend your money and time on any triviality (even posting on ATW) instead of saving their lives.

    "Does the mother have a right to terminate that life. I don’t see how she does. Where could such a right come from?"

    No such right exists and none is needed. We can simply note that neither you, your church, nor the state have any right to make any person intimately support a "life" (especially the life of a conceptus which is any case not the life of a person under the law). After that all that is needed is to note that pregnant women are people too.

  18. Frank

    And that cannot be so either since walking talking children die all over the world, and meanwhile you are apparently perfectly free to spend your money and time on any triviality (even posting on ATW) instead of saving their lives.

    The absurdity of that position is that it could be used to justify any murder. In fact in the movie Collateral the killer does just that.

    VINCENT: What do you care? Ever hear of Rwanda?

    MAX: Rwanda. Yeah.

    VINCENT: Tens of thousands killed before sundown. Nobody’s killed people that fast since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Did you bat an eye, Max? Did you join Amnesty International, Oxfam or something? No. I off one Angeleno, you throw a hissy fit…

    That was intended as a comic moment. What’s your excuse?

  19. DSD

    A bunch of people in Iran tell a woman to cover her face. People shout them down as islamofascists. A bunch of people tell a woman what she can or cant do re a pregnancy. It’s still a bunch of people telling someone what they can or can’t do. What they think about how you live your life. Dress it up how you like. You’re all the same. Just varying degrees of.

  20. Additionally in America they bomb clinics, indiscriminately murder doctors and women going to them for advice – yeah i think you’re all the same

  21. Henry,

    I am not justifying any murder nor even any killing. As I said, no right to kill is needed.

    The point is ONLY a rebuttal to your implication that the right to life is primary. It simply cannot be so since (again) you are free to do many trivial things even though the result is people die. You even think it is more important that the dead retain rights over their organs than that they save lives. And so it seems that freedom is actually more important than life, by a long chalk.

    The fact you have seen the movie collateral is just further proof of that, by the way. You apparently were free to spend a few euro on that instead of combatting malaria or hypothermia. Not only that but you chose to do it. If the right to life were really primary, it would be more important than your right to property. In that case you would be subsisting on $1 a day like most of the world, and not posting on ATW or watching Tom Cruise movies.

  22. Frank

    It makes even less sense the second time. It really is a silly point. The right to life exists irrespective of the actions of any individual.

    The point is ONLY a rebuttal to your implication that the right to life is primary. It simply cannot be so since (again) you are free to do many trivial things even though the result is people die.

    Is the right to free speech also negated by my failure to go to North Korea or Canada to defend it.

    My responsibilities do exist too but they determine nothing about the issue at hand.

  23. Henry,

    I’m not talking about your responsibilities. I’m talking about the facts.

    You said the right to life is the most fundamental. Well, that is far from obvious. If the right to life is the most fundamental, primary right then how come property rights so often and so easily trump it? How come if a child needs $1 to live today they WILL die unless someone consents to give it? How come if I need your kidney I WILL die unless you consent to give it? It can only be so if the right to life is NOT the most fundamental right. And if that is a silly point then why did you bring it up? This is before we even talk about self-defence.

    You also said that biologically and logically life begins at conception. That is demonstrably false, too. Biologically life is a process that began a long time ago, probably in Africa. Or, if we talk about the life of a person, that cannot start at conception since twinning happens after conception, so one conception can result in anything from 0 to 6+ people. Not only that but two zyogotes can fuse to create one person, a human chimera.

    So why can’t pro-lifers make their case without resorting to such obvious falsehoods?

  24. Frank

    If the right to life is the most fundamental, primary right then how come property rights so often and so easily trump it?

    Be specific.

    How come if a child needs $1 to live today they WILL die unless someone consents to give it?

    But don’t be simplistic.

    How come if I need your kidney I WILL die unless you consent to give it?

    If there was no other option and your death was certain without I would have a Christian obligation to take that seriously.

    Or, if we talk about the life of a person, that cannot start at conception since twinning happens after conception, so one conception can result in anything from 0 to 6+ people.

    And how many of the six would exist without conception?

  25. Not abortion AGAIN. This is a good site but it always ruins all the other interesting topics and potential debates with this boring ‘issue’. Is it because it’s an American biased site or what?

  26. Henry,

    "Be specific."

    I already gave a number of examples. You are legally free to spend your money as you wish, even gamble it, rather than save lives. You are not required to donate blood, even though someone needs it to live. People die for lack of organ donations and nobody is charged with any crime. When people die of hypothermia you are not charged with murder because you have a spare blanket.

    "If there was no other option and your death was certain without I would have a Christian obligation to take that seriously."

    But you would not have a legal obligation.

    "And how many of the six would exist without conception?"

    The same number as would exist without meiosis, or for that matter meals. So I guess that means life begins at lunchtime.

  27. Frank

    You are legally free to spend your money as you wish, even gamble it, rather than save lives.

    That’s not quite true. A large proportion of our money is taken by the state and as a democracy we allocate as best we can to do the most good including saving lives. Almost all politics concerns the spending of such money but in most democracies the health service spends a lot of it to save lives.

    People die for lack of organ donations and nobody is charged with any crime. When people die of hypothermia you are not charged with murder because you have a spare blanket.

    If you were responsible for the neglect that led to a death you could well be charged.

    There can be no legal obligation to donate a kidney because you own your organs and nobody else has a right to them.

    You do not own another person and you do not have the right to kill them.

  28. >>The real questions where does life begin ..

    Biologically and logically life begins at conception. The only reason that is ever disputed is to find excuses for abortion.<<

    That’s not really true, Henry. It’s also disputed to find excuses for stepping on an ant or even breaking a blade of grass.

  29. Alan Frost-M: "Three days ago you posted that there is absolutely no reason for abortion even to be an issue."

    I was quoting Tammy Bruce, Alan. She is interesting because she was a militant promoter/supporter of abortion as Pres. of NOW for 6 years.

    She has taken a step back and in the quote I posted she reflects on the feminist establishment’s inability to promote sexual responsibility. And the use of abortion as a means of birth-control.

    A CAVALIER acceptance of the killing of the unborn is where we stand now in 2008. Unborn babies are described as "cell clusters." Abortion is accepted as a means of birth control.

    Of course I do not suppport stopping abortion at clinics. I do not support anyone who would threaten those seeking an abortion. Those people should be arrested.

    But I am interested in debating the issue.

    Unborn babies have fingers, toes, heartbeats – and… souls.

    We put our ultrasound pictures up on our refregerators.

    We morn the loss of those born prematurely, those who do not live.

    And yet the militant feminist right-to-choose position would like to redefine this miracle of life so that the unborn are "cell clusters."

    That is why there are millions marching on a cold winter morning in Wash.

  30. "the feminist establishment’s inability to promote sexual responsibility"

    Patty: Like the eminently workable Bush establishments promotion of abstention? Is that responsible do you think in the 24 hour oversexed world we live in? Good luck with your fallacies and half truths – because you are about as serious at reducing abortion as you are about being pro freedoms

  31. Alison: I would be a little more open to the logic of your argument – that the many of the ills of our contemporary lives are caused by rampant oversexualized consumerism (and Bush) if the Feminist Establishment – just once – stepped forward and said:

    "Be responsible ladies! Don’t scrape away your unborn as birth control! Use birth control!"

  32. Alison, you say Bush’s proposals won’t work. On the other hand you are in favour of contraception in schools and street corners. Which we already have and it isn’t working, it causes more abortions rather than fewer.

    What is your idea then – apart from more abortion ? And what do you think of Henry’s proposal, that the right to choose should also include the right to choose to marry the father. (Brilliantly put, I thought).

  33. Patty: your argument would make some sense if it factored in this: contraception is NOT fullproof.

    And here, this ain’t ‘responsibility’:-

    From an April 2007 New York Times editorial: A Congressionally mandated report issued this month by the Mathematica Policy Research firm found that elementary and middle school students in four communities who received abstinence instruction – sometimes on a daily basis – were just as likely to have sex in the following years as students who did not get such instruction.

    With less of a clue than their peers.

    Bush is promoting a failed strategy in the very important fight against unwanted pregnancy and STDs and here you are blaming feminists. The same people who incidently are busily suggesting that raunch culture is a crock of crap and not helping. Cavalier indeed!

  34. Patty,

    I"m still unclear as to what you are saying about Abortion as a political issue. Your quoting Tammy Bruce would indicate that you agree with her that the issue should be avoided if it’s the only issue with which you can organize, like the organizers of the Washington march.

    Simply put, you can’t have it both ways. Is it an issue or isn’t it? If it is an issue, what is the political resolution you would like to see?

  35. Orlando: Holland is a good example of good practise and a good approach so id refute the idea that this fails. My idea is not more abortion. Just for once it would be nice to see a consistent approach from all sides on reducing unwanted pregancies rather than killing off choice and hyping up stigma in complex and difficult situations. You and have the right to choose to marry the father already. But you all make it sound so simple. It is far better to have all the options and focus on reducing unwanted pregnancy. Because the answers are not simple and you simply do not have the right to meddle in peoples lives to the degree you want.

    There is this weird slightly creepy fascination with other womens wombs which does not extend to all the unwanted kids out there. Seriously – what’s with that? Franks point touched on this earlier and it was a good one.

  36. Alison: So, abortion is Bush’s fault? Do you know how ridiculous this sounds?

    Alan: I agree with Tammy that the Feminist Establishment – for the purposes of fund raising – have redefined unborn babies so that people actually speak of them as "cell clusters" —

    They could have emphasized a women’s responsibility (as well as freedom) over her birth control methods and made abortion the absolute last choice. But they did not.

    Abortion is used as birth control. There is no sense denying it.

    According to Tammy Bruce, and I believe her, fundraising is the overarching concern of the Feminist Establishemnt.

    Fundraising.

  37. Alison: "this weird slightly creepy fascination"

    Is it creepy to object to the cavalier murder of the unborn? Can’t you see where this might bother people?

    I put an ultrasound picture of one of my babies in my wallet. Fingers, toes and hear and soul.

    It is not creepy to not want life to be terminated. To think that it is holy. It is a miracle.

  38. Patty,

    I’ll take your failure to address the issue to mean that you have no political solution to the question, just an anti-feminist rant.

    Feminists raise the issue of abortion = BAD
    Patty raises the issue of abortion = GOOD

    Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  39. ‘It is not creepy to not want life to be terminated. To think that it is holy. It is a miracle.’

    Patty how is a human birth any more of a miracle than that of a fruitfly or an otter? In the scheme of things on planet earth, birth is an everyday occurence — it’s certainly not a ‘miracle.’

    As regards all the fanatical pro-lifers here — get real people — the planet is hugely over-subscribed as regards humanity — those choosing not to add yet more to the pile should be applauded rather than villified.
    If you personally insist on adding to the population at every opportunity, then go right ahead, but if someone else wishes to terminate a pregnancy within the law of the land, then let them get on with it.

  40. Patty,

    "Fingers, toes and heart"

    Spot the missing item.

    "and soul."

    Because you say so? Even accepting there is such a thing as a soul, when do you say a child gets one and how do you know? For all you know ensoulment could happen at birth or on the child’s 1st birthday.

    "It is not creepy to not want life to be terminated."

    All those dead Iraqis will be grateful for your support I’m sure. Although some of the living ones are probably no longer as cute as the ‘unborn’ since they are now minus fingers, toes, and indeed limbs.

    "To think that it is holy. It is a miracle."

    If it is a miracle then why does it happen so often.

  41. >Because the answers are not simple and you simply do not have the right to meddle in peoples lives to the degree you want.

    I don’t want to meddle in ladies’ lives. But if you were to encounter a thug or criminal on a dark night, I hope I would overcome my squeemishness, and intervene on your behalf, if I were there to help.

    Same with the unborn. Did you know that many ladies have convenience abortions? Even married ladies, wrong time of year, career inconvenience, too close to the previous one, too old, too young, can’t be bothered. Whatever.

  42. Sorry, of course, these abortions are strictly for ‘medical reasons’, in line with the law. According to the physicians.

  43. So, abortion is Bush’s fault? Do you know how ridiculous this sounds?

    Yes as stupid as saying abortion is cavalier or down to feminists. But re Bush, that’s not what i said Patty.

  44. ‘Whatever.’

    Well thats not how i see it. Its not ‘whatever’ Orlando. Or aren’t you interested in finding out how to really reduce what you so palpably hate? They’re very often complex reasons and you over simplyify them all. If you cannot be arsed to find out why and offer up alternatives or more choice then don’t be surprised when the nos dont go down.

    How many dying, needy or unwanted children are you actively trying to help at any given moment btw?

  45. Orlando,

    You do understand that the reason a woman seeks an abortion, and the reason for its legality, are two different things and do not need to be the same.

    That means that even if she wants an early term abortion because she’s having a bad hair day, she still gets to have one if (for example) two doctors attest that it would be more dangerous for her to carry to term (which is true regardless of her reasons).

  46. For all you know ensoulment could happen at birth or on the child’s 1st birthday.

    Maybe they should baptise children at conception. Y’know – the second your up the duff whip out a bible and hotfoot it down to Monsignor.

  47. Alan Frost-McDonald:Feminists raise the issue of abortion = BAD
    Patty raises the issue of abortion = GOOD

    No…it’s like this:

    Feminist Organizations use rape, death by illegal abortions, and trivialize the sanctity of life by describing the unborn as "cell clusters" in order to rally the troops (that would be young women) so that money pours into their coffers. The Feminist Establishment grows and thrives on the "moral high ground" of "choice" for abortion.

    Meanwhile, abortion is used as birth control. Many unborn lifes are snuffed out.

    I do not cede the moral high ground to the feminists on this issue. They cannot hide their indifference to the murder of the unborn behind inflated rape statistics, and the redefining of life in utero to be "cell clusters."

    (And, no, I do NOT support the blocking, bombing and otherwise threatening acts of those idiots who chose to express themselves by breaking the law and scaring legitimate doctors, nurses and patients.)

  48. >>Feminist Organizations use rape, death by illegal abortions, and trivialize the sanctity of life by describing the unborn as "cell clusters" in order to rally the troops (that would be young women) so that money pours into their coffers. The Feminist Establishment grows and thrives on the "moral high ground" of "choice" for abortion.<<

    That’s all completely untrue, Patty. If Feminist organizations obtained money in relation to support for abortion rights, which you claim, they’d be very wealthy by now. And who pays them, and how?
    You’re making a very serious claim there. But of course you can’t back it up, because you know as well as the rest of us that it’s lies.

    In any case, feminist organizations certainly don’t need the abortion issue. I’d say they’ve got more than enough to campaign for even without it.

    BTW, nobody describes unborn babies as cell clusters.
    That’s just cheap rhetoric.

    >>I do NOT support the blocking, ..acts of those idiots who chose to express themselves by breaking the law and scaring legitimate doctors, <<

    But surely you must. What’s a scared legitimate doctor compared to a life saved?

  49. Noel: regarding your comment: “You’re making a very serious claim there. But of course you can’t back it up, because you know as well as the rest of us that it’s lies.

    In any case, feminist organizations certainly don’t need the abortion issue. I’d say they’ve got more than enough to campaign for even without it.”

    As I wrote yesterday in the post that you also commented on, Tammy Bruce, ex-President of the premier American feminist organization, the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) disagrees with you. If you are interested, you can find her site at tammybruce.com.

    As I responded to you yesterday, Tammy Bruce has more credibility on this issue than you do so don’t call me a “liar.”

    Regarding your comment: “BTW, nobody describes unborn babies as cell clusters.
    That’s just cheap rhetoric.”

    Alison at 10:26 refers to the unborn as such. And I have heard it from others many times. It is part of the dialogue surrounding the attempt to define when life begins in order to establish when it is OK to abort.

  50. Who cares what Tammy Bruce says? She has zero credibility Patty. She’s another blowhard making money out of fools. Of course Noel and anyone else have credibility on the issue because its about ordinary people and the decisions they take and they DO get a say in that.

    The ‘pro lifers’ use pointless rhetoric about abortion all the time – half-truths, lies and total nonsense. On the one hand the argument is women are cavalier and thowing parties over their abortions – the next we will have a post about how women suffer depression. The arguments don’t stack up. You refuse to look at any of the real causes or come up with any answers:- Not a single one has been addressed here today. Not one.

    (And you throw rape into the bargain to make a further ‘cavalier’ point about feminism)

    The bottom line is this – a zygote IS a cluster of cells. You would have me think it trumps a fully grown sentient woman. And you also somehow feel it is YOURS to instruct another woman how that episode of her life unfolds.

    If you were truly interested in the issue you would look at what can be done to reduce it. But if you really want to stick your nose into others peoples business that severely then i would at least expect you to cough up the cash, dig deep and house as many single mums as you can.

    (Thank God there are men around who believe in choice. And always have been. Seriously. If it were left to some women! As regards feminism – at the same time women were fighting for proper healthcare, they were fighting for the vote. This is not a modern aspect of feminism).

  51. Alison,

    "The bottom line is this – a zygote IS a cluster of cells."

    Minor point, but a zygote isn’t even a cluster of cells. It is a single cell, about as big as the full stop at the end of this sentence.

  52. Alison: "Who cares what Tammy Bruce says? She has zero credibility Patty. "

    As President of NOW, Tammy Bruce was the head of the Feminist Establishment, Alison. So, when she says that the Feminist Establishment uses the image of the poor, barefoot and pregnant woman to justify continual drum beating in favor of abortion in order to raise funds for the org. I believe her.

    She has credibility, the horse’s mouth,as it were.

    "If you were truly interested in the issue you would look at what can be done to reduce it."

    Why not emphasize PERSONAL RESPONSBILITY over preganancy?!?! Use some of the birth control so readily available. What’s wrong with this?

    Or, how about saying NO? How about women insisting that men in search of "free love" exercise some responsiblity as well and wait until marriage?

    Desensitizing women to the murder of the unborn is not a way to minimize abortion.

  53. Tammy has about as much credibility as Gloria Steinham or any of the other so-called feminists who think, say, raunch culture is "empowering" and sliding up and down a pole is a really clever way to make a living. Or that we need special help to break ‘the glass ceiling’. Full of the proverbial.

    "barefoot and pregnant woman"

    That isn’t a feminist ideal, throw in ‘standing at the kitchen sink’ (as the expression goes) and that’s a chauvinist’s ideal! Do you have that expression in the US? "barefoot and pregnant at the kitchen sink"

    "Use some of the birth control so readily available. What’s wrong with this?"

    Why do you insist women aren’t? It can and does fail Patty and it can be and is used incorrectly. Not all women are smart about that aspect. You MUST know this. And some women really are stupid and then end up desperate. They would do anything for their fellas including ‘going without’. And some couldn’t care less.

    Life is messy and people are all different. Surely it is better to have the option and reduce unwanted pregnancy by looking at what actually works? Like Holland.

    "How about women insisting that men in search of "free love" exercise some responsiblity as well and wait until marriage?"

    I don’t disagree with that personally speaking. But you can’t force that on everyone and it doesnt really work that well as a general fix all.

  54. A study released a few days ago claims that the abortion rate in the U.S. is at a 30 year low, with 1.2 million abortions being performed per year. (down from a high of 1.6 M in 1990) To put this in perspective, there are about 4 million births per year in the U.S. The study indicates that there are less unwanted pregnancies occurring due to contraception use.

    The numbers are broken down to 19.4 abortions for every 1,000 women, but that number doesn’t represent a clear picture because when the numbers are broken down by state you have extremes like D.C. where 54.2 of every 1,000 woman aborted or Wyoming where it was less than 1 abortion per 1,000.

    It appears that in some pockets of the country abortion is used in place of contraceptives.

  55. So the solution is education, not a lack of choice. I’d bet money on the ethnic or ‘financial’ make up of those pockets

  56. It appears that in some pockets of the country abortion is used in place of contraceptives.

    That’s a bit of an extreme conclusion, isn’t it? If (assuming DC is the highest) at most 5% of women in one of those pockets had an abortion in the last year? And we have no idea why they did. So I would think the most we could say is that maybe there is a tiny proportion of women who do so, and it varies geographically, and surely by education, etc.

  57. Daphne,

    Interesting stats. Do you have a link to the study?

    I don’t think it supports your conclusion that abortion is widely used in place of contraceptives though. A rate of 5.4 per 100 women is consistent with contraceptive failure rates (and even consistent with a proportion of women who experience contraceptive failure going on to give birth – which of course they do, making it even harder to draw any conclusions).

  58. Interesting perspectives about the Land of the Free

    "A few months ago Feldt received a call from a Catholic priest. He was anxious to talk to her about better sex education. Two parents in his parish had recently come to visit him. Unbeknown to them, their 14-year-old daughter had got pregnant and had been told by the legal authorities that she must tell her parents if she wanted to go ahead with an abortion. Instead she had found someone who could do the procedure illegally. She died"

    "Mississippi state’s conscience clause allows pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control".

    "While the arguments may differ across America, one fact is clear: women’s access to abortion in the United States is diminishing. Last month a storage company in New York – one of the few pro-choice states left in the country – even made a bleakly comic joke out of it. A new billboard campaign on the corner of 44th Street and Twelfth Avenue shows a picture of a coat hanger next to the words ‘Your closet space is shrinking as fast as her right to choose’".

  59. Alison, it’s definitely a culture/race thing in DC, which is why the numbers are so highly skewed there. They also have off the charts crime/murder rates, failing schools, something like 70% of all children born out of wedlock, high welfare rates, etc – the place is abnormally screwed up and definitely not representative of most of the country. We have other pockets similar to DC scattered across the country (which also skew abortion rates across the general populace), but nothing close to the DC mess.

    Frank, here is the article I found the other day. I agree that it doesn’t support any widespread use of abortion as contraception, but that it is indicative that it does occur in some limited areas and those select areas push the abortion numbers higher than they would normally be per 1,000.

  60. Alison, those stories are just not at all an accurate reflection of the state of abortion in America.

    Minors can’t be given any medical treatment (except emergency) in every state in this country without parental permission. They can’t even get an aspirin from a school nurse. A few states have passed into law an exception to that rule: they allow abortion without parental consent. The states who still require parental consent for any medical procedure have bypass laws for minor girls seeking abortions. The courts can very quickly (days) determine if the girl has a legitimate fear of her parents/guardians and will override the law, allowing her to proceed with an abortion secretly.

    Most states here still allow an individual to conduct his business as he sees fit. Go to another pharmacy for your product if the first one doesn’t sell it. The state has no business mandating the sale of a certain product.

    Maybe a reason there are less abortion clinics is because there is less demand for them? Free market economics at work.

    That ad, if true, is gross.

  61. >The bottom line is this – a zygote IS a cluster of cells

    And so are you Alison – I assume you are a carbon-based life form 🙂

  62. Orlando, I am personally against abortion for many reasons. This topic on atw (shoot, everywhere) gets people very emotional. The fact of the matter is, no one is going to change anybody’s mind on either side. It is a legal procedure that won’t be rescinded. How to find a way to reduce the numbers of unnecessary abortions should be paramount to everyone on either side of the aisle.

    Until the debate of when life begins can be definitively decided and agreed to (probably never), it would be best if we all tried to focus on reality rather than utopia.

  63. Good comment Daphne. Personally I do believe women should be permitted to choose to terminate their pregnancies if they wish with little restriction, but I respect the passionate views people have on either side and I doubt there will ever be a consensus as to the moment life in considered ‘individual’ and worthy of legal protection.

  64. I don’t know if you read Feministing at all? It’s a US feminist site that mostly gets my back up because they drone on about how raunch is just sooo cool and how amazing their ‘bits’ are. But the stuff they have up on abortion is nothing short of incredible. Links and pics of nutjobs trying to shut down clinics, make it difficult to open them, personal stories all harrowing and frankly jaw droppingly crazy for a free nation. I think the state of affairs in the US is pretty awful. But i agree with your sentiment on reducing abortions, its just there is rarely a post about that issue – which is surely the one area everyone can agree needs addressing if this has to be discussed as an ‘issue ‘.

    I have definitely become much much more actively pro-choice since reading ATW. I enjoy helping out where i can on the front line as it were. I agree with Noel there has never been a morre important time to be a feminist. I’m a lousy one. Must try harder!

  65. Colm, you could take a look at the law of the land. If you do, you’ll see the consensus as reflected in legislation, is most definitely that the unborn are worthy of protection and must not be terminated unless there are genuine health reasons.

  66. Orlando

    Legislation is not the same as consensus amongst the whole population. If it was we’d all love the government and everything it does.

  67. The Austin brach of Planned Parenthood just opened a multi-million dollar state of the art clinic for reproductive services. They did have problems getting it built though, several of the large private construction firms in town refused to work on the site. The owners are pro-life and the clinic was planned predominately as an abortion facility. I found it refreshing that some business owners follow their conscience instead of their pocketbooks.

    I also found it interesting that they placed the facility in East Austin, the poorest area of town with the highest amount of abortions citywide. Call me cynical, but I think they’re going after the market rather than planning a reduction of the procedures that brings them in the most revenue.

  68. >>I have definitely become much much more actively pro-choice since reading ATW.<<

    Actually, this is one issue that ATW has influenced me on, too. Frank O’Dwyer’s arguments were new to me and are quite compelling; they certainly haven’t been countered by anyone here.
    (I must admit I also once found my position on NI changing thru dialogue with Madradin Ruad of old. But it was a brief lapse!)

    Orlando, one mistake you, and Patty, make is that you claim all unborn life is a baby, child, human being (e.g. Patty’s claim that the pro-choice crowd describe "unborn babies" as cell clusters, which they never did) when it clearly isn’t. And not just in the opinion of pro-choice, but in everybody else’s opinion and daily practice, including yours and Patty’s.

    This caused a lot of confusion on this thread, some of which was deliberate.

  69. Colm, that’s a bit thin. The matter has been debated in parliament many times since it was first introduced in ’67. You would think that would be enough time to establish the national consensus.

    But the real problem is the way the medical trade cocks a snook at the legislation in the head-long rush to provide services (= make money).

  70. No, noone has countered Frank’s arguments.

    And still the weird allegations come (Orlando re ’67 and then again re the medical profs). There is so little attempt to understand the issue properly. It’s incredible.

  71. Orlando

    If you seriously think the national concensus in the UK is for the unborn to be protected and that termination should only be for ‘genuine health reasons’ then I ask you 2 questions.

    A – Do you seriously believe MPs only vote to honestly reflect the wishes of the people.

    B – Do you think there is unanimous agreement on what constitutes a ‘genuine health reason’ – If so, what is it ?

  72. What’s weird about it ? You have personal experience of it , so the allowable reasons will be familiar to you :-

    Reasons for termination, from the 1967 Act, as amended:

    A the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman greater than if the pregnancy were terminated;

    B the termination is necessary to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman;

    C the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman;

    D the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of any existing child(ren) of the family of the pregnant woman;

    E there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped;

    or in emergency, certified by the operating practitioner as immediately necessary:

    F to save the life of the pregnant woman; or

    G to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman

    You can’t refute it can you – there is no such thing as on-demand abortion. Abortions are always certificated with one of the reasons above.

  73. From the report that Daphne referenced:

    Although the District of Columbia has the highest abortion rate in the United States, its rate declined by 20% between 2000 and 2005.
    . . .

    The proportion of counties without an abortion provider increased from 77% in 1978 to 87% in 2000, and the proportion of women of childbearing age residing in these counties increased from 27% to 34%. Guttmacher Institute’s 2005 survey of abortion providers (in PDF format)

  74. Noel: "This caused a lot of confusion on this thread, some of which was deliberate."

    First, I’m deliberately spreading lies and now deliberately confusing the issue? This sounds a little paranoid.

    Abortion is a standard and accepted way of terminating an inconvenient pregnancy. There is little if no stigma attached.

    I write this post to point out that maybe this cavalier approach is wrong- headed. It is wrong to cavalierly accept pregnancy termination (abortion, or the willful killing of an unborn baby), to accept its use as birth control without any judgement.

    I think that the Feminist Establishment, over time, has morphed into an organization which grows and prospers at the expense of women, not to the benefit of women.

    Not confusing. Very simple, really.

  75. Orlando

    If a woman states that she is unwilling to continue carrying the foetus , then point C is met.

  76. Alison – why counter Frank’s arguments? He’s perfectly entitled to them. Any one with half a brain knows it’s a waste of breath to argue. Orlando’s arguments are just as valid from a debating standpoint. So?

    How do you get a place like D.C. to reduce its high abortion rate? Isn’t that the more relevant discussion? Or are we trying to change hearts and minds? Or just have a big moral pissing match?

    I can think abortion is wrong on many levels without wanting it to be illegal or impose my morality and thoughts on the women who choose that option – so where do we go from there Alison?

  77. >>It is wrong to cavalierly accept pregnancy termination <<

    I agree. It’s also wrong to cavalierly accept getting pregnant in the firt place.

    >>abortion, or the willful killing of an unborn baby<<<

    This is what I was talking about. Many of the arguments that were repeatedly put up against you were that what is aborted – while it may be life, even perhaps "human life" – is not a baby. And I think it was proven that it is not (our law, our language, our daily practice in so many ways show that we accept that "a baby" is born, i.e. starts at birth).

    Also, while an 8th month foetus is like a baby in many ways, the 2-month occupant of the womb isn’t.

    So, some other term will have to be found for what lives before birth. But you continually – and deliberately IMO – used the word "baby", "murder" etc. for rhetorical reasons and to demonise the pro-choice crowd.

    e.g. if you really thought such an early stage of life was a real baby and that abortion was murder, as you claim it is, you would not shy from scaring those doctors at abortion clinics, etc.; you would also be driven to despair at the thought of the millions of accidental deaths through miscarriage each year, you would – I hope – offer every women considering abortion your money, a place to stay, etc. to prevent her committing the worst possible crime.
    You would also refer to a pregnant woman as two people, to a pregnant women with two kids as a women with three children, etc, etc

    But of course – like the rest of us – you don’t. Because in your mind just as much as in Frank’s or Alison’s, an unborn foetus – no matter how deserving of protection – is not a "child" and that 2-month occupant of the womb is not a "person" and killing it is accordingly not murder.

    BTW: Nice to hear you’ve got kids. How many? I’ll also always remember the first sight of those ultrasonic pics of the foetus of my kids. Still have them (both the pics and the kids!).

    >>How do you get a place like D.C. to reduce its high abortion rate? Isn’t that the more relevant discussion? <<

    Well said, Daphne

  78. So your issue with doctors is Orlando???!

    Daphne: I was answering Noel. He is right Franks arguments are fullproof and necessary. Re what do we do?

    I have a heap of ideas in my head and challenged Patty for example on this point already – to no avail. As you can see from this thread the forced preg advocates are stuck in reverse and not interested in how to reduce abortion. They do not want to know.

    But on a simple level understanding some of the issues one of which i posted the other day is paramount – that some 50% of young women coming out of schools don’t even know when they can get pregnant. That taking the pill is actually complex for some women. It shouldn’t be about Ivory Tower lecturing. And too much of this issue gets chalked up to white middle class educated women ‘with careers’ wanting abortion on demand. Or as Mr Smith so eloquently described us ‘drunken whores’. So in all honesty i just write to my MP with ideas and get her reports on how she is handling it in Parliament. She’s all over this I’m happy to say.

    I used to respect the pro life lobby. I don’t anymore. That is entirely down to the arguments i have read here. So the moral pissing match is an issue. Without it the discussion would be a whole lot better.

  79. Seriously Daphne – months ago Tom made the excellent point that he didn’t think abortion was right but was more interested in how to help or reduce it (gent as usual) and he got nowwhere. The thread was far more interested in, as i recall, ‘bombing’ a pro choice group to pieces. I mean what is the point in these discussions??

  80. Noel: I believe in law and order. If abortion is legal, I respect the law. I don’t take the law in my own hands. The fact that I don’t try to adopt all unwanted children, or kidnap abortion doctors so that they cannot do their work, or devote the rest of my life feeding orphans — this does not invalidate the fact that I think a 2 month old fetus is an unborn baby.

    I think a 2 month old baby is a miracle, really. Plain and simple. A wonderful miracle.

    That’s why women morn miscarriages, even if the pregnancy is not viable. It’s a loss.

  81. Daphne,

    I’m going to have to vote for a big moral pissing match, especially when I note that the owner of that large private construction firm you mentioned is Chris Danze:

    Danze’s boycott zeroed in on anyone and everyone who might assist in the building of what he calls a “child-killing compound.”

    Two letters announcing plans to economically trample those who help Planned Parenthood were sent to more than 700 tradespeople working within 60 miles of Austin.
    The Darling of Anti-ChoiceBTW, please note in my 11:45PM that the abortion rate in a place like D.C. (namely, D.C.) has already declined by 20%. Can I get a HooHah?

  82. Good points Noel. This topic really bothers me for a couple of reasons. The first is that people confuse personal beliefs with living reality.

    I, Patty, DSD, Orlando & Mr. Smith can wholeheartedly believe abortion is wrong, bad, etc for a variety of reasons – moral, religious, societal, legal.

    Frank, Alison, Human Animals, Noel & Colm can believe wholeheartedly that abortion is okay for a variety of reasons – moral, societal, legal, religious even.

    Abortion is legal. Legal abortion isn’t going away. It is considered acceptable in societal terms. Out of the closet abortion is here to stay.

    Can we move on from here without beating each other up? There are a lot of smart people here, what practical ideas do you have?

  83. Alison: "not interested in how to reduce abortion"

    Not true. I am interested in seeing the Feminist Establishment emphasize the importance of responsible sex. A little education about the advisability of less irresponsible sex would go a long way towards the emancipation of womem.

    Sex with birth control. Sex after marriage. Women! Take control of your bodies! You do not have to get pregnant and have abortions! You do not have to live with a guy who just wants easy sex with no responsibility! Say "no" until the time is right.

    Why is this taboo?

  84. >>I believe in law and order. If abortion is legal, I respect the law. I don’t take the law in my own hands.<<

    Frankly, Patty, I just don’t believe you.

    I don’t believe anyone’s sense of obedience to the state can be so strong that it supercedes all morality – even when it’s literally a matter of life and death!

    You mean to say you would obey the law and not commit a misdemeanour even to prevent mass murder! You would not have sheltered a hunted Jew in Nazi Germany simply because it was against the law at the time!

    Oh Patty, please tell me you don’t really think that!

  85. "the Feminist Establishment emphasize the importance of responsible sex"

    Huh? Where do you get this weird notion that they are not? Even on the US sites i read they are dead keen on getting responsible sex education on the agenda. The FPCs here are desperate to get a better undertstanding of contraception out there and commission numerous reports to show the stats i mentioned before. Why do you keep seeing them as the enemy?

    You said earlier and again now that women should take responsibility and use the pill/contraception but seem oblivious to the failure rates and again lecture from an ivory tower like women are some mass homogenous group who all think live work and are as smart as you. I just don’t understand that level of ‘ignorance’ in this important debate.

  86. Alan – so it’s reduced by 20%. Bless your heart, that’s probably because most of the men are in prison – less babymaking taking place. I would love to see your data on the women in that particular area making better choices by choice or because of some inept government program.

    Do you have a problem with that builder in Austin? If so, why?

  87. Alison, I’d like to see this ‘bombing’ stuff you refer to.

    I suspect you just throw this in because you can’t present your case persuasively and would like to pretend that those of us who disagree with you are like these US fanatics you keep telling us about.

    The fact ATW has made you more pro-abortion is interesting, since no-one here ever posts on it except you. So basically you are saying that since you can’t persuade us, you are now even more sure you are right. Interesting way to look at it. Some might say pig-headed !

    And I don’t much bother with "Frank’s" posts – because if I read one, it’s because it snuck up on me unawares.

  88. Alison: No, I think women are being treated like they’re ignorant and out of control. And only the state can come in and help them with some sex ed. and then some subsidized abortions.

    Poor, stupid and helpless! That’s how women are treated.

    I don’t see any emphasis on personal responsibility. If a woman gets pregnant, it’s her fault. It’s nobody else’s fault. (Unless she is forced to have sex – but we’re not talking about that)

    It’s her fault. That’s why Bush was right. He was pushing personal responsiblity. The ability to say, NO. To choose when you have sex. I don’t see any of this ever coming from NOW, or Planned Parenthood or the other groups which make up the Feminist Establishment.

  89. Yes I do, but if you look back to the start of the comments, you’ll see that it is Alison who is in early swinging her mace.

    So my impression still holds, I think.

  90. Orlando – I hit a nerve eh. Oh it’s there. Along with the ‘don’t engage Alison in a discussion about that Polish woman’ classy number.

    I don’t think anyone here has presented their case on abortion pursuasively.

    Patty – I don’t feel treated that way. You refuse to address the points i made about failure rates, education, people dealng with reality and responsibility – back to ivory towers again.
    What do you mean ‘it’s her fault’? I’m starting to see how catholics believe in the immaculate conception unquestioningly now. Hahahahaha!

  91. >Orlando – I hit a nerve eh. Oh it’s there. Along with the ‘don’t engage Alison in a discussion about that Polish woman’ classy number.

    Alison, I do admire you so, even though you’re wrong. But it does irritate when you put words in my mouth. I believe I never said anything of the sort. And contrary to what you just said, I did engage you on that discussion, quite vigorously I thought. Pity you deleted my posts though 😉

  92. Alison: Is a woman not responsible for her own womb?

    I think a woman is responsible for her own womb….and I think that it’s her fault if her womb is in a state of pregnancy. Personal responsibility. No sex = no baby.Women aren’t too stupid and ignorant to handle this fact.

    THanks to the "sexual revolution," though, women are lulled into thinking promiscuous sex is a must;they are a little passive and in need of a reality check when it comes to sex, men and babies.

  93. Cry me a river Alan, you unzipped first.

    So what if this private business owner used his leverage, it most certainly didn’t stop the facility from being built. Guess corporate America doesn’t have all that much swing to push an ideological agenda.

    Maybe we ought to take a look at where Planned Parenthood has facilities and correlate the the abortion rate accordingly. Planned Parenthood is a business, most of their profit is from abortion services, so it would make sense they would go where the low hanging fruit lies? Right? I wonder if the abortion rate is exponentially higher near a Planned Parenthood center in a poverty stricken area with statistically subnormal education rates, high incarceration and welfare rates, high addiction rates, etc, than their suburban outreach offices?

    Maybe conglomerates like PP take advantage of poor people of color rather than educate, enlighten and offer positive alternatives. You’re quite willing to demonize a private business, you ought to be willing to focus that same critical laser on Planned Parenthood as well.

  94. Is a woman not responsible for her own womb?

    Actually you dont think so, so its a moot point

  95. Daphne,

    I don’t know Mr. Danze only what I’ve read about his tactics, and it’s not his business acumen that concerns me. I do know the CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region, and I can personally guarantee you that she doesn’t call or write to people and threaten them with economic warfare if she doesn’t get her way.

    BTW is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity which means that it cannot make profits.

  96. Daphne,

    "Abortion is legal. Legal abortion isn’t going away. It is considered acceptable in societal terms. Out of the closet abortion is here to stay.

    Can we move on from here without beating each other up? There are a lot of smart people here, what practical ideas do you have?"

    Firstly, you need to stop talking about some kind of social program to reduce the number of abortions, which is about as offensive as a social program to engineer the number of births. I personally do not give a flaming rats ass how many abortions or births there are as long as they are by informed women of their own free will. The reason that is my position is that I think women probably known what’s best for them and their families better than you do.

    Having said that, try to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and you might be on to something. Just about any pro-choicer will go along with that, including myself.

    The trouble is that pro-life also oppose many of the things that appear to reduce unwanted pregnancies: things such as contraception and education, welfare, childcare support, any regulation in favor of working mothers, any support for cohabiting couples with kids, and not treating pregnant women like morons and/or sluts. Also, even where the pro-life have good ideas they are not listened to because they’ve spent their credibility acting as if the death of >.< could be a murder and telling various silly lies.

  97. Patty,

    "I think a woman is responsible for her own womb"

    Then you won’t object if she decides not to be pregnant.

    "and I think that it’s her fault if her womb is in a state of pregnancy."

    Even if she’s raped?

    Regardless, even if it was her "fault" the only person injured by her actions was herself. So there are no grounds to object if she decides not to be pregnant any more.

  98. Orlando wrote:

    "Colm, you could take a look at the law of the land. If you do, you’ll see the consensus as reflected in legislation, is most definitely that the unborn are worthy of protection and must not be terminated unless there are genuine health reasons."

    You’ll also notice that late term abortions are considered differently than early term abortions, and that in no case is the ‘unborn’ treated equivalent to a person. For example when there is a conflict between the life of the woman and the life of the ‘unborn’, the life of the woman always takes precedence. Even pro-lifers agree with that, most of them anyway.

    (Of course if you look at the law of the land you will notice that many pets and even my bicycle are considered worthy of protection and cannot be destroyed except in certain circumstances either. Maybe Flann O’Brien was right and I have been talking down something awful to my bike all these years.)

  99. >even my bicycle are considered worthy of protection and cannot be destroyed except in certain circumstances either

    Well you’ve raised a good point. (but got it backwards again).

    The bicycle is your property, and it has no rights. Whereas under common law, an unborn has common-law rights (eg. see the recent case in the US, murderer was convicted on 2 counts for killing mother and unborn child)

    In the UK, and other places no doubt, the unborn are additionally protected by statute law – like the 67 act. So it seems that even the liberals and socialists that brought in the abortion act (allowing abortion) recognised that the unborn child has rights and, quite explicitly the law says the unborn child must not be terminated except under very special circumstances. So it has rights under the law.

    So you see, despite your pretending to the contrary, it’s actually the pro-abortion lobby which is on the wrong side of the consensus. What you call a ‘zygote’ actually has legal rights which recognize its personhood.

    Remembering this law was brought in by ultra-liberal activist MPs in ’67, what does that say about your stance in ’08, which seeks to remove all protection from the unborn and put them on a par with a bicycle ? Personally, I would call it ‘depraved’.

    On the other hand, I would be happy for the enforcement of the 67 Act as written, so it would seem that the pro-lifers are with the nationl consensus. And before you go telling me that the law doesn’t reflect consensus, please explain how 20 years of socialist government since 67 has always opposed relaxing the law the way you want it ?

  100. >>What you call a ‘zygote’ actually has legal rights which recognize its personhood.<<

    Orlando, I don’t believe you.
    Show us where it "has legal rights" (as apposed to simply being protected by law, as property is) and where it is recognised as a person.

  101. Actually it predates 67 by some margin and was brought in by case law Orlando. So the better question is what does that say about you in 2008? The zygote versus person argument tells me a lot. It is you that is on the wrong side of the consensus.

  102. Orlando,

    "what does that say about your stance in ’08, which seeks to remove all protection from the unborn"

    Nothing, because that is not my stance. You just made it up, as is your habit.

    My stance: the law must allow a woman to end her pregnancy at any time and for any reason, because the state has no right to command a woman’s servitude. However if the pregnancy can be immediately ended with a live birth and without putting the woman at additional risk, then it should be.

    "On the other hand, I would be happy for the enforcement of the 67 Act as written"

    So am I, more or less. There are some silly requirements in there which should be removed (e.g. for early term abortions, two doctors should not need to attest to the bleeding obvious and ground C should be automatic) but it makes little practical difference. I also disagree that handicap should be included as a ground for abortion.

  103. Noel, I’ve shown you already. If you wish to argue otherwise, show me what other property cannot be disposed of except by sign-off by physicians , and in the case of killing, without a murder indictment as in the US case .

    You can kill your dog, but touch that unborn child and you’ll be in deep doodoo.

    It seems the law doesn’t agree that it is only a zygote.

  104. >There are some silly requirements in there which should be removed (e.g. for early term abortions, two doctors should not need to attest to the bleeding obvious and ground C should be automatic) but it makes little practical difference. I also disagree that handicap should be included as a ground for abortion

    Glad you agree with me for a change. Namely that you don’t accept the law and are on the wrong side of the national consensus. 20 years of socialist government has resulted in rejection of your point of view, at each and every time of asking.

    You are more extreme than the framers and mainainers of the uber-liberal abortion act. QED.

  105. The potential for life exists at conception and conception is an act in which the woman and man both participated voluntarily (rape excepted) knowing that pregnancy was a possible outcome. If both parties are of adult age, then both should be responsible for the pregnancy and, idealistically, most abortion should be illegal.
    But the toothpaste is out of the tube and abortion is here to stay. What I find most objectionable about the free’n’easy pro-abortionists is that they are so perverted by the absolutism of their belief that they would refuse counselling for a woman which may persuade her not to proceed with the abortion. Now it was quite scary to find out the true colours of these abortion zealots.

  106. Orlando,

    "Glad you agree with me for a change. Namely that you don’t accept the law"

    Given that you wrote ‘I would be happy for the enforcement of the 67 Act as written, so it would seem that the pro-lifers are with the nationl consensus’ it would be nice if you could manage to agree with yourself.

    Also given that I said I am more or less happy with the law as it stands I don’t see how you figure that I don’t accept it, simply because it is not perfect.

  107. Because you said so . ‘More or Less’ plus a long list of quibbles.

    Therefore you don’t accept it, IMHO you’re a scoff-law.

  108. Allan,

    "The potential for life exists at conception"

    And at meiosis

    "conception is an act "

    No it isn’t. Sex is an act. Conception is an event.

    "knowing that pregnancy was a possible outcome"

    So is abortion. So what? Pregnancy isn’t childbirth, it can be ended. And according to your silly argument lab technicians should be held responsible for every zygote/embryo created in vitro.

  109. Orlando,

    "Because you said so ."

    Because I said I’m more or less happy with the law that means I don’t accept it? Are you feeling OK?

    " ‘More or Less’ plus a long list of quibbles."

    If your idea of "long" is 2 then it’s no wonder you can’t follow along.

  110. Frank, as I recall, you were one of those who screamed when a doctor had the temerity to attempt to persuade women not to proceed with abortion. Now one may have one’s own views on abortion, but to advocate that a woman should not receive advice before abortion is a bit sickening.

    The difference between abortion and pregnancy is that abortion is an act which brings pregancy to an end thus preventing the outcome of birth and new life. Not all pregnancy brings birth, but all abortions ensure that there will be no birth, as is intended. I just don’t like the fact of this and, where possible in today’s permissive society, it is not unreasonable to attempt to persuade women not to abort, particularly if responsibilities can be imposed upon the other party – the male.

  111. Perhaps I misunderstood you when you said reason C should be ‘automatic’.

    "C the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman;"

    What did you mean by ‘automatic’ ?

  112. Orlando,

    "Perhaps I misunderstood you when you said reason C should be ‘automatic’."

    Referring to early-term abortions (which is most of them), ground C is always satisfied (i.e. the risk of injury to a woman from carrying to term is always greater than the risk from an early abortion). So, as I already said, in such cases ground C shouldn’t require the bureaucracy of doctors needing to attest to the bleeding obvious. And as I also said I don’t think it makes much practical difference.

  113. Allan

    "Now one may have one’s own views on abortion, but to advocate that a woman should not receive advice before abortion is a bit sickening."

    I don’t object to advice. But propaganda and BS isn’t advice and the abortion debate has no place in a doctor’s surgery. I would equally oppose it if some doctor tried to influence a woman to have an abortion because of their personal views on overpopulation. They are there to provide medical advice – if the woman wants moral advice she can go elsewhere.

    And here’s some advice for you: as long as you insist on approaching the issue as if women are infants that need your ‘advice’ you will get nowhere.

  114. That hinges on what you think the death rate is from childbirth. Your old hobby horse, and one you will never give us the figures for.

    According to reputable sources, the maternal death rate from childbirth is 9 per 100,000. Very low.

    Contrast that with the death rate from abortion – obviously 100% of the unborn, plus an addition to the maternal death rate due to abortion.

    What is that extra rate ? Some sources say it is nearly 3 times higher than the death rate from childbirth.

    Do you follow that ? It’s more dangerous to the mother, to have an abortion than it is to have the baby.

    American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
    http://www.afterabortion.info/news/GisslerAJOG.htm

  115. Orlando,

    "That hinges on what you think the death rate is from childbirth."

    Actually no it doesn’t. You don’t have to be dead to be injured. Once again you confuse what you think the law should say with what it actually does say.

    " Your old hobby horse, and one you will never give us the figures for."

    Also untrue. For example I have posted this a number of times now:

    From the leading medical textbook on the subject, Williams Obstetrics
    (1997 ed), page 1340:

    Risks for Men and Women of All Ages – Chance of Death in a Year

    Motorcycling: 1 in 1,000
    Automobile driving: 1 in 6,000
    Rock climbing: 1 in 7,500
    Canoeing: 1 in 100,000

    Risks for Women Aged 15 to 44 Years

    Tampons: 1 in 350,000
    Sexual intercourse (salpingitis): 1 in 50,000
    Birth control pills (nonsmoker): 1 in 63,000
    Laparoscopic tubal ligation: 1 in 67,000 [procedures]

    Continuing Pregnancy – 1 in 11,000 [pregnancies]

    Terminating Pregnancy by Legal Abortion

    Before 9 weeks: 1 in 260,000 [procedures]
    Between 9 and 12 weeks: 1 in 100,000 [procedures]

    And, again:

    The morbidity and mortality of pregnancy: still risky business.
    Am J Obstet Gynecol 1994 May;170(5 Pt 2):1489-94

    ‘Despite impressive gains in safety in recent decades, pregnancy remains risky business. From early in pregnancy until some weeks after its conclusion, pregnant women are at increased risk of morbidity and
    mortality compared with women who are not pregnant. …Although comprehensive data on pregnancy-related morbidity are lacking, about 22% of all pregnant women are hospitalized before delivery because of complications. …For most women, fertility regulation by contraception, sterilization, or legal abortion is substantially safer than childbirth.’

    "It’s more dangerous to the mother, to have an abortion than it is to have the baby."

    Clearly you’re mistaken.

    "According to reputable sources, the maternal death rate from childbirth is 9 per 100,000. Very low."

    And the maternal death rate from abortion is far lower. Not only that but one reason maternal mortality in childbirth is as low as it is, is legal abortion. That’s because legal abortion prevents women from dying in childbirth, for reasons which should be obvious even to you.

  116. >Not only that but one reason maternal mortality in childbirth is as low as it is, is legal abortion

    No dummy. That’s a fallacy. If they’re not giving birth, they can’t contribute to mortality statistics.

    These figures of yours are very old figures Frank, I bet they include all the 3rd-world countries too. The ones I quoted are up-to-date, for a modern Western country.

  117. Orlando,

    ">Not only that but one reason maternal mortality in childbirth is as low as it is, is legal abortion

    No dummy. That’s a fallacy. If they’re not giving birth, they can’t contribute to mortality statistics."

    Exactly my point, fool. Women who don’t give birth can’t die giving birth, and that means lower maternal mortality.

    "These figures of yours are very old figures Frank"

    And since the childbirth figure is not significantly different to the one (1) you quoted you’re obviously desperate to quibble. Has there been some medical breakthrough since that would make childbirth safer and not abortion? I didn’t think so.

    "I bet they include all the 3rd-world countries too."

    You’d lose that bet.

  118. >Has there been some medical breakthrough since that would make childbirth safer and not abortion

    If you read the report, you’ll see the death-rates after abortion are a lot higher than you say. And since it’s the same journal we both quoted, except your data is 14 years older, maybe you should give it some attention.

  119. Regarding the age of the data, the CDC table and the data in the Finnish study referred to by Orlando actually cover the same time period but in different countries. Here‘s an abstract to an even newer American study in the same journal:

    Estimation of pregnancy-related mortality risk by pregnancy outcome, United States, 1991 to 1999.

    GENERAL OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY
    American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 194(1):92-94, January 2006.
    Grimes, David A. MD *

    Abstract:
    The comparative safety of pregnancy outcomes has clinical and public health importance. Using national statistics for 1991 to 1999, I estimated the risk of maternal death associated with various outcomes. Abortion (legal and spontaneous) was associated with the lowest risk, live birth intermediate risk, and ectopic pregnancy and fetal death the highest risk.

  120. Orlando,

    "If you read the report, you’ll see the death-rates after abortion are a lot higher than you say. And since it’s the same journal we both quoted, except your data is 14 years older, maybe you should give it some attention."

    Nothing’s happened in the last 14 years to alter those conclusions.

    As regards your ‘report’, that was debunked a couple of years ago. Here’s Malapert from USENET t.a. on it:

    Yes. For instance, they were twice as likely to die from AIDS, three
    times as like to die from circulatory disease and a whopping six times
    likelier to die from stroke. Hmmm. How can we explain this?

    Very simply, actually. As the researchers are forced to admit, "An
    important limitation in our study is that we were not provided with
    ANY INFORMATION REGARDING RACE, MARITAL STATUS, AND PARITY."
    (Emphasis mine.)

    If we did have that information, we would find that a disproportionate
    number of women having abortions were black and Hispanic, compared to
    those carrying to term. If we then compared death rates for
    Medical-eligible women by race, marital status, and parity, we would
    find that black and Hispanic women, unmarried women, and/or women with
    lots of children die from homicides, accidents, AIDS, circulatory
    diseases and stroke at higher rates than white, married, and/or
    low-parity women, whether they’ve ever had an abortion or not.

    In other words, once again, this gives us no useful information
    because dissimilar groups of women are being compared. For the
    millionth time:

    ////Women who have abortions are not like women who carry their
    pregnancies to term.//// They are darker, poorer, younger, and
    unhealthier, and are likelier to meet untimely death whether they have
    abortions, give birth, or never become pregnant to begin with. Not
    having an abortion does not magically turn these women into white,
    married, low-risk women. All it does is add a(nother) child to the
    chaotic state their lives are in.

  121. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4883462.stm

    From the link, it is stated that the UK’s maternal mortality rate is between 6 and 10 per 100,000 pregnancies and that most of those are as a result of traffic and other accidents. Now, if ‘most’ means over 50% then the maternal mortality rate owing to pregnancy is something like 3 per 100,000. And if there are 200,000 abortions in the UK, then that is a notional 6 deaths in pregnancy avoided, and that is at the top of the scale.

    Meanwhile, on this link:

    http://www.cmf.org.uk/literature/content.asp?context=article&id=1784

    can be read (with references):

    However an in-depth Finnish study of deaths within a year of delivery, miscarriage or abortion from 1987-94 gives a more complete and disturbing picture. Compared to women who gave birth, women who aborted were 3.5 times more likely to die within the year.[6,7] The risk of death from suicide was seven times higher than the risk of suicide within a year of childbirth.

    References:
    Reardon DC. Abortion is four times deadlier than childbirth. The Post- Abortion Review 2000;8(2)
    Gissler M et al. Pregnancy associated deaths in Finland 1987- 1994. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 1997;76:651-657

    Is the number of women who commit suicide post-abortion higher than the number of deaths in childbirth per 100,000 respectively? Abortion is not the nice alternative to childbirth that Frank would have us all believe.

  122. Allan’s 6.14 is mainly a verbatim repost of BS that I have already responded to in detail on ATW.

    – Allan’s figures are nonsense because they ignore that the figure of 6 per 100k is the net figure after abortion has already saved lives. Given that childbirth is riskier, and it is, if abortion were illegal that figure would be higher.

    – How many women does Allan feel entitled to kill anyway? Is 6 a year acceptable?

    – Death is not the only bad outcome that women are entitled to avoid. They don’t have to be injured by pregnancy either.

    – Maybe Allan can explain how abortion causes women to be murdered (cf. the Gissler study that Allan’s link misrepresents)?

    – Woman who abort are still not the same as women who give birth. And giving birth won’t make them the same.

    To quote Malapert once more:

    Of course, only fanatics argue that having abortions is what CAUSES
    poverty-level urban minority young women to be murdered, abused by
    boyfriend, shot by a cop, or infected with an STD.

  123. Allan, I don’t recall offering to answer any inane question that flits into your head. Is there any difference? Yes. Different spelling for a kickoff.

  124. I read this and (sarc on) I couldn’t help thinking, What a stupid, ignorant, uneducated woman – to sacrifice her very life, just for the sake of a mere clump of cells, huh?
    (/sarc off)
    Of course, obviously not everyone will be faced with such a stark choice as this woman was, but in a general sense, I think she has something very important to teach us about the meaning of human life.

  125. That reminds me. I read that one of the last illegal abortions in America was in 1988. 1988! Discounting that child lasy year who committed suicide. How awful that a woman died for that. A zygote. She was 17.

    http://www.now.org/issues/abortion/120904women-who-died.html

    At 17, Becky became a victim of an Indiana state law requiring parental consent for a minor to obtain an abortion. Unable to bring herself to disappoint her parents by telling them she was pregnant — or go before a judge to bypass the law — Becky sought an illegal abortion. When she became seriously ill, her parents rushed her to the hospital. In severe pain from a massive infection, Becky still could not tell them, and despite the efforts of the doctors, she died.

  126. I can’t help but think that her sad case says more about her parents than it does about anyone else.
    Had her parents been able to stand by and support their daughter, as all parents should, then maybe nobody’s life would have been lost.
    I mean, I dunno, maybe, for all I know, her parents WOULD have supported her, but she just didn’t know that….

  127. Tom,

    "I read this and (sarc on) I couldn’t help thinking, What a stupid, ignorant, uneducated woman – to sacrifice her very life, just for the sake of a mere clump of cells, huh?
    (/sarc off)
    Of course, obviously not everyone will be faced with such a stark choice as this woman was, but in a general sense, I think she has something very important to teach us about the meaning of human life."

    For every woman like this there are umpteen men who think that she shouldn’t have even had that stark choice and that it was their decision to make rather than hers.

    Not only that but had she not been married many of them would still have considered her a slut and pretended that she made that choice when she agreed to have sex.

  128. Alison, you’re right. I was wasting my breath on the anti-abortion believers. Preaching to the choir is never a fulfilling exercise.

    There is no such thing as a right to life. Not for humans or any other organism, large or small. There are millions of abandoned children on the streets, in the nations of Africa, in Mexico and other poorer nations, who die and are replaced with another abandoned child, yet not one government makes an effort to save these lives.

    Why then, should we force them to be born? Because most of them are the result of Catholic practice or native taboo or just plain dire poverty, these unwanted lives come into being.

    We kill dogs and cats, and euphemistically call it "putting them to sleep" whenever it suits us. Where is their right to life? They’re Gods creations. Does God love those creations less than he loves us? How do we know this? Has God spoken to YOU, personally lately? Had a good chat with the old boy about life and death and stuff over tea?

    It has been for all the history of Man that a life began at birth. All this philosophising over perhaps some earlier moment, well, when it moved, or when it would be viable outside the womb, or viable with medical help, or…..

    and in none of this are the women who must carry the child and birth the child and feed the child and change the childs crappy diaper and often do this while in utter poverty and without outside support, ever considered. By the men who make the laws.

    Argue away. I just hope none of you guys ever suffer an unwanted pregnancy.

    Rasta

  129. In regard to Rastaman’s comment: "Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 04:35AM | Rastaman"

    So should we infer that if you were around in the 1860’s that would would be in favor of slavery?
    After all, the people against slavery did not have to have slaves. Only the people who thought slavery was fine, would have slaves.
    After all, in both cases we are talking about one person having a "right" and infringing on another persons "right". So we as a country need to determine:
    Is that a person in the womb? Well, DNA evidence would say it is another person , not part of the woman. And the procedure itself tells us that its not the removal of a "tumor" or "unwanted tissue".
    Is that person living? Well they aren’t dead; otherwise a different procedure would be called for.
    That’s the issue Rastaman. It is not a simple opinion of what "I want"; its an issue of ownership of another living person and getting to determine if they live or die.
    Those of us in the Pro-life want to give that unborn baby the "right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" (hey, maybe we should write that last line down as a quote somewhere!

    Dave

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