Quiet War On Abortion, Plus Dems

The Dems are signing on for their support of national Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP laws). If the acronym is new to you, here is a background:

For years, the anti-abortion movement has pressed its case with noisy demonstrations that blocked clinics, with high-profile legislation that directly challenged the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, and in some cases with violence, including the assassination of physicians. But 28 years after Roe, with public support of abortion rights running high, the movement has adopted what might be called a stealth strategy: to chip away at abortion rights, slowly and discreetly, with low-profile legislation and lawsuits that stop short of trying to outlaw the procedure.

The new tactic is to bombard providers with a barrage of costly rules. In addition to the civil-liability law, Louisiana has tried to slap abortion providers with extra-stringent building codes that regulate everything from the width of hallways in clinics to the angles and jet types for drinking fountains. Abortion opponents want to create small, expensive obstacles that cumulatively make it harder for clinics to offer services—or, in the words of one right-to-life leader, to create an environment “where abortion may indeed be perfectly legal, but no one can get one.” Not only does the tactic have the benefit of generating little public attention, but it also allows anti-abortion activists to couch the issue in terms of a woman’s welfare—for example, the right of a patient to sue her physician for unlimited sums.

“This is certainly one campaign that’s gaining increasing popularity as a way to hammer at abortion providers: to do it under the guise of caring about women’s health,” says Linda Rosenthal, a staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy in New York. “That’s a pretty palatable starting point. Of course, everybody cares about women’s health. But the way these regulations translate is onerous.”

The stealth strategy is being deployed nationwide, from Utah to Connecticut. But it’s Louisiana that serves as the incubator for the rest of the nation, the state where anti-abortion activists develop innovative measures to test on a state legislature where Catholics and Southern Baptists predominate.

An attempted example includes a “civil-liability” law that would have allowed any woman who regretted her abortion to sue the providing doctors any time within the ten years afterward, not only for any emotional or physical damages she may have faced, but also for “damages occasioned by the unborn child.” With no limits to the amount doctors could be ordered to pay, one big judgment in favor of a woman who regretted her abortion could drive an entire clinic out of business. In some cases they exempt abortion providers who perform less than some specified number or percentage of abortions in their practices, thus exempting private practices and faulting free clinics.

Other examples that have passed include excluding midwives and nurse practitioners from those qualified to perform abortions, even though their training with abortion is that of a physician. In other cases, they require all private and free clinics that provide abortion to have facilities comparable to a hospital, which are unnecessary to the procedure and often too expensive for clinics to procure.

Plenty of Democrats are in support of these measures, in part because it doesn’t look outright anti-choice to voters undereducated on anti practices, and in part because it sends a coded message of “morality” to anti-choice voters who might vote Democratic. If you’ll notice, all of these Democrats pictured are men, perfectly willing to sacrifice women’s rights and autonomy for political gain.

All of this is so maddening — morality exists in the hearts and minds of people, it cannot be legislated. Keep this in mind as the John Roberts nomination moves toward confirmation. He is no friend of women, no friend of minorities.

via Media Girl


Similar Posts (automatically generated):

46 comments for “Quiet War On Abortion, Plus Dems

  1. September 10, 2005 at 4:34 pm

    An attempted example includes a “civil-liability” law that would have allowed any woman who regretted her abortion to sue the providing doctors any time within the ten years afterward, not only for any emotional or physical damages she may have faced, but also for “damages occasioned by the unborn child.”

    Gee, you don’t have that kind of statute for other elective procedures and I’ve never before heard of the agent of a “death” being allowed being allowed to collect benefits from that death. That’s the ultimate in bullshit – have any of these laws passed (frankly, even a “pro-lifer” shouldn’t even support a law like that).

  2. David Thompson
    September 10, 2005 at 5:50 pm

    The Dems are signing on for their support of national Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP laws).

    I’ve found that when an acronym spells out a word that summarizes the theme of the acronym, it’s going to be something stupid every time.

  3. September 10, 2005 at 6:28 pm

    The civil liability angle against doctors is a wrinkle I’d missed. I’m still shocked that doctors in other states can be sued/prosecuted, but a regret liability?

    Gee, and here I thought conservatives were all about eliminating civil lawsuits over medical issues. Isn’t that the purpose of “tort reform”?

  4. moiv
    September 10, 2005 at 7:31 pm

    We call the Louisiana civil liability law the “Duh! Law.”

    On the day it went into effect (it’s not just an “attempted example” anymore, and hasn’t been for a few years now), a LA provider explained to a patient that the doctor could be sued up to ten years later if any harm was done to the fetus during the abortion, and the woman looked back at her and deadpanned, “Well, duh!”

    What else can you say?

    Until now, no one has sued a doctor under this law, and the LA courts say that they won’t issue a ruling on it until someone does. I considered this the nation’s #1 TRAP law until nine days ago. As of September 1, a doctor in Texas who performs an abortion without first obtaining written parental consent is technically guilty of a capital crime (murder of a child under 6 years of age) and eligible for the death penalty. Top that, America!

  5. September 11, 2005 at 11:33 am

    One of the major issues re: Roe v. Wade isn’t *just* the ability to get abortions legally, but is more along the lines of a privacy issue. As is evidenced by the USPATRIOTACT, our Fourth Amendment right to privacy has been destroyed, the first of many more of our rights which will no doubt be destroyed. And in not passing the ERA and relegating the be-all-and-end-all of the American feminine experience to an obscure abortion issue, marginalizes us all and in the process, keeps us under the male-dominated government’s thumb.

  6. mythago
    September 11, 2005 at 12:39 pm

    Gee, and here I thought conservatives were all about eliminating civil lawsuits over medical issues. Isn’t that the purpose of “tort reform”?

    It’s like ‘judicial activism’. They hide behind it as a principle as long as it affects someone they don’t like.

  7. September 11, 2005 at 1:24 pm

    morality exists in the hearts and minds of people, it cannot be legislated.

    The purpose of criminal law, and much of the civil law, is to legislate morality. (Murder, rape and theft are not matters trusted to hearts and minds). Civil rights legislation was necessary precisely because the hearts and minds of many people were not open to simple moral persuasion. Over the years, the legal prohibitions against racism (and more recently homophobia) have brought about changes in the cultural mindset.

    Legislation still forbids infanticide. And even under Roe v Wade, certain late-term abortions are not left to the heart and mind of the woman. I don’t think your objection is so much that the morality of abortion should be left to the individual to decide, but that the practice is not (particularly in the earlier states of pregnancy) immoral at all. From your perspective the anti-choicers aren’t really legislating morality; they’re simply legislating irrationality and foolisness, akin to legislating against the cutting of hair or fingernails.

    I don’t believe that pro-choice movement in general is opposed to legislating morality. At least some of the major organizations oppose so-called “conscience clauses”, i.e. laws which exempt certain physicans, nurses and medical personnel from participating in abortions. Certainly requiring someone to participate (or penalizing their refusal) would be legislating morality to some extent. Likewise, the public funding of abortion legislates a moral view upon all taxpapers who are compelled to support it.

    Of course, public funding of anything you object to can be construed as legislating in favor of that cause and against your morality. Virtually every tax legislates morality in some way. But that’s simply the nature of law.

  8. Kyra
    September 11, 2005 at 2:51 pm

    So, if a woman performs an abortion on herself, who does she get to sue? The coathanger manufacturer?

    Notice, however, that this idea of holding the provider liable is the same one that conservatives scream bloody murder about when someone tries to apply it to gun manufacturers. (Please note I am not anti-gun; this is too much liability for any service or product; I am just pointing out the contradictions inherent in the case the pro-lifers are making here.)

    Are they going to let women who choose not to have an abortion sue their “crisis pregnancy centers” for unlimited amounts if they regret having the baby? Somebody should submit legislation like that, or move to have it attatched to the bill that makes doctors liable for patient regret. The looks on the pro-lifers’ faces would be priceless.

    The only things abortion providers or anyone else should be liable for are medical mistakes and coersion.

  9. September 11, 2005 at 3:21 pm

    Are they going to let women who choose not to have an abortion sue their “crisis pregnancy centers” for unlimited amounts if they regret having the baby?

    As someone who volunteers at a CPC, I assure you that the look on their faces would be one of utter glee. It sounds like the sort of bill rider the more cynical of us pro-lifers would propose ourselves. There aren’t a lot of “We Hate our Babies” societies around.

  10. September 11, 2005 at 6:07 pm

    The purpose of criminal law, and much of the civil law, is to legislate morality.

    Only within certain boundaries. We do agree that some things are both morally bad and outside the proper boundaries of what government should be legislating, right? For example, someone’s speech or religious beliefs may be morally repugnant, but that wouldn’t put them within the proper realm of government regulation.

    I just want to be clear that I really do believe in general that government isn’t meant to be a moral teacher, that the law only properly governs a limited set of immoral behaviors, and that the fact that I consider some other behaviors outside the proper domain of the law doesn’t in any way, shape, or form mean that I believe they’re all perfectly moral and that it’s irrational for anyone to disapprove of them.

    Unfortunately for the useful application of this kind of argument to abortion, the claimed stakes of the abortion debate on both sides are such that I can’t think of any conceivable way my theory of what law is good for would settle the debate, even if I could get everyone to agree with me on the law as a moral teacher business. (Making this comment, I suppose, a not too useful digression in the thread, but I’ll post it anyway.)

  11. September 11, 2005 at 7:36 pm

    Lauren,

    I apologize. I misinterpreted your “can’t legislate morality” observation as an argument against legislation (you seemed to be making in connection with your opposition to the legislation of various TRAP measures).

  12. September 11, 2005 at 7:42 pm

    Shit, I deleted my last comment because I thought I wan’t being clear. Turns out I was. :P

  13. September 11, 2005 at 8:02 pm

    For the sake of a complete record, I believe the deleted comment was: “no act of phallo-legislative rape shall ever curb my baby-hating bloodlust.”

  14. September 11, 2005 at 8:05 pm

    ::click:: ::click:: ::click::

    Shit, it now appears that visitors do not have the power to delete their own comments.

    But I tried.

  15. SadieB.
    September 11, 2005 at 9:14 pm

    Raving, explain to me please what is your justification for forced childbirth. By what authority do you believe in forcing women to have children against their will? Being an atheist and all, who gives you that right?

  16. September 11, 2005 at 9:40 pm

    Sadie,

    what is your justification for forced childbirth.

    I justifiy my moral position against abortion on the ground that the fetus is form of human life sufficiently worthy of protection absent a serious threat to the woman’s life or health.

    By what authority do you believe in forcing women to have children against their will?

    The same authority the state employs making any of its citizens comply with moral principles.

    Being an atheist and all, who gives you that right?

    I explain why I believe my atheism is consistent with being anti-abortion and anti-choice here. Various other secular rationales can be found in the essays at the Atheist and Agnostic Pro-Life League.

    Your last question implies that atheists have no reason to desire the enforcement of any moral standards, an issue I’ve addressed here. The question is no different from asking “as an atheist, who gives you the right to oppose theft, murder or rape.” There are plenty of reasons to oppose such conduct (and lesser conduct) on grounds that have nothing to do with the desires of invisible beings. And as I’ve pointed out on numerous ocassions, I don’t understand religious people’s opposition to abortion (or murder) at all since presumably the innocent fetus (or person) goes to heaven and there’s no real loss. Justice Scalia has said as much (“for the believing question, death is no big deal”). For me the loss of future existence is more significant, since there’s no second chance.

  17. September 11, 2005 at 10:09 pm

    For me the loss of future existence is more significant, since there’s no second chance.

    This borders on the argument that every zygote will potentially be the doctor that cures cancer or AIDS.

  18. September 11, 2005 at 11:02 pm

    I was refering to the future existence of humans generally, not merely fetuses. Scalia was raising the point in connection with the death penalty, pointing out that God would sort out all the bodies in the end. My point is that theistic arguments against killing are less untenable than atheistic ones because death just results in eternal life. God-based arguments are particularly weak against abortion, insofar as there’s no chance the fetus will go to hell, not having had the opportunity to do anything wrong. And you’ll find plenty of Christian sites trying (unconvincingly) to explain why it’s wrong to kill regular post-born babies who haven’t yet sinned.

  19. September 12, 2005 at 12:15 am

    Actually, Atheist, fetuses are sinful from conception, according to most Christian doctrine. Original sin and all that jazz.

  20. September 12, 2005 at 12:48 am

    Now, Atheist, you’re reminding me of the movie “Sister Mary Explains It All.”

  21. September 12, 2005 at 7:33 am

    Heliologue,

    Yes, and original sin is another particularly unconvincing doctrine. Its consequence is that aborted fetuses go to hell but murdered believers go to heaven — so presumably it’s okay to kill the latter. There’s no reason to believe any of the God-nonsense and the reason it should be kept out of moral and political arguments is that it is false.

    Lynn,

    I haven’t seen the movie, but I assume thatf Sister Mary was making the very same idiotic religious arguments that I reject..

  22. September 12, 2005 at 8:33 am

    Atheist, I’m with you 100%: it is a silly doctrine, but that has never stopped theists, has it?

  23. SadieB.
    September 12, 2005 at 8:46 am

    Couple problems here, Rave.

    The state derives its authority from the consent of the governed. You have no such authority. You certainly don’t have my consent.

    And as far as “a fetus is a form of human life,” well, you know an acorn is a form of oak life. Is an acorn an oak tree?

    An acorn can become an oak, given a hole in the forest canopy, a steady water supply and a couple of years good luck. Likewise a fetus can become a baby given nine months in the womb of a healthy, well-nourished woman and again, a certain measure of good luck. But an acorn is not a tree and a fetus is not a baby.

    Those of us who advocate consensual childbirth know that actual and potential are not the same thing.

  24. September 12, 2005 at 9:24 am

    The right to abortion has nothing at all to do with whether the fetus is alive, human, or a person. It has to do with whether a person has the right to control her own body and consent to someone else using her body for sustenance. And the answer to both is yes.

    Sex is not pregnancy. Consenting to sex is not consenting to pregnancy; they are separate issues. Consent is not a contract; it may be revoked at any time until the state-of-being or action consented to is completed.

    As for legislating morality, if morality is belief and not behavior, no law of the land can legislate it. If it is a behavior and not a belief, the reverse is true. I think confusion arises between the cram-morality-down-your-throat contingent and the can’t-legislate-morality contingent because the former believes morality is action and the latter sees it as belief.

    Myself, I don’t know which it is and don’t care. I only know no law would change the way I believe about anything, so it’s pointless to pass them if that’s their purpose. And it’s pointless to restrict or outlaw abortion too, since women will procure it anyway. The point of making abortion legal isn’t to make it happen more often, but to make it safer for the woman obtaining it. Only a complete woman-hater would be against that.

    My life’s more important than the life of someone using me for a life-support system.

  25. September 12, 2005 at 9:36 am

    Sister Mary makes a lot of arguments, most of them designed to show religion at its silliest, but the reason your post reminded me of her, Atheist, is that the circumstances under which someone who dies will go to heaven are a key plot element in the movie.

  26. September 12, 2005 at 9:40 am

    The state derives its authority from the consent of the governed. You have no such authority. You certainly don’t have my consent.

    The state imposes compliance with moral principles upon every member of society equally whether or not consent has been given by a particular individual. The alternative is anarchy. I can claim that the state doesn’t have my consent to any of its laws.

    And as far as “a fetus is a form of human life,” well, you know an acorn is a form of oak life. Is an acorn an oak tree?

    No, but a sapling isn’t an oak tree either. And neither an acorn nor a sapling are a human fetus, and a baby isn’t a teenager and an teenager isn’t an adult.

    The mere fact that something is potentially something else at one stage, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own value at the earlier stage. Someone who destroyed a farmer’s planted orange grove could hardly claim that he had destroyed nothing of value merely because the seeds were only potentially orange trees. A pregnant woman who went in for a routine pre-natal exam would be horrified if the doctor performed an abortion, and I doubt his dismissal of the fetus as “mere potential” would carry much moral force.

    You entire future life is mere “potential.” The personal you’ll be tomorrow isn’t “actual” yet. If you were killed quickly right now, or died quietly in your sleep tonight you wouldn’t know the difference. But there would still be a loss because your potential future life is all you, or anyone, has.

  27. SadieB.
    September 12, 2005 at 9:57 am

    Sex is not pregnancy. Consenting to sex is not consenting to pregnancy; they are separate issues. Consent is not a contract; it may be revoked at any time until the state-of-being or action consented to is completed.

    I think you’re getting to the heart of it, Dana. It’s all about consent. The rightwing doesn’t believe that consent is necessary for childbirth, and in my personal opinion, there are some among them who think it is unneccessary for sex, too.

    After all, in traditional, patriarchical cultures a girl gives up all claim to her own body the day she chooses to be born with XX chromosomes. The right would like very much to take us all back to those days.

  28. SadieB.
    September 12, 2005 at 9:58 am

    Doh! still getting the hang of this formatting thing. Anyway I’m sure you get the point.

  29. piny
    September 12, 2005 at 6:18 pm

    A pregnant woman who went in for a routine pre-natal exam would be horrified if the doctor performed an abortion, and I doubt his dismissal of the fetus as “mere potential” would carry much moral force

    This would be a form of assault on the pregnant woman: as you yourself imply, she would be the doctor’s victim. A non-pregnant woman who was forcibly sterilized would be the victim of the same crime, even though her ability to give birth cannot be called anything but the potential for human life.

  30. September 12, 2005 at 6:41 pm

    This would be a form of assault on the pregnant woman

    No more of an assault than removing cells by swabbing her tongue, presumably. Under your theory, her attachment to the clump of cells representing the fetus would be as irrational as her attachment to the tongue cells.

  31. piny
    September 12, 2005 at 7:02 pm

    No, because assault is a violation of bodily sovereignty. Forcing a woman to give up a pregnancy is a violation of her reproductive choice and an assault on her body. There’s nothing irrational about resisting other people when they make those choices for you, and nothing irrational about being attached to the idea of raising your child. Were a woman not pregnant, would it not be assault to prevent her from having children? No clump of cells to worry about, after all. Only potential.

  32. Ledasmom
    September 12, 2005 at 8:55 pm

    Raving Atheist, that argument doesn’t make a whole lot of sense; I’ve never heard anyone on the pro-choice side argue that a zygote, embryo or fetus does not have the potential to become a baby; since conception isn’t something that a woman can cause to happen at will (all she can do is take delivery of the necessary additional genetic material and hope), a woman would have very good reason to be upset at the loss of her potential child, don’t you think?

  33. September 12, 2005 at 9:16 pm

    a woman would have very good reason to be upset at the loss of her potential child, don’t you think?

    Sure do. That’s why the potential/actual distinction “doesn’t make a whole lot of sense”. On the one hand, it’s a clump of cells whose destruction society shouldn’t be upset about because because it’s “mere potential”; on the other hand, it’s something the woman has a “very good reason to be upset about” because of that potential. But then again, if she’s not upset about it an wants to kill it it that’s fine, because it’s mere potential.

    If the status of fetus is mind-dependent, I don’t see why the status of the baby shouldn’t be determined in the same way, or the status of a sleeping person. Their future existence is “mere potential,” after all.

  34. piny
    September 13, 2005 at 12:33 am

    >>On the one hand, it’s a clump of cells whose destruction society shouldn’t be upset about because because it’s “mere potential”; on the other hand, it’s something the woman has a “very good reason to be upset about” because of that potential.>>

    Nope. It’s “mere potential” unless and until the woman decides to sustain the pregnancy and change that potential into an actual baby. Her choice is what makes that potential important; therefore, her desire to sustain the pregnancy makes all the difference. You didn’t respond to my point about sterilization, so I’ll reiterate: does a woman have the right to be angry if she is forcibly sterilized? If so, why? Is a crime being committed against a potential human being if a woman is sterilized?

    As far as your second paragraph…I don’t know what kind of temporal justification you’re attempting to make in terms of murdering a living, actual person. Would it be less evil to kill someone with a year left to live than to kill someone with a decade left? Less evil to kill someone only partially alert or aware–sleeping or near sleep–than to kill someone fully alert?

  35. September 13, 2005 at 1:10 am

    You didn’t respond to my point about sterilization, so I’ll reiterate: does a woman have the right to be angry if she is forcibly sterilized? If so, why? Is a crime being committed against a potential human being if a woman is sterilized?

    Yes, she does even though no crime is being committed against a potential human being. No crime would be committed against a potential human being if she were blinded or hit in the head with a hammer, but it would still significantly impair her life in options. All quite irrelevant, though, to whether an additional crime is being committed against a potential human being when a fetus is killed. Merging that crime into a single crime against the pregnant woman and saying that it is only a crime because it impairs her choice simply begs the question.

    Her choice is what makes that potential important

    Question begging again; plainly she could chose not to sustain a baby by starving it. Beyond this, your labeling of the various stages of human development between conception and death as “potential” and “actual” is entirely arbitrary, with your demarcation at birth so untenable that even Roe v Wade rejected it.

    Would it be less evil to kill someone with a year left to live than to kill someone with a decade left? Less evil to kill someone only partially alert or aware–sleeping or near sleep–than to kill someone fully alert?

    All killing is pretty much equal to me. My point is that except for this very instant, your entire life is merely potential existence going forward. If consciousness is your criteria for humanity, then it shouldn’t be a crime to kill a sleeping person — let’s call it a “sleepus” — because the sleepus is only potentially conscious.

  36. piny
    September 13, 2005 at 1:19 am

    >>Yes, she does even though no crime is being committed against a potential human being. No crime would be committed against a potential human being if she were blinded or hit in the head with a hammer, but it would still significantly impair her life in options.>>

    But why is that a crime against her? You’ve already said that you don’t believe she has the right to reproductive choice. What if a single pregnancy were ended against her will? Would that be a crime against her? She’d have the ability to make reproductive choices in the future, right?

    >>Question begging again; plainly she could chose not to sustain a baby by starving it. Beyond this, your labeling of the various stages of human development between conception and death as “potential” and “actual” is entirely arbitrary, with your demarcation at birth so untenable that even Roe v Wade rejected it.>>

    The woman is the only person who can sustain or not sustain her own pregnancy. That is not true of feeding and caring for a living baby. Women are allowed to give up living babies to be cared for by others. While Roe rejected drawing a line at birth, most legislation following it has demarcated potential and actual at the point when the fetus would be able to survive outside the woman’s body.

    >>All killing is pretty much equal to me. My point is that except for this very instant, your entire life is merely potential existence going forward. If consciousness is your criteria for humanity, then it shouldn’t be a crime to kill a sleeping person — let’s call it a “sleepus” — because the sleepus is only potentially conscious.>>

    We are not talking about consciousness when determining personhood, nor about future existence when defining murder.

  37. piny
    September 13, 2005 at 1:20 am

    >>Beyond this, your labeling of the various stages of human development between conception and death as “potential” and “actual” is entirely arbitrary…>>

    Not any more arbitrary than your insistence that potential becomes important at conception.

  38. September 13, 2005 at 3:30 am

    I notce that the TRAP laws proposed are intended to shut down clinics, midwives and nurse practitioners, while leaving family-practice physicians free to continue performing abortions.

    That wouldn’t have anything to do with the socioeconomic class of the women served by those various providers, would it, hmmmm . . . ?

  39. Ledasmom
    September 13, 2005 at 6:38 am

    Raving Atheist, if I were planning to go to law school, I’d be happy about that. If I decided, off my own hook, not to, I’d probably be fine with that. If I were forcibly prevented, I’d be upset; if I were forced to go, I’d be upset.
    A woman’s being upset at loss of potential has no logical connection that I can see to the standing of the zygote, embryo or fetus; as you say, a woman who loses an unwanted pregnancy is unlikely to be upset – that doesn’t indicate that she is wrong, or the woman who mourns a desired pregnancy is wrong; it indicates that they felt differently about being pregnant.

  40. September 13, 2005 at 8:50 am

    R/A: You have succesffully hijacked a comment thread so you can spout your smug assertions about abortion that amount to little more than theist arguments in atheist’s clothing, presumably for nothing more than being a “shank” in a feminist’s side. You’ve based them on something so arbitrary as potential, a game that we could trace all the way back to the beginning of time, and one that we’re not specifically interested in considering you’ve done little more than engage in a “woman, what woman?” theme on a feminist site.

    I’m taking a cue from your good friend Dawn Eden by saying that if you don’t have anything to add to the original post, your time here is done.

  41. piny
    September 13, 2005 at 11:57 am

    Raving Atheist, if I were planning to go to law school, I’d be happy about that. If I decided, off my own hook, not to, I’d probably be fine with that. If I were forcibly prevented, I’d be upset; if I were forced to go, I’d be upset.
    A woman’s being upset at loss of potential has no logical connection that I can see to the standing of the zygote, embryo or fetus; as you say, a woman who loses an unwanted pregnancy is unlikely to be upset – that doesn’t indicate that she is wrong, or the woman who mourns a desired pregnancy is wrong; it indicates that they felt differently about being pregnant.

    What Ledasmom said.

    The reason a woman’s feelings about the pregnancy are important is that it is her decision to sustain the pregnancy that makes the difference between “eventual baby” and “ain’t never gonna be a baby.” The crucial developmental difference between fetus and baby is a woman’s body. Her hard work activates that potential. Therefore, we should care based on her desire to have the baby or abort the fetus: she really does have say in whether or not the fetus’s potential personhood is important.

  42. Phoenician in a time of Romans
    September 14, 2005 at 1:05 am

    I justifiy my moral position against abortion on the ground that the fetus is form of human life sufficiently worthy of protection absent a serious threat to the woman’s life or health.

    Pardon me, but a sperm or an ova is also a “form of human life”. Explain to us clearly what makes a zygote worthy and a gamete unworthy (and if it involves “DNA”, we’re going to need an explanation of the moral rights of this molecule).

  43. Phoenician in a time of Romans
    September 14, 2005 at 1:09 am

    If consciousness is your criteria for humanity, then it shouldn’t be a crime to kill a sleeping person — let’s call it a “sleepus” — because the sleepus is only potentially conscious.

    Nope, because a sleepus does not represent a *potential* consciousness, but a consciousness that has actually *existed* and is only temporarily in abeyance. There is an actual human identity associated with a sleeping body that is not associated, because it has never existed, with a fetus.

    And, again, what gives a fetus rights that, say, a sperm and an egg don’t have?

  44. Sean
    September 14, 2005 at 3:59 pm

    I say, don’t get pregnant to begin with. That’s an obvious choice. Forcing a woman to bring a baby to term is no mole a rights violation than forcibly ending a life. If we sterilized all those who choose to accept welfare, receiving my charitable donations in the form of taxes, this wouldn’t be much of an issue to begin with. Abortion is the tool of the careless and irresponsible.

  45. September 14, 2005 at 4:16 pm

    Oh wow, Sean, I really hope you’re kidding, because you are deeply misinformed.

    I don’t even know where to begin. First, abortion is a choice that one in three American women will make at some point in their lives — are all these women careless and misinformed? What about the guys who got them pregnant in the first place?

    And I’m not sure where you get the idea that if we sterilized welfare recipients, we’d have fewer abortions. Income level doesn’t determine whether or not someone has the right to reproduce. That’s so entirely fucked-up that I can’t even address it any more, because I feel sick.

  46. September 14, 2005 at 4:22 pm

    Abortion is the tool of the careless and irresponsible.

    And pregnancy is a fitting punishment.

    “Honey, you were born to punish mommy.”

Comments are closed.