How Surgical Abortion Increases Preterm Births

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The following letter was printed in the Washington Times this morning (4-OCT-2006).

The report, "More deaths tied to preterm birth" (Nation, Monday), tells us that preterm birth is responsible for at least 70 percent more infant deaths than previously thought. This increase in preterm deaths is a reason for researchers, including the March of Dimes, to request more federal funding to determine the cause of such births. But a major cause of preterm births, which many choose to ignore, is surgical abortion.

There are now 60 studies from 23 countries dating to the 1960s showing that surgical abortion increases premature births in subsequent pregnancies. There are many illustrious researchers and health-care professionals such as Judith Lumley of Australia; Barbara Luke, 2005 March of Dimes award winner; and McAllister Distinguished Professor John M. Thorpe who have verified that the risk increases with the number of surgical abortions.

Recently the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science recognized first trimester abortion as an "immutable medical risk factor associated with preterm birth." The report noted a 30 percent increase in preterm births since 1981, which tracks with the legalization of abortion in the United States, at an annual cost of $26.2 billion to our health-care system.

Preterm babies have more disabilities, including cerebral palsy, than full-term babies. A study published of 120,000 children showed that premature babies are abused at twice the rate of full-term babies.

Abortion not only kills children, it reduces the mother's ability to carry subsequent children to term and increases their rates of mortality, morbidity and abuse. Preterm birth is another of many reasons why abortion is a devastation for women and children.



DR. WILLIAM F. COLLITON JR.
Clinical professor of obstetrics
and gynecology (retired)
George Washington University
Medical Center

Every year, we have about one million abortions in the United States. That's about how many legal immigrants we accept every year. Every single weekday, more people are murdered in their mothers' wombs than were murdered by terrorists on 9/11. The immigrants aren't killing our culture, we are.

This is what the Democratic Party fights so hard to protect -- a woman's right to murder her child.

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58 Comments

That's not really accurate.

Most Democrats, like most Americans generally, support the right to an abortion only early in pregnancy before a point where they believe that the fetus is a sentient human capable of self awareness or the sensation of pain. The question of exactly when this point is reached is open to debate. But the key thing is that just as the most extreme of pro-lifers' aims are noble because they truly believe that they are fighting to save a human life, most pro-choicers are not really evil or promoting 'murder' when they legitimately believe that the fetus at that stage is simply a lump of cells with potential rather than an actual human. This point is essential when characterizing someone's motivations or intent in the abortion debate.

Remember that Democrats actually supported the ban on partial birth abortions several years ago. Our representatives in DC voted for it. We also asked that an exception be made for the unlikely event that the procedure was a medical necessity to save the life of the mother in a case where the fetus was beyond help. Why? Because we knew that the courts would strike it down otherwise. But your own party leaders insisted that it stay in with the language that every legal advisor said would invalidate the law (which is what happened). Why?

Because the Republican party needs abortions. Not just abortions but late term, 'partial birth abortions' to wave around as the boogeyman that makes people who are really ok with 1st trimester abortions vote for pro-life Republicans. What do you think would happen if the abortion issue went away? If late-term abortions were actually stopped? Then what is the GOP promising? Hordes of voters would start voting on other issues that line them up with Democrats. The late-term abortion vote is absolutely key to getting over 50% nationally. Face reality - the Republican party is holding aborted fetuses hostage for their own political gain. With the Democrats, at least we're willing to make an hoest compromise that would save the lives of unborn babies past a certain stage in fetal development.

Jack said:

"[the abortion-rights people] legitimately believe that the fetus at that stage is simply a lump of cells with potential rather than an actual human."

Naturally. Dehumanize first, then kill. S.O.P.

What is that "potential"? 99% after two months' gestation?

The Republicans did not want the exception for the health of the mother clause because it has been abused, and medical research indicated that it was NEVER necessary, as the procedure was more dangerous than giving birth.

If you want an honest compromise, start with honesty and admit that the fetus is not "simply lump of cells." A lump of cells is a tumor, not a fetus.

Stay Puft's lawyer said:

will you kindly define "people" as it is used in the phrase, "Every single weekday, more people are murdered in their mothers' wombs..."

zimzo said:

Even the Bible does not define a fetus as a person. Abortion is never mentioned in the Bible. In Exodus 21:22 a man who causes a woman to miscarry is ordered to pay a fine, not executed, which was the penalty for murder so the implication is that a fetus was not considered a person. The Talmud considered a baby a person only after birth. Early church law considered a fetus to be a person after "ensoulment" which was said to happen after "quickening" in the fourth or fifth month when the baby begins to kick. Pope Innocent III, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine all believed that a fetus wasn't a person until quickening.

Jack said:

Dang, Zimzo, you're lying AGAIN!

Here we go, Exodus 21:22-25

"If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." (KJV)

22 "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely [e] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise."

Of the 18 different English versions I checked, three say "miscarriage" or "loses her baby." The rest say "gives birth prematurely" or some version thereof.

Nevertheless, we also see in this passage that the hitting of the woman is accidental. As we see in Numbers 35, accidental killings are not punished by death.

Do you ever stop, Zimzo?

Stay Puft's lawyer said:

will you kindly define "people" as it is used in the phrase, "Every single weekday, more people are murdered in their mothers' wombs..."

Jack said:

"People" -- plural of person

"person" -- The living body of a human being.

"Human being" -- A member of the genus Homo and esp. the species h. sapiens.

zimzo said:

Not everyone shares your interpretation of Exodus 21:22, Jack:

"While Judaism sees the fetus as valuable and sacred as potential life, the sources indicate that it is not equivalent to a person. One source for understanding this attitude comes from the Torah in Exodus 21:22-23: "If two men are fighting and wound a pregnant woman so that the pregnancy is lost, but no `great harm' occurs, he will be fined as much as her husband assesses, and the matter will be placed before a court." Such a case is not considered murder. However, "If `great harm' does occur, it is a case of nefesh tahat nefesh, `life for life.' " In other words, the Torah draws an important distinction: causing a miscarriage of the fetus is a civil wrong resulting in monetary compensation (implying the fetus is not a person), while killing the mother is considered to be homicide."

http://www.uscj.org/cgi-bin/viewcontent.pl?SocPolAbortion_Contr5481.html

"This passage is pretty unambiguous, isn't it? If you kill an adult woman, that's murder and is punishable by death. But if you kill an unborn child, it's a far less serious crime and calls only for a fine. (And even the fine is optional if the family doesn't want to press the issue.) So how do fundamentalists get away with quoting this as evidence that abortion is murder? It's literally the only passage in the Bible directly related to the death of an unborn child, and it very clearly states that it's not murder and shouldn't be treated like murder. In fact, if the family has no objection (and they wouldn't in the case of a voluntary abortion), then it calls for no punishment at all."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2004_11/005144.php

Just because someone disagrees with you, Jack, that doesn't make them a "liar." Saying they are, however, makes you look small.

Jack said:

No, Zimmy, it's not unambiguous. Even accepting the "losing the child" or "miscarriage" version, as opposed to the more common (15-to-3) "premature birth" version, the death of the fetus would still be accidental, and so not punishable by death.

(I assume your biblical scholars have similar B.S. to justify homosexual sex, too.)

Your last point is quite true, though, even if it has number disagreement. Mod and Puffy disagree with me, and they are not liars.

Had Enough said:

No women responding to this...interesting. I have to say a few things about this subject.

No matter what your opinions may be "for" or "against" or your reasons for the same it seems that all the discussions are male dominated.

Whether I agree or disagree I truly believe that I have no right to decide what any woman should be forced to do with her body.

Over many years I have heard many stories and seen many things and I truly believe that the majority of women in their hearts did not want to do it but rather they were mentally and physically driven in desparation to do so even when it was against their religion, morals, etc.

Most of the time their decision is made because of father. Sometimes the father forces them to do it or threatens to leave them if they do not. Many times the father is violent, abusive, an alcoholic or someone who hardly ever works. Many times it is because one more mouth to feed drives them over the edge. Sometimes it is rape or incest. Sometimes the battered woman fears more confrontations.

I guess the point is that I have never read a story or heard a woman say "Hell yes, I'd do again in a minute".

I won't run this in the ground but I can't judge anyone or try to imagine the desperation or otherwise that drove them to make that decision.

I remember years ago even in the 70's a woman could not even have her tubes tied without her husbands permission and she had to have 2 living children.

Also remember before it was legal there were thousands of womwn who died or who were disfigured for the rest of their lives from butchers and home operations with coat hangers, etc. It is not a secret that almost half of the country does not even have health coverage.

I've known women jewish and christian that had considered or gone through with it and none took their decision lightly under any circumstances.

Another huge factor is that women do not have the same support system as they did years ago. Many do not have family close to them or close friends. With careers, children, and all the things that seem to overwhelm daily lives another addition can also be overwhelming.

Look at the Yates woman, she had 4 children a history of severe depression, her husband was warned a number of times never to have another child. They had lived in a school bus, she had to home school, everything was done his way no matter how hard it was and she got pregnant again and look what happened. She's been in prison, he has re-married and 5 kids are dead. He didn't believe in abortion.

So, no matter how you look at it, no matter how you pick it apart, no matter what your personal feelings are you will never know why someone goes to such an extreme.

If people looked out for each other, helped each other and built support systems in their circles they may be alot less. You all know that hardly anyone even knows their neighbors or their names in this day and age.

Everybody has an opinion, but everybody doesn't have 2 ovaries and a uterus.

Jack said:

"I truly believe that I have no right to decide what any woman should be forced to do with her body."

No-one except a rapist is forcing any woman to do something with her body. Except in the case of rape, a pregnant woman chose to have sex. Even in the case of rape, should a child be killed for the sin of his father? Rape does not carry a death sentence for the rapist. Should it be a death sentence for the child?

You try to put the blame, sometimes, on the father. Did she not chose that man for her husband or lover? If so, she has already demonstrated an inability to make good choices. But you have no problem with her chosing whether someone lives or dies?

"Many times it is because one more mouth to feed drives them over the edge."

What is this, India? Do we have people starving to death in this country?

"In the 70's a woman could not even have her tubes tied without her husbands permission...."

How is that relevant to the discussion? Are you saying that a husband should have no say in whether he has children?

"Also remember before it was legal there were thousands of womwn who died or who were disfigured for the rest of their lives from butchers and home operations with coat hangers, etc."

That's just bollocks.


According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control, in the decades prior to legalization, the number of deaths of women from illegal abortions in the US was as follows:

1940 - 1,682 deaths
1950 - 316 deaths
1962 - 205 deaths
1970 - 128 deaths
("Abortion Surveillance", November 1980)


"It is not a secret that almost half of the country does not even have health coverage."

More bollocks. The number of people uninsured at ANY time (even if only for a day) in 2005 was 46.6 million(http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p60-231.pdf). That's about 15.9% of the population, not "half."

Andrea Yates was insane. Are you holding her up as typical of the million women a year who have abortions?

As for "support systems," I know a woman who had an abortion after my wife and I, two of the woman's sisters, and her mother all offered to adopt the baby. But carrying the baby to term would have messed up her career as a strip-club dancer.

"Everybody has an opinion, but everybody doesn't have 2 ovaries and a uterus."

Are two ovaries and a uterus a license to kill?

zimzo said:

Great points, Had Enough. I think most people are tired of the extremist rhetoric on this issue. It was refreshing to read such thoughtful comments.

Jack said:

People DO get tired of hearing the truth, especially when the truth conflicts with their ideology.

Stay Puft's lawyer said:

Jack,

first, I don't think "people" works as the plural of "person" in the sense that you're using it. For example: the meaning of "The man had a weapon on his person," is fairly clear, whereas, "They all have weapons on their people," is somewhat incoherent, as the literal meaning is no longer the intended one.

The meaning of the phrase, "The living body of a human being" is also unclear given the context. To define an invisible cluster of cells as a 'human body' strikes me as a radical redefinition of the term.

you also seem to fail to see the distinction between one thing's potential to become another, and one thing actually BEING another. Imagine, if you will, a stack of sheet metal in an auto factory. If no outside forces intervene, all the robots and UAW workers on the line will turn that metal into a car. Yet, it would be inaccurate to refer to the stack of metal as "a car," because it isn't a car, it only has the potential, with the aid of the factory, of becoming one.

about that stripper: if you were faced with the choice of having a kid or a job, and you had to choose one or the other, what would you do? you offered to adopt the kid? why not offer to pay the girls rent, food, and so forth, or offer to employ her, so she could have the kid without going hungry from lack of employment in the process? you could have saved a human life! (by your own definition)

this particular comment of yours appears to expose an underlying paradox of your opinion on the abortion question; that is that you seem to have much more compassion for the humanity of zygotes than you do for actual human beings (in the traditional sense of the term; with arms and legs and stomachs and minds, etc.)

Jack said:

The definitions are all from Webster's.

Since you are a lawyer, I'm sure you prefer "persons" to "people."

"Invisible"? Hidden, perhaps, but not invisible. We can "see" a fetus with ultrasound and orthoscopically. Certainly if a person goes into the next room, so that he is invisible to you, you do not think he is no longer a person.

Your auto analogy is similarly flawed, and reminds one of the "first dehumanize, then kill" mentality. The flaw in your logic is that the autoworkers and those who operate the machinery and run the company are outside forces, and without those outside forces, no cars will be made.

As for the stripper (she prefers "exotic dancer"), we did in fact offer to house her, as did her mother and sisters.

Stay Puft's lawyer said:

ok, if auto workers are an "outside force" so is a mother. without the workers, the steel doesn't become a car, just as without the consent of the mother, the zygote doesn't become a baby. but the purpose of the analogy was not to "dehumanize" but to make the more abstract point that "being" and "potential to become" are two different things: a stack of sheet metal is not a car, four chopsticks is not a square, a cow is not a hamburger, a fertilized egg is not a person, and so on.

"invisible" was a poor choice of words on my part, please replace it with "microscopic" Yes, when people move from room to room they remain people, but if people can be microscopic, you're either in a fantasy land or a movie staring martin short.

I underestimated your capacity for compassion with regards to the stripper. I still find it interesting that your opinions put you in opposition to some particular group of people in all of the issues but this one. It seems that the only "people" you're concerned about are arguably not people at all.

Jack said:

Ah, Mr. Lawyer, you miss again. If the pregnant woman does nothing, and no misfortune occurs, the child will be born. She has already taken the action that will cause the birth. She did that when she got pregnant. An abortion is an intentional act of killing.

At what size, exactly, does a fetus become a person. When he is no longer "microscopic"? When large enough to be see with a magnifying glass? With the naked eye? Certainly one kilo "premee" is a person. Would he not still be a person had he not been born prematurely?

"I still find it interesting that your opinions put you in opposition to some particular group of people in all of the issues but this one."

I'm sorry, but I honestly do not understand this sentence.

'It seems that the only "people" you're concerned about are arguably not people at all.'

I do not see how you come to this conclusion. Is it because I cannot condone the intentional killing of an innocent human being?

Stay Puft's lawyer said:

the question of when does a fetus become a person can only be answered with an opinion. Your opinion depends on a redefinition of "person" to include fertilized eggs (2 cells), and presumably stem cells (one cell) as well. I think you would say that a sperm + an egg = a person. I think that it = a fertilized egg, and that there is a difference.

this leads into the difference between potential to be and being. you're still avoiding the point of the factory analogy. You may address it when you're ready.

re: "I still find it interesting that your opinions put you in opposition to some particular group of people in all of the issues but this one."

By this, I mean that on the various issues which are regularly discussed here, you tend to position yourself in opposition to whole groups of humans. You don't like undocumented immigrants, you scoff at homosexuals, you're unsympathetic to innocent Iraqis (because some of them might actually be terrorists, an argument you've also used against immigrants), you insist that pregnent women who choose not to give birth are murders(which is purely opinion), you berate democrats, after stating that the party is mostly made up of the uneducated and the poor, and you think the difference between 'us' and Muslims is that, "we are civilized, and they are not" ... So, it's just interesting that, on all of the "issues of the day," it appears that the only group of people you feel compassion for are, as I said, arguably not people at all. It just strikes me as odd that you'd care so much about tiny cell clusters while being so insensitive to the situations of so many thinking, feeling human beings.

Jack said:

Mr Lawyer:

What is the point of the factory anaolgy? It does not fit at all. A pregnant woman will give birth to a child, barring some unfortunate occurance. A willful act of violence is necessary to prevent that.

I fear you have gravely misread me. I am not unsympathetic to innocent Iraqis. We do not intentionally kill them, either, but there will be accidents and colateral damage.

Nor am I unsympathetic to illegal aliens. However, they are illegal, and should be deported when caught.

In both cases, my concern is for our own citizens first. Hussein was a threat that needed to be eliminated, and the illegal aliens are taking the jobs of our most vulnerable workers, and taking resources that should be spent on our people.

I berate Democrats because on issues such as global warming, gun control, Social Security reform, and education funding, they ignore the facts. Even your client, Puffy, whom I hold in higher regard than I do most liberals, admitted all of my facts on education funding, but held to his idea of federally funded schools, despite having absolutely no supporting data of his own.

Is it not true that the poor, the uneducated, and the elderly -- those who depend on the government -- tend to vote Democratic? Why should that not be said?

As for the homosexuals, I have, here and on the Equality Loudoun site, expressed the greatest sympathy for their plight, and have said that they have been given a burden far greater than I have, and that those who give up that sinful pleasure as God commands, their reward will be far greater than any I can hope for.

Jack said:

And another thing....

I have volunteered to adopt a child or two of deported illegal immigrants. Does that make me unsympathetic?

zimzo said:

Sorry, kids, Mommy and Daddy have been sent away and you'll probably never see them again, but the bright side is you can stay with me and listen to me rant about liberals and illegal immigrants--just like your Mommy and Daddy!--until you're old enough to get away, plus you can have your own room, which we had fixed up for a stripper who unlike you was old enough to be able to decline our kind offer to stay here and listen to me rant about how she would probably go to hell. So you see, things aren't that bad so you can stop crying now.

Jack said:

Ah, Zimzo. Bitter and hateful as ever.

The kids can, of course, go back with Mom and Dad to their home country, and return here as citizens when they wish. I'm offering an option to a couple who wants their child to stay here if they are deported. What's so wrong with that?

Stay Puft's lawyer said:


Jack:
don't you agree that this whole thing will always boil down to opinions? Everyone agrees that human life does in fact exist, and that it's a precious thing. And no one wants to "murder children". There just isn't a consensus on when life begins, when a person becomes a person. Maybe iIn your mind you know when that happens, and you couldn't be more sure of anything, but I don't agree with you. A lot of people don't. If you have any faith in the American people, you can't seroiusly think that so many of us are guilty of hiding from the truth or whatever

I do not believe that a person is a person from the moment of conception. At the moment of conception, you have two living cells, and I truly do not believe that those two cells are equal to a living person. I don't think I'm ignoring the facts, or refusing to accept the truth, or whatever. I think we have different beliefs, but that doesn't make either of us somehow amoral, and I can't seriously think that either of our beliefs will lead to some sort of general deterioration of morality in our society.

I do, however, believe that we need to be able to cope with those differences. This isn't Japan, where 99% of the people are from the same ethnic group. This is America, the great melting pot. What good can come out of suppressing our differences by using legislation to elevate one set of beliefs over another? we need to see these differences as America's great strength and celebrate them. Only by allowing people to hold different beliefs can the ideal of America be made a reality. Suppressing our differences by forcing people to conform to one specific set of beliefs and opinions will only tear the country apart.

so now you seem to think most liberals are bitter and hateful, and I think that pretty much sums up conservatives. you seem to think that liberals ignore facts, and I think conservatives twist facts to serve their needs.

this is like the freaking butter battle war. where do we go from here?

...Go Tigers!

Jack said:

Puffy's Lawyer:

I have given you MY definition of a person. Now give me yours. Answer my question about the 1-kilo premature baby. Is he a person, but would not be if he were still in the womb?

I agree we have differences. Rather than allowing the States to have differing laws on abortion, the S.C. "suppress[ed] our differences by forcing people to conform to one specific set of beliefs and opinions," and it is, indeed, "tear[ing] the country apart."

I believe Zimzo is bitter and hateful; that's why his name was there. As for your client, go back to his conversation with me on school funding. He did not even have any facts, and ignored those I provided. Look at Gun Control. Liberals still support it after all the evidence saying it increases violent crime, and they oppose Concealed Carry, despite clear evidence that it reduces crime. They say that Man is causing Global Warming, despite clear evidence that such warming has been occuring since 1600, despite evidence of global warming on Mars, and despite the correlation of solar activity to the warming trend.

Now, please answer my questions about when, in your opinion, a person becomes a person.

A Woman said:

Someone said earlier that this discussion is male dominated.

The fact is that most college-age women in this country want limitations on abortion. Meanwhile, the Democratic party insists on the failed policies of abortion on demand.

Here is the divide: the majority of people who want at least some restrictions on abortion and who want increased regulations to protect the health and safety of women vs. far left Democrats, Communists and Socialists who want abortions any time for any reason.

More than 1/3 of women who choose abortion felt forced into it by a partner, family member, boss or by circumstances. (AGI) Half of all abortions are to women who have had previous abortions. Many women who choose abortion were not using any form of contraception at the time that they became pregnant.

Bottom line, in the ever so memorable words of Frederica Matthews-Green: "A woman wants an abortion like a fox in a trap wants to gnaw off its leg."

Abortion hurts women. Early feminists knew that. In the 60's, feminists became enamored with with emulating what they saw as the freedom of male irresponsible sexual practices. The result has been sexually irresponsible females giving sexually irresponsible males what they want, epidemic levels of STD's, and record numbers of children being raised in single parent homes. That's not my idea of freedom.

Today, there is a new generation of feminists. We are 20 something and younger. We respect our sexuality, respect our minds, respect our partners and respect our children. We know that reproductive health is not about electing to undergo invasive surgery intended to end the life of our child. Reproductive health means making sexual choices that allow us to complete our education, compete in the marketplace and take responsibility with our partners for the children we conceive.

We want something more than the failed policies of abortion on demand for ourselves and our daughters. We intend to fight to change those policies for as long as it takes! We deserve better than abortion.

Stay Puft's lawyer said:

Jack,

to your "states should decide..."

My feeling is that individuals need to decide. It should be the division of No government, no matter how local.

and that's not the argument anyone makes against abortion, anyway. When we discussed education funding, you argued based on the constitutionality of the issue that it's the states responsibility. But you, or any other pro-lifer, don't tend to frame abortion as an issue of states rights. ...they use rhetorical terms like "murder" and "holocaust" When you say, "mothers murder their children" the implication is that abortion is immoral, period. You wouldn't say, "states should be able to determine whether they want to legalize murder" would you? by equating abortion to murder, you leave no room for differing points of view. Only by allowing individuals to decide for themselves to we truly allow for different beliefs.

so, based on the above, and my previous post, the question of when a person becomes a person could be, "when the mother decides they're a person"

I imagine the retort to this is: "so it's okay for a mom to kill an 8-year-old if she says she doesn't consider them a person." but I really don't see that happening.

I personally don't like the whole partial birth abortion. I don't think i'd ever have to deal with it because I'd never wait that long to have an abortion. and this sort of abortion is pretty rare, anyway, and usually only done for safety reasons, which I don't think need to be considered "murder" (why would someone bother spending 8 months being pregnant just to have an abortion, anyway?)

is a premature baby a person? I think so. but that's interesting, because without all of our science, premature babies would often die anyway. If you have a premature baby in rural India, there's a good chance it's not going to make it, right?

I've read this book about the Hmong ethnic group (it's actually about an epileptic hmong girl, called "the spirit catches you and you fall down"), who traditionally live in the rural parts of Laos and Vietnam, and they have such a high rate of infant mortality that they don't name a child until 2 months after it's birth, and if it dies before that, they consider it a miscarriage. So there seems to be a geographic component to the question of "is a premature baby a person" like, proximity to hospitals with incubators, and whether I consider premature babies people or not, it seems that God is somewhat indifferent on that particular issue.

and since you brought it up, you like to accuse people of ignoring the facts, but you kind of have a problem with facts yourself. you argued that in a 10-year period more people got concealed weapons and at the same time crime dropped, then you made the leap that the two were connected. that's a logical fallacy called "cum hoc ergo propter hoc" didn't you ever take philosophy?

look at this graph for a good example:
http://www.venganza.org/piratesarecool4.jpg

do you think there's a strong correlation between # of pirates and average global temp.?

you do something similar with global warming:
"the temp. is rising, but people might not be causing it, and therefore there's no problem." (i'm paraphrasing)
does anything about that strike you as irrational?

well, there's sort of an international consensus on global warming, anyway. look at the objectives of the Kyoto protocol, then look at the list of countries that signed it. seems like we went into Iraq with less info, and given the potential impact of global warming, it seems like we ought to take it seriously even if there's only a 1/10 chance that it's happening.

I know this is a long post; but the take-away point is: next time think before you accuse about half of the population of our country of "ignoring the facts" because it isn't true and it makes you sound like an elitist.

woman:

STD epidemic? I'm sure it'd because of abortion, and that a realistic solution is to get everyone so stop having sex.

this is an interesting quote from an article:

''It is a national disgrace that we do not have in place in this country an effective S.T.D. prevention system,'' said Dr. Judith N. Wasserheit, who directs the centers' Division of S.T.D. Prevention. ''The notion that we have a safety net of clinical and public health services to deal with the S.T.D. epidemic is a myth. In fact, much of the American public is not even aware that there is an epidemic.''

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9503E3D91430F93AA35750C0A96E958260

failed abortion policy? failed public health policy? hmmm...

we have what a million abortions a year. since 1973, so we'd have 33,000,000 people between the ages of 33 and 0 who's parents would just assume they'd never been born, and all the ramifications of that, why don't pro-life people ever take this into account when they argue about the damaging effects of abortion policy

Jacob Ash said:

Marshmallow's Lawyer,
Barrister, do you really believe 33M abortions = 33M unhappy childhoods prevented? Are you realy that callow?

Every pregnancy, planned or unplanned ends naturally with a new person as the result. The dynamic is always at worst unpredictably neutral. To state that an unexpexted pregancy will always produce an unlovable or unloved child as implied by your "who's parents would just assume they'd never been born" is simplistic. or worse dishonest.

Would you care to take a second bite at THAT apple?

-JA

Jack said:

Mr Lawyer:

The states DO decide what is and is not murder.

Infant abandonment that results in death is a crime. How does that differ from abortion?


You consider a premature baby a person, but you STILL did not answer the question: is a fetus at the same stage a person, too?

"When the mother decides THEY're a person"? (As a lawyer, you should at least match numbers.) So infant abandonment should NOT be a crime?

As for India and other poor countries, is being a person now dependent on where one lives?

CCW: That "cum hoc ergo propter hoc" has happened in EVERY STATE that has passed Concealed Carry Laws. In those states, the crime rate dropped faster than in the other states. Nations that have imposed draconian gun control laws have seen violent crime inrease EVERY TIME. How can YOU explain those facts?

(The pirate analogy does not work, becuase there is no control, no way to compare the effects. We have that in gun control.)


"we have what a million abortions a year. since 1973, so we'd have 33,000,000 people between the ages of 33 and 0 who's parents would just assume they'd never been born, and all the ramifications of that, why don't pro-life people ever take this into account when they argue about the damaging effects of abortion policy?"

What do you mean, "assume they'd never been born." Of course they were never born -- no assumption necessary!!

Stay Puft's lawyer said:

Jack,

"When the mother decides THEY're a person"? here "they" acts as the neuter form of the third person singular pronoun. this is linguistic evolution, so I don't expect you to be comfortable with it, Jack.

"You consider a premature baby a person, but you STILL did not answer the question: is a fetus at the same stage a person, too?"

STILL? I don't think you had asked that question. in my opinion, it seems like a fetus lacks some aspects of personhood which a premature baby does not, like having been born, but before you get all excited, you need to realize that you're missing the point.

I don't understand your need to know my personal definition of personhood. like I said, these so called partial birth abortions, or late term abortions, are the extreme minority. I believe it's like 2% of all abortions. I said that I'd prefer not to have one. I don't think a late-term abortion and the plan-b pill are the same, and the late-term ones are usually only done in emergencies. but you're choosing to avoid the point.

JA,

well well well. How's the view from the Moon?

either they've been messing with your oxygen levels, of I must have hit a nerve to get you all giddy like that.

you know, the literal meaning of, "Every pregnancy, planned or unplanned ends naturally with a new person as the result" implies that before the "natural end of pregnancy" their is no "person" and it seems like the "natural" end of a premature birth is often death of the baby, anyway. so it's all kind of hazy.

ok, I'm aware that the 33m is based on a simplification, there was a baseball game on at the time. but what do you think happens when a person who doesn't want a kid is forced to have it? good things? I know of a girl who was working her way through school when she got pregnant, and she had to choose between finishing school and having children when she was ready, or having the kid, dropping out, and beginning a career waiting tables just to break even on rent and diapers. who would have benefited from that baby being born? you can't imagine any negative consequences of banning abortion? how about making socioeconomic disadvantage even more generational. nice.

or are you talking about adoption? that'd be funny, since I seem to remember your argument against gay marriage being founded on the idea that adoption isn't good for the kid. and there are plenty of kids to be adopted already from other countries. (although some people might have a problem with the darker skin tone)

but since there's no real solution to this problem, here's a modest proposal for ya:

we'll ban abortion and allow gay marriage, and gay couples can adopt the would-have-been-aborted kids. roughly 10% of the
pop. is gay... hey! that's ~ 30 million! thirty million people we're preventing from forming families and 30 million unwanted kids! 2 kids each; talk about equilibrium! that way all the gays can atone for their sinful ways by saving lives, and, if they're lucky, they might even get into heaven!

Jack said:

No partial-birth abortion has EVER been medically necessary.

In the American Heritage College Dictionary, only 3% of their Usage Panel accepted "they" as a singular pronoun. 97% say you're wrong. "It" is the third-person singular neuter pronoun in English. Since you claim a fetus is not a person, the fetus cannot be male or female. When the sex is unknown, the proper, generic pronoun is "he."

Here was the question AGAIN: "Certainly one kilo 'premee' is a person. Would he not still be a person had he not been born prematurely?"

Now, more about your pirates example. Sounds similar to the argument that industrialization is causing global warming. There is no control for comparison. Worse still, the global warming argument is a "PRAE hoc ergo propter hoc." Global warming started BEFORE industrialization. There is also global warming on Mars (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/mars_ice-age_031208.html). Are we causing that, too, or is it the Martians industrialization? (BTW, there was almost no sunspot activity during the Little Ice Age. The sunspot activity has been increasing ever since. Historical data shows a good match between sunspot activity and temperature over a long period of time.)

I also noticed you skipped over the gun-control issue.

So this woman you know killed her baby, rather than putting him up for adoption, just so she could finish school one semester earlier?

No-one ever said adoption was bad for a child. Even so, adoption is far better than death. That is not why I oppose gay marriage.

You say I'm avoiding the point. OK, what's your point? That a woman should be allowed to kill her child, for any reason whatsoever, until the child is born?

Jacob Ash said:

The view is good. As for the nerve, yup, I expect better. Your excuse of 'I was watching baseball' is accepted. ;-)

As for "who would have benefited from that baby being born?" How about,
1. the baby
2. one of the many barren couples that would cut their limbs off to get a baby.
and
3. the mother

Nowadays, if you put the baby up for adoption its gone real fast. Older kids are an issue. The absurdity is the hoops the adoption laws make people jump through so they can adopt.

As for your calculus that the need for the mother to finish her degree outweighs the right of the baby to live is ... well ...
1. absurd on its face in the first place,
2. a false choice in the second. Adoption is a real option.

The choice is not 'wait tables' or 'kill the baby'. And if it was the only choice, the right answer is to ask if someone want fries with that. The baby's right to live out weighs the mothers right to not waite on tables. Waiting on tables is not a fate worse than death. Or is it in your little world?

On a third note, why should the baby bear the consequences for Mom's choice to have sex? If you want to play you should pay, not you kid. A grown up will accept the consequences. The modern desire for actions free of negative consequences is infantile, and destructive.

-JA

Stay Puft's lawyer said:

why not take a few steps backward and say that if the girl didn't have sex she would have killed the baby? god's will that people have sex (the nature of things) if the girl went against her god-given instinct, she'd be preventing the child from being born, which is always murder, yeah? How is using a condom not a weapon of murder? It interferes with the natural course of things (literally), right?

this whole natural end idea seems weak anyway, because the natural course of living things is to eventually die. so it seems kind of pointless to argue based on "natural end"

now JA, is adoption good or bad for kids?


Jack,
I don't give a damn about the usage panel. in 100 years they'll say i was ahead of my time. (just like Bush)

i didn't address guns because this is about abortion and i'd already talked about pirates and global warming. you seem to operate under the assumption that your opinion is infallible, that the only valid facts are the ones you dig up, so what's the point anyway?

but just for kicks, let's say global warming is a natural process, what if it gets really freaking hot? what's the plan to deal with that? I don't care what's causing it as much as what the effects will be. you seem to know everything, so why don't you tell me?

now, I've answered your premee question and reiterated my answer. There are shades of gray, I think. You only see black and white. perhaps pregnancy is more like a spectrum. I've said I would not have a partial birth abortion. I wouldn't feel comfortable with it. Is that what you want? a ban on partial birth abortion? Answer your own question about when a person becomes a person. are we talking about premees or freshly fertilized eggs?

my friend did not kill her baby, do you have to be such a pundit? you're perspective is typical (predictable?) of a white, upper class, evangelical, male. Although you'd probably prefer it, I'm thankful we're not all like you.

Jack said:

Mr Lawyer:

Now you're dropping to ad hominem attacks. "You seem to operate under the assumption that your opinion is infallible, that the only valid facts are the ones you dig up, so what's the point anyway?"

The point is that my opinions are based on facts, and yours are not. At least I make the effort to "dig up" facts. You have presented no facts whatsoever. You have given us no facts on abortion, none on gun control and concealed carry laws, none on global warming's being caused by industrialization, and none on education funding. Despite having no facts, and despite being presented with facts contrary to your beliefs, you still cling stubbornly to those beliefs.

To your questions:

On Global Warming: It depends on how hot it gets. (Unfortunately, we cannot control the weather.) The computer models predicted greater warming than we have seen, so don't fret too much. I suspect the first thing is that we would have longer growing seasons. The earth has known warmer periods before, and life thrived through all of them. It was during the Ice Ages that there were problems.

On Gun Control and CCW: We CAN control that, unlike the weather. Ignoring the fact that gun control incrase violent crime, while concealed carry laws reduce it, indicates that YOU do not care whether people are murdered, raped, or robbed. I used to favor gun control, too, but I was an ignorant child then.

On Abortion: "There are shades of gray, I think. You only see black and white. perhaps pregnancy is more like a spectrum." What B.S. A woman is pregnant or she is not. Pregnant means that there is a living, fertilized egg (or fetus), with human DNA, somewhere inside her that is conducive to the growth of the egg or fetus. That life, with human DNA unique from all others (except identical twins), is a person, a human being.

(For the record, I am glad your friend chose not to kill her baby.)


"you're perspective is typical (predictable?) of a white, upper class, evangelical, male."

Thank you.


"Although you'd probably prefer it, I'm thankful we're not all like you."

Not at all. First, I like women. Second, without people such as you, I would not be enjoying my superiority complex.

Jack said:

One more thing, Puffy's Lawyer: I did not assume your friend killed her baby. I asked whether she had. Please read my posts more carefully before you blast me for saying something I didn't say.

Stay Puft's lawyer said:

"ad hominem attacks?" "ignorant child?"

you've told me your views on gun control before (as if I couldn't have guessed), I don't remember ever discussing my views on gun control with you, but apparently you're saying that if I DO disagree with you on the issue it implies that I, "do not care whether people are murdered, raped, or robbed."

we've never even discussed it and you're assume I'm wrong! that's why I said, "You seem to operate under the assumption that your opinion is infallible"

3 days ago I asked you to define what you meant by "people", at long last you tell me it's about DNA? and you say I'm talking B.S.? DNA? every freaking cell has DNA. blood has DNA, so I get a cut and I'm murdering DNA?

you switch from defending premees to defending DNA? how are we supposed to have a conversation when you're going to shift between defending premees and defending DNA as it suits your needs, huh? It's like insisting on me telling you what my OPINION was and than accusing me of not talking about FACTS when I do. I've been saying we need to accept each others beliefs, but you insist on proving that your own are somehow superior. How feeble your ideas are.

you used to be an ignorant child? you've become a foolish old man.

Jack said:

So you take a qualifying phrase, "with human DNA," as the WHOLE definition.
It is possible to implant non-human embryos into a woman's womb, thus the inclusion of the qualifyer "with human DNA." If I had not put in that qualifyer, I'm sure you would have said, "The a pig embryo implanted in a woman's womb is a person. I did not say that ANY cell with human DNA was a person. Read the WHOLE definition.

You take 3 words out of a 46-word definition, and say those three words are the whole definition.

Who's the fool?

Stay Puft's lawyer said:

oh come on, you're saying that a strand of DNA, under specific conditions, is a person, yeah?

you've been talking about premees, and now you're on about strands of DNA, as if they're one and the same.

"Pregnant means that there is a living, fertilized egg (or fetus), with human DNA, somewhere inside her that is conducive to the growth of the egg or fetus. That life, with human DNA unique from all others (except identical twins), is a person, a human being."

This is your opinion, not fact. It's a nice cut-and-dry understanding of life, but it isn't universally held. Everyone has an opinion. Some would say that there is no "person" until childbirth. that's also a nice cut-and-dry definition (and it seems to be the one our citizenship laws are based on, no?), or when there is a heart beat, or EEG activity which indicates sentience, awareness etc., when there is a personality, or when the organism has the basic organs and systems in place to sustain it's life. One could find evidence in support of all of these points of view and others. All of this is laid out nicely in this article:

http://tinyurl.com/g8ahc


when I search for "person" in the great aggregate of all human knowledge that is Google, the results look something like this:

http://images.google.com/images?q=person&hl=en&btnG=Search+Images

and when I search DNA, they look like this:

http://images.google.com/images?svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&q=DNA&btnG=Search

To me, they appear to be two different things. and before you call this analysis overly simplistic, consider the idea that a "person" exist when an egg is fertilized, because at that point all the conditions are there for it to develop into a person.

Are all the conditions not there the instant before conception as well? Or we could go back even farther and say that the menstrual cycle, human attraction, sex drive, etc. are all natural process which, if not interrupted, will lead to the creation of new life, and therefore any social norms, medication, or devices which stand in the way of these natural processes are akin to murder in their capacity to prevent these new lives from being. The moment of conception is an even in the process of creating life, but not necessarily the moment at which a new person is brought into existence, unless you are willing to ascribe to it some mystical idea of the whole being greater than the sum of it's parts. It's fine if you are, but you must recognize that this idea is rooted in a particular belief system (as opposed to truth with a capital T), just as all ideas of when life begins ultimately are.

the problem with using your particular belief system as the basis for legislation seems to be that in banning all abortions, we'd violate the will of people with differing beliefs who would chose to have an abortion, whereas it can't reasonably be argued that, under normal circumstances, an abortion (particularly in the early stages of pregnancy) is a violation of any one's will.

Stay Puft's lawyer said:

well, it seems that my (rather longish) answer to your question, "Who's the fool" got held up in customes yesterday, and Joe has yet to release it, so I'm going to repost it in two parts now:
--------------------------

oh come on, you're saying that a strand of DNA, under specific conditions, is a person, yeah?

you've been talking about premees, and now you're on about strands of DNA, as if they're one and the same.

"Pregnant means that there is a living, fertilized egg (or fetus), with human DNA, somewhere inside her that is conducive to the growth of the egg or fetus. That life, with human DNA unique from all others (except identical twins), is a person, a human being."

This is your opinion, not fact. It's a nice cut-and-dry understanding of life, but it isn't universally held. Everyone has an opinion. Some would say that there is no "person" until childbirth. that's also a nice cut-and-dry definition (and it seems to be the one our citizenship laws are based on, no?), or when there is a heart beat, or EEG activity which indicates sentience, awareness etc., when there is a personality, or when the organism has the basic organs and systems in place to sustain it's life. One could find evidence in support of all of these points of view and others. All of this is laid out nicely in this article:

http://tinyurl.com/g8ahc

Stay Puft's lawyer said:

when I search for "person" in the great aggregate of all human knowledge that is Google, the results look something like this:

http://images.google.com/images?q=person&hl=en&btnG=Search+Images

and when I search DNA, they look like this:

http://images.google.com/images?svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&q=DNA&btnG=Search

To me, they appear to be two different things. and before you call this analysis overly simplistic, consider the idea that a "person" exist when an egg is fertilized, because at that point all the conditions are there for it to develop into a person.

Are all the conditions not there the instant before conception as well? Or we could go back even farther and say that the menstrual cycle, human attraction, sex drive, etc. are all natural process which, if not interrupted, will lead to the creation of new life, and therefore any social norms, medication, or devices which stand in the way of these natural processes are akin to murder in their capacity to prevent these new lives from being. The moment of conception is an even in the process of creating life, but not necessarily the moment at which a new person is brought into existence, unless you are willing to ascribe to it some mystical idea of the whole being greater than the sum of it's parts. It's fine if you are, but you must recognize that this idea is rooted in a particular belief system (as opposed to truth with a capital T), just as all ideas of when life begins ultimately are.

the problem with using your particular belief system as the basis for legislation seems to be that in banning all abortions, we'd violate the will of people with differing beliefs who would chose to have an abortion, whereas it can't reasonably be argued that, under normal circumstances, an abortion (particularly in the early stages of pregnancy) is a violation of any one's will.

Stay Puft's lawyer said:

There. QED.

Jack said:

Mr Lawyer:

Stop being an ass. NEVER did I say that "a strand of DNA" is a person. I said that a person HAS human DNA. Do you dispute that?

As for the other points, that is, I believe, the view of the Catholic Church. However, I do not concur. Prior to conception, action is required to create a new person. After conception, however, action is required to end that creation. That is the difference.

You have said, "everyone has an opinion," but I have not heard yours. When does a fetus become a person? (I'm asking for YOUR opinion, not the mother's.)

Kevin said:

I had a Menonite for a professor for Ethics In Healthcare. He argued so ferociously on both sides of the abortion debate that no one could win against him no matter what their stance was. In the end, the point was, the constitution was not designed to handle the question. The amendment itself has no constitutional basis, was merely a political creation to appease the masses. He swore to fail anybody who even dared to broach the subject in any class paper because all arguments for or against are so full of holes that no one could possibly present a "good" argument either way. He failed the papers of the two who tried. The man was a genius with ADHD, I'm not kidding. I mean, you want to talk to someone who makes you want to call them "ass", you should meet him. Right, nonetheless. One time he was debating this guy who had reached the end of rope, intellectually, and the student's response was, "Well, I think you're wrong."

Teach: "Oh yeah? Are kidding?. . . . .Ok, I think YOU'RE wrong." and LAUGHED!

And then the two just stared at each other and the teacher says, "Anybody else have any other brilliant opinions they want to reveal?"

Bright fuckn man.

Stay Puft's lawyer said:

ok, can we call off the name calling for, let's say the next three exchanges?

next, technically I don't think a fertilized egg is considered a fetus. the common understanding seems to be that the embryo becomes a fetus after about 8 weeks, when it has taken on a basic mammalian structure and set of organs. can we agree on the difference between the terms "fetus" and "embryo" for the sake of conversation?

according to your definition, the instant an egg is fertilized, a new piece of DNA is formed in an environment conducive to translating the DNA's code into a person, and therefore a person exists. although it's beside the point, it seems that your definition of "person" is based on a set of conditions which may or may not lead up to a person. is this not what you're trying to say?

you keep asking me for my opinion about when life begins. I think it has to do with consciousness, awareness, and will. Sort of, "I think therefore I am" any living organism or cell which lacks consciousness is, in my view, lacking an integral aspect of personhood, and I do not believe that at the early stages of pregnancy there is any awareness or will on the part of the embryo. Until a fetus begins to move and kick, it's actions are purely deterministic. but my opinion is that there is no objective definition of the beginning of life. Beginning of life is relative, and depends on a number of factors, including cultural and personal understandings of things like "personhood," etc. for example, if an egg does not implant, do we tend to consider it a death? what if the woman took action prior to having sex to prevent the egg from implanting? what if she action immediately following?

I think all forms of birth control represent actions taken to prevent the ultimate birth of a child. it seems that if you believe that live begins at conception because at that point it becomes necessary to take action to stop the development, than logically you need to believe that all forms of birth control are wrong insofar as they are actions to prevent life from forming, unless you think there's a difference between such actions taken before or after conception.

Jack said:

Mr. Lawyer:

Truce accepted, so long as you don't take a qualifying phrase and make it the entire definition.

You have the essence of my position correct. That there may be some fertilized eggs that do not implant is irrelevant. We do not consider it a death because we never notice that it has happened.

I would be more careful of your definitions. "Any living organism or cell which lacks consciousness is, in my view, lacking an integral aspect of personhood." Is one not a person when under a general anethesia? At what point is an Alzheimer's patient no longer a person, becuase his will is gone? Is someone in a coma, or a "persistent vegitative state," not a person?

These are very real issues in the "right to die" debate. Terri Schaivo, to her husband, was no longer a person. To her parents, she was.

Your last paragraph again takes part of my statement and makes it the whole. Action is required to terminate the life, AND that unique DNA exists. (Until conception, it does not exist.) The Catholic Church, however, does takes the position you outline, and therefore opposes birth control.


"A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client."

Had Enough said:

I have not had time to respond to the post that down played the deaths of women after abortion. I did some minimal research on what I previously stated and here is the results. No one can imagine the desperation and pain that lead to these deaths. Some occurred after 1976, which leads me to assume that they could not afford a legal procedure or they tried to do it themselves privately. No matter what their reasons or why it happened, it is still a tragedy for everyone involved.

Maternal Illegal Abortion Deaths 11,786 (1940-1985)

Data for 1940-1971 are from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS); data for 1972-1985 (the last year for which data are available) are from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

These deaths were counted as a direct result of abortion, but many thousands were not. Usually the other deaths were reported as deaths from the final result, not the cause (abortion). Such deaths were reported from infections, shock, uterine puncture, blood loss, suicide (suicide seems to have been very common), etc.

With the stigma and illegality of abortions over decades most doctors and family members did not report the true source of the deaths (family skeletons in the closet). I remember a friend of mine years ago telling me how her boyfriends mother be took her to a clinic to have an abortion and all the time telling her over and over how disappointed and upset her family would be if they knew she was pregnant. It wasn't until much later she figured out that woman was only protecting her eighteen year old son. She said that she would never be able to tell her family.

For many decades abortions were done quietly in a safe hospital under the care of the family doctor or GYN by the procedure known as a D&C. These days it is rare hearing of anyone having a D&C, but years back it was a common everyday term. This procedure used for abortion was usually only available to a woman who could afford it or had a doctor that had no problem with performing the procedure to end a pregnancy.

As far as the Yates woman, I was trying to make the point that even after her husband was warned that with her mental state and history of severe post-partum depression it would be dangerous to ever get her pregnant again. Knowing the facts and there were already 4 children for her to take care, home school, etc. in the conditions they lived in with her state of mind, "he still couldn't keep it in his pants or take precautions prevent it". Someone had to be the responsible adult, she couldn't, so it was his responsibility. I thought he should have been charged also, he is just as guilty or more for his selfishness and neglect in the entire situation. He is now re-married and continuing his life as the expense of his first family.

Jack said:

OK, let's accept you figures. 11,786 maternal deaths over 45 years is 262 per year. These are not at all out of line with the numbers I quoted, and those numbers were trending downward over that period, ending at 128 in 1970.

Compare that to the 1,000,000 abortions in the United States every year. That's one maternal death for every 3817 abortions.

As for Yates, perhaps he should have been charged with something (reckless endangerment?), but that, too, is irrelevant to the abortion discussion, unless you believe that most women are insane. In that case, they should not be making such choices.

Stay Puft's lawyer said:

Jack, how are you going to assume that the number of deaths from abortion is the same today as it was pre-Roe v Wade? you ought to know more about advances in medical equipment and such. (and heads up, it's just a matter of time before JA comes along and accuses you of 'callow calculus' ;)

even assuming that nothing has changed since 1970, and your estimates are correct, a 1 in 3817 chance is pretty low, and considering maternal deaths during childbirth are about 1 in 3700 in North America, abortion actualy improves a woman's chance of survival.

I can't figure out where you got the 1 in 3817 figure. 1,000,000/128=7,813. Plus, Planned Parenthood's website estimates that there are about 1,300,000 abortions a year, so the estimate (based on 1970 statistics) would be even lower today (about 1 in 10,000)

Stay Puft's lawyer said:

but I couldn't agree more that, "We do not consider it a death because we never notice that it has happened."

it's like the proverbial tree falling in the forest. Doesn't this imply that life/personhood begins when it is perceived to have begun, instead of at some objective 'moment of life'

if you take the plan b, you don't know if you're preventing an egg from developing, or if it was ever fertilized at all, or if it would have ever implanted if it had been.

Since we don't consider it a death because we never notice that it has happened, from now on can we remove Plan B from the 'equivalent of murder' column?

as to the whole "consciousness" thing, it is my opinion, not my definition. and my opinion should only ever be relevant to my own pregnancy.

beginning and end of life ideas are indeed closely related.

I believe that if I were to enter a persistent vegetative state, my life would be over. If I WERE to define life based on my opinion, I would argue that if a nervous system is only capable of the same basic stimulus-response mechanisms as an amoeba, then a "person" is no longer present. You can run electricity through a corpse's muscle and make them contract, but that doesn't make it a person.

Comas are weird because, even if there's no consciousness or response whatsoever, the fact is that the "person" has existed, and possibly will exist again. It is a bit of a grey area, but I feel we should "pull the plug" unless the coma patient has previously requested that course of action.

Jack said:

Mr. Lawyer:

I was taking the average over the period Had Enough provided, and assuming 1,000,000 abortions per year. Anyway, there are thousands of times more people who are not alive today because they were aborted than from having an abortion.

If taking "Plan B" does prevent implantation, ignorance of that fact does not change the fact that a child who would have been born will not be.

A persistent vegitative state is not a corpse. The lungs breathes, the heart beats, and any food that gets in gets digested.

"I feel we should 'pull the plug' unless the coma patient has previously requested that course of action."

I do hope that is a misprint.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

yes, thanks again

"I feel we should NOT 'pull the plug' unless the coma patient has previously requested that course of action."

now I know you've got a moral code, and I don't think you'd seriously say that the millions of people who have abortions (1 in 3 US women), and the millions more who support that right, are murders with some sort of deficient moral code.

...but do you think anything can come out of this discussion (either between these two bloggers or at the national level) Even from your point of view, if the pro-life movement succeeded in getting abortion banned, it wouldn't be a solution, it would just change the nature of the problem. Women would still seek abortions, only in a much riskier context. Do you think there can be any solution to this issue, or is it just a never-ending back and forth?

Jacob Ash said:

Marshmallow,
Do you think if abortion was illegal, that the number of abortions would reamin at its current level? After row the number of abortions in this country jumped by over 1600 percent.

We now have contraception options (the pill, norpran(sp?) etc that were not available back in 1970. Do you think a woman would not instead avail herself of these alternatives?

-JA

Jack said:

First of all, I do in fact think that the millions of women who have had abortions did murder their children. The simple fact is there are millions of people who are not alive today because of those abortions. That a woman values her lifestyle over the life of one completely dependent upon her is clear indication of a "deficient moral code."

I do not think there will ever be a solution, because there will always be people with a "deficient moral code." However, if abortion were banned, there would be fewer abortions.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

ok, but isn't it kind of funny the way your morale superiority just happens to be the same one you were born into? In other words, do you think your 'better' moral code is based on anything objective, or is it the product of your own particular cultural... idiom?

I'm also curious to know if you believe that a ban on abortion would lead to an overall improvement in society. I mean, say murder was legal, and any could shoot anyone they wanted for any reason... we'd expect to see a general deterioration of everything as society descended into anarchy, yeah? Lots of people support and/or have abortions; do you think this is having any far-reaching ramifications on our culture?

Jack said:

PUFFY!! I'm glad you're back -- your lawyer was a real putz.

Good question on the moral (not morale) superiority. (It's better than some I've seen: "Sexual Morays" (how else would they reproduce?) or "Sexual Moors" (I'm not even going to go there).

The answer is that I was not born into it. My parents were Episcopalian -- and you know where the Episcopal Church is these days.

There is no more important issue than God. (Agnostics really piss me off -- they almost never make any effort to cure their ignorance.) As such, I spent many years studying various religions. In fact, my senior speech in H.S. was titled "Bring the Boys Back Home" (with apologies to Roger Waters) advocating pulling our missionaries out of India, because the idiots were trying to sell immortality to people who thought they already had it and were trying to get out of it!

I have studied Hinduism, Taoism, Shinto, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Only Taoism and Christianity made sense. (Not to paganistic Taoism, but the philosophical Taoism of Lao Tsu and Chuang Tsu.)


Second question. I do believe "that a ban on abortion would lead to an overall improvement in society." Your analogy to murder is apt, and I believe that legalizing abortion has led to a general deterioration of society. There is, of course, no way to prove this assertion, because of that whole "cum hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacy. Unlike the case of gun control laws, in which we have 50 different states to compare, we do not have control groups in abortion laws. Should Roe be overturned, and the states start making their own laws, then we could make comparisons.

There is also a very good case to be made that society was going in the crapper back in the '60s, and that led to Roe v. Wade. Cause and effect are sometimes difficult to distinguish.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

hey, after returning to the source, I'm back.

not to be too repetitive, but America is a strong economy and superpower and land of the free, ect. I mean, if people were free do kill anyone, or steal anything, it seems like before long there'd be chaos and the economy would collapse and it'd be just like mad max. I'm just wondering if you have any specific or general ideas of how abortion harms society at large (and obviously these couldn't be proven or disproved)

Jack said:

I think abortion has given us a callous disregard for life in general, as evidenced by your attorney's comment, "the natural course of living things is to eventually die, so it seems kind of pointless to argue based on 'natural end.'"

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

do you think this callousness could have anything to do with a willingness to invade other countries and rationalize all the civilian casualties as being justifiable? --or could it make it easier to dehumanize our enemies? interesting...

I also have to ask, if pro-lifers seriously consider abortion to be murder, how to they tolerate living in a society which allows 1.3 million murders every year (and where at least half the population is OK with it)? These numbers aren't far off from the holocaust, a 9/11 every day as you put it. Certainly more innocent loss of life than Saddam's WMDs would have caused (even if he had had them). I see abortion being used (by both sides) as an election issue every few years. Is that an acceptable way to deal with such a horrifying situation? Doesn't 1.3 million government-sanctioned murders every year call for some sort of insurrection, or revolution? If abortion is murder, surely extreme measures would be justifiable in trying to stop it.

But they aren't. Some guy shot up a clinic, but that's hardly a revolution. Why is that?

Wanna know what I think? I think that the pro-life line of reasoning arrives at the conclusion that abortion is the same as murder, but deep down, people don't really believe it. Even pro-lifers see a difference between abortion and murder at some level.

...just a theory

thanks

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