Our Next Prez?

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by BLD, Jul 28, 2004.

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  1. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    (I know you weren't using the statement in this way, but because I actually saw one guy at a rally say "God causes abortions all the time": "God" also kills people of all ages and demographic groups with earthquakes, hurricanes, terminal cancer, et. al., so there's an obvious reductio ad absurdum for this when it's used as an argument rather than an illustrative point.)
    Agreed. I also have issues with a culture that says that women have to resolve all of these issues alone, while the men who impregnate them go scot free. Kind of like those ridiculous "criminal fornication" laws in the midwest where pregnancy is pretty much the only form of acceptable evidence of fornication, so all these teenage girls get arrested while the teenage boys--who are, more often than not, the real sharks--go on with their lives.

    Doesn't apply to anyone here, but the only pro-life activist I remember meeting in person was a raging misogynist. Didn't use any harsh language, but you could tell from the way he spoke in private, his choice of words and tone of voice, that he was not a supporter of women. When folks like that get their hands on the movement, I can understand why feminists get ticked. And hypocrites like Randall Terry aren't any help, either.

    Then you have the right-wing politicians who campaign on abortion to grab anybody whose conscience makes them vote for anti-abortion candidates. Of course these folks say "Well, the only way we'll get rid of abortion is if we eradicate all these other civil liberties first, so help me appoint justices who will do that..." I know Roe v. Wade was decided based on the Constitution's implicit right to privacy, but that right is not applicable in cases where there is a compelling state interest. So by appointing only justices who oppose privacy rights, pro-life politicians are essentially saying: "Well, let's not say abortion is murder; let's say it's okay to legislate what a woman does with her body whether it's murder or not, because that means our opponents are more likely to disagree with what we're doing, making it a more widely applicable wedge issue."


    Cheers,
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2004
  2. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    Orson is very clear that he opposes abortion in cases where the brain has developed to the point where thought can emerge, so asking him this question would be much like if I were to ask you "How does it feel to kill all those countless millions of babies? You know, sperm?" Fact of the matter is that both of you have pretty sympathetic grounds for arguing as you do--he has neuroscience, you have theology--though I think he goes further than I would in one direction (I'm more agnostic on consciousness issues), and you go further than I would in the other (I think the Bible is a human product).


    Cheers,
     
  3. BLD

    BLD New Member

    A woman should not be held any more responsible than the man who impregated her. Men should held fully accountable for his actions, and at the very least, financially support the child.

    But the real issue here is not one of choice. In fact, that argument was rarely made until medical science showed how early life actually does begin. If it is a matter of choice, the real choice should not rest with the mother or father, but with the child whose life is being snuffed out. Why does the mother or father have a right to choose death for the infant? If they do, why can they not also choose death for their three-year-old?

    BLD
     
  4. BLD

    BLD New Member

    And exactly at what point is that? Abortions are given up to the very moment of birth, and in the case of partial birth abortion, after the baby has actually left the birth canal.

    BLD
     
  5. Khan

    Khan New Member

    Thanks.
     
  6. BLD

    BLD New Member

    Khan,
    You were supposed to say, "Thanks, but I drive a Ford." I know, stupid joke....

    BLD
     
  7. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    Excellent point. I don't think BLD is misogynistic, but I don't have any trouble seeing why many folks consider abortion a women's rights issue. It's very easy for men to say women need to give birth whenever they get pregnant, because a woman who gets unexpectedly pregnant will find that her life as she knows it is over, while the man who impregnates her is free to go on as if nothing happened. When you consider the fact that the most vocal anti-abortion activists are also in favor of "traditional" (e.g., oppressive) gender roles, it creates a creepy-looking situation. I think there's some truth to the feminist quote (did Gloria Steinem say this?) that if men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament. That's one of the reasons I generally avoid discussing abortion in public forums: It inevitably ends up as a bunch of men talking about how to punish pregnant women. I don't think this in any way removes the serious questions about personhood and human nature that abortion presents, but it's something that folks should consider before they legislate on this issue.


    Cheers,
     
  8. adireynolds

    adireynolds New Member

    Well, again, this comes back to definitions. I would not define an 8-week old fetus as an infant.

    And, in fact, parents can choose death for their three-year-old, and I'm not just talking about murder. What happens if the child is in a car accident and ends up in a comatose state, unable to breathe except by machines? Parents must choose whether to end that child's life, or leave him/her in such a state. Is it not the parents' responsibility to make choices for their children?
     
  9. adireynolds

    adireynolds New Member

    Tom, you make some excellent points. I don't think BLD is misogynistic, either -- just coming at this issue from a different angle.

    Your sentence re "a bunch of men talking about how to punish pregnant women" strikes a bell, and this really drives me nuts. Let me explain.

    I am almost 37 years old, and I have never wanted children. Ever, ever, ever. I'm not maternal, am very career-minded and driven, and have always recognized this aspect in myself
    (and have always been very comfortable with it). Fortunately, my parents were fine with this, and I met and married a wonderful man 8 years ago who also didn't want children (I was upfront about this when we were dating).

    Now, I must admit, I was sexually active before getting married at age 29. However, I was always extremely careful about birth control -- given my never wanting children, I figured this was my responsibility to make sure of it. For 10 years, at every GYN checkup, I begged my doctors (moved around a bit) to perform a tubal ligation. Begged. The response always was, No, you don't want that, you're too young! You'll want children one day, trust me! What finally convinced my GYN last year was that I had been married for 8 years, my age, was moving back overseas, and the last kicker, right before getting the anesthetic in the OR waiting area, was, "Are you sure about this? What do you and your husband do?" "We're professors." "Oh, well, that's alright then. Let's get her in!"

    My point to this is that while women who get pregnant accidentally, out of wedlock, etc., get punished, as you mention, in addition, those of us that are scrupulous in not getting pregnant are also punished -- we are considered freaks, and less than women, by a large part of society.

    I am not a feminist by any means, but I do think that when it comes to sexual/pregnancy issues, women really do get a raw deal in many ways.

    Cheers,
    Adrienne
     
  10. BLD

    BLD New Member

    You're ignoring my point. In abortion the mother chooses death for a healthy child (in 99% of the cases). Why can she not choose death for her healthy three-year-old and not have to face any legal consequences?

    BLD
     
  11. BLD

    BLD New Member

    Here is your eight-week-old "fetus."

    <images deleted by moderator>

    Now, if you can in good conscience say that someone should be able to "choose" to do this with no consequences, you are morally bankrupt.

    What is really sad is that I have to defend this poor baby, while you're trying to come up with reasons why someone should have a right to kill it. It is one thing to speak in abstract terms, but look at the pictures (the reality) and tell me this is okay.

    BLD
     
  12. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Okay folks, I think this has become heated enough.
     
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