July 5, 2008

Obama backtracks on late-term abortions.

Does he think we won't notice? First, he limited the health exception to "serious physical" things:
Now, I don't think that "mental distress" qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term...
Then, he switched! He now wants a mental health exception!
Reporter: You said that mental distress shouldn't be a reason for late-term abortion?

Obama: My only point is this -- historically I have been a strong believer in a women's right to choose with her doctor, her pastor and her family. And it is ..I have consistently been saying that you have to have a health exception on many significant restrictions or bans on abortions including late-term abortions.

In the past there has been some fear on the part of people who, not only people who are anti-abortion, but people who may be in the middle, that that means that if a woman just doesn't feel good then that is an exception. That's never been the case.

I don't think that is how it has been interpreted. My only point is that in an area like partial-birth abortion having a mental, having a health exception can be defined rigorously. It can be defined through physical health, It can be defined by serious clinical mental-health diseases. It is not just a matter of feeling blue. I don't think that's how pro-choice folks have interpreted it. I don't think that's how the courts have interpreted it and I think that's important to emphasize and understand.
So as long as a woman can get her "blues" classified by a medical health professional as "depression," she has a right to a late term abortion no matter how strongly the majority of citizens feel about the immorality of destroying a fully viable human entity? And that's rigorous?

Incredible. That would be incredible even without the prior inconsistent statement.

Really. Does he think we are idiots?

ADDED: Jan Crawford Greenburg is dissatisfied because Obama didn't make the health exception big enough:
Obama is trying to restrict abortions after 22 weeks to those women who have a serious disease or illness. But the law today also covers some women who are in "mental distress," those women who would suffer emotional and psychological harm without an abortion.

This standard has long been understood to require less than "serious clinical mental health disease." Women today don't have to show they are suffering from a "serious clinical mental health disease" or "mental illness" before getting an abortion post-viability, as Obama now says is appropriate....

So Obama, it seems to me, still is backing away from what the law says—and backing away from a proposed federal law (of which he is a co-sponsor) that envisions a much broader definition of mental health than the one he laid out this week.

The Court has said the Constitution prohibits states from banning post-viability abortions unless those laws contain a broad mental health exception---one that includes mental distress and severe emotional harm. Abortion rights groups have fought for decades to preserve these exceptions, and I'm awfully curious what they will think about limiting them to women with mental disease or mental illness.
Obama is subject to a huge amount of pressure from both sides on the issue of abortion — and on the meta-issue of whether he's a flip-flopper. And then there's the question of Supreme Court nominations, an issue that comes into focus for a lot of people when the subject is abortion. Is Obama prepared to be hounded about all these things for the next 4 months?

141 comments:

tjl said...

"Does he think we are idiots?"

Not exactly. Obama is a sort of Gertrude Stein conundrum, and there's no THERE there.

AllenS said...

"Really. Does he think we are idiots?"

He's counting on 51% of the voters to be idiots.

Simon said...

"Really. Does he think we are idiots?"

Hmm. Where could he have gotten the impression than no matter how many times he prevaricates, flipflops and close-parses, he'll be given a pass on the grounds that it shows he's pragmatic, or moving to the center?

He's gotten used to people swallowing whatever line he sells them. It's a bit late with the buyer's remorse, but still in time...

1jpb said...

As if everyone with any sort of nuanced opinion about abortion isn't using creative logic.

Think about rape and incest exceptions, or early conception acceptability, or stem cells before getting too critical of BHO's twisting of logic.

Since conception leads to babies only the most hard core pro-lifers can take the true high road. This is probably why those who fall short of the most hard core view are quick to take psychological comfort in picking at those who don't meet their arbitrary midpoint stand.

I think it's idiotic for anyone to not recognize that supporting anything short of the hard core life position is using situational logic and is no different than BHO.

There is a lot of dancing around language employed by everyone who supports some sort of abortion or embryo research.

EnigmatiCore said...

He doesn't think we are idiots. He thinks that most people will not find out all of the details, through a combination of their own apathy and favorable, for him, press coverage.

And he also thinks that, of those who will find out about all of the instances like this, that those on the left won't care and will vote for him anyway, and those on the right wouldn't vote for him anyway, and the ones in the middle will likely not decide based on things like this.

He's probably right.

EnigmatiCore said...

Wait a sec...

"So as long as a woman can get her "blues" classified by a medical health professional as "depression," she has a right to a late term abortion no matter how strongly the majority of citizens feel about the immorality of destroying a fully viable human entity?"

Leave aside for a moment that this is clearly a flipflopflip by Obama. Do you disagree with the above, Ann? I had gotten the impression that this would have been your position.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

His 2002 vote against the Induced Infant Liability Act [which would allow doctors to administer aid to infants born alive after a failed abortion] should answer any question one might have about Obama's pro-choiceness. He votes 'present' over 100 times in the Illinois legislature, but goes the extra mile to make sure that babies born alive can die.

Ann Althouse said...

Enigmaticore, the answer is no. The health exception is important. It shouldn't be that you can only get a late term abortion if the state sees it as a life-and-death matter, but the mental health loophole is different and manipulable.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I don't see the flip-flop.

Here's the reality:

One way abortion-foes demonize pro-choicers is by saying, "We support a life exception for medical necessity. Pro-choicers support a health exception, which means abortion on-demand, because health can mean anything. So long as you get a doctor to certify that you have a headache, you can get an abortion."

Obama is trying to say, "I understand that fear and agree that no woman should be able to get an abortion because of a momentary headache. The health exception should not be a loophole to reasonable abortion restrictions, such as those on late-term abortions. The only mental distress that should justify an abortion should be rooted in a physical ailment and be clinically diagnosed (meaning the woman underwent testing and observation). For example, if the late term abortion will trigger violent seizures associated with her psychological disorders that would not cause death, but would damage her health, that is a real medical concern that a health exception should exist for. To my knowledge, no court has yet permitted a health exception to be twisted into a 'headache abortion' exception, and I will not appoint any Justices or judges who have that view of the health exception."

He's simply trying to be reasonable. Not flip-flopping.

EnigmatiCore said...

I most certainly agree with you on the mental health loophole. Let's be honest, all it has ever been is a way to gut any restrictions.

But I guess what I find surprising is how your argument could be expanded if public opinion changed. For example:

"So as long as a woman can get her "blues" classified by a medical health professional as "depression," she has a right to a mid term abortion no matter how strongly the majority of citizens feel about the immorality of destroying a potentially viable human entity where there is no reason to suspect it won't develop completely healthy?"

And then it could be expanded further, as you can imagine.

Is your total adherence to pro-choice views based only on physical health issues and the rare (but difficult to limit) mental health cases?

EnigmatiCore said...

"He's simply trying to be reasonable. Not flip-flopping."

Oh no. He's not flip-flopping at all. Not on this or any other issue.

Although I do like the implication in your statement that he was being unreasonable throughout the primaries. I didn't think so at first, but I came to believe just that.

Simon said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Enigmaticore, the answer is no. The health exception is important. It shouldn't be that you can only get a late term abortion if the state sees it as a life-and-death matter, but the mental health loophole is different and manipulable."

That's the difficulty - how do you write it in a way that the exception can't be made to engulf the rule? If one takes as givens that there are some doctors who support abortion and probably many women who would be determined to evade restrictions, a "mental health" exception swallows the rule. What is a legislator to write - "no abortions unless life or health is endangered - and we really, really mean it"? The temptation is to say "well, there's no way to do that, so the legislature shouldn't even try," but that transforms the argument from a reasonable regulation position to a covert abortion-on-demand position. Which actually fits Obama's prior pattern well, come to think of it: as other commenters here have identified, his pattern seems to be to announce that he is in favor of policy X in the abstract, but then to parse and prevaricate and add qualifications until there is simply no way that policy X could actually be enacted. Have cake, will eat it.

I'd be willing to support a life or health exception that really would hold up as an exception, but I'm skeptical that it won't be used as a loophole.

Ann Althouse said...

But Mortimer, it's so easy to get a clinical diagnosis of a mental disorder. Anyone who wants an abortion will be able to find a medical professional who will give her the label she wants. There will be no limit.

matthew said...

Mortimer, he IS flip-flopping here. Call a spade a spade.

However, I can't see how this should be a minor issue, let alone a major one. The president would presumably have little sway in this. He doesn't write the laws, and he doesn't interpret them - unless you're talking through a court appointment - in which case history shows that Presidents are often disappointed. The word "Souter" still makes some conservatives shudder. Teddy Roosevelt talked about how, after appointing Oliver Wendel Holmes, that he could carve more backbone out of a banana.

Trumpit said...

Of course a post like this brings out the rabid pro-lifers, whose views are fortunately in the minority and out of touch with reality; I won't elaborate, but you loonies know who you are. Speaking of Simon, Obama is going to be the next president. Get used to the idea. You are in a better position than most to return from whence you came. I'm sure they will great you with open arms and open clinics where you, too, can get an abortion paid for by the exchequer. You need to first get pregnant. No doubt, you are busying trying.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Enigmaticore,

I'm not attacking Obama. I do not think he is unreasonable. The question is, as Simon says, whether a health exception can be fashioned that does not swallow the rule.

If one takes as givens that there are some doctors who support abortion and probably many women who would be determined to evade restrictions, a "mental health" exception swallows the rule.

Obviously, this is a valid criticism. But I think Obama was trying to reasonably and sincerely answer it. Rooting the mental distress in a physical ailment and clinical documentation means a woman can't just make up feeling blue and that a doctor would be on the hook for falsifying the documentation. You cannot simply make up clinical test results without violating a few laws, I think. In any event, Obama is hinting that he will appoint judges who share our view of the health exception; that it should be a limited exception, not a loophole.

EnigmatiCore said...

"He doesn't write the laws, and he doesn't interpret them - unless you're talking through a court appointment - in which case history shows that Presidents are often disappointed."

Define often.

I'd say that Presidents bat well over 70%. As such, it matters a lot who is making the nomination.

Just because a not-insubstantial percentage surprises them (and us) does not mean that what the President does doesn't matter. That is minimization of the oddest sort.

EnigmatiCore said...

"I'm not attacking Obama. I do not think he is unreasonable"

I know you weren't, and I know that you don't.

I was. And I think his former positions were unreasonable, and I think they are different than his current positions, and I have no idea which positions he would try to advance (his old, his new, or some yet to be described positions) should he be elected.

About the only thing he's been consistent on is that he thinks taxes are too low for people making above xxxxx dollars, and that he wants judges like Stevens and Ginsburg, and that he is more dovish than any Republican and most Democrats.

Hope that clarifies it for you.

Mortimer Brezny said...

But Mortimer, it's so easy to get a clinical diagnosis of a mental disorder. Anyone who wants an abortion will be able to find a medical professional who will give her the label she wants. There will be no limit.

I know this is the argument, but I am not so sure that a clinical diagnosis of a mental illness rooted in a physical ailment is easy to get. Perhaps I am wrong, but that sounds like requiring a CAT scan (or something similar). It reminds me of the difference in tort law between between pure mental distress (e.g., a bystander in the zone of danger) and someone who receives a paper-cut that touches a nerve and then can't sleep, lactate, or work without experiencing migraines.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I know you weren't, and I know that you don't. I was. And I think his former positions were unreasonable, and I think they are different than his current positions

Then please don't twist my words. Make your own argument without implying I meant the opposite of what I wrote.

EnigmatiCore said...

Mortimer, I didn't twist your words. Here is what I wrote:

"Oh no. He's not flip-flopping at all. Not on this or any other issue."

If you didn't get that this was sarcastic, then you need a new detector because yours is broke.

"Although I do like the implication in your statement that he was being unreasonable throughout the primaries. I didn't think so at first, but I came to believe just that."

On this, I didn't twist your words at all. That is the implication of them. If you think he is modifying his stance, first one way and then the next, to be reasonable, that implies his previous position was less or unreasonable.

Mortimer Brezny said...

That is the implication of them.

No, it isn't. I said he was being reasonable. That does not imply he was being unreasonable.

EnigmatiCore said...

If he's being reasonable now, then either the facts have changed, he is saying the same thing, or he was being unreasonable before. Those are the only possibilities.

No facts have changed.

He's not saying what he said before.

Ergo...

Mortimer Brezny said...

If he's being reasonable now, then either the facts have changed, he is saying the same thing, or he was being unreasonable before.

That's your point of view. But I only addressed the statement in the blog post here, and noted that Obama's statement is reasonable. I certainly do not see any flip-flopping or a change in the demantic content of his position. So I would say he's been reasonable the whole time. Again, you are trying to twist my words to support your conclusion. They don't support your conclusion or your viewpoint. I do not agree with you. You are wrong.

PatCA said...

"Does he think we are idiots?

No, he thinks we are in love and swept away by his Che-ness, his cool catness. I think a lot people are, too. Scary.

Donna B. said...

Okay... what if

The mother has been previously diagnosed with schizophrenia. The medicines used to control that may harm her baby. Will she harm her baby if she's not medicated?

Does she get to make the decision to discontinue drugs and keep the baby? Is it reasonable to stay on the drugs and still keep the baby? Who decides?

What if the woman has Parkinson's disease? You can probably remove the possibility of intentional harm to the baby, but again, those drugs that help her keep her balance may harm the baby. A serious fall may do the same.

I see it as much more likely that the woman with Parkinson's will get to make her own choice. Where schizophrenia is concerned, I see the possibility of multiple doctors and lawyers involved.

As for the commenter who suggested that to be a hard-core pro-lifer that no abortion should ever be available is simply being illogical in the extreme.

How do you compare the value of one life against another? A doctor faced with saving the baby or saving the mother is certainly going to try to save both, but who is to say which life is worth more?

Age is not a measure of worth of life, is it? Or, does our value decrease as we age? If so, why do we have Medicare? Can't we just let all those old people die without wasting so much money and so many resources on them?

This is not a simple question. I can sympathize with Obama (or anyone else) trying come up with something easily explainable and sensible.

It's about the value of life at a certain age.

Without a doubt life is most valuable at whatever age I am :-)

P. Rich said...

AA said: Incredible. That would be incredible even without the prior inconsistent statement.

Yet again. He is consistent, in that goofy loveable flip-floppy way of his.

Bwahahahahahahahahaha...

EnigmatiCore said...

"So I would say he's been reasonable the whole time. "

Only possible if you think he's been consistently consistent. I don't think that stands up to scrutiny. But we are at an impasse, so peace.

I had a thought that I never have had before while making a grocery run. How is a mental health exemption compatible with a woman's right to choose? If a woman has mental health issues that severe, how can she be in a position to give consent?

Not trolling or even advocating here. More asking how this argument is addressed?

1jpb said...

"How do you compare the value of one life against another? A doctor faced with saving the baby or saving the mother is certainly going to try to save both, but who is to say which life is worth more?"

In this case the bible says that self defense is acceptable. Therefore, the mother's life can be saved if carrying the baby would kill her.

For the record I know the hard core policy, but it is not mine. I am one of those who dance around the language. But, at least I'm self aware about it.

Simon said...

Trumpit said...
"Speaking of Simon, ... [y]ou are in a better position than most to return from whence you came."

Okay, I need a minute to get done lauging at the illiterate malapropism "from whence" before I continue... LOL

[Time passes]

Titter. Anyway: What part of "renounc[ing] and abjur[ing] all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen" confuses you? Wait: is it the "allegiance" part? I bet that's it. I'm sure that's a tough one for you to swallow.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Only possible if you think he's been consistently consistent. I don't think that stands up to scrutiny.

You also think that reasonable = unreasonable, so what you think is possible or impossible is rather irrelevant.

Cedarford said...

Mortimer, he IS flip-flopping here. Call a spade a spade

I'll weigh in with an opinion. The electorate is being turned into a pack of drooling idiots by closed-minded from childhood Christians, Lefty fanatics, and a "Gotcha!!" media led by the late and somewhat unlamented Tim Russert that any leader who reconsiders and changes a position or a decision is the WORST flaw a leader can have.

It is now a great trick for extremists now to force the Center in America to the extreme position and thwart politicians moving to, or trying to occupy the middle and adjust stances to the changing facts.

It is now a way for lazy reporters and opposition spinners to have their researchers find some past deviation from a candidate or elected officials present position then be locked into defending irrelevant past actions rather than defend present beliefs to the public or where America goes in the future.

When McCain sensibly says that we should rethink much of our energy policy and open up certain lands and most offshore to drilling - the media called it a "flip-fop" and detailed what position of 12 years ago he was failing to be faithful and true to.

No Obama is getting the "Flip-Flop"
"Flip-Flop", "Flip-Flop", "Flip-Flop!!!" "Flip-Flopper!!!" chant from the morons - not when he is just going to the center for expedience, but everytime he tries to flesh out and refine a view that was little more than a winning soundbite a year ago, but which now needs to be more than an absolute declarative sentence an candidate wants aired over rival's similarly plotted catchy slogans and "sound-bite bait" for free media coverage.

Nixon, Lincoln, FDR, Truman, Reagan, Clinton made significant, well-thought out reversals of their past positions. Lincoln from not wanting to free the slaves to evolve to seeing it as proper, FDR & Reagan from 16 to 40 re-oriented their whole political perspective. And both dealt with the opposition not as stubborn rigid ideologues fearing the slobber and spittle mob chanting their "Flip-flip" nursery school taunt. Clinton did go Left, then back to Centrist in office. Nixon went from Cold Warrior in 4 years to detente, unilateral end of nerve gas and biowar capability, the volunteer military, and mistakenly, to Keynesian.

I can see questioning the sincerity of a change of position, but not the media "gotcha!!" strategy or extremists now persuading a fair share of voters that any change or modification of position is being deceitful and unfaithful to voters or the Lefty Party line or what Sweet Baby Jesus wants...

This stuff really started rolling when John Kerry made three changes in how he felt on the war on the same day, and the case was pretty good that it was fecklessness or expediency driving him. But now it has gotten so stupid as a taunt that when Bush became convinced by people that aid to Africa needed to be tripled, he was pounced on by the very liberal people that wanted more aid as proof that Bush was wrong and immoral before he tripled funds his Aid Package to Africa proposal, and by doing what they wished or demanded showed he was an unreliable Flip-FLopper.

"Flip-flopping!!" accusations have now evolved into insinuating that any change by a public official is proof of lying. Lying in his/her position before, or lying now.

This crap killed Romney's chances because he evolved a pro-life position over time that comports with how most Mormons now feel - and he was savaged for it. Not by Lefties, or feminists, but by anti-abortion ideologues who saw him coming over to their side as a convert as nearly unforgivable because a true believer in the sanctity of life should have felt that way by their first Bible school class.


Obama savaged Hillary for changing her mind on the Iraq war as proof she was an apostate flip-flopper - less pure than he was.

The charge is a cancer that harms Democracy, encourages blind stubborness in leaders who now worry that they will be seen as weak or unfaithful if they think the responsible thing over time is to change or modify where they stand on various matters. America can't afford another 30 years of partisan gridlock and use of tools like "Flip-flopper, Flip-flopper" to thwart compromise or adjustments needed to get something done, a problem resolved before it grows from a problem to a true crisis on our country.

EnigmatiCore said...

Um, no, I don't think that reasonable and unreasonable are the same.

Logically, IF you find him reasonable now, then one of the following must be true (this is a repeat, with more detail).

1) He's been consistent all along. Which clearly is not the case. You can't square his voting record with his statement a day ago about supporting late term abortions only in the case of a severe physical reason and his new stance of mental health being a requisite exception.

2) He is reasonable now and in the past, despite his positions having changed. This would require there have been a change to facts, that with them as they were in the past made his stance reasonable and with them having changed making his current stance reasonable.

3) His previous position was unreasonable.

EnigmatiCore said...

Cedarford, Romney was killed over being a flip-flopper because, as with Kerry before and now with Obama, each of his changes of opinions, or 'growth' or whatever you want to call it, meshed almost completely perfectly with what was politically expedient for him at the times the changes occurred.

I think everyone would love for politicians to change their minds to be more like them. But people aren't dense, by and large, and notice right away (helped by opposing politicians) when a pol is likely just pandering.

Mortimer Brezny said...

You can't square his voting record with his statement a day ago about supporting late term abortions only in the case of a severe physical reason and his new stance of mental health being a requisite exception.

We weren't previously discussing his voting record. So: you are a hypocrite, because your position has magically evolved to include additional facts and argument not originally adduced.

A clinically diagnosed mental illness rooted in a physical malady is, arguably, a "severe physical reason." The inconsistency, even under your standard, is not apparent.

According to Linda Douglass, the Obama campaign's senior spokesperson, the senator from Illinois was making a distinction in the magazine interview between medically diagnosed mental illness and the kind of mental distress that an unwanted pregnancy causes many a pregnant mother.

"Mental distress is not an illness." Douglass said. "He absolutely believes and has always said there has to be a health exception for serious physical and mental illness."

That makes sense and conforms to the senator's co-sponsorship of the Freedom of Choice Act legislation which, among other things, would codify a mental-health exception to late-term abortion prohibitions.


So, on top of it all, you are simply describing Obama's position inaccurately.

Simon said...

Cedarford said...
"Lincoln from not wanting to free the slaves to evolve to seeing it as proper....

If you're referring to his claim that his aim was to save the union not to free the slaves, and that if he could do the former without doing the latter he would, I had thought that the historical consensus was that this was so at odds with his prior and subsequent positions that it was relegated to a bit of expedient pandering to reassure wavering border states considering absconding from the Union and joining the confederacy. If there was ever a moment when a Presidential white lie was in order, that might be considered the time.

"[Romney] evolved a pro-life position over time ... and he was savaged for it ... by anti-abortion ideologues who saw him coming over to their side as a convert as nearly unforgivable because a true believer in the sanctity of life should have felt that way by their first Bible school class."

Maybe that's how you perceived it, but that's not what happened, and I don't think it's a reading that any reasonable observer would reach. The problem was never a question of whether a sincere convert is welcome - they are. The problem was that some thought that his conversion was not sincere. There were concerns that instead of genuinely changing his mind, he'd flip-flopped. Not all, by any means - Jim Bopp, for example, was on team Romney from very early on, and it'd be hard to question his pro-life credentials. And it's true that Doug Kmiec backed Romney, but I don't think that many people hold Doug's subsequent departure from his senses against Romney.

steven said...

Could someone please help me understand something here? In these late-term abortions, (or partial-birth abortions, whatever you want to call them), the doctor goes in and maneuvers the baby into a breech position and then brings the baby out except for its head. He then inserts something that collapses the skull and then essentially finishes the job. If a mother's life was in danger, how could this procedure possibly save her? Wouldn't all the maneuvering to get the baby into a breech position kill the mother? If she managed to survive the first part (the baby being partially out except for the head), then do you mean to tell me that pulling the head out will kill her? If I was a woman and my doctor told me that giving birth might kill me, but this procedure would save my life, I would have to ask how in the hell that could possibly be true. It seems to me this procedure would be equally as dangerous.

Ann Althouse said...

Mortimer: "a clinical diagnosis of a mental illness rooted in a physical ailment"

Where does he say a physical ailment? He's saying a clinical mental illness, which would include depression, anxiety, and all sorts of things that are recognized as mental disorders.

Ann Althouse said...

Donna, isn't the answer that we're dealing with late-term abortions? The women in your hypotheticals should have early abortions if they are to have abortions. Why should they be seen as having a right to wait until the end and then have abortions when the people acting through the legislature want to protect the life of an unborn human being that is developed to the point where it would be able to live outside the womb?

Simon said...

Steven - well, quite, given that the shoulders are usually wider than the head. One would think that if the trauma is having a child rather than given birth to a child, c-section would be the least risky option at that point (which isn't to say that c-section is risk-free by any means, but 99.9% of abortions are fatal to one of the two people involved.

Mortimer Brezny said...

"Mental distress is not an illness." Douglass said. "He absolutely believes and has always said there has to be a health exception for serious physical and mental illness."

EnigmatiCore said...

He's always said, excepting when talking to a Christian magazine, in which case he said different.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Anyway, at least one Kossack sees it:

"I am assuming [Obama] means a mental state different from severe mental illness, which could include psychosis or severe clinical depression, during which suicide or homicide is possible. I am also assuming "mental distress" does not include a response to severe, life-threatening physical deformities in the fetus that would create distress in the mother (though I could be wrong here and we should probably ask what exactly Obama meant). In any case, ... unless I felt that a doctor judged that a woman's physical well-being was threatened, whether as a result of physiological or mental health reasons, I myself would agree that a woman does not have a blanket-right to end a pregnancy at that late stage."

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/7/5/4638/23531/290/546850

Mortimer Brezny said...

1 Defining Mental Illnessa
We can all be “sad” or “blue” at times in our lives. We have all seen movies about the madman and his crime spree, with the underlying cause of mental illness. We sometimes even make jokes about people being crazy or nuts, even though we know that we shouldn’t. We have all had some exposure to mental illness, but do we really understand it or know what it is? Many of our preconceptions are incorrect. A mental illness can be defined as a health condition that changes a person’s thinking, feelings, or behavior (or all three) and that causes the person distress and difficulty in functioning. As with many diseases, mental illness is severe in some cases and mild in others. Individuals who have a mental illness don’t necessarily look like they are sick, especially if their illness is mild. Other individuals may show more explicit symptoms such as confusion, agitation, or withdrawal. There are many different mental illnesses, including depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Each illness alters a person’s thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviors in distinct ways. In this module, we will at times discuss mental illness in general terms and at other times, discuss specific mental illnesses. Depression, schizophrenia, and ADHD will be presented in greater detail than other mental illnesses.

Not all brain diseases are categorized as mental illnesses. Disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis are brain disorders, but they are considered neurological diseases rather than mental illnesses. Interestingly, the lines between mental illnesses and these other brain or neurological disorders is blurring somewhat. As scientists continue to investigate the brains of people who have mental illnesses, they are learning that mental illness is associated with changes in the brain’s structure, chemistry, and function and that mental illness does indeed have a biological basis. This ongoing research is, in some ways, causing scientists to minimize the distinctions between mental illnesses and these other brain disorders. In this curriculum supplement, we will restrict our discussion of mental illness to those illnesses that are traditionally classified as mental illnesses, as listed in the previous paragraph.


http://science-education.nih.gov/supplements/nih5/Mental/guide/info-mental-a.htm

EnigmatiCore said...

Let's assume for a minute that words are just words and don't mean what they mean when they are said, and that Obama supports restrictions on late-term abortions (not just partial-birth abortions) excepting cases of severe physical risk or extreme mental health problems (in this fantasy land, this is not a loophole but is only used appropriately).

Will Obama nominate Justices who see it that way, or will he nominate Justices who refuse to allow any reasonable restrictions?

former law student said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mortimer Brezny said...

Will Obama nominate Justices who see it that way, or will he nominate Justices who refuse to allow any reasonable restrictions?

Given that he supports restrictions on abortion, it makes sense that he would appoint judges who share his view.

that Obama supports restrictions on late-term abortions (not just partial-birth abortions) excepting cases of severe physical risk or extreme mental health problems (in this fantasy land, this is not a loophole but is only used appropriately).

What fantasyland? Most women who have abortions have them within the first three months of pregnancy. There are only about 2 doctors in the country who even perform partial-birth abortions, so this is all much ado about nothing.

Nelda said...

Obama keeps saying "I have consistently said..." and I am reminded of that old saying that if a man keeps telling you he is honest, he probably isn't. Doesn't seem to me Obama is consistent at all at all.

former law student said...

I see the main problem here. Neither Ann nor Barack really believe that mental illness is objectively real; that schizophrenics can simply walk it off, and that people suffering from depression can just snap out of it.

1. Mental illness is just as objectively real as physical illness.

Here, depression is a medical term which has an exact technical meaning which is not the same as the common meaning of feeling blue. As lawyers, Ann and Barack should appreciate this, because lawyers as well as doctors give many seemingly familiar words an exact technical meaning, to the mystification of the layman. They will insist on using the technical meaning instead of the common every day meaning. For example, last year a Nebraska judge told a young woman she could not testify she had been raped, because rape was the ultimate legal conclusion. Nor could she use terms such as "sexual assault."

2. Lawyers should appreciate that other professionals use seemingly everyday words in an exact technical sense that differs from the everyday, because such usage is part of the lawyer's stock-in-trade.

Apparently, Ann believes that doctors, or at least psychiatrists, lack integrity, and will lie that a patient has a certain mental illness when she actually does not, because, apparently, she believes that a psychiatrist's goal is to facilitate his/her patient's deceptions.

This attitude may be traceable to the pre-Roe v. Wade days when hospital committees would be summoned to decide if a woman was entitled to a "therapeutic" abortion. But even the most resolute abortion opponent has an intuitive sympathy for the effects of carrying an unwanted infant to term, by making blanket exceptions for victims of rape or incest, even when their pregnancies are unlikely to harm them physically.

3. Doctors are unlikely to lie about their patients' mental health to help them get abortions, but most people understand intuitively that unwanted pregnancy can harm women's mental health.

Ruth Anne, instead of allowing doctors to save an aborted fetus, SB1094 of the 92nd GA would have punished them if they did not:

...a parent of the child or the public guardian of the county in which the child was born may maintain an action on the child's behalf for damages, including all costs of care to preserve and protect the life, health, and safety of the child, punitive damages, costs of suit, and attorney's fees against any hospital, health care facility, or health care provider who harms or neglects the child or fails to provide medical care to the child after the child's birth. Any damages recovered shall be used to pay for the cost of preserving and protecting the life, health, and safety of the [child.]

Mortimer Brezny said...

Obama keeps saying "I have consistently said..." and I am reminded of that old saying that if a man keeps telling you he is honest, he probably isn't. Doesn't seem to me Obama is consistent at all at all.

Sure, if you pretend that mental distress means mental illness, then when he said mental distress he meant mental illness. He's inconsistent if you pretend he is, just like he's a Muslim whose name is Osama and Michelle is his baby mama. The real reason we keep encountering these hyperparsings of Obama's statements by the press is that he's winning and they want to make the race closer by creating false controversy.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I see the main problem here. Neither Ann nor Barack really believe that mental illness is objectively real

No. Obama's point is that mental illness is real but mental distress is not.

Ann Althouse said...

Mortimer: "What fantasyland? Most women who have abortions have them within the first three months of pregnancy. There are only about 2 doctors in the country who even perform partial-birth abortions, so this is all much ado about nothing."

But we are still talking about thousands of late term abortions a year. It's only a relatively small number because there are so many abortions overall. Since when do we think that thousands is nothing?

Why worry about what is happening to the Guantanamo detainess? There aren't even a thousand, so it's just a fantasyland. It's nothing!

Simon said...

Nelda said...
"Obama keeps saying 'I have consistently said...' and I am reminded of that old saying that if a man keeps telling you he is honest, he probably isn't."

Haha- agreed. One thinks immediately of all those old soviet bloc countries that would be the "People's Democratic Republic of Elbonia" or somesuch.

EnigmatiCore said...
"Will Obama nominate Justices who see it that way, or will he nominate Justices who refuse to allow any reasonable restrictions?"

He'll nominate Justices who allow any restrictions they think are reasonable, just like Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer. They'll sustain any reasonable regulation on a simple formula: if it's effective, it ain't reasonable. See Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, 921 (2000) (quoting Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 877 (1992)) ("'a law designed to further the State's interest in fetal life which imposes an undue burden on the woman's decision before fetal viability' is unconstitutional"). to suppose that Obama would nominate Justices who would have voted with the dissent in Stenberg (as with Kennedy) is to live in cloud cuckoo land, quite frankly.

Ann Althouse said...

And I never said that mental illness isn't real.

I said that Obama limited his exception to "serious physical issues" and then, criticized, he changed to include a mental health exception. In making that change, he spoke a lot of words so that maybe it wouldn't show that he was changing his position, but the fact remains that he tried to shift to a more moderate position on abortion and then he backtracked and tried to cover up that he'd backtracked.

Simon said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Why worry about what is happening to the Guantanamo detainess? There aren't even a thousand, so it's just a fantasyland. It's nothing!"

Heh. We could even work that back into Mort's comment: "There is only about one President in the country who even detains people at Guantanamo, so this is all much ado about nothing." (Don't start, Jon, I'm just kidding.)

Mortimer Brezny said...

But we are still talking about thousands of late term abortions a year. It's only a relatively small number because there are so many abortions overall. Since when do we think that thousands is nothing?

First of all, I didn't ever claim to support Kennedy's Boumediene opinion, and leaving those detainees to the process provided by Congress in the DTA, given that SCOTUS was stripped of appellate review by the MCA, seems right to me.

Second, Enimaticore's argument was that it is a fantasyland where the distinction between mental distress and mental illness matter. My point is that in the hypothetical world where the health exception is a loophole, eliminating mental distress abortions hypothetically reduces the number of abortions. A reduction is not an increase. Given the small numbers of hypothetical abortions we're talking about here, hypothetically reducing them would seem to be the right stance to take. Enigmaticore wants to pretend that Obama's pro-reduction argument is really an argument for abotion on-demand, but the fact is, given the small number of women who have late-term abortions, the small number of doctors who perform them, and the fact that mental distress does not = mental illness, that position is nonsense, even hypothetically speaking.

Third, I think it's hundreds, not thouands.

Simon said...

Ann Althouse said...
"I said that Obama limited his exception to 'serious physical issues' and then, criticized, he changed to include a mental health exception."

Maybe he's weighing in on the question of the brain-physiological electrochemical roots of mental disorder? Perhaps he's for a mental health exception where the mental disorder arises from a "serious physical issue[]" with the brain?

"In making that change, he spoke a lot of words so that maybe it wouldn't show that he was changing his position...."

That's kind of what he does.

Mortimer Brezny said...

"There is only about one President in the country who even detains people at Guantanamo, so this is all much ado about nothing."

There's only about 270 people there, so what's the big deal? Yeah, that is my argument.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Perhaps he's for a mental health exception where the mental disorder arises from a "serious physical issue[]" with the brain?

I know this is supposed to be ridicule, but I believe those are precisely the situations in which adverse mental health increases the risk of pregnancy loss.

Ann Althouse said...

"Third, I think it's hundreds, not thouands."

Don’t Assume the Worst

By DAVID J. GARROW
Published: April 21, 2007
Cambridge, England

THE Supreme Court’s 5-to-4 decision this week, in Gonzales v. Carhart, to uphold the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act will undoubtedly harm the future reproductive health of some American women, and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s majority opinion patronized such women’s ability to make the sad and difficult decisions that late-term abortion often entails.

But let’s not exaggerate what this ruling means. The Carhart decision is an extremely limited upholding of the federal ban, one that promises to affect very few abortion providers and only a tiny percentage of their patients. The most recent and reliable national statistics, from the Guttmacher Institute, show that only about 30 American doctors ever use the “intact dilation and evacuation” method that has now been criminalized. Only some 2,200 of the 1.3 million abortions performed annually in the United States involve the banned procedure.

Ann Althouse said...

And that was only one procedure. There is another procedure, so the number of late-term abortions would be larger.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Only some 2,200 of the 1.3 million abortions performed annually in the United States involve the banned procedure.

Unless at least approximately 50% of those involve mental distress or mental illness, we're talking about hundreds of abortions.

Ann Althouse said...

Isn't it obvious that the "serious physical issue" ought to have to do with body parts that are affected by the pregnancy?

PatCA said...

Again, former law student, Obama is talking about mental illness and late term abortion. How many women do you seriously contend discover their mental illness after 8 months of pregnancy?

As far as doctors lying, they absolutely did back in the day when a doctor's evaluation was necessary for a therapeutic abortion. Every woman I know had no trouble whatsoever getting a doctor's okay for the abortion. The evaluation process was about as reliable as the prescription process for medical marijuana today--IOW, not very.

If the baby is viable, why not do a c-section and give it to somebody who cares? The mother would not even have to see it, much the same as if she had aborted it.

To continue the analogy... I wonder why the human rights lawyers don't defend a viable baby as assiduously as they defend the Gitmo detainees. What's the difference?

Mortimer Brezny said...

Again, former law student, Obama is talking about mental illness and late term abortion. How many women do you seriously contend discover their mental illness after 8 months of pregnancy?

This is all I'm saying. This is not very many women, and in any event, he's saying there should be fewer of them.

Cedarford said...

EnigmatiCore said...
Cedarford, Romney was killed over being a flip-flopper because, as with Kerry before and now with Obama, each of his changes of opinions, or 'growth' or whatever you want to call it, meshed almost completely perfectly with what was politically expedient for him at the times the changes occurred.


Yes, because God help us if the Government ever became a learning organization like our military, most businesses, and several key foreign competitors are...

And we had leaders that would shift positions as facts and circumstances change.

That would entail "expediency", meaning doing what is rational and in the best public interest, and being denounced for "Flip-flopping" when the leader should be ignoring how his decsion or policy was played out.
Instead, many leaders have concluded it is politically safer to stubbornly cling to failed policies (Bush, the idiot who said in 2002 once he made a decision or policy, he never revisited it).

Or, as part of a CYA, spend enormous time talking exhaustively with extensive details on issues they cannot change or only affect at the margin.(like abortion). That way they are never accountable for actual decisions they know they cannot make, by law.

*************
Simon -

I had no doubt on the Republican side that Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney would appoint conservative judges like Scalia or Roberts. I had doubts about Huckabee with his talk about how Courts must be more compassionate Christian, and extreme doubts that Rudy or McCain would give us anything but more O'Connors, Souters or more Jewish Transnationalists.

Where Romney truly was, in his deepest inner feelings, about 2nd Trimester health exceptions or how Jesus would feel was absolutely irrelevant. The only real power or change he could affect was to appoint judges who possibly would overturn Roe and return it to the States.
Then perhaps his positions would matter, because he's probably have no beef with states like California and Mass having more liberal law than Oklahoma's if they could write their own abortion legislation. Whereas the Base and candidates like Brownback ad Keyes would want all states to enact laws the Bible Belt States demand.

And similarly, it is a waste of time to try and get Obama to "moderate" on abortion or even waste time questioning details because he already said he wants more Justices like Souter.

If Obama actually is willing to learn and shift his views and policy quickly as a Marine general, a VP at Google, or a nimble Asian Minestry Head is - ( granting that the more likely reason is he had no positions to start with) - that is a huge improvement over the blind ideological rigidity of Bush, or the stubborn intransigence of McCain on "matters of his honor and his word" to people 15 years ago, in Senate backrooms, what he said in a 1999 NY Times interview"..

Sloanasaurus said...

Actually, I think Obama's real record has been one to support abortion on demand with no restrictions. Obama's abortion views are very radical. Althouse has cheered Obama for taking sensible backtracks on many views. I sense that a few days ago Obama was backtracking on his abortion views by claiming he only supported late term abortions for self defense. Obama was moving to the center on abortion. Thus, the flip flop was a few days ago.

However, Obama has come out now and reinstated his prior position for abortion on demand. His move to the center was a balk.

This revelation may have a crushing effect on moderates and independents who want to support Obama out of the belief that he is more moderate and pragmatic than his prior reocrd and rhetoric show him to be.

The majority of Americans support abortion rights and would vote for them if Roe v. Wade was struck down. However, the majority supports rights with restrictions

The problem with Obama's position to support abortion on demand is that 80%+ of Americans do not support it and instead support ONLY self defense for reasons to "terminate" a conscious unborn child.

This issue could sink him. How could a leader hold such a position and still be considered a thoughtful and sensible leader.

Trumpit said...

Trumpit said...
"Speaking of Simon, ... [y]ou are in a better position than most to return from whence you came."

Okay, I need a minute to get done lauging at the illiterate malapropism "from whence" before I continue... LOL................................

For your information, Simpleton Simon:"Strictly speaking, WHENCE means 'from what place'. Thus, use of the preposition FROM is redundant and its use is considered incorrect by some. However, it has been used by reputable writers since the 14th century and is now broadly accepted in standard English. Source: Concise Oxford English Dictionary (11th Edition)

Does Oxford Dictionary ring a bell?

You are only 700 years out of touch with modern English usage. If you are going to insult me, try getting your facts straight. LOLL , the extra L is for LOSER!

Mortimer Brezny said...

This issue could sink him. How could a leader hold such a position and still be considered a thoughtful and sensible leader.

I think it's rather clear that he's saying he wants to reduce the number of hypothetical late-term abortions by women with mental problems by carving out mental distress from the mental health exception.

Sloanasaurus said...

I think it's rather clear that he's saying he wants to reduce the number of hypothetical late-term abortions by women with mental problems by carving out mental distress from the mental health exception.

You still don't get it. Most people believe that a late term baby's right to life trumps the mother's choice to terminate because a late term baby is considered conscious, unlike a near term baby. Therefore, there would not be legitimate reason to terminate a late term baby other than if the mother's life is in danger (i.e. self defense). The health exception is just code for abortion on demand.

Mortimer Brezny said...

You still don't get it. Most people believe that a late term baby's right to life trumps the mother's choice to terminate because a late term baby is considered conscious, unlike a near term baby. Therefore, there would not be legitimate reason to terminate a late term baby other than if the mother's life is in danger (i.e. self defense). The health exception is just code for abortion on demand.

Listen, you condescending jerk, I already demonstrated in posts upthread that I understand the issue. Obama made clear in his statements that he knows people think the health exception is a loophole. His point is that it isn't, and to the extent it is, he thinks it shouldn't be. Maybe he didn't do a good job of communicating that, but if you fail to see what the purpose of his move was, then you didn't understand it, and you shouldn't be condescending to anyone, even strangers on a blog.

Simon said...

Trumpit,
As you point out, OED notes that "whence" means "from where," making "use of the preposition FROM [] redundant...." the rest of the entry explains only that the illiterate malapropism of using "from whence" is widely-spread and that some reputable writers have become reputable even while avoiding using language correctly. That should come as no surprise as many reputable writers write slang dialogue where we would expect to find corruptions. It doesn't change the fact that "from whence" is illiterate, redundant and incorrect in proper English - as your own citation explains.

Sloanasaurus said...

His point is that it isn't, and to the extent it is, he thinks it shouldn't be. Maybe he didn't do a good job of communicating that, but if you fail to see what the purpose of his move was, then you didn't understand it, and you shouldn't be condescending to anyone, even strangers on a blog.

If he wanted to be clear he would say he only supports late term abortion when the life of the mother is in danger (or some other destructive physical threat). Anything thing else is de facto abortion on demand (at least that appears to be what Althouse is arguing).

Mortimer Brezny said...

If he wanted to be clear he would say he only supports late term abortion when the life of the mother is in danger (or some other destructive physical threat). Anything thing else is de facto abortion on demand (at least that appears to be what Althouse is arguing).

You need to learn to read. Obama's comments are a response to that position. His argument is that the health exception is not a loophole that permits abortion on-demand because: "I don't think that is how it has been interpreted. My only point is that in an area like partial-birth abortion having a mental, having a health exception can be defined rigorously. It can be defined through physical health, It can be defined by serious clinical mental-health diseases. It is not just a matter of feeling blue. I don't think that's how pro-choice folks have interpreted it. I don't think that's how the courts have interpreted it and I think that's important to emphasize and understand."

By carving out "mental distress," Obama would be hypothetically reducing the number of late-term abortions to women with mental problems if the health exception were a loophole. That's a pro-reduction argument.

Now, if that closing the loophole as far as YOU would like? No. But it is a pro-reduction argument, and it most certainly is not an argument for abortion on-demand or what NARAL would prefer him to say.

1jpb said...

But do you have a complete bound copy of the OED? If not your still less cool (in the geeky sense) than Teller.

amba said...

I haven't read the comments, so if this is redundant, sorry.

The trouble, and not only for abortion issues, is that there isn't yet a physical marker for clinical depression. To make matters even worse, cognition and behavior can result in a physiologically depressed state indistinguishable from one that is biogenic and causes the disordered emotion and mentation It's a loop.

What's certain is that clinical depression is a real and serious illness. But the line between it and lesser states of depression is fuzzy.

Trumpit said...

Suppose a pregnant girl, nearing the end of gestation, goes to a doctor/psychiatrist and says bluntly and seriously that either she is given an abortion or she will commit suicide, killing herself and her baby. To make the (hypothetical?) case even more compelling, say she has even attempted suicide in the past by overdosing on barbiturates, and was barely saved from dying by having her stomach pumped, etc. Also, she, a so-so swimmer, happens to live a block from the Golden Gate bridge, Obama is the presumed father, and she's only 14 years old and a choir girl in Obama's former church... She's a Muslim and pregnant with twins...Damn, if only my writing were better, I think I'd have the makings of a bestselling novel.

rhhardin said...

Obama just forgot that there's a lot of slippery slope tripwires when he reached out to yet another abortion demographic.

rhhardin said...

To make matters even worse, cognition and behavior can result in a physiologically depressed state indistinguishable from one that is biogenic and causes the disordered emotion and mentation It's a loop.

Paul F. Schmidt (_Religious Knowledge_) said that it was found that some drugs induce a religious-like experience, but it turns out they can be distinguished from the genuine article from the hangover.

Reliapundit said...

If Mr. Obama and his team think his supporters - such as you - are idiots - then they would be correct.

Slim999 said...

"Does he think we're idiots?"

Well, Ann, since you are going to vote for Obama, and no position that he espouses is going to change that, I think the answer to the question is that he doesn't think you're an idiot, he KNOWS you're an idiot.

You've, after all, left no room for doubt.

Meade said...

He was being interviewed by a Christian magazine. Maybe he thought its readers are idiots and his pandering answer would go no further. Maybe he forgot about the internet for a moment. Maybe he's not as brilliant as he seems.

martha said...

If a woman wants to abort her almost totally developed late-term fetus for ill-defined mental distress issues, she is mentally ill==severely mentally ill.

Pregnancy is stressful on a woman's body and mind.

Quixotic said...

"fully viable human entity?"

Ya know, I'm sure that's how most mothers feel about their 6 or 7 or 8 or 9 month babies.

"I love my human entity!" they often declare with delight.

"It's not an attribute, it's not a relationship, it's not some kind of generalized phenomenon; why, it's not any other metaphysical category - it's an entity, and I just love it!"

Novice said...

Ann,
I think a huge point was missed in his comments.

He acted like he has always been in favor a a woman getting an abortion only after she, her doctor, her PASTOR, and her FAMILY all agreed that to be the best thing.

Are you kidding me? Does anyone believe that Obo thinks a woman needs pastoral counseling to get an abortion? And what happened to the parental consent issue?

The only reason that he could believe these qualifiers to be important would be for the mental, emotional, and spiritual health of the woman.

The religious and privacy implications here would drive the pro-choice crowd crazy, wouldn't it?

Of course, the Obo apologists will find a way to make sense of this idiocy.

Novice said...

Mortimer,
You have helped demonstrate the problem.

There is no connection between psychological problems and seizures.

Seizures are a neurological problem.

Unfortunately, as others have proved in these comments, the devil is in the details, and you, and Obo, cannot get around these nasty, inconvenient, picky details.

Leo said...

We need clarity, we need facts. To the best of my knowledge (and I'm open to contrary evidence), it is extremely rare that a specific physical/medical reason is ever the premise on which an abortion is performed in the US, and certainly in the 'post viability' or after 22 weeks of gestation period, also called 'late term'.
There are about 60,000 of these 'late term' abortions in the US every year. If I'm right that very few of these are 'medically necessary' meaning to prevent death of the mother or serious physical impairment, e.g.stroke or paralysis would result, then Obama's new position effectively means he would deny most of those 60,000 abortions, since the predicate for those abortions are 'mental distress' of some kind, such as treatable depression, anxiety, etc. not 'medical necessity'.
So the question arises is this a flip flop, or alternatively, does Obama not know that the overwhelming majority of the 60,000 late term abortions are in fact for the emotional convenience of the mother.
I suspect, from Ann's comments that even she is unaware that very few late term abortions are in any way 'medically necessary' in the sense of 'life and death'.
Even the AMA stated during the 'partial birth abortion' (PBA) debate that there were no medical justifications for at least that type of late term abortion.
That Obama last year attacked the Supreme Court's upholding of the PBA ban, despite the AMA's opinion of its lack of medical necessity, suggests his latest statement is either a huge flip-flop or a case of incredible lack of knowledge on his part of why most females obtain legal abortions.
Finally, it is sad but true that even today, 35 years after Roe v Wade, a large percentage of Americans still believes that Roe v Wade only permits first trimester abortions, when the fact is, even today, even after the PBA ban (which only banned a certain method of abortion) abortions can legally be obtained up to the very moment of natural child birth.

Meade said...

“I was surprised by how finely calibrated every single word was measured,” Obama said. “I wasn’t saying anything that I hadn’t said before.”

Ann Althouse said...

"Well, Ann, since you are going to vote for Obama, and no position that he espouses is going to change that..."

Clearly, you've failed to watch the new vlog, in which I identify one issue that would cause me to vote for McCain. And it's not the only one. Amusingly, there are many readers who are sure they know I'll vote for McCain. The truth is: I don't know whether I'll vote for Obama or McCain. And I've taken a vow of cruel neutrality.

former law student said...

From his backtracking, Obama's consistent position, "inartfully" phrased, is to allow late-term abortions if needed to preserve the health of the mother -- he simply initially disregarded that mental health as well as physical health were at risk.

Ann asks: Isn't it obvious that the "serious physical issue" ought to have to do with body parts that are affected by the pregnancy?

Pregnancy affects all of women's systems as far as I know -- she must take in more air, pump more blood, digest more food, process more waste, etc. Google gestational hypertension, diabetes, etc.

Pat asks How many women do you seriously contend discover their mental illness after 8 months of pregnancy?

And I ask, how many lunatics do you think can deal rationally with pregnancy? ("Oh, I am pregnant. I should get an abortion ASAP.") Far more likely they would neglect for weeks to get one, or think it would present no problem. Moreover, google says pregnancy itself can produce a psychotic reaction with morbid depressive features, as well as postpartum psychosis.

Allison said...

In the United States today, a fetus of 26 weeks has a 50% survival rate outside of the mother's uterus. That is, if the mother were to give birth or suffer some life threatening illness/condition, they could take the fetus out, save the mother, and the baby put into NICU has a 50 50 chance of survival.

26 weeks.

There is NO MEDICAL REASON FOR A LATE TERM ABORTION. NONE. Do your research: late term abortions specifically kill the fetus when they could just remove it. There is no reason to KILL THE FETUS. Let's assume Mental illness may require the mother to terminate her pregnancy. It STILL does not require killing the baby--take the baby, do whatever can be done to save it. Why is this unacceptable?

former law student said...

they could take the fetus out, save the mother, and the baby put into NICU has a 50 50 chance of survival.

I too, support universal health care. However, if McCain is elected, I don't see who will pay for such heroics, plus a lifetime of care.

Michael said...

I am a psychiatrist with 20 years experience. Let me tell you that this mental health exception is bullshit. Pure and simple. Depression during pregnancy is completely treatable. In fact, there is almost NO treatment available for depression that is contraindicated during pregnancy-- up to, and including, ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). This is particularly true of "late term" depressions (i.e., those that occur in the second and third trimesters). After organogenesis takes place (first trimester activity), the risk to the fetus from psychiatric treatment is minimal. It is inconceivable to me that an actual medical doctor would "prescribe" an abortion as a means of treating depression. Can you say "malpractice"?

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to confess that I am deeply ambivalent about the topic of abortion. We can get into that if someone wishes, but on the topic of "late term" abortion I have no uncertainty-- it is infanticide. There is simply no reason to kill a fetus that has passed the point of viability. Doing so is simply choosing to kill a perfectly functional human being. In any other context that would be recognized for what it is-- murder. I'm saddened to live in a society that cannot recognize that simple point.

londonamerican said...

the candidate is a nullity. who can be surprised at this latest in a series of flip-flops? after nafta, iraq, the rev wright, campaign finance reform, fisa, the death penalty and gun control are we really supposed to be _surprised_ at this latest series of pirouettes?

Bissage said...

The propagation of the American Race® is a matter too important to be left to the whims, vagaries, ignorance and conflicted interests of laypersons.

Culling of the herd should be done pursuant to regulations promulgated and enforced by some newly-formed government agency, preferably a part of the Department of Agriculture also funding the development of renewable sources of carbon-friendly fertilizers.

newscaper said...

"How do you compare the value of one life against another? A doctor faced with saving the baby or saving the mother is certainly going to try to save both, but who is to say which life is worth more?"

Even the Roman Catholic Church explicitly makes room for a doctor saving the mother's life at the expense of the unborn child's, effectively allowing the A-word w/o using it. The key is that the underlying purpose of the procedure is not to end the pregnancy in and of itself.

For that matter, standard medical treatment for reducing the chances of STD transmission is perfectly fine even though *it* is effectively a saline abortion if conception has taken place.

Given that the largest, most pro-life organization in the entire world feels that way, people with positions in the middle aren't necessarily unprincipled or incoherent.

Effectively, the Church *does* put more value on the life of the mother, while at the same time insisting that the smallest embryo *does* have weight in any moral calculation. There is no contradiction -- even though the Church tapdances a bit to keep from tripping over its own rhetoric.

Further, out in the real world, it is clear by the way miscarriages are handled, at least the earlier ones: no naming, no 'funeral' (thats not to say no prayers), no death certificate, its clear that virtually everyone weighs the mother, the actual person, more heavily than the ... potential person -- even while asserting all
souls are the same before God.

As what I consider a principled middle-roader, I find the position of many more hardcore pro-choicers that flushing a fetus/embryo, since it should be 100% unrestrictedly legal (a position that is at least arguable), is a completely amoral act, to be utterly repellent. And I'm virtually an atheist.

A quick summary of my views that I think 75% or more of the public could agree with: in the extreme, the mother IS more important than the unborn child (the more so, relatively, the earlier in pregnancy). Being an independent organism with fully developed consciousness, personality and relationships must in fact be weighed in the balance.
All that said, while it is not independent of its mother's body, the embryo/fetus/baby IS a human being, with its own unique genetic identity. While not necessarily yet a "person" in any every-day sense, is IS unmistakeably on the path to becoming one, barring complications. There is, by any objective standard, a continuum in the unborn child's development of 'proto-personess', with later stages, with increasing capability and viability, obviously being more 'person' and less 'proto'.

Therefore, while it is legitimate to value the mother more, that does NOT mean that the unborn child is a moral non-entity.

From this there arise some corrolaries:

As with many other things in life, there are moral tradeoffs -- abortion may sometimes be the lesser of two (or more) evils.

Abortion is best (least evil) the earlier it is done.
(Aside- funny how Planned Parenthood and other groups pay lip service to this one while totally disagreeing with any principle that could cause one to come to that conclusion -- similarly, HRC's and others' "safe, legal, and rare" that most could live with while opposing any policy to support the 'rare' part.)

How much regulation there should therefore be, is a separate argument, but one affected by these principles -- the earlier, the more fully within the private realm of the mother (and father if he is the married husband!) -- or *parents* of a pregnant minor, it should fall.
The latter part of a pregnancy is of more concern to the public/state because of that increasing 'person-ness' -- people's commonsense revulsion of a mother aborting a healthy fetus when preemies regularly survive just because of her inconvenience or upset (which is NOT a mental illness), is not without solid principled foundation.

For giggles, sneak up on a diehard pro-choicer, the ones who think minors shouldn't need parental consent for abortions, and ask them if a doctor should be able to give their 16yo daughter breast implants w/o the parent's permission. If you think you have their honest, unguarded answer, then ask 'em about abortion. Hilarity should ensue.

(FWIW I *would* allow for exemptions by court order in genuinely dangerous cases, but "I'll get in trouble wit my parents" is insufficient.)

K T Cat said...

Obama wants this to become a personality contest. In one concrete policy after another he's either minimizing his differences with McCain or making his positions so murky that you can't differentiate the two on the hot-button topics of the day.

If he wins it will really be fascinating to see what happens. Every president has had to deal with some kind of major crisis that called for courage and conviction. What will he do if, say, the Iranians blow Tel Aviv off the map and let the world know they have a few more bombs as well?

Suzanne Morris said...

I had to read that three times to understand what the hell he was saying. For an educated man, he sure can't speak in clear and complete sentences. I'm beginning to question if he really is as intelligent as people claim he is. Imagine how many problems he would cause in the international community speaking that sort of nonsense. You may not like John McCain or what he stands for, but at least you can understand what he means. He doesn't have to "clarify his inartful" statements on a daily basis. He is not going to send the wrong signals to Iran or Syria and have to retreat the following day.

Patm said...

Even the AMA has stated that - as we are no longer in the dark days of the 18th century when a C-section was a death sentence to a mother - there is NO REASON for a late term abortion, ever.

But to answer your question, yes, Obama does think we're idiots. He's counting on it.

Ken Mitchell said...

As a Libertarian who was TERRIFIED of an Obama presidency, all of these flip-flops and retractions and "clarifications" have made me much easier in my mind about Obama.

He'd still be a TERRIBLE president, but at least he's just a power-hungry politician like every other, not some sort of dedicated and focused America-destroying madman who really wants to remake - or unmake - the nation. Like Clinton, once in office I think we'd see that he'll moderate - or abandon - most of his core positions in order to win a second term.

This still isn't GOOD, but I think we could live with Obama.

Patm said...

KT Cat - we know what Obama will do if Tel Aviv is blown away - he wrote it in Audacity of Hope, "if there is a crisis I will side with the Palestinians"

Alec Rawls said...

If you voted for him...

1jpb said...

Newscaper,

You're a little off. The Bible's support of self defense is the justification for not carrying a baby that would kill the mother. Secondly, the truly consistent view has no flexibility for amount of development after conception. You can't lock your two year old in a box for a month. Likewise, the hard core types say you can't intervene to destroy a baby any time after conception (not to mention before conception; think birth control.)

For the record, my view of abortion is very similar to yours. But, I openly carry the burden of knowing that our view is open to legitimate criticism. And, picking at someone else who accepts a serious mental health exception brings me no solace.

PatCA said...

former law student,
If Leo is correct, and I wish he had a link, that 60,000 late term abortions are performed each year, isn't that suggestive that the women having such are not seriously mentally ill? (Thank you, Michael.The mental health exception still is BS as it was in days before Roe.) Or are 60K schizophrenics getting pregnant in the US every year? Even if they are, it is still a fallacy that abortions are necessary to cure that condition. As I have said, and other posters, why not do a C-section and save the baby? We already give indigent babies this care; why not these babies? Otherwise, you are saying that to satisfy the perceived need of a "lunatic," we must kill a viable infant. IMO, that's de facto insanity.

Ivy said...

Really. Does he think we are idiots?

No, professor, you may be an idiot, but he is just flexible and pragmatic.

Ivy said...

Really. Does he think we are idiots?

No, professor, you may be an idiot, but he is just flexible and pragmatic.

DADvocate said...

Does he think we are idiots?

Well, look how many people have voted for him already.

Simon said...

Leo said...
"We need clarity, we need facts... [The balance of this comment incorporated by reference]"

Maybe the feds should impose a reporting requirement, whereby abortionists must provide accurate numbers of the abortions they provide, how far along the pregnancy was, and the reasons for the abortion? That might yield not only useful data, but also the predicate for an important commerce clause cases a few years down the line.

Trumpit said...
"Suppose a pregnant girl, nearing the end of gestation, goes to a doctor/psychiatrist and says bluntly and seriously that either she is given an abortion or she will commit suicide, killing herself and her baby."

When last I looked, in most states, the criteria for admission for observation at a psychiatric hospital included that the person poses a risk of harm to themselves and to others, both of which apply in your hypothetical.

1jpb said...
"But do you have a complete bound copy of the OED? If not your still less cool (in the geeky sense) than Teller."

No; I have an abridged copy, but both major libraries here in town (county and university) have the full edition, and I'll use it sometimes. For example, in an article on use of foreign law, I cited OED for the point that "[t]he very word – 'foreign' – suggests in itself that something is very wrong here ... [insofar as it] means 'not one’s own ... introduced from the outside; not belonging to the place in which it is found … pertaining to, characteristic of, or derived from another country or nation; not domestic or native.'” (quoting IV Ox. Eng. Dict. 434-5 (1961)). I think that for most practical purposes -- in writing, that is, rather than construing a text -- though, Fowler is more useful than OED. I do try to get usage right, although sometimes comments can be dashed off too quickly and include irreparable mistakes and typos. Oh: and Teller is cool!

1jpb said...

On multiple occasions I've come close to shelling out the grand for the thing. "The Professor and the Madman" from a while back is the biggest motivation. But, it sure takes up a lot of space.

It would be worth it if it could fix my speed typing where I often make errors, e.g. mixing up 'you're' and 'your', as in the comment you noted. I suppose that previewing my comments could also help.

Tully said...

But Oceania has always been at was with Eastasia!

Simon said...

1jpb said...
"On multiple occasions I've come close to shelling out the grand for the thing ... [b]ut, it sure takes up a lot of space."

I don't know, I've never looked, but I'd bee far from surprised if it doesn't come on CD-ROM nowadays. As I said though, I think that Fowler is more compact, more often useful, and cheaper.

"It would be worth it if it could fix my speed typing where I often make errors, e.g. mixing up 'you're' and 'your', as in the comment you noted. I suppose that previewing my comments could also help."

Firefox has a handy built-in spellchecker nowadays that flags some potential typos, and for longer comments, I sometimes fire up Word, type the comment there, and then copy-paste back into the comments window. I usually preview, but have a bad habit of skimming rather than reading carefully, particularly if it's a fast-moving thread where you really want to be, you know, in the thick of it.

veni vidi vici said...

All "terminal" hyperventilation aside, if the worry is truly that people will be seeking "elective" (i.e. feelin' the blooz) abortions in their third trimesters, isn't this whole thing a little overblown? I mean, if someone wants an abortion because they don't want the kid, in this day and age why does anyone assume that they're waiting til the third trimester rather than scooting to the clinic within the first 3 or 6 months?

To me, the abortion debate has been about balancing angels on heads of pins for about as long as Roe has been on the books. Time to find some new hobbies. Or something.

1jpb said...

Simon,

I've heard that there is a CD. But I, being a traditionalist, want the bound version.

I've been a long time Firefox user and the spell check is great, but I didn't always know that it was helping me. In the past, I've even commented on some sites complementing them for having spell check in their comment text boxes. Then, a couple of months ago I was using an older version of Firefox (at a house that I don't go to often) without spell check. Then, I realized that my browser was doing the spell checking.

Stuff sure does change. It wasn't too long ago that, for fun, I took and passed the Java Programmer certification. Now I'm outmoded.

Kirk Parker said...

C4,

Sorry, nobody who heard Reagan call the Soviet Union an "Evil Empire" thougth he was saying that just to get elected--least of the the Sakharovs, Sharanskys, and the like from the actual USSR.

steven,

It's hard for me to see how an emergency C-section, which would have the chance of saving both lives, wouldn't be in order--but please note IANA-OB/GYN.

fls,

"I see the main problem here. Neither Ann nor Barack really believe that mental illness is objectively real"

No you don't. Ann can certainly speak for herself (and wouldn't it be profundly interesting to have Obama actually taking part in this conversion!) but...

"Apparently, Ann believes that doctors, or at least psychiatrists, lack integrity,"

... the real problem is whether you trust every single practitioner to have that level of integrity.

former law student said...

why not do a C-section and save the baby?

Why not donate a kidney to a stranger? Both require unnecessary surgery to save the life of another human being.

... if Tel Aviv is blown away - [Obama] wrote .. in Audacity of Hope, "if there is a crisis I will side with the Palestinians"

patm -- on what page, and which edition, of the Audacity of Hope did Obama write that remarkable sentence?

Those who would do away with a mental health exception must do away with the rape/incest exception as well, because all three cases balance an infant with a 50/50 chance of viability against the mental stability of the mother.

Ofc. Krupke said...

Really. Does he think we are idiots?

We haven't done a lot to convince him otherwise.

Given that he supports restrictions on abortion, it makes sense that he would appoint judges who share his view.

Has Sen. Obama ever voted in favor of any restrictions on abortion?

cubanbob said...

" Blogger Mortimer Brezny said...

If he wanted to be clear he would say he only supports late term abortion when the life of the mother is in danger (or some other destructive physical threat). Anything thing else is de facto abortion on demand (at least that appears to be what Althouse is arguing)."

Obama is making Bush look like rocket scientist. If Bush is an idiot and Obama is making Bush look brilliant what does that say about the Obama supporters?

Children do not ask to be conceived. The mother absent raped has chosen to conceive. Whether with thoughtful consideration or thoughtless behavior, adults are responsible for their actions.

Nevertheless it is still her choice to get pregnant, not the fathers. If she wants to avoid getting pregnant besides using the usual methods of birth control she can elect to have relations with men that are snipped. Or get sterilized. Or abstain. Or with a guy who will make a good father.

A viable fetus is a human being. If merely being inconvenient is reason enough to kill a person, we should certainly kill all of the scum at Guantanamo for starters followed by three time losers in our prisons.They are certainly inconvenient to society.

As for the "mental health" issues, as one commenter stated that is pure bullshit. Imagine when the fathers who was lied to about using birth control were to use that line to avoid child support. I'm sorry your honor but my client will suffer mental illness if compelled to support a child he did not intend to conceive. Interesting how a man can be held liable for child support for a child that is not his as that is in the best interest of the child but somehow the child's right to be born is never considered in the child's best interest.

Orwell was right. Some of us are more equal than others.

PatCA said...

"Why not donate a kidney to a stranger? Both require unnecessary surgery to save the life of another human being."

You are going off on tangents now; we're arguing about the merits of a mental health exemption for late term abortion. Donating a kidney is not analogous in any way with aborting or c-section, and cost is irrelevant. Not even Obama mentioned it in his tortured opinions.

Which is the 'unnecessary' surgery anyway, the abortion or the c-section? A late term abortion is not an easy procedure. The simplest and cheapest procedure is to deliver the baby, the same as in a late term abortion, but then remove the head intact and give the baby to adoptive parents--instead of cutting a hole in its head and sucking out its brain prior to its passage through the vaginal canal.

KLDAVIS said...

"Is Obama prepared..."

No.

Arnold said...

I am a psychiatrist and have no knowledge or business making constitutional statements. Barack Obama has no business making statements about mental health. We make our diagnoses on particular clinical grounds and we try to be honest and scientific.How disappointing that Obama is unable to be similarly steadfast.

Grej said...

When the Founding Fathers declared their freedom from the British monarchy in 1776, they based their argument on the unalienable rights of equality and "LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"



We need to think about what that means.





From the scripture:



"What you do to the least of these you do unto me"

"Before I knit you in your mother's womb I knew

you".



Both the present Pope, the previous one, John Paul II and Mother Theresa said that abortion was the pre-eminent moral issue.

Without the right to life all other rights have no meaning. That precious infant in the mother's womb deserves a chance just like all of us.

Mr. McCain had an 89% pro-life voting record in the Senate .

Mr. Obama? 0%.

In addition to being our most pro-life

president ever, Mr. Bush spent more on social welfare programs and combatting AIDs than any previous chief executive.
He tried but failed to come up with some kind of immigration reform.

More money was put into New Orlean for disaster recovery than anywhere else in the history of the country.

We've lost 4000 soldiers in Irag but progress is being made. We lost 50,000 in Vietnam and left there with nothing really accomplished.

The present Pope, when he was a cardinal, said that one could disagree over issues such as war and the death penalty and still be a good Christian. Abortion and homosexuality are always
and forever more wrong and serious evils. They were wrong two thousand years ago and will be
two thousand years from now.



I should qualify what I wrote about(above) Mr Obama's

pro-life voting record in the Senate. He did cast one pro-life vote (to save the life of Terri Schiavo). He now said he regrets doing that, however. So, de facto he does have a 0%.

By the way, when he was in the Illinois legislature he voted against requiring a physician to save the life of an infant who
had survived a botched abortion. This is a more extreme position than even most pro-abortion groups like NARAL have. He is as far as I know the most pro-abortion, pro homosexual candidate ever to run for president. If this man represents the new Christianity and the new America, God help us all.



This country did great things by getting rid of slavery and
segregation. But with abortion and homosexual marriage we have only
traded one set of evils for another.



Nothing sanctioned by man can have any validity or lasting if it is not also likewise sanctioned by God.



Mr. Obama is the first African-American to be nominated by a major party. No man, however can come before God or the word of God.



Representative Chris Smith from New Jersey has a very grim prognosis
of what a President Obama would mean fro the Pro-Life movement.
He said it would mean a complete reversal of all the gains and
legislative accomplishments the movement has gained over these many years and even referred to it as the "Waterloo" of the pro-life movement.

newscaper said...

1jpb said
"Secondly, the truly consistent view has no flexibility for amount of development after conception."

Don't quite agree. Consistent on what basis? If you'll notice I've tried to base my views on objective criteria as much as possible. No references to "soul" and cautious use of the term "person", trying to use it only in the everyday sense, not some abstract philosophical or legal one.

Saying that, "Voila! this newly born kid is magically a "person" and 1 hour before she wasn't is arbitrary when you take a closer look(though at least a clearly visible demarcation). OTOH insisting that a freshly merged single-celled zygote is as much a "person" (again w/o invoking a "soul") as a 20yo woman is also arbitrary in its over-simplicity, completely ignoring a lack of viability, consciousness or awareness, with the only thing [a major one IMO] giving it more value than a chicken zygote is the human potential in its DNA.

Neither of those two views is "consistent" with, and only with, the objective facts. One view at its core is essentially theological, the other a legal fiction used to give women a blank check to use "its my body" to say to hell with anyone else, they have their parachute to duck responsibility for their actions.

IMO the Randian Objectivist position is the only fully honest 100% pro choice view -- the "personhood" of the fetus is moot as the core principle of individual liberty,self-ownership, means that the mother has no obligation to carry against her will , what might be considered a 'parasite'.
However, I consider that an incorrect formulation even in Rand's own terms because everywhere else that exercises of liberty require accepting responsibility for their effects.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Ideally a person is going to be seeing a doctor about a medical condition, not an administrative statement. We really aren't trained for the latter. You know the statement that '90% of Workers Comp conditions are fraudulent.' That comes up because a doctor is treating somebody and the entity paying finds somebody who will dependably say, 'No really they have a personality disorder.' Funny how bookshelves etc. always fall on personality disordered, drug addicts (to be). You know people used to think that shit created flies. Finding a doctor to make a helpful administrative statement reminds you why that idea wasn't so stupid. Really the only way around it is to have an appropriately selected ideally neutral administrative set of doctors to make such decisions. And this might be harder than selecting federal judges.

cjweaver said...

Steven-
That a pregnancy endangers the mother's life does not necessarily mean that the mother's life is in danger at that very moment, ie when the "delivery" or abortion would take place. There are maternal conditions that arise during pregnancy or that can be present in the mother prior to pregnancy that worsen during the pregnancy, and that risk taking her life if the pregnancy continues. So, the mother would not necessarily be so fragile as to not be able to withstand the procedure(abortion); but might stand a good chance of dying if she didn't.
Hope that clears things up a bit.

cjweaver said...

Grej-
Stick to the topic would you? Just couldn't help throwing in condemnation of all the gays, could you? Your religious views ARE NOT my religious views. I don't follow what the Pope says. If you remember, the Constitution also gave all these rights of and liberty to "men" only. Should we save only the male fetuses? And President Bush did NOT help prevent the spread of AIDS in any fashion whatsoever!!!! His "Abstinence Only" programs, refusing to make condoms accessible in poor African countries, and taking away monies from any organization that teaches anything at all about abortion have done more to harm the prevention of AIDS and allow it to continue to spread!!! Why don't you do some reading before spewing your garbage "facts"...some reading other than the Holy Books whose words you cram down our throats.
PS: do you have a uterus that could be impregnated through rape or incest or forced marital sex (rape), that might put you in a position to desire an abortion? I bet I know the answer.

former law student said...

Nevertheless it is still her choice to get pregnant, not the fathers. If she wants to avoid getting pregnant besides using the usual methods of birth control she can elect to have relations with men that are snipped. Or get sterilized. Or abstain. Or with a guy who will make a good father.

If all women were rational actors at the time of intercourse, rohypnol sales would not occur and a lot of guys would not be getting laid.

Imagine when the fathers who was lied to about using birth control were to use that line to avoid child support.

I see, pregnancy is the woman's punishment for having sex, as paying child support is the man's punishment. But men could surely hedge against a purely financial loss by buying insurance. Carrying a child to term and giving birth, or having one's abdomen slit wide enough for a person to be pulled out, are not purely financial burdens.

cjweaver said...

Cubanbob,
Your last statement about some being more equal than others actually hurts your cause considering the dribble that you wrote above it. It is always a woman's choice to conceive? You are either ignorant, stupid, or the worst women-hating pig ever! The options you leave don't even cover it. WHERE in any of this is the responsibility of the FATHER in conception? Until men/fathers have to suffer all the things that can and do go wrong in pregnancy and delivery...hypertension, diabetes, stroke, seizures, tears in the urethra or anus leading to incontinence, DEATH....they have NO RIGHT to tell any woman that she must continue a pregnancy! We have the medical capability to induce all these things in the father. My answer if abortion becomes legal: for every pregnancy a woman is forced to carry against her will, any complication that she suffers will be induced in the father as well: she puts on 50#...we put #50 on him; she gets high blood pressure and swollen legs...we give him high blood pressure and swollen legs; we hit him in the genitals for every labor pain she has; and if she tears thru her anus delivering the baby, we tear his anus. Sound fair!! I think so.

cjweaver said...

Sorry..in my anger, i typed if abortion becomes "legal" when I meant if it becomes "illegal".

Ken said...

"Does he think we are idiots?"

No. You voted for him. He knows you're an idiot.

Fen said...

[The Father has] NO RIGHT to tell any woman that she must continue a pregnancy

Bullocks. Its his DNA too.

People know that birth control is not 100% effective, yet they CHOOSE to take that risk.

As for pain and suffering, how do you square that with what men face? The mother can kill the child, even if the man wants to keep it. Or, the mother can keep the child and demand the father pay support, even if he doesn't want it.

Your logic is based on the premise that the child is the property of the mother and, like those that supported slavery, it can be treated inhumanely because its "sub-human".

Ted said...

Well, it's either gonna be McCain/Palin or ...

Barack Obama starring as "Change" the Gardener in remake of movie classic, "Being There", starring Peter Sellers as "Chance" the Gardener!

*HT to hs commenting on
puma4palin.blogspot.com

Fen said...

Neither of those two views is "consistent" with, and only with, the objective facts. One view at its core is essentially theological,

Moral, not theological. One of the ideals of our civilization is that we err on the side of caution when a human life is involved. If science can't determine 100% certainty when the "parasite" becomes "human", then we hold.

Fen said...

cjweaver: If you remember, the Constitution also gave all these rights of and liberty to "men" only.

Sigh. All cultures EVOLVE. Gradual steps towards liberty for all. In the 18th century, any attempt to include such things equality for women or animal rights or gay rights would have been laughed out of the room. Hell, if not for Shay's Rebellion, such liberty wouldn't have been extended beyond the merchant class. I'm tired of idiots damning the founders who put us on the path of Liberty for all.

And President Bush did NOT help prevent the spread of AIDS in any fashion whatsoever!!!!

Africa. You selfish jerk.

Fen said...

Sound fair!! I think so.

Until we turn it around. Then you'll have another hysterical emotional breakdown. Does the father suffer a heart attack from the extra stress of supporting a child he didn't want? Fine. We induce one in the mother too! What a stupid [and vengeful] way to equalize the risks that both parents suffer.

Leo said...

Well, that was fast!
No sooner did I suggest here that Obama was showing either disingenuousness or ignorance on the issue of forbidding late term abortions for 'mental distress' (his words), since statistically the overwhelming majority of late term abortions are for the 'mental health' of the woman, now Obama, over the July 4th weekend, does another neck-jerking 180 degree reversal on what he meant by ‘mental distress’.
Now Obama says he was misunderstood. You see, all you rubes out there, what he meant by 'mental distress' was akin to the 'Monday blues'. Of course he didn't mean (again his words) "serious clinical mental health diseases" when he said earlier that the only justifiable conditions to allow late term abortions had to be "physical" (his word again). Interestingly, (and to me, sadly) one common reason given for late term abortions is a ‘Downs Syndrome’ diagnosis in the fetus after amniocentesis. Is the mother of a future Downs child merely having ‘Monday blues’ or a ‘serious clinical mental health disease’?
Not to beat this into the ground, but, just like his two-in-3-hours flip-flop press conferences on Iraq last week when it appeared the press saw Obama pivot and he had to nip that press speculation in the bud, now in the space of a week since the abortion article appeared, he's been chastened by NARAL (privately I’m sure) and had to add nuance to his position. Remind you of the last democrat candidate for president?
Obama suffers from the same disease as John Kerry, it's really a form of 'mental distress' that makes him bloviate to show how resonant his voice is, and broad his mind is, then, once he realizes he went a tad too far out on a limb, and makes him back off, then blame the listener, in these cases the press and bloggers, like Ann, who realize 'he's doing it again'.
Obama is the kind of guy we all know too well who's gotten away with schmoozing and ‘nuancing’ with words, ('just words'), for so long, he now thinks he can do it in a national election.
Unfortunately for him even left wingers in the press don't like being conned. So far the best description I’ve heard of Barack Obama is: a tan Bill Clinton, without the babes.

Fen said...

It reveals just how poor his judgement is until the "experts" [ie. NARAL etc] rein him in. This is what happened to Carter - all idealistic and about "change", until political reality kicked in and corrupted him.

Smilin' Jack said...

It's good to see the abortion issue back in the political arena. Whatever the outcome may be, it's reassuring to know that the moral issues of abortion will be decided by those whom we all regard as the most moral among us: lawyers and politicians.

cubanbob said...

"Cubanbob,
Your last statement about some being more equal than others actually hurts your cause considering the dribble that you wrote above it. It is always a woman's choice to conceive? You are either ignorant, stupid, or the worst women-hating pig ever! The options you leave don't even cover it. WHERE in any of this is the responsibility of the FATHER in conception? Until men/fathers have to suffer all the things that can and do go wrong in pregnancy and delivery...hypertension, diabetes, stroke, seizures, tears in the urethra or anus leading to incontinence, DEATH....they have NO RIGHT to tell any woman that she must continue a pregnancy! We have the medical capability to induce all these things in the father. My answer if abortion becomes legal: for every pregnancy a woman is forced to carry against her will, any complication that she suffers will be induced in the father as well: she puts on 50#...we put #50 on him; she gets high blood pressure and swollen legs...we give him high blood pressure and swollen legs; we hit him in the genitals for every labor pain she has; and if she tears thru her anus delivering the baby, we tear his anus. Sound fair!! I think so.
12:18 AM
OpenID cjweaver said...

Sorry..in my anger, i typed if abortion becomes "legal" when I meant if it becomes "illegal"."

You are beyond parody. Hey its real simple if you want a sure fire solution of never risking your rant DON"T FUCK. THAT OR GET STERILIZED.

Now if you have a beef with God or evolution for making woman the biological womb carrier, take it up with them. Until then it comes with the territory. MEN DO NOT GET PREGNANT. So the biological choice to get pregnant or stay pregnant is solely the woman's absent rape. As long as abortion is legal you got the right,you bought the responsibility.

The usual hypocrisy of "my body,my choice, our responsibility."

Yep, some of us are more equal than others. By the way why is your life more valuable than that of a fetus? If you are too stupid or irresponsible to avoid getting pregnant why should another human being be killed for your immaturity and irresponsibility?

Some of us are more equal than others.

Hey did it ever occur to you that you are just as much tied to the civilization umbilical cord and womb as a baby is to its mother? Every single physical need for you to survive is brought to you by that umbilical cord. Food,water,heat,clothing and shelter. None of which you produce by yourself. Should society abort a moron like you that is nearly devoid of intelligence and operates only on immature emotion and rage?

GET YOUR TUBES TIED! OR DON"T FUCK! Or find a fool who would want to be your baby's daddy. And is willing and able to pay the freight so my taxes won't have to.

former law student said...

GET YOUR TUBES TIED! OR DON"T FUCK!

I picture the Cootch Nazi: "Cubanbob, no nookie for you. Next!" With all the men in the world, why would any sane woman drop her panties for a guy who thinks like cubanbob?

Jessica said...

There MUST be a health of the mother to any legislation limiting abortion. Get the medical facts people! I realize that some late-term abortions are elective, but some are NECESSARY to save a woman's life! Do we want women to die like in third world countries so pro-lifers can feel good about themselves?

It's a woman's body and only she can make this difficult choice in the context of her own unique set of circumstances! The constitution gives people a right to privacy...for a reason.

Menad0za said...

This man is harvard grad, with the thought process of a modern day lab monkey.