February 5, 2009

Suing your own abortionist for making you witness the murder of your accidentally delivered child.

How can the mother who sought the death of her unborn child recover damages for seeing the death acted out in front of her?
"The baby writhed and gasped for air, still connected to [Sycloria] Williams by the umbilical cord. Immobilized by shock, Williams watched [abortion clinic owner Belkis] Gonzalez run into the room, cut the umbilical cord with a pair of orange-handled shears, stuff the baby and afterbirth into a red biohazard bag and throw the bag into a garbage can," the lawsuit explains.
Shouldn't anyone having an abortion need to visualize what is being done to the life/potential life she is destroying? To claim damages from seeing the death is to admit that you didn't understand what you were doing when you sought the abortion. If women are to have a right to choose to have an abortion — if the decision to have an abortion properly rests with the woman, as the law says it does — then it is crucial that she understand what she is doing. This lawsuit is a claim that she did not comprehend what she was doing. If that is true, it undermines the whole basis for the right to choose to have an abortion. Choices imply competent understanding. Either women know what they are doing or they do not. Take a side.

188 comments:

Jennifer said...

Aaaaaand cue the vortex.

Psychedelic George said...

Sycloria: What does it mean?

JAL said...

So much for the "Informed Consent" lie.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

More details here.

As the article points out, she was 23 weeks when she went for the abortion. Fetuses at 23 weeks have been delivered and have lived.

I have taken a side, and I'm comfortable with it.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Also:

"It really disturbed me," said Joanne Sterner, president of the Broward County chapter of the National Organization for Women, after reviewing the administrative complaint against Renelique. "I know that there are clinics out there like this. And I hope that we can keep (women) from going to these types of clinics."

I thought the point of having abortion legal was so that women didn't have to go to "clinics like this". Chalk another lie up next to the one about informed choice.

Darcy said...

Wow. The answer to your question is yes, in my opinion. And I'm grateful for your whole post on it.

Quayle said...

Ann said: she did not comprehend what she was doing. If that is true, it undermines the whole basis for the right to choose to have an abortion.

Well put. Something to consider.

mydismalswamp said...

B I N G O!

Quayle said...

To be accurate, Ann said This lawsuit is a claim that she did not comprehend what she was doing...

Sorry for the improper context.

John K. said...

Abortion is just messed up all the way around. Adding a steaming pile of government to the mix just messes it up more. And that's not even taking into account induced abortion's link with increased breast cancer risk, which has been classified by the government as top-secret.

Palladian said...

"This lawsuit is a claim that she did not comprehend what she was doing. If that is true, it undermines the whole basis for the right to choose to have an abortion. Choices imply competent understanding."

Great point. So much of the political rhetoric of "pro-choice" advocacy is misdirection and euphemism. It's "pay no attention to that wriggling, gasping baby behind the curtain". It's presented as some sort of vague female empowerment issue and I suspect that many young women respond to that without ever thinking about the implications of their "choices".

Simon said...

One is vividly reminded of Juge Easterbrook's observation that the life of a federal judge is made more interesting by the endless procession of cases arising from facts that were rejected as too implausible by soap opera scriptwriters. These cases just keep getting odder.

m00se said...

I cannot think of a reason which "justifies" an abortion. There may be good medical reasons, but nothing else. Any woman has an abortion and later has a child is suspect as a mother in my eye.

Abortion may be legal, but I reserve the right to judge those who have them or support them...

Sy said...

If women knowingly and admit to themselves that they ARE killing an unborn child when having an abortion, they wouldn't have the abortion in the first place.

But since most abortion advocates label abortion as just a woman's choice, then its all fine and dandy until you actually witness the process.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

By the way, and this isn't snark: will in all seriousness explain to me why the clinic owner has not been indicted for murder? I know it's common parlance to refer to abortion as infanticide, but even if you reject that framing, this wasn't an abortion. The baby was delivered, "writhed and gasped for air, ... [was] stuff[ed] .. into a red biohazard bag and throw[n] ... into a garbage can." How is that an abortion? The delivery may have begin with the intent to abort, but they failed to abort it, and when they failed, they killed a live, born child that was breathing and quite probably screaming, given the propensity of newborns to do so.

So, serious question (and not one for those who think any abortion is murder): why has this man not been indicted for murder?

Quayle said...

And if we quietly consider abortion, it is a very aggresive, invasive, destructive act done far too often for financial reasons or mere personal convenience.

The "economic rights of a woman" argument seems so materialistic it is hard to understand why otherwise "organic" or "eco-frendly" people would so militantly support it.

Financial gain isn't the root of very much of the left's agenda - why is it here?

I just have trouble making sense of the incongruities around this issue.

John K. said...

If this woman wants a new groundbreaking tort based upon her incomprehension of what was being done in the abortion procedure, she might as well go with one that's already been spelled out in the Wisconsin Law Review:

http://www.kindleylaw.com/about/law-review-article/

Joe said...

This story doesn't add up. For the baby to react as it did, it would have to have been second if not third trimester. This was infanticide, pure and simple. The "mother" is as culpable.

Mark said...

My twins (34 week gestation) spent a couple of weeks in the NICU. In the same room was a little girl born at 22 weeks. She'd been there for 10 weeks, and her prognosis was good, though we haven't kept up with her parents.

I'm not saying I know the answer to the big-picture question, but I'd say any harm to the litigant was self-inflicted.

Lem said...

Sounds like this lady went to have an abortion on the cheap and she got what she paid for.

BTW - I'm pro life, in case anybody is interested.

Sy said...

If women knowingly and admit to themselves that they ARE killing an unborn child when having an abortion, they wouldn't have the abortion in the first place.

But since most abortion advocates label abortion as just a woman's choice, then its all fine and dandy until you actually witness the process.

Quayle said...

If this woman wants a new groundbreaking tort

Something like Intentional Self-infliction of Emotional Distress?

That would be groundbreaking.

Lem said...

By the way, and this isn't snark:

It's really, really good snark then ;)

Lem said...

You dont understand.

This abortion was conducted to $$ave the life of the mother.

Michael H said...

Williams watched [abortion clinic owner Belkis] Gonzalez run into the room, cut the umbilical cord with a pair of orange-handled shears, stuff the baby and afterbirth into a red biohazard bag and throw the bag into a garbage can...

Dear sweet Jesus. How can a civilized society tolerate abortion?

My choice was made years ago. Innocent human life is to be protected, whether unborn, elderly, infirm or disabled. Life is life.

Flame me if you must; my belief is so deeply ingrained that it can be neither revoked nor argued away.

Richard Fagin said...

When antiabortionists tried to get laws passed requiring women seeking abortion to see video or films of what actually happens in an abortion, the laws were deemed an undue burden on a woman's right to an abortion.

Granted, the films were out and out gore.

You still think those laws would be an undue burden after this?

The professor is spot on. If it's really a choice it has to be informed.

stillanerd said...

To suit my cartoon-ready brain, consider the captions:

"I don't want this baby, let's kill it."
"No, I didn't want to see it!"
"I'll sue!"

Somebody else do the art.

Lem said...

The delivery may have begin with the intent to abort, but they failed to abort it..

Ok let's be serious for a moment..

Would you say that if an initial electric shock fails to kill a death sentence inmate that they should not try again?

As far as I can tell this abortion like hundreds, maybe thousands b4 it... just landed on the Hudson.

Freeman Hunt said...

If most people actually knew what happened during an abortion, the country would probably be at least 80% pro-life.

At least, I hope so.

Michael H said...

Let's change the event a bit and evaluate whether or not it was murder.

"Williams watched [abortion clinic owner Belkis] Gonzalez run into the room, cut the life-support tubes with a pair of orange-handled shears, stuff her mother who was suffering from cancer into a red biohazard bag and throw the bag into a garbage can..."

Murder. Nothing to dispute. Probably pre-meditated.

David said...

So much for the blob concept.

This is the Kinsley Gaffe of the abortion debate: an accidental telling of a grotesque and harsh truth, the intentional and public killing of a recognizable human who undoubtedly suffered in the process.

It's not murder in one sense of the word because it's not illegal under our laws. But we know instinctively that a terrible thing has been done. It can't be rationalized as other than a horror, so it must be hidden.

That's why some find first trimester abortion justifiable, while later is not. Early abortion is easier to hide. Because the fetus is tiny and less recognizably human, the process is easier to rationalize. Perhaps it is also qualitatively and morally different, though when the bloody reality surfaces that's a harder position to maintain.

I have for years said that I favor choice, while I personally find abortion wrong. I would not want a child of mine aborted though, strangely enough, since I am male I have no legal standing in the matter of my own child. Fortunately, all of my potential children and grandchildren have been wanted and welcomed by me and their mothers (all of whom say that they favor choice but none of whom would, in my opinion, have an abortion.)

How can we (meaning me and my female family members) all abhor the act of abortion so much, yet be unwilling to impose that sense of wrong by law on society? Is it deference to the beliefs of others, or just that the process is well enough hidden that we can avoid a true confrontation?

Dogwood said...

To claim damages from seeing the death is to admit that you didn't understand what you were doing when you sought the abortion.

They know what they are doing, but they can only do it by dehumanizing their unborn child.

It is a choice, not a life. It is a fetus, not a person. Etc., etc.

Her experience brought her face to face with the barbarity of her act, and instead of blaming herself, she blames the abortionist, makes the guilt easier to live with I guess.

I also agree with the others, this was murder.

David said...

It's worse than you thought. Here is a description of the event from another news story. (I'd link it but don't know how, I must confess.)

Eighteen and pregnant, Sycloria Williams went to an abortion clinic outside Miami and paid $1,200 for Dr. Pierre Jean-Jacque Renelique to terminate her 23-week pregnancy.

Three days later, she sat in a reclining chair, medicated to dilate her cervix and otherwise get her ready for the procedure.

Only Renelique didn't arrive in time. According to Williams and the Florida Department of Health, she went into labor and delivered a live baby girl.

What Williams and the Health Department say happened next has shocked people on both sides of the abortion debate: One of the clinic's owners, who has no medical license, cut the infant's umbilical cord. Williams says the woman placed the baby in a plastic biohazard bag and threw it out.

John K. said...

David said: "It's not murder in one sense of the word because it's not illegal under our laws."

Yep, and if we buy into that sense of the word the gassing of Jews by the Nazis wasn't murder either.

When will we get over our illusion that the pronouncements of a bunch of bought-and-paid for politicians sitting in a "legislature" either add anything to or subtract anything from justice.

Lem said...

One of the clinic's owners, who has no medical license, cut the infant's umbilical cord. Williams says the woman placed the baby in a plastic biohazard bag and threw it out.

If That is what Happened, then it's murder and nothing else.

David said...

John K: I imagine--though I never checked--that there were probably many laws on the books in Germany that made the killing of Jews illegal.

After having read the fuller account of the event that I posted a few items above, I now join others in wondering why there has not been a criminal prosecution here. (Maybe there has, but it's not coming up.)

But I don't think the mother is the criminal. She went in thinking she was going to have a legal abortion from a physician. What she got was a child born alive that someone snatched away and killed. She was 18 years old. What the hell did she know? How could she possibly understand what had just happened, or what she could do to intervene.

Was she clueless? Yes. She had even, it seems, named the child before it was aborted. But it's hard for me to see that she is a criminal.

Jason (freezing) said...

I have to disagree with Althouse.

It sounds like a botched abortion. Also, the manner of the murder of the baby girl (being thrown on the floor and then stuffed in a plastic bag to bleed out and suffocate) is probably not something the mother agreed to.

Just because you don't want to SEE something doesn't mean you didn't visualize it, especially in the least respectful way possible. People can agree to surgery and then sue if anesthesia wasn't used.

I wouldn't put as much of my anger towards the mother for lack of competence as at society. We like sex in movies or on TV. We don't like thinking about consequences. How many people saw "Lake of Fire"?

WE are the ones who aren't competent.

garage mahal said...

If most people actually knew what happened during an abortion, the country would probably be at least 80% pro-life.

How come none of you guys ever ask Althouse this? She's for killing babies. Should she have to watch too?

Chet said...

Just because I eat turkey on Thanksgiving, doesn't mean I wanna see the actual slaughter of the turkey.

David said...

John K says: "When will we get over our illusion that the pronouncements of a bunch of bought-and-paid for politicians sitting in a "legislature" either add anything to or subtract anything from justice."

The legislature did not bring us Roe v. Wade, the most troublesome and troubling Supreme Court case since Plessy and Dred Scott. I still wish we had let the abortion debate play out in the legislatures, not the courts. I think we would still have legal abortion in most places (the rest of the world does), but we might also have a more restricted and regulated system that does not exploit 18 year old girls in the way this girl seems to have been exploited.

Lem said...

Just because I eat turkey on Thanksgiving..

Yea, but was it a baby turkey ;)

David said...

Chet said...
"Just because I eat turkey on Thanksgiving, doesn't mean I wanna see the actual slaughter of the turkey."

Lovely analogy, Chet.

Chet said...

"People can agree to surgery and then sue if anesthesia wasn't used."

There are thousands of instances of people waking up during brain surgery and other procedures. They have no right to sue, and it has nothing to do with informed consent.

Tort Reform has eliminated any, and all, wrongful dealth/malpractice/negligence cases in the healthcare field.

MadisonMan said...

I agree with the professor. If this women consented to the abortion, then she can't turn around and sue when the abortion does exactly what it's supposed to do. What did she imagined would be happening?

Someone is fishing for money.

Revenant said...

If a doctor amputated your leg without taking precautions to prevent you from witnessing the act of him sawing it off, I can see an argument for that being malpractice. I'm not sure I would consider it such myself, though.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"Williams watched [abortion clinic owner Belkis] Gonzalez run into the room, cut the umbilical cord with a pair of orange-handled shears, stuff the baby and afterbirth into a red biohazard bag and throw the bag into a garbage can..."

All that's missing from the scene is a statue of Ba'al to consecrate the proceedings...

Lem said...

Sycloria Williams went to an abortion clinic outside Miami and paid $1,200 for Dr. Pierre Jean-Jacque Renelique to terminate her 23-week pregnancy.

My DWI came to $2,500 btw the lawyer and the fines, add over $3,000 in surcharges to be payed upon completion of my suspension... Oh, and I didn't kill anybody.

John K. said...

Dave said "The legislature did not bring us Roe v. Wade, the most troublesome and troubling Supreme Court case since Plessy and Dred Scott. I still wish we had let the abortion debate play out in the legislatures, not the courts."

Maybe, but legislators have served up plenty of crap in their own right. The question of whether legislators or judges serve up more is academic.

In any event, what I said about "legislators" applies equally to "judges." Putting on a black dress doesn't make the judges' pronouncements magically add anything to or subtract anything from justice.

I've known some conscientious judges and some really contemptible judges in my time. But even the apparently fine ones feel it their duty to uphold some contemptible laws. The black dress does nothing to hide or cover their personal responsibility for every injustice they commit in the name of the "law." Same goes for the cop's badge.

But I digress.

reader_iam said...

@laura(southernxyl): Where did your quote come from? Am I missing it in the article linked by Althouse or the links from that article? Not snark; wanting the source.

***

Entirely separate from the comment above the ***:

While I'm here: I understand the concept of revenue via linking particular words within a post. I do. And I don't begrudge people their bucks. THAT SAID: How disconcerting is to to click a link within an article on a topic such as this and be taken to page advertising "trumpets" and "blood pressure checks"?

I mean: WTF?

Freeman Hunt said...

How come none of you guys ever ask Althouse this? She's for killing babies. Should she have to watch too?

If someone says he thinks everyone should know what an abortion entails, I would assume he means everyone, Althouse included. I don't know why Althouse would be singled out though...

Revenant said...

Maybe, but legislators have served up plenty of crap in their own right. The question of whether legislators or judges serve up more is academic.

The question of which group the public has more control over, however, isn't. :)

Simon said...

garage mahal said...
"How come none of you guys ever ask Althouse this? She's for killing babies."

That's not an accurate statement of Althouse's view, as I had understood it. She "do[es] in fact think abortion is wrong ... [but that it's] not the role of government to police."

Simon said...

MadisonMan said...
"I agree with the professor. If this women consented to the abortion, then she can't turn around and sue when the abortion does exactly what it's supposed to do."

But that isn't what happened (assuming the truth of the allegations). The clinic didn't perform an abortion - it performed a live birth and then killed the child. Whether an abortion is murder or not - I think it is, and IIRC you do not - what happened here was not an abortion.

Palladian said...

"If someone says he thinks everyone should know what an abortion entails, I would assume he means everyone, Althouse included. I don't know why Althouse would be singled out though..."

I do! Because garage mahal is thrashing around looking for something, anything to throw at the 'Reich-wingers' here. He's a liberal, and he wants to make sure you know it!

"Whether an abortion is murder or not - I think it is, and IIRC you do not - what happened here was not an abortion."

It was an abortive abortion.

Methadras said...

Bah, the entire facade that is the abortion, uh, sorry, choice movement has crumbled and has been this way for years. It's a sham that is based on the lie that human beings are nothing more than a collection of cells that in the event of their birth are relegated to being nothing more than an animal. And in that animalness, you are no more unique than an ant, or a snake, or a dog. So when something like this occurs and it occurs more than any of you think, then what's the big deal, right? After all, what this woman just did is A) not comprehend her 'choice' and B) upon that comprehension made the distinction that she witness the MURDER of her own child that she voluntarily didn't comprehend the full weight of her 'choice' that she made when she put her feet into those stirrups. The whole thing is a lie, all of it and it's spoon fed in the form of marketing PR by the abortion lobby in DC as a hook into Roe v Wade while the head nodding yes men/women harrumph tax payer dollars into the death clinics of planned parenthood and their spin-off ilk.

And when we read stories like this and imagine many more we are all supposed to cross and arm, hold another arm under our chin, contemplate deeply on the philosophical and socio-economical arguments about the deeper social impacts that this activity extols on our society and then cheerily expunge the imagery from our minds and then get passionately pissed off to the point of stalking road rage at the little piece of shit that just cut you off from the left lane to make a right turn.

Methadras said...

Revenant said...

If a doctor amputated your leg without taking precautions to prevent you from witnessing the act of him sawing it off, I can see an argument for that being malpractice. I'm not sure I would consider it such myself, though.


People who are 'consciously' unconscious while they are under anesthetic have, I believe, sued anesthesiologists for malpractice under the umbrella that they suffered horrific pain because they were truly awake while having surgery (regardless of procedure) and in that endurance of pain suffered greatly. I think it got so bad that a machine has been developed to monitor that very thing now. I'm pretty sure it's deployed and being used already.

Methadras said...

garage mahal said...

If most people actually knew what happened during an abortion, the country would probably be at least 80% pro-life.

How come none of you guys ever ask Althouse this? She's for killing babies. Should she have to watch too?


So the liberal/leftist pussy squawks about moral equivocation again, huh? Hey, sandy vagina, don't you get tired of pointing the finger of distributed blame, while not realizing that not all blame is equal? What rule is it in the idiots manifesto of leftists, hmmm?

You should see how you appear. It's like you are standing just outside a gaggle or group of people yelling at them and then they quiet down and turn around to face you with this silence, with your arm outstretched with a finger pointing towards Althouse saying, "Hey guys, how come you don't blame her, she's a choicer too."

I don't know, maybe someday you can relate to the rest of us what it's like to be a douchebag all day long with these idiot thoughts of yours. Just a glimpse maybe?

Jeff with one 'f' said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John K. said...

Revenant said: "The question of which group [legislators or judges] the public has more control over, however, isn't. :)"

That is true. If only the "public" had a brain. Judges on the other hand do have brains, but unfortunately I've seen them firsthand avoid using it by totally ignoring the central argument of a disfavored side of a controversy and basing their "opinion" upon a peripheral issue. It can't be that they're simply stupid. They're stupid on purpose.

Joe M. said...

Disgusting.

And a fine analysis on the part of our hostess.

It seems that today's the day for stories that illustrate quite clearly why one would (or should, or even ought) vote conservative.

Donna B. said...

I don't think I could have ever had an abortion. I'm way beyond the age of ever having to consider it now, but I did consider it in the '70s.

My mind still thinks the same way -- even if it was due to rape, the child is still half me. I love me, therefore I love my child.

I divorced the father of three of my children because he became an asshole alcoholic jerk. Did my opinion of him transfer to my children? Hell, no.

So, personally I was not going to have an abortion. Period.

After having a son injured in an accident at a young age, I can't now even justify aborting a "less than perfect" fetus.

So, you could truly call me rabid pro-life. Yet, I cannot find it within me to judge women who have an EARLY abortion, and I'm talking much earlier than 23 weeks. That's way beyond the point at which abortion is reasonable.

Yet, at 18, would I have known that? Maybe. Maybe not. I am fortunate that I never had to face that situation (and this is possibly due to an overly(?) diligent deputy sheriff with a flashlight patrolling the lake...)

Where is the line between judging others and legality?

A friend, who had a child at 16 and had given it up for adoption, once talked freely to me wondering where he was, what he was doing, basically wondering WHO he was. Do women who have an abortion experience such thoughts?

I had a miscarriage (very early) and can say that I do not have such thoughts about that baby. My mother had a full-term stillborn baby that she had similar thoughts about - what would she have been like?

Where the mother is concerned, I think timing is important. That does not address the question of whether a fertilized egg or an implanted embryo is human.

There is no doubt in my mind that the baby in the article was murdered, and not necessarily by the mother. She has some culpability, but it seems she would definitely not have chosen to smother it in a garbage bag.

Chip Ahoy said...

* sads *

Palladian said...

"Where is the line between judging others and legality?"

What's so difficult about birth control, mechanical prophylaxis, abstinence or adoption that drives a woman to kill her child? Why does the unborn child deserve a death sentence because of the irresponsibility of the parents?

"There is no doubt in my mind that the baby in the article was murdered, and not necessarily by the mother. She has some culpability, but it seems she would definitely not have chosen to smother it in a garbage bag."

No. She instead chose to go to a clinic and have her child killed by having it sucked out of her womb or pulled out by forceps. What's the difference in the end? A life is snuffed out, deliberately.

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...

I do! Because garage mahal is thrashing around looking for something, anything to throw at the 'Reich-wingers' here. He's a liberal, and he wants to make sure you know it!"

Actually the only one ever talks about "Reich wingers" here, is you. That's what was so funny about you calling out Freder for being too "doctrinaire" the other day. I know you think you're not. But that is your entire schtick.

Case in point, your very last comment:

"What's so difficult about birth control, mechanical prophylaxis, abstinence or adoption that drives a woman to kill her child?"

Althouse is pro-choice. The killing of a child. You going to defend her against that, or not? All your huff and puff is just a game. You could give a flying fuck if somebody aborts a fetus, but you pretend to care so deeply. Blech.

Cedarford said...

Michael H - My choice was made years ago. Innocent human life is to be protected, whether unborn, elderly, infirm or disabled. Life is life.

Which is exactly what most women and moderates fear. Even though they want sensible abortion restrictions, they will vote again and again for a prochoice candidate over a Right to Life Absolutist.
Even many Republican conservatives, who saw in pro-life fanatics involved in blocking the Schiavo husk from being unplugged from the machines and suing to force women to give birth to fetus with severe genetic disease or birth defects - people profoundly unAmerican - wanting Big Government meddling in family medical decisions.

IMO, the Religious Right lost what could have been a fight already won with sensible positions - by pandering to extremist RTL zealots. That scared most Americans into ensuring that the presumed medical and reproduction Nannies to individual families and anti-libertarian theocrats are being cast out of positions of power.

Freeman Hunt said...

Althouse is pro-choice. The killing of a child. You going to defend her against that, or not?

No. Was there reason to think that a pro-lifer would? I don't understand how this is supposed to be a conundrum.

Nichevo said...

To Ann,

In the final words of Rorschach (The Watchmen):

Joking, of course.




Ann, just a question - has it ever occurred to you that a just God would a) strike you dead, b) send you straight to one of the deepest circles of Hell, for saying things like this? Let alone meaning them?

And yes, you probably meant it the other way. In a way, you have a point. But to even suggest that since the mother chose unwisely, this was a proper outcome, is MONSTROUS.

You could just barely say that it was poetic justice to "mom." You could even say that she probably (would have/) wanted it that way and the whole lawsuit is just glomming.

But where do justice and the murder of one's baby before one's eyes coincide?

I would be banned here, or on any civilized moderated forum, for saying things to you less offensive than this is to me.

...

Let me note, for what it matters, that my guess is both patient and "doctor" are black - I can't say Afr-Am as the doctor is probably not American. Could this have affected outcomes?

"Sycloria" sounds like medical-resident humor in the maternity ward, giving vile names to newborns of illiterate welfare mom types - viz., search birth records for the number of girls named "Gonorrhea."

Maybe "Sycloria" is a bacteria, or an antibiotic or some such. Closest OTTOMH is "cyclosporin" but googlers, or real medical peeps on this forum, can do better, I'm sure.

To answer your question, I'm on the side that says the clinic people should be punished by any and all means available. Eaten by sharks would be my pick.

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peter hoh said...

Nichevo, there are these really cool things called links, and if you followed them, you could have answered a couple of your questions.

If the public really wanted to overturn Roe, they could push for an amendment that would do it. For some reason, that never happens.

As for this case, what's that old saying about bad cases?

Nichevo said...

Put it another way: if you were in that room with a gun in your hand, you had enough medical knowledge to understand what they guy was doing, and saw him commencing to do it, show of hands:

who would have emptied the clip into him, deactivated the weapon, put it down, and waited for the police to arrive;

who would have confined themselves to a Mozambique drill and quickly left the building;

who would not act themselves but would really really wish the police could arrive at the speed of light;

who would have said, Ha ha, lady, hope you're happy, sucks to be you, and watched him do it and walk away?

Palladian said...

Just remember, folks, Cedarford has all the warmth and human feeling of his family physician, Josef Mengele. Do you really want Cedarford deciding if you're of fit enough stock to live another day? Cedarford mocks "pro-life" people because he's pro-death, and I don't use "pro-death" as a euphemism for abortion rights supporter. All his pretend libertarian and utilitarian blather is a thin veil over what he's actually suggesting: euthanasia, abortion, eugenics, population control through what amounts to genocide...

I don't call people Nazis lightly. But when the jackboot fits...

peter hoh said...

Nichevo, get your facts straight. The person who cut the cord and placed the baby in a bag was a woman.

Nichevo said...

peter, this has nothing to do with Roe. A living child, born alive, was murdered, like a witness to a Mafia case, or Daniel Pearl.

This Belkis should not merely be eaten by sharks, he should have a footlong fishhook run into his eye and out of his mouth, be given a life vest, and be trolled behind a fishing boat at moderate speed with chum being thrown overboard.

Nichevo said...

This Belkis was a woman? Is that so? Is that what you call someone who would do that?

Nigga pleez, they wouldn't do that in CHINA!!!


IOW I don't care about the sex of the murderer.

Nichevo said...

Palladian, I usually agree with you; I wish you would stop trying to be sickening - it's working.

blake said...

So, eventually, it'll be impossible to do anything without being sued. Is this how we get around having to pass laws and, you know, being judgmental?

blake said...

If someone were going to be sued, shouldn't it be whatever "advisor" misled her about it? And possibly Planned Parenthood or the various pro-choice groups that present six-month old fetuses as non-babies?

The clinic owner, obviously, should go to jail.

Nichevo said...

Blogger m00se said...

I cannot think of a reason which "justifies" an abortion. There may be good medical reasons, but nothing else. Any woman has an abortion and later has a child is suspect as a mother in my eye.

Abortion may be legal, but I reserve the right to judge those who have them or support them...

8:14 PM


As I know a woman in precisely this position, I would be much obliged if you would explain what you mean by this.

JAL said...

Isn't this what the Infant Born Alive bills are supposed to deal with? For situations just like this.

(Bills like the one President Obama voted against as a state senator in committee in IL -- he didn't want women burdened with a live birth -- [like this girl was in this story?] He has since tried to rewrite the history to make himself look a bit better. Deja vue.)

Wonder what the FL law is? Of course a non-licensed person doing what she did should be prosecutable (I would think) even without this girl's lawsuit.

BTW - do y'all know a parent has to sign for a teenager to get her (/his)ears pierced in many states, but not for an abortion?

You gotta admit the law is really really skewed weirdly.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Someone has probably already brought this up, but isn't it against the law (federal, state? I'm not up on these things because I'm a dude and I don't care to be involved with these tragic womens' decisions) to perform an abortion when the mother is 6 months along?

I'm not pro-choice or pro-life, but rather see it as a moral issue that only the pregnant woman should be plagued with (I guess that leans pro-choice, but whatever, abortion is disgusting), but considering that babies routinely survive at 6 months old, I'd say that abortionist just committed murder. Insane.

reader_iam said...

Someone has probably already brought this up, but isn't it against the law (federal, state? I'm not up on these things because I'm a dude and I don't care to be involved with these tragic womens' decisions) to perform an abortion when the mother is 6 months along?

You're not "up on these things" (for whatever reason) and yet ... what? WTF?

It's not hard to be "up" on things, Zach. You can do it AND not comment, even. Or, whatever.

Do it for yourself, man--do it for yourself. It's not that hard.

You don't even have to tell anybody. Really.

reader_iam said...

Coincidentally, and ironically, what's playing in background is The Ramones doing their version of "Spiderman."

Now, THAT's funny.

reader_iam said...

Oops! "Spider Man," of course.

sierra said...

It's fascinating that it took nearly an hour for the word "murder" to even come up in these comments, and not just as the usual blanket rhetorical condemnation. It was outside the mother, trying to breathe, and the guy stuffed it into the trash. I didn't notice that on first reading, and it's shameful. It seems a fog settles over the matter, perhaps because descriptions of abortions are so routinely gruesome. It's fascinating that what so clearly is murder -- abortion laws notwithstanding -- can be so easily enveloped by this fog.

Donna B. said...

Me -- "Where is the line between judging others and legality?"

Palladian -- What's so difficult about birth control, mechanical prophylaxis, abstinence or adoption that drives a woman to kill her child? Why does the unborn child deserve a death sentence because of the irresponsibility of the parents?

Me, in response -- that was the subject of my post, that there are differences in maternal feelings. Also that there biological definitions that are in conflict as to when life begins.

Me -- "There is no doubt in my mind that the baby in the article was murdered, and not necessarily by the mother. She has some culpability, but it seems she would definitely not have chosen to smother it in a garbage bag."

Palladian -- No. She instead chose to go to a clinic and have her child killed by having it sucked out of her womb or pulled out by forceps. What's the difference in the end? A life is snuffed out, deliberately.

Me, in response -- the difference is intent and knowledge before the act. I contend that this woman did not have a clue about life or babies, and that once she got her first hint - a live birth, instead of a neat clean abortion, she wised up.

This situation makes a strong statement for the argument that women undergoing abortion do not understand completely what they are doing.

I think I mentioned in my comment (perhaps merely as an aside) the debate about whether a fertilized egg not yet implanted is a fetus. If so, as a user of an IUD for years, there's no telling how many fetuses I aborted. I don't choose to believe I aborted any.

Then, is a drug which prevents implantation causing an abortion or preventing a pregnancy. Sheesh... we haven't yet formally developed a definition of pregnancy, have we?

Cut and dried - the person who stuffed a living, breathing baby into a plastic bag committed murder. Whether the mother - who intended an abortion yet experienced a live birth and had no chance to express her desires after the live birth deserves a bit more leeway, simply due to misinformation given her beforehand and ignorance.

It's perfectly reasonable to ask whether women who carry an infant to term and give it up for adoption suffer psychologically more than women who abort during the first trimester. That question does not address morality.

How do you feel about women (coupled?) who choose to terminate a less than perfect pregnancy? Downs Syndrome is the obvious example, but what about Hurler's Syndrome, or other genetic defects where the children die in great pain generally before they reach puberty?

If one can rationalize abortion on the basis of possible or probably disability, how is that different from killing a child who suffers an accidental debilitating injury at at age two?

Where we differ is that an ignorant, uneducated mother is not as culpable as a person knowing killing a child.

You, and I, as well as this mother may have instinctively picked up the child and held it to breasts trying to comfort it. We'll never know on the mother's part because she was not given that chance.

Someone scooped her child into a plastic bag and killed it before her eyes without asking. Her intentions beforehand are moot, IMHO.

Southbound Blues said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Southbound Blues said...

There are two kinds of women who get abortions: those who are deceiving themselves about the reality of the murder in which they are collaborating, and those inhuman enough not to care. That is all.

amba said...

As usual, you are all conflating a late with an early abortion. An early abortion may be just as awful in its own way, but it is not the same way. Pro-lifers tend to wave signs with pictures of bloody, chopped-up miniature human limbs to represent all abortions (when it represents single-digit percent, I believe). Pro-choicers go to the other extreme and call an early embryo a "glob of cells," which it is anything but. Let's be honest across the board rather than polemical.

amba said...

That said . . . indeed I think the culture since Roe has conspired to help women hide from themselves what abortion at any stage is and does. I had an early abortion under circumstances when it would have been very difficult to have the child, but if I had been shown an ultrasound of its heart beating at 8 weeks I would not have been able to go through with it. We were encouraged to think of it vaguely as the idea of the possibility of a baby, which could be sort of wished away and then summoned again when you wanted one. There was no sense, in feminist culture, of the specificity and irreplaceability of the already living individual.

amba said...

And: you shouldn't even need to have an ultrasound to know that the heart is already beating. That should be taught in sex ed classes.

reader_iam said...

I can, do and have accepted a lot of things in my life on the basis of different points of view, different approaches, different whatevers. (And do and have had compassion far more broadly that all of that.)

But, still and yet: There are bridges too far, and two of them are 1) defining Williams foremost and primarily as a victim with regard to abortion and 2) giving her standing to sue for, much less collect, even one cent on the back of Shanice--whose reference to, by name, in the Press, is one of the most shameless acts of hypocrisy on the part of media I have ever witnessed. Which is saying a lot, on so many more levels than even longtime Althouse regulars familiar with reader_iam--even those very few who are appreciators--can possibly imagine.

This is bullshit beyond bullshit. Fuck that lady and her lawyers, and the "lobby"-horse they rode in on. The means are just too plain nasty to justify. Period.

amba said...

A friend, who had a child at 16 and had given it up for adoption, once talked freely to me wondering where he was, what he was doing, basically wondering WHO he was. Do women who have an abortion experience such thoughts?

Every day.

Donna B. said...

amba - you are entirely correct, but that does not account for the lack of education that so many young women suffer.

I feel for them, I really do. As they grow older, wiser, and realize what they have done... especially if they later have children. I could not bear the pain, and I wonder how they can. It must, to me, be partially the ability to simply forget and bury a feeling, an experience.

What I find myself unable to do -- because I do not want it done to me -- is attribution of moral feeling others may have that I don't.

Perhaps that makes no sense, and if you knew me well, you'd understand that is perfectly in keeping with my personality.

reader_iam said...

To be clear, I do, absolutely, without exception, think it unconscionable to consider situations like Shanice's as any less a live birth than other live birth. She was alive (regardless of intent) and ought to have been treated that way. Again, period.

Duscany said...

Quayle: "Financial gain isn't the root of very much of the left's agenda - why is it here?"

That's not true. Financial gain is at the root. Most on the left couldn't survive without a powerful government seizing the product of other people's labor and redistributing it to them.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm just reading the comments and want to clarify something: This post isn't about Gonzalez's criminal culpability, which I think is obvious. This post is about whether William has a good tort claim, and I'm using that to examine the central question about why there is an abortion right. I think Williams's argument is based on something that undermines the right. I'm certainly not saying the right ought to include infanticide, which is what the allegations in the complaint describe.

To be clear: I'm strongly opposed to abortion, but I think the decision whether to have an abortion should nevertheless be the woman's. But I would change my position -- this support for the right to have an abortion -- if I thought that women did not comprehend what they are really doing when they have an abortion. Recognizing the woman's right to choose involves seeing women as competent moral decisionmakers.

That said, Revenant made an excellent analogy, about the leg amputation, and I might change my mind about the tort suit based on the strength of that analogy. That reminds me. When I had my first C-section, a barrier was set up between where my eyes were and where the operation was, but there was a dark window over to the side that had a somewhat mirror-like reflection. I could have seen a lot more than I was supposed to if I had looked at it. I didn't look at it.

blake said...

To be clear: I'm strongly opposed to abortion, but I think the decision whether to have an abortion should nevertheless be the woman's. But I would change my position -- this support for the right to have an abortion -- if I thought that women did not comprehend what they are really doing when they have an abortion. Recognizing the woman's right to choose involves seeing women as competent moral decisionmakers.

Well, that is the conundrum presented by the various victim-based philosophies championed by some, isn't it? If you keep her from having an abortion, she's a victim of the patriarchy; if you let her have one, you have to shield her from the actuality of it, or she's a victim of that.

I mean, isn't that what all of the stuff done to suppress pro-lifers' speech in that regard is about? NBC won't take the pro-life Barack Obama commercial because...why, exactly? They won't let the truth be told about what actually happens with an abortion, if it might be unpleasant in any way?

Aren't a lot of people working very hard to make sure women aren't informed? This is a right bordering on obligation.

(And my position is basically the same as yours: terrible, but not as terrible as the state interfering.)

blake said...

And, yes, I know women who've had the C-section mirror and their advice is, "If they ask you if you want to see, say no."

Something about seeing all these internal organs and realizing they're yours.

Peg C. said...

Every woman choosing abortion should have to witness it and look long and hard at the result. Simplistic, yes, but no more so than all lefty ideas.

Darcy said...

Thank you, amba. You are just so incredibly courageous and thoughtful.

GrannyGrump said...

Something to keep in mind amidst all the outrage: Things like this are literally an everyday occurrence. The strange and shocking aspect is merely that it's being reported, talked about, and perhaps might even lead to prosecution.

Pogo said...

Patients watch their own surgeries all the time, including C-sections and other bloody affairs (even brains surgery, where they have to be awake). Some people are fascinated and watch. You can even find these surgeries shown on TV now.

For abortion supporters of the 'clump of cells' variety, I compare this to watching a colonoscopy, where a clump of cells called a polyp is removed. Katie Couric, pro-choice, watched her own colonoscopy, and forced the rest of us to join in.

This case isn't about being lack of information or neglect or whatever is being claimed.

The woman accidentally came face to face with what she was killing, and she was horrified. The shame and guilt and fear must be displaced for she cannot bear it.

In a land of victims, it's always someone else's fault. That's why we have so many lawyers.

Lem said...

To be clear: I'm strongly opposed to abortion, but I think the decision whether to have an abortion should nevertheless be the woman's. But I would change my position -- this support for the right to have an abortion -- if I thought that women did not comprehend what they are really doing when they have an abortion.

Talk about cruel neutrality ;)

Paul Zrimsek said...

Prof. Althouse's position seems incoherent on the face of it. If she believes that women who choose abortion are generally competent moral decision-makers who understand what they're doing, in what sense is she "strongly opposed to abortion"? To be opposed to it and yet believe it should be legal, you pretty much have to invoke a "right to do wrong"-- but that right isn't conditioned on either good judgment or knowledge.

rhhardin said...

It's what's called a precarious situation, in sociology. The definition of what is going on is threatened from time to time, and maintaining the frame is necessary.

This is usually the function of a nurse or a bouncer, depending on the enterprise.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Bleeding to death on the floor was probably LESS painful to the baby than what would have happened if the abortionist arrived "in time."

But really, I think we're well on our way to becoming a nation of Peter Singers....

I can't even be shocked at things like this anymore-- after all, if your a clinic worker you're already used to thinking of these little people as 'not really human' -- so why should the fact they happened to pass down the birth canal magically MAKE them human?

And we have a president who doesn't approve of the Born Alive act and wants to sign a law overturning it.......

So really, didn't this clinic worker just jump the gun by a few months?

But hey, another baby hasn't been born to a poor mother-- so we've saved money on healthcare and education-- so actually, the FL worker was committing STIMULUS, not murder.

I think this is an incredibly sad story. But for me, it would be just as sad if the abortion HADN'T been 'botched.'

I just don't understand why people who are usually ok with this sort of thing if the baby is killed in utero are outraged now.

I mean, we've seen the ultrasounds. Some of us have felt the kicks and wriggles. Heck, if you want you can even see those three-D ultrasounds where the detail is so awesome you can tell if the baby has Mommy's nose or Daddy's ears........

And we already know that clinic workers break the law on Statutory rape reporting and parental notification-- why WOULDN'T they break the law on THIS, too?

Ann Althouse said...

"To be opposed to it and yet believe it should be legal, you pretty much have to invoke a "right to do wrong"-- but that right isn't conditioned on either good judgment or knowledge."

There are many things that are wrong, even deeply evil, that are not crimes (and that shouldn't be crimes). There are an infinite number of ways you can hurt a person without committing a crime.

The reason abortion is legal is because: 1. sometimes it is necessary to save the life of the woman or to spare her serious physical harm and 2. pregnancy takes place inside a particular individual's body and that makes her -- of all possible decisionmakers -- the best one to decide what to do.

John K. said...

And it's also legal because of some pragmatic considerations. If a woman becomes pregnant because of a rape, she shouldn't be prevented on pain of prison from having an abortion, although I think that even in that situation the decision to abort is less than morally right. Once you accept that principle, do we want to create perverse incentives for false accusations of rape? We also have to recognize that there may be ambiguous circumstances where the voluntariness of the intercourse leading to pregnancy is not crystal clear. We don't want situations where the criminality of the abortion procedure depends upon anterior circumstances which may be very hard to prove one way or the other.

Simon said...

peter hoh said...
"If the public really wanted to overturn Roe, they could push for an amendment that would do it. For some reason, that never happens."

One could equally say that if the public really wanted to end the debate, they could push for an amendment guaranteeing the right to choose. The reason that neither ever happens is no mystery: neither side commands sufficient support. The public's view on abortion is much more nuanced than is usually appreciated by pro-choicers, and while you can cobble together a majority on any given abortion question, it's impossible to cobble together the required supermajority to pass an amendment.


Zachary Paul Sire said...
"I'm not pro-choice or pro-life, but rather see it as a moral issue that only the pregnant woman should be plagued with "

"You don't see yourself as having an opinion; you see yourself as bearing the Truth. You perceive your biases as neutral." How can you seriously claim to be neither pro-choice nor pro-life in the very same sentence where you declare that it's a decision only the mother can make? This is what drives me nuts about Obama and some liberals, the way that they are so unbelievably unselfaware that they don't even realize that they have taken a position.


Ann Althouse said...
"I would change my position -- this support for the right to have an abortion -- if I thought that women did not comprehend what they are really doing when they have an abortion."

What is the basis for thinking so, out of curiosity?

"I'm just reading the comments and want to clarify something: This post isn't about Gonzalez's criminal culpability, which I think is obvious. This post is about whether William has a good tort claim"

I would think clean hands would do the job. She went there to kill her child and now asks relief for the trauma of her request going awry.

John K. said...

In my previous comment responding to Ann's I said that abortion was "also" legal because of some pragmatic considerations. I shouldn't have used the word "also," because that implied I buy the following reason Ann gave for the legality of abortion, which I in fact don't buy:

"2. pregnancy takes place inside a particular individual's body and that makes her -- of all possible decisionmakers -- the best one to decide what to do."

Nichevo said...

Blogger Peg C. said...

Every woman choosing abortion should have to witness it and look long and hard at the result. Simplistic, yes, but no more so than all lefty ideas.



-- Perhaps it would be more useful to show them someone ELSE'S abortion first, before they go ahead with having theirs? By the time they are seeing what happens to their own offspring, it is pretty much too late, no?

Professor, perhaps it would be better for you to differentiate between your opinions as a human being and your opinions as a, I think you call it, "lawprof." But any gate, cases differ, and one woman's competence is not another's.

Would you consider (I don't know where you are on the 2nd Amdt.) a regime of competency tests required to get an abortion, as is proposed for firearms licensing?

Paul Zrimsek said...

There are many things that are wrong, even deeply evil, that are not crimes (and that shouldn't be crimes). There are an infinite number of ways you can hurt a person without committing a crime.

I agree; that's exactly what I meant by "the right to do wrong". But it doesn't appear to be what's behind your position on abortion. I mean, I believe people have the right to publish Holocaust denialism-- but I wouldn't be thrown into agonized reconsideration of that belief if I learned that those people were anti-Semites who were abusing the facts.

Since the right to do wrong isn't at issue, when you say that the individual woman is the best decision-maker I have to assume you mean she's the one most likely to reach the morally correct decision. But if you really are strongly opposed to abortion, you don't need an anecdote like this one to call that belief into question-- the large number of women who've made the (wrong) decsion to have abortions should have done that, long before.

Simon said...

John, am I remembering right that you argued... I can't remember the case name now, the "blondedt" case that followed up on Gladish?

Nichevo said...

And, Ann, have you considered that:

the woman may have been desperately ambivalent in the midst of all her pain and fear, perhaps pressed by external circumstances outside her own thoughts or feelings;

that the doctor's incompetence or negligence had the miraculous effect of providing her and her baby with a second chance;

and that this fantastic, ridiculous chance at life was torn away from her by a snarling beast, to wit, one Belkis Gonzalez?

Some things are too private for blogspot but it seems quite possible to me that she was crammed with regret and remorse, during as well as after, and perhaps before too.

Original Mike said...

I have sympathy for the 18 year old. My guess is she believed that the procedure she showed up for that day wasn't the killing of a human being. It was just another medical procedure. For me, culpability rests with the people who push that notion.

The facts of this case reinforce my opposition to late term abortions. I support access to abortion early in a pregnancy, but I really don't understand how late term abortions aren't murder. Even if this abortion had gone as planned, it's murder.

Darcy said...

Nichevo, I appreciate that compassion toward the woman desiring to abort her child here, I really do. She may have felt exactly that. It doesn't justify her suing, though. Her intention was to kill her baby. That it happened in front of her eyes doesn't make her a victim in my opinion.

vet66 said...

I can hear the defense now claiming that it wasn't murder or infanticide, it was a post-birth abortion. Any questions? Defense rests.

Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

Original Mike said...
"I have sympathy for the 18 year old. My guess is she believed that the procedure she showed up for that day wasn't the killing of a human being. It was just another medical procedure."

Well, but if that's correct, what does that say about - or to - Althouse's statement above that she would rethink her position if she "thought that women did not comprehend what they are really doing when they have an abortion"?

Laura(southernxyl) said...

" Joe said...
This story doesn't add up. For the baby to react as it did, it would have to have been second if not third trimester."

I believe 23 weeks is well into the second trimester. Still legal. Roe v Wade only allows states to regulate in the second trimester to safeguard the mother's health, if I am not mistaken - the baby gets no consideration by law.

"reader_iam said...
@laura(southernxyl): Where did your quote come from? Am I missing it in the article linked by Althouse or the links from that article? Not snark; wanting the source."

I linked to it in my first comment. Here. The headline reads, "Fla. doctor investigated in badly botched abortion". Given that the baby died, which was the desired result, I don't know how badly the abortion can be said to have been botched.

"Chet said...
Just because I eat turkey on Thanksgiving, doesn't mean I wanna see the actual slaughter of the turkey."

I don't either, Chet, but if I had strenuous objections to seeing it I'd have to be a vegetarian.

" Cedarford said...

Even many Republican conservatives, who saw in pro-life fanatics involved in blocking the Schiavo husk from being unplugged from the machines..."

OT, but what machines do you imagine Terri was plugged into? She had a feeding tube. Christopher Reeve was plugged into machines - should he have been referred to as a "husk" and unplugged?

"JAL said...
Isn't this what the Infant Born Alive bills are supposed to deal with? For situations just like this."

Yes, but Obama says it never happens.

"Ann Althouse said...
2. pregnancy takes place inside a particular individual's body and that makes her -- of all possible decisionmakers -- the best one to decide what to do."

Why is there a decision? Susan Smith made a decision that most of us think should have been off the table. As to pregnancy taking place inside the woman's body - we all started there. Every person you see and don't see started there.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

My thoughts here and here.

bearing said...

This situation makes a strong statement for the argument that women undergoing abortion do not understand completely what they are doing.

Isn't it instructive to notice who is opposed to the display of photographs of fetuses and aborted fetuses, and who is not opposed to it?

Isn't it instructive to notice who supports the idea that abortionists should be made to provide fetal development information, and who opposes it?

Isn't it instructive to notice who supports the idea that pregnant women should be shown an ultrasound before given an abortion, and who opposes it?

It is legitimate to ask the question, "yeah, well, who gets to write the fetal development pamphlet?" But which side finds itself always arguing that it is emotionally harmful for people to see pictures of aborted fetuses? Which side finds itself arguing that it's not fair to inundate women in crisis with information (that they may not wish to see!) about what's happening in their own womb?

Perhaps we should ask ourselves why people might not wish to see that ultrasound?

feministj said...

First time commenter, long time reader. I think a key point the discussion is missing (in an otherwise good, if unbalanced discussion of the issue) is that this suit was brought with (or at least started by) an anti-abortion rights group. So, while accepting the reasoning behind this case MAY undermine the rationale for a woman's right to choose...that's exactly what the masterminds want...and it looks to me like they are using an upset and regretful young woman to do it. On the issue you flagged though, I disagree. This was not forcing a woman to watch the abortion she signed up for. I'm pro-choice. I think a woman should have informed consent. I think this was murder and underscores how important it is to have GOOD, SAFE, HUMANE, AFFORDABLE abortion providers nationwide. Sorry for the all caps, I'm still working on the HTML tags..

Freeman Hunt said...

amba, I was not conflating late and early abortions. Early abortions are not clumps of cells. Abortions are not performed prior to 5 weeks (probably wouldn't know you were pregnant by then anyway) and 9/10 are done between 6 and 16 weeks. Cite. There are limbs.

Original Mike said...

Simon - I know this sounds presumptuous, but IMO Althouse should be rethinking her position.

Nichevo said...

Darcy, she wished to kill her unborn baby. She wished to kill her fetus. Yes.

They failed to do so; instead they killed her viable, breathing without even a smack on the ass, live born child.

I DON'T think we want to obliterate that distinction.

Do I care if she gets money? No. But I've always been susceptible to the doctrine that any stick will do to beat a wicked dog. Belkis cannot be fed to sharks, nor can she be shipped to a Thai brothel to be raped to death; the only thing we can do in this society is to take money from people.

By all means give the money to some worthy cause instead of Miss Chlamydia Williams there; but do take it from this orc of a clinic owner, wherever it goes.

To see that something you are about to do, would have done, will damn you - to have the scales fall from your eyes - to want to stop, and to have it happen anyway,out of your control?

Once little Shanice fell out of that toad Listeria's crack, Darcy, the baby's fate was no longer "on her." That baby was a US citizen. That baby was eligible in 35 years to run for President. It doesn't matter what "mom's" intent was.

Oh the lawsuit may be BS, wrongly phrased, whatever. Her lawyer is probably as good as her abortionist. But harm was done!

Simon said...

feministj said...
"I think this was murder and underscores how important it is to have GOOD, SAFE, HUMANE, AFFORDABLE abortion providers"

Well, "safe" only for the mother, of course. You say that this was murder, and I agree. But for eighteen inches or so, however, you would have been insisting it was a Constitutional right, and with all due respect, I - and quite a few others - find that position incoherent.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"I think this was murder and underscores how important it is to have GOOD, SAFE, HUMANE, AFFORDABLE abortion providers nationwide."

Feministj, how is this murder when a "good, safe, human, affordable" abortion of the identical fetus at the identical stage of development wouldn't have been?

Also, how are you going to have all these safe, etc. abortion clinics nationwide if decent people don't want anything to do with abortion or abortion after the first trimester?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

You're not "up on these things" (for whatever reason) and yet ... what? WTF?

It's not hard to be "up" on things, Zach. You can do it AND not comment, even. Or, whatever.


Jesus Christ, reader. Sorry, I don't know if abortions at 6-months are legal or illegal in Florida. So I opted to comment instead of looking up state law, and made a point of acknowledging my ignorance on the matter while giving a general opinion that had nothing to do with the law itself. Oh, please forgive me, reader.

Simon said...

Come to think of it, feministj, I say 18" seems to make all the difference for you, but is it even that much? I realize that not everyone who is pro-choice supports IDX, but for those who do, surely this would not have been murder but for about four inches - the diameter of the baby's head. How can that make the difference is what I don't understand in your philosophy.

Darcy said...

Nichevo, I totally agree with you that Belkis should be held accountable. For murder, just as you said, if we were talking about true justice for the child born - the true victim here.

Freeman Hunt said...

As to the question or whether or not women know what they are doing when they have abortions: obviously not. The pro-choice lobby fights any measure that would require informing women about the procedure.

In Arkansas, abortion providers are required to hand out certain information. Here's what one local abortionist has to say about it on his website:

You will be given this booklet, ABORTION! For me? to read which is as accurate and truthful as we can make it, plus the state mandated information booklets which we are required by law to provide you but which contain some minimal misinformation. You may read the state booklets or discard them, as you decide.

"We only give you those because we have to. You could read them, but why not just toss them in the trash? No need to know what's going on..."

Funny because I've had to read and sign informed consent forms and even watch long videos about risks for other, much less consequential medical procedures, like having my wisdom teeth out.

Nichevo said...

Can you imagine what must have been going through the girl's mind?!?

Simon said...

Original Mike said...
"Simon - I know this sounds presumptuous, but IMO Althouse should be rethinking her position."

I have on my office wall a quote that our pastor gave me: "People change what they do less because we give them analysis that shifts their thinking than because we show them a truth that influences their feelings. In other words, if you want to motivate people to alter the way they do things, you can't just rely on numbers, charts and reports to convince them that change is necessary. You have to speak to their emotions." There's often some truth in that; one must acknowledge the limits of pure reason. Virtually every position that people hold are reasonable extrapolations from fundamental moral axioms; you can reason with them about their positions, but sometimes that's not enough. Sometimes you have to show them a truth that demonstrates why the axiom they cling to is wrong.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"Zachary Paul Sire said...
... Sorry, I don't know if abortions at 6-months are legal or illegal in Florida."

It's not up to Florida. Florida can't make 6-month abortion illegal, nor can any other state, thanks to R v W.

sierra said...

I made the classic mistake of commenting before reading the linked article, which clarifies the murder angle. Still, the post focuses on only one line of the suit's reasoning: that the woman witnessed something gruesome and traumatic. (..."recover damages for seeing the death acted out in front of her"...) But isn't the suit also about wrongful death, which should be considered independently of whether she witnessed it? I'd be quick to agree that her state of mind in going into the clinic undermines her grounds for complaint in the first instance, but not so much in the second.

Amputation & C-section are inadequate analogies because those are standard medical procedures that for most people just happen to be yucky to watch. Can't she instead legitimately argue that she went in for a standard medical procedure, but unexpectedly wound up with a child that was murdered? Yes, you can say she has no standing to complain because she went in with the intention of having that "child" killed anyway. But the law draws a clear line that the standard procedure is not murder, and that what actually occurred was. Isn't this focus on her own moral authority just another way of saying that she has no reasonable basis to recognize the legitimacy of the law's distinction? She was, after all, following the rules of the game.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Well I know states can pass laws restricting abortions (parental consent, etc.) and didn't congress pass a "late term" abortion ban?

Simon said...

Laura(southernxyl) said...
"It's not up to Florida. Florida can't make 6-month abortion illegal, nor can any other state, thanks to R v W."

In theory, the governing law is that “‘subsequent to viability, the State in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.’” Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 879 (1992) (quoting Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 164—165 (1973)).

Zachary Paul Sire said...

As of April 2007, 36 states had bans on late-term abortions that were not facially unconstitutional (i.e. banning all abortions) or enjoined by court order. In addition, the Supreme Court in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart ruled that Congress may ban certain late-term abortion techniques, "both previability and postviability".

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Parental consent, yes, though I think I've read that Obama wants that struck down.

The late-term abortion ban is only on the procedure whereby a baby is partly delivered, (past the navel IIRC), its head pierced and brains sucked out, then delivered the rest of the way. Medical people are split on this - some say it's never necessary to do this and others say that legislators should not ban specific procedures that docs might want to do for whatever reason.

Simon said...

Zachary Paul Sire said...
"Well I know states can pass laws restricting abortions (parental consent, etc.) and didn't congress pass a 'late term' abortion ban?"

It banned the so-called "partial birth abortion" IDX procedure when such an abortion affects interstate commerce. The Supreme Court upheld it against a facial challenge - it was compatible with the Casey framework, the court concluded. The trouble with the act, as Justice Thomas noted in a concurrence, is that it's probably unconstitutional for another reason - it's ultra vires - but no one has yet litigated that issue.

Deirdre Mundy said...

FWIW-- Babies have a heartbeat at 6 weeks (measured from LMP), when they're still in the yolk sac and not even getting nutrition from their mother yet.....

So by the time most women are really, really SURE they're pregnant and bother to take a test, the kid's heart is already beating....

Most OB's don't do the 'heartbeat' appt. till later, but that's just because at 6 weeks the baby's smaller, so it takes more work to pick it up.

Smilin' Jack said...

Ann Althouse said...
...But I would change my position -- this support for the right to have an abortion -- if I thought that women did not comprehend what they are really doing when they have an abortion.


Different women obviously comprehend it in very different ways. Are you to be the judge of the "correct" comprehension?

Recognizing the woman's right to choose involves seeing women as competent moral decisionmakers.

If you don't regard abortion as the taking of human life, as many don't, then there is no moral decision involved. Should women who comprehend it that way have their rights revoked because you comprehend it differently?

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Honor killings are outlawed in this country, even though immigrants from certain parts of the world view them as the moral thing to do.

Imposing a moral view on others is not a thing restricted to pro-lifers.

Ann Althouse said...

"Different women obviously comprehend it in very different ways. Are you to be the judge of the "correct" comprehension?"

I think the individual woman should be making the decision, but I also only think the decision must be made by a person who has a high enough level of understanding and reason to think competently about what she is doing.

"If you don't regard abortion as the taking of human life, as many don't, then there is no moral decision involved. Should women who comprehend it that way have their rights revoked because you comprehend it differently?"

I know my position seems impossible to people who are convinced that abortion is murder. There is a built-in paradox to it. I'm well aware of that.

I would like it if the right to have an abortion fostered personal responsibility: Here is a profound moral choice you must make: Rise to the challenge. If the answer were imposed on you, if you did not have free will, there would be no achievement in following along.

And yes, I know, you don't have to tell me that the unborn child isn't given a choice or an opportunity to grow into a condition of autonomy and personal responsibility.

Simon said...

Smilin' Jack said...
"If you don't regard abortion as the taking of human life, as many don't, then there is no moral decision involved. Should women who comprehend it that way have their rights revoked because you comprehend it differently?"

There's plenty of men in Folsom Prison who didn't regard what they did as the taking of human life, either. See WP:LEGS.

Nichevo said...

Blogger Smilin' Jack said...


Perhaps if you don't perceive a moral issue (whichever side of it you are on) you are insufficiently informed. You know, judges instruct juries all the time, tell them to disregard, what to vote based on.

If X million people knew then what they know now...

Smilin' Jack said...

Imposing a moral view on others is not a thing restricted to pro-lifers.

That's irrelevent to the question Ann raises, of whether women are "competent moral decisionmakers."

If you impose your moral view on others, then they're not decisionmakers at all--you've made the decision for them.

Simon said...

Althouse said...
"I know my position seems impossible to people who are convinced that abortion is murder."

It seems that those on the other side find it only slightly less so. ;)

Synova said...

Just because I eat turkey on Thanksgiving, doesn't mean I wanna see the actual slaughter of the turkey.

I might not *want* to watch, but I'd still eat the turkey.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"If you impose your moral view on others, then they're not decisionmakers at all--you've made the decision for them."

Correct. This is a decision that should not be made, in the absence of severe risk to maternal health, ie, a life-threatening pregnancy.

Susan Smith made the decision to rid herself of her two little boys by driving her car into a lake. If asked, I'd have made that decision for her too.

feministj said...

Simon, yes, "safe" for the woman, which includes the safety of having a non-botched abortion, one of the consequences of which could be a live birth. I don't think all botched abortions are murder, but my gut feeling was that this one crossed the line into something other than an abortion...based on the description I read. I don't pretend that this is an easy ethical question. Sometimes when a question isn't easy, "18 inches" is all there is to be able to make a decision. Further, upon reflection, I'm not sure what the legal answer should be and perhaps murder was too strong a word, but I, and I think a lot of pro-choicers, feel the moral answer is different after a live birth in the same way that some people feel the moral answer is different with a late term abortion...neither of which is the only factor to consider with regard to the law or a position on reproductive rights. Also, many pro-choice people think abortion itself is morally wrong, but support a woman's right to make that choice.

Also, Laura asked:

"Also, how are you going to have all these safe, etc. abortion clinics nationwide if decent people don't want anything to do with abortion or abortion after the first trimester?"

I disagree with the framing of your question. But, even accepting it, I think access to those types of abortions would be more readily accessible if those opposed to repo rights did not demonize the procedure,those that provide it, and those women that choose to undergo it. Such an extreme position does nothing to prevent a situation such as the one here. I think both "sides" agree a situation like this one should never happen.

whew...I have survived the foray so far...my college poli sci message board was much worse!

Synova said...

IANAL, (duh!)

But it seems to me that she ought to be able to sue for the trauma she experienced because it was due to negligence on the part of the clinic. She might have had regrets and all, in any case, but not like that. The clinic failed to take care of their patient.

OTOH, I think that the "pro-choice" people who are upset by this are only upset because they want to keep *everyone* from seeing that babies aborted are babies. The whole pro-choice *thing* requires the maintenance of the fantasy that only one person is involved in an abortion. Only one. And a mess-up like this threatens that.

Otherwise why oppose the sorts of imaging prior to abortion that show what the fetus looks like, shows the heart beating?

Because women wouldn't abort if they saw? And if it's the *choice* that is at issue, why is a choice not to abort so threatening?

All my life I've heard "what about women who are raped, or forced to get pregnant (apparently by society and evil men)" as an argument, not as an argument to allow abortions in the case of rape, but to allow abortions for any reason whatsoever. And similarly, the specter of a life-threatening pregnancy is presented, not as reason to allow an abortion to save the life of the mother, but as a reason to allow abortions for any reason whatsoever.

Just say it!

Stop making excuses and just SAY that women should be protected from any suggestion that a fetus is a person or that their "choice" should be made before conception, and that this is so incredibly unnatural that all of the rest of us are supposed to support that fantasy in order to make sure that abortions can happen without any trauma or bad feelings afterward.

JAL said...

Funny how the pro-life crowd tend to be the ones who didn't have as much of a problem with Palin's tueky farm interview.

(Had to connect turkeys and pro-choice / pro-life, dead babies etc. on this thread.

And Palin makes it more interesting, right?

JAL said...

That was "turkey" farm ...

Synova said...

Speaking to the moral issue and public shame...

I don't see any reason whatsoever why a woman who had a medically necessary abortion should feel bad about it. It was *necessary*. She knows that.

A friend of mine who had two (I think it was actually *two*) abortions in Air Force hospitals (despite the "pro-choice" insistence that making abortion illegal prevents safe abortions for those who need them) because of tubal pregnancies did NOT feel guilty over having them. They were necessary. She *knew* they were necessary.

Why do we have to pretend, somehow, that we have to protect the feelings of women who decide to have an abortion?

They know very well if they were justified or not.

Synova said...

JAL, it's because pro-lifers don't live in fantasy land where a fetus isn't a person and meat comes on styrofoam trays.

John K. said...

Simon said: "John, am I remembering right that you argued... I can't remember the case name now, the "blondedt" case that followed up on Gladish?"

Simon, that's right, but I don't remember mentioning that here. How'd you know that? I was rather frustrated because I spent a lot of time arguing in the briefs that the factual basis for a guilty plea has to come from the defendant's actual admissions in the guilty plea colloquy, and citing U.S. Supreme Court and 7th Cir. precedent to that effect. That was my central argument. The court's opinion, unfortunately, simply stated: "Both the district court and we are entitled to take into account not only [the defendant's] admissions in the plea agreement, but also other factual assertions that he either adopted or did not object to." No explanation from the court as to why they were entitled to do that; no discussion of the precedent I'd cited which seemed to hold the opposite.

Now, I'm not going to admit that that's precisely the case I had in mind in my rather intemperate and broad language concerning judges in my earlier comment. You're not trying to get me in trouble, are you?

Smilin' Jack said...

Ann Althouse said...

I think the individual woman should be making the decision, but I also only think the decision must be made by a person who has a high enough level of understanding and reason to think competently about what she is doing.


How do you decide that in practice? Should a woman have to make an articulate, well-reasoned case for her abortion (preferably using PowerPoint) so that you can make a lawyerly assessment of her competence? Or would a simple IQ test suffice?

I would like it if the right to have an abortion fostered personal responsibility: Here is a profound moral choice you must make: Rise to the challenge.

Many women would reject your premise: if it's just a clump of cells, it's not a profound moral choice; it's like having an appendix removed. Should they be allowed to have abortions, or is their level of understanding not high enough?

Also, I don't think it really matters much to the aborted fetus how competently the woman reasoned her decision to abort.

Darcy said...

Synova said...JAL, it's because pro-lifers don't live in fantasy land where a fetus isn't a person and meat comes on styrofoam trays.

First...LOL. I can't help it, but I did laugh! I was busy formulating to my reply to JAL (mostly "huh???") when I saw this.

No reply necessary. Synova's here.

Simon said...

John,
No trouble intended. :p I don't think you've mentioned it here, no, but I try to read most of the cases the 7th circuit decides, and to listen to the arguments in those that catch my interest. You kind of ran into a chainsaw with Easterbrook, but he's a tough questioner. That makes him a lot of fun to listen to, but (I imagine) no fun at all to square off against. ;)

Simon said...

(Since November, I've particularly been trying to read everything that Judge Wood writes because I assume she's a frontrunner for the next opening on the Supreme Court. As a rule of thumb, if Sykes or Easterbrook write, I read.)

Darcy said...

"formulating to"? I hate when an editing job goes awry!

Simon said...

feministj said...
"I don't think all botched abortions are murder, but my gut feeling was that this one crossed the line into something other than an abortion...based on the description I read."

Well, I suppose that if we stipulate, arguendo, that abortion is not itself murder, I agree that it follows that not all botched abortions are murder, because there are presumably many possible outcomes that come under the broad header "botched." One of those outcomes - the outcome here - is a live birth. A birth. Even if one accepts the morality of abortion in utero (or even partially in utero, as in IDX), if the child is actually born, I can't imagine what basis one could have for not concluding that to then kill it is homicide ("murder" may be the wrong term, since I'm not sure that one has malice aforethought in that situation; manslaughter might be closer to it, depending on one's point of view.)

"Sometimes when a question isn't easy, '18 inches' is all there is to be able to make a decision. "

Is that really enough, though?

"[M]any pro-choice people think abortion itself is morally wrong, but support a woman's right to make that choice."

Indeed, that's where Althouse has positioned herself, so reasonable people can obviously take that position. Nevertheless, I think situations like this tend to demonstrate the frayed edges of that position; it's very hard for me to understand why a matter of seconds and inches makes the difference between homicide and choice.

Skipper50 said...

In this "modern" society, isn't an abortion about the same as buying a dressed out chicken in a supermarket, but recoiling in horror at the thought of a slaughterhouse? It's all anonymous and sanitized.

bearing said...

Althouse said...
"I know my position seems impossible to people who are convinced that abortion is murder."

I am convinced that abortion is murder, and I understand your position and do not think it impossible on the face of it.

It is, however, conditional on a couple of premises that I am convinced are false in most cases:

" I also only think the decision must be made by a person who has a high enough level of understanding and reason to think competently about what she is doing. "

--- Given that women undergoing abortions are under great stress and strong motivation for self-deception, and given the well-known motivation and efforts of abortion providers to shield them from total understanding, I submit that a very large number of women undergoing abortion are NOT thinking competently about what they are doing.

(And that's before you even raise an argument that no person with an intact sense of right and wrong could ever commit an abortion if they truly understood what it entailed.)

--- "I would like it if the right to have an abortion fostered personal responsibility: Here is a profound moral choice you must make: Rise to the challenge."

*Is* it your observation that the right to an abortion has fostered personal responsibility? I don't think it has.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

I get profoundly tired at the overuse of the word "choice" to justify abortion. Everything a person does is a choice. What does that have to do with whether something is legal or moral?

What if we said that from now on, husbands have the "choice" of whether or not to stone their wives to death for adultery? Would it make sense to tell a husband that his decision has profound moral implications and that he must "rise to the challenge?"

That would be utterly ridiculous. Where is the justification for having a choice as to whether or not you get to kill somebody else?

And no, one might as well not even start with the, "it's the woman's body" line. There's another body, the child's body. What about that body?

What a morally hollow society we live in that we allow this to go on and frame it in the way that we do.

Pogo said...

Criminey. We can't choose to smoke or choose to use old style light bulbs but a fetus we can undo, CTRL+Z style.

Fine.

But suing because your choice to macerate a proto-human looks icky just seems so goddamned arrogant and immature ate the same time, one is led to suspect that the plaintiff and her lawyer are both high school juniors.

Pogo said...

Sycloria Williams was expecting a Disney abortion.

Freeman Hunt said...

I also think it a poor argument that the woman has complete say over the child's life because the child is entirely within her body. What's the average life expectancy in the United States? Seventy-eight years?

Let's see...

78 x 12 + 9 = 945

So, we've got an average of 945 months to live.

And we're each in our mother's body for 9 of those, less than one percent of the total.

So because she has the person in her body for 9 months, the mother gets to decide whether or not the person will ever get to see the other 936?

How about instead we tell the mother that she only has to carry the person for 9 months and after that, she can walk away from him for the other 936 if that's what she wants?

John K. said...

Simon,

Yeah, I wasn't as smooth as I would have liked to have been at oral argument. But Easterbrook did ask the US Attorney: what about our precedent holding that the factual basis for a guilty plea has to come from the defendant's actual admissions in the guilty plea? Yet, no mention or discussion of this precedent in the court's written opinion ruling against my client. [The reason it's so important for the factual basis to come from the defendant's actual admissions in the guilty plea is to ensure the voluntariness of the plea. See McCarthy v. US, 394 US 459 (1969) and US v. Frye, 738 F.2d 196 (7th Cir. 1984) -- the precedent I cited and discussed at length in the briefs which the court conveniently ignored in its written opinion.]

After Easterbrook asked that question of the US Attorney at oral argument, I thought we were golden.

Donn said...

To go along with what a few others have pointed out....I once heard an abortion clinic owner admit that if people saw the results of an actual abortion, it would end the practice.

traditionalguy said...

The dicussion of Murder is inherently an issue between men and their God. Left to their own, all men and all women see murder as a convenience and a tool to get what they want. The church has had the Raison D'etre of telling men what God has to say about our Evil thoughts and identifying murder as a sin. Since 100 years ago the church has abandoned its role so as to appear more educated than mere Bible Thumpers. Then social darwinism became a "Science" and no one said that's a sin leading to approval of many murders for convience and to get what men and women want under cover as an everyday right of the strong favored group in power. Unless the apostate Church speaks up for God's scriptural identification of murder as sin, there is no safety left in this world.

Original Mike said...

The dicussion of Murder is inherently an issue between men and their God. Left to their own, all men and all women see murder as a convenience and a tool to get what they want.

Bullshit.

Synova said...

I also think it a poor argument that the woman has complete say over the child's life because the child is entirely within her body.

I once heard a man (he wasn't talking to me, but this is not a passed on story of something someone else told me about), I once heard a man say, when challenged about beating his wife, that what happened in his house was no one's business but his own.

I see this as nearly parallel... in both situations the supposed right to hurt someone depends on where that person lives.

I'm all for a woman controlling her own body, but abortion so often seems to be an insistence that she doesn't have to control anything.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Synova, yes, and men who molest their daughters give the same rationale.

feministj:

"Also, Laura asked:

"Also, how are you going to have all these safe, etc. abortion clinics nationwide if decent people don't want anything to do with abortion or abortion after the first trimester?"

I disagree with the framing of your question. But, even accepting it, I think access to those types of abortions would be more readily accessible if those opposed to repo rights did not demonize the procedure,those that provide it, and those women that choose to undergo it. Such an extreme position does nothing to prevent a situation such as the one here. I think both 'sides' agree a situation like this one should never happen."

Actually, one 'side' agrees that the abortion shouldn't have been attempted in the first place. Your suggestion that we pro-lifers stop demonizing abortion is very nice. Would you like it if men told you to stop demonizing rape and rapists? How about we stop demonizing child molesters?

"whew...I have survived the foray so far...my college poli sci message board was much worse!"

Of course you survived. No one is going to reach through your computer screen and beat you up. Besides, I don't think we aspire to be "worse" here. There's no reason for it.

Synova said...

Such an extreme position does nothing to prevent a situation such as the one here. I think both 'sides' agree a situation like this one should never happen.

The difference between what was *supposed* to happen at that clinic and what *did* happen at that clinic was cosmetic, at most.

To be honest, I know I said that the girl should be able to sue, and probably ought to win, but I really don't care that she had a bad day.

I really *really* don't.

Protecting what was *supposed* to happen at that clinic in order to prevent what *did* happen is like telling a vegetarian that if what they eat doesn't LOOK like meat, then it's actually a vegetable.

The events of the day resulted in exactly what the events were supposed to result in. An ended pregnancy and a discarded fetus.

Revenant said...

If you don't regard abortion as the taking of human life, as many don't, then there is no moral decision involved.

As Michael Vick could tell you, society places moral value on a wide range of NON-human lives, too.

If you bought a dog and then decided you didn't want it anymore, would you kill it? Maybe you would, but many people would consider that morally wrong. It might even be illegal in some parts of the country; I don't know.

Revenant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

The dicussion of Murder is inherently an issue between men and their God. Left to their own, all men and all women see murder as a convenience and a tool to get what they want.

So why, in America, are atheists less likely to be murderers than Christians are?

The main factor restraining human violence isn't fear of the supernatural, but fear of the entirely natural: other human beings. Murder is less common in places where the social fabric is strong and murderers are harshly punished.

Synova said...

To be fair, Rev, do the murders who are Christian actually believe in supernatural punishment, or do they just identify as Christian? If they did, it ought to be just as persuasive as punishment in the here and now. (OTOH, if you believe your God is actually going to reward you, then it's obviously not an inhibiting factor.)

Left to their own, all men and all women see murder as a convenience and a tool to get what they want.

In any case, I think you agreed with this part, yes?

Simon said...

Revenant said...
"So why, in America, are atheists less likely to be murderers than Christians are?"

Uh... Because there are fewer of them?

Jason said...

feministj:

but my gut feeling was that this one crossed the line into something other than an abortion.

No shit.

I don't pretend that this is an easy ethical question.

In this case? It's pretty fucking easy.

Sometimes when a question isn't easy, "18 inches" is all there is to be able to make a decision. Further, upon reflection, I'm not sure what the legal answer should be and perhaps murder was too strong a word.

No, murder isn't too strong a word to use at all. Neither is idiot.

nellakat said...

Of course a non-licensed person doing what she did should be prosecutable (I would think) even without this girl's lawsuit.


Do you know Roe?
http://www.roeiqtest.com/

Blue Collar Todd said...

The defense would be that our new President was just fine with it while in the Illinois Senate. This is just what follows from a radical pro-abortion Liberal world view.