August 24, 2011

"[Ron] Paul’s experience in science and medicine only reinforced his belief that life begins at conception..."

"... and he believes it would be inconsistent for him to champion personal liberty and a free society if he didn’t also advocate respecting the God-given right to life—for those born and unborn. After being forced to witness an abortion being performed during his time in medical school, he knew from that moment on that his practice would focus on protecting life.  And during his years in medicine, never once did he find an abortion necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman."

From a page on Ron Paul's website that I got to from a link in a Matthew Yglesias post titled "Ron Paul's Strange Freedom." Yglesias says:
[I]f it weren’t for his loud fanbase of self-proclaimed libertarians you wouldn’t really think [Ron Paul is] a libertarian. He’s loudly trumpeting his plan to impose criminal penalties on women who terminate their pregnancies...
Would Ron Paul punish women who get abortions as criminals? His website says he "will continue to fight for the same pro-life solutions he has upheld in Congress, including..."
* Immediately saving lives by effectively repealing Roe v. Wade and preventing activist judges from interfering with state decisions on life by removing abortion from federal court jurisdiction through legislation modeled after his “We the People Act.”

* Defining life as beginning at conception by passing a “Sanctity of Life Act.”
Does either of those proposals represent a plan — "loudly trumpet[ed]" or not — to prosecute women who have abortions? It seems to me that both of these bills are about cutting federal jurisdiction, which would leave the matter of abortion to state courts. Those courts would still be bound by Supreme Court precedent, by the way, although they'd be left to their own devices about following that precedent.

Yglesias makes some good points about the less-than-fully-libertarian quality of Ron Paul's libertarianism. He shouldn't shoot his credibility to hell with statements like "He’s loudly trumpeting his plan to impose criminal penalties on women who terminate their pregnancies."

UPDATE: Yglesias responds to this post:
Ann Althouse chooses for some reason to dispute that Ron “respecting the God-given right to life—for those born and unborn” Paul wants to ban abortion. 
No. I dispute that he has "loudly trumpet[ed a] plan to impose criminal penalties" on women who have abortions. Those are your words, Matt, and it is quite dishonest to change the language as you embark on your attempt to discredit me.
Since she’s apparently incapable of reading between the lines of such proposals as “Defining life as beginning at conception by passing a Sanctity of Life Act’” she might be interesting [sic] in some other quotations from Congressman Paul such as....
Well, the fact is, Matt, I really am interesting. I'm so interesting that you ought to pay attention to the precise words that I use in disputing you. Pay attention to the text before you embark on your flights of interpretation that you gratuitously insult me for supposedly lacking the capacity to perform. Pay attention to my text and to your own text (which needs editing). You ought to learn to read and be honest about what you have read.

Yglesias goes on to quote something Ron Paul said about the fetus being a person. I'm well aware, as my post clearly shows, that Paul believes the fetus is a person who deserves rights. The issue, however is whether he has "loudly trumpet[ed a] plan to impose criminal penalties" on women who have abortions. He has not done that.

Ron Paul's proposals are about diverting the matter to the state courts, as I clearly describe in my post. Now, if you want to say that voters who care about preserving abortion rights should not trust Ron Paul, then I agree with you. But you should agree with me that he most certainly did not "loudly trumpet[ a] plan to impose criminal penalties." Why can't you just fix your misstatement? Why this pointless pigheadedness? You're doing yourself no favors, Matt, and insulting my intelligence — "she’s apparently incapable of reading between the lines" — is — as they say — incivil.

184 comments:

rick said...

I am continually reminded that all those who are pro-abortion have already been born.

edutcher said...

Paul is about as doctrinaire libertarian as they come, but it shows that no one can totally do away with the moral element in life.

PS Yglesias' bit about "punish(ing) women who get abortions as criminals" is standard Lefty fare intended to intimidate the RINOs. Just once, I'd love to see a real Republican, hit with that, say, "Yes, damn it. If abortion is murder, then there should be some sort of punishment".

MarkG said...

"He’s loudly trumpeting his plan to impose criminal penalties on women who terminate their pregnancies..."

Yglesias is talking to lefties in a language they understand, and stoking their fires of hate. Of course he's going to say stuff like that.

Quayle said...

"...less-than-fully-libertarian quality of Ron Paul's libertarianism..."

Because, of course, abortions happen naturally, so a libertarian should get out of the way and let it happen.

(Unless one believes that the conceived child should be allowed to thrive in the liberty of not being invasively sucked out of its natural home by others, which also could be a full expression of libertarianism.)

traditionalguy said...

Interesting concept, Professor: a liberal in the media who give a moments thought to whether or not he is shooting his credibility to hell.

Propaganda is propaganda.

Like AlGore's propaganda about the end of the world from non-existant GreenHouse effects.

What counts is who wins. Credibility is only a word.

Dan in Philly said...

Yglesias makes some good points about the less-than-fully-libertarian quality of Ron Paul's libertarianism. He shouldn't shoot his credibility to hell with statements like "He’s loudly trumpeting his plan to impose criminal penalties on women who terminate their pregnancies."

If the libertarians want to have any real influence, they will have to accept the idea that some people do, indeed, think life begins at (or exstremely near) conception. Even if you do not accept this idea, you have to admit that it is reasonable. If you admit you can think this and not be crazy, then the pro-life arguments all are perfectly sound: if you think an unborn baby is indeed alive, then abortion is simple murder.

What's unlibertarian about that?

Crunchy Frog said...

Yglesias and credibility are two words that do not belong in the same sentence.

I'm still waiting for my copy of "Libertarianism For Dummies", which I'm sure will explain why it is that to be a libertarian you have to accept unfettered abortion (doesn't the unborn baby have any rights at all?) and open borders.

Until such time I will continue to call myself small-l libertarian, and the progressives that try to tell me different can piss off.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Libertarianism is not synonymous with"anything goes."

John Althouse Cohen said...

Why wouldn't someone who wants abortion to be illegal not want the women who choose to get abortions done be criminally punished? Even if the doctor is the one who directly performs the abortion, you're still liable for encouraging someone to commit a crime. Also, if abortion is illegal, it will be performed by women on themselves.

I've never heard anyone who's for criminalizing abortion explain why they wouldn't want to prosecute pregnant women, except I've heard Mike Huckabee say he thinks those women are actually "victims." That's obviously an ad hoc rationalization and an extremely condescending attitude, not a rational argument.

Saint Croix said...

Yglesias makes some good points about the less-than-fully-libertarian quality of Ron Paul's libertarianism.

That's only logical if you are on board with the dehumanization of the unborn. Rather like arguing for the "liberty" to purchase African slaves.

If a baby in the womb is a person, then it would hardly offend "liberty" to recognize her right to live. John Stuart Mill would agree.

Trapper Townshend said...

"Yglesias makes some good points about the less-than-fully-libertarian quality of Ron Paul's libertarianism"

Does he? You might argue that he makes some good points -- for instance about air pollution -- but I don't see anywhere in the post that he makes a point that Ron Paul's views aren't libertarian. To the extent he critiques Paul, he seems to be critiquing libertarianism himself (again, see the air pollution point).

Anyway, the "forced abortions" remark by Yglesias tells you all you need to know about what he has to say on the matter. I'm guessing he's not unfamiliar with how babies are made, and he doesn't specify that he's talking about cases of rape, so he is obviously a propagandist and liar.

mark said...

Yglesias ... Credibility?

It is rather odd you have those words so close together.

Phil 3:14 said...

If you're not completely pure to your political ideology, then you're a hypocrite.

But if you're a pure ideologue then you "just say no", obstruct progress and hold the government hostage.

Everything is so clear from up here on the moral high ground. Too bad, you idiots below can't see what I see

holdfast said...

Yglesias as an idiot-child who can't think without a Jornolist memo to tell him how. If you truly believe that an unborn child is a fully human person, then he should have no more and no fewer rights than any other person - how would that be inconsistent with "doctrinaire" libertarianism? Is Yglesias arguing in favor of the right to dispose of "inconvenient" humans - if so I'd be happy to start with anyone who was ever a member of Jornlist, as I personally find them extremely inconvenient.

Gavin Sullivan said...

Abortion is a special kind of murder--against which a 50¢ fine would constitute excessive punishment.

When asking 'pro-lifers' what punishment they would find most appropriate, we generally find that they seek zero punishment against the woman undergoing an illegal abortion--and a heavy punishment against Vera Drake.

Sometimes people praise pro-lifers' reasonableness, when they note that no punishment is being proposed, upon the ostensible murderer. Perhaps pro-lifers are playing politics, in refraining from seeking jail time for the woman. I think there's another reason lurking beneath their insistance she not be imprisoned: They view the pregnant woman as incapable of sane reflection: She is incapable of citizenship.

SMGalbraith said...

Since the avowed socialist Yglesias sees no limits on the Commerce Clause - and therefore no limits on Congressional powers when it comes to economic actitivty or non-activity - he's got no constitutional grounds to stand on.

John said...

There is absolutely nothing inconsistent about a liberal (A/K/A libertarian)opposing abortion.

It comes down to one's views on whether that fetus is a "life" or, as some put it, a "Person"

If one views it as a life/person, it has the same rights to protection from violence as you or I do.

If one does not view it as a life/person, then it is a lump of flesh and any decisions are 100% up to the person in whose body it is.

We have 100% right to autonomy.

We have zero right to harm another.

That is what it comes down to.

John Henry
(Proud liberal/libertarian)

Shouting Thomas said...

I have the feeling that my view of abortion is the one most commonly held. It goes like this:

o Abortion is a terrible thing that should be discouraged in every way possible.

o Abortion should not be an alternate method of birth control.

o In extremity, some women are going to seek an abortion no matter what we do to discourage her. Some provision has to be made for this.

o Men have an equal right to their progeny. Women should not have the right to make a unilateral choice about a man's unborn child.

I don't like Roe v. Wade because it, essentially encourages abortion and has made it into an alternate form of birth control.

What's the legal alternative that would take into account the concerns I've stated? What's the political point of view?

Damned if I know.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Are laws against child abuse anti-liberatarian? Are laws against slavery? Laws against assault or stealing?

My understanding of liberatarianism is that the government has some legitimate functions, particularly, the protection of individual rights. If you are aware that the unborn child is an individual (which you're fooling yourself if you are not), then abortion restrictions are just as justified as the laws above.

- Lyssa

J said...

"He’s loudly trumpeting his plan to impose criminal penalties on women who terminate their pregnancies..."

A bit dogmatic, on the part of Dr Paul. Think--had Shouting Joto or Edutcher's mamas sucked out their little perps right from the get-go they would have prevented a great deal of trouble, not to say ugly pointless rants.

John said...

Just by way of no harm I should also point out the hypocrisy of some on the pro-choice side.

The justification is that it is the woman's body and it is her decision what she does with it.

I am 100% in agreement, subject to my previous comments.

So will the pro-choice side allow me the same freedom? Will it allow me to do what I wish with my body?

For example, can I smoke crack?

My body, my choice.

FWIW, as a liberal I do think I have the right to do as I wish with my body. Including smoking crack.

John Henry

John Henry

Carol_Herman said...

Ron Paul races to the limelight.

His "Paulians" get excited.

No one else gets to dirty the wallpaper.

Carol_Herman said...

Oh, yeah. Like men have stopped using condoms. They want to see "more babies." Like their grandparents did.

And, back then Detroit came up with station wagons ... so the "one car families" ... provided enough space to stick the whole family inside.

Back then, too? People dressed for Sundays. Men and women, both, wore hats.

Nobody wore jeans.

(A few boys, however, managed to stick frogs in their pockets.)

lyssalovelyredhead said...

As a woman (and of childbearing age at that), I find this idea that women who seek to hire a person to kill their child are somehow above punishment to be extremely patronizing and dehumanizing. (But I also find the idea that "choice" is not realized unless the option to kill exists, as if one did not make the choice to put out, the same.) The same would go for Mike Huckabee's "victim" concern.

We're either equal or we ain't. I prefer the former, with all the responsibilities that go with it.

- Lyssa

Canuck said...

"Why wouldn't someone who wants abortion to be illegal not want the women who choose to get abortions done be criminally punished?"


1) women are not capable, and, like the insane and small children, should not be held responsible for their decisions.

or

2) it's a political calculation.

Carol_Herman said...

Sometimes, you can have too many horses in the field.

Like the french had at Agincourt.

Not enough gates.

It's like the republicans offering up an entire array within one box of chocolates. Nuts. Fruits. Dark. Light. It's the kind of "choice" that democraps are really welcoming. See this field just growing by leaps and bounds.

Shouting Thomas said...

A bit dogmatic, on the part of Dr Paul. Think--had Shouting Joto or Edutcher's mamas sucked out their little perps right from the get-go they would have prevented a great deal of trouble, not to say ugly pointless rants.

A brilliant solution, J!

Let's apply it to you as well. Had the mangy bitch who popped you out of her syphilitic twat just employed the coat hanger, think of the benefits:

o You would not be drawing welfare
o The crack dealer wouldn't be profiting from your business
o You wouldn't be passing on AIDS to the next in line to share your needle
o That awful stench of public urination in your neighborhood would abate significantly

The HDR Blogger said...

Only a hack like Yglesias would have difficulty reconciling a pro-life view with libertarianism.

But let's even set aside the obvious issue that, you know, there's a human life's liberty at stake. The "reasoning" in Roe v. Wade (and Casey) is an affront to liberty. It is policy by judicial fiat.

Carol_Herman said...

Infertile couples should check into the Sofitel. Rooms are just loaded with sperm.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Shouting T said: In extremity, some women are going to seek an abortion no matter what we do to discourage her. Some provision has to be made for this.

I'm not sure what provision could be made for that, or any crime. No matter what, some people are going to kill; some are going to abuse or neglect their children; some are going to steal; some are going to rape. There's simply no way around it. Government's job is to protect others from the bad actions as much as is possible while still respecting necessary due process rights. The fact that it will always happen sometimes is not in any way an excuse to allow it to happen always.

(I'll add that it is possible that criminal punishment for the woman is not the right policy to prevent it- perhaps there are better and more efficient ways, such as punishing the doctors, or some sort of social treatment. States should experiment and see what works. My objection is to the idea that punishing the woman would be wrong on its face.)

- Lyssa

Carol_Herman said...

Oh, if Obama manages to pull out a victory in 2012. And, Orin Hatch stays seated. I do suspect that the Supreme Court will change.

And, it won't favor pro-lifer's one bit.

However, given "stair dices" it's claims to relevance. The forks and the reindeer remain.

AllenS said...

Crunchy Frog said...
Yglesias and credibility are two words that do not belong in the same sentence.

What I would have said.

Trapper Townshend said...

"Why wouldn't someone who wants abortion to be illegal not want the women who choose to get abortions done be criminally punished? ...I've never heard anyone who's for criminalizing abortion explain why they wouldn't want to prosecute pregnant women."

It polls too badly for politicians to go there.

I agree that it doesn't make any sense.

roesch-voltaire said...

I agree Yglesias doesn't need to trumpet Paul's stance on abortion--but I wonder what Paul's stance is on those who choose to reduce fetuses induced by IVF? the idea that we are the owners of our own person and choice are the core to Libertarian thought. For checking Paul's Libertarian creeds, I like Ily Somin's comment of Volokh Conspiracy:

"As I explained back when Paul ran in 2008, he has very nonlibertarian positions on free trade, school choice, and especially immigration. He also believes that Kelo v. City of New London was correctly decided because he thinks the Bill of Rights does not apply to the states. The latter is theoretically compatible with being a libertarian; one can believe that the Constitution should protect us against various forms of oppression by state governments, but simply fails to do so. But Paul’s position is at odds with most modern research on the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, and with the views of virtually all libertarian constitutional law scholars. It also bodes ill for the nature of his judicial appointments in the unlikely event that he actually wins the presidency."

chickenlittle said...

JAC asked: Why wouldn't someone who wants abortion to be illegal not want the women who choose to get abortions done be criminally punished?

If we take out the awkward double negative, he loses the leading question advantage:

Why would someone who wants abortion to be illegal want the women who choose to get abortions done be criminally punished?

The answer is that they believe in criminalization. An alternative is decriminalization which resembles Althouse's "it's wrong but legal" in the sense that no punishment is meted out.

Now, just for shits and giggles, let's switch sides of the debate and slowly turn JAC's phrase around. First, let's turn illegal into legal:

Why would someone who wants abortion to be legal want the women who choose to get abortions done be criminally punished?

That's the absurd question JAC was seeking. Now let's see how the awkward double negative construction masks even an absurd question:

Why wouldn’t someone who wants abortion to be legal not want the women who choose to get abortions done be criminally punished?

See how that works?

Trooper York said...

Killing babies is the bottom line base line be all and end all for the Democratic party and the mainstream media.

Everything else is second to that.

Same shit different day.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I don't think it implausible that liberal doctrine, carried to the extreme, sanctions the termination of any life whenever the state requires it. Certainly Stalin and Mao claimed that power. The unborn are the first to go, being the least powerful. When the crunch comes, euthanasia will be encouraged, then required.

Trooper York said...

Soon enough government death panels will kill unwanted babies just like they do in China. Clueless Joe just let the cat out of the bag by telling you how he "understands" all about it.

This has been their plan all along.

rhhardin said...

Life begins at conception but you have a fetus not a human.

Human (not wolf) but not a human.

The distinction already given in language ought to be a clue where the human interests are.

These same human interests define morality.

J said...

You're attempting rational discussion, in the klan-tweeker bunker, Lyssa--you're not going to see any reasoned debate from A-house perps--you're going to see and hear... illiterate, psychotic belches (see the rants of one Shouting TomTom, now enjoying his 3rd or 4th spike of speed).

That's a downside of libertarianism, not to say Teaparty controlled crime- blogs --

bagoh20 said...

If either end of the spectrum gets their way you either have to support the death penalty for abortionists, or for unborn children.

I support both and neither, depending on how much the child is a child. For me that's the question that is undecided and which makes the rest, so far, unfounded.

I also don't think it's knowable for certain. It can only be agreed on. Pick a date. Before that it's a choice, after it's murder. We already do - kinda - not exactly always - at birth, but for me that's too late. I would suggest mid term.

Skyler said...

Since when has abortion been a libertarian movement? As I recall, it was a progressive movement that is also promoted by communist countries and other progressivist movements.

Libertarianism is about protecting individual lives. There is nothing inconsistent about being against abortion if you conclude that life begins before delivery.

Bart DePalma said...

Libertarians believe that the only proper law is one that prohibits one person from harming another. Thus, if you believe an unborn child is a human being, then application of homicide law to abortion is perfectly compatible with libertarianism.

I am gratified to see that Congressman Paul shares this libertarian's belief based in science that we are all human beings from the point of conception and thus all enjoy a right to life protected by law.

Trooper York said...

You see the plan is to eliminate the people that cost too much.

First it will be Downs syndrome children like Trig Palin.

Then other children with "expensive" disablities.

Then it will be people from demographic groups that they do not approve or are favored because of the affirmative action dictates of the government.

Where the number of children and the sex of the children will be controlled by the government.

Because they know best.

Just like they do in China.

They understand how that should work.

Just ask Clueless Joe.

He spilled the beans.

Trooper York said...

Obama has already signed on to an infanticide bill. He just tries to cover it up when he got called on it.

But you know in their heart of hearts that's what they want to do.

Baby killing is no big deal to the elites.

They know it won't effect them. Just you bitter clingers.

John said...

One thing to point out about Paul is that as a Doctor, he probably knows more about the conception, gestation and birthing process than 99% of the people in America.

His position on abortion is based on science, not politics. Since we can't criticize global warming because "The Science is IN!" should we question his science based views on abortion?

That 99% includes non-MD women. Just because they give birth does not mean that they understand the nuts and bolts of the process in depth.

chickenlittle said...

rhhardin wrote: The distinction already given in language ought to be a clue where the human interests are.

OK. Robert Frost wrote:

Spirit enters flesh
And for all it's worth
Charges into earth
In birth after birth
Ever fresh and fresh.


Now what?

J said...

First it will be Downs syndrome children like Trig Palin.

You think a mother with a fetus known to have DS or to be at risk must carry it to term?? So who's the real nazi here, TY. Calamity Sarah should have ...a-borted--and thereby prevented much suffering (not to say the expenses of raising a disabled, dysfunctional child). The fetus may have a "right"--whatever that is. The mother's right however comes first (def. in the case of unplanned , unwanted preg. or health problems).

Bender said...

Would Ron Paul impose punish women who get abortions as criminals?

The only people pushing for imprisonment of women who have abortions are the pro-abortionists who routinely ask this as an attempted gotcha question.

Having victimized women once with the lie that to be a true woman, you must be able to kill your child in the womb, and having victimized women again with facilitating the killing of their children in the womb, now they would victimize women yet again with scare tactics.

To be perfectly clear --
Prolifers would prefer that no one ever go to prison for abortion. They would prefer that no women ever go to prison, they would prefer that, instead of going to prison, the abortionist not kill babies in the first place.

But if there are those abortionists who do insist on killing children, then it is they who have chosen prison over freedom, not mean and oppressive prolifers.

However, having been victimized once by the pro-abortionists, prolifers will not victimize women a second time. Rather, they will continue to do as they have done and as they do now -- offer healing and forgiveness.

Sigivald said...

I'm confused, at least rhetorically.

What part of Libertarian theory does Ygelsias think demands one have some specific timeline (that Paul doesn't match) for when personhood-with-rights starts?

I'm not inclined to agree that personhood ("life", in Paul's use, but the two are not identical - cf. the acephalic, for instance) begins at conception.

But nothing in Libertarian first principles or derived and accepted theory compels that answer - or any other.

And if one does hold (which is, again, plausible but not demanded) that personhood begins at conception, then abortion would morally have to be very close to murder (not identical, since we can likewise also grant that the fact of the fetus being inside the mother's body is not irrelevant).

So what Ygelsias is really doing is just complaining that people don't all agree with whatever-it-is that he holds about when personhood starts, and demanding that his straw-man libertarians hold the straw-man position he demands.

Which straw-man being that only the liberty of the mother exists or matters, and that the right to not be attacked of the fetus can't possibly count, because libertarians just can't disagree with him on that question.

(Or equally that both might "count" but the calculus has to come out the way Yglesias wants...)

It's an open question for libertarian theory, and one that can't really be answered by fiat.

Paul's disagreement with Ygelsias on the matter suggests only that they have different evaluations and valuations of the rights involved, not that Paul is simply ignoring things.

(That various other legal solutions proposed might be less than libertarian is a valid criticism - though on the other hand, since nobody else in Congress is "a libertarian", really, if Paul wants to get anything done he's got to compromise.

It's hilarious, in that it's normally wookie-suiters who complain about "compromise libertarians" or whatnot, not Progressives like Yglesias.)

MayBee said...

Only a hack like Yglesias would have difficulty reconciling a pro-life view with libertarianism.

Althouse isn't a hack, but she seemed to have a similar difficulty.

I think that comes from an assumption that pro-choice is a neutral position.

chickenlittle said...

J wrote for the record: Calamity Sarah should have ...a-borted--and thereby prevented much suffering (not to say the expenses of raising a disabled, dysfunctional child).

J unfortunately represents more people than even he knows. A large swath even I suspect.

MadisonMan said...

Running on a platform of criminalizing those who have abortions (or those who perform them) will be an unsuccessful tactic, IMO.

Everyone commenting here knows someone who has had an abortion (although they may not know it). What kind of punishment are people suggesting?

John Lynch said...

A lot of libertarians aren't. Simply replacing federal power with state power doesn't help the individual.

In fact, using the federal government to check state governments can further the cause of liberty for the individual. That's what happened in the Civil Rights era.

garage mahal said...

So abortion is murder, but there should be no punishment for murder?

sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck66 said...

The legistation most pro-life advocates call for has penalties against abortion doctors, not the women who have an illegal abortion. And like the gay thing, the way society is now, we will not have a universal ban on abortion in the US. Some states will have more regulations than others.

Chuck66 said...

Many fundamentalist libertarians are pro-choice, just as they are pro-legalized drugs. They say do whatever you want.

A more thoughtful liberatarian would say "let the poeple and the state legislatures decide on abortion laws, not unelected judges".

Conserve Liberty said...

Question: How many posters on this thread are actually baptized and confirmed Episcopalians?

Answer: At least one that I know of.

There is so much incorrect here. Try visiting Wiki

The United States has never paid any money to build or maintain the Cathedral. The Cathedral Church of Staint Peter and Saint Paul in Washington, DC, referred to as the Washington National Cathedral, is the seat of the Presiding Bishop. The reference has to do with ECUSA, not any established church in the USA.

J said...

Yeah, chicken--rationalists are sort of rare, but they do probably outnumber abortion clinic bombers.

Actually I'd rephrase--since Palin (and/or Todd) knew she was at risk for Downs Syndrome, she should be sued or held criminally liable for getting pregnant, once Trig-tard was diagnosed with DS. Whoop. In a rational State, Trig would have been aborted.

Chuck66 said...

J, do you think Barry Obama's mother should have aborted him?

-18 year old college freshman who was banging a 26 year old married foreign student from Kenya.

What kind of like would that kid have?

AJ Lynch said...

Librul pussyboy Yglesias must be getting nervous if he is wasting his Ivy League intellect on Ron Paul. Oh that's right, I heard even Ron Paul is running neck and neck with Prez Obama in a recent poll.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

You're attempting rational discussion, in the klan-tweeker bunker, Lyssa--you're not going to see any reasoned debate from A-house perps


J called my argument rational. Sweet Jesus, I don't know whether I should be proud of making an argument so extraordinarily clear and rational that even J would understand it, or disturbed that my argument is so fucked up that J would consider rational.

- Lyssa

Chuck66 said...

J, if you mother was going to abort you, I would try to talk her out of it.

MadisonMan said...

How many posters on this thread are actually baptized and confirmed Episcopalians?

I am! But I converted to something else a couple years ago.

Henry said...

No Yglesias award for Yglesias today, I guess.

chickenlittle said...

garage mahal said...
So abortion is murder, but there should be no punishment for murder?

That's above my pay grade.

J said...

Better--do I think Chuck-tard's mama should have aborted..Chuck tard?? Hint: yeah

Idjut, the point was regarding deformed or dysfunctional fetuses such as Trig.--and in those cases abortion is more than justifiable.

Abortion may be an injustice of sorts. Criminalizing it is worse. It's not just an either/or as cavemen (including christian ones) think.

chickenlittle said...

J wrote for the record: Actually I'd rephrase--since Palin (and/or Todd) knew she was at risk for Downs Syndrome, she should be sued or held criminally liable for getting pregnant, once Trig-tard was diagnosed with DS. Whoop. In a rational State, Trig would have been aborted.

Are you sure Sarah gave birth to Trig? I always took you for a Sullivanist.

sorepaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

J said.....
Calamity Sarah should have ...a-borted--and thereby prevented much suffering (not to say the expenses of raising a disabled, dysfunctional child).

There you go.

Thanks for the confirmation J.

Wait a minute. Are you really Joe Biden?

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
In a rational State, Trig would have been aborted


Thank you Mr. Huxley. That statement is even more stupid than your usual statements…No, I take that back…you’re trying to get people to acknowledge your existence, by making outrageous and foolish statements. USUALLY you make them bad Spanglish and personal insult, but here you move up a level to a poorly reasoned outrageous, policy statement….well done sirrah…you have moved from scoring 40 on the test to at least a 50…true you still fail miserably, but now we see progress.

Trooper York said...

Cause you kinda talk a lot like him. Just sayn'

Ken said...

You wouldn’t really think Ron Paul is a libertarian. He’s loudly trumpeting his plan to impose criminal penalties on the killing of people who inconvenience your life. What kind of strange freedom do we have if we can't be free of those who could inconvenience our lives?

ndspinelli said...

Ron Paul never met Carol Herman.

J said...

Lyssa, your reading skills are hardly superior to the tweekers here. I said you were attempting rational discussion. Now whether you achieved it is another matter--doesn't look like it.

First trimester A. is not murder, either. There is a cessation of life, but the fetus is just a little blob--not a "human"--and the mother in effect owns that little blob. It's her call, though the bio-dad might have some input--as might a physician. Things get more complicated after four months or so.

Christopher said...

Why wouldn't someone who wants abortion to be illegal not want the women who choose to get abortions done be criminally punished? Even if the doctor is the one who directly performs the abortion, you're still liable for encouraging someone to commit a crime. Also, if abortion is illegal, it will be performed by women on themselves.

I've never heard anyone who's for criminalizing abortion explain why they wouldn't want to prosecute pregnant women, except I've heard Mike Huckabee say he thinks those women are actually "victims." That's obviously an ad hoc rationalization and an extremely condescending attitude, not a rational argument.


Ya haven't spent a lot of time immersed in pro-life literature, have you?

Most of the energy in U.S. pro-life circles comes from Christians. Many if not most of these people see women as victims too. For starters there is a huge Christian pro-life literature about women who get abortions and later feel self-hatred and regret for having killed their child.

There also is a widespread belief that many poor women abort their children because they feel they can't afford raising them, and thus get bullied into abortion by the mills that make money from abortions.

Obviously abortion is a rather larger calamity for people who have been aborted, but the Christian community sees lots of cultural and economic pressure on women to get abortions as well as a lack of reinforcement in the wider culture that life begins at conception and is no less worthy of protection whether you're 100 years old, 1 year old or one day old.

But doctors should know better, so the criminal sanctions would be aimed at them. And for pro-lifers you can liken doctors to drug dealers--going after them, if successful, will protect more lives than throwing masses of women into jail.

I can't vouch for Mike Huckabee personally and he was never my favorite presidential candidate. But the belief that women who get abortions are also victims is a common tenet among Christians whose faith revolves around sin, forgiveness and redemption.

Similar themes without the specific Christian or religious element are shared by other pro-lifers; probably Nat Hentoff would be one of the more famous examples. And I don't know how he views criminalization, but for people with his outlook it makes perfect sense to view women getting abortions the same as drug addicts.

These views have been around for a long time and nothing could be more rational if you accept the premises. Philosophically there's nothing ad hoc about it. As to exactly where Huckabee is coming from, ah, well, who can see into human hearts...

Saint Croix said...

Actually I'd rephrase--since Palin (and/or Todd) knew she was at risk for Downs Syndrome, she should be sued or held criminally liable for getting pregnant, once Trig-tard was diagnosed with DS. Whoop. In a rational State, Trig would have been aborted.

I call Nazi.

J said...

Oh cool!! Time for an update: In a rational State, Trig and JoeJo the Stalchek would have been aborted.

DADvocate said...

One aspect of the pro-abortion debate are the laws that define killing a baby in a car wreck or such as a crime while that same baby could have been legally aborted. Life as either started or not. You can't have it both ways.

A Future Metaphysician said...

I must take issue with the "less than fully libertarian" phrase. I'm NOT a libertarian, but I see no contradiction between libertarianism as such and a pro-life position, anymore than I see a contradiction between libertarianism and infanticide. As long as there are humans who cannot exercise their full capacity for choice (children, incompetents, etc.), libertarian theory must harmonize liberty and justice somehow. If we choose to include unborn children with born children, we get "pro-life libertarianism." If we draw a line at birth, we get "pro-choice libertarianism." Both are bona fide forms of libertarianism in my book.

Trooper York said...

I do salute J for being an honest man because he calmly and firmly states the policy of Obama, Biden and the rest of the Democratic Party.

They all think this way. J is willing to say it out loud.

I salute you as an honest man.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)



The Small Pathetic Voice begins its natural regression, apparently only capable of sustaining a near-rational state for a small length of time. It’s kind of like particle decay.

I have never understood how being “libertarian” means “pro-life” as Rothbard and a number of more doctrinaire libertarians avow. How so, libertarianism means accepting the decisions and actions of rational consenting adults. In abortion, as currently constituted, only ONE of three parties is consulted, the mother. Of course, the fetus can have NO say, and yet the decision affects it, in a most profound and fundamental way. As a libertarian, I would be a pro-life libertarian, and would argue any other position is NOT libertarian.

Carol_Herman said...

The GOP is not running a race, yet.

What we see is a stampede!

Lots of favorites. Or at least a few who can raise money.

And, Sarah Palin, who can raise the visuals.

Why does obama have to do anything at all?

Just like in the old Wild West westerns. All the stuff happens. And, only later on does the sheriff appear. Like High Noon.

We're not a High Noon yet.

Trooper York said...

Carol Herman knows about as much about Westerns as she does about baseball.

Nada as my buddy J might say.

Trooper York said...

In High Noon the Sheriff is in every freakin scene in the movie.

Brad said...

The point's been made but here's another crack at it ....

Are we free to kill people we find "inconvenient"?

I assume even the staunchest libertarian would say "no."

So - if that same libertarian believes a child, once conceived, is a "people", why wouldn't he oppose abortion?

RonF said...

If a woman decides she wants a tattoo or a piercing, she is deciding what she wants to do with her body. If a woman decides to get an abortion, she is deciding what to do with someone else's body. Not interfering with the former while banning the latter are both consistent with libertarianism as I understand it.

Absent rape, engaging in behavior that can lead to pregnancy is a choice. Requiring people to keep from killing people in order to not have to live with the consequences of their choices is not at odds with libertarianism.

Carol_Herman said...

Nah, in a political state, Trig was safe. Palin couldn't afford the abortion (politically speaking.)

There was once a great article in an old New York Times Magazine section. It discussed Downs Syndrome. And, how it tended to bust up the marriages of lawyers. And, other highly credentialed folk.

But then it compared this to a farmer's wife. Who had one retarded child after having twelve others. She said she loved the fact that her "boy" was always gonna be with her on the farm. As all the other kids had up and left.

Then she added because she had a large number of children, her boy would be well cared for by his brothers and sisters.

Sometimes, ya know?

Parents worry about their kids.

Even what happens to a retarded child who grows up.

As to abortions? THEY ARE NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!

But as a topic that belongs to the GOP field ... be my guest.

Saint Croix said...

In another thread Althouse writes this:

Now, clearly, the more strongly you are opposed to abortion (and birth control), the more horrifying forced abortion and forced birth control seem.

Is this true?

I would think a forced abortion would be horrible to any person--outside of, you know, Nazis.

But Althouse is arguing a pro-life woman would be more horrified at a forced abortion than a pro-choice woman.

Understand that a forced abortion is an actual attack on a woman by the state. Kinda like kicking a pregnant woman on the street in order to kill her baby.

Why is that pro-lifers are more appalled by that than pro-choicers? I don't get it.

J said...

Little Joe Joe the anti-rationalist and Kissingerite--the argument's jus a bit subtle for you, dumbass. That's the problem.
Small is your IQ, Joejoe. Don't even try to put on some bogus christian act either garbage. Most jews --at least sane ones--support a first trimester A. right.


Now, play your funky shofar, dreck--

edutcher said...

Once again, J proves he is the ultimate argument for retroactive abortion.

Not to mention the poster child for the War on Drugs.

Triangle Man said...

Defining life as beginning at conception by passing a “Sanctity of Life Act.”

If, and only if, this definition of life means that a person exists at the moment of conception, it seems to follow that an abortion is murder and would be prosecutable as such (see his other point about repealing Roe). If he weasels and says that although "life" begins at conception a person with full rights under the law does not exist until some later time, then we're at the status quo.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
As to abortions? THEY ARE NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS


Just like Slavery, if you don’t own any fine, and if you don’t want to own any fine, don’t tell me what to do, right?

Trooper York said...

J is an honest man. He wants to off all the inconvient people before they can pop out and harsh his mellow.

Just like the Jug Eared Jesus and Clueless Joe want to do.

He is just honest enought to tell you the plan.

Don M said...

Life is self sustaining, and self supporting activity.

Most liberals don't qualify. A fetus doesn't qualify. Liberals and fetae are a species of parasite, at least momentarily unable or unwilling to support itself.

If you wish to support a liberal, or a fetus you will not be stopped. If you wish to remove a liberal or a fetus from your property, you will not be stopped. If you contract with another to remove the liberal or the fetus from your property, you will not be stopped.

MarkW said...

This discussion doesn't make much sense. Libertarians don't condone infanticide or the murder of children, so a libertarian who believed that life began at conception would also believe that abortion should be outlawed.

'Should a fetus enjoy the full moral status and rights of human being (and at what point in its development)?' is not a question that can be resolved by libertarian principles.

Don M said...

Slavery existed only because of government coercion. Slaves had no right to prosecute the slave owner or his agents for assault. Slaves were forced by the state to be property, not by their agreement, but rather by the threat of state sanctioned force exerted by the slave owner, his agents, or the state acting at the request of the slave owner.

Until you assert that the government is forcing people to get abortions, Slavery is not like abortion.

MadisonMan said...

One aspect of the pro-abortion debate are the laws that define killing a baby in a car wreck or such as a crime while that same baby could have been legally aborted.

It's my (maybe wrong) understanding that a lot of the laws that define such charges are recent additions. Do I recall hearing about charges of killing an unborn child in an auto accident when I was younger? No. Would I remember it if I had heard it? Not sure.

chickenlittle said...

J let slip: It's her call, though the bio-dad might have some input--as might a physician. Things get more complicated after four months or so.

I think a case involving "ownership" of DNA is heading towards SCOTUS. In any case, they should be hitting the books on these matters.

n.n said...

When do we assign dignity to a human life?

Paul is right. The only objective measure of human life is when we begin (i.e., conception) and end (i.e., death) development. Anything else is an arbitrary assignment for convenience and cannot be justified other than through false appeals to authority (e.g., scientists).

As we assigned dignity to all humans and classified slavery as both immoral and illegal, we can do the same and extend protection to all human life.

That said, the only certain means by which to ensure this morality will be sustainable, is to pursue it through the process of normalization. As with all moral knowledge, it must be conveyed and voluntarily accepted by each individual. The goal is for people to voluntarily self-moderate their behavior, which will increase the optimal liberty and quality of life we all enjoy.

Since assignment of dignity to human life is a principal moral issue, we would be justified to employ authority to discourage its denigration and devaluation of the latter.

This is, of course, from the perspective of an investor (e.g., mother and father). It is also the implicit position taken by most people when they choose to procreate (i.e., the natural order). However, as likely everyone will agree, the natural order is insufficient to elevate the human condition.

Alternatively, from a systems perspective, the merits of this behavior can be judged by its contribution to increasing the fitness of our species. Now all we need to do is define the fitness function, which will guide development of our system. Unfortunately, if we accept this approach alone... Well, we already know to what extremes individual and group interests have lead us.

So, whether we call it morality or a reconcilable outcome, we need to confirm and enforce a common perception of reality.

Saint Croix said...

Slaves had no right to prosecute the slave owner or his agents for assault.

A baby in the womb has no right to live.

I rewrote one of your sentences for you.

Babies were forced by the state to be property, not by their agreement, but rather by the threat of state sanctioned force exerted by the baby owner, and her agent the abortionist, or the state acting at the request of the baby owner.

Michael K said...

Ron Paul is not as old as I am so he probably missed the era when abortion was illegal. I have seen a fair number of patients who had had illegal, usually amateur abortions. The worst was trying to squirt liquid soap into the cervix. That was usually fatal. One case was the girlfriend of a medical student. I know the chief of service tried to have that medical student expelled but it was another medical school and I don't know what happened.

I have been pro-choice since those experiences. I even did a few abortions when I was affiliating on GYN as a surgery resident. This was 1969 when abortion was legal in California. The residents in OB-GYN hated doing it so I helped out. I hated it too and haven't done one since.

I have a few sad and one funny story about all this but the point is that there are worse alternatives to legal abortion. I do accept that the fetus is a person and so you are approving a form of manslaughter. Very few feminists admit this. It is an ethical swamp and those who tell lies about "bits of tissue" know they are lying but shrink from honesty, as in so many other opinions they hold.

Life's a bitch and then you die.

Phil 3:14 said...

Sometimes people praise pro-lifers' reasonableness, when they note that no punishment is being proposed, upon the ostensible murderer. Perhaps pro-lifers are playing politics, in refraining from seeking jail time for the woman. I think there's another reason lurking beneath their insistance she not be imprisoned: They view the pregnant woman as incapable of sane reflection: She is incapable of citizenship.

So this is just like the Yglesias piece logic.

Either you believe abortion is murder and therefore you logically should want to punish the women (and harshly). And of course the follow up comment would be:

OMG THEY WANT TO PUNISH WOMEN WITH PRISON AND THE DEATH PENALTY!!!!!!!!!

Or you believe abortion is something like murder but not really, and are not interested in punishing women. And therefore your inconsistent, intellectually dishonest, an idiot etc.

Gosh, I bet there are no other ethical/political issues like this. I mean a firm anti-war stance would never struggle with the "what to do with Hitler" question.

It would be more intellectually obvious to state:

"I don't understand your position" than this argument.

And for a "back atcha"

Can you please tell me why third trimester "partial birth abortions" should not be legal for any reason?

Saint Croix said...

Liberals and fetae are a species of parasite, at least momentarily unable or unwilling to support itself.

Born babies can't support themselves either, you fuckwit. Are you killing children up until the age of 2 or what?

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Slaves had no right to prosecute the slave owner or his agents for assault. Slaves were forced by the state to be property, not by their agreement, but rather by the threat of state sanctioned force exerted by the slave owner, his agents, or the state acting at the request of the slave owner.

That argument makes no sense.

Fetuses have no right to prosecute the mother or her agents for asault (contrast a newborn child, who has that right, through an agent of course). Fetuses are subject to the threat of state sanctioned force exerted by the mother, her agents, or others, in the form of abortion.

The "differences" to which you point are simply non-existent.

- Lyssa

J said...

TY: Who really is this freaky "Carol Herman"? Not sure, but sounds like one of the missing regs, bingin'--Fen! or maybe Machos, Alex, Squat, Hayden, Joe Joe--=switching quickly between screens--- OR..... Shouting Assclown, in his favorite dress--like Ed Gein style, made out of his mama's skin.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
Until you assert that the government is forcing people to get abortions, Slavery is not like abortion


I see Abortion, VERY LIKE SLAVERY…a moral issue…whose proponents result to very Calhounesque contortions to justify their evil. With a smattering of john Browns on the “Abolitionist” side, as well.

Pragmatist said...

But lets not "lawyer it up" here. I think we all know what happens when Roe V Wade is repealed. Abortion is made illegal in many states and those who get one or provide one are arrested and prosecuted. Just like before R v W. To pretend otherwise is just to spin reality. Ron Paul is too nutty to be a real libertarian. He just sounds like a closeted social conservative. Libertarianism is based on liberty. Your freedom to do what you will unless it violates the rights of another. The claim that an unborn child is a person in this regard, and thus protected from your actions, is wrong. First, when did the government get so wise that they could determine "when life begins"? If they are too incompentant to regulate the economy they sure did not get smarter when it comes to metaphysical questions. Laws against abortion are state imposed religious values. Why should people go to jail because the christian mullahs and vatican prelates decide their are some rights that they do not recognize.

Malcolm Kirkpatrick said...

I tell this joke to defuse tension when the subject of abortion arises:...

After they sent the kids off to school and washed the dishes, three housewives, neighbors, met for coffee and coffee cake. The conversation turned to abortion. One woman, a Catholic, said: "Abortion is murder. I don't see how you can see it any other way. Once the sperm and ovum join the cell has 46 chromosomes and development is smooth from then on. Birth is an artificial dividing line; a fetus that's two weeks overdue is more developmentally advanced than a baby who's a month premature. Human life begins at conception."
The Protestant woman then said: "If a cell with 46 chromosomes is human, then getting pregnant is reckless endangerment, since more than 1/3 of all pregnancies end spontaneously. If 46 chromosomes makes a cell human, then you'd be committing mass murder when you brush your teeth and appendectomy would be murder. Human life begins when the baby can live independently of its mother. Human life begins at birth."
Then the Jewish woman answered: "You're both wrong. Human life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies."

hombre said...

I'm not prepared to read Iglesia's bullshit to find out, but I wonder if he thinks libertarianism means tolerating murder.

Saint Croix said...

The only objective measure of human life is when we begin (i.e., conception) and end (i.e., death) development. Anything else is an arbitrary assignment for convenience and cannot be justified other than through false appeals to authority (e.g., scientists).

I know I'm spitting into the wind here, but I do not think pro-lifers help our cause when they cannot distinguish between an IUD and a partial-birth abortion.

hombre said...

First, when did the government get so wise that they could determine "when life begins"? 2:14 PM

"Wisdom" is not required, just a fundamental understanding of human embryology.

Dustin said...

"I have seen a fair number of patients who had had illegal, usually amateur abortions. "

I don't understand your point.

Granted, if conventional murder were legalized, it would also be less dangerous for the murderers. I could just hire a professional to go over to my enemy's house and surgically slay him.

So what?

It's still wrong.

Whether abortion is morally wrong has nothing to do with the fact that illegal abortions are quite dangerous.

It's cherry picking a rare event to assert a dramatic and irrational point.

BTW, I think abortion should be illegal unless the life of the mother is in peril. It should be no different than a conjoined twin... killing one is wrong unless you have no alternative.

And the penalty should be pretty severe.

Why? Because I think a fetus should have rights despite not being born. I think there is a difference between a detectable zygote and the mere potential for one to occur.

Too often the argument for eliminating the rights of a fetus is to say having a baby when it's not convenient is a punishment on the mother (that's Obama's argument). That's selfish and abhorrent when you consider you're justifying eliminating a human being from having a chance at life.

I can't say what the penalty should be, but certainly a felony.

Cedarford said...

Gavin Sullivan said...
Abortion is a special kind of murder--against which a 50¢ fine would constitute excessive punishment.

When asking 'pro-lifers' what punishment they would find most appropriate, we generally find that they seek zero punishment against the woman undergoing an illegal abortion--and a heavy punishment against (providers).
================
It is a real problem when you see the Right to Lifer fanatics worked up into a holy self-righteous froth on the murder of wee little blessed blastocyst babies. But nothing about the murderer mom, all rage on the "contract killer" mom pays.
Conclusions are:

1. RTLrs believe women are too stupid to have "culpability".
2. Imprisoning masses of women would not be good for RTLrs political prospects or their churches.

Fr Martin Fox said...

John Althouse Cohen:

As far as women not being prosecuted, even if abortion is made illegal...

I'll be happy to give you an answer to that, in addition to those already posted.

It's a practical calculation.

Prolifers want to curb abortion; they want to get rid of it entirely, but are not so ridiculous as to think they can end it entirely. Second, it is a fact that punishing women who have abortions is not a good selling point.

So, to borrow a common saying, why make the perfect the enemy of the good?

A law that outlaws abortion, but applies penalties only to the abortionist, accomplishes a great deal, and will be more likely to pass than one with penalties for women.

And, if it really is necessary to enact a penalty for the mothers who seek abortions, that can be weighed once a law banning abortion is put into effect. It's not an unreasonable thing for society to decide, collectively, both to curb abortion, but to choose not to be overly draconian about it.

Dustin said...

""Wisdom" is not required, just a fundamental understanding of human embryology."

That's just dogma.

Progressives call pseudo science an objective reality, and as soon as someone actually calls attention to real science, they scream about how offended they are.

What laziness. A six month old child is different from a three month fetus in many ways, but mostly in terms of degree rather than type. They are still dependent. They still might not make it, so are 'potential' for being a 'person' under the progressive definition.

hombre said...

Laws against abortion are state imposed religious values. 2:14 PM

This is a fatuous statement (it does not rise to the level of argument). It is axiomatic that while religious values and moral values may overlap, they are not necessarily the same.

rhhardin said...

I'd claim that a baby isn't a person even after birth, except to those who care for it, and of course the law because you have to have a bright line somewhere, and at that point society takes an interest and cuteness kicks in. We care for our children.

But people treat it as a baby only.

What's your earliest memory?

Why is it that it isn't very early?

I'd say your relationships being pretty one-sided has a lot to do with it.

The question is really about what the grammar of "person" actually is, which has to be found out rather than imposed.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
The claim that an unborn child is a person in this regard, and thus protected from your actions, is wrong


I see what are they then? They’ll BECOME humans…are you suggesting there is some miraculous scientific/mystical (you choose) transformation that occurs near, at, around the time of birth that converts it from a FETUS into a HUMAN BEING? That’s why I say Abortion is like Slavery…Fetus’’ ain’t real folk, just like the niggra’s wasn’t real folk, not like you an’me…no, it might be wrong to hold a WHITE person as a slave, but not an African, ‘cuz they ain’t REAL people.

As Pro—Slavery folks tried to make the case that Africans weren’t really people, so too Pro-Choicers make equivalent arguments about fetus’. Yeah it’s a clump of cells…and when can know whose DNA is represented, know that undisturbed it will grow into a human being, how then is it not a human being? Sure I’ll grant it’s not a “person”…it has no ideology, personality, or any of the software that is associated with being either an adult or a child, but it IS human.

Cedarford said...

Conclusion 3

When RTLrs say there is absolutely noi difference bewetten killing a child of 6, a 3rd trimester fetus, a blessed zygote, using an IUD, or a women that miscarried because she wanted to ski while pregnant....
The RTLrs actually are blowing ideological smoke and don't mean half of what they say.

(Cue Tom DeLay getting in a Holy lather about the Terri Schiavo vegetable..then the hemming and hawing about how he and his wife pulled the plug on her Dad)

rhhardin said...

An orphan baby Robin develops a personality (you'd be inclined to put say) at two weeks, which is when it recognizes you as the milk-soaked cat kibble bearer.

After a month it's hanging around in the trees in the backyard waiting for you to come home, hoping for a blueberry.

It develops its side of the relationship, drawing out the word in question.

Credo said...

After 32years asOB/GYN I saw two cases where ending a pregnancy saved mom's life. Abortion on demand ESP. Late term is murder.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

When RTLrs say there is absolutely noi difference bewetten killing a child of 6, a 3rd trimester fetus, a blessed zygote, using an IUD, or a women that miscarried because she wanted to ski while pregnant....
The RTLrs actually are blowing ideological smoke and don't mean half of what they say.


Well Cederford certainly told off all of those people who said that!

Wait, who said that again?

Fr Martin Fox said...

There is a fundamentally irrational notion at the heart of so much liberal thinking about abortion, which seems to me the only way to explain Yglesias' reasoning.

It is to accept the legitimacy of the concept that human dignity and personhood for the unborn can be left as subjective judgments applied by individual people, rather than something that has to have some objective quality.

You know the line: well, we all get to decide for ourselves whether we think an unborn child is a person or a human being, and so it's a personal choice whether to say it's wrong or not.

It's just a dodge. It's only valid if, in fact, you rule out, as an objective fact, the personhood of the unborn child.

It's like saying, well, we all know dogs aren't really people; but you know how Aunt Sophie is...if she wants to treat Fifi that way...

Put it another way; no one whose personhood is in question would accept this new status.

When talking about human beings, and their rights, it is appalling that anyone can think we can afford to be cavalier about whether someone who *might* be human, is actually determined to be such.

Example: you find a large bundle in an alley, about the size and weight of a human body. It's all wrapped up in cloth; it's bloody. it's moving, as if it were a human being whose been badly injured but is still alive. But until you look more closely, you do not know if that's a human body, or a bag of garbage with a possum in it.

So what do you do? Who says it's moral to say, it's not really necessary to determine one way or the other.

Obviously no one has to answer this question, but here it is.

If you have operated on the assumption that a fetus is not a person, not entitled to the rights and presumptions of, well, the rest of us...can you even concede the possibility you are wrong? And if you are wrong, what are the implications of that?

I really am not capable of fathoming a process of moral reasoning in which one is a person when Sally says so, then ceases to be one, when Joe weighs in.

rhhardin said...

I think R vs W is wrong, and it ought to be a political decision.

That ends the argument.

It goes the way people vote.

An election works like a bet - it heads off an altercation.

Anyway it does if you don't have unions involved.

Saint Croix said...

The only objective measure of human life is when we begin (i.e., conception) and end (i.e., death) development. Anything else is an arbitrary assignment for convenience and cannot be justified other than through false appeals to authority (e.g., scientists).

I think the "life" question is not at all helpful. The "death" question is much more specific. More importantly, it is one we have already spoken on as a society. Total brain death is the standard in all 50 states. It's the rule for all people, except the unborn.

So we have a rule in place for when people die. And we do not apply that rule to the unborn because we have dehumanized them as a matter of law.

That's basically it.

Spiritual people think death is defined by when the soul leaves your body. We can't measure that. But we can (and do) measure death in other ways. And it is not, in my opinion, arrogance to have a medical definition for when people die.

See this to see how the Pope has struggled over this issue.

I have no opinion in regard to what would be a good rule. But I have a very strong opinion in regard to what the fucking rule is. Total brain death.

If we applied our own death statutes to this issue--which is what the Supreme Court would do if they actually gave a fuck--you would never find an unenumerated right to have an abortion after the baby starts having activity in her brain.

Fr Martin Fox said...

I said..."Put it another way; no one whose personhood is in question would accept this new status."

Correction...

...no one whose personhood is NOT in question would accept this new status.

Trooper York said...

Lyssaskinnyredhead said....
Well Cederford certainly told off all of those people who said that!

Wait, who said that again?"


It had to be some Jewish dude. Just sayn'

rhhardin said...

I really am not capable of fathoming a process of moral reasoning in which one is a person when Sally says so, then ceases to be one, when Joe weighs in.

It's a process that takes into account that you have to find out what person means in the language that humans have built.

You can take a theoretical, theological or dogmatic approach - here's what it has to mean - or you can be curious about it.

It's like gay marriage. You can be dogmatic or curious. It doesn't seem like this is marriage, is the starting point.

It doesn't seem like this is a person, is the other starting point.

Some things are right for personhood but other things are wrong.

That's the process, and it is moral reasoning.

As Cavell said of Wittgenstein, he's one of the philosophers whose moral theory is not independent of his epistemology.

Check out Stanley Cavell on what a chair is (a few pages). He is very careful about the possibilities.

Consider what an argument would look like urging a similar approach to personhood.

A lot of good will would be required.

mariner said...

Neither Yglesias nor his audience have any respect for truth, so his credibility doesn't really matter.

Fr Martin Fox said...

RHHardin:

I'm not trying to be difficult...

But are you willing to have your own personhood treated this way?

Even if you don't like the idea, why shouldn't it be anyway?

(I studied Wittgenstein in the seminary and maybe I was sleepy; not saying he's got nothing to say, but...I don't think he's all that helpful.)

R.C. said...

Ron Paul's pro-life stance is entirely consistent with his libertarianism.

I don't think we need quibble about whether he believes the outlawing should be done at the federal or at the state level. As I understand it, Paul's federalism obligates him to think that this is a matter for the states. Fine. But in his own state, he would certainly argue for outlawing abortion.

There is nothing inconsistent between this, and Ron Paul's libertarianism. Indeed, libertarians are often pro-life and anti-abortion-legalization.

Yes, it's true, a majority of libertarians are pro-legal-abortion. This majority explains the position of the Libertarian Party as a party on this issue. But there has always been a large minority of pro-life libertarians.

Anyway, neither the pro-life nor the pro-choice position is, by itself, inconsistent with libertarianism.

The difference follows from each side's different answer to a question of fact about which libertarianism says nothing: "Is an unborn human a person?"

Those libertarians who answer this question "yes" are opposed to legal abortion, if they are consistent in their libertarianism. And those who answer this question "no" are opposed to outlawing abortion, if they are consistent in their libertarianism.

For, if the unborn human is a person, then they have all the intrinsic, unalienable rights of persons, including the right not to be killed at the whim of another person. And because governments are instituted to use force to protect the rights of persons, it is a primary obligation of government to use force to protect the rights of unborn persons. (Libertarians do believe in this primary obligation: They are libertarians, not anarchists.)

All this follows inexorably from the belief that an unborn human is a person. But not everyone agrees that unborn humans are persons.

Now, some argue that they aren't sure whether unborn humans are persons, or even that this is unknowable. (This, however, tends to favor the pro-life position; for of course fundamental morality stipulates that if you're not sure, you must err on the side of not killing a person. In law, "not being sure" isn't the difference between guilt and innocence; it's only the difference between premeditated murder and criminally negligent manslaughter.)

So advocates of legal abortion argue that they can and do know, with reasonable certainty, that unborn humans are not persons.

This makes their position (that abortion must remain legal) obligatory: For of course to compel a woman to do XYZ with her body when another person's life is NOT at stake is evilly oppressive.

Now, libertarianism does not come with a built-in epistemology or metaphysics which allows us to answer with certainty whether an unborn human is a person or not.

These philosophical views are adopted by libertarians from other sources. Certain philosophical arguments which lead to a conclusion of unborn personhood are perfectly consistent with libertarianism. So are other philosophical arguments which happen to lead to the opposite conclusion.

There is therefore no inconsistency, on either side. This is just a matter of Libertarians being principled...but of getting different answers when they apply those same principles to different fundamental assumptions.

halpap said...

Since presumably all libertarians are against murder, the question is when life begins. If Ron Paul believes life begins at conception, it is in no way inconsistent to be libertarian and to oppose abortion. Abortion is only a freedom issue if you don't believe the fetus/baby is alive. If you believe the fetus/baby is a a living person, freedom will not permit its murder

denmotherblog said...

John Althouse Cohen: "I've never heard anyone who's for criminalizing abortion explain why they wouldn't want to prosecute pregnant women, except I've heard Mike Huckabee say he thinks those women are actually "victims." That's obviously an ad hoc rationalization and an extremely condescending attitude, not a rational argument."

An entire industry has developed whose purpose is to convince society in general (and pregnant women in particular) that a zygote/embryo/fetus is a mass of cells and was hysterical over the very idea of exposing women to pregnancy models, ultrasound, etc, on the grounds that she might become upset. Those who make money in that industry also have a financial interest in withholding information about available alternatives, supportive services, etc. Those aren't "ad hoc rationalizations"; they are facts.

Until there is fully informed consent for abortion, I'm not in favor of prosecuting a mother. I'm not in favor of prosecuting a parent who gives a toddler a lethal dose of medication after being assured by the pediatrician that it's safe. I'm not in favor of prosecuting a hungry person who steals food after going to a social service agency for help and not being told about the local food pantry.

One who seeks information but is instead given misinformation of incomplete information, or one who acts under duress, lacks moral agency. It isn't condescending to say so; it's rational.

Delayna said...

"In extremity, some women are going to seek an abortion no matter what we do to discourage her. Some provision has to be made for this."

How about lifetime ineligibility to receive welfare?

The real reduction in abortions will come from recognizing that unborn babies are living human beings. I can't believe that there are *still* people who will argue that a fetus is either not alive, or not human. If it's not alive, the body will dispose of the dead cells. If it isn't human, how can it become a baby? Are these the same people who call xtians, conservatives etc. anti-science?

Maybe people who are pro-choice but would prefer that abortions were rare should stop using the word "fetus" and call it what it is: a baby.


WV: Disturf. I find this whole discussion disturfing.

chickenlittle said...

rhhardin wrote: It's a process that takes into account that you have to find out what person means in the language that humans have built.

The Dutch solved the gay marriage linguistic controversy by including it under the rubric of "civil marriage"-- burgerlijk huwelijk. The concept of church marriage is still called kerkelijk huwelijk and normally doesn't include same-sex marriage. Note that neither concept got a monopoly on the word "marriage:" each is limited to adjectival standing.

If I read you right, we could get around the abortion problem simply by inventing new terms like "civil life" (life according to the State) versus "church life" (i.e., life according to the church).

Canuck said...

"or one who acts under duress, lacks moral agency. It isn't condescending to say so; it's rational."


Women don't lack moral agency.

Pigman said...

I've never heard anyone who's for criminalizing abortion explain why they wouldn't want to prosecute pregnant women.

Well, for starters maybe because once they've had the abortion, they're no longer pregnant women.

Freeman Hunt said...

Being anti-abortion rights is the proper libertarian position.

The same way being anti-slaveholder rights is the proper libertarian position.

Freeman Hunt said...

How many posters on this thread are actually baptized and confirmed Episcopalians?

I am! But I converted to something else a couple years ago.


Same. On all counts!

joeysezcheers said...

Whether or not I am pro or antiabortion is a moot point, if I really wants to be a libertarian president. The real issue is whether or not Roe v Wade should have been a federal issue, or should it be overturned to allow states to rule individually.

Freder Frederson said...

It seems to me that both of these bills are about cutting federal jurisdiction, which would leave the matter of abortion to state courts.

You are hopelessly naive. If life is defined under federal law as beginning at conception, how could any state permit abortions (not to mention some forms of birth control). It would also put an end to many fertility treatments.

chickenlittle said...

Freder Frederson said...
You are hopelessly naive. If life is defined under federal law as beginning at conception, how could any state permit abortions...

I suspect they'd have to start by invoking the type legal analyses used to justify the death penalty and killing enemies of State, inter alia. But even those actions fall short of waterboarding, in case that excites you.

Jim Treacher said...

"If libertarians are so hands-off, why are they in favor of penalties against murder?" He's a keen mind, that Matty Yglesias.

rhhardin said...

@Fr Martin Fox

But are you willing to have your own personhood treated this way?

It is already.

How often is somebody called inhuman.

And consider a law that forbids any unlicensed person to possess a firearm in the city. When a 2yo kid comes into possession of a firearm, nobody takes the law as applying to him. They will say something about a nonce fact to cover the emergency, "He's not old enough to be responsible," etc.

The point is that that's taken to make the law inapplicable, where all the law says is person. He doesn't even go to juvenile justice for it.

It is felt that ordinary language criteria "aren't reliable enough" and so can't be all that's going on. Then you tend to become a dogmatist or theoretician, but don't get anywhere.

On the contrary ordinary langauge criteria are as robust as you could want.

The reason for all this, if I may speculate on why we don't actually know what our words mean and yet are proficient with them, is that you learn to talk by learning to disassemble and reassemble cliches. You learn what can come out and what can go in. That's proficiency, but it relies on conventional context.

The word though seems to know where it goes in other contexts; and it will follow human interests there.

A person will know what those are.

Oh and if you take religion as a poeticization of human interest, then it fits a lot better.

For which see Levinas _Difficult Freedom_ "A Religion for Adults"

Crunchy Frog said...

You are hopelessly naive. If life is defined under federal law as beginning at conception, how could any state permit abortions (not to mention some forms of birth control). It would also put an end to many fertility treatments.

Fine. For statutory purposes, define it as when the zygote attaches to the uterine wall. That leaves enough wiggle room for IUDs, diaphragms, whatever.

I'm prolly one of the few here that has actually been inside an abortion clinic, albeit under circumstances not by my choosing.

We lost a prgnancy at 4 months. Our insurance company, in the name of efficiency, decided the best place to send my wife for the necessary D&E was a euphemistically named "hospital" in West Hollywood we had never heard of.

There was concertina razor wire surrounding the perimeter. When we got inside the staff attempted to keep us segregated from the regular clientele, but I still picked up a conversation between two teenage girls comparing the number of abortions they had had:

"This is my third time."
"My second."
"Aren't you so glad it's over?"

If there was a way I could have killed the girls while saving the babies they were gleefully murdering I would have seriously considered it.

Superdad said...

Ron Paul's pro-life views are nothing new to anyone. In fact he just put out a book that includes an explanation of his position:


http://www.amazon.com/Liberty-Defined-Essential-Issues-Freedom/dp/145550145X/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b

Trooper York said...

One of the accountants who worked with me dated a woman who worked in an abortion mill. Which was very strange because he was an Orthordox Jew and she was as well so I couldn't understand how she could work in an abortion mill like that.

She ended up killing herself.

I always wondered if working in that place had something to do with it.

Trooper York said...

I mean don't get me wrong she was only a secretary and receptionist.

But I think when you around evil like that it has to affect you like lead paint or something. Just sayn'

Synova said...

"Why wouldn't someone who wants abortion to be illegal not want the women who choose to get abortions done be criminally punished?"

Canuck:
"1) women are not capable, and, like the insane and small children, should not be held responsible for their decisions.

or

2) it's a political calculation.
"

Or both.

Anecdotal and random data points to support #1, the woman in the link Althouse had in the last abortion thread, having a panic melt-down who wants to reduce her triplet pregnancy to a single child. and #2, a friend of mine who had a dream that her baby was deformed and decided that this was true and that it must be aborted. Pregnant women (IME) are frequently irrational and emotional. We call this "being hormonal."

Michael K said...

It's cherry picking a rare event to assert a dramatic and irrational point.

Some of us live in the real world and those issues are not irrational to us. You live in a perfect world of your opinions. Having a few people die under your hands in spite of everything you can do changes your certainty of your own opinions.

I would have happily seen the medical student boyfriend prosecuted but the only witness was dead, so to speak. I suppose you would have prosecuted that dying terrified girl.

I just wept.

Synova said...

"The claim that an unborn child is a person in this regard, and thus protected from your actions, is wrong. First, when did the government get so wise that they could determine "when life begins"?"

How does government have anything to do with it? A government declaration does not change what is true or not true.

That government is not capable of determining when life begins, is government therefore prohibited from protecting life? As several people have pointed out, can government not prohibit or punish murder?

Obviously, the question of the beginning of life doesn't prohibit government from protecting life.

It's sort of funny... I just started back to university (after 25 years) and have a critical thinking class and the instructor took exception to the first statement in the text. "The ability to reason is the fundamental characteristic of human beings." I think that could be reworded so it works, maybe something like, "The ability to reason is a fundamental characteristic of humanity." I like that better. But the way it stands I asked, do we cease to be human (if it is a "fundamental characteristic") if we lose our ability to reason? Do we stop being human if we permanently lose the ability to reason? Do we stop being human if we temporarily lose the ability to reason? Are we not human if we have not yet attained the ability to reason?

Some people really do say that we do and use this to promote eugenic policies.

The next question might be something like... What if you can reason but not all that well, what if you are impaired? What if the proof of your impairment is that you come to the wrong conclusions?

Very quickly we find ourselves in a Wells or Orwell or Huxley or Philip K. Dick novel.

Synova said...

During the first week of school all the organizations are out recruiting, including the military, so there were some anti-military/war/recruiting people out, too. (Only a handful I saw when I came out of the books store.)

One fellow had a sign, "Taxes are Theft, War is Murder." I took this as an indication that he was probably a Ron Paul voter. I'm not up to engaging anyone like this yet, but I thought it would have been interesting to ask him, "But is murder wrong?"

I think there is a logical problem with insisting on the conclusion that if abortion is murder, then no matter what the circumstances, it is always wrong and every bit as wrong as the worst murder.

Allowing the notion of mitigating circumstances really is not something we're unaccustomed to doing. Suddenly finding an insurmountable logic error proven by a sudden inability to consider circumstances while still holding that it is what it is, is sort of, you know, convenient if you're trying to portray your opponent as unreasonable.

Saint Croix said...

Why wouldn't someone who wants abortion to be illegal not want the women who choose to get abortions done be criminally punished? Even if the doctor is the one who directly performs the abortion, you're still liable for encouraging someone to commit a crime.

It's hard enough to outlaw abortion without having women freak out that they will be prosecuted for the abortions they have already had.

Such prosecutions would be impossible. They's unconstitutional under the ex post facto clause. But people freak out nonetheless.

Also, liberals try to hide the reality of abortion. They've been doing that for years. No photographs of abortion so you can see what you have done. No information for the pregnant woman about her baby. My newspaper today ran an editorial on how horrible it is to require a doctor to show a pregnant woman a sonogram.

Abortion doctors are the bottom of the medical profession. Most of them are nowhere near any hospital. The infamous Dr. Carhart wasn't allowed to even practice inside a hospital. And every single one of these assholes is violating the Hippocratic Oath.

When you read about a case like this one, do you seriously think that the pregnant women is equally to blame? It's they who are "encouraging someone to commit a crime"? Holy crap.

mockmook said...

Since it is reasonable to believe that a fetus is a person, I think the state can impose restrictions on terminating that life.

However, pregnancy is unusual in that the woman "owns" that person for ~ 9 months.

Therefore, I don't think it is unreasonable that a woman might have little or no punishment if she "illegally" terminates her pregnancy.

Synova said...

I don't think that the reasonable reason for some leeway for the mother is based on her ownership but because the rights of the fetus/baby may be in conflict with her own. That one supersedes the other ought not be automatic in either direction. "Life of the mother" is a pretty obvious situation where the rights of the mother ought to count more than the life of the fetus, but other less dire situations (as well as accidental or incidental harm) can be a bit squishy as well without having to decide that the baby isn't a life and has no rights.

Bender said...
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hombre said...

Dustin wrote: "'Wisdom' is not required, just a fundamental understanding of human embryology."

That's just dogma.
2:25 PM

What's "just dogma? "A fundamental understanding of human embryology?"

And what does human embryology have to do with progressive "pseudo science?"

I suppose it's possible that I'm the one who's confused, but ....

Bender said...

She ended up killing herself.
I always wondered if working in that place had something to do with it.


On a related note, Nancy Cruzan's father ended up killing himself.

A culture of death will permeate more death.

Trooper York said...

Working in an abortion clinic is almost as dangerous as being married to a Real Housewive of Beverly Hills.

adeadfish said...

Not much reason to dwell on abortion/race/marriage issues at this time in our nation's history. (In my humble opinion)

"The truth includes some unpleasant facts: (1) we are engaged in badly misguided wars that we can't win and that are adding trillions to the debt; (2) we can't afford military spending that is larger than that of the rest of the world combined; (3) our decades-long meddling abroad is the root cause of terrorism aimed at us; (4) fiat money is the principal method by which the state keeps increasing in size and power without overtly increasing taxation; (5) the prevailing interventionist model of the economy is broken; and (6) our habit of consuming more than we produce can only lead to disaster."

-quote by "cognate"

sorepaw said...
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sorepaw said...
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jr565 said...

Libertarianism is not synonymous with"anything goes."


sometimes it's hard to think otherwise, considering how libertarians keep saying that govt should mind it's own business. Are you suggesting that govt can sometimes intrude into peoples personal lives?

Michael K said...

The decision to isolate abortion providers in special clinics was actually made by proponents of legal abortion in the United States.

In fact, many abortions are performed on mainstream hospitals and surgicenters. They provide lower profits so the mills, like Planned Parenthood, use their own facilities.

Eric said...

There is a fundamentally irrational notion at the heart of so much liberal thinking about abortion, which seems to me the only way to explain Yglesias' reasoning.

You're being charitable. Occam's razor says Yglesias is one of those people who went to all the right schools but just isn't that bright.

Fr Martin Fox said...

@ RH Hardin

It's maybe late to make this point, but...

With all this talk about your personhood...

It's not legal to kill you. That's how you're personhood is safe, but not so much for an unborn child.

bagoh20 said...
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bagoh20 said...

This organism becomes a person when we say so. That's the only standard that matters to them or us. There is no science or higher authority to take the responsibility away. What are we prepared to kill by the millions for the sake of convenience? To violently tear asunder an innocent organism that is our progeny, and violate our highest responsibility as a organism on this planet.

I don't know when we set that point, but we seem to not take it very seriously, and expect that there is someone else responsible for what it means when we do.

At what point in the development of the fetus are you comfortable enough to do it to your own progeny or to others with your own hand. That is the question for us. We decide, and then it happens...a lot.

Levi Starks said...

libertarianism begins at conception

Canuck said...

"Pregnant women (IME) are frequently irrational and emotional. We call this "being hormonal."


NOrmal pregnant women have the capacity to make moral choices.

I'm not including the times when someone is psychotic from post-partum or other biochemical issues.

But normal adult women can make moral choices. Normal pregnant women have the capacity to vote, to sign contracts and to make moral choices.

To deny them this is to deny women their free will. To deny them this is to undercut the argument that women ought to possess the rights of citizenship, and it encourages the idea that adult women need a male guardian (Saudi Arabia).

Saint Croix said...

Not much reason to dwell on abortion/race/marriage issues at this time in our nation's history.

I'm sure there were a lot of economic issues in the 19th century, including depressions. Very important issues to the people living in those times.

But what we remember about that society now, more than anything, is the slavery.

So I concede the importance of the economic issues to most Americans (including myself).

But if pro-lifers are right, and we have indeed legalized infanticide, then this is the issue by which our society will be judged.

Joanna said...

The scientific evidence regarding when life begins is as highly politicized as global warming. Neither can be accepted as f-a-c-t until the politics are taken out of the scientific inquiry. Til then, it's just personal opinion and gut instinct -- which is fine for establishing opinions but silly for establishing laws.

In other words, if you believe in global warming, then you cannot poo poo those who believe abortion is murder. And vice versa.

Revenant said...

But if pro-lifers are right, and we have indeed legalized infanticide, then this is the issue by which our society will be judged.

Sitting in judgment of the past is one of the pleasures of the present. I wouldn't dream of denying future generations the opportunity to feel morally superior.

Revenant said...

sometimes it's hard to think otherwise, considering how libertarians keep saying that govt should mind it's own business. Are you suggesting that govt can sometimes intrude into peoples personal lives?

Pro-lifers claim the fetus is a human being. Killing a human being without his or her consent obviously doesn't fall under the header of "people's personal lives".

The general rule of thumb for libertarianism is "if you aren't allowed to do it, the government shouldn't be allowed to do it either".

rhhardin said...

@Fr Martin Fox

With all this talk about your personhood...

It's not legal to kill you. That's how you're personhood is safe, but not so much for an unborn child.


Murdering is illegal, not killing.

I'd suggest you had to word it killing because the personhood of the fetus has too many things wrong with it.

You can kill anything, plants or other animals for example. All it needs is to be living, not to be a person.

Words have this knowledge that can be yelled at from a theoretical or dogmatic position, as if words need to learn something. As if they don't distinguish what really should be important, rather than having developed on exactly what's really important to people.

It's something to be curious about.

Wittgenstein did it for things that drove philosophy mad ("Is this really a ball of wax? You don't strictly speaking see all of it. Only a front surface..."), and Cavell extended it to explicitly moral reasoning. "A doll may be rags to me, if I have doll blindness. Can someone be person blind?"

Marshal said...

"Yglesias makes some good points about the less-than-fully-libertarian quality of Ron Paul's libertarianism. "

Maybe Yglesias has some good criticisms of Paul's lack of libertarianism, but if so this isn't one of them. Being against abortion isn't anti-libertarian. Virtually all libertarians support anti-murder laws.

Saint Croix said...

You can kill anything, plants or other animals for example. All it needs is to be living, not to be a person.

We kill plants and other animals for food.

So would you cook and eat a fetus, rhhardin?

Why not?

I wonder if this guy read Wittgenstein?

Have you considered the possibility that unelected people--even really smart unelected people who read Wittgenstein--have classified babies as non-persons just because they have the power to do so?

Saint Croix said...

I wouldn't dream of denying future generations the opportunity to feel morally superior.

Are you quoting John Calhoun?

Saint Croix said...

I will quote John Calhoun. Here he is, on the slavery question:

"The interval between the decay of the old and the formation and the establishment of the new constitutes a period of transition which must always necessarily be one of uncertainty, confusion, error, and wild and fierce fanaticism."

Saint Croix said...

The decision to isolate abortion providers in special clinics was actually made by proponents of legal abortion in the United States.

Yes, it was done to make abortions as cheap as possible for the woman. Clinics are cheaper than hospitals.

The Supreme Court actually held it was unconstitutional for a state to require that a 2nd or 3rd trimester abortion take place in a hospital.

Wrap your head around that. A safety regulation for a woman having an abortion was declared illegal.

If you read Carhart II Justice Ginsburg lists all the injuries a woman might suffer with the D & E procedure.

She is arguing on behalf of partial-birth abortion. But of course the argument cuts the other way, too. If D & E is so dangerous to a woman--or even potentially dangerous--then why is it unconstitutional to require it to take place in a hospital?

Saint Croix said...
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Sarpedon said...

I think Yglesias' point was that if you read between the lines, of course Paul's "Sanctity of Life Act" would require criminal prosecutions of women who terminate pregnancies. If you define life as beginning at conception, then abortion is murder, and murderers must be punished by the law. To ignore this is at least as intellectually dishonest as anything Yglesias has said. Whether it is defined as first, second, or third degree murder, or if a new category is created for it, it would still open women up to criminal prosecution for terminating pregnancies. Leaving it to the states changes nothing. Sure, in a state like Vermont, state's attorneys could refuse to prosecute women who terminate pregnancies, but in states like Utah, miscarriages could theoretically be investigated as potential homicides. Yglesias is wrong only in saying that Paul has loudly trumpeted this view. He has not. He loudly trumpets his pro-life bonafides, but nowhere has he ever hinted at the implication that women who terminate pregnancies could face criminal prosecution. That might turn off some of his libertarian followers. But just because he hasn't said it, doesn't mean it isn't a virtually guaranteed consequence of any sort of "Sanctity of Life Act"