October 20, 2011

"Herman Cain Tells Piers Morgan That He Is Anti-Abortion, Yet Pro-Choice?"

Mediate has that headline, as if it's hard to fathom. But I think most Americans are anti-abortion yet pro-choice. I am.

As I view the clip at the link — and it cuts off just at the point where I'd ask a few more questions — Herman Cain believes abortion should be legal. He can maintain his own opinion that abortion is always wrong and, at the same time, that it is the woman's decision and that it is not the role of government to intervene.

In the clip, he says the same thing about homosexuality. He thinks that it's wrong, and also that it's not the government's role to prevent anyone from choosing to engage in homosexual behavior. Piers Morgan drags him into the question whether homosexuality is inborn, and the 2 men never draw the distinction between homosexual orientation and homosexual behavior. Whether it's inborn or not, there's a choice about acting out on your desires, and since Cain — I think! — sees that choice as belonging to the individual and not to the government, the science question about the origin of homosexual orientation is irrelevant. I love the idea of freedom of choice, based on a commitment to freedom, as opposed to a concession to the hard facts of biology. (And I remember when people who supported gay rights were enthusiastic about sexual orientation as a choice and got quite angry at a scientist who studied sexual orientation at the biological level.)

What's missing from that Mediaite clip — perhaps not from the interview as a whole — is whether Cain wants to see the Supreme Court overrule the cases that find constitutional rights to choose abortion and to choose to engage in homosexual behavior. You can't tell from the statement in the clip that he thinks there are rights that preclude legislation. Cain might be saying that he wouldn't sign legislation depriving the individual of those choices, but that his disapproval of that legislation doesn't mean that there is a constitutional right — which is what his favorite Supreme Court justice says about such things.

[The law criminalizing homosexual behavior] “is … uncommonly silly.” Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 527 (1965) (Stewart, J., dissenting). If I were a member of the Texas Legislature, I would vote to repeal it. Punishing someone for expressing his sexual preference through noncommercial consensual conduct with another adult does not appear to be a worthy way to expend valuable law enforcement resources.

Notwithstanding this, I recognize that as a member of this Court I am not empowered to help petitioners and others similarly situated. My duty, rather, is to “decide cases ‘agreeably to the Constitution and laws of the United States.’ ” Id., at 530. And, just like Justice Stewart, I “can find [neither in the Bill of Rights nor any other part of the Constitution a] general right of privacy,” ibid., or as the Court terms it today, the “liberty of the person both in its spatial and more transcendent dimensions,” ante, at 1.

119 comments:

Rose said...

"But I think most Americans are anti-abortion yet pro-choice. I am. "

Me. too. 100%

gregq said...

Why do you believe abortion is wrong?

Is it "wrong" because it's "not pretty"? Or is it wrong because it is the taking of an innocent human life?

If it's the former, that's fine, you're simply not a morally serious person.

If it's the latter, at what other times do you favor having the government look the other way while people kill other innocent people?

We're not talking self defense, or any other sort of justifiable homicide here, after all. That is the killing of a guilty person.

So, what is the baby guilty of, such that it's ok to kill him or her?

I can see someone saying "it's not a baby". What I don't see is how that person then says it's wrong to kill the proto-human creature.

Or is birth control also morally wrong, since by stopping that proto-human creature from coming into existence, it prevented the creation of a human life?

prairie wind said...

Oh, Cain. Stop. You are not able.

PETER V. BELLA said...

I think most Americans are pro jobs. They could really careless about all the rest.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

He can maintain his own opinion that abortion is always wrong and, at the same time, that it is the woman's decision and that it is not the role of government to intervene.

That is basically my position. I think there are rare occasions where abortion is necessary, but in the main abortion is wrong. Especially since birth control is easily obtainable.

However, I don't think that it is the role of government to control, bann OR facilitate abortion.

It is a personal choice. Just as smoking pot, drinking alcohol,
eating 10 Big Macs for breakfast or anything else that should be a personal choice.

Personally, I think abortion is murder.

What I MAINLY object to (other than the mere fact of abortion which each woman will have to deal with in her own soul) is being forced to subsidize it through my taxes or through forced participation in health insurance that mandates premiums to cover those procedures.

Want abortions to be free.....donate money to charities that will provide for the women want abortions. Keep out of my pocket for it.

Lem said...

Althouse goes both ways..

DADvocate said...

But I think most Americans are anti-abortion yet pro-choice.

Only because abortion will not be outlawed in the forseeable future. I recognize the need for abortion in circumstances of genuine threat to a woman's life and/or physical health. But, for convenience is sick.

One can fight against abortion by convincing others not to have one and not having one themselves. Of course, you have to weather the accusations of fascist pig when you do this. Plus, try to unravel the "it's my body and I can do with it what I want, but you can't be a prostitute and be paid for sex logic."

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mr said...

Wow, J. That was particularly ugly.

J said...

One could argue that abortion should be mandatory (in some cases at least). Jus' think of all the problems we'd been spared had Mama Cain....had the little Hermie removed pre-delivery.

traditionalguy said...

The interview is worth watching.

Morgan went after Herman with every tool in the liberal play book, and Herman did well.

The outcome was vintage Herman Cain...his enemy became another friend.

MadisonMan said...

I think most Americans are practical and recognize that abortion is something that's been around forever and it's not going to be legislated out of existence.

roesch/voltaire said...

I think most folks realize that abortion is not to be encouraged, but also recognize that it is a difficult moral decision to be made by the individual without the interference from government. I call myself pro-responsibility.

Nonapod said...

If abortion was made illegal in this country tomorrow would that save more lives or would it cost more lives? Would most doctors abide the law? Would most people who otherwise would have gotten an abortion instead carry the baby to term and then give the child up for adoption?

Titus said...

Sometimes I feel like I understand women's pain when giving birth.

It's called the super large pinched loaf. It can be the size of a small baby.

Locomotive Breath said...

The law has always supported choice. A woman has never been required to become involuntarily pregnant.

Locomotive Breath said...

I think most Americans are practical and recognize that abortion is something that's been around forever and it's not going to be legislated out of existence.
=====
Neither is murder. That doesn't mean there shouldn't be a law against it.

prairie wind said...

Keep 'em coming, Locomotive Breath. You're doing great.

Curious George said...

DBQ...you think "abortion is murder" but don't think that the government should intervene?

You normally present sound thinking but this is idiotic.

What other murders do you think should be ok.

Tis is the same argument to all that say "abortion is wrong" but I'm okay with choice. Without defining (like DBQ) why it's wrong, it's just a fucking cop-out.

jimbino said...

Of the Ten Commandments, only two or three are enforced by law. It is easy for me to see that a Christian could hold it sinful not to honor mother and father, to cuss or to skip Sunday church services without advocating everyone's being forced into compliance by law.

I find it curious that no one ever mentions the pregnant woman's right, like that of the kidnap victim, to kill whoever refuses to desist in touching or confining her.

Titus said...

I would never want to abort a pinched loaf.

J said...

Satire --a form of dissent--does tend to offend the Phyliss Schaftlys of the GOP-TP.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

Neither is murder. That doesn't mean there shouldn't be a law against it.

Your argument will have merit when a majority of the US considers abortion to be murder. Happy waiting.

Bill said...

I have to echo the call for a more rational explanation of the "personally opposed, but..." argument.

I'm personally opposed to all manner of actions and activities which I think the government has no business prohibiting or even regulating. But only insofar as those actions don't harm (much less destroy) another human life.

Having real concerns about how far a pro-life government would go to prevent an abortion for a woman who was determined to get one, is no excuse for permitting, even subsidizing, an action that takes an innocent human life, much less enshrining it in law and calling it 'health care'.

Now I'll leave the 'rape, incest, life of the mother' arguments for another time since they raise some different issues and are statistically such a tiny minority of abortions.

So for the 'anti-abortion, pro-choice' people: gregq phrased it pretty well, what is it about abortion that makes it wrong and yet still an acceptable choice?

J said...

Here it is again, Byro the queer-druggie sockpuppet (ala Titus, jimbino,JoseK, gregg, etc etc) getting its bipolar disorder on. Check its creepo blog. Thats the scumbag itself.

yoobee said...

Even the Court in Roe recognized that the government has a legitimate interest in prohibiting abortions in some cases.

How is it overly intrusive for the government to decide that, after 20 weeks of pregnancy (or the point of time after which the fetus could survive outside the womb), there is a strong probability that a human life exists and will not allow its murder?

Regarding the lack of knowing if there is a life or not, why not err on the side of giving the fetus a chance, just in case it is actually a human being? I can think of few similar circumstances in which we are not inclined to give the benefit of the doubt.

Also, less than 4% of abortions (out of about 200,000 performed per year) are performed citing the health of the mother or rape as the reason. So if we can carve out exceptions for those two cases, what other compelling reason is there for preserving abortion? Convenience?

harrogate said...
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harrogate said...

Except you are not accurately representing Cain and his deeply contradictory words, here, Althouse.

The two interviews circulating, the Stossell one and the more recent one, have him saying *all* of the following:

1)Abortion is always wrong, even in cases of rape and incest, no exceptions (you correctly identify that he says these things)

2)It's not the role of of government. And relatedly, when the mother's life is in jeapordy, that's the "family's decision." (you also correctly note that he says this).

3)HOWEVER: in both videos circulating he ALSO says that Abortion should be illegal. He says *ILLEGAL*.

So how can he be pro choice (against government playing a role) on the one hand, but also be an advocate for abortion being illegal on the other? Answer: he cannot take this position and simultaneously make sense.

So from where we are sitting as voters, we can only conclude that

a)he does not understand what the hell he is talking about;

b)he has not made up his mind on the legality question but isn't comfortable admitting this;

c)Really, he is for abortion being illegal in all cases no exceptions, but thinking he might win the nomination, he doesn't want to alienate pro choice voters.

At this point I am going with some combination of a & c. What do you guys think?

J said...

Byro, don't try yr little community college "ethics" BS re abortion. YOU don't know utilitarianism from U-haul. Anyways yr fag preacher wants you to oppose it.

Curious George said...

"DADvocate said

Plus, try to unravel the "it's my body and I can do with it what I want, but you can't be a prostitute and be paid for sex logic."

Go a step further...the premise "it's a woman's body" leads to "it's the woman's responsibility".

Short of rape no maternity issues. No child support.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Tis is the same argument to all that say "abortion is wrong" but I'm okay with choice. Without defining (like DBQ) why it's wrong, it's just a fucking cop-out.

Perhaps it is a cop out. I'm conflicted. I admit it.

I'm not really OK with choice when it comes to killing the unborn child. I think if you have made the "choice" to have unprotected sex, that the results (a child)are your responsibility.

(leaving aside the rare instances of rape that produce a child or the rare medically necessary cases)

I'm also not OK with the federal government controlling our bodies and telling us what we can and cannot do. The government is already intruding into many of our personal choices. Dangerous.

The conflict in abortion is that there is ANOTHER person involved. The baby. A person. A human being.

We aren't allowed to kill or murder inconvenient people, yet some segments of society think is acceptable to kill inconvenient unborn babies.

IMO. Abortion should be rare, unusual and NOT a part of government.

Titus said...

Abortion stops a beating heart.

edutcher said...

Don't worry. Piers Morgan comes from the New Britain - Londonistan, Gordon Brown, Red Ken Livingston.

He doesn't understand concepts like personal freedom.

Kind of like American Lefties.

PS The Lefties are feeling insecure this morning.

J said...

The usual anti-abortion argument depends on positing..a "soul"--offered without proof. So, that's where you start.

Then the A-house trolls and sockpuppets who fancy themselves "ethicists" might solve Hume's fact/value problem. Or at least wiki it.

Pianoman said...

There are several behaviors that I think are morally wrong, but should not be criminalized in a free society. In addition to abortion, I'd add infidelity and lying. We don't want to put people in jail for cheating on their spouses, do we?

This is hardly a new idea. Newt Gingrich floated it 16 years ago:

"At a conference in Atlanta in April, 1995, Gingrich was asked about abortion. "I believe most Americans are pro-choice and anti-abortion." A murmur ran through the mostly conservative audience. He quieted it by insisting on putting values first in lawmaking and suggesting that alternatives to abortion such as adoption must be promoted and their costs eased. Still, the answer sounded to many like President Clinton's 1992 convention speech at which he said abortions should be "safe, legal, and rare."

http://www.issues2000.org/2012/Newt_Gingrich_Abortion.htm

MayBee said...

John Kerry took the abortion is wrong but it must be legal route in 2004. Pretty sure that's Harry Reid's opinion and was Teddy's.

Jason said...

Shorter Althouse, DBQ and about a gazillion other people:

"I strongly believe abortion is wrong but that doesn't mean a damn thing."

lyssalovelyredhead said...

"But I think most Americans are anti-abortion yet pro-choice. I am.

There's not a nice way to say this, but I tend to think that this position, common as it may be, is symptomatic of a weak mind on this issue and an unwillingness to think deeply about one's motives. (I like both Herman Cain and Ann Althouse a lot, and I don't think that they're generally weak minded, but this is situation specific.)

If abortion is wrong, then it must be wrong for a reason. What is that reason? The accepted reason that abortion is morally wrong is that it destroys an innocent human life. That's it, plain as day.

If you don't believe that it is an innocent human life, well, I think that you're being obtuse, because the evidence is clear as day, but at least you're being intellectually consistent. I suppose that you could make an intellectually consistent argument that a human life is not worth the imposition on the mother, but that's a hard case to make.


Abortion is not a moral, let's save people from themselves issue, like homosexuality, prostitution, drugs, and various other victimless crimes (or non-crimes, depending on the circumstances). The victim is tiny, but clearly there, and protecting that victim is indisputably within the proper function of government. It makes no sense to try to have it both ways. It's the equivalent of claiming that one would choose not to abuse children, or keep slaves, but doesn't believe that it is their business to enforce that on others.

- Lyssa

traditionalguy said...

Cain is smarter than he gets credit for. He keeps winning friends while a fierce squabble over second place has erupted between Mitt Perry and Rick Romney and is tearing those two to shreds.

My antenna is beginning to sense that LaAlthouse is coming under Herman's unique ability to unite instead of divide.

Stay tuned to see if cruel neutrality can melt.

MayBee said...

I think most folks realize that abortion is not to be encouraged, but also recognize that it is a difficult moral decision to be made by the individual without the interference from government.

"Most" may make this statement correct, but the left's lionization of Tiller tells me it's not a huge majority.

I'm pro-choice, and I think abortion is horrible. I've known enough people who've had abortions without a minute's thought to know the talk about it always being a difficult moral decision is a romantic notion.

Coketown said...

I believe Althouse explained her stance on abortion using almost the same words in the comments section of a post a few weeks back. Anti-abortion but doesn't think it should be illegal.

I don't understand this. There are many things I'm against personally that I think should be legal. But abortion is in a different category! I'd be curious to know what Cain thinks is wrong about abortion, and then explain why other actions that are similarly wrong yet illegal should remain so while abortion should remain legal. Maybe Althouse, having a similar opinion, could explain it.

harrogate said...

But everyone of course can keep pretending that Cain has the same position as Althouse and others mentioned in this thread. Pretending he didn't say it should be illegal. Of course.

Pastafarian said...

tradguy, I'd say the odds that Althouse will vote for Cain (assuming he wins the nomination) are roughly 0.3% -- that is, just slightly better than the odds that the Brewers will come back from elimination and win this year's World Series.

harrogate said...

" 'Most' may make this statement correct, but the left's lionization of Tiller tells me it's not a huge majority.

Those who "lionized" Tiller did so for reasons that you may not be aware of. Shortly after he was murdered, a slew of testimonials came forward from people who had gone to him. Did you ever see those?

Or do you just think that Tiller's operation was about giving abortions to women who "changed their minds" 8 months in?

traditionalguy said...

Pasta...But if Cain starts singing Bob Dylan ballads on the campaign trail, there is a small chance she will slip.

MayBee said...

Or do you just think that Tiller's operation was about giving abortions to women who "changed their minds" 8 months in?

I'm certain it was about both.
Aren't you?

How many doctors has Obama issued a statement about upon their deaths?

edutcher said...

One of the issues here is that, if you believe the Constitution, and not the appellate courts' prostitution of it, is the supreme law of the land, than you have to accept that it's a state purview and states are going to differ.

So what Herman said is perfectly valid.

Curious George said...

"Dust Bunny Queen said...
Tis is the same argument to all that say "abortion is wrong" but I'm okay with choice. Without defining (like DBQ) why it's wrong, it's just a fucking cop-out.

Perhaps it is a cop out. I'm conflicted. I admit it.

I'm not really OK with choice when it comes to killing the unborn child. I think if you have made the "choice" to have unprotected sex, that the results (a child)are your responsibility.

(leaving aside the rare instances of rape that produce a child or the rare medically necessary cases)

I'm also not OK with the federal government controlling our bodies and telling us what we can and cannot do. The government is already intruding into many of our personal choices. Dangerous.

The conflict in abortion is that there is ANOTHER person involved. The baby. A person. A human being.

We aren't allowed to kill or murder inconvenient people, yet some segments of society think is acceptable to kill inconvenient unborn babies.

IMO. Abortion should be rare, unusual and NOT a part of government."

"We aren't allowed to kill or murder inconvenient people, yet some segments of society think is acceptable to kill inconvenient unborn babies.?

Frankly DBQ, based on your post, YOU are part of that "some segments".

harrogate said...

"I'm certain it was about both.
Aren't you?"

My feeling is that the overhwelming majority of Tiller's operations were distinctly NOT matters of "oops, I changed my mind." Of course we can never know for sure, but why would you make the assumption that the "oops" narrative was an even mildly substantive part of what he was doing? Do you know something about it that I (and, perhaps, President Obama, to whom you refer above, do not? )

Also, as I have given a good faith answer to your question, could you please articulate what you mean by "Both"? If not "oops I changed my mind," then what, exactly, do you imagine was the driver for Tiller's patients?

harrogate said...

edutcher:

"One of the issues here is that, if you believe the Constitution, and not the appellate courts' prostitution of it, is the supreme law of the land, than you have to accept that it's a state purview and states are going to differ.

So what Herman said is perfectly valid."

Thank you, that does seem to be a possibility for what he was intending to say. That comes *close* to covering the effort to square the statement, "it should be illegal," with "not the role of the government to intervene."

But surely you admit that if this is what he meant, it is about as botched a way of saying it, as one could possibly imagine. He does speak in terms of "choice" without saying *states'* choice. He does
say it should be illegal, without disclaiming that he would stand by a state making it legal. And he does say the gubmit shouldn't intervene, without specifying the *federal* government.

And finally, he says that where the life of the mother is concerned, it should be up to the family.

To voters trying to make sense of his position, that's an awful lot of whaaaaaaaaa?, dontcha think?

Real American said...

it's ok to commit murder, though I'd never do it myself. clarity.

john bord said...

The irony of juxtaposition, freedom revolves around choices. As choices are removed by law, freedoms are lost. Abortion is a moral choice, a lifestyle and the law has been used to impose one lifestyle over another. Compare this the other choices that have been lost and look at the principles of freedom of choices. Look at the mandates the government uses to impose a lifestyle choice on others who do not want to live that way. How people use their moral values and want the government to mandate their morality onto others. Look at the Westboro Baptist church protest, how they want to impose their morality and versa vicea. Look at how the democrats want their way to be imposed. IE..... the recall election.

Life is a series of choices and as choices are removed, freedoms are lost.

Try to grasp what Cain is saying about freedom?

MayBee said...

"Both"? If not "oops I changed my mind," then what, exactly, do you imagine was the driver for Tiller's patients?

How is that confusing?
You brought up the testimonials. I agree there were women who sought late term abortions for reasons other than "oops I changed my mind". There were also women who sought late term abortions because oops they changed their mind.

J said...

Romney and Perry are ahead of Caint, except according to the media channels who say otherwise.

Cain will be returned to his seat next to Ron Paul, pronto--the one marked with "QUACK".

MayBee said...

Of course we can never know for sure, but why would you make the assumption that the "oops" narrative was an even mildly substantive part of what he was doing? Do you know something about it that I (and, perhaps, President Obama, to whom you refer above, do not? )

How can you ask if I know something that you do not when you admit you don't even know?

The fact that Tiller as an individual was such a hero- and his practice so unique- is a good indication that what he did was not overwhelmingly medically necessary. Else his practice and renown would be as common as a heart surgeon's.

Mitochondri-Allie said...

Harrogate, You are correct. I saw the interview in which he said abortion was wrong and should be illegal in all cases.How can he now say he is pro choice? Did he think no one would remember the other interview?

He constantly is hoping voters will just take him at his word , even if he contradicts his own words of a couple weeks ago. Apples oranges, apples ,oranges. Romney had his number.

n.n said...

Homosexual behavior is not biologically productive. It does not positively contribute to the fitness of our species. In this respect, there are numerous behaviors which are in the same class. Those behaviors, including homosexual behavior, are not limited to individuals predisposed to a symmetric orientation.

Homosexual behavior which involves anal insertion increases the risk of transferring antigens (e.g., HIV); but, so do other methods of sexual intercourse for individuals who are promiscuous. However, the rectum was specifically designed, or evolved to become, a space for material processing and waste elimination, and so it is particularly ill-suited for instant gratification.

If we are to respect individual dignity, and unless it can be demonstrated that this behavior poses a risk to individuals other than who consensually engage in it, then it is likely that behavior can be tolerated by society. However, as it is a naturally unproductive behavior, there is no legitimate reason to normalize it for either couples or couplets.

As for abortion, the issue of merit is when society chooses to confer dignity onto a human life. As such, this particular issue is principally concerned with morality. Very much the same as slavery (i.e., involuntary exploitation and captive liberty).

The only objective measure of human life is from conception when development begins and, absent natural or artificial intervention, will emerge as a recognizable human life, which will eventually function as an optimally independent entity.

It is a moral imperative to determine when society assigns dignity to a human life. The only exceptions I would consider are acts of involuntary exploitation (e.g., rape) and incidental harm to the mother, which would merit consent from the mother.

The goal of defining a moral imperative is not to prevent corruption; but, to ensure it remains the exception, and that society enforces that status through the process of normalization, and coercion or punitive measures.

J said...

Lyssa as usual overlooking many issues. Granting that the fetus might have a right in some sense (can a non-person--ie first trimester fetus-- or only potential person have a right??), doesn't the mother's rights outweigh ...her own property, more or less? Especially in case of health issues--but one could (and do) argue that there are also money issues (she can't afford it, it was unplanned, she's unmarried, contraception failed, etc). Ergo, first trimester A. can be pretty well justified from the perspective of the bio-mother's rights.

J said...

Nursey nn (aka Byro the queer LDS troll), you really are an idiot aren't you. Your little HS civics rhetoric is shit, like all of your drivel

Mitochondri-Allie said...

Just remembered another Cain stance he just backed away from. How about the interview with Wolf Blitzer in which he said he could stand behind releasing all GITMO prisoners in a prisoner exchange. He had to walk that one back too, a few days later. Politically he is a snake oil salesman, nothing more.

harrogate said...

MayBee:

"How is that confusing?
You brought up the testimonials. I agree there were women who sought late term abortions for reasons other than "oops I changed my mind". There were also women who sought late term abortions because oops they changed their mind."

My apologies, I didn't mean to say I was confused. I just think it is wortwhile to articulate exactly what the testimonials were. Especially worthwhile for Tiller's haters to acknowledge what those were about, and I have seen lots of Tiller hatred on these boards before.

In the above quote, you say "for reasons other," but sometimes I doubt seriously that a lot of people invested in stopping "late term abortions"(not saying you are one of those), have spent a lot of time looking into the circumstances surrounding those procedures.

"How can you ask if I know something that you do not when you admit you don't even know?"

I am asking because even though neither of us knows for sure, we are clearly leaning different ways in terms of how we are imagining it to be. And you answered the question I was asking with this:

"The fact that Tiller as an individual was such a hero- and his practice so unique- is a good indication that what he did was not overwhelmingly medically necessary. Else his practice and renown would be as common as a heart surgeon's."

I respect this answer but do not buy it. For one thing it seems to me, the answer you give depends upon the idea of society as sane and rational when it comes to the abortion dicussion. IE, that people zealously committed to stopping abortions would ever agree that any abortion was "overwhelmingly necessary" is not a hypothesis I think we can just take for granted. The uniqueness and heroism of Tiller, as I understand it, was that he was performing medically necessary, often life-saving medical services which, because of the distorted nature of our society on this issue, it is dangerous to a doctor's life and family, to provide.


Because, you know, of ideology.


I am saying that I imagine the "not Oops" to be overhwhelmingly the reason, especially after reading all the testimonials. I cannot prove it, but my sense is strong that we don't have is the way Bill O'Reilly always described it, as though we had these women 8 months pregnant, running arounnd looking for an abortion cavalierly, because of an anxiety attack or some such rot.

Defenseman Emeritus said...

Anyone else find it odd that a person who kills a pregnant woman can be charged with two murders? Yet a mother who aborts a baby, rendering it just as dead, is merely exercising her right to choose.

Apparently an unborn baby is considered by the law to be a life of its own under some circumstances but not others. I'm sure there's a convincing rationale for this inconsistency.

harrogate said...

Mitochondri-Allie, you write:

"He constantly is hoping voters will just take him at his word , even if he contradicts his own words of a couple weeks ago. "

And if the commenters on this thread (indeed, if Althouse herself!) are any indication of the public mind, then he is right to count on this.

J said...

LYssa as usual overlooking many issues. Granting that the fetus might have a right in some sense (can a non-person--ie first trimester fetus-- or only potential person have a right??), doesn't the mother's rights outweigh ...her own property, more or less? Especially in case of health issues--but one could (and do) argue that there are also money issues (she can't afford it, it was unplanned, she's unmarried, contraception failed, etc). Ergo, first trimester A. can be pretty well justified from the perspective of the bio-mother's rights.

In other words, the typical anti-A. tea-tard doesn't argue from the POV of rights, or even Reason per se. But from like, what her bonehead preacher insists..aka dogma.

J said...

now sockpup.s jaggin off with its other selves!..harrogate, maybee, "mito" titus.. Sac mental health authorities know about you, Belami illiterate,uneducated swine

Right next door..they're coming for you

lyssalovelyredhead said...

J, you were uncharactoristically coherent, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you're actually interested in discussion.

There's no such thing as a "potential person". It's a myth that people tell themselves to try to make themselves feel better about something that they know is wrong. The abortee has brain activity, a heartbeat, and fingers and toes- he or she is a human being in every sense of the word.

If a woman makes a choice to have sex, she is making a choice to risk allowing that person to enter and live in her body for nine months. She has put this person in the position that it is in; a position where it is dependent on her body. No, her "rights" to retroactively withdraw that choice because she decided that she didn't like the outcome do not outweigh that innocent child's right to life.

(Rape is a stickier situation when it comes to weighing those rights, of course. But it's also an exceptionally rare situation. If liberals could agree that abortion would only be allowed in rape and incest cases, this would effectively lose any standing as a political issue.)

traditionalguy said...

Abortion, like suicide, is always wrong.

But the law is never going to stop it.

A loving community can help persuade accidental mothers to carry to term and arrange adoptions.

But the government only loves our money and its power. So leave government out of this, says Herman.

But it is the Planned Parenthood profits coming from government grants which goes directly back into Dem coffers that is the most evil thing seen on earth since Hitler's grants set up Jew Holocaust Camps to take stolen gold and diamonds from dead Jews and send them to Nazi accounts in Swiss Banks.

ronalddewitt said...

While I think abortion wrong, I think it is a mistake to compare abortion with murder, as many do. An evolutionary biologist would take the view that the purpose of any biological organism is to continue and proliferate its genetic line. From this perspective, abortion is more properly compared to suicide than to murder, and I believe that it is this thought that underlies the greater willingness to "look the other way" in the case of abortion. Nonetheless, most states have laws against suicide.

MayBee said...

E, that people zealously committed to stopping abortions would ever agree that any abortion was "overwhelmingly necessary" is not a hypothesis I think we can just take for granted.

And what of the people zealously committed to keeping abortions completely legal?

Those are the people who adored Tiller. Those people are the reason Obama issued a statement about his death.

Original Mike said...

"But I think most Americans are anti-abortion yet pro-choice. I am."

I am pro-choice, until we get to late-term abortions.

harrogate said...

MayBee,

Like a lot of people (and ostensibly, like Obama himself), I am pro-choice but I am deeply troubled by this issue. I think that anyone who takes any side on it, and thinks theirs is *obviously* the only correct position, for the most part have not tried very hard to think about where others are coming from. Not exactly a shock, there.

So my own admiration for Tiller stems, not from the perspective of an untroubled zealot who thinks that there should bever be any restrictions on abortion. But rather from the perspective of one who saw that Tiller was risking his life to perform late term abortions for women in absolutely horrific situations.

I think to presume women running into his office 8 months pregnant or whatever, saying "ooooo I want an abortion," and Tiller saying, "no problemo," is a horrid presumption for which there ought to be some proof somewhere. Other than just chimeras of the imagination, as it were.

I, like everyone on these boards, know several people who have had abortions. All were 1st trimester abortions, and all these people were the antithesis of cavlalier, deeply struggled with their decision. Not just anecdote but common sense dictates that something pretty damned serious is going on, for a late-term abortion to be on the table as a possible option.

I daresay that some sort of thinking along these lines, informed the majority of those who said kind words about Tiller when he was murdered. Including Obama.

On the other hand, how much do you think Bill O'Reilly really knew about Tiller and his patients? Here he was for over a year, screeching about Tiller, bringijng national attention to this man. But I wonder if good ole Bill, if it ever ocurred to him to think about the real, actual people who were going to Tiller for real, actual reasons.

harrogate said...

Also, apparently I cannot spell.

wildswan said...

You could say: I'm against homosexuality but you have the right to LIVE YOUR OWN LIFE." For that very reason you can't say: "I'm against killing the unborn but you have the right to TAKE THEIR LIFE.
The unborn child is a person, and the issue is a life, not a life style.

Oclarki said...

Lyssa,

Looks like you spoke too soon in regards to J. "Sac mental health" "Belami"?? Until it starts to write in sentences, I'm not going to give it the benefit of calling it coherent.

MayBee said...

I think to presume women running into his office 8 months pregnant or whatever, saying "ooooo I want an abortion," and Tiller saying, "no problemo," is a horrid presumption for which there ought to be some proof somewhere. Other than just chimeras of the imagination, as it were.

Why?
Do you find late term abortion so abhorrent?
What do you think of Dr. Gosnell? Do you think the "oopsers" only went to him?

Delayna said...

There is someone whose car I see almost every day, with the bumper sticker "Don't like abortion? Don't have one!"

I wish I could change it to "Don't like slavery? Don't own one!"

I would like to defend DBQ. Until a majority of the electorate is convinced that an unborn child is actually an unborn child and not a parasitical clump of undifferentiated cells, there is little point in trying to put any further restrictions on abortion.

The way to win this is not with law, but with argument. Calling for restricting or outlawing abortion will only make it harder to win the intellectual and moral arguments against using abortion for convenience. Ultrasound imagery is more persuasive than law, in this case.

MayBee said...

On the other hand, how much do you think Bill O'Reilly really knew about Tiller and his patients? Here he was for over a year, screeching about Tiller, bringijng national attention to this man. But I wonder if good ole Bill, if it ever ocurred to him to think about the real, actual people who were going to Tiller for real, actual reasons.

Bill O'Reilly wanted an investigation of Tiller. The left did not want that to happen. Just as happened with Dr Gosnell.
Perhaps doctors who claim to do extraordinarily unusual things should be held up to scrutiny.

The Pagan Temple said...

I want to know what kind of judges Cain would appoint. I really don't give a crap how he feels on a personal level about abortion, homosexuality, or anything else. I'm going to assume he would be good at judicial appointments, as he named Clarence Thomas as the jurist he most admires.

harrogate said...

O'Reilly wanted more than an investigation. He called him a "baby killer" and clearly (to anyone who watched the segments) didn't know anything aboiut it other than Tiller offered late-term abortions. If that isn't rank demagoguery I don't know what is.


I am pro-choice. And to that point it is worth acknowledging that the vast, vast majority of abortions performed in the United States are first trimester abortions, and that this is what we typically are talking about when we discuss the question of legality. I am not saying the majority is always right, but a damned strong majority of Americans reject the argument for putting women in prison for getting first-term abortions. Even if those first terms were judged to be "oops" or "convenience" abortions.

(By the way, we keep saying it, but who exactly is it that gets to decide what is an "Oops" or "convenience" abortion anyway. I damned sure don't wanna serve on that tribunal, making a woman explain herself to me in this way. Seems to me like the only sort of person who would want to be part of such a tribunal would be the kind of person I would want never ever to have anything to do with. I certainly wouldn't want such a person around my children.)

And so with that as context, yes. I do find late-term abortion to be an abhorrent thing generally. I bet you'd find precious few souls indeed who are ho-hum about it. Least of all pregnant women. Which is precisely why it is GROSS, in my mind anyway, to presume that late-term abortions are simply matters of convenience for the women who have them done.

I know you disagree with much of what I am saying. But please allow me to thank you for the dialogue. For not demonizing me. And also know I respect where you are coming from.

traditionalguy said...

Next time I see President Cain, I'll suggest to him that he appoint Althouse to the Court.

That would be so funny if it happened.

Ex-Senator Sanitarium would have a fit.

Think of the opinions being written by Justice Althouse. They would be a great read.

machine said...

Sorry, but this is the beginning of the end for Cain as a serious Presidential candidate. If he doesn't believe the government should interfere with personal decisions on “sensitive issues,” such as this, then he will lose the jihadist wing of the GOP, and then fail to win the nomination. Believe it or not,anti-abortion and pro-choice is the Democratic position. None of us are pro-abortion...

MayBee said...

(By the way, we keep saying it, but who exactly is it that gets to decide what is an "Oops" or "convenience" abortion anyway. I damned sure don't wanna serve on that tribunal, making a woman explain herself to me in this way. Seems to me like the only sort of person who would want to be part of such a tribunal would be the kind of person I would want never ever to have anything to do with. I certainly wouldn't want such a person around my children.)

Hmm. I wouldn't mind at all sitting in that kind of judgement. I don't see how it would be much different than jury duty.
And we have people who make similar decisions all the time, people at Medicare and insurance companies who decide if someone will get that potentially life-saving treatment or not. And we're about to get more of those kinds of "tribunals".

And so with that as context, yes. I do find late-term abortion to be an abhorrent thing generally. I bet you'd find precious few souls indeed who are ho-hum about it. Least of all pregnant women. Which is precisely why it is GROSS, in my mind anyway, to presume that late-term abortions are simply matters of convenience for the women who have them done.

And this is where I think you err. As I said, I find this view to be romanticized. Because *you* find late-term abortions abhorrent, you assume everybody finds late-term abortions abhorrent and therefore they must be performed for good reason.
But Dr. Gosnell and his patients show you that isn't true. You didn't address him at all.

I am like you, pro-choice but I hate abortion. I know people who are completely immune to the emotional side of abortion. I know people who believe a woman has a right to an abortion at any time during her pregnancy. What I see you doing is calibrating their views to your own, but they wouldn't embrace your view.

Tiller was a hero for reasons beyond his medical accomplishments. He was preserving a right! He was not bowing to those awful anti-abortion people. He was important not for saving lives (as so many doctors do), but because he didn't let anybody stop him from performing those late term abortions.

And like Dr Gosnell, he was protected by politicians from having to answer legitimate questions.
And yes, thank you for the discussion.

machine said...

Wait a minute...Romney, I mean Cain already changed his principles...

Cain subsequently tweeted, “I’m 100% pro-life. End of story.”

He must have seen my post...

Bender said...

This idea that innocent human beings in the womb have no rights that anyone is bound to respect, and might rightly be slaughtered with impunity, is not new.

It is the evil of Dred Scott rising again.

"They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect, and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit."

Jason said...

Harrogate:

You, yourself, claimed you find late-term abortions "abhorrent."

I would suggest that people who don't want to be referred to as "baby killers" shouldn't kill babies.

Calling him a "ghoul" would be demogoguery.

Calling him a "baby-killer" is simply a factual observation.

Steve Koch said...

It is never a surprise when Althouse displays muddled thinking. Nice lady but not a clear thinker. Against abortion? Why? If abortion isn't murder, why are you against it?
People refer to the anti abortion people as nuts but if you are convinced that abortion is murder how can you support it?

Have you ever heard a happy pregnant lady refer to her "fetus"?

Having said that, is the fertilized egg a human, one nanosecond after fertilization?

You can say the libertarian approach is to permit abortion but that is only true if the not yet born baby is not human. One nanosecond before birth it is certainly human. The question is when has that fertilized egg grown enough to be regarded as human.

Once it is OK to kill unborn humans it is a slippery slope to death panels.

Original Mike said...

IMO, the "slippery slope" argument is a method people use to free themselves from the burden of thinking.

Steve Koch said...

Mike, please explain. You might be projecting.

harrogate said...

Jason:

Calling him a "baby killer" ignores a hell of a lot, is the whole point I was trying to make. As do the rants O'Reilly went into, about women cavalierly having te procedure done.

I wonder if you ever bothered to read the many, many testimonials from Tiller's patients. If you know anything at all about who was going to Tiller, and why. If you don't know, then read up. Or maybe you do know and don't believe them?

Original Mike said...

Steve - virtual all judgements we make can be (mis)cast as a slippery slope, yet we make those judgements all the time. Until we want an out, and then it's a slippery slope.

For example, to you support the "zero tolerance" policies regarding "weapons" and "drugs" in schools?

Steve Koch said...

The slippery slope argument is that if a not yet born baby is human but it is ok to kill that baby then maybe it is not that bad to kill other humans at the margin of existence. By permitting the killing of not yet born babies, you move the edge of acceptable killing.

Original Mike said...

I understand the argument, Steve. I agree with, to a point. And that point is where a fetus becomes a human being.

Steve Koch said...

Mike,

Let's stick to the abortion issue.

Do you deny that sometimes there is a slippery slope in human affairs? The definition of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable is frequently a slippery slope. The change in definition of what is acceptable is usually an incremental process (i.e. slippery slope). Each incremental change enables the next incremental change. When you integrate these incremental changes over time it can add up to substantial change.

The core issue here is when is a not yet born baby a human? Once it is human, it deserves the rights of humans.

Original Mike said...

Arrrg. Try again.

I understand the argument. I agree with it, to a point. And that point is, where does a fetus become a human being? That's where people differ.

Original Mike said...

"Do you deny that sometimes there is a slippery slope in human affairs?"

What I disagree with is the pre-emptive tatic of labeling something a slippery slope and then declaring that therefore we must take the most extreme position because to do anything else will necessarily lead to the most dire consequences.

"Once it is human, it deserves the rights of humans."

I agree. The issue is entirely when does the fetus become a human being.

Steve Koch said...

Mike,

When do you thing a baby that hasn't been born yet becomes human?

Original Mike said...

Somewhere between conception and birth. And before you ask, I don't think it's a "quantum jump" from one state to the other. Lots of things in life are like that. Where does summer become winter?

MadisonMan said...

When does summer become winter?

That happened yesterday.

Steve Koch said...

"What I disagree with is the pre-emptive tatic of labeling something a slippery slope and then declaring that therefore we must take the most extreme position because to do anything else will necessarily lead to the most dire consequences."

The slippery slope issue is something of a tangent (ha ha) but since you brought it up, can we agree that the definition of whom it is ok to kill can change incrementally over time and each expansionary increment facilitates/enables the next incremental step. That is the definition of a slippery slope.

It is true that slippery slope arguments can be misused but what can't?. That does not mean that slippery slopes don't exist or that it is not important to recognize that they exist (especially when they involve life and death).

Original Mike said...

"That happened yesterday."

Hind sight is easy.

Original Mike said...

"That happened yesterday."

Now that you mention it, winter happens the week before I plan on going camping. Happens every year.

Steve Koch said...

Who should decide when a not yet born baby is human? I think it should not be the mother or the supreme court. I'm OK with congress defining it since at least it is a democratic process.

Shouldn't this question be decided before we ok the killing of a baby?

Since this is a decision to kill a baby human, shouldn't we err on the side of caution? That is, it is never OK to kill a baby human but it is OK if we accidentally don't kill a pre-human baby.

Shouldn't we wait until we have a logical way to define when a baby is human before we kill babies who have not yet been born?

Original Mike said...

We agree, pretty much, Steve. My objection (and maybe we disagree here) is to the arguement that i) because a baby is a human being one day before birth, that ii) the necessity of avoiding the slippery slope compels us to declare that a fetus is human at conception. I understand that the religous argument is different.

Original Mike said...

"Shouldn't we wait until we have a logical way to define when a baby is human before we kill babies who have not yet been born?"

I don't think that's possible. There is no "logical" means of deciding this issue. That's why I think you have to leave it up to the mother until it reaches the point that most people agree that the fetus is a human being. And I agree that society does this through it's law-making mechansim (i.e. Congress {shudder}).

Steve Koch said...

"We agree, pretty much, Steve. My objection (and maybe we disagree here) is to the arguement that i) because a baby is a human being one day before birth, that ii) the necessity of avoiding the slippery slope compels us to declare that a fetus is human at conception. I understand that the religous argument is different."

No, my argument is that if we kill babies that are human, it is a slippery slope to killing other people who are not in a position to defend themselves. BTW, I am not religious, I am agnostic and libertarian.

Original Mike said...

I don't think anybody argues that it's OK to kill babies who they define to be human beings.

Steve Koch said...

Steve:
"Shouldn't we wait until we have a logical way to define when a baby is human before we kill babies who have not yet been born?"

Mike:
"I don't think that's possible. There is no "logical" means of deciding this issue. That's why I think you have to leave it up to the mother until it reaches the point that most people agree that the fetus is a human being. And I agree that society does this through it's law-making mechansim (i.e. Congress {shudder})."

You can't leave it up to the mother because she wants to kill the baby. Individual mothers don't have the right to define what is and is not murder. That has to be a societal standard.

Society has to define when a baby is human before you can kill the pre-human baby. Congress will surely do a crappy job but at least it will be a democratic process.

So long as there is no definition of when a not yet born baby becomes human, millions of baby people will be killed. Why would we take an unnecessary risk of killing an innocent human baby, let alone millions?

Anybody have a good definition of when a pre-human baby becomes human?

Steve Koch said...

Until somebody defines what a pre-human baby is, the burden of proof is on the abortion rights people to define when a not yet born baby is not human. That is, we should assume all babies are human until somebody proves/demonstrates persuasively (i.e. that the majority of Americans agree with) the criteria defining when a baby is not human.

Love said...

Well, Ann, of course you're "anti-abortion," but "pro-choice."

But the real question is: Who do you think gets to make that "choice?"

Cain thinks it's the government.

Writ Small said...

I buy the “potential human” argument. Abortion is very wrong if it is done after higher brain functions have begun to develop. That is the killing of an innocent human life.

If it is done prior to that, it is the elimination of a potential human and is analogous to pulling the plug on a person who is brain dead. The difference is that the person is not yet “brain alive.” Pre-brain-development abortion could still be “wrong,” since more people – particularly in a western society with declining birth rates – is on balance is a good thing. It could also be wrong because of psychological damage it does to the mother and others. My scientific distinction is lost on many people who may be hurt – spouses, significant others, potential grandparents, etc. It is always better not to have gotten pregnant in the first place than have had an abortion. Who could disagree?

But there can be good reasons to have a pre-brain-development abortion: highly unfit mothers, victims of rape, etc. In some cases, the hurt caused by abortion is less damaging than the introduction of that person into horrible circumstances. There is plenty of statistical evidence that unwanted babies grow up into people more likely to victimize others. Of course, once the fetal development turns on the higher brain functions, those considerations fall away. We’re talking about innocent human life now.

For those who take the extreme position that any developing fetus, even with zero brain development, is fully equivalent to, say a two year old baby, here’s a question to ponder: Should a woman prone to early-term miscarriages who is trying to have a baby be the object of contempt or criminal sanction? By the definition of some, she is engaging in an activity that repeatedly endangers and often ends “innocent human lives.” Should the woman hold a funeral for each miscarriage? Do people deeply committed to the pro-life position do that?

When it comes to late-term or partial birth, I am fully aligned with my social conservative allies. I’m totally fine with overturning Roe and kicking it back to the states. I just can’t take the argument all the way to conception. The slippery slope argument doesn’t move me.

In the end, anti-abortion and pro-choice.

Bender said...

Let's put away the slippery slope, shall we?

We are WAY past the slippery slope.

The killing of even one innocent human life in the womb is a per se evil. Raising the slippery slope only detracts from having to confront that.

Killing babies isn't bad because Steve might be next to go in the death chamber. Killing babies is bad in and of itself.

Love said...

Bender - "The killing of even one innocent human life in the womb is a per se evil."

And of course, I see by your profile that you're a man...who doesn't have to face such a decision...right?

If men got pregnant there would be no argument, and they certainly wouldn't consider their own "choice," made about such a situation about their own "body" as being an evil one.

I'd love to see what Cain and others like him would say if their daughter or wife or anyone close was raped or molested by a family member, impregnated, and had to make that "choice."

Bender said...

If men got pregnant there would be no argument, and they certainly wouldn't consider their own "choice," made about such a situation about their own "body" as being an evil one.

In fact, it is the pro-abortionist, like you, who exhibits a hatred for the body of woman, who considers the natural aspects of the body of woman to be an evil which must be suppressed and destroyed. It is you, the pro-abortionist, who seeks to subjugate woman, turn her into a mere object to be used by men, rather than respecting her full and complete inherent dignity.

Women deserve better than to have the likes of you tell them that they can only be free if they are able to kill their children, that they should hate their natural fertility and look upon their ovaries as little more than a cancer and their children as mere parasites.

Roux said...

Just because you think something is wrong doesn't mean you want to make it illegal.

I am pro-life but I don't think we can win by outlawing abortion. Technology and changing hearts and minds is the best way.

I don't approve of homosexual behavior but I have no interest in making it illegal.

Blair said...

I'll say it before and I'll say it again: Being anti-abortion doesn't mean a damn thing unless you are prepared to arrest and punish women for having them.

By that standard, even Rick freaking Santorum is "pro choice". So it's a non-issue. Why does it waste so much political oxygen in America?

wildswan said...

When is an "unborn child" or a "fetus" human?

Ask this question scientifically. When do other sexual beings become members of a species? The answer for all animals and flowering plants is: when the sperm and egg combine. So in terms of science which considers the material part of our being we were human from the moment of conception.

We could all agree on that. But we can't because in this country we believe that "All ... are created equal ... with certain inalienable rights ... among these are life...". That statement together with the evidence from science would preclude abortion. Some want to establish abortion more than they want to abide by scientific truth or maintain human rights. So we cannot agree.

Colorado Wellington said...

Althouse is large, she contains multitudes.

Dientudong said...

Want abortions to be free.....donate money to charities that will provide for the women want abortions. Keep out of my pocket for it.
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