February 29, 2012

"After-birth abortion: Why should the baby live?"

An article by Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva in the Journal of Medical Ethics:
Rather than being “actual persons”, newborns were “potential persons”. They explained: “Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’.

“We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her.”

As such they argued it was “not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense”.

The authors therefore concluded that “what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled”....
I think this works as a "Modest Proposal"-type satire that is really a critique of abortion.

127 comments:

Bill White said...

Ever notice how with these people, their response to “potential personhood” is always to kill the potential person?

mesquito said...

I think this works as a "Modest Proposal"-type satire that is really a critique of abortion.

Perhaps, but I think these people are deadly, sickeningly serious.

Synova said...

But IS it a Modest Proposal?

Does it work as satire if they're serious?

Andy R. said...

I think it works as a way to try to get conservatives engaged on caring for actual human beings. The joke is that Republicans think life begins at conception and ends at birth.

If "liberals" put out a message that people can "abort" actual babies then conservatives will come to the babies defense and actually start caring about them.

chickenlittle said...

Isn't this the sort of ethics that Obama favored as a senator in Illinois?

Synova said...

I started reading it and the irony dripped and oozed to such an extent that I can't even decide what to quote.

I suspect that the quotes included in the article were chosen for the effect.

Synova said...

"If "liberals" put out a message that people can "abort" actual babies then conservatives will..."

... have all of their beliefs about liberals confirmed.

Ann Althouse said...

Roe v. Wade itself uses the idea of "potential life":

"In areas other than criminal abortion, the law has been reluctant to endorse any theory that life, as we recognize it, begins before live birth or to accord legal rights to the unborn except in narrowly defined situations and except when the rights are contingent upon live birth. For example, the traditional rule of tort law denied recovery for prenatal injuries even though the child was born alive. 63 That rule has been changed in almost every jurisdiction. In most States, recovery is said to be permitted only if the fetus was viable, or at least quick, when the injuries were sustained, though few [*162] courts have squarely so held. 64 In a recent development, generally opposed by the commentators, some States permit the parents of a stillborn child to maintain an action for wrongful death because of prenatal injuries. 65 Such an action, however, would appear to be one to vindicate the parents' interest and is thus consistent with the view that the fetus, at most, represents only the potentiality of life. Similarly, unborn children have been recognized as acquiring rights or interests by way of inheritance or other devolution of property, and have been represented by guardians ad litem. 66 Perfection of the interests involved, again, has generally been contingent upon live birth. In short, the unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense."

Synova said...

"Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he added: “This “debate” has been an example of “witch ethics” - a group of people know who the witch is and seek to burn her. It is one of the most dangerous human tendencies we have. It leads to lynching and genocide. Rather than argue and engage, there is a drive is to silence and, in the extreme, kill, based on their own moral certainty. That is not the sort of society we should live in.

No irony here.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I think they're serious, I'm afraid.

The "Modest Proposal" version is Philip Dick's "The Pre-Persons," in which children are deemed to be persons when they can do algebra, or roughly twelve years of age. Prior to that, they need a registration card from their parents; if the parents pull the card, or fail to pay the fee, they're picked up by truck and held for 30 days for adoption, and asphyxiated if no one adopts.

chickenlittle said...

Isn't what they want that--in simplest terms--if the baby is unwanted by the mother it's OK to kill it at any stage up to and including after birth?

Bill White said...

In case anyone does think this is a "modest proposal", note that the journal's editor, Julian Savulescu, attempts a defense of the article at http://blogs.bmj.com/medical-ethics/2012/02/28/liberals-are-disgusting-in-defence-of-the-publication-of-after-birth-abortion/

Gene said...

A lot of folks like the idea of post-partum abortions. If you ask such people why the unwilling mother didn't haven't an abortion, say, eight months previously, they will tell you she was poor, unaware of her rights, a member of a protected class or had no access to an abortionist.

What they won't say is that she was also irresponsible or stupid.

But why would anyone kill a baby after it was born, especially if it was born healthy? Every time I pick up the paper I see stories about women who want to be mothers but who are unable to conceive. If you have a healthy baby you'd like to place, people will beat a path to your door.

Synova said...

And my "problem" with philosophy clearly stated:

The goal of the Journal of Medical Ethics is not to present the Truth or promote some one moral view. It is to present well reasoned argument based on widely accepted premises.

The Journal of Medical Ethics is not to present Medical Ethics... it is to provide a place for smart people to construct arguments that are well reasoned. It's a puzzle game with no application, no presumption of application.

So no reason to actually get hot over it. Silly unwashed and undereducated masses who don't understand the dreadful importance of a well constructed argument that is never intended for you!

Bender said...

Ever hear of bioethics "expert" Peter Singer, Princeton University?

He has long advocated such things.

If not these guys, then there are plenty of people who are completely serious about it.

rhhardin said...

The problem is the effect on society.

Birth is a nice bright line, at which point society reasonably takes responsibility from the mother with respect for a now-child's welfare.

Concentrating on what's going on in the fetus/baby is a mistake. Our words seem to refer to it so it is assumed that that's what governs the words.

But the words refer to society's relation to the baby.

Nothing much changes in the baby at birth, but a lot changes in society.

So the article is misguided is arguing from what's going on in the baby or fetus.

Bender said...

You want a witty "modest proposal" to illustrate the complete irrationality and absense of reason in the pro-abortion argument, then take Luanne Cartman's attempt to abort 10-year-old Eric.

Bob_R said...

"The "Modest Proposal" version is Philip Dick's "The Pre-Persons," in which children are deemed to be persons when they can do algebra, or roughly twelve years of age."

Obviously written in a different age. I've had far too many college students who are not "persons."

Synova said...

Like this "widely accepted premise."

We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her.

Lets nevermind that a dead person has no concept of what she has lost.

This is a self-serving premise and certainly not one that is widely accepted, except perhaps among medical ethicists who construct arguments that are not intended to actually address medical ethics.

It seems to me that they start in their preferred starting place, chose their preferred parameters and definitions, and then logic away and when the logic trail gets them someplace odd they place virtue in refusing to reconsider that their preferred parameters and definitions may have been in error. So long as the argument in between is sound.

Henry said...

The "personhood" argument has long been a staple of pro-abortion activists. I'm glad to see someone beside Peter Singer extend it to its logical conclusion.

Here's Singer, summarized:

Consistent with his general ethical theory, Singer holds that the right to life is intrinsically tied to a being's capacity to hold preferences, which in turn is intrinsically tied to a being's capacity to feel pain and pleasure....Singer argues that newborns lack the essential characteristics of personhood—"rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness"[20]—and therefore "killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person, that is, a being who wants to go on living."

By working the personhood argument to its logical conclusion, these ethicists force abortion proponents into an indefensible position. If you reject the Singer argument, you have to work backwards from personhood. If you work backwards from personhood, on what grounds do you differentiate between the life of the infant pre- and post-partum?

Synova said...

It's that "logical conclusion" thing.

A person who thinks about what it actually means in the world is rather horrified.

But if the *value* is in the logic chain, then the "logical conclusion" isn't horrific. It just *is*. And your colleagues praise your bravery.

traditionalguy said...

Potential life is all we ever have , since we may die of a heart attack by the end of the day.

Asking the question of whether a new born baby has memory yet for the first days/weeks/months is a distraction.

The only question is whether any one with the power to defend that weak and helpless baby values that baby enough to save it.

I ask that same question of The Obamanation Gang...do you have the power and the will to save the USA when you have made it weak and defenseless, or has your plan for us been death all along?

pm317 said...

“We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her.”

----------------

So where do they draw the line? A mentally impaired fully grown person who is incapable of understanding such a loss can also be killed without consequences?

Synova said...

Ask... does this definition of personhood apply to temporary conditions?

Yes or no?

Arguing that Terry Shiavo was brain dead for all purposes and it was appropriate to let her die doesn't address temporary incapacity. There are any number of ways to end up temporarily incapacitated. If value is placed on my ability to value my own life.

I could even temporarily long for my own death simply from depression.

I could be injured or drugged or insane.

Or I could be a fetus or infant or child younger than 12. All temporary conditions.

Writ Small said...

Taranto covered this today very seriously. It reads to me like a social experiment rather than serious proposal. Was James caught by the monkey fishers?

Mark Nielsen said...

Hat boy: "I think it works as a way to try to get conservatives engaged on caring for actual human beings. The joke is that Republicans think life begins at conception and ends at birth."

Ah yes. Liberals always work under the assumption that they're the only compassionate ones. Well, hatboy, Who do you think contributes more to charities? Liberals or conservatives? Google it.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Andy R.,


If "liberals" put out a message that people can "abort" actual babies then conservatives will come to the babies defense and actually start caring about them.


It was conservatives who came to the defense of actual born babies whose parents preferred to let them starve to death rather than authorize surgery or let other people adopt them.

You may not remember the "Infant Doe" case. I do only because George Will hammered on it, justifiably, for some time.

The gist: Down Syndrome often comes with other physical defects. Sometimes there are heart problems; sometimes there are alimentary-tract blockages.

The latter was the trouble in the Doe case. The parents refused surgery for their newborn son, even when it was offered free of charge. They refused the numerous offers of others to adopt the child. They preferred letting their "defective" child starve to death to having anyone else care for him.

Result (apart from the casket -- at least, I hope there was a casket): this.

n.n said...

So, the outcome of "Roe vs Wade" was that a legal precedent was established based on an article of faith, which was, ostensibly, presented to be objective in order to facilitate the legal process, but not to assign or protect the dignity of a developing human life.

The bottom-line is that it was about liability and convenience. Unfortunately, it was also about accommodating a population which is progressively incapable of self-moderating behavior and accepting reasonable responsibility for their actions.

This wasn't the beginning of corruption, but it certainly contributed to its progress.

In any case, we still seem incapable of defining life other than by an entity capable of representing its own interests. It's odd just how selective this principle really is.

Synova:

If we are ever disposable, then we are always disposable. This doesn't seem to be a principle worth promoting.

Andy R.:

The principle under consideration is individual dignity and specifically when it is assigned to human life. This principle must be, by definition, considered to be mutually consistent. This is why, ostensibly, slavery as well as other forms of progressive involuntary exploitation were rejected.

A reasonable guide to understanding reality is that not everyone will enjoy a beachfront property in Hawaii. That while we enjoy equal rights under the law, we are not otherwise equal in physical or mental capacity. It is also why people prefer voluntary exploitation (i.e. with consent), including: economic exchange, charitable works and donations. All of this was supposedly recognized with enlightenment and settled with the human and civil rights movement.

Something else to consider is that redistributive and retributive change (i.e. involuntary exploitation), but also fraudulent and opportunistic exploitation, are principal contributors to progressive corruption of individuals and society. The other principal is the devaluation of human through the arbitrary and even perverse selective assignment of dignity to human life.

Methadras said...

This is evil in it's glory. To actually have a birth, then call the baby a potential person is the height of evil. It's sanctioned infanticide plain and simple and I defy these death mongers to come up with a reason on why they defend this position. Why are they defending this as a legitimate medical practice. Why?

Methadras said...

This is what leftism is folks. This is what leftards agree to when they follow this ideology. If you are a leftist or a liberal, you are complicit in the defense of this evil.

Synova said...

n.n.

"If we are ever disposable, then we are always disposable. This doesn't seem to be a principle worth promoting."

This is why I think we should err far far on the side of life. I agree completely that if we judge some corner of human life disposable then it's easier to do it again and again.

My talking about temporary conditions was an answer only to the supposed "well accepted" premise that personhood is dependent on the person's own understanding of the abstract concept of loss if she dies.

Andy R. said...

This is what leftism is folks. This is what leftards agree to when they follow this ideology. If you are a leftist or a liberal, you are complicit in the defense of this evil.

Don't be so melodramatic. I'm a leftist and I don't want to murder babies.

chuck said...

Give them a break, people. They are ethicists. The whole *point* of being an ethicist is to discover reasons to kill people. They are just doing their job.

edutcher said...

The last time such a "modest proposal" was made, the chair was a guy named Reinhard.

Andy R. said...

I think it works as a way to try to get conservatives engaged on caring for actual human beings.

No, but it might be a way to get Lefties to think of people as individuals and not as identity groups.

The fact Hatman makes light of it shows he's still trying to relate to anyone who doesn't vote Democrat as human.

EDH said...

This reflects my position as a pro-choice extremist:

You should be able to kill your children right up until they move out of the basement.

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

This is what leftism is folks. This is what leftards agree to when they follow this ideology. If you are a leftist or a liberal, you are complicit in the defense of this evil.

Don't be so melodramatic. I'm a leftist and I don't want to murder babies.


No, but he's happy to let someone else do it.

65 years ago, he would have been known as a "Good German".

Bruce Hayden said...

The "Modest Proposal" version is Philip Dick's "The Pre-Persons," in which children are deemed to be persons when they can do algebra, or roughly twelve years of age. Prior to that, they need a registration card from their parents; if the parents pull the card, or fail to pay the fee, they're picked up by truck and held for 30 days for adoption, and asphyxiated if no one adopts.

And, I thought that I was in trouble talking about pre-beefs, pre-veals, and pre-venisons.

Wonder though if "pre-person" might be a nice compromise between "baby" and "fetus", both now loaded terms in view of the abortion debate.

Methadras said...

Andy R. said...

I think it works as a way to try to get conservatives engaged on caring for actual human beings. The joke is that Republicans think life begins at conception and ends at birth.

If "liberals" put out a message that people can "abort" actual babies then conservatives will come to the babies defense and actually start caring about them.


This is why you are a repugnant piece of human offal. Life begins at conception. It continues after birth. Your ideology clearly blurs this simplest of views, while your world view is that humanity is an expendable commodity to be used. Otherwise, how do you explain your repugnant view on a something conservatives will do willingly, which is to defend those that can't defend themselves, while leftards like you scoff at them trying to do so.

You're ideology is one of the primary reasons why you believe in this death cult thinking. You are a disgusting example of humanity.

Methadras said...

Andy R. said...

Don't be so melodramatic. I'm a leftist and I don't want to murder babies.


The drama queen talking about melodrama. That's a laugh. Listen wanna-be man, you may not be holding the knife, but you have no problem holding the door open for those that want to. All in the name of your ideology. Your ideology of leftism is created around death and control. That's it's primary purpose as an emotionally driven vehicle by which to achieve these goals. It is bankrupt, it is evil. You prove that it is by your complicity in its defense.

Bruce Hayden said...

If you work backwards from personhood, on what grounds do you differentiate between the life of the infant pre- and post-partum?

This has bothered me for awhile. During the first trimester, somewhere around half of the fetuses are lost naturally. Mother Nature's way to handle birth defects, genetic mutations, etc. Aborting during that time is not as worrisome to me as later.

But during the third trimester, most fetuses come to term. Viability is now down, I think, to mid-second trimester. And, if there is a problem, an ob/gyn can get the baby out in a couple of minutes with an emergency C-section. Furthermore, I think that all can agree that personhood should not depend on whether one is delivered vaginally or by C-section.

So, if we are setting the time of legal personhood, for determining whether killing a baby/fetus is murder or allowable abortion, at the time of birth, regardless of the method thereof, we are doing so with the knowledge that a third term fetus is inches by scalpel and minutes away from full rights as a person.

Luckily, as a male, I will never have to make this choice, and am too old to have any more fatherhood unexpectedly foisted upon me.

caplight45 said...

Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,
Über alles in der Welt,
Wenn es stets zu Schutz und Trutze
Brüderlich zusammenhält.
Von der Maas bis an die Memel,
Von der Etsch bis an den Belt,
|: Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,
Über alles in der Welt! :|

Synova said...

I know that I've often joked that there is a point for babies after birth where there suddenly seems to be someone at home. But is that true, or is it just the point several weeks on where the infant learns to look at you?

Certainly a fetus in the womb reacts to outside stimulus. Likely "feels" well and warm, since emotions are mostly chemical, aren't they? A newborn certainly oscillates between "content" and "irritated". It's easy to say that that's not an awareness that she will lose something valuable to her if she dies.

But what is the age that a child can comprehend *ending*?

Certainly not four or five and probably much later.

I don't believe it, but the common wisdom is that children don't grasp the abstract until twelve. Personally I think it's at the point between "toddler" and "child" but even so...

The supposed logic that makes an infant not-a-person applies to a whole lot of mentally acute, emotional beings.

Pogo said...

The ethicists are correct.

If abortion is justified, then murder of children is fine.

Same same.

Bender said...

"Potential life" -- even when the entity is growing, taking in nourishment and expelling waste, exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide, blood pumping, heart beating, with measurable brain waves -- not actual, scientifically proven, real life, but merely "potential" life.

That's one of those legal fictions that I've written about here before, that amazing capacity of our judicial lords on high to decree what truth is.

And, sadly, such fictions and lies and frauds, which make a complete MOCKERY of law and reason, are happily and enthusiastically embraced and promoted by such large segments of our society that has descended into the mire of a dictatorship of relativism.

Blue@9 said...

"rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness"

Huh. People in comas lack all three. As do we all when sleeping.

Of course, it's easy to claim that newborns lack such qualities because we can't ask them. Such presumptions were also used to justify the enslavement of human beings not all that long ago.

Kind of curious to know what these "ethicists" think of forcibly harvesting body parts from dead fetuses or prisoners. The dead aren't even potential lives, so what ethical duties do we owe them?

John Lynch said...

My wife was abandoned on the street at age 3. This really happens.

What were the prospects of a girl abandoned at that age in a Third World country? Surely not worth living? Now we live in a townhouse in small town America.

You can't judge a person's life before they live it. That's playing God.

Too many people want to play that game.

jimspice said...

Anybody actually read the JoME article, or are we just going off the Telegraph's account?

CWJ said...

After-birth abortion. My god, the term is positively Orwellian. Words have no meaning anymore. I can only presume that the authors concocted this monstrosity because some small part of conscious remained that rebelled against calling it infanticide.

Bender said...

Arguing that Terry Shiavo was brain dead for all purposes and it was appropriate to let her die doesn't address temporary incapacity.

And it doesn't even touch upon truth. Not even close.

But then again, the "freedom to choose your own truth" crowd doesn't really care. Terri Schiavo's husband chose her for death, so he killed her (over the loud protests of her family). Then he went back home to his live-in girlfriend. And the culture of death cheered him on.

Bender said...

This is why you are a repugnant piece of human offal. . . . You are a disgusting example of humanity.

No. He is possessed of an inherent dignity and sanctity that is entitled to respect by virtue of his very nature as a human person, made in the likeness and image of One who is goodness and Love itself.

J said...

There are many retarded fetus Democrats out there that could use a good aborting.

Some would call it murder, but they are extremists.

Christopher said...

This might be satire but given the Leftist love of eugenics I can't be entirely sure.

Methadras said...

Bender said...

No. He is possessed of an inherent dignity and sanctity that is entitled to respect by virtue of his very nature as a human person, made in the likeness and image of One who is goodness and Love itself.


God may have this sentiment. I do not. I find Andy R(etard) and his ideological brethren to be as I've described them to be. And they prove it daily. God may love them unconditionally. I do not.

jimbino said...

The big difference is this:

In our law, a person has the right to kill another in self-defense for serious threat to life or health or even for continuous touching, assuming there is no alternative.

While the fetus is in the mother, it keeps touching her and poses a treat. Ergo, the mother may abort in self-defense, since there is no alternative. Once the fetus is born, the touching and threat go away. Ergo, the killing is unjustifiable homicide.

Pogo said...

Why stop at infancy?

Anytime a leftist decides you haven't justified the attribution of a right to life to an individual, you're ripe for culling.

Andy R. said...

Arguing that Terry Shiavo was brain dead for all purposes and it was appropriate to let her die doesn't address temporary incapacity.

And it doesn't even touch upon truth. Not even close.


Senator Frist told me he liked to hang out at her hospital bed and play checkers with her.

Ralph L said...

I never take an essay with the word "potentiality" seriously, satire or not.

wyo sis said...

In the last few days we've seen liberals expound on an absolute right to have contraception paid for by others and now "after birth abortion." And they accuse conservatives of creating a culture of death images with targets? There is no end to the hypocrisy. No conservative ever painted a target on a newborn baby literally or figuratively.

Marshal said...

Let me get this straight, the asshole who led with this:

"I think it works as a way to try to get conservatives engaged on caring for actual human beings. The joke is that Republicans think life begins at conception and ends at birth.

If "liberals" put out a message that people can "abort" actual babies then conservatives will come to the babies defense and actually start caring about them."

Follows up with an appeal to reason:

Don't be so melodramatic. I'm a leftist and I don't want to murder babies.

He must have one strange self-image. Bizarre.

bagoh20 said...

When reading Althouse's Roe V Wade quote at 8:12pm, I couldn't help thinking how it sounded like the kind of justification some in 1830 might use for treating a slave like property rather than a human being. Namely, it's got precedent. In serious matters of the most basic of human rights, that just doesn't cut it for me. Give me a scientific basis, or a moral one, but don't just tell "Suzie did it first."

PJ said...

I think Pogo is on to something:

“We take ‘person’ to mean an individual whose existence has some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to society.”

FIFT.

Methadras said...

Pogo said...

The ethicists are correct.

If abortion is justified, then murder of children is fine.

Same same.


Then we are clearly giving ethicists way to much latitude and power to define the language and mores` of a society. For they can justify anything under their ethical acumen as to why its ethical and therefore worthy of executing in practice.

Methadras said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...

Roe v. Wade itself uses the idea of "potential life":


And it gets it wrong. Which is why it's a bad law because it creates a test that never existed until its acceptance. There should be no definition of potential life, human or otherwise, for what is human conception for except to create other human life. From the time a sperm and ovum begin the process, life is created at the combination of DNA. It therefore can only be one thing outside of any intervention, which is to say human. Human DNA cannot do anything else but create a human being. Fish DNA the same. etc. etc. Why the use of potential life as a means to devalue life in a legal sense is mystifying and why hasn't anyone challenged this outside of what I've just said. Who could ever use, logically the term, potential life outside of conception? It makes no sense.

For example, if I'm having sex with my wife, there is a potential to create life, but that 'potential' ceases to exist when life actually is conceived. If it doesn't then the potential continues to exist until conception occurs. The idea that labeling life already existing as potential is absurd on it's face and should never be used in any legal sense, much less a reasoned one.

Pogo said...

I said if....

I believe they're wrong, but the terrible calculus of abortion inevitably finds some people beneath contempt and sufficiently subhumuan to warrant being killed.

When there's no bright line, there's no line at all.

bagoh20 said...

I don't think living or not is the right basis. Even separate eggs and sperm are "alive". They join, they grow, they organize, and the whole time are alive, but through those stages they are quite different at times. The question is not when are they alive, they always were. It's when do they become a person, separate from simply a living tissue in the mother. When do they become not her and move beyond her sole determination?

I think this will always be a simple drawing of a line by judgement and law, and never have a clear scientific basis.

William said...

Liberals can see the slippery slope in waterboarding and capital punishment. The fact that they cannot see the slippery slope in abortion, and especially in this type of "abortion" indicates that they are in full slalom down the slippery slope.....The abortion issue will not be resolved until geneticists develop a prenatal test for homosexuality. Only then will the left see the downside of abortion.

John Lynch said...

William-

We already have prenatal gender testing. Liberals are just now picking up on the consequences.

Abortion on demand for any reason leads to some strange reasons.

Andy R. said...

The abortion issue will not be resolved until geneticists develop a prenatal test for homosexuality. Only then will the left see the downside of abortion.

Conservatives have a weird fixation on the (hoped for?) impending genocide of gay fetuses.

Levi Starks said...

While I disagree with it entirely, I understand it completely. If a woman being forced to endure a pregnancy, Pain, discomfort, inability to do things formerly enjoyable is considered slavery. How much more a live baby? She looses a far greater amount of her personal freedom after the completion of a successful pregnancy. During pregnancy you don't have to feed, diaper, and in some cases listen to a crying baby almost 24 hours a day. Some women (and occasionally fathers-usually boyfriends) snap, and then you're stuck with murder rap. And then you're thinking if only you could move the clock back. not to before you had unprotected sex, but just back far enough that you could end the pregnancy pre-term. See it's easy when you rationalize it.

Bender said...

Why the use of potential life as a means to devalue life in a legal sense is mystifying and why hasn't anyone challenged this outside of what I've just said.

They have. Often.

But you operate under a false premise, which is that if only you make a reasoned argument, if only you show the logic, then they would change.

BUT ROE AND CASEY, ET AL. HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH REASON AND LOGIC. THEY HAVE TO DO WITH RAW JUDICIAL POWER, WHICH PERMITS ARBITRARY AND ABSOLUTE PERSONAL POWER. Reason, logic, facts, truth -- these have nothing to do with it.

FedkaTheConvict said...

This sounds very much like the philosophical basis for Barack Obama's opposition to Illinois' version of the federal Born Alive Infant act:

More on Obama and Babies Born Alive

"Although the Illinois General Assembly's online bill tracking system indicates the bill was "held" in Obama's Health and Human Services Committee in 2003, former Sen. Rick Winkel, who sponsored it, and Sen. Dale Righter, then the committee's ranking Republican, both tell me that written records kept by Illinois Senate Republicans indicate Obama did bring the bill up for a vote and then voted against it. The bill, as amended, lost that vote four to six."

Blue@9 said...

I don't think living or not is the right basis. Even separate eggs and sperm are "alive."

No, this is not quite right. The test for "life" requires self-sustaining processes. Eggs and sperm can't grow, can't process nutrients, etc., because they only have half the number of required chromosomes to do so.

What's really disgusting about people like this is the bizarre need to deny the humanness of fetuses. Why can't pro-choice people tolerate the notion that a fetus is an individual, living human being? It simply doesn't pass the sniff test to deny it. In my opinion it's not murder, but it is a type of homicide that we have legalized. I hate to use self-defense as an analogy--because it's not very precise--but it is similar in the sense that it's a legally excused homicide.

I mean, listen, I've pretty much come to accept that abortion will likely stay legal in this country for at least the duration of my lifetime. It just will. There is simply too much widespread support among several generations of women who have been raised to believe that it's a right. It is what it is.

Jay said...


Don't be so melodramatic. I'm a leftist and I don't want to murder babies.


Er, you consider "babies" something else that what the posters here do.

Which of course allows you to make your silly assertion.

Pookie Number 2 said...

He must have one strange self-image. Bizarre

That's a little harsh. Andy is just a typical unimaginative person who brainlessly accepts the prevalent culture is. In 19th century Virginia, he'd be a slave-owner. In 1930s Germany, he'd be a Nazi. In 2012, he's a leftist.

The positive news is that if he grew up in Utah, he'd probably be compassionate and caring, rather than arrogant and prejudiced. So maybe there's hope.

Roger J. said...

This seems to be the approach that "Doctor" Gladney adopted in his "work" in Philadelphia--a quick of scissors to the spinal cord: no problem

I agree with the professor: I see this as irony.

ElPresidenteCastro said...

If they are Irish these "potential persons" should be eaten.

Nathan Alexander said...

@Andy R.
Conservatives care far more about babies than liberals do.

Liberals just want to keep the poor babies from impinging on their utopia, and are willing to confiscate money from others to pay for it.

How is that "caring"?

Conservatives want all babies to be educated with how the world really works so they can work hard, make choices, and increase the world's wealth while increasing their own wealth.

Saint Croix said...

For decades I thought when the Supreme Court defined babies as non-persons, the rule only applied to the unborn. Apparently not.

In his Casey dissent, Justice Scalia said this:

Thus, whatever answer Roe came up with after conducting its "balancing" is bound to be wrong, unless it is correct that the human fetus is in some critical sense merely potentially human. There is of course no way to determine that as a legal matter; it is in fact a value judgment. Some societies have considered newborn children not yet human, or the incompetent elderly no longer so.

Yes, but we’re talking about our society, which has an equal protection clause, and a due process clause. Is Justice Scalia suggesting that Oregon can murder newborns, or Massachusetts can send the “incompetent elderly” off to the gas chamber? It’s a rather bizarre reading of our equal protection clause, to put it mildly.

Not to single out Scalia for special disdain, since all of the Justices seem to believe that babies are not entitled to the equal protection of the laws. For instance, in Carhart nobody on the Court points out that the baby at issue is in the process of being born. Isn’t that the basis of Roe’s born/unborn distinction? Yet no Justice even bothers asking if this baby is a person entitled to the equal protection of the laws.

Apparently, Blackmun’s clause-by-clause requirement that a human being must prove his humanity is now applied to newborns. “He is not voting. He is not migrating.”

Matthew said...

"I think it works as a way to try to get conservatives engaged on caring for actual human beings. The joke is that Republicans think life begins at conception and ends at birth. "

This only works if Democrats gave more to charities than Republicans. As Republicans do, it is clear that Republicans care more about life after birth.

It's not my fault the joke is on you.

Saint Croix said...

One would think, after slavery and the Holocaust, that our unelected jurists would concede that any and all human beings are people. Instead the Court seems to assume that nobody is a person until the Court says they are. Thus the Court recognizes Africans are people (the Civil War resolved that) and Jews are people (World War II resolved that). Is that the legal standard, you only achieve personhood after a war resolves the issue? One might ask if that attitude might not lead to war.

Of course, babies will never fight a war. Perhaps that’s why we will never recognize the humanity of babies, because they will always be weak and vulnerable. If we want to kill them, they will die. Is that the legal standard our unelected judges want to impose? What is the standard?

Note that when Scalia talks about his classes of people-that-might-not-be-people, he speaks of the weak and helpless, the newborns and the “incompetent elderly.” In other words, he is speaking of the non-viables. Apparently, Justice Scalia has found something useful out of the Court’s abortion jurisprudence--he is only recognizing autonomous people as people. He is accepting Plato’s rule, as it were.

I disagree. Babies are people. The incompetent elderly are people. Anybody who is a human being is a person. It is immoral and quite illegal for our unelected branch to start defining some human beings as outside our laws. All people are entitled to the equal protection of the laws. We know this because this is what the Constitution specifically says.

A baby is a person. Thus a state must make sure that abortion is not sanctioning a homicide. You might do this by applying the state’s death statutes to the issue. This is a value judgment a state makes in regard to what constitutes a human death. And as such it is a rule that applies to all the people in that state. What a state cannot do is classify a group of people as outside the law and say “our death statutes do not apply to you because we are defining you as a commodity.” Roe v. Wade has caused an uproar precisely because humanity has been denied.

What Scalia knows, what we all know, is that words are not defined by the powerful. Words are not defined by nine Supreme Court Justices sitting in a room. The all-powerful Justices do not actually get to decide what words mean. Words are defined by us, by ordinary people, by common usage, by dictionaries. And “person” is an easy word to define. You do not have to be an Ivy League jurist to know what a person is. First graders know what a person is. A person is a live human being.

Nathan Alexander said...

All I needed to know to be 100% abortion is morally evil was when a liberal once related an anecdote.

The liberal's friend was pregnant, and the liberal was frustrated and confused at having to wait until her friend decided she wanted to keep it or abort it before she knew whether to congratulate her or offer sympathetic moral support.

The baby was the exact same object. But whether the liberal would share joy or sadness, whether the thing inside her friend's womb was a person or a lump of cells, depended 100% on her dithering friend's decision...which could be changed at nearly any point in the ensuing several months.

Evil.

And the fact that the journal does draw logical conclusions from currently accepted values does show that liberals really are only fooling themselves when trying to say there is a difference between abortion and infanticide.

Matthew said...

"urthermore, I think that all can agree that personhood should not depend on whether one is delivered vaginally or by C-section."

Worked for McDuff

Christopher in MA said...

"Conservatives have a weird fixation on the (hoped for?) impending genocide of gay fetuses."

No, Hat, we're just pointing out the truth. IF (and it's a mighty big if) there ever was a genetic test to identify homosexuality, it is an absolute, rock solid given that your entire, filthy, treasonous, murderous party would turn on a dime and shriek to high heaven about preserving the sanctity of life.

That you "think" conservatives want to eliminate gays says more about the vast wasteland between your ears than anything else.

Matthew said...

"Conservatives have a weird fixation on the (hoped for?) impending genocide of gay fetuses."

Conservatives are against abortion, some for the big three reasons, some for any reason at all.

It's only as you move left that you start getting people who are squeamish about abortion for specific reasons, such as gender-selective abortion.

Conservatives don't -want- that to happen, it is a natural step in the process of allowing abortion for any reason, that some people will use it for distasteful reasons.

Pookie Number 2 said...

I think it works as a way to try to get conservatives engaged on caring for actual human beings. The joke is that Republicans think life begins at conception and ends at birth.

I think we all understand that Andy's biases keep him from caring about whether his policies benefit actual human beings. He's much more in favor of things that make him sound nice (like the minimum wage). If poor people then suffer more because they can't develop lower-rung skills as a result, too bad for them He gets to sound pious, and that's all that matters.

Saint Croix said...

But why would anyone kill a baby after it was born, especially if it was born healthy? Every time I pick up the paper I see stories about women who want to be mothers but who are unable to conceive. If you have a healthy baby you'd like to place, people will beat a path to your door.

Google "Prom Mom."

nellakat said...

bagoh2o (2/29/12 11:59pm) said:


"The question is not when are they alive, they always were. It's when do they become a person, separate from simply a living tissue in the mother. When do they become not her and move beyond her sole determination?

I think this will always be a simple drawing of a line by judgement and law, and never have a clear scientific basis.


We actually do know this scientifically. When the egg and sperm join they create a genetically unique individual. 46 chromosomes coded in a way they never have before and never will again. At that moment the creature will never be anything but a human being. Further, that creature will never be anything or anyONE than that exact human individual. Cells from the child are as distinguishable from the mother as any other creature's.

Saint Croix said...

Birth is a nice bright line

You'd think it would be, except the abortions were running so late in the pregnancy, the D&E abortions were starting to put the mother's life at risk. Doctors were leaving baby body parts behind in the uterus. It's the infamous "free-floating fetal head" problem.

So doctors came up with the brilliant idea of partial-birth abortion. Induce labor, deliver the baby, and kill her outside the womb.

So what does this procedure do to your "bright line" test? Now the baby is half-commodity and half-citzen. She's half a person, since she's partially born.

How can you be half a person?

Of course, the Supreme Court is so used to defining babies as commodities, it continued to do so in the Carhart opinions, without regard to the baby's status as a newborn infant.

Not a single Justice said, "hey, wait a minute, this baby is born. Shouldn't we apply equal protection?"

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, in his abortion clinic, would deliver the baby all the way and then do the abortion. He is currently under prosecution for murdering eight babies (and one woman).

All he did was change the sequence of events.

Here is liberalism: "Induce labor, deliver the baby, kill her, finish the delivery." It's a Constitutional right, so they say.

Here is Gosnell: "Induce labor, deliver the baby, finish the delivery, kill her." He might face the death penalty for that.

The "bright line" distinguishing the constitutional right from the murder prosecution seems rather haphazard and arbitrary to me.

lemondog said...

Full
text shows nothing ironic in their conclusions:

Second, we do not claim that after-birth abortions are good alternatives to abortion. Abortions at an early stage are the best option, for both psychological and physical reasons. However, if a disease has not been detected during the pregnancy, if something went wrong during the delivery, or if economical, social or psychological circumstances change such that taking care of the offspring becomes an unbearable burden on someone, then people should be given the chance of not being forced to do something they cannot afford.

GMay said...

It's when do they become a person, separate from simply a living tissue in the mother. When do they become not her and move beyond her sole determination?

The moment they have their own unique genetic identity.

In addition to a previous commenter's response to you about eggs and sperm - they also do not have their own genetic identity.

Matthew said...

"It is true that a particular moral status can be attached to a non-person by virtue of the value an actual person (eg, the mother) attributes to it. However, this ‘subjective’ account of the moral status of a newborn does not debunk our previous argument. Let us imagine that a woman is pregnant with two identical twins who are affected by genetic disorders. In order to cure one of the embryos the woman is given the option to use the other twin to develop a therapy. If she agrees, she attributes to the first embryo the status of ‘future child’ and to the other one the status of a mere means to cure the ‘future child’. However, the different moral status does not spring from the fact that the first one is a ‘person’ and the other is not, which would be nonsense, given that they are identical. Rather, the different moral statuses only depends on the particular value the woman projects on them. However, such a projection is exactly what does not occur when a newborn becomes a burden to its family. "

-- This is ridiculous. People have a value unrelated to the value others put in them.

Synova said...

How is it not ironic to state that they aren't saying that after-birth "abortion" is good, when the quote goes on to say "unless economic conditions change, at which point you can kill your existing children because they'd make things hard for you."

?

I was more struck by the irony of the quotes complaining that the fuss people were making and the hostility was an existential threat to civilization, because as soon as we stop calmly considering the death of our children it all falls apart.

GMay said...

Someone beat me to the genetic point.

What's strange is that liberals/leftists abandon science so quickly as soon as it no longer serves their purpose. Anthropogenic Global Warming/Climate Change "research" or even the so-called "Social Sciences" are dutifully referenced for the Good of Humanity.

Simple, well-founded scientific understanding of biological reproduction and preocreation of the species? Simply inconvenient.

ken in sc said...

In the past I have facetiously wrote that if mothers have abortion rights before birth, then fathers should abortion rights after birth—up until about age 18. If the fetus/potential human shows signs of being defective, such as not taking out the garbage or being smart-mouthed, the father can take it to a Planned Parenthood clinic and have it taken care of.

The ancient Roman Patresfamilias not only had this right but could also sell the ungrateful brat and get a little of his investment back.

Matthew said...

"If a potential person, like a fetus and a newborn, does not become an actual person, like you and us, then there is neither an actual nor a future person who can be harmed, which means that there is no harm at all."

-- This sounds logically flawed too. Because, they have to state:

"This does not mean that the interests of actual people always over-ride any right of future generations, as we should certainly consider the well-being of people who will inhabit the planet in the future."

-- In short, a potential human's value and ability to be harmed is directly related to what I feel counts. There's no consistency, except an artificial construct designed to support the biases of the author.

They try to say:

"In other words, we are talking about particular individuals who might or might not become particular persons depending on our choice, and not about those who will certainly exist in the future but whose identity does not depend on what we choose now."

-- But, unless we assume that nature trumps any form of nurture, we are never debating what identity a child will have prior to it becoming a person. All of the potential children, for example, could prefer to live in a world where industry is booming and the environment is a secondary concern. Look at the tortured logic:

"We might still have moral duties towards future generations in spite of these future people not existing yet. But because we take it for granted that such people will exist (whoever they will be), we must treat them as actual persons of the future."

-- There will be people in the future, but I can choose which people these are. So, does that mean that we could kill all the X babies, where X is a race the chooser dislikes, because he believes that they harm actual people? According to this, yes. We're still preserving the future of the world, and we are protecting current people from harm. Genocide, provided it is accompanied with a hope to prevent harm to "actual" people, is allowable, provided you couple it with infanticide.

This is shoddy logic; abhorrent ethics and bad comedy, if indeed, they intended it to be.

Saint Croix said...

During the first trimester, somewhere around half of the fetuses are lost naturally. Mother Nature's way to handle birth defects, genetic mutations, etc. Aborting during that time is not as worrisome to me as later.

Bruce, you're being really sloppy here.

Possibly half of zygotes fail to attach to the uteran wall. (Even that number is in dispute).

Once the the zygote attaches to the uterus (7 to 10 days after conception), then the mother is impregnated. That's why many of us consider the IUD to be birth control, and not an abortion.

Other people disagree.

We refer to an embryo as a "fetus" when she starts voluntary movement and brain activity begins in her brain stem, approximately 9 weeks after the last menstrual period, (or 7 weeks after conception, since 2 weeks after your period is when you are most likely to conceive).

It is not true that half of all pregnancies spontaneously abort after this point. Not even close to true.

In any event, God kills us all. So it's hardly right to say that we can do it because God does it.

Synova said...

"then people should be given the chance of not being forced to do something they cannot afford."

Someone wrote this and thought it was a sound logical argument.

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

"We actually do know this scientifically. When the egg and sperm join they create a genetically unique individual. 46 chromosomes coded in a way they never have before and never will again."

I don't think this is a good definition because it doesn't work for twins (or clones), or it does work because they are not genetically identical for very long, but it's still an unsatisfactory measure. I think that what is clearly formed is a discrete individual. Humans don't "bud" so there is not a period of time where the new life is an extension of the parent before it separates and becomes an individual.

Granted, trying to use the word discrete would likely cause more problems than it solved simply because lots of people don't know what it means. I still think it's the most accurate, though.

lemondog said...

Wiki recap on Infanticide with overview of cultural attitudes.

Franklin said...

Isn't this whole thing Bioethics 101?

The next logical step is whether a person in a coma or vegetative state has the moral status of a person and whether it's OK to kill them. And then you discuss the definition of moral status. Then you posit whether it's OK to kill things with some of the characteristics of moral status but not all of them - like sentient mold on another planet. Got my notes right here.

The discussion gets weirder after that.

george said...

If we are to believe his words, our current president has a very similar view about infanticide.

But hey, he is a genius so who are we to criticize.

Saint Croix said...

The abortion issue will not be resolved until geneticists develop a prenatal test for homosexuality. Only then will the left see the downside of abortion.

Oh, bullshit. Liberals love the handicapped, right? I can't get a parking place because liberals love the handicapped.

But who is the first baby liberals always abort? The handicapped.

95% of babies with Down's syndrome, gone. Killed in the womb.

Liberals have already stamped the termination of girls as A-OK.

You think liberals like gay babies more than girls?

We know what liberals say, but what's going on inside their black hearts?

When you define abortion as nothing, as simple surgery, as a right thing to do, then it's just a wish list of what you want in a baby.

The Supreme Court has defined babies as commodities. Now we're all shopping, trying to get the best possible baby we can have.

A baby is not a gift from God anymore. Now she's a science project.

Jay said...

Conservatives have a weird fixation on the (hoped for?) impending genocide of gay fetuses.


Not really, no.

But it is worth pointing out that you, gay boy who has sex with other men, have a bizarre fixation on birth control.

Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

People should be given the chance of not being forced to do something they cannot afford.

Pregnancy is not actually force. You had sex. Now there's a pregnancy. This is biological and natural. Happens all the time, throughout human history.

If you don't want to be pregnant, if you're not ready, then avoid sex.

Or use birth control while you accept the risks of pregnancy.

Birth control gives you the oppotrunity to avoid pregnancy. But your failure to use birth control correctly does not mean you were "forced" to become pregnant.

Unless you are actually charging somebody with rape, nobody forced you to have sex. "It's not my fault" is a rather ridiculous thing to say after you've had sex with somebody.

Women control sex precisely because they are the ones who might get pregnant. But your control rights, your power, does not extend to a right to kill a baby.

Outlawing abortion puts women in exactly the same legal status as men.

We can be made fathers against our will. Happens to us all the time.

It's not "force," because we were there, as active participants. And thus we are responsible for our actions.

"Something they can't afford."

Note how liberals reduce everything to economics.

You're not buying a car. You don't get to take the baby back to the store because you can't afford it.

This is the problem with defining human beings as commodities. Socialists start worrying about money and before you know it, the dead bodies start piling up.

bagoh20 said...
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bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

Of course a fertilized egg is unique (although not in twins), and it grows on it's own (but so do many tissues including cancer); but conception itself does not make a person. You can see that this is our understanding in that we don't treat a naturally aborted fertilized egg like a death in the family. If it happens at month 9, then we certainly take it more serious, but even then it's not equal to losing a 4 year old.

My point is that the nature of the thing changes from nothing to everything and I don't see a sudden moment when that takes place. That is the real problem, and I think it will never be answered definitively by science. We will never all agree on it, and this argument will be happening with our grandparents.

Despite that, I think we do need to make a legal decision about it, and personally I don't agree with either conception or birth being the bright line. I don't think there is a bright line.

Saint Croix said...

Despite that, I think we do need to make a legal decision about it, and personally I don't agree with either conception or birth being the bright line. I don't think there is a bright line.

All 50 states are agreement in regard to when people die. Our rule is total brain death.

So the key biological issue, under state law, is whether you have any activity in the brain stem or cerebral cortex.

What equal protection requires is that we apply the same rule to everybody.

Even if you want to define a zygote as a person, it's not murder to kill one because it would not meet the definition of human death in any state.

You have to have a brain in order to die. A zygote doesn't have a brain.

This is why nobody thinks of an IUD as homicide, or a lab assistant dropping a test tube in a fertility clinic as a killer.

Terminating a zygote or an embryo might be bad or immoral, but it's not death under the death statutes we apply to you or me.

The point of equal protection is that we apply the same rules to the unborn that we apply to you or me. That way we can be sure we're not discriminating out of bias.

bagoh20 said...

Saint Croix, That makes perfect sense to me. So when does brain activity start. The good thing about that standard is that technology would allow us to determine it for certain for each individual fetus.

I'm sorry miss, the test says your baby now has rights, including the right to be born alive. You can give her up for adoption, but you have no right to kill her from now on.

Saint Croix said...

Bagoh, you start to get blips of brain activity in your brainstem approximately nine weeks after the last menstrual period.

It coincides with voluntary movement. It's also when doctors start referring to an embryo as a fetus.

What I like about equal protection is that the Supreme Court is not dictating any substantive rule. They are simply requiring the state to apply its own death rules to the unborn. That's fair. If you don't like your death rules, change them.

Also I think a state should be free to outlaw (or allow) abortions of embryos.

Finally, I think the Supreme Court should continue to mandate that emergency contraception in cases of rape is still a constitutional right under Griswold.

bagoh20 said...

Saint Croix,
I agree with all that, and I must thank you for bringing up the equal protection / definition of death angle. Maybe I'm dense, or not well enough read, but I never considered that approach. It really helps me come to terms and advance my understanding with this very hard subject. It gives me some missing clarity and that's a great gift. Thanks.

Peter said...

One can imagine this leading to a truly high-stakes test.

At age 16, you take this comprehensive test. Depending on how you do, there is the Selection.

Losers and winners get an injection when it's over. Winners get a placebo. Losers get something that makes them deliriously happy for 30 minutes or so, until the happy-juice destroys enough of their brains to end their lives.

junyo said...

Pogo said...
Why stop at infancy?

Anytime a leftist decides you haven't justified the attribution of a right to life to an individual, you're ripe for culling.


And this is the real point isn't it? No one seems concerned of the potential of letting the state, of some random board of ethicists, decide who is or isn't a "person". Do people really want to go down a road where, based on a completely arbitrary whim, a baby*, a poor person, a Catholic, a Jew/black/white/insert readily identifiable demographic group on the shitty side of the current politicosocioeconomic power structure here, are not people? Whether you are religious or not, that should be the argument against abortion.


* As long as you label it a "fetus". Birth was never an especially logical brightline, and now it becomes an increasingly semantic distinction, especially as technology enhances our ability to survive out of the womb earlier and earlier - at some point we'll be able to completely gestate externally and then what?

Saint Croix said...

Bagoh, you're very welcome.

Feminism has given us a really horrible choice. On the one hand, be a single mom.

Well, that sucks.

Or, on the other hand, have an abortion and feel guilt for the rest of your life.

Why would you brag about this choice? It sucks! It's a horrible choice! Who wants to make that choice?

Why not throw suicide in there, as choice number three, since we're naming all the bad choices you have.

Is feminism happy that so many women are choosing to be single moms?

Or do you prefer our sky high abortion rates? 50 million abortions since 1973.

See this site for examples of women who are grieving over their abortions. It's not a pro-life site, but rather a site about women who are concerned about the suffering of women who are suffering emotional trauma over their intentional miscarriage.

We should be warning young girls about how bad the feminist choice is, and how you really want to avoid it.

Have love in your hearts when you have sex. Know you might be making a baby. Are you ready for a baby? Birth control fails all the time.

It seems the least we can do, as a society, is take the infanticide issue off the table.

Nathan Alexander said...

Reading the liberal view toward the sanctity of life (or lack thereof) is really interesting in light of their reaction to Breitbart's death.

Saint Croix said...

In regard to Down's babies, they write:

“To bring up such children might be an unbearable burden...on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care."

Hello. That's the basis for the article. They want to suggest that we might start killing Down's babies, even against the will of the parents.

You can't force abortions on moms. They would be an assault on mom.

But if you can abort newborns, you can do so without assaulting mom.

So if you define newborns as commodities...

When have socialists respected any property rights? You think that baby is yours? "When the state economicially provides for their care"?

Death panels for babies.

What surprises liberals about this? Socialism always seems to end up here.

MrEddy said...

On the issue of civility of responses to the article, the editor said:
"What is disturbing is not the arguments in this paper nor its publication in an ethics journal. It is the hostile, abusive, threatening responses that it has elicited. More than ever, proper academic discussion and freedom are under threat from fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society.
What the response to this article reveals, through the microscope of the web, is the deep disorder of the modern world. Not that people would give arguments in favour of infanticide, but the deep opposition that exists now to liberal values and fanatical opposition to any kind of reasoned engagement."

He's right. It's not like they were debating such forbidden topics as possible differences in brain structure between males and females, or the impact of genetics on IQ. This article is just about infanticide. Only a Neanderthal would get excited over reasonable debate of such a run of the mill issue.

Methadras said...

Blogger Andy R. said...

Conservatives have a weird fixation on the (hoped for?) impending genocide of gay fetuses.


No they don't Andy. You just think they do, which as always, for you is wrong to think, since your filter of the ideology you think through is wrong to begin with anyway. Conservatives have no desire to kill 'gay' fetuses, since there is no way to tell if a fetus, aka baby is gay at all.

Again, I've asked you before, show me anywhere in the human genome where the gay is. Just show me.

Methadras said...

Bender said...

Why the use of potential life as a means to devalue life in a legal sense is mystifying and why hasn't anyone challenged this outside of what I've just said.

They have. Often.

But you operate under a false premise, which is that if only you make a reasoned argument, if only you show the logic, then they would change.

BUT ROE AND CASEY, ET AL. HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH REASON AND LOGIC. THEY HAVE TO DO WITH RAW JUDICIAL POWER, WHICH PERMITS ARBITRARY AND ABSOLUTE PERSONAL POWER. Reason, logic, facts, truth -- these have nothing to do with it.


Which circles back to my original premise that Roe v. Wade is just bad, horrendous law.

Bender said...

you start to get blips of brain activity in your brainstem approximately nine weeks after the last menstrual period.
It coincides with voluntary movement. It's also when doctors start referring to an embryo as a fetus. . . . I think a state should be free to outlaw (or allow) abortions of embryos


It is a rather curious "pro-lifer" who is fine with abortion for nearly the entirety of the first "trimester." All that separates that from Roe is a mere three weeks (if measured accurately).

Again, that is a rather curious idea of being pro-life that says that Roe is three-quarters correct.

But hey, people can call themselves whatever they want.

Bender said...

my original premise that Roe v. Wade is just bad, horrendous law

Which, again, includes the faulty premise that it is "law," bad or good.

But Roe does not pretend to be "law" at all.

Methadras said...

Bender said...

Which, again, includes the faulty premise that it is "law," bad or good.

But Roe does not pretend to be "law" at all.


Then it should be stricken.

Saint Croix said...

It is a rather curious "pro-lifer" who is fine with abortion for nearly the entirety of the first "trimester."

I didn't say I was fine with early abortions, or any abortions. I'm not. I think they should be outlawed. (With the exception of the IUD and emergency contraception). But it's up to representatives to outlaw things, not unelected judges. The Supreme Court's job is to follow our law, not dictate new law.

You think Scalia is fine with abortion? He doesn't even use birth control.

My legal position is far more pro-life than Scalia's. He continues to define babies as legal commodities. I say they are people and entitled to the equal protection of the laws.

My point was...

a) we have laws that define when people die in this country

b) unelected judges should apply these laws to the abortion controversy, because that's what equal protection requires.

That's way more pro-life than Scalia's position (which merely throws abortion out of the courts and into the legislature).

I'm throwing the issue back to the legislature, too, but I'm also insisting that the states follow their own death statutes when issuing any new abortion rules.

Saint Croix said...

Roe v. Wade does two distinct things.

The first thing it does is define babies as non-persons who are outside our law.

Unborn infants, born infants, it doesn't matter. None of them get equal protection. In his Casey dissent Justice Scalia argues that the "incompetent elderly" are also not entitled to equal protection.

I think this is horribly wrong. But you have to understand that all the Justices, liberal and conservative, have signed off on it.

The second thing Roe v. Wade does is issue a bunch of abortion rules. It writes a statute for the whole country. This has been controversial, even among supporters of abortion, precisely because the Supreme Court has no authority to write or rewrite criminal statutes.

In any event, all the judicial dissents have focused on the undemocratic nature of the abortion statutes. And they have utterly ignored the homicidal nature of abortion, at least up until the Carhart opinions.

I think the Supreme Court's abortion statute should be overturned, yes. But I disagree with Bender that the Court should replace it with a new abortion statute for the entire country.

No, the Court should throw it back to the states.

But the Court should also recognize that babies are people, and not follow any abortion law that contradicts state law in regard to when people die.

It's not for unelected judges to define when people die (i.e. what the important points are). But it is up to courts to make sure that whatever the state rule is, we're applying that rule to all people in the state.

Defining babies as commodities has been a disaster for the Supreme Court, and led the liberals to write barbaric opinions such as Carhart.

Conservatives on the Court have avoided equal protection arguments, probably out of a fear they would look like people who are dictating Catholic theology to the USA. But equal protection does not require that every abortion is immediately outlawed. It only requires that the ones that are homicides under state law are outlawed. It's a subtle distinction but an important one.

Largo said...

When I saw "after-birth abortion", my wtf moment was -- how do you abort a placenta?