February 10, 2012

Rick Santorum on feminism and abortion.

From his book "It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good":
It is obvious that for [women who feel regret], abortion was not a liberating choice. These women and many others say abortion was a last resort, or that they felt they had no other choice. It is a decision, often born out of loneliness and desperation, that can cause a lifetime of suffering.

Alice Paul, the feminist author of the Equal Rights Amendment, was right when she said, “Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.”

Dorinda Bordlee of Americans United for Life wrote recently, “Roe has ruined romance. Every woman's deepest desire to love and be loved has been distorted into a license to use and be used. Women have paid with their bodies and their souls. Abandoned emotionally and financially by the men they loved, and moved by profound grief at the loss of their children, they stand in front of crowds with signs that say ‘I regret my abortion.'” Serrin Foster of Feminists for Life sums it up well: “Women deserve better than abortion.”

... [I]f you were to ask one of the village elders their view of liberty they would say, “the freedom to do whatever you desire, as long as nobody gets hurt.” How does that square with abortion? Doesn't their support for abortion undermine the basic tenet of liberal orthodoxy? Can you honestly say that in an abortion “no one gets hurt?” What about the 327 women who died and countless others who became sterile from legal abortions between 1973 and 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control? What about the four women you just heard from: didn't they get hurt? What about the exploitation and misogyny? And, yes, what about the babies? Is this caveat to No-Fault Freedom just an obligatory yet disingenuous smokescreen? The village elders' response provides great insight into the liberal mind.

The village elders choose to ignore or deny the humanity of the child in the womb and the emotional trauma of the mother and choose to focus solely on freedom or “choice.” Think about it. When you hear an abortion supporter argue his or her position, nowhere do you hear that a baby's heart can be seen beating at three weeks; that new 4D sonograms show that from twelve weeks, unborn babies can stretch, kick, and leap around the womb—well before the mother can feel movement; from eighteen weeks, they can open their eyes, although most doctors thought eyelids were fused until 26 weeks; from 26 weeks, when partial birth abortions are still performed, they appear to exhibit a whole range of typical baby behavior and moods, including scratching, smiling, crying, hiccupping, and sucking.

Almost never do you hear about what is being chosen, other than the sterile words “terminating a pregnancy.” Nowhere do you hear that over 93 percent of abortions are performed on healthy mothers with healthy babies who were not the victim of rape or incest, which means that in the vast majority of cases abortion is actually postconception birth control. Nowhere do you hear that 48 percent of women obtaining abortions in any given year already had at least one abortion. Nowhere will you see the words infant, baby, or child.

The advocates of abortion, like Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Action League, teach that if you have to say anything about what is in the womb you should use dehumanizing terms like “product of conception,” “embryo,” and “fetal tissue.” Or, if you must, fetus. Thanks to a lot of help from their allies in the news and entertainment media, they have turned the child in the womb into a nobody, and therefore “nobody gets hurt.”...
This chapter goes on to quote from the 1999 Senate debate over partial-birth abortion law. Santorum, as Senator, argued with Senators Boxer and Feingold in an effort to make them appear unprincipled if they tried to draw any line defining who is a human being deserving the protection of the law. Santorum's position is: "If you don't draw a bright clear line to give constitutional protection—i.e., personhood—to all human life at the moment when human life begins—at conception—then everything becomes just a power game."

107 comments:

Nihimon said...

Professor, I wish that you were more forthcoming with your own thoughts.

edutcher said...

As I've said, Santorum always struck me as a panderer when it came to the whole abortion thing.

But he puts his real sin in the eyes of the Lefties right up front - it takes a family - not the village. One of the few times - if he really means it - when he isn't a statist.

Patrick said...

I believe she has stated here that she is pro choice. Of course, that could cover or exclude a fair amount in that controversy.

A little more complicated than that.

She doesn't want Roe overturned, but "do[es] in fact think abortion is wrong. I think most Americans agree with me and think it's wrong but not the role of government to police."

traditionalguy said...

Santorum has a talent for drawing bright red lines.

That is really not a popular skill. It is exercising basic Legal Judgement on people.

And who made you a judge over us said the Hebrew slave to the young Moses 40 years before a meek Moses returned with a message and a special Rod and tested the hard hearted Pharoh with God's judgements.

People who like a efficient judgemental systems with bright red lines will admire Santorum. A Law Professor might admire that talent.

IMO it will take special miracles for a Santorum to win. Stay tuned.

Patrick said...

After writing that, I realized it was "more complicated," so I deleted. The Professor can speak for herself should she choose to.

Bob Ellison said...

edutcher said "Santorum always struck me as a panderer when it came to the whole abortion thing."

Politicans pander, but we voters who evaluate them usually make a mistake when we think they don't believe what they profess to believe. Apply the KISS principle: Santorum believes abortion is a sin; Obama believes wealth inequality is a sin. It's much easier, and probably closer to the truth, to simply assume that people believe what they are saying. Alinsky is not always in play.

I heart, it's getting old. You're no Maureen Dowd.

MadisonMan said...

Having an abortion starts you down an alternate path than you would not have followed had you not terminated. Life is filled with choices that send you down one path or another.

I do not understand why it would stir up feelings of lasting profound grief. Why look back on what might have been if it consumes you? If you perceive that you have made a mistake, understand the reasons, resolve to do better, and forgive yourself. Why can't some women forgive themselves over this decision? (At least, that's how I interpret their feelings of lasting, profound grief) I think that's an interesting question.

Is it a feminist view to hold that women are so racked with guilt over such a decision? (Never having taken womyn's studies, I do not know the answer to this question)

edutcher said...

No problem, sir. I like a fair man.

I ♥ Willard said...

So Ricky opposes abortion AND contraception.

"Sex] is supposed to be within marriage. It’s supposed to be for purposes that are yes, conjugal…but also procreative. That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen… This is special and it needs to be seen as special."

"One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be."

Poor Ricky makes Ward Cleaver look cool in comparison.

G Joubert said...

I do not understand why it would stir up feelings of lasting profound grief.

Geez, to me that's the easiest part to understand. What with the female biological imperative to procreate, but when pregnant the baby is sucked from her womb and flushed down the loo, far-reaching damage is done to the mother's psyche.

Gina said...

I am an authentic feminist. I am also unashamedly pro-life. Really. I am not alone, although is usually feels that way.
http://www.feministsforlife.org/

I ♥ Willard said...

the baby is sucked from her womb and flushed down the loo

I'm fairly certain that clinics don't use toilets to dispose of fetuses.

oneeye said...

Why bother writing a blog if you dont take a stance, or atleast have an opinion. Althouse and Instapundit do this all the time - it drives me crazy.
It is either laziness or cowardice.

edutcher said...

G Joubert said...

I do not understand why it would stir up feelings of lasting profound grief.

Geez, to me that's the easiest part to understand. What with the female biological imperative to procreate, but when pregnant the baby is sucked from her womb and flushed down the loo, far-reaching damage is done to the mother's psyche


After dismissing such stories for years as "anecdotal", medical science is finding that, yes, the woman does suffer emotionally.

traditionalguy said...

Abortion is not just a medical procedure for human health anymore than a bullet fired into a brain is just a physics lesson in mass, velocity and vectors.

Abortion is also a terrible injustice being done to a weak and helpless human child of God.

As such it qualifies for God's curse upon the procurers and the enablers of that injustice.

That is why Catholics take it so seriously.

I told you Santorum is dangerous to Death Panels and atheists.

I do wish he would keep his nose out of the way humans chose to have sex.

SteveR said...

I'm fairly certain that clinics don't use toilets to dispose of fetuses.

I suppose there's a more respectful way to "dispose" of them?

Dave said...

"I'm fairly certain that clinics don't use toilets to dispose of fetuses"

As if it makes any difference how they dispose of the body the trauma is the same. Every abortion leaves one dead and one wounded.

Michael Haz said...

That passage taken from Santorum's book makes me like him all the more. He isn't willing (like Ted Kennedy or Nancy Pelosi to name two) to forego his fundamental beliefs for the spotlight and power of elected office.

Bender said...

I am an authentic feminist. I am also unashamedly pro-life

You're being redundant, Gina.

Freeman Hunt said...

I do not understand why it would stir up feelings of lasting profound grief. Why look back on what might have been if it consumes you? If you perceive that you have made a mistake, understand the reasons, resolve to do better, and forgive yourself. Why can't some women forgive themselves over this decision?

If you murdered one of your own children, wouldn't you feel extreme guilt about it? Even lasting profound grief?

Henry said...

@MadisonMan -- That's a really interesting point. Santorum describes a set of women:

1. Who have had an abortion as a last resort, then
2. Suffered a lifetime of regret.

What is missing is the premise:

0. Why was the abortion the choice of last resort?

A woman who starts at 0 may end up at 2 no matter choice she makes.

0, in fact, is where most abortion-proponents start. 0 is rape and incest. 0 is a threat to the life of a mother. 0 is poverty, abuse, fear, and desperation.

Santorum needs to explain the premise of his argument.

When Santorum moves on to discussing the rhetoric of life vs. choice, he is on stronger ground. There is something deeply wrong about a movement that seeks to dehumanize the human life in the womb just to avoid moral difficulty.

But unwittingly Santorum reveals, if not a logical flaw, at least an experiential gulf between his main points. The small number of women who feel regret is counterbalanced -- in Santorum's own words -- by the large number of women who are not victims of a crime and who may have had multiple abortions:

Nowhere do you hear that over 93 percent of abortions are performed on healthy mothers with healthy babies who were not the victim of rape or incest, which means that in the vast majority of cases abortion is actually postconception birth control. Nowhere do you hear that 48 percent of women obtaining abortions in any given year already had at least one abortion.

Small wonder that neither side can convince the other.

Jay said...

I ♥ Willard said...
I'm fairly certain that clinics don't use toilets to dispose of fetuses.


Yeah, the guy in Philadelphia was putting them in bags and bottles.

Bob Ellison said...

Henry, your comments are interesting. Perhaps the whole thing is an experiment of eugenics. Maybe the people who don't care (PWDC) outnumber the people who have issues with it (PWHIWI). One might suppose that the PWHIWI will eventually out-number the PWDC, simply based on fertility.

But I think you don't understand Santorum. He actually thinks abortion is sinful. He doesn't give a crap about what the PWDC thinks. It's a moral thing with him.

MadisonMan said...

If you murdered one of your own children, wouldn't you feel extreme guilt about it? Even lasting profound grief?

Extreme guilt, yes (My kids will be happy to know). Lasting, profound grief? That's the interesting question. Could I forgive myself? I think it's likely, if I understood the reasons behind the decision and was resolved not to let them repeat.

Note that in my mind, there is a difference between a child in utero and one that's taken a breath. (Not all people think this way, obviously). So murdering one's own child takes on different contexts at different times.

wyo sis said...

Madison Man
"I do not understand why it would stir up feelings of lasting profound grief."
Maybe because the death of a child is lasting and profound. Life is still sacred even when society says differently.

Shana said...

"I do not understand why it would stir up feelings of lasting profound grief."

Seriously?

Alex said...

Honestly, I find it offensive that some people should try to tell women how much guilt they should feel about having an abortion. It's an intensely private thing that's between the woman, her god(if she has any) and whichever friends or family she CHOOSES to share the experience with.

wyo sis said...

Alex
Are you as offended when someone tells someone else that they shouldn't put certain foods into their mouths, or buy certain kinds of light bulbs or any of the thousands of things social engineers dictate we have to feel a certain way about?

Bob Ellison said...

Alex, it's really this simple: Santorum believes that abortion is murder. Try to believe that. It's a simple concept.

Patrick said...

@MadisonMan,

I would guess (and I can only guess) is that the profound grief, etc. comes from the fact that the decision is irreversible, and ends whatever potential the child had. I think people often have trouble forgiving themselves, and when they perceive their mistakes as serious and profound, it would be all the more difficult.

Alex said...

I'm offended by a federal government with 150,000 pages of regulations. Just give me freedom or give me death. Where is Patrick Henry when you really need him?

Alex said...

Patrick - I'm sure that most successful career women have had an abortion at some point and they don't regret it. Just one baby at the wrong time can derail a promising woman's life.

Smilin' Jack said...

When you hear an abortion supporter argue his or her position, nowhere do you hear that a baby's heart can be seen beating at three weeks; that new 4D sonograms show that from twelve weeks, unborn babies can stretch, kick, and leap around the womb....

Equally true of unborn chimpanzees. Is chimp life sacred too, or does the special value of human life perhaps involve something more than the ability to "stretch, kick, and leap around"?

Alex said...

Jack - that's sophistry. A human fetus has the potential to become a fully realized human being, a chimp fetus does not. I'm a pro-choice atheist who nevertheless understands that abortion is an act of killing. The only thing is I believe the mother has the right to kill her fetus. But let's not engage in euphemisms like "terminating the pregnancy". Call abortion what it is, infanticide.

chickenlittle said...

Wondering how many chimp abortions were performed last year

Kit said...

MM, perhaps it’s a difference of degrees (profound, consuming, extreme). I don’t feel that self-forgiveness and extreme guilt are mutually exclusive. We have the capacity to hold both acceptance (of our actions) and mourn those same actions - to not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it. Being willing to admit our mistakes, vowing to learn from them, then taking that experience, somehow, into the service of others is really all we can do as we go forward. Sitting in consuming grief for the rest of our days, does no one any good.

Shana said...

@Alex

"Patrick - I'm sure that most successful career women have had an abortion at some point and they don't regret it. Just one baby at the wrong time can derail a promising woman's life."

No mention of derailing a promising child's life? What if the successful career woman's mom had made the same choice as she is making? Ah, then that would be a tragedy. It is all about the trajectory of the career, apparently.

Bob Ellison said...

Alex said "I'm sure that most successful career women have had an abortion at some point and they don't regret it."

That's an interesting statement. I'm not as sure of it, but it might be true nonetheless.

Again, though, what does it have to do with the moral position that abortion is murder?

LilEvie said...

I don't expect Santorum to keep his nose out of anything - he IS a statist.

One can agree that abortion is awful, but then consider the alternative: the state forces the woman to maintain her pregnancy, whether raped or incest - what could go wrong? How is this different from China, except there its forced termination. Do not give the state such power.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

I too admire Santorum's frankness on this issue. Additionally, it is my belief that abortion is a sin (as pointed out by an earlier commenter most abortions are NOT the result of rape). Anecdotally, I do know women that have had abortions and carry a great deal of guilt and regret.

It bothers me not that AA doesn't expound - we don't have to comment if we don't want to, either.

And Alex. Really? More outrage over gov't regulation than abortion? The more of your comments I read the more I am convinced you are abusing substances. AS IF a woman would actually 'choose' who she might 'share' her abortion experience with. Do you mean in the 'baby shower' sense? Ridiculous.

chickenlittle said...

But God's own descent
Into flesh was meant
As a demonstration
That the supreme merit
Lay in risking spirit
In substantiation.
Spirit enters flesh
And for all it's worth
Charges into earth
In birth after birth
Ever fresh and fresh.
We may take the view
That its derring-do
Thought of in the large
Is one mighty charge
On our human part
Of the soul's ethereal
Into the material.


~Robert Frost (1962)

Bob Ellison said...

But the commenter's own poop
became flesh upon typing,
and then everyone but he or she
regretted it.


~Robert Ellison (2012)

Joe said...

"If you don't draw a bright clear line to give constitutional protection—i.e., personhood—to all human life at the moment when human life begins...."

Out of curiosity, has Santorum introduced a bill to allow people to take a tax deduction for a fetus? To allow a fetus to be counted for EIC purposes? And require the IRS to issue social security numbers for fertilized eggs (depending, of course, on his definition of conception--now there's a "fun" legal morass)?

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I'm sick of the abortion debate.

There I said it. I'm glad I said it.

MikeR said...

If you don't draw a bright clear line to give constitutional protection—i.e., personhood—to all human life at the moment when human life begins—at conception—then everything becomes just a power game.

Meh. Totally uncalled for. Just because it's hard to draw a clear line at some other point doesn't meant that that statement makes any sense.

Alex said...

Do you really want to be arguing against women maximizing their careers in favor of raising a baby she'll hate?

chickenlittle said...

Why do you assume she'll have to raise it Alex?

Patrick said...

Alex, I don't deny there are women who do not regret their abortions.
Evidence of such would be the number of women who have had multiple abortions.

I cannot comprehend their lack of regret, however. I suspect they care even less about that than their abortions.

Alex said...

Patrick - I'm not denying there is a certain ghoulishness to those women who have multiple abortions, but that's their right. You can't legislate morality.

Chris said...

Oh my! Won't someone please think about our feelings? What if someone is sad?

Truly as believable when the right does it as when the left does.

Shana said...

Alex - "I'm not denying there is a certain ghoulishness to those women who have multiple abortions, but that's their right. You can't legislate morality."

I'm not denying there is a certain ghoulishness to those women who kill several of their children, but that's their right. You can't legislate morality.

FIFY

We legislate morality all the time, especially when it involves taking the life of another person. This is such a lame argument.

ricpic said...

What the hell is a career compared to a life?

Alex said...

Shana - I stand corrected, we do legislate morality based on majority opinion at the time. Right now a vast majority of Americans believe abortion should be safe & legal. A very vocal minority of evangelical Christians and Catholics oppose it. Yes you are very vocal.

Alex said...

What the hell is a career compared to a life?

For many women their career IS their life. What is the point of having babies for the sake it?

Jon Burack said...

This comment struck me. From oneeye

"Why bother writing a blog if you dont take a stance, or atleast have an opinion. Althouse and Instapundit do this all the time - it drives me crazy."

I think this is ridiculous. Sometimes questions are much more valuable than pretend answers. In the comments sections here and everywhere, I see people who think they have answers who act imperious and full of fury at anyone who does not share their answers and who usually are a big bore. Althouse has the respect for others to provoke them into thinking for themselves.

As for abortion, I despise it mightly but think the government is messing with mysteries far beyond its pay grade in seeking to define it either as a heinous crime or as a sacred constitutional right. I would be happier with feminists if they admitted honestly what everyone knows is so, that it is the taking of a human life. Honesty would then force them to define the very limited (hopefully) conditions under which that is going to be allowed. I would be happier with the right if it admitted that it does not regard abortion as the equivalent of murder given that it does not seriously entertain the idea of sending women to jail for life for having one.

Had this all be left to the states to decide one by one, we probably would be more or less where we are now, with maybe some additional regulations around the edges. But the vastly preferable upside would be that no one would have had their fundamental moral identity condemned, either by the idea that abortion is a sacred right or an illegal act of evil criminality.

Shana said...

Alex-

So you base morality of the opinions of the majority? What if the majority decide men ages 45-55 are no longer useful and it should be legal to kill them? Is this a serious argument you are making here? Naw, can't be.

William said...

A viable foetus is, in fact, a baby. A morning after pill is more like Schodinger's cat. I have the imprecise and unscientific feeling that as conception progresses, the mother has less and less right to have an abortion and that such a right ceases in the last trimester......My big problem with Santorum's position on contraception, gay marriage and abortion is that he defines these as a big problem. I'd be inclined to let the mills of democracy settle these issues, and I understand, of course, that his candidacy is part of the mills of democracy. I don't think people worry more about abortion than they do about unemployment and the national debt, but if he wins on such issues, well more power to him.....What annoys me most about feminists is that although abortions have destroyed more than a hundred million females, the feminists contine to profess abortion as an unmixed blessing for women. It reminds one of those brave African kings who fought for their right to traffic in slaves against the dictates of the British imperialists.

DADvocate said...

Roe has ruined romance. Every woman's deepest desire to love and be loved has been distorted into a license to use and be used. Women have paid with their bodies and their souls.

Feminism in general has ruined romance. Men often no longer feel the need for romance, or are afraid of being accused of being sexist. Plus, the sexual "liberation" of women has turned them into sex objects more than the old sexist ways ever did. Using women simply for sexual gratification is more popular than ever.

Alex said...

Shana - I'm not debating on the morality of deciding public policy based on majority opinion. I'm simply stating facts in 2012. It is what it is and neither you or I can change it. I hate the drug war, but most people support it. So there, we're all fucked.

Rusty said...

Meh. Totally uncalled for. Just because it's hard to draw a clear line at some other point doesn't meant that that statement makes any sense.


It does to some of us. Life is life. To be alive is better than the alternative. Even if you are just a fertilized egg. Does that life deserve the same constitutional protections as the rest of us?

Donna B. said...

Alex said "I'm sure that most successful career women have had an abortion at some point and they don't regret it."

I say that's one of the most condescending, arrogant, hateful, and wrong statements I've read in quite some time.

Shana said...

Well, Alex, I agree with you about the drug war. So, there's that.

Alex said...

Donna - the vociferousness you see from liberal career women on abortion leads me to believe that they have no regrets about their multiple abortions. They almost wear it like a badge of honor, something to rub in conservatives' faces.

Sofa King said...

Extreme guilt, yes (My kids will be happy to know). Lasting, profound grief? That's the interesting question. Could I forgive myself? I think it's likely, if I understood the reasons behind the decision and was resolved not to let them repeat.


I'm not sure whether you are self-aware enough that you know you have unusually strong powers of rationalization, or whether you simply lack imagination, but that is a pretty glib response. Lots of strong burly men who go off to war suffer profound grief that lasts the rest of their life. And they were killing people trying to kill them! Maybe you're just stronger, psychologically, I guess, but that's a pretty wide assumption.

Alex said...

All I'm saying is that who gets to decide what public policy is? I only get one vote and I keep voting Republican despite the fact that I hate their stance on social issues.

Shana said...

Alex-

I just hate the cliche "you can't legislate morality". All legislation is some form of morality, whether it is contract law or environmental regs. The question is: whose morality is it? I prefer to avoid the Brave New World version. I guess we'll have to see who wins out ultimately. Probably not the people having all the abortions, though.

Alex said...

Shana - you are mistaken if you think that the secular liberals have aborted themselves into demographic doom. With the oncoming singularity, it will render human reproduction irrelevant and whoever is sitting on the top of the power structure when that happens will win for all time.

Roger Zimmerman said...

The thrust of Santorum's point (this point) seems to be that having an abortion may make some women unhappy and regretful, and therefore it is abusive to women in general to allow or support abortion. This is a complete non sequitur.

Many (all?) adults have the potential to make bad (for themselves) decisions in a myriad of circumstances. It does not follow that society ought therefore prevent them from making such decisions (or for having the choice). Santorum's position is one of pure paternalistic statism (or collectivism if you take out the coercive/governmental component). If we grant him this point, we grant the whole panoply of statist interventions in our lives, and, with Santorum as the Republican nominee, would be left with virtually no fundamental distinction between the two major candidates.

So, now can we get back to discussing whether abortion is murder of an actual human being vs. the removal of tissue which is intrinsically part of the woman's body? Can we start this discussion in the first trimester, stipulating that that at some point later the distinction becomes less clear?

Shana said...

Alex-

In the short term, perhaps. Rome may fall to the barbarians again. It won't last forever, though.

Alex said...

Shana - I'm not talking about 5th century Rome all over again. The singularity means that the top 1% of power holders will have the technological means to ensure their immortality and kill off the rest of humanity at any point if they wish. Many science fiction stories have dealt with the subject. When Apple goes from zero to $100 billion cash in just a few years, that has to give you pause about what's really happening.

shiloh said...

"You're no Maureen Dowd."

Maureen Dowd is no "Maureen Down" as on a good day pundits, political or otherwise, have a keen grasp of the obvious!

The Farmer said...

Why bother writing a blog if you dont take a stance, or atleast have an opinion. Althouse and Instapundit do this all the time - it drives me crazy.
It is either laziness or cowardice.


It's not laziness or cowardice- it's the approach of a law professor. I like it. If I wanted to be shouted at or lectured I'd go to any one of the other zillion blogs out there written by people who find their own opinions to be the most important aspect of any subject.

I read Althouse because she challenges you to think about what you believe, and why. Nothing would drive me away quicker than post after post about what she believes and why. Who cares? I like to read her take on things. That's a whole different thing than an opinion, and usually more interesting. It makes me a better thinker. That appeals to me more than being told what I ought to think.

roesch/voltaire said...

It is always a difficult moral decision that leaves a gap in ones' life, but it is one to be made by the woman who has to consider the impact they will bear and is usually a last resort.. There may be grief yes, but so many things can bring us grief including forced marriages. We can quibble about when "life; begins, but the point for me is that these are private matters best left to the individual and should not be regulated by the state.

Dave said...

Alex,

The vociferousness you see from liberal career women is a defense mechanism indicating insecurity and likely private regret. It's the cool collected low key response that indicates no regrets.

Methadras said...

Feminism has sold women a bill of goods. Roe v. Wade was the paid stamp on that bill. You weren't freed by any of it, but rather had another pair of shackles put on for good measure and told that it was good for you. Lipstick on a pig. I hope it was worth it.

Mary Martha said...

Alex said "I'm sure that most successful career women have had an abortion at some point and they don't regret it."

As a successful career woman I am sure that most successful career women are smart enough to not get pregnant.

People act like pregnancy spontaneously occurs leading women to have to choose an abortion. Actions have consequences and women are smart enough to know where babies come from. It's insulting to women to act like they don't or to try to separate responsibility for conception from the result.

Yes, I am pro-life. As a woman of childbearing age I find it really insulting that people think that abortion is a given.

Every argument for abortion today is a rehash of the arguments supporting slavery from centuries past. If you don't consider a fetus, or a black person fully human... then who cares what the 'owner' does with 'it'. I am happy to see that Rick Santorum is bringing this question out into the open.

Shana said...

Alex-

Eh, call me a skeptic. If being a Christian has done nothing else, it has taught me to be an optimist. Empires never stand forever. God might let them work on their Tower of babel for awhile, but it always comes crashing down in the long run. The City of Man will never prevail over the City of God permanently. Obama might be our Caesar, or Google, and we may end up in the catacombs for a time, but there will be a Constantine eventually.

Carol_Herman said...

Well, why should anyone in the GOP care that their label is now pushing Santorum forward, when he's the candidate for pro-life?

No clue that he LOST Pennsylvania, back in 2006, when he was running his re-election bid for his senate seat.

Santorum lost Pennsylvania voters, back in 2006, by 19 points. (It was the biggest loss ever suffered by an incumbent senator, running for re-election.)

Go ahead. Be my guest.

Obama's gonna win in 2012. (And, this statement is not an endorsement.)

Leave it to the republicans who didn't want General Douglas MacArthur, to be their nominee, back in 1948.

Do you know why General Douglas MacArthur got stiffed? The STUPID PARTY thought Truman couldn't win against anybody. So they went with DEWEY.

Don't believe the headlines you read.

OH, and when you DON'T ATTRACT CUSTOMERS? Try to attract them with "love bombs."

MadisonMan said...

For many women their career IS their life.

For many men, too.

Don said...

Anything Santorum says is fine so long as it leads to a brokered convention at which Paul Ryan gets nominated.

Freeman Hunt said...

Every argument for abortion today is a rehash of the arguments supporting slavery from centuries past. If you don't consider a fetus, or a black person fully human... then who cares what the 'owner' does with 'it'.

This.

Someday people are going to look at the pro abortion rights people of today the way we look at the pro slavery people of yesteryear.

chickenlittle said...

Bob Ellison mused...
But the commenter's own poop
became flesh upon typing,
and then everyone but he or she
regretted it.

~Robert Ellison (2012)

___________
I think substituting "spirit" for "flesh" would have sounded more artsy fartsy if that's what you were going for there.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Alex,

The 1964 Civil Rights Act "legislated morality." Successfully, I might add.

raf said...

If Roe v. Wade had been decided the other way, saying that it is a State issue rather than Federal, and legislative rather than constitutional, I strongly suspect that the original RvW ruling would approximate the average State law, i.e., 1st trimester okay, restrictions in 2nd, not allowed in 3rd, and activist groups would be pushing around the edges in both directions but it wouldn't be the all-consuming issue it has become. The root problem is not abortion, it is judicial assumption of legislative functions. The diktat creates opposing camps, legislation creates compromise -- or at least has that potential.

Methadras said...

Smilin' Jack said...

Equally true of unborn chimpanzees. Is chimp life sacred too, or does the special value of human life perhaps involve something more than the ability to "stretch, kick, and leap around"?


Human life is vastly superior to any other life form on the face of the earth. If you dispute that, I'd like to know why so I can crush it utterly and totally. :D

Methadras said...

Freeman Hunt said...

Every argument for abortion today is a rehash of the arguments supporting slavery from centuries past. If you don't consider a fetus, or a black person fully human... then who cares what the 'owner' does with 'it'.

This.

Someday people are going to look at the pro abortion rights people of today the way we look at the pro slavery people of yesteryear.


Why wouldn't they. They are all democrat leftards to begin with. Slave owners = Nearly all Democrats, KKK = Democrats, Unions = Democrats, Social Security = Democrats, New Deal = Democrats, Segregationists = Democrats, Anti Civil Union = Democrats, War on Poverty that has cost this country around 12 trillion dollars and really created a crushing multi-generational dependency on government = Democrats, Abortion = Democrats, Feminism = Democrats. Do I even need to go on anymore?

oneeye said...

Joe Baruk wrote re: Althouse's lack of commentary on this controversial subject.

"I think this is ridiculous. Sometimes questions are much more valuable than pretend answers".

I wasnt looking for an answer, (espicially a pretend one), only an opinion on the long article she posted. In your post, you gave an opinion on abortion. I found it to be well-reasoned and balanced. Couldn't the blog author have contributed something similar?
a word, a sentence, even a catchphrase?
Its her blog...am I expecting too much?

I ♥ Willard said...

They are all democrat leftards to begin with... Abortion = Democrats

Clarification required please. Are you saying that all women who get abortions are Democrats or that all pro-choice advocates are Democrats?

pm317 said...

In many parts of the world, bringing a child into this world is a profound decision -- what kind of life can the person give the child. Inconvenient situations happen in life and it should be left to the woman (and the man if present) involved to address it. But the incongruous burden it puts on the woman is one reason why society provides some protection. Calling it murder and such when it is not a viable entity is nonsensical. Expecting women alone to take care of the unfortunate situation is unfair -- yes, an unwanted pregnancy is an unfortunate situation. Sex happens and the women should not have to pay a disproportionate price for it which is why there is a legal recourse.

The Crack Emcee said...

I love thw word "sophistry" because it captures the twisted magical thinking of the NewAge so well - it's not a human baby, it's just a collection of cells.

But a collection of what cells?

And the idea abortion clinics don't dispose of babies in any way handy - many already torn apart - is laughable. They're houses of horror.

And, if I were a woman, I'd feel profound disgust over what I had done. Then, all the excuses would be revealed for what they are - merely excuses. And I've killed someone. I can spin that, sure, but for how long? And what kind of fucked up mental gymnastics does that take? One lie to myself (and others) begats another, and I'll have to maintain a social circle of equally fucked up "friends" to make that one stick - I've killed someone. And nothing can hide that.

Denial is a severe mental disorder, running rampant throughout several generations now.

And even on this thread, it shows,...Alex, can you hear me?

BTW - I'm an atheist, and I'm backing Santorum.

Jon Burack said...

Okay oneeye, but she did get both of us thinking about it. Something to be said for that, don't you think?

Allison said...

Many women don't regret their decision at the time. Over the next few months or years, though, things change.

one thing that changes them is having a child, and realizing how much they love their baby, and how much they (would have) loved the baby they aborted.

Another bit of regret comes with the realization that someone, someday, might tell her other children that mom murdered their sibling.

Imagine you look in your kid's eyes, and imagine them imagining a brother or sister, and you see their horror and fear and disgust of you that you could kill their sibling. That thought might change your take, because it wasn't just about you after all.

Jenner said...

A human is never not a human. It may be viable or not viable, but it is never something other than human.

Adoption is the humane solution to this issue, but completing a pregnancy is too much of a burden.

On the other hand, nine months of your attention would do little to derail a promising career, and in exchange there would be a lot less doubt about whether you did the right thing. That's something you could live with.

EMD said...

It's an intensely private thing that's between the woman, her god(if she has any) and whichever friends or family she CHOOSES to share the experience with.

You left someone out.

EMD said...

A downside to abortion is that it lets men off the hook.

Thomas said...

Senator Santorum: I think the issue of where we draw the line constitutionally is very important. And I'm sure the senator from California [Senator Boxer] agrees with me. I think the senator from California would say that she and I, and the senator from Illinois and the senators from Arkansas and Kansas here, we are all protected by the Constitution with a right to life. Would you agree with that, senator from California - - [would you] answer that question?

Senator Boxer: I support the Roe v. Wade decision.

Santorum: So you would agree any child that's born has the right to life, is protected under the Constitution? Once that child is born?

Boxer: I agree with the Roe v. Wade decision. And what you are doing goes against it and will harm the women of this country. And I will speak to that issue when I get the floor myself.

Santorum: But I would like to ask you a question. You agree, once that child is born, is separated from the mother, that that child is protected by the Constitution and cannot be killed? Do you agree with that?

Boxer: I would make this statement: That this Constitution, as it currently is - - some of you want to amend it to say that life begins at conception. I think when you bring your baby home, when your baby is born - - and there is no such thing as partial-birth - - the baby belongs to your family and has all the rights. But I am not willing to amend the Constitution to say that a fetus is a person, which I know you would.

But we will get into that later. I would prefer to address - - I know my colleague is engaging me in a colloquy on his time, and I appreciate it - - I will answer these questions.

I think what my friend is doing, by asking me these questions, is off point. My friend wants to tell the doctors in this country what to do. My friend from Pennsylvania says they are " rogue" doctors. The AMA will tell you they no longer support you. The American nurses don't support you. The obstetricians and gynecologists don't support you. So my friend can ask me my philosophy all day. On my own time I will talk about it.

Santorum: If I can reclaim my time: First of all, the AMA still believes this is bad medicine. They do not support the criminal penalties provisions in this bill, but they still believe - - I think you know that to be the case - - that this procedure is not medically necessary, and they stand by that statement.

I ask the senator from California, again: you believe, you said " once the baby comes home." Obviously, you don't mean they have to take the baby out of the hospital for it to be protected by the Constitution. Once the baby is separated from the mother, you would agree - - completely separated from the mother - - you would agree that baby is entitled to constitutional protection?

Thomas said...

Boxer: I will tell you why I don't want to engage in this. You did the same conversation with a colleague of mine, and I never saw such a twisting of his remarks.
Santorum: Well, be clear, then. Let's be clear.
Boxer: I am going to be very clear when I get the floor. What you are trying to do is take away the rights of women and their families and their doctors to have a procedure. And now you are trying to turn the question into, "When does life begin?" I will talk about that on my own time.
Santorum: What I am trying to do is get an answer from the senator from California as to where you would draw the line? Because that really is the important part of this debate.
Boxer: I will repeat. I will repeat, since the senator has asked me a question I am answering the question I have been posed by the senator. And the answer to the question is, I stand by Roe v. Wade. I stand by it. I hope we have a chance to vote on it. It is very clear, Roe v. Wade. That is what I stand by. My friend doesn't.
Santorum: Are you suggesting Roe v. Wade covered the issue of a baby in the process of being born?
Boxer: I am saying what Roe v. Wade says is, that in the early stages of a pregnancy, a woman has the right to choose. In the later stages, the states have the right, yes, to come in and restrict. I support those restrictions, as long as two things happen: They respect the life of the mother and the health of the mother.
Santorum: I understand that.
Boxer: That is where I stand. And no matter how you try to twist it, that is where I stand.
Santorum: I would say to the senator from California, I am not twisting anything. I am simply asking a very straightforward question. There is no hidden question here. The question is - -
Boxer: I will answer it again.
Santorum: Once the baby is born, is completely separated from the mother, you will support that that baby has, in fact, the right to life and cannot be killed? You accept that; right?
Boxer: I don't believe in killing any human being. That is absolutely correct. Nor do you, I am sure.
Santorum: So you would accept the fact that once the baby is separated from the mother, that baby cannot be killed?
Boxer: I support the right - - and I will repeat this, again, because I saw you ask the same question to another senator
Santorum: All the person has to do is give me a straight answer, and then it will be very clear to everybody.
Boxer: And what defines "separation"? Define "separation." You answer that question. You define it.
Santorum: Well, let's define that. Okay, let's say the baby is completely separated. In other words, no part of the baby is inside of the mother.
Boxer: You mean the baby has been birthed and is now in its mother's arms? That baby is a human being.
Santorum: Well, I don't know if it's necessarily in its mother's arms. Let's say in the obstetrician's hands.

Thomas said...

Boxer: It takes a second, it takes a minute I had two babies, and within seconds of their birth - -
Santorum: We've had six.
Boxer: Well, you didn't have any.
Santorum: My wife and I had babies together. That's the way we do things in our family.
Boxer: Your wife gave birth. I gave birth. I can tell you, I know when the baby was born.
Santorum: Good! All I am asking you is, once the baby leaves the mother's birth canal and is through the vaginal orifice and is in the hands of the obstetrician, you would agree that you cannot abort, kill the baby?
Boxer: I would say when the baby is born, the baby is born, and would then have every right of every other human being living in this country. And I don't know why this would even be a question, to be honest with you.
Santorum: Because we are talking about a situation here where the baby is almost born. So I ask the question of the senator from California, if the baby was born except for the baby's foot, if the baby's foot was inside the mother but the rest of the baby was outside, could that baby be killed?
Boxer: The baby is born when the baby is born. That is the answer to the question.
Santorum: I am asking for you to define for me what that is.
Boxer: I don't think anybody but the senator from Pennsylvania has a question with it. I have never been troubled by this question. You give birth to a baby. The baby is there, and it is born. That is my answer to the question.
Santorum: What we are talking about here with partial birth, as the senator from California knows, is a baby is in the process of being born - -
Boxer: "The process of being born." This is why this conversation makes no sense, because to me it is obvious when a baby is born. To you it isn't obvious.
Santorum: Maybe you can make it obvious to me. So what you are suggesting is if the baby's foot is still inside of the mother, that baby can then still be killed.
Boxer: No, I am not suggesting that in any way!
Santorum: I am asking.
Boxer: I am absolutely not suggesting that. You asked me a question, in essence, when the baby is born.
Santorum: I am asking you again. Can you answer that?
Boxer: I will answer the question when the baby is born. The baby is born when the baby is outside the mother's body. The baby is born.
Santorum: I am not going to put words in your mouth - -
Boxer: I hope not.
Santorum: But, again, what you are suggesting is if the baby's toe is inside the mother, you can, in fact, kill that baby.
Boxer: Absolutely not.
Santorum: OK. So if the baby's toe is in, you can't kill the baby. How about if the baby's foot is in?
Boxer: You are the one who is making these statements.
Santorum: We are trying to draw a line here.
Boxer: I am not answering these questions! I am not answering these questions.

Thomas said...

Sen. Santorum: Will the Senator from Wisconsin yield for a question?

Sen. Feingold: I will.

Sen. Santorum: The Senator from Wisconsin says that this decision should be left up to the mother and the doctor, as if there is absolutely no limit that could be placed on what decision that they make with respect to that. And the Senator from California [Sen. Barbara Boxer] is going up to advise you of what my question is going to be, and I will ask it anyway. And my question is this: that if

that baby were delivered breech style and everything was delivered except for the head, and for some reason that that baby's head would slip out -- that the baby was completely delivered -- would it then still be up to the doctor and the mother to decide whether to kill that baby?

Sen. Feingold: I would simply answer your question by saying under the Boxer amendment, the standard of saying it has to be a determination, by a doctor, of health of the mother, is a sufficient standard that would apply to that situation. And that would be an adequate standard.

Sen. Santorum: That doesn't answer the question. Let's assume that this procedure is being performed for the reason that you've stated, and the head is accidentally delivered. Would you allow the doctor to kill the baby?

Sen. Feingold: I am not the person to be answering that question. That is a question that should be answered by a doctor, and by the woman who receives advice from the doctor. And neither I, nor is the Senator from Pennsylvania, truly competent to answer those questions. That is why we should not be making those decisions here on the floor of the Senate.

JAL said...

So what is the issue here?

Does anyone here think that Santorum can make Congress pass a law which makes contraceptives illegal?

Really?

How much power does the Chief Executive have?

wyo sis said...

When you can't get people to give you a straight answer you are dealing with political correctness, media hype, gotcha politics, litigiousness, and dishonesty. No wonder we can't get to anything real when we deal with politicians.

Alex said...

Crack - the issue is that not all zygotes should be brought to term.

I ♥ Willard said...

Denial is a severe mental disorder

Amen! Thank goodness Willard has never engaged in denial.

The Crack Emcee said...

I ♥ Willard,

Amen! Thank goodness Willard has never engaged in denial.

He's a Mormon. Denial is his life's calling.

Care to try again?

Robin said...

It's interesting that it is mostly men here expounding on the right vs. the tragedy of abortion. I had an abortion when I was in my early 20's. At the time, my now husband and I were living together and just starting a promising life together. We made the decision that we were not ready emotionally or financially to welcome a child into the world. I have long regretted that choice. Having had two children since, the magic of pregnancy, the wonder that is that small being growing within your body, would make an abortion now impossible for me to consider. I think that we have an obligation to be very clear about what an abortion entails and how it might affect a young woman later in life. At the time I felt great relief that we we not required to grow up just yet. Now, though I have forgiven both of us for our selfish choice, I have profound regrets that there is a 20 year old who never got the chance to exist.

I ♥ Willard said...

There are a lot of widely different opinions on abortion that have been expressed in this thread, but I think we can all agree on one thing: Willard has expressed support for all of these positions at one time or another.

Willard is a true uniter!

I ♥ Willard said...

He's a Mormon. Denial is his life's calling.

So in your opinion, all members of the Mormon Cult, including Willard, suffer from mental disorders. Fascinating!

Marshal said...

Santorum needs to be clear on what he thinks this line of reasoning is relevant to. It's completely irrelevant to what should determine the legality of abortion. Even if we knew with 100% certainty every woman would regret her decision it should still have no bearing on legality. Woman are free to make poor decisions about abortion just like everyone can make other poor decisions (like voting for Obama or majoring in Women's Studies) as long as that decision doesn't take away another's rights.

His comments might make sense as a rebuttal to the common pro abortion narrative (which is also completely irrelevant to what should determine whether abortion is legal). They might be appropriate for someone counseling another whether to get one. But the legality of abortion is 100% dependent on when the fertilized egg becomes a person. No amount of regret or lack thereof changes the impact of an abortion on the rights of the aborted.

I'm not going to buy the book to understand his context, but I think here he comes off poorly. He needs to contextualize his argument. Maybe his book makes clear he's discussing a social circumstance only and we're presuming this specific rationale supports his belief abortion should be illegal. So maybe I'm being unfair. But I see this as a meandering irrelevancy.