February 24, 2014

Is calling a pregnant woman a "host" insulting to the woman...

... or to the unborn child?

Seems like it's saying the unborn is a parasite, but an anti-abortion politician said it, so he's being lambasted for insulting the woman.

ADDED: It's worth noting that the politician, Virginia State Sen. Steve Martin, added in parentheses "some refer to them as mothers." Here's the whole sentence: "However, once a child does exist in your womb, I'm not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child's host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn't want it."

Let's not forget that abortion-rights advocates have also objected to the word "mother," most notably when Justice Kennedy used it in Gonzales v. Carhart (the 2007 case that upheld the federal ban on "partial birth" abortions). Here's what lawprof-blogger Jack Balkin wrote at the time:
In his discussion of informed choice and in his purple prose about the natural bonds of love between mothers and children — call it Kennedy's "mother and child reunion" speech — Justice Kennedy adopts some of the rhetoric of Operation Outcry an anti-abortion group which has honed the new style of pro-life rhetoric. The basic goal of this new rhetoric is to undermine the notion that women exercise any kind of choice when they decide to have abortions. It seeks to turn the rhetoric of the pro-choice movement on its head. Women, the new rhetoric argues, don't really understand what they are doing when they decide to have abortions; as a result, they often regret having them later on....

[The idea] is that because of the kind of culture we live in, women who think they know what they are doing when they have abortions actually don't know. They only think they know at the time. Later on, they will come to regret it, and we can say that they weren't informed. And because we can't tell which women will come to regret the decision later on, the state needs to pass laws that discourage all women from having abortions.
That Operation Outcry rhetoric parallels rhetoric one often hears from left-liberals — not on abortions, but on economic matters. See "What's the Matter With Kansas?" And remember when "If you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance" was exposed as a false promise and some Obamacare supporters got nuanced about the meaning of "like," so that it didn't mean what a person felt he liked, but what the government knew he really, deep down inside, liked.

I prefer the locutions that treat the woman as an autonomous individual with a fully human mind, capable of reflecting on the real or potential humanity of the contents of her womb. I think those who are anti-abortion should show respect for the woman's authority over her own body and concentrate on persuading her to love and protect the unborn entity.

But politicians like Martin wield power in legislatures, and as they say, to a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. When you are a lawmaker, every problem looks like it needs a law. The bad part of Martin's statement, to my eye, is "I'm not going to assume a right...." I think legislators should have tremendous respect for the liberty of the people. They should assume a right to be free of constraints. Presume against restrictions. That should be your starting point. Then ask why your solution justifies the limitation.

AND: Here's what Justice Harlan wrote in Poe v. Ullman. That was in 1961, before Griswold v. Connecticut, in which the majority of the Supreme Court saw the right of privacy that became the basis for abortion rights. Harlan was the conservative on the Warren Court, so he is expressing the libertarian position that might be persuasive to some conservatives today:
The best that can be said [about due process] is that, through the course of this Court's decisions, it has represented the balance which our Nation, built upon postulates of respect for the liberty of the individual, has struck between that liberty and the demands of organized society....

This "liberty" is not a series of isolated points pricked out in terms of the taking of property; the freedom of speech, press, and religion; the right to keep and bear arms; the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures; and so on. It is a rational continuum which, broadly speaking, includes a freedom from all substantial arbitrary impositions and purposeless restraints....

140 comments:

Kohath said...

Hostess?

Revenant said...

The correct terminology is "victim", of course.

David said...

The party is over when she says it's over.

Eric Jablow said...

It's insulting to everyone.

Scott said...

Insulting unborn children. How rude. That would make them cry, if they could cry, or could understand language, or were aware, or cared.

Fr. Denis Lemieux said...

Yes, it is insulting, to everyone involved. You know, I'm pretty sure English has an existing word to describe the relationship in question... now what is it, let me think... Oh, yes!
Mother.
I rather suspect other languages have an equivalent word. One might even think it is a fairly basic concept in our humanity... but hey, what would I know about it?
Good grief.

Sam L. said...

Yes, an insult to both, and a demonstration of the smallness of the insulter.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Yes, 'Host_ess' of course.

But more to the point, Host and Hostess are supposed to be gracious, helpful, polite, etc., are they not?

Death by D&C would seem seem to not fit that meme.

Capt. Schmoe said...

Overblown. Implying that a fetus is a parasite may be mildly offensive, however it pales in comparison to the hard, cold reality that teenage children are undoubtedly parasites.

Donna B. said...

I suppose it's insulting, but it describes the way I sometimes felt when I was pregnant. There was definitely a feeling that I wasn't completely in charge of... in control of my body.

It wasn't a feeling that upset me at all. I was rather in awe.

madAsHell said...

It's a dog whistle for "She has no right to choose".

jacksonjay said...

Insulting, yes! It would also be insulting if it was said by a pro-abortion politician.

tim maguire said...

The unborn child is a parasite. Technically speaking.

Sean Gleeson said...

Yes, but look at his sentence in full: “However, once a child does exist in your womb, I'm not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child's host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn't want it.”

It is obvious to me that he meant the insulting word 'host' as a concept his opponents (those who support abortion) would endorse. That’s why he has the parenthetical about how “some refer to them as mothers,” to distinguish his ideas from theirs.

I ain’t saying he did a good job of phrasing his thoughts, but it is obvious that this was his intention. Reminds me of Huckabee and his 'libido' quip. He was saying, the liberals think this way, which is not at all right. But the liberals quote one or two words to make it sound like that’s what he believes. It’s a stupid game.

Fen said...

Insulting unborn children. How rude. That would make them cry, if they could cry, or could understand language, or were aware, or cared.

You might want to crack those biology textbooks open again.

Birches said...

Oh brother. Can we stop being offended about every little thing?

Dr Weevil said...

Has everyone else forgotten that 'parasite' is not the only opposite of 'host'? Another is 'guest'. Except in cases of rape, an unborn child is certainly a guest, either specifically invited (in a planned pregnancy) or the kind who takes advantage of an open-door "drop in any time" policy to do exactly that (in an unplanned pregnancy).

Scott said...

Sure Fen. In which biology textbook would I find information about the injury suffered by unborn children when they are insulted?

Scott said...

We live in a society that cannot differentiate insult from injury.

Scott said...

Can you be insulted if you can't perceive the insult?

Pogo is Dead said...

A mother can kill her baby, just don't call her a 'host' because that's so mean!

Patrick O said...

Is it legal to kill a guest in your house because you find them inconvenient?

No. That's not something a host should do.

Dr Weevil said...

Patrick O:
Looks like you just found the right analogy to defend abortion in case of rape but not for incompetence in the deployment of birth control: you are (in most states) allowed to kill someone who comes into your house against your will.

Actually, I've seen an argument for that distinction (abortion OK only for rape and incest) that compared the baby conceived by rape to an enemy soldier. You're allowed to kill enemy soldiers invading your land, even if they're draftees and had no say in the decision to invade, just as the baby conceived by rape had no say in the way it was conceived. Not sure I find the argument totally convincing, but it is one plausible way to defend abortion only in cases of rape or incest.

Sorun said...

My mom sometimes complained that us kids were "just using" her. Well, duh.

jr565 said...

I remember Ritmo calling babies parasites all the time.
Suddenly though it's "offensive" when a pro lifer calls a woman a host? Ok then, it not a host what. Pro choicers? Are you now going to lay the claim that a fetus is not a parasite so that you have rhetorical ammo against the guy who dares to not call babies parasites and does not want you to kill them but uses an offensive word to describe a mother?
If calling her a host is offensive then he just won the argument.because you justify killing it because it's a parasite.

jr565 said...

I remember Ritmo calling babies parasites all the time.
Suddenly though it's "offensive" when a pro lifer calls a woman a host? Ok then, it not a host what. Pro choicers? Are you now going to lay the claim that a fetus is not a parasite so that you have rhetorical ammo against the guy who dares to not call babies parasites and does not want you to kill them but uses an offensive word to describe a mother?
If calling her a host is offensive then he just won the argument.because you justify killing it because it's a parasite.

Rae said...

*facepalm*

Seriously, some legislators on the pro-life side need to take some lessons in ettiquette and public speaking, and remember that the other side is out to get them 24/7/365.

Pogo is Dead said...

It's not killing parasites, it's just creating greater life flexibility.

Inga said...

It's an insult to both. However if the woman is dead, her body could be considered the host, or the incubator.

SGT Ted said...

CIVILITY BULLSHIT.

That is all.

Carry on.

traditionalguy said...

With sex determination the host can now discard her baby without the embarrassment of abandoning the baby girls to die in the river as the Chinese and the Romans used to do.

It's those silly Christians that take them in and love them.

Drago said...

Rae is absolutely correct. Its pointless as a conservative to attempt to be too cute in describing their opponents positions.

Its always clunky and then the left assigns the interpretation of liberal positions to the conservative.

huckabee is the perfect example of that given the content, huckabees rhetorical tactic and its timeliness.

Drago said...

Rae is absolutely correct. Its pointless as a conservative to attempt to be too cute in describing their opponents positions.

Its always clunky and then the left assigns the interpretation of liberal positions to the conservative.

huckabee is the perfect example of that given the content, huckabees rhetorical tactic and its timeliness.

Inga said...

"I suppose it's insulting, but it describes the way I sometimes felt when I was pregnant. There was definitely a feeling that I wasn't completely in charge of... in control of my body."

2/24/14, 6:52 PM

Donna B.
I can totally relate to your feeling that your body wasn't in your control when pregnant. Moreso for me was when I was in labor, it was like a runaway train and I and my baby were just along for a wild ride.

n.n said...

Is the woman pro-abortion/choice? Even with mass rationalization, it can't be easy to overcome the intuitive knowledge that human life evolves from conception to death. I would imagine that a decent human being would be overwhelmed, especially when that act is committed without cause or due process, and for her own selfish needs.

That said, he is empathizing with her plight. It's similar to when the pro-aborts/choicers referred to a human life early in its development as a "clump of cells". The intent is to desensitize the host... I mean woman, of any emotional association she may otherwise form with that loveable bundle of cells, soon to be named Barack, Nancy, or Harry.

He could also be mocking women who make that "choice", which would explain the abortion industry's sanctimonious rage. Every decent human being should appreciate the extreme hypocrisy of the anti-war, anti-capital punishment, human rights, civil rights, think of the children, think of the animals, seance/science, etc. crowd.

So, the child from conception to birth is a clump of cells. While the mother is a host, which can poison and dismember Barack... I mean the clump of cells, for reason of money, sex, ego, or merely convenience.

Dr Weevil said...

Igna:
Still waiting for you to back up your allegation of a couple of days ago that I'm a racist. Can you come up with one single thing I've written here that would indicate that? Or an apology? Or an admission that you're just a lying lefty asshole who doesn't give a damn about the truth? Your choice.

Henry said...

Thank God we have Facebook to bring such things to the attention of the Huffington Post.

I'm beginning to think that access to hot type, an offset press, and rag paper is a huge benefit to discourse.

n.n said...

He is not "anti-abortion". He is an advocate for human lives when they possess no voice to protest nor arms to challenge their death for trivial causes. This is a war on humanity, where the usual defenders are not only AWOL, but are offering aid and comfort to the enemy. It seems that morality is unwelcome in the age of progress, which is why left-wing ideology is running rampant through the world.

The choice for women and men who are eligible for liberty, that is they are capable of self-moderating, responsible behavior, is to prevent conception or to accept responsibility for their actions. Even children are expected to develop into adults who are capable of moral restraint.

The other choice is offered as part of a population control protocol (i.e. reduced problem set), which the promoters hope will allow them to escape the association with the one woman, one child mass human rights violation in places like China. They think the voluntary nature of "planned" parenthood excuses their actions. They are wrong.

chickenlittle said...

"Guest" is the first antonym which come to mind to pair with "host," not "parasite." This is perhaps because "host/guest" chemistry is a thriving subfield of science.

Host/guest is also a very bloggy word pairing. But then again, so is host/parasite.

Dr Weevil said...

By the way, the original ancient Greek meaning of 'parasite' was a human being who gets invited to dinner with the rich and powerful by being amusing and entertaining their dinner-guests. If sufficiently amusing, he could almost make a living that way.

The best example I can think of in the modern world is Kato Kaelin, who seems to have been living in O. J. Simpson's guest house because O. J. liked having him around - at least until he testified against him.

iowan2 said...

"host" is offensive.

Delivering the head of a baby, puncturing the base of the skull with surgical scissors and sucking out the brains.........is what?

My vocabulary leaves me short.

furious_a said...

Seems like it's saying the unborn is a parasite

According to President Ladies' Tee it's a punishment.

Skeptical Voter said...

Well "host" is a less insulting term than "executioner" or maybe "judge, jury and executioner" when a "host" chooses to abort.

Julius Reincarnate said...

He's obviously got his head in the Immaculate Conception. Our Holy Mother was a host, and some would call her a "mother". Like some would call the Virginia State Senator "Steve Martin"...

Vicenzo: Clouseau, you are a lover. And Nicole is a woman for a lifetime, a woman to have the babies with.

Insp. Jacques Clouseau: To have the babies? To have the babies?

Vicenzo: Yes, lots and lots of the babies... All day long the babies. *Walks away*

Insp. Jacques Clouseau: ...All day long the babies?

ALL DAY LONG DA BABIES!

n.n said...

Julius Reincarnate:

It's not immaculate conception, which coincides with conception (i.e. fertilization). The progressive dogma is spontaneous conception, which justifies termination of a human life throughout its evolution from conception to birth. Spontaneous conception does not occur through fertilization, but through an infectious agent, an invasive species, or a deposit from the ether, and so the title of host is imparted by virtue of this dogma.

The woman is a host to a foreign, cancerous clump of cells, which arbitrarily acquires value and the name "Barack" and the class "human" some time between conception and birth. This is human life's humble beginnings as a commodity, and never quite loses that character after birth, where it remains selectively interchangeable and disposable throughout the remainder of its evolution until death.

Saint Croix said...

Dr Hern, the author of Abortion Practice, writes:

"The relationship between the gravid female and the fetoplacental unit can be understood best as one of host and parasite."

So, yes, it's an insult. More importantly, it's bad science. A parasite is a different species than a host.

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

"Sen. Steve Martin obviously has zero understanding of the reality of reproductive choice and what it means for women to have control over their bodies, families, and lives," Keene said.

Actually I think "host" describes that relationship exactly right, if you're a pro-choice person. If you're a host you can kick people out.

Although you're not actually allowed to knife your guests or kill them.

Saint Croix said...

"His remarks demonstrate what exactly these extreme lawmakers mean when they talk about 'personhood' - that pregnant women are no more than vessels.

Feminist rhetoric in this area always mirrors pro-life rhetoric, have you noticed?

Pro-lifers talk about decapitated babies, dead babies, infanticide. So pro-choice people talk about a "war on women."

Pro-lifers talk about dehumanization of the unborn, defining them as property, as sub-human. So pro-choice people say that we are dehumanizing women.

Saint Croix said...

The difference is that the pro-life rhetoric does not make it into our media, while the pro-choice rhetoric always does. Thus it's a "war on women" but nothing in the media about dead babies, decapitations, Carhart or Gosnell.

Saint Croix said...

In 2012 Mitt Romney was accused of fighting a "war on women." That's the reality of our political life. Abortion is an issue. Republicans cannot ignore it. The media consultants who are telling Republicans to ignore it are idiots. Speak from the heart. Don't use sarcasm. Try not to be angry.

And always, always, point out that our media is dishonest on this issue. "We refuse to show abortions to our people because we are ashamed of what we do." Attack the media, put the media on the defensive. The media is Pravda. Point this out to people at every opportunity. This is a war and if you refuse to fight it, then you just lost the "war on women."

Ask Romney, who is unemployed.

Mark said...

Actually, St Croix, with Castle Doctrine one can shoot people attempting to enter your home. Maybe not knife them, but dead is dead.

Saint Croix said...

I don't think castle doctrine works with babies.

Saint Croix said...

the jury does not like that.

Saint Croix said...

I wrote this in my book...

One of the remarkable things about Roe v. Wade is that we apparently have a constitutional right to abort a developing infant who is trespassing inside our uterus against our will. And there may in fact be in some states a right to kill a trespasser in your house. But that is criminal law, it is not constitutional law. And of course we have the authority to change our criminal laws.

A lot of people object to the idea of a right to kill somebody for trespassing. And we would certainly object to the idea of killing a baby for trespassing. Imagine a baby is in your house against your will. Do you have a right to attack her with a knife? Can we do this in any state, in any jurisdiction?

Why not a constitutional right to put a baby in a neonatal intensive care unit? Why did the abortion cases develop as they did, with a kill-right, instead of a right to “remove a trespasser” or something like that? Why not finish the delivery and put the tiny baby in an incubator? The pregnancy is still aborted. Mom is no longer pregnant. And in that scenario, the doctors are making very best efforts to keep the baby alive. What’s wrong with that?

And yet the Supreme Court’s focus has always been on making unwanted babies disappear. Thus they are not interested in a rescue-right. It’s always been a kill-right.

Saint Croix said...

I put the number of viable babies who have been killed at 672,000. That number might be too low, or too high.

I arrive at that number via the Guttmacher Institute. Guttmacher gives us most of our abortion social science. They are an offshoot of our largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. (And named for the eugenicist, Alan Guttmacher).

Guttmacher says that 1.2% of abortions take place on or after 21 weeks. I could have sworn Guttmacher used to say 1.5%. So maybe they changed the number.

Anyway, Amillia Taylor has put the viability line at 21 weeks, 6 days. She was 10 ounces at birth!

And age estimates can be off by 2 weeks or more, in either direction. Which means viability estimates can be off by 2 weeks or more, in either direction.

1.2% of 1.4 million (the annual abortion average) is 16,800. Multiply that by 40 years of Roe v. Wade and we get 672,000. The actual number might be twice that or half that. All of these numbers are sketchy, I think.

But many of these babies could have survived. Thus, even under the Supreme Court's own standards, we have killed hundreds of thousands of babies.

Why don't abortion clinics have NICUs? Why don't we make every effort to keep these children alive? Inducing birth is far safer for women than a D&E abortion. But we don't care about women's safety. We don't care about viable babies.

What the Supreme Court cares about--and Casey makes this explicit--is it's own status, power and prestige. To overrule Roe "under fire" would acknowledge that pro-lifers are right, and the Supreme Court has killed some innocent people. They don't want to acknowledge that. So the homicides continue.

Titus said...

I only get offended when libs and dems say anything but never when a pube does.

Saint Croix said...

Jack the Ripper killed five people.

Ain't no atrocities like government atrocities. The size and scale of what the government can do, it's hard to wrap our mind around the evil. It's hard to accept it. Our minds recoil. But we've seen this, in other times, in other places.

Even in our own history, with slavery.

Pogo is Dead said...

"I think legislators ...should assume a right to be free of constraints."

Well, that ship sailed back in 2008.

Dread Justice Roberts sez if you just call it a tax, the feds can do anything they damn well please.

Once 'woman as an autonomous individual with a fully human mind' votes against her own autonomy, it's difficult to undo, if not impossible, sans bloodshed.

And 'respect for the liberty of the people' went out with courts overthrowing anti-gay marriage laws.

Or is 'liberty' just for some and not others?

Saint Croix said...

I think legislators should have tremendous respect for the liberty of the people. They should assume a right to be free of constraints. Presume against restrictions. That should be your starting point. Then ask why your solution justifies the limitation.

I think all libertarians would agree with this.

We do have obligations, though, to our babies. You can't just abandon your baby to die, for instance. Even pro-choice people are appalled at the Prom Mom.

Saint Croix said...

I think legislators should have tremendous respect for the equality of all people. They should assume a right to life. Presume against dehumanization. That should be your starting point. Then ask if you are killing a baby.

Saint Croix said...

And we have death statutes in place that resolve these things.

Brennan said...

I suppose it's insulting, but it describes the way I sometimes felt when I was pregnant. There was definitely a feeling that I wasn't completely in charge of... in control of my body.

It wasn't a feeling that upset me at all. I was rather in awe.


Thank you for sharing this. The science is settled. You weren't in complete control. But I suppose no human ever really is.

chickenlittle said...

Imagine a pro-life Supreme Court that kept writing about the "gravida and the baby." That would be Bizarro world, a place where the humanity of the unborn child is recognized while the humanity of the mother is denied.

Feliz gravidad => feliz navidad

Pogo is Dead said...

Shit, I don't even have the autonomy to buy incandescent light bulbs.

Why would it apply to your body and not using 100 watt bulbs?

It's just words. Air.

Saint Croix said...

One of the basic problems with the libertarian argument is that our aborting society requires a tremendous amount of repression, denial, and censorship.

Consider, for instance, St. John’s Church v. Scott. This was a case where pro-lifers were showing photographs of aborted babies outside a church service.

There were about 200 children at the church service, and many of them started to cry.

Why are they crying? They are crying because a photograph of an abortion looks like a baby who has been murdered. And this upsets children. It’s a reminder of the vulnerability of children. Yes, you could die, too.

Nor can we explain to our children why these angry people are showing photographs of dead babies. We would have to explain abortion politics, and the woman’s right to choose. But now you’ve just told your child that these babies were actually killed by their parents. This is not actually going to comfort your child. Now they are going to feel even more distress. Infanticide is bad enough, but mom paid for it?

You could try to use the Latin word to get your child to stop crying. “It’s not a baby, it’s a fetus.” But children are emotionally honest and they have already seen the photographs. It’s not likely the Supreme Court’s Latin trick is going to work on them.

Or we could just censor the photographs and make it a crime for citizens to speak the truth.

Our judge out in Colorado decided this was the only way to resolve the case. So he issued an order making it a crime for people who are “displaying large posters or similar displays depicting gruesome images of mutilated fetuses or dead bodies in a manner reasonably likely to be viewed by children under 12.”

It’s entirely natural to want to protect your child from the brutality of the world. It’s a form of patriarchy. Indeed, we might see St. John’s Church as a fight between two forms of patriarchy. The pro-lifers want to protect children. That’s why they are exposing the infanticides. They want the law to recognize the child’s humanity and to protect her right to life.

Look at it! Look at what we are doing!

The parents in the church (some of whom might be pro-lifers too) are understandably distressed at what this protest is doing to their own children. They want to protect their children’s innocence. And the judge’s order is an attempt to protect the innocence of children. We want to hide sex and violence from our children. We want to protect you from the brutality of the world.

Of course this argument only works in regard to children. But should we be hiding the reality of abortion from adult women? Or is this censorship a form of patriarchy, a protective instinct that reduces women to children?

Are we hiding aborted babies from women because women are sensitive people and they might cry?

Saint Croix said...

Another possibility is that we are censoring this reality to protect our romantic illusions about women. We don’t like to think of women committing atrocities. Decapitation and dismemberment, that’s something men do.

Of course, pro-choice people deny that abortion is an atrocity. But you can’t simultaneously deny that abortion is an atrocity while you censor the images of abortion because they are atrocities. And if it’s not an atrocity, why are you censoring the images?

We cannot show photographs of abortions in our media. Why? Why can't we look at what we are doing?

chickenlittle said...

The progressive dogma is spontaneous conception, which justifies termination of a human life throughout its evolution from conception to birth.

The progressive dogma is that each unwanted pregnancy is just errant seed to be plucked after germination when it emerges. Progressive dogma does not shame gardeners who scatter seed wantonly; Progressive dogma expects the village to tend and to nurture weed.

Jason said...

Can't say "mothers." Can't say "hosts."

Obviously, you can't deal with libtards as if they were adults.

Pogo is Dead said...

The 1961 Justice Harlan quote that liberty "includes a freedom from all substantial arbitrary impositions and purposeless restraints" highlights just how lifeless the Constitution subsequently became.

It's really most sincerely dead.

James Pawlak said...

Look to science! Babies are genetically different from their parents.

chickenlittle said...

Althouse wrote:
I think those who are anti-abortion should show respect for the woman's authority over her own body and concentrate on persuading her to love and protect the unborn entity.

And promote adoption?

The Cracker Emcee said...

St. Croix,
That's some thoughtful and excellent commentary. That's the kind of thing that makes this blog worthwhile.

Unknown said...

I find it awkward to say, but I agree 100% with Crack.

Scott M said...

Oh brother. Can we stop being offended about every little thing?

Why did you have to single out "the brothers"?

CStanley said...

I prefer the locutions that treat the woman as an autonomous individual with a fully human mind, capable of reflecting on the real or potential humanity of the contents of her womb. I think those who are anti-abortion should show respect for the woman's authority over her own body and concentrate on persuading her to love and protect the unborn entity.

And yet, as others have pointed out, the climate of rhetoric forbids even referring to the unborn as a baby. How could one hope to persuade a woman to love and nurture what she has been taught to think of as a cancerous clump of cells that is taking over her body?

You can prefer those locutions all day long but you will not persuade a woman who has been immersed in pro-abortion feminist rhetoric. Not until the "clump of cells" can be called, not just an "unborn entity" but what he or she actually is, a human baby.

whswhs said...

Your lines beginning The bad part of Martin's statement, to my eye, is "I'm not going to assume a right...." express a position that, as a libertarian, I consider the basis of sound governmental policy. It's much like what Barnett argues for in his book on the Constitution: the presumption of liberty. I'd be much happier with current politics if a lot more politicians agreed with you, both on abortion and on economic issues.

Fen said...

I think those who are anti-abortion should show respect for the woman's authority over her own body

To what point? She knew that sex carried a risk of pregnancy, and she CHOSE to take that risk. She also knows that birth control is not 100% effective, yet she CHOSE to take that risk too.

At what point does a woman become responsible for the choices she makes?

And how can I respect for "a woman's authority over her own body" when she's irresponsible with that authority to the point that she is willing to kill for sex?

carrie said...

Or maybe the word host was should be looked at in the Christian sense, which is Eucharistic bread, and means sacrifice, and sacrificing one's life for another, etc.

Inga said...

Good idea, St. Croix,
Why not use induction to terminate the pregnancy and save the baby? It would still allow the woman a choice and the baby a chance. Now what hospital or clinic would agree to this and how could they be " induced " to do it? So would all pregnant women be made to carry until 21 weeks?

Who will pay for the thousands of dollars it would cost to care for all these babies in NICUs? I think we could set up an abortion tax perhaps, it would be worth it to save thousands of viable babies. Actually millions of babies, if no abortions could be performed before the 21st week, or are you in favor of allowing abortions before the baby is viable?

carrie said...

Or maybe the word host was should be looked at in the Christian sense, which is Eucharistic bread, and means sacrifice, and sacrificing one's life for another, etc.

Inga said...

I should say millions, not thousands, of dollars to care for those aborted babies in the NICU. It should be worth it to the tax payers of America. I'm in favor.

Brennan said...

I think those who are anti-abortion should show respect for the woman's authority over her own body and concentrate on persuading her to love and protect the unborn entity.

Ann: Based on this position, would you consider "Crisis Pregnancy Centers[CPC]" worthy of receiving your tax exempt donations?

This is the primary objective of CPCs. I wouldn't claim that they are infallible, 100% consistent in every approach, but certainly no more inconsistent than Planned Parenthood would be in their own operations.

Brennan said...

Who will pay for the thousands of dollars it would cost to care for all these babies in NICUs? I think we could set up an abortion tax perhaps, it would be worth it to save thousands of viable babies. Actually millions of babies, if no abortions could be performed before the 21st week, or are you in favor of allowing abortions before the baby is viable?

Donations. I'd prefer donations since the alternatives would mirror some sort of pregnancy tax. I supppose you could just tax prophylatics since they do have expected rates of failure. It's for the children so this trumps all arguments against the policy according to Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

Inga said...

Yup, I say tax Viagra too, that's a no brainier. ;)

Inga said...

Maybe these CPCs would take on this role? A woman who is 21 weeks pregnant or over could come to the clinic, be induced and the baby placed in a nearby NICU. It would be a way of saving babies, they could maybe string their clients along a few more weeks to give the baby an even greater chance.

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

Thank you for your kind words, Crack.

Inga said...

Then, we would have to have laws that gave custody of the aborted baby to the state, or should the abortive mother get to keep her baby?

Inga said...

Or should the mother be made to sign away her parental rights as a stipulation to getting the abortion by induction? It's getting complicated now, but I think we can figure it out to save millions of babies.

What about abortions before the 21 weeks? Should they be allowed?

The Cracker Emcee said...

St. Croix,
You're welcome but I'm The Cracker not The Crack. Nevertheless, your post at 7:23 is one of the most thought provoking things I've read in a long time.

cubanbob said...

Fifty million abortions since Roe in 1973. Half of them on female fetuses. Averaging out the ages those females would have been if they were to have been born about half of the half would be in their twenties. About twelve million woman who aren't alive. There is your war on woman. Men of course don't count in this equation.

CStanley said...

Inga, CPCs would likely support that if absolutely necessary, but generally if they are able to reach women and persuade them, then the women will just carry out their pregnancy to full term. CPCs provide counseling, access to prenatal care, parenting classes for those who are planning to raise their children, and material support.

The abortion lobby does not want these centers to receive tax support, ostensibly because they do not offer the "choice" of abortion. On the flip side though, abortion centers face no pressure to provide real support for the choice of continuing a pregnancy. The data shows that the vast majority of women who walk in to a planned Parenthood center pregnant end up aborting.

Some choices are more equal than others, apparently, in warranting taxpayer support.

Inga said...

Adoptive parents waiting years for a baby would have so many babies just waiting for them. What could be better?

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

I'd protest on the streets for the CPCs to get tax funding if they would give this option of early induction to pregnant women seeking abortion. Also tax funding for the care of the premature babies in NICU. Donations alone won't nearly be enough.

Inga said...

I wonder how many semi selfish women who didnt like being pregnant, would opt out for an abortion induction procedure to simply get out of being pregnant for 9 months? A quickly pregnancy. That's why we'd need laws to say who got custody after an indubortion.

CStanley said...

I'm going to assume you are being facetious, Inga, although it is hard to tell since your views with respect to abortion have been inconsistent from what I have read.

Inga said...

Semi facetious. I sincerely would be in favor, but I wonder if we would be willing to do what it would entail to have it become a reality.

Inga said...

And I would not outlaw abortions before the end of the first trimester. If a woman misses that window, she would have to wait and get an induction at 21 weeks. So how could we make it happen? Should these personhood laws at conception be discarded in favor of something less restrictive?

Inga said...

Personhood bills, not laws.

CStanley said...

Inga, as a medical professional I'd think it would be obvious that doctors would have no part in inducing labor that early, strictly for the convenience of the mother.

Clearly these issues are complicated, but once one recognizes the right of the unborn baby to life, there are implied responsibilities. The whole issue of choice comes about because women want the government to level the biological playing field, and this can't be done without resorting to murder. You want technology to step in, presumably because you aren't comfortable with killing late term babies, but you identified two problems already: exhorbitant cost and not enough adoptive parents. I'm pointing out the third problem- it would be medical malpractice to induce for this reason. The only cases it should even be considered would be those where the continuation of the pregnancy was truly a risk to the life of the mother.

CStanley said...

Kind of ironic, Inga, that what you are proposing is to consider fetal human beings as having 2/3 right to life. Wasn't there some historical precedent for counting human beings as fractions?

Inga said...

CStanley, she would be lying and saying she wants an induction abortion. If the law would state women who had an induction abortion could keep their children, who would know the difference? Of course no doctor would do such a thing for her convenience if she truthfully stated her reason.

Inga said...

CStanley, it wouldn't be malpractice if there was a law saying it wasn't. Of course there would need to be a law allowing this procedure. I thought that was evident.

Inga said...

And yes of course it would need to be for the life and health of the mother and/ or fetus as all late term abortions should be.

CStanley said...

Inga, I have no idea what you mean in the 10:30 comment. Re the 10:33- I didn't mean that the doctors would commit legal malpractice ( I realize your scenario would entail changing laws.) what I meant is that this practice would be so unethical that physicians would not allow that change to happen.

CStanley said...

I said life, and left off "health", for good reason.

Inga said...

As for the lying semi selfish pregnant woman, she could state her reason was a mental one, which might not be stretch actually, if she would go to such lengths.

Inga said...

CStanley, I see we are getting in the weeds here, but it's been an interesting conversation and I hope St. Croix's suggestion could become a reality.

CStanley said...

Thinking that early induction on demand could become the law of the land suggests to me that perhaps weeds are being smoked, not traversed.

Seeing Red said...

Late term abortions would carry on as usual. It's a blanket mental health of the woman.

Brennan said...

Late term abortions would carry on as usual. It's a blanket mental health of the woman.

Mental health = economic health.

Rebellion to law occurs faster than you can reform it. If you like your insurance, you can keep it. :)

n.n said...

The circumstances of a human life from conception to birth has no comparable analog. This seems to be the cause of confusion and exceptional complexity. However, this is only the case because some/many women and men need to rationalize their choice. Every human being has an intuitive knowledge that spontaneous conception is a myth, and that abortion is premeditated murder (i.e. willful termination) of a wholly innocent human life during its evolution from conception (i.e. fertilization event) to death.

The Democrats, and some Republicans, have accepted on principle this false article of faith. There are two principle interests that promote this dogma. First, it is an integral aspect of a population control protocol (along with contraception). Second, it is necessary to ensure that women remain productive in taxable activities.

When and by whose determination does a human life acquire value? Does it remain a commodity throughout its evolution, if only selectively?

Liberty is only suitable and possible for women and men capable of self-moderating, responsible behavior. This is why the liberty of children and other immature individuals is necessarily limited. This is why the liberty of criminals is limited. The only morally defensible choice for sexually active women and men is to accept responsibility for their behavior, which includes the possible and known outcome of conception of a human life.

Trashhauler said...

If the woman is a host, does that make the baby a guest?

MattL said...

It strikes me as disingenuous to cut of his quote as, "I'm not going to assume a right..."

A lot of silliness in this thread about people's ideas about libertarianism, too. Is there a serious version of libertarianism where people aren't assumed to have a right to their life?

You may come to the conclusion that an unborn child is not a person, but hopefully some day your views will be repudiated as we are currently repudiating similar views about homosexuals being subhuman or as we have previously done for people of other races.

Inga said...

"Thinking that early induction on demand could become the law of the land suggests to me that perhaps weeds are being smoked, not traversed."

2/25/14, 11:32 AM

St.Croix, quit smokin' the ganga. :)

n.n said...

Trashhauler:

Yes, a baby is an invited guest. In cases of rape, and perhaps incest, an unwelcome guest. In both cases, the new human life has not violated the host; although, in the latter two cases, it serves as prima facie evidence that a violation has occurred.

MattL:

Individuals who demonstrate an affinity for homosexual behavior are not subhuman. The choice to engage in that behavior, however, is dysfunctional in that it is incompatible with evolutionary fitness.

Unlike murder/abortion, rape, and other dysfunctional behaviors, homosexual behavior is in a class of tolerable behaviors (for self-evident reasons) when exhibited by a minority of the population. However, as it has no redeeming value to either society or humanity, there is no legitimate cause to normalize it.

The issue today is that homosexual behavior has been normalized. By their choice to reject an objective standard, its proponents have created a moral hazard, whereby similarly dysfunctional behaviors are subject to arbitrary discrimination.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Re: "mother": I've always been discomfited by the standard exception to bans on later-term abortions: .... "except for rape, incest, or the life of the mother." I always want to ask, "'mother' of what"

Calling the pregnant woman a mother posits a child, and it's difficult to maintain a pro-choice position while acknowledging that the thing being killed is a child. All the deliberately dehumanizing language of NARAL &c. -- "clump of cells," "products of conception," &c. -- is designed to make you not think in such terms. I remember Jesse Jackson (Sr.) on This Week, ages ago, going on about the "right to termination," as though even mentioning "pregnancy" was too close to the bone.

And yet you find "life of the mother" tripping off the tongues of avidly pro-choice people. It's odd.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Saint Croix,

We do have obligations, though, to our babies. You can't just abandon your baby to die, for instance. Even pro-choice people are appalled at the Prom Mom.

Well, not exactly. The pro-choice response to women throwing newborn infants into dumpsters was to establish stations where you could drop your newborn, no questions asked, no responsibilities assumed. In CA, I think you even have 30 days after birth.

You know who doesn't get to decide after a child is born that he'd really rather not raise a child or pay for it? I think the pronoun is enough.

gregq said...

"I think those who are anti-abortion should show respect for the woman's authority over her own body"

I think those who are pro-abortion should grasp the scientific fact that abortion is killing another human being's body, not the mother's.

Your right to control your own body extends to whether or not you have sex. It doesn't extend to killing another human being because you don't like how the sex came out.

n.n said...

With society's rejection of abortion/murder, it will become society's responsibility to provide for the welfare of the mother and child throughout her pregnancy, and for the child until a suitable guardian can be determined.

However, in order to mitigate corruption, with the rejection of responsibility for her and his child, both the mother and father must not enjoy full dissociation of risk. They cannot escape both responsibility and culpability for their behavior. This condition or penalty is removed or reduced for women who become pregnant as a consequence of rape and perhaps incest. The men, however, are fully responsible in these exceptional cases, for both criminal and civil violations.

n.n said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson:

It's not odd at all. They are sanctimonious hypocrites. They are quite comfortable living their lives as overt bigots.

In fact, while Republicans, including libertarians, conservatives, etc., can be criticized for not offering sufficient consideration to promoting the general Welfare, the Democrats can be, in principle and practice, condemned for their strategy which devalues human life and denigrates individual dignity.

Make life, not abortion.

Judge a person by the content of their character, and not by the color of their skin.

They don't get it. Not really. They don't fully appreciate the terms by which these principles can be reconciled without their gross violation.

Unknown said...

Inga, I'm curious -- it's OK to force a woman to keep a fetus for 21 weeks then "harvest" it?

(1) Why not to term?
(2) Is this that you value human life?
(3) Do you have ANY idea the complications and risk to the CHILD born at that age?
(4) The ethical balance of "worth of the life of a child" against "increased chances of death or permanent health damage" against 4-5 months of pregnancy is startling to me.

Inga said...

Unknown,
Harvest? No, the baby would be born. And yes I am very aware of the risks to the baby being so premature, however, it would have a chance at life, which is far preferable for the baby that would otherwise be doomed to die. You cannot force a woman to carry to term, it's not legal and never will be. And a late term abortion with a dead baby at the culmination of it, is pretty horrible, I'd say. Wouldn't you?

Also, why don't you ask St. Croix, it was really his idea, I just ran away with it a bit to see if it was conceivable, so to speak.

chickenlittle said...

I just ran away with it a bit to see if it was conceivable, so to speak.

I believe you meant "reducible to practice"

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

Inga:

You don't get it at all. You sense that there is increasing resistance to your position. Your response is to negotiate a truce or armistice. What you fail to understand is that preserving the value of human life is non-negotiable. This is the same failed understanding that slavers exhibited in the past when they denigrated individual dignity and devalued human life. It is the same mistake that "liberals" (i.e. libertines), "progressives" (i.e. intelligent designers), and some/many libertarians continue to make today, and for the same reasons.

Inga said...

n.n.
When you gain some maturity, you may find that not everything and everybody fits into your neat little boxes. You are a one note commenter fixated on controlling the rights of a woman to her privacy and her autonomy ove her own body. People like you often times are so wrapped up in their ideology they harm, more than help their own cause. I've been on record here for the last 3 years as being against late term abortion. There is no need for me to negotiate a "truce" as you say. I was never at war with limiting abortion.

MattL said...

Here are a couple of analogies of how pro-abortion statements grate in the ears of those who see the humanity of the unborn:

You are a one note commenter fixated on controlling the rights of a woman to her privacy and her autonomy over her own body.

You are a one note commenter fixated on controlling the rights of a slave owner and his autonomy over his property.

You cannot force a woman to carry to term, it's not legal and never will be.

segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever

Fen said...

Inga: Semi facetious. I sincerely would be in favor -

Inga cynically plays the "support my baby or I'll kill it" gambit. Then pretends sincerity.

She doesn't really care if/how/when the baby is cared for, she just think threatening you with more taxes will give you pause.

Can't blame her, she already views such life as cheap. What a monstrous thing our society has created.

Inga said...

Oh Fen, why are you such an idiot? I can't get mad at you for it though, you don't seem to be able to help it.

gregq said...

n.n said...

With society's rejection of abortion/murder, it will become society's responsibility to provide for the welfare of the mother and child throughout her pregnancy

Bullshit.

It's your body, it's your choice, it's your responsibility.

You chose to have sex? You chose to (take the risk that you might) create another human being? Then you and your sex partner, and only you and your sex partner, are responsible for what you created.

You don't want that responsibility? Then you're not an adult, and you have no business being out there making decisions for yourself.

You want us to take responsibility for the child you created? Fine, we'll sterilize you so you can't behave that irresponsibly any more, and put you in a total welfare center, where we can micromanage the rest of your life, because you're clearly not capable of running it.

That's the logic of your position. Don't like it? Then dump your position.

n.n said...

Inga:

You want to redefine the terms of human life to rationalize and provide comfort for your choice. That's not a viable starting position.

gregq:

Read what I wrote again. I have considered the conditions that you mistakenly believe are missing. Your conclusion is based on an incomplete characterization of my logic.

As for sterilization, that could be a choice, albeit extreme, a punitive measure for men who reject responsibility, and women who just must have the abortion, and both if they are unwilling to honor and care for the life they have produced.

Inga said...

n.n,
Once again you are grossly misundestanding what I've been saying about abortion and human life. Yes indeed it's alive, it's human and it would be best if its mother didnt want to kill it. However, we do not have the right to force a woman to give birth to a baby she doesn't want. We cannot send the abortion police to her home daily to make sure she still is pregnant. How would you go about forcing her?

If a woman wants to abort she will. It's far less inhumane to abort in early pregnancy before certain developmental markers are met. If you think for one minute that women do not know what is inside their wombs, you are sadly mistaken.

Bottom line is its a woman's body and the baby is part of her body until its viable outside her body. Society will not accept forcing a pregnancy and birth on a woman. I never had an abortion or was ever tempted to have one, but I cannot control what another woman will do. It's not our right to do so.

n.n said...

Fen:

She/they need to firmly and reproducibly state when and by whose determination human life acquires value. That's where the discussion should begin. The rest of their arguments are based on an absence and exemption of adult responsibility and culpability. Worse yet, they have promoted the same irresponsible behavior to be adopted by children. They are not only corrupt, but sponsor corruption of the most vulnerable members of society.

Society already cares and cared for orphaned children. This was previously accomplished by both the churches and state. However, as the churches are destroyed by a secular rampage, the responsibility has progressively shifted to the state.

It's strange that anyone would consider this form of welfare to be controversial. It's stranger yet that someone would wield this limited form of socialism or "redistributive change" as a weapon. Even libertarians agree that the responsibility of children is distinctly different from adults.

n.n said...

Inga:

No, I understand your position. You are pro-choice because you don't believe that people can or should be exploited through executive, legislative, or judicial decrees, right? You respect individual dignity. You recognize an intrinsic value of human life. You appreciate that progressive morality is a corruption of these two basic principles. You understand that it is immoral to promote a choice which normalizes termination of human life without cause or due process. You further understand that there should be no incentives offered for dysfunctional behaviors, especially when those behaviors devalue or arbitrarily assign value to human life, and sponsor corruption through dissociation of risk.

Inga said...

n.n
Another thing you are hopelessly naive about is the repercussions of millions of unwanted babies being born to women who cared so little for them that they would have killed them. Look at how gregq answered you when you said society would have to help support these women and their children. really?

What universe do you live in? Tea Party people will be out the streets with placards saying "Taxed Enough Already! No Finacial Support !" You will be shocked and dismayed how many previously pro life people quickly distance themselves, when their pocketbooks will be affected.

I think it would be great to support more women through a pregnancy and help her when her child is young to get on her feet, but that is NOT the way most conservatives and libertarians would see it.

I think you need to give more serious thought to the realities of millions of babies coming into a world in which no one wants them, no even their own mothers. There wouldn't be enough parents to adopt, they would languish in foster care or orphanages, or be abused and killed by their mothers. If you think child abuse is bad now, wait until women who don't want their babies are forced to raise them with no help from society.

What we want and what we get are sometimes light years away from each other. When you get older and gain some more maturity this will be far more evident to you.

MattL said...

Inga,

It's not about forcing a woman to have birth. It's about forcing a woman to not kill. Just like we do with everyone else.

I think you need to give more serious thought to the realities of millions of babies coming into a world in which no one wants them, no even their own mothers.

Killing the undesirables. It's the Progressive way.

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