October 22, 2016

"Something very positive has come out of Trump's run for the Presidency. Women have come out of the shadows..."

".... refusing to feel shame about some of the terrible things that have happened to them, and they have shared their stories. Shared them [publicly] and in print. Some have spoken about sexual assault and how that has affected them going forward. Some have shared stories about their abortions. There is such power when we come together as a group. The plots of the stories may differ but many of the feelings are the same. What you did for precious Lev is motherhood in its highest form. You protected him. You protected him from trauma, pain and suffering. And then you turned this dreadful experience into something positive. The experience didn't harden you, it softened you. Bless you for openly sharing your story. I know you have touched many people. Thank you."

The top-rated comment on a NYT op-ed titled "Late-Term Abortion Was the Right Choice for Me."

By the way, I need to elaborate on something I was writing about yesterday in the post "Who — Trump or Hillary — was confused or dishonest about abortion at the last debate?" I was looking very closely at a something written by the obstetrician/gynecologist Jen Gunter, who had mostly attacked what Donald Trump said about abortion in the last debate, but who also said that Hillary Clinton was "confused." Gunter wrote:
Talking about abortion from a medical perspective is challenging when you are not a health care provider. Even someone familiar with the laws can get confused. For example, Mrs. Clinton made an error speaking about late-term abortion when she said it was a health of the mother issue. Typically it is not (it’s almost always fetal anomalies).... I don’t know where Mrs. Clinton got this “bad news at the end” of the pregnancy being about maternal health.... [N]o one is performing health of the mother abortions at 38 or 39 weeks we just do deliveries. It’s called obstetrics.
Gunter proceeds to talk about "deliveries" that are designed to kill the unborn — a procedure she speaks of approvingly because "After 24 weeks birth defects that lead to abortion are very severe and typically considered incompatible with life." Now, 24 weeks is generally considered the point of viability, and under the case law, a woman has a right to choose to have an abortion for any reason prior to viability. But after viability, laws may protect the life of the unborn, but the woman has a right to get an abortion to protect her own life or health.

That, I assume, is the reason why Hillary Clinton spoke of late-term abortion as a matter of the woman's health. In other words, it wasn't "an error." The person "with the laws" was not "confused." She was framing her position carefully to fit the law. Gunter is a person familiar with the medical practice. From her point of view, Hillary seemed "confused" because Hillary's position is out of line with the real-life facts as Gunter has experienced them. So it seems that Gunter stumbled into what can be understood as devastating to Hillary Clinton's position. I don't know how many people will notice this, however. I didn't notice it when I wrote the post yesterday.

Here's something else I noticed only after writing the post.

Gunter wrote:
I’ve never heard of a dilation and extraction for any other reason than severe birth defects and often it is for a woman who has had two or three c-sections for whom inducing labor might pose other health hazards, like uterine rupture. Are we to force women to have c-sections for a pregnancy that is not compatible with life?
I said:
A good question. I've had 2 c-sections myself, and the second one was recommended because, after the first one, there was a danger of uterine rupture. But what I don't understand here is why wouldn't waiting for a natural birth be the alternative to a c-section? It is natural birth, not abortion, that is parallel to a c-section, since it is intended to keep the baby alive. 
What I failed to see there was: Let's assume you have a woman — like me, in my second pregnancy — who faces a planned c-section for health reasons. She cannot safely go through a vaginal delivery. Now, suppose she learns that the baby she is carrying has a terrible birth defect that will cause the baby to die either before birth or very soon afterwards. Should this woman be forced to go through the major surgery that is a c-section? The option of a natural birth is closed to this woman, and a c-section is major surgery, quite debilitating.

I'm surprised that I didn't see that the first time I thought about the problem, and I think that's because Gunter was keen to portray the late-term intervention as "just... deliveries": "It’s called obstetrics." It's a vaginal delivery — on a woman who can't go through with a vaginal delivery? That doesn't make sense unless you focus on what is really happening (if I understand this correctly). The fetus is not delivered whole and alive. It is destroyed in a way that avoids the dangerous aspects of delivery that would have required the woman to have a c-section.

There are so many reasons not to speak clearly on this subject. 1. Most people have strong opinions about whether they want abortions to be available or not and that makes them want to stress some things and underplay others. 2. There are very complicated facts about medical cases and procedures that must be understood and summarized. 3. The emotions of speakers and listeners can be overwhelming. 4. A clear speaker on this subject is likely to be marginalized and hated by everyone.

103 comments:

AprilApple said...

Hillary abuses rhetoric.

MayBee said...

Can we talk for a moment about all the people "coming out from the shadows"

Hagar said...

"Women's health" is code for abortion on demand at public expense, and this is about party identification, not reasoning.

Susan said...

Sometimes you have to destroy a child to protect it.

Yeah that's the ticket.

bgates said...

Hillary represents motherhood in its highest form.

Gahrie said...

If we can force men to go off and die in a war, surely we can force women to give birth to their children?

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't know how I would answer Ann's question. Of course, I don't get a say, since I am a guy. But, C-Sections do make it a different analysis here, at least in my mind. I think though that I would end up the same place, that after viability, the fetus/baby has rights, and trading off the certainty of their death against the small chance of death of their mother should give them the edge there. I think that I would use some sort of necessity argument to justify the C-section to save the (now viable) baby. Keep in mind that we aren't talking unthinking lumps of cells here, but fetuses who are an emergency C-section and a couple of minutes away from having full civil rights, who do dream, kick their mothers, etc. But, Ann does make this a much more interesting question here.

MayBee said...

I get the thing about not wanting to go through major surgery, but sometimes we have to go through major surgery even though we don't really want to.

Let's say a car crashes on a highway and is absolutely mangled under a truck. The driver is dead inside, and extraction is difficult. The truck, however, is perfectly fine. However, to get the car out from underneath the truck may damage the truck and the cargo it carries. So instead, the rescuers decide to dismember the dead driver to extract him from the car.

Would people find this ok or appalling?

AprilApple said...

Hillary wants to justify killing baby's at 8-9 months.

Let her.

MayBee said...

Gahrie said...
If we can force men to go off and die in a war, surely we can force women to give birth to their children?
---------------

Yeah, this is what I say about the draft

David said...

Women have come out of he shadows? I suppose that's true, but remember that the shadow is Bill Clinton and his female supporters who rationalized his conduct. The lead female supporter was his wife.

Birches said...

And yet, Gunter doesn't point out that she, as the doctor, is the one pressuring the patient into a D and E because it would be easier...

MayBee said...

I'm a woman, I get that there are a lot of women with stories.
But what I hate about this is the implication that somehow *we* and *we along* have had these terrible or uncomfortable things happen to us. I mean, yes, women have to be careful of personal safety in ways men often don't have to be. But that doesn't mean men don't have other aspects of their lives that aren't fraught. Nobody- nobody- just sails through life.

Birches said...

And yet, Gunter doesn't point out that she, as the doctor, is the one pressuring the patient into a D and E because it would be easier...

campy said...

".... refusing to feel shame about some of the terrible things that have happened to them,..."

I wonder if women will ever start feeling shame about some of the terrible things they do?

MayBee said...

it’s almost always fetal anomalies

the word that carries a lot of weight

Hagar said...

I don't think Hillary! is all that bright, but she has an awesome willpower.

Clayton Hennesey said...

One of my lingering questions is this. If women are overtly seen through some sort of quasi-Lysistrata gambit to be the primary reason Trump is rejected and Hillary elected, do they risk any sort of retaliatory "war on women" from the mass of men reported to be the bulk of Trump's support?

Achilles said...

I just see argument after argument in these posts and threads for taking the government out of this decision. I don't want to be any part of this decision for any other person than my wife who shares my personal views. By giving the government the power to ban or fund abortion you are forcing me to take part in another person's decision on abortion.

If you want to stop abortions get people in church and talk to them yourself. If you want to fund other people's abortions start a charity. For the love of god leave me out of it.

Rusty said...

This is the discusion a woman and her partner should have. It is an agonizing decision. Unfortunately, behind you, aping for the camera, is Planned Parenthood.

Meade said...

"If we can force men to go off and die in a war, surely we can force women to give birth to their children?"

Didn't Bill Clinton and Donald Trump (and others) come out of the shadows and dodge the draft?

Achilles said...

Blogger Gahrie said...
"If we can force men to go off and die in a war, surely we can force women to give birth to their children?"

This is certainly an argument for getting the government out of this issue right?

Hagar said...

"Write up all the right things to say for me, and I will practice and learn to speak the lines."

Birches said...

Sorry, but I have had too many friends either directly advised to terminate or given such a dire prognosis that termination seemed like the sensible option, only to have the high risk OBs laugh off the risks to not believe some doctors are manipulating.

Achilles said...

Blogger Rusty said...
"This is the discusion a woman and her partner should have. It is an agonizing decision. Unfortunately, behind you, aping for the camera, is Planned Parenthood."

If there is one organization that is pure evil it is planned parenthood. Eugenics is a disgusting cause.

Meade said...

"Eugenics is a disgusting cause."

Of course, war is just another form of eugenics. Albeit a sloppy form. Are all wars "disgusting causes?"

madAsHell said...

She has a public policy, a private policy, and a confused policy. Which would you like to hear, and how much money do you have??

Susan said...

You see how the doctor pressures the woman to choose D&E because it's easier. Even in these cases which are between a doctor and family.

Soon the pressure will be because it's mandatory.

Once the state is paying for all healthcare. You will get the healthcare they allow you to have.

My youngest had an issue that was "incompatible life". 20% chance of living through surgery to repair his birth defect 0% chance of living a week after that. Oh the pressure we were given. How selfish we were to request the surgery. "Even if he lives who knows what quality of life he'll have?"

He did go on to have many surgeries, and suffering was involved. We may never see the end of the hospital bills.... But he is 22 years old now, working two jobs to put himself through college. And he deserved to see every sunset, every waterfall, and every city street that everyone else has. And he deserved it no matter how long he lives or what, if anything, he does with his life.

But in countries that have "universal" healthcare children with diaphragmatic hernias like he had are aborted if detected before birth or refused the surgery to repair it after birth. They recommend that here too, but it isn't mandatory. Yet.

MayBee said...

Of course, feeding your own family instead of someone else's is just another form of eugenics. Albeit a sloppy form. Is feeding your own family a "disgusting cause?"

CStanley said...

Achilles said...
Blogger Gahrie said...
"If we can force men to go off and die in a war, surely we can force women to give birth to their children?"

This is certainly an argument for getting the government out of this issue right?


No because the default is for the government not to license physicians to kill unborn human beings.

Sydney said...

There are so many reasons not to speak clearly on this subject.
That is the crux of the problem. For example, the New York Times piece in your link is about a couple who had a late term (after 20 weeks) abortion, in the sense that she ended her pregnancy because her baby had a fatal heart anomaly. However, she didn't describe what happened in her abortion. I am betting she had a vaginal delivery of an unviable child induced with drugs that cause uterine contractions and delivery of an intact child, rather than what we usually think of as abortion, which is the forceful extraction with instruments of an unborn child. Usually when a child is wanted but has a condition not compatible with life, the former happens. When the child is unwanted, the latter- regardless of its likelihood of survival. This occurs because in a wanted pregnancy, it is believed that the parents should have the chance to grieve, and so they are given that chance with a visible intact infant. When a child is unwanted, it is done differently so only parts come out, unseen by the mother. Minimizes the guilt. Avoid the grief.

Michael K said...

Didn't Bill Clinton and Donald Trump (and others) come out of the shadows and dodge the draft?

Bill Clinton certainly lied, and then apologized to the officer he lied to.

Trump was 4F for heel spurs, as I understand it. Heel spurs are disqualifying now but I'm not sure the situation in the 1960s. There has been a lot of criticism of his exemption, just as there was of George Bush's TANG membership but both did the legal and correct thing. Maybe both got some favoritism because of influence. I don't know. Neither, however, lied.

Neither situation qualifies as "dodging the draft."

I joined the Air National Guard in 1959 to avoid being drafted when I went back to school to do my pre-med. I was working as an engineer and could not go to school full time. When I got home from Basic Training, the National Defense Student Loan Act had been passed and I could go back full-time after all. In 1961, I got called out of medical school and to a year of active duty when the Soviets built the Berlin Wall.

Fortunately, the medical school held a place for me when I got out a year later.

If I was "dodging the draft" it wasn't very effective.

rhhardin said...

Frau ohne Schatten, woman without shadow, a Strauss opera.

It looks like an abortion story

Twelve months have passed since the Emperor has taken as his wife the daughter of the spirit god Keikobad, whose mother was a mortal woman...

Michael K said...

The existence of a fatal anomaly discovered only at near term must be vanishingly small. With no prenatal care at all, this might happen but those women usually show up in labor.

This is an abortion excuse, not a serious medical topic.

Terry said...

I actually don't have strong feelings about whether or not abortion should be available to a woman. You can't chain the poor thing up and force her to deliver a child. Unless you are Nicolae Ceausescu.
But a life is being taken, even if it is considered a mercy killing. It's not at all like excising a tumor or pulling a tooth. Look at the language used. Did the fetus become a non-baby when it developed its birth defects? Are only non-defective babies human?

Roger Sweeny said...

A clear speaker on this subject is likely to be marginalized and hated by everyone.

It's exactly the same when the subject is education.

Meade said...

"If I was 'dodging the draft' it wasn't very effective."

I like people that weren't captured by the draft, OK? I hate to tell you.

Darrell said...

Meade dodged the draft. But he did it for the "right" reasons.

buwaya puti said...

True about education.

Its impossible to speak reasonably, as is usually done abroad, because so much of the US argument has become religious - a matter of beliefs and identity, and always emotional.
Uncontested statistics about nearly anything in education cannot be brought up because they gravely offend.

Mary Beth said...

Birches said...

And yet, Gunter doesn't point out that she, as the doctor, is the one pressuring the patient into a D and E because it would be easier...
10/22/16, 9:20 AM


It makes me wonder if the likelihood of patients of one procedure suing over the likelihood of the other suing makes a difference to the doctor and his/her suggestion on how to proceed. Do insurance companies, explicitly or implicitly, encourage doctors to choose one way over the other.

Meade said...

Actually Darrell, I think it would be more accurate to say the draft dodged me. I drew a lottery number of 3 in late 1972. A few months later, Nixon ended the draft altogether — almost exactly 5 and half years after Governor Ronald Reagan signed the Therapeutic Abortion Act in 1967, liberalizing abortion in California.

damikesc said...

Yes, women have finally come out of the shadows about all of their problems in life. We never heard a woman bemoan her plight in life UNTIL Trump.

Totally brand new phenomenon.

I mean, yes, women have to be careful of personal safety in ways men often don't have to be.

Agreed. It's totally different. And it's not just that men have less to worry about. They just have different things.

Men will get punched in the face WAY faster than a woman would, so we have to learn to calm shit down far more than a lot of women do.

We are less likely to be raped outside of a prison, yes . But, we're way more likely to be assaulted and murdered in the world, too. And men successfully commit suicide far more than women do. That isn't something that people who "run the world" would do.

Darrell said...

When you were in Canada, Meade, did you meet the Cruzes? I hear it's a small country.

Karen said...

Let's talk numbers. All this talk about late-term abortion makes it sound as though abortion is very rare. Actually, we are looking at a million human beings a year, just in this country.

Hagar said...

Even the Mongols were ruled intermittently by women.
This is B.S.

Hagar said...

Let's talk numbers. All this talk about late-term abortion makes it sound as though abortion is very rare. Actually, we are looking at a million human beings a year, just in this country.

Have I read that most of these are from "minorities," and principally Blacks?
And the persentage of Blacks in the U.S. is actually going down as a result?

MathMom said...

The "health of the mother" stuff is just bullshit in this day and age. First, with amnio, you know very early whether there is a problem. Second, if delivery is the worry, C-section is a safe-enough alternative, even though it is major surgery. I've had two, and would have had more if I had more kids. Rose Kennedy had like 8, back when C-section was a much bigger deal than now.

If the mother at the last minute decides she doesn't want the baby, give it up for adoption. Don't kill it.

We have aborted Canada (population 35 million), plus Norway, Finland and Denmark for convenience since Roe v. Wade. Isn't it time to rethink this a bit?

R.J. Chatt said...

"If we can force men to go off and die in a war, surely we can force women to give birth to their children?" The "we" actually doesn't include women, does it? The point about wars is that they have traditionally been the purview of men. Strange, isn't it, that when women gain equality, women should automatically adopt the behaviors of men in settling conflicts? IMO, just because men can force other men to go off and die in a war there is no rational expectation that men should force women to give birth to children.

As far as the late term abortion question is concerned, I agree with the comments above that severe birth defects and abortions should be left up to the families to decide. Some people might want to maintain a relationship with the unborn as long as possible, some might not. I can't imagine anyone imposing the risks and complications of a c-section on a woman to deliver an unviable fetus. Surgeons are not squeamish about cutting people up, that's what they do every day. Lay people are squeamish and shouldn't be making decisions about medical procedures.

Meade said...

"When you were in Canada, Meade, did you meet the Cruzes? I hear it's a small country."

I wasn't in Canada, Darrell. I only got as far as Port Huron where I was, uh, one of the authors of the Port Huron Statement. The original Port Huron Statement. Not the compromised second draft.

traditionalguy said...

Draft Lottery good fortune and Draft Dodging were totally different things. Submitting a friendly family Doctor's made up medically diagnosed disability letter got you a Draft Board physical. That was a procedural draft dodging, temporarily.

But Nixon ordered the draft call ups stopped until a lottery system could be created three month's later when it started up again. The high numbered birthdays each year did not dodge a draft. They were equally exposed to a draft that quickly called up bodies numbered from #1 on up to 365, or the the number when the Army said it was full for that year.

Timing was everything, and it wasn't over until the Army's Fat Lady sang.

Alan said...

A legal point. According to Supreme Court precedent, "health" includes mental health, and the decision of a woman and her doctor about whether an abortion is needed to preserve her mental health is not reviewable by anyone. Therefore, if a woman can find a doctor to willing to inform an abortion at any time, she can do that legally. That's why there are no doctors in any US prison for performing an abortion. All that "health of the mother" stuff is a ritual that has to be gone through to perform a late.term abortion, not a real legal requirement.

Darrell said...

I make the mistake of assuming that people are always telling the truth when they comment. Except some of the commenters who have shown otherwise. I remembered a different story and wondered why you were ragging on Trump. Apologies.

CStanley said...

"If we can force men to go off and die in a war, surely we can force women to give birth to their children?" The "we" actually doesn't include women, does it? The point about wars is that they have traditionally been the purview of men. Strange, isn't it, that when women gain equality, women should automatically adopt the behaviors of men in settling conflicts? IMO, just because men can force other men to go off and die in a war there is no rational expectation that men should force women to give birth to children.

What do you mean when you say that the "we" doesn't include women? I'm a prolifers woman and most women I know are prolife as well. And none of us think that men should force women to give birth- that would involve rape to force a pregnancy, and rape is illegal and should remain so.

paminwi said...

"You protected him from trauma, pain and suffering."
I call BS. That child in your womb feels feel pain.
You protected YOURSELF from trauma, pain & suffering.
You had a choice to not get pregnant-that child had no say in the matter at all.

Gahrie said...

Didn't Bill Clinton and Donald Trump (and others) come out of the shadows and dodge the draft?

Millions of women never have children.

Gahrie said...

And none of us think that men should force women to give birth- that would involve rape to force a pregnancy, and rape is illegal and should remain so.

The "their" refers to the women and not the men...no rape involved.

"If we can force men to go off and die in a war, surely we can force women to give birth to their children?"

Bruce Hayden said...

Timing was everything, and it wasn't over until the Army's Fat Lady sang.

I too got lucky - I had a mediocre draft number, and kept my 2S until I graduated in 1972, then got my 1A status, after expecting for four years to go to war at that time. But, by then, we had mostly won the war in Vietnam, and the military stopped drafting about that time, as the soldiers and Marines started backing up at the bases in the States. And, then, maybe four months later, the draft was essentially discontinued. It was only later that I discovered that American deaths peaked in 1967, the year before I went to college, and continued to slide throughout my undergraduate years, to less than 1,000 the year I graduated, regardless of all the protests that were sweeping campuses around the country during that time. It wasn't the protests that ended the war and the draft, but rather, Nixon determining to win it, as he essentially did (only to be lost by a Dem Congress a couple years later).

Gahrie said...

Of course, war is just another form of eugenics

Bullshit.

CStanley said...

I don't want to belittle the very agonizing situation of pregnancy with suspected or known anomalies, but to a great extent I think we now live with expectations that modern medicine can fix most things and progressive laws can paper over the rest.

My mother in law shared with me her story- and I'm not that clear on the details but I think it went like this:
She was rH negative and my husband was her first born, rh positive but with no complications as is usually the case for first pregnancies. This was in the late sixties when Rhogam therapy, I think was either experimental or brand new. Her second pregnancy ended on miscarriage and then she became pregnant again. This time IIRC she was told in the latter part of pregnancy that the baby was not thriving but that her best chance of having subsequent successful pregnancies was to carry the dying baby to its natural death and then deliver, I think so that she could attain the stage of pregnancy when she could be given the desensitization treatment. That took about another six weeks, I think it was, but she did in fact go on to deliver two healthy children, my kids' uncle and aunt.

n.n said...

Except in a limited number of cases, an abortion rite (i.e. capital punishment) for a wholly innocent human life is a woman's second choice.

The Pro-Choice Church, Democrat Party, liberals, progressives, and the immoderate "center" are desperate to rehabilitate their image after normalizing the final solution, Planned Parenthood (i.e. clinical cannibalism), selective exclusion, class diversity, progressive wars, etc.

As for the liberal culture of sexual assaults and regrets... The female chauvinists led the sexual revolution. Hate loves abortion.

Meade said...

Gahrie said...
"Bullshit."

Survival of the fittest?

traditionalguy said...

War is another form of Malthusian Depopulation needed periodically so the insider wealth owners can enjoy themselves without all those smelly common people, except for a necessary small army of servants.

n.n said...

Progressive wars including social justice adventurism, opportunistic regime changes, trials by sodomy and abortion, etc. are just another form of eugenics a la women who abort their child for causes of wealth, pleasure, leisure, and narcissistic indulgence.

Wars are just another form of self-defense a la women who abort their child for the cause of an immediate threat to her life where a mother must choose.

walter said...

Well..seeing how things have spun off into discussions about the draft, I think Ann is right about the difficulty in discussing this. Anyone willing to engage what appears to be the central bit of her post? (Us men naturally having to sit it out per sunsong dictate)

"she learns that the baby she is carrying has a terrible birth defect that will cause the baby to die either before birth or very soon afterwards. Should this woman be forced to go through the major surgery that is a c-section? The option of a natural birth is closed to this woman, and a c-section is major surgery, quite debilitating."

CStanley said...

If Just War Doctrine were always applied, then no, war is not eugenics.

n.n said...

So, the argument from the Pro-Choice Church is that abortion is a medical procedure which precludes its miscarriage in an abortion chamber and Planned Parenthood office. An abortion rite is undertaken in self-defense after a medical doctor informs the mother that there is an immediate risk to her life and she must choose. Abortion rites are not planned. They are not advertised. They are not a final solution. They are a choice where both lives are at risk and only one life can be saved.

Gahrie said...

Survival of the fittest?

War has nothing to do with the survival of the fittest...especially modern war. War is about random death and destruction.

Eugenics is deliberately preventing those deemed "unfit" from reproducing.

SukieTawdry said...

We talk often about various people coming out of various shadows. It's generally deemed a good thing. But are there any shadows that deserve to be kept, well, shadowy and people who should remain in them?

In Southern California in the late 60's/early 70's, there were basically two groups of young men: those who were 1-A and those who were not. Within the 1-A group were two basic sub-groups: those who were trying to stay out of the draft and those who had done their two years, survived (more or less) and were back. Student deferment was the typical avoidance technique, but there were other more creative methods. I had a friend who had upon receiving his 1-A classification set about gaining 150 lbs. Although through the years the Army threatened to induct him anyhow and send him to motivation, they never did and eventually he was re-classified 4-F and proceeded to lose all the excess weight. I personally never knew anyone who fled to Canada, but I was acquainted with someone who "accidentally" shot himself in the foot the night before he was to be inducted. And someone else who did go in and went through basic training but then spent the rest of his hitch either AWOL or in the stockade. It was an interesting time.

Bill Clinton was particularly creative. He was at Oxford when he was re-classified 1-A and actually received an induction notice (although it arrived in England too late to take immediate effect). Through the efforts of people like William Fulbright, he was accepted into the University of Arkansas ROTC program for graduates (he would attend law school there). He claimed at the time that he felt guilty and hypocritical about his ROTC deferment ("tormented" was a word he frequently used). But he then requested and received permission from the ROTC commander to return to Oxford for a second year instead of enrolling in law school and ROTC (the commander would claim it was supposed to only be for a couple of months and Bill, of course, never had wanted to attend the "disreputable" Arkansas law school). He began participating in anti-war protests. He would claim years later that he never actually received a deferment and wrote to Col. Holmes requesting cancellation of their agreement and asking to be put back in the draft although he would honor his ROTC obligation if the colonel so desired. That, too, was disputed by Holmes. He in fact did give up his deferment, but it was only after the draft lottery of 1969 in which he received a number so low it all but precluded his being drafted. As was his wont, Bill gamed the system and gamed it well.

And, no, war is not just another form of eugenics.

mockturtle said...

Let's say a car crashes on a highway and is absolutely mangled under a truck. The driver is dead inside, and extraction is difficult. The truck, however, is perfectly fine. However, to get the car out from underneath the truck may damage the truck and the cargo it carries. So instead, the rescuers decide to dismember the dead driver to extract him from the car.

Maybee, this would only be applicable if the decision was to kill the driver before dismembering and extracting him. This is what late-term abortion involves.

mockturtle said...

And this is, quite obviously, so that infanticide is not committed, since legalists would see a difference.

Michael K said...

"Do insurance companies, explicitly or implicitly, encourage doctors to choose one way over the other."

Brazil had, and may still have, the highest C section rate in the world. Insurance might have had an effect once, although I doubt it.

Doctor and mother convenience is a better reason and more common.

Birches said...

You can't chain the poor thing up and force her to deliver a child.

I just want to point something out here. Being pregnant and going through labor is like breathing. Once conception happens, I do absolutely nothing to keep the process going. If I don't feel like giving birth on a particular day, there's not really anything i can do to prevent it. There's nothing forced about it, it's like a bowel movement. What a ridiculous notion that we can somehow force someone into giving birth.

Birches said...

All of my children have been rh incompatible with me. I feel enormous sadness for the many families who had one child and multiple miscarriages following who couldn't do anything about it. Just awful.

Fen said...

"refusing to feel shame about some of the terrible things that have happened to them"

Interesting how today's feminism is about infantilizng women. Coming out of the shadows? What shadows? Refusing to feel shame for...killing their children? Terrible things that just "happened" to them. As if they are incapable of making reproductive choices and being responsible for those choices. They are children.

Jane the Actuary said...

The notion that dismembering a baby in-utero is an act of mercy and love to that baby is appalling. Nothing I have read has ever suggested that the defects of these "incompatible with life" children cause them to suffer pain in the womb -- and, of course, once the child has been delivered, even if death will come very quickly, doctors can alleviate any pain that the child does suffer in the meantime, just as they would alleviate the pain for an older infant, or an infant undergoing medical treatment for whatever need.

Of course, the question is whether these "fatal defect" abortions are really about getting the fetus out of the uterus in the least invasive-to-the-mother way, as it's claimed, or about making sure that the "fatal defect" really is fatal, rather than leaving the mother with a living but defective baby.

Bottom line is that this is euthanasia and no different, really, than killing a newborn because a defect has appeared.

Fen said...

"The 'health of the mother' stuff is just bullshit in this day and age."

And it was before medical advances made it so.

Reasons allowed to abort for the "health" of the mother:
1) patient worries men won't want to date a single mother
2) patient concerned changes to her body will make her undesirable
3) patient will lose her friends that go clubbing
etc

Achilles said...

Blogger Meade said...
"Eugenics is a disgusting cause."

"Of course, war is just another form of eugenics. Albeit a sloppy form. Are all wars "disgusting causes?""

When you decide to go to war or not to go to war the results of the decision can be weighed. War sucks but the alternative is often worse. When good people do nothing this has an affect too.

Eugenics is similar in that you have two options. One of those options is to label babies/races/people unwanted and kill them off. The other is to keep your soul and be a decent human being.

CStanley said...


"she learns that the baby she is carrying has a terrible birth defect that will cause the baby to die either before birth or very soon afterwards. Should this woman be forced to go through the major surgery that is a c-section? The option of a natural birth is closed to this woman, and a c-section is major surgery, quite debilitating."

If the baby does die before birth then dismemberment should be an option to decrease the risks of uterine rupture (assuming that this is the valid medical wisdom, as I presume there is also risk to uterine damage in the D & E procedure, and I now that "V back" is a thing so obviously vaginal delivery after a C section isn't always terribly risky.)

So the hardest cases are when the baby is given a terminal diagnosis but is expected to be born alive. So I wonder, with all the rhetoric about the decisions that we must leave to a woman and her doctor, how accurate is the information? Do we have any idea of the number of babies born after such diagnoses that turn out to fare better than expected? It's clearly a non-negative number based on stories that one hears.

On a different issue, capital punishment, we hear that it must be prohibited because some innocents are killed, but how many babies' lives are taken, all also innocent and some only mistakenly believed to have conditions incompatible with survival?

RigelDog said...

To address Ann's point: should a woman be forced to have one medical procedure instead of another? I say that one major issue that should always be given great weight in this calculation is fetal pain. We don't know enough about it, unfortunately. Good data is so hard to come by, but I have read that the procedures to kill the fetus before D&E are not necessarily painless. I have also read that the fetus is not necessarily killed prior to having it's skull pierced and brain sucked out. I also clearly remember earlier articles on abortion and fetal pain where scientists opined that a fetus doesn't feel pain, period. I'd like to think that the experience so many have had with 24 week+ infants delivered and then medically treated has nixed the notion that those tiny tiny babies are not capable of feeling pain.

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

"Anyone willing to engage what appears to be the central bit of her post?"

*** she learns that the baby she is carrying has a terrible birth defect that will cause the baby to die either before birth or very soon afterwards. Should this woman be forced to go through the major surgery that is a c-section? The option of a natural birth is closed to this woman, and a c-section is major surgery, quite debilitating.***

I'll take a stab at it. A few problems with the set up though:

1) its assumed her medical advice is 100% accurate. But we've all read stories of "doctors said x but the patient somehow lived". One of the principles of our legal code is that we don't execute a criminal unless we are 100% certain he is guilty - beyond a shadow of a doubt, better to let 10 guilty go free than execute an innocent. If we apply that standard to criminals, shouldn't we also apply it to innocent babies? If the doctors aren't 100% certain, to the extent they would bet their own lives on it, then we should err on the side of caution, as we do with criminals.

2) use of the word "forced" is a bit biased. If I have legal obligations, are those obligations voided because circumstances create duress? Is a c-section really an undue burden?

My overall position is that abortion is about the Life of child VS the Liberty of the mother, and neither one should always trump the other. But we have two sets of rights in conflict with each other. And as we've seen in religious liberty cases, the courts give way to whichever has more of an undue burden. So which is greater 1) losing your life or 2) pain and suffering from a major surgery?

I would be curious to hear Ann's take on this, since she should understand what I am getting at better than I do (I may have muddled some terms).

Fen said...

The smell of eugenics in the argument is also troubling.

If you have 100% certainty that I am going to go out and murder someone on Tuesday, is it okay for you to execute me on Monday? Or do you have to wait until I have actually murdered someone?

And what if its 99.99% certainty?

The same applies to the doctor's 100% "certainty" that the child will die. Maybe it will die. But its not dead right now, not at the moment you are killing it.

Birches said...

@Fen

You're right. It's present in the argument that the NYT writer gives. It would be too much work to take care of the child for no reason at all. How did a mother who named her child get such an idea? The doctors, most likely her OB.

My friend had a baby that had abnormalities detected at the 20 week ultrasound. Her OB was practically setting the termination appointment for her, "if you carry to term the doctors are forced, by law, to keep him alive, no matter his quality of life, blah blah blah..."

The boy is three now. He had a lot of surgeries his first year, but now is completely developmentally normal, aside from some extra medical equipment inside of him."

I also have friends with a child that is profoundly retarded. They didn't catch that until 36 weeks. My friends call her their angel. She is.

Martha said...

always choose life—we have truly lost our moral compass when partial birth abortion is rationally defended in a televised debate by the first woman candidate for President.

Today it is almost as if a fetus has to pass certain benchmarks to prove it merits birth.

walter said...

"no matter his quality of life"
Yep.."quality of life" is bandied about in medical situations with an alarming degree of coldness sometimes. Be careful in how you craft your advanced directive...or defer that to a health care POA that you trust to interpret situations when you can't.

Michael K said...

I'll repeat my story of a friend of mine who was a GYN oncologist in Souther California for years. We were residents together. He was OB and I was surgery. We both worked nights in the County hospital's Main Admitting Room.

One night a woman came in as an "Incomplete AB" the medical term for miscarriage. The woman was lying on a gurney and between her legs was this tiny infant. Joe figured it was too small to survive (1969) so he tossed it into an emesis basin and sent the two of them upstairs for the woman to have a D&C.

Two years later, he was in GYN clinic one day and this woman came up to him. She said, "Oh Dr O----, I want to thank you for saving my daughter's life ! I never had a chance to thank you."

There standing by her side holding her hand was the two year old. It was the woman and the "fetus." Joe told that story on himself for years.

Sebastian said...

"In other words, it wasn't "an error." The person "with the laws" was not "confused." As yours truly said yesterday . . . [ahem]

"quite debilitating" Weasel words.

Mac McConnell said...

Alan said...
"A legal point. According to Supreme Court precedent, "health" includes mental health, and the decision of a woman and her doctor about whether an abortion is needed to preserve her mental health"

These women publicly sharing their pathetic abortion stories obviously have mental health issues, they suffer from narcissistic victimhood. I hear it's honed with acquiring college education or too much daytime TV.

Big Mike said...

@Maybee, @mockturtle, they would tear the truck apart. I believe something like this hypothetical has already happened but I must be using the wrong search terms because I can't find the story.

Fen said...

Once conception happens, I do absolutely nothing to keep the process going. If I don't feel like giving birth on a particular day, there's not really anything i can do to prevent it. There's nothing forced about it, it's like a bowel movement. What a ridiculous notion that we can somehow force someone into giving birth.

Careful there. I can already smell Valenti working through her new theory of Infanti-Patriachy, where evil little male fetuses are FORCING women to give birth.

You think I'm joking but...

mockturtle said...

it's like a bowel movement.

It's like shitting a watermelon, actually. But well worth it.

n.n said...

It's like shitting a watermelon

Yeah, well... Mother Nature or Gaia. Perhaps we'll discover Her reasons for acute misogyny or ambiguous love some day. People believe they know why He did it. It remains to be known why She did it, too.

But well worth it.

We have our days. We can be very lovable.

mockturtle said...

Yeah, well... Mother Nature or Gaia. Perhaps we'll discover Her reasons for acute misogyny or ambiguous love some day. People believe they know why He did it. It remains to be known why She did it, too.

It is my theory that we appreciate something more the more difficulty we have in obtaining it. Even animals have obvious pain when birthing. So there must be a good reason for it.

Birches said...

It's like shitting a watermelon

Hahaha. My friend described it as passing a cold turkey. Apt.

Tess said...

how can any woman give up a life. until it is made a law the life begins at conception that is the only way change will come forth. Read/look at pictures now, how can you destroy something God helped you create? If everyone you knew had been aborted, what then? I just do not understand, but maybe that's because I am a Mother and a Grandmother, and am to old to start over or i would. Don't bother answering back to the Gmail it is, i do not use it and to lazy to figure out how to delete it. :)

Big Mike said...

I only got as far as Port Huron where I was, uh, one of the authors of the Port Huron Statement. The original Port Huron Statement. Not the compromised second draft.

@Meade, you were in the SDS in '62?

tola'at sfarim said...

When hillary mentioned all the deaths by firearms.....If only she would stop shaming all those who choose guns as their suicide method.

mockturtle said...

When hillary mentioned all the deaths by firearms.....If only she would stop shaming all those who choose guns as their suicide method.

Right. Suicide accounts for the majority of gun deaths in the US.

n.n said...

It is my theory that we appreciate something more the more difficulty we have in obtaining it.

Yes. I think it is not necessarily what is difficult, but that requires an investment. For women, it is their body. For men, it is their commitment. Equal and complementary. The alternative is spiritually debilitating and dysfunctional.

Meade said...

@BigMike... Truth? I was in 2nd grade in 1962.

rich hahn said...

"Hillary Clinton spoke of late-term abortion as a matter of the woman's health. In other words, it wasn't "an error.""

So pregnancy is a disease?

richard mcenroe said...

So women are basically locusts, lying dormant for four years and only swarming for Residential elections.

jeff said...

Back when Tiller was in Wichita, he was one of the few Drs in the US that would do a very late term abortion and would do the partial birth procedure. The state of Kansas then tracked those procedures for 3 or 4 years (I think). They stopped when Tiller stopped doing the procedure, quite probably to avoid this tracking. In those 3-4 years almost every partial birth abortion was done for the health of the mother. There were a handful done because of birth defects, but the vast majority were attributed to the health of the mother and that covered any and all mental health issues, including mild depression. One of the best PR moves ever made by the pro abortion folk is how they convinced America that those were only done due to severely handicapped babies and undefined health of the mother. Partial birth is pretty much gone, but I dont know why any other late term abortion wouldnt be done for the same reasons.