May 25, 2017

France censors a public-service ad that shows children with Down syndrome growing up happily.

Here's the ad:



Here's Sohrab Ahmari in The Wall Street Journal.
In France three TV networks agreed to carry [the "Dear Future Mom" ad] as a public service. The feedback was glowing -- until that summer, when the government's High Audiovisual Council, or CSA, issued a pair of regulatory bulletins interdicting the ad. The regulator said it was reacting to audience complaints.
The Jerome Lejeune Foundation, which sponsors the ad in France, eventually learned that only 2 complaints had been filed. One objected to the foundation, because it is anti-abortion. The other came from a woman who'd had an abortion when she was told her unborn child had Down syndrome. Because she mourned the child, she said, she experienced the ad as "violent."
The foundation appealed [the ban], and the case eventually came before the Council of State, France's highest administrative court. The council in November affirmed the ban, holding that the ad could "disturb the conscience" of women who had had abortions after a Down syndrome diagnosis....

For the foundation, the claim that the ad evokes feelings of guilt only attests to its moral truth. Says spokeswoman Stephanie Billot: "When you show a video of DS kids who say, 'Well, I won't be normal, but I will still be able to love you,' the guilt becomes so unbearable that society rejects it. It's a common, unconscious guilt for all who said nothing about the effort to systematically eliminate DS." Guilt can be salutary.

The foundation this month lodged an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights, asserting free-speech violations as well as genetic discrimination....

180 comments:

eric said...

This is how you know war is coming.

Because without it, they will take away our rights and continue to tell us they're our betters and we can't dare make anyone who disagrees with us uncomfortable.

CStanley said...

The problem with framing the abortion issue as "choice" is that no one who opposes abortion is allowed to affirm her choice.

traditionalguy said...

Trump is stirring up the lover's of disabled children, but the German Reich ( disguised as the EU) knows how to execute final solutions to that problem.

Rusty said...

Germany had a solution for this kind of thing many years ago.
I understand the idea was originally Margret Sangers.

Rusty said...

Jinx-tradguy.

pacwest said...

Eugenics? Was that the basis of the ruling?

Gahrie said...

Was that the basis of the ruling?

The ad was banned because it made a woman feel bad about a choice she made, and that must never be allowed to happen.

Ann Althouse said...

There was also an argument at the CSA level that the ad was political and only showed one side, which is against a rule about PSAs. There is some contention that that was real basis of the ban.

Do you see it as containing a political argument (maybe that abortion is wrong, even though abortion is not mentioned)?

Virtually Unknown said...

Future babies will have to die under the "harsh light of empathy." Until Althouse said it, I didn't realize it was a thing.

I can see a mother whose daughter died because (notice I make them both female to increase sympathy) she failed to use a car set complaining about ads reminding mothers to use the car seat for babies. It could happen!

Saint Croix said...

the case eventually came before the Council of State, France's highest administrative court. The council in November affirmed the ban, holding that the ad could "disturb the conscience" of women who had had abortions after a Down syndrome diagnosis….

that ad made me cry

so beautiful

so happy

next France will be telling us that the state must execute people with Down's syndrome, because their very existence upsets those who have aborted them

eric said...

The ad is terrific. I even teared up at the end.

If I hadnt read anything about the ad before watching it, abortion never would have entered my mind.

Michael K said...

The floggings will continue until morale improves.

Winston Smith learned about that.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I have known 4 couples with Down Syndrome children and they loved their kids deeply. And their sweet-natured, guileless kids loved them right back.

Their deepest fear was that someday they would not be around to care and watch over their children. Given the state of today's society and attitudes toward Down Syndrome - I remember feminists attacking Palin for not aborting Trig - they are right to fear that. "Ethicists" like Princeton's Peter Singer claim that the mentally handicapped do not have a right to life.

Virtually Unknown said...

Do you see it as containing a political argument (maybe that abortion is wrong, even though abortion is not mentioned)?

It's 'unhelpful' to the abortion lobby, therefore it's 'irresponsible.' For instance, it would have helped Trump, LePen, et al to report on the thousand rapes and sexual assaults by 'immigrants' on New Year's Eve in Cologne, therefore, reporting those crimes was political, and was suppressed for as long as possible by the European press.

buwaya puti said...

Responding in this way on the basis of a SINGLE complaint tells me that the PTB were merely looking for a pretext for what they had decided to do in any case.
The real objection, almost certainly, came from inside the management.

eric said...

P.S. I shared the ad on my Facebook.

I recommend doing so. Let the ban backfire.

Saint Croix said...

The French court rules that abortion upsets women.

And it's holding is that babies must be hidden

so that we can minimize the upset.

CStanley said...

There was also an argument at the CSA level that the ad was political and only showed one side, which is against a rule about PSAs. There is some contention that that was real basis of the ban

This is why that concept is unworkable. Anything can be viewed as political, and this kind of policy allows it to be weaponized.

If one political side can only succeed when given a boost from something like the Fairness Doctrine, then someone is putting their finger on the scale.

Char Char Binks said...

So much for liberty, equality,and fraternity. France is a shithole. I hope the caliphate takes it over ASAP.

Big Mike said...

Yup. Once you have nationalized medicine (called "single payer" here in the US) then it follows that there is a government interest in aborting babies that are perceived as costing more to care for down the road.

Angel-Dyne said...

The council in November affirmed the ban, holding that the ad could "disturb the conscience" of women who had had abortions after a Down syndrome diagnosis....

One doesn't expect philosophical consistency these days from the sort of people found in the august councils of Western governments, but whatever do they mean by a "disturbed conscience"? How can a conscience be disturbed by an act that all right-thinking, compassionate people know has no moral dimension?

Even allowing for lost subtleties in translation (I assume the judgment was in French), I doubt even they could tell you what they meant by this in straightforward terms. Or rather, would not, because that would require them to be straight with themselves.

mockturtle said...

"Guilt can be salutary."

Indeed.

Mattman26 said...

Banned because it "disturbs the conscience?"

How do you say "Wow" in French?

dreams said...

"Guilt can be salutary."

"Indeed."

Yes.

Darrell said...

Diversity in everything except thought.

JimT said...

It seems to me that this policy embodies the very definition of genocide. What does the convention on the rights of the child say about that? Will a European court entaetain a complaint on that basis?

GAHCindy said...

Goodness gracious. They think it's a role of the government to protect them from the nagging of conscience.

mockturtle said...

Heaven forbid that Downs children should be shown to be--gasp!--human beings worthy of life! As a youth, I volunteered with Downs kids at the local YMCA and found them to be happier than 'normal' kids, full of enjoyment of life and fun to work with. Thy capture your heart with their exuberance. Great video! It should be required viewing before a 'choice is made.

Known Unknown said...

We've decided to erase them. They are not human!

I work with a DS-related charity organization that is using the chromosomal tissue (that has to come from living DS patients) to help unlock genetic treatments for other diseases like Alzheimer's and cancer. They are trying to get as many tissue donations to their tissue bank as possible. We are working on a branding and advertising campaign for them.

YoungHegelian said...

Guilt can be salutary.

Oh! Oh! Ms Billot sure as hell didn't get the memo! I thought "Salutary Guilt" went out the door in France at about the same time as "Prevenient Grace".

Okay, in France, Guilt stuck around a little longer because of Freud. But, still, lady, don't be such a wet blanket!

Quaestor said...

So, the Jerome Lejeune Foundation is suing France for "genetic discrimination". There was a very silly and mostly noisy band called Devo that warned us about this. Actually, Devo still exists that past tense verb back there is inappropriate. On the other hand, men who are definately within hailing distance of the big Six-Oh ought not to wear yellow plastic coveralls in an attempt to appear ironic. Be that as it may, genetic discrmination in this context has got to be the most stupid thing I've read or heard since last Tuesday. If they win their suit you know what ought to happen, don't you? Short near-sighted guys will bring suits against statuesque lingerie models for genetic discrimination.

GENETIC DISCRIMINATION!?! WFT!?! Doesn't the Jerome Lejeune Foundation realize that if it weren't for "genetic discrimination" they'd all be living in a tree somewhere picking fleas off each other? Man, the nitwittery of the French rivals our own good ole 'Merican blockheadedness.

Rusty said...

"How do you say "Wow" in French?"

Le Wow!

Mike makes right said...

Big Mike @ 11:18. That's exactly right, but eventually it will reach "anybody who costs more down the road."

exiledonmainstreet said...

Leftists have no problems laying guilt trips on people as long as it is guilt over slavery or colonialism or thinking that Muslim woman at the concert in Manchester looks a little suspicious.

Inga said...

I found the video to be beautiful, moving and uplifting. It presents a choice and choice is what many people desire. France made an error banning it. If women are feeling guilty because of it, that could happen also by merely seeing a person with Downs Symdrome that is doing well. Many women who chose to abort due to Downs Syndrome will be just fine, most won't be negatively affected by their choice. We who believe in choice need to be respectful of others choices, as we want them to respect ours.

robother said...

One single Frenchwoman's proclaimed feelings of guilt can override all other public values--political freedom of expression, open debate, and the feelings (moral revulsion) of millions of other French men and women, to say nothing of the physical agony of the aborted being (who can be literally torn to pieces in a way no civilized country would allow for any mammal.)

Who, Whom.

Achilles said...

When my wife was pregnant with our second we were on our way to the five month screening and in that worrying way women have where they spend the 2 hours(days) before an event thinking about every worst thing that could happen she asked me what we should do if the kid had Down's syndrome. I told her that kids with Downs are some of the happiest kids I have ever seen and that it would be fine.

She is Christian and I am not. She was worried what I would want to do and understandably so. People without morals can justify much to avoid discomfort. At 5 months that is not a clump of cells anymore. The fact is the vast majority of abortions at this time happen because the child is a girl, not for any other defect.

It is too bad that we can't come to a reasonable place on abortion. The "It's a baby at conception" crowd are just as guilty of rhetorical despotism as these ghouls that want to kill all down's babies off are.

Yancey Ward said...

Virtually Unknown nails it down with the analogy to a PSA on using child restraints in automobiles. To be intellectually consistent, one would have to ban such a PSA if a single mother who didn't use such restraints and lost her child because of that was hurt and complained to the authorities. And one can't overcome this analogy by claiming that the use of child restraints in automobiles isn't political- if it is mandated by law, then the issue is political by definition.

sparrow said...

That foundation was named for Servant of God Jérôme Lejeune, a French pediatrician who was specifically devoted to Downs patients.

Morality and politics do frequently co-incide, but it says a lot about a person to see the issue as political first. It's a marker for a secular leftist who's god is power (aka Mammon).

sparrow said...

I'll take "rhetorical depostism" over killing anytime.

n.n said...

Life unworthy.

The problem with the Pro-Choice quasi-religion is that its principles are progressive and the collateral damage is not limited to the death of innocent human life. It also manifests under institutional racism, sexism, etc. or [class] diversity. The effects of debasing human life, whether it is for convenience or spare parts, is not contained to abortion chambers and Planned Parenthood offices.

It should be choice then conception. Not conception then choice.

Another problem is normalization, at the cost of scientific and religious/moral integrity which has been visible of a renewed consensus science and selectivity, respectively.

n.n said...

Achilles:

A human life evolves from conception. This is not in dispute, is it?

The issue is when and by whose choice a human life earns and retains the right to life. People will disagree.

n.n said...

Moral, natural, and personal imperatives. I suggest two moral axioms or articles of faith: individual dignity and intrinsic value. Go forth and reconcile.

sparrow said...

My wife was 48 when my second son was born. At that age the odds were 1 in 4 for Downs. We refused to test prenatally, since there is no treatment. He is normal, and I was relieved. Yet the Down's children and adults I know are beautifully sweet; they improve a room by their presence. Everyone responds with warmth, in my experience. I can't imagine it's easy to raise a Down's child: but there are compensations.

n.n said...

"disturb the conscience" ... genetic discrimination

It makes sense. It's analogous to banning a video depicting a baby with light or dark skin growing up happily.

southcentralpa said...

"[D]isturbs the conscience", eh?

Must not allow those little twitches of guilt to gain a footing, I guess ...

[Maryland being Maryland, the University of Maryland Medical Center hospital in Baltimore has an abortion clinic. On the door is (or at least was) a handwritten sign from the staff "No children allowed". I must say, that disturbed my conscience quite a bit. One of the most (however inadvertently) chilling things I've ever personally witnessed]

wwww said...



The children are lovely. A commercial like this could help encourage people to adopt children with disabilities.

I don't understand all of the recent interest in France. Americans usually don't care about French politics.


"She is Christian and I am not. She was worried what I would want to do and understandably so. People without morals can justify much to avoid discomfort. At 5 months that is not a clump of cells anymore. The fact is the vast majority of abortions at this time happen because the child is a girl, not for any other defect."


Screening tests like the HARMONY test have moved all this up to the first trimester.

At 10 weeks a blood test on the mother also contains fetal DNA. You can tell if it's a boy or a girl from the test. Also reveals chromosomal birth defects.

It hasn't just moved up to the first trimester. IVF patients can do pre-implantation diagnosis and find out all this info before the embryo is transferred to the uterus.

n.n said...

We refused to test prenatally, since there is no treatment.

Be prepared and responsible. It's not easy, but necessary.

I can't imagine it's easy to raise a Down's child

It probably isn't. But how many perfectly "normal" children are there? Some challenges are unpredictable, while others manifest in subtle ways. The final solution is a poor Choice and places us on a progressive slope.

Suicide Squeeze said...

When you consider all the steps the abortion champions have to take to justify themselves, you have to wonder if morality is simply a quaint affectation of our past. When the value of a human being is determined by one person rather than being inherent in being human, then there is no rational argument to oppose murder of any sort. If affirming life is a political argument that requires an opposing view to make it a balanced position, I wonder what that opposing view would look like?

"On the other hand you can just kill him now and have more free time to go out to dinner and the movies."

sparrow said...

Importantly many arguments used to dehumanize children can be re-employed to pull the plug on Grandma when she gets too incovenient or expensive to care for.

Add to that the demographic inversion contraception and abortion has created and many of the prochoice crowd will have no blood relative to act as their advocate.

sparrow said...

I think the recent interest in France was due to the now failed resurgence of Le Pen. For a moment it seemed like a European country might actually fight for it's survival.

Mattman26 said...

Didn't Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks disturb the consciences of their contemporaries?

Fen said...

"The it's a baby at conception crowd are just as guilty"

I've never heard that. What I have heard them say is "life begins at conception ". It's a life at conception.

Not really sure when a clump of cells gets to be defined as a human. But my principles tell me we don't execute mass murderers unless we are 100% certain they are guilty. Beyond a reasonable doubt. Better to let a dozen guilty go free that wrongly convict an innocent. We see on the side of caution where life is concerned.

Achilles said...

n.n said...
Achilles:

A human life evolves from conception. This is not in dispute, is it?


It does.

The issue is when and by whose choice a human life earns and retains the right to life. People will disagree.

This is indeed the role of government if you give it that power. You have chosen to do give government this power and government in the US has decided that you can drag a baby halfway down a birth canal or sometimes after it has emerged and decapitate it. This is a result of the efforts of both sides involved.

The question here is what powers do you wish the government to have. Birth at Conception is a legitimate opinion but I don't hold it and most people don't hold it. Large numbers of conceived fetuses don't live out of the first few days. Up to 14 days after conception twins can form. Does only 1 of them count? Birth at conception is in my opinion a religious determination. Nothing wrong with it but I don't want the government making religious determinations.

Personally I hold that between 8 weeks when the nervous system starts to form and 12-16 weeks when the baby starts to react to stimulus it awakens. Anything after that you are killing a baby and prevention of murder is obviously a power I think the government should have.

Fen said...

We err on the side of caution.

Smartphone is about to meet Hammer.

Achilles said...

Inga said...
I found the video to be beautiful, moving and uplifting. It presents a choice and choice is what many people desire. France made an error banning it. If women are feeling guilty because of it, that could happen also by merely seeing a person with Downs Symdrome that is doing well. Many women who chose to abort due to Downs Syndrome will be just fine, most won't be negatively affected by their choice. We who believe in choice need to be respectful of others choices, as we want them to respect ours.

This is ghoulish. Aborting because the woman thinks the baby is ugly and dumb. No better than aborting because the baby was a girl which is the reason for most of these abortions.

There should be guilt.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

n.n,

Lebensunwertiges Leben, indeed. All I see in the video are happy kids and happy parents.

George Will has a Down Syndrome son, Jonathan, and at one time wrote frequently about him and other kids with Down. Philip Becker. "Infant Doe." The former needed heart surgery to survive, and didn't get it. The parents argued that the surgery wouldn't work, or maybe it would, and both were horrific. The latter needed even more basic surgery, to open her gastrointestinal tract, and the parents refused. The child starved to death.

I'm a bit irked at Will just now because of his abandoning any party that has Trump as a member, but on this issue he has been practically the only national voice in support of what is emphatically a national health issue.

Jonathan Will was born in 1972, btw. Down Syndrome kids in relatively recent times rarely made it to their teens.

MaxedOutMama said...

robother - The decision will not have been based on that woman's complaint, but rather the fear among the bureaucrats that the ad would be successful, and that the consequent births of more Downs kids would be a burden to the public health system.

That is a sad truth, but there you have it. Way back when Palin was the VP candidate, there was a protest about her representing the wrong values from a Canadian health care system person, who feared the same.
https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/canadian-doctors-group-worried-palin-example-could-pressure-some-women-to-n

Socialized medicine creates a strong incentive to vote certain people off the island.

With respect to "violence", what do the parents of Downs Syndrome kids experience when they encounter such messages? And what could the parents of Downs kids, much less the Downs Syndrome people living and working and playing among us be experiencing by the suppression of a message expressing the worth of their lives?

Paul McKaskle said...

I guess France will have to ban "Call the Midwife" because the last couple episodes had a sweet Downs Syndrome young man who had been left homeless who was taken in by the handyman of Nonnatus House. How awful of the unthinking BBC (and PBS in the US) to allow trash like that on television!

Inga said...

"Screening tests like the HARMONY test have moved all this up to the first trimester.

At 10 weeks a blood test on the mother also contains fetal DNA. You can tell if it's a boy or a girl from the test. Also reveals chromosomal birth defects.

It hasn't just moved up to the first trimester. IVF patients can do pre-implantation diagnosis and find out all this info before the embryo is transferred to the uterus."

Modern medicine is amazing. Many conservative states are in favor of limiting abortion to the 20th week, which is reasonable. With these kinds of diagnostics the abortion debate will be limited once again to the absolutists who demand that there is no choice at all and that the embryo be given full personhood rights.

https://news.vice.com/story/at-least-46-anti-abortion-bills-are-already-in-front-of-state-legislatures-in-2017

"These measures reflect the “personhood” movement, which is premised on the idea that an unborn fetus is entitled to the same constitutional rights as a person. The notion that life begins at conception, or at the first detection of a heartbeat, is the basis for bills like Indiana’s HB 1134, which seeks to redefine the beginning of human life as “when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm.” Bills that require women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound and view it, like Missouri’s HB 404, and bills that mandate funeral requirements for fetal remains, like Texas’ HB 201, also reinforce the notion that abortion ends a viable human life."

Achilles said...

Fen said...

I've never heard that. What I have heard them say is "life begins at conception ". It's a life at conception.

Not really sure when a clump of cells gets to be defined as a human. But my principles tell me we don't execute mass murderers unless we are 100% certain they are guilty. Beyond a reasonable doubt. Better to let a dozen guilty go free that wrongly convict an innocent. We see on the side of caution where life is concerned.


What is a miscarriage? A large number of conceived fetuses never plant themselves in the uterine wall. Sometimes they make twins or more. Sperm + ovum = baby is not an instantaneous event.

Achilles said...

Inga said...
"Screening tests like the HARMONY test have moved all this up to the first trimester.

At 10 weeks a blood test on the mother also contains fetal DNA. You can tell if it's a boy or a girl from the test. Also reveals chromosomal birth defects.


If you don't want to have --A-- kid that is one thing.

If you don't want to have -THIS- kid that is entirely ghoulish.

It doesn't matter how old the kid is. Treatment is fine. What you are describing is Eugenics.

Drago said...

Inga: "With these kinds of diagnostics the abortion debate will be limited once again to the absolutists who demand that there is no choice at all and that the embryo be given full personhood rights"

With these kinds of diagnostics the abortion debate will be limited once again to the absolutists who demand that there is no humanity at all in this "lump of cells" at any point in the development process and that the child in the womb can be killed even up to the moment the full term child's feet are outside the birth canal.

CStanley said...

Large numbers of conceived fetuses don't live out of the first few days. Up to 14 days after conception twins can form. Does only 1 of them count?

Have never understood the logic of this argument. 100% of all humans die, and many of them die early even from natural causes. How does that fact inform our ethical notions about murder? Would infanticide be less wrong in a country with high infant mortality from disease or malnutrition?

Drago said...

Michelle Dulak Thompson: "Jonathan Will was born in 1972, btw. Down Syndrome kids in relatively recent times rarely made it to their teens"

Primarily because they were institutionalized and extremely neglected.

wwww said...


It doesn't matter how old the kid is. Treatment is fine. What you are describing is Eugenics.


Screening is SCREENING.

People use screening to prepare to raise a child with disabilities.


And most don't wait until birth to find out the gender. They use screening tests to paint the nursery pink or blue, buy clothing, tell their families & friends, and hold gender-reveal cake parties.

wwww said...

Large numbers of conceived fetuses don't live out of the first few days. Up to 14 days after conception twins can form. Does only 1 of them count?


isn't this about questions of ensoulment? when are the embryos ensouled if they split into twins?

Inga said...

"Inga said...
I found the video to be beautiful, moving and uplifting. It presents a choice and choice is what many people desire. France made an error banning it. If women are feeling guilty because of it, that could happen also by merely seeing a person with Downs Symdrome that is doing well. Many women who chose to abort due to Downs Syndrome will be just fine, most won't be negatively affected by their choice. We who believe in choice need to be respectful of others choices, as we want them to respect ours."
-----------------------
"This is ghoulish. Aborting because the woman thinks the baby is ugly and dumb. No better than aborting because the baby was a girl which is the reason for most of these abortions."

You are completely misrepresenting my comment. I found the PSA beautiful because it presented a choice. It presented hope, it presented another viewpoint. I did not remark in any way shape or form about physical beauty of the participants of the video. Don't twist people's comments. Maybe you totally misunderstood me and your accusation was simply based on your desire to paint me in a negative light. You are no more moral than the next person, despite continually presenting yourself thusly on these threads.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Add to that the demographic inversion contraception and abortion has created and many of the prochoice crowd will have no blood relative to act as their advocate.”

Indeed. Many of the fervent pro-abortion boomers just might find their own arguments leveled against them when it becomes too expensive to keep them alive.

Those anti-Christians among us have never considered what will happen when Christian ethics no longer underpin Western societies. Hint: it won’t be “imagine all the people, living life in peace.”

It will be might, especially the might of the state, makes right.

Fen said...

False Inga. The "abolutionists" are not against a woman's choice.

Women know that intercourse carries a risk of pregnancy - they CHOOSE to accept that risk.

Women also know that birth control is not 100% effective, yet they CHOOSE to take that risk too.

Women need to responsible for the choices they make. The pro-life movement doesn't care what choices you make with your own body. It's only when another body is on the table that they become involved.

So stop pretending someone is taking away your choice, especially as you are taking choice away from an innocent who can't even speak for its own choice.

Inga said...

"Inga said...
"Screening tests like the HARMONY test have moved all this up to the first trimester.

At 10 weeks a blood test on the mother also contains fetal DNA. You can tell if it's a boy or a girl from the test. Also reveals chromosomal birth defects.

If you don't want to have --A-- kid that is one thing.

If you don't want to have -THIS- kid that is entirely ghoulish.

It doesn't matter how old the kid is. Treatment is fine. What you are describing is Eugenics."

You are going out of your way to present what others say in a negative light, You, yourself have stated you are not anti abortion. You're coming off as a huge hypocrite here and someone who misrepresents others comments. That doesn't comport with your proclamations of being such a moral human being. I'm beginning to think you're a fraud.

Dave from Minnesota said...

I have a solution for abortion in the US. Liberal gals just need to start banging a higher class of guy. Someone who will chip in a few bucks for birth control.

Achilles said...

CStanley said...

Have never understood the logic of this argument. 100% of all humans die, and many of them die early even from natural causes. How does that fact inform our ethical notions about murder? Would infanticide be less wrong in a country with high infant mortality from disease or malnutrition?

You have made the assertion that once the sperm touches the egg it is a baby and a life. I fully support your right to make this assertion and allow it to govern your life.

But for me that is a religious assertion that ignores the reality of what occurs. For any number of reasons many of the instances where a sperm touches an egg nothing happens. Additionally the merged egg and sperm do not react to stimulus separately from the mother until the fetus develops it's own nervous system and brain stem. Once it does that I think you have a life that the government has a responsibility to protect. This happens around the end of the first trimester.

I don't want the government making religious assertions.

CStanley said...

Large numbers of conceived fetuses don't live out of the first few days. Up to 14 days after conception twins can form. Does only 1 of them count?

In those instances I'd say that at conception one human came into existence and at the splitting, a second one did. Where's the contradiction in believing that each of those should have legal personhood? By using shorthand to say that life begins at conception, it doesn't rule out those events where a second life also forms days later.

n.n said...

100% of all humans die, and many of them die early even from natural causes. How does that fact inform our ethical notions about murder?

Exactly. A human life can be aborted by natural and accidental causes, which civilized societies strive to address. It can also be aborted by Choice (i.e. premeditation). While this is a natural right, it seems myopic to normalize/promote it. There are other solutions.

MaxedOutMama said...

I don't know how others will react, but I am finding this topic and this post specially poignant due to the juxtaposition with the Manchester massacre.

I understand the desire to have a "normal" child, but the worst human defects - which impose by far the highest social costs - are those of bad moral character and capacity to act, combined. It is not the "underachievers" of this world who inflict massive damage upon us all, not the failing elderly who need care, but the physically healthy with unhealthy, destructive psyches, who have the capacity to act efficiently and very destructively.

It would have been incomparably better for the world had the Manchester bomber been born with the "defect" of Downs. It seems to me that there is a moral lack in us - in our culture - that we don't intuitively react with this knowledge. All parenthood is a gamble. The biggest losers in the game of life are very certainly NOT the parents and family of most children with handicaps.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Indeed. Many of the fervent pro-abortion boomers just might find their own arguments leveled against them when it becomes too expensive to keep them alive.

The "waiters". People whose retirement plan is "waiting" for their parents to die so they inherit their money and property. Now if they can just speed that up a bit.....

I Callahan said...

What is a miscarriage? A large number of conceived fetuses never plant themselves in the uterine wall. Sometimes they make twins or more. Sperm + ovum = baby is not an instantaneous event.

I know a number of people who named, and had funerals, for their miscarried children. Are they wrong?

Achilles said...

I said...

"If you don't want to have --A-- kid that is one thing.

If you don't want to have -THIS- kid that is entirely ghoulish.


Inga said...

You are going out of your way to present what others say in a negative light, You, yourself have stated you are not anti abortion. You're coming off as a huge hypocrite here and someone who misrepresents others comments. That doesn't comport with your proclamations of being such a moral human being. I'm beginning to think you're a fraud.

Read those two lines. Think critically for however long it takes to understand the distinction I made. It is possible for you to understand this.

Once you do a test and you say "I don't want THAT one." it is something other than a choice.

n.n said...

using shorthand to say that life begins at conception, it doesn't rule out those events

Not only that, but evolution is not a progressive process. A single source (e.g. conception) can mark the beginning of numerous paths, including leading to a natural death, but also a second or even third life. In fact, that is a known outcome, and has been independently replicated many times in many places.

Inga said...

What do you think happens to the embryos that don't get implanted? The moral posturing never seems to extend this far. Would the absolutists prohibit IVF? As I understood WWWW's comment, the test of the embryo would come BEFORE implantation.

"It hasn't just moved up to the first trimester. IVF patients can do pre-implantation diagnosis and find out all this info before the embryo is transferred to the uterus."

Achilles said...

n.n said...
"100% of all humans die, and many of them die early even from natural causes. How does that fact inform our ethical notions about murder?"

Exactly. A human life can be aborted by natural and accidental causes, which civilized societies strive to address. It can also be aborted by Choice (i.e. premeditation). While this is a natural right, it seems myopic to normalize/promote it. There are other solutions.

This is a religious assertion. No problem with that. But both of you are giving the government more power than it should have if you allow it to make a religious assertion.

CStanley said...

It doesn't have to be a religious argument to assert personhood of an entity that has a set of chromosomes, distinct from that of its host the mother, and complete enough that it will develop into a viable human baby unless someone takes action to interrupt that process.

For you (if I'm not misinterpreting) sentience is the marker but there is no more distinct moment in time for that than there is for my criteria. You are fudging by calling it at the beginning of second trimester but saying I can't fudge by saying "conception" which technically doesn't apply to the second identical twin of a pair.

MadisonMan said...

Why are the views of only two people allowed to dictate what is shown on TV in France?

Inga said...

"Once you do a test and you say "I don't want THAT one." it is something other than a choice."

In what reality do frozen embryos survive ad infinitum? They don't. Some get donated, many don't. The parents of the frozen embryos are not going to have every single embryo implanted. Some basic biology lessons might be in order here.

Achilles said...

Inga said...
What do you think happens to the embryos that don't get implanted? The moral posturing never seems to extend this far. Would the absolutists prohibit IVF? As I understood WWWW's comment, the test of the embryo would come BEFORE implantation.

Totally different issue. This has nothing to do with banning a video because progressives don't want to feel guilty about making sex/chromosomal selective abortions.

CStanley said...

Would the absolutists prohibit IVF?

Yes (my personal response, can't speak for other "absolutists.") Were you unaware that people oppose it and it's prohibited by Catholic Church doctrine?

I Callahan said...

What do you think happens to the embryos that don't get implanted? The moral posturing never seems to extend this far.

Those embryos that don't get implanted will die. Or be allowed to die. Or murdered, if you will.

Would the absolutists prohibit IVF? As I understood WWWW's comment, the test of the embryo would come BEFORE implantation.

There have been a number of logical arguments against it (this is not to say I'm against it; I don't exactly know how I feel), including the fact that humans are selfish - there is an argument to be made that if you don't have the equipment to have children, you ought to count the blessings you have and live with it, and not play with life as if it's yours to play with.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Excellent comment at 1:06 PM, MaxedOutMama.

wwww said...

What is a miscarriage? A large number of conceived fetuses never plant themselves in the uterine wall. Sometimes they make twins or more. Sperm + ovum = baby is not an instantaneous event.

I know a number of people who named, and had funerals, for their miscarried children. Are they wrong?


ok: I'm not talking theology here, but medically:

According to medical definitions, miscarriage is not embryos that don't implant. A miscarriage is an implanted pregnancy.

A pregnancy is diagnosed by the chemicals generated by implantation. You need at least a partial implantation to get those chemicals.

A chemical can be a partial implantation or a early implantation that isn't fully successful.

The embryo starts to implant about 6-9 days after fertilization. It takes a couple of days after that to fully implant.

Days 1-5 the embryo is in the tubes and the embryo hasn't hatched yet. At 5 or 6 days it becomes a blastocyst.

Then the blastocyst hatches.

Part of the blastocyst will be the placenta. Part of it will be the embryo.

6-9 days it starts to borrow into the uterine lining.

It takes a while to burrow in and attach.

at 2-3 weeks after fertilization is when there's a 1st positive pregnancy test.

It takes about 2-3 weeks after fertilization. to get enough chemicals in the blood or urine to get a positive pregnancy test. These chemicals aren't in the blood until implantation.

FOLIC ACID: This is why every woman of childbearing age should be on folic acid or eat lots of veggies & citrus. Those 3 weeks are critical for the embryo and folic acid prevents birth defects. It's the most important time in the pregnancy to get folic acid -- the times when it's too early to test for pregnancy & there's no symptoms.

Achilles said...

CStanley said...

For you (if I'm not misinterpreting) sentience is the marker but there is no more distinct moment in time for that than there is for my criteria. You are fudging by calling it at the beginning of second trimester but saying I can't fudge by saying "conception" which technically doesn't apply to the second identical twin of a pair.

My point is about 30% of the population thinks conception is the point where it is a separate life. If you move that back to 8-14 weeks when the baby responds separately of the mother to stimulus you can bring that up to probably 60-80%.

I prefer the government defer to individuals as much as possible. I think Chrisitians and particularly protestants are the most humane and decent and charitable humans on this planet by a long ways. But you sure do like having the government tell everyone what to do sometimes and you never seem to figure out what a double edged sword that is even after the same sex marriage object lesson we are all being subjected to.

I am frustrated you people still refuse to learn that lesson.

Achilles said...

I Callahan said...

I know a number of people who named, and had funerals, for their miscarried children. Are they wrong?

Should this be an official government event?

Should the government write up a birth and death certificate and investigate the possibility of wrongful death?

How deep in there do you want your government?

n.n said...

Achilles:

A human life is at minimum a process that begins its evolution from conception, which can be aborted by natural or accidental causes, or by choice (i.e. elective). If we survive the first nine months, we are emitted and become physically separated from our mother (i.e. birth).

The issues for society are two-fold: One, abortion is a natural right that some factions would like to facilitate for different reasons. Two, human life has an axiomatic or faith-based value which is acknowledged in varying degrees.

So, do we normalize, tolerate, or reject this natural right?

The "secular" choice is to normalize/promote it, selectively.

Bob Ellison said...

"If People with Down Syndrome Ruled the world".

Great read that most who know the positive side of Down Syndrome will understand. There is a positive side, and you gotta take the good with the not-so-easy.

wwww said...

Would the absolutists prohibit IVF? As I understood WWWW's comment, the test of the embryo would come BEFORE implantation.


Yeah, this is happening a lot with IVF. It's called PDG testing. They take a cell from a 3 or 5 day embryo and do a scan of the chromosome. The test is common for women over the age of 35 because it greatly lowers the chance of failed implantation.

People doing IVF want it to succeed more then anything in the world, so they'll pay whatever it takes to make it happen.

Most embryos will not implant if it's not chromosomally normal. The uternine lining and embryo seem to "talk" to each other. They somehow seem to send signals that allows for & facilitates implantation.

ok. So couples do the PDG testing, but then you automatically know if it's a boy or a girl. So the doctors transmit the test results, which tell everyone which embryos are normal and also the sex. Because of course a complete scan of the chromosome will also tell you the sex.

Christy Tiegen and John Legend knew their first would be a girl immediately because they did PDG.

Inga said...

"I am frustrated you people still refuse to learn that lesson."

Some people have something worthwhile to teach, others just think they do.

Virtually Unknown said...

You guys are arguing as if a right answer can be determined by logic.

Achilles said...

Inga said...
"Once you do a test and you say "I don't want THAT one." it is something other than a choice."

In what reality do frozen embryos survive ad infinitum? They don't. Some get donated, many don't. The parents of the frozen embryos are not going to have every single embryo implanted. Some basic biology lessons might be in order here.

Inga walks up to the door... peaks inside... and SQUIRREL!

Basic biology lessons indeed. Progressives cannot justify eugenics morally but they refuse to be labeled as morally deficient when they participate in it repeatedly throughout history.

n.n said...

Achilles:

A human life can be aborted by natural and accidental causes, which civilized societies strive to address. It can also be aborted by Choice (i.e. premeditation). While this is a natural right, it seems myopic to normalize/promote it. There are other solutions.

Which is the religious/moral assertion?

Food, shelter, medical care in civilized societies? Myopic to normalize elective abortion?

Inga said...

"People doing IVF want it to succeed more then anything in the world, so they'll pay whatever it takes to make it happen.

Most embryos will not implant if it's not chromosomally normal. The uternine lining and embryo seem to "talk" to each other. They somehow seem to send signals that allows for & facilitates implantation."

So, it would seem to be a good idea to choose an embryo that has the best chance of implanting. That's basic stuff, it's not eugenics.

Achilles said...

Inga said...

Some people have something worthwhile to teach, others just think they do.

Not knowing what you said, you said it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for making me cry over my lunch. :)

Althouse, thanks for this post. I think you and I disagree strongly about abortion , particularly in the case of a baby who will be born with disabilities. But I applaud you for posting it. Thanks.

-- Jessica

CStanley said...

The point about government intervention is well taken, and to some extent I'm expressing my personal view about the morality of abortion and I admit to some concern about getting government to sanction what I admit is the extreme position that I hold.

But I push back against the idea that my position is strictly a religious one that ought not to have a place in political discussions. It's not, and insisting on that will weaken your own position too because you're counting in 60-80% to instinctively agree that sentient fetuses are worthy of legal protection while other people take the approach that Althouse takes (hopefully I'm not misstating, but the position I refer to is that the principle of bodily autonomy takes precedence at least until viability.)

So as the tide of public opinion might turn, more people might take that position and begin to see your idea of sentience as a strictly religious view too. If I'm not mistaken, don't some religions consider sentience to be the time of ensoulment? I definitely recall the point of Jews drawing the line at "quickening" which seems to match up with your idea of "responding to stimulus."."

Inga said...

"Inga walks up to the door... peaks inside... and SQUIRREL!

Basic biology lessons indeed. Progressives cannot justify eugenics morally but they refuse to be labeled as morally deficient when they participate in it repeatedly throughout history."

I see he doesn't follow or understand the argument. He stated that IVF parents choosing one embryo over another amounts to eugenics and adds a moral connotation to it. I am thinking perhaps this guy is not only a fraud when he proclaims himself to be the most moral boy on the block, but he's not very well versed in basic biology.

Inga said...

wwww explained it in a way that most people are able to grok. It's humorous to have a person ignorant of basic biology moralize to IVF participants.

n.n said...

The IVF conundrum can largely be addressed through acknowledging then normalizing/promoting biological priorities and through adoption. Also, delaying sexual relations until late in the third trimester of adolescence or later depending on the maturity of the couple. There are choices. It's a question of what behaviors a society chooses to normalize, tolerate, or reject.

This is a case of where a morally underdeveloped or progressive society gains access to technology that enables actions with consequences beyond its ability to reconcile. For example, self-defense versus elective actions.

Achilles said...

n.n said...
Achilles:

A human life can be aborted by natural and accidental causes, which civilized societies strive to address. It can also be aborted by Choice (i.e. premeditation). While this is a natural right, it seems myopic to normalize/promote it. There are other solutions.

Which is the religious/moral assertion?

Food, shelter, medical care in civilized societies? Myopic to normalize elective abortion?


The policy decision here is when the government has a duty to protect a human life versus the individual. .

Food, shelter and medical care are generally not provide(well) by the government and we have correctly for most of our history kept them as private matters. For you and your partner as an individual you provide for the fetus/baby. You as an individual determine when it has value to you and needs to be protected.

At some point the government also determines when it has a duty to protect that fetus/baby. You want it to be immediately after conception. Most people don't. There in lies the difference between a religious assertion and a government law/policy.

Suicide Squeeze said...

Achilles,

Your argument for when to decide a pre-born child is human is just an arbitrary decision point. It is no or more valid than any other decisions point in that it takes a certain set of criteria to determine what makes a human worthy of protection and rights. Your argument at 1:24 rests on public opinion as the deciding factor. People's rights would then be based on a vote. If we vote that slavery is legal, that would be ok, right?

What we do know is that a new life begins at conception. It does not always survive, but it has begun. It has already been pointed out that all life ends at some point. What we are debating is when it is permissible to purposefully terminate the life. Once conception has occurred, the life will continue to develop on its own until it has terminated naturally or had it's life cycle terminated by someone.

Yes, it might be a religious position to state the life begins at conception, but it is also a scientific one, more scientific than to say "when the heart beats", "when the nervous system kicks in", "when it is viable outside the womb", "when it can take care of itself without help", "when it reaches the age of reason." The thing about life is that we are all growing from day one. Stages of development occur every step of the way. Our physical, spiritual, and intellectual aspects change every day.

What is really at stake is a moral question. Whether your morality is formed by religious belief or made up out of a various hodgepodge of human thought, we still hold an opinion base on a belief of what is right. It is disingenuous to malign a religious source for morality in favor of a secular one.

I wonder, do you think government should avoid getting involved in capital crimes? After all, the criminal's morality might say that theft, rape or murder are not wrong, and who are you to impose your morality upon them and use the force of the government to enforce it?

CStanley said...


At some point the government also determines when it has a duty to protect that fetus/baby. You want it to be immediately after conception. Most people don't. There in lies the difference between a religious assertion and a government law/policy.

Who exactly is this government who decides this?

You are undoubtedly correct if you catch this error and revert to stating the percentage of people who would make the decision at various stages...but that could change if people are allowed to attempt to persuade others. I don't even accept that religious views have to be left out of such discussions, but even under that restriction it's not correct to state that "life begins at conception" is more inherently religious than is "life begins at implantation" or "life begins when the fetus responds to stimuli".

Achilles said...

Inga said...

I see he doesn't follow or understand the argument. He stated that IVF parents choosing one embryo over another amounts to eugenics and adds a moral connotation to it. I am thinking perhaps this guy is not only a fraud when he proclaims himself to be the most moral boy on the block, but he's not very well versed in basic biology.

I follow the argument perfectly. The French government banned a video of kids suffering from Down's syndrome. It made progressives who by choice aborted a kid because in their minds it would be dumb and ugly feel bad.

Inga said...

Many women who chose to abort due to Downs Syndrome will be just fine, most won't be negatively affected by their choice. We who believe in choice need to be respectful of others choices, as we want them to respect ours.

This is where the discussion started. You want us to respect your morally deficient choices.

No.

n.n said...

Achilles:

that is even after the same sex marriage object lesson

Yeah, it's a double-edged scalpel. It should have been civil unions, that way we would avoid the inherent hypocrisy of "=" advocacy for selective exclusion, and establish a standard for, not individual rights, but behavioral tolerance; but, that would be insufficient to force normalization.

Virtually Unknown:

The evolution of human life can be established logically/scientifically.

The illogical part is the belief in intrinsic value. This is a moral axiom or article of faith.

There is a compelling interest to establish a consistent standard for when a human life and by whose choice acquires and retains a right to life. The current Pro-Choice regime is internally, externally, and mutually inconsistent, and a source of [progressive] corruption throughout our nation, civilization, and world.

I Callahan said...

Should this be an official government event?

Should the government write up a birth and death certificate and investigate the possibility of wrongful death?

How deep in there do you want your government?


Achilles, you seem to be starting with the premise that government being involved / not involved should be the deciding factor as to where morality, or some shared sense of right or wrong, should be. It's actually the other way around.

Murder, for example, is already illegal, as it should be. The arbitrary line you've drawn at government involvement apparently lies before that point.

That said - government making it illegal to kill your child in you, and drawing up government documents that count children that were never born, do not both have to be in existence at the same time. There is no inconsistency there.

Fen said...

Why is a moral or principled belief automatically marginalized as being religious?

And you said it yourself, we don't really know when human life begins. So we should err on the side of caution - better to let a dozen subhuman cells live than execute an innocent human.

Achilles said...

CStanley said...

Who exactly is this government who decides this?

How did gay marriage turn out?

Do you really want the government protecting every possible fetus at conception even when it takes 2+ weeks to even have a test for pregnancy? We are not even out in the 3rd rail of rape/incest.

This country could have a rational abortion policy based off of an awakening/sentience criteria around the end of the 1st trimester in my opinion if the religious birth at conception contingent would meet in the middle with people like me. As it is I just watch two groups of people talk about how horrible the other side is. One is a bunch of ghouls that sell baby parts and the other wants the government monitoring uterine walls. Neither option is particularly palatable.

Inga said...

"I follow the argument perfectly."

No your ignorance is obvious. You assigned a moral judgment to IVF participants who chose one embryo over another. You refuse to understand what wwww so clearly stated. The embryo has a far better chance of surviving if it has no chromosomal abnormalities. You wrongly conflated this with eugenics. That is ignorant beyond belief.

I'm a progressive who said I thought the French government was in error here, but in your haste and ignorance you continue to paint all progressives with your moral paintbrush. You are not the moral arbiter of humanity. You are only human like the rest of us. Climb down from your moral pedestal, before life knocks you off of it.

Achilles said...

@ Suicide Squeeze

Read your post. It would be duplicative to respond to it. You will get answers to your questions throughout the thread. I know it is getting long and I managed to throw rocks at everyone I could see. It is the result of taking a conscious position.

Inga said...

"It is the result of taking a conscious position."

No it's the result of being so completely wrong and then arrogant on so many levels.

Gahrie said...

This country could have a rational abortion policy based off of an awakening/sentience criteria around the end of the 1st trimester in my opinion if the religious birth at conception contingent would meet in the middle with people like me

You're shooting the wrong way. The absolutists on abortion are on your side. The pro-choice crowd opposes any and all limitations on abortion, even partial-birth abortion.

Fen said...

From a objective perspective, abortionists are worse than rapists.

She knows that intercourse carries a risk of pregnancy but accepts that risk. She knows that birth control is not 100% effective but she accepts that risk too. But not reslly, because her fallback position is that if casual sex leads to the creation of a baby, she can just kill it.

In short, she wants sex so bad she is willing to kill for it. Even rapists aren't that immoral. They'll take a woman by force, but rarely commit pre-meditated murder over for an orgasm.

Which brings up another irony. Last thread complained of "demanding" a woman smile for your own pleasure was monstrous. Imagine if we simply killed her for a chance to experience a better climax...

Big Mike said...

@Achilles, you need to know more Ashkenazi Jews. A child born with Tay-Sachs dies slowly, over a period of years, and in considerable pain. I believe abortion needs to be legal.

Gahrie said...

He stated that IVF parents choosing one embryo over another amounts to eugenics

"the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics"

And he was right.

Inga said...

"The pro-choice crowd opposes any and all limitations on abortion, even partial-birth abortion."

Wrong. My 12:46 comment, below.

"Modern medicine is amazing. Many conservative states are in favor of limiting abortion to the 20th week, which is reasonable. With these kinds of diagnostics the abortion debate will be limited once again to the absolutists who demand that there is no choice at all and that the embryo be given full personhood rights."

Fen said...

"Lets try the brunette this time. Cut her skull open. Maybe this time my toes will curl"

Monstrous.

SGT Ted said...

Wow, talk about female privilege. It even overrides human rights.

Fen said...

"Personhood rightz"

It's rich to hear women complain about personhood rightz. Maybe we made a mistake. Why does it always seem that former slaves make the most blind and brutal masters?

Inga said...

"@Achilles, you need to know more Ashkenazi Jews. A child born with Tay-Sachs dies slowly, over a period of years, and in considerable pain. I believe abortion needs to be legal."

Add Cystic Fibrosis.

Fen said...

"dies slowly over a period of years... so kill it"

I'm all for assisted suicide. My life, my right to decide if it should end, assuming I am of sound mind. But those that debate me claim it will lead to people like you making that CHOICE for me. Maybe they are right afterall.

If the kid is dying slowly over many years, why can't we ask the kid if it wants to endure that.

I know that I would trade 5 years of blackout pain for the opportunity to feel the sun on my face for the first time. And I think most would choose a short painful life over Oblivion.

Marc Puckett said...

It's quite interesting if rather repetitive reading the other 'Down Syndrome'-tagged posts and their comments threads, too-- although I skipped the 'Palin derangement' ones that are chiefly about Andrew Sullivan's private insanity.

Fen said...

"Add cystic fibrosis "

Also, depression. Who could possibly want a lifetime of staring into the abyss.

C Stanley said...

How did gay marriage turn out?

You are incorrectly inferring what my position was on gay marriage. The neutral position for government to take is the issuance of civil union licenses. Then it is up to individuals and churches to define marriage. I know that a lot of religious conservatives would reject that but it was my position, and it wasn't my side that ultimately made it impossible to reach that consensus.

I don't see a similar compromise position possible with abortion though because it involves the fundamental right to life.

Interestingly though both of the issues you involve you invoke currently have the state taking a non-neutral position even though you seem to want to keep the government out of personal affairs. For all of the rhetoric about leaving government out of the decision to abort, no one seems to notice that the state is sanctioning it by licensing doctors to perform the procedure.

Inga said...

"I know that I would trade 5 years of blackout pain for the opportunity to feel the sun on my face for the first time. And I think most would choose a short painful life over Oblivion."

No you wouldn't. If one is "blacked out" from pain and suffering, one doesn't have the opportunity to feel the warmth of the sun on their faces and derive pleasure from it. Pain overrides this pleasure. You don't know much about acute or chronic pain apparently. Your comment is a childish and foolish one.

Marc Puckett said...

Inga at 2:26 pm, While I'm happy to see that you consider a post-20 week ban on procured abortion "reasonable", are you seriously arguing that the leading political actors on the pro-abortion side are willing also to accept such a law?

Inga said...

"Add cystic fibrosis "

"Also, depression. Who could possibly want a lifetime of staring into the abyss."

An emotional and childish comment once again. There are very good meds to treat depression. Not so much for Tay Sachs or Cystic Fibrosis.

Suicide Squeeze said...

@Achilles,

I'm not sure I would call what you are doing "throwing rocks." Trying to hold a moderate position in a polemic thread may seem like that is what you end up doing, but holding a position and stating your reasons isn't rock throwing.

Still, I want to challenge your position because I find it hard to compromise on something so significant. Compromise has its place, but like the Missouri Compromise of 1850, your compromise, "meet in the middle" as you called it, is no solution to the real problem. A criminal could say "I will kill your whole family" I could respond "Don't kill them!". He responds "let's compromise, meet me in the middle. I'll kill half of them."

To someone who thinks abortion is murder, no compromise is possible. You cannot get someone to agree to kill just some people.

I also question your point about government monitoring uterine walls. No one needs that level of intrusion, unless I am missing an important, unspoken aspect. No one needs to check if an egg implants to support banning abortion. If an egg gets fertilized, then let it run its course. Nothing more needs to be done.

Inga said...

"Inga at 2:26 pm, While I'm happy to see that you consider a post-20 week ban on procured abortion "reasonable", are you seriously arguing that the leading political actors on the pro-abortion side are willing also to accept such a law?"

This is valid question. I'm not arguing that this would be the case. I'm saying that it's a reasonable limitation and a valid argument should the time ever come to change abortion laws. Of course there would need to be strict and well documented medical exceptions, pertaining to the life of the mother. It's just my opinion, I have no way of making it happen.

Annie C said...

Ian: Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

Lucien said...

A few thoughts:

I've never understood the argument that "abortion should be safe, legal and rare." Look, if abortion is morally okay, it should be okay even in numbers. The argument that it should be rare suggests that pro-choice supporters recognize some moral dubiousness in their position.

I've never understood the argument that "abortion should be illegal except for cases of rape and incest." The pro-life argument is based on the notion that a fetus is a life and has a right to live. "Illegal except for rape or incest" throws this concept aside and instead takes the view that a child is a punishment for engaging in sex. You choose to play, you have to pay. But oh wait - if you didn't choose to play but had it forced on you, we'll give you a waiver! No, it doesn't matter why the fetus exists, either it has a right to live or it doesn't. You don't get to change the principles just because the mother didn't have a say in the matter.

Inga made very clear she doesn't think the French government made the right call and that she actually found the commercial very beautiful. Can we maybe acknowledge that and ease up on the attacks, FFS?

Fen said...

And then come the butterfly effects - if women are willing to kill their offspring for an orgasm, why can't we treat them likewise as disposable objects to satisfy our darkest desires?

If she is willing to kill for casual sex, what's a few weeks chained up in my basement in comparison?

C Stanley said...

...if women are willing to kill their offspring for an orgasm

Why do you presume that women are on the pro abortion side and men are anti abortion?

Inga said...

I bet some women even get pregnant without an orgasm... go figure.

Lucien said...

Fen, you continue to make the argument that children are a punishment for having sex, rather than that they are a gift that deserves to live regardless of why they exist. Ease down on that shit, dude.

C Stanley said...

Excellent comments Lucien.

Fen said...

Inga: "an emotional and childish response"

Hardly. You want to create a list of diseases that justify death panels. Depression should be on your list. And if you think it's treatable (existing in a gray fugue state with no highs or lows) you really don't understand depression.

A childish an emotional response would be eliminating anyone of your IQ and lower. Would spare everyone involved a great deal of pain and suffering over many many years.

My more serious point is you don't have the right to decide if someone's quality of life necessitates killing them. Even if you were intelligent and wise.

Achilles said...

Big Mike said...
@Achilles, you need to know more Ashkenazi Jews. A child born with Tay-Sachs dies slowly, over a period of years, and in considerable pain. I believe abortion needs to be legal.

I understand pain. But.

Who makes the decision to end the life? And what happens if someone finds the cure to Tay-Sachs a year after the kid would have been born? 5 years? Our medicine is advancing very quickly and this is not a rhetorical question. Diseases are being cured at an insane rate and that rate will increase at an increasing rate.

n.n said...

With rare exception, it is choice then conception. Most people recognize this, which is probably why the left is pushing/repeating the "1 in 5" rape-rape myth. The logic used by the Pro-Choice Church is conception then choice (reversing cause and effect), and most people recognize the precedent and consequences of that mindset, too.

Lucien:

To be fair, elective abortion (i.e. premeditated murder) is a natural right, that is a right that can be practiced by the individual by virtue of independent causality. In civilized societies, it is a wicked problem. The issue today is that unlike China's one-child policy, the left's selective-child policy under the Pro-Choice quasi-religious/moral philosophy normalized/promoted this solution, which makes it not only a wicked problem but also a hard problem to address. Elective abortion is is one solution for life unworthy or inconvenient. There are other solutions, beginning with a return to basics: science and morality.

Fen said...

Lucien, I'm sorry about that. I don't believe children are a punishment for having sex. But they are a consequence, and my words are intended for an audience that believes children are punishment for playing the casual sex odds and losing.

Inga said...

"Hardly. You want to create a list of diseases that justify death panels. Depression should be on your list. And if you think it's treatable (existing in a gray fugue state with no highs or lows) you really don't understand depression"

Another childish response. Oh well, time to disengage.

Achilles said...

C Stanley said...

Interestingly though both of the issues you involve you invoke currently have the state taking a non-neutral position even though you seem to want to keep the government out of personal affairs. For all of the rhetoric about leaving government out of the decision to abort, no one seems to notice that the state is sanctioning it by licensing doctors to perform the procedure.

It should be obvious that there are competing concerns with respect to abortion both resulting from freedom. The freedom of the woman and the freedom of the fetus/baby are in conflict. The government's purpose is to protect freedom and life.

For all of the reasons above I have decided that the government should get involved around 10-14 weeks into the pregnancy to protect the life of a separate individual. A case could be made for viability being made around 20-24 weeks. But putting that date at conception is unfeasible and impossible and opens women up to all manner of government surveillance and management that should be obvious to you.

And your last sentence is foolish. Re-read it and realize why.

Fen said...

"Why do you presume that women are pro and men are anti?"

I'm not. Men don't choose to abort their children, not without the woman's permission. Men don't really have any reproductive rights, so I find include them on either side.

Although I'm well aware that a significant majority of women are either pro-life or support more restrictions on abortion. And so I regard them as equals and respect their rights as fellow human beings (ie. not disposable sex toys)

exiledonmainstreet said...

Lucien wrote: "I've never understood the argument that "abortion should be safe, legal and rare." Look, if abortion is morally okay, it should be okay even in numbers. The argument that it should be rare suggests that pro-choice supporters recognize some moral dubiousness in their position."

I don't think they make that argument anymore. I've seen pictures of T-shirts worn at leftist rallies which say "I had an abortion and I'm proud!" Lena Dunham actually bemoaned the fact that she never had one. It's now a badge of honor for the more twisted leftists.

"Rare" be damned. "Regrettable but necessary" - forget that. The new hotness is to say it's a positive good.

Fen said...

"So I DON'T include men on either side "... this phone"s autocorrect is stupid, sorry for the constant edits. Going to turn that off.

Fen said...

Yes Inga, call people names, run away from logic and stick your fingers in your ears.

This is why you for Trump. This is why you will get more Trump. Thank you.

Achilles said...

Inga said...

An emotional and childish comment once again. There are very good meds to treat depression. Not so much for Tay Sachs or Cystic Fibrosis.

What if they come up with a treatment for Cystic Fibrosis a year after you choose to save the kid from the misery of having it? I am absolutely positive that almost every child would choose to live with Cystic Fibrosis knowing there is a more than solid chance there will be treatments within our lifetime rather than choose to die.

People need to stop pretending killing that baby is compassion.

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

Reading the actual judgement in the French action makes for a little more nuance than has been communicated. The ad ran in France for a month in the spring of 2014, as scheduled, as part of a global awareness campaign that year. In July of the same year the complaints that resulted were reviewed by the council and as a result the council sent an informal advisory to the networks that they should consider more carefully what is appropriate for advertising sequences and that they might in the future avoid this ad and others that might be problematic. So it was less than an outright ban. Still, an appeal was launched and that appeal was not successful.

In the denial of the appeal the council stressed the positive aspects of the message and made clear that they were not suggesting that the message itself was inappropriate for broadcast or trying to prevent that, but very specifically that the message was not appropriate as advertising given the current framework of the governing regulations. Specifically, that the ad as a whole did not meet the requirement of being a message of "general interest" within the meaning of the act. The portion that highlighted the positive view of persons living with Down Syndrome was considered of general interest, but they determined that there was "ambiguity" re general interest in the aspect of the ad that "was presented to a pregnant woman confronted with the" personal life choice "of whether or not to resort to a medical interruption of pregnancy."

The relevant passage reads "Considering that the presentation of a positive view on the personal and social life of young people with Down's syndrome corresponds to an objective of general interest; That, however, in view of the "ambiguity" that the disputed message was "likely to disturb the conscience of women who, in accordance with the law, had made personal life choices Different 'and could not be regarded as a "message of general interest" within the meaning of the abovementioned provisions of Article 14 of the Decree of 27 March 1992 and that, while it did not intend to interfere with its broadcast on television, Choice of insertion in advertising screens was inappropriate, the CSA, in exercising its regulatory power, committed no error in legal qualification or error of law;"

So the parts of the ad that were effectively anti-abortion because of the "Dear Future Mom" angle scuttled the whole thing. When you see it in that light I think there is a case to be made that the decision isn't as unreasonable as it initially feels. It's such a lovely message and a joyful presentation that one wants to recoil from any bureaucracy that seeks to stifle it. But it's not hard to imagine recoiling too at a commercial that subtly but surely centred itself around the positive aspects of choosing an abortion. That would clearly not qualify as being in the "general interest" and despite our first instincts perhaps we have to consider that the ad is question isn't either.

CStanley said...

Men don't choose to abort their children, not without the woman's permission.

The number of men who exert that choice through coercion or refusal to provide support is certainly not zero, nor is the number of men who favor abortion rights because they too want sexual freedom without consequence.

The issue of legal rights for men who might choose not to abort, under the current legal framework, is a whole different matter (and on that issue I, as a pro life woman, agree with you guys who protest against the status quo.) But you're not being honest if you claim that abortion rights exist primarily because women want sex without babies.

n.n said...

Abortionists are afraid that exposing the victims of their Pro-Choice/selective-child quasi-religious/moral doctrine will encourage a call to action that will close Planned Parenthood offices and abortion chambers. They are probably right. There is precedent to oppose the final solution once exposed, which will also affect other Pro-Choice policies including elective wars, [class] diversity, excessive immigration, etc.

Saint Croix said...

we are filled with hate

and fear, and anger

and guilt.

It is driving us crazy!

we need you to censor the love

and the joy

stop it

hide it

get rid of it

and the French state says

oui

Fen said...

Inga: "if one is in blackout pain they don't have the opportunity to feel the sun on their face"

Says who? That was a metaphor for a whole host of beautiful experiences. But talk about a childish response - what, does the sun choose to pass over those in chronic pain? Does the cat not cuddle up and purr for those with cystic fibrosis? My father died of colon cancer, I still remember hearing him retch so frequently and violently that it made him cry in despair. I also remember the light in his eyes the same night, when he held his grand daughter for the first time.

CStanley said...

But putting that date at conception is unfeasible and impossible and opens women up to all manner of government surveillance and management that should be obvious to you.

I think someone else questioned this and I don't think you responded (if you did and I missed it, my apologies...reading and writing while doing other things.)

But why would this include more intrusiveness by the state? That sounds like the (IMO childish) a rhyme to made by abortion rights extremists, that the government would investigate all miscarriages.

If doctors were not licensed to perform elective abortions, then women would get pregnant (as now) and some would miscarry (as now) while the rest would go on to have babies. Do you envision people harrassing women who miscarry and insisting on investigations? Why would they do that?

Fen said...

Stanley, why is that not honest? Abortion rights exist because women refuse to be responsible for the choices they make. The majority of abortions performed are by repeat offenders using elective abortion as birth control. They risk casual encounters that they would avoid if abortion didn't exist.

n.n said...

CStanley:

It's primarily but not exclusively women who want abortion rites. It's primarily but not exclusively women who are pro-life. They have to be. We are not a dodo dynasty. Not quite yet, anyway. However, the secular incentives do not favor a happy ending.

CStanley said...

The majority of abortions performed are by repeat offenders using elective abortion as birth control. They risk casual encounters that they would avoid if abortion didn't exist?

And yet we have no stats on how many male repeat offenders there are - men who have engaged repeatedly in casual sex knowing they could have impregnated women or knowing with certainty that they have, yet have encouraged abortion or declined to stay in contact to find out. Do you really imagine that this is a rare phenomenon?

n.n said...

a rhyme to made by abortion rights extremists, that the government would investigate all miscarriages

That's right. Abortion of a developing human life in utero may occur as a result of natural, accidental, or elective causes. This makes it a wicked problem. The goal is normalization/promotion of scientific reality (i.e. biology) and intrinsic value (i.e. morality) to address the hard problem which is a progressive acceptance of elective abortion as a solution for irresponsible choices and poor judgment.

CStanley said...


It's primarily but not exclusively women who want abortion rites. It's primarily but not exclusively women who are pro-life.

sounds like some funky math. If the issue were to be decided democratically (I realize that isn't really the case anyway) "women who want abortion rites" (sic- not sure if that was intentional!) would need male allies since there is that sizable number of females who are prolife.

And it's my contention that many males are their allies because they too want to have abortion available as back up birth control.

Fen said...

"And yet we have no stats on how many men-"

Irrelevant. If the man wants to keep the child and she doesn't, he must stand aside as his child is killed. If he doesn't want to keep the child and she does, he must support the mother and child financially for at least 18 years. Or go to prison. He can be imprisoned even if he is unemployed. And if he abandons the child he never wanted, society brands him as a deadbeat dad. While celebrating the woman who kills her kid.

Men don't have reproductive rights. Even though half the DNA is his.

And you avoided my response to your assertion. Abortion rights are for women. Or do you know of case where the court entertained a man's request to abort his child?

C Stanley said...

I don't know the current polling...just did a quick search, found Gallup poll from 2014, which had the prolife position held by 51% of men and 41% of women, and prochoice was 44% of men and 50% of women. My point is that this is a far cry from the two sides of the issue being aligned by gender, and if a sizable majority of men opposed abortion then the prochoice women would be a small minority.

C Stanley said...

And you avoided my response to your assertion. Abortion rights are for women. Or do you know of case where the court entertained a man's request to abort his child?

I am not arguing otherwise. I am saying instead that many men are happy with the status quo and went along with the legalization of abortion. As I've already stated, i do not think the current laws are fair to men who do not want abortion of their children. That doesn't change the fact that many other men are indifferent, and that this is part of the problem.

n.n said...

CStanley:

No, it's rites, legalized by a faith and quasi-religious doctrine established by the State.

it's my contention that many males are their allies because they too want to have abortion available

I haven't disagreed. I don't disagree. However, that's not how it was normalized and is marketed.

Lydia said...

Wonder if French TV could air a documentary on Charles de Gaulle that included the information that he had a beloved daughter, Anne, with Down Syndrome:

The de Gaulles worked hard to build a place for, to use de Gaulle’s expression, “a child who is not like the others” in their family. From all accounts, Yvonne de Gaulle adopted a matter-of-fact approach. She focused on the practicalities of caring for a disabled child. Charles de Gaulle’s contribution was to envelop Anne in a web of affection. According to his son, de Gaulle wanted to give Anne the assurance that he loved her just as much as her older brother and sister—that her disability meant nothing to him.

The tall army officer infamous for his air of haughty disdain as leader of Free France during World War II and later as French President didn’t hesitate to unbend to play on the floor with Anne. De Gaulle sang to Anne, told her stories, and even allowed her to play with one of his most treasured possessions: his officer’s kepi hat. De Gaulle also said prayers with Anne in the evening. Painstakingly, she would repeat each word after her father. “You see,” de Gaulle proudly informed his relatives, “she knows her prayers!”

Lovely photo of Anne and de Gaulle at the link.

Gahrie said...

Who makes the decision to end the life? And what happens if someone finds the cure to Tay-Sachs a year after the kid would have been born? 5 years?

What happens when they discover that homosexuality is genetic?

For a hint, look at what is going on in the deaf community as they discover more and more ways to allow the deaf to hear. Some are actually calling such interventions as genocide.

Marc Puckett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marc Puckett said...

Snark at 3:59, You wrote, "So the parts of the ad that were effectively anti-abortion because of the 'Dear Future Mom' angle scuttled the whole thing. When you see it in that light I think there is a case to be made that the decision isn't as unreasonable as it initially feels." This is called, in colloquial American English, 'bending over so far backward' in an attempt to find morality & reasonableness in the indefensible 'that you end up with your head stuck...'. The reality is that those who wield state power in France are committed to doing everything they can to maintain the regime of la loi Veil &c [France's Roe v Wade and progeny, although law & not judicial fiat], no matter where they sit in the Hémicycle. While there may have been more than one official complaint (I have no idea), otherwise Buwaya at 11:12 am is right on the mark.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Inga made very clear she doesn't think the French government made the right call and that she actually found the commercial very beautiful. Can we maybe acknowledge that and ease up on the attacks, FFS?

Hear, hear.

Big Mike said...

Who makes the decision to end the life? And what happens if someone finds the cure to Tay-Sachs a year after the kid would have been born? 5 years?

@Achilles, a cure five years after the birth of a Tay-Sachs child is generally a year or so too late (there is a late onset variant). The disease is caused by a mutation to a specific gene on chromosome 15, so until we can figure out how to "edit" a mutated gene there will be no cure. Ideally the parents would have been smart enough to test themselves and decide not to conceive if they are at risk, but that doesn't always happen.

Anecdotally, Tay-Sachs children are very beautiful babies -- until they are about seven months old and their neurons start slowly dying.

n.n said...

A Choice to terminate human lives deemed unworthy.

A Choice to force tolerance by Good Americans.

A strange solution indeed that is anti-science, amoral (immoral by some better known principles), with historical precedents.

What's next, classifying people by the "color of their skin" (i.e. [class] diversity)?

Ceos said...

My favorite little girl in the world is Ali Grace, a 5 year old with Down Syndrome. She is loving, smart and has the most wonderful sense of humor. I cannot imagine my world without her. God forgive those who cannot or will not open their hearts to these angels.

Valentine Smith said...

"How do you say "Wow" in French?"

'Le Wow!'

Non! Non! Non! C'est "sacre bleu"!!!

Rusty said...

merde

Jupiter said...

You need to add a "holocaust denial" tag to this post.