September 11, 2018

WaPo's Fact Checker gives 4 Pinocchios to Kamala Harris for her attack on Brett Kavanaugh.

Here's the Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler.

At the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, Kavanaugh, asked to talk about a case he'd participated in on the D.C. Circuit, said:
“That was a group that was being forced to provide a certain kind of health coverage over their religious objection to their employees, and under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the question was first, was this a substantial burden on the religious exercise? And it seemed to me quite clearly it was.... It was a technical matter of filling out a form, in that case with -- that -- they said filling out the form would make them complicit in the provision of the abortion-inducing drugs that they were -- as a religious matter, objected to.”
Harris put out a tweet, with a video clip that left out the "they said" and making it seem that the plaintiffs' position was his own opinion, and — a day later — put out a second tweet with a full context video but — rather than any kind of correction or apology — a restatement of her original point:


Kessler writes:
Some might argue that it’s a judgment call, open to legal interpretation, as to whether Kavanaugh “uncritically” used a term that riles advocates of abortion rights.

But a plain reading of Kavanaugh’s answer during the hearings shows that it is broadly consistent with his written opinion. One can question why he used the phrase “abortion-inducing drugs” rather than “abortion-inducing products” or “abortifacients.” But it’s pretty clear from the context that he was quoting the views of the plaintiffs rather than offering a personal view.

Harris’s original tweet, with the “they say” language removed, was slightly mitigated by the second tweet a day later, providing the full context. But there was no acknowledgment by Harris that the original tweet was misleading. She earns Four Pinocchios -- and her fellow Democrats should drop this talking point.
Harris deserves the 4 Pinocchios, but something I'd like to examine is why do abortion-rights advocates keep acting ashamed of abortion? The drug in question does rid the body of a post-conception group of cells. What's the pro-choice reason for opposing calling that "abortion"? Is it just that you want to hide the facts from people who believe a post-conception entity should not be destroyed? What I see is a political fight over which words to use, with those who support abortion rights wanting to maintain a distinction between the terms "abortion" and "birth control" and to keep as much as possible on the "birth control" side of the line because that's most effective in maintaining the most autonomy for women who they believe are entitled to control what goes on inside their own bodies.

The abortion-rights advocates are fighting on the anti-abortion side's territory, which is the subtle and usually religious question of when life begins or when the unborn becomes a person.

Of course, Kavanaugh knows better than to talk about any of that. I couldn't bear to watch the whole hearings, and I know I could find a transcript and do a search, but I'm sure if he were asked when does life begin/when is the unborn a person, he'd say that the case law establishes that the question is not to be answered by judges. In the case under discussion, the question was the scope of religious freedom rights, and the sincere belief of the plaintiffs was that life begins at conception. The question whether life begins at conception was no more in issue than the question whether Jesus Christ saves us from our sins.

But let me get back to Harris's second tweet. It's got another problem that Kessler doesn't even talk about. She wrote that "abortion-inducing drugs" is "a dog whistle term used by extreme anti-choice groups to describe birth control," but it's only a term for some birth control, not birth control in general. It sounds crazy to call all birth control "abortion-inducing drugs." Harris makes her opponents sound much more extreme and anti-science than they are. The term "abortion-inducing drugs" refers only to drugs used on what many people sincerely believe is a new human life, the fertilized egg. I'd like to hear someone cross-examine Harris about whether she thinks people who think life begins at conception are "extremists."

And I'm saying that as someone who believes the woman is entitled to her bodily autonomy and — as the case law says — has the right to take action to avoid going through with a pregnancy.

126 comments:

DanTheMan said...

As a post-conception entity, I'm deeply offended by your Orwellian turn of phrase.

The Godfather said...

The objective is to defeat Kavanaugh; if a lie aids that cause, so be it.

Henry said...

Harris: "Abortion."
Kavanaugh: "Abortion?"
Harris: "Dog whistle!"

Kevin said...

“Harris makes her opponents sound much more extreme and anti-science than they are.“

Is that not the root of most of modern progressive politics?

jaydub said...

"And I'm saying that as someone who believes the woman is entitled to her bodily autonomy and — as the case law says — have the right to take action to avoid going through with a pregnancy."

I wish case law had a similar provision for men. Specifically, why did I have to get my wife's signed permission in order to have a vasectomy performed on my body? And, if the abortion lobby is so concerned about birth control rights, why does it not also champion free choice for men in birth control? Asking for a feminist friend.

rhhardin said...

IUDs don't prevent conception.

Molly said...

When Kamala Harris uses the phrase "dog whistle" she is sending a coded message to her supporters that it is okay to hate white people.

Kevin said...

Children are not detained, they are “put in cages”.
People are not against affirmative action, they want to put black people “back in chains”.
People don’t want legal immigration, they are “anti-immigrant”.
Voters are not asked to properly identify themselves, the have their votes “suppressed”.
People don’t question climate data, they are “anti-science”.
People don’t stick up for their civil rights, they are “white supremacists”.

You can be sure whenever someone is being accused of extremism or anti-science today this is merely to cover the lack of real argument that could otherwise be made about them.

gilbar said...

Specifically, why did I have to get my wife's signed permission in order to have a vasectomy performed on my body?
Wives need informed consent for vasectomies so that they know that they'll now have to use birth control when with their boyfriends and hookups.

If we allowed husbands to secretly get vasectomies, what would wives say when they get pregnant?

Bill Peschel said...

“Harris makes her opponents sound much more extreme and anti-science than they are.“

I'm missing something. Reading just your description, I don't see anything extreme or anti-science at all. But I can't hear much out my left ear, so maybe I'm missing the dog whistle.

Abortion rights politicians also objected to the GOP's proposal to make birth control available over the counter, which would be cheaper and easier to acquire than under current health plans.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/its-time-to-make-birth-control-available-over-the-counter

Planned Parenthood hardest hit.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Harris makes her opponents sound much more extreme and anti-science than they are.

That's what makes her a liar. The truth is not in her.

Clyde said...

Harris calling Kavanaugh "anti-choice" is as intellectually dishonest as it would be for me to call Harris "anti-life."

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Wives need informed consent for vasectomies so that they know that they'll now have to use birth control when with their boyfriends and hookups.

If we allowed husbands to secretly get vasectomies, what would wives say when they get pregnant?


Are you being tongue-in-cheek or is this more all-women-are-whores silliness?

The real reason that most urologists require this is they don't want the hassle of a lawsuit from a frustrated wife who wants more babies, even a baseless one.

hawkeyedjb said...

So now, if an employer doesn't cover all forms of birth control in employer-provided health insurance, that means birth control is no longer available? Walmart begs to differ.

It's like saying insurance doesn't cover food, so we're all gonna starve.

Rick said...

What I see is a political fight over which words to use, with those who support abortion rights wanting to maintain a distinction between the terms "abortion" and "birth control"

The first clause is correct but the following is exactly wrong. Abortion supporters want to blur the distinction between abortion and birth control because portraying their opponents as opposed to birth control is more effective than portraying them as opposed to abortion.

Sebastian said...

"The abortion-rights advocates are fighting on the anti-abortion side's territory, which is the subtle and usually religious question of when life begins or when is the unborn become a person."

Actually, the "anti-abortion side" makes the basic point that the Constitution has nothing to do with it.

"someone who believes the woman is entitled to her bodily autonomy and — as the case law says — have the right to take action to avoid going through with a pregnancy."

ICWYDT. "case law," right. Which is clever, since the actual Constitution, you know, like, "that book you carry," as Harris said to Kavanaugh, says nothing about it one way or another. Which means, if we naively assume it means anything, that the people get to decide.

Not that logic or argument has anything to do with the assertion of raw judicial power, but the claim to "entitlement" to bodily autonomy is a little difficult to apply to cases where a woman has already decided to surrender some of it--making it just a sentimental justification of regret after the fact. "I gave a man access, I allowed the possibility of a new life growing, but, oh, now I am autonomous again, and should be able to decide for myself alone, man and baby be damned."

Seeing Red said...

You should love the other world... die in the right cause and go to the other world."...


‘Nuf said.

Eleanor said...

The science is "settled". Life begins at conception. Personhood is a legal construct. There's no science involved in that. That being said, any number of things can happen between conception and birth, including a mother choosing to end the life of her unborn child. If there's nothing morally or ethically wrong with that choice, why all of the obfuscation by vocabulary choice? It's an unborn human being. It's alive. Abortion kills it. If you believe that's OK, then own it. If it makes you queasy, then maybe you're not so sure it's OK.

Gahrie said...

but something I'd like to examine is why do abortion-rights advocates keep acting ashamed of abortion?

Because there is an instinctive rejection of killing babies, even among people who have intellectually told themselves that they aren't really killing babies.

Mike Sylwester said...

Kamala Harris does not have the temperament to be a US Senator.

Seeing Red said...

All together now:

Mamas, Don't Let Your Fetus Grow Up to Be Babies."

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Harris is perfect for the hivemind in CA. Liars and morons.

Bay Area Guy said...

Kamala is talented and ambitious, but she's a sneaky little Leftwing liar. She'd like nothing more than to export the California experiment to the rest of the nation, which would Bev disastrous.

To his credit, Kessler does a good job exposing her sneaky little lies.

For the Left, legalized abortion is everything. They want to kill off future generations of Americans, because they do not believe America is a force for good or worth saving.

So, I say, fuck 'em. Let's get Kavanaugh confirmed, let's support Trump and let's continue to fight, mock and resist leftism.

Fernandistein said...

as someone who believes the woman is entitled to her bodily autonomy

LOL

Michael K said...

something I'd like to examine is why do abortion-rights advocates keep acting ashamed of abortion?

Yes, Eleanor and Gahrie have it right, the pro-abortion people do not want to admit what it is.

I'm trying to remember which well k own feminist made this point few years back.

By the way, if Pants thinks lawsuits by disgruntled wives are bad, how about the wife when the vasectomy doesn't work and she gets pregnant.

A GP friend of mine used to do vasectomies and got sued by his barber whose vasectomy failed. He wanted to force the doctor to pay for the kid's life expenses. I suggested he just offer to adopt the kid.

I never did them and told patients I had a religious objective. I just didn't want to deal with the hassle. The GP finally got off because the patient had not shown up for his postop sperm count.

Michael K said...

They want to kill off future generations of Americans, because they do not believe America is a force for good or worth saving.<

What's amusing is they are really killing off their own side. Paul Gigot called it "The Roe Effect."

Original Mike said...

”Harris put out a tweet, with a video clip that left out the "they said" and making it seem that the plaintiffs' position was his own opinion...”

If I live to be 100 I will continue to be amazed that there are people who will do this kind of thing (it’s called lying) to obtain power. I could never do it. How do they look at themselves in the mirror?

pdug said...

Ann: There is a dispute made in abortion debates about whether The Pill is abortifacient. If you can band "abortifacient drugs" and The Pill is abortifacient not just contraception, you can ban The Pill and then what will Women Do?

The Pill can prevent implantation, but not IIRC, cause the expulsion of an implanted embryo.

So if you are hyper-anti-abortion you attack The Pill too. And if you're pro-abortion you make the case that "science says" an unimplanted embryo isn't human life. And if you are pro-abortion you worry any ground conceded on the abortifacient nature of the Pill will kill effective birth control entirely.

Catholic ethicists would claim the Pill as an abortifacient in one of its modes of operation. My understanding it its SO good at keeping eggs from dropping to be fertilized in the first place any second implantation stoppage is hypothetical and moot.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Harris makes her opponents sound much more extreme and anti-science than they are."

-- Sort of like asking if Republicans want to ban condoms.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Ann said ... "I'd like to hear someone cross-examine Harris about whether she thinks people who think life begins at conception are "extremists." "

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The left are extreme, and desperate. So they lie a lot.

jaydub said...

Misplaced Pants: "The real reason that most urologists require this is they don't want the hassle of a lawsuit from a frustrated wife who wants more babies, even a baseless one."

Perhaps, but it was the government that required my wife's permission when I had my vasectomy performed in a Naval Hospital when I was still in the navy, not the doctor. Again, why is a reproductive operation performed on male not a rights issue? Does a woman have to get her husband's permission to have her tubes tied or do doctors not sweat lawsuits from husbands because reasons?

darrenoia said...

The real issue is that the left can't distinguish between the government not forcing an employer to provide birth control and the government outlawing birth control. The government also doesn't force employers to buy you beer, but that doesn't mean it's reinstated Prohibition.

Of course, they *can* distinguish. They just obfuscate and lie because by and large (4 Pinocchios on a technicality aside), their comrades in the media let them get away with it.

pdug said...

Its basically: if the Pill (or an IUD) prevents implantation then its abortifacient. If you are opposed to all abortifacients you need to be against the Pill and IUDs, in which case your basically against "Birth Control" since that's the major invention and innovation over barrier methods.

mockturtle said...

I'd like to examine is why do abortion-rights advocates keep acting ashamed of abortion?

It's because they know it's distasteful. And murder. No one can logically claim otherwise.

mockturtle said...

Michael K relates: A GP friend of mine used to do vasectomies and got sued by his barber whose vasectomy failed. He wanted to force the doctor to pay for the kid's life expenses. I suggested he just offer to adopt the kid...The GP finally got off because the patient had not shown up for his postop sperm count.

Sound like the wife might have some 'splainin' to do. ;-)

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Sound like the wife might have some 'splainin' to do. ;-)

Nah, vasectomies are not 100% guaranteed, which Dr. K's colleague no doubt explained to the patient forty times and made him acknowledge in writing, but a baseless lawsuit is still a giant pain in the ass.

Perhaps, but it was the government that required my wife's permission when I had my vasectomy performed in a Naval Hospital when I was still in the navy, not the doctor. Again, why is a reproductive operation performed on male not a rights issue? Does a woman have to get her husband's permission to have her tubes tied or do doctors not sweat lawsuits from husbands because reasons?

I agree that it's BS, and made a (pointless but satisfying) note to that effect when I signed my husband's paperwork.

iowan2 said...

I know its not palatable,but I really wish Judges would all join together and refuse to hear abortion cases. Force the legislatures across the nation do their job. AND the Federal govt has no jurisdiction. Those things not covered in the Constitution, are under the power of the states.
Before Roe, things worked just fine.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

someone who believes the woman is entitled to her bodily autonomy and — as the case law says — has the right to take action to avoid going through with a pregnancy.

And there are other someone's who have the right to not be forced to assist or facilitate the abortion...or, as delicately put, the avoidance of going through with a pregnancy.

Both entities have rights. The right to choose to terminate pregnancy and the right to not be involved.
Nevermind discussing the rights of the unborn child. That is a separate issue from the case that Kavanaugh is being questioned about.

Roy Jacobsen said...

The abortion-rights advocates are fighting on the anti-abortion side's territory, which is the subtle and usually religious question of when life begins or when is the unborn become a person.

A "subtle and usually religious question?" Complete bullshit, Althouse. The science IS settled. A human being is a human being is a human being, "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

I do not have the right to say "Members of [fill in the blank race, sex, you name it] are considered not-human according to my religion." If you want to say that an unborn human being is NOT a human being, then it's up to you to explain your basis for saying why, and explaining to us WHEN it becomes a human being.

Marty Keller said...

The problem with lefty lying is that almost all of them are unaware of their issues with truth. They actually believe they are right. And given postmodernism's successful assault on Reason, and its insistence on Emotion as the proper standard of evaluation of reality, who can argue with that? I live in California, where truth and reality have long been banished from public discourse (Harris is one of my senators). Yesterday the idiot who is our governor signed an insane bill mandating that all electricity will be generated from "renewables," and that we will be a zero-emission state by 2045. Next year the Dems will pass a "single-payer" health scheme. Facts and economics don't matter; it's for the children. That kind of utopian longing is the standard for truth; and golly, does it feel good to be pushing that!

Mike said...

Mike K it appears you are thinking of James Taranto's theory on The Roe Effect. Freakonomics looks at it here.

Freder Frederson said...

The science IS settled. A human being is a human being is a human being, "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

You are confusing science with philosophy.

But if your stance is that human life begins the second the sperm and the egg meets, then you must be opposed to most fertility treatments.

Michael K said...

Yesterday the idiot who is our governor signed an insane bill mandating that all electricity will be generated from "renewables," and that we will be a zero-emission state by 2045.

Coal billionaire Tom Steyer spent millions to get a similar initiative on the Arizona ballot this fall. It will require 50% "renewable" but the people here are smarter than Californians. I still remember when the LA city council decided to boycott all Arizona products after SB 2010. Their staff had to tell them that 25% of LA's electricity came from AZ. The boycott collapsed.

Michael K said...


Blogger Mike said...
Mike K it appears you are thinking of James Taranto's theory on The Roe Effect.


Yes, it was Taranto, not Gigot.

lgv said...

One can question why he used the phrase “abortion-inducing drugs” rather than “abortion-inducing products” or “abortifacients.”

I would like to point out that the abortion inducing "product" is an over-the-counter (OTC) drug. This sentence has no point.

Clearly, the pro-choice wants the word abortion stripped from our lexicon. Women should have full access to late term birth control.

And finally, it is unfortunate that we confuse the issue of constitutionality protected abortion versus abortion. I don't believe there is a constitutional right to abortion, but I also would vote against any law banning it in my state. If a majority of the electorate were against outlawing abortion, the issue of constitutionality would be mute. Those of us old enough remember that abortion was legal in some states before Roe v. Wade.


Michael K said...

Sound like the wife might have some 'splainin' to do. ;-)

Good point but the guy did have viable sperm.

Vasectomies do fail, even after a negative sperm count early postop.

I had enough trouble with all the lawsuits that trumpit and Inga imagine.

Michael K said...

Those of us old enough remember that abortion was legal in some states before Roe v. Wade.

Yes, I did abortions in CA in 1969, a fact that Inga has scolded me for, even though it makes her political advocacy empty of logic.

Matthew Sablan said...

"But if your stance is that human life begins the second the sperm and the egg meets, then you must be opposed to most fertility treatments."

-- Such as?

Freder Frederson said...

I'd like to examine is why do abortion-rights advocates keep acting ashamed of abortion? The drug in question does rid the body of a post-conception group of cells. What's the pro-choice reason for opposing calling that "abortion"?

The drug in question are birth control pills, not things like RU-486. To call birth control that primarily prevents fertilization "abortion inducing" is incorrect. To argue that all birth control that prevents implantation (e.g., IUDs), or that an un-implanted egg is a human life and should be defended from the first moment after conception is an extreme pro-life position that most pro-life people don't want to discuss or contemplate the consequences of (like the immediate halt of all in-vitro fertility treatment).

Freder Frederson said...

-- Such as?

In vitro fertility treatments. Fertility treatments that produce a bunch of eggs followed by implantation of only some and disposal of less viable embryos.

Matthew Sablan said...

"To call birth control that primarily prevents fertilization "abortion inducing" is incorrect."

-- That's specifically not what's being discussed. The drug in question is specifically post-conception. Fertilization has happened.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Fertility treatments that produce a bunch of eggs followed by implantation of only some and disposal of less viable embryos."

-- You've been sloppy on your terminology a few times; so, let's clarify. Are you implying an embryo that is not implanted anywhere is viable in the same sense as one that is implanted somewhere and then removed?

Florence said...

Freder Frederson said...

But if your stance is that human life begins the second the sperm and the egg meets, then you must be opposed to most fertility treatments.


It is entirely possible to be pro-fertility treatments (such as IVF) and pro-life. The two things women need to watch for with fertility treatments is 1) the genetic testing of embryos (many labs will automatically destroy embryos who receive negative genetic testing results regardless of whether the embryo could be successfully implanted; the result, unfortunately, is pro-life women must typically refuse the genetic testing portion and attempt implantation of all embryos because labs destroy the embryos automatically after testing), and 2) if embryos are frozen, the woman must be willing to attempt implantation of all frozen embryos or be willing to donate remaining embryos to other women (as opposed to destroying them).

Matthew Sablan said...

Which, I suppose, is another alternate to Freder's strawman.

Freder Frederson said...

It is entirely possible to be pro-fertility treatments (such as IVF) and pro-life.

Only if you are willing to have multiple pregnancies and miscarriages (basically you will be pregnant or trying to get pregnant for the rest of your fertile years). Not to mention the cost.

Matthew Sablan said...

Come on; at least read the whole comment before adding another strawman that was addressed *in the same comment you're quoting.*

Freder Frederson said...

That's specifically not what's being discussed.

Yes it is. The plaintiffs referred to all birth control pills as "abortion inducing". I don't know if they objected to IUDs also but I bet they did.

Matthew Sablan said...

And yet, the specific drug we were talking about is defined in the post, and not what you're talking about.

Freder Frederson said...

Come on; at least read the whole comment before adding another strawman that was addressed *in the same comment you're quoting.*

I did and she is arguing for a medically unwise course. No ethical doctor would implant all the embryos produced (unless just a couple were produced). And she specifically said you would either have to have the frozen eggs implanted (pregnant or trying to get pregnant for many years) or have them put up for adoption (supply vastly exceeds the demand).

SeanF said...

Kessler: One can question why he used the phrase “abortion-inducing drugs” rather than “abortion-inducing products” or “abortifacients.”

One can also question why Kessler thinks either of those alternate phrases would've been any better, as far as Harris' complaint goes.

Matthew Sablan: -- You've been sloppy on your terminology a few times; so, let's clarify. Are you implying an embryo that is not implanted anywhere is viable in the same sense as one that is implanted somewhere and then removed?

I think he's implying that an embryo which is fertilized outside the body and then discarded is viable in the same sense as one that's fertilized within the body but prevented from implanting by an abortifacient.

Matthew Sablan said...

Whether you meant to or not, you're using the same rhetorical dodge that Harris is being called to task for. Which is, creating a smokescreen that tries to smuggle A into the same group as B, so that you can call people radical for saying B is B, because you've added A in as part of the definition of B.

The discussion was specifically about: "The drug in question does rid the body of a post-conception group of cells," but instead of addressing that, you changed the definition of what we were discussing!

Matthew Sablan said...

Specifically, changing the definition from what we were discussing to: "To call birth control that primarily prevents fertilization "abortion inducing" is incorrect."

Florence said...


Freder Frederson said...
It is entirely possible to be pro-fertility treatments (such as IVF) and pro-life.

Only if you are willing to have multiple pregnancies and miscarriages (basically you will be pregnant or trying to get pregnant for the rest of your fertile years). Not to mention the cost.


People attempting IVF typically are trying to get pregnant and also already have to foot the cost. Unfortunately, there is always the risk of miscarriage for implantation of a genetically unviable embryo, but that's a risk with every pregnancy, regardless of IVF.

My sister has been trying to get pregnant via IVF for 8 years, which is a typical timespan. She has yet to destroy a successfully implanted embryo, has had one miscarriage, and is now pregnant for the first time (yay!) (5th attempt). She has two embryos left. While it has been a long, arduous, and costly process, she went into it willingly and is overjoyed that she is finally carrying a baby. I'm sure you can imagine how hard it is for her to see people so carelessly aborting their babies just because the "can." Anecdotes are anecdotes, but her experience is somewhere in the middle-to-longer range of timespans most women experience (hardly the rest of her fertile years).

Unfortunately it is expensive, and it's a shame that a woman has to have the financial means to be able to attempt IVF or adoption in most instances.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I did and she is arguing for a medically unwise course. No ethical doctor would implant all the embryos produced (unless just a couple were produced). And she specifically said you would either have to have the frozen eggs implanted (pregnant or trying to get pregnant for many years) or have them put up for adoption (supply vastly exceeds the demand)."

-- So, in other words, there are perfectly viable solutions, but you just want to pretend they don't exist.

Freder Frederson said...

And yet, the specific drug we were talking about is defined in the post.


Well then the post got it wrong. The case under discussion contended all hormonal birth control was potentially "abortion inducing". And even the morning after pill is not generally considered abortion-inducing.

Florence said...

I should have said "successfully fertilized embryo," not "successfully implanted embryo" as those obviously reference to different events in the pregnancy process.

mockturtle said...

Pants argues: Nah, vasectomies are not 100% guaranteed, which Dr. K's colleague no doubt explained to the patient forty times and made him acknowledge in writing, but a baseless lawsuit is still a giant pain in the ass.

So why did he fail to show up for his sperm count?

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

will the Pinocchio replace the Pulitzer ?

Michael K said...

So why did he fail to show up for his sperm count?

An issue in the lawsuit. He said he was never told to do so.

One reason why I never did the procedure. Too dependent on patient intelligence/compliance.

I also never sold surgery to patients. My partner used to complain that they would never come back but they almost always did so.

I would always tell them what I recommended (unless they were bleeding to death) and tell them to think about it and come back if they decided to do it. I had guys with hernias call three years later to schedule a repair.

I figured that, if someone had a bad result, he/she would realize they had made the decision.

Michael K said...

She has yet to destroy a successfully implanted embryo, has had one miscarriage, and is now pregnant for the first time (yay!) (5th attempt). She has two embryos left. While it has been a long, arduous, and costly process, she went into it willingly and is overjoyed that she is finally carrying a baby.

What Freder doesn't understand or ignores, is that the frozen embryos are kept to use in more attempts at implantation.

There was a scandal at UCI 25 years ago when abandoned embryos were implanted in other unrelated patients rather than destroy them. Now, donation of frozen embryos is routine but with consent.

n.n said...

Our life begins as a single fertilized cell. Our evolution proceeds as a multi-cellular organism. The science of human evolution (i.e. the chaotic process of "life") is neither controversial nor subject to dispute. Where the consensus fails is the moral or axiomatic principle of intrinsic value. When and by who choice does a human life acquire and retain the right to life? Abortion rites were legalized under the Twilight Amendment, and normalized through social activism.

Freder Frederson said...

What Freder doesn't understand or ignores, is that the frozen embryos are kept to use in more attempts at implantation.

I do understand this and am not ignoring it.

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

Harris: "Abortion."
Kavanaugh: "Abortion?"
Harris: "Dog whistle!"


Just wait until the veil of privacy is lifted and abortion chambers are closed. The comedy never ends.

Yancey Ward said...

"but something I'd like to examine is why do abortion-rights advocates keep acting ashamed of abortion?"

The easiest explanation is that it is something of which to be ashamed. And I write this as someone who is pro-choice.

n.n said...

Pro-Choice/abortion is two choices too late. The fringe cases, including rape and rape-rape, should be considered separately. The mass production of fertilized cells is related to a socially progressive infertility in men and women and should be considered separately.

n.n said...

Abortion rites are a wicked solution to an albeit hard problem. There are few, sincere people who will deny the evolution of human life from conception. Unfortunately, there are some heavily vested interests in Planned Parenthood (e.g. recycled-child), population reform, and social progress.

hombre said...

Althouse: "The abortion-rights advocates are fighting on the anti-abortion side's territory, which is the subtle and usually religious question of when life begins or when [does] the unborn become a person."

The question of when life begins is neither subtle nor religious. It a well establish fact of human embryology: Life begins at conception - period!

As for the "question" of when the unborn becomes a person, this is just pro-abortion gibberish. The life that begins at conception is human, as in "human" embryology. "Person" means "human."

The pro-aborts may succeed in perverting both the science and definition to their cause, but it hasn't happened yet.

Bay Area Guy said...

Here's a simple, clear, honest, unemotional way to look at the practice of abortion:

1. As a moral matter, I don't think abortion is murder, but it seems wrong -- even if one is not religious.

2. As a Constitutional matter, the practice of abortion is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution, and certainly not part of any 'penumbras" or "emanations." If you have to make up words, your argument is not on solid ground. Roe v. Wade is a terrible decision.

3. As a legal matter, most important issues in a Republic are decided by the ballot box. Abortion should be voted on in the states.

4. Most liberal states, like California, will keep abortion legal, even if Roe is overturned. Most conservative states, like Mississippi, will go the other way.

5. So, even if Roe is overturned, most women who want to get an abortion will get one in a blue state or take a quick plane trip to a blue state to get one.

Given the practicalities of the issue, there's no reason to continue to distort Constitutional law with bullshit opinions, like Roe.

Freder Frederson said...

5. So, even if Roe is overturned, most women who want to get an abortion will get one in a blue state or take a quick plane trip to a blue state to get one.

You're assuming "most" women who want or need an abortion have the means to do this.

Seeing Red said...

You’re assuming they’re really far along.

Freder Frederson said...

You’re assuming they’re really far along.

No, I am assuming they are poor, or at least don't have a whole lot of disposable income to pay for an out of state trip.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

But if your stance is that human life begins the second the sperm and the egg meets, then you must be opposed to most fertility treatments.

I'm not the person you addressed, but it does, and I am. And I am the product of fertility treatment.

mockturtle said...

Freder is keen to kill poor people's babies. Genocide, of a sort. I think Planned Parenthood founders had this very idea in mind.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

be willing to donate remaining embryos to other women

A perfect example of why I oppose fertility treatments. You can't "donate" your own child, at least not in any sane moral universe, and people giving themselves permission to do so are playing God and it's horrific.

Roy Jacobsen said...

Freder Frederson said, "But if your stance is that human life begins the second the sperm and the egg meets, then you must be opposed to most fertility treatments."

"Most" is one hell of a leap. In point of fact, I do find IVF to be morally problematic; particularly the commoditization of embryos.

More problematic is your avoiding responding to the challenge to explain your position on when human life begins, and why you hold that position. Absent that, I'm going to call your "response" deflection.

Freder Frederson said...

More problematic is your avoiding responding to the challenge to explain your position on when human life begins, and why you hold that position.

Certainly not before implantation. And the pertinent question is not when human life begins, but when do the rights of the fetus trump those of the woman who is host to the fetus. The answer to that, as far as I am concerned (and the current law of the land, although I fear not much longer) it is the point of viability (and yes I realize that is an imprecise point).

To pretend that "conception as the beginning of human life" is some kind of eternal truth is simply historically, morally and ethically not supported.

Freder Frederson said...

Freder is keen to kill poor people's babies.

No, I am keen to allow poor women to have the same opportunities to choose whether to terminate their pregnancies that Tiffany Trump has.

Milwaukie Guy said...

I believe most surveys in the U.S. show nearly 70% approval of first trimester abortion. Those same surveys show about the same disapproval of third trimester abortion. I think every country in Europe prohibits third trimester abortion unless the very life of the mother is at stake.

The Democrats and the feminists don't want any discussion of any changes in the abortion regime. If we were to discuss it rationally and in a civic manner, I think most people could agree to outlawing abortions at the point of viability with the exception of the life of the mother. Maybe not in all 50 states, but in most.

If getting there legally requires overthrowing Roe v. Wade, let's do it.

Freder Frederson said...

The Democrats and the feminists don't want any discussion of any changes in the abortion regime. If we were to discuss it rationally and in a civic manner, I think most people could agree to outlawing abortions at the point of viability with the exception of the life of the mother. Maybe not in all 50 states, but in most.

You have a lot more faith in the rationality and civility of the pro-life movement. Remember, it is not the pro choice advocates who have used bombs and murder to advance their cause.

Milwaukie Guy said...

More bombings than the Weatherman, even given the longer time line? Am I sounding like an extremist to you?

A tiny handful of pro-lifers have used violence. The voice of the pro-choice movement is to try and shout down the opposition and keep the current regime in place, regardless of the wishes of the majority of the people.

Big difference.

Milwaukie Guy said...

Why is it a child in school can get an abortion without a parent's permission, or the state's in the case of rape or incest, but a child can't get a Tylenol from the school nurse without asking the parents?

Letting the states come to their own decisions would be a modicum of democracy. As said upthread, California and other states had legal abortion before Roe v. Wade. Nearly all states would have it legal in the first trimester. What's wrong with that.


I hope Kavanaugh is thinking about that.

Milwaukie Guy said...

What's wrong with that?

ALP said...

Consider how people are yammering about 'fake news' these days. But fake news has been the news of choice for years now. Think about how many people do not fully read news articles, especially longer, complex ones. Think about how few people refer to original sources such as case law. Most people are content to accept the interpretation of an article summed up by a comment post made by a person they don't know. Many people are happy to 'read' a few summaries on Twitter - and they consider themselves informed. This is a good example.

People complaining about fake news are probably guilty of not giving a shit about their sources in the first place.

Anchovy said...

Let's see... abortion is between a woman and her doctor and only between a woman and her doctor. However, if a doctor wants to Rx pain medicine for a broken arm, the government is all over it.

rehajm said...

... for women who they believe are entitled to control what goes on inside their own bodies...

They might feel entitled but there's a lot going on inside there you aint gettin a say over no matter what your sense of entitlement.

I'll start: reverse peristalsis.

RigelDog said...

To answer OGH's question about using the term abortion for drugs like the morning-after pill: I have seen people take a position on abortifacients that draws a line at implantation. The fact that fertilized eggs (zygotes) are often expelled with menses after failing to implant seems to impress them as an important distinction and they don't think it's correct to call a drug an abortifacient if it isn't dislodging an implanted blastocyst. Go ahead and believe that, but don't make the dishonest argument that it's somehow not possible for someone else's sincere belief that disrupting the normal course of a fertilized egg's development and implantation isn't a form of abortion to which they have deep religious objection.

William Chadwick said...

Only four? As Ms. Harris herself would tell you: "There is no truth but socialist truth, comrade."

Michael K said...

Remember, it is not the pro choice advocates who have used bombs and murder to advance their cause.

Well, there is certainly disagreement on this.

Most of the reports are overblown.

Although the spokesman, Bryan Brown, blamed police for the violence, the clinic director reportedly was shoved by two demonstrators as she arrived at a back entrance about 7:30 a.m. Police used Mace on some protesters who blocked the clinic door. Brown also claimed that police officers beat several of the 250 protesters.

He showed a videotape to reporters in which police officers used Mace on men who were locking arms to block the clinic door. A few minutes later, two police officers on the tape appeared to be repeatedly striking some men who had tumbled to the ground while being removed. The men fell behind a parked car and where the blows were striking could not be seen.

Sixty-one protesters were reported arrested.


Just think how much better this situation would be if the Supreme Court had let the political system work.

Almost 59 million abortions, but that, of course, is not violence.

What percent of black pregnancies are aborted, Freder? 75% ?

Freder Frederson said...

He showed a videotape to reporters in which police officers used Mace on men who were locking arms to block the clinic door. A few minutes later, two police officers on the tape appeared to be repeatedly striking some men who had tumbled to the ground while being removed. The men fell behind a parked car and where the blows were striking could not be seen.

So police beating up pro life demonstrators is horrific. If they beat up hippies protesting police violence, not so much.

I don't know how either of your examples is relevant to what I said.

n.n said...

Elective abortion is a greater human rights failure than slavery. However, where the minority slavers were broken through civil war, selective-child activists and advocates represent social normalization in a general population. So, unlike one-child, slavery, and the Holocaust, selective-child needs to be resolved through education and moral reform.

Rick said...

So police beating up pro life demonstrators is horrific. If they beat up hippies protesting police violence, not so much.

Remember when Freder pretended to be against Whataboutism?

Drago said...

Freder takes time out from lying baldly about the Bundy case to offer this up: "I don't know how either of your examples is relevant to what I said."

Since there is no "example" anywhere that can apply or be relevant to your inanities, your assertion is clearly "true".

Michael K said...

If they beat up hippies protesting police violence, not so much.

Hippies ? Are those the folks in balaclava masks with bike locks smashing heads and setting fire to Berkeley?

OK. I got it.

Ann Althouse said...

"The drug in question are birth control pills, not things like RU-486. To call birth control that primarily prevents fertilization "abortion inducing" is incorrect. To argue that all birth control that prevents implantation ..."

Have you read the actual case? I don't think you are correct about the drug the religious persons were calling abortifacients.

n.n said...

that an un-implanted egg is a human life and should be defended from the first moment after conception is an extreme pro-life position

A miscarriage, yes. A human life, yes. Defended from the moment of conception? Nature's choice. Also, elective abortion is a natural right, mitigated through moral development. As for mass production of fertilized cells, and first-order forcings of their progress, that is worth discussing. The mischaracterization and conflation of Nature and nurture is extreme and counterproductive.

Ann Althouse said...

I think the plaintiffs were claiming a religious exemption from involvement with "abortion-inducing products, contraception, sterilization, or related counseling."

It seems obvious to me that the difference between birth control and contraception didn't matter to them. They were opposed to both.

I can see that there's some dispute about implantation: There might be a limbo between abortion and contraception, where there's a fertilized egg (conception has happened, so too late for contraception) but it hasn't implanted. If abortion is something that happens after implantation, then some forms of preventing/ending pregnancy are neither abortion nor contraception.

Maybe what some people are concerned with is that Kavanaugh seemed to be accepting the broader definition of abortion. But I don't think anyone was saying that all contraception is "abortion-inducing."

Freder Frederson said...

Have you read the actual case? I don't think you are correct about the drug the religious persons were calling abortifacients.

Yes I have, and I am correct.

Freder Frederson said...

But I don't think anyone was saying that all contraception is "abortion-inducing."

Not all contraception (I guess they would grudgingly accept barrier methods), but certainly all hormonal methods and IUDs.

Saint Croix said...

IUDs don't prevent conception.

Yes they do.

Saint Croix said...

There might be a limbo between abortion and contraception, where there's a fertilized egg (conception has happened, so too late for contraception) but it hasn't implanted.

There's no way to tell if a woman is pregnant until implantation. The chemical test for pregnancy is to check and see if you have the pregnancy hormone--human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG)--in your body. That only happens after implantation, not conception.

Saint Croix said...

the subtle and usually religious question of when life begins

Althouse, are you suggesting that atheists have no interest in whether human beings are alive or not alive?

Do you avoid funerals because it's a "religious question"?

Do you just let your dead relatives sit on the couch because you can't answer the life-or-death question? "Maybe her spirit has passed on but I'm an atheist and it's all too subtle for me." Meanwhile the dead corpse is starting to stink, Althouse. Stink! Like your silly argument!

Saint Croix said...

The drug in question does rid the body of a post-conception group of cells.

That's not true. Plan B works as contraception.

It's theoretically possible that Plan B causes an abortion of a microscopic zygote.

It's also theoretically possible that ordinary birth control pills, and the IUD, abort a microscopic zygote.

Nobody knows for sure (except God).

But what we do know is that these are all forms of birth control that prevent conception.

That's why Plan B is referred to as emergency contraception, and not as an abortion pill. It's not an abortion pill and should not be described that way.

I think it's a very basic part of medical care to give rape victims emergency contraception. It's shocking and evil to refuse to do so.

Чикелит said...

Since when did the 4 Pinnochios bullshit ever change behavior or even opinion? It’s WarshPo grandstanding.

Чикелит said...

Kamal Harris: “Oh, I got 4 Pinnochio’d — I’d better change my tune.”

Roy Jacobsen said...

Freder Frederson said "The answer to that, as far as I am concerned (and the current law of the land, although I fear not much longer) it is the point of viability (and yes I realize that is an imprecise point)."

Imprecise to the point of being useless. And constantly moving down, given the current pace of improvements in neonatal medical care.

"Viable" is also a slippery term. How "viable" was Stephen Hawking for the majority of his life, absent the heroic medical efforts that went into sustaining his life? How "viable" is the average diabetic patient without insulin shots?

Saint Croix said...

I'm sure if he were asked when does life begin/when is the unborn a person, he'd say that the case law establishes that the question is not to be answered by judges.

Well, to be specific, Roe v. Wade denied the obvious definition of "person" (live human being). What they said was that a "person" is a legal term of art, a word that has a legal meaning that can only be derived from its usage in the Constitution. That is why, presumably, the Supreme Court has held that a corporation is a person, and a slave is three-fifths of a person. It's a bad argument, of course, but the Supreme Court keeps making it.

And so in Roe v. Wade, the Court held that unborn children are non-persons. Since the Court put these babies outside the legal protections of the Constitution, the Court went on to find that the homicide issue was irrelevant. "We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins."

On its face, of course, Roe only applies to unborn children. The Court did not mean to dehumanize partially born infants, or newborns. And yet that's precisely what happened. That's why Roe led to Carhart and the murders of Kermit Gosnell.

In Roe itself, the Court denied that it's new law applied to killing a baby in the middle of birth. Indeed, it did not strike down that part of the Texas statute (see footnote 1 in the opinion). And yet, 27 years later, five Supreme Court Justices said that the Constitution protects the right of doctors to kill babies in the middle of birth.

Kermit Gosnell, not surprisingly, was one of many abortionists who saw no big difference between killing partially-born babies and newborn infants. Since, to him, they were the same age, same weight, and same premature status. Gosnell routinely used the "fetus" word for these premature infants, and would terminate them the same way abortion doctors terminate babies every day--with a knife. Dr. Gosnell was convicted of murder for killing these babies, of course.

Regardless of Blackmun's dicta, a newborn is a citizen of the United States, and if you kill one you might be arrested, tried, and convicted of murder.

Saint Croix said...

Indeed, even under Roe v. Wade, and it's insistence that an unborn baby is a non-person and legally does not exist, a surprising number of abortionists have been prosecuted on murder charges:

Dr. William Waddill (twice)
Dr. Raymond Showery
Dr. David Benjamin
Alicia Ruiz Hanna
Dr. Bruce Steir
Dr. Gordon Goei
Dr. Joseph Melnick
Dr. Kermit Gosnell
Steven Massof
Lynda WIlliams
Adrienne Moton
Sherry West
Dr. Douglas Karpen
Steven Brigham
Dr. Nicola Riley

Saint Croix said...

Indeed, even under Roe v. Wade, and it's insistence that an unborn baby is a non-person and legally does not exist, a surprising number of abortionists have been prosecuted on murder charges:

Dr. William Waddill (twice)
Dr. Raymond Showery
Dr. David Benjamin
Alicia Ruiz Hanna
Dr. Bruce Steir
Dr. Gordon Goei
Dr. Joseph Melnick
Dr. Kermit Gosnell
Steven Massof
Lynda WIlliams
Adrienne Moton
Sherry West
Dr. Douglas Karpen
Steven Brigham
Dr. Nicola Riley

Saint Croix said...

Indeed, even under Roe v. Wade, and it's insistence that an unborn baby is a non-person and legally does not exist, a surprising number of abortionists have been prosecuted on murder charges:

1. Dr. William Waddill (twice)

2. Dr. Raymond Showery

3. Dr. David Benjamin

4. Alicia Ruiz Hanna

5. Dr. Bruce Steir

6. Dr. Gordon Goei

7. Dr. Joseph Melnick

8. Dr. Kermit Gosnell

9. Steven Massof

10. Lynda WIlliams

11. Adrienne Moton

12. Sherry West

13. Dr. Douglas Karpen

14. Steven Brigham

15. Dr. Nicola Riley

Saint Croix said...

Indeed, even under Roe v. Wade, and it's insistence that an unborn baby is a non-person and legally does not exist, a surprising number of abortionists have been prosecuted on murder charges:

From California, Dr. William Waddill was prosecuted for murder, twice.

A Texas abortionist, Dr. Raymond Showery, used to drown newborns. He was convicted of murder.

A New York abortionist, Dr. David Benjamin, was convicted of 2nd degree murder when the mother died during the surgery.

In California, Alicia Ruiz Hanna, was caught stuffing her dead patient in the trunk of her car.

Dr. Bruce Steir pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Dr. Gordon Goei was arrested for murder when the baby was found in the trash.

Dr. Joseph Melnick was convicted of infanticide.

The most notorious killer, of course, is Dr. Kermit Gosnell. And yet most people have never heard of him!

Also convicted of murder was the non-doctor, Steven Massof.

And Lynda WIlliams.

And Adrienne Moton

And Sherry West

Dr. Douglas Karpen was arrested for killing newborns, but the grand jury refused to indict him.

Steven Brigham is so bad even The New Yorker has criticized him.

Dr. Nicola Riley was prosecuted for murder along with Brigham.

Saint Croix said...

Indeed, even under Roe v. Wade, and it's insistence that an unborn baby is a non-person and legally does not exist, a surprising number of abortionists have been prosecuted on murder charges:

From California, Dr. William Waddill was prosecuted for murder, twice.

A Texas abortionist, Dr. Raymond Showery, used to drown newborns. He was convicted of murder.

A New York abortionist, Dr. David Benjamin, was convicted of 2nd degree murder when the mother died during the surgery.

In California, Alicia Ruiz Hanna, was caught stuffing her dead patient in the trunk of her car.

Dr. Bruce Steir pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Dr. Gordon Goei was arrested for murder when the baby was found in the trash.

Dr. Joseph Melnick was convicted of infanticide.

The most notorious killer, of course, is Dr. Kermit Gosnell. And yet most people have never heard of him!

Also convicted of murder was the non-doctor, Steven Massof.

And Lynda WIlliams.

And Adrienne Moton

And Sherry West

Dr. Douglas Karpen was arrested for killing newborns, but the grand jury refused to indict him.

Steven Brigham is so bad even The New Yorker has criticized him.

Dr. Nicola Riley was prosecuted for murder along with Brigham.

Rick67 said...

There's no question that he uncritically used the term "abortion-inducing drugs," which is a dog whistle term used by extreme anti-choice groups to describe birth control.

Hunh. I was president of our university's pro-life group for 3 years. Been to the rallies, moderated or participated in a few debates, attended several conferences, still have a box of anti-abortion literature in the garage. I must have missed the dog whistle training workshops.

Harris' statement is false on the surface, although one could parse it so that it might have some truth. (Is that deliberate?) Some birth control methods *do* prevent implantation after conception, and most pro-life groups would probably say that's basically induced abortion at an extremely early stage of pregnancy. The passive voice construction "used by extreme... groups" could mean "not all pro-life groups use the term as a dog whistle, just the *extreme* ones". But even then it would be used to describe *some* not all methods of birth control.

Her statement is a mess. And probably a dog whistle.

Saint Croix said...

Indeed, even under Roe v. Wade, and it's insistence that an unborn baby is a non-person and legally does not exist, a surprising number of abortionists have been prosecuted on murder charges:

From California, Dr. William Waddill was prosecuted for murder, twice.

A Texas abortionist, Dr. Raymond Showery, used to drown newborns. He was convicted of murder.

A New York abortionist, Dr. David Benjamin, was convicted of 2nd degree murder when the mother died during the surgery.

In California, Alicia Ruiz Hanna, was caught stuffing her dead patient in the trunk of her car.

Dr. Bruce Steir pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Dr. Gordon Goei was arrested for murder when the baby was found in the trash.

Dr. Joseph Melnick was convicted of infanticide.

The most notorious killer, of course, is Dr. Kermit Gosnell. And yet most people have never heard of him!

Also convicted of murder was the non-doctor, Steven Massof.

And Lynda WIlliams.

And Adrienne Moton

And Sherry West

Dr. Douglas Karpen was arrested for killing newborns, but the grand jury refused to indict him.

Steven Brigham is so bad even The New Yorker has criticized him.

Dr. Nicola Riley was prosecuted for murder along with Brigham.

Unknown said...

I’m so late to this, I doubt our host will read it, but here goes. Ann wrote: “Harris makes her opponents sound much more extreme and anti-science than they are.” I think this could have been better said: Harris makes her opponents sound anti-science and much more extreme and than they are. This avoids stipulating that her opponents are *at all* anti-science, which is not in evidence.

I say this because my understanding is that, when deciding when personhood begins, the side paying greater attention to science is the “anti” side.