May 15, 2019

"The rhythm specified in the six-week abortion bans... 'is a group of cells with electrical activity. That’s what the heartbeat is at that stage of gestation… We are in no way talking about any kind of cardiovascular system.'"

"In part because that rhythm is a sign of the health of the developing embryo, scientists have worked to push backward the moment in pregnancy they can detect it. In 1984 they were pretty psyched to pick up fetal cardiac activity at between 41 and 43 days of gestation—six weeks. The researchers described it as a 'tiny blinking, flashing, and/or rocking echo with a regular rhythm... What’s really happening at that point is that our ultrasound technology has gotten good enough to be able to detect electrical activity in a rudimentary group of cells,' [said Sarah Horvath, an ob-gyn with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists]. But if you’re thinking about this as something that looks roughly like a person with something that looks roughly like a chest, inside which something that looks roughly like a valentine is going pitter-pat (or lubdub-lubdub), you’re picturing the wrong thing. As the ob-gyn Jen Gunter wrote three years ago, this is, more technically, 'fetal pole cardiac activity.' It’s a cluster of pulsing cells. 'In the mouse embryo, for example, there is a definite cardiac rhythm in the tiny, little, immature heart at 8.5 days of development, but it is certainly not enough to support viability,' says Janet Rossant, senior scientist and chief of research emeritus at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. 'It is just helping to encourage the development of an organized vasculature and circulatory system—a prerequisite for future viability but not sufficient alone.' That’s the other wobbly term of art here: 'viability.' In common parlance, people sometimes use that word to describe a baby far enough along in gestation to survive outside a woman’s womb. In humans, that takes about 24 weeks, give or take (every pregnancy is different, and so are the skill sets of every hospital and every neonatal intensive care unit). But that’s not what clinicians mean. 'It means a pregnancy that, at that point in time, looks like it’s normal to continue,' [says Jennifer Kerns, an ob-gyn at UC San Francisco]."

From "'Heartbeat' Bills Get the Science of Fetal Heartbeats All Wrong" (Wired).

Quite aside from the meaning of "heartbeat," there's the meaning of "viability"? "Heartbeat" hasn't been a significant term in the constitutional analysis of abortion restrictions, but "viability" is one of the most important concepts, and it hasn't been what Kerns says clinicians means — that a pregnancy looks like it’s normal to continue.

What the article calls "common parlance" — using the word to refer to the ability to survive outside a woman’s womb — is also the definition in the legal cases. It's the point at which the woman's right to choose not to be pregnant ends, and the state may choose to override her freedom. It's hard to understand why that sort of viability became the legal line, because denying the abortion means that the unborn remains inside the womb. But that was a line that was identified by the Court long ago, and maybe some day the Court will look at that idea of capacity to survive outside the womb and say that it's not where the line should be.

"Heartbeat" is another concept, and it could be embraced as the right place to draw the line, and I wonder if the argument for doing that is enhanced by the fact that clinicians are using the word "viability" to refer to that point. It seems that the clinicians are using the word that way because it makes for good doctor-patient relations. For a woman who is hoping for a child, it's reassuring and encouraging. The same thing is true of the word "heartbeat."

But it's quite another thing to take this science — detecting early cellular rhythm and forming a belief that normal development is happening — and to use it to make a statute that restricts the freedom of women who do not want to be pregnant.

361 comments:

1 – 200 of 361   Newer›   Newest»
TJM said...

The Infanticide Party will go wild. I am shocked that "liberals" who think the Europeans are "so sophisticated" don't adopt the European abortion policies, limiting abortion to the first 20 weeks. Instead, liberals have adopted the abortion policies of the Red Chinese

Barry Dauphin said...

Doesn’t the development of medical science and technology make viability a moving target?

David Docetad said...

"...that restricts the freedom of women who do not want to be pregnant."

Women do not have the freedom to not be pregnant after becoming pregnant, just like parents do not have the freedom to not have children after having children.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

What’s really happening at that point is that our ultrasound technology has gotten good enough to be able to detect electrical activity in a rudimentary group of cells.

Bullshit. Ultrasound cannot detect electrical activity. It detects the motion, in this case, of a beating heart. At this point, the heart is not pumping blood, or anything else. It is nowhere near formed enough to act as a pump. But it is beating.

JAORE said...

Doesn’t the development of medical science and technology make viability a moving target?

Yes, and the movement is in a direction adverse to the pro-choice crowd.

The improved ultrasound clarity, aided by use of video, also is working against the pro-choice movement.

I think the 6 week standard will be easily struck down. But the some-time-after-the-first-breath standard is a real PR loser no matter the media denials.

The European standards would probably satisfy the bulk of the American population, neither side happy, but resigned. But in these polarizing times the only forbidden, four letter word left is compromise.

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

The ambiguity of these conditions ("viability", "heartbeat") is the reason that there are only two unambiguous lines that make sense: Conception or Birth.

Either abortion is legal until birth, even if it means basically murdering what is, essentially, a baby that might survive on its own or abortion is completely illegal, even if that means requiring women tolerate carrying an unwanted child, even under burdensome conditions.

Fen said...

"Heartbeat" is another concept, and it could be embraced as the right place to draw the line

Don't defense attorneys advise juries not to send a man to the electric if there is reasonable doubt, if they are not 100% certain? I thought that was one of the foundations our society was built on. Better to let 10 guilty men go free than sentence an innocent.

We err on the side of caution. We should not abort unless we are 100% certain a fetus is not human.

What abortion is really about is women refusing to accept responsibility for the reproductive choices they make. They know intercourse carries a risk of pregnancy, yet they CHOOSE to accept that risk. They also know that birth control is not 100% effective, yet they CHOOSE to accept that risk too. And when the dice come up snake-eyes, they want to pretend they are not responsible for the CHOICES they already made.

And then they whine about other people making decisions about their body, while simultaneously making a decision about another body that only shares half their DNA.

EDH said...

Their hottest tune ever, with Shirley and Laurie looking sexy. And Tracy owning that tambourine!

I can feel your heartbeat and you didn't even say a word
Oh, I know, pretty woman that your love can be heard!


I Can Feel Your Heartbeat

Lord, I'll prove it baby, I'm a man of my word

Love, love - cantcha feel your heartbeat
Love, love - I can feel your heartbeat
Love, love - cantcha feel your heartbeat, love!

0_0 said...

Fen, it isn't always their choice.
Does that matter to you?

Fernandistein said...

and to use it to make a statute that restricts the freedom of women who do not want to be pregnant

As long as men don't have the same legal options, I don't care.

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

"As long as men don't have the same legal options, I don't care."

Men do have the legal option to choose to end their pregnancies.

Fen said...

Doesn’t the development of medical science and technology make viability a moving target?

Exactly. Just like slavery was socially accepted. Just like Founders weren't "woke" enough to include animal rights in the Bill of Rights. Technology evolves, so does culture.

One day little girls are going to ask their grandmothers: "Tell me about the early 2020s. Did people REALLY kill their own babies?!" and there will be many awkward silences.

Fen said...

Men do have the legal option to choose to end their pregnancies.

No they do not.

If a man wants the child and she does not, he must stand by helplessly as she murders it.

If a man does not want the child and she does, he becomes a wage slave who must support it, and will be thrown in jail for missing a payment, even if he is unemployed.

Men have NO reproductive rights. Huge blindspot, Althouse.

Saint Croix said...

It's hard to understand why that sort of viability became the legal line

It's not hard at all to understand if you do the research.

Blackmun made it up. He pulled it out of his ass. He invented an arbitrary doctrine. His internal memo ought to be page 1 in the New York Times. It's a disgrace.

Marshall wanted to move the point from the arbitrary 1st trimester to the arbitrary viability doctrine because he thought it would take pregnant women 6 months to figure out they were pregnant and to decide what to do.

There was no consideration of the unborn child at all. The baby was defined as a non-person, sub-human, property. She was put outside the Constitution completely. Which is why there is no discussion of heartbeat, brain activity, the baby's weight, none of that is in Roe v. Wade.

Blackmun moved the point to viability because he wanted a point late in the pregnancy, so poor women would have ample time to abort their babies. And he simultaneously kept the 1st trimester point just in case medical science improved and viability became earlier and earlier. And he added the further "health" point so that viable babies could be aborted as well. Thousands of viable babies are aborted every year in the U.S.

It's not surprising that a doctor has no idea what the hell "viability" means. It's not like abortion clinics are in the practice of inducing birth and trying to keep the baby alive. No abortion clinic has a NICU unit. There is zero concern for unborn children on the left.

deepelemblues said...

What is fetal cardiac activity? Is there some other organ that cardiac refers to in the unborn, unlike in those who have been born, with whom it refers to the heart?

Wired and the rest of these people are deeply unscientific.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Kavanaugh is going to get his revenge on you lefty twats. No more abortions, whores.

Mwah ha ha.

I actually don't give a shit either way, and would prefer that most liberals be aborted before they pollute the planet, but if it pisses off you feminazi's then I'll happily sit back with some popcorn and watch you bitch and complain.

Splooge Stooge's Rise up!

Trumpit said...

These redneck hillbillies want to screw women twice: once to impregnate them with their tobacco-stained demon seed, then to force them to bear their inbred child. Then, they load the pickup to go hunting and kill sentient animals. All babies should be aborted for five years to give the earth time to heal from the environmental devastation that humans have wrought.

Fen said...

Fen, it isn't always their choice. Does that matter to you?

Of course. But rape and incest is 1% of abortions.

Follow my logic upthread - "women refusing to accept responsibility for the reproductive choices they make. They know intercourse carries a risk of pregnancy, yet they CHOOSE to accept that risk. They also know that birth control is not 100% effective, yet they CHOOSE to accept that risk too."

I am specifically talking about reproductive choices women make. Rape is not a choice.

Saint Croix said...

What’s really happening at that point is that our ultrasound technology has gotten good enough to be able to detect electrical activity in a rudimentary group of cells,' [said Sarah Horvath, an ob-gyn with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists]. But if you’re thinking about this as something that looks roughly like a person with something that looks roughly like a chest, inside which something that looks roughly like a valentine is going pitter-pat (or lubdub-lubdub), you’re picturing the wrong thing. As the ob-gyn Jen Gunter wrote three years ago, this is, more technically, 'fetal pole cardiac activity.' It’s a cluster of pulsing cells.

Our media should run photographs of aborted infants at 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 14 weeks, 18 weeks, and 22 weeks. Let's get some fucking honesty about what an abortion looks like. Show us! Or shut up with your "cluster of cells" bullshit.

Michael K said...


Men have NO reproductive rights. Huge blindspot, Althouse.


Agreed. What is happening is that science is catching up with the mess that Roe v Wade created. The Supreme Court should have left the matter to politics and state law, which is where it belongs,.

rhhardin said...

The line will eventually settle at when the fetus becomes cute. Huge women's vote change at that point. Sonograms are your friend.

Sometime after that the abortions will become illegal to recover the birth rate to population support level. Accidents are a huge contributor.

Jersey Fled said...

Most failures of contraception are failures to use contraception. That's because failure rates typically include "inconsistent or incorrect use". (Source: Guttmacher Organization).

Strangely, black and hispanic women, and those with lower incomes have much higher "failure" rates.

Steven said...

Men do have the legal option to choose to end their pregnancies.

Abortion gives women the right not to become mothers. But men do not have an equivalent right not to become fathers. (Leaving aside the provocative implication that men might be able to become pregnant.)

The right to abortion has broader implications than just the right not to be pregnant. Suppose a technology was developed wherein an unborn child could be transplanted to a mechanical womb grown there. Could women be required to transplant the fetus rather than have an abortion?

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

"Men do have the legal option to choose to end their pregnancies." said the dishonest feminista, apparently under the impression that she was being cute.

Fen said...

Does that matter to you?

And even in the case of rape, a human life is being taken. Is rape worse than murder? Or do we treat it that way because America is currently in a phase of coddling women? Would you rather be raped or murdered, if those were the only two options?

The issue here is the life of a child VS the liberty of the mother. And in the case of rape I side with the mother and her liberty, but it's not an easy call.

rhhardin said...

You learn to be human. Part of the teaching is treating the baby as human and he picks it up. In the meantime he's sustained by cuteness.

Xmas said...

Ignorance,

They are detecting the Doppler shift in moving and pulsing tissue and translating that into a "heartbeat" measurement.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3305903/

I'm guessing the reporter or an editor turned some phrase like "electromechanical pulse" into "electric signal"

mtrobertslaw said...

In one of these abortion cases the court will face, it will finally define what is meant by a "person". At that point, all the quibbling over whether a fetus is a human being stops. Human beings who are persons are bearers of rights; and human beings who are non-persons have no rights. It's simple, or is it?

buwaya said...

Part of the issue here is "women who do not want to be pregnant".
There is a feedback loop from the expectation of avoiding or aborting reproduction, which leads to a state of mind that reproduction is something to be avoided, or to feed the mind with rationalizations.

People are not independent of their information-space. Free will is highly constrained, its expression can be rare, or largely isn't. If the social milieu sends the aporopriate messages, abortion can be anything from a sacrament of cultural virtue, to an atrocity committed under a condition of demonic possession.
Its largely a matter of the general consensus within which a given woman exists.

Women are especially vulnerable to this effect of consensus I think, from experience.

A lot of legalistic and "scientific" argument, on this matter especially, just seems to skim the surface of the matter.

Laws and institutional policies are elements, among others, that create the information-space, the consensus, within which women will align their behavior.

Fen said...

Could women be required to transplant the fetus rather than have an abortion?

There have already been several cases where the woman fished the used condom out of the trash and inseminated herself. Guess who had to pay child support? Courts didn't care because... men have no reproductive rights.

The sites advocating for Men's Rights advise you flush your used condoms. Just to protect yourself.

Trumpit said...

"Men do have the legal option to choose to end their pregnancies." said the dishonest feminista, apparently under the impression that she was being cute."

What's dishonest about it? Her comment should make you think. Instead you CHOOSE to insult her. There should be a price to pay for lying and insulting. Those are qualifications to troll, tweet insults and become president.

David Docetad said...

"The issue here is the life of a child VS the liberty of the mother. And in the case of rape I side with the mother and her liberty, but it's not an easy call."

This is indeed a difficult issue. Logic would seem to indicate that the child should be treated the same in both cases. Certainly we don't view a one-week old baby as having less rights than another child because the pregnancy was the result of rape.

Perhaps it should be considered as some form of justifiable homicide.

Regardless, these cases require mercy.

Saint Croix said...

The ambiguity of these conditions ("viability", "heartbeat") is the reason that there are only two unambiguous lines that make sense: Conception or Birth.

Either abortion is legal until birth, even if it means basically murdering what is, essentially, a baby that might survive on its own or abortion is completely illegal, even if that means requiring women tolerate carrying an unwanted child, even under burdensome conditions.


I think that is completely wrong. We can define--with precision--when abortion is a homicide. Because we have death statutes that define--with precision--when human beings die. The standard for you and me and everybody else is total brain death. It's the rule in all 50 states. It's the federal rule as well.

We do not apply our rules to unborn children because the Supreme Court has defined them as non-persons who have no right to life.

I support an unborn child's right to life. I think it was a horrific mistake--on par with slavery and the Nazi Holocaust--to define human beings as non-people (again!) We should never have done that. It's evil and wrong.

An unborn child is a human being. Ergo, the equal protection clause should apply to our abortion rules.

Our Constitution does not say when life begins, or when people die. But what it does say is that whatever our rules are, we must apply them to everybody as best we can.

Heartbeat is not the legal standard for death, and pro-lifers should not pretend that it is. We don't prosecute doctors for murder for taking a beating heart out of a patient. That's because you can be dead even if your heart is still beating.

The life or death standard is any activity in the brain. You want a standard? That's a standard.

I applaud these attempts to bring biological criteria into the abortion debate.

greg said...

All the arguing back and forth. In the 80's I was in my early twenty's with a pregnant wife who just miscarriage. It was bad. The ambulance was called do the amount of blood loss. At the West German hospital they called me into the room and the doctor had a small steel pan with the dead baby inside of it. It was a little boy maybe 6 inches long. When you see that it looked just like a human. That will haunt me till the day I join him.

Martin said...

So, the people who are concerned that at 6 weeks it isn't yet a "heart beating", would be fine with prohibiting abortion when there is a recognizable "heart beating" at about 10-12 weeks?

I didn't think so. They're just throwing dirt in everybody's faces.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...It's hard to understand why that sort of viability became the legal line, because denying the abortion means that the unborn remains inside the womb.

Is it? From the side that wants abortion to be legal it seems like the most logical, easiest-to-understand line to draw (other than "no restrictions, ever, at any point").
The logic is that the developing fetus should be considered part of the woman's body and not a separate entity so long as it is at a developmental stage where it could not survive outside her body--until it could live apart from her it is supposed to be considered nothing but a part of her and thus have no interests of its own. Since the State can't have any role in protecting something without interests the law can't prohibit the woman from taking any actions at that stage since only she would be affected by those actions.

The argument says once the developing fetus could survive apart from her it should be considered something other than a part of her and to therefore have its own interests and existence as far as the State is concerned.

I can understand not agreeing with that line (many don't!) but it doesn't strike me as difficult to understand. In classical "rights-balancing" fashion that line simply says that there are no fetal/developing person rights to balance against the bodily autonomy rights of the woman until that fetus could continue to exist apart from the woman.

Fen said...

That will haunt me till the day I join him.

I'm so sorry the two of you have to carry that experience with you.

rhhardin said...

Ordinary langauge and distinctions says that a fetus is not a human. It's human (i.e. not wolf) but not a human. A human in embryo would be okay, owing to the not-now qualification.

Don't rule against ordinary langauge.

Being human mostly has to do with relations to others, as with some horrible person, he hardly seems human.

Say of a newborn "he hardly seems human" and it's a joke partly because it's true. He lacks relations to others. That has to be learned. Except that now society has a relationship to him, by way of his cuteness, so he's a person under the law.

Trumpit said...

"But men do not have an equivalent right not to become fathers."

Don't be ridiculous. Of course they do. Abstain or use birth control, or help her get an abortion like your hero Trump did.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Xmas said...
They are detecting the Doppler shift in moving and pulsing tissue and translating that into a "heartbeat" measurement.

Exactly. That moving and pulsing is the heart beating. The sound you hear from the ultrasound is not the sound of the heart beating, it is generated from the doppler shift.

I'm guessing the reporter or an editor turned some phrase like "electromechanical pulse" into "electric signal"

The statement I quoted was from Sarah Horvath, an ob-gyn with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She is well aware of how an ultrasound works. Which is why I labeled it bullshit, not just incorrect.

rhhardin said...

People get soul wrong. It means relations to others.

The dogmatic picture is that there are souls lined up and put into each conceived egg. That's not a great picture to codify in law.

C.f. "He has no soul," of somebody lacking relations to others.

Follow ordinary language.

Saint Croix said...

The issue here is the life of a child VS the liberty of the mother. And in the case of rape I side with the mother and her liberty, but it's not an easy call.

Rape victims should avoid abortion by taking emergency contraception. Take plan B, that's not an abortion. Swallow two birth control pills, that's not an abortion, either.

Rape is a horrific crime. But rape victims don't have to get pregnant. They can avoid having an abortion safely and easily. And they should, because abortion is not only a possible homicide to the unborn child, it's a dangerous and unwise medical procedure that does damage to a woman's reproductive system.

rhhardin said...

If you want to see if a fetus has a soul, look not at the fetus but at the parents. That's where the relations to others will be, or not.

Are they decorating the nursery and buying little catchers' mitts and baseballs. Then the fetus has a soul.

Fen said...

Trumpit: What's dishonest about it?

The DNA is not the woman's. I know you Lefties still have trouble with the concept that people are not property to be owned, or subhumans you can exterminate for being "savages", or incinerate in ovens for being "parasites". Catch up please.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

"Trumpit said...
These redneck hillbillies want to screw women twice: once to impregnate them with their tobacco-stained demon seed, then to force them to bear their inbred child. Then, they load the pickup to go hunting and kill sentient animals. All babies should be aborted for five years to give the earth time to heal from the environmental devastation that humans have wrought"

I have no doubt that Trumpit is a conservative parodist but, by God, if he was an actual Lefty that would be great stuff.

Fen said...

Trumpit: Abstain or use birth control

Birth control is not 100% effective. Maybe you should sit this one out.

Trumpit said...

"Trumpit: What's dishonest about it?"

I find your commentary repulsive, repugnant, and narrow minded. Please do me a favor and stop trolling me. You can't teach me anything. You just want to grandstand.

Unknown said...

> use it to make a statute that restricts the freedom of women who do not want to be pregnant.

And use it to make a statute the protects the heartbeat.

Nonapod said...

sometimes use that word to describe a baby far enough along in gestation to survive outside a woman’s womb

Does that legal definition of "viability" include medically assisted survival outside a womb?

Things might get complicated if/when we develop the technology for completely in vitro development. One day we'll most likely be have some sort of artificial womb that will make it possible to gestate entire pregnancies completey outside a human body. Of course by then we may have fully reversable sterilization and unwanted pregnancies will be almost non existant anyway.

mockturtle said...

The notion that the humanity of an unborn baby [or fetus, if you will] can be determined incrementally shows just how very weak a position the abortion advocates hold.

Saint Croix said...

A lot of legalistic and "scientific" argument, on this matter especially, just seems to skim the surface of the matter.

I think that's right.

From a Christian perspective, God calls on us to love people.

Jesus did not go to war against slavery, or abortion. But he taught us to love the slave. Love our babies. And his commandment to love answers the slavery question for us, and it answers the abortion question for us.

So while it might be difficult in a society to end slavery, or end abortion, on an individual level it's clear how we should act.

God wants us to love. Don't hate your child. And don't reduce your child to a dollar figure.

Patrick Henry was right! said...

If the woman does not want to BE pregnant, then she should not GET pregnant.

Fen said...

This is indeed a difficult issue. Logic would seem to indicate that the child should be treated the same in both cases. Certainly we don't view a one-week old baby as having less rights than another child because the pregnancy was the result of rape.

Agreed, that's where Logic leads us. I'm still having trouble embracing it but I put it out there to avoid the trap that I'm being inconsistent. It's Life VS Liberty, one does not always trump the other.

DarkHelmet said...

At 4-6 weeks the developing baby has a heartbeat and a brain wave pattern. As a philosophical matter I would suggest brain and heart activity are a good line in the sand for when a person is alive.

As a practical matter a woman should know by 4 weeks that she is pregnant. Therefore an abortion limit of something in the range of 5-6 weeks is not unreasonable. Hardline pro-lifers will say no abortion from inception. Governor Northam and his ilk are fine with 10th month infanticide, apparently. Perhaps the rest of us could live with a six week limit. Or at least we could allow the states to place that line in accordance with local beliefs.

Seeing Red said...

BINGO!

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar, except in this.

Fen said...

Trumpit: What's dishonest about it?

Trumpit responding to... Trumpit?: I find your commentary repulsive, repugnant, and narrow minded. Please do me a favor and stop trolling me. You can't teach me anything. You just want to grandstand.

Funny on so many levels. Good one.

mockturtle said...

At least our hostess has the gallant Trumpit at her side to fend off us savages.

Michael K said...

You can't teach me anything.

Out of the mouths of babes.

Nonapod said...

A post about abortion that's been up for over an hour an a half, and no comments by n.n? Must be asleep.

AlbertAnonymous said...

This is why we need judges (justices) that follow (rather than “make up”) the law. Roe was garbage from the beginning and now the political types are twisting themselves into pretzels to protect their biases. Consider:

1. It’s not a baby, it’s a fetus or clump of cells. That way she’s not killing her baby.

2. But it IS a baby if the woman wants a child (she even grieves over the loss of her baby if she miscarries). In California, murder is defined as the unlawful killing of a person “or a fetus” with malice, etc. so if mom wants the baby and you cause it’s death — murder. If mom doesn’t want the baby and she causes it’s death — reproductive choice.

3. If dad wants the child and mom doesn’t — fetus/killable. If mom wants the child and dad doesn’t — baby/eat shit dad. See dad has no reproductive choices.

4. That’s not a heartbeat, it’s cardiac activity.

5. Women’s right to choose, because “science”. What’s that? Science could actually limit my choice? “Fuck Science! — women’s right to choose, because “reasons!”

6. No right to an abortion anywhere in the constitution, but the left finds one emanating from the penumbras. And once found, do not destroy, spindle, mutilate or limit around the margins in any way. Right to keep and bear arms is expressly set forth in Amendment II, with the directive that it “shall not be infringed” but good Lord can the left come up with all kinds of reasons why I can’t/shouldn’t/mustn’t exercise those rights/choices. Because “common sense”. We should ask the 25 dem candidates for president what “common sense gun control” they support, and then follow up by asking what “common sense” abortion control they support.

This is the same progression that awful Obergefell decision will have to go they before finally overturn it. It’s just what happens when justices make shit up, then try to justify and parse their bullshit for decades, ugh.

Saint Croix said...

Abortion at 6 weeks.

Saint Croix said...

Abortion at 22 weeks.

David Docetad said...

Generally missing from the discussion of weeks, viability, reasonable limits, etc., is the issue of whether or not abortion is good or bad, regardless of whether or when it should be illegal. This was the problem with "safe, legal, and rare". Abortion can only be rare if it is considered bad, shameful, not a good. This is a real problem for the Left, and why they must celebrate and encourage abortion as a good. The only reason abortion can be considered bad or wrong is if an innocent human is being liquidated. This cannot stand. There cannot be shame attached to it. It must be good for the mother, it must be good for mother earth.

roesch/voltaire said...

Who cares about the finer points of fetal activity as long as men rule over women that is the real issue because women are not smart enough to take responsibility for their bodies and life.

Michael said...

The difficulty, of course, is that there is no "line." The moment of birth is not a line either - there is no great difference between a baby the week before it is born and the week after. Society should respect a woman's physical autonomy, and it should show reverence for a new life, and over the course of a pregnancy the one comes to out-weigh the other. But there is no line and no "right" answer.

Therefore it should not be a "federal case" and should not be a matter for the judiciary. It should be dealt with by the 50 state legislatures and governors, giving a hodgepodge of results which will satisfy no one but most may be willing to live with.

DeVere said...

"Women who do not want to be pregnant"!

It is indeed a burden for a woman who does not want to be pregnant to carry a child to term. But on the other side of the ledger is the 80-90-year life of the child that is born.

If abortion were illegal, boyfriends couldn't pressure their girlfriends into getting them, and men overall would be forced to treat women with more respect. And women would treat themselves with more respect. And sex would get a bit more reconnected to love and family. Oh, and the children would be born, and live their lives.

Francisco D said...

The Supreme Court should have left the matter to politics and state law, which is where it belongs,.

I agree completely.

A big problem is that many liberals believe that abortion will be illegal if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

The pro-abortion crowd is too dumb to realize that they are very likely to be politically advantaged at the state level if Roe is overturned.

FIDO said...

Men do have the legal option to choose to end their pregnancies.


So, when society told your (gay) son that 'he had the same right to marry a woman as any straight man', did you think that was a silly one off or did you marvel at how ridiculous and mean spirited a comment that was?

When Feminists like yourself allow men off the fiscal hook for a baby they do not want, then you can start talking about 'same legal options'.

I personally would look down on those men. But then again, I would look down on any woman who arbitrarily cut off a father from making any choices about whether his kid is 'human' or not based on her diktats.

The Humanity of another human being should not be at the whim of a hormone addled woman who already has a record of horrible decision making in the lead up.

Deciding whether to abort is far different than the humanity of the fetus. We kill people all the time. Your side just wants dispensation from the consequences of having decided to kill someone.

Inga...Allie Oop said...

“But it's quite another thing to take this science — detecting early cellular rhythm and forming a belief that normal development is happening — and to use it to make a statute that restricts the freedom of women who do not want to be pregnant.”

Deplorables don’t care. Women’s freedom does not mean a thing to ideological extremists.

gahrie said...

It's hard to understand why that sort of viability became the legal line,

Not really. It was generally understood at the time that an abortion was the killing of a person, and normal people were repulsed and disgusted by it. The argument was made that since the fetus could not survive on its own, it wasn't really a person yet.

Now the Left is saying even if the baby is actually born alive, the mother should be able to tell the doctor to neglect it and allow it to die.

Henry said...

Blogger mockturtle said...
The notion that the humanity of an unborn baby [or fetus, if you will] can be determined incrementally shows just how very weak a position the abortion advocates hold.

It's a weakness (if you want to use that word) in human perception. A parent does not mourn a spontaneous abortion at 6 weeks in any way akin to the mourning of a baby that dies in the crib.

All of the political arguments that bounce between morning after, viability, and late-term abortion are based upon human perception of the difference between stages.

Even an old term like "quickening" spotlights a distinction.

MikeR said...

Leaving the moral issues aside, the article offered a clear and relevant clarification. Good going.

gahrie said...

Deplorables don’t care. Women’s freedom does not mean a thing to ideological extremists.

Completely wrong. We just think the baby's life is more important than the woman's convivence.

What's more extreme...arguing in favor of saving innocent life, or arguing in favor of killing innocent life?

gspencer said...

AlbertAnonymous,

What you said.

TJM said...

Trumpit,

Trump is an amateur in that department compared to Horndog Clintoon!!!

gahrie said...

because women are not smart enough to take responsibility for their bodies and life.

A woman who uses abortion as birth control has pretty much proven she's not smart enough to take responsibility for her body or her life.

Eleanor said...

In the third trimester a woman who has refrained from aborting her child, but now finds the pregnancy is putting her own life at risk does not ask her doctor for an abortion. She asks for a premature delivery with all of the medical help her doctor can give to save both mother and child. This is not medically or legally an abortion. To make abortion in the third trimester illegal would not put women's lives at risk. We could start by granting an unborn child personhood at that point and then wait for medical science to move the bar again. Since the moral argument against the slaughter of unborn children holds no sway with the folks on the left.

Inga...Allie Oop said...

“What's more extreme...arguing in favor of saving innocent life, or arguing in favor of killing innocent life?”

Your sperm are alive too. You’re guilty of killing every time you “spill your seed”.

n.n said...

Evolution of human life from conception. A coherent nervous system around the second month. A colorful clump of cells with a "Person" shape in the first trimester.

If you're sexually liberal. If you don't take precautions to prevent conception. If you practice the Planned Parenthood (e.g. selective-child) method of pregnancy resolution. If you missed your last period. Then you may be pregnant.

Pro-Choice is two choices too late.

That said, when and by whose choice does a human life acquire and retain a right to life? "In Stork You Trust" (a.k.a. viability) is the answer for a peculiar religious sect.

Inga...Allie Oop said...

“To make abortion in the third trimester illegal would not put women's lives at risk.”

The Alabama law concerns itself with a 6 week old embryo.

Seeing Red said...

Now the Left is saying even if the baby is actually born alive, the mother should be able to tell the doctor to neglect it and allow it to die.

Some very, very progressive think up to 2 years.

n.n said...

Does a man's sperm, without union with a woman's egg, and safe sanctuary in her womb, evolve to become a "Person"? Spontaneous conception is a myth told in contemporary times for social progress and other purposes.

Trumpit said...

The planet is extremely overpopulated, and it is unsustainable. The consequences of this fact are devastating for ALL life on earth as we now see. Abortions should be made mandatory until such time that the planet has healed. If you want a child, adopt one for your very own. I'm old, but young at heart, but you can adopt me by paying my bills.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JqKD4aNW_k

tim maguire said...

I hate all this pushing about the boundaries. We need as a society to have a serious discussion about what is and what is not human life (keeping in mind how we define human for the fetus has real ramifications for the disabled community).

What is human? Make a decision and accept the consequences already.

n.n said...

Perhaps the problem are liberal education standards, including sexual education in lieu of biology. And a moral standard that is notoriously ethical (i.e. circumstantial, selective).

Learn how your baby is conceived and how your baby develops inside the mother's womb.

Evolution of human life is still a mystery with passage of the Twilight Amendment, establishment of the Pro-Choice quasi-religion, and the profit-seeking Planned Parenthood (e.g. selective-child, recycled-child) et al special and peculiar interests. We need a separation of Chamber and State.

The Godfather said...

I don’t understand these arguments about 6 weeks v. 10 months, etc. I’m sure this is all spelled out in the Abortion Clause of the Constitution. Isn’t it?

AlbertAnonymous said...

I think it was Saint Pope John Paul II who wrote about the cultural decline when we separated (morally, emotionally and physically) the child from the sexual union. — Birth control (sex without children) and artificial insemination (children without sex). We took God out of the equation too. And we’ve been reaping what we’ve sown ever since.

n.n said...

Since the moral argument against the slaughter of unborn children holds no sway with the folks on the left.

Unfortunately, human rights and civil rights are a many Pro-Choice thing at the twilight fringe.

Inga...Allie Oop said...

“I hate all this pushing about the boundaries. We need as a society to have a serious discussion about what is and what is not human life (keeping in mind how we define human for the fetus has real ramifications for the disabled community).

What is human? Make a decision and accept the consequences already.”


I can foresee a future if Deplorables have their way, when those who haves been deemed “brain dead” by means of EEG and other scientific criteria will be forced to be kept “alive” on artificial life support machines indefinitely, or until their poor bodies decay despite “life support”. Be careful of what you wish for Deplorables, because it may one day affect you or your loved ones personally.

tim maguire said...

Fen said...
"Does that matter to you?"

And even in the case of rape, a human life is being taken.


Rape is a minor, but interesting side issue--it is the one and only place in the abortion discussion where the issue really is about choice.

In all other cases, abortion is not about choice, it is about accepting responsibility for the consequences of a choice after the choice has been made. Only in the case of pregnancy from rape is abortion an issue of choice.

n.n said...

Week 1 to 2

The first week of pregnancy starts with the first day of a woman's menstrual period. She is not yet pregnant.

Week 5

Your baby's brain, spinal cord, and heart begin to develop.

Weeks 6 to 7

Baby's heart continues to grow and now beats at a regular rhythm.
Blood pumps through the main vessels.


Notable milestones in the evolution of human life.

Laslo Spatula said...

I have an idea.

We need a CNN Town Hall.

At this CNN Town Hall we show a sonogram of a fetus at every week of development up to birth.

Then we show the sonogram of an abortion done at every week of development.

After that, we can have the audience weigh in at what picture the fetus is still abort-able.

No one wants to see the sausage being made.

And even feminists can't stay away from the sausage. Hence, etc etc.

I am Laslo.

Ann Althouse said...

"'Men do have the legal option to choose to end their pregnancies.' No they do not. If a man wants the child and she does not, he must stand by helplessly as she murders it."

You're arguing with a statement I did not make. I never said men have the legal option to end another person's pregnancy. They may end their own pregnancies. That may be a null set (depending on what you want to say about transgender men), but the statement about the possibly null set is clearly true.

Sharpen up!

readering said...

You read these comments and then you wonder why women don't want other people making these decisions for them.

eric said...

I wonder if there is something these women, who do not want to be pregnant, could do to avoid that.

Gee....

Ann Althouse said...

"Men have NO reproductive rights. Huge blindspot, Althouse."

Men have the right to refrain from depositing their sperm where it might fertilize and egg. After they've left it there, they don't have the right to control the person whose body is the site of the further development.

n.n said...

it is about accepting responsibility for the consequences of a choice after the choice has been made. Only in the case of pregnancy from rape is abortion an issue of choice.

It's a matter of reconciliation between two lives. In the case of rape, we should normalize (i.e. promote) adoption or prevention as the choices, but in all other instances, the only moral (pre-Pro-Choice quasi-religion) and legal (pre-Twilight Amendment) justification for elective abortion is self-defense. Otherwise, it's Nature's choice, but mom and dad have the first two choices.

Ann Althouse said...

I concede that there are some cases where a man's sperm is forcibly extracted and it fertilizes an egg and a pregnancy results and that in those cases the man doesn't have the right to force the woman to undergo an abortion. The person with the pregnant body gets to make the final call. Someone must decide, and the answer in the law — which I support — is the person with the pregnant body.

Seeing Red said...

dont Have me pay for their poor decision.

Be responsible.

n.n said...

Rape is a minor, but interesting side issue

That's true. It's an edge case that zealots and certain quasi-religious sects cling to in order to justify normalization of denying life deemed unworthy of life for social progress.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

MikeR said...

Leaving the moral issues aside, the article offered a clear and relevant clarification.

In addition to my earlier comment, I'm not sure how much you should trust any clarification you get from an article that claims that there have been 300 anti-abortion laws passed in 2019.

Seeing Red said...

The argument isn’t about the pregnant body. That’s a reactive argument.

The argument is about being proactive, you know, what the feminist movement is about? Owning your shit? Running your own life? Being responsible for yourself?

This is the 21st century, not the 50s image of coat hangers and June Cleaver.

gahrie said...

@Althouse: How about?:

Women have the right to refrain from allowing men to deposit sperm where it might fertilize their egg. After they've allowed a man to leave it there, they don't have the right to control the person whose body is undergoing further development.

Ann Althouse said...

"At 4-6 weeks the developing baby has a heartbeat and a brain wave pattern. As a philosophical matter I would suggest brain and heart activity are a good line in the sand for when a person is alive."

The question isn't whether "a person is alive." Of course, we're talking about something that is alive. The question has been whether that which is alive is a person, because legal rights belong to person. That's why we say a corporation is a person. It has rights as a legal entity, called a "person." It's not alive.

If you want to think of the question in terms of needing to draw a line somewhere — and the Roe v. Wade Court did this with "viability" — then there aren't many places you can put it and every place you want to put it is mushy as a line (though clearly conception is a perfectly clear line in the sense that it would give no opportunity to do anything before the line was crossed).

But the legal question doesn't have to be answered in terms of drawing a line. I can be answered in terms of who decides.

gahrie said...

You're arguing with a statement I did not make. I never said men have the legal option to end another person's pregnancy. They may end their own pregnancies. That may be a null set (depending on what you want to say about transgender men), but the statement about the possibly null set is clearly true.

As stated above, I missed the post where you conceded that gay men had the same right to get married as straight men because they too could marry a woman.

gahrie said...

But the legal question doesn't have to be answered in terms of drawing a line. I can be answered in terms of who decides.

Which is apparently, in all cases and controversies, the woman.

Jersey Fled said...

Trumpit roles out the old "Trump helped women get an abortion" meme again.

Do you have any proof of this other than Howard Stern saying that he "probably" helped "lots of women" get abortions?

gahrie said...

But the legal question doesn't have to be answered in terms of drawing a line. I can be answered in terms of who decides.

In every other case, under American law, it is the people who make those decisions through their elected legislators.

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

Also, realize dear Deplorables what such extremist ideologies may “birth” when it comes to in-vitro fertilization and frozen embryos. Will it become illegal to destroy a frozen embryo? Will parents be forced to donate their embryo or keep it “alive” on ice indefinitely? Again be careful of what you wish for

Ann Althouse said...

"Ordinary langauge and distinctions says that a fetus is not a human. It's human (i.e. not wolf) but not a human. A human in embryo would be okay, owing to the not-now qualification. Don't rule against ordinary langauge."

Ordinary language might be helpful in trying to understand ideas, but this isn't a question of how to use words and what words mean. They are evidence of moral intuition, but we are not trying to decide how to phrase things. To say it's human but not "a human" doesn't get to the answer. Something is on a path which if unobstructed will become a born human individual, but right now, it's dependent on using the inside of another person's body for a long time and in an extreme way. Does that other person get to destroy the intruder? I don't see why the answer depends on whether the intrusion is human or "a human"?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said... That may be a null set (depending on what you want to say about transgender men), but the statement about the possibly null set is clearly true.

Sharpen up!


That's true and quite droll; well said, well said good show!

Hey didn't the saying used to go "gay men and just as free to marry a woman as straight men are--they have exactly the same rights?" I'll bet you found that awfully amusing, too.

rhhardin said...

At 6 weeks the woman may not know she's pregnant, is one big problem with the test case. Irregular periods, or not exactly keeping track closely. It could be invalidated for that narrow reason.

Seeing Red said...

Well, it seems how HS US Biology is taught is a failure. They seem not to retain any knowledge.

David Docetad said...

"Someone must decide, and the answer in the law — which I support — is the person with the pregnant body."

Two people have already made their decision, and both must face the consequences. You are not free to decide as a parent that you want to get rid of your kids, and you are not free as pregnant woman to decide that you want to kill the baby.

Life's decisions have consequences.

gahrie said...

but right now, it's dependent on using the inside of another person's body for a long time and in an extreme way.

Nine months is a long time, and a biological event that happens in every mammal is extreme?

gahrie said...

I don't see why the answer depends on whether the intrusion is human or "a human"?

So does it depend on anything other than the woman's convenience?

Seeing Red said...

it's dependent on using the inside of another person's body for a long time and in an extreme way.

Pfft. It a short time. It’s the 18-30 years that’s extreme. It’s just switched from internal to external usage.

David Docetad said...

"Does that other person get to destroy the intruder?"

What a lovely phrase. Almost as good a Murray Rothbard who used "parasite".

Inga...Allie Oop said...

“You are not free to decide as a parent that you want to get rid of your kids, and you are not free as pregnant woman to decide that you want to kill the baby.”

Is a frozen embryo a baby that must be kept alive indefinitely?

rhhardin said...

Right to Life, Marge Piercy
https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/culture_vultures/43802-anyone-like-to-discuss-this-poem-all-welcome

has the best pro-choice women's rights presentation.

Ann Althouse said...

"As stated above, I missed the post where you conceded that gay men had the same right to get married as straight men because they too could marry a woman."

That isn't parallel.

Someone asserted that men have NO reproductive rights. They have some.

If the assertion had been that gay men have NO right to marry, I would have agreed that they had SOME right to marry — the right to marry a woman. That's not a right they want to exercise (in most cases), but it is A right.

If I never made that point before, it's only because that was never the issue. I wouldn't have had a problem saying that. I would just have said they want and deserve a bigger right, including a right to marry a person to whom they feel sexual attraction, a right comparable to what heterosexual people have.

In the case of pregnancy, there's no parallel idea of men having a right comparable to what women have, because men don't get pregnant. To the extent that a human entity could begin to grow inside their bodies, they have the right to refuse to endure that physical transformation.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...But the legal question doesn't have to be answered in terms of drawing a line. I can be answered in terms of who decides.

That's neither satisfactory nor complete either, though. You still have to have some line in the "who decides" scenario--if you contend that the person whose body is "used" by the fetus has the exclusive power to determine whether or not to terminate the pregnancy you must still answer "when" and that's going to be a line.

Just saying "the woman gets to decide" does not end the matter! When does she stop being able to decide? At birth? At 5 minutes before birth, or 5 minutes after (while the umbilical cord is still attached, maybe)? You're still drawing a line there, somewhere, and it'll still be subject to the problem of arbitrariness. Just saying "the woman gets to decide" does not solve the line-drawing problem.

Seeing Red said...

False argument. Physiology sez that would be a choice.

And we circle around to choosing to have sex.

Ann Althouse said...

"What a lovely phrase. Almost as good a Murray Rothbard who used "parasite"."

I'm not trying to be lovely. I'm trying to be accurate and to provide a basis for argument that could go either way. I would also use the word "parasite" and, in fact, almost did when I chose "intruder."

Of course, it would be nice if we all felt so much love that every pregnancy was welcomed. I wish that were true. But I think the person who must go through the pregnancy has the right to say no to having to do that involuntarily.

gahrie said...

In the case of pregnancy, there's no parallel idea of men having a right comparable to what women have, because men don't get pregnant.

For the sake of argument, I will concede this point.

However women are allowed to decide if they are going to become mothers. Men have no comparable right to decide not to become fathers. Men cannot chose to abandon their responsibilities to a child, women can. Your position would be logically consistent if men were allowed to abandon their parental responsibilities like women are, but they aren't.

Inga...Allie Oop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HoodlumDoodlum said...

It's odd to assert that just saying "the person with the pregnant body gets to decide" solves the problem when lots of the arguments we've been having recently would manifestly not be addressed by that solution.
Take infants who survive "botched" late term abortions, for example. Does the State have an interest in protecting their lives, or health, or dignity? The woman used her power to decide to have an abortion and the child is no longer inside her body...does it still have no rights itself, does the State still have no interests to protect?? A standard of "the person with the pregnant body gets to decide" doesn't address that at all.

n.n said...

We're talking about a human life, albeit early in our evolution. Sometimes labeled a fetus, sometimes labeled a baby, sometimes labeled a "person", an independent life that closely coexists with her mother for the first nine months. The question is when and by whose choose do we acquire and retain a right to life. Also, what should a civilized society normalize, tolerate, and reject.

Weeks 6 to 7

Your baby's brain forms into 5 different areas. Some cranial nerves are visible.


The nervous system develops earlier in the pregnancy.

Ann Althouse said...

"'But the legal question doesn't have to be answered in terms of drawing a line. I can be answered in terms of who decides.' That's neither satisfactory nor complete either, though. You still have to have some line in the "who decides" scenario--if you contend that the person whose body is "used" by the fetus has the exclusive power to determine whether or not to terminate the pregnancy you must still answer "when" and that's going to be a line. Just saying "the woman gets to decide" does not end the matter! When does she stop being able to decide? At birth? At 5 minutes before birth, or 5 minutes after (while the umbilical cord is still attached, maybe)? You're still drawing a line there, somewhere, and it'll still be subject to the problem of arbitrariness. Just saying "the woman gets to decide" does not solve the line-drawing problem."

I agree that it's not complete, but I don't agree that it's not satisfactory. You can take the decisionmaking approach — who decides? — and proceed to answer your other questions. I'm pointing to a way to think, not purporting to get to the end of the thinking process with respect to every question that might arise.

The legal answer at the moment is the woman has the right to decide for herself up until the point of viability and after that the democratic processes may decide that the growing baby must be saved. But the democratic processes don't have to do that, they can decide to let the woman decide.

gahrie said...

Althouse would never accept an argument that "the person with the paycheck gets to decide" about child support.

Yancey Ward said...

Ultrasound picks up sound, not electrical activity- this particular electrical activity is causing the cells to vibrate in unison, just like your heart does. I would have more respect for this article if the author didn't try lie by obscuring this fact.

I am curious, Ms. Althouse- where would you draw the line?

Michael K said...

But I think the person who must go through the pregnancy has the right to say no to having to do that involuntarily.

Whereas, the father has no rights, including financial responsibility for 18 years and the prospect of prison if he fails. The only remaining form of debtors prison still existing,.

The Godfather said...

@Althouse: I agree that the right question is whether the fetus (or unborn child) is a “person”. How do you reach the conclusion that she isn’t a person?

Inga...Allie Oop said...

Where is Trump on this issue? All of you Trump apologists should be getting a wake up call by now.

Ann Althouse said...

"They don’t care. They think that carrying a baby at any stage of development is the woman’s scared duty."

Apt typo.

Ann Althouse said...

"@Althouse: I agree that the right question is whether the fetus (or unborn child) is a “person”. How do you reach the conclusion that she isn’t a person?"

What statements of mine are you misreading like that?

gahrie said...

The legal answer at the moment is the woman has the right to decide for herself up until the point of viability and after that the democratic processes may decide that the growing baby must be saved. But the democratic processes don't have to do that, they can decide to let the woman decide.

They can also decide NOT to let the woman decide even before viability...that's the whole point.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Does that other person get to destroy the intruder?

The baby is not an intruder. It did not force its way in from the outside. It came into existence in that location. It is home.

Michael K said...

Do you have any proof of this other than Howard Stern

trumpit has no evidence of anything. She is a troubled person who trolls this blog,

gahrie said...

"@Althouse: I agree that the right question is whether the fetus (or unborn child) is a “person”. How do you reach the conclusion that she isn’t a person?"

What statements of mine are you misreading like that?


If the fetus is a person, why doesn't it have the right to life? A person's right to life does not depend upon another person's convenience.

Inga...Allie Oop said...

“In the case of pregnancy, there's no parallel idea of men having a right comparable to what women have, because men don't get pregnant.”

They don’t care.

“To the extent that a human entity could begin to grow inside their bodies, they have the right to refuse to endure that physical transformation.”

They don’t care. They think that carrying a baby at any stage of development is the woman’s sacred duty. I hope they will be willing to be as generous with their dollars in supporting millions of unwanted babies as they are with their spouting their extremist views in the form of laws. Small government be damned.

Inga...Allie Oop said...

“They don’t care. They think that carrying a baby at any stage of development is the woman’s scared duty."

Apt typo.”

Yes, true. I fixed it just as you posted this.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

"They may end their own pregnancies. That may be a null set (depending on what you want to say about transgender men), but the statement about the possibly null set is clearly true.

Sharpen up!"

As usualy, the dizzy bitch that hosts this blog gets all cunty when one of her feminazi blindspots get pointed out.

After whining that people who used the same argument on your precious little pillow biter wanting to get married to a man and force other people to bake the cake and clap.

Feminism is cancer.

Howard said...

The introduction of Sharia law by Confederate deplorables is a good idea that will help get women in purple states to vote Democrat.

Howard said...

Cucks like President Pant Load hardest hit. Are the gryls bullying you? Sad

Fen said...

Women get pregnant

Again with the language that denies any responsibility. They "get" pregnant, like getting a cold. Someone somewhere did something to them.

They think that carrying a baby at any stage of development is the woman’s sacred duty.

No, just that you should be responsible for the choices you make. I don't think women will ever be taken seriously until they demonstrate they are willing to be responsible for the reproductive decisions they make.

I hope they will be willing to be as generous with their dollars in supporting millions of unwanted babies

Weak argument. If you are unwanted, is it okay to terminate your life?

My argument against killing Unwanted Inga is hypocritical unless I am willing to fund her 18 year stay at the New Vistas Assisted Living Center?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...You can take the decisionmaking approach — who decides? — and proceed to answer your other questions. // But the democratic processes don't have to do that, they can decide to let the woman decide.

My contention is that "who decides?" doesn't answer the other questions--you seem to be saying that it does if we say "the person with the pregnant body decides whether there is an entity in which the State has an interest in any and all cases, at any time." That's tautologically true--if the pregnant woman has the power to make that decision then that'll answer all questions--but that isn't really an answer!

It'd be like if I said "slavemasters get to decide whether enslaved people are people, for purposes of the law--and that clears up any legal questions." That'd be true, but you're just "solving" the problem by saying the determination over whether some persons have Constitutional protection or not should be given to someone else and the fact that they make that decision means we don't have to draw any lines or distinctions ourselves.
[In fact slaves had a number of legal rights in America, at different times--while their owners had enormous power over them it was never wholly unconstrained by the State.]

Howard said...

Hi Inga. Apparently even Althouse can't support all of the Trump enabled deplorable agenda. Can't wait to hear from Shouting Thomas on the radfemarx angle

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Oh no, effeminate soyboy Howard put a comment in my direction. Whatever shall I do?

I know, continue to point out feminist retardedness, not really care when useless to society liberals murder their children, and enjoy the next 6 years of President Trump's Reign.

Did your wife's boyfriend teach you the word "Cuck?" It seems to be your most commonly used insult.

Molly said...

(eaglebeak)

The point about individual rights is that they are always limited by the individual rights of others--including the rights of developing human beings.

It is a crass kind of materialism that says that because this creature in its early, apparently disorganized, state doesn't look like a human being, it is not a human being.

It's certainly not anything else but human, and so much of being and meaning lies in potentiality. It is ludicrous to say it's just a lump of cells, just a foreign presence, when the principle guiding its every action and every advance is the principle of becoming human.

I remember in the 1970s when women were having abortions all over the place--what I am about to say may not apply to every woman, I concede, but in my experience, I do not know a single woman who had an abortion who is not haunted by it to this day. Or rather, of all those women, I know one who is not haunted by her abortion.

Let me make a modest proposal to women who don't want to bear children: Enter the wonderful world of birth control. If you don't agree with birth control, put some limits on your sexual activity. That's better than killing someone, no?

And that clump of cells is someone. The question of viability is a red herring--not being viable outside the mother's body doesn't make this creature less ontologically valuable. Good heavens--none of us is viable outside the network of our society, outside the environmental network of the biosphere and its manmade extensions, etc.

Does that give someone the right to push us out of the part of the universe in which we can survive, because we couldn't survive somewhere else?

Ann Althouse said...

Here's what I wrote that I think was misread as a statement that I think the question should be whether the unborn is "a person":

"The question isn't whether "a person is alive." Of course, we're talking about something that is alive. The question has been whether that which is alive is a person, because legal rights belong to person. That's why we say a corporation is a person. It has rights as a legal entity, called a "person." It's not alive."

"The question has been" = courts and legal arguments have been made in this form rather than the form whether "the person is alive" (which is what a commenter had written and I was trying to straighten out).

I continued:

"If you want to think of the question in terms of needing to draw a line somewhere — and the Roe v. Wade Court did this with "viability" — then there aren't many places you can put it and every place you want to put it is mushy as a line (though clearly conception is a perfectly clear line in the sense that it would give no opportunity to do anything before the line was crossed)."

That's about what you might want to do, perhaps in an effort to decide when there is a "person."

I ended:

"But the legal question doesn't have to be answered in terms of drawing a line. I can be answered in terms of who decides."

That's what I think: The question is who decides whether there can be an abortion, not when is there a person.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

On top of that you're still left with some line-drawing around "person with pregnant body." In those "botched late term abortion" cases where the infant is no longer in the woman's body do you still consider her pregnant and thus invested with full, unquestionable power, or is she no longer pregnant?

Again, these are exactly the kinds of cases that have recently been under discussion (with the NY and NC laws) so it's not some new, out-of-the-blue hypothetical.

Ann Althouse said...

The Supreme Court cases say the woman gets to decide when there is a person.

That conflates the inquiry and isn't very accurate, since the woman can get an abortion without believing that what she is destroying is not a person.

Howard said...

Touched a pantload nerve. He thinks he can incel-ate his self from women and make them wanting him more.

Ann Althouse said...

"On top of that you're still left with some line-drawing around "person with pregnant body." In those "botched late term abortion" cases where the infant is no longer in the woman's body do you still consider her pregnant and thus invested with full, unquestionable power, or is she no longer pregnant? Again, these are exactly the kinds of cases that have recently been under discussion (with the NY and NC laws) so it's not some new, out-of-the-blue hypothetical."

This isn't happening. Abortion opponents are acting like it is, and it's hot political rhetoric, but it's not the situation, and I've blogged about it elsewhere and don't want to go through this again. If you think you're on a high moral plane (with your opposition to abortion), don't lie.

Fen said...

To the extent that a human entity could begin to grow inside their bodies, they have the right to refuse to endure that physical transformation.

Once a "human entity" is involved there are TWO sets of rights in play.

The audacity amazes me: "how dare you interfere with my rights as I interfere with someone else's rights".

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...That's what I think: The question is who decides whether there can be an abortion, not when is there a person.

Sure; the honest pro-abortion position is that women should have the power to decide to kill "a person" if that person is infringing on her bodily autonomy in an unwanted way (related to pregnancy). You're saying we can get around the problem of the State having an interest in protecting all people if we simply amend that idea to something like "The State has an interest in protecting all people except those people over whom women have exclusive domain."

I say you still have to define that domain and that'll still involve line-drawing and arbitrary decisions. We haven't even settled on a definition of "pregnant!"

gahrie said...

That's what I think: The question is who decides whether there can be an abortion,

Citizens of the United States acting through their legislators.

LakeLevel said...

Althouse: " there's no parallel idea of men having a right comparable to what women have, "

au contraire, If a woman decides to let me get her pregnant, my body will be compelled to work to support the resulting child, compelled with threat of prison. This would seem to be comparable to a woman being required to carry a child to term.

Fen said...

This isn't happening. Abortion opponents are acting like it is, and it's hot political rhetoric, but it's not the situation, and I've blogged about it elsewhere and don't want to go through this again. If you think you're on a high moral plane (with your opposition to abortion), don't lie.

I'm going cover my eyes, refuse to defend my argument, and call you a liar.

Priceless.

gahrie said...

If you think you're on a high moral plane (with your opposition to abortion), don't lie.

Yeah! Only people on a low moral plane (with their support for abortion) are allowed to lie.

rhhardin said...

hat's what I think: The question is who decides whether there can be an abortion, not when is there a person.

Nevertheless if you can decide when there is a person, you may solve the problem. Ordinary language puts it at birth, just as a fact of language. It's a bright line because there was nobody there to be seen and then there was, and society treats it as a person.

You can push it back some distance based on cuteness, which is what inspires society to take an interest.

You can push it back to conception by dogmatizing some picture or other (souls being inserted into cells); that one's not a good idea because you'd have to force it on people who have a good reason to go the other way.

Let the bright line be where half the people vote that it's a person, which as I say will be based on cuteness.

Sonogram ho.

Molly said...

(eaglebeak)

I agree that the Supreme Court decided that the woman could decide (whether there's a person). But where the hell did the Supreme Court get the authority to decide?

Sometimes we really need the God hypothesis. (I would say all the time, but don't want to get into that line of discussion.)

Also, yes, of course a woman can have an abortion and think she's destroying a person when she does so--but that's not a very satisfactory approach because the women who think that and do that have decided it's better to be a murderer than to be pregnant; willingly shouldering that burden of guilt is pretty daunting.

rhhardin said...

By the time a fetus sonograms as cute, the woman knows she is pregnant, so it doesn't have the heartbeat problem. She will have made a decision in time.

Fen said...

they have the right to refuse to endure that physical transformation.

Hey, Future Bob here, and I'd like to refuse to endure the physical transformation of having my skull pierced and my brain sucked out by a vacuum. And that thing where you slice me up and scrape the lining of the uterus to remove any remaining parts. Not a fan. Thanks!

tim maguire said...

Ann Althouse said...Something is on a path which if unobstructed will become a born human individual, but right now, it's dependent on using the inside of another person's body for a long time and in an extreme way. Does that other person get to destroy the intruder?

Which is why I make an exception for rape. In all other cases, the mother and father decided, without ever consulting the intruder, to place that intruder inside the woman's body.

So there's the question again--should the woman be forced against her will to carry the intruder to term when the only reason the intruder is in her body is because she put it there? Or should this helpless bystander be forced to pay the ultimate price in order to save the woman from having to accept the consequences of her actions? (I would say man and woman, but, of course, at this point the man has no rights, only responsibilities.)

Fen said...

Nevertheless if you can decide when there is a person, you may solve the problem.

But why isn't it not the other way around? Like the rest of our legal system? If you can prove it's not a person you may abort it.

Matt said...

People who think women can have dicks or men can have twats dont get to lecture anybody else on science and/or the politicization of it.

Get fucked, babykillers.

Fen said...

it's dependent on using the inside of another person's body for a long time and in an extreme way. Does that other person get to destroy the intruder?

More of the language that denies responsibility. It's not a cold you "get", now it's a parasite that invades your body. Sally was just up in bed reading Princess Bride when WHOOOM! something slithered up her vagina.

YoungHegelian said...

@Trumpit,

All babies should be aborted for five years to give the earth time to heal from the environmental devastation that humans have wrought.

Thanos, is that you? I'm askin' because lines like "once to impregnate them with their tobacco-stained demon seed, then to force them to bear their inbred child" are truly worthy to come out of the mouth of a Marvel super-villian.

Now, see if you can incorporate "Lo, I have seen the birth & death of worlds, but..." into a comment!

Michael K said...


Blogger Howard said...
Cucks like President Pant Load hardest hit. Are the gryls bullying you? Sad


Howard , poor dear, is hyping himself up in anticipation of Durham jailing all his heroes.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said... If you think you're on a high moral plane (with your opposition to abortion), don't lie.

I haven't here argued for or against abortion and I haven't asserted any belief in my moral altitude.

Just to be clear: you are claiming that there are no cases of "survived abortion" for any period of time, that it never happens and has never happened, and further that anyone who says it has or does is in fact a liar?

gahrie said...

@Althouse:

On June 29 20015, you defended Gay marriage by quoting the argument: Gay marriage is about extending the opportunity to marry to people who lack it

https://althouse.blogspot.com/2015/06/ive-got-problem-with-supply-of-women.html

David Docetad said...

Much can be said of the term "intruder" and "parasite" to describe a baby in the womb, but a honest search for accuracy would not be included.

Obviously the point is to dehumanize the baby and to criminalize its very existence, providing an excuse for someone to kill it.

n.n said...

Women have three choices. One, abstain from sex. Two, prevent conception. Sexually active women should be proactive, rather than reactive (e.g. planned or selective-child). Three, accept responsibility for the outcome of her action and choices. The edge cases (e.g. rape) have similar choices and a women who is rape-raped should be proactive or accept responsibility for a life that was conceived without her consent. Other cases, including: Down syndrome, transgender/homosexual, evolutionary defects, etc. are more complicated, and people will have to indulge a more inclusive ethics of life that is deemed worthy, or unworthy as the case may be.

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

A baby/thing is halfway out a woman's birth canal. Is she still pregnant? The thing is still at least partially inside her body and most definitely still infringing on her bodily autonomy, so if we go by those standards then I guess she is.
Ok. Under the proposed problem-solving move of "the pregnant woman decides" then she could, at that moment, decide the thing is not a person and the State has no ability to protect that non-person's rights in any way.

But hey, at least we avoided having to draw some arbitrary line!

See, to me, that seems at least as extreme a position as one that says "from the moment of conception the State has to protect the rights of the distinct person, even if doing so infringes on the rights the person with the pregnant body would otherwise have."

Probably it's more extreme in that it errs on the side of NOT extending rights/Constitutional protection.

Fen said...

Hey! Future Bob again. Can ya knock it off with the saline? WTF?! Two more weeks is all I ask. I'm slated for Harvard, gonna be a relief pitcher for the Yankees, get eaten by a shark in Perth after rescuing a 12 year old. Can ya gimme just 14 days? I'll skip off to the nearest orphanage soon as possible. Bitch.

n.n said...

On June 29 20015, you defended Gay marriage by quoting the argument: Gay marriage is about extending the opportunity to marry to people who lack it

Where before it was limited to couples based on a forward-looking standard of normalization for Posterity, they added labels, passed judgment, and extended a legal right of marriage to couplets, Still exclusive, and now noticeably Pro-Choice.

rhhardin said...

I have a body; I have a soul. Then there's me, a third thing, doing the having.

It seems to be fact of language to be used in accounts, not a fact of reality.

With fetuses, there's a body; there's (dogmatically) a soul; is there a me. It's no good God inserting a soul into the cells. It's going to need a me as well.

Pay more attention to language, which reflects common sense, on which you can get agreement at some point.

What's human is relations to others.

Francisco D said...

That's what I think: The question is who decides whether there can be an abortion, not when is there a person.

Does the State have a right to determine who is a person? (versus an animal or a fetus)

If the State determines that a (for examine) 36 week old fetus is a person, does that negate the right to decide about an abortion?

rhhardin said...

The state shouldn't decide that at some point a fetus is a person but that at some point you can't abort it. The point decided by argument, propaganda and then a vote.

It will correspond to cuteness.

Birches said...

Years ago Althouse posted a gif of a baby's full development in the womb. I couldn't find it right now, but there was remarkable development around 6 weeks. It's definitely a baby by 12 weeks. All of the women cited in the WIRED article think it's fine to abort a baby at any time for any reason so it's misleading for them to argue against the heartbeat standard. They have no standard. At least Althouse is honest about her beliefs.

Birches said...

The more this round and round happens with sex and pregnancy, the more I think the Catholics are correct. If you always have the small expectation of pregnancy, you'll be a lot more careful about the act.

gahrie said...

I really wish women had access to birth control and the right to control when they had sex so that they didn't need to kill their babies for convenience.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I don't much enjoy being called a liar when having an honest discussionin good faith. It's unnecessary.

I don't have much respect for argument by handwaving. It's fine to dispute factual assertions and if someone believes something doesn't have a factual basis and therefore shouldn't be taken seriously it's perfectly fine to say so, but it's usually good form to back up that dismissal with something other than "nah-uh, that's not true!/"counter assertion.

Anyway as a tactic handwaving isn't all that convincing. As a completely random example I remember people asserting that late term abortions for "convenience" (done for reasons other than severe fetal abnormality or woman's health) never happened and therefore anyone basing an argument over problems of that sort was a liar, etc. I also remember Kermit Gosnell...and the fact that he was convicted on something like 20 counts of performing just such illegal late term abortions. Did the handwaving successfully obscure those actual facts? I don't think so--I think it makes it easier to argue that the handwavers themselves are ignoring reality in that case.

gahrie said...

I don't much enjoy being called a liar when having an honest discussionin good faith. It's unnecessary.

Althouse becomes quite insulting when forced to defend the indefensible.

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

In my discussions with pro-choicers over the years, the argument always made against pro-lifers is that many base their moral convictions on theological principles, & that this results in a morally invalid political imposition on non-believers.

So, I grant them that for the sake of argument, and then ask them so, then, let's deal in questions of moral philosophy. Give me examples of moral philosophers who argue for abortion rights that you find convincing. What's strange is that even the people who know the literature tend to find it not particularly morally convincing. Often, pro-choicers default to a Standpoint-theory style "The Experience of Women" blah-blah-blah kind of argument, which has a sort of immediate appeal, but ultimately fails to establish why 1) Men should give moral care to "The Experience of Women" or 2) why do so many pro-life women not seem to share that same "womanly" experience.

My personal favorite (so as to speak, since I'm quite anti-abortion) is Stanley Cavell's line that "Abortion is like prisons. At best, a necessary evil". I would guess one of the strongest pro-abortion line of thought comes out of Ronald Dworkin's Life's Dominion. But Dworkin is like Peter Singer --- he's honest & thorough enough to admit that the logic of unrestricted abortion takes us to moral places that we in our common world of moral sense just don't want to go. To get the flavor of this, here's a review.

Lewis Wetzel said...

The Wired article doesn't have an image showing what a fetus looks like at six weeks, so I found one online.
It's definitely more than a clump of cells, it looks a little like a tadpole, with a torso, head, and growths that will become arms and legs.
Abortion isn't an issue close to my heart, but I don't like the dishonesty of the pro-abortion side. They seem blood thirsty.
I've read diaries and some of the letters nazi war criminals wrote at the time they were committing atrocities. They almost universally referred to the importance of avoiding sentimentality in doing their work. They must have been taught this dodge at nazi boot camp. Sentimentality is giving a thing a higher emotional value than it deserves to have, so it is a value judgment. I think that the pro abortion forces are trying to avoid sentimentality in doing their work.
Not that there is anything wrong with that. I suppose soldiers, judges, and other people who have to do bad things to people to achieve a greater good also learn to avoid sentimentality.

n.n said...

Another description of our evolution.

Fetal Development: Stages of Growth

and

Pregnancy Visual Timeline

At around the seventh week, we bear a remarkable resemblance to E.T. Or, perhaps, E.T. bears a remarkable resemblance to us.

Inga...Allie Oop said...

“Hi Inga. Apparently even Althouse can't support all of the Trump enabled deplorable agenda. Can't wait to hear from Shouting Thomas on the radfemarx angle.”

Reading these comments by these Deplorables makes me think calling them “deplorable” is way too kind.

Skippy Tisdale said...

"Our media should run photographs of aborted infants at 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 14 weeks, 18 weeks, and 22 weeks. Let's get some fucking honesty about what an abortion looks like. Show us! Or shut up with your "cluster of cells" bullshit."

Here you go...

https://www.babycenter.com/pregnancy

Fen said...

Having been on both sides of this debate for 30 years (I flipped twice), my experience is that women who get irrational and emotional during the discussion have had abortions and are still dealing with regret and shame.

Interestingly, none of the pro-life women I've encountered have behaved this. Even the ones who admit to having abortions.

Lewis Wetzel said...

We have scientific definitions of what is and what is not a person. In the olden days they didn't have blood tests, they knew nothing about how the sex act led, eventually, to the birth of a human being by the mother, though they of course they knew it was a result of coitus.
So I did some research. Before the scientific revolution a human was considered human because it had a human mother and father. The implication is that a human is a human from conception, even though back then they had no idea how sperm and egg combined to make a baby.

n.n said...

Stanley Cavell's line that "Abortion is like prisons. At best, a necessary evil"

I characterize elective abortion (a.k.a. one-child, selective-child, planned parenthood) as a "wicked solution", albeit to a hard problem, specifically a woman's -- and often man's -- pursuit of social progress: wealth, pleasure, leisure, aspiration, and democratic leverage.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 361   Newer› Newest»