At the final Democratic debate last night between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist-Loonbaggia), Clinton brought up the issue of abortion. This is not her strongest issue, given that Democrats’ stated position is that killing babies up to the point of birth represents true exercise of female freedom. But she went for it anyway.
“We’ve had eight debates before, this is our ninth,” said Clinton. “We’ve not had one question about a woman’s right to make her own decisions about reproductive health care. Not one question!” Abortion, she continued, “goes to the heart of who we are as women, our rights, our autonomy, our ability to make our own decisions, and we need to be talking about that and defending Planned Parenthood from these outrageous attacks.”
The left’s position on abortion is truly extreme and repulsive. The “right to choose” for any person should never include the ability to “choose” whether another human being is in fact a human being. By labeling the ability to redefine human life at will an aspect of female identity, Clinton puts herself in the company of antebellum Southern plantation owners who believed that their special status as white men gave them the ability to define whether a black person was property or a human being.
Here’s Hillary on abortion, after being asked by Chuck Todd of NBC “does an unborn child have constitutional rights”:
Well, under our laws, currently, that is not something that exists. The unborn person doesn’t have Constitutional rights.
Here’s Roger Taney’s infamously evil and legally wrong decision in Scott v. Sandford circa 1857:[T]he Constitution recognises the right of property of the master in a slave, and makes no distinction between that description of property and other property owned by a citizen, no tribunal, acting under the authority of the United States, whether it be legislative, executive, or judicial, has a right to draw such a distinction or deny to it the benefit of the provisions and guarantees which have been provided for the protection of private property against the encroachments of the Government.
Call it the slaveholder right to choose.
The root of evil lies in dehumanization on the basis of convenience. There is a reason the Nazis routinely referred to their enemies, particularly Jews, as “subhuman.” Hutus demonized Tutsis in Rwanda as subhuman “cockroaches.” As David Livingstone Smith has argued, “When people dehumanize others, they actually conceive of them as subhuman, they actually conceive of them as subhuman creatures,” freeing them to “liberate aggression.”
Leftists love to be the choosers… those who choose what a right is, choose who is worthy of life, choose who is a racist, choose who works their life away to pay for their right to be choosers. However, they DON’T like articles like this that shows a valid comparison between their ideology and the things in life they pretend to oppose.
The State has no Constitutional authority whatsoever to force a woman to give birth against her will. It doesn’t matter a whit what any church or any political party might think about her decision. It’s her body, her most personal and private decision, and nobody else’s business. The fact that she made an earlier choice leading to the situation doesn’t matter either. An unwise decision to engage in sexual activity does not involve signing an understanding that in so doing one surrenders sovereign authority over one’s own body.
Freedom ceases to exist when choice is absent. To the extent that we support personal freedom, we must support the right to make personal choices that we disagree with.
@Greg: The State also does not endow individuals the right to make life or death decisions based upon the individual’s whims, convenience or social standing.
Childbirth is a natural process, not a legal process. The woman (and the man) can make the decision of conception BEFORE the act of sex. After that, the determination of when life actually begins comes into play, a question you liberals simply wish did not exist to be asked.
As with all things liberal, give you and inch and you try to take control of society. In this case, grant the “right” of abortion while it is arguable that a life actually exists or not and you want to abort right up to the moment of delivery, when there is NO possible argument as to whether or not you are discarding a mas of cells or a viable human life.
And so we come to the argument Curt makes; you liberals are essentially making the same decision slave masters made; your moral concerns don’t apply because we are not discussing people; we are discussing property… and it is property because I say so. You say abortion is a mere choice of convenience, a woman’s “right” because we are talking about garbage, not life.
The only problem is, you are absolutely wrong.
@Bill:Note–many of Curt’s posts are not written by Curt and he may or may not be in agreement with what is written.
Many thoughts on the human fetus—I and many others believe viability and “life” begins with sentience rather than conception.
Give liberals an inch? Really? There are already a great many restrictions on when abortion is allowable, and under what circumstances. Specifically where can a line be drawn that the right will finally be satisfied with?
Perhaps if the religious right clarified that point, those who feel obliged to defend a woman’s freedom of choice against other people’s religiously-informed restrictions would relax a bit. You see, the problem is that we think we know just how far back you’d like to turn the clock on this and on a number of other individual rights issues. All of that intended turning back has to do with religious precepts rather than Constitutionally defined principles, and that isn’t happening.
The First Amendment to the Constitution was put there specifically to prevent the imposition of religious precepts, utilizing government as a tool. Your right to follow such precepts yourself is protected; any attempt to use government to impose them on others is forbidden.
@Rich Wheeler: Well, I am certainly not smart enough to figure out the moment of the spark of life, but one thing is for sure; a baby that can be delivered 7 weeks or so prematurely and live is not fodder for abortion. I am no anti-abortion zealot, but I know murder when I see it. The left’s insistence on abortion at any time throughout a pregnancy for any reason whatsoever is denying reality.
@Greg: What restriction would there be, Greg? And whatever they are, what restrictions would the left be willing to abide by? The current stance is that there should be NO restrictions, that partial birth abortion up to the day of delivery is the woman’s choice and the market for the spare parts should be allowed to thrive (just about the only free market the left supports, by the way).
When religion states that life begins at conception, that is a point to contend with. So, why don’t you tell me the moment selected as the moment the gob of cells is considered a life… as I stated, this is the question the left will NOT address as they want NO restriction whatsoever.
The earliest known premature births to have resulted in survival are James Elgin Gill, who was born 21 weeks and 5 days after conception, and Amillia Taylor, who was born 21 weeks and six days after conception. Survival after so early a birth is all but impossible. 7 week gestation survivals simply don’t happen.
There’s certainly no higher brain function at 7 weeks, because there’s no functional higher brain. The part of the brain that feels pain isn’t sufficiently developed to process nerve impulses until around the 28th week.
More than half of American women live in states where abortion is already prohibited at about 24 to 26 weeks of pregnancy. That seems sufficiently restrictive to me. I would consider it an acceptable point of compromise, provided exceptions were made for medical or other unusual circumstances.
Some people’s brain never functions. Maybe if there were a means to determine brain potential in the womb, there would be fewer liberals!
Obviously I misread the portion of Bill’s comment that I quoted in #7, but I seem to be locked out of the post and cannot correct it at this point. He was referring to survival in the case of births occurring at a point that’s 7 weeks premature, which is certainly not a rare event these days.
Normal human gestation is 40 weeks. That would be a 33 week gestation. The final week of the 2nd trimester is the 27th week, which is what I was suggesting as a reasonable point of compromise. With sufficient medical support, survival is possible even earlier than 27 weeks, as the two instances I mentioned would prove.
I don’t consider viability outside the womb to logically define a good legal boundary, since it would quickly become a moving boundary. Ex vitro gestations from conception forward are no longer outside the realm of scientific possibility.
@Greg: I said 7 weeks premature, not 7 weeks gestation. But, at least you make my point. The previous barrier of 20 weeks is pretty definitive. Abortions beyond that point for any reason but a danger to the mother is pretty much killing a human being. Yet, the left wants no such restriction even though there is no reasonable argument to justify delaying a decision to that point.
Between encouraging a lack of responsibility and pandering to those who worship at the alter of abortion, lives are endangered, just as pandering to the Black Lives Matter terrorists endangers lives. But, for the left, votes and political power is far more important than lives.
I believe what “pro-life” activists actually want is the total elimination a woman’s right to choose to terminate a pregnancy on her own authority. I believe they view legislating increasingly restrictive conditions that must be met as nothing less than an incremental approach to achieving that objective. I don’t believe they recognize that any such right exists.
The extremism of their position is directly responsible for the level of push-back. Women simply won’t accept the elimination of a freedom of choice that has existed now for 43 years. Women vote. There are, in fact, more female voters than male voters. The world has changed. Attitudes and beliefs have changed. The GOP cannot roll back history to an earlier era. They need to come to terms with the world that actually exists.
Dem would LOVE to make abortion an issue in the POTUS 2016 election
Rafael Cruz says no exemptions for rape or incest. Well I guess he now has s lock on the vote of rapists that want father’s rights upheld
@Greg: Anyone that believes that life begins at conception would naturally wish for an end of abortion. However, religion is not in the driver’s seat. That won’t change unless there is a definitive ruling that life does, indeed, begin at conception.
Of course you and the rest of the left will not discuss that moment as you are deathly afraid of some restriction applied to a lack of responsibility. There should be no rules, no laws, no boundaries except when applied to basic human freedoms. Gun control is a great contrast; the left dreams of extreme restrictions place on those LEAST likely to be the problem, for safety is not the issue; CONTROL is the issue. But, suggest a restriction on something laboriously twisted into some “right”? HORRORS!!
However, the 20 week threshold is pretty clear and definitive. There is life at that time, regardless of how you want to define it. Abortions beyond that time is killing a living thing, a human person. How any human with morals and a conscience can abide that is incredible.
As is clear from the tone of some of the posts, the pro-abortion side is doing exactly what the pro-slavery side did, that is denying the humanity of their target.
Regardless of rhe stage of human development, zygote, embryo or fetus, it is NOT part of the woman’s body. It is INSIDE her womb, and possessing from the moment of fertilization, a unique set of DNA, completely different from that of the woman. The fact that even after viability, pro-aborts want to deny the humanity of the fetus, is barbaric. It is telling that the fetus, who has done nothing wrong, is marked for death, while the man and woman who conceived the child are not to be held responsible for their actions by the pro-aborts.
Sentience as a marker for the right to life denies the normal progression of human development that is well known. Applying the right to life only upon the event of exiting the womb is utterly nonscientific, unless pro-aborts can produce evidence of a single adult who came into existence without first having completed the zygotic, embryonic, and fetal stages of the human life cycle. Just as slaveowners denied the humanity of blacks for their own convenience, so do pro-aborts deny the humanity of humans in the pre-parturitional stages of the human life cycle for their convenience. THAT is the what the science of human biology tells us unequivocally. All the nonsense over sentience represents is an inhumane rationalization for the killing of the preborn.
And the idea that a 24 week infant cannot feel pain is complete garbage. Come to my NICU and see a 24 weeker cry, and pull away when my nurses have to poke needles into them for blood draws or IV placement, then tell me infants don’t feel pain until 27 or 28 weeks. “Scientists” used to say infants at term didn’t need local anesthesia when undergoing circumcision at term (37-40 weeks) when I was an intern, in spite of clear evidence in the form of a shrieking infant in front of them undergoing a circ.
The human life cycle includes the rhythmic contraction of the heart at about 4 weeks gestation, which is typically the earliest time a woman can know she is pregnant. Death is certified legally when the heart stops beating, even in cases of brain death. Cases of brain death involve situations where the patient’s brain has been so severely damaged it is considered unlikely the patient will ever recover brain function. This is clearly NOT the case for a fetus in the womb, where the brain is growing and maturing, a process that continues into an individual human’s 20s.
An individual who has suffered brain death and exhibits an irreversible absence of the higher brain activity associated with sentience is no longer considered a person having legal rights, even though various organs continue to function. The person may be declared dead even though the heart continues to beat and a capacity for respiration continues. This is the point where healthy organs are ideally taken for transplant. I believe the donor body is sometimes referred to as a “beating heart cadaver.”
Clearly, then, there’s a very strong legal precedent that recognizes a correlation between personhood and the presence of brain activity associated with a capacity for sentience. From that, I believe a couple of important conclusions logically follow:
If a capacity for such brain activity has not yet been attained by a developing fetus, a person having legal rights does not yet exists.
If such a capacity once existed but has irreversibly ended, a person having legal rights no longer exists.
In either case, we’re basically talking about an empty human form, with no person actually present.
The fact that an empty human form in some stage of development is genetically distinct from the body in which gestation occurs doesn’t matter. A unique set of human DNA is totally irrelevant to the question regarding the presence of a person who has separate legal rights. DNA is no more a person than the instructions for building a ship are a ship.
@Greg: When does brain activity begin? When the embryo begins to kick? When it sucks its thumb? Or, when it can read?
You’re still avoiding the question.
What a completely disingenuous argument.
There is a great difference between an individual whose brain is irreparably damaged and the developing fetal brain. In the context of human life, the individual whose brain has been so severely damaged that it cannot recover function by definition cannot ever regain normal activity. The developing fetal brain is an entirely different scenario in that it will continue to grow and develop unless outside entities actively terminate said growth.
The ship design argument is another woefully irrelevant pro-abort talking point. Ship designs are inanimate objects with no internal capability of building themselves, whereas from the moment of conception the new human is actively building itself within the womb, unless an outside force acts to interrupt via killing the developing human.
Arguing for “very strong legal precedent” was the same position used by those who supported slavery, and led to legal rulings that required escaped slaves be sent back to slaveowners.
Having separate, unique DNA is absolutely relevent, especially when combined with the scientific fact that the developing human is inside, but not part of, the woman’s body. Furthermore, the fact that infants have survived outside the womb at what is classified as fetal gestational age highlights that abortion is nothing less than killing for the selfish convenience of those who have already exited the womb.
A biological process that, if uninterrupted, could result in the future appearance of a self-aware person is not that outcome already realized. It’s not a person. It’s only the potential for a person.
I find it absurd to be drawing parallels between the advocacy of choice and the support of slavery, when taking away choice is essentially a matter of robbing a woman of sovereign control of her own body. Taking away her choice in matters of reproduction is a sort of enslavement.
There’s only one person who has any moral or constitutional authority to decide whether to give birth or to terminate a pregnancy, and that’s the owner of the pregnant body in question. The as yet non-existent person who could come into being at some time in the future if the pregnant woman elects to continue the process gets no vote. Neither do congregation members of some church across town, who may take personal offense at her decision owing to religiously informed (or misinformed) thoughts regarding when a soul might inhabit a developing human body. It’s not their decision to make.
It seems to me that it would be far better to focus our attentions on alleviating the suffering of countless conscious human beings who already exist, rather than worrying about those who do not. That, of course, requires actual effort. It sometimes requires that something be given up to benefit others who we most often don’t personally know. It isn’t action energized by anger, nor does it lend itself to becoming a means of striking out at those we disagree with.
Personally, I think the abortion issue has become all of those things. It has become a means for the GOP to garner votes. They’ve been pushing the issue as hard as they can, everywhere they can. What they fail to realize is that this is a two-edged political weapon. The push will result in an even harder push back.
How ironic that you find “absurd, the clear parallel between the 19th century position that denied the humanity of slaves with the current pro-abort denial of the humanity of the preborn human. You simply continue engaging in twisted, inhumane rationalization, then add to the irony by making a clumsy grasp at posing for caring for those who have escaped the womb….by calling in typical leftist fashion for higher taxes for more failed socialist welfare programs.
When an argument can’t be rebutted with logic, as would seem to be the case here, there’s always an ad hominem attack waiting in the wings.
I do, in fact, deny that the early stage of a biological process that could eventually give rise to a person if uninterrupted is already a person.
The State cannot be allowed to deprive women of sovereign authority over their own bodies, essentially mandating that they must give birth should they become pregnant, based on such a fantasy.
@Greg: When is it no longer safe to perform an abortion? When is the offending organism deemed a life?
In my opinion, at the point where a level of higher brain activity normally appears that correlates with sentience. Prior to that, I see no logical reason for restrictions. From that point forward, I think medical justification is necessary. No woman should be forced to continue a pregnancy that threatens her life. No woman should be forced to continue a pregnancy that has resulted from rape or incest. Nor do I believe a woman should be forced to continue a pregnancy where it appears profound mental and/or physical deformities will be present. That should be her decision to make.
I think a lot of people might consider such guidelines to be on the conservative end of the liberal spectrum. All I can say is that to me they seem to strike the correct logical balance. Since no laws are ever perfect, I support those that err on the side of individual choice and personal freedom.
@Greg: You seem to differ from Hillary, then. I guess the final question is, when the life is taken beyond the point of viability/sentience, what is that called?
I would call it murder. The jury in the Kermit Gosnell case called it murder. Hillary calls it a right to deny that life any rights. Back to the point, she uses the same logic the slave holders used.
Which is your rationalization to justify abortion by dehumanizing the preborn human, Greg. And how laughable that you pretend you are refuting any arguments as you claim your positions aren’t refuted.
Is the fertilzed human egg going to continue growing into anything other than an embryo, then a fetus, then an infant, toddler, child, adolescent, adult, elderly person until natural death, if unmolested by an outside force that terminates the individual prior to reaching a particular stage in the human life cycle?
If you cannot identify the moment of onset of neurological sentience of the developing fetus, yet you KNOW the individual will naturally continue growth and development along the well-defined human life cycle if left unmolested, AND you know that from the moment of conception the fertilzed egg, if left to follow the normal human life cycle unmolested, will not grow into a pencil, or a fern, a fly, an IRS 1040 form, nor anything else but a human being, then you are doing nothing but twisting in selfish ideological zealotry denying the innate humanity of the preborn all to avoid admitting a human life is being terminated.
You refute nothing. You swim in the feculent mire of moral relativism, deflecting difficult truths while pretending to care about “rights”.
I understand that what could be in the future, but does not yet exist, cannot rationally be treated as if it were already here.
A fertilized egg, or an embryo or fetus that might someday become a person is not yet a person.
A woman who becomes pregnant is not the mother of a child. She only has the potential to become one. What is at issue is the termination of a pregnancy, not the termination of a child.
@Greg: So, no one can be sued for wrongful death and be awarded expected future earnings of the deceased?
You refuse to acknowledge that the preborn human WILL, if left unmolested, continue on the well defined human life cycle, just as the neonate that has just escaped the womb WILL continue on the same defined human life cycle. Said neonate MAY become a doctor, lawyer, scientist or plumber, but must be allowed to continue said life cycle to reach that potential. The ONLY difference between the freshly born neonate and the preborn human is the individual entity’s location on the human life cycle. THAT is the science in context, and the rationalizations pro-aborts use to avoid acknowledgment of that fact are thinly veiled selfishness.
I don’t deny that. I just don’t see how it’s relevant. The potential to become a person is not yet a person.
If we were to make the potential and the realized thing equal, we’d instantly arrive at the point where a fertilized egg is legally a person—a conclusion which I consider to be rationally unsupportable. Somewhere along the developmental continuum a line is crossed that divides an insentient biological process from an aware, sentient being. The former condition has no rights of its own. There’s nothing there to confer rights upon. We don’t recognize rights belonging to an empty human form.
The pregnant woman has certain rights in connection with that process. She can be wrongfully deprived of a choice. She can be robbed of a choice to become a mother, as well as of a choice not to become a mother.