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Unsatisfying Alternatives
The Never-ending Abortion Wars
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  • Boritz

    “the reality is that when women don’t have access to safe abortion clinics, other means will be found.”

    Another reality: On September 1, 1999 the Texas Legislature lowered the legal blood alcohol limit from 0.1 to 0.08% forcing a number of formerly law abiding citizens of both genders to drive drunk.

  • Marcus_V

    “Roe v. Wade took one approach, but after 40 years, it seems clear that most of the country wants to try something different. ”

    Do you have recent polling data to support this? I suspect you do not.

    From 2013:

  • FriendlyGoat

    The political “abortion wars” are mostly about Republicans hoping to trick voters into enabling high-end tax cuts and union busting.
    People at TAI are not so dense as to not know this—-so you ought to discuss the real politics surrounding abortion. It wouldn’t hurt to mention the five Catholic Republican males of the Supreme Court in this context too.

    • Fred

      Why is it so inconceivable to you that people could actually care that we’ve killed God knows how many children since 1973? For that matter, why do you find it so inconceivable that people could believe, rightly or wrongly, that tax cuts can spur growth and/or that the government is too big and has too much power and tax cuts are a potential means of “starving the beast”? On the comment thread for “The Left (Once) Loved Snipers, Too” you got quite irate at a commenter who asserted that all “progressives” lie and that their “compassion” is a smokescreen for amassing power and using it oppressively. Mr. Pot, meet Mr. Kettle.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Because tax cuts DO NOT spur the growth of jobs anyone can live on—-the effect of tax cuts actually is opposite what you claim.. Because government spending IS, in fact, almost always on jobs—and the government is not “too big”. Because “we” have not killed children. Women choose whether they will deliver children. You and I as guys do not.

        • Fred

          Because tax cuts DO NOT spur the growth of jobs anyone can live on—-the effect of tax cuts actually is opposite what you claim.. Because government spending IS, in fact, almost always on jobs—and the government is not “too big”.
          That’s an argument that can be made and, despite your air of absolute assurance, with which reasonable people can disagree, but you’re missing the point. The point is that you rarely address real conservative arguments. You usually put the most uncharitable interpretation you can on the most extreme position you can find and attack that straw man. When you do address the argument, you do so only to attribute it to the worst possible motives and then attack the motives, as though a) conservatives never sincerely hold a position and believe it to be in the interest of individuals and the common good whether or not you think the position is mistaken and b) “progressives” act only from the purest motives and would never sully there ideals with cynical power politics or corruption. In fact, neither a) nor b) is the case. A further point is that if you actually listened to what your interlocutors were saying and addressed there actual arguments instead of attacking straw men or making ad hominem attacks on their motives, keeping in mind you have no monopoly on knowledge and virtue, you might find this forum a bit more hospitable. Just sayin’.

  • lhfry

    I believe women are safest when abortion is legal. However, and this is a big however, freely available abortion has unfortunate consequences particularly when it is marketed as just one more form of birth control. Those on the left argue that abortion should be a personal choice as if it only has consequences for the actor. Not true – it has society-wide consequences as do all personal decisions.

    One example is sex selective abortion. In some countries, such as China and India because of the preference for boy children, there is now a huge surplus of men who will never find wives in their own populations. Estimates for China are more than 50 million. Unattached males can result in greater violence in the world when they are controlled by dictators who can deploy them for making war.

    The moral questions are stickier. Irreverence for life has led to euthanasia in some countries for the infirm aged and the permanently disabled as well as the mounting of arguments that adults should have the right to end the life of a child after birth:
    Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton has long argued for neonaticde. These are not the ravings of lunatics, but carefully made arguments for their views in professional and well regarded general publications. Pushback seems only to come from the religious, so the arguments must be making headway among the secular.

    I believe abortion should remain legal but severely restricted. The attitude toward it should be that of a necessary evil – resorted to only in dire circumstances, not simply for convenience. When Roe v Wade was decided, reliable birth control was new and not available everywhere. It is now, and therefore there is no excuse for an unwanted pregnancy.

    • Fred

      It all depends on what you mean by “severely restricted.” In the case of the mother’s life or rape (which are actually a miniscule percentage of abortions) I would say there’s an argument to be made that you have a situation morally akin to killing in self-defense or collateral damage in a just war. Otherwise, there is absolutely no excuse for taking an innocent human life.

  • Cory Atkin

    In the Star Trek universe, the aliens are always referring to us humans as carbon based life forms. “Greetings carbon based life forms,
    prepare to be assimilated”, or “we have determined you carbon based life forms are a virus and must be exterminated”, they say to the current captain of the Enterprise, thus setting off a series of action scenes where the humans heroically prove once again that there is far more to being human than having a bunch of carbon in our cells.

    The other day, I was reading an article from a member of the pro-abortion consortium who said, “I don’t see what the big deal is with abortion. Fetuses are nothing more than wads of flesh, no different than an appendix. Nobody gets their knickers in a knot when somebody has their appendix removed.”

    Wads of flesh. Just like an appendix. I hadn’t heard that one before.

    If we’re ever going to navigate through our cultural civil war without pulling out our guns, then it is a good idea to really listen to what the other side is saying and see if they have a point.

    So lets take a look at it. Wads of flesh. Just like an appendix. That’s the argument.

    First point: wad of flesh. Is that an accurate description of a fetus? Yes, from a purely biological point of view, it is accurate. However, while not terribly flattering, it is also a pretty good description for all of us. We are all nothing more than big, walking, wads of flesh.

    The second point: just like an appendix. Is that an accurate description as well? No. A fetus differs from an appendix in that it
    is genetically unique. An appendix is an extension of the body, built by the same genetic code that constructed the rest of the body. A fetus, on the other hand, is built from an entirely different genetic code created at conception. In that sense, it is a very different thing than an appendix.

    Therefore, while the first part of the argument is entirely accurate, the second part isn’t even close.

    Let’s walk this thing through a little more. Biologically speaking, we are all genetically unique wads of flesh, each at different levels of development and consciousness, and each marching to the beat of our own unique DNA.

    Those Star Trek aliens could just as accurately say, “Greetings genetically unique wads of flesh, prepare to be assimilated”, or “we have determined that you genetically unique wads of flesh are a virus and must be exterminated”.

    Just like those Star Trek aliens who don’t have a problem with annihilating us since we are just wads of flesh, history shows we have the same tendency. The Jews were just wads of flesh to the Nazis. The black slaves were just wads of flesh to the confederate elite. The Native Americans were just wads of flesh to many early Americans. The list goes on and on.

    And now, we have added unborn children to the list as well, with the same horrifying results (as seen in Doctor Gosnell’s abortion clinic).

    Even though we too frequently fail to rise to the occasion, we have the ability to be so much more than our biological description. The thing that makes humans amazing is our ability to adopt and live by civilizing ideas such as love, integrity, and honor, with the greatest
    ideas ever enumerated being those of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These ideals are the ones that have allowed many of us to leave the barbarian tribe and become members of the greatest tribe on earth: the tribe of freemen.

    The human family divides itself naturally into the two tribes of freemen and tyrants. Freemen want justice and liberty for all and are thus willing to adopt the standards of morality and self-restraint needed to defend those rights in others, especially the most innocent and helpless. Tyrants want justice and liberty for themselves and are fine with inflicting slavery or death on the other wads of flesh out there in their attempt to get it.

    So yes, fetuses are in fact wads of flesh just like the rest of us, but they are also genetically unique humans entitled to the same rights to life and liberty.

    Ultimately, the question with abortion isn’t about the fetuses at all. It is about us. Are we going to join the freeman tribe and value and defend life and liberty for all, or are we going to join the tyrant tribe and snuff out the life of the unborn fetus just because they are inconvenient to our pursuit of life and liberty.

  • Cory Atkin

    In our on going abortion debate, it is important to remember that there are two distinctly different issues involved: the legal one and the moral one. They involve very different things, and so we should be clear in distinguishing between the two.

    The legal issue involves us deciding just how much, if any, the government should be involved in the process of the creation and preservation of new life.

    Government is all about the use of force, so this debate comes down to determining under what conditions force can or ought to be involved in sex and pregnancy.

    Should the government be able to dictate under what conditions people can engage in the act of creating new life (i.e. sex)? Should
    the government be able to dictate under what conditions new life can be terminated, and under what conditions it must be nurtured to birth? Or must that decision be left in the hands of the mother and the father?

    All tough questions. Lots of good (and bad) arguments on both sides.

    The moral issue, on the other hand, is not a discussion about the use of force. It is a discussion about right and wrong, about what a
    person ought to do, not what they must do.

    Here we don’t argue about pro-choice versus pro-life. Here we discuss the nature of the choice itself.

    Here we grant what is already known to be true. Regardless of what the law says, mothers will make their own decision, and will find a
    means of carrying out that decision. The choice is already theirs, and there is not much you can really do to change that.

    If commanded to abort, some will figure out how to give birth instead. If commanded to give birth, some will figure out how to abort

    The legal issue deals with whether or not a woman has sovereignty over her own body. The moral issue deals with what type of sovereign she chooses to be. When a woman gets pregnant, she becomes supreme absolute ruler over a kingdom of one (or more). Ultimately, only the woman can choose whether she will be a good ruler who nurtures and defends the rights of her subjects, or if she will be a brutal tyrant who kills her subjects based on her whims.

    God created this life as a test. When we die, he will ask us a single question: How did you treat others? No amount of worldly or business success will be able to turn the response, “I killed my own child because it was inconvenient to me” into a passing grade.

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