The Abortion Thread

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JD
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The Abortion Thread

Post by JD » 26 Jan 2017, 08:11

Holy cow, how do we not have an abortion-specific thread? Anyway, I've decided to create one, because I'd noted the following cropping up on social media: the UN has declared that abortion is a human right! (Sorry about HuffPo link; they seem to be the most commonly reposted story.)

Except that if you really read the story carefully, no, they didn't exactly declare that abortion is a human right. The UN found that "Peru had violated several articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (including the right to an effective remedy, prohibition on torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, right to private life and right of minors to measures of protection)" because Peru already recognized the right to medically necessary abortions, an abortion was deemed necessary for the life of the mother (a minor) in this case, and it was denied to her anyway. That's all a long stretch from "abortion on demand is a right, says UN".
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JD
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by JD » 26 Jan 2017, 08:26

On a related note, people are (understandably and correctly) bent out of shape about all kinds of restrictions being put on abortion rights, like "only within a certain time period", "you have to notify the parents", "you have to receive counseling" etc.

But is this not exactly the same thing we've seen at work with other, better defined rights? When you bring up political speech or guns to leftists, they start waffling on "Well, no right is absolute" because apparently restrictions on free speech are OK if it's political speech by the wrong people at the wrong time, and restrictions on guns are OK because you still have the right to bear arms if you can, at least theoretically, own some kind of gun. And now the conservatives are playing that exact same game against them: sure, we have "the right to an abortion"...subject to all these conditions. Exactly like we have collectively agreed was appropriate and correct for all these other kinds of rights!
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Sandy » 26 Jan 2017, 09:25

...or the recent, annoying trope of "if only my uterus had the same rights as guns."

If you think the gender imbalance in Congress looks bad now, wait 'till they make you leave your uterus at home in a locked safe before you come into a federal building.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Taktix® » 26 Jan 2017, 09:32

Oh, look: a bill to provide personhood to fertilized eggs: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-con ... e-bill/586

This came to me not from a pro-choice activist, but rather, from someone pointing out that this will make In Vitro Fertilization illegal. Sure, this will have to be challenged by the SCOTUS, but what's to stop Trump from changing the number of justices to something terrific like 101 and then appointing 93 Trump-loving motherfuckers to the new, yuuuuge court...
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 26 Jan 2017, 11:18

Taktix® wrote:Oh, look: a bill to provide personhood to fertilized eggs: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-con ... e-bill/586

This came to me not from a pro-choice activist, but rather, from someone pointing out that this will make In Vitro Fertilization illegal. Sure, this will have to be challenged by the SCOTUS, but what's to stop Trump from changing the number of justices to something terrific like 101 and then appointing 93 Trump-loving motherfuckers to the new, yuuuuge court...
Of course, how one frames a problem often drives a position (or vice versa). I see no reason to claim that fertilized (homo sapiens) eggs are not human beings; that is, members of the same species as you and I. Now, what the legal or moral fallout of that conclusion may be will be, as always, influenced by facts but not decided by them. And "personhood" has at least two legal senses and a handful of philosophical senses. Of course, Congress is attacking the specific sort of denial of personhood held in Roe v. Wade and its, um, progeny.

Contrary to popular fears, I doubt Trump appointees will tilt the Court dramatically away from most of its prior decisions. For example, most of the major Warren Court decisions still stand. One of the things 'conservative' justices probably believe in more sincerely than 'liberal' justices is stare decisis.

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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Hugh Akston » 26 Jan 2017, 11:26

D.A. Ridgely wrote: I see no reason to claim that fertilized (homo sapiens) eggs are not human beings; that is, members of the same species as you and I.
There are at least 26 different methods for classifying species, and surely a few of them would fail to classify a ball of cells dividing in a woman's uterus as the same kind of thing as a morphogenically developed human being.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Taktix® » 26 Jan 2017, 11:49

Hugh Akston wrote:
D.A. Ridgely wrote: I see no reason to claim that fertilized (homo sapiens) eggs are not human beings; that is, members of the same species as you and I.
There are at least 26 different methods for classifying species, and surely a few of them would fail to classify a ball of cells dividing in a woman's uterus as the same kind of thing as a morphogenically developed human being.
Unfortunately, the legislature has but one method, and that's "will this help me advance my political agenda?"...
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Shem » 26 Jan 2017, 11:57

No good can come of the existence of this thread.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Masked Grylliader » 26 Jan 2017, 12:08

So, you're saying the thread should be aborted?
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by fyodor » 26 Jan 2017, 12:23

Shem wrote:No good can come of the existence of this thread.
Does any good come out of anything?

Well I guess it depends on how you define "good".... (heehee)

Actually, I've already found some of the remarks made already to be interesting and informative and/or funny. So maybe good has already come out of it?

That said, it's sure to become a train wreck extraordinaire sooner or later. Probably sooner!

Of course, that's probably just what you meant! Hoo boy, communication is so weird....
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 26 Jan 2017, 12:25

Hugh Akston wrote:
D.A. Ridgely wrote: I see no reason to claim that fertilized (homo sapiens) eggs are not human beings; that is, members of the same species as you and I.
There are at least 26 different methods for classifying species, and surely a few of them would fail to classify a ball of cells dividing in a woman's uterus as the same kind of thing as a morphogenically developed human being.
I'm sure there are far more than 26, whether any of them apply in the instant case or not. What I mean is that, whatever else it may be, a human embryo is not a zebra embryo or a snail embryo or a whale embryo. Genetically, that ball of cells has the same signature DNA as any other homo sapiens, which is why I called it a human being. It definitely is a being by any reasonable ontological criteria and insofar as it is any particular sort of being at all, human would be the fairly obvious category.

I don't deny that people can and do distinguish between embryos, fetuses and fully developed organisms. But I am unaware of any scientific reason to deny that the fetus or embryo in question is a homo sapiens fetus or embryo and that is all I am claiming here.

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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Warren » 26 Jan 2017, 13:00

D.A. Ridgely wrote: What I mean is that, whatever else it may be, a human embryo is not a zebra embryo or a snail embryo or a whale embryo.
It's also not a suspension bridge. The point is, it's an embryo and therefore not a human being. There are other points of view.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Jennifer » 26 Jan 2017, 13:14

There's also no scientific reason to claim a human fetus or embryo has rights which supersede the rights of the human woman in whom it resides.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Sandy » 26 Jan 2017, 13:19

Masked Grylliader wrote:So, you're saying the thread should be aborted?
Shit, you didn't need the mask to make that joke.

Well, not if you're me, but I'm tasteless, so fair point, yeah
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 26 Jan 2017, 13:20

Warren wrote:
D.A. Ridgely wrote: What I mean is that, whatever else it may be, a human embryo is not a zebra embryo or a snail embryo or a whale embryo.
It's also not a suspension bridge. The point is, it's an embryo and therefore not a human being. There are other points of view.
Actually, no, that's not the point.

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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 26 Jan 2017, 13:21

Jennifer wrote:There's also no scientific reason to claim a human fetus or embryo has rights which supersede the rights of the human woman in whom it resides.
I said absolutely nothing about that except to note that such questions could not be answered merely on the basis of empirical fact.

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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Warren » 26 Jan 2017, 13:23

Sandy wrote:
Masked Grylliader wrote:So, you're saying the thread should be aborted?
Shit, you didn't need the mask to make that joke.

Well, not if you're me, but I'm tasteless, so fair point, yeah
You taste good to me.
Should I have made that joke behind the mask?

I shouldn't have made that joke should I?
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Jennifer » 26 Jan 2017, 13:27

D.A. Ridgely wrote:
Jennifer wrote:There's also no scientific reason to claim a human fetus or embryo has rights which supersede the rights of the human woman in whom it resides.
I said absolutely nothing about that except to note that such questions could not be answered merely on the basis of empirical fact.
Nonetheless, among those who believe a newly fertilized egg is a full-fledged human being, that's what the abortion debate boils down to: does a woman still own full rights to her own body after she gets pregnant, or does the just-fertilized embryo have rights which override hers?
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Baby Groot » 26 Jan 2017, 13:30

I AM groot.

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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 26 Jan 2017, 13:31

Jennifer wrote:
D.A. Ridgely wrote:
Jennifer wrote:There's also no scientific reason to claim a human fetus or embryo has rights which supersede the rights of the human woman in whom it resides.
I said absolutely nothing about that except to note that such questions could not be answered merely on the basis of empirical fact.
Nonetheless, among those who believe a newly fertilized egg is a full-fledged human being, that's what the abortion debate boils down to: does a woman still own full rights to her own body after she gets pregnant, or does the just-fertilized embryo have rights which override hers?
Actually, no.

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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by thoreau » 26 Jan 2017, 13:33

Baby Groot wrote:I AM groot.
Good point.

And grammatically correct.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Jennifer » 26 Jan 2017, 13:38

D.A. Ridgely wrote:
Jennifer wrote:
D.A. Ridgely wrote:
Jennifer wrote:There's also no scientific reason to claim a human fetus or embryo has rights which supersede the rights of the human woman in whom it resides.
I said absolutely nothing about that except to note that such questions could not be answered merely on the basis of empirical fact.
Nonetheless, among those who believe a newly fertilized egg is a full-fledged human being, that's what the abortion debate boils down to: does a woman still own full rights to her own body after she gets pregnant, or does the just-fertilized embryo have rights which override hers?
Actually, no.
Then what is the argument for disallowing abortion even in the earliest stages?

Related: a Texas lawmaker has proposed a bill which would outlaw abortion in all stages, with no exception for rape or incest victims, and furthermore would charge any woman who had an abortion with murder. Said the law would force women to be "more personally responsible" for their sexual behavior.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Warren » 26 Jan 2017, 13:45

Jennifer wrote:
D.A. Ridgely wrote:
Jennifer wrote:
D.A. Ridgely wrote:
Jennifer wrote:There's also no scientific reason to claim a human fetus or embryo has rights which supersede the rights of the human woman in whom it resides.
I said absolutely nothing about that except to note that such questions could not be answered merely on the basis of empirical fact.
Nonetheless, among those who believe a newly fertilized egg is a full-fledged human being, that's what the abortion debate boils down to: does a woman still own full rights to her own body after she gets pregnant, or does the just-fertilized embryo have rights which override hers?
Actually, no.
Then what is the argument for disallowing abortion even in the earliest stages?

Related: a Texas lawmaker has proposed a bill which would outlaw abortion in all stages, with no exception for rape or incest victims, and furthermore would charge any woman who had an abortion with murder. Said the law would force women to be "more personally responsible" for their sexual behavior.
The argument is, that it's murder. The woman's rights to her body don't trump the child's right to life. Your right to do what you want with your body doesn't include wrapping your hand over someone's face and suffocating them. I don't agree with this thinking, but it's not hard to understand and it's perfectly consistent under an inalienable rights paradigm.
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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 26 Jan 2017, 13:46

I have made the points I thought worth making. I have little reason to believe arguing beyond those points is worthwhile.

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Re: The Abortion Thread

Post by Jennifer » 26 Jan 2017, 13:51

Warren wrote:
Jennifer wrote:
D.A. Ridgely wrote:
Jennifer wrote:
D.A. Ridgely wrote:
Jennifer wrote:There's also no scientific reason to claim a human fetus or embryo has rights which supersede the rights of the human woman in whom it resides.
I said absolutely nothing about that except to note that such questions could not be answered merely on the basis of empirical fact.
Nonetheless, among those who believe a newly fertilized egg is a full-fledged human being, that's what the abortion debate boils down to: does a woman still own full rights to her own body after she gets pregnant, or does the just-fertilized embryo have rights which override hers?
Actually, no.
Then what is the argument for disallowing abortion even in the earliest stages?

Related: a Texas lawmaker has proposed a bill which would outlaw abortion in all stages, with no exception for rape or incest victims, and furthermore would charge any woman who had an abortion with murder. Said the law would force women to be "more personally responsible" for their sexual behavior.
The argument is, that it's murder. The woman's rights to her body don't trump the child's right to life. Your right to do what you want with your body doesn't include wrapping your hand over someone's face and suffocating them. I don't agree with this thinking, but it's not hard to understand and it's perfectly consistent under a inalienable rights paradigm.
Your analogy isn't the same thing, though. Saying "Don't suffocate a baby by putting your hand over its face" or "don't starve a newborn by refusing to give it food (or handing it over to an adoption agency which will care for it)" is not synonymous with "You must allow your own personal body and bodily functions to be used to keep another person alive for the next nine months."

Remember the discussions over the distinctions between positive and negative rights? The right to life is a negative right -- as in, "I have the right to live without you coming along and killing me." But I don't have the positive right to demand use of someone else's biological functions to keep my own going. If I require a bone marrow transplant to stay alive, for example, I don't have the right to force anybody (even my own mother or father) to donate that marrow on my behalf -- though neither should the government have the right to outlaw bone marrow donations and transplants. There isn't even a right to force someone to donate blood for a transfusion -- and blood donation is far less invasive than bone marrow donations, and far less invasive than taking over another person's body for nine months.
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