David Thompson
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January 25, 2017

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Hopp Singg

boudoir, which is French for “room for pouting in.”

Ah, a safe space!

Sam

Ultrasound shows the unborn baby is an unborn baby.
Therefore we must discourage ultrasounds.

#FeministLogic

David

#FeministLogic

See also this by Sean Davis:

Weigel’s anger is not limited just to medical imaging technology, though. She’s also extremely upset at the way social media allows newly pregnant moms to share their joy over the internet. “In many ways, social media have heightened the social reality of the unborn,” Weigel writes before sneering at the women who happily post pictures of their unborn babies on Instagram or Facebook, thereby promulgating the horrific notion that the babies growing inside them are actually babies growing inside them.

“Yet it remains unclear what the popular enthusiasm for foetal images actually means,” Weigel concludes. Is it really unclear? The popular enthusiasm for pictures of unborn babies is popular enthusiasm for the eventual entry into the world of those babies and the unlimited potential they represent. How jaded and bitter a person do you have to be to feign shock at people who express joy over the creation of human life?

The word dehumanise comes to mind.

abacab

How jaded and bitter a person do you have to be to feign shock at people who express joy over the creation of human life?

When you're so intellectually-invested in abortion as an objective, unalloyed good, anything that brings that at all into doubt is... what's the usual word these days? Ah yes, "problematic".

Microbillionaire
After all, the points at which the real world intrudes upon academia are so few and so tenuous that academics may be forgiven for some of their hyperbole and inadvertently comic displays of self-importance. They exist, like kept women of yore, entirely at the pleasure of an affluent society they despise.

I would also add that in many ways they're like stereotypical royal courtiers of yore, living in a world of useless micro-gradations that they consider to be the height of refinement. At a fancy court you'd get booed for not being familiar with the fifteen pieces of cutlery scattered about your plate and their proper order of use at a meal. Similarly, in today's clown quarter you'll get booed for not being familiar with the fifteen genders assembled and their proper pronouns of address.

Ray

Exactly.
Heels are half an inch higher this season, and that shade of blue is out.

Microbillionaire

And you absolutely must stop with the cisnormativity of displaying vaginal symbolism at the Women's March.

Microbillionaire

When everything is a five-alarm fire, nothing is.

Trump orders wall. Trump threatens Chicago with sending in the Feds. Trump cuts migration from countries Obama bombed. Trump ends funding for foreign abortions. Trump argues over the size of his inauguration crowd. Trump offers to rehear the Keystone pipeline. Trump summons Chaos (James Mattis). Trump calls CNN "fake news". He hasn't been in office a week, and he seems to be doing too much too fast for the press to keep up even if the press were to focus on the important things rather than, for instance, whether or not the weather turned sunny after one of Trump's speeches. It's fascinating to watch. Donald Trump, practically the incarnation of "look, a squirrel!"

Alice

“What is a foetal heartbeat?” asks Ms Weigel. “And why does it matter?”

Wow.

David

Wow.

In the comments following the Just Thwarted Sperm post, rjmadden shared a quite graphic article titled Mugged By Ultrasound, which recounts how, “Advances in ultrasound imaging… have forced [abortion] providers ever closer to the nub of their work.” And how, “This intimacy exacts an emotional toll, stirring sentiments for which doctors, nurses, and aides are sometimes unprepared.” At the time, I wondered if improvements in, and wider access to, high resolution real-time scans would change popular opinion on the subject. Apparently, they are doing.

Microbillionaire

Oh, and Trump 'discarded a tradition fostered during the Obama administration of calling on a reporter from the Associated Press first'.

AP not happy, dedicates story to this non-event, has audacity to complain that The One Newly Called On First published fake news.

Look, a rabid dwarf squirrel! And a giant miniature space squirrel! Isn't this a wonderful squirrel, folks? Under President Trump, squirrels will be great again. We will make yuuuuge squirrels, I'm telling you. The best squirrels.

R. Sherman

It's really fascinating to watch the ever more intricate contortions of logic abortion supporters go through in order to maintain their belief that abortion is a completely amoral process. I'd have more respect for them if they simply acknowledged the humanity of the fetus, but said what they really mean: they don't care. They are willing to sacrifice others for their own personal gratification.

theresa

Another article from areomagazine makes an interesting observation:
https://areomagazine.com/2017/01/23/gad-saad-on-hysteria-and-collective-munchausen-around-donald-trump-speaking-out-as-an-academic-and-evolutionary-psychology-101/

[sorry for clumsiness of link, bit of a techtard]

David

sorry for clumsiness of link,

[ Gasps, splutters, faints with indignation. ]

Joan

Re Women's March...

https://twitter.com/TimRunsHisMouth/status/823922489780817920

bgates

American technologist Jason Kottke links to The official org chart of the US government, asking readers to take notice of what’s right at the top: [the Constitution].

One day earlier, How to Address President Obama and Donald Trump, in which Kottke stamps his feet and shouts, Again and again, almost to a pathological degree, Trump has demonstrated, in word and deed, that he has not earned and does not deserve our respect and the title of his office....And since I am all for the “one-person-at-a-time” rule, this site will also continue to refer to Barack Obama as “President Obama”. He’s earned it many times over.

In between, Kottke passes on a list of every book Barack Obama recommended during his presidency (as compiled by Entertainment Weekly), noting:

Our most widely read US President, for sure.

Update: I’m getting some pushback on my assertion that Obama was “our most widely read US President”..... I didn’t mean that he had written the most books read by the most people (that is perhaps Teddy Roosevelt) or had read the most books (George W. Bush and Roosevelt were both voracious readers, as were Jefferson, Clinton, and Lincoln). I meant that compared to previous Presidents, Obama has read books from the widest spectrum of viewpoints and authors. Among the list of 86 (which are not the books he read in office but just the ones he publicly recommended) are books on politics (of course), science, economics, sports, and medicine, some classics, children’s books, plenty of fiction, and science fiction. Most importantly, the list includes many books written by women and persons of color.....outside of Clinton and perhaps Carter, I would wager very few Presidents have read many books by women and no more than a token few books by black authors.

David

Again with the menstruation.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

Again with the menstruation.

Biohazard aside, it is always amusing to see these ninnies portraying themselves as street fighters. "Comrades, to the barricades ! What, I am the barricade ?"

David

Biohazard aside,

As noted in an earlier thread, it’s quite odd to watch a gathering of feminists complaining about “objectification” and insisting they’re more than their bodies, while wearing “pussy hats,” shouting about their vaginas and the things that leak out of them, and flashing their tits at people. It’s all rather confusing.

Spiny Norman

It’s all rather confusing.

It's almost as if it were a mass of over-indulged, self-obsessed adolescents...

Microbillionaire

Tyler Cowen at Bloomberg: Why Trump's Staff Is Lying

One of the most striking features of the early Trump administration has been its political uses of lying. The big weekend story was the obviously false claim of Donald Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, that Trump pulled in the largest inauguration crowds in American history. This raises the question of why a leader might find it advantageous to promote such lies from his subordinates.

The words that came out of Spicer's mouth are not obviously false. "This was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe". Yes, one might think that a large audience is a predictable result of population growth + increasing access to broadcast media, compounded by Trump's attention-grabbing loudmouthed-ness.

A particular family of claims repeatedly being interpreted into Spicer's mouth are obviously false, though. These are claims that focus on physical attendance count or a similar metric rather than total viewers.

Gee, why might physical attendance be low? Might there be something predictable about it?

But Tyler Cowen, who should be condemned to journalistic hell for his sins against reporting, just takes it for granted that everyone knows Spicer is lying without even giving a reference before he proceeds to give an "analysis" of why this supposed phenomenon is happening. Perhaps I should say "for shame", but I have no evidence that this Bulverist can feel shame. Let me instead say a local proverb: "Thief thinks every man steals."

Steve E

"When you're so intellectually-invested in abortion as an objective, unalloyed good, anything that brings that at all into doubt is... what's the usual word these days? Ah yes, "problematic"."

“Ideology—that is what gives evildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes, so that he won't hear reproaches and curses but will receive praise and honors. That was how the agents of the Inquisition fortified their wills: by invoking Christianity; the conquerors of foreign lands, by extolling the grandeur of their Motherland; the colonizers, by civilization; the Nazis, by race; and the Jacobins (early and late), by equality, brotherhood, and the happiness of future generations.”

Alexandr Solzhenitzen

John D

The Atlantic ran a bizarre piece by Moira Weigel titled, in Orwellian fashion, “How the Ultrasound Pushed the Idea That a Foetus Is a Person.”

Looks like someone at The Atlantic has changed the headline to 'How Ultrasound Became Political'.

David

Looks like someone at The Atlantic has changed the headline to ‘How Ultrasound Became Political’.

While morally outlandish, the original title was at least less coy about Ms Weigel’s feminist pieties.

Jacob

“What is a foetal heartbeat?” asks Ms Weigel. “And why does it matter?”

Foetal heartbeats are a pro-life conspiracy. Damn the Patriarchy!

David

Incidentally, dicentra is having a Twitter debate that’s not unrelated to one of the topics of this thread.

Hedgehog

Re the Gad Saad link: Munchausen syndrome by proxy is when you have somebody under your care — say your child — and you harm that third party to garner sympathy.

You just have to see the pictures of leftists taking their offspring to these events to know that he's on to something.

ac1

Non trivia.
http://io9.gizmodo.com/youve-been-wrong-about-where-the-death-star-trench-was-1791582520

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Incidentally, dicentra is having a Twitter debate...

This one that the leftists always pull out is so tedious:

Chaos pilot
@SisterAsphalt 4h
@dicentra33 @BethRS62 There is a difference between potential life and life. Something that COULD grow to be a human, is different.

It is life immediately after conception because cellular respiration begins. If an object has no cellular respiration, it is either dead, or an inanimate object. Unless, in this case, "something" dies, that "something" is not going to turn into a turtle or mongoose, so I would be betting on "human".

However...

Chaos pilot @SisterAsphalt 4h @dicentra33 @BethRS62 No. It can't survive on its own. It can not reproduce and it drains resources from its host.

There you have it, most leftists are neither alive, or human.

jabrwok

From Dicentra's debate, her opponent asks: Then what rights should a woman have to her own body? You want to infringe on that..

The right to keep her legs crossed maybe?

Actually I like the idea of my right to control my own body overriding the rights of all other lifeforms. True, I have no uterus or vagina, but I have a penis. As it IS my penis, where I put it is my business and no one else's. The desires of my intended recipient are irrelevant, because requiring consent would be a violation of my right to control where I put my penis. My Penis, My Choice! Keep Your Laws Off My Penis! Rape! On demand and without apology!

And I wouldn't even have to kill anyone to consummate my bodily autonomy, so who could possibly complain?

(do I really have to put in a /sarc tag?)

Microbillionaire

WaPo notices that Trump is moving fast and flinging squirrels: 11 stories from President Trump’s first 100 hours that deserve more attention

A sample of the breathless fervor on offer:

"quadrupling down on his lie...with no credible evidence...extraordinarily reckless...no benign explanation...a deliberate attempt to undermine faith in the democratic process...wild statements without any credible evidence...striking at the foundation of a democratic society...riddled with fraud...damages the very system of government"

Oh, and my first attempt to post this comment led to ALWAYS_ONLINE_NO_COPY_BOX error. Thoughts, David?

David

first attempt to post this comment led to ALWAYS_ONLINE_NO_COPY_BOX error. Thoughts, David?

I occasionally see timeouts that require me to refresh the page before posting a comment I’ve been mulling for too long, but I’ve no idea what that is.

#InsufficientTechSkillz

David

It can’t survive on its own. It can not reproduce and it drains resources from its host.

Charming criteria.

aelfheld

http://www.steynonline.com/7064/ive-got-a-crush-on-you-baby via http://www.steynonline.com/7684/wrong-and-wronger

Daniel Ream

I’ve no idea what that is.

I assume that Typepad is using CloudFlare, since that's a CloudFlare error message.

CloudFlare is a service that ensures that your web site stays up - it blocks DDoS attacks, manages traffic spikes, and caches copies of your web site's dynamically generated pages (like this one) on proxy servers so that if your actual site goes down, people still see the last copy that was cached.

In this case, ALWAYS_ONLINE_NO_COPY_BOX means that there's no copy of that web page in the proxy servers, and the proxy servers can't talk to the real web site to get the real web page.

Clear as mud?

David

Somewhat related, from the archives: A dogmatically progressive “non-binary” parent who describes the child she’s carrying at four months into pregnancy as “nothing… a bundle of cells.”

Hal

I would also add that in many ways they're like stereotypical royal courtiers of yore, living in a world of useless micro-gradations that they consider to be the height of refinement. At a fancy court you'd get booed for not being familiar with the fifteen pieces of cutlery scattered about your plate and their proper order of use at a meal.

Consider Henry II, with a focus on such labels as king, princess, duke, earl, being, in fact, job titles where all such involve doing the job, or else . . .

Consider math, where there are entire areas of information that are rather obscure and understood by rather a few---at which point the reaction of the few when encountering the many is A) Ah, let's review Such, where Thus, Thus, That, The Other, Etc, which is then followed by B) Got it? Good, welcome to the study. Now that we are all equally briefed, let w be an instance of . . . . . . . .

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Charming criteria.

Indeed, and more of the idiotic boilerplate arguments they come up with. The ICUs of the world are full of people who can't survive on their own, neither can any newborn mammal, nor are either capable of reproduction without some serious outside help, and both require "host resources". When that is pointed out, the only counterpoint I have ever heard is, "that's different", or that in their odd cosmology the nanosecond before a sprog pops out it is a clump of cells, and the nanosecond after apparently atmospheric gases turn it into a human.

Hal

I occasionally see timeouts that require me to refresh the page before posting a comment I’ve been mulling for too long, but I’ve no idea what that is.

Um. I'm not quite parsing what that in what that is. relates to . . .

. . . . But at least of the logic of website operations, and based on the same experience, an educated guess is that first a page is delivered to a browser with the primary understanding that what is delivered is the current and therefore primary data, with a known particular timestamp.

After a bit of time, while someone is staring at the current and primary page delivered to the browser, and typing things up, one of assorted others who've been doing the same hit the Post button on that browser view, to update the page on the website. At that point the browser states to the website, I have update data.

The website response is Um, hang on a second, lemme compare your time stamps with mine. My timestamps state that my current and primary was created before your update, therefore yes, I will accept your update as the later edition. The updated page then becomes the new current and primary.

And then in turn, when those still typing then hit Post, the website announces Ah, No. My information is newer than yours and therefore gets precedence. Refresh your view of my current and primary to get that actual current and primary, and then let's see about getting yours in here . . .

---and of how the JavaScript and other is set up, I'm slowly starting to dig my way in to doing my own, but haven't the particular understanding of the coding. Yet.

Hal

Oh, yes, and:

When you're so intellectually-invested in abortion as an objective, unalloyed good, anything that brings that at all into doubt is... what's the usual word these days? Ah yes, "problematic".

Bingo.

At the moment, abortion is accessible, but often involves nets of regulations. The argument against states that abortion is the murder of an unborn infant, the life of whom takes precedence over the mother. The argument in favor states that the individual rights of the mother take precedence over the child, who may or may not be a child anyway.

The latter argument becomes increasingly nebulous as medical capability advances. One can project, in time, a "Brave New World" scenario; a daily occurrence of conceiving and growing a human being artificially. With such, a governmental decision that abortion is immoral and illegal can be made, but still can not be enforced except at the cost of absolute domination of half the human race.

Of the extreme of an absolute ban, abortion would not be taught in medical schools. Both abortionists and recipients, in their various forms, would receive prison sentences on charges of murder. Individuals within the legal system would subvert that same system to help friends and family. What knowledge there is would be handed from person to person, with various levels of transmission accuracy. While there would be many who find themselves pregnant and have the child, history has shown that ban or not, there is an interest in abortion, and some would so choose instead.

Those infinitely capable would go to where abortions are legal or receive them from personal experts, be they doctors or otherwise. Those not so capable would be forced to rely on what network is available of those willing to perform abortions. Those willing would not always be able, and with a base layer of the difficulties of anything at the individual level declared illegal, there is the added layer of "The operation was a success, but the patient died."

Those even less capable would resort to what information sounds right, according to rumor, or what seems right, according to guesses. Margins of error would be almost nonexistent. Lastly, anyone involved would be potential victims of blackmail, which drags in just about anything else, depending only on those involved.

For those injured, there would be the added cost of medical care. For those injured and caught, there would be the costs of medical care on top of those of imprisonment. For both, even those not directly involved would be involved indirectly, through tax support.

In a further extreme case, those injured would be denied medical care, to prevent direct cost to taxpayers. This however would be counterproductive, as an additional level of surveillance would be required by medical personnel, police, or both. This surveillance would be to detect abortion caused injuries, and, to prevent false diagnoses, would require familiarity with the processes of abortion, such deliberate instruction to again be paid by the taxpayers.

Of the extreme of total governmental support, the procedure would be part of regular medical curriculum. Currently in China, couples are coerced into having no more than one child, which is causing side-effects of it's own. Abortions, supported by the government, would be at will and paid for by taxpayers. Resulting injuries to the mothers would be almost nonexistent as abortionists would be thoroughly trained and certified with back- up safety methods accessible at all times. The rate of abortion would be higher than if there is a ban, but those wishing to prevent abortion would support the governmental carrot of increased child care and support for those born.

The third possibility is government neutrality, where no government funds are paid for either abortions or any after effects or information either for or against, and all such costs are assumed by private parties. The extent of government involvement would be at the level of inspection and enforcement of safety and health regulations. Those totally in favor would have doctors competent at performing abortions, either in private or in group practice. Any insurance would be provided by private companies. Those against would only have general pregnancy and child care. Those neutral would have either both or just the obstetrics.

One of these is being chosen. By abortion's own nature, the choice requires the greatest individual freedom for all. If limits are chosen, they will ultimately be the most extreme possible, for that is their nature. Two times two, equaling four, involves one through four. Two times negative two, equalling negative four, involves one and two, zero, and negative one through four.

Deborah

It can’t survive on its own. It can not reproduce and it drains resources from its host.

Hmmm, sounds like every Progressive I've ever met.

Deborah

Thank you, David

David

[ Italics safely contained, he vanishes into the night, a figure of mystery. ]

dicentra

My Twitterlocutors in abortion debates operate from two basic premises:

1) All "pro-life" arguments are a pretext to punish women for being nasty little sluts. It's all about controlling whether a woman can have sex without permission from Teh Patriarchy or whether she can control her own sexuality. All this blather about an embryo or fetus being human is just a way to make women PAY for their naughty behavior. OH YES YOU DO TOO BELIEVE THAT! YES YOU DO! YOU DO TOO! YOU DON'T EVEN CARE ABOUT WOMEN!

2) A woman is justified in using lethal force against a third party who is using her body without her consent. [insert parasitism analogies]

That second one is a fairly recent escalation, which when I see it leads me to believe I'm dealing with a full-time online Activist rather than a random Twitter user. (An actual random Twitter user INSISTED that none of the prochoice crowd sees abortion as a means of contraception, seriously, no one. I had to produce some recent examples to debunk that.)

The first premise is at least 100 years old: The earliest feminist writers identified child-bearing as the primary means by which men kept women under control. Slaves to their own biology, I guess.

Which, in an age with zero birth control, that's effectively the case, but HELLO THE PILL IS OLDER THAN A HALF-CENTURY and with plenty of methods to make sure Nobody Gets Conceived--including reversible surgery--there's no reason for a woman to feel oppressed by her own ovulation.

Except that third-wave feminism is about "empowering" women by making sure that they are sheltered from all unwelcome consequences of their actions (oh hey, just like Leftism), so insisting that sex and pregnancy are naturally linked is MISOGYNY.

Also, back in the day when there was no reliable birth control, there was also this little thing called a SHOTGUN WEDDING in which men were forced to take responsibility for THEIR sexual behavior. I've got several relatives in that category (parents' and grandparents' generations) who stayed married for life.

Feminists have no problem saying that (a) women by themselves can choose to carry or not carry a conceived infant, and (b) if she chooses to carry the man HAS TO PAY ALL THE BILLS.

Reciprocity?

*snort*

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

Meanwhile in other news, some sort of actress gets her activist on:

Debra Messing ✔@DebraMessing #SolidaritySelfie I join the Virtual March in solidarity with Muslims and Immigrants. #NoBanNoWall

I hope she doesn't get any virtual blisters or virtual flat feet from all that virtual marching.

Chester Draws

My Twitterlocutors in abortion debates operate from two basic premises

Remember that not every person who is pro-abortion believes either of these two propositions.

Your premise that birth control is infallible is however flawed. There are plenty of cases that you ignore:
-- a girl living at home with parents who won't allow her to take the pill makes a mistake at a party and gets pregnant.
-- a person taking the pill forgets to take the pill or mistimes the changeover from "on" to "off".
-- the woman thinks she is no longer fertile, but is wrong and conceives aged 51.

Yes they are mistakes, but we all make mistakes.

That's why I am happy for early-stage abortion to be legal -- basically as soon as it becomes clear that you have conceived. Before we have a person on our hands.

I don't like the tendency of the US sides, pro and anti, to insist that abortion is always wrong or always right, and that there are no acceptable exceptions. That's rarely how morality works.

Weirdly in the US both sides of the abortion debate then tend to take diametrically opposed sides on the death sentence and gun control -- pro-Life apparently only applies to foetuses, and killing people yourself with a gun or allowing the State to do it are fine -- whereas pro-Choice troop out to say that it's barbaric to kill any adult, no matter how repulsive, and that guns are always bad. If you are going be strongly pro-Life, then in my book you better be against the death penalty and not for loose gun control or your argument loses all its emotional force that life is sacred.

PiperPaul

Trump needs to increase funding for research of Cluster B.

R. Sherman

Before we have a person on our hands.

Therein lies the rub.

Given that there is little agreement among those who wish to draw a line for "person-hood" somewhere post-conception as to where that line should be, primarily because medical advances keep pushing outside the womb viability closer to the moment of conception, the best we can say is we don't know when person-hood begins. Ignorance argues for restraint, not destruction.

As for mistakes happening, what moral framework allows us to require that which is wholly innocent to bear the consequences of such a mistake or accident?

QuintAmpersandJessel

I used to be a feminist because I wanted to be defined by things other than my breasts and uterus. Do I even have to say that I'm no longer a "feminist"?

dicentra

If you are going be strongly pro-Life, then in my book you better be against the death penalty and not for loose gun control or your argument loses all its emotional force that life is sacred.

Life in the womb is utterly innocent, having taken no willful action to be where he or she is. Any time a woman consents to sex, she consents to the risk of pregnancy. The fact that contraception isn't 100% (or that women forget to take pills) is part of the risk. That's not the same as saying that no abortion should be ever ever ever performed, ever. It is to say that if a teenager accidentally conceives, she's better off bringing the child to term and then turning him or her over to adoptive parents or raising the child herself.

Or do you know women who opted against abortion, carried to term, and then regretted it? (Yes, they often regret giving up a child for adoption but not that they carried to term.)

The death penalty addresses the fact that someone committed a willful crime, not that the person is loathsome. There are plenty of loathsome people in this world who have committed no capital crimes and therefore shouldn't be in jail let alone on death row, even though they're doing enormous harm to society. This very blog catalogs the antics of such people.

As for gun control, there is a positive correlation between strict gun controls and gun violence: cities like Chicago and Washington D.C. have extremely strict gun controls and high violence levels, whereas Utah has had extremely liberal concealed-carry laws and low gun violence. That's because urban GANGS account for most gun violence, and they never obey the law at all, never mind gun-control laws, but they create enough fear (and they're Blue Empires) so the politicians "crack down on violence" to exactly zero effect.

Being armed for the purpose of self-defense is not a violation of valuing life.

Consenting to capital punishment for capital crimes is often predicated on the fact that someone unlawfully and immorally took a life, and therefore the most extreme punishment must be exacted.

It only LOOKS inconsistent to those who don't hold the positions themselves.

Doesn't mean it is.

WTP

Suicide runs in my family, so don't be alarmed. I have experience. And a curiosity...Second and third trimester abortions aside as they are by most reasonable view points abhorrent...If one were desiring a legal instrument to ban ALL abortion, assuming anyone here desires such, without getting into too much legalese, on what specific principles would such a law be based? Conception being the moment of 100% human life with every right as any other human life? Or are we speaking of something a little less absolute in terminology?

fnord

pro-Life apparently only applies to foetuses, and killing people yourself with a gun or allowing the State to do it are fine -- whereas pro-Choice troop out to say that it's barbaric to kill any adult, no matter how repulsive, and that guns are always bad.

Let's introduce the advanced and esoteric moral concepts of 'guilt' and 'innocence'.

R. Sherman

@WTP

The elements of such an offense would include:

1) Actual or constructive knowledge that a pregnancy exists, i.e. one knows or has reason to know one is pregnant;

2) Followed by an intentional act which one knows or should know is likely to terminate the pregnancy.

BTW, removing an objective definition of "human" in favor of an individual, subjective determination of whether an fetus is a "person" leads to all manner of strange outcomes. For example, a woman on her way to an abortion clinic is in an auto accident and the fetus is killed. Mother now has a cause of action not money damages for the wrongful death of the child.

WTP

1). Rape included?

2). Basis being that fetus, possibly even embryo or zygote, has from that moment the exact same legal right and expectation that all efforts possible will be made to keep it alive?

3). Are IUDs and RU-486 included or does the lack of knowledge of state exclude them?

I ask these questions not trying to be a dick, I'm curious as to how viable such a law would likely be.

Daniel Ream

If you are going be strongly pro-Life, then in my book you better be against the death penalty and not for loose gun control or your argument loses all its emotional force that life is sacred.

<catches David's eye and rattles ice in empty glass>

Better make this one a double. I have a feeling I'm going to need it.

Chester Draws

As for mistakes happening, what moral framework allows us to require that which is wholly innocent to bear the consequences of such a mistake or accident?

Any one that lives in the real world has to bear the cost of innocent mistakes. And much worse.
-- a war is fought. Regardless of the goodness of the cause, the innocent will suffer. Now I'm not a pacificist, and I doubt you are, so we both are prepared to institute a war that will cause suffering to the innocent. That's not even an accident -- we are prepared to deliberately cause suffering to innocent people. Why should accidents bear a higher cost than those who do things deliberately?
-- a jury decides that a person is probably guilty, but not beyond reasonable doubt. (I've been in this situation, as it happens, on an assault charge.) The innocent then get to see the guilty walk free, which cannot but be a horrible experience.

The real world is full of greys, and I dislike absolutists from either side.

Since a cell just penetrated by a sperm is not a human yet, in my opinion, I cannot see an issue with terminating it. A foetus which can survive, however briefly, outside the womb is clearly a human. Somewhere in the middle there is a change. I'm happy to take a very cautious approach to where that change is, but I do not like the absolutist position "we don't know where the change is, so we have to go right back to the start to be certain".

We don't take the absolutist position with assault charges (I suspect he hit her, though I can't be sure, we better lock him up just in case), we don't do that with mental illness (you had an episode, we can't be certain you won't have another one, so we're going to have to commit you) or anything else really come to that matter. Abortion does seem to be one thing that brings out the absolutists, both sides.

It only LOOKS inconsistent to those who don't hold the positions themselves.

Doesn't mean it is.

I said that it lacked any moral force for me. I know people who are point-blank that every life is sacred, and therefore are anti-abortion, anti-euthanasia, anti-guns and more or less pacifist. I find that argument compelling, though I am not quite persuaded. Once you have to make some lives sacred and others not, it doesn't work for me because the decision seems arbitrary.

R. Sherman

@WTP

No dickishness presumed.

1. No doubt a vexing issue and it's always the last redoubt for the pro-choice side. I have philosophical issues with that exception, among which are:

a. How does destroying innocent life balance the cosmic scales of justice for the rape victim?

b. How does destroying innocent life alleviate or minimize the rape victim's trauma?

c. Even if there is some emotional benefit to the rape victim, does it justify the destruction of innocent life?

d. Given the current feminist conflation of rape and regret, I fear the exception would swallow the rule, much as the "woman's health" exception has been broadened to include virtually anything.

2. I should have added a "purpose" requirement to the intentional act. That is, the intentional act is performed with the purpose of terminating the pregnancy. Otherwise, a fetus would be entitled to a level of care consistent with best medical practices.

3. The knowledge requirement solves that problem.

As they say, YMMV.

R. Sherman

@Chester

To quote WTP, I'm not trying to be a dick. Or perhaps on these pages among the relative regulars we can presume good faith and dispense with the disclaimers.

Anyway, in war, the purpose is not to harm innocents which is the difference. A deliberate indifference to non-combatants or a willful course of conduct designed to harm innocents is a crime. The current topic is voluntary abortion. War seems to be a straw man to me.

Ditto the jury argument. A verdict of "not guilty" is a result of due process granted an accused. Again, totally inapposite to the current issue. Indeed, there is no due process for an unborn, merely the subjective determination of a third party. The same goes for the mental illness example.

I understand we disagree on where to draw the line. You dislike absolutes with respect to determining what is human. The problem is without absolutes, we grant license to those in power to draw the line wherever they deem it to be expedient. And the only reason to exclude something from the category of "human" is to allow someone to kill it.

Fred the Fourth

It wasn't ultrasound that started the contemporary conversation about the fetus. It was Lennart Nilsson, and his photos published in (and ON THE COVER) of LIFE magazine in April 1965. I was just a kid then but I remember the oohing and aahing over them.
Frankly, I can't imagine them being republished today in a general circulation popular magazine. Too "loaded", don't you know...

David

It wasn’t ultrasound that started the contemporary conversation about the foetus. It was Lennart Nilsson, and his photos published in (and ON THE COVER) of LIFE magazine in April 1965

Indeed. I wonder how many of the readers who marvelled at the photographs, and their little subjects, will have realised that the subjects were, as it were, merely “abortus material.”

David

Oh, and by the way, in case anyone missed the update, the drama at Shia LaBeouf’s anti-Trump chant-a-thon is progressing as expected.

David

And at the University of West Virginia, the student group Left Alliance don’t like being filmed. The large unhappy chap, the one assaulting people and slamming a woman into a wall, is Mr Kelley Denham, president of the university’s Gender Equality Movement.

Pbird

I was afraid that was so David.

Hal

Oh, and by the way, in case anyone missed the update, the drama at Shia LaBeouf’s anti-Trump chant-a-thon is progressing as expected.

I don't make up the punchlines, I just read the news

Shia grabbed for the guy's scarf, and allegedly scratched him in the process.

Not in the face!!!!!!!

ftumch

Absolute. Gold.

https://twitter.com/Holbornlolz/status/824524581906026496

David

Absolute. Gold.

Heh. Angry chap shouts, “Don’t come out here if you’re a troll!” Which sounds a tad… divisive. And it raises the question of how one might reliably distinguish piss-taking from the general, um, mêlée.

WTP

@R. Sherman
No dickishness presumed.

Understood and appreciated. Past experience in exploring this issue, per below, has brought down upon me a considerable amount of sputtering rage in spaces like Ace, Patterico, and IIRC Protein Wisdom. Not that such rage bothers me personally, but it makes the ability to discuss these things that I rarely see addressed virtually impossible and thus a waste of time. Hence my trepidation.

1. No doubt a vexing issue and it's always the last redoubt for the pro-choice side. I have philosophical issues with that exception, among which are:
a. How does destroying innocent life balance the cosmic scales of justice for the rape victim?

- I don’t think the argument for abortion in cases of rape, for most people, is based on retribution for the crime committed. Most definitely to your point here, I agree.

b. How does destroying innocent life alleviate or minimize the rape victim's trauma?

- Herein lies the concern, I think, for most pro-choice, and even pro-life-but-would-like-the-option-available-if-I’m-ever-in-that-situation women. Though not being a woman myself…anyway, in this situation you are forcing a woman to carry a child to term. OK, that’s one thing itself and is generally covered by your 1a above. Generally. But to the specific instance of a rape where the woman must deliver the child…The woman is now in the position of taking one of two actions (please let me know if I’m missing something). She must either
i) Give up that child for adoption, with the possible regret and conscious conflict and knowledge that there is a person out there who will likely become a grown adult who may come back into her life, for better or in some situations for worse.
ii) Give birth and raise a child, looking into its face every day and having to ignore the features of the evil SOB who brought upon her what was likely the worst day in her entire life. The impact that might have on her psyche over the life of the child. The possibility of a subconscious alienation of affection for that child, especially in the context of any other children this woman may have had before or after the child of the rapist. The child growing up with the potential of finding out this horrible fact about its father. The possibility that whatever drove the father to commit the rape could be genetically based. There are any number of worms in this can that I have not the time to enumerate right now, but to this point those should suffice.
Note that both of these options are available today, so nothing is being taken away from those who are comfortable with decisions i & ii.

c. Even if there is some emotional benefit to the rape victim, does it justify the destruction of innocent life?
Depends on how one feels about at what point in a pregnancy one considers it to be a baby, as different people consider when that state applies. Circles back to the 100% from conception aspect. Not many people see it that way, thus the world we live in.

d. Given the current feminist conflation of rape and regret, I fear the exception would swallow the rule, much as the "woman's health" exception has been broadened to include virtually anything.

Agree but only in so far as we are talking beyond the first 12 weeks or so. I’m quite certain that a rape victim who chooses to abort said pregnancy would do so as soon as possible, so feminists can stuff this argument beyond the first trimester.

2. I should have added a "purpose" requirement to the intentional act. That is, the intentional act is performed with the purpose of terminating the pregnancy. Otherwise, a fetus would be entitled to a level of care consistent with best medical practices.

-OK, but do we not then owe those children who die in the numerous spontaneous abortions, miscarriages, a solution to the problem? Something like 10-20 percent of pregnancies are terminated by nature. A larger percentage of them XY/boys as opposed to XX/girls. If 10-20 percent of boy infants were dying of “natural causes”, don’t we have a moral obligation to try to cure that anomaly? This ties tangentially into the manner in which miscarriages are viewed culturally, especially first trimester miscarriages, relative to still born or general infant mortality.

3. The knowledge requirement solves that problem.

- Perhaps MMV but I’ve felt that legal decisions based on what someone knew and when they knew it to be very weak. In most of such cases the time of “knowledge” acquisition is vague. I wouldn’t say it solves the problem, but I suppose comes close enough to not being worth the argument given items 1 & 2.

R. Sherman

@WTP

RE: The past coming back to haunt one, I can't speak to all jurisdictions, but in mine, such reunions are not possible unless both sides seek contact. In jurisdictions where it's easier to accomplish, would it not be better to strengthen anonymity provisions in adoption law?

As far as raising a child, one would suppose that such a decision would be made voluntarily by someone with the emotional strength to do so. There are such people out there. Their stories tend to be suppressed because they conflict with the narrative.

Again, in the final analysis, we have to confront the question of what is a human and we must justify drawing the line where we do. In Roe v. Wade, lines were drawn based upon the then medical state of the art with respect to viability. That has changed.

RE: Spontaneous Abortion. I don't see how that is relevant to the discussion, because there is no purposeful termination by definition. The practice of obstetrics continues to advance, but it's current state is what it is.

Finally, most criminal law requires what is known as scientist, i.e. knowledge of the nature of an intentional act and the likelihood of a specific result. The alternative is strictly liability for everything which no one desires.

Richard Cranium

"I’ve felt that legal decisions based on what someone knew and when they knew it to be very weak."

So perjury is right out?

Tim Newman

Yes, one might think that a large audience is a predictable result of population growth + increasing access to broadcast media, compounded by Trump's attention-grabbing loudmouthed-ness.

It was certainly the first one I've ever watched, possibly because I wanted to see SJWs cry and also catch a glimpse of Ivanka and Melania.

David

catches David’s eye and rattles ice in empty glass

[ Slides enormous, dusty jar of pickled eggs along bar. ]

R. Sherman

Slides enormous, dusty jar of pickled eggs along bar.

Thus do the ravages of BREXIT appear.

David

There is now a Twitter account dedicated to clips and gifs of Mr LaBeouf’s, er, project and its various participants.

SumDumGuy

My wife's first child was the product of rape, she carried to term and put it up for adoption. She also sent a box of letters, pictures, and varies other mementos to be given to said child upon reaching certain benchmarks.

Said child will be coming of age soon and a phone call or in-person visit is entirely possible. It looms, but not negatively, upon my wife because, as a reasonably well adjusted adult, she has no trouble assigning blame where blame belongs.

Unrelated: pickled eggs are a guilty pleasure of mine.

Lionel Ebb

We can only regret that Mr LaBeouf was not more active in the Brexit campaign. Oh, hang on... maybe he was: http://bit.ly/1UhGE6E

WTP

such reunions are not possible unless both sides seek contact. In jurisdictions where it's easier to accomplish, would it not be better to strengthen anonymity provisions in adoption law?

I constantly encounter this line or reasoning when discussing any number of subjects, economics mostly, with lawyers and philosophers. What is written in the law, as much respect as we like to think we have for the rule of law, and how things should work differs considerably from what happens in the real world. Strengthen the laws all you want (keeping in mind the consequences of how that is done), but reality is people break laws, laws change. Information goes places it is not supposed to even under some of the best circumstances and practices. Putting aside my own observations that women are, in general, world-class worriers about what could happen...David, you do have a few boxes of fuses for that correction booth, I trust...

we have to confront the question of what is a human and we must justify drawing the line where we do. In Roe v. Wade, lines were drawn based upon the then medical state of the art with respect to viability. That has changed.

OK, viability has definitely changed, and if this is the line we are speaking of, I am with you completely. However, as I stated originally, my discussion re this issue is within the context of first trimester. AFAIK, and I don't keep up on much of this, the viability of a fetus outside the womb may have moved back significantly since 1973 but has not fallen within the first trimester.

Spontaneous Abortion. I don't see how that is relevant to the discussion, because there is no purposeful termination by definition

I see it as very relevant if we keep the discussion within the context of first trimester or even pre-viability. Once we consider a fetus a full and complete legally independent human being do we not have an obligation to seek out a solution and treatment in regard to the deaths of 10-20% of the population? Possibly up to 25% of the male population?

dicentra

Abortion is definitely a matter of subtleties and individual situations. Between the extremes of No Abortions Ever and Any Time Up To Birth, there is probably no hard line to be drawn that doesn't invite exceptions.

I use the term "individual human life" for the result of conception because each word has a scientifically unambiguous definition:

individual — not part of the parents' bodies; unique genetic makeup

human — Homo sapiens sapiens; not "potentially human" (which is what egg and sperm are); not a parasite

life — not dead; cellular respiration and other life processes present

I always avoid the term "person" because its meaning depends on subjective criteria imposed by the speaker, and is therefore easily abused to predictable ends, as "Untermenschen" demonstrates.

There is an argument to be made that although a newly fertilized egg marks the hard line between an individual human existing and not existing, life processes don't begin until implantation. That would resolve the snarky hypothetical I often get wherein I can rescue a baby from a fire or a tray of fertilized eggs but not both. It also resolves the question of "snowflake" babies: frozen embryos that are left over from in-vitro fertilization attempts.

It also isn't relevant to the abortion question, because nobody performs a surgical abortion between fertilization and implantation. I am aware of IUDs and other similar anti-implantation measures.

My primary worry about the debate is how extreme and nihilistic the discourse of the pro-abortion (not merely pro-choice) crowd has become. The language of parasitism, the assertion that the gestating child is an assault on the woman's body, the century-old insistence that it's about punishing women for enjoying sex, and now this utter nonsense about ultrasounds being a weapon of misogynists against the human body.

THAT is the kind of narrative that cheapens all human life, devalues parenthood, drives a wedge between women and men ("I'm getting rid of it and you can't stop me" + "Get rid of it or I'll beat you to a pulp"), and results in a general coarsening of our tenderest emotions, which are related to sex and the reconciliation of the sexes with each other and the new life that may arise from it.

I really don't know where the law should draw the line. I also know that American law is totally screwed up in this matter.

WTP

SDG's post reminds me of one other point I meant to make. Major kudos to SDG's wife for bing that well adjusted. While most who post here would likely fit that category, no way to know for sure but I would say that it is highly unlikely that such well-adjustedness would not apply to most rape victims.

SumDumGuy

the viability of a fetus outside the womb may have moved back significantly since 1973 but has not fallen within the first trimester.

20-22 weeks is about the earliest medicine can maintain the life (such as it is) of a fetus sans mommy. Technology is getting better everyday though so it won't be long before mothers become completely irrelevant.

And then the patriarchy will finally rule all.

SumDumGuy

Major kudos to SDG's wife for bing that well adjusted. While most who post here would likely fit that category, no way to know for sure but I would say that it is highly unlikely that such well-adjustedness would not apply to most rape victims.

WTP,

She is no ordinary woman, that's for sure.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I see it as very relevant if we keep the discussion within the context of first trimester or even pre-viability.

What you are quoting is an estimate of clinical fetal loss, the difficulty is that the incidence of subclinical fetal loss is totally unknown, the difference being that in the former case there was a known pregnancy, and in the latter, a pregnancy unknown to the mother (in general before week 8). The reason the true incidence is unknown is that the symptoms usually are vague and easily taken to be an early or otherwise slightly abnormal menses.

The only way one could find a solution or treatment for all cases of spontaneous abortion with known methods would be to perform daily βhCG tests on all women of child bearing age, and the day it hit anything other than zero, whisk the mother off to a special lying-in hospital till delivery.

R.Sherman

@WTP

The fact that a bad thing might happen on rare occasions --I've been involved in multiple hundreds of adoptions over close to three decades and have never experienced a contact between a birth parent and adopted child which was sought by both parties-- does not support allowing an outcome where the bad outcome, i.e. death of the human, is 100% certain. After all, by definition we are dealing with a bad situation to begin with and trying not to make it worse.

And let me add my praises for SDG's wife. There is a crown waiting for her.

R.Sherman

Oops. Should be "which was not sought by both parties."

Hal

Technology is getting better everyday though so it won't be long before mothers become completely irrelevant.

And then the patriarchy will finally rule all.

Err, actually, what will be is that Those who control the machinery will rule those produced from that set of machines.

---Yes, given that the method will have been established, several and distinct sets of that method should be expected . . . .

jabrwok

"snowflake" babies.

This raises a possibility in my mind. I've no idea how feasible it is, either technologically or economically, but what the heck.

Is it possibly to safely extract an unwanted child and then *freeze* it until a suitable uterus can be made available? If so, then this would present a viable (heh) alternative to the current practice of killing the child. There would be other problems of course: cost, availability of suitable uteri (transgenic? transpecific? purely artificial? surrogate human?), and the social consequences attendant upon lowering the emotional cost of abortion. With a safe, non-fatal (for the child) form of abortion available, I'd expect to see a significant increase in demand for the procedure, along with a concomitant increase in the prevalence of STDs and all other social problems which result from rampant promiscuity.

One option for dealing with those problems would be to outlaw fatal-to-the-child abortions, while allowing the non-fatal version at the mother's expense. They'd know they could terminate the pregnancy, but they'd have to pay more to do so, presumably. The argument that they are being deprived of a "right" would be easily dismissed. After all, I have the right to keep and bear arms, but I still have to *buy* them.

Per Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embryo_transfer#Fresh_versus_frozen) "The outcome from using cryopreserved embryos has uniformly been positive with no increase in birth defects or development abnormalities".

jabrwok

Obviously this wouldn't work during later months, but much the controversy relates to first-trimester situations, when a procedure such as I've outlined above might be workable.

Richard Cranium

"SDG's post reminds me of one other point I meant to make. Major kudos to SDG's wife for b[e]ing that well adjusted. While most who post here would likely fit that category, no way to know for sure but I would say that it is highly unlikely that such well-adjustedness would not apply to most rape victims."

I would not blame a woman who did not consent to the intercourse resulting in pregnancy *at all* to refuse to take the result to term. SDG's wife doing so makes her a much better person than I, who very probably would not do such a thing were I female.

At the very least, I believe that we should recognize that voluntarily removing an implanted blastocyst or fetus from a woman for whatever reason is a sad event marking the ending of what would normally be a human life.

redlonghorn

Let's introduce the advanced and esoteric moral concepts of 'guilt' and 'innocence'.

That. I have a hard time believing people really can't see the difference between the death of a murderer, and the death of an innocent baby. Which leads me to suspect that they are arguing in bad faith.

Microbillionaire

jabrwok, the cynic in me instantly starts wondering how much a Quiverfull movement, Salterians, or similar could exploit this as a source of government-provided surrogates.

jabrwok

the cynic in me instantly starts wondering how much a Quiverfull movement, Salterians, or similar could exploit this as a source of government-provided surrogates.

I've never heard of "Salterians", and a quick web search doesn't turn anything up that looks relevant. As for the Quiverfull movement, as I understand it (it's not something I've investigated) they see children as blessings from God, correct? I'm not sure where the "government-provided surrogates" element enters into it. I could see the Quiverfullers volunteering as surrogates to carry the unwanted children to term and then raise them in the surrogates faith. Unless there's something particularly abhorrent about that faith, then I don't have a problem with this. Lives are saved and unwanted pregnancies aren't forcibly carried to term, so win-win. Any ideology worth its salt has to incorporate some mechanism for promulgating itself into the future, and raising one's children in the faith is a tried-and-true method.

I'm sure there would be downsides to a "save the fetus" program as nothing is ever an unalloyed good, but given the number of lives to be saved, the downsides would have to be pretty bad to make the overall program not worthwhile. IMO anyway.

I suspect we'd see quite a few feminists up in arms about it though. Their "right to control our bodies" argument often seems to be mere covers for "our right to kill our children". Given the option of being able to terminate their pregnancies without killing their children, the cynic in ME thinks that many would be outraged. Especially if they were then liable for child-support payments:-D.

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