Tag Archive | abortion

Saturday Link Roundup 4/13/13 – Gosnell Murder Edition

A Stomach virus has made the rounds in our house the last week. Nothing like wallowing on the couch in agony to interrupt the blogging.

On to the links!

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There are drawbacks to social media, but one of the major benefits is how it can expose stories that in the past might not have made it through the media gatekeepers.

Case in Point: The Kermit Gosnell baby murders.  Why wasn’t this front page news, with every detail picked through and covered like Newtown, Trayvon Martin, or even Jeffry Dahlmer?

Oh right, abortion doctors get a pass, I guess.

During senate hearings on gay marriage social media was saturated with red equal symbols and vocal lefties screaming for equality. When children in Newtown where gunned down, Facebook exploded for weeks in anger and rage and screams for gun control. But when hundreds of babies (and one woman) are butchered at the hands of a sick abortion doctor….crickets.

Think I’m over reacting? Go take a look at the pictures of dead babies in the trash, feet in jars, and the backs of their necks cut open, their spinal cords severed. Hear the stories of babies screaming as they are killed. Then get back to me.

Do Gosenll and Obama have the same view of abortion? [link] Answer: yes.

Washington Post reporter explains why she won’t report on the case [link]

I cover policy for the Washington Post, not local crime, hence why I wrote about all the policy issues you mention.

Yes. She really, really, really said that. As Robert VerBruggen dryly responded:

Makes sense. Similarly, national gun-policy people do not cover local crime in places like Aurora or Newtown.

 

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Planned Parenthood Lobbyist Argues for Infanticide

Meanwhile, in Florida…

Representative: What objection could you possibly have to obligate a doctor to transfer a child born alive to a hospital, where it seems to me they would be most likely to be able to survive?

Snow: What about those situations where it’s in a rural healthcare setting, the hospital is 45 minutes, and hour away, that’s the closest trauma center or emergency room? You know there’s just some logistical issues involved that we have some concerns about.

I would be interested to know if Ms. Snow would be comfortable, were she on the scene, in allowing a child to die if the “logistical issues” weren’t as straightforward as floating away to the doctor’s office in a Unicorn sled. You mean I might have to work hard to save a life? But, but…my rights!

I’ve just added her to my mental spreadsheet of people to never let babysit my son.

Personhood Theory (Or, you’d have to have a PhD to lose this much Common Sense)

If you want to propose that it’s not immoral to kill infants, then get yourself a PhD and have your article published.  It’s that easy! Killing babies no different from abortion, experts say – Telegraph

Seriously, the root of this nonsense is a little thing called Personhood Theory.  Which basically means that being human and being a person are two different things.  And in some cases are completely unrelated. Dolphins ‘should be recognised as non-human persons’ – Telegraph

So to recap: killing babies = okay.  Killing dolphins = not okay.

Oddly enough what’s going on here is that they are taking the abortion logic to its logical conclusion.  I agree that the birth of the baby is an arbitrary distinction for endowing the right to life to the child.  But whereas that ought to make someone question abortion, these “thinkers” go the other way entirely.

God help us.

 

Abortion and Incoherent Worldviews

I mentioned that I had a discussion on Twitter about abortion. I had posted a link to an article about Oregon’s suspension of the death penalty (that had nothing to do with abortion) and an acquaintance of mine posted a reply stating he didn’t get pro-lifers (though he used the term “anti-choice”) who supported the death penalty. Was only some life sacred?

Now, first of all, it struck me as an odd way to phrase an objection. Especially since by any scientific definition of life, an embryo meets the criteria for being alive. Some may argue that it’s not a person, but stating out right that it’s not alive is simply false. So unless he holds that the unborn isn’t alive at all, then he’s just cut his own legs out from under him. Because he supports the killing of the unborn life but not the guilty criminal. Is only some life sacred?

Given the choice between arguing in favor of the death penalty and against abortion, I’ll take the abortion debate every time. Simply because I think it’s a greater evil to kill the innocent than let the guilty go free. And that’s really the key issue for the “I-don’t-get-the-pro life/pro-death penalty” position. The issue is innocence and guilt. If those terms have any meaning, there is no contradiction. You might not agree with it, but it’s not hard to understand. When someone makes this type of statement, it tells me that they really haven’t listened to the other side. You should be able to articulate, accurately, the position you disagree with.

We went back and forth for a while, and since Twitter is a bit of a disjointed medium to begin with (making longer points requires more posts, but the other person can post in between your points, making it one hot chronological mess) I’m piecing together his main points from the conversation. I should note first of all that it was a very civil conversation.

His main arguments in response to me were:

1) Society determines who has value.

2) The unborn is not human until it is born and breathes oxygen on its own.

3) It would be wrong for society to start saying killing toddlers is okay, because that would be moving backwards.

4) Killing just one innocent person through the death penalty makes us all murderers.

Some quick thoughts about these. If society determines who has value, then society can say who lives and who dies. They are beholden to nothing and no one but themselves. But to make points 2 & 3 contradict this. #2 states it’s wrong because of a property of the baby itself, not because it’s what society determines on its own. #3 implies a larger standard outside of society. Otherwise “forward” and “backwards” have no meaning, since there’s no external reference point to measure those “movements.”

Furthermore, 2 is extremely problematic since the baby is processing oxygen from the mother, and when born begins to take in oxygen to process through his/her lungs. The only difference is the source of oxygen. Nothing intrinsically about the baby has changed. Only location. By this definition the moment you need insulin or kidney dialysis, you cease to be human since you’re not able to survive without aid. If that sounds ridiculous, it is. But it follows logically from the position. Reductio ad Absurdum.

#4 strikes me as odd because if one mistake in the death penalty makes us all murderers, what does a wrong judgement about abortion make us? We’ve killed over 40 million unborn babies since Roe v. Wade alone. And yet this seems to be one of the least thought out issues, yet most dividing.

Throughout the conversation I was trying to demonstrate the weakness of these points, but was told that I kept “shifting parameters.” It took me a day or two afterwards to figure out how I was the one shifting parameters, but finally I think I understand. This particular person’s worldview is so compartmentalized into different areas that incoherence doesn’t matter to him. It’s very relativistic. So whereas I’m applying logic and taking his reasons seriously (and to their logical conclusions) he simply treats them as totally unrelated situations.

Not every pro-choice proponent holds to these particular arguments or holds to such a relativistic, compartmentalized worldview. But in this particular case, when you hold a philosophy that insulates you from having to face the logical implications of your positions, it is by definition, irrational.

Personal Ethics and Twitter

The last couple of weeks I’ve been spending most of my time either 1) working or 2) trying to console a colicky baby.  Talk about a tight schedule.

Speaking of babies…

I had an interesting debate this week on abortion over Twitter.  I know this person, or at least have met him a few times in person, so it’s not a situation where either of us are arguing with a stranger on the other side of a screen.  Even though we don’t know each other too well.

First, an observation about these type of discussions on Twitter.  I will go on with the person ad nauseam.  In every instance that I have debated the other person always ends first with something to the effect of “this isn’t something I wish to continue on Twitter.”   I never attack the person.  I stick to the topic and use, to the best of my ability, logic and reason.  The other person catches on that this isn’t a name calling contest and in every instance realizes that they are engaged in a civil debate.  However, civil debate on hot topics is something the medium of Twitter does not easily facilitate.

To paraphrase Neil Postman, You can’t use smoke signals to discuss quantum theory.

In other words, the medium is too small for the message.  One hundred and forty characters at a time to small, in this case.

At any rate, I’ve noticed people typically are quick to whip out witty sayings to one-up their opponent.  But when logic and reason are brought in they eventually bail.  (For the record, my conversation this week went on longer than most, but more on that tomorrow.)  I don’t think this is because they are necessarily ill-equipped to debate with logic, though that may be the case for some.  Instead, I think they begin to feel the weight of the subject and feebleness of the medium, albeit unconsciously.

This is a huge liability of Twitter and one that requires personal intellectual honesty to handle nobly.  I never make statements that I’m not willing to back up or engage in a lengthy discussion over, even if I have to take it to email.

And neither should you.

 

BBC News Shows Its Hand on the Value of the Unborn

I was listening to NPR the other night when the BBC news came on to report about the defeat of the Mississippi “Personhood amendment”.  The announcer said that the law in effect would outlaw abortion and went on to add “even in cases of rape or incest.”

First of all, I understand the point.  Those are extremely hard circumstances to deal with as the victim or family of a victim.  But the fact that he had to explicitly say that betrays a confused philosophy of the unborn on the side of the news agency.  By virtue of even saying it, it implies the unborn is not valuable.

Just like we don’t kill infants and toddlers who were concieved through such unfortunate circumstances, if the unborn is a human being then it is equally unjust to kill them because they remind us of those circumstances.  In other words, we don’t kill children for the crimes of their fathers.

I know the objection: “But a woman shouldn’t have to bear that burden since it was forced upon her against her will!”  But here again, like the objections I’ve already mentioned, this finds a moral difficulty and tries to remedy it by setting the unborn’s value to zero.  But that doesn’t tell us anything about the unborn.  It avoids the question entirely.  And if that answer is wrong, it is catastrophically wrong.  The question is, is a child already in the world?

And that can only be answered by looking at the child and what he/she is, not by looking at the circumstances of their origins.

 

 

 

Mississippi’s Amendment 26: The Personhood Amendment

I’ve been having a back and forth online with someone over Mississippi’s Amendment 26 which states :

Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Mississippi: SECTION 1. Article III of the constitution of the state of Mississippi is hereby amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION TO READ: Section 33. Person defined. As used in this Article III of the state constitution, “The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.” This initiative shall not require any additional revenue for implementation.

The purpose of this is to legally establish that there is no difference between humans and persons.  All humans are persons, and all persons are human.  One of the pro-abortion arguments is that the unborn may be human, but not a person.  (Incidentally, this is the exact argument that was made about slaves in the 1800s.  They were said not to be persons, therefore are not “created equal” with constitutional protection.   A similar argument was in operation in Nazi Germany.)

What made me go and read the amendment (I’m not in Mississippi, so in one sense I don’t have a dog in this fight) was the rhetoric being used to object to the law.  Some of the statements being thrown around:

  • This law criminalizes any mistake with In Vitro Fertilization or any other miscarriage.
  • Any woman who had cancer couldn’t get treatment because she’d be guilty of murder.
  • The law dehumanizes the woman making the zygote (they love using “zygote”) more valuable.
  • The law makes the woman nothing more than an incubator, subject to the dictates of the state.

I read so much of these type of comments that I came away with the impression that the law must be pages and pages long.  I was surprised to find it barely more than a paragraph that did nothing but give legal value to the unborn.  That’s quite a bit of information being derived from complete silence.  (One might even say…an argument from silence)

Note how none of these center on the main issue.  Is the unborn a valuable human being?  Instead these objections say, “Look at all these things that might happen.  So to fix these hypothetical moral difficulties we’ll just set the embryo’s value to zero.”

These are also misleading.  The law does not criminalize anything, it merely establishes value.  If there are moral and legal difficulties that might arise, then that needs to be worked out through precedence in the courts.  The same way, to my knowledge, we handle every case involving “persons.”

 

 

 

My (Condensed) Conversation with the ACLU Girl

Downtown there have been several blue-shirted ACLU people, usually college age, taking donations to help protect “gay rights.”

This afternoon I was heading to my office to grab something when I ran across one of them who told me that some politicians were “trying to use law to discriminate and deprive people of their rights.  Like women’s reproductive rights, gay rights…” and some others that I can’t remember.

She said that, “These lawmakers are using law to enforce their morality and that’s wrong.”

“So you would say that laws shouldn’t enforce a particular moral view?” I asked.

“Right.  It shouldn’t be a factor.” She said.

“But aren’t you trying to force your moral viewpoint?”

Apparently no one had ever asked her this before.  She had brought up abortion, so I asked her about her views on that.

“I personally feel it’s not a positive thing.  But I shouldn’t force my view on others.” She explained.

“But,” I answered, “if pro-life people are right, and the unborn is a valuable human being, then shouldn’t you enforce your view?”

At this point she was visibly uncomfortable, even though my tone was friendly and non-combative.  She changed the subject by explaining that she was out there for “gay rights” not abortion.  She then explained that they were attempting to create legislation that would prohibit employers for firing people due to sexual orientation.  (I didn’t say this, but in this state employers can fire anyone at any time.  So the ACLU would be, if I’m understanding the law correctly, trying to created a special class of protected citizens while the rest of us can be let go for any reason.)

I asked if she thought organizations had the right to hire and retain people that shared their values.  She said they did.  So I asked if she thought religious organizations should be forced to hire or retain people that did not hold their views.  She hesitated, growing more uncomfortable and then said that the hoped someone wouldn’t work at an organziation that didn’t hold their values.  That didn’t answer my question of course, and those types of situations are in the news often, but I let it go.

After a few more minutes she began to hestiate and become more nervous, often apologizing for her nervousness and then said that she knew what she believed but wasn’t good at debating.  My goal wasn’t to change her mind, but to put a stone in her shoe.  So, I brought the conversation to a close by saying that I hoped she would take a little time to think things through a little deeper, since these issues have wider ramifications than we often hear discussed in the public square.

I told her to have a nice day and headed on.

I have nothing against this girl.  She seemed very sweet, and I’m sorry she was uncomfortable.  But it was obvious that she’s been socialized into her beliefs, which led to her promoting specific policies.

But when asked for her reasons, her silence was telling.

 

People changing their views on abortion, and then considering the gospel.

I came across this video via http://4simpsons.wordpress.com

The interviewer moves from talking with people about the holocaust, then abortion, and ends up with most of the people considering the gospel.  Most of the interviewees end up changing their view on abortion on the spot (hence the name of the video, “180”)

This is also an excellent study in the power of carefully thought out questions.  What Greg Koukl over at Stand to Reason would call the “Colombo tactic” (after the seemingly inept detective from the show Colombo)

It’s 33 minutes long, but worth every one.

One word of warning, there are some graphic images.