Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”     Milton Friedman

April 30, 2007

Not Even to Save the Life of the Mother

by Stephen Littau

Today on The Sean Hannity Show, Republican presidential hopeful Sam Brownback cleared up his position on the abortion issue. Normally this is not an issue which I like to discuss because I believe there are so many more important issues and I believe that this issue has taken up way too much of the political debate over the past several decades. But what Sam Brownback said in response to one of Hannity’s questions stunned me.

Toward the end of the interview, Hannity asked Brownback if he believed there should be any legal exceptions for abortion such as rape, incest, or the life of the mother. These seem like reasonable exceptions even to the most pro-life (or anti-choice) proponents but not to Sam Brownback. Even Sean Hannity who is very pro-life and very Catholic seemed to be a little taken back by his response.

Brownback clearly stated that there should be absolutely no legal exceptions for abortion. He admitted such a situation would be tragic but also said that “it’s not the baby’s fault.”

This attitude of Brownback’s is completely indefensible. While I do not believe any woman who is a rape victim should be legally required to bring a pregnancy to term, there is still some room to debate whether or not having an abortion is moral. But to say that the government must require a woman to potentially sacrifice her own life for the sake of her baby is absolute violation of her liberty. No person should ever be required by law or expected to sacrifice his or her life or limb for the sake of another for any reason (I similarly am opposed to military drafts for the same reason). If a person is to sacrifice his or her own life, it should only be done voluntarily.

My question to Senator Sam Brownback and his fellow travelers: What is so “pro-life” about taking a woman’s right to life away?

NOTE: I have not been able to locate the trascript of the interview at this time. If I should come across it, I will add the direct quote to the body of this post.

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127 Comments

  1. [...] this post confirmed what I suspected for long time. While the issue of abortion in general, and late term [...]

    Pingback by It looks obvious » They are not life lover — May 1, 2007 @ 8:46 am
  2. Abortion is murder, regardless of the circumstances. In that context, it’s just the agreed upon definition of words. Nevertheless, I don’t believe there is a right to life for anybody, and certainly not one that can trump the basic concept of property rights, and I certainly would not support an incompetent regime to enforce whatever ‘rights’ they dream up.

    The question then is can American ‘pro-choicers’ allow political liberty for the communities who reject the practice all-together. Can “pro-lifers” do the same? Or is it just a phony debate designed to go on forever?

    I think the whole logic of “save the life of the mother” is from the same playbook that ushered in the era of pre-emptive war in this country.

    Comment by Charles Bowen — May 1, 2007 @ 9:06 am
  3. “Abortion is murder, regardless of the circumstances. In that context, it’s just the agreed upon definition of words. Nevertheless, I don’t believe there is a right to life for anybody,”

    How are these two statements compatible? They appear to be diametrically opposed.

    Comment by David Z — May 1, 2007 @ 9:44 am
  4. They appear to be diametrically opposed

    How so? Murder, the calculated taking of another innocent human life, is a fact of earthly life, so it would appear, based on definitions of words, that there is no ‘right to life.’ If one lived in a community that recognized a tradition of life, it would be logical to find the practice outlawed, but that doesn’t mean that there is a universal “right to life.”

    China and India seem to get by with a tradition of infanticide, so we should be able to be adults about it and no hide behind claims to ‘abstract rights.’

    Comment by Charles Bowen — May 1, 2007 @ 10:33 am
  5. I disagree, abortion is homicide, not necessarily murder.

    In some cases, homicide is justified. Murder however is not.

    Sometimes, abortion can be justified. Even though abortion is always morally abhorrent, it can be done to prevent an equal or greater wrong, and therefore it is sometimes justified. Just as war is morally abhorrent, war can be justified, to prevent greater wrong.

    Abortion as retroactive birth control is ALWAYS morally wrong, and there is never any justification for such. Abortion to save the life of the mother MAY be morally justified; though still abhorrent.

    The real problem is, who gets to decide what is justified, and what is not; and how do they decide.

    (I should note, I am catholic, but I felt this way even when I was not)

    Comment by Chris — May 1, 2007 @ 2:37 pm
  6. Oh and one more thing

    When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    So, are babies not created equally? Are mothers?

    Comment by Chris — May 1, 2007 @ 2:57 pm
  7. So Charles, are you suggesting that the government should force a woman to have a baby even if it would put her life at risk? Why can’t you answer my original question?

    Comment by Stephen Littau — May 1, 2007 @ 3:07 pm
  8. I don’t support governments doing anything; where do you get that from?

    If you were to ask me whom would I admire more, the woman who gave up her life to bring a new one into this world, or the one who killed her baby so she could eek out a few more years, which one do you think I would choose? And you?

    You asked a question in leftist dialect to others speaking in leftist dialects, so I merely spoke as a rightist. There is no ‘right to life.’ I fully respect our cultural tradition of property rights, but I also respect political liberty and small-scale rule, the old City-State model. If the City-State wants laissez-faire abortion services, so be it. If the City-State doesn’t want abortionists setting up shop, that is fine too.

    Comment by Charles Bowen — May 1, 2007 @ 3:16 pm
  9. Abortion as retroactive birth control is ALWAYS morally wrong

    Chris,

    What would you say if the fetus was severely deformed or had extreme brain damage? What if the fetus could survive but with no chance of a ‘normal’ life? If this child was born, but could not be properly cared for by its parents, what should be come of it? Should the state be responsible for its care?

    Comment by David T — May 1, 2007 @ 3:22 pm
  10. Chris;

    Point taken, though your example exists more as a theoretical example than practical. I am all for families getting the final say on the issue, which often comes down to the woman in our degraded states.

    So long as I am not paying for it (i.e. subsidizing homicide) I don’t have enough time in the day to worry about it.

    The culture in America, unlike say in the Netherlands, is still very much against killing post-utero undesirables, but that too could change in the years to come.

    I do not support in anyway shape or form, opening the door for the State to come in as final arbiter, claiming some right they dreamed up. The State plays the role of vampire, just waiting to be invited in.

    Comment by Charles Bowen — May 1, 2007 @ 3:23 pm
  11. “How so? Murder, the calculated taking of another innocent human life, is a fact of earthly life, so it would appear, based on definitions of words, that there is no ‘right to life.’”

    I’m afraid I misunderstood. Or maybe I didn’t. Do you conclude that there is no such thing as a right to life? because if you argue that the woman is obligated to bear full-term, then you are affirming the foetal right to life, while simultaneously denying the mother’s.

    Furthermore, your claim that etymology can somehow supersede the notion of rights is patently retarded. The concept of “murder” (i.e., the unjustified taking of another’s life) can only exist within a framework that affirms a “right” to life.

    Comment by David Z — May 1, 2007 @ 3:39 pm
  12. David T.;

    What if you discover after the child is born, say 3 months old, that there are a host of expensive problems, and no chance of a normal life for the child, shouldn’t you have a right to kill the baby–in the most pleasant way possible of course?

    The abortion apologist crowd is using arbitrary political maneuvering when they imply something magical happens right after birth when the Rights Fairies arrives, I suppose.

    If nothing else, the Marquis de Sade, a big fan of abortion as a means of population control, was honest. It’s murder, but so what?

    We too, shall be as the gods.

    Comment by Charles Bowen — May 1, 2007 @ 3:42 pm
  13. David Z.;

    The concept of “murder” (i.e., the unjustified taking of another’s life) can only exist within a framework that affirms a “right” to life.

    Um, no, I am quite sure Cain and Able pre-date any “right to life” phraseology, and the Ten Commandments mention nothing about ‘rights’ only what folks can’t do. Try again?

    Comment by Charles Bowen — May 1, 2007 @ 3:45 pm
  14. Post-partum is different, and we have treated it as such for years.

    To answer your question, Charles, death of the infant after birth is indeed murder or at the very least, homicide.

    It is not a maneuver to see pre- and post-delivery as distinct. If a mother give her child alcohol or drugs after birth, it is abuse. If she does it while she is pregnant, she’s irresponsible, but not charged with a crime. If a mother doesn’t eat and makes poor nutritional choices for the fetus, we do not insert an IV into her arm and force her to take the right vitamins. If she maintains this behavior with her child after birth, then she is guilty of neglect. We make a legal distinction if the fetus has been born and have for several hundred years.

    I do not see it as murder if the fetus is aborted at 8 hours, 8 days, 8 weeks, or 8 months, although an abortion that late in the process is unsettling to me. However, I’m not about to contend that we should eliminate the practice and return to the days of the coathanger.

    Comment by David T — May 1, 2007 @ 3:56 pm
  15. David T;

    Because you said so? Because the law say so? I don’t know if I buy that.

    So basically, rights are arbitrary ‘philosopher stones” and as a word, have no real meaning, then indeed, that was my point. Hiding behind legalisms, and this collective ‘we’ is in the same league.

    But your red herring refence to the bad old days of coathangers, the Reefer Madness device of the abortion crowd. What if all the person could afford was a back-alley coat hanger job?

    By your logic, wouldn’t society have an obligation to pay for her decent abortion? Or would a hospital job be only open to the rich who could afford to fly to another country…? Lets put it to a vote?

    Comment by C Bowen — May 1, 2007 @ 4:13 pm
  16. As a mother, the thought of being TOLD I would have to give up my life for the life of an unborn baby, which would mean leaving my other 3 kids behind and my husband with now 4 kids is appauling. Imagine if it was your wife or your daughter or your sister that was going through a life threatening pregnancy. Would you just let her die so that you would be a single father since after all “it’s not the baby’s fault”, would that help you sleep at night? News Flash: in most cases it isn’t the mother’s fault either that their life is in jeopardy. This post isn’t even about whether or not abortion is murder or should be legal, it’s about people thinking it is more than okay to FORCE a mother to continue with a pregnancy that will kill her. How in the hell is that fair to her, and the rest of her family? Just imagine the guilt it would put on that poor kid, don’t you think there would be some resentment from the father/rest of the family? Yes, it would be very sad to lose a baby, but without the mother still around, there are no second tries (if they received the all clear), there is no adopting to complete their family. This is just absolutely disgusting, I can’t even get everything I want to say out because it is so infuriating that there are people out there with this kind of thinking.

    Comment by Aimee — May 1, 2007 @ 6:06 pm
  17. “Cain and Able (sic) pre-date any “right to life” phraseology, and the Ten Commandments mention nothing about ‘rights’ only what folks can’t do. Try again?”

    The concept of murder cannot arise without a pre-existing notion that men own their respective lives. To posit anything to the contrary is complete unlogic, since you’d be attempting to define a term without a necessary component of the definition. You would argue that murder is the unjust taking of one’s life, yet concurrently state that there is no such thing as a right to life. Well, if there was no recognized right to life (however incomplete or imperfect) no judgment can be passed as to whether the life-taking action was justified.

    Let’s see…

    If Theft to be defined as the unjust taking of another’s property, viz., taking or otherwise disposing of, or exercising control over property that belongs to someone else. Since “theft” is defined in terms of property rights, we can conclude that theft cannot exist without a right to property.

    Now, replace “theft” with “murder” and “property” with “life.”

    Comment by David Z — May 1, 2007 @ 9:46 pm
  18. Abortion as retroactive birth control is ALWAYS morally wrong, and there is never any justification for such.
    Vasectomies are morally right and only should be undone for the purpose of reproduction.

    Comment by VRB — May 1, 2007 @ 9:52 pm
  19. Wow, a lot has been written since I last commented. I think I need to clarify a few points…

    One of the philosophies all of us contributors at “The Liberty Papers” share is that every individual has three basic rights from which all other rights are derived: life, liberty, and property. These are natural rights that all humans have. Unfortunately, not every government recognizes these rights. The only way these rights can legitimately be taken away is if an individual violates these same rights of another person. For example: If person A takes person B’s life, liberty, or property, justice demands that person A’s life*, liberty, or property be taken away in a fashion which “fits” the crime.

    The above philosophy has nothing to do with the 10 commandments, Cain & Able, or any other commonly believed myths. This philosophy is derived from Classical Liberal thought (for lack of a better term) by such philosophers as John Locke, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and others. The only legitimate purpose of government is to protect these basic rights of life, liberty, and property. Citizens of a government which violates these rights have a moral obligation to overthrow such a government.

    Okay, now that everyone knows where I am coming from, let me get back into the discussion. This post wasn’t as much about abortion as it was about the idea that government should place one individual’s rights above another’s. For discussion purposes, let’s take the subject of abortion off the table for a moment (don’t worry, I’ll come back). In what other circumstance could the government force an individual to sacrifice his or her life to save the life of another? I cannot think of one.

    Now back to the abortion issue. Most of the debate on the abortion issue is the question of when a person truly becomes a person complete with the three basic rights I have just described. On one extreme, we have those who believe that the second the sperm splashes the egg at conception, a life has been created and thus already has these rights. On the other extreme, there are those who believe a woman has the right to terminate the pregnancy up until the due date. I am not going to get into where exactly I am on this spectrum (I will say I am not on either extreme); but regardless of the stage of pregnancy, the government still has no right to tell a woman that she must sacrifice her life for her baby.

    On a less philosophical level, as a concerned father of a young girl I find Sen. Sam Brownback’s disregard for the rights of pregnant women appalling. I simply cannot support anyone whose personal believes could become policies which could effect her if she were ever raped or had a pregnancy with complications which would threaten her life.

    The government simply cannot tell anyone to sacrifice his or her life to save the life of another.

    *There is plenty of room for argument about whether or not the state or anyone else should take a person’s right to life away even if the person is guilty of taking someone else’s life. This is a question I continue to wrestle with because there are very good arguments on both sides of the issue of the death penalty.

    Comment by Stephen Littau — May 1, 2007 @ 11:46 pm
  20. Hmmmmm, straw men, and false equivalence; ahh the salty taste of logical fallacies.

    Comment by Chris — May 2, 2007 @ 12:00 am
  21. Chris, whose straw men are you referring to? I know I have seen a few in these comments but did you identify any in my comments? I know I got a little off track but I think the readers need to know where I’m comming from.

    Comment by Stephen Littau — May 2, 2007 @ 12:33 am
  22. David Z.;

    The concept of murder cannot arise without a pre-existing notion that men own their respective lives.

    Just plain silly. One can derive a theory on property rights based on a declaration that murder is wrong, but then “Property rights” would exist at best in the metaphysical realm. Property rights are something that must exist in order for a society to survive, that is observable. But even the Commies in the USSR had property rights; the Party hacks had them all of course, but they had them nonetheless.

    Well, if there was no recognized right to life (however incomplete or imperfect) no judgment can be passed as to whether the life-taking action was justified.

    You contradict yourself here (as I read it anyway), but that is close to my point and by all means it extends to the young baby as the Netherlands, complete in the thralls of “liberalism” have discovered. If Rights are Imperfect, the State will volunteer to be the arbiter, and as we know, the State has a vested interest in keeping us at each other’s throats to justify it’s existence.

    Stephen is agnostic on when life begins and yet it would seem central to his (and others) philosophy who hold of the Holy Trinity of Rights as the basis of his philosophy.

    It’s okay to be agnostic on such issues, it’s hiding from it that causes problems. I’m just speaking as an ancap, but it would seem the real issue with ‘abortion’ is that when its politicized in a State the size of the US of A, no truth can be derived, but we can accommodate one another best by not enforcing “rights” at the point of a gun, either way.

    Comment by Charles Bowen — May 2, 2007 @ 6:17 am
  23. Charles, “One can derive a theory on property rights based on a declaration that murder is wrong”

    From whence comes this “declaration” if not based on some axiomatic first principle? You can’t define a term in itself – and you can’t merely “declare” things to be universals.

    But I don’t want to get into an argument off-topic, it seems we’re very much in agreement, especially your last paragraph or so.

    Comment by David Z — May 2, 2007 @ 8:44 am
  24. In what other circumstance could the government force an individual to sacrifice his or her life to save the life of another? I cannot think of one.

    The case of a suspected terrorist attack using aircraft as missiles would be one. It is rumored that the military could be ordered to shoot down a commercial airliner to avoid an attack on a fixed target (skyscraper, government building, etc.) This seems to be utilitarian: the greatest good/least harm for the greatest number of people.

    It seems like “abort the child to save the life of the mother” is a false choice. I have a cousin who had a c-section before full term because of complications of the pregnancy that threatened the life of the mother and child. They both doing fine now. “Kill the unborn” is presented as the only alternative in this hypothetical. In the real world, aren’t there usually more possibilities?

    A federal law that preempts state and community law on abortion (and many other subjects) is the worst: the federal government has more power than granted under the Constitution and the states are unable to respond to the needs/wishes of their citizens. Taking a family decision and making it a federal edict is not liberty.

    Comment by Mark T — May 2, 2007 @ 8:53 am
  25. I encourage whoever believes that fatal pregnancies cannot happen to read this, all of it.

    http://mediamatters.org/items/200610160007

    This is in response to Bill O’Reilly’s claim in October of 2006:

    On his radio show, Bill O’Reilly falsely claimed that it “is never the case” that a “mother’s life is in danger” during pregnancy because “you can always have a C-section and do those kinds of things.”

    That is about as ignorant as one can get, next to Sam Brownback that is.

    Comment by Aimee — May 2, 2007 @ 9:16 am
  26. David Z.

    I was illustrating the historic basis for deriving natural rights. The more Right you go on the ideolgical spectrum, the fewer abstractions one will allow in reasoned debate. I am comfortable with a few abstractions (putting me to the Left of paleocons, but still safely in the Right on the libertarian scale), that I believe came from the combined historical experience of the English and Celtic peoples, their unique history and experience, and fully unleashed in the American civilization (which does predate the founding fathers whose agenda is not necesarily in line with ‘libertarian’ themes.)

    I think the key here is delineating between “political langauge” and philosophical pursuits in the realm of linguistics and philosophy. My purpose was demonstrating that libertarians (or whomever who leads with ‘rights’) hold an apolitical philosophy, but when they try to turn it into a politic (or ideology) they often encourage the State, always looking for a way in.

    As to Thomas Jefferson’s unfortunate phraseology, borrowed from a couple of Continental sources, in a secession document no less, our rulers interprate (and reinforce in public schools etc) as they please so we are, afterall ruled by men and we become subject to their rule. As the check on these men is alleged to be the ‘vote’, we have been witness to the failure of democracy which seems to push forward the worst sorts of characters, including Mr.Brownback (but excluding Dr. Paul and maybe a handful of others.)

    Comment by C Bowen — May 2, 2007 @ 9:30 am
  27. “I was illustrating the historic basis for deriving natural rights”

    Historically, we came up with a concept of “property” because “theft” pre-existed it? We came up with a concept known as the “right to life” because we were appalled by “murder?” No. We were appalled by murder because we recognized at some basal level, a right to life – whether it was made explicitly clear is beside the point. We didn’t simply wake up one day, declare that murder is wrong, and then go about creating a right to life in light of that arbitrary decree. Think about what you’re saying – unless I’m totally missing you here – is that you can develop propositions based on a conclusion, which is syllogistically backwards.

    If this is in fact how things developed, i.e., backwards, then it is purely by accident that we arrived at a set of rights which are in any manner consistent with those derived from first principles. But still further, we’ve evolved past the point of using the incorrect logic of our predecessors – even if it leads to the same conclusion. We have much better arguments now than pointing to Hammurabi’s code, or Moses’ tablets.

    Comment by David Z — May 2, 2007 @ 10:00 am
  28. Who is this ‘we’ you speak of? I have contributed zero in original philosophy, a mere consumer am I.

    Rights logic, promoted in the 18th Century, has led to these nation-states that commit acts of mass murder on levels that are hard to fathom.

    My guess is that as the homo sapien started farming, he needed a place to store crops and a system of protecting the crops while not pissing off the proletariat who might slit his throat in his sleep. (The story of Cain and Able do a decent job of getting the point across, but that’s a story about murder.)

    There was property before that, but the need for a system of law, natural law, seems obvious and in the natural interest of survival. These are things, traits, that are observed, not ‘discovered.’ Systems and custom around property would then develop, becoming ever more complex, perhaps with the introduction of trade. I am sure there are some primitive examples even today, bushmen tribes, that have no real property, but even that I doubt as hunting and gathering seems to require boundries.

    It would be millenia before folks would start with real political philosophical works, like Aristotle, but his interest is not so much ‘property rights’ but defending the ‘republic’ from tyranny–which should be our chief concern.

    Rights “logic”, while an often poetic expression of the Anglo-Celt world, can be used by folks like Brownback, or the leftist equivalent that wants laissez-faire infanticide, so it doesn’t appear that strong to me.

    Virtue seems to be the key.

    Comment by C Bowen — May 2, 2007 @ 10:16 am
  29. “My guess is that as the homo sapien started farming…

    Systems and custom around property would then develop…”

    So clearly, the concept of property even on a primitive level preceded the concept of theft – or at the very least is corequisite. Thank you, that wasn’t so hard.

    Rights “logic”, while an often poetic expression of the Anglo-Celt world, can be used by folks like Brownback, or the leftist equivalent that wants laissez-faire infanticide, so it doesn’t appear that strong to me.

    And if he’s wrong (and he probably is) you ought to be able to beat him at that game, because I don’t think you’re denying logic or reason – which are required to find the virtue you speak of. I have a terribly limited knowledge of the ancients, but from what I recall, reason was of paramount importance in identifying morally good actions, virtuous deeds, etc.

    Comment by David Z — May 2, 2007 @ 11:32 am
  30. Steven, I wasn’t referring to your comments; just the direction of some of the commenters.

    Comment by Chris — May 2, 2007 @ 12:50 pm
  31. That is the ‘trick’ of Leviathan. Logic dictates that if the definition of homicide is the taking of another innocent human life, A=A, then abortion is homicide (and granted there are degrees.)

    We should all be dubious of folks and their ‘reason’ and ‘logic’ who cannot nail that one down.

    This does not mean that there is a “right to life” that does not logically follow.

    Once you start down the path of ‘rights’ its fairly hard to control and philosophers have been dreaming up rights ever since.

    Abortion, as a culture war issue, is best dealt with via historic federalism (which means overturning at least in practice R v W), otherwise it will continue to divide already very thin ranks.

    Comment by Charles Bowen — May 2, 2007 @ 1:08 pm
  32. Logic dictates that if the definition of homicide is the taking of another innocent human life, A=A, then abortion is homicide (and granted there are degrees.)

    How would you characterize miscarriages? Are they also homicide?

    Comment by David T — May 2, 2007 @ 1:24 pm
  33. David T.;

    Please, are you joking? You have discredited your other posts. In the off chance, you are asking in good faith, miscarriages are obviously not homicide.

    A better angle, if you want to test me, is: the Birth Control pill which can sometimes act as an abortifacient and cause the newly fertilized egg to be simply flushed down the water closet, is that murder?

    I get squeamish myself, fallen creature am I, thinking about the consequences of what we do in this world. I could plead agnostic on the question, “I don’t know if it’s murder” and go against logic, or seek a legalism like “lack of malice aforethought “, but ignorance, while comforting in this world, might not be of much use in the next. All the more reason to leave such issues to the family not governments and their indoctrination centers.

    Property rights seem the only logical way to satisfactorily deal with such issues.

    Comment by Charles Bowen — May 2, 2007 @ 2:06 pm
  34. Aimee,
    Amazing isn’t it? How easily womens lives can be toyed with by men as though we were mere bargaining chips! This is what comes from male centered religions, women are at the bottom of the food chain! Statements like this: “If you were to ask me whom would I admire more, the woman who gave up her life to bring a new one into this world, or the one who killed her baby so she could eek out a few more years, which one do you think I would choose?”
    Eek out a few more years, this is how he respects a young woman who may have other children, her job is simply to produce and she should not want for more! With this type of male in the US why worry about the Taliban? Women today must pay very close attention all across the globe less they become lower than an animal by the male worshipping religious cults.

    Comment by Madmimm — May 2, 2007 @ 2:26 pm
  35. Not everything is a challenge or test, Charles.

    I was honestly asking if you percieved miscarriage as homicide – because, after all, it is taking of an innocent life, however accidental or unintended. You are resolute – and absolute – in your points to the degree that an unintended death is not much different than a deliberate one.

    All the more reason to leave such issues to the family not governments and their indoctrination centers
    Yep, and that’s why it should be allowed for people to make choices for themselves, and not have it banned. That’s why I don’t buy into Brownback’s thinking either.

    Comment by David T — May 2, 2007 @ 2:43 pm
  36. David T;

    If I have to explain the difference between homicide/murder, and accidental/natural death, then we are scarcely speaking the same language, apparently. I had, incorrectly, assumed I was speaking to someone familiar with the English language beyond mere utilitarian concerns.

    You are resolute – and absolute – in your points to the degree that an unintended death is not much different than a deliberate one.

    Absurd conclusion. Logic, try it, or don’t, no worries.

    Comment by Charles Bowen — May 2, 2007 @ 2:56 pm
  37. You don’t have to explain any differences between between intentional or not, nor do you have to assume that someone is unfamiliar with the language.

    What you were asked is thus: “Would you characterize miscarriages as homicide”? I had no idea it was inflammatory – I saw it as “no, i don’t. The End.” or “Yes, I do, the end.” Despite your perceptions, there really wasn’t more to it than that or else I would have elucidated my thoughts.

    Comment by David T — May 2, 2007 @ 3:18 pm
  38. Stephen, I’m not Charlie but I’ll answer your question:

    So Charles, are you suggesting that the government should force a woman to have a baby even if it would put her life at risk?

    I’m pro-life but I cannot support forcing a woman to have a baby if it will kill her. What is the purpose of forcing a woman to carry and give birth to a baby that will in all likely hood kill them both?

    Comment by Kevin — May 2, 2007 @ 4:09 pm
  39. Madmimm, THANKYOU for speaking up with me. Some of the men in here have lost sight of the whole point of the post and are going off on their own tangent. I think they are afraid to answer the questions I keep putting out there for them. Granted it wasn’t directed at any one person, I put it out there for any of them.

    “Eek out a few more years”… I agree with you Madmimm, those 6 words were like nails down a chalkboard. I bet he would be singing a different tune if the tables were turned, how arrogant.

    Comment by Aimee — May 2, 2007 @ 4:44 pm
  40. Kevin, you said, “What is the purpose of forcing a woman to carry and give birth to a baby that will in all likely hood kill them both”?

    Exactly! It’s nice to see that even someone who is pro-life has a level head on them and can see that even this is extreme and wrong.

    Comment by Aimee — May 2, 2007 @ 4:46 pm
  41. YOO HOO….Attention all males posting here!! Are you serious?? Not one of you will ever be in the position that you would need an abortion to save your life, you will never become pregnant due to rape or incest, so excuse me for asking but where do you get off even thinking your input matters? I am serious guys….I really want to know, lets talk!

    Comment by Madmimm — May 2, 2007 @ 4:59 pm
  42. Hey Charles, we need to be on the same page here, which is starting from the proposition that there is a right to self-ownership, you are still working backwards from the conclusion about murder.

    Start with a negative right to life, such that no one is obligated morally to sustain the life of another. That is, if you are starving, I am not violating any moral principle in neglecting to give you my food. Your right to life doesn’t obligate anyone to either provide that life, or to sustain it. Because this implies that another’s rights are superior to yours, and conveniently violates any notion of universality of rights.

    So, the fetus doesn’t have any right to live for 40 weeks as a parasite in the mother, if she chooses not to allow it.

    This does not imply that the virtuous thing to do is to abort children, to be sure, in most circumstances it is virtuous to bear the child, and our race’s continued existence is evidence of this. But certainly we can conceive of instances where virtue and reason dictate otherwise.

    Comment by David Z — May 2, 2007 @ 5:13 pm
  43. Madmimm,

    If you have to resort to sexist claims that someone’s opinion doesn’t matter simply because of their gender, then you’ve already lost the argument. This is a question that all humans have a vested interest in, not just the subset of humans most affected. If for no other reason, Male “input matters” because the child represents a fiduciary responsibility. A responsibility that cannot be opted out of under current law.

    For the record, I support the right of a woman to abort a fetus up until viability as outlined in both Roe and Casey. As for exceptions, it seems to me that denying exception for the case of rape and incest is, at least, logically coherent with the pro-life argument. I cannot, however, come up with any argument for why one life should be state mandated to put itself at risk for another. An exception for health of the mother should always be made.

    Comment by Bret — May 2, 2007 @ 5:19 pm
  44. David Z.,

    Let me stipulate despite the hysterics, I don’t support the government doing anything or making anyone do anything; I am an anarchist for goodness sake.

    As far as rational argument goes, without the taint of ethics, there is a decent analogy of the tresspasser, and if the tresspasser threatens the life of the host, it can be met with proporotional force. Advances in medical science will make several points obsolete in that approach as proportional response will become early birth, rather than killing the unborn— if they haven’t already.

    As to your version of right to life, that sounds like some interesting nuance, and I have consumed it before from Rothbard, and if not that compelling in an aesthetical realm, there is nothing for me to really argue, if that is what you mean by ‘right to life’ I, generally speaking agree. I don’t think that is what Sam Brownback means, which was closer to my point.

    Perhaps I should state again, I am dubious of anyone who leads with ‘rights logic.’

    It seems odd to make so many accomidations with pro-aborts, when republican virtue would seem the better tactical play leaving me to wonder what the real issue is, and I think it swings back to folks who can’t call A, A.

    Comment by C Bowen — May 2, 2007 @ 6:13 pm
  45. Madmimm,
    I am surprised that you actually got a response.

    I do feel that males shouldn’t control the argument too. It not as if they can’t have any input, but by and large the legal opinions are formed by men, who really do not have a stake in it. How could they even be the decision makers in such events? This last ruling was lame at best and hardly qualifies as legal argument. Before anyone post the opinion, I have read it, and I don’t need a history lesson.

    Comment by VRB — May 2, 2007 @ 6:14 pm
  46. VRB and Madmimm, I’m sure there are some women out there who do feel the same way as Brownback. I just don’t happen to be one of them, call me selfish, but I want to see the kids I do have grow up. The men posting in here are very much entitled to their opinions, I just wish they would stay on topic.
    To everyone else: I have put a link out there stating that eptopic pregnancies are very real and very dangerous. Technology can only get us so far. There will always be some cases out there that medical science can’t help without some sort of controversial intervention.

    http://mediamatters.org/items/200610160007

    Comment by Aimee — May 2, 2007 @ 6:48 pm
  47. VRB,

    It not as if they can’t have any input, but by and large the legal opinions are formed by men, who really do not have a stake in it. How could they even be the decision makers in such events?

    I have one question. Should women who are no longer young enough to have children take part in forming opinions? I would say that someone like former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor or current Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg are like the men you reference. Neither of these two women are even physically capable of needing an abortion. So, how exactly are they different from men? Do they have a stake simply because at one time they could have had an abortion? (I should add, one never knows if a male decision maker is paying child support for a child he didn’t want since men can still have children late in life. And, until a father is no longer financially responsible for an unwanted child, he will always have a stake.)

    By the way, to be fair, I am that kind of pro-choice no one ever hears about, the choice about whether to have unportected sex or not. I also don’t excuse men who conceive unwanted children just as I don’t excuse women for it, even it may seem that way by my argument above. Personal responsibility knows no gender. And to imply that men need to be held responsible, but woman shouldn’t, is the exact kind of gender inequality feminists were supposed to be fighting against.

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — May 2, 2007 @ 6:50 pm
  48. Aimee,

    I am not arguing that there are situations where the woman’s life is in danger, but are the numbers in your link accurate? Does an ectopic pregnancy really happen “one in every 40 to 100 pregnancies” as it says? That seems really high. That implies that there is a 1-2% chance a pregnancy could kill a woman. While that may have been true in the past when medicine wasn’t as modern, but not today. Why would any woman decide for even a planned pregnancy with those odds?

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — May 2, 2007 @ 6:57 pm
  49. VRB,

    Somehow I don’t you are the arbiter for what qualifies as legal argument. While I personally do not agree with the *outcome* of the ruling I can’t say that the latest ruling was legally or logically inconsistent. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    The logic in your “male’s shouldn’t be decision makers” argument is deeply flawed. In fact, some might argue that males, having no stake in the outcome, are in a position to be better objective judges.

    Comment by Bret — May 2, 2007 @ 7:01 pm
  50. trumpetbob15,

    Yes it is high, but so are so many other things that can go wrong, just like the chances of having a baby with downs syndrome the older the woman is. If women considered every little thing that can go wrong, our population would not be as big as it is. Those stats were from 2006, that isn’t that far in the past.

    Comment by Aimee — May 2, 2007 @ 7:07 pm
  51. Aimee,

    I know a lot can go wrong, but even Down’s Syndrome is listed as 1 in 1000 (According to this source.) That is why I was so shocked that that one kind of issue during a pregnancy could occur that much more frequently and yet, I never see any non-abortion advocates talking about it. (By this I mean those who are neither advocating for nor against abortion, but simply to inform the public about a female health risk.)

    I should also say, I don’t necessarily trust the Media Matters group. Looking at the site, I found one heading labeled “Help Stop Conservative Misinformation” but could not find a similar “Help Stop Liberal Misinformation” heading, leading me to think maybe there is a bias in the numbers. I did find another site that listed the rate at a little under 100 cases out of 100,000 in a study of women in Europe. I can’t get my HTML to work, so this probably won’t link correctly, but here is the address.
    http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/19/9/2014

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — May 2, 2007 @ 7:38 pm
  52. trumpetbob and bret,
    I can think and express my opinions like the rest of you. I am sexist when it comes to some issues and for the record vasectomies can be tested and they are more full proof than female birth control. Zero sperm is measurable.

    Comment by VRB — May 2, 2007 @ 8:10 pm
  53. trumpetbob15,
    The Media Matters group got that information from the Mayo Clinic though (which had links to it within the article), they didn’t just pull it out of the air. Like I said before, if women and men dwelled on all of the things that can go wrong in a pregnancy, we would talk ourselves out of ever getting pregnant and be paranoid. I wish I had an answer as to why ectopic pregnancies aren’t talked about. I had a miscarriage called spontanious abortion, it happens quite often, but it did not stop myself or my husband from wanting to try again. We did and now have a beautiful daughter that is almost 2. If people gave into their fears, nothing would get accomplished.

    VRB, what does vasectomies have to do with this?

    Comment by Aimee — May 2, 2007 @ 8:23 pm
  54. VRB,

    I hope I didn’t imply you couldn’t argue your opinion. However, I should also be allowed to argue mine. And your statement that you are “sexist when it comes to some issues,” how exactly does that help debate? I know I am not perfect in saying things, and in many cases, I don’t comment because of that, but arguing from a sexist position is just as bad as arguing from a racist position. Neither do their arguments justice. While I am pro-life as I stated, the way to influence my beliefs is not to belittle my gender. Abstinance is still 100% completely pregnancy free, without resorting to surgery. And for those who choose against abstinance, then there is a responsibility on both parts to avoid pregnancy, if that is the goal. And to state a ruling is lame opens the can of worms of belief equality that you may not intend. While you may believe that ruling was “lame,” I would argue the ruling in Roe v. Wade was not only “lame” as it went against the beliefs of people in a large number of states. Now, if I misunderstood what you were trying to say, please correct me.

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — May 2, 2007 @ 8:33 pm
  55. So, are you surprised I took the women’s side VRB? See, I’m not quite as much of the male chauvinist you think I am :)

    trumpetbob, normally I am very skeptical of Media Matters as well. They do not hide the fact they are leftist ideologues. But on this issue, they did at least site their sources (I tend to think Mayo Clinic is fairly reliable).

    Also, what Bill O’reilly said about this issue was completley absurd. Who knows how often such pregnancies occur but however rare they are, they do occur.

    Sen. Brownback was asked directly if he thought abortion was justified to save the life of the mother. He said “no”. I find this to be a very extreme position even among pro-lifers.

    Comment by Stephen Littau — May 2, 2007 @ 9:03 pm
  56. Aimee and Stephen,

    I did look up the link on the Mayo Clinic website as well as more research on the source I found and I figured out the discrepency. An ectopic pregnancy does occur about 2% of the time with the source I found discussing how many times it leads to fatalities (about 0.1%). I still wonder, even though I know people don’t want to know, why this isn’t more widely known? And to put it into some context, how often does secondhand smoke lead to cancer? No need to actually answer that one.

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — May 2, 2007 @ 9:15 pm
  57. Bret & trumpetbob15,
    First let me address you Bret, I have not lost the arguement at all….for NO ONE has a MORE vested interest in HER life than “SHE” comprende? The unequated arrogance of the male who thinks his butt is on the line or his “vested” interests out weighs that of the one bearing the physical circumstances is a fine example of male superiority complex. So Brett go ahead and call me sexist if that is what you label someone who knows she is perfectly capable of of handling issues pertaining to HER health and HER life, and that Brett is where I do not believe a males input matters one tiny bit. Further I believe men should be able to opt out with a legal contract that states they want nothing to do with the pregnancy and hereby wave any rights to the child, even if they find God or whatever later in life the contract holds and they stay out. And Brett if I seem harsh it’s because I am, nothing trips my trigger more than men treating women like mindless twits, poor little fainting flowers with heads bouncing in the breeze hasn’t the brains to determine what is best for her health or life HUH!PLEASE! I am sure you would be equally offended if the shoe were on the other foot.
    Trumpbetbob…womens bodies health and life is the question, so thus women are the answer. I hope you understand that. Also if you believe whole heartedly in “protected sex” check prolife websites they are anti birth control, and now we have pharmacists who can deny you your perscriptions, isn’t that just wonderful?

    Comment by Madmimm — May 2, 2007 @ 9:25 pm
  58. Madmimm,

    I have had difficulty knowing how to address your idea that “women are the answer,” while still trying to have a respectful debate. Ignoring men, and shunting them aside since they aren’t the ones “bearing the physical circumstances,” ignores the positive ideas men can suggest. And to suggest one must be involved in, or affected by, a situation before commenting is the worst kind of policy. Then again, maybe it might help young people get out of the Social Security mess since retirees would no longer be able to stop the discussion. Is that a slightly absurd counterexample? Yes. But if a policy is to be worthwhile, it must at least pass some sort of use in wide-ranging situations. Saying women are the answer ignores the many male researchers who have tried to save women’s lives during pregnancy, and ultimately disrespects those men and their contributions.

    However, I will also say this. There are many restaurants that choose not to allow people to smoke, or restaurants that choose not to serve meat, or banks that choose not to offer a mortgage to a college student without a cosigner. I have no problem with any of them and I don’t have a problem with a pharmacist who won’t deal in contraceptives. Then again, there are more than enough posts on this site on freedom of where to shop so I will point you to some of those.

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — May 2, 2007 @ 10:03 pm
  59. Madmimm,

    Your logic is flawed in regards to only women needing to have an opinion on the matter. Your argument is not only sexist, but also short-sighted, and limited in scope.

    1. Not all women are pro-choice: This means that if the decision were put to a national vote of only women, whether of childbearing age or not, there may not be a clearcut victory for either side. Opinions range on both sides, both sexes, all ages. I know plenty of women who are pro-choice, and many who are pro-life.

    2. This issue, at its core, affects both sexes: Why? Because the issue, at the core, is about an individuals rights over their own body, health, and life… and under which circumstances an individual may be forced to give that life for another.

    The CORE issue is simple. Do you believe that all people have a right to decide their own health issues, or not? Is it ever OK to force someone to sacrifice their health, or their life, for another…even if it is a small chance?

    Do people have the “right to die?” Do people have the right to refuse medication? Do people have the right to make choices about their own health, if it affects the health of another? Cojoined twins, abortions, or even family who are perfectly matched donors?

    There was a recent article in the UK about a sister who refused to give a bone marrow transplant to her brother after previously agreeing to it. Some people said she should be forced to do so. After all, her procedure would merely be painful and have less than 1 percent chance of her dying… He would die without the transplant.

    Such is one example of the issue.

    So yes, I feel that a man has as much of right to an opinion on the subject as a woman. I admit, a man will not have a baby, but at it’s root, the issue is the same core issue.

    It’s also good to remember that women were not drafted and forced to lay down their lives in the military. How many men died because of that?

    In no case should one person be forced to lay down their life. One should never be forced into harms way…if one chooses to be in harms way, that is another matter.

    Comment by Ted — May 2, 2007 @ 10:27 pm
  60. Charles,

    Let me stipulate despite the hysterics, I don’t support the government doing anything or making anyone do anything; I am an anarchist for goodness sake…if that is what you mean by ‘right to life’ I, generally speaking agree. I don’t think that is what Sam Brownback means, which was closer to my point.

    We are on the same page here – I hoist my own black flag.

    It seems odd to make so many accomidations with pro-aborts.

    Most importantly, my position is decidedly not “pro-abort.” If anything, you could describe it as pro-choice – which merely means that insofar as the state is concerned, it shall make no laws prohibiting the practice. I do have serious misgivings ethically about the current state of abortion, which generally speaking is the result of a purposeful taking – if & when technology & medical science advance to a point that a living fetus may be extracted, I’d be alot more comfortable with the issue.

    Additionally, if I’ve given any indication that I’m in favor of politicians telling people what they can or cannot do with their own bodies, I apologize – it was most certainly not my intention.

    Comment by David Z — May 2, 2007 @ 10:28 pm
  61. Aimee,
    Because the issue is really not about the saving of the mother. The issue is about murder, murder as birth control, and stating that murder has occurred when there is no clear consensus as to when life begins. I am not talking about a living fetus as the Supreme Court defines it. I am speaking of life, such as the end of life we define as death, even when the body continues to live. In this instance we let the decisions to be personal, within the family or the persons legal proxy to decide. No so with women in that unclear area of belief, we have drawn the lines, and many want to take that decision away. To force us by any means to bear a child under any circumstance for their absolution. They have defined how we must feel, how we would react to thorough knowledge of the procedures, how we cannot make informed decisions. They act like women are transformed into demons and become willingly lustful tramps when pregnant.

    And I say, since we are so totally irresponsible as women, then men must be morally responsible for us and ensure there are never any unwanted pregnancies and make sure every baby brought into this world is provided for until they are an adult. Having vasectomies is the first step, the next would be to help men know when no means no, and thirdly to make sure his family who has life will continue.

    Comment by VRB — May 2, 2007 @ 10:51 pm
  62. trumpetbob,

    I’ll put in my two cents about the pharmacist refusing to give birthcontrol/morning after pills. I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with you on that one. The pharmacist is there to do a job which is fill prescriptions for the public. If it goes against their beliefs, then their options are, A. change professions, or B. they need to go and work in a Catholic hospital pharmacy where this would never be an issue. The individual should not have the option to withhold medication from someone who needs it/wants it. I know, someone is going to say, “But they can just go to another pharmacy.” Why should they have to? Plus if you are from a small town like my husband is, the hours for their pharmacy are very short and closed on the weekends. You have to drive 45+ miles to get to the nearest place that will be open on the weekend (we found this out after our son had an ATV accident and needed pain medication). If that is the case, then that pharmacy that backs up their pharmacist should have to cover gas for the person having to go to another facility just to get a prescription. Maybe the gas thing is a bit much, but it is a bit much to ask a paying customer to take their business elsewhere just because it goes against the beliefs of the pharmacist.
    Sorry, my 2 cents turned into more like a quarter. Anyway, back to the original topic…

    Comment by Aimee — May 2, 2007 @ 10:54 pm
  63. Trumpetbob,
    Are you suggesting that Brownbacks solution of “let the broad die, not the babies fault” is one of them male positive solutions? I am not refering to men who actually think women are their equals, I am refering to men who buy into the male phallic worship and believe that women are their gods little transportation system and nothing more. Think they don’t exist? Read the bible and read lots and lots of history. That is where women are key that they may actually value their lives, standing up for themselves and shunning mythological nonsense. For example right here in this discussion a statement was made that more respect would be given a woman who died in child birth than one who chose to eek out another few years of her apparently useless life, nice huh? There are men like this all over the planet and plenty of them, Brownback is one example.
    Let me explain something I consider fairly simple for you, if I were laying in a hospital with MY life hanging in the balance it would not occur to me to consider the mere opinion nor observation of men less my physician be one when it pertains to my life or health, the rest matter not.
    The idea of pharmicist being allowed to deny anyone a perscription based on their mythological beliefs is nothing more than religious sabatoge aimed directly at women at this point in time. Unless you can claim the people entering this profession were unaware that their job would require them to distribute contraceptives, unless you can verify that claim sabatoge is their aim and nothing more.
    If you choose to believe that men like Brownback are displaying positive ideas and that he has a womans best best interest in mind than nothing I post will ever be of understanding to you. I stand by my conviction, those who are directly faced with the circumstances most especially in this scenario are the ones who should have the voice and I contend that those who are not directly affected can have sinister affects especially where mythological beliefs come into play, and I truely believe that the majority of the latter are male.

    As for the draft issue I have never been in favor.

    Comment by Madmimm — May 3, 2007 @ 9:33 am
  64. Madmimm,
    Yes, there are some people out there who are crazy. But then again, they can be found on both sides, the religious nuts who believe men are the best and the feminist nuts who believe women are the best. Now, maybe Brownbeck is looking at this issue too narrowly; fine, don’t vote for him just as I won’t vote for Hillary for the beliefs she holds in the direct opposite. But the mere fact that Brownbeck is male and Hillary is female does not enter the equation. Brownbeck is arguing about the child and protecting the child. Perhaps he is old fashioned to think of a woman giving her life for a child; he certainly never said “let the broad die, not the babies fault” and to put those words in his mouth is much worse than his actual answer for it obscures his actual position and reasoning.

    Now, I will add this about pharmacists. Must they be religious to not want to fill certain prescriptions? Then again, shouldn’t their religious beliefs be respected? And to be fair, if someone didn’t want to fill a Viagra or some other male prescription, I wouldn’t have a problem with that either.

    And Aimee,
    I actually come from a village, not even big enough to be called a “town.” We had two pharmacies so it can be done. Just because a pharmacy doesn’t promote itself as “Catholic,” they still should have the option to not fill certain things, as I said above, as long as it is clearly stated, just like every other example I mentioned above. (I tried to keep my penny’s worth reply short.)

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — May 3, 2007 @ 10:41 am
  65. trumpetbob,

    Viagra, heart medication, insulin, penicillin, I don’t care what it is, they are there to do a job. What other reason than a religious one would stop them from filling birth control or viagra?

    Yes, it can be done, but that doesn’t mean that it should. Why should the customer be FORCED to look elsewhere to get a prescription filled? When it comes to the morning after pill, you are limited to how much time you have to take the first one. If a pharmacist has a problem filling ANY prescription, then that is not the field for them to go into. And no, their religious beliefs should not be respected, IT IS THEIR JOB!!!

    [...]“Brownback clearly stated that there should be absolutely no legal exceptions for abortion. He admitted such a situation would be tragic but also said that “it’s not the baby’s fault.””

    He might as well have said “let the broad die, not the babies fault”. It is pretty darn close.

    Comment by Aimee — May 3, 2007 @ 11:23 am
  66. trumpetbob,

    Arg, I had it all typed and for some reason it didn’t take so I will try again.

    I don’t care what the medication is, heart, penicillin, insulin, viagra…, the customer should not be FORCED to look elsewhere to get a prescription filled, especially a time sensitive one like the morning after pill. No, their religious beliefs should not be respected. They need to check it at the door. Once they walk into the pharmacy, they need to be all business, DO THEIR JOB, and fill prescriptions, whatever they are. If they have an issue with this, then they need a different career. A customer should not be FORCED to look elsewhere to get medication. If it wasn’t religious convictions holding them back, what else would it be? All you hear is “It’s against my religion…”

    And Brownback did say “It’s not the baby’s fault”, so he didn’t use the word broad, he might as well have. While he didn’t use that word, being a woman, that is what you feel like you have been reduced down to, that your life doesn’t matter, you are just some broad and the baby is what matters.

    Comment by Aimee — May 3, 2007 @ 11:32 am
  67. Sorry, going off on my own tangent now about the prescription thing. I’m done.

    Comment by Aimee — May 3, 2007 @ 11:33 am
  68. Aimee,

    Even though it is a tangent, it is part of the debate. I have one question for you and it ties in with a great many topics on this blog. Why does a pharmacist have to check religion at the door but others aren’t required to check their beliefs? Why do we always hear about restaurant workers being “forced” to work in a place that allows smoking, yet a pharmacist’s beliefs “should not be respected?” Personal responsibility and personal liberty are great. But if we keep putting in exceptions, then what do we have? No business should be forced to hire a pharmacist who will not fill a prescription on religious reasons, but neither should the pharmacist, with the backing of his or her boss, be required to fill anything. And for a non-controversial example, many places only carry one version of a generic drug. Now, some generics cause a side effect in somebody that another generic of the same brand name drug doesn’t cause. Should we force places to carry ALL versions of a generic drug? In this example, it has nothing to do with religion or anything else controversial, but it still can be a life or death thing.

    Now, back to Brownbeck, I think I will accept the fact that I will cover for him in this case. I did not know the high percentage of women who have dangerous pregnancies. I had heard one expert a few years ago say it was very rare. Thus, maybe Sen. Brownbeck listened to the same person. Until I see someone point out the statistics to him, I will accept his answer with his current understanding, using the same logic my liberal teachers drilled into my head when I was younger.

    By the way, it ISN’T the baby’s fault. That part of his statement is true. However, too often I think the argument in favor of abortion is of such a “you’re either with us or against us” type, that people against abortion have to take an extreme line simply because to admit an abortion could be reasonable in specific instances will be taken by extremists on the other side as “that pro-lifer is for abortion.” I don’t see this issue as such a slippery slope style as it tends to be portrayed. And as a pro-life person, I end up being forced to defend how abortion when the woman’s life is at stake is different from abortion because the woman just can’t afford a child. And yes, there is a difference, respecting both a mother’s initial choices and the child’s right to live.

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — May 3, 2007 @ 12:12 pm
  69. Sorry, that went a little longer than I was meaning to, but hopefully now my position is clear on both the tangent and the main issue.

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — May 3, 2007 @ 12:13 pm
  70. trumpetbob,

    No one is forcing that person to work in a restaruant that allows smoking, nor is anyone forcing the patrons that eat there. Just like the pharmacist, if you don’t like it, then don’t work there, if you don’t like alchohol, then you wouldn’t work in a bar or a liquor store or any other facility that serves it.

    Have you heard about some Target stores making exceptions for Muslims who work the checkout line? People with a pork product cannot use their line. To me this is complete bullshit. Religion doesn’t make you special. That is almost like giving a checker the option to say, “I don’t want to check out (insert race,sex,age,religion here).” If they don’t want to touch the product, then they need to work in another part of the store, or find another job that doesn’t sell pork so they won’t have to deal with it. But guess what, that is life, you have to deal with things you don’t like or believe in.

    No one if FORCED to work where they don’t want to, they aren’t chained to the register, bar, restaraunt or pharmacy counter. If they can’t handle serving ALL of the public, then there are deeper issues at hand. America is getting too damn sensitive. People need to suck it up and quit giving in to people that don’t want to do whatever it is just because it offends them or goes against their beliefs. You can’t go through life bending over backwards to make everyone happy, it is impossible.

    Okay, back to Brownback, as I said before, while it isn’t the baby’s fault, it isn’t the mother’s fault either. It shouldn’t matter what the percentages are with life threatening pregancies, 1 a day or 1 a year. To take from ‘Heroes’, it’s almost like saying, “Save the baby, save the world.” Would you be comfortable with a law like that in place if it was your wife, someone you have a bond with, a relationship with, possibly other children with already?

    I won’t go into whether or not abortion should be okay just because she can’t afford it (it usually isn’t that cut and dry). From that statement, I’m sure you can figure out where I stand on it.

    As far as the generic drugs go, you can have the name brand stuff and it can still kill you, hell, tylenol can kill you.

    Comment by Aimee — May 3, 2007 @ 12:44 pm
  71. trumpetbob,

    I just thought of a great way to phrase something.

    If a place of employment has to hire you because they are ‘an equal opportunity employer’, then the employee in turn should have to be an ‘equal opportunity worker’.

    Comment by Aimee — May 3, 2007 @ 1:12 pm
  72. Aimee,

    In order to refrain from taking up a great deal of space commenting here, I put up a response at my personal blog.

    Regarding the “equal opportunity” comment, I have no problem if an employer and employee come to an agreement, be it that the Muslim cashier will or will not be required to touch pork or that the Christian pharmacist will be able to abstain or must fill the morning after pill prescription. My problem is when government jumps in, forcing the employee to do something that the employer does not require to be done or forcing the employee’s beliefs on the employer if an agreement could not be reached (the smoking ban example). Hopefully that is clear.

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — May 3, 2007 @ 2:12 pm
  73. Aimee,
    Excellent quote, may I borrow it?

    Trumpetbob,
    You are confusing work place safety with religion, why must I respect the pharmacists religion when they obviously do not respect me as a woman or the doctor who has recommended a perscription for me? No, I do not respect male centered woman hating religions. Next you will want me to tip my hat to the Taliban, do you respect them? After all it is religion!
    The fact that Brownback is male and Hillary is female DOES play into the equation, who has had more experience with pregnancy? Who has actually had a child? Who cares more for women in these circumstances? Certainly not Brownback, you may label him “old fashioned” and be comfortable with that, I on the other hand label him a woman hating religious freak on top of a coward for he will never encounter the death sentence he has issued to women only. Being that Brownback stated “it’s not the babies fault” are we to assume that the woman is at fault? Maybe the DNA from the sperm is at fault? OH OH, now what since he wants to lay fault?
    If you wish to respect and uphold religion fine, but when your personal mythological beliefs darken my doorstep we have a problem.

    Comment by Madmimm — May 3, 2007 @ 2:21 pm
  74. >> The government simply cannot tell anyone to sacrifice his or her life to save the life of another.

    Exactly, which applies to the baby as well as the mother. They are equally human.

    Comment by Gunnar — May 3, 2007 @ 2:29 pm
  75. Madmimm,

    I am not confusing workplace safety with religion because there is a religion of smoking intolerance in this country. I will stop there because that is not the main point of this debate and there are other discussions on smoking on this blog.

    There is no disrespect of either you, your doctor, or the pharmacist. The pharmacist stated his or her position, and you can shop somewhere else, just as if a Jewish deli states the food is kosher, and I want bacon, I shop somewhere else. (Before you complain that my example doesn’t apply, since there is no life or death aspect to bacon, there is no life or death aspect to contraceptives or the morning after pill, at least to the woman.) There is nothing intolerant about choosing to not offer something on religious reasons. If there were, then all the people who make or deal with something electrical would be calling the Amish intolerant for choosing not to use electricity. Must I agree with those whose religious choices are different from me? Nope. As long as they leave me alone, allow me to shop somewhere other than their stores, I will be fine. You mention the Taliban, but they don’t fit my criteria since they, like the members of the anti-smoking religion, force their views on everybody. By the way, the members of the big government religion do this too.

    Does Hillary care about women? I don’t know. Does Brownbeck? I don’t know. But to assume to know simply because one is female and the other male is sexism and certainly not a worthwhile arguing platform. There are many women who are pro-life just as there are many men who are pro-choice.

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — May 3, 2007 @ 2:52 pm
  76. The premise of this whole discussion is based on a straw man, namely that abortion is ever necessary to save the life of the mother.

    Abortion is never necessary to save a mother’s life.

    It is important to distinguish between direct abortion, which is the intentional and willed destruction of a preborn child, and a legitimate treatment a pregnant mother may choose to save her life. Operations that are performed to save the life of the mother-such as the removal of a cancerous uterus or an ectopic pregnancy that poses the threat of imminent death-are considered indirect abortions.

    They are justified under a concept called the “principle of double effect.” Under this principle, the death of the child is an unintended effect of an operation independently justified by the necessity of saving the mother’s life.

    Essentially, both mother and child should be treated as patients. A doctor should try to protect both. However, in the course of treating a woman, if her child dies, that is not considered abortion.

    Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal disease such as cancer or leukemia, and if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save the life of the mother.

    -Alan Guttmacher, former Planned Parenthood president

    Comment by Gunnar — May 3, 2007 @ 2:59 pm
  77. Gunnar,

    Thank you for finding that. However, after searching on Yahoo! for more information and context, only the last paragraph is a direct quote from Dr. Guttmacher (“Today it is…of the mother.”) The rest is the answer given to a question on the American Life League website under the “Issues,” then the “Abortion,” then the “Quick Facts” tabs(Question #2).

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — May 3, 2007 @ 3:44 pm
  78. Gunnar,
    More men more opinions. Quote:Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal disease such as cancer or leukemia, and if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save the life of the mother.

    Thus women are not entitled to self defense, self preservation if she chooses? I thought animals were even entitled to that? Is this what you are driving at? A womans right to life, right to self defense, self preservation trumps that of the unborn, if not where do we cut off these rights that men enjoy? If your child needs a vital organ to survive and you are the match shall it be mandated that you must according to law give up an organ? If you think not, than sir you are a hypocrite. I would have more respect for people that simply admitted their bigotry.

    Comment by Madmimm — May 3, 2007 @ 3:51 pm
  79. Trumpetbob,
    You stated:There is nothing intolerant about choosing to not offer something on religious reasons. If there were, then all the people who make or deal with something electrical would be calling the Amish intolerant for choosing not to use electricity. At best this is twisted logic, The Amish not using electricity effects only their community on a voluntary basis, they are not denying anyone outside of their community electricity. The Amish are not subjecting others to bend to their beliefs, the only people they inconvenience are themsleves, if only the rest would behave the same!

    Comment by Madmimm — May 3, 2007 @ 4:25 pm
  80. Madmimm,

    I am confused. If a local pharmacist chooses not to fill a prescription on religious grounds, does that not affect only his or her community? And how does that pharmacist’s actions affect other pharmacists in other communities?
    Also, doesn’t the pharmacist’s decision affect customers “on a voluntary basis” since no one puts a gun to a woman’s head and forces her to shop at a certain pharmacy?

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — May 3, 2007 @ 4:42 pm
  81. If we keep allowing workers to pick and choose who they serve, then before you know it at Target and Wal-Mart, places where you can get just about everything under one roof you are going to have the little signs with the lights on them, this time instead of saying 20 items or less, there will be signs that say,
    NO KOSHER FOOD IN THIS LINE,
    NO PORK IN THIS LINE,
    NO GAYS IN THIS LINE,
    IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR BIRTH CONTROL-SHOP SOMEWHERE ELSE,
    LAZY PEOPLE WITH THEIR MOTORIZED CARTS-OTHER END OF THE STORE
    I can keep going if you need me to, I’m sure these sound absurd, but no more absurd then basicially the two that are already happening, they just don’t have a lit sign that says as much. And if you go into a deli wanting bacon, then that person should be able to read on the outside. It will usually tell you if the deli is kosher or not.

    We can’t go on catering to people’s hang-ups. There was another story where England I think it was is changing the story of the 3 Little Pigs to a different animal because heaven forbid they get upset.

    If a company HAS to hire people they don’t particularly like, which they do, otherwise that would be discrimination, why in the hell should the employee get to pick and choose who they help?

    Comment by Aimee — May 3, 2007 @ 4:57 pm
  82. Sorry, I forgot to say about the 3 Little Pigs, it is being changed so that the Muslims aren’t offended. I don’t get why we keep bending over and taking it? If I got pissed over seeing a bible in a hotel room every time, I would never get to stay in one.

    Comment by Aimee — May 3, 2007 @ 5:01 pm
  83. Trumpetbob,
    If a pharmacist refuses to fill a perscription they are inconveniencing a person outside of their mythological beliefs. Really, how far do you want to carry this insanity? Shall people against guns take jobs at weapons manufacturerers and refuse to produce? Since when did an employee call the shots on how they are going to conduct business? I think you are stepping into a a real deep hole, but that is usually how fanatics conduct themselves, they don’t see the forest for the trees.

    Comment by Madmimm — May 3, 2007 @ 5:01 pm
  84. Aimee and Madmimm,

    I will combine my response since it will answer both your comments. Employees can’t do what they want without employers agreeing. Thus, a person against guns couldn’t take a job in a gun factory and claim religious reasons against making guns; they would rightfully be fired. If a pharmacist works for a business that will not hire any pharmacist who won’t fill birth control, then that individual pharmacist must make a decision, fill the prescription or quit. However, as I think I mentioned above, if the owner of the pharmacy chooses to not sell birth control, then there is no problem. Regarding the 3 Little Pigs, who is changing it? Is it the government through public education? That is a different debate.

    Now, as you say Aimee, “NO KOSHER FOOD IN THIS LINE, NO PORK IN THIS LINE.” Yes, that could happen, but ONLY if the owner allowed it. And we do have some of that already. If I choose to buy a DVD in the “unrated,” special version, I can’t buy that at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart promotes its stance on certain DVDs and for them, it is a selling point. There is a business reason to offer or not offer a product, one often mentioned in anti-smoking debates. Choosing to not serve something to someone because of one set of beliefs allows someone with a different set an opportunity to serve the public. The problem with abortion is that the government got involved at the national level. Many states outlawed abortion until Roe v. Wade forced everybody to allow it. This was done with judicial decree rather than an argument that pursuaded the population.

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — May 3, 2007 @ 5:38 pm
  85. Also, I wonder, should government be involved in the debate? Should abortion be outlawed by the government at all? Much as I hate to allow government anything, there is a reason for its involvment, protection of innocent life. Then again, to be true to my beliefs, there are actually a few groups who will provide for pregnant women if they choose not to have an abortion and give the child up for adoption. Unfortunately, these groups tend to be thought of as buying children or exploiting poor women, usually minorities. Then again, if we allowed rational people to make decisions without government intervention, then the likelihood of someone being exploited would disapear just as it disapeared everywhere else. (Hopefully this won’t start a new argument over exploitation.) Maybe also we could have a debate that actually focused on the child rather than abortion as a “right” since both sides are essentially flipped when it comes to government involvement.

    By the way, the Muslim cashier/Christian pharmacist was discussed in this post on this blog. And I thought it was on this blog that I read about a Texas state house member offering women money to not get an abortion. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find that post so maybe I read it somewhere else. And even though that would be the government of Texas paying women, I do know there are private groups doing basically the same thing, which is why I mentioned it above.

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — May 3, 2007 @ 5:49 pm
  86. As far as abortion goes, just because it is there, doesn’t mean every able bodied woman is going to use it. If it gets taken out of the law books, women will have to resort to using shady doctors that only end up butchering their insides.

    I’ll get back to you on the 3 little pigs thing.

    Comment by Aimee — May 3, 2007 @ 5:51 pm
  87. Trumpetbob,

    So in other words, they are being bribed to stay pregnant. Then what becomes of the baby?

    Comment by Aimee — May 3, 2007 @ 5:54 pm
  88. Then what becomes of the baby?

    Well, for starters, it doesn’t die.

    Comment by Bret — May 3, 2007 @ 6:02 pm
  89. Aimee,

    Making abortion legal was supposed to save women. However, there are cases of women dying from abortion. We still don’t know what kind of damage the morning after pill or an abortion causes a woman, be it physical or emotional.

    It isn’t bribery (which is why I wish I could find the original debate), though it is seen that way. But then again, is bribery wrong? Our tax code bribes people all the time. Have you heard of tax credits for people to open low-rent housing? That is a bribe. What about giving farmers money to grow corn? That is a bribe. I personally don’t like either of these government programs, nor the Texas program. But, I don’t have a problem if a religious group wants to offer to provide and shelter a pregnant woman if she won’t have an abortion. Using the term bribery though ignores the choice involved. And I much rather offer women money to not have an abortion than see her get one and become an emotional wreck. As for the child, it ends up being adopted by a family that will care for it. (There are also groups that do this for children conceived during a rape.)

    For more information, please see this site, which includes reference information in its articles.

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — May 3, 2007 @ 6:24 pm
  90. trumpetbob, after doing the research, I found out that the baby would be put up for adoption. There is a flaw with this as you can read below…

    “And, it should be noted, the money would only be paid within 60 days after the mother completes the adoption process and signs away her parental rights to the child, so the proposal does nothing to help the mother through her pregnancy while she is actually pregnant—it’s more like a paltry tax refund sent out long after she has endured extended hardship and pain for the benefit of a child she won’t even raise”.
    http://www.newu.uci.edu/showArticle.php?id=5624 or
    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/4654720.html

    So what they are really trying to do (in my opinion) is get her attached to her baby during the pregnancy, want to keep it, and then they wont have to pay squat.

    Also in Texas, they have this law which doesn’t bribe the women, but guilts them instead..
    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/texassouthwest/stories/DN-abortion_03tex.ART.State.Edition1.4299f08.html

    Comment by Aimee — May 3, 2007 @ 6:28 pm
  91. Yeah, the Texas idea was a waste. I do stick by the idea of a private group doing it. About the sonogram, and yes, this may be an odd comparison given recent events, but how is that different from requiring citizens to take a gun safety class before buying a weapon? There is a black and white right to own arms, but only a court-found right to an abortion. So why is it okay to harass gun owners but not women who want an abortion? (If it is actually harrassment, which I am not totally sold on.) But, this does point out a problem and that is with government solutions and government mandates. Both sides have an incentive to get a government program (or stop a government program). But should the government be involved or could we allow private charities and religious organizations to try and change minds? The only problem I see with this is the fact that there are government run hospitals, which bring us back to government fights rather than individual attempts on a personal level.

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — May 3, 2007 @ 6:52 pm
  92. What about the emotional stress it would put on a young teen/adult woman to deal with a pregnancy she didn’t ask for, and I’m speaking specifically of rape or incest. In South Carolina there was a case where a 9 yr old girl got pregnant because she was being raped for a year.

    “The girl had the baby, which was put up for adoption. Her father said the pregnancy and Caesarean section means the victim can never enjoy her childhood again because every time she dresses she can see the stretch marks and surgical scars”.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-04-25-girl-raped_N.htm

    At what age are we able to say “It’s not her fault” and not force her to have a baby she didn’t ask for, especially when she is a child herself?

    Comment by Aimee — May 3, 2007 @ 7:06 pm
  93. Thank you for a great case. Yes, this is hard to answer. And, I am actually glad this is tough to answer.

    “the victim can never enjoy her childhood again because every time she dresses she can see the stretch marks and surgical scars”.

    Will she ever be able to enjoy her childhood again since she was raped? I might be misguided, and yes, I have no idea, but I would imagine the rape would be worse than the pregnancy or for that matter, an abortion. How could her father focus on the visible scar of the C-section, but ignore the emotional scars of the rape? I also wonder what would happen to her when she got older and realized exactly what happened if she got an abortion instead. We don’t know and that is what makes this so hard. Unfortunately, I am afraid more people were debating abortion/pregnancy rather than focusing on the fact this child was raped.

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — May 3, 2007 @ 7:18 pm
  94. It’s not even about the rape, or abortion or not, but the fact that a 9 year old little girl went through a pregnancy. Their little bodies are not meant to support a life yet. It is hard on a grown woman, it puts pressure on other organs, can you imagine what it did to hers? If it had been known before she got too far along, all she would have had to do was take a pill and it would have been like a heavy period. I agree with you though about the emotional scars. It needs to be address, both for the rape and the pregnancy. I don’t know that a 9 year old could wrap her head around the fact that she is carrying another life.

    Comment by Aimee — May 3, 2007 @ 8:05 pm
  95. Trumpetbob,
    Please in all sincerity save us the “women become emotional wrecks” after having an abortion, not one woman I know that has had an abortion is nothing but grateful for a choice. These women come from many different circumstances and yes some were health related, some were simply to young and made a mistake. I also know 5 women very close to me who were raped, two were gang raped, two of the five became pregnant one chose abortion the other had the baby both are please with their choice as it should be. I am waiting for someone to answer the question of “fault”. Also waiting for discussion on how far we will carry the concept that a woman must carry a pregnancy even if it kills her for the sake of the child, and if we should extend this to include the male with bone marrow or organ donation for the sake of the child once born…Anyone? This is not a ridiculous argument, at least it should’nt be for Brownback who is willing to sacrifice the woman before birth, thus he and his brothers should be willing to include themselves up for grabs in order to sustain the life of the child born right? Perfectly logical conclusion.

    Comment by Madmimm — May 3, 2007 @ 8:14 pm
  96. Madmimm, I am kind of lost to what you are arguing, but I do know that, in this instance, if you discount my worrying about the effects on the woman, fine, then I will worry about the effects on the child. Unfortunately when someone put on a quote from the former president of Planned Parenthood, you shot the quote down because the speaker was male. Thus I have to wonder why you are responding to me, or for that matter, me responding to you since I am also male.

    Aimee, I don’t believe I have any friends who have had an abortion because I associate with pro-life people. I could be wrong, but probably not. About the 9 year old, like I said, that was a tough case for a pro-life person. I think that is a case where the health of the little girl would be in danger; then again, it seems like it wasn’t so that might actually mean something. I was just shocked that the article was about her pregnancy and the scar, but there wasn’t a mention of the rape itself. Having listened to speeches in college about what rape does to women, that just shocked me. Now, as for the morning after pill, your suggestion of being in the hospital after a rape or accident would be accepted by a great number of people. However, you are being reasonable and most often this debate brings out non-reasonable debate participants.

    Now I hope I have been able to keep this from being personal. That has been what I have tried as I argued because I don’t feel the debate should be focused on individual cases. I seek a belief system that applies as much as possible. And yes, I have put my personal opinion out there because that is what I have. I am arguing my side, not anyone else’s. Thank you for debating with me because you have forced me to rethink some of my knowledge and my beliefs, reinforcing some and providing counter-examples for others.

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — May 3, 2007 @ 8:57 pm
  97. Aimee,
    You are right many woman from many circumstances have had abortions. I am sorry about your miscarriage and am glad you cope well. My neighbor was in her forties when she and her husband had an unintended pregnancy, she knew from the get go that something was wrong, she was three weeks pregnant and looked like she was four months or so along she and her husband opted for abortion (she also had difficulties in her first pregnancy) as it turns out she was loaded with tumors that the pregnancy itself was causing.She was lucky to get one child in the world but would probably be condemed by those that think her soul obligation is to produce at all cost, so little respect for women. So many stories and so many people who treat the issue as though women have abortions like having their nails done, ridiculous and condesending.

    Trumpetbob,
    Perhaps I could come to tolerate male opinion on this subject if I ever thought that men as a whole respected women as they respect and think so highly of themselves. I have a major mistrust (and with many good reasons including history) of male centered religions. I have read the books and argued with many and I find it laughable that they try to convince me that this
    God of the bible is pro female, absolutely
    obsurd. The muscle behind the prolife movement are these mythologies and the people who promote them and yes you are right women also believe these falacies, however it is a majority of men who fuel this argument and back the prolife movement, these men become very uncomfortable when women venture away from subserviance which their good book demands. The bottom line here is a certain many men want to be catered to and in order to have that they need to keep women in their place and the bible tells them exactly how to do that, denying them rights based on religion is the place to start.

    Comment by Madmimm — May 3, 2007 @ 10:10 pm
  98. Madmimm, you should check out this blog called Up on Christian Hill http://uponchristianhill.blogspot.com/

    The whole blog is basically what you just described. The author is a Catholic woman who believes the only purpose for sex is for procreation. She even went as far to say that if her husband requested anything other than coutial intercourse (h.j., b.j. etc.) that such a request would be grounds for an anulment (she doesn’t believe in divorce).

    I have learned a lot from this blog about Catholic attitudes about sex (oh yeah, it’s okay to be homosexual as long as you stay chaste).

    Comment by Stephen Littau — May 3, 2007 @ 10:59 pm
  99. Madmimm,

    Another blog to check out (albeit a frustrating one) is Et tu Jen http://et-tu.blogspot.com/ she used to be an atheist who has turned to the dark side of catholosism. I used to have a lot of debates on there too, but it got to be too much, she has totally embraced NFP. She quickly turned her back on what she used to be and started making remarks about atheists that were unsavory at best.

    It’s nice to see other women out there that disagree with organized religion as much as I do : )

    Comment by Aimee — May 3, 2007 @ 11:23 pm
  100. Madmimm,

    After reading my last post again, I realized how stupid it sounded. I didn’t quit reading her blog because she embraced NFP, it was because it was like a switch had been flipped and all of a sudden she was above the atheists and now that she loves God and he loves her, all is right with her world, it got to be annoying.

    Comment by Aimee — May 3, 2007 @ 11:26 pm
  101. Thus women are not entitled to self defense, self preservation if she chooses? I thought animals were even entitled to that? Is this what you are driving at? A womans right to life, right to self defense, self preservation trumps that of the unborn

    How did you get the opposite meaning from what I wrote? You seem really confused, so I’ll try to be clear. There really is NO situation where an abortion is required to save the life of the mother.

    Let me repeat: There is NO situation where an abortion is REQUIRED to save the life of the mother. There are situation where the life of the mother is in danger from a different cause, such as cancer at the same as being pregnant. In this case, the doctor is taking care of two patients, and in doing so, the baby may die. This is NOT abortion.

    For a moral system to be valid, rights must be universal, and non contradictory. By this, I mean that they must apply to all equally, and there be no conflict.

    For this to be true, one must understand that liberty and property are derived from the right to life:

    Liberty: the right to live ones life as one chooses, the right to freely trade ones labor for values. The right to express yourself freely, with your own property. The right to Liberty is strictly limited by other peoples right to Life and Property.

    Thus, yelling fire in a theater is a violation of other peoples rights.

    And killing a very young human is a violation of another human beings right to life.

    You propose that liberty trumps the right to Life, which is logically unsupportable, and turns morality on its head. With this moral system, anything is possible.

    Comment by Gunnar — May 4, 2007 @ 8:57 am
  102. Aime & Stephen,
    Thanks for the blog info, how ridiculous these people can be, much to be said for brainwashing!
    I was rasied Catholic and attended Catholic school, I still become infuriated at having to cover my head entering the male temple as a young girl while at the same time a priest was abusing my older brother, now tell me who should cover their head in shame? I am not an atheist my beliefs are not mainstream and I do not push my beliefs on anyone I believe they are personal.
    I find it amusing that these mainstream religions get so hung up on sex, it seems to be their main concern. The sex is for procreation only crowd never cease to amuse me, if it were such a chore it would not FEEL GOOD, of course people are going to engage in sex for pleasure that is NATURAL! Women need to pay close attention and stop buying into second class citizen subserviance BS! Every person needs to realize they came into the world through a woman not through some male god who sits around authorizing each pregnancy, and learn to show a little respect.

    Comment by Madmimm — May 4, 2007 @ 9:33 am
  103. trumpetbob:
    Your quotes:
    1. Let me repeat: There is NO situation where an abortion is REQUIRED to save the life of the mother.

    BS pure and simple, and health should be considered less you take away the right to self defense.

    2.For a moral system to be valid, rights must be universal, and non contradictory. By this, I mean that they must apply to all equally, and there be no conflict.

    If you allow the unborn to trump the rights of the BORN woman CITIZEN and tax payer then ANYTHING trumps the rights of a woman. Further if you mandate that women do not have a right to protect their health or life in lieu of the unborn then we should carry that concept to its fullest extent and require bone marrow and organ donation of all to sustain the life of the BORN child correct?

    Comment by Madmimm — May 4, 2007 @ 11:21 am
  104. Madmimm,

    I see you didn’t deal with my argument. I guess you couldn’t think of anything, so you decided to spew your tired anti-catholic, anti-male rhetoric.

    Btw, if God does exist, God is certainly neither male nor female.

    Well, I didn’t argue from a catholic point of view. I’m coming from a natural law point of view, based on reality, logic and reason.

    Comment by Gunnar — May 4, 2007 @ 11:33 am
  105. The thing that strikes me oddly in the conversation is the denial, by some, of the right to life. Not to mention the assumption, by others, that property rights should trump a right to life.

    Just because a right can be violated does not mean that it doesn’t exist. Charles Bowen appears to be trying to argue that because someone can violate my right to life, I don’t actually have such a right.

    Someone else, I don’t recall who amid the 100+ comments, said that a right to life should not trump property rights. If we have to hierarchically order natural rights, it seems clear to me that a right to life is first among them. You cannot possibly enjoy your right to property or liberty if you are dead.

    Comment by Adam Selene — May 4, 2007 @ 11:42 am
  106. Gunnar,
    I dealt with your argument you simply cannot except or rebuttle it because what I am saying is very very uncomfortable for you.
    I can be as anti-male centered religion as I please just as they are anti-woman. You are aruging natural law? Funny how it protects the male more than the female, seriously, you think I am going to fall for it?? Anti-male? Oh contraire, I am nothing of the sort with males who consider me as special as they consider themselves!

    Comment by Madmimm — May 4, 2007 @ 11:58 am
  107. Gunnar,
    Excuse me, I did address you but mistakenly put trumpetbob’s name to it.

    Comment by Madmimm — May 4, 2007 @ 12:00 pm
  108. Gunnar and Trumpetbob,

    “An early ectopic pregnancy can sometimes be treated with an injection of methotrexate, which dissolves the fertilized egg and allows your body to reabsorb it. This nonsurgical approach minimizes scarring of your pelvic organs.

    If the pregnancy is further along, you’ll likely need surgery to remove the abnormal pregnancy. In the past, this was a major operation, requiring general anesthesia and a large incision across the pelvic area. This may still be necessary in cases of emergency or extensive internal injury.

    However, the pregnancy may sometimes be removed using laparoscopy, a less invasive surgical procedure. The surgeon makes a small incision in the lower abdomen and then inserts a laparoscope. This long, hollow tube with a lighted end allows the doctor to view internal organs and insert other instruments as needed. Sometimes, a second small abdominal incision is made for the instruments. The ectopic pregnancy is then surgically removed and any damaged organs are repaired or removed. General or regional anesthesia may be used”.

    So it isn’t called abortion, but the fertilized egg (to many this is already a life) is dissolved, or it is extracted through major surgery. Do you still oppose this, is this still murder? Does changing the name of the procedure make the difference, just curious.

    Comment by Aimee — May 4, 2007 @ 12:31 pm
  109. Sorry, forgot the link:

    http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_newborn/pregnancy/ectopic.html

    Comment by Aimee — May 4, 2007 @ 12:56 pm
  110. Aimee,

    It’s not immoral (ie, a violation of Life, Liberty, Property) if the people involved respect the humanity of both the mother and baby, and try to save both. If the mothers’ life isn’t in immediate jeapardy, then the baby should be given a chance to make it to viability. In most cases, the baby will miscarry. Otherwise, it’s similar to a case of cojoined twins.

    I’m willing to support legislation that specifically identifies the medical situations where the life of the mother is truly at risk, and allowing an abortion in only those cases and only with the consent of the doctor, mother and father.

    Aimee, are you willing to support that?

    Otherwise, you are exposed as supporting murder. Your position is like saying that since on occasion, a cojoined twin dies in an attempt to separate them, therefore, any person can kill his sibling, if they deem the sibling inconvenient at that moment in time.

    Comment by Gunnar — May 4, 2007 @ 2:16 pm
  111. Gunnar,
    “Otherwise, you are exposed as supporting murder”.

    Then I guess I support murder, if that is how you want to define it. In an ectopic pregnancy, there is no chance for the baby to survive, there just isn’t enough room, it will cause the organ it attached to to rupture and the mother will bleed to death if it isn’t taken care of in time. In an ectopic pregnancy, the baby will not miscarry. This takes medical intervention to remove or disolve the fertilized egg/fetus.

    I do not agree that it should be only for medical purposed. I believe the woman should always have an option, to a point. I do not agree though with partial birth abortions. If the baby is to the point where it can sustain life outside of the womb with or without medical help, then you are too far in your pregnancy to back out and should have the baby, whether they keep it from there is up to the woman/couple.

    I have explained that I have been there done that and do not regret my decision. If that makes me a murderer also, then I own it. I don’t see it as that though, but that is my opinion.

    “Your position is like saying that since on occasion, a cojoined twin dies in an attempt to separate them, therefore, any person can kill his sibling, if they deem the sibling inconvenient at that moment in time”.

    I don’t think so. Now you are putting words in my mouth. Inconvenient is a cold word. In the case of conjoined twins, at times they HAVE to be separated in order to save the healthier one because the other one is literally sucking the life out of the other. It is not selfish to want the best for your children, if that means there is a risk that one could die during/after separation, then that is a risk I would take.

    You are trying to play on emotions using words like kill, murder and inconvenient. I think you have to honestly be in a situation to know how you would react to it. It is easy to judge someone from the sidelines.

    Comment by Aimee — May 4, 2007 @ 2:51 pm
  112. Oh, and I am also a huge supporter of assisted suicide.

    Comment by Aimee — May 4, 2007 @ 2:55 pm
  113. Aime,
    I will check in as a supporter of murder right along side you, if that is what trips Gunnars trigger! Gunnar can sit back and be comfortable not supporting a womans health, he has NOTHING to fear won’t happen to him!
    As for partial birth abortion these are also performed in lieu of a womans health against a fetus that will not not survive long if at all outside the womb Spina Bifida being one of the complications and some other names I cannot remember off hand. So I am all for that procedure also, I believe a woman has a right to her health just as any man in medical circumstances.

    Gunnar
    I like your cavalier attitude “I’m willing to support legislation that specifically identifies the medical situations where the life of the mother is truly at risk”
    I am willingly to support legislation where proper medical treatment will be given to men if and only if their life is truly at risk, if they run into health issues….to bad! Hope you can live with that!

    Comment by Madmimm — May 4, 2007 @ 4:52 pm
  114. Madmimm,

    If partial birth abortion is used to remove the fetus due to complications for the mother or the baby, I’m all for it. I just don’t know if I agree with doing the abortion that late into a pregnancy just because.

    Comment by Aimee — May 4, 2007 @ 5:09 pm
  115. The thing that strikes me oddly in the conversation is the denial, by some, of the right to life. Not to mention the assumption, by others, that property rights should trump a right to life.

    Just because a right can be violated does not mean that it doesn’t exist. Charles Bowen appears to be trying to argue that because someone can violate my right to life, I don’t actually have such a right.

    Someone else, I don’t recall who amid the 100+ comments, said that a right to life should not trump property rights. If we have to hierarchically order natural rights, it seems clear to me that a right to life is first among them. You cannot possibly enjoy your right to property or liberty if you are dead.

    Adam, those are some damned fine points.

    Madmimm,

    I like your cavalier attitude “I’m willing to support legislation that specifically identifies the medical situations where the life of the mother is truly at risk”
    I am willingly to support legislation where proper medical treatment will be given to men if and only if their life is truly at risk, if they run into health issues….to bad! Hope you can live with that!

    While I can see you are passionate about your argument, I’d like to take the time to point out that your argument does not hold water.

    Your “supposed” legislation is limited in extreme scope to what you feel an isolated incident of a womans health is.

    1. Gunnars argument, at face value, seems to indicate a desire to save the child, and to give the child a life. He does not advocate killing the mother. In fact, he has pointed out, that if the mothers life is in danger, or her health at risk, he supports treatment.

    2. Gunnar has stated that he does not see abortion as necessary, because when health risks present towards a mother, an evacuation of the fetus often occurs. This is not an abortion, but merely a product of the treatment to save the mothers life.

    3. Considering those two arguments by Gunnar, he states, through that argument, that a woman who aborts a fetus, is not doing so for her own life or health, but for another reason.

    That claims that her right to the pursuit of happiness or property (in the case of funds spent on the baby) trumps the fetuses Right to Life, and it is a position he does not seem to agree with.

    Gunnar simply seems to be saying that he belives a right to life is more important than other rights: that in the probability that a mother is sick or dying, and can be saved at the expense of an unborn life, then the one who already has life, and a vested intrest in it, should be saved. However, if a life is not in danger, nor an issue to health presented, perhaps that child has more of a right to life than someone else to property.

    Who can say what is right or what is wrong? Moral values are not absolute, but relative. And honestly, no one is able to pinpoint when a fetus gains more awareness than a plant or a dog…and even then people place higher value on that life, however; because it is human.

    Comment by Ted — May 4, 2007 @ 6:38 pm
  116. Adam;

    Just to clarify for the purposes of critical thinking, I said I don’t believe in a ‘right to life’ which as I understand it, would make it an imperitave of the state to enforce with full force against the practice of abortion.

    I would not agree with that as a useful function for the State. (To the extent I believe in a State.)

    Nevertheless, abortion is murder.

    I had a couple more thoughts if anyone is still following, but the point is that the onus is on the person who is claiming a ‘right’ to prove that exists, or at least explain what they mean.

    My take is that the State comes offering a bag full of goodies, ‘rights’, or hard cash, and doles them out. That would imply rights are granted from the State, not God given. So what is a Creator given right?

    Secondly, as others noted with horrific thoughts about what would they do should something happen to their daughter–certainly a difficult test. But using fear as part of the argument is an appeal to the non-rational side of the brain. Dressing it up with rights, notwithstanding, it’s sort of a give away that one’s argument needs to be worked on.

    Lastly, Madminn,

    All I asked is you call it murder. I am okay with that. I invest in China, a whole nation of baby girl killers (estimates range up to 125 million dead baby girls, not including abortion since the 1950s) so I clearly don’t think its a deal killer. There is a certain honesty to that position, something more honest than the less gutsy, trespasser or parasite analogy that tries to dehumanize the victim (i.e. a propaganda technique.)

    If I have a particular problem with that approach is the corruption of the medical field, an oath based field, and fully backed by a joint State-Private licensing regime. Committing murder is a direct violation of the whole ‘Dr.’ which makes deregulating the medical profession of utmost importance.

    Comment by C Bowen — May 4, 2007 @ 6:49 pm
  117. C Bowen,
    Then I guess you do not acknowledge brain death and you would call pulling the plug, murder. As I have said, I thought that this was the issue about abortion.
    Even to kill another human is not always considered murder. This blog has made self defense into an art form and justifies killing over inanimate property. No one gives any argument about the right the life in those situations, as long as its your property.

    It is more than about murder. It is also about sex. Murder as birth control. What the hell does that imply? Taking responsibility for one sexual behavior. I mention vasectomies and everyones goes dumb. No, it seems that what you mean; a woman has to take for responsibility for the man too and if what she does fails and she has an abortion, she is evil; a murderess! Then you as a male can take the moral high road. That also implies for rape and incest that it is her fault too, she a murderer because she doesn’t want to bare the child; and for her own self defense of protecting her life, she is called a murderer.

    Some of you value your house over a womans life.

    These are my perceptions of the debate.

    Comment by VRB — May 4, 2007 @ 11:44 pm
  118. Ted,
    Thank you for your response. However you need to re-read Gunnars post and I quote: “I’m willing to support legislation that specifically identifies the medical situations where the life of the mother is truly at risk”. He is not supporting the health of the mother, he couldn’t care less, I am sure if it were his health all would be different.

    C Bowen,
    How you define abortion is your business, you are the reason I started posting in the first place. Your comment ““If you were to ask me whom would I admire more, the woman who gave up her life to bring a new one into this world, or the one who killed her baby so she could eek out a few more years, which one do you think I would choose?”. You have lost any credability with me as having any respect for women. Your comment said it all, so tell me sir, why would I care what you call it, it has been well established that YOU consider it murder and that you have no respect for women.

    One thing I would like to say on a “passionate” level. All the men in this room need to consider the fact that they entered this world between the legs of a woman, so if you are lacking respect sit on that a while. Also whether you choose to except it or not women go through much hell to bring your ungrateful butts into this world and believe me it is more than you could tolerate most of you lose it when you get the sniffles. Not just the painful circumstances of childbirth and the many complications with it but also monthly pain and discomfort and some of us start as young as 9 years old. I think this whole argument fueled by prodominatly men is nothing more than a power trip. Women have never recieved anything for their contributions, mention paid maternity leave and some men nearly pass out. Men reward themselves for whatever they do, and being this is something they cannot do they treat it with disregard. Of course I am not saying “all” men, but I will say a majority of them. If men would start to police their own like they police women maybe, just maybe things would change. I wonder when we will have male birth control pills and I wonder how many of these men will take them, or if they will feel it is the womans responsibility?

    VRB you have a fantastic argument I wonder if you will get a response?? Men taking the moral high ground, I wish they would climb down off their high horse!

    Comment by Madmimm — May 6, 2007 @ 5:20 pm
  119. Madmimm,

    I think you are reading Gunnars statement as if it were ultra specific to life and not health, while I view his statement as both health and life. But, since I am not Gunnar, I cannot say which is correct. Your interpretation might be, but mine might as well.

    VRB,

    It is more than about murder. It is also about sex. Murder as birth control. What the hell does that imply? Taking responsibility for one sexual behavior. I mention vasectomies and everyones goes dumb. No, it seems that what you mean; a woman has to take for responsibility for the man too and if what she does fails and she has an abortion, she is evil; a murderess! Then you as a male can take the moral high road. That also implies for rape and incest that it is her fault too, she a murderer because she doesn’t want to bare the child; and for her own self defense of protecting her life, she is called a murderer.

    When it comes to Vasectomies, I am all for them.

    My wife and I have not had a child yet. She has not had an abortion, though if she ever decided to have one, I would not hold it against her, and would in fact support her, as I am told by some people who have had them that it can be extremely emotional. If we decide not to have children, or not to have any more once we have one or more, then I will get a Vasectomy. A Tubal Ligation is too dangerous, and I will not put my wife through that.

    In fact, we are considering having me clipped, and then, if we want children later, we can adobt. Older children always have a rougher time in the system, often with good reason, but they need family.

    Yes, if a man fails to wear a condom, it’s stupid. It’s also stupid for the woman to let him have sex like that.

    Also, women have several forms of birth control that are equal to condoms in many respects, and they should use them as well. So, when a woman gets impregnated by anything other than rape or incest, I consider it equally the male and females fault, even when it includes birth control devices not functioning (As they all admit to some failure).

    When it comes to Incest and Rape, I can definitely understand the desire not to have a product of such a union continue to grow inside her. Technically, if you have an abortion, it is homicide. You are killing a human. But it is not murder as long as it is lawful: Murder is, after all, unlawful killing or barbarous slaughter.

    Of course, I personally place no moral judgement on such a thing. I’ve never been in a situation where I was affected by it. But honestly, I’d want my wife to have the choice if she desired it.

    However, as has been pointed out, Abortion can rarely be called life saving, as life saving procedures evacuate the fetus as a byproduct, a result of treatment.

    I suppose, however, a case could be made that abortion is self defense in regards to property and liberty. And while some people might say “Well, you choose to have sex(With or without birth control), so you have to have the child,” I could point out that it is the same as saying “So you left your door unlocked, so you had to be robbed.”

    Sorry, I am rambling now.

    Comment by Ted — May 6, 2007 @ 6:26 pm
  120. Ted,

    Just to put it out there, tubal ligations are safe. I had one about a month after having our daughter. I have not had any problems. Recovery was only a few days before I really felt okay again. I had mine coterized (pretty sure I mispelled that) to help make sure that it was a done deal. It is not as hard on women as it used to be. But if you are willing to step up and have a vasectomy, more power to you, recovery time is a lot faster.

    I would not want a man to have one just so you don’t get pregnant for the time being though. Having it repaired is not always succesful.

    Comment by Aimee — May 6, 2007 @ 9:24 pm
  121. C. Bowen:

    My take is that the State comes offering a bag full of goodies, ‘rights’, or hard cash, and doles them out. That would imply rights are granted from the State, not God given. So what is a Creator given right?

    Not one of the contributors on this blog believes that rights come from the State. We all believe in “natural rights”. Rights that exist prior to the establishment of government, if you want a definition of what that means. I struggle with your idea that a right to life does not exist. Of course it does, which does not mean it cannot be violated. We have laws against murder specifically because of that.

    VRB, self defense is about protecting my own rights from being violated by someone else. Which you know. But you choose to use emotionally freighted words to imply that we think it is okay to kill someone if they threaten our property in some fashion other than very directly and not including a threat to our life.

    Comment by Adam Selene — May 8, 2007 @ 10:31 am
  122. Adam;

    It seems a rather obvious problem that those claiming there is a right to life should be honest and forthright, and offer a concise statement about when this ‘right’ actually kicks in. What you are describing sounds like more of a tradition than an imutable law. In other posts, in an admittedly veiled way, I agreed that I accept natural rights (namely property rights). That is not to say, arguing in favor of a right to life is a defacto bad thing, but I don’t see how Brownback is wrong in that case.

    Politics looks like the final arbiter in that case.

    We have laws against murder, but our regime commits mass murder abroad and nothing happens. I content abortion is murder and nothing happens. Life goes on so I dispute the presence of a written law having any real meaning. All coerced taxation is theft, for example, but we have laws against theft. Get my point? Anyway, its worth thinking about weakness in the libertarian approach of the contributors and tighten it up.

    Vrb;

    If you are brain dead, the plug should be pulled. It makes a mockery of life to keep such an existence going. It is hysterics on your part to assume I would think that murder. You need to reconsider your positions.

    In law, the family must be the final arbiter. In the case of medicine, folks should be able to go to a tradition, classically defined Doctor, or they can go to a dispenser of services, death, a little morphine over dose, no worries here, I am just pro-choice.

    And regarless of the fact that is not an option for me, suicide, death by ones own hand, is one of the ways to get into Valhalla, and in our multi-cultutral world, I don’t want to offend pagans.

    Madminn;

    As I don’t use the term mother or woman with mere utilitarian purposes, your comments don’t carry any punch. Mothers don’t kill their babies; one either gets my point or they don’t. Many Western women seem to be very angry at God for creating them and hate the burden. Perhaps that is why eating disorders are phenom in their ranks.

    Comment by C Bowen — May 8, 2007 @ 6:31 pm
  123. Adam,
    If I misinterpreted, it is this blog inability to speak in plain English. I did not intentionally mention it to garner any emotion. I do get that sense that property is so valued that one would kill to keep it. I have gotten the impression that one would see themselves as violated if someone came on their property. Maybe it’s the metaphors or the analogies; what ever it is.

    Comment by VRB — May 8, 2007 @ 7:21 pm
  124. C. Bowen:

    It seems a rather obvious problem that those claiming there is a right to life should be honest and forthright, and offer a concise statement about when this ‘right’ actually kicks in.

    First, let’s ask ourselves a question. Is it a piece of paper that gives us a “right”, or something else? Is it tradition? I know I have never argued such a thing. I argue that by the very reality of being a living human, a right to life, liberty and property exists, independent of tradition or law.

    Now, I haven’t said a word about what I believe that means as far as abortion goes. I rarely, if ever, discuss abortion publicly. Frankly, I see little value in it. But, a lot of value in asking questions about life, liberty and property.

    Just because bad things happen doesn’t mean that individual rights don’t exist. Black slaves in the south still exercised, in small and large ways, their property rights, for example. They still had a right to liberty, it was just violated and abused.

    Comment by Adam Selene — May 8, 2007 @ 7:21 pm
  125. VRB, if you were to come on my property, without my permission, what do you think would be an appropriate response on my part?

    Comment by Adam Selene — May 8, 2007 @ 7:23 pm
  126. Adam,
    How would you know what my intent, I may need to tell that you that I need assistance, or that I had just hit your car? So what am I to make of that statement, that no one is allowed to come to your door for anything and they have to write you a letter or call you to make sure you don’t..

    Comment by VRB — May 8, 2007 @ 7:58 pm
  127. C Bowen
    Quote: Western women seem to be very angry at God for creating them and hate the burden. Perhaps that is why eating disorders are phenom in their ranks.

    Your male god as stated in the book/books? The burden? What male burdens do we demand by law? Do we put stipulations for the male on self protection, self preservation & self defense? Why would we limit women in those catergories due to some imaginary male god? I think you have control issues, of course the “good book” allows you to control women, but we as a just society have changed all that haven’t we?

    Comment by Madmimm — May 9, 2007 @ 9:31 am

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