Something about the summer makes hardcore abortion supporters want to come out and rail against the pro-life movement. First, there’s Anna Quindlen’s magnificent piece here. Let me give you the highlights– a group of anti-abortion protesters were confronted by an amateur video-maker with the question, “How much time should a woman who gets an abortion do?” The protesters were caught off-guard, to which Quindlen says:
Those ancient notions undergird the refusal to confront the logical endpoint of criminalization. Lawmakers in a number of states have already passed or are considering statutes designed to outlaw abortion if Roe is overturned. But almost none hold the woman, the person who set the so-called crime in motion, accountable. Is the message that women are not to be held responsible for their actions?
The key to her article is that there is no clearly defined penalty for abortion. My response is– why should there be? Abortion falls under the statutes of murder– someone intentionally ends the life of someone else.
She ends with this garbage:
“I haven’t sorted out the penalties,” he said lamely. Neither, it turns out, has anyone else. But there are only two logical choices: hold women accountable for a criminal act by sending them to prison, or refuse to criminalize the act in the first place. If you can’t countenance the first, you have to accept the second. You can’t have it both ways.
She’s trying to disconnect abortion & murder. If we do establish a separate penalty for abortion, then it’s saying the fetus is somehow different than an infant, child, or adult, as the penalties would be very different.
Jill Filipovic jumps on the bandwagon over at the PuffingTonsHost. She actually gets the idea, but then spins off into an emotionally-charged rant. Here’s where she gets it:
The definition of murder is “killing a person with malice aforethought.” If personhood is established at the moment of fertilization, and all people are invested with equal rights under the law, then there is no getting around the fact that under anti-choice legislation, women who terminate pregnancies are committing murder — or at the very least, paying someone else to do it.
She answers her own question. But, as usual, spins into the world of hypothetical “What-if” statements, which are complete waste of time as it’s an idealized question set to sabotage someone’s position. Let’s take her “unanswerable hypothetical” here:
There’s a fire in a fertility clinic. Inside the clinic there’s a three-year-old boy who you’ve never met and have absolutely no connection to. There are also 100 embryos in a box, none of which you have any connection to. You only have time to run into the clinic one time. You cannot carry the boy and the box at the same time. What do you do? Do you save 100, or do you save one?
1) A “box of embryos” would have to be kept at specific temperatures inside the clinic, so they’d be in a structure that could resist the fire. They have no need for airborne oxygen at the moment, so smoke-inhalation is not a risk as it is to the 3-year old. The person in the most danger, therefore, is the 3-year old, and should be removed.
2) Fertility clinics are typically on the opposite end of the pro-life scale as they operate by a shotgun approach. Fertilize a bunch of embryos, take those with the best chance of implanting (usually 7 or 8) and then inject them and see which implant and which don’t. They should be fertilizing one and implanting it directly on the uterine wall.
To which I pose another hypothetical to Jill. You meet your friend who is 5 months pregnant and she talks about how wonderful her life will be with the new baby. She knows it’s a girl and has named her Haley already. Well, at 6 months, she comes over to your house in tears. She’s found out her husband has been cheating on her and she doesn’t want the baby any more. She pulls out a coat-hanger and starts to self-abort. Do you stop her?
If you stop her, why? If you don’t, why didn’t you?
The comments on this post are also priceless. The ever-present ClevelandChick posts the following:
I’m saying potential life as in the fetus cannot survive on it’s own outside of the womb. It’s survival depends on the health of the woman carrying it who is in fact alive.
The fetus is inanimate before it pops out of the womb. It has no life, so it must just be a non-nucleic tumor, one which has lost its nuclei, like dead skin-cells.
Such denial of science is cult-like in its denial. I can see why the buy the global warming trash spewed by AlGore so easily.
You can find my entire list of responses over here at the PuffingtonsHost on page 2. Do a search for Nethicus1. And while you’re there, become a fan of me and favorite all of my posts. That way I can become a blogger for Arianna for free! Hurrah!
And our last post comes from DailyKos and the poster Devilstower:
I do not believe, do not see any reason to believe, that a small cluster of cells — cells that have no nerves, no muscles, no organs — deserves the same rights as a human being. The argument that these cells have the genetic signature of humanity is meaningless, since this is a trait shared by every cell in my thumb. Neither do I see any compelling reason to view these cells as imbued with a soul.
Obviously Devilstower doesn’t want to apply all of the knowledge he learned about biology, just some of it. Much like the eugenicists did.
The embryo in any stage is a totality of being. The difference between DT’s thumb and an embryo is that if I remove his thumb, most of his body is still there– the totality of his being has been disrupted in a minor way. However, removal of the entire embryo, or the destruction of the embryo to make stem cells, results in the destruction of the individual in its totality.
He’s also mistaken here:
Only there’s a problem. The Bush administration has supported the development of these new techniques, but they’ve not updated the regulation over using the cells.
The 2001 policy says that federal funds may not be used to study embryonic stem cells created after Aug. 9 of that year. It is based on the assumption that the only way to make the cells is by destroying human embryos — a truism in 2001 but not any longer.
The error is that the non-destructive manner in making “embryonic” stem-cells, the methods using a retro-virus to create “pluripotent” stem cells or harvesting stem-cells without harming the embryo, produce stem-cell lines that are “pluripotent” and no-longer embryonic.
It’s legal semantics that would be easily dismantled with a minor court case. In fact, I’m reasonably sure the US Attorney’s office wouldn’t oppose such a lawsuit.
So there you have it. Absurdly long post for a Thursday. Enjoy!