The Infanticide Shibboleth

Abortion — By on June 5, 2008 at 1:43 am

The Book of Judges has a curious story about a fight between the men of Gilead and the men of Ephraim. After the battle the fugitives of Ephraim attempted to cross the fords of the Jordan River but were stopped by warriors from Gilead and presented a challenge:

And when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, “Let me go over,” the men of Gilead said to him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” When he said, “No,” they said to him, “Then say Shibboleth,” and he said, “Sibboleth,” for he could not pronounce it right.

Today, the term shibboleth is used to refer to a word or phrase that can be used to distinguish members of a group from outsiders. It can also be used to refer to customs, practices, or cultural touchstones that identify a person as being a member of a particular group.

For example, I have my own shibboleth that I used to identify members of the class, Civilized Human Beings. I call it the infanticide shibboleth. Opposing the blatant killing of human infants is admittedly a low bar of entry. But I figure you have to start somewhere.

Regrettably, the current Democratic nominee for President may not meet this minimal standard.

Of course most people–including Senator Obama–would say they oppose infanticide. This is why it would be necessary to present them with a test. For instance, I would ask them to read this description of the procedure known as “intact dilation and extraction”, commonly referred to as “partial-birth abortion.” I would also ask them if they thought that a baby that had survived a late-term abortion should be killed after it was outside the mother’s womb.

After asking those questions I would gauge their reaction. If they recoiled in horror at the mere mentions of such actions I would warmly welcome them as fellow Civilized Human Beings. But how should I classify the moral prevaricators who would attempt to justify such atrocities? And what about a politician who voted in favor of protecting partial-birth abortion and voted against protecting born-alive infants?

Which brings us back to Sen. Obama. In 2002, as an Illinois legislator, Obama voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act, which would have protected babies that survived late-term abortions. The bill sought to protect babies who survived premature inducement for the purpose of abortion and would have given them the same rights as babies who were born prematurely and given live-saving medical attention. The bill was so commonsensical than even NARAL Pro-Choice America did not oppose its passage.

My friend Jill Stanek, a registered delivery-ward nurse who became the primary champion behind the legislation after she witnessed aborted babies’ being born alive and left to die, testified twice before Obama in support of the Induced Infant Liability Act. She told reporter Amanda Carpenter that her testimony “did not faze” Obama.

To earn my vote a politician must pass my dignity litmus test. Obama, like many Republicans and almost all Democrats, fails to meet that standard. But to earn my recognition of you as a fellow civilized human being a person simply has to oppose crushing the heads of infants. Sadly, Obama fails to meet that standard too.

Maybe something is lost in translation, or perhaps I simply speak a different dialect. But whenever I hear people describe Obama as an “inspiring speaker” I only hear the words “infanticide apologist” echo in my ears.



  • phasespace

    Joe,
    Making tests such as these are a double edged sword. Especially when you neglect to mention the circumstances under which this procedure occurs. When preserving the life of one endangers another, and then claiming that the act of preservation is undignified makes it all too easy for you to dismiss the difficulty and the moral dilemma involved in making these kinds of decisions. You’ve effectively shielded yourself from having to deal with the problem in the first place. That seems awful cowardly to me.
    Having known someone who has gone through this, and actually dealt with the consequences, after having to choose her own life over the likely death of them both, your smarmy superiority smacks of nothing but ignorance and a lame attempt to distance yourself from the reality of how messy life can truly be. There is most definitely, an absolute moral decision to be made in such cases, but it’s clear that you haven’t a fricking clue about how to go about figuring out what it is. Which is worse? A horrible, painful, and undignified death for 1 or for 2?
    Once again, we see the failings of authoritarian morality laid bare.

  • http://www.thewickens.info Martin

    Cases of abortion for the sake of saving the mother’s life account for less than 1% of all abortions. Most pro-life groups I know are very sympathetic and understanding of such distressing situations. But to bring up the mother’s life as a normal or regular reason for abortion is to truly side step the argument.
    In the UK less than 1% of abortions come under the category of Ground E which means the child would be born handicapped. So you can see that a very minimal amount of abortions have any viable reason at all. For the record, I do not think that a handicapped child should be aborted. But the mother’s and child’s health are often used as a defense for abortion when in fact they very rarely come into the equation.
    Normally abortions take place for lifestyle reasons. Something else should be realised and that is that in the USA in over 60% of abortions the mother feels coerced into have the procedure.
    Finally, it has always been allowable and legal to give a medical procedure to a dying mother even if it meant risking the child. In such cases the death of the child is an indirect result of treating the mother.
    I am sorry for what your friend had to endure Joe. It is a pain I am sure I will never know. But her situation is rare.
    And as for you comment about avoiding a “messy life” you are wrong. Messy is a failed abortion where the baby writhes in pain. Messy is a baby pulled limb from limb from the mother’s womb. Messy is the physical and psychological effect on the mother.

  • serek

    Joe,
    What’s your opinion of 1 Samuel 15.2, where the Bible says:
    “Thus says the Lord of hosts, “I will punish the Amalekites for what they did in opposing the Israelities when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”?
    Or
    “However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them — the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites — as the LORD your God has commanded you.” Deuteronomy 20.16
    There are dozens of other examples in the Bible, as I’m sure you know. Apparently, according to the Bible God commanded the killing of the Amalekite infants. I’ve heard some Christians trying to justify these Bible verses.
    I agree with the post above that opposing infanticide 100%, no excuses, no apologies, no equivocation, is the mark of a Civilized Human Being. Do you, as a Christian, oppose this divinely mandated infanticide, or are you a ‘infanticide apologist’?

  • http://lashawnbarber.com La Shawn

    Indeed! I blogged about Obama’s favorable view of infanticide (and mentioned Jill Stanek’s testimony) back in 2004 before he was elected to the U.S. Senate:
    Obama’s Pro-Death Vote

  • Ben Stevenson

    Serek,
    I believe that God is the creator of life, and he is its ultimate owner. He decides who should live and who should die.
    In general, God has forbidden people from killing other people:
    “You shall not murder.” — Exodus 20:13
    However, there are certain exceptions when God has allowed, or even commanded, certain people to end certain lives. One of these is capital punishment:
    ““Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” — Genesis 9:6 (ESV)
    Another case where God allows taking human life is in certain battles, such as the ones you mentioned.
    In normal circumstances it is unacceptable to kill. I hope you agree with this, even if you don’t accept the exceptions to this rule, where God (the owner of all life) sanctions ending life.

  • ucfengr

    Making tests such as these are a double edged sword. Especially when you neglect to mention the circumstances under which this procedure occurs. When preserving the life of one endangers another, and then claiming that the act of preservation is undignified makes it all too easy for you to dismiss the difficulty and the moral dilemma involved in making these kinds of decisions. You’ve effectively shielded yourself from having to deal with the problem in the first place. That seems awful cowardly to me.
    phase, this is from a letter to Senator Rick Santorum from the American Medical Association link:
    The American Medical Association (AMA) is writing to support HR 1122, “The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1997,” as amended. Although our general policy is to oppose legislation criminalizing medical practice or procedure, the AMA has supported such legislation where the procedure was narrowly defined and not medically indicated. HR 1122 now meets both those tests.
    Our support of this legislation is based on three specific principles. First, the bill would allow a legitimate exception where the life of the mother was endangered, thereby preserving the physician’s judgment to take any medically necessary steps to save the life of the mother. Second, the bill would clearly define the prohibited procedure so that it is clear on the face of the legislation what act is to be banned. Finally, the bill would give any accused physician the right to have his or her conduct reviewed by the State Medical Board before a criminal trial commenced. In this manner, the bill would provide a formal role for valuable medical peer determination in any enforcement proceeding.
    The AMA believes that with these changes, physicians will be on notice as to the exact nature of the prohibited conduct.
    Thank you for the opportunity to work with you towards restricting a procedure we all agree is not good medicine.
    Seems Joe is on firmer ground here than you.
    Having known someone who has gone through this, and actually dealt with the consequences, after having to choose her own life over the likely death of them both, your smarmy superiority smacks of nothing but ignorance and a lame attempt to distance yourself from the reality of how messy life can truly be.
    Chest thumping and arm waving may be useful in attracting a mate, but it doesn’t do much to advance your argument.

  • http://www.prophetforhire.com Daniel Partin

    phasespace,
    I will grant that experience can be used to make a good argument, but limited experience makes for a limited argument.

  • http://www.prophetforhire.com Daniel Partin

    phasespace,
    I will grant that experience can be used to make a good argument, but limited experience makes for a limited argument.

  • http://wondersforoyarsa.blogspot.com Wonders for Oyarsa

    Hi Serek,
    I discuss those troubling passages here:
    In Defense of Genocide
    Genocide for Jesus

  • phasespace

    UC,
    Here’s the problem. The procedure is rare. And it really only happens in cases where something has really gone wrong with a pregnancy. In other words, the letter you cite is appropriate, even if it was in support of a law that really wasn’t needed in the first place. When these procedures are done, they are not procedures of convenience for the mother. The mother was not lazy and just waited too long, she wanted the baby, but the pregnancy very likely would kill them both in the end.
    Joe doesn’t address this at all, and instead dehumanizes anyone who has been put in the horrible and terrifying position of having to make this decision. That is what is despicable about making this some kind of litmus test. It isn’t.
    I can understand where the right comes from (and respectfully disagree) with regard to first trimester abortions. But harping about PBA’s and implying that these are procedures of convenience is worthy of disgust, and it’s definitely worth pointing out that this is nothing more than manipulative agit-prop.

  • The Deuce

    Making tests such as these are a double edged sword. Especially when you neglect to mention the circumstances under which this procedure occurs. When preserving the life of one endangers another, and then claiming that the act of preservation is undignified makes it all too easy for you to dismiss the difficulty and the moral dilemma involved in making these kinds of decisions.
    You’re going to have to do a lot of work to explain how protecting an already born baby can possibly endanger the life of the mother, seeing as how that’s what this article was primarily about.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Martin
    Cases of abortion for the sake of saving the mother’s life account for less than 1% of all abortions. Most pro-life groups I know are very sympathetic and understanding of such distressing situations….
    Thanks for letting us dismiss “1%” as insignificant. I say that because if we are going to dimiss abortion to save the life of the mother as rare we should also dismiss the partial birth abortion nonsense since such late term abortions likewise represent maybe “1%” (and I use quotes because no one seems to have a good handle on the actual numbers as far as I can tell) of abortions.
    Like much of the abortion debate, this issue is dominated by a lot of incendarly rhetoric that has little real life impact. The Federal ‘born alive’ bill was passed in 2002 and no one has proposed rescinding it. It went into law with promises of ‘vigerous enforcement’ (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/23/politics/23abort.html?_r=1&oref=slogin) by the Bush administration but I’ve never heard of it ever being used. It would be interesting if those who yell the loudest about saving lives actually show us some half-way reasonable estimate of how many lives actually have been saved and compare that to either late term abortion estimates or estimates of abortion overall.
    I don’t think there’s a direct link between poverty and abortion but I would bet a 1% drop in unemployment or gain in income would result in a much larger # of abortions averted.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    phasespace,
    I’m wondering if we can talk about specific cases where late term abortion or PBA might actually happen in the real world. I only remember reading about a few types of cases (and my memory has probably botched the medical facts here quite a bit)… I’m going to try to list them in order of least objectionable to most from the pro-lifer POV:
    * Babies who are technically alive but really are not. The example I recall is where the baby literally has no brain (or only a stump of a brain). It has a heartbeat while in the womb but will immediately die upon birth.
    * Babies who have a condition where their brains are growing outside their skulls. They will die upon birth & in birth might represent a threat to the mother’s health.
    * Your general ‘health of the mother’ issues. I’m not talking about problems with the baby (as in the previous examples) but with the mother herself. This would include not only a direct life threat but also serious health threats.
    * Cases of serious deformity. I’m guessing an example might be a woman who wasn’t aware she was pregnant being exposed to a drug or chemical that causes serious birth defects.
    What I’d hope to accomplish here is to get some discussion going to fill in these hypothetical situations with some real life knowledge from people here who might have it as well as to flesh out where exactly pro-lifers would draw the line in this area.

  • phasespace

    Deuce,
    Are these babies viable? Will they survive? The answer to that question in these cases is no, they will not. You’re sidestepping the issue by playing a game of semantics.

  • http://boundedirrationality.blogspot.com econ grad stud

    Salingectomy is not an abortion. There are cases where an unintended effect of saving the mother is the loss of the child.
    It’s not part of the pro-life cause to outlaw those types of procedures.
    The pro-life movement’s goal is to protect a fetus from any intentional efforts to kill her. She has a right to life equal to that of her mother.
    I’ve not seen an argument for limited human rights (human rights withheld from humans in the womb) that isn’t arbitrary.

  • http://www.psonnets.org/ Michael

    I think part of this discussion has gotten lost. Joe is criticizing Obama not just for supporting partial birth abortion, but because Obama voted not to keep babies alive who survived abortion. That is, the baby is out of the womb, separate from the mother, still living. The threat to the life of the mother is now gone, because the baby is no longer in her. Would you leave the baby to die in a trash can after it survives an abortion? Obama would.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    There are cases where an unintended effect of saving the mother is the loss of the child.
    It’s not part of the pro-life cause to outlaw those types of procedures.
    I’m not sure what salingectomy is but I think you can be a bit more specific here. Let’s use two different hypotheticals:
    1. Imagine a mother who has some type of rare disease and must be administered a certain drug every day or else she will die (or become very sick). Suppose the baby happens to have a rare allergic reaction to the drug and the umbical cord is not sufficient protection to prevent exposure. Repeated exposure would cause the baby to die. I think this is the type of example you are talking about when you say pro-lifers have no objection to saving the mother. The drug itself is not designed to kill the child and the fact that it does is indeed an unintended effect. Now consider:
    2. Imagine a baby with a hyper-enlarged head and a mother with a dangerous heart condition. C-section is not an option and passing the head through the birth canal will likely kill her. Forget about whether this can really happen since we are taking about hypotheticals here to explore your position.
    It would appear that a PBA or something like it is the only hope of saving the mother but a PBA cannot be dismissed as having an ‘unintended effect’ of lossing the child.
    She has a right to life equal to that of her mother.
    I’ve not seen an argument for limited human rights (human rights withheld from humans in the womb) that isn’t arbitrary.
    But what isn’t arbitrary is the very old right of individuals to self defense and, essentially, private property. While the ‘right to life’ may be equal in the abstract there isn’t a right to life at someone else’s expense. If I need a near heart I can’t take yours…even if that means I will die. In fact, I don’t even have right to a trivial portion of your body to save my life. If I need a pint of blood and you are the only one with the rare type but you happen to have some belief against blood transfusions I cannot force you to have one even though the imposition on your body would be trivial when compared to a pregnancy.

  • phasespace

    Boonton,
    The case that I have experience with falls within your third option. The mother came down with gestational diabetes that they were unable to control. The mother had almost slipped into a diabetic coma twice, and her kidneys were starting to fail. If they had let the pregnancy go much longer, the mother almost certainly would not have survived and the baby would’ve died with her. The baby had not reached a point where it could’ve survived outside the womb either.
    To give you an idea of the rarity of this particular case (anecdotal though it may be). The doctor said that he had only heard of a case like this once before in his 45 years of experience, and this was the first one that he had seen personally.

  • ucfengr

    Here’s the problem. The procedure is rare. And it really only happens in cases where something has really gone wrong with a pregnancy.
    That’s a statement that you really need provide some support for, because I have seen the opposite and it is not supported by the AMA letter which indicates the procedure is “not good medicine”. If the procedure was mostly performed out of medical necessity, I doubt the AMA would have supported restrictions on the procedure.
    Joe doesn’t address this at all, and instead dehumanizes anyone who has been put in the horrible and terrifying position of having to make this decision.
    I don’t see this at all, in fact I would argue that you are attempting to dehumanize Joe and those who agree with him to avoid answering the questions he has raised.

  • ex-preacher

    I read Jill Stanek’s 2000 testimony before Congress and she only mentioned witnessing one case, so Joe’s sentence should read “after she witnessed a baby left to die.” She mentions other cases she had heard about, but only one time that she found a live baby. I have a feeling there is more to the story than she lets on or perhaps knew, but that’s just my opinion.
    I would be curious to know more facts. How many documented cases like this are there? How many times per year does this happen? As Boonton (I think) asked, how many lives have been saved by the PBA ban?

  • The One

    This is interesting. I was in a bible study yesterday with all black Christians and they were all about Obama apparently unaware of this vote. I was also unaware though I won’t be voting anyway. Thanks for bringing this up Joe.

  • The One

    As for the actual issue, I’m a little confused by many of these comments. Joe specifically wrote this “Obama voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act, which would have protected babies that survived late-term abortions. The bill sought to protect babies who survived premature inducement for the purpose of abortion and would have given them the same rights as babies who were born prematurely and given live-saving medical attention.” The bill sought to protect babies already born which therefore are no threat to the health of the mother. Health of the mother agruements are therefore NA, the heart of the issue is whatever you think babies already born who survived an abortion should be killed, yes or no? Obama choose yes apparently.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Michael
    Joe is criticizing Obama not just for supporting partial birth abortion, but because Obama voted not to keep babies alive who survived abortion.
    True. Obama voted against the bill because he thought it wouldn’t be unconstitutional & would endanger abortion rights. This view was mistaken. While there’s never been a court challenge to the law, the existing cases do not lead to any obvious arguments for why applying equal protection to born infants impacts the legal status of unborn ones. Unlike econ’s assertion, being born is hardly an arbitrary point. If Obama actively advocated for the laws repeal or, even more, if the law even had impact beyond a trivial amount of cases and symbolism, I would consider the criticism as carrying more weight.
    ucfengr
    If the procedure was mostly performed out of medical necessity, I doubt the AMA would have supported restrictions on the procedure.
    Then instead of outlawing the procedure the law should have outlawed the procedure “unless when medically necessary”. If no such thing exists then you have functionally the same thing. If such a thing does exist but happens so rarely a beauracratic institution like the AMA is unaware of it then a provision is built into the law.

  • phasespace

    UC,
    I agree that firmer statistics are needed. I’ve seen statistics that indicate that around 1% of all abortions are partial birth. The more important statistic though is the reasons why these 1% were performed, and I have no information about that.
    However, what questions exactly did Joe’s post raise? The whole point of his post was to attack the humanity of another person based on a dubious position. I’m calling him on it. You’re darn right I’m calling Joe’s humanity into question, and I think it’s fully justified! Joe didn’t raise any questions here, it’s a tactical smear against someone that he disagrees with politically. Let’s also not forget that this isn’t the first time that Joe has issued a dubious argument focused against Obama.

  • Ben

    I think that killing people innocent people is always wrong. And while I may not be entirely certain when life begins (sometime by the end of the first trimester at the absolute latest – but when before that?), certainly Obama won’t do much to protect even late term children. So, I have a problem with Obama.
    Unfortunately, I’ve been listening too long to people who say that I should vote for the lesser of two evils in a presidential election, and their philosophy has rubbed off on me. In the fall I’ll get to have a choice between someone who believes abortion should be unrestricted, and someone who, as far as I can tell, believes that military force is they way to solve all international relations problems.
    Of course, I had a very similar choice to make in 2000. Back then, I chose poorly. I’ve had 8 years to watch the fruits of my mistake, and it wasn’t pretty. George Bush hasn’t saved the life of a single infant, as I recall, but he put the lives of almost every Iraqi and many of our service men and women on the line. Among other great crimes… No we’ve got John McCain who treats the lives of 70 millions Iranians as a joke. Bomb Iran, indeed, Senator.
    So, I hope and pray that Obama changes his views on abortion. But regardless of whether he changes his views or not, I’ll man up and vote for the lesser of two evils in the fall. And it won’t be John McCain.
    (Assuming I don’t get sick of both of them and vote for Mickey Mouse or Ralph Nader, whoever is doing better in the polls.)

  • The One

    Ben you should head over to vox.blogspot.com, they’ll disillusion you of the vote for the lesser of two evils nonsense real quickly.

  • http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com/ Collin Brendemuehl

    Boonton,
    You seem to have exited reality. If elective/therapeutic abortion is “self defense” that would make pregnancy and the prior sex/conception an assult. Sounds like you been reading the Feminine Mystique.
    While there’s never been a court challenge to the law, the existing cases do not lead to any obvious arguments for why applying equal protection to born infants impacts the legal status of unborn ones.
    Perhaps not. But watch the opposition to any law, whether it passes or not. Watch PP, NARAL, etc., to see where they stand.
    http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/2008/02/links_to_barack.html
    The consequence of live birth often includes infanticide, a practice accompanying the abortion movement, but one which nobody wants to talk about, let alone admit.
    Collin

  • ucfengr

    However, what questions exactly did Joe’s post raise? The whole point of his post was to attack the humanity of another person based on a dubious position
    Perhaps you should re-read Joe’s post, phase. He didn’t question anyone’s humanity; what he did question was whether or not people who support the practice of, essentially, leaving unwanted babies to die of exposure and neglect, qualify as “Civilized”. Seems like a perfectly reasonable question to me. Surely you don’t want to try to make the case that leaving a baby to die for the crime of being unwanted is the act of a civilized person, do you?

  • http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com/ Collin Brendemuehl

    The simplest approach is often the best. So how about a practical ethical question:
    If the unborn is far enough along to be born alive (and so put up for adoption) why is there such a furor over the (apparent) necessity to kill the unborn? (The mother is protected in either case.)
    It is the current practice and mindset of apparent necessary killing that causes pro-life people to use the term “culture of death.”
    Collin

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Collin
    You seem to have exited reality. If elective/therapeutic abortion is “self defense” that would make pregnancy and the prior sex/conception an assult.
    To pull such a case off you’d have to demonstrate a lot of things. For example, the people having sex knew it would result in a pregnancy, knew it would result in a pregnancy that was life threatening and so on. As you probably know from being so immersed in reality, criminal liability has a very high standard of proof.
    It’s a little like the butterfly effect. If releasing a butterfly here causes a hurricane on the other side of the world are you criminally liable?
    It is the current practice and mindset of apparent necessary killing that causes pro-life people to use the term “culture of death.”
    Except the Federal bill passed without a single no vote….even without objection from the various major pro-choice organizations. The state bill likewise passed with an overwhelming majority…Obama’s dissent being unrelated to the actual purpose of the bill. So far, despite the pledge of the administration to enforce the law there doesn’t seem to be a single case of anyone actually violating it….your ‘culture of death’ appears to be as mythic as many of the stupid, almost purely symbolic fights that make up most of the abortion debate.

  • http://oldvirginiablog.blogspot.com/ Richard Williams

    In debating this issue, I often feel as though I’m in a parallel universe. It is beyond all my ability to reason how someone can honestly argue that sucking the brains out of a defenseless infant is justifiable in the “partial-birth” procedure. I agree with Joe. It’s utterly barbaric. Isn’t it ironic that many of the same individuals who argue in favor of this “slasher-film like” procedure are the same ones who believe water-boarding terrorists to extract information to save our own soldiers is torture. Their credibility is non-existent.
    Oh how dark are the souls of some.

  • ex-preacher

    From an article by Terence P. Jeffrey:
    “That June [2002?], the U.S. Senate voted 98-0 in favor of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act (although it failed to become law that year). Pro-abortion Democrats supported it because this language was added: “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being born alive as defined in this section.”
    “Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer explained that with this language the “amendment certainly does not attack Roe v. Wade.”
    “On July 18, 2002, Democratic Sen. Harry Reid called for the bill to be approved by unanimous consent. It was.”
    So, apparently Obama was in favor of this.

  • ex-preacher

    Please disregard my previous post. I now realize that Obama was not in the U.S. Senate in 2002. I am working on another post transcribing Obama’s explanation for his vote in the Illinois Senate.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “Infanticide Apologist”
    Not a bad descriptor to use by the pro-McCain campaign team.

  • ex-preacher

    I wonder if Joe or anyone else accusing Obama of advocating infanticide has actually read his comments about the bill made on the floor of the Illinois State Senate in 2002?
    I did, but suspect that many of you would not do the same, so I have transcribed what he said from:
    http://www.ilga.gov/senate/transcripts/strans92/ST040402.pdf
    - – - – -
    Senator Obama: So – and again, I’m – I’m not going to prolong this, but I just want to be clear because I think this was the source of the objections of the Medical Society. As I understand it, this puts the burden on the attending physician who has determined, since they were performing this procedure, that, in fact, this is a nonviable fetus; that if that fetus, or child – however you want to describe it – is now outside the mother’s womb and the doctor continues to think that it’s nonviable but there’s, let’s say, movement or some indication that, in fact, they’re not just coming out limp and dead, that, in fact, they would then have to call a second physician to monitor and check off and make sure that this is not a live child that could be saved. Is that correct?
    Senator O’Malley: In – in the first instance, obviously the physician that is performing this procedure would make the determination. The second situation is where the child is actually born and is alive, and there’s an assessment – an independent assessment of viability by – by – by another physician at the soonest practical date – or, time.
    Senator Obama: Let me just go to the bill, very quickly. Essentially, I think, as – as this emerged during debate and during committee, the only plausible rationale, to my mind, for this legislation would be if you had a suspicion that a doctor, the attending physician, who has made an assessment that this is a nonviable fetus and that, let’s say for the purpose of the mother’s health, is being – that – that labor is being induced, that that physician (a) is going to make the wrong assessment and (b) if the physician discovered, after the labor had been induced, that, in fact, he made an error, or she made an error, and in fact, that this was not a nonviable fetus but, in fact, a live child, that that physician, of his own accord or her own accord, would not try to exercise the sort of medical measures and practices that would be involved in saving that child. Now, if – if you think that there are possibilities that doctors would not do that, than maybe this bill makes sense, but I – I suspect and my impression is, is that the Medical Society suspects as well that doctors feel that they would be under that obligation, that they would already be making these determinations and that, essentially, adding a – an additional doctor who then has to be called in an emergency situation to come in and make these assessments is really designed simply to burden the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion. Now, if that’s the case – and – and I know that some of us feel very strongly one way or another on that issue – that’s fine, but I think it’s important to understand that this issue is about abortion and not live births. Because if these are children who are being born alive, I, at least, have confidence that a doctor who is in that room is going to try to make sure that they’re looked after. Thank you, Mr. President.
    - – - – -
    Hardly sounds like he is advocating infanticide, does it? It looks like this election may shape up to be a contest between irrational fear and realistic hope.

  • smmtheory

    Hardly sounds like he is advocating infanticide, does it? It looks like this election may shape up to be a contest between irrational fear and realistic hope.

    Actually, it sounds pretty heinous to be inducing premature delivery to perform an abortion. But then, what do I know? After all, I’m one of those rubes that believes self-defense is a stupid justification for abortion and anybody who advocates for abortion is thoroughly steeped in the culture of death.
    So there is that so-called doctor who is getting paid to help some woman abort her child by inducing early labor and delivery and the child is born alive and maybe just far enough along so that if the woman really had wanted the child it would just be considered a premie. Obama wants us to believe that so-called doctor is going to be objective about the viability of the child? Hmmmm… can we say conflict of interest?

  • Mike Toreno

    Joe is right that one’s position on the “partial birth abortion” issue provides a clear picture into one’s outlook, but he is mistaken as to just what is revealed. The “partial birth abortion” issue basically divides people into two camps. One camp sees women as human beings entitled to make their own medical decisions, and to choose procedures best calculated to reduce their risk of harm, such as uterine perforation and hemorrhaging. The other camp, to which Joe and other members and advocates of the anti-abortion industry belong, views unwanted pregnancy as a mechanism for punishing sluts. To Joe, a woman with an unwanted pregnancy is simply a slut unworthy of any consideration. He doesn’t care if a pregnancy has gone wrong, he doesn’t care if carrying a pregnancy to term would endanger a woman, he doesn’t care if abdominal surgery that could be avoided by “partial birth abortion” would spare a woman from suffering uterine perforation. To Joe and other members and advocates of the anti-abortion industry, uterine perforation is not an evil to be avoided, it is a positive good because it provides a mechanism for punishing women for their sexual choices.

  • ex-preacher

    Here’s the AMA position:
    “(3) The viability of the fetus and the time when viability is achieved may vary with each pregnancy. In the second-trimester when viability may be in question, it is the physician who should determine the viability of a specific fetus, using the latest available diagnostic technology.”
    I haven’t seen, heard or read Obama recommending that anyone get an abortion. The issue at hand was a specific law that would place what he believed was an undue burden on the attending physician. Remember when Republicans thought the government shouldn’t interfere with individuals’ decisions? Remember, these are women voluntarily seeking abortions. Yes, yes, I know that you believe abortion is murder. If you really believe that, then you should seek criminal punishment – perhaps the death penalty – for women who seek abortions. But I have never heard of a single pro-lifer who supports that. I wonder why not?
    Obama is not recommending abortion or defending the ethical decision made in any particular situation. He was saying that this is a matter for the individual. Obviously, some people feel abortion is murder and some do not. I think it is safe to say that Obama does not believe it is murder. At the same time, it is unfair to say that he supports infanticide or thinks that live, viable babies should be killed.

  • Brandon

    Phasespace:
    Having known someone who has gone through this, and actually dealt with the consequences, after having to choose her own life over the likely death of them both, your smarmy superiority smacks of nothing but ignorance and a lame attempt to distance yourself from the reality of how messy life can truly be.
    The case to save the life of the mother has always been an exception for 99% of the pro-life crowd, Joe probably included. The only cases I know of where abortion is good is when a medical treatment to save the mother ends up killing the baby. In the case of late term abortion/partial birth abortion, this is NEVER EVER necessary. And that is what Joe is talking about. Am I missing something?

  • http://boundedirrationality.blogspot.com econ grad stud

    I have extreme difficulty respecting individuals who think it should be legal to kill some human beings for convenience.
    I see them as much worse than someone who supports the right of pedophiles to rape children.
    I can’t understand how so many Americans think murdering innocent human beings should be legal.
    I’m not sure if this viciousness is due to cruelty, mental disorder or self-deception.

  • brandon

    ex-preacher:
    I think it is safe to say that Obama does not believe it is murder.
    And that is why he is an uncivilized human being.
    At the same time, it is unfair to say that he supports infanticide or thinks that live, viable babies should be killed.
    No.
    Powerful people in charge of saying what we can and can’t do (legislators) explicitly and/or implicitly must support or deny every position they vote on-it is literally impossible for them not to. Being against partial birth abortion/late term abortion absolutely constitutes murder. Hello, crushing baby’s heads? The lower limit of viability is after 24 weeks gestation. Most babies are viable after 27. Partial birth abortion IS crushing the heads of babies 27 weeks and older. And all fetuses are live. Or is it dead until is is outside the vagina? This isn’t even where the argument is anymore;no pro-choice philosopher denies the above claims.
    B

  • http://boundedirrationality.blogspot.com econ grad stud

    In order to justify killing fetuses I think you have to do one of two things:
    1) Claim rights belong only to a subset of human beings based on some criteria (ei being born).
    2) Claim that a mother owns the fetus as personal property because it is developing inside her.
    The first method is arbitrary since birth doesn’t carry any intrinsic change in status. A fetus is a less developed form of an infant. An infant is a less developed form of a toddler. Any developmental criteria can be used to take away the rights of some individuals who are born.
    The second method is involved in a worldview that see property as sacrosanct and only sees a wrong where property is violated. To these folks the killing of another person is no different in principle than robbery.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Isn’t it ironic that many of the same individuals who argue in favor of this “slasher-film like” procedure are the same ones who believe water-boarding terrorists to extract information to save our own soldiers is torture. Their credibility is non-existent.
    Hey, stop picking on ucfengr!

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    smm
    Obama wants us to believe that so-called doctor is going to be objective about the viability of the child? Hmmmm… can we say conflict of interest?
    Ohhh so in the room where an abortion is being performed there’s just going to happen to be an independent physician hanging around for no particular reason who can be called over and asked to confirm whether or not a baby was accidently born alive or dead or viable or nonviable? As for conflict of interest, if the doctor’s license is at stake plus the danger of criminal sanction that would seem to outweigh the relatively minor pay doctors get for performing abortions (and, not doubt, almost always get paid in advance and without a refund gurantee should a baby accidently be born alive).
    Anyway what we got here is what is 100% wrong with the abortion debate. If Obama supported infanticide then why did he vote aganist a law that does nothing?
    Brandon
    The case to save the life of the mother has always been an exception for 99% of the pro-life crowd, Joe probably included. The only cases I know of where abortion is good is when a medical treatment to save the mother ends up killing the baby. In the case of late term abortion/partial birth abortion, this is NEVER EVER necessary.
    I’m not sure what you’re saying here? Are you saying that abortion for life saving is sometimes necessary early in a pregnancy but not later? That doesn’t seem to make sense, if anything I would imagine that life threatening situations reveal themselves later on in the pregnancy…such as the example phasespace cited.
    Powerful people in charge of saying what we can and can’t do (legislators) explicitly and/or implicitly must support or deny every position they vote on-it is literally impossible for them not to.
    Note quite. Laws are complicated & quite often someone will be in favor of something in theory but vote against a particular law purporting to accomplish it because they feel the language is flawed.
    econ
    In order to justify killing fetuses I think you have to do one of two things:
    1) Claim rights belong only to a subset of human beings based on some criteria (ei being born).
    2) Claim that a mother owns the fetus as personal property because it is developing inside her.
    Not true, rights often come into conflict with other rights. I have a right to swing my arms around. You have a right not to get smacked in the face. Both of us have equal rights but when they come into conflict they must be resolved. So in many cases my right to swing my arm ends at your face but in some cases my right to swing trumps your face (like if I’m on stage and you come charging up at me).
    I would say you got #2 backwards. It isn’t the fetus that is the personal property of the mother but the mother is the mother’s personal property. The state has no more right to take over her body than the state could order me to donate my kidney to you.

  • http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com/ Collin Brendemuehl

    Boonton,
    example, the people having sex knew it would result in a pregnancy
    Duh.
    And you’ve changed the argument by moving form the passive voice to the active voice.
    Not all opposition is in terms of votes. That’s why I referenced NARAL & PP.
    Infanticide is never reported.

  • http://boundedirrationality.blogspot.com econ grad stud

    Boonton, I don’t think a mother’s rights involve the right to have her child ripped apart in her womb.
    Murder is not a right.

  • http://www.thewickens.info Martin

    Boonton,
    I did not mention the 1% statistic to imply that less numbers make the child insignificant. I mention it because so often abortion is upheld as being the mother’s right and that abortion must be allowed to save the mother’s health and life. I mentioned the statistic because the cases that involve saving the mother are so small that to use that as a mainstay for the pro-choice movement is side stepping the real issue.
    Martin

  • http://www.thewickens.info Martin

    Serek,
    The passages you mention do make uncomfortable reading and on the surface, and perhaps even below the surface, seem to have no justification. Even though I know I believe the reason these things happened at the same time there is a part of me that just does not understand.
    You say other Christians have already given their take on this so what I am going to say will probably make little difference. Anyway, I was going to go into detail here but space will not allow. Check out here as it seems to have a good cover on it.
    One thing is the bigger picture. Amalek had sworn to destroy Israel. It was a battle for survival. Indeed a descendant of Amalek almost succeeded in the book of Esther. Further, if Israel were destroyed then the Saviour, Jesus Christ, would not have come.
    What do we say of nation defending themselves today and as a consequence innocents are harmed? We hate that it happens, but a nation has to sometimes decide whether our innocents or their innocents are going to be hurt.
    God alone can truly see the scale of decisions and we are not able nor do we have the right to make similar decisions.
    Lastly, The situations mentioned were rare and for very specific causes.
    I understand this approach is determined by a foundational acceptance of God and some will never accept this line of explanation.

  • Baggi

    Those passages aren’t so “uncomfortable” if they are understood.
    God is not a civilized human being, as Joe resists calling Obama. God is so far removed from being a “civilized human being” that the two cannot be compared. We are less than maggots to Him and yet He loves us anyway.
    He has made us. We are His creation. We know only what He has revealed to us of the afterlife. Death is foreign to us. So it is a sad thing for us when we die or when those we know and love die. It is a seperate experience for God. He knows that life does not end when we stop breathing.
    So, if He decides to destroy His creation, He is righteous for doing so. If on the other hand we decide to destroy His creation, we have made ourselves His equal. We have found ourselves back in the garden of Eden.
    Therefore, it cannot be compared. Passages that show God commanding death vs our own will of the same action.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Collin
    example, the people having sex knew it would result in a pregnancy
    Duh.
    And you’ve changed the argument by moving form the passive voice to the active voice.
    Even though you broke my quote out of context I assume you’re still talking about your original point? That was your assertion that if a mother whose health was threatened by a pregnancy could abort in self-defense then sex itself would have be considered assault. In other words, criminal liability would have to attach to the original act.
    The problem with that is you couldn’t mount a case in the real world. You’d have to show a man slept with a woman with the intention of getting her pregnant so 9 months later a medical condition would arise that would put her life in jeopardy. Since:
    * most acts do not result in pregnancies
    * most pregnancies do not result in medical complications
    * most pregnancies that have medical complications do not rise to life threatening…at least in modern medical systems.
    To make your argument you’ve have to show a considerable amount of forward thinking. Use phasespace’s example, how would anyone have known the woman would have developed such a bad case of diabetes that it would put her close to kidney failure? I’ll grant you it’s a great idea for a murder mystery….you can have a man marry a woman, get her pregnant and then plot to collect a huge life insurance payout….perhaps you can call it “I love you to death”
    Martin
    I did not mention the 1% statistic to imply that less numbers make the child insignificant. I mention it because so often abortion is upheld as being the mother’s right and that abortion must be allowed to save the mother’s health and life. I mentioned the statistic because the cases that involve saving the mother are so small that to use that as a mainstay for the pro-choice movement is side stepping the real issue.
    The same can be said of PBA.

  • smmtheory

    if the doctor’s license is at stake plus the danger of criminal sanction that would seem to outweigh the relatively minor pay doctors get for performing abortions

    Sounds like you are agreeing with me here, there is a conflict of interest where the aborting so-called doctor gets to be the sole arbiter for determining whether a live birth from a despicable procedure such as induced premature labor and delivery is viable or not. Obviously he is interested in protecting his loathsome license to practice infanticide, as well as his wretched reputation for kill rate, and even his relatively minor pay compared to contract killers for the mob.

    Anyway what we got here is what is 100% wrong with the abortion debate. If Obama supported infanticide then why did he vote aganist a law that does nothing?

    Wrong with the abortion debate? Try this, abortion is infanticide. If you support abortion, you support infanticide. Obama supports abortion.

    Yes, yes, I know that you believe abortion is murder. If you really believe that, then you should seek criminal punishment – perhaps the death penalty – for women who seek abortions. But I have never heard of a single pro-lifer who supports that. I wonder why not?

    I’m a pro-lifer, and I don’t support the death penalty. Abortion is murder, but while it is considered legal it is ridiculous (as you obviously have no trouble making such a ridiculous overstatement here) to consider seeking criminal punishment for women having abortions. However, if abortion were illegal, you could bet that I would support seeking criminal punishment for women obtaining an abortion the same as I support seeking criminal punishment for all law breakers. So stow away your silly canard and never wave it in front of my face again.

  • http://www.wordsfromtheway.com/between-the-trees Jake Meador

    Joe – I agree on the overarching point, but one thing that should be mentioned is that the story behind the 2002 bill from Illinois you’re referencing is a bit more complex than you make it out to be.
    Obama, in speeches and his book, The Audacity of Hope, has been very clear that he did not oppose that bill because he favored the killing of birthed fetuses. Rather, he opposed it because the bill was poorly phrased and could conceivably present an entry-point for the anti-abortion activists to make a stronger case against legalized abortion.
    I’m not saying I agree with him, but please don’t make a selective presentation of the issue so that Obama ends up looking worse off than he ought to.

  • http://boundedirrationality.blogspot.com econ grad stud

    Jake that requires trusting Obama (a politician). In the end Obama could have voted to save infants but the possibility of legal challenges to abortion was more important.

  • Brandon

    Boonton:
    I’m not sure what you’re saying here? Are you saying that abortion for life saving is sometimes necessary early in a pregnancy but not later?
    Yes. That’s what I just said.
    That doesn’t seem to make sense, if anything I would imagine that life threatening situations reveal themselves later on in the pregnancy…
    Life-threatening situations reveal themselves throughout pregnancy through the 24th month. By that time every disorder that could show up already has, except ones related to the birth process itself, which are comparatively trivial.
    such as the example phasespace cited.
    Phasespace, though s/he may not know it, does not disagree with Joe’s post (unless I be mistaken about Joe). According to Phasespace, GD developed BEFORE the baby was viable. Therefore it is good and right to kill the baby to save what is a more valuable life, the mother’s.
    By the way, not to tromp on Phasespace’s friend’s tragedy, GD is *almost* always controllable-I say this as a completely offtopic rant. Through diet and excersize alone most people can control GD. No fruit. No soda or juice or milk. Hardly any vegetables. No grain. Pretty much you can eat meat, cheese, nuts, and a few vegetables. Cardio for 1-2 hours a day with a heart rate between 120 and 150. I know, my wife had it and it sucked.
    B

  • http://wondersforoyarsa.blogspot.com Wonders for Oyarsa

    Those passages aren’t so “uncomfortable” if they are understood.
    Hi Baggi,
    I understand those passages. The better they are understood, the more uncomfortable they become. They are not meant to be comfortable – the ancient readers are meant to be horrified at the lowly state man had fallen to merit such drastic judgment, and we who have seen the face of God in Christ are meant to be horrified at the lack of mercy in the judgment on the little ones for whom he died. Regardless, the last thing anyone should be is “comfortable”.

  • giggling

    phasespace:
    … the difficulty and the moral dilemma involved in making these kinds of decisions…
    Hmm. Let’s see. Abortion attempt fails. Baby prematurely born because of abortion attempt is lying on table struggling for its life. What to do, what to do…
    Kill it. Let it die. Or try to save it. So difficult. There are, like THREE options.

  • http://www.psonnets.org/ Michael

    I read Obama’s comments about this procedure, to which ex-preacher linked. I think I know what his objections were. First, another doctor determines if the baby is viable, not the abortion doctor. But the second doctor does not need to determine viability immediately. That might happen later. That comment by the politician Obama questioned seemed very stupid.
    Obama is concerned that this might become the thin edge of the wedge to erode the “right” of women to abort their pregnancies. I can see why he would be concerned. If the baby is born alive and then dies, the doctor could be charged with a crime. If the baby survives, the mother could sue for the doctor for malpractice, because the baby is supposed to be dead. Women who abort their children already face enough emotional problems from their decisions. Imagine a woman on the stirrups, and her baby is in the room, alive and viable, but critically injured because of what she opted to do. Emotional distress, indeed!

  • http://morphed2fly.blogspot.com/ Nancy Scott

    “Oh how dark are the souls of some.”
    Our only hope in a world that is dark and darkening, is to shine our light. It has been proven impossible to legislate morality…and endless discussion tends to futility. I choose LIFE in every arena…letting the love of Christ rule in my life. My vote will always be for LIFE…turning to the LIGHT as those who have been delivered from the kingdom of this present darkness, we are to so let our light shine before men…I cannot speak for others, but in my area of influence, as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
    Thank you Joe, for shining your light on Obama and using LIFE as a standard for Civilized Human Beings!

  • smmtheory

    The problem with that is you couldn’t mount a case in the real world. You’d have to show a man slept with a woman with the intention of getting her pregnant so 9 months later a medical condition would arise that would put her life in jeopardy. Since:
    * most acts do not result in pregnancies
    * most pregnancies do not result in medical complications
    * most pregnancies that have medical complications do not rise to life threatening…at least in modern medical systems.

    And so vaporizes the vacuous notion that abortion is justified under the theory of self-defense. Boonton, you are so good at contradicting yourself I think I could do no better.

  • Serek

    Wonders for Oyarsa,
    Interesting essays. Obviously, I (respectfully) disagree (and thus won’t be becoming a Christian anytime soon).
    But I’m still puzzled by Joe’s article at the top. Joe says Obama is not a ‘civilized human being’ because he justifies infanticide in some circumstances: “But to earn my recognition of you as a fellow civilized human being a person simply has to oppose crushing the heads of infants. Sadly, Obama fails to meet that standard too.” But Joe doesn’t opposing the crushing of Amalekite infants’ heads (I assume, sorry if I’m wrong). What was that about the ‘Infanticide Shibboleth’ again?
    Joe is an ‘infanticide apologist’, like Obama. Joe’s just an apologist for infanticide under different circumstances.
    PS I’m an atheist pro-lifer, just to clarify. Yeah, we exist.

  • brandon

    serek, you’re mostly right. Read Joe carefully.
    For example, I have my own shibboleth that I used to identify members of the class, Civilized Human Beings. I call it the infanticide shibboleth. Opposing the blatant killing of human infants is admittedly a low bar of entry. But I figure you have to start somewhere.
    I don’t know, I’m probably reading too much into that word.

  • Farnicle

    smmtheory:
    “if abortion were illegal, you could bet that I would support seeking criminal punishment for women obtaining an abortion the same as I support seeking criminal punishment for all law breakers.”
    As I understand it, you believe abortion is premeditated murder. What is the appropriate punishment for premed. murder in your view? In my state, it’s the death penalty. If something less than the ultimate punishment, what would it be and why?

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    And so vaporizes the vacuous notion that abortion is justified under the theory of self-defense. Boonton, you are so good at contradicting yourself I think I could do no better
    Catching someone in a contradiction is a pretty powerful argument against their position. Unfortunately for smm, to get credit you actually have a demonstrate a contradiction, which he doesn’t. Better luck next time.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Brandan,
    Thanks for clearing up your position however you wrote:
    In the case of late term abortion/partial birth abortion, this is NEVER EVER necessary.
    I’m assuming late term abortion means 3rd trimester, months 7, 8 and 9. Abortion would be necessary if the life threatening situation revealed itself then (saying something is impossible medically is a very bold statement…very little is truly impossible)….or if a situation previously revealed was NOT resolved earlier on in the pregnancy and it’s pretty easy to see how that can happen. A woman may not have the diagnostic tests she should. She might put off having an early abortion in a false hope that the doctor might be wrong. Or the doctor might have failed to see something he should have.
    That being the case you make a distinction between late term abortions and early term ones. Most pro-lifers, though, at least in theory would have to say there’s no difference between the two. You seem to indicate less of a problem with early ones but you can never make a law mandating abortion on an unwilling woman.

  • Baggi

    Wonders for Oyarsa,
    We’re using the word uncomfortable in different ways.
    You appear to mean it in the way a mother makes her children feel comfortable when the dark makes them feel uncomfortable.
    Instead, i’m using it in a way that illustrates if science was no longer fixed we’d all find ourselves to be very uncomfortable.
    In the example given, if God is as they would like to paint Him, then He is not a just or loving God. The knowledge that He is is comforting.
    It would be very uncomfortable to discover that God is not Just, Merciful, Loving, etc.
    Not because that knowledge would stir a feeling in me, but because that knowledge would not comport with my previous understandings of the Lord God Almighty. This would lead to some smoke coming out of my ears and the repition of words like, “Does not compute.” over and over again.

  • smmtheory

    As I understand it, you believe abortion is premeditated murder. What is the appropriate punishment for premed. murder in your view? In my state, it’s the death penalty. If something less than the ultimate punishment, what would it be and why?

    Did you completely overlook my opening statement in that comment? I am against the death penalty in all cases. I cannot see any reason to treat abortion as a special or different class of murder than any other murder. The unfortunate part of all this is that prior to Roe v. Wade, abortion was not considered murder either, otherwise Roe v. Wade would have had a much different ruling. And prior to Roe v. Wade, abortion was also not socially acceptable. It is that crossing of the line from not socially acceptable to legalized and socially acceptable murder that has made the call for considering it murder even more imperative.

  • smmtheory

    Catching someone in a contradiction is a pretty powerful argument against their position. Unfortunately for smm, to get credit you actually have a demonstrate a contradiction, which he doesn’t. Better luck next time.

    I’m not looking for any credit in catching you contradicting yourself. All I have to do is nothing and you will undoubtedly keep leaving your comments here and it will eventually become readily apparent to all those who are not willfully blind to it. It is you that demonstrates the contradictions so much better than I ever could. Therefore, you get the credit for proving yourself wrong far sooner than I would. I tip my hat to you.

  • Farnicle

    “I cannot see any reason to treat abortion as a special or different class of murder than any other murder.”
    Yes, I read your opening comment and asked what punishment other than the death penalty you would entertain and why. And you’ve answered that. Here’s the problem. Most folks I know who oppose abortion, also favor capital punishment which leads to bizarre scenarios that are rarely discussed on these kinds of boards. For example, a man rapes his teenage daughter. The daughter then aborts the baby. The most the father gets under our statutory scheme is 40 years. The daughter, guilty of murder in the first degree, is subject to the death penalty. Your logic, that you cannot see any reason to treat abortion as a distinct class of murder, applies with equal force to those who support the death penalty. Of course, that is perhaps an extreme example but more common scenarios lead to similar results. For those who believe in capital punishment and wish to make abortion a crime, they cannot make a logical, “biblical” distinction between murder via abortion and premeditate murder of a viable human being. We have millions of women walking around in this country and around the world who, by rights, ought to have had their lives ended by the state long ago. Something is wrong with this picture.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    smm,
    You have not shown any contradiction in my statements. If you feel I’m wrong please feel free to point it out.
    Farnicle
    Most folks I know who oppose abortion, also favor capital punishment which leads to bizarre scenarios that are rarely discussed on these kinds of boards. For example, a man rapes his teenage daughter. The daughter then aborts the baby. The most the father gets under our statutory scheme is 40 years.
    Only a fraction of murders, though, get the death penalty even in states that have a rep for being very pro-death penalty like Texas. Your point is valid, though. A woman who killed her newborn baby would almost certainly get a very harsh penalty but even when abortion was illegal no woman was getting life for having an abortion (or doctor for that matter).
    Pro-lifers sometimes try to square that by inventing a victim mythology that would make even the most radical feminist blush….assuming almost all abortions are really the fault of men either boyfriends who strongarm girlfriends into having them or greedy doctors who ‘trick’ women into not knowing they are having an abortion.

  • smmtheory

    Pro-lifers sometimes try to square that by inventing a victim mythology that would make even the most radical feminist blush….

    Would that be like the victim mythology of the back-alley coat-hanger abortion tripe foisted on the public by the abortion-mongers? Or the victim mythology that the unborn child is just a lump of the mother’s tissue instead of another distinct human being?

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Well the primary difference is the truth part. In order to logically square penalties for abortion that are dramatically lower than murder accross the board you have to cling to a myth that all abortions are somehow examples of men (boyfriends or doctors) victimizing all women who get abortions.
    Abortion rights supporters do not claim that all ‘back ally’ abortions were coat-hanger ones in the days before Roe. In fact, many illegal abortions were performed by legit. doctors as a side business and were reasonably safe for the woman. The argument, though, does not depend on all illegal abortions being back alley horror stories. The pro-life argument, though, does depend on ALL women who get abortions being helpless victims of some vague group of men. Even most radical feminists would be reluctant to mount such a sweeping assertion.
    BTW, speaking of mythical claims have you found a contradiction yet?

  • smmtheory

    Going from “almost all” in one comment to “ALL” in another comment like you did, why should I bother looking for contradictions when you supply them yourself? Your argument also suffers from your inability to correctly re-state the pro-life positions. I guess that is too much to expect from somebody who constantly defends the vacuous “self-defense” justification for abortion.

  • Farnicle

    So we’re still left with abortion as premeditated murder and no rational (or, again, “biblical”) justification for a reduced penalty just because it is an abortion. Boonton’s point that no pro-lifer talks about the penalty aspect of abortion is revealing. Taking the pro-life position to its logical conclusion, we rub elbows with people in supermarkets, movie theaters, fast food places, churches, synagogues who are premeditated murderers. It boggles the mind, but that’s where we are. And what do you do with all these people? Especially if abortion is criminalized. You won’t find any cogent answer from pro-lifers (especially ones who support the death penalty).

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    smm
    Going from “almost all” in one comment to “ALL” in another comment like you did, why should I bother looking for contradictions when you supply them yourself?
    You asserted in post 59 that I had contradicted myself so I don’t see why you would now tell us you would need to look for a contradiction. If you were telling the truth you had already found one….
    Post 59 goes back to a response I made to Collin in my post 30. Collin’s post is on #27 where he writes:

    You seem to have exited reality. If elective/therapeutic abortion is “self defense” that would make pregnancy and the prior sex/conception an assult. Sounds like you been reading the Feminine Mystique.

    Collin didn’t reference a specific post but I suspect he was talking about #17, which specifically talks about cases where pregnancy creates an undeniable threat to the mother’s life. Somehow, from that, you seem to have imagined that I had claimed a large number of abortions were done to save the mother’s life and when you saw me stating that only a small portion of pregancies fell into that category you hit the ‘screem contradiction’ button. I’m only guessing here because you feel the need to act mysterious with your supposedly killer arguments. Then again this could just be your usual annoying troll routine as a founding member of the Trinity of Stupidity.
    The self-defense argument does not lead to equating conception with assault unless you’re putting forth a case with an exceptionally convoluted plot and actor(s) with an exceptional amount of foresight (such as the husband who plots to get his wife pregnant knowing it will kill her so he can collect on an insurance policy) that quite frankly doesn’t work in the real world.
    Where you might be confused is in post #17 I also responed to an assertion made by econ (in his post #15):

    …She has a right to life equal to that of her mother.
    ..I’ve not seen an argument for limited human rights (human rights withheld from humans in the womb) that isn’t arbitrary.

    My response was the final paragraph of #17
    But what isn’t arbitrary is the very old right of individuals to self defense and, essentially, private property. While the ‘right to life’ may be equal in the abstract there isn’t a right to life at someone else’s expense. If I need a near heart I can’t take yours…even if that means I will die. In fact, I don’t even have right to a trivial portion of your body to save my life. If I need a pint of blood and you are the only one with the rare type but you happen to have some belief against blood transfusions I cannot force you to have one even though the imposition on your body would be trivial when compared to a pregnancy.
    I can see where the confusion is coming from but if you read carefully you’ll note that I’m not asserting that most pregnancies are life threatening. You see in the paragraph how two entities can have equal rights but when those rights come into conflict one set of rights can win out to the detriment of another. This is in contrast to econ’s assertions that legal abortion rests on an assumption of unequal rights.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Farnicle
    So we’re still left with abortion as premeditated murder and no rational (or, again, “biblical”) justification for a reduced penalty just because it is an abortion.
    Speaking of Biblical….
    Using the Equal Protection logic, it would be almost impossible for states to not treat abortion as murder which would mean the penalties for abortion would have to be equal to the penalties for a woman who murdered her infant child(ren). Typically those penalties are death or life in prison with a few exceptions made for cases of insanity (and getting found not guilty by reason of insanity is not that easy even with ample evidence of mental dysfunction).
    Do you have any evidence that abortion was treated as murder in Biblical times? I don’t mean was it frowned upon, prohibited or whatnot but treated in exactly the same way as murder?

  • Robski

    When pro-lifers fret that denying rights to the unborn is arbitrary and can spread to various categories of the living, that is not really what bothers them. It is abortion that bothers them, and they are disingenuously building an argument. When gay marriage opponents fret that gay marriage will lead to interspecies marriage, that is not really what bothers them. It is gay marriage that bothers them.
    Gay marriage opponents generally oppose civil unions in part because they fear the wedge, even though they know that it is only fair that gays should have the same rights as the rest of us. Pro-choicers are reluctant to oppose partial-birth abortion in part because they fear the wedge, even though the procedure is obviously gruesome. Those raising the roof over this rare procedure are really focused on eliminating abortion altogether; that is why they meet such resistance.
    When I perceive a lack of honesty on one side of an issue (the entire history of the ID movement comes to mind), I tend to oppose that side vigorously no matter how lukewarm my feelings toward the other.
    It is easy to set standards for considering others to be Civilized Human Beings. But is it useful? You only preach to the choir in such a case; others are turned off. I remember when Joe tried to cast John Kerry as a war criminal four years ago. His credibility took a huge hit with me at that time and has not recovered. Before that, he seemed capable of balanced discourse. Afterward, he seemed a right-wing shill. It was the disingenuousness of his attack that turned me off. Joe did not oppose John Kerry because of the way he served in Vietnam.
    It seems so simple; honesty brings credibility.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Robski
    know that it is only fair that gays should have the same rights as the rest of us. Pro-choicers are reluctant to oppose partial-birth abortion in part because they fear the wedge, even though the procedure is obviously gruesome. Those raising the roof over this rare procedure are really focused on eliminating abortion altogether; that is why they meet such resistance.
    The problem with ‘the wedge’ is that people give it far too much credit. There is probably not a single policy that exists that can’t be caste as ‘the wedge’ towards some horrible thing. Hayekians like to say things like Social Security & the Federal Reserve is a ‘wedge’ towards socialism (nearly 100 years now and it looks more distant than it did then). Drinking age 21? Is that a ‘wedge’ towards prohibition? How about when prohibition was repealed? Was that a ‘wedge’ towards full legalization of all recreational drugs?
    The ‘slippery slope’ is not slippery at all, it’s made out of very rough sandpaper. If a group aspires to adopt radical policy D, adopting ‘wedge’ policy A is a double edged sword. On the one hand, policy A gets you closer to the desired policy D. On the other hand, once you get A there are going to be some people who will drop out of your movement because they are satisfied or less motivated. Likewise, opposition will be stireed that was not really paying attention up until this point. In short, I think in most cases for adopting a ‘wedge’ strategy is no substitute for convincing everyone to go all the way to D.
    That being the case what to make of the PBA ban? I think the pro-life movement is almost 100% useless. If some time traveler arrived here from 100 years ago they would be amazed that there’s a movement called ‘pro-life’ that spends millions of dollars and countless hours doing nothing to actually save any lives. I feel the pro-life movement made a huge mistake nearly 30 years ago when it decided to bury itself in legalisms. Today they are essentially little more than an intellectual ghetto of the Republican Party. Not all but enough ditched the more positive ‘choose life’ meme & dropped the opportunity to actually craft policies that might have reduced the actual rate of abortions. Even today I notice many pro-lifers measure their rate of success or failure entirely on laws and court cases instead of actual abortions performed or not performed. It is almost amazing, could you imagine a poverty group that did nothing but report how many vote the negative income tax gained or lost each year and didn’t even bother to look at the poverty rate?

  • ex-preacher

    Well said, Robski.
    Although my religious beliefs have changed dramatically over the years, the one constant for me has been an almost fanatical commitment to seeking the truth. I have an obsession with finding the truth about life’s most important questions. Conversely, nothing bothers me as much as blatant falsehoods.
    Joe said, “But to earn my recognition of you as a fellow civilized human being a person simply has to oppose crushing the heads of infants. Sadly, Obama fails to meet that standard too.” Joe suggests strongly that Obama thinks “that a baby that had survived a late-term abortion should be killed after it was outside the mother’s womb.”
    Joe provides no evidence for this audacious claim, other than Obama’s vote against a bill in 2002. I provided the text of Obama’s comments on the floor of the Illinois Senate in 2002 explaining his vote and clearly showing that Obama favors saving the life of an infant born alive.
    Joe, you are not telling the truth and I think you know it. I don’t think McCain will pick up on the charge of “infanticide apologist” as a tactic against Obama. McCain is many things, but he is not a liar.

  • Farnicle

    If McCain isn’t a liar, he sure has got a poor memory.

  • smmtheory

    Taking the pro-life position to its logical conclusion, we rub elbows with people in supermarkets, movie theaters, fast food places, churches, synagogues who are premeditated murderers. It boggles the mind, but that’s where we are. And what do you do with all these people? Especially if abortion is criminalized.

    Are you suggesting that you believe pro-lifers want to retro-actively prosecute everybody who had an abortion before it might finally be criminalized? Not only is that a foolish notion, it is unworkable besides. This is the conceptualization – Criminalize abortion… Close down all the abortion factories… then going forward prosecute for murder all those having abortions and performing abortions. Personally, I believe that the death penalty should be abolished prior to that, but you must know that not every prosecution for murder seeks the death penalty as punishment. Usually it is reserved for the cases involving murdering a government employee (such as a policeman) or mass murder. District attornies would probably be inclined to let women plea bargain down to manslaughter. Do you really think abortions would be common after criminalization? I don’t, no more common than when women murder their toddlers.

    even though they know that it is only fair that gays should have the same rights as the rest of us.

    Speaking of disingenuously building arguments…
    they do have the same rights as the rest of us… to marry male to female.

    Then again this could just be your usual annoying troll routine as a founding member of the Trinity of Stupidity.

    I guess you would know first hand how a troll behaves.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    smm
    Personally, I believe that the death penalty should be abolished prior to that, but you must know that not every prosecution for murder seeks the death penalty as punishment. Usually it is reserved for the cases involving murdering a government employee (such as a policeman) or mass murder. District attornies would probably be inclined to let women plea bargain down to manslaughter. Do you really think abortions would be common after criminalization? I don’t, no more common than when women murder their toddlers.
    The answer to this question would depend on how a ban would be enforced. When you say DAs would let women plea down abortion charges then abortion would remain quite common. It would be like smoking pot…something that theoretically could get you a lot of jail time but quite often will get plead down…unless the DA has some particular reason he wants to hit you hard.
    The term ‘abortion factories’ is somewhat misleading. As a medical procedure abortion does not require much in the way of specialized skills, drugs or equipment. Even with pot, unless you’re talking about a guy growing a small amount in his basement, you need a farm and then a distribution network which makes it that much riskier to dodge law enforcement. There’s a lot of reasons to think that criminalizing abortion would not necessarily do much for the actual amount of abortion happening. Using ‘abortion factories’ is therefore misleading because it gives the impression that abortion supply could be controlled by just targetting a few high volumn clinics the way auto manufacturer regulation effectively controls the fleet of cars in the US.
    The amount of enforcement effort put into an abortion ban would be a political question. The spectrum of possibilities ranges from de facto decriminalization (where DA’s essentially refuse to prosecute) to serious enforcement. But even in areas of serious enforcement, how much law breaking would happen that would be unprosecutable? You could end up with a scenario kind of like the US right before the Civil War but after Dred Scott. Slavery was technically legal everywhere but ‘on the ground’ it wasn’t legal in the north.
    I guess you would know first hand how a troll behaves
    Indeed we have your behavior as first hand experience. Unless you have something real to say about my alleged contradiction, BTW, I’ll chalk it up as another lie on your part.

  • Robski

    “Speaking of disingenuously building arguments…
    they do have the same rights as the rest of us… to marry male to female.”
    Well said, smmtheory, but you put the ellipsis points where you needed a colon.
    What a generous spirit you have.

  • Farnicle

    “Are you suggesting that you believe pro-lifers want to retro-actively prosecute everybody who had an abortion before it might finally be criminalized? Not only is that a foolish notion, it is unworkable besides. ”
    No, I’m suggesting that pro-lifers who want to criminalize abortion see their neighbors in this way, right now: murderers on every corner, indifferent to human life who, by criminalizing abortion, can be stopped or at least punished (as a deterrent?). Just the idea that we think of people in this way is disturbing. It’s this attitude that leads me to say that if I had ever aborted a baby, I would never mention it to some evangelicals. It would be like confessing I had hacked my parents up and never got caught but I felt bad about it. Would a Christian simply forgive the hatchet job and not report him to the police? Or at least have an extremely difficult time forgiving him (and the person who once upon a time aborted a child). Isn’t this Uncivilized Human Being unworthy of his care or respect? Joe seems to think so.
    To the evangelical, a guy who wraps somebody up in duct tape and stands him on his head in a cellar to die (happened in my town about 20 years ago) is no different from the teenager who aborts a fetus after a drunken night out. The teenager may be stupid and foolish, but I have a hard time saying she is a murderer, worthy of the same punishment as the duct tape guy. But that’s the argument. It doesn’t make sense to me. God wants this teenager to die?
    Reminds me of the story in John (excluded from most early manuscripts) where Jesus forgives the woman caught in adultery; the penalty for her adultery was death. He forgave her. Somehow, we need to find a place for this in the abortion discussion but ranting about (and even misrepresenting) someone who is not “pro-life” without considering these kinds of questions is just so much foolishness. And unChristian to boot.

  • smmtheory

    No, I’m suggesting that pro-lifers who want to criminalize abortion see their neighbors in this way, right now: murderers on every corner, indifferent to human life who, by criminalizing abortion, can be stopped or at least punished (as a deterrent?). Just the idea that we think of people in this way is disturbing.

    I’ve lost one grand-child to abortion so far, and hopefully there will be no more. But you know what? I don’t blame my ex-daughter-in-law. I blame the people who enabled the abortion by persistently portraying the unborn child as something other than life. I have at least one friend that has had an abortion. I don’t care to have them prosecuted for soemthing they did when it was legal. I blame the abortion-mongers who foster the environment of indifference to life that so envelopes the youth of the nation and seduces them into believing the ‘it ain’t no thang’ wrapping paper applied to abortion. They fooled my friends into believing that lie, and it was only after my friends had the abortion that they realized the lie for what it was.
    Jesus had another thing to say about the people who mislead children into sin. I’d guess that people who advocate for abortion would have been better off tying millstones to their necks and throwing themselves into the deepest sea. It is tragic that you find my belief that abortion is murder worth prosecuting should it become illegal more disturbing than the casual disregard for life that is at the root of an ongoing holocaust that is as of now and in this country alone 5 or 6 times greater than the holocaust that happened to the Jewish people in World War II.

    Indeed we have your behavior as first hand experience.

    Are you calling me a troll’s troll?

    Unless you have something real to say about my alleged contradiction, BTW, I’ll chalk it up as another lie on your part.

    Oooooh, I’m really concerned now… I might even lose sleep over this tonight. NOT! Even if I pointed out your contradiction to you, you would claim it wasn’t, or say I was lying.

    As a medical procedure abortion does not require much in the way of specialized skills, drugs or equipment.

    You can say that again. So little is required to set up an abortion factory it’s kind of sickening. Oh, and I don’t consider murder a medical procedure.

  • brandon

    boonton
    Thanks for clearing up your position however you wrote:
    In the case of late term abortion/partial birth abortion, this is NEVER EVER necessary.
    I’m assuming late term abortion means 3rd trimester, months 7, 8 and 9. Abortion would be necessary if the life threatening situation revealed itself then (saying something is impossible medically is a very bold statement…very little is truly impossible)….or if a situation previously revealed was NOT resolved earlier on in the pregnancy and it’s pretty easy to see how that can happen. A woman may not have the diagnostic tests she should. She might put off having an early abortion in a false hope that the doctor might be wrong. Or the doctor might have failed to see something he should have.
    That being the case you make a distinction between late term abortions and early term ones. Most pro-lifers, though, at least in theory would have to say there’s no difference between the two. You seem to indicate less of a problem with early ones but you can never make a law mandating abortion on an unwilling woman.
    Do you like to throw red herrings around for fun, or are you serious? If you are serious, consider not jumping to conclusions so much. Avoid looking for answers in situational ethics, it doesn’t help your case much.
    That said, why not? There is a distinction between early and late term abortions, and most pro-lifers agree: Late term abortions are those happening after about the 24th month, and any time you have a problem, in this country, you can have a c-section to remove the baby from the situation. I’m not aware of any case where this isn’t true, there probably is ONE, but that’s not the point. The point is, if the woman’s life is in jeopardy and it can’t be helped, you kill the baby because the woman has a more valuable life than the baby. Early term abortions done for this reason don’t come with the option to remove the baby by c-section. But I didn’t say you should mandate abortions for early term babies with issues. Most pro-life people agrees with this. Some would say it is a toss-up or that the baby is a more valuable life than the mother, but I’m not arguing that. (Don’t bring up the case of a crack whore giving birth to a healthy baby. I’ve adopted such a one from such a one and understand perfectly well where that argument stands. :) )
    In conclusion, Obama is an infanticide apologist.
    B

  • brandon

    boonton
    Thanks for clearing up your position however you wrote:
    In the case of late term abortion/partial birth abortion, this is NEVER EVER necessary.
    I’m assuming late term abortion means 3rd trimester, months 7, 8 and 9. Abortion would be necessary if the life threatening situation revealed itself then (saying something is impossible medically is a very bold statement…very little is truly impossible)….or if a situation previously revealed was NOT resolved earlier on in the pregnancy and it’s pretty easy to see how that can happen. A woman may not have the diagnostic tests she should. She might put off having an early abortion in a false hope that the doctor might be wrong. Or the doctor might have failed to see something he should have.
    That being the case you make a distinction between late term abortions and early term ones. Most pro-lifers, though, at least in theory would have to say there’s no difference between the two. You seem to indicate less of a problem with early ones but you can never make a law mandating abortion on an unwilling woman.
    Do you like to throw red herrings around for fun, or are you serious? If you are serious, consider not jumping to conclusions so much. Avoid looking for answers in situational ethics, it doesn’t help your case much.
    That said, why not? There is a distinction between early and late term abortions, and most pro-lifers agree: Late term abortions are those happening after about the 24th month, and any time you have a problem, in this country, you can have a c-section to remove the baby from the situation. I’m not aware of any case where this isn’t true, there probably is ONE, but that’s not the point. The point is, if the woman’s life is in jeopardy and it can’t be helped, you kill the baby because the woman has a more valuable life than the baby. Early term abortions done for this reason don’t come with the option to remove the baby by c-section. But I didn’t say you should mandate abortions for early term babies with issues. Most pro-life people agrees with this. Some would say it is a toss-up or that the baby is a more valuable life than the mother, but I’m not arguing that. (Don’t bring up the case of a crack whore giving birth to a healthy baby. I’ve adopted such a one from such a one and understand perfectly well where that argument stands. :) )
    In conclusion, Obama is an infanticide apologist.
    B

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    smm,
    Oooooh, I’m really concerned now… I might even lose sleep over this tonight. NOT! Even if I pointed out your contradiction to you, you would claim it wasn’t, or say I was lying.
    Which is why you’re reluctant to point it out. You bristle at being called a troll yet how many times do you spin this wheel? Just about everyone else here, including me, simply give our arguments with their reasons. You, on the other hand, think it’s cute to declare yourself right and make people use half a dozen posts to figure out what you’re trying to say.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    I appreciate that smm has shared some of his personal life with us in regards to abortion so I’ll try to back away from the heated rhetoric we’ve had here over the poitical aspect of the issue. I think it is too easy to dismiss the real life responsibility we have for our decisions by saying they are due to ‘abortion mongers’ who somehow fool people into having abortions.
    Sit down with any girl in high school or even before and as an exercise in social studies ask her to explain as best she can both sides in the disagreement over abortion. I seriously doubt you can find many who will not say something like “pro-lifers think unborn babies are people and abortion murder”. Ignorance isn’t really a factor here, almost everyone has heard the argument dozens and dozens of times over. This issue for pro-lifers is simply that many don’t buy it.
    Now you can say they are wrong. You can say their decision is biased by their personal situation (and it true that human nature is to view ideas that make our lives easier with more favor than ones that don’t). But at the end of the day they don’t believe it anymore than most people don’t believe the claims from some that vaccines make us sick or that the moon landing was faked.
    The problem is that pro-lifers have clung to a legal argument that leaves no room at all. If you take the Equal Protection argument at face value you cannot write things like “I don’t care to have them prosecuted for soemthing they did when it was legal. I blame the abortion-mongers…” There is no such wiggle room unless you’re going to invent a myth that all women have somehow been collectively fooled by mind-controlling doctors serving some mega abortion industry. I don’t doubt that many have that capacity for self-delusion here. They demonstrate almost every time the topic of evolution comes up. But it is simply false.
    To take the pro-life position is to make a radical break from all of human history. It is more radical by far than gay marriage or just about any other policy to date. Don’t say “how can it be so radical when Roe.v.Wade was created in 1973″. Pre-Roe was not a pro-life society as it has been defined here. Neither, does it seem, was Biblical law (always willing to yield to those with better knowledge on a topic, I’ve asked for Biblical references in previous posts here). There are even more radical implications to buying into the pro-life position as articulated here than even giving teen girls the death penalty or trying them as premeditated murderers.
    I feel my take on this is essentially more conservative. Try to understand the circumstances that lead to abortion, try to minimize them as much as practical. Understanding, though, that pregnancy is a unique case of human relationships that cannot be analyzed with simplistic analogies to murder. Government’s role here is and should be limited. To use an idea that Joe likes to toss around a lot (but I don’t think he really understands it), a pregnant woman is a unique sphere of authority that is different from the government’s sphere of authority. This doesn’t mean her decisions will be the right ones but they are her’s to make.

  • smmtheory

    You bristle at being called a troll yet how many times do you spin this wheel?

    Bristle? I’d like to know how you can tell that from one question. It’s more like I find it amusing that you would call me a troll. You are under no obligation what so ever to stop name-calling. If you think that means you win a verbal contest though, you might want to exercise more imagination.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    smm,
    You are under no obligation what so ever to stop name-calling…
    No I’m not. If you want to be protected by the general rules of civil discussion then you should abide by them. If you choose not too you cannot run for cover under them whenever it gets a bit too hot for you. To adopt some neocon rhetoric, you conduct yourself as a rogue commentor here and you’ll get what you give.

  • smmtheory

    If you want to be protected by the general rules of civil discussion then you should abide by them.

    I don’t require protection from general rules of civil discussion, and I don’t expect you to follow them. Maybe that is the problem, nobody expects you to be civil. Children tend to live up to expectations from what I have heard.

  • ex-preacher

    So, Brandon, do you actually have any evidence that Obama favors the killing of born alive infants or are you going with the theory that if you repeat a lie enough times people will believe it?

  • smmtheory

    Farnicle,
    You seem to be appalled by what you think pro-lifers believe about women who have had an abortion, but Boonton provides a perfect example of how pro-choice people view women who have had an abortion – iow, they know it is murder, but they just don’t care, or if they care that it is murder, other things like finishing college or getting started in a career are more important than that. It sounds like they are just as bad as the fellow who wraps somebody up in duct tape and stands him on his head in a cellar to die doesn’t it? Casual disregard for life. Is Pro-life radical? You betcha, but Jesus was a pretty radical dude wasn’t he? He forgave the woman for adultery – a stonable offense – which is a good argument for abolishing the death penalty, but by the same token, the woman he forgave wasn’t exactly a murderer was she?

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    but Boonton provides a perfect example of how pro-choice people view women who have had an abortion – iow, they know it is murder, but they just don’t care, or if they care that it is murder,
    There’s a big difference between knowing someone’s argument and knowing it to be true. I know the radical animal rights advocate equates the life of an animal with the life of a human. I don’t know that to be the truth. If tomorrow God came down and said that is the truth then my behavior would radically change. If it didn’t change then it would be fair to conclude that since I keep eating animal meat I must be as indifferent towards eating humans (and maybe I only eat animals because I like the taste) The fact, though, that I eat meat today does not mean I accept the advocate’s argument and therefore I’m indifferent to all life.

  • http://www.timpanogos.wordpress.com Ed Darrell

    Here in Texas we kill more infants than the rest of the nation and the entire world with that procedure.
    We call it “checking for insurance coverage.”
    Infanticide? George Bush isn’t just the King of Death in the Execution Chamber.
    Obama’s a piker by comparison.
    Don’t lecture about killing babies, please, until you are willing to take some action to stop killing live babies who already have protections of the Constitution by all accounts. It’s not wise to try to be so selective in which babies get murdered.
    Excuse me — I hear Ezekiel calling.

  • brandon

    ex-preacher:
    So, Brandon, do you actually have any evidence that Obama favors the killing of born alive infants or are you going with the theory that if you repeat a lie enough times people will believe it?
    In addition to Joe’s argument, Obama implies it as documented here: http://www.ontheissues.org/Social/Barack_Obama_Abortion.htm
    Obama:
    Q: What us your view on the decision on partial-birth abortion and your reaction to most of the public agreeing with the court’s holding?
    A: I think that most Americans recognize that this is a profoundly difficult issue for the women and families who make these decisions. They don’t make them casually. And I trust women to make these decisions in conjunction with their doctors and their families and their clergy. And I think that’s where most Americans are. Now, when you describe a specific procedure that accounts for less than 1% of the abortions that take place, then naturally, people get concerned, and I think legitimately so. But the broader issue here is: Do women have the right to make these profoundly difficult decisions? And I trust them to do it.
    What if he trusted people to decide whether it was right to kill someone or steal from them? If he thought partial-birth abortion is infanticide, he would not take the position above.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Sphere’s of authority

  • smmtheory

    Schmere’s of authority.

  • Farnicle

    smm said: “by what you think pro-lifers believe about women who have had an abortion . . .”
    It’s not what I think they think. It’s what they, and you, say. They have committed premeditated murder in the eyes of God. Hard to see how you can then “choose” not to prosecute them simply because the murder was not illegal in this country at the time the murder occurred. To be consistent, you’d have to say that they deserve what every other murderer in this country deserves, depending on the jurisdicition they live in at the time of the crime. There’s a disconnect between the language employed by many to describe abortion (e.g. the “holocaust”) and then the attitude taken toward the punishment that should be meted out for the crime. Evangelicals seems to recognize that there is a distinction between the duct tape guy and the teenager who’s been raped by her father when talking about punishment, but are relentless in describing the abortion as premed murder.
    “they know it is murder. they just don’t care.” I think you assume a fact that is at the very heart of the controversy. If it’s not murder, then your argument falls apart. And for many, it’s not murder.

  • http://totaltransformation.wordpress.com John

    Come election day I will not be voting for Obama.

  • ex-preacher

    Brandon,
    Re-read the original post. The discussion that Joe initiated is not over PBA, but over infants that are born alive. Joe asserts that Obama favors the killing of such infants. I say that he does not.

  • brandon

    ex-preacher on your comment 101:
    It is the same difference. Personhood is/was a big abortion issue, and Obama states elsewhere that he doesn’t know when a human body becomes a person, whether it is at fertilization or coherent sentience. This is a huge range, and very much echoes the infamous Peter Singer’s arguments that humans aren’t valuable enough to protect until they are much older than newborns.
    It is Obama’s combined positions on these matters that convinces me he has either withheld judgment on a key contemporary abortion argument, or he doesn’t want to say what he thinks. Neither case is good, and I don’t give him the benefit of the doubt. He probably is open to thinking it is okay to kill live babies, given the right circumstances.

  • smmtheory

    Farnicle,
    There may be some pro-life people who think as you say we think, but it is not I that keeps insisting that abortion is ‘premeditated’ murder. I give the women who have abortions the benefit of the doubt that prior to their abortions they had been so confused about whether or not it was murder that they could not make an educated decision. I do not know any pro-lifer that does not think the same way. A huge part of the reason that so many people don’t think abortion is murder is specifically because it is legal! The government, an indisputable authority figure in everybody’s life, practically says that abortion is not murder by the lack of criminalization! You think there is a disconnect in the way we talk about the act and how we would treat women who have committed the act, but there is not. It wouldn’t be right to go around prosecuting people for something they did prior to that somethings criminalization, especially when people for criminalization are like the lone voice in the wilderness trying to convince people of the truth amid all the din and racket of those trying to drown us out with a lie disguised as the truth. Are you one of those voices trying to drown us out?

  • ex-preacher

    Regarding the distinction between a late-term abortion and killing a born-alive infant, Brandon says: “It is the same difference.”
    Umm, no it’s not. The whole point of Joe’s post was that even aside from the issue of partial birth abortion, Obama was in favor of killing an infant born alive. I showed that this was patently false. Neither Joe nor anyone else has provided a single piece of evidence to support his argument.
    Now you tell us, “He probably is open to thinking it is okay to kill live babies, given the right circumstances.” Huh? Where did you get that. Does the truth even matter at all to you?

  • brandon

    ex-preacher on comment #104:
    I said:
    It is the same difference. Personhood is/was a big abortion issue, and Obama states elsewhere that he doesn’t know when a human body becomes a person, whether it is at fertilization or coherent sentience. This is a huge range, and very much echoes the infamous Peter Singer’s arguments that humans aren’t valuable enough to protect until they are much older than newborns.
    Please read everything. I didn’t further quote Obama because this conversation is getting longish, for blog comments. Refer to the earlier link.

  • Farnicle

    smm:
    So it seems like there are three kinds of people: Evangelicals who know it’s murder, pro-choice people who know it’s murder, and the actual women who abort their babies, who are so bamboozled by the pro-choice people that they can’t make an educated decision. And because they can’t make an educated decision because they are so swayed by the rhetoric of the pro-choicers, they are not responsible for their actions before God, even though, as you maintain, God has made it clear that they have murdered their babies. Is that it?
    I’m not trying to drown anybody out with a lie. I think most folks can listen to proponents of both views, and the many intermediate views, and make a rational decision themselves. I don’t think people operate like you think they operate. If it’s a “lie” for people to have doubts that life begins at conception and tell other people about their doubts, I’m guilty as charged. But I’m trying to convince anyone that they have to believe what I believe. I’m just raising the issue of punishment. If God says it’s murder, then why are you so willing to exonerate the murderer?

  • smmtheory

    And because they can’t make an educated decision because they are so swayed by the rhetoric of the pro-choicers, they are not responsible for their actions before God, even though, as you maintain, God has made it clear that they have murdered their babies. Is that it?

    No, that is not it. They are still responsible for their actions before God. Every murder will be accounted for in one way or another. It’s not my place to answer how God will make them accountable. Human courts cannot search and judge the condition of the soul (another good reason to abolish the death penalty), so they can only take a measure of a person’s actions. As such, there is know way for the judicial system to know if every woman who has ever had an abortion since Roe v. Wade should be tried for something that they did while it was presumably humanly legal to do so. But I am beginning to suspect that you believe it should happen if abortion were criminalized.

    If God says it’s murder, then why are you so willing to exonerate the murderer?

    I’ve been trying to explain that, apparently to no effect. Let me ask you the reverse – If God says it’s murder, then why are you so willing to assume that those expectant mothers committed premeditated murder?

  • ex-preacher

    For those interested, here is the single biblical passage that mentions anything close to an abortion:
    Exodus 21:22
    Suppose a pregnant woman suffers a miscarriage [a] as the result of an injury caused by someone who is fighting. If she isn’t badly hurt, the one who injured her must pay whatever fine her husband demands and the judges approve.
    Although there is much controversy over this verse, the common sense reading is that causing a miscarriage (killing a fetus) resulted only in a fine, while killing a born person resulted in the death penalty.
    Jesus, Paul and the other NT writers never mention abortion, though it was a widespread practice in the Roman world. The ancients used various methods to induce abortions including the use of poisons and sticking foreign objects into the uterus.

  • Farnicle

    “Let me ask you the reverse – If God says it’s murder, then why are you so willing to assume that those expectant mothers committed premeditated murder?”
    I don’t think God says it’s murder. He is silent on this issue. Lots of people have made arguments that passages like Exodus 21 and the Psalms make it crystal clear that abortion is murder. But to many folk, it’s not.
    My whole point is that IF it’s murder, as many evangelicals are absolutely certain, then the punishment in many states is death. So if it’s criminalized, many people who live and work with will spend many years in the pokey or perhaps pay the ultimate price. Evangelicals never talk about this and when I think of all the horrific things people do to each other, justly deserving punishment, and compare that to the stupid things teenagers do, I can’t see how God, as I’ve said above, would want anything like this kind of punishment inflicted by the State on them. That’s all.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    The Exodus passage seems pretty weak to me for either side. Assume for a moment the Bible did consider abortion murder…the Exodus passage talks about what would at best be an accidental killing. Two men fighting, one accidently hits a pregnant woman. Assume for another moment the Bible takes a pro-choice POV. The pregnant woman was hit not by her choice but by accident…as a result the person who hit her pays a fine.
    The silence to me says a lot more IMO. How often did it really happen that two men get into a fist fight where one pregnant wife just happens to be right there. Somehow even then I think there were more abortions than this odd scenario even in Biblical times. Then again I’ll be happy to yield to those with a better command of the Bible than I have.

  • ex-preacher

    The verses following the one I posted earlier help clarify:
    Exodus 21:23-25
    But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
    In other words, if the pregnant woman is killed, then the life of the killer is demanded. If she only miscarries, the only penalty is a fine. The implication is that the death of a fetus is not considered murder in the way that the death of a pregnant woman is.
    You are right, Boonton, that the case is not strong either way. Since we know abortion was practiced in ancient times, the fact that it was never condemned (or condoned) in the Bible is somewhat perplexing. I believe that some of the church fathers did condemn abortion in the 2nd or 3rd century, but nearly all the Ante-Nicean fathers were also total pacifists and evangelicals do not believe that to be binding.
    The puzzle is that if God is so horrified by abortion, why didn’t he bother to ever mention it in the Bible. He certainly went into great detail on other seemingly minor issues (like the problem of moldy walls).
    Another point I have raised before that no one has seriously tried to answer concerns the fate of aborted fetuses versus the fate of most born people. Most evangelicals hold that anyone who dies prior to the mystical “age of accountability” (which no one can define) gets a free ticket to eternal bliss in heaven. On the other hand, most people who live past that age will probably not go to heaven (see Sermon on the Mount), but will instead be tortured eternally in hell. So it seems that in the long run, babies are way better off being aborted than being born. While evangelicals understandably can’t applaud what abortionists are doing, shouldn’t they feel a little joy about all of those innocents going straight to heaven? The 42 million abortions since 1973 mean 42 million more souls in heaven. Hallelujah!

  • ex-preacher

    By the way, I consider myself middle of the road (along with most Americans) on the abortion issue. I am pro-choice during the first trimester and pro-life in the second and third trimesters.

  • Jewel Mathias

    I am college educated, affluent, conservative, white and a Christian. We must remember that John McCain married Cindy one month after he divorced his first family. Cindy was fairly recently charged with stealing drugs.
    Gov. Palin paraded her 17 year old, unmarried pregnant daughter, with the 18 year old boyfriend, the impregnator, in tow. With these two families in the White House, the tabloids would have a field day.
    Do Christians remember that Jesus was a peace maker and preached against fornication?

  • jewel Mathias

    I am college educated, affluent, conservative, white and a Christian. We must remember that John McCain was always known as a womanizer and married Cindy one month after he divorced his first family. Cindy recently was charged with drug theft. I heard Palin suggest that our attack on Iraq was a mission of God.
    Gov. Palin paraded her 17 year old, unmarried daughter on the stage with the boyfriend, the impregnator, in tow. (With these two families in the White House the tabloids would have a field day.)
    Don’t “Christians” know that Jesus was a peace maker and preached mightily against the sins of adultery and fornication?

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