Pro-life is pro-choice and pro-woman

In the course of an informal exchange on abortion it occurred to me that the pro-life position is literally more pro-choice and pro-woman than is the traditional “pro-choice” position (i.e., advocates of abortion on demand).

As a pro-lifer, I’m so pro-choice I don’t think any human being should be denied the opportunity to live and make choices. I’m so pro-choice I don’t think that any potential mothers should be denied the opportunity to be born and decide whether to get pregnant or not. I’m so pro-woman I don’t think that any female babies should be aborted. I’m so pro-woman I don’t want any women to experience the heightened incidence of depression, injury, death, alcoholism, drug addiction, divorce, sexual dysfunction, post-traumatic stress disorder, and infertility, that statistically follow abortion.* Most every sign of women’s physical and psychological health is harmed by abortion. I’m pro-choice. I’m pro-woman BECAUSE I’m pro-life.

Are you pro-life?
pro-life_speech

*Source: http://afterabortion.org/2011/abortion-risks-a-list-of-major-psychological-complications-related-to-abortion/

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22 thoughts on “Pro-life is pro-choice and pro-woman

  1. The trouble with political issues (which is how moral issues are dealt with in a statist society) is that once we’ve made up our mind about a moral issue and voted this way or that, someone else then takes over and does all the dirty work on our behalf.

    To get to the heart of any moral issue (such as abortion) we need to cut out the middle man (the state and its enforcers) and do a little role play instead…

    I am pregnant. I was seduced (tricked, pressured, bullied into sex) by a friend of my father who exploited my naivety and trust. It wasn’t rape at knifepoint in an alley way, but neither was it full consensual sex. This is a fairly common situation for a young woman to find herself in. It is ‘regrettable’, as they say….

    The thought of going through with the pregnancy makes me feel suicidal. Due to the circumstances it will destroy my family and my life and so I reluctantly (but resolutely) decide I want to have an abortion. I’ve taken the necessary steps and everyone involved (doctors, psychologists etc) all support my decision and are willing to help me have the abortion.

    So to cut to the chase, the question is this: as a ‘pro lifer’ do you believe you have the moral right to physically stop me from having this abortion? Would you be prepared to *initiate force* against me (and/ or the medical staff involved) to stop the abortion from happening?

    And what if I resisted? Would you tackle me to the ground outside the hospital? Would you restrain me and drag me off and put me in a cage? Would you threaten the medical staff? Would you pull a gun on me?

    This might sound extreme but this is what a ‘law’ against abortion comes down to. All laws come down to the use of force. If a law is not backed by the use of force then it is not a law – it is an opinion, or advice, or a recommendation.

    Voting for a ‘law’ against abortion means voting for other people to act ON YOUR BEHALF and *initiate force* against me (and/ or the medical staff) to physically prevent the abortion from happening.

    Morally speaking, there is no difference between behaving a certain way and getting a third party to behave that way on your behalf. Mugging a man in the street is the same as getting someone else to mug that man in the street on your behalf. Giving a homeless man a christmas hamper is the same as getting someone else to deliver it to him on your behalf (morally speaking).

    And the same applies to initiating force against me to prevent me from having an abortion. It makes no difference if you personally use force against me, or if you vote for a third party to use force against me on your behalf.

    Saying “I don’t think babies should be aborted” is just an opinion which I would imagine everyone shares. I doubt anybody thinks babies SHOULD be aborted. Abortion is always the ‘least worse’ option. But that’s not quite the same as saying “I want to prevent all women from having abortions”.

    This is where voting for laws gets serious. When we vote for laws we are doing more than merely registering our opinion with the government. We are literally advocating for them to initiate force (including extreme violence if necessary) against everyone else in society on our behalf to make everyone else do what we want them to.

    Imagine we are sitting together having a coffee. I look you in the eyes and tell you my mind is made up and I’m having this abortion whether that means going to the hospital or throwing myself down the stairs.

    Are you going to try and stop me even if that means resorting to violence? (the initiation of force)

    If not then – by definition – you do not support laws against abortion, even if (like everyone else) you wish they did not happen.

    1. Wow. Abandon TV, This response is pretty scattered but I’ll see if I can sort out a reply.

      1) On the Abortion in cases of Rape — Rape is a very difficult and traumatizing event, and every rape victim needs tremendous support and care. If she were to go through with an abortion, she would still have my deepest sympathy. That’s a tough spot to be in, and there are not many good options for her. But, I’m not sure that example amounts to a rebuttal. I’m so pro-woman that I don’t think any rape victim should have to suffer all the additional trauma of abortion. Psychologically and physically, she’s been harmed enough. Multiplying her likelihood of PTSD, depression, and suicide is hardly therapeutic. Moreover, abortion punishes two innocent parties–the mother and the child–when the least innocent person gets away with his crime. That ethical equation doesn’t add up. Next, only about 30% of rape victims actually go through with an abortion, and only about 3-7% of abortions are of rape victims. So you do not even speak for the majority of rape victims much (MUCH) less do you speak for the majority of abortion cases in the U.S. For the sake of argument, if Roe Vs. Wade were repealed except in cases of rape or medical threats to the mother, we’d still be preventing about 93% of abortions in America. Abortion-on-demand is NOT about rape cases, so it’s misrepresentative to tout the “Rape Argument” as if that case were the chief liability in the war on abortion.

      2) On your question, “[A]s a ‘pro-lifer’ do you believe you have the moral right to physically stop me from having this abortion?” — Eh, this is a complex question. I have to say, “No” and “Yes” because you phrased it strangely. Judicially and legislatively, the issue is “legal” measures not strictly “physical” measures. I’m not promoting the idea that the state intervene and physically stop you from having an abortion, I think the state should criminalize abortion so that people who try to go through with it–perhaps they still deem their abortion necessary or justified–would have to answer to the police or the courts for their actions. But that is a legal measure more than a direct physical obstruction. It would be impossible to police that kind of preventative effort; preventing anyone from getting an abortion. All that could be done, reasonably speaking, is to issue legal consequences so that people who choose to break the law, if they get caught, have to answer for the law they’ve broken. There will be people who break the law, getting back alley abortions, just like there are people who break the laws right now committing infanticide or trying to go through with abortions themselves (and yes, back alley and botched abortions are still quite common, likely moreso than pre-1973). That being said, there is a MORAL right to value and serve human life over human freedom. Both are valuable, both are good. But where a person’s freedom and choice militates against a legally innocent and morally neutral (or innocent) human life–such as a child in utero, that is evil. So yes, I should try to persuade people not to have abortions as that is killing an innocent human being, but I don’t have just any freedom to stop an abortion, say through assaulting them or killing abortion doctors or something like that. I must seek the good goal in a good way, otherwise I’m doing evil.

      [more to come]. . .

      1. 1) The rape victim wanting an abortion is just an extreme and therefore clear cut (but still perfectly realistic) real world scenario to test our *real world* views on abortion. Anyone can say they are “opposed to abortion” in an abstract sense, but I would imagine in a real world scenario if the woman was absolutely determined to have an abortion most people would want to help and support her through this difficult decision, rather than try to physically stop her.

        But I’m not suggesting there aren’t some people out there who WOULD initiate force against a woman to prevent her from having an abortion under such circumstances. We’ve seen ‘pro lifers’ shooting doctors in the past… (oh the irony)

        “..I’m so pro-woman that I don’t think any rape victim should have to suffer all the additional trauma of abortion…”

        In my scenario the woman WANTS to have an abortion, so obviously that argument would not apply.

        2) “..Judicially and legislatively, the issue is “legal” measures not strictly “physical” measures. ..”

        All legal measures come down to the use of physical force in the end – even if physical force is not actually used. ‘Laws’ are nothing more (or less) than ‘opinions’ backed by the threat of force – including violence.

        For example, I can create a ‘law’ which means you must pay me 10% of your earnings every week, but it means nothing unless I am able to back it up with force. The power of a law is directly proportional to the amount of physical force it is backed up with. Laws do not actually exist in reality. The only thing which exists is humans interacting with each other. ‘Laws’ do not put murderers behind bars, humans do.

        If you have your driving license revoked that does not prevent you from driving. It is simply a way of saying that if you’re caught driving men in blue costumes will use force to stop your driving, make you pay a fine, put you in a cage (or whatever). People do not fear losing their driving license, they fear the force that goes along with it.

        The point is you can’t advocate ‘laws’ without also advocating force. They are one and the same.

        “…I’m not promoting the idea that the state intervene and physically stop you from having an abortion, I think the state should criminalize abortion so that people who try to go through with it–perhaps they still deem their abortion necessary or justified–would have to answer to the police or the courts for their actions. But that is a legal measure more than a direct physical obstruction…”

        What you propose can only be achieved through the use of force against the woman – either the threat of physical force, or actual physical force. When you say ‘have to answer’ you can only mean ‘should be FORCED to answer’.

        And what does ‘answer’ mean specifically? What are we talking about here… a fine? … imprisonment?… a criminal record? These are all examples of using threats of tangible force against someone to FORCE them to obey you. If they fail to obey you they end up carrying out those threats as a punishment (fines, imprisonment etc). These punishments are also imposed on the woman by force – real physical force.

        The whole point of my original comment was that ‘laws’ as a solution to complex social issues can very quickly turn good intentions and idealistic goals into sheer brute force and even violence which is destructive, expensive, traumatic and only ends up making things even worse (it certainly doesn’t help make things better).

        “…It would be impossible to police that kind of preventative effort; preventing anyone from getting an abortion…”

        I totally agree.

        “…All that could be done, reasonably speaking, is to issue legal consequences so that people who choose to break the law, if they get caught, have to answer for the law they’ve broken…”

        So are you saying you’d be OK with creating laws which drive a desperate woman to a backstreet clinic for an unsafe procedure, and then punish her by fining her, imprisoning her, or imposing some other punitive measure on her by force? How is any of that HELPING the situation?

        “…That being said, there is a MORAL right to value and serve human life over human freedom…”

        A bundle of cells growing in a womb is not a human life, although it is on the way to becoming one.

        If a man thinks he has the right to force a woman to have a child against her will he can rape her when she’s fertile. 24 hours later ‘pro lifers’ can also claim they have the right to force this woman to have the child against her will. In both cases people are claiming ownership/ control of the woman’s body against her will. Are these two claims really so different, morally speaking?

        “…So yes, I should try to persuade people not to have abortions as that is killing an innocent human being, but I don’t have just any freedom to stop an abortion, say through assaulting them or killing abortion doctors or something like that….”

        Right. So in that case ‘laws’ are probably not the way to go (IMHO).

        The trouble is we live in a society which is dominated by governments who have taken over just about every aspect of our lives. Governments operate exclusively through the initiating of force. It’s their ‘go to’ answer to everything – to create more laws, more departments to enforce those laws, more ways to punish people, more prisons, more violence, more weapons, more ‘wars on X’.

        As you say yourself, abortions can’t really be stopped by force. Whenever force is used as a deterrent to stamp out things like abortions, drugs, alcohol, free speech, books etc all that happens is that these things are driven underground.

        The ONLY sensible (and morally justifiable) solution is to tackle the CAUSES, and try to prevent as many unwanted pregnancies as possible through education, better parenting and a healthier society in general.

        State initiated force (such as the violent redistribution of wealth AKA state welfare) actually causes massive social dysfunction, increases poverty and drives up the number of unwanted pregnancies.

        It seems to me that having a society based so heavily on the *initiation of force* as the prime means to tackle complex social issues is totally at odds with any pro-woman philosophy (or pro-man for that matter…)

        Aren’t we smarter than this?

      2. This is long. I’m not sure I’m gonna get to all of it. But I can speak to an initial distinction that can be made.

        You are conflating Violent prevention with Physically uncomfortable punitive consequences. I am not. I would not advocate laws that say Abortion doctors should be shot on site wherever they attempt to conduct an abortion. Nor should we wrestle them to the ground, handcuff them, etc. Now I’m enough of a cynic, and I see enough parallels between abortion and slavery to where I would not be terribly surprised if there were a war to break out over this issue, but I highly doubt it. Still, I don’t see a reason right now to resort to violence to prevent abortion. Violence is a loaded word that should be carefully parsed and not wielded wildly for rhetorical flair. Your reference back to the “Lords Army” anti-abortion militia suggests you are lumping the rest of the pro-life in with them. This is a hasty generalization and I’ve already pointed out the error in this.

        It sounds like you are trying to work the word “violence” into the pro-life agenda. It’s a stretch and it sounds like a propogandist fallacy. If anyone is doing violence more than the other, it is the group with the 56,000,000 human death toll racked up in the U.S. since 1973.

        Later you asked, “So are you saying you’d be OK with creating laws which drive a desperate woman to a backstreet clinic for an unsafe procedure, and then punish her by fining her, imprisoning her, or imposing some other punitive measure on her by force? How is any of that HELPING the situation?”

        This question is a very loaded one. It’s kind of like asking, “If I was going to kill someone should I do it dangerously or safely?” Obviously, if those are my only options, then I’d encourage you to do it safely–reduce the blood splatter, make it quick and painless, don’t hurt anyone else in it, etc. Its a complex question fallacy because you are assuming that some comparable measure of abortions are inevitable, they can just be safe or dangerous. You have the burden of proof in showing that to be the case. You have not done so. Moreover, you’d need to show that a new theoretical climate, where if Roe v. Wade were overturned, women would be just as reckless and naive about “free-love” and “casual sex” as they were in the 60’s and early 70’s (which generated a great deal of the sentiment that fed into the Roe v. Wade decision), and consequently, that they will be so dead set on aborting any unwanted babies that they will seriously risk back alley abortions. I think very highly of women and believe that most women are very responsible, capable, and mature enough to seek out legal options wherever possible and strongly avoid illegal options. By making abortion legal, the incidence of dangerous abortions skyrocketed, while the incidence of “safe” abortions shot up even higher. It is not necessarily the case that a comparable number of abortions would be happening either way such that it’s a simple comparison between “safe” or “dangerous” dangerous.

        Permit me to recast the story. If abortion were abolished tomorrow, except in cases of rape, incest and medical threats to the mother–I would expect that the incidence of abortions would drop drastically, but not to its lowest point till many years later. I would expect that many women and abortion clinics would still go through with abortions, on principle, seeing that law change as an abuse of their freedoms. There could be a slight uptick in “back alley” abortions, but these would be radically offset by the reduction in accidentally dangerous abortions that would have happened in controlled, sterile, and “safe” settings. But on a wider social scale, and something which I don’t see you taking seriously, I strongly suspect that women will close their legs more; men will find that their pick up lines don’t work as well; the marrying age would decline measurably over the next decade from its historic high (around 27/29yr F/M) to a lower age (maybe 25/27yr F/M), since well-meaning couples will want a safer stabler setting to “risk” pregnancy. Meanwhile there would be an upsurge in safe-sex and abstinence education as young people and college students realize they need some reinforcement if they are now having to treat sex with more reverence and care, having one less “failsafe” should they screw up (no pun intended).

        Later you write that, “A bundle of cells growing in a womb is not a human life, although it is on the way to becoming one.” You have the weight of modern science and modern medical consensus against you. I defy you to find a single medical professional who deals in obstetrics, gynecology, or fetology who agrees that the conceptus is not, literally, a genetically distinct living human organism of the species homo sapien, and therefore a human being in its earliest developmental stage. To make your case you need to disprove the medical consensus that the the fetus is (1) genetically human, (2) biologically alive, and (3) classified as an organism. All comparisons to finger nails, hair follicles, dandruff, tumors, or ‘clumps of cells,’ are medically and scientifically uninformed. Moreover we already have legal and international precedent establishing that the fetus in utero is a “Child” and “Human Being” (Unborn Victims of Violence Act 2004; Webster v. Reproductive Health 1989; United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child, 1959)

        I agree that abortion can’t be directly prevented by force, not on wide scale, not effectively, and not without committing wider evils or crimes. But a great deal can and has been done to prevent it by THREAT of force, after the fact, through self-regulation by people who realize that they must now treat sex and an entry into the “baby lottery.” That force is justified similarly to how as any other killing of literal human beings is illegal and punishable by law. And again, to rebut my overall case, you need to demonstrate that banning abortion-on-demand (except in cases of rape or medical threat to the mother) would not drastically reduce the loss of human life. Laws are complicated and have all sorts of unpleasant side effects, but the art of politics is precisely that game of trade-offs where we should seek to the what is most ethical and what is practical, sometimes accepting compromises in one for the sake of the other. There would be some unpleasant side effects if abortion were halted tomorrow, but that’s the trade off we have to make if we are to honor the lives, the choices, and the dignity of those children-in-utero.

        You end up on a libertarian diatribe. I agree with a lot of it, but I’m not willing to concede that killing human beings is the kind of permissible, innocuous thing that the Nation should stay ambivalent about. It’s not like we’re talking about seat-belt laws, or food labels, etc.

    2. 3) Your open questions are kind of weird. You asked, “And what if I resisted? Would you tackle me to the ground outside the hospital? Would you restrain me and drag me off and put me in a cage? Would you threaten the medical staff? Would you pull a gun on me?” You seem to think that I, as a pro-lifer, am part of the radical group, “The Lord’s Army” or something comparable. Or perhaps you think my ethics are strictly utilitarian so that I could excuse most any violence so long as it stops an abortion. Assuredly I am not a utilitarian. I much prefer persuasion, appealing to the best in people rather than physical altercations which rarely change a persons mind or conscience. I have some questions for you concerning your thought experiment. In your thought experiment am I allowed to try to reason with you? Am I allowed to show you statistics or quotes from current and former abortion doctors? Am I allowed to show you interviews with women post abortion? Am I allowed to stand out of your way, pray for you, and then hand you a counseling pamphlet after you leave the abortion clinic? Am I allowed to offer to connect you with adoptive parents who prioritize pro-life interventions?

      4) In paragraph 9, You said something highly contentious as if it was a matter of fact. You said:

      Morally speaking, there is no difference between behaving a certain way and getting a third party to behave that way on your behalf. Mugging a man in the street is the same as getting someone else to mug that man in the street on your behalf. Giving a homeless man a christmas hamper is the same as getting someone else to deliver it to him on your behalf (morally speaking).

      Please support that claim. I don’t agree that moral events involving 3 or 4 people, many different motives, and many different means, are equal in moral worth to those involving 1 person, with one motive, and one means. The results can be similar or identical, but since I’m not a utilitarian and find utilitarianism reprehensible, I don’t see why I should agree how “same result” equals “moral equivalence.”

      5) I mostly agree with you when you say that, “Saying “I don’t think babies should be aborted” is just an opinion which I would imagine everyone shares. I doubt anybody thinks babies SHOULD be aborted. Abortion is always the ‘least worse’ option. But that’s not quite the same as saying “I want to prevent all women from having abortions”. I disagree that it’s “just an opinion,” but besides that foible I agree with the rest of what you said.

      6) You also said in para. 12, “When we vote for laws we are doing more than merely registering our opinion with the government. We are literally advocating for them to initiate force (including extreme violence if necessary) against everyone else in society on our behalf to make everyone else do what we want them to.”–Again I mostly agree with you. But the “extreme violence” thing is started to sound a bit propogandist/loaded-word fallacy. Yes “extreme violence” could result if a person goes through with an abortion in an illegal way, but only if that person fights against the arresting police officers, or lunges at the judge, or fights with inmates, etc. etc. And if by “extreme violence” you mean the death penalty, well you’d have a point there, but again if there were a law passed tomorrow deeming abortion a capital offense, that would not in any way force a person to go through with an abortion and incur the death penalty. The extreme violence is self-caused. There are principled and responsible ways to break a law you deem unjust. Its called passive resistance. That’s the method I would affirm for pro-lifers or pro-choicers if they deem a law unjust. You don’t have to follow the law, but you do have to accept the punishment–eventually. Also, that “extreme violence” equally applies to people who are guilty of tax evasion or of unpaid parking tickets. If they resist arrest they can invite a scuffle with the cop, or even get shot if they try to flee. Lastly, which is the more extreme violence, issuing a warrant for arrest and having the police escort a person to jail? or willfully killing a human being for the sake of convenience? You do have a point however in that laws do coerce a conventional moral idea of that society. Hopefully those laws are also moral, but they aren’t always (i.e., legal slavery in 1850’s).

      I think you might mean something different by “violence” than I do. I mean physical assault/harm, not ideological disagreement or moral legislation that someone would prefer not to follow.

      7) I support laws against abortion and I would not try to physically stop you if you were determined to have an abortion–legal or not. I might report you to the police. I would beg and plead with you. But if you want to be wicked that’s your choice and you answer to yourself, your community, your own family, and perhaps to God for your actions. If you do evil, you will have many judges to answer to so I don’t see a need or right to assume vigilante status to enforce my own law on other people. If your scenario involved some theorized Anti-abortion law, then yes, your abortion would be illegal and would justify a police arrest and perhaps jail time. That’s not cruel and unusual, or violent, that’s how most criminal laws work. If I saw you beating a slave, calling him your property, less than human, stupid, worthless, and then physically assaulting him. I would intervene there too. Even if slavery was illegal I would like to think I’d have the courage to intrude and stop you. But, I’m not doing the violence there, you are. I’d be stopping the violence. So again, I think you are using “violence” in a different way than I am.

    3. I think I forgot to say the most obvious thing. If I were speaking to an actual, pregnant, rape victim, I would say something like this:

      “That is a terrible terrible situation and I don’t pretend to think that any answers from here on out are going to be easy answers. I pray that your family, friends, and faith community rally around you in this time of need. No one should have to go through that. I do hope that you will find the courage, hope, and support to not take it out on your baby. But if you go through with an abortion, know that I deeply care about you and pray that you can heal and move past this terrible time.

  2. I am pro-choice and anti-abortion. I think the label “pro-woman” is a little odd. Perhaps a better term would be feminist? All this boils down to the only substantive issue here: who should be able to choose when a pregnancy is ended?

    Most people agree that it is alright for a woman and a doctor, should be the ones choosing to end a pregnancy in which the woman’s life or health is in danger. We disagree about whether she and the doctor should have a legal right to make this choice when the woman’s life is not in danger. This really is the only “choice” relevant to this discussion and to call yourself “pro-choice” in this context is a rather silly rhetorical distraction.

    1. The “pro-woman” label is to consciously avoid the baggage that comes with “feminist.” Some feminists want equality, others want superiority. I’m not getting into that debate but just saying that a pro-life position is a kind of women’s advocacy.

      As for your second point, concerning what you called the “only substantive issue” you said it’s: “Who should be able to choose when a pregnancy is ended?”–you’ve either got to allow a theological answer or else you are guilty of a complex question. According to our Decl. of Indep., our right to life is guaranteed by our creator, not by our mother or our doctor. So God is the only one who can rightfully withdraw someone’s right to life. If you are not considering that answer, or you believe it’s somehow wrong or illicit, then you are committing a complex question assuming that people–such as the mother, or doctor, or husband or state leaders, or governing officials have a right to kill an unborn child. I might as well ask, “Who made the sky blue?”–unless it’s God, then “who” is the wrong question.

      Moreover, if you can show that that human being is guilty of a capital crime then “ending-the-pregancy-which-is-also-killing-a-human-being” might be legitimate, but barring a capital offense (and since you don’t affirm capital punishment) I don’t see how you can justify extending the death penalty intentionally, incidentally, or otherwise to another human being–or if you don’t like that phrase a “child-in-utero.”

      You’ll have to find a way to separate (not just distinguish) “ending the pregnancy” from “killing a human being” or else you are guilty of word play. The most relevant legal issue here, the aspect that makes it morally questionable, is that a human being is killed with every successful abortion. Ending the pregnancy is morally incidental or secondary.

      Concerning your last paragrah, I don’t understand how anything I’ve said on abortion in this thread is “silly” or “distracting.” Since about 93% of abortions on demand are not over physical health issues, that means about 930,000 women are getting abortions this year in the U.S. because they had sex irresponsibly, and with no intention of getting pregnant. I know many of those are sob stories and those are real people needing care and support, but the fact remains, that they are “ending-pregnancy-killing-children-in-utero” and that’s not simply a “choice” issue, it’s a responsibility issue, it’s a family issue, it’s a psychological health issue, it’s a life or death issue, it’s a serious moral issue, and those of us who don’t think humans should have to die for the mistakes of others have every ethical reason to seek to influence the system to curtail abortion. That’s hardly silly or distracting. That’s pretty sharp and on-target I’d say.

  3. It occurred to me that the pro-life position is literally more pro-choice and pro-woman than is the traditional “pro-choice” position

    Doubtful, since the forced-birth position advocates women not having a say as to what goes on in their bodies. Thus by default, the woman’s autonomy is lessened, so “literally” you’re wrong from your first assumption.

    I’m so pro-choice I don’t think any human being should be denied the opportunity to live and make choices.

    This is a substantive position to take as to remain consistent, you would necessarily have to oppose all war, poverty and inequality in society. I look forward to your strong suppprt of anti-war, pro-welfare and pro-social democratic state policies.

    Of course, your statement could just be a setup for imposing your particular set of morals on other people.

    I’m so pro-woman I don’t think that any female babies should be aborted.

    It is refreshing to see the sex-selective abortion plank pop up in yet another forced-birth advocates dedication to life in all its forms. It serves as yet another shiv in the attempt to foist autonomy away from women.

    I’m so pro-woman I don’t want any women to experience the heightened incidence of depression, injury, […]

    Your sources are outdatedand erroneous.

    Often what doesn’t occur to forced-birth advocates is the pregnancy is also dangerous, not to mention not as safe as getting an abortion.

    I’m pro-choice.

    Up is not down, east is not west, and the forced birth platform you advocate is most certainly not a pro-choice, pro-women position.

    1. Arbourist, I’m glad you chimed in with your thoughts.

      ME: It occurred to me that the pro-life position is literally more pro-choice and pro-woman than is the traditional “pro-choice” position
      YOU: Doubtful, since the forced-birth position advocates women not having a say as to what goes on in their bodies. Thus by default, the woman’s autonomy is lessened, so “literally” you’re wrong from your first assumption.
      –False on two fronts. First, you characterize the pro-life position as “Forced-birth” position. That would only make sense if pregnancy was also forced on women, and the “rape” case is a dividing line for pro-lifers. The pro-life position can allow for abortion in extenuating cases like tubal/ectopic pregnancy, incest, and rape. Second, Women can and should have every say as to what goes on in their bodies up to the point of deciding what goes on in another human being’s body. She invited a baby in, and if she didn’t want a baby, she shouldn’t have invited it in. If she did not want to take care of another human being she should not have chosen to allow herself to become a mother. (See my other article, “The Baby Lottery”). Third, you are errant for assuming that the mother’s choices are the only one’s that matter. Lets say that the mother’s choice abortion constitutes 1% of all her live choices. Well the child inside of her loses 100% of any potential, ability, or future choices. Combining those together, the pro-choice position is actually 99% opposed to autonomy, the pro-life position is 99% in support of it.
      —–
      ME: I’m so pro-choice I don’t think any human being should be denied the opportunity to live and make choices.
      YOU: This is a substantive position to take as to remain consistent, you would necessarily have to oppose all war, poverty and inequality in society. I look forward to your strong suppprt of anti-war, pro-welfare and pro-social democratic state policies.
      –You’re comparing apples to orange as you fail to rebut the claim I’m making. As such, you commit the fallacy of red herring (distraction), and a hasty generalization. You mistakenly treat the pro-life position like a simplistic stance of supporting any and all life despite criminal behavior, irresponsibility, malicious practice, etc. You compare born citizens to unborn children, without showing that they are relevantly compared. Born citizens have the ability to defend themselves, flee a militant state, avoid criminal behavior, or incur the death penalty by their criminal behavior. The in-utero child has none of that. It is legally innocent and morally neutral, hence it cannot willfully support or participate in other those other mitigating factors such as war. As for welfare and a social democratic state, you have to show me why big-government is the only, the purest, or the best means at affirming human life and choices. If anything, a true thorough-going pro-choicer would be more libertarian than social-democrat, as the libertarian affirms individual rights and privileges to select for themselves whatever risky behaviors they so desire (such as marijuana, no seat belts, free-market, etc.).
      ——–

      YOU: Of course, your statement could just be a setup for imposing your particular set of morals on other people.
      –All legislation imposes morality, the only question is whose morality is being imposed on others. The pro-choice position necessarily imposes its “set of morals” on legally innocent, morally neutral living human beings. In fact, it extends the death penalty to someone who isn’t guilty of anything.

      ——–
      ME: I’m so pro-woman I don’t think that any female babies should be aborted.
      YOU: It is refreshing to see the sex-selective abortion plank pop up in yet another forced-birth advocates dedication to life in all its forms. It serves as yet another shiv in the attempt to foist autonomy away from women.
      –Rhetorical/Propogandist Fallacy, and Red Herring. What you said here has literally no logical relevance to the point at hand. Your implication is that women should be able to abort their child, never minding if their reasoning is trivial, prejudicial, or uninformed. Please state clearly if you don’t mind, Do you think women should be legally allowed to abort their preborn children for the express reason that the child was female? Moreover, you shot right past my point here. I was not even commenting on sex-selective abortion but rather that the “pro-woman” position is actually advocating for the willful killing of preborn girls, when it supports abortion on demand. The relevant difference, for them, is that the mother has more “human rights” than the preborn girl.

      ——–

      ME: I’m so pro-woman I don’t want any women to experience the heightened incidence of depression, injury, […]
      YOU: Your sources are outdated and erroneous. Often what doesn’t occur to forced-birth advocates is the pregnancy is also dangerous, not to mention not as safe as getting an abortion.
      –First, I admit that pregnancy is dangerous. That’s a good reason not to get pregnant if one has good reason to think it will become dangerous. Second, if the pregnancy becomes seriously dangerous (i.e., risking death) due to unforeseeable risks, then most pro-lifers support abortion as it has then become a pro-life position, namely, the life of the mother. Third, if the pregnancy is less than mortal in its threat, then the child’s life is the higher ethical value than the mother’s (non-mortal) harm. There is a trick that slips in here. A mother’s “health” can be defined in the broadest sense as it was in the Doe v. Bolton (1973) case, thus reintroducing abortion on demand all over again, even if the mother is not seriously threatened by the birth. Concerning your other point, please demonstrate comparably authoritative sources that demonstrate you claim that these sources are “outdated and erroneous.” I could find no such sources though I searched. I could find small scale surveys and polling data, and trivial objections, from the pro-choice position. The stronger sources that I found, which cover wider samplings, deeper investigation, and which anticipate rebuttals were generally pro-life in their results. But I seriously would love to see some contrary sources if you know of any. The best pro-choice article I found actually predated Roe v. Wade, it is the article by Judith Jarvis Thomson, “A Defense of Abortion.” But please, limit it to substantive materials, not Q&A pages on Planned Parenthood sites or popular blog material. I love my blog, but it doesn’t help me if I’m only going on other bloggers as my sources. I’m going to check the links you posted and see if you’ve anticipated this request.
      ——–

      ME: I’m pro-choice.
      YOU: Up is not down, east is not west, and the forced birth platform you advocate is most certainly not a pro-choice, pro-women position.
      –I made my case, showing how the pro-life position is the greater advocate for women and for choice than is the customary “Pro-Choice” position. I know, and continue to use, the Pro-life and Pro-choice monickers as they are well established terms of art. But they have their limitations and you are welcome to try to show how the pro-choice position does not in fact end 100% of all choices that the child would make. You are welcome to show how abortion is, compared to women who do not have an abortion, comparably safe in terms of the psychology and social health of the mother. You are welcome to show that preborn girls are specially protected, are not female, or are not subject to the “abuse” to the point of death that is currently legal under the Roe v. Wade ruling.

      1. First, you characterize the pro-life position as “Forced-birth” position. That would only make sense if pregnancy was also forced on women,

        When women are forbidden to exercise the options available, and thus cannot end a pregnancy on her terms, as it is her body, then yes I believe that the moniker Forced Birth Advocate is accurate.

        […] and the “rape” case is a dividing line for pro-lifers.

        For some forced birth advocates; for others it is not a line as they remain consistent in their denial of a woman’s autonomy.

        She invited a baby in, and if she didn’t want a baby, she shouldn’t have invited it in.

        Having sex does not change a woman’s status as a rights bearing person, pre and post coital, the rights to her body remain the same.

        Third, you are errant for assuming that the mother’s choices are the only one’s that matter.

        They are the only ones that matter, it is her body that is being used and if she is to have full bodily autonomy, no person’s claim should supersede her will.

        You mistakenly treat the pro-life position like a simplistic stance of supporting any and all life despite criminal behavior, irresponsibility, malicious practice, etc.

        Actually this stance is to combat most of the pro life rhetoric that is all about nobly saving the unborn… The next step that isn’t discussed is the part where the child is then blithely cast them into dismal societal circumstances, where most likely their potential, not to mention their lives, will be wasted.

        You compare born citizens to unborn children, without showing that they are relevantly compared. Born citizens have the ability to defend themselves, flee a militant state, avoid criminal behavior, or incur the death penalty by their criminal behavior. The in-utero child has none of that. It is legally innocent and morally neutral, hence it cannot willfully support or participate in other those other mitigating factors such as war.

        Along a similar vein as what JJT wrote, we do not give adults access to the bodies of others. Transfusing blood, donating organs are not mandated by the state, yet many forced birth advocates want to grant supererogatory rights to the fetus that effectively negate a woman’s right to decide what goes on her body. Innocent or not, it is unacceptable situation.

        As for welfare and a social democratic state, you have to show me why big-government is the only, the purest, or the best means at affirming human life and choices.

        Egalitarian societies are the most healthy societies and thus I would say they are the best at affirming human life and choices.

        If anything, a true thorough-going pro-choicer would be more libertarian than social-democrat,

        I would wish the hurly-brurly that libertarianism is on no one. They have a few nice ideas, but most of it is of a utopian in nature and has no place in a civilized society.

        The pro-choice position necessarily imposes its “set of morals” on legally innocent, morally neutral living human beings. In fact, it extends the death penalty to someone who isn’t guilty of anything.

        And thus, guarantees that women are thought of as human beings and not incubators. I side with the fully formed rights bearing individuals whose potential is now and whose decisions on how their body is used must be respected. And yes, in my opinion that is more important than whatever potentiality that may or may not come to fruition inside her.

    2. I’m checking your first source and traced its sourcing back a bit to find this Guttmacher institute study

      In a quick skim, it did not seem to rebut the actual numbers but rather the interpretation of the numbers. When controlling for correlated risk factors (including drug use, alcohol abuse) they were able to reduce the incidence of female morbidity. But this “control” is a great deal of the problem since abortion is known to correlate heavily with drug and alcohol abuse. In particular, when you ask women who’ve had an abortion, a great many of them talk about their subsequent depression, and PTSD, and their use of drugs and alcohol to cope with their sadness. In effect, they “cooked the numbers” by treating abortion in it rarer forms so as to “sterilize” it in their comparisons with non-abortion. They struck out the cases that did not help their case. Now, I just skimmed the article. I don’t have the time just yet to go in depth into this article, so I’ll check back and see if I need to revise this opinion on further study.

    3. On your second link, one line says, “Less than 1% of abortions result in serious complications. Abortion is about 10 times safer than childbirth.”

      Given that about a million abortions are conducted every year, that 1% amounts to 10,000 serious complications. But there were only 39 deaths from back alley abortions in the year prior to the Roe v. Wade (for the year of 1972; see, Bernard Nathanson, M.D., with Richard Ostling, Aborting America (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1979) 193.). Let us suppose that is a low number, and back-alley or home abortions were 5x’s higher than that report. That would be about 200 deaths. That’s still 5000% less or 50x’s lower than the “serious complications” admitted by the Planned Parenthood website you cited. When it comes to pregnancy, that’s an important issue, but needs to account for the death of the child to have a relevant and fair assessment. Since all abortions kill the baby, unless they are botched. The NORMAL function of abortion would be a serious complication for a normal birth. Abortion is only “safer than childbirth” if the child is also safe/r.

      1. My apologies, multiple tabs and limited timeframe, made for some errors and duplication of sources.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19799479 – This one confirms a limited connection between some of the factors you mentioned. Far from conclusive though.

        apa executive summary – http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/abortion/index.aspx

        “However, the TFMHA reviewed no evidence sufficient to support the claim that an observed association between abortion history and mental health was caused by the abortion per se, as opposed to other factors.”

        How anti-choice non evidence rhetoric harms women – https://www.secure.arhp.org/uploadDocs/RH09_Mental_Health.pdf

        My access to the articles themselves is limited while not at my university, however even the executive summaries indicate the claims you are making about post abortion trauma are incorrect at worst, and weakly supported at best, as per the recent literature on the topic.

      2. Arbourist, I’m going over the case for the “abortion trauma” claim, and looking into your sources and others on the subject. You give some relevant sourcing. So thank you for that. There does seem to be significant dispute over how to measure for post-abortion trauma, if there is any. I still lean towards the “abortion trauma” view, but I don’t want to misrepresent the facts either. Here are some observations that suggest abortion is not nearly as “safe” or innocuous as some would have us believe.

        1) Many women still regret their abortion. Attempts to dispute this claim point to women feeling “relief” as their primary emotion (see, myth 4 in http://www.prochoice.org/about_abortion/facts/women_who.html), but this is a red herring. Relief and regret don’t mutually exclude each other. Women can seriously regret their abortion yet feel relief that the ordeal is over. Similarly, a person can regret voting for Obama, hate the health care bill, yet use the bill to gain access to medical coverage they did not previously have. They can loath the overall situation, regretting it as a whole, yet seek out the silver lining on which to base their sense of relief.

        2) New Reports are still coming out suggesting that psychological trauma does correlate with abortion (http://www.cmfblog.org.uk/2013/04/19/does-abortion-reduce-mental-health-risks-for-women-the-very-latest-research/).

        3) The reports disputing the abortion trauma claim take some steps which might be justified statistically but which exclude a class of abortion patients, as if they should not be included in estimates about the effects of abortion. As such, they can be accused of ‘cooking the numbers.’ For example, there’s a tendency to distinguish first time abortions, from women who’ve had multiple abortions. Women who’ve had only one abortion are less likely to show distinct psychological trauma from their peers who never had an abortion (I’ll return to this later). Also, women who’ve had prior psychiatric treatment or clinically diagnosed problems are factored out of the equation. But, abortion certainly did not HELP them recover. It didn’t empower, heal, or uplift them as women in some therapeutic way making them “better” through their “therapeutic” abortion. Quite the opposite, women with prior psychiatric treatment or diagnosed psychological disorders worsen or maintain the comparable disorders after abortion.

        4) Post-partum depression is natural to many women after giving birth. But this is a chemical/hormonal feature, not especially or necessarily close to any ethics relating to pregnancy and child-birth. Meanwhile, if a post-abortion patient experiences depression, her case might be statistically offset by that post-partum mother, but the one is chemically induced with no sense of trauma, guilt, shame or regret. The latter abortion patient is traumatized, having a psychological but not directly/fundamentally “chemical,” cause for her sadness–assuming this was an early-stage abortion before the pregnant mother’s body had begun any late stage hormonal shifts

        5) Drug and Alcohol abuse were in some cases excluded, so that women who report depression or suicidal thoughts are not counted if they also suffering from those addictions. But, if abortion FEELS evil to the abortive mother, and she FEELS guilt and shame for thinking about it or for doing it, then it’s plausible to suppose that some women resort to drugs, alcohol or other forms of escape in fleeing from her own conscience. In that case, abortion is at least as relevant a factor in depression as anything else would be.

        6) Though there are liable to be anecdotes on both sides: Women who are pleased with their abortion and feel better for it versus women who feel far worse for it and/or regret–there is a disanalogy between them. The anecdotes often report systemic problems where women were not informed properly, the emotional and health risks were downplayed or ignored, they were not given access to or discouraged from viewing sonograms, or they were otherwise led to believe there were no or few psychological risks and the result was that their psychological trauma was still present or worse for it (see, http://www.gargaro.com/regrets.html).

        7) Women on their 2nd, 3rd or later abortion are more likely to be using abortion as birth control and they are statistically more like to be suffering from other negative correlates like broken relationships/divorce, drug and alcohol addiction, PTSD, depression, etc. These are what we would expect if abortion is harmful to women. By excluding such women from reports, and focusing instead on women who’ve only had one abortion, the statistics are arbitrarily skewed away from those who would have experienced the furthest effects of abortion. It’s kind of like comparing only the rookies from one team to all players from the other team to see who is the most harmed by their respective sport. If the rookies from one team are about even with the whole other team, in terms of injuries and damage, then that suggests the “rookie” team comes from a very damaged team. Perhaps their approach to the sport is too dangerous. I know it’s a weak analogy but that should get my point across.

    4. Your fourth citation is more substantial. It links to two Guttmacher sources here and here, different from the first Guttmacher study you cited earlier. They do seem to control for the same data that the first study cited. However, as I already suggested, this control might skew the data since abortion still correlates with depression, PTSD, suicide and so on. For one thing, there are a whole lot of women who have struggled with some sort of depression, PTSD, anxiety disorders, or even suicide. Factoring them out of the general rules about abortion and pregnancy essentially ignores a large chunk of the data. These women deserve access to the same care (generally speaking) as any other woman, but to factor them out of one’s studies seems to suggest they “don’t count.” The numbers seem cooked, similar to how a pro-choicer would object to a pro-life-favoring study that reported morbidity rates but without counting women with prior medical conditions.

      Again, these are serious studies, so I may go back and revise this initial survey-level opinion. I’ll take a longer look at these later, but I do already smell something fishy.

  4. “…You are conflating Violent prevention with Physically uncomfortable punitive consequences. I am not. I would not advocate laws that say Abortion doctors should be shot on site wherever they attempt to conduct an abortion. Nor should we wrestle them to the ground, handcuff them, etc…”

    So what ARE you advocating then? Any punitive consequences NOT backed by violence can just be ignored. Suppose I send you to jail, fine you $1000 and revoke your driver’s license. If I don’t back up my words with force (including violence if necessary) you can just ignore me. Laws mean absolutely nothing if not backed up by the willingness to use force. I’m not saying force is automatically bad, I’m just saying all laws are force. If force can’t be morally justified (such as physically restraining a mugger, or hitting a burglar on the head with a shovel) then we can’t really justify a law. Personally I can’t justify using force against a woman to stop her from having an abortion, therefore I can’t advocate laws against abortion without being a hypocrite.

    “… Still, I don’t see a reason right now to resort to violence to prevent abortion. Violence is a loaded word that should be carefully parsed and not wielded wildly for rhetorical flair….”

    I’m just bringing the *use of force* out into the open on this issue. My point is that we tend to wield *laws* wildly, without thinking about what they really mean. Apart from the central issues, there are other considerations. Laws are very expensive to enforce. When a group advocates some new law they rarely advocate funding it themselves. They are advocating everyone else be FORCED to pay for enforcing the laws they advocate. Take the ‘war on drugs’ for example. Anyone can say ‘drug abuse is bad’. But as soon as people call for ‘laws banning drug possession and use’ they are advocating everyone else be FORCED to pay the $billions required to wage to ‘war of drugs’ (the HUGE cost of all the police work, the raids, the paperwork, the prisons etc). This is another thing we need to consider when advocating new laws ….. do I have the MORAL RIGHT to force other people to PAY for society to be run the way I want it to be run? If someone refuses to pay for the laws *I* want to see enforced in society, do I have the right to have them kidnapped and put in a cage? If you don’t think you have that moral right then you can’t advocate for government ‘laws’ without being a hypocrite.

    My whole point is that it’s very easy to talk about how things ‘should’ be stopped, people ‘should’ do this or that, the world ‘should’ be made to work like this. These are fine as opinions, but as soon as you turn them into laws you are – by definition – attempting to back your opinions with FORCE (the threat of violence, or actual violence)… AND your trying to force other people to help you FUND this attempt. That’s what a law is… an opinion backed by the willingness to initiate force.

    “..It sounds like you are trying to work the word “violence” into the pro-life agenda. It’s a stretch and it sounds like a propogandist fallacy…”

    I’m just pointing out what ANY law actually entails in reality. Defining how things are in reality can’t possibly be propaganda, or if it is then it’s honest, rational propaganda 😉

    “…Permit me to recast the story. If abortion were abolished tomorrow, except in cases of rape, incest and medical threats to the mother–I would expect that the incidence of abortions would drop drastically, but not to its lowest point till many years later… / … I strongly suspect that women will close their legs more…”

    I don’t disagree. Threatening to use force against people DOES have an effect. Of course it does! If you raise your kids by saying “here are my rules – break them and you’ll get beaten with a belt” this WILL act as an effective deterrent to some degree….. but it won’t teach the kids to be good, compassionate, moral people. It will just teach them to fear ‘authority’, and to get good at breaking rules when no one is looking.

    The problem is as soon as you start down the road of *punishment by force*, your only option is to keep applying more force (a slap, then a belt, then a thorough beating). The ruling classes LOVE this approach because they know ‘laws’ don’t really make society behave better (they generally make it worse) but laws DO mean more power to government. Yay!

    Every new social problem (real or imaginary) is another justification for the government to steal more of our wealth and spend it making government even more big, powerful, violent, well armed and intrusive in our lives.

    The most EFFECTIVE way of reducing unwanted pregnancies would be to encourage stable, responsible, long term relationships and a culture which did not promote sex in such a shallow way. Government policy, government propaganda and government education all encourage the very opposite of this.

    The reason for this is that increased social dysfunction = more profit and power for governments. This is not even a ‘conspiracy’, it’s just basic market forces in action. Government is not in the business of ELIMINATING society’s problems, just as a cold remedy manufacturer is not in the business of ELIMINATING the common cold. In both cases a genuine cure would mean they’d go out of business. A responsible, civilised, mature, self sufficient and self organising society has absolutely no need of a government… or rather it has not need for government force to be used against them all the time.

    “…I defy you to find a single medical professional who deals in obstetrics, gynecology, or fetology who agrees that the conceptus is not, literally, a genetically distinct living human organism of the species homo sapien, and therefore a human being in its earliest developmental stage…”

    I agree with that description. But I would argue that a cow, dog, or human child is more sentient and capable of suffering than a conceptus. It makes logical / moral sense for ‘pro lifers’ to start saving the most sentient humans first, such as children, who are also ‘innocent’ and not easily able to defend themselves from the adult world and so require our protection.

    But (with some exceptions) I doubt many ‘pro lifers’ spend as much time and effort campaigning to make child murder illegal. 500,000 children under the age of 5 were murdered by US led sanctions against Iraq in the 90’s. At least million humans have been murdered in the latest war in Iraq which is estimated to cost $6 TRILLION (imagine how much sex education you could buy with that). About 4 million families have been displaced. Drone strikes have a 98% civilian murder rate, many of whom will be children and babies. There is an epidemic of deformed babies in Iraq due to US use of depleted uranium weapons of mass destruction. Traumatised and injured soldiers returning from these wars (as well as all the dead soldiers) aren’t able to be proper fathers, and absent (or incapable) fathers is the number one determining factor for childhood problems such as depression, criminality, drug abuse, ‘dropping out’ and *unwanted pregnancies*.

    If you advocate for ‘laws’ against abortion not only are you advocating for FORCE to be used to punish the consequences when it’s already too late (which is an ineffective and often counter productive strategy), you’re ALSO advocating for that force to be controlled by governments, thus giving them EVEN MORE power to steal our wealth and spend it on murdering even more human life.

    If society organised it’s own affairs and enforced it’s moral rules by some other means than government force (‘laws’) then government’s ONLY task would be to extract our wealth to pay for its wars and other immoral acts. In that case the people would not stand for it and nobody would pay. Cue an end to all wars and other immoral practices 🙂

    Another consideration is that nobody who advocates government ‘laws’ against abortion advocates PAYING for these laws to be enforced – instead they advocate giving the government the right to steal the money from us (and future generations through debt) BY FORCE. By further granting government the right to USE FORCE against us all, ‘pro-lifers’ who advocate laws against abortion are just promoting more mass murder in the world.

    Would you hire a babysitter who is a convicted mass murdering war criminal under the terms of the Geneva Convention? Blair and Bush have been convicted several times already of war crimes. Obama and Cameron will also be convicted soon no doubt, as they are continuing the same policies.

    I’m all for trying to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and being pro life, but let’s look at the big picture, shall we?

    “..To make your case you need to disprove the medical consensus that the the fetus is (1) genetically human, (2) biologically alive, and (3) classified as an organism…”

    At the start of pregnancy the woman is 100% her own body. At birth two distinct and independent life forms are present. During pregnancy the woman and her foetus are changing from the first state to the second. In the first few weeks following conception the balance is much more in the woman’s side. The foetus is not an independent, distinct life form. If the mother were to die the foetus would die also. This is not so at birth or even in the month of two prior to birth. So it’s a sliding scale.

    “…I agree that abortion can’t be directly prevented by force, not on wide scale, not effectively, and not without committing wider evils or crimes. But a great deal can and has been done to prevent it by THREAT of force…”

    Threat of force IS force.

    “…And again, to rebut my overall case, you need to demonstrate that banning abortion-on-demand (except in cases of rape or medical threat to the mother) would not drastically reduce the loss of human life…”

    This is an argument from effect, which is separate from the argument from morality. Locking everyone up in a prison cell for life would eradicate 100% of unwanted pregnancies. But morally speaking this can’t be justified, even though it is the most effective solution.

    Making abortion illegal except in cases of rape would increase the instances of falsely reported rape. False rape (or physical abuse) allegations against men is already a big enough problem in society. This problem is caused by government laws (force) concerning the break up of a marriage.

    “…You end up on a libertarian diatribe. I agree with a lot of it, but I’m not willing to concede that killing human beings is the kind of permissible, innocuous thing that the Nation should stay ambivalent about. It’s not like we’re talking about seat-belt laws, or food labels, etc…”

    I’m just suggesting force is not the way to solve the problem, and that it only tends to make the problem much worse. Look at the history of all forms of prohibition – it NEVER works. Chaos always ensues. Sex is a drive, just like the drive to drink, take drugs, read books, speak freely, listen to music etc. ALL of these behaviours have been prohibited by law (by force) by governments in the past.

    Trying to regulate people’s behaviour by having the state punishing them using force is totally the wrong way to go about organising society. But we’re all brought up to think that every problem we identify = the need for another new law (the need for the state to use even more force against us).

    Democide (death by government force) killed 250,000,000 people in the last century and that’s NOT including all the government wars. Governments wreak absolute HAVOC on society because they have the public mandate to use force and to violate basic moral rules but absolutely no accountability for the consequences of using that force or breaking those moral rules.

    I’m just suggesting that *pro life attitudes* and *government force* are incompatible morally practically and philosophically.

    My solution would be to first agree to stop funding these illegal wars of genocide and the general destruction of society and theft of its wealth through government force. Or *at the very least* we should agree that it’s immoral to force other people to fund these wars and social programs if they don’t wish to (under current ‘laws’ if we don’t fund them we’re kidnapped and put in a cage).

    Poverty, bad education and dysfunctional social conditions are the main drivers of unwanted pregnancies whether through negligence or force (rape). Without being FORCED to have a war/ debt based economy and without being FORCED to pay for prison-like government education camps (AKA schools) we’d soon see the free market providing much healthier alternatives. Children would no longer be born into debt (government loans taken out in their names by force) and they’d no longer be dehumanised under the Prussian School system. They’d no longer be forcibly drugged either. They’d be happy and healthy. Families would no longer be torn apart by wars and war based economies. The paradigm of energy scarcity would end. We’d be free, well educated, richer, more happy, less stressed and have a lot more free time.

    Now having achieved this we could then begin to address the issue of unwanted pregnancies…… but I have a suspicion that under these much improved social, economic, psychological and ‘spiritual’ circumstances there would be very few cases left to deal with 🙂

  5. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the pro-life position is in fact pro-choice and pro-woman. Let’s also grant, for the sake of argument, that it makes sense to equate a fertilized ovum with a newborn child. Has anyone come up with a way that, given abortion being made illegal, every womb would not be turned into a potential crime scene? 25% of pregnancies end in a miscarriage – but if abortion is the killing of another human being, morally and legally, then we would have to have some kind of investigation, right? If my wife winds up dead, no one is going to take my word for how it happened. So, now instead of legal abortion, we have 1 in 4 pregnancies resulting in a criminal investigation. Would the police need search warrants for the woman’s body?

    This is apart from the other problems of making abortion illegal again, core among them being that making abortion illegal is not demonstrated to reduce the incidence of abortion (and that the insistence of making abortion illegal is almost never paired with an insistence on affordable, comprehensive healthcare for women, pay equality, paid leave for childcare, etc.).

    It just seems to me that legal abortion, when we can still do a lot to convince women not to have abortions, goes a long way to protect women from murder investigations.

    1. Also, I don’t think one has to equate fetuses with newborns for the moral logic to work. The advocate for some/any kind of killing bears the overwhelming burden of proving that some homo sapiens can be killed for convenience.

    2. I don’t see how any of that thought experiment makes it ethical to kill human beings? Did I miss something? I’m all for justice but aborting innocent human beings is not a viable means of liberating women. Pun intended.

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