Protect All Human Life




The heated debate about abortion is filled with emotional arguments that usually center on considerations such as sexual morality, religious beliefs, women’s rights, or purely on pragmatic reasons: if abortion were made illegal it would still take place – under unsanitary conditions that would endanger additional lives.

However, a rational evaluation of abortion must be built upon one single question: When exactly does human life begin? At conception, at birth or somewhere in between?

Not even the most radical feminist would find it okay to tear apart a recently-born baby just because it is not wanted by its mother. All other considerations aside, the only reason many individuals can support abortion with a good conscience is because they believe it’s not murder… and that unborn babies do not count as human beings.

Ron Paul has delivered more than 4,000 babies. He believes that human life starts at conception, and that casual elimination of the unborn leads to a careless attitude towards all life.

Recalling his personal observation of a late-term abortion performed by one of his instructors during his medical residency, Ron Paul stated, “It was pretty dramatic for me to see a two-and-a-half-pound baby taken out crying and breathing and put in a bucket.”

In an Oct. 27, 1999 speech to Congress, Ron Paul said:

“I am strongly pro-life. I think one of the most disastrous rulings of this century was Roe versus Wade. I do believe in the slippery slope theory. I believe that if people are careless and casual about life at the beginning of life, we will be careless and casual about life at the end. Abortion leads to euthanasia. I believe that.”

During a May 15, 2007, appearance on the Fox News talk show Hannity and Colmes, Ron Paul argued that his pro-life position was consistent with his libertarian values, asking, “If you can’t protect life then how can you protect liberty?” Additionally, Ron Paul said that since he believes libertarians support non-aggression, libertarians should oppose abortion because abortion is “an act of aggression” against a fetus.

At the GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate on Sep 17, 2007, Ron Paul was asked what he will do to restore legal protection to the unborn:

“As an O.B. doctor of thirty years, and having delivered 4,000 babies, I can assure you life begins at conception. I am legally responsible for the unborn, no matter what I do, so there’s a legal life there. The unborn has inheritance rights, and if there’s an injury or a killing, there is a legal entity. There is no doubt about it.”

At the GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Nov 28, 2007, Ron Paul was asked what a woman would be charged with if abortion becomes illegal and she obtains an abortion anyway:

“The first thing we have to do is get the federal government out of it. We don’t need a federal abortion police. That’s the last thing that we need. There has to be a criminal penalty for the person that’s committing that crime. And I think that is the abortionist. As for the punishment, I don’t think that should be up to the president to decide.”

For many years, Ron Paul has been speaking up for babies’ rights. He passionately defends those who cannot speak for themselves because they haven’t been born yet.

In order to “offset the effects of Roe v. Wade”, Paul voted in favor of the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. He has described partial birth abortion as a “barbaric procedure”.

At the same time, Ron Paul believes that the ninth and tenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution do not grant the federal government any authority to legalize or ban abortion. Instead, it is up to the individual states to prohibit abortion.

Many people feel very strongly about the issue of abortion, and once they make up their minds they rarely change their opinion. If you are undecided and/or open-minded, check out this page and this site for more information about abortion, including images and a description of medical procedures.



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8,341 Comments:

  1. My husband and I lost second child when I was just 20 weeks pregnant due to an infection. Our sweet baby could move and gasp for breath and she was very much alive in my opinion. I wouldn’t wish that loss on anyone and I think many people may not truly know what you are loosing by making a choice to end a life.

    I agree with Ron on both counts: 1) life begins at conception and 2) the federal goverment should have no say regarding personal health care issues such as abortion although I do beleive that an unborn baby should be protected as much as the next human being.

    »crosslinked«

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    • I agree with you Robyn on most parts. When it comes to abortion, the government HAS a responsibility to tell women what to do with their private lives. Why? If a woman decides to abort an unborn baby, she is condoning the murder of that baby. That is the REAL truth if you listen to God’s laws and not man-made ones that blatently rebuke the Word of the Lord.

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      • Not everyone believes in your god/lord. Keep it out of the conversation.

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        • Hey Ashaew… this isn’t some 3rd world despot nation yet. It’s still America, so she and anyone else who wants to talk about God can do so.

          God created you even though you may not believe so.
          God sustains you even though you may not believe so.

          Thank God you’re still here to type what you do.

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      • Donna, you are not helping the pro-life cause by tying it inextricably to your personal religious faith. We have no right to impose our religious beliefs on other people. The pro-life argument does not necessarily depend on any religious faith or practice whatsoever, a fact which both you and some pro-choice people fail to grasp……………… I have been pro-life my whole life, for the same reasons, both when I was religious as a kid, when I considered myself an atheist in my 20s, and now that I am a generally Christian person who doesn’t belong to any particular church or denomination.

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  2. I am more than slightly amazed (although I should not be any more) that people are missing the core point here – if we assume that life begins at conception, or even that it might begin at conception or shortly after, abortion is murder and should be illegal.

    [i]If[/i] a fetus has a life, a human life, you do not have the right to end it.

    All the “buzz off, I have my rights” arguments carry absolutely zero weight [i]if[/i] abortion is murder. Murder, in any sane system of government, certainly falls within the government’s jurisdiction to outlaw and punish.

    So all this very sensible talk about social programs, birth control, patriarchy, etc… is all completely moot of you believe, as Ron Paul clearly does, that life begins at conception. If you do believe that it is murder, you would have to either be completely depraved not to try to stop it or a hypocrite. Paul is just being consistent here.

    Personally, I find the biblical witness of life-at-conception ambiguous at best, but I do think that the ESV rendering of Ecclesiastes 11:5 addresses the issue as best it can, from a human perspective: “As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.” Life is in the soul, and the soul is not biologically observable, so it’s idiotic to assume that we can tell when the soul enters the body in the womb.

    I know many people who disagree with his religion will disagree on the question of when life begins, but you’re just being silly if you don’t realize that that question is absolutely at the heart of the issue. If you’re going to disagree understand what you’re disagreeing about.

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    • I don’t believe you think that all life is valuable, much less equally valuable. Nor do I believe that you think all human life is equally valuable…If you believe these things AND are willing to try to act on them? You have a really beautiful, possibly consistent account of Christianity that comes awfully close to Buddhism.

      However, plenty of folks have really successfully argued that human life isn’t really the issue at all, it is the issue of competing claims for the resources of one’s body and ownership of those resources (give judith Jarvis Thompson a google)…as she explains (through the use of some zany analogies) it isn’t about when human life begins at all, because we don’t legally require anyone to keep others alive….you aren’t required to donate organs, you aren’t required to feed the poor, you aren’t required to preserve the life of someone who might be threatening yours.

      Anyone who wants reasonable justification for the wrongness of abortion is going to have to look somewhere other than ‘humanity’ for support.

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      • To address your accusation that I don’t really believe what I said, I do, and I’m happy to clarify. I’m not saying that all life is equally valuable; human life is infinitely more valuable than, say, animal life. I’m confused that you don’t seem to understand Christians claiming that human life is of value, and should be preserved if reasonably possible. You can haggle about what “reasonably” means, but I fail to see how that profits the discussion. If you’re suggesting that I’m saying human life and the preservation thereof is the highest value, I am not – the pursuit of the glory of God within his revealed will (i.e. the Bible) is. The value of human life, however, is part of that revealed will.

        Also, Thompson’s analogies are compelling, and certainly make the case for significant exceptions (when the pregnancy significantly endangers the life of the mother), but many of the objections on the same wikipedia page pointed to perfectly reasonable inconsistencies and responses. It is a valuable read, for both sides of the debate, but I have no intention of replacing the discussion here. To suggest that Thompson has succeeded is to drastically simplify the ongoing debate in favor of the position you hold.

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        • Jason,

          I will, as an aside, suggest that you check out the entirety of Thmpsons article. It is really interesting stuff.

          A couple of other things worth mentioning…

          Im not sure what position it is that you think I hold. If it helps (although I think it is only tangentially related to the discussion) I absolutely believe that all abortions are a shame and that some are objectively morally wrong. Furthermore I certainly believe that some abortions should be illegal. But we have to remember, there are plenty of moral wrongs that we can’t/don’t want to make illegal (being a jerk, being inconsiderate, lying, rudeness, insults etc.).

          There is an enormous problem with justifying laws and policies based upon faith: basically that if we allow one particular faith to justify laws then we MUST (if we want to remain consistent) allow for all faiths to serve as justification. That just won’t work.

          So, if we are to find rational justification for the belief that abortions should be illegal it will have to be based on something other than faith, it will have to demonstrate that the wrong being done in aborting the fetus is greater than the wrong done to others involved and it will have to support a policy that we can actually make a enforceable law.

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          • bubba

            Unless you consider murder less harm than being inconvenienced I can’t see how you can make that last statement. The ending of a life seems to be the greater wrong to me. We do not need to justify laws based on faith, it is doing onto others as you would have done to you, unless you call my last statement a statement of faith. We all have faith in something. It is not exclusively a religious word, (Faith) Abortion is scientifically the ending of human life. Human life, scientifically begins at conception. It is not a question of being an embryo, fetus or baby, it is human life. Consider for a moment if you were aborted at conception, would that have been the ending of your life or just some embryo/fetus. Left alone in the womb you became who you are today. It is immaterial what you were called during the process of growth.

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          • Wayne,

            I am not sure everyone has ‘faith’ in something, unless we are talking about faith in very different ways.

            As for the question of what I would have felt had ‘I’ been aborted? Depending on what stage of development, likely nothing. If it was in the first trimester, ‘I’ would have been incapable of conscious thought, it is extremely like I would have been incapable of conscious experience, and even if it were, had it been performed with anesthetic, ‘I’ wouldn’t have ‘felt’ it, ‘I’ wouldn’t have been wronged, because ‘I’ wouldn’t have existed as me, just the potential to become me.

            Certainly the potential of a person would have been destroyed and I certainly think that is valuable and that it is wrong to do so without reason. So if there were no competing concerns? It would have been wrong for my mother to have an abortion

            BUT what if it was an ectopic pregnancy? What if my mother had pre-eclampsia? If those were the case? I absolutely believe that if she were to weigh the potential value of my life vs. risking the actual value of hers??? she would have been morally justified in aborting the fetus (the potential me).

            I respect the heck out of folks who are willing to take those risks, and I believe it to be their choice….However, I don’t think we can force everyone to make that choice and that is one of the huge problems with legally prohibiting abortions.

            I would never criticize anyone who chooses to carry a risky, complicated pregnancy term but I certainly don’t believe that we should legally force people to and I wouldn’t dream of criticizing someone who chose not to.

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          • bubba

            I did not ask you how you would “feel” if you were aborted as an embryo. Please reread previous post. As to if the mothers life is in danger, that would be the only reason to consider termination of the pregnancy in my opinion. A tough decision for any mother who wants a baby. I believe that abortion for any reason other than threatening the mother’s life is not necessary. My wife and I have a handicapped child and have cared for her for over 39 years. She has been a blessing to us and has taught us a great deal about caring for and loving unconditionally. Our daughter is severely handicapped, totally dependent on us for all care. She is about the size of a 10 year old and still in diapers and unable to feed herself or walk. The value of her life is not dependent on what she can do. I have to carry her everywhere. Had we known her condition in the womb, we still would have had her. We were very young at the time. I am not writing this for sympathy or a pat on the back. I am just doing what I am suppose to do. I only say this to let you know where I stand on the value of human life. Taking a human life in self defense is legally accepted in our legal system. To kill an unborn child at any stage of life is totally wrong to me, except as stated above. I believe the value of human life has been greatly reduced because of a number of laws in our society, including sentences of a few years in jail for murder. Also abortion has contributed to this. I know rape is an horrible thing to happen and if a pregnancy results, it is far worse, but taking the life of the unborn baby can be as traumatic or worse than having the child and putting it out for adoption. I know of cases where this has happened and the grown child has been a very productive person in society.

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      • bubba

        As to your position on faith. You exercise faith every time you make a decision. You have faith that your car will start or you would never turn the key, etc, etc.

        Also if you were aborted as an embryo, you would have still existed, just not as fully developed as at a later time. It is true you would not have your potential but that is also true now. You have not yet fully reached your potential. Stage of development depends on how long we are allowed to live. I believe that starts at conception, potential unknown.

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        • Wayne,

          I think we have come to two really important fundamental points about which we disagree:

          1. We are using ‘faith’ in very different senses. I am using ‘faith’ to indicate the belief in something without justification (usually in the form of evidence). I think you are using faith to describe a belief in anything that is not certain.

          Therefore I would explain my belief that my car will start as being justified by all of the evidence that I have that it will start: it started 99 % of the time in the past, under similar circumstances all of which I have verified through experience….To borrow a bit from Hume: I don’t have faith that a rock will drop when I release it at arms length, I have a justified belief because every rock I have ever dropped in the past has done so. This doesn’t mean I am sure of it, just that it seems really, really, really probable.

          2. I am sorry if I was unclear and you are right, in scanning back and forth I think I confused one of your posts to me with one to someone else, for that I apologize. I do not think that ‘I’ would have been destroyed. I believe the possibility of me would have been ended. The important point here is that I am not talking abstractly about my highest potential or my ultimate purpose, merely about personhood. Any being of any sort capable of the following will have some moral value: thinking, being self-aware, having feelings, creating relationships, rationality, making choices…And any being capable of all of those then they necessarily count as a person and not only demand moral consideration but are also (to some degree, depending on their development) responsible for their actions.

          So, it isn’t about maximizing one’s potential, it is about the faculties one has…to repeat, I believe that ANY being with ANY combination of those characteristics will deserve some moral consideration and one with all of them? as much moral consideration as anything possibly could. However, in the first trimester, based on the best evidence we’ve got (which is pretty darned good) we can know that a fetus has none of those faculties. Who I am, my identity is a sum total of a complex of things from my genetic make-up, to the sort of body I have, to my mind, my feelings, my ability to reason, my desires for myself and that value I place in my future…’I’ wouldn’t have existed as ‘me’ because in order to have an identity and care about my future entails that I am conscious of something. I strongly believe, that at that point in my development I wasn’t conscious of anything, so I didn’t have an identity, I wasn’t ‘me’.

          On at least one thing we very much agree: that the ending of a potential persons life is always, to some degree wrong (however I don’t think it should be illegal) and the ending of any human life is almost always wrong.

          Finally, I know you aren’t looking for a pat on the back (and honestly a compliment from a wretch like me probably isn’t worth much :) )…But you shouldn’t read any of what I say as anything resembling a criticism or condemnation of what you and your wife have done. It isn’t. You have demonstrated heroism and integrity beyond what I’ve ever been pushed to show that I have. I also absolutely believe that an enormous amount of value and joy have been created by your relationship with your daughter, and I would never in a billion years attempt to minimize that.

          Thanks for your time and your thoughts.

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          • bubba

            I am not going to address your point on faith, I have had evidence on faith, though not in the sense rhealm, that is another subject. I would love to talk to you in person but that probably won’t happen. I think we can agree to disagree with each other. I appreciate your annalytical take on things.

            I would like to give you a better understanding on what I was trying to convey to you. I was not talking about you reaching your full potential as such. I just simply believe that at conception we have human life and it is valuable, and also at that point if left to develop it will become a person with “personhood” and we have no right to end that development. You would be and were you, at that point, just not the person you are now, but you are also not the person you will be tomorrow at this moment. You are fully developed in the physical sense. You are growing in the knowledge and dare I say soulish and spiritual sense. That said, my point was and is that life begins at conception and has a right to develop without being terminated. Developed faculties do not determine value of life in my opinion, or my daughter Nikki, would not be as valuable, if accorded value by those standards. The subject of this forum is abortion and wheather it is right or wrong to make it illegal by law.

            Sense evidence is not the only evidence of being, in my opinion.
            We cannot see love, air, or any number of other things that exist. We can see the effects of these things however, evidence of another kind. We just connect the dots.

            Thanks for your kind thoughtful words for my wife and I. We appreciate it. I probably won’t comment any further on this. I think I have made my position clear on the main subject.

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    • I knew you before the foundations of the EARTH! Not talking metophorically, but literally.

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  3. I am so disappointed in your position on this topic and the decision of Roe vs. Wade. I was so excited when reading your position on issues like border security and fiscal responsibility in the government. I was even intrigued by your positions on the War on Drugs and the Civil Rights Act. I guess finding a Republican candidate who supports less government, without the religious bias and conservatism, is just too much to hope for. I will never understand how someone can support individual liberties in one breath and then want the government to dictate how people live their personal lives in the next breath.

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    • Melissa I think you are mistaken in how you are interpreting the Congressman’s stance on abortion. He has specifically stated that he does NOT believe the government should have a role in dictating your personal life. He has said that it should be left up to the individual States to decide. Please reread his quotes about abortion and you will see that he explicitly says that the President has no role in this. He is for the repealling of Roe v. Wade because it was the Federal government forcing the States to do something that it did not have the constitutional authority to do so. Mr. Paul has a very unique approach to abortion and it is consistent with the values of small limited government and adheres to the Constitution. Please reconsider lumping him in with the other neo-Cons, RINO’s, and big government Republicans that are running.

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    • Melissa,

      I was also disappointed to read Dr. Paul’s opinions on abortion.
      It was one of the first policies of his that I looked at, as it is a big issue of mine. As a girl, I considered abortion to be murder. Now, as a woman, I have a much more sympathetic understanding of the situation. Dr. Paul in his statement above recounts the horrors of a late-term abortion. He does not take into account the sensitive situation that surrounds each case.
      No one wants to get an abortion.
      It is not birth control.
      It is very easy to point one’s finger and say murderer, or slut.

      The fact is, that children need to be educated about birth control so they are never in such a dire situation. That’s up to us, though, to make that a priority.

      As for Dr. Paul, he makes the bottom line that each state should make their own decisions about it.

      I respect him for that, and I understand that he would find it hard to say “it’s ok to kill babies.” Especially since I haven’t yet heard of anyone in his family having struggled with making that decision. But, then again, maybe I wouldn’t hear about it, since I know I certainly wouldn’t want to broadcast that information about myself or anyone I knew.

      Disappointed, but not surprised, I still plan to vote for Dr. Paul as long as he does not attempt to impress his beliefs onto his constituents.

      I don’t think that’s what he’s about. :)

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  4. I didn’t know that women’s rights are “emotional pseudo-arguments” and a “secondary consideration.” Thanks for my daily dose of misogyny. Much obliged.

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    • Learn how to read. He’s not saying that women’s rights are a “secondary consideration” or an “emotional pseudo-argument”, he is simply implying that these different arguments are basically dancing around the important and primary argument which should be when does life begin. This is important to Mr. Paul because it could be considered murder in a legal sense to kill something that has life. Please read and understand the issue and his status on it before you make ignorant and uneducated responses/

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    • Right on, Vanessa. Keep fighting the good fight.

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  5. I absolutely agree that late term abortions should be illegal, but let’s not, er, throw the baby out with the bathwater! I don’t believe the individual fetus has rights until it can live on it’s own (when it’s viable, or 20 weeks) … until then, it is an extension of the mother and therefor under her juridiction. Unwanted babies lead to many problems, you cannot criminalize abortion (late-term or otherwise) without following it up with a equally strong commitment to aiding single parents and fixing the American foster care system and streamlining our adoption process!

    I think birth control and sex education must be made available to everyone, especially those in low-income and/or rural communities to prevent the need for abortions or unwanted children!

    I think that this would be a completely different argument if men could get pregnant. Patriarchy continues to thrive when men feel an ownership over women and their decisions.

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    • Meaghan,
      Your argument that since someone cannot live on their own they do not have rights is at best absurd. My grandfather could not live on his own for many years prior to his death. He needed to be fed, helped with using the bathroom, etc. Would you then decide that he did not have rights?
      The other thing you wrote is that the baby should be considered an “extension of the mother”. How does that work? The baby has a completely separate blood flow, sex, organs, etc. How can this possibly be considered an “extension”? At what point can a baby be considered “viable”? I have a six-month-old baby that is, by your definition, not “viable” because he cannot live on his own. He needs to be fed and cared for in many of the same ways that a baby in the womb does.
      If the unborn is a human life, (and I believe this is the question to ask), then we have a responsibility to care for him or her no matter what their size is, or their level of dependency, where they live, or how developed they are. If you believe otherwise, how can we justify allowing my grandfather to live? Is he to be considered an “extension” of his caregiver?

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      • Perhaps you misunderstood me, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. At 20 weeks, a child is “viable”, meaning that it can live with assistance by the hospital…like your father. Before then, not even the most sophisticated of machinery can keep the fetus alive.

        I’m not sure why you brought up your 6 month old child. Again, see what I meant by cannot live without the “host”. If my body is hosting two divided cells or whatever stage the fetus is in before it has formed into anything that resembles a human being that can survive outside the womb, then it is an extension of MY cells, MY tissue, etc.

        Or are you one of those that think masturbation is abortion because you are getting rid of the sperm that is the pre-fetus?

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        • You are a little bit confusing. So, “on it’s own” could mean ‘with the help of the hospital’, but prior to 20 weeks, “on it’s own” doesn’t mean with the help of the mother “hosting” the baby? Even though the pre-20-week-old human is still reliant on the mother who is, by the way, a different person, you base this level of dependence on whether a hospital can keep the baby alive or not? I am not sure why you need to make this distinction, but even though you do, I find it irrelevant.

          Why I brought up my son, is that there are very few differences between him now and when he was a pre-20-week-old baby. He was not as developed, he lived in my wife’s womb and was dependent on her for life, and was smaller in size. He was most-assuredly human. That distinction is, thankfully, not dependent on your opinion of what “resembles a human being”. I don’t believe that we should allow humans to be killed because of these differences. These were the same differences between my grandfather and I during his last years, yet I would still consider him both human and worthy of protection under law.
          This idea of “extension of my cells” is meaningless. The cells are either you or they are not you completely. I would argue that they are not you completely, but part of father and mother and the combination thereof being a new human being. This is basic law of reproduction that a male and female human can reproduce only a human being. What else would those two rapidly growing and reproducing cells be?

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          • Rick,

            So ‘humanity’ is the bench mark and any collection of human cells with all of the genetic material from a mother and father. I think there has to be more than that. There have to at the very least be degrees of value (not that I am arguing for that).

            If you want to say all humanity is equally morally valuable and at the moment that a couple of sex cells come together and start reproducing and growing they are human….Then you are going to have a tough time explaining why if i throw an egg and some sperm in a petri dish that the dish is not as morally valuable as me or you. I hope to all things good you’d pick yourself over the dish (and i’d like to think you’d pick me as well).

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          • Rick,

            There is some inconsistency in comparing the unborn child who is dependent on the mother to your grandfather who is likewise dependent for food and daily care. No one individual is legally obligated to care for a grandfather/father/adult etc. We can make a choice to care for him or her, or we can give the responsibility to the government or a nursing home. So, there IS a legal obligation to provide protection and care for adults who are incapable of taking care of themselves, but no one individual is required to do so. Same goes for children, really. If a mother does not want to care for a child, she can give the responsibility to another family or the government. And the government is legally obligated to protect the rights of this child who can survive on its own with proper attention.

            With an unborn child, however, this is not so simple. The mother cannot give up responsibility of, say, an 11-week old child inside her womb (except with an abortion). If she tried to give up responsibility, or if the government/hospital tried to take responsibility, the child will die. What it sounds like you are proposing is that she should be legally obligated to keep the child inside her body even if she does not want to. You are obviously allowed to make this proposition, but comparing the unborn child to your 6-month old son and grandfather is not exactly a good way to argue your point. The unborn child is complex in its own right and cannot be fully compared to other scenarios.

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          • bubba

            So I guess it would have been ok if you as an embryo were aborted then, bubba. Life starts at conception, for every”one”. Left alone you became who you are. It does not matter what stage abortion takes place, embryo/fetus/baby. It is the same result. The ending of life, the growth of a human being, whatever the stage of growth. Left alone in a petri dish the cells would die, they have to be placed inside a womb. To choose the dish over a human being is not an issue and only clouds the discussion. It is another discussion entirely.

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      • Authentic1mposter

        Rick: Your grandfather does not live inside another human being’s body. Let’s suppose your grandfather could only survive while nestled somewhere inside YOUR abdomen? I don’t think you would want Meaghan to have the authority to force you to carry him around inside of you… keeping him alive and all the while, against your wishes. Think about it.

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    • So I guess it would have been ok if you as an embryo were aborted then, Meaghan. Life starts at conception, for every”one”. Left alone you became who you are. It does not matter what stage abortion takes place, embryo/fetus/baby. It is the same result. The ending of life, the growth of a human being, whatever the stage of growth.

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    • So I guess it would have been ok if you as an embryo were aborted then, Meaghan. Life starts at conception, for every”one”. Left alone you became who you are. It does not matter what stage abortion takes place, embryo/fetus/baby. It is the same result. The ending of life, the growth of a human being, whatever the stage of growth.

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      • If life begins at conception then how come we don’t have life insuance/ funerals for miscarriages (which personally, mine looked like a giant blood clot when I sadly miscarried at 10 weeks)/ or change one’s birthday to their conception day. 20% of pregnancies in this country naturally end, and I have yet to see a tombstone for any of them. Why? Because life begins at birth and ends at death. Viability is an entirely different concept.

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  6. How would you know

    How would you know what he witnessed? I have seen 2 – 3 lb babies born and yes, they do scream and breath.

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  7. I highly doubt that you witnessed a 2.5 pound baby being pulled out screaming and crying. Please do not tell lies to the American people. That is just ridiculous. A woman has a right to choose, she is after all the one that will be carrying it. Personally, I dont think it is any of my business what someone chooses to do with their personal life and neither is it yours!!! I thought maybe you were a different type of candidate but this just completely turned me off!!! You are a MAN and have no conception of what it is like to carry, or give birth to a child, so shut up!

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  8. I highly doubt that you witnessed a 2.5 pound baby being pulled out screaming and crying. Please do not tell lies to the American people. That is just ridiculous. A woman has a right to choose, she is after all the one that will be carrying it. Personally, I dont think it is any of my business what someone chooses to do with their personal life and neither is it yours!!! I thought maybe you were a different type of candidate but this just completely turned me off!!! You are a MAN and have no conception of what it is like to carry, or give birth to a child, so shut up!

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  9. lewr2@myfairpoint.net

    Bubba,

    As much as AnAmerican thinks your posit is so incredible, let me just say this:

    Darwin said that survival of the fittest.

    Now, I don’t believe Darwin’s posit myself.

    I believe, just the fact that you can have a conversation with someone shows why humans are inherintely more important than animals.

    Humans can actually test tube make animals. Can animals do the same? If we killed every animal off the earth, but had DNA, we could make more animals for OUR purpose and pleasures.

    However, animals are here to support and feed, show the beauty of God’s creation. You are to subdue it. I’m supposing that you have done so since you live in a house/apartment that 1) an animal once roamed, but doesn’t anymore, 2) the aminal is unable to do much about.

    In fact, your BRAIN gives you the ability to conjure up an instrument to shoot it thereby making you more intelligent than it is.

    There’s so much more that could be said, but the one Darwin point on it’s own makes your posit null and void.

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    • Lew,

      I appreciate your response. But there are a few points worth considering…

      1. Darwin wasn’t talking about survival between species, nor was he making a moral claim, he was talking about the ability of individuals to survive relative to others within their species. And he certainly wasn’t making a claim about moral value (he was terribly distressed that people continued to think of his theory as describing ‘advancement’, species didn’t get ‘better’ or ‘more advanced’ OR more valuable…they just TENDED to get more complex and those more fit relative to their environment were more likely to survive.

      2. I wouldn’t agree that language use necessarily means we are more important, just that we can participate in language (i do think language use is evidenc eof some things that make us capable of making moral judgments but I’m not sure why it would mean we were more important.

      3. The ability to do something doesn’t entail that it is right (and, in fact we don’t have the ability to make animals from scratch very reliably).

      4. You make a whole slew of assumptions about God, his purposes and why things are here. I would rather not beg those questions because they aren’t going to have much in the way of justification (other than faith, and as we know people have faith in a whole slew of different things).

      5.Intelligence doesn’t equate to more value. I certainly don’t think I am more valuable than folks I’m smarter than (very few that there are) and I sure don’t think I am less valuable than those who are smarter than me (very, very many). I certainly don’t think you want to commit to the notion that being smarter than someone/thing means that one is justified in killing it.

      6. Whether or not a creature would or could or does survive doesn’t make it more morally valuable, merely more likely to survive. If survival were the case then a bunch of insects, some bacteria and a whole slew of single celled stuff would be more valuable than us, cause they will be here long after we are gone.

      I hope that helps clarify. Thanks for the discussion.

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      • lewr2@myfairpoint.net

        Bubba,

        “In order that primeval men, or the ape-like progenitors of man, should have become social, they must have acquired the same instinctive feelings which impel other animals to live in a body.” As with all animal instincts, the “social instincts”

        Who said that? Darwin

        So, of man were the result of variations bringing some benefit for survival.

        So, of COURSE Darwin was making a moral claim and so are YOU, and ME. Everyone makes a claim morally for whatever position they are taking. You may not want to CALL it a moral position, but it is. Now, the question is, where do you get your moral position.

        If your moral position is from YOURSELF, then abortion is murder.
        If you get your moral position from God, then your moral position is of worth.

        If I can kill you, then my morals are that I do not count you as worthy.
        If I do not kill you, then I count you as worthy.

        So, the claim has NO bearing on whether you are pint sized, large, medium or a ‘zyrgote baby’.

        So, the problem is a MORAL issue and of WHOM you receive your morals. Until we agree with where morals are derived, you will NEVER get an agreement. Ever, ever, ever.

        And as I’ve said previously, when it comes down to it, while I care about your postion and why you’re there, ultimately I believe you and ANYONE who believes abortion is OK, is

        WRONG!

        We agree on language making us higher. Since you agree that we are already on a higher plane, we are more important. You’ve made the case for me. I would go further and say that God is more important that you are or I are.

        On animals and making them. I don’t disagree with you, but for the purposes of our need, they’d be fine.

        On God and my assumptions. I don’t believe your assumptions are true at all. I think it’s PLAINLY seen in your world that YOU and I do not control a whole lot. You don’t really control whether you get up in the morning or whether you die that evening sleeping. You don’t control the waves in the ocean that make a whirlpool that sucks you away from shore and drown. You don’t cockpit of an airplane you’re on. It’s not only my opinion, but perception of my surrounding and thought, that there is a master controller.

        If not, then everything is random and as such, the world is randomly dissolving anyway, so it’s no big deal!

        So, a rat is more important than you are Bubba? I don’t think so man.

        Darwin’s quotes, not mine brother. YOu either believe you’re not a random zyrgote that ran down your dad’s leg or your worthy. If you believe the survival of the fittest, then you have no other alternative.

        You as well. Have a nice day.

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        • Lew,

          I’m sorry I’m not sure this is going to be terribly beneficial unless we are willing to read what the other actually says and do our best to understand it. I am sorry if i didn’t explain my points clearly enough, but you are making a whole lot of claims that have nothing to do with what I said, nor with what I believe. You also just made some claims that are well, just plain false….So let me clarify:

          I am using the term Morals in the conventional sense, to mean a system of beliefs that account for right and wrong. Now, in that sense, ‘Morals’ are necessarily Normative, this mean that morals are about what people OUGHT to do, not about what they actually do (claims that describe what people do are ‘descriptive’ claims).

          Darwin was making purely DESCRIPTIVE claims, meaning he was just trying to describe the world as it is, he was NOT offering any account of how or why it should be a certain way. For example, the passage you reference describes that humans ARE social, it doesn’t say that they SHOULD be social. Now, there are Ethical theories out there that attempt to derive oughts and should from an account of evolution, but they just don’t work very well and like a total of 7 people actually believe them…

          Soo, as I said, Darwin wasn’t saying that traits which were selected for were good or bad, merely that they either tended to increase the chance of survival or not….

          Similarly, like i said before, yes humans have complex language that other non-human animals don’t appear to have…I never said it makes us ‘higher’ or more important…just capable of something different (because birds can fly and we can’t doesn’t make them better). I did say that language use required some faculties which allow for morals, most notably is reason….

          Now reason is the faculty that lets us figure things out, most notably it tells us that contradictions MUST be wrong. Soo when we contradict ourselves we may not know the right answer but we know our answer has to be false….

          Here is where your view is going to suffer froma fatal problem…EVEN IF it is the case that your view of God is absolutely positively true, you don’t want to base LAWS on that view….because YOU CAN”T DO IT WITHOUT CONTRADICTING YOURSELF. If you are to say that ‘faith’ counts as justification for laws then faith counts as justification for laws…any faith…all faiths. Since you are a rational creature, you can’t help but recognize that this cannot make sense because differnt faiths have obviously opposing views (We can’t both have a law requiring burkas based on the muslim faith and a law that doesn’t require them based on christianity…those laws contradict)…

          One cannot justify laws with faith, ever. But one can justify them in a whole slew of really interesting awesome ways…many of which will hold that morals are in fact objective, universal and immutable….Check ’em out, you don’t have anything to lose but contradictory beliefs that you already know to be wrong.

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          • lewr2@myfairpoint.net

            Bubba,

            I have to admit, I am tempted to make a long drawn out dissertation on what Darwin thought, but I’m going to allow Darwin to speak for himself.

            In the 2nd or 3rd paragraph he admits that humans almost every single thing I’ve posited. The only difference is that he thinks it came from some other place and that it evolves. I would have agreed with him at one point, but I do not believe what we see in the world is an actual evolving UPWARD, but an evolving DOWNWARD. That’s exactly as the world HAS to go.

            The link supplied he makes the exact statement about animals and humans as I made in an earlier post. By default, he automatically posits from that position alone that there IS a moral accountability and that society which I’ve already posited.

            Where he goes wrong is he believes morality can evolve. In a sense he’s right, but in the end, he’s wrong. Society cannot allow morality to evolve downardly and expect to survive. We’ve seen that in all societies, we’re seeing it at an ever increasing rate of speed around the world, and we will see it happen here as well.

            So, Darwin IS claiming a moral ground. You HAVE to be claiming a moral ground when you make ANY statement having to do with activities whether good or bad as you stated. The fact that he was supposedly a good father, etc.. means that he knew morals were necessary He actually had many struggles with morality and evolution because he knew they really didn’t go together.

            http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?viewtype=image&itemID=F955&pageseq=120

            On faith and laws. I absolutely disagree with you wholeheartedly as you might imagine. If I take just the 10 commandments then those commandments state certain things. Those laws show morality face value. Thereby negating any sense that laws, morality, and religion don’t fit. They do. In fact, if people did just that, we’d have a much better place. If we take away the ones that are based on the worship of God and only go with coveting, stealing, murder, etc… then you have the backbone for the American judicial system as it was initially put forth.

            I will go further and assertion that ALL religions are NOT right. Even the ones who supposedly have a golden rule. Because as the Wiccan rede states, do no harm. What is harm? I know plenty of people who do harm who are wiccans and others.

            So, I do not have to make any other statement. I believe there is only ONE right religion and all others are false. I will take abortion and say that not all religions do think abortion is wrong except one. So, yes, that’s ‘bold’, but that’s the statement.

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  10. Wow, thoughtful open minded dialouge! I love it! Only on a Ron paul site!!!

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  11. This issue really hurts Ron Paul with libertarian leaning voters who would otherwise support him. And since Ron is virtually the only national candidate willing to take on the establishment… the hardline stance he takes on when life begins hurts America’s chances of ever getting out of this mess we’re in.

    It is not wise to be so dogmatic about something that is unknowable. No one can say for sure whether or not life starts at conception. The day after conception there is still nothing that at all about the cell that resembles human form or function. For all Ron knows life might start at implantation (a few days after conception). My best guess would be around week 6 or 7 when the fetus starts to actually resemble a human and forms its own blood. Until then it the fetus exists on the mom’s blood supply.

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    • Jason said, “No one can say for sure whether or not life starts at conception. The day after “conception there is still nothing that at all about the cell that resembles human form or function. For all Ron knows life might start at implantation (a few days after conception). My best guess would be around week 6 or 7 when the fetus starts to actually resemble a human and forms its own blood. Until then it the fetus exists on the mom’s blood supply.”

      You don’t have to ‘guess” Jason! 2011 Biology textbooks, scientists, and research have shown for MANY years that “life” begins at conception. Go to Chapter 1 of any Biology text and read “The Characteristics of Life”. A zygote/ fertilized egg (1 unique and independant living cell) is just as “alive” as a single cell bacteria. Also, “mom’s blood supply” allows for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide as well as nutrients to the embryo/fetus until delivery (not 6-7 weeks!). You can’t be that dumb! Furthermore, I hope you are too young to vote! Pay attention in Biology next time!

      Ignorant (stupid) people need to see, hear, touch, or smell something before they “consider” it real. DUMMYS! LISTEN!! If every US citizen thought like you, we would still believe that “life” was spontaneously created. However, we have attained data from advanced microscopy, Molecular biology, Genetics, and Biochemistry that support the hypothesis that life begins at conception. The ONLY question that should be argued is, “Does a woman have a right to end that life while it is in her uterus?”

      She does per current federal law (or the lack of) at any point during her pregnancy. Though, some states have passed legislation that place restrictions. But, there are still some states that allow elective abortion for any reason and at any time during the pregnancy. “Partial Birth Abortion” was a procedure that was outlawed. However, there are many other ways to perform a 3rd trimester abortion (killing 2-12 lb pound kid who looks like a “baby” ). I wonder if Jason is ok with that?

      Of course he will say, “No way! You can kill it when it doesn’t look like me or my perception of what a baby looks like.”

      What about if “the embryo” has the “appearance” of a baby but you can’t see all of her 10 fingers and toes? Is that one ok to kill?

      How about if you can’t see an outline of her nose? Is that one ok to kill?

      What if it is born without a nose and 10 fingers/toes?

      This thread affirms that the US needs to invest more into science education.

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  12. Pingback: Why the American media hate and fear Ron Paul | Tulsa Change | The Time For Change Now!

  13. I feel like the whole abortion issue is a way to distract us. Don’t get me wrong. I have my view and I’m very passionate about it, just like everyone else on this thread. I feel like the issue shouldn’t be allowed to vs. not allowed to but WHY?!! Why are more teens feeling like they need to have sex so young (I was one of them and not proud of it)? Why aren’t their parents around to help teach them sex education or keep an eye out for their child’s well-being?

    Maybe if both parents didn’t have to work just to make ends meet kids wouldn’t get into so much trouble. Maybe if parents were around to help their kids with homework or encourage them to get into hobbies or sports we’d be farther ahead in the moral grounds. This can only come with better jobs, better education, gas prices, etc. Maybe if we work on our country’s core issues then more people would be more likely to strive for more in their lives and feel more full-filled.

    I know that there are many more issues in abortion then just teenage/unprotected sex (like rape…). But maybe focusing on making life better and happier for everyone might cut back on this insane debate being a distraction for the real issues in our country…..?

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  14. Authentic1mposter

    BonnieJ,
    Thanks for the info on the sonogram and term limits (no pun intended). I can certainly agree about the rape victims having additional rights. I was kicking around the idea that if a woman has a police report as evidence of rape, then terminated pregnancies could essentially be unlimited (sad as that sounds). I’m also of the mind to suggest that this should be a federal law instead of a state law (after reading the point “bubba” made about crossing state lines). It would potentially create a lot of state-line abortions and would definitely make it frightening for a pregnant woman to travel in our country. The national drinking-age laws work well across the state lines, so abortion could be the same in that regard.
    So here’s a recap:
    1) No federally funded abortions
    2) Birth Control is fully funded by federal dollars
    3) 16 weeks is the final date of legal abortion (4 months is plenty of time to decide if someone wants to terminate the pregnancy; ultimately this will encourage pregnant women to be more aware of their body and doctors can determine any genetic issues prior to this date)
    4) Allow one abortion for a girl who is under 21 (prior to 4 months term)
    5) Allow unlimited abortions for a woman who can prove rape with a police report (prior to 4 months term)
    6) Allow two abortions for a woman who can prove the fetus is damaged (prior to 4 months term)
    7) Require a sonogram picture of the pregnancy (regardless) and a three day waiting period.
    It’s obvious that everyone will never agree on all these points…and we’re separate individuals with different viewpoints – so we shouldn’t have to. But as a society, but have to admit to ourselves that there must be some common ground we can stand on to get through this ugly phase of human history. I’m confident that soon there will be medical innovations that spare us these social dilemmas…but until then, we have to protect our children (the born and the unborn).
    I welcome suggestions from anyone who has something they would take out or add? I’m open minded, as I hope we all are.

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    • “But as a society, but have to admit to ourselves that there must be some common ground we can stand on to get through this ugly phase of human history”

      How much ground would you cede to those who’d claim that they have rights to your existence? (I’ll quickly remind you that if you say 50%, then you’re allowing the claimant to have 150%–the 100% stake in their own life and the 50% stake in yours).

      By the way, even if you didn’t have a voice of your own to forcefully reject any attempts on your life, I WOULD take up your cause myself and I’d hope others would do the same for me were I in the position. The fact that there are untold millions of lives who’ve not been protected in this way is reprehensible to any truly civilized society.

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      • Authentic1mposter

        Tom,
        I’m not saying anyone can “claim the rights” to another human’s opportunity to exist. That is ridiculous. I am however stating a fact: What happens inside YOUR body is YOUR business. I would never feel comfortable demanding that you receive a medical procedure, nor would I want to deny you that choice. How life happens inside a woman’s body is far more complicated than outpatient surgery…and decision is far more difficult. She is creating life….often without a choice.
        Tom, would this be a better solution for you: Force the girl to have the child…and then her part is done – she legally washes her hands. Then the State identifies the father (via DNA tests) and notifies him that he now has a child to raise – and if he refuses to take the baby, place him in prison (even if he’s married to someone else or is a wealthy politician) until the child is 18 years old. Then everyone wins.

        The fact is… we’re talking about what happens INSIDE another human’s body. (I personally could never get an abortion…for me it would be an immoral decision) but I could NEVER judge a 14 year old rape victim for not wanting to have the baby. I’m simply trying to identify a solution that is better than the current “abortion-as-birth-control” method. There have to be logical steps we can take to move in a reasonable direction.

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        • First of, I’d like to relay my appreciation for what I perceive as a sincere approach from you.

          That said–in stating,”I’m not saying anyone can “claim the rights” to another human’s opportunity to exist. That is ridiculous.”

          I would wholeheartedly agree on how ridiculous that is. Which is why I can’t understand your inclination to defend the abortionist position.

          The baby in utero is either entitled to it’s life or it’s not.

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          • Authentic1mposter

            Thank you for the civil conversation. I know this is a hot topic, but I really am trying to work this out in my own head. I think every human instinctively wants to protect the innocent – unless they are truly a-moral. But how do you determine who is more innocent, a rape victim or the fetus? Young women that are raped are still innocent…aren’t they? How do you protect the victim once she finds out she is pregnant? Forcing another human to produce a life that she doesn’t want, is equivalent to saying that if you refuse CPR on a victim, you should be punished for murder. I’m not saying it’s morally right to walk away from a victim in an accident, but there are extenuating circumstances that may prevent an honest person from being able to help. I just think that there needs to be some kind of compromise. With my suggested ideas, the pro-life movement would gain the ability to limit excessive abortions and young women wouldn’t be cornered into back-alley death beds. Serious question Tom: Under what circumstances, do you believe abortion would be justifiable? Please explain your reason. Thank you – and I’m listening.

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          • “Under what circumstances, do you believe abortion would be justifiable?”

            So–to me, your question presupposes an inferiority to the unborn baby that doesn’t register in my reasoning. It’s like asking me–“when is it ok to drown a 9 year old?”

            Allow me to explain. I contend that our society has been heavily conditioned to accept certain things without rigorously questioning them. A prime example is the cultural acceptance of the inferiority of the baby in utero and, resultingly, the inevitability of abortion. I would argue one mere manifestation of this cultural acceptance is the very posing of the above question by you–an ostensible “fence-sitter” as far as the abortion question goes. I further contend that while you may ask the above in all sincerity, you have not given thought to the very underpinning assumption of this question (namely–why should we be “handicapping” the humanity of the unborn–as it relates to any other people group?).

            In an attempt to clarify my position–allow me to make two sets of statements–however disparate they may seem to one another (or abortion). The first statement in each set will assert a position that the parenthetical statement there following will (hopefully) effectively and logically rebuke.

            “We are to submit to the will of Mother Russia as she is our homeland“ (“The communist definition of peace is the absence of resistance.”)

            “Look at all the corruption in our country–we need some more regulation“ (“A classic statist mantra asserts that all of our problems are the result of a lack of government intervention, thereby ensuring the continual growth of the state at the expense of private liberty. The statist never bothers to ask whether our problems resulted from the overreach of government in the first place.”)

            I view these (parenthetical) statements to be axiomatic–albeit, potentially difficult to grasp when one initially ponders them. Conversely, the initial assertions in each set are great illustrations of the power of suggestion dictatorial governments propagandize their people with, whereby an argument is framed a certain way over and over again and, resultingly seems to gain societal acceptance / validity (again for no other reason than it’s sheer prevalence). Propaganda is a real phenomenon and actively used by those elements who are constantly warring to wrest power from a nation’s citizens. Don’t believe me (?)..look up Edward Bernays–the founder of modern-day propaganda, and the historical applications of his craft to undermine the public trust.

            Whatever the case–the same way, we are being led to assume the reality of an all-loving, all-powerful government (by way of it’s attendant, yet thoroughly under-examined, presuppostions), I contend the pro-abortion lobby has similarly effectively gained control of the entire abortion argument in that we have culturally digested the inferiority (if not the inhumanity) of the baby in utero.

            So–in answer to your question: in that the baby in utero is no less human than it’s mother and is thusly entitled to protection under the law of any free-minded people, abortion should NEVER be advocated.

            If you want to tamp down rape–then you cut the balls off the rapist–and if you need someone to hold the knife, you can reach me in this forum.

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          • Thom,

            Your response is very interesting to me because it illustrates a number of really important issues. I’m gonna be lazy and just ask some questions and give the occasional example to hel illustrate:

            1. What is it about humanity that makes it valuable?
            1a. If being genetically human demands full-fledged moral consideration then the anencephalic fetus, who is without a functioning brain, who is incapable of any consciousness, is as morally valuable, in and of herself, as you or I AND killing (or allowing) that infant to die is as morally wrong as killing either of us?
            2. If you commit to the above, What possible rational grounds could you offer as justification for the value of the ‘life’ described? (I’ll assume that you recognize that ‘faith’ cannot work because offering moral prescriptions with faith as the support will always be contradictory to other equally justified claims supported by other faiths).
            3. Is all ‘humanity’ equally valuable? If so what determines humanity? Genetics? Appearance? Should people with genetic mutations count less? What if they look different? What if we were to encounter other species or races that ended up having all of the same cognitive/social faculties that we have??? Do they count?
            4. Since you are so willing to take up the cause for those without a voice…My dog has far more faculties in common with you or I than does a fetus….Are you fighting for the rights of animals to live? If not why? Because they lack humanity? Why again is ‘humanity’ the benchmark for moral consideration?

            I could go on and on. But I imagine I’ve made myself more than enough of a pain in the butt…I really would appreciate a rational response, particularly since I am all but positive one does not exist and I would love to be enlightened (I am absolutely serious).

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          • bubba is a true thinker, able to distinguish between the imaginary (morals, faith) and the tangible. Why are so many willing to forgo objectivity in order to operate according to the terms of their imagination? One who thinks to uphold “moral value” only does so in “special” situations and chooses to remain blind to blatant contradictions. (It is wrong to end another life. It’s not wrong if they are my enemy…if the life is not human…etc.)

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          • thanks bubba–I will prepare a defense of my position and an attack on your presumptions later on today

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          • Tom,

            I look forward to it. But please, I hope I haven’t mislead you (sometimes type is tough) I haven’t made any presumptions. Heck, I just asked questions. From what I have written it would be impossible to infer anything about what I believe. I mention this because I apparently mislead AnAmerican…

            AnAmerican,

            I appreciate your kind words, however I fear I might lose your support once I confess that I absolutely believe in objective moral value…It just ought to be based on reason and not faith.

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          • Hello Bubba–

            So to preface my answers to your questions, I contend that at the hub of anyone’s (whether they be Christian or humanist) position on a given moral topic, you will invariably uncover a certain faithfulness. I further contend that rationality and logic are instruments that can be effectively used (or abused!) by anyone–regardless of their philosophical bent. To me, the soundness of any idea rises and falls on the merits of it’s own arguments and we are to be free to assess the veracity of such claims, unencumbered.

            From there, the human, in my estimation is valued because of it’s unique status in God’s created order. While I can’t prove God created this world and esteemed man as a privileged being, the atheist can similarly not prove the abiogenesis that is necessary for their theory to withstand scientific scrutiny–both paradigms are decidedly reliant on a metaphysical origin and as such, are faiths.

            As for the value of an anencephalic baby–I contend they are human and are entitled to the right to their life. It’s not for me to assign a greater value for my own life because my brain is present and functioning–however marginally. While part of my heart is saddened by this reality, I maintain that there are things that happen within God’s will that are not for me to know the reasons for. If that baby lived only 5 minutes post-birth, than it is a blessing that my flawed reasoning can’t properly evaluate. If you want this message to hit home, you tube “99 balloons” and see if you do’t cry 99 tears–not solely for the loss but moreso because here was a baby who knew only love for his entire life–however limited we might regard it.

            So–that’s my hodge-podge answer for your questions 1-3.

            For your last query–your dog does not have the same rights as humans because he’s a dog. There is an hierarchical created order in my estimation and with that comes responsibility. The responsibility is not only to humanely treat one’s dog but more importantly, to uphold the inalienability of rights from one human to another. When an infringement occurs to this end, we are to look to correct it–if for no other reason than that if we fail to, the same mechanism that laid waste to the ignored among us will invariably come for the remnant. It stands that if you were in harm’s way, you‘d want help, and I’d exhort you to do the same for your unborn neighbor. Such is the stuff that ensures justice for all.

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          • And Bubba…now I’ll proceed to my set of questions for you?

            What is your definition of humanity and how can the abortionist mindful of this definition objectively prove the inhumanity of the babies they abort?

            Where does rationality originate?

            Why are remarkable exceptions (ie rape, anencephaly, etc) used to justify abortion? If those are generally understood exceptions, then what is the justification for the preponderance of abortions?

            How does the abortion advocate reconcile their stance in light of Jefferson’s axiom: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” OR do they reject this portion of the DOI?

            How does the abortion advocate differentiate their stance from a slave-holder, Nazi, or any other generally-understood oppressing force?

            Why do so many otherwise pro-choicers support Ron Paul in light of the fact that he is decidedly Pro-life and discounts the evolutionary paradigm?

            Thanks for your time!

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          • christ jesus

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      • TOM,

        Really sorry I never noticed this, there have been so many posts it is almost impossible for a scatterbrain like me to catch ’em all…Thank you for your thoughtful response. I’m happy to answer your questions as best I can:

        1. I’d define humanity as any member of the genus: homo and species: sapiens. There is always a bit of a debate as to what constitutes accurate speciation, but ill stick with a sort of generic combo of the ability of a population to breed with one another, common phenotypic features and genetic similarity. Ultimately, the species/humanity question doesn’t have much to do with my view of the morality in general or regarding abortion.

        2. I’m not exactly sure what this question means, but i don’t think it will matter much. Locally it originates in the brain, historically think the best explanation going is that it is consequence of evolutionary development of brains like ours (however I won’t exclude the possibility that it is conceivable there could be other systems/organisms that could end up capable of rationality). Relative to this concern I am defining rationality pretty conventionally as the faculty which allows us to determine True/False without appealing to any evidence (most notably the ability to recognize contradictions as always being false).

        The question doesn’t matter all that much because I don’t see how rationality in and of itself is morally valuable. It is a tool by which we can adjudicate value and when certain sorts of creatures/systems possess it (persons who have thoughts, feelings, desires, believe themselves to be free etc.) it allows us to make moral judgments. For example, if the universe consisted of one perfectly rational creature with no wants, needs, desires or cares (including no cares for itself) then I don’t think any moral rights or wrongs could exist.

        3. I hope that no one would use the exceptional cases to justify ALL abortions. Those cases may justify those abortions in those particular cases. More often than not, I believe that folks use those cases to counter the claim that ALL abortions are wrong and ought to be impermissible. The case of an abortion to save the mothers life does not justify the case of one using a late term abortion as birth control for convenience. However, I don’t think many folks would argue it does. Nor are the majority of abortions of this sort.

        4. I don’t think one must reject ‘…Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness..’ But I think popularly there are two approaches:

        i. Some folks will read ‘man’ to mean persons (as it did for Locke, from whom the phrase cam…of course with the minor change being ‘pursuit of property’. OR

        ii. More likely (and the way that I would approach it) is that we understand that in order to live in any society there are of COURSE limits on our right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, and to paraphrase Mill (and a whole slew of other folks) those rights will have to be compromised sometimes where others begin. There will be competing concerns. If (to borrow an example from Thompson) my life requires your kidney, i do not have the right to take one even thought you will likely be able to live on without it just fine. There will be a question of competing interests, competing values and competing ‘rights’.

        5. The difference between the advocate for legal abortions (I have never met anyone who is FOR abortions, just for keeping them legal, so i can’t speak for them) and the slave holder/ nazi, is that there are sane, reasonable, consistent positions to advocate the legality of abortion. There are a bazillion ways to advocate the legality of abortions with rationally justifiable, consistent moral positions. There are none that can justify slavery or genocide…the reason being it is impossible to consider myself to have moral value (which I do, because i wnat things, im conscious, i have desires, i feel like i make choices and want to live a certain life etc…) and to consdier other creatures with those same faculties to NOT have value. The slave owner is contradicting himself when he says ‘I matter but the slave does not’ because both are capable of the morally relevant factors. Likewise for the Nazi and the Jew, Gypsy, etc… However one can say that a developing fetus does not have the same sort of moral value or ‘as much’ value as the mother(this is loose language but I’ve gone on far too long already)…because fetuses (particularly before the 14th ish week) Do not have those characteristics which allow me to value myself….we know that they cannot feel, we know that they are not self aware, we know that they do not conceive of their futures or have a desire to live a certain sort of life….This is not to say they are without value. They are valuable to all of those around them (if they are valued) and they are valuable in that they have the potential to be a person. BUT, the question becomes one of how their potential and instrumental value compares to the value of the mother, the folks around the mother, the immediate community of caring relationships etc. Moral/legal questions don’t take place in a vacuum, they are often questions of competing interests, values, rights etc.

        6. I have no clue how or why people support Ron Paul when he disagrees with some of their fundamental beliefs. I am guessing it is one of two reasons:

        i. They are issues that are not as important to them as other issues about which they care.

        ii. They don’t realize that they are being inconsistent (this isn’t much of a stretch at all, most folks have irrational and inconsistent beliefs).

        At the end of the day, as I said earlier, I believe that some abortions are seriously morally wrong and ought to be prohibited, many are tragic, and some are morally relevant in terms of the potential value of the fetus and the value that others place on the fetus (because if it is prior to the 14th week we have absolutely every reason to believe that a fetus cannot feel or think or care about any of it).

        For me it boils down to a really simple question, if a law prohibiting abortion were to cause an actual person (who feels and thinks and cares and values and has wants and needs and desires) to meaningfully compromise her life, safety or cause her harm or suffering for the sake of a potential person, a being that cannot feel or think or have desires or awareness???? then that law is wrong…

        Hell, Ill ask you one more questions: How is it that folks can find abortion so morally abhorrent, but then feel absolutely no obligation to children, who through no fault of their own, are starving or threatened with dehydration? If a fetus has moral value equal to that of an adult, then those kids sure as heck do as well and our obligation to that child has to be as strong as it is to a fetus (particularly if we remember that ‘Liberty’ in ‘Libertarian’ means freedom…which entails that we are free and responsible for all of our choices and the consequences of all of our choices…SOOO the decision to NOT help that child is one we freely make and must be responsible for).

        Thanks again for the discussion. I really appreciate it and it has offered a really nice reason for me to procrastinate :)

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        • Bubba,

          I truly don’t mean to offend you (at least beyond a point that might be meaningfully productive to your sensibiltiies), but I get the notion in reading your/Sue’s comments that I’m taking in something akin to a Galton lecture on the necessity of eugenics.

          You (and Sue) must each be at least twice as smart as I am, but, I further reason–to what end?

          I contend that the abortion proponent is educated beyond their ability to employ common sense.

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          • Tom,

            I apologize for not paying as close attention to your and Sue’s discussion as I probably should.

            BUT, I’m not sure that common sense has much to do with it either way…common sense isn’t always terribly good (earth is flat, heavy things faller than light things etc.) and I sure don’t think it helps much when we move to the sort of theoretical discussions about moral value that folks are beginning to entertain here.

            The best I can do to explain my position (without giving a waaaay to long lecture on Kantian ethics)…is to say that I believe persons are the source of all value and that thing which have value have value in relation to a person or based on the faculties they have which persons have.

            This is not to say that I have any desire to create better people, decide which people live or die, or decide what sorts of creatures ‘deserve’ anything. Merely to say that I can only feel an obligation to those sorts of things which reflect certain faculties, abilities, characteristics etc… I also feel as if whatever moral decisions I make/obligations I have must be consistent (that is to say that I can apply them without contradiction)….On that note, a few examples may help…

            I think it is wrong to hurt animals, but not necessarily wrong to kill them. Why, because, from what we know of animal consciousness, they do not value their own future, but they certainly feel pain. I know that If I have the choice between pain and no pain…well then, Im taking no pain. Therefore, It is ok to painlessly kill (most) animals. They don’t conceive of a future, they do not value a future, so I cannot be wronging them.

            I don’t think that ‘humanity’ or being a human animal (genetically) necessarily carries any moral value with it, because I can’t imagine why it would. Just because of somethings genetic make-up? Just because it is like me? There are plenty of humans who have demonstrated that they are incapable of value (serial violent criminals, predatory pedophiles etc). Furthermore there are those who are incapable of having any conscious experience of any value (those in persistent vegetative state). Given what evidence we have (which, again is considerable) these folks don’t feel or think or experience anything. So, I can’t be hurting, or harming THEM (i likely can hurt people around them and/or demean myself by treating them poorly).

            I think it morally abhorrent to minimize intentionally minimize ones choices if they are capable of choice, Because I want to have options available to me and I am aware of those choices. Those things which are incapable of choices or incapable of the awareness of choosing (depending on who you talk to these may be the same thing). A plant doesn’t care where I plant it, nor does it care if I block out the sun…because it is incapable of consciously choosing and it has no desires or preferences.

            Those things which I believe can be morally wronged are those things which have those abilitites/faculties OR those things which have the potential to have those abilities/faculties.

            Certainly a fetus has the potential to have those abilities (which is why I believe all abortions to be morally wrong). However, that potential personhood is not the same (nor as valuable) as actual personhood. Which is why it would be morally wrong to legally prohibit abortion. I cannot prohibit the choice of a full fledged person in relation to that of a potential person…

            A point worth reiterating: I do not contend that abortions are morally awesome. I contend that some are a little wrong and some are horribly wrong. BUT I cannot make them all illegal. Because ANY law (just about outside of what we’ve got) would compromise the personhood of the mother. Where do I draw the line at acceptable risk to the mother??? 50% mortality? 45%? What sort of means must she have? How old must she be? How do I decide if she is ready? How do I decide if she is emotionally/psychologically capable of carrying the baby to term? Can I be sure someone will want the baby?

            One other thing… I’m not much smarter than a houseplant, so I’m pretty sure you’ve got me licked in the brains department. But I have spent the better part of my adult life studying this sort of stuff…

            Thanks again for the time and the really interesting reason to procrastinate, I hope that made my position more clear.

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          • Hiya Bubba–

            In light of your great intelligence (perhaps your humility will allow just for one compliment before I proceed to denigrate your position), I thoroughly reject your reasoning.

            I assert that rights are not conditional and/or interdependent upon outside factors. Again, were this the case, to what end is their inalienability even articulated (in our foundational governing document)?? Unless your definition of inalienable means something different than “unable to place a lien upon”?

            I will also relay that if we regard something to be wrong, we are to actively work against it–not tie our hands in knots of justification.

            It seems that whereas you entitle a woman to the right to an abortion, I recognize the same act as the suppression (to assign a kind word to “murder”) of the child’s very life–the most intolerable repudiation of one’s rights. Whereas you reconcile the act in light of the woman being the “host“–I contend the same to be the established order that you, I, and every abortionist doctor necessarily originated from. I would argue that even a cursory examination of natural law gives favor to my definition over yours. And what if not natural law is not our entire theory of positive law predicated upon?

            To further Jefferson’s sentiment–”That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

            My earnest prayer is that you , me, and our fellow countrymen understand the evil of abortion and move to strike it from this land.

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        • Bubba said, “I hope that no one would use the exceptional cases to justify ALL abortions. Those cases may justify those abortions in those particular cases. More often than not, I believe that folks use those cases to counter the claim that ALL abortions are wrong and ought to be impermissible. The case of an abortion to save the mothers life does not justify the case of one using a late term abortion as birth control for convenience. However, I don’t think many folks would argue it does. Nor are the majority of abortions of this sort.”

          THERE IS NOTHONG IN THE FEDERAL LAW THAT PROHIBITS ANY STATE, PERSON, ETC.. FROM HAVING LATE TERM ABORTIONS FOR ANY REASON! I DON’T THINK THAT “MANY FOLKS” OR “THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE” WOULD CHOOSE TO KILL THEIR NEWBORNS OR THEMSELVES EITHER. HOWEVER, THEY DON’T HAVE THE CHOICE PER CURRENT FEDERAL LAW. BUT, YOU AND OTHERS KEEP RATIONALIZING ABOUT WHAT THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WOULD DO. “OF COURSE, NO WOMAN WOULD EVER CHOOSE TO KILL HER 24+ WEEK OLD UNBORN BABY UNLESS IT WAS FOR SERIOUS EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES.” REALLY? EVEN IF THAT WERE TRUE, NO FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITS LATE TERM ABORTIONS IN THIS COUNTRY!!! IF ANY WOMAN IN THIS COUNTRY DECIDED TO KILL HER UNBORN 8 LB, 39 WEEK OLD FETUS BECAUSE IT WAS A BOY , SHE COULD WITHOUT ANY RECOURSE! WHAT PART OF THAT DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND??

          PLEASE CITE ANY FEDERAL LAW THAT PROHIBITS THIS. THEN, I WILL STOP POSTING AND CONCEDE THAT I LEARNED SOMETHING NEW.

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    • sorry to tell you but there isn’t any middle ground. Abortion laws are only going to get more liberal if anything. Which in my opinion is a good thing.

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      • “sorry to tell you but there isn’t any middle ground. Abortion laws are only going to get more liberal if anything. Which in my opinion is a good thing. ”

        Haven’t you already tipped your hand to the degree of logic you invest in ideas when you announced your screen name meant “dead fetus”?

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    • @ bubba,

      “I appreciate your kind words, however I fear I might lose your support once I confess that I absolutely believe in objective moral value…It just ought to be based on reason and not faith. ”

      “objective moral value”

      My kind words still stand. We are on the same page. You actually reiterate the point I was offering. Moral value with disregard to objectivity projects one into the realm of the imagination. Often these types develop unreasonable positions in the name of “moral value”. It is reason vs. faith, imaginary vs. tangible. I do, systematically, reconsider my personally held moral values in effort to maintain a more solid grounding, and my tendency is to question others ideas of values as well in hope of the same effect.

      I observe a similar framework in your logic and questioning. Yes, it is pleasing and I do enjoy seeing this when it is so rare among the masses.

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  15. Some statistics to consider.
    A 2000 study by Andersen et al. in the “British Medical Journal” found 75% of pregnancies among women 45 years of older ended in spontaneous abortion.
    Also, men who are older than 40 – 60% chance of spontaneous abortion regardless the age of their partner.
    Perhaps men and women 40 or older should be banned from having children since the risk of human death is so high?
    NIH estimates half (50%!) of all fertilized eggs spontaneously abort, and out of women who know they are pregnant, about 20% end in miscarriage. Maybe conception should be banned all together since so many deaths occur.
    And should abortion be banned, either nationally or by state, will that 20% be investigated by the law to see if the abortion was truly natural or induced in some way? A women could go to prison for drinking a beer and getting on a roller coaster. Because she didn’t take her blood pressure medicine all the time. Smoking? Do we want that – a parent mourning a miscarriage having to open their door to the police? (My niece would have been investigated twice – fortunately her third pregnancy was successful.)

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    • @ PAUL- 8/17/2011- ARE YOU KIDDING ME? “SPONTANEOUS ABORTION” IS NOT A WILLFUL ACT. MOTHERS CHOOSE TO KILL THEIR UNBORN BABIES WHEN THEY ELECT TO HAVE AN “ELECTIVE ABORTION”. IF YOUR NIECE DID NOT NOT “CHOOSE” TO KILL HER BABIES, THEN HER CASE IS NOT RELEVANT TO THE ABORTION DEBATE.

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  16. A mini (and incomplete) review of “The Silent Scream,” which has been mentioned in this thread.

    I started watching “The Silent Scream” on youtube. In the first part, a doctor named Bernard Nathanson explains the technology of ultrasound and how knowledge of fetal development has come a long way since the 70s and Roe vs. Wade. He shows an actual example of a woman getting an ultrasound in the early stages of pregnancy and explains briefly how ultrasounds work and how they have contributed to medical science and reproductive knowledge. He then segues into the second part by revealing the primary goal of the film, which is to visually show what happens during a first trimester abortion using the suction method.

    In the second part, Dr. Nathanson describes fetal development, showing the viewer what a fetus looks like at 12 weeks. He then proceeds to describe each of the instruments used in suction abortion and how a doctor will use them on the woman. Alas, I could not finish watching at this point in the film (I know! I didn’t even get to the main point). I can barely get through a woman’s annual exam without coming close to passing out because I am ultra sensitive, and the details of just the clamps in the video make me feel squirmy and sick to my stomach (I learned that I would probably not be able to handle an abortion!). But, I know from the thorough summary below the youtube video what the rest of the film is about and the details of the suction abortion visible through ultrasound. Seeing (or reading) the process of suction abortion is effective in turning the stomachs of viewers, and it has changed the opinions of many regarding the issue.

    I do want to offer a perspective, however, on the film and its technique. I read about the film on Wikipedia and its mixed reception. Those who have a basic understanding of film theory know that editing techniques (even in the 80s) often use special effects, even subtle ones, to make a story more interesting and to create a response in the viewer. I am no expert on film theory, but Wikipedia says some critics have complained that “The Silent Scream” edits the film by speeding up certain parts, particularly the parts when the instrument is inserted into the womb. The faster speed accentuates the movements of the fetus, making it appear (according to critical review) that the baby is squirming violently. Critical review also says that the film enlarges the image of the fetus in the ultrasound, making it look much larger than what a 12-week old fetus would actually measure (less than two inches is the correct size of a fetus at this age).

    Medical experts also criticize the implications that the doctor proposes—that a fetus at twelve weeks is mentally/emotionally/psychologically aware of the instruments. That a fetus can make a conscious attempt to escape its impending doom. That a fetus can consciously open its mouth in horror. That a fetus can feel pain. Now, a fetus does move. It is suspended in liquid, making it effortless to move. It does physically respond to stimuli (such as a surgical instrument). But there is an enormous amount of study explaining that a fetus is incapable of doing any of the things that the doctor implies in the film. A fetus is not conscious at all until a much later age. It simply cannot feel pain. And even if it does open its mouth, which it can do, there is no emotional or psychological reason for it to do so. There are no emotions or psychological awareness.

    You don’t have to believe what the doctors and scientists say, but perhaps you should give equal skepticism to what the doctor says in this film. You can maintain an anti-abortion stance and still take a critical look at the film. The film does show what physically happens during a suction abortion, which is not exactly pretty. But the implications may be misleading.

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    • thank you for being honest and stating that you didn’t even watch the video even while still carrying water for the pro-choice position. While I truly don’t mean to insult you, I will proceed to my point only in light of how important the issue of abortion is. From there, I’d think/hope/pray that those who applied such eloquence in stating their position would actually do the due diligence and substantiate their suppositions by validating the reality of the situation with their own eyes.

      I contend that the vast minority of viewers to The Silent Scream are friendly to the Pro-Choice camp and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. It’s always easier to rationalize one’s position in absence of validating facts.

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      • Thomas,

        Thanks for replying. I didn’t happen to catch any insult from your comments, so no worries. I can definitely appreciate the need to watch a film to truly understand its message, and a film of this sort can have merit. My issue is not its pro-life agenda (everything has an agenda). But I have a hard time appreciating the manipulation because the agenda then crosses into the domain of propaganda. Unless the propaganda film has tremendous value of some sort, I usually feel cheated by its attempt to manipulate me. I can think of two really good examples of propaganda, one that has a lot of merit, in my opinion, and one that has no merit at all.

        Have you ever seen or heard of the film “Battleship Potemkin”? If not, it is a communist propaganda film made in 1925, which uses a musical score and film editing techniques that are considered exceptional in the history of film production. It is amazing what the director did with the sound and visuals to create an intense emotional response in his viewer. I felt myself hating the “evil” naval officers and cheering for the heavily abused working class. I had to remind myself that the propaganda film wanted to create these feelings, and so I was able to take a step back from its overall message and still appreciate the film for its brilliant editing techniques.

        The negative example is a book called “Go Ask Alice.” The author presents the book as a diary of a young girl who was the author’s patient in real life (the author is a psychologist). It is told in first person by a girl who spirals down the “rabbit hole” of drug abuse. The whole book is riveting because, in my mind, it was a true story. The author even published it initially as non-fiction, claiming to be the book’s editor rather than the author. Yet, almost the entire book has actually been fabricated by the author. When I found this out, I felt insulted on behalf of young adults and myself who had been manipulated by the lies simply in the name of a higher cause of anti-drugs. There are plenty of facts out there that can show the reality of drug abuse. Even fiction can be effective in showing what can happen. So, “Go Ask Alice” would have made for great fiction. But by presenting a work of fiction as a real-life, factual account, I feel that it does much more harm than good. What happens when teenagers find out they have been lied to by an adult in order to convince them that drugs are bad? It is patronizing, to say the least.

        In my opinion, “The Silent Scream” commits the same crime as the author of “Go Ask Alice.” The details of a medical procedure and an unedited ultrasound are factual enough in order to give people information and a picture of the process of a first-term abortion. I would be convinced by the clamps themselves not to go through with one unless it was an extreme situation. To be fair, though, I went ahead and watched part three. While it is difficult to completely make out what is happening in some parts, the doctor tells you what happens every step of the way. When the child opens its mouth, for example, the doctor turns to face the front, looks directly at the camera, and says, “This is the silent scream of a child threatened imminently with extinction.” Talk about dramatic effect. Also, he gives no other explanation for the child’s body movements except that she is trying to escape. He says, “There is no question that this child senses the most mortal danger imaginable.” The doctor basically interprets the movements as some sort of psychic sense—the child “senses” an instrument even though the instrument has not yet touched her body. Apparently, Dr. Nathanson’s explanation is the only logical one, at least that is what the film suggests.

        When the film editors manipulate the procedure, moreover, it calls into question the doctor’s motives and the truthfulness of the information he provides. I am perfectly capable of considering facts when making personal decisions. The woman who received this abortion apparently thought that the ultrasound was good enough to completely change her viewpoint and she never again defended the pro-choice stance (even though she was a feminist according to the doctor). As soon as I learn that I am being manipulated, however, I want to throw all of the so-called facts out the window. I feel that the end never justifies the means when half-truths and manipulation are involved, even if the cause is a worthy one. Why couldn’t the doctor just present an unedited ultrasound and let it speak for itself? Why did he feel the need to interpret the information for the viewer? He could explain what is happening without throwing in his own emotional perspective. What this means is that he is telling the viewer how to think and feel about this procedure. To me, this is insulting and patronizing. People don’t like to be manipulated like this. I am willing to bet that once the manipulation is exposed, the film loses all merit in the eyes of the viewer and pushes them further from the pro-life agenda.

        I don’t think it’s a coincidence that viewers of this film are not a part of the pro-choice camp, either. Either they are already pro-life or they become pro-life because they are convinced that abortion is evil. That’s clearly what the film wants them to think and do. But when you can evaluate the techniques used by the film, you are able step outside the emotional jargon and see the film in a more critical light. That is my agenda, so to speak. But if you are going to push the pro-life agenda, at least be factual and rational.

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        • Hi Sue,

          I’m not sure what your definition of propaganda is but a functional definition for me is “some publishing that subverts the truth in order to advance the interests of a select few against those of the majority” and I don’t see how this is relevant to this film.

          I also can’t figure out if you actually watched the abortion or not…and if not–I’m perplexed as to why (given your seeming analytical propensity).

          In truth, I think the Silent Scream need only be seen by advocates of abortion so they can get a sense of the barbaric reality that their view necessitates. I think those who debate whether there was actually a “scream” by the baby, et al, are willingly missing the point so as to retain some logical disconnect from the horror of abortion and in so doing, to render their compartmentalization of the issue unscathed (while still giving credence to the idea that they actually performed some intellectual rigor by watching the film).

          That which even you cannot argue against is that a baby in utero was killed in that ultrasound. I frankly don’t care whether the film is sped up for dramatic effect (if that’s even the case!) or any other “provocative” technique. Maybe that’s the producer’s way of cementing the message of : “Hey–all you who claim to uphold a strict allegience to liberty (but don’t..by way of your decidedly ANTI-intellectual pro-choice sentiments)–here’s really what happens with abortion.

          It stands that those that have cemented the justification of the act in their mind already will as a rule, not submit themselves to digesting the reality–that a unique individual human is being trampled underfoot–and with unabashed justification.

          By the way–it may be interesting for you/others to note that the doctor narrating the film was the founder of NARAL and as such, personally responsible for the killing of 75000 + babies. In watching an ultrasound of an abortion, he finally came to realize the sheer idiocy of the pro-choice position–the same that I would that you and the rest of this forum recognize.

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          • Hi Thomas,

            I think the definition you give is potentially true, specifically the part about subverting the truth. The main problem I see with this definition is that it is not always the case where the minority tries to influence the majority, particularly in the case of abortion. Both sides can use propaganda, and I would say that neither side can be called the minority. Propaganda typically concerns a political cause: “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a cause or publicize a particular political cause or point of view”; “The dissemination of such information as a political strategy.” I think “The Silent Scream” does fit under the category of propaganda because it pushes an agenda and attempts to persuade by using misleading and one-sided information when there are other perfectly logical explanations that are not considered. The doctor never gives any other explanation and suggests that his view is the best and most authoritative viewpoint.

            I went ahead and watched the third part of the film before posting my last response to you. You say that you don’t care if the film uses provocative film techniques because they are not the point. But I say sticking to factual information is very important if you want to be taken seriously as a doctor. When the film misleads you with editing techniques and dramatic pronouncements to persuade you to one point-of-view, it only works until the person becomes aware of the manipulation and misleading information. It turns some people like me off because we care deeply about factual information when facts are supposedly being presented. I’d imagine that you would feel the same way towards “pro-choice” propaganda. It can be infuriating when one-sided information is presented as fact, especially when you care about truth. This is where the disconnect comes; I no longer take the film seriously when I see right in front of me the efforts of this doctor to tell me how to think and feel about abortion. The saying “Oh, come off it” is one I would use in the case of this film.

            You yourself say that the doctor was completely converted by watching an ultrasound. He did not have anyone standing there telling him exactly what is happening and what it means. He made a personal choice by interpreting the ultrasound and coming to a conclusion. I am capable of doing the same, and so are many people. The average non-doctor audience will sometimes need an explanation of the procedure taking place, but they do not need it to be interpreted for them with highly emotional authoritative statements. To me, this is insulting and patronizing, which is why “The Silent Scream” loses any value that it might have had. The potential value would be, in my opinion, to show what happens during an abortion without distorting it or its meaning at all. Also, when the doctor shows all the instruments used and how a doctor prepares the woman for the abortion is highly relevant information. But because he distorts information later, how do I know if anything he says is factual? I personally want to verify everything he says because he has lost credibility with me.

            You make a couple of statements about pro-choice sentiment that equally apply to pro-life sentiment. Once a person has fully cemented either position in their mind, it becomes next to impossible to present the ideas of the other side. You refer to pro-choice as idiotic, which sounds to me that you are unwilling to consider the ideas and sentiments of human beings who identify with this perspective in varying degrees. You cannot reach a person when you consider their personal ideas as idiotic, unless of course you manipulate them. You have to be able to appreciate their point-of-view and why they might have come to it. Human beings are complex and should be treated as such–not as a one-dimensional robots who cannot think rationally and humanely. I do not want to be manipulated into believing one way or the other, but I can appreciate a person’s passionate ideas when he/she is not trying to convert me or undermine my own ability to think and feel.

            When people like me take issue with the actuality of the “scream,” it is not because we do not want to consider the other side or even that we turn ourselves off to the reality. I have emphatically pointed out that a regular ultrasound carries its own weight (EVEN though I take issue with the way it is presented in the film). But I am not a proponent of treating people like they are incapable of making fully informed decisions without the use of emotional suggestion. You talk about the power of suggestion in some of your posts but are yet unwilling to consider or take seriously the powers of suggestion at work in this film. So, it is o.k. to use these techniques with a perspective that you want people to adopt but not with a perspective that you disagree with, like communism or government control? In my opinion, suggestion and manipulation always matter.

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          • “You have to be able to appreciate their point-of-view and why they might have come to it. Human beings are complex and should be treated as such”

            And my entire point is that this very consideration is NOT being fairly applied to the baby by you, the apologist, much less by the abortionist. This is why I have the audacity (in your view, likely) to label the abortionist position as idiotic.

            Perhaps you can show me the error of my ways by objectively proving that the humanity of the baby is not being thoroughly invalidated and, as a result, summarily destroyed by the abortionist.

            Short of that, I unapologetically contend that, at best–abortion is sheer idiocy.

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          • Thomas,

            The thing is, I am not attempting to defend a position on whether or not it is o.k. to have an abortion. I do, in fact, appreciate the view that considers abortion to be morally wrong, and I have not entered that debate with you, anyway. So, I think you are making assumptions when you accuse me of not considering the baby. I have been discussing a film with you and the techniques it uses to persuade someone that abortion is wrong. I specifically argue that it uses manipulative techniques to do so, which I do not appreciate. The same goes for pro-choice propaganda, which I have seen and have been just as thoroughly turned off by it. This is the discussion that I thought we were having.

            I am not interested in showing you the “error of your ways.” If you make an argument that I think has inconsistencies and holes in logic, than I might be interested in taking up a debate with you.

            How can I objectively prove that the baby’s humanity is invalid? I cannot and will not attempt to try.

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          • Thank you Sue for your thoughtful dialogue.

            Allow me to further along my position as it relates to my presumptive tone RE your viewpoint. The question seems to me to be whether The Silent Scream can be fairly described as propaganda. I contend that it cannot and I will present my evidence to this claim.

            I think it reasonable to conclude that the purpose of propaganda is to subvert the truth so that the subverters can gain some type of advantage over others with the backing of those masses who’ve been led to mistake the very subversion as the actual truth. In short, I contend that the truth is propaganda to the propagandist. So fundamentally, we are talking about what can be generally understood as a truth and it’s potential for being mischaracterized. While the truth cannot always readily be ascertained as it relates to any one given claim (much less the motivations of the claimant), I maintain that if we are free to subject the claim in question to the light of fair-minded scrutiny, that it will either resonate or dissonate with a generally understood truth. By the way, this is why I ventured as far as relaying my 2 prior examples of what I view to be actual propaganda –digested and accepted by a good amount of adherents as being in fact the truth (where it was in fact not the truth). So when someone says “We are to submit to the will of Mother Russia for she is our homeland“ OR “Look at all the corruption in our country–we need some more regulation”, the hearer may be initially inclined to acceptance of the notion without examining the disingenuous nature of the statement. It takes work to compare any given claim to the foundational truth which it either supports or assails. Indeed, if it’s even determined that a given claim undermines a general truth, then it takes further work to rebut the claim as I’ve tried to meaningfully do in both above cases (“The communist definition of peace is the absence of resistance.” and “A classic statist mantra asserts that all of our problems are the result of a lack of government intervention, thereby ensuring the continual growth of the state at the expense of private liberty. The statist never bothers to ask whether our problems resulted from the overreach of government in the first place.”, respectively).

            While I don’t claim to have authored truth, I do claim that the truth has already been defined and, as such, is accessible to any seeking mind and, moreover, that our relevant statements will either support or subvert any given truth. By the way, my refutation of both initial statements (above) is rooted in a similar philosophy as Patrick Henry who said, “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect anyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. When you give up that force, you are ruined.”–the same which is a pronouncement of the truth/reality that any free people gets that way by maintaining an unabashed vigilance towards whatever threat is posed against that liberty. I would argue that this very vigilance is being mightily tested at this point in our history, and I further contend that abortion is one of the more effective weapons in the arsenal of those willing to subvert truth.

            While it seems to be your contention that propaganda does not necessarily emanate from the special interests of a minority seeking to extend it’s privilege, I would heartily disagree. If your view be correct, then why is it even necessary for the propagandist to subvert the truth? I think it’s only reasonable to conclude that they must incorporate deception to thwart the sensibilities of the hearers–the same which serves as the productive mechanism towards the advancement of their specialized agenda. The fact that there is roughly equal division among the adherents of either side of the abortion argument is only a manifestation, in my view, of the effectiveness of the pro-abortion propaganda upon the general public.

            Whatever the case, at the heart of the abortion issue is the sanctity of separate human life. If you accept at face value that abortion destroys human life–if that is our generally recognized truth in this matter–then that is the lens necessary to peer through in determining what is propaganda and what is not. Since The Silent Scream resonates with the accepted truth in this matter, it cannot be seen as propaganda but only as a furthering of the truth.

            As for me, in recognition of the destructive nature of abortion, whether to the individual (ie the fetus, mother, father, abortionist, et al) or societally, I will NEVER carry water for those elements seeking to justify the act.

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    • Sue,
      You made some really important contributions here…

      1. The best brain science that we have very clearly demonstrates that there is no way a baby can: have conscious though/feel pain at 12 weeks (this would seem to be a really important consideration).

      2. The appearance, the emotional reaction, does not count as good justification. People think certain things are icky or groos or difficult to watch that are far from morally wrong (again, think life saving brain surgery).

      3. That a thing looks like a thinking, feeling, desiring, screaming creature does not mean that it is. Appearance is a horrible way to judge moral value (if it were Madame Tussauds would be a heck of a lot more important).

      Really good thoughts.

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      • Thanks, Bubba! Appearances versus actual scientific understanding is very important. When emotion and appearances are given ultimate authority in an argument, they undermine science. Emotion can play an important part in personal decisions, but it should not be used to entirely persuade someone one way or the other. And appearances are often deceiving, as you have stated.

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  17. This is the only issue that is disagree with RP on. However it will not prevent me from voting for him if he wins the GOP primary. I do like how RP wants to give the power to the state so I’m no too worried about his own personal opinion.

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  18. Abortion pisses me off. Why? Because it is a hot-button issue that everyone has a strong opinion about, yet they don’t think it through. They either cite Biblical text and call it murder or they spout all this crap about how it’s good for women and society. And please refrain from the freedom of choice talking point. A woman can’t even get her tubes tied until she’s thirty-five or has had X number of children. (Why aren’t people enraged about that infringement on personal choice?!?) Why? In case she changes her mind. Yet, she can get an abortion. I suppose doctors aren’t worried about her changing her mind over that. Women have a lot of power over their reproductive rights, but it’s not limitless. There has to be limits on certain types of choices, like those that bring the sanctity of life into question, or else we will devolve into an anything goes kind of society where people reject responsibility.

    And why can’t a Libertarian be pro-life? Libertarians value freedom of choice, not unlimited, morally controversial choices, and they value taking responsibility for the choices you make. (Perhaps a Libertarian would be against choices that allow one to reject personal responsibility.) The freedom of choice began when the couple decided to have sex, knowing full well the array of consequences that could potentially occur as a result of their choice.

    And save the pseudo-feminism garble. I am so sick of feminism being equated with abortion and I’m so sick of people refusing to take responsibility for their actions. Adults, even children, know that sex can lead to pregnancy. If you want to have sex and don’t want to have a baby, then take preventative measures (like use a condom!). The pill is widely available for next to nothing at places like Planned Parenthood – no insurance required. The day after pill is also very affordable and widely available. Even the poor have no excuse. If you’re unlucky and those consequences befall you despite taking precautions, then deal with it. That’s life. Adoption is always an option.

    And why is no one concerned about fathers’ rights? I understand it’s the woman’s body, so no man has the right to force abortion upon her. But, if a woman wants an abortion, why doesn’t the father have any say in the matter? If at least one parent wants the child, then why is it legal? It’s not fair if you ask me. This is a scenario where someone’s personal freedom is being trampled upon – so who wins?

    Unless they have strong moral objections to abortion, whether religious or not, men tend to quickly agree that abortion is good for women. But women who opt to have an abortion suffer whole new set of consequences. The psychological, and sometimes physical, ramifications of having an abortion are deep and should not be taken lightly. I think men like abortion so much because abortion is good for them – a free pass on child support. The only argument I’ve heard for abortion that isn’t full of crap is population control. Though pragmatic in its own right, it is coldly objective and lacks a sense of humanity.

    I disagree with abortion personally. But, like Ron Paul, I think it is up to the states to determine if it should be legal. State legislatures should represent the will of the people in their state and if the majority of the people in a given state want abortion, then that is their right. However, no one should blindly accept abortion as an institution that is good for women, families and society. It is too messy, too complex and too hard to be called “good.” It is what it is: a method to circumvent responsibility for a specific action on the basis that the other alternatives would be too detrimental for the individual to handle. But even refusing to endure the consequences of one’s own actions comes with a whole new set of consequences of its own.

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    • In some cases, I see the choice being taken away from the child. As a Deist, I do not see a supreme being placing judgement on either the mother or the supporters of abortion. But, after the 1st trimester, I see something happening to another that society should be protecting us against. Most libertarians and objectivists, with the exception of the few proponents of anarchy, want government to keep its nose out of citizens actions WITHIN REASON. This falls outside that arena.

      I’m amazed that society protects children from second (soon to be third) hand smoke but does nothing when the mother wants to end its existence.

      The product of two solely seems to be in the possession of one. The father has no legal rights to disagree (I’m not a lawyer) and it would be criminal if he did to the child what the mother can do. Not good as I see it, but I am bias being a man so I’ll suspend this question. The opinions of all men should be ignored along with the opinions of all women.

      The existence and potential life of one is disregarded. I would expect everybody here would be biased on this one. I don’t think anybody here is the result of an abortion.

      I call it an “existence” and “potential life” because of the debate”. If I was to think a child can’t be called “human” until it is out of the womb, I would probably think it should be after the 1st year since its existence is still precarious in this environment. Maybe it should be until about 3 or 5 when it is less reliable on the mother. Maybe it should be 13 when it is less reliant on family, or 16 when it is less reliant on friends and (in this society) it starts an individual life.

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    • You sure sound like a bitter woman… the only reason why men agree with it is for a free pass on child support??? What kind of men do you associate with?? Perhaps that is the reason for your skewed view….

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  19. BTW for the folks saying the crime rate went down with abortion where are your facts? Roe vs Wade happened in 1973, so what your saying is that there is less crime now then back in the 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s. If we look at this timeline the only thing I see that has happened is our society has turned to crap since Roe v Wade.

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    • justbob,

      It’s all logic, really. If a woman has a baby she doesn’t want/isn’t prepared for, then she may do a bad job of raising it, which in turn will make the child grow up with an array of problems, which also may cause the child to turn to crime as an outlet. I realize this can happen even with a “wanted” child, but chances are strong it would happen more often if there were more “unwanted” children, simply because they are an unwanted burden.

      However, with abortion “legal”, as it is now, women can abort pregnancies they don’t want/aren’t ready for, thus relieving whatever stress she would be put under if she had the child AND preventing any more potential criminals to be brought into the world. And what’s more, the woman could even wait until she WANTS to have a child and be an even better mother than she would have been to the one she aborted.

      Extra point: something I don’t understand is how people don’t see both sides of the spectrum when it comes to possibilities. True, your baby could be the next Van Gogh or the future President, but it could also be the next great serial killer or the Adolf Hitler of our time.

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  20. Did anyone hear ever notice that the only people that are for abortion have already been born? Maybe if there wasn’t a magic abortion wand to wave and be free of the little “mistake” then girls might not be so eager to have sexual intercourse. Girls today are more sexually permissive than at any other time in history and it’s getting worse every year. I believe that this is due in part to a general degeneration of our morals as a society, nobody takes responsibility for their actions anymore (just look how the President blames away responsibility).

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