Why aren’t pro-choicers…

July 20th, 2006

…pro-prostitution?

I mean, cialis canada viagra don’t all the same arguments apply?

  • A woman has a right to do what she wants with her own body.
  • If prostitution is illegal, tadalafil drugstore some women will choose to perform unsafe “back-alley” prostitution.
  • Opposition to prostituion is based on religious beliefs. A fundamental principle of American democracy is that no one can impose their religious beliefs on others.
  • The question is not whether prostitution is right or wrong, but who gets to decide? Individual woman or government?

Am I missing something? Why aren’t all pro-choicers also pro-prostitution?

Entry Filed under: Observations

47 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tim  |  July 20th, 2006 at 2:37 pm

    I have the heard the argument made by pro-choicers that the victim in prostitution is the woman. They argue that most women who enagage in prostitution come from broken and abusive families. And it is the whole abusive system that leads them into a life of prostitution. But I would think that most pro-choicers are not vehemently opposed to prostitution. If it is the woman’s choice to engage in prostitution, I would assume that most pro-choicers would not be against that.

  • 2. Administrator  |  July 20th, 2006 at 2:41 pm

    But how is she victimized?

    Funny that those same people would defend the right of a woman to voluntarily have sex whenever, however, and with whomever she wanted…until she asked for money at the end of the act.

  • 3. Nick  |  July 20th, 2006 at 2:45 pm

    If you want to argue that women are victimized by prostitution, you can say the same thing about abortion… just that women won’t realize the cost until afterwards, and by then its too late so the government needs to protect women from that.

    Oh yeah… I can spin ANY argument.

  • 4. Administrator  |  July 20th, 2006 at 3:18 pm

    True Nick, you should have been a lawyer instead of a software engineer. ;)

  • 5. Chris  |  July 20th, 2006 at 7:57 pm

    but then he would have to give up his soul ;)

  • 6. Administrator  |  July 20th, 2006 at 10:05 pm

    Yeah, Chris, but a real good lawyer will find some way to screw Satan on the contract.

  • 7. Cantankerous  |  July 20th, 2006 at 10:21 pm

    Elliot,

    I dig your style but this is a question only a man could ask.

    I am pro-choice because I don’t think I have the constitutional right to force any woman to have any man’s child. Period. On a certain level, it’s a matter of respect, self-decency and autonomy that I feel all women should be allowed.

    I am against prostitution for the same reasons, but to a different effect.

    If that doesn’t make sense, then I truly can’t explain it.

  • 8. Administrator  |  July 21st, 2006 at 9:26 am

    It is a contradiction, Can.

    You believe in a woman’s ability to make a choice that will change three people’s fates for three lifetimes…

    …but you don’t trust her to make a good choice about whether or not she wants a couple of bucks for the “massage” she just gave some guy?

    Either she’s capable of making those sort of moral choices or she’s not.

    Also, no one is “forcing” anyone to have anyone’s child. The woman had the same choice the man did. Once they both choose to indulge in a sexual act, they should understand that the possible consequence is creating a baby. The choice comes before sex…not afterwards.

    (Cases of rape or incest involve different issues. But the vast majority of the time, abortion is the result of someone not taking the responsibility for the sexual event they chose to indulge in.)

    And thank you for liking my “style.” I like yours, too.

    As always, I don’t expect to agree with everyone. Even people I like. ;)

    Oh, one last point. That wasn’t a question only a man could ask. In 1973, NOW passed a resolution in favor of the decriminalization of prostitution.

  • 9. Cantankerous  |  July 21st, 2006 at 10:24 am

    Elliot,

    You’re asuming that all women CHOOSE to participate in all sexual acts that could end in pregnancy. I vehemently disagree with this assumption. Given that fact that all 5 of my closest friends are victims of rape, I think I’m justified in that.

    The problem with men who aren’t rapists is they don’t realize just how many of their co-horts are. You think rape is something that happens on a rare occasion. You are wrong. I know at least 20 women who have been raped. How many men do you think you know that have raped? My guess is you’ll say none. I think that’s naive. If I know 20 women that have been raped, then I must know at least one guy who has committed the act. It’s just a matter of math.

    I see that you put a clause in that says rape and incest involve different issues, yet I don’t believe that you are in favor of allowing those women the right to choose their future. You want to FORCE them to have some man’s child, should they end up pregnant. I think that is morally reprehensible and disgusting.

    Also, you liken all abortions to a lack of responsibility. I completely disagree with that. It’s what your side do when you want to discredit women who actually engage in sexual acts. GASP! As though for just having sex the pregnancy is the punishment. Also morally reprehensible.

    As a woman if you try to use your own examples, you end up incriminating yourself. That is a conundrum that you men get to live outside of, and it certainly gives you an upper hand in the argument.

    That said, here is my example and the reason I find your wording insulting: I am in a very committed relationship. My boyfriend and I take every precaution to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Nevertheless, there was an instance in between pills when the condom malfunctioned, if you will. Is THAT being “irresponsible,” Elliot?

    Did I have an abortion? No. I never would. However I absolutely, positively got run through the ringer trying to acquire a Plan B pill (which for those of you who like to be mis-informed on the facts and yet still like to preach to others, the Plan B pill is NOT the abortion pill). If the Plan B pill were made available, as it should be, then the need for abortions would drastically go down, I would bet. I was INFURIATED that it was so difficult to obtain the Plan B pill because I know that I would never have an abortion. My last RESPONSIBLE step, to use your words, was being withheld from me because some politician somewhere says that I Have to see a doctor before obtaining the Plan B pill. Ask any gyno what she thinks about that.

    Let’s say, for arguments sake though, that even with every precautionary measure I had taken, would that still have been an “irresponsible” action for you?

    Elliot, I believe in a woman’s ability to control her own fate. I believe that Plan B should be sold over the counter and that Wal-Mart can kiss my ass for with-holding it.

    I also believe that the reason people think it’s okay to ban abortion (you know because rape cases are so rare) is the same reason those people aren’t qualified to have an opinion on it.

    And as far as prostitution goes, it’s an argument by analogy and I happen to think the analogy isn’t nearly as similar as you are attempting to frame it to be.

    You said:

    “You believe in a woman‚Äôs ability to make a choice that will change three people‚Äôs fates for three lifetimes‚Ķ

    ‚Ķbut you don‚Äôt trust her to make a good choice about whether or not she wants a couple of bucks for the ‚Äúmassage‚Äù she just gave some guy?”

    The reality is, I only care about the woman in the first instance, and it’s because I do that I disagree with the second. It’s a matter of principle to me. It’s my opinion that you can’t just sell your body.

    That’s my answer to your question of how can someone who is pro-choice be anti-prostitution.

    Hope you liked my novel. ;)

  • 10. Disgruntled Car Salesman  |  July 21st, 2006 at 4:56 pm

    Nice analogy. :)

  • 11. Josh Schroeder  |  July 22nd, 2006 at 2:45 am

    “How does Plan B work (mechanism of action)?

    Plan B is believed to act as an emergency contraceptive principally by preventing ovulation or fertilization (by altering tubal transport of sperm and/or ova). In addition, it may inhibit implantation by altering the endometrium. Plan B is not effective if a woman is pregnant. Plan B is a contraceptive and cannot terminate an established pregnancy.””

    Plan-B is a no-go in my book. I believe life begins at fertilization; therefore the only ethical form of birth control is that which prevents fertilization and fertilization only. Anything beyond that kills (or has the potential to kill) unborn human beings.

  • 12. Cantankerous  |  July 22nd, 2006 at 1:13 pm

    Josh,

    You just put the definition of how the Plan B pill works, which states, “Plan B is believed to act as an emergency contraceptive principally by preventing ovulation or fertilization” and then you follow that up with, “therefore the only ethical form of birth control is that which prevents fertilization and fertilization only.” Yet you say that you’re against Plan B.

    How does that make any sense?

  • 13. Izzy  |  July 22nd, 2006 at 5:26 pm

    Biology defnines pregnancy as a post-implantation status, not post-fertilization. Without implantation, there can never be pregnancy, therefore anything that prevents implantation is pre-pregnancy birth control.

    Ironically, internal devices such as the IUD, which make the uterine lining inhospitable to implantation, are very effective, safe and an affordable, viable long term biirth control option for poverty-stricken women world-wide who cannot afford the luxury of popping pills to have control over their own bodies and lives.

    It’s more difficult to debate the value of these devices when it ensures the health and survival of women, and entire families, living in life-threatening poverty in third-world countries.

    Another point I’d like to make is that the concept of rape as solely a physical attack on a women by a man — often thought of as a strange or merely acquanted to her — is limited. Even in the context of an established relationship, women are very often psychologically, if not physically, coerced into sexual acts, especially true In many cultures when women are subjugated, Even in so-called developed countries, many women lack the social power to deny their partners’ appetites; standing in line at the grocery stores scanning the latest tabloid report of a cheating husband, unsatisfied by his “frigid”/fat/working wife, is enough to constantly remind women of the consequences of not “pleasing your man in 8 eight easy steps/flavours/positions” a la Cosmo.

    Finally, I’d like to clarify one thing for the administrator and some posters: Pro-choice is no more pro-prostitution than it is pro-abortion, It does not favour abortion any more than it favours adoption, keeping the child, etc. Thi belief otherwise is nothing more than anti-choice propaganda. The ultimate stand of pro-choice, and feminism, is that a women has the right to choose for herself what is appropriate for her own life and body.

    To deny choice in prositution is no better than denying choice in abortion, but certainly it does not mean that a pro-choicer needs to *approve* of, or even respect, the woman or her choice to sell her body, just the right she has to make that choice for herself. To do otherwise is to begin down a slippery slope of denial of rights and choice entirely.

  • 14. Josh Schroeder  |  July 23rd, 2006 at 12:02 am

    Tank,

    Because of what I put in bold from that definition:

    “In addition, it may inhibit implantation.”

    If its only function was to prevent fertilization, I wouldn’t have a problem. But the definition says that it may also prevent implantation, which I assume is Plan B’s Plan B, as it were. If a woman takes plan B but it doesn’t prevent fertilization, it still might prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg.

    If the ONLY thing it did was prevent fertilization, then I wouldn’t have a problem. But Plan B can do more than that, which is why I have a problem with it.

  • 15. Jenna  |  July 23rd, 2006 at 1:48 am

    Elliot and Josh, I admire your efforts, but really, don’t waste your time.

    There is really no point to arguing with pro-abortionists.

    You’re not going to change their minds.

    They are pro-“choice”…but not really.

    They have no respect for life.

    They do not and never will believe that life begins at conception.

    They don’t care about the child’s choice.

    Children who have not exited the womb are meaningless to them, insignificant microbes.

    You think you can change that innate belief? Unfortunately, you won’t.

    Respect for life is something you had to be taught at a very early age. If not, you will forever think it’s okay to stick a pair of scissors into a child’s head, twist ’em around, suck out the brain, cut off the limbs, and pull them out one by one.

    As heart-breaking as that is, you won’t be able to change it.

    (Side note: actually, there is one thing that might change some people’s minds. I once heard a talk by a former abortion provider. Even though he travels the country telling his story, he still cried when he talked about piles of baby body parts on the floor in his clinic. He still turns pale when he talks about how he can’t sleep at night because he can’t stop thinking about all the lives he’s taken. That is truly life changing, for some people.)

  • 16. Administrator  |  July 23rd, 2006 at 2:48 pm

    Hope you’re enjoying your vacation, Jenna!

  • 17. Jenna  |  July 23rd, 2006 at 10:31 pm

    Sorry….I was going to add a note that I was tired and cranky when I wrote that comment, but I didn’t. If you felt it out of line, my bad.

  • 18. Administrator  |  July 24th, 2006 at 9:03 am

    Nothing is ever out of line on my blog (unless it’s a personal attack on another commentor).

    And I wasn’t being sarcastic when I hoped you were having a good time. (Although, Texas is a little too hot for my taste.)

  • 19. Cantankerous  |  July 24th, 2006 at 11:41 am

    Here’s a question for the Jenna’s and Joshes out there…

    Do you see taking Plan B as morally equivalent to having a third trimester abortion?

  • 20. Cantankerous  |  July 24th, 2006 at 11:59 am

    Jenna,

    If you think that because I am against banning all abortions it means that I would also support one who would, “stick a pair of scissors into a child‚Äôs head, twist ‚Äòem around, suck out the brain, cut off the limbs, and pull them out one by one,” you’re sorely mistaken.

    Take it easy on the exaggeration. It’s unbecoming and demeans your own argument.

    Also, per your statement: There is really no point to arguing with pro-abortionists. You’re not going to change their minds. They are pro-”choice”…but not really. They have no respect for life.

    For the record, I do have respect for life. That you and I disagree on what constitutes “life” does not give you base for moral superiority.

    The fact that I do not see a mass of cells the same way you do does not mean that all respect for all life is void and null to me. Another complete exaggeration.

    It is because I have respect for life that I think women’s rights need to be protected to some degree. Does that mean that I support third-trimester abortions? Nope.

    Clearly, you cannot distinguish between someone who is in favor of Plan B and abortions for victims, and those who would, “stick a pair of scissors into a child’s head, twist ‘em around, suck out the brain, cut off the limbs, and pull them out one by one.”

    That makes it tough to take your criticism seriously.

  • 21. Josh Schroeder  |  July 24th, 2006 at 5:24 pm

    Tank, I’ll try making my position clear one more time.

    Life begins at fertilization. When the egg is fertilized, that is when I believe a human life begins. A late-term abortion procedure kills a human life. If Plan B prevents implantation, it kills a human life. If it kills a human life, it is immoral. What stage the child’s development is in is irrelevant. Killing an unborn child, at any age, is immoral.

  • 22. Cantankerous  |  July 24th, 2006 at 7:46 pm

    Josh,

    Thanks for the clarification. It is my understanding that it’s possible for any oral contraceptive to prevent implantation, be it Plan B or regular old birth control. So, I guess we know where you stand on the pill.

    Wow. I hope you don’t mind my saying, but it’s been awhile since I ran into someone who is against the pill.

  • 23. Josh Schroeder  |  July 24th, 2006 at 9:13 pm

    Well, I’m not Roman Catholic, so I’m not hard-core against the pill. My objection to the pill is if it, like you said, prevents implantation.

    And since I have never, nor plan on ever taking the pill, I really haven’t investigated the pill in great detail. From what I’ve been told, the jury is still out as to whether it prevents implantation or not; so I err on the side of caution. From the sounds of it, the jury is still out on Plan B, based on the website I quoted before. But if it does, it’s abortion.

    I’m not hard-core against the pill or Plan B because I don’t know of any concrete evidence that says one way or the other if they prevent implantation (but on the other hand, how will they figure it out without trial and error?). But I lean against them.

    But, I have a girlfriend who is much more knowledgeable on the subject than I am. And she’s against the pill. So where my speculation and conviction ends, I trust her judgement. ;-)

  • 24. Cantankerous  |  July 24th, 2006 at 9:22 pm

    And I respect both of your choices. ;)

  • 25. Jenna  |  July 25th, 2006 at 8:25 am

    “Take it easy on the exaggeration…”

    Cantankerous, if you think that is an exaggeration as to what abortion is, then you have no idea what an abortion is.

    Look it up. Research it. As gruesome as they are, look at the pictures of childrens’ bodies post-abortion. Then get back to me.

    And you know, I recently had the opportunity to be present for a couple of births.

    So I really have NO respect, NO time, and NO patience for those would take a child’s life–whether that child is just two days old or nine months old.

    It’s horrific, outdated, and cruel.

    You’re just lucky your mom didn’t have the same lack of respect for life you do.

    As for birth control, life begins at the point of conception. That point is when the egg and the sperm cell join and a child’s new DNA is formed, distinct from any other’s. That is life.

    Anything before that point is not abortion, including pills that simply render a woman’s body unable to give birth (by removing the uterine lining, including the eggs). Anything after that point is taking a human life, including Plan B, abortion, etc.

    You know, Cantankerous, you’ve had a few moments of brilliance before. I’ve liked some of your work before. I really had thought you were smarter than supporting the “right” to take a life.

    Too bad.

  • 26. Cantankerous  |  July 25th, 2006 at 2:22 pm

    Reason Number 1,000,023 why there can’t be a RATIONAL discourse about abortion:

    Breakdown of a “pro-life” argument:

    Premise 1:
    life begins at the point of conception. That point is when the egg and the sperm cell join and a child’s new DNA is formed, distinct from any other’s. That is life.

    Premise 2:
    Anything after that point is taking a human life, including Plan B, abortion, etc.

    Conclusion:

    Therefore, (Pro-abortionists) have no respect for life.
    Respect for life is something you had to be taught at a very early age. If not, you will forever think it’s okay to stick a pair of scissors into a child’s head, twist ‘em around, suck out the brain, cut off the limbs, and pull them out one by one.

    Well done, Jenna. Truly a gem.

    I think the absurd conclusion you draw from your argument is enough of a refute on its own.

    But I will point out that a few days/weeks into a pregnancy there are no eyes to poke or limbs to rip or sometimes even any brains to suck out. So, you may want to revise your conclusion a little to include, oh I don’t know, the majority of abortions. Like say, the estimated 80-90% of all abortions that occur in the first 12 weeks.

    But I mean hey, that’s just a suggestion. It’s really powerful when you stick to 1/100 of a topic and act like that constitutes the majority of the issue. Very powerful. Moving, even.

    I applaud you for feeling capable of judging my brilliance though. Good stuff.

    I’ve never before seen a non-liberal who is so quick to make personal attacks as the basis and/or conclusion of an argument.

    That’s not a judgment though. Just an observation. At most, I’d call it a critique of your style of argument. Also a sign of age.

    I just threw that last bit in there to irritate you. Grin.

  • 27. Josh Schroeder  |  July 25th, 2006 at 10:41 pm

    In high school, I made a presentation that the “hot topics” don’t change over time when the opposing sides are unwilling to discuss topics in good faith and with a measure of civility. I’ve always been curious how people make up their mind on issues, or maybe better stated, what reasons they join the side they do. And on a grander scale, what causes paradigm shifts; how does a society go from one way of thinking and then change to another position?

    And I think I used the analogy of a chinese finger puzzle to describe why there is total gridlock on the abortion issue. Each side talks past the other. Neither side really addresses the other. Tempers flare, rationality is nowhere to be found. The farther apart to sides become, the less likely the problem will be solved. (Mind you, this is a limited metaphor and I do not believe it applies to warfare.)

    Now, as a pro-lifer who believes that live begins at fertilization, I do believe there is a time and a place to express righteous anger and moral indignation, but like I said, time and place. I am not at all happy that innocent human beings, people, are murdered daily in the name of freedom and choice.

    But screaming bloody murder at someone like Tank won’t do any good. The question is, what will?

  • 28. Jenna  |  July 26th, 2006 at 12:15 am

    Well, Josh, I find it a little tough to be “rational” when children’s lives are being taken away every single day, and seemingly intelligent people think it’s okay.

    Please tell me, how many murders is it okay to be “rational” about, and how many aren’t?

  • 29. Josh Schroeder  |  July 26th, 2006 at 2:25 pm

    Come on, Jenna, the “how many” question is older than the hills.

    What does flipping out solve? I would think that after 30 years we would figure that out that tactic isn’t working.

    Do we listen to leftists who scream at the top of their lungs that Bush is a murderer? No, because they’re nuts; their minds have closed and their hearts have hardened. That is how pro-lifers often look when they flip out.

    Just like the guy at the Future Wisconsin conference said, there are saints, sinners, and salvagables. We have to step into the shoes of the sinners and the salvagables and figure out what makes them tick, where the argument is at from their perspective. What will resonate with them?

    So like I said before, we have to figure out what does work. We need to reevaluate our tactics.

  • 30. Jenna  |  July 27th, 2006 at 12:33 am

    I don’t think the subject in question is salvagable.

    Reason for my first post–it’s just often not worth it to try to explain it to them.

    Perhaps that’s where our disagreement lies, in that definition.

  • 31. Administrator  |  July 27th, 2006 at 8:31 am

    If a fetus isn’t a human being, what is it?

  • 32. Cantankerous  |  July 27th, 2006 at 9:35 am

    Hey Jenna,

    Get over yourself.

    “I don‚Äôt think the subject in question is salvagable.”

    What is that? Grow up, already. You’re like the Cindy Sheahan of pro-lifers. When your own side is pointing out that you sound like a nut-job, you may want to reconsider your tone.

    If you want to be taken seriously and argue with the big kids keep your personal attacks out of it. It’s getting old.

  • 33. Jenna  |  July 27th, 2006 at 10:09 am

    Well that’s certianly hypocritical.

    “Get over yourself”

    “…with the big kids…”

    Check your ego at the door, hon.

    You weren’t at Future Wisconsin. You wouldn’t understand the analogy. Josh and I were.

    And I’m sorry, what exactly did I say that was personal?

    If you can’t handle the heat…

  • 34. Cantankerous  |  July 27th, 2006 at 11:10 am

    Jenna,

    Like most liberals I know, you’ve answered more of these questions with rally cries and nonsense than you have with actual, rational responses.

    As far as personal attacks go, again, get over yourself. I could care less what you think/say of me. I just find it unfortunate that we were having a nice debate until you rolled in here breathing fire and screaming “bloody murder” as Josh put it.

    Josh tries to reason with you, and instead of answering his questions you go back to calling the Cantankerouses of the world uncaring murderers.

    You want to be condescending? Fine. You want to overreact? Fine. You want to make personal attacks? Go ahead.

    Just don’t expect to be taken seriously.

    As far as taking the heat…what heat have you brought? You brought up my MOTHER for God’s sake. Do you really think that takes any kind of skill?

    So, like I said, get over yourself. When you stop using tactics that are most commonly found on a playground, I will stop making referrences to the big kids.

    Jenna, this may come as a surprise to you, but it is possible to have a debate about a topic you are passionate about, without turning it into a fight.

    Obviously, in this particular subject, each side feels they are morally justified. So, if you actually care about getting somewhere in the debate, claiming the moral high ground won’t do a thing.

    Something tells me though that you care less about winning than you do about screaming that people like me are murderers who have no respect for life.

  • 35. Jenna  |  July 27th, 2006 at 11:19 am

    There is no winning with you and those who think the way you do.

    Tell me, would you ever accept that life begins at conception? Ever? No matter what?

    No.

    So “winning” isn’t exactly an option, the point of my first comment.

    And once again, I find it a little sad that I’m expected to put my “passion” away and be “reasonable.”

    What better thing to be passionate about than life?

  • 36. Cantankerous  |  July 27th, 2006 at 11:57 am

    Re-read what I said about passion. Nowhere does it say one should stop being passionate when debating. It just says that it’s possible to be passionate and not turn a debate into a fight.

    I don’t think, Jenna, that you’ve ever asked how I feel about your statement that life begins at conception.

    I don’t deny that. I do believe that conception is the first stage in the cycle of human life. Without conception, there would be no humans, so it must be a component of human life.

    When a woman is raped I do not think that her right to decide what to do with her DNA and her life should be taken away. As I feel that in a war some innocent lives will die, I feel the same with abortion.

    I’ve never argued for third-term abortions. I’ve never argued for anything more than Plan B and the right for victims to choose and for those women whose pregnancies become a threat to their own life to have the right to LIVE.

  • 37. Josh Schroeder  |  July 27th, 2006 at 12:40 pm

    And the figers pull farther apart, tightening the grip of the puzzle.

  • 38. Izzy  |  July 27th, 2006 at 6:33 pm

    An embryo cannot survive unless implantation occurs within 24-48 hours after conception. Human life cannot exist without implantation. And since up to 70% of all conceived embroys are naturally aborted (miscarried) before birth – and most of these *before* implantation – perhaps all women who may potentially become pregnanct should also be restricted from activities which might prevent implantation. Examples of this may be taking certain lifesaving medications, having intercourse too close to their menstrual period or even exercising.

    I am, of course, being facetious. However, I think it is obvious that arguing against certain (potentially) implantation-preventing procedures, such as an IUD or Plan B is only a short step from restricting a woman’s activities to ensure that a potential human life (embryo) is not terminated by implantation prevention. Crude versions of this have been a custom practised in many cultures who valued women as little more than son-making machines by various methods such as filling her vaginal canal, tying her down, religious or magical incantations, etc.

    It is also worth considering that “home remedies” for unwanted pregnancy have also always existed throughout history with varying degrees of sophistication and the debate about its morality will not end in our time. Even if it were outlawed, it would continue unabated, and a homemade “morning after” pill is as easy as 2 regular birth control pills taken 24 hours apart. Plan B is just a way for pharmaceutical companies ot make money off a method already practised.

    Although I think my position is obvious, I am not trying to force my view on anyone. I *do* however, wish that proponents on both sides would let go of their preconceptions (sorry for the pun) and educate themselves more on the biological aspects of pregnancy, and the history birth control and pregnancy prevention. Abortion is not new, and is arguably *less* common now (as a percentage of the population) than it was hundreds or thousands of years ago when reliable birth control was not available. It is merely safer and more reliable.

  • 39. Administrator  |  July 27th, 2006 at 7:24 pm

    “up to 70% of all conceived embroys are naturally aborted (miscarried) before birth”

    We don’t use the fact that nearly 25% of all deaths are caused by cancer as an excuse to go around shooting the people who don’t die from it. We try to cure cancer, instead.

    And if you want to say that those naturally “aborted” babies have no value as human life, I’d like to introduce you to a friend who nearly cried herself to death over her two miscarriages.

  • 40. Cantankerous  |  July 27th, 2006 at 10:43 pm

    Here’s a question for you pro-life/pro-war people out there:

    We know that in a war there will be innocent victims (casualties). Innocent victims are human beings. If you say that it is wrong for any innocent human being to die, but know that in a war there will be casualties, you cannont support war.

    I bring this up because I’ve always wondered how you get around it.

    You say that “all life is sacred” as it pertains to abortion, but look the other way when it comes to casualties of war. That is a serious flaw in your argument. Either all life is sacred (as you say) or it’s not. You can’t use the word “all” and only apply it to sitations that fit your need.

    As a supporter of what I deem to be just wars, I recognize that some innocent people will die. I account for that by the promise of a better life for everyone left.

    I look at abortion in the case of rape as the same situation, except there are two innocent victims: the woman and the fetus. I feel the woman is justifed in terminating an unwanted pregnancy for the same reason that I feel war is justified (in some cases) knowing that there will be innocent victims.

    The way I see it, my argument is coherent and contains no contradictions. I can account for both situations. The weakness I see in the pro-life/pro-war stance is that you can’t account for both.

    I’d love for someone to explain this to me. And I will not accept that casualties are unintentional because there are no wars without casualties, so chosing to support any war means knowing there will be casualties and that is enough to denote intention.

  • 41. Administrator  |  July 27th, 2006 at 10:48 pm

    Now that’s a pretty interesting argument, Cantankerous.

  • 42. Josh Schroeder  |  July 28th, 2006 at 2:12 am

    I think the difference is that war is a necessary evil. Sometimes there is no other option than war. War is a reality in an evil world. Sometimes there is no avoiding it. And as I see it, a just war is a war in which you respond to an attack, preempt said strike (within reason), or come to the defense of the defenseless. Sometimes war is inevitable.

    But I don’t think there is ever a circumstance in which abortion is the only option. As I see it, abortion is never inevitable. The only case is health of the mother; but even then a mother has the option of going through with the delivery as a selfless act of love for her child (Yes, yes, I’m a male, I can’t understand, bla bla bla). Nevertheless, abortion is not the only option. I see abortion as an unnecessary evil.

    Rape. Rape is evil. It’s unfortunate that it occurs. I’m sorry that it does. (I wish I didn’t have to start thoughts with five premises so I don’t sound callous.) But unless a woman is subsequently murdered (or seriously emotionally traumatized), or HIV/AIDS is transmitted, rape does not result in death. When a pregnancy occours due to rape, yes, the woman is a victim, though as explained above, she is not a casualty. If a baby conceived in rape is aborted, she or he is not only a victim, but a casualty.

    I believe that in a just war, “innocent” victims are to be avoided as much as is reasonably possible. We do not bomb indiscriminatly, we target specific buildings and so forth. In fact, we bend over backwards to avoid collateral damage. It’s not a detatched “there will be innocent casualties, but that;s ok”, rather, it’s “there will probably and unfortunately be innocent victims, but we will do what we can to prevent that from happening.”

    So that’s “innocent” bystanders, but let’s discuss targets.In terms of all life being sacred, including the life of al-Zarquai, there is a difference between an unborn baby who is developing inside his or her mother and an enemy combatant trying to blow me up or shoot me dead or whatever the case may be. I do think there is a difference between an enemy trying to kill me and a baby just trying to grow. Both are sacred, but only the baby is “innocent.”

    Is is possible for any pregnant woman to prevent innocent victims from being aborted? Apart from extreme exceptions, yes. Don’t abort the baby.

    And pro-war is an inaccurate label, isn’t it? I’m not in favor of war, but I understand that sometimes there is no choice and war must be waged.

    I guess the bottom line is can it be avoided? Not every war can be avoided, but at the risk of sounding unsensitive and uncaring (though neither are true), I think all abortions can be avoided.

  • 43. Izzy  |  July 28th, 2006 at 3:34 pm

    Being a sufferer of infertility myself, I can assure the administrator that I understand the pain, and the feeling of helplessness, loss and unfairness that any woman who wants a child feels when considering the seeming injustice of other people achiving and discarding something I would give anything for.

    But that does give me the right to deny them power over their body because I lack power over my own ability to conceive. I think such a situation makes it even more clear that in some cases, an anti-choice position is accompanied not by morality, but by bitterness, lack of understanding, or desire to have power over others.

  • 44. Josh Schroeder  |  July 28th, 2006 at 11:24 pm

    I’d like to hear your justification for any of the conjecture at the end of the second paragraph. In fact, I’m not willing to entertain bitterness or desire for power, but I will hear you out on lack of understanding.

  • 45. Izzy  |  July 30th, 2006 at 9:28 am

    I had actually intended to write “*doesn’t* give me the right” (unfortunately this blog does not appear to allow revision), but I’m going to assume you also misread it and still would like to hear my response.

    Also, I am not suggesting that all people who are anti-abortion always have an ulterior motive to having these beliefs. But I can understand and sympathize with this. It would be a lie to say that I do not sometimes feel angry and jealous at a woman who, perhaps only through carelessness, has willingly given up something I am trying so hard to acheive. Fertlitiy is essentially random, and the unfairness of it is sometimes a bitter pill to swallow for me, and i’m sure, many others.

    Like I have said in previous posts, I think that some of this debate, particularly the earlier ones in this blog about pre-conception vs. pre-implantation birth control, is confused by lack of understanding, from a biology standpoint. I’m not trying to confound what is a moral issue to some with terminology, or prove I have some expertise — and therefore I must be right — but please bear with me. When an egg is ovulated, it is not a haploid (half the number of human chromosomes) cell, like all the textbooks say. It’s actally in an arrested state of division, but technically, it is not prepared to join with another hapolid cell to form a new 46 chromosome organism. Now imagine the moments leading up to fertilization, where several, even dozens or hundreds, of sperm are enzymatically dissolving their way through the egg’s surrounding cells and membrane until one of these penetrates the last layer first. This sets off a reaction in the egg to harden its membrane and traps all other sperm in place, unable to fertilize it, for obvious reasons. The DNA contained in the “winning” sperm is deposited under the membrane and waits until the egg restarts its arrested cell division to create the necessary haploid cell. Only after half of the genetic material originally contained in the egg is discarded and cell division occurs is the egg’s half-DNA (pronucleus) prepared to join with the sperm’s pronucleus to form a new, unique, human nucleus (the conceptus). After this, the conceptus goes through some cellular events, (going through several physically defined stages, such as morula, blastocyst, and finally embryo) while it’s travelling the length of the fallopian tube and finally enters the uterus to implant.

    I don’t mean condescending with that description, so please don’t take it as such. And that kind of description is available online for anyone to read. I only mean to illustrate that whne you look at the detailed events that happen during fertilization, you really do have to stop and consider when life really begins, if that’s your cut-off point for allowing certain forms of BC. Is it the moment the sperm penetrates the egg, even though the DNA has not actually combined? Is it the moment of the beginning of this combination? Its completion? Consider also that without implantaion into the uterine lining, the chance that this now-embryo will result in a live child is zero. Not “minimal”, not “unlikely”. It is impossible. That’s why the biological definiton of pregnancy is post-implantation.

    If a person is to argue that only the prevention of the creation of a human life — rather than its termination after the fact — is the only moral solution to the issue of unwanted pregnancy, then it is logical to conclude that any measure taken to prevent the event defined as creation is moral. People who believe that potential fertilization is this event recommend abstinence, those who believe that actual fertilization is this event recommend ovulation-prevention medications, barrier methods, etc. I believe that the definition of the “beginning of life” must be one that includes the essential event of implantaion, without which there cannot be continuation of embryonic development. It is up to the individual to decide what specific “life-creating” event this is, but I believe that many poeple have been misled about the biological realities of pregnancy and need this information to make an informed opinion.

    I also think there can be a lack of understanding of what kinds of choice some people have in their sexual behaviour. In a previous post, I mentioned the vague kind of pressure women in general feel, as well as alluded to very specific pressure that women in abusive relationships face. I believe also that the pressure to be sexual for young women now is vastly greater than it was in my own day. Some poeple might not have much empathy for this, if they have never experienced it. But consider that every year, children and young adults go so far as to commit suicide because of isolation, mockery and ostracism. This is how great the pressure is to behave in certain ways, to the point that I would not hesitate to call it outright coersion.

    The United States grants all people the same rights, regardless of gender. This is not true everywhere. Someone could say that they are only concerned about these issues as they occur in the U.S., as these laws would be the only ones we have the power to change anyway. I think this is naive. As a microcosm of the world’s cultures, the U.S. is home to many people of many cultures, some of which are very restrictive to women. Although the rights of U.S. residents are guaranteed by law, conclaves of cultures often exert their own internal judgement and “laws”. Sharia law in some Islamic countries an example of this. It is potentially extremely restrictive to women, and if applied in a small community of like-minded individuals, can render people powerless to exercise their American rights (I’m not intentially singling out Islam, or Muslims, it is simply an example I’m more familiar with. I also understand that some forms of orthodox Judiasm can be extremely restrictive to woman’s rights as well). In certain interpretations of this law, a women who is raped can be convicted of adultery if she is married, and put to death. She can also be forced to marry her rapist to save her the “shame” of her “crime”. In Turkey, a country that is being considered for entry into the European Union, “honour killings” have now been criminilized. These killings involved a man in a family, usually a younger brother, killing a woman in the family who behaved “shamefully”. However, to circumvent the Turkish law, families have now resorted to “honour suicides”. The woman, or rather girl in most cases, is locked up in a room with poison, or a gun, or a knife. She is told by her family that the only way to save the family from shame — and to save her brother from jail — is to kill herself. Her crime? It could be pre-marital sex, but cases reported also included the “crimes” of flirting or wearing jeans.

    Now these might be an extreme examples, and it may seem to be utterly ridiculous to consider something like this happening in the U.S. under the nose of the government or law enforcement (I have no documented evidence that they ever have) but it does happen in countries practising this interpretaion of Islamic law and people import their beliefs when they immigrate. It does not seem impossible to me that these types of underlying attitutes and activities are very much at work below the detection of you, and I, and those responsible for ensuring the American rights of these women.

    If a person beleives that there is never any moral exception for abortion, then you will not be convinced by my post. If, however, a person belives that certain exceptions should be made, such a incest, rape or to save the mother’s life, then my only point in diverging into all of this is to illustrate that I believe it is a mistake to assume that all woman — even in this country and protected by the same laws — have the same power of choice to prevent intercourse or pregnancy, and that the consequence of becoming pregnant may be much more severe than simply having to make a choice.

    I apologize for the length of the post, but thank you for taking the time to read it, and for the willingness to consider my point of view.

  • 46. Cantankerous  |  July 31st, 2006 at 11:01 pm

    Josh,

    I’ve been on vacation, but wanted to get back to you on your comments (if it’s not too late).

    You said:
    I think the difference is that war is a necessary evil. Sometimes there is no other option than war. War is a reality in an evil world. Sometimes there is no avoiding it.

    I say: I don’t believe that we will see a world without rape. Do you? Do you think that tomorrow, or in ten years, or hundred that rape will no longer exist?

    You say that war is a necessary evil. If war is the necessary evil of an inevitable situation that is caused by the misdeeds of others as the reality in an evil world, and it will result in the loss of innocent lives, then I say (some) abortions are a necessary evil that result from the inevitable situation that is caused by the misdeeds of others and will result in the loss of an innocent embryo.

    The reality is we use war to make right a situation that was caused by immoral people, knowing that innocent lives will be lost.

    It’s my opinion that the reality is we use abortion to make right a situation that was caused by an immoral person knowing that an innocent embryo will be lost.

    al-Zarquai has no bearing on this argument. I am not discussing the enemy. I am discussing the civilians that inevitably find themselves in the middle of wars.

    I also feel that the ability to target has no bearing here, either. Knowing that innocent people will die in a war and supporting that war anyway is intention. You do not have to point a gun at that person and pull the trigger for it to be intention.

    Example: I predict that in spite of the US ability to target weapons, a 9 year old Iraqi boy will die in the war as a result of shrapnel. Do you think, Josh, that perhaps that has already happened? I would be that it has. The point being, if I decide that I can support the war then I have to have a basis for that 9 year old Iraqi boy to die and for my morals to withstand it.

    Do I condone the death of a 9 year old boy? As you said, I am not pro-war, but I am pro-freedom. If I feel that for a peoples to obtain their freedom, some innocent lives may be lost, then I can be okay with that decision.

    The minute a woman is forced to bear a child that was implanted in her body by a rapist, her freedom has been stolen. I cannot support that. While I don’t condone abortion, I cannot and will not ever argue that an innocent life can’t be taken in the name of freedom.

    Jenna calls me pro-abortion. That term is misleading, as is the term pro-war. I think what I outlined above explains just why.

    I hope this better explains how in my moral theory I can support a war, support a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy (given certain conditions) and still have respect for life.

  • 47. Josh Schroeder  |  July 31st, 2006 at 11:38 pm

    Tank, I’ll have to chew on that for a couple of days. My mind is pretty fried; I should have a response by Friday AM.

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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