Video: What is the libertarian position on abortion?

posted at 3:48 pm on June 15, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

My friends Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch from Reason Magazine are inviting people to submit questions on libertarianism, which the two will answer in video responses, in order to promote their new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong with America, due out on June 28th.  I decided to ask about abortion (as did National Review’s Mark Hemingway), which is a tough question for libertarians.  On one hand, they usually don’t like government intrusion on medical decisions of any sort, but the reliance on individual rights poses a conundrum for the unquestionably human in utero.  As I framed it in my private tweet to Nick — sans crotch shot, I can assure you — if we can abort human beings, why can’t government treat individuals in a utilitarian manner in any other context?

Nick and Matt provide a thoughtful, measured response in this video:

I have to say, I appreciate the approach they took in this response, and there is much to consider in it. In the end, I believe that one cannot draw a “sliding scale of humanity” before birth without allowing for one afterward. There is no difference in the individuality or humanity of the child in the womb, which starts at fertilization with a complete and unique DNA set, and whose growth scientifically demonstrates its individual (although dependent) life. The only difference along that sliding scale is the utility of the being. If utility is an overriding issue in this context, it would certainly allow for utility as a consideration for other people to dictate control over individuals in other private contexts as well, such as health care at a minimum, at least conceptually. But I certainly appreciate the thoughtful discussion of the issue, and I’ll be interested to see what more they have to say on the subject.

 

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You state that simple majorities are the standard for “most” democratic action. That seems to concede that it is not the standard for all. If a supermajority can be required for some democratic remedies why wouldn’t this clearly be an arena of such fundamental importance as to require one?

You’re becoming tedious. I told you that the burden of changing the Constitution lies with those who want to, you know, change it. Not with those who don’t.

As well, congress has not legislated – nor has SCOTUS – if they are recognizing what is believed to be a fundamental right within the constitution itself. Rather they are restricted from legislating or ruling about just such things. In that sense Roe would clearly be limiting the power of the state and the courts.

Yes, and I stated my opinion that they exceeded their jurisdiction.

it’s not entirely clear that individual states within the union would have such recourse under all the positions staked out within Libertarianism. Certainly an argument can and has been made by others for it to be a unitary matter. As well – posse comitatus is neither here nor there as far as state monopolies on violence are concerned. The military is simply and flatly not the only means for committing state violence and clearly has nothing to do with state violence when it comes to death row executions.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Once again, I explained that aside from violations of Federal laws, the state have police powers within our borders. I am not going to keep repeating myself for your entertainment. Either introduce a new line of argument or just say you don’t agree and be done with it.

MJBrutus on June 15, 2011 at 5:26 PM

With all due respect to Mr. Morrissey and the Catholic church (i.e., some respect to Morrissey, zero to the Catholic church), that position is blatantly immoral. “Greater love hath no one, than he who lays down his life for another.” Since time began, It has been a truth, universally accepted, that sacrificing oneself for another is a virtue. For a mother to choose her own life over her child’s is so patently selfish I can’t believe I have to explain it.

The Catholic church panders to its parishioners, all for the sake of The Almighty Dollar. Too bad Ed can’t/won’t admit it.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 5:21 PM

this a misunderstanding of clear Catholic doctrine. Catholic teaching does not permit abortion – it permits the doctor to take actions whose primary goal is to save the life of the mother where termination of the pregnancy is an incidental matter. this does not permit abortions as such.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 5:27 PM

That’s because he’s not a libertarian, but a paleoconservative.

MadisonConservative on June 15, 2011 at 5:00 PM

I would agree. I would also describe myself as more of a paleocon than a libertarian. But for all intents and purposes, the two camps have merged lately under the banner of libertarianism and that’s why candidates like Ron Paul have been able to gain more traction. Together we’re able to have a much bigger presence than we would if libertarians and paleos remained apart over petty differences.

Nelsen on June 15, 2011 at 5:28 PM

But if abortion is comparable to murder, shouldn’t miscarriage be comparable to other types of death?

MadisonConservative on June 15, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Depends on how feasible that even is. Can we determine cause of death with a miscarriage? We investigate SIDs babies, but we don’t charge the parents anything if their infant dies because of it. People do die of natural causes, and miscarriages are often no more than this.

Some do. Some women drink or smoke while pregnant, or do other activities that could cause the miscarriage. Lots of accidents due to neglectful behavior. Why shouldn’t those cases be treated as crimes? Culpability in a world where life legally starts at conception could have a tremendous impact on the courts.

MadisonConservative on June 15, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Potentially, sure, but smoking and drinking don’t necessarily lead to miscarriages. In fact, some doctors are now saying having a few drinks (even one every day, or something else that sounds insane) later in the pregnancy can actually be healthy.

As to laws concerning behaviors that may only affect the health of the baby, not whether or not it survives pregnancy, I imagine we’re already working out what we think about that, particularly with smoking laws.

Esthier on June 15, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Even Catholics, such as Ed, the author of this blog post and thread, accepts an exception to their position on abortion in cases where the life of the mother is threatened by continuing the pregnancy through its term.

Jens on June 15, 2011 at 5:12 PM

The life of the mother, yes. The progs on the other hand claim a right to abortion in case the health of the mother is threatened. That exceptionally broad exception allows mothers to claim that they will really be depressed if they have a baby because their social life will suffer, and therefore they must have an abortion.

In any case, there are precious few cases where the life of the mother is truly in jeopardy from continuing a pregnancy or having a cesarean birth.

slickwillie2001 on June 15, 2011 at 5:30 PM

We are actually seeing the minimization of abortion as a major issue in American politics. (Gillespie)

That will make the millions of children being slaughtered feel much better.

itsnotaboutme on June 15, 2011 at 5:31 PM

And for you pseudo-intellectuals hiding behind the “big-L” label, what part of

…endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life…

don’t you understand? Government has no right to control your life, you say. But you have the “liberty” to deny another human those rights endowed by their Creator?

Ok, let’s talk about when “life” begins. The favored definition by pro-life Libertarians is “when the baby is viable to live separate from the mother”. Well, babies have survived ex-utero at as little as 9 weeks of term. In many cases, pregnancy isn’t confirmed until near of after that point. You simply cannot craft a sliding scale which can clearly set a threshhold. Absent that, the only rational default consistent with the intent of the Law is conception.

As for the insidious and shameful arguments about criminalizing unintended miscarriages, I can only have pity anyone willing to use such sad rhetorical devices.

Freelancer on June 15, 2011 at 5:31 PM

This is a revolting and despicable statement, in my opinion.

MadisonConservative on June 15, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Your opinion is no more valuable to this discussion than Nick’s.

My statements are grounded in universally-accepted truth (self-sacrifice is a virtue). Your opinion is the end result of being unable to accept the consequences of truth.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 5:33 PM

I just watched the video, Ed, and I can’t agree with your analysis. They completely evaded the question. The one on the right acknowledged that their position is illogical and evasive, and basically said that he’d prefer to just stick with that for the time being.

joe_doufu on June 15, 2011 at 5:33 PM

don’t you understand? Government has no right to control your life, you say. But you have the “liberty” to deny another human those rights endowed by their Creator?

Ok, let’s talk about when “life” begins. The favored definition by pro-life Libertarians is “when the baby is viable to live separate from the mother”. Well, babies have survived ex-utero at as little as 9 weeks of term. In many cases, pregnancy isn’t confirmed until near of after that point. You simply cannot craft a sliding scale which can clearly set a threshhold. Absent that, the only rational default consistent with the intent of the Law is conception.

As a staunchly pro-life, socially conservative libertarian, I would agree with this completely.

Nelsen on June 15, 2011 at 5:34 PM

This video is one reason why Losertarians will always hover around 2% of the population, a 2% that would better serve the USA as registered Republicans.

itsnotaboutme on June 15, 2011 at 5:34 PM

i agree that a new person begins at conception.

what else is being conceived if it is not a life?

but – for those of us who also believe that the soul is independent of the body – and eternal, well… maybe we have to ask when does the SOUL enter the body?

maybe a person’s soul doesn’t enter the body in the womb?

or maybe only after the 5th week or…20th or ???

i dunno.

but i think that believers have to think about this.

yes yes yes: the simplest answer is that all abortions should be banned.and from natural law POV maybe, too. since – as you say – a unique person does begin at the moment of conception.

but the so-called Old Testament reveals that the soul enters later.

reliapundit on June 15, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Libertarianism is close to antinomianism.

A fine line between self-determination and anarchy.

The unborn deserve the rights we all should enjoy: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Abortion is murder.

“Pro-choice” is just a euphemism for muder.

davidk on June 15, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Libertarians who support abortion because they don’t consider the fetus human or fully human might as well just give in eugenics as well. Kill all the special needs people first, who can’t support themselves, and then the undesirables next.

Daemonocracy on June 15, 2011 at 5:35 PM

With all due respect to Mr. Morrissey and the Catholic church (i.e., some respect to Morrissey, zero to the Catholic church), that position is blatantly immoral. “Greater love hath no one, than he who lays down his life for another.” Since time began, It has been a truth, universally accepted, that sacrificing oneself for another is a virtue. For a mother to choose her own life over her child’s is so patently selfish I can’t believe I have to explain it.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 5:21 PM

If it’s immoral NOT to sacrifice yourself, then you can’t logically claim it’s some virtue to sacrifice yourself. And it certainly wouldn’t show some “greater love,” if it was meant to be the standard.

Esthier on June 15, 2011 at 5:36 PM

this a misunderstanding of clear Catholic doctrine. Catholic teaching does not permit abortion – it permits the doctor to take actions whose primary goal is to save the life of the mother where termination of the pregnancy is an incidental matter. this does not permit abortions as such.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 5:27 PM

How can you type that with a straight face?

Oh yeah. We’re talking about the same idol-worshipping cult that can differentiate “divorce” and “annulment” with a straight face.

Barf.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 5:37 PM

why do conservatives allow for exceptions, always including preference for the life of the mother over the life of the conceived, up to allowances for rape and incest, crimes which are not the fault of the conceived by any measurement?

I don’t make exceptions. I used to, until someone asked me, in the case of rape, why the child should get the death penalty for the crime of the father.

Then I married a man who was adopted at age one. He was reunited with his birth mother shortly after we were married, and we discovered that he was the product of a rape. The true victim here was his birth mother. But by choosing to give my husband life, she avoided a double tragedy. She lives with a clear conscience and mightily enjoys being a grandmother to our three children.

parteagirl on June 15, 2011 at 5:38 PM

parteagirl on June 15, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Heartwarming. Thanks for sharing.

davidk on June 15, 2011 at 5:41 PM

You’re becoming tedious

Either introduce a new line of argument or just say you don’t agree and be done with it.

MJBrutus on June 15, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Be calm. I believe I’ve introduced a line of argument (that isn’t mine) that you haven’t fully acknowledged.

I explained that aside from violations of Federal laws, the state have police powers within our borders.

In as much as executions are retributive they are not police powers as such. They are distinct acts of violence restricted to state. These might be said to devolve to the individual states but it is by no means clear that they would with a consistent Libertarian state.

I told you that the burden of changing the Constitution lies with those who want to, you know, change it. Not with those who don’t.

Again – this simply flatly ignores the argument of those who believe that Roe recognized a restriction on such actions of the state. If, in fact, Roe does that it would seem to demand a constitutional amendment in order to permit state regulation and oversight over an area in which they do not currently enjoy jurisdiction. Broadening of state power would seem to call for amendment rather than merely legislation.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 5:42 PM

If it’s immoral NOT to sacrifice yourself, then you can’t logically claim it’s some virtue to sacrifice yourself. And it certainly wouldn’t show some “greater love,” if it was meant to be the standard.

Esthier on June 15, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Um, that is illogical on its face. Everyone has the choice every minute of every day to act morally or immorally. “Do I kill that guy, or don’t I? Do I steal the office supplies or don’t I?” Some choose to act morally, some don’t. We assign virtue to those who choose to act morally.

One’s “standard” is not a virtue. How one chooses to act, regardless of the currently fashionable standard, is the test of virtue. Or perhaps you don’t believe in immutable truth?

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 5:21 PM

I usually don’t defend the Roman Catholic Cult but their position on this is defensible. In life one does not always choose the ‘greatest love’ but the other choices may also entail love for her husband, her parents and possibly her other children.

Annar on June 15, 2011 at 5:44 PM

slickwillie2001 on June 15, 2011 at 5:30 PM

“Precious few” still means “there exist” exceptions. Therefore, even you accept that there is a difference between the unborn and the born, with a preference for the born. Because you and I both know that if the mother would die without a heart transplant and the only donor that would work was her living, born, child, there is no way we would prefer the life of the mother over the life of the child.

So, again, do you want the government to decide on this moral issue, or should we leave it to our own conscience?

Jens on June 15, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Heartwarming. Thanks for sharing.

davidk on June 15, 2011 at 5:41 PM

You’re welcome. Our first born’s middle name is the name she gave my husband before she put him up for adoption,( which his adoptive family changed.) We wanted to, in a small way, honor her for choosing life. She cried for joy when we told her on the day he was born.

parteagirl on June 15, 2011 at 5:46 PM

How can you type that with a straight face?

Oh yeah. We’re talking about the same idol-worshipping cult that can differentiate “divorce” and “annulment” with a straight face.

Barf.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 5:37 PM

I’m not a practicing Catholic but I can see the clear distinction there. Intent is vital when determining the difference between murder and manslaughter for example. The same would appear to apply here.

Divorce and annulment are also clearly distinct – divorce is dissolution of a marriage while annulment is the recognition that a valid marriage was never entered in to. These are vital distinctions.

I may not be Catholic but I wouldn’t accuse them of inconsistency.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Again – this simply flatly ignores the argument of those who believe that Roe recognized a restriction on such actions of the state. If, in fact, Roe does that it would seem to demand a constitutional amendment in order to permit state regulation and oversight over an area in which they do not currently enjoy jurisdiction. Broadening of state power would seem to call for amendment rather than merely legislation.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 5:42 PM

For the last time and then say what you want I’m done with you. I have argued that Roe was a flawed decision. Because of the SCOTUS’s error, yes we must resort to a Constitutional amendment if we are to implement a Democratic solution. This, IMHO, wrongfully places an all but insurmountable burden on the people to enact a law regarding the (il)legality of the procedure. The SCOTUS robbed us of our ability make laws at the state level and with simple majorities.

The SCOTUS ruled and that is now the law of our land. I do not dispute that. I am saying that they acted wrongly and that we are paying a massive price in terms of social harmony because we are no longer free to decide this issue at the state level and by simple majorities. It is the single issue most responsible for tearing this nation apart.

MJBrutus on June 15, 2011 at 5:50 PM

This issue trips up most Libertarians.

I respect the minority of Libertarians that stand unabashedly pro-life and premise their arguments on the very foundations that hold up all Libertarian thought.

The majority, however, must rely on emotion and/or illogic as a basis for their position.

I used to be a Libertarian, and I always thought then, as I do now, that the Libertarian non-position on abortion, is what has truly been the underbelly that the party has built itself around, which IMHO weakens it. Libertarians fool themselves into believing that the “non-position” is a benign treatment since the issue is much to “complex”.

The truth is, if those in utero began to win the legal battle for the most basic right to human liberty, you would see a plethora of libertarians move to force the Libertarian platform, which would be chaos. A more likely scenario would see them fly back into the hands of the Left, which would clear the rank and file of a huge number of Libertarians.

Saltysam on June 15, 2011 at 5:50 PM

I usually don’t defend the Roman Catholic Cult but their position on this is defensible. In life one does not always choose the ‘greatest love’ but the other choices may also entail love for her husband, her parents and possibly her other children.

Annar on June 15, 2011 at 5:44 PM

So, if I choose to kill a man because of my greater love for his wife, it’s just peachy with you, right?

No, I’m not serious. I’m just pointing out that making a choice on the basis of “love” is a slope just as slippery as any other. Our morality must be grounded in immutable truth, or we are kidding ourselves.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 5:51 PM

I usually don’t defend the Roman Catholic Cult

Annar on June 15, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Which cult do you usually defend?

MJBrutus on June 15, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Um, that is illogical on its face. Everyone has the choice every minute of every day to act morally or immorally. “Do I kill that guy, or don’t I? Do I steal the office supplies or don’t I?” Some choose to act morally, some don’t. We assign virtue to those who choose to act morally.

I didn’t say morally vs. immorally. I said it can’t be immoral not to do something but then counted as a virtue or proof of “greater love” then if you do it.

If I don’t kill someone, that might mean I’m not immoral, but it doesn’t make me virtuous or show that I have “greater love” for the person I didn’t kill.

One’s “standard” is not a virtue. How one chooses to act, regardless of the currently fashionable standard, is the test of virtue. Or perhaps you don’t believe in immutable truth?

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Irrelevant. Honestly, I could sum this up with a Chris Rock skit. You don’t praise people who do what they’re supposed to do. You don’t praise a man for being a father to his child. That’s what he’s supposed to do. You don’t praise him for having a job. That’s what he’s supposed to do.

Esthier on June 15, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Our morality must be grounded in immutable truth, or we are kidding ourselves.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 5:51 PM

I think you have a hard case to prove if you are arguing that the Catholic church isn’t using immutable truth as its basis for these sorts of distinctions. Aquinas is very clear on these matters.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 5:56 PM

I may not be Catholic but I wouldn’t accuse them of inconsistency.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Nor would I. They consistently twist scripture to their own ends.

You won’t find the Catholic church’s criteria for a “valid marriage” anywhere in the Bible, nor their justification for killing babies. The Catholic church is a cult with a human high priest — a position which God conferred upon Jesus at the resurrection. Thus all Popes are false prophets, and all those who give him their allegiance are blind to Truth.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Shouldn’t believers take a miscarriage be a divinely approved termination of life indicating that their god has no problem with abortion before birth?

Annar on June 15, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Does this actually make sense to you, or are you just messing with us? Because people die of natural causes all the time. Are believers supposed to take that as a sign that murder is OK?

Finally, all of the Tea Party sorts can realize that they’re only “small l” Libertarians.

Actual Libertarian philosophy is really NOT where most of you guys are on social issues like abortion or gay marriage.

Vyce on June 15, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Did you actually watch the video? It wasn’t hard to follow.

Esthier on June 15, 2011 at 5:59 PM

The SCOTUS robbed us of our ability make laws at the state level and with simple majorities.

Whats not clear to me is your basis for determining that matters of life and death should be handled at the most local level possible by simple majorities when everything else in our legal system seems to suggest otherwise – the higher burden of proof for criminal cases, the unanimity of the juries required as opposed to civil cases, the need to clear the hurdle of a grand jury for such criminal prosecutions, etc. Why would this matter devolve to control by individual states when it seems to be a matter of what constitutes the powers of the state?

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Aquinas is very clear on these matters.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 5:56 PM

And God is even more clear. You choose your authority, and I’ll choose mine.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 6:01 PM

For a mother to choose her own life over her child’s is so patently selfish I can’t believe I have to explain it.

And if the Father had just died himself, and the mother whose health is threatened carrying to full term already has children to raise, and the embryo suffers complications warning of likely inability to survive after birth, you’d curse the mother for attempting to carry on the best she can for her responsibilities as she decides.

Usually under those circumstances, miscarriages occur spontaneously without any pharmaceutical stimulation or surgical intervention.

I don’t believe in abortion. Prevention of pregnancy would seem the logical solution, avoiding the need to eliminate what one created. Teaching youth that life is sacred seems the ultimate challenge. They embrace the Green Religion, but reject the point that has always challenged humanity, balancing self interest with respect for life and the rights of others.

Aside from abstinence (100% prevention each time practiced), or getting tubes sliced and tied, or wearing condoms (some unintended pregnancies), other convenient Rx “preventive” measures still terminate the life begun when the sperm impregnated the egg, effecting a death blow to the fertilized egg. And yes, in nature life begins when an egg is fertilized or a seed is fertilized. Make up names for the life form if that’s your fetish; but nature’s life cycle begins with fertilization of the seed.

Abortion is a personal choice, not because I believe it’s right or wrong. But there’s no reasonable way to prosecute females for having had an abortion. The State and Federal Governments won’t even deport illegal aliens. How on earth would tax payers fund prisons for females who had abortions? How would imprisoning a female for abortion “win the heart and mind” of the offender? We have our free will to exercise independently.

So far as abortion goes, I’m opposed to it, preferring personal aid through voluntary charitable organizations PRIVATELY FUNDED enabling so-called “unwanted” pregnancies to come to full-term (I promote the adoption option be available for single mothers). I oppose my taxes being used to fund clinics that offer abortion.

I wouldn’t go so far as to make abortions illegal. I would preach against them, though. Furthermore, on such social conservative trains of thought, I would retain the legal definition of “marriage between a man and a woman”, but I would never go so far as to prosecute a gay/lesbian couple for choosing to celebrate their union with a wedding.

What matters to me is that clinics performing abortions not be rewarded any tax funds. Rather, private abortion clinics should exist on their own financial merit, independent of public funds. Regarding the detail of insurance, policies probably should have whether or not one wants their opportunity to have abortion covered in their privately AND VOLUNTARILY purchased insurance policy.

maverick muse on June 15, 2011 at 6:03 PM

The only logical action is to install the death penalty for any woman who has an abortion.

Pablo Honey on June 15, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Nor would I. They consistently twist scripture to their own ends.

You won’t find the Catholic church’s criteria for a “valid marriage” anywhere in the Bible, nor their justification for killing babies. The Catholic church is a cult with a human high priest — a position which God conferred upon Jesus at the resurrection. Thus all Popes are false prophets, and all those who give him their allegiance are blind to Truth.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Says the guy whose handle suggests chronic problems with toilet accuracy.

I’ve read a lot of florid arguments in my time, but raging against the beadsqueezers for their soft stance on abortion is a new one.

DRPrice on June 15, 2011 at 6:05 PM

You won’t find the Catholic church’s criteria for a “valid marriage” anywhere in the Bible, nor their justification for killing babies. The Catholic church is a cult with a human high priest — a position which God conferred upon Jesus at the resurrection. Thus all Popes are false prophets, and all those who give him their allegiance are blind to Truth.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 5:59 PM

I understand your personal religious beliefs. What is not clear is why any other should clearly believe this. As a non-Christian the Catholic criteria for a valid marriage seems to be entirely based on scripture and the non-admissability of divorce seems to be solely based upon the words of the Christ himself rather than Old Testament and Talmudic law which both clearly permit divorce and even describe the circumstances under which it may happen.

The strict condemnation against abortion may also be said to be safely in place in as much as you are not permitted to conduct any action whose direct intent is to terminate the life of a conceived child.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 6:05 PM

And God is even more clear. You choose your authority, and I’ll choose mine.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 6:01 PM

I’m not a Catholic so I’m not choosing their authority. They have also not chosen Aquinas as a sole authority and I apologize for any statement that seemed to suggest that. I merely meant to refer to the arguments of Aquinas.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 6:07 PM

And God is even more clear. You choose your authority, and I’ll choose mine.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 6:01 PM

God didn’t tell you that Catholics ignore immutable laws. You made that up yourself.

Esthier on June 15, 2011 at 6:09 PM

The only logical action is to install the death penalty for any woman who has an abortion.

Pablo Honey on June 15, 2011 at 6:03 PM

The only logical action is to charge someone with assault who kills the baby when hitting a pregnant woman?

Saltysam on June 15, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Whats not clear to me is your basis for determining that matters of life and death should be handled at the most local level possible by simple majorities when everything else in our legal system seems to suggest otherwise – the higher burden of proof for criminal cases, the unanimity of the juries required as opposed to civil cases, the need to clear the hurdle of a grand jury for such criminal prosecutions, etc. Why would this matter devolve to control by individual states when it seems to be a matter of what constitutes the powers of the state?

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 6:00 PM

What are you talking about? There is no Federal law against murder, it is prohibited at the state level (except for a small number of Federal crimes). The penalties are established by the states as well. The states are restricted by the BoR in terms of rules of evidence and jury trials. Congress is not empowered to change that either. And WTF does this argument have to do with the topic of this thread or anything that’s been said?

I broke my own word and replied to you. I’m ashamed and embarrassed. I felt the need to point out these basic facts just because they point out your incredible ignorance of our system of government and justify my ignoring further objections/arguments from you.

MJBrutus on June 15, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Then why bother even entering the discussion?

MadisonConservative

Because I wanted to point out to the pro-choice libertarians that their stance is gutless politically correct garbage if their goal is to protect individual liberties. Thanks for asking so I could say it twice.

Benaiah on June 15, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Actual Libertarian philosophy is really NOT where most of you guys are on social issues like abortion or gay marriage.

“Libertarians” have as varied views as “conservatives” have varied views.

Ed started the piece with a sort of referential point, “what would our Libertarian Founding Fathers do?” Generally speaking, pregnancies followed their own due course without a surgeon purposely inflicting damage to the unborn child.

Today, it’s still a general Libertarian view that one’s private life is not the business of government to dictate.

I suppose the traditional exception to that rule is the call to arms; but even there, military service was voluntary during the American Revolution, and men signed up for short term campaigns, not for the duration of a war.

maverick muse on June 15, 2011 at 6:12 PM

God didn’t tell you that Catholics ignore immutable laws. You made that up yourself.

Esthier on June 15, 2011 at 6:09 PM

I wrote immutable truth, not laws. And no, I didn’t make up the Bible myself. I appreciate the compliment, though.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 6:13 PM

I wrote immutable truth, not laws. And no, I didn’t make up the Bible myself. I appreciate the compliment, though.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Laws, not truth, my mistake. But otherwise, you have a severe reading comprehension problem. I’d diagram my previous sentence if it would help, but I have a feeling you’re doing this on purpose.

Esthier on June 15, 2011 at 6:16 PM

Since time began, It has been a truth, universally accepted, that sacrificing oneself for another is a virtue.

(Citation needed.)

Centerfire on June 15, 2011 at 6:18 PM

I broke my own word and replied to you. I’m ashamed and embarrassed.

Thats your damage not mine. Nothing obligates you to respond to me or address questions – but they are just that. Questions. Your position seems unclear to me and I’m attempting to draw it and have it clearly explicated.

and justify my ignoring further objections/arguments from you.

MJBrutus on June 15, 2011 at 6:10 PM

To whom are you justifying this and why?

There is no Federal law against murder, it is prohibited at the state level (except for a small number of Federal crimes). The penalties are established by the states as well. The states are restricted by the BoR in terms of rules of evidence and jury trials. Congress is not empowered to change that either. And WTF does this argument have to do with the topic of this thread or anything that’s been said?

The fact that there are no Federal laws against murder seems to have more to do with incorporation of English common law which forbids it than any lack or jurisdiction for the Federal state. That the Federal government has deferred to the states doesn’t seem to imply that the Federal state MUST defer such crimes and punishment to the individual states – merely that it is expedient to do so.

As far as how this relates to the topic at hand – it’s my understanding that there is a basic Libertarian assumption granting the state a monopoly on all violence that is not committed in self-defense. Is this not true? If true, wouldn’t that seem to suggest that abortion, if it’s an act of violence against an individual, would fall into regulation and oversight by the state? Since it’s a fundamental issue of human rights protected by the state wouldn’t this be a unitary matter requiring a common stand as to what constitutes the powers of the state?

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Pablo honey-

Just like we do now when someone kills someone?

Nice try at argumentative fallacy #52.

Really you are ugly .

CW on June 15, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Good to know everyone including libertarians can support killing the most innocent.

/

CW on June 15, 2011 at 6:20 PM

DRPrice on June 15, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Agreed. Most protestants I know allow for exceptions in cases of rape and incest (though not all). I picked ‘Catholic’ because the church’s list of exceptions with regard to abortion seemed smallest of the Christians. Splashman surprised me.

Jens on June 15, 2011 at 6:20 PM

A weaselly answer.

Libertarianism doesn’t involve a right to homicide. Nor is a fetus a fingernail. And, as for the “dependence” issue – that fits a lot of thirty year olds these days. And it can’t be a “sliding scale.” It’s a sure way down the road to picking favorites.

My libertarian rule book goes like this: 1) you can do whatever you want, and 2) you can’t hurt anybody else.

I don’t think anybody has a “right to life.” You don’t have a right not to fall of a cliff. You don’t have a right not to slip in the bathtub. You don’t have a right not to get trampled by a bull. (And, you sure as hell don’t have a right to healthcare.)

You do, however, have the right not to have someone deprive you of that life. Hence, abortion is wrong – regardless of whether it’s legal or not.

Pablo Snooze on June 15, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Beadsqueezers? Really?

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 6:28 PM

This is a pretty poor dodge. At the same time they rely on the popularity of the answer to indicate the answer (saying only 30% of libertarians are pro-life).

They rely specifically on “intuitive” emotion to derive an answer rather than reason (saying that emotion should decide who (or what group of human cells to all purposes destined to be a human being) is alive and who may be allowed to be born.

And they rely on changes in technology (mischaracterized as changes in “science”, as if we’ve discovered through science the truer nature of what it is to be human) to blur historical distinctions and to mischaracterize a clear (though certainly not the only) social understanding of life and humanity.

Technology does not change the nature of what it is to be a human being or speak to the propriety of abortion any more than it changes the argument for or against infanticide. After all, infanticide was once mandated in some societies, but few people are openly arguing this today. The Romans knew that it was a baby inside, complete with full human potential and rights, when they performed the first so-called caesarian section; and the Bible clearly refers to a pregnant woman as being “with child”, with the fetus still being in utero. To claim that the notion of birth changes from century to century is patently false.

It’s one thing to take a position on an issue, but it’s another thing to argue so sloppily. It’s always a diversionary deception to refer to a “litmus test”, a term which these speakers use repeatedly. The litmus test is a matter of chemistry. When one uses the term in political conversation, it is shorthand for attempting to reduce an important and thorny issue to a position of irrelevance. And it is usually a diversionary tactic, used as a pejorative to color any dispute as biased or counter-productive.

flicker on June 15, 2011 at 6:29 PM

Centerfire on June 15, 2011 at 6:18 PM

heh, back to “mother’s instinct” or the lack thereof regarding responsible sex vs. careless impregnation and thoughtless abortion.

maverick muse on June 15, 2011 at 6:29 PM

Laws, not truth, my mistake. But otherwise, you have a severe reading comprehension problem. I’d diagram my previous sentence if it would help, but I have a feeling you’re doing this on purpose.

Esthier on June 15, 2011 at 6:16 PM

C’mon now. I was using a light-hearted method of pointing out that I was comparing Catholic doctrine to the Bible, not to my own opinions, as you implied (“You just made that up”).

As I wrote earlier, an obvious example is that the Catholic criteria for a “valid marriage” are not present in the Bible. Thus “annulment” is a blatant attempt to get around God’s clearly-stated position on the subject, so as to not offend monied parishioners.

It’s similar for abortion, idol worship, the Pope, and many other issues. The Catholic church has chosen human authority over God’s.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 6:29 PM

abortion is wrong – regardless of whether it’s legal or not.

Pablo Snooze on June 15, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Most people know it and most don’t care. We are sick.

CW on June 15, 2011 at 6:33 PM

As I wrote earlier, an obvious example is that the Catholic criteria for a “valid marriage” are not present in the Bible.

But they are clearly present. They clearly cite the scriptures they appeal to in their catechism and, additionally, they make positive arguments for why this should be the case.

If there are specific circumstances which must be met in order to sanctify a marriage it seems obvious that no marriage exists if those conditions are not met. This would clearly make an annulment a very different creature from divorce which is the dissolution of an existing marriage.

If the system of annulments has been abused by moneyed parishes and enabled by weak bishops this does not invalidate the underlying ideas – rather it suggests the need for reform of the institutions that promulgate annulments.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 6:34 PM

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Come back after you learn the difference between the death penalty and murder. And also after you read my earlier posts in this thread regarding why some libertarians are pro-choice and others pro-life and why they are to varying extents.

MJBrutus on June 15, 2011 at 6:35 PM

Since time began, It has been a truth, universally accepted, that sacrificing oneself for another is a virtue.

(Citation needed.)

Centerfire on June 15, 2011 at 6:18 PM

Heh. In other words, you agree but don’t want to admit it.

With some folks, truth loses out to personal interest (or “privacy”). The virtuous sacrifice personal interest for the sake of Truth.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 6:37 PM

Come back after you learn the difference between the death penalty and murder. And also after you read my earlier posts in this thread regarding why some libertarians are pro-choice and others pro-life and why they are to varying extents.

MJBrutus on June 15, 2011 at 6:35 PM

I did read your posts which is exactly why I’m asking these questions. The death penalty and murder are both distinct acts with different intents and outcomes but both are also acts of violence committed against the individual. Or are you suggesting that execution and the termination of criminal life are not acts of violence committed by the state against an individual? That would go a long way towards explaining some of the distinctions you might be drawing but I don’t believe that is what you are arguing.

My understanding of Libertarian ideas at least suggest that the death penalty is only properly handled when done within the confines of a state monopoly on violence against individuals. Is this not the argument made by most Libertarians?

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 6:41 PM

If the system of annulments has been abused by moneyed parishes and enabled by weak bishops this does not invalidate the underlying ideas – rather it suggests the need for reform of the institutions that promulgate annulments.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 6:34 PM

And therein lies the problem. Scripture that is twisted ninety degrees to support one perversion can be easily twisted a full one-eighty to support other perversions.

You have Catholic lenses on. Anything that gets between you and the truth is dangerous.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 6:42 PM

light-hearted method

Nothing you’ve posted has been light-hearted. You’ve done nothing but insult Catholics this entire thread. I don’t understand how you can read the Bible and come to the conclusion that this is OK. If this somehow involves your version of immutable truth, then it is indeed your version.

Thus “annulment” is a blatant attempt to get around God’s clearly-stated position on the subject, so as to not offend monied parishioners.

God’s clearly stated position is that marriage be final and that only death will part those who God joined together. But we both know that God allowed divorce because the times changed, and he saw that without it, women would be left in the perilous position of being abandoned by their husbands and left with nothing.

So the concept of immutability in regards to marriage is already a bit shaky. If God saw it fit to change the institution of marriage in order to help a wronged woman, an argument can easily be made in favor of further help if that wronged woman was also tricked into marriage by fraud.

The Catholic church has chosen human authority over God’s.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 6:29 PM

The sad truth is that we all do. Some because we truly don’t know any better and some just because we’re imperfect, vile sinners who’d rather do things our own way.

But you make that argument by actually making the argument, not insulting a large group of people, including the author of this article.

Esthier on June 15, 2011 at 6:43 PM

With all due respect to Mr. Morrissey and the Catholic church (i.e., some respect to Morrissey, zero to the Catholic church), that position is blatantly immoral. “Greater love hath no one, than he who lays down his life for another.” Since time began, It has been a truth, universally accepted, that sacrificing oneself for another is a virtue. For a mother to choose her own life over her child’s is so patently selfish I can’t believe I have to explain it.

The Catholic church panders to its parishioners, all for the sake of The Almighty Dollar. Too bad Ed can’t/won’t admit it.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 5:21 PM

.
Our worthy host may speak for himself but if I understand you Mr. Splashman, then you have Catholic Doctrine backwards and condemn the Catholic Church unjustly.

Excerpts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on Life, Abortion, and Euthanasia (#2258-2262; 2268-2279)
Article 5
THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT

Abortion
.
2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.(71)
.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. (72)
.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth .(73)
.
2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:
.
You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish .(74)
.
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.(75)
.
2272 Formal co-operation in an abortion constitutes a grave offence. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. ‘A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae’ (76) ‘by the very commission of the offence’, (77) and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law . (78) The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.
.
2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:

Mike OMalley on June 15, 2011 at 6:44 PM

You have Catholic lenses on. Anything that gets between you and the truth is dangerous.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 6:42 PM

I’m not Catholic. I’m Buddhist. I say these things as an outsider to the Christian faith. As an outsider they seem to very clearly draw and communicate their scriptural arguments and these distinctions. The fact that you don’t acknowledge the distinctions and seem to somehow believe there is no basis in Christian scripture when they constantly cite it for every argument advanced in these matters is quite beside the point.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 6:45 PM

However, it’s clearly not the state assuming that power in cases of abortion. It’s the state not interfering with the actions of the mother.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 5:25 PM

It’s clearly the state enabling the actions of the mother, and failing to act in the premeditated murder of the child.

Defund Planned Parenthood

Roy Rogers on June 15, 2011 at 6:49 PM

It’s clearly the state enabling the actions of the mother, and failing to act in the premeditated murder of the child.

Roy Rogers on June 15, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Partial agreement. To not oppose something is simply not the same as enabling it. We have a clear understanding of the difference between neutrality and opposition in other areas and it’s not clear to me why this should be different.

As well, to say that it’s a pre-meditated murder also assumes that a blastocyst is as fully human as you or I. The general population has clearly not come to this conclusion so to take it as a given seems to abandon any attempts at persuasion if you first have to convince people if that.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Well, THIS libertarian’s position is “If you want to kill your offspring, knock yourself out. More room for mine.”

But that’s just me being free.

mojo on June 15, 2011 at 6:55 PM

As well, to say that it’s a pre-meditated murder also assumes that a blastocyst is as fully human as you or I. The general population has clearly not come to this conclusion so to take it as a given seems to abandon any attempts at persuasion if you first have to convince people if that.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 6:53 PM

I thought that the US populaion is — with the ecxeption of certain personal pet exemptions — very much against abortion on demand; are you saying that the popularity of birthcontrol and abortifacients are evidence of approval for abortion?

flicker on June 15, 2011 at 7:02 PM

splashman my dear boy you’re coming across very badly in this thread…indeed you seem quite bigoted

maybe dial down the crazy a notch or two

dirksilver on June 15, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Now that there is a quite reliable morning-after pill, how can rape be an exception to prohibiting abortion?

slickwillie2001 on June 15, 2011 at 7:05 PM

It comes down to two questions:
1) at what point does the unborn child gain right to have it’s life protected by the state, making it’s abortion homicide
2) under what circumstances is that homicide justified.
Given that there is likely to be disagreement on these, the structure of the answer should probably be tiered, with the weakest restrictions on the national level and the option for States and local governments to make them stricter.

Separate note: if you want abortion to be legal for rape and incest, then it has to be legal for everyone. The details of conception are irrelevant to the question, and the law of unintended consequences would dictate an increase in false rape claims otherwise.

Count to 10 on June 15, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Our worthy host may speak for himself but if I understand you Mr. Splashman, then you have Catholic Doctrine backwards and condemn the Catholic Church unjustly.

Mike OMalley on June 15, 2011 at 6:44 PM

Hmm. Maybe you better take that up with @Jens:

… and if you say you accept no exceptions, then you are nearly alone. Even Catholics, such as Ed, the author of this blog post and thread, accepts an exception to their position on abortion in cases where the life of the mother is threatened by continuing the pregnancy through its term.

Jens on June 15, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 7:06 PM

I thought that the US populaion is — with the ecxeption of certain personal pet exemptions — very much against abortion on demand; are you saying that the popularity of birthcontrol and abortifacients are evidence of approval for abortion?

flicker on June 15, 2011 at 7:02 PM

How about people not crying over the 2/3 of fertilized eggs that never implant?
Though the great deal of crying over the 1/4 or so of children that are miscarried probably indicates something.

Count to 10 on June 15, 2011 at 7:08 PM

splashman my dear boy you’re coming across very badly in this thread…indeed you seem quite bigoted

maybe dial down the crazy a notch or two

dirksilver on June 15, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Someone who is so creative with their definitions of “bigoted” and “crazy” is likely to be equally creative with their definitions of morality, life, and privacy.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 7:10 PM

I thought that the US populaion is — with the ecxeption of certain personal pet exemptions — very much against abortion on demand; are you saying that the popularity of birthcontrol and abortifacients are evidence of approval for abortion?

flicker on June 15, 2011 at 7:02 PM

They are very much against abortion on demand but when you start asking probing questions rather than polling questions I’ve noticed some decidedly odd responses that seem a bit inconsistent to me. Amongst these is the idea that a freshly conceived fetus is as fully human as you or I. It’s been many years since I’ve had a single student in ethics courses raise that objection. Spring semester was, in fact, the first time in almost 4 years. I had her stand and argue her position precisely because it was becoming a bit of an oddity for that age group and I thought others should be exposed to the ideas.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Hmm. Maybe you better take that up with @Jens:…

Jens on June 15, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 7:06 PM

.
Not if you maintain a pro-life position. If so, I’m taking it up with you, Mr. Splashman.
.
So Mr. Splashman:
Are you pro-Life
or
are do you support abortion?
.

Mike OMalley on June 15, 2011 at 7:14 PM

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 7:06 PM

Jens said something that is not in line with Catholic catechetical teachings. The official line in the catechism is that there are no exceptions for abortion. Saying that a doctor me undertake a medical procedure that MAY have the result of terminating a pregnancy without having the specific intent to terminate a pregnancy is simply not the same thing.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 7:14 PM

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 7:14 PM

.
Thank you Mr. Dieudonne. I seem to recall that the Catholic position in this regard parallels that of orthodox Buddhism.

Mike OMalley on June 15, 2011 at 7:18 PM

Thank you Mr. Dieudonne. I seem to recall that the Catholic position in this regard parallels that of orthodox Buddhism.

Mike OMalley on June 15, 2011 at 7:18 PM

Indeed it does. It’s a robust line of argument that does not hinge on belief in a particular God or set of scriptures which is why many Buddhists resort to it. Buddhism, like Christianity, is not monolithic. I don’t, however, wish anyone to believe that I’m speaking for others as there are branches of modern Buddhism that have almost nothing to say about abortion or are rather indifferent to it.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 7:23 PM

Your opinion is no more valuable to this discussion than Nick’s.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 5:33 PM

The irony abounds. Hint: if the entire universe, including all the people on this planet, don’t accept what you think as truth…it’s not universally-accepted.

MadisonConservative on June 15, 2011 at 7:25 PM

Given that there is likely to be disagreement on these, the structure of the answer should probably be tiered, with the weakest restrictions on the national level and the option for States and local governments to make them stricter.

Count to 10 -

If the question can safely be left to the states/local governments, why can’t it be left to individuals? For something as controversial as abortion, it seems the most libertarian stance is to let people act according to their own conscience rather than the local government’s.

RightOFLeft on June 15, 2011 at 7:29 PM

I’m also a little surprised at Splashman’s and a couple others’ reprehensible attacks on the Catholic Church. I’ll also laugh if anyone accuses me of being Catholic for saying so.

MadisonConservative on June 15, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Jens said something that is not in line with Catholic catechetical teachings. The official line in the catechism is that there are no exceptions for abortion.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 7:14 PM

Okay, just Googled the subject and I accept your statement on Catholic doctrine. Gotta admit I’m surprised. I apologize for taking @Jens word for it.

Saying that a doctor me undertake a medical procedure that MAY have the result of terminating a pregnancy without having the specific intent to terminate a pregnancy is simply not the same thing.

Your use of the impersonal terms “terminate” and “pregnancy” is interesting.

Let me rephrase your statement with a different subject and less euphemistic terms (and fix the grammatical problems) and see how it plays:

“A doctor may undertake a medical procedure on Person A that MAY have the result of killing Person B, but that’s simply not the same thing as killing Person B.”

I agree, it’s not the same. But nobody would condone the doctor’s action, or condone Person A for asking the doctor to do it. (If Person B had volunteered, that’s a different ballgame.)

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 7:32 PM

Funny. Deiudonne, didn’t you once say that you are a former cloistered monk?

kingsjester on June 15, 2011 at 7:36 PM

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 7:11 PM

I think perhaps people are reading more into my question than I meant. But since you brought it up, have you ever wondered how the egg, after erupting from the ovary, knows comes to move through the abdominal cavity toward the outer fimbriae and into the fallopian tube?

And further, have you ever wondered how a blind hairless nailless kangaroo fetus, after being expelled from the mother kangaroo’s vagina, knows comes to crawl in the right direction upon the fur of the kangaroo, to find and then enter the abdominal pouch?

If a yellow blob of a kangaroo fetus can crawl purposefully through the outside environemt, how can an equally (un)developed human fetus be any less intelligent and purposeful?

flicker on June 15, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 7:32 PM

.
Your welcome Mr. Splashman. It is good when Americans rise to the occasion.
.
Consistent with Jesus’ moral teaching, intent counts in Catholic moral teaching, as it does in Judaism. :-)

Mike OMalley on June 15, 2011 at 7:42 PM

If the question can safely be left to the states/local governments, why can’t it be left to individuals? For something as controversial as abortion, it seems the most libertarian stance is to let people act according to their own conscience rather than the local government’s.

RightOFLeft on June 15, 2011 at 7:29 PM

For the same reason we don’t leave other forms of homicide to individual consciences.

Count to 10 on June 15, 2011 at 7:45 PM

Funny. Deiudonne, didn’t you once say that you are a former cloistered monk?

kingsjester on June 15, 2011 at 7:36 PM

I was. And I converted after about 7 years. I’m still a semi-monastic but now in a different faith. I disagree very thoroughly with a lot of Christian positions and beliefs but that doesn’t mean I can’t understand them.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 7:46 PM

I thought that the US populaion is — with the ecxeption of certain personal pet exemptions — very much against abortion on demand; are you saying that the popularity of birthcontrol and abortifacients are evidence of approval for abortion?

flicker on June 15, 2011 at 7:02 PM

How about people not crying over the 2/3 of fertilized eggs that never implant?
Though the great deal of crying over the 1/4 or so of children that are miscarried probably indicates something.

Count to 10 on June 15, 2011 at 7:08 PM

Should the IV doctors be charged with murder for the implants that don’t attach?…

Hmmm

Pablo Honey on June 15, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Let me rephrase your statement with a different subject and less euphemistic terms (and fix the grammatical problems) and see how it plays:

I’m very sorry. A group of people on here once suggested that I kindly pry the stick out of my nether regions. Ever since then I’ve tried to be less off-putting and maintain a “spoken word” or “conversational” tone to my comments. Yes it ungrammatical sometimes but it’s frequently clearer and less annoying in the end.

Pardon the pun.

“A doctor may undertake a medical procedure on Person A that MAY have the result of killing Person B, but that’s simply not the same thing as killing Person B.”

The problem I would see with this line of reasoning is that it’s something that – realistically speaking – only happens in the case of pregnancy and so it seems odd and awkward to try to generalize away from that.

¿And is “Person A” and “Person B” really less impersonal?

I would rather keep it clear and in the front that a pregnancy is being terminated. Whether or not a person believes it to be murder is not universal belief but all involved will agree that a pregnancy is being terminated.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 7:51 PM

For the same reason we don’t leave other forms of homicide to individual consciences.

Count to 10 on June 15, 2011 at 7:45 PM

But homicide is completely uncontroversial. States may be free to set their own penalties for murder, but none of them are going to legalize it. Imagine the uproar if, say, Texas legalized murder. I guess what I’m saying is, is the legalization of murder (not the penalties for committing it) really something you think can safely be left to the states?

RightOFLeft on June 15, 2011 at 8:01 PM

I thought that the US populaion is — with the ecxeption of certain personal pet exemptions — very much against abortion on demand; are you saying that the popularity of birthcontrol and abortifacients are evidence of approval for abortion?

flicker on June 15, 2011 at 7:02 PM

How about people not crying over the 2/3 of fertilized eggs that never implant?
Though the great deal of crying over the 1/4 or so of children that are miscarried probably indicates something.

Count to 10 on June 15, 2011 at 7:08 PM
Should the IV doctors be charged with murder for the implants that don’t attach?…

Hmmm

Pablo Honey on June 15, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Questions about which fertilized eggs implant, and should we cry, and is God a murderer, and is God giving us permission to use aborifacients because not all fertilized eggs implant or live to term, etc, brings two questions to my mind.

Have you ever wondered how an egg, after it erupts from the ovary, knows comes to move throught the abdominal cavity toward the outer fimbriae and enter the fallopian tube?

Have you ever wondered how a blind, hairless, nailless kangaroo fetus, after being expelled from the kangaroo’s vagina, knows comes to crawl in the external environment in the right direction toward the mother kangaroo’s belly and into the abdominal pouch?

If a yellow blob of kangaroo fetus can crawl purposefully, how can the fetus of a human being at the same point of (un)development be any less intelligent and purposeful?

flicker on June 15, 2011 at 8:05 PM

But homicide is completely uncontroversial. States may be free to set their own penalties for murder, but none of them are going to legalize it. Imagine the uproar if, say, Texas legalized murder. I guess what I’m saying is, is the legalization of murder (not the penalties for committing it) really something you think can safely be left to the states?

RightOFLeft on June 15, 2011 at 8:01 PM

Actually, Texas has legalized something that other states call murder (remember that “you can shoot a trespasser” thing?). Homicide is a very controversial thing, all around.

Count to 10 on June 15, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Agreed, and what Nick said is that the legal answer to that question should be a social consensus. While I lean towards being pro-choice, I find the Roe decision atrocious because it takes the debate out of the public square. It cloisters these decision in the offices of the SCOTUS. Others should have the right to convince me and others who think like I do that we’re wrong and effect change at the ballot box if successful. What’s more, such voting should occur at the state level since our Constitution grants no authority to Congress to rule on the matter.

MJBrutus on June 15, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Protection of life should never depend on social consensus. It’s actually very simple: if you can be absolutely certain that the unborn are not living human beings, then abortion is fine. If there is any doubt, then any decent human being should recoil at the suggestion.

Now the obvious: unborn babies are unquestionably alive. They grow, they move, they kick.

And unborn babies are unquestionably human. At no point in fetal development is that child anything but a developing human being.

Someone at this point will try to blur the lines with talk of blastocysts. Are blastocysts the subjects of abortions? Abortions are legal and permitted at any stage of fetal development right up to the moment of birth. There is simply no rational justification for pretending that the discussion is about blastocysts.

tom on June 15, 2011 at 8:11 PM

The problem I would see with this line of reasoning is that it’s something that – realistically speaking – only happens in the case of pregnancy and so it seems odd and awkward to try to generalize away from that.

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 7:51 PM

I was not generalizing, and did not say I was generalizing. I simply clarified your statement, which you deliberately obfuscated with inaccurate euphemisms.

Abortion is murder. Making a decision to kill one’s child to save one’s own life is no less. Those who believe in a just God would be well-advised to find reasons to stay far away from that line, rather than reasons to skate up to that line.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 8:12 PM

I am a libertarian on pretty much all economic issues. But my basic philosophy is you have he right to do anything that does not infringe on the right of others. In abortion, the mother is taking the baby’s right to life away. So Abortion is wrong.

jeffn21 on June 15, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Actually, Texas has legalized something that other states call murder (remember that “you can shoot a trespasser” thing?). Homicide is a very controversial thing, all around.

Count to 10 on June 15, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Sure, but they’re not legalizing homicide itself. They’re just deciding the extent of the self-defense exception. They only have that authority (as opposed to leaving it up to the individual) because they have the power to make homicide illegal in the first place. If they eliminated the category of murder as a crime altogether, the federal government would have the authority to step in and enforce it. It’s not something that, per our form of government, the states can safely decide for themselves.

RightOFLeft on June 15, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Abortion is murder.

A controversial assumption that is not universally accepted. The fact that a pregnancy is being terminated, however, is universally accepted.

I was not generalizing, and did not say I was generalizing.

Unless you are restricting this “Person A” “Person B” labeling to pregnancy you have become less specific than an explicit statement of “termination of pregnancy”.

you deliberately obfuscated with inaccurate euphemisms.

They aren’t euphemism – unless you are suggesting that a pregnancy isn’t terminated? Again – your contention that all abortion is murder is simply not universally accepted. I’m sure you wish it was but it simply isn’t the case. If you’re trying to engage in serious conversation with someone about the issue it will all grind to a halt right there unless they are in complete agreement with you. If they aren’t in complete agreement then persuasion is unlikely. Why do this? To what end would you deliberately abandon the possibility of conversion and/or persuasion?

dieudonne on June 15, 2011 at 8:31 PM

Abortion is murder. Making a decision to kill one’s child to save one’s own life is no less. Those who believe in a just God would be well-advised to find reasons to stay far away from that line, rather than reasons to skate up to that line.

Splashman on June 15, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Pregnancies that kill the mother don’t generally result in live children. Usually it would be a matter of allowing one to live rather than none.

Count to 10 on June 15, 2011 at 8:32 PM

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