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February 10, 2012

Comments

In a certain sense I am appalled by a woman's willingness to allow herself to be subjected to the machinations of some mad scientist. But then, having seen a business owned by two women being victimized by one middle management individual and the two women owners cheering him on(BTW-This guy claimed to be a Christian), I am not surprised that they offer themselves for this kind of abuse, but I am thoroughly sickened and disgusted by it. But what I feel the most strongly is pity for the woman or women involved and not only because they become victims, but because they are actually fooled into thinking they are benefiting from these kinds of abusive relationships. It seems that they are once again being brutalized and this time by the pharmacological industry. That this is not surprising to me bothers me most of all. I would so much like to be wrong here.

It seems kind of dangerous to start applying the term "abortion" to what is really an unintended consequence of a drug (there are several) or an activity (e.g. breast feeding). We should be reserve the abortion term for actions intended to cause the end of a life, otherwise it's going to start lumping in a whole lot of events traditionally referred to as miscarriages or some other word that communicates the lack of intent to kill.

Where should we draw the line if we are going to insist that people, organizations, or businesses shouldn't be required to fund, directly or indirectly, things they consider immoral? I can understand why the Catholic church would be upset over having to provide health insurance that provides birth control the Catholic church considers immoral. But should the Watchtower Society be allowed to refuse health insurance that includes blood transfusions? What about individual tax payers whose taxes go to pay for wars the tax payer considers immoral? Should individual tax payers get tax exemptions for their opposition to war or whatever else federal money gets spent on? Or should this only apply to organizations, and not individuals? If organizations, must they be religious organizations?

Just scanning the Randy Alcorn link, I tend to agree with what Samuel said above. There is a huge difference between possible side effect and purposeful intent.

Samuel and SteveK, what if it turned out that in 1 out of 30 cases, the pill worked by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting rather than preventing fertilization altogether. Do you we could get away with saying we intended to prevent conception, and the 1 in 30 cases were that didn't happen were accidents? I mean if an occasional "accident" is inevitable given some action, can we really call it an accident? If we're really talked about the lives of real human beings, is it worth it? Are we responsible for those occasional people who die from lack of implantation just because they are the unintended result of taking the pill?

Since it's plausible birth control pills function as an abortifacient, pro-lifers wish to err on the side of caution.

Translation: Santorum is coming for your birth control. Make no mistake.

RonH

Sam,

Your 1 out of 30 scenario is academic. Listen to Santorum:

"One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country.... Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that's okay, contraception is okay. It's not okay. It's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.

RonH

RonH, does Santorum actually advocate making contraception illegal? Where did this quote come from?

Hi Sam,

Notice from the reason he gives that the method doesn't matter.

He said it and here it is. (17:48)

RonH

Thanks RonH. It's hard to answer my question from what he said. On the one hand the comment you quoted came right on the heals of him talking about abortion and legislation, which makes it sound like he would advocate legislation prohibiting contraception. But the rest of his comment sounded like he was talking about the purposes of sex in general, and he said it should only be between people who are married. So if he was adovcating legislation that would prohibit contraception, then he'd have to be advocating legislation that would not only prohibit contraception that can prevent a fertilized egg from being implanted, but also contraception that prevents fertilization altogether, like condoms. And he would have to be advocating legislation that made it illegal to engage in extra-marital sex.

RonH,

You realize that A) Santorum is Catholic. We already know he's against contraception. B) The President "coming after your contraception" is about like him "coming after your guns". Not much is really gonna happen. And most importantly, C) Rick Santorum will never, ever be President of the United States anyway.

Sam and Ron, I think this comes from the fear non-Christian people on the left try to stir up that Christians want to make illegal everything they think is wrong. This is not the case. I think there are dangers to pre-marital sex, but neither I nor any other Christian in this country advocates making it illegal.

So Santorum says there are dangerous effects from using birth control and people on the left go bonkers because they translate that to "it should be made illegal." (See the ridiculous "Dominionism" scare they started just a few months ago for this tactic.) But this isn't the way conservatives think.

No conservative thinks it's the government's job to prevent people from harming their souls (if that's what you believe birth control does).

The fact that Christians don't want "morning after pills" that deliberately prevent implantation to be legal is no secret (this is because we believe it's the government's job to protect human life). Why on earth would we keep the desire to make birth control in general illegal a secret if we were really for that? Have you ever known Christians not to argue openly for the laws we want to convince people to vote for?

Okay, I went and took a quick look at the interview. All you have to do is start the clip a couple minutes earlier to understand what's going on. Shane asks how he will further the pro-life cause, and Santorum says by bringing attention to different issues. The only time he talks about legislation is directly before your clip when he's talking only about repealing Obamacare which requires people to fund things they find objectionable.

So he's talking about removing the force of law, not adding to it.

Again, look at what he said.

Don't get confused.

[Contraception] not okay. It's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.

Contraception used to be illegal. Now the states cannot make laws against it. Santorum would change that and some states would enact bans or limit access.

Santorum's being out in the open about this may not be not very smart. Maybe he should work around the edges.

RonH

requires people to fund things they find objectionable.

Are we all allowed to refuse to pay taxes if they go to things we find objectionable?

RonH

I think there are dangers to pre-marital sex, but neither I nor any other Christian in this country advocates making it illegal.

Amy, after listening to what RonH quoted in its context, it was ambiguous to me whether Santorum advocated making pre-marital sex illegal or not, so I would be reluctant to say that no Christian in this country advocates making it illegal. But it is easy to see how one might interpret Santorums words to mean that he would advocate making contraception illegal. His statements that RonH quoted came right on the heals of his comments about legislating against abortion. He was talking about law in this context, not strictly morality.

I also read First Things by Hadley Arkes in which he argued that anything that is immoral can appropriately be made illegal, but that the only reason we don't make them illegal is for practical considerations alone. But even without the examples of Santorum and Arkes, don't you think it's a bit hasty to say that no Christian anywhere in this country to would advocate making pre-marital sex illegal? How could you possibly know that?

The only time he talks about legislation is directly before your clip when he's talking only about repealing Obamacare which requires people to fund things they find objectionable.

But look what he actually says, Amy:

Can we pass bills? Yeah. I'll work on trying to pass bills. I'll work on making the laws of this country more friendly to life. I'll repeal all funding of abortion. We'll repeal ObamaCare and get rid of any idea that you have to have abortion coverage or contraceptive coverage. One of the things I will talk about that no president has talked about beforeā€¦

So he's not just talking about repealing ObamaCare. He's talking about passing legislation that is more friendly to life. He's talking about new bills. Then he goes on to discuss how contraception is detrimental to life. Part of his reasoning includes the proper function of sex, which he says is limited to marriage. You may be right in your interpretation of what he's saying, but it seems ambiguous to me.

Why on earth would we keep the desire to make birth control in general illegal a secret if we were really for that?

First of all, I'm not sure Santorum is keeping it a secret, judging by this video. Second, if he really thinks contraception and pre-marital sex ought to be prohibited by law, he has a great deal of motive to keep his views a secret because he's a politician and ought to know that would be detrimental to his campaign.

Sam,

I mean if an occasional "accident" is inevitable given some action, can we really call it an accident?

Car accidents are inevitable. Should they not be called accidents? Should we not drive cars?

Death is inevitable. Should we not create new life?

There is room for individual judgement in these matters. Not in all matters, but in many of them. By God's grace we live. We don't want to go out of our way to purposely sin.

But this isn't the way conservatives think.

No conservative thinks it's the government's job to...

Oh Sam. You beat me to it.

RonH

SteveK, I don't think that parallel fits what I'm saying. Accidents in general are inevitable, but it is not inevitable that YOU will have an accident if YOU drive frequently. In the case of the pill, assuming my 1 in 30 scenario, it IS inevitable that YOU will cause the death of somebody if YOU use the pill. That is unless it's just extremely rare that you have sex for the rest of your life. But according to this article people have sex an average of 127 times a year. If you mutiply that be several years, it's inevitable that couples who use the pill will cause the death of their young from time to time. That is not so for people who drive cars. So let me ask you again. If the death of your young is inevitable because of your voluntary use of the pill, can those deaths appropriately be called "accidents"? And do you think this is good justification for outlawing the pill?

I'm surprised you would say that death is inevitable for all of us anyway and use that as a justification for using the pill. You might as well say it's okay to shoot apples off your kid's head with a bow just because he's going to die eventually anyway. You wouldn't say that, though, would you?

don't you think it's a bit hasty to say that no Christian anywhere in this country to would advocate making pre-marital sex illegal? How could you possibly know that?

Fair enough. I should have said I don't know of one.

When I look at that quote, he brings up contraception in connection with repealing Obamacare, so I think it's reasonable to interpret it in terms of not forcing people to buy it for their employees.

Ron, it's bad enough to take part of my taxes and apply it to something I'm against, but actually forcing someone to directly pay for something they're against is whole different level. In this case, it's not even going through government hands. They're forcing Catholic organizations to pay for their employees' contraception and abortion.

In this case, it's not even going through government hands.

I have thought about this and I don't see an important difference.

Santorum said birth control is 'not ok'.

He said he would restore the ability of the states to ban birth control.

Painting these statements with (muliple coats) of 'Obamacare' will not change that.

RonH

Hey, I totally forgot to play my Ron Paul card here.

Where in the Constitution does the Federal Government have the power to force an employer to pay for abortion? In fact, where do they find any authority to legislate in favor of abortion at all?

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Sam,

Accidents in general are inevitable, but it is not inevitable that YOU will have an accident if YOU drive frequently.

I agree. Statistics don't determine if YOU will beat the odds or if you will fall in line with them.

In the case of the pill, assuming my 1 in 30 scenario, it IS inevitable that YOU will cause the death of somebody if YOU use the pill.
Is the 1 in 30 stat a real number? I didn't read the article so I don't know.

The numbers do help inform our decision, so I agree that there is value in them. If the odds were pretty good that some unintended side effect would occur, then I would not take the pill.

How high or low those odds would have to be is where individual judgement comes in. That's all I am saying.

No, the 1 in 30 stat is not a real number. It's just part of my hypothetical question. I don't think anybody knows what the statics actually are, but there are some estimates out there.

Sam,

I'm surprised you would say that death is inevitable for all of us anyway and use that as a justification for using the pill.

To clarify, I wasn't using the example to justify the pill. I wanted to hear more about your line of thinking.

If some outcome is not intentional, but it is very likely to occur the more you do it, is "accident" the proper term to use? I don't think so. It's not intentional either so I'm at a loss to find the right word that fits. Foolish or irresponsible, perhaps?

Here is an article that deals with the question, "How Often Does the Pill Cause Abortion?" It comes from Randy Alcorn's book, Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortion?

Ok, so let's say 3 times of out 3 pregnancies an unfortunate woman attempting to have a baby has the fertilized egg fail to implant and miscarrIes. Her doctor tells her this is likely to happen again, due to her physiological makeup, although there is some chance of successful implantation. If this woman is successfully impregnated again, and again loses the child due to lack of implantation, did she have an "abortion". If you don't think so, how can you say that someone who experiences the same thing due to hormonal treatment is having an abortion? If you do think so, isn't that being pretty judgmental of someone, when all pregnancies carry some chance of he baby dying? In fact, until the last 100 years or so, it was a pretty high chance.
My point is that we should probably be a little careful about throwing around labels at people who are not intending to cause anyone harm, including the unborn.

It is not abortion unless termination was a goal of the treatment.

Sam writes: "It seems kind of dangerous to start applying the term "abortion" to what is really an unintended consequence of a drug (there are several) or an activity (e.g. breast feeding)."

Not intending an end does not mean that one is not responsible for it. The key is the end's foreseeability given one's decision to act in a particular way. For example, suppose one drives drunk and because of that intoxication kills a pedestrian. It is no defense to say that one did not intend that end. The fact that the end is foreseeable is what is doing the work.

To give another example. Imagine a father is driving his SUV recklessly with his three children unbuckled in the back seat, for he is trying to get to the college basketball game on time. If he gets in an accident on the way and the children die, it is no defense for him to say that all he was doing was trying to get to the game before it began. In fact, that "intention" is irrelevant.

Wow! I've never seen using birth control compared to reckless driving.

I love it here. Just love it.

RonH

In think the comparison is apt for what was intended, and the two examples are only apt as they highlight the problem of excusing an end because it wasn't intended. To say that birth control is being compared to reckless driving above seems a little reckless itself. ;~)

You know ... sigh.

So apparently some people think all miscarriages that may have had something ever to do with the actions of another person (e.g. reduced receptiveness to implantation due to breastfeeding - it happens, look it up) should be labelled abortion. Great, that should help steer the pro-life effort in a positive direction, and get more people to listen thoughtfully to rational discussion.

Brad B

only apt as they highlight the problem of excusing an end because it wasn't intended

The ends in both cases were not intended. That's true.

But these ends were both also due to recklessness. There was failure to take into account foreseeable consequences.

I think the analogies are intended to label the use of the birth control methods in question reckless. That is why the analogies are used to show Sam that intending something is not the only way to become responsible for it.

RonH

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