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October 06, 2007

Comments

"Still, I never sacrifice my core belief that one side of the abortion debate is correct about the status of the unborn."

As soon as this is understood by the general public, you will have lost the debate. Most folks still believe that the issue is reducing abortion; as long as that is the focus, you will, as Kevin points out, make headway. As soon as the radical and destructive nature of your agenda is clear, the debate will move past you.

Back in the day, many progressive folks got caught up in the Communist Party because of they believed in many of the CP goals - racial and social justice,etc. As soon as the real agenda of the Party was clear, most of the left rejected that agenda. The implications of your underlying agenda is as destructive of our liberties as the old CP's. It is good that, as with Schaivo, you are laying it out for all to see.

But why would we focus on reducing abortions at all if abortion is A-OK in the first place, Alan? If all we're doing is just removing some unwanted tissue, who cares how many abortions are performed?

What would you like to see come out of this legally? Abortion quotas not to be exceeded at the federal level? An abortion review commmittee to look at cases individually to rule each abortion as being justifiable or unjustifiable? If abortion isn't wrong, what is there to justify? Give an illustration of a system in which abortion isn't illegal per se yet the government can use an objective standard in order to regulate the number of abortions happening each year.

I'm a little confused Alan. I understand that though the C.P. had some good goals it was bad because the ultimate agenda (totalitarian domination) was wrong. What I don't understand is how that relates to what Steve said.

Also, I was never aware that the general public was under the impression that it is just a matter of reducing abortions. It's no secret that pro-lifers think abortion is murder and that they want it stopped.

Lastly, what is so "radically destructive" about our position?

I'm a big fan of Steve's and got to participate in the making of this book, though my part was small.

I have to admit that I was skeptical about the common ground part of the book, it's kind of like finding common ground between a racist and an abolitionist (or a pro choicer and an abolitionist for that matter).

I don't think the point of the book is to make either side compromise, but to get the debate to go beyond bumper stickers and picket signs. That's hard to do. True tolerance is an art form, and there is no greater practice of that art form than with the party that most opposes your most fundamental positions.

THis is also a unique book on the subject. Steve could have done just another life apologetics book, but knowing Steve he has a different angle on life issues than other pro life people I know. He has a lot of experience engaging the opposition and that gives him particular wisdom on the subject. He's in the thick of it.

I am interested to know what on earthy type of common ground there could possibly be on this issue. It's a very black & white one - either unborn babies are people and deserve to be protected as such, or they are not, and therefore it's ok to do whatever we like with them.

There are some issues in life where they can be some gray areas. But in this particular issue, I fail to see what those gray areas can possibly be.

"earth", sorry! Oh, for an edit key.

"Give an illustration of a system in which abortion isn't illegal per se yet the government can use an objective standard in order to regulate the number of abortions happening each year."

Hi Anonymous, you miss the point. You want to treat abortion as a legal problem, when it is a social problem. Check out abortion rates in other developed countries.

"I'm a little confused Alan. I understand that though the C.P. had some good goals it was bad because the ultimate agenda (totalitarian domination) was wrong. What I don't understand is how that relates to what Steve said."

Hi Will, the ultimate agenda was a workers' paradise with the withering away of the state and all that. The problem with Utopian schemes is, as Whittaker Chambers pointed out in his 1957 review of "Atlas Schrugged" in National Review, is that they all seem to take a terrible toll on the humanity they so want to improve.

The curious notion that all we can move the triggering of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments from birth to conception is yet another such scheme.

Ireland did such a thing and yet Irish women still wind up in the UK getting abortions. The Irish Supreme Court was also forced to carve out a mental health exception from the Irish Constitution's "right to life" amendment in the famous "X" Case in 1992.

Here is a finding from that case:

"6. That in balancing the right of the first defendant to her life as mother and that of the unborn the learned trial judge was wrong in law and in fact in failing to give a preference to the life of the first defendant as mother such life being a life in being against the life of the unborn which life was contingent and putative."

http://www.bailii.org/ie/cases/IESC/1992/1.html

The simple reality, as shown in the phrase "contingent and putative" and in things like the reluctance of most "pro-lifers" to apply the logic of their positions to our murder statutes, is that most anti-abortion folks really don't believe as a gut and heart matter what they intellectually assert.

"Lastly, what is so "radically destructive" about our position?"

Will, when has Steve or any other anti-abortion activist done a serious analysis as to what changes to our laws and Constitution would be necessary to effect what they want and what would be the system-wide implications of those changes? As is shown by the discussion below on presidential candidates, the concern of too many anti-abortion folks is with their special issue and not the overall welfare of our nation.

Kevin mentions gains. So far all I see is a law based on fraud and a Supreme Court decision that degrades women as moral actors.

"Also, I was never aware that the general public was under the impression that it is just a matter of reducing abortions. It's no secret that pro-lifers think abortion is murder and that they want it stopped."

Never underestimate the shallowness of the general public's understanding of public policy issues. On abortion, as with many issues, the answer you get wil depend on how the question is worded. Our media doesn't inform so much as trivialize and mislead.

Mo,
Pro-life advocates don't have to adopt a "gray" position on the rights of the unborn in order to agree with abortion-choice advocates on some things. And abortion-choice advocates don't have to hold a "gray" position on the legality of abortion in order to agree with pro-life advocates on some things. Almost everyone agrees late-term abortion should be illegal, for example. No one is giving up cherished ground in affirming that common ground.

"Almost everyone agrees late-term abortion should be illegal, for example."

OK, I guess this is a tactic to get agreement but an uninformed person might get an impression from that statement that non-medically necessary late term abortions should be MADE illegal as opposed to they ARE NOW illegal and we both agree that that is how it should be. That is why references to "abortion on demand" are misleading.

"That is why references to "abortion on demand" are misleading."

ALan, that's not all that's misleading. It's not "abortion on demand" fine, it's "extraction of the baby for the mother's medical emergency"...but then why do we have to kill it?

When unborn babies are "aborted" it describes removing the baby from the mother's womb, but we have lots of ways of removing the baby and still having it live. But your side demands that the mother has the right to a KILLED baby. So "pro-choice" is also misleading. So from now on please use, "Pro-dead baby" and then I'll stop using "abortion on demand"...since we're splitting hairs, that blade cuts both ways.

Hi Doug, from the statistics I've seen, post viability abortions that are not due to life or health issues for the mother are largely due to some defect in the fetus. The overwhelming number of abortions are pre-viability. That is why the whole "partial birth abortion" flap was based on deceptive advertising. Non-therapeutic abortions at say twenty weeks are problematic. I have yet to see any stats that would indicate that non-medically justified abortions at say 26 weeks happen,

So you'd be for a law that protected "viable" unborn babies against the mother's will to kill it beyond the 20th week? You're half way to Pro Life! Welcome! Now let's talk about that 19th week...

Hi Doug, I have never had any other position, you must not have been reading closely : ). As a practical matter, abortion in the first few weeks is a personal/social issue. It becomes a legal/medical issue at some point around viability. Drawing the line, like all age related matters, is a political question that will always have to be arbitrary in the end.

"Drawing the line, like all age related matters, is a political question that will always have to be arbitrary in the end."

Good, so let's arbitrarily change it to conception. We agree!

Or we could arbitrarily draw it at 22 weeks, we agree!!!

Sorry Doug, conception is a non starter as long as you all refuse to even discuss the matter in a realistic manner.

"Or we could arbitrarily draw it at 22 weeks, we agree!!!
Sorry Doug, conception is a non starter as long as you all refuse to even discuss the matter in a realistic manner."

Let's see if Alan is being intellectually honest. First you claim the line drawn is arbitrary...okay, let's give it a try. I arbitrarily draw the line at conception and now you bring in non-arbitrary standards like 'a realistic manner'.

We can start the game again as soon as you stop moving the goal-posts. You're a conclusion in search of an argument.

Apples and oranges Doug. "Arbitrary" doesn't necessarily mean "random" or "irrational", it's what one has to eventually do in the real world. That one can purchase tobacco at 18 in California and not at 17 doesn't mean that 17 year olds have something magic happen to them on their birthdays; it's simply that the line has to be drawn somewhere and a reasonable consideration of the facts makes it clear to most folks that it isn't good public policy to allow five year olds to buy tobacco products.

Likewise, before we go changing the Constitution and centuries of Common Law, would it not be wise to have an examination of what those changes would do?

"Likewise, before we go changing the Constitution and centuries of Common Law, would it not be wise to have an examination of what those changes would do?"

Yes, the courts should have asked this in 1973 so now let's have that examination at the ballot box not at the Supreme Court. Thank you.

Hi Doug, thanks for making my point. If a decision narrowly focused on one issue can roil our political waters like Roe did then what would be the result of a change as radical as the one you propose? Roe is a controversial but plausible decision based on valid precedents. What you propose is to go into mostly uncharted territory. Are there implications that may not have been considered? The Irish experience seems not to have worked out so well; perhaps that should be discussed? As you seem to know the good folks at STR and machers like Dr. Beckwith, perhaps you can ask them why they won't engage in a full and open discussion of this proposal.

"Are there implications that may not have been considered?"

You mean like Civil War? I thought the last one was justified and a good thing considering the evils of slavery. The implications you won't consider are the 5,000 people killed today. Give me a solution that kills less and then we'll be in business. It's not my side that won't engage in a full and open discussion of the proposal. My side is all about a full and open discussion beyond what you're willing to discuss.

Hi Doug, waving the bloody shirt won't get you guys off the hook. OK, if there are 5,000 "people" killed today, what do you propose? How will it work? What are the implications of the changes you propose. What about Ireland's experience with its constitution? Are you even aware of the Irish experience? Why does Western Europe have greater access to abortion and far less abortions than the United States?

It is real easy to propose fanciful and fraudulent solutions. Instead of playing the race card how about some serious policy analysis?

Last time we actually talked policy - the effect of extending the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to fertilized eggs, everyone choked at the implications.

Now, in threads way about this one, we have a poll that shows the American people prefer libertarian and social democratic solutions to abortion and melinda references a new report that demonstrates that access to abortion and contraception is associated with lower abortion rates and laws don't seem to be the answer.

Oh Doug, you may enjoy this:

http://lefarkins.blogspot.com/2007/10/and-here-we-thought-it-wasnt-possible.html#links

and this:

http://lefarkins.blogspot.com/2007/10/still-waiting-for-originalist-defense.html#links

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