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November 18, 2007

Comments

"While only 63% thought sex-selection abortion is wrong, 84% thought it should be illegal."

I'll take a stab at it. In our current hysterical culture we fear genetic engineering more than we fear murdering the unborn. It's why I go to my local Ralphs and have to HUNT for bananas that aren't grown organically. I hate the organics industry, it's a complete sham. But time after time people will pay more money for organics because they've been taught that tampering with seed genetics is some form of evil.

So sex selection of abortion is wrong...it's just a sin. And we've been conditioned to think that sin is just one PoMo's opinion projected onto another. But even if you think aborting for sex selection is wrong, the organics crowd think it's UNNATURAL so it's much worse than sin, it's UNHEALTHY. We've been conditioned to think that tampering with God's children is a personal decision but tampering with Nature is the worst kind of sin.

"While only 55% thought aborting a Down syndrome fetus is wrong, 59% thought it should be illegal."

It's the same thing going on with Down babies...there are groups of people who don't think it's a sin to abort the baby but they might think it's unnatural--the real sin to the spirit of the age.

"(Conversely, of the 10% that think sex-selection abortion should be legal, 7% think it's wrong.)"

This confirms my fears with a counter-example. 10% think it should be legal, but the 7% who think it's wrong probably do so because it's tampering with nature (and aborting a child isn't tampering with nature, it's just cutting a fingernail).

That's my theory, and it is mine.

As far as one believing something should be legal even though he also believes it is immoral, this is understandable to me. For example, I can believe adultery is wrong, but that does not mean I think we should have a civil law against and penalties for it. Moral law is not coextensive with civil law.

As far as believing something is morally permissible but should be illegal, this one is more difficult for me to understand. But I think there could be a way to fit these two together. One might believe that there is no moral stricture against choosing to abort a fetus because of its sex, but that it should be illegal for preserving some higher end that the individual values (perhaps just out of preference and not necessarily any "conviction" that it "ought" to be fulfilled), such as an even ratio between the sexes in society. I can imagine it being the case both that an individual believes "there is no moral law proscribing choosing to abort a fetus based on its sex" and that the individual has a desire that people not be allowed to exercise this moral right because the individual believes that negative consequences would result on a general societal level if people were allowed to exercise this right. In other words, one could believe X is morally permissible, but oppose the legality of X on prudential grounds. Maybe here is an example: one might think that it is morally permissible for any certain individual to hunt in a certan forest, but he might also think that most of the people in his town are of such a temperament that if they were allowed to do so (individually), they would (collectively) eradicate the wildlife. One non-moral concern (for wildlife) motivates establishing a law against a morally permissible thing.

Hummm, the question wasn't about sex selection, it was about aborting females. It would have been interesting to see how that broke down with males and females and, also, how the question would have been answered if it was about aborting males or if it was gender neutral.

Dan is probably correct on the differentials as a significant gender disparity is a huge social problem, as China and India are in the process of finding out.

BTW, we have created our own gender disparity problem by imprisoning so many African American males in the "War on Drugs", there by removing them from the marriage pool.

>>”we have created our own gender disparity problem by imprisoning so many African American males in the "War on Drugs", there by removing them from the marriage pool.”

So you’re saying if a particular African American weren’t in jail for say, selling crack, we’d be better off with him in the marriage pool with the option of making a life-long commitment to a woman with the opportunity to raise kids?

"We"?

Please leave me out of it.


I am referring to the sentencing disparities in our drug laws that result in a huge differential in how folks are prosecuted and sentenced. There has been a recent revision in these guidelines, as there is a general recognition that there is a problem here.

http://www.samefacts.com/archives/drug_policy_/2006/12/the_crackpowder_disparity_a_way_out.php

http://www.samefacts.com/archives/drug_policy_/2006/10/let_my_dealers_go.php

Alan,
I hadn't thought of the aborting-females angle. Women have minority status so aborting one sex would be okay if it were a man, but if a woman, it would be no different than aborting for race or sexual preference. (just what will happen if we ever discover that legendary 'gay gene'?)

"BTW, we have created our own gender disparity problem by imprisoning so many African American males in the "War on Drugs", there by removing them from the marriage pool."

Alan, you don't care about blacks. You like to think you do but you actually endorse their murder and fight to protect their over-represenation in the most important matter when you support and argue for abortion.

6% of our population are black but 36% of aborted babies are black. 94% of abortion clinics are located in urban centers with a higher percentage of blacks in the population. The black family is being sucked down the sink and you only cry about men put in jail at a higher rate. You're pro-justice but anti-life. Is that supposed to be wise these days?

...and Alan, your black incarceration stats are spun tighter than Dan Rather's teleprompter.

Black murderers do represent 35% of the executed while whites represent 56%. And blacks represent 12% of society while white males represent 74%.

But blacks commit an over represented 47% of murders, while whites only commit 37%. And whites sentenced to death are executed 17 months quicker than blacks who are sentenced. 1967 Berkely called and want their bumber-stickers back. The world has moved on, maybe you should too.

By the way, I think all death row imates should be given "society's morning after pill" the day after sentencing...maybe we can create a zoom-legal system where appeals can be submitted and rejected in a 24 hour period.

Hi Doug, Please read closer. I made a highly focused statement on drug policy. Sentencing disparities are a recognized problem in this area. They are having a negative effect in the relevant communities. What this has to do with murder has me somewhat puzzled. Perhaps an inability to focus is an indicator of conservatism.

Alan, as long we focus on the drug problem we don't an inability to focus on conservative indicators. I thought you were making another hysterical racial generalization when you said we created gender disparity for imprisoning "so many African American males".

My comment follows that if you were at all concerned with "removing them from the marriage pool" you might show the tiniest bit of humanity (and true racial sensitivity) for removing them from the life pool.

>>” They are having a negative effect in the relevant communities.”

As expected, Alan advocates lesser sentencing for those afflicted or treated “unjustly” rather than harsher sentences for the same ‘white’ American selling crack to a child.

The reasoning is simple; advocating tougher sentences for whites lacks ‘the victim’. There has to be a victim and someone to blame. Never ever forget this; there has to be victim.


Hi Kevin, would you at least familiarize yourself with the issue before you comment. One doesn't advocate harsher sentences because, re: drugs, we already imprison too many people for too long. Irrational and arbitrary sentencing differentials based on the final product have exacerbated this problem.

>>I made a highly focused statement on drug policy...Perhaps an inability to focus is an indicator of conservatism.

Alan, considering the fact that this post was about abortion, I wouldn't accuse someone of being unable to focus if I were you.

>>Hi Kevin, would you at least familiarize yourself with the issue before you comment.

Alan, this is just an insult for the sake of insult, and it's completely uncalled for. Please try to be civil.

Hi Amy, first point taken, however Kevin clearly isn't up to speed on the problems surrounding sentencing differentials in our drug laws; I was merely pointing that out. If my phrasing was too harsh, I apologize, however he might find it useful to familiarize himself with an issue that is devastating some of our communities and has damaged all of us.

Alan,

I am up to speed; at least in the general sense. Just say what you mean: “Blacks convicted of drug crimes are victims that need to be freed.” Like political prisoners.

I hear this sort of thing a lot…Cocaine vs. Crack…blah, blah, blah…

I’m just so sick of race. I’m so sick of race I don’t even bring it up when discussing abortion if I can avoid it. I’m so sick of race I could just puke. I’m ashamed that I even posted on race. That’s how sick of it I am.

Returning to the topic, I just found this:

"Robin West has described abortion as a "pathetically inadequate remedy" for the ways that society limits women's full participation. To secure women's equal citizenship, our legislatures must honor and support the work of motherhood far more than they currently do; they must invest in health care, nutrition, child support, and workplace reforms. They must get over their qualms and make contraception (and education about contraception) more widely available, particularly to poor women. (In fact, 47 percent of the 6.3 million unplanned pregnancies that occur each year in the United States occur among the 7 percent of women who do not practice contraception and are at risk of unintended pregnancy.)

Sadly, legislatures too often are unwilling to make these necessary reforms; instead, they insist on creating ever new restrictions on abortion directed at poor women because they are easiest to deter and control. I believe that Democrats, liberals and progressives alike should take the initiative, locating reproductive autonomy within a larger class of reforms that help parents raise their children, reforms that educate women about their reproductive choices, and help free them from the hardships and the often desperate straits that lead to abortions. Abortion is a tragedy of circumstances; if the state can prevent those circumstances and help secure women's equality in the process, why should it not do so?"

Read the whole thing at:

http://www.legalaffairs.org/webexclusive/debateclub_ayotte1105.msp

Hi Steve, if criminalization was a deal killer but most everything else wasn't, would the remaining "common ground" still be of interest to you? Are conservative notions of governance of greater value than minimizing abortion? To anticipate an objection - isn't "making abortion unthinkable" an utopian position and, by definition, impossible?

Alan,
while poor women are a huge block of those who have abortions, social programs will be of no help the next largest group of abortionists; college kids. We can assume many are just upper-middle class who screwed around a little too much or forgot to get their free condom handed out in the lounge of the fraternity.

You're dodging the biggest problem than babies are aborted purely out of personal choice. My aunt had one just because she didn't want a fourth child. She was quite wealthy, a good mother and just didn't want to be inconvenienced. What social program would help these kinds of abortions? I mean besides government funding of giant plasma-screen billboards showing actual abortions taking place on my tax-dollar...that might help make abortions safe, legal and rare.

"What social program would help these kinds of abortions?"

Hi Doug, wrong question. Perhaps we should get to the heart of the matter. What law would have stopped your aunt from getting the abortion she wanted? (In fairness to her, I would point out that we have only your side of the story; hers may well be different and I defer to your relating of it only as a type) You mention she is wealthy. Even if abortion were made illegal, those laws are always written and/or enforced to allow the wealthy (actually middle class and up) access regardless and remember she is always less than 24 hours from just about anywhere else in the world.

At some point you are pushing on a string with criminalization. On the other hand, we have a long way to go with education and contraception and a huge potential for reducing the rate of unintended pregnancies.

Couple that with universal health care and child care policies for single and married woman who have to work as well as making adoption more affordable and acceptable and we would see a large drop in the abortion rate to at least Western European levels.

The 19th and 20th centuries abound with Utopian social schemes that went badly and wound up limiting freedom and killing a lot of folks. "Making abortion unthinkable" seems to me to be yet another such Utopian formulation. Do we really want to try yet another social engineering scheme?

Wanting to parent as well as an aversion to the same are hard wired mammalian responses. We can manipulate them to some extent but there are going to be limits at the margins. Carrots are going to get better results than sticks.

"Carrots are going to get better results than sticks."

And how are those carrots working with education, contraception and this huge potential for reducing the rate of untintended pregnancies that make for intended abortions?

You're so skeptical that a law will not reduce abortions, yet you have absolute faith that educating the poor will reduce the number of abortions. So far, education has only lead to giving black women the address to their local Planned Parenthood.

How exactly is education any less of a social engineering scheme?

I just got word of this online dating survey where 1/3 of the women had sex with their online dates on the first meeting...1/3 of them having UNPROTECTED sex. I'm sorry, but these are some of the best educated women we could hope for and they still aren't using the Almighty condom.

And we have no other constitutional right we hope to be safe, legal and rare. What kind of right is that? The fact that you want to reduce the act of exercising a right shows how immoral it is. This is bad law.

We know people have a right to free speech which is a right to be rude, racist or stupid and nowhere do we construct giant government funded programs to end rudeness, racism or having affairs...things we can agree are immoral. Deep down inside, it is written on most people's hearts (good people anyways) that the world would be a better place with drastically less (or no) abortions.

So nickel and diming the three people who haven't heard about the joys of condom use or adoptions isn't going to end the mass slaughter of world's greatest Civil Rights abomination in recent history. Be a man, end abortion.

Hi Doug, you might want to reconsider as you paint a pretty bleak picture. As you have dropped the topic, I will assume that you agree that women of your aunts class will always have access to an abortion should they want one.

You mock the idea of education but consider this: It seems to me that abstinence requires more discipline then using contraceptives; if the latter is unachievable, it seems likely the former would also be beyond our grasp.

In your world all we have left is the power of the state compelling child bearing as soon as we abandon our girly-man notions of personal rights.

"You mock the idea of education but consider this: It seems to me that abstinence requires more discipline then using contraceptives; if the latter is unachievable, it seems likely the former would also be beyond our grasp."

Alan, I don't mock education. I think our culture has been well educated on divorcing the act of sex from commitment, nobility, values and transcendent meaning. Our 13 year old daughters are taught in public schools to use a condom and that a secret abortion without parental consent is available if they need a tidy, guiltless surgery.

Abstinence is a better model, and the very best we can offer our youth. The youth can obviously still make mistakes but "use a condom" doesn't even come close to addressing the reality of the situation of the young engaging in sex without having awareness of the consequences.

We're looking at an epidemic shortfall of values in our culture, especially in the black community where fatherless children are higher than any other community in the history of man. It's the victimhood culture of the left and it's a complete cancer on humanity that only creates death, more victims and more squandered (but well meaning) tax dollars. Any reasonable person can see that it's not working.

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