Well, before we get excited about Kerry 'n' Edwards...

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stephanie
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Postby stephanie » Tue Jul 13, 2004 3:54 pm

For the record, "pro-life" is an inaccurate term for those usually described as such; the entire basis of their beliefs is that they're anti-choice -- their stance isn't a positive one deserving of the prefix "pro-"; its entire ideology revolves around being against something. The little 'something' they're against, of course, is the idea that women should be legally allowed to have a say in whether or not they will be a mother at any given time.
Word, 'angel': Many "pro-lifers" are staunch supporters of capital punishment, which doesn't tend to go over well with the whole "all human life is inherently sacred" philosophy. Whether it's because anti-choicers believe women are unable to make such a weighty decision or because they believe it's their personal, moral imperative to impose their -- and, presumably, "God's" -- will is anyone's guess. Most "pro-lifers" are also, even more inexplicably, pretty vehemently opposed to sex education and birth control. (Go figure, huh? Guess we should all just wait until marriage and avoid getting raped or abused!)

Pro-choice folks, on the other hand, are just that; they aren't pro-abortion/pro-death. Far from going out to encourage women to terminate pregnancies they'd rather carry to term or gunning down people who don't agree with that radical pro-choice agenda, they're just a little more comfortable with the thought of women retaining control over what goes on in/around their own bodies.
Me, in addition to keeping government officials (old white men!) the holy hell away from reproductive rights, I just want to see DepoProvera covered by health insurance at the same price and with the same frequency as Viagra, Cialis, et al.

/soapbox

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grant
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Postby grant » Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:13 pm

Many "pro-lifers" are staunch supporters of capital punishment, which doesn't tend to go over well with the whole "all human life is inherently sacred" philosophy

Actually, much to the chagrin of nominal Catholics like Justice Scalia, Pope John Paul II is rather consistent in his condemnation of both abortion and the death penalty, as have been his predecessors.

the entire basis of their beliefs is that they're anti-choice -- their stance isn't a positive one


Well, to be fair, the real quibble between the two sides is when exactly a human life starts and who exactly bears the most responsibility over it. It's not like a group of social conservatives sat down and said, "Oh, dear, those women have too much freedom to control their reproductive destiny." Rather, it's a worldview that invests heavily in notions of innocence, guilt, justice and retribution -- such that innocence is something that is gradually lost over time (a child being more innocent than an adult), and those who interfere with the innocent are the most deserving of retribution.

Personally, I think the metaphysical world moves along slightly different axes, but I have made a point of always attempting to understand the basic motivations of those who cleave to the so-called clear and simple path.

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Postby Laura Suzanne » Tue Jul 13, 2004 7:17 pm

i was thinking that the pro/anti-choice dichotomy isn't
very useful. Angel alluded to what may be a more
central question to the issue; how can we, as a nation,
create an atmosphere, political, social or otherwise
that renders every child a wanted child?

If i knew the answer to that question, i'd be the Jesus
Christ of our time...only...in girl form.

Alas.

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Karousme
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Postby Karousme » Tue Jul 13, 2004 8:23 pm

angel wrote:I believe there is a direct correlation between growing up unwanted and unloved and a lack of respect for society and it's rules. Far fetched you say?


Not at all. I would agree with that statement. I think education plays a large role too.

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Betty Felon
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Postby Betty Felon » Tue Jul 13, 2004 10:02 pm

grant wrote:Well, to be fair, the real quibble between the two sides is when exactly a human life starts and who exactly bears the most responsibility over it.


I would agree with that. When it comes down to it, I just don't think a blastocyst is a person. If I did, I would probably have a different viewpoint.

But I agree with stephanie in that it's hard to take the pro-lifers seriously when they insist that abstinence is the only option, let alone when they get hysterical, invoke Jesus, or commit violent crimes. It really makes thier argument seem out of the dark ages.

It just doesn't make sense that if you are concerned with innocent babies being murdered that you wouldn't be pushing for birthcontrol and education until we are all sick of sex. When they don't work towards a practical resolution to the main issue and demand that one live a certain kind of life, it really starts to look oppressive.

And speaking of the dark ages, I can't believe gay marriage is even a real issue. When it comes to social conservatives, sometimes its hard to even sit and listen to thier side. ugh.

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grant
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Postby grant » Wed Jul 14, 2004 6:02 am

Betty Felon wrote:It really makes thier argument seem out of the dark ages.


It is, quite literally. It's a pre-modern view of the world, based on concepts like absolute truth and transcendental, hierarchical authority.

And speaking of the dark ages, I can't believe gay marriage is even a real issue.


Well, on the other hand, I've written elsewhere about the same-sex marriage rite performed by the church in the Dark Ages.

A wee bit ironic, what happens when modern categories like "homosexual" interface with pre-modern ideas about ethical behavior.

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Betty Felon
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Postby Betty Felon » Wed Jul 14, 2004 7:02 am

grant wrote:
Betty Felon wrote:It really makes thier argument seem out of the dark ages.


It is, quite literally. It's a pre-modern view of the world, based on concepts like absolute truth and transcendental, hierarchical authority.

And speaking of the dark ages, I can't believe gay marriage is even a real issue.


Well, on the other hand, I've written elsewhere about the same-sex marriage rite performed by the church in the Dark Ages.

A wee bit ironic, what happens when modern categories like "homosexual" interface with pre-modern ideas about ethical behavior.


Touche, Mr. Grant. Looks like I had it backwards. You know what I meant though. (and very nice blog entry, btw.)

I understand that it's hard to separate parts of your life when you believe in a certain dogma. The abortion issue gets extremely heated because neither side can compromise and be satisfied. I certainly can't come up with one anyway.

But the fact is that we live in free society. To me, that means that outside of the Constitution, I don't have to live under anyone's ideas of absolute truth and transcendental, hierarchical authority.

I will staunchly defend a Christian's right to practice thier faith unimpeded. They can be as abstinent as they want. Good for them. But I expect the same treatment. God and I don't have a problem with eachother-- I don't bother Him and He doesn't bother me. It works.

I can see abortion as a grey area, possibly, but certainly not gay marriage, and not birth control. This is where I start to feel like the other side is being unreasonable and the discussion is going nowhere. It seems like grasping at straws when people are actually against the morning after pill. And people who actually give a shit about gay marriage need to find a hobby.

Not allowing gay couples to adopt orphaned children makes me irate. I can't believe people who would deny a loving home to child who is already a step behind can actually claim to have "God's love in thier hearts". It's unbelievable.

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Postby stephanie » Wed Jul 14, 2004 7:10 am

Saying that the pro-/anti-choice argument is, at its core, about differing ideas on when human life starts is like insisting that the debate over gay marriage is really about states' rights.

C'mon.

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Betty Felon
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Postby Betty Felon » Wed Jul 14, 2004 7:21 am

stephanie wrote:Saying that the pro-/anti-choice argument is, at its core, about differing ideas on when human life starts is like insisting that the debate over gay marriage is really about states' rights.

C'mon.


I disagree stephanie. The pro-life stance is that abortion is murder. Clearly, one does not have the right to murder another human being. Therefore, to condone the right to an abortion, you must believe that a group of cells do not constitute an autonomous human life. no?

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Postby stephanie » Wed Jul 14, 2004 7:51 am

Sure, the "pro-life" stance is that abortion is murder (kinda like capital punishment, only, uh.. bad), but that's not the rhetoric the anti-choice side is trying to push through the American justice system, and that's the argument I'm talking about. Pro- and anti-choice groups aren't dedicated to furthering discussion as to when the miracle of humanity starts -- ex: NARAL and Planned Parenthood haven't exactly taken positions on when foetal viability begins. These groups' sole focus and purpose is taking decisive legal action in regards to whether or not abortion should remain a federally sanctioned option.

Roe vs. Wade was not a Supreme Court ruling on whether or not life starts at conception; it was, however, a landmark decision on whether or not a woman has the right to safely and legally terminate her pregnancy. And while I personally don't believe that a centimeter-wide mass of cells would invoke the same feeling in me as, say, a baby born at 7 months, I'm pretty well convinced that even if I did, I'd still be vehemently pro-choice.. y'know, ladies' rights 'n' all.
To wit: I'm passionately anti-abortion (not such a big fan of anything that causes ANY life to end, really), but I'll get down in the trenches and fight for the rest of my days on earth about the fact that another person -- especially one I've never met, especially one who is unable to be impregnated (i.e. the men and post-menopausal women who constitute many positions of power in regards to this issue) -- should not have ANY say over what goes on in MY body.

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Betty Felon
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Postby Betty Felon » Wed Jul 14, 2004 10:22 am

stephanie wrote:Sure, the "pro-life" stance is that abortion is murder (kinda like capital punishment, only, uh.. bad), but that's not the rhetoric the anti-choice side is trying to push through the American justice system, and that's the argument I'm talking about. Pro- and anti-choice groups aren't dedicated to furthering discussion as to when the miracle of humanity starts -- ex: NARAL and Planned Parenthood haven't exactly taken positions on when foetal viability begins. These groups' sole focus and purpose is taking decisive legal action in regards to whether or not abortion should remain a federally sanctioned option.

Roe vs. Wade was not a Supreme Court ruling on whether or not life starts at conception; it was, however, a landmark decision on whether or not a woman has the right to safely and legally terminate her pregnancy. And while I personally don't believe that a centimeter-wide mass of cells would invoke the same feeling in me as, say, a baby born at 7 months, I'm pretty well convinced that even if I did, I'd still be vehemently pro-choice.. y'know, ladies' rights 'n' all.
To wit: I'm passionately anti-abortion (not such a big fan of anything that causes ANY life to end, really), but I'll get down in the trenches and fight for the rest of my days on earth about the fact that another person -- especially one I've never met, especially one who is unable to be impregnated (i.e. the men and post-menopausal women who constitute many positions of power in regards to this issue) -- should not have ANY say over what goes on in MY body.


Hmmmm. I'm not convinced. It's either murder or it's not. Just because a woman is the one who carries the child, doesn't mean that she's exempt from murder. If you believe that the cells constitute a human, then more than what a woman does with body is at issue. It always comes back to the fundamental issue of whether or not abortion is murder.

I will agree, however, that the rhetoric put forth by the pro-life movement contains more than this issue. And it's further complicated by the inexplicable devotion to abstinence, etc.

The legality and safety issues are something to consider, but they are offshoots of the fundamental question.

btw--I believe that when the cells have grown to the size of a centimeter the pregnancy is already well past the first trimester. We are talking about a group of cells undetectable to the human eye. I could be wrong though...

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Karousme
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Postby Karousme » Wed Jul 14, 2004 10:55 am

I can't seem to link to the direct audio files, but here are some related links (thanks Morning Edition):

Court Weighs Ohio Sentences Curbing Procreation
This story is a bit down the page, but it relates to what is going on here. An Ohio man has 6 kids with 4 women and can't afford child support, so a court is talking about not allowing him to have any more kids. Can the gov't tell someone to do that? However, at the same time, his kids are suffering because they aren't getting the support they deserve. Is that fair?

Texas Sex Ed Textbooks Focus on Abstinence
This story is a bit down the page as well, but it relates to what is going on here. People want to cut down on teenage pregnancy, yet they do not want anything but abstinence taught in classrooms.
Last edited by Karousme on Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Liesbeth
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Postby Liesbeth » Wed Jul 14, 2004 10:59 am

Betty Felon wrote:btw--I believe that when the cells have grown to the size of a centimeter the pregnancy is already well past the first trimester. We are talking about a group of cells undetectable to the human eye. I could be wrong though...

end of first trimester: the foetus will be some 6 to 7 centimeters, with head, body, limbs and even the start of genitals and fingernails....

I concur with Stephanie about distinguishing the right of choice with an opinion on abortion itself. Personally, I do feel that it's such a profound decision that it should in basis be discouraged, and I'm very much in favor of good information about the implications.

But this information thing starts much earlier.
Only this week I read that among girls and young women hailing from the Dutch Antilles, abortion rates are so high, that in fact it must be concluded that for these women, abortion is considered an alternative for contraception. There's some urgent work to be done there, I'd say.

Funny thing, my original remark was to me more about the implications of war and the abundance of weapons in this world. But this discussion is interesting, too.

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Postby Squid » Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:01 am

Betty Felon wrote:And speaking of the dark ages, I can't believe gay marriage is even a real issue. When it comes to social conservatives, sometimes its hard to even sit and listen to thier side. ugh.


As if on cue, Senate denies amendment for gay marriage.48-50!

Surely the fact that the vote was so close means something? Are we getting closer to a win?That's a damn sight closer than I expected it to be..

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dchris
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Postby dchris » Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:07 am

Squid wrote:As if on cue, Senate denies amendment for gay marriage.48-50!


of note:
Rick Santorum couldn't have been serious when he wrote:"I would argue that the future of our country hangs in the balance because the future of marriage hangs in the balance," said Sen. Rick Santorum, a leader in the fight to approve the measure. "Isn't that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?"


The ultimate homeland security? Surely there are more important things to worry about.

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Postby Laura Suzanne » Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:08 am

My understanding was that the amendment would
have DENIED same-sex couples the right to marry.
i'm getting my info from Moveon.org and they may
not know everything, so i could be wrong.

But, if that is the case, 48-50 is pretty terrifying.

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angel
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Postby angel » Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:10 am

Liesbeth wrote:Only this week I read that among girls and young women hailing from the Dutch Antilles, abortion rates are so high, that in fact it must be concluded that for these women, abortion is considered an alternative for contraception.


I remember reading an article on the effects of abortion on the human body and how it is less harmful to a woman than birth control pills.

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Postby Liesbeth » Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:18 am

angel wrote:I remember reading an article on the effects of abortion on the human body and how it is less harmful to a woman than birth control pills.

might be, don't know.
but I don't think for these girls it's a choice between pills and abortion, it's not having to bother about anticonception until they get knocked up.
and there are risks with abortion, it could lead to sterility - although I don't know the odds.

personally, and this is a very personal opinion, I feelt that to use abortion as an easy way out of pregnancy is an insult to women who cannot get pregnant but want to.
hell, I think I'll join the gay marriage discussion instead, the abortion thing gets me down immensely

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Postby aj » Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:29 am

Liesbeth wrote:but I don't think for these girls it's a choice between pills and abortion, it's not having to bother about anticonception until they get knocked up.


important reminder:
it takes both egg and SPERM to get pregnant. a woman shouldn't be the only one held accountable.

if abortion was about a man's body and not a woman's there would be no question that it would be his choice. I really believe that.

and I am 100% with Stephanie. pro-life is compatible with pro-choice. the so-called "pro-life" are usually not at all pro-life, but rather ANTI-CHOICE.

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angel
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Postby angel » Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:31 am

Liesbeth wrote:hell, I think I'll join the gay marriage discussion instead, the abortion thing gets me down immensely


Since we're discussing abstinence and birth control. Does anyone want to discuss the US's contributions to fight AIDS only if people are abstinent? Or how about the fact that the US will only contribute for brand name medications?


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