Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ignorance is Bliss

It's not just that Rep. Todd Akins thinks that pregnancy constitutes proof that a woman wasn't forcibly raped, i.e., she must have really wanted it.  It's that he thinks it's a scientific fact. 


  1. that's because he's an idiot, but the worst part is that he does not really know why he's such.
    typical. if they get the chance, and this round will be the fork in the road, the neo-con meat heads will take us all to disneyland, where we can all retire happily. of course, we will all be eaten by nano-mouse puppets, but if you don't know, well, like Vinny said....

  2. I can't help but be curious about where he came by this little bit of wisdom. Is it some sort of urban legend that circulates widely among the reality challenged?

  3. (Parenthetically Vinny: I just quoted your remark on logical problems with High Context cultures. With the notion that Paul did not say much about the bio of Jesus, because it was well known by the "high context" society. Your counterargument seems to be catching on over on Vridar. That is: if things are not mentioned because they are well known, then the converse must be true too: when things are mentioned often, it is because they are not known much at all.

    So if Paul mentions the crucifixion over and over? It must have been because ... many people did not know about it).


    1. I can't take credit for the argument. I picked it up from Dagoods although I think he was applying it to the question of why Acts doesn't identify James as the brother of Jesus.

  4. Regarding Akin, I believe he came by it through the fact that traumatic experiences are known to negatively impact ovulation. Whether this can be used to support an argument that rape is less likely to result in pregnancy is really unlikely, as the pregnancy rate for rapes is low anyway. It was, however, what he was driving at as I understand it. To use rape as a reason to allow abortions is specious considering the low chance of pregnancy which might result, and his understanding of female biology suggests it is really low. I hope this helps in understanding what he was trying to say. It was hardly the thrust of his argument, but only a weak explanation for it. A perfect opportunity for the left and its abortion supporters to jump all over him.

  5. Pregnancy rates from rape are no different than pregnancy rates from consensual sex. Akin simply embraced pseudo-scientific claptrap as religious fundamentalists are wont to do when they find reality inconvenient.

  6. Once again, Vinny, the science regarding trauma negatively affecting ovulation is not "claptrap". And I did not say that I agree with Akin on this FACT making much difference in the rate of pregnancy from forcible rape. However, it must be conceded that it is far from simple to assume one can gauge whether or not each rape is properly reported. We know that not all rapes, even forcible rapes, are not reported and that some rapes that really weren't rapes are reported as such. Said more simply, stats meant to prove the point one way or the other cannot be regarded as reliable. It does, however, help out those who wish to denigrate the right wing and religious fundies, who are more prone to accepting inconvenient truths than lefties are honest enough to admit.

    Note again that the point of Akin's statements were not about the frequency of rapes resulting in pregnancy, but the the overall low amount of pregnancies attributed to rapes renders them as an excuse for liberal abortion laws extremely weak. It is ironic to be accused of dodging reality when lefties so easily and deceitfully fixate on insignificant and minor sidebars of a right-winger's point.

  7. Science has shown that trauma can effect ovulation, but science has not shown that this phenomena has any significant effect on the rate of pregnancy resulting from rape and the idea that it constitutes some sort of female defense system against pregnancy after rape as claimed by Akin is pseudo-scientific claptrap.

    What is sad is the level of ignorance that right wingers are willing to accept in their legislators.

  8. Give me a break. Shall I list the ignorant for you? Obama, Reid, Pelosi... There's plenty of ignorance to go around. But what is the issue here is not one of ignorance so much as poor extemporaneous speech, of which Obama is none too expert. And you prove my point regarding how typical it is for the left of focus on something like this as opposed to his real point regarding using rape as a justification for unrestricted abortion. What's more, with the incidence of pregnancy from rape being so infinitesimal, I would be keen to see the studies that can accurately show whether there is such an effect anyway. How can it even be measured? How can the level of trauma to any given woman be compared against any other woman so as to measure whether it affected each equally? This, of course, must be gauged against those women who were simply not able to conceive, were not within the proper time frame of their cycle to conceive, and a host of other possibilities.

    The left needs to focus on such statements and blow them up to distract from the larger point. Everyone who is honest understood what Akin meant even while cringing at the way he expressed it. The left uses it dishonestly to further their agenda.

    And once again, I'll put up the worst of our legislators against the best of yours any day. They are miles ahead by virtue of pushing a conservative agenda.

  9. How are you so sure that the incidence of pregnancy from rape is so infinitesimal when you don't believe that it can be accurately measured? As usual, you're just making this up as you go along.

  10. By virtue of the fact that such a tiny percentage of abortions are to end pregnancies resulting from rape. By virtue of the fact that the ratio of non-rape intercourse to intercourse from rape is likely a gazillion:1. I mean, was that a serious question? Why do you think I need to make up anything for my point to be valid? It is.

  11. If the question was whether abortion should be legal in all cases because some pregnancies result from rape, then you might have a point, but that's not the question Akin was addressing. The question was whether abortion should be legal in the case of pregnancy resulting from rape and Akin said no based on the pseudo-scientific fantasy that women have some magic shield that protects them from getting pregnant when they are raped. The overall number of pregnancies resulting from rape is irrelevant to whether abortion should be legal in those cases. It is a question of whether a woman should be required to endure a pregnancy that was forced upon her against her will.

  12. This is not entirely honest. That is, that the "point" was intended to focus specifically and entirely on legalizing abortion in cases of rape. Indeed, the matter is often conceded by pro-lifers of every stripe in order to reduce or eliminate those abortion NOT tied to rape cases. But nonetheless, Akin was looking to distinguish between "legitimate" rape, the term that really caused the stink, and those cases that are in truth a matter of a woman changing her mind after the fact about having had sex when it results in pregnancy. For example, I've heard it said that the FBI updated its definition of rape this year to include the inability to give consent due to intoxication. If this is so, then any woman who has been drinking can now claim afterwards that she was raped. This means, of course, that lives will be lost over a lie.

    So what of those who are forcibly raped and indeed become pregnant as a result? Akin's point, which is shared by so many, is that as unfortunate as it is for a woman to spend the next nine months pregnant as a result of having been raped, it isn't the child's fault either and the child should not be made to suffer as a result. The rape does not legitimize the taking of that child's life.

  13. Is there any doubt that it is rape if a woman is too intoxicated to give consent? What else would it be?

  14. The doubt is that she is indeed "too intoxicated" to give consent. How is that measured exactly? Because she said she was drunk, shit-faced, tipsy, had one too many? Or was she passed out in front of witnesses who could have prevented the sexual assault but instead chose to let it happen and felt guilty later? How can this be enforced?

    The very legitimate fear here is that a woman could have second thoughts about having had sex with some one night stand, found out she was pregnant and then decided to claim she was "too intoxicated" to give consent. If one is conscious, one is not too intoxicated to give consent unless the man (or men) involved are able to use the "too intoxicated" defense to avoid prosecution. Even without such protection, how is a guy supposed to judge an otherwise conscious lush is too intoxicated to give consent to anything?

    But then, I guess it doesn't matter as long as that pesky child isn't forced upon the woman.

  15. The problem with enforcement always exists. Even if a woman is cold sober, she might decide to claim after the fact that she hadn't consented.

    There is a very simple way for a man to avoid prosecution: he can keep his dick in his pants until he knows a woman well enough to be certain that she really wants to have sex with him. Why is it so important to protect the guy who is stupid enough to sleep with some drunken slut he just met at a party? You have no qualms about forcing a woman to endure an unwanted pregnancy but the idea that a man might have to bear the consequences for his choices is unthinkable to you.

  16. Nice try, Vinny. I'm still in "defend the child" mode. You're looking to provide any excuse to justify abortion. I'm looking to expose those attempts as the cheap and selfish attempts they are. Keep one's dick in one's pants? Absolutely. How about until after a wedding that followed a long engagement? That suits me just fine and demonstrates maturity and responsibility on the part of both. There's very little chance of "unwanted" pregnancies then.

    Also, I'm not suggesting at all that the man should be relieved of his responsibilities, but that the man should have equal access to the "too drunk" defense now established. If she can use it to claim rape in order to justify whacking the child, he should be able to use it to avoid the rape charge. After all, we all lose our ability to comprehend the difference between right and wrong by the mere whiff of alcohol, right?

  17. No, I am not trying to provide any excuse. I am trying to address the specific case when a pregnancy has been imposed on a woman against her will. It is the case that you and Akin want to avoid because your logic ignores the woman's rights of personal autonomy and self-determination.

    Your notion of a drunk defense for rapists is both irrelevant to the question and just plain silly. There are many forms of physical intrusion that are legal only by virtue of the recipient's consent. For example, a tattoo artist would be guilty of assault and battery if the recipient did not consent and it would be no defense for him to say that he was too drunk to tell whether the tattoo was wanted or not. In such cases, the burden is on the person performing the physically intrusive act to establish the consent.

  18. The point is using drunkeness as an excuse. I didn't bring it up except for how it now gives another one to the woman who wants to abort. How is it possible to prove that one was too drunk to give consent? I don't approve the drunk defense. Period! No one is too drunk ever, and, should anyone be so affected by alcohol as to be out of their minds, then they are guilty for having imbibed at all.

    I do not avoid the case of a woman impregnated due to a rape. I do not see that this justifies taking the life of the child in any way. I thought I was quite clear about that. It is the defender of this notion that has yet to provide a compelling argument for why one life is so insignificant that it can be snuffed in order to avoid inconvenience to another. I don't minimize that inconvenience. I acknowledge the value and sanctity of the life being snuffed.

    Getting back to the drunk defense, how can anyone, either a one-night stand lover or a tattoo artist know with certainty that they are dealing with someone too drunk to give consent? At what point is that line crossed and how can another tell, especially if the other person is drunk as well? The law is stating that merely being drunk means consent can't be given, even if it was. That is to say, that no matter what the drunk says while drunk, the fact that she is drunk invalidates her personal autonomy and self-determination. So, would that be "legally drunk" (.04 BAC for CDL holders), or puke-on-yourself drunk?

  19. So if I come across a girl passed out drunk, I can do whatever I want to her? I don't know what to say about that level of ignorance. As usual however, your are misinformed about the facts. There has been no change in the law regarding consent. The FBI simply changed the definition it used for reporting statistics to reflect what I suspect every jurisdiction in the country already recognized.

    Under our notion of rights, no one owes a duty to a stranger. No one is under an obligation to rescue a stranger in danger no matter how little risk it entails. So the notion that a woman can be compelled to risk her own health for the sake of a fetus that has been forced upon her is contrary to accepted ideas of individual autonomy.

    Of course, if we recognize, as virtually every society throughout human history has recognized, that a fetus is potential life which does not possess all the rights of a live born person, the case for recognizing the superior rights of the woman only becomes stronger.

  20. "So if I come across a girl passed out drunk, I can do whatever I want to her? I don't know what to say about that level of ignorance."

    Here's what you can say: "I'm ignorant for supposing I can make it sound like you suggested something this stupid." Nowhere, in anything I've said thus far, justifies this incredible reach. So I'll try again, my original statement was as follows:

    For example, I've heard it said that the FBI updated its definition of rape this year to include the inability to give consent due to intoxication.

    You suggest it is possible every jurisdiction already recognizes the drunk defense for women who find their having exercised their personal autonomy and self-determination didn't work out so well. At the same time, you won't allow the rapist to use the same defense for his own poor choice of behavior. My point here has nothing to do with the chosen behavior but the manner in which the woman is allowed to abdicate her responsibility for having engaged in the behavior.

    Actually, there are some forms of Good Samaritan/duty to rescue laws in some states. But more importantly, it is a matter of personal honor and character, something not important to most lefties who champion abortion rights laws. And to your point regarding a woman and the fetus inside her, parents are always expected to rescue their children, and a fetus is definitely within the parameters of that dynamic. It is still her child regardless of whether it was her intention to conceive or not, which is true regardless of the lack of intention in the case of rape or normal sex between spouses, intercourse being for procreation first and foremost. What's more, there is little that a pregnancy can do to a woman's health that justifies killing the child.

    And now you have YOUR facts wrong regarding human history. Some scholars believe Hypocrates opposed all abortions. Early Christian teaching was in opposition. Abortion was considered homicide. Indeed, the debate regarding the value of the embryonic life is as old as the practice of abortion itself. So you're pretty much recognizing what you want to see regarding the issue, which is also common to the left. No human is superior to another. Except perhaps in Animal Farm.

  21. The clear implication of your argument is that anything that happens to a woman when she is intoxicated is her fault. That means that no man can be held liable for anything he does to her since he can always claim that she consented and she can't deny it.

    No, I don't have my facts wrong. Opposition to abortion is different from according a fetus the same status and protections as a live human being.

  22. FIrst of all here is a link about the FBI's changes to the definition of rape:


    If you read through that article you will see that this change is for compiling crime statistics for the FBI and has absolutely no effect on prosecution of rapes, as that is determined by local and state definitions and laws.
    So really what the FBI considers rape is largely irrelevant to rape prosecutions.

    But vinny already referred to that..

    Look if you want to argue about ancient views on abortion then you also have admit that the pregnancy wasn't considered real and the child alive until the baby "quickened within the mother's womb...something that happens after the first trimester of life....but I suspect that you won't allow that standard to sway your opinion too much.

    I find it highly interesting that you think women go around crying "rape" all the time and that women would of course blithely claim rape because it would suit them.

    While there are always liars of any gender in life, most women don't want to be thought of as rape victims and wouldn't claim that label....which is why so many rapes go unreported, because of shame and embarrassment.

    Your concern about men being unjustly accused of rape by drunk girls sounds like typical MRA bull@#$! No amount of discussion could probably dissuade you from that kind of thinking.

  23. "The clear implication of your argument is that anything that happens to a woman when she is intoxicated is her fault."

    There's no such implication. What you have is an intentional distortion, an inference not supported by my words. But I can give some measure of agreement to the idea that anything bad that happens to ANYONE is their own fault if they're drunk, since being drunk so often leads to bad outcomes.

    "That means that no man can be held liable for anything he does to her since he can always claim that she consented and she can't deny it."

    It means that no man should be held liable for rape just because a woman doesn't want the child that was conceived during her drunken hook-up with a stranger. It is preposterous to suggest that anyone magically loses the ability to think rationally due to having imbibed. Again, how is the line drawn? One drink? Ten drinks? Do women automatically become too drunk to think like mature adults after the same amount of booze is consumed? I know leftists like to believe nothing is anyone's fault, but this is creating excuses legally and is beneath mature adults to suggest.

    Yes, Vinny. You do have your facts wrong. My point, which is easily researched, shows that even in ancient times there were those who saw abortion as homicide. I used that term purposely in my last as it was used even in the Wiki article on the subject. As I said, the debate is quite old and there have always been multiple points of view on the subject, even within religious circles. If the words "homicide" or "murder" are used in such discussions, obviously personhood status is being discussed.

  24. @ Anonymous:

    "The revised definition includes any gender of victim or perpetrator, and includes instances in which the victim is incapable of giving consent because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity, including due to the influence of drugs or alcohol or because of age."

    If you don't think this gives loose women the opportunity to claim rape when consent was actually freely given (if the loose woman so chooses), then I've got a bridge to sell you. How deceitfully and willfully naive. And whether this change directs legislation or is a reflection of it is irrelevant. The possibility to abuse it exists nonetheless and abortion law is affected by it as well, as allowing it for rape now is tainted by the question of whether an actual rape has actually occurred.

    "Look if you want to argue about ancient views on abortion..."

    No. I don't. Vinny brought it up, not me. And my response clearly indicated that the subject of when life begins was debated back then as well. Try to pay attention.

    "I find it highly interesting that you think women go around crying "rape" all the time..."

    I find it far less than surprising that you would claim I suggested something I never suggested.

    "...and that women would of course blithely claim rape because it would suit them."

    Also unsurprising is that you would argue that no woman has ever or would ever falsely accuse someone of rape, or that they would falsely claim to be rape in order to get an abortion where rape is among the few legally approved instances where it can be obtained.

    And there is no discussion here of "most women" but of how laws could easily be abused to suit those that are of the type to do so.

    "Your concern about men being unjustly accused of rape by drunk girls sounds like typical MRA bull@#$! No amount of discussion could probably dissuade you from that kind of thinking."

    First, I don't understand the "MRA" reference.

    Secondly, my concern for anyone unjustly accused should be shared by all people concerned with justice and the innocence of anyone before proof of guilt is provided. Apparently, no amount of discussion or rational thinking will ever dissuade anyone who believes one has a "right" to sex that trumps the life of the child that is likely to be brought into existence by that sex.

    There is something uniquely troubling and incredibly dishonest with those who cannot understand the connection between intercourse and procreation. In this day and age, there is no excuse for this.

  25. It means that no man should be held liable for rape just because a woman doesn't want the child that was conceived during her drunken hook-up with a stranger.

    I know of no one but you who has ever suggested so foolish a notion.

    It is preposterous to suggest that anyone magically loses the ability to think rationally due to having imbibed.

    I know of no one but you who has ever suggested so foolish a notion.

    My point, which is easily researched, shows that even in ancient times there were those who saw abortion as homicide.

    I have never claimed that there was never a single person in ancient times who saw abortion as homicide. I was addressing the status that societies have accorded the fetus as reflected in their legal practices.

  26. Also unsurprising is that you would argue that no woman has ever or would ever falsely accuse someone of rape, or that they would falsely claim to be rape in order to get an abortion where rape is among the few legally approved instances where it can be obtained.

    I never argued that. I began by saying that there are liars of both genders who would be willing to be unscrupulous, not only in this matter, but in many other matters also. You are the one who seems to concerned about an epidemic of women crying "rape" falsely.

    You want to argue not about what the majority of women would do , but the ways in which people might manipulate the system. Well, guess what, no matter what laws are in place, there are always people manipulating them. We create laws based on what we think is right or just, not on the basis of whether someone somewhere might find ways to exploit them.

    It's wrong for men to have sex with a passed out, drunk woman...period. SO we create laws that say so. We don't refuse to enact laws based on imaginary scenarios that people on the internet come up with.

    MRA= Men's RIghts Activists. You can go to the-spearhead.comto read some their drivel if you'd like. I suspect you would very likely fit in and find yourself nodding in approval.

  27. In response to the following used twice by Vinny:

    "I know of no one but you who has ever suggested so foolish a notion."

    Of course you do. That would be the FBI and any jurisdiction that subscribes to the notion that intoxication trumps consent. Also, those idiots who agree this makes any sense.

    "I have never claimed that there was never a single person in ancient times who saw abortion as homicide."

    Good, since I didn't accuse you of this. However, you certainly implied then, and do now, that there is some overwhelming notion to that effect by putting legal practices over general sentiment. Our current legal practices suggest our nation has no issue with abortion. Recent polls suggest a growing percentage of the population is pro-life.

    For Anon,

    " You are the one who seems to concerned about an epidemic of women crying "rape" falsely."

    Not even close. My concern is that as regards the FBI stats and the jurisdictions that have legislated in a manner reflected by them, there is now another excuse that can be used by the unscrupulous to avoid the consequences of their actions.

    "You want to argue not about what the majority of women would do , but the ways in which people might manipulate the system."

    A reasonable and thoughtful consideration when crafting law.

    Gotta go. More later.

  28. MA,

    That would be the FBI and any jurisdiction that subscribes to the notion that intoxication trumps consent.

    So everyone but you.

    However, you certainly implied then, and do now, that there is some overwhelming notion to that effect by putting legal practices over general sentiment.

    Unfortunately, no one was conducting public opinion polls in the ancient world (or if they were, they left no records of them). Therefore, the best evidence we will usually have of a society's attitude towards the unborn would be its legal practices. For example, the book of Exodus plainly proscribes a lesser penalty for causing a woman to miscarry than it does for killing a living infant.

  29. NO, Vinny. Not everyone subscribes to the notion that intoxication trumps consent. Rational and honest people, admittedly in the minority these days, understand that intoxication does not, or at least should not, shield one from responsibility for their actions. If a woman can be allowed to claim she didn't know what she was doing when she got laid and got pregnant because she had a few, then how can we hold drunk drivers responsible? More to the point, how can YOU not see the how you are playing favorites by granting this out to women, just so they can have a legally justified reason to kill their unborn? "I partied last night, had a few drinks while flirting with this dude who appeared hot at the time, we had sex, I got pregnant when I didn't want to, so now I'm saying he raped me because I was drunk and therefor unable to give consent regardless of just how many drinks I actually had and its actual affect on my ability to reason...somehow when I drink I forget that fornication is potentially problematic if not an outright example of bad and easily preventable behavior." Makes perfect sense...to a lefty.

    Note that we do have opinion polls now, together with better science, that demonstrates that the fetus is indeed a human being unless one wishes to judge by completely subjective criteria, such as whether or not the fetus is self-aware, can feel pain, or looks like a fully formed baby. But without all that, all we have regarding ancient times are examples of ancient understanding which is not void of those who understand the basic truth regarding how we come to be. That there existed those who believe abortion to be wrong indicates this rational thought existing in those times. What's more, as women in general were considered less of a loss by their deaths compared to men, penalties for killing unborn compared to born do not signify that the unborn were considered non-human or non-persons, despite your fervent hope for that being the case.

  30. More to the point, how can YOU not see the how you are playing favorites by granting this out to women, just so they can have a legally justified reason to kill their unborn?

    Are aware that abortion is currently legal in this country? The rule that intoxication vitiates consent has absolutely no effect whatsoever on a woman's ability to obtain an abortion. The issue only arises in your right wing fantasy world.

  31. No kidding? The point, Vinny, was raised as part of the discussion of whether or not future legislation regarding outlawing abortion should include pregnancies as a result of rape. This is what led to Akin's insignificant statement regarding "legitimate" rape and whether or not pregnancy is less likely as a result. Imagine the law being just that. No abortions except cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother being threatened by the pregnancy (what even the most adamant pro-lifer is willing to concede). If rape is one legal excuse to have an abortion, then determining what constitutes rape becomes an issue. If one can say a rape occurred because the woman was drunk and could then not be capable of giving consent, then any woman who does not want to go through with a pregnancy can have that as a possible excuse and after the fact, who can say she wasn't too drunk to give consent? If you honestly want to insist that such a scenario is out of the realm of possibility, it is YOU who is living in a fantasy world. We have false accusations of rape as it is (lacrosse anyone?). What makes you think that a nation that acknowledges the humanity of the unborn properly so as to restrict abortions would not result in such attempts to get around the law?

  32. I am absolutely sure that there would be attempts to get around the law for the simple fact that prior to Roe v. Wade, illegal abortions were common. I just don't think that possibility means that we need to abandon the well established rule that intoxication impairs consent, which is found in contract law as well as in criminal law.

  33. I have tried to do a quick search to find anything on intoxication and consent, and thus far most links take me to something having to do with rape. As regards consent alone for the purposes of contract law and criminal law, I've not found anything yet. My time is severely limited due to job demands. But I would submit that any other legal area on the subject of consent would not be resolved by terminating the life of another human being, or would it be used as a justification for doing so.

    The idea that illegal abortions were common is almost mythical related to the reality. The exact numbers are always inflated, but doubtless were far, far short of the numbers since Roe v Wade. The law affected public attitudes as regards the morality of that act and the increase is due to so many buying into the patently false notion that it was not a human being that is snuffed out by the barbaric process. There have always been those morally deficient factions in our midst who have been pushing to alter the cultural sense of right and wrong. Those in favor of legal abortions are a part of that faction.

  34. It has been estimated that up to fifty percent of pregnancies end in spontaneous abortions, aka miscarriages, most before the woman even knows that she is pregnant. There is no cultural sense that this represents the loss of human beings.

  35. The first problem with your statement is trying to equate a natural occurrence, miscarriage, with a consciously decided act, abortion. The two are apples and oranges and to pretend the former therefor justifies in any way the latter is not intellectually honest. If an unknown tribe of natives living in a jungle were wiped out by illness or natural disaster, it would have the same affect on the cultural sense of whether or not human beings were lost. That miscarriages occur without knowledge of the pregnant woman that it did occur has nothing to do with whether or not a human being was lost. Thoughtful analysis of the situation would lead to that conclusion.

  36. I'm not equating an induced abortion to a spontaneous abortion. I'm equating a fetus to a fetus.

    If there were any cultural sense that a first trimester fetus merited the same concern or attention as a live born infant, then there would be the same concern about miscarriages as there is about infant mortality.

  37. You are indeed making that comparison, Vinny, because an abortion is never spontaneous, and a miscarriage is never an abortion. If you wish to equate miscarriage to anything, it would more comparable to death by natural causes. An abortion is the termination of one person's life by another. Yet, you continue to want to use the term "spontaneous abortion" which is like saying "spontaneous murder" or "spontaneous killing" if "murder" puts your panties in a bunch.

    In the same way, the use of the term "fetus" diminishes the truth of what is truly a person in a particular stage of development. It's not the other way around. This is similar to the purposeful use of the phrase "right to choose" when the question of what is being chosen is never articulated. It is the so-called "right" to choose to end the life of one's child, off-spring, progeny.

    As to your last statement, it is incredibly dishonest to pretend that there is no distinction whatsoever between a person in the first week of gestation and another at 86 years old, and then pretend that there's anything wrong with our arguments opposing abortion. Infant mortality has always been a judgement of how long a child lives after birth. Therefor, to conflate the term with miscarriage is illogical and less than honest.

    But there is indeed concern about miscarriages as there are all sorts of work that is done, avenues that can be taken, to understand why a woman might miscarry, be prone to miscarry and ways to attempt to correct the situation. So I don't know why you think there is no cultural concern.

  38. The recognized medical term for a miscarriage is "spontaneous abortion," but don't let the facts bother you.

  39. I don't deny what the term means. I reject the use of it so as to imply no distinction between the taking of life and the natural end of life. Abort is to end. In other words, the term used by recognized medical people carries a different connotation that what is understood by the average non-medical person. So a miscarriage is an abortion in the sense that a process has been terminated, in this case by natural means. But most people do not use the term abortion in that manner. Thus, my point is that to use it in reference to miscarriages is to suggest a justification for aborting through surgical or chemical means because they are both abortions in the most technical sense. That's a fact YOU ignore.

    My arguments are drawing real distinctions between events and insisting on a truthful explanation for what those events entail. Yours are seeking to muddy the waters in order to lessen the truth about what abortion is. It is NOT like a miscarriage in any way except that the end result is that a human life has ended. Miscarriages have no place in a debate over the morality of abortion as they are irrelevant to the issue, whether the term "spontaneous abortion" is a medically accepted term or not.

  40. It is relevant to whether the common cultural sense equates a first trimester fetus to a live born infant, which it doesn't, your misunderstanding notwithstanding.

  41. How so? Because nature determined the end of the life at that particular stage? How is that different from you dropping dead from a heart condition you didn't know you had? The answer: no difference at all. Neither has any relevance to the fact that you are both equally human beings endowed by your Creator with the unalienable right to life.

    However, there is indeed a difference between that fetus and a live born infant, but the difference is only that they are each different stages of development of each as they make their way toward a retirement village in Arizona. They are both human beings, which is biological fact, your misunderstanding notwithstanding.

  42. No. One is a human being and has been recognized as a human being throughout history in all societies. The other has generally been considered a part of the mother's body.

  43. So you won't let facts get in your way, is that it? So if the culture changes its collective mind on the subject of, say, slavery, then whatever people are considered slaves are no longer equal to the rest of us? Is that it? You give lie to the notion that it is the right wing that is anti-science. Though there have always been those throughout history that were able to understand the truth in this matter, science has long determined that there is no doubt about the humanity of the unborn from conception onward. It has shown that while it might indeed have a connection to the mother's body, it is in fact a separate entity with its own DNA that distinguishes it from being a part of the mother's body. This is important. The new being attaches itself to the mother, it was never a part of the mother.

  44. The "fact" that we have been discussing is the historical cultural understanding of the personhood of the fetus, and you are the one the has been wrong. Of course the culture can change its collective mind and you are free to argue that it should do so in this case. The problem is your claim that the view that the religious right currently finds politically convenient has actually been the common consensus throughout history.

    The fact that the fetus has its own DNA is interesting, but not determinative. There are plenty all of ways in which the fetus is not a separate entity. You have decided that the one that favors your position is the only one that matters.

    But I like the way your last sentence frames an important issue. In the case of pregnancy resulting from rape, a being has attached itself to a woman against her will. In no other case would we consider a human being obligated to endure such action.

  45. Interesting discussion. As Marshall Art correctly points out, even the most adamant pro-lifers concede “rape, incest and life of the mother” as exceptions to abortion. Personally, I think this completely undercuts their argument regarding sanctity of life by allowing such exemptions (if a two-year-old child has human rights, despite the child’s conception being from rape, and the pro-life considers a fetus to retain the exact same rights as a 2-year-old, it is logically inconsistent to “exempt” those rights for a fetus and grant those rights to a 2-year-old. It demonstrates exactly what Vinny points out—whether they admit it or not, most pro-lifers do consider a fetus to have different rights than a human!)

    These exemptions have existed for emotional reasons—even the most conservative politicians fear losing the popular vote by eliminating them.

    And, once we create these exemptions, we must wrestle with defining them. Two are legal definitions—incest and rape—the third is medical—“life of the mother.” It would appear Atkins, in typical politician speak, initially wanted to state the exemption for “rape” was unnecessary because in the case of “legitimate rape” (according to the doctors Atkins talked to) a woman’s body shuts down and no pregnancy can occur. But then Atkins went on to say if it does occur, we should punish the rapist and not the child.

    This created controversy because:

    1) Did Atkins believe there was medical proof women’s bodies can detect force and self-prevent pregnancy?
    2) What did he mean by “legitimate rape” as compared to non-legitimate rape?
    3) Does he subscribe to no exemption for rape regardless of the first two questions?

    I think it more likely than not, when viewed by a neutral person, Atkins thought women’s bodies have mechanisms to self-prevent pregnancy in situations of rape. One could make a thin medical argument in support of this claim (that stress inhibits ovulation, rape is stressful, and therefore ovulation is inhibited by rape) however the statistics do not support the claim due to other social factors.

    This is further bolstered by Atkins convoluted politician’s attempts to clarify by first claiming he meant “forcible rape” and later re-clarifying by claiming he meant “actual rape” as opposed to falsely-reported rape. If he meant non-legitimate rape was falsely reported rape, this would align with his thinking only in “legitimate rape” (i.e. actual rape) would a woman’s body self-prevent. Since in the falsely-reported rape the woman actually wanted sex.

    It is both reasonable and preponderates that Vinny’s original two-sentence blog entry is what Atkins thought—notwithstanding the subsequent attempts to justify, manipulate and clarify to avoid the political ramifications.

  46. Dagoods,

    Pro-lifers are making a concession for those three scenarios in hopes of reducing all the less compelling excuses. They are not saying those scenarios constitute legitimate reasons. The belief in the sanctity of life still stands. But the question is whether or not we should let the current situation continue, where thousands are aborted each week (or month), versus a more restricted alternative wherein only those most severe cases are allowed. Assuming for a moment that such a change is made, the hope by pro-lifers would still be that life is given a chance. But should all rape, incest and "life of the mother" cases result in abortions, there would still be a massively reduced number and that is better.

    Gotta go. More later.

  47. More for Dagoods,

    Akins point was that rape is a poor reason to have an abortion because there are two victims. He gives the unborn the status to which it is entitled by virtue of its existence. The stuff about trauma reducing the possibility of pregnancy was a sidebar to suggest that pregnancy from rape is rare. Frankly, the frequency of pregnancy from rape is irrelevant, but some people have a hard time with the notion that there exists people in this day and age that still pretend there's a difference between one person and another based on insignificant differences such as age, size and stage of development. This difficulty leads to some desperate arguments. That was his failure. Not his facts. It was the manner in which he attempted to use the facts.

    But this doesn't explain the controversy. The insane defense of abortion is the cause. It makes abortion supporters point to such bad arguments to diminish the real arguments against the practice and the people who make them. From the other side, supporters cringe that there is a bad argument being made which makes them look bad. There's really no doubt about Akins point. There's simply not enough honesty to look past the shortcomings of his presentation.

    What's more, the least controversial aspect of Akin's comments was the use of the term "legitimate" rape. Here again, it is plain that he is differentiating between rape and acts later said to be rape when a pregnancy or some other unexpected "negative" result occurs from a sexual encounter. The extremist feminist will insist that most sex with a man is rape. A woman can change her mind after giving consent and the man will stand accused in the minds of these extremists. To the extremists, its enough that at any point a woman can decide the sex to which she consented can be called a rape. THIS is the type of thing Akins was trying to separate from real rape, where a woman is forced to have sex against her will. You know. Rape.

    How this situation is viewed depends not on neutrality of the viewer, but honesty. Something this controversy was greatly lacking.

  48. Vinny,

    "The "fact" that we have been discussing is the historical cultural understanding of the personhood of the fetus, and you are the one the has been wrong."

    I merely pointed out that even in ancient history there existed those for whom the status of the unborn was clearly that of a person. The term "homicide" is not used when non-humans are killed.

    "The fact that the fetus has its own DNA is interesting, but not determinative."

    Of course it is. The unique DNA makes it so. Nothing that is part of the mother has its own DNA. The child is not part of the mother, but a separate person unto itself.

    "In the case of pregnancy resulting from rape, a being has attached itself to a woman against her will. In no other case would we consider a human being obligated to endure such action."

    There is no other case wherein the one human being physically attaches itself to another human being and does so by invitation of the mother. The embryo has no way of knowing whether or not its existence was planned, accidental or the result of rape. But it does what it was designed to do which is to attach itself to the mother, and as far as it "knows" it was invited because that's how it was meant to be, how it was designed to be. It acts without regard to the maturity or compassion (or lack thereof) of the parents who brought it into existence. To kill it is to hold it responsible for the crime committed by its father against its mother who was unable to fend off the attack. Yeah. That's what a compassionate human being does to another.

    1. How does the raped woman invite the embryo? Does she invite the rape, too? After all, a woman's vagina was "meant to" and "designed to" receive a man's penis.

    2. Re-read my comment and you'll clearly see I was speaking from the perspective of the embryo. It is doing what it is designed to do as if actually wanted. Why must you lefties try to distort what is so clearly presented? YOUR argument was that somehow the embryo is some alien parasite attaching to the mother. I was hoping to differentiate between reality and this lame analogy. As the embryo is doing what it was designed to do, you are willing to make it pay for the sin of its father and the mother's lack of ability to fend off her attacker and claiming that constitutes a just reason for doing so.

    3. Clearly presented? Don't be ridiculous. Embryos don't have any way of knowing anything. Raped women don't extend invitations. Your argument was distorted before I ever commented on it.

  49. Marshall Art,

    You make a good point. It is very possible those “adamant pro-lifers” are being duplicitous in arguing for exemptions to abortion, rather than ignorant to the contradictory nature of the arguments.

    Marshall Art: What's more, the least controversial aspect of Akin's comments was the use of the term "legitimate" rape. Here again, it is plain that he is differentiating between rape and acts later said to be rape when a pregnancy or some other unexpected "negative" result occurs from a sexual encounter.

    Ah…I love revisionist historians. If Akins was referring to false accusations when utilizing the term, “Legitimate rape”, why did he indicate to Mike Huckabee he meant “forcible rape’? See
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/20/akin-apologizes-i-was-talking-about-forcible-rape/ at 3:45.

    Yes, I know he later changed his mind (again) and then claimed he meant false accusations of rape when using the term “legitimate rape.” *shrug* I am looking at his original statement in context and his initial attempts to dig himself out of his perceived hole.

    So which is it? If it was forcible, why are we discussing anything about false accusations? If it was false accusations, why are we discussing stress impacting ovulation? You all need to pick an argument and stick with it.

  50. So which is it? If it was forcible, why are we discussing anything about false accusations? If it was false accusations, why are we discussing stress impacting ovulation? You all need to pick an argument and stick with it.

    Very true and a great point!

    Here's the question though, is a fertilized egg a human being? Pro-lifers would invariably say yes.

    On the other hand. If we took the cell of any human and developed it in a cloning process, would that be considered a human being at the same stage that we consider a fertilized egg to be a human being??

    If not...why not? If yes...then why?

    I would have considered myself pro-life in many ways through out my life and I still don't like the idea of abortion, but my stance has softened, in part because of a personal experience with miscarriage.

    I don't believe that I have another child somewhere just because I miscarried at about 8 weeks along. I have two children....Period, not a third one floating in limbo somewhere.ANd that distinction became very easy for me to make once I became pregnant with my firstborn within a month of miscarrying my first pregnancy.

    I realized that my oldest child wouldn't have existed if that first pregnancy had taken root. The egg that gave him life wouldn't have ovulated at that time, and the my husband's individual sperm, and it's particular DNA makeup, would have long cycled through his body.

    Thinking about this in stark biological terms is very different than thinking about it in emotional, anthropomorphic terms.

    The thing is that while some people want no abortion at all, there are others, such as the CAtholic CHurch, who think of any type of contraception as evil as abortion and would love to see contraception availability gutted and removed.

    1. Anon,

      I also have two children. Twenty years ago when they were four and six, my wife became pregnant again. She had recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness, so the pregnancy was likely to be much harder on her than the first two. At the same time, my career was at a low ebb and I was working a lot of hours, so I would not be around to help her as much as I had with the first two. As a result, when she miscarried in the first trimester, we were sad, but we both felt like we had gotten a lucky break.

      I have found that even conservative Christians that are adamantly pro-life have been able to sympathize with my reaction to the miscarriage. However, if the baby had died unexpectedly at the age of three months and I had expressed relief because it made my life easier, I think that people of most religious and political persuasions would think of me as a monster, and I wouldn't blame them.

    2. I don't think too many people would regard as a monster anyone who felt relief at no longer having to suffer through the trauma of caring for a family member with a chronic illness. I don't think you'd get too many unsympathetic responses to expressing that feeling of relief regardless of the child's age, because 1) it is doubtful that you had actually wished for the death of the child, and 2) the struggles you were going through were lessened by not having the child. (If those struggles were indeed weighty.) Of course, if you had a history of whining about how hard your life is, that might be different.

      But if your suffering was apparent, a reasonable person could understand the feeling of relief. And that's the key: reason. Having a clear understanding of the particulars of your situation would render a measure of sympathy for the loss together with the same realization that with that loss comes one less responsibility during a difficult period.

      You must consider that people caring for aging parents go through the same thing. Sadness mixed with relief. Any burden no longer weighing one down brings that feeling of relief.

    3. Anon,

      If cloning can be done by the use of merely one cell, at some point it becomes something akin to an embryo. Or at least I would imagine this to be true considering I don't know anything about the actual process. I have to assume that there comes a point in the process that can be equated with the point of fertilization. At that point, a new human being is in existence and worthy of respect.

      As to your miscarried child, I have no idea what the theological implications might be (for my own sake in wondering about such things), but I would lean toward God having some plan. There's no way to know until we get the chance to ask Him.

      Had you not miscarried, however, you would not think of the entity that is your current oldest child at all. That is to say, you'd have no reason to think of him as he would never have existed to even consider him specifically. You're thinking from a perspective totally influenced by what has occurred. You would not think this way if the scenario didn't play out as it did.

    4. I don't believe in a God who creates a life only to destroy it in some sort of weird "plan" to teach me.......what exactly..........?

      Would it be too much to ask God, himself, to be pro-life?? I guess he gets exemptions and is allowed to cause abortions for willy nilly reasons.

      My answer is snarky because you seem to take a position that God is in control of miscarriages, causing them for some mysterious divine purpose.

      But see, my oldest son could have just as easily been conceived without the miscarriage having ever happened. It wasn't necessary for me to have gone through that in order to have things line up properly so that the right egg and the right sperm met up. If I hadn't gotten pregnant at all that egg with half my son's DNA would have still been in me ready to ovulate at the right time, and my husband's particular sperm cell, with the other half of my son's DNA would have been created and used at the same time. There was no need for an emotional, tragic experience to set the stage for my son or to bring about his existence in some way.

      I would take you much more seriously if you at least didn't think that God was in control of such things and that miscarriages happen for purely biological reasons that aren't always known.

      Your position is purely based on theological distinctions. There's nothing wrong with that, but all this talk about false rape claims and what-not is just a smokescreen.

      You believe abortion is wrong because you believe that people have souls that come into existence at conception and that abortion is equivalent to murder.

      However, maybe we could talk about what abortion means for aborted babies in your theological framework? Many in the Catholic Church used to believe that unbaptized infants who died weren't admitted into heaven but instead resided in limbo....which isn't exactly hell, but it's not a great place to be either.

      In that framework, abortion robs infants from God's presence. Which would explain why devout Catholics are so incensed by the idea of abortion.

      The problem is that most Protestants don't believe things like that. They believe that babies are innocent and if they die they are essentially with God, or in Heaven, depending on the particular brand of Protestantism.

      From a theological standpoint, although abortion is still considered abhorrent to conservative Protestants, it isn't because they think that something permanently awful has happened to babies, after all being in heaven is supposed to be pretty awesome. Instead, outrage is directed at the aborter for the awful thing they have done, not because of the consequences of the act, but because of what they think it says about the aborter and their moral rectitude.

      WHich category do you fall into??

    5. Anon,

      Thanks for visiting my blog. I wish you had the ability to more fully flesh out your opinion of it. I admit I can't know for sure that it was you, but the timing and topic suggests it.

      Anyway, all life is God's to do with as He pleases. An old man dying of natural causes after a long and happy life has had his life taken by God. So has the life of an unborn child. It is the same regardless of how that person lost his life, be it natural causes (a miscarriage), murder (abortion) or accidental mishap. Some people simply attribute any of these to one's time having come.

      I don't know that it is certain that every negative experience is meant to teach, though one can derive lessons from most anything. (I know a guy who sees economic lessons in just about any passage from Scripture.) With your miscarriage, it could simply have been a case of preventing you from dealing with a very difficult pregnancy or parenting situation. OR, it could have been to relieve the the child of suffering. Death from natural causes (or unknown causes as is not so uncommon in life, such as heart conditions not discovered before a young athlete dies on the practice field) often makes no sense to the surviving relatives and friends. My position is that God is in control of everything. That has nothing to do with understanding the mechanisms of life and the processes involved. Whether or not we understand why a miscarriage happened, or why an old man passes away in his sleep or why any given person just drops dead without warning, or by outside causes, such as accident, infection or murder, none of that diminishes the truth of God's control or planning. What's more, understanding He is in control is not something most Christians use as an excuse to do nothing to understand and/or work to prevent negative experiences from occurring. That's just nonsense atheists and liberals like to say to pretend they're the sophisticated ones.

      But the truth is that I have not said a whole lot here to suggest theological explanations. That was you. You seem to have a strange issue with the Catholic Church as you continue to bring it up. I argue abortion based on the proven fact of what a human embryo is, how it got there and the purpose of the act that led to its existence.

      You believe your oldest could have been conceived without the miscarriage having first happened. Obviously that's not true as that is what in fact happened.

      I believe abortion is wrong because pregnancy can be prevented, conception can be prevented, we don't suffer from lack of sexual activity, our lives aren't shortened by not having sex whenever we want, but most importantly, because what is conceived cannot be anything but another human being, a person who is regarded by too many "born" people as less than a person for reasons of selfishness. Mature people understand all of this. They don't pretend that miscarriages justify the act of aborting otherwise healthy unborn. They don't pretend that there was no way to prevent the conception or that the desire for sexual contact trumps the consequences of that desire being acted upon. I believe abortion is wrong because the unborn are people, regardless if there exists a God who imbues each of us with a soul. I don't need my faith to argue against the heinous desire to abort.

      I hope this clears things up about the category that best suits me in your mind.

    6. Marshall,

      Not sure what you are referring to about your blog. I think I did click through to check out your blog at some point, but I haven't left any comments on it, or done any searching through it. It must be somebody else.

      I bring up the theological because that is, at the root, what motivates pro-lifers. They can talk about rape, incest, what's good for women, personhood, etc...but all of these angles usually emanate from a specific theological idea if you go down deep enough. I'm trying to get you to that point because I think many of the things you are talking about have beginnings there.

      I brought up cloning because you are basing the idea of personhood as being something inherent in a fertilized egg from the moment of conception. And my assumption is that the reason you think this is because you think that personhood exists, not merely in a physical, but in a spiritual sense also.

      Scientists have been able to convert adult, human white blood cells into embryonic stem cells. Those stem cells will eventually be able to become any type of cell they need to be. They may eventually be used to clone humans, something that is banned in most places, but will probably occur at some point in the future.

      If a human cell can be cloned and nurtured along enough to develop and become a person, at what point did it get a "soul"? At what point did God create this new "person" and give it a soul?

      Many pro-lifers have decried embryonic stem cell research and praised adult stem cell research as an alternative......but if all we're are doing is turning adult stem cells into embryonic stem cells....then where is the distinction? Why is one OK and not the other?

      You may say that I am off-topic, but I think this is all very inter-related.

      A person might say that a sexually conceived week-old embryo is a person and an adult stem cell that has been reverted to a week-old embryo state is not a person. But why??

      The only possible explanation is that one is created naturally and if left alone will develop into a human infant.

      Yet, eventually a reverted embryonic stem cell could be implanted into a woman and allowed to grow. Would a woman have the right to eliminate the artificially created embryo? Would she be killing a person if she did this while the embryo was still relatively small and in the first stages of development, in your opinion?

      This may seem like a barrage of hypothetical questions, but I think they can uncover what people think about this issue in an interesting way.

    7. ***I had to break this comment up***

      My position is that God is in control of everything.

      Of course you do. I don't believe that. My comments about God and abortion are only to point out the silliness of having such a hard stance on abortion but being OK with God creating and eliminating life on such a willy-nilly basis. You talk about God causing miscarriages maybe to eliminate the future suffering of the child, or to relieve me from a difficult pregnancy or "parenting situation"....whatever that means. Yet, I can't imagine that you would be very sympathetic to a woman saying that she had an abortion to relieve that future child of suffering maybe because of a deformity, or a severe economic circumstance/poverty.....both of which would make for a difficult "parenting situation".

      In fact, I feel fairly confident that you could come up with a long list of reasons why such motivations are "selfish" and "immature" and yet they are the motivations that you are willing to hypothetically ascribe to your version of God.

      Do you not see the disconnect there? The inconsistency rumbling beneath the surface?

      If a woman aborts a child because of a birth defect, she's killing a person...if God does it he's relieving the suffering of the person.

      The only response available to this is to say that people aren't God and aren't allowed to do what he does......an argument I find weak and ludicrous. An argument that expects people to be more moral than the God they claim to believe in.

    8. Don't have a lot of time, but wanted to begin responding to at least let you know I'm still engaged in the conversation.

      Apologies regarding the blog thing. The comment at my blog suggested it might be you considering the timing and the topic of the post in which it appeared. Glad to know it's not. Using "anonymous" as a handle causes confusion as regards with whom one is

      I think it is inaccurate to say that one's faith in God is the root of their pro-life position. That Judeo-Christian teaching aligns with the scientific facts cannot be helped. What is more accurate to say is that a lack of belief (or even a weak belief) is the root of the pro-abort position. That is to say that with no accountability to a power higher than one's self, any rationalization will do. The quality of that rationalization is far more dependent upon how one wishes to be perceived by the world than by how the rationalization jibes with biological fact. Simply put, there is no argument regarding the humanity of the unborn at any stage of development that has any basis in scientific fact. Not a one. Each is just a rationalization put forth to serve a personal preference.

      While it is enough for me to say "What God says is good enough for me", I am no different than any other person on earth in that I am motivated mostly by my own desires and urges. No non-believer admits that they have established their "morality" based entirely on their desires, but it is the case. Mine is established already and does not take into account my desires and urges, but rather forces my desires and urges to take a back seat to what is best, what is true and factual and mostly, what pleases Him. And while all that is true, it has nothing to do with the reality of the science/biology of this issue.

      Now, I'm not totally into all the specifics regarding the stem cell issue, but I don't think any stem cells not from embryos are "turned into" embryonic cells. I believe it is that they are, at best, made to act in the same way as embryonic stem cells. Remember, embryonic stem cells are not embryos, but are derived from embryos in a manner that destroys the embryos. Thus, if there are no embryos destroyed in converting any other stem cell into one that resembles one of the embryonic variety, there is no issue. And again, as to cloning, I'd only be concerned with at what point the process generates an actual human life. That point would be akin to fertilization and thus from that point a new person would exist. It seems to me that if we are able to generate human life in a manner apart from the natural, then we must also be willing to acknowledge the humanity of what we "created". And just like with the natural, we must consider it human and a person until such point as it can be proven to be something else.

      As to the term "personhood", this is not an argument generated by the pro-life side, but by the pro-abort side. It is amongst the many bad arguments against the humanity and rights of the unborn. If we can say it hasn't developed enough to enjoy the title of "person", then it isn't like the rest of us and we can destroy it with abandon. To argue against it is to recognize the desperation of the point in trying to rationalize abortion.

      More later. Gotta go.

    9. It is also helpful to consider that there are likely some non-believers who are pro-life. What motivates their thinking and do you place more or less value on it because they are atheistic?

      There is no disconnect with acknowledging God's absolute sovereignty and thus "right" to give and take life as He sees fit. Indeed, as He is the author of all life, He doesn't even need a reason to snuff an individual (though He never acts in a "willy-nilly" manner---there is nothing to support the notion).

      Frankly, I'm not in the habit of offering hypotheticals regarding God's motivations unless someone like you wants to question Him. I don't question Him beyond mere wondering, as most Christians do. Bottom line is, He's the Supreme Being and the reason any of us exist at all. He can do what He wants.

      The point here is that life is His to give and take, not ours. We don't give life, we pro-create. What happens by our attempts in in His hands. So to abort is to take over His job without His consent, just as any other unlawful killing is. Your conclusion, that you find ludicrous, is not only not so, but a fact. We aren't God or anything like Him. But the real issue for us is to acknowledge the humanity of the unborn and grant their lives the same respect we say we give to all born people. They are worthy and all that is connected to their coming into existence needs to revolve around that absolute fact.

  51. Dagoods,

    I don't have time at present to provide a detailed response to your last. It will come in time. But your use of the word "duplicitous" is absolutely inappropriate. Any reduction in the amount of abortions is a good thing to the pro-lifer, but never the ultimate goal. Your comments suggest that if we can't save all innocent victims we should do nothing. Is this the case?

  52. Marshall Art,

    I am suggesting these “adamant pro-lifers” who concede the exceptions to abortion are inconsistent in their argumentation. Alternatively, if they are “conceding” the exceptions under some “half a loaf is better than none” approach, then they are being duplicitous (not particularly honest) in their argumentation.

    If a fertilized egg is entitled to the same human rights and protections as a 3-month old baby—then it is. The circumstances surrounding the fertilization are irrelevant. No one claims killing a 3-month baby is an appropriate “exception” to infanticide because the baby was a product of rape or incest. If these adamant pro-lifers insist the same protection is afforded a fertilized egg as the 3-month-old, then they should be consistent (or not deceptive.)

    There should be no talk regarding “legitimate rape” or consent or forcible rape or incest or this exception or that exception. It is cut-and-dried. Fertilized egg?—human rights and protection. Instead we see these exceptions bantered about and (as you correctly point out) even embraced by pro-lifers. Personally, I think pro-lifers fear they will look like insensitive monsters by not acknowledging these exceptions, and we are left with people like Adkins who attempt to justify their position by talking out of every side of their mouth available. In order to appease waffle around every side of a position, while never quite committing to a definitive position--everyone will agree with at least something you say.

  53. Dagoods,

    What fear exists in pro-lifers as to how they are perceived is justified by that outrageous positions of the pro-aborts and their heinous views of the unborn and their immoral understandings of human sexuality. They are trying to accomplish a great good amongst a very large and loud culture that has been corrupted.

    The exceptions pro-lifers are willing to accept does not constitute an embrace of the exceptions. On the contrary, as I have stated, the ultimate goal is for the culture to put sex in its proper place and elevate the overall character of society to understand the full humanity of the unborn.

    In the meantime, in the face of that corrupt culture, one is forced to accept sad realities, one of which is the perception by that culture of those who seek this noble change. This perception serves as an incredible obstacle in achieving that goal and to take an all or nothing approach means the destruction of many, many more innocent lives. The idea is to preserve those lives and saving as many as possible might have to do until all can be saved.

    The subject of rape comes up as a deceitful tactic by the pro-aborts to thwart the efforts of the pro-life cause. If there is any dishonesty afoot in the debate, it is here as we see constantly no desire to make the deal. If rape is a major concern when the subject of legally prohibiting abortion comes up, why won't they acquiesce to the proposal that says, "We'll give you rape, incest and life of the mother if you'll give us the other 98% that are for less compelling reasons."?

    There's no waffling here. The "forcible" rape comments are warranted as the idea that should abortion be restricted in the manner for which it is hoped, rape will be a more common excuse given to allow an abortion to proceed. Any regret over a sexual encounter that results in pregnancy will be called a rape in order to be allowed to abort.

    Conservatives like to consider "unintended consequences". That's all the "forcible" rape discussion is.

  54. Marshall Art

    I somewhat agree with your sentiment regarding pregnancy from rape being more an emotional argument than a substantive one. Where I would disagree is that it is deceitful. Pregnancies DO arise from rape (contra what Akins originally conveyed.) Anti-abortion laws WOULD impact such pregnancies. And, as it would seem to appear, even providing for such exceptions in the law is only a stepping stone for pro-lifers, who would intend to continue to push for no abortions whatsoever.

    As for the rest…so what? So what if society appears against the pro-life position. If the argument is a fertilized egg is entitled to human protection—make that argument! Don’t waffle. Don’t equivocate. Don’t ask for more and more restrictions. Point it out and stick with it.

    I am an atheist—our numbers (regarding the perception of culture) are dismal as compared to pro-lifers. We would crave to have such percentages. It is a little hard for me to work up sympathy for any cultural difficulty pro-lifers have, when I am in an even greater majority as an atheist, and will not accept such whining from non-believers.

    1. Dagoods,

      No one, including Akins, has expressed that pregnancies don't occur as a result of rape. He posited the likelihood that they are less likely due to the trauma aspect. But again, it's a mere speculation on his part as how could anyone know with any certainty. This speculation was not worthy of the attention his detractors chose to give it to distract from the larger issue.

      As to laws, they wouldn't impact such pregnancies since there are none proposed that would include rape cases. But I won't disagree that it would be a stepping stone, as I believe I have implied that very notion myself. Indeed I hope it is, but for reasons also mentioned having to do with elevating the culture's respect for life and cultivating a population that takes pride in self-restraint on the one side, and self-sacrifice on the other (for giving that nine months to at least bring the child forth). Yet to extend the prohibition to rape cases at some point would be a worthy and noble goal considering the child is a victim as well and its death is not justified in any way, shape or form.

      It's easy from this vantage point to pretend that it should be no problem going whole hog on the issue. But the truth is, and you know it, that isn't how things work on even less volatile issues. (Note how the homosexual agenda is being pushed little by little.)

      I wasn't seeking sympathy by relating the state of the battle, but merely stating reality. It's what we're up against. I don't know why, but it seems I get this "cry-baby" nonsense quite a bit for doing just that. In any case, its not me who I'd prefer anyone's sympathy. My hope and goal is to compel sympathy for the unborn who deserve it, need it and should have it in great abundance from a culture that should know better.