Democrats & Liberals Archives

Abortion is Still Legal

The ruling of the Supreme Court that the ban on “partial-birth abortions” is constitutional in no way changes the legality of abortions. The Court did not rule on the legality of abortion. The question before the Court was solely whether a specific medical procedure sometimes used in performng abortions is legal. The Court said it is not legal.

If this is so, why are anti-abortion activists in the heights of joy, while pro-choice activists are in the dumps? Conservatives see this ruling as opening the door for the states to gradually chip away at the right to have an abortion and the liberals seem to agree with them. They are both wrong.

Maybe conservatives are encouraged by Justice Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion, which says:

Respect for human life finds an ultimate expression in the bond of love the mother has for her child. The Act recognizes this reality as well. Whether to have an abortion requires a difficult and painful moral decision... While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained.... Severe depression and loss of esteem can follow.

It is a reasonable inference that a necessary effect of the regulation and the knowledge it conveys will be to encourage some women to carry the infant to full term, thus reducing the absolute number of late-term abortions.

This language seems to be an invitation to anti-abortionists to look for more ways to prevent women from suffering "severe depression and loss of esteem." More patronizing, condescending and paternalistic rules will be formulated in the states to "help" the pregnant woman make a decision not to abort.

Justice Kennedy also said something in support of his ruling that I find and I'm sure eventually some of Kennedy's fellow justices - maybe even Kennedy himself - will find unacceptable:

The medical profession, furthermore, may find different and less shocking methods to abort the fetus in the second trimester, thereby accommodating legislative demand.

Kennedy is telling doctors how to perform abortions. This means he is practicing medicine without a license. He is an activist justice if I ever saw one. I am sure that neither he nor the anti-abortionists will appreciate that label.

To see, however, why anti-abortionist celebrations are premature, read what Cass R. Sunstein, who teaches at Chicago Law School, says:

In this week's case, Ginsburg, now the only woman on the court, attempted to re-conceive the foundations of the abortion right, basing it on well-established constitutional principles of equality. Borrowing from her 1985 argument, she said that legal challenges to restrictions on abortion procedures "do not seek to vindicate some generalized notion of privacy; rather, they center on a woman's autonomy to determine her life's course, and thus to enjoy equal citizenship stature."

Ginsburg (and Sunstein) feel that instead of basing abortion rights on privacy, as Roe did, it should be based on the firmer foundation of gender equality. Equality, not privacy, is the issue. Women deserve to be treated the same as men. The government does not interfere with anything about men's bodies. The government should not interfere with anything about women's bodies. Neither should the government - at any level - require a pregnant woman to ask some man - father, husband, priest - to permit aborting her fetus. Nor does she need to ask or receive advice from anyone but her physician.

Equality before the law means that all the little restrictions that are meant to make it difficult for the woman to make decisions on her own behalf are illegal. Equality before the law also means that abortion will remain legal.

Posted by Paul Siegel at April 20, 2007 5:39 PM
Comments
Comment #217886
Kennedy is telling doctors how to perform abortions. This means he is practicing medicine without a license. He is an activist justice if I ever saw one.

There is nothing unusual about society placing ethical limitations on what doctors are allowed to do. Just because something CAN be done using technology, doesn’t mean that doctors make those decisions alone. We don’t allow human cloning, for example. We don’t let doctors play god.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 20, 2007 6:05 PM
Comment #217891

Paul, I thought the point of your article was obvious. On second thought…

I can see by many who comment here that it would not be obvious at all to them why and how this S.C. decision does not constitute a slippery slope for Roe v Wade.

As for the basis of defending the right to an abortion, the more the stronger, and therefore better. Privacy and equality should work hand in hand in our judicial system to defend a woman’s right to choose the course of her life, and timing of motherhood, if at all.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 20, 2007 6:33 PM
Comment #217893

This has nothing to do with gender equality. An abortion terminates another life; how can you equate that to men or men’s bodies? This ruling has everything to do with determining where a woman’s rights to terminate the life inside her end and where the baby’s right to live begins. The legal line before this decision was at birth; the law now says you can’t partially extract a baby and kill it before it is fully born.

Posted by: back the truck up at April 20, 2007 6:36 PM
Comment #217897

Paul,

We can expect many, many more abortion law challenges. That is fact. The anti-choice crowd has said so. No need for links, it’s out there EVERYWHERE. Roe v. Wade is teetering on edge.

Just look at the age of the Justices on the SCOTUS. Bush could still get another shot at appointing a new Justice. If not almost certainly the next President will. If that next POTUS is a Republican abortion will be illegal again.

The math is pretty darn easy.

Of course we’ll hear people complain that they didn’t know any better and we’ll hear people complain that were too lazy to vote.

As the effects of a waning income strike me harder and harder I find myself associating more and more with people earning poverty wages. The general consensus among them is that voting doesn’t matter.

Outside of that the largest voting group here is devout Christian and they see Democrats as downright evil. It looks to me like we’re hell bent on pursuing biblical law, right down to our contributing to Armageddon!

Posted by: KansasDem at April 20, 2007 6:55 PM
Comment #217898

“how can you equate that to men or men’s bodies?”

Well, outside of immaculate conception, it does take two baby!

It takes two baby………….me and you! It takes two!

But no man has ever died, or suffered physical injury in child birth.

Posted by: KansasDem at April 20, 2007 7:00 PM
Comment #217923
Just look at the age of the Justices on the SCOTUS. Bush could still get another shot at appointing a new Justice. If not almost certainly the next President will. If that next POTUS is a Republican abortion will be illegal again.


We must pray for the continued good health of the members of SCOTUS. We must pray for the GOPs continuing self-destruction as it now appears they will be relegated to a permanent minority in 2008. With a Democractic President, a Democratic 60-vote majority in the Senate, and a Democratic majority in the House after 2008, SCOTUS and the inferior Federal benches can be taken back from right wing reactionist judges and nearly 30 years of right wing reactionist legislation can be repealed. 2008 may well be a replay of 1932 which also followed an era during which the people were betrayed by the GOP. We must pray that we learn the lesson this time and never permit the GOP to rule again for the good of the country.

Posted by: Allen at April 20, 2007 10:19 PM
Comment #217939

As a generally pro-life Democrat, I favored the ban but it will do little to impact the number of abortions performed. Most Democrats are pro-choice but we need not be pro-abortion. We can support legislation to promote abortion alternatives and lower the abortion rate in a way that will be widely recognized as pro-child and pro-woman. http://timryan.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=149&Itemid=64

Posted by: Right Democrat at April 21, 2007 1:50 AM
Comment #217950

Allen - who are you praying to? A god who supports taking innocent life? That was an interesting comment…

KansasDem - yes it takes two, but after conception, the woman bears the child. We do legislate what people in general do with their bodies - you can’t put certain drugs into your body, etc. But abortion is unique because it involves terminating a life. So I don’t see where abortion is an equality issue. Please explain if you see otherwise.

Excellent point, Right Democrat. Let’s have an open, honest dialogue about the effects of abortion on women and society as a whole, in addition to the benefits. Maybe we’ll find that being pro-woman and pro-abortion or pro-choice aren’t as congruous as originally thought, but that there are ways to be pro-woman, pro-child and pro-choice.

Posted by: back the truck up at April 21, 2007 7:36 AM
Comment #217953

Abortion is still legal and always will be. One hideous procedure is outlawed and “we are under attack” messages goes out. I wish the pro-lifers and pro-choicers would comprise on the issue. The ugly secret is that neither side wants the issue to go away. That would mean both of their national staffs would have to go out and find real jobs!

Danny L. McDaniel
Lafayette, Indiana

Posted by: Danny L. McDaniel at April 21, 2007 9:28 AM
Comment #217958

45 million children butchered in the womb is a genocide. The technique used to do it is of little consequence.

Posted by: StephenL at April 21, 2007 10:37 AM
Comment #217988

Okay, a couple of questions.

If one procedure it illegal, another procedure is legal, both at the same age of the fetus, what is the difference? The fetus dies either way.

If these procedures, from my understanding, usually to save the life of the mother, why is one okay and one not? Especially when the not-illegal procedure is SOMETIMES the safest of the two in that particular circumstance? Then the life of the mother isn’t important?

Frankly, I don’t get it.

And someone tell me what medical procedures have been ruled as illegal either by federal law/statute or supreme court decision?

Thanks.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 21, 2007 3:05 PM
Comment #218001

womanmarine,

you make a very good point. If it’s legal to kill an unborn child with a pill, why would it be illegal to kill her by say, drilling a hole in her head and scrambling her brains? Shes just a blob of cells right? Not really a human being, right?

I think people are just a bit squeamish when they imagine a small baby having it’s head scrambled around until it dies. We want nice, clean deaths, nothing too messy or offensive, oh no. Not that. Nothing that resembles violence on an innocent, or the murder of a human.

I still call it genocide.

Posted by: StephenL at April 21, 2007 4:57 PM
Comment #218007

Womanmarine et al

In the partial birth abortion, the baby comes part way out and then the doctor kills it. Would it not be more convenient & safer still to let it come all the way out and just kill it then?

Posted by: Jack at April 21, 2007 5:23 PM
Comment #218010

StephenL:

Talk about missing the point. You really did.

Jack:

You too. I am questioning the difference between the two procedures, the one made illegal and the legal one.

Not the hysterical partison responses you both posted.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 21, 2007 5:29 PM
Comment #218022

Womanmarine

I think the point is that we are deciding very arbitarily. Almost everybody would be appalled if the doctor waited a minute until the feet came out to kill the baby, but some people do not mind doing the deed when she is partially born.

Question: What happens in those less common cases where the baby comes out feet first? Does the doctor just claim he killed her when her feet were still in?

Posted by: Jack at April 21, 2007 6:29 PM
Comment #218023

Jack:

You still don’t understand or refuse to address my point. But thanks anyhow.

I was really looking for a discussion of why one is acceptable and one not of the TWO procedures. Why you insist on not addressing that is unclear, but certainly your choice.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 21, 2007 6:41 PM
Comment #218028

womanmarine
partial birth abortion consists of the doctor cutting the baby’s head open with a scissors then vacuuming out its brains. That’s why its illegal. A pill is far less…disgusting. Besides that partial-birth abortion is almost never done to save the mother, since it comes late in pregnancy. Usually it is done for an abortionist’s convenience.

While I think abortion is wrong, the issue is doing far to much harm to our country and we need some sort of compromise between the right, which wants abortion outlawed except to save the mother, and the left, which wants abortion to be treated like a regular check-up at the doctor’s office. Danny got it right.

Allen
So you want to do away with democracy? Or do you think certain people shouldn’t be able to vote just because you think they’re wrong?

Posted by: Silima at April 21, 2007 7:24 PM
Comment #218043

Silima:

You might want to read a little more, it isn’t a question between “partial birth abortion” and a pill.

For everyone trying to explain the procedure, I am fully aware of what the procedure is. Funny no one wants to address the actual question.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 21, 2007 10:04 PM
Comment #218055

Womanmarine

I did answer. It is an arbitary decision. We have decided that it is wrong to kill the baby if it comes all the way out. Most people think it is wrong to kill the baby when it is part way out. Some people think it is okay to kill the baby while it is still inside and most people argue about when that is acceptable.

Not all cultures answer in the same way and we do not answer the same all the time. In many cultures, infanticide was acceptable.

The most interesting permutation is among feminists who celebrate abortion for any reason, except when they are outraged by abortion of female babies in places like India or China. It is also interesting to see how some pro-abortion folks still object to abortions of babies with various congenital defects. I woman will get more trouble for deciding to abort her baby because it has Downs syndrom than she will if she just finds pregancy inconvenient.

Moat Americans think abortion is a bad thing that should be legal with restrictions. That is what is coming.

Posted by: Jack at April 22, 2007 7:31 AM
Comment #218058

Silima:

#1 - A fetus is not a baby. Hence, you reply to womanmarine is without merit.

#2 - We live in a constitutional democracy; hence, fundamental rights are not submitted to a vote.

back the truck up:

#1 - A fetus is not a life under the law, much less an innocent life. That is merely your religious opinion. Religious opinion has no place in a civil government. Hence, your comment is invalid to the discussion here.


StephenL: There has not been 45 million babies butchered. A fetus is not a baby, it is not a human life. Period. Keep your religious dogma under control; keep it in your church and quit trying to force it down the throats of rational Americans… it has no place in civil discourse. Your beliefs are beliefs, more power to you. They are not empirical facts; they are beliefs.

Posted by: Allen at April 22, 2007 7:49 AM
Comment #218059

Silima, back the truck up, & StephenL: Keep your hands off my body and the bodies of rationale American women. Not everyone has partaken of the poison kool-aide served up by faux-religionists.

Posted by: Allen at April 22, 2007 7:52 AM
Comment #218063

Hypocrite Republicans. If they cared at all about babies then they wouldn’t cut healthcare and medicaid to poor mothers. In Mississippi, the death rate for infants has skyrocketed. Why? Because of a Republican who came to office promising not to cut funds to medicaid enforced hard to follow rules and procedures for getting aid. If Republicans cared about babies lives they would focus on getting the mothers who are having babies care. But no, they want to have it both ways, make it impossible to get an abortion, and then impossible to care for the child once it’s in the world. This recent increase in the infant mortality rate is a huge embarrassment to this country, like everything else the Republicans have done for us these last six years. So I ask Republicans: why do you support policies which everyone knows will kill newborn babies? Why don’t you focus on these issues for a while, and stop shoving your religion down everyone’s throat?

Posted by: Max at April 22, 2007 11:03 AM
Comment #218074

I’d just like to say that I find Jack’s statement totally inappropriate and incredibly offensive….and I’d like to know who gave him the authority to consider himself as part of a decision-making body by using the word “we” in all his comments.
Your opinion, Jack, is selfish and narrow minded, and until you walk a mile in our shoes, stay out of our business.
Other cultures and beliefs have no business being brought into the equation either….. I commented earlier that these beliefs show that we are still considered subservient and have no right to opinions, or to voice them.
Please tell me you don’t support female circumcision too…

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 22, 2007 2:28 PM
Comment #218076

Sandra

I am surprised you can be offended by a simple truth. I do not care if you are offended. I never worry about offending anyone unless what I say is wrong. What do you find WRONG in what I said? Do you really believe that if you leave the feet in, it is not a baby, but if they are out it is a baby?

Like most Americans, I believe abortion is wrong, but it should be a woman’s right to choose, with restrictions.

I am sorry you had to go through an abortion, and I cannot walk a mile in those shoes, but your personal experience does not confer special knowledge about what it means to be a baby.

Posted by: Jack at April 22, 2007 2:50 PM
Comment #218079

You have such an arrogance Jack….
I’m not offended by your interpretation of the truth, but by your incessant need to force your ideas and beliefs on others, especially in a matter which you will never experience or understand.
Making a decision with restrictions is no better than being unable to make a decision at all!
I didn’t say anything about having experienced an abortion, it was only your assumption that led you to that conclusion. My comment about staying out of OUR business was reflective of the female population, since your part will never face that experience.

Your opinion, Jack, is selfish and narrow minded, and until you walk a mile in our shoes, stay out of our business.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 22, 2007 3:57 PM
Comment #218080

It never ceases to amaze me how the same people that claim it’s cruel and inhuman to execute a mass murderers, rapist or child molester and even adhore animal cruelity but it’s OK to them to condem a innocent child who never had a choice to be concieved.

Posted by: KAP at April 22, 2007 4:22 PM
Comment #218081

Sandra

I assumed that when you talked aobut walking in your shoes, you were speaking from experience. So you have faced nothing in particular, but a lot in theory?

It is not YOUR business by virtue of your gender. We do not give parents the right to kill their children. In the partial birth abortion, it amounts to that. If you disagree, say so, but do not try to give me a stay out of our business thing. Perhaps only women who have been pregant should get to make policy in this area. Do you believe that? Only they would have the actual experiene you allude to.

BTW - I have never seen a poll indicating that women’s views of abortion differ significantly from those of men. If you have such a link, please include it so that we may consider the figures.

Posted by: Jack at April 22, 2007 4:28 PM
Comment #218082

Jack
You missed the point. If you not have a uterus what goes on inside one is none of your business. Its called freedom,Jack, something that you often profess a belief in.

Posted by: BillS at April 22, 2007 5:32 PM
Comment #218088

Jack, you should know better than to assume anything……you know what that means.
It is my business, and every other female, based on gender since I don’t believe it’s possible yet for a man to conceive, carry and bear a child. IF and when that time comes, then by all means jump into the fray. Until then, leave what we do with our bodies to us.
Why is it you think that being pregnant and having an abortion equate to one experience????? I am a mother…..therefore qualify to make determinations based on your opinion.
I will state strongly, as I have before and will continue to do, that I don’t believe abortions should be used as another method of birth control, and approached whimsically or cavalierly.
You have the right to your opinion, however it is no more credible than mine or others….only different.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 22, 2007 6:42 PM
Comment #218089

Allen
A fetus is so a baby. After enough development it has everything a baby has, just its location is different. How do you define a human? It used to be that blacks were thought to be “lower” humans. Now this is extended to humans that are not fully developed. Would you allow the killing of adults that are not fully developed? (mentally or physically handicapped from birth)

My narrow religious dogma is no different than your narrow atheistic or agnostic dogma. And since people will naturally differ on what constitutes a fundamental right, they are voting material.

Furthermore, in a society based on a constitutional democracy, the people have the power. If a majority thinks something is right, it goes. If it thinks something is wrong, it doesn’t. This does not mean it is correct, but if we let a self-righteous minority dictate to the majority, we have to let any self-righteous minority do so.

You will connect this to Christianity, and I understand that and am disgusted by some of the actions of some of my compatriots.

Religious belief has as much a place in civil discourse as anything else, as it usually serves as the foundation for everything else a religious person believes. The way you responded to back the truck up makes it sound like you want to limit voting to agnostics.

I have no intention to drink poison kool-aid. Note that you have insulted my religion, I have yet to insult yours.

Posted by: Silima at April 22, 2007 6:48 PM
Comment #218094

Silima, it would seem that we have already let a self-righteous minority dictate to us….in the form of the SCOTUS. And all but one …a male….go figure!
Your definition of a baby is very controversial, too…..since a large consensus of “experts” don’t consider a fetus viable until after 21 weeks.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 22, 2007 7:17 PM
Comment #218099

Please..keep your rosaries off of my ovaries!!!

Posted by: Red Dem at April 22, 2007 8:10 PM
Comment #218100

Silma
No one has questioned your right to bring your religion into the public discourse. We question,no deny ,your right to impose your beliefs on others. The decision to have a baby should be left the individual,not politicians.
Frankly if you have not adopted an unwanted child it is my opinion that you have absolutly no moral standing to oppose abortion. If you have adopted an unwanted child then God bless you.
Your beliefs would be better served by changing the position of the Republican party to favor and support prenatal and post natal care programs instead of cutting them. They are cost effective and work. As it is now the US has a higher infant mortality rate than Cuba and it is getting worse. It is a national disgrace

Posted by: BillS at April 22, 2007 8:40 PM
Comment #218103

BillS

No. It is called censorship. We can talk about the issue. I believe as most Americans do that abortion is wrong, but it should be the woman’s choice, with restrictions.

I have three kids. I know more about having children than any woman who has not had any. My third child was a “volunteer”. He is now a sophomore in HS. His mother is a good woman and would not have considered it, but she would have had no right to scramble his brains because he was inconvenient.

It would have been her legal right to do it. Of course, I do not think I could have stayed married to the woman who murdered our child. That would be my right to choose.

Why not just kill the baby after she has come out? Why the partial birth. Wouldn’t that be most convenient and safe for the woman involved?

I get the point that you and Sandra are trying ot make and I reject it completely. It is illiberal (in the true sense). No disussion is off limits to some and not others. If Sandra has the experience of being pregnant, that would give her opinion a bit more strength because of her experience. I know nothing about her and will not speak to that directly. But in general, your opinions should be based on experience and study. A woman w/o childen has no more experience than a man w/o them and less than an man who has raised a family. Gender is just not that important in judging an individual merit, at least that is what the feminists tell us.

Posted by: Jack at April 22, 2007 9:15 PM
Comment #218104

Sandra

My machine hung up so I did not see your response.

When you say, “You have the right to your opinion, however it is no more credible than mine or others….only different,” I agree completely. It works both ways.

The disagreement is why we are having discussions.

Posted by: Jack at April 22, 2007 9:18 PM
Comment #218111

Sandra:

Your definition of a baby is very controversial, too…..since a large consensus of “experts” don’t consider a fetus viable until after 21 weeks.

So how about that consensus expert opinion then? Five months plus one week as the cut-off point where abortions are legal?

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 22, 2007 11:31 PM
Comment #218114

Sandra
If a fetus is viable after 21 weeks there are still 15 weeks left where it is viable. Would you outlaw abortion during that period? I doubt it.

BillS
To the best of my knowledge I cannot legally adopt an unwanted child, since I am 17 years old.

Not did I state any desire to impose my beliefs on others. I stated my belief that abortion is wrong, but in the interests of my country I hope my representatives (as I cannot vote for myself) would compromise with the left so as to have some sort of agreement that both sides could live with and so end the painful division it is causing.

Posted by: Silima at April 23, 2007 12:44 AM
Comment #218116

Jack, what is so difficult about this subject is the emotion involved beyond the knowledge. With the more advanced birth control available, there are numerous products that will prevent conception. The number of responsible adults is greater than those who are not. ( I don’t have numbers, but if that statement is questionable, I’m sure someone can find a survery or poll.) We are taught either by parents, or school, or friends that there are ways to protect ourselves if we want to participate in a sexual encounter.
At this point, the responsibility has become more ours than yours. We have already been indoctrinated with the “fear” of an unwanted pregnancy. Now you guys are going to most certainly be present when the deed is done, yet there are a number of reasons why at that point, you won’t have the rationality to participate in birth control. We are now at the second phase where our responsibility outweighs yours. Of course, a small percentage of these encounters are going to be unsolicited or unwanted, as in rape, or even “date rape”, not involving drugs. It’s just a physiological fact that when you get that urge, ya gotta do something about it and the perfect and appropriate target is us, and sometimes we don’t get a vote.
Poverty and ignorance (which frequently go hand in hand) are small contributors to this subject. A female in this group is just as responsible as our more educated and/or more fortunate counterparts, but with restrictions. In this instance, we just relys on luck, or prayer, or the odds, but if that isn’t good enough, we either face and deal with an unwanted pregnancy by going through with it or terminating it. For the third time, our responsibility and actions outweigh yours. You wouldn’t stop an act of less than 5 minutes ( ha ! ) why would you consider a lifetime of responsibility?! I DON’T AGREE WITH, OR APPROVE OF ABORTION AS A FORM OF BIRTH CONTROL, but calling names and screaming obscenities is not going to prevent us from dealing with a baby that we can take care of less successfully than we have taken care of ourself.
Up to this point, the onus has been on us….
But now all of a sudden, complete strangers want to step into our lives and take control of it. Our dignity and self esteem has already suffered greatly and your outrage impacts us even more. We have become a target of your hate.
Just tell me……who gave you the right to do that???
If an abortion is chosen, then it is usually done far before viability is an issue, or even before we have experienced the sensation of life within us.
And Jack, no matter how many ways you want to put it, in NO WAY does a man fathering a child compare to, or give you the right to suggest that it compares to having conceived, nurtured and delivered a life into this world.
This is an argument that will continue in perpetuity….we won’t see the end of it.
I have read this, re-read it and read it again….debating whether to submit it or not, so its’ appearance here shows which side of me won.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 23, 2007 2:17 AM
Comment #218117

Would anyone compare this in criminality to the abortion issue?????
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/22/health/22infant.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 23, 2007 2:57 AM
Comment #218118

*OLD VERSION*:


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!

************************************************************

*MODERN VERSION:*

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

The mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigos’s face is plastered on the front page of every newspaper and news bulletins interrupt daily programing for him to announce the injustices of the grasshopper. He reports of this tragedy in English and then translate in Spanish for the foreign born immigrants that refuse to learn the language and adapt to the US culture.

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”

Jesse Jackson & Al Sharpton, ignoring the fact that the ant is black, stage a demonstration in front of the ant’s house where the news stations film the group singing, “We shall overcome.” Jesse & Al then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper’s sake. Sharpton calls a press conference of his own and blames the “white interlopers” and “diamond traders” for all the grasshopper’s problems.

Nancy Pelosi & John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients. The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around him because he doesn’t maintain it. The ant has disappeared in the snow. The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote!



Posted by: Rightie at April 23, 2007 4:05 AM
Comment #218126

Sandra

I think the problem of abortion is Roe v Wade. This is an issue that should NOT have been decided by the courts. It should have been argued out in the political process. I think we would have come up with an arrangement where we had legal abortion in most places with some restrictions.

This partial birth abortion fight is for the abortion rights people like hollow point bullets are to the gun rights folks. It shows the extreme position. It is as close to baby killing as you can come and not be put in jail.

Technology is fast changing this debate. Babies are viable at younger ages. Personally, I do not think it is smart to save the very premature babies. They always have serious birth defects. BUt this is the kind of bioethics issue we will be addressing.

Abortion rights people want to make this too simple. It is a woman’s choice, but many others are closely involved in a life and death or at least a life changing decision.

I think it is a symptom of how silly the debate has become. When my daughter had dental surgery (wisdom teeth) I had to be there because it was “serious surgery”. It was the law. BUT if she wanted an abortion at the same age, they would not even need to inform me. In other words, the law takes a tooth extraction more seriously than a baby extraction. I do not think that is right.

BTW - I asked my wife re. She says that she is against partial birth abortions and in fact takes a much harder stand than I do about unwanted pregnacy in general. She says that - as a women - she thinks it is demeaning to assume that women are dumb enough to get pregnant and if they do, not smart enough to get an abortion in the first weeks AND that they should be excused for that. I asked her if she spoke for all women. She told me that she figures she speaks for about 20 of them. That is arbitrary.

Posted by: Jack at April 23, 2007 7:59 AM
Comment #218129

Regardless of legality, constitutionality, or other fine legal points…the five justices who voted to ban partial birth abortion are all extremely conservative so-called “Catholics”…the 4 who voted to keep it legal were Jewish or Protestant.

Posted by: Rachel at April 23, 2007 8:51 AM
Comment #218139

A point that keeps being missed in this whole debate and should be included:

When the health of the mother is in jeopardy, the illegal procedure (thanks to the Supreme Court and Congress) is sometimes the SAFEST for the health of the mother.

If this procedure were only done for the health of the mother, what’s the difference? Were it your wife, and life or death, what would you want?

Posted by: womanmarine at April 23, 2007 11:39 AM
Comment #218142

“We question,no deny ,your right to impose your beliefs on others.”

Except with taxes.

“The decision to have a baby should be left the individual,not politicians.”

Except for paying for that baby.

“Frankly if you have not adopted an unwanted child it is my opinion that you have absolutly no moral standing to oppose abortion.”

But one does not have to “adopt” a poor person to have “moral standing” when oppossing personal responsibility.

Womanmarine
Abortion is still legal and there is still another viable operation which can be done to save the womans life in your example.

Some people actually fear this form of abortion and legislating on fear has become the norm.

“Were it your wife, and life or death, what would you want?”

How long have I been married in this example?

Posted by: kctim at April 23, 2007 12:08 PM
Comment #218152

Silimia: You wrote:

Furthermore, in a society based on a constitutional democracy, the people have the power. If a majority thinks something is right, it goes. If it thinks something is wrong, it doesn’t. This does not mean it is correct, but if we let a self-righteous minority dictate to the majority, we have to let any self-righteous minority do so.

You seem to lack the most fundamental understanding of what a constitutional demoncracy is about. It is the Constitution that protects the minority from the majority. Because reproductive choice is protected as a matter of personal autonomy under the the Bill of Rights and as a matter of equal protection under the 14th amendment, no religious minority like yourself can take that right away.

It’s interesting that you mention “majority” and “minority.” Those who oppose reproductive choice, like yourself, are in the minority. That it is necessary to fight for the right of reproductive choice against a minority view is telling.

Further, you make the following statement to me:

So you want to do away with democracy? Or do you think certain people shouldn’t be able to vote just because you think they’re wrong?

Constitutional Law 101: Fundamental rights do not depend upon the approval by the “majority” in an election. While you seem to champion elections, you & your compatriots have done their level best to deny many Americans access to the ballot box.

Jack: Looking at the latest numbers from NYT/CBS polling: There is a 5 - 7% difference between the attitudes between men and women generally on abortion with a sampling error of +/- 3%. There is a 20+% spread between Democratic voters and GOPers. Interestingly, when you pull out the fundamentlist right (21% of the total population) portion of the GOP numbers, the differences between the parties essentially evaporates. Barry Goldwater’s observation that the unholy marriage between the fundamentalist right & the GOP will ultimately doom the GOP. We are certainly starting to see that now. This having been said, the polls show a very complex divide in American opinion. This is all the more reason not to codify minority opinion into law. As Reinhold Niebuhr pointed, man is more likely moral when he is acting individually and more immoral when acting socially. The law wisely does not recognize the personhood of the fetus. This is a philosophical/theological question best left to the individual.

To be clear, I have serious personal problems with abortion. Nevertheless, I have even more serious problems with government violating the constitutional rights of men and women as to such personal choices. Keep in mind, a large portion of the anti-choice folks also oppose Griswald (contraception). The issue of reproduction invokes complex philosophical & theological questions. It is for that reason that the Constitution reserves the individual’s right to make those decisions unencumbered by government. To foist anti-choice policy on Americans is a direct vioation of the First Amendment anti-establishment clause.

Silima: For you information, I am neither an atheist nor agnostic. Rather, I have the more mature understanding that faith is a choice that one makes for him/herself rather than foisting it on others by the sword (think the Spanish. Inquisition). If faith is not a matter of free will, it is not faith. Further, at the age of 17, you simply have neither the intellectual, nor experiencal, nor spiritual maturity to speak authoratively on such matters. You are welcome to you opinion. You are not welcome to codify it into law.

Now, as to abortion vs state-sanctioned murder. The personhood of a fetus is highly questionable philosophically and theologically. For this reason, the law does not grant personhood to the fetus. The personhood of a person to be executed is not questionable legally, philosophically, or theologically. For this reason, capital punishment is never permissable except where no other option for the protection of society exists. In the United States, that viable option is imprisonment without parole. This is the moral teaching of the Roman Catholic Church as well other faith groups.

kctim: SCOTUS, nor the Congress, has the expertise to override the medical opinion of physicians whether we are talking about intact dilation and extraction or cholecystectomy by laparoscopy or major surgery. These are medical decisions best left to physicians to decide. Your hyperbolic comments contribute nothing to the discussion except sectarian vitriol.

Posted by: Allen at April 23, 2007 12:59 PM
Comment #218154

A point that keeps being missed in this whole discussion and should be included:

womanmarine: You wrote:

When the health of the mother is in jeopardy, the illegal procedure (thanks to the Supreme Court and Congress) is sometimes the SAFEST for the health of the mother.

If this procedure were only done for the health of the mother, what’s the difference? Were it your wife, and life or death, what would you want?


While I agree with your sentiments, you seem to have neglected this point of fact: the fundamentalist right and, hence, the GOP, is not concerned with the health or life of women. In their book, women are 10th rate citizens, about 6 levels below the common cockroach. They (the GOP) are more than willing to ask you to risk your life for this country — in fact, they welcome it as long as you don’t become to uppity and demand your Constitutional rights. Remember, you are but chattel to the fundamentalist right because THEY think St. Paul said so.

Take an historical perspective: For nearly 2000 years the fundamentalist right has wrapped itself around the most sexist & bigotted “proof texts” of the Bible and have refused to embrace Jesus’s teaching contained in the four gospels with the possible exception of John 3:16. These are the same folks that have been defending the slavery of African-Americans.

As the recent former U.S. Attorney General, John Ashcroft, a fundamentalist and appointee of fundamentalist confrere, George W. Bush, said,

Traditionalists must do more. I’ve got to do more. We’ve all got to speak up in this respect, or else we’ll be taught that these people were giving their lives, subscribing their sacred fortunes and their honor to some perverted agenda.

[From: John Ashcroft, in the Southern Partisan Magazine (1999) in a defense of southern patriots like Jefferson Davis who fought to preserve slavery.]

And what did Jefferson Davis say:

Slavery was established by decree of Almighty God…it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation…it has existed in all ages, has been found among the people of the highest civilization, and in nations of the highest proficiency in the arts.

[From Jefferson Davis’ inaugural address as president of the Confederacy.]

And, of course, let us not forget that the Old Testament commands husbands to beat their wives.

Posted by: Allen at April 23, 2007 1:36 PM
Comment #218155

Oo la la Allen. Aren’t we the holier than thou double standard type today.
Where exactly was it that I said the SC or Congress should override the “opinions” of the medical world?

Since, in your mind at least, the views of the minority are not ruled by the majority, could you explain why I pay taxes to support the BELIEFS of others?

“Further, at the age of 17, you simply have neither the intellectual, nor experiencal, nor spiritual maturity to speak authoratively on such matters. You are welcome to you opinion. You are not welcome to codify it into law”

Here’s something you “elites” forget way to often: YOU are not welcome to codify YOUR OPINION into law either. Especially when its outright hypocritical.
I doubt if Silma will feel “outwitted” or “threatened” by your “superior intellect” so as to be quiet, as you intended. You do know it is better to speak with and not at people, especially teens, right?

Nice to ignore my “hyperbol” with your own though.
Very telling.

Posted by: kctim at April 23, 2007 1:37 PM
Comment #218156

womanmarine, you’re correct and that is a big factor being ignored. Reading the medical information isn’t easy, both in trying to understand the medical terminology, and in getting past the graphic details.
I don’t belive that anyone, myself included, is encouraging or supporting a late term abortion, unless it is to protect the mother’s health, or life. The fetus is too large at that point to use the D & C method, and allowing the mother to go into full labor is one of the questionable issues.
One response to your question about making a choice got a really flip answer, but in some ways solidifies our standing and position in the eyes of some men……

How long have I been married in this example?

Jack, your wife’s opinion is noted, yet I don’t agree that stupidity is a good description of unwanted pregnancies…..I gave some examples earlier, and IGNORANCE is one of them. I do agree that if a woman is going to abort on just personal needs, then of course, asap is the key.
By the way…..”partial birth abortion” is NOT a medical term, but a buzz word coined and used to create the very stigma associated with the procedure. The more appropriate term is “Late term abortion”.
Thank you Allen ….

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 23, 2007 1:40 PM
Comment #218159

You really need to get over this “woman is a victim” feminist slogan, Sandra.
“Controlling your bodies” is nothing but a buzz-word also. Used to create the perception that the woman is the only lifeform involved. It is too make men look evil and to make the child faceless.

Truth is, on this issue, men don’t care about your body. What they care about is the life inside and some believe it is worthy of a chance to live.

Posted by: kctim at April 23, 2007 2:04 PM
Comment #218162

kctim…..it would appear that the truth is, ALL you seem to care about is control…
I was going to match your caustic tone with my response, but two wrongs don’t make a right.
It’s clear by most of your posts that if you don’t like something, it’s very easy for you to attack and call names. I just read your post on the cannibis column.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 23, 2007 2:26 PM
Comment #218163

Sandra
How does wanting to protect what one sees as a life equate to controlling a womans body?
Controlling a womans body would be telling a woman what she can do only when there is not another life involved.

Attack and call names? I have never said pro-choice people were baby killers and I have never said pro-lifers were bible thumpers or anything like many on here do.
What I did say was that your tone has been of the feminist calling. You purposely place the woman as the center of the debate when in fact, its the unborn child that is.

And the cannibis column? I favor legalization 100% with no restrictions. If using the common terminology word “burn-out” to describe somebody who has fried their brain on dope is offensive then you are way to sensitive.

“…..it would appear that the truth is, ALL you seem to care about is control…”

BS. I do not care about abortion one way or another. I don’t care if they are legal or not and it has no bearing on who I vote for.
Which probably why I can look at both sides of the issue and try to understand where they are coming from, without a bias which would cause me to ignore and disrespect either sides personal views.

Posted by: kctim at April 23, 2007 3:00 PM
Comment #218164

Mr dear kctim: You may choose to live your life in ignorance as, you seem, intent to do. Unfortunately, your posts evidence an unwavering evidence of a certain lack of cognitive and moral discernment.

You are not paying taxes to support my beliefs. You are paying taxes to support the civil government of the United States of America. A pro-choice public policy neither condemns not commends abortion. Rather, it leaves these constitutionally protected decisions to individual Americans. Whether I choose to have a vasectomy (which I did) or my wife chooses to terminate a pregnancy (which she did), it is no skin off your arse. You haven’t paid a dime for either medical procedure.

As for your “Oo la la Allen” exclamation:

#1: You might want to consult a dictionary before you write, as your spelling evidences serious deficiencies (and we’re not talking about typos hre)(at about the 7th grade level according to the MLA); and

#2: Be assured you are not qualified to make such pronouncements as I never have, nor do I have any desire, to evoke such reactions from you — that privilege is limited to my wife or the skilled performance of a Bach prelude and fugue.

As I have previously said, my personal concerns regarding abortion are not license for my arrogantly forcing you or any other American to live by my moral positions based on my religious BELIEFS (as opposed to empiracal facts). Rather, you choose for yourself whether to to have an abortion or not. Law does not make one moral; instead, one makes him/herself moral by the decisions he/she makes. Following the “law” under the threat to penalty does not make one holy; holiness rise from one’s faith and the decisions one makes accordingly.

And kctim, you have finally spoken honestly when you say:

Truth is, on this issue, men don’t care about your body…

But, let’s be honest: you don’t care about women, body, mind, or spirit, period. They are mere chattel to you. I can make the same hocus-pouc argument against you when you masturbate (presuming you are in impotent - and as the empiral research demonstrates, find someone who denies masturbating you have found a liar).

In addition, my application of skilled empirical, logical thinking processes to the question at hand is not elitist. Your inability to do so… well, what can I say? Obviously, the Framers of the Constitution knew what they were doing when they created representative republican government versus a direct democracy. Your intellectual inadequacies are not a license to deny my or any other person’s fundamental Constitutional rights.

In addition, Silima’s immaturity is well recognized under law: at 17 she is a juvenile for good reason. We do not allow juveniles to run the world because they lack the ability to rationally make thoughtful choices. For the same reason, we do not any longer execute juveniles in our country. The simply lack necessary mens rea.

Finally, truth be told, if a man is too goddamn stupid to not take the necessarily steps to prevent fertization, he has no claim to anything. Get a vasectomy and you won’t have to worry about your so-called baby!

Sandra: While we are in general agreement, “partial birth abortion” does not equate to “late term abortion”. What is called “partial birth abortion” is a specific medical procedure used to terminate a pregnancy anywhere from the fourth month of pregnacy onwards depending upon the medical needs of the the woman. It was the unspoken intent of the proponents of the “Particial Birth Abortion Act of 2003,” to outlaw the termination of pregnancies after the 8th week. Fortunately, Justice Kennedy did not permit that to happen. Interestingly, 97% of pregnancy terminations occur before the 6th week according to the ACOG.

Sandra, as you and others have noted, the only real concern of the anti-choice crowd, such as kctim, is the control of women and their bodies. They have no interest in the well-being of the children. They have no interest in the health of lives of women. Interestingly, these are the same guys that object to paying child support.

And Sandra, when kctim goes off about “feminist” this or that, what he really means is that he cannot stand the thought, as a male, of not being at the center of attention. I think he sizes himself up by about 50% too much.

Posted by: Allen at April 23, 2007 3:07 PM
Comment #218167

Allen…thanks once again :)

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 23, 2007 3:37 PM
Comment #218170

Allen
Taxing, today, is used to take from one and give to another. Giving the “poor” money because some feel sorry for them, is not “supporting the civil govt of the US.” It is taking money from others to support the beliefs of others who are unwilling to “practice what they preach.”

In regards to your #1: And you guys wonder why the common man believes you to be elitest snobs.
And #2: Now that was funny. Good one.

“Your intellectual inadequacies are not a license to deny my or any other person’s fundamental Constitutional rights”

Oh brother. Yawn.
You see, there is a huge difference here.
I do not believe my “intellectual inadequacies” give me a “license” to deny you of your rights nor do I feel as if I need to use words to try and belittle you, or your point of view, so that you will shut-up. Censoring or shutting down oppossing opinions may be SOP for the left, but not for me.
You however, would rather only those with your, so-called “intellect,” be permitted to voice an opinion and only when it agrees with your own.

“In addition, Silima’s immaturity is well recognized under law”

Under law? Yes.
But there is a big difference between laws and common sense and respect.
While only 17, Silma is entitled to have an opinion. Trying to quiet or belittle that view because it disagrees with yours is very telling indeed.

“Whether I choose to have a vasectomy (which I did) or my wife chooses to terminate a pregnancy (which she did), it is no skin off your arse”

Here’s the thing Allen: I don’t care one way or another about either. They both are personal decisions which do not affect me in the least.

I am consistent in my beliefs and in the way I wish rights to be respected, you are not.

As far as the rest of your post, you would do well and might understand better if you would quit assuming so much.

Posted by: kctim at April 23, 2007 3:52 PM
Comment #218178

I don’t see how this will really change anything.

All they did was outlaw a type of abortion that was outdated and unused anyhow.

It would have been the same as if they passed a law saying “one can not hand feed dinosaurs”.

What they outlawed has already been out of practice for years. Kind of a pointless legislation really.

Probably proganda at best.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at April 23, 2007 5:04 PM
Comment #218182
All they did was outlaw a type of abortion that was outdated and unused anyhow.

Except in cases where it was the SAFEST PROCEDURE FOR THE MOTHER.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 23, 2007 5:35 PM
Comment #218194

Sandra

The technology is moving very fast. That makes it harder. You have to admit that the distinction is merely arbitary. If a baby is wanted by the woman involved and is born prematurely, we call it a baby and demand heroic efforts to save its life. If the baby waits another day and the woman changes her mind, they can pull it out halfway, kill it and throw it away. We do not call it a baby.

The woman involved decides whether it is a living baby or a dead lump of potential child.

We can agree or disagree on abortion, but it is really too “late” term when the baby gets to stick its head out into the world before the doctor breaks open its skull and kills her.

It is not possible that the mother’s life is any more at risk if the doctor refrains from crushing the skull. In either case, the baby will be all the way out about the same time. The difference is only whether it will be dead or alive.

Posted by: Jack at April 23, 2007 8:57 PM
Comment #218196

Jack:

So you know better than the doctors? It was the doctors who felt that the procedure is sometimes safer for the mother’s health. What do you know that they don’t?

Posted by: womanmarine at April 23, 2007 9:47 PM
Comment #218198

Womanmarine

I do not know anything they do not. They also know that they need not kill the baby. They know that they WILL deliver the baby minutes after they kill it and everything will be the same except the baby will be dead.

Their goal is to do an abortion, not deliver a baby. It may be safer to do the partial birth before they kill the baby. But they kill the baby because they are doing an abortion and in the abortion scenario, the baby dies. They are playing the dead baby game, not the save the baby scenario.

Posted by: Jack at April 23, 2007 9:53 PM
Comment #218199

Jack:

It would help if you knew what you were talking about.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 23, 2007 9:55 PM
Comment #218210

Jack, you are no longer participating in a debate, argument, fight or whatever…….you are making incongruous statements that are meant to be disgusting and high in shock factor. What you are doing has now become an attack, and most definitely personal since you are talking to one of the two individuals on here who fits your target mode.
I have tried to be decent to you and personalize the issue a bit more so you may find some understanding within yourself. You have invalidated that now and trampled the last bit of patience I have for your insolence.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 23, 2007 11:25 PM
Comment #218211

kctim: No one is attempting to censor you or to shut you down. Rather, your errors have been pointed out to you — not unlike a teacher noting their student’s error in having arrived at 1 plus 1 equals 3. The same is true vis-a-vis Silima.

Posted by: Allen at April 23, 2007 11:26 PM
Comment #218216

Sandra: I’m not sure Jack is trying to be personal. Rather, I think he is being passionate about what he believes. In any case, he has ably demonstrated the reason the Constitution wisely removes religious questions from the domain of civil government.

Posted by: Allen at April 23, 2007 11:45 PM
Comment #218222

Ahh….the voice of reason once again Allen..

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 23, 2007 11:59 PM
Comment #218245

Allen: I guess I should be happy, since you are only able to point out errors in my quick typing skills and wording.

Too bad really. As this is an issue which I have no stake in, it could have been informative and fun.

Posted by: kctim at April 24, 2007 9:55 AM
Comment #218265

WomanMarine,

There more ways to get an abortion then there are flavors at Baskin Robbins.

That particular procedure has not been the safest procedure for a woman in some time, that is why it has become out dated.

Abortion is on the commercial market which means it is on the same scale of R&D as computers and automobiles.

What is done this year will be outdated next year.

And as much as Jack is being offensive he does have a valid point.

Voting records show that the majority of voters in this country, as well as the majority of Dems and Repubs in office, feel that abortion should be “legal with restrictions”.

I for one think it is a fair medium, those who want them can get them, those that don’t want them don’t have to and nothing too super gruesome is taking place.

No one is just reaching in a yanking them out and smashing them in the head with a bat.

Seriously, technology todays has created methods are practically fit for a drive through.

Then again, I am a man and my points are only based on statistical and scientific information.

I can never truely say what is right or wrong with abortion, on a ccount of the fact that I can not get pregnant.

In fact I think I might have just misspelled it.

I do believe that the abortion laws, as is, are about as nuetral as they are going to get.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at April 24, 2007 1:42 PM
Comment #218266

I just read my above statement and realized that it may have been too graphic.

I am truely sorry if offended anyone.

I tend to get vivid in my language at times.

… and if the editor could scratch out that 8th line that would be great.

Again, I am sorry for that.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at April 24, 2007 1:45 PM
Comment #218268

Bryan:

The fact is, in order to save the life of a woman, one method is sometimes safer than another, despite what you and the rest of you think. And when the life of the woman is in jeopardy and the reason for the procedure at this stage of pregnancy, I doubt she has gone to an abortion clinic. At that point, and for that reason, the decision as to which is safest in the circumstance should be up to the doctor.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 24, 2007 1:57 PM
Comment #218271

WomanMarine,

I agree with you completely.

Years ago, this particular procedure may have been the safest way to do it, but it is outdated and I have no doubt that there are numerous more safer ways to do an abortion with out harming the mother.

Technology isn’t produced by abortion clinics, it is sold to them and hospitals as well.

Generally, hospitals have the even more up to date technology, because they have more income to invest in newer technologies.

I have no doubt that there is a newer safer way to do an abortion in this scenario.

The abortion technique that was outlawed has been around for over a decade.

You mean to tell me in 10 years a multi-billion dollar industry has not improved its methods, I am not convinced.

I still feel this changes nothing.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at April 24, 2007 2:38 PM
Comment #218272

Alright,

I just did the research on abortion.

What was outlawed is the IDX abortion. Which is not the safest way to do an abortion.

The safest form of third trimester abortion is the D&E abortion. Which only requires a day of preperation, and does not include damaging any part of the woman’s body. This form of abortion is still legal, under the circumstance, that the woman’s life is in danger.

D&E is not considered a partial birth abortion, because the neonate is no where near whole on removal.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at April 24, 2007 2:54 PM
Comment #218275

Also, I was wrong about the Baskin Robbins comment.

It turns out Baskin Robbins has about ten more flavors of ice cream then there are procedures for aborion.

Six main forms of abortion with about 2-3 variations of each.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at April 24, 2007 3:20 PM
Comment #218278

Bryan:

Sorry, but you are just wrong. They have even brought back leaches in some circumstances because it is the most efficient.

Once the decision to have a late-term abortion has been made, a woman or doctor may choose IDX over other available late-term abortion procedures because:

* The woman does not have to experience labor.
* The woman does not have to undergo abdominal surgery.
* The procedure results in a largely intact body over which the parents may grieve.[10]
* Sharp instruments are inserted into the uterus fewer times than in a D&E abortion.
* The fetus may have hydrocephalus, where the head may expand to a radius of up to 250% of a normal skull at birth, making it impossible for it to pass through the cervix. If live birth is desired, the physician may drain the excess fluid in utero using a syringe, or a caesarian section with a larger than usual incision can be used. If abortion is desired, D&X may be the simplest procedure.

And there ARE current experts in the field who feel that in certain circumstances this is the safest for the mother.

There is also this:

According to the BBC, “government lawyers and others who favour the ban, have said there are alternative and more widely used procedures that are still legal - which involves dismembering the foetus in the uterus.” An article in Harper’s magazine stated that, “Defending the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban… requires arguing to judges that pulling a fetus from a woman’s body in dismembered pieces is legal, medically acceptable, and safe; but that pulling a fetus out intact, so that if the woman wishes the fetus can be wrapped in a blanket and handed to her, is appropriately punishable by a fine, or up to two years’ imprisonment, or both.”

And this:


What is medically recognized:

- 90% of abortions occur in the first trimester.
- Intact dilation and extraction (also known as IDX, or sometimes just D&X) is used in approximately .17% of all abortions.
- It is probable (though definitive data do not exist) that the majority of IDX procedures are performed because of fetal abnormalities.
- IDX, because it delivers a fetus whole, creates less risk of uterine perforation from bone fragments than other forms of late-term abortion.
- IDX has less risk of infection than other forms of late-term abortion, because it takes less time and requires the insertion of fewer instruments into the uterus.
- IDX (like other late-term abortion procedures) can prevent a woman who has found that her fetus is dead or not viable from having to undergo labor and delivery of a dead fetus.
- IDX can allow women whose fetuses are not viable to view and hold their dead babies after delivery.
- Most IDX procedures are performed between 20-24 weeks gestation—that is, within the second trimester, and before fetal viability.
In cases where a fetus has severe hydrocephalus (water on the brain, which can cause a fetuses head to be grotesquely enlarged), the options to a woman may be IDX or a Cesarean section—that is, a three-day outpatient procedure or major surgery, with attendant potential complications.
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists explicitly opposed the ban.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 24, 2007 3:38 PM
Comment #218319

Sandra et al

I am not trying to make a personal attack.

Here is a real question. We talk about the mother’s health. Are we talking about the health of the mother who is demanding an abortion? I mean if she chose NOT to have the abortion, would he health be in danger?

My next question. If they are doing the procedure, they induce labor. That is to make the baby come out quickly. Does killing the baby enhance this in any way? If they induce labor and the baby comes out alive, does that negatively affect the health of the mother?

I listened to the radio re. They had a doctor on talking about. She made various arguments, but nobody asked her and she did not say if there is any difference to the health of the mother if they let the baby live or if they kill it half way out.

I think this shows how gruesome this procedure is. The idea of when life begins is a social construct. It is based on our cultural understanding. I know some people find it offensive to say this, but many cultures have defined the life of a baby as unimportant. They practice infanticide. We definite it differently. But the line between baby born and unborn becomes very dull with a partial birth abortion.

Posted by: Jack at April 24, 2007 9:20 PM
Comment #218324

Jack:

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m referring to the health of the mother when this procedure is done at this time in the pregnancy to save/protect the health of the mother, not that the mother just wants an abortion. Something the SC didn’t take into consideration. That’s my only concern, the fact that the health/safety of the mother was not considered in any circumstance.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 24, 2007 10:07 PM
Comment #218326

Of course the other question is:

Is it okay to cut the baby up in the womb and then expel the pieces at the same period of the pregnancy? Which is more gruesome?

Posted by: womanmarine at April 24, 2007 10:09 PM
Comment #218333

Womanmarine

I think it is gruesome in any case. I hold with the majority that abortion is bad, but should be legal with restrictions. I do not like it in any case. The distinctions between baby and dead tissue are arbitary.

Posted by: Jack at April 24, 2007 10:25 PM
Comment #218354

Jack:

You keep ignoring my pleas about the health of the mother. Is that intentional? By that I mean the safety of the mother.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 25, 2007 12:17 AM
Comment #218359

Jack: Many medical procedures are “gruesome,” a rather subjective opinion expressed by folks not acquainted with the practice of medicine and those no realizing that the human body is nothing more than a mass of tissues no different from those seen in the meat department at your local grocery store.

During the first couple days of gross human anatomy class, I found the dissection of the cadaver gruesome. By the end of the 2nd week, it was no longer gruesome — in fact, it was in many ways beautiful. You should watch a coronary bypass sometime. It is gruesome (expecially when the rib cage is cracked open) and awesome at the same time. At times, it even appears violent. Nevertheless, it is part of saving lives. D&X is no different. Or are women’s lives of no value? Perhaps, for the sake of equal treatment, prostate cancer surgery should be made illegal… it, too, is rather “gruesome.”

A D&X is solely performed for the purpose of perserving the woman’s health & life… the procedure has nothing to do with the woman not wanting to successfully carry the pregnancy to term. In 1941, my mother gave birth to a full-term stillborn fetus… it nearly killed her & rendered her unable to have children. Had she been in a similar situation today, she would have had a D&X, not nearly died (she was hospitalized for 15 weeks), and would have been able to have children in the future. My mother wanted children. That is why my parents adopted 6 children.

Finally, the indistinction between fetus & baby is a theological one made by a minority Christians. Again, the Constitution wisely leaves such matters of religion belief to the individual and removes them from the jurisdiction of the government.

One can make abortion a very emotionally charged issue. That is not necessary when we are discussing it in terms of civil law. The purpose of the law is not to codify religious belief nor emotion. Does that satisfy everyone? No. But, do you really want the government to codify my religious beliefs and to prosecute you for not complying with them? I believe one should attend daily Mass. Do you want Congress to pass a law mandating that you must attend daily Mass or risk 5 years imprisonment?

BTW, it should be noted here that, Justice Kennedy’s opinion confirmed the holdings of Roe v Wade and, hence, diminished the chance of Roe v Wade’s future revocation. Further, Justice Kennedy’s narrow reading of the D&X procedure means that any D&X-like procedure which does not fall precisely into his reading of the procedure is legal under the ruling. Hence, the most current D&X procedure is not covered by SCOTUS’ decision last week. Neither the anti-choice nor pro-choice side won or lost in this decision. Only women and medicine lost.

Posted by: Allen at April 25, 2007 1:19 AM
Comment #218361

Just rec’d an e-mail from an old college friend. He’d read my post, above, and thinks I am wrong in some of my analysis. I wish I could get him to contribute. Tim is a very passionate anti-choicer (he accepts that descriptor) and one of the most coldly rational barristers I’ve ever known. Hence, I take his critique very seriously. To wit:

I was wrong in that:

#1: The anti-choice side lost in Gonzalez v Carhart because the opinion affirms the holdings of Roe v Wade—and hence, the pro-choice side won because the opinion affirms the holdings of Roe v Wade.

#2: The anti-choice side lost in Gonzalez v Carhart because only 2 of the 9 justices suggested overturning Roe v Wade.

I was right in:

#3: The Gonzalez v Carhart decision is not applicable to current medical practice. In fact, the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 was obsolete before it was even passed by the Congress & signed by the President as the D&X procedure described in the Act is not longer current medical practice.

Tim’s explanation of Justice Kennedy’s arguable duplicity in the opinion is instructive: Kennedy knowingly permitted the ban of a procedure no longer performed in the hope of not fueling an anti-choice political firestorm. (The lesson of Roe v Wade) Tim is greatly disappointed in the decision because it was the last chance SCOTUS has to weaken or to overturn Roe v Wade. He reasons: If a vacancy on SCOTUS occurs before the end of the Bush43 administration term, the vacancy will not be filled until after a new President comes to office. SCOTUS will simply function as an 8-member court as it has numerous times over 200 years. In the current political calculus, the next President will be Democratic and the Senate will be even more Democratic that it is now (probably filibuster proof). The next President will move SCOTUS decisively to the left as 2 of its members on the center left (Stevens & Ginsburg) and at least 1 on the right (Scalia or Thomas) will be replaced between 2008-2012. Presuming a second term, 2 members on the right (Scalia & Thomas) will be replaced.

In addition, Tim finds it notable that neither Alito nor Roberts joined Scalia & Thomas in their concurring opinion which argued for overturning Roe v Wade..

Finally, Tim suggests that the equal protection claim cited by Ginsberg will ultimately win the day.

After thought: Considering Tim’s analysis and his critique of my previous post, it is probably useful to take an historical perspective. While there is a constant swing between progressivism and regressivism within the shorter term, history demonstrates that progressivism always prevails in the longer term. I just hope to live long enough to see the defeat of the reactionary regressive wing of SCOTUS.

Posted by: Allen at April 25, 2007 3:44 AM
Comment #218362

Allen….thanks for your continued interest, support and having a friend like Tim… ;) Your tempered responses have been most helpful.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 25, 2007 4:00 AM
Comment #218369

Sandra: I’m not quite sure of who or what I am supporting other than (1) the Constitution and (2) rationality. I have often wondered how Tim & I have remained friends over 30+ years even when we have such great differences on some issues. My best explanation is that: (1) neither of us discount the religious and/or emotional power of issues; (2) we both learned in law school that the best antidote to emotion is cold reason; (3) we both respect the wisdom of the Constitution, even when it means we aren’t happy with the outsome; (4) we both have a sense of the lessons of history; and (5) we both have a serious distrust of government when it comes to personal decisions. [I must add here that neither of us has had any reason to doubt the intellectual and moral integrity of our positions as opposed to the ideolgues around us.}

That being said, we (Tim & I) both understand that government is part of the answer to many issues. We both understand that extreme economic inequality is problemactic for both the wealthy & the poor. We both understand that the balance between the individual and the greater society is not black & white. We both understand that the government created by the Constitution is, by design, meant to be messy. Finally, we both understand that ideology and principle are diametrically oppposed. We understand that ideology is inherently irrational, inflexible, and fuctionally disasterous. We both understand that principle is rational and flexible, always aware of objective reality, and functionally effective. Most importantly, we both understand that black-and-white arguments are logically flawed because reality is not black & white.

Abraham Lincoln is correct when he reminds us that a presumption that we are on God’s side is arrogance; rather, Lincoln invites us to ask a more troubling question: Are we are God’s side? If we have no doubts about the answer to that question, we can know that we are both arrogant and blasphemous. This is where we find the fatal flaw in fundamentalist Christianity (think Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell) which denigrates the gospel faith, and fundamentalist Islam (think Osama bin Laden) which equally denigrates Koranic faith, etc. Lincoln was but expressing the truth of Jesus’s teaching, written in the four gospels and the core writings of the Koran. Fundamentalists, of either Christian or Islamic stripe, reject the core teachings and turn to suspect writings that reject general principles of a faith, embrace injustice, encourage the worst instincts of the most ignorant, and indeed blaspheme the Christian & Islamic faiths.

Posted by: Allen at April 25, 2007 5:53 AM
Comment #218409

Allen, one of your abilities is to step aside from emotion in this particular subject, and that is what’s causing so many inflammatory responses. You’ve been able to cite cold facts without being cold and callous. There is no subject that a man could relate to on such a personal level, that we could debate and produce responses as explosive as this one has.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 25, 2007 1:20 PM
Comment #218462

Allen, Sandra and Womanmarine

Why don’t we compromise. If the choice is between saving the mother and saving the baby, I go with saving the mother. On the other hand, the procedure should be used only in the dire case of the mother’s health and partial birth abortion should never be used as a form of abortion on demand. In other words, if she comes in for an abortion and not some other malady, partial birth should be off the table.

Posted by: Jack at April 25, 2007 8:39 PM
Comment #218467

There is no choice for either you or I to make Jack…that’s what this whole thing is about. IF “she” is in for a late term abortion, neither of us know the why, which is as it should be! At this point, and for the procedure “she” is having, a discussion would most certainly have taken place, at the very least, between “she” and her health care provider….which is absolutely where the discussion should end.
You have ignored about 98% of what we have all said, and that is that we don’t condone any abortion being used as birth control.
But I will soften up on you for at least feeling “we” are more than just a nursery for “your” child…… ;)

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 25, 2007 10:37 PM
Comment #218503

Dear Jack: Please read what I’ve written previously. D&X is used when continuing a pregnancy threatens the health of the mother. Not a single case of D&X being used for “abortion on demand” (by this, I presume you mean abortion for the mere sake of not wanting a child) can be found in Congressional testimony or in the court record of Gonzalez v Carhart.

While I find your statement: “If the choice is between saving the mother and saving the baby, I go with saving the mother,” heartening, considering the tone of the discussion thus far, your use of the term “baby” leaves to me wonder how truly serious is your proposed proposed compromise. I suspect your use of the term “baby” is subconscious and not intended to inflame. However, it does on both sides of the argument. Using applicable scientific and legal terms in any debate — especially this one — modulates the temperature of the debate. Objectively speaking, a fetus is a fetus until such time as it is delivered alive at which time it is a neonate. In the case of stillbirth, we objectively speak of a stillborn fetus. Now, I will admit that my mother thought of her stillborn fetus as a stillborn baby. That is fine by me. Many expectant mothers think of their fetuses as “babies.” This is, also, fine by me. However, when we engage in the hopefully serious discussion posited on this thread, a precise, objective use of language is most helpful.

I would make this proposal for you, Sandra, & me: Let us do everything possible to make contraception more available and more effective in its use. (Jack, I am presuming from you writings that you do not oppose contraception.) However, we must confront the reality that a large part of the anti-choice community also opposes contraception. And keep this in mind: overturning Roe v Wade means that government can both prohibit abortion and mandate it; if Roe v Wade is overturned, government can prohibit the use of contraception. Overturning Roe effectively overturns Griswold.

A theology professor of mine from many years ago — a good Jesuit priest — makes a very cogent argument regarding abortion: civil law cannot stop abortion; passing a civil law which prohibits abortion is (1) easy, (2) self-gratifying, and (3) totally ineffective. The more difficult but, more effective route is via moral suasion. More importantly, the latter course embraces Free Will and renders one’s decision moral. Acting or not acting in accordance with civil law simply renders one criminal or not criminal. The most basic tenet of morality is the supremacy of intentionality exercised by Free Will. This was experimentally demonstrated in Stanley Milgram’s study, “Obedience to Authority.”

Posted by: Allen at April 26, 2007 11:37 AM
Comment #218536

Allen,Jack, etc….(if I remember that far back) my argument was in favor of making contraception even more available and affordable than it is now. If I understand correctly, WalMart has agreed to sell the over-the-counter “day after” pill. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_contraception
In fact, I just phoned a Wal Mart and asked some questions. There are two different packages ( ea. 2 pills ) made available. One is for under 17 years of age, and the other, then , for over 17. The one for under 17 requires a prescription and costs $42.62, while the other is “over the counter” and costs $15.88.
So, I can see another week long debate formulating now. How many girls under 17 are going to see a Dr. to get a prescription ? However,the idea of just taking a pill is far less controversial, invasive and egregious than the alternative of clinical procedures.
Promiscuity is not new to this generation or our culture in general. I don’t see an answer for that.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at April 26, 2007 4:47 PM
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