Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
December 10, 2009
POLITICS: Ted Kennedy, Pro-Lifer

An observant reader notes that my description yesterday of Ted Kennedy's support for legal abortion as "lifelong" is an overstatement. In fact, early in his public career, even Ted Kennedy had not yet embraced the casual cruelty of his party towards the defenseless unborn; indeed, Kennedy's rhetoric in those early days, displays genuine compassion for the defenseless unborn. Given Kennedy's centrality to Democratic strategy on this issue - he was the leader of the fight against the Bork nomination - it's interesting to look back. Here's Kennedy during his 1970 campaign for a second full term in the Senate:

Spaulding was what today would be called "pro-choice," and Kennedy, at that time, was passionately opposed to abortion. So when the subject came up, the senator was in full voice. He screamed, "Don't tell me there isn't enough love in the world to care for all the unwanted babies." He mentioned that adoption agencies had waiting lists.

In 1971, Kennedy put his pro-life convictions in writing to a correspondent on Long Island:

Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized - the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old....Once life has begun, no matter at what stage of growth, it is my belief that termination should not be decided merely by desire....I also share the opinions of those who do not accept abortion as a response to our society's problems...When history looks back to this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared enough about human beings enough to...fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception.

Sadly, Kennedy's estimate of how much love there was in the world, and how much his generation should care about fellow human beings, dwindled with the years - I leave to the reader to speculate on his motivations in the regard, but two of the groups most ardently in favor of legal abortion (not to suggest that they are mutually exclusive) are Democratic presidential candidates and men who have a lot of sex with women not their wives and don't especially like to pay the consequences. What is clear, however, is that the many years Kennedy spent trying to convince Americans that the pro-life movement was somehow extremist and anti-woman were really a renunciation of his own heart. Because once upon a time, Ted Kennedy cared about the unborn.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 5:04 PM | History • | Politics 2009 | Comments (51) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

That last paragraph is either the kookiest thing I have read in a long time or some weird attempt at tongue-in-cheek humor. I'll think about it and probably come down on the side of the former.

Posted by: jim at December 10, 2009 5:33 PM

I've tried to take you seriously, but this line, "two of the groups most ardently in favor of legal abortion (not to suggest that they are mutually exclusive) are Democratic presidential candidates and men who have a lot of sex with women not their wives and don't especially like to pay the consequences" is even dumber than the things written by your ditto-heads.

Also, your verbosity took over; you could have substituted "Republican family values politicians" for the second group.

Posted by: magrooder at December 10, 2009 7:13 PM

Magrooder,

The GOP family value type politicians, in general, can freely be against abortion because when they cheat on their wives they are looking for anal sex with men. No babies there! Party on like a GOP rock star!

Posted by: jim at December 10, 2009 8:57 PM

Lets see per Gallup and others a majority of Americans even against abortion in the 1st term, forget about the 2nd and 3rd terms where it is like some ridiculous percentage against and you guys are stuck with ad hominem attacks against republicans-----mmmkay

Posted by: dch at December 10, 2009 9:18 PM

Jim

It's not necessary to defend the indefensible Teddy just to affirm your pro abortion cred. It’s worse to pretend that you don’t understand clear, well-written English

Magrooder

When you say you would “Substitute[] ‘Republican family values (sic) politicians’ for the second group”, you show that you do not have the foggiest idea of the meaning of Crank’s words for which you would substitute your words. It is you who cannot be taken seriously.

Posted by: From Inwood at December 10, 2009 10:32 PM

Inwood,

You're dumber than the last paragraph that Crank wrote which is a) not funny if it is an attempt for a reach at humor b) factually inaccurate if it's not. Since humor and the GOP don't almost ever meet I have to assume it is the latter or a ham-handed mix at the two. Either way, it's bad writing and shallow humor at best. I also never referenced Ted Kennedy so you point is pointless. You can have your religious zealotry all you want and I will defend your right to belong to the fantasy of your choice. However, that's what it is. A fantasy and a choice. It cuts both ways.

Posted by: jim at December 11, 2009 12:35 AM

Inwood, I hope you're able to make some sense of jim's post. I couldn't. There are limits on even my imtellect and I admit that it is possible--clearly by chance in this case--to confound even me.

I suspect, thought, that his post is just more incoherent babble and no rational person could hope to decipher it.
jim, you should tell the voices in your head to organize their thoughts before just blurting out gibberish for you to transcribe. Specifically, you should ask the voices for a redo of "right to belong to the fantasy of your choice."

What specifically in Inwood's comments are you referring to? Please help jim, Voices. You're his only hope!

Posted by: spongeworthy at December 11, 2009 9:33 AM

dch,

Where are you getting your poll results? Here is one from CBS in November:

Legal in
All Cases 19

Legal in
Most Cases 35

Illegal in
Most Cases 28

Illegal in
All Cases 16

Unsure 2

Posted by: magrooder at December 11, 2009 10:32 AM

Magrooder:

Was that an official poll, with a standard of error and an unbiased sample?

Posted by: MVH at December 11, 2009 10:41 AM

Sponge, we all are aware of the toering limits on you intellect and we feel bad for you. I defend his right to believe in whatever RELIGION (fantastic belief) he chooses to ascribe to. He clearly needs it as a crutch for his moral superiority.

To sum up for you: Inwood brought up my referencing Kennedy (which I did not) and mentioned that I cannot understand the English language as I did not find Crank's last paragraph of this post enlightening when it was, in fact, both not funny and factually incorrect. Hope this clears thinga up for you and you are able to go about your day.

Posted by: jim at December 11, 2009 10:52 AM

jim - You know, the number of conservative Republican politicians involved in gay sex scandals over my entire lifetime is smaller than the number of Democratic politicians indicted for corruption in a typical month. So, you may want to rethink your standards for generalization.

You may also find that saying over and over "I didn't like or agree with that" without explaining why is not persuasive to people.

As for polls, polls on this issue have been all over the place over the years. The extremist pro-abortion position of people like Obama - legal at all times, even outside the womb - has never polled well. There's clearly a big chunk of the public whose position on this issue cannot possibly be defended logically to the satisfaction of either side. But the trend in the polling has tended, among other things, to show solid growth in support for the pro-life position during Democratic Administrations.

Posted by: Crank at December 11, 2009 11:03 AM

Crank,

Again with the factual inaccuracies, eh?

Also, I never said I didn't like what you wrote. Not once. I said it wasn't funny. And I actually did explain why I thought it wasn't funny. Nice try though.

Posted by: jim at December 11, 2009 11:28 AM

"Sponge, we all are aware of the toering limits on you intellect and we feel bad for you. "

Speaking of funny, and I'm not criticizing you for typos - but as I quickly skimmed over your post, I saw the word "Sponge" and "toering," and I thought to myself, just on the basis of his posts, I really can't imagine Spongeworthy wearing a toe ring. I'm sure he'll correct me if I'm wrong.

Posted by: MVH at December 11, 2009 12:31 PM

Typo. They happen. Especially since this site is not the most Blackberry-friendly web page. If you have never tried it you should know that it is difficult to read (very much so due to the pin-striping which ends up underneath the text) and type into for some reason (there are times when the only way to edit is to erase things and re-type). Should there be typos? No, of course not. However, if you would like to compare my handheld generated typo with sponge's consistently failings at understanding anything that he doesn't agree with you are welcome to it even if they don't really equate.

This entry was edited with a fine-toothed comb for typos. I believe I caught them all.

Posted by: jim at December 11, 2009 12:58 PM

As I said, I'm not criticizing you for the typo, I just found it funny given the context. Most of my posts contain at least two typos. Except this one.

Posted by: MVH at December 11, 2009 1:00 PM

Says Crank:
You know, the number of conservative Republican politicians involved in gay sex scandals over my entire lifetime is smaller than the number of Democratic politicians indicted for corruption in a typical month.
----------------------
Crank is only 2 weeks old?
No wonder he still believes Conservative policies are good for the citizens of the nation. If only he were alive the last 30 years to witness how Reagan's Revolution screwed the citizens to a fairly well.
Crank, read some history. Conservative policies fail this nation every time they've been enacted (1890s, 1920s, 1980s, 2000s).

Posted by: Berto at December 11, 2009 1:39 PM

It's "to a fare-thee-well", not "fairly well", Bertron.

Read some...well, anything really.

Posted by: mikeski at December 11, 2009 1:59 PM

Mikeski, again, remember that these nutjobs are scrambling to transcribe what The Voices are yelling in their heads. The Voices don't spell well and apparently don't speak all that clearly either.

He clearly needs it as a crutch for his moral superiority.

That's something you seem to have decided on your own. I don't see any reference to religion in his comments. You people seem to think nobody could object to scraping a baby unless the Pope had indoctrinated them early on. I can tell you for a fact that a lot of pretty agnostic people think baby-scraping is murder.

See if The Voices will silence themselves long enough for you to actually respond to the arguments you see here.

Posted by: spongeworthy at December 11, 2009 2:27 PM

There are a few dems that come on here from time to time and make some good points. Lately, it's been pretty bad.

Posted by: MVH at December 11, 2009 2:55 PM

Generally when people talk about "pro-abortion cred" they are using a religious based sense of moral superiority to back their comments. The pro-life liberals/nono-GOPers I have known tend to use different terminology than that so it was pretty easy to read between the lines. Perhaps Inwood is a pro-life atheist. I'm betting against it.

And, again, sponge does not understand the difference between a typo (of which he has been a victim of, as we all have, multiple times here on this board) and a spelling mistake. Nice that you need to latch on to a typo to keep up your rantings. You talk of hearing voices all the time. You must be an expert, a psychiatrist or you yourself are afflicted with them. I'll bet on the latter.

Posted by: jim at December 11, 2009 3:51 PM

Since typos are all of a sudden all the rage here I would like to point our that I have a typo in the above post. ..."nono-GOPers" is supposed to be "non-GOPers." I sent a report to the Kansas City Grammar Police.

Posted by: jim at December 11, 2009 3:58 PM

Seek help. I didn't call anybody out for typos. You people are so crazy you just invent this stuff. "He's been Jeez-ified! I can ignore him!" "He nitpicks typos! Ignore him!"

Generally when people talk about "pro-abortion cred" they are using a religious based sense of moral superiority...

You just made that up.

You nutjobs ought to try responding to the actual comments we're leaving. I suspect you are unable and to compensate invent reasons to dismiss arguments that are beyond you. Classic behavior of the lefty nutjob.

Posted by: spongeworthy at December 11, 2009 4:21 PM

"The Voices don't spell well"

If that is not being called out for a typo what is it? Do you read what you write or just not understand it?

Sponge, you have a problem. I'll leave you with your reality of anger and right-wing echos. The real world is a different place than where you live where everything is either of your choosing or pisses you off to no end. You are a sad person.

Posted by: jim at December 11, 2009 5:39 PM

You know, pro-lifers don't spend a lot of time or energy arguing that the pro-choice position is driven by animus against religion, although it would not take much effort to develop supporting evidence for that argument from the words of pro-choicers.

I've never seen the logic - as opposed to the rhetorical purpose - to arguing that protection of the life of the unborn is motivated by religion. Most, if not all, moral judgments are driven in good part by a person's religion or lack thereof; it's not humanly possible to make moral judgments that don't rest to any extent on what your moral first principles are and where you get them from.

The legal protection of innocent life is all but universally agreed to be a valid purpose, if not the single most valid purpose, of law. That purpose by definition requires a legal definition of what life is before you can protect it. Argue if you will for your own preferred definition, but it's nonsensical to suggest that the state can't have a definition and obnoxious to contend that some sort of creeping theocracy is involved in a scientifically sensible definition that is different from yours.

Posted by: Crank at December 11, 2009 5:50 PM

That's your position as a religious person and I guess I get to find it offensive as someone who is not and has never been religious. To say that my lack of religious background (I've read and had read the Bible to me, that's about it though) causes me or others to have a lack of moral foundation is suspect at best, blindly arrogant at worst and mostly just non-sensical. Moral foundation is based on how you were raised and who you are as a person. If religion plays a part in that all it is is a part. I and others more versed in theology and history vis a vis religion could easily argue that religion has played a huge role in corruption, scandal, moral terpitude, death and destruction throughout history.

You want the state to have a definition of life. You just want it to be your definition largely, I presume, based upon your religious beliefs. I may be recalling incorrectly and if I am wrong it is an honest error of not having the time to research the archives at the moment but I believe you are in the life begins at moment of conception camp. You can contend that your view is scientifically viable. I can contend it is not. However, to call my view of it morally suspect simply because I do not ascribe to a (and by "a" we all know it means your or something really close to it) religious convictions is arrogance run amok. Earlier I mentioned the crutch of moral superiority born of religious fervor and it seems to be on full display here. You are more moral than me because you are religious and I am not. Claptrap. You may be more moral than me (who knows, you are a lawyer and you do defend people in the financial industry but perhaps all your clients are victims rather than predators and if so bully for you) but if so I would doubt it has little to do with religion. Let's see, I own my own business, treat my employees well both financially and personally, I pay my taxes, I give generously to a wide variety of charities (some more so than others), my worst public offense has been a speeding ticket a possession of alcohol by a minor (when I was 17 in a state where the legal drinking age was 18 at the time), I've never been to Vegas and I don't like gambling other than the occasional football pool, I don't smoke or do drugs beyond drinking, I pay my bills on time and I love my parents. I have skeletons and bad decisions in my past like everyone else. No doubt almost everyone here, other than a checkmark here or there, has a similar resume. But because I don't and have never believed in God (how about Allah?--I don't believe in him either) I lack a moral center to make life decisions according to you. Must be nice to be the guy with all the answers because of something you believe in but can't prove.

Posted by: jim at December 11, 2009 6:26 PM

mlkeski,
Oops. You are, obviously, correct about Reagan's Revolution screwing the citizens to a fare-thee well.
Although I'd argue that one needn't read anything to see that obvious truth. Unfortunately, we live in a nation where people think "paying" attention is an unnecessary expense.

Posted by: Berto at December 11, 2009 6:39 PM

Jim:

"To say that my lack of religious background (I've read and had read the Bible to me, that's about it though) causes me or others to have a lack of moral foundation is suspect at best, blindly arrogant at worst and mostly just non-sensical."

Crank never said that. Where the heck did this and the rest of your rant come from? All he said is that your moral judgement is affected by the fact that you don't believe in God. He said nothing about you not having a moral foundation, so quit it with the outrage. The fact is, your judgment that God doesn't exist or doesn't matter colors your perception of things just as much as my belief in Him colors mine.

Posted by: Joel in Seattle at December 11, 2009 8:53 PM

I remember when congressman Al Gore was a conservative pro-life Democrat. I remember when Jesse Jackson was a pro-life reverand.

Then, both wanted to advance within the Democratic party and their ideals were thrown aside for political ambition & power.

[But I'm supposed to take Gore at his word vis-a-vis global warming]

Posted by: RW at December 11, 2009 10:39 PM

Spongeworthy

Jim had said that Crank's paragraph attacking Teddy is probably "the kookiest thing [he has] read in a long time" & then doesn't understand why I would think such comment a defense of Teddy, since, you see, he, Jim never used the words "Teddy" or "Kennedy" in his put down of Crank. That kind of babbling scores pretty high on my "kooky" meter.

Jim also has the fantasy that he can write clearly.

Posted by: From Inwood at December 11, 2009 11:03 PM

Love those crocodile tears for the "unborn." Once they are born, of course, the wing nuts could not give a rat's a## about them.

Still, if abortion were illegal, think of all the additional children available for the priests to prey upon.

Posted by: magrooder at December 12, 2009 12:21 AM

"You want the state to have a definition of life. You just want it to be your definition largely, I presume, based upon your religious beliefs."

Jim, Crank has given the scientific foundation for his definition of life, which you can totally divorce from religion, regardless if that is what motivates him. The state does need a legal definition of a human life, how do you otherwise know someone has been murdered?

I thought the most contentious point of Crank's post would be this one: "two of the groups most ardently in favor of legal abortion (not to suggest that they are mutually exclusive) are Democratic presidential candidates and men who have a lot of sex with women not their wives and don't especially like to pay the consequences."

The last part of that, at least, is more than a little unfair, but that wasn't the main point of his post.

Posted by: MVH at December 12, 2009 7:39 AM

jim, my point is one I've made often enough that you'd understand it by now if you listened.

1. Most public policy debates include a moral component; you can't well deny that we hear moral argumentation on a daily basis about war and peace, law enforcement, health care, the treatment of criminals and prisoners of war, taxes, education, etc. So, it's a complete non-starter to contend that we can't apply moral judgments to public policy; they are pervasive.

2. Everyone's moral judgments rest on a foundation of first principles, whether or not they examine them. Yours are obviously irreligious, if not actively anti-religious; mine are grounded in the Catholic faith. You can craft arguments to appeal to people with diverse bases for their first principles, but can't truly separate those first principles from the moral judgments they lead to.

3. I am not arguing that your first principles make your moral arguments illegitimate; I'm content to argue that your moral judgments are wrong. You, however, are arguing precisely that - that my moral foundation renders my moral arguments illegitmate as a matter of public debate.

4. It's telling that jim, Magrooder, Berto and the other resident lefties fall back so quickly on stereotypical anti-Catholic bigotry rather than attempt to argue the logic of this point.

Posted by: Crank at December 12, 2009 10:36 AM

So many people to address who simply write rather than read, think and write. Okay Crank did not use the term "moral foundation.". He used the term "moral decision making" and did so in the context of a religious background "or a lack thereof". If that's not questioning one's moral foundation based on religious experience than what is. As proof he goes on in the post above mine to say that I have moral issues at least vis a vis his morality.

Inwood it is great to be called an unclear writer by someone who uses punctuation as if it were going to go bad from lack of use.

Crank, it's nice to see you play the anti-Catholic bigotry card in the absence of bigotry. Within this thread I specifically stated I would defend (your) right to whatever religion you choose to engage in. You're the one with the clear bias against what I believe as you think that your beliefs are not only better than mine at a personal level but should be entirely discounted from any discussion regarding debates involving morality, public policy or the intersection of the two. I don't think I am more moral than you but you think your religious faith makes you more moral than me. That's religious moral superiority and much closer to bigotry than anything I have written or feel. Where you got that I said your moral point of view was discounted from public policy I donkt know. My quote that you pulled only says that you want, as public policy, your opinion represented. On the matter of aboertion that is, in fact, true. I did not say that was illegitimate I just disagree with you. Your faith is not the official policy of our government and in a country of broad views I don't think that whatever is preached in you church, temple, etc. should necessarily become the law of the land.

I would put away the Cathloic-bashing card and perhaps look in the mirror to see who has a problem with another's point of view. To say that you are more moral than me because I don't believe what you believe and because my faith according to you is found wanting is a strong statement and not a pretty one.

Posted by: jim at December 12, 2009 12:22 PM

Nope Crank I'm just anti toward Catholic bigots.

Posted by: magrooder at December 12, 2009 10:44 PM

I'm not sure how pointing out that you get your moral foundation from a church, which at the highest levels covered-up cases of pedophilia and put the children of their flock at risk to save their name and money, provides you with any moral high ground.
That would be like pointing out your moral weight by mentioning your membership in the Manson Family.

Posted by: Berto at December 13, 2009 2:22 PM

Jim

In your sentence:

"Inwood it is great to be called an unclear writer by someone who uses punctuation as if it were going to go bad from lack of use.",

you need a comma or a colon after "Inwood". Or you need to start the word “it” on a new line with an initial cap.

For that matter, you seem to be punctuation-shy. You are the poster boy for "lack of use" of punctuation.

Also, anyone who writes a sentence such as the one below in quotes is simply inarticulate (in addition to being unable to find the spell check on his computer.)

"Where you got that I said your moral point of view was discounted from public policy I donkt know."

Or are you translating from the Japanese?


Posted by: From Inwood at December 13, 2009 11:18 PM

Crank

Berto says that getting your "moral weight" from the RC Church

"would be like pointing out your moral weight by mentioning your membership in the Manson Family."

Oh, well at least he doesn't say that you are "pointing out your moral weight by mentioning your membership in" the Kennedy Family.

Posted by: From Inwood at December 13, 2009 11:29 PM

Crank

Apparently your four-point comment was beyond the ability of the trolls to understand.

Next The Borgias

I get this all the time from anti-Catholics who then refuse to acknowledge the illogic of what that they are saying. That is, they assert as a trump card, that they are entitled to their morality, which is based on, well, the Right Things, but that we are not entitled to our morality because the RC Church hierarchy contains some bad apples.

Maybe it's my punctuation.

Posted by: From Inwood at December 13, 2009 11:46 PM

Jim

OOPS! Shoudda put the period outside my closing parenthesis.

But, since you don't know punctuation, you wouldn't understand.

Posted by: From Inwood at December 13, 2009 11:53 PM

Reading comprehension, jim.

"He used the term "moral decision making" and did so in the context of a religious background "or a lack thereof". If that's not questioning one's moral foundation based on religious experience than what is."

There was no question there. He was pointing out that your moral first principles are influenced by your religion (if you're religious) or your lack of religion (if you're not).

He never argued that it's impossible to have valid moral first principles if you're not religious - you made that up and then took exception to it.

Posted by: Joel in Seattle at December 14, 2009 4:19 PM

Joel,

You just don't want to comprehend what he is saying. Perhaps it is because you are religious, perhaps you just agree with him. Not only did he mean to equate a religious background with a more moral state (as opposed to the lack of one) he goes on to say later that "I'm content to argue that your moral judgments are wrong." The use of the term "or a (the) lack thereof" is generally not used to describe a positive situation and it certainly being used to draw a deep distinction between the two points.

I think it is funny how the anti-Catholic card is thrown around here when there has been no anti-Catholic statements at all. I guess I said that if you look at history religion would have it's issues with being solely a positive force. That's not anti-Catholic. Inwood states that it is anti-Catholic to want to have "non-Catholic" morality represented and exclude "Catholic morality" from public policy. In the context of this thread this would be about abortion. The Catholic church stance would be no abortions. The pro-choice stance is opposite and can possibly cover a range of situations. I would say that I am pro-choice because the realities of the world are what they are.

However, as has been pointed out here (and many other places in the past), the Catholic church's policy on many public policy issues would actually be quite liberal (war, health care, immigration, etc.). My question is why is that abortion seems to be the only public policy issue where conservatives want to adopt the official policy of the church?

Posted by: jim at December 15, 2009 2:23 PM

"However, as has been pointed out here (and many other places in the past), the Catholic church's policy on many public policy issues would actually be quite liberal (war, health care, immigration, etc.). My question is why is that abortion seems to be the only public policy issue where conservatives want to adopt the official policy of the church"

The answer is in Crank's last post re: Kathy Kennedy. He believes abortion to be a core teaching of the Church, as opposed to a mere public policy position, such as immigration, health care, etc. In this sense, I agree with him, as the Church's position on abortion has been absolute for centuries and is rooted in doctrine. His argument is perfectly reasonable.

That being said, I don't think the Church's teaching on abortion *necessarily* obligates Catholics to vote against the health care bill just because some money might be used for policies which cover abortion. If you are Catholic, it is against your religion to have an abortion. The only law that would truly interfere with Catholics practicing their faith is one that would make abortion mandatory in some way, which of course is not even on the table. In other words, even if abortion is available, it is still a choice - one that people can either accept or reject.

Even with that caveat, you still have to deal with the question of when life begins. Whether it violates Catholic doctrine or not, if life begins at conception, then abortion is murder, and there is a perfectly scientific, non-religious basis for believing life begins at conception. You can't just dismiss that argument because it happens to dovetail with the Catholic faith.

Posted by: MVH at December 15, 2009 9:04 PM

Ok so I started reading all the comments, but got bored very quickly when the just became attached on each others comments and not real arguments to the heart of the actual subject. Since religion was brought up I will come right out and say that I am aethist, mainly because religion lacks basic logic. One shouldn't have to look too hard to find that most religions contradict themselves frequently.

On the main subject here I will say that I fully support legalized abortion through the first trimester. However, once the fetus begins to take on more human characteristics in the second and third trimester I think that it's too late and the time has passed to make that decision.

I will also add that protecting a fetus in the first trimester because it will develope into a human life is like an evolutionist saying that we can't kill monkeys because they're going to evolve into us someday. Yes, I understand that evolution takes far longer than a trimester of preganancy, my point is that protecting something that is definately not human by defination, at least not yet, should not fall under the clause of protecting human life.

I would also like to point out that the legalization of abortion has a tendancy to cause a decrease in the crime-rate since most women that tend to get abortions live in poverty, and whose kids, should they not be aborted, would grow up into a life of crime mearly as a means of survival. Not that I support abortion as a means of crime control, just pointing out the added benefit to society. It also means that stingy conservatives have less people to complain about have to make donations to help support, less food needed, and a more controlled growth of the already staggering amount of people on the planet, which gives us a whole more time to figure out how to feed the population that already exists.

Actually I would say that over all the benefit to society of abortion is far greater than the loss of life and that pro-choice is not about the loss or protection of one life, but about big picture vs. little picture. Big picture: we as a planet already have a population too large to fully care for and many socioeconomic problems because of it so by allowing people to make a choice we are helping to relieve some of the stress on these issues until better and more permanent solutions can be found.
Let me leave you with this question: Would it be better for that fetus to be aborted in the first trimester before it feels pain, or for the child that fetus becomes to die slowly and painfully from starvation? Which one would be more human? Which one would you rather happened to you, the painless death or the painful one?

Posted by: Joe at December 16, 2009 12:07 AM

MVH, I appreciate the answer to the question as it was a serious question. I don't really know many practicing Catholics so it was an exercise in information gathering. I would still assert that just because this is a core principle (I assume there are others and where would they fall in the public policy debate?) of this specific ideology that it should not be made into USA law. Crank can cite all the stuff he wants to about one cell organisms being "life" but it does not mean I or the public at large have to accept that particular point of view.

There is also the simple reality that abortion is going to happen whether you make it illegal or not. Legislating this particular "moral decision" (I would argue that it is not necessarily a moral decision in most cases but then again I have already been told here that I am less qualified to have an opinion about that than those of (Catholic) faith) ignores the world as it is and as it will be. That's not what our laws are intended to or should do. Of course I will no doubt get flamed for this opinion here since I am a godless heathen but I and many others are really uncomfortable with the idea that scripture should be made into legislation here in this country and that is not in any way an invalid point. This is a big, broad and diverse country and y'all's morality does not necessarily define everyone's reality and, I think, unfortunately for those of you who ascribe to a particular religious philosophy you have to deal with that.

Posted by: jim at December 16, 2009 3:00 PM

"Crank can cite all the stuff he wants to about one cell organisms being "life" but it does not mean I or the public at large have to accept that particular point of view."

Right, you don't have to accept it, but you do have to come up with an alternative definition of when life begins. The law requires a definition, even if your personal outlook does not. I'm not saying that definition needs to be religious, but you do have to draw the line somewhere. There is no getting around it.

"There is also the simple reality that abortion is going to happen whether you make it illegal or not."

Under that line of reasoning, you might as well not have any laws at all. Tax evasion still happens even though it is illegal. So does murder. Should we let them just happen as well?

Posted by: MVH at December 16, 2009 6:52 PM

I love how no one made an argument to what I said. First you complain that the few people commenting on this aren't presenting valid arguements, but rather personal attacks. Then, when valid arguments are put forth you don't say anything. What's the matter, do you have nothing to say?

Posted by: joe at December 16, 2009 7:35 PM

It's not at conception I know that. I could cite a big pile of science that would say so as well.

The idea that operating within the bounds of practicality here equates to a lawless society is sort of silly. Sort of like saying that people speed so we're going to eliminate cars.

Posted by: jim at December 16, 2009 8:55 PM

Joe asks for a serious response to his arguments, so here is one:

"Yes, I understand that evolution takes far longer than a trimester of preganancy, my point is that protecting something that is definately not human by defination, at least not yet, should not fall under the clause of protecting human life."

You simply assert that a baby in the first trimester is "definitely not human," but you provide little justification for that statement. Certainly not enough to earn the qualifier "definitely." The fetus has 100% human DNA and will evolve in its lifetime to be human by any definition.

The analogy to an ape who's decendant might evolve to be human is flawed at two levels. First, no biologist would assert that. They generally say that a given evolutionary path is vanishingly unlikely to be repeated. Second, there is zero chance that the given ape will become human. So the more similar case would be contraception, that is preventing future generations, which no one argues is life in the same sense as a conceived baby.

The utilitarian argument (they will grow up to starve to death anyway, and be criminals to boot) has two problems with it. First, it is entirely unpersuasive on the core question - is a two and a half month fetus alive? For example, it would be entirely unpersuasive to argue for allowing poor people to kill their six month old babies (as in six months after birth) for such reasons, even though the utilitarian argument is the same.

Second, it assumes that increasing population is a bad thing. That is a prediction that has been wrong for a very long time.

Posted by: Nobody at December 16, 2009 8:59 PM

"The idea that operating within the bounds of practicality here equates to a lawless society is sort of silly."

There are some arguments that are good, and some that are bad. If the starting point of your definition of life is the thought that abortions are going to happen anyway, that's a bad argument. The question is when does life begin. Keep in mind, you are drawing a line from when termination of a baby/fetus is murder. That can't be based on any consideration of practicality.

If you have science to back up your definition of life being somewhere after conception, then that is your good argument.

Personally, I don't get all wound up on the abortion issue as a matter of public policy, but I can understand why other people do. That being said, I wouldn't want anyone passing a law legalizing abortion in general after the first trimester.

Posted by: MVH at December 17, 2009 7:11 AM

MVH,

We're pretty much around the same place I would guess on this. Not really a topic I expend a ton of mental energy on at this point. I don't think life begins at conception and to what point viability is reached, I do not know. Without having stats in front of me or really wanting to look them up I would guess that the vast, vast, vast majority of abortions happen in the first trimester and that later ones are almost always due to some sort of complication, health issue, etc.

I am uncomfortable with making abortion illegal, in part because of issues already discussed but also because I don't see it making a difference except in a negative way. Abortions will still happen, they won't be nearly as safe, shady stuff will happen, it will divide who can get them/get them safely (rich vs. poor), etc. I'm against laws were the passage of such law has more downside impact than not having the law at all.

Tax laws do prevent people from cheating on taxes in more cases than not. If there were no tax laws, presumably very few people would pay taxes. Women aren't out there thinking of ways to get abortions simply because abortion is legal.

Posted by: jim at December 17, 2009 2:00 PM

For those who support making abortion illegal.
What do you propose the penalty should be for women who have abortions illegally?
Would you propose the death penalty? Life in prison? jail time? a fine?

Posted by: Berto at December 18, 2009 12:43 PM
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