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Pro Life Tour: Hear Jill Stanek, Bryan Kemper, Glenn Peoples, Brendan Malone and Matthew Flannagan

January 31st, 2011 by Madeleine

Student group Pro-Life New Zealand brought have popular pro-life speakers Jill Stanek and Bryan Kemper out from the US for a nationwide tour of New Zealand.Pro Life Tour 2011

Pro Life Tour 2011

Most centres will have day workshops and evening talks – click on the centre nearest you for details.

Dr Glenn Peoples will be joining Jill and Bryan to speak on “Pro-life Apologetics” at the workshop in Dunedin, Brendan Malone will be speaking on “Why we Believe what we Believe” at the Christchurch workshop and Matt will be giving a talk entitled “Answering Arguments for Abortion” at the Auckland workshop and also the one in Hamilton.

Pro-life Workshop Auckland

Greenlane Christian Centre, 17 Marewa Road

  • 11:00am Doors open and Morning tea
  • 11:20 am Welcome
  • 11:30am Workshop 1 – Bryan Kemper “Why should we be pro-life and how can we reach this generation?”
  • 12.15 am Workshop 2 – Jill Stanek “Prolife blogging”
  • 1:00pm Lunch
  • 1:45pm Workshop 3 – Bryan Kemper “Pro-life activism on Campus”
  • 2:30pm Workshop 4 – Jill Stanek “Abortion and the breast cancer link”
  • 3:15pm Workshop 5 – Matthew Flannagan “Pro-Life Apologetics: Answering Arguments for Abortion”
  • 3:55pm Pro-life Auckland – Simeon Brown “What we do and how you can help”
  • 4:00pm – Finish

Speaker Bios

Jill Stanek was a registered nurse working in the labour & delivery department at an Illinois hospital. One evening she was on duty and she was asked to assist with a complicated abortion procedure. The baby was born alive and was subsequently put in the hospital’s soiled utility room and left to die. Jill went in and held it until it died. When hospital leaders said that they would not stop this practice, Jill went public and became a national figure in the pro-life movement.

Jill StanekJill has been quoted in the national media on television, on radio, in print, and by local and national legislators, including the US President. She has now testified twice before the Judiciary Constitution Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives and in several state legislatures. Her written testimony has been read several times in key US Congressional debates on the Partial Birth Abortion Ban and the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.

Jill remained at the hospital fighting the fight from the inside, until she was terminated in 2001 for reasons related to her public outspokenness to its abortion practices.

In 2002, President Bush invited Jill to the signing of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which protects live aborted children from infanticide. The President publicly thanked for her help with the bill during his speech.

In 2003, World magazine named Jill as one of the 30 most prominent pro-life leaders in the movement over the past 30 years and President Bush invited Jill to his signing of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, which protects partially delivered babies from being killed.

Today Jill writes on pro-life issues as a weekly columnist for WorldNetDaily.com, rated the #1 independent Internet news site. Jill also oversees her own blog, jillstanek.com, the top ranking pro-life blog in the US.

For her pro-life writing MSNBC’s liberal commentator Keith Olbermann named Jill, in 2009, as the “Worst Person in the World!” In 2011, News Real Blog named Jill one of the “Top Ten Enemies the Pro-Abortion Left Fears.”  More on Jill here.

Bryan KemperBryan Kemper grew up in a bad neighbourhood and battled drug abuse before becoming a Christian. He went on to found and run Stand True Ministries, a Christian pro-life group. He also founded Rock For Life, an organisation that blends the pro-life message with Christian rock music – two of Bryan’s own passions. He blogs at BryanKemper.com

Bryan is a passionate and compelling orator; he has spoken at high schools and Universities around the world, including Harvard, Princeton, Notre Dame, Queens University in Northern Ireland, Cardiff University in Wales and many more.  He taken the pro-life message around the world to countries like Ireland, Australia, Scotland, Austria and many more . In the past, he was a regular guest on the television show Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher and co-hosted his own call-in cable show in Portland, Oregon. Bryan has been featured on MTV, radio shows, newspapers, and magazines including the cover of the New York Times and a six-page layout in Swing Generation. He has also been featured in three documentary movies.

Aside from his speaking, Bryan is also an author. Bryan’s first book, Social Justice Begins in the Womb was released in January of 2010 by Clay Bridges Publishing. His articles have appeared in many magazines and pro-life publications. More on Bryan here

As one of the organisers, Andy Moore, wrote:

I’m going to go and hear these guys when they come to Auckland on 5 February.

These are two of the top pro-lifers in the States – on a speaking tour in NZ for the first time. Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, it shouldn’t matter. I put the challenge to you, come along and decide for yourself. If abortion is what I’ve said it is – the murder of an unborn child, then it’s a bloody serious issue that we should speak up about. This is not an issue where you can sit on the fence and be a typical laid-back Kiwi about – if they’re killing unborn babies down the road from you at your local abortion clinic, then you should do something about it.

Glenn PeoplesDr Glenn Peoples holds a Bachelors of Divinity, a Masters of Theology and a Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Otago.

For over ten years he has been writing and speaking, both in New Zealand and abroad, on intellectual issues that Christians face, including the place of faith in the public square, justice and human rights and the reasons for Christian belief.

He and his wife Ruth Peoples were active in the Waikato branch of Students Organised to Uphold Life (SOUL) and later worked with the national office primarily doing pro-life talks in churches, community organisations and university campuses.

Glenn blogs and publishes his podcasts at Say Hello to my Little Friend: The Beretta Blog and Podcast. More on Glenn here.

Brendan MaloneBrendan Malone is a media and education officer for pro-life organisation, Family Life International. He regularly appears in the New Zealand media in interviews and opinion columns presenting the pro-life perspective on issues related to human persons and their fundamental right to life.

Brendan is an engaging speaker and will be taking on “Why we Believe what we Believe”, an overview of the arguments against abortion. Young people will work together in groups to learn how to communicate their pro-life views to their peers in a clear and logical way.

Brendan blogs at Semper Vita on life issues.

Dr Matthew FlannaganDr Matthew Flannagan is a blogger at MandM – New Zealand’s most read Christian blog – and is also one of New Zealand’s leading analytic theologians. He holds a PhD in Theology, a Masters with First Class Honours and Bachelors degree in Philosophy.

His PhD thesis was on the Ethics of Feticide (the killing of fetuses). In it, he surveyed the history of Christian moral opposition to feticide and defended this tradition against contemporary secular critiques and arguments for abortion. This work is currently under consideration for publication as a monograph by a US publishing house.

His paper “Abortion as Arbitrary Killing” was made required reading for the Social and Moral Philosophy course at the University of Waikato. His article “Confessions of an Anti-Choice Fanatic“, originally published as one of his Investigate Magazine columns, has received considerable international attention from the pro-life movement (and its opposition) – Google currently shows 346 unique links to it! His academic publications on abortion have appeared in international journals of philosophy, theology and ethics he has earned praise for his work from some of the top pro-life academics in the world.

Matt is also qualified to teach philosophy, ethics, theology and religious studies in secondary schools, so he knows how to break complex academic topics down to lay level without compromising them.

He is a proficient public speaker. He has twice formally debated Dr Zoe During (formerly of the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand) on abortion; the second of these debates also featured Dr Bill Cooke (then President of the New Zealand Association of Rationalist Humanists).

He has appeared on major New Zealand TV documentaries and radio shows speaking on ethical issues surrounding abortion and his opinion pieces on pro-life issues have been published in mainstream New Zealand print media.

He and his wife, Madeleine Flannagan, founded and ran the Waikato branch of SOUL and later took over the national running of it. These roles saw him speak on abortion around the country at many churches, community organisations, university campuses and more than once at the annual Voice for Life conference in Wellington.

He has spoken on abortion at the Survivors Summer Camp in Los Angeles and he has just been invited to speak on issues around personhood at the Society for Biblical Literature’s annual meeting in San Francisco in November 2011.

You can find almost all of his popular and academic written material on abortion on this blog – just click here. More on Matt here.

So mark the pro-life tour date relevant to where you are in your calendar now, register and come along.

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305 responses so far ↓

  • I don’t know if I could contain my laughter if I attended any of these talks.

  • Oh right, the laughter argument for abortion – very dominant in the literature and very hard to counter – I’ll make sure Matt covers that.

  • I’ve always been a choice advocate because it seems like any alternative implies government monitoring powers over women to ensure fetal health, and other control measures, but it’s going to be interesting if someone figures out how to communicate with the unborn, say with some kind of sign language equivalent.

  • So you can kill someone if it means someone else can avoid government monitoring?

    With all the controversy over the new search protocols at the airports in the US why not simply decriminalise terrorism? That way travellers can avoid government monitoring?

  • I’m not sure it’s a person being killed, although I believe it is in some significant sense and to some significant extent, but even if it’s not, it has a recalcitrant potential-person value which is what constitutes the risk and suspicion of depriving an entity of personhood and therefore of depriving a person of life. However, if it means being a total slave to some human collective, the implications of that seem just as horrendous and life threatening. I would strongly advocate avoiding abortion, but at some point life for life’s sake is a bargain with infamy, as Sydney Hook once said, meaning that one would forsake all other values for mere biological survival. I’m certainly not interested in mere life by means of renouncing or abandoning everything that makes life valuable in the first place. Seems like if that were true, there would be roving citizen armies attacking wherever they thought persons were being killed. That’s not happening, even though people are in the business of aborting on a regular basis like it was nothing, at least here in the US, don’t know about New Zealand.

  • Why no debate for a pro-abortion advocate? I’ll do it if no-one else is willing to step up (from the pro-abortion side of course). How about it?

  • Laughter Argument for Abortion-comes from the silly positions anti-choicers have.

  • What will Glenno’s talk be about?

  • Honestly, I’m thinking that they believe that Jill Stanek is lying for her cause.

    I, for one, find her story hard to believe. Seems to me that a few war stories like the one you mention are a LOT like real anti-war war stories which no-one but anti-war activists/proponents listen to.

    Abortion is like a war against the unborn. Exactly how close to born is one allowed to perform/have performed an abortion?

    To the point where the the aborted fetus is breathing? Seems a tad late at that point.

    I’m starting to think that women ought to be sent to the Ministry of Truth every month then, if found to be pregnant, held in custody, to be sure that she will not harm the child in any way, through ignorance or malice.

    It’s the only way to be fair people!

  • Richard I’ll debate you publicly, as I’m sure Matt would also, contact the organisers and see if they”ll arrange it.

  • Pboy do you have any evidence Jil is lying.

    But even if she is I think a more interesting question is why pro choicers feel the need to claim she is, after all if a fetus inside a women is not a person why would it be wrong to take the fetus out alive and kill after the passage of time. This would be no different to putting down a cat.

    It seems pro choicers should simply admit they do this claim there is nothing wrong with it and move on… right.

  • It would have to be Matt because I don’t debate women, sorry.

  • LOL! You debate me willingly enough on this blog.

    Matt it is then. Moot?

  • Yea I’m not actually that sexist. I would properly lose that debate as Matt has heaps more debating experience than me (and not due to the strength of his arguments). But I am willing to take on Glenno and Dunedin is a bit closer to my home town.

  • I don’t have as much debating experience as Matt. Why not me?

  • “It seems pro choicers should simply admit they do this claim there is nothing wrong with it and move on… right.”

    Nono, I’m thinking that the only option is to incarcerate women, making sure that they cannot harm the fetuses.

    I can empathise with the fetuses and I wouldn’t trust my mother not to give me fetal-alcohol syndrome!

    I’d rather die!

  • In fact I imagine that we really ought to go one step further and assess the viability of the proposed family.

    If potential mom and/or dad have low I.Q. and/or a history of Down’s Syndrome in the family or a propensity towards violence or other criminal behaviour, perhaps they ought to be sterilized!

    It would be for their own good really.

  • Pboyfloyd, get up to speed with reality before you accuse my friend of lying. Live birth abortions are frequent occurrences. Jill was present at the signing of the born alive protection act. Any guesses what that might have been for? Any idea why the pro partial-birth abortion Barack Obama overturned that bill as sion as he got into office?

    Permit me to briefly make use of Richard’s “laughter argument”.

  • How about Glenno and you versus myself and a friend?

  • I said, “Honestly, I’m thinking that they believe that Jill Stanek is lying for her cause.”

    Notice the THEY!

    I did say that I thought it was hard to believe because, for one thing, it doesn’t seem right!

    I seem to be getting you guys and gals off ‘the program’ here, is that it?

    Not only that, I went as far as to say that if this is true, then certainly society has an obligation to protect the unborn from such abuse!

    Seems to me though that you are suggesting, because of those horrifying instances, zero tolerance, is that not right?

    I agree then, if you are willing to agree that it is in society’s interest to hold mothers, who might abuse drugs(including cigarettes and alcohol), in custody to ensure the best possible circumstances for the developing citizen, yes?

  • Matt too scary for you Richard? I’m in, I’m sure Glenn will be too.

  • Sorry – on my phone, misread that. But what does this even mean?

    “Honestly, I’m thinking that they believe that Jill Stanek is lying for her cause.”

    But good on you for this statement,

    “Not only that, I went as far as to say that if this is true, then certainly society has an obligation to protect the unborn from such abuse!”

  • He is but so is Glenno but I can contain my fear there for some reason.

  • “..it is the policy of the United States that every woman has the fundamental right to choose to bear a child; terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability; or terminate a pregnancy after viability when necessary to protect her life or her health.”

    Seems to me that Jill Stanek was present at the commission of a crime! Or, maybe she’s lying.

  • Plus, how can you believe anything an American says?

    Half of them adore Abraham Lincoln because he was a federalist and the other half love him because he was a Republican.

    They’ll say stuff like, “America is not a democracy, it’s a republic!”

    If prompted, they can say, in one sentence that America is a Christian nation while condemning the secular society they are forced to live in.

    Most of them believe with all their hearts that America is free, in part because it itself will not allow other people to be free.

    While it is possible that Jill Stanek is not deliberately lying, it is possible that she is a victim of Americanism, which is the ideology that America is free and will crush anyone who imagines that they are ‘more free’!

    Growing up under these circumstances leaves one blissfully unaware that there is such a thing as ‘the truth’, because the truth, to them is simply their own strongly held opinion.

  • Richard, just as well you can contain your fear.

    So now that you’ve agreed to the debate, who’s the friend you have in mind. And what moot would you like to debate, precisely?

  • I just hope you can contain the constant anger you show here.

    I don’t know who will be my partner yet. I would take Ken but going off previous debates between you two I’m not sure the audience will want to be there for several days.

    The moot? Feticide equals homicide: Yes or No? How does that sound? Would you recommend anything else?

  • Equals homicide? How about something a little more interesting like unjustified homicide. Many pro-choicers agree that it’s homicide.

  • Oh, and Richard – ideally you’d pick somebody who knows a bit about the subject.

  • That Feticide is Unjustifiable Homicide. That is a moot I am happy to defend.

  • OK there we go Richard. Madeleine and I have said that we are willing to defend the claim that abortion is unjustifiable homicide.

    Are you good with that?

  • The abortion argument seems, as always, to be based on surgical abortion. Yes, I’ve seen the photos, yes, I’ve read the emotive stories too.

    And behind all of the hype, unrecorded and unphotographe, are the chemically induced abortions. The results of the morning after pill.

    All that you guys are doing is applying pressure to make sure that if abortion does happen it’s not seen and it’s not recorded.

  • Paul, care to explain how the moral issues raised by pro-lifers stand or fall on the procedure being seen?

    Thanks.

  • Richard, I think you’re being sucked in here.

    From plain homicide to unjustified homicide to unjustifiable homicide in two easy steps?

    “Many pro-choicers agree that it’s homicide.”

    I don’t think that this is true at all. Not AT ALL.

    It just gives them a lot more leeway to argue the ‘justifiability’ of it all.

    Your proposed argument is just a simple syllogism.

    Homicide is the crime of ending a human person’s life.

    Every human person has been born.

    Therefore ending an unborn’s life is not homicide.

  • @ pboy
    I think you have a slight problem there

    Homicide is the crime of ending a human person’s life.

    Every human person has been born.

    Every human person is born having first undergone gestation.

    Therefore fatally interupting human gestation is homicde.

  • @ Glenn
    “Paul, care to explain how the moral issues raised by pro-lifers stand or fall on the procedure being seen?”

    It doesn’t – but neither will the ‘moral issues’ influence the debate with regards to the use of the morning after pill. Both the surgical procedure and the chemical prevent what you consider to be a human life reaching fruition. The difference is that with one there is body and with the other there is much less, if anything, to be seen.

    How will a pro-lifer determine the difference between a chemically induced abortion and a spontaneous abortion ?

    The intent of the prospective mother ? Want to go to court with that ?

    As I’ve posted before – I’ve seen the photos, I’ve read the anecdotes, I think I’ve probably already read some of your moral arguments (‘your’ being pro-lifers in general).

    I’m still pro-choice.

  • I was reminded, on another blog that I post on, of a line of argument that I’d previously discussed in this sort of debate, about the morality of abortion.

    I get the sense, from this blog, that some view it as a very simple issue.

    So, how would you deal with the morality of IVF treatment where 8 eggs are implanted but the number of embryos that successfully implant is deliberately reduced in order to increase the likelihood of successful gestation of 1 to term ?

    Apologies if you’ve addressed this question before.

  • “Every human person is born having first undergone gestation.”

    This part is not right. Everyone knows the point where one becomes a human person. You can’t just add anything you want Jeremy.

    When were you born Jeremy? This is a legal question.

    I was born on the First day of May, in the year 1955.

    Was I alive BEFORE THAT? Of course I was, but I wasn’t a person.

    The law deals on with members of society, whose individual members are defined as persons.

    In the case of a corporation, for example. At incorporation all the necessary stock-holders and board members etc. etc. necessary for there to be a corporation, a legal person, are alive, yes?

    Does that mean the corporation already exists? No.

    Same with people. The law has to define what a human person is, and since when.

    You KNOW this Jeremy, but choosing to ignore it is no excuse.

  • Could someone remind me who’s pro-choice? I get so confused since the pro-abortion lobby started telling doctors they had no right to conscientious objection…

  • Also, how do you sign up if you’re not on facebook?

  • Pboy so if German law stated Jews were not persons, it follows they were not, is that your position?

  • @pboy
    “Same with people. The law has to define what a human person is, and since when”

    I suspect that there have been human persons on earth for much longer than there have been laws defining what a human person is.
    Whats more this “legal” definition varies according to jurisdiction. It is entirely possibly that no “legal” definition is right. A “legal” definition is not necessarily the truth.
    Consider the cases of blacks, women, children historically. Jews in Nazi Germany, non Muslims under Sharia law, “boat-people” trying to gain illegal entry into many countries.

    A unborn baby is nothing other than a human person, ask a women who has miscarried or the parents of a stillborn child.

    “Legal” definitions are conveniences not truth.

  • All right, here’s the pro-choice side of this argument.

    One, absolute prohibition of abortion harms impoverished women. It results in deaths from backstreet abortion. Thus, such public policy is immoral and ethically wrong because it results in women’s deaths that could otherwise be avoided. And don’t refer to the allegedly low number of backstreet abortion facilities that occurred in New Zealand during the sixties, a time of relative economic prosperity in this country. If such policies were enacted now, public health cutbacks would result in a higher death toll. Most organised medical groups in New Zealand oppose such a destructive public policy- not that it is ever likely to recur in this country, thankfully.

    Two, even incremental restrictions on abortion access have destructive consequences, which can be empirically verified on the US National Abortion Federation and NARAL websites. If such anti-abortion laws do result in such harmful consequences, then from a consequentialist moral perspective, they are ethically wrong and should never be implemented. It is why most New Zealand (US, British and Canadian) organised medical practitioners groups oppose such restrictions.

    Three, anti-abortionist claims of harmful sequelae to liberal abortion policies are based on palpable mendacity. Again, NAF and NARAL contain rebuttals of such propaganda, including the spurious scaremongering carried out by anti-abortion propagandists in relation to the imaginary ‘abortion/breast cancer’ link. Indeed, such rebuttals have guided judicial policy in the United States that has rightly recognised lies and manipulative scaremongering when it is impartially evaluated in the courts.

    It is fascinating that Stanek is the only medical practitioner in a lineup that consists predominantly of two fundamentalist theologians and a conservative Catholic activist otherwise.

    Lies about actual physiological development of blastocysts, zygotes, embryos and fetuses also occur routinely from this quarter, discounted by mainstream medical evidence. Even the anti-abortion propaganda staple ‘unborn child’ is a semantic device that attempts to transfer the real emotional, cognitive and relational bonds that we form with actual infants and children to prenatal stages of human development.

    Four, the antiabortion position is based on sectarian religious dogma, that of the Catholic Church and its conservative evangelical fellow travellers. It therefore also constitutes an attack on religious freedom, freedom from religion, and faith/state seperation. Indeed, because of that, many liberal Protestants, Jews and nontheists support the consequentialist position on the morality of abortion access. Even some dissident Catholics do.

    (Antiabortionists usually refer to anti-abortion pseudo-feminist groups, misogynist antiabortion gay men’s groups like PLAGAL in the United States and tiny groups of anti-abortion neopagans and nontheists. One word comes to mind- ‘garnishing.’ They are front groups and the anti-abortion movement itself consists predominantly of conservative Catholics and evangelicals.)

    Finally, there is the matter of anti-abortion terrorist activity in Canada, Australia and the United States. I acknowledge that most anti-abortionists are as aghast at the assassination of abortion providers, firebomb attacks on abortion clinics and collateral murder of clinic escorts and security personnel. Indeed, most of them restrict their activities to propaganda tactics like this one and legislative lobbying and judicial interference tactics which tend to fail in the New Zealand context.

    It is noteworthy that pro-choicers do not reciprocate and restrict our activities to provision of accurate reproductive and sexual health information, actual service provision itself and legislative lobbying for maintenance and extension of abortion access, as well as primary reproductive and sexual access to healthcare options like better contraceptive access in the first place.

    I acknowledge that these arguments are unlikely to be convincing to conservative Christian deontologists. However, as I have noted above, anti-abortion propaganda is based primarily on sectarian a priori religious premises, deliberate fabrication and mendacious use of pseudo-science in such propaganda and discounted harm from prohibition or incremental restrictions directed on such grounds against liberal terms of abortion access.

    I’d like to invite pro-choice readers of this blog to either join existing pro-choice organisations, donate money to such organisations or inform yourselves about the substantive, evidence-based case for women’s reproductive freedom and provide rebuttals to the other side of this debate. I’m sure NARAL, ALRANZ, Abortion Rights UK, the US Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Catholics for Choice, CARAL (Canada) or their Pro-Choice Action Network would welcome your time and money.

    Postscript: Nat here. I’m a med student at Otago these days (on holiday break) and I’d like to add this:

    New Zealand census demographics indicate that most Kiwis abandon initial conservative religious beliefs as we grow older, develop strategic reasoning and that those beliefs usually disappear completely when we get to university, except if we stick to faculties and disciplines that don’t provide us with the neccessary professional skills and encourage us to stay in the conservative religious twilight zone.

    Unfortunately, there are some multiple generation families of conservative religious activists out there who are insulated from the real world and who provide the small ‘youth’ wings of conservative religious pressure groups. On the bright side, that’s not as possible here in NZ as it is in the States, because our fundamentalist and conservative Catholic subcultures are tiny compared to theirs. Younger Kiwi pro-choice readers of this blog might want to join up with Action for Abortion Rights at VUW (or even better, establish branches at other unis!)

    No doubt M&M probably want to know why ‘Julian’s’ daughter ended up going down this road. Simple really. Mainstream medical science is on the pro-choice side of this debate and I’m a young, feminist woman who is being trained for a professional career in medicine. And “Julian” is a good role model. I am proud to be a second-generation pro-choicer.

    XXX Nat

  • About Andy’s comments about late-term abortions.

    Actually, these are really few in number. Most terminations occur comparatively early during the course of the pregnancy, mostly during the eighth to twelfth week. Mainstream medical science has ascertained that at that stage, the embryo/fetus is non-sentient and that the neurohormonal development neccessary to feel pain just isn’t there. Nor is there sufficient respiratory development, which is essential for autonomous survival outside a woman’s body, because there is insufficient alveolar capacity in the lungs.

    Most late terminations occur because of severe fetal maldevelopment, which renders further existence outside the uterus a bleak proposition. Or, they occur to protect the lives and future maternal health of women due to physiological complications.

    And yeah, I know the US Supreme Court reversed itself on that issue. That’s because Bush stacked it with anti-abortion justices until the anti-Republican backlash of the late 00s hit Congress. Oh, and there was the matter of Doctor Tiller’s death.

    I am using codad’s email address and you won’t get any other biographical details out of me. This is also a public access shared use PC, so I cannot be traced through that route. One day, we may meet, but I’ll probably be a qualified doctor by then.

    Bye, then.
    XXX Nat (and BTW, that’s my second name)…

  • One, absolute prohibition of abortion harms impoverished women. It results in deaths from backstreet abortion. Thus, such public policy is immoral and ethically wrong because it results in women’s deaths that could otherwise be avoided.

    Deaths from backstreet abortions can be avoided by the potential victims avoiding backstreet abortions.

    Problem solved.

    Even better, “impoverished women” could use better contraceptive or avoid actions that lead to pregnancy since they can’t afford it.

    Interesting that you (and the other radicals) always make such a massive leap of logic, blaming circumstances that need not, and frequently do not exist.

    There is no shame these days in raising a child alone, or being pregnant to a man you are not married to. So why is the act of bringing a child to term such a burden? Recall that in 99% of cases that pregnancy resulted from undertaking a consensual act. We are not talking about raising a child here, just a few months slight inconvenience during pregnancy then arranging an adoption.

  • Matt:
    You appear to have had a lapse of memory when it comes to the actual political history of Nazi Germany. The Nazis were virulently opposed to women’s reproductive choice and if “Aryan” women had illegal abortions, they would be executed upon discovery. Jewish women were either forcibly sterilised in the concentration camps, miscarried due to malnutrition, or succumbed to maternal mortality in grossly inadequate and unhygienic conditions for childbearing.

    Jeremy:
    Two objections occur to me about your position. It is the case that most fertilised blastocysts fail to implant on the uterine wall and disappear amidst a woman’s menstrual flow. There cannot be said to be any ‘teleological’ implications for the survival of any specific blastocyst. If things had been slightly different, any one of us might have had different physiological attributes or not existed at all.

  • And yeah, I know the US Supreme Court reversed itself on that issue. That’s because Bush stacked it with anti-abortion justices until the anti-Republican backlash of the late 00s hit Congress. Oh, and there was the matter of Doctor Tiller’s death.

    Bush didn’t “stack” the court with anti-abortion judges. He appointed the finest jurists he could find, candidates with impeccable credentials.

    The problem is not the judges, but rather the fact that the word “abortion” never, ever occurs in the US constitution.

    As for Tiller, he was killed when Obama was in office. His killing was quickly condemned by the pro-life movement. Interesting that such quick condemnation was not forthcoming from the other side when the boot was on the other foot.

  • Julian the Apostate: you’re missing the point. Just because the state deems a person to be a “non-person” doesn’t mean that they are so.

    The fact that the abortion lobby uses such a tactic puts them in company that is, frankly, horrific.

  • For those of you using pseudonyms in this thread please can we ask you pick one and stick to it. There is more than one person in this thread using more than one pseudonym.
    I am not about to out anyone and I’d prefer it if this comment did not provoke a spate of comments trying to guess who is really someone else but the fact it occurred to Matt and I to run some checks is indicative of the fact some of you are not pulling it off very well; if it occurred to us to check particular people against each other, it may occur to others to suspect the same thing.
    It may seem clever or fun to do this but it tends to lower the calibre of the discussion generally as the focus switches from an honest meeting of minds grappling with the issue to how well you can pretend to be more than one person. We’re interested in discussing ideas, testing them, offering critiques and suggestions to improve arguments and so on with an aim to getting at the truth, what is right and other similar lofty ideals.
    Remember one well argued and supported comment is going to be more persuasive than 10 hastily spat out, essentially identical comments even if they are ostensibly written by different people.

  • Scrubone:

    Oh dear, out comes the ad hominem abuse. Nothing you say disproves what I have stated earlier. It is a matter of public record that in societies where abortion is prohibited, women die from backstreet abortions, usually due to the placement of extraneous objects in their uterine cavities that result in deaths from perforated uteruses or intestines or septicaemia (blood poisoning). In many such societies, there is mediocre development of public health services. And given their similar woeful state of maternal health care, such societies usually also experience high levels of maternal mortality because of the physiological stresses caused by repeated pregnancies, which cause immunological suppression and cardiovascular strain.

    It also takes two to tango when it comes to pregnancy. Why wasn’t *he* wearing a condom? Given the high levels of STIS and HIV, there is no excuse for male pursuit of unprotected sex these days. And there’s also the small matter of conservative Christian disinformation about condom reliability.

    And yeah, solo motherhood is a perfectly legit choice to make and some women make it. But that’s a different choice from the one that we’re debating here.

  • “However, as I have noted above, anti-abortion propaganda is based primarily on sectarian a priori religious premises, deliberate fabrication and mendacious use of pseudo-science in such propaganda”

    So the essence of your argument is that pro-lifers are liars and cheats and believe in what they stand up for…very convincing.
    Maybe you should go away and read some history concerning the highly racist, socially elitist, pro-eugenics philosophies that gave birth to the pro-choice movement in the States before you mention a priori premises.

    No medical science has established that as yet unborn children are anything other than human. Mainstrean medical opinion may be on the pro-choice side of the debate but thats not quite the same thing as science.
    I cant help but note that there was an Otago University study that found a link between poorer mental health and abortion. Is an Otago med student acusing Uni of Otago professors of “deliberate fabrication and mendacious use of pseudo-science”?

  • Okay Matt, you say, “Pboy so if German law stated Jews were not persons, it follows they were not, is that your position?”

    Is this a logic test? Okay, indeed if German law stated Jews were not persons, then killing a Jew would not be homicide.

    I wouldn’t have thought a Christian would be the one wanting to open THAT can of worms.

    Jeremy, you say, “Consider the cases of blacks, women, children historically. Jews in Nazi Germany, non Muslims under Sharia law, “boat-people” trying to gain illegal entry into many countries.”

    And of course don’t forget all the indigenous peoples of the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, Africa etc. etc.

    Then, lets not forget how we’ve treated women over the centuries as property.

    So, come on guys, what’s fair here? You want to go back to the ‘good old days’ where it is simply accepted that you had to be part of the established religion?

    Is a woman in control of her own body or is she simply a holder of potential people?

    If she is in control of her own body, then it’s her business. If not, then we need to work out another way to be fair to women who find themselves pregnant.

    I’m sure you guys and gals imagine Eire is a great success! Thousands of women go over to England every year for the sake of them never having to say that there are legal abortions performed in Eire!

    It’s not much of a success if you ask me.

  • Mrs Flannagan:
    I accept that Glen and you two are debating in good faith, and absolutely abhor the advocacy of violence in this debate and acknowledge that you have always done so.

    unfortunately, there are elements of the wider anti-abortion movement that have pursued violent retribution against abortion providers and others. You cannot blame the pro-choice side of this debate for being protective of our identities or using precautions to avoid harrassment, intimidation or worse from the more extremist elements of the anti-abortion movement.

    From that perspective, I’m sure as a newly qualified lawyer (congratulations, by the way), you will be aware of the utility of the Harrassment Act 1997 in this context. I intend to abide by its provisions and limit this particular discussion to the context of this blog. For that matter, I might as well acknowledge that my family and I are in transit and that the PC that I am using is purely a matter of convenience. It’s been a great holiday up here, but work beckons back in civilisation.

    I would urge all contributors to this debate to observe standards of civil dialogue, even given the polarisation and passions that this particular issue seems to provoke.

    With that, I take my leave of this discussion, as do other members of my family. It’s too nice a day outside!

  • I still don’t understand why I never get an answer to this simple question.

    If abortion became illegal, how would you feel about the police setting up sting operations offering abortions and charging women with attempted murder if they get caught seeking an abortion???

  • “It is the case that most fertilised blastocysts fail to implant on the uterine wall and disappear amidst a woman’s menstrual flow.”

    Not sure of the relevance. Successful parturitions are significantly fewer than implantations. Every human dies but murdering them is still illegal.

    I am quite prepared to admit that i do not know exactly where the “line” is but i am sure its not based around economic or emotional convenience and i am sure its a lot closer to the beginning than it is fashionable to admit. I suspect the science supports this. Just look at the health care and advice given to women who want their children.
    Is anybody going to seriously suggest a foetus’ humanity is dependant on whether or not they are wanted when noticed?

  • @ Julian
    “unfortunately, there are elements of the wider anti-abortion movement that have pursued violent retribution against abortion providers and others. You cannot blame the pro-choice side of this debate for being protective of our identities or using precautions to avoid harrassment, intimidation or worse from the more extremist elements of the anti-abortion movement.”

    This might be true in the States, in my admittedly limited experience it is the “pro-choice” camp that tends to be more strident and virulent here in NZ.

  • Julian I see more of in NZ the other way around – exhibit A can be seen at ProChoiceNZ – show me a NZ Pro-Life site that carries personal attacks and calls to violence to the same level – I cannot find one.

    I am aware as to who you are – we’ve interacted enough over the years for me to recognise you without looking at your IP address – but as we permit pseudonyms here (because we get that people have a variety of reasons for not posting under their own name) I am not about to tell anyone who you are. You are welcome to post on our blog whenever you like. Happy travels :-)

    Pboyfloyd I support all lawful police stings to thwart homicide in society – I’d feel fine about it.

  • “I support all lawful police stings to thwart homicide in society”

    I doubt many people would disagree with this statement.
    But since “pro life” groups have been associated with massive violence and murder perhaps the organizations on this page should be legally declared terrorist organization and its members locked up indefinitely – in order to thwart further homicide in our society. Now you could not disagree with this move by your own statement Madelaine. Right?

  • In fact lets go further. What if a law was passed which meant every human had to be locked in a 10 foot by 10 foot box for their entire lives apart from the police. This would reduce homicide to zero instantly… so you would be in favor of this as well I assume? Because you:

    “support all lawful police stings to thwart homicide in society”

  • Of course I disagree Max. Someone must be found guilty in a court of law under the basic rules of due process in order to justify any loss of basic rights. Otherwise we could just change the classification in your example Max to human beings – it is usually human beings who engage in the kind of violence and terrorism you are talking about so why not just give the state the power to go after and lock anyone up who fits that criteria?

  • “Of course I disagree Max. Someone must be found guilty in a court of law under the basic rules of due process in order to justify any loss of basic rights.”

    So you mean according to our PRESENT laws then? A bit of a retreat – which precludes the original example as well of course.

  • Is this like the bloggers tour 2011 ?

    Every speaker is a blogger – and every speaker is a fundy christian.

    Maybe the tagline should be ‘Creating a fundy christian blogging New Zealand’ ????!

  • “anti-abortion propaganda is based primarily on …. [blah blah]”

    Primarily. So they don’t even start in their propaganda by talking about prenatal development, about the ethics of killing – none of that. They start off by telling lies and appealing to theology.

    One question, “Julian”: Do you have any idea how patently stupid this sounds? If you’re going to make up nonsense, at least make it sound serious, and not like reactionary hysteria.

  • “Pboyfloyd I support all lawful police stings to thwart homicide in society – I’d feel fine about it.”

    Is this a little bit of politicking here as Max seems to be suggesting?

    You’d be fine with police setting up stings and women being imprisoned for attempted homicide if the government criminalized abortion?

    There have been a few stories of police stings which cross borders. For example Americans and Canadians being charged and convicted of pedophilia after being caught seeking sex with underage prostitutes in Thailand.

    How would you feel if the Eire police conducted sting operations against Irish women obtaining abortions in England?

    I think this is the ‘way to go’ for you here if you are serious about abortion being homicide!

    Eire has the law banning abortion.
    Women DO go to England to get their abortion.
    How wonderful would that be if you could convince the Eire police to start locking up their women for actual murder!

    We are talking premeditated murder here, right??

    Wonder if they hang murderers in Eire?

  • Just ‘picturing’ thousands of Irish women being hanged each year all because of a raging pro-LIFE stance makes my mind ‘boggle’.

  • It only takes a drop of common sense to work out that not all responses to abortion have to be locking people up. For mothers they are often so emotionally compromised that incarceration is not the way to go, treating their actual problems, giving them an out that doesn’t involve abortion is what must be done.

  • “It only takes a drop of common sense to work out that not all responses to abortion have to be locking people up. For mothers they are often so emotionally compromised that incarceration is not the way to go, treating their actual problems, giving them an out that doesn’t involve abortion is what must be done.”

    Yes – but these right-wingers would never accept that because that would probably involve some sort of welfare (ie. caring about people rather than vindictively punishing them)

  • On an unrelated note:

    Matt: I noticed that your profile picture for this symposium does not have you clutching the gun as usual. Did you think, perhaps, having a gun at an anti-abortion meeting might give the wrong (right???) impression?

  • “It only takes a drop of common sense to work out that not all responses to abortion have to be locking people up.”

    So your saying that premeditating homicide really ought not to be punished then?

    You’re saying that it depends on whether the murdered is a breathing person or a fetus?

    Is that the common sense you’re talking about here?

  • Plus, the ‘drop of common sense thing is simply a diversion.

    You either agree that abortion is murder or you do NOT agree that it is murder.

    All those who agree that it is MURDER must feel that the perpetrators ought to be imprisoned or put to death, depending on whether they got caught before or after an abortion.

    If that’s not true, then we are treating people who kill others through negligence far too harshly if we imprison THEM, because at least they did not premeditate and collude in a deliberate crime!

    I’m guessing that you pro-lifers imagine that since you’re the ones who want abortion to be illegal, you should be the ones to pick and choose how you would punish the seekers and perpetrators of such a crime??

    What with your drops of common sense and all.

  • Julian,

    First, regarding the Nazis’ your picture is a little selective. They opposed abortion for healhy “Aryan” babies however they liberalised it for disabled people and other races moreover if you check the Nuremberg trials you’ll find that one of the charges the Nazis faced was permitting and procuring abortion. This is significant because in the 1930’s most western nations had laws against abortion, in this sense the Nazis were not terribly different, what was new was there liberalising at and supporting it for certain subgroups.

    Second, the mere fact the Nazis supported a law against some practise by itself is irrelevant. After all the Nazis enforced laws against theft, and for homicide, does it follow that laws against theft and homicide are unjust?

    Third, I see you bring up the old “clinic bombing” argument. Now it’s true some pro-lifers have used violence, its also true that some Islamic groups have as well, now most people recognise it would be unjust and unfair to draw conclusions about Muslims in general from this, or to suggest you need to fear Muslims and Mosques and so forth, I maintain its equally unjust when its pro lifers who are having the generalisation made.

    Finally, the backstreet abortion argument I have responded to here, http://www.mandm.org.nz/2009/11/during-sherwin-hutchison-on-backstreet-abortion.html, this argument has been refuted numerous times so that even leading pro choicers like Mary Anne Warren and Peter Singer acknowledge it’s a bad argument.

  • Scary. We have people in New Zealand who think anyone who has an abortion should be put to death. My terrorist organization joke suddenly does not seem so funny anymore.

  • Is this like the bloggers tour 2011 ?

    Every speaker is a blogger – and every speaker is a fundy christian.

    Maybe the tagline should be ‘Creating a fundy christian blogging New Zealand’ ????!

    Interesting, I am sure its news to many that I am a fundamentalist, my views on Genesis, inerrancy, the Canaanite massacre and various other issues are not terribly popular amougst “fundies” but, then I guess stereotyping is easier than responding to actual arguments.

    For the record, I am speaking because I am a theologian and ethicist not because I am a blogger.

  • “Yes – but these right-wingers would never accept that because that would probably involve some sort of welfare (ie. caring about people rather than vindictively punishing them)”

    Well firstly pro-lifers are by in large centrists not particularly left or right. However those right wingers who do not believe in state welfare overwhelmingly believe in private charity providing welfare, i.e. voluntary means of welfare. So to say that just because someone is right wing they believe in abandoning expectant mothers is an ignorant slander.

    In fact the only organisations that really care for expectant mothers who are in crisis situations and need extra support are pro-lifers, such as the work of Family Life International. The standard response from the anti-life left is to just provide free abortions and then dump them when the inevitable fallout hits.

  • @ Madeleine:
    “Pboyfloyd I support all lawful police stings to thwart homicide in society – I’d feel fine about it.”

    Jurisdiction is not an issue then ?

    All that you are going to do is displace what you think is a problem. The threat of prosecution in ones home country for doing something that is not illegal where it takes place simply means using better personality disguises, like a false name.

    We have enough experience of that with ex-pats from totalitarian regimes.

  • “The threat of prosecution in ones home country for doing something that is not illegal”

    Paul: Firstly, abortion is already illegal in NZ in most circumstances, including the circumstances under which it actually occurs, so this is a red herring.

    Secondly, what pro-lifers advocate, where abortion is legal, is legal reform. Nice try though.

  • “Well firstly pro-lifers are by in large centrists not particularly left or right. However those right wingers who do not believe in state welfare overwhelmingly believe in private charity providing welfare, i.e. voluntary means of welfare. So to say that just because someone is right wing they believe in abandoning expectant mothers is an ignorant slander. ”

    I was talking about the people at this forum in particular.

  • There is a special irony in the fact that one person here (or is it several… it changes over time) is suggesting / has suggested that pro-lifers are not honest in the way they approach this debate.

    Very ironic indeed.

  • “I was talking about the people at this forum in particular.”

    I know for a fact that all of the main Christian commenters on this blog would never abandon an expectant mother in crisis regardless of the method they prefer to help her. I doubt the rest do either, but there might be the odd crank for all I know. You are just speaking out of profound ignorance and prejudice, i.e. you’re a biggot, this thread is all that is required to prove it.

  • @ Glenn:
    “Paul: Firstly, abortion is already illegal in NZ in most circumstances, including the circumstances under which it actually occurs, so this is a red herring.”

    No it’s not, because abortions are not illegal under all of the same circumstances elsewhere.

    So what is to prevent a Kiwi seeking a termination flying to the UK to have one ? It’s what the women of Eire and Northern Ireland already do.

    You seem to miss that point.

  • @ Glenn (2):
    “Secondly, what pro-lifers advocate, where abortion is legal, is legal reform. Nice try though.”

    Really, that’s not the debate that you and Madeleine are offering up.

    It was not meant as a ‘nice try’, but as a serious attempt to move the debate on from it’s rather monochrome beginning that all abortion is homocide.

    Now, I don’t know if you missed it, or if you’ve already responded, but I would like someone from the pro-life camp to address the IVF query Ithat I raised.

  • @Matt:
    “Finally, the backstreet abortion argument I have responded to here, http://www.mandm.org.nz/2009/11/during-sherwin-hutchison-on-backstreet-abortion.html, this argument has been refuted numerous times so that even leading pro choicers like Mary Anne Warren and Peter Singer acknowledge it’s a bad argument.”

    I think that there are two very different arguments here

    1) the argument that you’ve addressed ie refuting the case that without legal terminations womens health is likely to be placed in greater danger by having to resort to illegal abortions. I don’t actually agree with your conclusion but that is by the by.

    2) the argument that making abortion illegal will stop all abortions and that women would not resort to back street abortions by displacement. I don’t think that you either intended to or in actuality address this argument.

    This is the argument that I would make for maintaining a legal basis for terminations. All of the stats that you are able to quote for terminations are only available because the practice is legal, within constraints, and regulated and the terminations recorded. The best that we have for pre-legalisation days is based on those women who had to seek medical assistance after a botched back street abortion or those recorded following legal surgical procedures in hospitals.

    What are not recorded are the successful back street abortions pre-legalisation. They can only be estimated.

    What we have now is another methodology for back street abortions, which is the morning after pill, or some other similar drug for gestations at a more advanced stage.

    My concern is that if the circumstances for a termination are made so difficult to obtain legally then women will be displaced into finding other methodologies in order to obtain a termination.

  • “you’re a biggot, this thread is all that is required to prove it.”

    That’s nice dear.

    How about those who are posting here from the forum answer answer for themselves.

    Two questions:
    (1) Do you think people who have abortions should be tried as murderers and be jailed/killed by the State?
    (2) Do you support the State proving unemployment benefit/ DBP?
    (3) Do you support the State insisting upon paid parental leave?
    (4) Do you support the State providing free councilor services/ free health care etc?

    Now if Madelaine, Glenn, Matt and anyone else involved in the forum – or indeed anyone else posting here would like to answer these questions we can see whether I am a bigot or whether my claim that the attitude of some people is that the State should punish but never help was a legitimate one. Now PLEASE answer the questions rather than avoiding them with weasel words!

  • MATT:

    On ANOTHER note:

    I just read this blog post properly… does this mean you will be in Dunedin on the 4th Jan?
    Can I buy you a beer? Been a long time.

  • 4th Feb that is (you really should make posts editable again!)

  • @ Max:
    “Two questions:
    (1) Do you think people who have abortions should be tried as murderers and be jailed/killed by the State?
    (2) Do you support the State proving unemployment benefit/ DBP?
    (3) Do you support the State insisting upon paid parental leave?
    (4) Do you support the State providing free councilor services/ free health care etc?”

    Even I can see that that’s four and it took me two attempts to pass my maths O level.

  • Glenn, you say, “..suggested that pro-lifers are not honest in the way they approach this debate.”

    Well, I hope I’m implying that because I feel that you guys are over-simplifying the issue.

    I feel that there is a conflict with the rights of each individual woman to control her own bodily functions and what one of those bodily functions is.

    I feel that there is a conflict with the Christian message that all human life is profane(from Original Sin) unless it is sanctified by belief that there is a God and faith in that God.(to make your story short)..

    So, you think that pregnant women who obtain abortions are sinning, being immoral, committing a crime???

    Seriously guys and gals, “What’s new?”

    I don’t believe that it’s really possible to care for a potential person, not to mentions thousands or millions of them.

    I’d cry a river over the loss of the fuzzy little chicks every time I saw a dozen eggs if I thought like that.

    I feel that there are several conflicts of interests going on here, but as I’ve tried to comment here, the most conflicting thing is the assertion that abortion is homicide.

    Yet if punishment to the full extent of the law for homicide, by all means availabe, is suggested, it turns out that many of you feel that abortion, is at most, a special case of homicide which ought to have different rules from actual homicide.

    If the idea is that this issue is a political football, just another anti-socialist and/or anti-secularist tool in the box, then I think that you guys are being completely disingenuous, don’t you agree?

  • @ Paul

    “Now, I don’t know if you missed it, or if you’ve already responded, but I would like someone from the pro-life camp to address the IVF query Ithat I raised.”

    I did notice this question and have been meaning to answer it. In some ways it is an even harder question than the abortion one because everyone involved actually wants a baby. There are no issues of economic or emotional convenience, no issues of rape etc.The intention is to make a baby not to kill one.

    I speak only for myself on this. Yes i do have trouble with the idea of creating multiple zygotes knowing in advance that most will be deliberately disposed of. And i do have trouble with the idea of making multiple zygotes, checking for defects and getting rid of them if they are not up to standard.

    I know that in the natural course of things most zygotes never make it to implantation and that at each stage of pregnancy there is a declining percentage of success, ie the ultimate number of successful parturitions is very small compared to the number of fertilisations. I guess many would argue that multiple in vitro fertilisations to achieve one live birth only mimics nature [ at least statistically] but i have doubts about the intentionality of it. God afterall looks on our hearts and motives fully as much as he looks on our actions. Is the typical IVF technique of creating mulitple fertilised zygotes with the intention to discard most of them the right thing to do.

    It also seems very ironic that as a society we abort so many children and yet there are so many people desparate to have children . We have IVF programmes, surrogate mothers, baby traffiking. Before killing and artificially creating we could spend more time supporting and facilitating adoption, just a thought.

  • @pboy
    “I don’t believe that it’s really possible to care for a potential person, not to mentions thousands or millions of them.”

    I have already suggested that you go and talk to a woman who has lost a baby through miscarriage or had a still born baby to help you understand this.
    Actually you could talk to women who have had successfull live births about the relationship they had with their babies while as yet unborn or even to fathers who have experienced the joy of feeling their unborn child kick and move in the womb.

    A “legal” definition of “person” is not what makes a person a person.

  • Pro Life Tour: Hear Jill Stanek, Bryan Kemper, Glenn Peoples, Brendan Malone and Matthew Flannagan…

    MandM have saved me a job today by posting a great overview of the Pro Life NZ tour that started yesterday in Auckland, and is currently making its way round the rest of the country….

  • Paul – well done for concentrating on an irrelevant detail. But this is due to the lack of ability to edit posts on this site… I suspected after I posted this and saw my mistake that people would use this as an excuse not to answer the questions. And I was right ;)

  • I feel that there is a conflict with the Christian message that all human life is profane(from Original Sin) unless it is sanctified by belief that there is a God and faith in that God.(to make your story short)..

    Here’s an idea: Don’t just invent your own version of Christian belief based on what you feel. If you don’t know, ask.

    There is no Christian message that human life is profane. None. So what were you saying?

  • “There is no Christian message that human life is profane.”

    Okay then Glenn, why is it that we sanctified beings need to care if there’s a God and such?

    I think this is a diversion. The old, “you don’t understand us”. Certainly I do, and I was trying to be brief, and I think you know this.

    I think that you theists are using this issue as an entry point. Many women find themselves pregnant and judging by the amount of abortions, at least those are unwanted pregnancies, yes?

    I think that ‘pro-life’ has less to to with fetuses being killed than it being a point of religious persuasion.

    The reason I think this is, because of why women feel that they ought to get abortions in the first place.

    I don’t see you guys addressing this issue of who puts it in girls minds that they ought to be ashamed of getting pregnant, who puts it in their mind that that is a bad thing, in the first place?

    As a socialist and a liberal and a secularist, I would have no problem with pregnancy being de-stygmatized, young women adopting out their new babies to adoring Christian families, who then raise those children to see pregnancy as a normal, natural phenomenum which can be dealt with by having the child and adopting it out.

    Problem solved?

  • LOL.. Sorry.. phenomenon.

    And I forgot to add ‘atheist’ to the list of ‘what I am’, still being ‘cool’ with young girls having the babies and adopting them out to good, understanding Christian families.

    My point is, of course, that society is not at all as ‘forgiving’ towards young women as pro-lifers would have us believe, don’t you think?

    In this supposedly secular society that we live in, it is the very religious values which shame young girls into having abortions, which turn around and use the same stick against them for trying to ‘get away with it’, isn’t it?

  • @pboy
    “The reason I think this is, because of why women feel that they ought to get abortions in the first place.

    I don’t see you guys addressing this issue of who puts it in girls minds that they ought to be ashamed of getting pregnant, who puts it in their mind that that is a bad thing, in the first place?”

    Interesting question? So why is the abortion rate in Russia [atheist for most of the last century] higher than the live birth rate. Or China where the abortion rate has been climbing strongly, hardly a case of Christian stigma attached to unmarried pregnancy.
    The two most secular countries in the world have the highest abortion rates, cant blame the Christians for that.
    Actually secular at least implies relidious tolerance, these two countires until recently have had govt’s that were actively anti -Christian, most of their citizens wouldnt know anything about Christian values or stigmas.

  • ” So why is the abortion rate in Russia [atheist for most of the last century] higher than the live birth rate.”

    What are you saying Jeremy? A country can’t be ‘atheist’.

    Now if you’re talking about the population, I guess you’re trying to say that they were totally de-religified and the Catholics stepped in but the Russians are hard-wired to recall their Orthodoxiness?

    What are you saying?

    Now the Chinese? What? Chinese were Christian before the commies showed up, is that what you’re saying?

    No, you’re simply diverting, aren’t you?

    The Chinese govt. are well known for keeping facts and figures to themselves, yet here you seem to have some divinely inspired knowledge to offer us by way of diversion.

    Tu quoque is not a good argument even if I were a commie, which I’m not.

  • @pboy
    i wasnt going to bother replying, mostly because i cant believe your reading comprehension is so pathetic [ i believe you are deliberately coming across thick just to bait me] but just in case …. I will explain myself slowly [again]

    You imply that a Christian imposed stigma concerning out of wedlock pregnancy is the primary motivation for women procuring abortions.
    The examples of Russia and China, two countries who since 1917 untill recently and 1949 and currently, have actively suppressed Christianity and in fact any religious activity,
    [ consquently only a tiny minority of their populations know anything of Christian values or stigmas], provide a firm rebuttal of your idea that Christian imposed stigma has anthing to do with abortion rates.

    or to repeat even more simply, the two countries with the highest abortion rates in the world just happen to be the two countries where Christianity has been most thoroughly suppressed for most of living memory.

    The stats for both countries are readily available on the web, China may be secretive about somethings but has never been ashamed of abortion. The most recent figures i could find were
    Russia 2004, 52 % of pregnancies aborted [deliberately]
    China 2005, 31.5% of pregnancies aborted [deliberately]

  • Wikipedia estimates that somewhere between 16 and 48 percent of Russians are non-believers and that there are somewhere between 18.5 and 78% Christians!

    So that is a large margin and making sweeping statements such as ‘atheist country’ now subtly changed to, ‘actively suppressed Christianity and in fact any religious activity’, is misleading.

    I’m not saying that there might not be other reasons involved especially in totalitarian countries(or ex-totalitarian countries) like these two BUT you can’t blame communism for the abortion rate in non-communist countries and this tu quoque style argument doesn’t let the most Christian countries off the hook, now does it???

    Nono Jeremy, if you think it does, that’s fine, that’s fine.
    What with my pathetic reading comprehension, it seems you’re blaming communism for abortion here, but surely that can’t be.

    Is it liberalism you’re blaming then? It can’t be me you’re blaming because no-one has ever asked me my opinion in a specific case and I wouldn’t actually recommend that a woman choose to abort her fetus.

    I doubt you think that ‘people-of-my-ilk'(or whatever) are telepathically projecting our ‘consent’ to girls we have never known, right?

    So, there MUST BE some reason why young ladies are making these terrible decisions.

    Oh wait! I did hear of one case. My niece had an abortion because she feared the wrath of her God-fearing mother and father! She got advice from my other sister who was promptly blamed for the whole sordid affair by, well of course, the ol’ God-fearing one.

    I’m sure you, Jeremy, can see how it was her aunt’s fault and NOT my God-fearing sister being a bully or her darling daughter being a slut, right? Studying the Good Book allows one to twist logic a bit, like that, doesn’t it?

  • Pboy, you talk of abortion as a terrible choice, and suggest women would not make it unless there were really strong pressure to do so.

    This does not make sense, why is abortion a terrible choice, if fetues is simply a tissue or a non human animal, then its no more “terrible” than a removal of tissue, we don’t normally think this is a “terrible choice” which is only made under extreme pressure, I know of people who have had surgery for cosmetic reasons such as a boob job.

    On the other hand if the fetus is a human being, then none of the pressure you talk about justifies it, We can’t justifiably kill a human being because their existence is a source of shame and embarassement, nor would we normally consider a person who did this to be acting in a terribly just manner.

    Your position appears the typical pro choice double talk. Where you want to treat abortion as a serious moral choice to justify your stance but then adopt a stance that suggests its really not.

  • @Jeremy:
    “I did notice this question and have been meaning to answer it. In some ways it is an even harder question than the abortion one because everyone involved actually wants a baby. There are no issues of economic or emotional convenience, no issues of rape etc.The intention is to make a baby not to kill one.”

    Thanks for the thoughtful response, it is much appreciated especially as this topic can get so heated.

    “It also seems very ironic that as a society we abort so many children and yet there are so many people desparate to have children . We have IVF programmes, surrogate mothers, baby traffiking. Before killing and artificially creating we could spend more time supporting and facilitating adoption, just a thought.”

    I was with you up until this last paragraph, which I thought was unnecessary.

    The women who want IVF have their reasons why they want to go down that route first rather than go straight for adoption.

    That said – having the debate that about those issues you suggest, as a separate topic, seems to be a more appropriate debate than discussing whether or not all abortions are the same as homicide.

    The fomer might have some influence on public policy, the latter, I’m afraid, is just going to be dismissed out hand by public policy makers because it is just so extreme.

  • @ Jeremy:
    “I don’t see you guys addressing this issue of who puts it in girls minds that they ought to be ashamed of getting pregnant, who puts it in their mind that that is a bad thing, in the first place?””

    I don’t know if you guys will get to see a TV documentary that is being shown over here (latest episode last night) calle “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

    It’s available on 4OD

    Gyspy girls leave school at 13 and are usually married by 17, and live in an intensely patriachal society with domestic violence being accepted as a social norm.

    Would you not want to change that, if so how ? It seems to me that sooner or later the issue becomes one of women gaining control of their own bodies and the circumstances of becoming a mother.

  • “..why is abortion a terrible choice..”

    Okay Matt, looking at it as if the fetus is analogous to some tissue, it might be equivalent to a cancer which, if removed would cost you your fortune, your house, your car, your business may have to be sold to get a chance to live a bit longer but in a completely different lifestyle than you are used to.(i.e. church-mouse poor)

    This would be a terrible choice since without this ‘growth’ your life would remain comfortable, you can see that, right?

    Now there are several features allowing this comparison to be a good analogy.

    A medical procedure is involved.
    The ‘problem’ may be ignored and it might just ‘go away’ by itself. (in the case of a pregnant girl, she may come to love the idea of being a mother. in the case of the cancerous person, it could go into remission, or who knows, might be healed through prayer(?))

    The decision needs to be made without fully understanding the future paths either decision might lead to. Parents may disown you leaving you to raise the child in poverty. Spouse might dump your sorry, broke but otherwise healthy ass when it dawns on her that she loved your wallet more than she loved you.(it happens)

    Point is that either way, the girl and our proposed cancer sufferer, may make a decision which they come to regret.

    “I could have had a better life.”, kind of thing, if I had only chose the other option.

    This analogy isn’t perfect of course, since for one thing, I’m trying to empathize with hypothetical people here.

    If the girl is a callous sociopath anyway, perhaps it might be better for her to choose the option which would cause the least amount of grief to everyone concerned?(picture a two year old locked in a closet ‘cos mama needs some bar time)

    In the same vein, our cancer victim may rather die than reveal his sneaking suspicion that his wife is a gold-digger, and be happier going to his grave keeping his ‘wonderful wife’ dreams intact.

    So, in short, I can try to empathize with everyone concerned’s position whereas a sociopath may look at the cold, hard facts and claim my reasoning to be “typical pro choice double talk” or dole out tu quoque examples implying triumphantly, “See what atheist morality has wrought!”

    Anyway, you trapped me like a cat trapping a mouse, what? Whatever makes ya feel good Matt and Jeremy!

  • Pboy, I don’t think your analogy works, with cancer keeping the growth is fatal, but no one faced with a cancerous tumor, considers the choice difficult, or made reluctantly, nor do we typically hear people say. I am not really a fan of cutting out cancerous tumours, it’s the lesser of two evils and so forth. Moreover, I don’t know anyone who regrets cutting out a cancerous tumour, or who really anguishes over the possibility of keeping a cancer in their body. I have had relatives of mine die of cancer, in the early stages when there was hope choice to have an operation to have it cut out was never one thought anything of.

    Let me also add that this kind of response, which essentially suggests pregnancy is on par with cancer, and fetus is a kind of cancerous growth, which apparently magically turns into a person when its born, is one of the things that makes the standard pro abortion position so implausible.

  • @ Paul

    “I was with you up until this last paragraph, which I thought was unnecessary.”

    Well you asked and i do find this situation deeply ironic. I do understand the desire to have ones “own” children, we have four of our own and are grateful for each one.
    Of recent times “adoption” has become less popular in the PC sense in NZ at least, not so much less demand, but less much more difficult , more obstacles put in the way, an apparent philosophical belief that a child is better off with its biological mother under almost any circumstances than with a biologically unrelated person [ no matter the love and care that person gives]. Even the idea that the child would be better off aborted than in an adoption that wasnt perfect , which i also find ironic since how many children actually have a “perfect” family life?

    You asked about the moral implications of IVF, i think the decreasing availability of the adoption option increases the demand for IVF. I am not suggesting this is the sole or even the main driver of demand.
    I do think that facilitating and supporting adoption would ease the demand for IVF [which as discussed i have some moral doubts about] and even more importantly could reduce the demand for abortion.

    On a slightly different note, i am sufficiently cynical to believe that Govt doesnt see the abortion issue as a moral question at all. Rather as an economic issue.
    Funding abortion clinics is an infinitely cheaper option than funding social welfare, adoption, schooling, medical care etc.
    IVF on the other hand is mostly paid for by the users of such services.
    But we want population growth so we promote immigration as long as you have qualifications and money ie citizens who are not only free but in fact pay to be here.

  • @ Paul

    WRT to the gypsy thing.
    Funnily enough i saw some of this documentary series a few months ago. My answer to your question is scriptual , and yes i know Christians often fail to live up to their own standards or pick the bits they want like “Wives obey your husbands” and then ignore the rest, but here is the rest.

    “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets”.
    Matthew 7:12

    19Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

    20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

    21Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
    Colossians 3:19-21

    28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”c 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband
    Ephesians 5:28-29

    No man at anytime or in any way should perpetrate violence upon his wife and family, there is no biblical justification for it. In fact the biblical standard is that a man should be prepared to sacrifice himself for his wife. This doesnt just mean go out and die but addresses his self centredness and her needs. It means putting his wife before himself.

    So yes i believe the example you make concerning gypsie culture is an example that needs to change. Women are not chattels, nor are men in any way superior, neither do men have the right to force them to behave in ways that suit us or our desires.
    Not just male violence but also cultural violence, FMG, denial of education, obligation to wear the Burqa, confinement to female quarters at rear of the house, Sutee, these are all wrong.

    I am too tempted to be a little cheeky here and i am about to give in.
    Surely my claiming here that the Christian standard is correct [while implying that standards of other religions and cultures is fundamentally wrong] is intolerant , bigoted and elitist?
    Are you not at risk of the same accusation?

  • @ Jeremy:
    “Surely my claiming here that the Christian standard is correct [while implying that standards of other religions and cultures is fundamentally wrong] is intolerant , bigoted and elitist?
    Are you not at risk of the same accusation?”

    Am I claiming that though ? Or am I claiming that as part of the changes that lead to their empowerment, women seek control of their own bodies and the circumstances of their motherhood and further that as part of that process women will seek better methods of contraception and yes, abortion too.

    It’s not a case of me seeking to impose my will, whereas I would suggest that it is the case that that is exactly what Christians are seeking to do.

  • @ Jeremy:

    Now I think that this is a Poe, but it’s worth a look regardless.

  • @ Jeremy:
    “You asked about the moral implications of IVF, i think the decreasing availability of the adoption option increases the demand for IVF. I am not suggesting this is the sole or even the main driver of demand.
    I do think that facilitating and supporting adoption would ease the demand for IVF [which as discussed i have some moral doubts about] and even more importantly could reduce the demand for abortion.”

    Please see Find Me A Family – I work with Rachel from episode 4.

    The issue with adoption in the UK is not the number of available children, it’s the type of children available.

  • @ Jeremy:
    “On a slightly different note, i am sufficiently cynical to believe that Govt doesnt see the abortion issue as a moral question at all. Rather as an economic issue.
    Funding abortion clinics is an infinitely cheaper option than funding social welfare, adoption, schooling, medical care etc.
    IVF on the other hand is mostly paid for by the users of such services.”

    I’m not sure that that is true at all. IVF is available on the NHS,
    See (1) (2)

    “According to guidelines, couples may be eligible for IVF treatment on the NHS if:

    * The woman is between 23 and 39 years of age at the time of treatment.
    * A cause for their fertility problems has been identified or they have had infertility problems for at least three years.”

  • @ Jeremy :

    “On a slightly different note, i am sufficiently cynical to believe that Govt doesnt see the abortion issue as a moral question at all. Rather as an economic issue.
    Funding abortion clinics is an infinitely cheaper option than funding social welfare, adoption, schooling, medical care etc.”

    I think that is one for the Tin Hat Brigade.

    Abortions are available on the NHS as well as via private clinics. The cost of a private termination is such that it is often only available to the more affluent women in our society.

    I don’t think that the UK Government is being cynical at all. Whenever the matter is discussed the decision is usually made on a free vote rather than a whipped Government motion.

    NZ experiences obviously may differ.

  • @Paul
    I live in NZ, IVF users pays here, and as mentioned adoption not a promoted option.

    WRT to my cheeky comment, you seem to have missed my point. In asking the question it is clear that you have already made a judgement concerning at least some aspects of Gypsie society, ie you disapprove and think they are wrong; and i agree with you for the reasons given.
    Its just that when Christians comment on right and wrong we are so often told we are intolerant , bigoted and elitist? I notice you pretty much repeat this stereotype by implying that Christians are trying to impose their will on others. Why am i not allowed to say what i believe is right or wrong but you are?

  • @ Jeremy:
    “WRT to my cheeky comment, you seem to have missed my point. In asking the question it is clear that you have already made a judgement concerning at least some aspects of Gypsie society, ie you disapprove and think they are wrong; and i agree with you for the reasons given.”

    I’m not sure that that was the point that you were making.

    Compare the Gypsy lifestyle with the pro-choice argument – have ever heard of any non-Gypsy picketing a Gypsy camp arguing for womens rights ? But, equivalently, that is what the Pro-Life camp are doing.

    Madeleine and Matts willingness to enage in a debate on the stark moot that feticide is the same as homicide is a case in point, particularly given the IVF example.

    I do not agree with the subjugation of Gyspy women, and I would hope that any affected would seek shelter using the law but that is quite a different prospect to engaging in an outright, take no prisoners, condemnation of their culture and way of life.

  • Matt, you seem to be changing the context of my comment to suit yourself here.

    I was answering ‘why is abortion a terrible choice’, hardly trying to slough off a fetus as a bit of unwanted tissue and hardly trying to downplay the gravity of malignant tumors.(both my parents died because of cancer)

    My entire point was that both these situations are GRAVE situations and making out like my analogy has to to with both being simply unwanted tissue is wrong, if only because both are, in fact, unwanted tissue from their perspectives(the cancer sufferer and the pregnant abortion seeker).

    The analogy was that of a cancer patient who would need to trade everything he owns, everything that he is(moneywise, businesswise, possibly maritalwise etc.) for an attempted cure, and not just a generic cancer patient whose course of treatment is clear, and I was sure I made this clear.

    This after Jeremy practically calling me ‘obtuse’ or deliberately misunderstanding of his point.

    So, are you guys going to admit that when it comes to the emotional side and the societial side of the woman’s predicament, you’ve actually, “got nothin'”?

    Simply asserting that it’s homicide isn’t helping because these women obviously disagree and/OR societal/emotional pressure is overriding.

    Simply pointing out that, given 44 weeks of a completely different lifestyle, a huge investment by the woman in, what is now her baby, she could just give it away, even in the self-knowledge that she is going to be a bad mother in bad economic circumstances.

    Then, when the rubber hits the road, very few of you guys are willing to come down on the ladies anywhere nearly as harshly for this crime as for the actual crime of homicide, isn’t THAT right? The abortionists, no doubt, imprison THEM for life or hang THEM, but the women, a “drop of common sense”!??

    Now I’m thinking that it is because of pressure from society that the women are seeking abortions that you guys are a bit ambivalent about punishing them with the full extent of the crime, premeditated homicide, and with the full weight of the law!

    But I’m guessing that you’ll never actually SAY this, it’l just be left ‘implied’.

  • Pboy, the suggestion a fetus is a cancerous tumour is I am afraid ridiculous.

    Tumours kill people, slowly, I have watched people die from them, they loose there mind, they loose their fluids, they are bed ridden, they need pallative care for pain and they die. Having a child, though difficult and economically draining is not like this at all. You can try and play the “my parents died from cancer” card if you like. The fact is its you who are trivalising this by comparing having cancer to the stress of having a child.

    When your life is at risk from someone else, we allow you to kill them in self defence, we do not do this when someone puts your economics or career at risk.

    Most of the economic and stress of children you refer to occurs post pregnancy, not during it. If the fact it causes this stress makes it a “tumour” then a new born baby which also causes this stress can be “tumour” and presumably can be destroyed as well.

  • “When your life is at risk from someone else, we allow you to kill them in self defence, we do not do this when someone puts your economics or career at risk. ”

    Hahahahahahahahaha!

    (sorry)

  • pbfloyd, generally we focus punishment on the offender. In fact, that’s what we always do (in New Zealand at least)

    In this case that’s an abortionist and abortion service providers – and only after an appropriate law change. I know it’s rhetorically more useful to depict pro-lifers as targeting women and wishing for their punishment, but let’s keep the issue honest, okay? That’d be great, thanks.

  • “generally we focus punishment on the offender”

    Interesting statement.

    I think two cases are interesting parallels as they are both ‘moral’ issues that divine New Zealanders…

    Couple of questions for you Glenn just out of curiosity:

    (i) In the case of prostitution (when it was illegal) who would you say the offender is? Who is the victim?

    (ii) In the case of drug crime: Same question.

  • Weekly Apologetics Bonus Links (01/28 – 02/04)…

    Here are this week’s recommended apologetics links. Enjoy. Pro Life Tour: New Zealand…

  • In response to the comment about who is the criminal and who is the victim I guess I would like to point out that basically most practicing Christians want to help hurting people and support social justice.

    In the most simplistic form to find the ‘criminal’ look for the money. To me the criminal is the one who takes advantage of people for profit. The drug producers and pushers, the pimps, people who seek out those in trouble and make money from their problems. I would say the criminal is the person who takes a runaway, gets them addicted on drugs then sells their body to others and keeps the money for themselves. I know that this is over simplified and each case would have complex factors. Do you bame the drug addict who stole the jewellery or the pusher who demanded the money, or the drug addict’s abusive parents or the pusher’s mother who was doing drugs when she was pregnant with him or the boyfriend who got her addicted in the first place?

    To see what the Christian response to prostitutes, drug addicts and parents of unwanted babys is, look at our works. Look at the christian organisations that run rehab programmes, and continuing education opportunities for teenage mothers, and school drop outs. Organisations that create alternative businesses to employ prostitutes giving them a chance to gain skills and provide for their families (esp in third world countries where there are few options for women). Look at foodbanks and op shops and parenting or anger management classes all aimed to help people out of poverty and abuse. I think that the Christian heart is to help those trapped in these situations. We may not always get it right but the Christian attitude to help others and to bring hope.

    My response to the abortion issue is that I don’t think that any healthy woman desires to have an abortion. It’s not something we want to plan into our five year plan for our lives or that we hope that our daughters will get to do one day. It’s surgery and traumatic and personally I see the solution being improvements in society and in education to prevent pregnancies (not referring so much to sex -ed but to respecting ourselves, having high standards and a dream for the future).

    Helping to build up, and healing for, women’s self esteem to keep them from the dangerous and distructive behaviours that can lead to unwanted pregnancies. And yes I would put in jail the abusers of women and children who cause so many of these problems and try to see them rehabilitated in an effective manner (another thing some Christians try to help with)

    I will continue to support organisations that support pregnant women and the adoption process and who support women who keep their children and struggle as a result. I will admire women like my mother who is a councillor on the pregnancy councilling helpline and who lovingly supports those who are scared and struggling. (having been a well child nurse, having had several miscarriages and children born with disabilities she does have a wealth of experience and compassion to draw from). And yes she also helps those calling because they have had an abortion and need to talk to someone about what they’re now going through because of the abortion.

    I do believe there is a place for standing against the attitude that an abortion is something that you can do to solve ‘the problem’ without having to face any consequences especially when presented to scared teenagers. My (limited) understanding is that this is not the case physically, mentally or emotionally.

  • Ari,

    I agree wholeheartedly with a number of points you make… However – there is a certain strand of right wing conservatism which really does have a “blame the victim” mentality. The sort who would lock up a petty thief addicted to heroin for life, blame prostitutes for being abused, and in this instance (as shown by the comments above) lock up – or in one person’s opinion kill – the people who have abortions.

    It is this sort of commpassionless Christianity which I was commenting on.

  • I guess I see them more as not trying to hide reality behind fancy words and declaring the truth no matter how un PC it may seem.

    Saying that you can have an abortion because it’s not really a baby and then your problem will be solved, and no one else can tell you what to do with your body cause it’s no one elses right but yours, masks that actually a lot of women grieve for years over the ‘non human tissue’ that was removed, remembering the day ‘it’ would have been born and how old he or she would have been now. People can regret the decision that solved their problem, especially young women who take advice from people believing that removal of the baby removes the problem only to find that when they are older, maybe starting a family they realise what they have done and what was lost.

    There are grieving would have been dads and grandparents who lose wanted babies because they didn’t have any rights over what someone else decided to label tissue. I couldn’t fatham my distress if my husband could have chosen to end one of our pregnancies.

    And I see huge problems with being able to decide if something is an actual human by if it’s wanted or not. That kind of thinking does open us up to the abuse of vulnerable people. After all there are injured and elderly folk who can’t survive without the care and support of others but I don’t think that that should mean that if those responsible for them don’t want them that they should be able to put them down. Being inside someone’s body is a unique situation but having tracked my children’s progress through ‘the books’ and scans and being kicked, I cannot help but know that they were people even then, who slept and got hiccups and wriggled and I can’t see why I should be able to be killed when they clearly aren’t responsible for being created. I guess that’s why they don’t encourage people to get a scan before an abortion, it’s easier to deny the humanity when you can’t see the heartbeat.

    I have siblings with disabilities that if detected in pregnancy now would probably come with the suggestion/option/recommendation to have an abortion. “do you really want to bring them into the world when they are going to struggle?” My older brother is now married and has just celebrated the birth of his first child. He is a valuable member of society and I guess I think he proves that all life has potential for joy, and the early loss of life does not.

    Most of all I have seen the difficult the journey of a teenage friend pregnant at fifteen but now with the support of loving parents raising a beautiful two year old that she wouldn’t trade for the things she has had to give up. I wouldn’t wish the loss of that child as a regret to carry through her life. Children are a blessing and the loss of any one is a sad thing. If the loss through miscarriage can be so sad I can’t imagine carrying around the emotional damage of deliberately taking of one, no matter what you were going through at the time.

  • Sorry, all that to say that I don’t think they want to victimise the victim I think that they are trying to call a spade a spade so that no one talks themselves into a ‘easy, common, PC approved’ solution only to find that they can’t ever take back what has actually happened. Not mentioning the child that was lost, the people who have abortions are impacted by that decision in some way. What M and M are doing is pointing out that this isn’t a benign action, it has consequences. This isn’t something that you can change by slick use of terms (though desperate people are willing to talk themselves into all sorts of things in their moment of crisis, which they can so regret later). They are trying to be the people at the top of the cliff saying stop this isn’t right rather than the people at the bottom of the cliff trying to pick up the pieces.

  • “I don’t think they want to victimise the victim…”

    I think YOU don’t want to victimize the victim… but you are too kind to other people. For instance the person who recommends the death penalty for those who have had abortions… do you REALLY think they have thought through the issue?

  • Sorry, Ive been trying to find the comment from a Christian saying that they wanted the death penalty for people who have abortions. This is a really long list of responses so I may have missed it. I found the post from (I’m guessing) a non Christian saying that if you believe it’s homicide then you must believe that it be treated as a criminal matter, jail terms etc. But the closest reply was Madeleine saying she approved of stings. I didn’t see her suggested consequence for that.

    I guess the question is how would we consider a person if they found pregnant women and caused their babies to die. Slipped morning after pills to women newly pregnant with much desired babies or drugged a prenatal class then surgically removed all their babies. Is the reality of life really a matter of opinon and personal circumstances? I have every sympathy for women facing difficult circumstances, less for those who treat abortion as a ‘contraceptive’. If there were legal consequences (ones that acknowledged the life involved), it would take away the ‘it’s a baby if you want it but just a bunch of cells if you don’t’ smoke and mirrors and make plain it’s a life, dependant on mother for a time but a life deserving of protection. When you seek out an abortion you end that life.
    Women might seek other help, find other solutions. It might make it that more important to prevent a pregnancy.

    I guess at least it would call a spade a spade

  • Regarding abortion, there is only one victim.

  • @ Reed:
    “Regarding abortion, there is only one victim.”

    When you post simplistic broad brush statements like that policymakers will simply ignore you – because we all know that that is not true.

  • Okay, let’s try another analogy.

    Women who find themselves in a bad marriage and decide to go to a professional hit man to end it.

    Follow the money! These poor women are only availing themselves of the services of some wicked men who stand to profit, by the same standards you are willing to have for pregnant women seeking to end their ‘relationship’ with their fetus.

    For some reason this standard only works in the instance of abortion and not in the instance of spouse killing.

    Can you not see the similarities here? Both sets of women are emotionally distraught and seek professional help to solve their problem. In the case of the woman wanting her husband dead, she is, if she has any sense at all, not even present at the scene of the crime, making her even LESS responsible, by your standards.

  • @pboy
    actually in NZ we do kind of recognise something called “battered women syndrome”
    Some understanding is extended to abused women who finally snap and assault or kill their husbands even if not during an actual attack on themselves.

  • Paul –
    When you post simplistic broad brush statements like that policymakers will simply ignore you – because we all know that that is not true.

    Or… you could explain why you think the following statement is false.

    Regarding abortion, there is only one victim.

  • In my dictionary the definition of victim includes

    1 a person or thing that suffers harm or death
    2 a person who is tricked or swindled

    And harm – to injure physically, morally or mentally

    In the case of abortion I believe that that would include the baby (whether you believe it to be the person or the thing).

    The person seeking the abortion who undergoes a surgical procedure so at the very least is injured physically and one could also argue for the other categories on an individual basis. The the net can be spread wider to include others (friends, family) who may suffer mental harm, especially if opposed to the abortion (and powerless to stop it).

    There is an example above of the nurse holding a dying aborted baby until it died. She suffered harm that the person seeking the abortion probably never knew about. I have heard of a women flicking through the channels who thought she was seeing a wonderful new technology for prenatal care show inside to womb to the little baby, horrified to discover that it was in fact a medical show following along an abortion.

    I myself have cried with a couple of friends both of whom had had abortions as teenagers before I even knew them. One under duress from an abusive father and the other convinced by her mother that she was too young and the baby would ruin her life.

    As far as being tricked or swindled isn’t that anyone made to believe that there will be only one victim.

  • The abused wife scenario

    I don’t really get equating an abusive husband choosing to act in a criminal manner with an unborn child who has made no such choices. But I think that in both circumstances there are far more appropriate responses than killing. I would believe that there would be some importance in the fact that the husband was acting in a criminal manner for which the wife has the option of having him arrested or at least of leaving him. I would guess that the wife who chose the hire the ‘professional’ killer would be one of two things; so terrified for her life or the lives of those she loved, thoughts warped by systematic abuse that she could see no other option (covered under the battered woman legislation) or someone who chooses to have their husband killed rather than be inconvenienced by leaving him (which in my mind would be a criminal decision).

    I would think that it would be a very troubled person who believed that her unborn child was going to murder her and her family if she kept it or tried to adopt it out (The equivalent of leaving your husband). I would suggest other professional help in this circumstance (of the mental heath variety).

    If I believe that it is wrong to kill a bad husband rather than be inconvenienced it follows that I also wouldn’t support the killing of a child for reasons of convenience.

  • “actually in NZ we do kind of recognise something called “battered women syndrome””

    So, all women who seek to employ hit men to kill off their husbands must be granted the benefit of the doubt that they were traumatized by their husband?

    This could work for all crime now. Bank robbers are no doubt emotionally traumatized by money worries?

    Rapists by emotional trauma that not raping causes them, and so forth?

    Ari, your empathy knows no bounds when it comes to this one situation. I don’t see how trading one batch of problems for another does anything towards solving this.

    You WANT New Zealand women taking trips to Australia? You WANT Irish women taking trips to England? How about Americans coming to Canada?

    What’s the deal here, do you work for a travel agency or something?

  • Good point Ari.
    Someone forced to have an abortion is a victim. I’ll amend my assertion…

    In the case of unforced abortion there is only one victim.

    I presumed that by victim you meant the victim of an injustice.
    Do you really consider someone that harms themselves to be a victim?
    Do you really consider an abortion nurse to be a victim if they suffer from their own actions?
    Are rapists victims too if they suffer as a result of their own actions?

  • I could be wrong but I believe that judges do take a criminal’s situation into consideration. I would think that a woman ordering her husbands execution because if she left him she wouldn’t be able to show her face in the country club would be considered differently from the woman whose husband had beaten her several times to the point of death and was systematically hunting her down at every friend or family member’s home armed with a machete (just two extreme examples for effect).

    Likewise the robber who snaps and steals food for his starving family might be treated more leniently than the man caught stripping out a home and when his home searched found to have rooms filled with stolen TVs, laptops, xboxes turning over quite the profit.

    I think it’s summed up in motivation (and motive is usually explored in criminal matters), not to mention the abusive husband surely needing to hold some responsibility for the consequences of his criminal actions. Just as I wouldn’t feel sorry for the would be rapist finding himself hit over the head with a frying pan by a terrified victim. When you act outside of the law you may suffer consequences by someone now not thinking in a calm manner (a state that you have put them in) and to be frank there is a reason for the term self defence. Slightly different from the person whose house is robbed or the women being raped. I would find it difficult to argue that by the flaunting of a home or body another person was driven to act in the same manner as a person with good cause to fear for their life. Though some have tried the provocation defence.

    As far as what I want (which may not be realistic), it would be that as a society we were able to work towards removing the contributing factors for abortion. Unwanted pregnancies prevented and support for those keeping their babies or adopting them out.

    I would have young kiwis travelling to Australia or the UK for their big OE’s (overseas experiences).

  • Pboy, do you think a new mother, stressed out from an abusive marriage, or from the economic and emotional hardship of parenting, strangles her 2 month old infant should be prosecuted for murder?

  • Victim of an injustice

    As in unfair, I believe that there is a lot unfair about abortion for more than just the baby. It would seem to be the reaction of many men wanting to keep the baby but with no rights, because it’s not their body, to claim that it’s unfair and to suffer harm as a result.

  • “..do you think a new mother, stressed out from an abusive marriage, or from the economic and emotional hardship of parenting, strangles her 2 month old infant should be prosecuted for murder?”

    Sure, why not?

  • Matt, do you think a new father, stressed out from an abusive marriage, or from the economic and emotional hardship of parenting, strangles his 2 month old infant should be prosecuted for murder?

  • So, all this is about justice?

    What’s more just then, letting the woman decide of her own free will or not letting the woman decide of her own free will?

    Guess since you’ve cried with a couple of ladies that have changed their minds over the years, this must be representative of, not only all women who have made a similar decision, but anyone at all who has made any decision they later regretted?

    “If only I’d stayed in school…”
    “If only I’d listened to ..”
    “If only..”

    And those poor would-be papas? Do they get to come down hard on the ‘abort’ side then change their minds TOO??

    I liked my niece’s solution. She went to my other sister for advice so her mother could blame her instead of her darling daughter. There’s some righteous scape-goating for ya.

  • What’s more just then, letting the woman decide of her own free will or not letting the woman decide of her own free will?

    Does this apply to husband killing?

  • Pboy “..do you think a new mother, stressed out from an abusive marriage, or from the economic and emotional hardship of parenting, strangles her 2 month old infant should be prosecuted for murder?”

    Sure, why not?

    Our courts would probably hand down a manslaughter charge or be lenient in sentencing, but that aside.

    Given your answer why do you object to a women , stressed out from an abusive marriage, or from the economic and emotional hardship of parenting, who has an abortion being prosecuted for murder.?

    Its funny how people treat this latter as self evidently harsh and the former as though it wasn’t, as far as the stress to the women, or effects of the women of prosecution the two are the same.

    The only reason I can see why you would draw a different conclusion is because you are assuming feticide is not homicide, but then if you appeal to this judgement in an argument criticising the idea that feticide is homicide you are reasoning in a circle aren’t you.

  • “The only reason I can see why you would draw a different conclusion is because you are assuming feticide is not homicide..”

    But Matt, I’ve been arguing all along that a woman who is party to killing her fetus is just as guilty of any crime as an abortionist and if the law is changed to state that it is homicide then she should be prosecuted as if it were homicide.

    You seem to be thinking that I’ve argued two different things, can you show me where?

  • “Does this apply to husband killing?”

    The question applies to everyone all the time, about everything, doesn’t it?

  • Max, since your questions are about legality, I offer answers about legality:
    “(i) In the case of prostitution (when it was illegal) who would you say the offender is?”

    The prostitute. The offender is the person who breaks the law. If said prostitute has a pimp, then they too are guilty.

    “Who is the victim?”

    Well, the prostitute may be the victim of something (which made her believe that she was forced into prostitution), but she’s not the victim of the crime of prostitution. I suppose technically the state is on the receiving end of the offence (as is always the case in a crime), but beyond that perhaps you could suggest someone.

    “(ii) In the case of drug crime: Same question.”

    My answers will be the same. Swap “drug user” for “prostitute” and “drug dealer” for “pimp.”

    But you’ll grant, of course, that the judiciary, when it punishes anyone, punishes the offender (as opposed to somebody who’s not the offender). Right? That’s my comment that prompted this reply, but I’m not really sure why.

  • It is the same old debate year after year after year. And it all, in the end, comes down to what you consider to be a person. Given this is a fuzzy term and no one can agree upon a definition the debate will continue to go on and on year after year.

  • Thanks for the answer Glenn. However I should have stressed the ‘YOU’ more. The trivial answer to who is the offender is of course “whoever the law says is the offender” – but I was more interested in your intuition as to who SHOULD be seen as the offender – ignoring the particular laws.

    My opinion is that in many cases people who have been addicted to drugs for many years are guilty of a crime about as much as people who have contracted any other sort of disease. Punishing a heroin addict seems a bit like punishing someone for having cancer…

  • One thing I did find interesting about your answer though Glenn is that you did not consider the guilt of the men who use prostitutes at all! Which is something that men have historically done… for whatever reason… … …

  • My intention was to show that more suffer harm (the definition of a victim) that just one. My response was to Reed’s presumption that I was talking about justice. Which I wasn’t.

    You’re right though, a decision about having an abortion perhaps shouldn’t be based on how a person feels at a certain time, given how changable emotions can be especially at times of stress and that it’s not something you can take back or fix once it’s done.

    I believe that was what I was saying about not basing the humanity of a baby on whether you want it at the time or not.

  • Pboy, I assumed you were using the “prosecute women as murderers” thing as a reductio of the pro life position.

    For the record I doubt a judge who sentenced a women in the case I suggested would see her actions as on par with that of a hit man. Moreover, I suspect in many cases the women who killed her newborn under the stresses mentioned would be offered a plea of manslaughter not murder, or have a reduced sentence.

  • Max, well I did say that laws/courts “generally” punish the offender.

    In the case of a doctor who kills an unborn baby, there’s no doubt in my mind that this is what should happen, so in this context it’s pretty open and shut.

    It’s true that in many cases people who commit crimes barely have a choice (especially in the drug example you mentioned). Each one would be assessed on a case by case basis – both by me and the court. I think this is the approach that our courts do take. A hopeless addict may well be referred to an agency for treatment rather than to prison. A dealer would be a different story, but on many occasions a user would still be punished, given that he could easily have taken steps to stop taking the drugs (i.e. approached an agency for help) but did not.

  • Max, you didn’t mention the clients of prostitutes (and even after my answer you only mention hem as an afterthought), and I assumed, given your parallel with the drug addict, that you intended me to focus on the drug user and the prostitute.

    The crime, after all, is solicitation (unless you had a different one in mind).

  • “For the record I doubt a judge who sentenced a women in the case I suggested would see her actions as on par with that of a hit man.”

    This seems to be implying that judges aren’t considering fetuses as persons, much like Ari isn’t.

    Imagine Ari sitting down with a couple of women who have had their husband’s killed and crying with them about their decision.

    I can’t imagine a judge sentencing a woman to 10 to 15 years in prison for getting caught trying to have her fetus aborted.

    On the other hand, I can imagine a police woman setting up an abortion with a man and before the deed is done, the police raid the ‘joint’ and the man getting sentenced to years behind bars, if the law is changed to ban abortion.

    Surely under the same rules, setting up a fake abortion clinic and busting the women who respond is only fair?

    If not, it seems to me that you guys and gals are stacking the deck against the men involved.

    Once again, Ari is telling us that she cried with two women who admitted that they colluded in the homicide of their fetuses. Would she cry with them if they were serving double-digit terms in prison for their actions, I wonder?

    When pro-lifers are faced with the question, “Would you be okay with women being imprisoned for seeking abortion?”, we’re much more likely to get responses such as, “I haven’t thought that far along.”, or some anecdotes about how women come to regret their earlier choice as if that absolves them of what you consider collusion in premeditated homicide!

    I put it to you that you really ought to think through the result of making a fetus a person, a murderable person, because it certainly would be taking rights away from women, wouldn’t it?

  • “I put it to you that you really ought to think through the result of making a fetus a person, a murderable person, because it certainly would be taking rights away from women, wouldn’t it?”

    So was making slavery illegal. It was taking the right of a group of people who ‘had the right’ to buy, sell and own slaves.

    If fetus are persons, then women never had the rights to begin with.

  • @ Glenn:

    “The prostitute. The offender is the person who breaks the law. If said prostitute has a pimp, then they too are guilty.”

    The ‘offenders’ are everyone directly involved in the offence (the prostitute and the customer) and anyone aiding and abetting the offence (pimp, host, security, local law enforcement etc).

    The prostitute is usually the victim. Other victims can include those living in the neighbourhood where prostitution takes place.

    If we are going to discuss this in any detail then we should start a separate thread and start citing some proper sources as this whole issue has been subject to significant research and there are alot of academic papers that would be useful to quote.

  • @ Glenn:

    “In the case of a doctor who kills an unborn baby, there’s no doubt in my mind that this is what should happen, so in this context it’s pretty open and shut.”

    So how would you deal with the IVF case – as you view it as being so ‘open and shut’ ?

    Prosecute the parents, the hospital and the dcotor ? After all, they’re each complicit in the deaths of unborn babies.

  • “For the record I doubt a judge who sentenced a women in the case I suggested would see her actions as on par with that of a hit man.”

    This seems to be implying that judges aren’t considering fetuses as persons, much like Ari isn’t.

    The case I refered to, if you remember, was where a women killed her 2 month old child, clearly a person in law.

    The reason judges would not sentence a women in this way is that judges recognise other factors than the mere fact the victim is human, they take into account the degree of caliousness of the offender, there mental state, the pressure they were under, there perceived threat to society and so on, thats why we often prosecute people who have killed others with manslaugher rather than murder.

    We already have cases where women abandon their children shortly after birth. Often the full brunt of the law is not thrown at them, if one the other hand someone were in the business of terminating children for a fee we might have a different opinion.

  • “If fetus are persons, then women never had the rights to begin with.”

    If women have no rights, why should fetuses have rights?

    Especially the ‘girls’?

  • Two links worth reading
    “Infanticide is justifiable”
    World: Americas – From infanticide to murder which mentions the infamous case of UK woman Caroline Beale in 1995.

    If you guys are going to argue the moot feticide = homicide and state that it’s a open and shut case then you will need to address some of the grey areas.

  • Pboy, I see you are using your tactic of distorting what others say and then responding to the caricature you manufactured.

    “If fetus are persons, then women never had the rights to begin with.”

    If women have no rights, why should fetuses have rights?

    Here you take the statement fetuses never had “the” rights, which in context refered to a right to abort a fetus, and claim it asserts women have no rights at all.

    It might be useful to change what others say so you can make them look bad, but its not really honest.

  • pboyfloyd,

    What an idiotic reply.

    Of course ‘the rights’ means the rights to abort a fetus.

  • “It might be useful to change what others say so you can make them look bad, but its not really honest.”

    If I misrepresented what anon said, it was because I thought he was arguing that women don’t have the right to control their own bodily functions, that women are, in fact, second class citizens.

    You say, “I see you are using your tactic of distorting what others say..”

    Of course you guys arguing that abortion is murder but not the kind of murder where perpetrators get convicted of murder, or premeditating murder, isn’t a distortion at all, right?

    It’s fine for you to call abortionists murderers and want them imprisoned but you are relying on how judges have traditionally reacted to women killing their own children.

    I put the problem to you very simply and straightforwardly, and you muddy the waters by introducing this ‘woman who murders her infant’, scenario.

    Anthony begs for common sense implying that abortion is not really murder.

    Ari implies that the women’s regret lessens their crime.

    You’re calling on typical judgements made taking into account the poor woman’s situation.

    So here we have the distortion exposed:-

    I say that the situation is very complicated, involving a woman’s right to control her own bodily functions and whether a fetus is, in fact, a person.

    You counter that no, it is a clear case of homicide.

    I respond that if it is, then the perpetrators of homicide ought to be tried and convicted of murder and given appropriate sentences.

    NOW you feel that the situation is complicated when it comes to the woman?

    But we started out that the situation was complicated for these women who seek abortion in the first place, and you seem to want to agree but you want to scape-goat the abortionist!

    Does that about sum it up? Is that twisting anything?

  • You seem to be following a strange line of reasoning which could include different crimes/situations and be rationalized to suit yourselves.

    “My son is a drug addict! If only drugs weren’t available he’d be fine!”

    “My son got in trouble with DUI and ran over some school children! If only there were no cars!”

    “My daughter got pregnant and had an abortion! If only there weren’t abortionists!”

    “I smoked and drank my life away! If only cigarettes and booze weren’t available, I’d have been fine!”

    “My children are fat! If only there weren’t cookies and chocolate and such on sale at the grocery store!”

  • In sharing about sympathising with women who have come to regret an abortion I was showing that harm had been done to more than one ‘victim’, don’t mistake that for feeling that in some way I condone or accept their actions. `

    That I can understand the circumstances that surrounded how they came about making/justifying their decision doesn’t necessarily follow that I agree with it or believe that they shouldn’t face any consequences of their decision or that the crime is lessened.

    My father was a prison chaplain and there are many people serving in jail for the mistakes they have made with backgrounds that could break your heart and reasons for their actions. They are still (rightly) facing the consequences of their actions as I believe all people who commit crimes should.

    I trust that the judges use wisdom to ensure that the consequences are fair, take all factors into consideration and that punishments and rehabilitative choices are made with the best outcome for all involved. That is why the punishments laid out by law have a range, so it can match the entire circumstance of the crime. This is the same for the drug adict, the husband killer and her hired professional and the mother or father who killed a child of whatever age for whatever reasons. All should face appropriate consequences for their actions.

    And yes, those friends would have my love and support whether they were facing a jail term, a support halfway house, councilling, therapy or just facing their own grief and regret.

  • So Ari, what you were saying was just a distraction then?

    If the law is changed and abortion is legally described as murder and the ladies are subsequently hanged or sentenced to life in prison, you’d be fine with this?

    You’d be fine with police forces setting up sting operations and charging women who attempt to hire an abortionist with attempted murder then?

    Or are you willing to go the ‘traditionally judges haven’t used this approach’ approach?

    I’m just thinking that if 12 year old girls were told that they might be facing charges of attempted murder if they sought out an abortionist, it might swing the demographics towards women having their children and living happilly ever after, as you no doubt imagine? Don’t you think?

    We might imagine the girl’s mom, dad, siblings, boyfriend’s family etc. all lined up ready to condemn the attempted murderer to a long prison stay for seeking to kill her fetus!

    How cool would that be, just so long as the ladies concerned weren’t friends of yours, I’m guessing?

  • @ Pboy

    Looks to me that you manufacture outrage by twisting what people say into some extreme position and then claim others are inconsistent by not agreeing with the manufactured extreme.

    When Matt calls you out for manufacturing caricatures your defense is that you attributed an extreme position to a commentator even though the extreme was never stated (nor by my read implied)

    You state “If I misrepresented what anon said, it was because I thought he was arguing that women don’t have the right to control their own bodily functions, that women are, in fact, second class citizens.”

    No surprise these, but you continue along this same vein in subsequent post.

    “I respond that if it is, then the perpetrators of homicide ought to be tried and convicted of murder and given appropriate sentences.”

    The claim by a number of commentators is that abortion is homicide. That is a simple principled position to take.

    To suggest that people imply that the mother needs to be incarcerated for “murder” is simply dishonest.

    It has been indicated numerous times that the crime a person is charged with (and acquitted or convicted for) in the case of homicide is not “murder” by default.

  • cj_nza, I’m not manufacturing outrage at all. Seems to me that you are playing word games with ‘homicide’ here.

    I’m concerned that pro-lifer’s outrage is manufactured because they seem to be bending over backwards to explain why the women involved are nowhere near as culpalble as the abortionists.

    Now I’m saying that IF abortion is made illegal and considered homicide, then that is called murder, isn’t it?

    Well, isn’t it?

  • @pboy
    last i heard canada didnt even have the death penaly, neither do most of the english speaking countries represented here.
    Suggesting DP for homicide is just deliberately pushing extremes.
    Homicide=man killing [man as in human]
    All murder equals homicide but not all homicide equals murder.
    Murder implies deliberate premeditated homicide usually without mitigating circumstances.
    I think its you who is playing the word games.
    [of course you could be french canadian and struggling with english but i dont think so]

  • So Ari, what you were saying was just a distraction then?

    No I was giving an answer to a specific to a question about victims. It was not intended to cover all or even some of my views, just answer a question with some examples.

    If the law is changed and abortion is legally described as murder and the ladies are subsequently hanged or sentenced to life in prison, you’d be fine with this?

    I’m from New Zealand where we do not have corporal punishment. However yes I can imagine a scenario where I would be fine with a life sentence. I’m thinking multiple late term abortions where the children could have survived but are left to to die or injured in some way to kill them. I don’t think that would be the norm but I think that would show callousness and cruelty to be at a life sentence level. And yes I’d be OK with that.

    And just to make sure that we are clear I am not saying that abortion early is less of a crime than late term abortion, I was attempting to show a person with callous disregard much like we would legally make the distinction between a woman who shot her cheating husband once in the heart and the women who hunts out multiple victims, tortures and then slowly kills them. Both have killed but don’t necesssarily deserve the same prison sentence. I also think that multiple early term abortions (or using abortion as a contraceptive alternative) is a callous disregard for life.

    You’d be fine with police forces setting up sting operations and charging women who attempt to hire an abortionist with attempted murder then? Or are you willing to go the ‘traditionally judges haven’t used this approach’ approach?

    I would expect our judges to use sensible sentencing based on all the information and to come to a ruling that is the best outcome for all involved. I would welcome stings that closed down illegal abortion clinics and imprisoned the staff that were operating outside the law, just as I would wish them to close down clinics that performed other illegal operations in NZ like female circumcisions or even acceptable operations that were being conducted in a criminal manner such as black market organ transplants.

    I’m just thinking that if 12 year old girls were told that they might be facing charges of attempted murder if they sought out an abortionist, it might swing the demographics towards women having their children and living happilly ever after, as you no doubt imagine? Don’t you think?

    Again, being in New Zealand 12 year olds are minors. I would expect that a pregnant twelve year old would be a flashing signal for the appropriate help organisations to move quickly to ensure that this child who has clearly been abused by someone be provided a safe environment. Nothing about this strikes me as being happily ever after.

    We might imagine the girl’s mom, dad, siblings, boyfriend’s family etc. all lined up ready to condemn the attempted murderer to a long prison stay for seeking to kill her fetus!

    If we’re still talking about the 12 year old then presumably her boyfriend or father would likely be facing statutory rape charges. At the very least I would expect a thorough investigation of the family situation to find out how this child had come to be pregnant and should someone be held accountable for neglect, abuse and rape.

    How cool would that be, just so long as the ladies concerned weren’t friends of yours, I’m guessing?

    The ladies involved are either the child who I judge to be too young to be held legally responsible for either the sex or for making any decision regarding an abortion. Or her mother who could be an innocent victim in this (the child may have been raped without her knowledge) or could be held responsible for any number of crimes depending on the situation and what she knew about or contributed to.

    I have supported a friend through having her father convicted for systematically raping her, getting her pregnant and forcing her to get an abortion amid a household af fear and abuse. He did blame her. It was just in my mind that he be punished and she offered support and councilling. It wasn’t cool. Right and just and hard but no, not cool.

  • @ Ari:

    “If we’re still talking about the 12 year old then presumably her boyfriend or father would likely be facing statutory rape charges. At the very least I would expect a thorough investigation of the family situation to find out how this child had come to be pregnant and should someone be held accountable for neglect, abuse and rape.”

    Your use of the word ‘presumably’ is disturbing, I would have thought that you would know.

    Although the age of consent in the UK is 16 cases of underage sex are rarely prosecuted where one party is still a teen and the other is between 14 and 16.

    Where one party is not a teen and the other is under 13 then that is always proscuted.

    The difficulty arises when both parties are under 13.

  • “I would expect our judges to use sensible sentencing based on all the information and to come to a ruling that is the best outcome for all involved.”

    You dodged my question. Stings for women seeking abortion resulting in attempted homicide charges or no?

    “However yes I can imagine a scenario where I would be fine with a life sentence. I’m thinking multiple late term abortions …”

    You’re dodging the question. Is abortion murder or is it NOT murder?

    “I would expect that a pregnant twelve year old would be a flashing signal for the appropriate help organisations..”

    You misunderstood my point. I’m saying that if young girls were WARNED in school that they would be committing MURDER they’d be much less likely to attempt abortion if they, at some point discovered that they had been impregnated.

  • Jeremy…

    “last i heard canada didnt even have the death penaly, neither do most of the english speaking countries represented here.”

    Beside the point.

    “Suggesting DP for homicide is just deliberately pushing extremes.”

    I doubt Texans think capital punishment is ‘deliberately pushing extremes.”

    “Homicide=man killing [man as in human]
    All murder equals homicide but not all homicide equals murder.”

    I’ve been over this. If abortion is made illegal then killing a fetus is criminal homicide, which is murder, yes?

    “Murder implies deliberate premeditated homicide usually without mitigating circumstances.”

    I’m trying to picture pregnant women accidentally stumbling into an abortion clinic looking for ‘some kind of help’, and not, say, an abortion.

    “I think its you who is playing the word games.”

    Jeremy, I don’t even thing that you do.

    “[of course you could be french canadian and struggling with english but i dont think so]”

    Naw, I’m Scottish. Born in Aberdeen.

    Just wondering, is there any one of you who is actually willing to consider anything I say?

    I doubt it.

  • Hi Paul,

    I said presumably because I was open to the possibility that the pregnancy had been caused by neither father or boyfriend, it appeared the most likely intended senario given that he mentioned these males as being involved and by saying boyfriend would likely indicate that he be the ‘prime suspect’ but I was open to it having been a third unidentified party.

  • “You misunderstood my point. I’m saying that if young girls were WARNED in school that they would be committing MURDER they’d be much less likely to attempt abortion if they, at some point discovered that they had been impregnated.”

    In my school I can’t recall being “warned” about abortion, it seemed self evident.

  • pboyfloyd –
    I think the reason you were having trouble getting unequivocal responses is that there is a reluctance to hold women accountable. I think the reluctance to hold women accountable is not Christian but cultural. Women literally get away with murder.

    In NZ a Man has been convicted of murder for killing his unborn child. No one had a problem calling it murder and no one had a problem with him going to jail.

  • Pboy
    “Suggesting DP for homicide is just deliberately pushing extremes.”
    I doubt Texans think capital punishment is ‘deliberately pushing extremes.”

    Actually in Texas the DP is the maximum sentence for 1st degree murder. Not all people who commit 1st degree murder are executed vast majority are not, its reserved for the worst cases, which illustrates precisely the point everyone has made which is that no legal system treats all homicides the same.
    “Homicide=man killing [man as in human]
    All murder equals homicide but not all homicide equals murder.”
    I’ve been over this. If abortion is made illegal then killing a fetus is criminal homicide, which is murder, yes?

    As has been pointed out murder is not “criminal homicide” there are various kinds of criminal homicides which are not murder. Manslaughter, negligence, infanticide and so forth. Sorry
    “Murder implies deliberate premeditated homicide usually without mitigating circumstances.”
    I’m trying to picture pregnant women accidentally stumbling into an abortion clinic looking for ‘some kind of help’, and not, say, an abortion.

    And there you go again, ignoring what a person actually said and replacing it with some ridiculous claim you invented.
    The claim is that murder is deliberate premediated homicide without mitigating circumstances . You suggest he mean’t by this killing with no intent at all. Like I said, being dishonest is not really a compelling argument.
    “I think its you who is playing the word games.”
    Jeremy, I don’t even thing that you do.

    See above
    Naw, I’m Scottish. Born in Aberdeen.
    Then you should be familiar with English law, which shows that criminal homicide and murder are not the same thing and also has forms of intentional homicide ( such as manslaughter) which is not murder
    Just wondering, is there any one of you who is actually willing to consider anything I say?I doubt it.
    I consider it and find it both false and at times deceptive.

  • You seem to be following a strange line of reasoning which could include different crimes/situations and be rationalized to suit yourselves.
    No, as I pointed out, I was telling you what the current system is, where Judges often take factors other than the status of the victim into account.
    Of course you can “again” respond by ignoring what I actually said claiming I was supporting some “bizarre” system which I did not, but that again only shows your propensity for dishonest caricature, already pointed out.
    “My son is a drug addict! If only drugs weren’t available he’d be fine!”
    “My son got in trouble with DUI and ran over some school children! If only there were no cars!”
    “My daughter got pregnant and had an abortion! If only there weren’t abortionists!”
    “I smoked and drank my life away! If only cigarettes and booze weren’t available, I’d have been fine!”
    “My children are fat! If only there weren’t cookies and chocolate and such on sale at the grocery store!”

    Again a list of positions I never asserted or implied, what I did state was
    The reason judges would not sentence a women in this way is that judges recognise other factors than the mere fact the victim is human, they take into account the degree of caliousness of the offender, there mental state, the pressure they were under, there perceived threat to society and so on, thats why we often prosecute people who have killed others with manslaugher rather than murder.
    Which is of course nothing like the proposal you attributed above, try some honesty and then people might take you seriously.

  • f I misrepresented what anon said, it was because I thought he was arguing that women don’t have the right to control their own bodily functions, that women are, in fact, second class citizens.”

    Laws against defecating in a public mall, regulate a women’s choices to use her bodily functions as she see fit. I guess then such rules make women second class citizens, unless we allow women to piss and crap all over the place at their discretion we are “dehumanising them”.

  • “Then you should be familiar with English law..”

    REALLY? I guess since you’re in New Zealand you must be familiar with Australian law then?

  • “I consider it and find it both false and at times deceptive.”

    No Matt. I think you consider it TO find it both false and at times deceptive.

  • “Laws against defecating in a public mall, regulate a women’s choices to use her bodily functions as she see fit.”

    Right, right, and this isn’t entirely disingenuous and completely beside the point.

  • “..unless we allow women to piss and crap all over the place at their discretion we are “dehumanising them”.”

    Have you been drinking or something?

  • @pboy

    “Naw, I’m Scottish. Born in Aberdeen.”

    All is now explained. No questions remain to be asked.

  • Actually, since I’m no lawyer and have never pretended to be one, and since murder is generally a synonym for murder, up to the point that someone pointed out that homicide isn’t necessarilly murder, that’s what I was thinking.

    Okay, so let’s stop dancing around here.

    IF a fetus is a person then there is no earthly reason why a woman who requests an abortion and gets it isn’t guilty of MURDER, isn’t that right?

    Never mind the homicide or the criminal homicide or anything like that, it’s stone cold murder.

    Yes or no.

  • Sorry, murder is a synonym for murder ought to read ‘homicide is a synonym for murder’.

    I’m still shaking from you calling me an Englishman.

    LOL

  • @ Reed:

    “In NZ a Man has been convicted of murder for killing his unborn child. No one had a problem calling it murder and no one had a problem with him going to jail.”

    as always the devil is in the detail – what were the circumstances ?

  • Paul –
    as always the devil is in the detail – what were the circumstances ?

    The devil is in excusing murder.
    I can’t find the story online, what circumstance is of interest?

  • No Matt. I think you consider it TO find it both false and at times deceptive.
    Case in point

  • I said, “Never mind the homicide or the criminal homicide or anything like that, it’s stone cold murder.

    Yes or no.”

    Matt decided to reply to, “No Matt. I think you consider it TO find it both false and at times deceptive.”, with, “Case in point”

    Indeed Matt, case in point. I’ve hitting the exact same note throughout this exchange. Little bit of misunderstanding about what I mean when I say ‘homicide’, little bit of misunderstanding in that Matt feels like I’m actually saying the opposite of what I’m saying, bit of misunderstanding from Ari when I mention 12 year old girls being told that abortion is considered murder IF it is ever considered murder, whether I must have meant PREGNANT 12 year olds, LOTS of dancing around how judges rule when it comes to ‘homicide’ and extenuating circumstances surrounding pregnant women or ex-pregnant women and this sentence is running on so I’ll end it now.

    BUT, apparently, the ‘case in point’ is all about whether Matt can find me ‘false’ and ‘deceptive’ when I’m basically asking the same question over and over.

    Okay, I admit it, I thought homicide was murder, I then thought criminal homicide was murder.

    Seems to me that the only honest answer I’ve had was from Reed, who was then challenged.

    The question remains, “Abortion, is it by the definitions given, murder or is it NOT murder?

    If the fetus is a person, It is certainly homicide with malice aforethought, which is the definition of murder.

  • Ok, trying to make it as simple and clear as possible.

    I consider it no different to have a baby killed the day before it is born or the day after, three months before due date or three months after due date or ten years later or thirty. All homicide!!! If abortion was illegal, as with every case of homicide (a person killing another person), all factors would be taken into account to determine whether that homicide was 1st degree murder, 2nd degree murder, manslaughter etc etc. We have many levels to justly account for different circumstances and mitigating factors.

    The same sorts of mitigating factors found in a case of a woman killing children postnatally might be the factors that could make a woman have an abortion. Therefore, if it is possible for a case to be presented for a woman not to be charged with murder for killing a child after it is born it must be possible in a case before the child is born.

    Examples that spring to mind
    – a woman convinced her child was so sick or disabled that she had no option but to kill him.
    – someone suffering from a mental illness whose judgements were impared (paranoia, depression etc)
    – someone in an extremely violent abusive situation who completely believes that the children would be better dead than living in fear and pain.

    (Note all these situations could be reasonings before or after the child is born)

    Also if it is possible for a person killing their children postnatally to be tried for murder then it follows the same must be right for prenatal.

    Examples of reasons for killing one’s children that wouldn’t be shown much mercy could be;

    – I have a new boyfriend and he didn’t want to be looking after someone else’s kids so we killed them.
    – I wanted to hurt their father / mother / grandparents so I killed them.
    – They cost too much so I killed them

    (Note all these situation could be before or after the child is born as well)

    And yes, I would expect a judge to make a ruling based on all the facts and determine the appropriate outcomes for all involved. As I expect for every homicide!!!

  • Okay Ari, your examples are weak.

    “Examples that spring to mind
    – a woman convinced her child was so sick or disabled that she had no option but to kill him.”

    You seem to be suggesting that the woman is delusional, so this merges with example 2.

    “- someone suffering from a mental illness whose judgements were impared (paranoia, depression etc)”

    Not sure how common this would be either, especially if the criterion was legal insanity.

    “- someone in an extremely violent abusive situation who completely believes that the children would be better dead than living in fear and pain.”

    I think this melds back into the delusional again. This time being that the social services are neither equipped nor prepared for the event that children may be in danger.

    I’m guessing that it must be easy for a pro-life advocate to simply imagine any woman deciding to abort her pregnancy must be crazy, right??? This whether it is being crazy about what the circumstances are or just bonkers in general.

    Now I noticed that I asked you whether it was murder and you responded with scenarios involving homicide.

    Ari, is it murder or isn’t it? This is the same chance every other murderer gets in court, was there malice aforethought or is she nuts?

    In your response you are already setting it up to be homicide with all it’s possibilities of there being outs, of it not being murder but manslaughter and so on.

    If I killed the next person walking by my house right now, would it be murder?

    The common sense answer is, “Of course.”

    But that doesn’t mean that I’d get convicted of murder, if my council could convince the court that I was insane!

    This seems to be what you are pleading in the case of ALL abortions, that there ‘may be’ insanity involved?

  • @Ari
    good answer, though i thought that your postion was already perfectly clear

  • @pboy
    what is so hard to understand? at first glance an abortion would appear to be simple premeditated murder. In some cases it might be, in other cases many other factors might be involved,that is why we have presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Its also why we have the courts and due process, and why we do not allow vigilante justice. Cause its not usually just.
    You can go on all you want, but long human experience has shown that things are often less simple than they appear at first glance.
    To use your own example of your niece. She had her baby aborted [murdered?], but you say this was caused by emotional pressure from unloving parents. You also said it was facilitated by an Aunt, you didnt mention the boyfriend but i’m guessing he wanted the “problem” to go away quietly. So who was responsible, surely you do not agree that responsibility lay wholely and solely with your niece [ which is what it seems you want Ari to say] and that if this came to criminal trial you wouldnt want the background and other pressures taken into account as mitigating factors.
    Really do you have so little compassion. And how did you get to the age you claim still seeing the world in such simple black and white? You seem worse than the christians you complain about. It is possible to be compassionate to people even as they are doing wrong.
    Are you the kind of person who would hang a starving man for poaching a rabbit?

  • In your response you are already setting it up to be homicide with all it’s possibilities of there being outs, of it not being murder but manslaughter and so on.

    To save time I’m just going to start cutting and pasting from my previous answer if that’s ok.

    I beleve I also said . . .

    Also if it is possible for a person killing their children postnatally to be tried for murder then it follows the same must be right for prenatal.

    Examples of reasons for killing one’s children that wouldn’t be shown much mercy could be;

    – I have a new boyfriend and he didn’t want to be looking after someone else’s kids so we killed them.
    – I wanted to hurt their father / mother / grandparents so I killed them.
    – They cost too much so I killed them

    (Note all these situation could be before or after the child is born as well)

    I don’t believe that I said that these people should get off for being crazy, they might be, but it’s also possible they might be incredibly, criminally, selfish!!! To me it’s not the postnatal or prenatal status that makes the difference.

  • Okay, in the copy/paste spirit!

    “To me it’s not the postnatal or prenatal status that makes the difference.”

    Never mind the homicide or the criminal homicide or anything like that, it’s stone cold murder.

    Yes or no.(barring insanity, of course)

  • Jeremy, ” You seem worse than the christians you complain about.”

    If you say so.

  • “I consider it no different to have a baby killed the day before it is born or the day after, three months before due date or three months after due date or ten years later or thirty. All homicide!!!”

    Just out of curiousity – and not wanting to get into a debate about it – Where is your cut off line Ari?

    10 seconds after conception?
    1 second afterwards?

  • “- someone in an extremely violent abusive situation who completely believes that the children would be better dead than living in fear and pain.”

    I think this melds back into the delusional again. This time being that the social services are neither equipped nor prepared for the event that children may be in danger.

    No, not delusional. I was there when the six police officers and dog handlers came to my home in response to a call we made because we heard noises outside that appeared to have been my friend’s father and his gang associates coming to deal with the problem of his daughter due to testify on his abuse and rape of her. They weren’t overreacting to send that level of force and she was rightly terrified. I know that she would have considered suicide preferable to being caught by him and had he not already killed her two children (prenatally) I don’t think that she would have let them fall into his hands either. Terrified not delusional. Fortunately she was provided with a safe place to heal, we could have done so for her children as well.

  • My point – conception

    Wouldn’t use a pill that stopped a fertilised egg from implanting or the morning after pill. You can prevent a pregnancy from occuring but after it’s occured you’re preventing a baby being born. Anyone who had done something to prevent one of my babies being born once conceived would have been killing by baby.

  • What’s funny to me about this Ari and Jeremy, is that in a fictional story, we suspend our disbelief. We are encouraged to see the world the author makes as the ‘real world’

    Example:- In Superman comics no one reads Superman comics because they’re not part of the ‘Superman world’. They can’t be in the comic-world because they’d be spoilers.

    We can watch a Superman movie and not say, “Louis must know that Clark Kent is actually Superman, every kid has read those comics!”

    Now in the world that you and Jeremy imagine, there is a huge pro-life movement making itself felt as much as possible across the entire real world.

    Yet here we have Ari talking about pregnant women not knowing their options and such, yet still managing to know that abortion is an option.

    I think I’d have to squeeze my eyes really tight shut to imagine a woman who gets to the point of being pregnant, knowing about the abortion option, yet never hearing the pro-life stance on this issue.

  • “My point – conception

    Wouldn’t use a pill that stopped a fertilised egg from implanting or the morning after pill. You can prevent a pregnancy from occuring but after it’s occured you’re preventing a baby being born. Anyone who had done something to prevent one of my babies being born once conceived would have been killing by baby.”

    Interesting – so the morning after-pill would be an instance of murder/homicide under your cut off point then. What about instances where some behavior of the woman, unbeknown to her, leads to a fertilized egg not implanting. Would this be involuntary man-slaughter? So if a woman took some medication that led to a fertilized egg not being implanted – even though she did not know the egg was fertilized – should she also be charged with a crime?

  • “I know that she would have considered suicide preferable to being caught by him and had he not already killed her two children (prenatally) I don’t think that she would have let them fall into his hands either. Terrified not delusional.”

    What? You ‘know’? Apart from the fact that you’re just saying that the circumstances were making the woman temporarilly insane, this is just a diversion.

    Come on, surely there can’t be that many hoops to jump through here before there is nowhere to ‘go’ but answer the simple question.

    Why is it so hard for you to say, “Abortion is murder, unless there are extenuating circumstances, just as killing anyone else is murder unless there is extenuating circumstances.

    Or is it back to time to dither over murder/homicide, homicide/murder as if we’re willing to pretend that’ll fool me over and over?

    What is the ‘block’ here? Is it a mental block? Is there something about saying ‘murder’ that you’re not willing to cop to?

    Seems to me that you’re quite happy to use the word ‘murder’ when talking about abortionists.

    Is that the point of the not-yet-born/already-born having no distinction in your mind, Ari?

    Isolate the women from the abortionist altogether?

  • This is the third time I’ve posted this statement. If you won’t read it or can’t understand it, then I won’t bother posting it again.

    Also if it is possible for a person killing their children postnatally to be tried for murder then it follows the same must be right for prenatal.

  • What? You ‘know’? Apart from the fact that you’re just saying that the circumstances were making the woman temporarilly insane, this is just a diversion

    She wasn’t insane she had every reason to know that this man would hurt her. Not just kill her but torture her as he had before. You’re not paranoid if they really are out to get you.

  • “..if it is possible for a person killing their children postnatally to be tried for murder then it follows the same must be right for prenatal.”

    But you know that I’m not asking if there are special circumstances where a crown council or prosecutor might charge a woman with murder if she has had an abortion or if she’s killed her already-born child.

    I’m asking you if you think the normal course of events, when dealing with a woman who is known to have had an abortion, would be to charge her with murder!? (then let the court proceedings determine if there were extenuating circumstances or not)

    I’m asking you straight out and you’re giving me this politician’s answer.

    Matt says that I”M being deceitful. Sheesh!

    Plainly put,
    1) abortion equals murder which may be downgraded depending on the circumstances OR

    2) abortion equals homicide upgradable to murder depending on the circumstances?

    There’s a huge difference here, isn’t there?

    What is it to be Ari, 1 or 2?

  • pboyfloyd,

    you’re just making a lot of noise. I really don’t see what’s all the fuss you’re making at this point as all your questions seem to have been answered well.

    If abortion is murder then the court must process it as how it process murder case.

    Whether people generally have more sympathy for the mothers compared to the abortionists is unrelated topic. It really has no effect on the discussion of whether abortion is murder or not.

  • Interesting – so the morning after-pill would be an instance of murder/homicide under your cut off point then. What about instances where some behavior of the woman, unbeknown to her, leads to a fertilized egg not implanting. Would this be involuntary man-slaughter? So if a woman took some medication that led to a fertilized egg not being implanted – even though she did not know the egg was fertilized – should she also be charged with a crime?

    How awful to have something like that happen to you. I know of a women who had a miscarriage following what she was assured to be a benign test. She was devastated. Closest parallel I could think of off the top of my head would be giving your three month old a perscribed medication only to find them having a reaction to it that you couldn’t have predicted which resulted in their death.

    You used the term unbeknown, I’m no lawyer but this strikes me as a terrible accidental death.

    Similar perhaps to holding mothers responsible for the results of thalidamide poisoning. (don’t know if that’s spelt correctly but women were given medication that unbeknown to them caused massive birth defects in their children). I personally wouldn’t blame the mothers for this.

  • Regarding of women who have had abortions, I don’t think you can be taken to court for something that is now illegal but was legal back then when you did it.

    “dealing with a woman who is known to have had an abortion, would be to charge her with murder”

    The process would be to first gather evidence and a fair trial just like other murder case.

    Again this is just a noise to distract the core debate of whether abortion is murder or not.

  • “you’re just making a lot of noise.”

    Well anon, If I’m just making a lot of noise asking this simple question, why is it that Ari is going to all this trouble to not give me a straight answer?

    Why’d she go to the trouble of saying that she doesn’t ‘see’ what the woman did AS ‘abortion’ ‘cos it makes no difference to Ari if the child is born yet or not???

    (should I copy/paste that part?)

  • “Regarding of women who have had abortions, I don’t think you can be taken to court for something that is now illegal but was legal back then when you did it.”

    Of COURSE we’re talking about if and when the law is changed, of COURSE we are!

    So you noticed that I stopped using the caveat that the law would have had to be changed to your pro-life liking and jumped on THAT?

    Very disingenuous anon. You ought to stay anon.

  • Jeremy, this must be the ‘worse than us Christians’ that you were talking about.

    Avoiding a straight answer, distracting and diverting away, then claiming an answer was given, copy/pasting the supposed answer which is not a straight answer, then hedging away again and again!

    Giving ‘an answer’ is not the same as giving me a straight answer to my simple question, is it?

  • Ever since abortion became legal, millions of babies have been aborted (murdered, slaughtered, massacred).

    Abortion isn’t performed on eggs, nor just cells, they’re performed on something that looks awfully like a human being with unique human DNA, sometimes after the baby is born (partial birth abortion) where they’re born only to be left to die (or some being murdered cruelly right after their out of their mother’s womb).

    At the moment there is no justice for the above horrendous acts. The government is even subsidising it through tax payer’s money. And main stream media is censoring and antagonising the voice of pro-life.

    So this is why I said that you just been making a lot of noise. This would be like discussing how the people who had slaves will cope if their rights to own slaves is to be ‘taken away’ from them, or how they will be prosecuted if they keep on persisting on keeping slaves.

    While you argue about morning pills or how women might be dealt with by court, there are horrendous killing of babies out there happening legally.

  • You’re like a bunch of children cavilling that it wasn’t you who stole the cookies because technically your hand which took the cookie isn’t ‘you’, it’s just part of you, which if removed, wouldn’t make you any less you.

    You just want to let the women off the hook, while I’m stating the obvious. No women seeking abortions exactly equals no abortionists!

    But then if you manage to push it that far, there’s nothing left for you but to take your ball and go home, so that’ll never do, will it?

    You should examine your motives! I still believe that it’s an entry point to or for your religion. You know for people who believe that they are spirits in the ‘evil’ material world, you seem to be insatiably concerned with sex and women and such, no?

  • If we show the photos of what’s being aborted to the public. I doubt that anyone can argue that its not murder. In fact, once you hear the heart beating, I don’t think you can deny it’s a human being.

  • that it is murder

  • “At the moment there is no justice for the above horrendous acts.”

    Do you want justice in the sense of fairness or in the sense of doing what authority tells you? Because there is a huge difference.

    ” The government is even subsidising it through tax payer’s money.”

    Ah, so it is a political issue for you then? No doubt you help vote in people who are simply using this issue as a vote-getter, people who have no intention of trying to make it easier for a woman to raise her children or even to make abortion punishable as murder!

    And you’re kind of letting it slip that it’s a ‘YOUR MONEY’ issue too, no? So much for your caring.

    “And main stream media is censoring and antagonising the voice of pro-life.”

    You want the mainstream media to be part of a vote getting scam, part of a scheme to inject more religion into government? Hey, I’m all for helping the poor and downtrodden, just not for helping poor you build a new church!

  • “that it is murder”

    Right then. Then you have no problem with the solution I propose? Having the police set up sting operations and have the women charged with attempted murder?

    There is a wonderful side-effect of private corrections centers in the U.S.A. where wealthy citizens can charge the government for use of their facilities!

    They charge governmen mucho dolares for keeping black kids in jail for pot crimes, why not more money for attempted murderers and orphanages??

    “What, are there no workhouses??” Welcome back to the 19th. Century!!

    If it gets bad enough, maybe we could have a communist revolution!!!

    You guys are gonna love that, I swear!

  • Trying to stop the government from subsidising the horrendous murder of babies is political? okay

  • @pboy
    your ignorance is showing again.

    “You should examine your motives! I still believe that it’s an entry point to or for your religion. You know for people who believe that they are spirits in the ‘evil’ material world, you seem to be insatiably concerned with sex and women and such, no?”

    Christians do not believe t hey are spirits in an evil material world. That would be gnosticism, recognised as an heretical position contrary to scripture long since.

    I am not so much concerned with sex and women as enjoy lovemaking with my wife, a good doctrinally correct position.

    I do however believe [am concerned about] in caring for the defenceless including the most defenceless, unborn children killed for emotional and economic convenience. Wanting to change hearts and minds so that others too recognise this problem doesnt auto matically mean i need to go on some kind of vengeful crusade to punish the wicked. That seems to be your province. You are welcome to it.

  • “Having the police set up sting operations and have the women charged with attempted murder?”

    Why keep trying to divert the topic pboyfloyd? If it’s murder then it should be treated as such by police and court.

    Whether I have problem with sting operation or not is irrelevant and separate topic.

  • “you seem to be insatiably concerned with sex and women and such, no?”

    I’m concerned with broken homes and murders of babies. Not so much with sex and women.

  • “Trying to stop the government from subsidising the horrendous murder of babies is political?”

    You’re doing that right now then are you? Really? How? You planning on voting in someone who is going to ‘fix things for you?’

    anon, I’m typing this slowly because at this point I’m assuming you don’t read very fast.

    Voting for people who say that they’re against abortion ISN’T equaling a government which is even neutral on the subject at all, now is it?

    If you live in the USA, there is NO GOVERNMENT money going towards abortion. NONE.

    Once again this is where your story moves away from the facts and into a fantasy world of your own creation where we’re all expected to suspend our disbelief.

    G.W.Bush was elected by Christians and pro-lifers and he did NOTHING to curb the rate of abortion.

    All he did was throw a few bucks at you guys in the form of Faith-based Initiatives.

    You might say that it takes time to put together a bill that would make abortion illegal, yes?

    Was eight years not long enough??

    But if you elect officials who NEVER actually propose any bills at all for this purpose, then you just voted in a shill. You were used. You are going to be used again!

    Too bad you are so brainless that you can’t see that, eh?

  • “I’m concerned with broken homes and murders of babies. Not so much with sex and women.”

    Sounded to me that you were really concerned with where your tax dollars are going more than anything else.

    Really.

  • ARI:

    So just to clarify Ari, would you want women who used contraception that worked by stopping the implantation of a fertilized egg to be charged with murder/manslaughter?

  • pboyfloyd

    I have realised why I create such a problem for you. I am pro life yet obviously also a compassionate person and that doesn’t fit with what you want to make me out to be. If you can’t get me to say something in wording that you can use to show that I am a heartless harpy willing to see raped 12 year olds caught in police stings and then hung for the murder (which I’m not), then you might just have to change your world view. Or at least your views on pro lifers.

    I’m very sorry to frustrate you once again but the fact is I believe that abortion is always homicide as is deliberately killing your children after they are born. It isn’t that complicated really and I’m not sidestepping anything just recognise that I place the same value on the life of an unborn child as on that of one already born.

    Killing a child is homicide. Sometimes that homicide is murder and sometimes it is not. That isn’t dependant on the child being born or not it’s dependant on other factors, ones that would fall under the burden of proof and the wisdom and judgement of our legal system.

    It’s like trying to make me say that every person who causes a car crash by reckless driving should be charged for DUI. Every person who causes a crash by reckless driving causes a crash by reckless driving. Some people who cause crashes by reckless driving are also guilty of DUI, some are not. Some are guilty of speeding, some of not paying reasonable attention, or be being chased by a bad guy.

    Reckless driving is the set of which DUI is a potential subset.

    Given all those possibilities the only reasonable answer I can give is that they are guilty of reckless driving with the possibility of that being narrowed to a more specific crime (including DUI) and that the police will look at the evidence and then lay appropriate charges if charges need to be laid.

    A person who has an abortion is guilty of homicide. That is the broad set, the police would need to look at the evidence and then lay appropriate charges if charges need to be laid. They could, based on evidence, narrow that down to a sub set that might increase that charge to say murder or reduce it to say manslaughter. I will not apply a narrow subset to the broad statement that is abortion.

  • So just to clarify Ari, would you want women who used contraception that worked by stopping the implantation of a fertilized egg to be charged with murder/manslaughter?

    The woman who intentionally used a contaception to ensure that a fertilised egg could not implant is effectively doing the same thing as using the morning after pill or as getting a surgical abortion later in her pregnancy. And should be held accountable for that action in the same way. Looking at all the same factors.

  • So is that “Yes”?

    Lets try once more to be sure. Yes or No?

    Would you want women who used contraception that worked by stopping the implantation of a fertilized egg to be charged with murder/manslaughter?

    No avoiding the question – just yes or no?

    Thanks.

  • @ Anon:
    “Trying to stop the government from subsidising the horrendous murder of babies is political? okay”

    when you phrase the debate in that fashion – yes, it’s very political.

  • @ Anon:
    “If we show the photos of what’s being aborted to the public. I doubt that anyone can argue that its not murder. In fact, once you hear the heart beating, I don’t think you can deny it’s a human being.”
    So an ovarian teratoma that developes a beating heart is also a human ?

    Interesting criteria.

  • So is that “Yes”?

    Lets try once more to be sure. Yes or No?

    Would you want women who used contraception that worked by stopping the implantation of a fertilized egg to be charged with murder/manslaughter?

    No avoiding the question – just yes or no?

    Thanks.

    Not trying to avoid your question, but you haven’t given me sufficient evidence to say yes or no.

    Is it homicide? Yes

    Should she be charged with murder or manslaughter? I don’t know. What was her mental state? Tell me her circumstances?

    A person has caused a crash with reckless driving. Should they be charged with DUI or speeding? Yes or no.

    Just a hint if you say yes I’ll tell you that the accident was caused by driving without lights on because her boyfriend has smashed them with a baseball bat that he was trying to swing at her head and she was escaping from him, (still driving recklessly but you can understand why), but if you say no I’ll tell you that the accident was caused by a man returning home from a night at the pub and how many times over the legal limit he was.

    Just to be clear my preference would be to provide women who want them with contraception that PREVENTS pregnancy and as a society not use the products that don’t. If we could make abortion illegal then I’m sure that we could provide enough options to prevent pregnancy that would suit women. I asked to make sure that the pill I used would prevent pregnancy and that if against the odds an egg was fertilised that it would implant and the pregnancy would not be at risk. There were plenty of options, so I don’t see why we couldn’t use these.

  • @ Ari:
    So is that “Yes”?

    Lets try once more to be sure. Yes or No?

    Would you want women who used contraception that worked by stopping the implantation of a fertilized egg to be charged with murder/manslaughter?

    No avoiding the question – just yes or no?

    Thanks.

    Not trying to avoid your question, but you haven’t given me sufficient evidence to say yes or no.

    Is it homicide? Yes

    Should she be charged with murder or manslaughter? I don’t know. What was her mental state? Tell me her circumstances?”

    So, how would you even know ? The thing about a surgical procedure is that you need a surgeon and a venue. It’s quite hard to hide it. The thing about this particular chemical procedure is that it is far more discreet and I’m interested to know how you would (a) detect a possible instance (b) determine the difference between a chemically induced abortion and a spontaneous abortion.

    Your first step would be to campaign for a police state.

  • “Should she be charged with murder or manslaughter? I don’t know. What was her mental state? Tell me her circumstances?”

    More dodging!

    “A person has caused a crash with reckless driving. Should they be charged with DUI or speeding? Yes or no.”

    Do you even know what DUI means? How is this an equivalent question. Not an analogy. Fail.

    Basically you are unwilling to answer this question because you realize that your starting point and your logic lead you into la-la land. That’s fine.

  • “Your first step would be to campaign for a police state.”

    Quite right. But this is well in line with the other right-wing cliches being preached here.

  • “Should she be charged with murder or manslaughter? I don’t know. What was her mental state? Tell me her circumstances?”

    Besides which – I am no expert on law – but are these not questions for the court to decide? The police whop charge someone with an offense do not make judgment calls on these issues do they?

    Ari, I think you are confusing charging someone with an offense with finding them guilty of the offense.

  • Max

    “So is that “Yes”?
    Lets try once more to be sure. Yes or No?
    Would you want women who used contraception that worked by stopping the implantation of a fertilized egg to be charged with murder/manslaughter?
    No avoiding the question – just yes or no?”

    Even if one accepts that human beings come into existence at conception , it seems the answer to this question is plausibly no.

    The reason for this is that in order to charge a women for killing a pre-implantation embryo, one would need to know that the women was in fact pregnant at the time she used the pill in question, and that that embryo had died, and that the pill was the cause of this death. I doubt one could have evidence for any of these things.

    Most cases when a person uses a pill they are not pregnant, moreover even if they are, one typically cannot detect this prior to implantation, moreover even if one could, there is a high natural miscarriage rate prior to implantation which means that one could not ascertain whether the embryo has been destroyed by the use of the pill and not naturally.

    Let me also add that your argument here appeals to the fact that its counter intuitive to say a women who has killed a pre-implantation embryo has commited homicide. One possible response here is to note that, its also counter intuitive to say an infant is not a person and infanticide is not homicide, which is an implication of most pro- abortion positions. And its not clear that any attempt to find a middle ground will not involve ad hoc manoeuvres that are also implausible. It may be on this issue one needs to accept some counter intuitive conclusions regardless of the stance one adopts.

  • Well how about attempted murder then Matt? Since that is clearly the intention of taking this sort of pill.

  • But I think yes – you are right – if you are committed to see “being human” as a binary thing that is either Yes or No – then you do have to commit to an implausible counter intuitive conclusion at one end or the other. Which leads to the ludicrous conclusion of Ari at one end who would, at least in some cases, want to charge women with murder for destroying a fermented but not implanted cell – and people like Singer at the other end who would want to accept infanticide in some instances.

    So a dilemma! IF you are committed to the idea that “being human” is binary. But there is no real reason to commit oneself to this idea in the first place.

  • ..ok … i am pretty sure fermented is not the word I was looking for… its late :D

  • Well how about attempted murder then Matt? Since that is clearly the intention of taking this sort of pill.

    That’s an interesting response, I am not sure it works though, imagine a person who fires randomly into a bush but does not know if anyone is in the bush. Suppose, however we do not know if anyone was in the bush, and in fact we have no evidence that any one was in there. Would that constitute a form of attempted murder?

    I don’t think it would, it seems to me attempted murder involves knowledge there actually is a person there and an attempt to kill that person.

  • “I don’t think it would, it seems to me attempted murder involves knowledge there actually is a person there and an attempt to kill that person.”

    But Matt – the ONLY reason people take this sort of pill is ONLY to make sure that a fertilized egg does not implant. IE… they are taking it on the assumption that there is “someone” (according to Ari) there and that they want to kill that someone.

    A better shooting analogy would be that you know that there is a picnic area in the bush, but you are not sure if anyone is there – so you fire a few shots into the bush so that you will kill anyone on the off chance that there are people picnicking… now if the police saw someone doing this every day for weeks… i think attempted murder would be a reasonable charge.

    (now I am not saying it IS attempted murder in the pill case – I am just correcting your analogy for you)

  • Max, about the binary thing, one possible problem is that with issues identity, the question of wether you at T1 are the same individual who existed at T-1. Its not clear you can avoid binary claims. I don’t know that identity or existence admits of degrees.

    The second issue is wether one can develop a gradualist line which is not just ad hoc, I think Tooley has shown real problems with this.

    Third, it seems that people like Don Marquis have provided some reasons for accepting the kind of view Ari mentions, wether one would place the beginning at conception instead of implantation, is of course something that is debated on this view, but surely his idea that what makes killing wrong is the fact that deprives a living organism of a valuable future, and also the fact that embryo’s have the same future as an infant in this respect, is not an entirely arbitrary position.

  • pboyflyod,

    “Sounded to me that you were really concerned with where your tax dollars are going more than anything else.”

    And which part of my statement made me sound like I’m really concerned with where my tax dollars are going more than anything else?

  • Paul,

    ““If we show the photos of what’s being aborted to the public. I doubt that anyone can argue that its not murder. In fact, once you hear the heart beating, I don’t think you can deny it’s a human being.”
    So an ovarian teratoma that developes a beating heart is also a human ?”

    I thought it should be obvious that there are plenty of non-human beings with beating hearts?? But here we go, I meant the heart beat of a fetus as when doing pregnancy check up.

    Apparently a fetus heart beat sound is detectable from 6 to 8 weeks but with ultra sound it can be seen (as opposed to heard) from just 4 to 5 weeks old.

  • @ Matt:
    “Max, about the binary thing, one possible problem is that with issues identity, the question of wether you at T1 are the same individual who existed at T-1. Its not clear you can avoid binary claims. I don’t know that identity or existence admits of degrees.

    The second issue is wether one can develop a gradualist line which is not just ad hoc, I think Tooley has shown real problems with this.

    Third, it seems that people like Don Marquis have provided some reasons for accepting the kind of view Ari mentions, wether one would place the beginning at conception instead of implantation, is of course something that is debated on this view, but surely his idea that what makes killing wrong is the fact that deprives a living organism of a valuable future, and also the fact that embryo’s have the same future as an infant in this respect, is not an entirely arbitrary position.”

    Now if you were going to to give a talk along these lines then I might come and listen, aside from the fact that I’m in the UK.

    The stark moot that feticide equals homicide I’ll happily miss.

  • Ari, you say, “If you can’t get me to say something in wording that you can use to show that I am a heartless harpy willing to see raped 12 year olds caught in police stings and then hung for the murder (which I’m not), then you might just have to change your world view.”

    I’m quite sure that you are a very compassionate person no matter what else.

    Umm, no. My worldview doesn’t hang on answers which I may or may not get you to say.

    But you’re not doing yourself or your position a service by ‘misunderstanding’ what I propose here.

    My conclusion is, “Pro-life, it’s a misunderstanding at best.”

    And at it’s worst, it’s something like anon’s POV. Just nasty.

  • Jeremy, what you said was, ” as enjoy lovemaking with my wife, a good doctrinally correct position.”

    What I READ was, ” as enjoy lovemaking with my wife, IN a good doctrinally correct position.”

    Changes the meaning from ‘slightly disturbing’ to ‘HILARIOUS!’

  • When it comes to commenting on blogs, I don’t think that a little hyperbole or a little sarcasm is completely out of order, especially if one thinks that the opposing point of view is ridiculous.(even if the subject is itself serious).

    Now I guess that is a matter of taste. Still, I’m not sure that a little ‘word-sorting’ and ‘hair-splitting’ and other slightly underhanded debating tactics aren’t to be expected either.

    Now I don’t purport to be a philosopher myself, I’d go so far as to say, “I don’t believe IN metaphysics.”, in that I don’t believe it is useful to surprise someone who isn’t in a philosophy class with a ‘Brain in bucket’ thought experiment, and such, unless you’re just trying to ‘baffle ‘em with bullshit’.

    But this:-

    “If the law is changed and abortion is legally described as murder and the ladies are subsequently hanged or sentenced to life in prison, you’d be fine with this?”

    ..is a perfectly reasonable hypothetical, not at all out of line with questions that philosophers and theologians ask each other all the time, no?

    Now there are a LOT of shifty answers to this which are not really answers at all.

    “We in KiwiLand don’t hang our criminals!”( So what?)

    “I, myself don’t discriminate between the ‘born’ and the ‘unborn’.”(Big deal.)

    “I don’t like your tone!”(Who cares?)

    In answering a hypothetical, quibbling about the exact wording(homicide vs. murder, colloquial vs. legal), quibbling about how YOUR country is different or your judges are different and things like this, is just avoiding the question.

    Now I’m way past caring if you are going to answer the question honestly.

    In a way, you HAVE answered my question and that answer is ‘no’, no you wouldn’t be ‘fine with that’ at all, now would you? If you would be ‘fine with that’, there’d be no need for the ducking and weaving and dancing around, would there?

    Still, you ought to be honest with yourselves here, don’t you think?

  • pboyfloyd –
    At what stage of development do you consider you became alive?
    At what stage of development would it have been murder to end your life?

  • “At what stage of development do you consider you became alive?”

    This is a very difficult question.

    If I am the sum total of all my cells then at what point would a clone of me become independently ‘alive’? Would it be ‘me’?
    Depending on your answers, Am I just half my mom and half my dad? Technically I am, yes?

    Technically a cancer is living and it’s me.

    “At what stage of development would it have been murder to end your life?”

    Bet you have a million of these? Very difficult for me to say, in the abstract. No, wait, this one is easy in the particular. It would have been murder if someone had killed me with malice aforethought after 9:15 A.M. Greenwich Mean Time on May 1st. 1955.

    Don’t get me wrong here Reed. I believe that the situation that Jill Stanek is describing is murder too since what they are calling ‘abortion’ is obviously just forced birth then neglect.

    Dragging a fetus, which is able to breathe, to live, on it’s own, isn’t abortion at all, it’s just inducing birth, isn’t it? This is why I find it hard to believe that doctors are doing this.

    Seems to me that this is the ‘wedge’. If I can agree that that is monstrous then how far back in a fetuses development am I willing to go? To when it’s little heart is beating, as anon suggests? To when it’s a grain of sand sized fertilized egg(basically) as Ari is suggesting?

    How ludricous are we willing to get here? To when the man ‘spills his seed upon the ground’?

    But we can go ludricous the other way. Is it not true that a woman who gets an abortion is not only killing the fetus but the fetus’s potential children and THEIR potential children too?? Extenuating circumstances are dwarfed by the thought of the hundreds of millions of potential siblings that will never see the light of day now, because of this callous act, yes?

  • Ari, when you say stuff like, “Should she be charged with murder or manslaughter? I don’t know. What was her mental state? Tell me her circumstances?”, it’s hard to take you seriously.

    This makes it easy for you personally to be ‘the decider’ when it comes to other people’s motives, yes?

    What you seem to be imagining is that judges and juries are expecting women to be totally honest for once in their entire lives and ‘fess up that they just had the abortion because a kid would have been inconvenient to their momentary plans!?

    This is the same as all women knowing that her husband’s friends are bums because they are out of work but her husband being cold hearted thinking her out of work friends are bums, ‘Why you don’t know what they’ve been through!!”

    “Well, yea, they’ve been through the same ‘out of workiness’ as my friends who are bums on that same account, aren’t they?”

    I’m saying that you get to decide based on how believable the woman is, ‘cos she’s not going to stand up in court and say, “I hate kids! I had three abortions ‘cos I’m a shallow bitch!”, is she? You think?

  • Keep making noise pboyfloyd

    “Technically a cancer is living and it’s me.”

    It might be living, but definitely not a human being nor you. Cancer is a disease, parasite that is killing you. There is not a case where a cancer becomes a human being.

    On the other hand, a fetus isn’t a disease nor a parasite, it’s a baby, a child.

  • I said, “Technically a cancer is living and it’s me.”

    To which you, anon, replied, “It might be living, but definitely not a human being..”

    I didn’t say it was.

    ‘.. nor you.”

    Technically, my cancer is my cells. Same DNA, ergo ‘me’.

    ” Cancer is a disease..”

    Disease has a broad meaning, so what?”

    “..parasite that is killing you.”

    It’s your own cells not functioning properly.

    ” There is not a case where a cancer becomes a human being.”

    Thank you for defending my fetus, I suppose.

    “On the other hand, a fetus isn’t a disease nor a parasite, it’s a baby, a child.”

    Well, technically you’re wrong. A woman’s body wants to reject a fetus but there are natural mechanisms preventing this. What you’d likely call ‘magic’, anon.

  • In the news. On Jan.25.

    Wyoming Republican State Senators finally standing up to Big Government intrusion concerning abortion.

    This is not an exact quote, but essentially what they said was, “If you want small government, stay out of my doctor’s office!”

    The anti-abortion bill was defeated!!!!

    YAY!!! (?)

    Gotta love them Republican women!!!

  • I am impressed with Republicans who are consistant with small government ideology like that. So often you get this “Less Government!!!!…. unless its for issues we care about” mentality.

    Good to hear

  • pboyfloyd –
    You believe that forced birth then neglect is murder.

    What if instead of forced birth and neglect it was dismemberment and extraction by vacuum, would it still be murder?

  • “..dismemberment and extraction by vacuum..”

    Ugh! Sure. Premeditated murder. Hang ‘em!

  • pboyfloyd –
    It is hard to distinguish between your genuinely held beliefs and your sarcasm.

  • Well no Reed.

    I’m assuming that your scenario is exactly the same as the one where the fetus would have been induced to be born then discarded, but then, for some strange evil reason, was dismembered and sucked out.

    I mean Holy Shamolie, we’re talking some gratuitious horror here, yes?

  • Hope everyone has bought and is using their Catholic approved Confession App!

  • Max, on this issue I don’t think there is an inconsistency, there is a difference between limited government and no government, limited government means we have a government that prohibits some things. Even libertarians for example accept that the government should prohibit murder and rape.

    Suppose, the Bill has been one to decriminalise infanticide, and the senator voted against it on the grounds that she believed the government should protect the innocent from attack, would we claim this was being inconsistent with limited government, that if we don’t allow infanticide we must of logical necessity accept the government to regulate everything. But if this is true of infanticide, it seems unless you already accept that feticide is not homicide, limited government does not entail a commitment to supporting laws permitting feticide.

  • Yes Matt. I understand the difference between the words “no” and “limited”…. thanks!

    However – it seems even some republicans are capable of seeing that some moral issues are so grey that a limited government has no role in making decisions concerning them.

  • M
    Given that you think this topic is a morally grey area and the choice is between possibly sanctioning murder and making people take the consequences for their own contraception failure it is strange that you prefer possibly sanctioning murder.

  • Max, Its pretty hard to see how abortion can be grey and infanticide not grey, particularly when late term abortions are being discussed.

    Yet oddly few oppose anti infanticide laws on grounds of limited government.

  • “Max, Its pretty hard to see how abortion can be grey and infanticide not grey”,

    Refer back to point about not being binary.

  • “Given that you think this topic is a morally grey area and the choice is between possibly sanctioning murder and making people take the consequences for their own contraception failure it is strange that you prefer possibly sanctioning murder.”

    With all due respect Reed you have no idea which I prefer. Don’t assume that arguing for or against a viewpoint is indicative of the persons actual views. I am merely putting up lots of questions to see how well people can answer them.

  • Besides which Matt it is OBVIOUSLY grey or there would not be so much disagreement on the issue. It is just an empirical fact that it is a grey area morally.

  • Max by that definition infanticide is a grey area too as its debated in the literature, in fact some of the definitive articles defending abortion also defend infanticide.

    Moreover, welfare would also be a grey issue, as would whether we have prisons, as would affirmative action, and so forth. Yet people don’t typically refrain from supporting a policy on these issues merely because its “grey”.

  • Max
    Lets see how well you answer… if you actually held the positions you were presenting how would you explain preferring to err on the side of murder?

  • pboyfloyd –
    I ‘m not sure I understand your thinking regarding these questions…

    At what stage of development do you consider you became alive?
    At what stage of development would it have been murder to end your life?

    … my understanding so far is…
    You’re not sure when you became alive.
    If you had been killed after birth you would consider that murder.
    You may also consider it murder to have been killed before your birth.

    To clarify…
    Can you identify the developmental stages where you consider you were surely not alive, unsure whether you were alive or not, and surely alive?
    Can you identify the developmental stages where you consider your termination would have been surely not murder, unsure whether it’s murder or not, and surely murder?

    One more thing… can you reassure me you are not just arguing viewpoints to see how people respond.

    Cheers,

    Reed.

  • “Lets see how well you answer… if you actually held the positions you were presenting how would you explain preferring to err on the side of murder?”

    OK Reed – since you provide me with a challenge I will answer it – in the way of a story:

    In Arizona there is a cult which believes that if you ever step on the shadow of another person, this results in a human being dying on the other side of the planet, and so they are very careful not to step on any shadows. Now some people in the cult started to doubt this superstitious idea, and say that there is no proof that standing on a shadow resulted in killing someone, and that either might be true. The conservatives of the community replied:

    “Given that you think this topic is a morally grey area and the choice is between possibly sanctioning murder and making people take the consequences for their own contraception failure it is strange that you prefer possibly sanctioning murder.”

    The liberals in the community were stumped and did not know how to reply.

  • Max –
    That fails on so many levels. :-)

    The liberals should have responded… “what has contraception failure got to do with standing on shadows?”

    Good night.

  • I think the liberals just figured that whatever issue they brought up the conservatives would bring the topic back to contraception somehow… that or gays… so they gave up in exasperation.

  • Max you write“Given that you think this topic is a morally grey area and the choice is between possibly sanctioning murder and making people take the consequences for their own contraception failure it is strange that you prefer possibly sanctioning murder.”

    It seems that in this example what you have is something that is not a grey area. The idea that stepping on shadows kills people is not something one would consider a grey issue, its a paradigm of an obviously silly belief.

    This argument only works if you assume that in reality the issue is not grey, but obvious and only a few cult wackos think otherwise.

  • I think you missed the point of the parable Matt.

  • “Can you identify the developmental stages where you consider you were surely not alive, unsure whether you were alive or not, and surely alive?”

    Well Reed, I think I seem to be unsure because there are different perspectives involved.

    From my subjective perspective I don’t really consider myself to be really ‘alive’ until I remember being ‘alive’. Still, I know I must have been alive, in the sense that I was breathing and eating and such.

    “Can you identify the developmental stages where you consider your termination would have been surely not murder..”

    Right, sure. When I was too small to have possibly survived outside my mother’s womb. So, any time before that.

    “, unsure whether it’s murder or not”

    If it were possible that I might be a viable person, if my mother were to go into labour and the doctors could perhaps ‘save me’, but her health was such that they had to sacrifice me, I suppose, guess that’s why it would be ‘unsure’.

    On a happy note I, for one wouldn’t have cared!

    “.. and surely murder?”

    Okay, this I consider a legal question. As soon as I am born. Now as I said, it doesn’t matter to me if the doctor is trying to make sure there are no complications or if the doctor is trying to perform an abortion, if I’m ‘out’ and I’m breathing, I’m ‘born’.

    “One more thing… can you reassure me you are not just arguing viewpoints to see how people respond.”

    Not sure how I might convince you of my sincerity Reed.

    Oooh. I just thought of a kind of litmus test for when abortion might be at least equivalent to murder.

    If there was a preemee in an incubator that was going to ‘make it’ and an aborted fetus breathing it’s last in a sink which was more developed than the one they were saving, that right there would piss me off. Does that sound sincere enough for you Reed?

  • “If there was a preemee in an incubator that was going to ‘make it’ and an aborted fetus breathing it’s last in a sink which was more developed than the one they were saving, that right there would piss me off.”

    Well fetus would survive and later grow to be like you and me in incubator we call womb. Instead they’re injected with poison, dismembered or killed with other means. In many cases in the name of convenience, career, or simply because they’re unwanted.

  • A potential problem with your definition Pboy is that it depends upon the particular technology that exists in a given place/time. I can imagine that incubators could get better and better as our technology gets better and your definition of murder would have to shift with it… this seems oddly arbitrary.

  • Pboy, if the captain of the cruise liner in the middle of the Atlantic kills me is it murder? After all I can’t survive independently of his ship, and I depend on his resources, food, accommodation and so forth to survive.

  • I think you missed the point of the parable Matt. No I got it, in fact David Boonin makes the same point in A Defense of Abortion.

    I was just saying I don’t think the parable works, because in the “shadow case” i don’t think anyone who hears of it is really agnostic about wether standing on shadows kill people, they know they don’t and consider the other person mistaken. In the abortion issue however I think many people are agnostic about the status of the fetus, and that difference makes all the difference.

  • Pboy, do you really believe a new born is able to survive independenly of its parents?

  • “in the “shadow case” i don’t think anyone who hears of it is really agnostic about w[h]ether standing on shadows kill people”

    WE are not … because we possess better knowledge than the cultists. The liberal cultists in my scenario really were agnostic about the situation…

  • “Now some people in the cult started to doubt this superstitious idea, and say that there is no proof that standing on a shadow resulted in killing someone”

    This is where the story fails. With abortion, no body doubts that abortion kills, the debate is whether the killing of fetus constitute murder or not.

  • Max, right got it know, but once these factors are taken into account is it really obvious that members of that community don’t act wrongly when the stand on a shadow.

    The reason the analogy seems to work is because, we the outsider know that stepping shadows do not cause people to , moreover we consider this an obviously ridiculous idea which no remotely sensible or educated person could hold, it goes against all the scientific knowledge we do have.

    But if a member of the community did not have this information, they had been raised in a community where all people believe the claim in question, all there teachers and elders and so forth, and most members of there community still do, and they simply are know agnostic, I am not convinced that they given what they know would not act wrongly in standing on a shadow.

  • @ Matt:

    “The reason the analogy seems to work is because, we the outsider know that stepping shadows do not cause people to , moreover we consider this an obviously ridiculous idea which no remotely sensible or educated person could hold, it goes against all the scientific knowledge we do have. ”

    With the greatest of respect I think you’re incorrect making the statement that it’s obviously a ridiculous idea. From a Pagan perspective it does actually have some merit. To further suggest that no remotely sensible or educated person could hold such an idea is being a little bit patronising. It’s rather like denigrating the idea that a man could come back to life after being crucified.

    That’s not to say that it’s an idea that I would hold, but I can see how it could make sense.

    I don’t think that the concept is at all new or indeed laughable.

    Just my tuppenceworth.

  • “Well fetus would survive and later grow to be like you and me..”

    Hey, wait a minute. I never thought of THAT!!!

    “A potential problem with your definition ..”

    Guess I can live with that.

    “Pboy, if the captain of the cruise liner in the middle of the Atlantic kills me is it murder?”

    Well, it might depend on her mood at the time. You don’t know what she’s been through Matt!!!

    “Pboy, do you really believe a new born is able to survive independenly of its parents?”

    Yes Matt, yes I do.

  • @ Reed:

    “The devil is in excusing murder.
    I can’t find the story online, what circumstance is of interest?”

    The circumstances of the case are of interest. I dislike hearsay. I know, but it’s a character fault that I have to live with.

  • pboyfloyd,

    when using argument failed, use sarcasm

  • @ M:
    “A potential problem with your definition Pboy is that it depends upon the particular technology that exists in a given place/time. I can imagine that incubators could get better and better as our technology gets better and your definition of murder would have to shift with it… this seems oddly arbitrary.”

    Indeed. I think that this is where the debate should be. If the technology pushes back the number of weeks that a baby can be born premature and survive then the case for lowering the time limit at which terminations can happen must be heard.

    That said, the timespan for a termination would then fall within an increasingly narrowing window starting at the average number of weeks gestation when pregnancy is discovered to the number of weeks when a premature baby would be viable outside the womb.

    This would put pressure on potential mothers to make decisions about a termination much, much earlier.

    The difficulty is then dealing with the social impact of restricting the availability of a termination against the demand for a termination.

    It’s not an easy call for legislators, but it’s a better debate than the stark moot being proposed.

  • “when using argument failed, use sarcasm”
    (anon said it, it must be true. RIIIIGHT!)

    Oh, you mean like starting off comments by declaring the other person’s POV is just “making noise”?

    I’ll try to remember that, anon.

  • “This would put pressure on potential mothers to make decisions about a termination much, much earlier.”

    This sounds perfect, in theory. What about the worst case scenario though?

    This would be the one where we are talking about a girl who is so wilfully ignorant that on the one hand she is imagining that God didn’t put her in that position ‘for nothing’ and on the other hand it CAN’T be God’s will for her to actually HAVE the baby, ‘cos she doesn’t WANT it.

    What to do? Have the abortion and join the pro-life movement! It’s win-win, because she gets out of the pickle she’s in and refuses to allow that anyone else is allowed to.

    How much easier is it to cry a river over a done deed than to, you know, have to bring up a baby? Pfft!

    Ask any woman, there’s nothing like a good cry, what?

  • Pboy

    “Pboy, if the captain of the cruise liner in the middle of the Atlantic kills me is it murder?”

    Well, it might depend on her mood at the time. You don’t know what she’s been through Matt!!!

    I see Pboy, so when I offer a counter argument to your position your response is to ignore the point, and Again pretend I have offered a different position (that murder depends on ones mood) and attack the invention.

    Hardly honest,

    The point stands human beings are not viable in terms of an altantic cruise linear, so by your reasoning killing them must be OK.

    “Pboy, do you really believe a new born is able to survive independenly of its parents?”

    Yes Matt, yes I do.

    Well your wrong, leave a newborn infant cannot survive “independently” of another human being. Without the constant care of an adult, they will die really quickly.

  • Max –
    The analogy mischievously implies…
    1. That having sex and getting pregnant is analogous to walking around.
    2. That arranging and having an abortion is analogous to not avoiding standing on someone’s shadow.
    3. That an act that is obviously not immoral is analogous to an act the author considers morally grey.

    That being said, if the liberals don’t actually believe standing on shadows is harmless they can not justify opposing the conservatives.

  • “If the technology pushes back the number of weeks that a baby can be born premature and survive then the case for lowering the time limit at which terminations can happen must be heard.”

    A person should not be killed just because they need other people or technology to look after them. Especially if they are in that situation because of other people’s decision or carelessness.

  • “Max –
    The analogy mischievously implies…
    1. That having sex and getting pregnant is analogous to walking around.”

    Welcome to the 21st Century :D

  • “Welcome to the 21st Century”

    It’s only in the media that sex and getting pregnant is like walking around.

  • Wow – an analogy – when examined closer – turns out not to be identical with the situation is is being compared to in every detail!!!!

    I might write a paper on this – I bet no one has notices this before!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I thought this, “Well, it might depend on her mood at the time. You don’t know what she’s been through Matt!!!”, might communicate two points.

    Are we willing to agree that these little marks that your reading are for that purpose then?

    1) The extenuating circumstances notion separating charging women who had their fetus aborted with homicide but perhaps not murder! I think it’s reasonable to suppose that Crown Counsel or the District Attorney would be charging the ladies with the crime they felt would stick and leaving the circumstances up to the trial itself!!

    2)Recall my analogies sucking? Well, guess what Matt?

    Here’s why. The captain of a ship is not pregnant with you, nor does the captain need to seek out an abortionist to get you off his ship.

    I notice you didn’t mention HOW the captain wasn’t going to kill you. Was it a shotgun blast to the face, you were thinking? No, that makes the analogy really suck!

    How about throwing you overboard! That fits better, and there’s the ‘Two men in a boat defence.’

    “Don’t know what happened to that other guy, must have fallen off the side..”

    Similar to, “I don’t know, guess I just miscarried.”

    With suitable, “My lawrd, how horrible, how could such a thing happen?”. no-one’s the wiser.

    Okay, on to point Deux.

    “..do you really believe a new born is able to survive independenly of its parents?”

    “Well your wrong, leave a newborn infant cannot survive “independently” of another human being. Without the constant care of an adult, they will die really quickly.”

    So an adult human being is ‘it’s parents’.?

    Hmm. I dunno. This seems a lot like the confusion between homicide and murder but in reverse here.

    Is it the custom of logicians to hold people to the exact logic of what they say while expecting those same people to interpolate the ‘good’ logicians meaning?

    Seems kind of disingenuous to me. I dunno, you’re the philosopher, what do you think, Matt?

  • “Wow – an analogy ”

    Here I thought the shadows were analogous to cracks(step on a crack) and the stepping was analogous to..(blush). Boy, I was WAY off.

  • Actually I like the sea captain concept. If she threw Matt off the ship with certainty that he would die, then she would be guilty of homicide. The person who helped her throw him over the side was also responsible. What she/they would or could be charged with is dependent on the factors surrounding it, and even if you couldn’t prove anything, it still happened, he would still be dead. Which would still be wrong, even if no one else knew about it.

  • “If there was a preemee in an incubator that was going to ‘make it’ and an aborted fetus breathing it’s last in a sink which was more developed than the one they were saving, that right there would piss me off.”

    So the Abortionist just needed to make sure that in performing the abortion his method ensured that the fetus wouldn’t have the chance to breathe. Identical twins one removed and dying in the sink ‘pissing you off’ but the other injected with something to stop the breathing before being lifted out of the womb, and that’s a different matter.

  • Pboy, I have shown the problems with “viability” as a criterion here.

    http://www.mandm.org.nz/2007/10/viability.html

    As has been pointed out caricature and sarcasm is not a valid response to my arguments.

  • Reed asked me what I personally thought about it.

    I gave it an honest shot and Mr. ‘Anything you say is a caricature’ and Ms. “Feelings” jump all over it.

    You could have knocked me over with a feather when you agreed with Matt, Ari.

    Plus, I thought we were done talkin’ Ari, remember your copy/paste thing? I, for one, didn’t imagine that you cared in the least for my point of view and that you were happy dancing away from my question.

    Here’s a general question for Matt. Is there any argument that a philospher could make that might make you reconsider your position on Christianity?

    If not, then aren’t you just pretending to argue in good faith qua philosopher?

  • Yet another side tracking

    Those in support of abortion just can’t stick to the topic. Deep down they all know it is murder of the weakest in society.

  • Plus, I thought we were done talkin’ Ari, remember your copy/paste thing? I, for one, didn’t imagine that you cared in the least for my point of view and that you were happy dancing away from my question.

    I’ll admit I didn’t really thing that it was worth either of our time to keep answering the same question over and over with you not seeing the answer there.

    Perhaps because you were wanting to show me how ridiculously impractical it would be to prosecute these early chemical terminations you missed my answer about using actual contraception to prevent pregnancies rather than use what is effectively the morning after pill.

    Is it possible to hold a moral viewpoint even if it would be difficult or even impossible to establish a legal burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt? Is it still wrong to throw someone off the ship if no one can prove that you did?

    Sorry if I was rude, I have three birthdays to prepare for in the next two weeks couldn’t really afford to spend time going over the same things. : ) I’m also sorry if you thought I wasn’t interested in your opinion, I am interested to find that there are some times in your point of view where you can murder an unborn child. I had been thinking of asking you about your ideas on the the validity of the mother’s opinion of her pregnancy determining the fact of whether the child was actually alive/human.

    (If I don’t respond quickly, I may be icing cakes)

  • @ Anon:

    “A person should not be killed just because they need other people or technology to look after them. Especially if they are in that situation because of other people’s decision or carelessness.”

    Well, your legislators will be taking the sort of a view that I’ve outlined.

    It’s the major line of argument for lowering the termination time limit in the UK.

  • @ Ari:

    “Perhaps because you were wanting to show me how ridiculously impractical it would be to prosecute these early chemical terminations you missed my answer about using actual contraception to prevent pregnancies rather than use what is effectively the morning after pill. ”

    I’m not sure if this was aimed at me, but I’ll answer it anyway. I do agree that better contraception is preferable to abortion in circumstances where abortion is for non-medical reasons ie health of the mother, viability of the fetus etc.

    That said, let’s not forget the attitude of some Christian organisations towards contraception itself and their advocacy of abstinence instead (what century were these people born in) and further the attitude of some Christian organisations towards the rights of women and their roles in society.

    I’d suggest that the best way to cut down on the number of abortions is to cut down on the need for them by providing much better contraception and to stop advocating the nonsense of abstinence and sex only within marriage.