Obama and the “Infanticide” Lie

“Obama” and “infanticide” are being matched in the latest venom eruption on hate-monger sites. For the record, Senator Obama did … Continued

“Obama” and “infanticide” are being matched in the latest venom eruption on hate-monger sites. For the record, Senator Obama did NOT vote for infanticide while in the Illinois State legislature.

At issue is his vote on a bill entitled, “Born Alive Infants Protection Act” – BAIPA, for short — which was first introduced into the Illinois legislature in 2001. I have read the exact wording of the bill and the term “infanticide” does not appear anywhere. Fear-mongering with this word is, at the least, a stretch; and, at the worst, a lie. It is a concern for Catholic America because some of the verbal terrorism comes with a Catholic label.

The legislation would have required the state to provide health care to children born alive after an abortion. Now, existing Illinois law already covered all children. But the BAIPA was intended to create a special status for the survivors of abortion – mostly late-term abortion. The BAIPA clarified that these survivors were “children.” If that was all the law intended, I think it should have been passed and Obama’s self-identified faith should have led him to vote for it.

But things are not always as they seem. Although phrased in legalese, there were three additional and problematic provisions. First, the BAIPA would have immediately usurped the rights of the parents without any hearing or legal process. Second, the act would have mandated taxpayer funds be used for the health care as long as the needy child was alive, administered by still another government bureaucracy. Third, it gave a green light to trial lawyers to sue just about everybody on two legs. Catholic teaching always protects the rights of parents against big government. Moreover, I have enough of my Barry Goldwater vote left in me to be wary of lining the pockets of trial lawyers.

Some might conclude that the BAIPA is part of the old politics of poison-pill legislation. The intention is to antagonize voters in the cultural wars. (A similar BAIPA bill in Kansas was vetoed by Catholic Governor Sibelius – an Obama supporter who also reaped the “infanticide” label.) The spinning says: “Vote against this bill and you are guilty of infanticide!” It’s like saying “Approving U.S. dues to the U.N. is a vote for world government!” Or the historical case from the 1920s that “Opposing Prohibition is a vote for drunkenness and immorality!” This argument, with the appropriate simian-like caricatures of the Irish, was used against Catholics way-back-then. Charity requires us to avoid recourse to the same hateful logic against those with whom we differ.

The logic simply doesn’t stand. If Obama is guilty of infanticide for opposing mandated health care in the relatively few cases of abortion survivors, then isn’t McCain guilty of far worse by denying government mandated health care to 46 million Americans? I reject this logic: McCain’s plan does not amount to genocide of the poor and Obama’s vote is not infanticide. With his characteristic serenity, Senator Obama refused to descend into the mud of accusations, demands for retraction, etc. That kind of old politics produces tribalistic hatred rather than participatory progress and it’s so unChristian!

I can understand faith-based passion about political issues. The unjust war in Iraq, torture of prisoners, and experimentation on stem cells — as well as abortion – all are issues on which different Catholics have strong opinions. But you have to take them all together to get a full picture of Catholicism in America. A single issue approach distorts the seamless web of life which we are bound to defend. I also believe that exaggerating an issue, trivializes it. Like the little boy who cried “Wolf!” once too often, ranting and raving without logical grounding weakens, rather than strengthens, our Catholic cause. Inflated rhetoric and flawed logic may not be against the civil law of libel, but God’s commandments have always made it a sin to lie.

About

Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo is Professor Emeritus of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at Brooklyn College and Distinguished Scholar of the City University of New York.
  • ZZim

    Anthony, you big fat Sophist. You searched the text of the bill and didn’t see the word “infanticide” in it anywhere, so Obama must not have voted for infanticide? That’s your argument? That is pathetic. Killing babies is infanticide. So if Obama voted for allowing people to kill babies, then that’s infanticide. The actual specific word “infanticide” does not need to be in the legislation.Re-diculous. Are you trying to gather the “easily fooled” vote for Obama? Jeepers.By the way, just because I think your argument is stupid doesn’t mean I’m taking sides against your view on abortion. My personal position is that abortion is also “infanticide” and I also think it should be legal. Therefore, I also think that if the abortionist tries to kill an un-born baby and that baby is born alive by accident, then the abortionist should be allowed to finish the job. Just because the baby has escaped the womb alive doesn’t make a difference to me. If it’s okay to kill it in the womb, it’s okay to kill it outside the womb.Yeah, I’m heartless. I’d rather be that than a Sophistry-spouting fool trying to trick people into voting for Obama.

  • Tom3

    This is just another Repuke smearjob and it is a LIE.And ZZIM, you’re an idiot Repuke who supports torture and treason. Your opinion is worthless.

  • James H

    “in the latest venom eruption on hate-monger sites.”I should have stopped reading right there. TO oppose Obama or to bring this up is now hate mongering? Sad!!

  • ArchdukeFranz

    This article is unbelieveable. Just another apologist for killing babies.

  • pgr88

    Spin this any way you like. Obama is absolutely for abortion (killing babies) up to, and in some cases even beyond, the time they leave the womb.For the left, this is something to be proud of, isn’t it?Of course, he could change what he says he actually said about it or give us more clarifications…..

  • ZZim

    Hey Tom3, Anthony’s article isn’t a “Repuke smearjob”. It’s actually PRO-Obama propaganda, not ANTI-Obama propaganda. Please read the article before you comment on it.As for your comment directed at me, nowhere in the text of my post did I mention “torture” or “treason”.Some days it’s just too easy.

  • cal

    I am not for abortion of any type at any time. My opinion is not muddy. Kill or not to Kill? The question is not a muddy one. Don’t make any attempt to muddy it up please. I simply choose not to kill.

  • dwight

    obama didn’t vote to stop partial birth abortion…thats why he is for partial birth abortion o genocide…and thats the truth…

  • anon

    The fact that the bill doesn’t have the word “infanticide” in it has nothing to do with whether Obama voted for infanticide. HE DID. Regardless of the bill’s usurping parental rights (rights to what – kill their baby?), making lawsuits possible and making gov’t pay for hte baby’s care, the purpose of the bill was to prevent people from killing babies that already survived the first murder attempt. How do you justify that? I don’t care if it costs me and you a million dollars in taxes for each baby, it’s only logical that a baby gets life and care after birth, no matter its age. By the way, there is already a federal law that demands the same action to save the baby’s life. Stevens-Arroyo is no Catholic and the COMpost needs to stop allowing him to write as if he speaks from a Catholic viewpoint. It’s disgusting. He is obviously an Obama supporter and his articles are simple Obama propoganda, not Catholic insight.

  • Dwight

    you cannot be pro choice and be Catholic…

  • Dwight

    to the women, her abortion is on her…

  • Pelham

    Anthony seems to have come up with a reasonable argument, even though to me it is somewhat disingenuous. However, the comments here reinforce the reason I gave up on the Catholic church many years ago. They seem to be riddled with fanatics fixing on one issue. Can we please remember the tenets I was taught at school and home – love, respect, caring – regardless of one’s viewpoint on reproduction issues.

  • Annoyed by dull minds…

    Abortion, abhorrent though it may be, is not “killing babies.” They are called fetuses, or even zygotes if early enough, until they can physically leave the womb and still live.Don’t like it, fine, but don’t mix it all up to make people believe you’re killing little Susie in her pink outfit and bonnet.And yes, PGR88, that’s really how we on the left feel. We just love abortions and wish everyone could experience the miracle (sound of me retching).How about, we on the left just don’t think it should be banned so that children who’ve been raped by their family members or other trusted people have to actually go through a pregnancy. Is that what _you_ want? Because that happens in this country, too, and the bottom line is I just don’t think sexual abuse victims need to go through the additional torment of having a baby when they themselves are children.Forget the adult women who screw up; the point of choice is that it protects everyone. Society doesn’t have an answer for those who’ve been raped (religious people certainly don’t), so abortion is one venue of help. Oh, and where’s God on that one? Right, not paying attention or it wouldn’t happen.

  • Tom M.

    True conservatives are pro-choice.

  • ZZim

    Dwight, I reject your assertion that the “blood of all abortion” is on me because I think abortion should be legal.Sorry, but there has to be a disconnect between morality and good government. Good government is necessarily Utilitarian – “The greatest good for the greatest number”. Unfortunately, allowing women to request (and doctors to perform) infanticides within the first 6 months of conception is good government policy.It is. Sometime “rendering unto Ceaser” in a democracy requires us to go along with what the majority wants government policy to be, rather than what we think is right. It doesn’t mean we have to actively support it. And it doesn’t mean we can’t speak our minds about it. But supporting a government that has a particular immoral policy (like legalized abortion) doesn’t make us all baby-killers.

  • Oh, no…

    Oh, Yeah, you clearly cannot read. It says Obama did NOT vote for that law, which Republicans no doubt concocted to get an emotional vote out of people.You are, however, clearly looking for places to vent your dislike of Obama (like you ever considered voting for him). Good for you; now let the adults converse about the actual topic.

  • MarkF

    Is this Arroyo guy really Catholic?He can’t see the difference between letting the survivor of an abortion die and McCain not supporting socialized medicine? One is murder, the other is a political position that may or may not be right. Who knows? Maybe socialized medicine it great, maybe it’s bad. The Church cannot state infallibly which is correct. But the Church can and does know that it’s murder to kill an unborn child.Only someone who’s so poorly catechized cannot see that. Mr. Arroyo is no Catholic, no matter what he calls himself. The Post should be ashamed of itself to let this man speak for the Church on here.

  • TNT

    From the time we are born, we a given things. Birthdays, Christmas gifts, all our posesions. It is ingrained in us this (It’s mine) mentalilty. We forget we do not own the lifes we are able to creat with our bodies. If the Doctors with all there marvels are unable to save the Mother and child Because of some unseen complication, then the choice is made at that time to save the Mother, because if she is lost, both are lost. If the mother thinks that it is her body therfore her choice to end a life. Let her kill herself, because that is the only life she owns. Example, if the baby dies, does it kill ther mother! No, she still lives. When our children grow up they leave home and start new lives. Yes i will pay the taxes to raise the unwanted children of spoiled selvish parents, or parent that refused to be burdened with a child.

  • cal

    “it gave a green light to trial lawyers to sue just about everybody on two legs. Catholic teaching always protects the rights of parents against big government.”Say what? Who cares about the trial lawyers….what about the surviving baby that is about to be executed.”Catholic America” is a joke, just like the On Faith site in general…

  • carol

    Read Obama’s statement after Pres. Bush signed the law banning partial birth abortion, if you have any doubts he thinks infanticide is a moral issue–a moral issue where he sides AGAINST the baby being murdered.

  • speed123

    “First, the BAIPA would have immediately usurped the rights of the parents without any hearing or legal process.”What of the rights of the child? You know, the one the parents attempted to kill with a late term abortion!!!!!!The reason that Obama opposed this was due to the fact that it recognized the procedure for what it was – attempted murder of a child.Obama has no issue with mandated health care; he does have an issue with any legislation that would grant rights of person hood to children slaughtered (sucessfully or otherwise) via abortion.Arroyo is a leftist patsy and a dupe if he cannot see the reasons that Obama rejected the bill – trial lawyers, mandated health care and the rights of parents have nothing to do with it!

  • Nivedita

    Tom M: Thanks for a wonderful post. I am pro-choice and I am surprised that people even want to contest the fact that abortion is a personal decision.

  • Jonathan Swift

    I think all the pro-choice, anti-choice, pro-abortion, anti-abortion people are nuts.The solution is so simple I can’t believe no one has thought about it yet. Outlaw abortions in hospitals. The only legal abortion should be done in the back of a McDonalds! Feed the hungry, it’s what Jesus would want!

  • ZZim

    Speed123 says: “First, the BAIPA would have immediately usurped the rights of the parents without any hearing or legal process.”What of the rights of the child? You know, the one the parents attempted to kill with a late term abortion!!!!!!The reason that Obama opposed this was due to the fact that it recognized the procedure for what it was – attempted murder of a child.You’re both right. Currently a mother has the right to decide to kill her unborn child. “Parents” is incorrect – some mothers may consult with the baby’s father, but he has not right to be consulted. Anyway, the bill was intended to take this right away from her. Obama opposes this realignment of legal rights.Your other point is correct, the bill was designed to threaten abortion rights by pushing back the fuzzy mental boundary many Americans have betweem “clump of cells” and “person”. Part of the reason abortion remains legal is because Americans turn a blind eye to the fuzziness of this boundary. If abortion opponents can force people to consider the issue, they win.

  • Athena

    I’ve asked this several times – how many of you people who are anti-abortion are willing to have your taxes raised to support all of these former fetuses that you are supposedly saving? If you outlaw abortion, you’re going to have to build more schools, provide more AFDC and WIC programs, SCHIP (although in McSame’s world, this will go away), foster care for those women who abandon their children, etc. Let’s hear it, pro-lifers! Pony up the money! Put up or shut up!

  • Athena

    I’m not talking about Catholic Charities, or organizations that take in unwed mothers and their babies. Because they certainly can’t take in all comers, especially if abortion is outlawed. They will be overwhelmed. I’m talking about the Federal, State, and Local governments that have to offer services to these women and infants – many of whom will have profound birth defects. Orphanages? Yeah, right. Gimme a break! I’m not saying that *I* am unwilling to have my taxes raised to support government sponsored pre-natal health care, SCHIP, adoption and family services, etc. It’s that the people who are screaming the loudest about abortion being “killing children” are the ones who are also screaming about how high their taxes are. Taking the “rights” and religious question out of it, does the State and/or Federal government have an interest in every conceived pregnancy going to term? What are the pros and cons of it? What will be impacted by the increase in population? How will we make sure that a fetus is carried to term, and not aborted by extra-legal means? Will we have the pregnancy police? Monitoring of all pregnant women by the State? How will we determine if a miscarriage is an accident or intended? What will the criminal punishments be for women who seek abortions, or for people that perform them? If abortion is murder, as you are claiming, would the punishment be the death penalty? Answer these questions, please.

  • speed123

    Athena: “If abortion is murder, as you are claiming, would the punishment be the death penalty?”No, orthodox Catholics are also against the death penalty and the war – i.e. consistent on all aspects of the promotion of life.As for public policy, I am no wonk; however, I do not think that these are insurmountable issues by any means. not to mention the fact that populations in Western countries are barely at replacement levels and are actually neg. in Japan, Korean, the European Union etc.”Population control” has become a canard for those who promote eugenics and anti-human policy. A balance can be found, but not through abortion.Finally the article is about late-term abortion and the protection of the children who survive this atrocious procedure. Do you not consider these children at 6-9 months? Do you not support their right to life?Getting into the business of classifying who is “human” and who is not is a slippery slope – and one historians can attest to.

  • Athena

    I am no expert on abortion or pregnancy, but I do know that late term abortions are only done in rare cases. Very few women are going to go through 6 months of pregnancy then suddenly turn around and want an abortion. The only ones that I can think of would be young girls who didn’t know that they were pregnant in the first place or were too afraid to tell their parents until it was too late. Other than that, the only circumstances that I know of are for profound fetal abnormality or possibility of maternal death. Whether or not I consider a fetus at 6-9 months of developmen a child is irrelevant. It is the mother’s decision to make, not the Government’s. Sen Obama has stated on his website that the reason he voted against the amendment was because it would allow for lawsuits against medical practioners, which would drive up insurance rates. I think that we can all appreciate that, given the fact that so many doctors are being driven out of business by excessive insurance rates! As for the “population control” and “eugenics” arguments, they are racist straw men. There are over six billion people on this planet, which is more than it can sustain. The reason that European countries and Japan have negative population growth is that their standards of living, education, and health care are high enough that women are choosing to only have one or two children. These countries do not have a history of allowing immigration the way that the US and Canada do. The main reason that the US continues to have population growth is because of our influx of Hispanic immigrants (who are coming here because of overpopulation in their own countries!) The main ways of controlling population are educating women and birth control. The Catholic and evangelical Churches are against birth control also. You never answered my question on how we were going to guarantee that women were not illegally aborting their babies, who would be the “pregnancy police”, and what punishments would be acceptable for women who have abortions.

  • bruce

    I am Catholic and anti-abortion. I think pro-choice and pro-life are euphanisms we use to obfuscate the issue and make it more difficult for us to see the real situation.

  • Rick

    Somebody’s Mother has it exactly right.This fella Stevens-Arroyo has given no evidence that he knows what it means to be a Roman Catholic. He can call himself whatever he wants but his writings do Not express the 2000 year old teachings of the Church.

  • andrea

    SPEED 123:This is a completely inaccurate statement. Autism doesn’t even appear until well after a child is born. You are trying to tell me that thousands of parents are murdering their three-year olds? I think not.It would raise the level of debate here just a bit if we could all check our statistics before we spew them out. Thanks.

  • speed123

    Andrea,OK, wrong disease; however, it is the correct analysis on the eugenic nature of abortion.Children diagnosed Down Syndrome are killed at 90% via abortion:Thanks for clarifying that point, Andrea.

  • Athena

    100 years ago, eugenics was practiced by more than just Margaret Sanger. Who do you think put into place the laws forcing retarded women to be sterilized against their will? The US Government, which was controlled by conservatives at the time. Just because something was in vogue 100 years ago does not mean that it is applicable now. If you really cared about babies, you would be working with the March of Dimes and other organizations to end birth defects and infant mortality. Did you know that the US has the highest infant mortality rate in the developed world? Our infant mortality rate is worse than Peru’s! But no. Anti-choice people aren’t out there participating in charities for spina bifida, cerebral palsy, or other birth-defects. It would take up valuable time in front of clinics, terrorizing young women. Face facts – you don’t give a rat’s hind end about babies after they’re born. You just want to control women’s bodies. Start caring for fetuses after they’re born, and then you’ll get my respect.

  • Anonymous

    Professor you wrote politics in this essay not Catholicism or even a fair discussion of abortion.

  • Too Political Hence…

    Stevens-Arroyo: First, the BAIPA would have immediately usurped the rights of the parents without any hearing or legal process. Second, the act would have mandated taxpayer funds be used for the health care as long as the needy child was alive, administered by still another government bureaucracy. Third, it gave a green light to trial lawyers to sue just about everybody on two legs. Catholic teaching always protects the rights of parents against big government.The word “Infanticide” not used – no brainer. A fetus is not termed an infant. The word should have been “viable fetus” – a fetus that could survive with medical care outside the uterus. If the fetus is not viable medical care would not save it anyway.Parents who have opted for abortion have usurped their rights anyway. Only a perverse logic would justify returning it to them.Only a viable fetus could be saved with intense medical care. Viable fetuses come into the picture only in late stage abortions. Only a tiny minority of medical doctors choose gynecology – obstetrics as their specialty. Perhaps only a minority among them would do routine abortions. If an obstetrician chooses to perform abortions it is highly unlikely that they would want their professional reputation to be put at risk with botched abortions, which to them remains a medical procedure to be done with the greatest efficiency. So in the final analysis how many botched abortions of viable fetuses are in question, that any government funding would have to pay for? Only a handful at most. How long would a fetus actually live after an abortion attempt that has failed? Not very long. Does Catholic teaching prevent offering medical help to viable fetuses which have escaped an abortion attempt, after all abortion is legal and parents can’t be sued for opting for abortion. Can an obstetrician be sued for a botched abortion, for refusal to kill after the fetus has escaped the abortion attempt?

  • speed123

    Athena: “Anti-choice people aren’t out there participating in charities for spina bifida, cerebral palsy, or other birth-defects. It would take up valuable time in front of clinics, terrorizing young women.”Start caring for fetuses after they’re born, and then you’ll get my respect.”Enough with the hyperbole, Athena.I know it is easier to vilify/stereotype people with whom you disagree than look at your personal support for what is a brutal, illiberal and dehumanizing practice.As for Sanger, her statements speak for themselves and many anti abortion proponents DO support the charities you mention.”Planned Parenthood” kills children on demand for profit, therefore, we have every right to oppose government funding and support.Here is a parting quote from Sanger: “Our objective is unlimited sexual gratification without the burden of unwanted children”Do you think this bit of wisdom from her is outdated? Would you not call the killing of virtually all downs syndrome babies a dehumanizing form of eugenics?

  • Athena

    Furthermore, do you know the context in which Margaret Sanger was saying those things? She was a birth control and abortion advocate because poor women were having baby after baby and literally breeding themselves to death. She was trying to HELP women by teaching them how to control their fertility. She was also, ironically, against abortion. She felt that contraception was a better way of dealing with the issue of women’s fertility.

  • speed123

    “The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”If this is your idea of mercy or of “helping” poor people (by encouraging them to kill their infants) then you really need to rethink your value system.She was concerned with CONTROLLING the population of the poor (as elitists are known to do) and in purifying the population, NOT helping them.Try to obfuscate all you like, nothing will change the nature of this founder of Planned Parenthood.

  • patricksarsfield

    Folks,”First, the BAIPA would have immediately usurped the rights of the parents without any hearing or legal process. Second, the act would have mandated taxpayer funds be used for the health care as long as the needy child was alive, administered by still another government bureaucracy. Third, it gave a green light to trial lawyers to sue just about everybody on two legs. “WRONG. Those are some of the best aspects of the bill. Remember, the biological mother was just trying to kill the baby, so it just makes sense to get the baby as far from her (and the abortionist), as quickly as possible. While she may have had the constitutional right to kill the child so long as it remained in her womb, once out and alive, the baby is entitled to the equal protection of the laws. To trust the abortionist to take care of the baby whose killing he/she had just botched, also would not make much sense.And, of course, taxpayer funds are going to be needed for the same reason: the mother, whom the law otherwise would expect to protect the child, just tried to have the baby killed. What is more, trial lawyers will be necessary to vindicate the rights of the child because he/she had just been the victim of a botched killing by the mother and her abortionist agent.If Sen. Obama did not understand these realities, he is definitely not ready to take on the duties of the Oval Office.

  • patricksarsfield

    Folks,”First, the BAIPA would have immediately usurped the rights of the parents without any hearing or legal process. Second, the act would have mandated taxpayer funds be used for the health care as long as the needy child was alive, administered by still another government bureaucracy. Third, it gave a green light to trial lawyers to sue just about everybody on two legs. “WRONG. Those are some of the best aspects of the bill. Remember, the biological mother was just trying to kill the baby, so it just makes sense to get the baby as far from her (and the abortionist), as quickly as possible. While she may have had the constitutional right to kill the child so long as it remained in her womb, once out and alive, the baby is entitled to the equal protection of the laws. To trust the abortionist to take care of the baby whose killing he/she had just botched, also would not make much sense.And, of course, taxpayer funds are going to be needed for the same reason: the mother, whom the law otherwise would expect to protect the child, just tried to have the baby killed. What is more, trial lawyers will be necessary to vindicate the rights of the child because he/she had just been the victim of a botched killing by the mother and her abortionist agent.If Sen. Obama did not understand these realities, he is definitely not ready to take on the duties of the Oval Office.

  • Anonymous

    Here is another quote from Sanger; she is definitely looking to help the poor and meek:”The undeniably feeble-minded should, indeed, not only be discouraged but prevented from propagating their kind.”

  • Janet

    I am pro-choice, without reservation. I’ve always been and will always be. However, once surviving in the extra-uterine environment, IMHO, a fetus is an infant, no longer in a biologically symbiotic relation with the mother’s body, with rights. To end its life does amount to killing it. Moreover, although pre-mature births are the greatest cause of infant mortality, a great deal of progress has been made: indeed, there are two Canadians living normally, who were born at 21 weeks.The bill, as it stood, was clearly problematic, but could have been amended and re-introduced, not an unusual legislative path. Further, the issues this raises are in no way specific to Catholicism or even to “faith.” Again, I am 100% pro-choice, but I have always believed the matter of late-term abortions is a serious one and warrants ongoing, substantive public discussion.

  • Janet

    I am pro-choice, without reservation. I’ve always been and will always be. However, once surviving in the extra-uterine environment, IMHO, a fetus is an infant, no longer in a biologically symbiotic relation with the mother’s body, with rights. To end its life does amount to killing it. Moreover, although pre-mature births are the greatest cause of infant mortality, a great deal of progress has been made: indeed, there are two Canadians living normally, who were born at 21 weeks.The bill, as it stood, was clearly problematic, but could have been amended and re-introduced, not an unusual legislative path. Further, the issues this raises are in no way specific to Catholicism or even to “faith.” Again, I am 100% pro-choice, but I have always believed the matter of late-term abortions is a serious one and warrants ongoing, substantive public discussion.

  • Janet

    I would like to elaborate on a point I made in my earlier post. Doctors have passively and actively ended the lives of births regardless of whether or not they resulted from late-term abortions, and the issues are complex. We are not speaking of wanton murderers here.Although, as Prof. Stevens-Arroyo implies, the word “infant” should cover all viable births, whatever seems gray in these discussions does get grayer when these births result from late-term abortions, regardless of whether or not we think it should. (IMO, it should not.)The whole matter of late-term abortions requires reasoned, substantive public discussion.

  • Anonymous

    Janet:I would like to elaborate on a point I made in my earlier post. Doctors have passively and actively ended the lives of births regardless of whether or not they resulted from late-term abortions, and the issues are complex. We are not speaking of wanton murderers here…July 25, 2008 1:31 AM^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^So there is no need to “fear” any fetus that escapes the abortion attempt is going to escape the abortionist.

  • Anonymous

    Janet what was the Hippocratic oath again?

  • Anonymous

    Janet thank you for clarifying. This I understand…you wrote, “There have been articles by doctors and nurses about letting some infants die, as well as about letting terminally ill patients, suffering in agony, die.What could motivate such behavior? An infant born deaf, dumb, blind, legless, armless, barely responsive, drug addicted, etc.NOW, in the few articles I’ve read by doctors and nurses, these decisions were not made lightly,…”

  • patricksarsfield

    Folks,By refusing to support that bill, Obama has shown a willingness to look the other way so that a privileged set of people (voters, btw) get the ability to do whatever they want to another weaker and more fragile person (a non-voter)–even when the weaker one has already been born alive and exists outside the mother’s womb. Here there can be no quibble about whether that baby is human or not. It is a living, breathing baby whose life has been made more difficult because of the botched attempt by the mother to kill the baby while he/she was in the womb. Yet the fact remains that the baby survived the attempt on his/her nascent life. Thus, Obama’s refusal to support the bill is a blatant denial of the equal protection of the laws to that very needful, at risk child and it shows the callousness that lies underneath Obama’s rhetoric.

  • Save the Babies Not the Whales

    Excuse me, but abortion IS infanticide. So Obama, one of the most liberal senators in the senate when it comes to the issue of abortion, DOES support infanticide.As for Catholics not focusing on only “one issue” — does Catholicism teach that homosexuality is not a sin? Obama’s okay with it.And as for “unjust war” — do you remember the real beginnings of this war? Do you remember Saddam Hussein refusing to allow inspections to prove or disprove that he was hiding weapons? Do you remember he refused? Do you remember he had already proven to be a mass murderer of his own people? Do you remember how the Iraqis celebrated in the streets when Americans came to their rescue? What was unjust about that? Everyone needs to remember the true history of what happened in Iraq — not the Democrats’ made-up version.

  • Fetuses are not Babies

    ** An oak seed is not a tree and a fetus is not a fully formed baby!** About half of fertilized eggs die of natural causes– Indeed it has been estimated a third to a half fail to implant inside the uterus and die naturally; and that the remaining 25% of these die naturally in miscarriage.Which begs the question: If the fertilized egg is so sacrosanct, can the Pro-Life groups explain exactly why NATURE KILLS so many of them? ** In the good book: Jesus **never** discusses when human life begins nor declares abortion a sin. He never even hints at the topic!Of course Jesus has a LOT to say about helping the poor and sick.Therefore, if posters here want to start invoking the “What Would Jesus do”, Obama’s campaign would follow Jesus’ dictates ** far far ** more than warmonger McCain’s platform.CONCLUSION: **Obama walks the talk, not McCain! **===========================================================================* There is no direct injunction against abortion in the Old Testament. However the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” is frequently interpreted by the Far Right to apply to abortion.Looking closer there is little basis for this! (1) The commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” does not apply to all life. The context of the OT stories clearly shows the Hebrews did kill (with no objections from God)(3) There are two stories in the Old Testament that reference a dead fetus that gives clues to how the ancient Hebrews viewed the topic of abortion. In both cases where a fetus has died, it was not accorded the “status” of a human; Nor was there even a hint of a view that the fetus might be a human. Here are the citations: — In Numbers 5:11-13, a pregnant woman was charged with carrying another man’s child. To test her fidelity, she was forced to drink a “bitter water”, which would not harm her if innocent; but would cause a guilty wife great pain and miscarriage– “Her womb will be easily fertilized, but she shall have miscarriages…” Analysis: The woman was condemned to have miscarriages if found guilty of adultery. This shows the Hebrews did not view the fetus as a human yet, and ending its life through a forced miscarriage was not murder.(2) In Exodus 21:22-25, a pregnant woman had a miscarriage AFTER being caught in a fight between her husband and another man. If the woman was hurt, then the penalty was “a life for a life, eye for an eye…”, but if the woman was not hurt there was a fine. Analysis: Again, the “eye for an eye” statute did not apply if the woman miscarried, but was otherwise unharmed.Based on citations from the Exodus verse above, etc, Jewish rabbinic tradition has concluded that a fetus was not yet human and therefore Jewish women may have abortions. What do Pro-lifers say of the above? They ignore it of course. Instead, Pro-lifers like to point to other OT verses where God describes “knowing” an individual in the womb and then “interpret” this from their own personal views. Closer examination however will show that these citations are poetic references implying an awareness by God (not the fetus). The verses do not state if God watches over every fertilized egg, or whether a fetus is “human” at all stages. (Again, pro-lifers will generally be happy to fill in these unaddressed areas with their own interpretations.)There is a verse — Genesis 2:7– which indicates human life begins with the act of breathing. (God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being.”) Indeed, the Hebrew word for a human is “nephesh”, which means breathing. This is consistent with the view that a fertilized egg does not become human until a later phase—and the scientific view of roughly “when” a fetus is viable and a human-like brain has begun forming.

  • JFRSFO

    I am tired of the old saw that pro-life folks fail to work in any cause but protesting abortion. Consider the following:The Archdiocese of Washington’s Catholic provides more that $50 dollars annually providing a full range a service support the human person from conception to natural death. These programs are multiplied by Catholic Charities throughout the US.The majority of US Catholic bishops have a standing program that discreetly offers complete financial, medical, and emotional support for any woman who needs that assistance to carry her child to full term.I was adopted after I was born with cerebral palsy arising from a crisis pregnancy. I have dedicated much of my professional career and volunteer efforts in organizations that directly assist children and adults living with disabilities.Perhaps each one should focus on what he or she is doing to alleviate the suffering in the world vs. trying to eliminate such difficulties by causing the death of the innocent.

  • Elohist

    To MarkF:If federalized health care is socialized medicine, it is also the Catholic position according to the Ordinary Magisterium of the US Catholic Bishops.People DIE from lack of health care. They have souls and are just as valuable in God’s eyes as partial birth children. How can you side with McCain and dismiss a policy that has produced the highest infant morality rates in the developed world?

  • Athena

    Point out the policy in public record that tells people to abort their Down’s Syndrome kids, and then I will admit that it’s eugenics.I am a 43-year old married woman. If I got pregnant now, I would have a 50% shot at having a Down’s Syndrome child. Especially because I am on two medications that could severely harm the child. I would think long and hard about whether I wanted to carry a child to term.I was raised Catholic, so I know a bit about how Catholics care for kids, and I respect that. However, I believe that the ultimate decision to bear a child should lie with the mother, not the Government. You still haven’t answered my question as to what the criminal punishment would be for a woman having an abortion, or the doctor performing the abortion. Nor have you told us how the government will monitor all pregnant women to make sure that there are no abortions. (Because someone can do it themselves) Who is going to be the pregnancy police? You also haven’t told me how public and non-profit agencies will handle the influx of people, especially those with profound birth defects.

  • Leftoflarry

    Right wing propaganda and smear campaigns, same old story.

  • Mortal

    People who are anti-abortion have no moral standing in my book unless they are equally anti-capital punishment and anti-war. In answer to those who like to spout the slogan, “You cannot be pro-choice and Catholic”, I answer, “You cannot be anti-abortion and in favor of capital punishment or the War in Iraq”. The Jesuit priest, Daniel Berrigan, is at least morally consistent – a pacifist since the Vietnam War, a steadfast opponent of capital punishment in all instances (as is the Pope, by the way), and against abortion.

  • Thomas Williams

    Jesus Christ became Incarnate in the womb of the Holy Virgin. Almighty God was a fetus, sanctifying the creation of man. There is something important to be learned from that.

  • dcp

    Who’s this guy? Stevens-Arroyo? He’s not writing as a Catholic is he? About Catholic America? Can’t be. No Catholic would say something so stupid on abortion. #1- The rights of parents? You mean the right not to nurture the LIVING baby? Granted. Fine. The rest of humane society will take care of unwanted LIVING baby. #2- It’s not fine for the rest of society to take custody of the baby? We can’t use tax dollars? Why not? You just argued that we should use tax dollars to cover the 46 million uninsured in this country. We should exclude this LIVING baby. #3- Trial lawyers? This is entirely superfluous. I won’t even entertain this one. Your article lacks logic and humanity. So much for the argument that the baby can’t live on its own and it’s all about the mother’s body. So the baby escapes one death sentence. Let’s see how well he does if we JUST DON’T FEED HIM!!! No, that’s not infanticide. Not at all. I don’t know what people are thinking.

  • Ryan Haber

    Athena:> “If you really cared about babies, you would be I’ve heard this sort of argument so many times, and it’s just silly. It really boils down to an ad hominem against a whole class of people. How do you know that pro-Life people don’t work at the March of Dimes? Have you polled the people at the March of Dimes, or a read a poll, regarding their views on abortion?> “Did you know that the US has the highest Athena, that’s not true. Both the UN Factbook and the CIA Factbook disagree with you, in any event. The UN Factbook, for instance, ranks Peru as having the 99th highest infant mortality rate, and the USA as having the 163rd highest infant mortality rate – considerably better than Peru’s. True enough, all the Western European countries beat us (there are other developed countries, though) – but we are talking a difference of 6.3 (in the USA) and 4.8 deaths (in Canada or the UK) per 1000 live births. Hardly seems a stunning statistical difference, especially considering that most of Africa seems to be in the upper 90s and 100s per 1000 live births.> “Anti-choice people aren’t out there Lol. This anti-choice fanatic does. In fact, on Friday evenings I go and spend the night at a local hospice for patience with HIV/AIDS and other chronic/fatal conditions to empty their give them their meds, play dominoes with them, empty their chamber pots and clean them and their soiled sheets. As far as I know, most of the others who work there – its entirely run by unpaid volunteers – are also anti-choice fanatics. Would you like to join us? Gift of Peace House, 2800 Otis St. NE, Washington DC, 20018. I’ll be there by about 7 p.m.I also tutor young men, mostly hispanic, with an eye toward college entrance exams. Right now, I don’t any regular volunteer work with little babies, that’s true. Do hispanics count, Athena? Oh, maybe I can vindicate myself from the dreaded “anti-choice fanatic” label by telling you that I USED to work at a women’s halfway house, for women and their children who had been abused, homeless, etc. But I guess that the children weren’t actually fetuses, anymore. Mostly five or six years old.But then, wait… did you know that “fetus” is a Latin word for… child?So maybe those little kids weren’t so same from abortionists after all. After all, it seems they are fetuses.”You just want to control women’s bodies.”Lol. I cannot think of anything I find less interesting than trying to control a woman or her body.”Start caring for fetuses after they’re born, and then you’ll get my respect.”Lolol. Join me at Gift of Peace this evening, and you’ll get my respect. Lolol. If you don’t live near DC, but would still like to help with such work, Athena, you can email me at withouthavingseen at gmail dot com, and I’ll help you find a hospice run by the Missionaries of Charity in a metropolitan area near you. Those anti-choice fanatics run such places in virtually every major city around the world.God bless.

  • Brambleton

    Athena,”I am a 43-year old married woman. If I got pregnant now, I would have a 50% shot at having a Down’s Syndrome child. Especially because I am on two medications that could severely harm the child. I would think long and hard about whether I wanted to carry a child to term.”—> I’m really not sure what is so complicated here. If you don’t want to get pregnant, DON’T. Both you and your husband can undergo operations that would make it an IMPOSSIBILITY to get pregnant. Your argument is weak, selfish, and unbelievably disingenuous. If you truly were concerned for the well being of a possible future child, you would take the responsible actions necessary to remove such risks.

  • dcp

    ZZIM wrote: Therefore, I also think that if the abortionist tries to kill an un-born baby and that baby is born alive by accident, then the abortionist should be allowed to finish the job. Just because the baby has escaped the womb alive doesn’t make a difference to me. If it’s okay to kill it in the womb, it’s okay to kill it outside the womb.These are the kind of people on the pro-choice side. Here we have Stevens-Arroyo’s argument said in plain, truthful language. Thank you, ZZIM for illuminating the naked truth about pro-choice America and the condition of your crippled consciences. And some people are afraid of Christians having too much say in society. Don’t be afraid of Deaconess Mary Sue Beth; it’s these people who need to be marginalized.

  • Ryan Haber

    DCP:Don’t be surprised. Whenever an issue at all touches Obama, Stevens-Arroyo will say the most outlandish things to rationalize the most immoral positions.He usually does a lot of equivocating, as in this post: playing on double-meanings, euphemisms, and other ways of glossing over truth and reality. Of course you are right, DCP: if a mother tried to stangle her baby, her parental rights, in law, would be terminating thereby in pretty much any state. But if she pays someone to suck its brains out, and he somehow screws it up, Obama/Stevens-Arroyo seriously expect us to believe that she should get to resume those parental rights?Coincidentally, and whenever this issue is mentioned, it must be described. Botched 3rd-trimester abortions are not that rare, because the procedures aren’t easy. If they were that uncommon, this wouldn’t be an issue. In partial birth abortions, the baby is entirely removed EXCEPT for the head, so it is technically not yet fully born, and then, while holding the squirmy baby’s head in the birth canal, the doctor uses his free hand to puncture its skull with scissors, and then putting down the scissors, to use a vacuum aspirator to suck out its brains – can you imagine how slippery all that blood is! Shifting tools from hand to hand, while holding three, four, five or even six pounds of very aggitated child, with just one hand! If the baby slips out, voila! She’s a born alive infant… and, by the way, is the child that Obama doesn’t want protected.So if the doctor screws it up – somehow the mother intent on the destruction of the fetus/child should somehow retain/regain parental rights? Didn’t she express the desire to terminate those (to say nothing of the child) by going to the abortionist in the first place? What does she want the “parental rights” for? So they can do a better job killing the child? Finish up what they botched the first time? If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again?Madness.Prof. Stevens-Arroyo, coincidentally, I have to say that as touched as I am by your concern for parents’ rights to their children, this argument has to be one of your most disingenuous. It actually falls to the level of sleezy, unless I am just missing something – Unless, of course, there are other parental rights that you/Obama were concerned with protecting, other than the right to try a second time to murder the little baby now inadvertently born?Incomprehensible.I do have to say, that I am glad that Prof. Stevens-Arroyo seems to have ceased referring to himself as a theologian. His sociological credentials are enviable, to be sure. His theological ones – especially in moral theology – well, neither his online bio’s nor his writing evince any.But he sure makes one heck of an Obamapologist.

  • Athena

    I commend you for your volunteer work. Unfortunately, I will be unable to join you because of a prior commitment. Would you be interested in having a bunch of Pagans come and help? Because the Pagan group that I am associated with is always looking for opportunties to volunteer with the community. Unless, of course, you don’t want the help of a bunch of baby-killing Satan worshippers.

  • Ryan Haber

    Athena,Not at all! I’m fairly sure that I never called you a “baby-killing Satan worshipper,” if that’s what you meant to imply. I try to avoid ad hominems – they only escalate the blood pressure, not the caliber of discussion. But whatever you are, if you would like to come help whatever night, the sisters ALWAYS need help at nighttime. During the daytime, there is more help available, although it more can often be used.I don’t want to speak for the woman in charge, but if I understand correctly, they can use up to about 5-6 people during the day; at night, they need 1-2 men to tend the men, and 1-2 women to tend the women. For the sake of the patients’ and volunteers’ modesty, men don’t go on the women’s floor, and vice-versa. It’s an amazingly beautiful (and earthy!) experience – whether folding laundry, tending the grounds, or cleaning the infirm patients.It’s funny, Athena. I had posted my comment about my service not to brag – a lot of people do a lot more, and most of my life is still pretty heavily self-centered – but to try to confront the myth of the pro-Life person as ranting, uncaring ideologue. It hadn’t initially intended to recruit online for the AIDS hospice. But if you and any friends would like to help, I don’t imagine the sisters would turn down the help.Email me at withouthavingseen at gmail dot com if you would seriously like to bring a group of people sometime.

  • Anyone thought through these LEGAL questions

    I have a theory that pro-lifers have not thought through their views against abortion.If there were a law declaring all abortions a illegal this would create many new lawsuits in our judicial system. Has everyone really thought through all the ramifications?#1 I knew a pregnant woman who had a miscarriage — coinciding the weekend her husband fumigated their house for insects. Was it murder? It wasn’t intentional (They wanted that baby!) – Should the charge be reduced to Manslaughter? #2 I read during the Oklahoma City bombing that a group of rednecks terrorized some Arab families immediately afterwards and a pregnant woman among them had a miscarriage (she stated from being scared to death) the next day. This one perhaps has more merit for Manslaughter charges? #3 I know a woman whose sister imposed great stress on her during her pregnancy and she is convinced it was the cause of her subsequent miscarriage. Does she have a case to charge her sister with murder if she can prove the stress was likely the cause? #4 When the US fumigated Columbia to kill off their coca crop (ie raw material of cocaine), it was said this caused miscarriages in the area. Think they can/should sue the US for this?

  • Ryan Haber

    Anyone-thought-through-these-LEGAL-questions, you present what is essentially a series of variations on the same basic case – unintentionally induced miscarriage/abortion. Your question really isn’t that complicated.My guess is that most such cases won’t appear in court because the interested parties will be able to resolve them on their own (e.g., the couple who fumigate their house), or will not have access to a US court (e.g., the Columbians). Our common law legal system is excellently suited to handle just such cases using its normal manner of proceding: case-by-case, considering the actual facts of each case, if/when someone decides to press criminal charges or file a civil lawsuit.I have to hand it to you, while your argument/question isn’t terribly complicated, it is novel – at least to me. I’ve been in abortion debates for 15 years now, and I never heard that one before.

  • Ryan Haber

    “I”,I’ve only just now seen your post, in its re-post form. Thanks for re-posting it.”Which begs the question: If the fertilized egg is so sacrosanct, can the Pro-Life groups explain exactly why NATURE KILLS so many of them?”In nature, every single human being dies eventually. Does that justify killing you or your uncle? Hardly.Nature operates on mechanical principles, whereas human beings make decisions that they might have made otherwise. The moral question isn’t “What can we do?” but rather “What is good to do? What must we do? What must we not do?”We are talking about making rational decisions by engaging our free will. Most analogies from nature don’t work, because natural phenomena don’t have free will to make intellectual decisions.Do you mean, that Jesus never mentions abortion or when life begins? That’s fine. We Catholics don’t base our objection to abortion on religious grounds at all, but on purely secular ones.”Much easier than trying to help the poor and protect the earth against polluters and global warming right???”That’s a false dichotomy, don’t you think. Isn’t it possible that there are pro-life people who try to conserve natural resources, and care for the poor? I do. I try to minimize trashing or recycling anything I can reasonably reuse; try to avoid trashing anything that can be recycled. I drive a fuel efficient car. I don’t leave the lights on. Starting at the end of August, I’ll be riding the Metro into the city 3 days a week, rather than driving at all.As for helping the poor, I mentioned to Athena, below, that I spend my Friday nights at an HIV/AIDS hospice caring for the men there by folding laundry, giving out their medications, changing their bedpans, and cleaning them and their soiled sheets and clothing. I know lots of wacky pro-life nuts that do stuff like that too. In fact, at the hospice where I volunteer (it is run entirely by volunteers) I rather suspect most of the workers are wacky pro-life nuts.If you’d like to help out this evening, or really whenever, you can email me at withouthavingseen at gmail dot com.Unless you make other sorts of plans to help the poor on Friday nights, which I would quite understand.

  • Roy

    …”some of the verbal terrorism comes with a Catholic label.”??? But some of the verbal terrorism comes with labels from other religions, too, so that makes it OK. Just ask O’Reilly or Hannity. They’ll tell you the truth.

  • Roy

    “…baby-killing Satan worshippers.” No verbal terrorism with a Catholic label here – no, sir.

  • Ryan Haber

    Ok, so I’m leaving the office for the weekend in a few minutes, and will be hiking with my godchildren. If anyone has any questions they’d like me (personally, rather than anybody) to answer, please feel free to email me, and I’ll write back when I get into the office. That way nobody has to labor under the delusion that pro-Life people have never thought about the legal implications of criminalizing abortion, who doesn’t want to.Also, if you’d like to volunteer at the Missionaries of Charity “Gift of Peace HIV/AIDS Hospice” please feel free to email me and I will help you connect with the sister volunteer coordinator.My email address is withouthavingseen at gmail dot com. Have a great weekend, y’all.

  • Ryan Haber

    Roy,I was QUOTING Athena. Maybe you’ll read, or do a word-search on, the blog and see that previous to yours, it only appeared when she called herself (presumably I, or some other Christian was supposed to be doing the calling – she was apparently surmising) a “baby-killing Satan worshipper.”I never called her that.One looks foolish when jumping into a conversation midstream without first understanding its content and general flow.

  • Athena

    Ryan,AIDS touches us all, regardless of creed or ideology. One of the queer Pagan groups in DC, the Radical Faeries, have done a lot of work for AIDS charities, but I’m pretty sure it’s with Whitman-Walker. I’ll have to do some asking around. (I don’t live in DC. I’m in the ‘burbs.)My best friend is stauchly pro-life. She and I agree on one thing – the need to reduce the number of abortions. To me, that means by educating women, access to contraception, and revising adoption laws to encourage adoption. As for late-term abortions, I believe that they should only be done in the rarest of circumstances. As for those rare occaisions when a fetus survives, I don’t know. I don’t know what I would do in that situation. As for Sen. Obama’s position, I invite everyone to visit

  • Marc Edward

    Anyone who supported the invasion of Iraq was for killing babies, period. How many children, pregnant women and babies have been killed by our bombs and the religious violence we have unleashed?

  • Marc Edward

    Pro-lifers pretty much don’t think about the issue beyond their pornographic pictures of bloody medical waste.Pro-lifers, you’ve been played for fools. You need to figure out what policies will lower the number of abortions (like support for poor women and their kids) and support candidates who would promote those policies.Last question – why did the Bush administration stop having the government count the number of abortions? Is it because they feared their policies would increase the number of abortions?

  • TS

    RYAN SAYS: “Which begs the question: If the fertilized egg is so sacrosanct, can the Pro-Life groups explain exactly why NATURE KILLS so many of them?” in nature, every single human being dies eventually. Does that justify killing you or your uncle? Hardly.TS says: Of course that’s a false dichotomy – meaning changed the topic because we were not talking about human beings. My point was that if you believe there is a SPIRITUAL component to a human fertilized cell, then you must logically find it immoral when the majority of them die from natural causes.The fertilized egg is not a human being. Just as an oak seed is not an oak tree. RYAN says: Nature operates on mechanical principles, whereas human beings make decisions that they might have made otherwise. The moral question isn’t “What can we do?” but rather “What is good to do? What must we do? What must we not do?”TS says: My philosophy is how to make the world a better place for the next generation(s). The best place to start with an overpopulated planet is not to ADD to the problem by adding UNWANTED fetuses (defined as the development of a human-like mind, probably formed in the second trimester)RYAN says:: We are talking about making rational decisions by engaging our free will. Most analogies from nature don’t work, because natural phenomena don’t have free will to make intellectual decisions. TS says: The free will moral argument does not work when babies (say under 1 1/2 years) die of natural or unnatural causes Indeed. Their brains have not matured yet to know the difference, so there was no test for them.. The free will moral argument also did not apply to the billions/zillions of fetuses that died through natural miscarriage. Since we are talking NATURE (not abortion) how do you answer this morally? If you believe these are spiritually recycled, the SAME would apply to aborted fetuses.RYAN says: “Do you mean, that Jesus never mentions abortion or when life begins? That’s fine. We Catholics don’t base our objection to abortion on religious grounds at all, but on purely secular ones.”TS says: Thanks for being honest by not pretending it is based on religious grounds. I would also argue you have no scientific basis for your argument (because no human brain has formed until late.)”Much easier than trying to help the poor and protect the earth against polluters and global warming right???”RYAN: That’s a false dichotomy, don’t you think. Isn’t it possible that there are pro-life people who try to conserve natural resources, and care for the poor? I do. I try to minimize trashing or recycling anything I can reasonably reuse; try to avoid trashing anything that can be recycled. I drive a fuel efficient car. I don’t leave the lights on. Starting at the end of August, I’ll be riding the Metro into the city 3 days a week, rather than driving at all. Here’s where we differ: My view is that the earth is seriously overpopulated – and set to get much worse. Have you read science articles on how badly the environment is already seriously battered. The oceans are being seriously overfished, the coral reef is endangered. Global warming has been virtually proven by the scientific community. If we don’t start with unwanted fetuses (BEFORE they become human) we will be faced with catastrophes for many people – through more hunger/poverty, leading to starvation and wars (to fight over the available food.RYAN: As for helping the poor, I mentioned to Athena, below, that I spend my Friday nights at an HIV/AIDS hospice caring for the men there by folding laundry, giving out their medications, changing their bedpans, and cleaning them and their soiled sheets and clothing. I know lots of wacky pro-life nuts that do stuff like that too. In fact, at the hospice where I volunteer (it is run entirely by volunteers) I rather suspect most of the workers are wacky pro-life nuts. And my hat off to you for helping the ill. My issue is more strategic: As I read the science and nature magazines, it is obvious that we must (i) reduce the number of people AND (ii) our collective footprint on the earth (i.e. live a simplistic lifestyle) For the former, unfortunately people are not responsible enough to plan their children. Stopping an unwanted fetus from forming a human brain, is not much different from not impregnating a human egg to begin with. We should also have planned parenthood classes, etc to supplement this. I also agree that we should reduce the vast resources this generation is utilizing for itself – ie to lead a more simplistic lifestyle by recycling and helping others. I give you high marks here. (I also became a vegetarian for that reason, recycle, etc) It will take both methods ultimately to make our planet bearable for the majority of future generations.

  • SusanM

    ” Catholics (and the Vatican) opposed BOTH wars against Iraq.”YES: The pope opposed both wars. Unfortunately he disapproved of Bush, but kept this very low key — instead of denouncing it loudly in public. I know Catholics who were unaware their pope was against the Iraq War!It was the Evangelical Protestants who were for Bush and all out pro war. Where was the Holy Ghost they are supposed to be praying to?The pope does get higher marks here! His problem was being shy (or was it sickly/aged).

  • speed123

    TS: “And my hat off to you for helping the ill. My issue is more strategic: As I read the science and nature magazines, it is obvious that we must (i) reduce the number of people AND (ii) our collective footprint on the earth (i.e. live a simplistic lifestyle)For the former, unfortunately people are not responsible enough to plan their children. Stopping an unwanted fetus from forming a human brain, is not much different from not impregnating a human egg to begin with. We should also have planned parenthood classes, etc to supplement this.”How very Malthusian and supercilious of you…The development of alternative energies, recycling and waste management will render your claims moot and will show your anti-human motives for exactly what they are….just as happened to the elitist, Malthus.PS – your lack of ethics regarding the use/abuse of the human beings is very telling:”Stopping an unwanted fetus from forming a human brain, is not much different from not impregnating a human egg to begin with.”Sounds like you have personally experienced a procedure that prevented the formation of your heart.Scientific materialism is a dangerous joke (ask the Russians, Chinese etc about the results of such thinking)

  • TS

    TS says: I did not notice you said you were leaving for a while Ryan.Reply later or perhaps someone can reply for you.Yours. TS

  • Anonymous

    “The pope does get higher marks here! His problem was being shy (or was it sickly/aged).”I agree; however, the real reason that the pope’s opposition was not magnified was due to the American media – Wapo, NYTs etc. – who were accomplices to the administration in selling this war to the public and suppressing dissent. The medium is the message…

  • Reality Check on Senator Obama’s Position

    Athena thanks for providing the link to Senator Obama’s website with further information on the bill mentioned in this essay.Note:Abortion is legal, so a mother who opts for it and a doctor who performs it are both acting fully within their legal rights. The medical doctor who performs the abortion is faced with a difficult ethical choice when a fetus escapes the abortion attempt. If the fetus is not old enough to survive outside the uterus, keeping the remaining parts of the fetus that has escaped the abortion attempt makes no sense. It is merely prolonging the agony of the fetus which is sure to die anyway. What about the fetus which is old enough to survive outside the uterus but is so badly damaged in the process of abortion that it does not have a body worthy of a human being? Janet described a badly wounded fetus. Maybe the fetus has its legs and hands cut, eyes gauged out perhaps and most of its body damaged to such an extent that keeping it alive in such a state and prolonging its agony amounts to torture. That is when the medical opinion of a doctor must prevail and ending that life becomes an act of mercy for the child. Janet explained that no medical doctor makes such a decision with callousness.In such circumstances Senator Obama is of the opinion medical doctors must be trusted to make the right professional decision with regard to a fetus that has escaped an abortion attempt. Following a law blindly to keep the fetus alive could be counter productive if such keeping the fetus alive for the sake of keeping it alive means no more than torture to that fetus. Aborting a fetus at a stage when it could survive with or without medical assistance outside the uterus of the mother is a serious ethical issue that requires serious public debate.

  • Anonymous

    Every fetus that is aborted is an innocent life that is sacrificed for the sake of its mother. Every fetus is like Jesus Christ, offering itself up so that its mother may have the life she chooses.

  • paul c

    I don’t understand how Obama or any other abortion supporter can be so cavalier about the procedure when they hear how mangled children survive the procedure and then they say they must be put out of their misery. There would not have been any misery had the child simply been allowed to be born. I understand how the mother might be inconvenienced by the child, but there is always adoption. How terrible it is that mothers kill their own children. And how terrible it is that society condones such a thing. Killing a child is an evil choice in every circumstance. There is no love involved, only selfishness. So what if its inconvenient, even painful. This is your child we are talking about. And I believe that the doctors that perform this procedure are equally at fault. How can they justify their actions. More than the mothers, they know that a unborn child is still a child, often viable at the time of abortion and yet they are willing to kill it. How can they justify their actions?Finally, those that support abortion out of political expediency are they most loathsome of all. They are willing to sacrifice lives to further their careers or political interest. And don’t kid yourself, the fact that abortion is legal makes it seem to some that its okay. Well, legal or not, its not okay..

  • Anonymous

    No one has the right to compare death due to natural miscarriage, death due to illness, collateral death in wars, death penalty to a criminal who has become a danger to the life and health of other members of the society (death penalty has been abolished in most countries, it is opposed by the Catholic Church)to the death of an innocent fetus, a developing child, by abortion. Abortion is a conscious decision made by the mother of an innocent child in development to kill it by artificial means. Natural miscarriage is not a conscious decision by the mother. Illness is a natural part of life which led to many deaths in the past. Medical advances saves lives which would otherwise be lost to diseases. In war the innocent civilians are not targeted. In abortion an innocent child in its development stage is targeted for killing by its own mother. The means used are artificial. The Catholic Church opposes war.

  • Anonymous

    Folks,”In such circumstances Senator Obama is of the opinion medical doctors must be trusted to make the right professional decision with regard to a fetus that has escaped an abortion attempt. Following a law blindly to keep the fetus alive could be counter productive if such keeping the fetus alive for the sake of keeping it alive means no more than torture to that fetus. “So Obama would give the torturer of the escaped fetus a free fire zone on the baby even after it has escaped the attempt to destroy it. It is said that doctors get to bury their mistakes; Obama apparently wants to be sure that that works for abortionists too, even though the abortionist’s mistake was in allowing the baby to escape the womb so that it is now a separate life in being, entitled to the equal protection of the laws. According to the Obama position, the botched killer gets as many extra chances as he needs to murder the now live, defenseless human being. That callous position makes Obama a moral leper.

  • Anonymous

    You got it wrong. Attention was being called to Senator Obama’s position that medical doctors, not the law should be allowed to decide what happens to a fetus that escapes the abortion attempt. Keeping a mangled fetus, not worthy of human dignity and life, after a botched abortion attempt, is not an act of mercy to the infant. If abortion is illegal we are dealing with a completely different situation. The mother and doctor can be charged with murder. As long as abortion of a viable fetus is legal, a botched abortion leaving a fetus unworthy of human dignity is not an act of mercy to the innocent human being.

  • Anonymous

    It is the law that permits abortion of viable fetuses that needs to be challenged by the public.

  • Anonymous

    The physical, emotional and mental health of women of mothers who opt for abortion of viable fetuses need to be examined, their morality and ethics need to be challenged if necessary. The women need to be offered alternatives to carry their child to term and give it up for adoption immediately after birth.

  • Anonymous

    The US is the only super power; it is the richest country in the world; it spends billions on weapons and wars. It should build as many orphanages as required to house those children who were meant to be sacrificed by their mothers through abortions at the stage of a viable fetus.

  • Janet

    I am 100% pro-choice. That said, I do oppose late-term abortions and always have. As matters stand, late-term abortions are prohibited under federal law (whenever interstate activity is involved is involved, of course). The simplest solution to this and other problems would be to take abortion out of the hands of the states and put it under federal jurisdiction. This should come under the provisions of a Constitutional amendment since it is doubtful that a Supreme Court ruling will ever be sufficient to guarantee women the right to an abortion in perpetuity. With a Constitutional amendment, late-term abortions could be excluded, except when there are extenuating circumstances such as the mother’s survival, health, etc.I said I think a Constitutional amendment would be the “simplest solution.” That doesn’t mean I think it would be “simple” to bring it about. We have already witnessed the defeat of a Women’s Civil Rights Amendment. However, I see no other way to guarantee both the rights of the living woman and the rights of what could be the equivalent of a premature birth, or, more simply, a premature birth.

  • Anonymous

    It is not that only a viable fetus is a human being in development. The only difference is that a viable fetus is able to survive outside the uterus of the mother, in other words is capable of being a totally independent human being outside the mother’s uterus. The fetus does not suddenly become a human being on the day it is deemed viable. It is always a human being in development, it merely becomes capable of independent life at a particular stage. An infant similarly goes through different stages of development until it is termed an adult in legal terms at age 18.

  • Anonymous

    A constitutional right to abort when Hippocrates, the founder of Western medicine, says NO to abortion?If anything modern medicine has only proved how early the fetus develops all the characteristics of a child and how early it responds to its environment both in the uterus and outside. Some parents spoil their child silly by talking to it, playing music to it while still in the womb and the children acquire an intra-uterine taste for their parents’ choice of music which is manifest when they are born. Children move about in the womb in response to mother’s emotions, and the child expresses its own emotions by its movement within the womb. Constitutional right for abortion under the light of such science? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeseeeeeee!!!!!

  • Janet

    Anon:”A constitutional right to abort when Hippocrates, the founder of Western medicine, says NO to abortion?”Anon, as far as I know, we have no record of Hippocrates’ thoughts on abortion.Even if we did (and we don’t), the morality of august ancients is not necessarily consistent with that of today. Many consider Plato the “architect” of Western thought. He believed it was better for men to be intimate with young boys since men and boys were more alike than men and girls. Thus argued Plato.

  • To Janet

    Human anatomy and human reproductive biology has not changed since the time of Hippocrates. Since science has not discovered a human fetus is not a developing human being, it can be said with some certainty that abortion is still wrong. Abortion is about right to life of a fetus. “Thou shalt not kill” was a commandment given to Moses four thousand years ago. It is still valid. If there is no doubt about its validity today why should there be a doubt about its application to a fetus. Although definitions of the right of a fetus has been pushed into a gray area, there is no question whether a fetus is a developing human being or not.

  • Anonymous

    Janet so you are not a medical doctor. Are you a nurse, an abortion nurse perhaps?

  • Janet

    Anon:I am neither a physician nor an “abortion nurse,” simply one of tens of millions of Americans who are pro-choice. I stand corrected on the Hippocratic oath and look forward to your instruction on ancient Greek religion. (Are you a worshiper of Apollo? That was one complicated god, talk about doing no harm. I suggest you consider the perils of arguments from authority, that we table ad hominems and personal speculation. They tend to close off options for intelligent discussion, no?)From the Hippocratic oath:“I swear by Apollo the healer, by Asclepius, by Health, by Panacea and by all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses that I will carry out to the best of my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant (horkos kai syngraphe)…”Realize that I do not take the matter of abortion lightly as I have said before. Emphatically, I do not believe that abortion is a substitute for birth control. I know no one who has had an abortion and quite recovered from it. However, neither the seriousness of abortion nor its psychological consequences have any bearing on a women’s ownership of her body. A woman is a human being, not an oven in which a cake rises.

  • Janet

    Anon, I meant to right appeals to to authority, which constitute a logical fallacy. The Hippocratic oath was sworn to the Apollo, et al. My question about your ancient Greek religious affiliation goes to that.By personal speculation, I was referring to your questions about my profession.The pregnant woman and fetus are in a biologically symbiotic relationship. So long as this is the case, you cannot speak of a woman as if she were a mechanical object, with no rights. If we follow your line of reasoning, then any living person requiring a bone marrow transplant, blood transfusion, or kidney may have yours, providing that the relevant procedures do not harm you.This analogy, imperfect though it is, would hold if and only if, you subscribe to the view that abortions should be permitted when there are serious risks to the woman’s life and/or health.The imperfections of the analogy go to the fact that none of the procedures I mentioned take ten months, none pose the risks of pregnancy, etc.Are you willing to legislate along the lines I mention in my analogy? If not, are you not participating in passive murder?

  • Anonymous

    Janet:Indeed! There have been articles by doctors and nurses about letting some infants die, as well as about letting terminally ill patients, suffering in agony, die.What could motivate such behavior? An infant born deaf, dumb, blind, legless, armless, barely responsive, drug addicted, etc.NOW, in the few articles I’ve read by doctors and nurses, these decisions were not made lightly, and did not leave those who made them unscathed.Again, my point in raising the issue is:”Although, as Prof. Stevens-Arroyo implies, the word “infant” should cover all viable births, whatever seems gray in these discussions does get grayer when these births result from late-term abortions, regardless of whether or not we think it should. (IMO, it should not.)”July 25, 2008 1:31 AM ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Janet: Anon, as far as I know, we have no record of Hippocrates’ thoughts on abortion.Even if we did (and we don’t), the morality of august ancients is not necessarily consistent with that of today. Many consider Plato the “architect” of Western thought. He believed it was better for men to be intimate with young boys since men and boys were more alike than men and girls. Thus argued Plato.July 26, 2008 2:12 AM^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Anon, I meant to right appeals to to authority, which constitute a logical fallacy. The Hippocratic oath was sworn to the Apollo, et al. My question about your ancient Greek religious affiliation goes to that.By personal speculation, I was referring to your questions about my profession.July 26, 2008 4:23 AM^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Your post of 25 July had me wondering if you were a nurse who was familiar with abortions because you mentioned reading articles written by doctors and nurses and about mangled fetuses which escaped abortion attempts which the doctors then were forced to let die. It came across to me as if you were speaking from personal experience of seeing mangled fetuses which escaped abortion attempts.The speculation about your profession was only because we are discussing abortion and reproductive biology in relation to it. It makes a big difference to know whether you are coming from a professional viewpoint or the viewpoint of a lay person who happens to be pro-choice.

  • Anonymous

    Janet: The pregnant woman and fetus are in a biologically symbiotic relationship. So long as this is the case, you cannot speak of a woman as if she were a mechanical object, with no rights. If we follow your line of reasoning, then any living person requiring a bone marrow transplant, blood transfusion, or kidney may have yours, providing that the relevant procedures do not harm you.This analogy, imperfect though it is, would hold if and only if, you subscribe to the view that abortions should be permitted when there are serious risks to the woman’s life and/or health.The imperfections of the analogy go to the fact that none of the procedures I mentioned take ten months, none pose the risks of pregnancy, etc.Are you willing to legislate along the lines I mention in my analogy? If not, are you not participating in passive murder?July 26, 2008 4:23 AM^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Janet, you state correctly that the fetus and the pregnant woman, the woman who happens to be the mother of the child, are in a biologically symbiotic relationship. While you are willing to admit that the woman is not a mechanical object with rights of her own, you are not willing to admit that the fetus is NOT a mechanical object and does have right to its life. Pregnancy is not a disease. Pregnancy is a normal part of a woman’s reproductive life. Only very very rarely do pregnancies pose a risk to the life and health of a mother. In such cases a medical doctor is competent to help the woman, including advising an abortion to save her life if her life should be at risk due to the pregnancy.But in a normal pregnancy, which is a normal part of a woman’s life, the woman does not get pregnant by accident. She does have control over her sex life and her body. The fetus does not get into her uterus unbidden. So she has a responsibility towards the life that was created in her womb with her consent and knowledge. The fetus in her womb is not a mechanical object. It is a developing human being.You compare a pregnancy to a disease needing bone marrow, blood, kidney transplant etc. Why is the analogy inappropriate?—Pregnancy is a normal biological function; a disease is a disease.—A woman is responsible for her pregnancy because it is the result of sexual activity which she chooses freely and she has control over her body and her sexual activity. Nobody is personally responsible for the disease in another person. —Pregnancy is a natural biological phenomena which causes the mother no biological harm. Bone marrow transplants, kidney transplants etc are medical procedures which does cause harm to the person offering their bone marrow or kidney to another. —When a pregnant woman takes responsibility for the child in her uterus she is taking responsibility for her own flesh and blood which she created with her sexual activity. Except in sexually transmitted diseases, no other person is responsible for the disease in another.—In pregnancy the mother alone can provide life to the fetus in her womb. Her rejection of the fetus means instant death to the fetus. The mother is not harmed in anyway by carrying her own child to term. No diseased person is in a biologically symbiotic relationship with another human being on whom their life is directly dependent.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. The discussion has been extensive enough and needs no more input from me.

  • Anonymous

    The previous post was addressed to Janet. Pro-choice Janet has a rationalization that will never be easily shaken. The fetus as a living, developing human being does not seem to enter the equation in a hardened pro-choice attitude at all.

  • Thomas Baum

    ATHENAYou wrote, ” As for those rare occaisions when a fetus survives, I don’t know. I don’t know what I would do in that situation.”I don’t remember where but a while back I read an article that was written by a woman that I think was in her 20′s or 30′s that survived an abortion, I believe it was a saline solution abortion, maybe you could ask her opinion on what one should do.Also, I am wondering how you can call a child outside of a woman’s womb a “fetus”, are you a “fetus”?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Janet

    Whoops!In my previous post (July 26, 2008 4:12 PM),I should have written “disease,” is a red herring, not “responsibility.” “Actually” should have been “actual.”

  • Anonymous

    Janet I suggest you leave medical opinions to medical doctors. You already confirmed you are not one.

  • Anonymous

    Janet maybe you don’t realize what is so obvious to anyone reading your comments, in your desperation to defend your staunch pro-choice position (while completely ignoring what others are trying to tell you about the right of life regarding the fetus and the moral responsibility of a mother) you have used a ludicrous analogy and when called on its inappropriateness you dig yourself even deeper into it making it sound even more ludicrous.

  • Rosie

    hey,you can’t call mccain the warmonger anymore… now obama says we must win the war in afganistan… does this make him a warmonger? seems so, according to the logic used by mccain haters.and yes, obama, by not voting to protect infants born alive after a botched abortion, has given the green light to infanticide. you proaborts have always declared once a ‘fetus’ crosses the birth canal, ‘personhood’ ensues. you can’t have it both ways.

  • Janet

    Anon,As I’ve told you before, ad hominems don’t cut it. What they attest to is desperation, the weakness, even indefensibility, of a position.Assuming you’re rational, I would think that your incapacity to summon counter-arguments would suggest to you that you need to rethink your stance.

  • VICTORIA

    i think sime very good points were made here- bruce brought up an interesting point about language- and i notice people use this to their own advantage- ideologically i am on the side of the pro-lifers- but politically i concede that i don’t trust the government to decide for a woman- (woman- which doesn’t include children or minors) the most honest expression would be, as suggested by bruce- pro-abortion or anti-abortion- with such honest language- it does change the flaovr of the conversation- changing it from an abstract conversation about civil rights- and reminding us of the very real act we are discussing- points made about the symbiotic relationship of the baby to the mother are peripheral to this conversation, as it is clearly about babies(as they are legally defined) outside of and beyond the scope of this relationship- janet some of your arguments are so hyberbolic- “Women often do get pregnant by accident.” are you going to suggest that people have sexual intercourse by accident also? ive volunteered for over 20 years with pwa’s(people with aids) the same, in a very real way- applies to prengancy. and i find the example given of the couple whose husband was being downsized somewhat morally repulsive. if murder can be justified by financial need- that is a whole other dilemna i don’t even want to touch on these boards- kudos to ryan for sharing his own volunteer work, with humility and to make a good point. ideological arguments really become quite pale when confronted with those whose consciences motivate them to take real action and give of themselves in a selfless manner for the betterment of society and community. the difference i see in the arguments is one of individual or selfish needs- against those of society as a whole- a point completely sidestepped by pro-abortionists- by attempting to dimninish the value of the potential human life, and not acknowledging that value- you make half an argument that will always be only half- and can never progress beyond that point. there has to be some recognition of the value of both lives involved- anti-abortionists need to recognize the autonomy and value of the rights of the woman (tennagers not included) i also find it very strange that pro-abortionists also seem to be in the camp of genetic social engineering- there will always be risks, accidents, and possibel negative potentials in any human life- imagine a world without geroge carlin! i’ve been edified by his presence on this planet- and he was almost an abortion-

  • Anonymous

    Victoria:It’s nice that you help people with AIDs. Your criticisms of Janet’s post suggest you’ve neither read about sex nor had any experience with it.As usual, you write hysterically. Your lunacy combined with your illiteracy make your posts difficult to read.I’ve got to say I’m pro-life, but I’d rather read Janet’s posts any day than yours. They’re so damned stupid. Pro-lifers have enough problems being taken seriously. Do us all a favor and don’t help us.

  • Known Anon

    Anonymous:Victoria:It’s nice that you help people with AIDs. Your criticisms of Janet’s post suggest you’ve neither read about sex nor had any experience with it.As usual, you write hysterically. Your lunacy combined with your illiteracy make your posts difficult to read.I’ve got to say I’m pro-life, but I’d rather read Janet’s posts any day than yours. They’re so damned stupid. Pro-lifers have enough problems being taken seriously. Do us all a favor and don’t help us.July 27, 2008 3:47 PM |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^You are pro-life,Wow, now that is one case of perverse logic, if ever there was one.

  • Anonymous

    testing

  • Anonymous

    testing again unable to post

  • Anonymous

    Janet refers to a woman as an oven who produces a child who is no more than a cake. Janet does not accept that a woman is responsible for her sex life and its consequences.To Janet a woman is a human being with rights over her body whereas a living fetus is neither a human being in development nor has any right to its life.To Janet there is no difference between disease and pregnancy. She considers the consequences of pregnancy on a woman’s body no different from the consequence of donating bone marrow, kidney etc on the body of the donor.^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Read all of Janet’s posts on the two threads discussing abortion.

  • Athena

    Actually, I stand corrected. Obama’s fact-checking website says that he voted against the bill for two reasons. One was that the language in it would be used to challenge Roe v. Wade, which he doesn’t want to do. The other is that there was already a 20-year-old law in Illinois that covered this situation. So, this “Born Alive” bill was simply a trap to get lawmakers to vote on a highly controversial item so that it could be used against them later. And, in retrospect, I guess it worked.

  • Anonymous

    One of the ways to prevent infanticide is to build many orphanages with a baby “letter” boxes, where unwanted babies can be “posted.” The young mother can “post” her baby and ring the bell of the orphanage to ensure immediate collection of the baby “letter.” That will protect babies from mothers who hide them in wardrobes and go to school or dump them in the garbage can before rushing off to continue dancing with their date for the evening, or suffocate the infant to death in order to prevent anyone from hearing its cries etc.

  • Ryan Haber

    TS, you’ve missed my point about the morality of spontaneous miscarriages. There is no morality involved in spontaneous miscarriages because it is natural. There is no morality in nature. It makes no sense to speak of an earthquake or a tiger as having committed an injustice or done a great evil. In human acts, on the other hand, there is morality because we have free will to choose among options that are right or wrong. In speaking of free will I was clearly not speaking about the free will of the aborted child, but of those considering killing it.“Here’s where we differ: My view is that the earth is seriously overpopulated – and set to get much worse.”The earth isn’t overpopulated. As you said, it is being seriously battered, which is to say, it is being wasted. There’s a difference and I’ll explain.There are about 45 million sq. miles of solid land on earth that is not inside the Arctic/Antarctic circles, and not above the tree line – and thus is fully inhabitable. Six billion, or lets say ten billion, people in that area gives us an average of 133 to 222 persons per square mile. That’s about as densely packed as Georgia, North Carolina, or Virginia. Those states are hardly overcrowded, and that’s the average situation globally. Lots of countryside, small towns, and occasional big cities.Put another way, if all the people in the world lived in an area as densely populated as Chicago (12500 / sq. mi – not a very dense city), that city would be 480,000 – 800,000 sq. miles. 480,000 sq. miles is about the size of Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma combined. Double that, and you will see about the space taken up by all the world’s people if they lived as tightly packed as Chicagoans. The rest of the world would be empty of human life. Silent. Unexplored. Free for habitation.The idea that we don’t produce enough food right now is also unfounded. Only 28% of the arable land in Africa is under a plow. The percentage is vastly lower in Asia. In the US, Canada, and Europe, while much of our farmable land is currently farmed, its productivity is deliberately kept low, as a matter of public policy, to enable farmers to keep prices high enough to support themselves. Moreover, better and better technologies develop every year for heartier, healthier, and more compact growing.Now, you’re right that our environment is a mess, and getting messier. The problem isn’t that we are too many people, but that too many people (mostly Westerners) are being too wasteful. We cannot be bothered to wash a dish or recycle a plastic spoon to save our lives. We just keep throwing out crap that won’t go away. We make very efficient production processes to keep this lifestyle of laziness and greed possible, and we don’t worry about the environmental degradation involved in those processes because doing so would raise costs and prices, and thus force us to slow our consumption. Those cheap things are produced with cheap labor in poorer countries, making their countries daily look more like great wastelands while ours are being continually beautified with our wealth, to keep us feeling like we live in gardens.The problem isn’t too many people, but people who are too wasteful. Killing babies hardly solves that problem.“TS replies to RYAN: The reason why our common law legal system is suited to handle these cases is precisely because the fetus has NOT been accorded the status of HUMAN!!!!”That’s hardly the point of how our common law system manages. It manages case-by-case using investigation to determine matters of fact and statute and precedent to determine matters of law. I never said that Columbian women in the US would have cause to sue, but were happily not to be permitted. I simply said something to the extent that, living outside to the US, they would not have access to American courts to sue the American government for fumigating them. Of course morality doesn’t apply only to Americans; your question was about our legal system being overwhelmed in American courts by litigations over accidental and spontaneous miscarriages. I was only attempting to show that wouldn’t be a very difficult problem.TS, if a human fetus is not a human, then what is? Where do humans come from, TS?

  • dwfuller

    To the very first post “Robyn”. Your sever Feminism is displayed like a neon sign, and offensive in what should be a more accepting culture.Your attitude displays a self-centered feminism/liberalism, To which the solution for, or response to is…Your Body is your own, do with it what you like, the choice is yours.

  • Ryan Haber

    Robyn,I don’t understand why you support genetic engineering of humans in the event that pro-life advocates refuse to stop advancing their cause. I am a bit obtuse, so perhaps you will indulge me.I would also like to address the other main point of your post, that a woman’s body is her own, and that therefore she may do with it as she wishes. Do you believe that is the case with severing her own arm off? I mean, do you believe that a woman has the right to sever her arm off in her own home, using a household meat cleaver? It is her body, still – right? I am not being facetious, but really very serious. I wonder if, in your thinking, any other questions enter into the equation or if your belief really as simple as you’ve phrased it at first.Kind regards.

  • Robyn

    Ryan Haber:Sorry if I was confusing. I don’t support genetic engineering. What I was trying to say is that if the right to an abortion is overturned genetic engineering may be the only alternative. The bit about the arm is a false analogy.

  • Anonymous

    Ryan Haber, what Robyn means is that a woman has a right to her OWN ARM, but the fetus has no right to its OWN LIFE as long as it is in the mother’s uterus.

  • Anonymous

    Ryan Haber, a woman is not physically hurt by an abortion because the fetus has merely embedded itself in her uterus for its growth. As long as the mother tells herself the fetus is not a human being in development until it leaves her body of its own accord capable of independent life, she can escape feeling guilty about an abortion. The logic is quite simple.

  • janephil

    I condemn Obama for wanting to kill so many innocent lives. This man should be locked away for murder instead of being supported for President.

  • patricksarsfield

    Folks,”[W]hat Robyn means is that a woman has a right to her OWN ARM, but the fetus has no right to its OWN LIFE as long as it is in the mother’s uterus.”Hmmm…so how was that woman endowed with the right to her arm? Apparently, in the minds of people like Anonymous, not by her Creator but by her mother. In effect, a person is endowed by his/her mother with the inalienable right to life only if his/her mother allows the person to pass through the birth canal without trying to kill him/her. Of course, if the mother tries to kill the person on the way out but her agent, the abortionist, botches the job, the person still has no right to life so long as the abortionist or mother wants to finish the job. In effect, the abortion mill remains a free-fire zone.

  • Ryan Haber

    Robyn,”Sorry if I was confusing. I don’t support genetic engineering. What I was trying to say is that if the right to an abortion is overturned genetic engineering may be the only alternative.”Right. I understood the grammar of what you wrote. A lot of frequent contributors here use atrocious grammar, spelling, etc. Yours is refreshing.I didn’t, and still don’t, understand how the logic holds. How is genetic engineering an alternative to abortion on demand? How are they related? Why does the absence of one, in your mind, lead to a need for the other? That’s what I don’t get.”The bit about the arm is a false analogy.”Ok, so please explain why it is false. Remember, an analogy is a comparison between two things that at in some way alike, and in some way unlike. You said that the woman has the right to do with her body whatever she will, and therefore the right to an abortion. The presumed missing link in that logic is that the fetus is part of her body, and that an abortion severs it. So I asked, has she also the right to sever her arm? Or course, I understand that a fetus is not an arm – else the scenarios would be identical. As it is, they are only analogous. Both parts of her body, you say, that she may dispose with as she pleases.So how are they different, the fetus and the arm, that she may dispose of one, but not the other?I’m not even interested in arguing, as much as intrigued to see where you go with this line of thinking.

  • VICTORIA

    Actually there are many instances where a woman’s body is not hers to do with as she chooses. If this were a universal rule of thumb, prostitution would be an accepted and respected choice of employment. When a person is held involuntarily for observation in a psych unit, the criteria to hold them (against their will)is that they are a danger to themselves, or others. There are women who perfom self mutilation, which is analogous to cutting off ones arm- cutting and slicing ones arm repeatedly, cutting off ones arm altogether- see the similarity? When ones behavior and judgement are called into question, through self destructive or violent actions against another- society steps in. So we are not actually autonomous self directed beings- but social creatures part of the larger web of society- and as such- have some degree of repsonsibility to act in a way that is cognizant of other people and their rights. As long as we’re healthy, and financially flush- we can deride our need of society- but as soon as those conditions are changed- suddenly society has a life of it’s own- becomes an entity that shares in a collective responsibility. When that health, wealth, or security is threatened in any way- it is society as a whole that we look to provide solutions. And the rights of the father are never even touched upon. Of course, when it comes time to pay child support, suddenly his input is recognized. Maybe Robyn, and other pro-abortionists have the luxury of having an education, a decent job and housing- access to clean water and food and the variety of advantages of modern life in America- and so, in their relative comfort- have time and energy to decide for others, and indeed all of society that the individual is capable of taking care of their own needs- and that their rights take precedence over the needs of the whole society- But that is an increasingly minority view- and a statistical hiearchy most do not enjoy. Most of us are interdependent upon each other to get through our lives- so that the needs or rights of the individual, in some instances- are subordinated to the greater good of society at large- We have laws that protect even animals from abuse- and to kill one makes one subject to prosecution. I see many anti-abortionists here concede that the individual woman has rights- and take that into account in their reasonings.

  • VICTORIA

    This was Ryan’s question- I’ll contend that we haven’t necessarily established that a woman’s body is not outside of the laws of society- and there are instances where society steps in when a woman’s judgement is deemed harmful to herself or others. (As in the instance of her arm.) Nobody, so far, has suggested that the woman doesn’t exist, nor that she has no rights. Again, one either concedes that society has something to say as a whole- (as in the definition of a fetus not being a human being- accepted and cited) but ignoring the other relevant questions- If we accept society’s right to define life as such- we must also consistently accept that society has some right to decide the matter of abortion, which affects more than just the woman- and her decision isnot an autonomous one affecting only herself.

  • Anonymous

    Posts 146-148 deleted. Why?

  • California Catholic

    The best commentary on this subject and the subject of the promotion of the maternal-medical-industrial complex and dehumanization of us all, can be found on the pages of books by Aldous Huxley, Brave New World; Fredrick Douglas, who described the means so-called christian slaveholders utilized to multiply their holdings; and George Carlin, on why pro-life is anti-woman.

  • VICTORIA

    Brave New World is not a commentary on this subject- let alone the best one.

  • Anonymous

    I am quite late to this discussion so this comment may be moot but here goes:I was surprised after reading all the posts that no one mentions the type of abortions being done at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL which makes this BAIPA legislation necessary. Jill Stanek was a labor and delivery nurse who “blew the whistle” on the practice, that some have called “live birth abortion.” Here is part of her testimony:

  • Michael D. Houst

    “the test of a civilization or nation or society is what it does for its weakest members or children.”The real test is at what point does a civilization, nation, or society grant or acknowledge a member as worthy of inclusion?I have absolutely no problem with pregnant women who do not desire a child to obtain an abortion. Nor do I have any problem with a couple choosing to abort a defective fetus. The risks of carrying a child to term still outweigh the risks of an early abortion. To put it in simple economic terms, carrying an unwanted child to term is a poor investment.Save your zeal for children that are wanted. Unless you are able and willing to raise someone else’s child and take the risks for delivering it, stay the heck out of other women’s uterus’s.

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