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Archive for the ‘Pro-Life’ Category

Caring for the unborn after they are born.

Posted by Chance on August 5, 2008

I had talked about the topic of Conservatives supposedly not caring about babies after they are born, and Neil has this topic as well.

There is another thought about this argument, and I wonder what the point of it is. Let’s say that I realize the liberals are right, that I should support more government programs, that I should vote Democrat, etc…. At the very best, these arguments would convince me to be pro-big government AND pro-life. So what’s the point?

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Posted in Politics, Pro-Life | 7 Comments »

Okay, we agree abortion is bad, now what?

Posted by Chance on January 17, 2008

Many Christians, and for that matter non-Christians, believe that abortion is a bad thing. Many believe it is equivalent to murder. But even some of those people don’t think it should be illegal. I think many pro-choicers have good intentions. They genuinely hate abortion, but they think that either outlawing abortion would not be effective, or they want to reduce the number of abortions without condemning the women who do them.

Those are important considerations. However, one of the reasons I do believe in using government to stop abortion is simply that I see it as an issue of equal protection under the law. I believe that an unborn baby deserves the same protection as anybody else. For the most part, whatever laws we have should apply equally to all people. The foundation of liberty is that there are not classes of “lesser” persons. Yes, people attain certain rights with age, but the right to be protected from another human being is one that is not age-dependent. In fact, we take extra steps to ensure that the young and vulnerable are not exploited by the older.

Keep in mind, many people are pro-life, not because they are trying to force morality upon someone or that they want to take back the country for Christ or anything like that, they simply see it as a matter of justice. Yes, I typically harp upon the fact that government is not the solution to our problems. But the one thing government is supposed to do is to protect us from other people. I think liberals sometimes don’t understand where pro-lifers are coming from, as conservatives typically support government action concerning abortion, but support less government action in other areas, such as helping the poor.

I think this criticism is half-right. Those passionate about this issue shouldn’t focus solely on outlawing abortion, but as previous posts have shown I believe voluntary efforts are more powerful than government programs. Pro-lifers should not look to the government as the only means to support the protection of life. There are many volunteer organizations that discourage abortion and they do what they can to help out the mother in that situation. We should look to the government to provide protection for the unborn for the same reason we look to it to protect other people. At the same time, we should look to the church and other voluntary efforts to also reduce abortions and help out those in need.

Update: Neil provides one such example of an effective tool, Crisis Pregnancy Centers.

Posted in Pro-Life | 13 Comments »

A conflict of rights?

Posted by Chance on November 16, 2007

Sigrid Fry-Revere from the Cato-blog says the following:

I believe abortion is morally wrong, but I also believe that in a conflict between mother and fetus, a woman’s right must always take precedence. A human being’s rights under the law increase with maturity. That has been the tradition under Anglo-American law as well as world wide for most of history. To suggest that a fetus has the same rights as a mature adult individual borders on the perverse. A woman’s rights should never be placed second to the needs of her fetus. To do so is to treat women first and foremost as communally owned vessels for bringing forth life and only second as autonomous individuals.

I take a couple issues with this.

First of all, I disagree that age affects right to life. She rightly asserts that the rights of individuals, on the whole, increase with age. Adults can do more things, whether it be vote, make major purchases, drink, etc… Children’s lives can be essentially run by their parents. But the right to be free from harm should always be a constant. While parents can choose how they raise their kids and what philosophies to teach them, parents never have the right to harm their children. I understand that Fry-Revere does not believe a fetus qualifies as a human, but her argument concerning age and rights does not hold water here.

Secondly, one has to consider exactly what rights are being trumped. Many pro-lifers, such as myself, do agree that if the fetus poses an imminent risk to the mother, abortion is not immoral. However, Fry-Revere is weighing the right to life vs. the right not to be inconvenienced.

The author does say one statement I agree with, however. The idea of each state deciding whether abortion is legal or not does sound appealing, after all it is better than the current situation. But philosophically, I don’t know if it is that sound. She states

Abortion should no more be a question for local politics than slavery.

Unfortunately, she goes in the wrong direction from there.

Posted in Pro-Life | 3 Comments »

Using your own conclusions to evaluate others’ opinions

Posted by Chance on September 13, 2007

Yes, catchy post title I know.

On Neil’s blog a user commented

It might make a difference in my opinion [about abortion] if I ever once saw a pro-lifer actually make an argument for adoption; for universal health care and adequate funding for education; even criticize the Bush Administration for planning to defund the S-CHIP program. Since I have yet to read a peep about any of this, I will rest my case on what I have experienced. All too much concern over all those fetuses makes little difference because there seems no concern at all ever expressed for the life of “post-birth” life.

I’ve addressed this viewpoint somewhat in a previous post, but I’d like to touch more on this again.

The problem the commenter has is that he equates “caring for the born” = “voting Democrat.” The reason he does this is, I believe, he uses his own motivations to evaluate the motivations of others.

Here is my response on the blog:

You seem to think that these programs are the best ways to preserve life…I don’t.

I think universal health care harms the overall quality of care and actually puts people’s lives at risk due to long waiting lines. Canada’s supreme court seems to agree.

I think funding for education is adequate, but more revolutionary ideas have to take place in order for education to improve, rather than simply more funding. Many free market advocates are passionate about this issue, they just don’t think it is a matter of more money, but of school choice.

So there are a couple issues with your argument. 1) You assume that conservatives have the opinions they do simply because they don’t care. 2) You support certain programs because they produce supposed results. Let’s call them results A. The problem with this is that you evaluate other people’s political ideals based on results A, rather than the supposed results (results B) in the conservatives mind.

Here is an example:
1) You support universal healthcare because you believe it provides great health care for everyone and saves lives, especially poor kids.

2) Conservatives don’t support universal healthcare.

3) Therefore…the conclusion is that conservatives don’t want great health care for everyone and wants kids to die.

Now I’ll do the same.
1) I am against gun control because I want innocent people to defend themselves. For instance, I want a woman to defend herself in case she is about to be raped.

2) You support gun control.

3) Therefore…you want women to be raped.

Posted in Politics, Pro-Life | Leave a Comment »

Using your own conclusions to evaluate others’ opinions

Posted by Chance on September 13, 2007

Yes, catchy post title I know.

On Neil’s blog a user commented

It might make a difference in my opinion [about abortion] if I ever once saw a pro-lifer actually make an argument for adoption; for universal health care and adequate funding for education; even criticize the Bush Administration for planning to defund the S-CHIP program. Since I have yet to read a peep about any of this, I will rest my case on what I have experienced. All too much concern over all those fetuses makes little difference because there seems no concern at all ever expressed for the life of “post-birth” life.

I’ve addressed this viewpoint somewhat in a previous post, but I’d like to touch more on this again.

The problem the commenter has is that he equates “caring for the born” = “voting Democrat.” The reason he does this is, I believe, he uses his own motivations to evaluate the motivations of others.

Here is my response on the blog:

You seem to think that these programs are the best ways to preserve life…I don’t.

I think universal health care harms the overall quality of care and actually puts people’s lives at risk due to long waiting lines. Canada’s supreme court seems to agree.

I think funding for education is adequate, but more revolutionary ideas have to take place in order for education to improve, rather than simply more funding. Many free market advocates are passionate about this issue, they just don’t think it is a matter of more money, but of school choice.

So there are a couple issues with your argument. 1) You assume that conservatives have the opinions they do simply because they don’t care. 2) You support certain programs because they produce supposed results. Let’s call them results A. The problem with this is that you evaluate other people’s political ideals based on results A, rather than the supposed results (results B) in the conservatives mind.

Here is an example:
1) You support universal healthcare because you believe it provides great health care for everyone and saves lives, especially poor kids.

2) Conservatives don’t support universal healthcare.

3) Therefore…the conclusion is that conservatives don’t want great health care for everyone and wants kids to die.

Now I’ll do the same.
1) I am against gun control because I want innocent people to defend themselves. For instance, I want a woman to defend herself in case she is about to be raped.

2) You support gun control.

3) Therefore…you want women to be raped.

Posted in Politics, Pro-Life | 9 Comments »

More on the alliance of pro-lifers and anti-contraceptionists

Posted by Chance on February 24, 2007

In my last post I touched a little bit on the alliance of pro-lifers and people who are opposed to the use of contraceptives, and Michael had a few helpful inputs as well that led to this post.

I have no beef with people who think contraceptives are morally wrong and/or that natural family planning is the best way to go. I think there are many people helpful to the pro-life movement that are also against contraceptives. However, I do worry about people who align their reasons for being against abortion with their reasons for being against birth control.

In my mind, there are two approaches to the pro-life issue. One of these I call the “conservative” argument, which may be a misnomer as many conservatives use what I call the “libertarian” argument, which I will touch on next. The “conservative” argument says that abortion should be outlawed simply because it is bad. Abortion should be outlawed for the same reason that many people think tattoos are outlawed, or any other thing that is morally wrong. And many people using this “conservative” argument truly believe abortion is equal to murder, but I don’t think they frame their argument effectively.

The other argument is what I call the “libertarian” argument, and it is one that I frequently like to use. They try to tackle the women’s rights, or the “my body, my choice” approach by addressing the “rights” arguments head on. Many libertarians state that a woman does in fact have the right to do what she wants with her body, but that she does not have the same right over another body, the fetus. But many conservatives can use this argument also, even if they don’t necessarily believe in libertarian politics. They can use the argument that libertarian policies don’t even apply, as another body is involved. Those employing this argument look at the abortion issue not as an issue of enforcing morality upon others, but a prevention of women enforcing their morality on the fetus. In fact, Neil Simpson’s blog and the Christian site Stand To Reason are not exactly libertarian sites, but they are sites that add fuel to the “libertarian” argument in that they address the rights of the fetus.

In my view, the “conservative” argument simply takes the loss when it comes to the argument of women’s rights. They may focus on abortion as a grave evil that should not be allowed, rights be damned. The “libertarian” argument recognizes the issue of rights, but simply believes that the fetus’s right to exist negates or overcomes the right of the woman to expel the fetus. The “conservative” argument simply states that abortion is wrong, but the “libertarian” argument focuses on why.

Back to the anti-contraceptive movement (I am not trying to use a negative term, if someone has a more positive term, like pro-NFP (natural family planning) I can use that term). I feel that the NFP argument represents the least effective aspects of the pro-life movement, such as outlawing abortion simply because we are not supposed to do it and/or because the Bible says so. The NFP movement has nothing to do with the life of the fetus, but has much to do with someone’s opinion of what is right and wrong and whether or not someone is “playing God” with science. In my view, the least effective side of the pro-life movement doesn’t deal very much with whether the fetus is human or not, simply that abortion is evil, and that someone should not “play God” with science. The NFP argument states that children are a blessing and that one should not use science to plan families, as many pro-lifers argue.

However, I think the “libertarian” arguments are more effective when it comes to pro-life persuasion. These arguments do not rely on the Bible to convince people that abortion is wrong, and they don’t throw in things such as how children are a blessing and how someone shouldn’t use science to plan a family. They don’t use notions of morality primarily owned by conservatives to make a point. What they rely on is scientific and philosophical reasons that are more common to everyone. They tackle the “rights” issue head on and address how the abortion issue is simply not one affecting the person choosing to have it, but one affecting another being of equal worth. In short, these arguments address the personhood of the fetus.

The most powerful arguments in favor of the pro-life movement focus on this personhood and that abortion ends a life. NFP doesn’t have those same arguments. When pro-life and pro-NFP arguments are coupled, in the view of pro-choicers it looks as though (not saying this is true) pro-lifers aren’t so focused on the life of the fetus but that they are simply moral busybodies telling others what to do.

I think if someone believe contraceptives are evil they should say so, and to my knowledge there is not a big drive by NFP people to outlaw contraceptives, like pro-lifers try to do with abortion. Nevertheless, the alliance of the arguments can undermine the effective of the pro-life one. The focus of the pro-life movement needs to be the personhood of the fetus and any additional arguments that keep this from being the forefront need to be kept separate.

Update: I’m not sure I liked the way I categorized the pro-life arguments. Probably a better way would be arguments focusing on the personhood of the fetus and arguments focusing on everything else. I tend to think of the former in a libertarian context because I first found the argument on Libertarians for Life.

Posted in Pro-Life | 4 Comments »

A conversation on abortion

Posted by Chance on February 12, 2007

With the diversity of political beliefs on this blog, I am always hesitant to post on abortion. It is an issue I am passionate about, but I know it is a very heated subject, and I don’t want to make the atmosphere of this blog too serious. However, as with any topic, it is helpful that both sides understand each other.

I was visited Neil Simpson’s blog, and he had a post regarding Barack Obama’s position on abortion. A pro-choice commenter posted a comment here . (Note, no offense against the commenter, but I know many pro-choicers can be more considerate and diplomatic in their comments, this is not the typical commenter, but just one slightly overcome by emotions, as I can be).

Here is Neil’s response, along with mine.

The gist is this. Pro-lifers such as myself believe that the fetus is a person. Therefore, any talk of personal freedom or “my body, my choice” in reference to abortion falls on deaf ears. Because we believe the fetus is a person, we do not believe other people, whether it be a person shooting a pregnant woman, or the mother herself, has the right to harm the fetus. We do not believe there are any significant scientific factors that separate a fetus from a born person. If pro-choicers want to convince me that abortion should be legal, they need to quit the “libertarian” arguments, especially since I have libertarian viewpoints on many things. The crux of the argument is whether or not the fetus is a person. If the fetus is not, then the libertarian argument would follow that abortion should be legal. If the fetus is a person, then the libertarian argument would demand that abortion be outlawed.

Again, the purpose of this point is not pro-life proselytizing, but to simply point out the central issue of the debate. And no, I don’t think there are two classes of humans, as people who opposed women’s right to vote and abolition of slavery often argued.

Posted in Politics, Pro-Life | 4 Comments »

Looking for discussion and understanding, or maybe just looking for a fight

Posted by Chance on December 7, 2006

The House failed to pass a bill requiring abortion procedures to use anesthesia on the fetus. From the Washington Post:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives, in its last days under Republican control, failed on Wednesday to pass a bill that would have required doctors to offer painkillers for fetuses before they abort them.

The bill failed by a vote of 250 to 162, short of the two-thirds majority required under rules that limit debate.

It would have required abortion providers to give pregnant women a brochure stating that fetuses can feel pain when they are five months old.

It also would have required abortion providers to offer pregnant women anesthesia for their unborn children during an abortion.

As a pro-life person, it is understandable that I would want this bill to pass. But I would think, as a pro-choice person, I wouldn’t mind a bill that provided anesthesia to the baby before being aborted. Although I disagree, I imagine Democrats wouldn’t like the “It would have required abortion providers to give pregnant women a brochure stating that fetuses can feel pain when they are five months old.” Perhaps that was the clincher, but I have a feeling, it is not. So, liberal guests, what would be the reason for rejecting a measure to provide anesthesia? Was it because the brochure was seen as an intimidation tactic, or should such a bill be rejected anyway?

Hat Tip: Neil Simpson

Posted in Pro-Life | 5 Comments »

The Burden of Proof

Posted by Chance on July 10, 2006

Doris Gordon, from Libertarians For Life discusses Roe vs. Wade.

How should courts act when undecided on pivotal questions affecting two parties and when they cannot avoid making a decision? Tossing a coin will not do in such cases. Their only reasonable course is to weigh the possible injuries that they would impose by a wrongful decision either way and then choose to avoid the worst possibility. When a human being’s life is on the block, a proper legal system gives the benefit of the doubt to life. This is why even advocates of capital punishment call for stringent proof. If individuals accused of felonies get the benefit of such doubt, why not the beings in the womb?

What possible wrongful injuries should the Roe Court have considered? The pregnant woman allegedly faces a partial and temporary loss of liberty; her fetus, however, allegedly faces the total and permanent loss of life and therefore liberty as well. The answer is obvious. The Court should have decided for life. Instead, the Court wrote that “the unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense.”

In other words, the issue of whether or not life begins in the womb, and whether or not abortion should be legal is up for debate for many people. Gordon argues that the burden of proof should be on the shoulders of the pro-choicers.

Posted in Pro-Life | 3 Comments »

So much for not "enforcing my morality on others"

Posted by Chance on July 10, 2006

I don’t like to make posts concerning left/right issues very often, but I have to get this off my chest.

Those in the pro-choice arena argue that abortion should not be outlawed because “who am I to enforce my morality on others?” Okay…that’s all well and good, but many of them don’t really mean it.

If they did, then why am I obligated to pay for the abortion through my tax dollars? Is that not enforcing their morality upon myself?

Lee refers to a post in which Joe Lieberman was attacked by fellow Democrats by stating that doctors should not be forced to provide abortions if it goes against their beliefs. So, in other words, it is wrong for me to tell them they cannot have an abortion, but it is perfectly fine for them to tell me I have to do the abortion, should I have a medical license.

Another issue is stem cell research. Many people think that stem cell research is actually banned, but that is not the case. As Spinsanity notes in August 2004

The reality is that the President has actually allowed federal funding for research into embryonic stem cell lines that had already been created before August 9, 2001 (22 are currently available according to the National Institutes of Health Embryonic Stem Cell Registry). Furthermore, privately-funded research can be conducted without restrictions in the United States. The only “ban” is on federal funding for new stem cell lines that were not included in Bush’s original group – hardly the meaning that Kerry suggested in his address. [Emphasis mine]

So, anyone can do stem-cell research privately funded, or even state funded. If this was not the case, the issue of state funding for stem-cell research in California would not even be on the ballot. Many columnists and newspaper letter writes have stated that Bush let his religious opinions override the necessities of science, but that simply isn’t the case. This is something that many do not understand: When the government does not fund something, it is not the same as banning it. Many could consider Bush’s approach somewhat reasonable (I do not know enough about the issue, but research on aborted fetuses is troubling), Bush has not banned stem-cell research, but he is not federally funding much of it either. But that is not good enough…people cannot respect the fact that some may disagree with it and may not want to fund the research.

Now, concerning the funding of things we disagree with, someone may say “I have to pay my tax dollars towards a war I disagree with.” “What about soldiers forced to engage in a war they disagree with?” Fine…for that, there is no easy answer. For one, medical procedures and research do not have to be funded by the government. However, that leads to other issues altogether. Secondly, I don’t use the argument about “not enforcing morality on others” when defending the war. Those who argue for the war do not use supposed “libertarian” arguments when defending it. It is just when someone defends the permission of an action through the supposed “let me live according to my own moral code”, it sounds hollow and empty when you do not let others do the same.

Posted in Pro-Life | 9 Comments »