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No Middle Ground on Abortion

One question that never leaves the national agenda is abortion rights, and Our Readers Who Comment are involved in an often crude discussion this morning about Peter Slevin's story documenting how anti-abortion forces are concentrating their efforts on imposing state controls in the absence of gaining a federal ban.

Slevin reports that "supporters of a woman's right to abortion feel increasingly embattled. Some doctors and clinic personnel feel threatened, particularly since last week's slaying in Kansas of physician George Tiller, the nation's best-known abortion provider." The suspect in that slaying, Scott Roeder, told the Associated Press that "many other similar events [are] planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal.

Our readers find no middle ground. Abortion is murder for one side; for the other laws making abortion difficult are a profound violation of a woman's right to control what happens to her body. Restrictions such as those documented in Mississippi fall hardest on the poor at a time many states are cutting supportive programs for budget reasons.

We'll start with this exchange, which effectively outlines the tone of debate this subject inevitably evokes:

ddpcgraphics wrote, "Life is started at conception - a moment after that - it is murder"

To which AffinityGW1 replied, "I'm glad you finally settled the issue for everyone. It must be difficult to be God."

RealTexan1 wrote, "10th Amendment: 'The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people'... If you live in a state with restrictions you do not agree with, then you simply take a long drive to the next state over. And perhaps this long driving is just the right "waiting period" to mull things over and be certain this procedure is really what you want to do."

But kamdog observed that "None of the impediments would interfere with the country club set when one of their daughters needs an abortion. Only working and poor women have this impact on them."

homer4 wrote, "Never can understand these 'pro-life' people. Once a child is born, they don't care if they have healthcare or education. You can see this here in Arizona where the Republican dominated legislature is busy passing laws restricting abortion, while cutting money for pre-natal care, education, child health insurance, and day care. And the same crowd insists that abstinence only is the ONLY thing that can be taught..."

Blue_Moose said, "Anti-abortionists have shown themselves to be terrorists. They should be sent to Gitmo with their kind."

And COWENS99 wrote, "The anti-abortion people are terrorist much worse than Al Qaeda. They want to force their narrow views on use and make it the law of the country. These are christian fundamentalist that are out of touch with the real world... Americans should let these people know that we don't care about your religion, leave us alone."

jellyhouse56 asked, "If a womans body isnt her own then that begs the question:Then who owns it? The State? Pro Choice...the only sensible choice."

jerichothered1 said, "...What truly matters is choice. Don't put your religion in my body or any woman's body..."

Logic3 wrote, "...First Case: In a partial-birth abortion procedure, the abortionist takes a scissors to the full-term baby's neck,"sucks the brains out"while the baby is still alive. Second Case: An unarmed adult, such as a political prisner, is beheaded while is still alive. Analogy: Strikes me, as a "similarly horrific act" upon a human-person and all of mankind."

patsking said, "Interesting, life is life. That is not a religious truth. Abortion kills children. Otherwise why can someone be convicted of murder before birth as long as the baby is wanted. Abortion is a desicion that cannot be indone. The loss is forever..."

windrider2 wrote, "...The anti-abortionists need to look at what drives women to have abortions: unwanted pregnancy. So long as unwanted pregnancies are occurring, particularly to poor and working class women, there will be abortions, legal or not... To reduce the number of abortions, you have to reduce the factors which cause women to make that choice..."

soccermom1 said, "state mandated terrorism against women."

We'll close with trace1, who wrote, "...People need to understand that we live in one of the most family-unfriendly countries in the world. Want to reduce abortions? Work for universal health care. Work for paid job protection for pregnant and new mothers. A true "culture of life" would insist on these kinds of supports for women and their infants."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  June 8, 2009; 7:34 AM ET
Categories:  Abortion  | Tags: Abortion  
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Comments

There are obviously two sides to this debate but one question that I never hear answered is how does one know if the person standing next to you is alive?Now by this definition how do we know when a child is alive? Does it have a heartbeat? Does it have brain activity? Does it begin to move in it's mothers womb?This statement by the proabort side about not knowing exactly when a child is alive is merely a smokescreen, nothing more than a bait and switch tactic to change the focus .

Posted by: cardoc | June 11, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse


You "pro-life" people make me sick, all the way around. Here's why:

1. For the most part, you don't care a modicum for the unwanted kids after they are born. Hypocrisy.

2. By and large, you are cowards who lack the courage of your convictions. If I believed abortion *really was* MURDER, there is no way anyone could stop me from using violence to stop it. Would you stand by and watch children being led into Auschwitz?

Most of you just spout your uninformed opinions, and then sit back and relax in the misguided belief that *you* are a better person than the pro-choice people...guess what?! THAT MAKES YOU A QUIVERING JELLYFISH OF A HUMAN BEING.


3. The vast majority of you LIVE for fallacious arguments, bad grammar, and weak intellectual posturing. You can go look up "fallacious", I'll wait. Take some time and familiarize yourselves with the different flavors...maybe, someday, it will save me from pounding my head in utter disbelief while having a conversation with you.

Posted by: clarkkev | June 9, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

>>All life is sacred. All life has value.
Frankly I find 99% of the Pro-Life movement hypocritical due to the fact they only care about preventing abortion. Not other murders, abuse of children, or any other important aspect of preventing loss of life. Should actually be "All life has value but I don't really care about what happens to it after a baby is born."

>> The bacteria needs you to survive yet without it you would die. So I guess if I fed you a chemical that killed that bacteria and you slowly starved to death I would be guilty of nothing.
I kind of laughed but then it depressed me that the level of science education in this country is so sorely, and obviously lacking. I bet he doesn't even know why his statement doesn't enter into the realm of possiblity.

Posted by: mtcooley | June 9, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

@wjj_johnson:

So I'm assuming you are fully in favor of gov't sponsored and free contraception for all women, right?
.
Obviously to protect the sancity of human life we need to prevent these pregnancies from ever starting in the first place, right?
.
.
One reason so many Pro-Choice people can't understand the general Anti-Abortion crowd is that the very people wanting to outlaw abortion are the same ones preventing teenagers and poor women from getting sex-education and contraception in the first place. If you truly want to prevent pregnancies, hand out condoms the first day of middle school, teach the teenagers about real life and how sex fits in, but don't tell them 'just say no' and then demonize them for acting like everybody else does.

Posted by: rpixley220 | June 8, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

You oversimplify and you do it very badly indeed, and I won't go into the very lengthy list of reasons what that is so. After all, all you did was state an assertion and declare it to be true. So here is something for you to consider, stated in your own style:

Anyone who oversimplifies the moral dilemmas pertaining to abortion and declares their position to be unassailable is morally wrong, and probably doctrinaire and narrow-minded to boot, REGARDLESS OF WHICH SIDE OF THE ISSUE HE/SHE ESPOUSES. Anyone who says otherwise is NOT a liar unless he/she knows this to be true and simply is being contrarian. Otherwise a person who believes this assertion to be untrue is simply mistaken
-------------------------------------------

Perhaps your arrogance has blinded you on this matter. Some things are just plain simple yet people like you manage to complicate it. I believe it is a lame attemp to escape the realization that you are horribiliy wrong on this matter.

All life is sacred. All life has value. abortion is the taking of a human life. Therefore it is murder. Of course for you liberal elitist type the simplicity of this simple truth baffles you.

Now what exactly is a fetus? Some would say a collection of biomass or cells and nothing more. But it is more, it is a human being that is growing and maturing at a rapid rate. The only difference between a fetus and you is that it requires a host to survive. The bacteria needs you to survive yet without it you would die. So I guess if I fed you a chemical that killed that bacteria and you slowly starved to death I would be guilty of nothing.

You liberal types think you are so smart but people with real knowledge laugh at your ignorance.

Posted by: wjj_johnson | June 8, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

garoth wrote: "It is not universally accepted that "life begins at conception," not even within the Judaeo-Christian tradition. The Jewish people always held that life begins with the first breath, for "God breathed into Adam and he became a human being."
-------
In my King James Version it is "and man became a living soul," (Gen 2:7) which is a rather different slant--and for the anti-abortionists, when they SAY that 'life begins at conception,' what they really mean is that ENSOULMENT begins at conception. That is a religious argument, and should NOT be the basis for laws that apply to those of us who are not members of those particular religious organizations.

But my main point is that life is a continuum, it does NOT "begin" at conception, as both the sperm and the unfertilized egg are alive. A unique combination of DNA is created at conception, yes. But an old Johns Hopkins study demonstrated that over 60% of those fertilized eggs fail to implant or to develop. Human eggs are not really that special.

Posted by: dotellen | June 8, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm pro-infanticide. Why should a parent(or the state) be forced to raise a child that has Downs syndrome or is autistic?

Posted by: wolfcastle | June 8, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

wjj_johnson wrote:

Abortion is the murder of a child. It is morally wrong. That is the truth and anyone that says otherwise is a liar.
______________________

You oversimplify and you do it very badly indeed, and I won't go into the very lengthy list of reasons what that is so. After all, all you did was state an assertion and declare it to be true. So here is something for you to consider, stated in your own style:

Anyone who oversimplifies the moral dilemmas pertaining to abortion and declares their position to be unassailable is morally wrong, and probably doctrinaire and narrow-minded to boot, REGARDLESS OF WHICH SIDE OF THE ISSUE HE/SHE ESPOUSES. Anyone who says otherwise is NOT a liar unless he/she knows this to be true and simply is being contrarian. Otherwise a person who believes this assertion to be untrue is simply mistaken.

Posted by: post_reader_in_wv | June 8, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

It is not universally accepted that "life begins at conception," not even within the Judaeo-Christian tradition. The Jewish people always held that life begins with the first breath, for "God breathed into Adam and he became a human being." The other OT scripture that is often quoted is from Psalm 139, which actually says that "before I was born, you knew me..." That does not support "life from conception," but rather the idea of foreknowlege. The idea of life beginning at conception is a more recent one, promulgated primarily by the Roman Catholic church. It is interesting that evangelicals, who so demonize the RC church, have accepted its theology in this matter. by the way, "mainline" protestant denominations have argued against this understanding of scripture, generally holding that scripture does not define the time where life begins. So Martin Luther said, "where scripture speaks, we will speak; and where it is silent, we will be silent."

Of course, ultimately, the law cannot define according to religious understandings, but must find it's own definition of "life." While religous debate may be part of that larger debate, as a secular nation, we must come to terms with the question from the standpoint of what is in the best interests of all, keeping also in mind the protection of rights of minority parties.

Posted by: garoth | June 8, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Abortion is the murder of a child. It is morally wrong. That is the truth and anyone that says otherwise is a liar.

Posted by: wjj_johnson | June 8, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

ALL HANDS ON DECK!

Howard Dean and the Democrats are correct.

"a" (Toothy, Robust, Affordable, Immediate, Triggerless, Medicare-Like ) "public health insurance option" (For All Who Want It) "is more important than bipartisanship, and Democrats should pass health-care legislation that includes the option with 51 votes if necessary."

"Democrats should have "no intention" of working with Republicans if it's not the strongest possible legislation that could be passed with a simple majority." (Howard Dean)

CONTACT CONGRESS and your representatives Now! And tell them you demand ALL of the minimum requirements above. This is the time for maximal, toothy, sustained pressure on Congress to get this done. Be creative. But be relentless.

This is what WE THE PEOPLE gave the Democrats all that power to do for ALL of us.

In medicine and healthcare there is only one acceptable standard. And that standard is the HIGHEST level of EXCELLENCE! you can provide for everyone. Nothing less is acceptable for a precious human life.

And the White House is right. "Good health care reform is essentially good economic policy." (Christina Romer)

BUT HEAR ME WELL! Just as I warned you before 911. Before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And before the US and Global economic crisis.

I must tell you now that healthcare reform is now a critical matter of NATIONAL SECURITY. A-H1N1 (Swine Flu) was yet another loud WAKE-UP! call. And there is MUCH! worse lurking, and poised to strike at any moment. Working against the clock, many of us have known this for a long time now. And this is why we have been pushing so hard for so long without fully saying why. But Congress and the American people are literally running out of time.

I'll tell you more later. But get healthcare reform done NOW!.

SPREAD THE WORD!

God Bless All Of You

jacksmith -- WORKING CLASS

Posted by: JackSmith1 | June 8, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

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