How abortion is like anti-rape nail polish

[Today’s guest post is by pro-life feminist Caitlin Fikes.]

Recently there’s been a lot of media attention on a group of male college students who invented a nail polish that changes colors when it comes into contact with the most common date rape drug. Various media outlets have hailed the invention as an incredible breakthrough that will protect women from being raped.

However, many feminists and anti-rape activists have raised some very valid criticisms of the nail polish, its implications, and the kind of attention it’s getting. While the nail polish may indeed prevent some women from getting raped (and obviously, every rape avoided is a Good Thing), examining this invention in the context of rape culture still raises important concerns. For example, every precaution that places the onus on women to employ an ever-growing anti-rape checklist raises the possibility of victim-blaming: should this product become widespread, whenever a woman is drugged and raped there will invariably be voices saying, “This could have been avoided if only she was wearing her anti-roofie nail polish. How irresponsible.”

What does this have to do with abortion, you ask? You may be surprised to find that there are many parallels between the criticisms feminists levy against this nail polish and the criticisms pro-life feminists raise about the prevalence of abortion.

1. It fails to address the root causes of the problem. 
The anti-rape nail polish is a reactive, not a proactive, attempt to solve the problem of rape. The ultimate cause of rape is—shocker—rapists; more specifically, men (and yes, while both women and men can be victims of rape, the great majority of rapists are male) who are raised to believe that they are entitled to sex with whomever they choose and that it’s not really “rape” if the other person isn’t kicking and screaming. We live in a culture in which rapists are almost never punished for their actions in any way, and therefore they learn that they can coerce, rape, and sexually assault without consequences. The new nail polish won’t change our society. It just tries to make sure rape happens to someone other than you. The fact that this nail polish exists and is felt necessary is a sign that rape culture is rampant—not a way to fix it.

Abortion is also a reactive, not a proactive, attempt to solve the problems women face. Women feel driven to abort for many reasons: financial concerns, lack of emotional support, lack of adequate parental leave and childcare, an inflexible work schedule or class schedule, bosses that are unsympathetic to parents, lack of welfare programs, lack of societal support for teenage parents or unmarried parents… the list goes on.

Abortion doesn’t solve any of those problems. Abortion doesn’t change the fact that the United States is one of the only countries in the world without guaranteed paid maternity leave, or that women are much more likely than men to be in poverty, or that single mothers face disproportionately large financial difficulties. Pushing abortion as a solution for one woman’s crisis pregnancy won’t stop other women from facing the same situation, just as using nail polish to prevent one rape won’t stop other women from being raped. As Feminists for Life of America like to say, abortion is a symptom of the problems women face, not the solution.

2. It has existed throughout history and hasn’t solved anything yet. 

Anti-rape devices are not new. Anti-rape tampons and anti-rape condoms made the rounds of the Internet a while ago, but really anti-rape devices have always existed and go all the way back to metal underwear and chastity belts. Thousands of years later, rape still exists and is going strong in our “modern and civilized” society.

Abortion, too, has always existed. Women who become pregnant in a situation that is hostile to that fact have always found ways to terminate the pregnancy—and obviously, some ways are more unsafe than others. Abortion activists use this fact to say “Abortion has always existed and always will, so all we can do is make it safe and legal.” But when I hear that, it sounds suspiciously similar to when rape apologists say, “Rape has always existed and always will, so all we can do is give women ways to stay safe and protect themselves.” And to both statements, my answer is the same: “Yes, it has always existed, but it doesn’t have to. We don’t have to give up and accept defeat. We can make a change. We can do better.”

3. It detracts from real efforts to enact widespread change. 
There are many anti-rape activists working their asses off to make a change. They strive to educate about consent, that “Yes means Yes” and silence means “No.” That “We’ve had sex before!” doesn’t mean “Yes.” That “But she was flirting with me!” doesn’t mean “Yes.” That “But she wanted to make out!” doesn’t mean “Yes.” That bullying, harassing, or coercing someone into sex doesn’t mean “Yes.” There are so, so many great programs across the nation working to educate, to empower survivors, to push for rape survivors to be believed and for rapists to be punished, to dispel myths about “legitimate rape” and the “stranger in a dark alley” stereotype. Did you hear about the new law in California defining rape as the “absence of a Yes” instead of the “presence of a No”? Good stuff!

But somehow, none of these great efforts seem to get the same media attention and praise as that damn nail polish. And then when feminists speak out and say “Hey, this isn’t going to solve the real problem, let’s focus most of our effort on ultimate solutions,” they face vicious backlash and accusations of wanting women to be raped! The truth is, our society is much more comfortable centering conversations about preventing rape on which measures the potential victims ought to take instead of how to make a society in which such crimes almost never occur at all, and that’s frustrating.

Similarly, when feminists spend so much time and money fighting laws that protect women against coerced abortions or require higher safety standards for abortion clinics or prohibit abortions after a certain point of fetal development, they are drawing attention and energy away from the real solutions. There are groups such as Feminists for Life of America, for example, encouraging college campuses to provide better resources to pregnant and parenting students so that young women won’t have to choose between abandoning their education or getting an abortion.

But not all of the organizations working to solve the problems women face in our society are pro-life. Many feminist organizations fight for things pro-lifers and pro-choicers can agree on, such as better financial support for mothers and less discrimination in the workplace (i.e. putting women on the “mommy track” and passing them by for promotions).

One of the most important ongoing efforts, I think, is the one to sever the parental rights of rapists/abusers. When a woman becomes pregnant by rape and her rapist can threaten to sue for custody if she doesn’t drop the rape charges, or be part of her life via their shared child for 18 years, or legally block her attempts to give the child up for adoption, then abortion really does seem like her only choice. There are dedicated feminists working right now to change this.

But none of those other causes seem to be as well-known or praised as the effort to keep abortion legal in all circumstances. In fact, I would never have known about all of the important work feminists are doing on a variety of fronts if I had not been introduced to the idea of pro-life feminism. I initially saw feminism as a staunchly pro-choice movement, frighteningly so, and that turned me off from finding out any more about them or what they do. Once I became aware that there is a place in feminism for the pro-life prospective, I began to investigate and was astonished to find that I am fully on board with mainstream feminism on literally every other topic. I now am proud to call myself a feminist and am proud of what our movement has accomplished and seeks to accomplish, but the truth remains that the boldly pro-choice face that feminism wears publicly covers up the good they are doing.

I am a passionate pro-life feminist, but I long for the day when the descriptor “pro-life” does not have to be included to clarify the term “feminist.” It seems clear to me that feminism, with its main principles of nonviolence, justice, and nondiscrimination, naturally lends itself to a pro-life position.

I hope that some of my fellow feminists will read this post and perhaps reconsider their position on abortion, especially if they are already critical of the anti-rape nail polish. The comparison is not perfect, of course, but at its core I believe they are comparable. Women need real, permanent solutions, not temporary band-aids that do not address the heart of the matter.

495 replies
  1. Kelsey
    Kelsey says:

    I actually kind of like the nail polish idea. My hope is that rather than being a case of "just making sure rape happens to someone other than you," it becomes a general deterrent. After all, from the rapist's perspective, there's no way to tell which women are wearing this nail polish versus regular nail polish. The rapist could get caught red handed at any time. Especially considering the amount of press it's gotten, I'm optimistic that it will be a deterrent.

    But your broader point remains: this is merely outsmarting criminals. It isn't changing the cultural attitudes that need changing. So the analogy to abortion stands.

  2. nicole
    nicole says:

    I am fully convinced that the whole idea of "rape culture" was invented by rapists. What better way to have easy access to prey than by demonizing proactive safety choices? It's like a group of wolves convincing sheep that they should not do whatever they do to avoid being picked off. If you've been roofied and raped you've been victimized, no one is arguing that. You also are extremely unlikely to even be able to locate/name your predator, much less pick them up out of a line up. Same goes for if you are blackout drunk. I don't think it is one bit unreasonable to try to protect oneself in these sorts of situations–and I will continue to advocate others to do so as well-no apologies needed. Do you know that in prison, men have a huge list of actions that they take to "avoid" being raped? So it's not just women who it is advocated for.
    The only criticism I have of this nail polish product is: it seems like it could be toxic and a bit unsanitary. Why not have a pack of strips which you would use to drop a speck of the drink on, instead of dipping the chemical laden nail and dirty finger into the drink?

  3. Purple Slurpy
    Purple Slurpy says:

    You are railing against the nail polish because its it does not "address the roots of the problem"? Do seatbelts address the root cause of auto accidents? I don't believe they do. They are a reactive safety component, but one that saves many lives. Google's self-driving car is probably filled with many "proactive" solutions to safety, but real life will always be one step ahead. Bridges can collapse while your proactive car drives on it, your car may get hit by lightning, etc. In principle, proactive solutions are great, and they should be fully developed, but reactive solutions are the last-ditch safety net that might turn a fatal situation into a merely bad situation. Both approaches need to be explored concurrently.

    I agree society needs to be rethought to accommodate women and studying and working mothers. That is a proactive solution to a more enlightened society. However, sometimes accidents happen. No form of birth control is 100% effective, and unplanned pregnancies can occur. No matter how much you plan for a utopia in which everyone is celebrating every pregnancy, real life just isn't like that. Again, you need both a proactive solution AND a reactive solution working concurrently. Hopefully proactive solutions will cut down on the need for abortion, but it will never completely eliminate them. Recognizing progress of reactive solution in no way diminishes the work done for proactive solutions.

    And further, many would argue early abortion is not inherently wrong. Yes, a fetus is human, but I don't understand how you can harm a being that is incapable of experiencing its demise. Destroying something that exists in a sensory void to me is amoral and not immoral. Only when you appeal to a metaphysical "unborn baby" can you justify the lack of practical consequence of early abortion. (I am opposed to late term abortion for this reason).

  4. Purple Slurpy
    Purple Slurpy says:

    And here in lies the rub. Pro-choice folks like myself care about what is practical. Killing an embryo really does not have a practical consequence. To me, its like scraping the inside of your cheek and killing cheek cells. To argue they have potential to be human and the potential to not want to be aborted seems to me to be a metaphysical or religious argument.

  5. Purple Slurpy
    Purple Slurpy says:

    Great journal, I don't know if you're agreeing or disagreeing with me about late term abortions. Truth be told, I am opposed to those partly out of reasons of likelihood of sentience, but also because I can't stomach the idea of killing something so close to a viable infant. Where and when I draw the line, I don't know, but for early term abortions, I think I have solid grounds for justification.

  6. eroteme
    eroteme says:

    Chalkdust took it a step further. If a fertilized ovum would want to be born, and a sperm and an egg are both half of that ovum, wouldn't they want to be born too?

    We are all 50% sperm and 50% ovum. Think of the gametes!

  7. Purple Slurpy
    Purple Slurpy says:

    How did they do a noninvasive EEG of a fetus at w28-45? I have to read this, the data must be noisy as hell assuming the electrodes are swimming in a very electrolytic solution, which I'd guess amniotic fluid is?

  8. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    I don't get this "potential human" thing. Either a being is a human organism or it isn't. It's very clearly defined. Prior to conception there is no human organism present in the fallopian tubes; after conception, one exists. There's no "potential" about it.

  9. eroteme
    eroteme says:

    I think its better to err on the side of the sentient, sapient pregnant person, who is actually capable of suffering, over the imaginary suffering of a microscopic genetic blueprint that may or may not ever become a baby.

  10. Purple Slurpy
    Purple Slurpy says:

    Hi JoAnna.
    An abridged version of my main response to your concerns:
    1. born people in a coma or
    sleeping at one point would not have wished to be killed. They would consider being killed
    while temporarily out "being harmed", no? A fetus has never had this
    wish, and in its current state can't experience pain or suffering.

    2. So
    how could it be possible to harm such a being? Who would be upset, the
    born version of that fetus that exists in a parallel universe in which
    it was not aborted?

    3. I'm not saying YOU are the one that gets to decide whether there is a practical consequence of killing. THE FETUS that has no capacity to experience its own suffering is not PRACTICALLY harmed. Do you understand the distinction?

  11. eroteme
    eroteme says:

    It is 100% human life and you are wrong.

    BTW, no brain = no rights, which is why brainless babies, parasitic twins and beating heart cadavers are not kept on life support or feeding tubes for 80 years.

  12. Purple Slurpy
    Purple Slurpy says:

    And that is why I state if empirical evidence should arise that early
    fetuses are able to experience suffering, I will change my position.
    Until then, I will err on the side that has empirical support, not on
    the side that employs magical thinking in its justifications. There is ample evidence on the potential hardship pregnancy can bring to people in crisis, rape victims. Your side, I'm afraid has only metaphysical justification.

  13. eroteme
    eroteme says:

    The risk is always there, and it is impossible to tell in advance which women will die or become maimed/injured from pregnancy.

    Do you think it's fair to roll the dice where women's lives are concerned?

    Are dead women merely a statistic to you?

  14. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    I care about both mothers and children. Neither mothers nore their babies are just a statistic to me. I think that we should work to save women and children BOTH. And it's possible to do that without direct abortion. C. Everett Koop said years ago, when he was still Surgeon General, that direct abortion is never necessary to save a woman's life. See the Dublin Declaration for another example.

  15. eroteme
    eroteme says:

    We can't tell in advance which women will die. But, women will die, and abortion can't save every woman. It certainly can't help a woman who is bleeding to death from post-partum hemorrhage, now can it?

    By banning abortion, you are effectively denying ALL fertile women the inalienable right to life.

  16. Pro-Life Moderate
    Pro-Life Moderate says:

    Sure, abortion as a result of rape is perpetuating the so-called rape culture… but a pro-life position like this throws other legitimate reasons for abortions under the rug as if they don't exist. What about malformed fetuses who will likely not survive out of the womb? A prominent example of this would be Wendy Davis (D-TX) who's running for governor and had an abortion because doctors informed her that her baby had an extremely malformed brain. Abortion is NOT always a 'lifestyle' choice like you might want to believe, but it can be a major medical decision. I think it's important to not forget this fact. The issues with abortion are definitely wide-ranging but it's not accurate to generalize abortion in such a way.

  17. eroteme
    eroteme says:

    because doctors informed her that her baby had an extremely malformed brain

    A brain is neither necessary nor sufficient to be a person. Just h.sapiens DNA and a beating heart.

  18. Pro-Life Moderate
    Pro-Life Moderate says:

    That has nothing to do with the fact that the baby had extreme medical issues. What would you do in the case of a person in a vegetative state? Prolong the inevitable?

  19. Chalkdust
    Chalkdust says:

    So…because there exists out there, where we could possibly implement it as a society, a better solution to the problem of rape…we should make anti-rape nail polish illegal?

    This is honestly what pro-life feminism sounds like to me. Yes, given a pregnant person who wants to try to carry to term but can't afford another baby, the best solution is for her employer to give her paid maternity leave and private charity or the government to give her subsidized day care. But (for her and her already-born children) the second-best solution of abortion is much better than the worst choice of losing her job and not being able to afford food and rent. Criminalizing abortion (removing option 2) because there is the theoretical possibility that society could set up option 1, in a society that has not yet set up paid maternity leave and subsidized childcare, in practice relegates pregnant people to the worst option, option 3.

    People who want to justify the pro-life position by claiming it is better for women…seem to be claiming that if we criminalize abortions then support for pregnancy and parenthood will magically appear. The world does not work that way. And pretending it does does incredible harm to actual women.

  20. eroteme
    eroteme says:

    Another poster, Elizabeth Doecke, made the argument that abortion hurts women because people won't grant pregnant working women more rights as long as the option to abort is in the background. However, as soon as abortion is illegal, maternal rights will suddenly materialize and everyone will live happily ever after

  21. Pro-Life Moderate
    Pro-Life Moderate says:

    That is a question of morality and also your definition of "alive". A person can physically be "alive" when they're hooked up to a bunch of devices – but otherwise, they might not have any brain activity and without those devices maintaining their basic functions (heart rate, breathing, etc.) they would be dead.

  22. eroteme
    eroteme says:

    It depends on the type of brain damage. Someone can lose all of their upper brain function (thalamus, cortex) and still have lower brain function (brain stem) and the body and heart will still beat – all they will need is a feeding tube, and they could live for the next 30+ years.

  23. Pro-Life Moderate
    Pro-Life Moderate says:

    That's not what I said. I said someone could be brain dead and still "technically" alive. Sure, someone who's still got things going on "up there" would want to live as long as possible, assuming it would be a better path of action.

    A baby could be born and immediately put on life support if it didn't have a functioning brain. The baby could "live" for an extended period of time, but by our definitions of consciousness and self-awareness there would be no inhabiting force.

  24. Chris R
    Chris R says:

    Do you have locks on your doors? Do you have passwords on your accounts? Do you keep your PIN number a secret? If so, you're a goddamn hypocrite. Are you saying people who don't do those things DESERVE to be stolen from? Theft has existed for millennia, but it doesn't HAVE to.

    Bad people will always do bad things, and taking steps to protect yourself is always prudent. If you think you can 100% eradicate any social ill, you're living in a fantasy world. Do you seriously believe rapists have never been told not to rape? Do you really think they care? Is a rapist going to say, "Oh shit, I had no idea! Thank you; you're the first person to ever say that!"? This kind of Swiper-no-swiping mentality gets you know where in the real world.

  25. eroteme
    eroteme says:

    Well as pro-lifers frequently tell me, if a woman willingly has sex, she should gestate, as part of the consequences for being so irresponsible.

    That's why they offer a rape exception. Because the value of fetal life is predicated upon how that life was created.

  26. Chris R
    Chris R says:

    >Did you hear about the new law in California defining rape as the “absence of a Yes” instead of the “presence of a No”? Good stuff!

    Does it have to be a verbal "Yes" to every single thing done in the bedroom? Because if so, that's not "[g]ood stuff"; it's a total lack of understanding of how human sexuality works, and an attempt to micromanage people's sexuality by telling them how they're allowed to consent, and only further dilutes the meaning of the word "rape", telling women who were NOT raped that they were, even if they were okay with the sex, and making people less likely to take actual rape victims seriously.

  27. Pro-Life Moderate
    Pro-Life Moderate says:

    Oh, okay. We'd better stone to death the people who have miscarriages too, then, since their rational (therefore capable of thought) zygotes are dying in their bodies. Back to the dark ages we go!

  28. Clinton
    Clinton says:

    I was going to comment but you pretty much said everything I was going to said, right down to the same analogy (seatbelts). This article illustrates why it's so difficult for me to feminists seriously. They feel it's immoral to tell women to take precautions for safety because all we need to do is just "tell men not to rape."

  29. Clinton
    Clinton says:

    The difference between a brain-dead person and a human zygote is the brain-dead person has irreversibly lost their brain function, and the zygote will have a functioning brain in the future. The zygote is more like a person in a reversible coma than a brain-dead person.

  30. Clinton
    Clinton says:

    I think you're confusing what "inherent" means (although I don't think eroteme properly expressed it since he doesn't apparently hold this view). Human zygotes have the inherent capacity for rationality and it is this inherent capacity, not the presently-exercisable capacity, which grounds their value as human persons.

  31. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    By that logic, nobody should have fire extinguishers, and people shouldn't have fire departments, because it's (boo hoo) 'reactive' and doesn't 'solve the problems' (boo hoo) of buildings being made of flammable materials, electrical cords getting shorts, etc.

    Guess what? We don't all live in a perfect world, something obvious to everyone who isn't completely spoiled. Sometimes wires wear out, people smoke in bed, people inadvertantly run into a creep who tries to put a date rape drug in their drink, people have sex when they can't afford children. Grow up, your New Christian Paradise isn't going to happen and nobody is interested in giving up their bodily autonomy and 20 years of their life in order to comply with your delusion that one celled eggs are surrounded by cherubs and harps.

  32. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    Oh, gee? Really? Guess what, an embryo is physically 'alive' when it's 'hooked up' to someone else's bunch of organs, but otherwise it might not have any brain activity, and without the other person's organs maintaining it's basic functions, it would be dead.

  33. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    Your claim here is that the zygote has a 'right' to gestation, based on the fact that if it is allowed to be gestated, then it will have a brain 'in the future'.

    Much the same thing could be said about an unfertilized egg. Why shouldn't the unfertilized egg have a 'right' to be fertilized, based on the fact that if it is allowed to be fertilized, then it will have a brain in the future.

    Sex only takes a few minutes. and the penis only goes a 'few short inches' into the vagina. There is therefore only a 'few short minutes' and a 'few short inches' difference between an unfertilized egg and a zygote. Surely, as you pro-lifers always whimper, a 'few short minutes' and a 'few short inches' shouldn't make any difference.

    So why shouldn't the egg have a 'right' to be fertilized? It is a 'potential person'. We were ALL once unfertilized eggs. I don't see why a 'few tiny chromosomes' should make any difference, any more than a 'few short inches' and 'a few short minutes'.

    Other than the real agenda being forced gestation as punishment for sex.

  34. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    So, you're claiming that prior to the egg being fertilized, there IS no unfertilized egg, and it simply pops into existence out of nowhere, an instant before it is to be fertilized.

  35. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    Crap argument. I survived having a pipe full of liquid ammonia blow up in my face. By your standard, if death is not 100% certain, then it's moral to force someone to risk something, would it then be moral for me to force people to inhale toxic ammonia gas? Or are you the only one who gets to decide what forms of Russian Roullete people should be forced to play, based on your sad feelies.

    But breathing ammonia won't save someone's 'very life'? Fine. How about I force you to donate a kidney, against your will, to save the 'very life' of a dialysis patient. There's a risk you might die from the surgery, or your other kidney could fail in the future, but it's for someone's 'very life', so why shouldn't you be forced to take that risk, against your will? Or are you the only one who gets to decide who should be forced to take what risks to save whose lives, based on your sad feelies.

  36. Kelsey
    Kelsey says:

    I'm not suggesting women shouldn't use the anti-rape nail polish– it's just a little weird how the media has hailed it as some amazing solution to a very deep-seated social problem, when really it's just another precaution. Much like the buddy system is a good idea, but hasn't ended rape. They're overselling it.

  37. Chalkdust
    Chalkdust says:

    If we're derailing this thread into a discussion of anti-rape nail polish…

    I have a lock on my door. I don't have bars on my doors or windows. If my partner and I want to go out, we go out; I don't insist that one of us stay behind to deter theft. And I'm pretty sure that if my apartment was broken into, the police would act, not explain that (a) it was my fault for not having bars on the windows, and (b) refuse to prosecute the robber because it was supposedly my fault.

    I did a few women's self-defense workshops in college, and when I'm alone and out of earshot of other people I'm extra alert and pay attention to my surroundings. But I don't insist on having an escort every time I go somewhere, I don't choose my clothing and hairstyle based on what will make me least likely to be raped, and I don't want to dip my finger into everything I ever drink. But people who are raped are routinely told that it was their fault for not doing preventative action X, and rapists are routinely not prosecuted because it's supposedly the victim's fault.

    Anti-rape nail polish is a huge amount of effort for a relatively small decrease in the risk of rape. For most of us it's not worth it. Rape culture means that, when I forgo nail polish and accept a tiny increase in the probability of being raped, I also must accept that any rapist is less likely to be prosecuted because it is "my fault" for forgoing nail polish. We don't have a "theft culture" that means that, if I forgo putting expensive bars on my windows, I must accept that any thief will be allowed to go free as a result.

    Getting back to abortion, this is another reason why the analogy doesn't work. Abortion is not analogous to nail polish, or having an escort, or any other enormous-lifestyle-change-to-slightly-decrease-the-risk. It's more analogous to screaming, or punching the assailant–something you can do when the situation comes up, not a huge lifestyle change you have to make at all times to marginally decrease the odds of unwanted pregnancy.

  38. Purple Slurpy
    Purple Slurpy says:

    >> They feel it's immoral to tell women to take precautions for safety because all we need to do is just "tell men not to rape."

    Never heard of that characterization of feminists before. None of my feminist friends and acquaintances say its immoral for women to take precautions. A lot of them take self-defense courses and some of them can kick my ass. I was under the impression that Caitlin's cognitive dissonance stems from her forcing a comparison between rape and abortion. She needed a way to justify her hypothesis that abortion somehow makes women's lot in life worse or something, and that abortion is the reactive fix, just like nail polish.

    I found her line of thinking similar to religious lines of thinking, where they start out with something that needs to be true because the bible or whatever says its true, so they then fabricate a line of argument which leads to their desired conclusion. The correct way to make sense of the world is to start with neutral observations, and build simple models which explain your observations. She needed a way to justify abortion being bad and harmful to women, so she just made up an unrealistic scenario about reactive safety measures.

  39. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    ** when really it's just another precaution.**

    Will it prevent any rapes, or won't it? If it will, then what's with the disparaging tone? That you don't think that preventing at least some rapes is worth it, and the only thing that will satisfy you is the institution of your perfect fantasy world?

    **Much like the buddy system is a good idea, but hasn't ended rape. They're overselling it.** Do you have a way to end rape? Besides your fantasy of the New Christian Paradise which isn't going to happen?

  40. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    And an unfertilized egg doesn't have this 'inherent capacity' because why? Exactly?

    Does the egg suddenly pop into existence out of nowhere an instant before it is to be fertilized? Are they actually dog or pig eggs up there inside a human woman, and a magic angel suddenly turns them into human eggs, an instant before it is to be fertilized?

    Why should a 'few tiny chromosomes' make any difference as to this 'inherent capacity'. If the absence of a 3 lb brain makes no difference, it's ludicrous to claim that the absence of a few microscopic chromosomes makes a difference. That's like claiming that a flea weighs more than an elephant. Besides which it contradicts the principle that pro-lifers like to whine about, that a 'few short minutes' and a 'few short inches' should make no difference prior to BIRTH, so why should a 'few short inches' or a 'few short minutes' or a 'few tiny chromosomes' make any difference prior to SEX, either?

    Tell me? What's the reason? Other than the real one that we all know, which is forced pregnancy as a punishment for sex.

  41. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    Tell you what, Joanna, since you are apparently (based on your pic) about college age, and failed basic gradeschool geometry, which you somehow seem to feel makes you smarter than everyone else, show me how to get a 4 inch wide ball through a 3 inch wide hole, without deflating or chopping up the ball, or mangling the ball so badly during the process that if it were a head, it would kill the person whose head it was.

    When you can show me that, then your statement will make sense. Until that time, you're just engaged in the usual pro-lifer nonsense of handwaving away the birth process and pretending the baby simply disappears from inside the mother after 9 months and painlessly reappears in her arms in a magical puff of smoke.

  42. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Why thank you, Ann! I appreciate the compliment. I'm actually 33 years old, mother of seven (five living, two lost to miscarriage). My last baby was 9 lbs and both he and I are alive and healthy, so I think that answers your question about how a large baby can fit through a relatively small opening. 🙂

  43. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    You may want to take a biology class if you don't know the difference between a system that is healthy and functioning properly (e.g., a woman's reproductive system) and an organ or other body part that is unhealthy and not functioning properly (e.g., a ruptured appendix or abscessed tooth).

  44. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Yes, that's correct. Prior to fertilization, there is no organism in the fallopian tubes. Human gametes (sperm and ova) are not organisms. Once they combine, they form a zygote, which is a human organism. I recommend if you want to learn more.

  45. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    What if an adult has emotions but I simply can't recognize them, since I can't read his heart and mind? Can I still kill him since I'm unable to detect his emotional responses?

  46. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    Gee, that's brilliant. So.. you have a hole at least 4 inches in diameter, and your baby's head was no larger than that – therefore – according to brilliant you – every other woman must be exactly the same size as you, and no woman will ever have a baby with a larger head than you.

    In other words, you failed geometry, deliberately handwaved away my actual question in the usual pro-lifer evasive manner, and also failed biology, since you fail to comprehend that not all women and not all babies are the same size, and that some women have health or physical problems.

    Can I fill your house up with ammonia? I survived breathing it. Someone (with more brains than you) told me that nobody else he ever heard of has, but by your logic, since *I* have, I should validly be able to handwave away the real facts, and instead expect everyone else to be able to survive it as well.

    God, you're dumb.

  47. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    **Human gametes (sperm and ova) are not organisms**

    Excuse me? Four years of college biology here (and a BA in that subject), a living cell, including the ova and sperm, most certainly IS an organism.

    I suggest about 20 years of remedial education, starting in the first grade, because you reason like a 6 year old.

  48. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    **Since unborn children have discernible brain activity as soon as 4 weeks after conception**

    What sort of 'brain activity'? random electrical impulses or actual organized thought? Because from what we know about the human brain, any actual thought or sensation is impossible prior to the myelinzation of the nerve sheaths in the brain, which occurs at the beginning of the 6th month. But I'm sure you will tell me from all the experience of your utterly BRILLIANT knowledge how you know more than doctors and scientists about how the human brain works.

  49. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    No, I'm talking about a human being.

    This is a description of the brain and nervous system development of a human being about 44 days after conception:

    "The most developed area of the brain is the rhombencephalon. The motor nuclei are better organized than the sensory. In the more advanced embryos the choroid plexus of the fourth ventricle begins to be identifiable by the presence of some villi. In the cerebellum, in addition to the inner cerebellar bulge present already in stage 17, an outer swelling appears and represents the future flocculus. Vestibulocerebellar fibers are present in great number at its surface. A clear destination between auditory and optic colliculi in the midbrain as represented by Streeter has not been confirmed. In the diencephalon the neurohypophysis has folded walls. The adenohypophysis, open to the pharynx in stage 17, is now closed off from the pharyngeal cavity. An epithelial stalk, containing a faint lumen, is connected tothe pharyngeal epithelium. The epiphysis,Page 236representing the “anterior lobe,” is illustrated in figure 18-11. Sections of two specimens (A and B) belonging to the middle third of the embryos of stage 18 are shown. A pineal recess is forming for the first time, and a follicular arrangement of the cells may be encountered in some embryos. This “anterior lobe” of the epiphysis corresponds to Stadium III of Turkewitsch (O'Rahilly, 1968). The rostral part of the diencephalic roof is richly vascularized, and some ingrowth of the epithelial lamina at the level of the telencephalon indicates the first signs of a choroid plexus of the lateral ventricles. Approximately half of the length of the cerebral hemispheres now extends more rostrally than the lamina terminalis. A slight groove is developing in the corpus striatum, which has grown considerably and now reaches as far caudally as the preoptic sulcus. The olfactory bulb is better delimited and, in some embryos, contains an olfactory ventricle."


  50. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    See, when you say that, I hear something similar to this: "Great if you don't like child abuse, then don't abuse a child. However how about you let other women decide on their own?"


    "Great if you don't like slavery, then don't own a slave. However how about you let other people decide on their own?"


    "Great if you don't like guns, then don't own a gun. However how about you let other people decide on their own?"


  51. Purple Slurpy
    Purple Slurpy says:

    Nothing in the above description says anything about "brain activity" at 4 weeks. What your link says are 1) "believed to be 44 postovulatory days" is probably more like 6~8 weeks? Your link describes the average specimen to be about 14mm, so compared to
    what is described in Wikipedia for a wk6 fetus (around 6mm), this seems much larger, and I highly doubt this is a week 4, as you originally claim
    2) that it is talking about dead specimens, and there is no "brain activity" to begin with, and 3) appears to be describing structural formation. Because I work on statistical modeling of neural data and am not especially familiar with detailed anatomic terminology of fetal brain development, I can't fully decipher what you just pasted, but from the sounds of it, it appears to be describing that rough blueprint of the brain is being put into place, ie broad areas like olfactory cortex and motor nuclei, and parts like cerebellum are now becoming discernible. Neurons do not develop in place; they migrate from locations where there is a concentration of stem cells, so my guess is at this stage of development, the empty shellfor where the neurons, once created can migrate to, is being created.

    Given that the fetus is still only 14mm, and given the size of the typical neuron, these brain structures have most likely don't have actual neurons in them yet. Hence, I would still highly doubt that there is any "brain activity" in the electrical, synaptic sense at anything near 8 weeks.

    Thanks though, learned some embryonic neural development today.

  52. Purple Slurpy
    Purple Slurpy says:

    BTW, in your posting history, I noticed that you are against LGBT kids in the Boy Scouts. Can I venture to guess you are also against gay marriage and adoption?

    Given that many gay couples adopt children that are less desirable, ie too old, is sick, etc., how do you reconcile your "just put it up for adoption" stance and your disapproval of gay marriage or adoption. If in fact you are actually OK with gay marriage and adoption, my apologies for making assumptions.

  53. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    I'm not, actually. But I'm flattered you care enough about me to stalk my profile! I'm more than happy to discuss the topic with you privately, as I really don't have the time to return to this thread – I've stayed up entirely too late tonight the way it is. I'm sure you can figure out my email address if you're interested in having a civil, rational discussion. 🙂

  54. Purple Slurpy
    Purple Slurpy says:

    Don't care about you personally, just got to be curious about why this site is called Secular Pro Life, yet everyone who is pro-life here seems to have a very religiously-derived world view, so I wanted to know if they actually were religious.

    Good to hear you are for LGBT adoption, and my hats off to you for your consistency!

  55. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    If you can show me that the adult has no organized brain activity, and isn't going to recover, you can kill him. Otherwise your 'failure' to be able to recognize emotional responses is simply proof of your own stupidity.

    No, the fact that an embryo will 'get a brain in 9 short months' is not an analogous situation. An adult who is in a coma had a brain previously. The brain is the seat of rights (along with other circumstances such as not occupying someone else's body or otherwise violating their rights), and those rights are not retroactive to points in the past, any more than the 'rights' you might have as the owner of an object can be magically retroactive to a point in the past prior to your purchasing them. That's why you can set your own furniture on fire after having bought it, but you can't go into a furniture store and set the display furniture on fire and claim you had some sort of retroactive rights to do so because you were 'going to purchase that sofa in a few short months'.

  56. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Oh you misunderstand. I'm actually not in favor of LGBT adoption.

    I'm not atheist or agnostic, but I firmly believe that abortion is a human rights issue, not a religious issue. That's why I enjoy writing articles for and participating in discussions at this blog.

  57. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    I hope you recognize the irony of your statement. It certainly made me chuckle. 🙂 well, no further time to debate I'm afraid, I've stayed up entirely too late the way it is and I have work tomorrow. Thanks for the discussion, and thanks again for the compliment about my age! I hope you have a pleasant weekend.

  58. Purple Slurpy
    Purple Slurpy says:

    OK, that's fine too. To each her own.

    I met some gay couple parents at the playground where my kid plays, and while I don't know if their kids are in vitro kids, from lesbian moms or adopted, but they seem like perfectly normal parents with well adjusted kids to me. I hope you one day get to see their humanity and dedication to family…

    Time to get some sleep!

  59. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    Whether or not they'd do so is also irrelevent to whether I have the right to do so.

    People can and do get any number of things done to their bodies which are not natural, and arguably unhealthy. Breast implants, tattoos, and getting their ears pierced, for instance.

    Not to mention the neurotic practice of parents having normal healthy body tissue amputated off their nonconsenting newborn baby boys. What happens to all the rights that that 9 month old fetus had only a few short minutes ago, before it was born? Why do all those rights suddenly vanish the instant a baby boy was born, so that a parent can have a doctor lop off normal body part? Oh yeah, once the fetus has been born, and thus fulfilled the real purpose pro-lifers have for it, by punishing the mother for sex, then all those sad-feelie pretend rights instantly vanish.

    The pro-lifers are so very sad feelie about a few brainless cells in a petri dish that they claim are 'tiny innocent vulnerable defenseless human beings Where's all the huge organized protests about things like the picture below? Oh yeah, ppro-lifers don't care about the real suffering of REAL tiny innocent vulnerable defenseless babies. Because that can't be used to punish the mother for sex. The pretend suffering of fertilized eggs is more important to them because that can be used to punish women for sex. Once the babies are born, they can be subjected to pointless mutilation to satisfy the neurotic desires of their parents, and the pro-lifers are nowhere to be seen regarding it.

  60. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    I believe all human beings, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, etc., have intrinsic worth and dignity. I'm opposed to all unjust discrimination. I'm also able to see the beauty in every human being, regardless of their age or level of development, while still believing that some social constructs are not appropriate for various sociological reasons. Ok, I'm really going to bed now 🙂

  61. Purple Slurpy
    Purple Slurpy says:

    Good night, nice talking to you:)

    I've stated that I would be willing to change my views on early-term abortions if it could be empirically demonstrated that early fetuses are capable of suffering. Who knows, scientific advance may uncover it years down the line.

    If you are against LGBT marriage and adoption for sociological reasons, I hope that you would be willing to change your view should sociological data in the future prove that LGBT families are not so different than traditional families. If it can be shown empirically that LGBT parents actually screw up children, I would be willing to change my views.

  62. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    Your quote describes structures in the brain. Not brain activity. Did you even bother to read it? Or are you as incapable of understanding what you read as you are of understanding geometry?

  63. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    Gun ownership is inherently immoral why, exactly? Let me guess. Sad feelies. Or it's a 'reactive' solution and not producing your New Christian Paradise of a society with no criminals against whom you need to defend yourself.

    God, you're dumb.

  64. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    **I'm also able to see the beauty in every human being, regardless of their age or level of development,**

    Translation: You have sad feelies and are are able to imagine non-existent emotions in human embryoes, where no emotions exist, because it is cute; but lack sufficient intelligence to realize that simply because a full grown person who isn't cute may not display emotions in a way someone as stupid as you is able to understand, that doesn't mean they don't have any emotions.

  65. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    Minds can be measured. It is possible to detect the bilaterally synchronous brain waves that are associated with sentience in PVS and coma patients. Prior to 25 weeks at the *earliest*, no fetus is capable of producing such brainwaves.

    Then again, we are talking to people who believe that blastocysts are inherently rational because of h.sapiens DNA.

  66. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    Joanna is a catholic, she has popped out six kids. Clinton is also religious and he believes that every zygote has a soul. Many of thr secular arguments advanced here – such as zygotic rationality etc- were invented by religious people.

    Not to say that religionists can't come up with non religious arguments…its just curious that most of the secular arguments against abortion sound suspiciously like "every zygote has a soul" and some version of natural law "women were made to have babies, therefore…"

  67. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    Yep. Can't have consciousness without

    Stationary neurons
    Functional thalamus and cortex (which must be connected first)
    The trillions of cells that are needed in the first place to form a brain

    At the stage she is describing, the brain is smaller than a pinhead.

  68. Kelsey
    Kelsey says:

    First of all, I'm an atheist. I do not want a "New Christian Paradise" and in fact I am quite confident that such a scenario would not eliminate rape. There's plenty of rape in the Bible.

    I'm not being disparaging. Like I said, the buddy system is a good thing, and if this new nail polish works out it may end up being a good thing too. It may even have a deterrent effect. Like I said.

    My point is just that I do think there's some validity to the feminist criticism here. If you don't accept the feminist criticism of the nail polish, then you aren't the audience for this post; the thesis here is "If you apply the criticism to nail polish, you should also apply it to abortion."

    The only way to end rape is to change societal attitudes about violence toward women. And that's NOT easy. But there is precedent for such radical change. I'm sure people once disparaged civil rights advocates as living in a fantasy land, because how could they possibly eliminate the hatred of the KKK? (True, racist attitudes are still out there, but it's no longer acceptable to burn a cross on anybody's lawn.)

  69. someone45
    someone45 says:

    You are comparing an embryo/fetus that has no feelings and no self awareness to a child and they are NOT the same thing.

    You bring up slavery but you want to make women modern day slaves by forcing them into gestational slavery…

    Got nothing on the gun thing… own 5000 guns if you want. Just don't go all crazy and go shoot up a place.

  70. Ella Warnock
    Ella Warnock says:

    I had a doctor snip and cauterize perfectly healthy fallopian tubes. Is there any reason, moral or otherwise, that that should not have been my decision to make? Preferable to abortion,no?

  71. Plum Dumpling
    Plum Dumpling says:

    This scientist thinks a fetus becomes a human being when it has brain activity.
    Scientists are still working on defining what human person-ness is for a fetus.
    So science cannot help you define human being or human person.

    The Talmud says a fetus is a potential person and the Mother comes first until the fetus is halfway out of the birth canal. Then it becomes a life on its own and cannot be killed. So much for an ancient religion that existed in ancient times when childbirth was 'natural.' The Talmud approves of late term abortion if the fetus threatens the Mother's life at any point until birth.
    So science and religion are no help to you.

    The law says a fetus is a legal person when it survives to and through birth.

  72. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    I suppose it's preferable to killing unborn children. But it's still mutilation of a healthy, functioning organ, so no, I don't think it's a good thing. Plus it does have a (very small) failure rate. I know a few women who became pregnant after tubals.
    – JoAnna

  73. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Sure it bothers me. But 4,000 dead children per day dying from abortion bothers me more, especially since the intent and direct purpose of abortion is to kill children (unlike circumcision). See, it isn't either/or, it's both/and. I don't like deaths of children in any circumstance.

  74. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    So, to you, the inalienable right to life only exists if sufficient numbers die? 100 dead embryos a year from abortion would not have you working to oppose abortion or ban it?

  75. argent
    argent says:

    "[Group of biologically human beings] aren't legally recognized as people! This makes it totally okay to harm them, you guys!"

    I think if I could be granted one magic wish, it would be that no one, from now until the end of the world, would ever, ever, make that argument again.

  76. Plum Dumpling
    Plum Dumpling says:

    A fetus is not a human being legally or morally. These are the rules about abortion that Jesus followed. I will stick with Jesus. You are flaming anus. My body, my choice.

    Jewish law not only permits, but in some circumstances requires abortion. Where the mother's life is in jeopardy because of the unborn child, abortion is mandatory.

    An unborn child has the status of "potential human life" until the majority of the body has emerged from the mother. Potential human life is valuable, and may not be terminated casually, but it does not have as much value as a life in existence. The Talmud makes no bones about this: it says quite bluntly that if the fetus threatens the life of the mother, you cut it up within her body and remove it limb by limb if necessary, because its life is not as valuable as hers. But once the greater part of the body has emerged, you cannot take its life to save the mother's, because you cannot choose between one human life and another.

  77. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    You really believe that infants and teens aren't of the same species? That's a new one. So it is the infant the human being or is the teenager? If one of them isn't human, what are they?

  78. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Well, look at this way. If there was something killing 4000 teenage boys per day, and something else killing 100 teenage boys per year, you would work against them both, but your priority would probably be working against the thing that kills 4000 boys per day as opposed to 100 per year. Doesn't mean you would ignore the thing killing the 100 boys completely, but you would expend more energy fighting against the thing that had the highest body count.

  79. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Purpose of abortion is to kill an unborn child. The child dies, the procedure worked as intended. If the child lives, it's called a failure or a botched procedure.

  80. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    It dies because it is non-viable. Non-viable embryos and fetuses cannot survive without use of the woman's organs. Period.

    Many are expelled whole, and they die for the above reason.

    In a post viability termination, if it is possible to deliver a live baby, either through c-section or induced labour, it will be done. And once the live baby is out, doctors will work to save it, not kill it.

    The purpose of abortion IS to end the pregnancy, and if embryos could be beamed, Star Trek style, into artificial wombs, they would be.

  81. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Check the dictionary, that's not what dependence is. But a child's dependence on his mother is temporary while death is permanent. Why such a drastic "solution" to a temporary problem, especially one that kills a human being?

  82. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    JoAnna WahlundSeptember 13, 2012 at 10:49 AM
    I'm a Catholic and I think that circumcision shouldn't be banned. I'm
    not in favor of the practice, myself, but I support the rights of others
    to do it for religious reasons.

    Then there's this:

    And this:

    your belief that Catholics aren't speaking out against this is false.
    The thing is that it's more of a local issue, whereas the HHS Mandate is
    a national issue (not to mention a time-sensitive one, given that the
    presidential election could very well decide if it stands or not).

    Perhaps you should do a simple Google search before proclaiming that Catholics don't care about this issue?


    Yeah, so you put religion ahead of the health and lives of baby boys.

    Choice for religious people to kill/maim their baby boys (I guess if only 100 baby boys die per year it isn't noteworthy, just like the 800 women who die per year from pregnancy)

    But choice for women to maintain their bodily integrity and avoid being one of the 800 dead women/ hell no!

  83. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    Because, no one has the right to occupy and use the body of another without explicit and ongoing consent.

    And if the woman dies from the pregnancy, or is permanently injured/disabled, you have essentially sentenced her to corporal punishment and/or death for having non-procreative sex.

  84. argent
    argent says:

    What an interesting digression about your (Christian? Jewish?) religious beliefs. (Are your religious beliefs also what compel you to call others "flaming anus"? Sounds kind of kinky and awesome.)

    However, sorry to disappoint you but I am not religious. I don't actually give two shits about which human beings are "really" human according to the Talmud. The Bible can be interpreted to mean that women are the property of men, but you don't see me letting men cut me up and tear me limb from limb because my life is "not as valuable", and because I'm "his body, his choice".

    But hey, that's just my perspective.

  85. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Why don't you go and harass the AAP for a while? They actually recommend routine infant circumcision. I do support religious freedom, I just don't think that infant circumcision should be done routinely. And if infant circumcision was so risky so that every single male baby died from it, why would the AAP support it?

  86. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Consent is implicitly given when the act is performed that leads to the baby's creation. All birth control has a failure rate, so engaging in sex acknowledges that a child could be conceived even if precautions are taken.

  87. Plum Dumpling
    Plum Dumpling says:

    The Talmud is not religious per se. It is a system of philosophy and a group of laws for the most part.
    Anybody of any persuasion can be an authoritarian. You are an authoritarian. I can tell also that you are not very educated.
    Even so, you fancy you should be in charge of the sexual/family/medical lives of women you do not even knew. Sucks to be you.

  88. ockraz
    ockraz says:

    1. 'writer is a Christian, as it seems almost all contributing bloggers to SPL are'

    a) Almost all? If you're talking about the majority of contributors, I can't say. I'm unfamiliar with the guest writers. However, by number of posts, '' writes the most and 'M' the second most. They're both nontheists. From the contributor list, I know Nate, Nulono, and cannibalrosecreations are too. Some people I don't know if they're religious or not. Some people I do, but I don't know what blogger name they use. I do know of at least four additional atheists who've written multiple posts.

    b) Some people have a misconception that SPL is a group of secular PLers. It's not it's a group of PLers who have secular reasons for being PL and agree that the legal and policy questions must be supported by secular reasoning. Some members (like me) have ONLY secular reasons for their views, but others (like Clinton) don't.

    c) Some PCers think that somehow people who don't have only secular reasons for being PL should be silent or disqualified from trying to affect changes to abortion laws. That's both stupid and hypocritical. It's stupid because a sizeable majority of Americans think morality is inherently religious. Therefore such disqualification would make democracy impossible. It's
    hypocritical because there are explicitly religious PC groups that PCers generally don't object to and often point to to argue against PL being the right view for someone with religious faith. There's zero attempt from PCers to silence PC advocates who happen to be religious. Plus, given that most PCers are social liberals it's also relevant that on other issues they support, actual /churches/ are welcomed when the churches argue to their membership that their religion supports a socially liberal view.

    2. These are not the same thing…
    Clinton: They feel it's immoral to tell women to take precautions for safety Purple: immoral for women to take precautions

    That should make Clinton's point clear.

    The 'to tell them to' is what is at issue, and whether doing so is good (Which I think Clinton believes) or whether on balance it does more harm because of how it affects the culture (which is a fairly common feminist argument).

    The actual 'taking of precautions' isn't the disputed point.

  89. ockraz
    ockraz says:

    You should understand that your argument about the exact nature of consent comes across as irrelevant and hypocritical as long as you're only concerned with consent when it serves your purposes.

    If your concern about consent is genuine then I guess that you can either

    1. show that there's reason to think the fetus would consent to the abortion
    2. show that the action of the prenate is the cause of the situation where it's interests are irreconcilably in conflict with the interests of the gravid

  90. ockraz
    ockraz says:

    really – your reasoning applies in a situation where there's an invasion (in a location analogy) or a violation of someone's bodily integrity by putting something in your body or violating your body – it doesn't apply to someone shanghaied (location) or to your putting something in your own body-
    so your point about lacking permission is irrelevant

  91. Purple Slurpy
    Purple Slurpy says:

    Hi Ockraz

    My impression is from the people who write the blogs. It just seems in the end, its always "the unborn baby this" and "the unborn baby that". When pressed on why we should consider very early fetuses to be "babies", it always seems to end up to a sugar coating of "because… soul … God". I haven't actually seen a real secular argument on this site yet.
    Sure, we are a free democracy so people can hold any view, and act on it politically as they like. I just rather not be ruled by dogmatic people who refuse to objectively consider the reality that is in front of them. Secularists don't object to religion, I think they rather object to dogma.

    And I think Clinton is misrepresenting the feminist position. It seems like Clinton is saying feminists believe so much that behavior could be changed, that telling women to also consider the realities of the current world is immoral. Sorry, I have never been under that impression.

  92. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    For the partners in the sex act. Not so for the unborn child created by the sex act. Conception is a foreseeable consequence of sex, and at the time of the act is consented to, the partners also consent to its foreseeable consequences, even if they take measures to prevent those consequences. Sort of how you implicitly consent to digestion when you eat something.

  93. ockraz
    ockraz says:

    people on your side keep trying to make a violation of bodily integrity argument based on the same sort of thought experiment JJThomson used, despite the fact that that bodily integrity violation is only an argument for abortion in cases of rape – something our side pointed out in 1972

  94. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    True that these issues need to be addressed, and they may well decrease the need for abortion. However that absolutely does NOT mean abortion should be banned.

    If abortion would actually be unnecessary once these measures are in place, WHY ask people to "change their position on abortion" at all? There's no need to put the cart before the horse (unless you have some hidden agenda).

  95. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    Bodily integrity matters in ANY situation. When anyone violates your body, you have a right to use lethal force if necessary to get them off your body (as in killing a rapist to protect your body).

  96. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    All those situations involve causing SUFFERING to others, which is wrong and unethical. So people have a right to prohibit such acts.

    Killing is not the same as cruelty/suffering. If you object to killing zefs, you have to provide valid reasons first.

  97. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    According to your logic, if you ingest parasite eggs in food and get an infestation of internal parasites born inside your body, you have no right to get rid of them because they were shanghaied to that situation.

    My point is: The invader's intent (or lack of it) is irrelevant when it comes to protecting your body. Your right to protect your body is NOT negated by the invader's "innocence" or lack of intent.

  98. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    So if a cognitively disabled individual with the mind of a toddler is raping you, it would be wrong to violate his bodily integrity in order to protect your own bodily integrity?

  99. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    -Why is it wrong to kill humans, even non-conginzant ones, but perfectly fine to animals who are fully sentient?

    -As I asked before, what's your position on killing a rapist (human being) to protect your body?

  100. Plum Dumpling
    Plum Dumpling says:

    So if religious philosophy and morality is not enough, we can always do a philosopher/social gadfly's morals. No religion here. I hate it when I agree with Ayn Rand.

    An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn).

    Abortion is a moral right—which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body?“Of Living Death”
    The Voice of Reason, 58–59

    Never mind the vicious nonsense of claiming that an embryo has a “right to life.” A piece of protoplasm has no rights—and no life in the human sense of the term. One may argue about the later stages of a pregnancy, but the essential issue concerns only the first three months. To equate apotential with an actual, is vicious; to advocate the sacrifice of the latter to the former, is unspeakable. . . . Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living: the right of young people to set the course of their own lives. The task of raising a child is a tremendous, lifelong responsibility, which no one should undertake unwittingly or unwillingly. Procreation is not a duty: human beings are not stock-farm animals. For conscientious persons, an unwanted pregnancy is a disaster; to oppose its termination is to advocate sacrifice, not for the sake of anyone’s benefit, but for the sake of misery qua misery, for the sake of forbidding happiness and fulfillment to living human beings.“A Last Survey”
    The Ayn Rand Letter, IV, 2, 3

    If any among you are confused or taken in by the argument that the cells of an embryo are living human cells, remember that so are all the cells of your body, including the cells of your skin, your tonsils, or your ruptured appendix—and that cutting them is murder, according to the notions of that proposed law. Remember also that a potentiality is not the equivalent of an actuality—and that a human being’s life begins at birth.

    The question of abortion involves much more than the termination of a pregnancy: it is a question of the entire life of the parents. As I have said before, parenthood is an enormous responsibility; it is animpossible responsibility for young people who are ambitious and struggling, but poor; particularly if they are intelligent and conscientious enough not to abandon their child on a doorstep nor to surrender it to adoption. For such young people, pregnancy is a death sentence: parenthood would force them to give up their future, and condemn them to a life of hopeless drudgery, of slavery to a child’s physical and financial needs. The situation of an unwed mother, abandoned by her lover, is even worse.

    I cannot quite imagine the state of mind of a person who would wish to condemn a fellow human being to such a horror. I cannot project the degree of hatred required to make those women run around in crusades against abortion. Hatred is what they certainly project, not love for the embryos, which is a piece of nonsense no one could experience, but hatred, a virulent hatred for an unnamed object. Judging by the degree of those women’s intensity, I would say that it is an issue of self-esteem and that their fear is metaphysical. Their hatred is directed against human beings as such, against the mind, against reason, against ambition, against success, against love, against any value that brings happiness to human life. In compliance with the dishonesty that dominates today’s intellectual field, they call themselves “pro-life.”

    By what right does anyone claim the power to dispose of the lives of others and to dictate their personal choices? – “The Age of Mediocrity”

  101. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    if someone is being physically attacked, they can use force to repel their attacker, regardless of the person's level of intelligence of said attacker. Whether or not lethal force is justified depends on the situation. Not sure how this relates to abortion? Last I checked, unborn children were incapable of physically attacking their parents.

  102. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    -Let me rephrase the first question: Why is it wrong to kill humans, even non-conginzant ones, but perfectly fine to kill animals who have the full capacity to suffer, i.e. feel pain fear & distress?

    -If it's OK to to kill a rapist to get him off your body, why is it not OK to kill a zef to get them off your body? They are BOTH invading your body without your consent. Why is it ok to kill one but not the other?

  103. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    Living inside another person's body, using their blood & organs for an extended period, and coming out ripping their body apart, are ALL acts of harm to the host's body.

    How is this different from rape, except that pregnancy is longer in duration than rape?

  104. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    That didn't answer my question.

    As we were discussing elsewhere, if it's ok to kill a rapist to get him off your body, why is it not ok to kill a zef to get them off your body? Same principle. Both are unwelcome visitors in your body.

  105. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:


    Animals are definitely sentient, some are even sapient, and many are capable of emotions and empathy.

    Animals are not different from us in kind, only in degree.

  106. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    1. Food chain

    2. Are you serious? You might want to take a class on human reproduction, because I'm not sure that you know how it works. For example, an unborn child does not ask to be conceived, or demand conception. His parents perform an action that is, in 99% of cases, wholly consensual, and put him in there. And they have the gall to say they want to kill him, because they failed to anticipate easily foreseeable consequences of their actions (sex = conception).

  107. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    Whether or not lethal force is justified depends on the situation

    Yeah, it does, as in, if there is NO other means of escape. The ONLY way a woman can escape the assaults of a prenate is to remove it from her body.

    Last I checked, unborn children were incapable of physically attacking their parents.

    Drilling into a major blood vessel
    Dampeining the immune system
    Infusing the body with addictive hormones
    Injecting more hormones into the woman's body to extract extra sugar, nutrients and iron
    Withdrawing calcium from the woman's bones and teeth
    Expelling toxic biowastes into her blood
    And causing hours and hours of pain, perhaps even days, in childibirth, tearing and ripping of the woman's genitals, and always, the potential for death.

    It's an assault, regardless of whether or not the prenate *intends* to hurt the woman. And I sincerely doubt that you would put up with any of the above listed assaults upon your body if it was done by anyone other than a prenate – even if it was a 5 year old trying to save it's very life by hijacking your body.

  108. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Because it's human reproduction. It's a natural biological process. Rape is not a natural biological process, in fact it's the exact opposite.
    If you don't know the difference between pregnancy and rape, I suggest you take a class on human reproduction.
    Are you seriously saying that every single pregnant woman is in the process of being raped as we speak?

  109. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    You are ignorant of simple biology and human reproduction if that is your belief. Unborn children don't spontaneously appear in the uterus with no action taken on the part of the parents.

  110. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    that is an example of a human system not working as designed, and fixing the problem is restoring the body to health. Whereas pregnancy will occur when a human reproductive system is functioning perfectly.

  111. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    She can remove it from her body, once the baby is viable outside the womb. Otherwise she's assaulting an innocent child who is in that situation through no fault of their own.

  112. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    Mammals are sentient, all of them. Amoebas, not so much. A zygote has the awareness and the brain function of an amoeba.

    And some mammals are *sapient* – they can suffer, they can make decisions, plan ahead, learn language and even learn tool usage, and pass that knowledge along to their children. These animals include dolphins, corvids and the great apes.

  113. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    Rape IS completely natural, as pro-lifer Paul Ryan said, rape is just another method of conception.

    As vile a statement as that is, he was correct. Rape is a reproductive strategy utilized by males across nature to transmit their genes to the next generation without having to use any of their own resources to raise the offspring. It's a win-win for rapists. The female version is cuckolding – females will cheat on their mate, and he will unknowingly raise another male's offspring.

  114. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    Unborn 'children' are only place in the uterus in the case of IVF.

    Sperm and ova are completely autonomous, as is the resulting blastocyst. The woman cannot through force of will, force the sperm to fertilize the ovum, and she certainly can't force it to implant on her uterine wall. If she could, there would never be another ectopic pregnancies, or a need for IVF.

    You are the ignorant one, my dear.

  115. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    Really? so you're meant to have perfect eyesight and organ function up until the day you die? I mean, why should you die, if, according to you, the 'human system working as designed' means that the organs NEVER break down?

  116. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    She isn't assaulting it because it has no right to her body.

    And as I keep stating, it dies because it is essentially unhooked from her organs.

    And she has every right to unhook it from her body, after all,she's only acting on HER body.

  117. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Paul Ryan never said that. Rape may be a manner in which conceptions rarely come about, but that does not mean that rape is a good or acceptable thing. The human rights of the child are not dependent on the manner in which he or she was conceived.

  118. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    You're correct. So I'm still wondering why you seem to be so confused about human reproduction. Been pregnant seven times, I have a pretty good idea of how it works. Each time I conceived, my husband and I had performed a specific act that led to the child's conception. She did not spontaneously appear in my uterus, our feelings about whether or not we wanted a child conceived had no bearing on if he or she was conceived.

  119. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    “I’m very proud of my pro-life record. I’ve always adopted the idea that
    the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life,"

    Yeah, so I don't even know WHY you are arguing using the responsibility objection, since your argument, in a nutshell is:

    If a person is born with a uterus it is their duty to bear children regardless of their wishes on the matter. Full stop.

  120. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    The function of the uterus in a woman's body is to gestate an unborn child. I don't see how you can make the argument that an unborn child is some sort of malicious, unnatural, and unforeseen invader when there is an organ in the woman's body specifically designed to gestate him or her. You might as well say that food is invading our stomachs when we eat, and bulimia is just a response to the unjust action of food trying to digest in our stomachs.

  121. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    Disease and degradation are part of our natural 'design' unless of course you think that you were 'designed' to live forever without your organs ever wearing out?

  122. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    Naturalistic fallacy.

    The function of your stomach is to digest food, that doesn't give someone the right to force feed you, just because you have a stomach.

    The function of your vagina is to accept a penis, that doesn't give random penises the right to penetrate your body any time they wish.

  123. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    No, it is an actual human being. A potential human being would be a human sperm cell and a human ovum. But once the sperm cell fertilizes the ovum, an actual human being exists.

  124. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    So, are you trying to say that you can tell how people were conceived? You can look at a person and say, "oh you were conceived by rape," "you were conceived by IVF," and so on?
    Last time I checked the manner in which a person was conceived had absolutely no bearing on their human rights.

  125. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    That's not the argument I am making. I am saying that I don't see why you even waste your time with the responsibility objection, seeing as how you believe that simply being born with a uterus is consent to pregnancy.

  126. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Never claimed that I did. In fact that's my point. 99% of the time, the man and the woman involved did control when the sperm entered the woman's body. Women can determine when they are ovulating based on biological markers of fertility.

  127. argent
    argent says:

    You know that calling me "an authoritarian" and "uneducated" means absolutely nothing when I'm the one who knows my own general views and level of education, right? Were you intending to set a record for "most easily disproved claims on the internet"?

    And nah, thinking that people shouldn't deliberately harm
    other human beings doesn't mean I believe I should be in charge of their
    lives. Don't you know that basically any group ever who's had to stop
    discriminating against another group has claimed that their lives are being controlled?
    Adultists who want to justify child abuse say "you're trying to control
    my parenting life!" People who want to discriminate against queers say "you're trying to control my business life!" The pro-choice tactic is not new.

  128. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    I agree. But when you freely and just food, then it's not logical to say that digestion is unwanted and unwarranted. Same with when you consent to a man ejaculating in your vagina. It is not logical to then say that reproduction shouldn't occur. It's a natural biological consequence & the person's feelings about whether or not it should occur are irrelevant. It will occur (or not) independent of the feelings or desires involved.

  129. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    If an unborn child dies in the womb, then it is an actual human being who died at a very early stage of his or her development. When I had my first miscarriage, we had his or her remains buried in a grave. His or her remains weren't imaginary or potential. They were actual.

  130. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    No, I believe that engaging in the act that is biologically intended for reproduction is consent to the foreseeable consequences of that act, such as reproduction.

  131. Plum Dumpling
    Plum Dumpling says:

    You mean you went to school and you are still so dumb and nuts. Interesting. I see you are incapable of addressing points made. You got your rant and you are going to rant it.

  132. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Gone over this already. They are both actual human beings, just in different stages of development. Newborns who die have their development stopped too. Same with a teenager or even an adult.

  133. someone45
    someone45 says:

    No they are not the same. If they require a host to survive they are not a viable human being.

    You cannot force a woman to carry a embryo/fetus she doesn't want to term. That is gestational slavery.

  134. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Rape is obviously a different situation, but hard cases make bad law. In over 99% of cases, the act that led to a child's conception was consensual.
    With rape it becomes an issue of not executing an innocent child for the crime of his or her biological father.

  135. someone45
    someone45 says:

    So… consent to sex is not consent to the misery of pregnancy.

    Also do you really think it is right to punish and force a raped women to risk her health and life because of what some creep did to her? Why punish her for being raped…

  136. someone45
    someone45 says:

    Yeah because I am going to believe something from an anti-choice website…

    I grew up around Catholics who all used NFP. If it is so great please explain why they all had huge families.

  137. someone45
    someone45 says:

    I was replying to your rambling about how a consensual act lead to a pregnancy in 99% of cases

    and I also wanted to know if you really believe in punishing rape victims.

  138. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Yes, it is indeed a difficult and heartrending situation when a woman is raped and becomes pregnant. However, the child is not to blame for the assault – the rapist carries 100% of the blame, and both the woman and the child are innocent victims. The abortion does not erase the rape. It just perpetuates the violence. Do you ever talk to any rape victims who became pregnant after the assault? I have. All the women I know who conceived after rape, and all the people I know who were the result of conception via rape, find viewpoints like yours quite repugnant.

  139. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Not at all. Logical conclusion. You say that because unborn children die naturally, you should be able to kill them. I say because senior citizens die naturally, I should be able to kill them. See where your logic leads?

  140. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    An unborn child is not a parasite. He or she has a mother, not a host. For one thing, by definition a parasite must be a different species than its host. That is not the case with an unborn child and his or her mother.

  141. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Miscarriage is, sure. But spontaneous abortion and medical/surgical abortion are not the same thing. An article about that for Secular ProLife just the other day, actually. The National Center for Biotechnology Information states: “A miscarriage may also be called a 'spontaneous abortion.' This refers to naturally occurring events, not medical abortions or surgical abortions” (emphasis mine)
    If natural death was the exact same thing as intentional murder, no one could ever be prosecuted for killing a senior citizen.

  142. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    Right. You're dodging. She's of sound mind and she just doesn't want to be pregnant with the rapist's offspring.

    She takes pennyroyal from the garden and aborts.

    So, is it murder or isn't it?

    What if she killed the rapist's baby after birth?Snapped it's neck as it came out of the birth canal, would you still give me the same answer?

  143. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    You are still misunderstanding, out of natural stupidity or purposeful obtuseness I am not sure.

    Sex can either lead to 1) conception 2) implantation 3) no implantation 4) spontaneous abortion

    The uterus is not always hospitable to the fertilized ovum, and therefore a foreseeable consequence of sex just happens to be spontaneous abortion or no pregnancy at all.

  144. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    You forgot (5), birth.

    Otherwise, I agree with you. But once again, just because some pregnancies end in the miscarriage does not mean it's okay to deliberately kill unborn human beings.

  145. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    Right. So if someone chloroformed you, then inserted a 40 year old unconscious man into your body where he recuperated for 9 months, if at any point you woke up and removed him from your body, you would be guilty of 1st degree murder and should spend life in prison orr get the death penalty yeah?

  146. Purple Slurpy
    Purple Slurpy says:

    Interesting link. I'm glad that the woman is happy that she has 5 children, and can view each one as a gift.

    That said, isn't that just like the explanation for the effectiveness of prayer? If you get your wish granted, the prayer worked because god listened to you. If you didn't get what you wanted, the prayer also worked because god listened to you, but he decided that his plans for you are better than what you wished for.

    Women who use NFP have large families because god gave them large families. Uh, then what is the point of using NFP? No matter what, you get the number of children that god wishes you to have.

    This way of thinking is truly frightening to me, it really is. It shows a complete disconnect with reality, and the ability to interpret the results of your actions so that you or your god can never, ever, ever, ever, ever be wrong. It is the absolute antithesis of the rational mind.

  147. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Actually, if I refuse to breastfeed my baby and there was no other food source available, I could be punished for allowing my child to die by denying him access to my breastmilk.
    A mother's womb is shelter for her child, and her placenta and the umbilical cord provide nutrition.

  148. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    A mother's womb is shelter for her child, and her placenta and the umbilical cord provide nutrition.

    You don't understand gestation at all, do you?

    And no, you have the right to refuse to breastfeed your baby. Besides, breastfeeding is not considered an extraordinary burden, whereas letting the child use your blood/organs and tissue, as in a pregnancy, IS.

  149. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    -Are you saying that it's OK to kill any individual as long as you eat them (regardless of how sentient they are, or how much they can suffer?
    Would it be OK to kill zefs if provided they were used in food?

    -The invader's innocence (or lack of intent), or the fact that your own actions may have led to the invasion, does NOT negate your right to protect your body.
    For example: If the person raping you is mentally disabled, do you lose your right to protect yourself? Are you now obligated to endure the rape?

  150. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    "Women who use NFP have large families because god gave them large families."
    No, that's actually not at all what she is saying. She is saying that her decision to conceive her children was just that, her decision (and her husband's, obviously.) It wasn't that they were conceived despite her best efforts to avoid. NFP didn't fail, it's simply that her priorities and philosophies changed over the course of her married life.
    (And not all women who use NFP have large families – I know women who are using NFP who have one or two or zero children. I also know women who are single but use it to monitor their gynecological health.)

  151. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    I've been pregnant seven times. I think I understand gestation a little bit better than you do, thanks.
    I would like to see a source for your claim that a mother can starve her child to death with no repercussions.

  152. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    A parasitic infestation is a natural biological process. So is cancer. Are you obligated to endure these things without remedy just because they are "natural"?

    (Rape is prevalent in the natural world. Rape is considered wrong/unacceptable only in certain human societies. Rape is not right, but neither is it unnatural. )

    My point is, we should not be slaves to nature. We have technology to do BETTER THAN nature.

    "Are you seriously saying that every single pregnant woman is in the process of being raped as we speak?"

    No, some like it. Some might even like rape. Does that mean ALL women should be forced to do something just because SOME like it? Absolutely not.

  153. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    So my unborn children were not my offspring? I'm pretty sure if you had sampled their DNA when they were within my room, it would have showed that they were my offspring.

  154. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    As I said, the fact that your own actions may have led to an invasion does NOT negate your right to protect your body.

    Let's assume you voluntarily walked into a man's house & he started raping you. Do you now have no right to protect you because "it was your own fault for going in there in the first place"? Are you now OBLIGATED to endure the rape because your own actions may have led to the rape?

  155. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    My answer stands. The article I linked is a more thorough response. Your thought experiment is a tired, unrealistic canard that abortion advocates have been using for decades now.

  156. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    1. Obviously you don't know what the food chain is, so I would recommend reading up on that first.
    2. Irrelevant to abortion as unborn children do not attack their parents.

  157. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    They are not your offspring until gestation is complete, otherwise you could carry a briefcase of blastocysts around with you for 30 years and introduce them as your babies

  158. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Biology fail. Parasites are not natural. Quite the opposite. Nor is cancer natural. If cancer occurs the body is not functioning normally – cancer is abnormal mutations of cells.

  159. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Apples and oranges. Rape is not a natural biological process, unlike pregnancy.
    For the record, rape is never justified, no matter the circumstances. I hope we can agree on that.

  160. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    =What the food chain does NOT mean is that "animals are here for us to eat". That's the religious nuts version of the food chain.
    Any living being powerful enough to catch & kill another, is free to eat them. So please stop dodging and answer my questions.

    -As I explained elsewhere, unwanted pregnancy is an invasion of your body, much like rape. Again, stop dodging and answer the question DIRECTLY>

  161. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    Parasites are not natural? Where did you go to school? Parasites are living beings who inhabit this world just like humans. To complete their NATURAL life cycle, they HAVE to live inside a host. Sometimes that host is a human.

    That WE don't like parasites does not make them unnatural.

  162. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    Adding to the response I already made: Parasites ARE natural, as are all diseases, as is pregancy.

    If it's fine for you to get rid of parasites just because you don;t like them, what's wrong with someone else getting rid of a pregnancy because she doesn't like it?

  163. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    But if you're talking about children created during the IVF process and subsequently cryogenically frozen, those blastocysts/embryos would be my offspring assuming that my gametes were used in their creation. Of their conception does not change their DNA, or their status as human organisms.

  164. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    But you would certainly know more than someone who has never digested food before.
    If you digest food many times over the course of your life, you get a pretty good idea of how the process works.

  165. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    So what? Injury is a foreseeable consequence of playing any sport. Getting attacked/mugged is a foreseeable consequence of walking in a dangerous neighborhood.

    If these consequences happened as a result of your action, are you barred from getting a remedy (treatment to the injury or fending off the attack) because they were :"foreseeable consequences"?

  166. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    1. Not really. It's actually a rather simplistic and barbaric view of it.
    2. I fail to see how a natural biological process is an invasion, given that unborn children do not spontaneously appear in a woman's uterus.

  167. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    Then explain the process of gestation and implantion to us. In detail. In your own words. Explain gene expression, interpretation and epigenetics. Explain precisely how the prenate takes resources from the woman's body, and the role of selfish genes and genomic imprinting in the process.

    I'll wait.

  168. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Your contention is that having a parasite is a natural biological process for every human being? Our bodies are biologically intended to host parasites, and people who do not host parasites do not have properly functioning bodies?
    Can you provide scientific evidence that supports those assertions?

  169. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    Can you please stop dodging and answer the questions?

    -Why is it ok to kill animals/plants but not humans? (Keep in mind that food is NOT the only reason animals/plants are killed. Billions of them are killed every day for a variety of reasons, ranging from necessity, convenience to mere pleasure)

    -As I already explained to you MANY times, we are not slaves to nature. And your right to protect your body is NOT negated by the fact that your own actions may have led to the invasion.

  170. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    NO, the host-parasite relationship is a natural biological process. Living inside a host is a natural biological process for every parasite. (otherwise they die, much like a zef)

    Does than mean every human host has to acceot every parasite that gets inside their body?

    If not, why should they accept every zef that gets inside their body?

  171. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    In the second scenario, most likely the remedy would involve killing the attacker.

    Are you claiming that if you get attacked by walking in a dangerous neighborhood, you have no right to protect yourself because the attack was a foreseeable consequence?

  172. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Well, if you're too lazy to follow a link which contains more detailed info than will fit in a combox, I'm afraid I'm going to have to disappoint you. I make it a policy not to pander to laziness.

  173. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    You have to be a religious nut, considering you simply CANNOT think outside the box of "we we we we; us us us us".

    Humans are NOT the only inhabitants of the universe. Nature includes ALL living beings, most of which are non-humans, some of which are parasites.

    The fact that WE don't like some living beings does not make them unnatural.

  174. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    The moment any individual (human being or not) violates another person's body, any "rights" they had are GONE.

    If the invader is living INSIDE another person's body, it's now totally upto that person whehter the invader lives or dies.

  175. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    Because every zef is a human being with an inalienable right to life. A parasite is not a human being.
    I'm curious, do you go up to cancer patients and tell them they should not do chemotherapy, given that you believe cancer is a natural, normal, non-lethal biological process? I wonder if the American Cancer Society knows this.
    I don't see any point in continuing this conversation given your… unique perspective on biology and reproduction.

  176. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    "Food chain" is not an answer, and I explained why in great detail. I take it you have no rebuttal to that?

    You keep dodging both points. As I asked before, if you are being raped by a mentally disabled person (who is not culpable) do you have the right to kill him to protect your body?

    Your continued refusal to answer only indicates your agreement with my position.

  177. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    The part where it's not necessary to reinvent the wheel. The information you seek is at It's one of the primary sources for my own information, so I would be regurgitating it here. It's more efficient for you to go straight to the source.

  178. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    Anyone's "inalienable right to life" does NOT extend to using another person's body without their consent.

    No person has an obligation to keep anyone else alive AT THE EXPENSE OF their own body.

    It's YOU who are a slave to nature, therefore it's YOUR job to tell cancer patients to not take therapy, just like you try to dictate to women what to do with their bodies.

    I on the other hand, am perfectly fine with overriding nature with technology. Chemotherapy & abortion both serve that purpose in different situations.

  179. JoAnna Wahlund
    JoAnna Wahlund says:

    When a person goes for a walk, they have a reasonable expectation that other people will follow the law and not attack them. If people around them break the law and attack them, they're within their rights to respond with force. However they are not allowed to to kill innocent bystanders.
    An unborn child is not breaking any laws by being conceived when his or her parents engage in a consensual sex act. In fact, the unborn child has no say in the matter. He or she is an innocent bystander.

  180. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    The basis of "me me me me; us us us us; everything exists for US" comes from religion.

    From where did YOU get it if not religion? Do you mean to say you were born this selfish & self centered?

  181. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    For the tenth time: The CULPABILITY of the attacker is irrelevant when it comes to protecting your body.

    You have YET to answer my question about the mentally disabled rapist. Do you mean to say that you would allow the rape to go on because the rapist is not culpable?

  182. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    Hahahaha I SMELLED she was a religious nut from her inability to think outside the "human box".

    I asked if she was religous & she dodged even that simple question.

  183. lady_black
    lady_black says:

    That sounds like the condition of the beating heart corpse I once had to care for. Mercifully he didn't last for 30 years, and I don't think that would have even been possible. He was disgusting to take care of. Cold to the touch just like a dead body, with tissues breaking down all over the place. The scuttlebutt was that they revived him after he was gone for more than half an hour. Yeah he was dead. His heart just didn't jnow enough to stop beating. The whole Marlise Munoz scandal brought those memories flooding back. I felt SOOO sorry for the family, and the staff who had to give "care" to her. It was uncomfortable enough for me, and the guy was a stranger to me.

  184. lady_black
    lady_black says:

    No dear. A brain dead person is NOT "technically alive." They are actually really dead. Their brain has died, and these are commonly called beating heart corpses. Electrical cardiac activity continues so long as air is forced into the lungs. But the body knows what happened. They will be cold to the touch, and they will begin to decay. Brain-dead persons should be kept on life-support only so long as it takes to plan organ donations (if indicated) and give the family time to say their goodbyes. When the family insists on maintaining the beating heart corpse, a horror show ensues. There is no hope of recovery, EVER. And there are limits to how long it can be maintained. The organs will slowly start shutting down. Very unpleasant.

  185. lady_black
    lady_black says:

    There is no such thing as "inherent" rationality. That's something a zygote doesn't "inherently" possess, nor are there any guarantees it ever WILL possess rationality.

  186. lady_black
    lady_black says:

    They lie. There are no guarantees that a zygote will even result in a pregnancy, much less a rational being. So I guess that "inherent rationality" is a whole lot of hooey for 70% of them.

  187. Ella Warnock
    Ella Warnock says:

    I've talked to women who have carried pregnancies resulting from rape to term and both kept the children and given them up for adoption. They're glad they did so. I've talked to a few women who have aborted pregnancies resulting from rape. They're also glad they did so. None of these women indicated that they found the different choices that others made personally troubling to themselves.

  188. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    ok, argent. How about this. Since you are pretending that the brain has no importance, how about my magic wish. Picture about 50 women or so, each a few weeks pregant, with a tiny innocent defenseless vulnerable kindey bean sized 'human being' inside them.

    They all make you the following offer: For every ounce of your brain you have surgically removed, ONE of them will carry the pregnancy to term. If you have your entire brain removed, except for the brain stem (necessary to maintain life because it controls breathing and your heart) then all 50 women will agree not to have an abortion.

    Just think of how much benefit you can get for so little! You pro-lifers all claim that the brain is completely unimportant, that a brainless fertilized egg is just as valuable as a full term baby with a complete brain, that people should not have severely retarded embryos aborted just because of their defective brain. So just picture it, by giving up that 3 pounds of gray matter that you claim is so completely unimportant anyways, you can save those 50 tiny innocent vulnerable defenseless kidney-bean sized 'potential human beings'!

    Do you agree? Or do you handwave your way out of it?

  189. lady_black
    lady_black says:

    Straw man. No feminists *actually* say that. There is nothing wrong with taking ANY precautions to defend oneself against an assault. Whether it's roofie-detecting nail polish, carrying a canister of pepper spray or a hunting knife, traveling in groups, keeping a parade whistle on a chain around your neck or taking tae kwon do. What feminists actually object to is putting the onus on women to *prevent rape* and putting the blame on the victim when it does happen.

  190. lady_black
    lady_black says:

    Sentience is the capability to experience suffering, which doesn't develop six months after birth. A newborn is capable of experiencing suffering (and expressing it), otherwise we wouldn't be able to tell when they were hungry or uncomfortable. They wouldn't ever FEEL hunger or pain, and thus would never cry to let us know they need something. A diaper pin could be embedded in their skin right up to the hilt and we'd be clueless until we looked. As it is, they let us know if a pin has come undone and is merely poking them.

  191. lady_black
    lady_black says:

    You don't HAVE to recognize them. His emotional responses are none of your damn business unless he wants you to know. This isn't about emotional responses and your ability to read them. This is about embryos and fetuses not having emotions in the first place, because they are mindless. Emotions require a mind.

  192. lady_black
    lady_black says:

    Sociopaths are not incapable of experiencing emotions. They are incapable of experiencing empathy, and they are incapable of internal moderation of their behavior and they are cognitively incapable of learning from their mistakes. Sociopaths are both sentient and sapient, and many of them are highly successful in fields such as sales and politics. Unconscious people also experience emotions (as in reaction to dreaming), and so do those with psychological disorders. You aren't quite as smart as you think you are.

  193. lady_black
    lady_black says:

    I looked up the definition of "organism" and none of the definitions fit a fertilized ovum. There ARE single-celled organisms in existence. However, these single-celled organisms are capable of life as an individual. They are not dependent upon the life-functions of other organisms of their species. So no, a zygote cannot exist as an individual and cannot carry out it's own life functions. There is as yet no specialization of independent functioning. It merely duplicates itself multiple times until it implants and the DNA code begins to be read and executed by the woman's body. This is why embryos can be grown in petri dishes (up to a certain point), but fetuses cannot. They need that interpretation and executing of the DNA code by the mother's body. See epigenetics for more information.

  194. lady_black
    lady_black says:

    It starts out as a fertilized ovum. A defectively fertilized ovum to be sure. But a fertilized ovum all the same. Mere fertilization of an ovum is no guarantee of human life.

  195. lady_black
    lady_black says:

    "The motor nuclei are better organized than the sensory." Translation: at 44 days (which is considerably past "4 weeks" neurological function has developed that allows the 6 week old embryo to engage in reflexive (non-purposeful) movement. But there is no sensation (and won't be for quite a while) and certainly no thought. The human brain undergoes the most expansive development ever in the 9 months of pregnancy, yet at birth, a human infant's brain is STILL underdeveloped as compared to other species of mammals. Other mammals (think dogs, cats, horses, cows, pigs, dolphins, etc.) are capable of purposeful movement upon birth, and the foal will be standing upright within hours of birth. A puppy or kitten (even being blind and deaf) is capable of locating their mother by scent and rooting for a nipple without assistance from the mother. The brain will reach most of it's adult size in the first 5 years of life. Purposeful movements begin to be observed within the first few months as infantile reflexes begin to disappear, and development proceeds in a cephalocaudal manner, meaning control of the head first, then the upper extremities, and then the lower extremities. Full brain development isn't complete in humans until about age 25. All these facts will give you a limited idea of how absolutely COMPLICATED the human brain is. Please don't insult our intelligence by anthropomorphizing the embryo by attributing thought and emotion to it. It just isn't so.

  196. lady_black
    lady_black says:

    Oh they Absolutely have sentience on a par with humans. They are every bit as capable of experiencing suffering, both mental and physical. Don't confuse sentience with sapience. And yes, many animals have limited sapience as well.

  197. lady_black
    lady_black says:

    I've seen limited tool utilization in my cockatiel. If he picks up something too large to swallow in one bite, he'll place it on one of the wider bars of his bird home, using as a "table" of sorts, so he can break it up into smaller bites. This bird is pretty darn smart and requires a lot of mental stimulation. He also knows when I'm making some of his favorite treats (like waffles and pancakes) and will squawk until he gets his share. He knows a box of Rice Chex by sight (another of his desired treats) and breaks into song upon seeing it. Calling someone a "bird brain" to indicate stupidity isn't entirely accurate.

  198. Ramanusia
    Ramanusia says:

    And I think that denying the right to life and bodily autonomy to other human beings is also wrong, especially when those human being are fully cognizant of their rights and telling you that they object to you violating them.

    Pushing your political views over a woman's basic right to autonomy is pretty wrong ethically.

  199. lady_black
    lady_black says:

    Yeah that's too bad. But sex isn't consent to gestation. I didn't ask for conception either, nor is conception an act of harm toward the conceptus. It's state of "neediness" doesn't create any rights to the use of my body. No matter how it got there.

  200. lady_black
    lady_black says:

    Yeah, I would consider it an invasion. I had my tubes tied. A voluntary action pretty much akin to hanging out the "no fetus welcome here" sign. Therefore I have withdrawn my consent to pregnancy. It has no right to override my rights to be done with childbearing.

  201. Ramanusia
    Ramanusia says:

    So you're not really against the idea of causing pain or suffering to a sentient individual.

    And 2. Are you serious? Have you ever been taught anything about basic human physiology?

    Apparently, no one taught you vocabulary. Childhood starts at birth, and unborn child is the same as an unborn senior citizen, a term used by someone who is not clear on what words mean. An unborn senior citizen doesn't ask permission to enter into a woman's body, it doesn't ask permission to bury into her blood vessels and tap in, it doesn't ask to steal oxygen or glucose, or blood volume, or ask to dump its wastes. Your 99% number is 290% imaginary.

    No one puts a zygote anyway, it burrows in, if you choose not to consent to gestation or implantation, it's NON CONSENSUAL.

    Yes, they have the gall to say, hey, you foreign creature that some uneducated fools insist is a person, you, like every other person in the world, do NOT have the right to invade my body or my tissues against my will.

    Pregnancy is not forseeable in every case, in most cases, that's kind of why more than half of all pregnancies actually implant are not planned.
    Had you not failed your abstinence only class, you might understand that sex does not equal conception.

    Please correct your astounding ignorance.

  202. Ramanusia
    Ramanusia says:

    The "food chain" seems to be your handy way of denying everything you said about how you care about pain and suffering and life, when it's in regard to creatures who possess the awareness and the fully developed nervous systems to actually feel such things. Obviously you don't actually mean your arguments then about the "unborn" senior citizens who don't have a developed enough nervous system to process pain, or suffering, and who are not sentient.

    2. There is no such thing as unborn children. There are actually fetuses in the uterus who do "attack" their host by causing severe reactions in their hosts body.

    So it both points are relevant, they're just not convenient for your argument, and your ignorance of them doesn't make them irrelevant.

  203. Ramanusia
    Ramanusia says:

    It's an accurate view of it, one you can't handle because it destroys your argument.

    2. Infection is also a "natural biological process" and it's also an invasion. In fact the immune system sees the 'natural biological process" of a Z/E/F to be an invasion. Children have never appeared in a woman's womb, not ever.

    Given that you seem to fail at a basic understanding of biology and you lost your whole suffering argument, just how can you justify your stance against a procedure you don't know much about?

  204. Ramanusia
    Ramanusia says:

    1. It was asked several times, but you failed to answer.

    2. No such thing as an unborn child, since childhood requires birth. A Z/E/F is literally an invader, per biological fact, the immune system can, will and does recognize it as an invader. RH incompatibility proves this. Thus your evasion fails.
    Want to try again?

  205. Ramanusia
    Ramanusia says:

    Having some foreign organism (what you're insisting is a person) is burrowing into your body to feed off your blood, is a physical attack, thus you just consented to repelling this attacker.

    Last I checked, no such thing as an unborn child and imaginary things certainly cannot attack their parents, however a zygote/embryo/fetus certainly can attack it's host. Just like a hookworm does. Snuggles right into tissue and latches onto an artery.

    Thus you need to check again and correct your ignorance.

  206. Ramanusia
    Ramanusia says:

    She can remove it from her body at any point before viability. There is no child, innocent or otherwise ever inside a woman's body.

    She is also in a situation where she does not want to be pregnant through no fault of her own, why must she sacrifice and her health because you and people like you have made up some silly stories about imaginary things that require her to lose her basic rights of bodily autonomy?

  207. Ramanusia
    Ramanusia says:

    It's like saying, she can remove the hook worm from her body when it's viable outside her body, otherwise she's assaulting an innocent LIFE who is in that situation thorough no fault of it's own. Oh why do you love the murder of innocent hookworms, JoAnna? Why do you hate life?

  208. Ramanusia
    Ramanusia says:

    The function of a woman's immune system is to attack all foreign organisms that invade her body. Since the unborn senior citizen is not recognized as self by that ever so natural thing, the immune system, there is a pretty valid argument for stating that obvious biological facts. Your blindness or ignorance doesn't change facts. The immune system behaving naturally does attack whatever is gestating inside the uterus.

    You might as well just tell us that you just failed every science class ever and that you're too ignorant of basic biology to have any say on this issue.

    Your metaphors are truly terrible, it might have to do with your failure to grasp the simple bio here.

  209. Ramanusia
    Ramanusia says:

    Sure it is. When what you've ingested is rejected by your body, or it's harming you, or when you and your doctor decide that letting whatever it is stay in your stomach. You've got the ability, the natural capacity and the medical responsibility to abort that digestive process.

    When you consent to sex, you are not consenting to gestation. When you swallow a toxin, you're not consenting to being poisoned. You are not using logic here. It's pretty logical to say, I don't wish to or my doctor doesn't think I can survive gestation, so I shouldn't be forced to by people who have nothing to do with me and have no basic conception of biology.

    The natural biological consequence of ingesting toxin is to die or become quite sick, thus you claim it is logical to allow someone to die. After all they ingested something, and that action consented to allowing that toxin to follow its natural course. Who cares about feelings, according to you they're irrelevant. Those 4 year olds who ingested that e.coli, well, feelings are irrelevant, they ate something, and got sick, so their sickness and death is something that is logical and one should not bother to intervene, because digestion!

    Pregnancy may occur, however gestation is a choice a woman makes, and her independence and autonomy as well as her basic human rights grant her this choice, regardless of YOUR feelings or desires or ignorance of what's going on.

  210. Ramanusia
    Ramanusia says:

    You're really terrible with logic aren't you?

    Did the same person who failed to teach you biology also fail to teach you how logic works?

    Homeschooling doesn't work well when the teacher doesn't know very much, you might want to let your mom know.

  211. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    ** For example, an unborn child does not ask to be conceived, or demand conception.**

    That's irrelevent. If someone pushes me off a cliff, and I am falling towards you, you are not obligated to let me fall on you, simply to save my life, at expense of harm to yourself, simply because I didn't 'ask' to fall off the cliff.

    **And they have the gall to say they want to kill him, because they failed to anticipate easily foreseeable consequences of their actions**

    Too bad. It's a tough world. People do not have to give up their bodies even to real people, to save their 'very lives'. Nor do they have to stop having sex because you have sad feelies about embryos while you sit there on your high horse with your fertility strips turning your pope-sanction natural family planning into a precise science.

  212. Ramanusia
    Ramanusia says:

    Um, that's not what she said.
    And it's not a logical conclusion.

    Imaginary children don't exist, pregnancy does not alway take, thus abortion is a natural process as well.

    You insist that it is not. It's not a logical thing to go from abortion is a natural process to your insane desire to kill living breathing people who actually exist.

    Senior citizens can also be murdered, however an embryo can not. Senior citizens are not equivalent to zygotes/embryos or fetuses.

    See where your logic fails?

  213. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    **Irrelevant to abortion as unborn children do not attack their parents.**

    The word 'attack' is irrelevent. Unborn embryoes and fetuses cause harm ranging from mild to death to the mother. One person is not under an obligation to tolerate harm from another person, without their consent. Not to save their 'very lives'. Not because they have a cute head. Not because you have sad feelies.

  214. Ramanusia
    Ramanusia says:

    How are they not the same thing? Both cause a termination of a pregnancy, usually in the same chemical manner.

    Spontaneous abortion is the medical term for miscarriage, induced abortion is when the same hormonal surge that causes a spontaneous miscarriage is artificially induced, but the mechanism is the same.

    Since you can't "intentionally murder" an elderly or any other born person by unplugging them from the human being's artery they're using for sustenence and waste removal, your comparison fails.

    You can't murder that which is not a person, this a belief you share, you call it 'food chain' but logically it's the same thing.

    You might want to put your plans on offing your grandparents on hold, since you can't justify it by comparing it to abortion. But you might to go vegetarian, since your notions about life and natural blah blah, won't permit you to eat meat since that's intentional murder on your part of something that is alive, feels pain and suffers.

    Your logic won't allow you to murder a senior citizen or eat your hamburger.

  215. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    **An unborn child is not an aggressor or an invader, so your question is irrelevant **

    so, that being the case, would it be fine for a pregnant woman to clamp off an artery to her uterus. Or remove a month old fetus intact, and put it on the ground. After all, if it's not aggresively acting as a parasite, it doens't need her blood, and if it's not invading her body, it doesn't need to be there, does it?

  216. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    **The function of the uterus in a woman's body is to gestate an unborn child.**

    That being the case, then why doesn't an unfertilized egg have a right to be fertilized against your will? After all, that is the 'function' of an unfertilized egg.

  217. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    **But when you freely and just food, then it's not logical to say that digestion is unwanted and unwarranted.**

    So, what you're saying here is that you feel there should be a law against people with Anorexia bulimia who deliberately induce vomitting after they eat. As well as against liposuction, since putting fat on your body is a foreseeable consequence against overeating.

    **It is not logical to then say that reproduction shouldn't occur. It's a natural biological consequence & the person's feelings about whether or not it should occur are irrelevant.**

    Whether or not a person wants to have their egg become fertilized and their feelings about it are probably irrelevent as to whether it occurs, but that does not lead to the conclusion that a person is therefore not permitted to alter that situation, any more than a person gaining too much weight by overeating leads to the conclusion that they are not permitted to get liposuction.

    BTW, I'd be pretty careful with you about the 'feelings being irrelevent' argument. I realise that being as stupid as you apparently are, you probably are unaware of the implications of biofeedback, but there are people, who by concentrating, can do things like controlling the muscles in their intestines, altering their heart rate, and raising and lowering their body temperature. I'm pretty good myself, at the latter. So hypothetically, if I got pregnant, and then concentrated enough to induce a high body temperature in myself, I could very well kill an embryo by that method.

    So I'd say my feelings are pretty 'relevent', and in fact, the feelings of ANY woman, regardless as to whether she can concentrate as much as me, are pretty 'relevent' as to whether she should be pregnant or not, since she shouldn't be forced to, against her will, and the only reason YOU think that people's feelings are irrelevent is that first of all, being as stupid as you have shown yourself to be, you arealmost certainly incapable of the sort of concentration biofeedback requires yourself, and secondly, you are more concerned with the imaginary feelings of fertilized eggs, than the real feelings and rights of real women.

    Question here: Would it satisfy your naturalistic obsession if women were allowed to kill an embryo by concentrating hard enough to induce a fever in themselves. After all, they are not getting an abortion via surgical tools. The brain is a perfectly natural part of the body. Or do you now propose that all pregnant women above a certain level of intelligence/ education be given a prefrontal lobotomy to make sure they can't use their minds to kill that tiny innocent vulnerable defenseless potential human being?

  218. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    The fetus is not an 'innocent bystander' that is doing nothing. The fetus is more like a person who has fallen from a roof, towards me. I am not under an obligation to risk harm or discomfort to myself by allowing the to fall on me in order to save their 'very lives' regardless of whether they fell from the roof on purpose or not.

  219. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    **Parasites are not natural.**

    No, you are the biology fail. Parasites are natural organisms. The fact that you don't have sad feelies about them the way you do about embryos does not make them not part of the natural world.

  220. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    Can I give you a pill to kill all the e. coli currently living in your intestine, and we can see how well that works out for you? Since you claim that any non-human organism living in your body is un natural and undesirable.

  221. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    So, by your logic, it would be fine for me to emulate the sci-fi serial killer, Oliver Guest, who went around killing 14 year old girls, but always took a tissue sample from them and cloned them. After all, that precious tiny unique DNA code is what really constitutes a 'human being' according to you, so it doesn't matter if the girl was murdered, so long as the precious tiny vulnerable chromosomes are cloned and get to enter another 'developemental stage'.

  222. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    A 'human being' does not have rights merely by being a genetic member of our species, without also having that combination of physical and situational traits that grant rights, any more than a catterpillar can fly, merely because it is a genetic member of a butterfly species.

  223. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    **Rape is not a natural biological process, unlike pregnancy.**

    Sorry, yes it is. You are being raped by a natural biological organism (a man). His sperm are as natural as those of someone you have consensual sex with. The fact that you don't like rape or parasites does not make either of them unnatural.

    Learn some fucking biology, for pete's sake. You sound like a mentally retarded 6 year old.

    Did I mention that you're dumb?

  224. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    So, basically you're saying that the pretend suffering of 4000 one celled eggs is of greater importance to you than the real deaths of 100 real newborn infants. Which pretty much answers the hypothetical question of which you would save from a fire,, a cooler full of 1000 fertilized eggs or one five year old boy. Apparently the former. After all, numbers…

  225. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    So, what universe do you live in such that when you 'checked' this, embryoes and fetuses didn't hijack their mother's immune system, drain the mother's body of nutrients and minerals, and cause severe damage on the way out?

  226. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    The fact that you might 'acknowledge' that something is a 'foreseeable consequence' does not equate to thereby giving up the right to alter that consequence. Case in point, setting my grass on fire is a foreseeable consequence of using fireworks. That doesn't mean that I thereby give up the right to put out the fire at any time of my choosing, and must wait until the fire has reached it's conclusion of burning down my house, especially if I don't want my house burned up. Consent to using fireworks does not equal consent to having my house burn down if I don't want it to, regardless of whether it is a 'foreseeable consequence' or not, and consent to sex does not equal consent to gestate a child against my will, regardless of whether pregnancy is a 'foreseeable consequence' or not.

  227. argent
    argent says:

    Of course I would have my brain removed to save 50 lives! I spend a great deal of my time trying to persuade people to be less bigoted so that everyone can live a full and equal life. Even one of those kids has more of a life ahead of them then I do. And hey, maybe they wouldn't be abused as kids. The only way to live forever is to do good in the world.

    I would probably ask to be taken off life support immediately, though, and if I couldn't do that legally, I'd ask a trusted friend to kill me. The mere existence of a brain is, as you said, irrelevant compared to the potential it holds, so I wouldn't particularly value living with a brain that had lost all potential to express personal qualities.

    On the other hand, if all I had to do was donate most of my brain, but with the condition that it would magically have the capability to regrow within 9 months … well then your offer is even more amazing.

  228. lady_black
    lady_black says:

    It isn't "contempt for dependency" only an assertion that a state of neediness doesn't create rights to what rationally belongs to another. I can't walk up to you, tell you I need you to breathe for me, and expect you to be legally forced to do so.

  229. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    I have met other Catholics who believed the same. Having to choose between birth control/abortion vs infanticide, the catholic chose infanticide as preferable, because a greater number of embryos would be denied life from the former.

    The question was about China, and specifically female infanticide vs abortion.

  230. lady_black
    lady_black says:

    Actually, the lines are often not so clearly drawn. First, I'll use the example of my own mother. Wanted pregnancy proceeding normally until the 11th week when she began bleeding. An inevitable miscarriage. But her body couldn't efficiently clear the products of conception and all available tests shows she's till pregnant. So to stop the hemorrhaging, she undergoes a D&C. Spontaneous abortion, induced abortion, or both? Example number 2. A woman in her 18th week presents at the ER with ruptured membranes, a partially dilated cervix and a temperature elevation. Fetal heart tones are detected. Inevitable abortion. She is already developing an infection, so the doctor speeds up the delivery process with Pitocin, or surgically empties the uterus. Miscarriage, induced abortion or both. Example number 3. Ectopic tubal pregnancy. The pregnancy can never be viable. The woman is treated with methotrexate to starve the blood supply and end the pregnancy. Miscarriage, induced abortion or a bit of both?

  231. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    **Of course I would have my brain removed to save 50 lives!**

    You're trying to change the premise. My thought experiment wasn't 'having your brain removed to save 50 lives'. You are trying to change the premise to make it appear that the 'lives' are actually 'kids' who have been born.

    Sorry, no, that was not my question. My question was as to whether you would have an ounce of your brain removed to prevent a one month old embryo from being aborted, up to having ALL of your brain removed, if it would save 50 embryos.

    **I would probably ask to be taken off life support immediately, though,**

    Sorry, not an option. If the brain is irrelevent as to whether or not you have a 'right to life', under that premise, taking you off the machine would be murder.

  232. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    Yeah, the pro-lifers look down their snoots and claim they would have their brain removed, to save all the tiny innocent vulnerable defenseless embryos, knowing that it's safe, because such a thing will never actually happen, yet when you ask them to give something they actually COULD give to save one of those tiny embryos, like 9 months of their time (that they claim everyone ELSE should be willing to give) by having a frozen IVF implanted in them, then suddenly they get all handwavy and claim that it's the 'parent's responsibility'.

  233. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    Human beings do not magically have 'rights' simply by the fact of being part of the 'human species' any more than catterpillars can magically fly, simply because they are part of a butterfly species.

  234. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    ** but that does not mean that rape is a good or acceptable thing.**

    Moving the goalpost. The fact that rape is not good, and not acceptable (at least from the point of view of most people), does not equate to it not being 'natural'.

  235. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    ** I believe that engaging in the act that is biologically intended for reproduction**

    Definite fail, here. The primary purpose of sex in humans, dolphins, and bonobos, is NOT reproduction. You are handwaving away the fact that these species engage in sex many more times than they ever reproduce, and during times in which they are not even fertile. The sex act has been repurposed in those species, to provide pleasure and social bonding, much as in the same way the mouth has been repurposed in people such that (at least in most people) it's primary purpose is speech, rather than eating.

    Your contention that people must be forced to reproduce if they have sex, at the expense of social bonding, is like claiming that people must have food stuffed down their throats if they open their mouths, at the expense of being able to talk.

  236. Ann Morgan
    Ann Morgan says:

    **1. show that there's reason to think the fetus would consent to the abortion **

    Can you show there is reason to think that the fetus would NOT consent to an abortion?

    It doesn't have a functioning brain, it is incapable of either consenting or not consenting to ANYTHING, any more than a rock is. Your statement is nonsense.

  237. Ella Warnock
    Ella Warnock says:

    "Oh, we don't give a toss if you don't have kids. We don't! Don't have any then. We don't care!"

    But then there's: "Why are you even married? Why are you having sex with your husband if you're not going to have his babies? If you're married and having sex, you're de facto agreeing to have his babies. No women who's having sex can avoid pregnancy forever, anyway, so why are you even using birth control? You're not doing this right. It's not supposed to be the way you're doing this. You can't do it like that. It's wrong and unnatural.

    Who. Do. You. Think. You. Are?

    To believe you have the right – nay, the sheer, unmitigated gall to deny your uterus the purpose for which is was (created, designed, pick your own philosophical poison here)? What arrogance. You don't know what it is to be a woman or a human being!"

    Does that about sum it up?

  238. fiona64
    fiona64 says:

    Otherwise she's assaulting an innocent child

    Embryos (the stage of development at which the majority of abortions occur) are incapable of either guilt *or* innocence. They are unconscious, and thus lack conscience. Really, this whole "an embyro is an innocent child" trope is ridiculous.

  239. Clinton
    Clinton says:

    Yes, there is such a thing as inherent rationality. That's why human beings become rational — they have the inherent capacity for rationality. Dogs don't have the inherent capacity for rationality. So when a dog fails to become rational, it is not a tragedy, but when a human *does* fail to become rational (e.g. because of anencephaly), it *is* a tragedy. Human beings have the inherent capacity for rationality because it is common to all human beings to be rational. It is in their nature. That's also why you don't cease being a person when you cease being able to function rationally (such as when you fall asleep).

  240. Clinton
    Clinton says:

    Every human zygote, all things being equal, will have a functioning brain in the future. They will only fail to develop one if prevented from doing so by an external factor (being killed, a mutation in their DNA, etc.).

  241. Clinton
    Clinton says:

    Why should I accept that scientist's argument? He is confusing being a human with being a person, which is a common confusion.

    Also, the law, before 1973, said that all human beings from fertilization were persons. Justice Blackmun re-defined what "person" means under the law (using incredibly bad reasoning), which is why the law now says you are not a person until birth (although the state may have a vested interest in protecting you at viability).

    I also don't care what the Talmud says, as I am not Jewish. Human reason, science, and philosophy tell me that the human being begins at fertilization and should be protected in the law. Scientific consensus (from embryologists, the experts) is that human life begins at fertilization; that the human zygote was the beginning of each of us as a new human individual. A scientist who disagrees would be on the fringe, like historians who deny that Jesus ever existed. It's just not true, and intellectual honesty dictates that we go where the evidence leads.

  242. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    The law only refers to *born* persons. At the time the constitution was written, abortion was legal.

    And the scientific consensus is that zygotes are human, that development begins with the zygote, but that's about it. There is absolutely zero consensus regarding the personhood of that zygote.

  243. lady_black
    lady_black says:

    Um NO. First of all, a mutation in DNA is not "an external factor." Second of all, 50-70% of all zygotes will never even become a pregnancy. So no, every human zygote will NOT have a functioning brain, or a functioning ANYTHING in the future. That isn't remotely so.

  244. lady_black
    lady_black says:

    When you fall asleep you do not cease to function in any way, shape or form. And there is no such thing as "inherent rationality." That's something that may come to pass if born, of normal intelligence, and live long enough to develop that far. A child with brain damage who doesn't progress past the mental age of seven will never be rational. They are still persons because they are now individuals, carrying out their own bodily functions. But they are NOT "rational."

  245. ignorance_is_curable
    ignorance_is_curable says:

    You should start your argument at the foundations, not halfway up a structure that only has imaginary support. So, please provide some evidence that the unborn human understands the concept of "concent", and is capable of consciously granting/denying consent. So far as I'm aware, it doesn't have the brainpower for that, because it is merely an animal organism, not a person. And that is why it is ridiculous to talk about "reason to think the fetus would consent to abortion" –it can't either consent or refuse. Its animal-level mental activities can be ignored, just like the mental abilities of rats are ignored, when they are being raised to feed a pet snake.

    Regarding actions of the prenate, they consist of stealing resources from the body of another human, dumping toxic biowastes into the body of another human, infusing addictive substances into the body of another human, and infusing a mind-altering substance into the body of another human. ANY of those actions would be considered "assault" if some human adult did them to another human. Your notion of "irreconcilable conflict" is worthlessly inappropriate in terms of the real situation. Toleration/forgiveness of those actions is totally voluntary. I suggest you voluntarily submit to physically harmless Chinese Water Torture for nine months, and see if your definition of what you think MUST be tolerated for nine months, changes.

  246. ockraz
    ockraz says:


    Your thinking is wrong. It's all ad hoc justification. The notion that her body is occupied/used is just nonsense. You're pretending this is about permission when that's utterly irrelevant.. You can't put someone in your basement – even by accident – and complain they occupied your home without permission. The real question is the effect it's having. It's not this absurd fiction about trespassing and stealing resources!

    One one side you have an unwanted pregnancy. A pregnancy isn't an illness, but when it's unwanted the difference between that and an illlness is trivial.
    On the other side you have a dependent human life. It's not sick and in need of 'saving' any more than a child unable to provide for itself. Moreover, the dependency itself is a result -intended or not- of the gravida's actions.

    Basically, the unwanted pregnancy is equivalent to a disease that cures itself in under a year. Arguing for a right to abortion is saying that to cure myself I'm entitled to destroy someone else's body after causing them to be helpless.

  247. Gaiuse Strome
    Gaiuse Strome says:

    The notion that her body is occupied/used is just nonsense.

    Then explain how gestation works, for us rubes.

    You can't put someone in your basement -even by accident- and complain they occupied your home without permission.

    Who, what, when, where, why and how?

    And what if they die or are injured while in your basement, aren't you responsible for that too?

    It's not this absurd fiction about trespassing and stealing resources!

    You're right, even if you lock your doors, just having a door means you invited them into your basement!

    A pregnancy isn't an illness, but when it's unwanted the difference between that and an illlness is trivial

    So if it's wanted it's all fairies, buttercups and glitter covered bronies?

    It's not dying any more than a child unable to provide for itself. Moreover, the dependency itself is a result -intended or not- of the gravida's actions.

    The fact that every single organ is incapable of sustaining it's life, I would have to say that a prenate is not at all comparable to a newborn. That and the whole 'occupy your body' thing, but you said that doesn't happen, like at all, because gestation doesn't work that way.

    Basically, the unwanted pregnancy is equivalent to a disease that cures itself in under a year

    Unless of course the 'gravida' is permanently, maimed, injured or even killed. But that's what you get for having the gall of owning a door (attached to a house)!

    . Arguing for a right to abortion is saying that to cure myself I'm entitled to destroy someone else's body after causing them to be

    Yeah. Sure sounds like a criminal act, don't you think?

  248. Kristin
    Kristin says:

    The writer is non-religious, and the reason they consider fetuses to be babies is because they technically are. It has nothing to do with a soul or a god but rather by the fact that a baby is the youth of an animal, and the unborn is the youth of an animal. Just like a newborn and an infant a bit older than that are also babies.

  249. Timothy Griffy
    Timothy Griffy says:

    "Your thinking is wrong. It's all ad hoc justification. The notion that her body is occupied/used is just nonsense. You're pretending this is about permission when that's utterly irrelevant. You can't put someone in your basement -even by accident- and complain they occupied your home without permission. The real question is the effect it's having. It's not this absurd fiction about trespassing and stealing resources!"

    It is you who are spouting nonsense. Permission is the only relevant factor when a person's body or basement is being occupied. It doesn't matter how the person got into my basement; the fact remains that it is my basement and if I don't want the other person there, they are trespassing and I can can eject them.

    Furthermore, the notion that the mother's body is being occupied/used is completely justified. Once fertilized, the prenate continues its path, hopefully reaching the uterus (the consequences to both mother and prenate would would be devastating otherwise), embeds itself into the lining of the mother's tissue, and drills into the mother's arteries, then begins siphoning off the mother's nutrients, dumping its waste into her body, and injecting her with mind-altering and addictive chemicals. To continue your analogy, it would be as if the person who accidentally wound up in my basement chained themselves to the floor, began stealing my food, using my toilet, and placed herorin in my ventilation system. Trespassing and stealing resources is an apt description indeed.

    "On one side you have an unwanted pregnancy. A pregnancy isn't an illness, but when it's unwanted the difference between that and an illlness is trivial. On the
    other side you have a dependent human life. It's not dying any more than a child unable to provide for itself. Moreover, the dependency itself is a result -intended or not- of the gravida's actions."

    Risking death and disability is not trivial. Let us not forget that disease-causing organisms are not dying, dependent on your body, and often got there as the result of your own actions as well.

    "Basically, the unwanted pregnancy is equivalent to a disease that cures itself in under a year. Arguing for a right to abortion is saying that to cure myself I'm entitled to destroy someone else's body after causing them to be helpless."

    Most flus will cure themselves in far less time, but I still claim entitlement to kill the little buggers causing it if that will stop the symptoms I'm having.

  250. ockraz
    ockraz says:

    "It is you who are spouting nonsense" – I'm really not. Gauise, Plum, and I think Suba (?) are engaged in some kind of theatrical/competitive activity that's just freaking tiresome. If debate is analogous to wrestling, then they're doing WWE, not Greco-Roman. It's part blustering and insult, and part 'signature move,' (inverted flying cross!) which is the nonsense. Invasion is nonsense. Theft is nonsense. Being attacked is nonsense. They're all derived from parts of real arguments, but they're adapted for a purpose that wasn't intended: creating a useful narrative. It really is like professional wrestling.

    "Permission is the only relevant factor when a person's body or basement
    is being occupied. It doesn't mat
    ter how
    the person got into my basement; the fact remains that it is my
    basement and if I don't want the other person there, they are
    trespassing and I can can eject them." – Sort of. If the question we were considering was merely: 'may I eject, or must I permit the occupation to continue,' then you would be 100% right. That's not the question.

    Think about evicting a tenant who stopped paying rent. They don't have permission to live there anymore,so you can evict them, but there's a process involved. You can't just throw them out bodily right this instant. You have to give notice, and after some amount of time elapses, you can have them escorted out by the sheriffs department.

    Suppose the person is on some sort of life support. There's a ventilator or an old-fashioned iron lung machine which requires special equipment and technicians to move safely. What then?

    The issue isn't the right to evict or not. You're right that lack of permission to occupy is all that's necessary for the right to evict. The question we're concerned with is HOW can I go about evicting?

    The permission that's total nonsense isn't permission to occupy. It's permission to enter. Entry without permission can be considered invasion. If you're responding to a home invasion then you're acting in defense of your home. You're responding to an attack… so you can use violence and even lethal force.

    Do you see how that's total nonsense?

    Lack of permission to enter leads to invasion leads to defense leads to justified killing, and yet there was no entry.

    The prenate was never outside the gravida.


    I'm going to start a new comment here…

  251. ockraz
    ockraz says:

    #2: continued…

    "Once fertilized, the prenate continues its path"

    I'm not comfortable with that. Are you okay with:

    The ovum is penetrated by a spermatozoan, and their nuclei fuse. When syngamy is complete, a new organism exists. The mother's body transports the prenate to the uterus.

    Maybe it's not a big deal, but prior to the existence of the prenate, you just have gametes. They're not human organisms. Poison them. Do to them whatever you'd do to unwelcome bacteria. Also, it kind of sounded like the organism was getting fertilized and then transporting itself, neither of which makes sense. If you don't like how I put it, let me know and we can get something better 🙂

    "embeds itself into the lining of the mother's tissue, and drills into the mother's arteries"

    Hmmm. This part is a tricky. That's what happens, but there's more going on than that and it's hard to know how to characterize that 'more.'

    For example, why isn't the immune system attacking the prenate? One answer is that the prenate 'chemically inhibits it.' Some people say that's what happens. It's not wrong, but I don't think that it's very accurate. Another characterization is that it 'sends chemical signals' to the immune system so that it will avoid attacking it. At some level they're both the same thing. Do you characterize it as unlocking a cabinet and throwing circuit breakers, or as waving a white flag so you're recognized as friendly.

    For me, the latter seems a better description partly because nematodes evolved to do the same thing. With the white flag model, a parasite evolved to camouflage itself as offspring. That makes more sense than the 'hacking the immune system' model. Sure, the hacking fits better with a pro-choicers view of what happens with unwanted pregnancy: both the nematode and prenate are parasitic BUT whatever model you choose has to apply for what happens with wanted babies too. The immune process itself certainly makes no notice of 'wantedness.'

    If we start characterizing all prenates asparasites – just like the nematodes – then we've totally lost our minds and/or the word means nothing.

    Similarly, what's going on with the uterine lining. How come so many prenates don't implant?

    Well, the unusually thick human lining serves a screening function. The less fit prenates are unsuccessful and the more fit succeed. It's building up this extra thick lining to coincide with the possible arrival of a prenate that explains the odd human menstrual cycle .The uterus isn't like a bird building nests in anticipation of eggs. It's building a mechanism to accept only the well formed but reject the flawed – like the vending machine that knows to spit out Canadian quarters.

    Again, from a biological perspective the prenate that's successful is accepted because a model where successful implantation is a successful attack is problematic given that the exact same thing occurs irrespective of the mothers ideas about wantedness. A model where every successful reproductive event indicates a defeat of the mothers body is inconsistent with evolutionary theory. (biologically successful female ≠ infertile female )

    So, it seems to me that the mothers body and the prenate are both acting (in tandem). Characterizing the prenate as a successful attacker of a passive maternal body would be helpful to a philosophical argument aimed at finding a 'right to defend,' but it'd be wrong scientifically.

    I'm going to start a new comment here…

  252. Suba gunawardana
    Suba gunawardana says:

    You calling something nonsense doesn't make it so (regardless of how many times you repeat that word).

    All the analogies you brought so far are NOT true analogies because none of those individuals occupy your BODY. If a tenant happened to occupy you body, you would still have a legal right to evict them without going through those processes.

    Whether pregnancy is an illness or not is irrelevant. If a person doesn't want someone else occupying/using their body, they have a right to evict them. Plain & simple.

    You keep avoiding rebuttals & repeating your original point. As I said to you on the other thread:

    1. If you involuntarily ingest parasite eggs with your food, internal parasites will be born inside your body. They are now present inside your body through NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN, just like a zef. Do you now have no right to get rid of the parasites because it was your actions that led to their presence, therefore "it's not an invasion" according to you?

    2. I disagree that an individual who attacks your body magically becomes "not an invader" simply because their
    presence was not their own fault. For example: A bunch of people could be trapped in a limited space through no fault of their own (a cave; crashed plane; island etc). If one person starts attacking another, is that not an invasion? Severely autistic children tend to be violent andattack their family members. Is that not an invasion, and do the family members have no right to protect themselves?

  253. Plum Dumpling
    Plum Dumpling says:

    I AM and I WILL is sufficient argument for having an abortion.
    You are not permitted by general agreement to seize my body to do your will – for treasure or to benefit any 'person.'

    If you break the social contract and seize or attempt to seize my body, I have the right to stop you by force – by hurting you or killing you.
    Explain to me why being female erases those rights and agreements.

    "… every man has a property in his own person, and this no one has a right to but himself." John Locke, Second Treatise on Government.

  254. Plum Dumpling
    Plum Dumpling says:

    I need make no justification for seeking an abortion. The right to self defense is absolute. Gestating to term is 14 times more likely to kill me than having a safe legal abortion.

    You ar