Late Term Abortion: Fun with Fallacies!

I saw this charming post over at the Chatanoogan:

I found the comments concerning yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the partial birth abortion ban by the three leading Democrat candidates for president to be disgraceful.

Huzzah! Well friends, let’s get out the philosophical and rhetorical looking glasses, and have us a look see (emphasis mine):

Below is the Wikpedia definition of partial birth abortion and the candidate’s comments. How can anyone disagree with stopping this barbaric procedure?

I am not a raving lunatic on the subject of abortion. For the record, I personally think that life begins at conception, but my belief is admittedly religious in nature and not based on scientific evidence.

First the language. The poster (Chris) seems to have a pretty clear picture he wants to paint of pro-choicers against the Supreme Court’s recent decision. Its only lightly indirect here. Paint the procedure itself in the same color as the opposition, then use that same brush to outline yourself with your opponent’s desired trait. Pro-choicers, you see, are these barbarian raving lunatics who just want to kill babies.

Next, the justification: “Religious in nature”. So you can argue all you want, but in the end Chris is not changing his mind. His religion tells him what is right, and that is set in stone thank you very much.

Ok, now for the best part of the post. Ready? Here we go (I’d bold this, but the whole thing is gold):

Since I don’t think religion should be forced upon “the people”, I believe abortion to be a state’s rights and individual issue. I am opposed to the Roe vs. Wade decision because it forces abortion on everyone. While I respect the opinion of those who disagree with me on the abortion procedure, I do not understand how anyone – especially those who want to lead this country – can oppose the ending of this procedure.

Let’s go sentence by sentence. First he brings up state’s rights. This is a weak attempt to mute criticism of the issue itself and put the focus on a general opinion on where power should lie in our federated states. As August noted:

So really, why should abortion be a “state’s right” to determine? Either you think abortion should be illegal or you don’t. Is there a particular reason you think it’s a crime in Wyoming but but in New Jersey?

Next, his patently ridiculous claim that it “forces abortion on everyone”. Watch out pregnant women! Feminists and liberals are going to forcibly abort your babies! What does he even mean by that?

Lastly, he doesn’t understand our opposition to the recent court ruling. The reasoning is quite simple. The ruling provided no exception for the health of the woman. No exception.

That is the reason for opposing the Supreme Court’s ruling. It utterly disregards the worth of a woman’s life, and puts lawyers in between doctors and their patient’s welfare.

It is inconceivable that the three leading democrat candidates for president could sell out these innocent lives for political reasons – that is to coddle the far left wing of their party. Have they no souls?

Again, note the appeal to religion. “Have they no souls”. Pushing opposition to the ruling to the “far left”. The Democratic party’s leaders can hardly be described as anything left of pragmatic.

The question is how the hell will Republicans sell this as part of a “culture of life”, when the ruling blatantly threatens the health of women. No exception for the health of the woman. No amount of cover can hide the implications there. They are as clear as day.

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15 Responses

  1. Best post I’ve read concerning the recent SCOTUS ruling.
    In the next years ahead, it’s going to be a street fight if we are to wrestle control of our country away from those who have had the mic. But get it back we will!

  2. I was at first excited to read this post from a pro-choice advocate because I love hearing the opposition’s opinion.
    However, I was highly disappointed because you were too busy attacking this person’s grammar and “hidden meaning” to actually give any insight on the real issue.

  3. I’m sorry, as for the one sentence of insight you gave:
    The “no exception” for the health of women. Do you honesty think that the woman’s health calls for the necessity of barbarism?
    If that is the case why partial birth? Why don’t we just allow the entire birth to take place and then kill the child?
    Hmm. Yes, that would be much simpler.

  4. Wow. Thanks Mirth! It is going to get really interesting when the next round of presidential elections come to a head. I really like your optimism!

  5. Greetings, El Queso. I was not attacking the grammar or structure of the person’s post, but rather offering some mild rhetorical criticism. I was discussing how the wording used brought across a certain point he was making about the character and nature of those on either side of the abortion issue. Rhetoric is something of interest and use to everyone, I think.

    Do you honesty think that the woman’s health calls for the necessity of barbarism?

    El Queso, read this post. If a woman’s life is in danger, and the fetus is not likely to survive, shouldn’t that difficult decision be between the doctor and patient?

    If that is the case why partial birth? Why don’t we just allow the entire birth to take place and then kill the child?

    Do I really need to explain the medical difference between post and pre natal?

    I drew attention quite clearly, I thought, to the problem.
    There is no exception for the health of the woman. How can you defend that? How can you claim to be pro-life?

  6. I read the article you suggested. However, I find the destruction of human life ridiculous at any stage.
    Secondly, you say “the fetus” is not likely to survive. I’m confused now. I thought we were talking about partial-birth abortion. A partial birth abortion does not happen to a fetus, it is a child being killed at that point. A child that is little or no different than a new born at that point.
    Thirdly, if you are that worried about te woman’s health because of a abortion what about post partum depression? Sometimes after birth the mother can go into this depression which can cause suicide or other harm to come to her.
    If you are for the mother’s health why not kill the child who caused the depression then?

    I find it hard to brush of the killing of a child who cannot choose for itself. A child who is alive and real, but is unable to speak for itself. Pro-choicers claim to be for the rights and freedoms of people, and the ability for them to make a choice. What about the baby and its choice?

    How can you claim to be pro choice?

  7. Do you find the destruction of life ridiculous at the full grown woman stage?

    It might be wise to avoid the fetus/baby debate for now, that can be one in and of itself.

    The difference should be clear. After birth, clinical depression can be treated directly. The treatment of a life or death situation (for example, a fetus which does not attach to the uterine wall, but rather elsewhere) which directly involves birth must take the pregnancy into account. You aren’t making a very convincing point with your appeals to “just kill the child”. It just isn’t the same situation.

    This is why we have the question of when life begins (and consciousness for that matter). It is a very emotional appeal, and one that does move me. However a woman who is in the last trimester is not making a choice of convenience when she chooses an abortion. If you carry the fetus that long, you probably want to have a baby! Given this, the decision is medical.

  8. “I find the destruction of human life ridiculous at any stage.”
    I believe I said ANY stage.

    I have a story for you. My mom’s friend was in a similar situation. Late in the pregnancy the doctors found complications and suggested an abortion. She refused and the doctors did a different procedure. They induced labor and delivered the baby early. The baby died and the mom survived. This outcome was with no abortion.

    “However a woman who is in the last trimester is not making a choice of convenience when she chooses an abortion.”

    Given the story I told you, it seems to me like a convenience. The procedure our friend endured was more dangerous and definately not “convenient,” but an abortion would have been.

    “This is why we have the question of when life begins (and consciousness for that matter).”

    When do you think life begins exactly? Birth? A year old?

    And consciousness? If you are saying something has to be “conscious” to be considered a life then that rules out anyone when they are asleep or in a coma.

    You are still avoiding the partial birth issue, or the politically correct term “dilation and extraction.” At this point the baby is able to survive outside the mothers womb. What makes the “fetus,” as you refer to it, any different from a new born at this point?

    My philosophy, and the philosophy of many Christians, at this point is “Do what you can to save BOTH lives, but do not LOSE both.”
    This can be done without an abortion.

  9. Yes I agree with elqueso. The fact is that no matter what you talk about the womans rights, and hypothetical situations, it comes down to one thing, the personhood or lack thereof of a fetus. No stories or hypothecals do anything if you consider the fetus as a person. If the fetus is a person both lives are equal in importance, and decide therein. However less than 3% of late abortions have anything to do with possible health issues. So for a majority of cases the killing of the fetus has to do with one thing and one thing only, the personhood of the fetus. This is basic syllogism that shows the blatant truth,
    It is wrong to intentionally kill innocent human beings. (argue with this as you may)
    Abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being. (which part can be argued?)
    .: abortion is wrong

    At least by my watch. However it comes down to prenatal biology. That is a discussion, and if you do not include it in abortion you are dodging the true question.

  10. elqueso,
    Indeed you did. Which is why I wanted to highlight my own opposition. It is to the lack of an exception for the health of the woman. I can’t imagine we do not agree here. If the life of the woman is worth saving, why keep the decision in the hands of the lawyers, and out of the hands of the doctor and patient?

    Interesting story, but one case is hardly a full argument against providing an exception for the health of the woman. Unless you are saying that doctors are always wrong, and the life of the woman can never be in danger, how can your story support your point?

    You are using that single story as proof? One example of a woman surviving a risky birth is not conclusive. At all. The decision at that point in time was based on the percieved risk of the birth. That is the point I was making. It wasn’t “oh pooh, I shall not have this birth after all, it shall be entirely too tiresome”. It was “will this kill me?”.

    I think it is up to science to decide that. Personally, I think life begins when the fetus becomes conscious. I am not sure when that is however. One is not necessarily certain of everything.

    Its not a question of being pc. Partial Birth is just incorrect. It isn’t a partial birth. It is a late term abortion. If the fetus can be extracted, and survive outside of the womb, then I am all for it! Especially if there is no risk to the woman.

    If it can truly be done without abortion, then there is no problem. That is something to celebrate! However I think you are glossing over cases where abortion is the only option. In such a case, where it is the life of the woman, or the slim chance the fetus may survive, what would you choose?

  11. hi zasz,
    Not always. Let us for the sake of argument say that we agree the feturs
    is alive at 7 months. If the fetus is not aborted, the woman is
    going to die. What would you choose if:
    The fetus would definitely live.
    The fetus might live.
    The fetus would definitely die?
    Under the Supreme Court’s ruling, the answer will always be carry to term.
    No exceptions. Do you agree with that?

    I’m not saying it is an easy decision at all. I am saying it should be between the woman and her doctor. She shouldn’t be sentenced to death
    because of her medical history and her pregnancy.

    That is what it comes down to.

    (I am a bit skeptical about that 3% figure you provided).

    We should include prenatal biology in the discussion of abortion, you are absolutely right. But what this specific ruling comes down to is:
    Do women have a right to life?

    The supreme court said if a woman is in the last trimester of pregnancy the answer is no.

    That is what I am objecting to.

  12. Right to live? What about the unborn humans right to live? And yes those are very hard hypotheticals to deal with. However appeal to emotion doesnt deal with the cold hard truth, is the unborn a person? Yes I see the possiblity of cases where outlawing abortion maybe an issue. However if you consider them both humans a decision is made from there. Every attempt to save both should be made. Ok in response to your questions a hypothetical, i beg the question of personhood but you beg the question of non personhood. If You and I were on a plane lets say, however I am mute and cannot express my ideas as no one can understand ASL. The plane starts to go down. There is only one parachute for the both of us, however it might not deploy for me as I am not trained in skydiving. We can share it but that is even higher risk. Can you make a decision on my behalf? Can you decide that I wish to sacrifice myself to you or visa versa? I am evidently the fetus. We all inantly have a will to survive ergo the fetus would choose life, not heroic sacrifice. Therefore the it only comes down to whether or not the fetus is a person or not. Sorry if i keep argueing this but it is neccesary to move on. No amount of stories, hypotheticals, or emotional appeals with take away from the true question? Is the fetus a person and have the right to live included therin?

  13. it isn’t an appeal to emotion, it is a direct question.
    Women are people, why is it just for the law to make their lives automatically count for nothing, and the life of the fetus automatically take precedence?

    That is the question I have, and that is the source of my objection to the ruling.

    In your example, the woman can talk. She is known to be alive.
    She can scream and ask to be spared. Her doctor can say the fetus will not survive. She will be forced to go through
    with the procedure. She will be killed because a law stood between her and her doctor. This is what I oppose.

    Are you for it?

    Outside of that, I think we agree on the necessity of making a scientific determination of what constitutes the start of life, and on letting the law move from there.

  14. I was the fetus, of course you do not wish to die nor do I, however i cannot defend myself. And the fetus does not take precedence however actively killing a human fetus and allowing nature to take its course on the woman are two different things. Thats why a doctor taking someone off life support, or not resussitating isnt murder. I guess I say I am for it. I would rather stand by and let nature do its (cruel) work than kill someone. Would you kill an innoncent person to save another? When the one who is dieing is dying of natural causes. Preganancy is a part of life as humans, no institution forced it upon us, it was never ordained. It existed and is natural, like old age. I understand it seems odd to sit and watch a person die because a stupid law says it. But to appeal meerly to secular logic how many more lives will be saved by outlawing abortion? Even if my 3% is off by some. How many children could be saved, even if a mother is lost. It is a very stoic conlcusion but just because the Mother can yell and scream and plead doesnt mean she is worth more than the fetus. In the end it still comes back to is the unborn a child?

    So assuming you are appeased here is determining the personhood of a fetus.
    It is evidently human of course, as it is concieved of humans. It cannot grow into a duck or a moose, only a human. And in cases of normal pregnancy will mature into a fully functioning human being.
    It is alive as it grows and consumes and reacts to stimuli, no matter how simple. Therefore It can die and be killed
    So personhood must be determined. I ask what determines personhood?

  15. […] 24th, 2007 In a very long comment thread on one of my posts, zasz2003 had this to say about the worth of a woman’s life: How many […]

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