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America’s War on Sex: The Contraception Battle

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Posted on Jul 18, 2008
McCain
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Viagra non grata: John McCain dodges a reporter’s question about Viagra versus contraception on July 10.

Dr. Marty Klein, author of “America’s War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust and Liberty,” has some additional questions for John McCain—who flailed in the face of a perfectly reasonable query about Viagra versus birth control last week—as well as his rivals for the presidency.


Sexual Intelligence:

But since we’re on the subject, Senator, here are some other questions about fairness and sex we’d like your opinion on:

* Is it fair that teens can be jailed for having consensual sex with other teens?
* Is it fair that teens having legal sex with each other can be jailed for taking and sending photos of themselves doing it?
* Is it fair that some people become licensed by the state to be pharmacists, and then insist they don’t have to do their job if they hear voices telling them they shouldn’t? (that’s called “religious freedom” or “morality” if you agree, “discrimination” or “disqualified to do your job” if you’re a consumer trying to get your medicine)
* Is it fair that hundreds of hospitals licensed by their states refuse to offer certain legal medical services—based on “moral grounds”? (what if those “moral grounds” precluded giving blacks blood transfusions from white blood?)

Here’s a challenge to all presidential candidates: Commit to every American’s right to effective contraception. Unless, of course, you can name a private event that shapes a person’s life more than becoming a parent. Of course you can’t.

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By Sex toys, November 5, 2008 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

my take:

* Is it fair that teens can be jailed for having consensual sex with other teens?
Completely NOT fair, this is one crazy thing i can’t stand to even think about. i hear over the news daily on how teens are arrested because of this, and what’s ridiculous is guys are normally punished. Let’s not even talk about if it was an interracial case. that will start a whole new argument.

* Is it fair that teens having legal sex with each other can be jailed for taking and sending photos of themselves doing it?
that i don’t have too much to say about, but the punishment should be verbal or by their parents, but not jailing.

i don’t have comments on pharmacy ques.

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By cyrena, July 23, 2008 at 1:23 am Link to this comment

Outraged,

Thanks for the reference to Mother Theresa. I’d read, (though not the publications) that she had come to suffer these many agonizing doubts, but I had assumed it to be later (chronologically) than what you’ve relayed here. I’ve also intended to read her book, but like so many others, it’s further down on my list.

So, I thank you again for providing this much of it.

As an aside (and it only just came to me after reading the most recent comments about how things were back in the day, regarding the options for unmarried pregnant women/girls). One (large thing I believe) that has changed in recent years/decades..including the present one, are the demographics of those women seeking abortions. I don’t have the statistics handy, but can probably find them.

The CURRENT fact is that more MARRIED women, who ALREADY HAVE CHILDREN, are seeking abortions than unmarried women. THIS is the reality of the day.

So for Jeff, I really need to repeat this. MORE MARRIED WOMEN, who already HAVE children, (and maybe an unemployed husband as well) are seeking abortions and receiving abortions, because of the reality of their circumstances. They are parents who are already struggling to survive, and take care of the child or children that they already have, and understand the reality of bringing even more into the same disastrous environment. Many of these women are just as ‘religious’ as the next ‘religious’ person.

That’s why the INSANITY of preventing access to birth control is exactly that. INSANE. And yet, that’s exactly what people like Ron Paul have advocated for years. He calls contraception a form of ‘social control’ or population manipulation.

And of course I could say the same about the results of NOT having access to birth control. It just means that more people die AFTER they are ‘born’ than before they’ve had a chance to develop into a living being.

Hitler felt the same way about abortion of course. He wanted the population to explode, but ONLY for pure Aryans. Obviously, he wasn’t ‘pro-life’ for Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, Mentally ill, elderly, or really ANYBODY other than ‘pure Aryans.’

Oh yeah…he was a “Christian” too.

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By Outraged, July 23, 2008 at 12:55 am Link to this comment

Jeff29

Your comment: “If you told me that God visited you last night with a message for the world, I would refer you to the Old Testament, Amos 3:7.”

I am a prophet, who are you to question the ways of the LORD?  However, my INTERPRETATION of the Bible tells me to beware of those claiming to be the angel of light but in reality they are from the angel of darkness and they stalk the earth seeking to devour someone.

Yes, this is my VERSION OF THE BIBLE, yours may be different.  But since I’ve already established and “KNOW” that yours is inaccurate, of course then I am “righteously opposed” to your assertion that I am not a prophet.  I have in fact kept this secret for some time but the lord has told me to reveal my knowledge to the world at this precise moment in time.  It is the Lord’s will.

Woe to those whose attempt to make a mockery of thy Lord God’s servant.

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By purplewolf, July 23, 2008 at 12:20 am Link to this comment

Jeff as it stands today, I don’t think any college teaching ob-gyn medicine even offers classes pertaining to abortion due to all the religious pressures. Doctors are never forced to preform abortions. Most will tell the patient that they do not personally believe in that, and at one time(like the 70’s) before all the taboo surrounding this procedure, refer the patient to someone who might. There are very few places left now where this is even being done, so you don’t need to worry about any doctor being forced to preform this operation. Even in the case where the woman’s life were in danger.
As to Nietzsche, I have read some. He was a misogynist you know. As was Paul, depicted in the bible.(teachings from of my theology classes in college by a Lutheran minister). I have read and references bibles from many different religious beliefs, so it take some time to find what I am looking for about the killing of strangers who come into your town if okay by Gods word on it.
Never read Marx.

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By Outraged, July 22, 2008 at 10:10 pm Link to this comment

Jeff29

“Let me give you a few statistics:  In the 1950’s when a girl got pregnant out of wedlock, the primary courses of action were adoption or marriage, that was followed by keeping the baby without getting married (usually meaning that it was raised by grandma), and then abortion (about 1%).  Today, the numbers have reversed.  The top choices are keeping the baby out of wedlock or abortion, followed by getting married, and then adoption (0.4%).  Are we better off now than we were then?”

Do you really believe that abortion is the cause of whether we are better off now than we were then, if in fact your assumption is even valid?  Do you honestly think that abortions were not covertly done in secret during this time period?  We know that many women died because of it.  Let’s take 1941 weren’t those the “good years” according to my mother they were at least here in the states.  Yet, the world was at war and it was a particularly gruesome and death wielding time. Was abortion the cause of this war also?  What you are proposing is without merit.

It appears to me that you feel that all the evils of the world are caused by those evil women who have abortions.  Further that it is true because Mother Theresa said so.  I think Mother Theresa a fine person, however I would not take her assumption as a DEFINING TRUTH.  More concerning Mother Theresa:

“A new, innocuously titled book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light (Doubleday), consisting primarily of correspondence between Teresa and her confessors and superiors over a period of 66 years, provides the spiritual counterpoint to a life known mostly through its works. The letters, many of them preserved against her wishes (she had requested that they be destroyed but was overruled by her church), reveal that for the last nearly half-century of her life she felt no presence of God whatsoever — or, as the book’s compiler and editor, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, writes, “neither in her heart or in the eucharist.”

That absence seems to have started at almost precisely the time she began tending the poor and dying in Calcutta, and — except for a five-week break in 1959 — never abated. Although perpetually cheery in public, the Teresa of the letters lived in a state of deep and abiding spiritual pain. In more than 40 communications, many of which have never before been published, she bemoans the “dryness,” “darkness,” “loneliness” and “torture” she is undergoing. She compares the experience to hell and at one point says it has driven her to doubt the existence of heaven and even of God.”

Again Mother Theresa,
“So many unanswered questions live within me afraid to uncover them — because of the blasphemy — If there be God — please forgive me — When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven — there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives & hurt my very soul. — I am told God loves me — and yet the reality of darkness & coldness & emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul. Did I make a mistake in surrendering blindly to the Call of the Sacred Heart?”

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1655415,00.html

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By Jeff29, July 22, 2008 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

Abortion is often cited as a cure for many social ills, particularly poverty.  Several posts here have indicated that I must not really be pro-life, because I want babies to be born into bad situations, and that abortion is the right thing to do when a girl/woman can not care for a baby.

Let me give you a few statistics:  In the 1950’s when a girl got pregnant out of wedlock, the primary courses of action were adoption or marriage, that was followed by keeping the baby without getting married (usually meaning that it was raised by grandma), and then abortion (about 1%).  Today, the numbers have reversed.  The top choices are keeping the baby out of wedlock or abortion, followed by getting married, and then adoption (0.4%).  Are we better off now than we were then?

To anyone out there considering abortion, I don’t have room for 3,000 like Mother Theresa, but I’ll sure take 2 or 3.

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By Jeff29, July 22, 2008 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

2 of 2

Instead of continuing to argue with me, why don’t you try Mother Theresa:

“Mother Teresa Has Anti-Abortion Answer At a National Prayer Breakfast in Washington Feb. 3, Mother Teresa of Calcutta delivered the most startling and bold proclamation of truth to power I have heard in my more than 30 professional years in Washington. Before an audience of 3,000 - that included the president and his wife, the vice president and his wife and congressional leaders, among others - the 83-year old nun, who is physically frail but spiritually and rhetorically powerful, delivered an address that cut to the heart of the social ills afflicting America. She said that America, once known for generosity to the world, has become selfish. And she said that the greatest proof of that selfishness is abortion. Tying abortion to growing violence and murder in the streets, she said, ‘If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill each other? . . . Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want.’ At that line, most of those in attendance erupted in a standing ovation, something that rarely occurs at these sedate events. At that moment, President Clinton quickly reached for his water glass, and Mrs. Clinton and Vice President and Mrs. Gore stared without expression at Mother Teresa. They did not applaud. It was clearly an uncomfortable moment on the dais. She then delivered the knockout punch: ‘Many people are very, very concerned with children in India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. ‘These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today - abortion, which brings people to such blindness.’ What? Abortion destroys peace and causes blindness toward the sick, the hungry and the naked? Abortion leads to wars between nations? Of course it does, if life is regarded so lightly and its disposal becomes so trivial, so clinical and so easy. Why should people or nations regard human life as noble or dignified if abortion flourishes? Why agonize about indiscriminate death in Bosnia when babies are being killed far more efficiently and out of the sight of television cameras? Mother Teresa delivered her address without rhetorical flourishes. She never raised her voice or pounded the lectern. Her power was in her words and the selfless life she has led. Even President Clinton, in his remarks that followed, acknowledged she was beyond criticism because of the life she has lived in service to others. At the end, she pleaded for pregnant women who don’t want their children to give them to her: ‘I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child and be loved by the child.’ She said she has placed over 3,000 children in adoptive homes from her Calcutta headquarters alone. She has answered the question, ‘Who will care for all of these babies if abortion is again outlawed?’ Now the question is whether a woman contemplating abortion wishes to be selfish or selfless, to take life or to give life.”

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By Jeff29, July 22, 2008 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

1 of 2

I was simply answering your question about a religious leader with experience in the biological science.  I assumed that even you would concede that a world-renowned heart surgeon would know a thing or two about the topic.  His position is that abortion is acceptable when the life of the mother is at stake, and in certain instances of rape and incest.

If you told me that God visited you last night with a message for the world, I would refer you to the Old Testament, Amos 3:7.

Are you trying to imply that the United States AND its code of laws is not based on Judeo-Christian principles?  The U.S. is not a Christian nation in that it is not the official religion, but the basic principles are definitely Christian.  I don’t know what the exact numbers are, but I would guess that well over 95% of the Founders were Christian (over 60% of the nation were actually Calvinists - which explains a lot about the form of government we have today).  The Bible was by far the most quoted text during the Convention and in the writing of the Founders.  In fact, the book of Deuteronomy alone was quoted more that any other text.  Does it not strike you as even a little bit coincidental that the longest standing Constitution on earth and the Constitution that created the most free county in history was based on Christian principles?

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By Outraged, July 22, 2008 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

Jeff29

Assuming you are not making this up, then you only reiterate my assertion, which was:

“Scientists themselves are from MANY different backgrounds.  We are talking here about people who have researched, studied and investigated in their respective fields… throughout the WORLD.  And many of these individuals are world-renowned in those fields.  These scientists ALSO have their own personal religions and traditions.”

Although you did neglect to say exactly what this surgeon’s position was on the topic of abortion.  According to your description, this surgeon is not involved or noted for work in the field we are discussing.  What you are claiming…that “a human life” begins at conception is not the position of medical scientists in the field.

Also, I’m curious as to your position concerning my assertion earlier.

“Try imagining the opposite scenario. How viable would my argument be if I took the following position…

This is the ABSOLUTE TRUTH, I swear upon everything that is holy and a stack of bibles.  “Last night I prayed to God and his holy spirit came upon me, in that moment God told me that abortion is perfectly fine.  So I’m telling you here today that it is perfectly fine with God that women have abortions.”

And also this:
“If we translate YOUR religious beliefs into LAW, then America would not be a democracy but a theocracy.  And what if instead we didn’t transfer YOUR beliefs but those of another religion…?  Should we all become buddhists and transfer these teachings into LAW?  Maybe you think America is a “Christian country” (a scary premise indeed) even at that, will we all be Lutherans or Catholics, maybe we should all be Mormons or should we be Baptists?”

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By Jeff29, July 22, 2008 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

“Have you investigated your religious leaders to be certain that they have a deep understanding of the topic and positions they are taking regarding the biological sciences…”

YES.

Let me give you an exerpt from the biography of one of the leaders in my religion.

“An internationally renowned surgeon and medical researcher, received his B.A. and M.D. degrees. Honorary scholastic societies include Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha. He served his residency in surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and at the University of Minnesota, where he was awarded his Ph.D. Degree. He also received honorary degrees of Doctor of Science, Doctor of Medical Science, and Doctor of Humane Letters

His professional work included the positions of research professor of surgery and director of the Thoracic Surgery Residency, and chairman of the Division of Thoracic Surgery.

Author of numerous publications and chapters in medical textbooks, lectured and visited professionally throughout the United States and in many other nations. A host of awards and honors have come to him, including the Distinguished Alumni Award; the Heart of Gold Award from the American Heart Association; a citation for International Service from the American Heart Association; and the Golden Plate Award, presented by the American Academy of Achievement. He has been awarded honorary professorships from three universities in the People’s Republic of China.

He has served as president of the Society for Vascular Surgery, a director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, chairman of the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery for the American Heart Association, and president of the State Medical Association.

He is listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in Religion.”

Call me crazy, but I trust his medical expertise and judgement just a little bit more than yours.  Would you like the credentials from another leader?

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By Outraged, July 22, 2008 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

Jeff29

Your comment: “It’s not in the Constitution; it doesn’t exist.  Go read the writings of the Founders.  The whole intent was to keep the State out of the Church, not the other way around.  Jeffreson, who in a letter in 1802 actually coined the phrase “separation of church and state” actually said in a later letter that the states could, “prescribe any religious exercise or assume authority in religious discipline.  Do not accuse me of radical rhetoric in one sentence and then pull out “separation of church and state” in another.”

Your assertion is only partially true.  From the religious tolerance site:

““Wall of Separation” between Church and State
Thomas Jefferson, as president, wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut on 1802-JAN-1. It contains the first known reference to the “wall of separation”. The essay states in part:

“...I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State…”

During the 1810’s, President James Madison wrote an essay titled “Monopolies” which also refers to the importance of church-state separation. He stated in part:

“Strongly guarded as is the separation between religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history.”

The US Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment as if it requires this “wall of separation” between church and state. It not only prohibits any government from adopting a particular denomination or religion as official, but requires government to avoid excessive involvement in religion.”

http://www.religioustolerance.org/scs_intr.htm

Also, from Wikipedia:
The phrase “[A] hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world” was first used by Baptist theologian Roger Williams, the founder of the colony of Rhode Island.[6][7] It was later used by Thomas Jefferson as a description of the First Amendment and its restriction on the legislative branch of the federal government, in an 1802 letter[8] to the Danbury Baptists (a religious minority concerned about the dominant position of the Congregationalist church in Connecticut), assuring that their rights as a religious minority would be protected from federal interference. As he stated:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their “legislature” should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between church and State.

and also in this same article,

“Jefferson’s Statute of Religious Freedom was drafted in opposition to a bill, chiefly supported by Patrick Henry, which would permit any Virginian to belong to any denomination, but which would require him to belong to some denomination and pay taxes to support it.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state_in_the_United_States

So he did not speak ONLY of keeping government out of religion but ALSO spoke very plainly to keep religion out of government. He says, ““make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” and also of the “wall of separation between Church and State”.  He also opposed Patrick Henry’s bill which would have required citizens to belong to some denomination and pay taxes to support it.

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By Jeff29, July 22, 2008 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

1.  So a doctor working at a state or public-run hospital in, say, New York refuses to perform an abortion.  How long do think he keeps his job?  Not long. 

2.  Your assertion that performing abortions is somehow part of the hippocratic oath is absolutely absurd.  The oath does, however, say “Nor will I give a woman a pessary to procure abortion.”  And yes, I know what a pessary is; and in the 4th Century BC it was used a bit differently than today

3.  You have no idea about what I think should be done to clothe, feed, educate, etc.  I currently donate my time and over 20% of my income to private charities who do just that.  How about you?  The problem is that the federal government does a horrible job with this.  The generational welfare program that we have in this country perpetuates the problem, and those (like you, I assume) who embrace this system do more harm than good.

4.  Maybe you need to brush up on the post-modern secular movements.  They may not go to a church, but they are definitely a religion.

5.  You seem to indicate that there is no place for beliefs and belief systems when it comes to laws.  That’s impossible.  Like I said before, whether it is a religious belief, or some other type of belief, our laws are based on beliefs.  Unless of course we create some computer system to manage our laws.

6.  This one is always my favorite:  “That is why the founders were so careful to put that in. The separation of church and state….”  Have you every seen the movie The Princess Bride?  Do you remember the scene where Inigo Montoya finds the six-fingered man and says, “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die”?  And then he keeps saying it over and over again, and finally the six-fingered man says…..

“STOP SAYING THAT!!”

It’s not in the Constitution; it doesn’t exist.  Go read the writings of the Founders.  The whole intent was to keep the State out of the Church, not the other way around.  Jeffreson, who in a letter in 1802 actually coined the phrase “separation of church and state” actually said in a later letter that the states <u>could</u>, “prescribe any religious exercise or assume authority in religious discipline.  Do not accuse me of radical rhetoric in one sentence and then pull out “separation of church and state” in another.

7.  Finally, my 16-year old daughter.  You see, unless directed by a court, she is not a private citizen.  Case in point:  Let’s say that I live in your glorious state that won’t let a doctor remove my daughters tonsils without me signing about 15 different documents, but will allow her to go have a fetus ripped out of her uterus without her knowing.  Now let’s say she goes to one of these fine doctors who gives her an abortion and as she is leaving (she’s driving herself, because, of course, she doesn’t want anyone to know where she’s been) she crashes into the clinic.  Who does the insurance company go after?  They go after me.  Why?  Because I am legally responsible for her; under the law, she is not her own individual yet.  Please explain.

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By Outraged, July 22, 2008 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

Jeff29

Your comment: “I understand your argument, but I could use the exact same argument about secular or scientific beliefs that you just made about religious beliefs.”

I unequivocally disagree. What is your belief predicated upon?  Your specific religious teaching… or maybe the bible..? (assuming you are Christian).  That’s it…?  This would amount to it’s correct because my religion says so.  Even if one believes the bible is the word of God, how do you qualify YOUR interpretation over the interpretation of someone else.  You cannot. And most people involved in religion ASSUME they have the “correct interpretation”, and the majority have never taken the time to even suppose any other interpretation.

In direct contrast, scientific positions are based upon accepted facts, peer-reviewed and investigated.  Scientists themselves are from MANY different backgrounds.  We are talking here about people who have researched, studied and investigated in their respective fields… throughout the WORLD.  And many of these individuals are world-renowned in those fields.  These scientists ALSO have their own personal religions and traditions.  They attempt and DO find answers using ALL available sources. They are then challenged by their peers and most especially by the scientific community, not just in their comfort zones, but by a world of experienced scholars, again, in their respective fields.  To liken this scenario as being “the exact same argument” as that of an UNQUALIFIED religious belief is preposterous.

Do you consider the conclusions of astronomers as some ideological “belief” without any merit?  Probably not, because it does not conflict with your religious views, in fact quite probably it enhances them.  Yet suddenly, all biologists are full of it, and subscribe to some “belief system” of biologists that supposedly isn’t REALLY true. 

Have you investigated your religious leaders to be certain that they have a deep understanding of the topic and positions they are taking regarding the biological sciences…?  Did they claim to have “prayed about it” and “God gave them the answer”...?  I could make that claim too, yet most likely, if I did… you’d think me INSANE!  And I would have to agree.

Try imagining the opposite scenario. How viable would my argument be if I took the following position…

This is the ABSOLUTE TRUTH, I swear upon everything that is holy and a stack of bibles.  “Last night I prayed to God and his holy spirit came upon me, in that moment God told me that abortion is perfectly fine.  So I’m telling you here today that it is perfectly fine with God that women have abortions.” 

At this point, we would simply be arguing my God is better than your God. From my viewpoint “obviously” I am right and you are wrong.  Since I “know” that your interpretation of the bible HAS to be wrong because it is not the one I have.  Further, I don’t need to discuss it, I will however try to save you from your “error” and show you the “true path” to the correct God.  And you cannot “RIGHTFULLY” disagree with me because I have God’s holy spirit on my side and “obviously” you do not.  And I DO NOT need to back up my position with facts, because God is my side and I am doing his will.  If you don’t respect that…. you are disrespecting the “true God, himself”.  (You know the god “I” have… not the “obviously erroneous” one you only THINK you have.) 

Further, as to why all this is so….well…because I said so that’s why, and my religious leaders will back me up on that.

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By cyrena, July 22, 2008 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

Jeff29

“... when doctors are being forced to perform abortion even if they have an ethical concern with the procedure, that’s a problem..”

~~~

This is of course total BS you know. No doctor is being FORCED to perform any procedure that the physician him or herself has ETHICAL concerns about. Period. Physicians take an oath to their profession. And that oath is to the profession and practice of healing, IRREGARDLESS of their personal religious convictions.

But even if they allowed their personal convictions to compromise their professional oath, and refused to perform a procedure as a result, then they COULD certainly refuse. To suggest that any physician is being ‘forced’ is pure hysterical rhetoric.

And the same applies to your so-called tax dollars. YOU don’t want your tax dollars used to feed, house, clothe or educate any of these fetuses either, which makes your stance contrary to that of Pro-life.

Your stance is in fact only PRO-embryo, or PRO-pre life. Once that pre-condition actually BECOMES a life, you’re done with it.

That’s why it IS 100% personal, and a matter of PRIVACY. In short, it’s simply NOT your business, if a person in this society chooses to terminate a pregnancy.

Since Outraged has already fully addressed these other issues with you on law and religion, I would only add that you don’t seem to have a clear view of what secularism means. You wonder why your religious beliefs can’t be ‘the law’ when secular ‘beliefs’ are.

This isn’t a comparison, because ‘secular’ is not a system of particular beliefs. Secular means only a system of law that is NOT based on any system of ‘belief’s’ In other words, secularism is not just another ‘belief’ system. Secularists are not necessarily without a religious belief system.

Your posts seem to indicate that you somehow connect secularism with a lack of believe in any religious entity, and that is simply not the case. Secularism is embodied in any DEMOCRATIC society with a rule of law system that governs everybody in that society. That is why the founders were so careful to put that in. The separation of church and state allows for you to practice your ‘church’ without it having any bearing on the laws of the state.

That’s why in nearly ANY democratic state, things like marriage and divorce are legitimized ALWAYS..BY THE STATE at least. And then, if those involved happen to be of a particular religion, they also appeal to their respective churches for the same legitimization. Example, a dispensation from the Catholic Church will ‘annul’ a marriage in the eyes of the church, even if the divorce -as recognized by the state- comes after a 20 year union producing 15 kids. How hypocritical is that? The kids all turn into little bastards? Of course not. The STATE recognizes it as simply the termination of a marriage. The CHURCH can call it whatever they want.

So, get away from the radical rhetoric of stuff like doctors being ‘forced’ to perform procedures that they find ethically offensive. This is exactly the kind of nonsensical stuff that creates all the problems. It’s also the reason why an INDIVIDUAL with the rights of privacy provided for by the constitution (as in your 16 year old daughter) doesn’t need your permission to seek medical care. This contentious issue continues to come up at every election, and thank God, (at least in my own state) it was again overruled.

Yes, any child or young adult SHOULD be able to go to her parents for such assistance in the event of an unplanned pregnancy when she cannot manage the responsibilities of motherhood. But as we know, there are people like you out there, who would insist (unethically and immorally) that she do it anyway, even if it might risk her own health, and that of the child.

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By Jeff29, July 22, 2008 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

“To say that your beliefs should rule the masses irregardless of the facts or others beliefs is inconsistent with the law.”

This can be said regarding any belief whether it be religious, secular, scientific, whatever.

I understand your argument, but I could use the exact same argument about secular or scientific beliefs that you just made about religious beliefs.  A belief is a belief regardless of where it came from, and to say that a belief based on science should be held in higher regard than a belief based on religion makes no sense (other than the fact that it is currently PC to base decisions on science rather than religion - we got that from Nietzsche, purplewolf).  I’m not advocating a theocracy, but I am saying that the idea that religious beliefs are not acceptable, but secular and scientific beliefs are is logically flawed.

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By Outraged, July 22, 2008 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

Jeff29,

Your comment: “Why is it not acceptable for my religious beliefs to be translated into law, yet it is OK for other’s secular beliefs to be translated into law?”

If we translate YOUR religious beliefs into LAW, then America would not be a democracy but a theocracy.  And what if instead we didn’t transfer YOUR beliefs but those of another religion…?  Should be all become buddhists and transfer these teachings into LAW?  Maybe you think America is a “Christian country” (a scary premise indeed) even at that, will we all be Lutherans or Catholics, maybe we should all be Mormons or should we be Baptists?  We could go on and on.

America is a diverse nation consisting of all types of ethnicities, religions and traditions.  To say that your beliefs should rule the masses irregardless of the facts or others beliefs is inconsistent with the law.  Our constitution HAS a separation of church and state clause for PRECISELY this reason.  The separation of church and state clause protects the masses from ANY one religion becoming the ruling authority.  It also protects the rights of those in the various religions to practice as they choose, AS LONG AS THEIR PRACTICES DO NOT BREAK THE LAW.

What if a religion believes that they should sacrifice one of their members yearly to appease their god, at this point the state WOULD intervene since it AGAINST THE LAW.  We do not allow sacrificial death in America.  Maybe you feel we should simply change the law because a group happens to BELIEVE that their god will be angry and bad things will happen to them.

It isn’t the case that your premise concerning abortion hasn’t been heard by our lawmakers.  It has.  But others need to be considered ALSO, along with the FACTS.  The FACTS do not substantiate your premise.  The law as it currently is, protects your right NOT TO have an abortion.  This DOES NOT inflict any hardship upon your belief.

You seem to be saying that you have “rightful authority from god” and “an obligation” to pursue making religious beliefs, law.  Laws based upon belief systems are theocracies and not democracies.  If one looks at history, religious fervency has ALWAYS been negative for societies that institute them.

Remember, your personal beliefs have not been hampered in any way.  It appears you wish to hamper the freedom of others without the necessary and relevant facts to back up your assertion.  You may follow the teachings of your religion because you CHOOSE TO, however I CHOOSE NOT TO, and is one of the very positive outcomes of a democracy.  Religions as entities are not in the business of endorsing facts, they are in the business of belief and faith.

Belief and faith, along with religious teachings throughout the ages have swayed many.  This is a fact, but this fact does not mean that what religions teach are factual.

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By Jeff29, July 22, 2008 at 9:02 am Link to this comment

Outraged, this is what I don’t get.  Why is it not acceptable for my religious beliefs to be translated into law, yet it is OK for other’s secular beliefs to be translated into law?

Cyrena, if these decisions were 100% personal, then I would have much less complaint, but when my tax dollars are being used to fund abortions, that’s a problem; when doctors are being forced to perform abortion even if they have an ethical concern with the procedure, that’s a problem; if a doctor can give my 16 year-old daughter an abortion without me knowing, that’s a problem.

Purplewolf, have you read Marx and Nietzsche?

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By Outraged, July 22, 2008 at 2:17 am Link to this comment

Jeff29

I inadvertently posted before I was finished, sorry about that.

What I had intended to finish up with is that here again, this is YOUR religious BELIEF.  In your personal decision, and when it regards ONLY you, then that would be understandable.  However, when you transfer your BELIEFS onto society or any other individual to the extent that it is “THE LAW” this then becomes a different issue.

Also, we are complex animals. Those of integrity do what they can, with what they know and what is available.  To assume easy answers, and “black and white conclusions” concerning complex issues would be a ridiculous position, to say the least.  I personally cannot give you the preciseness you’re requesting as to “the exact moment of life”.  This is for you to ascertain, using ALL available information.

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By Outraged, July 22, 2008 at 1:23 am Link to this comment

Jeff29

Your comment: “My question then is when do we consider a fetus to be human, and, therefore, off limits for abortion?”

I guess all of us share the very serious concern to have and regard the affection for humanity and the love and care which RIGHTFULLY is due for the LIFE of another. Again, this brings us to back to this black and white reality of “when does the unborn become a life”?  In this context, science/biologists (peer-reviewed) have a solid basis to at least put minimums in place.  In this regard, hopefully the I have already linked to some of them.

Your comment: “No one on this site wants to hear me wax religious, but there are other reasons relating to a belief in the sacred nature of the procreative power and the idea that abortion is a mockery of that.”

In all seriousness, I personally have no issue if you “wax religious” concerning this issue.  I will say that, for myself at least, will meet you “head on” in this regard.

Aside from from that, what I’m understanding is that you have a concern OUTSIDE of your own personal belief or control. One in which you have assertained that if your conclusions are correct, then you not only should, but in fact you have an obligation to, speak up or at least attempt to effect a change concerning this matter.

Again, if it it based SOLELY upon your religious beliefs, I do not believe you do.  If you consider the flip side of your argument, then it would be absolutely “right” for buddists, baptists, catholics or ANY belief system to REQUIRE that all of society adhere to the ideology of THEIR beliefs.  In a democracy or further in a free country this is contraindicated.

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By cyrena, July 21, 2008 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

Outraged,

Thanks so much for the excellent report. I’m saving it, as it is one of those that feels like a ‘free education’. My own ‘knowledge base’ on this science is far more limited, especially in regards to the many stages following fertilization.

I’m thinking this is why the ‘morning after’ pill, which can actually be taken up to 72 hours after, would be effective.

Several of my own neighbors here have delivered their children here at home. I remember being concerned, but only because of the condition of these old units….problems with mold and a variety of other things that should have forced the demolition of the whole place long ago. But, they did the serious preparation each time, (I helped) as as young women, it all worked out.

And, it would of course, considering that it hasn’t been all that long since most babies were delivered in hospitals. I’m sure my mother and her 12 siblings were all delivered at home. Same with my dad, though there were just 5 of them. My mother’s mother died at age 41, having already had those 13 kids. My paternal grandma lived much longer. And, as much as she dearly loved all of her children, she remembered well into her life, the pain of each and everyone one of those child births.

Jeff, I really do ‘get’ the whole religious connection that you have, coming from a very ‘Catholic’ family myself. But I think that the real danger, the very, very, very, SERIOUS danger that we have in this discussion anytime it comes up, is the whole point that we cannot ever force our own ideologies on any other member of society. And under NO circumstances should such decisions EVER be decided at ANY level of the legal foundation, Federal or otherwise. Because, these choices are simply NOT ‘legal’ matters.

In reality, these are decisions that are 100% personal, which is how the question was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court. In short, it was decided based on privacy. To that end, it is a private matter, between the mother and her physician,  or whomever she chooses to consult.

This is what enrages me about the subject even being used as a ‘political’ issue, because it’s simply NOT an issue that affects the political body. In other words, it should not matter to ME, if anyone else in the world or the country, (specifically someone that I don’t even KNOW)chooses to terminate a pregnancy.

It terms of practicality, it would make far more sense, (based on my own very PRO-LIFE stance) for me to be concerned about strangers who have multiple children for whom they have absolutely NO means to care for. And I DO care very deeply about the high infant mortality rates in many places in this country, specifically the rural south, where mothers have no access to prenatal health care, and limited education in respect to what is involved in the child bearing or child rearing experience. Their own health is constantly at risk as well.

The statistics and research on this is EXTENSIVE. So, for anyone who really is PRO-LIFE, these are important issues. Mothers and babies dying is pretty much the antithesis of a pro-life mentality.

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By purplewolf, July 21, 2008 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment

Yes Jeff I have a reference for that, it will take some time to locate it, but I will. I will send you the info when I get it. And BTW Marx and Neitzsche are not my gods.

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By Jeff29, July 21, 2008 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment

By the way, far more death and destruction has been perpetuated in the name your gods Marx and Nietzsche (in just the last 100+ years), than in the name of any other god, or God, in the history of mankind.

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By Jeff29, July 21, 2008 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment

Do you have a reference for that purplewolf?  I must be missing that page from my Bible.

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By purplewolf, July 21, 2008 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

Hey Jeff, if life is so sacred, then how come it is perfectly okay to destroy those lives once they are born, raised, educated and technically an adult in all the wars, religious or political? Even in the bible it claims it is okay to kill strangers to your town who may just be pasing through.

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By Jeff29, July 21, 2008 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

Outraged, it’s obvious that you have spent a lot of time on this issue and it is one that is important to you.  My question then is when do we consider a fetus to be human, and, therefore, off limits for abortion?  When there is a heartbeat?  Brain activity?  Response to stimuli?  Or, as Cyrena seems to suggest, when it is born and takes its first breath.

One thing that pro-choicers (note I did not call you anti-life or pro-abortion) do not understand about pro-lifers is that it’s not just about the question of when life begins.  No one on this site wants to hear me wax religious, but there are other reasons relating to a belief in the sacred nature of the procreative power and the idea that abortion is a mockery of that.

The bottom line is that, on a Federal level, there will never be a resolution to this issue on either side.  Of course, issues like this were never meant to be solved at the Federal level.

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By Outraged, July 21, 2008 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

To correct a misleading comment, when I said, “I have researched much in this regard, in fact my own midwife prodded me to become a midwife.”

I must have been getting tired, what it should have said is, “I have researched much in this regard, in fact my own midwife prodded me to become a midwife, although I declined.

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By purplewolf, July 21, 2008 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

Thank you Outraged.

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By Outraged, July 21, 2008 at 12:37 am Link to this comment

Jeff29

Hopefully these links will at least help you to understand my position.  I can understand your concern being a man that you can never experience pregnancy (of course maybe I shouldn’t speak to soon, since wonders never cease).  But I have experienced many pregnancies and let’s not forget childbirth (truly a monumental feat) and I agree with the science of the viability of the human fetus.  I have researched much in this regard, in fact my own midwife prodded me to become a midwife.  I have had five home births and one hospital birth and am very well acquainted with parenthood and all its ups and downs.  I come from an extremely large family of 15 children (no multiple births), have over 50 nieces and nephews (I just don’t count anymore).  I prefer to take each person as they are, their strengths and their weaknesses, the good with the well…not so great.

So in my rant here, I do have one request.  Temper your dealings with those in which you do not agree, since many times (I say 50/50) it is to the greater good of yourself and others.

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By Outraged, July 21, 2008 at 12:16 am Link to this comment

Jeff29

Part2.

Reference Four.
“fertilization is not a momentary event. There is no moment of fertilization but rather a lengthy process.

Fertilization usually occurs in the [WARNING, graphic; path specimen] fallopian tube at the end closest to the ovary. It begins with contact of the sperm and the outer layer of the egg, continues with the gradual penetration of the sperm into the various layers of the egg, and is completed when the pronuclei of the sperm and egg lose their nuclear membranes and fuse to form a new cell called a zygote.

An interesting aside: The majority, up to 78%, of fertilizations do not result in live births. [Up to 60% of fertilized eggs are spontaneously aborted before they can cause a missed menstrual period. For clinically recognized pregnancies, 10-15% end in spontaneous abortion.]

That last stage of fertilization, the fusion, is called syngamy: the sperm chromosomes (23) fuse with the egg chromosomes (23) and form the zygote (46 chromosomes).

2) Also, the product of fertilization is not a cell/s designated to become a specific entity (e.g., a human), or even a particular part of an entity (e.g. an eye, or a leg). Rather, it is a bunch of distinct totipotent cells.

After syngamy, the zygote undergoes a series of divisions (preembryo stage). [About 3 days after syngamy we’re at the 8 cell stage.] The newly divided cells are called blastomeres. These blastomeres are the totipotent cells. [Briefly, each one of these cells can develop independently along any line—from a preembryo to an extra-embryonic structure; they are not yet committed to a/any particular pathway.]

Another interesting aside: Once fertilization is complete, there is an entity with a new genotype. [The egg/sperm has only 23 chromosomes, but the zygote has 46—a new genotype.] However, this new entity isn’t capable, at its earliest stages, of [removed]transcription) of the new genotype, being regulated instead by information from the egg for continued growth and development.”

http://thewelltimedperiod.blogspot.com/2005/02/of-democrats-abortion-and-human-life.html

Reference Five.
““But isn’t it human?” —as if we secretly think a fetus is really a creature from outer space. If you point out that a fetus consists of human tissue and DNA, anti-choicers triumphantly claim you just conceded it’s a human being. Now, a flake of dandruff from my head is human, but it is not a human being, and in this sense, neither is a zygote3. Anti-choicers will respond that a fertilized egg is not like dandruff, because the fertilized egg consists of a unique set of chromosomes that makes it a separate human being. But with cloning, a cell from my dandruff is enough to create a new human being. Although it would have my identical genetic make-up, it would still be a unique individual, because human beings are much more than our genes (I’ll expand on this point later). Also, both a fertilized egg and a cloned cell represent a potential, not an actual human being. It’s a worn cliché, but it bears repeating—an acorn isn’t an oak tree and the egg you had for breakfast isn’t a chicken.”

http://mypage.direct.ca/w/writer/fetusperson.html

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By Outraged, July 20, 2008 at 11:42 pm Link to this comment

Jeff29

Part 1.
Hopefully these excerpts and links will answer you question as to why others know that a zygote is not “a human being”.

Reference one.
“anti-abortionists believe that such women’s lives are an unimportant consideration in the issue of abortion. Why? Because, they claim, the embryo or fetus is a human being—and thus to abort it is murder. But an embryo is not a human being, and abortion is not murder.

There is no scientific reason to characterize a raisin-size lump of cells as a human being. Biologically speaking, such an embryo is far more primitive than a fish or a bird. Anatomically, its brain has yet to develop, so in terms of its capacity for consciousness, it doesn’t bear the remotest similarity to a human being. This growth of cells has the potential to become a human being—if preserved, fed, nurtured, and brought to term by the woman that it depends on—but it is not actually a human being. Analogously, seeds can become mature plants—but that hardly makes a pile of acorns equal to a forest.”

http://capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4692

Reference Two.
“The idea that a “human life begins at conception” also has problems with the existence of identical twins and tetrazygotic chimeras and the possibility human clones. Again, I have diagrams to explain these.

Consider the case of monozygotic twins, as explained by the above diagram. Here we have one fertilisation event, but two individuals result. Do those twins have to share the ‘human life’ they had from conception? Surely not, for we treat twins as separate persons. So, when did both lives start, if not at conception? During the twinning process? Or sometime after? And if lives start during the process of twinning, perhaps it is morally wrong not to twin an embryo, as it prevents the cells from realising their potential as multiple human beings….”

“.....Also consider the above diagram of the formation of a tetragametic (four gametes, two sperm + two eggs) chimera. Such an individual results when fraternal twins, derived from separate conceptions, merge very early in development to form a single individual with some cells with one genome and some cells with another (if the two zygotes were different, such as one female and one male or one dark-skinned and the other pale-skinned, this can be noticeable on the person). So, do chimeric people get twice as much human life, seeing as they resulted from two conceptions? Or was a life destroyed when the two embryos merged, despite not a single cell being destroyed? If the intentional formation of chimera is morally wrong, why isn’t the failure to twin an embryo?”

http://hplusbiopolitics.wordpress.com/2008/06/25/inconsistancy-in-the-life-begins-at-conception-argument/

Reference Three.
“The criteria for human death may help in deciding on the advent of human life. It is generally agreed that appropriate functioning of the brain is the critical requirement for human existence. When the brain is judged to be irreversibly dead, human life has ceased to exist. Achieving agreement on the precise criteria and time for the appearance of such a brain in the fetus or even postnatally presents difficulties; the acquisition of the later morphological and physiological cerebral features regarded is not a sudden, all-or-none phenomenon. A decision on finally acceptable levels would therefore depend upon cultural and religious factors. The setting of at least minimum limits presents no difficulties. The zygote resulting from union of egg and sperm cells clearly has no brain at all. One unassailable conclusion would be that the assignment of human existence to the zygote at conception must be regarded as one based upon a religious preference or a metaphysical belief not upon any biologically tenable grounds.”

http://www.popline.org/docs/002131

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By Jeff29, July 20, 2008 at 10:02 pm Link to this comment

“Jeff, Life begins when a fetus can live on its own, outside its mother’s womb. Until that time, the fetus and the mother are one and the same life. That’s not proving a negative. That’s just really obvious.”

I love these comments.  “That’s just really obvious”.  Can you prove it?  Proof requires more than you simply stating something.  I could just as easily say, “God doesn’t want us to allow abortions. That’s just really obvious”

Obvious to every mother?  So that would mean my wife who has given birth to one, and has lost two others who have “left the womb prematurely”.  Actually, the opposite is obvious to her, and in fact, I’m quite certain most mothers would agree with her not you.  Why don’t you try this experiment:  Get a room full of women who have had miscarriages, still-births, etc., and make a statement about the fetus not being alive—I would love to see the response.

“Now when you can explain why that happens, (and get pregnant yourself)...”
“Experience, (being pregnant) certainly provides the substance, now doesn’t it?”
So does that mean that you should probably get the experience of being in the military, before you make any more comments about war?

“But religion doesn’t have a material substance. Science does.” 
You mean that science that thought the world was flat, or that thought cigarette smoking was healthy; or maybe that science that claims pure evolution, but can’t explain the missing link.  That science?

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By cyrena, July 20, 2008 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment

By Jeff29, July 20 at 7:34 am

•  “…Outraged, As I said before, I am not sure when life begins.  Generally, I take a religious interpretation, but since that is not allowed on this site, I won’t even go there.  Then again, I am not the one who said that I KNOW.  I would argue that you do not know, as it is nearly impossible to prove a negative…”

Jeff, Life begins when a fetus can live on its own, outside its mother’s womb. Until that time, the fetus and the mother are one and the same life. That’s not proving a negative. That’s just really obvious.

Or, it’s at least obvious to the mother. Take it from mother’s like Purple Wolf and me, who have tragically, (at least for us) lost our children because they left the womb prematurely, and NOT because of any human created intervention. Now this phenomena (premature deliveries, so-called ‘still-births’, miscarriages, etc) occur at about a rate of 100/1 (that’s a rough estimate that could have changed since I last checked) for every induced abortion. So, if you wanted to take a religious interpretation of all of this, you could say that God is the greatest abortionist.

I don’t take the religious view, but my point is obvious. MANY pregnancies terminate themselves, (when the mother wants nothing more than to continue those pregnancies, often at a cost to their own health) and for reasons that are generally remain unknown. Now when you can explain why that happens, (and get pregnant yourself) maybe you could actually add something of substance to the conversation. But religion doesn’t have a material substance. Science does.

That’s why the suggestion that one cannot prove a negative, (which is true) doesn’t even compute in this discussion that you’re having with Outraged and Purple Wolf.

Meantime, thanks ladies. Experience, (being pregnant) certainly provides the substance, now doesn’t it?

And yes…it’s true that brain dead people are routinely removed from life support without any previous written agreement to such. My biological father needed to be removed from life support, and I needed to make that decision. It was incredibly difficult until I realized that a few of his physicians were using him as a guinea pig to bill his insurance company for multiple procedures that they KNEW would not change or alter his condition. That was criminal of course, but that’s what happens.

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By Jeff29, July 20, 2008 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

Outraged, please enlighten me with the scientific truth.  You still haven’t answered the basic question of how you KNOW.

You saying science is no different than me saying religion until you actually show me the indisputable scientific facts.

By the way, you completely misunderstood my use of the word evil.  I used the term evil pro-lifers as sarcasm directed at the previous posters who went on and on about how horrible pro-lifers are.

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By Outraged, July 20, 2008 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

Re: Jeff29

Possibly this web page can give you a more realistic view of the developing fetus and at least some facts concerning abortion instead of the ALL or NOTHING approach.  As I said it is a complex issue, and while I can UNDERSTAND your feelings this does not make them right or logically sensible.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_fetu.htm

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By Outraged, July 20, 2008 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

Re: Jeff29

Your comment: “In these cases, an embryo or fetus is, arguably, more alive than these individuals,”

This is definitely arguable.  Since the fetus CANNOT survive without the life support system of its mother it is not “more alive”.

How does one be “more alive”.  If you BELIEVE that life begins at conception no one is forcing you to have an abortion.  Yet, without any FACTS you feel that YOU have the right to FORCE YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS down the throats of others. And that would be more of a theocracy than a democracy.  Are you from Saudi Arabia or an Iranian mullah..?

If your religious beliefs create emotional anguish to the degree that it allows you to disregard science then I would seriously consider INVESTIGATING your religion.

ALL religions propose to be “the ultimate authority” and all claim to have the “divine hand of God” in their teachings.  However, simple logic here says, someone’s got to be lying. How could his “condition” exist?  They certainly cannot ALL have the divine hand of God can they..?

Again, only those who refuse to investigate the facts call others “evil” without validity.  I don’t agree with your religious interpretation of the world therefore in your mind, I am “evil”.  This is childish to say the least, ADULTS look to ALL available evidence and come to REASONED conclusions. 

This is how children see the world, ADULTS know that it is a much more complex place than simply “good” and “evil”.  In this regard, if you absolutely FEEL this way, that is your own personal conviction and you should do what you feel WITH YOUR OWN LIFE.  However, to claim other people are “evil” because they don’t agree with you when the FACTS are in their favor is quite the stretch.

Also, I’ll ask this again…  How will you as an adult..use your religious teaching if you like…solve this issue.

To further muddle the equation, what we do when we sincerely believe a mother’s life will end if this child is brought to term…?  Do we “obviously” sacrifice the one life (mother’s) for the other..?  And who’s decision should that be..?  Societies…?  A religion’s…?  The mothers…?  The fathers…?  I certainly can attest, having been pregnant several times….that this should be a personal decision, using all available information but in MY OPINION, in this situation, it should be the mothers, since she is the one who will have to sacrifice HER life for the possible viability for the unborn she carries.  Since the alternative would amount to SOMEONE ELSE sacrificing YOUR LIFE for the possibility of another life…....

Also, your comment: “we have thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people in this country who are not alive.  Yet, in most cases, unless they have previously consented, it is against the law to end their “non-life”.”

This is NOT true.  Routinely, those requiring life-support are “allowed” to die.  It is commonplace.

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By purplewolf, July 20, 2008 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

No Jeff you miss the point. I am not “cool” to the government making decisions for the population, as many times they rule on emotion rather than logic oir to pander to special interest groups. The government(IRS) is the one who decides a baby is not considered alive until it takes it’s first breath. Before that, it does not exist as a person to the governments view. Otherwise it would be a legit dependent tax write off at the second of conception.

As for abortion at 39 weeks, a fetus would be capable, in most cases of surviving at that stage of development and abortion would be not be considered at that late a date in the pregnancy except,and probably not now, even in extreme medical cases. Even if the person carrying the fetus were in a catastrophic accident, measures would be take to try to save the fetus as normanly it would be viable on its own at that time.

As for life support, most insurances including the governments social programs consider life support a non-covered benefit, which includes the use of a feeding tube as life support and will not cover the expenses of sustaining that life. That is left for the families to cover. If they can afford it. I know this having worked in the medical field most my working life and also from having a preemie in the 80’s. Been there, done that.

At one time life wasn’t considered alive until the fetus(baby) was felt moving for the first time by the woman, it was considered alive after that. Also, more fertilized eggs are sluffed off by the human body that was once thought. Since they are expelled by the body, are they considered aborted also?
How many times have you been pregnant? In many cases the body rejects a defective fetus, thus the body aborts the fetus, referred to as a missed-abortion, or miscarriage-abortion. How would you classify that?

I don’t believe in abortion for birth control, but it should be up to an individual to decide what is right for them at the time and not someone else, whom they don’t know, dictating how they have to live according to another persons view of their beliefs. Denying birth control, which is being secretly put through the legal system at this time, should be available to all those who want it. It is better to prevent an unwanted event before it would require more drastic actions.

Why do those on the religious right feel it is their right to come into another persons life and order them how to live. I would no more make it my business to tell others what color to paint their house, how to raise their children, what to cook or how many children they have to have to keep me happy, ignoring the situation of those who actually have to live that life. It is time for people to mind their own business when it comes to the sex life of strangers, whom probably have different beliefs and ways of living and take care of their own situations at home. I am certain they will be more than busy tending to their own personal lives to have time to interfere with strangers.

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By Jeff29, July 20, 2008 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

So purplewolf you are cool with letting the government decide when life begins?

And so since life begins when a baby takes a breath, then abortion in week 39 is fine as long as the baby doesn’t take a breath.  Then let’s go back to revisit all those people on life support.  Since the life support system is their “host” without which they would die, can we just pull all the plugs?

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By purplewolf, July 20, 2008 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

Jeff29: When does life begin? Let’s ask the government. When can you write this fetus(baby)off your taxes as a dependent? From the second of conception? After you are determined to be pregnant? At six months gestation? NO! Not until it is born is it considered a living being.

A fertilized egg becomes a zygote, which is a clump of cells, before the embryo is formed, before a fetus develops. Before a viable fetus has evolved it is a total parasitic entity upon the body of the host(mother) up to around 6 months of development. And only thanks to medical science and knowledge in many cases, it is able to keep a premature baby alive, however, in many cases there are dire consequences that the child has to endure it’s entire lifetime. Sometimes things work out.

When does life begin? How about when the baby is able to survive on it’s own, with some assistance for some of life’s necessities like food and shelter. In other words when it is able to breath on it’s own without artificial life support from the medical environment or from the host’s environment of the uterus. Until then, it is still inside of the host, therefore making it part of the host and not an independent individual at that time. It is considered alive when it takes it’s first breath, which is recorded at the time of birth and the last time I checked it was still that way. Otherwise, taxpayers would be able to write off another 9 months of a dependent on their tax bills if it really is deemed a separate life upon conception.

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By Jeff29, July 20, 2008 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

Outraged,  As I said before, I am not sure when life begins.  Generally, I take a religious interpretation, but since that is not allowed on this site, I won’t even go there.  Then again, I am not the one who said that I KNOW.  I would argue that you do not know, as it is nearly impossible to prove a negative.

Based on your argument about individuals on life support and being brain dead, etc., we have thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people in this country who are not alive.  Yet, in most cases, unless they have previously consented, it is against the law to end their “non-life”.  In these cases, an embryo or fetus is, arguably, more alive than these individuals, as the embryo or fetus actually has a much higher likelihood of ultimately surviving.  However, I am sure most of the other evil pro-lifers would be happy to apply the same laws:  You can abort any embryo/fetus who has given previous consent.

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By Outraged, July 20, 2008 at 12:16 am Link to this comment

Re: Jeff29

Your comment: “Tell me again how it is that you KNOW that life does not begin at conception.”

I will debate this issue.  I have laid out my claims…  when do YOU say life begins?  Please, qualify your assertion with supporting evidence.

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By Outraged, July 19, 2008 at 11:48 pm Link to this comment

Re: Jeff29

Your comment: “I assume that you would agree that at the point life begins, abortion is not acceptable.  So, when is it OK to have/give an abortion, and when is it not?”

Although you have directed you question to Purple Girl, I hope you don’t mind if I intercede.

This is a very complex question, even though on its face it may seem black or white.  Consider for a moment that complex issues are NEVER black or white. If you can allow this in your reasoning it is much easier to address the issue and come to a personal conclusion not predicated upon “us or them”, “black or white” or “right or wrong” analogies.

It requires FIGURATIVELY starting out at the premise of a blank slate, if you will.  One in which there are no preconceptions and then using facts to re-ascertain what may or may not be relevant or which may or may not be true.

There was a commentor here at TD who had a interesting premise, apparently something which had been put forth by a scientist. (I wish I could remember precisely, but if you’re seriously interested I feel certain the information is available..research, research, research.)  The premise of the position was that we should use the same evidence we use to determine when life is “unsaveable” or “ends” that we use to determine when life begins.

In other words, when a patient is brain dead and is kept alive via life support systems, and if we “pull the plug” this “life” will end. Is this “a life”, or the kept alive body in which there is no “life”?  A human without a functioning brain or nervous system will die or “is dead” and only through the intervention of technology is the BODY kept alive.

Since the brain controls the regulatory systems of our bodies used to keep us humans alive and further that our brain is the very essence of “who and what we are”... OUR CONSCIOUSNESS. It follows that without this vital organ in a functional capacity, we ARE dead.  In this reality we cannot, as the human animal, exist without “a life support system” to keep the body alive, nor do we feel pain since without the brain and nervous system viable we cannot and DO NOT, nor do we have ANY consciousness, since we cannot without a functioning brain and a viable working nervous system.

So when during pregnancy does this happen…?  Somewhere around 5 months gestation if I remember correctly.  As I said research, research, research.  Get the facts and come to your own conclusions, but use the facts to get there.

To further muddle the equation, what we do when we sincerely believe a mother’s life will end if this child is brought to term…?  Do we “obviously” sacrifice the one life (mother’s) for the other..?  And who’s decision should that be..?  Societies…?  A religion’s…?  The mothers…?  The fathers…?  I certainly can attest, having been pregnant several times….that this should be a personal decision, using all available information but in MY OPINION, in this situation, it should be the mothers, since she is the one who will have to sacrifice HER life for the possible viability for the unborn she carries.  Since the alternative would amount to SOMEONE ELSE sacrificing YOUR LIFE for the possibility of another life…....

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By Jeff29, July 19, 2008 at 11:27 pm Link to this comment

Tell me again how it is that you KNOW that life does not begin at conception.

I don’t know whether it does or doesn’t, but if you’re so sure that it doesn’t, then when does life begin?

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By samosamo, July 19, 2008 at 11:03 pm Link to this comment

By Outraged, July 19 at 9:14 pm #

Right on! This could be the area where belief vs real is the actual differences in a political system, ergo dems and repubs. But I doubt it.
But living on belief should really be a life with hope and a healthy dose of reality of possible options where a life based on pragmatic and proven realities keeps one atuned to the exceptions that arise.
Now, we have much too many living on belief, belief that a person is going to show up and say he is the 2nd coming of christ and boy howdy will the believers come a running. Belief from being led to believe that what is being done is the true course and there is no other. And it is mostly claptrap. Belief will get you robbed, raped, and killed quicker than knowing what is real and trying deal with it and live with it.
I don’t know the author of this quote but I think it defines pretty well a person the lives on beliefs and a person that lives on what is true and real:
An optimist is one who thinks we live in the best of worlds;
A pessimist is afraid this is true.

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By Outraged, July 19, 2008 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment

Re: Jeff29

Your comment: “They are meant to abort after conception.  That may only be a matter of hours or days after conception, but to people who believe that life begins at conception, that’s abortion.”

This is absolutely true, to some people life begins at conception and I can understand their FEELING.  However, this feeling is not based upon medical fact and no one has denied those who FEEL this way to abort their possible conception.  In direct contrast, those who FEEL this way ARE attempting to deny the rights of those who KNOW that this is not medically/scientifically factual.

Some have used the erroneous assumption that because it is a possible (dependant upon whether the egg was or was not fertilized) LIVING CELL that in fact this is “a life”.  By using this rhetoric, then heart cells, skin cells and blood cells are “life” and should NEVER be altered or disposed of.  Yet, we know better.

Life beginning at conception is a RELIGIOUS TEACHING and is not scientifically accurate.  Galileo was imprisoned because he differed with the Catholic teaching of the time that the sun went around the earth.  Although Galileo recanted (some believe through torture) afterwards he was placed under house arrest.  If I remember correctly this was until his death.  Today we KNOW full well that Galileo was indeed truthfully correct.

If one considers the repercussions to the Catholic Church at that time by their followers had they ALSO KNOWN the truth, it is easy to see why the Catholic Church HAD to cover up the lie to maintain their supposed “GOD GIVEN AUTHORITY” of the nature of man.  I’m not picking on the Catholic religion as they are certainly NOT the only ones to be caught in their lies.  Today we see this happening when considering the abortion issue, don’t be misled.  Many church leaders are well-schooled and also use their “supposed authority from God” as a truth when in fact they know better.  Today, just as in Galileo’s day many of the church leaders are also well schooled and KNOW that their inaccurate suppositions ARE NOT TRUE.

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By Jeff29, July 19, 2008 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

First of all, insurance companies are private entities. Whether they pay for birth control or not is their decision;  if you want that changed, petition the companies, not the government—it’s not the role of government.

Second, contraceptives vs. abortifacts.  A contraceptive is something that prevents conception; there is no one who is seriously, or at least with any real support, trying to outlaw these.  The only devices, drugs, etc., that are really at issue are, in fact, abortifacts.  They are meant to abort after conception.  That may only be a matter of hours or days after conception, but to people who believe that life begins at conception, that’s abortion.

You can disagree with the idea that life begins at conception, but to deny others that belief is, well, a great example of liberal “tolerance” (i.e. “If you agree with me, I will tolerate you; if you don’t agree with me, you are intolerant).

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By purplewolf, July 19, 2008 at 8:43 pm Link to this comment

Jeff29, it’s not the schools handing out contraceptives. And at one time insurance companies did cover birth control pills. The problem with denying contraception devices claiming them to be an abortifact is already witten up and on Bush’s desk to be signed into law. This order has, as with most things Bush, filled with mis-information and lies, not actual medical fact, to justify his rendering of this into law.
There have been many articles pertaining to this found on the Internet with some work of looking for them. National Partnership for Women and Families, the New York Times, the Washington Post, are just a few of the newspapers that ran inofrmation on this topic.

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By Jeff29, July 19, 2008 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

So now it’s the government’s role to require that insurance companies provide birth control?

How, from that short clip, are all of you coming to the conclusion that pro-life means anti-birth control?  Just because people don’t want the school nurse to be handing out pills and condoms like it’s Halloween doesn’t make them against birth control.

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By purplewolf, July 19, 2008 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

New statistics for the baby boom of 2007 are in, in today’s local paper:
More babies were born in the United States last year then ever, according to the preliminary data, but it’s not another baby boom just yet.
About 4,315,000 children were born in 2007, about 15,000 more births than at the peak of the baby boom in 1957, said Stephanie Ventura, a demographer at the National Center for Health Statistics.

Also in the same paper(7-19-08)there were several articles on this:
Murder charges await dad,16: A 16 year old dad(almost 17) will face charges in the death of his 8 month old daughter. The mother now is 15, so that means she got pregnant at 13 or 14 years of age. The incident happened at the home of the baby’s great grandmother. The baby died of injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome. Family members voice that parenting should be taught in the public schools. What is wrong with the parents teaching this to their children?

This is not an isolated event in my area of a baby being killed by a parent. It is fairly common place. The unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country, Flint, Michigan. People are under employed in too many cases, foreclosures are a daily event, health care is unaffordable, poverty is widespread and jobs are scarce. To disallow birth control and make it unobtainable to people who need it shows a total lack of intelligence, compassion and a total disregard for life, once it is here. To claim that it is a sin, bad or evil to use birth control according to the bible and to also claim that God takes care of or cares about all is obviously not true. Otherwise, babies would be born to capable and ready parent(s), would be wanted and would not cause a financial hardship on the family, and would not end up a murder victim.

It is obvious the abstinence only programs don’t work now, as they didn’t work in the past. Teenagers are going to have sex regardless. It is a more responsible parent(s) and society that assures that birth control is available to those who need it. It shows great callousness to deny people the tools they need to prevent something they do not want to happen from happening, like an unwanted pregnancy. If this becomes law and contraception is denied to people, expect more murdered babies and lay the blame at the doorstep where it belongs, the right-to-lifers, the religious right wingers, and the puppet politicos and others who want to control the reproductive lives of total strangers because they think they know what is best for you. Because they think God told them so.

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By Jeff29, July 19, 2008 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

My question about this whole article is why is sex education, contraception training, etc. the government’s job?  This is not a government failure, this is a parental failure.

Hey Purple Girl, since you brought it up, when does life begin?  I assume that you would agree that at the point life begins, abortion is not acceptable.  So, when is it OK to have/give an abortion, and when is it not?

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By samosamo, July 19, 2008 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment

Man, what a cop out. I would think his only chance of winning the presidency would be for diebold and es&s;to pull him through, well another would be for the supreme court to exercise their new function of appointing the president or , even another one, what IF, the voters go to cast their vote for obama and just before pulling the lever or marking their choice, decide that they just didn’t want a black man in the white house.
I just don’t understand how ole johnny got the repub nod. Well, maybe his choice of vp running mate will clarify that some.

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By xypher, July 19, 2008 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

Pro-Life is not completely accurate. It would be more accurate to say Pro-Fetus. Once the baby is born it’s medical, nutritional, shelter, and educational needs are not seen as necessary to the Pro-Life movement. In fact, if these are brought up they will be labeled as ‘Socialist.’ The child is left to survive in whichever life circumstances it was born into. 

War, Pollution, and the Death Penalty, which are Anti-Life, are areas the alleged Pro-Lifers embrace wholeheartedly.

Pro-Life is a political and wedge issue and nothing more.

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By Purple Girl, July 19, 2008 at 5:25 am Link to this comment

What is the real goal of the so called ‘Pro Life’ movement? It appears they not only encourage Birth, but also unwanted pregancies.
Are they hedging their bet on the Second Coming? Do they actually beleive their ‘god’ is so inept He is unable to accomplish this without their mortal Help? Oh yea of little Faith! what Arrogance, What Blasphemy!What Entity would require the acts of mere mortals to carry out such a plan? What entity would want children born into a situation where they are not wanted, loved and cherished? What ideology would feel that birth alone is all that is required and deny even the basics to those already alive? Who would value such hardship and despair? “Could it be Satan?” or just the Corps assuring they have a legion of workers in the Future. If ‘Life Begins at conception’ does it end at Birth?Considering the ‘Pro Lifes’ failure to assure the basics to children, adults and esp the Elderly, the answer appears to be Yes.What kind of ‘Life’ is it when you are sentenced to poverty,war, Famine? and does Life only include Homo Sapiens? Are we not only reliant on all that exists around Us, But the only species on the planet who is able to manage and care for it all?
I reject and Denounce all thsoe who currently claim to be ‘Pro Life’, they are in actuality only Pro Birthers- the rest are F*cked.
Until the real issue of reducing and eliminating Unwanted Pregancies is addressed by this group, their motives and allegience is suspect.

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