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Five Hypocrites and One Bad Plan

Posted on Mar 29, 2012
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The Supreme Court is so full of it. The entire institution, as well as its sanctimonious judges themselves, reeks of a time-honored hypocrisy steeped in the arrogance that justice is served by unaccountable elitism.

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My problem is not with the Republicans who dominate the court questioning the obviously flawed individual mandate for the purchasing of private-sector health insurance but rather with their zeal to limit federal power only when it threatens to help the most vulnerable. The laughter noted in the court transcription that greeted the prospect of millions of the uninsured suddenly being deprived of already extended protection under the now threatened law was unconscionable. The Republican justices seem determined to strike down not only the mandate but also the entire package of accompanying health care rights because of the likelihood that, without an individual mandate, tax revenue will be needed to extend insurance coverage to those who cannot afford it.

The conservative justices, in their eagerness to reject all of this much needed reform, offer the deeply cynical justification that a new Congress will easily come up with a better plan—despite decades of congressional failure to address what is arguably the nation’s most pressing issue. In their passion to embarrass this president, the self-proclaimed constitutional purists on the court went so far as to equate a mandate to obtain health care coverage with an unconstitutional deprivation of freedom; to make the connection they cited the spirit of a document that once condoned slavery.

These purists have no trouble finding in that same sacred text a license for the federal government to order the young to wage undeclared wars abroad, to gut due process and First Amendment protections, and embrace torture, rendition and assassination, even of U.S. citizens.

Now they hide behind the commerce clause of the Constitution to argue that the federal government cannot regulate health care coverage because that violates the sacrosanct principle of states’ rights. If the right-wingers on the high court consistently had a narrow interpretation of federal power over the economy, there would be logic to the position expressed by the Republican justices during the last three days of questioning. Of course, the court’s apparent majority on this has shown no such consistency and has intervened aggressively, as did the justices’ ideological predecessors, to deny the states the power to protect consumers, workers and homeowners against the greed of large corporations.


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We would not be in the midst of the most severe economic meltdown since the Great Depression had the courts not interpreted the commerce clause as protecting powerful national corporations from accountability to state governments. Just look at the difficulty that a coalition of state attorneys general has faced in attempting to hold the largest banks responsible for their avarice in the housing disaster.

The modern Supreme Court has allowed the federal government to pre-empt the states’ power to protect homeowners, whose mortgage agreements were traditionally a matter of local regulation and registration. The court has no problem accepting Congress’ grant of a legal exemption in the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 that allows the bundling of home mortgages into unregulated derivatives.

The court has vitiated the power of the states to control interest rates, even though quite a few had explicit provisions in their constitutions banning usury. The result is that loan-sharking by banks that can claim to be engaged in interstate commerce is constitutionally protected, which is why there are no limits on mortgage, credit card or personal loan interest rates.

The sad truth is that President Obama and the Democrats brought this potential judicial disaster upon themselves. In light of what has been said this week in the Supreme Court, it seems inevitable that the linchpin of the 2010 reform—mandated coverage—will be thrown out, probably along with the crucial accompanying reforms. Forget coverage for the young and those with pre-existing medical conditions. The Democrats will protect themselves from this reversal by arguing that all they did was copy the program that this year’s prospective Republican presidential candidate implemented when he was the governor of Massachusetts.  Mitt Romney’s plan included the dreaded mandate that he and the Republican justices condemn.

How ironic that Barack Obama’s health care agenda would be in a far stronger legal position had the president stuck by his earlier support of a public option. Clearly, our federal government has the judicially affirmed power under our Constitution to use public revenues to provide a needed public service, be it education, national security, retirement insurance or health care. Obama’s health care reform should have simply extended Medicare and Medicaid coverage to all who wanted and needed it—no individual mandate—while allowing others to opt out for private insurance coverage. That’s an obvious constitutional solution that even those die-hard Republican justices would have a difficult time overturning.

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By Ed Romano, April 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

Comrades, Let me heartily recommend the Truth Dig forum on Slovoj Zizek : The Problem Is Capitalism,
....without this analysis everything else here is drivel.

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By Ed Romano, April 20, 2012 at 8:35 am Link to this comment

John, John My Son,  I have been impressed with your reasonable approach to the issues discussed in these forums. You have seemed to me to be a gentleman and a decent man.( Here comes the “however”). But you are living in a world that no longer exists….a world where it once SEEMED possible to bring about justice and equity for all citizens with a little political elbow grease…a little good will, and a little effort on the part of ordinary people. That was the world of yesterday. The goal of justice and equity was ,and is, never totally possible because human beings are flawed creatures. Today, no amount of elbow grease, good will or effort is going to turn around the monstrosity that we have inherited…...This morning, on Democracy Now, one of the founders of the domestic spying organization that now knows when your local pharmacy calls to tell you your prescription is ready, said that he was forced to resign in 2005 when he realized that the government was by then in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution. When he and several others informed the N.Y.Times about the then secret spying that was going on, his home was invaded by armed FBI agents who took him out of his shower at gun point. He later figured this was pure retaliation…an attempt to indimidate him….. These incidents, mostly unknown to us, are taking place hundreds of times a week…maybe more. We are helpless in the struggle because the playing field is not level. Our pathetic little attempts at reform require us to play according to the government’s rules.The government, however, does not consider itself bound by any rules whatsoever except,perhaps, those that would make it look bad internationally, if it was found to be disregarding them…..just to give one example out of thosands   (and what individual or organizatiom has the ability to keep up with the abuses ?).....the government is holding 3 individuals at Guantanamo that the court ordered released sometime ago. There is no intent to release them (We are living with the law that says… he who has the guns rules).....On the economic front there have been numerouis past attempts to curtail the rapaciousness of the corporations and create the semblance of a just society….Social Security, laws that gave us the right to unionize, unemployment compensation, OSHA laws, Medicare and Medicaid. As soon as these measures were enacted the ruling, money class set to work to undermine them, with the eventual goal of privatizing or eliminating them. You think what is happening in Wisconsin now is something new? (In my state a Republican governor CLOSED the Department of Labor entirely).  You are living in the world of April 20, 2012….. isn’t this latest all out attack on everything that takes the sting out of capitalism the worst you’ve ever seen ? You want to modify the GNP so that things being produced that are a net loss in resources and energy would be excluded?....John, this is really going deep into La La land. Do you think the producers of these products are going to allow THEIR government to bring that about? Didn’t you just live through the fiasco that produced the inaptly named Obamacare ? Didn’t national polls show that the citizens overwhelmingly wanted a single payer system…or Medicare for everyone? Didn’t the insurance industry say…Sorry folks, nothing doing.
  I would be thrilled to end my days in a nation that, while still basically capitalist, had brought the corporations under control to the point where they were not allowed to operate to the detriment of the society at large. To me that would not be the solution that is needed, but it would take an enourmous burden off the backs of half this nation and billions of people world wide. Close your eyes and think on this for a half hour. Do you think there is any chance of this actually taking place ?

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By Shenonymous, April 20, 2012 at 6:57 am Link to this comment

There is frequently talk about having laws and if they just were
enforced things would be all right.  Well… not asking rhetorically at
all, what does it take to get laws enforced?  What are the mechanisms
in place to have laws enforced?  Who enforces them?  How are they
enforced?  I’m kind of sick of Congressmen who appear to pass legis-
lation but as it turns out it is more for lines of self-aggrandizement on
their resume or to satisfy some lobby interest but with the foreknow-
ledge that there are no effective apparatus in place to enforce the laws
they make.  Hence these “laws” are just exercises in self-indulgent
polticking.  In a reflecting mood, what if the laws really were enforced? 
Is there any debate that it would improve this country?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 20, 2012 at 4:58 am Link to this comment

Ed, I think our current system would be OK if we’d just use the laws available to break up anti-trust situations, prosecute banksters for breach of fiduciary duties, etc.  The dam system is OK, but it’s filled with corrupted actors.  And perhaps the public is so uninformed/self-centered/lethargic they don;t deserve any better.

On the misery index, two thoughts this a.m.  There is a happiness index proposed by some Asian leader I think.  Use the reciprocal of the happiness index?  And, the misery index here: should take into account national debt since debt can be used to artificially mask inflation and unemployment.  I would also argue that a modified GNP would be worthwhile, but modified so as to exclude things we produce which are a net loss of resources and energy, and which serve no long term utility function.  I suppose at heart I believe if people aren’t continuously struggling to ‘keep up’, they’ll find ways to be content, and happiness might follow.  I do think this treadmill effect, continuously re-making what we thought was made, contributes to frustration/unhappiness.

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By Ed Romano, April 19, 2012 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

I intruded my thoughts about the concept of hope merely as an aside to the idea about the mood of the nation. I said it was not a tangible value. I don’t have a clue about how it might be quantified.It’s simply my experience of livingin this nation for a good number of decades. It is very disheartening to fight the same battles over amd over and in the end find that you are either in the same place where you started or further behind. ....I believe that the idea that the problems we are facing can be solved without basically changing the corporate domination of the economy. the government and society in general is deluded at best, and I won’t say what I think it is at worst. But as we lay our heads upon our pillows tonight we might reflect that an enormous number of our fellow and sister citizens are candidates for the misery index… what has been boasted of as the richest nation on earth.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

Ed/She, I got it, I’m just playing with surrounding notions which may or may not stimulate.

I know of a project where a grad student captured real time streams and looked for key words like ‘hope’, and applied artificial intelligence to gauge moods.  The student is the one who gave me the link to  It’s a skewed sampling, the tweeters and facebookers, but it’s something.

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By Shenonymous, April 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Maybe not John Best asks, “What IS Progress”?, April 19 at 11:54 am
and Ed Romano, April 19 at 11:44 am   But you can hope to eat.  The
WikiP article on Misery Index is given only economical consideration.  and
“The data for the misery index is obtained from unemployment data
published by the U.S. Dept of Labor and the Inflation Rate from Finan-
cial Trend Forecaster. The exact methods used for measuring unem-
ployment and inflation have changed over time, although past data is
usually normalized so that past and future metrics are comparable.” 

Also the US Misery Index which only takes into account employment/
unemployment (I never suspected there was such a thing, I wonder how
many others didn’t either?).  “The misery
index was initiated by economist Arthur Okun, an adviser to President
Lyndon Johnson in the 1960’s. It is simply the unemployment rate added
to the inflation rate. It is assumed that both a higher rate of unemploy-
ment and a worsening of inflation both create economic and social costs
for a country. A combination of rising inflation and more people out of
work implies a deterioration in economic performance and a rise in the
misery index.”

This does not really involve the sociological/psychological factors very
much except for the word misery.  Misery is equated to a dollar value
and there is no question that those who want to work and cannot find
a job, would have an increase in the emotion of misery.  I think Ed
Romano’s idea encompasses the body/mind entirety and the emotional
factor that affects the human physical factor.  I may be wrong but Ed
would have to say so.

The problem of putting in a hope factor is that it might be impossible to
quantify it into incremental levels for an index chart as each human has a
differential on how soon, how critical, besides how much.  I still like the
“Romano Index” idea that can be waved in our faces on a regular, maybe
a weekly, basis.

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By Ed Romano, April 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

John, You missed the gist.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

Ed, check this out…......I think it comes from scooping up real-time twitter feeds.
Poor Gary will go nuts. 

On hope… can’t eat hope.  I’ll settle for better tangibles, and the hope will follow.  Better quality in everything, less devastation of natural resources, less waste, and something else that’s as intangible as hope…more ‘grace’.  It all goes together doesn’t it.  Waste and hubris feed off each other.

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By Ed Romano, April 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

John, There is also something that is not tangible but very real,and just might be the most important factor on any misery index. It’s the idea of hope or lack thereof. It’s only my own experience, but I was born during the so called Great Depression and grew up in the thirties and during WW11. As a child I saw some pretty grim situations that people were in….the losses that they had to face including,hunger and homelessness and, during the war, the loss of family members and friends. What I didn’t expeeince was the sense of hopelessness that I see all around me today. People then had the genuine and almost palpable feeling that things were going to get better. A lot of it had to do with the almost religious fervor they displayed for President Roosevelt. I’m an old goat now, but it’s a bit heartbreaking to compare those times with these and feel these modern times coming up short in the hope department

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 19, 2012 at 11:50 am Link to this comment

The misery index sounded familiar and sure enough, somebody took a stab at it:

In this one, the inflation rte is added to the unemployment rate to give the index, but given the manipulation of those numbers, it gives only a false sense of the situation.

I’d throw in a factor for how many times a person has to pack up and move their belongings in a lifetime, add a factor for the average college debt, a factor for the ‘indebtedness’ (beholdingness?)  to an employer for necessities such as health insurance, add a factor for the number of applicants per job, average lifespan for a given major appliance, what else…..?  And yes, how does one get reliable data?  It would make a fantastic web page.

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By heterochromatic, April 19, 2012 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

Lee—- you’re quite right to worry about the result of the decision…...either way
the case would be resolved was going to lead to worries…...had it been decided
the other it was opening the door to government control of political speech….

the use of wealth to maximize control of elections is a problem and grows along
with the concentration of wealth… has to be challenged….....very carefully.
deciding who can make movies and where and when they can be exhibited to
people paying to see them is not a good role for the government.

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By heterochromatic, April 19, 2012 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

She—- no one in our society has an absolute right over their own body…......go
read about the Typhoid Mary case.

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By Shenonymous, April 19, 2012 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

A Misery Index!  A wonderful idea, Ed Romano.  If TD continues to
be a viable blogsite, It should become a regular feature.  I’m not sure
how it could be developed or where the stats would come from, but
you are pretty clever and can find that out.  If anyone can help, just let
the truthdippers know, I’d be glad to help and I’m fairly certain others
would too.  It is such a good tangible idea.  It is something to keep us
focused on the important things in life while we go about satisfying our
egos otherwise.

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By Leefeller, April 19, 2012 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

Hetro, I may be missing the mark, but I find the result from the Surprmos decision allowing Super Paks to donate endless streams of money in order to purchase politicians like the Wisconsin Walkers of the night seems a bit of a sticky wicket.  Money is power and as Ed mentions 50 percent of the nation being in poverty seems the consolidation of money and power appears to be working as planned for those who have both.

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By Ed Romano, April 19, 2012 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

Good Morning Comrades, Students of history have said that in the past the social and economic conditions that now prevail in this country were considered pre revolutionary. The government’s own statistics now reveal that 50 percent of the population is at or near the poverty level…..that is… fifty percent,.... Five O,....half the population. But even this drastic figure does not reveal the full exent of the problem. What is need is a misery index. Not only is the current level of poverty not likely to improve, but yesterday the political agents of Wall St. and the banks tightened the elegibility requirements for food stamps….This is a further indication that, not only is the poverty of 50% of the population not going to be addressed by the corporate government, it is going to continue it’s efforts to make matters worse.  As of yet there is no revolutionary focus capable of organizing serious opposition, but there are signs that such focus may be emerging. I think it should be fairly obvious that any time and effort expended from here on in trying to reform the system can only be futile.

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By Shenonymous, April 18, 2012 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

Your sourness, - bill, is showing. Your reference about my shit being
loose is a point of irrelevance.  I think you writings are constipated
with your own arrogance.  It doesn’t matter one whit what you think. Women have acutely noticed the misogynisticism that permeates the
male population like a festering sore. But we highly appreciate those
males who do give absolute regard to each and every woman to make
her own decisions. Times are a changin’ thank you Bobby Dylan.  And
this vulgar boil in men’s psyche is going to be treated over the next
decade by the women’s vote to reduce men to the socio/political level
of women and a true egalitarian society will have emerged.  I was clear,
it is what millions of women and I think about the part of Roe v Wade
ruling that denies women their absolute right to their own bodies and
any other ruling that in any other judicial ruling would disaffirm women’s
status as an autonomous person.  Your reasoning is null and void.

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By heterochromatic, April 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

Lee——“...the stupid Surprising Court deciduous concept in which it is
proclaimed Corporations are people too….’ 

I’m asking about that.  far as I can tell, it wasn’t an accurate understanding of the
actual decision, although the inaccuracy has been endlessly repeated by people
who haven’t read the thing.

but I could be wrong, and maybe there’s something in the decision that I’ve failed
to note…...

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By Leefeller, April 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

Hetro, not sure what you are asking?  My beef is with the surpeme courts lofty self righteousness as Sheer states;

” The Supreme Court is so full of it. The entire institution, as well as its sanctimonious judges themselves, reeks of a time-honored hypocrisy steeped in the arrogance that justice is served by unaccountable elitism.”

At least in Vermont they seem to be attempting to address the pathetic insanity on the issue of corporate person-hood! Seems people are forced to do it from a grass roots approach, for the lofty hypocrites appear to be bought off it seems just as most of Congress is, sort of like whores in Columbia all part of the entertainment and benefit of special interests.


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By heterochromatic, April 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

Lee- can you help us out a bit and show where in the majority decision of Citizens
United there was talk of corporate personhood?

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By Leefeller, April 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

I must admit, my fetish bodes more for towards the stupid Surprising Court deciduous concept in which it is proclaimed Corporations are people too and even bandied about by a double talking Romney who is a man who stands on his money.

The day I see a Corporations mingled bodily or its living residue in a wheel chair a casualty of a stupid war, doing some bleeding and dieing for our nations alleged what I believe manufactured causes, then and only then may I concede the ludicrous decision in which a corporation could possibly be a person.

Manufactured issues of fear, hate and difference are always used to divide the people the real people not the fictitious manufactured proclaimed people!

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By heterochromatic, April 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

OZ—- what in the name of Blutarsky is a “clear Constitutional threat”?

legislation that criminalizes marital blowjobs behind closed doors should stand
because it doesn’t contravene Constitutional black-letter ?

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 18, 2012 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

Ooooh, touchey OM?  Woof.

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By OzarkMichael, April 18, 2012 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

As I stated before, everyone has an opinion on abortion, just like they do on just about anything under the sun, but abortion is a diversion from real issues taking all eyes off the ball, if I wandered back and discovered who started the abortion topic, maybe it would explain something?

The reason abortion is relevent to the discussion is that the Supreme Court ended the abortion debate and undid all the legislative progress on that issue with Roe v Wade. That process, so celebrated and embraced by Leftists, is the very same process that we have now on Obamacare. Thats why it matters.

I quote from the article:

The Supreme Court is so full of it. The entire institution, as well as its sanctimonious judges themselves, reeks of a time-honored hypocrisy steeped in the arrogance that justice is served by unaccountable elitism.

Now elitism is a bad thing, but back in the days of Roe v Wade, elitism was a good thing?  Puhhleeeze. Enough with the double standard. Enough!!!

I was and still am against the Supreme Court overriding legislation unless there is a clear Constitutional threat in the legislation. I said months ago that Obamacare should not be overturned. The only person here with a consistant view on the Supreme Court is me.

Oh, but have it your way, Leefeller. The Imperial Court Rules! The Leftists love judicial activism… until it turns against them.

As for the buzz from several cicadas “that abortion a distraction from what matters”, I have three questions about that.

One: who put you in charge of deciding what matters to millions of others? That tendency is rather fascist of you. yes i said it! You have a fascist streak.

Two: If abortion doesnt matter to you, then why dont you capitulate(note to Leefeller and John Best… ‘capitulate’ means ‘give in’). Why dont you capitulate on the so-called irrelevent and unimportant ‘diversions’(like abortion) so we can all happily move on to “what really matters”?

Whats that? you wont give in?

Well, you just contradicted yourself completely. If you wont give in, it must be important to you.

Third: who made Leefeller the Chief Inquisitor of Truthdig? His sly suggestion to ‘wander back’ to see who started the comparison of Obamacare to abortion because ‘maybe it would explain something’. As if, AS IF truth and free thought and free speech and honest comparison has become dangerous and needs to be explained away by pinning it to hated enemy.

Yeah that enemy is me. I did it and i am proud of it and it was not a secret or a trick… in spite of that little fascist insinuation by Leefeller.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 18, 2012 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

So Lee, I’m lazy as hell.  Enlighten me, who brought up abortion?

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By Ed Romano, April 18, 2012 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

Have you ever noticed that some of these folks can write four or five paragrapghs and,in an effort to show how really cool they are,they put their message together in such a manner that it is almost completely undecipherable?

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By Leefeller, April 18, 2012 at 6:56 am Link to this comment

Bill, nice to know you told the draft where to pack it, which makes you smarter then GW Bush who went into the National Guard to avoid Vietnam and seems to salivate you to the genus level of Chaney who now has the heart of a real human being.

Jealously becomes you, but more becoming is how you ride a straw man around with more dignity then Ozark Michael while having you head up it arse!

As I stated before, everyone has an opinion on abortion, just like they do on just about anything under the sun, but abortion is a diversion from real issues taking all eyes off the ball, if I wandered back and discovered who started the abortion topic, maybe it would explain something?

As for verbal diarrhea, comparing the draft to abortion seems so close to the scoots like Ozark Slavery comment it makes me suspicious, but do I really care? Does it bother me? No it is the apparent pomposity and bull pucky which I find amusingly annoying, when it is the real diarrhea sold as the gospel.

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By Ed Romano, April 18, 2012 at 6:03 am Link to this comment

Bill, You went up a few notches in my estimation with your personal story about the military draft during the Vietnam War. But I hope you don’t have to go through that sort of mental ju jitsu every time you’re confronted with an issue…..I spent a good deal of time in Cambridge during that era, but didn’t do an draft resistance work there. I was in the Korean War, but my politics had changed radically by the time of the Vietnam fiasco.  I was too old for the draft, but I had sons who would have been eligible if the war had lasted another few years.I was all set to move them to Canada hard as that would have been economically…I can still see some of those baby faces at the recruiting stations waiting for the bus to take them into Boston for their physicals.No telling how many of them ever came home. No amount of flag, waving, propaganda or bull shit will ever make me see this government for anything other than what it is….And the truly tragic part of that whole episode was that nothing was learned from it…..except that the government no longer allows reporters anywhere near the slaughter house.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 18, 2012 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

She- Silly comment? Certainly I do not mind any given comment.  And you’re on the mark, it was intended silly.

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By - bill, April 18, 2012 at 12:46 am Link to this comment

Ed, you made an interesting point about draft resisters during the Vietnam war - and one which I feel personally qualified to comment upon.

When I received my draft notice in 1968 I certainly did not feel that I had some ‘natural right’ to refuse to serve (comparable to Shen’s belief that women have a ‘natural right’ to abort whenever they damn well please regardless of what the law says):  rather, as a citizen I understood that I was subject to our country’s laws and (by not having gone to live elsewhere) had implicitly accepted their power over me.

So when I decided to refuse induction rather than serve in a war which I felt was morally wrong I did so with the full knowledge (and acceptance) that I might well go to jail as a result.  I had obviously considered the option of instead going to Canada, but did not feel that thereby evading rather than confronting the issue was a responsible choice.

I was lucky (a lot luckier than many who resisted and far more who just gave in and joined up):  my draft board reclassified me as a conscientious objector and assigned me to two years’ alternative service as a hospital orderly.  But the experience helped round out my understanding of the relationship between law and one’s personal moral code.

As long as people have the option to go elsewhere rather than live under laws they don’t agree with, then in my opinion they have no legitimate right to claim that the laws somehow aren’t binding upon them.  They certainly should have the right to try to get laws changed, and they inarguably have the ABILITY (as distinct from a ‘right’) to refuse to abide by laws they don’t agree with (as I did) and take the consequences, but in my opinion that’s about it (a belief somewhat along the lines of tic’s observation that “we are not absolutely autonomous if we claim citizenship”).

Being drafted was a 2-year usurpation of one’s body with no legal recourse (save for some hope for the kind of bureaucratic clemency that I was fortunate enough to receive) whereas Roe v. Wade usurps a woman’s absolute authority over her body for only about 3 months and only after a woman has declined to exercise her earlier right to abort, so I’m fairly comfortable with the idea that the experience that confronted me was not all that incomparable to the legal imposition experienced by a 3rd-trimester woman who would prefer to abort.

Off topic, I seem to remember that you were involved in draft resistance in Boston back around that time, Ed.  No way to know if I ever ran into you at the BDRG in Cambridge, but they were an impressive organization and helped me work through this.

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By - bill, April 17, 2012 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment

I see that Shen has adopted her customary tactic of attempting to drown the discussion with her incompetent verbal diarrhea.  The salient points, however, are clear and simple:

Roe v. Wade states, with great clarity, that a woman’s ‘right to choose’ is absolute (given the consent of her doctor, anyway) for approximately the first trimester.  It states that law may choose to abridge that right after approximately the first trimester if it determines that an abortion may be too hazardous to the woman’s health.  And it states that law may ADDITIONALLY choose to abridge that right after approximately the second trimester to protect the ‘potentiality of human life’ represented by the fetus unless such intervention would seriously compromise the health of the mother or the fetus itself has serious problems.

So while Roe v. Wade does not itself confer ‘rights’ upon a developing fetus, it explicitly recognizes the right to enact laws that do so after approximately the second trimester (i.e., a law that places the welfare of the third-trimester fetus above the wishes - though not the health - of the mother without being subject to Constitutional challenge).

Shen does not like this, which I understand though do not agree with.  Shen does not feel that such a fetus should have any rights, which I also understand though do not agree with.  I do not feel that the MOTHER should have any right to abort during (approximately) the third trimester (unless her health or the health of the fetus is seriously threatened), which doubtless Shen does not agree with - and I couldn’t care less, because her aggressive dismissal of ANY fetal rights under these conditions makes it easy for me to dismiss any maternal rights just as flatly.

I might have more sympathy if Roe v. Wade did not explicitly allow the mother to choose to abort for months before that right of choice was removed - but since it does, I don’t have much sympathy for a mother who allows a fetus to develop to a state where it has become viable and only then decides that she wants to terminate it.  Becoming pregnant cannot in my opinion reasonably be considered an act for which the woman can be held so responsible that she can be required to carry the child to term (though, interestingly, my impression is that a MAN can be held responsible without any recourse for child support if he unintentionally impregnates a woman who then makes a unilateral decision to keep the child), but choosing to REMAIN pregnant during the period when she has the right to terminate the pregnancy IS an act for which the woman can reasonably be held responsible, and the idea that the law can decide to require that this responsibility be honored by carrying the fetus the rest of the way to term (absent serious health issues with the mother or the fetus) strikes me as quite reasonable.

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By heterochromatic, April 17, 2012 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

She—- we pretty much DO agree about early abortions…..and I’ve been warted
‘bout nothing more than late-term.

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By Shenonymous, April 17, 2012 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

John Best asks, “What IS Progress”?, April 17 at 9:25 am –  “She sure
ain’t the father.”  I hope you don’t mind if I say that is a silly comment.
And I can’t say I would “stand up” for a fetus except when there is all
reason by the pregnant woman to allow it to continue to exist as a
potential person until such time as it is born a person.  Then I hope
that the vicissitudes of life are such that this newborn finds itself in
the condition that it can grow into a mentally and physically healthy
human being, or if it has some impediment that there are compas-
sionate humans who would help him/her to negotiate whatever is the
problem that as good a life as possible is lived.  I have worked on a few
occasions with special education children with extraordinary handicaps
that are helped to have as noble a life as can be provided.  These
children thrive to the degree that they can.  I realize there are millions
of children who do not have this gift of human altruism and that is really
sad.  We learn we are a frail species who think they are invincible but
when we see these children we understand in our deepest core that we
are not.  If such vicissitudes puts humans into a poor class of people
where eking out a living is harsh and essentially harmful, I hope there are
liberal enough human hearts that will lend a hand so that some sense of
a decent life is afforded. I believe that is the foundation of altruism and it
is my hope the human race becomes cognizant that they are the
inheritors of this morality.  I consciously work at being a liberal whose
ideology is the one that has genuine empathy for others as well a seeing
that altruism is the only thing that will be the cause of a unified and
peaceful world.

At any rate, I think you and I basically agree, and also hetero does
too on most notions about abortion when he isn’t being a wart, (please
don’t be offended, hetero as there is a degree of amity in it, and do not
forget Arthur was called Wart by Merlin!).  For my part, I do not mind if
someone wants to advocate for the fetus.  I will always be on the side
of women but others have different perceptions than I for many and
various reasons and I positively have respect for differences of opinions
and welcome good argument in an attempt to convince me otherwise,
unless there effectively is an intent to harm me or women on account of
them.  If something has not yet been said I can’t think of what it could
be.  And of course anyone is welcome to bring it up.  Though maybe that
topic on this forum might have come to an end.  Amen.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 17, 2012 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

I didn’t mean emotional pain on the part of the fetus, and I did mean emotional pain on the part of the woman, mother or not.  She sure aint the father. 

Anyway…..even it the detus feels sharp pain, my point id tough crap fetus/baby.  Your life might have sucked, that’s the mothers call.  Pre-existing siblings will be better off for the joint sacrifice and both kinds of pain.

wrt abortion as birth control, I indicated it was rare, but it is not a myth.  There was a girl in college who had three in three years.  She was the roommate of a friend, and was just an ultra self-centered uncaring shit of a person.  Didn’t graduate.  I accept that it happens, and that’s just another of the tough things in life. 

Are we such spoiled babies here in the US that we can’t accept that there are real pains in life, and sacrifices must be made?  And it is not brave to stand up for theose who can;t stand up for themselves, the fetus, if one is not also standing up for other (born) children.  That kind of selectivity makes me sick, it’s such a damn easy emotional target.

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By heterochromatic, April 17, 2012 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

She—- yeah, I’m gonna piss off…... You’ve reached the point where you’re not
addressing what I’m saying and instead telling me that I’m saying what I’m not.

I’m sorry that we couldn’t do better in the discussion.

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By Shenonymous, April 17, 2012 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

John Best asks, “What IS Progress”?, April 17 at 7:15 am Your well
considered opinions are always welcome John. “On fetal pain….this is
nothing less than part of the sacrifice the fetus and mother feel when
making such a decision. But we must trust the mothers to not make it
lightly. And a few will.  Some girls/women will use abortion as birth
control.  These nasty ones have to be tolerated to some degree.”

I can’t agree that a fetus feels anything (emotionally the way you are
using the word ‘feel’) as it does not have consciousness which is a
requirement of emotional response. Yes, let us hope pregnant women
do not take making a decision to abort lightly. By reason of a first
pregnancy, I cannot consider a pregnant woman a mother until a fetus
is born. If she is already a mother, then she is a mother by reason of
previous pregnancies. Yes, some females do make decisions frivolously,
meaning only for the reason of not wanting to be a mother and for no
other reason. But these females seem to be frivolous in most everything
they do. But this is just conjecture, and unfounded on anything but a
general observation. Though I have only known one woman, not myself,
who has had an abortion, and she did not have it without much self-
reflection. I’ve always admired her for her strength of character. It is a
myth that women use abortion as a method of birth control.

In fact, half of all women getting abortions report that contraception
was used during the month they became pregnant.  Some of these
couples had used the method improperly; some had forgotten or
neglected to use it on the particular occasion they conceived; and some
had used a contraceptive that failed. No contraceptive method prevents
pregnancy 100% of the time.

If abortion were used as a primary method of birth control, a typical
woman would have at least two or three pregnancies per year - 30 or
more during her lifetime. In fact, most women who have abortions have
had no previous abortions (52%) or only one previous abortion (26%). 
Considering that most women are fertile for over 30 years, and that birth
control is not perfect, the likelihood of having one or two unintended
pregnancies is very high.
Reference:  Guttmacher Institute. Facts in Brief - Induced Abortion. 2003.
and done 13 years ago, Abortion Surveillance - United States, 1999

It is also a myth that women have abortions for selfish or frivolous
reasons. The decision to have an abortion is rarely simple. Most women
base their decision on several factors, the most common being lack of
money and/or unreadiness to start or expand their families due to
existing responsibilities. Many feel that the most responsible course of
action is to wait until their situation is more suited to childrearing; 66%
plan to have children when they are older, financially able to provide
necessities for them, and/or in a supportive relationship with a partner
so their children will have two parents. Others wanted to get pregnant
but developed serious medical problems, learned that the fetus had
severe abnormalities, or experienced some other personal crisis. About
13,000 women each year have abortions because they have become
pregnant as a result of rape or incest.
Reference:  Article: “Abortion patients in 1994-1995: Characteristics and
contraceptive use.” Family Planning Perspectives 1996; 28(4).

As far as abortion being a political diversion I cannot agree more.
However, the Right-Wing Christian Conservative Republican has political
clout and imposes their misogynistic religious beliefs on women and
women must literally fight it in public discussion, in public literature and
public personal appearances. The assault on women must stop.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 17, 2012 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

And She, I would like to add my 2 cents on fetal pain.  I suspect you can guess what it is.

There is a hell of a lot of pain and suffering of kids who are already born into lousy environments, and they grow up to be people who’s ailments the ‘pro-lifers’ seem not to acknowledge or want to prevent or treat, so why focus on the poor little baby and exclude the rest, the born, the living? 

This is a part of a ‘keep ‘em dumb, barefoot and pregnant’ view of women on the part of fundamentalists, but I digress. 

On fetal pain….this is nothing less than part of the sacrifice the fetus and mother feel when making such a decision.  But we must trust the mothers to not make it lightly.  And a few will.  Some girls/women will use abortion as birth control.  These nasty ones have to be tolerated to some degree. 

My bottom line on pain is it can be put off, but eventually, it is going to be felt, and perhaps in far, far worse and longer lasting fashions.  I cannot express how difficult this sort of decision must be for the woman.  pause.  And it is not any mans business or governments business to interfere as long as that baby is in the woman’s body.

Pain shouldn’t be an issue.  Abortion shouldn’t be an issue.  Leefeller has it right below…’s a diversion, and I would add for theft from the ‘commons’, which includes theft from the opportunities and natural resources available to the living children that are here right now.  That’s a pro-life attitude, concern for the ones that are here and must be raised to be healthy productive adults.  They are definitely living people, there is no debate on that.

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By Shenonymous, April 17, 2012 at 7:49 am Link to this comment

You continue to punt, het-  Decidedly you have not argued or
defended your point of view but quip rather defensively I have not
adequately addressed what essentially are the morality, legality,
and scientific mitigations of abortion.  I have more than enough
argued, separately, the law, science, and ethics of abortion and a
woman’s inherent and sacrosanct right to her being, both physical
and mental, hence her absolute right to choose, upon becoming
pregnant, to stay pregnant or not.  With respect to the law, I have
argued about the ruling of the Supreme Court’s on Roe v Wade as
being distinctly conservative and not bearing witness to a woman’s
inalienable right to her own person which includes her own body and
mind.  Their ruling will justifiably in the opinion of the majority of
women have to be vitiated when a more liberal Court eventuates. 
Things do change in spite of conservatism.

For those who have concern about fetal pain during abortion, I’ve argued
that, scientifically, abortion, more importantly than consideration about a
fetus, preserves the mental and physical health of the pregnant woman. 
But it is not without care that pain is involved for any living thing, while I
do not consider a fetus as not a living thing, I hold that a fetus is not a
living person, and is only potentially a living person, so don’t construe
that I am void of sympathy or compassion.  Inasmuch as a working
nervous system does not develop until about Research in fetal nervous
system development recording brain activity in response to physical
tapping shows that brain maturation required for fetal pain perception
occurs in late pregnancy, about 13 to 15 weeks after the legal limit
for abortion in the United States.  The legal limit is different in different
states, but is usually 20 to 24 weeks, hence 33 to 37 weeks, or what is
just before a normally gestated infant would be born, is what the science
says.  Where tests show some brain activity for touch and heel prodding,
the studies show pain is limited in scope.  “Pain perception requires
conscious recognition or awareness of a noxious stimulus… Evidence
regarding the capacity for fetal pain is limited but indicates that fetal
perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester.”

Finally, your point regarding the ethics of abortion, I’ve strongly argued,
and separately from lawful and scientific reasoning, is the inviolable
natural truth of a woman’s right to her own person that includes her
body and mind. This has been within recorded history usurped by men
from time memorable, mainly because of men’s physical strength and
sodality that over time have oppressed, repressed, and suppressed an
egalitarian status of women.  It was inexorable that women would
develop the mental consciousness of their servitude, subjection, and
thralldom to the will of men, and would strive to counteract that absolute
immoral condition.

So once again, het, you avoid dealing with all rational reasoning and I
have appreciably addressed all of your concerns.  You have had very little
to say except to act as a kind of wart with niggling dogmatic complaints
that have been sufficiently answered.  I see no further need for
discussion unless you wish to honestly argue further on the legality,
science, or morality of the status of women with respect to abortion. 
Otherwise please piss off.

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By Leefeller, April 17, 2012 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

Robert Sheer addresses what I see as common sense with the following comment;

“The conservative justices, in their eagerness to reject all of this much needed reform, offer the deeply cynical justification that a new Congress will easily come up with a better plan—despite decades of congressional failure to address what is arguably the nation’s most pressing issue.”

The conservatives in their zeal to keep focus off real issues have conjured up the usual ready rehashed manufactured distractions. Case in point Abortion and the attack on women, being rehashed here to divert attention from the war, taxes for the 1 percent, and diverting attention away from anything which smacks of reform from disenfranchisement, fairness and addressing inequality.

Diversion, division and fear all utilized in varying degrees to manipulate the huddled masses against their own best interests.

Our nation seems so close to Despotism or Fascism,  breathing of its foul breath down the necks of minions guiding the rest of lemmings over the cliff.

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By Ed Romano, April 17, 2012 at 7:28 am Link to this comment

Hetero, Nice point, but whether we claim citizenship or not, or even if we decline it, the government does not give up its claim to owning our life and liberty.
  And, not to muddle the waters here but, we must imagine some future enemy licking its chops at the prospect of going into battle with an army that is half female.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 17, 2012 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

‘My goodness’?  Darn tootin OM.  Your ‘fundamentalists’, so-called ‘pro-lifers’, are just misogynists.  They’ll subjugate a woman into having a baby they don’t want, including a rape baby, then do they give a damn?  Do they give any priority to educating the kid?  To medical and nutritional care?  Hell no.  The fundamentalist crowd if pro-fetus, not pro anything that’s born, i.e. life. 

Square in the balls you should be kicked.  May the God of all fundamentalists them to hell for the hypocrisy and the misery they cause.

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By Leefeller, April 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

Cannibalism may be what is needed to make sure babies come to term, sort of like Ozark Michale’s parading his side saddle slavery straw-man around like my dog showing off a bone. Now its the draft? The only draft I see it the wind blowing hot air.  So we are going with the ‘what if arguments’, a right wing grab butt tactic used for legislating any thing they can grab from where the sun don’t shine, usually under the rising moon. Reaching for straws Hetro?

Yeah, lets do the what ifs, go for it Omypoo you start, you are the expert at making stuff up and calling it fact instead of friction.

Nice job OM!

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By heterochromatic, April 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

She——- yes, it’s indisputable that a fetus is a person once it’s born and

but that doesn’t mean that it’s not alive and a human being until that

scientific fact is clear that it’s a living human being prior to birth…..certainly by
the 8th month.

(person, BTW, is a legal term and not a biological one)


lret’s decide whether we’re gonna argue law or science or ethics and try not to
keep mixing terms.

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By Shenonymous, April 16, 2012 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic, April 16 2:41 pm – “I am pointing out ?that at
some point, a woman does not own her child’s body…’re not ?
acknowledging that point, trying to shrug it off with a smokescreen
about ?citizenship.”
  That is not true.

You must skip read, het, missing important points – at Shenonymous,
April 16 4:21 am – I would not have printed the section on when life
begins if I were not cognizant that when a fetus is born is when life
begins.  Even though my point was that the language of the Court pre-
dominantly focuses on the health of the pregnant woman, the exception
is clearly articulate, which I show when I said, ”It is obvious that from a
thorough reading of Roe v Wade, the ?intention of the court is not in
effect to protect per se a fetus ?except at the moment of being
born or upon birth,...”

Again, earlier in the forum, Shenonymous, April 15 11:41 am – in
speaking about possible action what a fetus is that has been born:“A
baby is a birthed living being that has been born into the physical ?
environment and is detached from the support systems of the mother.?  It
must breathe on it’s own for oxygen and consume food to digest for
independent nutrition.”

I give consideration to the post-birth of a newborn fetus, that is, a baby
“could and often is taken by those not its mother as when a mother dies,
or the baby is given up for ?adoption; the baby, a separate being, does
not depend on its birth mother for subsistence.”

In Paragraph 7 of same post, the idea of “generation” stands on the
notion that a living human being is implied,” that “being born is the
culmination of the cycle,” of pregnancy that ends in the birth of a fetus. 
And as a final statement, “Prior to that, the fetus stage is disqualified as
having completed the life ?cycle, a fetus cannot be the next generation
until it is born,” clearly a fetus is generational once it is born.  That is the
status of a fetus that goes full term and completes the birthing process.
And emphatically at Shenonymous, April 12 at 11:40 am “The fetus is
not a person until it is born.”  The logical conclusion is that a person is
a fetus that has been born. 

Again, Shenonymous, April 12 at 12:44 am – in my describing my cousin,
“he was not a human being until he was born.” Again, more explicitly this
time, he was a human being upon birth.

To conclude:  Once a fetus is born, it is a person.  Damage done to the
newborn can be a criminal offense just as if it were an older infant, a
toddler or a grown human being.  Without question I advocate that no
harm whatsoever be inflicted on a newborn.  Once the fetus is born, it is
no longer dependent on its mother.  Nor does the mother have any
rights to the life of the baby.  She may have a moral responsibility as
practiced by the society in which she and the baby live, and morals are
from the sole province and development of that society, and societies
may differ, but the mother has no legal responsibility.  Mothers have
abandoned babies anonymously, put them up for adoption legally, or
criminally destroy it as previously mentioned or in some cultures the
monstrous practice where female newborns are murdered if too many
populate the society.

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By OzarkMichael, April 16, 2012 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

When those knuckle-draggers Leefeller mentions bring this stuff up, I think women and men who support them should kick those bastards right square in the balls on some other issues they’d rather not discuss.

My goodness.

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By heterochromatic, April 16, 2012 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment

and if the draft is re-instated women will likely be subject to it as well as us poor
guys who were drafted back then… think that the women are gonna be able
to claim that they shouldn’t have to go because only they own their bodies?

we are not absolutely autonomous if we claim citizenship.

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By Ed Romano, April 16, 2012 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

During the Vietnam War, when the government drafted hundreds of thousands of young men into their human disposal machine,( God Bless America ) some of them refused to go. Their battle cry was…“Not with my life you don’t “. These young men were treated like lepers in the media. Many emigrated to Canada…some are still there. Their is no monument in Washington or anywhere else to these men who said in effect…..I have a right to my own body. Sorry, Gov but you can’t have it.
  Now, there are posters on these forums who argue that no one has any rights except those allowed by the people in authority. Interesting, since there are others claiming women have a right to their own bodies.

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By heterochromatic, April 16, 2012 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

JB——I don’t blame you a bit…I’ve been reading SCOTUS and other appellate
court decisions since i was a kid…...Any one who can read them without getting
pissed off half the time ain’t qualified to read ‘em.

and this bunch ain’t a bunch of crackerjacks.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

Het, I suppose it just ticks me off that those old robed hypocrites think they’re wise enough to make the decisions everyday women have been making for so long.  Their recent track record does not impress. 

The way I look at this ‘debate’ is that it shouldn’t even be a debate.  Things are fine as they are without getting into this debate over and over and over.  When those knuckle-draggers Leefeller mentions bring this stuff up, I think women and men who support them should kick those bastards right square in the balls on some other issues they’d rather not discuss.  Theft of the commons being one.

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By heterochromatic, April 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

Lee—- if bad people feel that cannibalism is wrong and want to mount a
campaign denouncing cannibalism for nefarious political purposes, I’m not gonna
jump into the pro-cannibalism camp or fail to defend the view that cannibalism is

I’m not worried that my arguments here are going to allow the knucklr-draggers
to subvert the world.

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By heterochromatic, April 16, 2012 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

She—-When abortion is an option, it’s the mother’s option
I’m not at all denying that a woman owns her own body….. I am pointing out
that at some point, a woman does not own her child’s body…’re not
acknowledging that point, trying to shrug it off with a smokescreen about

Again and again,  @8 months a human in the womb is fully formed and will, if
cared for, survive outside of the woman’s body…......

should a woman decide that she will no longer carry the kid, it’s not necessary
to kill it…... and at that point, there’s no good argument FOR killing it any more
than for killing an unwanted baby after it’s born.

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By Leefeller, April 16, 2012 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

Hetro, Surely my respect for right to your opinion is just as strong as my arguments against what I feel is its enabling potential, for the knuckle dragging half wits seizing every tidbit of support from even soft touch views such as yours, for they feed their moronic causes on anything which sounds like support,  look at Arizona, Oklahoma, Virgina and so on. I suspect the problem is the GWB dilemma, not the pretzel choking but a good idea,.... no the….  ‘your are with them or against them? mentality.

Also the fact, I suspect you are male, feel the right to speak and decided what happens to be in your opinion a viable option for what women should decide, seems far fetched to me bird dogging on Arazonaism! (I did the ism for JB)

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By heterochromatic, April 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

JB—- not only have women long aborted babies, it’s also long been a practice
to deliver and then leave them to die.

I recognize the argument about economic necessity and have nowhere sought
to engage it. She and I have been kicking around legal/moral concepts, but if
you want to start considering the economic costs of humans and whether it’s
wise or possible to fund the old and useless and superfluous, maybe we can
consider that.

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By heterochromatic, April 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

Lee——you have been paying attention, I trust and you’ve read nothing from me
concerning rape and pregnancy and abortion….or much else except an assertion
that once the fetus is viable that the decision is no longer a simple one best left
solely to the discretion of the mother….....

not sure why you want to lumber me with rape and the Republican Party…..It ain’t
as if if ever indulged in either one.

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By Shenonymous, April 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic - April 16 7:32 am “She, that women have to share
their bodies so that the species may continue may ?strike you as unjust,
but it is what it is.”

Of course, that is a condition of life, however what is unjust is the male
pronouncement that a woman does not own her own body.  Abortion is
not a new practice.  What is unjust is dependent on what lens one wants
to use.  I choose to look at injustices levied on women.  The species will
continue as a result of women who want to continue it.  There is no
rational reason to think it won’t or that many will care even if there isn’t. 

Recorded history of contraception and abortion dates long
before ancient times that can be seen here. Archaeologists have
discovered indications of early surgical attempts at the extraction of
a fetus, but the methods are too scarce and are not believed to have
been common.  However, embryotomy to save the mother’s life
during labor
is mentioned in ancient Jewish writings, showing
ast-minute before-birth abortion.  Al-Razi (Rhazes), d. 923 or 924 AD,
in his writing, Quintessence of Experience describes the following
method: “If … the semen has become lodged, there is no help for it but
that she insert into her womb a probe or stick cut into the shape of a
probe, especially good being the root of the mallow. One end of the
probe should be made fast to the thigh with a thread that it may go
no further. Leave it there all night, often all day as well… Some people
screw paper up tight into the shape of a probe and after binding it
securely with silk smear over it ginger dissolved in water.”

Archaeologists excavating the skeleton of a young woman (20–25 years
old) from a Gallo-Roman site in The Netherlands found a bone stylet 105
mm long in the pelvis. The grave was interpreted as that of a woman who
died as the result of an attempt to induce a mechanical abortion

Information from historian, Stephanie Doerfler’s investigations in
ancient literature is available for the study of the methods of
contraception and abortion in the ancient world. Such texts may be
found here

Gynecology - Soranus (late 1st century Ad-early 2nd century AD)
born in Asia Minor studied at a great center for scientific medicine in
Alexandria, and later practicing medicine in Rome (from 98AD-138AD),
Soranus wrote many works concerning medical topics. Gynecology
is one of the most important remaining of the works because it gives
great insight into ancient gynecological and obsterical practices at their
height in the ancient world:
Laws and Theaetetus - Plato
Politics - Aristotle
Histories - Polybius
Also, some medical texts found here provide evidence on
drugs and herbal methods, included from De Materia Medica
Dioscorides; Hippocratic Writings - Hippocrates (430BC-330BC).

The point being that abortion is a prehistoric practice as seen in The
History of Contraception
by Potts and Campbell and Doerfler’s
“Contraception and Abortion in the Ancient Classical World”.  That is
a reasonable clue that it will continue regardless of what laws men make.

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By Leefeller, April 16, 2012 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

Heto, If the medical capability where available, I propose taking the fetus out of the rape victim and shoving it into a place where Republicans keep their heads and let them enjoy 9 months of gods gift, then they can do what they wish and leave it on a random door step!

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 16, 2012 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

Hetero, I have to add that through history, women have aborted babies at the moment of birth so they might better care for the children they already had, so abortion might serve ‘humanity’ better.  Consider times of fammine, or serious economic trouble.  It’s only been very recent that small populations of women have been relatively free of these concerns. 

It goes to the argument of what is the scope of the decision, what is good for all humanity, or what is good for the immediate family, and the former case is a joke (to me) to think the ‘pro-life’ crowd gives a damn about ‘humanity’. 

And seemingly redundant, but the battle here is, how do we best arrive at decisions which are for the beat of humanity?  Top down, or do we continue with women making the decision about themselves, their ability to provide for this particular unborn baby in the context of their family, and then allow the decision to ‘trickle up’? 

Personallly, I prefer the latter approach, allow women complete control of the situation till the moment of birth.  Certainly that’s nothing anyone wants to have, late term abortions, it’s an ugly thing for us to have to live with, but we live with ugly things happening to children and people all the time. 

I am very very opposed to looking at a woman as a vessel to share space for incubating a fetus, but I can stomach everything that comes with that.  Men have done it for millenia.  I hope women can take back, and hold the right to absolute sovereignty over their bodies.  To me, the men who would take this right away are far, far uglier than late term abortions.  There are some really sick bastards out there leading this charge. 

Along the same lines, I abhor women who pop out babies with no regard to the responsibility of decently raising the existing ones.  This is where I would rather see society at large stepping in.  In many ways, quantity destroys the possibility of quality for all.

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By heterochromatic, April 16, 2012 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

She, that women have to share their bodies so that the species may continue may
strike you as unjust, but it is what it is.

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By Leefeller, April 16, 2012 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

The obvious is as usual left not being asked to the dance. Waged war on Women is real,  abortion, contraceptives, equal pay for equal work all done by men, sexist scum bags who say they worship abstinence while buggering choir boys or disgusting misanthropes who sit in their entitled ivory towers of Congress where according to them, life begins with the hypocritical twinkle in their eye.

Arizona is a crying shame in it’s latest attempt to rape logic and demand we conceive its acceptability.

Abortion should always be a last resort and should only be between a women and her doctor. Instead we have cretin dullards who demand conception begins in their myopic mind, but ends after birth.  Those who support insanity wrapped in manufactured illusions should be overjoyed in the newest concept of Never Never Land. A utopia for the deluded, known as Arizona!

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By Shenonymous, April 16, 2012 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

Again heterochromatic you are unable to read the actuality and intent
of my argument.  I suspect it is because you are preconditioned to
think a certain way and cannot see that I am saying that whatever is
now spelled out as the law is not what women believe nor want.  It is
unjust that women are not the sole owner of their own bodies. It
doesn’t matter how much you rant against me it is a fact that as
equal human beings we in fact own our one bodies supremely and
absolutely.  The law as interpreted by the Supreme Court will have to
be changed and that can only come about when the Court has a liberal

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By heterochromatic, April 16, 2012 at 6:25 am Link to this comment

She—- the long attempt at response to bill is simply terrible. the law remains clear
that there is a right to privacy that is anything BUT as absolute as you try to paint
it.  whether you and millions of other women like it or not, you don’t have any
right right to kill fully-formed humans simply because they haven’t yet popped
into the world….....your argument is far to broad and would cover a right to kill

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By Shenonymous, April 16, 2012 at 5:29 am Link to this comment

- bill, April 16 at 12:47 am – Thuggery is unbecoming and your
denigration of my person is your vicious habit.  And you do
drone on and on.  Yes, I have read Roe v Wade and have now
reread the section to which you refer, so what is your point of
the strawman argument significantly moderating some of earlier
assertions I made that you claim I have set up.  You dropped the
ball in your accusation, which is your usual sloppy arguing habit.
But whatever…I will here use the space and time to cite Roe v
Wade and a few other things regardless of how long it takes.  Call it
prattling in your misogyny if you will, your opinion has no weight. 
But I do appreciate the opportunity once again to bring to public
consciousness the fact that women with respect to pregnancy and
abortion are unconditionally the owners of their own bodies.

“A ban on late term abortions would infringe on a woman’s ?
constitutional right to the “security of person” and must not be
allowed.  ?Ironically, anti-choice harassment, laws, and defunding
cause delays and ?has led to increased numbers of late abortions.”

This was my argument and is the argument of millions of other
women so it is not an opinion I hold alone.  We all realize our
claim of absolute self-propriety is in contradiction to the ruling by
the Supreme court regarding the absolute right of a woman to her
own body.  Click here for Roe v Wade.

Yes beginning with Section VIII the paragraphs occurring right
before the one you cited (actual cases edited out, if interested
see the website for the full text) that states “The Constitution
does not explicitly mention any right of privacy. In a line of
decisions, however, going back perhaps as far as the Court has
recognized that a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of
certain areas or zones of privacy, does exist under the Constitu-
tion. In varying contexts, the Court or individual Justices have,
indeed, found at least the roots of that right in the First Amend-
ment, in the Fourth and Fifth Amendments,  in the penumbras of
the Bill of Rights, in the Ninth Amendment, concurring); or in the
concept of liberty guaranteed by the first section of the Fourteenth
Amendment, These decisions make it clear that only personal
rights that can be deemed “fundamental” or “implicit in the con-
cept of ordered liberty,” are included in this guarantee of personal
privacy. They also make it clear that the right has some extension
to activities relating to marriage, procreation, contraception,
concurring in result); family relationships, and childrearing and

This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth
Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon
state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined,
in the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people,
is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or
not to terminate her pregnancy. The detriment that the State
would impose upon the pregnant woman by denying this choice
altogether is apparent. Specific and direct harm medically diagnos-
able even in early pregnancy may be involved. Maternity, or
additional offspring, may force upon the woman a distressful
life and future. Psychological harm may be imminent. Mental
and physical health may be taxed by child care. There is also the
distress, for all concerned, associated with the unwanted child,
and there is the problem of bringing a child into a family already
unable, psychologically and otherwise, to care for it. In other cases,
as in this one, the additional difficulties and continuing stigma of
unwed motherhood may be involved. All these are factors the
woman and her responsible physician necessarily will consider
in consultation.”

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By Shenonymous, April 16, 2012 at 5:21 am Link to this comment

Part 2. response to - bill
Using the ruling of Roe v Wade, I would direct you to section IX
in its entirety, that gives the Courts opinion of when life begins. 

It is obvious that from a thorough reading of Roe v Wade the
intention of the court is not in effect to protect per se a foetus
except at the moment of being born or upon birth, but essen-
tially is to protect the life and health of the pregnant woman.
The language is vague and not absolute in the areas where fetus
viability is discussed.

No one is suggesting there should be frivolous abortions.  I,
among all the other millions of women, maintain that women
have the supreme and absolute right to their own bodies.
“Women’s bodies are always the issue.”  As Polly Toynbee
further wrote, Guardian article referenced at
“The most desperate of all have the latest abortions: foetal
deformity can be detected late, the young or learning-disabled may
deny their condition until late and the menopausal can be caught
out. Some men take flight halfway through a pregnancy, leaving
women to change their mind late in the day.

That is why no house room should be given to slippery arguments
about the “viability” of foetuses. Virtually none survive under 24
weeks, and, if they do, the handicaps are usually horrendous.
Already children’s services are crippled with the cost of multiply
damaged children left in their care. Foetuses may survive with
“heroic” efforts of over-enthusiastic doctors winning full pages
in the Mail, as yesterday, but the child’s later progress is rarely

Over the years more may survive younger, but that’s not the
point and it never was. Give in to that argument and the case for a
woman’s supreme right over her own body and destiny is lost. It is
handed back again to the doctors and priests and politicians to
make those decisions for her.

Real outrage needs saving for the state of abortion services.
Shameful nonsense has been talked about casual abortions
that are “too easy” to get for silly girls who use it as a form of
contraception. Has the archbishop tried to get someone an
abortion recently? Has he talked to the women kept waiting for
weeks? Officially no one should wait more than three weeks, but
only a third are treated within two weeks and a quarter wait far
longer, some for six weeks. These are cruel and brutal delays.”

In his concluding paragraph, Justice Stewart concurred the Court’s
opinion as follows,” The asserted state interests are protection of
the health and safety of the pregnant woman, and protection of
the potential future human life within her. These are legitimate
objectives, amply sufficient to permit a State to regulate abortions
as it does other surgical procedures, and perhaps sufficient to
permit a State to regulate abortions more stringently, or even to
prohibit them in the late stages of pregnancy. But such legislation
is not before us, and I think the Court today has thoroughly
demonstrated that these state interests cannot constitutionally
support the broad abridgment of personal liberty worked by the
existing Texas law. Accordingly, I join the Court’s opinion holding
that that law is invalid under the Due Process Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment.”  He states unequivocally that there has
been no legislation that prohibits abortions in late stages and that
such State interests “cannot support the broad abridgment of
personal liberty [of the pregnant woman.]  Click here for Roe v Wade

Your argument is weakened.

Justice Rehnquist dissented.  I recommend that this opinion also be

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By - bill, April 16, 2012 at 1:47 am Link to this comment

Well, Shen, once again, has babbled on with her customary prolixity and certitude without knowing what she was talking about, accompanied by a small and equally ignorant claque.  She even claimed earlier that she’d check to see what Roe v. Wade actually said, but seems to have subsequently reverted to her customary stamce that arguing from personal opinion rather than anything more substantial is sufficient.

The Supreme Court’s opinion in Roe v. Wade can be read at and the meat of the issue we’re discussing can be found starting at the two paragraphs beginning “On the basis of elements such as these, appellant and some amici argue that the woman’s right is absolute and that she is entitled to terminate her pregnancy at whatever time, in whatever way, and for whatever reason she alone chooses. With this we do not agree.”  Interesting and reasonably intelligible (i.e., not opaque legalese) material continues until the conclusion is reached that “(c) For the stage subsequent to viability, the State in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life [p165] may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.”

This explicitly recognizes the state’s ‘interest’ in protecting even the ‘POTENTIALITY of human life’ and even when doing so may conflict with what would otherwise be considered the Constitutional right of choice of the mother - i.e., it allows fetal rights, after the 24th week or so, to be ‘consigned to law’ in a manner that over-rides the mother’s right of choice, in direct contradiction to Shen’s statements on that subject.

This is not opinion, this is legal fact established by the sole authority with ultimate say over the matter.  No one has to LIKE it, but they cannot legitimately argue that it is not the law.  People will, of course, be able to break this law just as they can break any other law, but they have no right not to be held accountable for doing so.

A discussion in even plainer English can, as usual, be found in Wikipedia under the Roe v. Wade entry - the essential observations being that “Roe’s central holding (is) that a person has a right to abortion until (fetal) viability” and “The Roe decision defined ‘viable’ as being ‘potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid’, adding that viability ‘is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks.’”

Shen also missed the fact that the Constitution uses both the term ‘citizen’ and the term ‘person’ in its language, and that it is ‘persons’, not ‘citizens’, who enjoy the ‘natural rights’ that she prattles about.  However, Roe v. Wade made it clear that the unborn fetus is NOT considered a ‘person’ in the Constitutional sense, but rather that the state still has sufficient ‘interest’ in its human POTENTIAL to regulate access to abortion after the fetus has achieved viability.

Don’t any of you people understand that Roe v. Wade DEFINES the law in this area, and that rather than babbling about what YOU think the Constitution means what you need to do is go look at the Roe v. Wade text to find out what it DOES mean (as defined by the only authority in a position to do so)?

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By heterochromatic, April 15, 2012 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

au revoir, ma petite.

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By Shenonymous, April 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

And so are you, heterochromatic….  buona foruna e arrivederci

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By heterochromatic, April 15, 2012 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

She—- the fetus is just as helpless as a new-born babe…....

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By Ed Romano, April 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

Wal, Whaddaya tink ‘bout dat Okie? Jus cuz he kin spel a lil’ bettern sum of us he tinks he’s got a rite ta cum bustin’ in here with us brainy folks. Why he ain’t got the brains Pa bestowed on Lil’ Arky. Ah’ll straiten him up soon Ah finnish sloppin the hogs. Sum folks got da nerv awright. An us bein the hi class tinkers what we is .

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By Shenonymous, April 15, 2012 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

Checking out the life status of a foetus at your UNICEF link, hetero-
chromatic, there are 2 articles that are given, only one of which is an
article that states anything definitive about abortion and that is its
practice in Botswana, which is not a UN convention (rule, law).  The
other one is about aborting female foetuses in South, Central, and
North Asia. This is state coerced abortion, which is an abomination
since such a procedure is and should be the right of the woman and
only the woman.
“Sexual and reproductive health services are often not available for
young women. Abortion is an option under stringent conditions:
(a) when the medical practitioner carrying out the abortion is satisfied
that the pregnancy is the result of rape, defilement, or incest; (b) when
the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the
pregnant woman or injury to her physical or mental health; and (c) when
established evidence shows that there is substantial risk that the child
would suffer from or later develop such serious physical or mental
abnormality or disease as to be seriously handicapped.”  Most women
who would opt for abortion do not qualify. Child welfare agencies, in
their search for solutions to the overwhelming number of killed and
abandoned infants contend with high caseloads, shortages in foster
care placements, and a lack of women and child-centered programs.
Given the patriarchal nature of Botswana society, manifesting in forced
sex and non-condom use and limited sexual and reproductive health
services for young women, the high proportion of Batswana women that
are of low socioeconomic status, explains the blunted options available
to these women. The aim of this article was to lay out policy, research,
and practice and identify prevention strategies to inform program
development.  These reasons are consistent with those reasons found in
the west as well and usually guide women to have an abortion.

You should really read the article linked above finding all the references
to abortion.  As a matter of fact hetero, you might check out everything
you ever reference as it looks like you do not do that.  There is no article
at your link to UNICEP that discusses the rights of foetuses or the
protection of a foetus as a human being.  M’thinks you are trying to be…
a wart.

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By Leefeller, April 15, 2012 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

All your liberals out there, ‘purity good’ is conservative code for A plus with a however attached,... good one OM, vegging Ed a slipsaddled complement.

Yeah, Hetro maybe the farmers intended to mean something else and maybe meaning to include it differently, then what anyone thought they meant? Maybe they where for gay marriage and maybe not? Yes the framers, not farmers where intending to mean separation of church and state did not really mean separation in the literal sense or the real sense, but only in the nonsense!

I suppose, moron then off was what the framers really intended and whatever happens, OM don’t you think?

All you Liberals, must know… when a conservative posts an absolutism, they are grabbing off the top of the head.

The world appears full of charlitins and A. Holes, and I believe I have had the opportunity to observe most of them in their own dark damp habitat.

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By OzarkMichael, April 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

Actually that was a pretty good post(April 15 at 9:59am) by Ed. It was well thought out, packed with observations and his own ideas about things. It was original and creative and clear. Wouldnt it be great if everyone strived for that all the time?

I planned to criticize it but I changed my mind… instead I will make a point about what is happening here on Truthdig.

It has been said that folks only praise the people they agree with, and pour scorn upon the posts of those they disagree with no matter what is actually said at the time. That is certainly true of many here on Truthdig, where both meaningless cheerleading and meaningless attacks are the rule. It is a continuous noise and this constant backround of useless posts on Truthdig deserves a name. I call it “buzzing” because its as if there is a swarm of cicadas who can only indulge in making reflexive noises together. Frankly, the more it happens the more embarrassed i get for these people. Surely they could say something original and thoughtful, but the buzzing is a poweful habit. Plus, Truthdig articles often foster thoughtless buzzing by those so inclined. 

Please note that I never indulge in such unthinking chorus. I know good stuff when I see it and am not afraid to say so whether I agree or not. Which is what I did today. Of course I reserve the right to critique Ed’s well written and creative post at a later date. I also reserve the right to critique Ed personally since he is usually a bonehead.

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By Shenonymous, April 15, 2012 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

I shrink? Hardly, I stand taller with every post I make and you have fits
trying to use opinion instead of informed argument to convince me or
anyone else of your points. Your continual criticism of my position,
which is clear and concise and well referenced, is a deflection away
from your weak argument for your rather unclear position. Besides I
always ride six high horses, heterochromatic.

The idea of non-citizens applies to living motile individuals. While living
tissue, the unborn fetuses are not citizens, and can only be said to be
potential beings. While it is possible non-citizens (meaning those live
beings who are not born to US citizens), may bring suit against the US or
its citizens, the unborn cannot do anything but swim around in amniotic
fluid. A fetus does not breath or eat and is confined to the body cavity of
the mother and is completely dependent upon her for oxygen and

Cancer cells are also human cells but it would be bizarre to call them
human beings.

A baby is a birthed living being that has been born into the physical
environment and is detached from the support systems of the mother.
It must breath on it’s own for oxygen and consume food to digest for
independent nutrition. The newborn could and often is taken by those
not its mother as when a mother dies, or the baby is given up for
adoption; the baby does not depend on its birth mother for subsistence.

I’ve no idea what members of the military may or may not do. That
question is a diversion from this discussion.

Posterity - succeeding or future generations or descendants of one
person or collectively. 

The “next generation” carries the implication of living beings. To imagine
that something unborn, a fetus, is said to “be” the next generation is
stretching the definition of a living being beyond reason for a personal
and unexplained belief. It is only potentially a candidate for the next
generation. Of course a baby can and sometimes also die after it is born
due to many reasons but that and the fact that a baby may be born
healthy does not mitigate the fact that it is a separate being from its
mother and the mother does not need to be there for either its death or
its life.

generation - 1. the entire body of individuals born and living at about
the same time.
2. the term of years, roughly 30 among human beings, accepted as the
average period between the birth of parents and the birth of their
3. a group of individuals, most of whom are the same approximate age,
having similar ideas, problems, attitudes, etc.
4. a group of individuals belonging to a specific category at the same
5. a single step in natural descent, as of human beings, animals, or
6. a form, type, class, etc., of objects existing at the same time and
having many similarities or developed from a common model or ancestor
7. the offspring of a certain parent or couple, considered as a step in
natural descent.
8. the act or process of generating; procreation.
9. the state of being generated.
10. production by natural or artificial processes; evolution, as of heat or
11. Biology-a. one complete life cycle; b. one of the alternate phases that
complete a life cycle having more than one phase.
12. Mathematics-the production of a geometrical figure by the motion of
another figure.
13. Physics-one of the successive sets of nuclei produced in a chain
14. (in duplicating processes, as photocopying, film, etc.) the distance in
duplicating steps that a copy is from the original work.

Take your pick. Those that have to do with a living human being include
an implied state of being “separately alive” as in offspring. #11. Biology
b. speaks of the life cycle, being born is the culmination of that cycle.
Prior to that, the fetus stage is disqualified as having completed the life
cycle, a fetus cannot be the next generation until it is born.

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By heterochromatic, April 15, 2012 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

——-When the framers of the US Constitution established it as the law of the
land, they did not mean it to apply to everyone within the new nation’s
borders….It was meant for wealthy, white land owners and merchants——

perhaps it was meant to apply to people who had somer material interest that
gave them a direct tie to the interests of the commonwealth.

“wealthy” may be narrowing their intention oermuch.

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By Ed Romano, April 15, 2012 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

When the framers of the US Constitution established it as the law of the land, they did not mean it to apply to everyone within the new nation’s borders….It was meant for wealthy, white land owners and merchants.It was not meant for poor whites, slaves or indians. Women were at least second class humans since they had no voice in the affairs of the nation…..These are just the bare boned facts….The framers said that the purpose was to establish a constitution in order to, among other things, insure domestic tanquility, establish justice and promote the general welfare. We have to leave it to people living in this era to determine how well the government has been promoting these social goods in recent times. But there is little question that historically men do not establish political systems to foster fictions such as concern for the general welfare.
  I would not argue that humans can live decent and relatively safe lives without some form of government. This doesn’t mean that government is a beneficial force in the lives of people. Politics is a struggle for power over men , and whatever the ultimate aim may be power is the immediate goal. Since that is the primary goal of political power
politics is evil because it degrades man to a means for other men. The test of political power is the degree to which one is able to maintain, increase or demonstrate one’s power over others. .....Society can’t exist without a dominant or ruling class. The state cannot be anything but an organizxation for the benefit of a minority. It’s the aim of this minority to impose upon the rest of society a legal order so that the exploitation of the majority may proceed in an orderly manner. The idea that a majority can rule because they are allowed to vote for leaders in a democratic society is a fiction easily disproved by even a slight study of history.
    What is a view like this meant to accompish? Only this. That we should not impute magical powers to a document that was originally meant to promote the well being of a minority of wealthy men.

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By Leefeller, April 15, 2012 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

The word ‘Posterity’ is another defining word, which applies to the the same area where a large splinter happens to be positioned for the same people I mentioned earlier!

One could make the case, 1930’s Germany evolved from this same authoritarian self righteous definition of posterity, from where the sun didn’t shine!

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By OzarkMichael, April 15, 2012 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

Where the Constitution says “promote the general Welfare, and secure
the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and Posterity,” I do baleeeve that
applies to women as well, whether pregnant or not.

I do baleeeve that the word ‘Posterity’ applies to the next generation coming up, both male and female.

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By heterochromatic, April 15, 2012 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

She—- I understand what you’re saying and yet you seem to shrink from the
very obvious fact that the Con and the law apply rights to people and things
other than citizens and that citizenry does not convey upon anyone an
automatic right to violate the rights of the non-citizen

Do non-citizrns have the right to bring suit against citizens in federal court?

does the fact that a member of the military hold citizenship grant him immunity
from culpability if he tortures or kills a non-citizen who is a prisoner?

Mother probably are granted most of the rights in relation to their unborn,,,,
but it’s not all for one and none for the other…...


It’s not all that germane, but consider para #3 of the UN DECLARATION OF THE

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By Leefeller, April 15, 2012 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

I find the abortion thing no different then any other manufactured political argument for the sake of keeping the natives restless, only right now it seems to be holding on while Gay marriage and illegal aliens are waiting in the wings.

All Kabuki Theater to keep the peoples eyes off the ball, the stinking elephants in the room, the wars, disenfranchisement, unfairness and inequity! 

She your last post should have convinced even the stupidest moron they have nothing but biased opinion blocking their myopic brain from seeing and feeling the huge splinter stuck in their butt, which happens to be right next to their head.  (A little moonie goes a long way)

Hell, I love it when I learn things, hope this does not change when Truthdig does?

I have already seen the changes happening on TD, many times when I log in it takes me right back to the log in menu, then asks me what I was doing just before I attempted to log in,... me thinks this question smacks of big brother and I refuse to tell them ‘I was making coffee!’.

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By OzarkMichael, April 15, 2012 at 6:34 am Link to this comment


It wouldnt be hard to look through the historical record and find statements by pro-slavery folks that went right in line with the “A+” logic of pro-abortion statements by Shenonymous. I would do the work to provide it if would make a difference to anyone, which i suspect it wouldn’t. Leftists make up their minds and any evidence to the contrary acquires invisibility to them.

Nevertheless I thank you for the civil response, Sodium-Na, as always.

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By Shenonymous, April 15, 2012 at 4:48 am Link to this comment

Just to help you out heterochromatic, maybe you misread?

The United States Constitution

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect
Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the
common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the
Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and
establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Where the Constitution says “promote the general Welfare, and secure
the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and Posterity,” I do baleeeve that
applies to women as well, whether pregnant or not.

But to be more emphatic, it is written in the 14th Amendment
Paragraph, which also defines citizenship:  “All persons born or
naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,
are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.  No
State shall make or enforce any law, which shall abridge the privileges or
immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive
any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor
deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws
their rights.”  Broadly speaking, there are three different types of threats
to our rights: foreign nations, fellow citizens, and the government itself.

The first duty of a government is to protect its citizens from any outside
threats by providing for the common defense and conducting a foreign
policy that dissuades foreign countries from threatening our liberty. 

Second, to prevent citizens from harming each other, the government
passes laws punishing those who would violate rights, by protecting and
enforcing contracts and voluntary exchanges, and by establishing a basic
legal system where rules apply equally to all.

Finally, government has an obligation to refrain from violating
citizens’ natural rights. Government cannot infringe citizens’ rights’
to life and liberty by harming or oppressing them, and it must refrain
from excessive taxation of citizens in order to protect their right to
property. Government power should be checked, divided, and held
accountable to the people it is supposed to serve, to prevent
government from threatening the rights of citizens,

The consent of the governed is the standard by which a government’s
legitimacy is judged. As the Declaration of Independence asserts:
“Governments are instituted among Men…deriving their just powers
from the consent of the governed.” Since all men are created equal, no
individual or group has an inherent right to rule over anyone else. The
only way anyone can have the authority to govern his equals is if they
consent to his rule. A government not based on consent would unjustly
deprive its citizens of the fundamental right to liberty.

The word Men as used in the Declaration is interpreted to mean
humanity inclusively, men and women.

19th Amendment
Amendment XIX
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied
or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Women originally were excluded from equal protection under the Bill
of Rights.  In Reed v. Reed (1971), the Supreme Court ruled that laws
arbitrarily requiring sex discrimination violated the Equal Protection

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By Shenonymous, April 15, 2012 at 3:33 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic, April 14 at 7:22 pm - You are not specific enough
Show me where I misread.

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By Sodium-Na, April 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment


Have much apprecciated reading your support after having some disagreement with the content of some of your posts,in time past.

You seem to have a big heart as Shenon has.

Thank you ....

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By heterochromatic, April 14, 2012 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

when you declare that the government protects merely the citizens you misread
the Con and the law

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By Leefeller, April 14, 2012 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment

Sodium-Na, Seems you post as well as Shes deserve an A plus, it is a nice feeling to know there may still be hope for human kind, even allowing for the extraordinary large number of morons covering the earth.

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By Sodium-Na, April 14, 2012 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment

Hey hater,

Cannot you find another occupation beside making silly comments reflecting unfavorably on your own character,not on the posters you try to belittle?

You deserve pity,not a response!!

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By Shenonymous, April 14, 2012 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment

Having known Sodium Na for many years now, I have much respect
for one of the few who is thoughtful and a gentlemen on this website.
It might even be the case he is the only one. 

heterochromatic, April 14 at 6:30 pm - Would you please cite where
in the Constitution I misread it?

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By heterochromatic, April 14, 2012 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

Salty—- you forgot to add totally bogus. She meant well, but didn’t get it right as
She misreads not merely the law, but the US Constitution as well

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By Sodium-Na, April 14, 2012 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

Re:OzarkMichael,April 13 at 3:14 pm.


Shenon has written the following sensible comments:

” The job of the federal government is to protect its citizens. A fetus is not a citizen yet but a pregnant woman is,therefore the government has the responsibility to protect pregnant women.”

I described the above comments as ” OUTSTANDING,SUPERB,and LEGALLY BINDING”,which some how has hit a sensitive nerve in your system of thinking which has compelled you to give your personal revision of history of slavery America has already revolted against to a point of electing a black man as its President,in the 21st. I may accept revision of history if it is done by a professional historian,not by a physician living some where in the Ozark Mountains to feel good about his position on abortion. The current difficult problems humanity encountering cannot be solved by a revision of history as you attempted to do to provide support to your own position on abortion. No way. I shall attempt,however,to expain to you why I have been highly impressed by Shenon’s comments and have described them as I have quoted above,resulting in your attempt to revise history of slavery to negate my complimentary description,as quoted above:

Questions and Answers Concerning Shenon’s Splendid Comments:

(1) What is the fundamental function of the federal government beside collecting taxes and waging wars against helpless human beings?

Answer: Shenon has answered this question by saying that “the job of the federal government is to protect its citizens.” I have appreciated her rational thinking so much after reading endless argumental rantings that have led no where. Only a moron will dispute this part of her comment. (A+) for that.

(2) Who is considered a full-pledged citizen,not only in the U.S.but in every country in the globe?

Answer: A citizen is not an animal,is not a corporation and by all means is not a fetus. A citizen is a human being who can breath air,who has a heart that can pump blood through out his/her body,who has a mind to think rationally or irrationally; and above all has a soul. A fetus in the womb has none of these characteristics. Hence, Shenon is correct as she describes unoffensively the fetus as “not yet a citizen.” When a person dies,he/she loses all these human characteristics and no longer a citizen,but a dead body that must be buried or burnt to ashes,lest his/her body stinks. Another (A+).

(3) Are pregnant women considered citizen of the country or not?

Answer: If they are not considered citizens of the country,then and only then your personal revision of history about slavery may apply not only on African Americans but also on pregnant women. If,on the other hand,pregnant women are considered citizens of the country then the federal government has an obligation to protect their rights to chose. Period. I happened to agree with Shenon that the final decision should be left to the woman,with the help of a physician to provide professional guidance,in case she decides to abort a fetus. As to abortion in cases of advanced pregnancy,I really have no satisfactory answer to that,in spite of my firm belief that a woman,any woman,must have the final say as to what to do with her body,as I have the final say whether or not I wish to do a by-pass surgery to my heart. 

(4) Are Shenon’s comments,as I have quoted them above legally binding?

Answer: I believe they are. If you think the law is abused by bad people,then change the law and make it impossible to be abused by anyone. That is the responsibility of honest and caring citizenry.

Final words: If you have made,or anybody else has made such constructive and unoffensive comments as Shenon has done,I would have made precisely the same describtion I described Shenon’s comments as OUTSTANDING,SUPERB and LEGALLY BINDING.

I cherish my Independence and objectivity,Ozark. You should know that by now.


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By Shenonymous, April 14, 2012 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

I am not confused - bill, April 14 at 2:58 am – I will check out Wade
v. Roe…again.  You can provide the paragraph of what you claimed? 
I loves strawmen.  Way…lll, I luvs some scarecrows.  Do they count?

heterochromatic, April 14 at 6:13 am – Yup there are women who
abuse their bodies.  So do men.  Ahem…  Shall we make it unlawful
for them to use penis erectile enhancement drugs that are advertised
umpteen thousand times on TV these days.  Oh you guys!  That would
sure save a lot of women from getting pregnant when they didn’t want
to!  That would avoid untold millions of unwanted children.  Just imagine
the number of abortions that would not be done!  Especially since the
RWCCR want to outlaw contraception at the same time.  Sheesh!  What

You would take your few personal experiences, and few by comparison
to all those who have been pregnant whether they abort or not and judge
that the law is what?  Absurd.  And yes, women will abort legal or not. 
They always have and always will. What kind of history have you read
about women’s history?  To deny that is to live with a lamp shade on
one’s head.  But no lamp though with a light bulb that can shed light on

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By Ed Romano, April 14, 2012 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

Hetero, I’m not looking for another battle here, and I don’t want to fog up the issue, but I’m wondering what the fine point of the law is in the matter of charging a crack mother with abuse if,in fact,the child was not considered human while such abuse was happening. And,of course, if she aborted the fetus before it was born she would not be charged with anything even though, according to the law you mentioned, she had abused a child. Now,if the state is saying it WAS human when the abuse occured….then abortion would logically and legally be murder. And what happens to the argument of those who claim that a woman should be able to do anything she wants with her own body? Are we going to admit there are exceptions to that, and if we do are we opening a door through which the anti abortion forces can rush in ? The whole area seems a little schiziod to me. Then we hear of criminals being charged with killing a child when they shoot the mother in the abdomen while she is carrying. This whole issue is quite a can of worms.No matter what side we’re on it seems we have to really torture the language in order to justify our position.

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By heterochromatic, April 14, 2012 at 7:13 am Link to this comment

She—- we’re doing better . Yeah, first-term is where it should be…and yeah,
third trimester only in the very few and extreme cases where a human live is
taken to prevent a human death or because the life taken can’t be but fleeting
and pain-filled if at all.

the argument that women will do it anyway if it’s illegal….isn’t all that
great….and I’m sure that I need not pound on the point to anyone as sharp as

that it’s a dicey thing to ever restrict the autonomy of a woman concerning the
use of her body is a more salient point, but it’s not an absolute rule.

My wife and I were both employed in hospitals in NYC during the years of the
crack epidemic here,. We both saw babies born damaged because the mother
abused her body….. and we both came to the conclusion that the law was
correct in forbidding and criminalizing that abuse and in thinking the mother to
be guilty of abusing the child.

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By Ed Romano, April 14, 2012 at 6:44 am Link to this comment

I hope that this post is considered by Roman Catholics ( I was one myself for many years). In my last years of affiliation with the Church it seemed to me that the heirarchy proceeded in the following manner…Since they had to have an issue on which to take a moral stand in order to justify the Church’s existence….they choose one that did not conflict with the procedures of the State. Abortion was that issue.In the area of the country where I live   parishoners have been asked to vote for certain anti abortion candidates at election time. The Church,in general, has been the most outspoken opponent of abortion in the nation. But, when the State aborts thousands of young people in its fruitless wars, the voice of the church is barely audible if it can be heard at all. Why do we suppose that is ? Is this a question that Catholics should be asking ? What is the difference between the abortion of a potential human being and the abortion of a person at the age of 18 or 20 by the State ? We have probably all seen large demonstrations in front of Abortion clinics, if not live, at least on TV. How many demonstrations have we seen in front of Army enlistment offices, or at a high school counseler’s office that is usually loaded with propagandistic literature lauding the military as a potential “career” for teen agers? Is this schizoid approach to our spiritual lives perhaps something we need to think about ?

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By OzarkMichael, April 14, 2012 at 6:02 am Link to this comment

In effect, all abortions are done in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, only a few are performed after 16 weeks.

“In effect” is careless superficiality disguised as the bottom line. Its amazing how many difficulties can be smoothed out with “in effect”, which attempts to stretch itself out and cover everything in a shallow way. Anyone who goes along with “in effect” must also agree with this:

In effect, all abortions are done for convenience, only a few are performed because of rape or incest.

I will probably be accused of declaring war on women. I will be accused ‘belittling’ Leftists in the face of their SUPERB logic.  “How dare you say that?” “We wont let that pass!” etc. Ah well. All I can do is point out your double standard.

What I am really doing is asking to play by the same rules that Leftists play by. Thats pretty much all i ever do here. This equality(which i insist on) is viewed by Leftists as ‘belittling’ since it shrinks them down to my size.

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By - bill, April 14, 2012 at 3:58 am Link to this comment

You seem confused, Shen.  Fetal rights ARE consigned to law after a certain point (24 weeks?) in a pregnancy and unless complicating factors involving the health of the mother and/or the fetus exist, according to the Supreme Court’s definition of law embodied in Roe v. Wade.

As far as I can tell no one here has argued that the above complicating factors should not be used to justify later abortions.  You now seem to be setting up a straw man and significantly moderating some of your earlier assertions (which seems to bring you a lot closer to agreement, not a bad thing).

If I’ve misunderstood your position, by all means clarify it.  (I’ll be leaving soon for the day, but will check later.)

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By Shenonymous, April 14, 2012 at 2:02 am Link to this comment

We are speaking in the abstract, hypothetically of possible events.
It is not in any sense of the word a common practice that an abortion
would take place past the 6th month let alone in a 7th or 8th month.
The only realistic case would be in the case where a pregnant woman’s
life was in danger.  But since we are talking hypothetically, an 8th
month abortion would only be justified in the case where the mother’s
life was in danger or if the fetus were discovered irreparably and
morbidly unhealthy.

The question of fetal rights is a common argument by anti-abortionists. 
If fetal rights were consigned to law, women’s bodies, her rights, and
her health would be subordinated to the protection of embryos.  The
outcome of such a law would be a legal calamity, and historically has
been.  Furthermore cases of women dying from horribly unsafe illegal
abortions are astronomical.  Particularly young women.  Rationally the
best way to protect the fetus is to promote the health and well-being
of women.  Laws have never stopped abortion.  It has been and is a
universal practice, in every culture, at least since antiquity and we can
only guess prior to that. Making it unlawful has only made it unsafe for

Any woman who does not own and control her own body cannot
rightfully call herself free.  This is fundamental for women to hold an
equal place to men in the world. Bearing a child changes a woman’s life
more than anything else.  Other rights are empty if women are forced to
be mothers.  Being born is a gift, not a right.  We do not ask to be born. 
I’ve even heard preteens say they wish they had never been born.

In effect, all abortions are done in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, only
a few are performed after 16 weeks.  Late term abortions are rare.  It is
reported that only 0.4% take place after 20 weeks gestation. 
Late term abortions are performed when the fetus is gravely or fatally
impaired or the woman’s life or physical health is at risk. The efforts of
anti-abortion activists to ban all late term abortions never takes into
consideration the health and well-being of either the fetus or the
woman.  A ban on late term abortions would infringe on a woman’s
constitutional right to the “security of person” and must not be allowed. 
Ironically, anti-choice harassment, laws, and defunding cause delays and
has led to increased numbers of late abortions.

The term “partial birth abortion” is not a medical term.  It was invented
by the anti-choice movement as an emotionally charged term to use in
political campaigning.  This term should not be confused with intact
dilation and extraction (D & X), a rarely used procedure reserved for late
second term and third-trimester abortions where the fetus is dying,
malformed, or threatening the woman’s health or life.

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By - bill, April 13, 2012 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

I’d agree that there’s sufficient relation between the two to be worth discussing, Ed, even if others might want to dismiss them as apples and oranges.

For example, abortion rights of varying degrees are nominally a ‘liberal’ goal (though centrists and even a fair number of conservatives certainly support them as well), while the indiscriminate killing of people abroad is something which ‘liberals’ nominally oppose (whoops - as well as people like Ron Paul…).  Why then is it that fighting for the former is so much more vigorously pursued than opposition to the latter?

Possibilities include 1) that abortion rights have direct relevance to us while wars have been increasingly made to seem distant concerns, 2) that the Democratic establishment with which ‘liberals’ or ‘progressives’ tend to identify has generally supported abortion rights while also at least tacitly (and sometimes more actively) supporting military adventurism, and 3) that supporters of said Democratic establishment are a lot more interested in highlighting positions that paint that establishment in what they feel will be a positive light than in doing anything that might undermine its perceived legitimacy.

How consciously liberals/progressives react in such ways would be difficult to evaluate, and expecting them to react in general any more objectively than any other political segment would probably be unrealistic.  Still, it’s worth thinking about.

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By Ed Romano, April 13, 2012 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment

....and another fly in the abortion ointment is that while we are supporting a woman’s right to that option ...are we calculating the long term effect that may have on society when a culture of death is introduced into it ? We live in a culture where the State has been routinely aborting young people in wars that do not advance the well being of the majority. Recently, in our history the State has also allowed the abortion of potential humans before they even enter the world. I’m not pointing this out to take sides in the abortion war one way or the other.But is is it something to be considered ?

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By - bill, April 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment

I find it interesting that the entire debate here seems to be between the Roe v. Wade proponents and the “It’s my damn fetus and I’ll do what I want with it” contingent.  So much fire without a single “life begins at conception” poster in sight.

Shen said, “In my opinion the choice to abort is not one to take lightly.  To abort or not to abort is a debatable issue some of it practical some of it moral, and there will be those on the two sides of a definite dividing line.”

So far, so good.  But if indeed that is true, then leaving that choice solely up to the pregnant woman is even less reasonable than leaving the choice of suicide solely up to the individual - because there are two lives at state, not merely one, and in both cases the act is a serious and irreversible one.

Some states have adopted guidelines that allow suicide after due consideration in specific cases, and that’s in my opinion an appropriate approach to the issue that balances the rights of the individual against the interests of society (which are complex and include the idea that perhaps the society might itself be responsible for trying to improve the plight of a suicidal individual rather than just letting them exit stage left without interference).

Society has at LEAST as strong an interest in the matter of abortion if it believes the developing fetus itself acquires rights at some point which must be respected, and it’s hardly only men who feel this way (in fact, the polls I’ve seen indicate that there’s not all that much difference between male and female opinions in this area, and that in both cases an approach like Roe v. Wade is as close to consensus as we’re likely to be able to get).

Roe v. Wade recognized this societal interest and came up with a rather reasonable solution to the issue:

1.  Up to a certain point, abortion is solely up to the mother’s discretion.  She has months in which to exercise this sole discretion, so can’t legitimately complain later that she’s some kind of ‘slave’ in this regard if she has declined to exercise this right.

2.  Beyond that point, serious danger to the mother’s (or fetus’s) health is also grounds for abortion.

3.  Otherwise, after that certain point the mother no longer has the option to have an abortion, because the fetus has become not only potentially viable but (one might suspect as a consequence thereby) an entity with recognizable rights of its own which must be considered.  The mother is legally required to carry it to term, and then has the option of putting the child up for adoption if she feels she cannot care for it.

This may not be all that elegant a solution but it is very much in line with the way society approaches other matters in which rights conflict with each other.  In few such cases are one set of rights considered absolute:  rather, some appropriate balance is sought.

Extremists don’t like such solutions, of course.  My only advice to them is to be grateful that the extremists on the opposite side of the issue aren’t getting their way (which is certainly a risk when one demands all-or-nothing solutions).

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By heterochromatic, April 13, 2012 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment

JB——it’s the woman’s domain.——

you probably suspect that it really isn’t a woman’s property to be disposed of at
will once it’s a fully-formed and fully viable human….neither morally nor legally

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By OzarkMichael, April 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment

Sodium-Na said

The sad fact in your last post is that you have considered slavery as abortion. Two different abstract words,each word stands up for a completely different thing. Your unconstructive comparison is like comparing apples with oranges. Sorry, Ozark, each one of them must be confined to its own merits or rather characteristics, in all aspects, including legality or illegality. Mixing them-up to support your position on abortion will solve nothing. It only adds confusion to an already much confusion the issue of abortion has suffered

Then lets not add any confusion. Lets strip this down to its basic elements.

If you propose that abortion’s current legality solves the dilemma and settles the issue… then i brought up slavery to suggest that ‘legality’ does not settle the issue at all.

You point out that abortion and slavery are two different things… “apples and oranges”. True, I agree they are different, but the ‘legality’ defense of both slavery and abortion is either ironclad and settles the issues forever or it does not. The ‘legality’ defense is not ‘apples and oranges’, it is just one thing.

So if we can say that Shenonymous’ statement in defense of abortion(via the legality of abortion)is “OUTSTANDING,SUPERB AND LEGALLY BINDING” then the same thing must be said of pro-slavery slogans(via the legality of it) from the antebellum days.

Yes, abortion and slavery are two different things, but please look at history and notice that inhumane practices were often protected by law. Those who think that legality justifies an activity are not OUTSTANDING and SUPERB thinkers, but suffer from mental inertia.

I understand that you dont want to get into an argument, Sodium-Na. What i have said is very simple. That is the main point I wish to convey to you, even if we disagree about everything else about abortion.


As you said, the merits of each case stands on its own.

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