September 23, 2007

The 50% Solution

I was going through some old posts on another blog and found this comment. I reproduce it here to give an idea of how extremist some "pro-lifers" can be.

Spineless broads like you are the problem with the pro-life movement. Bob Enyart was correct when he said that the pro-life movement started to go south when groups put more women on their boards in response to the criticism of the pro-abort groups charge that "pro-life groups are headed by men".

Murder is murder. When we don't acknowledge that moms who have their baby's arms and legs and heads ripped off and thrown in the trash are in fact murdering an innocent human person, we give the message that its really not that big of a deal to have their baby aborted. We tell them that its not really murder, its something less than that. They need to hear the words "murder" and "murderer".

The groups who say "Whatever dicision you make we support you" are the worst groups out there. That is a vile response to the murder of innocent persons to say "If ya murder your baby or not we support you!"

Its extremely vile. It murder. All those who consider murdering their children need to think immediately that if they abort their baby that will make them a murderer.

This is EXTREMELY important in order to re-stigmatize abortion to the level it needs to be stigmatized.

Those who murder their children are to be given a fair and speed trial and upon conviction executed. That goes for children murdered outside of the womb as well as inside the womb.

Those who consider murdering their child need to have a GREATER fear of being executed in response to their crime then their fear about how they will take care of their child and get by living as a mother.

Ugh, ugh, ugh. There is so much wrong with this I don't know where to start. Let's take it paragraph by paragraph.

Paragraph #1--Typical pro-lifer misogynism. The original poster sported the name "Zeke." This doesn't prove the gender of the writer in and of itself, but I find it hard to imagine a woman writing such hateful, ungrammatical, misspelled tripe. Also note the enlightened opinion that the pro-life movement would "go south" when not headed by those who will never be pregnant.

Paragraph #2--From this description, you would think the poster is talking about a nine-month baby. This is misleading at best, as most (88%) of abortions are done at or before twelve weeks. A twelve-week fetus is not quite three inches long and cannot survive outside the womb. It's also noteworthy what this site says about a five- to eight-week embryo.

Even though from the outside the embryo now looks very developed, if we were to look inside the embryo's head for a brain, we would find only a very thin layer of cells surrounding a large fluid-filled space (almost like a water-filled balloon).

So even if the heart is beating, there is no brain, no consciousness and therefore no humanity. The embryo does not know it is even there, and certainly has no awareness of its termination. This site has a good definition of when the fetal brain actually begins to function. Most aborted fetuses are simply not "persons" yet, despite all pro-life yammering to the contrary. Yes, the fetus is the same way cancer cells are alive.

Paragraphs #3-5: Since we're not talking about a person, there is no murder involved. What is involved, however, is an actual woman...and since she is definitely a person, her health and welfare should take priority.

Paragraphs #6-7: This is the heart of this entire vile, ass-backward reasoning. Of course, this is extreme--but this is the pro-life rhetoric taken to its logical conclusion. If abortion is the deliberate killing of a pre-born person, then women should be executed or put away for life, no exceptions. It's as simple as that. Are you really proposing imprisoning or executing one-third of American women?

If you think the threat of such will lower abortion rates, think again. It doesn't happen. From this article in The Economist:

Indeed, some of the world's highest abortion rates are to be found in Latin America, where it is all but outlawed. The Mexican legislators who voted to decriminalise abortion cited the brutal effects of this gap between theory and practice: an estimated 5,000 women die in Latin America every year from botched back-street or self-administered abortions; a further 800,000 have to be treated in hospital.

So all an abortion ban will do is kill women. Period.

Of course, strident pro-lifers never think about that. In their minds, the minute a woman conceives, her autonomy and basic human rights simply vanish. She is held hostage to her womb and its contents, chained to that organ until the contents emerge.

Another term for this is "slavery." No, slavery is not completely eradicated from this planet--but pro-lifers would have us enslave 50% of the human race.

Is this what we as a society want?


Anonymous said...

Why does consciousness = humanity? Why privilege the brain over the bladder, the ankle, or sweat glands?

Unknown said...

I'm not quite sure what you mean by this, but a bladder, ankle or sweat gland sure can't think, dream, plan or imagine. If you don't think a functioning brain makes us all that we are...well, you never heard of Terri Schiavo, did you?

Matthew said...

I think anonymous raises a valid question. I think it can be dangerous to assume that consciousness equals humanity. Or even to assume that there is some underlying thing that makes us all human, consciousness being one example. Humanity is always defined over against animality. In this way we can justify to ourselves eating them and treating them in a way that would be unheard of for a human. But the trouble is that when we take a characteristic, such as consciousness, and and say, "This is what makes us human. This sets us apart from the animals," this sets standards to which some people cannot meet. There ends up being some people who are more human than others. In the case of consciousness, we would have to say that those with say mental disorders are not as human as the rest of us, their brain is not quite fit for a real human, and to that extent we can treat them more like animals.

So the danger in something like assuming unquestionably that there is One Thing that defines us as humans, or even that there is such a thing as humanity, can be dangerous because someone always gets left out, to their great detriment.

I think anonymous's asking why privilege the brain over the bladder or whatever is pointing out that the privileging of the brain is ultimately arbitrary. It is a result of our western philosophical tradition, starting with Plato. There are many cultures that do not put such emphasis on the brain as we do.

Also, there are other animals that have forms of consciousness similar to human animals. Should they be given human rights?

Anonymous said...

Christian Feminist explain this scripture to me :
"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me. Psalm 51:5

You described the the fetus not being 3-inches long so no way it could be a life, whoa!!

Matthew said...

I'm guessing that's not the same anonymous...

But the verse seems to be saying that the mother conceived while committing an act that broke Hebraic law. Not sure where you're trying to go with this.

Anonymous said...

I believe anon should have given these,

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. Psalm 139:13


"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,And before you were born I consecrated you...
Jeremiah 1:4