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We're almost there... the judge says there is a verdict coming from the Peterson murder trial... being announced in less than one hour from now...

This less than 48 hours after the 2nd juror replacement this week...

Anyone care to guess what we're going to hear?

I say convicted of First Degree...
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second degree

tick....tick...



Jen
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You're both right. First degree for Laci, second degree for Connor.

JT
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Its making my head hurt, a fetus has rights now? Talk about throwing pro lifers a bone. Maybe people won't notice.
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...a fetus has rights now?...
=====================================
It's been years since the first case, but an in utero fetus killed in the commission of a crime has long been held to have been the victim of murder...

It's just when that is the INTENDED result [ie abortion, 'not a crime'] that it's out of luck... in that case, it's simply discarded as the result of a medical procedure, kinda like an inflammed appendix or cancerous organ... it's all in how the whole thing is packaged, see?...

Beautiful law and lawyers we got here... what a country, eh?!
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You're both right. First degree for Laci, second degree for Connor.

Wow.

I haven't kept up with the case at all, but from what little I saw, it didn't seem like there was enough evidence to convict. Perhaps part of the verdict was based upon him not being very likable?

Don't get me wrong; if I had to place a bet, I would say he did it. Still, I wouldn't want to see anybody convicted unless there was adequate proof.

-Ortman
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kinda like an inflammed appendix or cancerous organ... it's all in how the whole thing is packaged, see?...

Yeah, sorta like pretending that a cluster of a few hundred cells that happens to have human DNA is the same thing as (turn on maudlin, empathetic voice here) a baby.....
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Don't get me wrong; if I had to place a bet, I would say he did it. Still, I wouldn't want to see anybody convicted unless there was adequate proof.

12 very thoughtful adults felt VERY certain that there was. According to the news, the reconstituted jury took only 5 hours to reach a verdict. Apparently prosecutions consisting of substantially the same type of circumstantial evidence are very common, and they are not like the stories of the various television drama series.

Great job by the jury!

JD
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jck101 wrote:

Its making my head hurt, a fetus has rights now? Talk about throwing pro lifers a bone. Maybe people won't notice.

Wow, what an attitude! Shame on you!

Laci's baby was EIGHT MONTHS OLD when they were both killed. She was about one month shy of delivering.

That's long after the baby is viable and FIVE months after the viability cut off that was established in Roe v. Wade.

CCSand
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5000fingers wrote:

Yeah, sorta like pretending that a cluster of a few hundred cells that happens to have human DNA is the same thing as (turn on maudlin, empathetic voice here) a baby.....

Wow. People's attitudes about life issues are truly amazing.

At EIGHT months just about the only organ that isn't fully developed is the lungs. (Excepting the brain which can't be fully developed or no babies could be naturally born because the head would be too big to come through the birth canal).

CCSand
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12 very thoughtful adults felt VERY certain that there was. According to the news, the reconstituted jury took only 5 hours to reach a verdict. Apparently prosecutions consisting of substantially the same type of circumstantial evidence are very common, and they are not like the stories of the various television drama series.

"Very thoughtful" is an assumption. I hope you are right, but you never know.

I've seen enough Court TV to know that juries can convict on inadequate evidence. I'm sure it's more likely to happen when the defendant is an arse, as in this instance here.

The news coverage showed crowds of people with no personal investment in the trial cheering and applauding when the cvonviction was read. If that's not the environent in which a guily sentence can be dished out unfairly, I don't know what is.

-Ortman
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That's long after the baby is viable and FIVE months after the viability cut off that was established in Roe v. Wade.

I'm sorry; it's worse than that!

I've always been pro choice. Pro choice means that the woman has a choice whether or not to bear a child. If the woman is raped or a victim of incest there is no choice, and as far as I'm concerned she can abort.

Choice begins with the decision to engage in sexual activity that could result in a birth of a human being. It does not include the right to kill an innocent human being because its birth might be inconvenient to one or both parents. Pro choice is not pro murder! The "pro choice" group has co-opted the term when they really want pro MURDER!

Can anyone please tell me what the difference is between a fetus (as distinguished from an embryo) and a person? Is it that the fetus needs a life support system (as in the mother)? If the child is in need of support beyond its own means, does that mean it's OK to kill anyone that can't support its own life due to needs like oxygen tanks, dialysis or special medication? Our law says no!

What if I feel that my 5 & 6 year old children are inconvenient to me:
can I kill them with your blessing? What if I can't afford them; can I kill them while you gleefully defend my right to pro choice? Why are the dimple-minded so obsessed with the need for a child to pass though the vagina to be human? Is this the litmus test for humanity? If so, what should be the fate of a cesarean child; is it not human?

The pro-abortion side is clearly without moral guidance. I'm not sure that this is an obstacle to them. However, no rational human can condone the killing of an innocent child for any reason unless it's a case of self-defense for the mother's health; it's at GENUINE risk. To take another position is simply amoral and selfish! No wonder the exit polls revealed that 20%+ voted on moral issues...

Sorry for the rant...

JD
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Ortman wrote:

The news coverage showed crowds of people with no personal investment in the trial cheering and applauding when the cvonviction was read. If that's not the environent in which a guily sentence can be dished out unfairly, I don't know what is.

It's also the reason that the trial was moved from Stanislaus County to San Mateo County. I'm not sure that really does any good in the age of mass media, however. It probably still does some good as it moves the case away from the community where Laci was actually known and prevents those people from being in the jury pool. The cheering crowds were mostly in Modesto or people from Modesto, were they not?

I have to disagree with you about the personal investment. We all have a personal investment in justice - or at least we should. When it is apparent that justice hasn't been done, we are all the losers for it. You never know when you are going to be the one needing justice. When/if you do, you want the system to deliver.

The prosecution in the Peterson case was hampered by a lack of physical evidence, but they more than made up for that by a great consciousness of guilt case, and plenty of motive, means and opportunity evidence. Had the prosecution not also had this kind of evidence, Peterson would undoubtedly be a free man today.

I'm not too worried about the verdict in this case. Scott Peterson had one of the best lawyers that money can buy. He got the best defense possible and the jury still didn't buy it.

CCSand
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Scott Peterson had one of the best lawyers that money can buy.
==============================================
Did I hear this morning [on Fox or CNN] that Garagos did this just for the publicity value? No fee? I had always thought that he was draining the Peterson's dry...

In any event, what does he do now, for the appeal?...

[How convenient for him to have business 400 miles south in LA when the verdict came out... kept him from having his face associated with all the other faces on the day of his defeat... of course, he can say no one ever expected that the verdict would come so quick...]
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The news coverage showed crowds of people with no personal investment in the trial cheering and applauding when the cvonviction was read. If that's not the environent in which a guily sentence can be dished out unfairly, I don't know what is.

Since the jury was sequestered they should have been oblivious to the circus.

I was interested because the circumstantial evidence was, to a knowledgable anlger, very solid.

I was anxious to see if the prosecution could make the obvious defendants goofs and lies apparent to the jury. I see that it did.

I was also anxious to see if a high profile guy like Gerragos could do an OJ on the jury without the financial resources of OJ. He couldn't.

SANO
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The pro-abortion side is clearly without moral guidance.

Many different opinions exist as to when an embryo becomes a person even amongst religions... and those who do not believe in the dogma of organized religion have many different opinions, too.

I do not know to a moral certainty what happens when, and do not feel it is appropriate to impose my personal view on women who hold views different than mine.

I can live an individual determining what's right for him/herself.

Can you.

I will not impose my belief wrt to something so personal on any woman.

Judge not.....
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Wow, what an attitude! Shame on you!

I was actually being sarcastic.
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jck101 wrote:

I was actually being sarcastic.

Ooops! Sorry. My apologies. I read your message as if you weren't.

CCSand
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<Yeah, sorta like pretending that a cluster of a few hundred cells that happens to have human DNA is the same thing as (turn on maudlin, empathetic voice here) a baby..... >

<Wow. People's attitudes about life issues are truly amazing.
At EIGHT months just about the only organ that isn't fully developed is the lungs. (Excepting the brain which can't be fully developed or no babies could be naturally born because the head would be too big to come through the birth canal).>


I wasn't referring to the Peterson case. I was rebutting the previous poster's intimations about the abortion issue in general. Obviously Laci Peterson's child was a conscious, viable human being. That's a very different ethical consideration than an abortion in the first few weeks of pregancy.
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JoeDeutsch wrote:

Pro choice is not pro murder! The "pro choice" group has co-opted the term when they really want pro MURDER!

So a frightened, scared to death 16 year old girl, or a woman who has been raped, or a medical doctor "really want" murder? You extreme "pro-lifers" are so hypocritical with your compassion. The only thing greater than your compassion for an "unborn" fetus is the lack of your compassion for "born" people in extremely traumatic life circumstances.

Speaking of co-opting terms, since most pro-lifers support the death penalty, and will be salivating to see Scott Peterson fry, isn't it more accurate to use the term "anti-choice?" Because life continues on outside of the womb, and most rabid pro-lifers like yourself, at least the ones that I know, don't seem to give a rat's ass for the quality of life of these fetuses after they're born, or the fact that a fetus aborted in a back alley with a coat hanger is just as dead as one aborted by Planned Parenthood. Only in that case you've often got two dead people, so quit your high-minded posturing about "life." You can respect the life of a fetus and even be morally anti-abortion and still not wish our country to return to the dark days of an abortion black market. But since that is oviously not the case with you, I scoff at your posturing as being "pro-life." You are simply "anti-choice."

Can anyone please tell me what the difference is between a fetus (as distinguished from an embryo) and a person?

Why make the distinction between a fetus and an embryo, since the pro-life stance is that even the morning after abortion pill is "murder?" Why try to skirt that important issue? But to answer your question, to name a few differences: consciousness, self-awareness, brain waves, viability, feelings, thoughts, emotions, memories, coordinated movement, a developed nervous system, heart beats, and many other differences I'm sure....

Is it that the fetus needs a life support system (as in the mother)? If the child is in need of support beyond its own means, does that mean it's OK to kill anyone that can't support its own life due to needs like oxygen tanks, dialysis or special medication?

Well, if the "anyone" in question happens to be a fetus, than our laws, in keeping with a free society, says it's legal. It's not "OK," because that implies a moral distinction that only citizens in a free society can make for themselves. But it's "OK" in the sense that it's legal. You are free to not do it if that is your moral conviction.

What if I feel that my 5 & 6 year old children are inconvenient to me:
can I kill them with your blessing? What if I can't afford them; can I kill them while you gleefully defend my right to pro choice?


No, because you don't have the right to kill children outside of the womb. That is called infanticide, and there is an ethical distinction that you are deliberately trying to blur.

Why are the dimple-minded so obsessed with the need for a child to pass though the vagina to be human? Is this the litmus test for humanity? If so, what should be the fate of a cesarean child; is it not human?

Now your analogies are just getting weird. Maybe it's that dimple(?) on your brain.

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I seem to recall that as a kid I heard from kids of the catholic faith that masterbation was a sin because seed was spilled that could otherwise have become a child. Not sure of the truth of this teaching, but if so it gives new meaning to pro-life for all of you -- who me? -- who were teenage murderers.

db
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...furthermore, I wonder if it's occurred to you just how hypocritical your own stance is regarding women who have been raped or victims of incest:

If the woman is raped or a victim of incest there is no choice, and as far as I'm concerned she can abort.

But yet to assert that fetuses are full human beings in every moral and legal sense, you draw the parallel to killing children:

What if I feel that my 5 & 6 year old children are inconvenient to me: can I kill them with your blessing?

You really have to wonder why, in your mind, a fetus is "killable" when it is the result of a rape. But on the other hand if it is the result of some other process where the biological parents did not intend conception, the fetus is fully human so must not be killed for any reason without you calling it "MURDER," literally in capital letters. If a fetus is fully human and killing it is murder, why is it not murder to kill a fetus that is the result of rape? Why do you hold the fetus at fault, seemingly, for the rape of its mother?

Or, to use your very own logic, if a 5 or 6 year old child is the result of a rape, can I kill it with your blessing? I assume that the answer is no, in which case I have to wonder why you think that child is killable in the womb, but not out of the womb? Certainly whether or not a fetus is the result of a rape has nothing to do with its humanity!? I can only assume that the inconsistency and hypocrisy of your position stems not from the fact that a fetus is "fully human," but rather that forcing a raped woman to carry to term would simply be a form of cruelty that even you would not sink to. Can it also be, then, that there are other situations where forcing a woman to carry to term would also be cruel, situations where you and I and our legal system lack the necessary omnipotence to judge?

Your own exceptions in cases of rape & incest (and what if the mother's life is at stake?) show your position to be self-conflicted and self invalidating, unwittingly supporting the pro-choice position. It's not that you are sincerely "pro life" and think abortion is murder, you just want to define which situations pass the muster as to make it OK. And I'm not saying you are wrong - I think we all do that to some extent, and we all do it differently, which is why we can't have a law dictating where we all should draw that line, to say nothing about the consequences of an abortion black market.

What makes you wrong is that you want to impose your own arbitrary limitations and exceptions to the blanket "murder" definition onto others. Not only are you not "pro life," but you're not even fully "anti-choice!"
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5000fingers wrote:

So a frightened, scared to death 16 year old girl, or a woman who has been raped, or a medical doctor "really want" murder? You extreme "pro-lifers" are so hypocritical with your compassion. The only thing greater than your compassion for an "unborn" fetus is the lack of your compassion for "born" people in extremely traumatic life circumstances.

I think it's really interesting that you think that people who are opposed to abortion because it kills a baby therefore have no compassion for the pregnant woman. That says more about you than it says about people who take a pro-life position.

Speaking of co-opting terms, since most pro-lifers support the death penalty, and will be salivating to see Scott Peterson fry, isn't it more accurate to use the term "anti-choice?"

Unlike Peterson, what crime has the baby committed that it should suffer the punishment of execution? Mere existence isn't usually a sufficient crime.

...at least the ones that I know, don't seem to give a rat's ass for the quality of life of these fetuses after they're born

Well, now you know someone who does give more than a rat's behind. You know someone who has adopted a child. I gave more than a rat's behind. We gave a substantial portion of our savings to not only get this done, but have devoted a considerable portion more to raising this child.

CCSand
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iamdb wrote:

I seem to recall that as a kid I heard from kids of the catholic faith that masterbation was a sin because seed was spilled that could otherwise have become a child. Not sure of the truth of this teaching, but if so it gives new meaning to pro-life for all of you -- who me? -- who were teenage murderers.

I'm fairly certain that the Catholic church has never taught that masturbation is murder. They may have taught that you should have a respect for your body.

What your priest may have told you when you were young could be something else again. Depending on the area and the time, Catholic priests have not always been known for their fidelity to what the Catholic church really teaches.

CCSand
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You extreme "pro-lifers" are so hypocritical with your compassion.

My, my my. So much to discuss. However, this is probably not the forum, and as I previously apologized for my rant, I won't burden the board with my opinions on in-womb infanticide.

I really don't consider myself an "extreme pro-lifer" however, you are entitled to your opinion. Let's just deal with your views of what I wrote.

You extreme "pro-lifers" are so hypocritical with your compassion. The only thing greater than your compassion for an "unborn" fetus is the lack of your compassion for "born" people in extremely traumatic life circumstances.

I see that immediately you have branded me as extreme and lacking real compassion for troubled pregnant mothers. It's difficult to discuss an issue with someone so quick to attack personally.

You can respect the life of a fetus and even be morally anti-abortion and still not wish our country to return to the dark days of an abortion black market. But since that is oviously not the case with you, I scoff at your posturing as being "pro-life." You are simply "anti-choice."

As you have correctly pointed out, I am not "pro-life" in all circumstances. The death penalty is fine with me for someone who has earned the sentence. This probably makes your "labeling" somewhat more difficult.

As in most other areas of life, there are choices to be made that involve real consequences. When a baby is the result of poor choices, adoption is the logical alternative in most cases. This of course does not involve an unnecessary cessation of life, nor does it carry the ultimate sense of guilt that will forever grieve the mother. I merely wish to have the procedure limited to instances where the alternatives are non-existent. This is far from the current standard.

and there is an ethical distinction that you are deliberately trying to blur.

I'm attempting to blur nothing. I am fully aware that current law allows this procedure at the whim of the mother. I just wish that it didn't.

Now your analogies are just getting weird. Maybe it's that dimple(?) on your brain.

Nice...

JD
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I seem to recall that as a kid I heard from kids of the catholic faith that masterbation was a sin because seed was spilled that could otherwise have become a child. Not sure of the truth of this teaching, but if so it gives new meaning to pro-life for all of you -- who me? -- who were teenage murderers.

I'm sure that if you were truly interested in confirming the biblical truth of that statement, you'd discover that this was not widely believed to be true. I have difficulty with much of the Catholic position on issues that are outside the dogma of the faith.

A statement such as yours should not be utilized as a basis for one's position on life or death issues, although I sense that your comment was more of an aside than a foundational belief.

JD
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If a fetus is fully human and killing it is murder, why is it not murder to kill a fetus that is the result of rape? Why do you hold the fetus at fault, seemingly, for the rape of its mother?

Great question. Unfortunately, the entire situation surrounding abortion is not an easy one. Some distinctions must be made by thoughtful people. In the case of incest or rape, there was no consent or choice. As I previously stated, my stance is predicated on "Pro-Choice".

I can only assume that the inconsistency and hypocrisy of your position stems not from the fact that a fetus is "fully human," but rather that forcing a raped woman to carry to term would simply be a form of cruelty that even you would not sink to

Nice again... And just when I thought we were getting somewhere.

you just want to define which situations pass the muster as to make it OK. And I'm not saying you are wrong - I think we all do that to some extent, and we all do it differently, which is why we can't have a law dictating where we all should draw that line, to say nothing about the consequences of an abortion black market.

That's better, and I probably agree with you on much of the preceding statement. However, civilized society has chosen to "draw the line" in most other areas of individual behavior as it affects others. Much of it is arbitrary and unnecessary. However, this is an issue that merits more debate, and that debate is gaining momentum. I probably won't see my exact position legislated, but I'm fine with that. What will ultimately become law will be the will of the majority. That majority seems to be leaning to restrictions on the procedure. As I said earlier, that would be my preference.

What makes you wrong is that you want to impose your own arbitrary limitations and exceptions to the blanket "murder" definition onto others. Not only are you not "pro life," but you're not even fully "anti-choice!"

My limitations are neither arbitrary nor "anti-choice". They just don't reflect your (or much of current law's) definitions of "Murder" or "Choice". Partial birth abortions have been nearly been added to the list that would qualify as murder, and I hope some other restrictions will be legislated that will make the procedure far less prevalent.

JD
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Partial birth abortions have been nearly been added to the list that would qualify as murder, and I hope some other restrictions will be legislated that will make the procedure far less prevalent.
JD
================================================
Strongly agree here... and in addition, isn't the 'partial birth' method really messy?... and even in some extreme cases somewhat inimical to the health of the mother?

As long as the procedure is still *acceptable* and in use, it would make much more sense and prudent to allow the baby to exit completely, and simply place it in sealed air tight plastic baggie, and dispose of it after it stops quivering...

MUCH tidier, wouldn't all agree?
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This an interesting thread, but in reality the only people who were against the "murder" charge for Laci's baby are those who are not "pro-choice" but "pro-abortion."

I consider myself pro-life though I can at least understand why women whose life is at risk or whose fetus will not survive outside the womb would get an abortion. I can even understand why a woman who has been raped would get an abortion. But if you look at the statistics, over 95% of women use it as birth control. How many free passes are we as a society going to give to people who take no responsibility for themselves?

http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/abreasons.html

I think that after your second abortion, they should tie your tubes as well. At that point, it's pretty clear that you lack the responsibility to control your own body. I also think they should track men whose female partners get abortions (although I recognize that would be much more difficult). After your second slip-up...its vasectomy time.

MM




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CCSand,

As a skeptically inclined agnostic, I am hardly an expert on the teachings of the Catholic Church. As a WASPish kid, I did coach a neighbor kid on his catechism, though. P in WASP only because my parents were -- I always thought of religion as mythology for adults, comforting for those able to suspend rationality (obviously there is such a need).

I am furious, however, that the pope uses his position to make pronouncements that keep poor people in poverty by encouraging reproduction in over populated conditions. It seems like a "have the kids, who cares what happens to them after they are born" philosophy. In the developed world, even most Catholics ignore those pronouncements.

db
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JD wrote:

"A statement such as yours [masturbation is a sin because it spills seeds] should not be utilized as a basis for one's position on life or death issues, although I sense that your comment was more of an aside than a foundational belief."

You got that right, JD. And I certainly had nor have much interest in "biblical truth." I am interested in the history and development of religious thought, but I view the Judeo/Christian bible as mythology with a smattering of histroy, so I read the term "biblical truth" as true to the contents of the bible, not true in a absolute sense.

db
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iamdb wrote:

I am furious, however, that the pope uses his position to make pronouncements that keep poor people in poverty by encouraging reproduction in over populated conditions. It seems like a "have the kids, who cares what happens to them after they are born" philosophy. In the developed world, even most Catholics ignore those pronouncements.


The Pope has made no such pronouncements that people should reproduce irresponsibly.

In fact, the Church teaches otherwise:

2221 The fecundity of conjugal love cannot be reduced solely to the procreation of children, but must extend to their moral education and their spiritual formation. "The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute."29 The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable.30

2228 Parents' respect and affection are expressed by the care and attention they devote to bringing up their young children and providing for their physical and spiritual needs. As the children grow up, the same respect and devotion lead parents to educate them in the right use of their reason and freedom.


http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P7U.HTM

In other words, if you are going to have children, you are responsible to care for them.

2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.157 These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil:158

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P86.HTM

Periodic continence does not mean the rhythym method. Natural family planning can be used - and is encouraged. In fact, it is now part of the pre-marriage counseling process.

This is directly from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and is the church's teachings on this subject.

I don't know what you are reading, but newspapers seldom give an unbiased view or accurate reporting of Christianity, let alone the Catholic Church.

CCSand
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Did I hear this morning [on Fox or CNN] that Garagos did this just for the publicity value? No fee? I had always thought that he was draining the Peterson's dry...

I recall hearing, or reading, when the trial began, that the Petersons are indeed ponying up a tidy sum for Geragos's services..but I could be wrong.


Jen
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Fers wrote:

I recall hearing, or reading, when the trial began, that the Petersons are indeed ponying up a tidy sum for Geragos's services..but I could be wrong.

You're not wrong.

Peterson had been assigned public defenders when he said he could not afford to hire a lawyer. Geragos said Friday that his fees would be paid by Scott Peterson's family.

http://www.courttv.com/trials/peterson/050203_ctv.html

I'm not sure whether the Peterson family ran out of money during the trial. That is, of course, possible. At that point, however, Geragos would be unable to ethically withdraw from the case. He would be ethically required to continue representing Peterson, at least through the trial stage.

CCSand
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Unfortunately, the entire situation surrounding abortion is not an easy one. Some distinctions must be made by thoughtful people. In the case of incest or rape, there was no consent or choice.

And what of consensual incest? Do you make an exception for that? Or sex between minors before the age of majority, and thereby incapable of legal consent? What about somebody who (in areas where the same people who bemoan legalized abortion also block sex education programs) has sex without realizing its consequences or relative risks? And what about when the mother's life will be in danger if she carried to term?

Once you admit that there are situations where it would be cruel and unusual to force a woman to carry to term, you open a pandora's box, because in a very real sense you are either admitting that either: A. Abortion is NOT the same thing as murder, and/or B. Abortion is acceptable in certain circumstances where the "murder" of the fetus is an interest outweighed by other factors. And that is a very slippery slope my friend, because then there is no philosophical difference between you and a pro-choicer, except that you want the government to control the issue and the pro-choicer wants that decision reserved for the woman and her doctor. I'll let you guess which way I believe is more in keeping with a free society.

Whatever the case may be, you point out the inherent problem with the pro-life movement: there is no morally consistent middle ground! You are either an extremist who is cruel enough to force a raped woman to carry the pregnancy to term, or you are a "reasonable" moderate who allows for exceptions, with no philosophical consistency.

What will ultimately become law will be the will of the majority.

What do you mean will become law? The will of the majority has been law since Roe v. Wade, and the pro-life movement has attempted to undermine it ever since. Especially given the strength of your previous rhetoric likening a frightened young girl and/or her doctor to a murderer, I am unconvinced by your seemingly accepting attitude. I am also thoroughly unconvinced of the pro-life movement's respect for the "will of the majority" in general.

The only restriction on abortions that enjoys a majority consensus is the late-term, "partial birth" abortions. Yet we also must keep in context the fact that the majority of citizens (including most pro-life moderates) also believe in exceptions in the case of a risk to the mother, even in the case of late term abortions. Even ultra-conservative Orthodox Jewish law provides for abortions in the mother's self defense, up to the day of natural birth. And given the reality that the majority of late-term abortions are cases where the mother's health is in danger (otherwise why, you should ask, the mother chose to carry that far when a cheaper, relatively risk-free procedure is available in the first trimester), even the current restrictions do not reflect the will of the majority if no exception is made for the life of the mother.

In any case, I notice that you deftly avoided answering to two important points: the fact that if abortion truly is "murder" of a fully-human fetus at any point in the pregnancy, why it would be any less of a murder because of some circumstance that has nothing to do with the fetus - such as rape, incest, etc. And secondly, what are you going to think about all of the fetuses and mothers who would die because of an abortion black market should the pro-life movement's agenda be fully realized?

The pro-life movement's insensitivity and denial about the horrors surrounding the abortion black market that existed in this country before Roe v. Wade is why I scoff at the "pro life" label. They don't care about life of the women (or even the fetuses) who die in the black market. They are not pro-life, they are simply anti-choice.
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The will of the majority has been law since Roe v. Wade,...

It is? I don't remember voting on that. Could you point me to some legislation that specifically addresses the provisions of Roe v. Wade? Oh, I get it. You mean the will of the people inasmuch as the Bill of Rights is the will of the people since the Supreme Court decision establishing Roe is based on Constitutional grounds. Well then could you point me to the specific enumerated right to abortion?. No? Then the right to privacy must certainly be spelled out somewhere? No again? Hmmmmmm, will of the people you say?

Rusty
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Well, now you know someone who does give more than a rat's behind. You know someone who has adopted a child. I gave more than a rat's behind. We gave a substantial portion of our savings to not only get this done, but have devoted a considerable portion more to raising this child.

And I do applaud you for that. Adoption is truly a wonderful thing and I certainly wish more women would choose that option over aborting the child, or raising it without a father. No doubt you and I would agree on that fundamental point, but unlike you I just don't want the government to dictate those life decisions for us.

And also, you missed the point of my contention that many so-called pro-lifers aren't concerned about the life of the "born." Certainly your decision to adopt a child is a positive way to impact the issue, but what would you say to all of the families who lost a daughter or a sister to the abortion black market? And to all of the women who would face the same risks and fates if the agenda of the anti-choice movement were fully realized?

A fetus that dies in a back alley is just as dead as one that dies in a clinic, and the anti-choice movement always tries to skirt that issue, so I absolutely reject any high-minded claims about "life." In a clinic we can at least look after the life of the woman who is facing that dire circumstance.
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It is? I don't remember voting on that.

You haven't ever voted? I've voted every two years, and especially for the national offices it is a chance for the electorate to weigh in on issues like abortion, and many others. And additionally, every national poll taken since Roe v. Wade has affirmed the national preference for legalized abortion, by a significant margin.

Perhaps you are unreasonably paranoid about all of the polls. If so you have to ask yourself why, if the will of the public is truly to outlaw abortions, why even the Republicans are running away from the pro-life cause, or at least downplaying their support of it, in recent nationwide races.

Also ask yourself why George W. Bush has never once stated whether he supported legalized abortions or not. It's pretty obvious that he knows he wouldn't have gotten re-elected if he had the same unambiguous pro-life views that Reagan had.
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And what of consensual incest? Do you make an exception for that? Or sex between minors before the age of majority, and thereby incapable of legal consent?

Consent to any behavior has the possibility for consequences. Yes, even consent between legal minors. If they're old enough to become pregnant, they're old enough to carry to term. Notice that the consequence is not one of life-or-death to the mother. There are alternatives available to the parents (this should not be the sole decision of the mother). Inconvenient, embarrassing? Sure. That's not sufficient reason to take an innocent life. Give the baby up for adoption. The lines are long for most babies.

Once you admit that there are situations where it would be cruel and unusual to force a woman to carry to term, you open a pandora's box, because in a very real sense you are either admitting that either: A. Abortion is NOT the same thing as murder, and/or B. Abortion is acceptable in certain circumstances where the "murder" of the fetus is an interest outweighed by other factors. And that is a very slippery slope my friend, because then there is no philosophical difference between you and a pro-choicer, except that you want the government to control the issue and the pro-choicer wants that decision reserved for the woman and her doctor. I'll let you guess which way I believe is more in keeping with a free society.

In the same sense that distinctions are made between killing an attacker and killing an enemy in wartime, it shouldn't be too hard to define the limits of lawful abortion. As I previously noted, the actual and immanent danger to the health of the mother is a legitimate grounds to abort. Your belief in reserving the decision to the woman and her doctor results in hundreds of thousands of needlessly dead babies each year. This is just not acceptable. The Roe ruling is currently the law, and I believe it is largely a social experiment. Society is not finished with the experiment, and for one to call it concluded is unfortunately naive.

In any case, I notice that you deftly avoided answering to two important points: the fact that if abortion truly is "murder" of a fully-human fetus at any point in the pregnancy, why it would be any less of a murder because of some circumstance that has nothing to do with the fetus - such as rape, incest, etc. And secondly, what are you going to think about all of the fetuses and mothers who would die because of an abortion black market should the pro-life movement's agenda be fully realized?

Well, thanks for the "deftly" compliment ;0).

Your first question has been answered even if you do not like that answer. I have no difficulty in laying down strict guidelines that would proscribe the vast majority of abortions. There are nearly 900,000 abortions performed annually in the U.S.
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5212a1.htm

As to the abortion black market, I'm fully aware that it existed and I actually helped a friend obtain one for his girlfriend prior to Roe. It was a mistake on everyone's part, and they'd tell you that today. As I said earlier, choice has consequences. We don't make robbery legal for the less fortunate so that they don't have to risk their lives in dangerous heists. There will always be people who will seek out illegal or legal abortions. But, it will be much less than 850,000-900,000 annually.

The pro-life movement's insensitivity and denial about the horrors surrounding the abortion black market that existed in this country before Roe v. Wade is why I scoff at the "pro life" label. They don't care about life of the women (or even the fetuses) who die in the black market. They are not pro-life, they are simply anti-choice.

Nobody is in denial about illegal medical procedures. See above. But again, there are alternatives that don't involve killing hundreds of thousands of babies each year. What the "Pro-Choice" position ignores is the choice of the killed baby. I am in many instances both pro-choice (as I defined earlier) and pro death (for those who earn the sentence). I believe that the correct position in this debate is the one that spares the most innocent lives, and yes, the death penalty is life-conserving (another topic of debate).

That is simply the correct thing to do.

JD
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5000fingers wrote:

The will of the majority has been law since Roe v. Wade, ...

Excuse me, but I don't remember being asked to vote on a constitutional amendment regarding the right to have an abortion on demand.

If by "majority", you mean seven justices, well, I submit to you that you are sadly mistaken with respect to how a constitutional republic works. The Supreme Court has absolutely no right, power or jurisdiction to discover new constitutional rights. We only gave them the power to interpret the rights that we already spelled out in the Constitution.

Article V of the US Constitution specifies the proper procedure for a constitutional amendment.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.articlev.html

If you really want to claim a "majority", you know what you have to do.

Until then, you are only fooling yourself.

CCSand
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but what would you say to all of the families who lost a daughter or a sister to the abortion black market? And to all of the women who would face the same risks and fates if the agenda of the anti-choice movement were fully realized?

It's time for this hysterical "straw man" to fall.

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/040528.html

Better late than never. For 1972, the last full year before Roe, the federal Centers for Disease Control reported that 39 women died due to illegal abortion. (The death total for all abortions, including legal ones, was 88.) That figure is low, thanks to underreporting, but in any case the number of deaths had been dropping sharply for the previous few years. A statistic perhaps more typical of the pre-Roe era was reported in a 1969 Scientific American article cowritten by Christopher Tietze, a senior fellow with the Population Council: "The National Center for Health Statistics listed 235 deaths from abortion in 1965. Total mortality from illegal abortions was undoubtedly larger than that figure, but in all likelihood it was under 1,000."

Indeed 1,000 mother and baby deaths is too many. But it's 450 times less than what Roe left us with. Your position just leaves too many dead babies.

JD
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Excuse me, but I don't remember being asked to vote on a constitutional amendment regarding the right to have an abortion on demand.
If by "majority", you mean seven justices, well, I submit to you that you are sadly mistaken with respect to how a constitutional republic works.


By "majority," I mean it in the most democratic sense: the will of 50% + 1. Only in the case of abortion prohibition, the will of the people is certainly far more than that. In terms of national politics, it is a "landslide" majority no matter which poll or what numbers you are looking at. You can have your justices, your links, and constitutional amendments. I'm well aware of constitutional law. Any constitutional amendment proposing a ban on abortion would be dead in the water, which is why you don't hear about it anymore, even from staunchly anti-choice politicians. And if you think that a ban on abortions would represent the will of the majority of Americans, it is you who are fooling yourself.
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There are alternatives available to the parents (this should not be the sole decision of the mother). Inconvenient, embarrassing? Sure. That's not sufficient reason to take an innocent life. Give the baby up for adoption. The lines are long for most babies.

I absolutely agree with you. And if the self-styled "pro-lifers" would come together with all other reasonable people (even president Bush) on this issue of preventing unwanted pregnancies to begin with, and to support the adoption option, there would be far fewer abortions, prohibition or not. But instead of coming together in a non-partisan way to socially de-stigmitize the adoption option, and to support the efforts of Planned Parenthood and others to promote prevention and education (including but certainly not limited to abstinence), the religious right consistently throws up road blocks to efforts that would prevent unwanted pregnancies in favor of their hopes for a draconian law that would take us back to black market realities.

In the same sense that distinctions are made between killing an attacker and killing an enemy in wartime, it shouldn't be too hard to define the limits of lawful abortion. As I previously noted, the actual and immanent danger to the health of the mother is a legitimate grounds to abort. Your belief in reserving the decision to the woman and her doctor results in hundreds of thousands of needlessly dead babies each year. This is just not acceptable.

I agree that the number of elective abortions is unacceptable, and that the mere desire not to have a child is not ethical grounds to abort, especially when adoption is always an option. That's my opinion. I can't legislate that for other people. But moreover, why do you blame legalized abortions for the amount of abortions that are happening, and not instead the true cause, which is the premiscuous and irresponsible attitudes our society has about sex? If you are too old to remember what hormones do to a person, I can assure you that abortion laws have nothing to do with the reasons why people have sex. My belief in "reserving the decision to the woman and her doctor" does not exclude my believe that the decision ought to be NO, most times when adoption is an option. I just don't want to live in a totalitarian police state that would be necessary to sustain such control over people's choices.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, and it could very easily be given the situation with the Supreme Court, then the best that we can hope for in terms of the health and safety of those women who will continue to seek abortions is that there will be a huge black market for the abortion pill, and they won't use the proverbial coat hanger. I don't have any contacts (that I know of) who deal in drugs, but I know that I, like any American, can have just about any illicit drug that I would ever want by making no more than about five or six phone calls and a drive of no more than 5 to 10 miles. So the great white hope of the pro-life movement, the overturning of Roe v. Wade, isn't going to save hardly any "babies." The only thing that will do that in any large scale way are important cultural and educational changes that, tragically, the religious right stands on the wrong side of.
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And if you think that a ban on abortions would represent the will of the majority of Americans, it is you who are fooling yourself.

Oh reall?

http://www.sba-list.org/polls08072003.cfm

JD
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It's time for this hysterical "straw man" to fall.
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/040528.html


Joe, you seem like you can be reasoned with (and that's the only reason I've maintained this much interest in debating you). Do you really expect me to take that link seriously? In order to prove your point, you give me a link that is blatantly biased towards the anti-choice side of the issue?

I mean, if somebody were debating the legitimacy of slavery, would you take it seriously if they offered the testimony of a slave owner as "proof" of their position? Be serious....

I have heard many things regarding how extensive the black market was for abortions. Both sides, no doubt, overstate their cases, as does "straightdope.com." It is in the extremity of their statements that you can easily recognize their lack of objectivity. But moreover, I have my own experience as an American, and that has been an easy awareness that there is a black market for anything that people want. And when people want it desperately (like certain drugs, and abortions) they will get it. And with the case of abortions, they won't go to doctors who have their safety and health as their primary concern. Like I said in a previous post, we can only console ourselves with the knowledge that the abortion pill will be easily obtainable on the black market, so fewer women will become and sick and die than before Roe v. Wade. But in any case, making abortions illegal once again will not safe the lives of very many fetuses, if at all. That is why I dismiss the label of "pro-life." It's simply anti-choice. An abortion ban will not stop abortions!
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And if you think that a ban on abortions would represent the will of the majority of Americans, it is you who are fooling yourself.
Oh reall?
http://www.sba-list.org/polls08072003.cfm


Again you present this board with out-and-out propoganda from militant organizations. I guess the word "objective" doesn't mean a lot to you. Have you ever thought of diversifying your sources of information? I mean, it's hard to learn anything in the world if the only sources of information one seeks out are the ones that reinforce our preconditioned biases.

In any case, even in that chart that you cited, only 25% of the people polled said that they favored prohibiting abortions. If the anti-abortion advocacy can only find 25% support for their position even in their own numbers, it's pretty obvious what the "majority will" is on the subject of keeping abortions safe and legal.
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Both sides, no doubt, overstate their cases, as does "straightdope.com." It is in the extremity of their statements that you can easily recognize their lack of objectivity.

The quote is a reference from The CDC. They are about as good as you'll find for reliability. However, I admit my search was too quick. However, I seriously doubt that you'll find credible evidence that the country is overwhelmingly in favor of "abortion on a whim" as we have now. We're just not that secular here; maybe in Europe, but not here.

And with the case of abortions, they won't go to doctors who have their safety and health as their primary concern.

Actually, as I stated before, I was around prior to the Roe ruling. Most illegal abortions were performed by medical doctors here in clinical settings illegally. While safety was not as it is in a hospital setting, it was as good as a clinical setting. Again, the number of fatalities was actually relatively low.

An abortion ban will not stop abortions!

No, it won't totally stop them. Just as a law against taking another's life doesn't stop killing. But, there will be far fewer causalities than we have under Roe. It will indeed deter as it did before Roe, and that's about the best deal we'll be able to strike with humans involved.

JD
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I guess the word "objective" doesn't mean a lot to you. Have you ever thought of diversifying your sources of information? I mean, it's hard to learn anything in the world if the only sources of information one seeks out are the ones that reinforce our preconditioned biases.

Gosh, just when we were doing so well.

Feel free to utilize Google as I did. Get your own references. These were just the ones that popped up first. No "preconditioned biases". The site references polls from CBS News, Zogby, ABC New, Fox News, CNN... Hardly a "Anti-Abortion Conspiracy"!

In any case, even in that chart that you cited, only 25% of the people polled said that they favored prohibiting abortions. If the anti-abortion advocacy can only find 25% support for their position even in their own numbers, it's pretty obvious what the "majority will" is on the subject of keeping abortions safe and legal.

Obviously your bias to your extreme position has blinded you to the fact that the majority of the people polled believe that there should be limitations on abortion. The extent of these limitations has yet to be decided. This is of course why we are having the current national debate. Any extreme position in this debate will not prevail nor will it forward the just cause of truly protecting life.

As I have said, I'm not for a total prohibition as most aren't, but I am not accepting the status quo under Roe. I believe that except for a very few instances, the taking of an innocent life (through abortion) should be grounds for a murder charge. Obviously so did our lawmakers who wrote the law the convicted Peterson of 2nd degree murder. I just want to extend that law to the mother/doctor who elects to make the same decision without justification.

The "Extreme" positions are that of making no changes and that of an outright ban. Most everyone else falls in the middle - including me!

JD

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5000fingers wrote:

And I do applaud you for that. Adoption is truly a wonderful thing and I certainly wish more women would choose that option over aborting the child, or raising it without a father. No doubt you and I would agree on that fundamental point, but unlike you I just don't want the government to dictate those life decisions for us.

By making a law that allows abortion (de facto on demand), the government is legitimating a woman's choice to kill her child. I don't think any one person should have the power over another human life. Nor do I think that 90% of all abortions for the sake of convenience is a sufficient justification, even if you agree that that power is sometimes necessary.

And also, you missed the point of my contention that many so-called pro-lifers aren't concerned about the life of the "born." Certainly your decision to adopt a child is a positive way to impact the issue, but what would you say to all of the families who lost a daughter or a sister to the abortion black market? And to all of the women who would face the same risks and fates if the agenda of the anti-choice movement were fully realized?

I would say to such a woman that her fate and the fate of her unborn child is in your hands.

You can endure 9 months of inconvenience for the sake of the baby. You can choose to give your baby up for adoption, in which case your medical care, rent, utilities, food, etc. will be paid for by the adoptive parents. Or you can choose to keep your baby and raise it yourself.

If it's your reputation you're worried about, there are people who will put you up for 9 months and help you get back on your feet. If it's your parent(s) you're worried about and it's a potential abuse situation, there are places where you can stay to get away from that.

There's lines a mile long to adopt a child. It's a 2 year wait and sometimes longer. If you don't want your baby, then there's a lot of us that do. Worried about good adoptive parents? The screening that we have to go through is absolutely unreal. Criminal background checks, financial checks, home checks, personality checks, the whole works.

If you do want to see the child again, you can have an open adoption - with varying degrees of openness depending on how you and the adoptive parents work things out. You never want to see the child again? You don't have to. A closed adoption can be had. But if you're a young woman and you're not sure what road lies ahead of you, that's a long time to hold you to that kind of a decision. So if you want to change your mind later on, and you decide that you do want contact, you can contact the adoption agency and let them know. If you're child is also willing, it can be arranged. But if you abort your child, you'll never get that chance. It's the final and irrevocable end of a human life. So before having that abortion, you'd better be darn certain how you're going to feel about that 20 years from now.

We're going to make it so easy for you, that there is no need for you to abort your baby. We're going to do that because we don't think abortion is a legitimate choice and because we think that no one should have the power of life or death over another human being. I don't know why, given that reality, someone would actually choose to abort their baby.

Having said all that, you can still choose that illegitimate choice. You can still choose to abort your baby. If the abortion is botched, you'll wind up going to some other doctor who will then report the botched abortion. You probably won't die - although that is a risk - because surgery and/or antibiotics will save your life. I would also tell her that even legal abortions carry risks and that people have also died from legal abortions.

http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/7187170.htm

http://www.w-cpc.org/news/wallst7-96.html

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0964895722/ref=lpr_g_2/002-4072573-4236031?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

Whether or not the abortion is botched, you will have to live with the fact that you killed your unborn baby. You can call it a fetus, or a wad of tissue, or a blob, or whatever, but all the women that I have known who have had an abortion knew deep down even if they didn't want to admit it to themselves, that what they were doing was killing their baby. That's a pretty heavy burden to live with, and we'd rather you didn't have to live with that. I know one friend who had an abortion who is now having trouble bearing children and has been through 2 IVFs without success. I know another woman who became an alcoholic after her abortion.

Some women, for whatever reason, still make the wrong choice. We are all ultimately free - whether or not the state sanctions our conduct. They make the choice to have sex knowing they don't want to bear the consequences of that choice, and then they compound it by trying to hide it or not being honest to their parents or their husbands or boyfriends.

What would I say to the parents/brothers who lost someone to an illegal abortion?

I would say that I'm sorry for their loss. I'm sorry that in the face of so many different available options these days, that their daughter or sister chose such a course of action. I'm sorry that this woman wasn't able to talk to her parents, brothers, husband and ask for the help that she needed and that people would have provided to her and her unborn baby if she had only requested it. I'd say that I'm sorry that she felt like she was going to get more shame than help from those she trusted.

A fetus that dies in a back alley is just as dead as one that dies in a clinic, and the anti-choice movement always tries to skirt that issue, so I absolutely reject any high-minded claims about "life." In a clinic we can at least look after the life of the woman who is facing that dire circumstance.

"Facing" that dire circumstance? Choosing that dire circumstance would be more like it.

Put another way, why is it a "choice" to choose to procure a legal abortion, but "facing it" when you choose to procure an illegal abortion?

Frankly, the whole thing about deaths from illegal abortion was overblown. Since the advent of penicillin and antibiotics, very few people actually died from an illegal abortion.

http://www.abortionfacts.com/online_books/love_them_both/why_cant_we_love_them_both_27.asp

CCSand
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5000fingers wrote:

And additionally, every national poll taken since Roe v. Wade has affirmed the national preference for legalized abortion, by a significant margin.

Would those be the same pollsters that thought Kerry was going to win by a landslide?

CCSand
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JoeDeutsch wrote:

The lines are long for most babies.

The lines are so long, in fact, that many people choose to adopt internationally.

CCSand
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5000fingers wrote:

And if you think that a ban on abortions would represent the will of the majority of Americans, it is you who are fooling yourself.

That may be, but I think we should at least have the opportunity to find out who is deluded. And that requires the people's participation - not the decision of seven justices legislating from the bench.

I'll tell you one thing. If after 20 years as a pro-choice advocate (yes, I actually "defended" a clinic by standing in front of it once), I haven't remained convinced that abortion is the right course of action, you had better be wondering who else out there has seen through all the lies.

CCSand
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I just want to extend that law to the mother/doctor who elects to make the same decision without justification.

And, significantly, you want to define what adequate "justification" would be for other people. And I am not comfortable with doing that, especially via the government.

The "Extreme" positions are that of making no changes and that of an outright ban. Most everyone else falls in the middle - including me!

And me, to be sure. I think we ought to do everything we can do reduce unwanted pregnancies, because that's the only sure way to reduce the number of abortions, legal or not.

I've enjoyed this debate. Sorry if my comments have been a bit harsh. It's one of my many charms....I do get the feeling, however unfortunate, that we're just not going to solve this problem for our country tonight! My wife is home and I need to pay some attention to her, and a parting shot for our more extreme friend CCSand.

Best wishes.....

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Would those be the same pollsters that thought Kerry was going to win by a landslide?

Um, who would those be? Show me one mainstream, well known, objective pollster who predicted in the last month or two of the campaign that it would be a landslide either way, and I'll donate a thousand dollars to your favorite anti-choice charity. Every poll I ever saw predicted it would be extremely close, with the slight lead going to the president, and that's exactly what happened.
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5000fingers wrote:

And if the self-styled "pro-lifers" would come together with all other reasonable people (even president Bush) on this issue of preventing unwanted pregnancies to begin with, and to support the adoption option, there would be far fewer abortions, prohibition or not.

That's just not true. Babies are aborted before adoptive parents are even given the option to adopt them.

Case in point: My college roommate aborted her baby because she couldn't stand the thought of someone else raising her child.

<sarcasm>

Nice.

</sarcasm>

I agree that the number of elective abortions is unacceptable, and that the mere desire not to have a child is not ethical grounds to abort, especially when adoption is always an option.

I'm glad to hear you say that. You would agree that the current system needs revising then? Because what we have now is de facto abortion on demand. People are even aborting their babies when they're halfway out of the birthcanal - because they have cleft palate.

Adoption, BTW, is not just an option. It's an all expenses paid option.

But moreover, why do you blame legalized abortions for the amount of abortions that are happening, and not instead the true cause, which is the premiscuous and irresponsible attitudes our society has about sex?

I agree that this is part of the problem, and I think a big cause of that is the divorce of the sexual act from the possibility of conception. If you think you can't get pregnant, or the risks are acceptably low, many women just take their chances without much thought as to what they are going to do if that low risk actually happens. More education as to the real risks of birth control is obviously needed.

Further, our children are surrounded by a culture that glamorizes sex. I agree that this is a huge problem. We have Janet Jackson's exposed breast during the Super Bowl and, as if that wasn't bad enough, the sexually lurid dance routines that preceded that act. However, on the other side of that, you have the free speech advocates who advocate that EVERYTHING is speech, no matter what, no matter where, and no matter who's watching. My then one year old was watching the Super Bowl with me this year. I'm sure glad he was one, because he probably didn't understand what he was seeing, but gee whiz, I would sure have been embarrassed and shocked to have to explain that to a slightly older boy. Frankly, the outrage about such things was long overdue.

If people really want to see that kind of thing, put it on late at night on broadcast TV or on a cable channel. It doesn't need to be on daytime or early evening TV. My two year old knows how to turn on the television already when I'm not in the room and it's just not realistic to expect that I'm going to be in the same room with him every waking minute. I've got dinner to cook, laundry to do, clothes to put away, beds to make, bedrooms to clean up, and other work to do and that's got to get done during some of the time that I'm home during the day. There are things that I think we can all agree are not age appropriate for a two year old.

That said, a creative person can create shows that will entertain both parents and child, without appealing to our sex drives. It's been done. Walt Disney did it. Wild Kingdom (remember Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler?) did it. Pixar is doing it now. So is Dreamworks. Animal Planet does it (although that's a cable channel). I can tell you that our DVD collection has grown directly in proportion to the lack of broadcast television programming for families.

...the best that we can hope for in terms of the health and safety of those women who will continue to seek abortions is that there will be a huge black market for the abortion pill, and they won't use the proverbial coat hanger.

That didn't work for Holly Patterson. She's dead.

http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/wills200309260915.asp

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/brentbozell/bb20031001.shtml

CCSand
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"If Roe v. Wade is overturned, and it could very easily be given the situation with the Supreme Court, then the best that we can hope for in terms of the health and safety of those women who will continue to seek abortions is that there will be a huge black market for the abortion pill, and they won't use the proverbial coat hanger. I don't have any contacts (that I know of) who deal in drugs, but I know that I, like any American, can have just about any illicit drug that I would ever want by making no more than about five or six phone calls and a drive of no more than 5 to 10 miles. So the great white hope of the pro-life movement, the overturning of Roe v. Wade, isn't going to save hardly any "babies." The only thing that will do that in any large scale way are important cultural and educational changes that, tragically, the religious right stands on the wrong side of."

You know, I got into a debate about this very subject not too long ago about how if Roe v Wade was overturned, it really wouldn't make any difference because all that Roe v Wade did was take the power to legislate on abortion out of the states' hands.

The funny thing is, the guy (who was a liberal), told me I was crazy because EVERYONE knew that if Roe v. Wade was overturned it would go back to the states for them to decide. He then went on to rant that even though it would likely be legal in many states, "access" for every woman would not be the same (although I hardly see how a woman in say Northern Wyoming has the comparable access to a woman in Los Angelas anyway) so it "wouldn't be the same." Apparently his assumption is less true than he thought.

If Roe vs. Wade was overturned in a manner consistent with past vacated decisions, the whole issue would go back to the states, and each one individually could decide if abortion should be legal in their state. Do you really think the NE and the Left Coast states are going to make it illegal? I would posit that it is these locations where the majority of the abortions occur anyway based on the concentration of available abortion clinics.

NARAL could take its vast financial resources and set up "abortion runs" for women in states where it's illegal. I bet it would even be more satisfying for their members to see their dollars "making a difference" on the micro-level. They could even set up "unwanted-pregnancy adoptions" and make life-long friends with women exercising their control over their bodies.

Let's face it, there is little chance for a Constitutional Amendment banning abortion or even making it 100% legal because of the sheer % of Senators (67%) and state houses (75%) that must approve it.

I already stated I am pro-life, but the real tragedy was the way the Supreme Court forced abortion to be legal when, at the time, the vast majority of people didn't agree that it should be. Likewise, today, I am not in favor of the Supreme Court legislating that it should be illegal, as that is the same kind of judicial activism the other way, which also sets a bad precedence.

Roe v Wade is held up as this huge decision upon which the fate of womankind rests. It's largely a myth that most people have been browbeaten into believing over the years.

MM
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Thank you for recommending this post to our Best of feature.

CCSand

Unbelievably well stated. I only wish I could "Rec" it more than once!

Thanks for the insight!!!

JD
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And, significantly, you want to define what adequate "justification" would be for other people. And I am not comfortable with doing that, especially via the government.

Not I, the people. However, since the "Supremes" decided the issue, "the people" have not had the opportunity to be heard. Like CCSand, I abhor activist judges (9th Circuit anyone?). And while I share your dislike of government intervention, I cannot see another vehicle to stop the killing.

And me, to be sure. I think we ought to do everything we can do reduce unwanted pregnancies, because that's the only sure way to reduce the number of abortions, legal or not.

Now that we've past the labeling, I can see that. We just disagree on the method to reduce the slaughter. I believe that we have given women and their doctors enough time; to me they have forfeited the right to act responsibly. Abortion (a practical medical procedure) as a method of birth control is just plain wrong!

I've enjoyed this debate. Sorry if my comments have been a bit harsh. It's one of my many charms....

I too have enjoyed the discussion. My restraint thorughout this thread is far beyond that which anyone would attribute to me. I understand and hold nothing against you for your method of expressing your (misguided) opinions ;o).

...and a parting shot for our more extreme friend CCSand.

Poor choice for a target. While I believe that you are genuine in your beliefs, this is simply a case of bringing a knife to a gunfight. I would suggest that you choose a softer target. Articulate, intelligent, solid and compassionate. She's just been added to my Favorites list!

JD
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5000fingers wrote:

Um, who would those be? Show me one mainstream, well known, objective pollster who predicted in the last month or two of the campaign that it would be a landslide either way, and I'll donate a thousand dollars to your favorite anti-choice charity.

Landslide was an exaggeration. Nevertheless the most notable error by the exit polls - and there were many - was the early indication from exit polls that John Kerry had a "commanding lead" in Pennsylvania and in several other key states including Florida and Ohio when, in fact, he did not.

Kerry won Pennsylvania by 128,869 votes.

http://www.foxnews.com/youdecide2004/races.html?PA

Bush won Ohio by 136,483 votes.

http://www.foxnews.com/youdecide2004/races.html?OH

In fact, the race in Pennslyvania turned out to be CLOSER than Ohio, and all of the networks called Pennsylvania for Kerry well EARLY in the evening. Yet, the exit polls were suggesting the whole night that Ohio was too close to call, but not Pennsylvania?

That is a HUGE error.

So, when you say:

Every poll I ever saw predicted it would be extremely close, with the slight lead going to the president, and that's exactly what happened.

I have to wonder whether you were watching the same network broadcasts I was. (FWIW, I watched all of them - ABC, CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, & MSNBC. I channel surfed the whole night. I didn't read any blogs or the internet with the exception of the network electoral maps and Dave Leip's electoral college calculator.)

There was one big loser during the last Election Day on Nov. 2. Exit polling, long a key indicator of election trends, emerged as perhaps the biggest loser in the 2004 election after many election pundits used early numbers from exit polls to project that Sen. John Kerry had a commanding lead in several key states.

...

Network television news picked up on the information and telegraphed it on to the general public.

According to the Reuters News Service, John Zogby, whose Election Day predictions that Kerry would sweep Florida and Ohio were wrong, said that the data itself was wrong.

"We have an exit poll crisis," Zogby said.


http://www.morningsun.net/stories/111404/opE_20041114050.shtml

MSN's exit polls suggested that Florida, Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico would go to Kerry when they actually went to Bush.

http://slate.msn.com/id/2109053

Iowa and New Mexico really were close. But Pennsylvania was closer than Ohio. And Florida wasn't EVEN close. Florida was another HUGE error - AGAIN. Slate was using the same exit polls that everyone else was using. In fact, all of the major networks were using exit polling from this source:

http://www.exit-poll.net/

And Zogby relied, in part, on those same exit polls:

WASHINGTON - On Tuesday afternoon, preliminary numbers showed President Bush a staggering 20 points behind in Pennsylvania and losing in every other battleground state.

But Wednesday afternoon, he stood on the victor's podium and Democratic Sen. John Kerry gracefully conceded defeat.

What went wrong with those exit polls?

"I don't know," said pollster John Zogby, who relied partially on exit polls Tuesday afternoon to declare Kerry the winner in Ohio. "I'm not blaming everything on the exit polls, but the exit polls were terrible."


http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/nation/10097161.htm?1c

I think Zogby is well-known. Whether he's objective is a subject of debate. Ditto for Edison-Mitofsky.

FWIW, I hate exit polls. Since I'm a Californian and I vote on the West Coast (always have), I really resent the fact that ANY exit polls are released before ALL polling places in the country have closed. Given the instantaneous tabulations and network coverage, this has become a fairly blatant attempt to influence the vote in the West, by making it seem that the show is already over solely from the vote in the East. Don't bother voting. Just stay home. It's all over anyway. Calling Florida for Gore in the 2000 election before all the polling places in Florida had even closed (two time zones - the Panhandle was still voting) was one of the most eggregious examples of that.

If you wish to make a donation, I request that you send your donation here:

http://www.adopt-familynetwork.com/

Let's put aside the euphemisms and labels and all of the arguments for one minute, okay?

FWIW, I know these people. They did our homestudy. They are thorough and they work their behinds off to make sure that children get good homes. They even make housecalls all over the Bay Area. They have both domestic and international adoption programs, they run at least one orphanage in Guatemala and a newer one in Sierra Leone.

This is my choice. I hope you'll support it. Even if you don't think I win.

CCSand
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Who keeps saying that there are people lined up to adopt children?

Here they are, liars.

http://www.adoptuskids.org/servlet/page?_pageid=188&_dad=portal30&_schema=PORTAL30

6, doesn't hate people once they're born
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Now that we've past the labeling, I can see that. We just disagree on the method to reduce the slaughter.

Not so fast. We do seem to agree that abortion is a procedure that is overused, often (and perhaps usually) irresponsibly. We agree that there is an ethical problem with aborting a fetus. And seemingly, (by extension, given how unpopular and therefore undemocratic a prohibition on abortions would be) might we also agree that the procedure should not be fundamentally prohibited?

I was thinking about this issue last night, and what came to my mind was the issue of prohibition, and how its proponents always overstate its efficacy. There is a real misplaced faith in the notion that a law prohibiting abortions (especially if only at the state level, were Roe v. Wade overturned) would prevent abortions. Yet we have so much evidence to the contrary in our own times that belies that. First of all, there were more speak-easys in Chicago during Prohibition than there were pubs before Prohibition! And of course, our current laws that prohibit recreational drug use are notoriously inept. No drug (and this certainly would be true of RU-486) is more than a couple phone calls away from any American. Yet the laws that prohibit their use create a black market that has wreaked horrible consequences upon our communities. Further, prohibition makes meaningful action and education about the issue all the more impossible since you've just driven the problem underground and placed a legal and social stigma on anybody who is in that situation.

Contrast the damaging record of prohibition with society's experience with tobacco. Accomplishing real, viable social change has reduced the per capita use of tobacco to a third of its level forty years ago, without restricting the fundamental right to be a smoker and enjoy tobacco privately. Ironically but not surprisingly, more college students today smoke pot than smoke cigarettes. Keeping all of the relevant historic evidence and precedent in mind, it seems pretty clear that we would not made such progress if Congress had simply passed a law outlawing cigarettes.

Now, I am quite well aware that this example could just as easily support YOUR position, because we have in fact enacted certain restrictions that discourage smoking as a habit, and we do control its public use. I am not concerned about incidental controls and restrictions about abortion; as long as they are in keeping with the will of the public and/or our representatives in government, then I would support certain restrictions. But the overwhelming evidence is that an abortion prohibition would be no better for the fetuses, and certainly much much worse for everybody else.



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Landslide was an exaggeration. Nevertheless the most notable error by the exit polls....

Well, we were talking about the public will as reflected consistently in public opinion polls, which shows an overwhelming majority of Americans against prohibiting abortions. If you think that a few errors in some exit polls means that virtually all opinions polls showing a public preference for not outlawing abortions are inaccurate, then indeed you are an extremist who can't be reasoned with. Because even the polls and charts cited by the anti-abortion activist organizations that JoeDeutsch supplied support my contention. Even JoeDeutsch isn't denying it. But you seem to be operating from the theory that the public will is on the favor of outlawing abortions. It's difficult to debate somebody who won't even listen to the information supplied by organizations who are biased in the favor of his/her position....

Moreover, the "public will" is not registered only by direct vote. We don't have national referendums on issues such as this. So your insistence that somehow we don't know what the public will is because we haven't all voted directly on the issue is rather ridiculous, if not completely disengenuous. We make our views known in a variety of ways, including electing representatives that (hopefully) carry out our will. And hardly any politicians are calling for an abortion ban, because very few Americans want it.

FWIW, I know these people. They did our homestudy. They are thorough and they work their behinds off to make sure that children get good homes. They even make housecalls all over the Bay Area. They have both domestic and international adoption programs, they run at least one orphanage in Guatemala and a newer one in Sierra Leone.
This is my choice. I hope you'll support it....


I think I've been very clear that I do. I support the choice that if a woman becomes pregnant and doesn't want to raise the child, her ethical obligation should be to give it up for adoption. That is my opinion. Such a choice would avoid the murky issues of whether or not a fetus is fully "human," and at what stage, etc. etc. In fact, my wife and I have discussed adopting a child. That is our choice as well, or at least it could be within the next few years. I absolutely support the decisions you've made for yourself and your family.

Where you and I differ is that I don't believe that I have the right to make those decisions for other people.

Again, as a centrist I see no solid middle ground here. If you think abortion is murder, then the life of the fetus needs to be protected no matter what the situation is with the mother. If a fetus is "fully human," then killing a fetus that is the product of rape or incest is also murder, and must not be allowed. But if killing a fetus is not the same thing as murder, especially in the earliest stages, then we have no moral or ethical grounds to prohibit it. At the other pro-choice extreme, a fetus is not human until it is out of the birth canal and the umbilical cord is cut, and at that instant killing that baby would be a horrible crime of infanticide, whereas killing it the day before would be perfectly acceptable.

Being the kind of person I am, I am uncomfortable with either extreme. Either the extreme of forcing a raped woman to carry to term, or the extreme that says an 8 month old baby isn't a baby simply because it's in the womb. So that leaves me with the very shaky middle ground - that aborting a fetus in the earliest stages is not the same thing as murder, and cannot be legally protected in the same way. It's a difficult issue no matter how you slice it, and I tend towards learning lessons from history. If we agree that we want fewer abortions, we need to keep them legal so that we don't drive the problem underground and out of our help. We need to treat the problem in the same way that we have successfully reduced public smoking, not in the flawed manner in which we have failed to address the drug problem.
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Not I, the people. However, since the "Supremes" decided the issue, "the people" have not had the opportunity to be heard. Like CCSand, I abhor activist judges (9th Circuit anyone?). And while I share your dislike of government intervention, I cannot see another vehicle to stop the killing.

Again, are you waiting for a national referendum on this? Do you really expect anything other than a landslide majority against making abortions illegal? So the fact that even the public opinion polls cited in that SBA link showed an overwhelming preference against banning abortions, and the fact that there are so few politicians who are even mentioning an abortion ban, none of this is enough writing on the wall for you to realize what "we the people" want? I think it's more than a little manipulative on your part to ignore the obvious evidence of what the majority will is, and instead claim that "'the people' have not had the opportunity to be heard." Of course we've had the opportunity! We have the opportunity every 2 years! Just because we haven't had a national referendum doesn't mean that keeping abortions essentially legal isn't the obvious will of the people. What will it take for you to realize (or rather, admit to yourself) that if you want to make abortions essentially illegal, then you are positing an unpopular, and therefore undemocratic situation?

I would respect this position more if "pro-lifers" would just admit that their position is undemocratic, and just stand on principal. You don't have to be on the side of the majority in order to be right. But just don't be manipulative and pretend that the public will is something other than what it is, or claim that "we don't know" what is blatantly obvious just because we don't have a system for national referendums to make it official. Just admit that you are in the minority, and be OK with it.
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Poor choice for a target. While I believe that you are genuine in your beliefs, this is simply a case of bringing a knife to a gunfight.

Not really. It's arguing a reasonable position with somebody a little too extreme in their convictions to be completely reasoned with. And that's not always a bad quality in a human being! But it's not like bringing a knife to a gunfight, thank you. It's more like bringing peniccilin to somebody who believes in faith healing.

I would suggest that you choose a softer target.

Softer targets don't interest, challenge, or enlighten me.

Articulate, intelligent, solid and compassionate.

No doubt.

She's just been added to my Favorites list!

Mine too, as have you.
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However, since the "Supremes" decided the issue, "the people" have not had the opportunity to be heard.

No,the Supremes decided that each individual woman can be heard, and along with a doctor, make an individual decision.

The governmnet ought to stay far far far away from intruding on the private relation of a woman and her doctor.

That way you and your family can do as you see fit, and my family and I can do as we see fit.

You aren't forced by the government, and I'm not forced by the government.

- - - -

Now, if you want to worry about existing children and the Bush Administration...... I just heard a coupla minutes of talkradio, Dr. Laura to be exact (what an annoying and obnoxious woman!!) editoralizing about what she calls a horrendous assault by the Bush presidency on the American people; mandatory mental health screening for all children, pregnant women, and other "to be be determineds". The administration of psychotropic drugs which would ensue would be a nightmare, sez Dr. Laura.

Be concerned about government intrusion into peoples private medical affairs. Be very concerned.

sano


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Being the kind of person I am, I am uncomfortable with either extreme. Either the extreme of forcing a raped woman to carry to term, or the extreme that says an 8 month old baby isn't a baby simply because it's in the womb. So that leaves me with the very shaky middle ground - that aborting a fetus in the earliest stages is not the same thing as murder, and cannot be legally protected in the same way. It's a difficult issue no matter how you slice it...

I think we're making progress here. As I have said earlier, I too am not at the extreme edge of the issue.

The position that you have been articulating is that abortion should always black or white. I personally recognize that, to my flawed mind, it's probably more gray. As I earlier contended, I'm pro choice. No consent to the sex act, no embryonic (or for that matter, fetal) rights. I'm aware that this position seemingly imputes inferior rights to the baby. In real life, we all must make relative judgments; I've made mine.

However that being said, we are talking about the smallest absolute number of abortions currently being performed. Virtually a "rounding error" to the current death toll.

If we agree that we want fewer abortions, we need to keep them legal so that we don't drive the problem underground and out of our help. We need to treat the problem in the same way that we have successfully reduced public smoking, not in the flawed manner in which we have failed to address the drug problem.

Good point, and yes your are supporting my position. I have not called for a prohibition on abortion. I have called for strict guidelines (obviously this is the analogy to smoking). However, smokers are still allowed to kill themselves, and I support their right to slowly kill themselves as did my father. However, that is a far different matter than allowing some self-absorbed woman to kill her baby due to factors that are not extremely dire.

Abortion as a last resort to save the mother? Absolutely.

Abortion to level the "playing field" for a violated woman? Yes!

Abortion as a method of birth control? Absolutely not!

JD
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Do you really expect anything other than a landslide majority against making abortions illegal? So the fact that even the public opinion polls cited in that SBA link showed an overwhelming preference against banning abortions,...

I feel like Ronald Reagan..."There you go again...". I have been VERY CLEAR on my position. It is inconsistent with a ban. The very polls you site show an "OVERWHELMING PREFERENCE" a combination of a ban and/or some limits on abortion. That is the correct way to read this. You could even argue that the combination of "No Change" and "some limits" shows a clear preference for no ban; I think we'd agree. However, nobody is talking about a ban, just limits.

This is the Clear preference in the American populace. This experiment will continue.

I think it's more than a little manipulative on your part to ignore the obvious evidence of what the majority will is, and instead claim that "'the people' have not had the opportunity to be heard...

At the risk of starting a new debate, the latest election did not center on the abortion issue for the majority of people even though the majority clearly does prefer some changes. The central issue of security for the "out-of-womb" populace trumped the abortion issue.

Rest assured that the debate will continue. The issue is not decided despite the Roe decision by an activist Supreme Court.

JD
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But it's not like bringing a knife to a gunfight, thank you. It's more like bringing peniccilin to somebody who believes in faith healing.


;o)

This one was just a little more fun. No sleight intended.

Softer targets don't interest, challenge, or enlighten me.

I applaud that sentiment, and I concur.

Mine too, as have you.

Ditto!

JD
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Abortion to level the "playing field" for a violated woman? Yes!

I like the last post.... a recognition that absolute rules aren't appropriate. exceptions must be made.

So, what exactly will be the definition of a "violated woman"?

Who will decide and in what timeframe?

Will the woman be forced to face the accused?

What if the accused is a relative?

What if the accuser and acussee are both monors?

Will the category "violated woman" require a conviction? What if it turns out it may have been consensual?

How long will the woman be at the mercy of those standing in judgement?

Will there be a tribunal or a jury or perhaps a face-offf in the judges office as they do in Mexico?

What if the judge/jury/tribunal decides - "no violation?" what then? Hog tie the woman, imprison her and force her to go the distance?

Who will wear the purple robes and pointy hats when it's your kid in pillory?
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5000fingers wrote:

Well, we were talking about the public will as reflected consistently in public opinion polls, which shows an overwhelming majority of Americans against prohibiting abortions.

The point I was making was that polls can be biased and inaccurate and are very often wrong. As I very amply demonstrated. Frankly, the only poll that counts is the ballot box.

Because even the polls and charts cited by the anti-abortion activist organizations that JoeDeutsch supplied support my contention.

No. They don't.

If you put together those that are in favor of prohibitting abortions and those that are in favor of some serious restrictions, you wind up with a majority that are against abortion on demand.

It's difficult to debate somebody who won't even listen to the information supplied by organizations who are biased in the favor of his/her position....

You have no idea what I do/do not listen to.

Moreover, the "public will" is not registered only by direct vote.

Yes, it is. The "public will" is certainly not registered by seven judges.

We don't have national referendums on issues such as this.

Why not? We should.

We make our views known in a variety of ways, including electing representatives that (hopefully) carry out our will.

Really? Is that why 41 votes now beats 59 in the Senate?

Where you and I differ is that I don't believe that I have the right to make those decisions for other people.

Where we differ is that you believe that the law can make people's minds up for them, while I think the law is an expression of the type of conduct the people, through the state, wishes to sanction. People can, and do, disobey the law everyday. This doesn't mean that we are going to legalize theft or murder or fraud.

Again, as a centrist I see no solid middle ground here.

Is it always important to occupy the middle ground? Or is there a principal that your willing to adhere to?

If you think abortion is murder, then the life of the fetus needs to be protected no matter what the situation is with the mother. If a fetus is "fully human," then killing a fetus that is the product of rape or incest is also murder, and must not be allowed.

I agree. Having said that, if I thought that a deal could be cut where victims of rape and incest could get abortions, along with abortions in situations where the mother's life is truly in danger, then I would accept that as a political compromise IF the other 90% of abortions for the sake of mere convenience were outlawed.

I seriously doubt that is a compromise that the pro-death lobby would accept.

It's a difficult issue no matter how you slice it, and I tend towards learning lessons from history. If we agree that we want fewer abortions, we need to keep them legal so that we don't drive the problem underground and out of our help.

Then you might want to take a look at Poland's experience.

CCSand
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5000fingers wrote:

Not really. It's arguing a reasonable position with somebody a little too extreme in their convictions to be completely reasoned with. And that's not always a bad quality in a human being! But it's not like bringing a knife to a gunfight, thank you. It's more like bringing peniccilin to somebody who believes in faith healing.

I find your attitude towards me condescending in the extreme. I not only can be reasoned with, I hold the convictions that I do because of both reason and experience.

I don't need or want your penicillin. I'm not sick and I don't believe in "faith healing".

Were you to examine your own positions, you would eventually find the assumptions that your own arguments are built on. Arguments such as this are never about reason. They are about the assumptions. To say that secularism doesn't have its own set of assumptions, as you appear to be implying, is not only wrong, it's disingenuous.

CCSand
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Who will wear the purple robes and pointy hats when it's your kid in pillory?

I think that most people who believe that women exist only to bear children don't really see their own daughters any differently.

6
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Where we differ is that you believe that the law can make people's minds up for them

No... the difference is that pro-choice folk believe in letting people make up their minds for themselves....

Big difference.

Amazing how you keep twisting it around 180 backwards; saying choice is forceing people to do something.

Nobody is forcing you to do anything . You have a choice!


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Frankly, the only poll that counts is the ballot box.

Luckily our nation isn't, and has never been, a direct democracy. It is a constitutional republic with a system of checks and balances. Whether you like it or not, that's the way it works.

If you put together those that are in favor of prohibitting abortions and those that are in favor of some serious restrictions, you wind up with a majority that are against abortion on demand.

Your clever semantical games do not hide the fact (and the original context) of my contention that the vast majority of Americans are against a prohibition on abortion.

The "public will" is certainly not registered by seven judges.

Registered, no. Your are correct there, it is not. But in the case of protecting America from the abortion prohibition that is sought by the religious right, the public will is certainly reflected by those "seven judges."

I seriously doubt that is a compromise that the pro-death lobby would accept.

I also doubt that the anti-choice lobby would be satisfied with such a compromise.
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sofaking6 wrote:

I think that most people who believe that women exist only to bear children don't really see their own daughters any differently.

I don't know anyone who believes that.

CCSand
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sano wrote:

Nobody is forcing you to do anything . You have a choice!

Nobody forces you to murder or steal either, and yet those are both illegal. You have a choice.

The real issue is what kind of conduct society is going to sanction and encourage.

CCSand
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I find your attitude towards me condescending in the extreme.

I apologize; that isn't my intention. But I don't think it's condescending to point out the extremism of your views, which apparently haven't changed much in your life, given your own admission. You may be on the other side of the issue from when you were protesting in support of abortion clinics, but fundamentally, it seems, you're still extreme. And again I will repeat that I don't think that's a bad thing. It's just frustrating for me personally sometimes to debate somebody with highly polarized views. I see a lot of gray, and you see black and white. We speak different languages.

I not only can be reasoned with, I hold the convictions that I do because of both reason and experience.

How is the belief that abortion is murder from conception anything to do with reason or experience? That is simply a matter of opinion or faith. You have no scientific basis for that belief, and not even a scriptural one from the standpoint of any of the world's religions (and this despite the fact that herbal poisons were commonly used in Biblical times to abort pregnancies, and yet not prohibited or even mentioned scripturally). I don't doubt your convinctions, and I don't even disrespect them. But reason and experience? How is the reason and experience of any mortal able to quantify the value of a human embryo?

Were you to examine your own positions, you would eventually find the assumptions that your own arguments are built on.

And I would probably be comfortable with those assumptions, provided they weren't misrepresented by people such as share your bias.

To say that secularism doesn't have its own set of assumptions, as you appear to be implying, is not only wrong, it's disingenuous.

You see, this is a perfect example of why I say people like you can't be reasoned with. You have no basis for intimating anything at all about my beliefs vis-a-vis "secularism," and I implied nothing regarding that very tangential subject. This sentence is a bit of a non sequitur, really.

I don't need or want your penicillin. I'm not sick and I don't believe in "faith healing".

I'll borrow a phrase from Zell Miller: "That was a metaphor, wasn't it? Do you know what a metaphor is?"

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2004/9/2/90023.shtml
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5000fingers wrote:

Luckily our nation isn't, and has never been, a direct democracy. It is a constitutional republic with a system of checks and balances. Whether you like it or not, that's the way it works.

I like it that way. I wish that we would follow the law more often.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.articlev.html

Article V specifies the proper way to amend the Constitution. Nowhere in the constitution does it specify that judges have a role in doing that.

Your clever semantical games ...

Clever semantical games? The majority of people in this country do not favor abortion on demand. How much more clear can it get?

But in the case of protecting America from the abortion prohibition that is sought by the religious right, the public will is certainly reflected by those "seven judges."

No, it isn't. If it was, there would be no controversy surrounding this issue. There is still quite a lot of controversy surrounding this issue. After 30+ years, that ought to tell you that a large portion of the public still doesn't accept that ruling.

I also doubt that the anti-choice lobby would be satisfied with such a compromise.

I just told you that I would accept it as a political compromise, although I still believe such an action is morally murder. I'll bet a lot of people who are pro-life feel that way too. At the very least, with such legislation, the consequences of one's own actions are borne by the person who chose did the action. Not someone else.

CCSand
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5000fingers wrote:

I apologize; that isn't my intention. But I don't think it's condescending to ...

An apology followed by a justification? Why bother apologizing then?

Telling someone that they need "penicillin", believe in "faith healing", and are an "extremist" isn't condescending? We obviously have a different definition of condescending.

Extremist? Despite the fact that I have already said, not once but twice, that I would accept a political compromise that allows for abortion in the event of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother? Seems to me the extreme position would be to prohibit it completely, no matter what. And there is a good chunk of the American public that is still in favor of that.

It's just frustrating for me personally sometimes to debate somebody with highly polarized views. I see a lot of gray, and you see black and white. We speak different languages.

Are you unused to debating someone with principles that they are willing to stand up for? You very likely are, through no fault of your own.

How is the belief that abortion is murder from conception anything to do with reason or experience?

Who said anything about conception? Nearly all abortions take place in the second and third month - well after implantation. We don't even have to go there. Yet.

You have no scientific basis for that belief,...

Human DNA defines the quality - that which makes humans distinct from hippos or rhinos or elephants. The viability or development of a fetus is only a measure of quantity - not of quality.

...and not even a scriptural one from the standpoint of any of the world's religions

You might want to try reading the book before claiming that there is no scriptural basis.

Thou Shalt Not Murder.

Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17

Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." "Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'"

Matthew 19:16-19

From a scriptural standpoint (which I acknowledge cannot be civil law), if it's a human being, then abortion is murder.

The Catholic Church has taught this since the first century, most notably in the Didache, which were the teachings of the twelve apostles. The theologians of the early Christian church varied slightly on this subject but only because they did not understand the science of reproduction.

Of course, if you want to stick with scripture, there is also the following:

"Be merciful as your heavenly Father is merciful" (Luke 6:36).

"Do unto others as you would have them do to you" (Matthew 7:12).

"Love one another" (John 15:17).

I don't doubt your convinctions, and I don't even disrespect them.

Actually, I think you do doubt my convictions, but that's besides the point. I also think you do disrespect my convictions, since you've shown so little respect for me. But that's also besides the point.

How is the reason and experience of any mortal able to quantify the value of a human embryo?

EXACTLY! Maybe we shouldn't try to quantify it at all. And certainly quantity bears little relationship to quality. Sanctioning abortion is a the state's value judgment that unborn babies have no value at all and can be thrown away like so much trash.

You see, this is a perfect example of why I say people like you can't be reasoned with. You have no basis for intimating anything at all about my beliefs vis-a-vis "secularism," and I implied nothing regarding that very tangential subject. This sentence is a bit of a non sequitur, really.

I said absolutely nothing about your beliefs and I have no idea what they are. You are arguing for a position which is strictly secular, and such a position has its own set of assumptions as a starting place - whether you believe in those assumptions or not. Yes, it was a bit of a leap, but not a very big one when you actually think such things through.

I'll borrow a phrase from Zell Miller...

I'll borrow one from G. K. Chesterton:

Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions.

CCSand
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If you put together those that are in favor of prohibitting abortions and those that are in favor of some serious restrictions, you wind up with a majority that are against abortion on demand.

Your clever semantical games do not hide the fact (and the original context) of my contention that the vast majority of Americans are against a prohibition on abortion.


Am I the only one who recognizes that the data being quoted has the ability to support either of those contentions? A majority is against the current situation of abortion on demand. Another majority, different but sharing a large portion of people with the other majority, is against outright prohibition.
<Homer Simpson>
You're both right.
</Homer>

JT
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Am I the only one who recognizes that the data being quoted has the ability to support either of those contentions? A majority is against the current situation of abortion on demand. Another majority, different but sharing a large portion of people with the other majority, is against outright prohibition.

I believe that I made that observation earlier. However, it's not quite true. There are actually 3 distinct positions.

1. Permitted on demand. (the current status)
2. Permitted with restrictions on availability.
3. Not permitted ever.

Oddly, positions 1 and 3 are about equally divided. However, position 2 implys that position 1 (the current status) is not acceptable. It also implys that position 3 is not acceptable. Pick your side if you must, or become a rational person and reconsider a less extreme position (number 2).

The clear majority believes that the procedure should be available and restricted. A simple coalition of the positions would result in number 2. This is the rational position from all practical standpoints. As CCSand implied, most "Right to Life" people should be practical enough to accept limited abortion rights to save 90+% of the babies. I can't see the "Right to Choice" people agreeing to restrictions unfortunately, but I could be wrong.

If rational dialogue continues to gain traction in this country, it appears to me that position number 2 will ultimately win the debate. For some it will be a defeat on both sides, and for the rest of us it will be a victory for millions of kids in the future.

JD
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I don't know anyone who believes that.

You don't want to admit that anyone who claims to be "pro-life" but supports the death penatly is really just covering up that exact attitude towards women. That's the real root of it, and why these people do such a bad job justifying their position. They're hypocrites about their hypocrisy. Anyone who writes or utters a sentence like, "abortions are okay unless they're being used as a form of birth control" really can't stand the idea of women choosing how to use their own bodies. These are definitely the people who would have no problem with abortion if men carried the babies. They just don't like the sluts getting away with it.

6
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Despite the fact that I have already said, not once but twice, that I would accept a political compromise that allows for abortion in the event of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother?

In other words, only good girls can have abortions.

6
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Anyone who writes or utters a sentence like, "abortions are okay unless they're being used as a form of birth control" really can't stand the idea of women choosing how to use their own bodies. These are definitely the people who would have no problem with abortion if men carried the babies. They just don't like the sluts getting away with it.

Are you serious?

Isn't it just possible that someone (me) who writes: "abortions are okay unless they're being used as a form of birth control" is just against the needless killing of innocent children?

For the umteenth time I'll say that it's a valid procedure where a: the woman had no choice in the matter, or b: the womans health is in genuine danger. However, to take an innocent life (or millions of innocent lives) because it is somehow embarrassing or inconvenient to the mother is just wrong! And the majority of the US population agrees with my last statement.

But to leap to the idea that "anyone who claims to be "pro-life" but supports the death penatly is really just covering up that exact attitude towards women..." is just "out there"!

Whatever...

JD
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In other words, only good girls can have abortions.

OK, now I get it. You're obviously dealing with some personal issues.

Nobody has discussed, alluded to or implied a judgement value to the person having the baby aborted. I personally feel that a large bit of "self-induldgement" is usually involved, but that does not make one a "good girl" or "bad girl". It merely demonstrates that the person is human.

This issue is life or death, not anything else!

JD
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Isn't it just possible that someone (me) who writes: "abortions are okay unless they're being used as a form of birth control" is just against the needless killing of innocent children?

Well of course that's what they're against. It's just that they define "needless" as "the result of sluttiness" not as "not medically necessary".

I know you don't want to think that way about yourself, but do a little serious introspection sometime about where your totally inconsistent attitude towards abortion (i.e. it's murder sometimes but not sometimes) really comes from. The only logical exception is that if the mother's life is in imminent danger then abortion is self-defense. Otherwise you're only using a lot of semantic dancing to say that you don't really think of it as murder, you just want irresponsible girls punished.

6, not out there
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This issue is life or death, not anything else!

You need us all to believe this. But it's about babies who live inside of women who are either pregnant by choice, ignorance or force, right? And if your position is that it's murder only if the woman is pregnant by choice or ignorance, then it's not about life or death, it's about control.

6
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As CCSand implied, most "Right to Life" people should be practical enough to accept limited abortion rights to save 90+% of the babies. I can't see the "Right to Choice" people agreeing to restrictions unfortunately, but I could be wrong.

Knowing that the driving force behind efforts to overturn Roe v Wade is primarily religion based, and knowing that their tireless strategy includes the "take a half a loaf now, go for the other half later" it would be foolish for the pro-choice majority to give ground.

To wit: if pro-choice softens to allow more restrictions, then more and more restrictions will be clamored for with the very reasonable argument that if it was good to approve more restricitons, then even more is certainly better.


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I'll say that it's a valid procedure where a: the woman had no choice in the matter

And exactly who will be the arbiter of the status of the sex act?

What hoops would you have the woman jump through?

What about the male in the equation? Does he have to testify to the fact that the woman was an unknowing or unwilling participant in the sex act?

What if he can't be located?

What if he lied to the woman or, plied her with alcohol?

Seems to me the anti-choicers aren't satisfied being able to choose for themselves, but insist on making the choice for everybody else, too.





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What hoops would you have the woman jump through?

If she was wearing a short skirt and asking for it, was it still rape-y enough to qualify for an abortion? What if she got drunk and was date raped? $5 says our resident "pro-lifers" think that if a girl gets drunk and her date screws her after she's passed out, she shouldn't be allowed to get an abortion.

Or what if she says, "no" but *then* passes out? What if she's a slut in general who was raped? Would we require an embryonic DNA test to determine that the father wasn't anyone she had sex with willingly before allowing her to abort?

6
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I personally feel that a large bit of "self-induldgement" is usually involved, but that does not make one a "good girl" or "bad girl".

Really?

You think that a woman faced with the terrible choice of either giving up a huge part of the rest of her life because she made a mistake or killing a baby is self indulgent?

That doesn't seem like a bit of a stretch to you?

The fact is that accidents happen. Women get accidentally pregnant, even when actively trying not to (e.g using birth control). It is a consequence of being a woman.

Consider this for a moment - the man and the woman both consented to sex. The woman accidentally gets pregnant. Who suffers the lions share of the consequences of this outcome? I think it's pretty clear it is the woman. She has to endure physical changes. She has to endure morning sickness, weight gain, and all the other things that come from pregnancy. She has to take time off of work to give birth. She has to deal with raising the child or making the painful decision to give it away.

The man has no such consequences.

Is it right that for the same act, the consequences for a woman in the absence of abortion are much higher than they are for a man? They both had unsafe sex. He had a good night. She got a lifetime of obligation. How is that reasonable?

Self indulgent? I think not.

A woman considering an abortion has a huge decision to make - give up years of her life and hundreds of thousands of dollars in future earnings because of a mistake, or kill a baby.

I doubt even the most callous among women consider abortion to be an indulgence.

What it is is a last resort that offers a few benefits:

1) It prevents the woman from having a single mistake forever alter the course of her life against her will.

2) It prevents a baby being brought into this world to a parent who didn't want them and may not be able to provide for them properly.

This issue is life or death, not anything else!

Then let me hear your plan for supporting the unwanted babies as they go through their lives. Requiring babies to be born, and then declaring victory, without giving any thought to what we need to do to help when the parents didn't want them in the first place is as cruel as it is short sighted.

Steve
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