The North Dakota House of Representatives has passed the first personhood amendment in the United States, 57-35. Read more
As pro-lifers, we’re quite accustomed to hearing abortion advocates say stupid things. Joseph E. Narigon of Indianola writes a letter to the Des Moines Register displaying some of that typical mindlessness regarding the recognition of unborn babies as persons:
- Can the mother claim the fetus as a dependent on her income tax form?
- Will the fetus need a Social Security number the first day?
- Will a birthday or a conception day be celebrated every year of life?
- Will a name have to be registered and a certificate issued (like a birth certificate) at the time of the conception?
Let me add:
- Will pregnant women be allowed to use high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes?
- Will the fetus be allowed to carry a gun?
- Will a pregnant woman be allowed to vote twice?
I’d like to expand the list of inanities, so please let me know if you’ve heard any others on this topic.
- If we’re not going to let pregnant mothers claim unborn babies as dependents on their taxes then it’s ok to kill those unborn babies.
- If we’re not going to issue SSNs to unborn babies, it must be ok to kill them.
- If we don’t celebrate conception day, it must be ok to kill unborn babies.
I could continue, but I hope even pro-aborts might see the obvious stupidity (non-sequiturs) in these types of objections.
If it took issuing SSNs, conception certificates and guns to unborn babies, allowing pregnant women to drive in HOV lanes and to vote twice and changing the tax code, that’s a price worth paying to protect the lives of the innocent. So even if such consequences were required, it’s a big “so what?” Oh the horror, pregnant mothers in the HOV lane!
But of course, recognizing unborn babies are persons requires no such price. I didn’t get my SSN until I was 16 yet I was still a person before then. Jehovah Witnesses don’t celebrate birthdays, yet they’re still persons. Newborns can’t carry guns or vote, yet they’re still persons. Birth certificates weren’t issued by governments until the 1900s, yet 19th century people were still persons.
Registration with a government doesn’t make one a person. How others feel about you doesn’t make you a person. Your mere existence as a human being means you’re a person with a right to life.
On a final note, Mr. Narigon’s offers his nonsense in response to an Iowa personhood proposal that reads:
The inalienable right to life of every person at any stage of development shall be recognized and protected.
How does protecting the right to life of persons say anything about taxes, SSNs or birth certificates? It’s almost as if Mr. Narigon didn’t even bother to read the proposal he’s criticizing.
Douglas Dalby reports, at the New York Times, that the “Irish Catholic Church Condemns Abortion Legislation”. Good, because the proposed Irish legislation – which makes the threat of maternal suicide a justification for killing the baby – deserves condemnation.
The bishops stated:
It is a tragic moment for Irish society when we regard the deliberate destruction of a completely innocent person as an acceptable response to the threat of the preventable death of another person.
Alexandra Gutierrez, of Alaska Public Radio, reports that the "Alaska Supreme Court rejects fetal personhood initiative". The proposed initiative reads:
Natural Right to Life.
The State of Alaska shall protect the natural right to life and body of all mankind from the beginning of biological development. We the People affirm that the natural right to life and body of the unborn child supersedes the statutory right of the mother to consent to the injury or death of her unborn child. In life threatening situations the law of necessity shall dictate between the life of the mother and her child.
The Alaska Supreme Court decided that the initiative sponsor, Clinton Desjarlais, could not even get signatures on the initiative because it conflicts with Roe v. Wade. The Oklahoma Supreme ruled similarly last year. As a matter of law, this is a facial rejection, meaning that there are no circumstances in which the proposed law could be interpreted in compliance with the “Constitution”, which in pro-abortion speak means Roe.
But this is clearly not the case. For example, the law could apply outside of the abortion context when a drunk driver hits a pregnant woman and kills her unborn child. It could also apply to research that kills a nascent human being outside the womb.
In addition, the Alaska law that defines the scope of proposed initiatives does not limit initiatives by their adherence to Supreme Court rulings or even real constitutionality (the two being quite distinct as in Roe). Here’s the law:
The initiative shall not be used to dedicate revenues, make or repeal appropriations, create courts, define the jurisdiction of courts or prescribe their rules, or enact local or special legislation.
Where in the law does it say that initiatives must conform to unconstitutional Supreme Court rulings? It’s gotta be in there somewhere. Let me take another look.
But when a court wants to trash the rule of law, it can always look to its own precedents, meaning the previous time it trashed the rule of law. And that’s exactly what the Alaska court did.
To summarize, in lieu of ignoring Roe which it should have done, the Alaska Supreme Court was wrong to reject the initiative for at least two reasons:
- The proposed initiative has valid application outside the abortion context.
- Alaska law does not exclude initiatives because they contradict Supreme Court rulings.
Unlike the many aborted babies in Alaska, judicial activism is alive and kicking.
You gotta hand it to Lila Rose. Her undercover videos expose the horrors of abortion. When pro-aborts, such as Tamara Holder, attempt to defend such horrors, they look like the heartless baby-killers that they are.
To see the pro-abort fail to defend abortion in any rational way, skip ahead to 4 minute, 17 seconds. Ms. Holder continually refuses to say when an unborn baby actually is a baby.
Hat tip to Guy Benson at www.Townhall.com
William Reville writes in the Science section of the Irish Times the following:
Science does not deal in values and cannot adjudicate on the ethics of abortion. However, abortion is an intervention to halt a biological process; science can describe this process and such understanding is an essential aid to ethical decision-making. I will outline the biological process and also a coherent philosophical position, in my opinion, on abortion. My argument is based on biology and rational analysis. It is motivated by concern for human rights and is not informed by religion.
An individual human life begins at conception when a sperm cell from the father fuses with an egg cell from the mother to form a zygote. This divides into two daughter cells, each daughter divides into two and so the process goes, on and on. After about seven days the developing life implants in the womb where it grows and develops before emerging as a newborn baby. The first three months in the womb is the embryonic stage; after which the developing embryo is a foetus.
Conception is the start of a continuum of an individual human life that ends in death. Under normal circumstances the unfolding along the biological continuum is automatic and self-regulating. Some of the successive stages are zygote, embryo, foetus, baby, child, adult, elderly person. Transitions between these stages are gradual and smooth. This human continuum is fundamentally different from both the preceding sperm and egg cells and the corpse that succeeds it.
The developing entity is unambiguously alive and genetically Homo sapiens from conception and, at every point along the continuum, it has the human properties appropriate to that stage. The full human essence is present everywhere along the continuum. The complete genetic instructions are present in the zygote and guide development along the continuum. I am convinced human life, even at its earliest stages, merits sufficient respect that it not be deliberately killed.
There is (almost) universal agreement that it is morally wrong to deliberately kill a human after birth because you are now dealing with a person. However, many people believe personhood does not exist before a significant stage of foetal development, and consequently hold that killing an embryo or early stage foetus, under circumstances where continuing the pregnancy would cause psychological distress to the mother, is permissible. I believe this argument/position fails under philosophical analysis.
Personhood is typically defined, based on philosophical functionalism, as the capacity to do human things – think, feel, remember, anticipate. The zygote and the early embryo are incapable of these behaviours. Functionalism defines personhood as the ability to do certain things, and the embryo/early foetus is seen as not yet a person. This is often the pro-choice position in the abortion debate. But if the foetus is only a potential person, what is it actually?
Essentialism is an alternative philosophical position that defines a thing according to its essence, not according to its behaviour. In this philosophy, being is actual, functioning is potential. Potential refers to behaviour, not to essence. Thus, personhood, as defined by essentialism, is present all along the human continuum and a zygote or a foetus is a person who is a potential musician, swimmer or singer.
Essentialism harmonises with the smooth biological continuum and with the universal presence of the human essence along the continuum. In my opinion, functionalism confuses being with doing and would, by definition, deny personhood status to a comatose patient, or to a severely intellectually disabled person.
Taking both biology and philosophy into account, I believe the early embryo is a person with potential, not a potential person.
What’s the best way to protest against pro-lifers? Exhibitionism. Yep, go topless. Joe Luppino-Esposito posts at the Weekly Standard blog that that’s exactly what two pro-aborts did at John Hopkins University. The message “my body, my foolishness” still rings loud and clear.
What struck me was the pro-aborts’ belittling view of women. Mr. Luppino-Esposito reports that:
Pro-abortion students insist that pro-life sidewalk counseling off-campus “has the potential to become emotionally damaging harassment,” and that displaying fetal models on campus is “rather obviously an attempt to publicly shame those that may hold pro-choice beliefs, or who have considered or have had an abortion.”
Further, the website says that the “actions and intended actions” of Voices for Life are discriminatory against women and are “meant to shame, shock, and create social hostility …” and that it constitutes “emotional bullying” against women.
Alumna Amy Peyrot believes that the “cemetery of the innocents”... which features American flags commemorating lives lost due to abortion, was “meant solely to harass people who may consider abortion” and that “[i]t was deeply disturbing to see this display on my campus, a place where I should feel safe.”
Peaceful pro-life sidewalk counseling to dissuade from abortion is “meant to shock and shame” and constitutes “emotionally damaging harassment”, and “emotional bullying” against women.
Even the existence of a silent pro-life “cemetery” protest is “disturbing” harassment and takes away one pro-abortion woman’s feeling of safety.
Who would think women and pro-aborts are so emotionally and intellectually weak? Just pro-aborts.
For more misogyny, see Stand on the carcasses of dead babies and stretch for first-class citizenship
At Politico, Rich Lowry offers a great critique on pro-aborts and their studied avoidance of the word “abortion”. He writes:
The right to abortion is the sneakiest, most shame-faced of all American rights. Its most devoted supporters don’t dare speak its name. They hide behind evasion and euphemism and cant.
Whenever possible pro-abortion “leaders” will talk about “reproductive choice/health/rights”, but rarely talk about abortion and never talk about baby-killing. The further away from the truth they stand, the better they like it.
If abortion is so great, why is Obama ashamed of it? As Mr. Lowry explains:
The National Rifle Association doesn’t get defensive when it is pointed out that it protects the right to bear arms which allows people to buy guns. Charlton Heston, in the famous photo-op, didn’t hesitate to lift a musket over his head.
See also Nobody is pro-abortion.
The Editorial Board of the The Daily Iowan has weighed in with a pro-abortion propaganda piece entitled Personhood amendment unnecessarily dangerous. It quotes Jill June, the President of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, “This amendment would ban all safe abortion”. Of course, there is no such thing as a “safe abortion”. All abortions kill an innocent human being. Killing is never safe for the victim. But that‘s the key for pro-aborts: ignore the victim.
As you can surmise from the PP quote, the piece focuses on back alley abortions, while (of course) ignoring the unborn victim. The Board continues:
The basic line of reasoning against restricting abortion is essentially the typical conservative argument against gun control, repurposed. If you outlaw abortion, only outlaws will perform abortions.
If you outlaw child molestation, only outlaws will molest children. If you outlaw spousal abuse, only outlaws will abuse their spouses. If you outlaw senicide, only outlaws will kill old men.
The Editorial Board, like most pro-aborts, obviously hasn’t thought through its position very well. Either that or it has a low opinion of its readers. Why make a good argument when cheap propaganda will suffice?
The Board quotes approvingly Susan A. Cohen of the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute who, with obvious misogyny, states:
Restrictive laws have much less impact on stopping women from ending an unwanted pregnancy than on forcing those who are determined to do so to seek out clandestine means.
If you don’t want to be pregnant and killing your baby is illegal, you’re “forced” to do it secretly. Women don’t consciously make decisions to endanger their own lives to kill their babies. They’re victims of circumstances beyond their control. Women are nothing more than mindless automatons, “forced” to kill their babies.
From misogyny, the Board turns to using statistics in a deceptive way:
An August 2012 study from the National Bureau of Economic Research projected that if Roe v. Wade were overturned and the 31 most conservative states adopted full abortion bans, the national abortion rate would fall by about 15 percent.
Even if this statistic is true (which I doubt), it provides good reason to outlaw abortion. We would save 180,000 (15% of 1.2 million currently murdered) babies a year.
But notice the cheat. When conservative states outlaw abortion, you need to look at the abortion rates only in those states. Duh. Why mix New York’s all-you-can-eat baby-killing statistics with Oklahoma’s? The Board has an agenda, so it twists the statistics to fit its agenda.
Bernard Nathanson, a New York abortionist and co-founder of NARAL, said the number of pre-Roe prenatal baby-killings was 100,000 nationwide. As you would expect, once legalized, the number of such killings quickly increased to over a million per year, peaking at 1.6 million. The fact is if we outlaw abortion, far fewer people will kill their babies.
The last line of the opinion piece “Go back to the drawing board” only applies to itself. I can see why no member of the Editorial Board would put his name on the piece. The Daily Iowan needs to hire someone who can actually think beyond shallow pro-abortion talking points.
Mary Sells reports in the TimesDaily that the Alabama Senate has passed Senator Dick Brewbaker’s proposed resolution SJR 67. The resolution simply declares that the Alabama Supreme Court got it right when it recognized that “child” in the chemical endangerment statute includes unborn children.
Because the resolution has no force of law:
Democrats at the public hearing Tuesday questioned the purpose of it.
“If the court said it was so, what do we need to do, say, ‘Amen?’ ” Rep. James Buskey, D-Mobile, said.
The pro-aborts are correct that the resolution is legally superfluous. But it’s not morally superfluous. We kill thousands of defenseless human beings everyday in America. Every clear thinking individual and legislator should take every opportunity to publicly recognize the humanity of the victims.
Thank you, Senator Brewbaker. The Alabama House is now considering the resolution.
Timothy P. Carney, at the Washington Examiner, summarizes Gosnell's defense: This is just abortion. Gosnell's lawyer said "The purpose of the shot is to kill the baby so that it will not be a live birth." At least the defense admits those were babies getting killed in utero.
If the babies were murdered before birth and therefore were not alive after birth, why did Gosnell "snip" their necks?
Once the jury announces its verdict, the world can put this episode away and continue pretending that abortion is a "medical procedure".