Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Required Ultrasounds . . . no, that's not statist at all!

Honestly, it doesn't really matter whether or not you think abortion is moral or whatever.  The fact of the matter is that abortion is legal, and since it is legal all moral implications and culpability belong to the woman and no one else.  After all, that's what it means to live in a society where we advocate people following their conscience, right?  Just as well, people are free to violate their conscience provided they're not breaking the law.

So why are some lawmakers trying to influence people's decisions?  The better question is, why are Republican law makers trying to influence how people live their lives?  I thought being a conservative meant that you basically leave people alone to live their lives however they see fit, so long as living their life is within the bounds of the law.  Apparently I was wrong.

How is it even close to being within the purview of the government to force a woman to have a particular procedure performed?  Yes, I know that ultrasounds are super easy to do.  It's not like they're forcing women to get the vaginal sonograms (woops, they tried to do that, too . . .), but seriously, what the heck?

I get why it's being done.  Lawmakers who call themselves pro-life think that by making a mother listen to the heart beat she will be less likely to get the abortion.  All this does is further the perception that many Republicans today are completely out of touch with reality.  Let's just consider a couple of scenarios here.

Scenario 1 is the promiscuous mother who was too irresponsible to use birth control, and got knocked up by some random dude.  She's already made the decision to abort the baby, because lets face it, she feels like she could not care for the child, she definitely doesn't want to have a 1 night stand be her baby daddy.  The idea of abortion means nothing to her.

Scenario 2 is the woman who, for whatever reason, feels she has no other choice but to get an abortion, and it actually tears her up inside.  Is it right to make her feel even more pain and agony just because you think that it's somehow your right to choose for her?

And for people who say "there's always an alternative," I'm sorry, but that's a really stupid thing to say.  First of all, you're not the person, so you really don't know that person's circumstances--financial, emotional, logistical or whatever.  And to think that life hands us situations where there's always a good option is pretty dumb.

If you are about freedom of choice, why would you advocate taking a choice away from a woman?  If she doesn't want an ultrasound, then she shouldn't have to get an ultrasound.  Period.


Silverfiddle said...

thought being a conservative meant that you basically leave people alone to live their lives however they see fit, so long as living their life is within the bounds of the law. Apparently I was wrong.

You are wrong. You just described libertarianism.

Ain't it funny how liberals (not you, Jack) love it when their big government tells those damned conservatives and liberals what to do with their lives, but then scream bloody murder when the dreaded old white rightwing Christians grab the levers of power and do the same damned thing, just in the other direction?

All of this argues for a return to the constitutional libertarianism of our founders. Liberals are only against state intervention into our private lives when it violates one of their sensibilities. Very unprincipled.

Jack Camwell said...

I thought conservatives were all about small, unintrusive government.

But yeah, I agree. You might remember that I railed against the Democrats that wanted to limit sodium content in food production. Control and government intervention is only okay to them when they agree with it.

Jersey McJones said...

"Liberals are only against state intervention into our private lives when it violates one of their sensibilities."

Silver, isn't that the whole point of the right to privacy??? How can you have liberty without privacy???


Silverfiddle said...

You're close, Jersey.

How can you have privacy when government is dictating your private life to you?

manapp99 said...

The reason abortion issues are different than privacy issues or women's rights issues is that a separate life is involved. If a women wants to remove a tumor from her body no one has a right to tell her what to do. If she wants to remove another life from her body then that other life should have some say in the matter. Since the unborn child cannot speak for itself, advocates in the form of conservatives have taken that role. This is the position of those against abortion on demand. Those in favor say the unborn child is not a person at all and therefore should be treated the same way as the tumor. I have long held the belief that IF a woman has the right to end the life of the unborn child then she should also have the right to end the life of the new born. However, I also believe that the ending of another beings existence is a serious decision and inconvenience falls short of being a justifiable reason. Just today there is an article that leads with this:

"Killing babies no different from abortion, experts say
Parents should be allowed to have their newborn babies killed because they are “morally irrelevant” and ending their lives is no different to abortion, a group of medical ethicists linked to Oxford University has argued."

The real argument is what a person considers to be a "life" and what right others have in determining it's continued existence as opposed to what rights a blob of cells that cannot realize its own predicament has.

Jack Camwell said...

An interesting position manapp.

How about pulling the plug on someone? Someone who didn't sign a DNR. That person doesn't have a say, because he/she is brain dead or whatever. So is it your place to stick up for that person and demand that the life be spared?

It honestly doesn't matter if you think that the inconvenience reason is morally justifiable or not. I happen to agree with you, and if I were a woman I'd never abort a baby simply because having a baby would be inconvenient.

But it's still legal, regardless of the reasoning behind it. Because it's legal, no one has the right to legally impose their moral standard on the issue on anyone else.

This whole thing is wasting everyon'e time and money. Forcing women to have an ultrasound will not result in fewer abortions.

Forcing women to partake in a particular medical procedure, based on moral grounds, is a violation of a woman's privacy, her conscience, and her freedom to choice in terms of her own medical care.

This is completely antithetical to everything that conservatives claim they support.

I guess for an American conservative, everyone is allowed to follow their conscience so long as their conscience is conservative.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"Those in favor say the unborn child is not a person at all and therefore should be treated the same way as the tumor."

Would you have an objection to the morning after pill? If that were easily avialable, there'd be no need for 3rd trimester abortions or any trimester abortions.

"I have long held the belief that IF a woman has the right to end the life of the unborn child then she should also have the right to end the life of the new born."

Nonsense. And you know it.

"However, I also believe that the ending of another beings existence is a serious decision and inconvenience falls short of being a justifiable reason."

Why do you label the decision to abort "inconvenience?" Do you personally know of every reason for every single abortion? You don't. I'm guessing that every reason for abortion is NOT "inconvenience."

Here's a simple solution to your objections: tell the females in your family not to have an abortion, ever, even if it threatens their lives.

When crusading baby-savers lobby the politicians to make sure that every born child has the money that provides essential post-natal care, post-natal nutrition, and a thriving post-natal homelife, then I'll truly believe their deep-seated concerns for human life.

I don't see that just now. It seems anti-choice people care only for the in-utero fetus. Once it's born, their concern ends. Hence the conservatives' opposition to the ACA, parts of which will not allow insurance companies to deny coverage for sick children. Or the whining from the conservatives over Mrs. Obama's campaign to get children to eat healthy and exercise so that childhood diabetes can be conquered.

I have read on only anti-choice convervative blogs scathing criticism of the FLOTUS's campaign to keep children healthy.

It is clear that the concern for babies and children ends once they're out of the womb.

Jersey McJones said...

"You're close, Jersey.

How can you have privacy when government is dictating your private life to you?"

Silver, I swear to God, you're insane.

One more time, how exactly is abortion control NOT dictating people's private lives?

Please answer that???

It takes THREE to tango in this little argument of yours. And I hate to break this to you, but most people, especially advanced cultures, would prefer you leave abortion to them. They really don't give a hairy rat's ass what you religiously believe about fucking abortion. get it?


manapp99 said...

"How about pulling the plug on someone? Someone who didn't sign a DNR. That person doesn't have a say, because he/she is brain dead or whatever. So is it your place to stick up for that person and demand that the life be spared?"

Good question Jack. My Mother passed 5 years ago after almost two weeks of us sitting by her bed and watching her die. She was in full dementia and did not even know who we were. We had a DNR for her when she was in the seniors home but it was ignored when she convulsed and was sent to the hospital. She would have died at the home had they not intervened. At the hospital we implored them to mercifully put her to sleep. They said it was not legal but they would not do anything to keep her alive. No food, no water, just pain medication. We sat day after day while the hospice people came and told us that she was not in any pain and it was better this way. We had no choice. Even my Dad was powerless to get them to end her life. So I guess the answer to your question is yes, I do think one should be allowed to decide end of life for another when they cannot. I did not say I was against taking a life. Like all things there is no black and white in life. There are shades of grey in most decisions. I only have a problem with abortion in regards to allowing a person to end the life of another for no other reason than that persons existence would be inconvenient. I know that not all abortions are done for this reason however some are and I think this is wrong. In the case of an older person or one ravaged by disease there was probably an opportunity to reflect to those close to them what they would want to do if they were no longer able to make decisions. How many times have you heard someone say, If I'm a vegetable and have no road to recovery, please pull the plug. My mother, who worked in a few nursing homes during her career as an RN then later a teacher, was clear about end of life issues however we were still powerless.

Alas however...I cannot argue with your point about what is legal. As long as that is so you're correct in asserting that no one has the right to make that decision for you and the ultrasounds are an attempt to influence that decision. I am categorically against most intrusions by government in our private lives but intrusions there are aplenty. Though I am against required ultrasounds, it is not so far removed from government requiring cigarette companies being required to put pictures of diseased lungs on cig packs. For the record, I am against that as well.

Jack Camwell said...

Thank you for sharing that manapp.

I agree that I think it's morally wrong to end a life because it would be an inconvenience.

The problem comes in with how can we really determine what a woman's reasons are? "Why are you getting this abortion?" "I was raped."

She could be lying. She could be telling the truth. Considering many rapes go unreported, there's no real way to determine it. And should we?

There are some things that the government should not be involved with. They should not be the ones to determine whether or not your mother should have remained on life support. They shouldn't be the ones who determines which babies are aborted.

manapp99 said...

I agree with the idea of getting government out of our lives but there is the generally accepted idea that your rights do not extend to the right to do harm to another. If, and it is a big IF, you view the unborn as people then you need to have a damn good reason to do them harm. Even in the pursuit of taking the life of a known bad person in the form of a death penalty the bad person has extensive rights and avenues to contend why he/she should be spared death. There is no such avenue available to the unborn. No lawyers, no appeals, no judges or jury, and certainly no right for the one being put to death to speak in his/her behalf. I believe that those who are pro choice label the unborn as less than human in order to assuage the guilt they would have in executing a child. This is why a person can kill a child that is 6 months in the womb but not one that is 6 months out of it. In a logical sense it seems to me there is very little difference. The unborn cannot survive on it's own but neither can the 6 month old. If a child is born with a defect of some kind why can a caring mother not chose to end it's life the same as when an unborn child that has had one discovered through ultrasound or some other method? Or what if a couple has a child then the mother is killed in some sort of accident. Why would not the father be able to kill the child as he would have difficulty in providing for the child as a single parent. The scenarios are endless but the bottom line is that the child really has no say and is being terminated because of no wrong doing on it's part. Is it really a woman's right to chose or life or death when it comes to another being or is the thing in her womb not a being at all?

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: It is inconsistent to cheer when government invades one part of a person's life, but then scream when they invade another.

You can't pick and choose. You are either for liberty or you are against it.

Jersey McJones said...


You can and we all do "pick and choose." That is reality.

There are limits to all freedoms.

You are proposing a limit on contraception that people would prefer you did not. As time goes by, that issue will less and less be a winner for conservatives. Older people vote a lot, and the same way over time. They learn. That's how they got to be so old and concerned in the first place.

Eventually, the uptight, socially conservative old people on any given issue will become a minority, as they did in Europe, and all over the rest of the world over the years, but let's face it, we are a European culture.

That's the thing you conservatives and Christians and libertarians and constructionists don't seem to understand: We are a predominantly European culture, mixed in many ways as it may be.

Europeans have passed this stupid "issue." Why can't you?


bill said...

morality comes in all shapes and sizes. the aggregate morality of any culture evolves over time and government can modulate the nature and direction of that change vis~a~vis the enactment of law and the manipulation of 'opinion' via the media.
i'd like to think we're all on the same page so far... now manap99 makes an awesome point here:

"This is why a person can kill a child that is 6 months in the womb but not one that is 6 months out of it."

his observation is true and culturally acceptable now but where will we be a generation down the road if we allow the courts to dictate our morality and the media to form our opinions?

Jack Camwell said...

I actually thought about that the other day. THe difference between the 6 month old and the unborn baby, we'll say a baby that cannot survive outside its mother's womb, is just that:

The 6 month old can survive under the proper care of any adult. The unborn baby cannot survive unless it's in the mother's womb (up to a certain point of course).

You can give a new born to someone other than the mother, and that person can take care of the new born, but you can't transplant a baby from one womb to another. That's the difference I think.

manapp99 said...

So's seems that you are saying that your o.k. with abortion before the fetus is viable. According to this web site:

That would be about 22 weeks of fetal age or 24 weeks pregnant. I assume (perhaps wrongly) that means you would be against abortions past that date. That is a perfectly legitimate position but what about a premature baby that has to be kept in an incubator to live. Without the science involved the baby would not be viable even outside the womb as it would need an artificial device to live. Should a parent be able to kill the baby if an incubator is needed? Has viability been redefined by science? Viability is defined by the free dictionary as:

"Capable of living, developing, or germinating under favorable conditions."

Is not the womb as favorable a condition as an incubator?

If/when science enables us to take a newly fertilized egg from the host mother and raise it in laboratory would you then be in favor of banning all abortions? As science changes the viability date do we change the laws?

If the fetus, which if left in the favorable conditions of the womb where indeed it would be able to "live, develop or germinate" and would almost surely become a truly viable individual, should it have a right to some defense in it's bid for life outside the womb?

I cannot get past the idea that we are elevating the rights of the woman who wants to terminate the life inside her over the rights of the life to be terminated.

I must stress...I am not against the taking of a life in many many scenarios however I believe the reasons for such drastic action should be in the "last resort" category. I do not approach this from a religious standpoint as I am not religious. I am only looking at the idea of my personal freedoms not impinging on the rights of another.

I am truly dubious of labeling the abortion debate as woman's rights issues. Seems to me it is a human rights issue.

manapp99 said...


"That's the thing you conservatives and Christians and libertarians and constructionists don't seem to understand: We are a predominantly European culture, mixed in many ways as it may be."

You need to read this article about how the Brits feel about the welfare system they created under the advice of Sir William Beveridge.

An excerpt...

"Seven decades on, however, the British people seem to be falling out of love with Beveridge’s brainchild.
According to a YouGov poll for Prospect magazine, a staggering 74 per cent of us think that the Government should slash benefits. Young and old, Labour and Tory, rich and poor: every single social group believes it is time to cut back.
As the pollster Peter Kellner points out, such public unanimity is almost unprecedented. And what’s more, 69 per cent believe our welfare system has ‘created a culture of dependency’, and that ‘people should take more responsibility for their lives and families’."

Sounds like they are becoming more conservative and "American like"

Jack Camwell said...

No, I'm not saying that it's "okay" to terminate before the fetus is viable, but perhaps less awful? I mean this is not a simple "right and wrong," type situation. This is degrees of wrongness and permissability.

If a baby is born premature and has to be kept in the incubator, then it's still the parents' choice of whether or not to allow the baby to live if there is a very slim chance of the baby living. Say, if a baby was born at 22-24 weeks, the chances of that baby surviving, even in an incubator with the most intensive care, is incredibly slim, like 13%.

The parents have the right to decide whether to let the baby die or to continue with care. That's just the way it is. It's no different than if an adult were on life support with slim chances of living. Someone has to make the decision, but that's only in circumstances where survival are incredibly low.

I was merely pointing out the difference between terminating a pregnancy when the fetus is 0% viable versus an actual born baby, healthy and not premature.

Just like a brain dead adult, an unborn baby has no way of making any choices. When someone in our care is unable to make life and death choices, then the next of kin gets to decide if that person lives or dies. In the case of the unborn baby, obviously the next of kin is the mother carrying the child.

My question is: do you want the government to be the grand arbiter of who lives and who dies?

There was a big flap over the notion of "death panels." Do we really want "death panels," for deciding which pregnancies are allowed to be terminated? I think not.

Here's what I have to say to pro-life people: until you go to the families of civilians who were inadvertently killed in Iraq, innocent civilians, and beg for their forgiveness then don't talk to me about the "right to life," and how wrong it is to kill the innocent.

manapp99 said...

"My question is: do you want the government to be the grand arbiter of who lives and who dies?"

My answer is no, but clearly they already do. That happens in courts all the time. It happens all around the world as the US hunts terrorists with drones and kill innocents. I still no not understand why we grant someone on death row nearly endless appeals to make sure we get it right but an unborn child can be killed for any reason at all. Are you saying that if your pro-life that your also pro killing of innocents somewhere else? I can only speak for myself but your going to have to provide examples of me being for the killing of innocents anywhere.

I am coming from a libertarian point on this issue. I do not feel it is my right to take someone else's life anymore than I feel it is my right to take their possessions.

As far as begging forgiveness from those families of killed innocents I did not kill them. I can only beg forgiveness for my actions. When I screw up, and I do screw up, that's when I beg forgivness.

Look...the abortion issue is not one that I base votes on, or demonize others for. As you say, it is legal and acceptable in our society today, however I still have a problem with taking another persons life who has done nothing other than exist. I used to be very pro choice however I cannot, from a logical point of view, justify that position any longer. I am a 54 year old male and will, thankfully, not have to cross that bridge. I feel sorry for those having to make such a tough choice. If one of my grandaughters ends up facing this and choses abortion I will not chastise her or think less of her if she choses to abort. But as I sit here today I don't think I could pull the trigger on an abortion if I were faced with the choice. This is a position that has evolved over the years and may still change, but from where I sit today I do not think one should be able to end anothers life without some serious due cause.

manapp99 said...

I just want to add one other thing Jack. I truly appreciate the reasoned way you present your arguments and the blog you provide for those of use who enjoy online discussions. I found you through JMJ's blog who I used to argue with at the old Bring It On site. JMJ is another one who is passionate and I respect him for that. In the old days at BIO I got into some serious disagreements with Jersey, and others, and had far more heated arguments complete with insults. It was the first place I was called a troll and didn't even know what they meant. I don't engage as often or as much as I used to but I still get plenty of insults at other sites like the left coaster and washington monthly. I have been banned at daily KOS after only one day and have been kicked out of washington monthly more than once. You have to have a thick skin in this line of entertainment. So, once again thanks for the work you put in to keep this site up and the interesting topics you bring up.

P.S. I had plenty to say on the previous topic of competition in school but decided to sit that one out. Suffice to say I disagree with your position so you must be a piece of shit retarded troll. Oh wait....I'm the retarded troll and your the blog master. Oh well...I can't even insult you properly. Must be losing my touch.

Jack Camwell said...

THank you for your very reasoned and well put-together responses manapp. You really do pose some provocative questions.

Make no mistake: I also have a problem with people who are easily willing to just pull the trigger on an unborn baby.

If I were a woman, I don't know if I would get an abortion, even if I felt like I had no other choice. I just simply don't know.

That's the tough part about this issue for me, is that although I find abortion itself to be abhorrent, sometimes it might be necessary (as we have discussed). The necessity is for the woman to decide.

I have a daughter, and if she came home to me pregnant with some random guy's baby (God, I hope this is a bridge I never have to cross), I would strongly urge her to keep the baby. I'd do what I could to help support her, and if she felt that she absolutely could not handle being a mother, then I'd strongly advocate for her to put the baby up for adoption.

It would ultimately be her choice, and if she decided to get an abortion I would definitely be greatly saddened by it all. Like you, I would not chastise her or abandon her, as I know it's a tough decision for anyone to make.

And no, I was not saying that all pro-life people are for pro-killing innocents everywhere else. The question was not meant to be rhetorical. I've seen plenty of pro-war advocates, pro-death penalty advocates and what not who are also pro-life. I think that it's a complete contradiction, but perhaps that's just me.

And you're not a troll =) Disagree away!

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: I never advocated for any restrictions on birth control, ever.

I don't know where you got that. My point is that we've surrendered rights to the government and allowed them into our personal lives. Your side cheers that, but then when the rightwing nannies hijack the levers of power and do their thing, you get all pissy.

Can't you see that wrong is wrong, regardless of whether it leftwingers or rightwingers using government to get into your business?

Is it really that hard to understand?

Harrison said...

Agreed. Pro-Lifers will claim there is an exception because it is a 'life' not a choice.'