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Thanks for sharing your story, Josh. I was figuring to ask you that one day.
For me, I was prolife from a child. Raised in a devout Christian home and homeschooled on a Christian curriculum (although I am an ex-Christian) I was taught that abortion was wrong for all situations. I never questioned this because there were certain things that I couldn't accept, and still can't. I can't accept that the unborn person magically changes into a human being the moment the mother pronounces it so. Despite all the bodily autonomy arguments (which would appeal if I didn't know what abortion was) I still can't accept that tearing a little baby into pieces to benefit other people is morally acceptable. I can't accept that science says the unborn person is a human being from the moment of conception (and even Peter Singer says this) and advocates for legal abortion seem to deny science in order to "justify" their view. Also, if you advocate for children's rights why can't you include the vulnerable ones in the womb? None of this makes sense to me (although I realise ZEF is the technical term). How can it be a baby when wanted and a parasite when unwanted? Isn't it homophobic, racist, or sexist to destroy unborn persons for these reasons, and why aren't people fighting these discriminations; you have to if you're going to be consistent with a liberal worldview. I am a very black-and-white person on certain issues and this seems to be one of them. It is so simple to me, and always has been. It is wrong and that is that. Abortion has many defenders but no defence. That is my experience.
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"Despite all the bodily autonomy arguments . . . I still can't accept that tearing a little baby into pieces to benefit other people is morally acceptable."
Do bodily-autonomy arguments convince you that it should be legally acceptable? If so, should it be in all cases?
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"Do bodily-autonomy arguments convince you that it should be legally acceptable?"
Bodily autonomy arguments do increase my conviction that superior technological alternatives need to be developed to save unborn persons and grant pregnant persons complete freedom over ending their pregnancies without taking an innocent human life. I believed that even before hearing about Thompson's Violinist, but now I think it's more imperative than ever that the prolife movement begin making such a thing a very important part of their goals. I say this because simply making abortion illegal without replacements is, I think and if it is possible, less likely to succeed than if we have something far better to offer women once abortion is taken away from them.
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"Do bodily-autonomy arguments convince you that it should be legally acceptable?"
Absolutely NOT.
"If so, should it be in all cases?"
If anything, only life of the mother until we create superior technological alternatives and strategies to deal with each and every situation, then that should go as well.
Please know I never meant to treat you badly over anything you said, okay, because I'm feeling terrible about that still.
Also, just for curiosity's sake, do bodily autonomy arguments convince you that it should be legally acceptable? If so, should it be in all cases?
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I didn't know that you still felt terrible. You should not feel terrible, or bad.
I had originally (on the "Brent" page) had three concerns -- 1) your image of me, which you had picked up from L.J., 2) the fact that you had accepted her representation of me at face value, without investigation, 3) your using that image of me (though without mentioning my name, which was good) to argue that L.J.'s surprising conception of pro-lifers was understandable.
After you had replied to me about those points, we had agreed to move our discussion over to the SPL blog, so when you had said, "Please let me know you feel a little better about all this . . . ," I had written back, "I will reply there [on SPL]. I'll wait for you to write first, because now from the links I've given you (if not on some other SPL page) it will be easy for you to find some post of mine where you can hit Reply."
When I didn't hear from you further at that time, I among other things thought that you weren't feeling terrible.
Sorry to hear that you were. What you had said there on the "Brent" page had allayed 99% of my concerns.
Regarding the 1%, though that's a small amount of emotion, it would be a little complex to explain, and way off the subject of this page, so again, if you'd like me to explain, let's talk over at SPL.
Bodily autonomy and the legality of abortion:
I asked you about your position not only because you happened to specify "morally" when you said "not acceptable," but also because over on the "Brent" page, L.J. had written to you, from our conversations it seems your pro-lifism is about finding alternatives, not banning abortion . . . You and she seemed to know each other well, and I believe you had not taken issue with what she had said.
Here you wrote: "Despite all the bodily autonomy arguments . . . I still can't accept that tearing a little baby into pieces to benefit other people is morally acceptable."
I then asked you: "Do bodily-autonomy arguments convince you that it should be legally acceptable?"
Now you have written: "Absolutely NOT."
A typical bodily-autonomy argument goes like this:
"If any born person tried to access and burden my body organs in some way without my consent, and IF the only way for me to stop him was to tear him into pieces (if that was the minimum violence that would stop him), society would not make it illegal for me to tear him into pieces. In the case of a pregnant woman -- though it's horrific -- the ONLY way a pregnant woman can stop an unborn baby to whom she has not given consent from accessing and burdening her body organs is to tear it into pieces. (That is the minimum violence that will stop the unwanted use of her organs. She is not using more violence than necessary.) Therefore if society makes it illegal for her to tear it into pieces, society is giving the unborn person more rights than a born person."
Pro-lifers sometimes reply to this that if the woman consented to sex, she incurred a responsibility that she would not have had otherwise. But suppose she didn't consent to sex. How would you then reply?
"Also, just for curiosity's sake, do bodily autonomy arguments convince you that it should be legally acceptable?"
No. My moral intuition says that abortion should not be legal. I have written about the bodily-autonomy argument http://www.noterminationwithoutrepresentation.org/dismantling-the-bodily-rights-argument-without-using-the-responsibility-argument/.
I don't think we ever completely know the reasons for our moral intuitions. Some of that is hidden from us. But probably bodily-autonomy arguments don't convince me because of some set of disanalogies between a situation of a born person attempting to access and burden my body organs without my consent (on the one hand) and an unwanted pregnancy (on the other hand).
I could list a number of disanalogies, but as I've indicated, I don't think I'll ever really know which of those disanalogies are the reasons for my intuition. Most of the disanalogies I would list, you've probably heard before. Here are two you might not have heard:
"Humanity is more than just the sum of its parts, it is also a collectivity, and we all depend on it as such. Everyone begins their life by using the body of one representative of that collectivity – they may even use a body that has already been used by other children three or four or n times and might have started feeling tired. So everyone should be prepared, if the necessity ever arises, to pay back to that same representative or another representative. How a pregnant woman can pay back is obvious. Others should be prepared to pay back in other ways."
"I feel that there is a morally-relevant difference between an existing organism initiating the use of someone else's body organs, and an organism that came into existence already using someone else's body organs. You may call this a naturalistic fallacy, but are all arguments from nature fallacies? I have a certain fondness for nature."
"If so, should it be [legally acceptable] in all cases?"
I have said that it should not be legally acceptable, but I think it should be in some cases. My formulation is “A woman whose risk of grave loss of well-being is small should not be allowed to kill her unborn child.” But I don't feel that if a mentally-fragile woman is desperate to abort, society should drive her to suicide or insanity. I don't feel society should force a woman at risk for a difficult pregnancy or childbirth into becoming incapacitated. An exception based on desperation and mental fragility would be very tricky to apply, but I think we should try.
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Part 2
Bodily autonomy and the legality of abortion:
With respect, I am going to share some thoughts that have been rolling around in my mind for years. I would like to hear what you think about what I am going to present now. Some of my opinions might well be controversial, but they are
simply observations and perspectives on at least some ways on how the prolife movement could improve its focus, among other things. My thoughts are meant to provoke people to think, not to attack people. So please keep that in mind as
you read my treatise.
In regards to specifying morality on the issue of abortion, it follows that if something is morally objectionable because it takes or oppresses another human life then it should be legally objectionable as well, does it not? So I support
the actual goal of the prolife movement which is to make abortion morally unthinkable as an act, as well as illegal.
It is true that we can’t talk too much about illegalising abortion because it takes an innocent human life. I strongly believe we haven’t discussed this enough. We haven’t discussed the potential ramifications of our positions as concerning women and unborn persons. I say this for three reasons: 1) Illegalising abortion without considering the consequences of such a decision could radically impact women’s lives for the worse in so many ways. It worries me that women could indeed be perceived as second-class citizens in the attempt to successfully fight for unborn human life. Also consider this: reducing abortion via the demand side through contraceptives, sex education, and safety nets, is an
excellent strategy because it reduces abortions in the meantime while the prolife fight to make it illegal continues.
2) Although I hold to the belief that abortion should be illegal BECAUSE it takes an innocent human life, I believe that the way the prolife movement is doing this is seriously faulty, not only because women could be negatively impacted by such laws, but also because we have not struck at the heart of
communications. I realise that many prolifers follow incrementalism because they sincerely believe it to be the
best way, and I don't fault them for this at all. However, I can't agree. To be honest, incremental laws that restrict abortion worry me because we should not be working on restricting abortion but rather eliminating it. I believe that the prolife movement’s placing their main emphasis on bills that deal with only 7-10% of abortions, rather than focusing primarily on bills that deal with 70-90% of abortions, is not helping matters at all. It is, in my mind, nothing less than a disgraceful form of compromise with our opposition on our most
cherished and sacred value, the value of human life. In the meantime, unborn persons continue to die daily. Why have we not channelled our main attentions on bills like the Heartbeat Bill, which would deal a great death-blow to the
abortion stronghold because it deals with 95% of abortions, but instead sought to cruelly restrict and tighten the noose on pills and surgical abortions? In my mind, I believe it better to be loyal to our mission than to gradually illegalise via laws that everyone seems to find “common ground” with, because
advocates for legal abortion do not want abortion illegal but rather safe, legal, and rare.
3) How much focus has the mainstream prolife movement put into taking the incentive to commit abortions away? I realise we’re all about taking abortion itself away, but we need to understand that abortion is a band-aid on a lot of
different social problems, such as domestic violence, poverty, rape and incest, and a host of other social ills. In short, I recommend taking away the demand and supply side for abortion rather than only reducing the demand side or
removing the supply side. Simply illegalising abortion without altering our attitudes towards sex and pregnancy is a great injustice because we are simply devaluing another form of human life, just as much as we devalued the current
one. However, leaving abortion legal is also morally unacceptable because unborn persons die daily in the womb and the government is sanctioning the killing by maintaining the status quo. Also, we need to seriously consider the
ideal of bodily autonomy as something seriously worth investigating – and when I say that, I don’t mean bodily autonomy the way most prolifers understand the term. Rather, I mean bodily autonomy in the sense that women can decide when and how to end their pregnancies WITHOUT (and this is a very important word) taking the life of the unborn person. This is why I advocate for superior
technological alternatives to abortion – because I can see that such a strong effort to respect bodily autonomy, coupled with abortion being made illegal, could radically change our
society for the better. I also believe that, if you are going to take abortion away from people, you need to replace it with something better for two reasons: 1) people's views on sexuality and pregnant persons' rights have changed
2) taking abortion away without replacement could leave a potential vacuum open for abortion to re-enter our society; if it does I fear we'd have to fight the battle all over again and I'd rather knock it out once than keep re-fighting this terrible issue
So, in a way, people who say my main focus is replacement are absolutely correct. I support making abortion illegal, true, but I believe replacement theory and practice could be very, very helpful to the prolife movement because it fulfils
two key requirements: the need for the pregnant person’s bodily autonomy and the need for the unborn person’s inherent right to life to be respected. The ideal, of course, is to work on both making abortion illegal and offering a technological solution that will help the situation at the same time. Also altering our attitudes towards sex and pregnancy (fighting slt and virgin shaming and purity, raunch, and rape cultures - in all their forms); offering ways to significantly reduce abortions like dealing with the root causes of abortion (poverty, domestic violence, rape, etc), offering contraceptives, sex education, and safety nets; awakening
the moral conscience of believers in legal abortion through helping them to understand why it is not moral; and cleaning out our adoption system while doing these things would all be very good ideas.
I might be wrong about all this, you know. For all I know, gradual incrementalism could win the day. Also, high techs might not work out. But I really doubt it. We have been at this very fight since Roe v. Wade in America (in my country, NZ, abortion became legal in 1977-1978). It took about 23 years
to get rid of some abortions via the foetal pain bill. Think about it – twenty-three years that could have been spent fighting for the Heartbeat Bill, a bill that would have defeated 95% of abortions. But instead, some prolife leaders want to drive demons out of cities. Check up the Word of Faith and the New Apostolic Reformation and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Others are using the prolife movement to restore Reconstructionist thought and Biblical Patriarchy (see Quiverfull, Christian Patriarchy, and Christian Reconstructionism). When I mention this, I am by no means seeking to downplay the actual contributions prolifers have made to dealing with abortion reductions. Randy Alcorn’s Why Prolife? has discussed at least some of the ways that prolifers should help and have assisted women in desperate situations; so please don’t think I’m unaware of these things. In fact, I have deep respect for the prolifers who genuinely
endeavour to help pregnant women in crisis as well as save unborn persons through their efforts. I’m simply saying that we as a movement haven’t done *enough to end abortion, that is all. We need to do many of the things prolifers do and so much more if we want to see women not have abortions – not through penalty and meagre options, but through incentive not to commit the deed through offering genuine helps of multiple different types. I also believe that, on taking all the information into account, the prolife movement has two
sides to it: those who want to genuinely help people and behave out of utmost sincerity in their actions to save unborn persons and care for pregnant persons even if some things they believe aren’t necessarily the best, and those who want to impose their bizarre worldview on the general populace via
anti-abortion terrorism, patriarchy, and deception. I believe many prolifers belong in the former category. However, there are determined people with power and social influence seeking to encourage the prolife movement to conform to
their wicked ideas, and I am happy to give names if I am called on to do so. Then again, there are prolifers that are a mixture of both, acting out of total sincerity yet being dreadfully deluded in their deeds. I believe that many prolifers (especially in the grassroots, though this would go for some of the leaders too) sincerely want to help people but have been terribly influenced by contraception-hating, sex-policing thugs. I do not fault them for this! In fact, I was one once myself until I started digging around reading feminist theory and some writings opposing prolifism. I would very much like to reach out and help them; I love fellow prolifers but I don’t like money-hungry people abusing the movement for their own personal gains.
Would you agree or disagree with such an analysis?
Two very good reasons for replacement theory are life and health of the mother, actually. It could be very beneficial for women to be able to use high techs to save their lives, if nothing else. Even if we lived in a totally abstinent-oriented society we’d still need to find a way to deal with life-saving situations. Also consider rape and incest; what answer do
we have to offer them if we have no technological alternatives after abortion is illegal? None. I think it damns our cause that we haven’t at least tried to seriously investigate these things. However, having abortion exceptions for health of the mother, at least, is highly concerning because pretty much anything could pass for health, even keeping your figure nice. On the other
hand, having to go through severe control measures to deem a woman fit to receive an abortion for life of the mother sounds terribly totalitarian to me.
I’m not saying my position doesn’t have problems. It probably does. I seem to be keenly aware of the faults in both the mainstream pro-life and pro-“choice” positions, however.
After answering your inquiry about abortion being morally unacceptable even in light of bodily autonomy arguments, I realise my unusual views have caused a little confusion on both sides of the fence. You could call me a hybrid, I think.
When I asked my friend what moral authority I had in the abortion debate, LJ was 100% correct to assert the following:
“Well, take me and Tim or Josh for instance, a more mainstream pro-choicer and pro-lifer. I argue that the pro-choice position works even if the fetus is a person because no person has the right to use another's body non-consensually for their own purposes. Nevertheless, I'm not free of the charge that I don't see fetuses as people, because truthfully I don't. I don't care about pre-sentient, pre-born human beings the way I do about sentient born ones. I can argue as though they're people, but inevitably it shows that my emotions just aren't there.
Or take mainstream pro-lifers like Tim and Josh. They say they don't see women as incubators but as people, and I have no doubt that they have all the compassion in the world for rape victims and other pregnant people in desperate circumstances, who gestate against their will and must suffer agonizing pain at the end of the process. Nevertheless in the end the weight of their sympathies lie with the fetus who must die if the pregnant person is to be freed, so if push comes to shove the pregnant person must become an incubator whether she will or no, unless her life is truly in danger. That's the ineluctable conclusion of their logic, and they are partisans for the fetus as I am for the pregnant person.
Then there's you, who recognize the humanity of the pregnant person and recognize her right not to have her body used against her will, but at the same time refuse to let go of your anguish for the little ones who inevitably die
for their parents' freedom. It's why you won't stop looking for alternatives, where Josh, Tim, or I would be more or less satisfied with a state of affairs where one's right is subjugated to the other (near-total ban for Josh and Tim, near-total legalization for me). You're one of the few people who can say you care for both sides in this debate, and you take the pain of your conviction--and the heat from both sides--for it. I think there's a lot to respect about that.”
Also, when you asked me if bodily-autonomy arguments convinced me that abortion should remain legal, I stated as follows:
“Bodily autonomy arguments do increase my conviction that superior technological alternatives need to be developed to save unborn persons and grant pregnant persons complete freedom over ending their pregnancies without taking an innocent human life. I believed that even before hearing about Thompson's Violinist, but now I think it's more imperative than ever that the prolife movement begin making such a thing a very important part of their goals. I say this because simply making abortion illegal without replacements is, I think and if it is possible, less likely to succeed than if we have something far better to offer women once abortion is taken away from them.”
I am genuinely curious as to your thoughts on that particular comment as I never received a response to it.
In answer to your reminding me of the typical bodily autonomy rights arguments, I am very much acquainted with the violinist thought experiment and many similar to it, unfortunately. Still doesn’t justify wilful murder, no matter what.
You mentioned that prolifers use the responsibility argument in many cases, or some such similar thing. I do not use the responsibility argument. It is faulty on its very face. I deal with why in more detail here:
I also receive support for my position here:
Briefly stated, I think that we do have a responsibility to help all human beings to live and enjoy life, including and perhaps especially our offspring, because they belong to the human race. Creation of offspring might have something to do with it but I’m not totally certain of that. I’d say it’s more the obligation to help your offspring live the same way you’d help any other person – by not killing them and making every
effort possible to help them live. What I don’t believe is that pregnancy is an obligatory consequence of sex because that kind of talk is devaluing to the unborn and women. When dealing with rape, I’d deal with it similar to the way any other prolifer should, though, but sometimes fails to do – “the humanity of the unborn person and compassion for the woman in crisis” (supporting position quoted).
One thing that disturbs me deeply about the responsibility
argument, and about the way the mainstream prolife movement is handling incrementalism, is stories like this one:
This woman is my hero. She is one of the dearest people in the world to me. And I quote:
“At that point, I did what any good pro-life woman would: I called the local Crisis Pregnancy Center. When I tried to explain my situation—that I was afraid of my fiancé, that I didn’t know what to do because my Christian college would expel me if they found out I was pregnant, that I didn’t know how my parents would react—the woman on the other end of the phone told me that “this is the natural consequence for not keeping yourself pure.”
I hung up and called Planned Parenthood, the reproductive health clinic I’d picketed just a few months before. They comforted me, soothed me, directed me to websites that had all the information I needed to make any decision, abortion or not. I read it all, every single shred of it, and I realized that
the pro-life movement had lied to me about a lot of things.”
Women deserve the kind of compassion PP showed in this case, not the slt shaming of the CPC worker. I realise that not all CPCs operate like this and that some working there genuinely care about rape victims and other such unfortunate individuals, and when they do I take my hat off to them. But when PP is kinder than a CPC I blush to associate myself with mainstream prolifism.
I’m not saying PP is kind all the time – far from it. What I am saying is that WE – WE – the prolifers – are supposed to be the upstanding model! And this is how we treat a damsel in distress. God help us. This is simply disgusting. What
we *ought to be doing is doing the generous things that compassionate CPC workers do plus interweave feminist thought and practice into our work! I don’t know why people can’t set up something similar to PP and the services PP claim to provide (including a domestic violence hotline and automatic professional counselling for rape and incest victims) without offering abortion if PP is to be defunded (I tend to prefer this option), or force PP to stop performing
abortions and offer contraceptives and sex education only. Wouldn’t it be the best of both worlds to combine the good elements that CPCs say they offer, and the good elements PP say they offer? No woman deserves to be told carrying a child is her responsibility because she was a slt ever. What women need to hear is their options. Do CPCs give options and help women so that they *don’t get abortions? I’d tend to say that the ones who genuinely try to fulfil these goals deserve to be commended for doing so. But this particular CPC woman only judged my friend SPF, who I deeply respect, and didn’t even try to help her. Also, women need to know that the only reason they should carry is that there
is no other way that the child can be kept alive, and that prolifers are willing and working to find a way where women won’t have to carry anymore without death to the child.
You know something?
We are losing people. Many are seeing through this stuff and becoming pro-“choice” because of it. I am genuinely curious as to what you believe about all this, about why we lose people to the other side.
As concerning the legality of abortion, I totally agree with your moral intuition. But I would prefer to call it “the conscience.” I’ll have a look on the link you shared, and we do share the illegality thing in common – we just seem to disagree on how it is to be done (although if I’m wrong about that you can correct me).
In regards to bodily autonomy analogies, I don’t see an inconsistency so much as a shameful attempt to justify wilful, brutal murder! It is truly pathetic to watch. They would totally have a point if technologies like artificial wombs had been invented, and do have a point when it comes to bodily autonomy. But none of it – none of it – justifies taking another person’s life ever, especially not in the way an unborn person dies in an abortion. See, in these kidney analogies, people have a chance to choose another person, and consent can be offered and withdrawn freely. But when it comes to
the unborn person the only way it can currently survive is to stay in the mother’s womb until viability. This is one reason why I believe it to be a pitiful attempt to justify the unjustifiable.
The hypocrisy of the medical profession also comes into play here. These people get very upset at the violation of bodily autonomy when dealing with a pregnant woman but don’t bat an eyelash when it comes to cases like Terri Schiavo’s or
Jahi MacMath’s. It’s appalling and totally twisted. If you take sentience and sapience into account, Terri at least seemed to be sentient if nothing else; I’m not sure about Jahi. But even if they weren’t/aren’t, what about THEIR bodily autonomy? They’re not attached to anyone either, unlike an unborn person. I don’t argue that it’s wrong from a bodily autonomy perspective but rather from the knowledge that it is morally wrong to take another person’s life. See the difference? So our position is perfectly consistent in some ways if we’re looking at it from a life angle, but in other ways potentially inconsistent when looking at it from a bodily
autonomy angle.
There is also a huge difference between denying a person the use of your organs and actively taking steps to end another person’s life. However, I still think we have a moral obligation not to deny others our organs because we are supposed to care about our fellow humans. Yet there is a
part of denying kidney donation, knowing that I could be ending a life, that still bothers me. I don’t want to even be passively responsible for putting someone to death. The Good Samaritan parable rebuked the priest and the Levite
for their act of omission in regards to the mugged man lying in his own blood.
I think the two disanalogies you shared with me are indeed
disanalogies yet I feel that the second one is less of a disanalogy than the first because the second one is dealing with kidney donation versus abortion. Also, I never heard of them before ever, so thanks for sharing!
Can you tell me good answers to these disanalogies?
You mentioned that health of the mother should be an
exception that prolifers should seek to interweave into their understanding yet remain prolife. I understand and appreciate your attempt to be kind to the pregnant person, but is this kindness to the unborn person? Where prolifers
need to compromise is not on abortion, but on bodily autonomy. There is a difference, as I already explained in my long epistles on high techs. So no, I don’t agree with you that we should permit abortion for that sort of case because that is a form of compromise that will end many unborn children’s
lives, and some, as I mentioned before, extend mental health to mean a shapely figure. Where we do agree on is not forcing a woman to carry in that case; I would go further and
fight for high techs in a situation like that so that unborn lives could be saved and mentally fragile women could be free of a pregnancy they might not be emotionally capable of carrying to term.
I am very interested in your opinions as to my comments, and look forwards to hearing from you; thank you for indulging me.
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Since I'm having so many problems loading this comment I'll separate it into two parts.
Part 1
I’d like to start off this comment by thanking you for your kindness and assuring you I’ll try not to feel terrible. It’s just
that you approached me so nicely after my unintentionally offending you. It makes me feel positively wretched.
I have faced dreadful bullying in the past, being called names and all (although I am deeply concerned that some of my actions and attitudes contributed to it). So I’m taken aback when people are courteous after offence has been caused. It’s unexpected.
In regards to your mostly answered concerns on the “Brent” page, I believe in confronting ideas rather than attacking people. That’s why I didn’t use your name (although I confess to having used people’s names in the past). Personally, I don’t think LJ’s conception of prolifers is surprising at all, in
some ways. I need to make it clear when I say, prolifers, I am not talking so much about the general populace and even some of the leaders, which do sacrifice of themselves for people and genuinely want to see abortion stopped because they care about unborn persons. I’m talking about
people who want to control what women do with themselves, not their offspring. When some misguided and fanatical prolife leaders with significant political influence in the mainstream prolife movement start saying contraception, which is one of the biggest tools to prevent abortions from occurring (and by this I don’t mean drugs and devices that prevent implantation, just to be clear; such drugs and devices need improvement to remove such properties while
strengthening contraceptive ones if indeed they are proved to contain such properties), is worse than abortion itself because it gives women unlimited freedom over themselves then yes, I have to say that people are going to question what we’re really all about.
“For many of these activists, all manner of evils date back to the “sexual revolution” and, in particular, the widespread availability and use of contraception.
Allan Carlson, WCF’s founder and a speaker at the Utah event, has been a strong critic of the role of contraception in changing the roles of women and families in society, including speaking at a 2006 anti-contraception conference and appearing in the anti-contraception film “Birth Control: How Did We Get Here?”
A panel on “Understanding the Sexual and Cultural Revolution” will feature the Family Research Council’s Pat Fagan, who has argued that the Supreme Court decision ending bans on contraception for unmarried people was wrong because “functioning societies” ought to “punish” and “shame” people who have sex out of wedlock. Fagan links the “contraceptive mindset” to any number of social ills. “Since the introduction of contraception, everything else has fallen,” he has said…
A panel on “demography,” moderated by Personhood USA’s Keith Mason and notably consisting entirely of men, will likely address some of these fears, and in particular the idea that contraception is the root cause of a perceived cultural decline. The panel will include Steve Mosher of the Population Research Institute, who has argued that “[i]n its own way, contraception is an even greater tragedy than abortion” because it “involves the deliberate rejection of God’s creative power.”
Also speaking on the panel will be WCF’s Don Feder, who told a WCF event in Belgrade earlier this year that contraception leads to “death” by “preventing life from happening,” and who warned at the Moscow conference last year that humanity is financing “ its own extinction” through birth control.”
Also, I like to ask this question: why is it that, if certain drugs and devices do indeed prevent implantation, that prolifers don't try to improve them by removing their abortifacient properties while strongly increasing their contraceptive and female-friendly ones (if indeed any drug or device was proved to prevent implantation, that is)? It would be a great help in dealing with abortions and would very much be in our best interests to do this.
I realise that many grassroots prolifers do believe in contraception availability but some people love spreading scare-mongering tactics about contraception so women will live in eternal fear of being pregnant and remain pure. I think it is time that we did three things: 1) sort through the plethora of information and test these drugs and devices
2) improve the ones that contain implantation-prevention properties and leave the ones that don't
3) make people stop telling lies about controversial drugs and devices that don't prevent implantation
I am very interested in hearing your thoughts on that particular article and my opinions below it. Do you think they are right or wrong, and why?
Furthermore, I believe strongly that when a minority person, dare I say a victim or survivor, speaks about how they feel
objectified, we need to seriously listen to them, be quiet until they have finished speaking, and take their perspectives into consideration, especially on an issue like this so we can debate them better. That doesn’t mean we don’t show up the inhumanity of the way unborn persons are being treated (which is what you intended to do in your thought experiment with the toddler that LJ disagreed with because there was no stand-in for the pregnant person). It’s totally inhumane. But how are we going to reach people if we brush aside such
concerns because they come from the silly little n** or the silly little wimmenz?
That being said, we can’t lose focus of the unborn person,
which is really what this is all about. I think if people had their heads on their shoulders and weren’t lied to they would feel a deep outrage over the practice of abortion.
In regards to moving it over to SPL, I still intend to do that. I’ve been busy. I’m studying for an intense exam and wish me luck; I’ve got my whole life ahead of me and I want to do something special with it. That’s one reason out of many why you haven’t heard back from me, although I confess the study has lapsed significantly in the last few days :(
As I said, seeing the way you approached me brought it all back. In reference to the 1% I’m sorry to hear that, and hope I can answer your concerns well on the other website.
I am also very sorry I have not as of yet been able to totally expound on my full views to LJ. I’ve been busy with a lot, but I didn’t mean to mislead her through my words and I’m worried she could think I did mislead her :(
I remember years ago I when I was starting out in philosophy I took one of my first classes in ethics. We had a book with lots of pro and con arguments for various issues.
Abortion wasn't on the curriculum. At this time I was young and naive about it. I was pro-choice. I'd heard the arguments but never in so much depth. It just seemed on the surface that it's not wrong to kill something that wasn't aware. I did find the later term abortions problematic, however. It was a gradient for me, I think.
I had this sort of naive utilitarian moral framework that I patched together for myself.
One day I was bored and decided to flip through the book. I landed on the abortion section. I read the pro-choice section first and was basically nodding yes throughout. It made total sense to me.
Then I flipped to the pro-life essay. I was expecting some sort of religious nonsense. It was Don Marquis's essay on Why Abortion is Immoral. I'd never heard of Marquis before that point.
I read that essay and it absolutely stunned me. I was worried. His paper worried me. It made complete sense to me. I figured there must be something deeply wrong with it.
I spent many years on from that point studying the topic intensely. I read all the replies to Marquis and his responses and the FLO proponent replies. I read Thomson's famous essay. I read many books covering so much ground from the philosophy of personal identity and meta-ethics.
Eventually reason got the better of me.
It's quite an experience. You think we live in this modern world and all the big injustices are behind us. Then you're hit with the realization.
It's so ... so sad.
Josh, you are an inspiration. I appreciate what you do. You're doing good.
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Thank you so much! This story is awesome.
I use Marquis' argument sometimes when talking to pro-choice people. It can be so helpful, especially after first explaining that the argument was created by an atheist philosopher. I've seen people become pro-life on the spot because of the FLO argument.