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Monday, January 12, 2015

Following up on my #BlackLivesMatter LTTE

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

My letters to the editor on abortion always bring quite a few comments, so the reaction to my January 4 letter was not a surprise. The 47 comments (one was deleted) was actually lower than past letters on the same subject, which have generated between 95 and 150 comments. I want to address some of the comments on my most recent letter here:

The act of conception does not render a woman to the status of mere host to a parasite being. That is slavery.

The act of intercourse is an act that naturally brings about procreation, so engaging in intercourse is a tacit agreement that pregnancy might occur. (This is true for both men and women.) Even if we accepted the premise that sexual intercourse is not tacit agreement to sex, we do not have the right to kill a human being because we did not intend for him or her to be created.

Referring to the unborn baby as "a parasite being" is typically dehumanizing rhetoric. The unborn baby is not a tapeworm that invaded the body. He or she is a human being with as much value as any other person, born or unborn. It is typical that those who would oppress a class of persons would use rhetoric that would cast the victims as less than human. We have seen this all throughout history. Killing an innocent is never justified.

Furthermore, equating pregnancy with slavery is shamefully racist, as it minimizes the real oppression that black people experienced under slavery in these United States. Pregnant women have freedom and can go about their lives in a way that slaves could not dream of doing. Pregnancy is not slavery. It is a natural biological process. Equating pregnancy and slavery is absurd and silly hyperbole.

The intrusion has tended to come only in the doctor-patient relationships of females. No one has argued for laws ordering vasectomies for men who hate condoms and love sex.

This would be a legitimate comparison if we were proposing criminalizing tubal ligations for women but not vasectomies for men. That is not the case here, so it is a straw man argument. The issue is whether it should be legal to terminate the life of an unborn baby. The issue is much bigger than the "doctor-patient relationship" because there is a third person involved in the decision, with rights and value of his or her own.

If God would have not wanted abortion, it wouldn't exist. Are you challenging God, you foolish human?

This is a really silly comment. One could make the same argument about killing adults - not to mention rape, theft, adultery or any number of sins prohibited by God but that humans have the free will to commit. The fact that we have the ability to do something does not mean we are allowed to do it, by God's law or man's law. Duh.

Furthermore, the fact that abortion and infanticide occurs in the animal kingdom does not mean either is morally acceptable act for human beings. (Yes, there is abortion in the animal kingdom. Google it.)

I do not argue that the unborn does not have rights. Rather, I argue that the mother has sovereign right to remove any unwanted cells of her body in all time and circumstance.

Here is an interesting distinction the commenter is trying to make, but it is a distinction that is not possible in any logical sense. If one is arguing that there can be no limits on the "right" to kill an unborn child (which is what that comment means) then the unborn child has no rights at all.


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At January 12, 2015 at 9:21 AM , Blogger TableTopJoe said...  

I believe that this entire debate has been hijacked by extremists; I further believe, Mr. Tibbs, that you are one of the hijackers.

At common law, when the Constitution was drafted, termination of a pregnancy prior to "quickening" was considered a misdemeanor. Termination thereafter was considered a crime in many places.

That was the framework introduced via Roe v. Wade: in the 1st trimester, the state has no business telling a woman and her doctor what the appropriate course of treatment is for her, up to and including the termination of her pregnancy. The first trimester is prior to quickening. In the second trimester, the state's only legitimate interest is to ensure the health standards for the woman's treatment. It is only at the third trimester that the state has any legitimate interest in the well being of the fetus.

Argue the point all you want, but when you wrap yourself up in the Constitution, and such Constitution was grafted on top of the existing common law, you have to accept it for what it is. The Constitution says what it says; not what you and I want it to say.

Additionally, perhaps your socially conservative argument against abortion would carry more weight if you didn't simultaneously try to lecture people as to every aspect of their "sexy time" and put considerable efforts into ensuring that birth control is rare and sex ed is inaccurate.

Mr. Tibbs, I must admit that I do not know whether you openly opine against birth control and sex ed, but if your anti-abortion argument includes such planks as "you can always get birth control and eliminate the risk of pregnancy," then perhaps you would find more success at saving unborn lives by advocating for better access to birth control.

For some reason, methinks you haven't spilled too much ink on that. For example, do you support Sex Ed in schools? How about the contraception mandate in the ACA? How did you feel about the "Hobby Lobby" decision?

Intellectual consistency is a real drag, but it is a necessary precondition for credibility.

At January 13, 2015 at 6:17 PM , Blogger Mike Newton said...  

"The act of intercourse is an act that naturally brings about procreation, so engaging in intercourse is a tacit agreement that pregnancy might occur."

Only if said intercourse is both "straight" and deliberately unprotected. While we're on the subject once again, I will repeat what anyone with common sense must know: the "pro-life" GOP, seeking to ban abortion while they cut off every form of aid to impoverished, often starving, children, promoting endless wars for profit, defending murderous cops, and cheering each new execution in God's name, is not "pro-life." It is fanatically pro-BIRTH, and devil take the kids once they are no longer "unborn." That's your crowd, by conscious choice, not a pack of "godless liberals." They pervert every tenet of legitimate Xianity, if such a thing even exists.

At February 1, 2015 at 5:39 PM , Blogger Scott Tibbs said...  

Follow-up post is here.

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