?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2007-04-18 12:54
Subject: The American Right drags the country one steep step further into decline
Security: Public
Tags:abortion, politics
Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Abortion Procedure.
Post A Comment | 26 Comments | | Flag | Link






Chris McKitterick: Vote hippie!
User: mckitterick
Date: 2007-04-18 20:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Vote hippie!
...and they're even dictating which medical procedures are legal. This just supports my theory that the NeoCons and ultra-right-wing people in the government are trying to build a Fascist state.

What will it take for people to notice that we are moving toward life in a dictatorship? When the government begins to dictate which fillings we can get in our teeth?
Reply | Thread | Link



User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2007-04-18 20:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Scientists ought to recognize we're already living in a fascist or proto-fascist state.

Freaking political officers in what are supposed to be independent advisory and regulatory bodies...
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



juliabk
User: juliabk
Date: 2007-04-18 20:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
What do you mean "moving toward life in a dictatorship"?
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Chris McKitterick: Bush dollar
User: mckitterick
Date: 2007-04-18 20:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Bush dollar
Well, I like dirkcjelli's term, "proto-fascist state" better than assuming it's already fully a dictatorship. At least we retain the semblance of democratic process and can still do things guaranteed by the Bill of Rights....
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



juliabk
User: juliabk
Date: 2007-04-18 21:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Maybe. I really haven't pushed it much lately. Goodness knows my vote hasn't counted for much nationally. I dare say I could be arrested for saying things today that wouldn't have garnered a second look 20 years ago. Haebus Corpus has become a quaint artifact of law. American citizens are being 'diappeared' by our own government. The President is, apparently, exempt from obeying the bills he signs into law. There's a de facto religious test for holding public office and it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if that were formalized in the near future. It's just been reinforced one. more. time. that my body does not belong to me, but to the state.

I'm just not seein' much difference between the proto and the actual in this scenario.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2007-04-18 21:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Open use of force, on a semi-frequent basis. The removal of those of dissenting views from public discourse.

Basically... once they smack Keith Olberman and stop allowing BBC-news into the country.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



juliabk
User: juliabk
Date: 2007-04-18 22:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think we're so close to that it doesn't really matter.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Keffy
User: kehrli
Date: 2007-04-18 20:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
So, if a "doctor" feels that it is against their moral standing to prescribe birth control pills to a woman who needs them for any one of a number of different reasons, they are allowed to act on that faulty sense of morality. Damn the consequences - be they unwanted pregnancy or something infinitely worse.

If a doctor feels that it is against their moral standing and professional ethics to NOT order a life-saving procedure in a situation in which the fetus is already dead, then they are just SOL.

I am noticing a pattern here. I wish my rage meant anything.
Reply | Thread | Link



Chris McKitterick: beware-monkeyboy
User: mckitterick
Date: 2007-04-18 20:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:beware-monkeyboy
Yep. And this feeling of impotence - what can we do? voting doesn't seem to do any good - just makes it worse. I have a friend who says about the current situation, "we are in the midst of a Second Civil War," and I'm afraid he's not far off the mark.

Chris
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: ex_paulskem
Date: 2007-04-19 14:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This kind of sky is falling rhetoric puzzles me. The statute was passed by a popularly elected Congress, and found Constitutional by a Court the Justices for which were appointed in accordance with Constitutional process. True, you or I may not have voted for Congresspersons who voted for the statute and/or voted to confirm the Justices, but abiding by the laws nevertheless is the price we pay for living in a pluralistic, democratic society. Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose (there are limits to this, but IMO this statute and ruling don't approach them, primarily because, in my view, the Court had no business taking up Griswold and its progeny to begin with).

If we cry "civil war" and utter similar hyperbole every time a policy that we don't like goes into effect, we undermine the institutions upon which the democracy stands, because we call into question their legitimacy (and it is that single, ephemeral abstraction -- legitimacy -- that keeps the whole thing in place). Now, I concede that there is a time and place to question the legitimacy (in the political science sense of the term, not the common sense of the term) of government action. It seems you and I (and the person to whom you linked) may disagree about whether this is such a time and place.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Leela
User: leela_cat
Date: 2007-04-19 00:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
According to my partner who read the decision, the Supremes upheld the previous court decision on procedural grounds, not the ban. And there's an out in the decision, "While the court upheld the law against a broad attack on its constitutionality, Kennedy said the court could entertain a challenge in which a doctor found it necessary to perform the banned procedure on a patient suffering certain medical complications."

It's not a perfect out, but it's also not a unilateral decision.

One of the bigger issues is that the newspapers are picking up the "upholds ban" propaganda and everyone is seeing that and believing it. That's a big part of the win for the neoCons and the righter-than-right crowd. After all, why will the fence-sitters go out of their way to fight a fight that's (apparently) already been won.

The whole thing just makes me nauseous. The only people who should have input into whether or not someone has an abortion are the woman and her doctor. She can listen to other people, sure, but they shouldn't be making that decision for her.
Reply | Thread | Link



User: ex_paulskem
Date: 2007-04-19 13:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"The only people who should have input into whether or not someone has an abortion are the woman and her doctor. She can listen to other people, sure, but they shouldn't be making that decision for her."

This, of course, presupposes the answer to the question about which most disagreement over abortion arises -- namely, what is the nature of the fetus and should it be given the same protection under law as a human being not in the womb.

Perfectly reasonable disagree over that point.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-04-19 14:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Is there an empirical perspective that supports the "human life begins at conception" position? I thought that was entirely faith-based.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: ex_paulskem
Date: 2007-04-19 14:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There's not, at least not that I'm aware of (though as we both know, defining the point at which human life begins is a prickly thing when we're discussing a fetus at any stage of development). While an empirical basis might be preferable to a faith-based one, at the end of the day, whichever empirical basis we choose (presence of heartbeat, neurons, ability to sense pain, etc.) seeems to me little more than a matter of opinion anyway.

In any event, the "life begins at conception" position is not the only one to take in opposition to the position set forth by leela cat, above, viz., that only a woman and her doctor ought to have input into an abortion decision. Before I continue, I should clarify that I took leela cat position's to mean that an abortion at ANY STAGE of pregnancy is a decision solely for the woman and her doctor and should not be prohibited by the state (if that is not what you meant, my apologies, leela cat).

My own position is that a fetus ought to be deemed a human being in the eyes of the law at some point in a pregnancy. I conclude this because I cannot distinguish, in any principled way, between the differences in legal status that exist between a seventh month old fetus that passes through the birth canal (and is therefore entitled to protection at law) and the seventh month old fetus that does not (and is therefore a 'non-person' in the eyes of the law and can be aborted). Passing through the birth canal is just not enough for me, here.

Of course, I don't know when in the pregnancy the fetus becomes human, but given my position I'm inclined to err on the side of caution. Hence, my 'magic wand' policy (as I've articulated on the blog before, I think) would be for a woman to have access to an abortion for any reason up to say, four months into the pregnancy, then no abortions thereafter except for cases of severe medical risk (and these would have to be defined in the statute by doctors).
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-04-19 14:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you. I am most certainly not trying to pick a fight with you (or anyone else). It's just your 'reasonable people disagree' caught my eye, because I've been working on a complex post about the difference between emotional logic and empirical logic in argument. By definition, someone who's working from an emotional or faith-based orientation isn't being reasonable, in the sense of 'reasonable' meaning 'rational.'

For example, my own thinking on guns is highly emotional, the equivalent of faith-based thinking, so I have to work very hard (and not always successfully) to keep my statements grounded in empirical reality.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: ex_paulskem
Date: 2007-04-19 15:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Understood. I'll look forward to that post. :-)

As an addendum to my earlier post, I wanted to clarify my thinking a bit. Defining the term "human being" is (obviously) central to the abortion question. One's answer to that question leads to certain more or less inevitable policy results.

Fundamentalists Christians believe that life begins at conception. Roe and its progeny adopt the position that life begins after a fetus passes through the birth canal. Both strike me as unsupportable as matters of principle, which is why I find it regrettable that only the pole opinions seem to drive this debate and the consequent policy (it's also why I take every opportunity to put forth a more middle ground approach :-)).
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2007-04-19 19:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm of the opinion that humanity begins at some time between birth and the age of 3 in individuals without genetic or environmental retardation.

I'd be happy to compromise to the moment of birth... but on some level, "everybody lets compromise" is a function of the opinions you deem acceptable for inclusion.

I also find it interesting, in this case, that the five justices who voted in favor of the amendment were of one religious persuasion (catholic) and the other four were of more liberal theological disposition where matters such as abortion are concerned.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: ex_paulskem
Date: 2007-04-19 19:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"everybody lets compromise" is a function of the opinions you deem acceptable for inclusion."

And?
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2007-04-19 19:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And, unless you have a justification for why you think you should credit only those opinions which are between conception and birth, and should not lie on either pole, you basically have no justification at all.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: ex_paulskem
Date: 2007-04-19 19:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"And, unless you have a justification for why you think you should credit only those opinions which are between conception and birth, and should not lie on either pole, you basically have no justification at all."

Please see below. You're mistaking where a policy may happen to land among the universe of possible policies with the relationship of the policy to others.

I have offered a justification, incidentally. It's just one you don't agree with. We can agree that the quality of humanness starts at some point. I think we can further agree that when a fetus/child/adult demonstrates the quality 'humanness' then it should be protected by law as are all human. The only question, then, is what is that quality. And our respective answers, whatever they are (and as I mentioned to Jay above) are based entirely on opinion. There is no objective definition in this context for the quality humanness.

As it happens, you and I obviously differ on our standar for that quality. It seems (based on the age you mentioned, together with the mention of retardation) that self-awareness might be your test. Fair enough. It's not mine. I'd take a biological approach.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2007-04-20 16:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm going to let this drop, but wanted to clarify where you've misconstrued my position, admittedly due to the brevity in length and scope of my earlier post.

* I do not believe we can agree that the quality of humanness starts at some point. It is, instead, a continuous spectrum.

* All humans are not protected by the law equally, and with good reason. 3 year olds can't vote or drive cars. The law does not, as you imply, protect them all 'equally.' We also attempt to extend to non-human animals some rights (such as relatively painless living conditions and slaughter)

* A question remains, which is what parameter we should use to determine humanness on that continuum.

* You feel that there is 'no' objective definition for the quality of humanness. This sounds like post-modernism to me, a philosophy I certainly do not ascribe to. I feel there are multiple 'objective' definitions, and conceed it is possible my own defintion is incorrect.

* Consequently, it is more than a matter of opinion- what we have here is an empirical question, with some people bringing no or insufficient evidence to the table.

* Consciousness and the capacity to suffer, physiological development etc. are indeed my criteria. There is a sense in which we know a rock cannot suffer, and we know that a puppy can... so kicking rocks is okay, but kicking puppies is not. An adult mother has a much greater capacity to suffer as compared to a fetus.

If fetal pain during the procedure is the concern (and I'll point out that normal birth is certainly quite painful for an infant, and that the brain has no pain receptors), then it is perhaps appropriate to require a small injection of morphine into the fetus. I would place this on par with animal rights, which a fetus certainly has if it doesn't have full human rights.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2007-04-20 16:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
neuro-physiological development, rather
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: ex_paulskem
Date: 2007-04-20 18:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If you want to drop it, fair enough. Let me just clarify something, since I want to make clear my position on the "equal under the law" issue.

"All humans are not protected by the law equally, and with good reason. 3 year olds can't vote or drive cars. The law does not, as you imply, protect them all 'equally.'"

This strikes me as irrelevant in this context. If one person kills another human (as defined by law), the age, mental capacity, physical capacity, character, etc., of the victim is entirely irrelevant (which is not to say that other factors, such as self-defense, etc. might not mitigate the 'crime,' but those factors have nothing to do with the victim's status as human). The fundamental question is whether or not the victim is human, nothing more, and in that sense, all humans are, in fact, equal in the eyes of the law. And that seemed to me the issue we were discussing, i.e., what is or should be a human in the eyes of the law.

Anyway, thanks for the discussion.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: ex_paulskem
Date: 2007-04-19 19:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That reply seems facetious when it's not meant to be. I simply mean to say that my policy position has nothing whatever to do with an attempt to compromise or reconcile two competing positions. My position on abortion is simply the best one I can craft for myself, given my sensibilities about when human life begins. That it falls somewhere between the typical positions espoused by pro-life and pro-choice advocates is neither here nor there.

If your position is that a child at birth ought not to be considered a human being in the eyes of the law, why compromise on that point? Because to not compromise makes others queasy? Why burden a woman with the consquences of your compromise if you're convinced that a nine month old fetus, or an eight month old baby, is not a human being and should therefore be terminable at the woman's convenience? My policy choice is a desire to err ont the side of sparing a life (since I freely admit to not knowing when life begins). Yours seem to be to err on the side of political expediency and thereby burden the expectant woman (since you're prepared to back up to a point that is far earlier than the one at which a child becomes human).
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: ex_paulskem
Date: 2007-04-19 15:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Wow, did I have alot of typos in that first post re abortion. Thank God/Ghu for copyeditors or I'd never work again. :-)
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



farmgirl1146
User: farmgirl1146
Date: 2008-04-22 16:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
One problem with telling a person that she cannot have an abortion is that it is one step from telling a person she has to have an abortion. This happened in China in the 1960's. (Lots of sarcastic comments about China under Mao and the US under Bushes come to mind, you can fill in this area yourself.)

This week the planet's population topped 6 Billion. Somewhere there is a sign that says 4 Billion limit in this space -- Fire Department.
Reply | Thread | Link



browse
my journal
links
January 2014
2012 appearances