Government meddling is bad – except when it involves abortion

A blogger friend of mine at Life of a Female Bible Warrior sees nothing wrong with a law recently passed in Texas that would require women to undergo transvaginal ultrasounds before having an abortion. I’m a little surprised, to be honest. The Warrioress must, like many far left-wing democrats, be OK with the idea of government meddling in people’s private affairs – even if it means subjecting them to a completely unnecessary medical procedure.

Indeed, her post reads like a how-to manual for a nanny state: women can’t be trusted to make their own decisions about abortion, apparently, so the state should step in and give them a quick tutorial.

I guess the rights of citizens to be free of government molestation is not as inalienable and absolute as some like to make out.

Jon Stewart, as if often the case, says it best (I apologize if the video does not embed – just click on the blue link):

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15 Responses to Government meddling is bad – except when it involves abortion

  1. L.Long says:

    Its amazing how mentally retarded & hypocritical some women can be. The woman says she sponsored the ‘rape with a stick’ bill, and she will probably would also support the illegalize contraceptives bill and its primarily because she wants to keep her job and will probably never get an abortion. But she’s a hypocrite and has used contraceptives or never had a lot of sex or has 13 kids.
    1st they stopped abortion, then contraceptives, then shut up and stay home!! Then you are immodest so the black tent on!!! I wonder how she will like that last one!

  2. Keith, I know you aren’t this obtuse and I certainly am not; the commentor above is obviously buying into the bs put forth as argument against the law.

    For both of you, how is that a living being, a BABY, has no more right to live than a mosquito except if a criminal takes the life of its mother and it subsequently dies…then the act is called what it is, MURDER.(???) Contradictary? Oh yeah.

    Certainly abortion must be available for the life or health of the mother, but short of that, what gives any human being the right to terminate the life of another? A responsible *choice* should be made before the pregnancy, not after.

    This load of hyperbole that you’ve written here is beneath you, Keith.

  3. Keith says:

    L. Long: I generally appreciate your comments but I would caution you about using sexist language here. Thanks!

  4. Keith says:

    Warrioress:

    Two points: First, I should remind you that abortion is legal in this country. I know you don’t like this, but if you are a citizen who respects both the law and the right of citizens to live as freely as they can within this law without being coerced by their government into particular actions, then you must agree that the ultrasound law is a flagrant violation of this ideal. That was the gist of my post.

    Second, we can, if you like, address the actual issue of whether abortion should be legal. That is a separate matter from the issue of unnecessary government intervention.

    My position is laid out in detail under the Examples page of my Morality essay. Suffice it to say that I think you are deliberately using emotive language (like calling a first trimester fetus a “baby”) to make your case. Issues like these can’t be decided by appealing to emotional reactions. In my view, all moral issues are decided by appealing instead to the amount of suffering or happiness incurred to those people involved in the issue. This raises very important questions about the ability of fetuses to experience suffering, and how we should view the potential of the fetus’s future life.

    Your view is very different: it regards all human life as dogmatically sacred, no matter the age. But this view, as you are aware, only holds under the assumption of the existence of God. Without God, the concept of a “sacred” life has no meaning. Absolute rules fade away. This forces us to confront decisions about what we truly value about life, rather than take the easy route of following the simple dictates of a supernatural parent figure. In short, without God, we are forced to be resonsible adults who must think for ourselves.

    In the spirit of a thinking adult then, I ask that you refrain from using emotional ploys like calling abortion baby killing, and offer a more rigorous argument.

    • Emotional ploys, eh?

      Pray tell, what is this then that you’ve referenced?

      “government molestation”

      It’s “molestation” because a senator sponsored a law that suggests that one *view* the active life within that one is planning to murder?

      What’s the matter, Keith? Don’t care for the word “murder?”

      All righty then….

      What is the problem with asking a woman to actually *look at* the living being that she is about to kill, destroy, have suctioned from her uterus in bits and pieces, dissolved by acidic salt water, cut out with a surgical tool, or etc., etc., etc.

      Why shouldn’t she view the living, breathing “fetus” first?

      What’s the problem with hearing the fetal hearbeat before ending the life of the growing unborn human being?

      Tell me exactly how this is “government molestation?” This is the emotional hyperbole that I was making reference to, that I found sadly disappointing in your take on this.

      Despite what you want to call the being, it is alive, living, and growing into a baby. It resembles a baby by less than three months old. “Government molestation” might reveal to the woman viewing the ultrasound that it is a baby…heaven forbid.

      This has nothing whatsoever to do with religion, imo. This has to do with forcing a woman to confront the realities of what she is about to participate in — the taking of LIFE.

      Women are “invaded” daily in this nation every single time that they have a pap smear for cancer or an examination for stds.

  5. Keith says:

    Warrioress:

    Concerning the word “molestation”. The first definition of “molest” in the dictionary is “to bother, interfere with, or annoy.” That is the meaning I was intending. I didn’t mean to imply sexual molestation, although frankly being forced to have something inserted into your vagina could be reasonably construed as such.

    “It’s “molestation” because a senator sponsored a law that suggests that one *view* the active life within that one is planning to murder?”

    No, I think you missed what I said in my blog post. I said that the medical procedure itself was molestation (defined as interference, as per the above remark).

    In fact, the woman would *not* be required to actually look at the ultrasound, even though she would be required to have a device inserted into her genitals without her permission. I don’t know about you, but I think women should have the right to make their own decisions about what happens to their genitals.

    “This has nothing whatsoever to do with religion, imo. This has to do with forcing a woman to confront the realities of what she is about to participate in — the taking of LIFE.”

    This simply confirms my initial accusation, namely that you’re fine with the government “forcing” people to do something when it supports your particular worldview.

    And once again, I’m surprise at how little credit you give to other women. Do you really think that women who seek an abortion do not agonize over their decision? Do not think it through as much as they can? Do you honestly believe that the government needs to “force” them to look at an ultrasound? This is pure emotional manipulation – it’s coercion.

  6. You speak from a place that has (apparently) absolutely no concern whatsoever for another living, human being or the rights of that human being. You simply cannot see the fetus as “living” or even “human” evidently, with its own right to exist.

    I find this sad as we have absolutely no ground on which to discuss this that can be construed as “common.” Oh well.

    • Keith says:

      Warrioress:

      Unfortunately you still seem fixed on using emotional rhetoric. I think it’s very important to talk honestly about whether a fetus should be regarded as having equal moral standing as an adult.

      That doesn’t make me someone who has “absolutely no concern whatsoever for another living, human being”. It simply makes me someone who is willing to look very carefully at where the value of human life truly lies.

      To me, the value of human life lies not in some unseen “soul” that God magically implants in each person at the moment of conception. That, as far as I can tell, is an ancient myth whose days are long gone. Instead, what’s important about being human is the ability to feel emotion, to think, to have the capacity for suffering and happiness. And there is no tiny few-week old blob of cells in the world that has these qualities, be it a human fetus, or anything else. Early-stage fetuses, then, do not have the same moral standing as late-stage fetuses, babies, children and adults.

      You also seem to have taken no consideration of my other claim, namely that the potential future of every fetus ought to be taken seriously. It DOES matter that a fetus will, if allowed to flourish, become a fully fledged person. This needs to be taken into account.

      If you were truly interested in how I viewed abortion, you would read the relevant page on my morality essay. Instead, though, you obviously find it much easier to tell me how horrible I am.

  7. L.Long says:

    One I was not being sexist. It is an observation based on what I have been seeing in religion. And it is a genuine puzzlement to me why females would support almost any religion as they are treated (at least in dogma) as 5th class crap. Also I did not define men as better as they are not, they are the ones in charge of the religions.

    to Warrioress: 1st abortion has nothing to do with babies!
    it has to do with a parasite that someone does not want for what ever reason. And yes it is a parasite put in place partially by a male who did not really care about it (ie rape) or they now have to change their minds (ie health reasons). in fact the buyBull states in several places that they did not care that much about ‘babies’ until the males could live away from their mothers.

    Yes I do call it a parasite and no my wife has never had an abortion and although my daughter came close it turned out OK. But I would have supported them thru one if needed. And an abortion is never to be done lightly, and the idiots that say women do so for birth control and as often as necessary really are silly.

    As for the ‘rape with a stick’, it is rape and if done by any one other then the gov’mint it would be prosecuted as such. All because some stone age BS religious group is trying to push their crap onto everyone else. No one is forcing these people to get an abortion. And abortion is murder? Really?? Don’t ever have a miscarriage over the toilet because you just MURDERED your BABY and flushed it down the drain, what a wonderful person! See you in Hell (being atheist I am headed that way).

  8. “Warrioress:

    Unfortunately you still seem fixed on using emotional rhetoric. I think it’s very important to talk honestly about whether a fetus should be regarded as having equal moral standing as an adult.

    That doesn’t make me someone who has “absolutely no concern whatsoever for another living, human being”. It simply makes me someone who is willing to look very carefully at where the value of human life truly lies.”

    I don’t see how my rhetoric would not be emotional. We’re talking about the killing and doing away with human beings, in various states of growth. I believe that each human being is valuable and is entitled to a life as much as the next one is. Certainly a blob of cells probably feels no pain and does not suffer when it’s not yet formed, but abortion is occurring to fetus’ that are clearly formed from the fingernails and the little fingers on their hands, to their tiny toes. Some of them are sucking their thumbs on the ultrasound and this is at three months! The fact that you want to debate this and think we can is what is amazing and disappointing me — not that I’m really all that surprised; you are a scientist, after all. Scientific, logical reason trumps emotion, I guess, in your world. Well… I’m not a scientist, Keith. I’m more the emotional type, if that isn’t already pretty obvious by now.

    “To me, the value of human life lies not in some unseen “soul” that God magically implants in each person at the moment of conception. That, as far as I can tell, is an ancient myth whose days are long gone. Instead, what’s important about being human is the ability to feel emotion, to think, to have the capacity for suffering and happiness. And there is no tiny few-week old blob of cells in the world that has these qualities, be it a human fetus, or anything else. Early-stage fetuses, then, do not have the same moral standing as late-stage fetuses, babies, children and adults.”

    See, this is where you and I differ dramatically. Morally, the early stage fetus is still a unique human being. I agree that the early stage fetus probably feels nothing and is aware of nothing, but it’s the beginning of life. If there is going to be termination, this would be the time to terminate, before the being is aware of suffering and has developed so that it is recognizable as a child. I don’t believe there should be any abortions allowed past the blob stage that you’re talking about. I think abortion past this stage of development is barbaric and horrific, and yes, criminal, whether the law agrees with me or not.

    “You also seem to have taken no consideration of my other claim, namely that the potential future of every fetus ought to be taken seriously. It DOES matter that a fetus will, if allowed to flourish, become a fully fledged person. This needs to be taken into account.”

    Taken into account regarding the child’s survival? What do you mean by its “potential future?” You mean can the mother care for it? Does she want it? Is this what you’re referencing? Every fetus will become a fully fledged person unless you’re attempting to say that the disabled and special needs children in the world are not fully functioning, fully fledged persons… Care to expound on this?

    If you were truly interested in how I viewed abortion, you would read the relevant page on my morality essay. Instead, though, you obviously find it much easier to tell me how horrible I am.

    I’ve read your morality essay. I didn’t find the part you’re referencing though; there were numerous examples but none had anything to do with abortion. You analyze morality like it’s a calculus problem. Again, why am I surprised? You’re into science and are evidently approaching morality intellectually and scientifically, unlike myself.

    As for how “horrible” you are. Were I to believe that you are indeed “horrible,” you would not see me on your blog posts again in the future. I would step quickly away and consider you a truly lost cause worthy of only my sympathy and pity. Yes, I care about those whom I regard in this manner but at some point I do move along and turn them over to the Lord to deal with.

    I think you’re a brilliant man who is obviously intellectual and well educated. I think you’re a good person as far as most people go, but I think you’re caught up in the morality of this age, of this world. This morality is sadly lacking and rapidly plummeting down into what can only be described as “evil.” I don’t think you see this though, and certainly disagree with me. It doesn’t make you “horrible.” It makes you “blinded” in my eyes. It saddens me, but I feel you’re entitled to your own opinion, choices, and beliefs, and care about you regardless.

    I don’t think we’re going to get anywhere arguing about this topic though, unfortunately.

  9. LL Long, I’m afraid you and I really cannot relate at all and it’s really rather pointless to try.

    Considering a fetus to be comperable to a “parasite” told me all I need to know about the possibility of you and I exchanging thought; it’s not possible.

    Thank you for sharing your opinion with me though.

  10. Keith says:

    Warrioress:

    I think we have a breakthrough 🙂

    Although I still disagree with much of what you’ve said, you hit on exactly my view of abortion, when you wrote:: “If there is going to be termination, this would be the time to terminate, before the being is aware of suffering and has developed so that it is recognizable as a child.”

    This is the position I’ve advocated all along, as you’ll see in my Morality essay.

    Regarding potential future: Imagine if we were able to see into the future. We could see that a particular fetus at risk of being aborted would, if allowed to live, have a long, happy life. This happiness is precisely the thing that I’m concerned about when I think about morality. I’m concerned about the consequences of actions as they relate to people’s happiness. Not aborting the fetus, then, would result in long happiness in the example I’ve used here. This would swing the balance heavily in favor of not performing that particular abortion.

    If, on the other hand, we had a fetus that we knew with certainty would be born to a short, painful life (as the result of a severe birth defect, for instance), then it would be more humane, under my moral system, to abort.

    Of course, we cannot look into the future in this way. The only exception is with birth defects, some of which can, indeed, be diagnosed before it’s too late to perform an abortion.

    The conclusion of all of this is described in my morality essay: it seems I referred you to the wrong place. You can find the discussion here: https://kpharri.wordpress.com/2011/11/01/examples-abortion/

  11. L.Long says:

    From Warrioress…
    LL Long, I’m afraid you and I really cannot relate at all and it’s really rather pointless to try.
    Considering a fetus to be comparable to a “parasite” told me all I need to know about the possibility of you and I exchanging thought; it’s not possible.
    Thank you for sharing your opinion with me though.

    To Warrioress…
    Yes I can see that but the point of my comment was that when people start using emotionally charged BS like ‘murdering babies’ when there is no baby around then the response can also be extreme and if you suspend the emotional involvement with the fetus and look at what it is doing to the body and look at the actions of the parasite my definition of of the fetus as parasite is closer to true then yours as it is a baby. You where being just as silly and emotional as I was in response. It is important to keep the silly emotions out of this type of discussion.
    I agree with Keith in that abortion is not a ‘good’ solution but it is an option that in some cases is necessary. And to make laws to prevent its use in all circumstances because of some religious myth is very wrong.

  12. I’m not religious, but I do have a strong value of property rights. I think the law is there to protect people’s property (including life) – especially those who can’t protect it themselves.

    Basically one can do anything they want as long as they do not harm anyone else. Abortion, I believe, violates the unborn child’s right to life. I can’t really see any justification in calling an unborn child less alive – that is unless it’s before the heart is beating.

    It’s all debatable thought, I suppose…

  13. Keith says:

    Atticus:

    My view is that the idea of rights, while useful heuristically, gets into troubled waters when taken dogmatically. One has to ask *why* we consider people to have, say, the right to life or the right to property.

    Believers have an easy answer (or at least, it looks like an easy answer, but the assumptions that go into it are tremendously difficult to defend): rights are God-given. But those of us who see no evidence for the existence of God don’t have such an easy solution.

    For instance, the right to life becomes, in my view, pointless when applied to someone whose brain has been so severely damaged that they are in an permanent vegetative state with no possibility of recovery. In whose interests is it to keep such a person on life support? It’s certainly not in their own interests, because they are no longer conscious, and therefore not capable of having interests. It seems indefensible to demand that a person in this condition be kept on life support indefinitely because of some abstract idea of the right to life, when that life has, in all its meaningful aspects, essentially ended already.

    What this demonstrates, to me, is that the right to life is not something absolute, but it is something that depends on the interests of the individual. Which leads us to the sort of consequentialist approach that I use in my own moral system.

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