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It's Not So Hypothetical Now, Is It?

It's Not So Hypothetical Now, Is It?

September 1, 2008 | Permalink


Tom, truth is simple, but sometimes hard to understand, sometimes hard to depict.

You've made this difficult issue easy to comprehend and for us all to decide.

McCain and Palin choose life.
Obama and Biden do not.

Jack (and Charmaine)

Posted by: jack yoest | Sep 1, 2008 9:29:47 PM

Hey, Tom. Love the site. Just two quick things

1) Not condoning the whole 'baby killing" thing, but if people want abortions, they're gonna get them, regardless of whether they're illegal or not. To solve the abortion problem, we need education, not illegalization.

2) Please explain to this ignorant non-American: what do you mean by the "If it's still living outside the womb"? Is there some news report I missed, or just some rhetoric that flew over my head?

Posted by: Zander | Sep 2, 2008 2:38:12 AM


Can't say that I agree with point #1 above. Education has been going on for years and years. The left has passed out condoms, taught children "safe sex" theory and more. It does not work. As long as abortion is legal, it will always be considered another "oops option."

Secondly, I believe what Tom is referring to above is "partial birth abortion." This is a procedure by which an infant is delivered alive, but before the head exits the birth canal, a puncture is made into the skull of the baby and the brains are scrambled to ensure its' death AND/OR the "Born-Alive Infants Protection Law" in which any child who survives an abortion are entitled to the full protection of the law.

Posted by: GMazy | Sep 2, 2008 5:04:05 AM

Actually what I was referring to was this:

Obama Denies Protection For Infants Of Botched Abortions


Posted by: Tom McMahon | Sep 2, 2008 7:20:35 AM


Zander is correct on point #1. It's no so much a question of an "oops option" as it is basic human biology. We evolved during a period of non-prosperity in which puberty was a sign that you were ready to bear children of your own. Now that we have such material prosperity, child-rearing can be put off until one is ready, but the biological imperative to procreate knows no such bounds. Education about safe sex practices (which includes but is not limited to abstinence) is essential. Our sex drive is not going to undo hundreds of thousands of years of development in a couple hundred years just because we want it to.

Posted by: ThomasBlair | Sep 2, 2008 7:35:28 AM

Ditto what Jack said. It is THAT simple.

Posted by: Beth | Sep 2, 2008 10:24:27 AM

Zander's point 1 is, IMHO, oversimplified. If abortion were illegal, then fewer people would get them. If abortion were illegal in all but certain highly-constrained conditions (e.g., rape, incest, life of the mother at high risk), then there will be more, but still nowhere near as many as now.

Yes, sex drive is an important factor, but somehow, Western civilization did not crash, much less fail to develop, during the majority of its history, when abortion simply was not an option. Realization of the consequences of unprotected sex, along with strong social mores, meant that people simply controlled themselves, and if they didn't, they faced the consequences--or were forced to do so (hence the "shotgun marriage").

I fail to see how our current regime of abortion on demand is in any way superior to how things were before.

Posted by: Sparticus | Sep 2, 2008 11:09:26 PM

The top block should read "A Punishment." Re: "I don't want my daughter punished with a baby."

Posted by: Bertmon | Sep 3, 2008 6:52:06 AM

> I fail to see how our current regime of abortion on demand is in any way superior to how things were before.

I don't see how, lacking a credible, non-religious-based distinction of what qualifies human life, anyone can deny a person the choice to abort (esp. given that it happens all the time via natural causes) up to a certain point (about where it is now).

The government has no more business sticking its nose in here than it does regarding drug use or euthanasia.

You can make a reasonable argument that, once it has independent brainwaves, it's got a semblance of rational, human thought. Until that point, it's a clump of cells with the -potential- to become a human, and not **inarguably** a -human- with all rights conferred thereupon. The first trimester, where this delineation occurs, is probably a good dividing point.

I think one can *allow* abortion without *encouraging* it, just like one can allow people to be gay without encouraging the behavior.

There's a distinction there, and it's a highly valid one. Both sides of this argument tend to be a bit too "black or white" about the matter. Absolutist positions rarely reflect reality or even common sense.

Posted by: Obloodyhell | Sep 3, 2008 2:29:23 PM

Great work!

Posted by: Brutus | Sep 3, 2008 6:19:10 PM

Obloodyhell's comment typifies the version of reality favored by radical individualism. That view is false, for there are greater needs than those of the individual. For example, society has an interest in preserving not just life, but also the dignity of life, and abortion degrades both. (Also, comparing spontaneous abortion--the end result of about 15% of all conceptions--and artificial abortion is a real apples-and-oranges proposition and not worth discussing.)

One may argue that the genie is out of the bottle and isn't going back in. That's a debatable point (as is when life begins; I'm comfortable with the classic definition of the onset of quickening, i.e, around three months, though ultrasounds show motion and heartbeats earlier than that). However, there is a marked distinction in abortion laws in America, where it was imposed by judicial fiat, and Europe, where it was passed by legislatures. Not surprisingly, where the people have a say in it, abortion laws are less liberal, i.e., they are not as easy to obtain.

By the way, the "clump of cells" argument was largely dropped when ultrasound technology developed to the point that it became clear that a even a first-trimester fetus was anything but a "clump."

However, I do appreciate your admission that one can allow abortion without encouraging it. Would that we could be in that situation now.

Posted by: Sparticus | Sep 6, 2008 12:11:10 PM

Actually it's not about partial birth abortions, it's much worse.


This is the specific incidence that prompted several state legislatures and eventually congress to enact laws to mandate care for children that "survive abortion". Barak Obama voted against two such measures while an Illinois state senator.

Posted by: RKeech | Oct 10, 2008 10:13:40 PM

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