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Marxist Hacker 42's Journal: On my real position on abortion. 26

Journal by Marxist Hacker 42

Some have recently, due to my positions on charity and Health Care, accused me of "compromising with evil" on abortion.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I agree with the Roman Catholic Church that abortion is *always and everywhere* an intrinsic evil, and nothing can change that.

But there are levels to evil. The number of people affected is one. Who is to blame is another.

For abortion due to incest or rape- the full blame MUST fall on the man committing incest or rape. Any abortion the woman has to go through to maintain sanity, health, or avoid suicide, is his fault, and his fault alone. The abortion caused by the rape or incest, is as foreseeable as the pregnancy due to the failure of contraception.

For abortion to save the life of the mother- this is triage. And while being forced into the choice is evil, ethical doctors in emergency room or battlefield conditions are often forced to make this very choice- there are TWO patients here, and if you do nothing, both will die. I don't even call this truly abortion- the ethical doctor in this case *MUST* do a cesarean birth, and if the child fails to survive, well, it isn't entirely his fault. Ectopic pregnancy is the classic case of this, but it doesn't make the abortion any less evil, just less fault.

Having said that- abortions paid for by state health care systems, abortions that are solely for the "future economic conditions of the mother" (including teenage pregnancy), or worse yet are forced upon the woman by the father or grandfather of the child, are the shame of all of America, and all of us who earn a profit from capitalism and avoiding our duty to the poor and hopeless, are to some extent guilty of this great evil.

In a different economic system, every woman would have access to an ultrasound machine *and* the data it gives, before making the decision for abortion. Every woman would *be guaranteed* food, clothing, shelter, pre- and post-natal care for the first 5 years of a child's life (America currently only guarantees food). This is the shame of abortion. It's not only an intrinsic evil, it's a failure of charity, a failure to give the poor their due. It's a failure of subsidiarity at the lowest level where it would do the most good- the family. And it is those souls; the ones abandoned by parents and grandparents, and to some extent abandoned by the very system that sucks up the resources they would have used into bank accounts in New York City on Wall Street, that I mourn the most.

A million children a year are aborted in the United States, less than 2% of those are for the first two reasons above. The other 98% were abandoned, not just by their parents, but by all of us. That's why I support the Stupak Amendment. That's why I'd like to see WIC expanded to cover clothing, shelter, pre- and post-natal medical care. But most of all, it's an explanation as to why I don't think just making abortion illegal will work (much as I'd like to see that also)- because in doing that, we turn our back on these other great sins that are as much of a cause of abortion in this country as Planned Parenthood's genocide of the poor itself.

Also, Contraception itself needs to be mentioned. This is a form of abortion between two consenting adults, done in private. It is therefore outside of the above statistics. They know full well they're doing the actions of the prayer of fertility in human beings, they know full well that their body language is asking for a child, yet they choose to block that child from coming into the world. This is similar to the third type If it wasn't for the great good the health care bill has in other areas, I'd be urging my congresscritters to vote against it for providing contraceptive benefits, because that too is federal money going to abortion.

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On my real position on abortion.

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  • Oh, and one last thing- but it's kind of outside of the scope of this. If we were to make abortion illegal again nationally, I'd like to see that fault apportioned out correctly. The father is guilty in cases of incest and rape, and should get life in solitary confinement for it. The doctor is guilty in the case of the emergency room, and at least should face an inquiry into his actions, and if found to have violated his hipocratic oath with respect to the child, should have his license revoked. The mot

  • i appreciate candor and thoughtfulness.

    well done

    i do tend to be more pragmatic than the position you state, but i believe i may also feel more guilt than a person adhering to your principles

    disclaimer: i have never raped, never had birth control fail to prevent a pregnancy (though i have had 3 condoms break while in use), never conceived, never lost a pregnancy i participated in to abortion or obvious miscarriage, i have one wonderful child, and i am not female

    i believe in change over punishment, i believe

  • You brought up specific numbers of abortions, and rates for reasons behind them. I have seen widely varying numbers for the same aims from various other people. Where did your numbers come from?
    • Actually, the numbers I brought up are averages, but have held pretty steady over the last 20 years or so, give or take a hundred thousand abortions.

      My source is a bit odd though- the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute. Last time I cited the studies directly though, I came under fire from pro-lifers for promoting abortion, simply because my numbers came from an openly pro-choice institution.

      Of course, I suppose the fact that I was pointing out that the two highest rates of abortion were in a Catholic country

      • My source is a bit odd though- the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute. Last time I cited the studies directly though, I came under fire from pro-lifers for promoting abortion, simply because my numbers came from an openly pro-choice institution

        I am not familiar with that institute, or their studies. Not to draw out the matter unnecessarily, but could you provide a link to a study that they have that supports your statement? I haven't seen you particularly discuss abortion before, however I have seen a lot of other people draw unsupported conclusions from studies when discussing the issue. I would like to see the numbers that support your statement.

        • Like I said, my numbers are just averages and estimates from studies they've done over the past 20 years- the actual numbers vary. And I don't have time to link to each and every study. Having said that, the relevant online resources only go back 14 years, but can be found here:
          http://www.guttmacher.org/archive/PSRH.jsp [guttmacher.org]

          You can find more in your local library.

          Now admittedly, I am using their statistics in a way "unsupported" by their theories- but you've got to remember, Alan Guttmacher was one of the found

          • Perhaps it would help if you let me know which of the three estimates I cited is the one you doubt?

            Well, to get specific, I am skeptical about the statement

            A million children a year are aborted in the United States, less than 2% of those are for the first two reasons above. The other 98% were abandoned, not just by their parents, but by all of us

            I have seen other people offer similar assertions, though I have yet to see data truly support it.

            I say this because, in particular, it is very difficult to be certain what the reason is for most of the abortions performed in this country. There are multiple reasons for this:

            • Not every clinic reports the reasons
            • Not every mother gives or is asked for a reason
            • Some abortions are performed for multiple (simultaneously existing) reasons

            So just while

            • by gmhowell (26755)

              I was going to give the old 'citation needed' reply myself. So I went looking about and found some numbers from the CDC [cdc.gov] whose numbers seem to make up the list of abortion frequency [wikipedia.org] at wikipedia.

              • I thank you for the CDC link. It did lead to one paper that was written that included information on Contraceptive Use Among US Women Having Abortions in 2000 - 2001 [nih.gov]

                While I don't have access to that paper at the moment, it does mention in the abstract that some 46% of women were not using contraceptives at the time of conception. However that does not on its own answer the question of why the abortion was obtained; just because a woman was pregnant without intending to get pregnant does not on its own
                • by gmhowell (26755)

                  I don't mind doing your work for you, because you are far more consistently pro-life than any other person I've spoken to on the subject (which is, of course, consistent with your Roman Catholicism) and I agree that the statistics are... Not cut and dried. Each asterisk or footnote carries another point and some fine print.

                  • I suspect that reply was posted to the wrong message? I am generally pro-choice myself. Marxist_Hacker42, who posted this journal entry, tells us he is generally pro-life. I don't often get into these discussions around here but I was particularly concerned about the numbers aspect this time.
                  • Thank you GM, for tracking down that CDC link. Especially since, DR found a paper that kind of proved me wrong on contraceptive use, I had no idea that such a study had been done. I'm going to use that paper in the future with arguments with right-wing Catholics on the subject of sex ed- obviously a large percentage of teenager humans, both male and female, are just *NOT GETTING THE POINT* that sex leads to babies.

                    • by loucura! (247834)

                      [blockquote]sex leads to babies.[/blockquote]

                      This is magic thinking. Sex doesn't lead to babies, the fertilization of an egg by a sperm cell leads to babies.

                    • Yes, it is magical thinking, because the sex act done properly puts the sperm cell in close proximity to the egg. No different than any other prayer or slight-of-hand trick.

                • just because a woman was pregnant without intending to get pregnant does not on its own mean that the pregnancy posed no risks to her or her fetus.

                  Well, that would be an argument for extermination of the species right there. *NO* pregnancy is 100% without risk, and without modern medical care, 1:10 pregnancies result in the death of the mother. So by that standard, no woman should *ever* carry a child to term, and all pregnancies should be aborted at detection.

                  You described yourself as pr

                  • just because a woman was pregnant without intending to get pregnant does not on its own mean that the pregnancy posed no risks to her or her fetus.

                    Well, that would be an argument for extermination of the species right there. *NO* pregnancy is 100% without risk, and without modern medical care, 1:10 pregnancies result in the death of the mother. So by that standard, no woman should *ever* carry a child to term, and all pregnancies should be aborted at detection.

                    ...

                    in your mind, 100% of abortions are for the "health and safety of the mother", because 100% of pregnancies carry some slight level of risk.

                    That is a distortion of my words, and I do not appreciate you responding that way. I would like to have a serious discussion of the numbers - or the absence of them - related to the issue.

                    While indeed I am pro-choice, I am not trying to argue that all abortions are done for the sake of the life of the mother. I am willing to concede that there is a very good chance that a fair number of abortions are done because other forms of birth control failed (or were not used or nor used properly) and the mother

              • The Wikipedia article was also interesting in that it failed to mention the single most-effective pro-life prevention tactic I know of: Making sure that urgent care and women's clinics have an ultrasound machine.

            • Oh, it's my math you're concerned with. Yes, that's certainly a possibility, but I'd point out that unless the right wing steps up with the charity, we can't get a clear answer on that other 98%. That is, unless we remove the stain of uncharitable economics from the sin of abortion, the other more minor reasons are not clear.

              Also, at best, the Guttmacher Institute is using survey based studies, much like the BLS- and the numbers should be taken as such. Which puts the number of abortions due to incest, r

  • so, it must be true right?

    I don't have the references, but atheists have less abortions than Christians.

    This likely has to do with us (in general) having the moral precept of avoiding a pregnancy that would otherwise be aborted.

    The Catholic Church disagrees with me (and likely most atheists) on contraception... that's honestly where the big argument is with me. If the Catholic Church, and more accurately the Protestants as well, weren't so crazy into the "YOU CAN'T TELL THEM HOW TO USE CONTRACEPTION, CONTR

    • I don't have the references, but atheists have less abortions than Christians.

      This likely has to do with us (in general) having the moral precept of avoiding a pregnancy that would otherwise be aborted.

      I think, given the state of most denominations of Christianity, and even of many of the laity in the Catholic Church, it also has something to do with the level of intelligence needed to use contraception and/or abstinence correctly.

      The Catholic Church disagrees with me (and likely mo

      • by snowgirl (978879) *

        Yes, and I'm not the only one. Many cancer patients speak of survival as a "battle", a moral fight on the mental side of things, against an evil foe. In fact, that seems to be a prevailing mindset among the winners in the battle against cancer- that the cancer is an intrinsic evil, a wrong that must be expunged at all costs.

        Oh, well, if the majority of people dealing with it think that way.... oh wait, unless that's a fallacy, which it is.

        The majority of people in America believe in a magic sky daddy.

        I can only assign morality (evil/neutral/good) to actions with intents, not to results that happen without intent... However, if you want to invoke a magic sky daddy, or a magic fire trickster, then everything would happen with intent, wouldn't it?

        • There is more to the universe than is imagined in your limited philosophy; which I suppose is the entire purpose of artificially limiting one's philosophy, to reduce the complexity of the universe to the point where one can handle living in it.

          My point wasn't that it was a simple majority of people- but that the mindset actually had *objective* physical ramifications (in that, those who aren't willing to fight against cancer as an evil invader into their body, don't put up with the pain of radiation and che

  • by Bill Dog (726542)

    Any abortion the woman has to go through to maintain sanity, health, or avoid suicide, is his fault, and his fault alone.

    I now see how it is you excuse evil -- to you an evil is acceptable if you can locate someone to put the blame on for it. Except that's totally illogical, and unjust. The murder of an innocent is not justified by someone's else guilt of something. Nor another's feelings of mental trauma. Nor their health -- I cannot kill my neighbor because he smokes in his backyard and I get some of it i

    • I now see how it is you excuse evil -- to you an evil is acceptable if you can locate someone to put the blame on for it.

      No, that's just locating somebody to punish *for* the evil. If anything, it's the opposite: evil is more excusable to me when there is nobody at fault- for instance, in the case of the ectopic pregnancy. When there is somebody at fault- PUNISHMENT MUST OCCUR- even if that punishment means we lose the profit motive entirely.

      Except that's totally illogical, and u

      • by Bill Dog (726542)

        evil is more excusable to me when there is nobody at fault-

        We also differ in our meanings of "evil" then -- to me evil is only what someone does, not what happens. Tragedies are unfortunate, but not "evil". If a tragedy stems from someone's behavior, if it was inadvertent, it is still only unfortunate but not evil. But if it was a choice to cause harm, that's when I use the label.

        I'm saying that we're *ALL* guilty- every last one of us- for economic abortion

        I'm not -- I've knocked no one up and I've screwed

        • We also differ in our meanings of "evil" then -- to me evil is only what someone does, not what happens. Tragedies are unfortunate, but not "evil". If a tragedy stems from someone's behavior, if it was inadvertent, it is still only unfortunate but not evil. But if it was a choice to cause harm, that's when I use the label.

          To me, that's the difference between EVIL and SIN. Evil is what happens, sin is whose fault it is.

          I'm not -- I've knocked no one up and I've screwed nobody econom

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