Irony

There are two discussions that reoccur on a regular basis on my blog:

1. Fetuses are not people and do not have rights.

2. Children are people and do have rights.

The funny thing is that I always face the same opponents on both topics.

38 thoughts on “Irony”

  1. Thus, fetuses are not children. Got it. But some of them do become children at some point. So at what point does that magical transition from a bio-matter blob without rights to a human being with rights take place?

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    1. I think you missed the point. The ones saying parents have absolute control over their children and therefore that children do not have rights are the ones who fight tooth and nail against abortion.

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  2. “At what point does that magical transition from a bio-matter blob without rights to a human being with rights take place?” This is easy: at the moment of birth. Birth is what transforms a fetus in to a human being. This is why we mark that moment with a birth certificate and conferral of citizenship.

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    1. There are cases where babies survived an abbortion. May we kill her or him now? (I just think there are more possible answer to the question “when does life start?”)

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      1. Please don’t believe the silly propaganda. Please. A fetus cannot “survive” anything when it’s at 12 weeks. Past that, you will not receive an abortion anyways in this country.

        “May we kill her or him now?”

        – Who is this royal “we”?

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      2. Did I say anything about 12 weeks? There are abortions taking place later than week 12 when the baby is disabled or when the mother’s health or life is in danger.

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4500022.stm

        Anyway, I am not against abortion but to claim that there is only one answer to the question when life starts is bullshit.

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        1. “Anyway, I am not against abortion but to claim that there is only one answer to the question when life starts is bullshit.”

          – You have not demonstrated that in any way, though.

          “There are abortions taking place later than week 12 when the baby is disabled or when the mother’s health or life is in danger.”

          – The sentence makes no sense at all, I’m sorry. There is either an abortion or a baby. You can’t have “a disabled baby” before an abortion. I think you are referring to a non-viable, damaged and unwanted fetus. The only question here is whether actual human beings should be forced to perform the role of walking repositories for such damaged and unwanted fetuses.

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      3. “Anyway, I am not against abortion but to claim that there is only one answer to the question when life starts is bullshit.”

        – You have not demonstrated that in any way, though.

        What have I not demonstrated? That I am not against abortion? Or that to claim that there is only one answer to the question when life starts is bullshit? Or both?

        “There are abortions taking place later than week 12 when the baby is disabled or when the mother’s health or life is in danger.”

        – The sentence makes no sense at all, I’m sorry. There is either an abortion or a baby. You can’t have “a disabled baby” before an abortion. I think you are referring to a non-viable, damaged and unwanted fetus. The only question here is whether actual human beings should be forced to perform the role of walking repositories for such damaged and unwanted fetuses.

        Yes, you are right. I should have used ‘fetus’ here. Btw I did not say that a woman should not be allowed to abort such a fetus.

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        1. ” Or that to claim that there is only one answer to the question when life starts is bullshit?”

          – Exactly. Every government and every culture under the sun – at least, that I’m aware of – celebrates birthdays, awards birth certificates, and counts one’s age from the day of birth, not of conception. So if you disagree with all of those practices to the point of calling them bullshit, there must be some sort of an explanation. I’m planning to celebrate by birthday the day after tomorrow. You seem to suggest that it’s a mistake and I shouldn’t because my life began 9 months before, right? That’s when you celebrate your birthday?

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      4. Somebody from the Jahowa’s witnesses once told me that they do not celebrate birthdays. There might be other groups that don’t.

        In the Yoruba culture the twin who is born last is considered to be older than the twin who was born first.

        I never disagreed with those practices. Saying that something is not the only possible answer is not disagreeing. Neither did I call any of those practices bullshit. What I called bullshit is to claim that there are no other possible answers.

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        1. “Somebody from the Jahowa’s witnesses once told me that they do not celebrate birthdays. There might be other groups that don’t.”

          – I’m sure they don’t get abortions either, so what’s the problem?

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    2. “This is easy: at the moment of birth. Birth is what transforms a fetus in to a human being. This is why we mark that moment with a birth certificate and conferral of citizenship.”

      So, no rights whatsoever before birth? So why are people so picky about up to which week abortions are legit? I mean then you might as well perform abortions up until two hours before birth.

      I am not talking about civil liberties, mind you, the stuff granted by the state you happen to be born in.

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      1. “So, no rights whatsoever before birth?”

        – How can you have rights if you don’t exist and no government recognizes you as existing? Who grants the rights to a non-existent creature?

        ” So why are people so picky about up to which week abortions are legit?”

        – Because they hate women.

        “I mean then you might as well perform abortions up until two hours before birth.”

        – People should have the right to dispose of their own bodies at absolutely any point in time.

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      2. One can’t have rights if one doesn’t exist, but the argument would be that one does exist after a certain point in the pregnancy, even though still inside the womb (I know you disagree here, but I mean that is the argument).

        Also, the government doesn’t grant rights, rights are pre-existing things that the government exists to protect (at least in America). For example, women have always had the same rights as men, but the government for many years did not protect them.

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      3. Women have always had the right to vote, it just hasn’t always been protected. But even though it hasn’t been protected, doesn’t mean it hasn’t always existed. The whole:

        “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…”

        Granted this was the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, but I mean, America was founded on the idea that government does not grant rights. Government exists to protect pre-existing rights that people have.

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    3. “This is easy: at the moment of birth. Birth is what transforms a fetus in to a human being. This is why we mark that moment with a birth certificate and conferral of citizenship.”

      Legally, not biologically. Biologically, no one really knows when a fetus transforms into a baby. Just because it is inside of the womb doesn’t mean it isn’t a human.

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      1. “Biologically, no one really knows when a fetus transforms into a baby. Just because it is inside of the womb doesn’t mean it isn’t a human.”

        – I do and yes, it does. I have to ask, how is your personal life going?

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      2. Crappy 🙂 But biologically, no one knows the answer to that question, or there wouldn’t be any debate on the issue. The debate is because both sides disagree and both are sure they are correct.

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  3. I think the use of biological arguments about 12 (or any other number of) weeks muddles the waters too much. Because one can easily imagine that, with the progress of medical science (just as a side effect, even without “evil republicans intent on forcing women to give birth” pushing specifically in that direction), the humankind will reach the stage when fetuses of earlier and earlier ages are going to be “viable”. Viable in the sense that they could be grown outside of the mother with high probability into unquestionably human beings. And then what?
    I think one has to come with some other criteria, but it would be difficult to do… the debate will return back to issues of faith, conviction and ethics, and other biologically immeasurable quantities…

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    1. “I think the use of biological arguments about 12 (or any other number of) weeks muddles the waters too much.”

      – I agree completely.

      “I think one has to come with some other criteria, but it would be difficult to do”

      – I have one: human bodies are inviolable and belong to nobody but themselves. If we accept that people are entitled to have only what they want inside their bodies, faith, conviction and ethics of other people becomes completely irrelevant. Just as there are borders between countries, there are borders to people. Those borders are defined by the confines of their bodies.

      In any case, I’m still hoping that this will all become completely moot as cloning finally takes over.

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  4. Clarissa, I am not questioning your moral priorities, I am pointing out that anybody’s moral priority list is a matter of faith and conviction. Your argument about human bodies being inviolable is essentially an ethical ergument, not scientific one. And in fact pro-lifers are using the same argument, except they claim fetus as independent-enough body…
    I guess the most productive argument would be to distinguish those bodies by presence or absence of consciousness, but that may backfire as well, for the same reasons biological arguments may backfire. And what would you do with folks for whom soul and consciousness are essentially synonymous?

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    1. “And what would you do with folks for whom soul and consciousness are essentially synonymous?”

      – I don;t want to have anything to do with them at all, to be honest. 🙂

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    2. I agree with a lot of this. Clarissa and I have debated back and forth on this ( am one of those “same opponents” 🙂 ). My personal belief is that a fetus can be a human being while inside of the womb, but it depends on what stage of development it is. Legally, the fetus doesn’t become a human until being born, although in some cases if the mother is for example killed while pregnant, it can be considered a double-homicide (in those, the fetus is considered a person). But biologically, I think the answer is more complex.

      What really complicates the issue I think is that both sides can be right—it is a woman’s body, but at the same time, you also can have another person inside of the woman’s body after a certain point.

      I do not think that people who want to place limits on certain abortions, such as third-trimester abortions, hate women, because a lot of pro-choice women themselves are okay with these limitations. What they are against is the people who want to outright ban all abortion and even ban contraception (the Rick Santorum types).

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  5. Yeah, the irony is palpable. I always think back to George Carlin’s thoughts on it in his routine “Pro-Life = Anti Woman”, when he says: “If you’re pre-born, you’re fine, if you’re pre-school, you’re fucked.”

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      1. The whole thing is full of golden nuggets of anti-choice rhetoric and thought. When talking about whether a foetus is “a person” or “alive”, he says “Well, does it have a social security number? Does it have a birthday? How come people say ‘we’ve got three kids and one more on the way’ and not ‘we’ve got four kids’, and do we have funerals when there are miscarriages?”
        Granted, there are creepy creeps like the Duggars who do have funerals for miscarriages, but the anti-choice movement wasn’t in the full swings of its lunacy when Carlin was doing that routine, so it probably wasn’t a thing yet.

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  6. To some extent this question of the humanity of the fetus is pointless. The real question is: when do you enter in to a relationship with the state, become entitled to protection by the state, and can enter in to the social contract? The answer to that question is, indisputably, at the moment of birth. Nobody wants to base cititzenship on the moment of conception. That would be a legal nightmare. Can anyone imagine? A couple comes to the United States on vacation, concieves a child in this country, gives birth to a baby back in their home country and that baby is an American? Conservatives, who are forever trying to restrict immigration, would have a conniption at the thought. Now who is indisputably a citizen and entitled to protection by the state? The woman carrying the fetus. As long as the fetus is feeding from her, is literally conected to her, and lives inside her body, it is part of her and not an independant member of society/the world and entitled to legal protection. I’m not sure why this is so hard for people to understand. (If it helps, I support 3rd trimester abortion rights as well.)

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  7. I’m interested in your answer to the following:

    A pregnant woman gets punched in the stomach so hard that she miscarries.

    A) Is this murder or just assault?

    B) Does the answer chance if the pregnant woman intended to carry the fetus to term?

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    1. Assault, of course. And intentions do not turn a body part into a person. Let’s say I intended to donate my spleen to a person whose life this donation could possibly save. If I carelessly fall over and rupture my spleen, should I be convicted of murder of that person the spleen could have saved? It makes no sense, right?

      I find all legislation that presents a fetus at any point of the gestation as a crime victim to be absolutely outrageous.

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    2. In the answer to the above question posed by OV: that’s an assault. Or it should be. I also really get angry when the murder of a pregnant woman is considered a “double homicide.”

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