The recurring question that haunts pro-lifers - Macleans.ca
 

The recurring question that haunts pro-lifers


 

Libertyville Abortion Demonstration: still my favourite YouTube video of all time. No scripted comedy will ever make me laugh as hard as the monkey-puzzle looks on the faces of anti-abortion protesters when the filmmaker hits them with the question “If abortions should be illegal, what punishment should be imposed on the women who have them?” Most if not all of the interviewees are experienced at making nuisances of themselves in the name of a grand moral cause; none, clearly, are similarly experienced at unassisted moral reflection. I will never understand how the interviewee who answers the question “It’s kinda between a woman and her God” and the one who says “I leave that to society to decide” managed not to blush to death. Most certainly they didn’t skulk off home and leave the patients of that clinic alone.

At Slate.com yesterday, William Saletan updated the comedy of the pro-life double standard with a dark twist, pointing out that the State of Virginia defines dilation-and-extraction abortions as felony infanticide but exempts from prosecution the women who order, pay for, and benefit from such procedures. The law in question was the work of Governor Bob McDonell, who has refused executive clemency to a condemned murderess in an analogous situation.

Although [Teresa] Lewis didn’t pull the trigger, the governor observed, she “paid for the firearms” and “intentionally left a rear door to their home unlocked” so that her co-conspirators could commit the murders. For this, she will die.

Like other conservatives, McDonnell believes that the taking of human life, even by proxy, must be gravely punished. And like other abortion opponents, he claims that the right to life “applies to every American—born and unborn.” Yet every day, thousands of women do to their fetuses what Lewis did to her stepson. They pay to get rid of an unwanted life, and they provide access to the victim. What punishment does McDonnell propose for these women? Absolutely nothing.

Saletan does not raise the question, as he might have, why abortionists should be charged with infanticide rather than homicide. Surely this rather blunts the “message” the law is intended to convey? Indeed, one might ask how, if gametes are entitled to the full protection of the law the moment they are joined, our noble Christian forefathers ever arrived at such a concept as “infanticide”, which introduces one of those odious distinctions between life and life.

The technical answer is that, in traditional Christian civilizations which happily hanged swine thieves and counterfeiters, experience taught the magistrates that babies were sometimes discarded or destroyed by frantic, unbalanced postpartum women seeking to conceal evidence of sexual misconduct. (History’s joke on pro-lifers is that the law, in a more theocratic era, was obviously more concerned with policing that “misconduct” than it was with the life of any infant—much less a fetus.) In such an environment, “pray for the poor distracted women rather than punishing them” was really a strong argument—much stronger than it could possibly be in our libertine, egalitarian age.


 

The recurring question that haunts pro-lifers

  1. That's your favourite video of all time? That's a little more than morbid, Colby…

      • Loved it!

      • Wow. I just spent an hour of my life chasing amazing youtube links. Thanks!

    • Obviously, he's never watched Charlie Bit My Finger.

  2. Should women who seek abortions be charged with first-degree murder?

    I don't think the question itself haunts pro-lifers, so much as the damage it could do to their movement.

    • It is first degree murder, so it is logical to charge them with it.

  3. I don't think the question haunts the pro-lifers I've seen on this board. Most of them would gladly charge a woman who gets an abortion with first-degree murder.

    • When a citizen commits murder, it is proper to prosecute them for it.

  4. I guess it is fun to laugh at simple people, hell I get quite a few chuckles on these pages from time to time. That said, it is unfortunate that in the woman's choice/ prolife debates that both sides fail to see the gapping holes in their own cases. More than any other issue, both sides seem intent on dumbing down the debate, ridiculing and/or demonizing the other side. Perhaps this is reflective of an unconscious recognition of the weakness of their own arguments.

    • thank you – finally a measured commment/opinion.

    • I agree with Stewart, both sides of the abortion debate engage in demonizing and dumbing down the arguments. The lack of an articulate response of the pro-lifers to the punishment angle only highlights the complexity of the debate. The pregnant woman and the unborn baby are both causalities in the event of an unintended pregnancy. This does not prove that there are not good argument against abortion. There is the development model vs. construction model of fetal development (See Margret Somerville). There also seems to be an assumption from pro-choice feminists that women are to frail and unstable to be able to be fully informed about the "procedure". I believe that, as with any life-changing decision, abortion and alternatives needs to be thoroughly discussed. Decisions must be based on complete knowledge of immediate and long-term effects.

      "A well-informed patient should always be our route to safe and legal. Is it unacceptable that a life-preserving decision might result from greater knowledge?…In testimony before the Louisiana Senate Health and Welfare Committee, post-abortive women recounted being told they were ridding themselves of “tissue,” only to learn later, often during an ultrasound with a subsequent pregnancy, that they had destroyed a fully formed fetus. Based on my own conversations with post-abortive women, this is a common event and is often the point at which formerly pro-choice women switch sides." http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2010/may/07/kathlee

      I am pro-choice but only because abortion is the lesser of two evils in the abortion vs. right of the state to interfere with personal decisions debate. Like drug use, abortion is unfortunate because the loss of human potential but the main cost is to the individual who makes that choice.

      • Fully formed fetus?

        That's misleading on many levels.

        First of all, there is no such thing as a "fully formed" fetus. From the second trimester on it changes daily. Unless they meant they were within weeks of giving birth? If so, how the hell did that get by anyone, and how could the women claim to not know what was going on?

        Secondly, most abortions take place in the first trimester, which inherently means it isn't a fetus, but instead either an ovum, zygote, blastocyst or embryo, as the start of the second trimester is marked by the fact that the organism has developed INTO a fetus.

        Most abortions take place before 12 weeks, ie before it becomes a fetus, and those done after 12 weeks are almost always for medical reasons, so frankly the anecdotal example above seems unlikely to say the least.

        Some stinks about that quote. Someone is misleading someone here.

        • Not my quote but I suspect that the exact time of termination is not the point. It is not uncommon for women to have strong feelings of guilt many years after the abortion, particularly after/during a wanted pregnancy. The ultrasounds and birth of the baby can bring very powerful feelings of regret about an abortion in the past. It is not a reason to ban abortions (I'm pro-choice) but it does add weight to the argument that women should be encouraged to make a fully informed decision. Women should not be treated like retarded children who must be protected from reality with euphemisms and cavalier references to a "clump of cells". Give women as much information as possible , including offering an ultrasound, so they can make a decision based on on all the facts. After all, they are the ones that have to live with whatever they decide.

          BTW, where did you get the stats that abortions after 12 weeks are almost always for medical reasons. Late term abortions are often the result being in denial about the pregnancy or hoping the problem magically goes away, especially for younger women and girls.

          • encouraging women to take an ultrasound IS treating women like retarded children who need to be protected from reality. They KNOW they are likely to have a child if they don't get an abortion. THAT'S WHY they're getting an abortion.

      • stopped reading at margaret sommerville.

    • Where do you get the idea that these people are intellectually simple? Most of them clearly aren't (but perhaps, in your desire not to "dumb down" the debate, you made some unwarranted assumptions based on accent). There's a difference between an inability to think and a refusal to do it.

      • I don't use simple as a euphemism for intellectually disabled and I like southern accents. I meant simple from the point of view that they have compact personal philosophies and are straightforward in their process towards reconciling dilemmas. Yes, this can make them sound stupid. I consider George Bush to be very intelligent, but he certainly presented a simple political persona and the youtube clips are undeniable.

        I don't think the opposite of simple is smart but rather convoluted. Sometimes convoluted thoughts are brilliant, sometimes they are simply messy. However, virtually anyone with the tendency to think in a convoluted fashion can be quoted in a manner that makes them appear farcical. I think Ken Dryden is very intelligent, but some of his speeches truly boggle the mind.

        If you have a nasty streak like me, you recognize that there are always dilemmas that are unanswerable by any "simple" philosophy so you just have to pose the right question and let them go. Similarly faced with a convoluted type you just have to open 3 or 4 points of nuance and again let them go. In both cases, if you can time rolling your eyes just right, it accentuates the effect for others listening.

        I was not giving you grief for victimizing the interviewees, (or even celebrating their victimization). I suspect most really funny material involves someone being victimized and this group self selected.

  5. I see where you're coming from, in Catholic high school we all got a real good chuckle out of "The Silent Scream", mostly for its Spatula City-like production level. :)

    • Two points for a Spatula City reference!

      • What better way to say "I love you", than with the gift of a spatula?

        ;)

  6. Those people don't seem laughable to me at all. They seem like sincere people who are confronting a difficult question without bluster or glibness.

    They also seem to refute the preconception that anti-abortionists are just vindictive misogynists looking to "punish" women for their sexual choices. They seem like genuine people being confronted with a new and diffficult idea. Should the idea be new to them? Of course not. But I find it hard to ridicule people who strike me as sincere and (for the most part) compassionate.

    • My problem isn't their sincerity or compassion. It's trying to force their ideas on somebody else with an opposing view rather than just opposing them – which is an ugly trait.

      • Anti-abortionists have the same right to protest as anyone else. The debate over abortion has been ongoing for decades now and the pro-choice position has won out legally. The anti-abortion side still has the right to continue the debate for as long as they care to do it.

        Exposing people to an idea is not "forcing" people to adopt that idea.

        • Wanting to make abortions illegal IS trying to force people to adopt that idea.

          • No, it's not. Protestors don't make the laws, legislators do. In the US and in Canada there is a zero percent chance that abortion will be outlawed again. Even if there were such a chance, protesters on any side of the issue still have a moral and legal right to try to persuade legislators to take their side of the issue.

            Sometimes the law goes against your ideas but the law can not impose any idea – it can only compel or prohibit an action. Your ideas are still your own even if the law does not agree with them.

          • They may have the right but I will in no way praise them for it despite their simplicity or kindheartedness.

          • So don't praise them, it's a free country after all.

            I was just expressing my opinion that they are far more sympathetic than Cosh's intro suggested. It seems to me a more fair criticism to say that they are excessively compassionate as regards the fetus and insufficiently logical about the consequences of what they hope to achieve. A pretty common human failing, that latter one.

          • Of course, making child molestation illegal is forcing people to adopt the idea that sex with children is wrong.

            If you start with the premise that an unborn child is a person (which is not crazy) then you morally have little choice but to arrive at the conclusion that society should offer protection to that person.

            If you start with the premise that a fetus is a part of a woman's body (which is also not crazy) then you morally have little choice but to arrive at the conclusion that it is a medical issue between a woman and her doctor.

            Your wanting to make it simple, does not make it so.

          • The idea it's a child may not be crazy, but I certianly don't have to adopt it and should not be forced to.

            If someone else does not wish to have an abortion I support them. In no way can I accept letting them make that decision for others.

          • In fact, if we accept that both positions are reasonable (which you seem to), then the only logical conclusion would be to let each follow her own dictates in the matter.

            Which is simplicity itself, actually.

          • Of course, making child molestation illegal is forcing people to adopt the idea that sex with children is wrong.

            I suspect you are being sarcastic – at least I hope so – but you've put it plainer than I did.

            It's not laws that inspire ideas, it's ideas that inspire laws. Pedophilia is not abhorent because it's illegal, it's illegal because it's abhorent. Even though you may disagree with anti-abortionists – and I do- it is hard to find their central idea abhorent.

          • I find forcing everyone to abide by their central belief quite objectionable, in fact, if not toally "abhorent"as you suggest.

          • A minority can not "force" an idea on the majority but they ought to be free to make thier case and try to persuade the majority to adopt their idea. Witness the recent case of homosexual marriages which happened comparatively quickly, and featured the same objection from it's detractors as what you are making: "You are trying to force your ideas on us."

            An idea wins when it is adopted by an effective majority of the population. There is little danger of that happening in the abortion debate.

          • "a minority can not 'force' an idea on the majority"

            I'm not sure that's true.

          • Well, I'm not sure how to convince you… or even if you want convincing.

          • "a minority can not 'force' an idea on the majority" unless the minority has good lawyers who appear in front of unaccountable activist judges given free reign to reshape society by a constitution that is not just a "living tree", it grows at a rate that would put kudzu to shame.

            In the 25 years or so since the adoption of the Charter, I submit that there has not been a single significant Charter decision that has fundamentally changed the fabric of Cdn society (abortion, gay marriage, accused rights) whereby the will of the majority has been upheld.

            Now, if your point is that a majority, if if collectively feels something is being "forced" upon it, will rise up in counter, you're sort of missing the whole point of the Charter, which is, ostensibly, to ensure majorities can't trample minority rights.

          • I thought most polls showed the majority of Canadian were in favor of rights for homosexuals including marriage. (although as I recall it was close)

          • and of course, Canadians have a long standing position of tending towards pro-choice in the abortion debate.

          • Respectfully disagree on both points, although the polling results you get are easily manipulated by the question you present, to wit:

            1. Do you consider there to be a compelling rationale for fundamentally altering the traditional concept of "marriage"; and
            2. Do you favour an unlimited abortion license until a child emerges intact from the birth canal

            will both result in strong majorities for the "no" side.

          • Frankly you are getting silly. At least on the marriage issue, you are asking the appropriate question, since most would grant that same-sex marriage does change the traditional concept of marriage. So your point that polls can be manipulated is made… still when experts trying not to skew the results ask the question it comes out in favor of same-sex marriage. The fact that you can manipulate a measurement does not mean that a correct measurement is invalid. I would assume that you believe that the pollsters have been manipulating the results, along with the politicians, and medical practitioners, academics studying the issue and the media.

            Your second question is however completely ridiculous since no-one is arguing for the affirmative.

          • "when experts trying not to skew the results ask the question it comes out in favor of same-sex marriage."

            Looking forward to the hyperlink to the unskewed question poll result.

            "Your second question is however completely ridiculous since no-one is arguing for the affirmative."

            The second question is asking whether you support the abortion status quo in Canada, ergo, there is no need to "argu(e) …for the affirmative". Call it Canada's dirty little secret.

          • http://www.ekospolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/fu

            Phil_King has provided an excellent summary of the status quo in Canada. To tell me that it is an "unlimited abortion licence until the child emerges", is an insult to my intelligence (not the first). However if you tell me that you find the status quo offensive, then I can certainly respect your opinion.

          • Er, that's an "abortion" poll (actually a "which tired old semantic do you prefer when describing yourself" poll. Still waiting on the SSM one.

            "To tell me that it is an "unlimited abortion licence until the child emerges", is an insult to my intelligence".

            I'd never do that and look forward to your forthwith reply describing the formal legal "limits" on abortion in Canada (here's a hint to get you started – don't go looking for any where they used to be – in the Criminal Code).

          • what the hell are you talking about? GreatWalls is exactly right – abortion is legal in Canada until the umbilical cord is cut. The fetus is not legally a person until it is wholly severed from the mother's body.

          • Fortunately we don't let lawyers near scalpels, a late term abortion without medical justification would be malpractice in Canada. Doctors are not performing late-term abortions for non-life threatening issues in Canada.

          • And please tell the class what constitutes "medical justification" – if it's the same as "health of the mother", the chance of a doc facing a med mal complaint is effectively nil. And, BTW, whose going to sue him/her for malpractice – the "bundle of cells"?

          • You are wrong by a few minutes (of course, you meant to be, for dramatic effect). When it's alive and outside the womb it's a child. Everyone is gonna have a different idea, but I htink this is the best call for when a child is fully alive.

            However, since no doctor in Canada is willing to perform an abortion that late unless the mother or child or both are going to die otherwise, it's not relevant.

            If pro-lifers are adamant about stopping abortions in the last hours before childbirth, and are willing to make heavy concessions to get people to agree, I would be willing to deal on the matter.

          • "However, since no doctor in Canada is willing to perform an abortion that late unless the mother or child or both are going to die otherwise, it's not relevant."

            Sure about that, are you? Why wouldn't one or two or ten docs dedicated to the "pro-choice" cause across the country be willing? As asserted above, there's no legal constraint on doing one. It can't be the hippocratic oath – I think that line about "will not facilitate abortion" has been deleted from the current version.

            You state that physicians are unwilling to perform late term abortions unless the "mother or child (sic) or both are going to die otherwise". Define "late" – at what point in a pregnancy does the "don't do an abortion unless the mother or child or both will die otherwise" rule kick in? Better dig the heels in, Mike – the slope's getting slippery.

            I'm also not sure I want as important an area as "when should the state sanction the termination of human life" left to the subjective views of the countries physicians, as collectively exemplary they are.

          • There is the concern though of a majority dictating the rights of minorities or less affluent groups.

            I believe it is for this reason the debate centers around the legal status of ovums, zygotes, blastocysts, embryos etc. If you give them rights equal to the mother, then you can make an argument to limit women's rights.

            I find anti-abortionists somewhat misleading, since they always cite "the fetus" in their arguments because that's the developmental stage closest to being human.

            However, over 90% of abortions take place long before that stage when there are practically no discernable human attributes at all, including a heart beat, brain waves, limbs etc etc.

            Personally I think we already have the mix right. Most people accept early term abortions, most frown on mid-term abortions and the overwhelming majority are against late term abortions.

            And from the statistics it's clear that most mid and late term abortions are for medical reasons, not choice.

          • If they were trying to force people who didn't want gay marriage into unwanted gay marriages, I'd be horrified! Since they were fighting for the right to equal treatment regarding their relationships, I'm OK with it.

          • *sigh*

            What you are "OK with" is not the issue. It's what society as a whole is "OK with" and Canadian society as whole is OK with gay marriage now even though we were not OK with it until very recently. That was my whole point in bringing it up.

            Society evolves and ideas change, and laws change to reflect those changed ideas. But no-one can change your ideas against your will and even when your ideas conflict with the ideas of the larger society you are free to hold and express those ideas.

            The whole point is that ideas change by persuasion and debate – not by force. So, it's foolish to talk about people forcing their ideas or beliefs on society, it can't be done. At least not in a free society like the one we are currently enjoying. Homosexuals did not force their ideas on the rest of us, they persuaded and debated and reasoned with society at large until the point that enough of us agreed that "yeah, that's not right" and adopted their point of view on the issue.

            While I don't agree with the "Pro-Lifers" I believe they have the right to argue their position, in public, as loudly and as often as they choose.

          • But your analogy was weak so I made it closer to the truth. if anti-abortionists were fighting for their OWN right to not have abortions I would be vehemently behind them. Since they're fighting to force everyone else to not only allow their choice but to live by it, I am completely opposed.

          • It wasn't an analogy, it was an example.

            One which, apparently, you still fail to see as relevant so I'll spare us both any further explanation. You see the futility of trying to force an idea on someone else?

          • To be sure, I'm commenting on the content of their idea not their methods. that being said, if I see placard waving anti-abortionists I'm not going to say "oh what a swell bunch of high minded individuals! I shall engage them in spirited yet respectful debate as if soemthing either of us could say would ever get us to change our respective minds." I'm just gonna say "get out of other people's wombs!" or some such. I think I hinted above I'm not incensed that they get to demonstrate and such, but that alone doesn't make me impressed with the arguments.

          • "f you start with the premise that an unborn child is a person (which is not crazy)"

            It's not only crazy, it's over-simplified.

      • If one thinks that a fetus is a person, then one will likely come to the conclusion that the fetus is entitled to the same protections as any other person. Those protections come from the law; and the law is, by definition, forced upon all. Would you object to people who think there should be legal punishments for murder because they are "trying to force their ideas on somebody else"?

  7. I don't know as that would stop them, it never has before.

    Wingnuts who have apoplexy over the very idea of being told to fill out a census or a gun registration form are quite happy to tell a woman what to do with her body and her life.

    And even the merest hint of jail over the paperwork has them screaming about dictatorship, but they would likely approve the idea of flogging, drowning or burning a woman for her 'sin'. At least that's where the other witch hunts in history always ended up.

    • The great thing about those simple-minded anti-abortion folks in that video is that they are humble in their simple-mindedness. Were they the braying bigot style of simple-minded then they would indeed be worthy of contempt.

      • You've never seen them in front of a clinic, or shooting doctors, or ranting on American TV then.

        • I think you missed my point. But that's okay, no need to belabour it.

          • You may wish to admire the simple-minded, but I don't.

            The one thing they aren't is humble, and they don't need any encouragement.

          • "Wingnuts who have apoplexy over the very idea of being told to fill out a census or a gun registration form "

            This passage is based on the presumption that abortion opponents come from one side of the political spectrum. That's simply not true. E.g., for many years the most vocal and vehement opponent of abortion in Canada's Parliament was Tom Wappel — a Liberal.

          • How many have shot doctors? One in the last two decade or something? If you want to take on anti-abortionists who'll do more than annoy you, why don't you take on Muslims and then we'll see if you're so eager to open your trap.

  8. Anyone who thinks abortion is a suitable pretext for sneering humor is a sick man. I'll stick with Jesus and his uplifting love for humanity over sneering atheism any day.

    • Yes, because there are no sneering Christians or uplifting atheists.

    • Yeah, those following Jesus have a great history of love for humanity. Just look at the crusades!

      Religion has killed more people in human history than all of the plagues, natural disasters, diseases and political ideologies combined.

      • now now, let's not get into a "who killed more people" debate again :)

        • of course not, when everyone knows the answer is vegetarians.

          • I'm (w)racking my brain trying to come up with a suitable soy-based pun in response. So far, the best I can come up with is:

            No kidding, those soya-cide bombers must be stopped!

            (clearly I need another coffee!)

          • nice try. best I got is to can pre-emptively call "Godwin!" on myself.

        • Ooh Ooh! Godwin's Law…. somebody do it!

    • You can believe anything you want.

      What you cannot do is try and force others to believe as you do.

    • You stick with your fairy tales and we'll sneer. Deal.

      • I'm an atheist and I'm not sneering.

        I think the tendency among some atheists to be condescending and obnoxious reflects a need for validation. It's immature, IMO.

        • I think the tendency among some atheists to be condescending and obnoxious reflects a need for validation. It's immature, IMO.

          Replace atheists with righties or lefties or theists or……….and your observation is also valid.

    • How exactly is asking them about the real impact on real people from what they are advocating in any way "sneering"?

      The striking point about the video is that it is extremely crystal clear that the woman – the one who is pregnant, carrying the fetus in her belly – is not even an afterthought for these crusaders. After spending years pushing for what they believe, they demonstrate that the consequences of what they want to the women involved has not even been considered.

      I actually have thought that the rhetoric of calling anti-abortionists as being mysogynist to be over the top. But I'm wondering if I've just gotten too used to a society that permits women to control their own bodies. Those responses really give me strong second thoughts about anti-abortionists.

      • Cosh's original post is definitely sneering and – while the video interviewer was respectful – he seemed to have an undertone of mockery. I think he was pretty disappointed that he couldn't get that one protestor to advocate for the death penalty.

    • Got to say, I'm not feeling the "uplifting love for humanity" just at this moment…

      • a blog post about what idiots pro-lifers are, an entire thread devoted to ridiculing them, and a single post about how maybe sneering isn't an appropriate response to something like the abortion debate.

        and which one does brave philcp choose to criticize….gee i wonder

        • I'm sorry that I've disappointed you.

  9. How about we give unborn children rights first, then deal with the punishments involved with violating those rights? As far as I'm concerned, make the father responsible for any violation, too.

    • How about we don't give clumps of cells rights, and make sure women have complete autonomy?

      • Yes, you want to ignore human life in the womb, and cowardly hide behind so-called women's rights in the process. Yes, we know that.

        • using a phrase like "so-called women's rights" exposes everything about your motivations that we need to know. thanks.

          • I believe that the right to kill a baby in the womb is a bogus women's right. I believe in women's equality. Period. I believe in the rights of the unborn child. Period. These are legitimate rights, not the ones made up by radical social liberals.

          • One man's killed baby is another man's inanimate bio-goo. And yes, I was using "man" tongue-in-cheek.

          • People who support abortion have to minimize the life in the womb. Yes. How about a baby one week before birth? Is it goo then? Why is it goo the moment human life is created? What an ugly ugly agenda some of you have.

      • Hey…that's a good idea! We'll start with the clump of cells called "Bob", since there doesn't seem to be much sentience happening here…

        • Start what, exactly? You sound like the type who shrugs when an abortion doctor is killed… because you "pro life" people sure are consistent.

          • Clearly people don't get it…and instead interpret my comment in the same knee-jerk fashion as you…

            You are a clump of cells, Bob. I'm sorry you don't like that. Your sentience is an illusion of self-worth. People, collectively, choose to accord you with inalienable rights, and if they so choose, will take it back.

            So I find it highly ironic the manner in which you react i.e. equating you with a "clump of cells" (i.e. dehumanizing you) and it's immediate association with an indifference to murder.

            Funny how a simple rationalization can scare the bejesus out of people…

          • Do you even understand the meaning of the word "sentience"? A fetus has cells and I have cells, true. But a developing fetus is NOT a sentient person, whereas most – maybe not you – fully developed humans are.

          • Then define it, Bob. Define "sentience" and prove that you are sentient.

          • It means awareness, consciousness – qualities a fetus lacks but a person has.

          • Synonyms are not definitions, Bob.

            What is the _metric_ you are using to determine whether something has "awareness/consciousness", or are you just relying on your personal convictions in the absence of demonstrable fact?

          • First off, you've obviously never seen a dictionary.

            Second, I don't need a metric, I just require evidence. Same reason I don't believe in God. If there's no evidence for a thing, there's no reason to believe it. There's no evidence a fetus is self-aware, and not even an anti-choice moron like you can possibly believe the instant a sperm hits the egg, the resulting cells are somehow "sentient"…

            IF, however, you want to insist that a fetus is sentient, then I might as well argue that a table or a clock is too.

          • It's nice to bandy about terms like "self-aware" and "consciousness" without having to explain how those things are measured or defined…a very neat masturbatory, circuitous argument…

            So evidence then, Bob: Are newborns self-aware? Do they exhibit consciousness? Or is it because you can see them and identify with them that you have accorded them with status?

            And no I don't believe that the instant a sperm hits the egg, the resulting cell is "sentient".

            But it is, from that point forward, genetically determined to be "human".

            And no, I am not "anti-choice" but I find arguments presented by people like you to be extremely…stupid.

          • Ironic you find discussion of a topic that YOU introduced – sentience – to be so extremely stupid. Debates about sentience aren't what I would rest my pro choice stance on either, but if you scroll up, you'll see I responded to your asinine comments about it in the first place.

          • Hmmm…it is clear that comprehension is not really a strong suit for you:

            Your arguments and rationalizations are stupid, Bob. Did you get that?

            I called _you_ a clump of cells that lacked sentience. I did not start by calling a foetus "sentient". But since you decided to infer that and continue to blather on and on, I decided to see where you stood on the notion of "sentience" and voila you _don't_. Instead you have some ethereal notion of "sentience" with no grounding in _fact_ or causation. It is just your "gut" talking out of your ass.

            But that's fine…because I also understand that many people are incapable of independent thought irrespective of political or social leanings.

          • Of the two of us, I was the only one to define and clearly state my position on sentience. Talking about grounding one's understanding of the term in "fact" or "causation" makes you sounds like a pseudo-intellectual retard. It has a dictionary definition, which you can refer to as "ethereal" all you want, but really you're just talking out of your ass.

            And you have no clue what my "political or social leanings" even are… Congrats on looking like an idiot though.

          • Puhahahaha~!

            "Define" and "clearly state"…? Okey-dokey.

            Comprehension issues?
            many people are incapable of independent thought irrespective of political or social leanings
            "you have no clue what my "political or social leanings even are…"

            I think the point is that it doesn't matter…you're just incapable.

    • By all means, let's give pre-children "rights" that are never enforced and don't mean anything while you scratch your head figuring out an answer to a very simple question. Middle ground at last!

      • I never said it shouldn't be enforced. But do you believe that human beings in the womb should have rights? You seem to have conceded that point, right?

        • On your empty meaning of the term "rights", I'm happy to assign them to animals, inanimate objects, whatever you like. Rights for peanut butter and Hyundai cars now!

          • You're likening human life in the womb to peanut butter, are you? No wonder you have nothing much more than mocking people ambushed at a protest.

          • You are doing an awesome job of not answering the question posed in the video. Keep it up.

          • You didn't pose a question. You childishly mocked people who were posed the question.

            I've already stated that I believe a woman should be criminally punished for an abortion. So, too, should the father.

            I'm not a legal expert. Once we establish the right to life in the womb, the specifics can be worked out.

            Most people on my side of the debate believe that the greatest punishment should be for the abortionist. I'd agree. But the mother should have responsibility, too. Why shouldn't she? And, again, the dad, too.

            Now, are you going to explain likening unborn kids to peanut butter? God. This is the intellectual high ground to you, its it?

          • Well, they taste kinda like peanut butter. So what kind of punishment for homicidal women did you have in mind up there on the windy heights of intellectual high ground? I guess I can buy the "punish the doctors more because most of them aren't feeble-minded women" hypothesis, but every civilization we know of has still been pretty hard on murder conspirators. I take it we're going well beyond the pillory or flogging here, despite their theatrical suitability to your purpose?

          • Why so intent on having people killed in the womb? I honestly don't get it. Then you cowardly hide behind made up women's rights surrounding abortion.

            I fully support equality for women. What that has to do with abortion I'll never know.

          • Well, just for starters, it would suggest they ought to be held fully responsible for committing murder when they have abortions, if abortion is murder. But you're right: you will never know.

          • So now you're setting the terms for a position you don't even hold. That's interesting.

            But you're right: you will never know.

            Then why don't you explain what the killing of life in the womb has to do with women's equality, genius. I mean, you're so much more brilliant than the people you mock in the video, right? It should be a cinch.

          • You are REALLY good at not answering questions, for someone who's not a lawyer! I'm the one who's explicitly in favour of women's equality here: if a woman and a man get together and conspire in the murder of a human being who has a right to life, they should be punished equally. Law and received ethics speak unanimously on this point. Why are you confused?

          • Oh brother. I have answered your question. Do I have a specific legislative code handy? No. Shoot me.

            As for equality, you have yet to explain what abortion has to do with it.

            Ah yes, but I'm the one avoiding questions.

          • We'll just let it stand, then, that you don't have a better answer to the question in the video than those people did. That was our topic, after all; you don't need me to supply you with positive arguments for lawful abortion, and I didn't make any. After all, such arguments are not even needed, if nobody can specify logical punishments for illegal abortion and those who advocate its illegality fall apart and gibber like God's apes when asked to specify them.
            I will say that I don't think abortion depends, legally or ethically, or the premise of equality for women. I will be surprised if you can find an instance of me ever making that argument. The relevant consideration is the status of the fetus. If it does not have a right to life then we could have legal abortion purely for the convenience of men–which is arguably what it serves best–if we like. So you can ease up on the antifeminist spluttering.

          • So one cannot discuss rights without having specific criminal codes already prepared?

            How about this. Abortion: One year jail for the mother and the father. 15 for the doctor. We'll make it a new crime. Happy?

            Regarding the other question, why does a person have rights only a second after coming out of the womb? Why no status whatsoever for the fetus?

            In fact, and this is related to the first issue, I am willing to put fetuses into a different category of life, in part because it is still physically attached to the mother. Nevertheless, it is still life, and it is human life. Thus, it should be protected – by law. Why not? Especially because you say it's not about women's rights.

          • In fact, I'll go one step further. Abortion defenders often talk about "reproductive rights", whatever that means.

            Well, let's put some meaning to it.

            I'm for a reproductive bill of rights, which sets out all rights in relation to reproduction, including those that belong to the mother, the father, and the baby in the womb. In the process, we can talk about specific crimes and punishment.

          • That's interesting.

            How about this too – in the cases DUI causing vehicular homicide, the bartender gets 15 yrs and the driver gets 1?

          • The bartender didn't commit the act of killing a person. An abortion doctor does.

          • dennis answered your question at least 4 times.

            I can't believe it took me this long to realize what an asshole you are.

          • I fully support equality for women. What that has to do with abortion I'll never know.

            Wow!

            You make some stunning statements sometimes.

            I have a question for you that involves a little conjecture. Supposing that the health-care system got organized to the point that potential organ donors could be identified and cross-referenced based on DNA . Suppose that you were identified as a match for someone who needed a kidney. Suppose that the government compelled you to donate that kidney whether you wanted to or not. Should society have the right to make you give up a kidney to save the life of someone else?

          • No, the state would not have the right to take my kidney away from me. Question answered.

            Now, you want to get back to the killing of human life in the womb, and what in the world that has to do with women's rights?

          • Sure.

            You flatly refuse to allow the state control over your body… and good for you.

            I flatly refuse to allow the state to have control over the body of myself, my sons or my daughter. And I extend that sentiment to all other people too. Human beings – all human beings – are sovereign over their own bodies. That's what that has to do with human rights in general and women's rights in particular.

          • I flatly refuse to allow the state to have control over the body of myself, my sons or my daughter.

            The state doesn't allow you to butcher your sons or your daughter, does it?

          • No. Because the state recognizes the individual rights of my children, and so do I.

            The state (this state) also recognizes that it can not extend individual rights to a fetus without taking equivalent rights away from the woman carrying that fetus. You can wish it until you're blue in the face but – with all due respect – wiser people have already decided this issue. There is no chance in hell that you can drag the debate back to the level you're trying to achieve.

          • So why debate this if it's already settled? lol

            Why doesn't the fetus have any rights? The idea of giving it rights would take away rights from the mother is absurd.

            With the exception of rape, a woman gets pregnant by an act of choice. This is how she decides to use her "sovereign" body, as you describe it. You can't renege on the choice to reproduce after the fact. Child bearing is a responsibility; one that should not be associated with the horrific act of snuffing out another life.

          • Why doesn't the fetus have any rights?
            Because this is Canada, and the fetus has no rights in Canada. And no political party platform has advocated otherwise. I suppose you could try to convince the Canadian electorate to push the legislative pendulum back, but I suspect you will have a hard time.

            You can't renege on the choice to reproduce after the fact.
            Actually, you can. Because this is Canada…

          • In other words, your only response to the issues raise is : "tough". Not whether it's right or wrong, but whether people were successful in forcing their agenda on us.

            As for what Canadians want, I actually suspect that late term abortions will eventually be on the table. It almost looks like killing a born child, which is why people might want it banned. But, again, if it can be prevented in late term, why not right when life is created? Does an old man or a newborn have less rights because it looks less like a vibrant middle aged person? Of course not.

          • Dude, it's not my "only response." It was my answer to your question. You are free to not like it, and I offered a suggestion for you to start convincing Canadians otherwise.

            The old man and the newborn and the middle-aged person have all, for varying lengths of time, lived outside the womb. But I am pretty sure you had that one nailed already.

          • So why debate this if it's already settled? lol

            Hubris, I suppose. Despite the incredibly long odds, I keep convincing myself that "this time I am going to make this cement-head see reason."
            I admit defeat, you are just as stubbornly resistant to logic as ever. Hell, I didn't even put a scratch on that force-field around your brain.

          • Then why is it, when push comes to shove, supporters of abortion like you and Cosh have nothing but insults to hurl at dissenters? My answer is that you support an ugly thing, and you probably know it deep down inside. Thank you.

          • Insults aren't all I've got for you… Hell I gave you a polite and reasoned argument for half a dozen posts before I got frustrated with your – quite rude- refusal to engage honestly with the debate.

            You claim that you can't see how giving rights to the fetus takes away any rights from the pregnant woman. Well, there is no rational reply to that other than ' You are a moron.'

            Explaining it to you again is pointless. If you are determined to prove that you are really this stupid then I guess congratulations are in order. I'm convinced.

          • You never explained it in the first place. This is all you have. This is the only way you can defend what is a horrific act. And you know it. Thanks for making my points for me, Larry. Always a pleasure.

          • I respectfully disagree.

            Firstly – A woman cannot get pregnant alone, and both partners are equally responsible for that choice. I find the idea that it is "her" choice to engage in sexual activity a little bit condescending. Abstaining from sexual activity is all well and good, but unrealistic in the long term.
            Humans are sexual beings, everything else is moral and religious in nature, and thus different for each person.

            Secondly – Birth control failure happens. If you have taken resonable precautions to prevent an unwanted pregnancy and for reasons beyond your control, they fail, I would argue that it is unreasonable and in some cases inadvisable, to force the unwanted pregnancy to completion on the sole basis of "well, you're the one that had sex".

          • Who's "intent" on having "people" killed in the womb? No-one is "pro-abortion." There's a reason it's called pro-CHOICE. Canada needs a first-trimester limit abortion law and every abortion is unfortunate to say the least, but don't assign a relish to the matter which pro-choicers don't have.

          • How can you not support the killing of the unborn child? You do as long as it's what the mother "chooses" right? And 100,000 of them do each and every year in this country.

            As for a first trimester limit, why stop there? On what basis do you ban the "choice" at any other time in the pregnancy?

            You also realize that "trimester" is a human construct. It's an age. A baby doesn't magically transform from one being in one trimester to another one in the next. It's a transition, and one that doesn't occur at exactly the same time for all children.

          • Aborting during the first trimester is safest and most effective for the woman. You do want the women relatively healthy after the abortion — so they can serve out their complete jail term, no?

          • But why stop there? Why not allow the choice to be made at any time of the pregnancy, if your justification is choice? Why not allow the woman to make choices about her own health, if that's your criterion?

      • "give pre-children "rights"" I'm wondering, if we did that, would we not then be morally obligated to legislate that pregnant women lead healthier lifestyles to avoid potentially harming this pre-child? Not just urging women to give up smoking, drinking, and to take their folic acid, etc., but actually legislating that they be required to do so? I know Dennis_F decries regulating such behaviours using random epithet conflating liberals-communist-socialist and any other leftieboogerman with dispersions, but wouldn't that be the next logical step? But wait, there's more! Most women don't even know that they're pregnant for 4-6 weeks or more after conception, a time during which this pre-child, with full rights of courts, could be subject to all manner of harms in utero. Should the rights of a pre-child that may or may not be inside such a woman as we speak not trump her so-called-women's-rights as Dennis_F so eloquently puts it, to choose what to eat, drink, smoke, etc. at any point during her potentially-child-bearing years?

        • Yes, you don't believe that the health of the child in the womb should be protected. We know that.

          And what's this "pre-child" business anyhow?

          • So does a women seeking to become pregnant have the right not to take folic acid, when we know the risks that folic acid deficiency has to harm a developing foetus? At some point very quickly protecting the health of the foetus runs into the limit of legitimate restrictions on the rights of a woman who is not-yet-pregnant, or just-recently-pregnant, but I can assure you that that point is beyond the zero point of "not believing that the health of the child in the womb should be protected."

          • There was nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, so helplessly grotesque as the legal decision that child welfare folks were powerless to stop a cocaine-abusing pregnant woman from permanently harming the life of her baby-to-be. Until the cord was cut and an independent breath taken, that baby was a nobody.

            And, as helplessly grotesque as it was, it was the right decision. Is it ok to agree with the decision and feel revulsion at the same time?

          • Hard cases make bad law.

          • Exactly, and on this issue, it is impossible to have a position that isn't profoundly morally, ethically and even legally ambiguous, because it is a choice between wrongs and what we hope to be lesser wrongs. Choosing a lesser wrong is not "right" but it is the best course for flawed humans in a flawed world.

        • Not to mention what we'd have to do with mother's whose actions during pregnancy were determined to be a direct cause of harm to the born child.

          Smoking during pregnancy is known to increase the likelihood of SIDS, would the mother who smoked during pregnancy be charged with manslaughter if her child died because of SIDS?

          • that's kind of the questions that Dennis_F's statements beg from me. And he comes back with his certain knowledge that I don't believe that the health of foetus should be protected, ha! there's no conflict between these overlapping spheres of rights.

        • Mandatory govt exams for every woman in the country, at least once a month then.

          Failure to go along with this would result in………and we're back to the original question.

    • Problem is… you are talking about laws. Criminal laws in particular. Laws actually have to be discussed, then written down, then debated, then amended, then debated, then passed, then implemented, then enforced.

      So if you want to criminalize conduct, then you can't separate out the consequences you want to impose.

      • Really. And here I thought we had a constitution that specifically outlines rights from which laws are created or overturned.

        But do you agree that unborn babies should have rights along with women and everyone else in society?

        There has to be a starting point, doesn't there? That's all we're asking for.

        Is the issue of punishing women a contentious one? Maybe even insurmountable? Maybe. But, again, charge the killer first and foremost, which is the abortionist. Charge any accomplices, which would be the mother. Charge the father, too, for being responsible for the welfare of the unborn child. I guess those would be my starting points — once we establish rights for the unborn, of course.

        • "And here I thought we had a constitution that specifically outlines rights from which laws are created or overturned."

          Good thing no one realized that until 1982! Otherwise all those criminal laws without constitutional sanction of rights could be invalid!!!!!!

          And no, there does not have to be "a" starting point when you are dealing with something so very complicated and contentious.

          I think you did hit the nail on the head though when you say that putting women in jail for murder for having an abortion is an insurmountable issue. Interesting that you flip the logic of an abortion: in criminal law, the person who hires and directs a killing is the killer and considered even more culpable than the person who pulls the trigger for hire. Yet, you want to treat this as unique and ask Canadians (women in particular) to just trust you with the criminal sanction, worry about that later. Yeah, sure.

        • Mmmm….a witch hunt again, and the return of the auto-da-fe.

          Mandatory attendence of course, hot dogs, soda, popcorn no doubt.

          You guys never get tired of the Dark Ages. It was your kind of era.

          • You believe in the slaughter of countless babies in the womb, then have the gall to suggest that it's others who are living in the "Dark Ages?"

          • Since you can't make a case without lying from the get-go….you have no case.

            Ta-ra

          • Then why are you the one resorting to this nonsense? I feel very confident in my support of life in the womb. You, on the other hand, obviously can't defend having it killed.

          • Gall!!!!…And we`re back!

        • "But do you agree that unborn babies should have rights along with women and everyone else in society?"

          No I do not believe that a fetus has the same rights as a human being. They are not part of the "everyone else" grouping.
          Nor do a vast majority of Canadians, thankfully. So we simply do not need to engage you in the debate as you have chosen to frame it.

          BTW, those unregistered long guns will be handy when your menfolk need to keep the women in line (so as they won't get charged as accomplices).

          • Actually, I think you'll find that most Canadians absolutely do have a problem with aborting a fetus, at least in late term. But if it's not OK then, why is it OK at any time?

            When were we given life? At birth? I don't think so. We certainly have life minutes before birth. Heck, even months before birth — the moment that conception occurs.

            Why is it OK to you people to have this life destroyed at any point?

            And you can cowardly hide behind fake women's rights any time you want. You have to do it to support this horrific act of abortion.

          • IMO, the "fetus" cannot have rights until it CAN live independantly outside the womb. If it cannot support it's own life, then (I believe) it does not have one yet.
            In the same way that a person on life support with no hope of recovery cannot make the decision whether or not to continue to live, it is a difficult, emotional and morally/religiously individual decision to make for the parties involved.
            I don't think in either case, that the decision comes without it's share of pain, regrets, uncertainty and turmoil, but each person must make the decision for themselves and/or the families involved.

  10. Btw, you're a brave man Colby Cosh.

    • How so? What danger has he exposed himself to here?

      • The wrath of fundie wing-nuts.

        • I suspect it has more to do with his Macleans contract negotiations and, in particular, the "$0.XX/comment bonus" clause. Let's see, a couple weeks ago it was gay marriage, this week it's abortion. I look forward to Cosh's ruminations on Justin Bieber's goofy haircut and the miscarriage of justice that saw Paul Bernardo sent to prison in the coming weeks.

          Ridiculing religious, conservative folk isn't courageous, by any measure, in this day and age. Defending them to your ilk might be, if one valued the company of smug, condescending liberal fascists.

        • That fact that you call them wingnuts with impunity proves that it's not brave. Muslims, on the other hand, well you'll be wearing a burkha in no time

  11. I disagree absolutely. I think both sides understand each other completely. the arguments have been stated again and again and again. The vitriol doesn't come from lack of understanding, it comes from lack of common ground (which you claim exists but I note to do not describe).

    • ok – I'll take a shot at the common ground, and will try not to get too carried away with vitriolic sentiment. I do not think that a woman who feels that she needs an abortion should be punished, but neither do I fully agree that abortion is right (or let's just say a good thing). There are serious legal and moral incongruities inbedded in this issue and people need to engage in debates which sincerely try to deal with these. For one thing, Canada is one of the few countries without regulations regarding abortion (like when in the term they can happen). Is this alright with us? We are legally on shaky ground because we have attempted to prosecute people for murder of pregnant women and their fetuses – but this cannot be consistent – if the killing of a fetus cannot be illegal.
      There is a site with some info on this: http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/fetal_homicide_law.html
      I think most people are not hard on one side or the other, and only good can come from talking some of these issues through without rhetoric. I would be much happier to see an article that even attempted that.

      • Not regulating something doesn't create a legal incongruity, however.

        • that's where the moral incongruity comes in then, I guess.

          • Disagree…it leaves morality as a personal choice. To what extent can society legislate personal morality and is that even the purpose of law?

          • Well – I think most laws regulate personal morality in some way. Laws are not independent of anyone's values and in fact they all come (at root) from people's moral codes. I suppose what I am getting at here is the same thing as you – to what extent – and that really is the question – getting the balance right between complete liberty and laws we are obliged to obey for the greater good.
            At the moment, a baby gains rights only as it leaves the body of the mother – yet this can sometimes be problematic. For me, that raises the question of whether we have the right balance between women's rights and infant's (and father's) rights.

          • Yes…I think we are on the same page. At what point does an individual's morality infringe on the rights of the collective and what right does the collective have to infringe on an individual's? Ultimately, it a woman's choice.

            But I do think that what gets lost is that abortion in our current society is not a choice made freely, as it is made from primarily from social and economic pressures of which women (not men) bear the brunt of.

            If society wishes to limit the number of abortions, it could be a bit more compassionate and relieve these external pressures that contribute to the decision process.

            Only then would it be truly a matter of personal choice, which in the end cannot be legislated.

  12. The striking point about the video is that it is extremely crystal clear that the woman – the one who is pregnant, carrying the fetus in her belly – is not even an afterthought for these crusaders. After spending years pushing for what they believe, they demonstrate that the consequences of what they want to the women involved has not even been considered.

    I would have guessed that they might either stick to their principle and say, as one sort of did, "yes – murder is murder and a woman having an abortion should be locked up for life" or at least fudged the answer. But what is astonishing to me is that these anti-abortionists (most of whom are women) have not even considered the legal implications on the women they are targetting.

    I actually have thought that the rhetoric of calling anti-abortionists as being mysogynist to be over the top. But I'm wondering if I've just gotten too used to a society that permits women to control their own bodies. Those responses really give me strong second thoughts about anti-abortionists.

    • Doesn't the video actually prove (as lgarvin says above) the opposite of the "pro-lifers are misogynists" claim by showing that their focus is clearly on the monstrousness of the act rather than (as pro-choicers falsely claim) the sinfulness of the woman?

      • I don't doubt their sincerity in thinking that a bunch of cells is the same as a fully born human baby.

        What is shocking is how very little thought – really no thought at all – they have about the women who will bear the brunt of what they are proposing. After years of campaigning and no thought? How many of them answered "OH, I never thought about that?" It is astonishing.

        Like I said above, I've never been comfortable with the blanket label of mysoginy for all pro-lifers, and still am, but their response does show that there is more than a kernal of truth to it.

  13. Dennis_F : "…But do you agree that unborn babies should have rights along with women and everyone else in society?…"

    Is a fertilized ovum a "child"? How about a 16 cell zygote? How about the group of cells called a blastocyst? I know it must be the embryo that has no nervous system, brain waves or differentiated anatomy.

    90% of abortions are before 12 weeks, i.e. in the states noted above. The remainders are generally sad and medically necessary situations in which the mother wanted a baby.

    Nor is the argument concerning "life" particularly convincing given that the component parts are alive to begin with. By that logic, masturbating or having sex with a woman on the pill is "murder" too.

    No life has been created on this planet for billions of years. It merely changes form. If you want to hold spiritual views concerning the human aspects of this ecosystem, go for it, but let's dispense with the notion that people are murdering "children" who should have unalienable human rights when one has an abortion shall we?

    • If you're going to dispense with the idea that a new human person with human rights comes into being at the moment a new human organism comes into being, then you surely have a logically-unassailable position of your own as to when a new human person with human rights comes into being, right?

      See, it's a purely materialist, reductionist standard for when a human person begins to say that it does when a human organism begins. There's no soul (or, on the extremely small chance there is, we can't know when it joins a human being), so we can't define a human as a souled being, whether you want to believe the soul enters at conception, forty days after conception, at birth, at puberty, at menopause, or whatever.

      Now, of course, we can create a standard for personhood based on, say, the neurological development of an organism. Of course, if we did set the standard for personhood at some level of neurological development, we wind up in a situation where either killing adult chimpanzees is murder, or killing two-year-olds is not. Which way do you prefer the line drawn, sir?

      Or we could just have the line drawn wherever social consensus about moral intuition reaches. Of course, there's the chance that we might see a society that believes the physically handicapped, mentally ill, gypsies, and Jews are non-persons, and we either have to accept that, or find a different standard than social consensus.

      Me, I personally suggest we define "human person" as "any living human organism". It's a nice bright line rule, easy to adjudicate and inclusive of everyone we want to protect. And yeah, that probably means we have to restart the orphanages. Nothing's perfect.

      • "…If you're going to dispense with the idea that a new human person with human rights comes into being at the moment a new human organism comes into being, then you surely have a logically-unassailable position of your own as to when a new human person with human rights comes into being, right?…"

        Lucky for you I speak stoner! LOL

        I think society has it right already. Most are okay with early term abortions and most are dead against late term "choice" abortions. It's not enshrined in law because there isn't really a problem with late term abortions in this country.

        I think "human rights" start when you're born because that's the most practical thing, but society has a lot of influence before that in terms of how people act without legislating it already, so I don't think there's a problem to fix really.

        At the base of it the situation isn't cut and dry, so… no cut and dry answers. Seems reason enough to keep the status quo for now.

  14. Of course pregnancy triggers emotions in those who want to have a child. My wife and I have certainly been excited every time we conceived, even having suffered through a number of miscarriages.

    Our faith is such however, that we believe the spirits of our childen merely waited for the next opportunity to embody themselves and join our family.

    Personal beliefs aside though, I think people are fixating too much. Being a parent is more than pregnancy or birth; much much more.

    It represents a permanent life altering change to one's entire world view, and presents a series of responsibilities and decisions that impact everything you do from that point forward.

    It is not something that should be forced on those who are neither prepared for it, nor desire it.

    The drive should be toward respecting the innate and amazing potential that procreation represents, and reflecting that respect in our decision making, rather than some strange mechanical argument of enforced pregnancy.

    This is the aspect that anti-abortionists seem completely oblivious too in my opinion, and one that speak less to faith and more to societal control issues.

  15. Question I've always wanted answered …. If "society" were to enforce the completion of unwanted
    pregnancies, to what degree should "society" be legally and/or financially responsible for the resulting
    life ? Should there be a special liability beyond that which applies to "wanted" births ?

    Should we put up or shut up ? Should we ask the currently befuddled mind of Maggie Thatcher ?

  16. we get it. pro-abortion people think babies in the womb have no soul and can just be chopped out if they are inconvenient. pro-life people think that's a sick thing to do. lots of people disagree about this on all sides of the spectrum. what's with the demonization of the others' opinion?

    • Are you auditioning for Sun TV's new fair-and-balanced News show?

    • In terms of those who honestly believe that life starts at conception I can sympathize that abortion is difficult to accept. It's not hard to understand, even if one believes, as I do, that this is a visceral rather than logical position.

      Personally I frown on late term "choice" abortions, not because I believe the fetus to be a human being with unalienable rights, but merely because I have respect for the potential it represents, and figure by that point a woman has had more than enough time to consider her options and decide.

      I am not prepared however to make other people abide by my beliefs, because they ARE beliefs and not facts.

      There is a clear link between equality and pro-choice, since it removes societal control from the equation and societies are in large part controlled by men, who do not have such societal controls placed on them.

      The sum of it therefore is that as long as anti-abortionists advocate state control of what most view as a personal decision, they will continue to be "demonized" for it.

    • No one is "pro-abortion." To be pro-abortion would mean you want all pregnancies terminated everywhere. There is a reason the term "pro-choice" is used, as we believe this sad, unfortunate CHOICE should still be a woman's right.

      • People who own or work in abortion clinics make more money if more people have abortions.

        Are they "pro-abortion" in your view?

  17. The recurring question that haunts pro-choicers:

    If an abortion is between a woman and her doctor, why am I paying for THEIR choice???

    • If women have the right to choose, then they all have that right equally and the question thus becomes one of health outcomes. I think we've seen enough of back-alley abortions to understand that this is not something we want to see again.

      Since we have universal healthcare, and since health outcomes concerning abortions are so heavily influenced by the quality of the care, I don't understand the justification for NOT funding it.

      It's not a choice in the same sense as say a tummy tuck or nose job for pete's sake.

      • Actually Phil, I think this is one point where compromise can be found. I see nothing wrong with hospitals and clinics charging women for abortions (excluding of course procedures that are medically necessary), but making the cost of those abortions set by the government – something akin to eye exams in Ontario*. If the procedures continue to be performed in safe, sanctioned, environments (like hospitals and clinics) and the cost is kept down, then the likelihood of back-alley abortions should be muted.

        One final note – I've really appreciated reading your thoughts on this matter. Thank you for sharing.

        *actually now that I look it up, I'm not sure if optometrists in Ontario have a limit on how much they can charge per examination…I seem to remember this being the case when they took it off OHIP…can anyone corroborate this?

        • although now that I think about this some more, I'm suspecting that in order to keep prices down the government would still have to subsidize the doctors – and we're back to square one.

          nevermind. :)

          • Abortion is a matter of women's health; in a public health care system, to make women pay for abortions is to deprive us of our right to public health care.

          • Most abortions have NOTHING to do with "women's health" issues, but more to do with lifestyle issues! THESE are where I draw the line.
            If it is a bonafide HEALTH issue, my objections would go away!

          • Many health issues are by-products of lifestyle choices, e.g., cardiopulmonary and respiratory disorders from smoking, some forms of obesity, injuries or diseases related to one's choice of occupation, injuries acquired in the pursuit of high risk recreational activities.

            Are we now to get into a debate to sort out who is deserving and undeserving of universal health care?

          • No, I'm getting into a debate about medically NECESSARY procedures!

            Smokers pay ENOURMOUS taxes for their vice, occupational injuries and high risk rec injuries REQUIRE intervention, MOST abortions DO NOT!

            Funny the author wants to end the procedure for MS sufferers, even though patients are leading a PROVEN better post op life, but is OK with the willy nilly killing of the unborn!

          • You're already paying for nose jobs, boob jobs, tummy tucks, etc! And yes — cancer treatment for smokers, bariatric surgery for obese people who eat cheeseburgers and yes, they DO want fries with that…the list of what we all pay for via healthcare is never ending. In some provinces you still pay for circumcision for religious reasons. Do you object to those?

            So you don't object on moral grounds, but on pecuniary ones. But isn't the financial cost of an abortion much cheaper than forcing a woman to have a baby — she needs to live on something, so maybe welfare or unemployment insurance (public paid both), having the baby delivered by doctors and nurses in a hospital, taken and held as a ward of the state until adoption — or if adoption never happens, the costs of raising a child in some kind of instititution — a child with no parents, perhaps to become a sociopath and wreak horrible crime on society. Also, may involve costs for the mother's turmoil to have to give birth to, and give up her baby.

          • "You're already paying for nose jobs, boob jobs, tummy tucks, etc! "

            I would hope ONLY if necessary.
            Smokers……..see above.

            "circumcision for religious reasons."

            Go read some medical journals……..it's not ONLY for religion!

            "But isn't the financial cost of an abortion much cheaper than forcing a woman to have a baby"

            I've said before, I'm not all in on financial reasons. If they can't pay now, withhold taxes, etc or they can pick bottles from a ditch for all I care!
            Hell, lets all kill old people because we can't afford them according to Patchouli!

          • Whoa, buddy, I engaged with you because you claimed to care only about the financial aspect. I never said my own point of view, and I most certainly didn't attack you.

            All I did was ask you a question, sliverdyck.

          • Actually, I also claimed that I wasn't happy with the frequency this procedure is being done.
            And all that usless ancedote that you typed was masqurading as your opinion! Nice try!

            And all I did was answer them!

        • My main concern is preventing socio-economic barriers being used as a backdoor means of doing what cannot be done legitimately: societal control of women's basic life choices.

          Seems to me that most abortions are had by young women, and many lack affluence.

          • Yeah, I see your point – I'm not sure what the demographics of abortion are, but like you, I'd suspect that a significant percentage would in fact be both young and lacking affluence.

            Upon further reflection I don't really think my original compromise is workable

            cheers.

      • It's not a choice in the same sense as say a tummy tuck or nose job for pete's sake.

        The way it's being used as a substitute for birth control it sure is. Go park yourself in front of a clinic and look at the clientele! I'm willing to place money on the fact that MOST are NOT required for health/medical reasons!
        Financial health is NOT in my equation!

        • Well your reasoned tone sure has facilitated finding compromise on this issue…

          • Compromise with the likes that visit here???
            I would be an anomaly!

        • Go park myself in front of a clinic and presume to know the issues of each person's life well enough to judge them?

          I'm not a psychic and neither are you. To presume to know whether their pregnancy was accidental or negligent based on looks beggars all credibility.

          I've yet to meet a woman who takes that choice lightly. In fact I've yet to meet a woman who doesn't look back at that time and feel some regret, even while they reaffirm the neccesity of their decision and the right to make it.

          • I'm not a psychic and neither are you.
            Never said I was, I'm basing my opinion on FACTS from people who were inside and relayed their stories. My neice had 2 for christs sake because she can't seem to keep her pants on! There is no ACCIDENTAL pregnancy, either you HAD intercourse with the opposite sex or you didn't! This isn't Bible stories of the virgin birth! We teach sex ed in schools early enough so that it isn't some big surprise in 9 months. Perhaps kids should pay attention as they seem to have been absent judging by the age group visiting the clinics. I'm sure many women FEEL regret, I'm suggesting a bit of financial regret as well!

          • I, for one, am very grateful for your judicious use of capitalization – it certainly makes your point much easier to follow.

          • You are welcome!

          • I see no facts here at all, only anecdotes to support a pre-conceived opinion. (pun intended)

            At least you've proven my point about societal control. Give proponents societal control over abortion, and soon they move to trying to control women's sexual lives. And then what? Burkas?

            You're not winning any converts with that line of thought. If you're happy being in the proverbial wildnerness on this issue, then do continue in this direction.

          • I see no facts here at all, only anecdotes to support a pre-conceived opinion.

            And you are bringing what to the table????
            Control Womens Sex Lives? Burkas?

            Thanks for that, and go and join your left wingnuts for the group hug that always takes place here. I'm not here to do the convert thing, as that would be a waste of my time. I just call them as I see them, and ignore the gross misrepresentations from the likes of you!

          • Well damn me for connecting your derogatory language concerning your neice with your obtuse notion of "no accidental pregnancies" in the context of being an anti-abortionist, while suggesting "financial regret" and thus thinking that you want abortion to be illegal to punish sexual practises.

            You made the connections brother, not me.

            Perhaps then your argument isn't clear in your own head?

            Be anti-abortion if it suits your sensibilities, I hardly care, but don't think you can throw those kinds of claims and connections around and not be painted by them.

          • Well damn me for getting all upset at the likes of you that are not bothered by the killing of unwanted children because it would cramp their style. In about a month, my Wife is to give birth to a Downs Child much to the surprise/shock of the doctors/consultants at the Childrens Hospital who thought that we were going to terminate because EVERONE does it. This is the attitude that sickens me and you SEEM OK with it so you happen to be in the line of my ire! I can't help that you people just assume that any pushback to abortion means we all want women to wear chastity belts in jail. You were the one that started the wild claims of Burkas, not me! I just point out the realities of abortion clinics, and if you chose to not see what actually goes on, well, I can't help you. Stick to your notion that ALL abortions are good and unquestionable, just don't expect me to buy it!
            Once again for the hard of comprehension out there, I'm NOT against abortion for the RIGHT reasons, only the convienient ones!

          • I didn't seriously mean to suggest you were supporting the concept of burkas Gary, I was trying to make a point about the slippery slope of judgementalism.

            We actually agree for the most part on what is appropriate behaviour in terms of abortion.

            Our difference of opinion is clearly one of perspective. You insist on seeing the glass half empty and I insist we must see it half full.

            Are all women acting responsibly on this issue? Probably not, but I am not willing to berate and hate someone because they're ignorant, willful or immature. I am not willing to impinge on someone's right to control their own body for the sake of a somantic argument concerning the humaness of a group of self replicating cells with no heartbeat, no brainwaves, no differentiated anatomy or anything else that would constitute a conscious being.

            I suspect neither are you. You just happen to be a very offensive person.

            Good luck with that.

          • " I am not willing to impinge on someone's right to control their own body"

            Neither am I normally, until their rights become my financial responsibility. You know, with all the rhetoric about holding Government accountable on this site, I find it odd that nobody seems interested in their OWN accountability!

            "self replicating cells with no heartbeat, no brainwaves, no differentiated anatomy or anything else that would constitute a conscious being."

            Usual pap from the likes of you! Better go to a clinic and take a look at a few early pregnancy ultrasounds to see heartbeats going at their business while at the legal age to still do an abortion, and get back to me.

            "You just happen to be a very offensive person. "

            And you are a disgusting example of a human being as well, thanks!

          • No, he's not a psychic: he's a psycho.

    • The recurring question that haunts hip-replacers:

      If hip replacement is between a patient and their doctor, why am I paying for THEIR NEW HIP???

      • Probably because for them to walk, if at all, is a very painful ordeal unlike shedding a few pounds to fit into a grad dress you nimrod!

  18. What is your obsession with abortion? http://twitter.com/mywindyroom/status/25131347593
    Go and analyse Morgantaler's speech from 1967 (if you dare!). Note how he subverts the words "belief" and "father" and "force" and write about that Cosh, about the movement in Canada. How did Abortion on Demand become the policy of the day? This is, after all, a Canadian Mag. All you do is spout. Let's see some work!

  19. Abortions for some, hugs for others, tiny Canadian flags for everyone?

  20. I don't do calm, only reasonable!
    Your efforts to the "discussion" are to complain about style over substance???

    • "they can pick bottles from a ditch for all I care!
      Hell, lets all kill old people because we can't afford them according to Patchouli! "

      Reasonable? How does a comment like that move the discussion forward in a "reasonable" tone?

      Please don't show me your "unreasonable"

  21. "…I choose to teach my family that those divinely meshed cells are a gift to the earth just as any tree, blogger or liberal.
    Hug your children if you got'em…"

    I'm prochoice and I teach my children the exact same thing.

    Life is an amazing thing that arose from the barren rock of earth derived from the sun as part of a huge multiverse and it should be greatly respected.

    I don't think that message leans one way or another on abortion, it merely connotes the need for a respectful perspective and educated decision making.

  22. I'm pro choice. Nobody is pro-abortion.

    And Colby Cosh: I don't actually think that question "haunts" prolifers at all, and the youtube video shows they have never thought beyond the graphic images they like to carry around like some freaky banners of morality.

    • I'm pro choice. Nobody is pro-abortion.

      That's a nice cop-out. Of course you support the killing of a child in the womb, as long as the mother chooses such action, right? I know it's a terrible thing to admit to, but it is the truth, is it not?

      By the way, I'm pro-choice, too. I believe reproductive choices should be made before life is actually created. Not after.

      • I'm a woman and I think that how, when, and with whom I procreate is my business. However, not all women have the resources, the education, or the mental faculties to even understand the choices available to them. Some women had no choices: they were raped and don't want to give birth to a constant reminder of violence. And of course, some of the women who seek abortions aren't women at all: they are still girls. Not adults.

        All this arguing goes nowhere for a solution. How about free birth control, to avoid unwanted pregnancies and prevent any need for abortions? How about men stop using poor, illiterate, uneducated girls and women with no resources to hump their lust out on? How about instead of men judging women in these dire situations instead look out for the vulnerable, at-risk girls and women who are most likely to become pregnant and require abortions?

        Moreover — how would you answer the question in the video? If you believe abortion should be illegal, how should the women who have them illegally be punished?

        • I'm a woman and I think that how, when, and with whom I procreate is my business.

          Absolutely. But when you create new life, then it's a whole new ball game, isn't it?

          The idea that we sanction murder because of a lack of education is absurd. You have sex, you can have a baby. You don't want to have a baby, don't have sex. Or, take every precaution possible, knowing that you can still have a baby.

          I agree that men shouldn't treat women like objects. For that matter, women shouldn't allow it, either. But, I say punish the man for abortion. Make the father responsible for the life of the baby, too.

          As for punishment, I have addressed it. Numerous times. I suggest you read my other posts. Even so, why can't rights of the unborn be discussed without a specific penal code being tabled?

          • Well then I expect you're a vegan then right?

            If you consider an undifferentiated group of cells with the potential to become human to in fact be human, then surely you wouldn't sanction the killing of far more complicated beings who are actually conscious then right?

            Examples include pigs, cows, chickens etc etc.?

          • I consider human life to be precious. You don't. You think it can be slaughtered in the womb.

            So, let's see. We've had human life now compared to pigs and peanut butter. My God.

          • I most certainly consider human life to be precious and no attempt on your part to make a false dichotomoy of this argument will change that.

            The problem with the "life" argument is that one would naturally have to include the sperm and ova in that equation. They are clearly alive and clearly human and therefore constitute human life in the loosest sense.

            So, are you commiting murder everytime you have sex with a woman on the pill? With a woman whose gone through menapause? With yourself in the bathroom?

            Seems to me you have no argument, but only a visceral reaction that leads you to say terrible things about people simply because they disagree with you on a topic that is clearly shades of grey.

          • The problem with the "life" argument is that one would naturally have to include the sperm and ova in that equation.

            This is patently absurd.

            Each and every one of our lives was created at conception. That is when we start to exist. Not at birth. Not beforehand as seeds and eggs.

            You do not consider created human life to be precious. You have to liken it to pigs, for crying out loud.

            It also never ceases to amaze me how the defenders of abortion don't even get basic human biology right. Seed as human beings. You can't possibly be serious. Unfortunately, you probably are.

          • On what authority are you basing your claim that life begins at conception? The moment of conception is simply a fertilized egg. Cell division starts, certainly, but the idea that you a) equate a handful of cells at conception to human life, and b) mourn the loss of a fertilized egg the same way you would mourn the death of a living, breathing person, is comically absurd.

          • So you equate a germinated tomato seed with a tomato plant? Most people would say that what you have is just a germinated tomato seed, thus the different terminology.

            You've clearly decided at what point YOU consider the potential for human life to be an actual human life, but ignore the fact that this decision is entirely arbitrary.

            From my perspective a fertilized ovum is a living thing certainly, but not yet human. It is merely a group of cells involved in a biological process that will result in a human being about 65% of the time, the remainder being spontaneous abortions, ie miscarriage.

            What I'm interested in knowing is why, if you consider a group of cells with no human attitributes to be so sacred as to deserve human rights, that you don't consider a pig, which shows considerably more human attributes, is alive and is clearly quite intelligent, less deserving of life.

          • YOUR God indeed….

    • To repeat a question I posed to another poster: People who own or work in abortion clinics make more money if more people have abortions.

      Are they "pro-abortion" in your view?

  23. By the way, instead of ambushing protesters, you might want to ask people whose job it is to advocate for the rights of babies in the womb.

    One of the greatest saints of our time, Mother Teresa, who is known for her kindness and compassion to everyone she met, was asked the question regarding jail time for women who sought abortions and she answered unequivocally that a jail term would be necessary, because the life of a human being had been deliberately taken.

    There obviously isn't complete consensus, but taking into account the mother's circumstances and emotional state, which is done for crimes all the time, seems to be a point of agreement. Making abortion similar to infanticide, or assisting in infanticide, is something I could support. Don't know why I have to adhere to Mr. Cosh's life sentence or nothing approach.

    • I like the balanced viewpoints represented on the link you provided. Also a little disappointed that Mother Theresa is only ONE of the greatest saints of our time, and not the greatest. I would think what a shrivelled little woman who ripped off the poor to great advantage (as per Christopher Hitchens), a Roman Catholic nun — yeah, I'd think she'd have a pretty balanced view on abortion in the 21st century.

      PLUS you answered the question!

      Good post!

  24. At least pro-lifers have consciences to explore. I find pro-abortion types, like Patchouli above, have no thoughts at all about how they support the murder of babies by saying inane things like "I'm pro choice. Nobody is pro-abortion".

    Why does society allow women to only murder babies? Why don't we allow women to murder one person a year because it is quite convenient system we have set up where women are only allowed to murder those who can't defend themselves.

    I think women who have abortions should be charged with murder and spend the rest of their lives behind bars. And we should tattoo "I murder babies" on their foreheads so we all know what kind of person she is.

    • Wow. Just wow. All I can say is that I sincerely hope and pray you one day have a teenage daughter whose morals aren't quite up to your lofty standards.

      Something's missing though, where's your screed about Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood and Eugenics?

    • What kind of a person is she?

      Scared?

      Poor?

      Raped?

      Abused?

      Young?

      Judged?

      Also, thanks a million for clarifying what I meant to say: I appreciate it when a big daddy man will step up and help a poor gal out.

    • Well anybody can misuse terminology to attack another person, and the gratuitous use of visceral language doesn't improve the argument.

      There have been no babies murdered in an abortion. In fact, most abortions don't even kill fetuses. The vast majority destroy a group of cells with the potential to become a baby.

      There you go, feel better now?

  25. Over 200 responses and nobody has speculated on what a decent answer would be. Although in no way a pro-lifer, they should probably say:

    "I don't think you can punish the misguided women who end their own children's lives. It is they, after all, who will have to live with their ungodly actions. While all death is terrible and should be prevented, there are some instances where it can't be punished. Suicide, for example, is an example of a terrible killing that is not punishable at law. But like suicide, those who counsel or aid in abortions should be punished."

    • You've nailed it, there is no decent answer to the question.
      I might think that Colby, being the rationalist he purports to be, is goading people on all sides of this debate to give him one. Or he is just asking us to consider the implications of our beliefs.
      I do not propose a punishment for those who decide on a course of action that impacts their health and those around them.
      We can only impress upon those closest to us the views we have come to through our experiences.

  26. I'm not sure what to make of Mr. Cosh's periodic effusions on this subject. A more sensible pro-choicer would headline a piece on this video "Good News: Pro-Lifers Not Out for Blood, Willing to Temper Justice with Mercy." Instead it somehow proves, in Cosh's opinion, that the whole pro-life movement is bogus. I think there's a missing logical step here.

    One might as well ask the question that haunts pro-choicers: If a fetus is just a clump of cells, why do you say abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare" and say (as two different posters in this thread have) "I'm pro-choice, not pro-abortion?" (Mr. Cosh might reply that he is so committed to legal abortion that he has no such qualms, but he is not typical.)

    • There's such an easy answer to your question that it's kind of sad you bothered posing it – abortion should be safe, legal and rare because it's a medical procedure, and even the safest medical procedures carry risk. Someone who supports publicly funding abortions would also argue it should be rare for that very reason.

    • "…One might as well ask the question that haunts pro-choicers: If a fetus is just a clump of cells, why do you say abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare"…"

      I've yet to meet a pro-choice individual who couldn't answer that question.

      Just because one does not consider the potential for life to be on par with an existing life, doesn't mean we don't respect the awesome potential or the implications about the nature of our reality that the existence of such potential represents.

  27. "Just because one does not consider the potential for life to be on par with an existing life, doesn't mean we don't respect the awesome potential or the implications about the nature of our reality that the existence of such potential represents."

    Shame your respect for the awesome potential doesnt manifest in even a scintilla of legal protection in any form. The treehouse I built for my kids is subject to greater legal protection in current Cdn society than that bunch of cells with awesome potential.

    Getting back to the original

    • I don't understand the argument in favour of legal provisions of any sort. How would that even work?

      "Sorry maam, but you can't have an abortion because we don't consider you to have the appropriate respect for the awesome potential of procreation"???

      Not everything is about legality. In fact I'd argue that laws exist mostly as a function of maintaining peace and order, not forwarding easily debatable moral positions.

      But that's hardly the only aspect of society that matters. There's also societal messaging that individual groups can take up the cause to promote.

      Unfortunately I've yet to see a website or speak with someone from the anti-abortion camp who can forward a cogent argument without reverting to hyperbole and the misrepresentation of fact. They all seem to lean on the visceral crutch and this drives the majority away. It mirrors the debate on "god" in this manner, and makes most people disregard the good points they could make and undermines the intelligent debate we could otherwise have.

      • "I don't understand the argument in favour of legal provisions of any sort. How would that even work?"

        The same way that competing rights are balanced today. Examples pop up virtually every month. I have a right to my religious beliefs, which tenets include considering homosexual activity to be a sin, you (though not necessarily "you", PK) have a right not to face discrimination because you engage in homosexual activity – there you go, two rights to be balanced. In current Cdn law, there's nothing to be balanced because there is only one right – that of the woman to undergo an abortion. In essentially every other western democracy, there is some recognition, however limited or fleeting, of the rights of the unborn. Look to one of those countries to see "how would that even work".

        "Not everything is about legality. In fact I'd argue that laws exist mostly as a function of maintaining peace and order, not forwarding easily debatable moral positions."

        The web comment equivalent of "I'm losing, so I'm taking my ball and going home".

        "Unfortunately I've yet to see a website or speak with someone from the anti-abortion camp who can forward a cogent argument without reverting to hyperbole and the misrepresentation of fact. They all seem to lean on the visceral crutch and this drives the majority away.."

        I plead guilty to the hyperbole part, but challenge you on the misrepresentation of fact part. And in terms of the "visceral crutch", by all means enlighten us as to how to talk about the act of slicing apart a fetus or boiling it to death in saline solution less viscerally.

        • Well then you should be happy with the status quo.

          You have the right to believe that abortion is murder, the right to be offensive to those who disagree and have the right to demonstrate and advocate for that point of view. Meanwhile women have the right to control their own bodies and decide whether they wish to be mothers.

          There you go, two rights balanced.

          I'm glad we had this talk. LOL

          • You're forgetting the third right, but then math has never been your strength.

    • You can't protect the fetus legally because any protections are de facto encroachments on the human rights of the woman who bears that fetus. There is no argument about this, it is simple logic.

      It's a tragedy when a potential human life is snuffed out, but it's a necessary tragedy and all the breast-beating and brow-beating in the world changes nothing. It is wasted effort. If you want to save unborn children, offer to feed, house, clothe, pay and protect distressed pregnant women until they deliver their babies and then raise those babies as your own. And God bless you for that…

      But arguing about it on the internet? You are so far from serious about saving the unborn that you ought to be ashamed to claim it as your cause.

      • "You can't protect the fetus legally because any protections are de facto encroachments on the human rights of the woman who bears that fetus. There is no argument about this, it is simple logic"

        See above re: balancing competing rights.

        "It's a tragedy when a potential human life is snuffed out, but it's a necessary tragedy and all the breast-beating and brow-beating in the world changes nothing. It is wasted effort. If you want to save unborn children, offer to feed, house, clothe, pay and protect distressed pregnant women until they deliver their babies and then raise those babies as your own. And God bless you for that… "

        See above re: "taking ball and going home", although I detect some of that "common ground" so many here are pleading for – I agree it is a "tragedy", but not a "necessary tragedy" in the vast majority of cases and I agree there should be more offering to feed, house, clothe, pay and protect distressed pregnant women – I suspect, though, that you and I will disagree as to what percentage of the total number of pregnant women getting abortions are "distressed" and/or require the offered benevolence as a result of being pregnant.

        "But arguing about it on the internet? You are so far from serious about saving the unborn that you ought to be ashamed to claim it as your cause."

        You, of course, are utterly clueless as to what else I do to "save the unborn", although I'd wager it's considerably more than the likes of you do to make abortion as "rare" as you all proclaim you wish it to be.

        • See above re: balancing competing rights.

          There are no rights to be balanced. There are rights on one hand and wishs on the other. The fetus has no rights and none are forthcoming.

          I suspect, though, that you and I will disagree as to what percentage of the total number of pregnant women getting abortions are "distressed" and/or require the offered benevolence as a result of being pregnant.

          Your judgement about the women is immaterial – as is mine – it's about saving the unborn, remember? It's odd, though not unexpected, that you want to focus now on which women deserve benevolence and which do not.

          You, of course, are utterly clueless as to what else I do to "save the unborn", although I'd wager it's considerably more than the likes of you do to make abortion as "rare" as you all proclaim you wish it to be.

          You'd lose that wager. Have no doubt about that.

          • "There are no rights to be balanced. There are rights on one hand and wishs on the other. The fetus has no rights and none are forthcoming."

            And this statement of the obvious is in response to what argument, exactly – that fetuses shouldn't have rights because they don't have them now and none are forthcoming? Let's try that one the next time the gay agenda hits the court.

            "Your judgement about the women is immaterial – as is mine – it's about saving the unborn, remember? It's odd, though not unexpected, that you want to focus now on which women deserve benevolence and which do not. "

            It is odd that I feel compelled from time to time to address your scribations, but the flesh is weak – you changed the focus to distressed pregnant women, not I.

            "You'd lose that wager. Have no doubt about that."

            So sorry to distract you from your mission. You remain clueless about what I do.

          • And this statement of the obvious is in response to what argument, exactly

            Your argument… the one about balancing competing rights… made just above. I thought it a little silly myself but at least I troubled to remember it.

            you changed the focus to distressed pregnant women, not I.

            No. I suggested that -if your motive is really to save the unborn – then you should focus your efforts on helping pregnant women to bring their pregnancies to full term and then raise the children you have helped to save. Your response was to quibble with an adjective I had used. People will begin to think you are not serious about the issue.

            You remain clueless about what I do.

            Yes, blissfully so… Whatever it is you do, I trust you do it better than you gamble.

      • The woman with the child has all of her human rights intact. She chose toparticipate in the activity that causes reproduction, and it is her resonsibility to follow through to it's logical conclusion.

        It's all about the reproductive system, and we all know what that means. The "Right to Choose", occurs when you decide to copulate or not. If you choose to reproduce, you are on the hook for the next 25 years or so, and so is the father. Being responsible for a new human being, means respecting that new persons human rights. Killing them does not fulfill that obligation.

    • I see the word "potential" bandied about here like it's relevant. A fertilized human egg is a being, that is nothing less than human. A human being. A sperm and an egg are a potential human being, but once joined, they are no longer potential, but actual. The use of the word "potential" is false and constitutes nothing more than a red herring argument, which is the common tactic used when there is no valid assertoin to use in debate.

      • You need to look up the definition of "red herring argument"…

        Regardless, you're spouting an opinion. If you think a fertilized egg and a human being are one and the same, fine. Your opinion doesn't override that of others, and not just because you're wrong.

  28. Getting back to the original proposition – that pro-lfers are "haunted" by the issue of sanctions for women who undergo abortions – this haunts me not at all. If one's position is that an abortion is the moral equivalent of a homicide, then the sanction should be the same sanction as applies to other homicides. Currently in Canada, the sanctions that apply to homicides range from "nothing" to "life imprisonment with no chance of parol". I am quite comfortable with the sanction for abortion being somewhere within that range.

  29. The question is moot, because the correct answer already exists within the Canadian Legal System. The correct answer is found in the Criminal Code of Canada, Section 235.

    Punishment for murder
    235. (1) Every one who commits first degree murder or second degree murder is guilty of an indictable offence and shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life.

    This is applicable to abortion because the wilful act of abortion fulfils the requirements for a murder conviction under Section 229 of the same Act.

    • Actually, it's not, since Section 229 specifies very clearly that murder is the killing of a "human being" – a fetus is only a potential human being. Thanks for playing though.

      • A "potential" human being is an egg and a sperm before they unite. Once united, they are a human being. Game Set Match.

  30. Teresa Lewis murdered two adults…It is NOT analagous to abortion!

  31. Check out your American counterpart:

    Time's cover headline this week (probably written by a pro-choicer, and if not, certainly having had to make its way through a heavily pro-choice editorial chain of command) says "How the FIRST nine months shape the REST OF your life" (my emphasis). But yeah, it's the pro-lifers who are faking it.

  32. The only reason Colby gets 'humour' out of this is that the culture has fallen behind pro-lifers and both Colby and the prolifers know it. Once the culture becomes pro-life again, there won't be as much hesitation in punishing women as well they should. Once the culture changes, the politics will be possible. I think Colby is being presumptuous to think it is men who'll be clamouring for such punishment. It is women who oppose abortion the most and Colby and other men just want nooky without the consequences. By then, Colby's humour will be dated.