Thinking like a pro-lifer, take three

First, I just wanted to let readers know that the comments threads are still quite active in two of my posts on the pro-life movement (here and here — I really need to get a “recent comments” plugin set up on this site).

But I wanted to bring yet another of Deep Thought’s comments to the forefront, and since he doesn’t seem to mind the attention, I’ll address it right here. He says:

That is, in the end, the debate. The right of a woman to have an uninterrupted career, or to not be hassled while completing a graduate degree, or to not gain too much weight, or escape the economic burden of her own actions.

Women are selfish, he argues, for wanting these rights, and for sacrificing the life of another in order to get them. That’s the heart of his argument right there: that the rights of the embryo or fetus to live trump the right of its mother to have the life she wants. I don’t think he’d disagree with that.

But let’s be clear about some things: for Deep Thought, “her own actions” include using birth control which fails. I wouldn’t be surprised if Deep Thought included her being raped in “her own actions.” This is what Deep Thought is talking about. If you are raped, you must not only suffer that inhumanity, but if the rape happens to result in a fertilized egg, then part of your rape will continue for another nine months, because you will not only be forced to have intercourse, you’ll also be forced to bear and give birth to the child that results. Otherwise, you’re just being selfish.

For Deep Thought, emergency contraceptives for rape victims would be an unacceptable compromise, because Deep Thought believes, against all scientific evidence, that emergency contraceptives may prevent a fertilized egg from implanting.

Deep Thought claims that I haven’t talked to enough pro-lifers to really understand what they believe. Deep Thought believes that both abortion and contraception are wrong, but, he claims, for different reasons. It would be theoretically possible for someone to be pro-contraception, but also believe that life begins the instant the sperm reaches the egg, and so any device that prevents implantation or causes an abortion should be banned. I haven’t met anyone like that. I’d be interested to know if any group actually supports that agenda, because again, I haven’t seen one. Christina Page claims in How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America that no such group exists. Deep Thought, do you know of any?

Update: I’ve now added a recent comments list. I think it looks lousy, but it’s functional. Maybe one of these afternoons when I’ve got some time, I’ll spruce it up a bit.

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12 Responses to Thinking like a pro-lifer, take three

  1. Deep Thought says:

    Please, pay more attention. I specifically mentioned that the exceptions to abortion bans in cases of rape or incest are based upon the concept that the woman is incapable of volition in those instances. I specifically addressed this in the first post (I believe). The volume is high, so I understand it was an error of sheer “My Eyes Glaze Over’ but you might have *asked*.

  2. Deep Thought says:

    More to the point, I think that anyone who sacrifices the life of another for somethig less than the very same (life or death) is selfish. I am not singling out women, but anyone who views life as ‘inconvenient’.

  3. dave says:

    Deep Thought, I’d like you to explain what you mean by “the concept that the woman is incapable of volition,” and restate your position on abortion in cases of rape and incest. Specifically, do you believe that administering emergency contraceptives (called “the day after pill” by pro-life groups) in cases of rape and incest should be banned?

    Your second comment appears to just restate the belief I attributed to you in the main post. If you think you’re clarifying something here, you’ll need to clarify further.

  4. Deep Thought says:

    Your question about ‘fine with contraception, life begins at conception’ viewpoint is actually pretty common amonst Protestant groups. For example, a Methodist group I know both works pro-life and funds family planning centers and condom distro. [I’ll ask if they mind me posting a link]. The majority of pro-life Evangelicals I have personally worked with question the Catholic opposition to artificial contraception, but are also opposed to the use of abortifacients after conception.

    I must admit, the Catholic position (opposing abortion AND contraception) is gaining by leaps and bounds, especially in the last 4-6 years, but the pro-life pro-contraception outlook will probably never go away.

  5. Deep Thought says:

    Also, what do you mean that ‘all medical evidence’ indicates that MAPs do not prevent implantation? OK, there are been some studies that deny that such occurs. The :ancet published a paper in 1998 that indicated that at least some version of MAP prevent implantation. And some manufacturers touted their drug’s ability to prevent implantation until such actions became controversial.

    However, I will admit that in general MAPs are ineffective is administered after ovulation – although I think the jury is still out.

    on to your questions.

  6. Deep Thought says:

    I must admit, I have not seen enough evidence either way about morning after pills to have an informed opinion. I know that many in the pro-life movement are dead-set that they are abortifacients (and early medical statements seemed to back that up) while recent papers seem to indicate that, while they may have been *intended* to prevent implantation, they suck at it. I must say – I don’t know.

  7. Deep Thought says:

    Hey… I hate to dominate. Do you want to move this to my blog so you can write about what *you* want to?

  8. Red 2 says:

    With no abortion and no contraception how does society handle the added costs of children when those costs cannot be passed on to the parents?

  9. dave says:

    Deep Thought — feel free to comment here as much as you’d like. Or write a post on your own blog. But if you move the conversation to your blog, it’s not likely that I’ll comment over there. No offense intended; I’m just being honest about what I’d actually do. Or if you want to write comments here and repost them over there, that’s fine too.

    I’d still very much like to hear your clarification about “volition” and abortion in cases of rape and incest.

  10. Deep Thought says:

    I may cross post, but I was mainly afraid of being a jerk. If its OK with you and the discussion will be more free here – off we go.

    The exceptions for abortion bans in cases of rape or incest are based in the idea that the woman in question was not a voluntary participant. In those cases, she did not volunteer for the actions that resulted in pregnancy. Pretty straightforward.

    However, I must admit – I oppose abortion in cases of rape or incest. The child committed to crime, why should their life be forfit?

  11. Deep Thought says:

    Costs of added children? Well, right now parents are liable for costs (just ask one of those Men’s Rights types, especially the wacky ones. Excuse me, *really* wacky ones). No artificial birth control does not mean “women have children every 13 months until they die”. I am in a rather large circle of devout Catholics that do not use artificial contraception and know of only 1 child that was not planned to be conceived right when they were, and they knew they had about a 20% chance of conceiving (His name is Joe and he’s quite nice). Out of about 105 kids that’s pretty good. We tend to have a lot of kids (well, for modern America – we average 4.2 kids per family) because we want them and like them, not because we can’t stop.

    Although I must admit, the look on peoples’ faces when I tell them we have five kids because of that registered letter from the Vatican is really worth the effort.

    I know devout ‘Latin Mass’ Catholics with one or two kids (usually because of health issues), and others with nine. All planned. I also have some friends who are liberal atheists that use the same methods for birth control (I’ve never asked why) and also have control over timing and spacing without artificial birth control or abortion.

    And don’t get me started on the societal costs of having too *few* kids!

  12. Red 2 says:

    I have a friend who had 17. Amazingly they were able to afford it. But I think you are asking a lot from people. You can’t always pass the costs on to the parents. Men can certainly make children far greater than their ability to support them. And not everyone is so wise.

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