On the Issues: Stand Up and Defend Life
Issue   |   Wed, 02/15/2012 - 02:06

I caught a surprising amount of flack for the fact that I named abortion as my number one issue in this election. To leftists and even some conservatives, that marks me as duplicitous, as if I’m trying to use abortion as an issue to force people with a moral conscience to support certain candidates.

Of course, most of those people haven’t considered the sheer volume of deaths that have resulted from legalized abortion in the United States. The Holocaust accounts for the systematic destruction of 12 million people; Stalin’s murderous regime in the Soviet Union has an even greater death toll, somewhere around 20 to 30 million. Sadly, millions more have been killed by legalized abortions in America since Roe v. Wade than in these two genocides combined — 50 million children were killed between 1973 and 2008, and that number is only rising.

This isn’t some O’Reilly talking point; this is a matter of life and death on a mass scale. Any serious candidate for the presidency absolutely must be dead-set against the continued legality of abortion.
I know that there are many people who are “pro-choice,” because they don’t believe that abortion is murder, want to protect a woman’s rights, don’t want to strike down abortion for every situation or for some other reason. For those people, I’d like to take some time and lay out the logic of the pro-life position.

Let’s begin at the end of the argument because it involves basic premises that are true regardless of whether you embrace the other parts of the pro-life stance. It is murder to end the life of a living human being in any situation, except that of war. Why? Because every person has a right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Thus, if a fetus is a living human being, the act of aborting that fetus is an act of murder. The fetus has a right to life, which trumps any right to choose that the woman can claim, because the right to live is of a far greater magnitude than any other. It would be wrong to kill the child in cases of rape or incest, because neither of those scenarios, no matter how sickening they are, provides grounds to deprive the child of life. Similarly, it is improper to abort a baby on the grounds that he wouldn’t have a happy life; the child has a right to pursue that happiness, even if he doesn’t attain it — but who’s to guarantee that the child wouldn’t have a great life, anyway? Steve Jobs was nearly aborted, but he turned out okay.

As you can see, it’s pretty straightforward to establish the fact that murder is wrong. It’s far trickier to prove that the fetus is, in fact, a living human being. Of course, the fact that it’s hard to prove doesn’t make it wrong or invalid. I believe that life begins at conception; individual egg cells belong to the woman and have no more rights than skin cells or hair cells, and the same holds for the man’s sperm cells, but, once they unite, they form a distinct individual with its own life and rights.

By holding that conception is the genesis of life, the pro-life argument is in possession of the most logical place to draw the line between life and non-life. Any pro-abortion stance must choose a different point at which to decide, categorically, that any fetus who is younger is non-living or non-human and that any older fetus is a living human.

It’s popular to say that a fetus isn’t a living human because it can’t support itself or live independently from its parents. That argument backs into ridiculousness, though, because such a definition would also include infants, who need constant care and feeding to survive — and such an argument could apply even to college students, most of whom aren’t self-supporting or independent in any meaningful sense of the word (as in, we’re a drain on our parents and society; but it’s okay, we’ll live through it). Very few people are so committed to that point as to concede that post-delivery infants are non-living, and I don’t know any person who, having held a baby, would be so cruel as to make that argument.

Let me take a quick break from the argument about the beginning point of life to make a quick point to save myself from repeatedly needing to type out the phrase “non-living, non-human.” The child is incontestably human from conception, regardless of what anyone can argue about whether or not he’s alive. The fusion of a human egg cell and a human sperm cell will always produce a human; no woman will become impregnated with a grapefruit, and you’ll never see a giraffe coming out of the delivery room. Proponents of abortion may wish to deprive the fetus of his humanity in order to make him easier to kill, in the same way that soldiers dehumanize their enemy, but it goes past silliness to argue that the fetus is, at any point, non-human.

That said, the next point at which one could contend that the fetus is non-living is immediately before delivery, which is the position held especially by supporters of partial-birth abortion. This position is highly problematic, though, because there is no fundamental difference between the baby in the moment before and after delivery. So he breathes air after delivery, but not beforehand — so what? I’m not breathing while I type this sentence — oh wait, now I am: I must be human now.

But in all seriousness, what’s the difference between a full-term baby before and after delivery? To say that a fully-developed, 40-week old baby inside the womb is less alive than, say, a one-month premature child should cause some serious problems for such a position. And it gets more and more difficult to draw a line from there: is a two-month premature baby more human than a full-term baby in the womb, or a baby that has been in the womb for eight months? What about a preemie who exited the womb after six months, compared to a baby who is still inhabiting it happily after seven? It’s clear that all of these hypothetical children are living.

Then where can the line be drawn? Five months? Four months? Three? The presence of a heartbeat, which occurs within the first month? None of these positions mark any fundamental shift in the fetus which marks it as living, in distinction to its former existence. Any line between life and non-life drawn between conception and delivery is nigh unsupportable, and it is a supreme act of arrogance for any person to decide that the fetus isn’t alive without incontrovertible evidence.

Even the federal government acknowledges the fact that life begins before a being has ended the embryonic stage, as it prohibits the destruction of a bald eagle egg with a fine of $250,000 and up to 10 years in prison. If it’s not alive, what’s the crime? Similarly, if it’s not a bald eagle while it’s still in the egg, there’s no offense against the endangered species that serves as our national bird. The same logic applies to a human fetus.

The fetus is living, at every stage of development (sure, I’m making a logical leap, but one that is impossible to disprove), and thus it is murder to abort a baby at any point in the pregnancy. Sure, the doctor doesn’t believe the fetus is a living human, so it’s only manslaughter, but that’s still a pretty hefty felony, last I checked. The only instance in which it is not an act of murder to take the life of a fetus is in the rare case of an ectopic pregnancy, in which the fertilized egg cell becomes implanted outside the uterus; here, abortion is not an act of murder, but of mercy, as it saves the life of the mother when otherwise both people would certainly die.

Abortion is never acceptable, but there are alternatives. It is becoming increasingly possible for young mothers to raise children as a result of increased awareness and community support; my high school is the teen pregnancy capital of the state, but many of those mothers still graduate, in part thanks to the provision of a day care center. Adoption is also a wonderful, if hard, choice to make; not only is the mother protecting the gift of life for the child, but she is giving the gift of parenthood to people who have the time, love and resources to care for and raise a baby.

I’m conscious of the fact that abortions will take place whether or not they’re legal, but that alone is not sufficient reason to legalize them. For the state to declare abortion legal is tantamount to it giving moral legitimacy to murder. The state is responsible for making moral judgments to protect the natural rights of human beings, and it has no grounds on which to do the opposite. Thus, the very act of providing funding to groups that provide abortion services, such as Planned Parenthood (which killed 300,000 babies in 2009), even if the funds don’t directly support abortion, serve to legitimize the group. The federal government and other groups that fund agencies that provide services to women must divert their funds to groups that don’t condone murder, lest they be accomplices to the crime (I’m looking at you, Susan G. Komen Foundation).

This has been a long and weighty article, but it was about the weightiest of topics; I believe with all my soul that abortion is one of the greatest evils in America today, and that it, like slavery, stands to cast a dark blot over our nation’s history. Thank you for making it through this article — I hope it gives you a reason to stand up and defend life.

Anonymous (not verified) says:
Fri, 02/17/2012 - 23:08

Aside from the fact that your argument is invalid at best, studies have shown that higher abortion rates exist in countries where it is illegal. http://apne.ws/xbAf1f

So while abortion may not be favorable in your mind, the amount of abortions would be dramatically higher if it were illegal, and much more unsafe for women. While abortions are legal, the amount of them is less and women are dying less. The current state then is better than the alternative where two, in your mind, would be injured/killed, instead of one.

Moreover, if you don't want abortions, go talk to your friends in Congress so all females can have access to birth control so as to avoid the whole debate altogether. You don't have to abort prevented pregnancies. Isn't that great?

R.J. (not verified) says:
Sat, 02/18/2012 - 00:52

Oh look, another privileged white guy telling women they should be forced to endure pregnancy and childbirth against their will regardless of the circumstances. But oh, it's okay because he's "well aware of the horrors and trauma of rape and the inconveniences and dangers of pregnancy." He knows exactly what you're going through because his pastor/parents told him that abortion is wrong. LOL

People like you make me want to be an abortionist.

white whine (not verified) says:
Sat, 02/18/2012 - 01:21


literal feminazi irl (not verified) says:
Sat, 02/18/2012 - 01:47


  • Eighteen percent of U.S. women obtaining abortions are teenagers; those aged 15–17 obtain 6% of all abortions, teens aged 18–19 obtain 11%, and teens younger than age 15 obtain 0.4%.[6]
  • Women in their 20s account for more than half of all abortions; women aged 20–24 obtain 33% of all abortions, and women aged 25–29 obtain 24%.[6]
  • Thirty-seven percent of women obtaining abortions identify as Protestant and 28% as Catholic.[6]
  • Women who have never married and are not cohabiting account for 45% of all abortions [6]
  • About 61% of abortions are obtained by women who have one or more children. [6]
  • Forty-two percent of women obtaining abortions have incomes below 100% of the federal poverty level ($10,830 for a single woman with no children).[6]
  • Twenty-seven percent of women obtaining abortions have incomes between 100–199% of the federal poverty level.* [6]
  • The reasons women give for having an abortion underscore their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life. Three-fourths of women cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals; three-fourths say they cannot afford a child; three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents; and half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner.[7]


  • Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. Among those women, 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users report having used their method inconsistently, while 13% of pill users and 14% of condom users report correct use.[8]
  • Forty-six percent of women who have abortions had not used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant. Of these women, 33% had perceived themselves to be at low risk for pregnancy, 32% had had concerns about contraceptive methods, 26% had had unexpected sex and 1% had been forced to have sex.[8]
  • Eight percent of women who have abortions have never used a method of birth control; nonuse is greatest among those who are young, poor, black, Hispanic or less educated.[8]
  • About half of unintended pregnancies occur among the 11% of women who are at risk for unintended pregnancy but are not using contraceptives. Most of these women have practiced contraception in the past.[9,10]


  • The number of U.S. abortion providers remained stable between 2005 (1,787) and 2008 (1,793). Eighty-seven percent of all U.S. counties lacked an abortion provider in 2008; 35% of women live in those counties.[2]
  • Forty-two percent of providers offer very early abortions (before the first missed period) and 95% offer abortion at eight weeks from the last menstrual period. Sixty-four percent offer at least some second-trimester abortion services (13 weeks or later), and 23% offer abortion after 20 weeks. Only 11% of all abortion providers offer abortions at 24 weeks.[2]
  • In 2009, the average amount paid for a nonhospital abortion with local anesthesia at 10 weeks’ gestation was $451.[2]
  • 80 percent of abortions happen within the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy, long before any functioning nervous system develops.


  • Nearly half of pregnancies among American women are unintended, and about four in 10 of these are terminated by abortion.[1] Twenty-two percent of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion.[2]
  • Forty percent of pregnancies among white women, 67% among blacks and 53% among Hispanics are unintended.[1] In 2008, 1.21 million abortions were performed, down from 1.31 million in 2000. However, between 2005 and 2008, the long-term decline in abortions stalled. From 1973 through 2008, nearly 50 million legal abortions occurred.
  • Each year, two percent of women aged 15–44 have an abortion. Half have had at least one previous abortion.[2,3]
  • At least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45, and, at current rates, one in 10 women will have an abortion by age 20, one in four by age 30 and three in 10 by age 45.[4,5]

reference: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html

The reasons most frequently cited were that having a child would interfere with a woman’s education, work or ability to care for dependents (74%); that she could not afford a baby now (73%); and that she did not want to be a single mother or was having relationship problems (48%). Nearly four in 10 women said they had completed their childbearing, and almost one-third were not ready to have a child. Fewer than 1% said their parents’ or partners’ desire for them to have an abortion was the most important reason. Younger women often reported that they were unprepared for the transition to motherhood, while older women regularly cited their responsibility to dependents.

reference: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3711005.pdf
If we're truly talking about treating abortion as murder, it means investigating every single possible case including miscarriages. Forcing women to undergo full blown murder investigations following medical treatment is heinous and represents a total disregard for the well-being of a woman. It probably means abolishing women's right to privacy because women's medical records will be open to the public through trials. Men don't have to fear this attack on their privacy. Men aren't necessarily faced with a barrage of extremely invasive procedures to procure a guilty or innocent verdict.
In a country where [http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10068/1041225-84.stm] the average black woman has a net wealth of only five dollar compared to a white woman's net wealth of 47,000 dollars, outlawing abortion will have severely racist repercussions exactly the same way drug laws have extremely racist repercussions due to the fact that it will target low income people versus high income people and the distribution of wages in this country is totally racist due to racist hiring practices.
If you look at countries that have outlawed abortion, such as Latin and South America where 95 percent of women aged 20 to 45 live in places with heavily restricted access to abortion, you'll find that complications during abortions make up 12 percent of maternal deaths where as in the US, the percent of maternal deaths resulting from abortion complications numbers 1.1 per 1000. 12 percent versus 1 percent of one percent. Maternal deaths stemming from abortion in the US are practically unheard of at this point.
That is in addition to over a million women throughout Latin and South America being hospitalized each year due to unsafe abortion practices stemming from its legality.

references: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/IB_AWW-Latin-America.pdf

but you "talk to women frequently", so it's totally cool, you definitely fully understand what it's like. someone please make this commenting process not so awful too

B (not verified) says:
Sun, 02/19/2012 - 13:03

Thank you!

stewcanoe (not verified) says:
Tue, 02/21/2012 - 15:52

Hey, literal feminazi girl. I love your screen name. I'm a little confused by your argument, though. You say that being "anti-abortion" is "anti-women," and then list a bunch of statistics about abortion. So...how do these stats prove that saying abortion is wrong is hateful towards women? Someone who is opposed to abortion is not condemning the women who have abortions. What they're doing is legal right now, many people aren't aware of or don't think about how the fetus is a living human being, and pregnancy is a scary thing. I can completely understand why someone would have an abortion. However, I still think abortions are wrong because they unnecessarily kill innocent humans without proper justification, and just because there are reasons women have abortions doesn't mean that those reasons are good justifications if we think the argument through. At the very least, if they are concerned about their career or completing their education, they could give birth to the baby and then put it up for adoption, thereby doing far less harm than killing a child who would hamper your intended life trajectory. I don't have any hatred for the women who have abortions, or even the doctors who perform them; I just think they're making moral mistakes, and want them to see the situation the way I do.

Also, if the U.S. government passed a law condemning abortion as wrong and making it illegal once again, that would not mean that we would have to go back and prosecute every women in the past who had an abortion. When they had their abortions, it was legal, and they would be completely free of guilt under the law.

The link didn't work for your illegal-abortion is racist argument, and I didn't quite get the logic. I don't like racist hiring practices, either, but what does abortion have to do with this? And does this affect the logic of Andrew's natural law argument at all? I don't think such an argument would. Abortion is wrong on its own, independent of its social effects. (If you need me to argue against a sort of social utilitarianism, then I will need to brush up on that topic before I respond, because I've gotten a little rusty. Just let me know.)

And yes, the death rate of women having abortions in illegal countries is higher. You know what would stop all those unnecessary abortion deaths? Stopping illegal abortion by strictly enforcing the laws against it.

tmalone13 (not verified) says:
Tue, 02/21/2012 - 21:12

You really clearly don't get this at all. How are you going to stop abortion by "strictly enforcing the laws against it"? The same way we stopped drug consumption by strictly enforcing the laws against that? What will the punishment be for abortion? What if a woman induces a miscarriage by eating papaya seeds, is she guilty of murder? What if she puts herself in a situation where she can receive a strong blow to the stomach (driving, working out, sports, whatever) and that induces a miscarriage? Is she guilty of negligent homicide? How else do you expect we will be able to ascertain this information without a tremendous invasion of a woman's privacy and medical records?
The point of the statistics is to display just who gets abortions. Abortions demonstrably do not go down in number when access is restricted. In fact, examples throughout the world show that the opposite is the case (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_IAW.html). So you're not only facing higher abortion rates, but also higher death rates amongst the women who seek them out. It's situations like that which allowed my aunt to die on the table of a "backalley" abortionist. I don't bring this up as some sort of appeal to emotion or for you to feel sorry for me or her. The point is that it happened before and it will happen again. It will happen to people you know.
I worded the issue with racism poorly so allow me to elaborate on that. The link was fine by the way, just remove the bracket that got added at the end for some reason. Anyway, the point is that black women (minority women in general for that matter, but the statistics are focused on black women, so we'll stick to that) exist in generally crushing poverty. How do you propose they raise a child adequately? Should they just give it up for abortion? Well, good luck with that, because "the probability that a non-African-American baby will attract the interest of an adoptive parent is at least seven times as high as the corresponding probability for an African-American baby" (http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/25/black-babies-boys-less-like...). So who takes care of the child then? What kind of future does a child who never gets adopted have? Let's take a look:

  • 12-30 percent struggled with homelessness
  • 40-63 percent did not complete high school
  • 25-55 percent were unemployed; those employed had average earnings below the poverty level, and only 38 percent of those employed were still working after one year
  • 30-62 percent had trouble accessing health care due to inadequate finances or lack of insurance
  • 32-40 percent were forced to rely on some form of public assistance and 50 percent experienced extreme financial hardship
  • 31-42 percent were arrested; 18-26 percent were incarcerated
  • 40-60 percent of the young women were pregnant within 12-18 months of leaving foster care.

That's quite a cycle we'll have going if we're going to be putting up every unwanted child for abortion! Especially if we continue not allowing gays to adopt (don't feel a need to respond to this in particular, it's sort of a whole other discussion altogether)! Regardless, back to what you said: "At the very least, if they are concerned about their career or completing their education, they could give birth to the baby and then put it up for adoption, thereby doing far less harm than killing a child who would hamper your intended life trajectory." Do you think carrying a baby to term is like some easy experience or something? Do you understand that pregnancy itself is an enormously involved experience? It's not as if women go through 9 months of normalcy and then WOAH out comes a baby and there's all this responsibility and stuff. Anti-choice is and always will be anti-woman, whether or not you want to admit it. The only possible outcome of a strict anti-choice series of laws is punishment of women and an even further overcrowded prison system.
btw, irl means in real life, not girl.
and seriously who the hell designed this commenting section why can't I make line breaks by just hitting enter

Anonymous (not verified) says:
Wed, 02/22/2012 - 05:07

i wrote give it up for abortion in the paragraph on black women, i meant give it up for adoption

stewcanoe (not verified) says:
Sat, 02/18/2012 - 02:15

Hey guys, instead of starting a donation war, why don't we all donate to a cause everyone can support? I think the last anonymous commenter had a good point--birth control is an important way of preventing abortions. I believe abortions should be illegal, whereas the majority of people on here think they should be legal, but I think we can all agree that lowering the number of abortions by providing adequate birth control is a worthy cause. So why don't we all give money to a charity that helps give people birth control? I tried spending the last 20 minutes or so looking for one that gives out birth control, but all I could find was Planned Parenthood, which also provides abortions. (I found a great one for contraception in dogs and cats, though.) I will willingly spend hours searching for a good one, though, if people express interest in this middle ground. It's a really good cause!

Renee (not verified) says:
Sat, 02/18/2012 - 03:13

"I'm a virgin, and proud of that fact, but I talk to women (rather frequently), including ones who are or have been pregnant. I'm well aware of both the horrors and trauma of rape, and of the inconveniences and dangers of pregnancy..."


Maryanne (not verified) says:
Sat, 02/18/2012 - 08:56

This article was full of bukaake. Yeah, I said it. Can't wait for CLPP! Stop by, Kaake! Tell us all your presh thoughts.

Daniel Diner (not verified) says:
Sat, 02/18/2012 - 11:40

The fetus's 'life' has never begun. It is not insignificant that we celebrate birthdays from the moment that we exit the womb.

You and Will, however, are correct in pointing out that arguments about how harmful a lack of abortion rights are to the mothers, while valid, are not addressing the issue at hand. Kaake has taken a deontological viewpoint proclaiming that abortion is murder and that murder is wrong in all circumstances. It is these two premises that need to be attacked.

JV (not verified) says:
Sat, 02/18/2012 - 15:07
Anonymous (not verified) says:
Sat, 02/18/2012 - 23:00

Why don't we stop attacking Andrew and start actually discussing the issue at hand? If this article was written by a female these responses wouldn't be nearly this ridiculous. So leave him alone, be intelligent open-minded Amherst students, and discuss the issue.

white whine (not verified) says:
Sun, 02/19/2012 - 00:39

people have addressed the issue. did you even read the comments? someone just 4 or 5 posts above posted a large amount of information attacking the idea. wonderful strawman though with the "if a female wrote this". By the way, they're called women, try to be a little less dehumanizing.

Anonymous (not verified) says:
Sun, 02/19/2012 - 15:48

Of course I read the comments, and I appreciate the people who are actually posting thoughtful comments. But some of these are getting out of hand. And I wasn't being dehumanizing. Forgive me for using the words interchangeably, I didn't realize it was so offensive. And I see you posted as "white whine." If that refers to me, Id suggest you don't make assumptions about my race or anything about me.

Rhonda (not verified) says:
Sun, 02/19/2012 - 10:40

I don't normally make comments to these sorts of things, but this topic seems to have brought about a great deal of controversy, so I will add my perspective. I am most likely older than most whom are posting on this article, so my point of view has a few more years of life experience. We seem to live in an age of not wanting to take responsibility for our actions. We live in an incredulous age when someone can break into your home and sue you if they injure themselves in the process or if you injure them when defending your home. We have to put our guard dogs to sleep if they do their job and bite someone who is intruding into our property. We defend and protect our right to do as we please and rise up in opposition if someone tells us we must be held accountable. Sex offenders and rapists blame their victims for their actions rather than taking responsibility for them. Thieves blame the government or other wealthier persons for their actions because they believe that they are entitled to have as much as everyone else, whether they have earned it or not. When a couple engages in sex but does not want to take responsibility for their actions, they state that they are entitled to choose who is responsible for those actions by murdering the innocent fetus they conceived through their actions. I realize there may be readers who have experienced the horror of rape or incest and who may be thinking me narrow minded. However, children conceived in these most contemptable of situations are still innocent victims of the actions of others. As was pointed out in the original article, there are many families who would be delighted to adopt that child. American couples who want to adopt are going overseas to adopt children because it is so very expensive and difficult to adopt here in the US. If these unborn children were not used as the scapegoats for the actions of others and were allowed life, these many American couples could adopt children right here in the USA, rather than having to go overseas. I recognize there are times when the mother's life is at stake and a most grim decision must be made. However, that is the exception to the majority of abortions that are performed, and is truly in a class all its own. Until people decide to take responsibility for their actions and stop using unborn children as the scapegoat to their inconvenient or unpleasant situations, there will be those who hide behind this attitude of entitlement to irresponsibility under the guise of choice.

n (not verified) says:
Sun, 02/19/2012 - 11:44

I really hope you aren't referring to rape here. "People decide to take responsibility for their actions and stop using unborn children as the scapegoat to their inconvenient or UNPLEASANT [caps mine] situations" because, of course, there is nothing for the mother to take responsibility for.

the plural of a... (not verified) says:
Sun, 02/19/2012 - 15:10

Wonderful, another ridiculous argument about "personal responsibility" that fails to mention a single statistic while completely ignoring everything already posted. If you're going to make claims about how society has become completely lacking in responsibility (oh how ayn rand's rotten corpse must twirl in her grave), try to back it up please. I'd like to see you respond to the statistics posted above as well, if you don't mind.

A (not verified) says:
Sun, 02/19/2012 - 16:40

"As far as the simplistic idea that I must abhor war and the death penalty to be pro-life: go read Locke's "Second Treatise on Civil Government", and then we can have a thoughtful conversation"
Just when I thought your article was condescending, your latest response far surpassed that. Can you talk to us like we're on your level of intelligence? Clearly, you believe that your righteousness sets you above us. I hope you give up your inflated ego for Lent.

"I also don't hate black people, but the abortion industry does: more African-Americans are killed by abortion than by AIDS, violent crimes, cancer, heart disease, and natural disasters combined. "
Give me a minute while I laugh. How about you read this article and then we can have a thoughtful conversation:

Daniel Diner (not verified) says:
Mon, 02/20/2012 - 00:45

So certainly we can all (or at least most) agree that it would be ideal to promote birth control to such a degree that abortions stop on their own. My question, however, is how effective would a contraceptive-promoting charity actually be? It seems to me that when contraceptives aren't used, it is more reflective of societal/personal choice than it is of a lack of availability. And such stances are very difficult (and costly) to change. I should think that a donation to an abortion-providing charity would do more good than the same sized donation to a birth-control providing charity unless the latter provides contraceptives to places where people are actually lacking access to them.

Daniel Diner (not verified) says:
Mon, 02/20/2012 - 13:46

I realize, after reading the article you linked to, that perhaps a lack of accessibility to birth control (through a lack of affordability) is a more significant issue than I though it was. Would you then promote more public funding for birth control accessibility or more emphasis on awareness?

w (not verified) says:
Tue, 02/21/2012 - 00:26

the trauma and fear in the thought of being unwillingly impregnated. It is simply not possible for them; they can think about it all they want, but they do not have the ability, so it can never be as real to them as it is to a woman. They will never be faced with the real threat.

I am a virgin by choice, since I am terrified of the very concept of pregnancy. The very thought of being made to carry a fetus to term against my will makes me nauseous to the point of shaking. To bear a child conceived in rape--the ONLY way I would ever conceive a child--would destroy me mentally, emotionally, and very probably physically (problems with pregnancy run in my family). In fact, I would probably stop eating and die of the horror of it before I ever carried it to term. But it's great to know that Kaake here feels he can make a value judgment about my life vs. the life of an embryo, having talked with a few other pregnant people. I am thankful every day that Kaake and others like him will NEVER be able to force me to endure that hell--although my state's legislature is working hard right now to pass a bill that would force me to relive my rape, in order to have the abortion that would save my sanity. At least, for me, there's always Maryland.

But other women won't be so lucky.

stewcanoe (not verified) says:
Tue, 02/21/2012 - 15:30

Thanks for your comment, w. I can't claim to completely understand, being unable to have pregnancies, but when I think about what it would be like to be pregnant, it terrifies me a little, too. So I get where you are coming from. I pray you never have to become pregnant, if you never wish to do so!

I think if bearing a child for you would be such a risk to your health that you might go insane or die, an abortion might be appropriate in that situation. (How horrific a situation!) But I think you misunderstand Andrew's intention in writing the article. He's not making a value judgment that your life is less important than the baby's. In fact, if your life is threatened by pregnancy, he would fully agree that an abortion would be appropriate. Rather, he is respecting the right to life of both the baby and the mother. If a mother's life is not threatened by the pregnancy--if she will survive it, in other words--then it would be wrong to kill the child. That would be doing unnecessary harm--and killing someone unnecessarily at that. Do you get what I'm saying?

Justin P. (not verified) says:
Wed, 02/22/2012 - 16:33

Privileged white male here. Anyone else a bit put off by the vitriol being directed at white males for having opinions about anything that doesn't directly affect them? Male I sort of get (though the argument that men don't get to have opinions on abortion is both stupid and pernicious), but what does being white have to do with it?

Alex (not verified) says:
Sun, 02/26/2012 - 19:56

I'll go a step further and say that I think the whole notion that men can't have a valid opinion, and have no vested interest in the topic of abortion is, quite frankly, absurd. Are fathers not responsible for their (born) children? A fetus is still composed equally of a man's DNA. I'm not trying to downplay the significance of pregnancy or this issue for women, or slight the hardships they might face in any way (though I'm sure some will take it that way, and react that way), but to try and excise men from this debate is wrong and illogical.

interested alum (not verified) says:
Tue, 03/06/2012 - 07:56

What about "privileged"?