Weekend question II: Do you agree with “common ground” suggestions for pro-choicers?

This week abortion proponent William Saletan at Slate reviewed a conference held at Princeton in October that sought to find areas of common ground on abortion. From it Saletan gleaned 6 suggestions for pro-choicers, in synopsis:

1. Admit the value of the fetus. “At the conference, several pro-choice speakers conceded truths that have been hard for their allies to admit… inching closer to admitting the significance of the fetus. Peter Singer… called the fetus a ‘human being’ and ‘unborn child,’ and he agreed with pro-lifers that abortion is killing.”

2. Embrace abortion reduction. Pro-choice leaders often point out that they’re pro-choice, not pro-abortion. Prove it. Show that our high rate of abortion can be sharply reduced within a framework of free choice… Dawn Johnsen… called for policies that ‘reduce abortion through means that help women and their families avoid unintended pregnancy and choose healthy childbearing.'”

3. Treat contraception as a moral practice. Pro-choicers hate to moralize about sexual behavior… talk[ing] about contraception purely in terms of access: steep co-pays, lack of health insurance, inadequate Medicaid reimbursement. But pro-lifers didn’t let them off with these excuses… point[ing] to studies indicating that promotion and availability of contraception haven’t reduced the rate of unplanned pregnancies… [and] not[ing] that half of unintended pregnancies involve couples who claim to have used contraception. These challenges forced some pro-choice panelists to admit that contraceptives fail because people don’t consistently use them…. If contraception is going to work, this is the way its proponents must think and talk about it: not just as an option, but as a responsibility.”

4. Reclaim stigma. “Several times at Princeton, pro-choicers fretted that an abortion-reduction campaign might ‘stigmatize’ abortion…. Come on…. We judge people and their conduct all the time. Why should sex be exempt? Rape is bad. Infidelity is bad. And, yes, having sex without contraception when you know you can’t handle a pregnancy is bad…. Frances Kissling [said]… ‘We could start by not apologizing for or excusing women and girls who are sexually active and do not use contraception.'”

5. Target repeaters. “[Sarah] Brown delivered this brutal observation: ‘About half of all abortions are to women who have had at least one previous abortion. Half. That suggests not only the family planning systems, but also the people who provide terminations, are not doing enough to prevent additional unintended pregnancies….’ That’s a scandal. One unintended pregnancy should be enough to warn you – and the doctor who vacuums out your uterus – not to risk another.”

6. Reconsider the legality of second-trimester abortions. This is the part I don’t like. I hate the crudity of bringing criminal law into such personal matters. But people with stronger pro-choice credentials than mine have been thinking about it for some time. Imagine a deal… in which pro-choicers accept restrictions on 2nd-trimester abortions in exchange for pro-life support of contraception. Both concessions would hurt, but that’s what makes the deal fair. Many stalwarts on both sides would reject the trade – most notably, the Catholic Church – but their cooperation might prove unnecessary. Abortion would remain safe and legal, but it would be rarer.”

Thoughts?

82 thoughts on “Weekend question II: Do you agree with “common ground” suggestions for pro-choicers?”

  1. I’m interested in making a deal with and/or finding common ground with the antilifers in the same way I would with lucifer and his ilk.

  2. We could agree that to really support CHOICE women should have the choice and support to give birth, but you have pro-aborts trying to shut down CPC’s even though we provide the other “choice” to women. So what common ground can we possibly have with people whose sole purpose in life is to abort EVERY pregnancy no matter what? They hide behind their “choice” signs but in reality they are pro-ABORTION. They fight tooth and nail so that women never even get the “choice” to choose life!

  3. Saletan’s suggestions for pro-lifers are largely things that pro-lifers are already doing.  Not so with his suggestions for pro-choicers.  They’ll never get behind any of this.

  4. I completely agree: if the whole idea of “offering common ground” really means “coming to a compromise position” with pro-abortion people, then the whole thing is a chimaera–a fantasy-based nonsense whose monstrosity is hidden by its apparent pretty exterior.
     
    Think about this: we will never be satisfied until all human life is defended with maximum determination, from conception until natural death.  For us to mislead our opponents into thinking that we’re accepting (or even being open to) a “compromise” on that point is not only dishonest, but dishonourable; even the most evil of our opponents deserves the truth about our position.  We can’t justify “playing them” as “useful idiots”.  If we’re at war with the ideology that blinds, them, then let’s fight the war honourably, and not obfuscate anything.  To do otherwise is not only deceptive to our foes, but it can easily mislead bystanders into thinking that a “diluted” version of the pro-life message (“you give on this point, and we’ll give on that point”) is acceptable, which is perniciously dangerous.
     
    Of course, we can compromise on non-essentials (e.g. how to finance this-and-thus, what social programs might of might not be warranted, how to craft individual laws and penalties, etc.), but since this “debate/meeting” is discussing *prinicples* of life, there’s no room for “middle ground”; the very idea is meaningless.  One might as well ask for a whole number between 6 and 7!

  5. The whole conference was a sham. It shouldn’t be a concern of anyone on the pro-choice side to make abortion rarer or more acceptable to people on the other side. “Pro-lifers” can hate abortion all they want, and they can hate contraception too for all I care. My only concern is that both of these things remain legal and accessible for all people regardless of social status or income. As long as that standard is satisfied, I don’t have the slightest interest in finding any common ground.

  6. I imagine that “admitting the value of the fetus” is going to be common ground.  To what extent the fetus is valuable (equal in value to you and me versus being of lesser value) is not going to be common ground.

    Pro-choice leaders often point out that they’re pro-choice, not pro-abortion. Prove it. Show that our high rate of abortion can be sharply reduced within a framework of free choice… Dawn Johnsen… called for policies that ‘reduce abortion through means that help women and their families avoid unintended pregnancy and choose healthy childbearing.’”

    By “policies that []reduce… unintended pregnancy” they mean hormonal birth control, which they call contraception.  They also take it to mean comprehensive sex ed, which teaches students to use hormonal birth control if they want to have sex but don’t want to be pregnant.

    The next two supposed areas of common ground are the most fraught with difficulties:

    Treat contraception as a moral practice. Pro-choicers hate to moralize about sexual behavior… talk[ing] about contraception purely in terms of access: steep co-pays, lack of health insurance, inadequate Medicaid reimbursement. But pro-lifers didn’t let them off with these excuses… point[ing] to studies indicating that promotion and availability of contraception haven’t reduced the rate of unplanned pregnancies… [and] not[ing] that half of unintended pregnancies involve couples who claim to have used contraception. These challenges forced some pro-choice panelists to admit that contraceptives fail because people don’t consistently use them…. If contraception is going to work, this is the way its proponents must think and talk about it: not just as an option, but as a responsibility.”

    Reclaim stigma. “Several times at Princeton, pro-choicers fretted that an abortion-reduction campaign might ‘stigmatize’ abortion…. Come on…. We judge people and their conduct all the time. Why should sex be exempt? Rape is bad. Infidelity is bad. And, yes, having sex without contraception when you know you can’t handle a pregnancy is bad…. Frances Kissling [said]… ‘We could start by not apologizing for or excusing women and girls who are sexually active and do not use contraception.’”

    You’ll notice that for a woman who is sexually active and doesn’t want to become pregnant, using hormonal birth control (“contraception”) is in her own best interests.  And to Kissling et al., it is immoral to do anything else.  Early abortions rather than later abortions are in the best interests of the woman having it, and to Kissling and Saletan, early abortions are less immoral than later abortions.

    But what about actual contraception, like condoms and diaphragms?  Should we treat this as a moral practice?  Of course not.

    Contraception is used by people who are having sex but who do not want to be parents.
    We feel very comfortable with the idea of people who don’t want to be parents nonetheless having sex – at least, we’re not as horrified by it as we ought to be.  When we give people condoms, we are giving them our tacit approval to have sex when they don’t want to be parents.

    Take the problem of child marriage, for instance.  Would we address this problem through a condom distribution targeted at men who were married to children?  Even if doing so would reduce the rate at which children became pregnant, we wouldn’t do this, because doing so would give tacit approval to the sexual behavior of those men.  Instead, we would address the root of the problem – men’s sense of entitlement to have sex with children.

    And the same goes for our situation.  Sure, contraception might reduce the percentage of infants killed by abortion, but giving people contraception gives tacit approval to having sex when one doesn’t want to be a parent. Instead, we ought to address the root of the problem – our belief that we are entitled to have sex when we don’t want to be parents.

    Reconsider the legality of second-trimester abortions. This is the part I don’t like. I hate the crudity of bringing criminal law into such personal matters. But people with stronger pro-choice credentials than mine have been thinking about it for some time. Imagine a deal… in which pro-choicers accept restrictions on 2nd-trimester abortions in exchange for pro-life support of contraception. Both concessions would hurt, but that’s what makes the deal fair. Many stalwarts on both sides would reject the trade – most notably, the Catholic Church – but their cooperation might prove unnecessary. Abortion would remain safe and legal, but it would be rarer.”

    This is absurd.  First, we aren’t ever going to support contraception, under any circumstances, for any reason, ever.  Our supporting contraception is about as likely as our giving condoms to men married to children in order to reduce the rate at which they become pregnant.  Second, how on earth could two sides ever make any sort of “deal”?  How would this even happen?  Would the Republican and Democratic party platforms change?  Obviously I’m not interested in this particular compromise, but the idea of compromise is good in theory.  It could just never be put into practice in the way that Saletan wants to.

    Anyways, Jill, I’ve seen several of these sort of posts from you.  You quote someone who suggests that pro-lifers support contraception and then ask for our thoughts.  I hope your opposition to contraception isn’t weakening…….

  7. Imagine a deal… in which pro-choicers accept restrictions on 2nd-trimester abortions in exchange for pro-life support of contraception.
     
    This would be directly contradictory to the supposedly common goal of reducing abortions. Contraception directly leads to abortion, it does not reduce it. It is largely because of contraception that people have sex without thinking of the possibility of having a baby.

    Simply because, in theory, contraception might reduce abortion if it were always “properly” used (and even this is not certain because there would still be a failure rate), does not mean that real life will ever correspond to the theoretical. Those who keep touting education about and promotion of contraception as a way to reduce abortion have their head in the sand. In real life, contraception does not reduce abortion. It increases abortion by making more socially acceptable the idea that it is appropriate–even normal–to split the connection in people’s minds between sex and babies.

    Convince a culture to split the inherent link between sex and babies (and between babies and marriage), and you will always increase abortion demand. Contraception does exactly these two things. And so pro-lifers who don’t have a huge blind spot about contraception cannot ever accept the promotion of contraception in any way.

  8. I agree with Kelsey.  There’s no way pro-choicers are going to support any of this.  One and two are problematic for them since if they agree to those points, they will be forced to agree that abortion is, intrinsically, a bad thing.  It would, in order to be consistent, require them to refocus their goals to eventually eradicating the practice entirely, which is not what they do, and therefore, not something they’ll support.
     
    Three, four, five, and six would all be rejected since they “put pressure on women seeking abortions” or “limit choice” or something else along those lines.  Especially three and six.  As Saletan observed, treating contraception use as a moral practice places moral limits on sexual behavior (Leik, OMG!  HDU judge meeee!!!1!), which pro-choicers not only don’t like doing, but rarely do very well.  In general, I haven’t observed a lot of abortion apologists making cogent moral arguments.  Maybe I’ve just had a bad sampling, but that’s my experience.  Number six would put a legal limit on abortions, which, as we all know, is something pro-choicers fight tooth and nail, even when the limits are sensible.  Like requiring an office that does surgical procedures meet the health board’s requirements for office that do surgical procedures or else to stop doing them.  That’s just totally unfair.  Or something.
     
    This is me, not holding my breath.

  9. Not gonna hold my breath on the pro-dismemberment folks getting behind any of this.
    1. Admit the value of the fetus.
    As some sort of something that has some sort of value to some people? Maybe.  As a human being as valuable as themselves?  Don’t see it happening.

    2. Embrace abortion reduction.
    The only thing they favor to reduce abortion is contraceptives.  And free health care.  But only if it includes free abortions.  Okay, individuals sometimes want to give public money to more people, but I believe private charity is a better solution, because I’m pro-choice on charity.  But I guess that redistributing more tax money to single or poor parents and pregnant people (contingent on them not killing the baby) could be an area I would compromise.

    3. Treat contraception as a moral practice.
    Pro-dismemberment people do not believe in morality.  Don’t hold your breath.

    4. Reclaim stigma.
    Again, not holding my breath.

    5. Target repeaters.
    “Target” how?  Stigmatizing?  No, not gonna happen.

    6. Reconsider the legality of second-trimester abortions.
    It’d be a cold day in you-know-where before you get them to do more than say, “I reconsidered.  Not gonna do it.”
     
    How about:
    7. Work against coercion.
    8. Fully informed consent–describe the procedure.  Describe fetal development.  Include testimony from those who have undergone the procedure, including someone who regrets it.  Show before and after pictures of the murdered child.
    9. Actually prosecuting bad doctors who endanger women, coerce them, or kill their children against their wishes.
    10. End abortion after viability.  After viability, deliver the baby.  Someone wants that child, even if his or her parents don’t.
    11. End public funding of abortion and abortifacients.  End insurance coverage of abortion, or at least require companies to have plans without abortion coverage.  Period.  No exceptions for rape, incest, or “health.”  (Life of mother is okay.)

  10. I might be alone, but I would love to see these common ground solutions go into practice. It would mean more peace- we’d get further. We won’t go far if we keep swearing that the other side is cohorting with Satan or terrorists. It’s ridiculous. We’re all human. We all need to see the human in each other, and that’s one of the best results of searching for some sort of common ground.

    And another thing: when given the choice between two potential extremes (pro-choice or pro-life), Americans have a tendency to flock toward the middle. This will get everyone on board.

    I say, middle ground time. This treating the abortion debate like a war hasn’t worked since 1973, when the “war” first began. It’s time we try a better solution. It’s time we try something that will actually work.

  11. I’m with Paladin. 

    Vannah, I will respectfully agree to disagree. 

    I think it is ridiculous that anyone in the prolife movement would consider watering-down the facts surrounding abortion under the guise of making peace.  Especially after the great leaps that were made during the last elections.  Feel-good politics is what never worked and it has nothing to do with our treatment of the other side.  Do you ever see much, if any, compassion from them?  Comes down to narcissim and $$.

    satan is the leader of the abortion movement as he was of the nazi movement.  Yes, we should acknowledge the humanity of proaborts but there will be no making peace with satan.

  12. First there was “irreconcilable differences” to escape marriages that were held together for the sake of the children. Screw the children! Let them deal with a one-parent household and all the trappings of divorce.

    Now it’s “common ground” suggestions from the pro-aborts because they realize the Pro-Life Movement is wise-ing up after 37 years of a compromised and compromising failure otherwise known as “Incrementalism.” The Personhood Movement – the REBIRTH of the Pro-Life Movement, goes directly for the throat of ABORTION. Pro-aborts act like they just had an “original” idea… to compromise. Why now? Let’s remind them, that Pro-Lifers have tried their “reasonable” route for 37 years. Now, just cuz pro-aborts are scared, doesn’t erase that equity from the TRUE Pro-Life warchest of reasonableness. We’re repenting of our non-resolve to God and His protection of the completely innocent person. THAT‘s the moral high ground. These idiots pledge allegiance to Moral Relativism, then attempt to eat the cake of “moral” comparison?

    Sounds like New Age Christianity to me… ask God to “heal” me from my abortion while lobbying to keep abortion legal. It doesn’t work that way.

    I suggest pro-aborts (and incrementalist pro-lifers) discover the meaning of true repentance… and quickly.

  13. Funny you should mention dysfunctional marriage and then the fact that pro-lifers have been trying to compromise, compromise, compromise for years in order to try and “make it work” for their cause. Ever been in a dysfunctional/abusive relationship? Did you miss the irony in what you said?

    As far as trying to come to some sort of agreement with the other side on this…I’m sorry, Vannah…but it is sooooooo hard for me to attempt any sort of working relationship with a mother who refuses to recognize the rights and humanity of her own child to the point of being able to kill him/her. You might have a better understanding of this feeling after you have children, yourself.

  14. Young Christian Woman, off all the comments I agree with, yours is my favorite!
    I’m proud of pro-lifers for wanting to stand firm, against abortion acceptance.  There can be no acceptance of killing innocent healthy human children.  Ever.   Anything short of that is supporting abortion.  “Concessions” he suggests compromise our credibility.  One of his most offensive suggestions was targeting repeat women with IUD’s.  Holy Popcorn, Batman, does he not get what pro-life means!  An IUD is a personal abortion device more barbaric than any medieval relic known to man.  Not only does it work by aborting the developing child, but the side  effects can be devastating for the mother.  Tumors, scarring, permanent sterility, just to name a few.
     
    The only common ground we can find is to support CPC’s and help women bring their babies to term.  If they are unable or willing to raise them, let’s work together to find these precious youngsters places to live.  Were it me in an unwilling mother’s womb, I’d rather take my chances in an old fashioned orphanage than get chopped to bits by some ghoul in a white jacket.

  15. 1-5 force the pro-choicer into a position that is closer to the truth, but intellectually monstrous.
    1.Admit the Value of the Fetus: So here you have a person who now admits that abortion is destroying a life, but it’s ok b/c that life does not have “value”. Who decides what life is valuable? Every monstrosity in history has been committed by people who declare arbitrarily that some human life is less worthy than life and therefore able to be terminated at will.
    2-5. Embrace Reduction/Contraception as a responsibility/Stigma/Repeaters:  Begging the question…why? If abortion is ok, then why take any of these steps? Why should a woman be stigmatized? Why is it ok if her birth control failed, but not ok if she didn’t use it? Why is it ok to have one abortion, but not 5. Who decides when this medical procedure is moral?  Putting aside the medical risk wherein we might say, it’s not healthy to have multiple abortions, why on earth should we stigmatize this medical procedure at all?  The unspoken assumption of people who advocate any of these is that abortion is morally repugnant for some reason, but they still think it should be allowed.
    Truly this is a case where the middle is more horrible than the extremes.  The extremes are at least intellectually consistent, though the pro-choice side remains so only by ignoring scientific evidence.  It is consistent to say that the fetus is not a life and abortion is just a medical procedure. A person who believes that the fetus is a life but a life without inherent human value or one who believes abortion is morally wrong and should be reduced, but will leave it as an available choice won’t remain in that state of cognitive dissonance for long. They will recognize the gaping holes in their logic and either stick their head back in the same of “It’s just  clump of cells” or admit that you can’t arbitrarily assign value to human lives.
    6 is just repulsive and shows an utter lack of respect for the pro-life position. There may be prolifers who would support this as a stepping stone to an end game, but it would be a deceit. B/c no prolifer would give a stamp of approval to and agree to support early abortions perpetually. How could you? “Well, they agreed to stop killing older fetuses, so I agreed to stop fighting the killing of younger ones and also agreed to hawk contraceptives, including abortifacients….I thought it was a good deal, you know?” I mean please.  Can you imagine someone offering this deal to the abolitionists? “Ok, how about this deal.  We will agree to stop the imoport of new slaves, but slave owners can keep their current slaves and children of current slaves.  In addition we’ll launch a campaign to try to reduce the need for slavery and hope that slave owners will choose to set them free. deal?”  Yeah, I didn’t think so.

  16. Truly this is a case where the middle is more horrible than the extremes.  The extremes are at least intellectually consistent, though the pro-choice side remains so only by ignoring scientific evidence

    Absolutely CT.

    It’s always been those darn fence riding deperados.  But slowly and surely they are jumping off the fence to join our side and realizing that the shortest distance between pain and peace is the distance from their knees to the floor.

  17. How can this list as a whole be supported when it was approached from a perspective that completely lacks an understanding of the disease? This whole thing seems to me like going to a podiatrist for a heart condition. Just because he went to medical school doesn’t mean he’s going to be able to diagnose & treat this problem.
     
    Abortion isn’t a result of poor access to contraceptives. Nor is it about proper contraceptive education. Abortion is a result of the loss of the dignity of the human person by compartmentalization. By treating every body function as an individual and unconnected part, we lose sight of the whole, that is, the human person. We are foolish to believe that we can isolate sex from procreation without destruction to the human spirit.
    So when a couple of podiatrists go into open heart surgery, I’m not overly surprised that we find a bunch of pro-contraception talk. That, and some vague comments about recognizing the value of the [pre-born human] fetus.

  18. “I might be alone, but I would love to see these common ground solutions go into practice. It would mean more peace- we’d get further. We won’t go far if we keep swearing that the other side is cohorting with Satan or terrorists. It’s ridiculous. We’re all human. We all need to see the human in each other, and that’s one of the best results of searching for some sort of common ground.”
     
    Some nice sentiments, but you’re clearly in a tiny minority here. I’ve never dealt with a less civil bunch of people than “pro-lifers”. They literally find it impossible to even consider that those who disagree with them are doing so in good faith and with good intentions. I’ve personally been called everything from a Nazi to a murderer, which doesn’t bother me because I have a pretty thick skin, but I’m sure they’ve chased away plenty of people who aren’t so resilient and simply can’t or won’t take that kind of abuse.

  19. Vannah,
    There was your wake-up call.
    joanie would just LOVE you to remain on the fence and continue to talk ‘peace’.  But we know who her boss is.
    Peace.

    Right Carla. Like the gift that keeps on giving. Herpes comes to my mind.

  20. Will Saletan is my favorite abortion-writer! Yes, he’s pro-choice, but very fair to the pro-life side and willing to challenge a lot of pro-choice orthodoxy. I highly recommend his articles at Slate.com (the non-abortion ones too, unless you’re squeamish about sex, ’cause he tends to cover that quite a bit.)
    I agree on every single thing on his list, although I’m pretty cynical about whether or not most pro-choicers would be up for any of those things. In my experience pro-choicers believe that abortion is always morally neutral and doesn’t need to be regulated, restricted or even reduced in any way.
    Number 6 is actually my wet dream. While I believe life begins at conception, I also think it’s worse to kill a fetus after a certain point (for instance, after it has transformed from embryo to fetus.) To get pro-choicers willing to offer protection to at least late term babies would be a huge leap forward.

  21. Joan forgets how long our fuses were, and how civil we’ve tried to be.  Joan’s comments would come back each more incredibly dehumanizing than the last (not to single anyone out, plenty of abortion advocates comment here in a similar way).  Now to act innocent and play victim is almost funny.  Almost.

  22. “Joan forgets how long our fuses were, and how civil we’ve tried to be.”

    If that’s what you people are like when you’re trying to be civil, I really would hate to see what you’re like when you’re not.
    I was getting attacked for my beliefs from the moment I started posting here. There’s really a culture of hostility here that has no patience or tolerance for dissenters.

  23. Kristina,
     
    I hate to disagree with you, since you could well be my 50th cousin. :)
     
    But killing a human fetus isn’t worse than killing a human embryo, just bloodier. Murdering someone while they’re asleep in bed with a pillow isn’t better than stabbing them face to face.
     
    Actually, the younger someone is, the “ruder” I think it is to  kill them.
     
     

  24. Pro-dismemberment people do not believe in morality.  Don’t hold your breath.
     
    Oh, SURE they believe in morality.  So long as they get to define what “morality” is.  Depends on what you mean by it.  If you mean morality in the sense of “don’t kill innocent human beings because you really don’t wanna be bothered, inconvenienced, or experience any sort of temporary emotional or physical discomfort,” then, no, they don’t believe in morality.

  25. There’s really a culture of hostility here that has no patience or tolerance for dissenters.

    If there was no patience or tolerance for dissenters at Jill’s, you’d have been gone a long time ago joan. 

    If you’re not playing bully, you’re whining poor me.  You should probably see someone about your passive-aggressive tendencies.

  26. During WW2, generals Patton and Eisenhower did not seek compromise and “common ground” with the Germans.
    Have we already forgotten how the Democrats were whining about the “need to compromise” after the recent election? There was no such “need” in 2006 when they were victorious.

    Losers are the ones who are forced to seek compromise and “common ground”. Winners need not.  That says it all.

  27. Why compromise nationally? Why not have a state by state fight? Different sections of the country have different values, and different ways of approaching a discussion of what is right or wrong. Any national discussion invariably devolves into “the south is icky. evangelicals are stupid. Texans aren’t like us.” Which is fine, provided we all want to live in New York.

    I’m cool with Utah having no abortions, b/c Utah is a uniform culture with a strong community and caring ethic- that child won’t be lonely, the mother won’t starve. I’m okay with New York being, essentially a great big playground for miserable, single people. They can’t seem to close the marriage deal, and they have a hellish welfare situation. Louisiana is fundamentally a happy. majority Catholic state, while Alabama isn’t. Virginia is becoming more evangelical, rather than episcopalian. San Francisco or Portland can show how they are just plain life- unfriendly places. People can vote with their feet.

    Why compromise?

  28. Frances Kissling [said]… ‘We could start by not apologizing for or excusing women and girls who are sexually active and do not use contraception.’”

    Ahh … This is most refreshing.  It would be a great start, indeed.  Let’s hope and pray the anti-baby crowd will really get this and not continue to mouthe myths which help no one, least of all the nascent babies.

  29. During WW2, generals Patton and Eisenhower did not seek compromise and “common ground” with the Germans.

    Good point, Mary!  This reminds me of England’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who sought to “appease” Hitler with compromise.  THANK GOD, events transpired so that a younger-but-wiser Winston Churchill arose to take his place.  

    Churchill rightly observed, “You cannot appease a tyrant.” 

    We need clear-headed, clear-eyed leaders like these! 

  30. (ITA with young christian woman here, and am adding a brief addendum.)

    How about:

    7. Work against coercion.

    8. Fully informed consent–describe the procedure.  Describe fetal development.***  Include testimony from those who have undergone the procedure, including someone who regrets it.  Show before and after pictures of the murdered child.

    9. Actually prosecuting bad doctors who endanger women, coerce them, or kill their children against their wishes.

    10. End abortion after viability.  After viability, deliver the baby.  Someone wants that child, even if his or her parents don’t.

    11. End public funding of abortion and abortifacients.  End insurance coverage of
    abortion, or at least require companies to have plans without abortion coverage.  Period.  No exceptions for rape, incest, or “health.”  (Life of mother is okay.)****

    *** This should include a 4D ultrasound of the baby.

    **** Many do not realize that it was completely legal to choose the life of the mother over the life of the baby, long before Roe v. Wade.  My MIL encountered this very situation in the mid-’50s.  The doctors agreed with my FIL to give her life top priority.  Thankfully, both she and the baby (my BIL) survived.

    Unfortunately, NARAL spread many myths during the ’60s, including one saying the above was not legal. Dr. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of NARAL, has made this known.

  31. Abortion isn’t a result of poor access to contraceptives. Nor is it about proper contraceptive education. Abortion is a result of the loss of the dignity of the human person by compartmentalization. By treating every body function as an individual and unconnected part, we lose sight of the whole, that is, the human person. We are foolish to believe that we can isolate sex from procreation without destruction to the human spirit.
    +++++++++++++

    Amen and Amen, MaryRose!  Very well said! 

    As Christ Jesus said, “Let those who have ears to hear, hear.”

  32. Joan, I haven’t even come close to calling you a Nazi or a murderer.

    You do strike me as being very cold- and hard-hearted when it comes to the “least among us”.  You say you are a Christian.  Christ Jesus said, “Whatever you do to the least of these my brethren, you do it unto Me.”  Read His word to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1, and then think of the significance of what He said about the ‘least of these’.

    I have not seen any greater hostility expressed here than I’ve seen in your posts.  I am not angry with you, just very sad.  I sincerely pray you’ll take the time to think on these things.

  33. But killing a human fetus isn’t worse than killing a human embryo, just bloodier …
     
    Actually, the younger someone is, the “ruder” I think it is to  kill them.

    Very well said, Hans.  I could not agree more.

  34. Please, please read my post on this topic on the thread below.  ‘Common-ground’ does not necessarily mean ‘compromise’, (although in-practice, this is what it works-out-to-be).  For instance, if we are all attempting to evolve to a BETTER place/state does it help anyone to say ‘First, you become like me.’
     
    If you do not try what I suggest (about becoming physically healthier)  you run a great risk of birthing many more children with ‘genetic’ diseases; and 2) your own kids (OF PL’ers TOO) will become the PC of the future.  They will still be choosing to abort – not babies, but YOU THEIR PARENTS.  Can one generation gift’ another with the preciousness of all human life… and at the same time condemn one as vile/going-to-h**?  I’m NOT TO SURE, IF WE CONDEMN ANOTHER LITTLE ONE (like Joan), DO WE NOT CONDEMN OURSELVES ( TO A CIRCLE OF FUTILITY)?
     
    It’s mighty strange, that we think ‘value’/’morals’ etc has only a ghostly/’spiritual’ face.  And our kids somehow ‘absorb’ morality through osmosis.

  35. The Holy Scriptures encourage us “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” Ro 12.18.  The Apostle Paul sought common ground with others that he “might by all means save some.”  1Co 9.19-23.

    However, when it comes to the heinous deliberate dismemberment and murder of children, this is a horrific atrocity of genocidal proportions which must be confronted and condemned by the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ Mt 10.34-36
     
    Abortion is a classic indictment against the wickedness and depravity of man’s heart.  It incriminates us, confirms our guilt and demonstrates our desperate need for a Savior.
     
    Jesus gave us a parable that describes well our rejection of Him and His Laws:
     
    “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’  But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us…’”  Lu 19.12-27
     
    We reject God’s Laws instructing us to respect our bodies as His temples and to enjoy sex as His wedding gift, the intimate exclusive celebration of love between a husband and wife.  We cheapen sex, disrespect our bodies, play Russian Roulette with STD’s and crisis pregnancy.  We conceive children without providing for them the strong foundation for love and security found in a committed marriage relationship.
     
    We selfishly indulge the lusts of our flesh; reduce women to sex objects, leaving a wake of brokenness and heartache, one bad decision after another, until mothers, desperate and deceived by the lies of the abortion industry commit the unthinkable act and kill their own children.
     
    THANK GOD FOR THE BIGGEST “BUT” IN THE BIBLE!

    “Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.  All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

     BUT GOD is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much,  that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)  For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.  So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all He has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

    God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast.

    Bless His Holy Name!

  36. @ xalisae  I didn’t miss the irony. Did you not understand the juxtaposition? Pro-Lifers have not had insight into the battered wife syndrome they have been neurotically living out for 37 years. “Incrementalists” are still hanging on to that strategy. I believe there are irreconcilable differences in Moral Relativists vs. Adherents to Natural Law.

    The reason for the sarcasm in the broken families of divorce is that EVERYTHING is now considered “irreconcilable” and everyone seems to have accepted that tragedy. Abusive relationships opened that door justly, and everything else plowed right in. In a way that is sinister, because it is not exactly comparable, rape and incest opened the door emotionally as exceptions to bring us abortion-on-demand.

  37. Some in the Pro-Life Movement are now “repenting” for their loss of Principle in trying to compromise on the non-negotiable morals. This is quite different than indefinitely enduring abuse that could end in one’s own death.
    @joan You’re pretending that abortion started when you began posting on this board. When people make reference to 37 years of “reasonableness equity” we’re talking about abortion-on-demand being allowed in this nation.
    @ari You don’t understand our Republic’s Founding Principles if you agree to the foundational issue of the Right to Life being decided on a state-by-state basis. Ron Paul, Sara Palin and a host of other so-called Pro-Life politicians negate the Constitution’s statement of purpose when they pretend that unalienable rights (which come from God) can be not defended by states if they so desire. They don’t understand the definition of unalienable. God gives the rights which cannot be given away or taken. The Constitution defends the rights by establishing a blueprint for government to follow.
    @John McDonell Nobody is condemning Joan to hell. She still has time to change her decision/worldview . . .  and God will let her until her life is over.

  38. I actually like this stuff. Another thing I would add though is more resources to aid women to carry to term and give birth especially women at risk for job loss or students. Abortion is bigger than, well, abortion, it’s a symptom of a broken society that is not catering to the needs of women.

  39. Someone who can advocate the dismemberment, poison, burning and destruction of the youngest and tiniest of human life under the soft blankets of words like ‘convenience’, ‘unplanned’, ‘difficult situation’, ‘choice’, and ‘freedom’, is no one I would ever willingly compromise with.
     
     

  40. Cat -I’m going to play devil’s advocate here. I hope you don’t mind.
    I understand you feel strongly about your stance, but imagine this; pro-choicers believe the pro-life position to be just as evil.
    They’re probably reading your comment and thinking “Someone who can advocate for government control of women’s bodies, to force a woman to gestate for nine months is no one I would ever willingly compromise with.”
    To them, denying a woman an abortion is the same as abusing and enslaving that woman.
    Both of you have good intentions, but if neither of you is willing to compromise or even talk with each other, the abortion war is bound to be locked in eternal gridlock. (I disagree with the notion that US pro-lifers can ever win by numbers.)

  41. Kristina,

    Sorry for butting on, here (yet again)… and I appreciate your sincerity and civility.  I just need to emphasize that you’re basing your views on some false notions.

    but imagine this; pro-choicers believe the pro-life position to be just as evil.  They’re probably reading your comment and thinking “Someone who can advocate for government control of women’s bodies, to force a woman to gestate for nine months is no one I would ever willingly compromise with.”

    Let’s suppose that’s so (and it isn’t, for all of them).  How does this prove that even THEY (much less we) should compromise?  If they’re convinced that they’re right, then there are only two authentic and honest options for them:

    1) Re-examine their own position for errors.
    2) Stick to their guns.

    You seem to be suggesting that they (and we) must necessarily violate our consciences and “sully our motives” in order to do “the right thing”.  I disagree.  A strident, honest pro-abort is being more honourable (at least on that strict point) than would be a pro-abort who compromises on his principles simply to “get along”.  That would be cowardice, not virtue.

    To them, denying a woman an abortion is the same as abusing and enslaving that woman.

    That may be their view, indeed; and it proves only one thing: our view and their view cannot possible be right at the same time.  At least one of us must be wrong.  Do you see why?  It would be nonsense to suggest that “1 + 1 = 2” and “1 + 1 = 3” should “stop their selfish squabbling, and at least admit the possibility that the truth is 1 + 1 = 2.5”!  If one is right, then one is forbidden to compromise.  If one is wrong, then one is ALSO forbidden to compromise; rather, one must abandon the error entirely.

    Both of you have good intentions, but if neither of you is willing to compromise or even talk with each other, the abortion war is bound to be locked in eternal gridlock.

    No one said that we’re unwilling to talk with the other side, on this.  And I certainly said that we can compromise on NON-ESSENTIALS; but a baby is a baby, no matter what abortion-tolerant people believe.  Babies die (by monstrous means) during abortions, no matter how much nuance we use in our discussions.  Your point (about both sides “digging in”) is a key reason why we CANNOT USE MERE EMOTION to settle this matter (since it’s equally fierce, no matter which side you consider); only sane reason will do.

    (I disagree with the notion that US pro-lifers can ever win by numbers.)

    That depends entirely on your definition of “win”.  Don’t be so blinded by the forest (i.e. the entire abortion war) that you can’t see the individual trees (i.e. individual battles along the way).

  42. Paladin – no problem! I don’t mind at all.
    <i>A strident, honest pro-abort is being more honourable (at least on that strict point) than would be a pro-abort who compromises on his principles simply to “get along”.  </i>
    I completely agree. The thing is; I see abortion as a philosphical question that cannot be solved once and for all. Whether or not a woman has a moral duty to allow her unborn child to use her body for survival is not something people will never agree on.
    It’s moral stale mate. I belive the smart thing to do is to fight the battles you can win. We’re never going to convince them that abortion should be outlawed, but while we’re trying to do so, we can at least convince them that abortions should be less frequent (or whatever common ground goal you’re focusing on.)
    Your point (about both sides “digging in”) is a key reason why we CANNOT USE MERE EMOTION to settle this matter (since it’s equally fierce, no matter which side you consider

    This is an excellent point. The abortion debate is way too emotional as it is.

     

  43. Carla – the only reason joan is still here is she’s still trying to justify her own abortion and those she recommended.
    Either that or God is still looking for us to pray for her.
    Most likely – both.
     

  44. Vannah, you’re not alone, I do agree with much of you said and my views don’t always fit in here either, as a non-traditional pro-lifer. And Joan, stereotyping everyone here with comments such as “you people” isn’t exactly polite or constructive towards dialouge either.

  45. “Joan, I haven’t even come close to calling you a Nazi or a murderer.”
     
    You haven’t, but then I didn’t say that every person here has called me those things. Some people here have been civil with me and I’m grateful for that. Those who haven’t been so civil know who they are.

  46. Yeah groovysmith, sc..w the children! Let them suffer in a household of mental and/or physical violence and cruelty. Expose them to hatred and nastiness, alcoholism and blatant infidelity. Good stuff eh?
     
    “So long as they get to define what “morality” is.” – pot, kettle, black Kel.

  47. There cran goes again justifying death by dilatation, curette mutilation and vacuum suction depending on the circumstances.  I have close family members and personal friends who had at least one parent who was violent, cruel  alcoholic, abusive, adulterous jerks  but thank God their mothers’ chose life. These people have changed their community and my life personally, some are doctors, teachers, college professors, ministers, pastors, mentors, politicians, carpenters, business people and homemakers. We don’t have the ability to know what a person’s life will be and what impact they will make. Most of these people were told by a parent, a teacher or a relative that they “would never amount to anything” but with others who gave them love, support, discipline, help, a second chance and God’s grace they overcame great obstacles in their life to achieve and succeed. BTW one of those people happens to be the love of my life, my best friend, my wonderful husband who is an awesome father. Go read Dr Ben Carson’s autobiography “Gifted Hands”, a world renowned neurosurgeon at John Hopkins Medical Center who would probably be a poster child for abortion, raised in extreme poverty by a single mother who battled mental illness, abandoned by his father as a young child, tell him how he should have never been born to save the lives of thousands of patients. I know I casting my pearls but maybe other prolifers here can take the time to share the story of someone they know who beat the pro-abort “never should have been born” odds.   

  48. There goes Prolifer L again, shooting off at the mouth without taking the time to check what’s actually going on. Prolifer L, my comment was in regard to groovysmith’s comment regarding divorce and irreconcilable relationships and their impact on children, along with their sarcastic comment of ‘Let them deal with a one-parent household and all the trappings of divorce.’  Nothing to do with abortion, at all.
     
     

  49. Kristina wrote:

    Paladin – no problem! I don’t mind at all.

    :)  Now, if only we could get your influence into some of the trolls on this forum, the world would be a better, brighter place!

    [Paladin]
    A strident, honest pro-abort is being more honourable (at least on that strict point) than would be a pro-abort who compromises on his principles simply to “get along”.

    [Kristina]
    I completely agree. The thing is; I see abortion as a philosphical question that cannot be solved once and for all.  Whether or not a woman has a moral duty to allow her unborn child to use her body for survival is […] something people will never agree on.  It’s moral stale mate.

    I’m not quite sure how you mean that.  Do you mean that you don’t think we can eradicate every last instance of abortion tolerance in every last human on earth?  (That’s probably true, but rather more strict of a standard than is needed.)  Or do you mean that there’s no possible way to make a clear, coherent, truth-based case for the abolition of abortion (as we do for murder, etc.)?  I’d disagree with the latter; it’s quite possible to “prove” (in the “beyond reasonable doubt” sense, not in the “mathematical” sense) that abortion is immoral.  Moral relativism (the idea that there are no absolute and objective standards of morality) is simply not true, and we need not (and must not) buy into it.

    I belive the smart thing to do is to fight the battles you can win.

    Well… how would you know you can win them, if you don’t try?  And I’ll say again: if we strive to be moral people at all, we will need to fight anything that’s intrinsically evil, even if we’re certain that we’ll lose.  “God doesn’t call us to be successful; He calls us to be faithful.”  -Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

    We’re never going to convince them that abortion should be outlawed,

    Again: you don’t know that.  Many “die-hard abortion supporters” have converted to the truth of the matter; Dr. Bernard Nathanson (an abortionist who lied under oath, repeatedly, in order to help pro-abortion law get established), who’s now a pro-life champion (Google the video, “Silent Scream”), converted.  The numbers of people who have converted from abortion-support are great, indeed.  Look around, a bit.

    but while we’re trying to do so, we can at least convince them that abortions should be less frequent (or whatever common ground goal you’re focusing on.)

    There’s a problem with that approach, which we could call, “willing an apparent battle and losing a bigger one”; the pressure to have promiscuous sex (and to do whatever it takes to rid oneself of the unwanted consequences) will always be with us, which will exert constant pressure on humans to compromise their conscious moral choices for the sake of “expediency”… and this battle will not end.  Any trust in the idea that “we can give a bit, now, in order to take off some of the pressure” is (unfortunately) misplaced, since the pressures driving pro-abortion people (e.g. sex drive, selfishness, shame, guilt, anger, fierce desire to escape much of the above, etc.) will not relent, even *after* they get what they want!

    The abortion debate is way too emotional as it is.

    Right.  The fact is perfectly understandable (how can anyone expect us to be blase about bablies being murdered by the thousands, each day?  Only a conscious effort to “filter” that fact from our direct consciousness would keep us from going mad…), but screaming at each other serves little good.  As I’ve heard it said: “Don’t lose your temper: use it!”  Anger, when focused on a true injustice (i.e. against the correct target, and not as a “way of life”), is a good and wholesome thing.

  50. I do apologize cran should have read the post more carefully. I will read more carefully in the future before I post. Peace.

  51. “Moral relativism (the idea that there are no absolute and objective standards of morality) is simply not true, and we need not (and must not) buy into it.”
     
    Nonsense. If there were such a thing as an absolute and objective standard of morality there wouldn’t even be the potential for disagreement about certain things. For something to be objective there must be a universally-recognized way of empirically measuring it. Morality is not tautological.

  52. Hi Joan.

    “If there were such a thing as an absolute and objective standard of morality there wouldn’t even be the potential for disagreement about certain things.”

    I see no reason to believe this. We certainly do not have this standard in anything else. We don’t hold the sciences to this standard. There are many competing theories about a “theory of everything” yet only one (at most) of them can be true. Or consider questions of the mechanism of Darwinian evolution. Stephan Gould believed in punctured equalibruim while Dawkins holds to a different theory. Only one of them can be correct, yet you would never say that because there is potential for disagreement that there is no objective truth when it comes to how we evolved. Examples can be multiplied. I have students who refuse to believe that .9999999…=1. There are people who believe the earth is flat, yet of course there is an objective reality to the shape of the earth.

    The real problem is in the difference’s in our epistimology. People come to the table with different epistimologies and hence come to different conclusions because they have different theories of how they know what they know and what constitutes proof. The idea that because people will disagree there isn’t really an objectivity is something that simply does not follow.

    “For something to be objective there must be a universally-recognized way of empirically measuring it.”

    I take it you believe this statement to be objective. What is the universally-recognized way of empirically measuring it?

  53. “I see no reason to believe this. We certainly do not have this standard in anything else. We don’t hold the sciences to this standard.”

    That depends on what you mean by the sciences. Not every scientific concept is something as esoteric as evolution. I think you would agree that the most basic of scientific principles–gravity, for example–brooks no competing theories or explanations. More importantly, though, any scientific fodder can, at least in theory, be empirically measured or observed–if not, it couldn’t be a subject for science to consider. Theoretically, it would be possible, given enough time and the right tools, to literally observe the entire process of Darwinian evolution over a period of however many millions of years and conclusively determine which, if any, current competing theories of evolution are correct.

    “I take it you believe this statement to be objective. What is the universally-recognized way of empirically measuring it?”

    You’re getting at an important paradox here. It’s not even possible to “objectively” define what “objective” even means. If that’s not as good an argument as any against there being an objective, external morality, I don’t know what is.

  54. pro-choicers believe the pro-life position to be just as evil.

    No doubt.  But if so, they are wrong.  It is not evil to advocate rescuing babies who are targeted for slaughter!

    They’re probably reading your comment and thinking “Someone who can advocate for government control of women’s bodies

    I absolutely believe every woman should have control of her own body.  The baby in the womb is not part of her body!  If that were true, every one would be female!  Nascent babies have their own bodies, their own gender, their own DNA, their own fingerprints, etc.  

    In no other arena of American society is an innocent human being able to be legally killed just because they are an inconvenience to another person.

     to force a woman to gestate for nine months is no one I would ever willingly compromise with.

    You act like gestation is torture; it isn’t.  It is a natural process of human life.  Also, in the huge majority of these situations, no one forced her to get pregnant!  That was her choice.

    To them, denying a woman an abortion is the same as abusing and enslaving that woman.

    The key words here are “to them”.  Even if this were true (which it isn’t), it could not possibly justify tearing the baby limb from limb, or poisoning him, or jabbing scissors into the back of her neck and sucking her brains out — all of this, while the babies are still alive!  This goes beyond cruel and inhuman punishment — there simply are no words.  And what has the baby done wrong, to deserve such inhumane treatement???  Nothing at all.

  55. Hi Joan.

    “That depends on what you mean by the sciences.”

    Actually it doesn’t at all. ANYTHING that we do will work just fine to illustrate my point which is that we do not hold to a burden of proof which says that “everyone must agree and there must be evidence that no one can argue with in order for something to be objective.” Any kind of science will demonstrate that. Even ones which are empirically verifiable. What about the rationalist who does not trust his senses and only relies on his mind and logic? Like Descartes, he may be skeptical of the fact that his hand is in front of his face. So anything we are talking about I think disproves this unreasonable burden of proof.

    “I think you would agree that the most basic of scientific principles–gravity, for example–brooks no competing theories or explanations.”

    I’ll grant that that is the case. Suppose someone today comes along with a new theory of gravity. Does it therefore follow that there is no objective reality to gravity? It seems in this line of thinking that the answer would be yes. The nest day he recants. Is gravity objective again? Furthermore, consider a time long before Newton when we did not know much about gravity and there were many competing theories. Was there no objective reality to gravity then?

    See Joan, I think the problem here is that you are confusing epistemology and ontology. There is the question of what we know, but there is also the question of existence. Certain things exist and have an objective reality to them, but our KNOWLEDGE and awareness of them changes and develops. Think about all the phenomena that people are learning about cell biology. Many competing theories, yet there is an objective reality to how they work, independent of whether or not we know it.

    “More importantly, though, any scientific fodder can, at least in theory, be empirically measured or observed–if not, it couldn’t be a subject for science to consider.”

    Not quite. This completely ignores the whole branch of forensic science. This is a legitimate branch of science, but it does not work on being able to redo experiments- say murdering a particular person. Or consider how we know the chemical make-up of the sun. Did we go to the sun and get a piece of it and test it back here on earth? No, we have to come up with much more sophisticated ways to understand its chemical make-up.

    But you do hit on the important, unproven assumption. You talk about things needed to be empirically measured or verified. That is all fine and good for the sciences, but if that is your standard of measure for ALL things, how do you emerically verify that the only way to know objective truth is through empirical verification?

    “You’re getting at an important paradox here. It’s not even possible to “objectively” define what “objective” even means.”

    I think you’ve missed the point here. I was not at all saying how to objectively define objectively. Rather, you made the statement that

    “For something to be objective there must be a universally-recognized way of empirically measuring it.”

    I was not asking to objectively define objective. Rather, I was pointing out that this is a truth claim- an objective truth claim. As such, there must be a universally-recognized way of empirically measuring it; otherwise, it isn’t an objective truth. In fact, I don’t at all believe that one has to objectively define objective in order to be objective. This seems to be your view, which I am trying to show (and I think you have just verified) is incoherent. So the problem that “It’s not even possible to “objectively” define what “objective” even means.” I would argue is a problem in your worldview, not one I would defend.

    ” If that’s not as good an argument as any against there being an objective, external morality, I don’t know what is.”

    This proves too much if it proves anything. Again, if the claim is true that there is no objective way to define objectivity, than we can’t know anything. Not just in terms of morality, but science, math, logic, history, etc. Replace the word “morality” in your above quote with biology, gravity, math, sense perception, a priori knowledge, etc. and the argument goes through just fine.

    Finally, there is the practical problem with the claim that morality is not objective. This would mean that it is not always and everywhere wrong to rape someone. Or torture a small child for fun. Or molest children. None of this is really bad if there is no standard of objective morality. That alone, I believe, is good enough evidence to conclude that there is indeed an objective standard of right and wrong. God love you.

  56. People may confuse “compassion” with “compromise”. I believe we can have civil, understanding debates between pro-lifers and pro-choicers. I believe we can discuss these issues without vitriol for one another, and have respect for each other as people. I believe that most of us, innately, do not want to be at odds with each other and we don’t enjoy arguing with, at times, even friends and family over such issues.
     
    I’m excited that this is a forum for many great people to share their ideas and opinions.
     
    However, if someone came to me and told me they had killed their child and thrown them in the trash, would I be obligated, morally and legally, to report this crime? If I didn’t, and then later it was revealed that I knew of the crime all along, would I not be considered (legally) an accessory to murder?
     
    In this way, if I were not to steadfastly denounce and oppose the murder of unborn children, I would consider myself a moral accessory to the crime. I believe those of us who speak out clearly and strongly against abortion, while respecting the viewpoint of others, have no need to make lukewarm, watered down compromises. We can be civil and respectful, but we must be bold, if we want to be leaders in reaffirming the value of each and every human life. Above all, we must be BOLD!
     
    After all, Roe v. Wade exists. Women are getting abortions by hundreds of thousands each year. Unborn, murdered children are being discovered in freezers and in trash cans around the country, the images of their torn, tiny body parts readily available to anyone willing to face the horror of what abortion truly is.
     
    Why should we as pro-lifers not be courageous, resolute and bold? What is there for us to compromise on? The time for fence straddling and hand wringing is over. I used to be afraid to say what I believe, to give the ‘full-dose’ to my set of morals and beliefs. But you know what I’ve found? People tend to respect more and listen to those who hold steadfast to their beliefs than those who don’t. And if you show respect, integrity and boldness, you never know – you might just change someone’s mind.
     
     

  57. @Joan — if we’re so nasty, why do you keep coming here?

    Also, I am tired of hearing that all prolifers oppose contraception, which is not true.  Secondly, how are the big, bad, mean prolifers stopping women from using contraception?  Are we standing in front of condom displays in Rite-Aid or CVS barring their path?

    And I have yet to hear an abortion advocate explain why, in places like NYC, contraception is readily available, yet 41 percent of pregnancies end in abortion?

  58. One of the event organizers was Peter Singer, of the “they’re not persons until a month after birth” fame. Can we really compromise with people who hold those ideas?

  59.  “Whether or not a woman has a moral duty to allow her unborn child to use her body for survival is […] something people will never agree on.  It’s moral stale mate.”

    People have agreed for thousands of years that a woman should take good care of herself when she is “in the family way.”  

    Killing a fetus for convenience is a pretty modern notion.  Abortion lovers want you to believe abortion has always been on the mind of every pregnant woman throughout history.  They can make up whatever fiction  they like, but it’s not going to make it true.

    One day, abortion WILL be a thing of the past.  And no, we can’t compromise with people who think killing innocent children is acceptable.  That’s a sick notion from which humanity is healing.  Bu-bye abortion!

  60. Hi phillymiss how are you? I agree with your post wholeheartedly. I have worked in women’s healthcare for years, have talked to women and teens with “unplanned pregnancies”.

    QUESTION: You want to take a guess where the next stop is for many (not all) of the 54% of contraceptive using (CDC stats), “I’m protected”, my doctor put in an IUD, I got the Depo shot, the pill, the patch, the ring, we used a condom, how did this happen crowd? 

    ANSWER: The abortion clinic.

    It is not rocket science, I’m having sex = sex causes babies= I’m using contraceptives=  false of security that I cannot get pregnant= oops I got pregnant anyway, how did this happen= I don’t want to be pregnant= I can take care of this problem by aborting my baby. I do know from my local CPC that their are married women now aborting babies because the timing is inconvenient, our house is not big enough, we want all of our kids to have separate bedrooms, the economy is tight and about any other reason you can think of. God help us, this is insane.   

  61. @ari – San Francisco or Portland can show how they are just plain life- unfriendly places.

    I don’t know about Portland, but San Francisco does have a low birthrate.
    I also found the people there to be pretty unfriendly.  I don’t expect strangers to give me a hug and invite me out to lunch, but ask someone for directions there and they 1) ignore you or 2) are just plain rude.  I found New Yorkers to be friendlier, believe it or not.  I would never go back there.

    San Francisco seems to be a good place if you’re a dog.  They really, really love their dogs.

  62. Late to the party, couldn’t read all of the proceeding comments, sorry, but I wanted to say/ask: Some of these suggestions are interesting in light of the Pope’s recent words about using condoms, i.e. already being on the wrong side of the moral law, a person thinking about these things might be taking a “first assumption of responsibility,” etc. I wonder what concessions the author would wish us to make, because most of his suggestions have serious flaws that exclude them from being common ground to prolifers.

    I’m editing to add: Original link has a link with suggestions for prolifers. Still some very serious flaws but one or two nuggets to ponder there. Have you written about the “prolife common ground” installment, Jill?

  63. Kristina:  I agree on every single thing on his list, although I’m pretty cynical about whether or not most pro-choicers would be up for any of those things. In my experience pro-choicers believe that abortion is always morally neutral and doesn’t need to be regulated, restricted or even reduced in any way.

    Hi Kristina.  I gotta disagree here – don’t you think that most pro-choicers would be much more for restricting/barring abortion at 9 months versus at 9 weeks, for example?  Seems to me it’s really rare to find anybody who’s for no restrictions at all.
     
    Number 6 is actually my wet dream. While I believe life begins at conception, I also think it’s worse to kill a fetus after a certain point (for instance, after it has transformed from embryo to fetus.) To get pro-choicers willing to offer protection to at least late term babies would be a huge leap forward.

    I certainly agree that it’s a life.  I am pro-choice, but not for “all the way to the end of gestation.”  Not sure what you mean by “late term” but for the third trimester there is far, far less support for unrestricted abortion.  For years I’ve seen the numbers see-saw back and forth as to how many of us are pro-life or pro-choice, but you get late enough in gestation and it tends much more toward unanimity.
    I think the “worse” you mention is interesting.  Even if we are among the group that holds the dogma that all human life is equal in value, in practice we too will almost always see that “worse” at some point.
    My wife’s brother’s family is Catholic, pro-life, and has three kids.  Along the way there were also three miscarriages.  The kids are now 8, 11 and 13 years old.  Each pregnancy was wanted, and each miscarriage brought sorrow.  But nothing like what the loss of one of the born kids would bring.
     
    Doug
     
     

  64. I’ve written about ‘common ground’ not having anything to do with compromise (which everyone here seems to assume).  Perhaps, if PL’ers composed a list of common ground points, there would be a much different direction than waiting for political/law change – which we now do exclusively.  I believe most political change follows a grass-roots turnabout AND RARELY LEADS TO ANY KIND OF REVERSAL.
     
    To begin a PL list: we seek to maximize the physical health of the mother and her child.  This is a wild departure from what we now do.  Humans are animals too, and we should gestate in winter months + have birthing in the early-spring.  Read ‘Lights Out’ by TS Wiley, for a start …. It says absolutely nothing about human pregnancy!
     
    We need a more rounded view of science.  At present we tend to isolate and categorize (strictly a left-brain function).  [One reporter was baffled by the Bosnian-Croat war.  “What’s the difference?”, he asked some soldiers.  ‘They smoke a different band of cigarettes!’, was the reply.]  Might I suggest http://www.drjilltaylor as a place to start to acquire a more-balanced HUMAN way to perceive/celebrate our existence.  [please note the site does not mention abortion.]
     
    NOW WHAT WOULD YOUR LIST BE?

  65. Doug wrote, in reply to Kristina:

    I gotta disagree here – don’t you think that most pro-choicers would be much more for restricting/barring abortion at 9 months versus at 9 weeks, for example?  Seems to me it’s really rare to find anybody who’s for no restrictions at all.

    That depends completely on what you mean, I suppose.  Many abortion-tolerant people would claim to be “uncomfortable” with later-term abortions and/or voice support for “restrictions” (in the abstract), but the number dwindles quickly when you ask them what sort of criminal charges should be brought against the abortionist (and anyone else culpably complicit in the abortion).  Many others would be too afraid of a “hole in the dam” effect from a concrete abortion prohibition (and worried that it would lead to greater and greater restrictions, with time) that they wouldn’t touch a real restriction with a 10-foot pole.  (Look at the fierce fight that the “usual suspects” put up against partial-birth abortion, as one example.)

    My wife’s brother’s family is Catholic, pro-life, and has three kids.  Along the way there were also three miscarriages.  The kids are now 8, 11 and 13 years old.  Each pregnancy was wanted, and each miscarriage brought sorrow.  But nothing like what the loss of one of the born kids would bring.

    That might be so, as far as raw emotion goes… but I’m not sure of your point, here.  Do you mean to suggest that the miscarried children were less valuable, based on the (predicted) lower intensity of grief at their deaths?  (I’m curious as to what your Catholic friends would say, to that; perhaps you might ask them?  I can at least hope they’d answer wisely…)  On that basis, we’d be forced to say that a homeless person was “less valuable” or “less a person with full human dignity” than, say, John Lennon… since the grief at the former’s passing would be low (or even negligible), while the assassination of the latter “rocked the world”.  I don’t think we want to go there; do you?

  66. If my friend of twenty years died vs my friend of 20 days, yes I would be much more upset to lose the friend I knew better.  Does that make my older friend a more valuable human being than the one I just met?  No it doesn’t.  So, pro-choicers, giving us that ole malarky about how much we would care about a toddler vs a pre-born baby is futile.  We pro-lifers don’t fall for your verbal acrobatics.

  67. John McD:  Humans are animals too, and we should gestate in winter months + have birthing in the early-spring.
     
    :: waves Hi to John… :: So per this, I guess people better get busy during the summer months, eh?  ; )

  68. Paladin:  Many abortion-tolerant people would claim to be “uncomfortable” with later-term abortions and/or voice support for “restrictions” (in the abstract), but the number dwindles quickly when you ask them what sort of criminal charges should be brought against the abortionist (and anyone else culpably complicit in the abortion).  Many others would be too afraid of a “hole in the dam” effect from a concrete abortion prohibition (and worried that it would lead to greater and greater restrictions, with time) that they wouldn’t touch a real restriction with a 10-foot pole.  (Look at the fierce fight that the “usual suspects” put up against partial-birth abortion, as one example.)

    Good point, and you are right – blanket restrictions/laws might not allow for cases where there was medical need.  I realize they are very rare, late in gestation; most of them could be argued about, and it’s a hard question.

    If we’re going to make it a black/white deal, if we pro-choicers agree to ban abortions after, say, 22 weeks (or other point in time), are you going to quit complaining about abortions prior to that time?  Probably not.  I doubt there is “common ground” here.

    As for D & X or D & E abortions, I would go with the time of gestation.  If we’re theoretically agreeing on a time of banning abortion, or even if it’s just my opinion – if it’s a legal abortion, then let the doctor choose the best procedure.
    Late enough in gestation, if the doctor cannot give a good enough explanation of why the abortion is called for, then I’m not pro-choice for it.
     
    Do you mean to suggest that the miscarried children were less valuable, based on the (predicted) lower intensity of grief at their deaths?  (I’m curious as to what your Catholic friends would say, to that; perhaps you might ask them?  I can at least hope they’d answer wisely…)  On that basis, we’d be forced to say that a homeless person was “less valuable” or “less a person with full human dignity” than, say, John Lennon… since the grief at the former’s passing would be low (or even negligible), while the assassination of the latter “rocked the world”.  I don’t think we want to go there; do you?

    Sure – it’s the bottom line of the abortion debate.  I think that most people would choose to lose a pregnancy versus the born children.  And that most would rather miscarry or have an abortion early in gestation versus late.  Not that it’s really or necessarily “desired” (of course) on a person-by-person basis, but the difference is there.

    On the homeless person – yeah, we don’t treat everybody the same.  Value is not a physical quantity; it exists in the eye of the beholder.  Society does not treat the homeless dude the same way as the rock star, etc.  I realize you aren’t happy about this, but as a society we don’t attribute personhood to the unborn, at least not until the point when restrictions on abortion, if any, take effect.

  69. ninek:  If my friend of twenty years died vs my friend of 20 days, yes I would be much more upset to lose the friend I knew better.  Does that make my older friend a more valuable human being than the one I just met?  No it doesn’t. 

    It depends.  To use an extreme example, is one going to cure cancer?  Is one a serial-killer?  Even aside from such considerations, yours is not the only opinion at work.  When you ask “which is more valuable,” you may get different answers depending on who you are asking.

     
    So, pro-choicers, giving us that ole malarky about how much we would care about a toddler vs a pre-born baby is futile.  We pro-lifers don’t fall for your verbal acrobatics.

    The “malarky,” if any, is you pretending the argument is something other than what it is.  My point is that development and time can and do make a difference to many people (and indeed to us as a society).  This is not saying that you as an individual will feel the same way.
     
    It’s also not defining the value of the toddler or unborn any certain way.  Some families will value the unborn more than some others (sadly, IMO) value the toddler.
     
     

  70. Some families will value the unborn more than some others (sadly, IMO) value the toddler.

    Oh my Lord, is there a group that supports the killing of toddlers now too?
     

  71. Hi Doug,(Doug used to be a frequent poster here in the ‘old-days),
     
    My SIL’s birthday was last week and one thing I did was wish her a ‘BLESSED DAY’.  That got me wondering if many people would understand and appreciate such a wish, or would they be offended by such remarks?
     
    We ARE SO BLESSED (even Doug is my friend).  When we start believing ALL people are precious (even PC’ers and abortionists) then we PL’ers will begin to wonder at our own magnificence.  Abortion will be no more.  Is this a place you’d like to be in?

  72. John, it gladdens my heart to see you posting. 

    On the “blessed day” – I think most people are fine with that, whether or not they hold religious beliefs where they would say such a thing themselves.

    You’re essentially just wishing them well, if nothing else, and it seems farfetched for the comment to arouse real anger.  Maybe a little bit of eye-rolling, but it would usually be internal, rather than overtly expressed.

    On looking for “common ground,” I don’t really see that much, as far as concerning abortion, for pro-lifers and pro-choicers in the main.  I would think that contraception and preventing unwanted pregnancies would be one area of agreement, but there is quite a bit of sentiment against it from pro-lifers, or at least among the frequenters of Jill’s site.

    So, I return to your good wishes for your sister-in-law, and wish you the same, John.  I’m on my way to Atlanta, Georgia, USA, for Thanksgiving with my wife and her family.  I’m thankful for you too, John – you are a rare person and I’m lucky to know you.
     
    Best,
     
    Doug

  73. JMJ

    First, I have not read all of the above posts, but what I did see failed to mention one of the most important aspects of abortion, and that is $$$$.  For those of you in Rio Linda, that is MONEY.  The pro aborts (not pro choices because, let’s be clear, they do not want the girl or woman to have any choice in the matter, which brings up a slightly different subject, coercecion, estimated to be involved in 50% or more of all abortions) can pretend like they are looking for common ground, but they will never give up anything that could lead to any kind of a restriction (if they laid low during the partial birth abortion ban process, it was only because they knew that it looked better for them, and after all, they had the health of the mother exception which covers everything including hangnails).

    Yes, the main reason that abortion (now fairly well accepted by the pro aborts as murder of a human being, but not publicized, whose rights have been temporarily removed) is so difficult to stop is money, the money that the millionaire abortionists and abortion industry earns in slaughtering babies.  The money that abortionists and the abortion industry can spare goes to fighting, for example, informed consent, ultrasound requirements, fetal paid information, breast cancer implications.  The politicians who should be protecting their unborn constituents are not, because they have been bought off, they are on the abortionists’ and the abortion industry’s teats and they find it easy to do, because they convince themselves that the abortionists and the abortion industry is right, the baby is not a baby, just a blob of tissue, the product of conception, certainly not a human being, certainly not with any rights–Blackmun and his wife and daughters made that clear!

    Now here is a comment, not directly related to the specific subject of “common ground,” but rather related to the highly touted but nor correct assertion that aobrtionists are being compassionate towards the girls and woman:  HOW COMPASSIONATE ARE THEY WHEN THERE ARE MANY STUDIES WHICH LINK ABORTION TO BREAST CANCER?  Studies by the National Canceer Institute, for example–it doesn’t matter that the bureaucrat-researchers are openly pro aborts and deny the very clear conclusions of their research studies reports.  One in eight women WILL get breast cancer and approximately 20% of those will die from breast cancer.  ABORTIONISTS AND THE ABORTION INDUSTRY HAVE BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS, THEY ARE COMPLICIT IN THE DEATHS OF MANY OF THE VICTIMS OF BREAST CANCER.

    Does anyone want to see how compassionate many abortionists are?  READ Lime 5 by Mark Crutcher.  It will turn your stomach, and a girl or woman walking into an abortion doesn’t know ANYTHING about the abortionist.

  74. JMJ

    In my previous post of a few minutes ago, of course that is fetal paiN, not fetal paiD, and coercion, not coercecion.

    And on further thought about this “common ground” that the libs/lefties/feminists/pro aborts want, it is absolutely phony, they are just trying to buy time until they have a solid majority on the Supreme Court, until the effects of eliminating Obama’s lackeys are over.  The house of abortion is built on lies, one after the other, and we are expected to believe they want common ground?

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