Monday, September 04, 2006

The Unwanted Pregnancy

['The Man Who Came to Dinner,' (Warner Brothers, 1942)]

Most of the time, I think liberals waste time and effort by responding to conservative op-eds and blogs. Instead, we should be ignoring conservatives' tired and old dogma and laying out our world views and solutions for today's and tomorrows' problems, irrespective of what conservatives have to say on these matters. All Republicans have to say about liberal, progressive solutions to today's problems is rhetorical ad hominem and name-calling.

"We win because our ideas are better."

They really are, and American citizens know the truth when they hear it.

Over at Washington Monthly, Kevin Drum writes:
ABORTION IS MUR MILDLY DISAGREEABLE....Jonathan Rauch reviews Ramesh Ponnuru's Party of Death today in the New York Times. Over at NRO, Jonah Goldberg calls the review "fair and sensible" and says Rauch is "one of the sharpest minds and most decent souls around." Here's what Rauch says:

“Eight-week-old fetuses do not differ from 10-day-old babies in any way that would justify killing the former,” [Ponnuru] writes. “The law will either treat the fetus as a human being with a right to be protected from unjust killing or it will not.” If those are the only choices, and if the right position is that an early-term fetus is a full-fledged person, why not impose jail terms on women who seek abortions? After all, they are taking out a contract for murder. Instead of confronting that question, Ponnuru equivocates, mumbling that “the pro-life movement” does not necessarily seek jail time for women and that fining doctors and revoking medical licenses might suffice.

....Ponnuru says the issue should be returned to the states and abortion then banned in increments. He does not say what he thinks abortion law should finally look like, or how the hardest cases should be handled, or what to do about the surreptitious abortions that a ban would inevitably bring (though he does observe that antibiotics have made black-market abortions safer). One can be sure that if he were on the other side of the issue, he would zestfully denounce those omissions as tactical pirouettes.

This is pretty much precisely the question all the rest of us have been asking Ponnuru all along. But back when we were asking it we were berated for not taking the issue seriously and not confronting Ponnuru's razor-sharp moral logic. But now that Rauch brings it up, it's "fair and sensible."

Whatever. I'll take what I can get, I guess. But can we now finally get a straightforward answer to this question without the usual shilly shallying? In Ponnuru's world, why should people who murder fetuses or allow their fetuses to be murdered get off with nothing more than a stern warning?

But can we now finally get a straightforward answer to this question without the usual shilly shallying? In Ponnuru's world, why should people who murder fetuses or allow their fetuses to be murdered get off with nothing more than a stern warning?

Ooh, I dunno about that, Kevin. It's not like Ponneru's shilly shallying is the sole tactic of the anti-choicer. They tag team off of each other's ballyhoo and folderol every couple of months. Keep talking like this, and it helps them to take the charge and shock out of what the logical conclusion to outlawing abortion is - It certainly seems reminiscent of the change in drug laws starting in the 1960s (the Rockefeller laws) and then later Nixon's Operation Intercept (and paraquat) and the massive prison building of the last 20 years to house non-violent drug offenders. At the rate we're going, we're going to have to build more of these gated communities for women (for having abortions and the (unintended) victims (largest population of those screwed over by the minimum sentencing laws). Yeah, it wasn't the drug cartel kingpins so much who have been put away under those laws - first-time women offenders trying to find ways to survive financially, acting as mules were put away, 4-fold increase in their numbers in prison now.

We kill people, fully born, with decades of life's experiences under their belts, every day in America. Not only is it legal, it's the law. To withhold treatment from people who may have a terminal illness, but who get sick with something else that isn't life-threatening, a treatable infection, for example, is only one of the ways it's being done. We legally kill innocent life each day in this country, actively (with morphine) or passively (withholding nutrition and hydration), and with the exception of one Terri Schiavo, the anti-choicers remain silent.

We can argue about when life begins, but we don't ever go near to the basic premise of American laws upon which Roe vs. Wade were predicated: The presumption of privacy that the founders envisioned was a no-brainer concept of what was necessary for a people's republic, and that "All people are born equal" and yet fetuses (unborn) are more equal than others (born). Fetuses are essentially parasites living off of a host (an already born American citizen whose rights seem to be suspended for the duration of a pregnancy. The State (the majority) has usurped the right of the individual when it comes to what's in the "best interest of the state." How is overpopulation in the best interest of State, or of the world? Overpopulation is only providing the rich with cheap labor, most of whom aren't having much fun "at the party. Overpopulation is straining the earth's resources and putting us and future generations at risk of destroying our ability to live on the planet. When have we had that debate?:
In the year 1900 the Earth was home to about 1.6 billion people. The total had grown by 600 million in the 100 years since 1800, the year that the first billion was reached; but the change in the 19th century gave no hint of things to come. By the middle of the present century another billion had been added, in the remarkably short span of only 50 years. Moreover, and significantly, 80 percent of the growth had taken place in the world's poorer, or "developing," nations. In 1995, but 45 years later, world population had risen by an additional three billion (Fig. 1), with most of the increase, as before, in Asia, Africa, and Latin America (Table 1).

The dramatic fashion in which new numbers have been added to the world's population since 1950 is shown in Table 2. While it took the several million years of human history to reach the first billion, and 130 years to reach the second, today each new billion is added in but 11 years.

There is no problem on the planet where the solution has been "More people, please."

Denying a woman's right to choose also creates a whole other set of problems along the "equal rights" clause - it's only women who must submit to this "special consideration" because men can't become pregnant. A fetus is essentially a parasite living off of a host (the woman, as a life-support machine). The argument that a woman consents to the arrangement every time she has coitus presumes a fact nobody, especially not most American men would agree to: That sex would only be allowed, legal, for procreation.

So if we're forcing looking to force taking arguments to their conclusions, ridiculous and other, I'd like to see the entire debate opened up. In some smart directions.

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