No Easy Answers

Back in the 1950s when abortion was illegal, my mom had already had four young sons and was pregnant again … and she and our father were not even married. She was running a 280-acre cattle ranch mostly on her own, and she knew that she was already very near to her breaking point. It was clear to her that another child would surely break her, and if she broke it would be the end for the four sons she already had and whom she loved dearly and protected fiercely against all odds.

So after much internal debate about what to do, she repeatedly jumped off a table until she miscarried. She came close to killing herself in the process, and she rendered herself sterile.

I remember her face when she finally told me about what she had done, I can never forget it. Seeing her going through all those emotions again made me weak in the knees, and I don’t think she ever told my brothers.

And at that she was lucky. In those days back alley abortions cost far too many women their lives every year.

Now, folks are popping up and telling me that my mother was bad and wrong to do what she did, and that it was wonderful and fantastic that abortion was illegal back then, even though that almost killed her, and even though abortion being illegal caused the death of thousands and thousands of women annually. NPR says:

In 1930, abortion was listed as the official cause of death for almost 2,700 women in the United States, though there were likely many more unrecorded mortalities.

And here’s the National Institutes of Health showing that this is not just yesterday’s problem (emphasis mine):

Every year, worldwide, about 42 million women with unintended pregnancies choose abortion, and nearly half of these procedures, 20 million, are unsafe. Some 68,000 women die of unsafe abortion annually, making it one of the leading causes of maternal mortality (13%). Of the women who survive unsafe abortion, 5 million will suffer long-term health complications.

Think about that. Back-alley abortions are still one of the leading causes of maternal mortality worldwide in the 21st century. Why is that?

For one simple reason. Because abortions in many countries are still illegal.

As Dr. Grimes writes in ThinkProgress, in an article called “What Americans Have Forgotten About The Era Before Roe v. Wade” (emphasis mine):

In the decade when Grimes was born, the 1940s, there were records of more than 1,000 women dying each year from unsafe and largely self-induced abortions. Every large municipal hospital in the U.S. had a “septic abortion ward,” and treatment for the complications from so-called “incomplete abortion” was the single leading cause for admission for OB-GYN services across the country. National Opinion Research Center surveys conducted in the 1960s found that hundreds of women were attempting to self-abort by penetrating themselves with knitting needles, coat hangers, bicycle spokes, ballpoint pens; others tried to swallow chemicals like turpentine, laundry bleach, and acid.

Let me be clear. I have great compassion for those opposing legal abortions. I can understand their reservations and considerations, and I respect their passion about the matter … but I must inform you that their claim that abortion is clearly and obviously a horrible immoral thing is a huge insult to people like my mother who have actually had to face the issues up close and personal.

And abortion opponents preening themselves and claiming that they have the high moral ground, when their proposals would cause the deaths of thousands and thousands of women annually from back-alley abortions? I’m sorry, but that is a lethally simplistic and untenable moral stance.

The issue is far from as simple as the abortion opponents and the Heritage Foundation are claiming. The choice is not abortions or no abortions. Vice President Mike Pence recently predicted that legal abortion would end in the U.S. “in our time.”  Perhaps legal abortion in the US will end, perhaps it won’t, but here’s the ugly truth—both history and current events conclusively prove that WOMEN WILL NOT STOP GETTING ABORTIONS JUST BECAUSE IT IS MADE ILLEGAL. Never happen. Instead, we’ll just go back to the bad old days of coat-hanger abortions.

No Easy Answers

Here is the bottom line—there is no choice called “No abortions”. That’s a Mike Pence fantasy, because women will continue to have abortions whether or not they are legal.  The only available choice is between sterile medical abortions and dirty coat-hanger abortions … and yet bizarrely, many people keep claiming that the option where your daughter or your mother or your niece or your sister dies from a back-alley abortion is the clearly noble, ethical, and moral choice.

Not.

Sorry to be so direct, but I’m sick of people pretending that the answers to this most difficult and complex question are somehow simple or pre-ordained. They are neither. There is no moral high ground in this one. There are and will be deaths no matter what laws we put into place. Pretending otherwise is a great disservice to people like my mother, who made a terribly difficult decision for the very survival of our family. There are no easy answers here—whichever path you support is paved with death.

My own wish in this? I wish that abortion be safe, legal and rare … and obviously, of course, YMMV …

Let me also say that I think that not one dime of taxpayer money should be spent on people’s abortions. To me, that’s as wrong as using taxpayer money to pay for people’s guns. The government has no business doing either one. I discuss this in my post “Unplanned Parenthood“.

Finally, I realize that for most people this is an extremely emotion-laden subject. So let me ask you all, in honor of my mother and what she told me was the hardest decision of her life, to treat myself and your fellow contributors as people who after much thought and study have made what they see are moral and defensible choices, and to leave any personal attacks out of the discussion. In general, people have not come to their conclusions about abortion lightly or foolishly, so please, let’s cut each other some slack here. Almost invariably, I let anyone say anything they want on my site, it’s a First Amendment zone … but in this special case, if it gets too ugly or personal I won’t hesitate to cut your comments or to shut it down.

My very best to you all on a clear winter night, with tendrils of fog sneaking in from the ocean, what an astounding world we have the privilege to inhabit …

w.

63 thoughts on “No Easy Answers

  1. For a nice illustratiopn of the issue at hand I can recommend “The Cider House Rules” by John Irving. And I mean the book, the movie does not do the book justice. I very much side with your position Willis. Keep it legal and focus on prevention.

    Like

  2. With all respect, you are presenting a false choice. The question is not between legal and back alley (or self induced abortion, it is a choice between legal abortion “here” and legal abortion somewhere else.

    In the jet age, outlawing abortion merely slaps the price of a plane ticket onto the cost. Granted, that can be expensive to someone of limited resources but then so are cigarettes, tattoos and drugs which never seem to present the same barriers.

    Before the outrage begins, before the cries of hypocrisy, let’s talk about the social wisdom of NIMBY.

    Back in the early 70’s, I found myself hitch-hiking on I-80 in Windover Nevada and watching a long, long stream of lights flowing across the desert from the east. It seemed as if the entire population of Salt Lake City was fleeing town on a Friday night to enjoy in Nevada what could be enjoyed in Utah.

    It took me years and a move to a rural area to realize the wisdom in “this is the way we live here, if you want to break our rules, do it over there.”

    It is why a well designed town creates a zone for night-clubs and another for schools.

    In that sense, it is wise to create barriers between behaviors – which the counter-culture and liberalism were all about breaking down. When the Supreme Court legalized porn, contraception and abortion – it made all of these things not only legal but pervasive. They became available everywhere at once.

    Anyone who has read The Great Disruption understand the impact of the unintended consequences of these changes.

    But here is the thing…

    In the United States, the issue of abortion will never go away and will continue to divide us because Roe v Wade short-circuited the wisdom of the democratic process. Societies need to argue about things. They require fathers to bang on the kitchen table and children to shout back. They require advocates to battle. They need anger. They require tears. They need people not to talk to each other for decades.

    It is how societies come to the decision that we will do what we want here and you take your stuff over there.

    It is how they make compromises.

    This happened in England and elsewhere but it did not happen here because nine guys in robes decided otherwise.

    Like

  3. I want to thank you Willis. There are no answers sometimes. There are no words except what needs to be done. Sometimes what is right isn’t.

    And there isn’t a gift for a phrase or a special word that will change a mind. The quietude of eternity is all that ends some things.

    sorry all, I have no words

    Like

  4. Shirley did the same thing and spent 45 days in a hospital in Berlin when we spent a year in Berlin in 1960. Nearly bled to death, hemorrhaging horribly spontaneously and completely unexpectedly, after a Las Vegas motel abortion with a real doctor, sent by the Chief Surgeon of Kaiser Hospital, Ham Smith’s brother. Crazy to legislate what women can or cannot do with their own bodies.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Willis, all abortions are “unsafe” for the baby, and most are permanently heartbreaking for the mother.

    About twenty thousand American unborn babies die by “choice” each week. That’s about 1/4 of all babies conceived in America. That is a monstrous tragedy, an horrific slaughter. It. Should. Not. Happen.

    But the word “choice” is deceptive. Very few abortive women “want” an abortion, according to the dictionary definition.

    Usually, a woman who gets an abortion does so because she feels trapped, like she has no choice. She may be pressured by the father, or others. She might not know her legal rights, or what assistance is available to help her and her baby.

    Dr. David C. Reardon said, “A woman ‘wants’ an abortion like an animal, caught by its foot in a steel trap, wants to gnaw its leg off.”

    But the threats associated with unplanned pregnancy these days are not life-threatening. Unplanned pregnancies threaten careers, college educations, and prosperity. They throw giant monkey wrenches into people’s plans. But unplanned babies do not cause families to starve, anymore, in America.

    That means that elective abortions, these days, in America, are not excusable.

    Abortion is big business, and its product is expertly but deceptively marketed, as an easy solution to a hard problem.

    But it is a “solution” with severe consequences:

    1. For the baby, obviously, who dies, so that someone else can live as she wishes.

    2. For the mother, who, like your mom, will probably be haunted by the horror of what she has done, for the rest of her life.

    If you ever manage to talk a woman out of an abortion, it’s a lead pipe cinch that she will eventually be grateful to you. I’ve met many women who desperately regret their abortions, but I’ve never met a woman who considered abortion, but chose life for her child, and later regretted it. Not even one. What those women typically say is that they can’t imagine their lives without their child.

    Sometimes the emotional impact of the things we do takes us by surprise. Many women who have had abortions say it was the worst experience of their lives. I once dated a lady who’d had an abortion, and that’s exactly what she told me. She had a lot to compare it with, too: she’d had a difficult childhood, and she’d been raped as a college student (not related to the abortion). But the abortion was the worst experience of her life.

    We’re still friends, and even now, many years later, she says, “the sadness never goes away.”

    That’s presumably why post-abortive women are at high risk of suicide.

    “Numerous peer-reviewed medical studies have found an association between abortion and suicide. Many others have found an association between induced abortion and depression, which is a major risk factor for suicide. In fact, between 10 percent and 30 percent of women suffer serious, prolonged negative psychological consequences after abortion.”

    That’s a quote from this article:
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/feb/20/disclosing-the-abortion-suicide-association/?page=all

    Here’s a longer excerpt:

    “A 1995 study by A.C. Gilchrist in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that in women with no history of psychiatric illness, the rate of deliberate self-harm was 70 percent higher after abortion than after childbirth.
    A 1996 study in Finland by pro-choice researcher Mika Gissler in the British Medical Journal found that the suicide rate was nearly six times greater among women who aborted than among women who gave birth.
    A 2002 record-linkage study of California Medicaid patients in the Southern Medical Journal, which controlled for prior mental illness, found that suicide risk was 154 percent higher among women who aborted than among those who delivered.
    By 2003, the data was so compelling that a team of researchers published in the Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey (OGS), one of the top three obstetrical journals in the United States, identified a number of studies that found that “induced abortion increased … [the incidence] of mood disorders substantial enough to provoke attempts at self-harm” and concluded that, as a matter of medical ethics, “any woman contemplating an induced abortion should be cautioned about the mental health correlates of an increased risk of suicide or self-harm attempts as well as depression.”
    A 2005 study by Mika Gissler in the European Journal of Public Health found that abortion was associated with a six-times-higher risk for suicide compared to birth.
    A 2006 study by New Zealand researcher David M. Fergusson in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, which controlled for a prior history of depression and anxiety and suicidal ideation (wanting to take one’s own life or thinking about suicide), found that 27 percent to 50 percent of women after abortion reported suicidal ideation. Mr. Fergusson found that the risk of suicide was three times greater for women who aborted than for women who delivered.
    A 2010 study by Natalie P. Mota in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry found that “abortion was associated with an increased likelihood of several mental disorders – mood disorders … substance abuse disorders … as well as suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.”
    Finally, last September, a meta-analysis in the British Journal of Psychiatry found an 81 percent increased risk of mental trauma after abortion.”

    Here’s a relevant study:

    The relationships among adolescent pregnancy, pregnancy resolution, and juvenile delinquency, by Trina L. Hope, Esther I. Wilder, and Toni Terling Watt, 2003.
    Abstract:

    “…While most ever-pregnant girls have especially high rates of delinquent behavior, adolescent mothers exhibit delinquency levels no higher than those of their never-pregnant peers. Unlike adolescent females who end their pregnancies through abortion, those who keep their babies experience a dramatic reduction in both smoking and marijuana use. Our results suggest that among adolescent girls, the birth of a child has a strong trajectory-modifying effect. It serves as a mechanism of social control and substantially reduces the likelihood of delinquent behavior.”

    Also:

    Did Abortion Cut Crime in England and Wales? by Leo H. Kahane, David Paton, and Rob Simmons, 2006.

    3. For the father, and others.

    Grave sins usually have ripple effects, and abortion certainly does. Obviously if it leads to the mother’s suicide, it devastates many other people, but even if it doesn’t it harms many people.

    I once was in a men’s Bible study, and I would sometimes email announcements about pro-life events to the group. One day one of the men told me, in private (this is paraphrased from my faulty memory), “Dave, I don’t read those emails about abortion. I can’t. It’s too hard for me, because I have an abortion in my past.” I can’t recall whether he said that he didn’t talk is girlfriend out of the abortion, or couldn’t talk her out of it, but, either way, the loss of his child haunted him.

    He wasn’t some sensitive ’90s man, either. He was a big, strong, ex-military guy, with no neck.

    The emotional damage done to those involved also often impacts their relationships with others, including other children. When parents are emotionally distant from their children, sometimes the reason is that they’re carrying the burden of pain and guilt from a past abortion.

    4. For the soul and character of our society.

    I’m sure that you’ve noticed the coarsening of American society since our activist SCOTUS legalized elective abortion and outlawed school prayer. Before those changes, we had shooting clubs at schools, and the only thing that got shot were paper targets. Now we have school shootings, and “prom moms,” and a large increase in child abuse. (Sorry, I’ve misplaced the reference for the child abuse statistics. I used to have one, but today all I can find is this, which doesn’t go back far enough.)

    I don’t believe that’s a coincidence.

    Holy Scripture teaches that “idols” are not just wood and stone “gods,” they are all the things that we put ahead of God. It tells us that God especially “detested” the peoples who sacrificed their own babies to the pagan idol Moloch, and it prescribed the death penalty for doing likewise.

    I doubt He cares much what we name the idol to which we sacrifice our babies, whether we call it “Moloch” or “Choice.” Moloch-worshipers tragically and foolishly sacrificed their babies to secure their god’s blessings for themselves; today’s Choice-worshipers tragically and foolishly do the same. I recall the blood-price that America paid for the sin of slavery, and I tremble at the thought that God is just, and that, though He is patient, He is not infinitely patient.

    Like

  6. You are 100% right. It is a difficult personal decision. I respect the right of people to view abortion as immoral and even condemn the act. There are other things that many people view as immoral: not saying grace before a meal, not getting a flu shot, sending your children to a private or charter school rather than government operated one, sleeping in on a Sunday rather than going to church, enjoying a cocktail, etc.

    On the other hand there are moral implications in imposing your personal values on others.

    I would like to see the rate of abortions reduced as close to zero as possible. The answer is not legal prohibition but in subsidizing all forms of birth control so that anyone (even a minor) has access on demand and without cost.

    Like

  7. Willis, thank you for this. I’ll share it on FB. I’m vegetarian / nearly vegan, so arguments like “You’re killing something like a frog, it doesn’t matter,” don’t cut it with me: I wouldn’t kill a frog. For more than four decades, the question of abortion has been a moral dilemma for me, when other questions have been, not easy, but fairly clear. But for the last twenty years, this has been my position: if I get a woman pregnant, I will never ask (or worse, press) her to get an abortion; I’ll fully accept the baby. But that’s me: I have no right to impose that view on others, and I fully support the provision of safe, legal abortion for all who decide that it’s for the best in their situation. Happily (“happily”? No, joyously) I have two wonderful daughters.

    Like

  8. Abstain
    Problem solved
    Not going to happen, but therin lies the problem. It is not an abortion issue it is moral issue of the consequences of intercourse. A little more thought at the front end solves more than trying to put the smoke back in the bottle. Choices people, choices.
    Accountability has been sidelined. I see actions/choices of every kind daily that no longer have any consequences attached.
    Rant/off

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Early in your essay you say: “..my mom…”, which to my mind begins and ends the issue. I am male, hence, whatever I think or say, I can not put myself in a women’s shoes who must ultimately make/succumb to the decision for an abortion. I can empathize. I can help establish a setting where a women can make a decision best for herself. Yet, I am aware, that there is an intense psychological and physical experience regarding sex and a longing to be loved, wanted and feel important. Sex and children and…this time it will be different. Hope replaces sanity. So I believe the issue of abortion entails so much more: from the setting before sex, the growing worry, the decision, and, as important as any other aspect of the abortion issue, the aftermath. Loneliness and isolation, depression and feelings of unworthy, can leave a long tail of unfulfilled dreams.

    My best to you for raising this topic. My own hope for some measure of pride your mother may have in you and your sibling’s success.

    Like

  10. What happened to personal responsibility? I understand your mother’s circumstances, big times have changed. In this time of effective birth control measures, I think that consensual sex and unwanted pregnancies shouldn’t go together. There is the cry, “Stay out of my uterus!” The answering cry is, “Well, then own it!” If you drink, don’t drive. If you are not protected against unwanted pregnancy, then don’t …

    Like

    • Thanks, Majormike. While it’s easy to say “personal responsibility”, there are still 68,000 women per year dying from coat-hanger abortions. That’s the reality, and I fear that Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” motto isn’t gonna cut it. Yours is a very good solution … for a perfect world …

      So while I agree that at the end of the day personal responsibility is the real issue, and that we absolutely need to work with improving that in a host of ways, that doesn’t solve the current ongoing problem.

      Like I said, history and current events prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no choice called “No Abortions”. The only choices available to us are “Safe Legal Abortions” and “Illegal Unsafe Back-Alley Abortions”.

      I know which one I choose, although I do so very reluctantly and only because the other option is worse. But as I said … YMMV …

      Regards,

      w.

      Like

        • Thanks, Dave. As I cited above:

          The National Opinion Research Center surveys conducted in the 1960s found that hundreds of women were attempting to self-abort by penetrating themselves with knitting needles, coat hangers, bicycle spokes, ballpoint pens; others tried to swallow chemicals like turpentine, laundry bleach, and acid.

          Then we have a doctor speaking from personal experience that neither you nor I have had:

          The familiar symbol of illegal abortion is the infamous ‘coat hanger’ – which may be the symbol, but is in no way a myth. In my years in New York, several women arrived with a hanger still in place. Whoever put it in – perhaps the patient herself – found it trapped in the cervix and could not remove it.

          Then we have Loretta J. Ross, from African-American Women and Abortion

          Nurses reported that ‘sticks, rocks, chopsticks, rubber or plastic tubes, gauze or
          cotton packing, ballpoint pens, coat hangers, or knitting needles… douches believed effective in inducing
          abortions made from detergents, orange juice, vinegar, bleach, disinfectant, lye, potassium
          permanganate or colas.’

          Here’s the National Institutes of Health again on the subject …

          We report a case of an attempted self-induced abortion via the intrauterine insertion of a metal coat hanger that was complicated by sepsis. This patient’s presentation illustrates both the major complication of septic abortion and the diagnostic challenge for the EP when a patient conceals the preceding events.

          What part of those is a “myth”? Yes, it’s much less common in the US now, but women trying to abort using a coat hanger is not a myth in any sense. Here’s current information from Kenya:

          Some participants described insertion methods such as crochet needles, straws, coat hangers or other metal objects: “Crotchets, they use them to hook the fetus.” (Participant from FGD 3). Other insertion methods were mentioned: “You can also insert a pipe/straw at the uterus and prick it, it will come out as long as air get inside the uterus.” (Participant from FGD 6). While many of these methods were possible to procure and use alone, participants also reported that women went to chemists (local pharmacists) or traditional birth attendants/midwives to procure such methods, as one participant said, “For example, there is a woman who helps women with childbirth in the village and does unsafe abortions, she uses straws, bottles.” (Participant from FGD 3). Insertion methods were identified as particularly unsafe due to trauma to the uterus: “Some are treated badly by local traditional birth attendants, they insert crude things and the womb comes out. It can damage your uterus and you won’t be pregnant for the rest of the your life.”

          And again from the NIH:

          Other methods involve inflicting direct injury to the vagina or elsewhere—for example, inserting herbal preparations into the vagina or cervix; placing a foreign body such as a twig, coat hanger, or chicken bone into the uterus

          Finally, from the World Health Organization (emphasis mine):

          Surveys done in New York City before the legalisation of abortion on request documented the techniques in common use.30 Of 899 women interviewed, 74 reported having attempted to abort one or more pregnancies; 338 noted that one of their friends, relatives, or acquaintances had done so. Of those reported abortion attempts, 80% tried to do the abortion themselves. Nearly 40% of women used a combination of approaches. In general, the more invasive the technique, the more dangerous it was to the woman and the more likely it was to disrupt the pregnancy. Invasive methods, such as insertion of tubes or liquids into the uterus, were more successful than were other approaches. Coat hangers, knitting needles, and slippery elm bark were common methods; the bark would expand when moistened, causing the cervix to open.

          However, whether coat hanger abortions were common or rare, your objection is a red herring. The issue is NOT what people use to perform illegal abortions. They will use whatever is at hand that they think will work.

          Nor is the issue what people choose to symbolize illegal abortions.

          The issue is the deaths from the illegal abortions themselves. We know that they kill 68,000 women per year.

          If you’re unhappy with using coat hangers to symbolize those deaths, what symbol would you prefer? A chicken bone? A knitting needle?

          And at the end of the day, what difference does it make which symbol is chosen? The issue is the deaths, not the symbol.

          Best regards, thanks for the comment,

          w.

          Like

          • Willis, the one specific, verifiable, medical case which you cited — as opposed to unverifiable anecdotal accounts and surveys — occurred in 2009, and was discussed at length in one of the links I gave you. Here’s an excerpt:

            The pro-choice movement has rallied around this symbol. But is there any truth to the coat hanger abortion story?

            Was There Ever a Coat Hanger Abortion?

            While preparing the League’s handbook, Sharing the Pro-Life Message, my staff and I searched high and low for evidence of an abortion ever having been performed with a coat hanger. We found none.

            That isn’t to say it never happened. We know that women did attempt to do abortions on themselves, using all manner of objects. But I never found any specific evidence of a coat hanger abortion—until now.

            Who Gave Her the Idea of Aborting Herself with an Coat Hanger?

            What’s unusual about this case of a confirmed coat hanger abortion is that it isn’t one from the archives. It happened in 2009.

            I came across the story in an article in Slate on women who decide to perform their own (illegal) abortions, despite the ready availability of legal abortion.

            An account of the case says a 19-year-old† woman pregnant with twins attempted to abort herself with a coat hanger and ended up in the emergency room. The babies died and the woman required a hysterectomy; she will never bear children.

            († the age might be misstated; the NIH says she was 24.)

            That case, which occurred when abortion was legal, is hardly an argument for legalized elective abortion.

            The “if it’s illegal they’ll do it anyhow” argument falls apart on closer examination, as well. It is, of course, true that people committed the crime of abortion when when abortion was illegal in the United States, but there were far fewer abortions when abortion was illegal than there were after the Supreme Junta legalized it.

            However, when Roe v. Wade legalized the murder of unborn babies, in January, 1973, the abortion rate didn’t instantly jump to 1.5 million/year. Rather, it climbed gradually, over nearly a decade. It took quite a few years for people to become inured to the horror at murdering unborn babies. The abortion rate increased nine years in a row.

            But the birth rate did not drop nine years in a row. Initially, after Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion in most States, there was a sharp drop in the birth rate, as you would expect. But the birth rate then recovered nearly to the slightly declining trend-line which it had already been on.

            In fact, for five consecutive years the birth rate and the abortion rate both increased, simultaneously.

            In the long term, legalized elective abortion did not greatly reduce the birth rate. Instead, it mostly replaced other forms of birth control, used for “family planning” purposes, to delay childbearing. What apparently happened is that legalization of abortion gradually translated into acceptance of abortion.
             

            I also dispute the claim that we “know” that 68,000 women, worldwide, die from undergoing attempted illegal abortions. That’s just an “estimate” from the WHO (which has a long and shameful record of pro-abortion activism) and Guttmacher (formerly part of Planned Parenthood). To put it bluntly, those are biased sources.
             

            We do, however, know that women who have abortions are at increased risk of suicide and suicide ideation, and that abortion advocates never include suicides by post-abortive women in their statistics about the relative risks of abortion and childbirth. The abortion providers are well aware of the increased suicide risk associated with abortion, as well as a modestly increased risks of breast cancer later in life when a first pregnancy is aborted, but they never disclose those risks to their patients.

            Like

          • daveburton March 11, 2018 at 3:05 pm

            Willis, the one specific, verifiable, medical case which you cited — as opposed to unverifiable anecdotal accounts and surveys — occurred in 2009, and was discussed at length in one of the links I gave you.

            Dave, since you obviously think that dozens of researchers in various countries, including the National Institutes of Health, are simply lying, I fear we have little common ground. I gave you accounts from doctors and nurses who were there … clearly every single one of them is lying … not.

            I quoted a doctor saying:

            The familiar symbol of illegal abortion is the infamous ‘coat hanger’ – which may be the symbol, but is in no way a myth. In my years in New York, several women arrived with a hanger still in place. Whoever put it in – perhaps the patient herself – found it trapped in the cervix and could not remove it.

            But no, Dave knows that the doctor is just a big liar …

            Next, yes, the 68,000 deaths per year is a scientific estimate based on reports from around the planet … but I’ve never seen a small estimate of the numbers. If you have a better scientific estimate, now would be the time to break it out. Since we don’t (and never will) have an accurate count of women dying in secret abortions, a scientific estimate is the best we have. However, using the fact we’ll never have an exact count as an excuse for claiming the deaths are not real is shameful.

            You obviously don’t like to admit it, but lots of women are dying every year and while they are dying you are doing your very best to ignore them by focusing on trivialities like what the symbols are.

            But once again, why is the SYMBOL so important to you? And why is the exact method so important to you? I don’t care if they’re dying from coat hangers or from chicken bones, they’re dying and you’re denying … not a good look for you.

            And why are you working so hard to blacken the reputation of dozens of researchers worldwide?

            w.

            Like

          • Willis, for people who make a business of murdering babies, or advocating for the murder of babies, lying is routine. The surprise is when they tell the truth.

            But once in a while it happens, as in this case:

            Do you remember during the great partial-birth abortion debate, when Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and an endless parade of “pro-choice” advocates and experts told us that the procedure was extremely rare, and only used in cases of life-threatening medical emergency or severe fetal abnormality? They all said it, over and over — and they were all lying.

            https://www.nationalreview.com/2006/05/partial-truth-ramesh-ponnuru/

            This was what the abortion industry and their apologists claimed:

            “The procedure, dilation and extraction (D&X), is extremely rare and done only in cases when the woman’s life is in danger or in cases of extreme fetal abnormality.”
            – Planned Parenthood press release, Nov. 1, 1995.

            That was a blatant lie. The procedure was common, it was never done in cases when the mother’s life was in danger, and in the vast majority of cases both mother and child were perfectly healthy, and the pregnancy was perfectly normal.

            Willis, you can’t trust those people.

            You’re right that the issue is the deaths: over a million babies per year, just here in America, dying by someone’s “choice”[sic], and 30 to 40 times that many, worldwide.

            Do not think for a second that permitting abortion helps those mothers. To harm a child is to harm that child’s parents, as well.

            With rare, pathological exceptions, every woman who has an abortion, or harms her child in any other way, or allows harm to come to her child, is stricken with anguish and guilt. Abortion is not a solution, it is another burden.

            If you want to help women with unplanned pregnancies, the only way to do it is to address their circumstances. It should never be the case that a pregnant woman has to despair of being able to feed herself and her children, unless she commits abortion (or infanticide).

            That tragic circumstance used to happen a lot, during famines. (Have you read The Good Earth?) I imagine that it still happens, in some places, but not nearly as often, these days (thanks, in part, to the benefits of “carbon pollution”). It doesn’t happen in the United States, at all, anymore, so there’s no good excuse for elective abortion, here in America.

            Like

          • daveburton March 11, 2018 at 4:41 pm

            Willis, for people who make a business of murdering babies, or advocating for the murder of babies, lying is routine. The surprise is when they tell the truth. …

            Sorry, Dave, but claiming that everyone who disagrees with you is a lying bunch of lying liars goes absolutely nowhere with me. You might think that the fact that far, far too many women are dying worldwide from botched abortions is a lying lie told by the majority of obviously lying researchers who are risking their professional reputations by lying about the subject, but that does nothing for either your credibility or your reputation.

            You get to have your own ideas, but I’m sorry, you don’t get to have your own facts.

            Give it a rest … you made your point. You believe what you believe and everyone else is a liar. Been there, heard that, it’s time to move on.

            w.

            Like

          • Ahem! I certainly did not claim that “everyone who disagrees with me” is a liar.

            Rather, I claimed that “people who make a business of murdering babies, or advocating for the murder of babies” are liars. (And I proved it by example — did you read the NYT & NR articles?)

            You, for instance, are in the former category, and not in the later category. That is, we disagree occasionally, but you’ve never made a business of abortion or its advocacy, and I do not think you’re a liar.

            Like

    • Easy to say when you don’t own a uterus. Let’s face it, we are only half civilized and nature gives us strong and sometimes irresistible urges to mate. Expecting people, especially young people to simply “take responsibility is callous and simplistic. This is one of those issues where there is no clear and best answer. If the state wishes to take ownership of a woman’s reproduction apparatus, then the state must at the very least provide commensurate compensation for the egregious intrusion. So to me the least worse solution is to allow abortion, especially in early pregnancy, but provide lavish incentives and support for women to bear children. this may exacerbate the situation of young women deliberately getting pregnant in order to tap into state support, but if society really values the unborn, sacrifice must be made.

      Like

      • Robert Austin March 18, 2018 at 5:15 pm

        Easy to say when you don’t own a uterus.

        Who is “you”, and what is “easy to say”? This is why I ask people to QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING.

        w.

        Like

        • Sorry Willis,
          I was replying to majormike1 but my post ended up being far removed from the post I was replying to. I should have at least specifically addressed it to majormike1.

          Like

      • “If you drink, don’t drive”. I think a fair analogy is that drink-driving is like irresponsibly having unprotected sex; using the most suitable and effective method of contraception conscientiously is like driving sober and carefully. Even when we drive carefully, accidents sometimes happen, which is why we have insurance, if we’re responsible. Legal abortion is that kind of insurance.

        Like

  11. My own wish in this? I wish that abortion be safe, legal and rare … and obviously, of course, YMMV …

    My wish is that everyone would realize two things. One, that it’s a moral issue. Two, that there’s only one possible bright line.

    One, everybody and their religions have different morals. Imposing your morals on everybody else is immoral. I’m told that “thou shall not kill” is a bad translation of the original “thou shall not murder”. And if you want to play word games, you can’t murder someone who is not yet living. But that word game is a black hole; you will never escape.

    Two, there is only one time and date that everybody can agree on. Birth. Before that, the potential person is just part of the mother’s body. It could become a person, it could become president of the USA, it could become a movie star. Or a homeless drug addict. Don’t count your chickens until they are hatched. Don’t value the potential person more than the existing person (the mother).

    Before abortion was invented, they had infanticide. The question for now, with easy birth control, morning-after pills and all, is why is there still even a need for abortion?

    Like

    • My wish is that everyone would realize two things. One, that it’s a moral issue. Two, that there’s only one possible bright line.

      there is only one time and date that everybody can agree on. Birth. Before that, the potential person is just part of the mother’s body.

      Nope, don’t see it as a bright line. Define “birth”. If it’s after the baby is no longer “part of the mother” then killing the infant is ok as long as the umbilical cord is connected and the placenta is still in place even if the infant has exited the birth canal. Same goes for a cesarian. Viability is a more reasonable alternative for most people (including the Supremes), but that is still a grey area as medical science evolves.

      I still think my proposal below is a more satisfying solution: Treat the mother and child as independent with separate rights including not to be host for another.

      [Formatting fixed -w.]

      Like

      • Birth is not a bright line. That’s funny, some seem to have recorded it to the second. I think it’s a pretty sharp line and birth is pretty well defined too. But if it’s not the line you want, show me a better one.

        Viability. Premies get to test this, with a lot of high-tech equipment, but results vary a lot, so viability “is still a grey area”. Unless someone picks a number and deems it so “according to medical science”. Fuzzy.

        “Treat the mother and child as independent with separate rights”. What rights? The child gets the right to live, presumably. What rights does the mother get? Not much, usually, church and state get first pick.

        infanticide. Here’s a fascinating article. It was more the rule than the exception, all times all places, almost.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infanticide

        I predict than soon in the future there will be a court case where a mother who was denied abortion sues for duress and suffering for the state using her body and for loss of potential income and for child support, not just expenses, but as a full time 24/7 paid position. And she will win.

        For all the women unjustly and inhumanely treated, here is a song.

        Lyrics and explanation here:
        http://jonimitchell.com/music/song.cfm?id=150

        And a supporting letter from a previous “inmate”:
        https://www.irishpost.co.uk/news/an-open-letter-from-sinead-oconnor-on-the-magdalene-laundries-report-3212

        Like

    • I hope you have the good sense to never tell heartbroken parents who’ve just lost their unborn baby that “it” was “not yet living,” or “just part of the mother’s body,” or merely a “potential person.”

      It is easy to tell the difference between a live unborn baby and a dead unborn baby. When a baby (born or unborn) is alive, he or she is growing. Starting around three weeks from fertilization, he has a heartbeat, and a couple of after that it’s strong enough to be easily detectable. If his heart stops beating (either before or after birth), it means he has died.

      Abortion is wrong for the same reason that infanticide is wrong: because it kills a living baby.

      Liked by 1 person

      • daveburton March 11, 2018 at 5:21 pm

        I hope you have the good sense to never tell heartbroken parents who’ve just lost their unborn baby that “it” was “not yet living,” or “just part of the mother’s body,” or merely a “potential person.”

        Who is this mysterious “you” who you are addressing here? This is exactly why I ask people to QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING.

        In any case, while such people might exist somewhere, I know of no one who would say such a cruel thing whether or not they think it is true. Everyone that I know is very aware that grief and loss are real, regardless of what they might believe.

        w.

        PS—You seem to be confusing a fetus with a baby … there is a reason why we don’t call them by the same name.

        Like

        • He is mocking my words from a previous comment, or twisting them. You can see why: “Abortion is wrong for the same reason that infanticide is wrong: because it kills a living baby.” If it’s a living baby, you are not allowed to kill it. (Note the ‘it’). Because that would be wrong, as in immoral. My point in that comment was that abortion is a moral question. Everybody has a strong opinion, but so what? It’s the woman’s baby, it’s the woman’s life, it should be the woman’s choice. Not daveburton, not the people, not the church, not the state. All those are free to offer advice and persuasion, but it’s the woman’s choice, according to her own morals and situation, not anyone else’s.

          Like

        • Willis asked me, “Who is this mysterious ‘you’ who you are addressing…”

          I was replying to this comment by YMMV. Unfortunately it’s now so far up the page that the indentation alone is insufficient to make that obvious.
           

          Willis added, “This is exactly why I ask people to QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING.”

          I did.
           

          Willis wrote, “I know of no one who would say such a cruel thing”

          YMMV just wrote those exact cruel words, right here in public, for anyone to read, regardless of whether or not they’ve ever lost a baby.
           

          Willis wrote, “You seem to be confusing a fetus with a baby … there is a reason why we don’t call them by the same name.”

          I’m not confused. The definition of a human fetus is “an unborn human baby more than eight weeks after conception.” Your argument is with the dictionary, not me.

          One of the reasons some people avoid using the word “baby” when talking about abortion, and instead use the synonym “fetus,” or a euphemism like “pregnancy termination,” is to avoid coming to grips with the horror that is murdering a tiny baby.
           

          YMMV wrote, “He is mocking my words from a previous comment, or twisting them.”

          I twisted nothing. I quoted your words, exactly (as Willis asks).
           

          YMMV wrote, “It’s the woman’s baby, it’s the woman’s life, it should be the woman’s choice.”

          No, it’s the child’s life that is being taken, not the mother’s.

          There was a time when the Roman patres familias had absolute authority over his children, even to the point of having the authority to take their lives. These days we rightly consider that barbarous. No one should have the authority to take the life of a child. Ever.

          Like

  12. Willis, quoting you from a post over at WUWT:

    Nasruddin pointed to a passing procession carrying a coffin and said:

    “They are taking a hanged man, convicted of killing another man, from the gallows to the grave. Is this the result of his stealing the knife from the butcher, or of using the knife to murder his enemy, or of being caught by the police, or of his being prosecuted by the magistrate, or of being found guilty by the judge, or of being hanged at the gallows? Which event can you point to and say ‘This is the moment in time that caused him to meet his fate’?”

    I suggest that it’s not the illegality of abortion that kills some of the women who have them, but that other decisions are to blame.

    Yet the shame is that no one needs to die. Not the mother. Not the baby.

    …many people keep claiming that the option where your daughter or your mother or your niece or your sister dies from a back-alley abortion is the clearly noble, ethical, and moral choice.

    These are not the people I know who counsel, support, and give resources, time, and continuing care to women who choose to carry to term. Those whom you cite are not compassionate and should be called out. But it’s a strawman argument to make them representative of opposition to abortion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gary March 11, 2018 at 10:31 am

      …many people keep claiming that the option where your daughter or your mother or your niece or your sister dies from a back-alley abortion is the clearly noble, ethical, and moral choice.

      These are not the people I know who counsel, support, and give resources, time, and continuing care to women who choose to carry to term. Those whom you cite are not compassionate and should be called out. But it’s a strawman argument to make them representative of opposition to abortion.

      Thanks, Gary. I’m sure the people you know don’t say that … but there are only two paths here, and anyone saying that abortion should be illegal is choosing the path that leads, inevitably and demonstrably, to the deaths of thousands of mothers, sisters, and daughters from back-alley abortions.

      And unfortunately, lots of folks who say abortion should be illegal ARE compassionate, decent people … they just don’t understand or don’t want to face the inevitable ugly consequences of making abortions illegal.

      Best regards,

      w.

      Like

      • Willis wrote, “… there are only two paths here…

        Actually, there are many “middle grounds” on the issue.

        I take a hard line: Except in rare, tragic circumstances, killing an unborn baby is always wrong, and elective abortion should always be illegal.

        But my opinion is not the only one, and unrestricted abortion on demand is not the only alternative to a complete ban. Most Western countries take some sort of middle ground, by allowing abortion in some circumstances, but imposing restrictions designed to make abortions less common.

        These are some examples of things which can be done to reduce the frequency of elective abortion, short of the complete ban which I advocate. The number of abortions can or could be reduced…

        1. By requiring that mothers be given information about risks and alternatives before they can have an abortion.
        2. By imposing required cooling-off / waiting periods before getting an abortion.
        3. By forbidding abortion, except in unusual circumstances, after the XX-th week of pregnancy.
        4. By requiring a medical reason for an abortion, or for requiring one after the XX-th week of pregnancy.
        5. By requiring women to undergo counseling before getting an abortion.
        6. By requiring that women be shown photographs and accurate descriptions of unborn babies of the same age as theirs, and/or ultrasound images of their own babies, before getting an abortion.
        7. By requiring consultation or permission of parents, before an underage girl can get an abortion (in large part this is prevent a girl from getting an abortion in an attempt to hide a pregnancy from her parents).
        8. By creating support infrastructure for mothers and their babies.
        9. By aggressively enforcing legal parental support requirements on fathers.
        10. By using lessons learned from successful campaigns against other destructive behaviors, esp. smoking:
        10a. — requiring warnings about the risks of abortion in various contexts (as is done with tobacco)
        10b. — running educational PSAs against abortion (as is done with tobacco)
        10c. — restricting or forbidding advertising & other promotions of abortion (as is done with tobacco)
        11. By imposing harsh criminal penalties for pressuring a woman to get an abortion.
        Etc..

        Like

        • daveburton March 13, 2018 at 4:25 pm Edit

          Willis wrote, “… there are only two paths here…

          Actually, there are many “middle grounds” on the issue.

          These are some examples of things which can be done to reduce the frequency of elective abortion, short of the complete ban which I advocate.

          Thanks, Dave, I guess I have not been clear. My point is that there is death no matter which path we take. If we allow abortions then fetuses die. If we go for “the complete ban which you advocate”, women die.

          So please stop acting like you have the moral high ground here. You are calling for the deaths of women, which AS WE KNOW FROM BITTER EXPERIENCE AND MANY DEATHS is invariably associated with making abortions illegal.

          Look, you’re free to advocate for your position. But I ask you to stop pretending that your position doesn’t leave you with blood on your hands … as I said, there are no easy answers here.

          w.

          Like

          • Willis wrote, “WE KNOW FROM BITTER EXPERIENCE AND MANY DEATHS is invariably associated with making abortions illegal.”

            We know no such thing. That’s propaganda from the abortion industry.

            If it were true then developed countries where abortion is illegal under most circumstances, like Ireland, Poland, New Zealand and Israel, would have noticeably higher long-term maternal death rates than countries like the United States and Russia, which do not have such restrictions. Do you have any evidence that that is so?

            Everything we do carries risks. Childbirth, legal abortion, and illegal abortion all have risks. The abortion industry claims that the least risky choice for a pregnant woman is legal abortion, but they are like tobacco companies in the 1950s: they pooh-pooh many proven risks. In the case of abortion, those risks include not merely the risks associated with the surgery itself, but also large increased risks of depression and suicide, and other risky behavior patterns, and a modestly increased risk of breast cancer later in life (at least in cases in which the abortion is of a first pregnancy).

            You’re a numbers guy. See if you can find any research claiming that abortion is the safest choice for a pregnant mother, which does not ignore at least some of those risks.

            What’s more, when & where abortion is illegal under some or all circumstances, many statistics shift. Of course the number of risky illegal abortions is higher when & where abortion is illegal, but focusing on only that one difference and ignoring the other resultant differences is like talking about the costs of global warming while ignoring the benefits of CO2 fertilization and greening.

            In the United States, when abortions were legalized, in January, 1973, the abortion rate didn’t instantly jump to 1.5 million/year. Rather, it climbed gradually, over nearly a decade. The abortion rate increased nine years in a row:

            Reported Annual Abortions - 1973-2014
            YEAR	GI	CDC
            1973	744,610	615,831
            1974	898,570	763,476
            1975	1,034,170	854,853
            1976	1,179,300	988,267
            1977	1,316,700	1,079,430
            1978	1,409,600	1,157,776
            1979	1,497,670	1,251,921
            1980	1,553,890	1,297,606
            1981	1,577,340	1,300,760
            1982	1,573,920	1,303,980
            1983	1,575,000	1,268,987
            1984	1,577,180	1,333,521
            

            But the birth rate did not drop nine years in a row. Initially, after Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion in most States, there was a sharp drop in the birth rate, as you would expect. But the birth rate then recovered nearly to the slightly declining trend-line which it had already been on. In fact, for five consecutive years the birth rate and the abortion rate both increased, simultaneously.

            What apparently happened is that legalization of abortion gradually translated into acceptance of abortion. In the long term, legalized elective abortion did not greatly reduce the birth rate. Instead, elective abortion mostly replaced other forms of birth control, used for “family planning” purposes, to delay childbearing.

            That’s obviously a very unhealthy change. Condoms and abstinence don’t kill people or make them suicidally depressed; abortion does.

            To properly evaluate the effect of legalized abortion on maternal health and mortality you must not ignore such effects.

            Like

        • daveburton,
          All your points show a punitive attitude towards women. There is nothing there that is affirmative or positive in encouraging the pregnant women to carry her pregnancy to term. To me, it exemplifies the vindictive and holier-than-thou male attitude the feminists loath. The state must offer something of value in return for possessing and controlling a woman’s body.

          Like

  13. Here’s where I see the real issue. What are the rights of the parent and the child? Consider the issue of say your mother having the child and then deciding that it was too much to deal with? Does she have a right to terminate the life of that child to protect the other four from a miserable existence? What if she’s perfectly capable of economically caring for the child? The Greeks used to put unwanted children out to die. I assume you wouldn’t condone that. So let’s back up the timeline. Would you condone partial birth abortion? If not then at what stage of the pregnancy is it acceptable? How far back? Remember if it’s not rape then it was the woman’s choice to risk getting pregnant. The child is innocent in the matter. Is she not responsible for her actions?

    As you read the above you might think that I’m totally opposed to abortions. I’m not though I may have qualms about them. Where I draw the line is viability. Why? I arrived at that conclusion by the following analogy. You may or may not find it reasonable. Say your child needs a new kidney. Do you have a right to refuse them? It may be the right thing to do morally but there is no legal right to do so. Your body is your own and no one else, even your child, has a right to it. Now take a more extreme example. The child has a need for blood that only you can provide and it must be constant for nine months. You’ll be hooked to that child for the entire time and it may even have deleterious effect on you including the possibility of dying. Do you have a right to refuse it? What if you had already been attached, do you have the right to be detached? I contend that that situation is close enough to the situation of a pregnancy. So how does this play into abortion? Removing the child from the uterus (without directly harming the child) is up to the woman who is pregnant. The child has no rights to the woman’s body, but the woman doesn’t have a right to directly harm the child. Medical science is at the point where this is a reasonable (IMO) way of separating the rights of the woman from the rights of a child.

    Like

  14. My daughter had to choose. She knew she had good options and help and she recognized that this was her best chance to turn away from her rebellion and deteriorating lifestyle. She tells me she has never questioned her choice to give birth. That said I see the best way forward is to not so much to remove abortion as an easily accessed, safe option but to make the alternative choices more desirable. I do however think that passing it off as akin to trimming toenails is morally repugnant and destructive of our society.

    Like

    • Thanks, DMA. I have never met anyone who actually had an abortion who described it as “akin to trimming toenails” or anything like that. For each and every one of them, it was a gut-wrenching decision of great import.

      Regards,

      w.

      Like

      • Willis
        Exactly! To tell a 16 year old girl ( or anyone for that matter) otherwise is to participate in a lie that attempts to destroy her soul as well as her baby.

        Like

  15. I think most commenters and Willis want to see a minimum of abortions: no-one wants more abortions. What’s shocking, really, given our progress in so many areas, including biology and medicine, is that we don’t yet have foolproof (or randiness-proof) contraception without significant side-effects. Perhaps we could redirect wasteful climate research funds into research on this.

    Like

    • Peter Lewis Hannan March 11, 2018 at 10:44 pm

      I think most commenters and Willis want to see a minimum of abortions: no-one wants more abortions.

      True, thanks.

      What’s shocking, really, given our progress in so many areas, including biology and medicine, is that we don’t yet have foolproof (or randiness-proof) contraception without significant side-effects.

      Given that procreation has to be very, very difficult to interfere with or the species will assuredly go extinct, perhaps it’s not so shocking that we have had trouble finding ways to interfere with it without side effects …

      w.

      Like

  16. We in New Zealand have experienced the change from illegal to largely legal. (70’s to now) The outcome has been a fall in the gross number of abortions, that is legal and illegal. And quite a lot, don’t have the numbers buts it was well over a halving.
    The key to it was sex education and better social awareness and women’s rights.
    Its about the greater good and I am with you here Willis and fear that a step back is a big risk to all and not just in this facet of the social world.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Superb, Willis.

    As always, you argue (in the real sense of the word) with clarity, logic, compassion and humanity. And you are so right there are no easy answers

    I personally shall always be uneasy with the issue of induced abortion. Here in NZ, we have long had what seems to be an acceptable approach. Basically, a woman may procure a safe legal abortion if carrying the baby places her life in danger, has medically serious physical or mental health consequences, or the pregnancy is the result of incest or rape. It requires prior medical and/or psychological assessment, and may take place only within the first sixteen weeks of pregnancy. Our medical systems are in place to provide the necessary support, all funded by the taxpayer. So the system looks after the woman and the potential person she carries, as far as possible.

    Is it perfect? Hell, no. It doesn’t help women unfortunate enough to be in the position your mother found herself in (unless they are lucky enough to find a doctor prepared to stretch the definition of “mental health consequences” a little). Nor, on the other hand, does it deal with the problem of identifying at what point in gestation human life can be said to be established. Is it conception? Is it when the heart begins to beat (about six weeks into gestation)? Or what? There is no scientific test for it, and it may indeed be impossible. So there is no way of saying when induced abortion becomes tantamount to infanticide.

    Those with firm convictions on both sides of the abortion debate are passionate, and neither side is prepared to accept the truth that you have expressed so compellingly – vis, that unease is in the very nature of the issue. Using a legal battering ram as a one size fits all remedy is the last ting we should do.

    But we can give assistance, compassion and support to the women who need it. We must.

    Best

    Like

  18. I will jump right in, both feet. My problem is not with abortion, abortion is just a medical procedure. My problem is with tax payers being forced to PAY for abortion. Want an abortion? Ok, that is between you, your doctor and your conscience. Forcing other people to pay for it changes the whole thing. Compelling those who have a strong moral objection to abortion to pay for it is odious, at best, and immoral on its very face.

    Abortion is just a medical procedure, forcing people who strongly object to it to pay for it is the immoral point in all of this.

    Like

    • I couldn’t agree more with you regarding the question of taxpayers paying for abortions. On my planet this is an abomination. It is on par with the idea that the taxpayers should pay for AR-15s to arm the NRA. People shouldn’t be forced to pay for either one.

      Best regards,

      w.

      Like

  19. Hi, Willis, somehow my Gmail lost your kind reply to my comment on contraception, so I’m commenting on the general thread rather than responding specifically to your reply. Enough netiquette. Yes, I’m a Dawkins fan, DNA replicates like crazy, and organisms reproduce like crazy. It makes a certain sense that it would be difficult to stop fertility, but wait! Evolution produced viruses and bacteria and amoebas (personal experience) that parasitise us, but we’ve found effective responses. 500 years ago most people lived to 45 years or so, now we in the West can expect 80 years or more. There’s no principled reason why we shouldn’t find an elegant and effective mode of deciding about fertility. The current methods are clunky and either aesthetically (sorry for the spelling, I’m British) unpleasing or abusive to women.

    Like

  20. I personally feel that the ethical thing to do is consider the possibilities before you go to bed. I do not consider abortion an appropriate way to practice birth control. That said, I cannot condemn a person that seeks to correct a mistake before they mess up three lives – the participants and the unwanted potential child. Growing up unwanted is not what a child should experience nor can you whimsically say “there always are people that want to love and raise a child,” Yes there are, but how many “graduate” from orphanages anyway?

    But what irritates me more than anything else are the Pences of the world that cry out for the potential life of a fetus, calling abortion a dirty terrible waste of life, and simultaneously are willing to commit the brutal act of war on whole populations because of political reasons, thus eliminating God alone knows how many men, women, and children that are already alive. They cry for the unborn and are willing to burn the alive. They are sick.

    Like

  21. Thanks to Willis for another great post. Before I go on a holiday from the Internet I will make one last comment.

    AKSurveyor
    A little more thought at the front end solves more than trying to put the smoke back in the bottle.

    Tom O
    I cannot condemn a person that seeks to correct a mistake before they mess up three lives – the participants and the unwanted potential child.

    They cry for the unborn and are willing to burn the alive.

    Peter Lewis Hannan
    The current methods are clunky and either aesthetically (sorry for the spelling, I’m British) unpleasing or abusive to women.

    Willis
    Given that procreation has to be very, very difficult to interfere with or the species will assuredly go extinct, perhaps it’s not so shocking that we have had trouble finding ways to interfere with it without side effects …

    Peter Lewis Hannan
    It’s completely hypocritical, absurd and dangerous that the same people who oppose the right to abortion (Catholics, for example) also oppose contraception.

    Bear
    Viability is a more reasonable alternative for most people

    ••••••

    Viability could be looked at another way — can the infant survive not only on the outside, but on the outside without help? Back in the old day, abandonment of the infant after it was born was not regarded as murder; yet the child died (unless someone else picked it up). For wild mammals, if the mother dies, the young ones are also doomed.

    Nature’s way (anthropomorphically speaking) is that there are very strong hormones and stuff to make people want sex, and hence produce babies. Raw nature is pretty cruel and it does not care much about individuals of the species. Human attempts to interfere are unnatural, obviously. So there is currently a movement to get off the pill and back to something more “natural”. Short of a snip or tie, that means there are going to be more unwanted pregnancies not less. Can we agree that youth mature sexually faster than mentally? This problem is not going away.

    The unborn babies have a PR advantage — they are “innocent” and defenseless. It’s easy to idealize them. Little cherubs or angels. Whereas anyone who has actually been born has original sin or something. The unwanted babies after being born may end up being lucky or they may end up envying the puppies at the SPCA pound.

    The opposition to contraception is a little different, it’s not seen as murder, but it is based on a misunderstanding. If you look up the story of Onan (from Genesis) you might find it’s not what you think. I had never heard of levirate marriage and it seems like a backward custom, although it turns out it is still practiced in some places. If you want some interesting reading, here are a few links:
    https://www.cgg.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Library.sr/CT/BQA/k/64/Why-Did-God-Slay-Onan-Genesis-383-10.htm
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onan
    https://www.gotquestions.org/onanism.html
    Hopefully God has matured since then.

    Finally, “Abortion can then be seen as accounting for 25 percent of all deaths in the United States each year.”
    And “There are almost 2,000 black lives ended by abortion every single day in the United States”. Someone says so anyway:
    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/03/scalpels_kill_more_kids_than_guns.html

    Like

  22. daveburton March 13, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    Willis wrote,

    “WE KNOW FROM BITTER EXPERIENCE AND MANY DEATHS is invariably associated with making abortions illegal.”

    We know no such thing. That’s propaganda from the abortion industry.

    Dave, I give up. I gave you heaps of quotes, from the National Institutes of Health, from the World Health Organization, from doctors with personal experience, from studies in Kenya, from nurses.

    In response, you airily wave your hands and without providing one scrap of evidence claim that it is “propaganda from the abortion industry”.

    I cannot deal with that level of denial. I told you before, you get your own opinions, but not your own facts.

    So you’re welcome to continue your fact-free rants, but I’m done with you. There’s no point in trying to deal with that kind of willful blindness. Please address all your responses to someone else in future. I’m not interested.

    w.

    PS—From a pro-life organization, I find the following quote from a study by the National Institutes of Health:

    It is difficult to find credible estimates of the number of deaths associated with illegal abortion. One estimate, which has been frequently quoted, is between 5,000 and 10,000 deaths per year. That is hardly plausible, considering that the total number of deaths of women aged 15-44 from all causes in the United States is approximately 50,000 annually, and the total number of deaths due to abortion reported by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has been below 500 since 1958 and below 100 since 1971.

    Now, you might be too young to remember, but prior to Roe v. Wade, doctors were very reluctant to say that their patients had died from an illegal abortion. Bad for them, bad for the patient, bad for the patient’s family. So we can take 500 deaths per year to be an absolute minimum.

    So yes, Dave, if you make abortions illegal, you will have blood on your hands. Deny it all you want, but your hands will be red up to the elbows …

    Don’t bother answering, I’m not interested.

    Like

  23. Well, I’m back from internet-fasting and cleansing. I gave it up for Lent (only a joke). And I have to respond to this insinuation, for the record.

    daveburton March 11, 2018

    I hope you have the good sense to never tell heartbroken parents who’ve just lost their unborn baby that “it” was “not yet living,” or “just part of the mother’s body,” or merely a “potential person.”

    daveburton March 13, 2018

    Willis wrote, “I know of no one who would say such a cruel thing”

    YMMV just wrote those exact cruel words, right here in public, for anyone to read, regardless of whether or not they’ve ever lost a baby.

    You can look up what I said, and please note that I never said them to any parents or potential parents. But that is neither here nor there; the real question is what is the appropriate thing to say, especially for anyone counselling a pregnant woman?

    My take on this is that a counsellor should always feel out what the woman really wants and take that side, or if she really is conflicted, the counsellor should always give fair, balanced advice. To do otherwise is to be an advocate not a counsellor, and to advocate while claiming to be a counsellor is a deceptive practice.

    So if the woman wants an abortion, do you tell her it’s no biggy or do you tell her she is going straight to Hell?
    Even if you do not believe “it’s no biggy”, your role is to comfort the woman, not to give her a life-long guilt trip. One thing I’ve learned from movies, is that whenever anyone says “You’re going to be okay” that means they are going to die. In real life, you do always say that, but in real life it just means “be calm”.

    On the thou shalt not kill thing, it’s all pragmatic. You might be a vegetarian to avoid killing animals, but you are okay with killing plants. Or you might be okay with eating eggs, but that could be a living thing too. At some point you have to be pragmatic.

    Now, on a somewhat related topic, this video of Jordan Peterson, “The Difference Between Men and Women” is fascinating. The whole thing is worth watching, but watch out for these parts:
    4:20-6:20 the mother-infant diad.
    9:20 conscientious versus agreeable traits
    10:59 psychotherapy – the need to say things that are nasty and harsh but true

    Like

  24. How shall I condemn a woman who has solicited an abortion? I will not do that. Many back ally abortions put at risk the life of the mother. Many women cannot affird another baby. Indeed, that’s a huge problem and you want to avoid that.

    Even so, you cannot condone the killing of humans, especially not innocent ones. There are no easy answers for mothers who don’t want another baby and one certainly sympathises with families who have needed to contend with strenuous circumstances. Let’s agree though – for now – that a woman who has just fallen pregnant and aborts the fetus and a woman who is 22 weeks preganant and aborts the baby are not faced with the same decision. Let’s also agree that a women who knows she should not or cannot affird to or does not want to fall pregnant should be sterilised by the State in a proper medical facility free of charge. The reality of life is that women have babies when they are impregnated. Where they are not impregnated, they do not have babies.

    I do not see a voice on behalf of an unborn baby as a voice against a mother who is pregnant agaist her will. We should find solutions for each problem and try not to think that the life of an adult is worth more than the life of a child.

    Like

      • Sometimes “simple” ≠ “easy.”

        Killing an innocent human being, born or unborn, is Wrong. That’s “simple.”

        But the circumstances of the particular cases in which that “simple” principle should be applied can make it the opposite of “easy.”

        Like

    • Good points, Gerhard. Nor should we think that the life of the unborn is worth more than the mother’s. What can you say about a woman who waits until 22 weeks? That she has discovered the fetus has a defect?

      Prevention is easier than cure. In theory. What can you say about religions which prevent or discourage prevention? Society, and men in particular, have a way of forcing their ways upon others, when it is always the mother who pays. Either way, the mother pays.

      Some religions look upon women as baby producing machines. Others may value women for other things too, but first and foremost as baby factories. For the woman who wants to be the equal to men, a baby is a huge handicap. Pregnancy is a hard unpaid job with few benefits. Child raising is also a big job which never seems to end. You can have whatever opinions you want about the ideology, but I hope you also respect the women.

      “A Forest of Bare Branches”
      https://www.steynonline.com/9128/a-forest-of-bare-branches

      For the unintended consequences of selective abortion, this article has insightful comments, especially in the response comments.

      Like

You are invited to add your comments. Please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING so we can all be clear on your subject.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s