Can anyone even doubt it?

It’s like the Great George Carlin said:  Pre-born you’re fine;  pre-school, you’re fucked:

Two Republican members of Kentucky’s House are attaching antiabortion-rights amendments to several unrelated bills that are awaiting a chamber vote, a move that is threatening to derail changes related to children’s Medicaid coverage, among other things, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

The amendments — sponsored by Reps. David Floyd and Tim Moore — would require abortion providers to conduct an ultrasound and show the woman the image. The amendments also would require counseling prior to an abortion.

Maybe their lack of concern has something to do with the fact that the kids who have Medicaid coverage tend to be from the kind of families that are not known to be part of the GOP constituency, the economically disadvantaged:

Apply for Medicaid if you are the parent or guardian of a child who is 18 years old or younger and your family’s income is limited, or if your child is sick enough to need nursing home care, but could stay home with good quality care at home.

So fuck those people, right?  It’s more important to force women to look at ultrasounds and undergo shaming “counseling”, because they couldn’t possibly make their own medical decisions without such intrusive intervention.

Conservative Values:  throwing real kids under the bus in favour of a load of fetus-centric nanny-state bullshit.

24 Responses to “Can anyone even doubt it?”


  1. 1 Scary Fundamentalist Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 8:04 am

    I hope you understand that a very similar false dichotomy is just as starkly obvious when one approaches it from a pro-life point of view. (Warning: Pro-life rhetoric to follow)

    Before a particular age/development stage/state-of-independence-from-the-mother: kill them, maim them, scar them for life, no problem, and you don’t even have to look them in the eye while you do it.
    But after that particular age/development stage/state-of-independence-from-the-mother, it’s nanny-state time! The government decides on health care, discipline, moral inculcation, standard of living, etc.

    But maybe their lack of concern for parents who truly care about the freedom to raise their children as they see fit has something to do with the fact that those most concerned about family values are not known to be part of the Dem constituency…

    This is not meant to start the abortion debate. I’m only trying to suggest that those across the aisle in the debate, the SUZANNEs of the world, have the same license to righteous anger.

  2. 2 brebis noire Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 8:39 am

    “But maybe their lack of concern for parents who truly care about the freedom to raise their children as they see fit has something to do with the fact that those most concerned about family values are not known to be part of the Dem constituency…”

    I’m just going to take a strong crack at this one. The “freedom to raise their children as they see fit” is a pretty strong implication that “born” children are property (belonging to parents), not agents with potential independence, and therefore should have no direct relationship to community or the government. The Repub-Con constituency does tend to see children this way and we all know where their “family values” hypocrisy usually ends up. Extreme economic disparity. Religious indoctrination. Child abuse (because that’s the some families “see fit”.) A severely eroded public school system. Gated communities. No social safety nets, except for church charity, aka the intermittent kindness (and condescension) of strangers.

  3. 3 brebis noire Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 8:41 am

    And as for this, “Before a particular age/development stage/state-of-independence-from-the-mother: kill them, maim them, scar them for life, no problem, and you don’t even have to look them in the eye while you do it.”

    it’s pretty clear that it’s a total mischaracterisation of abortion. Just look at the SUZANNE take on contraception, and you might understand how and why that is.

  4. 4 Scary Fundamentalist Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Brebis:

    It is definitely an emotive mischaracterization. That’s why I called it “rhetoric”. That being said, it’s just as much a mischaracterization as the pro-choice tactic of emotive sterilization, reducing the matter strictly to a woman’s private medical decision.

    I find it interesting that you believe “unborn” children are wholly disposable property of the mother while you are aghast to the notion that parents have some sort of rights over “born” children that supersede the machinations of government and society.

  5. 5 brebis noire Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 9:57 am

    “the pro-choice tactic of emotive sterilization, reducing the matter strictly to a woman’s private medical decision.”

    You are making a huge and erroneous assumption of emotive sterilization there. I hardly think I’d be unemotional about my own abortion, if I chose one, but I wouldn’t want to project my emotions onto anyone else. For one thing: they wouldn’t be same emotions. Relief is also an emotion, for example. In other words: emotions ARE private, not public – especially ones related to one’s own health and life, and potential offspring.

    As for this:
    “I find it interesting that you believe “unborn” children are wholly disposable property of the mother while you are aghast to the notion that parents have some sort of rights over “born” children that supersede the machinations of government and society.”

    I find it interesting that you seem wholly unable to remove yourself from the paradigm of property.
    Children are not “property”; neither are fetuses!
    I don’t even equate my own body with “property”, but it is mine.

  6. 6 JJ Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Scary

    But maybe their lack of concern for parents who truly care about the freedom to raise their children as they see fit

    You’re preaching to the choir with that one. I don’t think people should be forced to send their kids to public school, or any school for that matter. If public schools aren’t teaching what a parent wants their kid to learn, by all means home school or excuse them from the offending classes.

    But I see your point. The difference is that some of us believe the unborn are potential persons and thus the property of whoever they’re attached to, and some of us believe they’re just at an early stage of human development.

  7. 7 Scary Fundamentalist Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Brebis:

    In response to your “crack”, either children are raised as individuals (parents) see fit or as the collective (government) sees fit. Kids may have the potential for independence but they cannot raise themselves.

    The alternative to all of your doomsday scenarios is a literal nanny-state: the state indoctrinates the kids in a universal public schooling system, distributes socialized income, assumes the role of disciplinarian, decides where they will live, what they will eat, what level of health care they will have, etc.

  8. 8 JJ Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 10:29 am

    brebis

    Children are not “property”; neither are fetuses!

    Children are not property because they are independent persons and citizens. But for the sake of distilling a complex argument, fetuses could be said to be the “property” of whoever they’re attached to. That’s why the woman carrying one has a right to decide whether to continue carrying it or not.

  9. 9 JJ Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 10:31 am

    scary

    the state indoctrinates the kids in a universal public schooling system, distributes socialized income, assumes the role of disciplinarian, decides where they will live, what they will eat, what level of health care they will have, etc.

    😯 No, we don’t want that.

  10. 10 Scary Fundamentalist Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 10:40 am

    WTF – fetuses aren’t property? What the hell are they then?

    Double WTF – “I don’t even equate my own body with “property”, but it is mine.” I’m trying my best to understand what you’re saying, but I cannot see how that is not a contradiction. Maybe you could explain.

    I think you’re misunderstanding what I mean about emotive sterilization. It’s the public emotion of sympathy for the fetus that I’m talking about: the pro-life side capitalizes on emotions in the debate with their graphic displays of carnage, equation with the Holocaust, silent screams, etc, to evoke sympathy for the unborn. The pro-choice side, meanwhile, completely dehumanizes the fetus and tries to leverage the general privacy of medical procedures to eliminate any sympathy.

  11. 11 Scary Fundamentalist Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 10:54 am

    JJ – Of course you don’t, I knew that :p

    I do want to clarify that I don’t see children (or fetuses, but I digress) as property, but I also don’t see them as having the equivalent rights as adults. All of the founders of the concept of human rights recognize this.

    Sorry for derailing your thread a little; I agree that amendments to unrelated legislation is politically despicable. I’m sure you also realize it’s a universal strategic political tactic.

  12. 12 JJ Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Scary

    I’m sure you also realize it’s a universal strategic political tactic.

    Oh yes, Dems do it too. It’s just not as politically expedient for me to point that out 😛

  13. 13 brebis noire Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Scary, I’m not sure where the misunderstanding is. Do you consider you mother and father to be your “property”? And yet they’re still your mother and father; they’re “yours”. Same thing for your brothers and sisters, your kids, and your family. Still not your property; yet still “yours”. Your body is yours in a different way, but still not your property.

    Does that help? Or does everything have to be someone’s property?

  14. 14 brebis noire Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    “I think you’re misunderstanding what I mean about emotive sterilization. It’s the public emotion of sympathy for the fetus that I’m talking about: the pro-life side capitalizes on emotions in the debate with their graphic displays of carnage, equation with the Holocaust, silent screams, etc, to evoke sympathy for the unborn. The pro-choice side, meanwhile, completely dehumanizes the fetus and tries to leverage the general privacy of medical procedures to eliminate any sympathy.”

    I don’t think I’m misunderstanding it so much as seeing through it to what’s behind it.

    It would be nice, as I’ve mentioned so many times, if the fetus people would stop imagining silent horrors, making false and blown-up analogies/equivalencies, and exploiting people’s private emotions and situations – and spend that same kind of energy on real life catastrophes such as wars, social and political injustice, child abuse, neglect, abandonment, education, etc. They would solve a lot of real problems if they could only re-channel that same energy and “compassion”.

  15. 15 Scary Fundamentalist Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Brebis:

    You are correct that a possessive pronoun in that context refers to the relationship between myself and another person. Note, though, that I do not have the right to end the life of that person.

    Your body must be your property in order for you to have autonomy over it. Can you explain to me who has ownership (rights) over your body if it isn’t yourself? And I still can’t understand how you retain the right to destroy something that is not your property.

    Your second post is a shallow deflection of the issue. I would hope that by now you would understand that pro-lifers truly believe that personhood begins at conception. All of the other issues you mention pale in comparison to what they believe is the routine destruction of millions of lives, paid for in part with their tax dollars.

  16. 16 brebis noire Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    “I would hope that by now you would understand that pro-lifers truly believe that personhood begins at conception.”

    That’s not so hard to understand – why do you bring it up? Many of them believe other things I take issue with.

    Why don’t they extend any form of personhood to animals -born and obviously sentient ones? Answer: because they are not human. Well, I don’t happen to believe that non-human = non-person. You can reinterpret that as you wish, but you will likely misinterpret.

    Yet that still doesn’t explain why they expend so much energy on this issue when other things such as warmongering, famines, displaced persons, refugees, natural disasters, policies that cause children to suffer and die – pale to nothing in comparison to what happens inside someone else’s body. In terms of the very incendiary energies they expend on fighting abortion in all contexts, even when the fetus is clearly doomed.

    And note that many women who are adamantly opposed to abortion have also managed to show up at a clinic to have their own. And not always due to outright hypocrisy – very often due to a sudden, new understanding.

    I would really hope that by now you understand that many if not most women who are for abortion rights are neither lacking in compassion/emotion nor ignorant of what abortion actually *is*. We also tend to make a huge distinction between abortion of zygotes, embryos and fetuses, no matter what kind of propaganda you may have swallowed.

  17. 17 brebis noire Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    “Note, though, that I do not have the right to end the life of that person.”

    Legally, you don’t have the right to take your own life. Owing to the special relationship you have with your body/life that is not one of property.

    It’s a philosophical argument, and I find that the legal and colloquial expression of property does not describe the unique relationship you have to your body.

  18. 18 Scary Fundamentalist Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Legally, you don’t have the right to take your own life.

    Suicide was decriminalized in 1972, as it should be, in recognition that one’s body is his/her property. Most pro-choicers that I know of argue that the fetus, as part of the woman’s body, is therefore her property, kind of like a pimple or a hangnail.

    It’s a philosophical argument, and I find that the legal and colloquial expression of property…

    I think we’re diverging here – I’m deliberately trying to keep this as a solely legal argument based on civil rights. So yes, I’m using the legal expression of property.

    That’s not so hard to understand – why do you bring it up?

    I bring it up because you ask why pro-lifers don’t fight for the causes that you specify instead of protesting abortion. I made the point that if you approach it from a fetus-is-a-person belief, it’s obvious that the greatest atrocity in the world today is abortion. Policies that (allegedly) indirectly cause the collateral suffering of children are almost irrelevant in comparison to [pro-life rhetoric alert] domestic policies that have your fellow citizens dismembered against their will by your medical system.

    And note that many women who are adamantly opposed to abortion have also managed to show up at a clinic to have their own. And not always due to outright hypocrisy – very often due to a sudden, new understanding.

    References, please? I can also show you how women who were adamantly supportive of abortion see the light when they watch one in process or try to have one themselves. Not to mention the change of heart of Norma McCorvey.

  19. 19 brebis noire Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 9:01 am

    “Choice Joyce” is among those who have collected anecdotes on this phenom. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/7/22/9334/83825

    As for suicide and the body as property, you are right that it is no longer illegal in most places, as of relatively recently. However, that doesn’t make the body “property” in a legal sense. Point me to a reference where the a person’s living body is specifically designated to be property and I will be very interested to see it. (I’m not being facetious, I’m genuinely curious to know if that is the case.)

  20. 20 brebis noire Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 9:03 am

    “I bring it up because you ask why pro-lifers don’t fight for the causes that you specify instead of protesting abortion.”

    Not asking why. Just pointing out that if they used even a small amount of their energies and anger to fight for “born” children around the world, they could do a lot of good – instead of serving as a moral breeding ground for assassins of doctors.

  21. 21 Scary Fundamentalist Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Brebis:

    The definition of “good” is, unfortunately, subjective.

    While reading John Locke’s Second Treatise recently, I came across the exact topic of whether one’s person is his property. I can’t recall the exact phrases, but lucky for me it’s quoted on Wiki:

    “Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.” (John Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government)

  22. 22 brebis noire Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 11:21 am

    I don’t question the concept of “ownership” over the body or one’s own life, I just don’t find “property” to be an adequate description of the relationship. It’s a heavily cultured description, just for starters.

    As for doing “good” as a subjective issue; I would hope that anti-abortionists would consider that fighting, eg. famine, childhood disease (various means), abject poverty of children, child soldiering and child labour to be “good”. If they can’t, well, what can I say? If they can, but can’t agree on the precise means, that’s different. Subjectivity is not absolute.

  23. 23 Scary Fundamentalist Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 11:35 am

    The subjectivity of “goodness” is absolute as long as there is no external reference.

    I don’t doubt that pro-lifers believe combating all those tragedies as “good”. However, you believe saving fetuses is not “good” at all, while pro-lifers believe that doing so truly is “good”. Therefore, it’s plausible that the will put their energies into a local act of commission (abortion) over your issues, which are generally global acts of omission. They’d rather put out what they see is the raging bush fire in their backyard before taking on the smoldering forest fire a few thousand kilometers away.

  24. 24 brebis noire Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    “The subjectivity of “goodness” is absolute as long as there is no external reference.”

    Oh, really? You state that as if you were God or something. I simply don’t buy into that absolutism.

    “However, you believe saving fetuses is not “good” at all, while pro-lifers believe that doing so truly is “good”. ”

    With that first part you’re pushing the argument too far. Where did I say that saving fetuses is not good at all? That’s not even the issue. I was extremely invested in saving my own fetuses (you should have seen me cry when the guy at the paint store told me I would kill them if I breathed in any latex paint fumes…), I mourn with friends who have lost theirs, and I think it is a good thing for fetuses to be kept safe and healthy inside the mothers who want to bring them to term. I’m also one of those “safe, legal and rare” people – not so much when it come to zygotes and embryos, but certainly when it comes to healthy feti.


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