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  #601  
Old 05-22-2019, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
There are a number of things in a representative democracy that I don't think "the people" should be able to vote on.

I don't think "the people" should be able to vote on whether people of, say, a minority religion or physical characteristic should be enslaved, for instance. Or forbidden to vote. Or forbidden to learn to read. Or forbidden quite a lot of other things.
So why does abortion belong in those categories? I think Justice White said it best:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justice White dissenting, Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists
The Court has justified the recognition of a woman's fundamental right to terminate her pregnancy by invoking decisions upholding claims of personal autonomy in connection with the conduct of family life, the rearing of children, marital privacy, the use of contraceptives, and the preservation of the individual's capacity to procreate. See Carey v. Population Services International, 431 U.S. 678 (1977); Moore v. East Cleveland, supra; Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972); Griswold v. Connecticut, supra; Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535 (1942); Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925); Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923). Even if each of these cases was correctly decided [p792] and could be properly grounded in rights that are "implicit in the concept of ordered liberty" or "deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition," the issues in the cases cited differ from those at stake where abortion is concerned. As the Court appropriately recognized in Roe v. Wade, "[t]he pregnant woman cannot be isolated in her privacy," 410 U.S. at 159; the termination of a pregnancy typically involves the destruction of another entity: the fetus. However one answers the metaphysical or theological question whether the fetus is a "human being" or the legal question whether it is a "person" as that term is used in the Constitution, one must at least recognize, first, that the fetus is an entity that bears in its cells all the genetic information that characterizes a member of the species homo sapiens and distinguishes an individual member of that species from all others, and second, that there is no nonarbitrary line separating a fetus from a child or, indeed, an adult human being. Given that the continued existence and development -- that is to say, the life -- of such an entity are so directly at stake in the woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy, that decision must be recognized as sui generis, different in kind from the others that the Court has protected under the rubric of personal or family privacy and autonomy. [n2] Accordingly, the [p793] decisions cited by the Court both in Roe and in its opinion today as precedent for the fundamental nature of the liberty to choose abortion do not, even if all are accepted as valid, dictate the Court's classification.

If the woman's liberty to choose an abortion is fundamental, then it is not because any of our precedents (aside from Roe itself) command or justify that result; it can only be because protection for this unique choice is, itself, "implicit in the concept of ordered liberty," or, perhaps, "deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition." It seems clear to me that it is neither. The Court's opinion in Roe itself convincingly refutes the notion that the abortion liberty is deeply rooted in the history or tradition of our people, as does the continuing and deep division of the people themselves over the question of abortion. As for the notion that choice in the matter of abortion is implicit in the concept of ordered liberty, it seems apparent to me that a free, egalitarian, and democratic society does not presuppose any particular rule or set of rules with respect to abortion. And again, the fact that many men and women of good will and high commitment to constitutional government place themselves on both sides of the abortion controversy strengthens my own conviction that the values animating the Constitution do not compel recognition [p794] of the abortion liberty as fundamental. In so denominating that liberty, the Court engages not in constitutional interpretation, but in the unrestrained imposition of its own extraconstitutional value preferences. [n3]
  #602  
Old 05-22-2019, 11:21 PM
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I think Justice White said it best:
Justice White was out to lunch when he noted:
Quote:
that there is no nonarbitrary line separating a fetus from a child or, indeed, an adult human being.
Bullshit. Moving from inside another human being to not-inside another human being represents a fairly significant and unmistakable change in circumstances.

He also demonstrates that his training in in law and not science when he tries to rationalize his views by pointing out "that the fetus is an entity that bears in its cells all the genetic information that characterizes a member of the species homo sapiens and distinguishes an individual member of that species from all others", which conveniently overlooks the nature of identical twins. If unique genetics is a factor in the fetus's favor, does this mean if a woman is pregnant with identical twins, she can selectively abort one of them? No unique genetic information is being lost, after all.

The characteristics of the fetus are irrelevant. The imperatives of the woman take precedence if one has respect for the rights of women. I'm not sure what White's record was on this, but if this dissent is any indication, I'm not hopeful.
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  #603  
Old 05-23-2019, 12:35 AM
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Why would you call the cops? If you wanted to give up custody of and responsibility for your daughter, you're better off calling a family lawyer and arranging an adoption.

Which would take months, probably at least as long as finishing a second-trimester pregnancy. (Let's also bear in mind that it would be a super shitty thing to do.) And in the meantime, I have to keep my daughter in my home and take care of her, or face legal sanction. (I'm guessing you regret this analogy, even if you're unlikely to say so.)
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  #604  
Old 05-23-2019, 01:02 AM
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At least in the US, the vast majority of abortions are not performed because of severe fetal deformity. Unless you have a cite to the contrary...

Regards,
Shodan
What I wrote was in relation to the Groningen Protocol in which neonatal can be terminated.
  #605  
Old 05-23-2019, 01:19 AM
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You start off with this plea:

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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
If it's going to be a "conversation", then it has to be conducted in good faith with respect for the facts. ...
And then you go on to label them the "abortion-ban movement" and the "anti-choice movement". What's wrong with just calling them the "pro-life movement"? Too much "good faith" for your taste?
  #606  
Old 05-23-2019, 01:46 AM
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And then you go on to label them the "abortion-ban movement" and the "anti-choice movement". What's wrong with just calling them the "pro-life movement"? Too much "good faith" for your taste?

"Pro-life" is pretty bogus, TBH. It implies that anyone not in that camp is "anti-life".

I don't know why we can't just say "anti-abortion" and "pro-abortion rights".
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  #607  
Old 05-23-2019, 04:59 AM
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Which would take months, probably at least as long as finishing a second-trimester pregnancy. (Let's also bear in mind that it would be a super shitty thing to do.) And in the meantime, I have to keep my daughter in my home and take care of her, or face legal sanction. (I'm guessing you regret this analogy, even if you're unlikely to say so.)
It didn't even occur to me to regret it and you're giving me no reason to do so. If you want to get your daughter out of your house quickly, you can do that quite legally just by arranging a babysitting service of some kind or a boarding school or any number of options. If you're willing to involve Child Protective Services (or your local equivalent, assuming your local Republicans haven't completely defunded it by now), you can probably expedite things if you can truthfully say there's a risk you'll harm your child or your child will harm you.

The formal and permanent severance of custody will take months, sure. So what? The relevant aspect to this conversation is that no politician (as far as I know) is trying to make it impossible for you to give up your child, saying "you have to take responsibility, you have no choice, I'm taking your choices away from you."

Whether or not this would be a shitty thing to do is something I leave to you to consider, since you brought it up. I'm not interested in trying to trap people in bad situations by denying them access to legal remedies, even if they happen to be shitty people. Better a legal remedy exists than the child just be abandoned somewhere or thrown out to fend for herself.
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  #608  
Old 05-23-2019, 08:17 AM
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No, you don't need to, since it has nothing to do with whether abortions in the US are done for reasons of severe fetal deformity.
Huh. You made a claim that "the vast majority of abortions are not performed because of severe fetal deformity" which I'm willing to assume is true. I'm pointing out that the reason for that is that the pro-lifers have made it so.
  #609  
Old 05-23-2019, 08:32 AM
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You don't think that a secular person could say something like how he or she has viewed ultrasounds before and, damn, that sure looks like a human life in there, so I think there needs to be something more than the woman's sole and irrevocable choice before we kill that thing?
Sure, a secular person COULD say that. And I would listen to them as much as I would someone who says "That gun looks scary! Let's ban it!" - that is, not at all. And neither should anyone.

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We give a stray dog more protection than that, so is it inconceivable that a non-religious person might have a problem with abortion on demand?
I'm fairly certain that 10s of thousands of stray dogs are killed every year.
  #610  
Old 05-23-2019, 08:45 AM
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"Pro-life" is pretty bogus, TBH. It implies that anyone not in that camp is "anti-life".

I don't know why we can't just say "anti-abortion" and "pro-abortion rights".
Because the "anti-aborts" don't want a negative label. And they want us to be labelled "pro-abortion" like we are running around demanding that pre-born babies be murdered.

If nothing else would make me distance myself from the anti-abort camp, it's their horrendous misuse of the language.
  #611  
Old 05-23-2019, 08:49 AM
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Huh. You made a claim that "the vast majority of abortions are not performed because of severe fetal deformity" which I'm willing to assume is true. I'm pointing out that the reason for that is that the pro-lifers have made it so.
I don't think it is realistic to say that the reason the vast majority of abortions in the US are performed on the healthy fetus of a healthy mother is because of those who want to outlaw the abortion of a healthy fetus of a healthy mother.

If you are working to ban something, it doesn't seem reasonable to blame you for its happening so much.

Regards,
Shodan
  #612  
Old 05-23-2019, 09:08 AM
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I don't think it is realistic to say that the reason the vast majority of abortions in the US are performed on the healthy fetus of a healthy mother is because of those who want to outlaw the abortion of a healthy fetus of a healthy mother.

If you are working to ban something, it doesn't seem reasonable to blame you for its happening so much.

Regards,
Shodan
It's like banning people from sleeping on the streets and under bridges when you've created an economic system that results in a great deal of poverty and homelessness.

If you're creating the circumstances that will lead to a lot of women being pregnant when they don't want to have children, then you can say what you want about how you're working to try to ban abortions: they're still happening because of circumstances you helped create. Facile bullshit doesn't change that.
  #613  
Old 05-23-2019, 09:15 AM
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Ah, yes, the law is applied equally: A 9 year old who was raped and is carrying twins that will kill her before she can carry them long enough to carry them to viability is treated the same as a 25 year old who sees pregnancy as an "inconvenience" and is too selfish to carry the baby to term and given it to a nice married straight couple. Neither one can get a legal abortion.
  #614  
Old 05-23-2019, 09:18 AM
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As octopus has pointed out, we live in a democracy, so we all do, or at least we should all get to if a handful of judges hadn't taken it upon themselves to decide for us.
Maybe when people apply for marriage licenses, we should all take a vote to decide whether they can get married or not.

As octopus has pointed out, we live in a democracy.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 05-23-2019 at 09:18 AM.
  #615  
Old 05-23-2019, 11:02 AM
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Again, this is the easy fight, like fish in a barrel.
Which is why Hobby Lobby got told to stick their ridiculous case where the sun don't shine.
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I support comprehensive sex ed, so strongly in fact that I refused to give my teenage daughter permission to attend the sex ed segment of her health class, because it was abstinence only. (My wife and I got her some good materials on contraception and safe sex.) But I'm for a hard ban on abortion after the first trimester. How do you feel about that?
I assume "hard ban" means no abortions after 13 weeks, period.

How do I feel about that? I think that would be horrid. Abominable.

If a 4-month fetus dies in the mother's womb, that would mean you'd insist that she carry that dead baby until her body gets around to rejecting it. Horrible.

OK, maybe you don't mean that. I expect you probably don't. But IF you don't, obviously it's not clear what you DO mean, so how the hell would I know how I feel about it, when I don't even know what 'it' is?
  #616  
Old 05-23-2019, 12:42 PM
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... If a 4-month fetus dies in the mother's womb, that would mean you'd insist that she carry that dead baby until her body gets around to rejecting it. Horrible. ...
I don't think removing a dead baby from the womb is what most people think of as "abortion". YMMV, but the Georgia law that is the topic of this thread handles this issue:

Quote:
... any such act shall not be considered an abortion if the act is performed with the purpose of:
(A) Removing a dead unborn child caused by spontaneous abortion ...

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 05-23-2019 at 12:44 PM.
  #617  
Old 05-23-2019, 01:18 PM
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And yet, insists on the terminology of "unborn child". Perhaps you will enlighten us as to the definition of "unborn child"? in what respect is it different from the standard medical term "fetus"?

And why, precisely, is this terminology preferable as legal language?
  #618  
Old 05-23-2019, 01:25 PM
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And yet, insists on the terminology of "unborn child". Perhaps you will enlighten us as to the definition of "unborn child"? in what respect is it different from the standard medical term "fetus"?

And why, precisely, is this terminology preferable as legal language?
Again, from the law:

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'Unborn child' means a member of the species Homo sapiens at any stage of development who is carried in the womb."
"Fetus", AFAIK, refers to an "unborn child" in a particular stage of development (9+ weeks, right?)
  #619  
Old 05-23-2019, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
Again, from the law:



"Fetus", AFAIK, refers to an "unborn child" in a particular stage of development (9+ weeks, right?)
Yeah, it's sophistry. The thing isn't even a human, much less a child.
  #620  
Old 05-23-2019, 01:53 PM
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Yeah, it's sophistry. The thing isn't even a human, much less a child.
It's definitely a human. See Merriam-Webster, for one example:

Quote:
Definition of fetus
: an unborn or unhatched vertebrate especially after attaining the basic structural plan of its kind
specifically : a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth
(emphasis mine)

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 05-23-2019 at 01:55 PM.
  #621  
Old 05-23-2019, 01:53 PM
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It's like banning people from sleeping on the streets and under bridges when you've created an economic system that results in a great deal of poverty and homelessness.
That's not a real good analogy, because it would be the anti-abortion folks arguing that we can't just shoot people even if they are sleeping on the streets.

People sleep under bridges mostly because they are schizophrenic and/or drunks. The fact that we don't extend deer season doesn't raise the incidence of schizophrenia or substance abuse.

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Shodan
  #622  
Old 05-23-2019, 02:02 PM
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And then you go on to label them the "abortion-ban movement" and the "anti-choice movement". What's wrong with just calling them the "pro-life movement"?
"Pro-life", as others have pointed out, is purely a propaganda term that doesn't even explicitly indicate it has anything to do with abortion (an objection that can also be leveled against the term "pro-choice", of course).

I don't contradict people if they choose to call themselves "pro-life", but when I'm referring to the social/political movement to restrict abortion rights and/or enact abortion bans, I will call them by a more specific and descriptive term such as "pro-abortion-ban" or "anti-abortion-rights". Because that's what they are, objectively speaking.

If we want to have a good-faith conversation about abortion across the ideological divide on it, then there need to be accepted neutral but factually accurate terms that both sides are willing to use. I'm happy to call the two sides "pro-abortion-rights" and "anti-abortion-rights", for example. But if the anti-abortion-rights camp are going to act insulted if anybody describes their position using any other term than their own pet moniker "pro-life", then they're not conversing in good faith.
  #623  
Old 05-23-2019, 02:04 PM
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It's definitely a human. See Merriam-Webster, for one example:



(emphasis mine)
And a developing problem is still a problem if you step in and stop it before it becomes a problem, right?

Slapping "developing" on a word changes the meaning of the term; (like pretty much all adjectives do) - in the case of "developing" is removes the surety that the thing actually is that thing yet.

"Potential" is the same deal, but worse - "potential" means it's definitely not the thing yet, while "developing" leaves it ambiguous.
  #624  
Old 05-23-2019, 02:13 PM
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"Pro-life", as others have pointed out, is purely a propaganda term that doesn't even explicitly indicate it has anything to do with abortion (an objection that can also be leveled against the term "pro-choice", of course).

I don't contradict people if they choose to call themselves "pro-life", but when I'm referring to the social/political movement to restrict abortion rights and/or enact abortion bans, I will call them by a more specific and descriptive term such as "pro-abortion-ban" or "anti-abortion-rights". Because that's what they are, objectively speaking.

If we want to have a good-faith conversation about abortion across the ideological divide on it, then there need to be accepted neutral but factually accurate terms that both sides are willing to use. I'm happy to call the two sides "pro-abortion-rights" and "anti-abortion-rights", for example. But if the anti-abortion-rights camp are going to act insulted if anybody describes their position using any other term than their own pet moniker "pro-life", then they're not conversing in good faith.
I'm of the Clinton attitude, 'safe, legal, rare' camp. But I must say, picking this particular nit seems pedantic. I mean, Don't you think that in civil/neutral discourse, it is appropriate to call an individual or organization by the name that that individual or organization uses?
  #625  
Old 05-23-2019, 02:16 PM
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That's not a real good analogy, because it would be the anti-abortion folks arguing that we can't just shoot people even if they are sleeping on the streets.
That's a silly distortion of RTFirefly's perfectly reasonable analogy.

Namely, the anti-abortion-rights movement is encouraging more unwanted pregnancies by means of its simultaneous campaigns against access to birth control, sex education, and family-planning assistance. That leads to increased demand for abortion. The fact that the movement is also trying to legally prohibit abortion doesn't absolve them from their responsibility for exacerbating the conditions that tend to increase unwanted pregnancies.

Likewise, conservative economic policies exacerbate the problem of homelessness by increasing hardship and decreasing opportunity and social benefits for the non-wealthy. That leads to increased poverty and substance abuse and consequently more homelessness and people sleeping under bridges. The fact that conservatives are also trying to crack down on sleeping under bridges by means of legal penalties doesn't absolve them from their responsibility for exacerbating the conditions that tend to increase homelessness.
  #626  
Old 05-23-2019, 02:18 PM
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... I mean, Don't you think that in civil/neutral discourse, it is appropriate to call an individual or organization by the name that that individual or organization uses?
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... Namely, the anti-abortion-rights movement ...
Looks like that's a "no".
  #627  
Old 05-23-2019, 02:32 PM
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I mean, Don't you think that in civil/neutral discourse, it is appropriate to call an individual or organization by the name that that individual or organization uses?
But we're not talking about the actual names of individuals or organizations. If I'm referring, for example, to the "March For Life" rally or the Republican National Coalition for Life in civil/neutral discourse, then of course I'm going to use the organization's actual name instead of calling it the "March For Killing Women" or some such pass-agg misnomer.

However, if we're talking about the general political-social movement against abortion rights, rather than a specific organization or individual, the supporters of that movement don't have exclusive rights to determine what people call it, any more than its opponents do. If its supporters and its opponents want to have a conversation about it, it's appropriate for both of them to use accurate factual terms to describe it, rather than one side insisting that the other side has to use the first side's preferred propaganda term.


However, I'd hate to see your enthusiasm for appropriate nomenclature go to waste, so maybe you can use it to convince more of your fellow conservatives to refer to the Democratic Party by the official name of that organization, instead of miscalling it the "Democrat Party".
  #628  
Old 05-23-2019, 02:40 PM
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Looks like that's a "no".
Looks like you and Bone are having similar difficulty telling the difference between a specific "individual or organization" and an amorphous social/political phenomenon such as a "movement".
  #629  
Old 05-23-2019, 02:50 PM
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Looks like you and Bone are having similar difficulty telling the difference between a specific "individual or organization" and an amorphous social/political phenomenon such as a "movement".
No, I understand the distinction. I just don't think it's relevant to the matter. The commonly-accepted labels for the two sides are "pro-choice" and "pro-life". People who use labels like "anti-choice" (or "anti-life") are demonstrating an unwillingness to maintain a basic level of civility to facilitate conversation.

ETA: For example, the gun control movement refers to precisely this sort of "amorphous social/political phenomenon", but labeling them things like "the anti-freedom movement" would be bad for civil discourse.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 05-23-2019 at 02:51 PM.
  #630  
Old 05-23-2019, 02:57 PM
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Don't you think that in civil/neutral discourse, it is appropriate to call an individual or organization by the name that that individual or organization uses?
Of course not. The choice of name is itself not neutral. Using the opposition's spun or self-righteous or disingenuous name cedes a large part of the argument. We're about fighting ignorance here, not coddling or shying from it. Call a thing by what it is.

The claim of the anti-choice movement to be "pro-life" is a fine example. Using it cedes their claim that a fetus is a human life, yet that definition is what the entire disagreement is based on.
  #631  
Old 05-23-2019, 03:01 PM
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The commonly-accepted labels for the two sides are "pro-choice" and "pro-life".
Those are not the only two "commonly accepted" labels for the two sides.

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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka
People who use labels like "anti-choice" (or "anti-life") are demonstrating an unwillingness to maintain a basic level of civility to facilitate conversation.
But using labels like "pro-abortion-rights" and "anti-abortion-rights" is both civil and factually accurate.

I'm not saying that it's always out of line to tone-police loaded terms such as "anti-choice": I'm just saying that your tone-policing shouldn't extend to trying to disqualify neutral descriptive terms such as "anti-abortion-rights".

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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka
For example, the gun control movement refers to precisely this sort of "amorphous social/political phenomenon", but labeling them things like "the anti-freedom movement" would be bad for civil discourse.
But calling them the "anti-gun movement", or the "anti-gun-rights movement", generally would not, if you're talking about people who are explicitly opposed to gun ownership or a constitutional right to gun ownership.

Again, if you're going to make a fuss because a movement that is explicitly about limiting or removing abortion rights is referred to using the civil and accurate term "anti-abortion-rights movement" instead of the loaded PR term "pro-life", then that calls into question your claim to be arguing in good faith.
  #632  
Old 05-23-2019, 03:06 PM
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You use "neutral" and "civil" here. I don't think the phrase "anti-abortion-rights" is either one of those things. I think it's exactly the same sort of "loaded PR term" you claim to be trying to avoid by refusing to accept the label "pro-life".
  #633  
Old 05-23-2019, 03:11 PM
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But we're not talking about the actual names of individuals or organizations. If I'm referring, for example, to the "March For Life" rally or the Republican National Coalition for Life in civil/neutral discourse, then of course I'm going to use the organization's actual name instead of calling it the "March For Killing Women" or some such pass-agg misnomer.
It's no skin off my nose, but I generally label people and groups as they want to be labeled. Makes it easier to avoid what I find not very productive quibbling. YMMV.
  #634  
Old 05-23-2019, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
You use "neutral" and "civil" here. I don't think the phrase "anti-abortion-rights" is either one of those things. I think it's exactly the same sort of "loaded PR term" you claim to be trying to avoid by refusing to accept the label "pro-life".
The opposite of "Anti Abortion Rights" is "Pro Abortion Rights", but the opposite of "Pro-Life" is "Anti-Life". In this matter you don't have a case, period.
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Old 05-23-2019, 03:19 PM
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It's no skin off my nose, but I generally label people and groups as they want to be labeled. Makes it easier to avoid what I find not very productive quibbling. YMMV.
Even when the name is deliberately designed to disparage the other side?
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Old 05-23-2019, 03:26 PM
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You use "neutral" and "civil" here. I don't think the phrase "anti-abortion-rights" is either one of those things. I think it's exactly the same sort of "loaded PR term" you claim to be trying to avoid by refusing to accept the label "pro-life".
What exactly is disparaging about the term "Anti-Abortion Rights"?
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Old 05-23-2019, 03:32 PM
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Makes it easier to avoid what I find not very productive quibbling. YMMV.
What the hell do you think this forum is for?

ETA: Conceding an argument by dismissing it as "quibbling" is not the most respectable way to do it.

Last edited by ElvisL1ves; 05-23-2019 at 03:34 PM.
  #638  
Old 05-23-2019, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
You use "neutral" and "civil" here. I don't think the phrase "anti-abortion-rights" is either one of those things. I think it's exactly the same sort of "loaded PR term" you claim to be trying to avoid by refusing to accept the label "pro-life".
The difference, of course, is that it's accurate. Saying you're "pro-life" is both totally non-descriptive of the issue at hand and (if we took it as a literal self-descriptor rather than an implied slur against their opponents) states that they oppose guns, oppose capital punishment, refuse to eat meat, and refuse to kill insects or bacteria. I'm thinking, not really an accurate descriptor of the group.

On the other hand, "anti-abortion-rights" is literally and precisely descriptive of the goals of the movement. If you see it as a slur it's because you recognize that the goals of the movement are themselves bad, such that is an insult to be described as having those goals.
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:29 PM
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The formal and permanent severance of custody will take months, sure. So what? The relevant aspect to this conversation is that no politician (as far as I know) is trying to make it impossible for you to give up your child, saying "you have to take responsibility, you have no choice, I'm taking your choices away from you."

I was advocating a ban on most abortions after the first trimester, not a requirement that pregnant women must complete the pregnancy and take care of the child for 18 years (or more). They could still get a first trimester abortion, or if they miss that window, give the baby up for adoption immediately after birth. And with the advance of technology, I would hope and expect that even that limited window of prescriptiveness (in the second and third trimesters) would disappear with an increased ability to keep premature infants alive and therefore be able to initiate an adoption at any stage of the second or third trimesters.


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It's like banning people from sleeping on the streets and under bridges when you've created an economic system that results in a great deal of poverty and homelessness.

If you're creating the circumstances that will lead to a lot of women being pregnant when they don't want to have children, then you can say what you want about how you're working to try to ban abortions: they're still happening because of circumstances you helped create. Facile bullshit doesn't change that.

This is a fair critique of right wing abortion opponents. But it's not a necessary component of abortion opposition. For many years, Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich racked up a very low (maybe zero percent?) NARAL rating, while strongly supporting all kinds of social welfare programs.


Okay, now it's time to fight with both sides about terminology. Kind of a PITA, but I feel an affirmative duty to do it anyway.


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Yeah, it's sophistry. The thing isn't even a human, much less a child.

I take it you didn't intend your first sentence to describe your second, but it does. Words have meanings, and you can't just personally define them this way because it's politically inconvenient to use their commonly accepted meanings.


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If we want to have a good-faith conversation about abortion across the ideological divide on it, then there need to be accepted neutral but factually accurate terms that both sides are willing to use. I'm happy to call the two sides "pro-abortion-rights" and "anti-abortion-rights", for example. But if the anti-abortion-rights camp are going to act insulted if anybody describes their position using any other term than their own pet moniker "pro-life", then they're not conversing in good faith.

There are three sentences I quoted here. I agree with the first and third. The problem with the second is that you are expecting the antiabortion camp to use a term that defines them as being against "rights". This is almost as bad as implicitly defining those who support legal abortion as "anti-life".


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I'm of the Clinton attitude, 'safe, legal, rare' camp. But I must say, picking this particular nit seems pedantic. I mean, Don't you think that in civil/neutral discourse, it is appropriate to call an individual or organization by the name that that individual or organization uses?

No, that's silly. Spinmeisters like Frank Luntz are constantly coming up with implicitly tendentious labels to sell their causes. We are under no obligation to play along. Think about other issues: "Tax fairness advocates today held a rally to decry the death tax". Is that the only fair way to describe a Koch-backed astroturf group that wants to slash the inheritance tax for billionaires?


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Of course not. The choice of name is itself not neutral. Using the opposition's spun or self-righteous or disingenuous name cedes a large part of the argument. We're about fighting ignorance here, not coddling or shying from it. Call a thing by what it is.

The claim of the anti-choice movement to be "pro-life" is a fine example. Using it cedes their claim that a fetus is a human life, yet that definition is what the entire disagreement is based on.

You're right to oppose the use of "pro-life", but for the wrong reasons. I absolutely cede their claim that a fetus is a human life, but I still call bullshit on their using the term "pro-life", because virtually everyone is in reality pro-life. They don't get to call themselves specifically the ones who are pro-life. To let them do so is like letting the Bolsheviks get away with calling themselves Bolsheviks, which means "of the majority", even though they were in fact a small splinter faction.
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Last edited by SlackerInc; 05-23-2019 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:36 PM
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I take it you didn't intend your first sentence to describe your second, but it does. Words have meanings, and you can't just personally define them this way because it's politically inconvenient to use their commonly accepted meanings.
It's human, but for a nontrivial period towards the start of the pregnancy it's not a human, by any non-insane definition.

A human hair is human. A human hair is not a human. Conflating the two syntactic formulations seems to be a favored form of dishonesty/idiocy on the part of the anti-abortion-rights movement. You see them do the same thing with "life" and "a life", as well.
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:40 PM
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But now you're being slippery, moving the goalposts. You used that "the thing isn't even a human" line in response to HD's reference to a fetus. We're not talking about a clump of cells here.
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:49 PM
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I was advocating a ban on most abortions after the first trimester
And I was defending your rights even while you seek to deprive others of theirs. I could clarify at length a little later if necessary. In any case, I can't picture exactly how I would end up regretting your choice of rhetorical device.
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:43 PM
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But now you're being slippery, moving the goalposts. You used that "the thing isn't even a human" line in response to HD's reference to a fetus. We're not talking about a clump of cells here.
I was responding to his clarification that the term "human child" was being used as inclusive to pre-fetal things.

In actual fact the point at which the thingy transitions from "a bunch of human cells exhibiting some life functions and possibly arranged in the rough shape of a badly mutated humanoid" to "a human" is both debatable and highly contested, and arbitrarily calling the thing in there a human at various arbitrary points (particularly early points) is assuming your conclusion.
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:48 PM
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with the advance of technology, I would hope and expect that even that limited window of prescriptiveness (in the second and third trimesters) would disappear with an increased ability to keep premature infants alive and therefore be able to initiate an adoption at any stage of the second or third trimesters.
Technology will have to do a very great deal of advancing. Currently, severely premature infants are very often also severely damaged. We have nothing remotely resembling the technology necessary to just pop a fetus out of one womb and into another one, either human or artificial; which is the only way it seems to me to make sense to talk about the 'adoption' of second trimester fetuses.


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Words have meanings, and you can't just personally define them this way because it's politically inconvenient to use their commonly accepted meanings.
The commonly accepted neutral meanings are, depending on stage, 'zygote', 'blastula', 'embryo', and 'fetus'.

In casual conversation that's not discussing the legality or morality of abortion, people often do refer to any of those stages of development as a 'baby' or 'child'. But in conversations that are discussing the legality and/or morality of abortion, doing so is an attempt to bend the conversation in a particular direction. Words most certainly do have meanings; and using them in that way isn't neutral.
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:57 PM
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Insisting on "fetus" rather than "baby" or "child" is also "an attempt to bend the conversation in a particular direction."
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:03 PM
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Insisting on "fetus" rather than "baby" or "child" is also "an attempt to bend the conversation in a particular direction."
Which is why in threads lately I've been using "thingy".
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:08 PM
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Except that it is a fetus, NOT a child OR a baby, so, actually, no you’re mistaken. Fetus IS the medical/neutral term.
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:10 PM
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Fetus may be the "medical" term, but I don't know that that necessarily makes it a "neutral" term. As noted above, it's quite common to refer to the "thingy" as a "baby" or "child". And in Georgia (again, see thread title) "unborn child" is the legal term. Why are medical terms any more valid than legal terms for discussion?
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:11 PM
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Insisting on "fetus" rather than "baby" or "child" is also "an attempt to bend the conversation in a particular direction."
Do you honestly believe that we will adopt your coercive terminology just because the correct terms upset you?
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:12 PM
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And in Georgia (again, see thread title) "unborn child" is the legal term.
So what?
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