The bone IGNORANCE of the ANTI CHOICE movement

I’ve seen intelligent positions taken by “pro-lifers” who are convinced that there is a clear identity between the embryo/fetus and the child which would in the normal, uninterfered-with course of events be born, and which is clearly human.

I personally feel that for a woman, undergoing an abortion is usually not the moral choice to make. But since I am not female, it seems unlikely I will ever have to make that decision.

However, as posted elsewhere here quite recently, I see the decision on whether or not to carry a child to term as the moral decision of the woman presently carrying that child, not a proper decision of the public.

However, one can reasonably see their advocacy of the designation of “personhood” as preceding the time of birth as a legitimate protest against present law, just as those of us who have no problem with gay marriage oppose the laws restricting marriage to heterosexual couples. (Different groups, usually, :wink: but the same call to change the existing law to better reflect what the advocates consider the proper moral stance.)

DoctorJ’s Three Rules of Debate: Never argue with anyone who 1.)spells “Clinton” with a “K”, 2.)uses the words “moral fiber” or “Illuminati”, or 3.)capitalizes the word “truth”.

I think someone who puts FACT in all caps (not to mention ANATHEMA) can be slipped in there somewhere.

(The worst part of it is, I agree with his premise.)

Dr. J

Ok so after nearly 20 replies only one person has actually tried to debate the issues with me. Doesn’t really speak well of the patrons of a form called Great Debates, does it? Here’s a thought, instead of debating how I said what I did. Let’s actually look at what I said, shall we?

Captain Amazing

You missed my point. I know that sperm and ova aren’t viable people. I also know that the same applies to fetuses. I was pointing out the hypocrisy of the anti choice movement in protecting the latter but not the former.

If a man’s sperm and egg exists, then he already exists. Not as a person, any more than he yet exists as a person at any stage prior to birth. But once his sperm and egg have been generated by the reproductive organs that produced them, the entity that will become a fully fledged adult (let’s call him Joe), from birth on, does exist.

At that stage of development. The entity that will become Joe at birth is in two parts, yes, but if neither of those did not exist, then Joe would never exist.

sperm and ova are an integeral part of the reproductive process. They are human entities (since they contain human DNA), and are alive. And all are potential people, just as z/e/fs are. The odds are against any given z/e/f being born, since about 70% are spontaneously aborted between fertilization and birth. Obviously, the odds against any given sperm or ova being born are FAR longer (especially for the sperm!). But
they all are potential people, nevertheless.

Thus the futility of protecting potential people at the expense of real people is revealed.


This isn’t a game we’re playing here. Anti Choicers are serious about creating hardship for tens of millions of women by taking away their reproductive rights. Until this hateful movement is eradicated (as I’m sure it will be just as with segregation before it) they can expect to run into the scorn of fair minded pro-choicers who are more interested in helping actual people as opposed to potential ones.

As for their intelligence. It is well known that being pro-choice correlates with better education and higher earnings. See below

INCOME:	                (1)			(2)
Under $15k/yr.	        25%			25%
   $15-45k/yr.	        24%			28%
$45-60k/yr.	        11%			35%
$60k & over/yr.	        17%			44%

 EDUCATION:	        (1)			(2)
No Diploma	        43.6%			20.5%
   High School Grad.    21.2%			26.9%
College Graduates       17.7%			41.5%

Also, as for insulting the anti choice movement. I will stop referring to anti choicers as hateful and ignorant as soon as they stop being anti choicers.

{Code fixed. --Gaudere}

[Edited by Gaudere on 11-20-2001 at 06:18 PM]

Would a moderator kindly fix the coding? The only way I could get the chart to appear correct was to put it in [ code] brackets but it seems this board doesn’t react well to them.

Well OK, I’ll use it now.


Ray, I think you have an AGENDA here. I think that somewhere along the line, you encountered some prolifers that made you angry, or maybe you’ve devoted your entire life to eradicating this evil race of people.

But has it ever occurred to you that there are “hateful” and “closed minded” people on both sides of this DEBATE?

I am a very open minded, college educated woman of reproductive age. I am morally opposed to abortion because of my religious upbringing. I would never have one, nor would I advise someone to have one. Would I blow up a clinc? Send hate mail? Carry around signs that say “God Hates YOU?” Never in a million years.

In short, you are a biased, angry man. If you want to flame prolifers, do it in the pit. Otherwise, adopt a more even keel. Please.

And here’s something scary I found in your post:

So we learn that someone MUST adopt your way of thinking or else they are hateful and ignorant. Let’s hear it for FREEDOM!


Well, but while it’s true any sperm in the world can combine with any egg in the world to create “Joe”, Joe doesn’t exist yet, because these are only potential pairings. That would be like my trying to sell a canvas and paint off as a painting. The potential for the painting exists, but no painting exists. When the sperm and egg combine, though, something happens. The zygote becomes something different from either the sperm or the egg seperately. Pro-lifers would say that this is when Joe is finally created, and, while you might not agree with them that Joe is a person yet, this zygote is something distinct from either the sperm or egg, and alive in a way neither the sperm nor egg was.

The question is, then, when does “Joe” become a person? At the moment of conception, which is when most pro-lifers say, when the fetus becomes viable, at birth, or some other time? That’s the tricky question, and the question that’s open to debate. Both I and my sister were born prematurely…I was born at 7 months, she was born at 6. Did we become people at the moment of our births, while another fetus, conceived at the same time one of us were, did not? My brother was never born…he was delivered by C-section. When did he become a person?

It’s a mistake on your part if you think people sit around asking themselves, “How can I oppress women and doom them to a life of second-class citizenship? I know, I’ll become pro-life/anti-choice!” There are pro-life people who are also strong advocates of equal rights, and who fight against subjugation of women.

Welcome to the boards, Ray. I hope that your desire to fight ignorance soon overrides your ability to be insensitive and rude, and that you stay with us for Great Debates.

I also like the “anti-choice” label, BTW. But maybe pro-lifers would rather call us “anti-lifers” or “pro-deathers”. How would you feel about that? Err, wait, better not answer that if you cannot avoid spiteful rhetoric.

Again, welcome. It is nice to see people spouting facts and citations in their first few posts. However, I would like to take the following comment and respond to it:

Yeah, it pretty much is. What we do with the information we process in these forums isn’t a game, but the boards themselves? Well, let’s just say Bush Jr isn’t a poster here, and Powell doesn’t really have time to debate Middle Eastern Policy with the likes of us.

And fetuses, whether or not conscious, don’t have access to keyboards. :wink:

I’m rabidly prochoice and I found your OP to be overly insulting.

Another reason to search prior debates is to get a sense of the audience here. YOu’ll find that when the subject has come up, that when the tone of the OP is respectful and toughtful, they are more likely to get respectful and thoughtful replies. It’s an amazing thing really.

by the way, ‘education’ is not the same thing as ‘intelligence’

(by the way jarbaby, when coding the ‘bold’ you don’t need to capitalize them, ‘b’ and ‘/b’ inside the brackets work just as well - always willing to help save keystrokes for a friend, that’s me).

Ok, I cam see I’ve stepped on quite a few toes by posting in the tone that I did. Tell you what. I’m going to e-mail a moderator right now to delete this thread. I will then open up a new one and expound more carefully and politely on why I feel the way I do and the myriad flaws in anti choice philosophy. I think that will encourage people other than Captain Amazing to debate the issues. I’ll be able to get this done tomorrow.

I will also use this post to apologise for my tone. I feel extremely strongly on this issue and when I geta head of steam up it’s not always easy to control. Hopefully my next thread on the subject will be better received

No need to delete a thread. You’ve apologized, so let’s start fresh here again. Just make the careful, thought out argument on your next post to this thread. Of course, if a mod wants to lock the thread, that’s up to them, as I am not a mod :slight_smile:

*Ray Heller *, that was a good apology.

FYI, although I’m as rabidly pro-choice as wring, the nature of your presentation made me want to take the other side.

(wring will be happy to confirm that all of my posts are moderate in tone and soundly argued. Well, some of them are. ;))

The apology is appreciated, Ray, but did you really have to spoil it with another snipe at the pro-life movement?

The community here, as far as I have been able to tell, is extraordinary in that, for the vast part, they respect their fellow web boarders, whether or not they agree with them. Calling someone “Anti-Choice,” on the other hand, is supremely disrespectful of both ignorant and informed pro-lifers. These days, in America, we at least let a group define what it will call itself. Your “anti-choice” is a cheap rhetorical device, and has no place in a reasonable debate.

So please, for my happiness, and for mutual respect towards and from this community, it’s pro-life. Thanks.


I hesitate to get into abortion debates because I am one of the few people that is neither “pro-choice” nor “pro-life” and thus, tend to piss off both sides. I have thought about the issue in depth and realized that I am between both camps. Allow me to explain.

I find the concept of human life beginning at birth as equally ridiculous as human life beginning at conception. It is obvious, to me at least, that a fertilized ovum is not a human being. If that were the case many forms of birth control, such as the pill and IUDs would be murder. It is equally obvious that a baby is not appreciably different one day after birth from one day before.

We must define a “starting point” for human life. To the OP:

**To me the 7th month qualification is incrediably important. It is in the third trimester that the brains of human fetuses begin emiting alpha waves. It is also at this time that the fetuses begin kicking. This is the logic of Roe vs Wade and is the reason why SCOTUS also set the cutoff at the third trimester.

**Though I lean more to the pro-choice camp than the pro-life camp, I despise this argument. If fetuses are human life (as I believe they are in the third trimester) than compelling a mother not to kill her child is not undue hardship. It is preventing infanticide. We do not allow mothers to kill their babies after birth, regardless of whatever hardship caring for the child will cause. This brings us back to when a fetus becomes a child, and is a question that too many pro-choice people gloss over. (In this at least, the pro-lifers have made their position clear - life begins at conception).

Additionally, the whole notion that motherhood = relegation to second-class-citizen status is completely ridiculous.

**No they aren’t, there are too many differences to list, but I’ll skip it because other dopers have already covered this.


Allright, in order:

1.)A case can be made that the already born infant is a non-sentient parasitic entity. It can not survive on its own and it’s cognitive abilities are not fully matured. Most of us will agree that killing this infant would be murder. If a baby is not appreciably different one day before birth than it is one after, then killing the “non sentient parasitic entity” is also infanticide.

2.)From the new scientist article:

But it is possible in the third trimester, which is the same time the feus emits alpha waves, kicks, etc. Therefore, I would argue that a human being exists before the actual birth.

3.)I have met my share of hateful, bone-ignorant, ANTI-lifers as well. <shrug>

So, what is my positon? I believe that abortion is a necessary evil. Human life begins sometime in late second - early third trimester. Abortion should be legal in the first trimester no questions asked, legal in the second trimester only for cases of rape, incest, and danger to ther health of the mother, and legal in the third trimester only in cases where the mother’s life is threatened. I have deprted from Roe v Wade with my opinion of the second trimester to provide a greater buffer.

Lastly, there is this:

Guilt regarding abortion will never go away. Many women feel guilt after a miscarriage. There is no reason for them to feel guilty, yet they still do. I seriously doubt that women will become so jaded that they are not affected by the termination of their preganancy, be it natural or artificial.

I prefer to identify myself as “pro-abortion” rather than “pro-choice” as I find the latter too vague and the former seems to entertain pro-lifers.

Apology accepted. Now if we could just change the title too.

I’ll try and deal with the salient points in the OP.

Nice list, although it is precisely the differences that Captain Amazing pointed out that is the crux of the argument. A z/e/f is completely different from the sperm and ova that created it.

I consider it a “life,” by which I mean something worthy of protection. Others think life starts at viability and that is when it deserves protection. Othes still think it begins at birth, and it has no rights before then. This is the sticking point in almost any debate about abortion. You say (quite rudely) that it isn’t life, and I say it is. Until you invent a “soul” detector, you probably aren’t going to convince me otherwise, and vice-versa.

Since I believe the z/e/f is worthy of protection, the next step is how much protection is it worth. To deny an abortion to a woman who truly wants one is a denial of her rights to do whatever she wants. This is not servitude, this is not relegating them to second-class citizens, but is a recognition that some rights are not without limit. Again, you have some people who believe it isn’t life until birth, so it is worthy of no protection at all, and a woman should be able to get abortions on demand, at any time prior to birth. You have other people who believe that when it reaches viability, it is worthy of protection. Hence, the government can deny abortions in the last trimester, and can restict them in the second trimester, but can’t in the first trimester. This seems to be the current view of the Supreme Court.

I’m not sure what you believe from this. Do you think abortions should NEVER be restricted until “birth?” That it would still be O.K. to (and I’ll use a polite word) “terminate” the kid until it physically comes out of the mother?
I feel that, since life begins at conception, you must weigh it’s rights against the womans. I feel that life’s right not to be terminated, in many cases, outweighs the woman’s right to unadulterated control over her body. Am I restricting a woman’s right? Yes. Am I enslaving her, and making her servile to non-sentient, parasitic entity, NOPE.

Add to the debate this far the fact that most people think that the government shouldn’t even be involved in weighing these rights, and you have an even bigger mess.

Ignoring your loaded language, name calling, and rhetorical idiocy (which ain’t easy with you, pal) I don’t put value on life just to the fact whether or not it feels pain.

As to the rest of your OP, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume your not a trolling idjit, and ignore it.

Um, Beeblebrox, where in the world did you get the idea that babies don’t kick until the 7th month?

An embryo wiggles almost from the start. By 8 weeks, it’s swimming around like a little polliwog. The movements don’t usually get strong enough for the mother to feel until about 4 months along (once upon a time, this was called ‘quickening’), but after that, she can feel movement quite frequently. Not long after that, someone with their hand on mom’s belly will be able to feel the kicks too. By 7 months, the mom is feeling pretty beat up and has 2+ months to go, and often, by 8 months, the kicks are visible to observers.

Not gonna participate here, but I have to correct that. Hope it helps.

I’ll join wring, Triskadecamus, and others, and say that while I’m as staunchly pro-choice as anyone, it’s embarrassing to be lumped in with this kind of lunatic frothing-at-the-mouth incoherence.

The apology is a good start, but I’ll wait for your revised thesis before I decide whether or not to advocate adding your bandwagon to the existing parade.

You are absolutely right of course. I was wrong about the first kicks and I was wrong about SCOTUS setting the Roe v Wade cutoff at the third trimester because of quickening. It was because of viability. Some believe that they looked at the arcahic concept of quickening as the chief reason for setting viability here (others aren’t sure and the justices never satisfactoraly explained). Take these imperfectly remembered facts, percolate them through my addled brain, and you get the misconception that kicking starts at about 28 weeks. Oh well.

But alpha waves do start at about 28 weeks, which is the more important part of my argument.

[Moderator Hat ON]

Thread locked at the request of the OP.

[Moderator Hat OFF]