Re: Emergency Contraception

1
No one argues "Life begins at implantation".

Actually, people do argue that pregnancy begins at implantation.

If this is about the Hobby Lobby SCOTUS case, it's a total red herring.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 2:42 PM
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We've discussed that case before, a few months ago, so no, this isn't. This is actually about the argument that if pro-lifers only understood the science, they wouldn't mind EC.

Hobby-Lobby is obvious to me: Just because you have dollars doesn't mean that you get to control those dollars forever and ever, once you hand them over to your employees. Who knows what the Justices think.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 2:45 PM
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Quickening


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 2:47 PM
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Just because you have dollars doesn't mean that you get to control those dollars forever and ever

Maybe we should have different colored money for different purposes, like that ING ad with the orange money for retirement. Orange money for retirement, blue for taxes, green for household items like food and rent, red for entertainment.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 2:48 PM
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3: That's about four months later.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 2:48 PM
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I see upon googling that occasionally people do say "Life begins at implantation". If that's the scientific clarification that the pro-EC people are relying on, they're not being very articulate about it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 2:54 PM
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I fucking love implantation.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 2:57 PM
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Emergency contraception doesn't prevent implantation; it delays ovulation. IUDs prevent implantation.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 2:57 PM
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That is, if you already have a fertilized egg, Plan B is too late.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 2:58 PM
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You know, now I realize that I know 8 to be true. But you see things like this:

The government's response is that none of these contraceptives ends a pregnancy. Rather, they prevent implantation in the uterine lining.

all the time.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:00 PM
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(Not the actual mechanism of action means shit to the pro-life warriors. That's just their cover for wanting to punish women who have sex they don't approve of.)


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:00 PM
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8: This gets you into the sub-kookiness of the claims that EC (and BC generally) does prevent implantation sometimes - even the FDA says so! Which turns out to be kooky, but it's another rathole.

Overall, though, I tend to agree with H-G that the people who oppose EC don't do so because of a detailed but incorrect belief about the mechanism.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:00 PM
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Oh damn, right. IUDs are not the same as EC. Sorry all. I should have aborted at the first impulse to post, and waited until I had the resources and planning to carry a mature post to term.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:01 PM
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I don't want to be a scold, but "pro-life" is a term I would like advocates of reproductive rights to stop using altogether.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:02 PM
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Now you'll just have to raise this thread best you can, blogwhore.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:02 PM
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Okie-dokie. What should I use?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:02 PM
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16: Anti-sex.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:03 PM
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16 to 14 or 15.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:03 PM
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Motherfuckers.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:03 PM
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14: I'm down with that scolding. Typing quickly and all that.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:03 PM
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19 to 16. They're easy to come by.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:04 PM
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People used to think they maybe did prevent implantation and the labels on Plan B say that that is one of the ways it works. Which is what caused this mess.
"But an examination by The New York Times has found that the federally approved labels and medical Web sites do not reflect what the science shows. Studies have not established that emergency contraceptive pills prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the womb, leading scientists say. Rather, the pills delay ovulation, the release of eggs from ovaries that occurs before eggs are fertilized, and some pills also thicken cervical mucus so sperm have trouble swimming. "


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:06 PM
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8: I think the hormonal IUD prevents both ovulation and implantation. The copper one prevents implantation.

I think Heebie's absolutely right, though, that the bar is set impossibly high to use anything resembling science to argue this point. What about Depo Provera? That prevents ovulation, but what if it doesn't and a fertilized egg passed without implanting? Or birth control taken year round with no off weeks? And how is this such a terrible evil thing is it happens normally to an extremely high percentage of fertilized eggs? Their argument seems to be that nothing is acceptable because nothing works in a way we understand with high precision and works 100% of the time.

I realized this when asking a Catholic why barrier methods weren't OK with the church. "Because you're thwarting god's will," he replied. There is no winning position when that's the counter argument.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:08 PM
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I am pro-EC and I think Frederic Wertham was a big jerk.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:09 PM
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I think Heebie's absolutely right, though, that the bar is set impossibly high to use anything resembling science to argue this point.

While I agree with this, it's a charitable reading of the sloppy post I threw up there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:09 PM
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Seriously, I realize there's no easy shorthand (anti-choice, maybe), but "pro-life" reinforces the anti-choice narrative. It's the subject of the only email exchange I've ever had with JMM, and he's committed to keeping the term in the interest of current usage, so I don't expect even reasonable people to drop it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:10 PM
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25: I read what you meant.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:12 PM
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Time to convince people that life sucks.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:12 PM
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Some phrase about how they want to impose their beliefs on everyone else? Religious dominators?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:13 PM
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I always initially interpret JMM as James Michael McAdoo.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:15 PM
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a terrible evil thing isif it happens normally

Hopefully, I receive the same charity for that sad typo.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:15 PM
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To your point, though, I think you're right, but that only underscores God's disregard for His creation by letting so many fertilized little snowflakes go down the toilet.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:15 PM
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26: When I worked at CNN (approximately one million years ago), we weren't allowed to use either "pro-life" or "pro-choice." I remember one of the reporters making an argument that "pro-choice" was in fact an accurate description whereas "pro-life" was just tendentious, but nothing doing.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:16 PM
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It's essentially impossible to empirically detect a fertilized egg which does not implant. So all of these explanations are somewhat of guesswork. But fertilization doesn't happen immediately, and certainly the main affect of emergency contraception is that it stops ovulation and hence fertilization. So the main post is wrong.

I think one shouldn't use "conception" for "fertilization" though as I think "implantation" is closer to people's intuitive understanding of "conception" (and certainly much closer to the prescientific understanding of the beginning of a pregnancy that biblical authors would have had).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:16 PM
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This is typically the point in the thread where heebie announces that she's pregnant again.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:39 PM
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35: which would enable a more interesting thread, since 11 says basically all that really needs to be said about respecting the deeply held beliefs of the anti-unapproved sex brigades.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 3:58 PM
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In my experience, if you press an anti-choice person even slightly, you almost inevitably find that they are also anti-contraception generally, despite their B.S. claims to the contrary. So it's no surprise that they don't really care about the details of how any particular B.C. method works.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 4:13 PM
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38

Monty Python covered this a while ago.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 4:21 PM
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24, 35: LOL


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 4:48 PM
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to be precise, 24 was a knowing chuckle and 35 was a loud giggle.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 4:48 PM
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you almost inevitably find that they are also anti-contraception generally, despite their B.S. claims to the contrary.

Whereas, if there was a real desire to reduce the number of abortions, these people would be the first in line to promote widespread access to birth control.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 4:54 PM
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I always initially interpret JMM as James Michael McAdoo.

I see it as John Michael Montgomery, forever a superstar in my eyes for having one hit song in 1994.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 5:15 PM
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43

As a reminder, like practically everything else in American politics, the abortion wars got their start in racism.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 5:18 PM
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42 is me too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 5:19 PM
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43: If you haven't read this Jill Lepore piece, I commend it to you. As she tells the story, abortion wasn't just an arbitrary addition to the religious right agenda. It was deliberately chosen to build common ground between protestant fundamentalists and Roman Catholics, and to (not coincidentally) drive a wedge through the Democratic coalition. It blew my mind to learn that, in 1972, Richard Nixon was pro-choice and Ted Kennedy was anti-abortion.



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 6:34 PM
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In my experience, if you press an anti-choice person even slightly, you almost inevitably find that they are also anti-contraception generally, despite their B.S. claims to the contrary.

I've met plenty of Poles that are pro-life but have no problem with contraception, regardless of type. Given poll numbers in the US I'm pretty sure that there are lots of Americans with that position.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 7:19 PM
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Related, has any of the parties pointed out that the German Catholic Church recently decided that day after pills don't cause abortions and are therefore ok to provide to women who have been raped? As far as I can tell their justification for opposing contraception is now solely based on the idea that sex for fun is bad.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 7:23 PM
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I actually think it's pretty rare for people to be categorically anti-contraception. Maybe you mean they're against contraception for sluts?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:01 PM
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48: Uncommon but not rare, I'd say - 8% of US adults, 15% of US Catholics. And there are those working to bundle it into the same culture war package as abortion.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:00 PM
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14: Last time I said this in the other place I was taken to task for using "anti-abortion," because apparently that buys into the idea that anyone is okay with abortions rather than sad and regretful that they have to exist. This was in response to someone who'd shared what I'd written and so I didn't say that I don't actually feel that way about abortions, thus whatevs.

As everyone here knows, my mom is super duper insanely Catholic about abortion/contraception and is the most vocal person in the area writing newsletters and letters to the newspaper and so on. She's actually excited about the prospect of my getting an ablation for my super-fun bleeding disorder because it seems less morally bad than hormonal contraception, and she is aware that I don't need any of it for actual contraceptive purposes for so, so many reasons.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:06 PM
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I'm not 'sad and regretful' that abortions have to exist. Abortion is an unpleasant medical procedure that is a lot better than the alternative for those who choose to have abortions. Sure, it would be better not to have to have one, but isn't that generally true of medical treatment? Beyond that, they're a suboptimal method of contraception, so in that sense I agree with 'safe, legal, and rare', but contraception isn't 100% effective, and people's judgement when they're about to have sex isn't necessarily the best, so it's inevitable that you'll get unwanted pregnancies.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:18 PM
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In my experience, if you press an anti-choice person even slightly, you almost inevitably find that they are also anti-contraception generally, despite their B.S. claims to the contrary.

Not my experience at all.

And for the record, most of the "anti-choice"/"pro-life" women that I have ever known (my mother, my aunts, my grandmother) have been pretty kick-ass feminist on every other issue but this one. The internet template (pro- or anti-) doesn't really capture the nuances, and arguably was not designed to do so.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:26 PM
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Something I remember from Max Blumenthal's Republican Gomorrah is that secular people tend to look at the religious-right and say "Well, do you believe any of these people actually live like that? You bet they have sex, and they don't all have 14 kids, so do the math! and as for the abortion thing, wait 'til their daughter gets pregnant..."

...which is a fundamental misunderstanding of the emotional role of religion. The point isn't to make people observe the rules, it's about what happens when they inevitably don't observe them.

Catholicism makes this completely explicit through the mechanism of confession, evangelical Protestantism has the notion of being born again as a sort of kludgey hack to achieve the same effect without being Catholic.

As a result it's necessary that the rules be impossible to observe, in order to create the demand for a process that lets you assuage your guilt and return to the respectable side of society. This is also why they put up with the wide-stance cases and grifters - nothing speaks to the process of absolution in its theatrical role quite like a really big sinner repenting.

In a similar way, a lot of politics is about how conflicts are resolved and who gets to resolve them - the judge, the boss, the MP, the Mafia?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 4:52 AM
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Shorter me: repentance isn't waste, it's the product.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 4:54 AM
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Last time I said this in the other place I was taken to task for using "anti-abortion," because apparently that buys into the idea that anyone is okay with abortions rather than sad and regretful that they have to exist.

This makes me insane. I guess I understand maintaining the stance of "enormously painful and difficult personal decision deeply regretted," as a policy thing, but that has not always been the personal experience of women who have had abortions.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 5:11 AM
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the idea that anyone is okay with abortions

I am completely okay with abortions.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 5:53 AM
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55/56 is me too. I can vouch for abortions which have been quick, easy, and an emotional relief. No emotional hangover whatsoever is required.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 6:09 AM
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50.1 sounds like concern trolling from a Lakoffite to me. Of course one doesn't want to be "pro-abortion" any more than one wants to be "anti-life", branding-wise. That doesn't mean we all have to go rest on the couch every time the subject comes up.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 6:13 AM
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Me too -- getting an abortion was stressful, but the stressful bit was being unintentionally pregnant. The abortion was the solution to the problem, not an additional problem.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 6:18 AM
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My cousin's husband committed suicide. I haven't seen them in probably fifteen years, so I'm not exactly grieving myself, but it's a surprising email to receive anyway. Theirs was the fanciest wedding I've ever been to, by far.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 6:20 AM
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I don't mean to sound so callous - I'm very sorry for my cousin - I just didn't want to invite sympathy from you all on my behalf. We can talk about fancy weddings, instead.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 6:20 AM
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Ugh. Well without giving sympathy per se, suicide is horrific for the people left behind (and I'm guessing was leading up to the event for the completer too). More stressful than abortion?


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 6:23 AM
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Yow, your poor cousin.

Also, a note on IUD's above -- at least according to wikipedia, the primary mechanism of the copper IUD is preventing fertilization, not implantation. The copper acts as a spermicide, and the immune response to the IUD makes the uterus an inhospitable route for sperm as well. It may also disrupt implantation, but that's not the primary mechanism.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 6:23 AM
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and I'm guessing was leading up to the event for the completer too

This is what I always think too - good lord, how that person must have been suffering. The whole thing really is awful for those affected.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 6:25 AM
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Yikes. How awful.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 6:35 AM
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56: Hear, hear! Free abortion on demand!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 6:51 AM
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Sorta more on the heebie's cousin's husband tip, I've been meaning to write a letter to my friend's kids, the one who died a couple of years ago at 45. Just sharing my memories and thoughts about their dad, maybe not so much for right now as for when they are a bit older. Any thoughts on what direction to go with that? What would you want to hear about, in their position?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 6:55 AM
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56, 66: Someone at a liberal blog wrote a post about how the idea of a feminist left that believes in "abortion on demand" was a right-wing strawman, obviously a gross and ridiculous thing that no one thinks. I pointed out that "Abortion on demand without apology" is the old-schooliest of old-school women's liberation mantras. Nope! Obviously gross and ridiculous.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 7:09 AM
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67: The boyfriend's father died suddenly when he was in his early 20s. He likes stories where he can nod and laugh and say stuff like, yep, typical Dad. If the kids share personality traits, they might like hearing stuff that tells about their father's stubbornness, love of animals, sense of humor, etc. If you'd known him from high school or college, those tend to be fun years to tell stories about.

Heebie, your poor cousin & husband. That's just awful for everyone concerned.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 7:17 AM
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68: How did the idea that that's fringe become mainstream, even among liberals? I was exposed to the "safe, legal, rare" (and sad) perspective long before I'd seen "abortion on demand without apology" treated with anything but contempt. That art student multiple abortion controversy from a few years back was helpful in thinking this through.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 7:19 AM
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Any thoughts on what direction to go with that?

As with eulogies, small, idiosyncratic, personal details tend to be the most evocative and affecting. What was he like in the moment, rather than what he did with his life. Especially for the kids of dead parents, I think humanizing is more valuable than canonizing, and it's better, eventually, to mourn a real person.

Man, just in the last few weeks, I've heard of one long-time acquaintance being diagnosed with terminal cancer (she has a toddler) and another diagnosed with cancer of as yet unknown but likely significant severity (he has two kids under three). There are so many bullets buzzing by all our heads, all the time.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 7:28 AM
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68, 70: I think part of what happened to "abortion on demand" is that the anti-abortion wing did some very deft salami tactics with late-term abortion -- the hypothetical 8.75 months pregnant woman with a healthy pregnancy who whimsically decides to get an abortion at the last moment. Most people will react to that hypo by thinking that would be a nutty thing to do, and it's very implausible that anyone would. At which point the next move is "So you're not opposed to safeguards that make sure that that sort of thing isn't happening? Because if you were opposed to restrictions to prevent that sort of thing from happening, it means that you're in favor of women whimsically killing babies that would be perfectly capable of living outside the womb, for no reason other than their random bloodlust. That's what 'abortion on demand', without restrictions, means, right?" Anyone who ever argued about abortion with Sebastian Holsclaw over at Obsidian Wing, that was (roughly, and SH, if you ever happen to come across this, my apologies for oversimplifying and distorting your positions, and do feel free to show up and correct the record) basically his line.

And then once you're talking about restrictions, they become onerous enough to make any abortion whatsoever very difficult.

To put it another way, they managed to equate "abortion on demand" with Kermit Gosnell's clinic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 7:45 AM
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I'm in favor of abortion on demand up to and including during labor at nine months. I'm squeamish about late term abortion, but if it was my body involved I'd absolutely insist that I have the complete and unfettered right to do with it as I please. I also take this stance because of the issue in 72, where allowing for some restrictions puts you on the slippery slope to onerous restrictions all round.

In practice I'd be OK with the trimester formulation in the original Roe vs Wade decision, which IIRC permitted gradually increasing restrictions based on how far along the pregnancy is, but in this fight the other side has decided it's all or nothing so I plant my flag on no restrictions whatsoever other than that the clinic meet the medical standards appropriate to the procedure.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:00 AM
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Contra togolosh, I think the real key is to muddy the waters with even less coherent arguments. So, for instance, "yes, I support abortion at any age, but the fetus should have the right to try and defend itself in single combat". Then, sure, you can quibble about whether the fetus or the mother gets to designate a second, and whether you allow machine guns and explosives or just small arms, but at least now you've defined the terms of the debate.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:05 AM
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I think it's fair to say that there's pretty broad acceptance in the culture for the notion that as time and fetal development goes on, the balance of rights tips away from the woman (unless it doesn't, for health reasons) and towards the not yet born child.

72 is a little hyperbolic, what with the 8.75 months and the whimsy: it's a big country, and there's somebody who's going to do pretty much any fool thing. People can each have a sliding scale about what sort of thing squicks them as to reasoning for termination: fetus has Downs; it's a girl and they have a daughter and wanted a son; father is of another race, and I thought it would be ok, but he broke up with me and my family is going to disown me, etc. Sure, we'd be a better people if we could knock off being all judgmental all the time. Until that utopia is realized, however, choice advocates find it smart politics to avoid situations where being judgmental leads less dedicated people in the wrong direction.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:09 AM
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Maybe I'm already pwned, but wanted to add:

Copper IUDs, like hormonal ones, do not work normally by preventing implantation. Copper is a spermacide, and primarily they prevent fertilization. On rare cases implantation does occur, they can prevent implantation, but it's not their primary method of efficacy. This is also misinformation spread by pervasive anti-choice propaganda.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:17 AM
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71.1 is really excellent advice. Ogged should create a eulogy-on-demand app for aborted fetuses.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:17 AM
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The anti-abortion side has been doing pretty well these last 30 years, not because they've staked out the extreme all-or-nothing position, but because they've chosen to fight narrow battles where they can contrast a generally socially reasonable position with the extreme pro-choice any woman any reason any time position. Pro-choice can't win the battle of 20 vs. 26 weeks by taking the position that 26 is wrong, and there should be no limit at all.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:19 AM
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I don't think I can make heads of tails of 75, Charley, but I agree that paying close attention to the squick factor should be the paramount consideration in all policy prescriptions.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:20 AM
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73: In practice I'd be OK with the trimester formulation in the original Roe vs Wade decision, which IIRC permitted gradually increasing restrictions based on how far along the pregnancy is, but in this fight the other side has decided it's all or nothing so I plant my flag on no restrictions whatsoever other than that the clinic meet the medical standards appropriate to the procedure.

That's pretty much where I am. Pretty much all the countries in enlightened topless Europe have abortion restrictions tighter even than the Roe framework, but they're workable because the culture isn't one of attempting to prevent all abortion by any means necessary. With the anti-abortion movement we've got, though, any restrictions are going to turn into tools for harassing and injuring women.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:22 AM
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The anti-abortion side has been doing pretty well these last 30 years, not because they've staked out the extreme all-or-nothing position, but because they've chosen to fight narrow battles where they can contrast a generally socially reasonable position with the extreme pro-choice any woman any reason any time position.

It isn't clear that this is why they've done well. Did you read the Lepore article linked above? Anti-choicers have done well in significant part because of shrewd coalition building and a real genius for getting their people onto the bench.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:22 AM
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ah, read through more comments, pwned in 63. But yes, this is one of the more pernicious lies of the anti-choice lobby, since so many people don't know how IUDs work and it seems believable.

67

That is an excellent idea, and the kids will love it. I would write about how special their dad was to you and how you will never forget him. Then if you have any particular stories, funny, touching, etc. Share them. It sounds like they are quite young and in the future my not remember much specific about him, so the more concrete and detailed you can be in describing him and your interactions the better. I guarantee they will burst into tears reading it, but that is a very good thing. My father died when I was little, and one of the best things people can do is tell me they remember him and then recount an anecdote.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:22 AM
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I'm pretty sure the anti-abortion side has done well because of strategic bombing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:23 AM
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Er, whoops. 83 was intended to be a random joke, not a reference to horrific real-world violence. Ha ha, sorry, everybody!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:23 AM
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Just to clarify, 79 was sort of sarcastic; 81 wasn't (I don't think).


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:24 AM
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*you should write him


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:24 AM
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I think the best position for pro-choicers to take is the emotional argument the limit the agony of the mother whose fetus has severe abnormalities. This
1. resonates emotionally with everyone
2. paints the mother as compassionate
3. is actually the most critical battle to be fought at the moment
4. fights right at the border of the territory that pro-lifers are trying to grab.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:25 AM
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79 -- 'The paramount consideration in all policy prescriptions' is the grossest of mischaracterizations.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:25 AM
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By 87, I mean specifically in arguments with fence-sitters.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:26 AM
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Pro-choice can't win the battle of 20 vs. 26 weeks by taking the position that 26 is wrong, and there should be no limit at all.

Yes we can, or at least we should try. George Tiller was murdered by anti abortion lunatics for providing third-trimester abortions. While I can't vouch for every one of his patients personally, the overwhelming majority of them were women either with life-threatening health problems or with horribly damaged fetuses. Preventing those women from getting abortions would be a terrible injury to them, and I'm not willing to abandon them because morons are disgusted by the horrible situations they're finding themselves in. Fuck the squick factor.

That's what the anti-abortion people want to stop when they talk about stopping third-trimester abortions -- they're not limiting it to the whimisical/racist/sexist/whatever-the-hell-reason-you-don't-think-is-good-enough* abortions. If I thought they had the iota of compassion needed to let necessary abortions go forward, I'd be willing to negotiate. As it is, I'm not.
_____
*That is, reasons like the one I had when I had an (early) abortion. Nothing compelling other than I did not want to have a child at that time with a man I'd only been involved with for a couple of months.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:29 AM
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The anti-abortion side has done well in part because of a willingness to straight up lie about things like how many women go to Planned Parenthood for abortions (vs birth control, STI screening, etc.).


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:30 AM
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88 before seeing 85.

85 -- I don't see the current legislative majority in most of the country, or the current legal status, as much of a deviation from regional/local popular sentiment. Looking at what is the matter with Kansas, for example, I wouldn't say that people have been tricked into an anti-choice position by politicians playing to their class interests, but rather the reverse.

If Roe/Casey was reversed, and the issue sent back to
the states, I think you'd see outright bans passed in a huge swath of the country, with broad popular support in those places. Do you disagree?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:31 AM
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88: okay, fair enough. How about this? When it comes to formulating social policy, I don't think a great deal of (or maybe any) consideration should be given to what does and doesn't squick people out.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:34 AM
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because they've chosen to fight narrow battles where they can contrast a generally socially reasonable position

Also, this from 78 seems incomplete without the note that anti-abortion forces are lying about their "socially reasonable" positions -- that is, they have chosen to fight narrow battles where the restrictions they advocate appear reasonable to people who aren't paying attention, but are draconian in effect. All the notice bullshit intended to make abortion impossibly logistically burdensome for women in difficult situations, all the licensing bullshit that sounds like minor technicalities but in fact makes it impossible to keep a clinic open. No one with any serious interest in abortion as an issue is in fact advocating "reasonable" restrictions on abortion out of a sincere belief that the reasonable restriction is, honestly presented, a good thing in itself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:34 AM
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80 It varies significantly by country, but yeah, if the pro-life crowd said we'll take the French system enshrined in a constitutional amendment I'd say yes in a heartbeat(*). First twenty weeks zilch restrictions, everybody with access to publicly funded abortions on demand at a local hospital, after that sharply increasing restrictions but still easily accessible and publicly funded medically indicated late term abortions. Plus free hand outs of condoms and pills at schools, no parental notification or control for abortion or contraception, publicly funded hormonal and IUD contraception with tiny copays for adults.

*Of course they wouldn't, but they love to troll with stuff on how even France is more restrictive than the US and why won't you accept French type restrictions.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:35 AM
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George Tiller was murdered by anti abortion lunatics for providing third-trimester abortions.

During church. IN a sanctuary. You can tell that this isn't about religion at all, because where was the outrage of the supposed "religious" right that someone was gunned down in a divinely-decreed safe space? Where were all the people outraged that an act of domestic terrorism took place during a Christian worship service?


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:36 AM
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87: You can add one more argument to that, which is that some of those women have already had a living child die young. That's how they find out about the SMA or SLO. Now that they've watched one child die, they are adamant they'll never put another child through that.


Posted by: Anon for this one | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:36 AM
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If Roe/Casey was reversed, and the issue sent back to the states, I think you'd see outright bans passed in a huge swath of the country, with broad popular support in those places. Do you disagree?

I do, yes, because current polling is a snapshot that captures a moment in which abortion is still perceived as legal and widely available (though this is much less true than it used to be, of course). Once affluent, male voters realized that their wives and daughters might have a hard time getting an abortion, I think the politics would change pretty quickly.

Having said that, I don't really know what it has to do with the question of making policy by consulting the squickometer.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:39 AM
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95.1 isn't massively different to the UK system, although the 'zilch restrictions' is more a matter of convention than the actual content of the statute.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:40 AM
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I think, largely for reasons Alex says up thread, that the political salience of abortion as an issue in the US has extremely little to do with actual abortions, much less detailed arguments about what's appropriate at what week for what fetus.

It's a totem for a broader argument about traditional religious (and maybe by extension patriarchal) authority; the fear isn't so much abortion per se but legal abortion that can't be condemned by a powerful church/religious authority/patriarchy. In this context quibbling about details is pointless. The good news is that the long term trends are solidly against the power of entrenched religious authority in the US; the other side knows this and that's why they fight hard and hysterically.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:41 AM
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If Roe/Casey was reversed, and the issue sent back to
the states, I think you'd see outright bans passed in a huge swath of the country, with broad popular support in those places. Do you disagree?

Depends what you mean by bans and a huge swathe of the country. Polling numbers I've seen show consistent over sixty percent support for first trimester abortion on demand with zero restrictions. There is negligible popular support for bans on abortions in the case of rape or incest. Most House republicans have signed on to legislation that would treat a first trimester non-health related abortion as murder for hire - no different than taking out a hit on your teenage daughter because those college tuitions are really steep, and anyways, she's a big time suck. Or in other words the Central America framework. I don't think there's any state in the country where such a position commands 'broad popular support'.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:44 AM
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97: I was wondering if you were around. How are you?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:44 AM
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I'm OK. Yesterday my younger son might have turned one. And this is the two year anniversary of the bad week for my older son. In about an hour, two years ago, the ultrasound tech is going to go get the doctor to tell us terrible things. This will lead to our flying to another state to get a late term abortion instead of having one in our local hospital, in case anyone doesn't believe in how hard it is to get a late abortion.

But the grief has lifted. It isn't so raw anymore and I can tell that we weren't well but now are better.

Yale may have answers for us in the next few weeks. That would help a lot.


Posted by: Anon for this one | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:53 AM
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90: exactly that.


Posted by: backwardsinheels | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:58 AM
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90 -- I wasn't and wouldn't suggest giving an inch, ever, on health of the woman. The debate between 20 and 26 is when that kicks in as a necessary factor.

I get that you want to take a position that wouldn't command 20% of the vote in any legislature in the country. The people who run the principal pro-choice organizations, the people who run the predominantly pro-choice political party, and pretty much anyone running for elective office anywhere in the country are making the other choice. Maybe they are cowards, but they're not morons.

91 -- It's a grave error to assume the other side is misinformed into their opposition to abortion and can be educated out of it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 8:59 AM
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A big part of the uphill battle for the pro-choice side is that people are so good at making exceptions for themselves and those close to them without rethinking their overall stance. A person I knew in college was like this. She was apposed to legalized abortion, but then defended the decision of a friend of hers to get one. This defense didn't involve altering her anti-choice stance one bit. The friend was apparently in a special, difficult position and "really" needed to get an abortion. Unlike, one presumes, all those frivolous sluts who get them for fun.

It's like people who don't alter their "welfare queens" griping even after temporarily living on government assistance themselves. They were just hard working 'murkins who went through a rough patch, unlike those other lazy leeches.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:01 AM
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apposed = opposed


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:01 AM
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103: Oof, on the significance of the dates, but glad to hear you guys are in a better place. Please update us when you hear from Yale.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:02 AM
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National polling is why Romney thought it was going to be close.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:03 AM
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Best of luck, Anon. We're all pulling for you.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:04 AM
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What debate between 20 and 26? Show me someone who's sincerely advocating no restrictions on abortion before 20 weeks and not unreasonably interfering with abortion as necessary for the health of the woman or in the case of a badly damaged fetus after that point, and if I believe those are their political goals, I can talk to them. But there is no one politically active on abortion in the US who actually favors that.

The actual effect in the US climate of restrictions around the health of the mother and other 'reasonable' restrictions is to shrink the number of providers until they're easy targets for murder. At this point, it seems like a bad idea to compromise with anti abortion forces working toward that goal.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:05 AM
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106 is pretty much the whole game, for reasons that Alex says above. The problem isn't so much abortion per se, it's legalized abortion. Everyone knows that in the right circumstances if te right person really needs it and can afford it -- well, then it can be forgiven. But if you just make it legal and "available on demand" you've lost the ability of the religious authority/patriarchy to assert authority.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:09 AM
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National polling is why Romney thought it was going to be close.

This isn't really true, though, is it? Romney thought it was going to be close because he surrounded himself with yes men who insisted it was going to be close. Whether Romney's decision to so surround himself was a byproduct of CEO culture, the Republican Party's war on expertise, or epistemic closure (gah, I can't believe I just typed that) is open for debate. But if Romney had just read the polls, he would have known that he was going to lose.

More deeply than that, I still can't figure out what you're arguing.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:09 AM
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103: My thoughts are often with you and your sweet sons. I hope Yale has helpful news for you soon.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:10 AM
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I'm not suggesting anyone actually compromise or that there's someone with whom on can negotiate. I'm suggesting that the battle should be fought where it is taking place, not at some theoretical space where it is not taking place.

There currently aren't 5 votes to overturn Roe/Casey on the first trimester. Is there even one vote to overturn Roe/Casey on the third trimester, as your position indicates you want?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:12 AM
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113: Not to speak for Charley, but I think he's suggesting that it's unrealistic of us to discount the vast majority of the country that is unhappy with unrestricted late term abortion, and that we shouldn't call them morons or think they can be talked out of it.

Obviously, I've been disagreeing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:14 AM
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115: The point of the 'abortion on demand' position, in terms of the actually existing legislative fights, is to make it clear that all of the actually existing 'reasonable' abortion-specific regulations (I'm not talking about anything that would be equally applicable to any general surgery outpatient clinic) are disingenuous attempts to harass and injure women and providers. There's no point into getting sucked into any specific argument about whether this notice requirement is reasonable, or that required ultrasound, or the other admitting-privileges requirement.

While the particular laws may be carefully crafted to appeal to people with 'reasonable' compromise views, there's no one with 'reasonable' compromise views actually active in abortion politics.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:20 AM
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117 seems right. Also, I think that being pro abortion rights has been a significant net political winner for Democrats for many years now, and will only continue to be more of a winner in the future. Obviously there are some local places where this isn't true, but the long term trend here is clear, which is that being pro-abortion rights is good politics.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:42 AM
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Crumb, I didn't see you adopt the new name, so I'm not sure who you are. Which is only relevant because I can't tell if you're a native speaker of one of the languages that makes no difference between the words policy and politics. I'm talking about politics. And you have to take into account the feelings of voters -- you can try to change their minds, obviously, or present them with narratives that move them beyond the squick factor. But I don't see how your movement works when you just ignore them.

LB I'm not disagreeing with you about what the anti-abortion activist agenda is. They are able to parlay a minority position -- and nowhere no how is a minority position -- into legislative and judicial power because they win the center. I'm not suggesting that you can compromise with activists. I'm suggesting that you can show a legislator that the restrictions he/she is being asked to enact aren't considered reasonable by the bulk of his/her constituents.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:44 AM
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Obviously there are some local places where this isn't true, but the long term trend here is clear, which is that being pro-abortion rights is good politics.

Really? Obviously I'm the opposite of Pauline Kael, but I'd pessimistically assumed abortion rights are on their way out.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:44 AM
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In a former life, I spoke only Dutch.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:50 AM
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I agree with Halford in 100, but I think it's important to note that this is a substantial part, but not all, of the anti-abortion side, and that among those to whom this applies, it mostly applies subconsciously. And so, no cure other than embalming fluid.

My (casual) read is that among younger folks, both extreme positions are losing ground. Which probably gets us to the horse designed by committee we have, with little restriction at the beginning, and lots of restriction as time goes on.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:55 AM
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I found it easier just to look up your IP address, but feel free to perplex them with arcane clues.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:55 AM
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121: Oh, huh. I was just going to ask who you were.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:58 AM
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The anti-abortion people haven't been able to obtain power because they win "the center." To the extent they have power, it's because they're a vocal part of a Republican coalition that's taken power in many places. But are on net, and increasingly, a liability for that coalition.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:00 AM
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and that we shouldn't call them morons or think they can be talked out of it.

Obviously, I've been disagreeing

You disagree, and think it's okay to call them morons?


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:05 AM
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But are on net, and increasingly, a liability for that coalition.

Sure doesn't look like it over here, but again, obviously it wouldn't.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:05 AM
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I was pretty sure I knew -- and was right -- but, you know, one shouldn't presume.

We voted on a parental notification measure last election. The 2011 lege had put it on the ballot because they couldn't get it passed over the Gov's veto. Passed in the 2012 election 70-30. Same voters narrowly elected a pro-choice Dem as governor.

PP sued, and got summary judgment last month: res judicata based on a 1999 decision striking down parental notification. I think everyone expects affirmance from our Supreme Court.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:10 AM
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I don't follow TX politics, but I thought the hope for the future was pro choice women and professionals plus Latinos. Nationally, without the abortion issue, you'd see maps that look more like 1988.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:13 AM
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Way back to the mostly deprecated OP, I just want to note that, if HG had been right about the technology of EC, she'd still have been wrong on the merits, because people arguing that every union of an egg and sperm is a complete human with full rights under the Constitution and a soul that will live forever are also implicitly arguing that their loving God slaughters 2/3* of humans before they reach their 1,000th cell - but they would never admit to believing that, because their whole rhetoric is predicated on aborted fetuses being precious babies. But it's hard to argue from preciousness when your omnipotent God sees fit to discard them like hangnails.

And here's the thing: if you take away "precious baby from Second One", you're back into Roe's inherently reasonable approach, which is favorable ground to pro-choice forces. A lot of the squick factor, contra Charley, comes from a vague sense that anti-abortion absolutists are on to something - that even a 10th week abortion is awful, let alone 38th week.

One more thing: if the MSM treated the absolutists with the disdain appropriate to unscientific ignoramii, that would also help shift the debate. I know full well that the MSM doesn't give a shit for science, by my point is that it's a worthwhile place to pushback, because you're certainly more likely to gain ground on Meet The Press with an argument from Science than an argument from first wave feminism.

*or is it 1/3 of fertilized eggs that don't implant? Doesn't change the point


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:14 AM
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I don't follow TX politics, but I thought the hope for the future was pro choice women and professionals plus Latinos. Nationally, without the abortion issue, you'd see maps that look more like 1988.

Yeah, but Latinos aren't generally pro-choice.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:16 AM
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JRoth, God calls those children home because they are so perfect, they don't need to go through the pain and misery of life on earth to prove their worthiness to go to heaven.

I made that up. But there's no arguing with religion.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:17 AM
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I think exaggerated respect for squeamishness about late-term abortion (as distinct from early abortion) as sincere and strongly held is a mistake. Where it's sincere, it's not strongly held (that is, someone who's sincerely troubled by 'frivolous' late abortions is someone who can be reassured by the facts of actual late abortions without the need for additional restrictions) and where it's strongly held, it's not sincere (people who are passionately opposed to late-term abortions are the same people who are passionately opposed to all abortions).

Calling anyone you're trying to convince of anything a moron ever is probably a tactical mistake, admittedly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:17 AM
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No, or at least not vocally so, but they also generally aren't brought into the Republican Party by pro life rhetoric, while that same rhetoric turns off white, affluent women.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:19 AM
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Anecdata


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:20 AM
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134 to 131.


Posted by: RH | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:20 AM
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Also, if all those fertilized eggs are full humans, why are we wasting our money on cancer research when we could be spending it on the much much bigger problem of eggs failing to implant?

I'm pretty convinced that no one actually thinks life begins at fertilization, they just think they do because they haven't thought it through


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:20 AM
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I'm kind of with Charley on the 1/3d of fertilized eggs not implanting as not a useful argument. I think the religious answer to that is "Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi": if God wants those precious babies to have very very short lives, that's what he wants, and that doesn't give us the right to kill other precious babies.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:22 AM
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But there's no arguing with religion.

Oh, of course not. But once you've got the people who say God is on their side publicly admitting that their God does things that look monstrous to everyone outside the circle (and remember, the whole reason the minority view on abortion has advanced so far is the passionate intensity of the extremists crossed with a broader public that finds the extremists vaguely sympathetic), they lose the moral high ground.

I'd add that people find the simplistic pro-life story (life=conception=fertilization) very appealing; upending that appeal would have positive effects all on its own, IMO.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:27 AM
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I don't think most religious opposition to abortion is driven by fine theological/Aristotelian argument in any case. As I keep overemphasizing, the point isn't so much abortion itself but who has the ability to decide when one is justified.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:28 AM
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138: I think it probably takes "abortion == Holocaust" off the table, doesn't it?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:29 AM
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Don't forget all the religious uproar over stem cell research, artificial insemination ("snowflake babies" and whatnot), etc. If life starts at implantation, the fundies lose on more than contraception.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:30 AM
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141: I dunno, did the 1918 Spanish Flu make people less upset about the Holocaust? If you believe in God, he kills people all the time. He's a but-for cause of literally everyone's death. So pointing out that he's killing another category of people that you hadn't noticed before doesn't seem to say much about whether it would be legitimate to kill similar people. (I mean, I'm not the best at empathizing with religious people, not being one myself. But I think if I was, arguments based on the high rate of non-success among fertilized eggs would bounce right off me.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:34 AM
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they just think they do because they haven't thought it throughdoing so gives them a cudgel against abortion and a foot in the door against contraception.

If you can force an anti-abortion advocate to say out loud, "Fertilized eggs aren't humans, but implanted ones are," a lot of the simplistic appeal is reduced.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:38 AM
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143: I'm surprised that there isn't more effort to determine when a fertilized egg hasn't been implanted, so that a funeral or similar ceremony could be held. I'm serious; that it doesn't happen to my knowledge means either I'm ignorant of it occurring or there's something scientific/technical making having that knowledge very difficult or expensive.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:40 AM
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|| It looks like we'll have CNN coverage back in town tomorrow for the next episode of the Newlywed Case. Should I go watch the proceedings? |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:40 AM
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would bounce right off me.

Because you're not putting all of this moral weight on the preciousness of every life. "I knew you before you were formed in the womb... and decided to hell with you."

But again, I'm not trying to convince the extremists; I'm trying to demonstrate to disinterested parties that the extremists aren't holding forth merely a logical, black-and-white moral position, but rather a weird, hard-to-defend/explain one.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:41 AM
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145: Literally, I think there's no practical way at the moment to find out whether a non-implanted fertilization took place.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:42 AM
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I'm pretty convinced that no one actually thinks life begins at fertilization, they just think they do because they haven't thought it through

Wait. If I had to give an answer, I might say "life, however weakly, begins at fertilization." I don't think it's a nonsensical statement. Something starts then. It doesn't bother me if tons of life fails to implant.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:45 AM
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147: But we're talking about the same God that kills babies with diarrhea now, and that doesn't bother people (in the sense that religious people aren't more likely to think "So maybe infanticide is okay" on that basis). "If this entity was such a big moral deal, God wouldn't cavalierly kill it" can't be an argument, because he kills us all eventually.

Eh, I'm wrong about the emotional appeal of the argument, because too many people disagree with me, and I've accepted that I'm a robot on a lot of issues like this. This one just sets off my deep robot nature.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:45 AM
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As I keep overemphasizing, the point isn't so much abortion itself but who has the ability to decide when one is justified.

This is right. It's all about punishing sluts. Or rather, not sabotaging with God's Natural Slut Punishment. If she's sympathetic, then by all means she shouldn't be punished.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:47 AM
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Latinos aren't generally pro-choice

Not true!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:48 AM
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149: I think any sentence with "Life begins" that doesn't go on to include "3.5 billion years ago" is only going to confuse people. There's no moment in conception where non-life turns to life -- everything involved was alive before and after. "Human life begins" isn't any better, because all the cells involved were human cells at all times.

If you're trying to talk usefully about a moment when something begins in this context, I think the only thing to talk about is individual personhood, or some formulation like that. A kidney ready for transplant is alive, and it's human life, but it's not a person with moral rights. It only makes sense to me to talk about a zygote/embryo/fetus in terms of whether or not it's a person, rather than whether or not it's human life.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:49 AM
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148: Thanks, I'm seriously very ignorant about that. I guess I'd expect more research dollars to be thrown at it, or there to be before-the-fact rituals of some sort acknowledging the probable sacrifices being made, or something. But that's not very empathetic of me and continuing on that line of thought isn't going to be helpful in any way.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:51 AM
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I'd seen the result in 152 before and should have remembered it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:01 AM
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I'd pessimistically assumed abortion rights are on their way out.

As the blog's youth correspondent, I disagree. The economy is in the shitter and everyone under the age of 30 has basically given up hope of ever having a real job. The young people are keenly aware that unintended pregnancy would be disastrous.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:03 AM
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153.1: "... its story on Checkers the dog with the following sentence"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:03 AM
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I haven't read the whole thread yet but
limit the agony of the mother whose fetus has severe abnormalities. This
1. resonates emotionally with everyone

This doesn't resonate emotionally at all with me. It makes me really uncomfortable in fact, mostly because of how fuzzy and subjective a category "severe" is.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:04 AM
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155: Yeah, the "Latinos are anti-abortion because papacy" belief is just so much Republican wishful thinking. See also: Jeb Bush's Mexican wife will trump decades of open racism from the Republican Party.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:08 AM
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Jeb Bush's Mexican wife will trump decades of open racism from the Republican Party.

Weirdest damn card game.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:09 AM
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I agree with Halford: 10 years ago conventional wisdom was that abortion was a winning issue for pro-life people, but now that they're on the offense, it's a losing one since continuous attack on reproductive rights in the face of multiple victories has led to an inability/unwillingness to conceal the misogyny & religious fanaticism behind restricting abortion.* There are people and places where restricting abortion is popular, but those people are going to be Republican no matter what, so Republican electoral persuasiveness is overdetermined. I would lump it under "cultural" issues like gay marriage and certain forms of racism, which are increasingly an albatross if the Republicans ever want to win a national election again.

*Overturning Griswold, which appears to be the ultimate goal for many right wing male politicians, will never be a winning issue. 98% of women use contraception, and this is not an issue that can be politicized all that easily. Shouting SLUT PILLS!!! SLUTS SLUTS!! when bc access is brought up turns off a large percentage of pro-life conservative women and is a guaranteed election loser (Obama should write Rush Limbaugh a thank you note). Judging from NRO comments, the Right hasn't really learned anything from 2012 on this issue either.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:11 AM
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individual personhood

Wo when a zygote incorporates, then? Seems reasonable.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:16 AM
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Wo indeed. What could be more reasonable than that?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:19 AM
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Wo s/b so. Or whatever the fuck.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:19 AM
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Having done some analysis of election demographic trends in 2012, the data show Latinos and Asians are pretty pro-choice and likely going to stay that way. My armchair analysis of why would be that Latinos are from Catholic countries is ridiculously restricted, so you have ectopic pregnancy as the leading cause of maternal death in Nicaragua, and 13 YO rape victims forced to give birth to their stepfather's baby. This + poor social safety nets & much class stratification mean they understand why people need really abortions and how hard it is when they're illegal. Conversely, Asians are pro-choice because abortion is totally accepted and legal until the day before birth in almost all Asian countries, so Asian immigrants don't get why it's a big deal here. There's also not much religious tie-in, except in maybe the Philippines. Korea is a prime example of a very conservative, mostly Christian country where women frequently use abortion as a primary form of bc. If Republicans want to be convincing on this topic, their explicit racism & xenophobia is totally repugnant to both groups and really a turn off for whatever else they might be pedaling.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:20 AM
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And pwned, too! I'm ready to be consumed by the pigs now, Halford.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:20 AM
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IME, zygotes rarely incorporate. It's hard for them to get the necessary filings done before their fingers develop.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:22 AM
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But I'll stop harassing you now. Despite the simmering rage any pseud change causes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:23 AM
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160: You forgot Poland didn't say UNO!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:28 AM
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Could you clarify what you mean in 149? What exactly begins then? How is a sperm or an egg not alive?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:30 AM
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Personally I think that any meaningful notion of "soul" requires a developed brain. So I wouldn't draw any moral line whatsoever at implantation. I just think that the line people want to draw at fertilization is incoherent and that the distinction people want to make there actually happens at implantation.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:43 AM
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I just think that the line people want to draw at fertilization is incoherent and that the distinction people want to make there actually happens at implantation.

Can you describe what you think they're thinking? Because (while I agree with you about the brain being necessary for soul/personhood), I'm not getting what makes implantation a better line than fertilization. I mean, at fertilization, you've got the individual DNA established. I could see saying that the pregnancy doesn't begin, in a medical sense, until implantation, but if you're focused on the zygote/embryo, I'm not getting why you'd see implantation as a line affecting its moral importance.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:48 AM
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168: the zygotes have attorneys, silly. As for the pseud change, I explained in another thread that there were enough immediately identifying things floating around that it was necessary. I mean, I mostly don't care if people know what I write here -- because I mostly don't think I've written things that are beyond the pale (especially given that all of my most strident contentions have long since been vindicated) -- but Sifu Tweety convinced me years ago that it's not the worst idea to have some plausible deniability or whatever. And having seen a colleague nearly hounded out of his job for some stuff his enemies hoped he wrote on the internet, I suppose it makes sense to strive to be safe rather than sorry.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:52 AM
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That said, I do know how you hate pseud changes, so I promise to make the next one even more annoying than this.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:53 AM
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(Any simmering rage was obligatory schtick. I'm not actually enraged, or at least not more than my usual baseline.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 11:57 AM
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I think the argument people want to make (I was kind of waiting for Heebie to make it) is that they want the point where the typical course of nature will result in a new individual human. Since the typical fertilized egg does not implant, I don't think fertilization yields a special new potential that's different from an egg.

The DNA argument is the best attempt you can make. But DNA doesn't map well onto what we actually think of as individuals. Identical twins aren't the same person, and chimeras aren't two different people. (It's also somewhat difficult to distinguish from cancer if you're relying on new DNA as being the key issue.) Also, on the basis of DNA alone it's difficult to distinguish between the separate sperm and egg and the joined sperm and egg. All the information (and if you're relying on DNA you're saying it's the information that's important) is there before the joining.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 12:00 PM
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Also, on the basis of DNA alone it's difficult to distinguish between the separate sperm and egg and the joined sperm and egg. All the information (and if you're relying on DNA you're saying it's the information that's important) is there before the joining.

The rest of it, I see your point. On this, though, it seems wrong -- the missing information is whether fertilization will occur, and if so which sperm will fertilize the egg. It's like saying in October that you know who the next president will be because you can narrow it down to one of two possibilities.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 12:05 PM
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Fair enough, the last point was the weakest, which is why I put it last. Though I think your argument in 177 is actually picking out a moment just before fertilization.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 12:07 PM
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it's not the worst idea to have some plausible deniability

You're not fooling anybody, Leiter.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 12:14 PM
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178: Right, what if that sperm pulls out at the last second.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 12:20 PM
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One is free to argue science with people who don't believe in it, obviously. Knock yourself out.

The question, for non-theologians, is when the "thing" is enough of a person that it has interests enough that the state can balance them against those of the woman. At the extremes -- conception and birth -- the argument is mostly philosophical. The current answer in the law is basically pragmatic: when it could, if surgically removed, survive without the woman.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 12:20 PM
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181 And from a pro-choice perspective, there's no point in engaging in a scientific/philosophical exercise that leads to an answer somewhere between conception and viability.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 12:27 PM
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Human life begins the first time you look at the entity and think OMG s/he is sooooo cute!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 12:41 PM
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Well, that's what the ultrasound/probe people are going for.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 1:16 PM
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At the elective abortion point, there's not much to see on an ultrasound. I'd think the heartbeat would be potentially more affecting than the smudgy thing that the ultrasound tech has to interpret for you.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 1:22 PM
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I do wonder how (if at all) this shifts as the pragmatic point in 181 moves. Hopefully, by the time we develop complete uterine replicators that work from the moment of fertilization we won't be still in the middle of this particular battle.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 1:33 PM
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186. At that time, recreation will be with robots and not with other people. So this particular moral stigma will fade away.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 1:36 PM
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185 -- Right, but I think the anti-abortion people are a little bit drunk on their own whiskey on this: they can't imagine how someone could see that beating heart and still terminate a pregnancy. They're plain wrong, I think, in the assumption that women who terminate pregnancies are someone unaware of what is happening.

I guess they also want to increase costs and bother, which could have an impact at the margin. Although this too is probably minimal.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 1:53 PM
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188: At the margin it probably also makes some women feel horrible without changing their behavior. Which might be a secondary goal.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 2:00 PM
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185: I got in a giant fight with my sister over whether the fact that I marveled at the heartbeat reflex (which to be clear is what you see at the 6 week dating ultrasound -- there's a circuit, but no heart really yet) as a cool electrical system meant that I was not sufficiently in love with my son, because I wasn't thinking of him as a teeny-weeny infant, I guess? Only aborting-baby liberals get excited over fetal poles? (The heart really is cool.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 2:01 PM
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188: what's the basis for thinking the increased cost and bother are only marginal? I would start from a contrary assumption and it would take some hard data to persuade me otherwise, particularly wrt low income, rural, otherwise isolated women.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 2:04 PM
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: Yeah, the "Latinos are anti-abortion because papacy" belief is just so much Republican wishful thinking.

Not entirely. They're not as pro-life as Republicans, but they skew more pro-life than Americans in general.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 2:12 PM
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Agreed with 191. The issue of when abortion is officially legal has been settled for the past 50 years or however long it's been since Roe. All the conflict since then has been over how much slut-shaming is acceptable and how many hurdles you can make people jump through and forms you can make them sign and how many fees-in-all-but-name you can charge for the procedure. The anti-choice faction may have overreached a bit over the past year or two, but they still have managed to create a ton of arbitrary barriers.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 2:16 PM
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I can grow a plate of cardiac muscle cells that will spontaneously beat in sync- they will do so with no nerve cells required- but I have no qualms about pouring bleach on them when it's time to clean up.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 2:17 PM
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Cala, no fetus needed if you're a godless depraved scientist. Cardiac stem cells beat, too.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 2:19 PM
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I missed the middle chunk of the thread so I read 183 and thought it was talking about when mom and dad want to get it on. Because God's will and all, if ladies don't open their legs they're preventing the miracle of life and are baby killers.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 2:20 PM
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I can take apart the remote control, and I can almost put it back together.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 2:20 PM
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Dammit, 197 should have followed 194.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 2:20 PM
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Wow, I did not expect to be beaten on that. Nice, SP.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 2:21 PM
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192: It will be interesting to see how that kind of thing shakes out now that there are big Spanish-speaking communities in lots of cities (like here in the upper midwest) that didn't really have them before. Sure, all these 2nd generation Ecuadorian or Mexican kids in my neighborhood are going to Mass weekly and surrounded by a lot of Romish cant, but their kids? And grandkids? Probably gonna wind up pretty damn assimilated, and lax in their Catholicism, just like everybody else.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 2:31 PM
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Speaking of babies, my first girlfriend just had her first kid! Weird to think about meeting her half my life ago (almost), when we were just kids ourselves. That's life.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 2:35 PM
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they skew more pro-life than Americans in general

Depends on which poll you read, I guess.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 2:44 PM
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In any case, there's zero evidence that pro-life positions are drawing latinos into the Republican party in substantial numbers, and lots of evidence that pro-life positions are turning off women from the Republican party. It's pretty hard to argue that, on a nationwide basis, being firmly pro-life has helped the Republicans. It does drive enthusiasm among part of the Republican base, but that has costs.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 2:55 PM
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I actually think 183 is the morally correct position.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 4:28 PM
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The reason I suppose that the added cost and bother of getting an abortion doesn't reduce it by much -- I'm referring to things like ultrasound/probe requirements, not shutting down facilities/practices -- is because this added cost and bother still pales compared to pregnancy and childbirth.

Maybe it reduces legal abortions . . .


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 4:36 PM
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The premise of this post is wrong. Emergency contraception works to inhibit ovulation, and IUDs work *mostly* to inhibit fertilization, though they may also inhibit implantation. There's no real evidence that EC itself interferes with implantation.

I'm strongly pro-life and believe that life/personhood begin at fertilization, but I don't have any particular problems with EC.

203: What evidence do you have that pro-life positions turn off *women*, specifically, from the Republican party?

Women are roughly as likely as men to want abortion to be banned, and on some issues (like transvaginal ultrasound laws) are more pro-life than men. There are other reasons that women are more likely to vote Democratic (in essence, Democrats are perceived as the more moderate, compassionate, and long term oriented party).

Also, young people seem to be somewhat more pro-life than their elders in surveys, which is consistent with some demographic trends.


Posted by: Hector_St_Clare | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 4:42 PM
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I'd be very interested to hear why you believe that life/personhood begins at fertilization (and furthermore, what you mean by life/personhood).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 5:07 PM
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207: Ugh, I wouldn't.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 5:11 PM
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I don't understand how one side or another of the debate on transvaginal ultrasound regulations could be "pro-life." Certainly there is the position taken by the people who call themselves pro-life but the regulation itself doesn't seem to have anything to do with life.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 5:22 PM
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Transvaginal ultrasounds are people, my friend.


Posted by: Mitt Romney | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 5:23 PM
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205: costs and "bother" of ultrasound, duplicative/medically unnecessary appointments, etc have to be met in the narrow window between finding out you are pregnant and end of first trimester. Miss that window and the costs and "bother" of motherhood stretch out for years but swamp you more slowly. I think you are suffering from a lack of empathetic imagination of the actual life circumstances of women subject to these petty, vicious restrictions.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 5:37 PM
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I have binders full of transvaginal ultrasounds.


Posted by: Mitt Romney | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 5:50 PM
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Rule 34.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 5:52 PM
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211 I think they are petty and vicious. I don't mean to minimize how much so. Rather, I'm guessing they won't prevent as many abortions as they proponents hope.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 5:56 PM
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And, of course, such things should be resisted every time they are proposed. To the mat.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 6:00 PM
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Right on, sister.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 6:01 PM
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I was vaguely annoyed by the transvaginal ultrasound debate. Not, obviously, because I thought it was cool to require them, but rather because they are in fact fairly standard procedure in early abortions (for reasons of, er, aim, basically -- to make sure its successful without rooting all around). Obviously the salient point is that Planned Parenthood would let you refuse it if you wanted, but I imagine that a fair number of people ended up rejecting best practices because it was being called painful, invasive, rape, etc.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 6:18 PM
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209: I don't understand how one side or another of the debate on transvaginal ultrasound regulations could be "pro-life." Certainly there is the position taken by the people who call themselves pro-life but the regulation itself doesn't seem to have anything to do with life.

Good question: a transvaginal ultrasound is supposed to show, what, the presence or absence of a heartbeat? The argument would be that a heartbeat is evidence of life, I guess.

On the Hobby Lobby case in particular (I'm exercised about it!), and oral arguments there, I was astonished to read in a ThinkProgress write-up the following, quoting a bit lengthily for context:

But then he [Kennedy] made a statement that will likely doom the government's case. "Your reasoning would permit" Congress to force corporations to pay for abortions, Kennedy told Verrilli.
It's worth noting that Kennedy expressed a different concern than one offered shortly thereafter by Chief Justice John Roberts. Hobby Lobby objects to four forms of contraception on the mistaken ground that these contraceptive methods are actually forms of abortion -- a brief filed by numerous medical organizations explains that they are not. Roberts, however, suggested that someone's mere belief that something is an abortion is enough to trigger an religious exemption to federal law.

That prompted me during lunch today to burst out with "Oh, you have got to be kidding me!"

It looks as though Roberts' bananas statement is not taken seriously by the court, or by Kennedy anyway, who is more concerned with the possibility that any federal government ability to mandate coverage for contraception could lead to its ability to mandate coverage for actual abortion.

Still, though, I had to wonder what's wrong with Roberts.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 6:37 PM
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217: they are in fact fairly standard procedure in early abortions

They are? Is that a new thing? It wasn't 20 years ago.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 6:40 PM
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Still, though, I had to wonder what's wrong with Roberts.

He's a Republican hack, is what the problem is. This is not news.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 7:03 PM
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220: Mm, the highlighted suggestion -- that anything someone thinks is an abortion suffices -- just seemed demented, more like. He just sounds stupid there. Maybe it's in the service of a Republican agenda and he was being disingenuous in the extreme.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 7:24 PM
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Yes. And maybe the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 7:26 PM
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Okay. Well, let this be a lesson to me, that Supreme Court justices don't necessarily act with a sense of honor after all. Or else, they can be really stupid. I don't know why I'm so surprised, but I am. I've certainly seen decisions I utterly disagree with, but there was some arguable rationale for them. That Roberts remarks, though, is just nuts.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 7:34 PM
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209: Well, I'd call the pro-transvaginal ultrasound side pro-life, since the ultrasounds help make people aware that what they're dealing with a baby, and hopefully help dissuade them from killing it. That's why I support such laws.


Posted by: Hector_St_Clare | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:30 PM
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224: And for that thoughtful comment, let me be the first to invite you to go fuck yourself.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:04 PM
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Seems to me that they're well aware they're dealing with a baby, hence the whole abortion thing.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:23 PM
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217: they are in fact fairly standard procedure in early abortions
They are? Is that a new thing? It wasn't 20 years ago.

I imagine it's somewhat new technology? Transvaginal ultrasounds are more accurate and thus better for dating early pregnancies. This is as important for legal reasons as it is for medical reasons when it comes to abortions, because different sorts of treatments are legal up to certain points.

I agree that things like determining fetal age from conception and transvaginal ultrasounds are standard practice and ought not to be politicized, but that's precisely why they shouldn't be legislated. If legislators wanted to pass laws saying that abortion providers should practice best standards medicine, then ok, I guess, but specifying what that should include is really not their area of expertise. I can't imagine if general medical practice becomes law in a more widespread fashion: do practitioners have to stick with 20 year old treatments, because it's on the books? It's just so, so, bizarre. (Yes, I know you're not arguing in favor of this, it's more a general point).


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 10:27 PM
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Dave L,

Go fuck a goat. At least then you won't be responsible for any abortions, as far as we know.


Posted by: Hector_St_Clare | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 7:11 AM
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Parodie,

You'd be surprised how brainwashed some people are by pro choice propaganda.


Posted by: Hector_St_Clare | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 7:12 AM
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Ah well, this thread was over anyway.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 7:21 AM
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Because if you disagree with Hector, it's obviously the result of brainwashing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 7:22 AM
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But 230 is the better response.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 7:22 AM
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227: Right, can you imagine the law being put into place twenty years ago? We have the ability now to date the pregnancy, but we're stuck with the older technology, so let's just go with what the law says: when was your last menstrual period, and let's look at this cardboard wheel...


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 7:26 AM
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232 225 has a lot to recommend for it as well.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 7:28 AM
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231: This has nothing to do with abortion, but it always amazes me how frequently people tote out the 'brainwashing' option for anyone who disagrees with them. For instance, co-workers were recently saying how pleased they were with their children's politics (basically, conservative) and how they're turned out right thinking and all that. Topic of conversation moves on to one of their family friends, and how said friend's children have been brainwashed by their left-leaning parents into also being liberal. GUYS! There is a problem with your thinking, here.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 7:32 AM
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231/235: I don't think most people use the term "brainwashing" in contexts like this in anything even approximating a technically correct sense. When used casually as you've described, it just means sonmething like "exposed continuously to false information so that you come to believe it". So, your co-workers don't think they are brainwashing their kids, because they don't think they are telling them anything false, whereas they think the liberal kids have been "brainwashed" because their parents' liberal beliefs, which they have imparted to their kids, are false. I don't think they mean to imply that their liberal friends are deliberately forcing an involuntary reeducation of their children's political beliefs, or are deliberately implanting false beliefs. (Even though that's what "brainwashing" should mean.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 7:43 AM
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235: Not to be fair or anything, but lefties/atheists etc. use the 'brainwashing' option a lot as well.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 7:47 AM
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or are deliberately implanting false beliefs

I'd argue that people do sometimes mean this when using brainwashing colloquially; or at least, that's what they were implying in this particular conversation. But yes, you're right that people use the term with wild imprecision; that's basically what amuses me so much.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 7:50 AM
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237: I know! That's why I said "always amazes me how frequently people tote out the 'brainwashing' option for anyone who disagrees with them." My example was for conservatives, but that's just what I've heard most recently. I've definitely heard my atheist friends use this with religious folk, as well.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 7:52 AM
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Well, let this be a lesson to me, that Supreme Court justices don't necessarily act with a sense of honor after all.

A little late, but: parsimon, if your faith in the honor of the Supreme Court really was somehow unshaken until now--which, honestly, is insane--then you shouldn't let this not very accurate paraphrase of Roberts' statement you're wound up about be the thing that disabuses you of it. All Roberts was saying, in context, is that when someone comes into court with a sincerely held religious belief, the court doesn't look behind it to see whether that belief accurately reflects the facts of the world. Which is obviously correct if we're going to have a meaningful system of allowing people to ask for religious accommodations (and for better or worse, RFRA gave us such a system--it's not something the Supreme Court made up or can disregard). That doesn't mean they automatically get the accommodation, only that it's no disqualification to a RFRA challenge simply to say no, you're wrong about what you think your religion requires of you.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 8:01 AM
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I realize why people focus on Down syndrome and other conditions in the very broad, mushy category of "leaves the person normal in some ways but not in others," but I think in all the interesting debate about that, issues get ignored that are just as important in some ways. What about, to choose a hypothetical entirely at random, Edwards syndrome?

Second most common trisomal anomaly that carries to term, after Down. Unlike Down, a normal life with Edwards syndrome would literally require a miracle. The median lifespan is 15 days. 8 percent of infants with it survive one year. As far as I can tell, the longest anyone has survived with the condition is 23 years. (And counting, so, you know, they can keep a heart beating indefinitely, and apparently that's enough to be considered "living" by some people.)

I don't expect this to change anyone's minds one way or the other, but I think it's both good politics for the pro-choice position, and genuinely a better and more honest argument, to point out that it gets much worse than Down.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 8:58 AM
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That is a common complaint on the genetic carriers forum. And honestly, Downs itself gets a lot worse than the common perception of Downs. A new arrival to the forum just introduced me to Lesch Nyhan. In addition to the deformities it brings, it causes a strong and growing urge to mutilate oneself. The google image are horrible. But there are all kinds of cruel deaths for infants.

My assessment of the pro-life side is that they lack imagination. The depths are so much lower than they can accept. Socially Inappropriate Mom has some firsthand accounts.

There are also a bunch of people who carry to term knowing their babies will die. Most of them just hope for an hour or two. Most refuse medical intervention, but want to meet their babies alive for a little bit. I can respect that, but I wouldn't force that choice on anyone. It can get worse than a peaceful couple hours of increasingly shallow breaths.


Posted by: Anon for this one | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 9:29 AM
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The first post linked in 242 is very moving.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 9:46 AM
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Fifth Circuit says "120 -- Heebie is right."


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 2:02 PM
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Not that I expected anything different, but wow that sucks.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 2:30 PM
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Is there a more lawlessly conservative appellate judge in the country than Edith Jones? Sadly I suppose the answer is "yes."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 2:38 PM
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243 is so very very right.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 2:44 PM
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I like her posts a lot. The first ultrasounds of her daughter's brain look exactly like the ultrasounds of my sons, all black with a tiny rim of grey against the skull. Although, and I don't mean to brag, my sons did have thumbs and her daughter doesn't.


Posted by: anon for this one | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 2:49 PM
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246: Had not really heard of him before, but this DC Circuit judge on the panel for Halbig v. Sebelius sounds close (I think they are going to rule for the plaintiffs and force the government to go en banc) :

Reagan appointee A. Raymond Randolph was just as sharp-tongued on the other side, attacking the Affordable Care Act as "poorly written" and "stupid," and the Obamacare rollout as "an unmitigated disaster."

Fucking being a judge, how does it work?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 3:21 PM
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The Federalist Society is a terrorist organization. I do not know if there is another organized group anywhere in the world that I feel is a bigger threat to the future well-being of my family, friends and country. (And by "Federalist Society" I mean an expansive definition of the same that includes a plausible deniability weasel like John "Dick" Roberts.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 3:27 PM
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And while I'm ranting, it's not really relevant plus I think it came up earlier, but Hobby Lobby has no actual beef against the contraceptives in question having covered them for years before they pretended a black man forced them to pay for it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 3:28 PM
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Hobby Lobby has no actual beef against the contraceptives in question having covered them for years before they pretended a black man forced them to pay for it

I've wondered about this. If the contraceptive mandate gets struck down, how many employers would actually cut that from their coverage? How much does covering contraceptives affect the cost of an insurance plan? Given the reduced risk of pregnancies, I'd think the cost of having contraceptive coverage should be minimal.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 3:35 PM
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249 -- ARR will be an interesting subject for a biography some day.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 3:57 PM
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He was appointed by GHWB.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 3:58 PM
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251: I've been trying to figure that out. The govt seems not to have put it at issue, which seems crazy if it's true (or maybe the decided not to try to win on sincerity of the belief and go for shutting this whole attack down now).

249: Randolph is awful. Because I am a masochist I listened to the full hour and change of that argument. At various points it sounded like Judge Edwards (the one good guy on the panel) and Mike Carvin (lawyer for the plaintiffs, and one of the lizard people responsible for such hits as Bush v Gore) were going to duke it out. Thank god (and filibuster reform) the end band court can fix it because there's no chance the panel will rule in the govt's favor on this.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 3:58 PM
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En banc, not end band. Stupid phone.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 3:59 PM
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249: Lemieux's take. "Time for some Article III remedies", Tom proceeded liberally. As if...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 4:05 PM
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252, 253:

I am trying, but failing, to think of a liberal example of this: i.e., organization normally provides/disallows a good/service but sues when government mandates that it provide/disallow it.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 4:06 PM
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The literal language of the ACA makes these tax credits available to anyone obtaining insurance from "an Exchange established by the State."
Presumably the context of that section of the law refers to "State" as one of the individual states, but since we're doing bullshit literalist interpretation, just argue that "State" could mean the federal government (or any government) in the broadest language sense. I totally want a circuit lawyer to use the middle school technique of, "Webster's defines 'State' as 'the operations or concerns of the government of a country'..."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 4:37 PM
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240: Potchkeh, I'm seeing this very late by now as well, but thanks for the clarification.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 7:37 PM
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I hate to revive this again, but 227:

Transvaginal ultrasounds are more accurate and thus better for dating early pregnancies. This is as important for legal reasons as it is for medical reasons when it comes to abortions, because different sorts of treatments are legal up to certain points.

I'm not following something here. It's said that transvaginal ultrasounds are fairly standard for early abortions, but it seems to me that in early abortions, there's no need to closely date fetal age.

Oudemia said in 217 that it had to do with not having to, erm, root around. Maybe so!

Okay. 20 years ago, D&C was the method. That article goes back and forth between saying that it's the most often used method of first trimester abortion, and later saying that it's a method of abortion that is now uncommon. Inconsistent article, but it's Wikipedia. I see that there is now vacuum aspiration. I don't see anything there about transvaginal ultrasounds, but perhaps it's useful there. Is that where it's used?

Needless to say, I'm behind the times.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-27-14 8:13 PM
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Transvaginal ultrasounds are more accurate and thus better for dating early pregnancies. This is as important for legal reasons as it is for medical reasons when it comes to abortions, because different sorts of treatments are legal up to certain points.
I'm not following something here. It's said that transvaginal ultrasounds are fairly standard for early abortions, but it seems to me that in early abortions, there's no need to closely date fetal age.

It's actually extremely important, because medical abortions can only be performed up to the 9th week. Many women don't even find out they're pregnant until around then. If a woman comes in and says she just found out she's pregnant, they really need to know exactly what week she is (esp. if it's a state with BS waiting laws). Transvaginal ultrasounds can get a better picture of the uterus, especially if the zygote is hanging around the cervix. A "normal" ultrasound really has trouble dating something that early. (Also, 9 weeks means 9 weeks since 1st day of last menstruation, so the embryo has been implanted for anywhere from 5-7 weeks at that point, depending on the length of the woman's cycle.)


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 03-28-14 10:11 AM
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because medical abortions can only be performed up to the 9th week

Ah! Thanks: I hadn't been understanding "medical" abortions (via medication) -- viable only until the 9th week -- as distinct from surgical abortion. Information here.

So if you're intending to abort via medication, you need a prescription, and your doctor won't give you a prescription unless you've had a transvaginal ultrasound in order to be sure that you're actually under 9 weeks. I admit that I don't know what to make of this reference to getting a consultation over the internet.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-28-14 5:35 PM
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I just had a very, very strange doctor's appointment where basically Urple is right. It turns out I am two months pregnant, despite having a full-fledged, 7 day, absolutely full strength period a few weeks ago. They saw a heartbeat and everything.

I am so flabbergasted that I don't know what to think. I'm pleased! But so surprised.

I'm not really presidential here, but pretending to be presidential for no good reason except general superstitiousness. I wouldn't normally be chatting openly at this point, but the whole thing is just so weird and surprising.


Posted by: Ladybird Johnson | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:35 AM
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Oh, wow, Ladybird. Best wishes! And whee!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:40 AM
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Congratulations, Ladybird!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:42 AM
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What's weird is that if you google "can you get your period while you're pregnant?" you get two types of answers:
1. tons of anecdotes on the message boards saying "it happened to me!"
2. Medical answers saying "No, absolutely not. It's either light spotting due to implantation, or something serious like an ectopic pregnancy or something that should be at least looked at carefully."

I get that it probably doesn't fit the true definition of menstruation, because hormones and endometrium shedding and who knows what. But it also seems to be an actual 7 day cycle, and doesn't seem to fit what the med establishment is claiming the options to be.


Posted by: Ladybird Johnson | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:45 AM
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Wow! Woo hoo! Also, do you typically have your period for seven days straight? No wonder you keep having babies instead!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:48 AM
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pretending to be presidential

Pretensidential, obviously.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:49 AM
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especially if the zygote is hanging around the cervix

One of those slacker zygotes you hear so much about these days that can't be bothered to get off its notochord and GET A JOB.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:51 AM
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More like zygot up and went!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:53 AM
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268: It was unusually long and heavy for me. In fact, I packed for a certain trip to California thinking "no way in hell do I need to take protection, it will have been 6 days" and then had to scramble.


Posted by: Ladybird Johnson | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 8:54 AM
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Cautious congrats for superstitious reasons!


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 9:23 AM
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Wow! Congrats!

(Maybe SCH mimicking a period?)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 10:01 AM
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Possibly? It's totally possible that I just saw what I was expecting to see a few weeks ago - it's not like you've got close tabs on what's going on, if a tampon is inserted.

I just saw a tech this morning, so I'll be able to ask the OB questions at my next appointment.


Posted by: Ladybird Johnson | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 11:07 AM
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Anecdotally, a friend's mother (with seven kids, so she did this a lot) reported having monthly periods for a few months in most of her pregnancies. On the other hand, that's third-hand -- what my friend said her mother said -- so who knows what the actual facts were.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 11:12 AM
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SPouse had that with our fourth kid, pretty heavy bleeding for several days at the expected time (insofar as there was an expected time since she's always been pretty irregular), then surprise!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 11:19 AM
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I think this is funny: I went in and said "I think I was barely pregnant, for like a day, and then miscarried. I just want to check out what's going on."

She asked why I thought I miscarried. I said I'd
had been feeling symptoms last week, took a pregnancy test, and then the symptoms went away. That I was just now barely four weeks along.

The tech said, "Wow, that's really early to feel symptoms."

I said, "Yeah, but I was paying really close attention." HA HA.


Posted by: Ladybird Johnson | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 11:21 AM
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Congratulations!


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 11:42 AM
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I get that it probably doesn't fit the true definition of menstruation

Like when they say you don't really have a period when you're on the pill, it's just "withdrawal bleeding." Um, if blood is coming out of my vagina for several days once a month, and it means I'm not pregnant, I'm going to call that a period.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 11:44 AM
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And also: tenative congratulations! And fingers crossed, it still being so early and all.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 11:45 AM
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Thanks, all!


Posted by: Ladybird Johnson | Link to this comment | 04- 1-14 11:45 AM
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