US views on abortion

January 29th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

When I was at the Gallup site, there was quite a few interesting on issues. This is their Roe v Wade graph over time.

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Not a lot of change for 25 years of heat. Of course this is not the same as asking views on laws, as you can be pro-choice and think Roe v Wade was a very bad judicial decision (as I do). But they ask on specifics:

  • Abortion legal under any circumstances 28%
  • Abortion illegal in all circumstances 18%
  • Abortion legal under certain circumstances 52%

So in fact only 18% of Americans think abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. And while I am pro-choice I’m not sure even I would quite tick the  box legal under any circumstance as I would not support an eight month abortion unless the mother’s survival was an issue. Most Americans are actually in the fairly sensible middle.

So how about when abortions can happen. the results are:

  • 1st trimester 61% say should be legal
  • 2nd trimester 27% say should be legal
  • 3rd trimester 14% say should be legal

I’d be interested in seeing a similar question in NZ. The results might not be vastly different. I can’t imagine a huge number of people would say they support third trimester abortions. I note the official NZ stats indicate only 5% occur after the first trimester and that after 20 weeks, they will only occur if necessary to save life or stop serious permanent injury.

The point I’m trying to make is that while the issue is very political and volatile in the US, I’m not sure the overall opinion on legality is vastly different from NZ.

Finally they ask US respondents if they would call themselves pro-choice or pro-life and it is 48% pro-choice and 44% pro-life. What is interesting is the demographic differences of those who say they are pro-choice. They are:

  • No religion – 80% pro-choice
  • Democrat – 63%
  • Income > $75k – 58%
  • Under 30 – 54%
  • Women 50%
  • Men 47%
  • Catholics 48%
  • Republicans 28%

The small difference between men and women is unexpected (for me).

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71 Responses to “US views on abortion”

  1. thedavincimode (6,691 comments) says:

    Here we go …

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  2. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    I just wish the nutters at either end of the spectrum would be given less airspace. It is patently ridiculous to say that there is no situation where abortion is appropriate just as it is obscene for the hairy legged feminists to say that there is no legal or moral implications to abortion. I think the hairy legged feminists irritate me more because of the callous glee implicit in their derision of pro-lifers. The “all lit – up”, pro-lifers can be pretty annoying too.
    We just have to live with R Vs W. It’d be like trying to overturn the constitution of a small nation. Like say, New Zealand’s T O W

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  3. eszett (2,401 comments) says:

    hmm, 80% think that abortion should be legal in any or certain circumstances.
    But 48% say they are pro choice, 44% pro life.

    I guess the phrase “in certain circumstances” does leave a wide field of options.

    Interesting is that Catholics are 48% and protestant/other christian are 40% pro choice.

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  4. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    Yes republicans are generally choice/belief stuck or for want of a better description see things in black and white and anything grey is too energy intensive.

    ” Abortion legal under certain circumstances 52%”

    This covers a woman if health complications develop.

    I’m Pro-choice because of the availability of birth control and in that area it really should come down to the man as he doesn’t have a unique biological environment to look after other than keeping it cool and his phone away from it but then some males natural virility is too tied into their ego and spend the rest of their lives complaining about child support.

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  5. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Another post to advance the “all change is good” meme.

    If anything the abortion ‘debate’ illustrates well how legislation which was tightly scoped to mollify all but the most ardent opposition, is then gradually and quietly re-interpreted to suit the demands of the morally bankrupt.

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  6. AG (1,824 comments) says:

    What happened in 2006 to cause support to slump 11% and opposition rise 7%? I note there was a wording change to the question in 2005, which Gallup claims made no difference … but what else could account for such a significant change in a single year?

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  7. eszett (2,401 comments) says:

    well, I would go as far as calling the pro-lifers morally bankrupt, krazykiwi, that’s a bit harsh, don’t you think?

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  8. eszett (2,401 comments) says:

    Missed the edit, it should say,” I wouldn’t go as far…….”

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  9. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    I’ve been called worse eszett. At least I was born to defend myself.

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  10. eszett (2,401 comments) says:

    Point being, krazykiwi, that using terms like “morally bankrupt” for either side isn’t really helping to have a rational debate. Especially not if that is your opening statement.

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  11. Colville (2,261 comments) says:

    Its not as tho the world really needs another unwanted mouth to feed is it?

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  12. kowtow (8,315 comments) says:

    Control the language ,control the debate.

    Pro life, pro death.

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  13. eszett (2,401 comments) says:

    I agree, kowtow, pro-life sometimes really means pro-death

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2232676/Savita-Halappanavar-dies-Irish-doctors-refuse-abortion-saying-This-Catholic-country.html

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  14. Scott Chris (6,058 comments) says:

    What happened in 2006 to cause support to slump 11% and opposition rise 7%?

    Yes I wondered about that too. According to the Wikipedia article on abortion in the States:

    On March 6, 2006, South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds signed into law a pro-life statute which made performing abortions a felony, and that law was subsequently repealed in a November 7, 2006 referendum. On February 27, 2006, Mississippi’s House Public Health Committee voted to approve a ban on abortion, and that bill died after the House and Senate failed to agree on compromise legislation.

    So maybe the publicity surrounding these proposed law changes put more doubt into some pro-choicer’s minds.

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  15. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    “Most Americans are actually in the fairly sensible middle.” – “Sensible” is debateable. Certainly, the middle is illogical and not supported by reason. In fact, even the most pro-life person has to respect the ideologically pro-choice as being logically coherent.

    “The small difference between men and women is unexpected (for me).” – Again, this should only surprise you if you lack the ability to think logically about the issue (or somehow think women lack the ability to think logically about the issue). Morality is fixed and humans experience morality as universal. Put it this way – women are universally the victims of rape. Are you women, therefore, allowed to speak out against rape?

    Of all the positions available – the ‘sensible middle’ is undoubtedly the least defensible. It is untenable to pretend it is any less ‘Holier-than-thou’ than either pro-choice or pro-life advocates are – it’s just a whole lot less sophisticated analysis.

    I imagine the ‘sensible middle’ see themselves as wise King Solomon deciding to “split the baby”. Of course, Solomon did **not** decide to split the baby – he worked out a way to find what the truth is. That’s what serious people do.

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  16. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Its not as tho the world really needs another unwanted mouth to feed is it?

    Completely agree. The solution isn’t to use abortion as a birth control mechanism, it’s to create an environment where children are wanted, and loved. The best chance for that happens in a stable family relationship where a biological father and mother are committed to caring for their offspring. That casual sex is now widely regarded (and promoted) as an acceptable passtime means the inevitable creation of unwanted mouths.

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  17. Chuck Bird (4,847 comments) says:

    Its not as tho the world really needs another unwanted mouth to feed is it?

    New Zealand is not over populated unless you are a Watermelon

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  18. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Which is to say – either something is alive or it is not. No person from ‘sensible middle’ has ever articulated some watershed moment in a pregnancy that isn’t completely arbitrary. If you decide that some genetically unique and biologically separate being with a full chromosomal complement is a living human you have to decide whether or not killing it is justified. Some people, like the charming woman in the rececent Salon article, conclude that it is a ‘life worth sacraficing’ – and I believe that is DPF’s view as well.

    But then – why frown upon the killing of newborns? Or elderly dependents? Peter Singer, the renowned liberal ethicist, sees the logic here. It’s the relentless logic of the paramountcy of ‘choice’. If you don’t agree – articulate an argument that is rational and not emotional.

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  19. Colville (2,261 comments) says:

    New Zealand is not over populated unless you are a Watermelon

    Happy with so much of your taxes going to the DPB?

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  20. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    “Happy with so much of your taxes going to the DPB?”

    Of course not. I’m not happy with so much of my taxes going to the dole, either. Of course, I’m not in favour of putting down the children of dole-bludgers to reduce their costs either.

    Incidentally, do you think that the number of single women on public relief has increased or decreased since the liberalisation of abortion?

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  21. Andrei (2,568 comments) says:

    Since Roe v Wade 94 million babies have been aborted in the USA.

    We are on to the third generation of this holocaust

    Mass murder on this scale has consequences eventually for the nation(s) that practice it.

    Siily leemings are rushing over the cliff hiding the horrors of what they have done and continue to do behind slogans

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  22. Rick Rowling (812 comments) says:

    Sarcasm

    This just in! DPF is pro crime!
    http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levitt/Papers/DonohueLevittTheImpactOfLegalized2001.pdf

    /Sarcasm

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  23. Andrei (2,568 comments) says:

    “Clearly unintended pregnancy is an important public health problem for everyone.”

    Here is a statement from a agitator woman from a few days ago. Can anyone explain to me why a human body behaving as it is designed to, in this case becoming pregnant is a “public health issue”?

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  24. eszett (2,401 comments) says:

    Certainly, the middle is illogical and not supported by reason.

    Actually, it is and more so than the extreme positions.
    The notion that you can pinpoint a certain time where an embryo becomes a person is a non a sensible one.

    It is a continuous process, very much like a child becoming an adult. There is no fixed date where before that date the child is a child and a second later an adult.

    Actually most biological process work that way.

    If you decide that some genetically unique and biologically separate being with a full chromosomal complement is a living human you have to decide whether or not killing it is justified.

    Nearly every cell in your body would thereby individually qualify as living human. Picking your nose would make your a mass murderer.

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  25. Redbaiter (8,528 comments) says:

    The Romans once had a great society but they lost it because the majority of its citizens were seduced by charlatans and turned into fools.

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  26. david c (254 comments) says:

    Gallup haven’t covered themselves in glory recently in terms of accuracy. So I’d be careful in putting too much stock in their polls.

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  27. Rick Rowling (812 comments) says:

    eszett – arguably it’s only the cells in your body that can produce offpring that you should treat as sacred (every one of them).

    I hope you haven’t been rubbing any out.

    /Apologies to Monty Python

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  28. kowtow (8,315 comments) says:

    On your 65 th birthday you become an old age pensioner. The state discriminates against all under 65’s by giving oldies unearned money.

    Plenty more examples.

    16 to 17 and the police and courts look at you differently. can’t vote till 18. Lots of fixed points in time.

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  29. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    eszett –

    Please re-read my comments. It’s exactly my point that it is absurd to pinpoint the time in which a embryo becomes a human being. We do know that a newborn certainly is a baby – but if we regress through earlier developing stages there is no obvious jumping off point. That is why reason and science inform us that life begins at conception.

    As for your attempt at ad absurdum – it fails. Tell me where you object. Each individuals body parts share the **same** genetic code. An unborn child has a unique genetic code distinct from the cells of the mother or the father. ot the case. Every cell of even an embryo is genetically distinct from every cell in its mother’s body.

    The prohibition on unjustified killing is generally agreed upon by civilised people. I have much more respect for those who can mount a case for the “justification” element rather than the “killing” element of that equation.

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  30. RRM (9,826 comments) says:

    I can’t comment on abortion, but I have some knowledge of the births of dead babies, so can comment on the nuts and bolts of their births:

    :arrow: 1st trimester – A pregnancy that spontaneously failed to progress at about 6 or 8 weeks, was like an unexpected and particularly yucky menstruation, with large blood clots etc. You flush the loo and have an inkling of what that probably was, and you feel philosophical about it for a week or so.

    :arrow: 3rd trimester – A baby boy who died at 28 weeks’ gestation and was stillborn, looked like a complete baby, slightly on the small side but complete with little fingernails, nose and eyelashes. You (or someone else) have to carry him out of the hospital in your arms, wrapped up as though he were alive, and have him buried or cremated.

    Basically, by the third trimester you’ve felt him moving & kicking for several months, so when that stops and he goes still you know a person has died inside your body, and that’s very different than just a particularly yucky period, for you as well as for him…

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  31. eszett (2,401 comments) says:

    kowtow (3,599) Says:
    January 29th, 2013 at 9:11 am
    On your 65 th birthday you become an old age pensioner. The state discriminates against all under 65′s by giving oldies unearned money.

    Plenty more examples.

    16 to 17 and the police and courts look at you differently. can’t vote till 18. Lots of fixed points in time.

    Thank you, kowtow, exactly my point.

    Someone who argues that life or personhood begins at conception is like arguing someone becomes a pensioner at birth.
    Or should be considered for voting at birth.

    The lines we draw are to some degree arbitrary. We know that someone doesn’t magically turn an adult on his 18 birthday.
    Or into an old geezer on his 65th.

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  32. kowtow (8,315 comments) says:

    Red raises the issue of collpse and Andrei of unintended consequences.

    It’s at our doorstep. In Germany the indigenous population is being replaced by benefit hungry immigrants having lots of little Mohammeds while German women who insist on their right to a “lifestyle”,don’t have little Hans’.

    Isn’r the “progressive” agenda brilliant? It is turning Europe into a Muslim continent.

    The progressives have achieved what the Sultan’s armies couldn’t.

    http://www.presseurop.eu/en/content/article/3111401-germany-s-baby-blues

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  33. Colville (2,261 comments) says:

    Here is a statement from a agitator woman from a few days ago. Can anyone explain to me why a human body behaving as it is designed to, in this case becoming pregnant is a “public health issue”?

    When a drunken shag turns into 18 years as a dpb recipient then turns into a patched up member in Mt Eden after kicking someone to death… that is a public health issue.

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  34. kowtow (8,315 comments) says:

    When talking “legal” they do magically become an adult or pensioner.

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  35. scrubone (3,095 comments) says:

    Someone who argues that life or personhood begins at conception is like arguing someone becomes a pensioner at birth….The lines we draw are to some degree arbitrary. We know that someone doesn’t magically turn an adult on his 18 birthday.

    You need to explain this better.

    Yes, we have arbitrary lines in our society. But conception is an objective, non-arbitrary biologicial event. I don’t get it.

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  36. scrubone (3,095 comments) says:

    When a drunken shag turns into 18 years as a dpb recipient then turns into a patched up member in Mt Eden after kicking someone to death… that is a public health issue.

    Actually it’s rather odviously a social issue and possibly a criminal one.

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  37. Andrei (2,568 comments) says:

    It’s at our doorstep. In Germany the indigenous population is being replaced by benefit hungry immigrants having lots of little Mohammeds while German women who insist on their right to a “lifestyle”,don’t have little Hans’.

    At least they have gay marriage Kowtow if german Fraulines wont marry and produce little Hans perhaps the Fraus with penisis will?

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  38. BlairM (2,320 comments) says:

    I think Andrei should be officially declared a troll and ignored. He has his own blog to defoecate on, and nobody is interested in his fundamentalist Catholicism.

    Growing up I was familiar with anti-abortion activism, and I never once heard anyone say that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. It was pretty much universal that it should be available to save the life of the mother. So it’s stupid to have it as a category in a poll. I can’t fathom why anyone would be in favour of a woman dying rather than having that procedure. But I guess there must be people even crazier than Andrei out there.

    Outside of saving a woman’s life, I find abortion utterly abhorrent and immoral, and I think Roe v Wade is the most disgraceful judicial decision of the 20th Century. But on the other hand, I don’t think we should start jailing women in the name of eight week old foetuses. It’s simply a case of which idea repulses me more.

    At the end of the day, the priority for concerned pro-lifers should be making alternatives to abortion more attractive for people. Legalising commercial adoption and surrogacy would be the best step towards that.

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  39. scrubone (3,095 comments) says:

    I agree, kowtow, pro-life sometimes really means pro-death

    Actually, the point here is that sometimes doctors make mistakes that cause death. That is sad but inevitable due to the nature of their job. In this case, the doctors did not apply ethical considerations correctly.

    There’s also the subsidary point that this case has been used (as you have) as a political weapon to get rid of protections on the life of unborn children. Which demonstrates how ruthless the abortion debate often is.

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  40. scrubone (3,095 comments) says:

    Growing up I was familiar with anti-abortion activism, and I never once heard anyone say that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. It was pretty much universal that it should be available to save the life of the mother. So it’s stupid to have it as a category in a poll. I can’t fathom why anyone would be in favour of a woman dying rather than having that procedure.

    Agreed.

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  41. Redbaiter (8,528 comments) says:

    Death rate in NZ is increasing, this year by 6% over last year.

    At the moment they’re about 30,000 per year.

    In another 30 years they will number about 50,000 p. a.

    Birth rate is declining.

    About 2500 less births this year than last.

    Build yourself a graph with those figures and you’ll see it takes you to an extinction point.

    That so many NZers suck up the progressive kool aid on abortion and so many other issues equally destructive to our society is part of the reason I frequently call them lemmings.

    That aside, abortion is wrong because it takes human life, and it takes that life from a human unable to protect him/ herself. All our innate moral branding tells us we should strive to embrace all life and protect from harm those who cannot protect themselves.

    Finally Mr Farrar- That an idea is “popular” does not mean it is a good idea.

    History is replete with examples of entire populations following populist sentiment to their eventual destruction.

    You need to grow up and stop so frequently using the baseless argument of “popularity” as the yard stick for measuring whether an idea is helpful or not.

    Nazism was very popular once in Germany. Did them a lot of good in the end didn’t it?

    But they executed you if spoke out against it at the time. (see Sophie Scholl)

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  42. kowtow (8,315 comments) says:

    blairM

    Re Andrei ,speak for yourself about who declares what. He’s entitled to his opinions,which are far more reasoned than a lot of the “progressives” ,libertarians and AGW alarmists around here.

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  43. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Lol at eszett continually validating the pro-life objection to the ‘sensible middle’ – the arbitrariness of conferring personhood at some point after conception and the ethical perils of this given the prohibition on unjustified killing. In other words, it is scarcely the same thing to possible kill a human being as it is to possibly deny some responsible 17 year old the vote.

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  44. Redbaiter (8,528 comments) says:

    Blair M-

    You don’t like Andrei’s comments don’t read them. I’ll make my own judgment thanks.

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  45. TheContrarian (1,085 comments) says:

    Abortion is murder! Life begins at conception!

    Unless of course it becomes convenient to argue otherwise…

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/26/us/colorado-fetus-lawsuit/index.html

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  46. Andrei (2,568 comments) says:

    Growing up I was familiar with anti-abortion activism, and I never once heard anyone say that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. It was pretty much universal that it should be available to save the life of the mother.

    This is an exceedingly rare circumstance and ususally when it occurs the mother concerned is undergoing extensive treatment unrelated either to her pregnancy or its termination.

    My wife when pregant with our first had severe Toxemia, a life threatening condition and was hopitalized for two months while our first born developed enough to be delivered which occurred at 36 weeks. This was risky – my wife could have died at any time and the threat to her life could have been eliminated at any time by terminating her preganacy.

    With modern health care and close monitoring the outcome was good – in days of yore we would have probably lost one or both,

    There are 17000+ abortions every year in New Zealand, how many do you really think meet the criteria “to save the mothers life” in the terms that we understand it that without the abortion the mother would have certainly died?

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  47. scrubone (3,095 comments) says:

    Unless of course it becomes convenient to argue otherwise…

    It appears that they actually argued that it was the state law. And it was, even though it should not be acording to the church.

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  48. scrubone (3,095 comments) says:

    But coming back to the post, there are a couple of points I’d make.
    1. A poll recently found that a lot young people didn’t have a clue about Roe v. Wade. Make of that what you will.

    2. The pro-life/pro-choice graph gets really crazy in recent years. I believe that’s due to the ground made by pro-life in higlighting the barbaric pratice of partial birth abortion, which almost no one supports in the general public but the core of the abortion lobby hold as a fundamental statement of faith. (this may account for the drop in the above graph) Then you have the recent fight back where the flip side was highlighted with cases of abortion and rape.

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  49. Scott Chris (6,058 comments) says:

    All our innate moral branding tells us we should strive to embrace all life and protect from harm those who cannot protect themselves.

    Nice sentiment for once but somewhat fanciful. Morality is socially constructed.

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  50. RRM (9,826 comments) says:

    Andrei – a harrowing experience, and a heroic stand by you both.

    But does that mean everyone else should be required by law to take the risk she did?

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  51. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    “Morality is socially constructed” – tell yourself that somebody does something morally reprehensible to you instead of your neighbour.

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  52. eszett (2,401 comments) says:

    It’s exactly my point that it is absurd to pinpoint the time in which a embryo becomes a human being. We do know that a newborn certainly is a baby – but if we regress through earlier developing stages there is no obvious jumping off point. That is why reason and science inform us that life begins at conception.

    Nonsense. It is exactly science and reason that informs us that such a view is purely an ideological stance.

    The fact that you cannot pinpoint an exact time does not conclude that you have to go to the extremes. By the same point you would have to say you cannot pinpoint when someone becomes an adult therefore it has to be at birth.

    Your stance has nothing to do with science and reason, it has more to do with the fact that you have made a conclusion and now are trying to rationalise it.

    The fact that human development is continuous and it is not any easy question to answer at which point an abortion is permissible does not conclude that the only answer is at the extremes. In fact such a stance is intellectually lazy and dishonest and more to the point driven purely by ideological than science and reason.

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  53. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Of course morality is socially constructed.
    I see earlier in the thread Reddy was praising the Romans – did he mean to include their policy on infanticide: the father’s right to choose?
    Abortion is a conscience issue – best left to the well-informed conscience of the woman concerned.

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  54. Fletch (6,294 comments) says:

    As far as what age a person is a person, science fiction author Philip K. Dick (whose stories were the basis for Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, Paycheck, Adjustment Bureau, etc) once wrote a pro-life response to Roe vs Wade in the form of a short story called, ‘The Pre Persons’, in which a child could be aborted up to the age of 13.

    In the story, these pre-teens are afraid when the white truck drives around (like a dog-catcher truck) in case their parents don’t want them. The child becomes a person after 13 because it is capable of algebra. Before that it has no soul.

    Here are some choice quotes –

    Congress had inaugurated a simple test to determine the approximate age at
    which the soul entered the body: the ability to formulate higher math like
    algebra. Up to then, it was only body, animal instincts and body, animal
    reflexes and responses to stimuli. Like Pavlov’s dogs when they saw a little
    water seep in under the door of the Leningrad laboratory; they “knew” but
    were not human.

    [...]

    Why is it, he wondered, that the more helpless a creature, the easier it was
    for some people to snuff it? Like a baby in the womb; the original abortions,
    “pre-partums,” or “pre-persons” they were called now. How could they
    defend themselves? Who would speak for them? All those lives, a hundred
    by each doctor a day. . . and all helpless and silent and then just dead. The
    fuckers, he thought. That’s why they do it; they know they can do it; they get
    off on their macho power. And so a little thing that wanted to see the light of
    day is vacuumed out in less than two minutes. And the doctor goes on to the
    next chick.

    [...]

    Tim’s father Ed Gantro said, “You are insane. This postpartum abortion
    scheme and the abortion laws before it where the unborn child had no legal
    rights — it was removed like a tumor. Look what it’s come to. If an unborn
    child can be killed without due process, why not a born one? What I see in
    common in both cases is their helplessness; the organism that is killed had
    no chance, no ability, to protect itself.

    [...]

    “Listen, Walt, let me lay something on you.” He took a big, long drink of
    Scotch and milk. “The name of all this is, kill me. Kill them when they’re the
    size of a fingernail, or a baseball, or later on, if you haven’t done it already,
    suck the air out of the lungs of a ten-year-old boy and let him die. It’s a
    certain kind of woman advocating this all. They used to call them ‘castrating
    females.’ Maybe that was once the right term, except that these women,
    these hard cold women, didn’t just want to — well, they want to do in the
    whole boy or man, make all of them dead, not just the part that makes him a
    man.

    “It’s not just a hatred for the helpless,” Ian Best said. “More is involved.
    Hatred of what? Of everything that grows?” You blight them, he thought,
    before they grow big enough to have muscle and the tactics and skill for
    fight — big like I am in relation to you, with my fully developed musculature
    and weight. So much easier when the other person — I should say pre-person
    — is floating and dreaming in the amniotic fluid and knows nothing about
    how to nor the need to hit back.

    Where did the motherly virtues go to? he asked himself. When mothers
    especially protected what was small and weak and defenseless?
    Our competitive society, he decided. The survival of the strong. Not the fit,
    he thought; just those who hold the power. And are not going to surrender it
    to the next generation: it is the powerful and evil old against the helpless and
    gentle new.

    [...]

    The whole mistake of the pro-abortion people from the start, he said to
    himself, was the arbitrary line they drew. An embryo is not entitled to
    American Constitutional rights and can be killed, legally, by a doctor. But a
    fetus was a “person,” with rights, at least for a while; and then the proabortion
    crowd decided that even a seven-month fetus was not “human” and
    could be killed, legally, by a licensed doctor. And, one day, a newborn baby –
    – it is a vegetable; it can’t focus its eyes, it understands nothing, nor talks. . .
    the pro-abortion lobby argued in court, and won, with their contention that a
    newborn baby was only a fetus expelled by accident or organic processes
    from the womb. But, even then, where was the line to be drawn finally?
    When the baby smiled its first smile? When it spoke its first word or reached
    for its initial time for a toy it enjoyed? The legal line was relentlessly
    pushed back and back. And now the most savage and arbitrary definition of
    all: when it could perform “higher math.”

    The whole story is available to read online in various places if you Google it.

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  55. Fletch (6,294 comments) says:

    Interestingly, the daughter of ‘Jane Roe’ never had an abortion. By the time the court ruled, it was too late, and her daughter was adopted out and is now 43 years old. Her mother “Roe” is now Pro-life and said that the whole case was built on lies.

    There is a 43-year-old woman, born in Texas, who should be dead right now. In fact, she should have never been born. Forty years ago, the Supreme Court decided that the Texas law that prevented Jane Roe from ending the life of her unborn daughter was unconstitutional. But by the time the Supreme Court issued its decision in 1973, she had already been born and adopted by a family—likely not knowing that all that ink spilled in Roe v. Wade was about her.

    Norma McCorvey is “Jane Roe.” She claimed then that her pregnancy was the result of a rape, although for over a decade now she has been outspokenly pro-life and publicly admitted that this, and virtually every fact on which her case was built, was a lie. Both McCorvey and Sandra Cano, the Doe of Doe v. Bolton—Roe’s companion case from Georgia decided the same day—are now outspoken pro-life advocates who have sworn that their cases are built on lies.

    http://www.lifenews.com/2013/01/28/jane-roe-of-roe-v-wade-never-had-an-abortion-her-daughter-is-43/

    Not at all surprised….

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  56. Fletch (6,294 comments) says:

    mikenmild (6,531) Says:
    January 29th, 2013 at 11:35 am
    Of course morality is socially constructed.

    A fallacy.
    As Fulton Sheen said in 1953 –

    “Moral principles do not depend on a majority vote. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong. Right is right, even if nobody is right.”

    I’ve used this example before, but what if Hitler had won the war and imposed his own Aryan brand of morality on the whole world? That blacks and Jews should be killed and only blonde, blue-eyed children left to survive etc? And that initially the world protested, but those who disagreed were killed or jailed and that eventually the whole world subscribed to his brand of morality. Would you say this was Moral? Would you be OK with that? As long as you were following what the whole crowd believed it would be OK?

    Or what about when slavery was still legal? You would have been OK to follow along with that too, because you went along with the majority.

    If morality is relative, then morality can only be a subject reality. In other words, morality is reduced to opinion. When we legislate any morality, we are actually forcing other people to live by our opinions. Majority rule is an ad populum fallacy; so is rule by force, because might does not make right.

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  57. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    @mikenmild.

    Females are a funny breed though. You’ll get one dominant one and all of sudden you’ll have funny memes going around like; (it’s just a collection of cells.)
    It’s all gone too far in some respects. At the moment it’s left to the conscience of the woman and whichever hairy legged feminist has influenced the media over the heinous male and how poor widdle women shouldn;t be made to feel bad. We’re women. We were born to feel bad. that’s why we take it out on males. Have an abortion, don’t have an abortion but it’s cheapening the value of human life to say it’s just a collection of cells or to try and shut down debate with hairy leg tactics.

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  58. Scott (1,779 comments) says:

    Abortion is important because it buttresses our currently fashionable liberal morality. It is very common sadly but it is an inevitable consequence of our sleeping around, living together current cultural practice. And incidentally a major contributor to the DPB which costs we taxpayers millions of dollars every year.
    One of our church members has a daughter who left church to live the liberal lifestyle. Got into drugs, got kicked out of tertiary training and started living with her boyfriend. Got pregnant, no surprise there. Despite opposition from her mother and her mother’s pastor she went and got an abortion in one of our state funded clinics. Her mother was explicitly excluded from the “counselling” that the abortion provider offers. She then went off to the real business of the clinic which is killing fetuses.

    I saw her a month later when she requested counselling. I saw before me the most unhappiest young woman you could ever see. She was miserable, incredibly stressed and was hearing voices.
    I was able to pray for her and lead her to Jesus. The transformation in her was amazing! Saw her at church on Christmas day. A totally different girl, a smile on her face and light in her eyes. God is good.

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  59. RRM (9,826 comments) says:

    And incidentally a major contributor to the DPB which costs we taxpayers millions of dollars every year.

    Run that by me again??

    I thought you had to have the child to get the dpb…

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  60. nasska (11,277 comments) says:

    RRM

    ….”I thought you had to have the child to get the dpb…”…..

    Don’t go confusing the religious & bewildered with facts…..it’s all about morals….and God.

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  61. Scott (1,779 comments) says:

    Sorry I did not make that clear. It should read, “the living together and sleeping around lifestyle is a major contributor to the DPB which costs we taxpayers millions of dollars”.
    Abortion is along with the DPB one of the consequences of that lifestyle.

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  62. chiz (1,133 comments) says:

    Cato:We do know that a newborn certainly is a baby – but if we regress through earlier developing stages there is no obvious jumping off point. That is why reason and science inform us that life begins at conception.

    Life may begin at conception but that doesn’t imply that person-hood does. A zygote doesn’t always develop into a person. Sometimes it may develop into two, or only half, or it may develop into a tumorous mass rather than an embryo.

    Each individuals body parts share the **same** genetic code.

    Nope. The genetic code varies. Different cells in your body mah differ genetically. This is now well established.

    An unborn child has a unique genetic code distinct from the cells of the mother or the father. ot the case. Every cell of even an embryo is genetically distinct from every cell in its mother’s body.

    What does genetic uniqueness have to do this with this?

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  63. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    Great posts from everyone.

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  64. SPC (5,595 comments) says:

    Fletch, if you oppose morality being imposed by government force – why do you think that those in the morality business are so vehement that their morality should be imposed through law. I mean here defining marriage as between a man and a woman, seeking to ban funding for abortions and contraceptive serrvices, ban abortions etc etc.

    Government law is a relative (majority) matter, it is thus a social construct.

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  65. SPC (5,595 comments) says:

    You may note the young submitter, made the point that the will of the moral majority should be enforced through law. Was she not arguing that the majority defines morality? If not, what does the term “moral majority” mean?

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  66. Fletch (6,294 comments) says:

    SPC, that is exactly my point. To quote A.S.A. Jones –

    We can only guess and speculate using our own reasoning as to what constitutes a moral or immoral act. Christianity bypasses moral relativism by allowing us to position ourselves within the context of a divine personality who represents absolute righteousness.

    If there is no God, then no man is in a position to force his opinion of morality upon another. One man’s subjective view of morality is equal to another man’s equally subjective view of morality. Thus, there is no reason to believe in any morality just because another man tells you that it is good.

    It would take an authority that was above having only a subjective view of morality to legislate that morality. God’s view of morality is objective, not subjective.

    When we throw a person in jail because he has robbed a house, he is being imprisoned because of another man’s opinion that stealing is wrong. Once again, the opinion in question concerns a subjective reality and is, therefore, purely subjective and a matter of preference. Our entire justice system becomes illusory. In order for our justice system to have credibility, it has to be based on an authority that exceeds the mere opinion of men. But with a God who establishes morality as an objective reality, we are no longer dealing with the opinions of man’s preference, but the opinions of men concerning God’s preference.

    That’s why we get people to swear on a Bible when they testify in court, or (in the USA at least) are sworn in as president. It is supposed to be the upholding of the principles and laws of God in the Bible. Many of the laws we have are based on Biblical principles from way back.

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  67. eszett (2,401 comments) says:

    Many of the laws we have are based on Biblical principles from way back.

    Such as?

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  68. SPC (5,595 comments) says:

    You seemed to failed to notice what my points were.

    If only a minority support imposing a religious morality on others through law – then there is no moral majority and the term is meaningless. There is often a religious moral minority that tries to maintain or establish a law imposing their morality on others.

    The fact is in a democracy a majority decides the law. Labelling the majority as moral or immoral based is something people do but means nothing. What is the term for those who try to impose their morality on others and if they fail they see it as others trying to impose an immoral majority point of view on them?

    If you are claiming that morality is only defined by the Gods of our religions well –

    1. If one wishes to claim there is knowledge of God by reading a book, and define morality based on what the book said, there are others who read different books saying what God said too.

    2. If it was moral to kill off Canaanites man women and child, is it moral to kill off Palestinians man woman and child?

    3. Is it moral of jihad to involve righteous martyrdom in the cause of killing of others who are unarmed?

    PS (as to 2 and 3) it was not, and it is not. And no I do not need a book claiming to be the word of God to say that. Nor were the Crusades moral because the Pope of the time supported them (Jews and Moslems in Jerusalem were massacred by Christians).

    PS 2 – I will not swear on bibles, because it is not a true account and because the bible says not to swear an outh. No wonder we get politicians that lie.

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  69. chiz (1,133 comments) says:

    Fletch:

    Christianity bypasses moral relativism by allowing us to position ourselves within the context of a divine personality who represents absolute righteousness.

    Christianity promotes relativism surely. One only needs to look at the debate over usury, slavery, alcohol or homosexuality, to name some of the most well known examples, to realise that different christian groups have, and have had, different opinions on what their God thinks. By trying to base their morality on a book which contradicts itself, and which had been extensively modified by scribes moreover, they remove any need to think deeply about the moral issues involved and instead reduce their debates to surface scraps over what this or that passage might mean.

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  70. kowtow (8,315 comments) says:

    The old “crusades”were immoral bollocks.
    The first crusade was called in response to a plea for help from the Byzantine Emperor in Constantinople. To repulse the invading Muslims.

    Today Greek Constantinople is Turkish Istanbul.One of the greatest Christian buildings of the ancient world, Hagia Sophia, became a mosque and 70 million Turks are awaiting membership of the EU.

    It is immoral to surrender to invasion.

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  71. Fletch (6,294 comments) says:

    eszett, such as the opinion of Harold Berman, a scholarly giant in the field of law –

    In most Western countries, if a person is convicted of murder and sentenced to death, but goes insane between the moment of sentencing and the moment of execution, he is kept alive until he regains his sanity and only then is he executed. The reason for this unusual proviso is entirely theological: Only if the man is sane can he make a good confession, receive forgiveness for his sins, and hope to save his soul. Cases like this have led legal scholar Harold Berman to observe that modern Western legal systems “are a secular residue of religious attitudes and assumptions which historically found expression first in the liturgy and rituals and doctrine of the church and thereafter in the institutions and concepts and values of the law. When these historical roots are not understood, many parts of the law appear to lack any underlying source of validity.”‘

    Professor Berman’s scholarly work, particularly his magisterial Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition, has documented the influence of the Church on the development of Western law. “Western concepts of law,” he argues, “are in their origins, and therefore in their nature, intimately bound up with distinctively Western theological and liturgical concepts of the atonement and of the sacraments.”

    It’s probably too big a subject to neatly encapsulate, but here are some other snippets –

    The twelfth century began to change all that. The key treatise of canon law was the work of the monk Gratian, called A Concordance of Discordant Canons (also known as the Decretum Gratiani, or simply the Decretum), written around 1140. It is an enormous work, both in size and scope. It also constituted a historic milestone. According to Berman, it was “the first comprehensive and systematic legal treatise in the history of the West, and perhaps in the history of mankind if by `comprehensive’ is meant the attempt to embrace virtually the entire law of a given polity, and if by `systematic’ is meant the express effort to present that law as a single body, in which all the parts are viewed as interacting to form a whole.”

    ” In a world in which custom rather than statutory law ruled so much of both the ecclesiastical and secular domains, Gratian and other canonists developed criteria, based on reason and conscience, for determining the validity of given customs, and held up the idea of a pre-political natural law to which any legitimate custom had to conform. Scholars of Church law showed the barbarized West how to take a patchwork of custom, statutory law, and countless other sources, and produce from them a coherent legal order whose structure was internally consistent and in which previously existing contradictions were synthesized or otherwise resolved.

    Law is one of the important areas of Western civilization in which we are deeply indebted to the ancient Romans. But where the Church did not innovate she restored-a contribution often equally important-and her own canon law, with its rules of evidence and rational procedures, recalled the best of the Roman legal order in a milieu in which innocence and guilt were determined all too often by means of superstition.

    The canon law of marriage held that a valid marriage required the free consent of both the man and the woman, and that a marriage could be held invalid if it took place under duress or if one of the parties entered into the marriage on the basis of a mistake regarding either the identity or some important quality of the other person. “Here,” writes Berman, “were the foundations not only of the modern law of marriage but also of certain basic elements of modern contract law, namely, the concept of free will and related concepts of mistake, duress, and fraud.”‘ And by implementing these crucial principles in law, Catholic jurists were at last able to overcome the common practice of infant marriage that owed its origins to barbarian custom.8 Barbarian practice thus gave way to Catholic principle.

    Through the codification and promulgation of a systematic body of law, the salutary principles of Catholic belief were able to make their way into the daily practices of European peoples who had adopted Catholicism but who had all too often failed to draw out all its implications. These principles remain central to the modern legal orders under which Westerners, and more and more non-Westerners, continue to live.

    Thomas E. Woods. How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization (Kindle Locations 1878-1886). Kindle Edition.

    That should be enough to get you started.

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