Balkinization  

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Political Future of Abortion Rights

JB

Today marks the 34th anniversary of the decision in Roe v. Wade.

For many years many people-- including even some supporters of abortion rights-- have assumed that Roe was a constitutionally illegitimate decision that had no basis in the Constitution's text or the principles of its framers. Recently I have argued that the conventional wisdom is incorrect, and that the right to abortion, if not the actual logic of Roe itself, is faithful to the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment and the principles that underlie it. You can read the full argument here.

The fact that the abortion right can be squared with the Constitution's original meaning does not tell us, however, whether the courts will retain it or overrule it. In this essay I want to consider that latter question: Will the constitutional right to abortion survive politically and legally in the long run?

As Mark Graber reminds us, constitutional controversies are usually settled when one side or the other gives up. As of now, it does not look as if one side or the other is going to give up on the constitutional right to abortion. That does not mean, however, that Roe or Casey will soon be overruled. It means rather than the abortion right will be continually reshaped in the next several decades.

For example, most people don't realize that Roe was already partially overruled in the case that purported to affirm it, the 1992 decision in Casey v. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Casey jettisoned Roe's trimester system and adopted an "undue burden" test for regulations on abortion prior to viability.

The reason why Casey overruled Roe partially was fairly simple. The Republicans made five straight Supreme Court appointments after the Republican Party became the pro-life party in 1980. What is surprising is not that Roe was cut back, but that it survived at all. The most likely reason that Roe survived in limited form is that political factors prevented the appointment of enough strongly pro-life judges and because, after the failure of the Bork nomination, it became clear that it was not in the long-term political interests of the Republican Party to overrule Roe completely instead of chipping away at it gradually. Hence the Republican majority on the Supreme Court eventually produced a watered down version of the abortion right in Casey.

In fact, Casey gave stability to what was left of Roe v. Wade and moved constitutional doctrine (in practice) closer to the vector sum of political forces in the U.S. It allowed increased regulation of abortion-- particularly for the poor-- while preserving the effective right to abortion for affluent and middle class women.

This may not be the most just compromise from either a pro-life or a pro-choice standpoint-- in fact it may be morally obtuse for both sides, but that is true of many compromises. Evidence of Casey's success in moving the doctrine toward the political center is that most of abortion politics in the decade after Casey has nibbled around the edges of the key right-- it has concerned things like parental notification and partial-birth abortion, and largely symbolic gestures like the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, passed in 2004. Pro-life forces have been unable to succeed in wiping out the basic abortion right for affluent and middle class women. However, they have been quite successful in making it very difficult for poor women and women in rural areas to obtain abortions, and they have been able to effectively drive abortion providers out of a number of areas of the United States. But both of these results were foreseable if not inevitable consequences of the doctrinal structure created in Casey.

Nevertheless, the single most important factor in reducing the number of abortions in the United States has been increased use of and education about contraception, which some parts of the pro-life movement happily support. Other parts of the pro-life movement regard contraception (and education about contraception) as less desirable than promoting sexual abstinence programs, and still other parts of the pro-life movement actively oppose contraception as being, like abortion itself, immoral.

Given the relationship between Supreme Court jurisprudence and national political forces, it is very likely that the federal courts will not overturn Roe v. Wade any time soon, but they will continue to chip away at it. That is true even if the courts continue to be dominated by conservatives appointed by Republican Administrations. Generally speaking, the Supreme Court tends to stay roughly in sync with the vector sum of political forces in the country; since the Republicans have lost Congress recently, we can expect that it is somewhat less likely than before that Roe will be overturned; but this says nothing about marginal issues like the constitutionality of the 2003 Partial Birth Abortion act. If the Democrats regain the White House in 2008 and continue to control both Houses of Congress, it is very unlikely that Roe will be overturned in the near future.

One policy that might go some ways toward settling the political dispute over abortion would be the passage of a federal Freedom of Choice Act that statutorily codified basic features of Casey. Such an act, of course, would not pass until Democrats control both the Presidency and Congress; the last time this happened, in the Clinton Administration, inter-party squabbling prevented its passage.

There are no guarantees, of course, but Congressional ratification of Roe/Casey might bring a somewhat larger group of Americans to conclude that abortion was an established right and not a mere imposition by federal judges, that abortion rights were here to stay and that people should stop trying to get rid of them. No doubt many people would continue to have strong moral objections to abortion even if Congress passed a Freedom of Choice Act. But the question is not whether such a settlement would make abortion moral for abortion opponents (it would not). The question is whether the passage of a Freedom of Choice Act ratifying Roe/Casey would lead a sizeable number of abortion opponents to conclude that the best way to fight this particular form of immorality was not through seeking criminalization of abortion, but rather through other methods, like moral suasion, promoting adoption, pushing for social policies that eased the financial hardships of poor women who would otherwise choose abortion, and, for some abortion opponents, promoting contraception and family planning.

This possible scenario is not entirely fanciful. Many people who once sought to criminalize same-sex sodomy now view homosexuality as immoral but not an appropriate subject for state criminalization. It is possible that the same thing may someday happen to abortion.

Obviously, the opposite result may also occur: someday most Americans may come to believe that abortion is immoral and that it should be criminalized everywhere. Or Roe may be overturned and we will have abortion legal in some states but not in others. I think these two scenarios are a bit less likely, but I have been wrong before about so many things that neither would entirely surprise me. For the foreseeable, future, however, I think the country will probably stick with the Casey compromise, not because it is particularly good policy from the standpoint of either the pro-life or pro-choice side, but because it protects abortion rights for affluent and middle class women, who, not entirely coincidentally, are also the women who are most likely to vote.

Comments:

Even assuming arguendo that Roe "is faithful to the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment and the principles that underlie it," did the Court risk the opinion's legitimacy by handing a down a ruling that was so sweeping in its scope? Perhaps a more incremental approach would have prevented the political polarization that has taken place in its wake.
 

There is another way to look at the connection between Roe and originalism. Is it not a fact that conservatism's current infatuation with orignalism commenced 34 years ago today? That is, while there always has been some degree of interest in the original intent of the drafters or the original meaning of a constitutional provision, and while there was some discussion about this methodology during the Warren Court years, the event that truly inspired what has become a torrent of articles, books and speeches about originalism occurred exactly 34 years ago today. And so, today may be the anniversary of Roe, but it also is the birthday of modern day originalism.
 

rich:

Even assuming arguendo that Roe "is faithful to the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment and the principles that underlie it," did the Court risk the opinion's legitimacy by handing a down a ruling that was so sweeping in its scope? Perhaps a more incremental approach would have prevented the political polarization that has taken place in its wake.

Not sure what's "so sweeping in its scope". Once you hold that there's a constitutional right to an abortion (and if one assumes arguendo there isn't such, the discussion is very short), you're left with the job of putting parameters on it. That Roe did, and in a way that, while not complete and detailed, laid out the lines for further explication and refinement down the line. You may cavil at where the rough lines were drawn, but they had to go somewhere, and the approach of the Roe court was a temperate one under the circumstances. The "political polarization" was inevitable in any decision that recognised this right, regardless of where the lines were drawn.

In the early days of Roe when I was still an idealistic young adult, I had argued for a ban on abortion on the grounds that there was a clear and unmoving line at fertilisation (and I was fond of such "bright lines"). Since then I've come to understand that there's a difference between "precision" and "accuracy" -- for instance you may have a very precise thermometer which is in fact not at all accurate, and an alcohol thermometer which is reasonably precise for your purposes (and more so than the "precise" one) yet not particularly precise. Just because you can draw a very clear line at conception doesn't mean it's a rational thing to do so; precision for its own sake is no moral virtue (not to mention the fogginess introduced by methods that prevent both implantation and ovulation, and other changes in our knowledge over time). As "viability" has changed over the decades, perhaps so should our legal understanding, but that doesn't change viability as a reasonable benchmark; perhaps Roe's greatest flaw as in putting in temporal rules rather than operative rules.

Cheers,


Cheers,
 

I would respectfully disagree that case law or contraception had much of anything to do with the decrease in support for abortion among the citizenry. I doubt you can get one out of ten women of child bearing age who can name Casey. Additionally, I have not seen evidence of a substantial increase in contraception use.

I would contend that the single most decisive event since Roe which undermined support for abortion and reduced its use was the ultrasound imagery boomer women underwent when they started bearing children. This was supplemented with amazing in vitro photography of unborn children published in national publications.

One of the most effective pro life photographs were not the photos of dismembered children you see on the side of the road during demonstrations, but rather the tiny hand of an unborn child reaching outside of the womb taken during in vitro surgery saving the child's life.

Once women could see their living and moving unborn children, abortion shifted from being a rationalized and antiseptic "termination of pregnancy" to the killing of your unborn child. When most women look that the fetus as a child not merely a pregnancy, the pro abortion argument loses much of its appeal.
 

Bart:

Actually, Life magazine published in utero photographs in the 1960's, and the issue containing those photeos became one of their biggest selling issues ever (and Life in those days was a magazine with a huge circulation to begin with). And obviously, people saw drawings of fetuses in biology classes and knew what they looked like in various stages of development anyway. So it wasn't the case that prior to Roe, nobody understood that the fetus, after a certain amount of development, started to look and act like a born baby.

You are also wrong about contraception. Among teenagers, condom use is way up; adult contraceptive use has been up ever since the pill became widely available in the 1960's.

Actually, I don't think attitudes about abortion have changed much at all in the 20 or so years I have been paying attention to this issue. Very religious people, and people who are enamored of traditional gender roles or suspicious of feminism tend to oppose abortion virulently. They comprise 30-40 percent of the population. Feminists and secularists tend to support abortion rights fairly virulently. They are 20-30 percent of the population. The mushy middle is very ambivalent about abortion and tends to support some restrictions when roused to do so, because of concerns they have about the morality of abortion and about promiscuity. At the same time, they tend to stop short of a total ban, and they don't feel that strongly about the issue.

This has been the dynamic for a long time. I don't really see it changing.
 

dilan:

The 2003 Newsweek articles "Should a Fetus Have Rights: How Science is Changing the Debate" and "Treating the Tiniest Patients" directly discussed how the ultrasound technology has improved dramatically since Roe and how ultrasound was impacting the debate over abortion.

Indeed, ultrasound images of her unborn child have such a powerful impact on the expectant mother that abortion alternatives clinics routinely use them to dissuade mothers from having abortions and South Carolina introduced legislation to make it mandatory to view an ultrasound of the child before aborting her.

The grainy Silent Scream video of the struggling 12 week old child as it was torn apart in the womb was horrifying enough. If today's new technology was used to film such an abortion, the MPAA would not give it a rating. Therefore, it is unsurprising that no abortionist of which we know has ever again used ultrasound to record the results of his work since Silent Scream. Such a video would be the equivalent of a snuff film.

Therefore, I believe that the pro life community should attempt to pass laws requiring ultrasound imagery prior to abortion to change what Professor Balkin calls the "vector sum of political forces in the country" before attempting to overturn Roe.
 

"Bart" DePalma says:

I would contend that the single most decisive event since Roe which undermined support for abortion and reduced its use was the ultrasound imagery boomer women underwent when they started bearing children. This was supplemented with amazing in vitro photography of unborn children published in national publications.

One of the most effective pro life photographs were not the photos of dismembered children you see on the side of the road during demonstrations, but rather the tiny hand of an unborn child reaching outside of the womb taken during in vitro surgery saving the child's life.


IOW, slanted propaganda. Most abortions are first trimester abortions, and there are no cute little hands. Roe v. Wade recognised (rightly, in my mind) an increasing interest of the potential life during the course of pregnancy, and thus of increasing allowable restrictions on abortion as the pregnancy advanced. Very Solomonesque, perhaps. The anti-abortion wingnuts are against abortion at any stage (including blastocyst/implantation) and also are anti-contraception. Roe was MOTR, the anti-abortion scremaing hordes (and the killers like Rudolph, Kopp, Hill, etc.) are extremists.

Cheers,
 

"Bart" DePalma:

The 2003 Newsweek articles "Should a Fetus Have Rights: How Science is Changing the Debate" and "Treating the Tiniest Patients" directly discussed how the ultrasound technology has improved dramatically since Roe and how ultrasound was impacting the debate over abortion.

Translation from BartSpeak™ into English:

"The new ultrasound pictures give the anti-abortion foamers prettier pictures to wave around...."

Whether it has influenced thinking (as opposed to the "debate" ... or more specifically, what one side has been flogging in the "debate") is not at all clear.

FWIW, the anti-abortion foamers were flogging a partucularly egregious anti-abortion screed called "Silent Scream" a while back; that was debunked by serious doctors and scientists as bunk, but it doesn't stop the anti-abortion crew....

FWIW, I'd add that during my medical equipment career, the FDA put power restrictions on U/S foetal scanners in part to reduce or prevent any potential damage through cavitation or tissue heating. Reducing power reduces picture clarity; want to guess whether the anti-abortion crowd bothered concerning themselves with that?

Cheers,
 

Reading De Palma is like reading Paracelsus all over again.
 

"Roe v. Wade recognised (rightly, in my mind) an increasing interest of the potential life during the course of pregnancy, and thus of increasing allowable restrictions on abortion as the pregnancy advanced. Very Solomonesque, perhaps."

Your average anti-abortion "wing-nut", as you say, simply believes that natural rights are not doled out like Halloween candy, but are an all-or-nothing proposition. An "increasing interest of the potential life", as asserted by Roe makes an a priori assumption that a zygote or embryo has no rights, which really should be what the debate is about. The fact is that after conception, you are looking at true, honest-to-goodness human life. Biological reproduction has officially occured, watch this if you don't believe me.

As I watch my children grow up, I see them become more like me - but I do not see them become more human. There are as human as they ever will be, and they came into existence when they were conceived. My younger son is 5 months old - he is not self-aware yet, but I love him dearly. He gets older, but he will never be more son to me. Now are you telling me that at some point after he was conceived, he was not a human, and that he was not my son? Or that it was not my son who was conceived, but some "potential life" thing that somehow "became" my son? This is basically what Roe says, and the main reason why the pro-life crowd thinks that supportors of legal abortion are all wing-nuts too.
 

Ben Kennedy... The fact is that after conception, you are looking at true, honest-to-goodness human life.

What are you looking at before conception... foreplay and sex?

It's not about when "human" life begins. That, depending on who you talk to, happened some time between 6000 (creationists) and 60,000 years ago. When you die, your personhood ends but human life goes on. You were not a person when you were a gleam in your father's eye. In 1776, abortion of an "unquickened fetus" was frowned upon but legal in most states, unless you were a slave. The slave owner wanted them new slave babies.
 

When you die, your personhood ends but human life goes on.

I'm not sure I get your point about when humans appeared on the planet, but what you say here is true - there is a link between biological life and what is generally called "personhood". Destroying a corpse is not murder because no human life is taken, because a corpose is not alive. However, a fetus or embryo is alive, and is human. One has to have a religious belief along the lines of ensoulment to separate "personhood" from the ontological human creature, which is one of the reasons atheists like Nat Hentoff can be pro-life.
 

Having just hanged Saddam Hussein for the murder of children, we might yet see the same fate for abortionists.
 

arne langsetmo:

Once you hold that there's a constitutional right to an abortion (and if one assumes arguendo there isn't such, the discussion is very short), you're left with the job of putting parameters on it.

My post relates to Prof. Balkin's point that: "Generally speaking, the Supreme Court tends to stay roughly in sync with the vector sum of political forces in the country."

If, as Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued in the '70s, Roe truncated an incipient, democratic trend to liberalize abortion laws, which may have produced a broader consensus in support of abortion rights, then perhaps the Court exceeded the "vector sum of political forces" that were then at play, which risked reducing public acceptance of the decision, and perhaps, to some degree, respect for the rule of law itself.

Let me make clear, my argument has nothing to do with what I believe is the proper policy on abortion rights, nor my theory of constitutional interpretation.
 

Ben Kennedy:

Your average anti-abortion "wing-nut", as you say, simply believes that natural rights are not doled out like Halloween candy, but are an all-or-nothing proposition....

I agree. But I think that people that engage in such binary thinking aren't being very practical. Didn't I explain myself well enough above? They tend to be ideologues, and of little use in developing a polity that can be acceptable to all (but then again, they have no interest in this).

... An "increasing interest of the potential life", as asserted by Roe makes an a priori assumption that a zygote or embryo has no rights, ...

Not necessarily, and it's by no means an "a priori" assumption (although that is my current opinion). As I explained, there has to be a point prior to which even the most fervent anti-abortions people say that no rights can meaningfully be said to exist (Is it, perhaps, prior to the time a couple has decided that they will have the child in question? Or is that really too late? Maybe just the biological potential of two perhaps fertile people in the same room for the first time who might perhaps be attracted to one another is the dividing line? Is that enough "potential human life" to trigger the "protections of personhood"?) I rejected the "all-or-nothing" bright line of conception for various reasons, chief amongst which was the fact that it's not one that makes a lot of practical sense, as I learned more and more about biology.

... which really should be what the debate is about. The fact is that after conception, you are looking at true, honest-to-goodness human life. Biological reproduction has officially occured, watch this if you don't believe me.

Huh? A skin cell or a teratoma is just as interesting as a blastocyst WRT its "humanity". The "dividing line" of a full complement of unique DNA is a property shared by skin cells and teratomas. Why not protect the gametes en masse as well (cue Eric Idle: "Every sperm is sacred....").

I note that later, you comment about the "ensoulment" doctrine of old-time Catholicism; when the foetus starts kicking. You've just moved that magic moment of "ensoulment" up a half a year or so. To be honest, there's more to be said for the original Catholic doctrine than there is in the present dividing line of conception.

Cheers,
 

Destroying a corpse is not murder because no human life is taken, because a corpose is not alive.

This brings to mind Foucault's Discipline and Punish. When sentences used to include posthumous punishment of a person's corpse (say drawing & quartering someone after hanging them), is it no longer punishment, because the person wasn't alive?

Count me in the mushy middle. I don't believe that there is a bright line in this case, and I think there are very good arguments against it. I'm a big fan of parental notification laws, but I'm also a big fan of women having options. Just maybe not children, at least not without their parents knowing about it.

Additionally, I have not seen evidence of a substantial increase in contraception use.

Follow up on this piece posted on the NIH Medline site. Small excerpt: Santelli's team found that 86 percent of the decline in pregnancy was associated with increased use of contraception...Only 14 percent of the decline in pregnancy was attributed to reductions in teens' sexual activity. You can still disagree with the way the study was done, perhaps, but at least now you'll have seen some evidence for that position.
 

If any of you males opposed could get pregnant, what you say might be important. As it is... not so much.


Arne... To be honest, there's more to be said for the original Catholic doctrine than there is in the present dividing line of conception.

The original Catholic doctine


This review of abortion history considers sacred and secular practice and traces abortion in the US, the legacy of the 19th century, and the change that occurred in the 20th century. Abortion has been practiced since ancient times, but its legality and availability have been threatened continuously by forces that would denigrate women's fundamental rights. Currently, while efforts to decrease the need for abortion through contraception and education continue, access to abortion remains crucial for the well-being of millions of women. That access will never be secure until profound changes occur in the whole society. Laws that prohibit absolutely the practice of abortion are a relatively recent development. In the early Roman Catholic church, abortion was permitted for male fetuses in the first 40 days of pregnancy and for female fetuses in the first 80-90 days. Not until 1588 did Pope Sixtus V declare all abortion murder, with excommunication as the punishment. Only 3 years later a new pope found the absolute sanction unworkable and again allowed early abortions. 300 years would pass before the Catholic church under Pius IX again declared all abortion murder. This standard, declared in 1869, remains the official position of the church, reaffirmed by the current pope. In 1920 the Soviet Union became the 1st modern state formally to legalize abortion. In the early period after the 1917 revolution, abortion was readily available in state operated facilities. These facilities were closed and abortion made illegal when it became clear that the Soviet Union would have to defend itself against Nazi Germany. After World War II women were encouraged to enter the labor force, and abortion once again became legal. The cases of the Catholic church and the Soviet Union illustrate the same point. Abortion legislation has never been in the hands of women. In the 20th century, state policy has been determined by the rhythms of economic and military expansion, the desire for cheap labor, and greater consumerism. The legal history of abortion in the US illustrates dramatically that it was doctors, not women, who defined the morality surrounding abortion. Women continue to have to cope with the legacy of this fact.
 

nk said...
Having just lynched Saddam Hussein for the murder of children, we might yet see the same fate for abortionists.


Fixed your typo.
 

No what NK really wanted to say was...
Having just lynched Saddam Hussein for the murder of children, I'd like to see the same fate for abortionists.

 

Arne:

As I explained, there has to be a point prior to which even the most fervent anti-abortions people say that no rights can meaningfully be said to exist (Is it, perhaps, prior to the time a couple has decided that they will have the child in question? Or is that really too late? Maybe just the biological potential of two perhaps fertile people in the same room for the first time who might perhaps be attracted to one another is the dividing line?

...

Huh? A skin cell or a teratoma is just as interesting as a blastocyst WRT its "humanity". The "dividing line" of a full complement of unique DNA is a property shared by skin cells and teratomas. Why not protect the gametes en masse as well (cue Eric Idle: "Every sperm is sacred....").


A sperm is the smallest cell of the human body, an ovum is the largest - these cells are part of an organisim. A skin cell may have my DNA, but it is not totipotent - a zygote is an ontological human, a skin cell isn't. I used to be an embryo, you used to be an embryo. There is a scientific bright line here that is very clear that tells us when we are looking at a human creature and when we are not. Leaving stem-cell research aside, nearly all abortions occur after the possibility of twinning and chimeras and other odd things - there is no way to get around the fact that abortion results in the destruction of a living creature of our species.

Your main objection therfore seems to be it is not "practical" to consider the very youngest humans "people". The problem is that it is impossible to construct a cohesive theory of natural law that protects pre-concsious, non-self aware infants but rejects that protection for unborn, which are essentially in the same state. As Nat Hentoff writes:


It missses a crucial point to say that the extermination can take place because the brain has not yet functioned or because that thing is not yet a "person." Whether the life is cut off in the fourth week or the fourteenth, the victim is one of our species, and has been from the start. Yet rational arguments like these are met with undiluted hostility by otherwise clear-thinking liberals.


The "start" is the biological beginning of the creature - conception.

Finally, you would hate to admit it, but you are just as much an ideologue as myself. Would you support the right of a woman to have an abortion because she did not like the gender of her child? I would suspect you would say "yes". If not, I would be curious where your nuance is. By allowing abortion-on-demand at some stage of human development, you take the polar opposite of my position, as you claim that some human creatures have no right to life, where I claim that they do.
 

Finally, you would hate to admit it, but you are just as much an ideologue as myself. Would you support the right of a woman to have an abortion because she did not like the gender of her child? I would suspect you would say "yes".


I suspect not, but since you are going in that direction, let the "invisible hand of the market" decide. When humans become an endangered species, even contraceptives will be illegal and the Pope will be happy.

BTW, I never liked Nat Hentoff.
 

Ben Kennedy:

A sperm is the smallest cell of the human body, an ovum is the largest - these cells are part of an organisim.

As Eric Idle points out (and as Ken Starr pointed out), not always. ;-)

... A skin cell may have my DNA, but it is not totipotent ...

You know this for a fact? And you also maintain for a fact that a zygote is totipotent? Well, bless its little heart and good luck to it, I certainly hope it fends for itself, eh?

- a zygote is an ontological human, a skin cell isn't.

Huh? What is an "ontological human"? Why is a gamete not such? Or the gleam in your honey's eye?

... I used to be an embryo, you used to be an embryo....

I also used to be (in part) a cabbage, as I'm sure you did. As well as that limestone rock.

... There is a scientific bright line here that is very clear that tells us when we are looking at a human creature and when we are not.

There is no such "scientific bright line". Hate to say it, but we draw lines -- to organise our thinking, to compose our poetry, to write our laws. Nature has a happy history of confusing the lines we draw, and surprising us. One curevball it may throw our way is to wind up having "totipotent" skin cells under proper circumstances.

... Leaving stem-cell research aside, nearly all abortions occur after the possibility of twinning and chimeras and other odd things - there is no way to get around the fact that abortion results in the destruction of a living creature of our species.

Huh? What does that have to do with the price of tea in Sri Lanka?

Your main objection therfore seems to be it is not "practical" to consider the very youngest humans "people"....

No. My main objection is that these "very youngest humans" are so far away from being the actual people that I do deal with every day so that it makes no sense to lump them into the same category. They don't talk, they don't walk, they don't love or write sonnets. If you think that a zygote is deserving of all kinds of legal protections, do you eat meat?

The problem is that it is impossible to construct a cohesive theory of natural law that protects pre-concsious, non-self aware infants but rejects that protection for unborn, which are essentially in the same state....

Nonsense. If you're having difficulty, you just aren't thinking very clearly. You're perhaps guilty of being "over-inclusive".

... As Nat Hentoff writes:

It missses a crucial point to say that the extermination can take place because the brain has not yet functioned or because that thing is not yet a "person." Whether the life is cut off in the fourth week or the fourteenth, the victim is one of our species, and has been from the start. Yet rational arguments like these are met with undiluted hostility by otherwise clear-thinking liberals.


Well, yes, if you define such to be a member of "our species" (and define, say, a chimpanzee, not to be), yes, then they are. The question is whether that's a good (or practical, or workable, or even consistent) definition.....

The "start" is the biological beginning of the creature - conception.

As I pointed out, no, that isn't the "start" ... unless you define it as such. Why that arbitrary point? From a functional standpoint, it has little going for it.

Finally, you would hate to admit it, but you are just as much an ideologue as myself. Would you support the right of a woman to have an abortion because she did not like the gender of her child? I would suspect you would say "yes"....

I do not agree with sex selection, but I'm not going to go out of my way to per se prevent it. That's just me. Just as I can feel strongly that certain people shouldn't have children period (and would caution them against it), but still not insist on being the fifth wheel on every sofa of every den of every household with a teenager across the country.....

... If not, I would be curious where your nuance is. By allowing abortion-on-demand at some stage of human development, ...

Well surely you don't insist that certain people not refrain from sex ... or refrain from using contraception? The end result of that is pretty much the same as an abortion, no?

But as I said, I think that restrictions on abortion are rational in later stages of pregnancy. Were I an ideologue, wouldn't I insist on "abortion on demand" (which is a bit of a misnomer for most abortions; even those of late term)?

... you take the polar opposite of my position, as you claim that some human creatures have no right to life, where I claim that they do.

We disagree, I'm sure. Do you have a problem with that? Tell you what: I won't make you follow my "moral precepts" if you don't make me follow yours here. 'Kay?

Cheers,
 

Huh? What is an "ontological human"? Why is a gamete not such? Or the gleam in your honey's eye?

A am talking about reality here, the basics of biological reproduction. There are cold, hard, scientific facts in this debate that cannot be denied, foremost being that abortion ends a human life. Regarding these lives, you then claim:


No. My main objection is that these "very youngest humans" are so far away from being the actual people that I do deal with every day so that it makes no sense to lump them into the same category. They don't talk, they don't walk, they don't love or write sonnets. If you think that a zygote is deserving of all kinds of legal protections, do you eat meat?


Infant children do not talk, do not walk, do not love, and do not write sonnets - yet we value them as human beings - surely you would say that an infant child has the same right to life as an adult. I'm not sure how you define your categories, but a unborn human or embryo should be in the same logical category as the infant, as they are both lack self-awareness.


Were I an ideologue, wouldn't I insist on "abortion on demand" (which is a bit of a misnomer for most abortions; even those of late term)?


Late-term abortion is tantamount to infanticide. A "sliding-scale" to determine the value of human life is actually no scale at all - without the right to life, no other rights are possible. You are an ideologue because you separate rights from the fundamental nature of the organism, where I claim that split is invalid. And I understand your aguments, I simply don't think they are internally consistent or logical.
 

abortion ends a human life

Maybe it just prevents a human life where contraception either failed or was not employed. Abortion is not a substitute for contraception. It is a last resort. I'm not really comfortable with it myself, but it's really none of my business.

Also, I think you are confusing the right to life with a non-existent right to be born. I don't think you really understand what "right to life" means.

And I understand your aguments, I simply don't think they are internally consistent or logical.


Mostly you engage in emotional appeals, rhetoric, semantics and imprecise, emotionally charged, language.
 

Arne,

You said that you once drew a bright, clear line at conception and opposed all abortions, but that you no longer do. Can you explain to us why you chaged your mind? It seems to me people who believe personhood begins at conception identify "personhood" with genetic uniqueness, and it is true that everyone's unique genetic endowment begins at conception.

Any argument for abortion has to take this fact into account and explain why personhood should not be equated with having one's own unique genetic endowment.
 

It seems to me people who believe personhood begins at conception identify "personhood" with genetic uniqueness, and it is true that everyone's unique genetic endowment begins at conception.

Any argument for abortion has to take this fact into account and explain why personhood should not be equated with having one's own unique genetic endowment.





I'll stick my nose in here and just note that some "genetic endowment" leads to non-viability. Infant mortality is often a matter of nature, not nurture. A fair number of fetuses can never come to term naturally or survive for long with or without intervention of any kind. IOW, some particularly unique genetic endowment is not sufficient for viability or survivability. Persons are works in progress, greater than the sum of their nature and nurture parts. We are trying to define when personhood begins. We have pretty much defined when it ends, although it wouldn't surprise me if in the year 3000 some group might be agitaing for after life rights.
 

Any argument for abortion has to take this fact into account and explain why personhood should not be equated with having one's own unique genetic endowment.

I'll also stick my nose in and say that all plant and animal creatures that reproduce sexually have a unique genetic endowment that begins at fertilization. Having a unique genetic endowment is therefore not sufficient to endow a creature with "personhood" nor create rights under the Constitution.
 

I think bright lines go out the window when a person or set of persons argues along the "member of our own species" line, and don't argue against other abortions of "members of our own species," such as wars or death penalties.

The idea of threat that is inherent in the latter ideas console us because we are acting to protect society. If a child dies in Iraq, for instance, we can write it off as collateral damage--a necessary price of maintaining the American way.

From the viewpoint of a young woman, you could consider abortion a parallel and proactive attempt to maintain economic well-being, albeit on the micro, not macro, scale. If the state does not extend the same protections to all "members of our species," talk about a bright line of humanity is out of place when the state decides to apply the standard in one place and ignore it elsewhere.

If human life is precious simply because it's human life, then all human life must be precious. However, if it is widely accepted that human life can be removed for the good of society at large, the argument against abortion must revolve around something other than genetics and conception.
 

Also, I think you are confusing the right to life with a non-existent right to be born. I don't think you really understand what "right to life" means.

There are many ways to remove a fetus from the womb, but only two that don't kill it - natural birth or a C-section. The right to life of the fetus requires than only non-lethal means should be preferred to remove it. But if you believe that the fetus has no right to life, then the discussion is moot.


Mostly you engage in emotional appeals, rhetoric, semantics and imprecise, emotionally charged, language.


"Abortion ends a human life" is clinical fact - if you are getting emotionally charged, it's because this fact bothers you a great deal. Furthermore, I have not seen you or anyone else ever provide a reasonable logical distinction between an infant and an embryo that show why one has a right to life and the other doesn't. By "reasonable", I mean that it does not hinge on a one foot journey down a birth canal or turn on our ability to save premature infants (viability).

Look, I used to be pro-choice myself - until I really starting thinking about things. Particularly, I thought about the value of human life. I came to the conclusion, as many others have, that human life transcends ordinary concepts of value. Consider something very big and majestic, say the planet Jupiter. Jupiter is nothing compared to the value of a single human life. Not only that, but human life at any life stage is infinitely valuable, whether it be infant, child, teenager, or adult. People don't become more valuable over time.

So when I turn my attention to the unborn, my questions becomes how can it be possible for this infinitely valuable thing we call a person to be created? And while I admit that the creation of human life can be fuzzy (fertilization is a 24 hour process, for example), it is clear that post-conception, there is a new biological entity - and there is no logical basis to claim this entity has no rights yet claim an infant does.
 

If human life is precious simply because it's human life, then all human life must be precious. However, if it is widely accepted that human life can be removed for the good of society at large, the argument against abortion must revolve around something other than genetics and conception.

Good point, but unfortutely the abortion debate cannot proceed to this level until there is general agreement that unborn human life is worth protecting at all. I would love to sit back and debate an abortion policy with the understanding that there is a balancing of rights in play. Right now there is disagreement over whether some forms of human life, particularly in the abortion debate fetal life, has any value worth protecting.
 

The problem with the argument that some human beings have a right to life and others do not based on their development and capacity to perform functions like healthy mature adult human beings creates an exceedingly steep slippery slope.

You can make the same arguments in favor of euthanizing born children, who like unborn children are far from being fully developed, or the disabled, who lack certain functions of a healthy adult human being.

Human beings have an intrinsic value based on their humanity, not based on some fascist-like view of their function and resulting utility to society.
 

Ben Kennedy:

I would love to sit back and debate an abortion policy with the understanding that there is a balancing of rights in play. Right now there is disagreement over whether some forms of human life, particularly in the abortion debate fetal life, has any value worth protecting.

Let me give this a try. The law will not force one person to make a living donation of a kidney to save another. Losing a kidney is traumatic and can cause long-term health problems. Donating bone marrow is less intrusive and the lost marrow will be replaced. But the law will not force one person to donate bone marrow to save another, or even undergo test for compatibility.

The law will not force one person to donate a kidney or marrow, even though refusal by the prospective donor is a death sentance for the prospective donee. The donor's bodily integrity is given priority over the donee's life.

These cases can be compared to abortion. How far can one person be compelled to go in serving as another person's life support system?
 


These cases can be compared to abortion. How far can one person be compelled to go in serving as another person's life support system?


The answer depends on the cirsumstances. The vast majority of abortions involve consensual sex. A better analogy would be inviting someone into your home, then later shooting them for trespassing. Another one would be picking up a hitch-hiker, and booting them out of the car at 55 mph. In cases of rape where the preganancy was not voluntary, you may have a point, or where the woman did not have the mental capacity to understand the biological consequences of sex.
 

De Palma... The problem with the argument that some human beings have a right to life and others do not based on their development and capacity to perform functions like healthy mature adult human beingsssszzzz....

And this is why you fast become persona non grata at one blog after another. No one is making that argument. Nor this one:

You can make the same arguments in favor of euthanizing born children, who like unborn children are far from being fully developed, or the disabled, who lack certain functions of a healthy adult human being.

I'd rather have a dialogue with Ben. At least he is sincere and less inclined to politicize the issue.
 

Enlightened Layperson said...

Let me give this a try. The law will not force one person to make a living donation of a kidney to save another...These cases can be compared to abortion.

I do not see how the compelled donation of a vital body part is comparable to a mother voluntarily engaging in the sexual intercourse which conceived her child.

How far can one person be compelled to go in serving as another person's life support system?

The purpose of sexual intercourse is to conceive children. Unless the mother was forced against her will to engage in sexual intercourse, she accepted the possibility she would bear a child as a result.
 

Bart,

I see you agree that non-consensual sex could be grounds for an abortion.

What is your position on contraception?
 

De Palma... The purpose of sexual intercourse is to conceive children.

De Palma finally concedes Clinton did not perjure himself?
 

Ben Kennedy said...

The answer depends on the cirsumstances.


Be careful. You might be a moral relativist after all. How postmodern of you.
 

Fraud Guy said...

Bart, I see you agree that non-consensual sex could be grounds for an abortion.

I think that supporters of abortion would have a viable self defense argument that the woman did not accept the risks of pregnancy if the sexual intercourse was forced.

What is your position on contraception?

I support it.

Let me be clear about my position.

Abortion does not have to be a religious issue. I am confident that all of us - religious or secular - believes that murder should be barred by law even if you do not believe that God commanded that "You shall not Murder."

I oppose most abortions as a form of unjustified homicide based on the science which makes it clear that a human being starts life at conception. I cannot draw a principled line that confers a right to life to one class of human beings and not another for the reasons I gave above.

Abortion is not contraception because conception has already taken place. The Catholic doctrinal opposition to contraception is based on God's instruction to go forth and multiply, not on the commandment not to murder. I am not Catholic and do not subscribe to that reasoning. Unlike the beginning of mankind, the planet is pretty well populated now.
 

JT Davis said...

De Palma... The purpose of sexual intercourse is to conceive children.

De Palma finally concedes Clinton did not perjure himself?


The term "sex" used in the questions put to Mr. Clinton refers to the full universe of sexual acts, not just "sexual intercourse." Thus, Ms. Lewinski's performance of oral sex on Mr. Clinton is "sex" as that term is commonly understood. "Is" does mean "is" afterall.
 

Bart,

To continue:

If contraception is a valid choice, then, is it beneficial for sexual education training to make it a central point of policy, as opposed to abstinence (which I believe is the least net effective means of contraception)?

And is it beneficial for it to be public policy to fund and teach contraception over abortion (in your terms, to promote prevention over murder)?
 


Be careful. You might be a moral relativist after all. How postmodern of you.


By no means, I simply point out there is such a thing as a justifiable homicide which is a universal standard. But again, to have this conversation presupposes that the fetus is indeed a creature with the same moral worth and intrinisic value as a born human, a proposition explicitly rejected by Roe and people writing here.

The whole thing boils down to this: on what basis do you value human life - is it based on biological humanity, or something else? People like to cloud the issue with twins, chimeras and meaningless statements about sperm. However, it does not follow that even though it may be difficult to establish that something is human somehow implies that being human is not intriniscally valuable. The biological humanity of an embryo or fetus cannot be denied - my question is what meaningful distinction is there between it and an infant. Does it ever undergo some fundamental shift in it's basic nature that suggests a change in moral status? Or does is just do what all humans do throughout their life - grow, mature, and change?
 

Bart, there isn't any "clear" science as to when human life begins. It's treated by scientists as a philosophical question. All science tells us is what the stages of development are, from before conception (i.e., the formation of spermatozoa and eggs) through death. When such a being has rights is not answerable by scientists.

What scientists have discovered, of course, includes many facts that are quite unfavorable to the pro-life side. These include such things as: (1) the fact that the body expels a substantial percentage of zygotes conceived and whom pro-lifers claim to be human beings with a right to life; (2) identical twins are formed when one zygote-- supposedly one human life-- splits into two; (3) fetuses do not gain consciousness or even minimal sensation of pain until well into the development process; and (4) stem cells harvested from blastocysts whom are supposedly human beings may save lives that nobody disputes are human lives with a right to live.

I am not, of course, saying that pro-lifers do not have answers to these arguments (they do, though they are not very persuasive ones) or that there are not other things that science has discovered which make pro-choicers uncomfortable. I am simply saying that the idea that modern science has proven or even persuasively evidenced the correctness of the pro-life position is flatly false.
 

Ben Kennedy:

[Arne]: Huh? What is an "ontological human"? Why is a gamete not such? Or the gleam in your honey's eye?

[Ben]: A am talking about reality here, the basics of biological reproduction. There are cold, hard, scientific facts in this debate that cannot be denied, foremost being that abortion ends a human life....


No. That is a legal or political judgement. Science (and/or Mother Nature) is rather ambivalent about abortion; a fair number of pregnancies end spontaneously long before birth. Science doesn't define "a human life". I note that you don't address my objection that the killing of the gametes that (might have) become a human baby under a set of circumstances yet to be determined is "end[ing] a human life" just as easily under your 'logic' here. Cue more Eric Idle:

"Because...

Every sperm is sacred,
Every sperm is great,
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate...."

[Ben]: ... Regarding these lives, you then claim:

[Arne]: No. My main objection is that these "very youngest humans" are so far away from being the actual people that I do deal with every day so that it makes no sense to lump them into the same category. They don't talk, they don't walk, they don't love or write sonnets. If you think that a zygote is deserving of all kinds of legal protections, do you eat meat?


Infant children do not talk, do not walk, do not love, and do not write sonnets - yet we value them as human beings - surely you would say that an infant child has the same right to life as an adult....

Pretty much. It's a matter of degree. One good reason for preventing infanticide is that there is no countervailing reason for allowing infanticide (at least in my book). I think I already indicated that I'm not opposed to reasonable restrictions on abortion, particularly late term. But to give full legal rights to a life form that is far less sentient -- much less sapient -- than the cows we eat every day (or even of the earthworms we squish and the bugs we slap) with not so much as a "Howdeydoo", particularly when balanced against the rights of the woman who has to undego that pregnancy, seems rather absurd.

... I'm not sure how you define your categories, but a unborn human or embryo should be in the same logical category as the infant, as they are both lack self-awareness.

I think you're wrong. ;-)

[Arne]: Were I an ideologue, wouldn't I insist on "abortion on demand" (which is a bit of a misnomer for most abortions; even those of late term)?

[Ben]: Late-term abortion is tantamount to infanticide....


Not entirely. See above. I would be fine with restrictions on late-term abortions being done on whim (not the much-abused "on demand"). I do think that late-term abortions may be justifiable for severely deformed foetuses or those destined to die soon after painful, short lives. It came up in our family; a trisomy 18 foetus destined to die in less than a year if it ever made it to birth. I would have supported a decisin either way after the disability was detected (it resolved itself without a decision needing to be made, but those were serious and sad days for all, in particular the mother).

... A "sliding-scale" to determine the value of human life is actually no scale at all ...

Nonsense. It is in fact a "scale" as opposed to a binary quantity. And it accurately represents that there is a balance of interests at stake.

... - without the right to life, no other rights are possible....

Oh, horsefeathers. Want t tell me what rights you've given up since Roe (which, BTW, didn't abjure the "right to life")? Your Fourth Amendment rights? Your Fifth Amendment ones? Oh, yeah, forgot ... silly me ... your good buddy Dubya's been yanking those as quick as he can....

... You are an ideologue because you separate rights from the fundamental nature of the organism,...

Huh? But, JOOC, what is "the fundamental nature of the organism"? Blame my ignerrence on my science profs (or my law school ones); they taught me that there's a lot more to life than meets the eye. That makes me the opposite of an "ideologue" who sees just black and white.

... where I claim that split is invalid....

You can claim anythign you want. That doesn't make it so. Argument by repeated assertion is harldy likely to convince anyne else of the rightness of your claim either.

.. And I understand your aguments, I simply don't think they are internally consistent or logical.

Your problem, not mine.

Your "arguments", OTOH, seem to proceed from the conclusions....

Cheers,
 

enlightened layperson:

You said that you once drew a bright, clear line at conception and opposed all abortions, but that you no longer do. Can you explain to us why you chaged your mind?

I thought I explained it early on, but I'll give it another try.

Back when I was young and idealistic (translation: prone to ideological infatuation and the resultant excesses), I thought there were great answers to life's great questions. Then I went to college. ;-) "Bright lines" have an attractiveness apparent even in the law, and one can make a case that the resulting predictability of such "bright lines" in law is enough of a positive that it outweighs any potential 'unfairness' of a decision that might have been tempered a bit on the individual merits had the "bright line" not been in place. One searching for all the answers should be attracted to bright lines; then there is reason and order in the world. Since then I've grown older and dumber, and now a lot of things I know just ain't so.

In the abortion debate, if my present self had sat my youthful one down and explained things to me, perhaps I would have been persuaded at that time. What I came to see is that while we can have a clear (but becoming less clear every day with IVF, cloning, gene transplants, etc.) line to draw, that fact that we can (in theory but not in practise) draw it reasonably precisely doens't mean that it's the proper place to draw it. Precision is not accuracy. You'll have to look for the rest of my present thinking in posts above.

Cheers,
 

enlightened layperson:

...it is true that everyone's unique genetic endowment begins at conception.

Well, until the gene doctors get going. ;-)

Not entirely true, either. Consider twinning (nature's "cloning"), and consider that the "decision" as to what DNA gets into the gametes is made at the time of monoploid gamete formation.

Then, as we know, things can go wrong after fertilization as well that have a profound and irreversible (for now) biological effect as well. And that certainly contributes to the "individuality" of the organism as well.

Cheers,
 

I am simply saying that the idea that modern science has proven or even persuasively evidenced the correctness of the pro-life position is flatly false.

The pro-life position is a statement of human values - science says what is, not how things ought to be. As you point out, science reveals human life is a continuum starting at conception. I think it is fairer to say that in light of our understanding of how human life develops, a system that assigns different intrinsic values along the spectrum of life is illogical since the only thing that controls your place on the continuum is time. This is particularly true for "inalienable" rights that are, by definition, immune to the passage of time.
 

enlightened layperson:

Any argument for abortion has to take this fact into account and explain why personhood should not be equated with having one's own unique genetic endowment.

If the DNA sequences were the sum and total of "personhood", let's just sequence the genomes of all the foetuses and leave the messy stuff behind. Hell, why not abolish sex and have a computer synthesize "virtual kids" using a random number generator?

On another note, I'm going to press for a law demanding that every child return all the mitochondria they stole from their mothers. Mitochondria are derived exclusively maternally, and the sequence of the mitchondrial DNA is the same as the mothers (absent the rare chance mutations). Obviously the mother has the rights to those little symbiotes; they are genetically hers...

Cheers,
 

adam

I'll also stick my nose in and say that all plant and animal creatures that reproduce sexually have a unique genetic endowment that begins at fertilization. Having a unique genetic endowment is therefore not sufficient to endow a creature with "personhood" nor create rights under the Constitution.

I dunno. I think that I'm going to have to start the "Rights For Preborn Teratomas" party. ;-)

Cheers,
 

Ben Kennedy:

Not only that, but human life at any life stage is infinitely valuable, whether it be infant, child, teenager, or adult.

Oh, I dunno. Jupiter's really, really big. And cool. Well, maybe not so cool ... but its moons are.

I'd say the value judgement that "human life" (however defined) is "infinitely valuable" forecloses all discussion. You believe that, you'll agree with Ben, I guess, and no point in talking. If you don't, there's no usable basis to even begin discourse with him on the subject. So that's that....

But does Ben eat meat?

Cheers,
 

Ben Kennedy:

I would love to sit back and debate an abortion policy with the understanding that there is a balancing of rights in play.

I did just that in my first posts here (before you even jumped in), and you then later insinuated that I must be an "abortion on demand" proponent ("If not, I would be curious where your nuance is. By allowing abortion-on-demand at some stage of human development, you take the polar opposite of my position....").

I don't beeeelllliiieeeevvvee yyyooouuu....

Cheers,
 


Science doesn't define "a human life". I note that you don't address my objection that the killing of the gametes that (might have) become a human baby under a set of circumstances yet to be determined is "end[ing] a human life" just as easily under your 'logic' here.


Of course science defines a "human life". Does science define what an animal is? Does it define what an individual is? Does it define a species called homo sapiens? Then it has defined human life.


Pretty much. It's a matter of degree. One good reason for preventing infanticide is that there is no countervailing reason for allowing infanticide (at least in my book). I think I already indicated that I'm not opposed to reasonable restrictions on abortion, particularly late term. But to give full legal rights to a life form that is far less sentient -- much less sapient -- than the cows we eat every day (or even of the earthworms we squish and the bugs we slap) with not so much as a "Howdeydoo", particularly when balanced against the rights of the woman who has to undego that pregnancy, seems rather absurd.


A human infant as far less advanced than say, a chimpanzee. Do you advocate the same rights for chimpanzees as human infants?


Oh, horsefeathers. Want t tell me what rights you've given up since Roe (which, BTW, didn't abjure the "right to life")? Your Fourth Amendment rights? Your Fifth Amendment ones? Oh, yeah, forgot ... silly me ... your good buddy Dubya's been yanking those as quick as he can....


Not what I said - I said without a right to life, other rights are meaningless. Of course you can lose rights besides the right to life, just ask someone who is in jail. My assertion is that if you assign rights based on a continuum, all rights are essentially meaningless until there is a right to life involved. Rights granted before a right to life are essentially meaningless.




Huh? But, JOOC, what is "the fundamental nature of the organism"? Blame my ignerrence on my science profs (or my law school ones); they taught me that there's a lot more to life than meets the eye. That makes me the opposite of an "ideologue" who sees just black and white.


In your quest to see shades of gray, you sure miss the stunningly obvious. Are you an animal? What is your species? That is your fundamental nature.

You basically advocate preference utilitarianism - a human is only as valuable as its present state. Which is fine, I just disagree with that that philosphy - thats all.
 

"Bart" DePalma:

You can make the same arguments in favor of euthanizing born children, who like unborn children are far from being fully developed, or the disabled, who lack certain functions of a healthy adult human being.

Human beings have an intrinsic value based on their humanity, not based on some fascist-like view of their function and resulting utility to society.


Great in principle. Sadly enough, just not always true in practise.

I'm a firm advocate for the disabled, FWIW (bet I've done more legal work for disability rights than "Bart" has ever done in his career, just as I've probably done more to combat terrorism than "Bart" has since 9/11).

But there are cases, sad ones indeed, where sometime you just have to let things go. I'm sure that "Bart" will agree; he seems to think that sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make a "Democracy Souffle" in the Middle East, and if a few kids get pulverised, well, so it goes, "It's all for the greater good", as Dr. Pangloss would say. Is it moral to carry a trisomy 18 foetus to term (I don't want to argue trisomy 21; there's more of a range of outcomes there)? I think even in the case of trisomy 18, there's an argument to be made either way; I just hope that I don't ever get placed in the position of having to be the decision-maker there. I'm sure that those faced with the prspect would feel the same way, but someone has to do it. "Bart" and Ben would suggest it be the gummint (they probably also think that Terry Schiavo's fate should properly be decided by Congress [to the extent that nature hadn't done so already]).

Cheers,
 

Bart,

Behave.


Dilan... Bart, there isn't any "clear" science as to when human life begins. It's treated by scientists as a philosophical question.

Actually, there is, and it's not 6000 years ago (sorry creationists). It seems to be about 60,000 years ago. That's as far back as they have managed to go with the mitochondrial DNA of the modern human. It's a fine distinction really. Fortunately, we may never have to worry about the issue of what rights a neanderthal has, unless we find one freeze-dried in perfect condition and revive him. As I understand it, the debate is over the definition of personhood. This is not helped by the linguistic limitations and peculiarities in our language.

Oh, Arne beat me to it.
 

Ben... A human infant as far less advanced than say, a chimpanzee. Do you advocate the same rights for chimpanzees as human infants?

PETA and ALF does!

Do you see how silly this can get?
 

Ben Kennedy:

[enlightened layperson]: These cases can be compared to abortion. How far can one person be compelled to go in serving as another person's life support system?

[Ben]:The answer depends on the cirsumstances. The vast majority of abortions involve
consensual sex.

HUH?!?!? What does that have to do with the price of tea in Sri Lanka?

If we think that people should be "fined" for consensual sex, let's just start fining all the fornicators (and even married couples who are not having sex to get pregnant).

Cheers,
 

Arne... I did just that in my first posts here (before you even jumped in), and you then later insinuated that I must be an "abortion on demand" proponent

I gave him a pass on that one...

I don't think Ben is a lawyer... yet, (maybe not even a law student)?

Hard to tell sometimes. I can't believe Bart is, on occasion.
 

"Bart" says:

I do not see how the compelled donation of a vital body part is comparable to a mother voluntarily engaging in the sexual intercourse which conceived her child.

Well, that's progress of a sort. That is a ridiculous comparison. Now if we could get "Bart"'s docs to titrate the Haldol up a notch, maybe he wouldn't hallucinate that anyone ever said such a thing. Now that would be real progress....

Cheers,
 

"Bart" DePalma says:

The purpose of sexual intercourse is to conceive children.

That's what he tells his wife.... ;-)

Cheers,
 

Arne... If we think that people should be "fined" for consensual sex, let's just start fining all the fornicators (and even married couples who are not having sex to get pregnant).

And Teh Gays! What about Teh Gays!
 

"Bart" DePalma leads with his conclusion:

Unless the mother was forced against her will to engage in sexual intercourse, she accepted the possibility she would bear a child as a result....

"Bart" assumes this in a discussion of whether she should have to assume such a risk. That's petitio principi.

Cheers,
 

Arne @ 10:35 PM

(Buys Arne a drink.)
 

"Bart" DePalma said:

Abortion does not have to be a religious issue. I am confident that all of us - religious or secular - believes that murder should be barred by law even if you do not believe that God commanded that "You shall not Murder."

"Bart" pretends that the Judeo-Christian-Islamic Gawd invented the Sixth Commandment....

There's a good reason that such a taboo is/was present in essentially every society (and present in, AFAIK, the laws of every country) ... even if honoured many a time mostly in the breach. And it is that fact that serves to differentiate it from the debate on abortion.

Cheers,
 

Largely absent from this discussion is the issue of the location of the embryo/fetus, which is the womb of a female human whose rights to life, liberty and due process are (supposed to be) undisputed.

If human embryos were laying about like eggs in a henhouse, the philosophical/moral arguments about when "personhood" starts would still perhaps be relevant but the practical consequences of legal and policy decisions would be vastly different.

The proper frame for the question is "When do women lose their liberty to choose not to reproduce?" Roe set forth a framework for balancing the liberty interests of the woman versus the interests of the fetus. The absolutist position would argue that a fertilized egg has equal rights to the woman - a woman would have no more right to cause harm to the zygote than to her neighbor.

Has any nation, state, legal system, tribe, etc. ever established this as a principle of law, together with its logical consequences (fetal property rights, fetus estates, and so on)? My understanding is that *birth* has always been the bright line, and even then rights can be limited prior to majority (infants can't enter into contracts).

Any exceptions to the absolutist postion implicitly accept that the discussion is about the balancing of competing rights; if one believes in the equality of the fetus then even rape and incest exceptions are unacceptable.
 

"Bart" DePalma lies:

The term "sex" used in the questions put to Mr. Clinton refers to the full universe of sexual acts, not just "sexual intercourse." Thus, Ms. Lewinski's performance of oral sex on Mr. Clinton is "sex" as that term is commonly understood. "Is" does mean "is" afterall.

Actually, no. In fact, part of the dispute was due to the fact that the definition of "sexual relations" was curiously and illogically pared down on objection from Clinton's lawyer (see, e.g., here). Because of the asymmetry present in the remaining parts after the judge had modified the definition, there was some conceivable argument that perhaps Clinton had not had "sexual relations" (as defined) with Lewinsky. In any case, whatever the facts, one thing that is uneniable is that the definitions did not include "the full universe of sexual acts". This statement of "Bart"'s is simply false.

As for "what the definition of 'is' is", this is another mistake on "Bart"'s part. This referred to a different line of questioning under different circumstances, and the point of dispute was whether the tense of the verb "is" was proper (Clinton was, if we want to get literal, right on whether it mattered, and if we take the Bronston case to heart, it was the responsibility of the questioners to ask the proper question, and Clinton might have been perfectly proper -- albeit not particularly helpful -- in just answering "no" rather than giving the more elucidating response he did give....)

Cheers,
 

Ben Kennedy:

Does it ever undergo some fundamental shift in it's basic nature that suggests a change in moral status? Or does is just do what all humans do throughout their life - grow, mature, and change?

Ummm, what's the difference?

Cheers,
 

Ben Kennedy says:

This is particularly true for "inalienable" rights that are, by definition, immune to the passage of time.

Oh, no. I just incorporated the "Rights For Preborn Teratomas" party. Now I'm going to have to start a "Free Speech For Dead People" party too. No rest for the wicked....

Cheers,
 

Ben Kennedy:

Does science define what an animal is? Does it define what an individual is? Does it define a species called homo sapiens?

Yes, but fuzzy around the edges, and subject to revision as needed. ;-)

Perhaps you can tell me the "instant" that the species homo sapiens came into existence .... right? Good example, thanks.

Cheers,
 

Ben Kennedy:

[Arne]: Want to tell me what rights you've given up since Roe (which, BTW, didn't abjure the "right to life")? Your Fourth Amendment rights? Your Fifth Amendment ones? Oh, yeah, forgot ... silly me ... your good buddy Dubya's been yanking those as quick as he can....

{Ben]: Not what I said - I said without a right to life, other rights are meaningless.


But here we were in the middle of a dicussion of the wisdom of Roe.

Obviously, you don't think there's an absolute and unqualified "right to life" (I think you alluded to a "universal standard" of "justifiable homicide"). Whether there is a qualified (or, IOW, "circumstantial") right to life is a different question, and I don't think anyone here has maintained that there is no "right to life" at all. Furthermore, even if there were no "right to life" at all wouldn't mean that everyone would immediately kill everyne else on the spot (for a number of reasons), such that everyone would promptly be dead and any other rights would thereby be rendered a nullity. That's simply absurd (and a bit dishonest) argumentation.

Cheers,
 

Ben Kennedy:

[Arne]: Want to tell me what rights you've given up since Roe (which, BTW, didn't abjure the "right to life")? Your Fourth Amendment rights? Your Fifth Amendment ones? Oh, yeah, forgot ... silly me ... your good buddy Dubya's been yanking those as quick as he can....

{Ben]: Not what I said - I said without a right to life, other rights are meaningless.


But here we were in the middle of a dicussion of the wisdom of Roe.

Obviously, you don't think there's an absolute and unqualified "right to life" (I think you alluded to a "universal standard" of "justifiable homicide"). Whether there is a qualified (or, IOW, "circumstantial") right to life is a different question, and I don't think anyone here has maintained that there is no "right to life" at all. Furthermore, even if there were no "right to life" at all wouldn't mean that everyone would immediately kill everyne else on the spot (for a number of reasons), such that everyone would promptly be dead and any other rights would thereby be rendered a nullity. That's simply absurd (and a bit dishonest) argumentation.

Cheers,
 


Obviously, you don't think there's an absolute and unqualified "right to life" (I think you alluded to a "universal standard" of "justifiable homicide"). Whether there is a qualified (or, IOW, "circumstantial") right to life is a different question, and I don't think anyone here has maintained that there is no "right to life" at all. Furthermore, even if there were no "right to life" at all wouldn't mean that everyone would immediately kill everyne else on the spot (for a number of reasons), such that everyone would promptly be dead and any other rights would thereby be rendered a nullity. That's simply absurd (and a bit dishonest) argumentation.


Arne, I like thoughtful responses like this one.

The "right to life" principle I speak of is just what is embodied in the Declaration of Independence in the phrase "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." I get the sense that you think that rights are not inalienable, particularly when you said,

But to give full legal rights to a life form that is far less sentient -- much less sapient -- than the cows we eat every day (or even of the earthworms we squish and the bugs we slap) with not so much as a "Howdeydoo", particularly when balanced against the rights of the woman who has to undego that pregnancy, seems rather absurd.

Your view of rights is based on the current state of development without regard to future potential. You look at a zygote and see a glorified amoeba. Is this the gist of your position?
 

Arne... Perhaps you can tell me the "instant" that the species homo sapiens came into existence .... right? Good example, thanks.

We can "ballpark" it to about 130,000 years ago, or (subject to new discoveries and revision) 190,000 years ago, give or take a few 1000 years. Does that qualify as "instant"?

But Homo sapiens sapiens, or us, is about 50,000 to 60,000.

Does that qualify as "instant"?
 

Ben Kennedy:

The "right to life" principle I speak of is just what is embodied in the Declaration of Independence in the phrase "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." ...

The DoI is a polemic, not law. As such, a bit of "idealism" is not particularly surprising. But how does this answer my objection that any such rights can't be "absolute" (no matter now "unalienable")? The right to "liberty", for instance, is epitomised by the phrase "My right to swing my fist ends at the point your nose begins"....

If they aren't "absolute" to begin with, they haven't been alienated when contrary rights come into conflict.

I get the sense that you think that rights are not inalienable, particularly when you said,

[Arne]: But to give full legal rights to a life form that is far less sentient -- much less sapient -- than the cows we eat every day (or even of the earthworms we squish and the bugs we slap) with not so much as a "Howdeydoo", particularly when balanced against the rights of the woman who has to undego that pregnancy, seems rather absurd.


Your view of rights is based on the current state of development without regard to future potential....

So, since the full panoply of "rights" applies, then obviously foetuses can legally enter into contracts, consent to sex, and perhaps even vote, eh?

... You look at a zygote and see a glorified amoeba. Is this the gist of your position?

At the time of the decision, dem's da facts, ma'am. Pretty much. At least as far as affording "rights" to the zygote itself.... You know, even that chimpanzee over there might be "human" in a million years or so. So when did the first homo sapiens walk around glorying in his newly obtained rights? I think you have problems straying from the "bright lines". I assume you'll learn....

Cheers,
 

Ben Kennedy:

On another note, I'd just point out that "unalienable rights" aren't worth a twig without a means of enforcing them. As a practical matter, that assumes that a significant fraction of the population agree that they are such. From a practical matter, seeing as you cavil about the uselessness of other rights absent a "right to life", can we agree that "rights" are rights only if they are functionally so? If that's the case, then, hate to say it but in the end what we have as rights isn't carved in tablets from on high but rather in the manner in which we choose to comport ourselves. As such, then "inalienable" is simply a polemical term and only as good as we choose to practise it at any given time. Not to say that's necessarily a good thing, but it's just reality. Fortunately, there's generally consensus on the more important ones (albeit progress has at times been haphazard).

Cheers,
 

On many issues the two sides talk past each other and each refuses to see the validity of the other side's position, but nowhere is this so glaring as on abortion, and nowhere (I think) is understanding of the other side so important.

Whoever would dismiss a fetus before birth as a mere "chattle" or its mother (as Robert Link did in an earlier thread) should consider with an open mind the possiblity of the fetus as a genetically unique person. Is it so hard to understand how the fetus-as-chattle view can be seen as treating an innocent and helpless life as something to be discarded for mere convenience.

Whoever would argue that any woman who consents to sex consents to have a baby (regardless of any precautions she may have taken to prevent one) should give some thought to the real fear and desparation a woman may experience with an unwanted pregnancy. Is it so hard to understand that focusing on the rights of the fetus and and dismissing the woman because she agreed to sex can be seen as reducing the mother to a chattle of the fetus?

Two sides are shouting at each other across a great open chasm. Is there no way to build a bridge across?
 

Two sides are shouting at each other across a great open chasm. Is there no way to build a bridge across?

I don't see that. I have seen one side shouting, shooting and bombing.
The other side just slipped quietly into a back alley or privately ingested some possibly dangerous herbal, home-remedy abortifacients, the absolutists on the one side managed to foist the untenable blanket prohibition on society.
 

Dilan said...

Bart, there isn't any "clear" science as to when human life begins. It's treated by scientists as a philosophical question.

I disagree. There is no real controversy when human life begins. What scientists avoid is deciding what makes up a person and when that is achieved.

What scientists have discovered, of course, includes many facts that are quite unfavorable to the pro-life side. These include such things as: (1) the fact that the body expels a substantial percentage of zygotes conceived and whom pro-lifers claim to be human beings with a right to life

What is your point? The physical body can and does fail at every stage of life.

(2) identical twins are formed when one zygote-- supposedly one human life-- splits into two

The more the merrier. That simply means that at an early stage of life, more than one human can be created. At no stage is the zygote anything less than a living human being. At no point is abortion anything but killing a living human being.

(3) fetuses do not gain consciousness or even minimal sensation of pain until well into the development process

This falls under the slippery slope of drawing a line determining what level of capacity grants one a right to life. Disabled persons can have greatly diminished brain capacity. Does than mean we can execute them if they become a burden on their families or the state?

(4) stem cells harvested from blastocysts whom are supposedly human beings may save lives that nobody disputes are human lives with a right to live.

You will have an even better chance of success in saving lives by harvesting the organs of Chinese dissidents executed in reeducation camps. That hardly makes either act moral.
 

The DoI is a polemic, not law. As such, a bit of "idealism" is not particularly surprising. But how does this answer my objection that any such rights can't be "absolute" (no matter now "unalienable")? The right to "liberty", for instance, is epitomised by the phrase "My right to swing my fist ends at the point your nose begins"....

If they aren't "absolute" to begin with, they haven't been alienated when contrary rights come into conflict.


Maybe you could unpack this - is it your position that there is no such thing as an absolute right? I can't tell if how how you distinguish between an "inalienable" right and an "absolute" right.

So, since the full panoply of "rights" applies, then obviously foetuses can legally enter into contracts, consent to sex, and perhaps even vote, eh?

For issues involving mental capacity, a fetus should be treated the same was as an adult - both are equally non-capable. I have no issue with treating people differently during the various stages of life - what bothers me is when we say a right (in this case, life) may or may not be absolute during two different periods of life that are essentially the same - particuarly when the right is based on what is essentially biological inheritance. You get around this "problem" by saying there is no such univeral right.

From a practical matter, seeing as you cavil about the uselessness of other rights absent a "right to life", can we agree that "rights" are rights only if they are functionally so? If that's the case, then, hate to say it but in the end what we have as rights isn't carved in tablets from on high but rather in the manner in which we choose to comport ourselves.

You are basically saying that you don't think the concept of Natural Rights is valid or useful. You favor utilitarianism. I favor natural law. I really think that is the crux of the disagreement.
 

"Bart" DePalma says:

[Dilan]: Bart, there isn't any "clear" science as to when human life begins. It's treated by scientists as a philosophical question.

["Bart"]: I disagree. There is no real controversy when human life begins.


Great. Perhaps "Bart" can cite a single scientific paper, any peer-reviewed paper, describing and analysing an experiment (or experiments) that purports to determine "when human life begins".

I'll just wait over here....

Cheers,
 

Ben Kennedy:

Maybe you could unpack this - is it your position that there is no such thing as an absolute right? I can't tell if how how you distinguish between an "inalienable" right and an "absolute" right.

I think you're catching on. Yes, an "inalienable right" is obviously not the same as an "absolute right". If they were the same, we wouldn't need different words having different meanings to describe the two.

[Arne]: So, since the full panoply of "rights" applies, then obviously foetuses can legally enter into contracts, consent to sex, and perhaps even vote, eh?

[Ben]: For issues involving mental capacity, a fetus should be treated the same was as an adult - both are equally non-capable....


?!?!? You mean like "consent"? This really makes no sense at all.

... I have no issue with treating people differently during the various stages of life - what bothers me is when we say a right (in this case, life) may or may not be absolute during two different periods of life that are essentially the same - particuarly when the right is based on what is essentially biological inheritance.

Huh? I disagree that the "two different periods of life" are "essentially the same". I also maintain that there's no "absolute" right to life (and have pointed out that you yourself don't believe that in claiming a right to seld defence).

... You get around this "problem" by saying there is no such univeral right.

Bingo. I didn't "get around" the problem. I say that the "problem" is one of your own manufacture.

[Arne]: From a practical matter, seeing as you cavil about the uselessness of other rights absent a "right to life", can we agree that "rights" are rights only if they are functionally so? If that's the case, then, hate to say it but in the end what we have as rights isn't carved in tablets from on high but rather in the manner in which we choose to comport ourselves.

[Ben]: You are basically saying that you don't think the concept of Natural Rights is valid or useful.


Certainly from a practical aspect.

... You favor utilitarianism....

Otherwise known as "reality".

... I favor natural law....

Oh, I do too. Try to break the "law of gravity", for instance. Sadly, there's no such actual constraints on breaking the "natural rights" you seem to claim exist.

... I really think that is the crux of the disagreement.

Perhaps. Show that there's such a "natural law" as you posit, and I'd be first in line to nominate you for the Nobel.

Cheers,
 


I think you're catching on. Yes, an "inalienable right" is obviously not the same as an "absolute right". If they were the same, we wouldn't need different words having different meanings to describe the two.

The use of "unalienable" Declaration of Independence is certainly a statement of the existence of rights apart from the man. Obviously, the rights in question being were being violated, or the document would not have been necessary.




Huh? I disagree that the "two different periods of life" are "essentially the same". I also maintain that there's no "absolute" right to life (and have pointed out that you yourself don't believe that in claiming a right to seld defence).

Within Natural Law, there certainly exist secondary precepts, such as cases where homicide is justifiable. You use "absolute" to mean "without exception", I use it to mean something out - unchanging and timeless.


?!?!? You mean like "consent"? This really makes no sense at all.

My apologies, I meant to say a fetus should be treated the same as an infant


Perhaps. Show that there's such a "natural law" as you posit, and I'd be first in line to nominate you for the Nobel.


Natural law derives from our nature as rational beings, it can be thought of as the evolutionary strategy governing use of force. If an action is deemed "wrong" in one time and place in a particular set of circumstances, how can that action be consider "right" at a different time and place with the same circumstances? The "right"-ness or "wrong"-ness of an action is determined by our human nature.
 

Ben Kennedy:

You use "absolute" to mean "without exception", I use it to mean something out - unchanging and timeless.

And I've explained more than once above what I mean by "absolute". What you mean seems to be more along the lies of "aeternal" or "unwavering", which means that perhaps you ought to have used those words instead. You're verging on Lewis Carroll territory here:

`And only one for birthday presents, you know. There's glory for you!'

`I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. `Of course you don't -- till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

`But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.

`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

`The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

`The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master -- that's all.'

I address your claims for the aeternal nature of those rights as applied to a specific individual (or zygote) as well. You, OTOH, don't bother addressing my claim that any rights are not absolute and must be considered in the context of any competing rights of others.

Natural law derives from our nature as rational beings, it can be thought of as the evolutionary strategy governing use of force. If an action is deemed "wrong" in one time and place in a particular set of circumstances, how can that action be consider "right" at a different time and place with the same circumstances?...

Huh? Are you saying that a zygote is "the same circumstance" as a full-grown adult? That's presupposing your conclusion for purposes of this discussion (or if tendered simply as a general observation, quite obviously wrong).

FWIW, I don't think you can point to any place where I've maintained that a behaviour is wrong in one isntance under identical circumstances to another where it is right. If that's what what "Natural Law" is, I fail to see the power of such analysis of the obvious.

... The "right"-ness or "wrong"-ness of an action is determined by our human nature.

Huh? You're getting more cryptic by the post and by the second....

Cheers,
 


FWIW, I don't think you can point to any place where I've maintained that a behaviour is wrong in one isntance under identical circumstances to another where it is right. If that's what what "Natural Law" is, I fail to see the power of such analysis of the obvious.


If you want to learn more about the importance of Natural Law, check google - others can explain it better than I.
 

Ben Kennedy:

[Arne]: FWIW, I don't think you can point to any place where I've maintained that a behaviour is wrong in one [instance] under identical circumstances to another where it is right. If that's what what "Natural Law" is, I fail to see the power of such analysis of the obvious.

[Ben]: If you want to learn more about the importance of Natural Law, check google - others can explain it better than I.


Oh, OK. <*Gooogling...*> OIC. So if everyone (or 8,000 people minimum) chant "Oooooommmmmm" at the same time, we can achieve world peace through Natural Law. Easy as pie, I'd say. Why isn't it obvious to everyone? I'm afraid that without the Natural Law Police to enforce them, Dr. Hagelin didn't do so well in the 1992 election.... Darn.

Look, Ben. It's your philosophy (or epistemology or social contract theory or whatever). If you can't explain it, you might think about why you cite it ... or believe it yourself.

Cheers,
 

Look, Ben. It's your philosophy (or epistemology or social contract theory or whatever). If you can't explain it, you might think about why you cite it ... or believe it yourself.

Friend, I have already explained my position a few times already - Natural Law is consists of laws and rights that come from our nature as rational beings. This thought is well expressed in the Virgina Declaration of Rights:

That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.


All man is eqaual because of our nature as human beings. Also, the ultimate authority for such laws is our own nature, not society, providing an objective standard for human laws.

But how can these laws be known? And what is the point, anyway? On several occasions, you have said that natural rights that are unenforceable are useless. You would probably agree with Jeremy Bentham, who said a long time ago,

Right...is the child of law: from real laws come real rights; but from imaginary laws, from laws of nature, fancied and invented by poets, rhetoricians, and dealers in moral and intellectual poisons, come imaginary rights, a bastard brood of monsters.

and

Natural rights is simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense -- nonsense upon stilts.


Given that we have fairly incompatible views on the ultimate authority for laws and rights, I'm not sure what more there is to say.
 

Ben Kennedy:

Given that we have fairly incompatible views on the ultimate authority for laws and rights, I'm not sure what more there is to say.

Well, I'd note that the supposed argument here wasn't on the "authority" for laws, but rather the substance of these. You want to invoke "authority" in your 'argument', I can only point out that "argument from authority" is hardly persuasive nor a form of legitimate rhetoric.

Cheers,
 


Well, I'd note that the supposed argument here wasn't on the "authority" for laws, but rather the substance of these. You want to invoke "authority" in your 'argument', I can only point out that "argument from authority" is hardly persuasive nor a form of legitimate rhetoric.

There is a difference between an argument about the nature of authority and an "appeal to authority". I could say, for example, that laws passed under the authority of a democracy are superior than laws passed under the authority of a dictatorship - and I could give you several good reasons of why democratic authority is better than tyrannic authority.

Rights that exist under a fixed authority (as Natural Rights do) are "inherent" and "inalienable". As a logical consequence of this, it is natural for me to assign rights to zygote based on its nature, where you think it is completely ridiculous to do such a thing.
 

How do you reconcile an amendment that forbids taking life, liberty, or property without due process, and turn it into an unfettered right for one group of people to kill another group of people?
 

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You have a forever friend for life, and forever has no end D3 Gold Sale, and if you find such a friend, you feel happy and complete, because you need not worry Diablo iii Gold, your forever friend holds your hand and tells you that everything is going to be okay Buy Diablo iii Gold.
 

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