Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Roe Effect

Ah...my favorite political theory ever. It's a very simple concept, actually. In the end, pro-life Republicans will outbreed everyone else. But that's not the whole point. The point is that the abortion issue keeps the Democrats on the losing end by forcing them into extremist positions that are bound to fail. If only the Democratic Party would allow the pro-lifers back in, we might just have a REAL election next time. In fact, it would basically be in the Democrats' best interest to help overturn Roe v. Wade by not placing obstacles in the way of a conservative nominee for the Supreme Court. Put the abortion debate back in the legislative branch, and the Democrats might just get my vote (if I become an American citizen, of course).

30 Comments:

At 10:31 AM, Anonymous wondertwin said...

You know, as much as I disagree with your positions most/almost all of the time, I have to agree with you here. I don't do "legalese" too well, but I know enough that the Roe v. Wade decision was based on some pretty interesting twisting of the law. Although this case has helped people, it is becoming increasingly difficult to back up the decision in the case due to the strained logic involved (... I guess that's where the democrats get forced "...into extremist positions that are bound to fail?"). As such, I think the democracts have lost some ground here...

I would say that IF the democratic party did as you say, I'm sure a lot of Catholics would support them. After all, the social welfare programs sought by democrats coincide greatly with the Church's teachings on helping the people, giving money to the poor, and otherwise charitable causes, right?

 
At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know plenty of pro-life Dems. They are not being excluded whatsoever from the party. I don't see how someone of good conscience could be a Republican.

 
At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Becky said...

They can think that they're not excluded if they want, but the party platform does not allow for pro-life positions.

 
At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Becky said...

Wondertwin,

The Democratic Party has platforms on helping the poor that sometimes coincide with what the Catholic Church has in mind. It is because of these positions that it was typically the "Catholic" party. There was mass exodus after the Roe decision, which has continued on the part of Catholics as the Dems' positions on embryonic stem cell research, euthenasia, partial-birth abortion, and same-sex "marriage" get more extreme.

They'd probably have to get close to getting these issues right before I could justify voting for them, but the Roe v. Wade thing would certainly be a big step.

All I'm saying is that I think the Dems used to be a decent party before we all started subjecting basic human rights to the "political" process. When everyone was agreed that we don't kill children in the womb, I think the Democratic party was the way to go.

 
At 12:51 PM, Anonymous wondertwin said...

I can agree that the tendency for the Democrats has been to go a bit more to the extreme, but I would also argue that this is equally the case for the Republicans as well.

I don't know "who started it" first, but I think this is the trend as of late - which sucks for those who are in the middle on these issues, because they are forced into accepting either extreme.

As for "kill[ing] children in the womb..." I will only comment a little bit, since I tire of this issue. I will say though, that I think that BOTH sides should do everything possible to limit the number of abortions by adopting programs and support for teenage pregnancies, etc. And even though I know you hate to hear it, advocating birth control would really limit the number of abortions as well I would think. That's not to say we shouldn't stress abstinence, but no matter how much you stress it, not everyone will adopt that - and more abortions will result.

Bear in mind that I wouldn't want to squelch the Catholic teachings on this matter - and abstinence is certainly the most virtuous stance one can take on the matter - but not everyone should be expected to lead such a virtuous existence. Certainly not everyone will be able to do that.

If we have lots of programs and options for the people that would limit the number of abortions, I think there would be a lot more people willing to ban abortions (me included). The point is that the tendency of both parties to split to the extremes has meant that neither side is very willing to compromise. Both Dems and Reps are worried that if they "give an inch," the opposite side will "take a mile." The US system was founded on the principle of COMPROMISE, and I would love to see more of that in politics. As it is, the current situation is ugly.

 
At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Becky said...

All I will say is that it's not "forcing" anyone into a virtuous lifestyle by providing programs that encourage it. Of course I don't expect that everyone will adopt it, but I think I have a legitimate expectation that our government will encourage (through programs, funding, etc.) certain lifestyles that are healthiest for our communities and the generations to come.

The government, after all, didn't ever have to recognize marriages. It does so because it wants to support and encourage a lifestyle that has proven to be beneficial for children and a stable society. But no one is being coerced into marriage, just as no one is coerced into practicing abstinence.

I guess one more thing: the government has done a bad job with supporting un-wed pregnant mothers. The pro-life groups have done a spectacular job with this. There are pregnancy centers everywhere run by pro-life people. Planned Parenthood doesn't give a rip about helping a woman through her pregnancy. They just care about money, and they get it through abortions.

The government needs to step up and provide these great programs with some funding. Perfect solution: criminalization of abortion along with a huge influx of funding for adoption agencies and their promotion + teen pregnancy centers + aid to single mothers + encouraging abstinence until marriage.

In any case, I don't see either side making the steps to do this, except that the Democrats have gone off the deep end saying that a woman actually has a right to this atrocity. I think we have more of a right to the government encouraging us to have our children and giving us money for support.

 
At 2:29 PM, Blogger JT said...

Becky,

The Republican party platform doesn't allow for pro-choice positions, despite the fact that many Republicans (including party leaders) do not want to see abortion banned regardless of their viewpoints on Roe. We're as exclusionary as the Dems are on this issue. Don't you think both parties should allow for open debate on such an important issue?

 
At 2:41 PM, Blogger JT said...

Also, you said:
"Planned Parenthood doesn't give a rip about helping a woman through her pregnancy."

That's uncategorically false. I know many lower-income women who have relied on low-cost services from PP for the majority of their prenatal care, and would probably have chosen to abort were such low-cost services not available to them. PP also referred them to low-cost sources of care and supllies post-birth, such as WIC.

 
At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Becky said...

Jessie,

I do think that both need to open their platforms up to discussion, but I honestly don't mind it when a party closes off the discussion when they have the right answer. The point is that the people who want to criminalize abortion have not taken an extreme position. Preserving live is and was a very normal thing to want, until 1973 I guess. When you take an extreme position like wanting no restrictions on a "woman's right to choose," then you should be up for some discussion.

Analogy: no one thinks that either party should open up the discussion of whether we should still prohibit murder. We all know it's bad - end of discussion. From a natural law perspective, this should be the same for the abortion debate. SO...since we seem to be confused about the abortion issue, the burden is on the party taking the illogical position to foster the debate.

 
At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Becky said...

Also, thanks for the info about PP. I don't like making generalizations, but it seems from my experience that PP doesn't even want to hand out an ultrasound to these women. At least in Canada, this is the case. The only people helping a woman actually carry her child to term are the pro-lifers. I don't know what it's like here.

 
At 5:25 PM, Anonymous wondertwin said...

Your analogy stinks based on the assumption that you make: abortion = murder.

Both parties agree that murder is bad (m'kay), but they disagree about the state of the fetus (at various points in embryo development).

A better analogy (some would say) would be that KILLING is not inherently bad. For example:

Killing bacteria? - most people are fine with this, and even devote an enormous amount of time to developing new ways to do it. It is still killing.

Killing insects? - again, most people are ok with this one, but not all. Some people have problems with this too (take a few of my friends).

Killing animals that we eat (like chickens, cows, and pigs)? - A significant amount of people think this is a bad thing.

Killing people? - Just about everyone agrees. No killing people, k? Sounds fine.

Killing a fetus (a.k.a. abortion)? - Now this is different to some people than just "killing people." The fetus to some is not necessarily a person yet, and therefore it might not be so different than killing something that was NOT a person (but still human technically).

You and a lot of others indeed would think that this fetus is a life, but others are concerned with other things - the welfare of the mother, of the potential being, the welfare of society, etc. Not only that, but some are not in agreement that an embryo is a human... the number of chromosomes alone does not a human make. DNA and genetic material (and proteins) does not equal a PERSON to some people. As for a soul... I don't think such a topic should be required for this argument based on other problems associated with souls that preclude intelligent discussion about the topic(s) at hand (What exactly IS a soul? How do you GET a soul? How can you tell if something HAS a soul?... etc).

Your analogy works only if we assume that killing an embryo is analogous to killing a person, and not more analogous to "killing" something else. Some agree that this is so, but others do not.

The abortion debate is not about whether some think killing is wrong and others don't. It has nothing to do with murder. It's about the state of the embryo. THAT is the basic question at hand.

(WARNING! WARNING! - Be advised that this comment may incite some Pro-Life vomit (and consequently more Pro-Choice vomit)! Let's keep things civil people and avoid this.)

 
At 8:29 PM, Anonymous ASH - you know it. said...

(you - the generic sense)

if the 46 chromosones or whatever does not a human make, why can't anyone come up with a better definition that avoids putting us in a terrible position if we're wrong.

How can there be a gray area on the rights of this thing, this embryo ? Who said you had to exhibit the characteristics of "personhood" to have the right to live ? If it isn't a human life, blast away - why the heck do you need to compromise with backwards technophobes and mysoginists like us ? If it is a human life - a thing that's human that's biologically alive - then where do we get the right to interfere with its natural development for any reason.

You know why I would compromise on legislation, because we have to win every inch back. Why compromise as a choicer ? If 1973 is the baseline, is not every concession a loss for women ? If morality justifies a concession for the other side, WHY ? ?

This is why Democratic jurisprudence is so irrevocably screwed up. I may be an idiot, but I've been asking this question of people since 8th grade and they just can't take me anywhere.

Here's a challenge - either (1) grow a spine and decide an embryo is unequivocally not a human life - for whatever reason, it can't pick you up at the airport, whatever, and then tell me why abortion's bad and we should try to limit it; (2) knowingly admit your agnostic stance and reveal why that yields the best results; (3) suppose for argument's sake it is an independant life deserving of rights whether or not it can sing you to sleep at night (or beat out Lohan for Ms. Seventeen-People 2005), and then tell me when it's appropriate to supersede that right.

Too unfair to have to prove it outright ? Ok, you can nurse that weakened logic tooth on the disabled . Many societies have elimited the weak. Why shouldn't we ? Cmon, I know you're up to it. Is it cuwz they loooook human ? - awww. (excuse me I have to go hide some burn victims and birth defect babies in my attic) - please contribute to the peanut butter and formula drive/telethon next week.

 
At 11:28 PM, Anonymous Becky said...

Wondertwin,

My analogy is actually worse than you think. I only wanted supporting murder to be an analogy to supporting abortion in so far as they both reflect blatently wrong positions to take. I was actually making a blanket statement that I am right about abortion and so are all pro-lifers. I'm saying that you don't make concessions and you don't "open things up for debate" when you're right about something, and being right about that something saves a whole bunch of lives. So I wasn't even trying to establish that abortion is murder, I was simply saying that abortion is wrong, and the pro-lifers are right. Helpful, eh?

 
At 4:20 PM, Anonymous wondertwin said...

No actually. That's not helpful. Thinking you are right about a position is just fine. Thinking I'm wrong about my position is equally fine.

Not respecting my position by refusing to debate and discuss the merits of each position? Now you're just being arrogant.

You don't respect me or my position whatsoever, but I continually respect yours, even though I don't agree. You speak as if you want what is right for all of humanity, yet you can't even respect your fellow human and their opinion?

Wow. What a total bitch you are being.

 
At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Becky said...

I'm obviously open to debate because I started this blog and I consistently try to present honest arguments countering your comments.

But I'm not so much of a relativist that I don't htink that there is an absolute right and wrong. I will defend my position and respect you opinion. I can do that and still think I'm right. Having an open mind doesn't mean that you have to be willing to deny the most basic of truths about human existence: that life is good and we shouldn't seek to destory it.

 
At 1:41 PM, Blogger JT said...

Even accepting that a fetus is a human life and that therefore terminating a pregnancy ends a human life, I don't agree that criminalizing abortion is the solution. Many, if not most, pro-choice and pro-life people would agree with me. When abortion was illegal in the United States, rich women traveled to NY or CA, or foreign countries, to obtain abortions; poor women, including women I know personally, traveled to Mexico, sought the help of unlicensed 'doctors,' or attempted to end their pregancies themselves by drinking toxins, inserting foreign objects into their uteri or throwing themselves downstairs, often resulting in medical disaster or death. Today, in Catholic countries such as Ireland and Portugal women face these same circumstances, and despite being Catholic many women choose to terminate their pregnancies despite what the law says. The situation is just as desperate for women all over the world, and particularly bad in the third world where women will resort to absolutely desperate means to terminate a pregancy often resulting in the loss of fertility or even death. Without discussing the legal merits (or lack thereof) of Roe, it's clear to me that banning abortion is at best seriously bad public policy and that efforts to ban it are reactionary and not well thought out.

 
At 5:21 PM, Anonymous wondertwin said...

"Open to debate," yes - I said you weren't open to debate? Um... nope. Sorry. Didn't say that one.

I have a problem with the way that you can't even respect my position whatsoever. I can't respect you if you can't respect me.

Yet I STILL have respect for your position - and never will I lose that.

 
At 5:32 PM, Anonymous wondertwin said...

Jesse, I'd agree with you almost totally except for the fact that the efforts to ban abortion aren't well thought out - they are. I would just say that when we do a reality check on the situation, it really doesn't improve much. It would make us feel like "we are trying to do something" about something that we think might be negative, but would really solve nothing.

We could ban pre-marital sex, for example, but that would not stop pre-marital sex (even if it was enforced).

Du Lac is another great example - it bans a lot of things that just aren't really followed by a lot of people.

If you take the route of alleviating the NEED or WANT for abortions, you can drastically reduce the number of them and then a ban won't be received with so much criticism.

I don't love the idea of abortions, but banning them outright? Seems like it would be like the Prohibition Movement to me.

 
At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Andrew said...

I feel deeply sorry for someone who would hate themselves or their pregnancy so much that they would drink toxins, etc., to destroy either or both. No matter how dire the circumstance, only a lunatic could make this choice. Society is culpable too, for failing to develop the structures and outreach that would prevent or remedy this. Abortion is a laughable solution.

 
At 10:40 PM, Anonymous Becky said...

We're talking about a Holocaust, people. Analogies to banning pre-marital sex or alcohol don't really make sense. It's a human rights problem, not a virtue problem.

Wondertwin,

If I thought that the mass murder of 6 million Jews was ok, and that as long as we tried to make the Holocaust a "rare occurrence" it would be ok, would you still respect my opinion? I would certainly hope not. When we're talking about human rights and the slaughter of innocents (which I believe abortion is), then it's rather hard to "respect" an opinion in favor of this sort of thing. I respect you, for sure, (whoever you are - I'm sure I probably know you) and I would cordially engage in discussion with you, and I would love you while doing it, BUT I cannot "respect" an opinion that endorses this kind of violation of human rights.

 
At 12:27 AM, Anonymous wondertwin said...

Fair enough, I probably would respect you, but not that view in that situation as you do, so I guess I now see where you are coming from when you have this point of view. (Although, comparison to the Holocaust? ... eh... sure okay... even though comparisons to the Holocaust or Hitler tend to annoy me and the rest of the world in general - I'll accept it here for your sake because I'm nice).

I still feel like the pre-marital sex/alcohol analogies were okay, since I was using them to further explain the principle that banning abortions outright will not stop them - just as Du Lac and Prohibition don't/didn't function well in that regard either. I didn't use them to make a comparison that abortion the act is similar in caliber/scale/scope/etc to the act of pre-marital sex or alcohol, since, as you said, this is probably closer to a human rights topic.

And I don't "endorse" abortion, I simply don't endorse the act of banning it outright. I know that you can't have it any other way given your point of view, but realistically, can you see that banning abortion completely won't solve anything? A more practical/real solution would be to adopt programs that address what causes people to have abortions in the first place (poverty, education, social difficulties, etc).

If you want to use the Holocaust analogy, banning abortion would be like "not allowing" (banning) the killing of Jews - a great endeavor, and one that truly comes from the heart and spirit - but also one that would never work. Do you not agree with my line of reasoning here?

... Oh yeah, and for the record you don't know me since I'm not in the NDLS.

 
At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All comparisons to the Holocaust are sick, uncalled for, and downright Anti-Semitic. If you were Jewish, you would not say such things.

 
At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are comparisons to the holocaust sick? Stop and think for a just a minute about what pro-lifers actually believe. They believe that a fetus is a human being, with the exact same status as a three month old baby, a teenager, or an adult like you and me. Given that belief, pretend that "abortions" were performed on people your age i.e. 20-30 somethings were picked off the street because they were "unwanted" by society, they were violently killed, and there bodies were then used for experiments, be it stem cell research or whatever, in order to find cures for diseases in "wanted" individuals. The laws of this country make it legal, and some may argue, encourage, the systematic, meticulous, and violent murder of one group of humans by another group who has decided they are superior and deserving of more rights. They are experimented upon and discarded. Their deaths are violent and probably painful.

The Holocaust was sick. It was an intentional extermination of a group of people because of who they were at their core. Abortion is an intentional extermination of a group of people because of their age or if you prefer, thier stage of development. They are easy to ignore because we can't see them. Just as the Holocaust was ignored by world and church leaders because it took place behind the closed doors of the death camps.

With that said- I did not live through the Holocaust. I cannot imagine the unspeakable horror that must have befallen the people in those camps. I cannot even pretend to sympathize with it because nothing in my life or any of the lives around me can compare to that experience.

In the same way- many people tell me that unless I've experienced an unwanted pregnancy, I have no right to speak against abortion. I have to respond in the following way: unless you experience the feeling of having a knife jammed into your neck, your skull crushed, and your brain sucked out your ears- how can you speak for it?

The Holocaust and abortion are not the same. But a comparison of the two is not sick or Anti-Semitic. I would suggest that it makes people uncomfortable precisely because it is so close to the truth. Just as this posting will make people uncomfortable because of the violent and explicit nature of my description. Guess what? That's what abortion is.

 
At 6:22 PM, Anonymous ASH - Paridigm City's Top Negotiator. said...

Anon just before is on point. I know the Holocaust image doesn't sit well with those who don't personally affirm the human rights angle of the fetus, but calling it Anti-Semetic is base and evasionary.

There are few Catholics in the 20th-21st century bridge who had more familial love for our Jewish cousins than John Paul II, and he stood clearly against abortion and was not afraid to use the Holocaust ANALOGY. No one is suggesting that it is the same. No one is trying to minimalize Jewish suffering. Anyone with a lick of sense can see that it would be disingenous to both affirm that embryos/fetuses are human life but deny that the wholesale destruction of this "class" of persons by an otherwise indifferent or ignorant society is wholly un-analogous to the treatment of Jews in Europe in WWII.

Appealing to people's horror at the sins of the past (slavery, World War I) probably saved a lot of Jewish lives at the time by sympathetic neighbors, sheltering Protestants and Catholics, and thank God. The world said "Never Again" a lot back then, and all we're trying to say is that unlawful inhumane death is occuring again, and let's repair this evil with the same humanity that inspired us to save the world in the prior age.

You are free to point out the distinctions between evils if you think it truly serves the cause of justice. Otherwise, an intelligent response would be moving in the direction that arguing that the Holocaust analogy is inappropriate and hurtful because human life does not begin in utero - (implied, that you actually move toward proving, or arguing in a particularized way, this latter point). Cheers.

 
At 12:15 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

I know that this is off topic but it came up in the original post... Can anybody please explain to me how it would suddenly be "okay" or "good" or "better" for Catholics to vote for Democrats if the Democrats became pro-life? I fail to see any nexus between Catholic social teaching and any plank in the Democratic party platform. I am certainly open to correction but when I hear this Democrats would be the better party if they were pro-life my blood just boils. The fundamental assumptions about the nature of the human person and his relationship to the state which underly Democratic thinking are entirely contrary to what the Church teaches. This applies to education, social security, welfare, taxes, religion in the public square, everything. Maybe I am overstating my case a little...probably because my blood boils so much when I hear this. But even if I have overstated my case, someone please correct me. Put abortion aside, put the gay marriage issue aside, the Republican party is still a vastly better representative of Catholic values than the Democratice party...and we have just put aside the two most important issues of all to Catholics...the ones which trump everything else. I acknowledge that there are many good people in the Democratic Party who desire a just and civil society and I realize that there are many bad people in the Republican party who couldn't care less about a just and civil society or Catholic values. That is why I say that I am a Catholic first, a conservative second and a Republican third. The GOP is a very imperfect representative of Catholic values but it is the best we got and from where I sit, I think it does pretty damn good job a lot of the time. If I am mislead, someone please show me the light, I am open to correction and I know that I must always be open to correction in this area in order to guard against the mistake of equating a secular political party with the party of the Church or the party of God. Clearly the GOP is not God's party. It is a secular political organization. But if we Catholics can use it as a vehicle for a more just society then so be it. And when it ceases to be a useful vehicle then we should ditch it and find something else. But as far as I am concerned, on a scale of 1-10 of how much a party's platform embodies Catholic values I would give the GOP about a 6 and the Dems a 0 or maybe a 1 on a good day.

p.s. if you chose to correct me please do so from authentic Catholic teaching, not some crap that the USCCB and their ilk put out because they suck.

 
At 9:00 PM, Anonymous ASH - Paridigm City's Top Negotiator. said...

Most Catholic liberals talk about the Democrats as if they have a monopoly on social justice. What they have a growing monopoly on is socialism - using the democratic majority to forcibly take wealth from some and distribute this to others. This is not the fundamental job of a free society. The primary responsible person for this task - to distribute weath to the needy for their improvement, is the task of the individual free citizen.

Read Rerum Novarum. A beautiful exposition of freedom and the dignity of each human person that champions the cause of the, per 19th century verbage, lower classes without creating a State that actively competes with God for both power and affection.

Much love.

 
At 1:03 AM, Anonymous an oni mus said...

My name is Ash.
I talk out of my ass.

(Sorry, couldn't help myself)

 
At 10:21 AM, Anonymous ASH - you know it. said...

:) What's the difference in depth between a liberal's rejoinder and a bazooka joe wrapper ?

No really, I'm asking.

Read the encyclical.

"We have choices. Some people like to stand in the rain without an umbrella. That's what it means to life a free life. " = Roger Smith.

Oh, ASH stands for Andrew BTW - don't you wisha you had such cool initials ? Dontcha wish your boyfriend had initials like mine, dontcha ?

 
At 10:25 AM, Anonymous ASH - you know it. said...

life a free life ? sigh. sorry. The "millions" (and the Rock means MILLIONS) of the Rock's fans deserve better proofreeeding.

"Ugh! Why don't you CREAT an alternate reality where you don't have to spell correctly!" - Strong Bad "Montage"

 
At 11:12 AM, Anonymous an oni mus said...

Had a feeling you were Andrew - I could tell, since your posts have a certain... style?... to them.

Meant nothing by the comment though, just playing around.

 

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