[Click on image to enlarge.]
Finally, here’s the third and last part of a three-part series in which I attempt to deconstruct the lies, misstatements, and illogical conclusions of posters popular amongst the Progressives on my real-me Facebook feed. Part 1 has a longer introduction about my goals, and analyzes a painfully misleading and quite vicious post about Paul Ryan. Part 2 tackles stupid gun control posters
And now it’s time for part three, the abortion edition. As always, I put the poster up first and then add my commentary:
Excuse me Ms. Leftie, but do you understand that the government does not fund churches? Yes, it’s true that churches don’t pay taxes. This comes about because the power to tax is the power to destroy,n or at least to discriminate against something. The First Amendment prevents our government from doing that.
Do you also understand that churches don’t have a political say over your body? That is, unlike a theocracy (say, Iran), the church does not run the government. Instead, it’s the parishioners who, applying religious doctrine as they understand it, use their rights as citizens of a representative government to vote for representatives whose views align well with theirs? No? I didn’t think you knew that.
Having exposed your ignorance about religion and government in America, perhaps you can explain to me why we fund Planned Parenthood in the first place? If Planned Parenthood really is just about women’s health,why do we fight over it with every budget rather than paying the same money to other neighborhood clinics that provide only women’s health care without also providing abortions?
Could it be because the real nudge-nudge, wink-wink going on is that everyone knows that those federal funds aren’t really for generic women’s health care but, in fact, meant to subsidize abortions? Keep in mind, little lady, that money is fungible. (Fungible is a fancy word meaning that one dollar can readily be substituted for another.) The fact that Planned Parenthood ostensibly applies its federal funds to manual breast exams — since the clinics don’t offer mammograms — and other basic health care means that the money saved on those breast exam appointments can be applied to other services . . . such as abortions.
The anti-Second Amendment Left was feeling very smug the other day (as my Facebook feed attested) because they think that The Daily Show’s new hack, Trevor Noah, hit one out of the park in attacking the sheer inhumanity of the crazed pro-Life gun holders on the Right:
The point is, if pro-lifers would just redirect their powers toward gun violence, the amount of lives they could save would reach superhero levels. They just need to have a superhero’s total dedication to life. Because right now they’re more like comic book collectors. Human life only holds value until you take it out of the package, and then it’s worth nothing.
There’s your logic for you: All those people who claim to be pro-Life but support the Second Amendment are gross hypocrites; while the pro-Abortion crowd that wants to use government force to disarm the American public is all about “life”!
I have just a couple of numbers to share with you, both from 2011, because I found reports for that year that I could easily compare. I doubt the numbers have changed significantly since then:
Number of abortions performed in 2011 in the United States: 1,100,000
Number of homicides using guns in 2011 in the United States: 8,583
The only way for the Leftists to think they win when comparing pro-Lifers who support gun rights to pro-Abortion types who want to ban guns is if the Leftists do not believe that a fetus is human. Of course, every woman who’s carried a baby to term knows, if only in her heart of hearts, that this is a lie.
To hold that those fetuses are not human, so that their deaths cannot be counted when compared to crime victims’ deaths, is possible only when a belief system has turned into a death cult. The Nazis did this when they convinced themselves that Jewish lives weren’t human lives; and the Left has done it when it comes to fetal lives.
The problem, always, is that once a culture starts deciding which groups among it, no matter how human they appear, aren’t really, truly human, then that culture inevitably slides into mass genocide. This is especially so when resources become scarce, whether through natural causes (droughts, floods, volcanoes), or through unnatural science that declares, all evidence to the contrary, that humans are so destructive to Gaia that they must begin to erase their presence from Planet Earth.
First they came for the fetuses, and I said nothing because I was no longer a fetus….
Several of my recent posts have focused on the American Left’s death cult, otherwise known as unlimited abortion. As I’ve stated repeatedly, the Left’s risible claim that abortion does not take a life, combined with its obsessive demands that the right to abortion be unfettered up to, including, and even after a viable baby is born has turned me from a fairly mindless, garden-variety, pro-Abortion, old-time Democrat into someone who is edging remarkably close to being pro-Life. Even though I can still accept situations in which an abortion is reasonable, I’m so disgusted by the Left’s death cult that I want to run as far away from it as possible.
The Left doesn’t just have a death cult, it also has a lack of life cult. It is true that American women still seem to be shtupping like rabbits. In 2013, following a five-year drop in baby-making, American women gave birth to almost 4,000,000 new babies (and aborted about 300,000 more). Americans are therefore just about holding their own demographically.
In Europe, though, the demographics are a nightmare, which goes a long way to explaining Angela Merkel’s bizarre desire for her country to be repopulated with Muslim Arabs. While the Muslims are picking up where they left off in 1683 and looking towards a European conquest, Merkel is obsessively focused on cheap labor to care for an aging German population.
What’s fascinating about Europe’s declining baby numbers is that it’s entirely possible that the problem isn’t just because women are making good use of birth control and abortions to limit family size. Instead, as has been happening in Japan for a long time, it may be that the Europeans have lost interest in sex entirely.
I don’t have any scientific basis for reaching that conclusion. What triggered the thought is a video that a Danish travel company made urging wannabe grandmothers to buy their children vacation packages to the sexy warm climates in which they are most likely to get pregnant:
My Progressive Facebook friends — and I have many because I’ve spent almost my entire life in the San Francisco Bay area — have a new meme that’s got them terribly excited. Here, in all its glory, is what Progressives think counts as intelligent argument both to support abortion rights and destroy Second Amendment rights:
Because I hate dense paragraphs — they’re very hard to address — let me break the above risible effort at logical argument down into its component parts:
Women who want to terminate a life (provided that life is within them, which is legal and known as abortion, as opposed to a life that is not within them, which is illegal and known as murder), must take all or some of the following steps, depending on their age and the state within which they live:
Wait 48 hours before proceeding with the requested abortion
Get permission from a parent if the female is under the legal age of consent.
Have a doctor’s note explaining that the doctor is intentionally carrying out an abortion.
Watch a video about the results of an abortion (i.e., a fetus will be vacuumed out of the womb or disassembled to remove it from the womb).
Have an ultrasound so that the woman sees the life she intends to abort.
Further, because some states do not like abortion, the woman opting to go ahead with the procedure might have to:
Travel a great distance to find an abortion provider.
Take time off of work to travel that distance (and, probably, to recover from the procedure).
Stay overnight in a strange town.
See strangers holding graphic pictures of what happens to the fetus she will abort, with the same strangers pleading with her not to act.
It’s unfair that women should have to suffer this information overload, inconvenience, and indignity to have an abortion. Therefore men who intend to buy a gun should be subject to the same level of inconvenience. Men should therefore suffer too. The rationale: “No woman getting an abortion has killed a room full of people in seconds, right?”
Where to begin?
I haven’t had much luck embedding Facebook posts with videos at my site, but I’m trying again:
If that doesn’t work, go here.
I’ll just add what I’ve said before: Why in an age of Obamacare does Planned Parenthood get special funding over and above all other healthcare providers?
PETA famously produces ads comparing animals to humans. These ads work because PETA understand that people feel incredible compassion for animals, especially if they’re cute animals.
Additionally, the people most likely to feel this incredible compassion for animals are those who spring from the Leftier side of the political spectrum. I’m sure that are conservative vegetarians, but I haven’t met any. We may adore our dogs and cats, but we’re not averse to a nice steak or roast turkey.
The vegetarians I know are all Progressives. Eating animals is cruel and bad, they say.
Funnily enough, this Leftist sensitivity doesn’t extend to humans when they look like animals. Two posters illustrate this. I found the first on the Facebook page of a Leftist friend; the second I found on the internet while searching for images of fetal development:
Certainly, at two-and-a-half weeks, human embryos are indistinguishable to the untrained eye from other mammal embryos. But isn’t the Left always lecturing us about b eing inhuman if we don’t care for the animals. Well, unsurprisingly, it turns out that in modern Leftist world, when all animals are equal, it’s the human animal that’s less equal — and less deserving of protection — that others. As a friend always says of the Left, if they didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have any standards at all.
To take this whole thing a step further, I have two more posters for you. The first shows fetal development in the first trimester:
After eight weeks pass, that fetus looks pretty damn human to me. Could my Facebook friend — who’s a biologist — not project just a month ahead to understand that the little wormy thing that she can’t conceive of as a potential human is just weeks away from becoming recognizably human? The second shows how swiftly that fetus begins to look like the baby who turns into the boy in that first poster:
For more about the unscientific thinking of those on the Left, this article attacking Bill Nye’s logical fallacies and scientific errors is useful.
Again, I’m not hardcore pro-Life. I recognize that there are certain situations in which abortion has a place. What I’ve come to hate, though, is the Left’s deliberate moral and scientific blindness, and most of all I hate the Left’s death cult when it comes to abortion. It is these profoundly disturbing attitudes that keep driving me further and further into the arms of the pro-Life crowd.
Boehner was merely an effective manager, rather than an effective conservative
Andrew Klavan is kind enough to point out that Boehner was in some measure a very effective House Majority Leader:
I can’t help but notice that under Boehner — and largely because of Boehner, because Boehner outsmarted President Obama in the 2013 budget negotiations — federal spending has declined over a five year period for the first time since the post World War II cutbacks. And because of this, as the economy has struggled to a sputtering recovery despite Democrat mismanagement, the deficit has been sharply reduced…
Also under Boehner — and also largely because of then-minority leader Boehner (and the likewise much-maligned-by-conservatives Mitch McConnell in the Senate) — the disaster of Obamacare is 100% attributable to the Democrats. It hasn’t got a single Republican fingerprint on it.
As Klavan sees it, Boehner’s fall came about solely because he wouldn’t engage in a head-to-head fight with Obama over Planned Parenthood. Boehner believed (and still believes) that fight will destroy chances for a Republican victory in 2016. I have two points to make.
First, if Boehner’s right that the fight will fail it’s in part because he refuses to engage in the fight at the intellectual level. Carly Fiorina is the first prominent Republican to frame the fight in non-religious terms, and boy did she make the Left squirm when she did so. In other words, part of why Boehner can’t win the fight is because, even though he’s pro-Life, he has absolutely no idea how to fight against abortion at anything other than a monetary level.
Second, speaking of that monetary level, the fight really boils down to something James Taranto said three years ago, and it’s about the difference between checkbook Republicans and ideologically-driven conservatives. The context was the fact that Paul Ryan seemed to understand a conservative vision of small, not big, government:
I’m doing something that’s a little more fun than the legal work that usually comes my way: I’m working on a project for Fleet Week to help welcome sailors and marines to our fair City. My work is editorial, which suits me to a “T.”
I haven’t been ignoring the news, of course. I know that Boehner is on his way out. Democrats on my Facebook thread are shuddering in horror that the man they view as the least awful Republican has left the House and are already having nightmares about the inevitable Tea Party fanatic who will replace him.
Among Republicans, there are pragmatists who say that, given Obama’s refusal to work with a Republican Congress, there was little Boehner could do, while more ideologically committed people say that the least that Boehner could have done was to be a spokesman for conservative ideas — such as pointing out that it is Obama who is flouting the majority of Americans through his refusal to accommodate any legislation that doesn’t match his minority political view.
I think Boehner’s right to leave. The only people whom he made happy were those on the Left who gloried in his failure either to carry through legislation or be a spokesman for conservative ideas.
And now to a few things that caught my eye:
If Caitlyn Jenner is a woman, I’m Winston Churchill
I admire Winston Churchill tremendously. He had his faults — big ones too — but he was an extraordinarily brilliant man, a tremendous communicator, a dynamic leader for a country under siege, and for a long time the only world leader to stand up to the Nazis.
Admiring Churchill, though, does not mean I am Churchill. Even if I gained weight, shaved my head, started smoking cigars, drank a lot, and went around giving speeches in a British-accented bulldog rumble, I would not be Churchill. In the same way, none of those Elvis interpreters in Las Vegas are actually Elvis, and that’s true no matter how many may secretly believe they’re his incarnation.
But in modern America, Bruce Jenner, with his male skeleton and musculature, his fake breasts and his apparently still-intact penis, and with a complete absence of female sexual organs, is now identified as a woman as a matter of law. Leftists will say that this is every bit as reasonable as holding — as we in America do — that corporations are legally people. If that’s true, they argue, there’s no reason Jenner can’t be a woman.
It’s not that I’m completely anti-abortion. As is the case for the majority of Americans, I recognize that there are circumstances in which abortion may be appropriate. It’s that I’m completely anti-“abortion culture.”
I am opposed to a worldview that is so invested in the mantra that “it’s a woman’s right to choose” that it refuses even to acknowledge that (a) there is another life involved and (b) that men have a 50% genetic stake in that other life. The abortion debate, rather than being about creating a culture in which fewer women ended up with an unwanted pregnancy or, if they do, feel that abortion is the only option, has instead devolved into a misanthropic death cult that seeks to cast an ever wider net, with more and more options for women to abort fetuses up to, and even after, the moment of birth — and to do so using monies forcibly extracted from American taxpayers.
The tension between pro-Life and pro-Abortion forces flairs up regularly every four years, as Leftists, who control the majority of America’s media outlets, make it a litmus test for the presidential elections (just as they make it a litmus test for a place on the Supreme Court). For years, male Republican candidates have been pushed into a corner in which they feebly protest that they support women, while the media blares out “but the Republicans don’t support women’s rights!” This year, however, Carly Fiorina finally pushed the debate onto the Leftist side of the aisle:
The Leftist media went absolutely crazy in its frenzy to prove that Carly was making that image up out of whole cloth. Every single non-conservative woman on my Facebook feed (that means about 90% of my Facebook friends) started flooding Facebook with articles, posters, and videos asserting that Carly is a liar and that no video every showed what she said it did. Interestingly, of course, no one argued that the events Carly described had never happened, and would never happen, in abortion clinics. The whole debate was simply about whether Carly accurately represented a single video.
James Taranto has a terrific run-down of the ferocious Leftist media response to Fiorina, along with the walk-backs all those responders had to make — although they still vigorously asserted that, no matter that the facts support her statements, Carly was still lying:
“Mr. Christie’s mendacity pales, however, in comparison to that of Carly Fiorina,” Krugman then asserts. There’s a paragraph disparaging her business career, followed by this:
But the truly awesome moment came when she asserted that the videos being used to attack Planned Parenthood show “a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” No, they don’t. Anti-abortion activists have claimed that such things happen, but have produced no evidence, just assertions mingled with stock footage of fetuses.
To support this claim, Krugman links to a post by Vox’s Sarah Kliff titled “Carly Fiorina Is Wrong About the Planned Parenthood Tapes. I Know Because I Watched Them.” Go to the post and you find this correction:
This story initially said I had watched all the Planned Parenthood sting videos. In fact, I reviewed all sting footage released by August 13th, which included all the footage shot inside Planned Parenthood clinics—which was where a scene like the one Fiorina describes would have been.
There is some more recent footage shot outside Planned Parenthood clinics that I had not seen. But that footage, according to the Fiorina campaign, is also not the source of the scene the candidate described. So far, the Fiorina campaign has not been able to point to video with the scene Fiorina spoke of in the debate.
Note that the headline still claims Fiorina is “wrong,” even though Kliff’s corrected claim is merely that Fiorina hasn’t proved herself right to Kliff’s satisfaction. The Federalist manages to find the video that eluded Kliff:
In the video in question, a technician is talking about harvesting the brain of an alive, fully formed fetus. While she tells her story, there is footage of another baby of roughly the same gestational age as the one whose brain she harvested. This baby is seen still kicking and its heart still beating.
While it is obviously not the same baby as the one she harvested the brain of, the footage helps viewers to understand what a 19-week old baby looks like when hearing the testimony of an ex-employee who harvested brains from babies of the same age.
The Los Angeles Times’s Michael Hiltzik characterized Fiorina’s description of the video as “a pure fabrication.” His post includes an update claiming vindication based on the Federalist piece:
The website’s own analysis shows that it’s Fiorina who is in the wrong. It acknowleges [sic] that neither of the two fetuses in the [Center for Medical Progress] video is the one referred to in CMP’s voiceover—one is “another baby of roughly the same gestational age,” it acknowledges.
But Fiorina was accurately describing what she saw in the video. The worst one can say is that she appears to have mistaken the baby in the footage for the one the technician describes having cut up. And perhaps one can fault the video makers for creating that impression, but it seems to us the Federalist is correct when it observes that “illustrating stories with appropriate images is a common journalistic technique, one used by all media outlets.”
My Facebook friends don’t care about facts either. Abortion represents a woman’s right to choose, and anything that limits abortion in any way is a misogynistic effort to ensure that women are kept barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen — and never mind that in today’s world birth control is easily available, single motherhood or teen pregnancies are the norm, there are more people who want to adopt than there are babies available (in part because Leftists who view the world through a racist prism would rather let a black baby rot in the foster care system than allow a white couple to adopt it), women (including women with children) are in the workforce at rates never seen before in American history. As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, when it comes to the abortion debate, Leftists inhabit a world that’s a cross between the Victorian age and the 1950s, one in which unwed sex is a sin (never mind the Left’s unlimited support for the hookup culture) and unwed pregnancy requires that one become a social outcast (never mind that most of America’s celebrities are routinely are feted for having babies out-of-wedlock).
Against the above background regarding the Leftist position in the abortion debate, I’d like to share with you a few posters that have come my way. The first couple are pro-Life and set the stage. The remainder are pro-Abortion. My comments about any given poster can be found below the poster.
This is a child born at 24 weeks looks like. Hillary and Dems believe that women should be able to choose to kill it. pic.twitter.com/CgupmHNE4m
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 22, 2015
Ben’s comment is right on the money. I’ll add only that the baby pictured is human and viable. It is not a zygote, nor is it a minimally mature fetus indistinguishable from a cat or dog fetus at the same stage in development. The reality is that, at all developmental stages, from conception to birth, that fetus is a human being. But another reality is that it’s easier for us to kill beings that don’t resemble us, whether we’re talking spiders in the house, slugs in the garden, or fetuses indistinguishable from any other mammal fetus.
The second statistic — the 300,000 abortions a year — is the one I want to focus on. The Left argues vigorously that Planned Parenthood shouldn’t be defunded because abortions are only 3% of its work. Keeping in mind that this is an accounting game — because Planned Parenthood logs separately all of the attendant procedures around abortion (the vaginal exams, the preliminary visit, etc.) — the real number is 300,000. That is the death cult number. Just because Planned Parenthood may do 1,000,000 pap smears a year (a number I just made up out of whole cloth), that still has nothing to do with the number of fetuses it ultimately extracts, either whole or in pieces.
As others have pointed out before, if all that Planned Parenthood does is routine healthcare screening, then it should be the beneficiary of patient-held Obamacare, not direct taxpayer funding. And to the extent it’s currently not able to benefit from Obamacare funds, that’s because it refuses to give up or spin-off its abortion business. Moreover, as we all know, Planned Parenthood’s “breast cancer screening” consists of a 30 second manual breast exam, of the type women are routinely encouraged to do at home on their own. If you want a mammogram, you’re going to have to go elsewhere.
Indeed, it’s an absolute hoot to watch the contortions that Snopes (whose founders are decidedly liberal) go through as they attempt to explain that Planned Parenthood is instrumental in women’s breast health even though it doesn’t do mammograms:
It is true in a literal sense that Planned Parenthood health centers do not themselves conduct mammograms (a procedure which requires specialized equipment and expertise to use it). Planned Parenthood offers comprehensive breast health care management, which includes manual breast exams as well as patient education on breast health. That care management program includes providing women with information about mammograms, referring them to health centers where they can obtain mammograms, and assisting them in covering the costs of the procedure by referring them to government programs that provide free mammograms or by using grant funds to reimburse the medical providers who perform the mammograms. (Referrals for mammograms often require the patient has undergone a breast exam within the previous year.)
In other words, Planned Parenthood deserves federal dollars for breast cancer screening because it provides precisely the same information you can find on Google; in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, or People magazine; or in a PSA ad.
Here’s that misogyny again. As a woman who vomited her way through nine and a half solid months with both her pregnancies, who went through labor, who nursed and cared for her babies night and day, and who has always been the children’s primary caregiver, I fully appreciate that a woman’s commitment to pregnancy — both in terms of her body and her time — is exponentially greater than a man’s. That fact, however, doesn’t alter two things: (1) the whole baby thing couldn’t happen without men, who contribute 50% of the genetic material that makes that baby; and (2) men also have a say in what constitutes a moral culture.
If male representatives — who are elected by the majority of both men and women in their districts in order to speak for that electorate’s values — believe that a culture is tyrannical and immoral to kill 300,000 humans a year, they have an absolute right to speak out on that issue. Moreover, they have an obligation to their constituents, who presumably agree with that representative, to stop the constituents’ money from funding what many see as mass murder.
This is especially true when it turns out that the mass murder shades into organ harvesting. For some people, myself included, this is morally indistinguishable from the Nazi efficiency that so them harvest teeth, gold fillings, hair, tattoos, and fat (for soap-making) from the Jews and others they slaughtered with such abandon. (And no, I won’t apologize for this reductio ad Hitlerum. I think it’s an entirely apt comparison when we’re talking about killing humans and harvesting their bodies.
If the only part of your body that has a say in your political world view is your vagina, you are a moron. I actually like to think about bigger issues, such as the economy or national security. I also find this a ridiculously funny argument insofar as it comes from the same cohort that routinely castigates men for thinking with their little heads, instead of their big ones.
Again, this conflates abortion and women’s health care. If Planned Parenthood would spin-off its abortion services, it would be entitled to the same Obamacare insurance dollars (plus Medicaid) as any other health provider in America. The issue here is whether taxpayers should fund an organization that, no matter what else it does (and that definitely doesn’t include breast health), is part of an industry that is responsible for 300,000 human deaths a year.
I’ve mentioned before this sleazy accounting. While Planned Parenthood definitely provides contraception, STD treatment, cancer screening (both breast palpation and PAP smears), that doesn’t take away from the fact that it provides abortions — and that the percentage of (taxpayer) funds used for abortions is larger than 3%. Rich Lowry explains:
The 3 percent factoid is crafted to obscure the reality of Planned Parenthood’s business. The group performs about 330,000 abortions a year, or roughly 30 percent of all the abortions in the country. By its own accounting in its 2013–2014 annual report, it provides about as many abortions as Pap tests (380,000). The group does more breast exams and provides more breast-care services (490,000), but not by that much. The 3 percent figure is an artifice and a dodge, but even taking it on its own terms, it’s not much of a defense.
The 3 percent figure is derived by counting abortion as just another service like much less consequential services. So abortion is considered a service no different than a pregnancy test (1.1 million), even though a box with two pregnancy tests can be procured from the local drugstore for less than $10.
By Planned Parenthood’s math, a woman who gets an abortion but also a pregnancy test, an STD test, and some contraceptives has received four services, and only 25 percent of them are abortion. This is a little like performing an abortion and giving a woman an aspirin, and saying only half of what you do is abortion.
Republicans in Congress are not advocating for Planned Parenthood’s abolition. They are simply saying that, especially in an age of Obamacare, to the extent Planned Parenthood performs between 300,000 and 330,000 abortions a year, American taxpayers should not be called upon to fund that institution directly. Let it compete in the marketplace like every other health care or abortion provider.
Several ladies of the Leftist persuasion posted on their Facebook pages an article entitled “7 Badass Defenses Of Reproductive Rights To Explain Why A Woman Should Have The Right To Choose.” I looked at them and had my doubts about their badassery, so I thought I’d fisk the article just for a little Sunday afternoon fun.
As is often the case with fisking the Left, a short Leftist statement takes a lot of work to break down, because everything is flawed, from the facts through the underlying premise through the argument based on the erroneous facts and premise. The structure below is that I first quote the “badass” pro-abortion arguments and then counter with my own thoughts.
1. Male Lawmakers Sometimes Don’t Get It
Who could forget Rep. Todd Akin’s cringeworthy “legitimate rape” comment back in 2012? Unfortunate as the statement was, it highlights a larger problem in the argument to restrict reproductive freedom: Men, who are often out-of-touch with the problems that women face, are more often in positions to make decisions than women. For instance, Tina Fey dropped this truth bombin 2012 while speaking at the Center for Reproductive Rights Gala:
If I have to listen to one more gray-faced man with a two-dollar haircut explain to me what rape is, I’m gonna lose my mind.
Fey’s point of view drives home the point that too many people who make decisions about reproductive rights are out of touch with the actual impact that their decisions have.
Some male law makers are morons. So are some female lawmakers. The reality, though, is that we don’t insist that all women shut up because some are stupid. In our Bizarro World of sexism, though, the stereotype of an out-of-touch male is applied to all men, who are told that they should remain immured in the wood shop and no longer bother their female overlords (overladies?).
Moreover, this line of argument, which I see frequently on Leftie Facebook pages, denies that men have any interest in fetuses, babies, or children. In fact, men have two very strong interests: First, if the fetus/baby/child is a man’s, that man has the same interest in it as the mother, and that is true even though she is the vessel in which it is nurtured for the first 40 weeks from conception forward. In a moral world, the fact that so many fathers walk away from their children is a disgrace — and, one must say, an inevitable byproduct of a socialist government policy that, through welfare, makes father’s economically unnecessary, at least for those who were raised in and consider normal a fairly marginal economic existence. Fathers who express an interest in their biological child from conception onward should be praised, not told to shut up.
Imagine if this argument had been around in mid-19th century America. Famed white, free abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison, Henry Ward Beecher, or Harriet Beecher Stowe would have been shouted down before they even began their arguments about the morality of slavery: “You’re not qualified to speak about slavery because you’re not a slave. So shut up.” Morals are not tied to race, sex, or creed; they exist irrespective of those petty human dividers.
Second, men have just as great an interest as women in a healthy culture. To the extent that the Left’s sacrament of abortion is focused on death, not life, all members of our society have a say in the matter. I’ve long contended that the Left’s fetishistic obsession with abortion is a death cult. The videos showing abortion centers engaged in organ harvesting hasn’t changed my mind. Indeed, the whole thing is eerily reminiscent of other cultures that engaged in organ harvesting, allegedly for the greater good:
Every moral citizen, male or female or fluid or whatever, has a say in preventing our society from going Aztec.
2. Reproductive Freedom Is About Trust
Mark Ruffalo has become a strong supporter of reproductive rights and a particularly vocal male advocate because of his mother’s traumatic experience with an illegal abortion years ago. At a rally in Mississippi in 2013, he reminded us that to take away a woman’s reproductive rights is to take away her ability to make decisions for herself.
I actually trust the women I know. I trust them with their choices, I trust them with their bodies, and I trust them with their children. I trust that they are decent enough and wise enough and worthy enough to carry the right of abortion and not be forced to criminally exercise that right at the risk of death or jail time.
If this doesn’t make you want to throw up a “preach” emoji, I don’t know what will.
I misread that last sentence. I thought its comment on the Ruffalo post was “If this doesn’t make you want to throw up get a ‘peach’ emoji….” I wasn’t sure what the “peach emoji” reference, but I was actually on board with the “I want to throw up” concept. Re-reading it, though, I realize that the “badass” post’s author was applauding Ruffalo.
Full disclosure here: I can’t stand Mark Ruffalo as an actor. There’s something about him I find creepy, so hearing him go on about trusting women with their choices sounds smarmy, not supportive.
Once again, this “trust” argument is predicated on the fallacy that all women are wise. They’re not. Who can forget the woman who had a “selective pregnancy reduction” (i.e., aborted the overage resulting from her IVF procedure) so she wouldn’t have to shop at Costco? That decision showed a whole lot more class snobbery than wisdom.
I know a woman who had eight abortions before she tried, unsuccessfully, to become pregnant. Apparently after abortion Number 8, her body, Mother Nature, or God decided that she couldn’t be trusted with a baby.
In any event, the whole trust argument pretends that there isn’t another life involved here. What Ruffalo is arguing is that he trusts all women to be impartial arbiters capable of intelligently exercising the role of judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to the life they carry. Frankly, I don’t “trust” anyone to have that much responsibility, especially when there is self-interest at play.
3. Nobody Thinks Abortion Is Fun — But It Should Be An Option
Let’s get one thing straight here: No one is saying that abortion is a great thing, but it’s important that women have the power to make that choice themselves. Being pro-choice doesn’t mean you’re pro-abortion. That’s the point Whoopi Goldberg seemed to make on a 2007 episode of The View.
Very few people want to have abortions. … Most people do not want to have abortions. Most women do not have them with some sort of party going on. It is the hardest decision that a woman ever has to make, so when you talk about it, a little bit of reverence to the women out there who have had to make this horrible decision.
Is it just me or this observation irrelevant to whether our society should continue to allow wholesale abortion rights up to and even after the moment the infant is born? Whether a decision or action is hard doesn’t address whether it’s moral. The fact that I might find it a bit physically or emotionally challenging to off my mother doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.
Morals exist outside of our own perceptions of easy or hard. Either it’s wrong to have a culture that has killed more than 51 million people since 1973, with special weight on the deaths of African Americans, or its wrong to have that culture. Whether some of the people doing the killing are sad when they do it doesn’t make it more moral.
Abortion, birth control, Plan B — they’re all often considered taboo things to talk about in public, particularly around men. Yet some politicians have no problem criticizing women for trying to make their own decisions about reproduction in a personal setting. Ultimately, Ruth Bader Ginsburg summed up this train of thought excellently.
The emphasis must be not on the right to abortion but on the right to privacy and reproductive control.
As if we needed another reason to love RBG.
Ah, the reductio ad Ruth Bader Ginsburg argument. You see her come up a lot in abortion discussions. Just as I dislike Ruffalo, I really dislike Bader. Even when I was a Leftie myself I disliked her. Reading her Supreme Court decisions is torture. Her writing is awful, and her arguments, which always involve making sure the state wins, are convoluted, turgid, confusing, and often incomprehensible.
Turning conservative didn’t make me like Ginsburg more, especially when the woman sworn to protect the Constitution voiced a gem such as this:
“I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012,” Ginsburg said in an interview on Al Hayat television last Wednesday. “I might look at the constitution of South Africa. That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, have an independent judiciary. It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done.”
Ginsburg is so over that whole notion of individual liberty and limited government. The best Constitution is one that micromanages individuals for the good of the state.
(An aside: When I first heard the term “living Constitution” I couldn’t understand why conservatives had their knickers in a twist about it. You see, I assumed it meant that our Constitution is a “living” document because it states overarching principles that transcend time and place. It lives, because it is applicable at all times to all people in all places. I was shocked when I discovered that, to the Left, a “living” constitution is one that can be rewritten to the point of meaninglessness or, worse, to the point at which it is used in a way to destroy individual liberty and limited government.)
But back to Ginsburg’s statement about “privacy and reproductive control.”
Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 93 S.Ct. 705, 35 L.Ed.2d 147 (1973) is a most imperfect vehicle, having found an imaginary “right of privacy” to justify abortion. Even subject to this imaginary right, though, that past generation of Supreme Court tyrants . . . er, justices recognized that when there is more than one life at issue, the state has an interest in both lives.
Contrary to most people’s assumptions about Roe v. Wade, that case does not create an unfettered right to abortion. Instead, it established a delicate balancing act over the entire length of the pregnancy between the State’s interests and the woman’s interest in the fetus. In the first trimester, when the fetus is not viable outside the womb, the balancing favors the woman’s right to choose how she wants to handle her pregnancy. In the second trimester, as the fetus nears viability, the balance begins tipping in the State’s favor. And, in the third trimester, when the fetus is viable, the State’s interests may triumph:
With respect to the State’s important and legitimate interest in potential life, the “compelling” point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.
Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. at 163, 93 S.Ct. at 732.
A lot has happened since 1973, of course. Ultrasounds and imagery have established that, in the first trimester, the fetus is already a recognizable baby; while advances in medicine have made it entirely possible to save an infant born early in the second trimester. At the same time, the Supreme Court has continued to expand each lone woman’s decision-making power over the fetus, while decreasing the state’s interest.
The new Leftist position, which Ginsburg articulates, is that the state has no interest at all in protecting the unborn — a woman’s “privacy” right trumps all. While the Supreme Court may have worked its way to this position, that most certainly doesn’t mean that my right to privacy is a justification for my killing another human being. Imagine if Jeffrey Dahmer could have used this defense: “That search in the freezer violated my absolute right to privacy. Just as the Supreme Court recently found a new right to gay marriage dignity that wipes out the First Amendment right to religious freedom, that new right to personal privacy wipes out the Fourth Amendment’s implication that the government can engage in search and seizure activity for the greater societal good. The Fourth Amendment no longer exists.”
I guess the bottom line is that just because the Supreme Court has stretched its own inane constitutional holding to a point justifying unlimited abortion, that doesn’t make this a good, let alone a “badass” argument.
5. It’s A Socioeconomic Issue, Too
Just as the fight for reproductive rights is about more than abortion, it’s also about more than gender discrimination. It’s about equality in all aspects: race, socioeconomic status, gender, and more.
We will never see a day when women of means are not able to get a safe abortion in this country.
Leave it to Ginsburg to deliver two great one-liners about reproductive rights.
This is not an argument. It’s as meaningless as trying to counter that stupid campaign slogan of “the future starts today.” And Ginsburg is still awful.
6. Whatever Happened To Work-Life Balance?
No matter how much you love your job or your boss, it would probably feel weird if he/she tried to control your personal life. Again, decisions about reproduction, contraception, etc. should be made on a personal level, not a professional level. A representative from Nevada, Dina Titus made a compelling case for reproductive freedom from employers.
Employers should not be able to impose their religious beliefs on female employees, ignoring their individual health decisions and denying their right to reproductive care. Bosses belong in the boardroom, not the bedroom.
This is a re-hash of the whole “ObamaCare allows government to force businesses to provide birth control” argument, and it was fully developed during the Hobby Lobby debate, which is whether the government can force corporations to provide birth control.
In 1993, a Democrat Congress passed, and a Democrat president signed, the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (“RFRA”). RFRA holds in relevant part that the federal government may act in a way that substantially burdens the exercise of religion only if it can establish that its action is the least restrictive means of advancing a compelling government interest. Nothing in the Act distinguishes between individuals and corporations.
The administrative rule at issue is the edict from Health and Human Services (“HHS”) mandating that all corporations affected by Obamacare must provide their female employees with unlimited access to all contraceptives available on the market.
Hobby Lobby is a closely-held, family-run corporation. The Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, has a strong Christian faith, and is open about the fact that it runs its company in a way that is consistent with the family’s religious beliefs. These beliefs affect every aspect of the way in which Hobby Lobby is run, whether it’s the fact that even the least of Hobby Lobby’s employees gets paid an hourly amount that’s almost twice as much as minimum wage, or the fact that many of the store’s craft products come complete with little crosses attached to them.
Hobby Lobby has long provided comprehensive insurance for its employees. As part of this insurance, it makes available to its employees 16 different types of contraceptives. Moreover, Hobby Lobby has never said (a) that it would stop covering contraceptives entirely or (b) that contraceptives should be outlawed in America. Instead, it made a very narrow protest to the HHS mandate: It objected to the fact that the mandate would force it to offer, not 16, but 20 contraceptives to its employees. The additional 4 contraceptives are or can be used as abortion-causing agents. The Green family’s religious faith means that it is adamantly opposed to abortion, which it considers murder.
The HHS mandate put Hobby Lobby in an impossible position: It could either use its own money to pay directly for abortifacient drugs or it could pay $475 million a year in penalties. It was this dilemma, it argued, that constituted a substantial burden on its exercise of religion under RFRA. Put another way, Hobby Lobby argued that it faced a Hobson’s choice: directly fund something it opposes on core religious grounds or go bankrupt. On these facts, the Supreme Court agreed that Hobby Lobby had satisfied the “substantial burden” requirement under RFRA.
There was something else that the Supreme Court accepted as given: For purposes of the ruling, the Supreme Court accepted as true HHS’s claim that forcing corporations to pay for their female employees’ contraceptives (simply because the Obama administration says it’s unfair not to) serves a compelling government interest.
(As an aside, I was thinking about this “unfair” point. According to my Progressive friends, the demand that corporations pay for contraceptives arises because it’s not fair that women have to shoulder these costs, while men don’t. Let’s put aside the fact that the Progressive can’t explain why it’s fair that corporations must bear contraception costs. The really important point is that, if the reason to force corporations to shoulder the burden is so that women don’t have to pay more in costs related to their unique biology just because they are women, corporations should also be required to pay for tampons, sanitary pads and, most importantly, chocolate, all of which are costly menstrual necessities that burden women, not men. Additionally, corporations should be entitled to learn which employees have gone through menopause, so as to scale back on those uniquely feminine costs. And now back to the Hobby Lobby case…)
With the Supreme Court having accepted that Hobby Lobby had proved that it was being significantly burdened and that HHS had proved a compelling government interest, the sole issue before the Court was whether HHS was using the least restrictive means to advance its compelling interest. Based on this single, limited issue, the Supreme Court concluded that HHS’s birth control mandate did not meet the RFRA test. The Court had a very simple metric for proving this conclusion: HHS itself handed the Court proof that there was a less restrictive way to serve this compelling interest.
HHS created this less restrictive contraception mandate when religious non-profit organizations objected to paying directly for contraceptives and abortifacients. HHS said that religious institutions could avoid the mandate by signing a document stating that their religious beliefs prevented them from complying with the contraception mandate. With this document, the onus shifts to the insurance company to apply the mandate. (The Little Sisters of the Poor are challenging this workaround on the ground that it cannot apply to self-insured entities. Likewise, even if the religious entity has a third party insurance company, the insurance company will simply increase its rates, with the result that the money for the contraceptives and abortifacients will still come from the corporation that has religious objections. The Supreme Court’s eventual decision should be interesting.)
With HHS having already figured out a less intrusive method for getting “free” contraceptives to women, the Supreme Court held that the same workaround that applies to religious non-profits can apply equally well to closely held corporations if the owners have a sincere belief in a core religious issue. And that’s it. That’s the whole Hobby Lobby decision — and nothing in this allegedly “bad ass” argument counters it.
7. Religion Can Be Part Of A Pro-Choice Country
Regardless of your politics, it should be pretty clear that no discussion of reproductive rights is complete without mentioning Hillary Clinton. This quote, in particular, is important because it raises the point that faith can still be involved in the conversation about contraception and abortion if pro-choice policy is the law of the land:
These Democrats will never shame and judge a woman for decisions that are complex and deeply personal, decisions that belong between a woman, her family, her faith, and her doctor; not with her boss or a politician.
In other words, if your faith or belief system prevents you from getting an abortion, then by all means, don’t have one. But don’t let your belief system make the decision for a woman you don’t even know.
Again, this is a non-argument. It simply says that if I want to have an abortion, there’s nothing you can do to stop me. The fact is, every member of a society has a say in what kind of society they want. One that is dedicated to life or one that is dedicated to death.
Incidentally, those reading this may think that I’m totally anti-abortion and pro-Life. I’m not. Like a lot of Americans, I recognize that different circumstances call for different approaches. Like most Americans, I think a third trimester abortion is murder, unless the mother’s life is in imminent danger. Second trimester abortions are pretty damn iffy at a moral level, given that we can keep alive babies that are only 22 or 24 weeks old. First trimester abortions — well, they should be discouraged, but it’s possible to imagine situations in which they’re reasonable.
I should add here, as I always do, that having children changed my mind. Being pregnant and giving birth forced me to acknowledge that the zygote is a fetus is a baby — and at all times, that zygote, that fetus, and that baby is a fully-realized person. Killing a fully realized person is murder. And just as we recognize degrees of murder when it comes to the deaths of already born people (killing an enemy in war, manslaughter, second degree murder, first degree murder, etc.), we can do the same with those who are not yet born.
But that’s not what the Left wants. It wants wholesale slaughter in the name of feminism. And that’s just wrong — and we all have a say in that.
Should I apologize for the number of videos about free speech I’m sending your way today? It’s just that there are so many good ones that friends have sent me that I feel compelled to share them. Take, for example, Colin Quinn’s short, pungent, hysterically funny riff about the way in the Leftist speech police make ordinary conversation impossible:
I found the video especially relevant today because a friend of mine (nice gal, but very Left) posted two cartoons in the last two days, both of which she thought very meaningful and both of which are intended to shut down speech entirely: