May 20, 2015

Hypocrisy and dishonesty on both sides of the abortion debate

Richard KlagsbrunRebel Blogger

(WARNING: MATURE LANGUAGE) The abortion debate was effectively settled in Canada by a 1988 Supreme Court ruling that struck down the previous law pertaining to it as unconstitutional. Since then, Canada has no criminal law on the books regarding abortion, despite the best efforts of anti-abortion activists to re-impose one. 

The final nail in the coffin of the movement to re-criminalize abortion came when Stephen Harper declared in 2011 that his government would not reopen the abortion debate nor bring forward any legislation on it.

Harper is as conservative a Prime Minister that Canada has had in many years. Some might reasonably argue that Paul Martin was more conservative on fiscal matters, but overall Stephen Harper is the best that Canadian small 'c' conservatives realistically could have hoped for. And Harper came to the conclusion that legislatively touching the abortion issue is suicidal. That should have told the anti-abortion movement something. Evidently they haven't heard it.

I know quite a few people who are adamantly opposed to abortion. Some are exceptionally bright and are motivated by a belief in the sanctity of, and respect for, human life. Others are batshit crazy, have had abortions they regret, and became so wracked with guilt that they subsequently devoted their entire beings to taking a choice away from others because they lacked the foresight to understand the ramifications of a choice they made.

I'm firmly of the opinion that having the abortions didn't make them unbalanced, it just provided a convenient scapegoat on which to pin their angst. Talking to that kind of sanctimonious anti-abortion activist is as tedious as listening to an ex-alcoholic who demands universal temperance because he couldn't handle his booze.

Both sides in Canada's abortion debate exhibit tidal waves of hypocrisy, so before we get further into the subject, let's deal with the dishonest way both sides characterize, not their opponents, but themselves.

Both "pro-life" and "pro-choice" are bullshit terms coming from the people who lay claim to them.

I know way too many self-described "pro-life" people who are adamantly in favor of the death penalty for that term to reasonably apply to them.

The same strain of hypocrisy runs even stronger in the so called "pro-choice" camp. When, ever, has anyone seen an allegedly "pro-choice" activist campaign for any choice in the matter but to have an abortion? I've never heard of one campaign for the right of women not to have forced abortions, as China and India imposed on some women.

In fact, there's a campaign going on right now to remove ads from Toronto's public transit system which encourage women to consider adoption if they find themselves unexpectedly pregnant. The ads, which promote an alternative choice, are incomprehensibly characterized by pro-abortion activists as "anti-choice."

I can only surmise the people behind that campaign are actual imbeciles or have some mental illness by which they're emotionally invested in the destruction of human fetuses and feel they get a point for each abortion, commensurate to a point in a debating contest.

So let's call things what they are. People aren't "pro-choice" or "pro-life." They are either pro-abortion or anti-abortion, and I say that as someone who is pro-abortion, in that I support a woman's legal right to have a safe abortion.  But just because I'm in favor of legal abortions doesn't mean I'm not disgusted by the far-left's efforts on campuses and in the public sphere to try to deny anti-abortion activists their right to free speech and to make a moral case.

The moral argument against abortion, particularly late-term ones, is frequently persuasive. The way the law, or more precisely the lack of one, stands right now, you can destroy a fetus ten seconds before birth and it's a medical procedure, but ten seconds later the same act is murder. In practical terms, it's virtually impossible to find a doctor in Canada who would perform an abortion that late in the pregnancy unless the mother's life were threatened. But legally, there's nothing to prevent it from happening. 

However, for me, the "life begins at conception" argument is not particularly persuasive. Technically, that may be true, and yes, there is a little heartbeat at five weeks of gestation. But as far as that goes, I've been responsible for hundreds, maybe thousands of deaths of living beings far more sentient and with more practical intelligence than a human fetus.

There are innumerable chickens, tuna, salmon, cows, pigs and a few other animals that are no longer alive because I think they're tasty if cooked properly. (Although I pretty much eliminated pig from my diet after I saw Babe.) I'd be willing to bet real money that most anti-abortion activists are not vegetarians. The comparison between a human fetus and a living cow will no doubt offend some no end, but there you have it.

For me, what's more offensive are laws that some people are trying to impose on women telling them what they can and cannot do with their own bodies. You have the right to make any moral case you want, but trying to invoke the power of the state in that circumstance is as much a violation of basic rights as it would be if the state forced people into being live donors for organ and tissue transplants.

What the activists who want to re-criminalize abortion fail to realize is that not only have they lost the war, but by continuing to fight a losing cause, they have become so toxic that they are harming their own side in other causes they would want to see succeed. The anti-abortion movement has become hemlock in Canadian politics and no serious conservative politician who is trying to be a leader wants to drink it.

If there's a battle for the anti-abortion side to fight, it's the fight to be able to exercise their rights on campuses and elsewhere to free speech. Even as someone who supports legal abortion, that's a battle in which I side with them, and one they might actually win.


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commented 2015-05-21 14:12:36 -0400
Richard said – "I know way too many self-described “pro-life” people who are adamantly in favor of the death penalty for that term to reasonably apply to them."

Richard, if you can compare those two things as the same then you truly are a simpleton. The fetus has no choice, has done nothing wrong, has no voice, has no way to protect itself. Those that the pro-death penalty people rally against do have a choice not to break the law, the have done things wrong, do have a voice.
commented 2015-05-21 10:09:12 -0400
If life begins at conception then it seems an answer is readily available. Neither the rights of the child nor the rights of the mother override each other and as such simply respect both. If the mother has valid reasons(as my wife and I did) then simply remove the fetus and allow it reach maturity as a matter of its natural life. The mothers rights to her own body are intact and the fetus’ rights to life is also intact. to approach any discussion with a lack of respect towards freedom lessens us all. Me personally I believe all religions should be outlawed as they are they greatest cause of human strife in our history. Alas you are FREE to do so regardless of my beliefs just as I am free to have mine. Freedom is a bitch. Having freedom means accepting responsibility for the fact that you have to come to terms with others enjoying their own freedoms. A debate that will frankly have no end as with so many others simply because the majority of people want to see their beliefs be the only ones we follow. If such a time returns to my world, I like many of my ancestors, will be glad to grab my guns and put you nazi bastards back in your hole again.
commented 2015-05-21 08:18:15 -0400
This was a poorly researched article and nothing but an emotional diatribe. There is plenty of research indicating that abortions do cause long term emotion effects on the mother. And there is research that links it with breast cancer, which no one has been able to explain away either. Sentience isn’t the issue here, it is a red herring, there are plenty of full grown humans that aren’t as “aware” as you may think. Be objective, abortion is the dismemberment of a human being, full human DNA, and from the earliest stages able to interact with the mother. This isn’t a debate about what someone can do with their own body, it is an appeal to stop making the choice of killing another human being.
commented 2015-05-21 01:24:13 -0400
I believe life starts at conception, therefore, abortion is the act of killing in order to halt the natural life process of creating a fully-formed human being. While I may interpret killing a human being as being morally reprehensible, it is not necessarily a legal determination.
Society, as a whole, permits killing under extraordinary circumstances; such as in warfare, policing and in extreme cases as self-defence. Since we do put limitations on how one is legally entitled to end life, then isn’t it reasonable to limit how and when abortion is acceptable.
In this regard I will leave the final decision with the woman and her doctor, only after she is given the proper information to inform her real “choice”.
commented 2015-05-21 01:23:05 -0400
by richard klagsburn writing that killing a baby by abortion is somehow the same as killing a fish or cow, that just shows how little respect he has for human life. The abortion debate is not over richard klagsburn
commented 2015-05-20 21:52:41 -0400
Mr. Klagsburn – It’s never a losing cause to fight for human rights. The day will indeed come when the Canadian public is sufficiently enlightened to recognize that killing children before birth is a human rights violation and an abortion law will finally be introduced. Until that day comes, pro-lifers across Canada will work tirelessly to restore human rights recognition for all human beings regardless of how old, weak, vulnerable or unwanted they are.
commented 2015-05-20 20:52:50 -0400
If you want to talk about hypocrisy, talk about the pro-abortion crowd’s support for bodily autonomy with respect to abortion, but it’s opposition to bodily autonomy in many other instances. I have come up with six areas in which bodily autonomy is regulated in this country:

1) Drug laws
2) Personal Safety laws, e.g. seatbelt laws
3) Prohibition against selling body parts
4) Decency laws
5) Food regulation
6) Public Health regulations

Given this evidence, I would argue that it’s a legal established principle that bodily autonomy can be limited for a proportional reason, and that it’s not the absolute that many feminists make it out to be. If you want to talk hypocrisy, the same people who support legal abortion often vote for these laws.

The “forced organ donor” analogy doesn’t work. For one thing, the unborn child is one’s own creation and therefore one’s own responsibility, whereas the disease killing an organ recipient isn’t one’s own fault and therefore not one’s responsibility. Plus a uterus isn’t actually donated when one gets pregnant: you get to keep it. And the function of a uterus is to help gestate a baby; it’s an organ that exists for the benefit of another.

But the saddest thing is that we all seem to accept that it’s normal for a man and a woman not to love a newly conceived child. This is one of the biggest obstacles to eradicating abortion.
commented 2015-05-20 19:58:32 -0400
Richard Klagsbrun, “I’m not especially sympathetic to legislating morality.” ALL legislation is legislating morality! With the possible exception of budgetary legislation, and legislation re: public infrastructures, can you name me any kind of legislation that doesn’t spring from someone’s concept of morality; from someone’s judgment of what’s right and what’s wrong? The only difference is, you’d rather have the government pass legislation that lines up with you perception of public morality, than those whose moral perspective you disagree with. Actually, so would I. So would everybody. But don’t speak as if you’re against legislating morality. All legislation is someone’s morality.
commented 2015-05-20 19:38:18 -0400
I had to read it again, guess I am slow on understanding various opinions. the reality is once we settle on the side of an opinion, it will be difficult for eyes to see how one radical view can be alter. i liked your presentation and most likely because I believe both are right. I would rather not see abortions but I believe God gave us free choice. I know if my daughter was raped and became pregnant, and her decision was to abort or go full term, I would not love her less. My guidance would be to lay out all the options with there outcomes and support her final choice.
commented 2015-05-20 19:27:11 -0400
Your premises is incorrect, I am against abortion and against the death penalty. I am pro-life.

Secondly, your point about late term abortions almost never happening can you please provide some evidence to back up your opinion? Some evidence that contradicts your narrative would be Gosnell who would often perform late term abortions as well as infanticide. But I’m he’s just a single crazy…

When are you willing to provide protection for a human life? When the human life can pass your arbitrary intelligence test? Or have pass some level of sentience? You’ve already stated that they are technically speaking alive, why not set some arbitrary limit on when you provide protection to the life.

Please stop with your hypocrisy and dishonesty.
commented 2015-05-20 18:52:35 -0400
Re: Richard Klagsbrun, "I know way too many self-described “pro-life” people who are adamantly in favor of the death penalty for that term to reasonably apply to them".

There is an obvious difference between abortion and being in favour of the death penalty for someone convicted of a heinous crime involving murder,(s). I believe it is totally disingenuous to say those who are in favour of the death penalty are not pro life. In the one instance it is murder, on the other it is justice.
commented 2015-05-20 18:46:31 -0400
I think females should have the option of having a safe abortion up to 20 weeks and illegal after that time. I cringe when I hear people say they use abortion as a birth control. Our medical system is overburdened and I would like to see 1 abortion covered and everyone after that being paid by the woman. This would be taking responsibility as there are other means for birth control.
To hear people yell that it is the woman’s body and no one has the right to take the choice away from her, only tells me (and it is mostly men) they do not want personal resposibility. they want an open and free way of divorcing themselves from the baby.
commented 2015-05-20 18:36:41 -0400
How is it that abortion is reduced to basically a matter of opinion, a moral question or not. Is it a matter of opinion that taking an innocent, defenceless human life is murder or not, is wrong or not? Just because it’s in the womb doesn’t make it any less human, DNA proves it is. Is it supposed to be compared to a tumour? The whole controversy is “the Emperor has no clothes” all over again.
commented 2015-05-20 17:00:53 -0400
“But as far as that goes, I’ve been responsible for hundreds, maybe thousands of deaths of living beings far more sentient and with more practical intelligence than a human fetus.”

I find this statement stomach-churning. (And I’m very much a reasonable, pro-life moderate on this issue.) At what point do you imagine “a human fetus” that one can compare to a tunafish sandwich becomes a “human being” created In the Image of God with rights that should be protected?

Seriously: if someone ate fetus and mayonnaise sandwiches you’d regard them as acceptable? Is Subway started offering aborted fetuses on their menu you’d regard that as progress? That’d be better than pork, perhaps, right?
commented 2015-05-20 16:19:42 -0400
I’ll have to be frank, Richard, and say that for all the time I’ve spent on the pro-life (or "anti-abortion) side, I’ve never met this creature you describe as unhinged with regret about their abortion. I’ve met plenty of women who very loosely fit this description, but then in real life we’re talking about women who’ve had abortions and come to regret them and want to spare other women the anguish they’ve felt. Hardly the hysterical harridans you portray in your piece. And in the end, isn’t it a case where we have to respect the fact that they have a viewpoint based on real life experience that you and I, as fellas, haven’t had? Not to get all gender normative about it, or anything…
commented 2015-05-20 15:42:43 -0400
No, I don’t actually believe that farm animals and humans are the same and realize the legal and moral difference between them and humans. Nor have I tried the Jeffrey Dahmler diet. But I think there’s a lot of intellectual inconsistency in saying it’s ok to kill a living, breathing, thinking creature, but we must sanctify a zygote and give it privileges that override those of women who may not want to carry one to full term.

And Babe was pretty cute.

As it happens, I know a few former addicts who are totally cool and reasonable, but also quite a few who seem to endlessly provide lectures on the dangers and immorality of the substance they can themselves couldn’t handle, but that any normal person can.

Anyone who wants to make a moral argument against abortion has a certain amount of my sympathy. But I’m not especially sympathetic to legislating morality. It’s that type of social conservativism that’s killing the conservative brand.
commented 2015-05-20 15:10:23 -0400
“… as tedious as listening to an ex-alcoholic who demands universal temperance because he couldn’t handle his booze.”
Just wondering: Have you ever met such an individual?
commented 2015-05-20 15:09:17 -0400
So you believe pigs, cows and humans are the same? Interesting, even on a purely genetic level.
I’m amazed that you could give up pork after seeing Babe, but not your beliefs about abortion after seeing an ultrasound.