Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html en-gb 30 Fri 29 Aug 2014 02:45:31 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=99#comment179 jotunar (#167) "The majority of these so-called "pro-lifers" support execution. This is pure hypocrisy."No, it isn't. In the first place, the terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice" are merely convenient labels which have adopted as conventions to distinguish between two positions on the question of a woman's right to an abortion. There are actually more than two positions, and many groups, but it is useful to divide them this way. It is not useful to enter into a semantic argument about the meaning of "pro-life." Everyone except the pettifoggers knows generally the difference between the two camps identified by these terms.As for the matter of capital punishment, the principal distinction to be made is that the unborn are wholly innocent, whereas those properly convicted of a capital crime are judged not to be. Some are inclined to argue that the occasional failures of judgement imply that one must oppose all capital punishment in order to call oneself "pro-life." That is just rhetorical flim-flam, because "pro-life" refers only to the abortion controversy. Capital punishment is an entirely separate controversy. Everyone is opposed to putting innocent people to death anyway.As for the use of the term "hypocrisy" generally, it can only be properly applied to individuals, not groups. It is not hypocrisy for one person to advocate one course of action, then for another person to act contrary to that advocated course. For example, the notorious anti-abortion activist (or terrorist, if you like) Eric Rudolph advocated violence and practiced it. That is not hypocrisy. When a specific individual is accused of hypocrisy, I want to see quotes from an authoritative source to back up the charge. When whole groups are accused of hypocrisy based on the actions of others (both being anonymous), this is merely cant and I disregard it.I, by the way, am not a member of any "pro-life" group, and I am not defending their policies. I am only (here) defending correct use of the language. Mon 08 Jun 2009 01:16:07 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=98#comment178 "25. At 05:23am on 21 May 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote: From the pro-life position, being 'pro-life' means cherishing each and every human person as unique and marvelous, deserving of respect, worthy of protection and encouragement, someone your compassion hopes will fulfill their own potent promise, just as much as the force and desires of life drive you, yourself."Except for the victim of rape, whose rape will continue for 8 months and possibly much longer.Except for a nine year old girl, raped by her stepfather and whose body is too young to bear a single child much less twins. Pro-life obviously means that all three should die as aborting the fetuses would be a sin.I'm sorry if you are not a member of the most extreme faction on this issue and feel put upon at this point, but these cases MUST be addressed. They show the hypocracy of the "Right to Life" label as much as the defense some of them make for gun toting and capital punishment. And no, I do not believe that is changing the topic, life is life [or so right to lifers are prone to say]. Sun 07 Jun 2009 02:28:03 GMT+1 Rob http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=98#comment177 Prepare for a long essay here. I support the rights of unborn children, but I admit that at least there are grey areas in the debate. This does not mean however that I concede the basic argument that it is wrong to kill a foetus or an embryo. It simply means that I recognise that those arguing in favour of the rights of the foetus or embryo to life are capable of hypocrisy or flawed argument in the same way as those supporting the rights of women to abort their foetuses. A few people have pointed out some of these hypocrisies above. Among them are:i) the death penalty issue. Although not all abortion opponents advocate the death penalty, a significant proportion of them do. It is a fact however that the death penalty has ended, and cotinues to end, innocent lives, as mistakes have been made. Personally, I oppose the death penalty.ii) the idea that outlawing abortion in itself is what is necessary. It is clear that unless appropriate support is given, women will resort to various means of abortion or will abandon their children. This does not mean, however, that it is inevitable that abortion will always continue. As I understand it, the two main reasons women have an abortion is because a) they cannot afford a child, or their social circumstances (estranged from family/no husband etc.) would mean that having a child would be overwhelming, or b) they simply do not wish to have the child because it will inconvenice them. Whilst a number of women have abortions for the latter reason, many do for the former. This is in my view one area of the debate that the pro-life side need to consider more carefully.On the other hand, we have the pro-choice one-liners. These also fail to grasp the basic issue for me. For example:i) the argument that a woman should have a right to decide what happens to her body. To this, I would have to respond that women do have a right to decide. Contraception has been widely available for decades now. If you don't want a baby, use or condom. Or, abstain from sex if you are not in a long-term relationship. Or only have sex at the times of the month when you are less at risk of becoming pregnant. I realise this argument is pretty blunt, but the alternative of letting people kill their foetuses because they weren't careful enough seems bad logic to me. Furthermore, what if the woman's partner wants the foetus to live? Should we completely disregard fathers' rights here? I know that from my point of view if it were my child I would be devastated. All this of course is besides the main point, which for me is that the foetus has a right to life of its own. I'll get to that later.ii) the religion argument. Many pro-choicers argue that religion should not dictate what happens in their lives. While this is indeed a valid concern generally speaking, I fail to see that it is really related to the fundamental issue, except that religious people often tend to support the rights of the unborn. Religious people also tend to support policies in other areas disproprtionately. For example, most religious leaders would support higher taxes on the rich, or (these days) a more democratic distribution of power. Is it really fair to dismiss those concerns on the grounds that they are championed by the religious? For me, this argument misses the point.Obviously, the abortion issue is divided along the lines of other social politics, given that such arguments as those above tend to creep into the debate. But putting those issues aside, let's look at the basic points of contention in the actual abortion debate.i) the pro-choice 'validity' argument. The foetus should only be considered human at the point of validity, that is, the point at which it becomes able to survive outside the womb.To this I would respond that all children are essentially helpless and dependent on others for at least the first year of life. The validity argument seeks to maintain, in my view, an iniquitable status quo on the basis of a seemingly arbitrary fact, because, let's face it, why does it matter if the foetus is unable to survive outside the womb at 23 weeks? If left alone, it would almost certainly be born; therefore an abortion for this reason is as good as infanticide/murder. At the moment, in the UK, the limit is at 24 weeks. Even supposing that were to be reduced, you still are left with the fundamental problem of whether it is OK to end a life already essentially begun.There are, outside of the those who consider the issue in terms of validity, generally two lines of argument.i) the 'conscious foetus' argument. These people argue that a human life is defined primarily by its ability to feel, putting aside the arguments of validity and focussing on issues such as foetal pain, but sometimes (not always) denying the basic right to life of an embryo, which has no such capacities. Advocates of this line of argument would probably favour limits at anything ranging from about 13-20 weeks (there is some disagreement among scientists about the precise age at which a foetus becomes conscious, indeed, different developmental rates may mean certain foetuses would become conscious at an earlier or later stage than others). Although I strongly support this view, I also believe that the foetus/embryo has a right to life irrespective of consciouness.ii) the argument irrespective of consciousness. Essentially, the argument that the embryo or foetus is life because it has been concieved and is on the path to being born. This is my viewpoint. Although it is hard to define 'life' exactly, we might consider analogies that illustrate the moral problem of killing even an unconscious embryo or foetus. Put simply, an embryo, once concieved, stands a decent chance of making it to the point of 'validity'. Even thought it cannot be conscious during the abortion procedure until at least 13 weeks, are we to conclude that its deliberate destruction for 'social reasons' (that is, not rape/incest/deformity - I'll discuss my view on those abortions shortly) is a morally acceptable action? Assmue that instead of it being a foetus, it is a born person in a coma. Essentially, there is little difference here in the actual status of the subjects. Both the embryo/foetus and the 'living' person are in a state of limbo, but stand a reasonable chance of surviving, given the support of society. Should it be made acceptable for society to decide whether or not give life support in these cases, for example?Yes, this analogy requires a good deal of imagination, and yes, it deals with theory rather than actual situations (I AM aware that the person in the coma would likely already be 'wanted' and thus would not have a question mark hanging over its life, unlike the embryo or foetus, making a direct comparison the object of abstract theory, rather than experience.) Nonetheless, as a philosophical argument, it should be considered by those who advocate abortion 'on demand'.Considering all that, there ARE occasions where I feel it might be deemed a reasonable action to terminate, that is, those I listed above. i) fetal deformity. If two medical professionals feel that a foetus would not enjoy quality of life, (that is, would be really badly deformed - I'm not talking about relatively common conditions such as autism and the like) I think abortion is acceptable, at any stage of pregnancy, although obviously ideally before the stage of consciousness.ii) rape or incest. Under these conditions, I would say it is acceptable to have an abortion if there is no workable solution (e.g. adoption, or if the woman is genuinely unable to bring up the child herself due to lack of financial or emotional support). I would also consider it acceptable if the woman was so emotionally damaged by the event that she would never be able to resume any kind of normal life. I would not argue in favour of it in all cases of rape and incest, particularly in cases of voluntary incest or in cases where the woman was, despite rape, deemed medically to be of sufficiently sound mind to carry the foetus to term, at which point it could be adopted, or taken are of by relatives or friends until the woman was able to resume her life. In those cases, I would still assert the right to life of the unborn.iii) to save the life of the mother. For me, saving certain life is more important than saving life that stands a chance (however slim) of not making it. Therefore, I support abortion in those cases, although thankfully this is hardly ever required.This lengthy post does not contain everything I could say about the issue, but it gives an outline of the bases of why I believe abortion is wrong. An interesting point is that a vast majority of abortions are carried out not for the latter reasons (defmority, rape, incest) but because of 'social reasons'. It is these abortions that I feel most strongly against. I hope others of all views on the issue will read my post, and at least consider the arguments contained in it. Fri 29 May 2009 15:58:04 GMT+1 positivesahar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=97#comment176 Pro-life is all about living a good life; gracefully and freely. Hence, not allowing a female to chose if she wants to abort, we are taking away from her the meaning of good living. No, I don't see "pro-life" means to worry about "it" which is not yet alive. Pro-life is to encourage and better the life of the ones who are already sharing our space on earth, from all walks of life.SaharOman Thu 28 May 2009 14:19:29 GMT+1 Joan Olivares http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=97#comment175 These are just the non issues that obscure the real issues that our government and the Mafia are one. Wed 27 May 2009 22:45:30 GMT+1 Pryceofwar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=96#comment174 174,You make some good points, but I'm not sure how they relate to the abortion discussion. In the abortion discussion, we argue whether the woman has a right to terminate the fetus. In the death penalty, we argues whether government has the right to terminate a criminal. It would make sense that these two different actors would operate under different restrictions. I'm I correctly interpreting your statement? Wed 27 May 2009 14:03:18 GMT+1 Quillan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=96#comment173 Most (if not all) governments have not developed an ideology to determine all life issues, an ideology tried and fixed by acid tests; simplicity and consistency. Many are pro-life regarding the unborn yet favor the death penalty, while others protest capital punishment but support a womans choice for abortion. Complexity and inconsistency legislatively (or legally) compounds when considering matters such as euthanasia or assisted suicides, and forced military service. The question should be asked whether government has the ultimate right/control over human life within any context, that is, when does an individual presumes authority over the life of another. There are only two logical positions; either government is always allowed to end life or government is always prohibited to do so. Given the propensities for excess, inefficiency, and corruption as well the lack of divine insight, government should never be so empowered. Wed 27 May 2009 13:30:22 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=95#comment172 168, gladheart -People do sometimes make decisions they later regret. Bad marriages, for instance. Women sometimes marry men who end up killing them, or maiming them. Sometimes people leave partners and later regret it, and have a "hollow" feeling. College students may realize upon graduation that they majored in a subject they don't want a career in. Another hollow feeling. And then many people make personal choices that they know are right for them, even though someone else may regret having made that same decision. I have known people who deeply regretted having children, and very young men who have enlisted, been maimed in war, and deeply regretted joining up.So should all decision-making, personal choice, be denied us just in case someone makes a mistake? The choice to have an abortion is wise for some, perhaps not so for others. As with any other choice humans make in their lives.Your argument is not only foolish, it is offensive. Tue 26 May 2009 22:57:54 GMT+1 seanspa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=95#comment171 So is a miscarriage murder by god? Or are they always the woman's fault? Tue 26 May 2009 21:40:32 GMT+1 Picarra http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=94#comment170 Pro the life of babies butchered by abortionists. No one is threatening diabetics.Pro the life of babies artificially conceived in test tubes. Some of these babies are canibalised for organs! Life begins at conception, weather it be in a test tube or a woman's womb. Tue 26 May 2009 21:21:18 GMT+1 Nom DePlume http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=93#comment169 I have always believed that this is a matter for the female of the species to decide. I find it mind boggling that any male thinks they have a 'relevant point of view' on this topic. We CANNOT get pregnant, thus it is too easy for us to put forth an opinion that may or may not make any sense. I would hope that any woman who got pregnant would first and foremost protect their own lives and then focus on what life the child would have once it was born. I am a man and have no honest idea what that decision does to a woman, but no matter what decision they come to I'm sure it is one of the most difficult of their lives. I firmly believe it should be HER choice and no other. As many have stated, abortions will continue to happen no matter what the legal environment may be. Does it not then behoove us to ensure that the choice is as safe as we can possibly make it? That is only possible if it is a legally acceptable choice. People talk about Bristol Palin, but the truth of the matter is for her and her child the environment is very 'encouraging' for that child to have a successful life due to the circumstances of her family financially. The bulk of the teenage mothers in the USA do NOT have that environment, and in fact, statistically speaking drastically reduce that child's chance at a 'successful' life. What I would like to see is true sex education from 1st grade forward. Make a 'child rearing' class a mandatory course starting at puberty. I guarantee if you make a 12 year old child (both boys and girls) 'care for' a 'baby simulacrum' you would see an immediate reduction in teenage pregnancy rates. Abstinence is simply a failed policy. Free and anonymous access to birth control plus a rigorous sex education program WILL work to reduce abortion rates simple as that. Tue 26 May 2009 21:12:52 GMT+1 senor_yappy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=93#comment168 Life starts at the moment of conception? In that case, all acts of sexual congress should be reported to the authorities so that conception can be checked for, and criminal investigations incepted if it does not run to term. No such thing as a victimless miscarriage.All human life is sacred?Why then do we ever apply quality of life criteria to medical treatment? Let's keep people from meeting their maker for as tortuously long as possible. It would also be nice if some people put the same amount of effort into looking out for people's life-rights after they are born as they do beforehand. Of course, once born, people stop being innocent and silent, so they only have themselves to blame.It's a woman's own body and her right to choose?Fair enough. But don't expect anyone to lend a hand in the procedure. It's not their body.Science-based limits on abortion?Someday they'll be able to grow babies in jars. Reliance on limits based on how human-resembling or likely to survive will only be eroded. But I suppose at that point in time, you can give up your foetus for growth and adoption after a couple of weeks. Everyone's a winner then, with the possible exception of the baby you've been using as a football.Rights/responsibility-based obligation to carry to term?OK, as long as I can dictate some responsibilities to you, too. How about the responsibility to learn about scientific method, and comparative religion, social history, logic and ethics, and analytical approaches to reading historical texts? Tue 26 May 2009 17:55:56 GMT+1 gladheart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=92#comment167 I am pro-life because I care about the psychological effects of having had an abortion on both of the parents. A large percentage of people have a hollow feeling and unexplained depression for the rest of their lives even when they did not believe it was wrong to have an abortion. We need to be free to enjoy full lives and somehow an abortion choice seems to interfere with that. I don't worry about the babies so much as the mothers who do this thing without knowing how many moments of sadness and regret it is going to bring them over a lifetime for no particular, explainable reason. We are not logical creatures. Because abortion is legal does not mean it is wise. Young women, go through the pain and sacrifice and character building process of bearing that child and then give it up for adoption to parents who are longing for a baby and will love it magnificently. You will save yourself so much anguish in the long run and be a person that you can look in the mirror and feel good about. People who have had abortions more often than not report a terrible sense of worthlessness in their lives thereafter.It affects their future relationships and marriages. Be kind to yourselves - don't do this very sad thing. I worry for a nation that can justify deliberately harming an innocent living thing. We should feel awe and wonder at all life and reverence it. What a blessed thing the ability to pro-create is! What a gift we have been given. Let's be worthy of it. Tue 26 May 2009 17:55:31 GMT+1 jotunar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=92#comment166 Almost no-one in the U.S. who claims to be "pro-life" is actually pro-life. It just means "anti-choice" for better than 90% of them.The majority of these so-called "pro-lifers" support execution. This is pure hypocrisy. Most of the folks who seek to take rights away from other Americans use religion as the basis for these claims. They often point to the "10 Commandments". This is an utter joke as it says: "Thou shalt not kill". It doesn't say: "Thou shalt not kill unless the person is guilty".Being honestly pro-life means that one is anti-death. In all cases. Being anti-choice doesn't cover that. In addition to that...where does actual human life begin? Conception? I certainly don't think so, nor do the majority of global scientists. If that is the case, each time a cancer patient has a tumor removed....this is also killing human life. Until a fetus is viable outside of the mother, this is more a collection of cells. A parasite living exclusively on its host. Tue 26 May 2009 08:37:12 GMT+1 lilbirdhouse http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=91#comment165 One could argue that it's not your fault if you didn't understand, or haven't all the facts - nevertheless you're still pregnant.You can't raise children on blame and excuses. Good education is very important but the facts don't always address the emotional states of people - whether they be young, or old. It is true that here in America we are both fascinated and fearful of our sexuality.Not a good combination. We also say we love children, but our social services do not really support our claims. The trouble is that to be truly pro life it must be conception to grave and not everyone comprehends the depth and breadth of such a commitment, and politicians cannot be counted on to deliver on such notions.Legislation is not the answer. In the end it is a personal choice - the ultimate choice - to choose life, or not.I am not against Roe v Wade. I am against the forces in society that work against and hobble those who would choose life if they thought they really had a choice.Those forces make abortion far too common in this land of plenty. Tue 26 May 2009 03:52:41 GMT+1 Kittle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=91#comment164 Unfortunately, things are often not that simple. Can you really say that if you have unprotected sex and get pregnant then it's entirely your fault if you don't actually know all the facts? Do you know all the rumours and falsehoods that teenagers hear about sex? You can't get pregnant if it's your first time. You can't get pregnant if you have sex standing up (that's the one that was popular when I was in school a decade ago). A plastic bag or clingfilm works as well as a condom. All these lies and more get passed between teenagers and, often lacking decent sources of real facts, they believe them. In my school in the UK we started sex-ed at 15. But I know some of my classmates were having sex at 13. Because much as we all like to pretend that kids will obey when they're told not to have sex until they're 16, they don't.The only way people can make decisions properly is if they've have all the facts and to ensure children have all the facts about sex when they need them, they have to be told them before puberty. And it would have to be a fixed curriculum with tight rules for the teachers, saying "You WILL teach them this, this and this. You WON'T teach them this and this." Whilst an emphasis on not having sex before you turn 16 should obviously be a major part of that, they should still be given all the information about risks and protection as well. Then, and only then, can you actually say "You make your bed - You lie in it." Mon 25 May 2009 19:05:49 GMT+1 lilbirdhouse http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=90#comment163 There is an unwritten law in the Evangelical community that basically says -"You make your bed - You lie in it." You may not like the consequences of unprotected sex, but you CHOSE to have unprotected sex and babies come from that - living beings which your choice created. That is where your choice begins and where it ends, because after that an others' life is at stake and that is not yours to take. This seems simple enough, but if the pregnancy is the result of forced sex it becomes very fuzzy - there are still two individuals involved. The mother did not choose. She is the victim of a heinous act but the fetus is also completely innocent of any crime - why should she/he have to die? This is a hard question. Many believe that Life is what we are bound by LOVE to choose. There is no easy answer in any of this - Welcome to Earth. Mon 25 May 2009 16:20:54 GMT+1 j_anon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=90#comment162 162.Yes, this is true. However it is dangerous to downplay victims of rape and incest. I know victims of rape. I live in an urban area where I must confront social problems on a daily basis as soon as I leave my front door. It is easier for people to make an argument against abortion when they have never seen a crack-addicted pregnant woman walking down their street. Trust me, it is very disturbing. I can't pretend these problems are not here because I live right in the middle of it. Sun 24 May 2009 19:27:49 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=89#comment161 161, J."This is all I mean. And don't forget about rape and incest."In all fairness, I think the incidence of rape and incest is not all that common. More usually have abortions because they don't want the baby, or don't want a connection with the father, or the father does not want to be involved. Often it is a practical decision on the part of married couples. Sun 24 May 2009 18:46:31 GMT+1 j_anon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=88#comment160 reply to Dakota_erikCertainly men are an important part in parenting! However, the majority of women seeking abortion are on their own. Male partners disappear a lot of the time after women become pregnant. If this weren't true, we wouldn't have the problem of single parents, deadbeat dad's, etc. What a wonderful world where the men always remain involved in child-bearing and rearing! Let me know where this place exists and I will move there! Back here in the real world, many women face these choices alone, something men will never experience. This is all I mean. And don't forget about rape and incest. This is the world we live in, and its far from idealistic.As for the other argument, as soon as pro-lifers are against capital punishment I will join your debate on who you think should live and die. Until then, the pro-life debate is contradictory. Sun 24 May 2009 18:18:29 GMT+1 dianaatkin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=88#comment159 In a male dominated and Christian fundamentalist political & others world let the bastion of the female body and her choice belong to only herself. We all go 'bup' into the ether. It's part of life on Earth and comprises its actual existence.The choice of the female is in itself a sense of her own destiny, let this be a fundamental human right. Sun 24 May 2009 17:11:14 GMT+1 foxtrottango1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=87#comment158 Pro-life to the right wing neo-conservative christians in the USA is let all unplanned or unwanted fetus be born and than use them as cannon fodder, fill the prisons, use them as low wage earners, etc.,. etc.,. when they gets to be that age. After all, the rich must their lifestyles and the way they have always lived, without remorse, without compassion, without morals and contempt for human lives. Sex education in the USA for the purpose of preventing unwanted children is prohibited. That is why abortions clinics are terrorized, bombed and burnt by the right wing conservatives Christian Coalition in America! Only mothers who have no idea of what their child will be used for in the future are stupid enough to have one.That is perhaps why the abortion in the USA is so acceptable. Sun 24 May 2009 02:11:47 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=87#comment157 156, Kittle -I just want you to know that I really appreciate your thoughtful response, with concrete ideas, in response to my ambivalence, instead of attacking me and accusing me of being a hateful person because I happen to have doubts about organ donation, a subject you obviously feel strongly about and have given a great deal of thought to. (Sorry for that long sentence.) That kind of polite and helpful response cannot be counted on in this forum. You have offered much for me to consider. Sat 23 May 2009 22:43:24 GMT+1 Dakota_Erik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=86#comment156 #152, bfoulkrod1, Ah, yes, the enigma that is Thomas Jefferson, who also said, "God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are a gift of God. Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever." Sat 23 May 2009 22:07:06 GMT+1 Kittle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=86#comment155 153, I agree, that is a danger. But robust legislation can place restrictions on when those transplant facilitators would be allowed to talk to the family. Although if we were working on the basis of consent to transplant unless you opt out, there would be no need for that sort of person at all. There would also have to be harsh penalties for anyone who was too quick to declare someone dead. Sentence comparable to murder would probably be right, seeing as that's what it would in effect be. I can't say off-hand how that would be checked and enforced, but I'm sure a way could be found because it would be in everyone's interest that it was. Sat 23 May 2009 21:53:50 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=85#comment154 153, bere."I have read of "transplant facilitators" or whatever they're called hovering around every accident victim like vultures, harassing family members as soon as they arrive at a hospital before they even know if their loved one is alive or dead."Unfortunately true. I am not an organ donor and so will save my family a lot of extra grief. Sat 23 May 2009 21:38:46 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=85#comment153 150, dakota."There is no one, other than those ignorant of the science, who can now debate that a fetus is not a fully formed human after 10 weeks."Not true. It may have all its fingers and toes, but are not fully formed. Extremely premature babies, those who live, suffer defecits both phusical and mental. Sat 23 May 2009 21:34:09 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=84#comment152 151, Kittle -"By making it an opt-out rather than an opt-in we'd get thousands more available organs from the masses who don't care one way or another."----Don't you worry that those arranging transplants might be a little too hasty to have someone declared dead in order to get at those organs? I do. I have read of "transplant facilitators" or whatever they're called hovering around every accident victim like vultures, harassing family members as soon as they arrive at a hospital before they even know if their loved one is alive or dead.I have a great deal of ambivalence about the whole transplant issue. It seems to me that no one has an absolute right to someone else's body parts. Sat 23 May 2009 21:27:38 GMT+1 bfoulkrod1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=83#comment151 Bravo kittle!To quote a wise founding father, "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." Sat 23 May 2009 20:04:33 GMT+1 Kittle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=83#comment150 148, Because humans are often quite a lazy bunch and many people who would otherwise have no problem with donating their organs end up not getting round to filling out forms so their organs are wasted. By making it an opt-out rather than an opt-in we'd get thousands more available organs from the masses who don't care one way or another.In the case of the error, the best you can do is try to minimise the mistakes. If the possibility of something going wrong was justification for not doing something, nobody would get into a car or set foot on an airplane because they might crash. Mistakes will always happen but isn't it better that a mistake could still save a life rather than costing a life, as not knowing that someone's an organ donor would do now? As I said earlier, just make sure we have a system in place to minimise mistakes. Sat 23 May 2009 19:53:08 GMT+1 Dakota_Erik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=82#comment149 #146, AMM, Said, "With the proviso, however, that young teenagers should be protected from this experience because of their vulnerability and lack of judgment."Did I indicate anything other than that? I am merely asking people to think before they act (which includes "choosing not to act" if that is appropriate). The best way to prevent an abortion is the prevent the pregnancy. The best way to prevent the pregnancy is to prevent the ignorance and impetuousness that led to it. Granted, even with "protection" there may be some failures, but as I said earlier, about 99% of abortions might be prevented with better education and better parental involvement. Can we agree that this is a common middle?Our disagreement is on the definition of "human life", which is more than merely "a philosophical question" in that we as a modern society have chosen to outlaw the killing of innocents. The advent and ubiquitousness of ultrasound, and other advances in fetology have actually swayed more people (including people like Dr. Bernard Nathanson) to believe that fetuses should be protected. There is no one, other than those ignorant of the science, who can now debate that a fetus is not a fully formed human after 10 weeks. From that point forward, the fetus merely grows and develops the capacity to exist outside the womb.I don't mean to change your opinion, and yes, we do see the world differently. I respect your right to your opinion. Sat 23 May 2009 19:51:42 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=82#comment148 143, j."Furthermore, can the abortion debate exclude men, who have no idea what it is like to be in a position where their life is uprooted by an unplanned pregnancy? Please!"For the most part, yes. Most of the women seeking abortions are single, so there is no man contractually involved. As to married women who seek abortions, this is normally the result of a discussion between the partners. The latter was certainly true in my case. Sat 23 May 2009 19:42:52 GMT+1 Dakota_Erik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=81#comment147 #144, Kittle, said, "On the subject of harvesting organs from the dead, I think we should have a system where, unless you have explicitly opted-out of organ donation, then your organs should be available for donation."Why opt out? In that case, the err would be to mistakenly harvest organs, and thereby potentially "desecrate" a corpse against the wishes of the person or his family. In some middle eastern religions, even autopsy is a questionable procedure and often only permissible when seeking justice. Sat 23 May 2009 19:28:38 GMT+1 Dakota_Erik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=81#comment146 #143, j_anon, said, "I will never take away your civil rights, and ask the same of you for me. It is that simple. Have your opinions and live by them with conviction. Just don't impose them on me. How would you feel if I forced my morals upon you? Forced a different religion upon you? It is all the same. Live by your own morals, just be aware that not everyone shares your morals or wants to live in a world where your morals are law. I want to live my life according to my morals, not yours. I'm sure you wouldn't want my morals imposed upon you."What if some one believes it would be great to kill stupid people? Would you then believe in enforcing your morals upon them then?How would you feel if some man said, "Can we just exclude women from this whole war discussion, they never have to serve in combat and so will not experience the pain and suffering on the battlefield"? Don't you think that men are involved in birth and parenting, the same way that sisters and mothers are involved in battlefield deaths? Would you like to rethink your bigotry? Sat 23 May 2009 19:16:51 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=80#comment145 139, dakota.We merely see the world differently and, no, I do not see you as a born-again Christian. It never crossed my mind. But what you see as a temptation to be avoided, I see as a natural biological urge to be enjoyed. With the proviso, however, that young teenagers should be protected from this experience because of their vulnerability and lack of judgment. Sat 23 May 2009 19:11:21 GMT+1 Dakota_Erik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=80#comment144 #142, bere54, said, "There is no way to be always protected from unintended consequences. If you are teaching your children that behaving responsibly will always protect them, you are doing them a disservice."So would you wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle? Would you go sky diving without a reserve parachute? Do you ignore safety, because you might just choke on a bug, or get struck by lightning and die anyway? Every one of us is destined to die, so why not just do whatever the heck you like?Your extremist argument is a fallacy anyone of us could drive a bus through. However, it does explain your prior arguments. You believe that any example or anecdote is sufficient to justify whatever you believe is correct.Did I say that I believe that my children would always be safe? No, I said that I teach them to think about potential consequences before engaging in actions which might be dangerous. You know, like when crossing the street, "Stop, Look, Listen". It's pretty much common sense, like; wear a helmet when you skateboard or ride your bike, or don't run off without telling me where you are going and when you will be back, keep those toys out of your mouth, don't run with scissors, and don't stick anything in your ear.You adjust the message for their age. But, they learn plenty the hard way as well. My wish is that when they are ready to bear children, or die in a drunken wreck, they will still be good listeners and willing to take some heartfelt advice from an old man. Sat 23 May 2009 19:09:18 GMT+1 Kittle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=79#comment143 141, I never said you had to be religious to oppose ESCR. I was simply criticising the catholic church for using an argument no more complicated than "my book says it's bad". I didn't make any statement on my personal views on ESCR either. You're merely making assumptions. Personally I'd favour using the excess embryos from IVF treatment. Many more are created in that process than are used, in my understanding, so I think those that would simply be disposed of anyway could be put to better use.On the subject of harvesting organs from the dead, I think we should have a system where, unless you have explicitly opted-out of organ donation, then your organs should be available for donation. Once you're dead, you have no need of your organs, so why should they not be used to save the life of someone who's still alive, if they can? Black Markets exist where there is a scarcity of a product. Ready availability of organs for donation would crush any black market. Sat 23 May 2009 18:59:45 GMT+1 j_anon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=78#comment142 This is a tired debate. Neither side will change their opinion. So, the fact is, abortion is legal (varying state by state). Those who are pro-life, your solution is: don't have an abortion. Simple. Taking away rights of the people is problematic, and should have serious thought before stating ones position. If you take the rights away from one group of people, you set up precedent to take away the civil rights of any group of people. People have fought hard throughout our history to gain civil rights. Lets move forward into the future in a progressive manner and embrace our freedoms. We are aware of pro-life opinions. I will never agree with you, yet will respect your opinion. I ask you do the same to me. I will never take away your civil rights, and ask the same of you for me. It is that simple. Have your opinions and live by them with conviction. Just don't impose them on me. How would you feel if I forced my morals upon you? Forced a different religion upon you? It is all the same. Live by your own morals, just be aware that not everyone shares your morals or wants to live in a world where your morals are law. I want to live my life according to my morals, not yours. I'm sure you wouldn't want my morals imposed upon you. Furthermore, can the abortion debate exclude men, who have no idea what it is like to be in a position where their life is uprooted by an unplanned pregnancy? Please! Sat 23 May 2009 18:56:25 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=78#comment141 139, Dakota_Erik -Any and all behavior can and often does have unintended consequences. You could get killed in a car accident on your way to the grocery store, though of course this was never your intention. There is no way to be always protected from unintended consequences. If you are teaching your children that behaving responsibly will always protect them, you are doing them a disservice. Sat 23 May 2009 18:43:27 GMT+1 Dakota_Erik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=77#comment140 #134, Kittle, you said, "They also oppose embryonic stem cell research (see how I managed to drag it back on topic there?) because they say it is morally wrong, irrespective of the potential benefits it might bring."One does not need to be religious to have ethical issues with harvesting tissues from human embryos. My trouble with your embryonic stem cell statement is the whole, "ends justify the means" argument. Might we not just as easily justify organ harvesting of the dead (rather than burying or burning them), or perhaps even some of the more useless living people? There already is a black market for human organs. The only thing keeping it underground are those pesky things we call morality and ethics. Sat 23 May 2009 18:28:20 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=77#comment139 134, kittle""'It is impossible to impose a totalitarian government on Iranians.'" I've noticed you say this line, or one very similar, on several threads now. It's one of the most ridiculous statements I've heard in a long time."It is not ridiculous at this point in time. We are more easily controlled than Iranians because we have more faith in our government. Yet we are the ones with whole classes of identifying numbers. Our life is an open book to any number of agencies. We couldn't get lost if we wanted to. It is a creeping control that we notice only subliminally. And we are not alone. There are the British for instance.... Sat 23 May 2009 18:03:54 GMT+1 Dakota_Erik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=76#comment138 #98, AMM, You said, "Apparently I am correct about your equating sex with sin. ("resist temptation" "giving into their temptations") Unlike you I consider the sexual desires (and practices) of an adult to be healthy and normal."I think you are the one being judgmental. I am a "live and let live" kind of person, and so I don't have any issues with the way you raised your children. Why do you have issues with the way I want to raise mine? Am I not free to teach my own children the morality that I (and actually most) people in the world find appropriate? I don't teach them to feel guilty about the wrongs they have done, I teach them to be responsible and to make amends when they are able.Do you really want to get into a discussion about sin, religion, and sexuality, because that is not what I was implying at all? Do you believe that only religious people are "tempted"? Maybe I should have used words related to "will power", or "self control".I think you are trying to stereotype me as some born again Christian anti-abortionist. I'm not. My morality related to killing people can be entirely justified within an ethic that even atheists can agree with. For your information, I too believe that sexuality is healthy and normal. But I also think that human beings are evolved enough to use their brains ( the one in their head) to choose not to engage in a behavior that may lead to unintended consequences. Us older and wiser humans can help teach our children to think through their actions and possible consequences, if they will listen to us. Sat 23 May 2009 17:57:34 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=76#comment137 133, foul.You are on my "do not reply" list. Play your games with someone else. Sat 23 May 2009 17:54:40 GMT+1 lochraven http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=75#comment136 Justin, you didn't say why you thought Melton is one of the most humane Americans of his generation. Surely, it can't be the fact that he does stem cell research. Many scientist do medical research, but that doesn't make them any more humane than anyone else. I'm sure he's a very nice person, but I think you should explain yourself better. Sat 23 May 2009 17:12:32 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=75#comment135 seanspa, agreed. Kittle, good post. Sat 23 May 2009 17:10:22 GMT+1 seanspa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=74#comment134 Kittle, good post. Sat 23 May 2009 14:36:57 GMT+1 Kittle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=73#comment133 "It is impossible to impose a totalitarian government on Iranians." I've noticed you say this line, or one very similar, on several threads now. It's one of the most ridiculous statements I've heard in a long time. There is no country on this planet that could not, in one way or another, be subjected to a totalitarian regime. Totalitarian states, by their very nature, focus on the elimination of dissent by rule of fear. It doesn't have to be fear of physical violence. The threat of prison or threat to your livelihood and ability to support yourself and your family can work too. Whilst there will always be some who rise up and take a stand, there will also be many who do not, contenting themselves with an illusion of stability and safety because the totalitarian regime is not actively attacking them at the moment. And people always say "It couldn't happen here" but it can and it does. Britain's heading towards it right now with its ever increasing surveilence culture and introduction of ID Cards. People try to defend it by saying "If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear" which is utter rubbish because with this government's record of data protection there's no guarantee that the data they want to collect won't end up in the hands of some lunatic fringe that decides they want to target a group that mainstream society considers to have "nothing to fear". Sure they couldn probably do that now, but why make it easier? And they also try to justify it because it'll protect us from terrorists, like the 7/7 bombers and those ones who attacked Glasgow Airport wouldn't have had perfectly valid ID cards. And yet so many in this country are just standing by and letting this totalitarian system ease into place.America, under Bush, started moving towards totalitarianism as well with their heightened surveilence culture and the spreading of the idea that if you didn't support the president in everything you were somehow 'Un-American', amongst other things. It was going that way due to McCarthyism as well, but cooler heads prevailed and dragged it back from the brink. With any luck it'll happen this time as well.So don't say Iranians would never live under a totalitarian regime becase they could, just like the rest of us. In my opinion they do live in one, although I admit that I have an inate distrust of any theocracy. When religious leaders are allowed to control a country's path, they don't think first of what is good for the people's lives, but what is good for their spirituality and morality, as the religious leaders interpret it from a centuries old book. This leaves countries stagnating, unable to move along with the rest of the world in terms of human rights and scientific research because there's always something that their book tells them is bad. Their dogma allows them to deny the truth because as far as they're concerned their book is the truth, no matter what evidence there is to the contrary.This isn't just a criticism of Islam, but on all religious groups. Just look at the catholic church. It was only late last century that they finally admitted that Copernicus was corrrect and that the universe does not revolve around the Earth. By that time we'd put men on the moon. But their dogma was geocentricism and so they stuck far beyond the point where they were proven utterly, irrevocably wrong on that point. They're doing it again now, with their continued assertions that using contraception is wrong, whilst the HIV/AIDS epidemic sweeps across the globe. If people were given proper education about the risks and ways to prevent transmission then maybe we could begin to control it, but the leader of (as I understand it) the single largest religious faction on the planet is still telling people that the simplest way to prevent transmission is morally wrong. Their dogma and slavish adherence to the idea of people's spiritual wellbeing is causing them to abandon a way to look after their physical wellbeing. In my opinion they have the blood of millions on their hands.They also oppose embryonic stem cell research (see how I managed to drag it back on topic there?) because they say it is morally wrong, irrespective of the potential benefits it might bring.Ultimately organised religions, as opposed to a personal, internal faith that is not used to influence those around you, are tools of control, through threat of eternal suffering in the afterlife. Organised religions already verge on totalitarianism through their teachings. "Do as we say or suffer." Combine that power with governmental control and a totalitarian regime is never far off. As Thomas Jefferson said, "In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own." Sat 23 May 2009 13:33:33 GMT+1 bfoulkrod1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=73#comment132 I've just been equally attacked to death on Reuters by a person who claims I'm an evil antisemetic for even suggesting anything negative about Israeli policies.It gets boring being attacked for an honest and factually accurate opinion, simply because you keep interpreting everything as a personal stab.Capricious attacks on my opinion based on the simple facts while demanding that others fall in line while you demand your rights on one issue is disingenuous and hypocritical.If I won't allow myself to be called "unamerican" for simply disagreeing with the bumper sticker of the day, I probably won't be insulted by being told I'd be "a bad Iranian".You're turning my comments into personal attacks and assumed attack on an entire nation of people. Put it into context that might not "offend":...(again) I can have deep regard and respect for a population without hating their nation or the people, while still um...only having an opinion...that the system is unjust.Your continual attempts to make me state otherwise only screams volumes about the extremist demanding conformity.The people in any such state who have been imprisoned, tortured or killed would probably view my concern as more valuable then any blind and obedient nod I might be expected to give through compulsion.If I disagree with how our nation has blown its nose on the Geneva Convention, what would make anybody think I'm inclined to cut another nation any slack?Should I support Burma's jailing of the opposition leader just in time to keep her out of the upcoming election?If I *were* Iranian, I'd be in jail as the obnoxious voice who dares to suggest that something could be improved, then shot for refusing to be nice and retract. One of our states has a great state motto:"Live Free Or Die."Meanwhile, you benefit from a forum hosted in a nation with a long and noble history of free and open discourse. Thank the Brits for their support to your freedom. If this were attempted in a dictatorship, I'd be arrested for simply posting anything seen as negative.If you believe any government has that absolute right of control, we have nothing more to discuss. Sat 23 May 2009 08:59:20 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=72#comment131 130, bfoulkrodi.I don't remember saying that Iran did not have a government based on Islam. It is the manner in which this rule is imposed that I take issue with. Although I personally do not care for a theocracy, it should be pointed out that Iran is 98 per cent Moslem, so what may seem alien to you, is not to them. Nonetheless, Iranians are extremely sophisticated and antagonistic towards any type of rule. It is impossible to impose a totalitarian government on Iranians. You, as an American, have a totally different view of government. You feel you should be a law-abiding citizen. You would not make a good Iranian. Sat 23 May 2009 06:37:12 GMT+1 bfoulkrod1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=72#comment130 Personal experience...seeing both sides of Berlin in a divided Germany gives the best experience to draw on. On one side, the Stasi (who even the KGB thought to be too nutty for their liking), on the other side, a free and vibrant society. Night and day right before your very eyes.Last time I checked, we Americans who over the years took up the task of everything from the highly public airlift to the never mentioned under the table cold war activities are still considered by the West Berliners as protectors from totalitarianism, and a force of liberation by the East Germans wanting out from under the yolk of Soviet domination.But...as much as I cared for the suffering in East Germany, it'd be a long, long......LONG wait to hear me voice one word of legitimacy for the "Deutsche demokratische Repulik".Honneker's dead...Krenz is still in jail whining to be released. The East Germans have yet to jump up and yell for his release...think he'll be there a while. Sat 23 May 2009 05:31:04 GMT+1 bfoulkrod1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=71#comment129 Sigh...if you have no execution of the law, you have no law...you have anarchy while the police watch in numb indifference. And I'm not "attacking Iran" (yet another misinterpretation...now I'm leaning from not being clear to being manipulated).I can have many Russian friends, and even like their country (just an example...please no angry Russian replies), and still find their system unjust.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/03/iran_power/html/default.stmAs a nation of laws, every nation's character is manifested in its political system. Just like people live in this country with no clue about their government's constructs, folks living overseas can fall victim to limited scope.So...to avoid falling into this exact trap, I referred to the BBC section on "country profiles". There is a section on its government, division of powers and what those powers are.My comment is on form of government, as a matter of pointing out that muddying the waters of debate with anything else is only useful if our laws should just be tossed out the window and resort to chaotic angry discourse.The laws are on the books...the political system is in place. My views are based on their own stated system. Just as when I lived in Germany and the Netherlands (and had to do work in Britain and Ireland), it was incumbent on me to know and understand the system.I read (from the actual source) before forming an opinion. If my opinion offends, contact the Iranian Embassy and protest. Just as emotional "debate" in this nation that flies in the face of the Constitution is only valid if you do a rewrite of everything.If you can point out not only one non muslim, but one muslim not in the the upper echelons of their church who are a member of any of the following Iran government institutions:Head of JudiciaryExpediency CouncilGuardian Council"I'm all ears"While you're at it, name any single non Nazi or Communist who ever held an inner circle position in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.how can you on one hand attack the religious right, and on the other hand defend a blatant (and Constitutionally constructed) dictatorship? Folks in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union could also get an abortion.You're making my original point: bumper sticker slogan issues have no place at center stage when discussing purely Constitutional issues. If the Netherlands adopted a fanatical dictatorship, as much as I love the country, I'd drop my support for their system in a minute.Read up on that nation's government...then reread my post. You'll find that it is only a restatement of how their government was arranged after the fall of the Shah. Many involved in the uprisings actually believed they were going to get democracy.Unfortunately, the Savak was only replaced with a new security force that arrested dissenters merely for disagreeing. THAT is what my original post told the religious right to consider when trying for a power grab.In each of the first thirty or so State of the Union Addresses, all presidents harped on the fact that government should come from the will and consent of the governed. As a loyal constitutionalist, I see no problem with that statement made by the president as a reminder to the Congress that they were all there at the sufferance of their fellow citizens. Sat 23 May 2009 05:05:54 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=71#comment128 128, bfoulkrod.Law and the execution of law is not the same, just as theory and practice is not the same. The western world has taken a particular stance against Iran. This is political and part of its policy concerning the Middle East as a whole. I have been involved with the Middle East, more particularly Iran, for the last 50 years. I speak, read and write the Farsi and lived in the region for 18 years - on the local economy, by the way, not as an expat. I have no political affiliations. If you can offer opinion based on personal exprience, I am more than willing to listen. Sat 23 May 2009 04:34:19 GMT+1 bfoulkrod1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=70#comment127 117.allmymarbles"A gracious response. Many people stand by their statements even when they are in error."Actually, pointing out that my comment was taken in the wrong context, but not in error. Just as some would have our Supreme Court stacked with religious hacks, check the BBC's own site on Iran under "country profiles". The religious council has the same power as the politburo had (despite the "elected" Duma in the Soviet Union.Whether through religion, blind party obedience or absolute monarchy, absolute power in the hands of the few (or the one) smells rotten no matter what bird laid the egg. Sat 23 May 2009 01:30:21 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=70#comment126 Ref 105, Going"...for premature babies are born everyday alive and well."One of my six grandchldren was born a little over 3 months premature, suffered a hemorrage at birth, is paralyzed from the waist down, can barely move one of his arms, and has serious cognitive limitations. Some premature children do live long and healthy lives, many do not. In spite of his handicap, we love our grandson, think he is very special and do everything we can to help him and his parents. Sadly, in addition to the stress we experience as human beings when tragedy strikes, we also had to deal with the inhumanity of our healthcare system, but that is another story.I believe a life form is created at conception, but as opposed to those who focus strictly on the life of the unborn, I also value the lives of the living and, as a result, I oppose the death penalty and only support war when there is absolutely no other choice to defend our country. Sat 23 May 2009 00:39:06 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=69#comment125 120, bere."For the most part they are very matter-of-fact about it (abortion). They neither brag about it nor are ashamed of it. It was just something that had to be done."Also my experience. In my case the pregnancy came at a time when we were going into business for ourselves. As one of those unfortunate women who have nine-month morning sickness it would have been difficult for me to hold up my end. Once things were going smoothly I got pregnant again and we had our fourth child. Obviously we love children. I would have been happy with eight. Fri 22 May 2009 19:04:53 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=68#comment124 116, bfoutkrod.A gracious response. Many people stand by their statements even when they are in error. Fri 22 May 2009 18:56:36 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=68#comment123 121, happylaze -Something I neglected to mention when talking about my friend who was the product of a rape is that it wasn't only finding out what had been done to her biological mother by a violent stranger that did her in; it was also the knowledge that her biological father was a vicious sadistic rapist. And of course this happened back in the days when the victim was often blamed and shamed and so rape was rarely reported or rapists prosecuted.My friend had had dreams of uncovering a teen-age romance. The truth she came upon had never occurred to her. I've always thought this sort of thing should serve as a cautionary tale to adoptees determined to dig up the past. Fri 22 May 2009 18:39:30 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=67#comment122 birth rate has been effected by the economy.. but them good folk wouldn't be using that evil contraception would they. Some good god fearing (I'd worry about him later there are bigger worries) like why this is one of a few topics Justin has touched on during his time as leader of the pack.Keep up the mindless trawling Justin.. One day you will be so america you can get the green card you're after. Fri 22 May 2009 18:00:50 GMT+1 dianaatkin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=67#comment121 David'It must be hard going with Miss California.'I would think it would be, yes.#35Now we're talkingDeviant SamDoes the Bible have anything on fake boobs and displaying your practically naked body in front of hoardes of people to win friends and influence people for glory and money? I'd rather follow the example set by committed loving gays who are married and living together as a couple. Love is all, not bigotry. Anyway, there's no proof that God wrote the Bible and delivered it by early express comet to the Holy Land. Fri 22 May 2009 17:58:32 GMT+1 happylaze http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=66#comment120 Bere keep at em.maze flyer. those issues to do with incest and rape came up the last time this blog discussed this subject. It is truly amazing to see people that have heard about suffering so many times in so many discussions on this rather dull an boring (BTW psychotic obsessive compulsive abortion debate disorder is acceptable but we vaccinate for swine flu?)But every time those against abortion (screw justin and all you panderers this is not Pro life it is anti abortion. Big blogging difference ,hang man murdering war promoting world death hastening savages of america (not you nice natives) have no problem with people dying. or with killing them . have to start at square one on this debate.every time. right back to the beginning.. After a few hundred posts they start to realise they make no sense because by then they are arguing with their other parts.Every time it has ended with some anti abortionist refusing to answer a question because it would make them look stupid. then they wait and start the debate up again forgetting all the progress in the issues that were made. There is a word for people like that. Obama used it. the BBC criticised him for using it as did many others. it begins with R' hardly surprising) Fri 22 May 2009 17:55:59 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=66#comment119 115, allmymarbles-"and, as it happened, that is where I had an abortion. Also no problem."----Somehow I don't picture you as living "in a silent prison," nor as being "haunted" for the rest of your life (as even some pro-choicers here describe those who have had abortions). Me neither. Almost every woman I have known has had at least one abortion. None of them fit those descriptions. For the most part they are very matter-of-fact about it. They neither brag about it nor are ashamed of it. It was just something that had to be done. Fri 22 May 2009 16:34:23 GMT+1 rahulrd14 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=65#comment118 Hmmm..pro-life equated with stem cell research...here is a blog which i wrote a couple of years ago about my views...http://o3.indiatimes.com/rahulrd14/archive/2006/07/21/1037712.aspxhttp://o3.indiatimes.com/rahulrd14hope you people agree.. Fri 22 May 2009 15:14:55 GMT+1 RomeStu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=65#comment117 Hello everyone .... goodness me, can this old chestnut still be going ? or does Justin have a monthly quota of posts to get his bonus?Anyway this quote fom the linked article pretty much says it all..."The terms pro-choice and pro-life no longer define the parameters of the debate, witnessed by the fact that in the Gallup Poll, a majority of people say they are both pro-life and that abortion should be legal,"So now you can be pro-life and want abortion to be legal!!!!As I have often said on this subject, no one is pro-abortion. I believe that there should be a time limit on abortions - if you can't decide in 4 or 5 months then just get on with it.Religious definitions of "life" should not enter the law. If the religious do not want an abortion, then they are free not to have them.Educate, improve health, fight poverty and make contraception available. Then we won't need a debte, as there will be less need for abortion.That's my lot on this subject. I wish you all a good day. Fri 22 May 2009 09:48:09 GMT+1 Dakota_Erik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=64#comment116 #113, Mazeflyer, What do you think that people who discover (as adults) that they have been conceived from such a past should do then? Fall into a funk, get depressed, throw themselves from a high bridge? Bere54 then went on to justify his anecdotal extremes by claiming that my viewpoint, based on statistical evidence (e.g. Pew Research Center, RCP, etc.), was a "preconceived notion". From the survey published in Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health , Sept, 2005, it says; "the two most common reasons were "having a baby would dramatically change my life" and "I can't afford a baby now" (cited by 74% and 73% respectively)"Rape or incest comprise some fraction of a percent(less than 1 pct) of any survey I've ever seen, yet people such as Bere54 thrust it about along with personal anecdotal evidence as justification for the termination of all those other 80-90% of unborn children who are just merely inconvenient.Also, I guess that I am being judgmental for considering that killing a baby might be wrong. Fri 22 May 2009 08:44:24 GMT+1 bfoulkrod1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=63#comment115 115 allmymarblesThe last sentence was just to point out that they throw stones at countries like Iran, but don't consider extremism is an equal opportunity annoyer. Just because it's "my opinion" doesn't give it any more weight, and my methods of forcing my point are no more legitimate.In short, just a tongue in cheek way of pointing out the final layer of hypocrisy.But thanks for pointing out that I chose my flavor of words in an unfortunate way. Fri 22 May 2009 06:44:57 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=63#comment114 114, bfoulkrod.An interesting and thoughful post. The last sentence was unfortunate, betraying as it does a lack of knowledge of that country. I lived there many, many years. My family and I were regarded as Christian (although actually we are atheists). I had no problems there as a "Christian" and, as it happened, that is where I had an abortion. Also no problem. Fri 22 May 2009 06:17:50 GMT+1 bfoulkrod1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=62#comment113 Pro Life is a personal and ethical view. Don't confuse that with the Constitution (this is a constitutional opinion only):You can't on one side demand full constitutional protection for your faith that represents a minority view (which if the constitution didn't guarantee in the beginning, we'd all be forced to belong to the Anglican Church), yet "use" the same Constitution as a blunt weapon to silence any opinion that differs from yours.Before the abortion issue, there were others and more will follow. The religious right should have learned when Prohibition was repealed (just as security zealots should have learned from the downfall of Senator McCarthy) that this nation has, over time, learned to resist totalitarianism in ANY form. (There is still room for improvement...)The single issue and it's importance aside, if you want to live in a theocratic state, Iran's a good choice. Just don't tell them you're Christian. Fri 22 May 2009 05:32:35 GMT+1 Mazeflyer http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=62#comment112 I went through most of the blogs and found most of them to be interesting. However one did stand out to me most.90. At 8:52pm on 21 May 2009, bere54 wrote:86, Dakota_Erik -Now that you mention it, I also knew a woman who had been adopted. She spent years looking for her biological mother. She found her, and then found out that she had been the product of a particularly ghastly and violent rape. After she heard the details of what brought her into this world and almost destroyed the woman who had borne her, she told me she wished her biological mother had been allowed to have an abortion. She said under similar circumstances she would have aborted, and was thankful that it was finally legal. I lost contact with this friend because she went into a severe depression and cut off contact with almost everyone. And so the viciousness of the rape continued on into another generation. One wonders why her biological mother felt the need to tell her about it. I have no idea. Perhaps it had something to do with truth.You are busy judging women and their histories. Each one is an individual, each trauma is unique to any individual woman. May we always have the freedom and the power to choose our own outcomes, something I expect you would deny us and our daughters.Mazeflyer- I very much agree with Bere54. Everyone is an individual with individual stories and to clump all women together is unfair. While I do not condone abortion as a way for birth control for women who are to lazy to find other methods I will never vote for it to be illegal because of the women who have had to suffer in such horrible ways. In reality rape and molestation (especially by a family member or friend) are more common than we even know. I would never force a 15 year old girl who had been forced to have sex relive her trauma for the next 9 months and beyond if she kept the baby. It is unfair to tell her not only has she lost control of her body and life not once but twice. Not to mention the fact that no person should ever have to live with the knowledge that they only exist because of violence. Many women and girls who go through this never report it out of fear or shame and are left with few alternatives. Now if anyone can find a way to control this type of behavior and make the world safe for all women at all times then perhaps we can talk but I really don't see this happening so perhaps the choice should indeed be left up to the individual in question. Fri 22 May 2009 04:30:40 GMT+1 TimothyR444 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=61#comment111 Allmymarbles:"Wrong!. Very premature babies, overwhelmingly, suffer damage of some sort, and are commonly retarded."But they are alive - and as such, are worthy of consideration and respect. Fri 22 May 2009 03:59:32 GMT+1 TimothyR444 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=61#comment110 Those who oppose abortion do so because it means the killing of a life in its earliest stages of development. Killing should not be legal in a civilized society. The popular and trendy claim now is that those who support legal abortion ALSO claim that they do not support abortion personally - as if killing is a personal decision. It is simply a way of avoiding the consequences of supporting abortion. Killing is NEVER acceptable.This simply doesn't work. It is not possible to have it both ways.There has been a recent sharp move AWAY from support for abortion on the part of the US population. Support for abortion is at the very heart of the left-wing view of the world. Thus, there will be a problem in upcoming elections. The Democrats are in a panic about this issue.Anyone who has seen an ultrasound cannot view abortion as the simple removal of an unwanted piece of tissue. The latest trend is for supporters of abortion to claim the title "Pro-Life", a sure indication that the game has changed.And - oh - how single-minded and politically correct this site is! The vast majority of those on the site support abortion and differing views are not appreciated (to put it mildly)These posters are the distilled essence of PC thinking. There should be room for those who dare to question or disagree if the intent is really to discuss American life. Fri 22 May 2009 03:57:44 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=60#comment109 105, going."it is evident that life begins sometime before birth, for premature babies are born everyday alive and well."Wrong!. Very premature babies, overwhelmingly, suffer damage of some sort, and are commonly retarded. Fri 22 May 2009 03:06:47 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=60#comment108 107, Kittie."In my opinion a foetus should be classed as a viable human being that should not be killed at the point when its body can function without external life support. Before that the mother is the only thing keeping it alive anyway, so why should she not have the choice over what happens with her own body?"Actually this is more or less how I feel. The problem is that as soon as subtleties are injected into abortion law, the right wing will eat away at it. If I could design a law I would allow abortion within the first trimester at the will of the woman. But I would allow abortion at any time if (1) The mother's life is in danger, or (2) the fetus is abnormal. But such a law would be unwise for the reason I mentioned. Fri 22 May 2009 02:55:09 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=59#comment107 105, going."The only honest question and issue is when does life begin. To be pro-life does not need to be against choice or women's rights. No woman should want the right to kill, and every woman should want to know the answer to the question of when does the baby in her womb consitute a living being."An interesting subject for Ethics 101. Yawn.... Fri 22 May 2009 02:30:50 GMT+1 Kittle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=58#comment106 In my opinion a foetus should be classed as a viable human being that should not be killed at the point when its body can function without external life support. Before that the mother is the only thing keeping it alive anyway, so why should she not have the choice over what happens with her own body? After that the child can be removed and the mother doesn't have to deal with it again if she chooses.One of my biggest issues with anti-abortionists, aside from the fact that they think they know better than someone who's actually living through the issues, is that they only care about these children pre-birth. Ones the child's out, they don't seem to care what sort of quality of life that child will have. It could be growing up in poverty, hated by a mother who never wanted it, barely surviving. Don't say that it can't happen, because it can and it does. And what about the mother's rights? What about her life? What if she took all possible precautions and the contraceptives still failed, or she was raped? What if she's in the middle of her degree? Should she be then forced to abandon her education and with it often her future? Forced to take low paying jobs to support the child because she never managed to get the qualifications for anything better?If you don't like abortions, don't have one. But nobody has the right to interfere in other people's lives like that. If you're not involved in the pregnancy then you have no right to intrude on other people's personal choice, that will affect the rest of their lives. Unless, of course, you're willing to put your money where your mouth is and foster the child to give it the life you think it deserves. Fri 22 May 2009 01:27:41 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=58#comment105 103, saintDominick -You wrapped it up nicely. Thank you. I can leave this thread, and I didn't even bother reading past the first couple of sentences of post #105 since it is obviously another sanctimonious sermon from someone who doesn't know what real life is all about. Fri 22 May 2009 01:08:44 GMT+1 Goingright http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=57#comment104 When we use the term pro-life we are speaking of the life of a child in the womb. No one knows when life begins, it is evident that life begins sometime before birth, for premature babies are born everyday alive and well. So when does it begin? For to take the life of a child is a horrible crime without equal. So tell me, when does life begin? Are we going to wake up one of these days and realise that we have killed millions of innocent babies in the name of women's rights and personal choice? It is not an easy issue, but we have to get real and stop all of the agenda driven arguements that have nothing to do with the issues, some of which are:1. "Even if we outlaw abortion we can't stop it, people will just do it illegally and face greater risks in doing so." So do we legalize rape to make it safer, how about cocaine, machine guns, and child porn. We haven't stopped those with law, and making them illegal has made them dangerous? This arguement is irrelevent and purposely misleading.2. What about Women's rights and their right to control their bodies? Half of all babies are women, so whose rights are we talking about? The way slavery was legalised was to define blacks as non-human and not worthy of protection under the law. The slave owner shouted about his rights to his property and said that no one had the right to dictate to them. They weren't insisting that everyone own slaves, they were after all "pro-choice" and only wanted the right and freedom to live the life they wanted. Millions of Americans sat around and agreed that they had this right. But what about the rights of the Africans? Their crys were silenced, irrelevent, disregarded, like the babies of today, drowned out under the booming cry of superior rights.3. "What about rape, incest, and young girls, certainly you would make them carry the baby to term?" This is one of the most vile agruements for it plays on the pain of many who find them selves in these situations for the purpose of justifying an act that the majority of women do not find them selves in. Simply answered, if the baby is alive, a human child, no reason for killing him or her is justified.The only honest question and issue is when does life begin. To be pro-life does not need to be against choice or women's rights. No woman should want the right to kill, and every woman should want to know the answer to the question of when does the baby in her womb consitute a living being. Fri 22 May 2009 00:33:28 GMT+1 KScurmudgeon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=57#comment103 76. At 6:50pm on 21 May 2009, allmymarbles wrote: "and so no one has appreciated the positive statement her family life brought to last year's national discussion."'Does that include her sister-in-law being arrested for burglary and her grandson's grandmother being arrested for drug dealing?'Let's restrict my comment to their acceptance of children. - We are all 'mixed bags'.KScurmudgeon Fri 22 May 2009 00:13:02 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=56#comment102 Haven't we debated this topic to death already?Pro-life means having sex for procreation only. Pro-choice means satisfying our human desires, taking precautions to avoid unwanted pregnancies, and having an abortion when physical, financial, or societal priorities take precedence over being a parent. Thu 21 May 2009 23:55:31 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=56#comment101 David, further.Do you remember, years ago, when Jeniffer Levin was murdered by Robert Chambers? The first question I asked was, "What the hell was a girl of that age, doing out in the middle of the night in Central Park? What the hell is wrong with her parents?" You will say that I blame the victim. No! I blame the parents for neglecting their daughter. I blame them for not knowing who she "hung out" with. Robert Chambers was a murderer. No question about that. But the girl's parents were guilty of providing him with the opportunity to kill their daughter. Thu 21 May 2009 22:53:40 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=55#comment100 100, David."Even Mrs Palin, who talked up a good line, was unable to convince her daughter, likewise Mrs (or Mr) Johnston taught little to Levi."You are making the mistake that so many do. These children all know about birth control. They know it from their parents. They know it from their friends.They know it from books. And, now, they know it from the schools. When you are young, passion often overcomes reason. That is the nature of being young. I said that I monitored my daughters' social lives until they were ready to go away to school. I did that because they were young and foolish. Parents don't know where their kids are these days. I did! Mine did not "hang out" with people I did not know. They were home for dinner. They did not go to late-night, unsupervised parties. They did not sleep over at friends' houses unless I knew the parents well. The question is not sex education, but parental responsibility. I said that I do not equate sex with sin. True. But I understand youth, and the ability of youth to mess itself up. Thu 21 May 2009 22:47:16 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=55#comment99 #92. allmymarbles: "My first obligation is to my children, not to the world. Oher people can teach sex as plumbing if they wish."That's fine (or was) for you, but when you were of child bearing age, say half-a-century ago, social mores were rather different. Single parenthood was frowned upon and young people frequently did learn from their parents. All that has changed. Even Mrs Palin, who talked up a good line, was unable to convince her daughter, likewise Mrs (or Mr) Johnston taught little to Levi. It can't be proven, but it could well be typical of what parents do or do not tell their offspring. If it can't be taught at home, where the subject is frequently considered to be embarrassing, then the schoolroom it must be. Thu 21 May 2009 21:44:15 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=54#comment98 96, bere.I am in complete agreement. Thu 21 May 2009 21:09:45 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=53#comment97 95, Dakota."The parent should teach their teens to resist temptation, resist peer pressure, and if they find themselves giving into their temptations, then by all means try to be as safe and responsible when doing so."Apparently I am correct about your equating sex with sin. ("resist temptation" "giving into their temptations") Unlike you I consider the sexual desires (and practices) of an adult to be healthy and normal. I knew perfectly well that my daughters (I have three) would have affairs before they were married. I restricted their social life before college age because I felt they were immature and vulnerable. By the time they left the nest and went away to school they were better able to cope. They are all fine young women without the baggage of guilt. Thu 21 May 2009 21:08:30 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=53#comment96 95, Dakota_Erik -No artificial birth control method is 100% effective. This is common knowledge. Failures happen. Certain medications lessen the effectiveness of certain contraceptives, and some women are not informed of this. Mistakes happen. As the bumper sticker said, "A child is not a "consequence." No one should be forced to carry an unwanted or disastrous pregnancy to term. Most people recognize this. That is why abortion is legal in this country.Quite often, I've noticed, all it takes for a "pro-life" advocate to become an advocate of free choice is one unwanted pregnancy. I've known these women too. I listen to other women. One young Catholic woman I worked with years ago told me that as a teenager she picketed abortion clinics. Then in her freshman year of college she got pregnant. Whoops. Another one for our side. Yep, she had an abortion. Thu 21 May 2009 21:06:52 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=52#comment95 94, Dakota_Erik -"You are grasping at the extreme fringe of believability, and the wee percentages of the reasons for justifying abortion. By far, the largest reasons for abortion are inconvenience, and finances."First of all, you have blended my comments in with someone else's.Second, you doubt the veracity of my comments and/or consider the story to be at the extreme fringe because it doesn't fit in with your preconceived ideas of women and the reasons they do or do not choose to abort. You seem to view women in terms of statistics instead of as real people with real issues and traumas. When presented with real people's problems, you choose not to believe them. This is exactly why this decision is best left up to the individual real women who experience real life problems. You are not in a position to judge them. Thu 21 May 2009 20:56:13 GMT+1 Dakota_Erik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=52#comment94 #91, AMM, You wrote; "You appear to be making a moral judgment vis-a-vis getting pregnant in the first place. Does that include hqving sex in the first place? I thought we got over equating sex with sin."No, the mistake was in either not using contraception, or using it incorrectly. If used correctly (pill plus condom), there is virtually no chance of an unwanted pregnancy and we stop the spread of most STD's to boot.I agree with you on parental responsibilities for teaching their children to think responsibly. Whether it be drug use, sex, drinking, reckless skate boarding or whatever... The parent should teach their teens to resist temptation, resist peer pressure, and if they find themselves giving into their temptations, then by all means try to be as safe and responsible when doing so. Meaning, don't drive, wear a condom, wear a helmet, make sure you have a sober friend around to get you home or to a hospital if you are incapacitated. Thu 21 May 2009 20:44:36 GMT+1 Dakota_Erik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=51#comment93 #90, Bere54, I strongly doubt that happened in just the way you describe. If it is true, then the woman, whom you describe as descending into a pit of depression, needed to pursue psychological help rather than dwell on the unfortunate circumstances that distracted her from her otherwise happy life. My moral judgments are not about the sex act, but rather the decisions that one makes after they realize the natural consequences of having the sex act. I can't remember the percentage, but a large number of abortions are given to married women.You said, "They rejoiced in finding their daughters, but the sadness and guilt in abandoning them never left them." And, I suppose those same mothers would have been blissful at knowing that those same daughters were instead disposed of with the other medical waste?What if the mother you described before (the spousal abuse victim) already had a baby from a prior marriage, but then enters into an abusive relationship and needs to flee the state? What if you discover that you are the product of rape or incest, should you despair and forfeit your life? You are grasping at the extreme fringe of believability, and the wee percentages of the reasons for justifying abortion. By far, the largest reasons for abortion are inconvenience, and finances. Let's start by eliminating those unwanted pregnancies though better practiced birth control. And when even under good contraception those .001 percent of accidental pregnancies do occur, then let's consider adoption as a first viable choice, before resorting to the extremes. Let's start by giving rape victims free access to "morning after contraception", and free counseling, rather than have them be further traumatized and victimized with an abortion decision a few months later. Thu 21 May 2009 20:36:19 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=51#comment92 91 -The mother I mentioned in #90 did not rejoice in being found by her daughter. It only brought fresh agony with the dragging up of the original agony, which was an additional burden on my poor friend. My regret is that I allowed my friend to push me, along with everyone else, out of her life, but at the time I had a toddler and a newborn and a husband in graduate school and no energy left over to make that effort for her. The last I heard of her, she was a raging alcoholic. Very sad. Thu 21 May 2009 20:27:56 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=50#comment91 89, David.#75. allmymarbles: "I am one of those who would howl. Those (birth control) classes teach plumbing, and leave out the moonlight and roses. The subject is best left to the parents.""Leaving it to parents hasn't been very successful thus far - ask the Palin family and the 10 million "single moms" in America: every day over 1,000 babies are born to teen mothers. Doesn't say much for parental guidance!"My first obligation is to my children, not to the world. Oher people can teach sex as plumbing if they wish. . Thu 21 May 2009 20:19:46 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=50#comment90 86, Dakota."We make mistakes and we sometimes must bear some burden for our mistakes,..."You appear to be making a moral judgment vis-a-vis getting pregnant in the first place. Does that include hving sex in the first place? I thought we got over equating sex with sin.There is a great difference betwen having an abortion and bearing a baby only to give it up for adoption. The first solution is bearable; the second often leads to a gnawing perpetual grief. My brother has two adopted daughters. Each found her birth mothers. The mothers had never gotten over it. They rejoiced in finding their dauthters, but the sadness and guilt in abandoning them never left them. Thu 21 May 2009 20:04:02 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=49#comment89 86, Dakota_Erik -Now that you mention it, I also knew a woman who had been adopted. She spent years looking for her biological mother. She found her, and then found out that she had been the product of a particularly ghastly and violent rape. After she heard the details of what brought her into this world and almost destroyed the woman who had borne her, she told me she wished her biological mother had been allowed to have an abortion. She said under similar circumstances she would have aborted, and was thankful that it was finally legal. I lost contact with this friend because she went into a severe depression and cut off contact with almost everyone. And so the viciousness of the rape continued on into another generation. One wonders why her biological mother felt the need to tell her about it. I have no idea. Perhaps it had something to do with truth.You are busy judging women and their histories. Each one is an individual, each trauma is unique to any individual woman. May we always have the freedom and the power to choose our own outcomes, something I expect you would deny us and our daughters. Thu 21 May 2009 19:52:25 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=48#comment88 #75. allmymarbles: "I am one of those who would howl. Those (birth control) classes teach plumbing, and leave out the moonlight and roses. The subject is best left to the parents."Leaving it to parents hasn't been very successful thus far - ask the Palin family and the 10 million "single moms" in America: every day over 1,000 babies are born to teen mothers. Doesn't say much for parental guidance! Thu 21 May 2009 19:38:57 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=48#comment87 77, arclightt."It's interesting that with DNA testing as good as it is, we are unwilling to apply it more rigorously to find the fathers of children and hold them accountable for their actions."Oh, sure, we have a baby we don't want, and then go to court to make the man we don't want pay for it. Who needs such an entanglement? And as for the courts, that just adds to the grief (and expense). The solution is simple. Have an abortion and restart your life. Thu 21 May 2009 19:16:42 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=47#comment86 80, Dakota.Some families have a history. The Kennedys are a case in point. Drugs, alcoholism, shady associates and dealings. The Palins likewise are very questionable. For Palin to take the high road is laughable. It's like Ted Kennedy running on an anti-alcoholic ticket. Thu 21 May 2009 19:10:20 GMT+1 Dakota_Erik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=47#comment85 #82, Bere54, I think we might all think about an anecdote of someone who might have been better off dead. But, then, if perhaps you know someone who has been adopted, you might ask them if they think it would have been better had they been aborted? The same story told above about the young woman in college, I also lived, but with the adoption result rather than the abortion. We make mistakes and we sometimes must bear some burden for our mistakes, and I truly respected the young woman who suffered the burden of carrying the baby while going to classes, and then suffered the pain of giving that baby up to give it, and her the best future. Thu 21 May 2009 19:09:37 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=46#comment84 82, bere."As I'm sure we all know, restraining orders don't work with crazy violent men."The restraining order does not guarantee protection for the woman (or man). The only thing it does, is allow you to have the person violating the order arrested. If the violent person is truly nutso, it might only serve to enrage him or her further. Thu 21 May 2009 19:04:25 GMT+1 Dakota_Erik http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=46#comment83 #78, AMM, from the point of view of someone on the "life" side, let me reword your statement, and see if it still makes the same sense to you."The question of murder and those against murder is merely a philosophical exercise and, in this real world, has no application. Legal or illegal, people will continue to murder others if they so desire. Trying to stop murder is like trying to stop a tidal wave. You can discuss the right or wrong of it all you want. None of it matters."Somewhere in that time between conception and birth, a human life is involved. Not many people would sanction the murder of a baby a day after being born, nor probably a day before being born. The philosophical discussion is "what is life", and who has the right to end that life. For the victim of an accident, it is defined as brain activity, but even that is rejected by those who want the "right" to kill that life that has spawned within them. "Life" even philosophically, is defined within this political discussion as what is convenient for that proponent. I believe many people who identify themselves as "pro-choice" also believe incongruously that abortion is murder. They just hold the right of a woman to make the choice higher than the right of the baby to live. Is the human embryo alive? If it is not aborted, or dies an unnatural death would it someday become a registered voter with the full protection of its human rights? The cynic in me scoffs at the "let's find common ground" Alinski-esque approach of the now POTUS Obama, when as the State Senator, and US Senator he is one of the few people who even opposed the "Baby's Born Alive" legislation. Thu 21 May 2009 19:00:15 GMT+1 gunsandreligion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=45#comment82 82, bere, the particular case which you have presented illustrates that while thepart of the brain which selects mates in women is bigger than in men, the endresults are statistically no better. Thu 21 May 2009 18:55:12 GMT+1 bere54 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=45#comment81 77, arclightt -I once knew a young woman who made a mistake by getting involved with a really nasty dude, found herself pregnant, decided to have the baby, fled the state with baby to get away from the nasty dude (he beat her up regularly and threatened to kill her), was very poor, but couldn't get any benefits from the state for her child because she wouldn't tell them who the father was, because if she did he would find out where she was.So yeah, most states are pretty rigorous about finding fathers and holding them accountable, denying benefits to mothers who have to choose between food on the table and, well, life. As I'm sure we all know, restraining orders don't work with crazy violent men.If I'd been in that young woman's position, I would have had an abortion. Without any qualms whatsoever. (Of course, I wouldn't have gotten involved with the crazy violent man in the first place.) Thu 21 May 2009 18:42:29 GMT+1 gunsandreligion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2009/05/what_does_prolife_mean_these_d.html?page=44#comment80 68, waterman, I hear you... you want to know who will be headlining theshow before you commit. I may have to follow Elvis around because mygirlfriend is one of his fans. Fortunately, she is not a Sinatrafan, because we all know where he is going to wind up.Grolsch is fine, but if you happen to pick up a fine amber ale beforesettling in, that would be ideal. I'll remember your preference, though.I'm sure that Heineken is obtainable anywhere, it's the Bud of Europe. Thu 21 May 2009 18:38:19 GMT+1