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Monday, September 01, 2008

Because I can't NOT write about abortion, apparently

Since I've already started to write about politics, am I the only one who is a bit annoyed that McCain aides have been careful to tell reporters that young Bristol Palin made the choice on her own to continue her pregnancy?

Isn't that pro-choice?

And isn't that one of the things they're AGAINST?

Sorry, but that's just hypocrisy. If you really think abortion's murder, you don't "choose" not to do it.

This is pro-choice language. It is not an affirmation of pro-life values. The message here is that Sarah Palin's daughter had a choice. STAY ON MESSAGE, PEOPLE.


The Capitalist said...

Too brutally true!

Mongoose said...

Yeah. Plus it shouldn't be pro-choice v. pro-life anyway. It should be pro-choice v. pro-dictatorship. And since there is no being anti- in a dictatorship, it's pro-choice or dictatorship.


What kind of name is Bristol Palin anyway, and why aren't pro-life people a little more pro-abstinence and pro-birth control while they're at it?

Megan said...

They're pro-abstinence for everyone else. Not so much for themselves.

And apparently now they're anti-choice for everyone else. Not so much for themselves.

I really wanted to keep liking McCain. I wanted this to be the year I would finally get to vote for him. I am profoundly disappointed. I've been waiting for this for eight years.

Ben Holsapple said...

DISCLAIMER: I actually know absolutely nothing about McCain's political views.

Well, let's be honest here. "Pro-choice" is similar to the "War on Terror" - it's a buzzword. It sounds better than "Pro-abortion", and it makes its advocates appear reasonable. "Pro-choice" doesn't really have much to do with "choosing." No reasonable person would ever argue that women don't have a choice, any more than you could argue that I have no choice over whether to kill or not to kill. Pro-life people simply think that there is a right and a wrong choice.

To "choose" is not to support any political platform. Every woman on the planet "chooses" whether to have an abortion or not, no matter what their views on the morality of the matter.

I'm sure the emphasis was simply to preclude accusations that the girl was forced into something she didn't want; something that would put the McCain candidacy in a bad light. He may be against abortion, but I doubt he would want to say "yeah, I told my daughter she could either have the kid or move the **** out of my house."

It's not pro-abortion language, just politically correct language. And I'd also say that it is an affirmation of pro-life values; as a pro-life person would probably see it, her daughter made the right choice on her own, which reflects well upon McCain's VP candidate.

Unless you intend to imply that pro-life people truly argue that women have no choice at all - which isn't a reasonable argument for anyone to make. Not that this necessarily means that they don't think that, but...I doubt it.

Mongoose said...

Pro-choice people also think there is a right and a wrong choice. And the wrong choice is to decide what's right for other people you've never even met.

And the daughter didn't make the right choice, since she's pregnant when she wasn't planning on it. The right choice would have been to NOT GET PREGNANT. Which is totally 100% a choice. HER choice.

By the way, have you ever met a person with severe RAD? That certainly makes you think twice about whether life is a merciful choice in an unwanted pregnancy.

Cindy said...

OK, as the lone anti-abortion voice around here....

First, full disclosure. I am a pratising Catholic. I've got three kids. I do not use artificial birth control. I work with very sick pregnant women in my spare time. Some of them are forced to abort; it's a choice between the baby dying and both of them dying. I don't judge them, because I seriously considered aborting my last baby because of that same disease. I didn't, and anyone who wants the details of that can go over to my blog:

Some of this is a matter of semantics. In pro-life culture, "keeping the baby" means you are going to raise the child, rather than give it up for adoption.

To a previous commenter: The whole "anti-choice" propaganda does not further a discussion about this. I expect more intelligent thinking from the people who hang around Megan's blog, to be perfectly honest. That's BS.

Pro-lifers agree on one thing: Abortion is homicide (notice I am not using the word murder, which has different connotations in law and reality.) In a lawful society, you get many choies, but killing someone else is not one of them. So if you believe a fetus is a human being, then choosing to kill that human being is wrong. Sometimes doing something wrong is mitigated by other factors, such as self-preservation, but it's still intrinsically an act you should avoid if possible.

There are many other choices available for a woman who believes abortion is wrong. She can raise the baby; she can give it up for adoption; she can ask her parents to riase the child, either for good or for a time. She can arrange joint custody with the father; she can marry him if she so chooses.

Just because someone rules out one choice doesn't mean there are not others.

I have to tell you, when I was pregnant with my last, I received tremendous pressure to abort because I was sick with a treatable disease. I know mothers of Down's babies who were ordered to abort by their docs. Where's the choice in that?

Please use your brain when talking about abortion, rather than your propaganda. I`ve been on both sides of this culture war; I`ve sat through a Morgentaler abortion. I know both sides` BS. It is a disservice to women to spew it.

Megan said...

You're definitely not the lone anti-abortion voice. :)

Anonymous said...

The Reuters story never once mentions abortion or adoption, pro-choice or pro-life.

"Keeping the child" is rather vague so, if only reading this article and not knowing McCain's position, you could think either adoption or abortion.

I think "keeping the child" means putting the child up for adoption.


The Capitalist said...

I'm with Cindy, and could talk about abortion all day. I'm not sure I've ever heard a legitimate argument for abortions where no life is in danger beforehand. Sadly, these days EVERYONE gets thier vote counted. And it seems like we're in quite a mess these days too... Hmm, I wonder why that is...

Anonymous said...

Something I find ironic is that Palin is so abstinence-only education...aaaand her daughter didn't practice abstinence. Did she even know about protection?

Ben Holsapple said...

Assuming the "spewing" was directed at my comment, my inflated sense of pride requires me to respond:

The post referred to the language of the article, and therefore my comment addressed that language. It was not intended in any way to side with either camp, nor to do a disservice to anyone at all; I simply targeted the same victim the original post did - the language. The statement that aborting or not aborting a pregnancy is a choice - the statement used in the linked article - is not a pro- or anti-abortion statement. It is merely a statement of fact. Abortion is a choice, the same as murder or pouring a cup of tea is a choice. It's not possible to deny this seriously.

It seems to me that do take such a statement as "pro-choice" is to get caught up in the semantics of the argument, not the underlying question. You could call people who support abortion "pro-banana" if you wanted too, but you couldn't then say that people who eat bananas support abortion.

Ben Holsapple said...

Also, it's not the wrong choice to decide what's right and wrong for people you've never even met. I bet if we found out she decided not to steal or not to do cocaine, everyone would say "great, she made the right decision." Or any number of other decisions that we would all instantly judge and not feel bad about it at all.

If it wasn't reasonable to decide what is right and what is wrong for other people, then we wouldn't have laws. Right and wrong, by definition, are universal, else there is no meaning to the words.

Megan said...

Some of the comments above about whether the "choice" was actually about adoption intrigued me, so I went back and reread the Palins' statement:

"We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents." (Emphasis mine.)

"Have a baby" usually means to physically give birth, not to keep a baby after it's born. Perhaps someone who is more familiar with adoption lingo can fill me in. I could be mistaken.

Whatever was intended, I stand behind my earlier observation that this is pro-choice language.

Mongoose said...

"Right and wrong, by definition, are universal, else there is no meaning to the words."

Nonsense. Right and wrong are purely arbitrary, which is exactly why we have laws. Because if right and wrong were absolute, no one would ever do anything "wrong" and there would be no need for laws.

Stealing is completely routine in some cultures. Coca leaves were also used routinely in some cultures, and since cocaine is an analgesic, it used to be the treatment of choice for polar explorers with snow blindness.

There's no such thing as "right" and "wrong" by nature. We just choose to define them.

Anonymous said...

Also, there would be no need to make new laws or change the ones we have. We could shut down the government!

Torq said...

*Laughs Manically*

It is finally time that someone bared the saber behind all this morality talk. Nietzsche, have at you!

Mongoose, your statements make no sense! If, as you claim there is no absolute right and wrong, "Right and wrong are purely arbitrary," (quote from above), than you have no grounds for saying that, "And the wrong choice is to decide what's right for other people you've never even met," (quote from above). To painfully draw out my conclusion, if you are right on your first statement than you are wrong on your second, and if right on your second than wrong on your first! So which is it?

If there is no "right and wrong by nature" than you must simply leave off criticizing anyone else for moral issues. You simply disagree on a matter of opinion, (much like enjoying pecans or not) nothing more or less.

If laws do not enforce a "true" morality than they are not binding. This is the whole meaning behind Civil Disobedience, and the necessary implication is that there IS a true morality (otherwise you could not even disagree about morality!).

Ben: I hear what you are saying and agree. That it is so possible to misunderstand will explain, I hope, why I tend to be very cautious in discussing such things.

Cindy: Never fear, you are not alone!

Mongoose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mongoose said...

Torq, if you look up "right" and "wrong" in the dictionary you'll notice they have many different definitions, and to the reader who's not after making a specious semantic argument, it's obvious from context which should be understood.

However, you're absolutely right that I simply disagree on a matter of opinion. And just as the holders of that opinion can use the words "right" and "wrong" to describe my choices, I can use the words "right" and "wrong" to describe their opinions if I so desire.

And you're also right that there is no "true morality" and there is no point disagreeing about morality. Morality is like ice cream, purely a matter of taste.

I'm so glad we agree.

Torq said...

*chuckles* My argument was certainly not specious or semantic, unless you mean that I used words and the definitions of words. It was logical and simple. *Bows*

As we have identified your position as one from which you cannot be correct, this discussion can move along without you. This is like the man who claims that there is no truth. If there is no truth than the statement "there is no truth" cannot be true either!"

Torq said...

That posting was made before my morning coffee and I have since had reason to recant both my tone and the overall meaning behind my post.

Mongoose: You have developed a view of morality which may be held in such a way that it is both internally and externally consistant. The difficulty with this moral theory is that I have never seen anyone who was able to hold the position without hypocracy. Perhaps you can. Let me further explain my first posting. If you hold that all morality is simply a matter of taste and no one or the other is any more "true" (in the sense of being correct for everyone), than you have developed a self-contradiction when you make the statment that "the wrong choice is to decide what's right for other people you've never even met." You see you are saying that there is nothing which is really right or wrong EXCEPT this one thing which you have picked arbitrarily.

This is certanly not specious and I don't think that it is based on any misunderstanding of what you are saying. If I am mistaken, please correct me.

This is the subtle danger of hypocracy which is deeply buried in your moral perspective. One of the other things which you loose when you hold this moral perspective is that everyone becomes aware that your own moral points of view are as arbitrary as you taste in ice cream. Today I feel that stealing is wrong, tomorrow I might not feel that way at all. This makes it very difficult to take you seriously.

I am genuinely striving for clarity here, and feel that I owe you something of an apology for being rude. If you are right than I should be willing to learn from you, and if I am right than I should have the patience to teach you.

Torq said...

Curses, Spellchecker!

Cindy said...

Mongoose, I suggest you look up the philosophical term "natural law." Plato and Socrates were big on it, as were Augustine and Aquinas. What you are arguing is called moral relativism. It doesn't stand up under rigorous philosophical thought. And you don't need to be religious to reject moral relativism.

Megan, you are right, "having her baby" means not aborting it. I would argue with you that this is abortion-rights language, rather than owned by the pro-choice side. The crux of the question is not whether it is legal anymore, it is whether it is right or wrong. Bristol could have made a decision her parent's considered the wrong choice -- aborting her fetus.

I seriously question the wisdom NOT of gestating her child, but of getting married. One mistake does not mean she has to make another. There will be time to marry the father and live with him later, if that is what she honestly wants to do.

I happen to agree with her folks. She made the choice to have sex. Getting pregnant is a possible consequence to that choice, even when you use birth control (hey, I know lots and lots of babies conceived by moms on the pill, with IUDs, etc). I believe in full responsibility for your choices. In this case, completing the normal, non-life-threatening pregnancy is taking full responsility for her actions.