Abortion and the Nearest Airlock

Libertarians cannot defend abortion on property rights grounds, and until they stop getting the abortion analogy wrong, they will continue to use the property rights grounds defence incorrectly. Prof. Block, in a recently-published paper, repeats these wrong analogies, leading him to continue to defend the horrific practice of abortion.

Block uses two analogies – realising the second is wrong, but not the first. He first cites the Violinist’s Kidneys. Suppose you wake up one day in the hospital sewn to a world-class violinist. The violinist’s kidneys were failing, and they sewed yours into the violinist’s system, so that you are both sharing your kidneys. The violinist didn’t request this or perform it; it was done by wicked doctors. The second case is the case of an airplane owner who invites a person onto his plane then, in mid-air, decides to invoke his property rights and pitch the invitee out of the plane.

Both of these analogies fail, and they fail because of the agency of the woman having sex. A woman who has sex (save rape) is consenting to an ejaculate. With that ejaculate comes a risk: a risk of pregnancy. That is, a woman who consents to sex consents to a risk that another person becomes dependent on her. And, if someone cause a person to become dependent, that person must take every reasonable means of preserving the dependent: if I shove a person into deep water, I have to take every measure I can to save that person from drowning. If I cause a person to rely on me and me alone for their life, care, and sustenance, I have to take every reasonable means of preserving that life.

In the violinist’s analogy, the analogy fails because the victim took no action that could put the violinist at risk of becoming dependent on the victim. The agency entirely rests with the doctors. Thus, this analogy fails. The airplane analogy fails, as Block notes, because of the implicit contract.

The correct analogy must acknowledge the woman’s assumption of risk. So, I propose a new one. The USS Enterprise is flying over the surface of the planet. It has a new gadget that performs some task, but as a side effect, it may accidently beam a person on the surface of the planet aboard the ship. Can that person be shoved out the nearest airlock on the captain’s whim? Absolutely not.

The gadget performs some non-beaming function, just as sex may: revenge, pleasure, etc. But just like sex, there is the assumed risk of bringing someone else aboard. Once aboard, of course, the ship is responsible for the welfare of the new passenger until that passenger can be safely off-loaded.

So, what about the health of the mother and rape?

In the health of the mother analogy, the only thing that changes is that, while aboard, the passenger unwillingly and unwittingly threatens the safety of the ship: the person puts off some sort of natural radiation that causes the engines to feedback. The first right of all is self-defense, and the ship’s crew has a right to kill the person or evict them in order to save the ship. In the same way, a person who shoots at you, albeit under mind control, may be killed in order to save yourself.

The rape case is much harder. Someone is unwillingly beamed aboard the ship, through neither the fault of the ship or the new passenger. The new passenger is undesired, and causes distress and embarassment to the ship’s crew, but is causing no harm (say, a Lwaxana Troi episode). Can the ship force the passenger out the nearest airlock? I don’t think so. Why? Because the property rights of the ship’s owner are less than the right to life of the person. People are worth more than property. “Property rights serve human values. They are recognized to that end, and are limited by it.” State v. Shack, 277 A.2d 369, 372 (N.J. 1971).

People will contend that a ship is not a person, and that the person has bodily integrity rights that a ship’s owner does not have. I agree with that, which is why rape is a harder case. But, ultimately, the life of the undesired passenger outweighs the shame and humiliation of the mother. Put another way, rape puts up bodily integrity & stigma vs. life, and the health of the mother puts up life vs. life. Life always wins.

Prof. Block argues that there is no right to life, because that would be a positive right. But abortion is about the ultimate negative right: the right not to be killed. If we are to support liberty, we must support life.

Libertarians cannot be pro-choice.

96 thoughts on “Abortion and the Nearest Airlock”

  1. I flatly disagree with your conclusion in the case of rape. The rape victim doesn’t owe anyone anything. All resultant harm is entirely the fault of the rapist. She’s morally free to abort the child.

  2. A woman who has sex (save rape) is consenting to an ejaculate. With that ejaculate comes a risk: a risk of pregnancy. That is, a woman who consents to sex consents to a risk that another person becomes dependent on her.

    She consents to the risk of being pregnant, but she does not consent to carry the child in her body. They are separate things. There can be no contract between the woman and the fetus.

  3. No contract is required. She’s responsible for the fact that her unborn child is in a helpless state. If you put someone in a coma by carelessly hitting them with your car you’d be responsible for the fact that he was in a helpless state. You’d at least be morally obliged to see that he got the care needed to be able to care for himself again, even though you had no contract.

  4. Joshua,

    Your augment is fallacious. Specifically, it begs the question. It assumes the truth of a premise that needs an argument to support it, namely, that a fetus is a human being, or at least a sort of being entitled to human rights. But even if you had provided an argument to support this premise, that argument would have failed, because to argue that a fetus is human is to disregard the vital difference between the potential and the actual.

    To adjust your similes to account for what a fetus actually is would have the Enterprise accidentally beaming aboard tribbles, or chickens, not human passengers. And of course the captain could keep the tribbles or chickens or send them out the airlock, or whatever he pleased, and would not be guilty of murder, or indeed any breach of morality at all.

    It’s true that a human fetus has the potential to become a human, while the ordinary tribble or chicken does not, but this doesn’t matter. If a woman does not wish to carry her pregnancy to term, if she wishes to extinguish the potential human life within her, to whom, in actuality, does she do wrong? Whom, in actuality, does she harm? The child-as-human does not exist yet: he does not value himself.

    If the fetus cannot value itself, since it is not a rational animal, but rather an animal with the mere potential to one day be rational, and if its mother does not value it, whose values are breached by an abortion?

    The actual values of actual humans trump the potential values of potential humans.

  5. She’s responsible for the fact that her unborn child is in a helpless state.

    I agree that if the fetus is a person then the airplane and violinist analogies fail. Strangely enough, Mr. Holmes slided effortlessly from defending the proposition “If a fetus has rights then libertarians cannot support abortion” at the top of his column to concluding that “Libertarians cannot support abortion” at the bottom. I shall have to remember the argument form ( (P -> Q) and R ) -> Q for future debates. :)

    People are worth more than property. “Property rights serve human values. They are recognized to that end, and are limited by it.” State v. Shack, 277 A.2d 369, 372 (N.J. 1971).

    Ah, the irony of a libertarian citing a Supreme Court decision as a moral justification. At any rate, your remark misses the fact that people’s body parts are also their property. In other words, it’s not that one person’s rights, the passenger, conflict with some other rights, like the rights of the ship. Property rights are not the rights of property! Rather it’s a conflict between the the passenger, who wants to use his body and the ship’s oxygen in a certain way, and the rights of the other people on the ship.

  6. Unless you are willing to consent to the propositons that animals of all sorts (at least higher primates) have rights, there is no basis to hold that fetuses have rights. If you are of the opinion that rights properly belong to human beings, then any organisms lacking the capacities of self-reflection, self-consciousness, etc which are characteristic of humanity, lack such rights. Fetuses, indeed early babies, are no more self-aware or capable of higher cognitive functions than a cow or a pig (even less, in many cases), and therefore have the rights commensurate with cows and pigs (essentially none).

  7. I agree that the question of which agents are individuals with rights is not properly in the domain of libertarianism. If rights are objective then whether or not a given agent/organism has rights is a matter of moral fact. To disagree on a matter of fact does not entail disagreement on libertarian principle.

  8. Two things I didn’t see addressed here:

    1. The case where the birth of the baby (for whatever reason) will lead to the mother’s death. How does this stance square with those circumstances?

    2. Enforcement. How would you enforce this ban on abortions in a libertarian society? If you found out a mother was trying to get an abortion, would you restrain her some how so she couldn’t? Would you imprison her? If she got an abortion, would you imprison or even murder her?

    and a corollary: is birth control alright in a libertarian world? I haven’t really thought this question through, I’m just asking it. If abortion is wrong because it denies a potential person of their life, is birth control wrong because it denies a potential person their potential to be a potential person (or however you want to refer to a fetus)?

    It seems like there is a need for some definitions here… what constitutes a person, what constitutes life, when does life begin, etc.

  9. And by the way, I found Rothbard’s property rights argument for abortion (which Block and other libertarians’ arguments are based off of) in For A New Liberty to be disturbing because he seemed to casually disregard the non-rape victim woman’s responsibility in deciding to have sex in the first place. Certainly any self-respecting libertarian would say that a woman who has unprotected sex and becomes pregnant should have to be responsible for the choices she has made, and can not simply “jettison a parasite” from her body as Rothbard so eloquently put it.

    And yet, my mind isn’t made up in the matter one way or another just yet.

    Too bad this isn’t something where we can simply say “let everyone choose her values for herself.”

    A final question– what rights does the father have in a situation like this? Does the father have any say in the having of an abortion or not?

  10. I flatly disagree with your conclusion in the case of rape. The rape victim doesn’t owe anyone anything.

    Can she push the child out of the nearest airlock? I don’t think so. Life trumps bodily integrity.

    Anon2,

    Block concedes that fetuses are human in his article, and I think it’s the only logical conclusion. We recognise the rights of a whole host of born people who have lost cognitive abilities, for whatever reason. Claiming that unborn humans don’t have rights because of their as-yet undeveloped faculties doesn’t square with how we treat born humans in similar circumstances.

    As for the New Jersey Supreme Court case, I don’t agree with the case at all, but the quote accurately summarises my opposition to libertarianism as propertarianism. Libertarianism is about human life first, with property as an (important) adjunct to the good human life.

    sologue,

    I answered the health of the mother question.

    As for enforcement, I don’t know, but difficulty in enforcement does not change the underlying character of the act. It may difficult to prosecute a husband for raping his wife, but that doesn’t make the act any less heinous or criminal.

  11. Maybe it is hard to prosecute a man for raping his wife. That isn’t the point. Once you’ve got the conviction, it’s fairly easy to put the man in prison.

    What I am asking is how you’d prevent a woman who is determined to have an abortion from having one. How far would you go to stop her? Is there a way to stop her from clawing her fetus out with a coat hanger in the privacy of her own home?

  12. sologue:
    what rights does the father have in a situation like this? Does the father have any say in the having of an abortion or not?

    The responsibility lies were nature bestowed it, upon the mother. The father has no responsibility and therefore, has no say in the matter.

  13. Block concedes that fetuses are human in his article, and I think it’s the only logical conclusion. We recognise the rights of a whole host of born people who have lost cognitive abilities, for whatever reason.

    Yes, I’m sure “we” libertarians uniformly recognized the “right” of Terri Shiavo not to be euthanized.

    Claiming that unborn humans don’t have rights because of their as-yet undeveloped faculties doesn’t square with how we treat born humans in similar circumstances.

    Sure it could. Even assuming your point about born humans with disabilities, your conclusion that fetuses are automatically persons doesn’t follow. Adult humans have already developed into persons, but whether an embryo has or hasn’t can be an open question. You can’t get your conclusion that fetuses are persons by assuming it. :)

    On the other hand, if you’re going to seriously claim that a zygote has rights then I don’t know what I can say that will convince you of anything – but otherwise you’d have to acknowledge that a fetus isn’t always a person, that there is some difficulty in making such a determination, which undercuts the supposed certainty of your conclusion that libertarians should always oppose abortion.

    As for the New Jersey Supreme Court case, I don’t agree with the case at all, but the quote accurately summarises my opposition to libertarianism as propertarianism. Libertarianism is about human life first, with property as an (important) adjunct to the good human life.

    I don’t see anything wrong with describing libertarianism as “propertarianism”. I already demonstrated before that, in David Friedman’s words, “property rights don’t conflict with human rights”. So either your position is an absurdity – that a philosophy about property really isn’t about property – or a triviality, namely that libertarianism is part of living the good life. Either way, I’m nonplussed.

  14. Lynette,

    So if a man and a woman consent to have sex with one another with the intention of making a child, but the woman later decides she wants the child aborted, the father can’t get some kind of injunction against the mother to stop her from having the abortion if he still wants the child (not that this is a common situation in real life, lol)?

  15. sologue,

    By law, I suppose any bizarre thing could happen, it often does, but the mother is ultimately responsible for the existence of the fetus. If the mother, out of love or respect for the father’s wishes wants to heed his counsel regarding the child, no problem, but beyond that he really doesn’t hold any moral sway in the situation.

  16. Josh.

    “Can she push the child out of the nearest airlock?”

    Of her ship? Yes.

    “I don’t think so. Life trumps bodily integrity.”

    She doesn’t owe this child any life. You’re asserting a positive responsibility on her part that she did nothing to incur. She’s no more responsible for preserving this child’s life than you, a perfect stranger, are.

  17. Anarchronism,

    Fetuses, indeed early babies, are no more self-aware or capable of higher cognitive functions than a cow or a pig (even less, in many cases), and therefore have the rights commensurate with cows and pigs (essentially none).

    So what’s the damage when someone kills your baby? Roughly the same as when someone kills your favorite pig?

  18. That’s a really complicated issue, so to make it even more complicated, I’ll go on a tangent here: None of you has addressed the question of what constitutes a fetus. The Life begins at conception argument is unscientific and doesn’t hold water until the following issues ar addressed:

    1. How exactly do you define conception?

    2. Why should “conception” be taken, a priori, as the beginning of life? Shouldn’t eggs and sperm have the same rights as zygotes? An unfertilized egg has all the genes it needs to develop into a female fetus. Why should she not be considered alive?

    Now, the rest of the discussion can continue uninterrupted if we stipulate that life begins at “conception”, whatever that means. However, once all the disagreements above are addressed and agreement is brought abut (as if that’s going to happen), you’d still have some questions to answer.

  19. Yawn. This discussion happens periodically, and nobody’s opinion ever changes.

    My position is that a fetus is indeed a human being, but it is not yet a person with rights. It is not yet a sentient being.That doesn’t happen until sometime in the first year after birth.

    I agree with Uncle Sam Staples that there is no reason to differentiate between a bunch of cells immediately after conception and egg and sperm before. If the former has rights, then so do the latter, and it should be considered murder to not impregnate that beautiful fertile lady walking by.

    If a fetus is not yet a person and does not yet have rights, then killing it is no more morally wrong than squashing a bug or slaughtering a cow. Yes, most of us FEEL that there’s more to it than that, and that’s to be expected, given our inclination to reproduce, and our natural love for babies.

    Bottom line, I believe it’s OK for the mother to abort through birth and a while afterwards, but I’m willing to settle for birth, since it’s much easier to determine than when the child becomes sentient, which is more a process than an event anyway.

  20. # John T. Kennedy Asks:

    —So what’s the damage when someone kills your baby? Roughly the same as when someone kills your favorite pig? —-

    My statement was about the rights that certain organisms possess. That is a distinct issue, which you are raising, from the rights that persons have with regards to other things. You can have rights associated with your baby the same way you can have rights associated with possessing a pig or a car that have nothing to do with the rights that a pig or a car has (ie: none).

  21. # John T. Kennedy Says:

    — Yes, property rights. I’m asking if killing your baby is an infringement of your property rights roughly equivalent to that of killing your favorite pig? —

    Yes. I don’t see how it is at all different. That’s not to say the damages would be the same – under several theories of damage (ie: market value, punitive damages for socially undesireable behavior, subjective attachment) we can justify extraordinarily higher compensation for the victim of a baby-killing than a pig-killing, but the property rights violation is the same.

  22. Bill,

    “I agree with Uncle Sam Staples that there is no reason to differentiate between a bunch of cells immediately after conception and egg and sperm before.”

    That’s wrong, because just as an individual frog was once a tadpole and an individual butterfly was once a caterpillar the individual organism which is you was once a clump of cells and before that a fertilized egg. But the individual organism which is you was never a sperm or an egg. That organism came into being at conception. And it still exists today.

  23. # John T. Kennedy Says:

    Bill,

    “I agree with Uncle Sam Staples that there is no reason to differentiate between a bunch of cells immediately after conception and egg and sperm before.”

    — That’s wrong, because just as an individual frog was once a tadpole and an individual butterfly was once a caterpillar the individual organism which is you was once a clump of cells and before that a fertilized egg. But the individual organism which is you was never a sperm or an egg. That organism came into being at conception. And it still exists today. —

    I think this response is predicated on a misunderstanding of what Bill is getting at. The issue is: what are the characteristics which are essential for having rights? or, what is it that makes “human beings” possessors of rights which other organisms don’t have. I think the usual answer, when pressed, centers around self-consciousness, higher cognitive functions, the ability to have dreams and desire, etc. If something like cognitive capacity is indeed the basis, then the mere attainment of some arbitrary state, such as the transition from a sperm and an egg to a fertilized egg, is irrelevent to our purpose. That’s not to say that a noticeable biological change doesn’t occur, but only that that biological change does not bring about rights. If cognitive capacity or some associated characteristic is a predicate of having rights, then those without it, whether pigs, cows, or human fetuses, simply lack them. And if a fetus immediately before birth acks self-consciousness and self-reflection as we recognize them, then it is surely true that a fetus immediately after birth lacks them as well, since there is no great cognitive leap associated with birth.

  24. But the individual organism which is you was never a sperm or an egg.

    Sure you were. You were both.

    That organism came into being at conception.

    Says who? Why conception and not some other stage of development? How do oyu define conception?

  25. Joshua Holmes is correct, of course. Unfortunately, the abortion mentality makes the mind oblivious to patently obvious things like “gee, killing is wrong” and “life begin at conception”. The base rhetoric used to justify abortion is the same used by any totalitarian government – dehumanization. The fetus is not human by my personal definition so we can kill him! Hey, the bourgeoise are not human either since they oppress the working class by the marxist definition, so we can kill them! Let’s kill anyone composed by a bunch of cells! Yay!

  26. “I agree with Uncle Sam Staples that there is no reason to differentiate between a bunch of cells immediately after conception and egg and sperm before”

    This is wrong because the fertilized egg is self organizing. The organism which is you was a fertilized egg and then a collection of cells at different points of your life-cycle as an individual organism. The organism which is you was never a sperm or an egg.

    “f a fetus is not yet a person and does not yet have rights, then killing it is no more morally wrong than squashing a bug or slaughtering a cow.”

    Thus if someone else killed your wife’s unborn child, they’d have done no more harm than if they killed her cow?

  27. This is wrong because the fertilized egg is self organizing

    “Self-organizing” is a nice catch-phrase, but what does it mean? An unfertilized egg has everyhing it needs to develop into a fetus. All that is missing is a cue, and that can be given artificially. It’s called parthenogenesis. The sperm is not necessary, other than to give the cue and to serve as a mechanism for increasing diversity.

  28. While there may be some individuals who arose parthenogenically this is really an oddity, inessential to human nature. The human race would quickly die out if reproduction were confined to parthenogenisis.

  29. John T. Kennedy Says:

    — Thus if someone else killed your wife’s unborn child, they’d have done no more harm than if they killed her cow?—-

    You have been asking this question on multiple occasions and I think it deserves greater consideration. If by “harm” you mean some kind of subjective emotional damage in the sense that you have “harmed” someone more if you destroy something that they care very much about vs something that they care relatively little about, then it seems pretty clear that the “harm” done by killing the fetus is usually more significant than the harm done by killing a favorite cow. This has nothing to do with property rights per se, but the sense in which parents have emotional attachments to their fetuses or babies or what have you. This is based entirely on subjective appreciation, however.
    It is certainly possible to conceive of situations where the biological parent of a fetus (aka “unborn child” aka insert-your-own-loaded-terminology) places little or no value in that fetus, much the same way like a neglectful pet owner may care little for their dog. In those cases, aside from issues of personal bodily integrity, it may conceivably do as much harm to kill the fetus as it would to kill the dog in those cases.
    In any case, it should be clear that “harm” in this sense does not implicate property concerns. If our understanding of “harm” is only cognizent of violations of property rights, then killing Aunt Martha’s favorite cow is exactly the same type of property rights violation as killing Aunt Martha’s unborn (or, arguably, just born) baby. The subjective “harm” may be greater, but this is not, strictly speaking, a property concern.

  30. I’m essentially asking what damages you may legitimately claim if someone kills your baby. If someone killed your pig you could legitimately claim the replacement value of a pig, and perhaps in some case the replacement value of a special pig. But you could not legitimately claim an arbitrarily high value for the pig based on your fondness for it.

    As a commodity babies are not difficult to replace. So what’s the damage if someone kills your’s?

  31. No one was ever born parthenogenetically, and the human race would definitely become extinct if limited to parthenogenesis. That does not address the question of why we should not regard an egg or a sperm as living organisms, while a fertilized egg should be regarded as one.

    The answer to when life begins was put very succintly by Richard Dawkins: There is no such point. Development is a continuous process, not a discrete one. You cannot pinpoint the monent in which life begins because it does not exist.

    I highly doubt anyone here would claim that it is possible to pinpoint the exact moment in which a child becomes an adult. This precise moment simply does not exist. If we can accept it for maturation of a child, why can we not accept it for a developing sperm/zygote/fetus/whatever?

  32. John T. Kennedy Says:

    — I’m essentially asking what damages you may legitimately claim if someone kills your baby. If someone killed your pig you could legitimately claim the replacement value of a pig, and perhaps in some case the replacement value of a special pig. But you could not legitimately claim an arbitrarily high value for the pig based on your fondness for it.

    As a commodity babies are not difficult to replace. So what’s the damage if someone kills your’s? —

    I’m not quite sure what exactly your question is aiming at. You seem to hold the position that if someone kills your pig, your personal fondness for the pig shouldn’t factor into what you may legitimately recover. This may be true insofar as American tort law goes, but it is not self-evident that this is defensible as a matter of justice. The “value” of an object is not simply its market value, we simply arbitrarily limit it to that value as a matter of expediency and, out of fear of disingenuous self-reporting, an approximation of justice. But in a world where subjective values are actually determinable, it is not at all clear to me that they should NOT be factored into recovery.
    Consider for example the destruction of a valued and irreplacable family heirloom. Supposing the market price is either completely undeterminable or points towards an incredibly low monetary value, it seems apparent that the object’s actual value is significantly greater than zero. That we may limit recovery to market value is largely a matter of expediency, not necessarily justice.
    The pig v. fetus objection seems to me, considered in this way, nothing more than some kind of gut-level kneejerk reaction that opposes fetuses being valued in any way comparable to pigs. Supposing you really really loved your pig, perhaps because it had been your constant, lifelong companion as a result of your inability to have children, it’s not clear to me that recovery for that pig’s slaughter should be, as a matter of justice, lower than that of a killed fetus (ignoring for a moment that issues of bodily integrity that would result from assaulting a woman’s fetus inside of her body). I may accept as a matter of expediency that we limit recovery for pigs, but I recognize that this is largely a matter of social preferences for concepts such as “potential life” and “unborn babies” – not property concerns.

  33. “With that ejaculate comes a risk: a risk of pregnancy. That is, a woman who consents to sex consents to a risk that another person becomes dependent on her”

    Maybe she just consented to a risk of having to get an abortion later.

    “She’s responsible for the fact that her unborn child is in a helpless state. If you put someone in a coma by carelessly hitting them with your car you’d be responsible for the fact that he was in a helpless state.”

    The mother is not responsible for the state of helplessness of the fetus, Nature is. This helplessness is wholly independant of the mother’s will, consenting to procreation alone is not sufficient. This kind of flawed argument would get parents sentenced for giving birth to a child with serious defects, just like what happened in my communist country a few years ago (the “Nicolas Perruche VS his mother” case).

    As a side-note, let’s imagine we’re propelled into the Vorkosigan Universe: technology provides uterine replicators that can substitute for the mother’s womb. Under the property rights analogy, the mother is free to remove her own body from the fetus’ reach, but anyone is also free to provide a replicator to that fetus. I’m sure that under these conditions there would be non-libertarians asking for mandatory (=governmentally subsidized) replicators for all aborted childs. And I think libertarians would oppose the mandatory part of it, and rightly so.

  34. “Consider for example the destruction of a valued and irreplacable family heirloom.”

    Accepting that for the sake of argument, you’d be left with the burden of demonstrating why babies are irreplaceable.

  35. “The answer to when life begins was put very succintly by Richard Dawkins: There is no such point. Development is a continuous process, not a discrete one. You cannot pinpoint the monent in which life begins because it does not exist.”

    Life is continuous but the life of an individual organism does in fact begin and end. Life is continuous from a mother to her offspring and all their descendants, but that does not make them one individual. Clearly they are distinct individuals, and you did not exist when your mother was born.

  36. # John T. Kennedy Says

    “Consider for example the destruction of a valued and irreplacable family heirloom.”

    — Accepting that for the sake of argument, you’d be left with the burden of demonstrating why babies are irreplaceable. —

    I wouldn’t have to do that since I never claimed that babies are irreplaceable.

  37. You misunderstood my point. I was not talking about life as a concept, as in life began 3.5 billion years ago…. I was talking about the life of an individual. You cannot pinpoint the exact moment Mr. X was created, and you cannot pinpoint the exact moment he ceased being a boy and started being a man. Such exact time points do not exist.

  38. You can’t necessarily precisely pinpoint a time of death either, but that’s no reason to suppose you don’t die.

    Clearly there is a point in time before an individual exists. Are you unable identify such a point?

  39. I can tell that a two-year-old baby is different – psychologically, physically, and otherwise – from a 40-year-old man. Babyhood is very obvious in one and adulthood is very obvious in the other. It is clear, then, that somewhere between the age of two and the age of forty a series of changes occurs. But can you pinpoint the exact point in which the boy becomes a man?

    Same with life – I can clearly say that a decaying cadaver or a bunch of molecules that one day will make up DNA are not alive, and I can say that a smiling baby is alive. I cannot, however, pinpoint the exact moment these bunch of molecules achieve the status of what is called Life.

    As an aside, are you aware that in this age of molecular tweezers, functional MRI, controlled-release nano-bots, and other biotech inventions, biologists have yet to settle the question of what constitutes a living organism? For example, ask two biologists whether viruses are living organisms, and you are likely to receive three different answers.

  40. Again, the fact that you can’t pinpoint the exact moment of JFK’s death should not persuade anyone that there was not a time when JFK was a living individual and then also a later time when he was not. Likewise the fact that you can’t pinpoint a precise moment he came into being as an individual should not persuade you that he didn’t.

    I’m not asking you to pinpoint an exact moment for now, can you identify any time at all before you existed as an individual?

  41. I already said that I can identify three distinct periods, and all three are very easy to identify: pre-life, life, and death. There is no question that these periods exist. The question is whether you can pinpoint the transition between these periods.

    Let’s stipulate that we both agree that a fetus is alive and should not be killed. We’ll also stipulate that a mass (and a mess) of molecules that came from your last meal and one day will serve as building blocks for your child’s DNA, these are not living organisms and therefore may be disposed of. Now, can you tell me when these bunch of molecuels achieve livelihood?

  42. PS

    I want to make this clear: I am not arguing that life does not exsit or that the abortion issue is irrelevant. I’m just adding another level of difficulty, albeit highly technical, to the debate. I’m pointing to the fact that too often people use phrases like “life begins at conception” without realizing that these phrases mean almost nothing.

  43. JFK had rights, correct? And the day after he was shot his corpse had no rights, correct? Can you say just when the molecules comprising JFK achieved “dead-lihood” and ceased to be part of a living being with rights?

    If not, does this persuade you that you can’t identify the day that individual died and ceased to have rights?

  44. JFK had rights, correct? And the day after he was shot his corpse had no rights, correct? Can you say just when the molecules comprising JFK achieved “dead-lihood” and ceased to be part of a living being with rights?

    1. No, I cannot.

    2. A fascist pig who tells me to ask what I can do for “my” country has no rights.

    If not, does this persuade you that you can’t identify the day that individual died and ceased to have rights?

    The day – yes. The exact moment – no.

    You may say that abortion after a certain day is illegitimate but before that day is. I ask, What about within that day? At what hour, minute, and second is it not OK to abort anymore?

    Let’s say you are a “pro-life” physician. You believe in a strict “Life begins at conception” approach. Before conception, everything goes. After conception, it’s murder. A woman comes to you and says she had unprotected sex a few hours ago and she wants to avoid getting pregnant. You have a super-microscope that allows you to see individual cells in real time within her body. You look in your microscope and see that the sperm has already penetrated the egg but has not broken down yet – the DNAs have not yet fused. Do you abort? What about if some chromosomes have fused and others have not. Do you abort then?

    You may dismiss these questions as theoretical and technical, but so are discussions of spaceships sucking people form earth.

  45. # Nell Says:

    “Libertarians cannot be pro-choice.”

    —Then they’ll continue to be overwhelmingly male. —

    This is nonsense. The underlying myth is that men seek to control women’s bodies and deny them abortions while women seek freedom for women to have abortions. The reality and general trend is that men tend to be, overall, slightly more supportive of abortion rights in general than women, and a majority of both support what most “abortion supporters” consider to be a very limited right to abortion.

    Obviously, if “libertarianism” “must” come down on either side of the abortion issue with any kind of strenght (taking either position at the “extremes”), it’s going to alienate a large segment of the (American) population. The most inclusive response would be assert that the question of abortion includes philosophical components properly outside the realm of libertarianism, which I think it clearly does. But then, just because it’s the most inclusive response doesn’t mean it’s RIGHT.

  46. # John T. Kennedy Says:

    — I’m not worried about alienating people who are condoning evil. —

    If that’s directed towards me, since I neither solicited or asserted a position on whether it’s appropriate or desireable to target an argument or message for a minimum of alienation, I can only say: Who cares? I’ll file that under “well-known non sequitur.”

    If it’s directed towards Nell, I can only point out that your position is merely question-begging and note that it is ambigous enough to extend you plausible deniability in the case of rejoinders like this (ie: I wasn’t question-begging, I was just stating a personal maxim for no particular reason!)

  47. I also hasten to point out, that since your well-known position is that you don’t care about alienating ANYBODY, your decision to arbitrarily restrict your statement in this case to “alienating people who are condoning evil” is just a transparent cover for the assertion that a particular act is evil.

  48. — I recognize abortion as evil. I can’t imagine why any argument that this alienates people should have any force with anyone who recognizes a right and wrong. —

    I am not aware of anyone in this thread who has suggested that arguments which alienate people should be avoided. I have certainly not said as much, nor do I think that was really the issue Nell was raising. Given that, your repeated affirmations appear to be bizarre non sequiturs.

    However, to suggest that you “can’t imagine” why someone would make the argument that divisive statements should be avoided merely because one recognizes a “right and wrong” bespeaks, I suspect, a total lack of imagination. The reason, phrased generally, should be clear. If you believe in right and wrong, and further, think that you should further right conduct, then you should engage in activity which is likely to further right conduct. If you think this is the case, then unnecessary divisiveness is often flatly contradictory to that purpose. If you can persuasively articulate a model of behavior which encourages right conduct (say a general respect for libertarian ideals), and you can do that in a way which alienates the least amount of people regarding issues in which libertarian philosophy is not determinative, then to do so in a needlessly more divisive way is effectively curbing right conduct.

    The above seems elementary, and I make no representation that it is MY position. However, merely because I may disagree with it does not mean that I “can’t imagine” its appeal. I thinkt he appeal is obvious. Your position, that you don’t particularly care to encourage ight conduct, is well known. I don’t quarrel with it in particular. I would only suggest that the issue of divisiveness is perhaps far MORE important a consideration for those that acknowledge right and wrong and, because of that acknowledgment, seek to encourage right behavior, than it would be for someone that DOESN’T acknowledge right and wrong.

  49. “If you believe in right and wrong, and further, think that you should further right conduct, then you should engage in activity which is likely to further right conduct. If you think this is the case, then unnecessary divisiveness is often flatly contradictory to that purpose.”

    I reject the notion that people can be persuaded to think better.

    Who I alienate really has nothing to do with how well individuals will behave.

  50. John T. Kennedy Says

    — I reject the notion that people can be persuaded to think better.

    Who I alienate really has nothing to do with how well individuals will behave. : —

    Judging strictly by what you have written, you don’t actually believe that. You simply believe that the overwhelming majority of people cannot be persuaded to think better. You accept that some, statistically insignificant, percentage of people cannot “evade or dismiss an argument they can’t refute.” Those people, it seems, can be “persuaded” to think better.

    In any case, this was not a tangent I thought it would be fruitful to go off on, and I phrased my responses in a way that I thought would prevent us from doing so. My point was merely that you were being disingenuous when you stated that you “can’t imagine why any argument that this alienates people should have any force with anyone who recognizes a right and wrong” – since in fact not only can you imagine why such an argument would be appealing, but that you have developed a (conveniently self-congratulatory) hypothesis explaining why people who find such a position appealing are wrong.

  51. The ones one Joshua Holmes assigns to us?

    On my interpretation of libertarian rights, if you throw someone in the water you have an enforceable obligation to save them from drowning, but if you just happened upon a drowning man then the obligation isn’t enforceable. The key difference seems to be that in the first case there was a rights violation which needs to be corrected, and none in the second; you “caused” the drowning man’s state by injuring him, and so must correct it by helping him.

    Again the issue devolves back to whether the fetus has personhood. If it was literally an adult human (perhaps a dwarf?) inside a woman’s womb, then the woman is indeed responsible for its helpless state. But if all she possess is a blob of unintelligent cells, then it’s moot.

    On a different note, I’m not clear on exactly what about Prof. Block’s stance on abortion Holmes disagrees with aside from the use of those analogies. Block thinks that the fetus is a person and that the woman may evict the fetus at any time provided she can find a place for it to get care; if nobody volunteers, then it’s ok to abort it. How is this a “pro-choice” position?

    Prof. Block argues that there is no right to life, because that would be a positive right. But abortion is about the ultimate negative right: the right not to be killed. If we are to support liberty, we must support life.

    Libertarians cannot be pro-choice.

    I think this is a confusion about terminology. Probably what Block meant is that you don’t have a right to live at the expense of unwilling others. For example, if I’m in a spaceship and you need my air, then there isn’t an enforceable obligation for me to give you my air. That would be a situation where there is no “right to life”. The point is that the fetus, if a person, doesn’t just have a right to arbitrary care and resources from the mother; rather it merely has a right to be compensated for being put in a helpless state, which the mother can do via “the Church doorstep”. The confusion would be analogous to saying of a drowning man you had just shoved into the water that because you shoved him in you must therefore spend as much time, effort, and resources as the drowning man demands, and not merely lend him a hand out of the water.

  52. Again the issue devolves back to whether the fetus has personhood

    No, it doesn’t. Conservatives always try to push the discussion in that direction, but Block, and before him Rothbard, have made it clear that this is not the issue. In fact, I believe Rothbard is on record as saying that he believes that life begins at “conception” (another undefined conservative buzzword), whatever that means.

    Nonetheless, no living creature has the positive right to live inside another person without this person’s conset. That is the issue, and you have pointed to it yourself.

    The only recourse conservatives have out of this, and the only good point they make on the issue, is that sexual intercourse constitutes a contract to provide for the result of the intercourse. That is the only objection to abortion that can be somewhat viable on libertarian grounds.

  53. Nonetheless, no living creature has the positive right to live inside another person without this person’s conset. That is the issue, and you have pointed to it yourself.

    Well obviously whether or not the “creature” is a person at all is relevant – I don’t think you can just shove people out of airlocks whenever you want to. Likewise at some point in the pregnancy I don’t think a woman can just shove the baby into the trash can; she indirectly created the baby, dependent on her body to live, and thus bears some responsibility for its helpless existence.

  54. But if all she possess is a blob of unintelligent cells, then it’s moot.

    Not at all. We recognise the right to life and liberty of even the most deeply retarded human beings – beings no smarter than apes, dolphins, or parrots – and recognise that smarter animals have the right not to be treatly cruelly.

    Probably what Block meant is that you don’t have a right to live at the expense of unwilling others.

    I’m aware that’s what he meant, but that’s not what the term means or how anyone else uses it. Block can use his own private language, if he wants, but he’s not going to make any coherent arguments with it.

    The only recourse conservatives have out of this, and the only good point they make on the issue, is that sexual intercourse constitutes a contract to provide for the result of the intercourse. That is the only objection to abortion that can be somewhat viable on libertarian grounds.

    It’s not a contract, it’s a tort. By taking an action that makes another person dependent on you for their safety, you have incurred the duty to provide just that.

  55. Joshua Holmes Says:

    “But if all she possess is a blob of unintelligent cells, then it’s moot.”

    — Not at all. We recognise the right to life and liberty of even the most deeply retarded human beings – beings no smarter than apes, dolphins, or parrots – and recognise that smarter animals have the right not to be treatly cruelly. —

    This is just a (thinly) veiled appeal to popular practice. The mere fact that some people recognize the right to life and liberty in regards to deeply retarded human beings says nothing about the validity of such an extension, merely the fact that some people make it. If organisms with the mental capacity of apes, dolphins, and parrots are being extended the right to “life and liberty”, then, adjudging that that is an appropriate determination of the extension of rights, we should acknowledge the exact same rights to “life and liberty” apply to apes, dolphins, parrots, severaly retarded people with similar cognitive capacities, and any other animals with similar cognitive capacities. That is, we should start treating parrots, dolphins, and apes with the same degree of respect that we accord to the severely retarded. Alternatively, if we can determine that the severely retarded and organisms similarly situated with regards to mental capacity should NOT be treated with that kind of respect for “life and liberty” then our fallacy is in treating retarded homo sapiens too well, and we should treat them in acccordance with their limited to nonexistant rights.

  56. Not at all. We recognise the right to life and liberty of even the most deeply retarded human beings – beings no smarter than apes, dolphins, or parrots – and recognise that smarter animals have the right not to be treatly cruelly.

    Really? I don’t. I think all animals should be treated with respect, but they have no “rights” to such. And if a human is sufficiently incapacitated and retarded without hope of recovery, then ending their life is act of mercy, not aggression.

  57. And if a human is sufficiently incapacitated and retarded without hope of recovery, then ending their life is act of mercy, not aggression.

    Wow, wow, hold on, are you making threats against John “Lopez” Kennedy and Holmes?

  58. Heh, when you write it with the quoted nick it reminds me of the somethingawful goons. Of course everyone at no-treason is a par above those ignorant goons…

  59. Again the issue devolves back to whether the fetus has personhood. If it was literally an adult human (perhaps a dwarf?) inside a woman’s womb, then the woman is indeed responsible for its helpless state. But if all she possess is a blob of unintelligent cells, then it’s moot.

    You don’t even need to assert such a thing. The mother isn’t responsible for the helplessness, but for the existence of the fetus. Kennedy and Holmes are mistaking the two for the same thing here.

  60. The mother isn’t responsible for the helplessness, but for the existence of the fetus.

    The problem with that reasoning is that the helplessness and the existence are both part of the same process. For instance, consider the following two items:

    1) Removing a trespasser from your lawn.
    2) Shoving someone into traffic at the precise moment a mac truck comes along.

    Item 1) does not per se violate rights. Item 2) does violate rights. The conjunction of item 1) and item 2), shoving someone someone off your lawn at the precise moment a mac truck comes along, does violate rights. You might say “But wait a minute, all you are responsible for is 1), removing a rights violator, not 2), which is murder”. But since the action is in fact composed of 1) and 2) simultaneously that’s invalid, and shoving someone off your lawn into traffic is normally regarded as a type of murder.

  61. You might say “But wait a minute, all you are responsible for is 1), removing a rights violator, not 2), which is murder”. But since the action is in fact composed of 1) and 2) simultaneously that’s invalid, and shoving someone off your lawn into traffic is normally regarded as a type of murder

    Hmm, no, the action is 1) only, 2) is more of a matter of circumstances and a third-party’s responsibility. You’re supposed to take action to protect your rights from aggression, but no further than those rights extend. That there exist no “neutral ground” for the trespasser to stand outside of your land is not your fault (if it is surrounded by other private properties, maybe you can ask him which way he wants to be expelled from your land ?). Also, this example makes for a bad analogy because the Mac truck’s driver is just as responsible for flattening the trespasser, if not more, than you are (you’re supposed to always stay in control of your vehicle – a libertarian road may have no speed limitations, you’re still guilty of running over someone if you do). And it can be argued that the trespasser should have known better than to trespass, and risk expulsion, right next to a road loaded with fast moving trucks, so he might have some responsibility too (maybe he expected to be shoved under a truck as a convoluted suicide method), in any case trespassing is risky, crossing roads is risky, living is risky and that’s hardly anyone’s fault. For all these reasons I disagree with your analogy, and I still doubt that the helplessness and existence of the fetus can be fused and both slapped together on the mother’s back.

  62. And it can be argued that the trespasser should have known better than to trespass, and risk expulsion, right next to a road loaded with fast moving trucks, so he might have some responsibility too (maybe he expected to be shoved under a truck as a convoluted suicide method), in any case trespassing is risky, crossing roads is risky, living is risky and that’s hardly anyone’s fault.

    I’ll keep that in mind the next time I see you on my front lawn.

  63. Holmes:

    I think that your central argument — that consent to sex entails accepting responsibility for bearing any child that results — is dead wrong, but I’d rather give my explanation why a post to itself. For now, a couple questions about the view expressed later in your post:

    1. If you believe this, then why did you bother to argue in the first place that consenting to sex entails accepting responsibility for bearing any children that result? Since you go on to argue that abortion is still illegitimate even for pregnancies that resulted from rape, you apparently think that consent is irrelevant, and that women bear responsibility for bearing children whether they accepted that responsibility or not. If the lack of consent to sex is irrelevant to a woman’s duties toward a fetus resulting from rape, then I don’t see how the presence of consent to sex becomes relevant to a woman’s duties towards a fetus resulting from consensual sex.

    2. Since you apparently do think that consent to sex is irrelevant, and that the needs for a fetus’s life outweigh the unwilling mother’s claims to her own bodily organs, in what sense is Thomson’s Famous Violist case a bad analogy for you? Doesn’t the position you defend in the second part of your post commit you to saying that the cases are analogous, and simply drawing the opposite conclusion from Thomson?

    After all, you can’t point to the fact that you didn’t volunteer your bodily organs for the use of the Famous Violinist as a point of disanalogy. You’ve explicitly denied that a fetus’s claim on its mother’s internal organs depends on her having consented. So it looks like the conclusion you ought to draw is that the cases are analogous in all the morally relevant respects, the Famous Violinist has a right to keep on using your body against your will, and if you disconnect her, that’s a form of criminal homicide.

    If you’re willing to draw that conclusion, then your position is at least internally consistent. God only knows how you intend to reconcile it with anything recognizable as a libertarian theory of rights to person and property, though.

  64. I agree that we have no positive obligations to which we have not consented.

    So you’re saying you consider the obligation to care for the child as a negative one then, or are you saying there’s none at all?

  65. God only knows how you intend to reconcile it with anything recognizable as a libertarian theory of rights to person and property, though.

    He’s not even trying to. He has already stated that he considers libertarianism based on property rights to be flawed:

    …accurately summarises my opposition to libertarianism as propertarianism. Libertarianism is about human life first, with property as an (important) adjunct to the good human life.

    (My emphasis)

    Holmes seems to be unable to grasp that there is no right to life without the right to property, and that property rights are the first and only rights a man has, i.e. that all other rights emanate from the right to justly-acquired property.

    Note also how he qualified property rights as secondary to good human life! How liberal! The implications of Holmes’s “life-based” libertarianism are as follows:

    1. It is just to take one man’s kidney in order to save another man’s life (two living men with one kidney are better than on dead and one alive), and

    2. It’s OK to steal money form Bill Gates in order to fund schools to the downtrodden, for after all, education is a prerequisite to good human life, isn’t it?

    Now before anyone here jumps to defend the soccer hooligan from my vicious attacks (read: well-written rebuttal of religion-based junk), take a minute to consider how the last two points are derived directly from Holmes’s “life-based” libertarian theory.

  66. in what sense is Thomson’s Famous Violist case a bad analogy for you?

    The fetus’ life is at risk. The mother’s is not (unless that is the specific case, in which case I’ve endorsed abortion).

  67. Holmes seems to be unable to grasp that there is no right to life without the right to property

    Precisely backwards. There is no right to property without the right to life. The right to life comes first. Else, we could propose a moral system where I can’t steal from you, but I can kill you, at which point your stuff goes to whomever can take it. The absurdity of such a system points to the primacy of the right to life.

    The rest of your post is a magnificent argument against someone who is not me.

  68. So far for thinking on your feet. Over a month for this lame response?

    But, I’ll refrain from future personal attacks, since you use them as excuses to avoid answering my questions, you lowlife little weasel. Shit, I did it again.

    Anyway, feel free to address my two previous questions whenever you feel like it. Here they are again, in question form:

    1. Is it just to take one man’s kidney in order to save another man’s life (two living men with one kidney are better than on dead and one alive), and

    2. Is it OK to steal money form Bill Gates in order to fund schools to the downtrodden, for after all, education is a prerequisite to good human life, isn’t it?

    As for your proposed moral system, here’s an equivalent moral system that stems from your approach: It ‘s wrong to kill you, but it is OK to take everything you own, including your food and clothes, and to prevent you from acquiring other food and clothes. You’re dead within a few days.
    Absurd, isn’t it?

    Your proposed system is self-contradictory, since killing me violates my property rights. It violates my right to own my body. You simply cannot logically say something like “I can kill you but not steal from you”. Murder is a violation of my ownership over myself.

    I’ll see you back in January, when you have mustered enough brain cells for another pathetic retort. Shit, I did it yet again!

    [P.S. The editors are invited to shove their righteous indignation up their asses.]

  69. “The darkness of reality and the decadence of the soul have conquered all. I wish that this vast earth of ours were a wilderness with no trace of human habitation, and that I had never set foot on it. This, of course, is but a pipe-dream.” – Liang Yuchun

  70. Let us play a little thought experiment (warning: it actually requires thought, so some of you may want to tune out).

    The Supreme Ruler of the Universe, let us call him Zeus, approaches you while you are a still a fetus. You are about to join the world, says Zeus, so I shall bestow one right upon you. You may choose one and only one of the following three rights: life, liberty, and property.

    You may then proceed to try to derive logically either or both of the other two rights from the one you have chosen. If you are successful (as determined by Zeus), you get to keep the rights(s) you were able to derive, plus the one you chose at first. If you fail in your derivation, you get to keep the one right you chose.

    Question: which right would you choose?

    OK, I’ll go first. I’ll choose property, and I am confident I will be able to derive life and liberty from property. I could do it right here and now, but I don’t wish to sound as if I am citing Rothbar’d books. Read For a New Liberty and The Ethics of Liberty and see if you’re convinced.

    Would you choose life, Holmes? Interestingly and ironically, this is what Ayn Rand chose. Ironic because it is usually religious folk who take the “Life First” approach. She tried to derive property and liberty from life in one of her essays, and I think she failed miserably. Would you fare better, Holmes?

  71. 1. Who the fuck are you?

    He is the Kwizatz Haderach
    He is born of Caladan
    And will take the Gom Jabbar

    He has the power to foresee
    Or to look into the past
    He is the ruler of the stars

    So watch your filthy mouth, bitch.

    2. I actually didn’t even realize the thread had gone on this long. I noticed it while idly scrolling down NT the other day.

    Oh, well, that addresses all my substantive points above. Good job!

  72. Hey, bitch, are you going to post a reply to my comments anytime soon, or did I overwhelm the six functional neurons you have left?

  73. Whoever the fuck you are, you should understand that I don’t hop to at your beck and call. Oddly enough, I have limited time for the internet coming into the holiday season. If you had any friends, weren’t hated by your family, or could actually hold a job, you might be busy, too.

    To answer your questions:

    1. No.

    2. No.

    Your weird Zeus fantasy doesn’t merit a response.

    Have a Merry Christmas, shut-in.

  74. I can think and walk at the same time, so I don’t have to put everything else aside to address an issue, and I’m never too busy to expose stupidity and incoherence.

    Your answers are incpompatible with the philosophy you have promulgated above. So either you are too dumb to see that, or otherwise you are a hypocrite. The whole point of the questions was to make you see the absurdity of your ideas, but in order to do that, you have to engage in the imposing task of thought.

    Your weird Zeus fantasy doesn’t merit a response.

    My “weird Zeus fantasy” is a very simple yet very profound thought experiment, dealing with a question that Rand, Rothbard, and others have dealt with at length. You obviously don’t read, so you wouldn’t know that. I chose to put it in the form of a thought experiment in the hope that you and others could digest it more easily. Obviously, I was mistaken.

    Have a Merry Christmas, shut-in.

    I don’t know what line of work you’re involved in, but some of us have computers at work, and laptops with mobile wireless connections. Maybe one day you’d have these luxuries, too.

  75. Joshua Holmes says:
    “It’s not a contract, it’s a tort.”

    If getting pregnant is a tort, wouldn’t that mean women shouldn’t get pregnant for the same reason you shouldn’t push people into the water?

  76. The origianl arguments for abortions were that “poor inner city people” need them to avoid unwanted pregnancies, and that rape victims shouldn’t have to carry a fetus to term under those circumstances. Most of the jusifications used to support this position are backed by the science brought to us by doctors, but what happens when that science changes? Does the justification to abort a fetus go away?

    When my wife was pregnant with our second child, she was taking medication for seizures due to a brain tumor. We were required by her ob/gyn to see a geneticist that explained all the birth defects that our child would likely have. His recomendation was to abort the baby even though he had no proof of any problem. As a minimum, he recommended stopping the medications and maybe we’d be lucky.

    We had the baby and everything was fine. Next spring, she’ll be graduating from HS.

    Eight years later, we found out that my wife was pregnant again, and without seeing her new ob/gyn (we had moved), she stopped taking her medication again. We found out she was pregnant just as we were leaving town for 2 weeks. When we returned, she saw her ob/gyn and told the Dr that she had stopped taking her medication. The Dr’s responce was that she shouldn’t have done that and her medication was perfectly safe. When my wife explained why she had stopped the medication and asked how the recommendation could be so radically different only 8 years apart, the Dr replied that her medication had most likely been reclassified as having less dangerous side effects (ie birth defects to babies). We decided to stay off the medication, and our 3rd child ws born healthy and without any complications.

    Look up any statistics as to who’s having abortions – it’s overwhelmingly affluent suburban women who were in a relationship with the father – ie they weren’t raped (less than 1% of abortions are due to rape as per the CDC)

    How many abortions have taken place at the Drs recomendation because of the health consequences to the mother or possible birth defects of the baby?

    What does a women think when she finds out that her abortion wasn’t necessary?

    As Americans, we have and get abortions because we can, not because we need to.

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