Questionable Motives

November 14, 2014

Life or culture? Which is the greater civil right?

Filed under: aboriginal culture,Healthcare,Medicine,woo — tildeb @ 6:11 pm

So which is the more important right for the judiciary to uphold if a choice must be made?

Well, in Canada, it seems a befuddled judge thinks a constitutional right to ‘practice’ one’s culture supersedes the state’s right to protect a citizen’s life from a parent’s belief in the efficacy derived from exercising Oogity Boogity rather than evidence-adduced efficacious medicine.

In a recent court decision: a Ontario judge said,

I cannot find that J.J. is a child in need of protection when her substitute decision-maker has chosen to exercise her constitutionally protected right to pursue their traditional medicine over the Applicant’s stated course of treatment of chemotherapy.

Right, because efficacious medical treatment is apparently and magically a cultural expression all of a sudden… and a substitute medical decision maker can now legitimately pick which one to apply to (what, suddenly cultural?) disease processes and still be consider a responsible adult (and not simply bat-shit crazy with belief in woo) in the eyes of the law.

The local health team who had begun real medical treatment of a treatable disease process had asked the local Children’s Aid Society to take guardianship over the child (a practice often done when the parents of an ill child deny simple blood transfusions on the basis of contrary religious belief) when the mother of the child insisted that her aboriginal rights to do whatever she wanted to do to the child trumped any rights the child had to efficacious medical treatment. The judge agreed, saying these beliefs of the mother’s were “integral” to the family’s way of life, so the ruling was to allow her to choose traditional medicine for her daughter.

In this sense, the right to impose ‘traditional medicine’ on a dependent child over and above real medicine (with an efficacy of over 90%) means death. And this is what the court is trying to tell us is a ‘constitutional’ right.

Bullshit.

Culture does not trump civil rights, and the most fundamental civil right any of us has is the right not to be killed to suit the faith-based ignorant and harmful beliefs of a parent who wishes to impose it on their dependents. This is already well established jurisprudence and this judge missed the point entirely… so busy trying to be ‘tolerant’ and ‘politically correct’ and ‘culturally sensitive’ as to elevate cultural beliefs to be superior to fundamental civil rights.

This is a really bad court decision in general that sets a terrible precedence that will be abused under the guise of ‘cultural expressions’ and particularly for the girl involved. In her case, this decision is a death sentence.

 

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122 Comments »

  1. This really is an interesting case, especially how the judge saw the interplay of parental rights and the child’s right to live. As I understood the article you linked to, the family is wanting to try aboriginal medicine, but there is no evidence that they will not return to chemo if that is necessary. I am left wondering if they would be going to all this trouble, though, if returning to chemo wasn’t an issue.

    While I do not know Canadian law (or the underpinnings of its justification of natural rights), I know that in the U.S. there probably would have been a petition filed for neglect. Regardless of the differences, though, this case illustrates why children should be protected from religious beliefs until they are old enough to make them on their own. It is one matter for a person to die from his or her own convictions (as misguided as they are). But it is tantamount to murder to let someone else die for one’s convictions.

    I genuinely feel awful for that child who is having to deal with parental superstition on top of leukemia.

    Comment by siriusbizinus — November 14, 2014 @ 6:27 pm | Reply

    • I agree about freedom to choose. And I do hope there will be an appeal, but when a hospital takes up the cost of litigation, there’s always medical consensus behind it (in every case I’ve ever seen). If knowledge isn’t considered a strong enough case versus incompatible cultural beliefs, then I don’t see how the hospital can win… because it’s no longer about the child’s medical welfare but about the guardian’s right to act on his or her bat-shit crazy beliefs… apparently protected by our Charter of rights and freedoms. If the judge could pull his or her head out of the paint-shaking machine long enough to re-establish even some neural connections, I’m sure he or she would recognize the kind of door to gross abuse he/she has opened here.

      Comment by tildeb — November 14, 2014 @ 7:35 pm | Reply

  2. Culture does not trump civil rights

    I had to really think about this. In all honesty, I’d never thought about it before, not from an aboriginal perspective. Religion is not culture, its theology and ideology, so its out of this picture, but indigenous rights would seem (on first inspection) to clash with civil rights. Then I remembered test cases in Australia regarding tribal discipline. The courts ruled in special cases, which these were (the elders wanted to deal with alcoholism), that tribal law could be practiced, but not to exceed the law of the land. meaning in short, no capital punishment. The take-away was: you can’t have two laws in one land.

    So yes: Culture does not trump civil rights.

    Comment by john zande — November 14, 2014 @ 8:50 pm | Reply

  3. Isn’t the judge supposed to judge the strength of evidence – it’s that his job? Sounds like the judge in this case needs some traditional firing.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — November 15, 2014 @ 5:52 am | Reply

  4. I think there was a case here in the 1980s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wambui_Otieno where the court leaned towards culture and not civil laws.
    I think such cases present a challenge to those who adjudicate them

    Comment by makagutu — November 15, 2014 @ 6:07 am | Reply

    • I don’t know much about the Otieno case, and the article you point to is pretty scant on the details. However, in a case that involves the medical treatment of minor, then I don’t think there is a judicial challenge at all, beyond the narcissistic.

      Anyone who cannot judge right from wrong in this situation is not worthy of being entrusted with the privilege of making judgement – because it is clear to everyone with an ounce of common sense which option (Medical science or witchcraft) is in the best interests of the health of the child. In this case the judge promoted the beliefs of the parents to a higher status than the medical state of the child, and in doing so damaged the integrity of the legal system (as he has deceived the child) and has possibly brought a human being to an early grave.

      Judges are there to protect us from birth even from our idiot parents.

      Comment by misunderstoodranter — November 15, 2014 @ 11:45 am | Reply

      • I agree with you tildeb among others that to decide on the side of the parents is monstrous and can almost be seen as dereliction of duty. That I don’t argue against at all.

        Comment by makagutu — November 15, 2014 @ 11:54 am

      • I understand why the guardian wishes to elevate her cultural allegiance to be equivalent in law to whatever she wishes to believe in, but my complaint is against the judge who went along with this bullshit and will end of making a precedent setting ruling (if not appealed) that will be used to justify the killing of people – usually children – by privileging this bullshit to be imposed on people without their legally responsible consent.

        Comment by tildeb — November 15, 2014 @ 4:30 pm

  5. Sadly, we had cases like that (not legal but medical cases) where the hospital pulled the little girl back from the bring of death, pampered her, doctored her into remission and released her to her parents – only to have her back 3 weeks later, to die from liver failure. The mother had been pressurized to feed the kid “muti” (traditional “medicine” which can be anything from magical water to poison plants to eye of newt – you get the idea).

    There was a puzzling case that came in with “? Fanconi’s Anaemia?”. A classical Fanconi’s has deformed arms alongside anaemia – missing ulna, sometimes missing thumbs, but this child had normal arms. Under the microscope, her chromosomes were a mess – just a shattered heap of fragments.

    The most likely cause: Poisoning. By traditional “medicine”.

    No law protects these poor children in this lawless country where the governing forces are superstitious themselves.

    Comment by gipsika — November 15, 2014 @ 3:34 pm | Reply

    • How tragic. And so unnecessary.

      Comment by tildeb — November 15, 2014 @ 4:16 pm | Reply

      • That’s exactly it.

        Comment by gipsika — November 15, 2014 @ 4:21 pm

  6. Jerry Coyne has weighed in and agrees with my conclusion and for the same reasons that the ruling is bullshit. He write that,

    “… spiritual/religious healing and “traditional medicine” are both instantiations of faith that contravene science, and that while parents can choose their own treatment, they have no right to inflict death-dealing woo on innocent, uninformed, and often brainwashed children.”

    Our opinions don’t help this child but perhaps they will add some small measure to the growing swell of reasonable voices that are calling for an end to legal respect for bullshit.

    Comment by tildeb — November 15, 2014 @ 4:25 pm | Reply

  7. Canadians normally get these things right, while the US stews in its own legal juices. I would say the safety and well being of a child trumps whatever cultural/religious/whatever_else might be in question. We have over the years seen the snake handling, poison drinking, christian science/JW aversion to medicine infecting the rural areas rife with poverty and poor education. It’s high time for reason and enlightenment to carry the day.

    Comment by P Yew — November 16, 2014 @ 2:02 am | Reply

  8. You’d be surprised at how thoroughly this line of thinking (respecting traditional or cultural or religious beliefs over reality or science) has infected the average ordinary lay person. Just a few days ago, I had a long facebook conversation with someone about this very case. With a person who had to endure chemo and radiation herself and knows just how life saving it can be. She tried to make an argument about it being a choice based on ALL the information (after which I pointed out there is no evidence for “traditional aboriginal medicine” – it’s pseudo-medicine). Then there was the suggestion that indigenous beliefs shouldn’t be discounted without input from indigenous people, after which I pointed out that medical knowledge is not arrived at via a committee who know absolutely nothing about the subject matter and instead rely on “faith” or “tradition” or anything of the sort.
    I really hope the hospital appeals that ruling because this little girl’s life is at stake. Her parents stupidity, ignorance and stubbornness are going to get her killed. Apparently, this judge doesn’t give a shit about that.

    Comment by Ashley — November 17, 2014 @ 9:54 am | Reply

  9. In the US, there have been many criminal cases over preventable child deaths. The usual culprit in trying to shield guardians from prosecution has been the idea of ‘protecting’ those who wish to exercise religious freedom even if it kills children. In this sense, we’re talking about empowering the right for guardians to exercise faith-based medical decisions on behalf of dependents even when it results in life threatening harm to them.

    As Dr Hall writes in the conclusion of a report for the national Committee for Skeptical Inquiry,

    The medical ethics principle of autonomy justifies letting competent adults reject lifesaving medical care for themselves because of their religious beliefs, but it does not extend to rejecting medical care for children. Society has a duty to override parents’ wishes when necessary to protect children from harm. It is not uncommon for the courts to order life-saving blood transfusions for the children of Jehovah’s Witnesses or cancer treatment against parents’ wishes

    This is why the hospital took this case to court: the same ethical argument applies in the Ontario case. Trust in faith-based therapies for the individuals choosing to utilize alternative therapies or reject efficacious medical treatment may be misguided and without a reasonable basis or done for very poor reasons but individuals have this right in law as well as in medical ethics. But the law also has a mandate to shield dependents from abuse.

    The Ontario judge failed to exercise this mandate regarding the dependent who is now subject to life-threatening abuse in the form of exchanging efficacious medical treatment for ‘traditional medicine’ that has no such medical equivalency but chosen by the guardian under the excuse that is a protected right to do so based on the guardian’s protected choice to exercise faith-based medical decisions on behalf of dependents… even when it is predictably known to produce results in life threatening harm to the them.

    Only the object of the specific belief has changed, from shielding this harm from prosecution because of a faith-based religious justification to shielding this harm from prosecution because of a faith-based cultural justification. In both cases, the narrow harm is done to the dependent and protection from prosecution by those who choose this harm is sought. In both cases, the broad harm is done to all dependents when the court decides to allow this harm for whatever faith-based reason a guardian may have. And in both cases, the real culprit is anyone who respects faith-based belief to be a legitimate and reasonable defense in the face of causing real harm done to real people in real life.

    Simply put, it is neither legitimate nor reasonable for any judge to accept this defense. if guardians are unable to exercise responsible competency, then the law should not be used to shield them to remain so.

    Comment by tildeb — November 18, 2014 @ 10:07 am | Reply

  10. Interesting tildeb … so I take this to mean you are also pro-life when it comes to the topic of abortion? I am pleasantly surprised. 😊

    Have a Merry Christmas!

    Comment by av8torbob — December 3, 2014 @ 11:44 am | Reply

    • Well, of course I’m “pro-life” on behalf of J.J..She’s a child with certain rights that I think are worth defending more than “the culture” in which she is being raised. I think her life is a matter of greater concern in the legal sense than the exercise of a culture imposed on her by her guardians. This does not mean I’m in favour of the law forcing women to carry pregnancies to term.

      Comment by tildeb — December 4, 2014 @ 7:31 am | Reply

      • Oh tildeb, you’re dodging my question. I didn’t say anything about “the law forcing women” to do anything. I am simply taking your own statements in this case to their logical conclusion. You said: “the mother of the child insisted that her aboriginal rights to do whatever she wanted to do to the child trumped any rights the child had to efficacious medical treatment” and that this was ridiculous because allowing a mother to do such a thing would result in the death of her child. You said that “Culture does not trump civil rights, and the most fundamental civil right any of us has is the right not to be killed.”

        For once, I couldn’t agree with you more, tildeb! I think this judge’s decision is horrible. I think the the state has a moral obligation to protect human life. More than that, I think a parent has a moral obligation to protect its own offspring and that personal, emotional, or “cultural” factors are all trumped by the offspring’s right to life. Human life is inherently valuable. We don’t have any rights at all if we don’t have a right to life. See how we agree!?

        But now your response troubles me because it is completely inconsistent with the premise of your post. YOU say a mother’s “cultural’ rights do not allow her to withhold medical treatment that would PROBABLY result in the death of her child … but now you’re saying that that same woman is justified in taking deliberate actions to INTENTIONALLY kill the same child. Wee bit inconsistent wouldn’t you say?

        How do you justify that?

        Comment by av8torbob — December 4, 2014 @ 9:13 am

      • I have to say, Bob, you’re very predictable. Once again, we return to the scene of the ‘crime’ so to speak that is your hypocrisy at work here…

        There is only consistency in my position about maintaining individual rights in law. That you can’t grasp this consistency comes as no surprise because you don’t grasp what respecting autonomous rights in law mean. You don’t grasp that supporting forced birth through law is contrary to upholding individual rights in law. You fail to grasp this meaning because on the one hand you subvert the mother’s right to her autonomy in the name of protecting the potential rights of the blastocyst later developing into an equivalent autonomous individual on the other hand. This is hypocrisy that you exercise. Your support for subverting rights by law to ‘protect’ the same rights for another reveals the depth of inconsistency in principle that you rely on to justify your position. This is a problem of comprehension on your part and not a indication of any inconsistency in mine.

        Comment by tildeb — December 4, 2014 @ 9:55 am

      • No, you are not consistent at all for the reasons I already pointed out. You think it’s unconscionable that “cultural values” based on idiotic parental choices should trump a child’s inherent right to life. But you also think that same parent can intentionally kill the same child just because it happens to be smaller, less developed, in a different location (inside -vs- outside the womb), or more dependent. In other words, you arbitrarily draw a line and deny a living human being the right to life simply because it can’t fully exercise its “autonomy” yet. You think you can justify that barbaric view because you dismiss its humanity with the wave of a hand by referring to it as a blastocyst, as if being a blastocyst renders it non-human.

        News alert: You were once a “blastocyst.” The term is nothing but a description of the stage of development of something. The question is, what is it? And the answer is a genetically distinct, self-contained, living human being with DNA unlike any other human being who has ever lived. Distinct from its mother. Unique. Human. If you really believe the right to life trumps culture, then you should also believe that it trumps a parent’s right to convenience. And, before you (or anyone else) starts with the “rape, incest, life of the mother, ectopic pregnancy” EXCEPTIONS to this fact, I will grant you every one of them (for argument’s sake) and you’re still left to defend 93% of abortions that intentionally kill another human being to avoid unpleasant circumstances.

        That’s barbaric. And that’s YOUR inconsistent view.

        Comment by av8torbob — December 4, 2014 @ 3:29 pm

      • Looks like he’s got it all figured out tildeb. The only way around this dilemma is to take away the woman’s right to choose to end a pregnancy and force her to have the child whether she wants to or not. So we’ll take away a woman’s right to have control over her own body in order to ensure that her unborn child’s rights are protected. Seems perfectly legit. Don’t see any hypocrisy at work there. Do you?

        Comment by Ashley — December 4, 2014 @ 3:58 pm

      • Bob, i pointed out that the problem is with your comprehension. For example, I said in the OP that “the most fundamental civil right any of us has is the right not to be killed.”

        I also said in a comment to you that “you don’t grasp what respecting autonomous rights in law mean.”

        Now, if you take these words and comprehend them accurately (because they belong to a theme), you’ll figure out that what I’m talking about concerns legal rights, rights recognized in law, rights the law is to uphold and protect on behalf of us all.

        You miss this essential feature by proclaiming that what I am saying has to do with “a child’s inherent right to life.”

        This interpretation by you demonstrates your comprehension problem. And, because you do not comprehend what I saying, you utilize what you mistakenly think I’m saying as a springboard to your charge of inconsistency. My position is inconsistent if and only if I actually said what you think I said. The point is, Bob, I never said it. And I wouldn’t say it because I recognize that a fetus at any stage does not have ANY civil rights… and for very sound legal reasons.

        Of course, I know you want all fetuses to not only have the same civil rights as the mother (that’s why you call a fetus at any stage of development a “child”) but that the fetus’ civil rights you wish they had should supersede the mother’s civil rights she actually has. You fail repeatedly to grasp how making such an award to the fetus then destroys the same right awarded to the mother. That’s what makes you a supporter of forced birth. Your broken reasoning is what makes you a hypocritical supporter of forced birth, namely destroying a right disguised as supporting that right. To you, this makes good sense. To me, it does not.

        As for this imaginary ‘inherent right to life” you seem to think all fertilized human eggs contain, you really must take this up with your god that seems very comfortable relieving some 70% of them of this so-called ‘right’.

        Comment by tildeb — December 4, 2014 @ 5:08 pm

      • tildeb,
        One of the lamest and most intellectually dishonest tactics anyone can use is to claim, “you just can’t comprehend,” and pretend that is a legitimate response. You’re better than that. I’m used to it here but, just so you know, I wouldn’t expect you to lower yourself to Ashley-like levels of asininity on your own blog. Not very becoming of you …

        Anyway, the fact is that I absolutely do comprehend. I comprehend two things:

        1) You want to try to assert that the right to life is a civil right based only in the law. Really? Legal positivism? That’s interesting (but not surprising because it’s all you’re left with) considering that is EXACTLY the view the 3rd Reich used to declare that Jews were sub-human and that the slavery defenders used to support the idea that blacks were not fully worthy of being considered citizens and so were also in some way sub-human. You might want to reconsider a view that allows those with power to use the law to make declarations about which arbitrary classes of human beings they will “allow” to have a right to life. History shows us that doesn’t end well. You better hope that your betters don’t decide one day that the thing you so flippantly refer to as an “imaginary inherent right to life” doesn’t obtain for you.

        2) You’re quick to use throwaway terms for distinct, whole, living human beings like blastocyst, fetus etc. (or the gold standard: “fertilized egg” which is a completely ridiculous, cowardly way to describe an entity that doesn’t even exist) that sound cute but do precisely nothing to negate the scientific fact that they are human beings. They are all ways to describe stages in the development of something — as they are for any animal — but that doesn’t make them non-human and it certainly doesn’t justify killing them simply because they are smaller, less developed, or more dependent than you.

        Keith L. Moore & T.V.N. Persaud write: “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm…unites with a female gamete or oocyte…to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”

        T.W. Sadler’s Langman’s Embryology, states: “The development of a human begins with fertilization, a process by which the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.”

        Embryologists Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Müller write, “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed….The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. Thus the diploid number is restored and the embryonic genome is formed. The embryo now exists as a genetic unity.”

        These aren’t theologians, they are scientists who specialize in embryology. These are scientific facts. You can ignore them if you want to, but you don’t get to pick which humans you, in your infinite benevolence, choose to apply the facts to. The result of your mindless hand-waving is one of the most barbaric and inhumane practices in human history — that mothers would intentionally dismember and destroy their own offspring simply for the sake of convenience and comfort. That’s the side you’re on.

        Congratulations.

        Comment by av8torbob — December 4, 2014 @ 9:00 pm

      • Bob, I pointed out the comprehension problem because that is the source of the problem you keep demonstrating: you don’t comprehend! You may think that’s ‘lame’ but it’s dead on accurate. I’m not saying you can’t comprehend (again, another misrepresentation you have created out of thin air); I have said repeatedly that you don’t comprehend. I then show how you have failed to comprehend to back up up my assertion. You – again – do not comprehend this difference and it matters because it raises the question of why you choose not to comprehend but continue to substitute your interpretations and think they accurately reflect what I’ve said. They don’t. And this is a problem only you can fix. Not me. Not Ash. You.

        I’m not asserting that (your conception of) ‘right to life’ is dependent on law; I keep saying – and you keep misunderstanding – that our shared CIVIL RIGHTS must be protected and enforced by law. You wish to extend these rights – civil rights that by definition are codified into jurisprudence – to the unborn. In so doing, you conflate civil rights to mean the same thing as ‘right to life’. This is also a problem because I am only talking about civil rights. I am arguing that by extending these rights to the unborn, you retract them from the mother. She loses her civil rights – the ones all of us – male and female – share. Your reasoning for this extending these civil rights to the unborn fail to take into account this loss… other than try to use the law to reduce the woman’s civil rights. This goes against the role that the law is supposed to (intended) play protecting our shared civil rights. You simply fail to comprehend why this matters as a point of law in your quest to ‘save’ the unborn from termination. You just don’t seem to care in the slightest to understand the import ON YOUR CIVIL RIGHTS of extending these rights to the unborn. You don;pt seem to care that you attack our civil rights by doing so and you don’t seem to care why undermining the principle of shared civil rights might be of concern. When you try to argue that we need to suppress the civil rights of some to extend these rights to the unborn, you demonstrate a negligence of reasonable comprehension and a promotion of hypocrisy. Bob, you don’t have the civil right to suppress my civil rights or the civil rights of a woman who carries a fertilized and implanted egg at ANY stage of fetal development. Advocating for the suppression IN LAW of a woman’s civil rights BY LAW is a very dangerous advocacy to all of us… you included because it attacks the very core of our shared rights to be protected and enforced by law. That you don’t grasp this point is beyond question. That you don’t grasp why understanding this point matters is beyond question. Your diversions into human development demonstrates your failure to comprehend my argument about civil rights and this, too, is beyond question. You need to rectify your lack of comprehension. The problem here belongs to solely to you.

        Comment by tildeb — December 4, 2014 @ 10:54 pm

      • No, tildeb, I see what you’re saying exactly — that “extending civil rights to the unborn necessarily retracts them from the mother.” I get it. You don’t, because you have no basis to deny civil rights to the unborn. What gives you that right? And why is that (on your view) the mother’s civil rights trump her offspring’s?

        The only way you can justify such a view is to presume the unborn are not human beings. My point is that they are human beings. It’s a scientific fact. Yet you deny it … and the result is barbarism.

        Let me say this: If you can show me WHY the unborn are NOT human beings, I will agree with you wholeheartedly. Have all the abortions you want. A woman should have every “right to choose” what she wants to do with her own body if it involves a procedure that amounts to nothing more than having a wort removed. I believe in eveyone’s “right to choose” …. unless their choice includes dismembering another human being. Some choices are wrong. We make laws against them. We call it “civilization.”

        So, show me how the unborn are not human beings who ALSO have civil rights and I will join you in your quest to flush them down the toilet based solely on the inconveniences a mother may face by allowing them to live.

        Simple question: “What makes the unborn not human and therefore unworthy of the same civil rights afforded their mothers?”

        [ p.s. Also, stop with the “forced birth” nonsense. Forced birth? No one is “forcing” anyone to give birth. The very notion of it avoids the FACT that there was a teeny weeny little step prior to the woman “finding herself pregnant” that bears on the radical idea that adults should be responsible for their own actions. If I was advocating “forced pregnancy” you’d have a point. Forced birth? Nonsense. ]

        Comment by av8torbob — December 5, 2014 @ 10:33 am

      • “No one is “forcing” anyone to give birth.”

        Excellent! You don’t think a woman should be “forced” to give birth. Very glad to hear it. So if you don’t advocate for “forcing” women to bear children, that has to mean that someone has to make a decision. That someone would have to be the woman since it’s her own body. There can’t be any other position. Either a woman HAS to give birth or she doesn’t. And if she doesn’t HAVE to do it, it means she has a choice. Since you said you don’t support anyone being “forced” to give birth, that means you are pro-choice.
        I mean sure, you can get laws passed that make it illegal for a woman to want to choose to have an abortion, but that won’t change anything, because you aren’t “forcing” her to give birth. What you’ll end up doing in that case is making it illegal for someone to exercise control over their own body and prescribe punishments for doing so, but you won’t have actually solved any problem. Women will continue to get abortions whether they are legal or not. So assholes like you will get laws like that passed to in the name of a “right to life” crusade, and won’t accomplish anything other than making everyone’s lives miserable. Please don’t talk to anyone about hypocrisy. People like you make me sick to my stomach.

        Comment by Ashley — December 5, 2014 @ 12:33 pm

  11. Yes of course. Not agreeing with parents killing their children via ignorance and stupidity = forcing women to have no say in the matter and bear children, regardless of the circumstance (i.e. known birth defects, pregnancy by rape, ectopic pregnancy, etc). Another spot-on deduction by our resident moral expert av8torbob.
    Absolutely Brilliant. Once again, you’ve really outdone yourself. That closet of priceless gems never seems to run out.

    Comment by Ashley — December 3, 2014 @ 12:34 pm | Reply

    • Hey Ashley! Good to hear from you again! Unfortunately, you’ll have to get back to reading your sacred email from Sam Harris and your music lessons. This conversation is for thinking adults.

      Cheers … and enjoy your Christmas 🙂

      Comment by av8torbob — December 3, 2014 @ 3:15 pm | Reply

      • Wow Bob! That is quite possibly the most well thought out defence of a position I have ever seen. If this conversation is as you say for “thinking adults”, making continual references to my emails from Sam Harris and the fact that I am an amateur musician while saying nothing whatsoever in defence of your earlier assertion (that since Tildeb thinks it’s a bad idea to hold traditional or religious beliefs to be more important than the scientific method of life saving medicine, he must be pro-life) is going to get you absolutely no where. You do realize that the fact that I received an e-mail from Sam Harris and that I play guitar has nothing whatsoever to do with the topic under discussion don’t you Bob? I’m sure you do, since you’re such a good “thinker”. Don’t worry about it. We all make mistakes. Sometimes some of us even make the same ones over and over and over and over again even when we’ve had the error of our ways pointed out to us ever time we make the mistake. You see Bob, I don’t make reference to you being an airline pilot, or ex-military, or a caucasian Christian male, or that your name is Bob, or anything of the sort when I read and respond to your arguments. That’s because all of that information is completely irrelevant. The only thing that matters is your argument. I would have thought that after Cedric pointed it out (and posted a video of) what an Ad Hominem logical fallacy is at least 10 times in various conversations, that you would understand by now.
        Please tell me more about “thinking” adults. I can’t wait to hear all about it.

        Comment by Ashley — December 3, 2014 @ 7:15 pm

      • Funny, Ashley. Maybe you missed the part where my comment was in response to tildeb … or anyone else who has something intelligent to say.

        Comment by av8torbob — December 3, 2014 @ 8:06 pm

      • Also, if you were a “thinking adult” you would have caught on to the deeply hidden fact that I made no attempt to defend any position. You don’t know what my position is re: tildeb’s post. You just assumed it (which is par for the course for you).

        So, there’s that … 🙂

        Comment by av8torbob — December 3, 2014 @ 8:41 pm

      • Oh you don’t have a position to defend? Oh I see.
        “so I take this to mean you are also pro-life when it comes to the topic of abortion?”
        Yeah, can’t imagine where I got the idea that you “assumed” something. No idea whatsoever how I “assumed” that you think Tildeb is pro-life because of this post that he made on his blog. Certainly couldn’t have come from you could it? Nah.
        Do you even read what you type? Can you really be that fucking stupid?

        Comment by Ashley — December 3, 2014 @ 10:24 pm

      • “Do you even read?” … Now that’s even funnier than the first inane comment there, Ash. Classic.

        If you had actually read what I said, you would realize that I didn’t say I “didn’t have a position to defend.” I said I haven’t defended it … because I haven’t. You do understand the difference, right? (maybe not?) Also, I didn’t say I had assumed something. I said YOU had assumed something. You do understand the difference between you and me, right? As is usually the case, you assumed my position about tildeb’s post without a single shred of evidence; then proceeded to go off into your usual profanity-laced blathering about something you made up in your own head. My comment about his position is what we call a “rhetorical question.” It’s very sophisticated. Maybe Sam Harris can help you with it. Or you could look it up.

        [And I’m the stupid one …] 🙂

        Still waiting for tildeb’s confirmation of my inference about his position re: this case and abortion. But in the meantime, I have to say you make the waiting entertaining there, Ashley. You don’t get out much do you?

        Comment by av8torbob — December 3, 2014 @ 11:12 pm

      • I actually did read what you said Bob. Remember when you said this?: ” Interesting tildeb … so I take this to mean you are also pro-life when it comes to the topic of abortion?”
        And then this?:
        “You don’t know what my position is re: tildeb’s post. You just assumed it (which is par for the course for you).”
        That would be the “single shred of evidence” that you yourself have provided. You think that after reading tildeb’s post, he must be pro-life. You’ve said so yourself. And then tried to deny that you had taken any position regarding his post in the subsequent replies.
        Thank you for answering my question. You really are that fucking stupid.

        Comment by Ashley — December 4, 2014 @ 5:18 am

      • Ha Ha Ha … Hey, Ash. Here’s the problem with your “thinking.” <> tildeb’s post isn’t about abortion <> I haven’t stated my position about tildeb’s post. See how this works? We aren’t talking about abortion so all your blathering about what I, or tildeb’c thinks about abortion hasn’t started yet. We’re talking about tildeb’s post and a rhetorical question I posed about it.

        Well, actually we’re not even doing that yet. So far, 7 or 8 comments in, we’re still dealing with your childish ranting and verbal spewing … about nothing. Its like we’re scripting a Seinfeld episode but you don’t know you’re the joke. But, because I’m kind, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m waiting to have the discussion with someone with whom I usually disagree but who offers serious rebuttals, not emotional, profane, pointless rants. In other words, I don’t waste my time having serious discussions with you and I have no intention of doing so. I’d rather talk to my beagle. Now get your panties out of a wad and get back to practicing your music. There you go. Good boy.

        Comment by av8torbob — December 4, 2014 @ 7:55 am

      • I know tildeb’s post has nothing to do about abortion Bob.
        Your own words
        “Interesting tildeb … so I take this to mean you are also pro-life when it comes to the topic OF ABORTION?” (emphasis mine)
        YOU’RE THE ONE WHO IS TALKING ABORTION, YOU FUCKING MORON.

        Comment by Ashley — December 4, 2014 @ 8:09 am

      • Wow, your head is thick. It really is a simple concept. Just keep trying to understand. Light a candle in front of your Sam Harris poster and hum for a while. Relax. It’ll get better. (maybe)

        Comment by av8torbob — December 4, 2014 @ 8:28 am

      • Bob’s original post: “so I take this to mean you are also pro-life when it comes to the topic of ABORTION?” (emphasis mine)
        Bob’s subsequent post #1: “You don’t know what my position is re: tildeb’s post.”
        Bob’s subsequent post #3: “As is usually the case, you assumed my position about tildeb’s post without a single shred of evidence”
        Bob’s subsequent post #4: “We aren’t talking about ABORTION” (emphasis mine)

        (then proceeds to have a discussion with tildeb about abortion and can’t see the difference between a child and a fetus)

        Please Bob, tell me more about MY head being thick and how this is a “really simple concept”. And throw in some more Sam Harris and music lesson references while you’re at it – because that really makes your case for you.
        Fucking idiot.

        Comment by Ashley — December 4, 2014 @ 9:48 am

      • Burn!

        Comment by tildeb — December 4, 2014 @ 4:49 pm

      • Yes, he’s brilliant isn’t he? I’m wondering if meds would help.

        Probably not.

        Comment by av8torbob — December 4, 2014 @ 4:55 pm

      • You don’t even see how you’ve contradicted yourself in your own writings have you Bob? I was never quite sure how far gone you were, but I think this seals the deal. A person who starts out talking about abortion and then denies that he’s talking about abortion (while having a conversation with someone else about the abortion that he made reference to in his original post that he subsequently denies) – all written down for everyone to see – and then tries to pretend that it’s someone else who doesn’t understand.
        Tell me more about who needs meds Bob.

        Comment by Ashley — December 4, 2014 @ 5:30 pm

      • Maybe you missed it the first time Ash. So here it is again: I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m waiting to have the discussion with someone with whom I usually disagree but who offers serious rebuttals, not emotional, profane, pointless rants. In other words, I don’t waste my time having discussions with you and I have no intention of doing so. I’d rather talk to my beagle. Now get your panties out of a wad and get back to practicing your music. There you go. Good boy.

        Comment by av8torbob — December 4, 2014 @ 9:02 pm

  12. Maybe you missed it the first time Bob. You read through tildeb’s post which had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with abortion and somehow arrived at the conclusion that tildeb is pro-life regarding abortion. How you arrived at that position, I have no idea. After that, you denied that I knew anything about your position re: Tildeb’s post. After that, you said you weren’t talking about abortion. Then you said I should light a candle for Sam Harris. Then you said I should go practice my music. Then you whined like a little bitch about profane language. That about sums it up from what I’ve seen. As for your posts to tildeb, I suppose you don’t see the irony in suggesting that someone who supports a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion is “inhumane and barbaric” while forcing a woman to give birth whether she wants to or not isn’t considered “inhumane and barbaric”. Now if that’s not as stupid as stupid gets, I don’t know what is.

    Comment by Ashley — December 4, 2014 @ 10:11 pm | Reply

    • Hey Ash … I spent 8 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, so if you think your tough guy use of profanity really bothers me, you might want to rethink that. Believe me, I’ve heard worse than your little wood tick-sized outbursts. I only bring it up because I’m a good guy who cares for you. I’m just trying to point out to you that many of us learned these big words when we were 10 or 12 years old, and used them to attempt to project our manhood before our voices changed and stuff. But then we grew up. That’s all I’m saying. Although, I was taken a little aback by the “whine like a little bitch” comment. I wondered where that came from … until I clicked on your name and saw the little blue she-male avatar you use to represent yourself. Then I realized you must know more about what the label “whine like a little bitch” means than I ever could. 🙂

      Also, re: the little comment timeline you took the time to spell out for us (on a couple of occasions) to show how “stupid” I am … since you haven’t seemed to follow my explicit words on the subject, maybe this will help. [Editor’s Note: The person using the laser pointer below is NOT the “stupid” actor in the video] Enjoy! 🙂

      Comment by av8torbob — December 5, 2014 @ 10:48 am | Reply

  13. Ooooo! You were in the Marine Corps so that must mean that profanity doesn’t bother you….except that you seem to whine about it every single time someone uses it. And of course, since you don’t use it, you must be a “bigger man” than me right? Because obviously 10 and 12 year olds are the only ones who talk like that. Certainly not any of the labourers, millwrights and miners and sometimes office professionals that I talk to on a regular basis as part of my job. No way, Jose. May I suggest that the thought never occurred to you that maybe I use it out of frustration and not “to appear tough” as you’d like to think? My biggest failing is that I don’t have the patience of someone like tildeb and I find it very difficult to talk to a brick wall. I thought his explanation that denying a mother’s civil (legal) right (to decide what goes on with her own body) in order to extend “inherent right to life” rights to the unborn is stupid, hypocritical and untenable was quite eloquent and couldn’t possibly be put any easier. But it appears to have been a waste of time (at least to you), because you already know he’s wrong. Nothing he’ll say, will ever change your mind on that. I don’t have that kind of patience, so my frustration exhibits itself in the form of profanity. I guess the only thing we can keep on doing is I’ll keep using profanity and you’ll keep whining about it. Sorry. Hey, maybe I use that type of language because I know it bothers you and I get a kick out listening to you whine like a little bitch. You just never know.
    Now as for my profile picture, I have to say that I’m the one who is taken aback. I never would have thought that anyone would be able to take a look at my profile picture, which is an artifact on display from the Royal Ontario Museum (the name of which and time period that it comes from, I don’t remember) and use that to perform a psychological analysis of my “whine like at little bitch comment”. So if I can get this straight, based on your psycho-analysis of the one single picture on my profile, you have concluded that my “whine like a little bitch” comment must be some kind of inadequacy that I’m trying to cover up on my part. Look out Sigmund Freud, there’s a new cat in town and his name is av8torbob.
    You can post as many stupid you tube videos as you like and try to be “explicit” and “clarify” your idiocy as much as you want. It doesn’t change anything you said and then later denied saying. That’s the beauty of the internet. It’s all written down, by your own hand no less, and it’s all there for everyone to see. It’s very clear for all to see that you don’t think before you type. You just start hammering away at the keyboard and whatever’s in your head at that moment in time, comes out. You don’t sit and think about what you’ve written in past posts, you just let ‘er rip. It’s why you contradict yourself and have to back track and refuse to acknowledge your mistakes and end up making a complete fucking idiot of yourself on a regular basis.

    Comment by Ashley — December 5, 2014 @ 3:32 pm | Reply

    • “But it appears to have been a waste of time (at least to you), because you already know he’s wrong. Nothing he’ll say, will ever change your mind on that.”

      Well, Ash, it appears that all I’ve said has been a waste of time (at least for you), because you already know I’m wrong. Nothing I’ll say will ever change your mind on that.

      “I guess the only thing we can keep on doing is I’ll keep using profanity and you’ll keep whining about it. Sorry. Hey, maybe I use that type of language because I know it bothers you and I get a kick out listening to you whine like a little bitch. You just never know.”

      Oh, my bad. I guess you misunderstood. I realize there are plenty of people who use your kind of language — people who think it makes them tough, or who haven’t grown up yet. I hear it all the time. Like I said, it doesn’t really bother me at all. I just thought I’d help a brother out and let you know what a low life scum it makes you sound like to everyone around you. If you have to resort to acting like scum, have at it, bro! No skin off my hide. Apology accepted 🙂

      And hey, maybe I keep talking about your Sam Harris email, and your amateur musician status, and your little blue girly-man avatar etc. because I know it bothers you and I get a kick out of listening to you whine like a little bitch about it. You just never know. 🙂

      Cheers …

      Comment by av8torbob — December 5, 2014 @ 5:19 pm | Reply

      • You are right about one thing for sure. Nothing you say will ever convince me that you or anyone else should assert control over women’s bodies in the name of protecting the “right to life” of the unborn. And if I had to guess, is say you keep bringing up my email from Sam Harris because you’re a fucking moron with a one track mind who can’t think of anything else to say after he’s done whining about profane language. So any who, now that you’ve got he abortion issue all figured out, how about you do me a favour a FUCK OFF?

        Comment by Ashley — December 5, 2014 @ 8:44 pm

      • Maybe I keep talking about your Sam Harris email, and your amateur musician status, and your little blue girly-man avatar etc. because I know it bothers you and I get a kick out of listening to you whine like a little bitch about it. You just never know.

        See! It works! 🙂

        Comment by av8torbob — December 5, 2014 @ 10:07 pm

      • Actually Bob, I’ve never whined about it. I just keep telling you that it’s got nothing to do with the conversation. It’s an ad hominem. If you weren’t so fucking stupid, you’d have gotten that by now. If all you have to talk about is my email from Sam Harris and the fact that I’m a play the guitar and that’s why women shouldnt get abortions, that’s fine by me because it’s about as good a defence of any position you’ve ever taken on anything.

        Comment by Ashley — December 5, 2014 @ 10:56 pm

      • See! It works! 🙂

        Comment by av8torbob — December 6, 2014 @ 12:12 am

      • “And hey, maybe I keep talking about your Sam Harris e-mail and your amateur muscian status and your blue girly-man avatar….”
        “…And used them to project our manhood before our voices changed and stuff. But then we grew up”….
        This shit writes itself.

        Comment by Ashley — December 6, 2014 @ 4:02 am

      • See: Cat with laser pointer video.

        Comment by av8torbob — December 6, 2014 @ 6:41 am

    • See: Telling someone you “grew up” and are more mature than them and then turning around 2 posts later and making fun of their “girly-man avatar”.

      Comment by Ashley — December 6, 2014 @ 9:06 am | Reply

      • Maybe I keep talking about your Sam Harris email, and your amateur musician status, and your little blue girly-man avatar etc. because I know it bothers you and I get a kick out of listening to you whine like a little bitch about it. You just never know.

        Comment by av8torbob — December 6, 2014 @ 10:03 am

      • I guess you got me there Bob. You’re so fucking smart.

        Comment by Ashley — December 6, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

      • Well, you’re still whining like a little bitch about it so, yeah, I guess I did 🙂

        Comment by av8torbob — December 6, 2014 @ 1:00 pm

      • You can correct me if I am wrong, but I am quite certain I never said it bothered me. If you find any comment of mine that contradicts that, please present it. I’ve been quite consistent on this. I think it’s a sign that you don’t know how to argue. It doesn’t do anything for your arguments. You think it’s relevant when it clearly isn’t. It’s an ad hominem and I think you may possibly have ADD or ADHD because it seems to come up all the time.
        The only one doing the whining is you.
        As a matter of fact, the more of your arguments that you conclude with “…And Ashley brags about getting an e-mail from Sam Harris and he’s an amateur musician, therefore he obviously doesn’t know anything.”, the better.

        Comment by Ashley — December 6, 2014 @ 3:15 pm

      • Well, you’re still whining like a little bitch about it so, yeah, I guess I did 🙂

        Comment by av8torbob — December 6, 2014 @ 3:18 pm

      • It’s funny, for someone who claims they aren’t whining about it, you’re the only one even talking about it. I haven’t said word one since I accepted your heartfelt apology. Whine on little bitch …

        Comment by av8torbob — December 6, 2014 @ 3:23 pm

      • No Bob, I’m pretty sure you’re talking about it too. I’m not whining about anything.
        I’m not the one saying that because I don’t bring up a certain subject or talk in a certain manner using certain language, that I’m more “grown up” or more mature.
        You are.
        I’m not the one saying someone talks about certain subjects or in a certain manner in order to appear to be “acting tough”
        You are.
        I’m not the one saying that you shouldn’t talk about a certain subject or in a certain manner because “I’m a good guy and I care for you”.
        You are.
        I’ve repeatedly told you, make fun of anything that I said. This is me Bob, ENCOURAGING you. PLEASE bring up the emails and music in every conversation. I hope that’s clear now.
        The reason I keep rebutting your posts, is because I want to point out to you that it’s the logical fallacy of the ad hominem. The problem is that you are a fucking moron and you don’t understand the difference between the identification of a logical fallacy (ad hominem) and a whine.

        Comment by Ashley — December 6, 2014 @ 4:48 pm

      • Whaaa …

        Comment by av8torbob — December 6, 2014 @ 6:19 pm

      • Actually Bob,

        I meant to tell you this in my last post. Please, when making an argument of your own, or rebutting any one of my arguments, please make reference to as many (hopefully all) of the following subjects:
        – My email from Sam Harris
        – My amateur musician status
        – My avatar profile picture
        – My nationality
        – My name
        – The make and/or model of my car (I drive a white Jetta TDI with a standard transmission)
        – The fact that I think highly of Richard Dawkins
        (that’s all I can think of for now, but if I come up with more, I’ll let you know)

        I think the more of those you make reference to, the stronger your argument or rebuttal will be.

        Comment by Ashley — December 6, 2014 @ 6:53 pm

      • Here’s the difference between you and me, Ashley. When confronted with an opposing idea about the moral question of abortion, your response is: “Nothing you say will ever convince me that you or anyone else should assert control over women’s bodies in the name of protecting the ‘right to life’ of the unborn” (your exact words).

        You don’t have to agree with me. But in saying this, you show that you don’t have the slightest inclination to consider another point of view. Even on the most remote and bizarre odds that what I am saying is actually true, you don’t care. The fact that I say it means you will not accept it. In other words, you couldn’t care less about the truth. The truth is irrelevant to you. [Note: I am NOT assuming that I have the truth, all I am saying is that you don’t care if I have the truth or not]. All you care about is proving that av8torbob is a moron, opposing anything he says, and doing your utmost to mock him. That’s your goal. Truth be damned.

        On the other hand (because you probably never actually read it), this is what I told tildeb: “If you can show me WHY the unborn are NOT human beings, I will agree with you wholeheartedly. Have all the abortions you want. A woman should have every ‘right to choose’ what she wants to do with her own body if it involves a procedure that amounts to nothing more than having a wort removed. I believe in everyone’s ‘right to choose.’ … So, show me how the unborn are not human beings who ALSO have civil rights and I will join you in your quest to flush them down the toilet based solely on the inconveniences a mother may face by allowing them to live.”

        I admit that if tildeb can show me how the unborn are NOT human, I will change my position. I am willing to consider another point of view if it turns out to be true — even if it comes from tildeb or (God forbid!) you. My position is based solely on the radical, crazy notion that no one should be killing the most vulnerable, innocent, defenseless human beings without justification. I know, that sounds insane and “moronic” to you, but so be it.

        So, that’s really all there is to it. Instead of being interested in the truth, you want to focus on all the peripheral garbage and continue to “whine like a little bitch” (your original input) while continuing to insist you’re not whining like a little bitch.

        So, keep whining. As I said before, I’d rather talk to my beagle.

        Comment by av8torbob — December 6, 2014 @ 7:06 pm

      • Wrong again Bob.
        Yes I did very much say that I don’t think there is anything that you or anyone could say to me that would get me to reconsider the position that the only person who should have control over a woman’s body, is the woman herself. I have considered your position and I have rejected it. I am of the same opinion as Tildeb on the subject. Your question has been asked and answered 10 times over. Why isn’t an unborn child a person? Because they haven’t been born yet. You haven’t shown anyone here why an unborn child’s right should supersede that of her mother. YOU’RE the one who hasn’t considered the implications of your position. That much was clear in one of your earlier posts when you idiotically declared that no one is “forcing” anyone to give birth. Whether you say it or not, your position MANDATES it. If you are saying that the unborn’s right to life MUST supersede that of her mother’s then you have NO CHOICE but to force her to give birth. Because simply declaring it illegal won’t solve that problem. It didn’t work with alcohol in the 20’s and it hasn’t been working for the “war on drugs” for 30+ years. So the only way to ensure that the unborn’s “right to life” is guaranteed, is to remove the woman’s right to have control over her own body. Keep her under constant surveillance until she gives birth and then give her back control over her body. I have yet to hear from you anything resembling an idea as to how you propose to guarantee the “right to life” of the unborn while not forcing the woman to give birth. That’s because you CAN’T Bob. There’s no way around that dilemma.
        Abortion sucks Bob. It sucks the big fat one. I hate it. I wish it never had to happen. I wish everyone would contemplate the consequences of their actions before they acted. Unfortunately, wishing won’t make it so. So when presented with 2 unappealing options, I have no choice but to choose the lesser of the two evils. Guess what Bob? THATS FUCKING LIFE. I hate murder and theft and rape too. I wish they never happened either. However, I am not willing to give up the freedom of an open democratic society and live in a big-brotheresque police state, under constant surveillance to ensure that no human being is ever murdrered, raped or burglarized again.

        Comment by Ashley — December 6, 2014 @ 8:23 pm

      • “Abortion sucks Bob. It sucks the big fat one. I hate it. I wish it never had to happen. I wish everyone would contemplate the consequences of their actions before they acted.”

        Why, Ashley? Why does abortion suck and why do you wish these things?

        Comment by av8torbob — December 6, 2014 @ 8:50 pm

      • “I hate murder and theft and rape too. I wish they never happened either. However, I am not willing to give up the freedom of an open democratic society and live in a big-brotheresque police state, under constant surveillance to ensure that no human being is ever murdrered, raped or burglarized again.”

        So, does this mean you think murder, and theft and rape should be legal? And who, might I ask, is advocating the institution of some kind of “constant surveillance police state” for any reason. Look, Ashley, I’m actually not trying to be a smart-ass, but that just bizarre. No one has ever said such a thing and no one (that I know of) thinks that is the solution to stopping murder, theft and rape. If you’re going to reject my position, please do it based on things that exist in the real world.

        Comment by av8torbob — December 6, 2014 @ 9:44 pm

      • Tell you what Bob. I see that you’ve ducked commenting on it several times now, so I’ll just chalk it up to forgetfulness and I’ll give you another chance. You give me a plausible way to enforce (guarantee) your unborn’s “right to life” that doesn’t involve forcing the mother to give birth, and I’ll reconsider my position. I have no idea how in the world you are going to do that, but that could just be inadequacy on my part. I eagerly await your reply.

        Comment by Ashley — December 7, 2014 @ 12:31 am

  14. tildeb …
    I don’t know if you’re really busy or if you’re just avoiding answering the last question I posed, but for the sake of those who may actually consider the logic and moral imperatives of this post, let me say I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment. The State and parents have a moral obligation to protect children from harm even if it means the state has to step in to stop idiotic parents from denying medical care to a child who will almost certainly die if they do not. The right to life absolutely trumps magical cultural priorities. When life and death are in play, the right to life, and the state’s obligation to protect life, trumps the parents’ personal desire. Amen.

    However, you claim that this is only true because the law protects our “shared civil right” not to be killed. So, I’m asking you, “Where, along the timeline that defines each and every human life, does this civil right obtain for every human being?” From your response so far it seems that you think it pops into existence at some magical point that you refuse to define.

    No civil rights … magic/POOF!/oogity boogity … civil rights!

    Parents’ cultural situation defines allowable choices … magic/POOF!/oogity boogity … Parents’ cultural situation does NOT define allowable choices

    Chop the human being up and throw them away … magic/POOF!/oogity boogity … Right to life!

    So, my request is really a simple one: Please define for your readers where you believe the magical/POOF!/oogity boogity point to be. Thanks …

    Comment by av8torbob — December 6, 2014 @ 9:23 am | Reply

    • Sure Bob. That’s easy. At birth. That’s when civil rights begin… the principle being that only when a person becomes an individual can civil rights (its protections and enforcements) be implemented. Before birth, the pregnant woman is the only one with civil rights because she is an individual – an autonomous agent – recognized in law. The fetus in law is another matter entirely; it is not an individual but a wholly dependent and yet-to-be autonomous agent. Refer to the principle in play here. When the separation occurs and only when the birth happens does the fetus become a separate entity, only then meets the definition defined by law as a ‘person’, and only ‘persons’ have civil rights (as a recent court case involving whether these rights can be extended to higher primates). The rulings remain consistent on this matter. There is no ‘poof’ism involved.

      Again, trying to extend civil rights to a fetus harms the principle which is then paid for by a reduction of civil rights by the woman. This reduction in law is very dangerous because it threatens to undermine all of us and alter the principle of one set of shared civil rights for all.

      Comment by tildeb — December 6, 2014 @ 10:43 am | Reply

      • Good, so you’re a “personhood” advocate where “the law” defines personhood at birth. On your view, 15 minutes before it is due to be born, if its mother has a change of heart regarding her cultural status and feelings for the non-person within her, we can suck the “fetus’s” brains out with a vacuum pump, crush its skull, remove the non-person from the location where it quite naturally exists and develops, and throw it in the garbage.

        Please let me know if I am misrepresenting your view. I would just like all your readers to understand what your position (and theirs, if they agree) entails.

        Comment by av8torbob — December 6, 2014 @ 11:01 am

      • “When the separation occurs and only when the birth happens does the fetus become a separate entity.”

        False. The “fetus” is a separate entity from the moment of conception. It is genetically distinct from both its parents. Even if I grant you the “personhood” issue that does nothing to undermine the scientific fact that it is a DISTINCT human being. There is no other magic/POOF!/oogity boogity moment when it suddenly becomes a human being.

        Comment by av8torbob — December 6, 2014 @ 10:04 pm

      • Yes, she has that choice but in medical ethics the issue of viability plays a central role, which is why most places will not perform abortions (with therapeutic exceptions) after 26 weeks (and some are earlier).

        I remember a case where the drunk driver crashed into the car a woman was in on her way to the hospital to give birth and the fetus died. At issue was the charge of murder of that fetus but was overruled due the lack of ‘personhood’ of the fetus. So the law does make this distinction, Bob. Again, birth is the legal point of differentiating when civil rights apply.

        Comment by tildeb — December 6, 2014 @ 11:38 pm

      • Again, the separate entity refers to viability to continue to live outside the womb independent of the mother for meeting the principle of individual autonomy for civil rights to apply. You’re veering offtrack to talk about genetic differences (1/2 from mom, 1/2 from dad obviously) as if this in some way alters the principle in law. It doesn’t.

        You then leave the tracks entirely to talk about ‘distinct’ in the sense that the fetus is different from the mom and so therefore is in some way independent of the mom to meet the legal requirement for being a ‘person’; obviously this is absurd in this context. You then build on your mental derailment by suggesting that I am trying to argue that only at birth does the human fetus become human. Really, Bob, this approach smacks of desperation.

        Comment by tildeb — December 6, 2014 @ 11:48 pm

      • Frankly, tildeb, you don’t know what you’re talking about. You may “remember a case” but I’d like to see you cite it. There are 38 states in America (23 where it applies to the earliest stages of pregnancy) where, if a woman who is killed in exactly the way you describe where negligence is involved, the responsible party can be charged with TWO (2) counts of homicide. This brings up the absolute absurdity that if a doctor t-bones and kills a pregnant woman by running a red light, s/he can be charged with two (2) counts of negligent homicide. But, if s/he swerves to avoid the same woman, she can perform an abortion on the same unborn child with impunity. So much for the logic of your reverence for “the law” and my “mental derailment.” Give me a break.

        http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/fetal-homicide-state-laws.aspx

        And thanks for clarifying the fact that you think the “choice” to dismember and trash an unborn baby 15 minutes before it would be born is perfectly fine with you.

        “Barbaric” is a nice word for that.

        Comment by av8torbob — December 7, 2014 @ 12:33 am

      • Sorry, Bob. I should have clarified that I speak of the Canadian law (and the example I mention was, I think, in Montreal in the 80s) where infanticide is a crime defined only after the birth.

        BTW, we have no abortion laws but are subject to medical ethics of best practices for this procedure (meaning each medical care provider has to provide the service by law but will set policy for practice based on viability so that last trimester abortions are extremely rare. In other words, many refuse to perform late term abortions unless viability is no longer a concern). The US has been subject to the slippery slope of trying to move legal rights to the unborn and we see the result: a very large difference in law between many states who have tried to legislate in this direction… not for medical reasons as done here but for religious and political reasons using the law as a manipulative tool for partisan benefit. Of course, the rates for such procedures in Canada are miniscule in comparison to the US because we have much broader sex ed programs, easy access to contraception, and ‘free’ medical services. Abortion rates are extremely low. Food for thought.

        Comment by tildeb — December 7, 2014 @ 8:54 am

  15. Good, so you’re an “unborn” advocate where “the law” defines personhood before they are born. On your view, we can subject a woman to constant surveillance to make sure she doesn’t end the pregnancy. In order to protect the unborn’s “right to life”, we can use any force necessary to make sure she doesn’t even think about attempting to end the pregnancy, up to and including killing her brain and then placing her body on life support so that her unborn child’s “right to life” is still preserved. When the child is born, we can throw the mother in the garbage.

    Please let me know if I am misrepresenting your view. I would just like all your readers to understand what your position (and theirs, if they agree) entails.

    Comment by Ashley — December 6, 2014 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

    • Well, yes, this does actually totally misrepresent my view … or the view of any other pro-life advocate I have ever known. Kill her brain? Throw the mother in the garbage? Constant surveillance?

      Seriously? If that’s the best you’ve got, you’re grasping at straws there, Ashley.

      Comment by av8torbob — December 6, 2014 @ 9:50 pm | Reply

      • Bob, I didn’t say you had crossed the line; I said you were simply repeating yourself and that it was becoming tedious. You seemed to have taken some degree of offense when I called you a ‘forced birther’ but I haven’t read anything by you to suggest you would be supportive of any abortion for any reason. I’m asking you to reveal why the descriptor of being a forced birther is in any way not completely appropriate and accurate.

        Comment by tildeb — December 10, 2014 @ 9:46 am

    • I can’t believe that I have to explain this to you, but I’ll do it anyways. In regards to murder, making it illegal doesn’t involve violating anyone’s civil rights does it? You see the difference between that and abortion? You keep saying you “get it” but you keep glossing over it. There’s no way around it. If you insist on granting the unborn the right to life, then you are mandated to take away the right of a woman to have control over her own body. You can call abortion barbaric and inhumane all you want, what you propose is even more barbaric. You can say you aren’t proposing to force anyone to do anything, but you are. You just either can’t see it or you don’t want to admit it.
      But anyways, you say I’ve misrepresented your view. Very well. Now’s the perfect opportunity for you to clarify it. Pretend that you’ve been appointed the Supreme Ruler of the United States. What you say goes.
      The issue: Abortion.
      Please lay out your plan as to how you are going to protect (guarantee) the unborn’s right to life without violating the mother’s right to have control over her own body.
      You’ve been ducking this burning question for far too long. Out with it. Let’s hear your grand plan. Every one here is waiting with bated breath.

      Comment by Ashley — December 7, 2014 @ 8:48 am | Reply

      • A person’s “right to control his / her own body” does not give that person a right to harm someone else. If you have sex and conceive a child, you are the parent of that child and have the responsibility to care for that child. If you didn’t want to get pregnant you should have thought of that before you had sex.
        It is the refusal to take responsibility for the consequences of our own actions that is destroying us morally and socially.

        Comment by Bob Wheeler — December 7, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

      • So I’ll pose the same question to you that I posed to av8torbob. Let’s hear your plan to protect the unborn and their inherent “right to life” without violating a woman’s right to have control over her own body. Preaching about morality and the consequences or our actions isn’t going to solve the problem.
        A woman had just been raped and is now pregnant. She doesn’t want to have the baby (for what I would assume would be obvious reasons). Tell us how you’re going to protect her unborn child’s “right to life” without forcing her to have the baby.

        Comment by Ashley — December 7, 2014 @ 5:07 pm

      • Regarding you “bodily autonomy” argument, Ashley … This argument may be compelling if and only if we recognize that a woman’s right to control her own body is so absolute that carrying another human being inside of her has absolutely no bearing on that right. In other words, pregnant mothers have the absolute right to do whatever they want with their bodies regardless of what it does to the child they are carrying.

        It is easy to demonstrate that this is clearly false … Would I be wrong to give a pregnant woman a medication with known teratogenic effects? What if she insisted that I do just that? What if she refused to consider local anesthetic or general anesthesia in the hospital for the procedure, and insisted that I sedate her right away in my office? The safest time to perform surgery on a pregnant Mom is the second trimester – what if a patient did wish to wait until that time to have an elective procedure performed? A physician has the responsibility to take into account the health of the fetus in determining the care for a pregnant woman. We have no obligation to treat the pregnant Mom in a way that can harm her offspring, even if she insists that we do.

        Let me offer another example. Lets say a woman has intractable nausea and vomiting, and insists on taking thalidomide to help her symptoms. After having explained the horrific risks of birth defects that have arisen due to this medication, she still insists on taking it based on the fact that the fetus has no right to her body anyway. After being refused thalidomide from her physician, she aquires some and takes it, resulting in her child developing no arms. Do we believe that she did anything wrong? Would we excuse her actions based on her right to bodily autonomy? The fetus after all is an uninvited guest, and has no right even to life let alone an environment free from pathogens.

        What about a pregnant patient who wishes to continue her Accutane therapy for her acne? Speaking of reproductive rights, the government actually insists that a woman of child-bearing age use two forms of contraception if she is sexually active before taking that medication. Before she fills the prescription, she must verify the type of contraception she is on via the internet or telephone. I have yet to hear anyone question this as an invasion of her right to control her own body.

        In each of the above examples the mother is seeking a medication that does not harm her, has a beneficial effect that she desires, and yet she has no recognized right to be given them because of her bodily autonomy. The only reason these medications are denied to a pregnant mother who may be seeking them is the effect on her fetus. The pregnant mother’s right to autonomy is easily recognized not to be absolute in the cases in which she chooses an action that could harm her child. We simply recognize in these scenarios that not every choice that a pregnant Mom makes is a right choice, and have taken steps to protect unborn children from these decisions. What our society recognizes is that in the case of pregnancy, there is a special relationship that exists between a mother and her offspring. Her right to bodily autonomy, albeit very important, does not supercede her responsibility to her child. (compliments of Dr. Rich Poupard)

        Comment by av8torbob — December 8, 2014 @ 11:23 am

      • In the cases you raise, Bob, you conveniently forget to mention ‘informed consent’ as well as medical ethics as if only autonomy matters or it does not. With legal autonomy comes legal responsibilities and one of the major factors in exercising autonomy when it comes to use of products is to do so based on informed choice. This informed choice is exactly what is under attack by suggesting law should be used to prohibit or constrain abortion. Medical ethics based on best practices (and not religious or political effects) upheld by licensed physicians already constrain the use of abortion. What we’re dealing with here is the matter of choice by informed consent not just of the woman but also by the role of the health care team that provides it. You seek to eliminate by law these choices and imposed upon woman what you think is the right ‘choice’ only and by doing so sacrifice the pregnant woman’s right to autonomy.

        This is a really terrible approach that causes harm and suffering to all of us (although I sincerely doubt you can appreciate the scope and danger of this blinkered opinion).

        There is a very strong correlation between those who are supporters of forced birth and those who are antagonists of public sex ed, steadfast opponents of easy access to contraception, and staunch critics of any abortion services. The reason isn’t because they respect individual autonomy and right to life (and responsibilities) all of us enjoy as autonomous individuals; forced birthers are the enemies of choice and seek to thwart informed consent. There is a reason why abortions are highest where teen pregnancies are highest, where laws exist to prevent abortions. If anti-abortion activists were really concerned about the sanctity of human life at conception, they would be the strongest supporters of sex ed, contraception, and medical services. They’re not. And this is rather telling. And this demonstrates what’s really at issue here, and that’s about reducing women and their legal civil rights to be based on controlling them by first controlling the status of their uteruses in law. And this is intolerable to any civilization concerned with equality rights.

        Comment by tildeb — December 8, 2014 @ 11:59 am

      • All true IF … Big IF … the unborn are NOT human beings who ALSO have rights in virtue of their being human beings … just like the rest of us.

        You assume this isn’t true but give no reason (beyond “the law says so”) for me to accept the claim. It is nothing but an assertion. The law in America claimed blacks were not fully human and treated them accordingly. I don’t accept that.

        The law in Germany defined Jews as sub-human and treated them accordingly. I don’t accept that.

        Laws that arbitrarily dehumanize some subset of the human race for purposes of convenience or to wield power are not laws that any of us should accept. They certainly do not define proper moral choices.

        Comment by av8torbob — December 8, 2014 @ 12:08 pm

      • You say “Laws that arbitrarily dehumanize some subset of the human race for purposes of convenience or to wield power are not laws that any of us should accept.

        Hey! Maybe we’re making process.

        By altering a woman’s autonomous civil rights in the name of extending those same rights to a fetus does in practice exactly what you insist we shouldn’t accept, namely, dehumanizing a female to be subservient to her occupied uterus for purposes you think are sufficient as you attempt to get the law as a surrogate brute of power for imposing your opinion on others by reducing or eliminating their choices in the matter. And you’re right: none of us should accept this.

        Comment by tildeb — December 8, 2014 @ 12:21 pm

      • “dehumanizing a female to be subservient to her occupied uterus for purposes you think are sufficient as you attempt to get the law as a surrogate brute of power for imposing your opinion on others by reducing or eliminating their choices in the matter”

        He said .. without any apparent hint that the “occupied uterus” was made so by the free will choice of the uterus owner, or that the innocent “occupant” had NO choice in the matter, or that the “occupant” is EXACTLY where it is supposed to be for that stage in the development of its life, or that the current state of the law imposes tildeb’s opinion on said “occupant,” or that tildeb promotes sucking the brains out of the current “occupant” and throwing it in the garbage by utilization of brute force at any point up to and including the day of its scheduled magical transformation from “occupant” to civil rights holder.

        Who is being dehumanized again?

        Comment by av8torbob — December 8, 2014 @ 1:05 pm

      • Bob, you have little clue why the woman – in consultation with herself, her mother, her father, her boyfriend, her god, her spouse, her friends, her family, her doctor, her healthcare team – decides on having an abortion. Furthermore, you have little clue what this choice costs her nor the angst she has had to go through to make this decision. You think you know best. You think you speak on ‘behalf’ of the fetus. You think your position is morally and ethically unassailable without having the first clue what considerations – moral and ethical considerations being only part of them – are in play. You assume you know best. You assume you speak as the fetus would if it could. You simply don’t care about the woman… at all… assuming as you do that abortion is a convenience too tempting to ignore when I have yet to meet someone who has had an abortion that does so for this reason. You remain clueless… seeking out right-to-life disinformation to inform your opinion as if it represented a matter of a kind of birth control for the individual woman for petty and irresponsible reasons. i do know nothing could be further from the truth for the individuals I know. I know that they underwent a very difficult experience and costly decision for what they decided were the best reasons. Who are you – seriously – to assume a moral superiority that seek to use the law to deny these women the right to make this difficult choice and impose on them a forced birth? Many of the individuals I know were likely to die if this medical procedure had been denied to them by the likes of you and your ignorant, stupid, dangerous, and arrogant brutality had been imposed on them. All are mothers. All are spouses. All had their lives threatened by these pregnancies. Yet here you are telling us why they had abortions and why these fictional considerations you assume they had elevates you in your ignorance, stupidity, and moral smugness to tell them what they can and can’t do with their bodies, what their doctors and healthcare providers may and may not offer in the way of abortion services. You. And not for a moment do you have the intellectual integrity to take a moment and think that maybe, just maybe, a woman who is pregnant might be a better judge than you about what she should do.

        Your arrogance clothed as piety is truly revolting to me. That you are as clueless as you are astounds me. Your utter lack of respect for women as individuals every bit as moral and ethical as you believe yourself to be disgusts me.

        Comment by tildeb — December 8, 2014 @ 5:45 pm

      • tildeb … you have absolutely NO CLUE about my connection to, or experience with, those who have struggled with the decision or aftermath of abortion. Yet in your typical way, you just make stuff up (something I thought you found deplorable in others) and spout off out of that pompous ass that constitutes your head anyway. Very classy. How about, instead of demonstrating your arrogant, self-righteous sanctimony, you just stick to the facts. The number of BS ideas and convoluted concepts you crammed into that one comment are hard to untangle but let me try to narrow it down a little:

        1) I never ONCE said that facing the abortion decision was easy for anyone. Never once. You made it up. The reality is that ALL weighty moral dilemmas are hard to face. That’s why they call them “dilemmas.” But just because something is emotionally or psychologically painful, doesn’t mean there isn’t a morally superior position to take. I thought you were a steely-eyed defender of fact and reason over emotion anyway? [Apparently only when it suits your purposes].

        2) The moral dilemma here involves TWO (2) human beings, not one. We are weighing the impact on both. You keep pretending otherwise out of intellectual cowardice but that doesn’t make it so. On one hand, we have the specter of a physical, psychological, emotional, and maybe even financial burden. On the other hand, we have the specter of tortuous dismemberment and death. Hmmm … which one is more painful, permanent and impactful to the human being involved? I don’t have to pretend to be, or speak for, the fetus to figure that one out. Anyone who judges it to be the former is as big a moral coward as there can possibly be.

        3) You ASSUME I lump all abortion related decisions into one. NONSENSE. When the life of the mother is at risk, that’s a different story precisely because there are two lives at risk. The moral equation becomes different then. We do our best to save the most lives possible but if we can’t save the unborn child without risking the mother’s life (such as in an ectopic pregnancy) the mother’s life comes first for obvious reasons. But don’t miss the fact that many mothers choose to forgo chemo (for instance) and put their own lives at risk because they know and value the life of the unborn human being in their womb.

        4) Your magic “personhood at birth” stance ignores the scientific evidence that a human being comes into existence at conception AND has no way to account for the fact that premature babies have been born at 21-weeks and survived, babies have survived abortion attempts (were they “persons” during the abortion, or only after they survived the attempt to slaughter them?), that toddlers are not “viable” after birth if you leave them on their own, or that infants are not self-aware.

        So, what you label my so-called “arrogance” is really nothing more than a serious attempt to value all human life. You, on the other hand, give a hand wave to the dismembering, skull crushing and “evacuation” of a 39 week, 6 day, 23 hour and 45 minute gestated fetus with, “Yes, that’s her choice.” The moral cowardice in that view is what any thinking human with a conscience should truly find revolting.

        Comment by av8torbob — December 9, 2014 @ 9:13 am

      • 1) “I never ONCE said that facing the abortion decision was easy for anyone…. ”
        You don’t want a decision to be made. You want to stop all abortions – at least the ones made out of “convenience”

        2) “The moral dilemma here involves TWO (2) human beings, not one….”
        There is no dilemma. You have removed it by advocating that all abortions should be stopped – at least the ones made out of “convenience”. The only dilemma that could be considered is whether a woman should have an abortion for health, rape or incest reasons. You seem to have no problems with this. The dilemma has therefore been negated.

        3) “You ASSUME I lump all abortion related decisions into one. NONSENSE. When the life of the mother is at risk, that’s a different story …”
        All of a sudden we go from the absolute to the relative. It’s no longer the “unborn’s inherent right to life” that dictates that an abortion cannot be performed, it’s now suddenly out of concern for the mother that an abortion can be performed. This is having it both ways in the most exorbitant and promiscuous manner. Either the unborn have an “inherent right to life” or they do not. You have maintained throughout this conversation that you feel this is of paramount importance. The health and other associated risks of the mother are completely irrelevant using this approach. If the mother dies during childbirth, then so be it. The unborn’s “inherent right to life” has still been preserved.

        4) “Your magic “personhood at birth” stance ignores the scientific evidence that a human being comes into existence at conception….”
        Your magic “personhood before birth” stance ignores that scientific fact that a woman ovulates on a regular basis and a potential fetus is thereby flushed out via menstruation roughly once a month. Your magic “personhood before birth” stance ignores that scientific fact men jerk off and that every time they do, millions of potential egg fertilizers are washed away.

        The absolutism in that view is what any thinking human with a conscience should truly find both revolting and extremely stupid.

        Comment by Ashley — December 9, 2014 @ 12:04 pm

      • Ashley …

        1) “You don’t want a decision to be made. You want to stop all abortions – at least the ones made out of ‘convenience'”

        I want those who are making decisions to face the moral reality that the unborn are human beings. You don’t. And yes, “at least the ones made out of convenience” … which are 93%. Correct.

        2) “There is no dilemma. You have removed it by advocating that all abortions should be stopped – at least the ones made out of “convenience”. The only dilemma that could be considered is whether a woman should have an abortion for health, rape or incest reasons. You seem to have no problems with this. The dilemma has therefore been negated.”

        Incorrect. You can’t read apparently. Try again.

        3) “All of a sudden we go from the absolute to the relative.”

        Incorrect again. Each scenario operates under the absolute moral imperative that all human beings are valuable and that we should protect human life to the greatest degree possible. When two (2) human lives are at risk, even you should be able to understand that it is a logical impossibility to save both (at least with today’s technology). Or maybe you can’t. You have proven time and again that basic logic escapes you.

        4) “Your magic “personhood before birth” stance ignores that scientific fact that a woman ovulates on a regular basis and a potential fetus is thereby flushed out via menstruation roughly once a month. Your magic “personhood before birth” stance ignores that scientific fact men jerk off and that every time they do, millions of potential egg fertilizers are washed away.”

        This is pure gold. Maybe that “comprehensive sex ed” you’re so proud of doesn’t work so well. See, those of us who understand how sex works (and basic biology for that matter) know that an egg and a sperm are not human beings. Human beings come about only if and when they conjoin (it’s not the stork that brings the babies Ash … ask an adult how it works). Before they join they’re not human beings. After they join, they are whole, distinct, living human beings. THAT’s whose lives we aim to protect, Ashley, not the mess you routinely make on yourself.

        Comment by av8torbob — December 9, 2014 @ 1:28 pm

      • 1) “I want those who are making decisions to face the moral reality that the unborn are human beings.” You don’t. And yes, “at least the ones made out of convenience” … which are 93%. Correct.”
        Incorrect. See answer to #2 below.

        2) “Incorrect. You can’t read apparently. Try again.”

        So that means that you only “want” the people making the decision to “face the moral reality that the unborn are human beings”? I too, want the women who are having abortions to consider that their wombs are holding candidate members of the human race. But you’re not in favour of making this “want” a binding edict then? You are not in favour of passing a law that makes abortion illegal? I could have sworn that you were, but I am glad to hear that’s not the case. In other words, you’re pro-choice. That’s good news! I thought we’d never get anywhere with this.

        3) “Incorrect again. Each scenario operates under the absolute moral imperative that all human beings are valuable . When two (2) human lives are at risk, even you should be able to understand that it is a logical impossibility to save both (at least with today’s technology). Or maybe you can’t. You have proven time and again that basic logic escapes you.”

        Talks about logic and uses relative reasoning in sentence directly following the declaration that “Each scenario operates under the absolute moral imperative that all human beings are valuable ”
        If this is an “absolute moral imperative” then there is no “each scenario” There is one absolute rule that applies to all scenarios. That’s what absolute means. 1 rule, no exceptions. Do not talk to me about logic. As you have clearly demonstrated, you have no idea what it is.

        4) This is pure gold. Those of us who understand how sex works (and basic biology for that matter) know that a fetus inside a womb is not a human being. Human beings come about only once they’ve been born. (it’s not the stork that brings the babies Bob … ask an adult how it works). Before they’re born, they’re not human beings. After they are born, they are whole, distinct, living human beings. Those are the people’s lives (the women) we are trying to protect.

        Comment by Ashley — December 9, 2014 @ 2:49 pm

      • “Before they’re born, they’re not human beings.”

        You keep saying this. I don’t think you know what it means.

        So, oh wise one … if they’re not human beings what, EXACTLY, are they? You’re not allowed to say fetus — that isn’t a thing, it’s a description of the stage of development of a thing (of lots of different things, actually).

        What is that thing, Ashley?

        Comment by av8torbob — December 9, 2014 @ 5:08 pm

      • “Before they’re born, they’re human beings.”

        You keep saying this. I don’t think you know what it means.

        So, oh wise one … if they’re human beings how, EXACTLY are they distinguished from babies? You’re not allowed to say unborn — that isn’t a thing, it’s a description of the stage of development of a thing (of lots of different things, actually).

        So what’s the difference between born and unborn Bob?

        Comment by Ashley — December 9, 2014 @ 6:38 pm

      • “Before they’re born, they’re human beings.”

        Correct.

        “… if they’re human beings how, EXACTLY are they distinguished from babies? You’re not allowed to say unborn — that isn’t a thing, it’s a description of the stage of development of a thing”

        Right, rocket scientist. Maybe there’s actually hope for you. The only way you distinguish them from babies is by matters of size, level of development, location, or degree of dependency — none of which are morally significant and none of which allow us to kill them at some earlier stage of their development just because they bother us. They can be a blastocyst, or an embryo, or a fetus, or a newborn, or a baby, or a toddler, or a teenager, or a young adult, or a middle-aged thick-headed amateur musician who is too stupid to know the difference, or even an old man … But in EVERY case they are human beings!

        You got it! Congratulations!

        When even a moron like you can figure it out, my work here is done.

        Merry Christmas …

        Comment by av8torbob — December 9, 2014 @ 9:08 pm

      • (reasons)… none of which allow us to kill them at some earlier stage of their development just because they bother us.

        You keep saying stuff like this which indicates no consideration of factors other than some flippant notion about abortion for convenience, which is why I said that you know nothing about the seriousness of the consideration about abortion that most women undergo… especially therapeutic abortion. You then tell me that I’m over-reaching in my conclusion about what you think and then go right back to describing abortion this same way time and again. It’s tedious.

        When you figure out what your position is regarding exactly (you seem to enjoy using this term) what constitutes the right reasons to have an abortion, Bob, and how you would like the law to work regarding who may and may not access this basic and necessary service in women’s reproductive medicine, then consider another comment.

        In the meantime, you’re just spinning around and around insulting anyone who dares disagree with you while believing you’re getting somewhere in your points. You’re not. You’re just heading downward.

        Comment by tildeb — December 9, 2014 @ 10:18 pm

      • Your hypocrisy knows no bounds, tildeb.

        With all the cordial comments by you and your fawners here, I can see how mine are the ones that cross the line. Ha Ha Ha … 🙂

        And when you figure out (admit?) that sucking the brains out of a 39 week old fetus, crushing its skull, “evacuating” it from its mother, and throwing it in the garbage might just be considered a bad thing by anyone with a conscience, you let me know.

        Comment by av8torbob — December 9, 2014 @ 11:16 pm

      • Right, rocket scientist. Maybe there’s actually hope for you. The only way you distinguish sperm and eggs from fetus’ and babies is by matters of size, level of development, location, or degree of dependency — none of which are morally significant and none of which allow us to flush them out via menstruation or wipe them away via jerking off at some earlier stage of their development just because they bother us. They can be a sperm, an egg, blastocyst, or an embryo, or a fetus, or a newborn, or a baby, or a toddler, or a teenager, or a young adult, or an airline pilot who is too stupid to know the difference, or even an old man … But in EVERY case they are human beings!

        If you can arbitrarily define a fetus as a human being in it’s early stages of development, I can arbitrarily define a sperm and an egg as a human being in it’s even earlier stages of development.

        When even a moron like you can figure that out, my work here is done.

        Comment by Ashley — December 10, 2014 @ 8:26 am

      • Your hypocrisy knows no bounds, Bob

        And when you figure out (admit?) that forcing a woman to give birth whether she wants to or not, just be considered a bad thing by anyone with a conscience, you let me know.

        Comment by Ashley — December 10, 2014 @ 8:33 am

    • It’s interesting that abortion advocates ALWAYS jump to the exceptions (rape, incest, life of the mother etc.) and try to force us to respond to those while doing so completely ignores the fact that, even if we keep those legal, 93% of abortions are for reasons of convenience. If you really do “hate it” and “wish they never happened,” you would agree to at least stop the abortions of convenience. But you won’t. No abortion advocate ever does. They hide behind the “safe, legal, and rare” mantra but have no intention of making it so.

      Which brings me back to the question that you haven’t answered yet, Ashley. Why do you “hate it”? I am not attributing the “safe, legal and rare” mantra to you but it amounts to a similar position. Why should anyone care if it’s rare? If it’s all about the “civil rights” of the mother, why hate it?

      When you answer that, I’ll propose a “plan.”

      Comment by av8torbob — December 7, 2014 @ 6:20 pm | Reply

      • Why do I hate abortion? Take a wild guess Bob. Do you honestly think that because I am pro choice, that I revel in the fact that a woman gets an abortion? The concept “unborn child” is a real one to me. I have no choice but to consider it a candidate member of the human race. Not an ACTUAL member of the human race, a POTENTIAL member of the human race. That’s why I say I WISH it never had to happen and why I also say that wishing won’t make it so. The pro life alternative that you propose is even worse. Even though you REFUSE to acknowledge it, it necessarily entails taking away a woman’s inherent right to have control over her own body. In your view Bob, it doesn’t matter under what circumstances the child was conceived. Rape, incest or otherwise. If the unborn’s inherent right to life trumps all, abortion should never, ever occur under any circumstance. That has to be your view, because if you advocate that pregnancies due to rape and incest are exempt from your “inherent right to life” argument, you are just being a hypocrit. The unborn either have a “right to life” or they don’t. Or is it only some? And if it’s only some, on what grounds is that decision made and who makes it? You? A specially appointed committee? The government? Who?
        While you’re contemplating that, I’ll take you up on your hypothetical. Let’s say that I “agree to stop abortions that are performed for the sake of convenience.” Tell me how I’m going to do it. This is the question I’ve been wanting to have answered for the last several posts that you keep sucking. I’m still waiting with bated breath. Now’s your big chance. The floor is all yours.

        Comment by Ashley — December 7, 2014 @ 7:09 pm

      • “Why do I hate abortion? Take a wild guess Bob. Do you honestly think that because I am pro choice, that I revel in the fact that a woman gets an abortion? The concept “unborn child” is a real one to me. I have no choice but to consider it a candidate member of the human race. Not an ACTUAL member of the human race, a POTENTIAL member of the human race. That’s why I say I WISH it never had to happen and why I also say that wishing won’t make it so.”

        So, if I’m understanding you correctly, we agree that a woman should have a right to “choose what she can do with her own body.” Couldn’t agree more. Women should have the right to do whatever they want with their own body. At the same time, you “hate” the idea (and “wish it weren’t this way”) of killing and “unborn child” (your term). We agree on that too.

        I realize THAT you wish it never had to happen. But you still haven’t told me WHY you hate it or WHY it is bad to kill a “potential” member of the human race.

        Why Ashley?

        I am not avoiding your request for my “plan.” But, before I can give it, I want to know WHY? It’s interesting that I’ve asked you several times and you continue to refuse to answer.

        Comment by av8torbob — December 8, 2014 @ 10:55 am

      • “I am not avoiding your request for my “plan.””
        Yes you are. I’ve asked this question at least 10 times and I haven’t heard anything yet. Consider me converted Bob. I’m Pro-life just like you. I hate abortions for all the same reasons you do. Now that I agree that we should “stop all abortions of convenience”, I need you to tell me how we’re going to do it.

        Comment by Ashley — December 9, 2014 @ 1:02 am

    • Right, rocket scientist. Maybe there’s actually hope for you. The only way you distinguish sperm and eggs from fetus’ and babies is by matters of size, level of development, location, or degree of dependency — none of which are morally significant and none of which allow us to flush them out via menstruation or wipe them away via jerking off at some earlier stage of their development just because they bother us. They can be a sperm, an egg, blastocyst, or an embryo, or a fetus, or a newborn, or a baby, or a toddler, or a teenager, or a young adult, or an airline pilot who is too stupid to know the difference, or even an old man … But in EVERY case they are human beings!

      If you can magically define a fetus as a human being in it’s early stages of development, I can magically define a sperm and an egg as a human being in it’s even earlier stages of development.

      When even a moron like you can figure that out, my work here is done.

      Comment by Ashley — December 10, 2014 @ 8:21 am | Reply

  16. As far as the US. goes, my plan is simple. Reverse Roe v. Wade and allow the states to outlaw abortion except in cases where the life of the mother is threatened. In other words, return to the status quo ante.
    As for problem situations, there are crisis pregnancy centers that will help the women, and adoption is an option for women who really feel that they cannot assume the responsibilities of parenthood yet.

    Comment by Bob Wheeler — December 7, 2014 @ 7:48 pm | Reply

    • That’s your solution? Make it illegal for a woman to exercise control over her own body? And you think that’s going to solve the problem eh? If you make it abortion illegal, then it will just magically stop.
      Clearly, someone hasn’t followed history all that well. Check out Ken Burns’ excellent documentary “Prohibition” to see how well you can legislate what you think is morality by making something illegal. The only thing prohibition did, was turn the entire nation of the U.S.(including those who were tasked with enforcing the laws) into hypocritical criminals while allowing organized crime to flourish. The only thing that making abortion illegal is going to accomplish is 1) causing women to seek riskier methods of having illegal abortions performed, resulting in many more deaths, 2) having hordes of unwanted children who eventually become wards of the state because no one wants to care for them. 3) over population
      According to you, India’s approach to abortion is the preferred method where there are much stricter controls on abortion (under what conditions you are able to get one). The end result is over population and about 4000 women dying every year as a result of illegal abortions carried out by unqualified practitioners using unsafe methods.
      As usual, people like you never seem to understand the implications of their proposed actions even when they already have a ready made reservoir of data that clearly indicates that making abortion illegal or severely restricting it has nothing but negative consequences attached to it.
      Go ahead Bob. Check out India’s approach to abortion and see if you can convince yourself that it’s nothing short of a complete disaster, even after they removed the complete ban on it in 1971 and made it legally available under certain circumstances (I.e. Rape).
      If that’s your idea of a solution, I submit that you may possibly have your head up your ass. You should get that checked out post haste.

      Comment by Ashley — December 7, 2014 @ 10:34 pm | Reply

  17. Every law controls what you may do with your body. Laws govern actions, and actions are generally done by human bodies.

    Comment by Bob Wheeler — December 8, 2014 @ 5:41 am | Reply

    • Laws are generally more concerned with what you may do to other people. Real people not potential people.
      Suicide is illegal. Hasn’t stopped people from committing suicide. You can put Jack Kavorkian in jail all you want, it’s not going to make people who are in agonizing pain not commit suicide.
      You can threaten to put a woman in jail for wanting to have control over her own body all you want. It’s not going to stop her from trying to get an abortion.
      Pass all the laws you want Bob, you’re not going to change a godamn thing. All you’re going to do is make people’s lives more miserable and increase the amount of suffering in the world.
      Like I suggested earlier, pull your head out of your ass and do some research. Find out how wonderful it is when people like you pass laws governing abortion.
      IT DOESN’T WORK.

      Comment by Ashley — December 8, 2014 @ 7:17 am | Reply

      • Yep, people keep murdering each other … no need for a law against that.

        People keeping stealing from each other … no need for a law against that.

        People keep raping each other … no need for a law against that.

        People keep driving drunk … no need for a law against that.

        Come to think of it, people keep doing all kinds of things that we have laws against (actually, that’s the purpose of EVERY law) so we should just abolish ALL laws. THEY DON’T WORK!

        Comment by av8torbob — December 8, 2014 @ 10:59 am

      • Except Bob, that they DON’T involve taking away someone else’s rights do they? Making it illegal to murder someone doesn’t take away anyone’s right does it Bob? It doesn’t require taking away anyone’s (man or woman) right to have control over their own body does it Bob?
        Let’s hear your big plan Bob. Tell everyone how you’re going to “agree to stop abortions of ‘convenience'” without infringing on a woman’s right to have control over her own body.
        I’ve asked you this at least 10 times now and I am (not so) curiously met with a (predictable) silence. What are you waiting for?

        Comment by Ashley — December 8, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

      • Right, and I’ve also asked many times WHY you “hate” taking the life of a “potential” human. WHY? I know THAT you do, but you haven’t said WHY.

        Touche.

        Comment by av8torbob — December 8, 2014 @ 12:51 pm

  18. I just told you why!!!! Look at my previous reply. Whether I respond or not doesn’t change the fact that you won’t answer my question does it?

    Comment by Ashley — December 8, 2014 @ 3:04 pm | Reply

    • av8torbob — it is useless to argue with an atheist about morality — they will never recognize a moral obligation to anything outside of themselves. This is why Ashley and Tildeb keep insisting on “a woman’s right to have control over her own body” — they see themselves as autonomous individuals existing randomly in an amoral universe. They live for self because in their view they are not accountable to anything outside of themselves. Is it not possible that the real reason they deny the existence of God is because the hate the idea of being accountable to a Supreme Being?

      Comment by Bob Wheeler — December 8, 2014 @ 8:07 pm | Reply

      • BobW, you state it is useless to argue with an atheist about morality — they will never recognize a moral obligation to anything outside of themselves. and on this claim then say that They live for self because in their view they are not accountable to anything outside of themselves.

        This is a remarkably blinkered line of reasoning that doesn’t align with even a cursory glance to reality. For example, I – like you – recognize that I have a moral obligation to be responsible for myself to myself, it is true, but recognize and freely embrace the moral obligation I have to my friends and family and profession. I recognize the moral obligation I have to every human being on the face of the planet. I feel very strongly that I have a moral obligation to how I affect all environment impact – both locally and globally. I take full responsibility for my moral standards and accept full responsibility for my ethical actions.actions. Unlike the religious, I fully own my morals and ethics and fully recognize and accept the responsibilities that accompany this ownership.

        What you have said here, BobW, is not just wrong but deplorably very insulting. In effect you are claiming that atheists are immoral and selfish and irresponsible not by personal actions and choices of behaviour but by fiat… as if a lack of belief in your god automatically translates into immorality, irresponsibility, and selfishness. Well, it doesn’t. (Healthcare and hospices and palliative care wards are full of atheists.) But actually believing this kind of demeaning discrimination does demonstrate how religious belief like yours extended into the real world of real people shows just how easily you are to demean and deride others by this kind of fundamental attack on their character. This kind of belief harms your own character. This kind of belief is just ugly and taints your interactions with the world and everything it contains. And I can say that because I don;t suffer from the same lack of moral awareness you exhibit and wouldn’t dream of maligning your character only on the basis of my beliefs about religious folk… because I recognize my obligation to treat you as the individual you are and not a facsimile of my projected imaginings. What you’ve said here is quite deplorable and it’s worthy of shame.

        Shame on you, BobW.

        Comment by tildeb — December 9, 2014 @ 12:06 am

    • No, actually you didn’t tell me why. You said, “I have no choice but to consider it a candidate member of the human race. Not an ACTUAL member of the human race, a POTENTIAL member of the human race. That’s why I say I WISH it never had to happen and why I also say that wishing won’t make it so.”

      This isn’t a ‘why.’ It’s a dodge. OK, so it’s a “potential member of the human race.” My question is why does that bother you? It’s just a clump of cells. It’s not even a person, for God’s sake. It’s only a “potential” member of the human race. So why would you have a problem eliminating a “potential” member of the human race? It’s not an ACTUAL member so who cares?

      You either can’t bring yourself to say it or you’ve never really thought it through. I have my guess as to which it is but I’ll let you speak for yourself … if you dare.

      Comment by av8torbob — December 9, 2014 @ 9:32 am | Reply

    • Still no “why,” Ashley. Still waiting.

      Comment by av8torbob — December 9, 2014 @ 1:32 pm | Reply

      • Why do I hate abortion? Take a wild guess Bob. Do you honestly think that because I am pro choice, that I revel in the fact that a woman gets an abortion? You think I like it? The concept “unborn child” is a real one to me. I have no choice but to consider it a candidate member of the human race. Not an ACTUAL member of the human race, a POTENTIAL member of the human race. The reason WHY I hate abortion is because I lament the loss of a potential member of the human race. It could have been another Einstein, Hawking or Hitchens and that would be a great loss. On the other hand, it could have been another Dahmer, Bundy or Jack the Ripper which wouldn’t be so great a loss. We’ll never know. As anyone who thinks clearly about this topic could see, the best way to avoid women having abortions, would be to promote and encourage the use of contraceptives so they wouldn’t get pregnant in the first place. However since I have no choice but to make a choice as to which position I support – between forcing a woman to give birth and her having an abortion, I’ll make my choice. I have to come down on the side of the already born human (the woman) exercising control over her own body and not on the side of you (or anyone else) exercising control over her body in the name of protecting the as-of-yet unborn human (fetus).

        Will that do? Have I answered that question to your satisfaction now Bob? Or will you find some other excuse to avoid answering my question?

        I’ll ask you one last time. You’re the one who wants to stop all abortions of “convenience”. Please lay out your plan as to how you are going to accomplish this.

        If you do not want to answer my question, fine. Just say so. You don’t have to. It’s a free country. Just recognize that what you are doing is arguing in bad faith. If you have no intention of answering that question, then there’s no point in continuing this is there? If all you want to do is get on your soap box and preach that abortions are morally wrong and that everyone but you is a hypocrite without offering anything of substance yourself, then you’ve already done that. I don’t need to hear anymore. I already know how you feel about abortion and that you want to stop them. I want to know HOW you are going to stop them.

        Comment by Ashley — December 10, 2014 @ 10:44 am

  19. You just keep right on plugging your ears and preaching away. When all else fails, go into auto preach mode. I don’t deny the existence of things that have never been proven to exist in the first place. I don’t need to believe in a Supreme Being to know right from wrong and to know that the only person who should have control over their own body, is that person. Not you. Not av8torbob. NO ONE. Since we don’t believe in the same fairy tale horse shit that you do, we can’t possibly be moral? Go fuck yourself you stupid asshole.

    Comment by Ashley — December 8, 2014 @ 9:50 pm | Reply

  20. I am grateful Tildeb, that you have a sense of morality — the world would be a horrible place in which to live if we did not. But I think you are being logically inconsistent (thankfully so!). You have a sense of right and wrong because you are a human being — you cannot escape your essential humanity. But philosophically you have a system of ethics that’s suspended in thin air — there is nothing logically to support it. And when it comes to abortion you think more like an atheist.
    As for Ashley, he / she is a little more consistent with his/herself, and that is sad.

    Comment by Bob Wheeler — December 9, 2014 @ 5:01 am | Reply

    • My “philosophical system of ethics” is not “suspended in thin air”. It’s based on Humanism. That humans are the masters of their own fate. We’re on our own and we need to figure out for ourselves what’s right and what’s wrong and how we should treat each other and how to answer those really tough philosophical questions. I told you where to go when you started asserting that because I don’t believe the same fair tale horse shit that you do, I can’t possibly have morals. I, unlike you, don’t need to believe in some imaginary sky daddy to tell me how to deal with any of this. You want to know what’s sad Bob? YOU. You need to be told how to act and what to think because you find it too troubling to figure it out on your own and with your fellow humans. So you defer your responsibility to yourself and your fellow humans and refer all of your problems to your magical invisible friend and because you’ve done that, you don’t have to worry about being “accountable only to yourself”. As long as you think you’ve done what your imaginary sky daddy wants and you’ve please him, you don’t have to worry about it. You’re a pathetic excuse for a human being and coward.

      Comment by Ashley — December 9, 2014 @ 9:08 am | Reply

  21. JJ ( who we now know was Makayla Sault, an 11-year-old member of the Mississauga tribe of the New Credit First Nation) died UNNECESSARILY from her cancer on January 19th after stroking on the 18th. She was sentenced to death by “her substitute decision-maker” – her legal guardian who decided “her constitutionally protected right to pursue their traditional medicine” was more important than Makayla’s life.

    A tragically stupid event by all who reached this reprehensibly stupid court decision that did not protect Makayla or her best interests but made her life legally secondary to her guardian’s cultural preference for a non medicinal, non efficacious treatment of her ward.

    Comment by tildeb — January 20, 2015 @ 10:30 pm | Reply

    • And already the finger pointing has started by the parents – blaming the doctors and the chemo for their daughters death.
      You know, this is just so tragic and unnecessary but also very maddening to me. I posted an article about this on my facebook page and simply put my 2 cent title “The fatal consequences of belief in pseudo-medicine.” I got mostly positive feedback – including from 1 nurse (friend of a friend). However, I got the “we shouldn’t judge unless we’ve walked in their shoes” routine from an in-law, who is also a nurse. Someone, who I think should know better. This and the “They were just trying to do what they thought was best for their daughter” is another common defence (almost apologist I would say) approach. I know that everyone has an opinion on everything and that’s fine, but respecting those who would elevate those opinions to be on par with, or even superior to knowledge acquired by experts is becoming an alarmingly increasing trend. It’s as if it doesn’t really matter what’s true, because everyone has an opinion and everyone has feelings that need to be respected regardless of the person’s knowledge of the subject matter.

      Comment by Ashley — January 21, 2015 @ 11:05 am | Reply

      • We already know that it wasn’t the chemo and a stroke is exactly what the docs predicted would happen… after all, if untreated, this particular cancer has 100% fatality.

        What pisses me off is that the guardian’s beliefs were held to be of greater import than the child’s welfare.

        I find this notion of tolerating the intolerable – if it’s a belief or a cultural expression or atradition – combined with historically-based self-loathing to be a growing trend that seems to especially pollute the political left. Because this is my home, I grow increasingly frustrated at how so many mewling leaders of the Left fail to recognize these kinds of problems (and so never correct for it) give a platform to the far Right who do give voice to these very real problems cretaed when we pretend that incompatible beliefs of some are equivalent to deserving respect from the many.

        Comment by tildeb — January 21, 2015 @ 12:27 pm


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