Features

For me and an increasing number of young people, each abortion is a death

Disquiet about abortion is growing among 18- to 24-year-olds

8 August 2015

9:00 AM

8 August 2015

9:00 AM

In November 2013, the campaign group Abortion Rights announced their first-ever student conference. It was, they explained, in response to ‘many student unions reporting increased anti-choice activity on campuses’. Societies such as Oxford Students for Life, which I’ve been part of for the last couple of years, don’t tend to think of themselves as ‘anti-choice’, but it’s true there are more of us around. The number of young people who are opposed to abortion, or at least worried about it, is growing — this despite the usual hostility from student unions.

Just look at the results of a ComRes survey conducted in April. Asked whether the abortion limit should be halved to 12 weeks, the most likely age group to agree were, by some distance, the 18- to 24-year-olds: 48 per cent said yes, only 26 per cent no.

Most — not all — of the other surveys I have seen show more unease about abortion among young people. Gallup found a similar trend in the US. But perhaps this is not the best year to be basing an argument on opinion polls, so here is some anecdotal evidence. Although pro-life activism brings you up against a fair amount of angry opposition, I’ve been struck by how many students are sympathetic to our cause, or unsure quite what to think. This will surprise those who note — reasonably enough — that students are getting more socially liberal, and who — more dubiously — equate pro-life beliefs with social conservatism.


The truth is that people from all political backgrounds are disquieted by Britain’s abortion culture. My own convictions aren’t products of a left-wing or right-wing worldview; it’s just that I’ve never been able to shake the idea that each abortion is a death. Some say that human beings only start having rights at 20 to 24 weeks, or at birth, or at some point in childhood; all these seem to me far less persuasive than assuming that at conception, this new, unique being with its own genetic makeup is one of us.

Once you see things in that light — and learn that there are more than 180,000 abortions every year in England and Wales — you feel, or at least some of us feel, the need to speak out. Young pro-lifers are formed by many things, but they have all grown up in the age of high-quality ultrasound images. Particularly significant are the ‘4D’ scans introduced in 2001, which show the unborn moving fingers at four months and smiling and blinking a couple of months later. As the imaging technology becomes more sophisticated, it becomes harder not to see a foetus as a human being with a claim on our compassion. Not long ago I was talking to two men: one had grown-up kids, the other’s first son was on the way. As they compared notes, it became clear that the younger dad knew much more about his unborn son at 20 weeks than the older one had.

This understanding has moved quietly into the public imagination, showing up in all kinds of places: the scene in Gravity where Sandra Bullock adopts the foetal position and slowly rotates inside the womb-like structure of the spacecraft; the new Weetabix ad, ‘Incredible Inside’, a tribute to the human body which includes a black-and-white ultrasound of the unborn waving its arms and legs; artworks such as Damien Hirst’s ‘The Miraculous Journey’, 14 gigantic bronze sculptures depicting the stages of development from conception to birth.

Meanwhile, a succession of news stories reveals the extent of scientific and popular interest in the unborn. Just from June of this year: ‘Reading fairytale stories can calm unborn babies’ (Scotsman); ‘Mother’s diet before conception can affect child’s lifelong risk of disease’ (Guardian); ‘Wearable device provides continuous fetal monitoring’ (Reuters).

Those headlines are also a reminder that the abortion issue affects women far more than men. I hesitate to talk about it at all; I’m not sure I could if I hadn’t been encouraged to do so by friends who have themselves had abortions. In any case, pro-life activism should be about offering women better support; it should have nothing to do with pronouncing judgment on them. It is not even necessarily about demanding specific changes in the law. It is about suggesting that our society, which has at times explained away the rights of one group or another — religious minorities, slaves, women — is now doing the same for the very young and the very small.

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  • Scheveningen

    Excellent that young people like Daniel are beginning to question the unthinking mantra that abortion is about ‘pro-choice’ but rather are seeing that it is the taking of a human life. This is the life of a human being from the moment of conception until the moment of death and exists on a continuum of growth. As a human being it possesses the most basic right of all: the right to life without which no other right is possible.

    • cartimandua

      It means he is a complete ars*. He can choose to give up sex but on a societal level that is not a good thing.
      Places which forbid se* are nasty violent and rife with perversity towards children.
      Does he really think contraception is fool proof? Perhaps he does and just has NO scientific education.

      • Woman In White

        What a disgustingly bigoted opinion.

        • cartimandua

          Which country do you like Ireland where a woman died because medical treatment was withheld? Or did you like it when they forced a suicidal rape victim to stay pregnant?
          I think pro lifers are sentimental about themselves projected into an imaginary perfect other (the zygote)
          The flip side is sadism towards others.
          The only thing that matters to them is their own sentimentality.

          • Woman In White

            crap — your assumption of worst-case scenarii as some sort of “norm” is skewed, pessimistic, and unrealistic

          • fundamentallyflawed

            Doesn’t mean it isn’t true…
            While I agree that abortion shouldn’t be first choice in every circumstances it should definitely be a choice.
            The real bigots wish to oppress choice with their version of the truth

          • Leon Wolfeson

            I *personally* have a moral problem with abortion.

            But there’s a question of liberty. And there’s a clear public health argument – women don’t stop having abortions, they just have unsafe abortions instead.

          • stag

            Well, if it’s taking an innocent life, no, there’s not a question of liberty. In human societies, you are not free to do that.

            The public health argument is clear, but it is not good. Again, if abortion is taking an innocent life, then I’m afraid it is off the agenda, and we deal with the consequences. There are strong utilitarian arguments for capital punishment; that doesn’t mean it should be re-introduced.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Not good? The alternative is women have unsafe abortions. You harm more people, not less.

          • stag

            But you do less evil. Moral utilitarianism sickens me. Doing right is not a calculus. If abortion is taking an innocent life, on this logic you end up reluctantly defending murder.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Option 1; Less harm.
            Option 2; More harm.

            Neither option results, as history here and practice in other countries shows, in less abortions.

            (Well, there’s “go abroad”, but I’m figuring that you’re wise to that one and will block it)

          • stag

            If you are a moral utilitarian, you can trust in your calculator. For my part, physical/emotional “harm” is not the only question. We do ourselves grave moral and spiritual harm as a society by allowing unborn children to be routinely killed, by state sanction. That is the first, and absolute, consideration.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So your consideration is, first, the morality of the *state*. The state, which in your world, should control life and death decisions for everyone and every embryo, regardless of their wishes.

            I note the (contemporary) charges brought against women in America when they’ve miscarried under that sort of stateist dogma. I note the implications for organ transplant, for end of life care, for basic bioethics…

            Let me take an example – tell me, is someone dead when their brain function ceases, or when their heart stops beating.

          • stag

            Yes, the morality of a society, as reflected in its laws, as enacted by the state.

            State control is different from law. But no need to quibble about that, I know what you mean.

            No need to bring charges for miscarriage. Unless it can be proved to have been deliberately brought about, which might not fall under the exact same legal definition as abortion. But again, for our purposes, that’s largely semantics.

            What implications are there for organ transplant? End of life care? I can’t see any necessary implications running from outlawing abortion to these legislative areas.

            Death is complex, and poorly understood. People have been known to survive after the heart has stopped. People have also been known to survive after the brain has ceased to function. But I don’t see why this is necessarily relevant to abortion.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            No, the morality of the state, enacted on it’s citizens via it’s laws.

            There is a reason the trend in democracies is to greater, not lesser liberties.

            And the argument is that behaving in ways likely to bring about an abortion, you deliberately caused the abortion – and you obviously consider situations where it is possible, with the “unless”. This is not “semantics”.

            And I am considering the results of your ideology here. If you can’t see any implications, then it is because you choose not to. You are also trying to dodge the question of brain death vs heart death, of course. It’s, of course, a minefield and one which your morality has to decide on.

          • stag

            No Leon, don’t tell me what I am talking about. I’ll speak for myself, you speak for yourself. I am talking about the morality of a society, reflected in laws enacted by the state. From society to the statute book via the state is the only way I see abortion laws changing.

            OK, if you think it’s a relevant point, fine, it’s not semantics. (geez!)

            But you don’t know what my ideology is. I have not described my ideology to you. All I have said is that I think abortion should be illegal. That’s not an entire ideology, it’s not the seed of an entire ideology. It’s a view on a moral and legal issue.

            I’m not trying to dodge. They are not the only two games in town, that’s all. Most clinicians don’t restrict themselves to one measure any more. Brain is more decisive, but neither can be considered an absolute measure.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Brain is more decisive, but neither can be considered an absolute measure.

            And that is, again, completely contrary to the development of democratic societies so far.

            The ideology of control in the body being vested in the state IS a complete ideology. It’s a complex of moral and legal issues – or alternatively, if you do hold it as a single view, it’s a nasty form of misogyny.

            And there is a very sharp differentiation between brain and heart death in bioethics, which is the ethics which covers that! (And, for that matter, abortion). Your argument that neither can be used…eliminates transplants entirely. And has all kinds of nasty implications for ruling someone dead.

          • stag

            I didn’t understand first 2 paras. First repeats what i said. Second repeats what you said last time. I’ll just move on.

            3rd para – you have deduced my ideology from my position on abortion. But you have deduced incorrectly. I do not hold that the state has legitimate power over the bodies of citizens. You failed to consider, however, that my position also entails that unborn children have bodies, and no-one has the right to arrogate to themselves control over these bodies either. If women seek to do so with a harmful end in view, on the pretext that one body is resident within another, the organs of state, in harmony with the values of a good society, should act to prevent or punish the misdeed. You leapt to your conclusions about my ideology because you failed to consider that, according to me, the unborn child, too, has a body.

            I said neither *is*, customarily, used. And that does not eliminate transplants. Moral certainty, although not tantamount to absolute certainty, is sufficient for action. In practice, as I said, though, clinicians use a number of tests and measures to establish death. In light of contemporary practice, your dilemma was poorly constructed.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            “I do not hold that the state has legitimate power over the bodies of citizens.”

            But you are. You are saying that the state controls what the woman may do. The foetus cannot survive separately. And you’re arguing not only for punishment, but “prevention” – massive monitoring of all women of childbearing age, it would have to be. And as the cause of early miscarriages cannot easily be determined…

            And you’re…not aware of the bioethics of transplants at all, it looks like.

            Incidentally, what’s your view on non-Human rights, i.e. Apes and Dolphins? (There’s also cloning of organs, but let’s not go there today)

            Heck, ALL animals for that matter…

          • stag

            Let me state my own opinion in my own words. I think that no-one has, as a matter of course, legitimate power over the body of another person. However, in some cases, people arrogate to themselves such power. Criminals may exercise control over my body by brute force, for example through rape or murder. Here, the society must protect its members; and to that end, it claims a power over the bodies of the criminals themselves, in former times killing them, nowadays sending them to jail.

            As far as abortion goes, all I have to do is insert unborn children into the general body of citizens. They too have bodies, they too have rights. No-one may arrogate to themselves control over *their* bodies. So I am not treating women who abort unfairly, I am not making an exception. They fall under the general rule that no-one shall arrogate to his or her self control over another person’s body. And if they do, they should be punished in some way. So I guess I turn the tables on you here. I trump your “control” card with one of my own. *You* are saying that women, arbitrarily, may control the bodies of their own unborn children. And i am saying, No, that is an illegitimate encroachment upon that child’s right to life.

            By prevention, I mean not all-out surveillance, and extraordinary measures. Just preventing in the ordinary way police would move, where possible, to prevent a crime before it happens. Shutting down black-market providers would come under prevention, for example.

            Let’s just forget about the transplant thing. I think we are talking at cross purposes.

            Apes, dolphins etc… i reckon they have certain minimal rights, which are entirely derived from our preceding duty not to treat them with cruelty (after all, I don’t see animals doing much to promote animal rights…).

          • Leon Wolfeson

            But that’s exactly what you are saying the state MUST have, over women of reproductive age. And that you go, now, with the case that ANY miscarriage should be punished “in some way”.

            You’re also not aware of how intrusive police monitoring of suspected criminals is…

            And the black-market “providers”, and their coat hangers. Yea.

            This is, as I said, extending a general principle of the state owning your body, and dictating the permissible. (And yes, forget transplants in your world, as I said)

            And I see, so for you…a single Human cell, of the right type, is worth less than a mature adult dolphin or great ape. My my…

          • stag

            You are putting words in my mouth. Society, via the state, has power over all of our bodies potentially; but that potentiality is only activated should we commit some crime, and especially if we should seek to arrogate to ourselves such control.

            I do not require monitoring and surveillance. Read what i said, Leon, I stated it clearly. It should be a criminal offence with proportionate sanctions attached. Enough said.

            There is nothing controversial about the state, by enacting laws, “dictating the permissible” within a certain restricted sphere. It does that now. Murder, rape and slavery are not permissible. So says the state, and I presume you would not object. There is not need for a doctrine that the state owns our bodies in order for that to be the case.

            No, not forget transplant “in my world”. Just forget them. You seem to think you have unique insight into the subject; I suspect you just haven’t read and understood what I’ve already said. So let’s just leave it.

            Last point – eh? Yes, a single cell is worth less. It’s just one cell. A fertilised egg is worth more, because it is a human life in its incipient stage.

            Your thinking and reading are getting lazy, Leon!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            The mechanism of control are the state organisms, enforcing passed laws. “Society” is an excuse.

            The state *currently* does not do need that sort of monitoring, but must in your model, to “prevent crime” – it would dwarf other areas of crime, and consume a lot of resources, obviously. You don’t “demand” it, because it’s an inherent part of your model of state ownership of it’s subject’s bodies! Meanwhile, you’re protecting that single cell…which IS the fertilised egg. But it didn’t, say, implant in the womb – CRIME!

            If it was because she took a drink, without knowing she was pregnant…well, see, this is just one area where it differs from other crimes isn’t it! An embryo not attaching or a pregnancy failing does not have mens rea, but yet in your state…as it is in America…the woman’s actions are all that matters. It’s been seen time and again, prosecutors sending women to jail when they’re depressed by losing their pregnancy already.

            And of course, it has all kinds of effects. Women will not trust state healthcare providers. Women with mental health or drug issues will actively avoid care… indeed, Women may well avoid legal treatments for health issues for fear of prosecution, if they are pregnant. (It happens, again, in America!)…it destroys health programs, drives down vaccination rates, etc.

            And yes, forget transplants, even as a concept., right – you want them left aside, I know! Really…

            And of course you make accusations against me, making up nonsense about “unique” and “lazy” for bringing up bioethics – it’s clear no biological research of note would happen in your state. As you ignore your stance being inconsistent on the rights of *other* intelligent animals…

          • stag

            You really think the state dictates law in an arbitrary fashion across the board? Democratic societies are constructed in such a way as to make society itself the most important check and balance against arbitrary state power. Laws largely operate, in democracies, with societal consent. Take gay marriage, another controversial law. People say it was imposed. No: it was passed because, by and large, society wanted it. The state passed law that reflects the social values of our time. Society is in no way an excuse. Your position is ultimately untenable.

            This is the last time I say it. I don’t usually write in block capitals, but: BY PREVENTION I DO NOT MEAN CONSTANT SURVEILLANCE/MONITORING. The police, in their ordinary work, deal with committed crimes, and do their level best to prevent crimes occurring. Laws also have a preventative function sometimes. Please don’t bring this up again, Leon. I’ve explained this to you three times. And again, you talk about “my model” of the state owning bodies, when I have gone to the trouble (twice) of describing in detail why that is not my position. I feel this discussion is becoming asymmetrical: my reasoned arguments against your repetitive and oft-rebutted slurs. Can you please deal with arguments made, instead of continuing to ascribe to me views that I have already said – on more than one occasion – I don’t hold?

            It’s not a crime if the fertilized egg doesn’t implant. Crimes require the ‘mens rea’ – the guilty intention. Only where there is direct, deliberate (note these words) intention involved can we raise the possibility of criminality. And then of course it has to be proved.

            And, again as I have already said, I do not reject transplants. That you think I *must* because of my *ideology* only proves that your reasoning is poor. Try arguing your case instead of just blithely assuming that it must be so. Or alternatively, just leave it, as I suggested.

            I did not say you were lazy for bringing up bioethics. That, in itself, is a lazy statement. I was speaking of the general quality of your engagement with my arguments, and I will stand by that, given the fact of your continuing to ascribe to me views I have explicitly rejected more than once.

            There are no other “intelligent” animals.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Right, so you’re a bigot that way against animals. And yes, of course you demand the law ignore societal consent and take control, that’s the point. You keep trying to suppress this inconvenient fact, as you demand the debate be limited to what you want it to be limited to.

            You’re talking about…oh I get it – persecution of poor people and your political enemies, I see, a law designed for selective application. Rather than the normal process of law, and crimes under it. Right, I understand now, it’s all about using the state ownership of people’s bodies which your position demands as another weapon to suppress most people.

            The hostility you have shown you hate science in general, and your refusal to adopt a consistent or logical position continues. The crime you’ve accusing people of, that of an embryo dying, is an offence of fact. Mens Rea is irrelevant.

            But again, you try and claim that the necessary legal power, for instance, to enforce your calls wouldn’t be there. When they must be, for your plans.

          • Pacificweather

            Does that mean that aborting an embryo is alright up to the point it develops a brain and a heart?

          • stag

            No, it does not mean that. Why would it?

          • Pacificweather

            If humans need a heart to stop or a brain to cease to function to be dead then it follows that they need a heart and a brain to be alive as human beings.

          • David Prentice

            Well said.

          • soysauce1

            Another of the abortion industries great lies. The vast majority of so called back street abortions were carried out by fully qualified doctors and nurses, seeing a botched abortion in a hospital was so rare that when my mother was a young doctor training on the ward they were specifically told to study a young woman who had been admitted precisely because it was so rare.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ah, ignoring what goes on around the world today. Nothing like a good spot of denial, and a conspiracy theory, trying to block a debate.

            Many women in that situation will suffer, or even die, rather than seek help of course because they’ll be arrested and sent to jail – especially if they made the mistake of letting a medical professional know anything about them or their pregnancy.

            Do you also oppose vaccines?

            (I, of course, am morally opposed to abortion but understand the liberty and public health arguments – and I fully understand the consequences of the state owning it’s subject’s bodies)

          • cartimandua

            The liberal countries of western Europe have the lowest number of abortions n the world.
            The restrictive countries have far worse abortion numbers and far worse maternal outcomes of all kinds.
            reland admits t doesn’t care about women’s health.
            ts maternal stats are a fiction.
            A country says out loud that womens health doesn’t matter.
            That’s your answer.

          • monsieur_charlie

            Abortion, yes, under strict conditions. Mass abortions, no, just because you don’t want accept reonsibility at that time on your life or maybe at that time in the morning – whatever

          • Gogogarden

            “…like Ireland where a woman died because medical treatment was withheld?” Are you referring to the Savita case?

          • Germainecousin

            Your comment about Ireland is an absolute lie and if you have the brain the size of an insect you will know that is true. The poor woman who died, did so because of appalling poor care. The abortion manics especially in the Irish Times hijacked her case for their own ends. If that same woman had died due to poor care due to a heart, leg or kidney problem her case would never even got into the press.

          • cartimandua

            Irelands maternal outcomes have always been utter fiction. They didn’t count like other nations or centrally and they export ill women here to the UK to save their lives wth abortion here.
            When they are too sick to travel they die and they call the death heart dsease or kdney failure the very problems incompatible wth pregnancy in the first place.
            found 6 with a very brief look at open source media.
            The bottom lines women’s health doesn’t matter in that country. They say so out loud.
            and forcing that rape victim to stay pregnant and force feeding her when she tried to suicide.

          • Paddy S

            Im Irish and thats all lies.

          • Ivan Ewan

            And this is proved by, well, by your fevered imagination of course, what other evidence could anyone really need?

          • jonathan

            most times now women dispose of their unborn baby because 1/ it is a legalised practise and they can do it

            2/ It is encouraged by the engineers of dysfunction (marxist sociologists)

            3/ Its a convenient way to avoid interference in a career
            4/ Its always been one of those left wing shout down the opponent until they submit type of issues (ie a left wing “moral” (??) taboo

          • Pacificweather

            5/ They were raped.

          • jonathan

            every woman that has an abortion was raped?
            you must have a perverse view of what rape is

          • Pacificweather

            You have a perverse view of the English language. So it goes.

      • David Prentice

        No, abortion lover, it means he and many other youngsters are starting to see abortion for what it is: the taking of an innocent life. And where does he say anything about choosing to give up sex? Here’s a disturbing thought for you: maybe he wants to get married and have babies, you know, the old-fashioned way.

        • cartimandua

          Well not more than 2 on my taxes thanks and does that assume he has the money to buy? Most young people now have to wait to have a home until their mid 30s or even 40s.
          We don’t live in huts. We are not agrarian.
          There is a very long time between leaving home and being able to afford a family unless of course one assumes the state
          will house one paid for by other tax payers.
          If he wants to have 2 kids and then get the snip well fine.
          He will never afford to buy though never ever.

          • Tiffy

            I’m pretty sure you’ve misunderstood the article. He’s not stating that people shouldn’t have abortions, he’s saying that the overall awareness of abortions has increased, that it is indeed taking a life and not something to be treated lightly. I myself am a student and I completely agree with him. Does that mean I wouldn’t get an abortion? It’s impossible to say until it happens, but if I were to it wouldn’t be without a great deal of emotional backlash. I’m very pro-choice for each individual woman, but that doesn’t escape the fact that abortion is the ending of a life.

          • Pacificweather

            Menstruation is the ending of a life. Who on earth thought of the idea of a child being born with all its eggs and shedding some of them every month. As bad as being a chicken.

          • Tiffy

            Are you serious? The whole reason menstruation happens is because there is no life to protect i.e the egg is unfertilised so the womb lining is not needed. Surely you must know that…

          • Leon Wolfeson

            The majority of fertilised eggs are rejected by the mother’s body in the first two weeks of implantation. The mechanism is hormonal, and can be affected by the mother’s moods.

          • heracletian

            And sometimes infants die and children die before they make it to five years of age. Is this an argument for infanticide?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So you try and dismiss the problem with what was said, unsurprising.

          • Tiffy

            How is it relevant at all? A very early stage abortion is not a deliberate act to end a life.
            The majority of periods are NOT fertalised eggs aborting. That would be assuming most women; a) have sex every month, b) have sex during ovulation and c) even if that happens, for an average, healthy woman there’s still like 1/5 chance of fertilisation.
            Getting pregnant isn’t as easy as Jeremy Kyle would make out.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            I did not say period, I talked specifically about *fertilised* eggs.

            And the evidence is that hormonal cues, which are affected by mood, are important. There is thus a element of volition.

          • cartimandua

            80 percent of zygotes fall out.

          • cartimandua

            These days most under fives die because they were forced into short nasty life with. a lethal congenital anomaly.
            That’s why places which wont TOPFA have such high under five deaths.
            Ireland and Malta have the worst in the EU.

          • Bebop

            There is no such thing as a “fertilized egg.” That’s an abuse of language. An ovum is that which possesses a potency to human conception with and through a sperm cell. In principle any ovum may actualize that potency with any one of the bazillion sperm cells in the world. Ditto, a sperm cell is that which possesses the potency for human conception with any one ovum.

            When one ovum and one sperm cell actualize their potencies for conception with and through each other, there no longer is an ovum nor a sperm cell. What is there is a new entity with its own potencies for actualization. And these potencies cannot be merely reduced to what came before. There is an over-and-aboveness that cannot be accounted for by reference to the ovum and the sperm cell. And these potencies are those of a human being. Potencies that will actualize as a particular embryo, a particular fetus, a particular infant, child adolescent, adult. The human being is wholly there at conception. It is not a “fertilized egg.”

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So. You’re saying that these cases are murder. I see.

          • Bebop

            If you took a fast-asleep day-old infant and quietly gassed it so that it passed from sleep to death, would you call that murder? And if you would, what moral distinction would you make between what you have done and what an abortionist does?

            In what way, if any, is the infant more human than the fetus in the mother’s womb? And in what way, if any, is the infant less human than the toddler, or the boy, or the man?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            What a surprise, you ignore the biological facts for some completely different topics.

          • Bebop

            What “biological facts” am I ignoring?
            And why do you not even try to answer my question?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So you haven’t read my posts. I see.

          • Bebop

            Your answers are willfully lazy. Let me recall you to where I came in. I pointed out that, in point of “biological fact,” there is no such thing as a “fertilized egg.” I then took some care to rationally demonstrate to you why this was so, and why your use of the term was an abuse of language. You simply ignored this, and raised the subject of murder instead. I then put a question to you so framed as to indicate that any reasonable person would of course accept that an abortion would be an act of murder because, after all, it is taking the life of a human being.

            You are the one who is ignoring “biological facts” and moral certainties.

          • Pacificweather

            If the egg was dead then no amount of fertilisation would bring it back to life. Think of all those spermatozoa dying, tails flicking, on the middle page of Penthouse magazine. There is so much death in the whole process it’s simply horrifying.

          • Tiffy

            If the egg isn’t fertilised then it can’t “die” because it was never alive.
            I can’t work out whether you’re messing with me or you actually honestly believe this.

          • Pacificweather

            Both. It’s about when living cells die or living cells become human life. You don’t seem to be able to distinguish between them.

          • Tiffy

            So with your theory, every time I scrape my arm on a wall I should mourn for the skin cells that are now going to die? Actually, I AM distinguishing between them, thats the whole point. One has the potential to become a human, the rest do not.

          • Pacificweather

            Cloning has changed that. Cells are cells. All life is precious. Never ask for whom the bell tolls…

          • Tiffy

            Righty ho. Off to mourn the scab on my knee.

          • Pacificweather

            On reflection I think you have made an excellent point. What number of cells would you mourn the loss of. A finger tip, a whole finger, an arm? Or is it the function that’s important. Losing an arm or losing your todger, which is the greater loss. I guess it depends how old your todger is. The age of cells as well as their function must be part of the equation.

          • cartimandua

            Then you must know that 80 percent of fertilized eggs fall out.
            A pro life company n the USA offers Christian women trying for a baby monthly burial services for the monthly bleed.
            For a fee of course.
            So yes there may be fertilized egg in a monthly bleed.

          • Tiffy

            That is the most ridiculous thing i’ve ever heard. There’s literally no way of knowing whether a period is an egg or not. This level of sentimentality is insane. There’s a huge difference between aborting a baby and having a period.

          • wyclif

            You need some basic biological education. It seems you don’t yet know where babies come from. Dad didn’t have the “birds and bees” talk with you yet?

          • Pacificweather

            Any knowledge you have will be gratefully received.

          • Jack Rocks

            The key point is that you should always have a choice even if the social values around which those choices are made are changing. I’m sure you’d agree with that.

          • Germainecousin

            You comment all the time about the horrors of islam but now thanks to all the people who have taken your advice and aborted the up coming generation, you had better grow to liking islam because that is your future.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Well of course Islamists like you…

          • Yorkieeye

            I know loads of young people under thirty with babies and their own home. It is possible outside the South East.

          • cartimandua

            Not with graduates .

          • Yorkieeye

            What do you mean?

          • jonathan

            you are totally confused hypocrite

            What do you mean not “on my taxes” Its a different kettle of fish when its kidscape deserving millions of tax funding
            I doubt you pay tax any way

          • cartimandua

            We are in the top two percent of income so Yuh its on my taxes.
            The average age of having a child is now in the 30s that sucks because the underclass do it young on other peoples money.
            Average age of child mid 30s and a home now mid forties
            if one is educated prudent and middle class.
            That’s the problem NOT an upsurge in irrationality although pro lifers never do rational.

          • Pacificweather

            Not unless he becomes a better journalist, certainly.

          • wyclif

            You don’t know that, you silly git. He’s a young man with nearly his whole life ahead of him.

            Fact of the matter is that a lot of young people are pro-life. The sooner you wrap your head round that, the better off you’ll be.

          • With all due respect, there is never ever a need to kill someone, so as to afford housing etc. The unselfish thing to do, if someone can’t “afford” a child is to let some childless couple love it as their own. Further, women are being exploited for financial gain in every abortion. It is just plain outrageous for abortion profiteers to destroy a mother’s child for profit. And it IS BIG PROFIT! planned parenthood alone makes nearly 1/2 a BILLION dollars from the blood of defenseless human beings. You and I are former fetuses, remember. Should we really be saying, “well, I made it but I’m slamming the door on you!” ??

      • Baron

        Read Mark Steyn on Planned Parenthood, cartimandua, it seems like something you would welcome what with your monetary take on reproduction:

        http://www.steynonline.com/7090/bakin-baby-syndrome

      • If you are referring to Daniel, then think again. He has had one of the best educations available in this country.

  • cartimandua

    So young people are going to stop having se* then really? I think you mean women are going to continue to take all the risks of pregnancy and contraception while males get self righteous about it.
    But heres the thing ducky. With DNA when there is a contraceptive failure you are going to end up paying for a child for life.
    Glad you are up for that.

  • Dan Grover

    “you feel, or at least some of us feel, the need to speak out.”

    Speaking out about what, though? I’m honest enough to acknowledge that I have little faith in my own, sometimes wandering ideas of “when life begins” – is it conception? Is it birth? Is it when the foetus can survive outside the mother’s body? – but there are several things I’m fairly sure about; One is that it’s not immediately obvious to me that forcing an unwanted baby into the world is better than having the foetus aborted before it’s even sentient (and this is, presumably, the goal of lowering the time after conception at which a foetus can be legally terminated). I’m also aware that the vast, vast majority of women who choose to undertake an abortion do not go on to, on balance, regret it. There’s data supporting this, btw, it’s not just anecdotal. The mother isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of the debate of course, but as long as the people who don’t want abortions aren’t forced into them, and the people that do want them can get them, there are worse solutions out there given that everyone’s definition of when life begins is different.

    So I suppose my point is, you’re speaking out but I’m not sure what against. It doesn’t sound like you’re speaking out against abortion full stop, so what is it?

  • cartimandua

    The lowest number of abortions in the WORLD are in western Europe IE us. We get that low number by ruining women’s health their entire lives.
    We get that by raising the risk of breast cancer because of long use of hormonal contraception.
    1 in 3 women have an abortion during their lives.
    That’s because contraception all fails even with perfect use and men do nothing at all even when the risks of contraception and pregnancy go up for women.
    Only 16% of men here ever get the snip.
    Grow up you silly selfish ignorant boy.

  • margot1

    Well, yes the abortion is a death of foetus. But is it worse than having a child you don’t love or want? Is it worse of being despised by your own mother? Is it worse than being reminded every day of the sad fact that e.g. you’ve been raped?
    And let’s get a grip – a 3 month foetus is the size of ~7cm. It cannot survive on its own. Heck, it doesn’t even have functioning lungs! Calling death of this foetus equal with a murder of a functioning adult person is just a misnomer.

    • Woman In White

      Well, yes the abortion is a death of foetus. But is it worse than having a child you don’t love or want?

      You think manslaughter is preferable to hurt feelings ?

      Despicable.

      • cartimandua

        There is no “person” until viability and birth.
        Otherwise the 1 in 3 miscarriage “God” commits makes him a nasty little God doesn’t it.
        Actually pro lifers don’t seem to believe in an omnipotent God with a plan.
        They are zygote worshippers because of some psychological need for projection and sentiment.

        • Woman In White

          “zygote worshippers”

          This is the most evilly objectionable pro-death slur I’ve ever seen.

          • Harry Palmer

            I have no way of knowing what your life experience is or what trauma you suffered to demonstrate such an appalling lack of empathy, so I just have to base my comments on what you have chosen to share on this page. To be frank, your self-righteous pompous preaching is making me urge.

          • Woman In White

            Tough.

            Grow up.

          • Harry Palmer

            Idiot-girl

          • Ivan Ewan

            Oh no, did we trigger you?

          • stag

            Sod off Harry, and take your fake empathy with you.

          • Harry Palmer

            Make me, fucko

          • stag

            It’s the expression of a personal preference. Stay if you must.

          • Germainecousin

            Take no notice of that abortion groupie, she seems to think that every abortion performed is ‘one gigantic step forward’ for women kind in the battle for equality. A pity she doesn’t address the status of women in countries like India where the birth of a female is often a miracle in more than one sense.

          • stag

            Yeah, it’s pretty horrid. On this subject, Carti is the mouthpiece of wickedness, there’s no getting away from it.

        • Gogogarden

          What about human potential? Whatever stage we are in our life we have some level of unseen or as-yet un-achieved human potential. What mine will pan out to be in the future, I do not know, but I can look back in time and see that at every stage of my life I had the potential to do, to be, to become…. as a child in the womb I had potential, and that potential existed whether I was ‘viable’ or not.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            “Every sperm is sacred.”

        • Gogogarden

          Viability and birth? As a child in the womb can be viable before birth, what is your actual stance on when person-hood begins: at the point of viability or at birth? It can’t be both.

        • jonathan

          y’all hypnotised yourselves that a foetus is subhuman or not human, or irelevant-just a “utilitarian” anomaly that deserves contempt and quick and easy elimination. But then the slave owners did the same thing before they woke up-they attempted to justify their trade and ease their troubled conscience by treating the negro slave as a sub human, or not fully human, certainly not deserving of any rights

      • margot1

        Luvvie, grow up. That comment may hurt your feelings.
        Growing up with people who hate you/ feel you your existence robbed them of something may be just a tad more hurtful.

        • stag

          It’s probably preferable to not growing up at all though (instead being vacuumed out of the womb at the request of your mother). I mean, I’m glad I wasn’t aborted. Aren’t you??

    • monsieur_charlie

      I’m pretty sure you don’t have to keep unwanted children. There are many loving homes that would care for and nurture your unfortunate or accidental offspring

      • margot1

        Then how do you explain the fact that Children Homes are still open and somehow not everybody wants to look after other people’s kids?
        Besides, it is not a child. It is a foetus. It makes as much sense as calling a bucket of milk a “Cheddar”. Cheese it may be eventually, but it is not now.

        • monsieur_charlie

          I’ll take your rather spurious arguments in reverse. One, it’s physically impossible to transfer a feotus between humans, even if they are both the new breed of superwomen.
          Two, children’s homes are not working properly because the PC management don’t seem to know what to do with a mix of potential adopters and adoptees who are of different ethnic origins.
          BTW, the anti-life campaigners seem to treat their potential offspring no better than a bucket of milk they don’t want and can p!we down the lavatory without a second thought.

        • stag

          It’s the same entity, Margot. Stop this semantic game already.

        • jonathan

          If you would of been living 200 years ago in America, you would have been enthusiastically asserting that a negro was no more than a po unfortnet subhuman, and deserved to be a slave

          IE self decieved

    • The Laughing Cavalier

      Why not let the foetus live and then you could ask it when it is old enough to answer “Would you rather be dead?”.

      • margot1

        And why not let people live their lives the way they want it? Want to abort – abort, don’t want to – don’t.
        Why do you have a pain in the *rse about people having a choice what to do with a 7cm lump of cells?

        • Ivan Ewan

          Next time I run into you I’ll ask why you have a pain in the “*rse” about my having a choice about what to do with a 130-pound lump of walking meat – after the first bones are broken.

    • Andrea

      Both my children are adopted. You’re basically saying they’d be better off dead.

      • margot1

        Learn to read. I’m saying that unwanted children left in a Children’s Home or in a succession of foster families may be better off dead. This is as opposed to every unwanted child being earmarked for adoption in a loving home as soon as their birth mother says “$hit, I’m pregnant!”

        • Andrea

          “But is it worse than having a child you don’t love or want? Is it worse of being despised by your own mother?”
          That’s what you wrote, you’ve now added a different context. I can eat sweetheart and you can evidently lie.
          No child is better off dead. No child. I’ve met numerous foster parents through adoption – all incredibly caring who remain interested in these childrens lives after they leave their care. There is a massive amount of work and research that goes into ensuring that these children are well formed and more than adequately cared for so they can come to terms with what has happened.
          You’re painting a none existent deliberately bleak picture to justify killing them.

        • Andrea

          “Well, yes the abortion is a death of foetus. But is it worse than having a child you don’t love or want? Is it worse of being despised by your own mother? Is it worse than being reminded every day of the sad fact that e.g. you’ve been raped?
          And let’s get a grip – a 3 month foetus is the size of ~7cm. It cannot survive on its own. Heck, it doesn’t even have functioning lungs! Calling death of this foetus equal with a murder of a functioning adult person is just a misnomer.”
          Your entire quote, where do you say this? You don’t. See I can read well, almost as well as you lie.
          I know numerous foster parents and children been through this scenario. They work incredibly hard to help children deal with these issues. You’re painting an incredibly bleak and unsubstantiated picture support the killing of human beings, including my children.
          I can read and determine for myself the statement being made and it’s evil tying to disguise itself as compassion, which evil always does.
          By the way, my children had been through the fostering system and are now incredibly loved and well cared for. They’re NOT better off dead.

    • jonathan

      y’all hypnotised yourselves that a foetus is subhuman or not human, or irelevant-just a “utilitarian” anomaly that deserves contempt and quick and easy elimination. But then the slave owners did the same thing before they woke up-they attempted to justify their trade and ease their troubled conscience by treating the negro slave as a sub human, or not fully human, certainly not deserving of any rights

  • cartimandua

    Dan he seems to feel the need for what? We have the lowest number of abortions in the world as it is. The vast majority of abortions are before 10 to 12 weeks.
    So what the F is his problem?
    Our “abortion culture” has vastly reduced harms of all kinds.
    The Turnaway study shows what happens when women don’t get abortions they seek.
    It is poverty, chronic ill health, and domestic violence.
    Perhaps what this article shows is that young people can be “got at” by extremists and its not just ISIS its the pro life extremists too.
    Their position doesn’t even make sense in their own terms. Their position leads to more and later abortions.

    • JohnB

      I notice in your abuse you make the ISIS comparison. Is this a new twist on Godwin’s law?

      • cartimandua

        Both cults worship something absurd and harmful. Prolifery is a cult of projection and sentiment and it causes great harm.
        They are so stupid for instance they don’t know we do not understand why miscarriages happen.
        No woman(1 in 3 pregnancies) who miscarries can prove innocence.
        We can’t even prove the cause of stillbirths and women have been had up by the police and sent too jail in the USA for trying to kill themselves. Women have died because the foetus was held to be more important that the women who carried it. Lately in Ireland.
        Since the foetus always dies first that makes no sense at all.

  • cartimandua

    Life “from conception” is a modern Catholic heresy. It goes against the longest traditions of the church, its greatest theologians, and it goes against the Bible.
    Its a nonsense. “Pro lifers” are extremist nuts.

    • JohnB

      Hi Cartimandua, I’m sure you’re concerned about upholding the traditions of the church, its greatest theologians and the Bible. But you’re wrong about the Bible disagreeing with life from conception ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart’ – Jeremiah 1:5. For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb Psalm 139:13. And I enjoyed your closing abuse – always a sign of a poor argument!

      • cartimandua

        It only mentions abortion to command it.
        I hold by my “abusive” statement. Pro lifers are nuts. They are beyond the reach of any evidence that their stance merely increases harm which is does.
        Their “stance” just makes things worse even if one only cares about a zygote.
        The places with the fewest abortions in the world are here in western Europe and not being stinking hypocrites we actually count.
        Places with restrictions don’t count and export problem pregnancies.
        Recently Ireland forced a rape victim who was suicidal to stay pregnant force feeding her when she tried to starve herself to death.
        That is extreme and downright Nazi.

    • Woman In White

      What a load of crap — Aquinas was a “pro-lifer” who personally condemned all abortions.

      • cartimandua

        About the Catholic church speak to someone who cares but here.
        From the Irish Times.
        “The Catholic Church has a little-known, strong pro-choice tradition on abortion, a leading US theologian said in Dublin yesterday.

        Dr Daniel C. Maguire, a Catholic theologian and professor of moral theological ethics at Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, said the Roman Catholic position on abortion was pluralistic.

        He said it had a strong pro-choice tradition and a conservative anti-choice tradition. Neither was official, and neither was more Catholic than the other.

        In an interview with The Irish Times ahead of giving an address on The Hidden Tradition of Abortion last night, Dr Maguire said all the world religions had pro-choice and no-choice views.

        “What would be very good for the US and for Ireland would be to get this abortion bone out of the Catholic throat, and realise that Jesus did not found an organisation to condemn contraception, abortion and stem-cell research.”

        That was not the definition of the Jesus mission. In fact, those issues were totally unmentioned and were not part of the tradition whatsoever.

        He said the Bible did not condemn abortion, and scriptures did not touch it at all.

        Abortions were going on since the foundation of the church. St Antoninus was the first Catholic to write extensively on abortion. He was pro-choice for early abortions where necessary to save the woman’s life. There was a large acceptance of this. There was no hub-bub, and he was considered a very holy man.

        St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinus both held that the early embryo foetus had the moral status of a plant, a vegetative soul, and then as it developed it had an animal soul. They did not know when the soul was there but the common view was when there was quickening.

        “The idea of a little cluster of stem cells being a person goes against the longest Christian tradition in existence, and makes no sense at all.”
        So early theologians were smarter about human development than modern prolifers.

        • Woman In White

          The Catholic Church has a little-known, strong pro-choice tradition on abortion, a leading US theologian said in Dublin yesterday.

          You will always find some moron or other to propagate these sorts of evil lies.

          They are not Catholic.

        • Germainecousin

          Anyone who respects themselves wouldn’t even use the Irish Times to wipe their axse.

  • cartimandua

    So Daniel never have se* unless you intend a pregnancy. Leave everyone else alone.
    That’s the answer.

  • Teacher

    I am glad that we have moved on from ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ style demonisation of unmarried mothers so that unwanted pregnancy is now no longer social death and living unwed with a child a real option. However, I think that the choice of whether to end or continue a pregnancy must be up to the woman who bears the child physically and must rear it until it is independent.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      No, just grinding poverty and a struggle for food and shelter. It’s…interesting that the right pushing for cuts to welfare never consider that.

    • Baron

      Why don’t we extend the woman’s choice to dispose of the life until independence at 18? Your argument will still hold true, teacher.

  • Abie Vee

    I know you people.. life begins with an erection. Yeah right.

    • cartimandua

      Well no it only begins when there is some way to control a woman. What men do is never a problem.
      The Catholic church doesn’t like vasectomy either condemning women to late contraception and late pregnancy.
      Women are now fertile into their mid to late 50s.

  • In my 20 years as a GP most of the scores of women who came seeking abortion admitted to unprotected sex in uncommitted relationships. Men are in favour of abortion as it frees them to fornicate without fear.

    Abortion on request has failed to reduce the number of births outside marriage. They have risen hugely.

    Who benefits from the sexual revolution? Don’t tell me it’s women.

    • cartimandua

      Marriage has declined. That has nothing to do with the sexual revolution.
      Where marriage was obligatory women suffered vast amounts of domestic violence.
      You should know then of the ONLY study ever done about what happens when women are refused abortion.
      The Turnaway study is clear.
      It is chronic poverty, chronic poor health, and domestic violence.
      Women actually know better than you do about what their lives and bodies can cope with.

      http://io9.com/5958187/what-happens-to-women-denied-abortions-this-is-the-first-scientific-study-to-find-out

      “The Turnaway Study found no indication that abortion could be linked with increased mental health disorders. There were no statistical differences between turnaways and women who had abortions when it came to developing clinical depression.

      But turnaways did face a greater health risk from giving birth. Even late stage abortions are safer than giving birth. The researchers said at the APHA meeting:

      We find physical health complications are more common and severe following birth (38% experience limited activity, average 10 days) compared to abortion (24% limited activity, average 2.7 days). There were no severe complications after abortion; after birth complications included seizure, fractured pelvis, infection and hemorrhage. We find no differences in chronic health conditions at 1 week or one year after seeking abortion.”

      So I hope you put your patients well being first.

    • Dan Grover

      Stopping births outside of marriage was never the intention of abortions.

      • By all means assert a woman’s right to destroy her developing child if that is what emerges from your world view, but please don’t talk nonsense.

        • Al

          And how would those women benefit if they didn’t abort and brought up a child alone? You’re a Catholic aren’t you

          • Since our culture saw fit to abandon traditional wisdom and wholesome inhibitions about the place of sex, we have epidemic sexual transmitted disease, mass abortion, AND a huge increase in women bringing up a child alone. This results in many harms that it is politically incorrect to discuss. We need to think again.

            You’re a fornicator, aren’t you?

          • Pacificweather

            That was the syphilitic Henry VIII.

          • Fraziel

            So what to all? Good grief, its 2015. What century are you in? the first?

    • Fraziel

      fornicate? What kind of person uses that type of language in 2015 other than as a joke?

  • Nick Radcliffe

    Some of these comments sadden me.
    The pro-abortionists aren’t contesting the humanity of the terminated life, but are saying it’s better to end that life if it’s not wanted. I was going to say this is horrifying if extrapolated to other scenarios, but no, it’s horrifying in this context alone.

    • cartimandua

      No, I am saying that what we are doing in the UK and the West is the best which can be done. The best in the world is the limit of contraception now.
      And we are the best having fewer abortions than France which supposedly has better health care. They have more TOPFA though so obviously we are left with a higher stillbirth number.
      If you don’t terminate dying foetuses they will die before during or just after birth.
      Now later in life abortions could be reduced but that would require men to step up.
      Only 16% of men in the UK get the snip and only 9% in the USA.
      that makes most men completely without any leg to stand on with all this.
      they are sacrificing women’s health and doing nothing themselves.

      • Nick Radcliffe

        Most TOPs are not for foetal abnormalities. Even if you use the maternal health argument, would you also argue that disabled children should be terminated because of the health risks to carers?

        • Leon Wolfeson

          So you don’t you oppose those which are?

      • Dogsnob

        But the vast majority of abortions are of foetuses which are healthy. Thousands of them in the UK every year.

        • Pacificweather

          With a population of over seventy million I hope that wasn’t a complaint.

          • Dogsnob

            It is precisely that.
            The rise in population is an adjacent issue and is due to the massive import of foreigners, many of whom are here to play their part in the strategic fecundity which will ensure that they form the majority of the nation.
            They produce and raise tomorrow’s voters whilst we blithely sluice ours into surgical bowls.

          • Pacificweather

            I thought that was the foreigners coming here to take advantage of our abortion clinics. British girls prefer to keep their babies and get a council house.

          • Dogsnob

            You thought wrong on the foreigners, and British women will ‘keep it’ when the flat is required.

          • Barzini

            200,000 a year in the UK – that’s a lot…..

        • Barzini

          200,000 a year in the UK

    • Giuseppe Cappa

      Well said. It is obvious that abortion goes together with euthanasia (often against the will of the suppressed person; see Belgium and the Netherlands) and other forms of mass extermination that we have seen, particularly in XX Century. Once the suppression of innocent human beings is allowed, Hell is unleashed on Earth. Abortion laws are clearly the outcome of the initiative of psychopaths who enjoy the coercion and suppression of people, like in Soviet Union or Nazi Germany.

    • Pacificweather

      Other scenarios definitely. Who’d want to be a chicken.

  • cartimandua

    Daniel Hitchens
    If you come back and read any of this take this one thing from it.
    We in Western Europe are the best in the world and this reflects the limits of modern
    medicine.
    The 1 in 3 women having abortions during their lives reflects our longevity and length of fertility and that all contraception fails even with perfect use.
    The “best” is vasectomy with a 1 in 2000 failure rate.
    Even with the snip a condom should still be worn to avoid pregnancy. Really is that
    desirable, interfering with love and intimacy just to make needy people comfy?
    We women already have raised the risk of cancers by taking the pill.
    So by all means advocate for men to have the snip but apart from that put a sock in it dear boy.
    Indeed I think young pro lifers particularly should get a pet to love and to love them.
    They seem to be emotionally needy. There is a long long wait now until marriage is possible. Young people need hugs.
    Sadly generation rent cant even get a puppy to hug. The landlord wouldn’t like it.

    Perhaps D Hitchens article reflects emotional neediness in the young having to wait through education and even longer to set up a home.
    He is right about all that.
    The answer is not celibacy.

  • UncleTits

    My partner and I have been through one abortion, one miscarriage, and finally one child birth over the space of a few years. We have immense, although never discussed, guilt about the abortion which was done, utterly selfishly in retrospect, out of convenience for our less than public circumstances at the time. A year later she miscarried at about three months and, again, was heartbroken by it. Obviously seeing your child out of the womb changes your perception of it.

    I’d like to use this opportunity to recommend the “Bodies” exhibition in Las Vegas which, amongst many other things, shows actual preserved human foetuses at regular stages of development. I found it all quite a sight, literally in the flesh, and I was shocked to see how human become so soon in development. I wouldn’t be one to prescribe other people’s decisions in this matter but I think that all the facts should be known when having an abortion. That is, after all, a little life being terminated.

    • cartimandua

      Perhaps your wife doesn’t feel guilty at all. Most women only feel relief.
      Not discussed means you don’t know.
      It is absolutely moral and ethical not to have a child if you cannot afford it.
      And no you don’t get “punished” with a miscarriage.
      Abortion is sad that is all as miscarriages are sad. Both are life events people
      need to get over and not indulge in endless grief about.
      So no why on earth would the 1 n 3 women who have miscarriages want to maunder over an exhibition?

      • UncleTits

        We don’t discuss it now because it is a dark cloud. But I do know what she feels about it and it isn’t relief. There was no guilt with the miscarriage because the element of volition was not a contributing factor. Very different feeling about that. Regarding the exhibition, which displays the entire human body, it is very much worth attending if you are nearby. Fascinating to see it all in the flesh, so to speak. There is a warning before entering that section and I’d imagine that many women, who are thinking about having an abortion, would think again after seeing it. I’m not prescribing morality here. Just saying it from my point of view and nothing more than that.

        • Germainecousin

          A very thoughtful comment and contrary to what a lot of pro abortion clones think, many in the pro life movement are overwhelmingly sympathetic to difficult decisions people have to make. It is not about judging, and a lot of people who campaign on the pro life front have had abortions, their mission is to ask people to think twice.

          • red2black

            ‘It is not about judging’ Then why is there a need to ask people to think twice? Also, what do you mean by
            ‘pro-abortion clone’? It seems reasonable to me that there are particular circumstances where abortion should be allowed.

  • cartimandua

    Only a guy could want the abortion limit “reduced to 12 weeks”. Jeez Daniel. Young girls and menopausal oldies what should have to test themselves every week “just in case?
    Females are not clockwork they just wouldn’t know.
    Those least likely to know are the very young the very old and the ill.
    So up yours mate.
    Abortions happening after 12 weeks are going to include women say travelling from Ireland to save their heart lung kidney eye function because Ireland doesnt care about their health.
    They are likely to include all the bad test results of wanted pregnancies.
    You WANT more disabled and dying kids?? Really?
    They are also going to include women whose health tanks during pregnancy.
    Pregnancy can leave chronic poor heath not just dead women.

    • Andrea

      I’m a woman and I don’t want abortion at all except when it’s a medical choice to save the mothers life. Ignorant argument.

  • andyrwebman

    Firstly, I would like to make it clear that I believe prevention of pregnancy is a vastly superior solution than abortion. We are approaching the age where reversible sterilization will be possible (there are medical solutions being developed for both men and women to address this, which I expect to see in clinical use within 5 years).

    I look forward to an age where young people routinely receive this at e.g. 16 or 18 years of age, and accidental pregnancy is massively reduced, where nearly every pregnancy is the result of a conscious decision to become fertile again. That is surely a solution with benefits far beyond the abortion debate.

    That said, I reject many of the premises of this article for the following reason: I don’t believe that anyone should have to be an incubator for another being against their will.

    Even if you do consider abortion to be a life lost, a being who is living off another being’s body against their will is, by definition, a parasitical life form.

    The analogy I use is this: If a small, sentient humanoid entity attached itself to my body and said “I’m going to be with you for 9 months whilst I grow. Your body will likely be permanently damaged by this (e.g. incontinence), you will feel major discomfort while I grow, and when I finally leave it will be the most agonizingly painful experience you have ever had- indeed, you might even die during the process. But don’t pull me off now, or I’ll die”

    Sorry, but I would yank off that sentient being in a second. So I certainly can’t condemn anyone for aborting a being whose brain complexity and awareness is far lower than this hypothetical sentient being. But I do think the sooner the better, or better never get into that position in the first place.

    • cartimandua

      The lowest number of abortions n the world (and over 90 percent before twelve weeks) s the best which can be done.
      What we are seeing with young people s emotional neediness and a rejection of the long long wait for a settled life.

    • Woman In White

      a small, sentient humanoid entity

      Your characterisation is as farcical as it is immature.

    • Ivan Ewan

      Ooo, I like this game!

      If a small, sentient humanoid entity attached itself to my household and said “I’m going to be with you for sixteen years whilst I grow. Your budget will likely be permanently damaged by this (e.g. food bills), you will feel major discomfort while I grow up, and when I finally leave it will be the most agonisingly emotionally painful experience you have ever had – indeed, I may outlive you without the chance to pay you back for all that time. But don’t throw me out now, or I’ll die.”

      Sorry, I would throw that irritating 1-year-old sentient being into the river in a second.

      Because I’m a psychopath.

    • stag

      “parasitical”… dear oh dear, where do you start with these people? Parasitism is determined biolgically, not just by saying “I want it” or “I don’t want it”. Pro-life has all the arguments, Andy. The other side just has a series of thin rationalizations.

  • Scion

    A woman’s body is her own property, and it is not the job of the state to tell her what to do with her body, let alone to control her reproductive functions.

    • Patrick Roy

      Yes Scion. The women will always have the final word. This is now enshrined, thanks to medicine. As for all these pro-lifers, why not go and volunteer in Lampedusa? I’ll buy your ticket.

    • monsieur_charlie

      Yes it’s true your body is yours and, for all I care, you can do what you like with it. However, if you are carrying an unborn child, to deny responsibility for it is utterly disgusting. I would support a law sthat protects that child from people like you.

      • Scion

        Utter nonsense. Pro-lifers pretend they care about the welfare of the unborn child, but they actually want to make life miserable for women and to make them powerless, that is their desired outcome. If they really cared about the unborn child they would support expanding welfare (yet most of the time they are conservatives who advocate less welfare spending) or they would welcome all the migrants in Calais (most pro-lifers and Christians are terrified of the thought of them being sheltered here). The pro-lifer doesn’t care at all about the unborn child. The foetus is only useful to the pro-lifer as a weapon to halt women’s empowerment. Once outside the womb the child is completely worthless as far as they are concerned. Pro-lifers are among the biggest hypocrites in the Christian sociopath movement. I would support applying laws used to protect society from Muslim extremists and terrorists to be applied to the likes of you.

        • monsieur_charlie

          Let’s see. “Pro-lifers don’t care about the children and only want to make life miserable for women”. Well, that’s about as far as I bothered to read. Your views, not only on this subject, but apparently on life in general, are so completely insane as to be worthless.
          BTW, the DM limit comments on one article to 10. I think it’s grand idea and one the DT should adopt, it would put a limit on frothing hate mongers like yourself.

        • Dogsnob

          Whatever would make someone get a buzz out of making life miserable for women and making them powerless? What would be gained?

        • stag

          worthless rant.

  • Patrick Roy

    Gee, another bloke rapturous about a woman’s womb. As I’ve said before thanks to God Almighty’s gift of brains, science, and pharmaceuticals, abortions are less necessary than ever. And frankly, I think he’s cheering up there — “Thank God (me)! These people have finally figured out how to stop breeding like rats!!!! Women are in control of their bodies! LOL the men and their crackpot religions are all up in arms!!! “

    • stag

      Whatever, Patrick. BTW, you sound like a right twit.

      • Patrick Roy

        Yep, the biggest twit in the village.

        • stag

          Oh well, a self-conscious twit is already halfway towards a cure. 😉

          • Patrick Roy

            I can never be cured. Mad as a box of frogs.

  • cartimandua

    http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/marriages-in-england-and-wales–provisional-/2012/stb-marriages-in-england-and-wales–provisional—2011.html

    The greatest number of marriages was for men and women aged 25 to 29.

    The mean age at marriage in 2012 was 36.5 years for men and 34.0 years for women. The mean age at marriage has increased by almost eight years for both men and women since 1972.
    Yup young people are seeing a long road ahead and they would like to duck the wait by having a kid.

  • Harry Palmer

    Of course it’s a fucking death, you moron! It’s a tragedy for all concerned and should be avoided if at all possible. However, the decision belongs to the parents – particularly the mother and so it must remain.

    • Giuseppe Cappa

      So parents can take a child to be slaughtered, right? And why not after birth? For example, an unemployed child who is 30 years old and cannot survive on his own?

      • Harry Palmer

        No, wrong you stupid dick-brained moron. Go think of a grown-up question.

    • stag

      Why?

  • davidofkent

    There is an alternative to abortion. It is called contraception. Now I wonder which religions ban it.

    • cartimandua

      t all fails though over decades of fertility. Even the pill has a 8% failure rate even with perfect use.

    • Nick Radcliffe

      Or not having sex.

    • Nick Radcliffe

      Or keeping the baby.

    • Nick Radcliffe

      Or adoption.

    • red2black

      Abortion may be regarded as a form of contraception.

  • cartimandua

    And who is going to support the unwilling Mothers or unwanted children? Rapidly aging parents already shelling out for Uni living costs?
    Very possibly NOT.
    A friend of my sons refused abortion at Uni.
    She is now bound for life to the babies Father who is so violent she has a restraining order and had to go home to hide.
    Her course hopes ended and she has debts a baby and no degree.
    A clever girl on a permanent burger counter job now.
    Who do the spoiled little pro lifers think is going to come to rescue them?
    Giving up for adoption means lifelong grief and poor mental health.
    Keeping the baby means chronic poverty and possibly chronic poor health.
    As in the case of my sons friend it can also mean being bound for life to a violent nut.

  • cartimandua

    Are young people weary of the years before them of renting and thankless toil before they can set up a home? Very possibly. People need love and hugs.
    Average age of marriage now mid 30s. First time home buy later than that.

  • JSC

    “each abortion is a death”
    Every burger you eat has about 100 different cows minced into it, each has a significantly more developed nervous system, personality, conciousness and capacity to feel pain than any 24 month embryo.

    “Particularly significant are the ‘4D’ scans introduced in 2001, which show the unborn moving fingers at four months and smiling and blinking a couple of months later. ”
    Or as most scientists would call it “having muscle contractions.” Either way hopefully this will all be moot when we get the ‘male pill’ / ‘male contraceptive injection’ which is apparently not far from being released.

    • cartimandua

      There is no possibility of consciousness until 26 weeks gestation and birth.
      The higher brain functions are not on line and the foetus is sedated by maternal hormones.

      • Nick Radcliffe

        Just sedate people before murdering them. That’ll be fine then.

        • cartimandua

          Before birth there is no “person”. Humans develop. First there are zygotes and 80% don’t implant.. Then there are embryos and another third fall out. Then there are foetuses and there are thousands of stillbirths of wanted babies every year.
          Pro lifery is really about sadism towards women.
          They don’t care about women’s health and they don’t care about the 1 in 3 women who miscarry wanted pregnancies.
          With pro lifers its all about the pro lifers “feelings”.

          • Woman In White

            Carry On Murdering.

          • red2black

            Do you think there are any circumstances where abortion should be allowed?

        • JSC

          Just assume that an embryo is a person then you can call it murder and that’ll be a fine argument then.

    • Dogsnob

      How many 24 month embryos have you asked about this?

      • JSC

        Not many, but I’ve met some charming cows…

        • Dogsnob

          So you don’t know what pain they might feel then, these embryos?

          • JSC

            Pain is carried by nerve fibres to the brain, which if concious, experiences it as pain. As an embryo’s nerve fibres are several orders of magnitude less developed than a typical cow’s – with some types of pain-signal carrying nerve fibres being completely undeveloped at 24 weeks – and the regions of the brain required to experience pain also undeveloped, and that the mother is secreting conciousness-suppressing hormones… We can say with a high degree of certainty that a cow experiences far more pain at slaughter, even when stunned, than an embryo could when aborted – and anything an embryo does experience cannot be assumed to be pain as we know it.

          • Dogsnob

            Much as I like them, cows are not humans and I put more value on the life of a human than that of a cow, don’t you?
            In addition, is the suppression of physical pain all we need to think about when deciding to end the life of an unborn child?

          • JSC

            I put value on the lives of humans when they are kickin’ and a screamin’ babies and upwards; and for the record I put significantly less value on the life of fully grown humans who are in a persistent vegetative state with no hope of recovery.

            The fact that an embryo is “human”, that is in the sense that it has human DNA, is moot. We can take some cells from a human and grow them in a Petri dish if we want (see my link below), but they’re not “a human”. We could even grow nerve cells that can actually “feel” pain, more so than an embryo does! Do you think such cell cultures should be afforded the same rights as a fully born baby and that when scientists dispose of them they’re murderers? I don’t, I doubt you do either.

            The suppression of pain is all we, that is you and I, have to think about when aborting an embryo. The rest is the decision of the person who it is growing inside.

            http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ears-noses-grown-from-stem-cells-in-petri-dishes/

  • cartimandua

    Does the author have the slightest clue about how large a population we now are?
    and while population has gone up by 10s of millions the number of abortions has dropped and dropped.

    • Nick Radcliffe

      Your not really answering the pro-life arguments. If abortion = murder, you’re not going to persuade someone this is justified in order to limit the population.

      • cartimandua

        Their “schtick” is that abortion numbers are high.
        We have the fewest in the world and it costs all womens health all their lives.

        • Nick Radcliffe

          No, their (and my) “schtick” is that it’s murder. Small numbers of murders are still murders.

          • cartimandua

            It isn’t murder. If you made it “murder” every woman is criminalized every time she has a period.
            Its that crazy. We don’t know why miscarriages happen.
            Women have already been criminalized for
            wanting to keep their eyesight, or having a fall, or trying to kill themselves.
            Pro lifers are really about persecuting fertile women.
            It is clear misogyny and we see rght through you.
            Personhood means women cannot live any kind of normal life and they still could be guilty of not being pregnant or having a miscarriage.

          • Woman In White

            If you made it “murder” every woman is criminalized every time she has a period.

            Don’t be an idiot, though I realise you can’t help it.

            Can you comprehend the intrinsic difference between acts of will and the involuntary ?

          • stag

            And fertilized and non-fertilized egg cells… honestly, the woman is a zealot, impervious to reason, almost – nay, exactly – in the same way as the IS head-choppers.

          • Andrea

            Idiot. A period isn’t a human life, it’s an unused egg.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Except, of course, that a majority of fertilised eggs don’t result in a pregnancy which lasts more than few weeks. An absolute majority, per studies, of fertilised eggs which implant are rejected by the mothers’ womb within two weeks.

          • Andrea

            That’s not her argument. She didn’t talk about miscarriage she specifically stated period.

  • Sten vs Bren

    There are too many demands that we recognise future citizens as actual citizens. The austerity argument is based upon the presumed future tax burden of the unborn. The green lobby continually invokes potential future generations as arbiters of today’s energy policy. It’s anti-democratic.

    Legal rights are conferred on individual citizens; in the case of a foetus, on the mother.

    • Andrea

      We’re not basing anything on citizens but on human beings – not future ones, ones who actually exist, otherwise their destruction wouldn’t be necessary.

  • Back To 1689

    Whether an abortion is right or wrong is not only about whether the unborn baby has a right to life. Pro-life people, such as myself, need to also make the extra case for why even if it has the right to life why should it have the right to use another person’s body against their will to stay alive.

    • stag

      I don’t think there is any need to make that case. if it has a right to life, you may not kill it. That establishes the principle that abortion is wrong. End of, surely.

      • red2black

        Do you think there are any circumstances where an abortion is permissible, such as when the foetus is not forming properly?

        • stag

          No.

          • red2black

            I’d appreciate it if you’d explain why.

          • stag

            Because killing innocent human beings is morally wrong. How strange that this view is now controversial!

          • red2black

            Killing human beings of any description is morally wrong. Another view that’s controversial. Unfortunately, the world isn’t quite as neat and tidy or as black and white as a lot of people would like it to be. I understand your absolutism, but don’t agree with it.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Indeed.

            Plenty of comments on social media have supported migrants drowning, for instance.

      • Back To 1689

        In the popular debate yes but not in the academic debate amongst philosophers. The basic principle is that there is a moral difference between letting someone live and forcing someone to use their body to keep something alive. There’s a great debate on this point between Peter Kreeft and David Boonin. It’s on YouTube if you want to check it out.

  • cartimandua

    I still want to know who these “new” prolifers think are going to support those unwilling new parents.
    its not your aging parents kids. Don’t even think about it.
    People on benefits parent young and often and stay on benefits in crummy housing for life.

  • Ambientereal

    As a man I can only say that every person has the right to decide what to do with everything that lays under his skin. Every part of our body is “living” matter composed with cells and blood. I see people doing surgery that isn´t essential for the health and no one complains. For me the women must have absolute rights over their bodies.

    • stag

      But the foetus is not a ‘part’ of the female body, it is a human body in its own right.

      Your axiom is illogical. You have adopted it because it is convenient and has an easy ring of truth, not because it is actually rational.

      • Ambientereal

        OK, if it is not “part” you can take it away from the women´s body, like you take away a bug from the hair. The fetus feeds from the woman, changes the shape and weight of the woman, changes the hormone balance and even can kill the woman, but for you it is like a pair of shoes. In my opinion, the rights and the interests of the woman must prevail over anything inside her body, otherwise you run the risk of legalizing RAPE.

        • stag

          None of what you have said follows. It is a human being, not a bug. So you can’t take it away like a bug. Neither is it like a pair of shoes (????). There is no risk of legalizing rape. You just state that there is a risk, without describing the logical connection. Care to oblige?

  • Giuseppe Cappa

    If an unborn child is a human being, as he is, the idea of the pro-life activism “offering women better support” is out of focus, as the survival of a member of the community (I should say brotherhood, as a christian) of humans has higher priority. Preventing unborn children from being murdered and helping all mothers-to-be who have any difficulty are two things that are to go together. I also think that women who do not want an unborn child could be receive a monetary compensation if they complete their pregnancy and the child (or children) is then given in adoption; trading babies would not be great but it would be better than slaughtering babies.

    • cartimandua

      There is no “person” until viability and birth. You would be paying women to be ill their whole lives.
      Nice and the churches are still apologizing for selling on babies.

      • Giuseppe Cappa

        A 6-month old baby isn’t more sentient or more capable of surviving on his own than an unborn child. Moreover, many elderly people are incapable of living by themselves. Should we also suppress all of the above if we wish? Who decides who is to be suppressed? What about suppressing the unemployed then? And finally, you seem to believe that pregnancy is an incurable disease.

        • cartimandua

          Of course it is.

          Sentience and consciousness require higher brain function.

          You don’t feel surgery because you are unconscious.

          Before 26 weeks and birth the brain is not developed enough for consciousness.
          From the Guardian

          “The human foetus feels no pain before 24 weeks, according to a major review of scientific evidence published today.

          The connections in the foetal brain are not fully formed in that time, nor is the foetus conscious, according to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

          The findings of two reports commissioned by the Department of Health strike a blow to those seeking to reduce the upper time limit for having an abortion, currently at 24 weeks.”

          The studies suggest that late abortions, permitted for serious abnormalities or risks to a woman’s health, do not result in foetal suffering because of increasing evidence that the chemical environment in the uterus induces “a continuous sleep-like unconsciousness or sedation”.

          • Giuseppe Cappa

            Now it is clear. You advocate the right of suppressing unborn children not because they aren’t human beings, but because they are unconscious (as a sedated patient during surgery, as you write) and the procedure is not painful. So if needed (but again, it isn’t clear who should decide) we could also, according to you, sedate elderly or sick people while they sleep, and then suppress them without making them suffer. You would maybe suggest that we also exterminate in the same way the unfit and the less capable, so as to have a wonderful society. You openly support eugenics by forcible suppression of human beings that you think shouldn’t have a place in society. This view, derived from Darwinism (a secular superstition), is that of XX-Century eugenics, especially popular in the US and in Germany. We all know where it has led.

          • stag

            And she’s not ashamed of it.

          • red2black

            Judging by the number of abortions that take place, it seems that abortion has come to be regarded as a form of contraception.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Yes, to your false arguments

            Social Darwinism is a completely thing different to Darwnism, and the only link is from anti-science crusaders trying to abuse the similarity in names. No different from people on the far right who try and claim that the NSDAP was a socialist party, because of the word in their name.

          • Giuseppe Cappa

            So doesn’t Francis Galton have anything to do with Darwin?
            The NSDAP was socialist — check for example points 11,13 and 17 of the 1920 programme, or watch this: http://www.sovietstory.com/22/

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So you’re far right and a really nasty person.

            Well, what a surprise.

          • Giuseppe Cappa

            You resort to name calling when you do not even know me while you might have tried to provide arguments. Anyway, I stop this discussion.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            No, I “resort”ed to reading your nasty revisionist history over the NSDAP. There’s no point arguing with your type of fanatic, of course, you are entirely disconnected from anything resembling British Society.

            Run away now.

          • Giuseppe Cappa

            You are entirely disconnected from English grammar and syntax.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You are showing you are a liar, since you said you were not going to reply.

            (Or was ” I stop this discussion.” a threat?)

            About what I expect from you, as you try and distract from your hard right excuses for the NSDAP. Your view on rights is obviously a sham.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          For the record, what’s your stance on the rights of Apes and Dolphins?

          • Giuseppe Cappa

            Same rights as all other animals.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ah. Well, there you go – putting a Human fertilised egg, most of which will not last a few weeks, before an intelligent animal of another species.

          • Giuseppe Cappa

            Exactly, apart from the syntactic problems.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Which is arrant discrimination on your part.

            Animals are owned, of course, but in your model the state owns it’s people, so that’s no excuse.

          • Giuseppe Cappa

            When did imply that the state owns its (not “it’s”) people? You seem not to get the difference between persons and animals.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            I get you are a hypocrite, and a NSDAP apologist.

            As you refuse to admit what your ideology means.

          • Giuseppe Cappa

            You seem to have serious problems with English syntax, grammar and comprehension. In another comment I merely wrote that the NSDAP was socialist, which of course is at the root of its evil nature. You keep calling names rather than trying to provide arguments, which makes this discussion pointless.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Of course you need to make up more lies, as you frantically apologist for the hard right NSDAP – and indeed let’s not forget you started this with an attempt to smear Darwin with one of your ideologies.

            Historians have had much to say at efforts to rehabilitate the NSDAP and blame it on the left, of course, you’re in “good company” among the fanatics and cranks of the hard right.

            What’s pointless is your pretence – obviously, someone as far right as you is just after controlling people, and Human life is quite irrelevant to you.

            It’s clear you have a serious problem with me. And let me point out I’m Jewish by birth. There, now…

  • Solage 1386

    Both abortion and the death penalty are immoral. I approve of both.

  • Solage 1386

    I do wish heterosexuals were able to control their urges. Ten minutes of fun can lead to a lifetime of regret.

    • cartimandua

      That’s not desirable. Human love expressed makes happier people and nicer societies.
      Where se* is forbidden societies are nasty violent and rife with every perversion usually involving children.
      ISIS land is a perfect example. They are endlessly raping male recruits and then chucking them off tall buildings.
      Recently they murdered 18 women for “refusing.”
      What that actually means is women were raped so badly they ended up with fistula and no one wanted to rape them any more so they killed them.

    • Woman In White

      Thank you for this expression of your utter selfishness.

      • Solage 1386

        How so, my dear?

    • Baron

      Excellent point, Solage 1368, the best contraceptive is a distance of a yard or two between a man and a woman, it never fails.

      But as for controlling urges seriously, it’s not doable in our enlightened society guided by ‘if it feels good, man, do it’ for sex feels good.

      • Solage 1386

        But suppose a bloke’s ding-dong is a yard long? Also, it’s 1386 not 1368 if you don’t mind. These things matter, to me at least……..

  • Solage 1386

    For those who support abortion, how would you feel if YOU had been aborted?

    • cartimandua

      If one believes n an actual God he or she has a plan which would include when souls are placed into bodies.
      If one doesn’t believe in an omnipotent God (pro lifers don’t) then there was no consciousness at all.
      So no “feeling” about anything.
      Do you believe in the undead too?

      • soysauce1

        Just a quick question, how do you know pro lifers don’t believe in an omnipotent God?

      • stag

        On balance, though, since you obviously were conceived, are you glad you were brought to term? Thought so. Says it all.

  • Dogsnob

    Good, and about time, because it is not just death but unnecessary death, pre-meditated death. Murder.

    • cartimandua

      So never have se* dogs willy. I am sure all womankind will be pleased.

      • Dogsnob

        You might note that there is no apostrophe in my monicker.
        But, addressing your point: why would my abstinence from thex have any bearing on the horror of the state-sponsored murder of babies?

        • Paul Montgomery

          Idiot.

          The state do not sponsor abortion. It permits it.
          Learn the difference.

          (The state permits me to drive. Unfortunately it does not sponsor it.)

          • Andrea

            Err, the state provides abortions through the NHS, it advertises them in schools and doctors surgeries and the NHS website too. So it pays for them and advertises them – sounds like sponsorship to me.

          • stag

            (You’re too nice, Andrea, so I will say what you were thinking…) “Idiot!”

          • Andrea

            😀

          • Paul Montgomery

            The law certainly does not encourage abortions.

            Virtually all happen because two doctors are willing to certify that the the women involved would otherwise go doolally.

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/10497456/Abortion-laws-relic-of-the-past-or-a-big-flabby-unsatisfactory-compromise.html

          • Andrea

            1) there was a recent decision not to prosecute doctors for resigning a portions slips – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/10823467/Doctors-must-not-be-above-the-law-on-abortion.html – so although the law is clear about two doctors this is not actually happening.
            2) your initial statement was that the state does not sponsor a options and you’ve now changed that to encourage. When you were making statements about sponsorship you used an anology of the state allowing you to drive but not paying for your lessons whereas here the state allows women to abort and pays for the through the NHS. I stated this sounded like sponsorship and indeed fits your description of what sponsorship looks like.
            3) the state does encourage abortion. Believe me I know, I’ve worked in secondary schools were a ‘quiet word’ is had with young girls and abortions are arranged wihtout parental consent or knowledge. In this case abortion is very much encouraged under the guise of increasing their prospects but actually to reduce the cost of single parent families.

          • Dogsnob

            The state collects monies from taxpayers, then uses that money to pay the wages of surgeons, some of whom carry-out abortions. In addition it pays the wages of teachers, social workers and a host of other agency staff, whose job it is to convince youngsters that abortion is a part of growing up.
            That is sponsorship.

          • Paul Montgomery

            “..it pays the wages of teachers, social workers and a host of other agency staff, whose job it is to convince youngsters that abortion is a part of growing up.”

            Are you some kind of looney?
            If the above had their way, sex education would be massively improved so as to heavily reduce the demand for abortion.

            Or are you against contraception as well?

          • Dogsnob

            No, I’m not against contraception and I do so hope I’m not a looney.
            The continual messages from teachers and other authority figures are that: (a) the baby does not count; and (b) abortion is much simpler and more innocent than it actually is, in the effect it has on both the psychological and physical well-being of young women.
            I’m not sure at all that sex education has any positive effect on reducing abortion. In fact, the increasing focus on sex-education is likely to be read by children as encouragement to become sexually active at a very vulnerable stage, thus they risk unwanted pregnancy and, sometimes, the concerted pressure to abort.

          • Paul Montgomery

            Sorry, I should not have used the “l” word.

            A couple of points:

            Yes, sexual activity does increase with better sex education. But the level of teenage pregnancies drops like a stone re: Netherlands

            The long term effect of abortion is a myth. Yes, the occasional woman goes loopy, but the vast majority are relieved, if not jubilant, that a massive personal problem has been resolved.

  • Wilky1

    Is it actually the case that the young are becoming more “pro-life” or is it in fact the liberal left leaning education establishment & the morally outraged Twitterati are pushing a view that many subscribe to until it is their life which is affected. Then the shoe moves to the other foot.

    • cartimandua

      Possibly the young faced with many years of delayed adulthood are looking for a shortcut.
      A kind of blackmail that goes “if we have a baby the grownups will pay.”.

      • Woman In White

        You are utterly despicable.

  • Terence Hale

    Hi,
    Its ironic life, as a sausage has two ends, a birth and a death. An abortion being the
    impediment of birth and euthanasia being the turbo mechanism to end human life, biting the sausage at both ends. The bit in the middle commonly called life determines how we deal with the morel ethics of such. Just to help people in a dilemma regarding pregnancy a cheap and accurate method that determine such is the Nymphoides aquatica test. A peeled banana is placed in the womb for two minutes and withdrawn, if the banana is bitten off a pregnancy is present.

  • Germainecousin

    Today, here in Ireland the news on my local station has focused on a demonstration being held in Dublin, organised by Amnesty International with the intent of liberalising Ireland’s abortion law. A spokeswoman from India spoke about the dreadful treatment of Irish women who are denied full access to abortion, a human right. It made an impact, I will never give one cent to Amnesty ever again and I would implore anyone who is anti abortion to do the same. As for the Indian woman, some one needs to bring her up to date with the status of women in India, especially unborn females.

    • cartimandua

      They were perhaps referencing a dead Indian dentist killed by the withholding of normal medical care because of Irelands anti woman medical stance.
      Irelands maternal outcome stats are a fiction.
      They were not collected centrally and women “well enough to travel” when ill come here.
      When they are not well enough to travel they die and Ireland calls their deaths “something else” (such as bleeding or heart failure).
      I did a quick trawl through public media and found 6 cases where pregnancy killed women who should never have been obliged to stay pregnant.
      Its not first world medicine in Ireland.

      • Andrea

        You’re lying Cartimandua. A lesser evil than murder I suppose, but still lying.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          So you’re claiming well publicised cases in the press are lies?

          • Andrea

            Yes, because the decision was based on the fact that they thought her life wasn’t in danger incorrectly. If this misdiagnosis hadn’t occured then an abortion would have gone ahead to save the mothers life.
            Abortion isn’t normal medical care – no matter how skewed your viewpoint is nor how pro abortion people try to frame it as such. It’s the taking of a life.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Case*s*. You seem to be referring to a single case I am not considering.

            You’re indeed for talking mother’s lives in this situation, I see, by refusing medical care. Your attempt to ignore other cases says it all.

            “misdiagnosis”

            You might try and bargain it down from murder to involuntary manslaughter and criminal negligence, I suppose.

          • Andrea

            1. Then bring the additional cases. The abortion queen referred to one case which was as a result of misdiagnosis.
            2. That’s another life you pro-abortionists are using on this thread. As you’ve been told repeatedly by someone else – I know what I’m saying, please don’t state wrongly what I think. I stated quite clear that in Ireland if was legal to terminate the life of the fetus if the mothers life was in danger. I didn’t say either way whether I agreed with that or not.
            3. Yes, medical negligence as the courts concluded. I didn’t misdiagnose though did I, so I wouldn’t be bargaining down anything. I’m just clarifying a lie that had been told on this thread to support the killing of children.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So you slur me, what a surprise. The public health argument is what’s important to me, despite my personal feelings – rejection – of abortion.

            Then ignore the cases. Rejoice in a system which predictably will end up with dead women, most of them because of the far lower rates of medical consultations in pregnancy which occur. But also cases like the one you rejoice in here, where the health of the mother is the last priority.

            Medical negligence is of course not the same as the charges I talked about, it’s a far lesser charge. But you won’t even admit that, hence as I said…

            I also note you only care before birth, of course. You’re not out there arguing with the government about welfare, arguing for much higher spending on adoption services, etc.

            (And of course, in your world where the state owns people’s bodies…I also note you try and equate a biological term as used in research ethical under the Declaration of Helsinki with “what was used to dehumanise the Jews”. This Jew thinks you’re disgusting for that.)

          • Andrea

            1. So no additional cases. Ok, glad we got that cleared up.
            2. I’ve adopted two children, so no not just about before birth.
            3. Note you argue for government spending whilst looking down your nose at me. Not your money hey?
            4. The state doesn’t own people’s bodies no. Again, you’re putting words in my mouth. Neither the state nor the woman have the right to own and destroy the body of the unborn.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            1. You “clear up”, ignoring deaths in your bloodlust.

            Esperancita. There, one. On top of the the one you make excuses for.
            Then there’s countries like Nicaragua http://www.nbcnews.com/id/21601045/ns/health/t/women-die-after-nicaraguas-ban-abortions/

            …I could go on, easily, but one is sufficient, of course.

            Then there’s all the stories of where women were forced to carry unviable… where they barely survived… where children are refused abortions after rape… but keep rejoicing, they don’t exist for you, in your narrow world-view.

            2. Evidently there’s a clear failure in the adoption system. That’s nothing to do with abortion, especially since you’ve not proven that the alternative for those specific children was abortion, of course.
            3. Ah, the spitting at the poor, making it plain you only care pre-birth. As you make up what I “do”.
            4. That is exactly what must happen to make your proposed laws work. It’s an absolute requirement. So you’re lying. State force, and state monitoring, is the only way to enforce your mandate.

            PS;
            https://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/gpr/12/4/gpr120402.html

            No, no public health argument at all eh?

          • Andrea

            1. Apart from the comical aside of you saying I have bloodlust the initial point was about Ireland, which is refuted and you denied. That denial has failed and as you can’t bring alternative aces you spreading your net wider and repeating the unfounded accusation against me that I’m against abortion for the health of the mother. Which I’ve denied. You can’t win an argument so you lie.
            2. You made another accusation against me, which I’ve refuted and again you can’t accept. You stated I dint care about welfare and dint argue it for those who haven’t been aborted. Now you come up with this – really? Pathetic.
            3. Where exactly ‘spit at the poor’? You really are pathetic. I’ve pointed out that you call for government action whilst not acting yourself. You virtue signal and it’s cheap.
            4. It’s not an either or scenario. People know that when you have sex there’s a possibility of pregnancy. It’s not the states right to determine that that life can be ended.
            You are a duplicitous liar. I have no regard for any opinion you have about me. I think you’re pathetic. Anyone who reads our conversation so will see this. They can judge for themselves. As for me I have no reason to discuss this further with an evil fool.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ah, so.

            I provided the evidence. You reject it, in a torrent of abuse.
            It’s clear that you’re even nastier than I thought. How many ATOS shares do you have?

            I feel sorry for your victims.

          • Andrea

            You really are an idiot.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            “UR IDIOT”

            As you lash out further, after rejecting the evidence of the deaths. Keep demonstrating how you are truly nasty, and will do anything for your narrow-minded, very specific and utterly inconsistent with any other morality system belief.

          • stag

            [whispers] Watch out! Leon has very thin skin!

          • Andrea

            Thanks for the heads up :D.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Ireland, a country literally raped by Catholicism.

      • stag

        Raped by England, you mean.

    • Chris Morriss

      The Irish law on abortion would be treated with more respect if the same country hadn’t just permitted (indeed actively campaigned for) the horrendous concept of homosexual “marriage”.

      • Leon Wolfeson

        The horrendous concept of not being such big bigots! Wah!

  • jim

    Of course abortion is foul.On the other hand it seems to be the only brake on burgeoning afro population growth in US.

  • Paulo Williams

    “Britain’s abortion culture”? talk about unbiased reporting, or is there no such thing any longer? When will you pro-life people understand that an abortion is not the taking of a life? There is no life. A foetus is not a life. That is a simple fact and one which should be easily grasped. You stand outside abortion clinics waving your placards and trying to scare women out of the very tough choice they have made; many of you even offer help – help until the baby is born, then your job is done and you couldn’t care less about the consequences of what you have done. Ruined more than one life. It amuses me to hear people say “well, they can always give them up for adoption”; as if there are not enough unwanted children in this world, you want to add to this number? And you also want a young woman to carry around in her body, probably at the expense of her job, an unwanted baby (once it has become one that is). How cruel are you people? You do not give a damn about life. I find it interesting that many pro-lifers are also to be found advocating the death penalty, and yet that IS a life you want ended. Not to mention the murder of doctors who help these poor young women at a time when they desperately need that help. But even those of you who are not for the death penalty, how can you live with yourselves, trying to force your beliefs on other people, and in a very unsettling way. You do realise, I hope, that contraception does not always work. This Scheveningen comment below which states that life is from the moment of conception should take some time out to read some real research on the topic. You care nothing for the lives of the young women you are trying to influence; I’d love to see just one of you take one of these women that you have ‘saved’ into your homes not until she gives birth but until she is ready to stand on her own two feet, whether that means two years or fifteen years. Practice what you are only too willing to preach.

    • Nick Radcliffe

      life
      lʌɪf/
      noun
      1.
      the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.

      • cartimandua

        Surrendering for adoption leads to lifelong complex grief and searching.
        Those persuaded women who keep the pregnancy have chronic poverty, chronic poor health, and ongoing exposure to domestic violence.
        Churches are still apologizing for baby farming and selling them on.
        Perhaps you never got the memo about stopping.

        • Andrea

          No, it doesn’t. My children are adopted and are perfectly happy because we help them udnerstand and come to terms with this fact. They assist me in writing letters to their parents once a year and have access to their information which has been given to them age appropriately throughout their lives.
          You’re lying again.

  • Benjamin O’Donnell

    “It is not even necessarily about demanding specific changes in the law.”

    But surely this is *the* crux of the issue: Should women be *forced* to carry a pregnancy they don’t want, as if they were incubators, rather than people?

    If you want to stop “demanding specific changes in the law” and instead mount a social attitudes campaign to influence women’s choices away from abortion, then liberals like me cease to have a problem with you – indeed I’d even go so far as to call such a campaign noble and decent.

    But if you want to make abortion illegal, liberals like me see you as a more insidious version of Daesh’s sex slavers – people who want to force unwilling women to keep unwanted pregnancies against their will, and transform these women from people into breeding stock, from human beings into mere incubators.

    • cartimandua

      Except as unwanted pregnancy leads to chronic poverty , chronic poor health, and continued domestic violence t s hard to see how a campaign could make those things go away.
      A campaign about vasectomy though might help. Oddly male pro lifers never suggest t.

      • Andrea

        What an idiotic response. Really – it automatically leads to these things? Where is your evidence to back up these moronic assertions.

    • stag

      What’s liberal about denying unborn children the freedom to grow up and be born? Sorry, Benjamin, but you are just posturing here. Breeding stock, incubators… all very typical rhetoric. Just say a few high-sounding words, pay homage to a woman’s “right to choose” (such a silly phrase), and hey presto, you are home and dry. Long on rhetoric, short on reasons. Very typical.

      • Benjamin O’Donnell

        An embryo is no more a person than the sperm and egg were a moment before it was created. By contrast, a fetus in the womb the day before birth is as much a person as a newborn. The line is very hard to draw, but just as the existence of twilight doesn’t negate the distinction between night and day, the grey area of personhood during human gestation doesn’t negate the difference between personhood and its mere potential.

        It seems to me that the US Supreme Court, while having absolutely no basis for it in the text or history of the US Constitution, nevertheless managed to legislate (yes, it was legislation no matter how hard people want to see Roe v Wade as a legitimate judicial decision) a decent and pragmatic tripartite system, for all its rough-and-ready line drawing:
        1st trimester: Abortion on demand.
        2nd trimester: Abortion for a good medical reason.
        3rd trimester: Abortion only when there is a compelling and urgent necessity for it to save the life of the mother.

        • stag

          Your night and day analogy, I’m afraid, is not successful, because, in reality, there *is* no clear point at which day and night begin and end. It is not simply insufficiency of knowledge: the things referred to are themselves fairly ill-defined and fluid. That gives us wriggle room in our definitions.

          But the case of potential vs actual life is different. In reality, there *is* a point at which life begins. A new human being comes into existence at some point. The reality is not vague, merely our knowledge of it. The grey area comes entirely from limitations in our knowledge, not from the realities we seek to describe.

          This is a crucial difference.

          Of course, there *is* a difference between human life and its mere potential. But if you can’t locate that difference, then you are just stabbing in the dark. You are not basing your distinctions on anything more solid than “it seems to me”.

          Well it does not seem to *me*. So where do we go from here? Surely one ought to try to rationally justify the decision to draw a line here rather than there, instead of adopting a purely pragmatic attitude – “this seems a decent idea”?

          You argued that it’s not useful to talk about a “line” – but to back that up, you invoked the day/night analogy, which I have critiqued above. I have argued that, whatever the state of our knowledge might be, there must *be* a line.

          I would further argue – to round off the train of thought – that the only plausible place for the line to be drawn is conception itself. For what we are talking about is an entity: a human being. Not the kind of acts this entity may or may not be able to execute, but the very existence of the thing that executes these acts (be that consciousness, or pain responses, or whatever).

          It really comes down to whether you value human beings for what they *are*, or what they can and can’t do. Pro-life people value them for what they are. Pro-choice (such a silly phrase) people – at least those who don’t flee from rational argumentation and take refuge in pragmatics – value them for what they can and can’t do. Which is a form of unintended discrimination, carried to lethal extremes.

          • Benjamin O’Donnell

            I value consciousness, intelligence, emotions and the capacity to suffer or flourish; not bones and meat. That’s why, if we ever built a self-aware AI, it would have rights and we wouldn’t “own” it any more than we can “own” slaves.

            And yes, that makes the “higher apes” *really* problematic. A creature than can express sadness via sign language and understands death might still not be intelligent enough to get full “human rights”, but it surely shouldn’t be treated as owned property.

  • 1YesterdaysWine1

    The false and disgusting propaganda of the religious fanatics is taking hold of some young people and this article and many of the comments don’t have a clue as to how far off it is about the feelings of (at least) American youth.

    “The Public Religion Research Institute has released new research on the attitudes of millennial youth (18-29) toward abortion and a number of other social issues including gay marriage.

    It’s important to note at the outset, that millennial youth favor abortion access in their local communities by a significantly higher percentage than any other age group in the population — 68% for millennial youth compared to 58% for the general public. It’s also important to note that millennial youth are generally more supportive of abortion across all the other categories measured in the poll compared to other age cohorts.” (http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/blogs-main/advocates-blog/1834-a-tale-of-two-movements-one-millenials-take-on-new-research-showing-young-people-are-more-supportive-of-lgbt-rights-than-abortion)

    Many of the surveys I’ve seen conflate a person’s “moral” objections to abortion with embracing of other people’s legal rights. Because a woman may not like the idea of, say, a 20-week abortion for herself, it doesn’t mean she’s against it for another woman.

    Finally, to the religious nuts trying to impose their straitjackets on others. Get it right – a fetus is a fetus and only a being capable of living outside the womb on its own is a baby. Your ranting and sick intrusions into other people’s business doesn’t change the fact. Please stuff your god into your own private spaces.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      I note a considerable part of the argument is from Humanists.

      As I’ve said elsewhere, I have a personal moral issue with it, but there are both liberty and a strong public health argument in favour of allowing abortions.

      • Benjamin O’Donnell

        Yikes! We agree! 😉

        • Leon Wolfeson

          It’s not really hard – I’m for tolerance and to restrain the extent of the state, especially in moral issues. If there’s a good public health argument, though, I’m quite willing to entertain the state using it. (So on this, on vaccination, etc.)

    • Nuahs87

      “Get it right – a fetus is a fetus and only a being capable of living outside the womb on its own is a baby. ”

      Do you consider people on life support machines to be human?

      • Paul Montgomery

        Stupid analogy of yours.

        But what I do know is that switching off the life support is not necessarily murder.

  • Leon Wolfeson

    So women should have unsafe, back alley abortions. That’s what happens, of course.

    • stag

      They shouldn’t have abortions at all, Leon. Society should not their decision if they choose to do so.

      • Leon Wolfeson

        And the reality is they will. Unless “society” (the Government) monitors all women of childbearing age. Closely.

        And I see, it’s banishment from “society” for those who your monitoring discovers – well. What else would you punish that way?

        • stag

          Yes. They will. Actual change to the law, obviously, could only follow from a change in the prevailing cultural consensus. But under those circumstances, yes, let them head for the “back alleys” (such emotive hogwash) if they feel an absolute need to kill their own children.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Will what?

            And Emotive hogwash? You’re ignorant of history.

          • stag

            They will get abortions.
            I wasn’t talking about history. We’re now in the 21st century. The back alley is a throwback. It’s much more likely women would make the necessary sordid arrangements online, don’t you think, rather than in some seedy back alley?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Far too traceable compared to word of mouth, especially with the snoopers charter inbound and Cameron all set to ban most encryption, never mind the technical ramifications.

          • stag

            OK, whatever, back alleys it is, I don’t mind. It was an aside I have no energy to defend further.

          • cartimandua

            A pill and a period s not sordid but perhaps your medical knowledge has stayed n the 190s.

          • stag

            The morning after pill is very sordid indeed.

          • cartimandua

            You want all women to queue up to prove why they are not pregnant at any given moment.
            We don’t know why 1 n 3 pregnancies end n miscarriage.
            you know that right?
            So there s no way at all for women to prove themselves innocent f they are not pregnant.

          • stag

            logical FAIL

          • Mary Ann

            Back alleys is not emotive hogwash, they were the reality for women and girls in the past, and they will be again, if abortion is banned, you are not going to stop rape by banning abortion.

          • stag

            They were a reality, but I don’t think they would be in the future. A more likely location for a DIY abortion black market would be online.

      • cartimandua

        Soo you want society to own women’s bodes.
        We got over slavery and that s what you are suggesting.
        Slavery just for women of course.

        • stag

          FAIL

          • Mary Ann

            WTF do you think you are, telling women what they can and can’t do with their bodies, I am guessing from your name that you are a man.

          • stag

            Yeah, I’m a man. Now, “WTF” do you think you are, presuming to restrict, on the basis of my gender, what I can and can’t opine about? The issue is a moral one. Moral reason spans the gender divide.

            Incidentally, stag is short for stagyrite, a moniker for the philosopher Aristotle. It’s not a macho thing I’ve got going on here…

          • Mary Ann

            You don’t have to face the consequences of unwanted pregnancy, it’s easy for you to pontificate.

          • stag

            I’m not pontificating, I’m opining. Which is no more and no less than what pro-life women do.

      • red2black

        Not at all? What if a defect in the foetus is found? Non-formation of the skull, for example?

        • Mary Ann

          Rape, incest……

          • red2black

            Some people will claim that the life of a child is more important than the circumstances of its conception or the wishes of the mother.

          • Mary Ann

            To ask a woman to carry a child which is the product of rape is cruel,

          • red2black

            I agree with you. The point I made, to which you replied, was put to me by a religious fundamentalist work colleague.

          • Mary Ann

            Oh, one of those.

          • jonathan

            and others stupidly claim that the wishes of an as yet unborn baby human are irrelevant and deserving of cold comtempt.

          • red2black

            The wishes of an as yet unborn baby? My comment that you replied to was put to me by a religious fundamentalist, and is something that I don’t agree with.

        • stag

          The direct killing of innocent human beings is an absolute prohibition.

          • red2black

            You’re evading the question, to which may be added the risk to the mother if such procedures are prohibited.

          • stag

            It’s not an evasion. It translates as “no”.

          • red2black

            Then what is the source of this absolute prohibition, and what is meant by direct killing? You make it sound as if indirect killing (what’s euphemistically called collateral damage) is permissible because it’s unintentional.

          • stag

            Ethical reasoning is the source of the prohibition. It makes no sense to permit or forbid unintentional acts.

          • red2black

            Whose ethical reasoning?

          • stag

            Sound ethical reasoning. Anyone’s, provided it is sound.

          • red2black

            Your view is that no abortion should take place in any circumstances. Mine is that there should be exceptions.
            As I said elsewhere, I understand your absolutism, but don’t agree with it.

          • stag

            Fair enough. One of the main problems in discussing abortion is that one side (yours) often refuses to see, or fails to see, the inner logic of the other position (mine). If you can see the inner logic of an absolute moral objection to abortion – if you can ‘understand’ my position – that is a good basis for discussion. Likewise, I reckon I ‘understand’ the pro-choice position, I see the inner logic of it.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            I get you think it’s great to see a mother die rather than have an abortion, even though the baby will inevitable die as well. Your claims about seeing the logic of other positions is a bad joke, of course.

          • stag

            Whoa there, Leon, watch where you’re going with those wild claims! don’t get all shirty just because I trounced you in a fair argument 😀

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ah, you claim to have “trounced” me. No, you didn’t lay a finger on me, and have refused argument, as you refuse to hold consistent views or admit cause and effect.

            You were very clear, I talked about the consequences of your views. That’s all there is to it.

          • Mary Ann

            And who’s prohibition is that?

          • stag

            An absolute moral prohibition. It doesn’t need a subject.

          • Mary Ann

            Not a satisfactory answer, it says nothing.

          • stag

            Do you think there is no such thing as an absolute moral prohibition?

          • Pacificweather

            There is no consensus on what should be an absolute moral prohibition as demonstrated here. So, self evidently, there is no such thing as an absolute moral prohibition. As a pacifist, that should be self evident to you.

          • stag

            That doesn’t logically follow. The fact that people don’t agree on which moral prohibitions are absolute is no grounds for concluding that absolute moral prohibitions don’t exist.

            “Self-evident” can be understood in 2 ways: self-evident in itself, or self-evident relative to current knowledge. For example, given Euclid’s 5 axioms, the deductions of Euclidean geometry are self-evident in themselves. Their truth (within the Euclidean system, of course) is already given, implicitly, in the 5 axioms. But they are not self-evident relative to the human mind, since by knowing those 5 axioms you do not automatically know all the other derived propositions.

            The first way is the way in which moral absolutes can be said to be self-evident (or perhaps evident – self-evident is too strong). They are implicitly there in the facts combined with the more general moral principles. But they need to be deduced by sound reasoning. They are evident in themselves, not in the knower.

          • Pacificweather

            It follows logically that morality is a state of mind and, unless two or more minds are linked in a gestalt system, that all minds cannot be in the same state. Unless all minds are in the same state then there can only be relative morality.

          • stag

            But I just explained to you – in somewhat contorted fashion but nonetheless clearly enough to understand – that absolute moral principles, in my view, cannot be defined solely on the basis of what *is* actually in given minds at a given time.

            It is more a matter of what *should* be in minds. Or to put it more simply, absolute moral principles are derived from the correct application of reason. They are not in all minds, because not all minds apply reason correctly. They are not democratically derived, and they are not democratically defined.

          • Pacificweather

            That’s rather woolly thinking. Minds create morality. What else does? If minds are not in synchronisation then they are relative. If minds are relative then it follows that morality is relative?

          • stag

            Minds create morality in a sense, but in another sense they don’t. They don’t create it ex nihilo.

            Take physics. It is, in a sense, a creation of the human mind. Nevertheless, in a different sense, the laws of physics are immanent within the totality of physical relations from which we derive them. We don’t just ‘invent’ the laws of physics, we discover them. They were there, in a certain sense, before we discovered them.

            I think it is similar with morality.

          • Pacificweather

            Scientist use experiment and peer group review to determine and confirm the laws of physics. Even with this method the long established constant, the speed of light, has be recently challenge. How do you propose to set up a methodology for testing morality.

            It is true that, in many ways, human beings have always been evaluating morality but, so far, they have not defined an absolute set of moral codes. Without human beings what would morality look like? Primate morality? Snake morality?

            Morality changes with knowledge and technology. We have moral dilemmas today that only came into being because of technological development. Human beings make moral codes and then make exceptions to them for practical reasons. The exceptions are often the the main reason morality cannot and probably should not be absolute. Would you be able to provide an example of something you believe is an absolute moral?

          • stag

            The methodology is a separate question. It is an important one, and a difficult one, but it is important to recognize that it is a separate question from the actual existence of absolute moral principles.

            I realize that when I talk about their “existence”, it sounds like morality exists independently of the human mind. That’s not my claim. It does not exist independently of the human mind – but neither is it *solely* a product of the human mind. How is that possible? Well that’s why I chose the laws of physics as an analogy. The laws of physics are produced by human minds – they are not “out there” in a Platonic mathematical world. (This is why there can be no such thing as morality independently of the human mind – no primate morality or snake morality etc. Morality is not “out there” independently of us.) And yet, the laws of physics are also given to us from the physical world; we don’t simply invent them. They are *our* descriptions of reality, but they describe something real.

            Of course, as well as there being unchanging moral principles, there is another aspect of morality that changes – and that is the practical or applicative part. All sorts of new circumstances arise that present new challenges for human reason in correctly applying various moral principles, and balancing them against each other. Did I just say “balancing”? How can one balance absolute moral principles against anything?? True: we are speaking not just of any moral principles here, but absolute ones. Not just rules of thumb for human conduct which may be proved insufficient by new data of experience, but principles that hold true whatever the place or time. In the case of these principles, I would simply say that the new dilemmas thrown up by technology, or whatever else, ought not to be resolved in such a way as to go against any of these principles.

            You are right about exceptions – morality, in general, is not an exact science. Aristotle liked to say that we should expect from each science (‘science’ meaning ‘field of knowledge’ in modern parlance) only that degree of exactness which is appropriate to it. And in general, ethics does not have an extremely high degree of exactness (which is not the same as certainty, BTW). But in a very few general principles, it does have exactness. “Do good and avoid evil” – that is the most basic, and the most architectonic, ethical principle. But it kind of gives you everything and nothing. One that is a bit bigger on content is: “never act to directly kill an innocent person”. For me, that is an absolute. That’s why abortion cannot be right: it requires me to violate an absolute moral principle.

            How do I *know* it’s an absolute moral principle? Well then we are back full circle, back to methodology. Methodology, in this area, can only amount to correct deduction from correct premises. But more detail will have to wait for another post (maybe).

          • Pacificweather

            You have given yourself two “relative” words in your example: innocent and person (both of which require a judgement).

            With those words you could execute someone wrongly accused but convicted of murder. The British settlers made the judgement that the Tasmanians weren’t people and killed them. How many cells does it take to make a person? A human being does not have to have a mind but a person must have one. With that definition you could abort a fetus with a clear conscience. The cetaceans have minds, very good ones. But it takes a judgement to define them as people. That would be my judgement but many disagree.

            I don’t think we are even close to a definition of absolute morality. Indeed, you demonstrate that such a definition is improbable if not impossible. It is perfectly possible to build an intellectual construction to support any argument but they rarely stand the test of time. That nearly always comes down to what we do as a society and a species. What we do is given by what we think. What we think changes with time, even moment to moment in times of stress. You would like to build an intellectual construction to support your idea that abortion is always wrong but, so far, you have not been able to build one that even convinces yourself intellectually.

            If I felt the way you do I would be content to say that it was just a gut feeling and would not feel the need to intellectualise it but I think you will keep working on it and I wish you luck with that. I don’t need to build an intellectual argument to support my idea that Cetaceans are people. To me it is so obvious that I cannot understand why someone would think differently. I could make a construction but that would not stop it being rejected so why waste the effort.

          • stag

            “Innocent” and “person” require, first of all, definition. What is a person, how many cells etc – that is too big a discussion. The subject, as I understand it, is the possibility of objective and absolute moral principles. Viz. the example I offered, as long as it is *possible* to define what a person is, and what innocence is, then there is nothing to be objected against it as a principle – we must move on to whether or not this principle, alleged to be absolute, might admit of exceptions. We can’t sit around all day trying to agree on a definition of personhood. Let’s just acknowledge that my position is contingent upon the claim that such a definition is possible (and includes unborn children from conception).

            When you say they require “judgement”, you are moving into the practical, applicative aspect of morality. And I conceded, in my previous post, that the applicative side of morality cannot be expected to deal in absolute certainties. So when the Brits judged the Tanzanians as non-people (if they did) that was clearly a mistake of judgement. It does not say anything against the principle. Judgements relate universals to particulars. Principles, on the other hand, do not descend into the particular (even if they are initially drawn from particulars).

            Re the third para – just because something is difficult doesn’t mean that it is not possible. You say what we think changes with time… but that is a truism. Some thoughts change with time, across societies, across history and in individual minds; other things don’t. Also, as it happens, I am convinced (contrary to your suggestion) by intellectual arguments against abortion. Otherwise I should not object to it! It is simply that I have not presented the case in detail. And that’s because it is not the subject – the subject of this exchange, as I understand it, is the existence or non-existence of absolute moral principles. We are at the level of principles. Abortion concerns the application of principles.

            I am not content to say it is merely a gut feeling, because to say so would be inaccurate. I am convinced that all the arguments – except some pragmatic ones, which are not really arguments at all – support pro-life. If you don’t like going through the “effort” of justifying your beliefs rationally – whether that’s about cetaceans or abortion – then I suppose that is your right. But I have to wonder what you would base your views on, then, if not what you take to be solid, rational reasons? A hunch? Is that what the pro-choice case comes down to??

            Thanks nevertheless for this exchange.

          • Pacificweather

            The only problem is that you are unable to make the argument or provide an cogent example of the existence of the absolute. When you give an example you want to skirt around the problems with it. It is like the chap who thought matter only existed when humans thought about it. When it was pointed out to him that it would take a great deal of energy to constantly make and remake matter at the blink of an eye he said when we were not perceiving matter it was god’s perception of it that kept it in place. Your absolute morality is like his matter. It requires a god (or a theoretical physicist) to keep it in place. In fact, I am sure a theoretical physicist could construct an equation for you.

            The belief that abortion is always wrong is mental construct. The body will abort a foetus with chromosomal abnormalities up to ten weeks. Nature believes in abortion but it is better at diagnosis than we are. Were those cells potentially viable despite the abnormalities? Maybe, but we have made a moral and practical decision not to use our science to gain say it. Similarly, we have made a moral and practical decision that, if necessary, a growth in the body that could be harmful to the host can be removed if it has not become a person (your word). If those who say this should never be done also said that they would personally and collectively take full moral and financial responsibility for the consequences then they would demonstrate a stronger moral position.

            The Japanese, Norwegians and Icelanders kill my people without compunction. Is that absolutely immoral? I would certainly like to believe it but if I was starving on a beach and came across a stranded whale would I wait for it to die before eating it? I cannot be absolutely certain any more than if it was a man not a whale. Even what I wish to be absolute may not be so. Immorality may be the better genetic choice.

            Likewise, thanks for the discussion.

      • Ambientereal

        You are a sick dictator. You want to impose your sick thinking into other´s mind. You are no better than ISIS. Such attitudes as yours is precisely what cost human lives and should be forbidden.

    • jonathan

      you sound like an obstinate feminist leon.

      Following your logic,

      “well teenagers are always going to try to kill each other….SO….. take them to a firing range, issue them with weapons and let them have target practise, do the job properly, otherwise they’ll do a botched job with a knife, if they want to kill each other, lets make sure they do a thorough job

      • Leon Wolfeson

        What utter arrant nonsense. I was talking about what actually occurs if you ban abortions.

        You also appear not to have an idea what feminism is.

  • Felixthecat

    I am fairly liberal minded kind of person, seeing abortion as a necessary evil. But if you want to see how such liberal theory leads doctors to turn into anti-doctors I suggest you watch the below hidden camera filming a planned parenthood doctor discussing selling body parts to order.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/news/video-1198865/Planned-Parenthood-director-admits-selling-fetus-body-parts.html

    And unlike a poor taste joke on twitter it really is sickening.

  • Paul Montgomery

    The essential truth that the pro-life nutters can’t grasp is that the foetus is a biological parasite on the mother.
    No amount of sanctimonious argument can negate this statement.

    And if the mother, for whatever reason, has a problem with that, then it should be her decision (& hers alone) to remove the parasite.

    • stag

      Parasitism entails no benefit for the organism. But pregnancy evidently does entail benefit for the organism. And even if not or the organism, for the species, towards which the reproductive system of the organism is ordered. That’s why biology does not talk about offspring in utero in terms of parasitism.

      Any other “essential truths” I haven’t grasped?

      Twit.

      • Leon Wolfeson

        Really? Let’s see evolutionary biology, shall we? There’s Haig’s argument about disharmony, which is commonly used, and the evidence that the placenta is controlled by paternal and not maternal genes has only added to this.

        It’s complex, not infrequently dangerous to the mother, and something we’re only now really starting to understand,

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/15/health/the-push-to-understand-the-placenta.html

        DOI: 10.1677/JME-07-0007
        “The placenta really does act like a parasite, Reading research suggests”

        doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2826.2008.01737
        “The placenta is simply a neuroendocrine parasite.”

        And so on.
        So…you’re incorrect.

        • stag

          You’re talking to me about placentas, Leon. Placentas are not offspring. It is not a counterexample.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Really, so do explain how placentas are not required…
            Moreover, of course, many of the arguments such as disharmony view this as the foetus in general, etc.

            You were wrong, plain and simple.

            It’s obvious that no evolutionary biology work could be done under your state. And probably much of the rest of biology, for that matter. Certainly, given that the state would have to approve all treatments, including any trials…

            But, hey, some fetus-specific issues;

            Trophoblast transferrin and transferrin receptors in the host–parasite relationship of human pregnancy.
            Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1979 Mar 26;204(1154):83-97.

            Why Did Your Mother Reject You? Immunogenetic Determinants of the Response to Environmental Selective Pressure Expressed at the Uterine Level
            DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0897.1999.tb00071.x

          • stag

            View what as the foetus in general? The placenta? Well *that* is just plain wrong. Or parasitical status extended to the foetus via the placenta? Not buying that.

            Of course placentas are required. But Leon, Paul made a comment. He said “the foetus is a biological parasite on the mother”. I said “no it isn’t”. You can’t come back at me saying “but the placenta is”. They are different *things*. The mere relationship of dependency does not turn the foetus into a parasite. Why on earth should it? And the placenta is not a parasite anyway. A parasite is an organism that attaches to or lives within another organism. A placenta falls short on grounds of not being an ‘organism’.

            (But this really is semantics. Even if Paul was right, all it would mean is that we are re-defining ‘parasite’ to fit either with new science, or with one’s preferred way of speaking. Neither of these eventualities would commit me to drawing Paul’s conclusion, namely, that the mother must be free to remove the parasite.)

          • Leon Wolfeson

            “Different”. Uh-huh. No linkage, no requirement. No.

            You’re disagreeing with most evolutionary biologists. I provided more examples specific to the foetus as well. You’re dictating to scientists, through your morality, what they may believe.

            This is not sematics. It’s the sort of ethical and moral debate which should be heard before the state is given charge of our bodies, rather than allowing we as individuals to control them.

          • stag

            I already said there *was* a linkage and requirement. I mentioned relationships of dependency, in which these concepts are implicit.

            But come on, Leon: the very concepts of linkage and requirement entail difference. If the foetus is linked to the placenta, it is not identical to the placenta. If the foetus requires a placenta, it is not identical to a placenta.

            The only example you provided, as far as I can see, is the placenta, in its relation to the foetus. I am suggesting to you that the logical inference “The placenta is a parasite—> the foetus depends on the placenta—->therefore the foetus is a parasite” is not a valid one. and I am further suggesting that the placenta is not a parasite. If some scientist or other called it a parasite, he is entitled to do so. One is entitled to use language creatively and make use of the opportunities for analogy it provides. But parasites are organisms that attach to or live in other organisms. That’s biology 101. The placenta is not an organism. Have you no answer to that?

            It’s semantics in the sense that it doesn’t settle the question. Imagine I say, OK, Leon, you’re right: the foetus is a parasite. Does that mean I need to change what I actually think about abortion? No, it just means I ought to change the way I use words, and broaden my concept of what can constitute a parasite. There is a substantial issue of course, which we are skirting around. But it cannot be got at by talking about what the word ‘parasite’ ought to mean and to what sorts of things it should apply.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            “The placenta is not an organism.”

            Y’know, you really do seem to be putting your foot in it…I won’t go there, but you really should read a basic primer on evoloutionary biology.

          • stag

            I just did a quick wikisearch, which yielded “the placenta is an organ…” etc.

            I readily admit that wiki is not the biologist’s Bible. But if it is an organ, it is not an organism.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Wikipedia is pretty darn awful for current science.

          • stag

            So the placenta is not an organ then?
            edit: I just checked the NHS website, where it is also described as an organ.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            edit#2: I googled “placenta organism” and nothing came up. Zilch.

            About 554,000 results
            (0.15 seconds)

            Right. Turn safe search off?

            PS, since when did was NHS website a guide to developmental biology?

          • stag

            Yeah, but nothing actually describing the placenta as an organism. That’s what I meant by nothing came up. Try ‘placenta organ’ and see the difference.

            Leon, you are on a hiding to nothing here. The placenta is not an organism. And therefore it is not a parasite. The scientist you quoted use the word creatively. It is telling that the other one said the placenta really does “act like” a parasite. Not that it is one. Anyway, I took the trouble to google a couple of things. It looks like your science might be outdated.

            “a fascinating review paper in 2010 suggests this [ placenta as parasite] is the wrong way to think about pregnancy–that, in fact, the cooperative choreography between mother and child is far more sophisticated:

            The trophoblast [placenta] and the maternal immune system have evolved and established a cooperative status, helping each other for the success of the pregnancy. This cooperative work involves many tasks, some of which we are just starting to unveil.” (paper available at Wiley online library).

          • Mary Ann

            I would define the placenta as a gateway between the mother and the child.

          • stag

            well that would be an intuitive, quasi-poetic definition, not a scientific one.

          • Mary Ann

            The relationship between a mother and her unborn wanted child is poetic, I hate to think what is like for a mother who doesn’t want the child she carries.

          • stag

            Sure, there is a place for poetry, and there is a place for science. It’s a wide tent!

          • cartimandua

            No pet the foetus s the parasite. t parasites the mother. t s not symbiotic.

          • stag

            you’ve not got a clue.

          • cartimandua

            The effect on the Mothers body s damage.

          • stag

            nope

          • stag

            Re. foetus-specific examples: yes, but the discussion has moved on. The relationship between placenta and mother’s immune system is much more symbiotic than was realized back then. Back in the day.

          • stag

            You cite a paper from 1979, Leon. Things have moved on in embryoology since then. As for the 1999, no link, but it sounds like a tenuous connection.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You didn’t actually read as much as the title, did you? Did you bother looking at where it was cited?

            And read up on DOI’s.

          • stag

            No. I confess! I looked at the date, and moved on. Because so has science (cf the 2010 paper I cited).

            And even if it hadn’t moved on, I don’t worship science, I don’t see scientists as priests of the universe. On the basis of the totality of evidence they can and do draw all sorts of wide-ranging and sometimes conflicting conclusions. Citing a paper, in some cases, is just citing an opinion.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            No, of course not, you see Science as the Devil as you said.

            You were very clear, you said scientists “did not”. I shows they did. You continue to rant at me for my proving you wrong, and you’ve usefully now come out against science.

            What do you think about vaccines, incidentally?

          • stag

            I don’t want to change the subject. Vaccines are not the subject.

            “did not” – what are you referring to here? Perhaps me saying scientists “did not” see the embryo as a parasite? Did I say that? Perhaps I did. I didn’t read your papers… but if you have found a scientist who says the embryo is a parasite, then good for you. If we’re keeping scores, that’s about 24-1 (to me, of course!). But it is not a very important point. Because I never wanted to maintain “no scientist” says the embryo is a parasite, but that it is not the scientific consensus. There are lots of other scientists in the world, beside the ones you decide to quote. And even if it *was* the scientific consensus (which it isn’t) I could still say that is an ideologically-driven consensus. Science is full of this kind of thing. Most notoriously in 30s Germany, to support state ideology, and also in Soviet Russia… but it is naive to think it doesn’t happen in the West, in support of Western ideology.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You don’t want to risk people understanding your wider ethics, I understand.

            And then you claim magical “scores”, when you said an absolute, were wrong and are ranting and raging because you won’t admit you are factually incorrect. It’s very important, as it shows your rank hypocrisy.

            I’m sure you want to create that general sort of distrust of science, I’m sure you’re right with the AGCC deniers and similar. But the fact is that the Declaration of Helsinki is adhered to in Europe, so your comparison with the Reich is simply an attempt at a Moral Panic.

          • stag

            Do I sound like someone who is raging?

            I just did admit I was factually incorrect, if I said “no scientist” says the embryo is a parasite. Let me check above… OK found it. I said “biology” does not speak about the embryo as a parasite. That is not the same as saying “no scientist speaks about the embryo as a parasite”. “Biology” refers, obviously, to the biological consensus. And you have not shown that the biological consensus is that the foetus is a parasite. So, it’s still 24-0 until such times as you do (no, make that 25-0 now!)

            (the scores are also just a joke BTW. If you really don’t like them, I’ll stop.)

          • Leon Wolfeson

            I don’t see them as a joke, but as a reflection of your thinking.

            As you still refuse to back down from an absolutist statement.

          • stag

            Even when I explicitly say they are a joke? For Pete’s sake, Leo, grow a funny bone.

            Quote this absolutist statement for me, word for word. So we are not talking at cross-purposes.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            At this late stage… no, it’s not a joke, you’re being nasty, as you refuse to admit you could even potentially be wrong. But I must be, always, etc.

          • stag

            Thin skinned, Leon. I can’t help you with that. And BTW, if we were to score “nastiness” on points, 25-1 to you would be about right. But you don’t see me complaining.

            I can potentially be wrong. I have admitted it, I have never denied it. But you have not proved me wrong. Why don’t you try? Why don’t you show me some evidence that, in fact, a MAJORITY of biologists DO see the embryo as a parasite? I’ll be happy to admit I’m wrong if you can prove me wrong.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            No, not willing to take your bluster at face value.

            And of course, you go right for another round of epeen waving, promoting your lies and hate. You, as ever then make excuses, as you demand facts be wrong rather than you, as you chant away.

            Your clear object is to remove people’s ownership of their bodies, and your excuses about embryos…

          • stag

            I think at this stage it is perfectly evident, if not to you then to everyone else who stumbles across this thread, that I am the one making the intelligent points, asking the pertinent questions, and maintaining composure under provocation; whereas you are the one casting aspersions, being suspicious and a little paranoid, not understanding arguments, failing to either effectively defend your own points or attack mine.

            As time goes by, you descend further and further into the realms of insult and unreality.

            So there is no point continuing to discuss with you. You seemed a reasonable person at the outset, but I misjudged. Oh well. At least the thread stands testament to a pro-lifer being calm, rational and right and a “pro-choicer” (such a silly phrase) being agitated, irrational and wrong on almost every count.

            Bye.

            Oh, and enjoy the satisfaction of the last word.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Yes yes, of course you are the only the one here Blessed, the superior, blah blah, anyone who disagrees with you has mental issues and is automagically wrong, blah blah, for disagreeing with your contention the state owns people.

            “UR MENTALLY ILL”, you go, the standard excuse of the far right, the social darwinist, totalirarian attempt to end debate. You stand testament to your inconsistent, anti-rational politics of hate. Run away now, you have more people to harm for the glory of your far right.

            As you ignore my actual views, of course.

          • cartimandua

            Mothers take a permanent physical ht.
            Ireland admits this when they refuse to care about the mothers health. They will only save her life n very narrow circumstances.
            Shortened life or chronic poor health they don’t care about and they say so.

          • Mary Ann

            If people didn’t have babies we wouldn’t be able to have this discussion.

        • Ambientereal

          Biology is not the answer but common sense. Stag speaks all the time about forbidding and condemning, he/she is a dictator and a women abuser. It comes to my mind a comparison …”ISIS”

          • Mary Ann

            Stag is a he.

          • Ambientereal

            As a man I believe we men should shut up and let the women solve individually the problem not trough law but by conscience.

          • tolpuddle1

            As ISIS commit mass-murder and Stag doesn’t, the comparison is fake.

            Though as abortionists and their supporters are mass-murderers, perhaps the ISIS comparison is only too apt when applied to them.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            That’s a bit strong.

          • Ambientereal

            I know but it just comes to my mind. I see girls abused (I am a hetero man) with her bodies the property of someone else and a judge judging her over what she can or can´t do with her own body. I see only pain and death, I don´t see life there, I see only slavery.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            mm. That sort of state control is more similar to the goals of the USSR, though, not Daesh.

          • stag

            Thanks for leaping to my defence, Leon! I will be sure to reciprocate should the opportunity arise.

            “Leon’s such an a**e.”
            “That’s a bit strong!”

            🙂

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Funny, I appear to be concerned with an appropriate equivalent for your calls.

            You appear to be concerned with yourself.

          • stag

            It was just a joke Leon.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ah, that excuse.

          • stag

            Well, if you don’t like jokes, I’ll try to remember not to do it again.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You’re the other kind of funny, trying to claim something is a joke well after the fact.

          • stag

            The claim was only necessary because you did not take it in the way it was intended. It was a joke then, it remains a joke now. I don’t think you are an a**e.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Who do you think you fooling?

          • stag

            Didn’t you see the :-)?

            That means it is a joke.

        • tolpuddle1

          Your quotes merely prove that liberals are moving the goalposts by re-defining words, as per usual.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So. The scientific discussion proves that “liberals” are “moving the goalposts”, “as usual”.

          • Mary Ann

            It sounds like a usual right wing argument.

          • tolpuddle1

            I don’t regard your posts as notably scientific.

      • cartimandua

        t has NO benefits for the Mother.

        • Mary Ann

          Yes it does, having children is the closest we can get to immortality, and hopefully they will look after us in out old age.

          • red2black

            Having children in the hope they will look after their ageing parents is one of the reasons poor people had, and continue to have, large families. The mortality rate, especially the infant one, means having more children means more chance of one or two of them surviving; a bit of a contradiction where limited resources are concerned.

          • Mary Ann

            But a very natural instinct.

          • red2black

            Of course.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Indeed. Poorer people have more children, something those outraged about welfare and kids fail to grasp.

        • stag

          Tell that to mothers who love their children. It might be a concept you find difficult to understand.

      • Paul Montgomery

        Tw@t..

        “Parasitism entails no benefit for the organism”

        That is precisely the case when a woman is pregnant with an unwanted child.

        “And even if not or the organism, for the species..”

        How in god’s name is it beneficial to this species to bring even more unwanted mouths to feed when human population growth is out of control?

        “biology does not talk about offspring in utero in terms of parasitism.”

        Perhaps they should spell out the obvious for morons.

        Any other “essential truths” you haven’t grasped?

        • tolpuddle1

          The planet is being trashed by human greed, not human need.

          And the definition of “parasitism” has no connection with pregnancy, however much you may wish to re-define the concept of parasitism.

          Try learning some biology.

          Or should that be, some honesty ?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You did read my discussion with Stag, right?

            The one where I posted link after link where in fact the placentas and embryo *are* discussed and described as parasites or acting like parasites?

            You’re dishonest and ignorant of biology, it seems.

          • tolpuddle1

            To regard an unborn child as a “parasite” (or as good as) on its mother, is absurd, both philosophically and scientifically.

            And a misuse of language (undertaken, of course, in a feeble attempt to strengthen the case for abortion).

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Yes yes, you keep arguing with the scientists. Keep telling them they’re wrong, that you’d evidently ban their research, and probably given your arguments prosecute them.

          • stag

            Indeed. Don’t let Leon invoke science in support of his argument. “Link after link” was originally an NYT article and 2 quotes. One quote was irrelevant (“like a parasite” does not equate to “parasite”), the other used “parasite” in a creative way – for the placenta. And the newspaper article can be dismissed. Leon stumbled over the fact that the placenta is not an organism but an organ, which rather undermined his case. Undeterred, he posted new ‘links’ later (which weren’t actually links, but again titles of papers). Leon alleged that these are papers that really describe the embryo as a parasite. I have first-hand experience of Leon’s comprehension skills, so I wasn’t confident. In fact, I didn’t bother to read them. Even if they do claim the embryo is a parasite (no doubt prompted by ideology more than actual science) other scientists would disagree, on perfectly logical grounds. Have a look if you can be bothered.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Yea, science as a whole is evil and must be not invoked!

            As you ignore the DOI’s, of course. You keep trying to trip people, attempting to harm them for your amusement.

            You know first hand about your bitter hate for me, and you admit you don’t read my posts, right. Why should be look, when you didn’t, when you reject anything scientific. When you believe that only people with your views can comprehend anything, in good old eugenics fashion.

            But hey, as you said yesterday, you’ll rely on a quick wikisearch eh?

          • stag

            I don’t hate you at all, nothing against you. I don’t rate you as a thinker, but that’s not hate.

            I’m not trying to harm you or anyone else. I think the above is a pretty fair (if, unavoidably, slightly biased) presentation of what transpired.

            I think lots of people can comprehend my views, even while holding different ones. But you didn’t show much evidence of comprehension, especially when you kept ascribing to me views I had explicitly rejected as many as three times.

            Science is not evil.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Really, your lying now doesn’t help.

            Your views are inconsistent and refuse to connect cause and effect. And I see, you think science is The Devil – my bad, I was being too nice again. I do this sometimes.

          • stag

            Lying? That’s a bit strong, no?

            It’s not the devil either. If it was the devil, it would be evil. See? Of course you do – it was only a joke….

            How am I failing to connect cause and effect?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Facts “are” strong now, I see. And it’s Satan, and MEGAEVIL, whatever.

            You’re now trying to back down, in a very funny-peculiar way.

            And your refusal to admit the necessity of state ownership of people’s bodies in your plan for starters.

          • stag

            Leon, you’re all over the place. Make an intelligent point. Or address one of my points, eg., the cause and effect thing.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            “UR”

            You’re, as you noted, not reading my posts, as you ignore the fact I did address your points, as you claim my are “not intelligent”. Which really does give away your agenda, when you’ve admitted to not reading my posts in the past.

          • stag

            I didn’t read the *paper* you cited. That’s what I said, Leon. Stick to what I said, please.

            Do I have to think your points are intelligent? Can I not respect you as a person while witholding respect for your opinions

          • Paul Montgomery

            Excuse me as I laugh at your stupidity.

            The ultimate test of parasitism is if the host dies.
            If the dependent organism also dies, then it is a biological parasite.

            If the mother is killed in e.g. a car crash, the foetus dies with her.
            (Unless of course the foetus was old enough for independent survival whether in an intensive care unit or otherwise – in which case an abortion is very unlikely!)

        • stag

          Can’t be bothered responding in detail to this garbled nonsense.

    • tolpuddle1

      By the same line of argument, babies and children are financial and social parasites on their parents.

      Should the parents have the right to remove these “parasites” (if necessary, by lethal force) do you think ?

      “But that would be murder !” – well yes. So is abortion.

      • Paul Montgomery

        You are being absurd.

        If indeed “babies and children are financial and social parasites on their parents” then they can be removed & placed with foster/adoptive parents;

        This option is just not feasible for a biological parasite (which is the case for a foetus).

        And nobody here is arguing for infanticide.

        If you can’t tell the difference between a child & a foetus, then may the mythical supreme being that you believe in help you.

        • tolpuddle1

          Babies and children should NOT be removed from their parents except in very rare circumstances. Certainly never on the grounds of “parasitism” !

          Parasites attach themselves to a plant or animal of a different species. Not the same case as that of a foetus (except perhaps, for those who regard babies and children as “parasites”).

          A foetus looks remarkably like a baby, because it is a baby, though not yet a fully-formed one.

          Abortion is, of course, infanticide. You and many others have been arguing for abortion.

          • Paul Montgomery

            As i said; if you can’t tell the difference between a child & a foetus, then, may the mythical supreme being that you believe in, help you.

            Fortunately, most people are saner than you & recognise that a lump of organic matter attached to a female & fully parasitic to her, is not yet a human being.

          • tolpuddle1

            A foetus isn’t a lump, it’s a human being, as is very obvious from scan images. Not yet a fully-formed human being, but a human being nonetheless.

            It isn’t attached to the woman, but growing inside a pouch within her – her womb.

            To regard a woman’s unborn child as a “parasite” is beyond absurd and beyond dishonest.

            BTW, “foetus” is classical Greek for “little one.” The pagans of classical times were less enthusiastic about mass-murder than their modern counterparts.

          • Paul Montgomery

            You are very ignorant or just being dishonest (as anti-abortionists tend to be when their threadbare arguments are just laughed at).

            Of course the foetus is attached to the mother – it is called the umbilical cord.

          • tolpuddle1

            Attached to his or her mother, but not part of her.

            Therefore, not for her to dispose of.

          • Paul Montgomery

            You really are scraping the barrel.

            The foetus is fully dependent on the mother & can only be dependent on her.
            The foetus feeds off the mother’s body.
            The only possible conclusion for a rational person is that their is a parasitic relationship.

          • tolpuddle1

            No, you are confusing dependency with parasitism, perhaps deliberately.

            Parasitism is intentionally harmful (where animals are involved) and is by definition by species A on species B.

            Hookworms and tapeworms, for instance, are parasites.

            Are you seriously comparing an unborn baby to a tapeworm ?

            It is you who are really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

          • Paul Montgomery

            Dependent or parasitic, the end result is the same

            The unwanted foetus feeds exclusively off the mother draining her biological resources..
            It therefore should be the decision solely of the mother as to the disposal of any foetus.

            It is completely outrageous that a busybody like you would want to interfere in something that should be of absolutely no concern to you.

          • tolpuddle1

            Abortion – murder – is of concern to me; and absolutely rightly so. And since I’m involuntarily contributing tax money to fund these state-funded murders, It is my business anyway.

            Women who don’t want babies shouldn’t have sex.

            You talk as though foetuses are monsters.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Keep arguing with the science.

          • tolpuddle1

            No, I’m arguing with the “science.”

            Much science, so called, is very unscientific.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Exactly. You deny much science, because it does not accord with your narrow views.

            Lots of medicine, of course, wouldn’t be allowed under your ideology – really shows how hollow your claims are about the unborn, you’re just a stateist after ever-more control over people.

  • stag

    Good stuff Daniel.

    Hopefully, the anti-life agenda of the baby-boomer generation will prove to be just that – generational, giving way to a more humane (and rational) approach to unborn children in years to come.

    • cartimandua

      What you mean guess s ether condemning young women to chronic poor health domestic volence and poverty.
      Or selling on their babes resulting n chronic poor health for the Mothers.

      • tolpuddle1

        Many women who have had an abortion also spend their lives grieving.

        Since poverty and – even more – domestic violence, have increased in Britain since the 1967 Abortion Act, it’s clear that abortion isn’t the answer to them

  • Callipygian

    What makes you think life is so good? No life is without struggle and pain, and most lives have more struggle and pain than we would like. We all have to fear death, and then we all have to confront it. Each new life, whether it’s Prince George or Princess Charlotte or the waif down the street, will have to face death, possibly gruesome.

    I didn’t make the rules; I just live by them. And die by them.

    As for conception: a moment no child wants to contemplate with respect to its parents (only the parents, in the moment, think anything but euchhh!); and personally I wish my parents had been wiser, more grown up, not married to each other (too young), and not in a position to create me. If I could have been an angel at their shoulder I would have said Don’t Do It!

    • stag

      Well, I’m pretty glad I wasn’t aborted.

      • cartimandua

        Your parents didn’t like you much? See the thing s where women are obliged to be pregnant against their will there s unconscious f not overt maternal hatred.
        A study n the US found poorer outcomes for the unplanned child throughout life on every measure even when money was not an issue and the couple were marred.
        An unwanted child gets t no matter how much of a cover-up there s.

        • stag

          Well, we live in an imperfect world, and we have imperfect emotions. Family bonding is not always what it should be. Part of life, deal with it. And no-one, except rape victims, is obliged to be pregnant.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ah yes, the poor shouldn’t have sex or kids, blah blah.
            And women should “deal” with being abused, blah blah.

          • stag

            ????

          • Leon Wolfeson

            I can read your posts.

          • stag

            Why not quote for me, then, where I expressed either of the two views you seem to ascribe to me above?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            “Quote me back all my posts” is a ridiculous dodge, of course. You’ve expressed a number of highly inconsistent views, and now you’re trying to limit it to two, etc. – really, who do you think you’re fooling?

            And oh, you’re reading my posts now. Quite a change from your expressed views to someone else, eh?

          • stag

            I’m entitled to address whoever I want. As are you. Slag me off to Cartimandua or someone, see if I care.

            I’m not asking you to quote “all” my posts. Count 5 posts back (the one with 2 sentences ending in “blah blah”): you implied I held 2 specific views. I asked you for evidence, from what I’ve said, that would show I do hold those views.

            You say they are inconsistent, but fail to demonstrate why. I addressed your points about power over women’s bodies; about surveillance; about transplants (and then gave up)… but things went downhill when, instead of absorbing what I said and coming with new lines of attack, you just repeated the old ones, and continued to insist I held views I had rejected, explicitly, only moments before!

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Blah blah same again. Right. I’m sure you think you have all sorts of entitlements.

            I don’t forget that by what little ethics you’ve expressed, you would be anti-transplant, but you’ve refused to provide any sort of reasoning – there appears to be no consistent moral background for your beliefs.

            I am not, of course, interested as you are in attacking people in the first place. And as long as you espouse certain things, with one way of achieving them…and given cause and effect exist…

            In fact, given women would turn to illegal abortions in your world (especially as you’re arguing you wouldn’t look for them), the best ways to lower them are to abolish poverty (with i.e. a basic income) , ensure good patient-doctor relationships and so on. But no.

          • stag

            But I said, explicitly, that I was *not* anti-transplant. Why don’t you do me the honour of explaining to me why you think I *must* hold anti-transplant views? Assume I’m stupid, and can’t make the connection for myself.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            But then your views are outright incoherent, as you refused to admit either brain-death or heart-death as a measure of death, and hence organ transplants, removing an organ from someone who is still “alive” to you…is murder.

          • stag

            OK, you’ve set out your reasoning. Now let me show you why it is rubbish.

            I answered that, of the two, brain death is more decisive. But even that is not decisive in an absolute sense, because people have also had flat encephalograms, only to recover later, and very occasionally much later. This shows that a lat encephalogram, while being a very good indicator of death, is not 100% reliable either.

            Therefore, it is wiser to rely, not on one measure, but on a number of measures in conjunction. A brain scan, and a heart monitor, together with such traditional indicators as the lack of certain reflexes, and temperature, all come together in clinical practice to determine death.

            Does that mean clinicians will get it right 100% of the time? No. Does that mean we should never extract organs for transplant? No. Appropriate time should be left for the diagnosis of death to be prove wrong by events – but not an undue length of time i the organs are to remain viable. In the absence of absolute certainty, it is sufficient to act upon the nearest possible approximation to certainty, which in fact is a very near approximation indeed. In cases where, unknown to the clinicians, the subject was in fact still alive, it would not be murder, because all reasonable precautions had been taken to establish the fact of death, and the clinicians acted on that evidence in good faith.

            That is more or less my view on the subject. It has nothing to do with abortion, though.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            “Does that mean we should never extract organs for transplant? No.”

            And that’s *morally* inconsistent with your position on abortion, as it means terminating a life, to you. The legal position is something else entirely, of course.

            Which means I won’t take your stance as serious, but rather posturing. And I’ll look for other reasons why you’re holding it.

          • stag

            Inconsistent? err, no. Let me quote… what I JUST SAID:

            “In cases where, unknown to the clinicians, the subject was in fact still alive, it would NOT be murder, BECAUSE all reasonable precautions had been taken to establish the fact of death, and the clinicians acted on that evidence in good faith.”

            and this is different from abortion because…

            “there is NO DOUBT that the unborn child is alive”.

            That means I already *dealt* with your claim of moral inconsistency. I explained why the two are different. You now have to say WHY I am wrong.

            That’s how intelligent arguments go.
            You say “you’re being inconsistent”.
            I say “no I’m not, and here’s why”.
            Then you say “yes, you still are: here’s why your defence against inconsistency is invalid”.
            You can’t just repeat the accusation. That’s not a logical form of argumentation.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            And that’s what’s inconsistent, of course. With your absolutist stance on abortion. Moreover, it’s a legal and not a moral stance.

            You’ve doubled down on your inconsistency, and shown you have no regard for intelligent opinion, right. You admit that logic does not guide your arguments, but…ah yes, bigotry. Right, there, it all makes sense now.

        • tolpuddle1

          The poorest outcome for a foetus is not to be born at all, but to be terminated.

  • Al

    “My own convictions aren’t products of a left-wing or right-wing worldview” Indeed his convictions are products of being a nutty Catholic who takes direction on sex from a celibate man in a dress

    • rob232

      You mean he’s a religious person? Most people in the world are religious. Are they all nutty?

      • Mary Ann

        I think that needing a shoulder to lean on is a kinder way to put it.

    • Paul Montgomery

      “a celibate man in a dress”?

      But don’t they interfere with little boys?

      • tolpuddle1

        Not us much as the British political class nor as much as the British population in general.

        • jonathan

          oh thats all right then.

          Thats as stupid as saying well theres no need to complain about the dog s##t all over the local public park, because there are needles, used condoms and empty liquor bottles in there as well

    • tolpuddle1

      Priests wear togas, not dresses – if you had told Julius Caesar, for instance, that he was wearing a dress, you would swiftly have left this world.

      What priests are teaching is not merely their own personal opinion, but the Christian faith.

      But since Islam is taking over in post-Christian Europe, perhaps that is merely academic.

      • jonathan

        wrong.

        priests wear lacy dresses and “teach” (indoctrinate) people with catholic myths and dogmas and superstitions that bring them into a false hope and membership of the worlds biggest personality cult.

        • Mary Ann

          Part of the Christian faith, what did Jesus say about abortion?

        • tolpuddle1

          Wrong – they wear togas (for liturgical purposes; most of the time they wear civvies). As for lace, it’s fallen out of fashion.

          A false hope ? Well, so people like you say – but why should anyone believe you ? Especially as people like you all live in the false hope that we won’t experience divine judgement. And that really is being superstitious.

          Myth = story. Stories are often true. Dogma = a formal statement of a belief – so it’s wrong to have beliefs or to state them ?

          Personality cult ? No, Catholics believe in the Catholic faith, not in this or that pope.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            And you spit on them, thanks to your views on Migrants. So don’t bother pretending.

          • tolpuddle1

            The late Cardinal Hume said we should welcome migrants “within due limits.”

            Since 1997, those due limits have been ignored – partly under the pressure of events, but mainly because of political miscalculation, stupidity and dishonesty.

            As your knowledge of Catholic moral theology approximates to zero, abstain from giving me sermons about it.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Yes yes, you’re for zero ever, I get it.

            As you attack democracy. And I know far more than you, right, thanks for admitting this clearly and for the record. You’re just a stateist trying to use religion as an excuse.

  • cartimandua

    There was a program on sex education on last night. We are frequently aware of just how abysmal knowledge about sex and contraception s n this country.
    This article s another example.
    Does the author and those who are against human affection want people to be celibate all their adult lives?
    Do they really think f women take the pill properly no accidents will happen?
    What the pro lifers actually want s permission to persecute women.
    That’s what personhood for zygotes would mean endless persecution of every woman pregnant or not.
    They couldn’t work, lift, (even a toddler), drive, drink coffee, fall over, take OTC medications, eat cheese , keep a cat, let alone have a hot bath a drink or have a bad thought.
    Women already have been prosecuted for absurd things.
    One woman died because she had a drink (not over the lmt) while pregnant.
    The police n the US locked her up and she died n the cell of an ectopic.
    Another was referred to the police because she fell and went to hospital.
    Life from conception s just an attack on women and a barely disguised one.
    We need MUCH better sex education.
    We know sex eds even worse n religious schools and the USA.

  • Mary Ann

    So women are a minority, I think if Mr Hitchins checks his facts he will fine there are more women than men in this country. About one million.

    • cartimandua

      But he s equating women with zygotes. f we suggested semen should be equated with men he might. understand.

  • Bodkinn

    The rights of women are not open to question they are taken
    as said. What is open to question is
    when those rights begin. Is it in their
    mother’s womb or at some unspecified time later? If the latter then the unspecified time needs
    to be set down in law as the moment that birth is seen to be actively taking
    place; either naturally or by inducement.
    Unless these safeguards are put in place we could have the horrors of
    partial-birth abortions.

    • Ambientereal

      The rights of the women should at least be valid in the inside of their bodies. If you are not free to dispose of what is under your skin, then you are a slave.

      • cartimandua

        pro lifers are happy to have enslaved women.

        • tolpuddle1

          As most ardent pro-lifers are women, your comment is absurd.

      • tolpuddle1

        But when a woman’s skin contains a foetus – that is, a new person growing within her – that other person must also be considered.

        Otherwise unborn babies are slaves, to be bumped off if the mother so wills.

        • Ambientereal

          Then she is a slave of the fetus?

          • tolpuddle1

            A servant of the foetus, certainly. Just as parents are required – by the very nature of parenthood – to be servants of their children.

            Those who don’t want to enrol for this servant status, should abstain from sex.

            Murdering unwanted foetuses is a cop-out (and murder, of course).

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Murdering unwanted refugees now…right.

            As you ignore the fact you’re making them all servants of the state.

            And as you demand that anyone outside your views not have kids. Good Social Darwinism.

          • tolpuddle1

            Murdering refugees, servants of the state, social darwinism – you’re raving.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            No, I’m talking about what you said.
            *So* sorry I do that sort of thing, stateist.

          • Ambientereal

            Certainly you live in the 9th century. And the worst is that you want to impose your beliefs to the other people while no one is trying to impose anything to you. It is the 21 st century and we all are trying to live in freedom.

          • tolpuddle1

            No one has the right – the freedom – to commit, or be complicit in, the terrible crime of abortion.

            Which is in any case only possible because massive public resources are devoted to it. The public funding of abortion is something I have to contribute towards – is imposed on me, in other words.

            In modern Britain, there is unlimited freedom for secular people, not for those who disagree with them.

    • cartimandua

      That happens n the USA because the USA makes t hard to terminate dying infants or get late abortions to save the mothers.
      They are not late by choice.
      There are conditions which cannot be found early.

  • Ambientereal

    Can anyone tell me why this comment is still “pending” I see in it no offense to anyone not even forbidden words. “The origin of the word “marriage” or its synonym “matrimony” is related to the possibility of children birth. In fact the marriage institution (civil or religious) deals all the time with the subject. In some cultures it was possible to obtain divorce if the spouse was sterile (no one thought that the husband could be sterile too). The marriage was always in interest of the women who could be with men only in married status, otherwise the run the risk of bearing bastard children. That is the reason why marriage is inherently heterosexual and the homosexual one would have originated much less opposition if it was called another name, let´s say civil union, personal union, etc.”

  • Mary Ann

    At the moment we allow abortion up to the age when the baby can survive on its own, with improvements in modern medicine eventually we will reach a stage when we can raise a child from conception in vitro, so what about the abortion limit then.

    • cartimandua

      No we dont
      Later abortions are for tanking maternal health or dying foetuses.
      Choice abortions are overwhelmingly very early indeed.

      • Andrea

        Rubbish. Abortions have been carried out for cleft pallets at a late stage.

        • Mary Ann

          What percentage of abortions are because of cleft pallets?

          • Andrea

            This was from a FOI Act in 2010, can’t find anything since after a quick search;
            Abortions for medical conditions in 2010

            Total Abortions Abortions over 24wks
            All medical conditions
            2,290 – 147
            Spina Bifida
            128 – 12
            Cleft lip and palate
            7 – 0
            Musculoskeletal system (Eg, club foot)
            181 – 8
            Down’s syndrome
            482 – 10
            Edwards’ syndrome
            164 – 10
            Foetus affected by maternal factors
            115 – 7
            Family history of inherited disorder
            181 – 1
            The second figure is the amount of these abortions that were performed over 24 weeks.

    • stag

      Well then you’ll have to think up another creative justification for killing people at their most vulnerable stage of development.

      • cartimandua

        God gets rid of 80 percent of zygotes. You must be n agony thinking about all the wckle eggs falling out every month.,

        • Andrea

          People die naturally – it doesn’t make murder ok. Yes, it is horrible t think about the pain and suffering brought abut by miscarriages. Where’s your compassion for the women that suffer as a result of them? You have none – all you have is blood lust.

          • cartimandua

            Pro lifers are torturing the 1 n 3 women who miscarry telling lies about development of the pregnancy.
            Nature didn’t intend people to attach very early because nature gets rid of zygotes with problems at a huge rate.
            The posters which enlarge an embryo to poster size js a stone lie when they are smaller than a kidney bean.
            Pro lifers lie and lie because they have an odd obsession which is really about their own sentimentality.

          • Andrea

            Ok, firstly give me the evidence of prolifers touring women by lying about the development of the fetus in pregnancy. Otherwise admit you’re lying and retract that statement.
            Those posters don’t lie, we often use enlarged images for us to see what is happening within the body. Those enlarged images don’t invent something that is there, it just enables people to see it clearly.you just hate the fact that women, throughout time and before ultrasound, attach to their babies within the womb. You have no compassion for these women, just a diabolical need to end human li to support your own power and vanity.

        • stag

          nope. You must be thick, not being able to see the difference.

  • cartimandua

    Young people want to be loved and to set up a home. They project these yearnings nto
    zygotes fed by zygote worshippers and their irrational crazy.
    Sadly some young people might end up blackmailing their adults with
    Morally opposed to abortion so you will have to look after me for life.
    Except t will be the poor old taxpayer who pays n the end and the young person whose health and wealth tanks.

    • Andrea

      You’re insane. You worship abortion.

      • cartimandua

        The UK s amongst the best n the world. We count and have amongst the fewest number of abortions.
        So the nut babe js you.
        Pro lifers make things worse even for the zygotes they blasphemously worship.

        • Andrea

          The very fact you use the word blasphemous is laughable. You really are an evil person.

      • stag

        She is a ridiculous self-caricature, but also very sinister.

        • Andrea

          Oh yes.

  • kingkevin3

    I’m sure this disquiet is growing among men. The state of affairs in this country is a disgrace. But I strongly doubt the same applies to the women.

  • This is excellent news, and a joy to read.

  • jonathan

    its a perverse and sick society that is outraged by the death of a lion to the point of issuing death threats-yet turns a convenient blind eye to the hundreds and thousands of unborn human babies who are poisoned and forcibly evicted from their “mother’s” womb. The

    “Some say that human beings only start having rights at 20 to 24 weeks,
    or at birth, or at some point in childhood; all these seem to me far
    less persuasive than assuming that at conception, this new, unique being
    with its own genetic makeup is one of us”

    The pro choice promoters of abortion have acted pretty much like the American and British slave owning classes once did, they who attempted to justify their business (and ease their troubled consciences) by asserting that the negro people were subhuman, so therefore not deserving of the same rights as the slave owner. I suppose it is “easier” to dispose of your unwanted baby in a sluice, if you have been indoctrinated with the idea that it isnt a unique human, just a ball of cells or whatever…..

    Imagine the outrage if 180,000 illegal immigrants were conveniently disposed of

    • cartimandua

      Do you know what a zygote is? Choice abortions are overwhelmingly very early indeed.
      Life from conception means slavery for women. don’t imagine that bothers you much n fact you probably adore jt.
      God aborts 1 n 3 zygotes as jt is.
      in any case the most woman friendly countries have the fewest abortions.
      The others are just hypocrites who cause harm and export the issue.

    • stag

      Yes, good point about the lion. That was my first thought at the time as well.

  • mrsjosephinehydehartley

    Well I’m very concerned about the way pregnant women are being torn in two, by others who cannot mind their own business. A woman is one person, her own person right up to the time the baby comes, as far as I’m concerned.

    • stag

      If innocent human beings are being killed, be it in utero or not, that is the business of all decent people.

      An unborn child is also ‘one person’.

      • Leon Wolfeson

        So you state very clearly it’s not your business, right.

        • stag

          I think they are being killed, and I think – with all my many faults – I’m a decent-enough person. If you think I’ve been harsh towards you personally… come on, don’t be so thin-skinned.

          So it is my business.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Of course you think you’re decent-enough…but that’s not my view, so. I am interested in your general views, your ranting at me for daring to contradict you by providing evidence is *amusing*.

            So, not you business afaik, by your own words.

          • stag

            touchy, touchy…

            I didn’t rant, my tone has been either measured or gently humorous throughout. You are the one losing your cool, which I regret.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Of course you see your posts as such. When you’re objecting to my agreeing with you. And then you claim to be able to read my mental state across the internet, and then mock me for it.

            So…I’m sure you touch lots of things which don’t belong to you. I thus even more strongly agree with you – it’s not your business.

            Or the business of anyone who rejects evidence. (That you ignore DOI’s really does say a lot!)

          • stag

            I wasn’t mocking, I was being sincere. I do regret that what began as a fairly intelligent discussion has now descended into insults (coming exclusively from you to me, I note). If I’ve said anything that you found crossed a line, I didn’t intend it. But you’ve got to expect a bit of a knockabout on threads like this…

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Again, this is down to my believing you, when you’re refusing to admit you made an absolutist claim about what scientists said, and are refusing to admit you’re wrong. This is not the same as “most”, or “consensus”, it was an absolute claim which one counter-example disproves!

            So, by this point I have a very low opinion of you as a result. There’s no “line”, just an ongoing, slow impression you’re making to me of someone who can’t and won’t back down on something, and who won’t talk about the relevant wider moral principles.

            (Let’s mention, here, GMOs and GMO medicines…)

            And no, I don’t expect violence to come about from them at all!

          • stag

            I had a look at what I said. I said “biology” does not see the foetus as a parasite. It is not at all clear, in my view, that this equates to a claim about what “all sceintists” or “all biologists” say. Biology, in the abstract, refers to biological consensus, or so it seems to me. That some scientists speak of the foetus as a parasite, I don’t doubt. I don’t know it (I didn’t read your paper…); I’ve never heard it… but I have no strong reason to doubt it. Scientists say lots of things. But it is not the scientific consensus. That’s what I said, and two article titles, two quotes, and an NYT article don’t prove me wrong. (Let me also point out that, consequently, your low opinion of me is based on a false apprehension.)

            I am willing to talk about wider moral principles – but only if you stop putting words into my mouth, and deciding my opinions for me before I have actually stated them (or even after I have actually stated them). regarding transplants, I posted a long response below. You finally presented your reasoning – why you think I *must* object to transplants – and I show in detail why your reasoning, not to put too fine a point on it, sucks.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You’re making excuses. The said an absolute, and are refusing to back down.

            You’re quite unwilling, obviously, to discuss your wider principles. Right. And of course you think I suck blah blah. (I freely admit I skimmed the excuses forming the bulk of that post)

          • stag

            “The said an absolute” – what?

            I made a claim about “biology”. I went and found the quote. If you want to object, find me a different quote and we’ll talk.

            An absolute claim about biology is not disproved by one scientist’s opinion. Or even a few scientists. It is disproved when it can be shown that what was claimed is not true of a significant majority of biologists. So why on earth should I concede your point? You have not proved it.

            I just did discuss a wider principle, below. If you think your reasoning does not suck, and mine does, then read the post about transplants and tell me why you were right, as against my claims, to leap from my views about abortion to my views about transplants.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            “The saying”, my bad.

            Of course an absolute is disproven by a single counter-example. You made the claim it’s disproved, and you’re stuck on “suck”. As I said there, your view is inconsistent – and it’s no “leap”, but the same topic – life and death.

            And you don’t hold the same view there. Oddly enough.

            (Of course, UK law uses brain *stem* death, not even whole brain death…)

          • stag

            Leon, consider that you might be wrong here. It is not true that an absolute is always disproven by a single counterexample. Only absolutes that take the form “All x are y” are thus disproven. All you need is an x that is not y.

            But my claim did not take that form. “Biology” is not equivalent to “all biologists”. For example, if I say “There’s not much profit in oil these days” – the claim is not disproved by one man making a fortune in oil as we speak. It may still be true, that despite this one man’s success in oil, there is still, generally, not much profit in oil these days.

            So you are simply wrong. I’m not gloating, just saying.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ah yes, consider that a fact is not a fact. Consider a lie, your anti-philosophical nonsense.

            You’re clearly gloating, going “UR WRONG”.

          • stag

            So what are you doing when you say it then, as you have elsewhere? No, I was not gloating (I didn’t say “UR WRONG”, in gloating capitals). I was pointing out. Not that you seem to be taking it on board.

            Casting aspersions like “anti philosophical” is useless. You need to show *why* what I have said is illogical.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ah yes, I need to “show”. Right. Look out the window – there’s other people out there, who don’t all agree with you.

            That you are now clearly gloating in your bigotry, and talking about boards or some other excuse…

          • stag

            Leon, don’t be thick. I understand there are those who don’t agree with me. But they can’t expect me to change my view unless they show me why it is wrong. So why, Leon? Why is what I said above anti-philosophical (by which I guess you mean illogical)?

            bigotry? what are you on about?

          • Leon Wolfeson

            “UR THICK”, as you show nothing of the sort, as you ignore the evidence, and lie about what I said.

            Again. Over and over.

      • cartimandua

        Do you believe in the undead too?

        • stag

          nurse!

  • Brian J.

    On our side of the pond, Planned Parenthood is much more popular than its accusers (polls from NBC and YouGov show its popularity undamaged by the smear campaign against it), and Gallup’s most recent poll shows the pro-life trend in the US to have been a chimera.

  • cartimandua

    Young people are now faced with a horribly long wait for an adult and loving life.
    Behaving like the underclass and having a baby by on purpose /mistake ( and gasp not contemplating abortion) is a rotten answer to that horrid and anxiety producing wait.
    People now marry in their 30s and buy a home later than that. That’s the problem if
    its true that more clever young people are getting sentimental about zygotes.

  • Abortion is an attack on the essence of what it means to be civilized, which is nobility of character, hence why the Marxist co-opted West allows abortion, divorce on demand, and now the imbecilic concept of same-sex marriage, where children are denied the critical socialization process of opposite-sex parents, a process not possible by same-sex marriage, hence the imbecility. Of course, homosexuals and lesbians can always marry the opposite sex and have children (the purpose of marriage being for the rearing of children), but marriage isn’t the issue for the Marxist sociopaths that champion same-sex marriage, the destruction of the West is.

    The following is a discovery I made in May regarding the fake collapse of the USSR, and what that fraudulent collapse proves about the institutions of the West…

    When Soviet citizens were liberated from up to 74 years of horrific Marxist oppression on December 26, 1991 there were ZERO celebrations throughout the USSR, proving (1) the ‘collapse’ of the USSR was a strategic ruse; and (2) the political parties of the West were already co-opted by Marxists,* otherwise the USSR (and East Bloc nations) couldn’t have gotten away with the ruse.

    ZERO celebrations, as the The Atlantic article inadvertently informs us…

    http://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2011/12/20-years-since-the-fall-of-the-soviet-union/100214/

    For more on this discovery see my blog…

    https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/

    Conclusion:

    The West will form new political parties where candidates are vetted for Marxist ideology, the use of the polygraph to be an important tool for such vetting. Then the West can finally liberate the globe of vanguard Communism.

    ————————-

    * The failed socialist inspired and controlled pan-European revolutions that swept the continent in 1848(1) thought Marxists and socialists a powerful lesson, that lesson being they couldn’t win overtly,(2) so they adopted the tactic of infiltration of the West’s political parties/institutions. In the case of the United States…(continue reading at DNotice)…

    https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/now-you-see-me-now-you-don-t

    Now you know why not one political party in the West requested verification of the collapse of the USSR, and the media failed to alert your attention to this fact, including the “alternative” media. When determining whether the “former” USSR is complying with arms control treaties, what does the United States do to confirm compliance? Right, the United States sends into the “former” USSR investigative teams to VERIFY compliance, yet when it’s the fate of the West that’s at stake should the collapse of the USSR be a ruse, what does the United States do to confirm the collapse? Nothing!

    The fraudulent ‘collapse’ of the USSR (and East Bloc) couldn’t have been pulled off until both political parties in the United States (and political parties elsewhere in the West) were co-opted by Marxists, which explains why verification of the ‘collapse’ was never undertaken by the West, such verification being (1) a natural administrative procedure (since the USSR wasn’t occupied by Western military forces); and (2) necessary for the survival of the West. Recall President Reagan’s favorite phrase, “Trust, but verify”.

    It gets worse–the “freed” Soviets and West also never (1) de-Communized the Soviet Armed Forces of its Communist Party officer corps, which was 90% officered by Communist Party members; and (2) arrested/de-mobilized the 6-million vigilantes that assisted the Soviet Union’s Ministry of the Interior and police control the populations of the larger cities during the period of “Perestroika” (1986-1991)!

    There can be no collapse of the USSR (or East Bloc nations) without…

    Verification, De-Communization and De-mobilization.

    The West never verified the collapse of the USSR because no collapse occurred, since if a real collapse had occurred the West would have verified it, since the survival of the West depends on verification. Conversely, this proves that the political parties of the West were co-opted by Marxists long before the fraudulent collapse of the USSR, since the survival of the West depends on verification.

    The above means that the so-called “War on Terror” is an operation being carried out by the Marxist co-opted governments of the West in alliance with the USSR and other Communist nations, the purpose being to (1) destroy the prominence of the West in the eyes of the world, where the West is seen (i) invading nations without cause; (ii) causing chaos around the globe; and (iii) killing over one-million civilians and boasting of torture; (2) close off non-Russian supplies of oil for export, thereby increasing the price of oil, the higher price allowing oil exporting Russia to maintain economic stability while she modernizes and increases her military forces; (3) destroy the United States Armed Forces via the never-ending “War on Terror”; the ultimate purpose of the aforementioned to (4) bring about the demise of the United States in the world, opening up a political void to be filled by a new pan-national entity composed of Europe and Russia (replacing the European Union), a union “From the Atlantic to Vladivostok”; which will (5) see the end of NATO.

    Now you know how Bolshevik Russia survived in 1917; how the West “lost” China to the Communists in 1949; why the Eisenhower administration turned a deaf ear to the anti-Communist Hungarian uprising in 1956; why the Eisenhower administration in 1959 was indifferent to the Castro brothers’ Communist fidelity, actually used the CIA to overthrow the Batista government; why the Nixon administration abandoned Taiwan for Communist China, and signed treaties/provided economic aid to the USSR; why the Nixon administration refused to tell the American People that over 50% of North Vietnamese NVA regiments were actually Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers (attired in NVA uniforms, and proving that the Sino/Soviet Split was a ruse, as KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn told the West back in 1962), thereby (1) ensuring the Vietnam War would be lost; (2) destroying the prominence of the United States abroad and at home; (3) breeding distrust between the American people and their government; and (4) securing Communist victories in Southeast Asia. Working in the background within the political parties of the United States and Great Britain were Marxist agents doing their best to (1) ensure the survival of Communist nations when they popped up; and (2) sabotage any policies that would bring down a Communist nation. That’s why after the fake collapses of the East Bloc nations and USSR there was no mandatory Western verification process to ensure the Communists weren’t still in control.

  • cartimandua

    Dean
    You don’t like women much that’s clear. Western culture succeeds because women are not treated like subhuman slaves.
    We are rational. We have the fewest abortions because women’s decisions about their lives and bodes are supported.
    The places where women are treated like animals are mired n poverty and endless conflict.
    Before divorce women and children were beaten and abused with impunity.
    We still see this in non western countries.

  • Pacificweather

    One day that proportion may be as high as 1%.

  • DennisHorne

    I believe human life starts at conception, but it’s not a baby. The foetus may have rights but the mother’s outweigh them.

    Women don’t wake up and think, “What shall I do today, buy a new handbag or a new dress? Oh, I know, I’ll have an abortion.”

    An abortion may not be a very pleasant experience but unless it’s compulsory to have one or do one why not keep out of it — leave the decision to the people involved?

    If you believe human life is sacred and abortion is murder then you’re in trouble. Ask your god what he thinks he’s doing, killing all these people…

    If the abortion rate is going down due to better contraception then that’s good news for everyone, but makes no difference to the “Whatever-might-have-beens”. Does it.

  • Ordinary Man

    The real tragedy is that there aren’t hundreds of thousands more abortions every year. There are so many children born who would have been better off not having been born, especially to feckless parents that can’t afford to look after them properly/

  • mikewaller

    Globally there are millions of wanted children who die for lack of clean water and appropriate drugs. In our own country there are tens of thousands of children who suffer permanent harm from varying degrees of parental neglect. I would have rather more respect for the author of this piece had he not prioritised the very vexed issue of the extent to which forcing a women to carry a child she does not want to take to term is justified, over such obvious need.

    • cartimandua

      He wants to be a grown up with a wife home and children. The reasonable yearning sadly is expressed in irrational sentimentality over the contents of strangers uteruses.

  • John Thomas

    Er, just how exactly could any abortion NOT be a death? (For me, the earth is planet in the universe, water is a liquid, politicians are liars).

    • cartimandua

      Humans develop? A zygotes not the same as a fully grown person?

  • cartimandua

    The concern of young people comes from the long delays in reaching full adulthood they now have.
    They cannot mend it by behaving like the underclass though.

    • stag

      Stop trying to get the last word and get the top of the “newest” thread!

  • Dominic Stockford

    Thank you, Daniel.

  • cartimandua

    So kids are broody which is normal and pro lifers are emotionally needy which is not a surprise.

  • Ambientereal

    Preservation of life at any cost is a regressive ideology. That is why people are always discussing euthanasia, abortion, genetic, etc. The discussion looks actually as being held many centuries ago. Ideologies and fanaticism are close relatives, the common sense is absent in both. Those items are in urgent need of clear and complete regulation, not just prohibition.

  • cartimandua

    My parents were post degree, married and parents by the time they were mid twenties.
    Now its kids in your 30s and a home perhaps 10 years later.
    That’s why they are broody. There’s a rotten long gap.

  • Partner

    Tell me, Daniel – have you ever thought of getting together with Tim Lott’s daughter? It sounds like you and she would have plenty in common. She thinks Daddy is a ****badger and you are one.

    • Louise

      More eloquence. I love how those who are in favour of abortion have to resort to personal attacks. No actual arguments. No reason. No virtue either, obviously

  • Godfrey Paul

    I note that Daniel Hitchens does not mention his religion.

    Just google his name and you’ll find he is a rather extreme conservative Roman Catholic.

    • stag

      Play the ball, not the man.

      • Paul Montgomery

        Or in the case of RC priests, play the (male) child.

        • stag

          What’s your problem with RC priests? Anything you need to share with a counsellor, Paul?

          • Paul Montgomery

            I’m long past having any problem with RC priests.

            But their record for paedophilia, child abuse etc. is there for those who want to see.

          • stag

            “For all to see”… but not Paul Montgomery, apparently, who decided he would rather consult his prejudices than the actual ‘record’.

          • Paul Montgomery

            Please display your ignorance & prejudices elsewhere.

            Even old redsocks in the Vatican has conceded that around one in every 50 Catholic priests is a paedophile.

          • stag

            “My” prejudices? It wasn’t me who started, out of nowhere, smearing and insulting priests. No doubt you do that because you are such a reasonable person, Paul.

          • Paul Montgomery

            For christ’s sake, paedophile priests certainly were, & probably still are, an unpleasant fact of life.

            i do however concede that the opportunities given to them for their pet perversion are much reduced.

          • stag

            very generous of you. Priests didn’t have anything to do with the discussion though.

            Is that what you’re like at lunch break or down the pub? At the first lull, Paul’s right in there. “What about those kiddy-fiddling priests, eh? eh?”

            “eh?”

          • Paul Montgomery

            No, in a pub I would avoid an obvious idiot such as yourself.
            On line, it just takes a bit longer to identify the fools.

          • stag

            If your behaviour in life as anything like it is online, you would be the one ranting at the nearest unlucky patron about your latest pet subject. “Listen buddy, *hic*… let me tell ya how it ish…”

            Well, let me just edge quietly away…

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            A priest is a man paid to lie to children.

    • Paul Montgomery

      Is he a catholic priest?
      Does he interfere with little boys?

    • Hironimous Nostril

      Poor chap. Mental illness is a terrible thing.

    • Louise

      He does not need to mention his religion, since it is not a religious issue.

    • Fraziel

      No surprise there.

  • mikes

    “”at conception, this new, unique being with its own genetic makeup is one of us.”” What a thoroughly inane statement, tossed in without any supportive evidence or argument. What a miniscule mass of cells is a “unique being”? With its own identity? And rights? Mr Hitchens needs to do biology 101 (and philosophy 101) before giving vent to his illiterate views.

  • alframseyssexdungeon

    The most ardent pro-choicers I’ve ever met are always women who have, or one has good reason to suspect have, had abortions. Oh, and liberal males who just want to ingratiate themselves with the aforementioned and get their leg over.

    I was ambiguous at best about the subject until I held my first born. At that moment I became a pro-lifer (albeit with grey areas).

    • Paul Montgomery

      I think that you will find that most pro-abortionist are those who will have no truck with the self-righteous who wish to impose their dubious values on others.
      PS the women I got my leg over with who had had abortions were not ardent pro-choicers.

      • alframseyssexdungeon

        “the self-righteous who wish to impose their dubious values”

        Attempting to prevent the death of an unborn child? By being ripped apart? A child that will never get to ride a bike, jump in muddy puddles, or do anything as beautiful as you have done?

        Congratulations! You’ve won this thread’s most bitshat crazy comment award!

        • cartimandua

          These days there s no ripping although pro lifers love that image.
          These days its a pill and a period.

          • Louise

            Not true

        • Paul Montgomery

          Enough of your emotional diarrhoea.

          Try a reasoned argument.
          (Though the anti-abortion arguments are pretty threadbare.)

      • cartimandua

        That’s right Catholic and Muslim women have lots of abortions because they are not supposed to have se* so are not adequately prepared.

    • cartimandua

      1 n 3 women do during their lifetimes so thats your Mother sister or god help her wife.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    “each abortion is a death”
    You’re starting to sound like that religious fanatic, Mother Teresa, Danny, who preached that birth control was equivalent to murder. Painfully obvious that this old nutter was suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, and got off on the suffering and death of others.
    Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

    • Louise

      More adolescent drivel

  • Bob Hutton

    Abortion is a holocaust – every bit as wicked as Hitler’s murder of 6 million Jews.

    • cartimandua

      Then you should back places where abortion s legal and women are fully supported n managing fertility.
      The countries of western Europe which have legal abortion have the fewest.
      There is no such thing as none only hypocrisy and misogyny.
      The only thing which could be better is for more men to get the snip.

    • Ambientereal

      How many zillions of sperm cells die every day? That´s Holocaust.

      • Louise

        Another person who cannot distinguish between sperm and fertilised ova (babies).

    • Hironimous Nostril

      Well no. That is absurd.

  • Fred Uttlescay

    Daniel is perfectly entitled to not have an abortion, as is everyone else. He is not, however, allowed to impose his views on other people.

    • Ambientereal

      Right, every woman must have the right to decide.

    • Louise

      Women are not entitled to impose their views upon their unborn child if it means the child is killed.

      • Fred Uttlescay

        Other people are not entitled to infringe the basic human right of autonomy of the body. We are not an endangered species. One bit of nookie and boom, there’s another one. Up until 24 weeks it’s of no concern to anyone outside those directly involved. So far God agrees, not one intervention.

  • Stevie Mac

    Excellent.

  • Stevie Mac

    Its annoying when they say its a woman’s choice because its her body. Once she is pregnant, there is a dependent but distinct human entity with its own genome inside her.

    Secondly, nobody should have the choice to kill another. The innocent’s right to life trumps the wish of somebody to end their life. Your freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose begins. That’s the point of freedom and rights…you can’t give somebody so many rights that they can infringe on the fundamental rights of others.

    I suppose in the end it depends when you think human life begins. I think conception.

    • Hironimous Nostril

      The mother already has the right to kill herself and the baby will die too. You aren’t being realistic. The mother’s life obviously has to take priority over the product of a bit of nookie.

      • Stevie Mac

        We are all a product of a bit of nookie.
        Killing yourself may be wrong (though I sympathise with those who feel desperate enough to want to) but to kill yourself while pregnant is surely a graver misdeed because you are then also killing another.

        • Hironimous Nostril

          No abortion, unless it is a medical emergency, should be allowed after the 24 weeks. That is the law, which is, I think you have to agree, a reasonable compromise, especially when you consider that many awful inherited diseases aren’t detectable until around 20 weeks.

          • Stevie Mac

            Yes that is the UK law. In other European countries, 12 weeks is most common.

            Aren’t most abortions simply because the person doesn’t want a baby, rather than due to disease?

            I haven’t thought much about the issue of diseases but I’ll say this: I don’t think somebody should be killed if they have downs syndrome or are deaf. If it wouldn’t be okay to do so when they are babies, I don’t think its okay to do so at 20 weeks.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            Would you be content to pay more in taxes to pay for the unwanted unaffordable children that would result?

          • Louise

            Maybe we should start suggesting that people start exercising self-control. What a novel idea!

          • Paul Montgomery

            And as about as realistic as an imaginary divinity in the skies.

          • Louise

            Ah yes, “realistic.” I forgot it was unrealistic to expect adults to behave like… adults.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            You are free to suggest whatever you wish. Of course everyone is free to ignore you.

          • cartimandua

            But they allow abortion for bad test results. France has more abortions than we do and more TOPFA. So they find more anomalies and end more sick pregnancies.

          • cartimandua

            Someone ran the numbers for the USA. Year 1 they would run out of every home and every adoption possibility.
            You are looking at Romanian orphanages and street children who end up starving and being shot as they are n Catholic south America.
            The turnaway study s the first ever to look at what happens when women are refused abortion (say a very young or very old woman or an ill one who didn’t know she was pregnant.)
            its poverty, chronic poor health and domestic violence.
            So costly all round and very quickly.

          • Louise

            So torture them to death instead? Great.

      • Sean L

        No one has a right to kill themselves in this country and certainly not a mother. Many people might have the power and ability but that’s not the same thing at all. A soldier in battle has a right to kill himself in that he has a duty to save his comrades. We have a right to life afforded by the state which has a duty enforced by law to protect us from those who would do us harm. But there is no right to kill oneself; and if you aided someone who wanted to die you could end up in big trouble with the law. Of course it’s not an enforeable right in the sense that if you kill yourself you’re beyond the law. Though attempted suicide was still a crime in this country until very recently.

  • cartimandua

    Annoying that women own their own bodies? Life From conception s a modern Catholic heresy which goes against the longest held traditions its greatest theologians and the Bible.
    Not that one cares but your position s zygote worship and its a heresy.

    • Louise

      Arrant nonsense

      • Hironimous Nostril

        Yes, Catholicism is nonsense. So why do people believe it? They must have an inner simpleton.

  • cartimandua
  • CisHetWhiteMan

    How, please tell me, can you, if you believe each abortion is the death of a human being, still be “pro-choice”. If somebody who is not themselves in danger of death, and became pregnant through their own free will, chooses to kill another person dependent on them, OF COURSE you can–and must–morally judge them. And OF COURSE you can and must demand changes in the law to prevent them from doing so. You can lead the horse to water but if it’s so utterly whipped by the stultifying, brain-dead, autonomy obsessed ideology of modern feminism, you can’t actually make it think.

    • Paul Montgomery

      You really are a busybody sticking your nose into other people’s lives.

      The majority of us believe that an abortion is NOT the death of a human being & is a matter solely for the conscience of the woman involved.

      What ridiculous claims will you be making next?
      That contraception is murder?
      That split seed is manslaughter?

      • Louise

        Yes but you “believe” the child in the womb is “not a baby” so you can live for pleasure and not worry about the consequences. Who cares if a small human being is tortured to death? As long as you get your jollies, that’s all that matters. Also, you seem not to be able to distinguish between sperm and a fertilised ovum.

        • Paul Montgomery

          What you or I believe is inconsequential.

          What is relevant is what the pregnant woman believes.
          And her main consideration should be her conscience.

          it is not for the state or busybodies like you to interfere.
          That has been the position in this country for almost 50 years. Most rational people accept this status quo.

          But, from time to time, a tiny minority of religious & other nutters spring up to question this otherwise settled matter.
          Like many are doing here.

          • Louise

            What you or women believe is irrelevant. The life of a small human being is more important than your weird theories about what constitutes a small human being. The child’s right to live is more important than your views on the matter or the views of a woman on the matter. Women usually feel bad about their abortions – even if it takes decades to do so – because they know that they killed their own child. It is not for busybodies like you to approve of the brutal killing of little children.

          • Paul Montgomery

            You are of course entitled to your extreme RC views.

            But you seem unable to accommodate other people’s views (i.e. the vast majority do not agree that a foetus is a human being).

            And how dare you accuse me of approving abortions – in an ideal world there would be none.
            But it is not for me or you to interfere to that extent in other people’s lives.

            You also believe the lies that you have been fed that women “usually feel bad about their abortions”. Quite the reverse.

            All in all, at best you’re a fanatic. At worst, you have forgotten to take your medication.

          • Louise

            If you think it’s alright for women to choose to kill their own babies, then you approve of abortion. Your own views are pretty intolerant. Typical secularist.

            Rationally, however, how can I “accommodate” your views, given what mine are? Abortion is either morally right, morally neutral or morally wrong. I believe it is morally wrong. I cannot therefore believe it is right or neutral. So, how can I “accommodate” yours and how can you “accommodate” mine. Such nonsense.

            What is the middle ground between “shredding babies” and “not shredding babies”?

            There is none. But our society has chosen the wrong path. It is clearly wrong to kill little humans. The killing of little humans takes “interfering in other people’s lives” to a violent extreme.

          • Paul Montgomery

            As I said, at best you’re a fanatic. At worst, you have forgotten to take your medication.

        • cartimandua

          Cultures which forbid normal love, or delay marriage for decades, or mandate high birth rates are hells on earth.
          They are poor , in conflict and rife with perversity towards children.

          • Louise

            No, that last bit describes modern Western society. You seem a little confused. Also I don’t agree with everything else you wrote, at least in terms of cause and effect, “normality” etc. A virtuous people will *always* be a happier people, even in outwardly difficult circumstances beyond their own control.

    • cartimandua

      No doubt you have had the snip otherwise every emission is reckless abandonment.

      • Louise

        Rubbish

        • cartimandua

          Women already have higher risks of breast cancer all their fertile lives because of the pill and pregnancy s risky especially late pregnancy.
          Men do NOTHNG as only 16 percent here and nine percent n the USA ever man up and get the snip.
          No man who has not had the snip has any right to speak on this

          • Louise

            LOL! Real men marry the woman they intend to have sex and hence a family with. Real men look after their families. Everyone has risks of cancer. The Pill is more of a risk for such things than pregnancy, which – you will recall I hope – is not a disease. Time to grow up and stop pretending we can have sex without consequences.

          • cartimandua

            So you do live somewhere where people pick crops or live on welfare.

            Because n the western world people are now delaying marriage until they can afford children and a home.

            That’s until the md 30s now.

            The pill AND pregnancy ups the risk of breast cancer.

            So men should step up and have the snip as soon as their family s complete.

            Human love and bonding s necessary and has nothing to do with sex without consequences.

            Places which forbid it are very perverse and violent with for instance high levels of child abuse.

            Real men don’t have children they cannot afford to house and raise without using other peoples money to do it.

            And by the way? The purity kids n the USA merely indulge n more risky behaviours like anal sex.

            That s commonplace everywhere virginity s thought important.

            …One more study from the highly respected Johns Hopkins University proves again that social conservative policies on sexual health, paid with your tax dollars, are failures….

  • Louise

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7V1W967ofA The problem is that most men are effeminate. They will not sacrifice their desire for pleasure for the sake of the needs of a future wife and children. They want pleasure even if it means a woman may have to suffer an unplanned pregnancy and the child may then end up tortured to death.

    • Louise

      IOW the young men and women who are rightly appalled by abortion will need to grow up and live good lives, so that they will not have children outside of marriage and their future children can be secure and happy, brought up in a loving home. Parents must sacrifice themselves for their children’s well-being, not the other way round.

      • cartimandua

        in what universe do people not have se* until their md 30s?
        Over here average age of marriage is now mid 30s and home ownership n the forties.
        Perhaps you live somewhere where the young live as peasants on the land or on benefits.
        And now you are gong to say contraception is perfect.
        The pill has an 8 percent failure rate even with perfect use.
        Not good to demand all couples use a condom and the pill all their lives to avoid any accidents.
        Human love and bonding is important.

        • Louise

          There is no need for people to delay marriage until their late 30’s etc. They only do that because they can have sex without any commitment. Most people today are little more than overgrown babies: soft and pathetic; weak and selfish; incapable of looking after themselves, much less others; and stupid, to boot. Your economy in the UK is royally screwed. You need to fix it instead of moaning about the delay of sexual pleasure etc. Effeminate men and bossy women are destroying your country and have been for more than 100 years.

  • cartimandua

    Government is going to deny benefits to young people for four years in order to deter migrants so DONT have an unplanned pregnancy.

  • cartimandua

    in another publication a description of an 11 year se* slave strapped to the front of a jeep being driven into battle to save the worthless scum who was abusing her.
    Wheres the concern for her.
    Pro lifers are only concerned with their own feelings.

  • Fraziel

    I think the abortion limit should be reduced to 20 weeks if only because a foetus can move ,make noise and live for a short while at 24 weeks but when i read the religious, ignorant tripe from evangelcial christians and other clowns who still believe in fairly tales and who , despite being grown up, deny science, evidence, logic and reason while still being afraid of the dark, I want to keep the status quo.Same goes for arguments made by men who clearly are misoginyst and hate the fact that women have a say over their own bodies, and there are plenty of them commenting on here. Perhaps they should return to the first century where many of their comments and views belong? Anyone anywhere making any argument based on religion should not be listened to.

    • cartimandua

      The reason for twenty four weeks is that otherwise women will die or become chronically ill in the gap.
      Part of the reason why the USA has such dreadful maternal outcomes is the gap.
      Savjta died because the dying foetus was more important than her life.
      The limit needs to be proper viability and it doesn’t get younger than twenty four weeks.
      Or the foetus n that gap will cost women’s lives. Since the foetus always dies first bit makes no sense but then pro lifery doesn’t make sense.

    • cartimandua

      http://www.religiousconsultation.org/News_Tracker/Catholic_theologian_tells_of_pro-choice_tradition.htm

      ….What would be very good for the US and for Ireland would be to get this abortion bone out of the Catholic throat, and realise that Jesus did not found an organisation to condemn contraception, abortion and stem-cell research.”

      That was not the definition of the Jesus mission. In fact, those issues were totally unmentioned and were not part of the tradition whatsoever.

      He said the Bible did not condemn abortion, and scriptures did not touch it at all.

      Abortions were going on since the foundation of the church. St Antoninus was the first Catholic to write extensively on abortion. He was pro-choice for early abortions where necessary to save the woman’s life. There was a large acceptance of this. There was no hub-bub, and he was considered a very holy man.

      St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinus both held that the early embryo foetus had the moral status of a plant, a vegetative soul, and then as it developed it had an animal soul. They did not know when the soul was there but the common view was when there was quickening.

      “The idea of a little cluster of stem cells being a person goes against the longest Christian tradition in existence, and makes no sense at all.”…..
      Equating a woman with a zygote is more recent than the invention of the happy meal.

      • Louise

        What a load of rubbish.

        • Louise

          That is to say, the early theologians did not know then what we now know about embryology. and that is the difference.

        • cartimandua

          You are theologically ignorant. The Priests for life are a heretical sect of zygote worshippers.

          Not that one cares . They and you don’t do rational and even in your own terms you makes things much worse.

          Abstinence teaching does nothing good. Catholic women have higher levels of abortion than other groups because of ignorance.

          Muslim women also have higher numbers of abortion.

          …Overall, Catholic women have higher abortion rates than their Protestant counterparts. ….
          Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Catholic/2001/01/The-Catholic-Abortion-Paradox.aspx#4Qkf6Dd2jYFSIdqk.99
          making people feel guilty about human love and affection just helps nothing at all.

      • heracletian

        Not so, Cartimandua.

        1. One of the earliest collections of sayings after the New Testament (around the end of the first century) is the Didache (Teachings). In it we have the line: “you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is born”.

        2. The speculations of Aquinas followed Aristotle’s (bad) biology and were made in an atmosphere when abortion was not a live issue – his time was one in which abortion would be unthinkable, completely beyond the pale.

        3. The Graeco-Roman practice of exposing unwanted infants was utterly condemned in Christian thought from the earliest times.

        4. Early Christian writers seldom mention abortion (since it was beyond the pale morally), but when they do, they condemn it. Tertullian wrote: “In our case, murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy even the foetus in the womb … That is a man which is going to be one; you have the fruit already in the seed.”

        5. St Antoninus writes a millennium after this and does in no way fit the category of ‘pro-choice’ in any sense. As I say, he wrote in a world where abortion was simply a no-no.

        6. It should go without saying that this a fortiori applies to moral atmosphere of first century Palestine. You don’t need to condemn what is already universally seen as morally repugnant. Hence there is no overt reference to the practice of abortion.

        • cartimandua

          No no they used to think the foetus had a vegetable then animal then human soul.
          Pro lfery denigrates God, the soul, and what bit is to be human.
          Pro lifery s a modern Catholic heresy.

          • heracletian

            Oh, where to start … ?
            Abortion was condemned in the earliest collection of apostolic sayings outside the New Testament. A deliberate attempt to end the life in the womb fell under the same moral revulsion as infanticide. Early Christians set themselves apart from the pagan Graeco-Roman culture by utter rejection of exposure of infants.
            These are facts, Cartimandua. The texts are there.
            Medieval thinkers – like St Antoninus and St Thomas – do not discuss foetal life in the context of the morality of abortion. For them, as for all the Church throughout the ages, abortion was morally unthinkable. Their speculations derive from Aristotle’s tripartite distinction of the soul (vegetative, sensitive, rational), not upon what we now know as foetology.
            They are engaged in speculative discussion.
            Think of it like this. If there are children running like shadows in the long grass and brush, you might think a certain shape is a child or a rock or a large marrow or a unicorn or whatever. These speculations are allowed to you free of charge.
            The same speculations cease when people make their habit to shoot at the shadows in the long grass. Things become serious.
            It was the industrialised killing of millions by direct abortion that gave rise to the modern pro-life movement.
            It will prevail sooner than you think.

          • Hironimous Nostril

            There is no god as I write.

          • Paul Montgomery

            Yes, there is and here I am.
            (OR did I forget to take my psychotropic medication today?
            Like a lot of the anti-abortionists.)

          • Paul Montgomery

            Please keep your god-bothering to yourself.

          • heracletian

            It’s a discussion, Paul. You’ve seen fit to offer something, albeit little. You didn’t keep it to yourself, did you?

  • Patrick Roy

    These young people did not live through the ages when abortion was not legal, or unattainable. They’re not teaching THAT horrible history at these universities. I query this fascination with the opinions of the young student. These people know nothing. You’d get a straighter answer perhaps from a five year old who hadn’t been through the liberal indoctrination camps called “UNI”.

    • cartimandua

      They are broody and pro lifers emotionally needy.
      Young people have a point. The age at marriage now s mid 30s and home buying a decade later than that.
      The point they have s not the one they think they are making.

  • Who is “Daniel Hitchens” and why is he now suddenly writing for The Spectator?

    • Chamber Pot

      Who cares ? Who is Leo Blair and who is Hilary Benn if not Red Princes ? If Daniel’s writing is rubbish or he fails to raise issues that people care about the question might be appropriate I certainly hope that my father would have supported me if I had decided to go into his profession ?

      • Hironimous Nostril

        The poor chap has an imaginary friend delusion and thinks he nibbles Jesus every Sunday.

  • Chamber Pot

    No abortion except in rape cases.

    For women these days do have a choice : to close their legs or take the pill and take responsibility.

    Anything else is sloppy : abortion on demand is infanticide and these same screeching ‘ pro-choice ‘ advocates are the same hypocrites who would oppose your right to hunt foxes or insist on underpasses for frogs.

    • DennisHorne

      Your opinion is important to us, please hold the line. La-la-la, la-de-dah … Your opinion is important to us, please hold the line. La-la-la, la-de-dah … Your opinion is important to us, please hold the line. La-la-la, la-de-dah …

    • cartimandua

      Soo much ignorance n that statement.
      The pill has an 8 percent failure rate with perfect use. Only 16 percent of men n the UK are ever man enough to get the snip.
      NOT desirable to make people wear a condom too all the four decades of lifes fertility.
      The pill raises the risk of breast cancer. we have high rates of breast cancer because of long term pill use and irresponsible males.

      • Jim H

        IUDs are extremely effective.

    • Fred Uttlescay

      It isn’t up to people like you to decide who has an abortion.

  • cartimandua

    A zygote pot is not the same as a… baby let alone a fully grown female.
    Men have a choice they could wan* or they could wear a condom. A lot of men just will not take any responsibly.
    in fact the Catholic church has a problem with masturbation and vasectomy.
    As well as the pill of course.
    Men who have not worn a condom always even when she is on, the pill can do you know what with their ignorant opinions

  • Megan

    Abortion is horrible, just horrible. I would never ever have one.

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