Fairly bloodthirsty here

Would anyone in their right mind think it reasonable that a 10-year-old carry a pregnancy to term? This is not a thought experiment but the horrible story of a real child in Paraguay: raped by her stepfather and now denied an abortion.

According to Amnesty International – which is leading the charge to obtain an abortion for the child – the young girl’s condition became public when she went to the hospital complaining of stomach pain and was found to be 21 weeks pregnant.

“The physical and psychological impact of forcing this young girl to continue with an unwanted pregnancy is tantamount to torture”, Guadalupe Marengo, Americas Deputy Director at Amnesty International said in a statement.

My hasn’t Amnesty changed over the years? And Jessica Valenti is of course calling for the immediate execution of the child. Sorry, one of the two children here.

The dangers are clear – and it takes a whole lot of magical thinking or straight up denial to think otherwise. Pregnancy for a child risks not only her emotional and mental health, but her physical health and possibly even her life.

Paraguay’s decision to remain the course has nothing to do with the actual risk to the child involved, but is all about their adherence to an antiquated, tortuous law that would rather see a child’s life at risk than admit their anti-abortion policies are too strict.

Yes, yes, let’s kill someone in order to reduce the risk of danger to someone else. And do note we’re at the end of the second trimester here, verging on the third.

64 comments on “Fairly bloodthirsty here

  1. And what are the risks to mother and child of allowing this to proceed to birth? Quite high, I’d suspect.

  2. No, IanB, nothing matters except further publicity for Valenti.

    She’ll never meet or help this child in any further way once this case is over. She’ll be forgotten.

  3. “And what are the risks to mother and child of allowing this to proceed to birth? Quite high, I’d suspect.”

    C-section.

    Which is how civilised countries deal with a healthy late-term baby posing a risk to its mother. Rather than inducing it and scrambling its brains with a pair of scissors on the way out which appears to be the only conceivable solution to US feminists.

  4. There is less risk to the child’s longterm health if the pregnancy were allowed to proceed. At twentyone weeks most attempts at induction fail as the cervix is not “ripe” and create a risk of infection in which case an emergency caesarian section would be necessary. At twenty one weeks this much trickier than at term again because of the much thicker uterus wall and high placement of the incision. Its consequences may deprive her of any further pregnancy or risk rupture of the uterus along the scar during pregnancy, usually fatal. The only compassionate solution is support until she is ready to deliver at which point a c/s may be necessary if her pelvis is too small. A c/s at term is easier and has a better longterm prognosis. She is being treated as a drumbanging “issue” rather than a child who has suffered evil of which the infant is entirely innocent.

  5. “And what are the risks to mother and child of allowing this to proceed to birth? Quite high, I’d suspect.”

    Looking down the Wiki page Ian linked to, when you get down to the ten year olds, apparently there’s plenty of normal deliveries. One can’t even be sure the cesarean’s were strictly, medically necessary.
    Is that so surprising? In the “wild”. Which is where humanity evolved. being fertle would have been immediately followed by being f***ed. Or proceeded by, for that matter. So early pregnancies would have been the rule, rather than the exception. If they hadn’t been viable, humanity wouldn’t have had much of a future, would it?

  6. “-compared to them she’s pretty old. What about the emotional damage and trauma she might suffer from the guilt of aborting the baby, particularly in a Catholic country? Does that matter?”

    Indeed. What about the emotional damage caused to a 10 year old by having a fully-formed but small baby pulled out of her in pieces?

  7. abacab – “Indeed. What about the emotional damage caused to a 10 year old by having a fully-formed but small baby pulled out of her in pieces?”

    And how many other 10 year olds will be abused if Amnesty gets its way and El Salvador started to do what Planned Parents do in America – cover up such pregnancies by aborting the result?

    I fail to see how abortion is a solution here. Executing the step father seems the sensible first step towards a better world.

  8. Presumably the Marcotte Doctrine is now the policy of Amnesty International and they are seeking to “liberate foetuses from their womb-prisons”. After all, “it’s not the liberator’s fault if they can’t survive outside, is it?”.

    Seriously, how does this fit into Amnesty’s remit exactly?

  9. I know I’m swimming against the tide on here, but an awful lot of people – me included – don’t see the unborn child as a human being, and think aborting an unwanted foetus is far more preferable than making a child bring an unwanted baby into the world. The reason abortion is legal, and accepted, in many parts of the world is because an awful lot of people think what I have described above is fine.

    Now I don’t disagree that pro-abortionists are often psychos. But an awful lot are not, and trying to present all those who might think terminating this pregnancy as unhinged and immoral isn’t going to get you very far.

  10. @Tim N,

    This is a late-term abortion. This is not taking a pill and a blob of tissue makes its way out on its own.

    It’s definitely into psychotic territory.

  11. don’t see the unborn child as a human being

    I just don’t see the basis for that assertion. What is the criterion that decides human personhood that you are using?

  12. “don’t see the unborn child as a human being”

    21 weeks is into painting a room and thinking about names territory.

    Not something many people do for things that are not considered human beings. Or dogs. I could see people picking out stuff for puppies at an equivalent stage. But you’d go to jail for animal cruelty for performing a late-term abortion on a dog.

  13. IanB
    What is the criterion that decides human personhood that you are using?

    My own, of course. Am I expected to make personal, moral judgements based on criteria imposed by others?

    abacab
    21 weeks is into painting a room and thinking about names territory.

    You think this is what this girl in question is doing? Thinking about painting a room?

  14. “You think this is what this girl in question is doing? Thinking about painting a room?”

    Was a general comment.

    I have no idea what she thinks, and I don’t pretend to. For all I know she could be extatic. But neither do the SJW’s who want to use her as their pawn to sell their particularly extreme vision of late-term abortion as a social good.

  15. I think I know what TimN’s getting at. An unborn child is a potential human being. And a human being could be defined as something with the experience of being a human being. I’m not even sure if a young baby is much more than a potential human being. A puppy’s got as better achievement slope than a human. At one year old, a dog’s actually a lot more functionally intelligent & rational than a human.

  16. My own, of course. Am I expected to make personal, moral judgements based on criteria imposed by others?

    Well, when you’re talking about policies for all then you need to provide some sort of rationalisation. If I said, “I don’t see black people as human” I’d probably be rather robustly asked to justify that assertion. That’s how discussion and debate works, generally.

  17. I think I know what TimN’s getting at. An unborn child is a potential human being.

    I don’t even see it like that. It’s a classic Sorites paradox: at what point does a squirt of jizz become a human being? Every individual will have their own opinion of where this point is, and they will vary massively. For whatever reason, I’ve always thought a human being starts its existence at the moment it is born, i.e. during the period of gestation it is not a human being. Others think differently, and good for them. I can’t say I think about it much, but if I’m being asked to get all outraged about the possibility of a 10 year old child rape victim being allowed to abort the result, I’m not going to oblige.

    Incidentally, the thing that troubles me most about this topic when it is discussed on here is that the rhetorical tricks employed – particularly the use of over-emotive language, painting people as evil and uncaring, and accusations of moral failings – is what we quite rightly detest the left for. Switch the topic from late term abortion to child poverty, and we’re left with SWJ arguments for much of the time.

  18. Well, when you’re talking about policies for all then you need to provide some sort of rationalisation.

    No, I don’t. I’m the one who is content with the status quo, and trying to explain to you why it is so. If you don’t like it, then it’s not my problem.

  19. But TimN what you’re talking about isn’t the status quo. Most countries, the UK included, place restrictions on abortions past a certain point of development, long before birth.

  20. I’m normally sufficiently anti-abortion to not mention my views around ‘liberal’ friends. But if ever there is a case for it then a pregnancy resulting from child rape is that case.

    It’s not like someone getting knocked up because her and her shag buddy were too pissed to use contraception.

  21. But TimN what you’re talking about isn’t the status quo. Most countries, the UK included, place restrictions on abortions past a certain point of development, long before birth.

    And I’m happy with that. But I’m not going to get outraged that somebody is suggesting this particular girl should be allowed to have an abortion at 21 weeks.

  22. I don’t really get the rape-provision argument. If it’s wrong to abort at 21 weeks it’s wrong regardless of how conception occurred. The unborn-child/foetus/bag-o-cells is an innocent third-party after all.

  23. “Incidentally, the thing that troubles me most about this topic when it is discussed on here is that the rhetorical tricks employed – particularly the use of over-emotive language, painting people as evil and uncaring, and accusations of moral failings”
    One thing I’ve noticed, perhaps because I haven’t the slightest interest in, or affection for children. When I listen to other people taking about them, about 95% of it is about them & not children. Parents, it approaches 100%.
    Maybe that’s why I’m often being accused of being “good with children”. I’m one of the few people’ve noticed they’re individuals.

  24. @TimN: fair enough. And you’re quite right on your point about the rhetoric that’s used. I think part of the problem is that this issue is primarily about a difference of definition (child or clump of cells), so the two sides just end up shouting past each other.

  25. @TimN: “…the use of over-emotive language, painting people as evil and uncaring,…”

    What other language is there for people that would dismember an almost full term child in the womb?

  26. Tim N-

    It’s not SJW arguments. It’s whether there is a right to life, and by what criteria you can exclude a human being- the baby- from that right. And there never seems to be a good criterion presented.

    The hardcore anti-abortion position- moment of conception- has no grey area and arbitrary line to be drawn. The question then becomes why other people think there is a grey area and arbitrary line. I’m still awaiting a good answer, and as I’ve said before I shifted from pro- to anti- because the arguments for pro- basically boil down to only considering one person (the woman) and ignoring the baby, and amount to nothing more than that.

  27. “I shifted from pro- to anti- because the arguments for pro- basically boil down to only considering one person (the woman) and ignoring the baby, and amount to nothing more than that.”

    I shifted from pro-to-anti when I saw my own flesh and blood on the scan at about 9 weeks when we thought we were about to lose her.

    Classic cas of being “mugged by ultrasound”.

  28. Ian B,

    “The question then becomes why other people think there is a grey area and arbitrary line. I’m still awaiting a good answer, and as I’ve said before I shifted from pro- to anti- because the arguments for pro- basically boil down to only considering one person (the woman) and ignoring the baby, and amount to nothing more than that.”

    I’m more inclined to a viability line – at what point does a foetus become a person who could survive outside a womb and isn’t dependant upon another person. Which is about 18 weeks, not 24. But even with that, how far is the foetus developed and sentient?

    Most of Europe seems to manage fine at 12 weeks without backstreet abortionists appearing to do the 12-24 week cases. Whether you’re a complete abolitionist or a grey area one like me, cheap pregnancy testing means that there’s really not any excuse past 12 weeks which most of Europe works with. Italy isn’t awash with unwanted children or back-street abortionists.

  29. I’m the one who is content with the status quo, and trying to explain to you why it is so

    But you haven’t explained why it ought to be so, in any objective sense.

    Just because people are comfortable with the way things are does not mean that the way things are is the way they morally ought to be; if you are claiming that the way things are is morally acceptable then you need a convincing moral case why this is so, not just ‘well, it doesn’t make me personally uncomfortable’.

    Morality is not about your subjective comfort levels, but about right and wrong.

  30. What other language is there for people that would dismember an almost full term child in the womb?

    Fine. But please understand that this is exactly what the Left say about those who object to their plans to end child poverty.

  31. None of these articles seem to broach the question of what this poor girl actually wants.

    I think I’d have started from there. Ok so she’s below the age of consent and all that, but it’s a bit late to get stuck on the small print.

    And as has been pointed out above, whatever happens is going to be traumatic, I just hope there’s someone with half a heart and no axes to grind in her vicinity to see her through this.

  32. But you haven’t explained why it ought to be so, in any objective sense.

    Because it’s something that cannot be decided objectively. By its very nature it is subjective. You might as well ask me for an objective explanation as to why I like the colour red.

    Just because people are comfortable with the way things are does not mean that the way things are is the way they morally ought to be;

    Straight from the pages of The Guardian, don’t you think?

    Morality is not about your subjective comfort levels, but about right and wrong.

    This is completely wrong. At the individual level, the difference between right and wrong is what you feel comfortable with. This then gets aggregated into societal morals, but objectivity has nothing to do with it. I’ve lived in enough weird cultures to understand that.

  33. shifted from pro-to-anti when I saw my own flesh and blood on the scan at about 9 weeks when we thought we were about to lose her.

    I get this, I do. But we have doctors who deal with anorexic cases using their personal experience as an emotional baseball bat in support of a ban on skinny models. Normally we don’t like this kind of rationale on here.

  34. It might be worth noting that the moral dilemma at this time in the pregnancy is not actually whether to remove the baby from her womb, but whether to kill it or keep it alive afterwards.

  35. So here’s the question; if a woman wants a baby removed from her womb, and it can stay alive afterwards, does she have the moral right to demand that it be killed rather than safely removed? This seems to me to be an issue which isn’t addressed generally.

  36. At the individual level, the difference between right and wrong is what you feel comfortable with. This then gets aggregated into societal morals, but objectivity has nothing to do with it. I’ve lived in enough weird cultures to understand that.

    Indeed. So then, does a woman have the right to impose her moral values (regarding abortion) on another individual, the baby?

  37. So then, does a woman have the right to impose her moral values (regarding abortion) on another individual, the baby?

    My personal opinion? If the baby is inside her, yes. If it’s out of her and alive, then no. Others may disagree.

  38. That said, I’m not opposed to the cut-off limit either. I’m happy with the law as it is, but if it shifted – especially for the hard cases like rape – I’d not get too upset.

  39. I don’t see why rape makes any difference. Is your right to life dependent on how you were conceived?

  40. I don’t see why rape makes any difference. Is your right to life dependent on how you were conceived?

    Yes, if you believe you don’t have a right to life until you’re born.

  41. Yes, if you believe you don’t have a right to life until you’re born.

    Where do you get the right to impose that subjective opinion on an unborn person?

    If I subjectively believe that ginger haired people have no right to life, do I have the right to kill them?

  42. If the baby is inside her, yes. If it’s out of her and alive, then no. Others may disagree

    And if others do disagree, how do you work out which of you is correct and which of you is wrong (and therefore, what the law should allow, prohibit, or require)?

  43. ” Yes, if you believe you don’t have a right to life until you’re born.

    Where do you get the right to impose that subjective opinion on an unborn person?”

    if you don’t believe it’s a person until they’re born, then there is no person to have rights.

    “And if others do disagree, how do you work out which of you is correct and which of you is wrong (and therefore, what the law should allow, prohibit, or require)?”

    There is no right or wrong. There’s simply the law. There’s nothing moral implied in law. It’s arbitrary.

  44. IanB,
    Where do you get the right to impose that subjective opinion on an unborn person?

    G,
    And if others do disagree, how do you work out which of you is correct and which of you is wrong (and therefore, what the law should allow, prohibit, or require)?

    Answer to both questions: the actions you may or may not take is, in one way or another, governed by the society in which you live. In ours, it is (largely) via the ballot box.

  45. So if we all vote that gingers aren’t people and we can do what we want to them, is that the end of the matter, morally?

  46. if you don’t believe it’s a person until they’re born, then there is no person to have rights.

    Exactly.

    There is no right or wrong. There’s simply the law. There’s nothing moral implied in law. It’s arbitrary.

    And yes. Although I’d add the provisio that many laws, especially those around emotive matters, are an aggregate of the moral judgements of the individuals which make up society. But in themselves, they are quite arbitrary.

  47. So if we all vote that gingers aren’t people and we can do what we want to them, is that the end of the matter, morally?

    Well, yes. Only this won’t happen because in practice too many people will object and therefore it won’t be considered morally acceptable.

    This is why morals differ between societies. In Kuwait it is considered immoral blaspheme by most of the population (yes, really). In the UK, very few consider blasphemy immoral. Yet both agree that murder is immoral. Ask different people, and you get different answers and similar answers. Aggregate them, and you get laws, sort of.

  48. “Tim

    You’re being remarkably patient.”

    You have to be with the NHS………

    Thank you and goodnight. Try the fish, it’s great, really.

  49. “many laws, especially those around emotive matters, are an aggregate of the moral judgements of the individuals which make up society.”

    I’d argue they’re laws handed out by our betters that coincidentally are an aggregate of the moral judgements of the individuals which make up society.”

    On the basis of all the ones that aren’t.

  50. Tim Newman – “Although I’d add the provisio that many laws, especially those around emotive matters, are an aggregate of the moral judgements of the individuals which make up society. But in themselves, they are quite arbitrary.”

    Although it is worth pointing out that our abortion laws in practice have virtually nothing to do with the law as it is written at all. The law allowed abortion for serious medical consequences for the “mother”. What we have is abortion on demand.

    So I agree that many people do not share my views. I also agree that society has moved on since that law was passed and more people take your view. But I also note that the SJW bullying and the fact that the law is not being enforced or changed, suggests that people are not quite as OK with abortion as you claim.

  51. Tim Newman – “But we have doctors who deal with anorexic cases using their personal experience as an emotional baseball bat in support of a ban on skinny models. Normally we don’t like this kind of rationale on here.”

    We don’t like those arguments because they are dishonest. Few of us would have a problem with a doctor who dealt with patients who had lung cancer opposing smoking. There is no connection between Labour policy on child poverty and child poverty. We do not oppose those policies because we want children to be in poverty but because they do not work. If they did work, we would be horrible people to deny children the chance to escape poverty.

    Likewise there is no connection between thin models and girls with anorexia. If thin models did cause teenage girls to starve themselves to death, then we would have to have a debate about the trade offs.

    But here the link is direct and immediate. You look at an ultra-sound and ask yourself if you think whether that is person enough to deserve life. It is entirely possible to look and decide, with its beating heart and small fingers, it is not a proper human. The heart of the issue is whether or not the foetus is human enough to have a right to life. You can’t say that this argument is a false one. It really isn’t.

  52. If it’s not a human until it’s born, and the mother has complications a couple of weeks before her due date, should the doctors bother trying to save the “baby”? After all, there is no baby, right?

  53. Squander Two – “If it’s not a human until it’s born, and the mother has complications a couple of weeks before her due date, should the doctors bother trying to save the “baby”? After all, there is no baby, right?”

    If it is not human, why should anyone pay compensation for things like thalidomide? No damage was done to an actual human being. So no harm, no foul.

  54. And if it’s not a human being, why do we do in-utero surgery, in-utero blood transfusions and so on?

    Is the NHS in the habit of treating non-humans now?

  55. Although it is worth pointing out that our abortion laws in practice have virtually nothing to do with the law as it is written at all. The law allowed abortion for serious medical consequences for the “mother”. What we have is abortion on demand.

    I can well believe that. The divorce laws went pretty much the same way, too. But given the utter lack of interest anyone in the UK shows come election time, it doesn’t appear to be something the electorate cares much about. They seem happy enough with the status quo.

    But I also note that the SJW bullying and the fact that the law is not being enforced or changed, suggests that people are not quite as OK with abortion as you claim.

    The only claim I made (other than the one directly above) regarding general attitudes to abortion was that, in the case of a 10 year old being raped by her stepfather, having no idea what happened and going to the doctor with stomach pains and finding herself 21 weeks pregnant, most people would take a more liberal position on an abortion than the commenters on this thread and hence won’t share your outrage at the suggestion she be allowed one.

  56. Few of us would have a problem with a doctor who dealt with patients who had lung cancer opposing smoking.

    We don’t? I thought we largely agreed on here that doctors should treat the sick and stay out of trying to ram through illiberal legislation based on their own narrow experience, and allow us to do as we please with our own bodies?

    There is no connection between Labour policy on child poverty and child poverty.

    According to the Lefties there is. And having failed to convince people of this point using normal debating techniques, they have resorted to emotional language, harrowing personal tales, declaring their opponents evil or uncaring, and throwing out random rhetorical questions.

    So while the arguments are not the same, the methods employed are. Clearly a lot of people on here don’t like the abortion laws as they stand, and others don’t like people saying they should be relaxed further. Now I assume those who feel strongly about the subject have tried to change the minds of people like me and failed miserably, and have now resorted to the tactics I describe above. Which is fine, it’s the internet. But it would be nice if we didn’t complain when Lefties do it – and a lot more effectively, I may add.

  57. If it’s not a human until it’s born, and the mother has complications a couple of weeks before her due date, should the doctors bother trying to save the “baby”? After all, there is no baby, right?

    Well, first off I’d say asking an engineer in the oil and gas industry to decide is probably the wrong approach. I’d say that the decision on whether a doctor should intervene to save an unborn baby’s life, do nothing, or abort it should probably rest with the mother, father, and doctor. I’d also say that, should any course of action be morally unacceptable by a reasonable bulk of the population, then that course of action be restricted or prohibited by laws.

    But none of this has anything to do with what I think: unless what I think appears to be shared by a large chunk of society. Now I don’t know: perhaps the whole of the UK wants abortion to be banned and I’m a lone voice who thinks a baby doesn’t have rights until it is born. But given the number of abortions which take place, and the utter non-issue of abortion come election time, then I suspect I’m not.

  58. The issue is that Amnesty is trying to foist an abortion on to a ten year old on ideological rather than medical grounds. It is safer for her to continue the pregnancy than to terminate it. The reason most countries have a twelve week limit is that abortion before then is technically easy without serious consequences for the woman or her ability to carry a subsequent pregnancy to term. During the second trimester the risks of abortion to the health of the woman/girl go up substantially which should be weighed against whether the mother is at serious physical risk from the pregnancy egheart disease or the foetus has serious medical issues the mother does not want to deal with if the infant were born at the point of viability ie 23 weeks.

  59. The issue is that Amnesty is trying to foist an abortion on to a ten year old on ideological rather than medical grounds.

    I agree, they’re pricks.

    The reason most countries have a twelve week limit is that abortion before then is technically easy without serious consequences for the woman or her ability to carry a subsequent pregnancy to term. During the second trimester the risks of abortion to the health of the woman/girl go up substantially which should be weighed against whether the mother is at serious physical risk from the pregnancy egheart disease or the foetus has serious medical issues the mother does not want to deal with if the infant were born at the point of viability ie 23 weeks.

    And that’s the sort of sound argument I’m on board with.

  60. “I don’t see why rape makes any difference. Is your right to life dependent on how you were conceived?”

    It’s not about the right to life, it’s about the right to somebody else’s resources to support that life. The difference is consent.

    Suppose you are violently mugged in the street and, instead of being merely beaten and your money stolen, you are instead forcibly chained to a baby. You are henceforth that baby’s guardian, and you’re required to feed, clothe, educate, and generally look after the child until adulthood. The mugger did not just take what was in your wallet on that day, they took everything that would pass through that wallet for the next two decades.

    Wouldn’t you feel a teensy bit annoyed? And yet, the child has a “right to life”, which means a right to all the things that make life possible, which means a right to take them from you by force.

    If you choose to do so, and I’m sure a nice guy like you would never abandon a kid left in your care, then that’s OK. You’ve consented.

    But do you *have* to consent? If the government decided it wasn’t meeting its targets for adoption of starving African babies or whatever, are they justified in extracting your charitable donations by force? You wasn’t going to say “no”, was you? Starving African babies have a right to life, and hence a right to your resources to support that life. So what’s the problem with forcing adoption?

    “If I subjectively believe that ginger haired people have no right to life, do I have the right to kill them?”

    Question is, do you have a right not to spend the rest of your own life working to support them. The West Lothian question rears its ugly head again…

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