If you had any doubt that that Republicans were taking their cues on women’s health from The Handmaid’s Tale, consider Oklahoma representative Justin Humphrey, who said this week that women are not individual people once they get pregnant, just “hosts”.
Humphrey, who just proposed a bill requiring women seeking abortions to get written permission from their sexual partner, told a reporter at the Intercept that while he understands that women “feel like that is their body”, they are mistaken to think of themselves as autonomous human beings.
“What I call them is, you’re a ‘host’ … I’m like, hey, your body is your body and be responsible with it. But after you’re irresponsible then don’t claim, well, I can just go and do this with another body, when you’re the host and you invited that in.”
The upside is at least they’ve dispensed with any subtext.
The subtext being that this is a Sorites Problem.
For in a mammalian species the female is indeed the host. Sure, 20 minutes after fertilisation it would be very extreme indeed to say “host!” and host only. 270 days later it would be equally extreme to claim that there wasn’t something very hostlike about this situation. Just as with the development of the child itself, it’s a process with no clear dividing lines other than conception and birth (or termination, of course).
No, this isn’t to say that I support this specific law (although I’ve always had a very soft spot for the argument that as the male will be forced to pay for 21 years for a live birth then said male should indeed have some say in whether there is a live birth or not) but the basic concept of “host”, the thing you’re complaining about, isn’t an outrageous one at all.
Anti-choice legislation – from clinic restrictions to waiting periods – all come from the same ideology that trumps the potential life of a fetus over a woman’s right to autonomy, health and sometimes life.
And isn’t that an interesting argument? Because pretty much everyone agrees that at some point in our Sorites progression that it does. But when?
Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the onus was on the nominee to explain his position on the issue.
“Given president Trump’s promise to appoint a supreme court justice that would seek to overturn Roe v Wade, we need to know whether Judge Gorsuch would do just that,” Northup said.
“Our constitution guarantees a woman’s right to safe, legal abortion. Any effort to gut those protections would harm the rights and health of women for generations to come.”
The Supreme Court found, in the penumbra of said constitution, the right to abortion. And while it’s rare it is possible for said Court to change its mind on such matters.
The Constitution itself most certainly says no such thing of course.
Some of the failings found at MSI have no implications for safety. The batch signing of abortion forms, for example, has no clinical significance – it is simply a legal requirement that all women have their abortion request legally authorised by two doctors.
Flagrant breach of the law isn’t a problem.
Doctors have accused a medical body of suggesting that unborn babies with Down’s syndrome should be aborted because it will cost too much to care for them.
More than 100 doctors, nurses and other medics have signed a letter attacking the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for saying the NHS should calculate the ‘cost effectiveness’ of supporting those with the condition.
Bit of a move over time, isn’t it?
You may not, you may, you should?
How long before you must?
Abortion is simply another form of birth control and should be as freely available as contraception, the head of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service has claimed.
Ann Furedi, chief executive of the country’s biggest abortion clinic chain, also argued that there is no moral difference between decisions on a termination and whether to get married or divorced.
And there is nothing morally wrong with destroying a foetus because ‘it kills a being that has no sense of life or death’, she said.
The call for abortion on demand, without time limits, comes amid a rise in the number of terminations in England and Wales, especially among older and cohabiting women.
Mrs Furedi’s charity carries out more than one in three abortions in England and Wales, and around one in 14 pregnancies in 2014 ended in one of its clinics. It collected more than £27million from the NHS that year, funding almost all of its 66,000 terminations.
Her call for abortion to be made as easily available as condoms comes in a book to be published next month, arguing that it is ‘a travesty of our freedom’ for terminations to be regulated by criminal law.
As we all know my views on this are rather out of step with modern society’s. But no moral difference? A travesty of freedom that we don’t do partial birth abortions at 35 weeks?
That might be a little too far in the other direction perhaps?
Urging obese and abused people to delay conception sends a message that some babies shouldn’t be born
I thought Zoe Williams supported abortion rights?
Removing abortion from the criminal law would not change this. No woman turns up at 30 weeks pregnant requesting abortion because she’s a bit weary of it all – and no doctor would perform an abortion on that basis. To suggest otherwise is absurd and offensive to both women, and those who care for them.
Great, so we don’t have to change the law to make that possible then, do we?
Britain’s biggest maternity union has joined forces with abortion providers and radical feminists in an ‘extreme’ campaign to abolish the legal limits on abortion.
The Royal College of Midwives, which represents nearly 30,000 midwives and health workers, is calling for women to be allowed to terminate an unborn child at any stage of pregnancy – and face no criminal sanctions.
Abolishing abortion law would do away with the current time limit of 24 weeks of pregnancy, after which a woman can only have a termination for medical reasons.
Of course, the pass has already been sold. When that limit came down from 28 weeks to 24, that medical exemption was added. So that line between this is a human being with rights and this is not was already blurred. This is just the logical extension.
Slippery slopes do indeed exist…..
If you were to claim that a foetus was a person:
The world’s youngest mummy has been found in a small Egyptian coffin at a British museum.
The foetus is believed to have been no older than 18 weeks of gestation when it was preserved during an ancient burial ritual.
The discovery reveals ‘just how precious the unborn child was’ to the Egyptians, and how they dealt with miscarriage, historians have said.
As, yes, so dumb our forebears were, none of that wisdom of the ancients, eh?
Briar Woods High School, a half-hour drive from the CIA’s headquarters in Northern Virginia, might have provided an ideal training ground for the agency’s bomb-sniffing dogs. Its labyrinthine hallways and voluminous classrooms are home to something that can wreak havoc for the canines: polished floors, which cause dogs to slip and lose their focus as they hunt for explosives.
That was one reason the school, which educates nearly 1,700 students in Ashburn, played host to a CIA dog team for a training exercise while students were away for spring break last week, according to the Loudoun County school system. But the choice to go to a public school for the quiet exercise has led to an only-in-Washington embarrassment for the elite spy agency, which left explosive material behind in the engine compartment of a school bus that then shuttled special-needs schoolchildren for two days this week.
A mechanic discovered and removed the explosive putty – which county Supervisor Koran Saines, D-Sterling, said was the demolition explosive C-4 – during a routine bus maintenance check Wednesday. Until then, no one noticed that it was missing.
If people won’t get rid of the special needs kids in utero then the government must take action, right?
Although one does rather suspect that this was planned by the Amanduh section of that venerable organisation.
The Republican war on women continues unabated. The same week that conservatives argued in the Supreme Court that employers should be able to stop their employees from getting contraception coverage outside of the company health plan,
Nobody at all is arguing that women shouldn’t be able to get contraception outside the company provided health plan. In fact, they’re arguing that if women want contraception they should get it outside the company health plan. That may or may not be a good idea but that’s what the idea is.
And then there’s this:
There’s no real evidence that aborting based on a fetus’s race or gender is a thing that happens.
No evidence of sex specific abortions? Presumably Amanduh lives on a planet where India and China don’t exist?
Women whose babies develop fatal defects in the early stages of pregnancy will be given advice on going ahead with the birth so the NHS can harvest their organs, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Most expectant mothers opt for termination after being told the devastating news their child has no chance of survival once born.
But now, amid a chronic shortage of donated organs, mums will be ‘supported’ to have the baby at nine months so that the child’s vital organs can be taken for transplant.
After all, it is the Mail.
But I doubt I’m the only one who would be a little, erm, uneasy, if it were true.
The intent is to make this 5- to 10-minute abortion procedure seem dangerous
I think we can all agree that abortion is dangerous. You might think it’s dangerous to something, others to someone, but it is rather designed to be dangerous.
The logic, it hurts:
This week, Sweden took a firm stand against surrogacy. The governmental inquiry on surrogacy published its conclusions, which the parliament is expected to approve later this year. These include banning all surrogacy, commercial as well as altruistic, and taking steps to prevent citizens from going to clinics abroad.
In any case, the notion of “altruistic” surrogacy – apart from being a red herring, since it barely happens in reality – has a very strange ideological underpinning. As if exploitation only consisted in giving the woman money. In that case, the less she is paid, the less she is exploited.
In reality, “altruistic” surrogacy means that a woman goes through exactly the same thing as in commercial surrogacy, but gets nothing in return.
Since when did the Objectivist meaning of altruism make it over into feminism?
And there’s really something very odd indeed about this. We have a society where any woman can have any type of sex, with or without contraceptives, as she likes rightly so. We also say (less rightly to my mind but whatever) that she may keep or dispose of that possibly resultant fetus as she wishes. And now we’re to say that in fact you can’t do either of those things?
Further, how in buggery do you enforce this? Forced abortions? Forced adoptions? What?
A Vietnamese woman has escaped execution after paying a fellow inmate to bring her a plastic bag of semen and a syringe so that she could become pregnant while on death row.
Under Vietnamese law, pregnant women or those with children under three years of age cannot be executed.
OK, don’t execute pregnant women, long standing thing (Anne Bonney and friend did this to avoid being hung with, erm, Calico Jack, didn’t they? And one story is that they jeered him as he was…..or maybe that’s the G MacDonald Fraser version).
Yes, yes, obviously, but today?
The fetus isn’t a person today is it? Not a human. So why can’t it die with the mother?
I wonder if anyone can actually manage to rationalise that.
You can do it easily by saying you’re against capital punishment and so on. But the specific point that the fetus is a non-human that can be destroyed at whim, and yet is so precious that it stops a righteously convicted criminal from being executed?
Here is the fact that everyone debating abortion should know: there is no association between its legality and its incidence. In other words, banning abortion does not stop the practice; it merely makes it more dangerous.
How can anyone seriously put that forward as an idea let alone a factual claim.
Incidence means rate, frequency, of something happening. Legal abortion does increase the rate at which abortion happens. We really were not having 200,000 back street abortions a year in the 1950s.
Jeebus, how stupid does Monbiot think we are?
Why would you trust a teen to raise a kid, but not to have an abortion?
Because one is the ending of another life and the other is not the ending of another life.
We do, after all, have a rather more rigorous process leading up to the execution of someone than the process by which we decide to do nothing to someone. That latter, often enough, just being the decision to not do anything.
A woman who took poison she bought on the internet to terminate her unborn son has been jailed.
Natalie Towers, 24, of Adams Street, Shildon, County Durham, collapsed wailing in the dock at Newcastle Crown Court when she was sentenced to serve two years and six months behind bars.
Mr Justice Jay said: “This offence does involve extinguishing life about to begin.”
He gave her credit for admitting the charge of administering poison with intent to procure a miscarriage while 32-34 weeks’ pregnant at a previous hearing, but said an immediate custodial sentence had to be passed and it could not be suspended.
OK, so it’s not called murder but does anyone doubt that this is the right decision?
A high court judge has ruled that Northern Ireland’s almost outright ban on abortion breaches the human rights of women and girls, including rape victims.
‘uman rights mean you must be allowed to kill your babbie.
Slightly different from JS Mill really, isn’t it?