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I Hate Linux

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Deceits in the Referred Law 6 debate: Part 1

While engaging in my little rant the other night and the continued war of words over the abortion ban, which I see as just a prelude to far larger in South Dakota that I suspect is only now starting, a few things have come to me about the entire debate, things that I will address in the next few blog posts.

The first item on this list is dishonesty of the Campaign for Healthy Families in their tv advertising (#1) (#2).

Their TV commercial includes the line:

But should a woman who is the victim of rape or incest be left with no option? What about the mother whose health would be seriously threatened?

The first part of this quote is an unfortunate and outright lie or a piece of willful ignorance given that the law (section 3) specifically says:

Section 3. That chapter 22-17 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:

Nothing in section 2 of this Act may be construed to prohibit the sale, use, prescription, or administration of a contraceptive measure, drug or chemical, if it is administered prior to the time when a pregnancy could be determined through conventional medical testing and if the contraceptive measure is sold, used, prescribed, or administered in accordance with manufacturer instructions.

The woman's health issue is also an interesting one as they conveniently ignore the key exception to the law of allowing an abortion when to save the life of the mother. Sure, there is a bit of a difference between the general health of the mother and the life of the mother... but let's not forget that pregnancy even under the best circumstances is not exactly and easy or safe thing for a mother and is fraught with risks throughout. Most health issues a woman may have during her pregnancy can be life threatening, thus creating a rather convenient little way of using the 'to save the life of the mother' portion of the law.

Granted though... I am not very knowledgeable in many things gynecological.

Another facet of the 'rape or incest' argument is that of incest which falls into two distinct categories, consensual or non-consensual. Rape or not. If it is rape, then say so, don't try to hide it under the banner of incest and try to invent another talking point. If it is not rape but instead consensual... why are you so concerned about the woman getting an abortion when you should be joining others in giving a severe beating to those two people involved!

I also find their use of the word 'mother' rather disturbing.

Before going on I need to point out that hence forth I will refer to what some people call the fetus, baby, parasite, life, collection of cells, bud, sprout, embryo, un-hatched vertebrate or any other term that refers to the growth of a potential offspring within the womb or uterus of a woman as a 'Foo' to avoid any semblance of bias when not explicitly referring to the views of one side or the other as for the life of me... I cannot think of a neutral term.

Why do I find the use of the word 'mother' disturbing?

The pro-abortion side tends to refer to the Foo as a 'fetus' while the anti-abortion side refers to it as a baby and the use of the term 'mother' seems to go against the traditional pro-abortion vocabulary.

A quick reference to Merriam-Webster Online tells me that a mother is:

1 a : one that begets or brings forth offspring b : a person who brings up and cares for another

And for further clarification, 'parent' is defined as:

1 a : one that begets or brings forth offspring b : a person who brings up and cares for another

So a 'mother' would seem to be someone who already has children or is going to have one within a reasonable amount of time (ie within 9 months or so). Call me crazy... but that sure sounds like they are wording it in such a way so as to imply that the Foo is much more than just a fetus... but if that is the case... what is the Foo? A potential person? A baby? A human being? What?

It's rather unfortunate in my mind that they used the word 'mother' in place of 'pregnant woman' as it leaves this word game open. Sure... 'mother' garners more sympathy than 'pregnant woman'... but by using the prior... they seem to take two different stances.

Of course it is an unfortunate bit of doublespeak as well... when it is convenient the Foo is nothing more but a collection of cells... but at other times, it is somewhere within the realm of what the ant-abortion side calls/thinks of the Foo as.

Finally, another major gripe of the 'No on 6' crowd is that the decision should be left to 'a woman, her doctor and her family'.

And yet... it is the pro-abortion side which fights for 'a woman's right to choose' ... with no mention of her family. This position has also been codified by the courts to where only the woman has a say in the termination or not of a pregnancy. Furthermore... the mention of the doctor is also an unfortunate bit as there is virtually no chances of a woman's doctor being the one who performs an abortion for her in this state... unless her doctor is one of those working at a Planned Parenthood clinic.

That's it for now with a few of my major gripes about the dishonesty from the pro-abortion side excluding the unfortunate pot luck advertizing which almost seems to be advocating cannibalism... or at least eating fetuses.

Before closing, I do want to share this image that I enjoyed when the law first passed, which sadly doesn't do their side much good as it assumes that should the law go into effect... illegal abortions will become rampant... a concept I will discuss in a later post.

Finally, I want to go on the record and say that I have no strong feelings either way and in fact haven't yet decided which way I will vote on this issue as I think both sides are fundamentally wrong (one of these years I'll get around to writing my views on it).

While this post was very anti-pro-abortion, my next post will be similar with regards to the advertising and claims of the pro-anti-abortion side.


  • Brendan, I realize you're more interested in dissecting the arguments framed by both sides of the abortion debate, and I really wouldn't bother getting involved--except you linked to a post of mine, so I read yours, and I have to say I disagree with your reading of Section 3 of HB1215.

    You seem to brush aside the concerns for women who are victims of rape or incest (in a Campaign for Healthy Families commercial) by saying their concern is an "unfortunate and outright lie or a piece of willful ignorance" based on Section 3.

    I guess that's true if you believe all women who are victims would report (or would be able to report) the crime "prior to the time when a pregnancy could be determined through conventional medical testing" which I believe is less than 5 days after conception.

    Basically I read Section 3 as allowing condoms, birth control pills, IUDs, and possibly the morning after pill.

    If you're curious about what I think beyond how the debate is framed, I've summarized my feelings in the comments of the post you linked to here. In short, "I'm of the mind that so great a responsibility [as pregnancy] requires an exceptional latitude allowed in terms of a women's rights."

    By Anonymous Justin Watt, at 12:46 PM  

  • Thank you very much for your comments Justin, and while you raise a few valid points, I am afraid that I won’t be responding to them here as a number of them I have planned for the next two parts of this 'series' and would hate to take away from them here.

    With any luck #2 should be up and around within a week and #3 a similar time after that, so do please stick around for them and see if I address your points in reasonable ways.

    By Blogger Brendan, at 4:28 PM  

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