Stance Macabre

Regular readers will know that my position on abortion is that it’s a necessary evil, something best made available under certain conditions, with restrictions, and with the acknowledgement it’s really not a good thing to happen under any circumstances. This appears to be the general consensus in the UK and other European countries; there are principled opponents, but they lack the numbers to lobby for an outright ban, let alone get one passed.

Not so the US. Rather than seek political consensus the American ruling classes opted for legal fudge, meaning 45 years after Roe v Wade the subject is still highly divisive. This has led to those on the fringes dominating the discourse. On the right you have the likes of Ben Shapiro who thinks abortion is akin to murder and rape victims should be forced to carry their unwanted babies to term. On the left the issue has become the vehicle by which lunatic feminists punch the patriarchy on the nose, and the more ghoulish they can make what ought to be a sensitive subject, the greater they imagine their victory.

Yesterday New York State passed The Reproductive Health Act, which guarantees women the right to terminate a pregnancy up to 24 weeks, or afterwards if her life is at risk or the fetus “not viable”. This bill was brought about in response to demands from feminists who are deluded enough to believe Roe v Wade is about to be overturned and abortion will be banned nationwide. In passing it, they may have inadvertently strengthened the argument that it’s a matter best left to individual states to decide. Despite feminists’ claims that America is on the cusp of outlawing abortion, their laws are more lax than most European countries. For instance, France, Belgium, and Denmark impose a limit of 12 weeks; Sweden’s limit is 18 weeks. Germany imposes a 12-week limit as well as a mandatory counselling and a 3-day waiting period. The UK and the Netherlands set the limit at 24 weeks, with the latter imposing a 5-day waiting period and the approval of two doctors after 12 weeks. None of these countries are hotbeds of religious patriarchy, yet American feminists claim they’re being stripped of their human rights unless their sisters can have unfettered access to abortion up to 24 weeks. Even then, many argue this doesn’t go far enough, hence the clause in the recent bill that allows for termination after this date.

So having passed what is probably the most permissive abortion law anywhere on the planet, its proponents decided to celebrate. Here’s what New York’s governor thought was appropriate:


And here are the scenes from the New York senate:


Whatever your views on abortion, there’s something seriously amiss with politicians rubbing celebrations in the public’s face at the passage of a bill of this nature. I suspect this isn’t really about abortion at all, and more a manifestation of deep psychological problems among members of the ruling class and those who support them. They hate their political opponents so much they’re going to kill fetuses just to spite them. These are the people who accuse Trump of dividing America.

Liked it? Take a second to support Tim Newman on Patreon!
Share

33 thoughts on “Stance Macabre

  1. The language used is interesting.
    “woman’s right to reproductive freedom.”

    Almost like carrying a baby to term is some kind of tyranny imposed by the patriarchy.

  2. Abortion is good business for Planned Parenthood, the more mature the foetus bits they sell, the more revenue. A recent court ruling (Texas I think) reveals that the undercover videos exposing pP’s trade in baby parts are authentic and not significantly edited. Follow the money.

  3. I used to like the idea of a Supreme Court as a way of protecting certain freedoms, but abortion changed my mind.

    Excluding the people from the political process is bad. We changed the laws on abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage and so forth by politicians having to make or defend the case for them. You have two opposing positions and they fight over it and sometimes one side wins outright, but sometimes, we arrive at a position we broadly accept.

    The USA ends up becoming about getting people onto the USC to change the law. It’s a winner takes all approach. I know people who were upset about Trump winning because he’d appoint USC judges and overturn Roe vs Wade. “And so what you wanted was Hilary to appoint the USC judges that suited your agenda” *crickets*.

    I’m not saying every USC decision is bad, but the Bush vs Gore case was an outrage. Pro-Democrats like Ruth Bader Ginsburg voted against a decision that was clearly defined in Florida law. There wasn’t any room for interpretation. They just wanted Gore as president.

  4. While there is a small proprtion that are difficult cases (rape, serious fetus problems, mother’s health, etc) the majority of the issue is those using abortion as birth control: those too stupid to use contraception properly.

    Hypothesis: So then the majority of those using abortion are removing low IQ babies from the gene pool.

    Conclusion: the policy advocated by the SJW is eugenics in action.
    I wonder when they will realise?

  5. I would have thought that ‘Reproductive Rights ‘ would be the right to reproduce, not perform the action (intercourse, that every animal knows potentially leads to pregnancy), but change your mind about the known and predictable consequences.

    The ‘choice’ comes before the pregnancy, not after.

  6. Tim the Coder,

    “I wonder when they will realise?”

    You know the eugenics movement was almost entirely lefties?

  7. SPUC count over 9 million whateveryou’regoingtocallits since 1967. Leave aside all the special cases (though not birth defects and gender preference, which aren’t supposed to be criteria in the UK), and you’re still left with… c. 9 million?

    You’re right to be cautious, it’s a tremendously vexed issue and as with other issues these days reason and moral suasion have fled the field. Today it’s group shrieking, violence and the attempt to use the law as one’s pitbull dog.

    But if the unborn child is a disposable nothing, what are we ourselves?

  8. “On the left the issue has become the vehicle by which lunatic feminists punch the patriarchy on the nose, and the more ghoulish they can make what ought to be a sensitive subject, the greater they imagine their victory.”

    Correct. Feminists like to return to the issue of abortion again and again, because it illustrates three very important principles of their movement and the left in general. First, the idea that a woman’s (i.e. a “victim’s”) choice, no matter how trivial, always trumps any other rights that any other person has. Her right to have fun unprotected sex on a whim over-rides the right of an unborn child to live. If you argue otherwise, then you are somehow “interfering in a woman’s hard-won reproductive rights”.

    Second, the idea of framing the argument so as to make someone else the oppressor. Feminists staunchly refuse to acknowledge that anyone could be opposed to abortion because of the rights of the child. They are simply in the business of oppressing women, just because that’s what the patriarchy does.

    Third, the age-old extremist position of controlling language in order to force the issue. Is it a baby? A foetus? a bundle of cells? or “A product of conception” ? It all depends on what you want to do with it, doesn’t it?

    Part of the left’s and feminism’s antipathy towards religion is based on Marxian views about ideology; the two do logically hang together. But psychologically, on a personal level, I’m sure that a lot of leftists and feminists are vocally critical of religion because they know, deep down, that they have crossed a certain limit. Transcendence in morality must be reviled, because these people cannot bear to look at what they have done.

  9. Bloke on M4:
    My bad, I didn’t know that. Thank you. Older, sadder and wiser.

    But it does seems to fit a certain worldview and causes me much less surprise than perhaps it ought.

  10. If you consider an unborn baby is human – no justification is adequate. If you consider it is not human then justification is unnecessary.

  11. A giant pink spike seems appropriate. Symbolic of where the unwanted babies are coming from perhaps.

    24 weeks? Almost to the third trimester. Over five months. By now we’re talking ‘baby’ not ‘foetus’. There should at least be some fence to jump for that, not a right. I suspect the countries that do counseling or waiting periods have it as code for checking whether it’s coercion by or revenge on the partner.

    The Reproductive Health Act

    Now that’s a bit of an Orwellian name. It certainly won’t be healthy for the babies.

  12. Tim,

    There’s a small omission in your otherwise excellent piece. The bill states “the patient is within twenty-four weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health”

    Note that last part: “or health”. That’s a vague term that allows abortion on demand in the UK.

    Also, they’ve lowered criminal punishments, so it’s a public health matter even if you break the law.

  13. Note that last part: “or health”. That’s a vague term that allows abortion on demand in the UK.

    Indeed, and I suspect this will be used to justify abortion on demand beyond 24 weeks. But as things stand, we’ll have to wait and see.

  14. The utter lack of contrition on the Covington thing by the left was another pointer that people have gone bonkers.

    To the extent that some of the left have noted the truth, most of them just say how awful Trump is and how this somehow justifies being beastly to kids.

  15. I don’t see how even rape excuses killing the child, who isn’t the rapist and is as much a victim of the act as the mother. The lesser evil would be to protect the life of the child and let the mother put him up for adoption after he’s born. Pregnancy is temporary, while death is forever.

    I find the argument that the unborn baby isn’t “human” specious. If the fetus isn’t human, then it’s just a lump of morally neutral meat. How many of these lunatics would eat a fetus-meat casserole? It’s not human, per them, so it’s certainly not cannibalism.

    I sometimes speculate on their reactions were the logic of “my body, my choice” applied to men. We get erections, and we should have the human right to stick our erections wherever we want, right? My penis, my choice! Keep your laws off my erection! Rape, on demand and without apology!

  16. It is worth looking at the statistics. In the UK 87% of abortions are at 12 weeks or less, and only about 1,5% above 20 weeks.

    Yet the entire anti-abortion argument, particularly in the US, focuses on late stage pregnancy abortions when flipper starts to look more like a baby. Thus the aim is to reduce the limit by a few weeks because… murdering babies.

    It is the usual cause-monger trick, tell lies to start the process of reducing something, then once you have won that round, on to next round, get a further reduction, which then makes justifying the next reduction easier and after that it is all plain sailing down to zero and outside ban. See smoking.

  17. Jabrwok;
    Pregnancy arising from rape* = long term consequences for the rape victim, 9 months pregnant and then what? Raising the child? For how long?
    It’s pretty unusual in terms of crimes of violence in that sense.

    * I wonder how often this actually occurs; IIRC, the chances of pregnancy following any particular shag is about 12-5%. That number would fall if the victim were on the pill (not necessarily something that the attacker would be able to detect, even if it can be assumed) to the failure rate of the pill X that initial probability. The whole issue becomes hard pretty damned quickly.

  18. After 24 weeks….there use to be a word for that, can’t quite remember it but it began with m. Health reasons? no doubt the individuals ‘mental’ health will no doubt be one of the acceptable criteria. Why stop at 24 weeks, the little buggers can be a pain during the ‘terrible twos’….is that too late for the nutters?

  19. Why stop at 24 weeks, the little buggers can be a pain during the ‘terrible twos’

    I’ve long been an advocate of 48th trimester abortions.

  20. I like the way Ann Coulter put it.

    “Oh..So you want protect your right to have unprotected sex with a man for whom you wouldn’t bear a child.”

  21. Texas passed a law (Most of which made it through the appellate process) that had three simple provisions:

    1. 20 weeks max, unless of course the medical stuff
    2. Facilities had to meet standards of any outpatient surgery facility
    3. The doctor needs hospital admitting privileges to a nearby hospital.

    The shrieking commenced soon after passage, even though something north of 75% of our population was for it. Having the baby is healthy. It’s what their bodies were made for. Cutting it out is not health care.

    For me, it begged a few questions –
    1. You know, for sure, you are pregnant long before 20 weeks. Women in my family knew or at least suspected at like 4-5. That is way ample time to decide what you want. I think 10-12 is ample.
    2. I thought these clinics had standards. You would have an invasive procedure in a clinic that otherwise wouldn’t be allowed to do a colonoscopy? Wow! That isn’t healthy.
    3. If the doctor screws up, wouldn’t you want it fixed fast? There are women in TX with colostomy bags because they were dumped at far away hospitals because the doctor couldn’t admit them and didn’t want to get reported. That’s why #3 was crafted.

    It warms my heart that our governor is cutting planned parenthood’s funding.

  22. “I’m afraid you’ve had a miscarriage”, said the doctor. “Never mind, it was just a bundle of cells anyway”, said no woman ever.

    The unborn seem to exist in Schrödinger’s cat-like state; collapsing to either a foetus or a baby depending on the preference of the female observer.

  23. https://jme.bmj.com/content/39/5/261

    Giubilini A, Minerva F After-birth abortion: why should the baby live? Journal of Medical Ethics 2013;39:261-263.

    Abstract

    Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

    You considered a career as a medical ethicist, Tim?

  24. John B,
    since 1967 we in the UK have seen another trick, where we were told lies to start the legalisation of abortion, namely, that abortions would be rare, and then only to save the mother’s life. Once they won that round, they started the process of making it less shameful, and then on to the next round. After that, it was all plain sailing to the point where we have 200,000 abortions a year.
    My point is not an anti-abortion one. I can see that someone might with anguish tolerate restricted and rare abortions, but be disturbed by 4000 a week.
    In any case, I think you seem to have the situation backwards. Notwithstanding improving foetal survival rates, all the pressure is towards relaxing restrictions rather than increasng them.

  25. I seem to recall that New York is one of those states that has abolished the death penalty. IOW, the good citizens of the Empire State are more at ease with killing their own offspring than with killing serial killers.

    @ Jabrwok:

    I find the argument that the unborn baby isn’t “human” specious. If the fetus isn’t human, then it’s just a lump of morally neutral meat. How many of these lunatics would eat a fetus-meat casserole? It’s not human, per them, so it’s certainly not cannibalism.

    I’m always amused when people tell me that the foetus is “part of the mother’s body”. So pregnant women have two heads, four eyes, eight limbs, and forty fingers and toes, then?

    @ Ducky:

    I wonder how often this actually occurs

    The statistics I’ve seen suggest that pregnancies resulting from rape constitute about 1% or so of all abortions. And I don’t think that most people bringing up rape actually support abortion for that reason. At any rate, whenever I’ve said “OK, so I’ll support abortion in the case of rape if you’ll join me in opposing it in other circumstances, deal?” the reply has always been negative.

    @ Charles:

    The unborn seem to exist in Schrödinger’s cat-like state; collapsing to either a foetus or a baby depending on the preference of the female observer.

    Apropos of this, the memorial to the 9/11 victims on the same building which was lit up to celebrate includes “Renee A. May and her unborn child.” Sadly ironic, I think.

  26. @ The Original Mr X

    …more at ease killing their own offspring…

    Yes it’s bizarre how many people are happy to kill the innocent but recoil from killing the guilty.

  27. I wouldn’t worry about it; the current attitude towards abortion is certain to change as soon as the Left figures out that most people are opting out of reproduction, and the solution they’re going to come up with for the missing taxpayers is going to be… You guessed it: Forced childbirth.

    You ask why I say this, and I’ll tell you that the basic secret of the Left is that it’s all about compulsion: They want power, and to run other people’s lives for them. When enough of the Left discovers that too many are choosing not to do their duty to the state by providing workers for them to direct… Well, the answer is clear–They will mandate them, and one of the steps that will be taken will no doubt be a total ban on abortions.

    The fact that nobody is wanting to have kids because the welfare state obviates any need for them to have kids to take care of them in their old age, and because that same welfare state makes it too damn expensive to have and raise those kids, well… That little point is lost on them. Socialism kills societies and civilizations dead, dead, dead. For proof, look at the moribund statelets of Europe, and ask why so many have fertility rates that are barely over half what they’d need to be in order to reach replacement rate. Last time I looked, the numbers for the average ethnic German woman were 1.14, or something equally ghastly. For those not aware, replacement rate is 2.1.

    Which explains Mutti Merkel’s fascination with bringing in all the brown men. I assume she figures that they’ll do what native Germans won’t, and rape the unwilling into providing her with more fodder for socialism. Won’t likely turn out the way she and her ilk are forecasting, but that’s the fact.

    I think the panic is going to start setting in about 2040-2050, and by 2075 I wager we’ll be telling little girls that it’s their duty and responsibility to have at least three kids. You’ll also see the tax structure change, and all kinds of punitive measures for those that don’t want kids.

    We’ve been sold this line for the last fifty years that there was going to be a population explosion. That ain’t happening, and if you look at the total fertility rates world-wide, my personal projection is that the reality is going to be a population implosion hitting hard after about 2050. Japan is only the opening aria in the opera of “Oh, did we f**k up…” that’s going to be heard, world-wide.

    Ramifications and side-effects are going to be interesting.

  28. Shapiro is not wrong, I think. The reason is that the baby is innocent and he/she is not a fungible thing.
    I understand the problem, but life does have hard problems. Besides, 99.9% of abortions don’t happen after a rape.

  29. I wouldn’t worry about it; the current attitude towards abortion is certain to change as soon as the Left figures out that most people are opting out of reproduction, and the solution they’re going to come up with for the missing taxpayers is going to be… You guessed it: Forced childbirth.

    Oh no, we’re already there and the solution they’ve come up with is mass immigration. As if a bunch of foreigners who’ve wrecked their own country are going to be interested in looking after a bunch of elderly white folk.

  30. Tim, like I allude to, the real panic isn’t going to set in until the fact that their brilliant interim “solutions” aren’t working.

    Imported little brown people are not going to magically become good, productive little German worker-bees and/or Euro-citizens: The Germans and other Euros aren’t going to be able to reprogram them sufficiently, and the odds aren’t bad that the requisite genetic material wouldn’t be amenable to that, anyway.

    I give the European Union about another ten-twenty years, and the entire shoddy shambolic enterprise is going to come crashing down around the ears of the Eurocrats. At which point, the same variety of drone is going to try to “fix” everything at the national level, followed by failure, with mass panic somewhere in the mix.

    Birthrates of 1.14 are not sustainable; it’s unknown territory for humanity, because I don’t think that we’ve ever encountered a situation where we have had this happen in this manner, before. Population crashes usually follow things like the Mongols, or the Conquistadors and epidemic disease. Socialism is much the same, but with a far longer effect-time. My suspicion is that the death-spiral is self-reinforcing as each successive generation has to get worked harder and harder to make the welfare state proposition work, until we reach a point where the whole thing crashes.

    The root of the problem is that the politicians and administrators are too short-sighted to see the full ramifications of what they are doing, policy-wise, and the second- and third-order effects don’t become clear until it’s too damn late. Socialism sounds good, but what it does in a modern society is discourage people from having kids entirely too effectively–You don’t need to worry about your kids supporting you in your old age, because the all-powerful State is there to do it for them, and paying for that State makes it difficult to impossible to afford those kids, anyway. Result? Those really sad numbers in the rate of reproduction. Feminism doesn’t help, either–When you make it socially unacceptable to be the mom, women don’t want the job.

    Where all this ends? Nobody knows, because this is truly uncharted territory. I can project along the trendlines, though, and what I see coming is what I describe happening. Importation of the little brown people is going to prove unworkable, as far as maintaining the status quo, and once that sinks in…? Weeeeeellllllll… Katy, bar the door; we’re about to get a visit from the Gods of the Copybook Headings.

  31. @Ducky McDuckface:

    Pregnancy arising from rape* = long term consequences for the rape victim, 9 months pregnant and then what? Raising the child? For how long?
    It’s pretty unusual in terms of crimes of violence in that sense.

    Adoption is always an option. As for the nine months, yes, being involuntarily (and even contrarily if you follow my meaning) saddled with that would be unfortunate. But death is worse. Pregnancy ends naturally, while death is forever, hence prohibiting abortion, even in cases of rape, is the “lesser evil”. I’d rather be raped and alive (to strike down upon him with great vengeance and furious anger) than un-raped but dead.

    As others have said though, the “rape” argument rarely applies, and were it to become the only legal excuse for abortion then I suspect the number of rape allegations would skyrocket.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *