Friday, January 13, 2006

'Impose Legality'

This morning on the local news, a pro-life advocate spoke about some billboards up in BART stations that question pro-choice policy.

No, despite disagreeing with the ads, the very foreseeable damage to the ads is wrong. People should talk first, destroy never.

But questioning the group's position is well within our rights.

While relaying the group's views, the spokeswoman said the ads pose the question "Roe v. Wade, have we gone to far? Have we gone to far in imposing legality on abortions through all 9 months of pregnancy."

Interesting phraseology, no?

And again - honestly, pro-lifers, do you honestly believe there's an outrageous number of devil-may-car women out there who realize in month 8.5 that, gee, I knew there was something I meant to get to 6 months ago, guess it's time to have my abortion now.


A little reason would be nice, wouldn't it?


And, here's an article on the ad campaign.

Many of the ads have been torn down or defaced since the campaign began three weeks ago.

"I think every woman has noticed them,'' said Suzanne "Sam" Joi, a member of Code Pink, a social justice and anti-war group. "I couldn't believe BART would allow something like this. Why are they doing this?''
Is that a rhetorical question or do you want the actual answer, Code Pink?

I think we can start with the First Amendment and work our way down from there.

BART officials say they had little choice but to post the ads, given the free-speech provisions of the First Amendment. The transit district also has a policy of accepting point-of-view advertising and has displayed other political material -- including advertising from its employee unions during last year's contract talks.

"We're not in the business of censorship and don't believe a government agency should be in the business of censorship,'' Johnson said. "It shouldn't be up to a government official to determine whose opinion is right and whose is wrong.''
Not only shouldn't it, it can't.

I may support choice, but I completely disagree with abortion rights activists who seem to believe that their rights to free speech and freedom from confronting opposing viewpoints is paramount to everyone elses.

Oddly enough, that's not the way the country is supposed to work.


Anonymous said...

CD - the last time we had a brief discussion about abortion you raised a similar point, namely, do pro-lifers really think there are so many women having abortion at 8.5 mos that partial birth abortion is really a big deal?

But what does it say about us as a nation if we say that it's A-ok for a woman - even if it's only one woman - to end her pregnancy for any reason even in the last trimester? Physician after physician has testified that there is never a medical necessity for partial birth abortion. And it is a truly horrific practice that inflicts immense pain on the baby being slaughtered. Why can't we draw a line in the sand and at least say - this far, but no farther. Abortion in the first tri-mester, but never in the third?

As a society we have agreed that there is no such thing as an absolute right. Our right to liberty can be revoked if we violate the law and are imprisoned, our right to free speech is restricted in a crowded theater when we want to shout fire, etc. Why is it that pro-aborts are so unwilling to allow even reasonable restraints on abortion? Why should any woman (girl?), for any reason, without deference to any other involved party (husband, partner, parents) be able to "terminate" her offspring at any point in her pregnance?

Anonymous said...

BTW, similar to your question of the number of later term abortions, I have to ask all the pro-aborts out there, do you really think that so many woman concieve from rape or incest that it's a legitimate grounds for abortion on demand?

Come on now.

Anonymous said...

Come on now? Ruby, I have perosonally given up on talking about abortion ( and gay rights, but that's another story) with folks who by their very language make it clear that they are incapable of having a thoughtful conversation about the issue.

I'm pro-child.
I'm pro-life.
I'm anti-abortion.

That's my choice. I'll defend my right to choose (and yours by the way) until I'm blue in the face, and I've never, ever met anyone who is "pro-abort" as you describe us in your last post. Words like that are ridiculous and in my mind, if you really think that way, there's no point in debating with you as you've already fallen off the reasonable boat. To use another of your lines, COME ON NOW.

Anonymous said...

If a person says she is pro-choice, the choice she must be willing to defend is abortion. You are in favor of abortion, even if not for yourself. "Pro-choice" is a nice euphemism to hide the ugly reality that a child dies each time a woman exercises her "choice" for an abortion.

Anonymous said...

And, BTW, most people who describe themselves as "pro-choice" are willing to acknowledge that there are some reasonable constraints that should be placed on abortion - waiting periods, parental notification, spousal notification, etc. They also believe that things like adoption should be made easier, that women seeking alternatives to abortion should be provided them - information on housing, financial support etc. They also generally support laws against and punishment for third-party fetal battering or fetal murder, like the Lacy Peterson case.

There is also another breed out there, like the folks at Planned Parenthood Int'l, NARAL etc. Who scream bloody murder at the mere suggestion that a baby who is murdered in utero without the mother's consent should have any justice at all. Why exactly couldn't these explicitly pro-abortion groups stand behind Lacy's mom and support "Conor's law"? Why do they oppose defending these helpless victims? Or at least pursuing justice on their behalf? Their death obviously is not the result of thier mother's "choice."

They are pro-aborts.

pamela b said...

I'm pro-child.
I'm pro-life.
and I am willing to defend a woman's right to choose an abortion just as adamantly as I am willing to defend a woman's right to have a child, vote, or hold a job. Starting a family is a difficult and personal decision, and Ruby, it's none of your business.

The right to choose abortion is only one small part of the larger and more important right to control our lives. Quite frankly, I'm sick of talking about it. And I'm certainly tired of talking about abortion as if it isn't part of a more general right to make personal decisions about family without the interference of government. It is my great hope, for this and many other reasons, that Privacy will one day be protected by the U.S. Constitution just as it is now protected in California's.

The only reason that I am so often reduced to talking solely about abortion, and the whole reason that groups like NARAL exist, is because the radical right won't leave women and our families alone.

cd said...

Can we all agree, regardless of views on the legality or morality of abortion, that it is ridiculous for pro-choice/abortion/whatever groups to call for the heads of BART officials?

That's what gets me - more than the underlying debate.

pamela b said...

You're right. Govt. officials don't get to decide whose opinion is right or wrong.

However, maybe the officials are just a good stand-in target for a very public rejection of the ads' message. And I would argue that when the radical right shouts, we have to shout back louder.

Anonymous said...

CD - I wholly agree that they shouldn't be calling for the heads of BART officials.

It's interesting to me though, Pamela, that you classify anyone who questions the legality or appropriateness of abortion on demand through all 9 mos. as part of the "radical" right. 92% of Americans think that abortion should be illegal in the third trimester. This is hardly a "radical right" agenda controversy.

OAFFER said...

I posted on this - focusing on the intolerance of the liberal left today. It seems that the first group to attack free speech are those who (at one point in the not too distant past) championed the issue. My post is at OAF Blog.

Anonymous said...

Responding to some of the earlier posts: part of the problem with legislating abortion rights part way (e.g. not in the 3rd trimester, parental/spousal notification) is the real world consequences of those actions. As a man, sure, I'd like for there to be a law that my (hypothetical) wife needs to notify me if she's about to abort a child we made together. But I'm willing to give that one up because I can see the flip-side of such a law: a woman is forced to notify her husband, who beats the living hell out of her and possibly prevents her from having an abortion. Another interesting aspect of the abortion debate is that the vast majority of women who choose to have an abortion do so because they know they are not financially/emotionally/psychologically stable enough to have one. Anyway, yeah, BART shouldn't be able to censor us.

Anonymous said...

C'mon Ruby, 92% of Americans will say they think whatever I want them to think if I'm the one writing the survey.

And you and I both know a thing or two about survey construction, no?

This issue is so hard to debate specifically because both sides want to reduce it to its fundamentals, under the mistaken belief that fundamentals here create bright lines along which to govern ourselves and others.

But it's just not that simple, is it?

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think that when it comes to abortion - specifically partial birth abortion - it is that simple.

Is it, or is it not, moral and good for a free and civilized society to condone a practice whereby a human baby, capable of survival outside the womb, is delivered feet first and then "terminated" by inserting a scizzors into the nape of the neck then sucking out his/her brain and crushing the scull for removal? Is this good or moral under any circumstances?

Most Americans - most civilized human beings - can agree that that is a barbaric practice that should, must be, prohibited by law in order to preserve the humane standards of society.

pamela b said...

Oaffer, I champion your right to free speech. If you use this right to spout radical conservative ideas, then I'm going to call you on it.

cd said...


Honestly. No, no one thinks that's a great idea. But everyone's slippery slope runs a different way.

Anonymous said...

CD - if it happens at all, and it does happen, isn't that TOO OFTEN?

And if it doesn't happen that often, is there really a need to have it since there is NEVER a medical reason for it? Why defend it?

Why are abortion advocates so unwilling to draw even a single line in the sand regarding the most horrific practice and say, this is too much?

But as for hard numbers, according to the CDC, in 1993 over 17,000 abortions were performed at 21 weeks or later. They also indicate that at least 600 a year are performed after 26 weeks.

Records from George Tillers infamous abortion clinic in KS indicate that he performs roughly 500 each year.

The numbers are not so insignificant as you might like to think.

Anonymous said...

BTW, in more recent abortion survelliance statistics provided by the CDC, the late term abortions are lumped together in the (greater than or equal to) 21 weeks gestation category. The number of these abortions performed in 2002 amounted to 1.4% of all abortions reported, or almost 12,000. This is a fairly modest estimate since other reliable sources indicate that 1.5 million abortions are performed each year (the CDC estimates 854,122 for '02), which, if the trend held, would suggest closer to 21,000 late term abortions. I'm not confident, however, that the trend would hold at the same rate.

Anonymous said...

that was my point - but the computer did something funny. sorry.

Anonymous said...

Alex, you raise an interesting question regarding abortion and abuse - and it is a legitimate concern often raised in defense of permissive abortion laws. I just wonder, how exactly does performing an abortion help the woman if is in a relationship with a man who clearly has in the past (if you know he will when notified) beaten the hell out her? The clinic, and the "system" don't intervene or get her any help after the abortion. After they take her money and "terminate her pregnancy" they send her home to the abusive man (husband, father, boyfriend ?). And since she doesn't have to give any reason for seeking the abortion, no one may ever be alerted to the abuse she is enduring.

OAFFER said...

Pamela B,

I respect your "oversight" of my free speech,and welcome your criticism where it is appropriate.

Likewise, I support your right to free speech, and I will call you on excesses in that speech.

Freedom requires responsibility and we should all hold each other responsible.