En Tequila Es Verdad/progressive conservatism/post/2009/01/26/0756

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January 26, 2009 7:56 AM - Mike

Mike at The Big Stick said...

"Abortion clinic violence is almost non-existent these days."

Got figures? Just today I read about this. Wikipedia's listing of incidents has many more in 2006-7 than previous years, but that could be due to more intensive editing over time (new incidents more likely to get added to an existing article). Can't find anything at Guttmacher; I'll add that to my list of questions to ask them...

I looked up some statistics and posted them here:


If you look at the first graph it appears to validate your claim above. But then if you control for trespassing which was not reported before 1999 and is not a specifically ‘violent’ act in and of itself, vandalism, which is also not ‘violent’ and anthrax threats which spiked immediately after 9/11 and have declined rapidly…. we see far different results on the second graph.

True ‘violence’ meaning someone injured or an attempt to injure them is at the lowest levels since the early 1990’s. I’m not saying wackos don’t do wacko things and there aren’t disruptive acts, but when we’re talking specifically about violence I think it’s important to have proper context.

."As for verbal protests, well after seeing the way liberals behaved towards Bush for 8 years I think it’s a bit unfair to ask us them to not engage in verbal assaults."

Duuuuuude! A most bodaciously heinous argument! o.0

I will concede your point on that one.

"Most of the info I read these days suggests that the majority of Americans are right of the President on abortion..."

I think that says something about what you're reading, because most of what I read suggests that Obama's position is very much in line with most of America.

I disagree and a recent poll seems to indicate I am right. A Harris poll conducted in December 2008 found that just 9% of respondents said abortion should be legal for any reason at any time during pregnancy. 82% said abortion should either be illegal under all circumstances or would limit its legality. 11% wanted all abortions illegal and 38% would only make exceptions for very rare cases of saving the mothers life or in rape or incest.

CBS conducted similar polls in 2007 and 2006 and got roughly the same results.
Obama’s position of unlimited access puts him in a group of just 9% of Americans.

"That data seems to support a zero-impact claim..."

Well, I did say it was a very quick check, but here's some more:

1. As I said, if you have the same amount of sex going on but less contraception, what are you likely to get?

2. ...Especially given this report that teen pregnancy rates are down overall because of better use of contraception. You can't use contraceptives properly if they're left out of your education.
3. The National Association of School Psychologists: "Abstinence Plus programs, which impart accurate information and comprehensive social skills training in addition to sending a strong abstinence message, have been shown more effective than Abstinence Only programs in reducing pregnancy, reducing sexually transmitted disease, and increasing resilience to other risk factors..." (not sure if they're misrepresenting the results, since there's no citation)
4. The US has the highest teen pregnancy rate among industrialized countries. As far as I know, we're the only country with an abstinence obsession, but there could be other factors.

I still don’t see anything that supports a claim that abstinence-only actually increases the number of pregnancies. To support that claim that would mean that kids with no education of any kind would actually have less pregnancies than kids with abstinence-only. I find that impossible to believe. I have already conceded that a well-rounded approach that mentions contraception and abstinence is the best plan, but it almost sounds as though you want to leave out any mention of abstinence because you think it will counteract the other stuff.

So you felt inspired give her the gift of being denied the right to make her own moral choice, if she ever has an unwanted pregnancy?

In the mind of a pro-lifer that is akin to giving someone the ‘moral choice’ of murdering their next door neighbor.

Re moral superiority versus effectiveness: "Moral authority often means difficult choices in the face of an easier but morally corrupt solution."

That doesn't answer my question. "Easier" is not the same as "more effective", for one thing.

In the case of abortion ‘easier’ is the primary motivation for most abortions i.e. their life would be ‘easier’ without an unwanted pregnancy.

Also, reading between the lines, it sounds like you're implying that sex for any purpose other than reproduction is immoral. Is that the case?

Not at all. I have no problem with sex for enjoyment, married or otherwise. But I do believe that people assume risk when they have sex for fun and they should accept the results.

Re the contradiction between {being pro-life} and {supporting the death penalty}: "Free will versus imposed will."

What in the blazes is that supposed to mean?

The murderer has free will to not commit the murder… the unborn child has someone else’s will imposed on them.

...which in turn kind of undermines your claim that "progressive conservatives" are more flexible than liberals.

I guess it depends on where we draw the line. Do you put most ‘liberals’ in the 9% group that favors no abortion restrictions or in the 82% that would allow some restrictions? Are those allowing restrictions true liberals or centrists/moderates?

This may explain why it's such a popular claim among anti-abortionists. Liberals perhaps see the literal (but meaningless) question, and without thinking about it automatically insert the "primary" in order to make it a meaningful question -- and then find themselves arguing against a statement which, on the face of it, is undeniably true.

I never argued it was the ‘primary’ method of birth control, but I do believe that many people who seek abortion see it as Step 2 if Step 1 fails, meaning they have already accepted abortion as a solution beforehand.

But as we've seen, anti-abortionists (the pro-fetal position) don't consider abortion to be legit even as a fallback (non-primary) when contraception has failed, while pro-choicers do.

Ummmm…yeah. We generally don’t believe that a broken condom releases someone of their moral obligation.

...except for adoption, about which I don't yet know enough. If a mother wants to abort a fetus and someone offers to adopt it, are the mother's maternity expenses generally paid from that point forward? In other words, how does choosing adoption over abortion affect the mother financially?

My understanding from friends who have adopted is that they assume all financial burden. That’s partially why it is a very expensive process because you can’t claim the birth mother on your health insurance (‘progressive companies’ could get big brownie points from changing this policy for their workers).