En Tequila Es Verdad/progressive conservatism/post/2009/03/11/1026

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March 11, 2009 10:26 AM - Mike

Mike at The Big Stick said...

"Having reviewed the statistics for this discussion I actually see it as even less of an issue than I did before, and given that abortion rates dropped as violence also declined, it’s hard to really even draw any kind of corollaries between the two numbers."

Brief recap:
* I had suggested grounds for a possible truce between "pro-lifers" and "pro-choicers", and mentioned working against abortion clinic violence as something that pro-lifers could bring to the table
* you claimed that abortion clinic violence was "almost nonexistent nowadays"
* I gave you a graph which refuted that claim
* you claimed I was cherrypicking indicators to prove my point
* I suggested that you give me a list of indicators you would consider relevant to the question.
* You attempted to downplay the significance of abortion clinic violence as an issue

I'm thinking that this particular sub-discussion has become rather a waste of time. If you don't want to negotiate on that point, then don't.

Woozle, no one is trying to change the subject, misdirect or avoid the point. You made a big deal about abortion clinic violence. I said it was ‘almost non-existant’. You provided a chart. I discredited several parts of the chart since the offenses they cited weren’t really ‘violent’. You sort of agreed that we could weed several of them out. I also took out anthrax threats because there was only a spike directly after 9/11 and they have gone away. Here is the list of violent offenses I came up with from your stats.

Attempted Murder
Attempted Bomb/Arson
Butyric Acid
Assault & Battery
Death Threats

When you look at those alone, here are the total acts of violence for each year:

1997 112
1998 80
1999 41
2000 43
2001 33
2002 18
2003 20
2004 30
2005 34
2006 36
2007 55

(I’m not sure where you got 761 acts of violence in 2005 – see below) On average that is one act of violence for every 28,513 abortions. I am inclined to whittle that down even further by taking out death threats and stalking, which are disruptive but not technically ‘violent’. There hasn’t been a murder at a clinic in 10 years. There hasn’t been an attempted murder in 8 years. I stand by my original statement: Abortion clinic is almost non-existent. If you want to put your 55 acts in 2007 up against my ‘violent acts’ of abortion….be my guest. I think my number wins.

Protesting outside a clinic is fine, but protest signs shouldn't make threats and should at least have some kind of factual basis for their claims…The uglier the protest signs get, the less sympathetic I am.

Is that a legal suggestion, or just a subjective one? I think if we looked at protest signs from any event we could both find more than one ugly sign or not quite factual one. It’s sort of the nature of the beast.

"I still find it extremely hard to swallow the notion that teens will attend the class and only take away half the message (contraception is wrong) while ignoring the other half (premarital sex is wrong)."

Try teaching a room full of alcoholics about the moral hazards of drunkenness. Then teach them that if they are going to get drunk, there's no point in getting a designated driver because even designated drivers can have wrecks. Now ask yourself: Do you think both lessons will be equally effective? How effectively do you think a student in this class will be able to avoid getting in a drunk driving accident?

So if I understand your analogy, these kids go to these classes and the message they get is that since no birth control is 100% effective, they just shouldn’t bother using any birth control? Again, it seems like what you’re saying is that kids go to these classes, hear the message, then they skew the logic or cherry pick the points being emphasized which just happens to create results you were originally claiming. Sounds a bit too convenient for me. It’s really this simple: If you believe the classes are ineffective at getting across their message of abstinence, then you have to also accept that they would be ineffective at getting across their other messages. You can’t have it both ways.