In a sense, I know that we should respect everybody, but do we really just need to keep quiet when crazy religious people preach and yell and affect law? I personally don't think so. Maybe I am too closed minded, but I think the more vocal the atheist community becomes and LESS vocal the religious community can be the world would be better off...Faith is not based in fact, as everybody knows. So why not publicly denounce all faiths as ignorant and detrimental. 

Does anybody else have any thoughts on this?

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@arch - "What is life?"  Well, that is a good question.  I would propose that it is not something that we should use to enslave people.  One of my problems with the whole abortion issue is that, apparently, these morons think that women use it as a form of birth control.  "Woops, got preggy again this month.  If I get one more abortion on my punch card, I get the next one FREE!"  If a woman were really this callous, what kind of a chance do you think this child would have anyway?  It constantly amazes me that people are such idiots that they think that should have control of other people's decisions.

And this bullshit about not allowing "late-term" abortions; exactly what problem are we trying to address here? Let's take a vote:

How many of you heathen, heartless women out there (and you have to admit, YOU are the women that this is really concerning, because you all are Satan-worshiping atheists) would carry a child for 6 or 7 months, and then just decide one day that you're tired of carrying around this bowling ball in your stomach and run down to get your abortion punch card filled before getting a mani-pedi?

And how about we say that "life" begins in men's sperm?  How would you feel about the government forcing you to work in a daycare for 6 months before "allowing" you to get a vasectomy? Or better yet, let's just outlaw vasectomies all together.  After all, if it were "god's will" that you should stop producing sperm, he would have given you the ability for your body to just "shut that process down" at will, right?

RE: "@arch - 'What is life?'" - Keith, I don't recall asking that. In another comment, regarding Thecla, I said "That's a life?" but as best I can recall, that was it --

@arch - WOW! Did I misread that!!!  I've been up since 2 (went to sleep after 11), so I claim sleep deprivation! LOL

BTW, that wasn't directed at you, just general ranting about the subject that my mind told me was on the table.  I've talked to you enough to know that your very rational about these things.  :) 

Not a problem Keith, I just didn't want you laboring under a misconception, but then, I also don't want you driving while so sleep-deprived! But if you insist on doing so, just let me know which route you'll be taking, and I'll go a different way.

I like to rant too, but usually it's to myself, as I walk along, pushing my shopping cart.

You are not getting any where near 'my guys!' LOL

"And this bullshit about not allowing "late-term" abortions; exactly what problem are we trying to address here?"

The answer is fetal consciousness.

Your consciousness is you. The end of 'you' is the irreversible cessation of your consciousness: brain death. Conversely, the start of 'you' is the commencement of your consciousness: brain life. 

The physical structures necessary for consciousness begin forming at 24 weeks. Sometime after that the fetus develops consciousness, though it's not clear exactly when. That's the difference maker.

"How many of you heathen, heartless women out there [...] would carry a child for 6 or 7 months, and then [...] run down to get your abortion [...]?"

In 2008, fewer than 1.3% of abortions were performed after 21 weeks. That's about 8000 abortions. That's tame in comparison to the numbers who die due to car crashes, prescription drugs, suicide, and fatty food. Pro-Lifers would do better to focus their efforts on deaths that actually involve fully functioning nervous systems.

@GM - We are trying to solve the problem of "fetal consciousness"?  And it's important to have some moronic government bureaucrat involved in the decision making process?  As you point out, 1.3% of abortions were performed after 21 weeks.  You just simply can't tell me that in all but a handful of cases, these weren't completely justified by the people whose lives were impacted by this.  I can't imagine a harder or more horrible decision. 

My point is, there IS no "problem" that needs to be addressed by legislation.  And the more legislation there is, regardless of how "well intended" it is, and ESPECIALLY legislation that servers no constructive purpose for society is BAD legislation.

"@GM - We are trying to solve the problem of "fetal consciousness"? "

Fetal consciousness is a legitimate science-based ethical reason to regulate abortion. We don't know when fetal consciousness begins except that it occurs sometime after 24 weeks.

"And it's important to have some moronic government bureaucrat involved in the decision making process?"

Of course it is, Keith. Moronic government bureaucrats (and Democrats too) are involved in every legal issue, from jaywalking to homicide. That goes whether abortion is completely unrestricted or banned outright.

I'd say based on those first two comments that you're resisting, and it's because you dislike that I raised the point, not because the point is incorrect or unclear.

"As you point out, 1.3% of abortions were performed after 21 weeks.  You just simply can't tell me that in all but a handful of cases, these weren't completely justified by the people whose lives were impacted by this."

Yes. I can't tell you how many of the 8028 abortions performed after 21 weeks in 2008 were justifiable. That's because I haven't seen any statistics on that. (I'm inclined to think it was a small percentage.) Likewise, until you check the statistics yourself, you can't tell me it was "all but a handful" either.

"My point is, there IS no "problem" that needs to be addressed by legislation"

Of course there is. It's just a much smaller problem than deaths due to things like motor vehicle crashes or prescription drugs. That doesn't mean the problem doesn't exist at all.

"And the more legislation there is, regardless of how "well intended" it is, and ESPECIALLY legislation that servers no constructive purpose for society is BAD legislation."

Forty-one US states already prohibit abortion after a certain point in pregnancy. This usually is set at 24 weeks or "viability", which serves the science-backed "constructive purpose" explained in my previous post.

Seven states ban abortion completely after 20 weeks: an arbitrary limit that Nebraska yanked out of its backside, which inspired six other states to do the same. I'd call that "bad" legislation, as I would any legislation that ignores reality, science, and reason.

Well, it's so sad to talk to someone who has such little regard for women, who things that they are, as a rule, just to pathetically stupid to manage their own bodies and who also seems to have even less concern about the children that are forced to grow up with such harpies. 

I, on the other hand, give them the befit of the doubt, assuming that these women actually struggled with their decision and don't feel it necessary to reduce half our country to slavery.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.  Personally, I err on the side of freedom and liberty rather than subjugation and slavery.

In other words: your position is too weak to withstand an intellectually honest debate, or address the actual substance of my comments. So you go all shrill and

@Gallup's Mirror - "In other words: your position is too weak to withstand an intellectually honest debate"

Actually, no.  It was just clear to me that you are closed minded and are one of those people that jump to conclusions and use arbitrary lines in the sand to take a stance to justify what you want to be true.  You admit that you have no idea when consciousness develops ("We don't know when fetal consciousness begins"), don't know anything about the circumstances around these very few abortions ("I can't tell you how many of the 8028 abortions performed after 21 weeks in 2008 were justifiable"), and believe in over-bearing, over-reaching government ("government bureaucrats (and Democrats too) are involved in every legal issue, from jaywalking to homicide. That goes whether abortion is completely unrestricted or banned outright.").  

You also seem to produce contradictory statements (e.g. that last statement: "government bureaucrats ... are involved in every legal issue, ... [even when] ... completely unrestricted".  How would bureaucrats be involved in something that is completely unrestricted?).

My stance is pretty straight forward:

* To me, the OBVIOUS line in the stand is birth.  No one at all can ague that a person becomes their own after that point. 

* Second, as I said, I prefer to err on the side of freedom and liberty rather than slavery.  Forcing a woman to carry a baby to the point of death for both her and the baby, to me is one of the very definitions of evil.

* You are correct in that I don't have any empirical evidence to suggest that most of the women having late-term abortions are doing so based on heath reasons.  However, LOGIC is definitely on my side here. Like I said, I just don't believe that a woman would carry a baby into her third trimester (let alone her second trimester), only to abort it for no better reason than on a whim.  As I said, to think that they would for no valid reason is basically saying that you think that women are too pathetically stupid to make their own decisions. It is saying that women can never be trusted to make their own decisions, relegating them to slavery of their own bodies and the men that make their decisions for them.

My concession is simply the recognition that you and I have what appears to be contradictory political philosophies and I don't see a way for us to come to a consensus. My posts always include the concept of freedom and allowing adults to make their own decisions whereas your posts never address liberty, but rather seem to support fascist governmental control over people's lives based on your personal moral path and ignoring every else's that contradict it.  We seem to have such diametrically opposed viewpoints on how people should be treated, that I don't really see how a conversation between us could be constructive.

Also, I do hope that your wife/sister/daughter or whoever is close to you doesn't have complications one day and end up dying in a hospital bed because some self-righteous bureaucratic prick has decided that her life isn't worth squat.

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