Abortion, Sarah Palin, the Bushes, the McCains and Barack Obama

Both Laura Bush and Cindy McCain apparently disagree with Sarah Palin on abortion in two respects:

1. They both disagree with her position on banning abortion even cases of rape and incest. John McCain and George Bush disagree with Palin on that too.

2. They both disagree with overturning Roe v Wade (even though both their husbands, and Sarah Palin, are in favor of that).

So if you were making a list of Republicans and their range of views on abortion and Roe v Wade it would look like

Overturn Roe v Wade:
George Bush-yes, John McCain-yes, Laura Bush-no, Cindy McCain-no, Sarah Palin-yes

Allow abortion to protect the life of the mother:
George Bush-yes, John McCain-yes, Laura Bush-yes, Cindy McCain-yes, Sarah Palin-yes

Allow abortion in the case of rape or incest:
George Bush-yes, John McCain-yes, Laura Bush-yes, Cindy McCain-yes, Sarah Palin-no

It seems that both Laura Bush and Cindy McCain, even though they say they are in the “pro life” camp, when it comes down to specifics are actually in the “pro choice” camp.

While Sarah Palin is off in an extremist anti-abortion world of her own.

As far as Obama goes, he’s off in a world of his own too, in the other direction. He blocked the Illinois version of the BAIPA (Born-Alive Infants Protection Act), which would protect babies who are unintentionally born alive after a failed abortion. The issue is that such infants were being “shelved” – ignored until they died after being born. As stated in a “Jerusalem Post” editorial, “Obama’s position essentially boils down to this: a woman who contracts for an abortion is entitled, one way or another, to a dead baby.”

Abortion is really an intractable issue. If you believe that human life begins at conception, it follows that abortion is infanticide and it is natural that you would want to prevent that. I can understand that if you believe that infanticide is taking place that it is too simple to argue that you, as a pro-lifer, are trying to force your moral views on others. It is more a case that you believe that something really morally, intolerably wrong is going on that affects another human being. That would be something that goes beyond personal privacy, or issues involving adults engaging in mutually consensual behavior. It would be more like abolitionists who fought against slavery.

If you believe that human life doesn’t begin at conception then you are more likely to take a so-called “pro-choice” view.

Religions don’t all agree on when human life begins. Some say at conception, some say “when the soul is invested” (some say at 40 days, some say later). Some people say when the fetus becomes “viable”. I believe even the Christian church has evolved different positions on this over the centuries, but I’m not a religious historian.

My conclusion? I said it is an intractable problem, so I don’t have an answer. I think it is more complicated than the slogans that both sides want you to believe. Thus we see Laura Bush and Cindy McCain straddling the fence, both claiming to be “pro life” while they are really “pro choice”.

I wish I understand Obama’s position more though. I am not able to follow the morality or humanity or logic in his line of thinking on the issue.

doug


Comments

Abortion, Sarah Palin, the Bushes, the McCains and Barack Obama — 8 Comments

  1. Well I’m pro-choice, and while I agree that it’s hard to draw a definitive line as far as what constitutes a “viable” child, I think I understand Obama’s position: A woman opts for abortion, she’s essentially saying “I’m not prepared to care for another life in this social climate yet.” Then saddling her with a child – and what’s more, an even MORE needy version – hampers the furthering of society.Every child born & cared for takes time, effort, money. More spent on more, means less spent on each, means society necessarily suffers. It seems kind of heartless & cruel on one hand, because at that moment you only see this little thing. But if you could stand back and calculate all the losses that this little thing will cause society to incur? That’s different. It’s hard, we’re so programmed to protect in that scenario. It’s a matter of what you’re protecting: The greater good? Or the immediate. It’s not an easy decision, no matter what way you lean, if you actually consider ALL the costs & consequences.

  2. If the woman doesn’t want the child after it is born there are all sorts of “safe haven” and adoption means at her disposal. It doesn’t mean we have to let a born human being just get “shelved” and wait for it die though, does it?doug

  3. you ignore the fact that the adoption system is broken. And it’s largely such because… THERE’S TOO MANY KIDS IN THE SYSTEM.yes those options are at their disposal, and I took it for granted that if the child is kept alive that’s where they’d be. But all this does is shift the costs of raising the child from being directly their responsibility to being society’s problem.It’s still a problem, though, and it’s still opportunity cost.

  4. But… but… but…Once a child is actually BORN, whether that is the originally desired outcome or not, we are talking about an actual, living, separate human being. At that point, surely that has to take precedence over the mother’s intentions, or anybody’s inconvenience, or the cost to society of raising another unwanted child.If you can let a newborn who is in the way just die, why not a 3 year old, or 10 year old?doug

  5. I think there’s a drastic difference between nursing a child to adult life, and a child who requires million-dollar machines to keep it alive for months at a time.To me, if something pops out and needs millions in technology to live, and THAT MANY man-hours of intensive care & labor… And will more than likely still not lead a normal life? (I’ve known a few crack-babies & premature birth peeps — all have complications & can be easily spotted as “not normal”)I maintain it’s not really worth it in the end. The costs to society outweigh all else. Yes it seems cruel, but again – all that time & money invested in this one hardly-viable fetus is time & money NOT given to children who stand to do much for us.

  6. put it this way: spend $100,000 to bring a prematurely-born fetus to “take home from the hospital status,” let’s assume.That’s a college education for… HOW MANY children? And you can’t get that $100,000 back — it’s gone. So that’s that many children that will not have that assistance to get the education we need them to have. It’s one thing to knife a baby that’s going to make it. It’s quite another to let a child die that is going to die or close to it anyways.

  7. But what about a baby who accidentally survives an abortion and doesn’t need more than ordinary premature birth care? As for that $100,000 – I don’t think the economy is a zero-sum game where money spent in one place means it is gone and that $100,000 can never be used again.$100,000 spent now on something presumably goes somewhere – to salaries, to companies that make medical equipment, etc., and then circulates back into the economy. Maybe the investment will generate enough extra economic activity so that even more than $100,000 in education can be paid for down the road.If life isn’t viable, if a person is born and can’t survive without perpetual intervention, well maybe that means you need to consider natural death. You hear about people being removed from life support all the time. And many people have living wills requesting not to be maintained on such systems.But I’m talking about the case of intentionally neglecting a human being who ends up getting actually born because of a failed abortion and letting the child die simply because the mother had wanted an abortion.doug

  8. There is something to the ‘speed’ of money, but it’s not quite solid, either. To a large extent, yeah it’s gone. Who’s spending the money? Where would that money have been spent otherwise? It still would have gone somewhere, right? Now, though, it’s gone where? It could have had more utility that would have been more productive to society’s interests is meh point. re: babies. As I said before, I’m not for baby killing. I so much as said that it’s one thing to knife a viable baby, quite another to let an unviable one expire. If it’s viable, then yeah by all means, do what’s within reason and save the child!but keep in mind that these were abortions. You don’t abort babies that have much viability outside the womb. Even hardcore democrats call that murder, and rightly so I would say.

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