The Thursday Blog: Kill the Whitecoats! Edition

South Dakota is not a normal place.

In South Dakota, if a woman feels she needs an abortion, she must first go to her doctor, who is required to offer her a look at a sonogram so that she may actually see the fetus, then he must read her a state-mandated script trying to talk her out of it. (“The abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” Until very recently the script also said that abortion was a  “known medical risk” and “increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide” as well as stating that the mother already had a state-protected “existing relationship with that unborn human being.” These statements were removed for being untruthful and misleading.) Next a woman must submit to a counseling session that discusses psychological impact, breast cancer, and how much pain the fetus is going to be in, before she must finally wait 24 hours to think about it before she can go forward with the operation.

The last abortion provider left the state in 1994. Currently, the only way to actually receive the procedure in South Dakota is to travel to Sioux Falls on the one day out the month that Planned Parenthood flies a doctor in to a clinic there. This is a full-day’s drive for many women, and hits the poorest/most uneducated/most likely to need an abortion the hardest.

On the ninth of February state Representative Phil Jensen introduced Bill HB 1171. The intention of this bill, as explained by Rep. Jensen, was to bring the rules regarding defense of fetuses in line with the self defense of any other person. To wit, it is permissible in South Dakota to kill a person seeking to kill you, and this bill looks to extend that same protection to the unborn. As explained, this looks like any of an endless parade of bills introduced to incrementally grant full personhood to fetuses and eventually do away with abortion altogether. However, that aside, the idea of a law that makes it okay to shoot a dude in the brainpan if he comes after your pregnant stomach with the meathook that crazed hillbilly doctors used to replace his hand after it was eaten by starved goats seems like an acceptable concept.

Unfortunately, that isn’t what the erstwhile Representative wrote. No, the language used in the bill was thus:

22-16-34. Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person while resisting any attempt to murder such person, or to harm the unborn child of such person in a manner and to a degree likely to result in the death of the unborn child, or to commit any felony upon him or her, or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person is.

While this wording certainly covers Rep. Jensen’s explanation, according to legal experts, it could also be interpreted as permission to shoot abortion providers in the commission of their duties. Self defense in the name of the fetus has been used more than once in legal defense of the last twenty five attempts to assassinate abortion providers in the past eighteen years. (Eight of these assassinations were successful.) Jensen vociferously defended his bill, saying it had nothing to do with abortion… at first. Later, after his bill began receiving national attention, Jensen decided that maybe it could stand a little revision. (Presumably after discussing the matter with his lawyers.) Most recently Jensen has withdrawn the bill entirely, with no indication that he intends to ever move forward with it again. My guess is that once it really hit the news, the good Representative balked at becoming “the Doctor Killer.”

For the record, I do consider abortion to be murder. I just don’t consider it to be as important as the life and happiness of the mother, who is in a much better position to gauge her ability to raise a well-adjusted human being than a bunch of cranks in a state capitol. My thinking is that if she doesn’t think she can do a good job of it, I probably don’t want that kid out on the streets.

Well, maybe if you can promise me he’ll stay in South Dakota.

49 Responses to The Thursday Blog: Kill the Whitecoats! Edition

  1. “The abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” Awesome! Where do I sign in? :mrgreen: *Gets shot in S. Dakota*

    I fail to see how abortion=murder, you might as well call spraying insecticide and killing a fly a murder and it’d actually be the truth, as the fly was an actual independently-living creature. Maybe removing lumps of cancer from your body also counts as murder? At the stage where most abortions take place there’s not much difference between a cancerous mass and a fetus in terms of self awareness etc, only that the cancer is much more tenacious and will probably sprout again later in life, so maybe it’s more deserving of the title “life” than the fetus?

    And I also get the feeling that killing in self-defense equals murder in your book, Kevin. If so I can hardly see why. Doesn’t everybody supposed to have the right to defend himself or herself? Sure, you can dance around defining what kind of force is permitted in neutralizing the threat, just like cops/soldiers are trained to when arresting a suspect, but the basic rule is still all about you not dying.

    • A little “correction” to my post. Although I implied Kevin would consider killing for defense as murder, I seem to remember him saying that if he had to protect himself and his loved ones he’d have no qualms about doing so, but I can’t help but feel he’s still somewhat reluctant about it. So what is it exactly?

        • I kinda think Kevin already half opened it in this post, but maybe you’re right and one overly mentioned topic is enough for today.

          Speaking of overly mentioned topics, have I spoken today about Obama’s quick and decisive reaction to the massacre, nay, HOLOCAUST happening in Libya? How can they be so cruel and shut off the oil supply?! The fiends!!! 😥 Oh, and some people too, whatever. 🙄
          I think it’s time to buy an American flag to hang on my door for when he sends the liberating peace-army after that natural-gas well they found here recently.

          • I don’t mind a quick answer. I feel that any time you end another person’s (or potential person’s) life, that you have murdered them. I feel that it is important to think of it in this way to ensure that due consideration is given to whom we are choosing to kill. This is essential because I also think that there are certainly instances when murdering another human is not only justified, but the right thing to do. Such as self defense, or terminating the pregnancy of an unwanted child. Calling it something other than murder is the first step towards making it easier to kill, which is a huge, huge mistake.

  2. Hmmm…. is a politician “a whole, separate, unique, living human being”?
    Or is he just worth XP 🙄 ❓

        • If I had to guess it’s a reference to the language used in the movie Blade Runner to describe putting down replicants.

          • My guess would be androids from Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, which is what Blade Runner’s based on.

            The whole inhuman-and-lacking-empathy thing. I don’t know. I haven’t seen Blade Runner, I just know they’re pretty different.

            • As someone put it, and I agree, DADoES shows the androids truly don’t have empathy etc, whereas in Blade Runner they not only do, but are supposedly either as human as real humans or more so.

              So now I understand that Kevin supports killing politicians as he sees them as non-human robots. You know the FBI, CIA and all the others are monitoring this, right? 😯

              Besides, we can all see Obama isn’t a heartless robot- he cares a lot about all the oil in danger of burning up in Libya. I’m sorry, it’s just my “I told you so” bone nagging me all the time.

              • Edit: Though I’ve gotta say I still didn’t get half of what was going on with the humans in DADoES, and was starting to nod off more and more the farther I read into the story. PKD usually just isn’t my cup of tea.

          • IDK, the first one seemed to be taking a long time to post and then it appeared with the little “moderation” line above it, and the second one followed exactly as the first. No problems replying to other comments right after those though. Maybe the server just didn’t like me for a couple of minutes there.

  3. To pick a nit… “Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person while resisting any attempt to murder such person, or to harm the unborn child of such person …”
    So that would be if someone was aborting the baby of the mother against her will. The only other person who would be “Such person” would be the father, the only other person who the wording would include…Personally I think fathers should have more of a say in things, but being allowed to kill the doctor of some women they impregnated because they do not like her decision? No, that is too far.
    But it does NOT say I can go there and kill abortion doctors… even if it were passed. And if it was, it would not stand up in court, I would wager.
    I think it is wrong to murder your unborn babies, Unless you and the baby would die if you did not. But I respect your right to your opinions. Let’s see if it goes both ways…even as I fight to get my way, you can fight to get yours, so let’s not flame?

    re: “For the record, I do consider abortion to be murder. I just don’t consider it to be as important as the life and happiness of the mother, who is in a much better position to gauge her ability to raise a well-adjusted human being than a bunch of cranks in a state capitol. My thinking is that if she doesn’t think she can do a good job of it, I probably don’t want that kid out on the streets.” I would like to see less rutting like pigs, and less killing the unborn babies so they can keep going to clubs and ravs. In an ideal world, all the unwanted children could be adopted, but alas, many sit unadoptable, but healthy babies DO find hopes pretty quick, in general. So, make less, and find homes for the ones you make? What, Babies are not as important as dogs and cats? We try to make less of them and work hard to find homes for the ones that are made… we can’t be bothered to do that with humans? (and NO, I am not saying spay or neuter anyone… against their will anyway. I had a vasectomy, so I will not make more, and my wife and I are considering adopting… We know there are kids that need a family, even one you may disagree with, eh? 😀

    • No probs, bamko, let’s see what we have here…

      Your reading of the bill’s wording is what the Representative intended, and at first blush is what I thought as well. However, that is not the way the (legal) experts read it. They felt that the wording was ambiguous enough to encourage people to try it, and that it would be worth at least having a court case over, at which point some doctor would already have lost.

      While I personally don’t care how other people go about their sexual lives, considering it to be none of my business, wanting people to stop rutting like pigs is entirely unrealistic. Fuckers gonna fuck, and people are fuckers. AND the more uneducated they are, the more likely it is to result in an unwanted (and unsustainable) pregnancy.

      As for dogs and cats, I am responsible for my own, and they are reproductively defunct, as am I. I’m not certain what your point is here though, since the state doesn’t gas unadopted humans. It’s also much less trouble to get a puppy or kitten adopted, since the whole affair is over in a fraction of the time, no people had to be stigmatized by the pregnancy, and at the end you only need to put a free ad in the classifieds.

      You seem to be a little prickly about all this, which I get. However, on this subject I totally get the other side’s reasoning. It makes sense, I simply don’t agree with it.

      • well, probably best taken in 2 bites.

        First section, I did say I was nit picking, but wording says such and such, which means “this” but even that would be “but being allowed to kill the doctor of some women they impregnated because they do not like her decision? No, that is too far.”

        Then I have a comment about my personal views with an appeal not to flame me for them, a palate cleanser if you will,

        Then the second bite, which quoted your opinion, and basically agreed with it. I would like to see “A” but alas, it is not happening… with a quick point that we have many people working hard to promote reducing the pet population and many more working on finding homes for those who are unwanted, but if you try to suggest that people should try to reduce the numbers of unwanted babies by anything other than killing them, a lot of people blow a gasket.

        I feel strongly about this, but I do not think I am prickly about it. I would like the world to be a better place and I would like to eliminate the need for abortions. I would also like a time machine and a unicorn ranch.

        I am aware that many people get very angry when you suggest that abortion is murder though. If you believe it is, It is hard to then accept that the happiness of someone is more important. The only point you made I disagreed with.

        By that logic, if canibalism makes me happy, it should be allowed? no? Only if I kill someone but do not eat them them?

        but yeah, I am not a professional writer, but thanks for the venue to discuss here. I always expect to be flamed here when I say what I believe and you have a good bunch of commenters.

        • Well apparently no one is interested in flaming you. And I appreciate that. (So relax, you’re among friends.)

          I think I maybe don’t understand your point in what you refer to as the “first section.” The problem (as far as I know) has never been fathers protecting their children, but religious nutcases who think that abortion is immoral, but doctor-killing is noble. I understand that your read of the bill delineates an aggrieved party, either a mother or a father, but that is not where the threat comes from, and not what the concern was about.

          On the “second section,” I agree that it’d be great if there were never a need for another abortion ever and teen mothers could give all their kids to anti-abortion activists who would happily raise hundreds of fat babies, but that is no more realistic that getting kids not to screw, or you retiring to your unicorn ranch. The most effective tool we have against abortion is education and free birth control.

          Any kind of killing folks is murder, regardless of the reason. (And sidestepping definitional arguments about whether fetuses, zygotes, or blastocysts actually represent “folks.”) But there have always been reasons we as a society have found to be acceptable to do it. My opinion is that abortion is one of these. Equating that to condoning cannibalism is torturing the logic however and is a silly argument. (Also kind of insulting and provocative… probably not where you really want to go if you’re trying to avoid being flamed.) It’s the same as me saying that by the logic of anti-abortionists, masturbation should be considered murder and result in life imprisonment.

          Anyway… I’m glad you’re here, and I’m equally glad you felt free to comment, especially when you knew many people would disagree with you. Ideas are like water, even when they are fresh and healthy, if they sit stagnant too long they become corrupted and poisonous. They’re best when they flow.

          • But masturbation IS murder of one’s seed according to the bible, and thus the logic of religious anti-abortionists. Heck, God him/her/itself killed the guy(Onan?) who was taming his dragon instead of impregnating his brother’s childless widow(like any good brother should do, it’s in the bible), or something like that.

  4. Great…a massively polarizing political subject…cause we KNOW we never have any problem with those kinds of things.

    Face it, some people consider an unborn child to be a human being with civil rights from the moment of conception. There is plenty of precedent for people being convicted of murder for causing a woman’s unborn child to die by, say, punching her in the stomach.

    The position that an infant isn’t “human” until it pops out (The justification for the “Partial Birth” abortion, where they induce labor, wait til the baby’s head is almost out, drill a hole in it’s skull and suck it’s brains out) is just as stupid as the position that you shouldn’t wear a condom or use birth control pills because it’s “unnatural”

    To those to whom an unborn infant is a human being, Abortion is the same as chopping a baby into sushi just after it’s born. This is the source of the idiots who think it’s OK to murder abortion doctors. There are loonies on BOTH sides of this thing.

      • Sorry, gonna have to disagree with you there.
        I think that if they can’t live without life support medical devices (like respirators, heart electro-stimulation devices) they’re not a viable, valid human. This is my opinion that I have arrived at after considering people stuck on indefinite life support, and my main question about it is with regard to individuals with long-term, out-patient medical devices like pacemakers and dialysis machines.
        Following this notion, a pregnancy isn’t a person until it’s almost done, and I think this is about right for pregnancies; the assault notions are assault causing bodily harm and premeditated assault with deadly force is a serious enough crime all by itself I’d say.
        I think this view being implemented as the legal standard would go a long way towards solving a lot of problems, although it may need revision for dealing with individuals that are expected to make full recoveries and possibly for allowing people with pacemakers to be considered citizens again.

    • I don’t know about baby sushi…I think baby meat is better cooked. I mean, they’ve got such a delicate skin and all this yummy sub-dermal fat, I bet it’d be really tasty cooked just the right way. Mmm…Crackling baby skin.
      Oh, sorry, we’re only allowed to kill and eat other species’ tasty babies for some reason.

  5. *sigh*
    First of all, abortion normally does not happen to a fetus. It happens to an embryo. Big difference. Anyone interested in details look up embryogenesis, the development of human embryos. During the first eight weeks, the fertilized egg (called a cygote) develops into a ball of cells (a blastocyst) and then the cells start differentiating into different kinds of tissues, which fold into certain shapes such as the neural groove. Genes are activates or deactivated according to a program the cell runs. The embryo starts to take shape, but in that stadium you would be hard-pressed to tell a human, fish or chicken embryo apart. At five weeks, the embryo has lost its tail, shows the buds of what will become the limbs, it has a rudimentary heart sack, an eye spot (not a functioning eye yet), no brain or functioning nervous system, and has developed structures like the mandibular arches and somites, differentiated tissues from which later things like the jaw and ear bones, the vertebrae and skeletal muscular will develop.

    From the 61th day after conception, from the end of the eighth week, it’s no longer called embryogenesis but fetogenesis. But you still do not have what we’d call a human. During the third months of pregnancy the fetus’ eyes and ears start to wander into their later position, it starts to grow rapidly. From the end of the 12th week, it has visible genitals. Durign the 4th and 5th months of pregnancy, it’s still covered in fur. The heart starts beating. The lungs do not become functional until after the 28th week, the 7th months of pregnancy, which is the earliest that a child born prematurely has a chance to survive a preterm birth without massive damage to its organs. Prior to that, it’S simply not able to survive outside the mother’s womb, period.

    That is the reason why (in countries where abortion is legal) abortion usually only happens during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, while later-term abortions are only legal for acute medical reasons to save the life of the mother (at least in Germany).

    I simply do not consider an embryo or even early stage fetus a “whole, separate, unique, living human being”. Because it isn’t. The blastocyst that settles into the uterus tissue of the mother functions basically like a parasite. The placenta that develops to protect and feed it is made up of cells of the mother and the embryo, in fact, the embryonal cells in the placenta grow into the mother’s tissue like a cancer, and the placenta manipulates the mother’s body with hormones and manipulates the mother’s immuno system so that it will not reject the placenta and the unborn, despite the fact that the unborn is a different organism with a different genetic make-up.

    (Before this leads me into talking about the fascinating field of chimerism in humans, non-identical fraternal twin zygotes fusing into one functioning embryo, and the fact that in some cases cells from the embryo have emigratedinto the mother’s body and later when she was pregnant again into the younger sibling, which might lead to autoimmuno diseases, I’ll shut up here.)

    • Or the short reply: No, the embryo cannot suffer pain from an abortion. You need a functioning nervous system for that.

      On the other hand, these anti-abortionists would probably have no problem with humans hacking living octopuses into pieces and eating them while they’re still alive. Which *I* find abhorrent, given that an octopus is able to feel pain and react to it and is pretty intelligent for an animal.

    • You’re missing the point though, since the embryo has a unique, precious soul since conception, nay, even before that, as a sperm cell. That’s why God doesn’t want you(well, males, at least…females just mustn’t have any fun in general) to masturbate.
      Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got a little infanticidal genocide to perform on myself. 😉

      Does that count as auto-antisemitism?

      • Edit: Thinking this over leads me to think that no, it doesn’t count as such, since technically Judaism(according to, well, Judaism itself) is passed on through the mother, so my sperm isn’t Jewish in itself.
        Thank the gods, I was afraid for a second there was a tiny Woody Ellen in my testicles.

    • In spite of those off the wall high school videos I wouldn’t call sending signals to the mother’s body to ask for help parasitism. Parasites are usually a bit more forceful and their attempts to trick the body are overcome in healthy individuals or at least battled against in others. Limiting it to the first 12 weeks still makes some sense though.

      • It’s still essential a foreign organism that sucks resources from its host and gives nothing in return(and hey, even after the kid’s out of the womb it’s still the same! 😉 ), so while being all “natural” and normal it still behaves as such in that basic way.

  6. Hmm, Norway seem to have the same abortion law as Germany.
    Here is the short version;

    Up until the 12th week the mother gets to decide on her own.

    From the 12 to the 18 weeks the mother will have to put the matter before a commitee who will most likely allow for an abortion if;

    1. The mothers physical or mental health deteriorates.
    2. The mother has a “difficult lifesituation”.
    – Usually means that the mother uses drugs, is homeless or is flat out broke.
    3. The child has an incurable disease.
    -An f.i; 8 out of 10 couples took abortion when told that their child would have the downs syndrom.
    4. The pregnancy is due to incest or rape.
    5. The mother is mentally ill or retarded.

    The commitee is still to take the mothers own wishes under strong consideration.

    If the pregnancy has lasted so long that the child MAY survive outside the mothers body (Norwegian law sets this around the 22th/23th week of the pregnancy) abortion is not allowed. Just the possibility that a child may survive is enough.

    The one exception; if the mothers life is in danger due to the pregnancy, abortion will be allowed no matter how long the pregnancy has lasted.

    The thing i notice is that the father usually has absolutely no say in this….

  7. BREAKING NEWS: GRRM has announced a new, final(hopefully) publication date for A Dance With Dragons!
    July 12, 2011.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got sleepy neighbors to awaken with my cries of joy. *Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!* :mrgreen: 😀 :mrgreen: 😀

    Life has a purpose again!!! :mrgreen:

  8. It’s my understanding that lawyers are fetuses (?) and we should be able to abort them in most U.S states. After counseling and 24 hrs of course.

      • And just how many times did the CIA try to kill Fidel Castro?
        Just sayin’ that if I interpret “retroactive abortion” to mean killing someone that has been born that means we’re all in trouble. And we’ll stay in trouble as long as the CIA exists, and any army, and any enforceable death-penalty.

        Have I just discovered the way to shut down all the world’s conflicts–the world anti-murder movement? Nah, it couldn’t be that easy.

        • Right-winger: It’s not murder, it’s an Execution!
          Left-Winger: It’s not Infanticide, it’s an Abortion!
          Me: I’m not Insane…I’m Eccentric…and poor…(That’s what I get for graduating with a BS in Computer Science right when the dot-bomb fiasco hit, thus ensuring I’d never be able to get a good programming job…hard to compete with guys with 20+ years of experience in the industry who’ve just been laid off, donchaknow?)

      • Gee, I go away for a few days and I almost miss out on all this intense discussion on cells, life, and rights.

        I don’t know what the big deal is, I’m all for 4th trimester abortions and saw a few candidates for one at Disneyland.