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The Forum > Article Comments > Abortion, rights and the meaning of personhood > Comments

Abortion, rights and the meaning of personhood : Comments

By Jocelynne Scutt, published 29/8/2012

An apparent majority of Republicans in office, seeking office or in the GOP agree on one essential: unlimited protection must be extended to a human ovum fertilised by human sperm.

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Thank you for articulating the US legal and constitutional context of what to me has been the inexplicable: why this issue, with its inherent contradictions, is even on the US political radar.

Your seventh-last paragraph encapsulates the contradiction concisely:

"Yet Akin, Ryan and their colleagues say
the embryo-in-uterus any human embryo
must have constitutional protection for
full equality. At least, that is how the
amendment projected by the 'Sanctity of
Life Act' is worded. Thus female human
life may be protected equally to male human
life until the embryo, now developed into a
fully formed fetus, is expelled from the womb.
Immediately upon birth, the boy baby has full
14th Amendment protection. The girl baby does not,
and without the ERA [Equal Rights Amendment],
lacks full equality."

The spread of GOP spokesmen and (few) women I see promoting this requirement for constitutional protection can only be, to my mind, evidence of 'groupthink'. So I ask myself, what can most promote subordination of a politician or political candidate to groupthink? The most compelling, if not at first most obvious in a society within which there has been so little historical support for such a view, is that it will have to do with perceptions as to the likelihood of electoral success.

Time, perhaps, to consider whether some of the intimations of electoral manipulation experienced here in Australia that might appear to have a US-oriented origin might also be manifesting themselves within the US electoral process in conflict with historic US, and particularly GOP US, values and outlook. And have an origin external to the polities of both nations as they have been historically understood.
Posted by Forrest Gumpp, Wednesday, 29 August 2012 10:40:43 AM
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There are a number of Medical reasons to permit legalised abortion.
A licensed medical practitioner presents convincing clinical evidence, that going full term would threaten the life or sanity of the Mother; or where the foetus was the product of rape or incest!?
Rape being defined as non-consential sex, even where there was no violence, just alcohol or date rape drugs excreta etc.
The morning after pill ought not be confused with abortion; given, it simply prevents ovulation, for the entire period any of the sperm remains fertile!
Nobody, but particularly the very young and innocent/unsophisticated, ought not be asked to pay a lifetime sentence of regret and lost opportunities; for unintentionally losing their inhibitions, under the influence of unaccustomed alcohol or conventional, nowadays socially acceptable, party drugs?
There are numerous places where the MORNING AFTER PILL can be bought over the counter, without the enforced embarrassment of having to get a prescription, which may well allow enough passage of time, for the clearly unintended unplanned fertilisation to proceed.
However, given consential sex and fertilisation, abortion ought not be confused with "RESPONSIBLE" family planning or prevention; given condoms, which nowadays can be purchased in almost any super market; and the pill; or, MORNING AFTER PILL.
Simple reversible procedures, like a vasectomy or tubal ligation, would prevent some of this.
These foregoing multiple choices, makes almost any argument, or the case for patently abhorrent, [stilling of a human heart,] abortion on demand, very limited or virtually confined to the simple-minded or intellectually disabled?
That said, any attempt to legislate against abortion, will once again drive it underground, where even worse tragedies, would almost certainly ensue.
Laws have to be enforceable to be actually effective; and arguably the very reason, we are losing the war on drugs or the importation or use of illegal firearms?
At the end of the day, we need to educate not legislate!
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Wednesday, 29 August 2012 10:48:36 AM
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The notion that a four cell blastocyst has the same "personhood" rights as a fully developed human is too ludicrous for words. Next they'll be giving them the vote.

Humans ought not acquire "rights" until they are humans. And women are not incubators
Posted by DavidL, Wednesday, 29 August 2012 11:17:44 AM
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*Simple reversible procedures, like a vasectomy or tubal ligation, would prevent some of this.*

Well there is the rub, Rhrosty. Try and have these procedures
performed in any Australian hospital which happens to be run by the
Catholics and you will be rejected. So its clearly not just about
abortion, which they have a problem with.

As it happens, Ryan, the VP contender is also a Catholic. Romney
flip flops on the issue, depending where the votes are. Let's hope
that enough women stand up for their rights and vote against the
Republicans to sink Romney/Ryan in November. If this is the issue
that is a vote changer for Obama, I'll be thrilled.

America is the most religious country in the Western world. When
Europeans settled America, they got the religious nuts, Australia
got the convicts. The difference still shows. Lucky us
Posted by Yabby, Wednesday, 29 August 2012 12:58:07 PM
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Sorry, Yabby, I can't accept that...

"America is the most religious country in the Western world."

I think even runner would disagree.

The United States is, though, the most sanctimonious.
Posted by WmTrevor, Wednesday, 29 August 2012 2:57:19 PM
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The Republicans seem to be followers of Confucious. He say "No such thing as rape, woman with dress up run faster than man with pants down."
Posted by VK3AUU, Wednesday, 29 August 2012 3:09:45 PM
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