Just more of the obvious

I was just wondering if Mr. Roeten [“Your Vote Should Be Obvious,” Letters, June 25] has adopted an AIDS baby or a crack baby or even a baby with a birth defect? Or maybe he’s offered up his home as a place of support to an unwed mother during her pregnancy? Because if he hasn’t, I don’t think he has the right to tell a woman what she should or should not do with her body.

The religious right convinced people to vote for Bush because he was against abortion and would work to overturn Roe v. Wade. But those same people don’t seem to have a problem with his starting a war with a country that didn’t attack us, killing over 4,000 of our men and women along with hundreds of thousands of men, women and children including babies in Iraq.

If we taught real birth control in our schools instead of abstinence only (which doesn’t work), maybe we wouldn’t have so many abortions. If, instead of spending money on a war that benefits the oil companies, we spent money on programs that would help unwed mothers raise their children—maybe they would choose to have them instead of aborting them. You won’t get those programs if you vote in a Republican president, but you will get more deaths in Iraq.

Rich people will always be able to get a safe abortion. They were getting them before it was legal. It’s generally the poor folks that end up dying in dirty backrooms from an abortion gone bad.

Economically speaking, the lower and middle class fare much better under a Democratic president, and when people are doing better economically they have extra money and can give to organizations that can help an unwed mother do the right thing.

As far as the voters who showed up in record numbers to put Obama on the ticket: Yes, your vote should be obvious, so please go to the polls again in November so that we can overwhelmingly show the country that Obama is the man for the job and is the only man that will bring some long overdue change.

— Sharon Dagiel
Weaverville

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37 thoughts on “Just more of the obvious

  1. travelah

    I was just wondering if Mr. Roeten [“Your Vote Should Be Obvious,” Letters, June 25] has adopted an AIDS baby or a crack baby or even a baby with a birth defect? Or maybe he’s offered up his home as a place of support to an unwed mother during her pregnancy? Because if he hasn’t, I don’t think he has the right to tell a woman what she should or should not do with her body.

    How many of these things have you done? If you have done none of them yourself, you are not in a position to criticize without engaging in your own hypocrisy. I would think that anybody who respects innocent life has the right to object to what somebody does to somebody else’s body and life.

    As far as the voters who showed up in record numbers to put Obama on the ticket: Yes, your vote should be obvious, so please go to the polls again in November so that we can overwhelmingly show the country that Obama is the man for the job and is the only man that will bring some long overdue change.

    I here a lot about change from something (it being a constant mantra) but there is little discussion of what we are supposed to change to. What specific changes am I going to benefit from an Obama Presidency?

  2. Dionysis

    Sharon,

    Don’t pay any attention to the incessant baiting of a discredited neo con. Rest assured that this character has never offered to adopt a child to prevent abortion; only vilify others who support a woman’s right (which the vast majority of people in this country do). That’s one reason why many independents and moderate Republican women are gravitating to Obama, and that will be a gusher once it’s understood that McSame has vowed to put more knuckle-draggers on the Supreme Court.

    As far as the always self-absorbed whine about ‘what’s in it for me’, here’s the deal: purging the incompetent extremists from power is likely to result in policies that will not benefit the neo cons; that is the whole idea.

    Ignore the blather. It’s just a manifestation of an uncomfortable reality setting in: they have nothing to offer. The only thing you will get from this dwindling bunch of discredited extremists will be some variation of the following:

    1. Diversion
    2. Smears
    3. Fear-mongering.

    Pay attention to what is offered. While there may be long, meandering, 1,000 plus word diatribes offered ad nauseum, when you sift through the BS it will boil down to character assassination, pitching fear and flinging smears. That’s it.

    Ignore the trolls. They only live to inflame, and don’t deserve the attention (watch for a full-court press now to divert, with the expected invective).

  3. travelah

    Dionysis, to boil your post down to two words, you are teling Sharon “Don’t think!”.

  4. Dionysis

    “Dionysis, to boil your post down to two words, you are teling Sharon “Don’t think!”.”

    Not at all. In fact, the content of the letter shows that the writer is thinking quite clearly.

  5. lumina

    miss dagiel, by your logic you have no right to complain about the deaths in the war until and unless you have adopted a war orphan into your home or given shelter to a veteran … ?

    don’t you see that abortion IS the rich’s answer to the problem of unwanted pregnancies? the disposability of babies precludes actually having to produce social infrastructure to provide more humane alternatives to both unborn babies and their tormented mothers and fathers.

    if you point the finger at the right for being hypocritical in cherishing one life while seeing another as disposable, you are guilty of the same hypocrisy if you defend the lives of the born but see the unborn as disposable blobs of tissue. any argument you can apply to the war-loving right can be applied to the pro-choice left.

    to say that the abortion issue is a matter of mixing politics and religion is ridiculous when you look at the laws against murder (thou shalt not kill), against theft (thou shalt not steal), etc.

    we are living in a barbaric society that sees the defenseless as less worthy but slowly and surely, there are numbers of persons organizing and gaining power who would find all human life sacred and worthy of our collective reverance and protection.

  6. bobaloo

    So many things to talk about in this letter, but I’ll start with this one:

    If we taught real birth control in our schools instead of abstinence only (which doesn’t work), maybe we wouldn’t have so many abortions.

    Maybe if parents took it upon themselves to be responsible and educate their children in these matters we this wouldn’t be a problem, either.

    I’m always taken aback when folks primarily blame sex ed. in schools for our nations teen birth and abortion issues.

  7. david

    “don’t you see that abortion IS the rich’s answer to the problem of unwanted pregnancies? the disposability of babies precludes actually having to produce social infrastructure to provide more humane alternatives to both unborn babies and their tormented mothers and fathers.”

    Lumina-

    Dont you see that pro-choice is just that. Allowing the option to exist, without government control. Pro-life, on the other hand, is not accurately titled. It has very little concern for ‘life’, but merely supports the belief that the government should be used to enforce their personal opinion on others. Personally, I think abortions are not a good thing, but I also think that making them illegal is even worse. As a man, I think the choice is much more in the women’s department than the man’s. I would rather see the individual’s right to make their own decisions upheld, than see the government (especially the fed) be given more authority over our personal choices.

    In addition, the rich will always be able to have abortions. They have always had access. It is the poor, who dont have the access the rich do, who are hurt by the co-called pro-life movement.

    Although it is merely anecdotal, it seems relevnat to say I have a friend who runs a fairly large adoption agency in the upstate, is a high up member of the republican party in Spartanburg County, who is a very vocal supporter of abortion rights. She claims that, despite her strict christian background and political affiliations, she understands the reality of thousands of unwanted children cared for by the state, because someone just didnt want them or couldnt care for them. There are far more children out there who need to be adopted than could ever be.

    Against abortion? Fine. Then dont have one. But dont expect the government to force everyone else to share your opinion. Pro-choice does not imply forced abortions, by government mandate.

    boboloo-“I’m always taken aback when folks primarily blame sex ed. in schools for our nations teen birth and abortion issues.”

    Yes. You make a great point. But, to spread the blame evenly, I will say that sex-ed in school was ridiculously misinforming and useless. But, then again, mom and dad’s silence wasnt real helpful either. I think the book ‘conscious conception’ was the first real reproductive info. i encountered.

  8. lumina

    david, thanks for your thoughtful reply but please: saying “against abortion? don’t have one” is akin to saying “against bank robbery? don’t rob a bank! but leave me my right to decide for myself!” that makes no sense!!! for those who are pro-lifers such as myself, it’s no more a “personal” right than to choose to beat your children or steal a car. we wouldn’t just sit by and watch a crime being committed silently simply because we’re not the victims of it. that would be crazy! collective morality is the basis of our laws and is a way of keeping our individual rationalizations in check for the protection of all.

    a point was made prior that birth control is inaccessible and unaffordable, which is untrue. local health departments give out free condoms, no questions asked, and i used birth control pills for free through the health dept. for years during my 20s when i couldn’t afford a private ob-gyn. this is not a matter of education or availability, it’s a matter of personal responsibility.

    you can’t fairly compare the numbers of grown children taken into foster care and available for adoption to the availability of adoptive parents for newborn babies. if we had an infrastructure that allowed these parents to connect more fairly and easily with pregnant mothers, we could solve two social problems at once.

    to say that “pro-life” has very little to do with life is also illogical—it has ONLY to do with life with no consideration for the negotiable alternatives, which we have the power to address if only we can mutually establish the sanctity of life and the right of each of us to be realize it.

    just because the rich can afford to commit a crime doesn’t justify making it affordable for the poor as well. the only right thing is for us to protect the unborn of all, rich and poor, and to provide humane alternatives to the death penalty for children whose only “crime” was being conceived in the first place.

  9. david

    Lumina_

    You make good points. I don’t doubt your sincerity. But, I am concerned when the “Pro-Life” movement wants to use the Federal Government to make others act like they see fit.

    the reality is, if abortion is made illegal, then people will continue to have them in unsafe conditions. Personally, I think abortion is a crappy thing. But I feel even more strongly that dictating morality through the federal government is even worse. Hence, my assertion that the ‘pro-life’ moniker is misleading. I see them as being “pro-Governtment dictating morality”

    Conversely, I think the concept of “Pro-Choice” is aptly titled, at least for me, because I do not see myself as “Pro-Abortion”, I merely think that people should have the “choice”. I am, reluctantly, given the reailities of our Political Infrastructre, “Pro-Choice”.

    But, this is a debate that will become circular, infinitely. We both know that.

    You do make a good point about how difficult the adoption process is. But, do you think it should really be easier for people to adopt a child? As archaic as the process is, it is set up to make sure that not just any wingnut without enough resources can adopt a child. Again, maybe we should take the fed and state out of the equation, and allow communities to decide on their own adoption policies.

  10. lumina

    david, although we live in a “free” society, our government dictates to us for good reason—we have laws that “dictate morality” that apply to everything from getting a license to fish to employee protection & workplace safety to the more serious laws against murder, rape, theft, etc. if an anti-abortion law “dictates morality,” what of these laws that also align with religious ideals and protect the interests of the masses? it’s only logical that we have laws that, as i stated in another post, keep the individual rationalizations of our population in check. without laws, what would our society become?

    the adoptive process is not broken because it screens parents carefully, it’s broken because it excludes those who are poor but would otherwise make excellent parents. we have the means as a society to streamline the process for the sake of children awaiting adoption as well make the process more affordable. right now, folks have to either endure a very costly and often unfairly complicated process or be rich enough to bypass it with private adoption. i don’t know the statistics off-hand but empirically speaking, i know many suitable couples who simply don’t have the resources to adopt but would make fabulous parents.

    i work in the field of child welfare and can tell you that in some places, there are more foster and adoptive homes than there are children. however, the lack of coordination between agencies and government bureaus bottlenecks the processes that would make suitable and timely matches.

    pro-choicers often argue that if outlawed, abortion would continue in unsafe conditions. that’s no logical rationale—to say that we will keep something immoral legal just so that we can regulate it is not only illogical, but an immoral justification of behavior.

    yes, the debate is circular … for every argument that can be made to keep abortion legal, analogies can be drawn that show the illogic. the true debate boils down to whether a baby is a baby from the time of conception, or if that privilege begins when the mother decides it worthy of her love and respect. we have found as a society that babies can and do survive independent of the originating mother’s womb when given proper care and a hospitable environment. a baby from lady X can and does survive in the womb of lady Y and is therefore an independent being of its mother. a baby is dependent on human care right up through the first years of its postnatal life, so that dependency cannot logically be used as a criteria.

    having been pregnant and given birth myself, i can tell you unequivocally that my baby was a baby from the moment i conceived, a miracle of which i was immediately aware and conscious from the night it happened. as i carried my child, i had no doubt in my mind that she was a person from that instant. she is today, a living and breathing person who had no other transformative moments after that moment of conception that made her more worthy or more deserving of my love and my respect for her right to exist.

    for those who struggle with this issue, know that there are “democrats for life” who likewise feel the need to distinguish themselves from their party line without going the extreme of crossing to the conservative view that would support other forms of death penalty in the form of war and capital punishment.

    we are evolving as a society, just not quickly enough!

    thanks for your respectful tone …

  11. William P Miller

    Typical of the pro-baby killing crowd to bring up unusual examples to blunt the argument that the lion’s share of abortions kill healthy unborn babies in their wombs. It is always the right thing to do to have the baby. If it is too inconvenient for the mother’s “career” to raise it, but it up for adoption. Simple. The most vulnerable amongst us deserve to be protected.

  12. William P Miller

    david, are you concerned that the governemnt uses it’s power to prevent the killing of adults by other adults? One of the primary functions of governemnt is to protect the citizenry from violence of others. It follows then that the government has an expecially urgent mission to stop the killing of innocent unborn babies.

  13. The Real Deal

    The real issue on abortion – that no one likes to discuss because it actually forces people to explore their position – is when does life begin. I took bioethics at UNC and to debate this topic properly, you must answer that question. Pick a point in time and stand by it the best you can.

    Sharon, when you do think life begins? A life is a life right? From your letter, birth must be your pivotal moment. Unfortunately, the ‘my body’ and ‘birth’ arguments last about 10 minutes of the first day of Bioethics class. They are the easiest to shoot down and present the most moral dilemmas. And I’m not equating morality to religion. I’m saying moral as in a consistent belief system.

    The bad news for everybody .. unfortunately you can’t discuss this down to an unimpeachable position. Any position you take has problems. Some just more than others.

    Welcome to the real world.

  14. lumina

    you’re absolutely right, Real Deal, it all boils down to that determination. and in a logical debate, that is the only point that matters.

    with recent reproductive technology advancements, it’s harder and harder to deny that a baby does not need its own mother to thrive, and therefore harder and harder to hoodwink the masses into believing it a body part. true—a heart or kidney can survive in another body too, but it never grows and asserts its independence as a human like a baby does. there is simply no logical way to deny the SCIENCE (which so many pro-choicers will invoke) of life.

    i daresay that the position that life starts at conception is the ONLY unimpeachable position. there may be “problems” but there certainly are no holes in its pure logic.

    the real world is complicated for sure, but still worth saving …

  15. david

    well stated, lumina and real deal. Thanks for addressing the issue at hand with intelligence, articulation and relevance, without being like some kind of characature who lurks these halls.

    Again, though, I feel the need to say that keeping abortions safe and legal is no the same thing as requiring people to get them. It merely allows for the option if and when it is appropriate.

  16. Mrs. Margaret C. Primton

    Dear David,

    At last a leader has emerged that can lead us back to the land of courteous discourse. I have been appalled at the direction things had taken on this opinion board. Hopefully those rude people will find an excellent example in you. I have been afraid to post my humble opinion for fear of being cruelly ridiculed. Perhaps in the future I will gather the courage to voice my feeling on the important topics of the day.

    Sincerely,
    Mrs. Margaret C. Primton

  17. Mohhaj

    I wonder at the concern for the unborn, when they are counting the many thousands of dead Iraqi children killed by the careless actions of the U.S. armed forces. Please explain this discrepancy.

  18. lumina

    Mohhaj, did you read the whole thread? the point was made already that to protect one and deny the other is illogical and inconsistent (and works both ways).

    where’s the discrepancy? are you in support of the right to life of the unborn as well as the iraqi children? if not, please explain THAT discrepancy …

  19. entopticon

    Sorry, but a serious dose of reality really is needed here. A functioning brain that starts to remotely resemble a human mind doesn’t even start until at least 6 months into the pregnancy, so it is a complete non-issue.

    Potential to be a person is not the same as being a person. We do not have a funeral every time a guy ejaculates.

    Living human tissue is not the same thing as being a person. We do not have a funeral every time someone gets a haircut.

    The mind of a salamander is vastly more complex and vastly closer to a human mind than that of an aborted fetus. In fact, what the fetus has during even a late second trimester abortion is essentially a very undeveloped reptilian brain. They do not even have a developed neocortex at that point, so their brain is nothing like a human mind.

    If you are against abortion, there is absolutely no scientific argument that supports you. If you feel that a pieve of flesh that doesn’t even have a mind capable of human thought is a person, that is a spiritual belief, not a scientific one. You are welcome to your spiritual beliefs, but it is not your right to push them on the rest of us.

    The unassailable fact of the matter is, from a scientific standpoint, the mind of a fetus is akin to a salamander with severe brain damage. That’s not an exaggeration, it’s a fact.

    If you don’t have a funeral every time a bug hits your windshield, there is no rational reason to call abortion murder, because even a fly has a vastly more developed mind than a fetus at the point of abortion. Once again, that is not an exaggeration. The nervous system and mental capacity of the fly is in fact far more developed.

    Sorry, but those are the facts of the matter.

  20. lumina

    i love this new catchphrase “potential to become a person is not a person” … is that on the talking points webpage?

    please cite your sources, dr. science! i’d love to know where you got the “facts” you assert.

    are you saying that severely mentally retarded person with the “brain of a salamander” is not a person? just a hunk of tissue?

    and where are the charts and graphs that support the idea that ejaculate is akin to a fertilized egg? doesn’t sound very scientific to me, but … hey … if one can’t tell the difference between a wad of spooge and a fetus, s/he probably should return to medical school … ;)

  21. entopticon

    Lumina, I’m sorry, but it is no secret that a fetus doesn’t have a developed cerebral cortex until well after 6 months. I am not going to wade through the literature to find you citations because the fact that the frontal lobe hasn’t developed up to that point is a well established and non-controversial scientific fact.

    I may not be the world’s foremost expert on the subject, but I have been published in neuroscience journals, so I am not just talking nonsense here. Look into it for yourself. You will quickly understand that to call a fetus without a human mind a person is seriously misguided.

    To answer your question, a person without a cerebral cortex is not retarded, not even close, they are a vegetable without hope of recovery. In the case of a fetus, they only have what is called the reptilian brain (because we share those brain areas with reptiles) and even that does not yet function as a working brain.

    Yes, I most certainly do believe that such a being, would be a hunk of tissue, not a thinking human. Such a being would be capable of a slight nerve responses, but nothing even remotely close to anything such as thought. Not even compared to species as low as an insect. That is not an exaggeration, it is the plain, inarguable truth.

    Whereas a salamander can at least have salamander thoughts, a fetus’s brain is not even developed enough to perform anything that would remotely qualify as thought. As I said, it wouldn’t be fair to a healthy salamander to compare it to a fetus. A fetus would much more aptly be compared to salamander with extreme brain damage in a completely vegetative state.

    This is an incontrovertible fact, and there is no reasonable argument against it. You should not be upset by it, you should be very happy about it if you really were worried about human beings being killed. It is a scientific fact that the brain of a mosquito is far, far more developed than that of a fetus at the point of an abortion within the first two trimesters.

    Just as sperm isn’t human, but has potential to become human, a fertilized egg isn’t human, but has the potential to become human. Both are dependent on many factors to get there. Luckily, there is no shortage of humans.

    As for your comments about doctors returning to medical school, it is an incontrovertible fact that there is an overwhelming pro-choice preference in correlation to higher educational levels, and that includes doctors. That is not a coincidence.

    Again, you really should be relieved to find that the truth is that a fetus has the mind of a severely brain-damaged, vegetative salamander.

    I did find one pretty good article that you may find helpful in clearing up some of your misconceptions. It discusses both the science, and the irrelevance of religion on the issue:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-op-wills4nov04,0,7799993.story?coll=la-opinion-center

    I implore you to listen to the science. If you do, you will definitely come to realize that a being without a developed cerebral cortex is not a thinking human, and that should offer you a great deal of relief. If I mistakenly thought people were killing babies with actual human minds, I would be as upset about it as you are, if not more so, but the fact is that that is absolutely not the case. Not even anywhere close.

  22. travelah

    lumina, it is encouraging to read your posts in support of the lives of the unborn. Contrary to the misinformation in the previous post, the limit of viability for a premature birth is as low as 21 weeks. That is a child capable of surviving outside the womb, with a lot of medical help. Knowing that, a preterm baby is not in any manner likened to a severely brain-damaged, vegetative salamander

  23. entopticon

    Sorry travelah, but the facts of my post are absolutely unassailable. When is it that you think women are having abortions? If you had read the article that I posted above, you would see that it is no coincidence that women stop having abortions after the second trimester.

    There is no kind of, sort of with the cerebral cortex. Either it is functioning, or it is not. It is an unassailable fact that a normal fetus does not have a functioning cerebral cortex in the first two trimesters.

    I’m sorry, but if you thing a being would have human like thoughts without a cerebral cortex you are radically misinformed. It’s sad to me that so many people want to twist the facts to fit their quasi-religious beliefs. You should be absolutely relieved to have learned that it is an inarguable fact that a fetus’s brain at the time of an abortion is no more developed than a severely damaged, vegetative salamander.

  24. travelah

    entop, you are not very knowledgeable in this area. The cerebral cortex is nearly smooth and immature at birth. In YOUR mind a baby in the womb is the equivalent of a salamander. Let’s keep such obscene thoughts limited to your mind.

  25. entopticon

    travelah, you have got to be kidding me. How often do neuroscience journals and major neuroscientists have YOU referee their articles, write articles, and proofread their books for them before publication? I can’t possibly count how many times I have done that. That is not bragging, it is just a simple fact.

    I’m sorry, but this has nothing to do with my personal opinion. It is not just my opinion that a fetus does not have a developed higher brain, just an extremely undeveloped reptilian brain. It is an absolute, unassailable fact. Opinion has nothing to do with it.

    I do have quite a bit of expertise on cognitive function and the syntactical structure of thought, and I can assure you that beyond question, a fetus has nothing remotely resembling human thought during the first two trimesters.

    There is nothing obscene about the fact that a fetus without a developed frontal lobe has nothing remotely resembling thought constructs. What is obscene is the profoundly ignorant and radically unscientific arguments that religious extremists substitute for logic in face of the overwhelming, incontrovertible evidence that a fetus in the first two trimesters is absolutely incapable of anything even remotely resembling human thought.

    What I find the most disturbing is that so many people such as you clearly want fetuses to be sentient beings with human intelligence. Instead of being relieved by the fact that beyond any conceivable doubt, that is an absolute impossibility because they don’t even have the brain areas required for even the most rudimentary human cognizance, you are disappointed.

    It is very sad and disturbing that so many people from the religious right actually hope that fetuses are actually little people with sentient minds who are being murdered. It is also very sad that they choose to completely ignore the incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.

    I am not wrong about this. There is not even a rational argument to be made that the brain of a fetus that is aborted within the first two trimesters would be capable of anything even remotely resembling human thought. It absolutely, positively, beyond any imaginable doubt, most certainly is not.

  26. lumina

    “Lumina, I’m sorry, but it is no secret that a fetus doesn’t have a developed cerebral cortex until well after 6 months. I am not going to wade through the literature to find you citations because the fact that the frontal lobe hasn’t developed up to that point is a well established and non-controversial scientific fact.”

    so this translates as: “because i said so.” … ? if these “facts” are so ubiquitous and incontrovertible why can’t you be bothered to produce them?

    “I may not be the world’s foremost expert on the subject, but I have been published in neuroscience journals, so I am not just talking nonsense here.”

    again, you SAY this but you do not produce the reference or the material … ?

    “Look into it for yourself. You will quickly understand that to call a fetus without a human mind a person is seriously misguided.”

    how so? where did you get your definition of what makes a human a human? by what standard are you asserting this personal judgement of yours?

    and what is it that transforms the baby inside a womb from blob to human? there is no additional ingredient added to the mix between day X and day Y … at what threshold does the brain of a baby qualify as significant for you? if you want to be scientific, for gosh sakes, get with the science! do you think it “scientific” (in generally accepted forms of research) to compare a salamander to a human fetus? would that fly in your university lab? (certainly not in any lab i’ve ever been in!) so far all i’ve heard is your reassurances of confidence in your judgements and absolutely nothing tangible to make them compelling arguments within the framework of any scientific method of proof. does your article in the neuroscience journal likewise assert, “because i said so” … ?

  27. entopticon

    Lumina, it doesn’t translate to because I said so, it translates to the information is readily available so you should just look it up for yourself. There is absolutely nothing controversial about the fact that a fetus does not have a developed cerebral cortex in the first two trimesters and there is absolutely nothing controversial about the fact that a cerebral cortex is intrinsically necessary for human thought.

    For one thing, if the facts weren’t right, I seriously doubt the editors of the article that I lined to ever would have allowed it. Sure, the science editors of the newspaper can miss things, but we are talking about fundamental stuff here. The article cites the same fundamental neuroscience that I did.

    It is not some big secret, or even a matter of interpretation. Either you have a functioning cerebral cortex or you don’t. A fetus does not. Again, don’t trust my word for it, look it up for yourself. Why you are not happy to hear that is beyond explanation.

    If you choose not to believe that I know anything about neuroscience, that is your privilege. I am not going to put my name out on this forum, where members of at least one registered white supremacist hate group have already expressed a lot animosity towards me.

    Actually, there is nothing at all controversial about the fact that a fetus is still developing a reptilian brain stem. I am not going to walk you through an introduction to cognitive neuroscience course. Been there. Done that. It’s pretty tedious stuff and impossible to reduce to a blog post.

    Seriously, just look it up for yourself. The lower areas of the brain are called the reptilian brain because they are shared by reptiles. A reptile does not have a developed frontal lobe, and neither does a fetus. My analogy was not only fair, it was dead on accurate. You should be very happy about this.

    To give you a brief understanding of the syntactical structure of human thought, something which is not even conceivable without a cerebral cortex, here is a link to an article from the journal Cognitive Science, in which I was acknowledged. It discusses competing theories on the syntactical structure of human thought, all of which require a cerebral cortex:
    http://cogprints.org/5018/1/im-im-cp.htm

    Again, this should be a great day for you. The day you found out that fetuses aren’t being murdered any more than a bug that hits your windshield was murdered. Actually, considerably less because the brain of a house fly already has many more functioning synaptic connections in their brain. The fly may not have much awareness, but it has some. Certainly more than a fetus.

    Check the facts for yourself, and do it from legitimate scientific sources, not religious nonsense that pretends to be scientific. Once you find out the truth, you should be thrilled. Think about it, if I am right, it is great news. And you know what? I am definitely right here.

  28. travelah

    travelah, you have got to be kidding me. How often do neuroscience journals and major neuroscientists have YOU referee their articles, write articles, and proofread their books for them before publication? I can’t possibly count how many times I have done that. That is not bragging, it is just a simple fact.

    I chased down this fantastic claim of yours once already. You previously claimed to have been a published contributor in a professional journal and later switched that to having provided a review of a professional contribution. The publication in question had two review articles noted and I don’t think you are either of those two gentlemen. :) There is a big fish flopping around … but you can foolishly attribute that to some lunatic white racist conspiracy.

    Now, the fact that a premature baby can and has survived outside the womb at the age of 21 weeks pretty much destroys your opinion. Combine that with the fact that the Cerebral Cortex continues to be smooth and immature at birth pretty much removes your justification for regarding unborn babies as less than snot.

  29. david

    I’m still intrigued by the idea that the government has the right and power to tell women what to do with their own bodies.

  30. lumina

    E, i don’t know who you think you’re kidding (or who has fallen for this schtick in the past) but I work and study in academia and your trying to pass an EDITORIAL off as the citation of scientific proof would get you laughed out of any serious discussion of scientific research or discovery.

    your unwillingness to claim your own work as your own by attaching your name to it speaks for its credibility … and yours!

    pfffffft.

  31. i thought entopticon had already stormed out of here weeks ago, vowing to never grace us with his opinions again?

  32. lumina

    “I’m still intrigued by the idea that the government has the right and power to tell women what to do with their own bodies.”

    that would disturb me too, david. thankfully, we’re not talking about women’s bodies. just their responsibilities.

  33. travelah

    I’m still intrigued by the idea that the government has the right and power to tell women what to do with their own bodies.

    There are two points to be made regarding that statement. One, the issue from the right to life perspective is that it is a matter of determining what somebody can do to somebody else’s body. Secondly, many of us who oppose Roe v. Wade as a bad Court decision are not necessarily in favor of a Constitutional amendment to ban abortions. Prior to that decision, 17 States allowed abortions for reasons other than the life of the mother. That was a growing movement emphasizing the right of States to regulate non-Federal matters. If Roe had not been forcedly introduced to U.S. society by the Blackmun opinion it is likely abortion would be available in most states. Instead we had a culture of abortion promoted in order to sustain the perception of a human right in the face of a moral outrage and objection to what was clearly a poor and contrived Court decision. Reverse Roe and it is unlikely we would see “back alley” abortions. Instead, we would have our Constitution restored in some measure from a judicial high jacking to it’s proper constructionist view.

  34. Jon Elliston

    Hi folks:

    In the interest of preventing another rancorous, ad nauseum thread on the abortion debate, we’re going to close comments on this thread. Please feel free to take the matter up in our forums.

    Jon Elliston
    Managing Editor

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