Thursday, July 15, 2010

What would the Martians think--(Part 5...does the fetus matter?)

On page 29 of the 20 year abortion celebration anniversary, we come to the very heart of what abortion advocates are so deathly afraid of--the unborn child.

Out of 79 pages of text, only one presenter, Lawyer Shelley Gavigan speaks at any length of the human fetus.

The fetus always poses a problem for pro-abortion people. They believe if they deny its value, and convince others to do the same--the equivalent of sticking their fingers in their collective ears saying la-la-la I can't hear you--they will somehow alter reality.

When they do discuss the fetus, logic has a sort of Alice in Wonderland feel to it. Am I awake? Am I dreaming? Is anything real? Is life just an illusion?

The master of this technique is the radical abortion advocate, Joyce Arthur.

In all her many writings, and in particular in her Fetus Focus Fallacy and Personhood: Is a Fetus a Human Being? Arthur tells us that the moral status of the fetus is an "opinion" and that it is "subjective" and "emotional":
"We all have our own opinions about what the moral status of the fetus might be. Some people believe a fertilized egg is a full human being with an absolute right to life that supersedes any right of the woman. Others believe that a fetus attains moral value only after it becomes viable, or upon birth. But that's all these beliefs are - opinions. There's no way to decide between them, because they're entirely subjective and emotional. Therefore, the only opinion that counts is that of the pregnant woman. The status of her fetus and any moral value accorded to it is entirely her call. A fetus becomes a human being when the woman carrying it decides it does."

Arthur devotes over 20 pages in these two articles as she expounds on her theory that the value of the fetus is based on a woman's opinion. Unfortunately for Arthur, her weird reasonings don't alter the truth that the fetus has moral value.

In Gavigan's presentation: Better Never Than Late, But Why? The Contradictory Relationship Between Law and Abortion, she is dismissive of the unborn child. Talking from a historical perspective Gavigan talks about:
"...the demise of the relevance of quickening"
"I found the voices of women who said to doctors, “Nonsense, doctor, there is no life yet…” and “Doctor, I do not believe it is a crime.”

But pro-abortionists know they are on shaky ground. The Supreme Court ruled the state had an interest in the fetus because of its value. Gavigan says:
"It is now axiomatic to observe the Supreme Court’s 1988 decision resolved some questions but left many more dangling—tantalizing and inviting to the opponents of women’s right to choose. For instance, the precise nature and expression of what all judges of the Supreme Court characterized as the “state’s interest in the foetus” remained to be elaborated and tested."

The state's interest in protecting the fetus concerns pro-abortion people. As does what Gavigan calls the "Ideology of the unborn child":
"Their discourse of the unborn child has become a dominant ideology of our time. Their ability to present all pregnant women as risky, possibly irresponsible, always potentially hostile to their own pregnancies, has in my view become pervasive and I believe socially shared. So, rather than speak of maternal mortality, or of women’s inherent dignity, of the complexity of the abortion decision, never not a complex decision, never an easy choice, or of sexual coercion, they assert only a chorus of the unborn child in a selfimpregnated woman... I do struggle with how to engage with the dominant ideology of the unborn child."

Pro-abortion people know that those of us against abortion aren't going away. It frightens them.

Then Gavigan talks more on ideology; takes a stab at men; and is indignant at our non-acceptance of late-term abortions--all in a single breath:
"I do want to make the point that ideologues like David Frum attempt to cultivate in the national imagination that late trimester abortions are a ubiquitous menace, a direct legacy from Madam Justice Wilson’s courageous reminder of the limits of men to be able to respond—‘even imaginatively’—to something so out of his personal experience. It is difficult to discern even a kernel of truth in David Frum’s construction of the crisis– for the world is truly upside down through his lens. The image of the scourge of late trimester abortion could not be further from the truth, and yet it is asserted as truth."

Is Gavigan saying that late-term abortion don't happen? Or that they aren't a ubiquitous menace? Or both? Pro-abortion people get cranky with the late-term abortion topic. I wonder if late-term abortions bother them even a little bit.

Ms. Mary Martian ruminates at the back of the room: "How can these people place so little value on their unborn offspring?" She asks herself. "This doesn't make any sense. This human species doesn't make any sense". Then Mary answers her own question. She has an ah-ha experience. "The fetus does have value. It is only a strange subgroup of Earthlings that believe it doesn't."

Mary realizes that the moral value of unborn children is an objective reality. It's not a matter of some one's opinion at all. She gets it: abortion advocates can say, think, and argue all they want with their strange notions of the value of the unborn. She understands that their reasoning is illogical. She has learned that abortion is the intentional destruction of these unborn members of our species. She gets that the fetus has value.

Part 1...Women's "Rights"
Part 2...When the truth isn't the truth
Part 3...Translating Dr. Henry Morgentaler
Part 4...Why late-term abortions are not inconsequential


  1. Surely you can't be serious. Your entire "rebuttal" consists of this statement: "her weird reasonings don't alter the truth that the fetus has moral value."

    It's mind-boggling that you think your 5-word assumption that "the fetus has moral value" actually constitutes sufficient evidence to refute me. Believing something does not make it true, nor does simply asserting it. And feelings are not evidence.

    You don't present a shred of evidence to back up your subjective, emotional opinion, while you admit that I spend 20 pages to explain why the moral status of the fetus is necessarily subjective. I do so from a scientific, logical, and ethical framework, but you didn't address even a single point from it.

    Your post even poses questions that were refuted by my articles that you supposedly read. For example, you say: "How can these people place so little value on their unborn offspring? This doesn't make any sense."

    But I made the pro-choice perspective very clear: women have abortions to save/improve their own lives and the lives of their children and families. If you don't think that's accurate, you should try to refute the evidence for it, not just pretend I never said it.

    I've always wondered why anti-choicers appoint themselves to refute the pro-choice position, when they don't or can't even comprehend it. (see: Maybe try my "pro-choice for dummies" article here:

  2. Joyce, all human life has moral value whether you like it or not.

  3. I completely agree with you, that "Believing something does not make it true, nor does simply asserting it." When you assert that "the only opinion that counts is that of the pregnant woman" you are expressing your own personal belief. And as you say, believing something does not make it true.

    However, the evidence suggests you don't even believe this yourself. If you did believe this, why did you oppose Bill C-484, the Unborn Victims of Crime Act? That bill would have made it a crime to kill a pregnant woman's fetus against her will. This was a pregnant woman who has not chosen to have an abortion and instead a third party takes it upon himself/herself to kill her wanted unborn child.

    Olivia Talbot was 27 weeks pregnant when she and her unborn child were murdered. She wanted her baby born alive. She had already named him Lane Jr. He had moral value to her. If you stand by your words, that "the only opinion that counts is that of the pregnant woman" and that "a fetus becomes a human being when the woman carrying decides it does" then you should find it abhorent that a third-party would brutally kill a woman's wanted fetus--a baby she believes to be a human being, who she believes has a tonne of moral value-- against her will. If you believed your own words you would have supported C-484.

    But you didn`t support C-484. One can only conclude, then, that you don't actually believe that the moral status of the fetus is the woman's call....your actions (in opposing C-484) indicate you believe the moral status of the fetus--of any woman's fetus--is your call. And your call is that a woman's fetus has no moral value, even in the case of a woman who believes her soon-to-be-born baby is the most valuable human being in the world.

  4. The reason I opposed Bill C484 was because it would have legally established a type of legal personhood for fetuses. That not only imposes a state-sanctioned moral status onto them that many/most people disagree with, it also endangers the rights of pregnant women by separating them legally from their fetuses. It takes the decision about the value of fetuses AWAY from pregnant women and gives it to the state. There are other, more constructive ways to protect pregnant women and their fetuses from assault.

    I hope you realize how idiotic it is to imply that me or anyone else doesn't find it abhorrent when a pregnant woman is assaulted. I find that type of argument by anti-choicers as proof of how out-of-touch with reality they are, how little they understand human nature, and how they unscrupulously use the tactic of demonizing their opponents as if they're less than human. It's really pathetic.

    Along those same lines, just to clarify, I never say anywhere that life doesn't have value (duh!) or even that fetuses don't have value. My position is that the moral value of fetuses has to be subjective, 1) because it can't be decided objectively anyway, and 2) because giving them an "official" value takes away the decision from women and requires compromising women's rights to a corresponding degree. There cannot be just "one" value that all fetuses are accorded anyway, of course. The amount of value is on a continuum and can vary widely according to personal opinion and beliefs, life circumstances and timing, and more objective criteria like gestational length. Plus, any value that a fetus may have must be balanced against other values, including the woman's life and her rights/aspirations/priorities, and the proven harms caused by forced pregnancy, unwanted births, and illegal unsafe abortions.

    I hope you're not denying that people may hold varying views on the moral status of the fetus, views that may themselves vary in each person according to their current circumstances and beliefs etc. For example, for some women who get pregnant when they don't want to be, her fetus may hold no moral value whatsoever to her, and we need to respect that. So the real question is: why do you think YOUR own personal views on the moral status of the fetus should be imposed on everyone else by law?

    Finally, I see you completely missed the main point of my first comment, and even compounded things. Even though you pretend to be a savvy anti-choice commentator, you just proved you don't have a clue why I opposed Bill C-484, even though it was all well-publicized at the time ( You also persisted in calling the subjectivity of fetal value only my personal opinion, and completely ignored that I had clearly demonstrated that my views are backed up with evidence and logical argumentation, while your opinion is based on nothing more than a gut feeling.

    I'd really like to know - is your total lack of knowledge of and recognition of my position because you just can't be bothered, or is it because you're incapable of comprehending views different from your own?

  5. You attack a straw man when you say: "I hope you realize how idiotic it is to imply that me or anyone else doesn't find it abhorrent when a pregnant woman is assaulted. I find that type of argument by anti-choicers as proof of how out-of-touch with reality they are, how little they understand human nature, and how they unscrupulously use the tactic of demonizing their opponents as if they're less than human. It's really pathetic."

    I was not referring to the assault on the pregnant woman. I was referring to the killing of the "woman's wanted fetus--a baby she believes to be a human being, who she believes has a tonne of moral value--against her will." That injustice is not punished today. It is not a separate crime in today's Criminal Code. The assault on the woman is already a crime. I have no doubt you abhor the assault on any woman, pregnant or not. C-484 (which was supported by a majority of Canadians) was specifically about creating an additional offence for killing a woman's fetus during an assault on her.

    You insist that C-484 would have created a type of "personhood" for the fetus. But legally it did not. Persons are not the only entities that can be protected via the Criminal Code. For example, we have laws against cruelty to animals. Such laws don't mean that animals have personhood status.

    Abortion was not legally threatened by C-484. Any woman wanting an abortion would still have been able to legally access one. It seems the real reason you opposed C-484 was your fear that--as you yourself said--"if the fetuses are recognized in this bill, it could bleed into people’s consciousness and make people change their minds about abortion." ("Fetal rights stir debate on abortion," by Charles Lewis, National Post, March 1, 2008)

    That seems to be at the crux of your whole opposition to C-484. It seems you are unable to bear the fact that people might actually start to think about abortion and maybe begin to think it's not such a good thing. Like C-484, abortion involves the killing of a fetus. If killing the fetus can be wrong in one case (during an attack on the pregnant woman), then why not also in the other case (elective abortion), one might ask? But you claim that the value of the fetus is subjective, so you should have no problem defending this inconsistent treatment of the fetus. Yet your inability to defend C-484 shows you do have a problem doing just that.

    Be that as it may, let's go with your claim "that the moral value of fetuses has to be subjective."

    Let's suppose that I believe that the moral value of new borns is subjective. I have just as much right to believe that as you do about fetuses. You do not give fetuses moral equivalence to fully formed mature humans. Well I have decided that new borns are also not morally equivalent to mature humans. If this is what I honestly believe, then all of your arguments for the moral value being subjective apply, except one: the new born is outside of my body. But so what? All the arguments you use for denying fetuses human status are the same, except for that fact that the new born is just one small step further along the developmental scale. That's good enough for me because I believe that the moral value of new borns is subjective. So now I have just met a new boyfriend and he doesn't like new borns. So I will kill mine. Using your arguments that would make it all right. Do you agree?

    I welcome the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with you and will continue to do so if the personal attacks stop.

  6. Joyce, I really pity you and others who are trying to defend abortion. I realize that organizations like Planned Parenthood are in the abortion business for money; it seems you are an abortion advocate because your pride won't let you see or hear that a 'fetus' is a real person. Stop the fighting to advance the murder of unborn babies and I'm sure your life will be happier. Reading your comments, it is all too obvious that your are pro abortion which has absolutely nothing to do with the welfare of women.