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  • Jeffrey Smith

    Abortion is a question about philosophy, reason, and evidence. The question is about how people interact with each other in a peaceful society.

    The basic philosophical rules that I follow are:

    1. The Non-Aggression Principle (NAP): Initiating force against others is immoral, but the proportional response to force is justified (self-defense). Force is violence, the threat of violence, corruption, fraud, intimidation, coercion. Be ready to apologize and redeem yourself when you violate the NAP (accidents, misunderstandings, and miscalculations happen).

    2. Honor your promises and contracts with others. Keep your word as best you can, and if you cannot keep your word, then try as best you can to redeem yourself with the other party. People are fallible, so try to repair your faults to others as best you can.

    3. Truth must be universal or else it is merely an unjustified opinion. Always seek to refute a claim by applying sound reason to the impartial analysis of independently verifiable evidence. Claims that survive the analysis are held as tentatively true until new evidence is discovered to refute the claim. This is the basis of the scientific method, which is the best way yet that humans have found for learning how reality operates (i.e., truth).

    These principles are not based on any religious ideology. I am an atheist, because claims of supernatural beings or magic cannot be substantiated by truth, reason, and evidence.

    Raising children must conform to those rules. No spanking, yelling, or other kind of violation of the NAP. Use negotiations, reasoning and critical thinking. Teach by example. Accept your personal and social responsibility to raise children to be honorable members of society.

    Evolution through natural selection has settled the question of how to create people. People are created at conception. To claim that a person is only eligible for protection after receiving a certificate of personhood from a government agent (licensed doctor) is to claim a distinction without a difference (logical fallacy).

    Women have a personal and social responsibility to respect and protect their unborn children. If a woman doesn’t want to be pregnant, then don’t get pregnant. Contraception is widely available and accessible. What about pregnancy from rape? There is no difference to the unborn child whether the child is alive by mutual consent of the parents or by force. Killing the unborn child violates the NAP, unless it is in self-defense of the life of the mother. Preventing elective abortion is not initiating force against the mother. It is preventing the initiation of lethal force against the unborn child. Law enforcement prevents crime, as well as punishes criminals according to due process.

    Mothers are also the victims of abortions, because they have been deluded and deceived into the false belief that the unborn child is not a legitimate person. Since Roe v. Wade, over 56 million unborn children have been slaughtered by abortionists. How many Nobel Prize winners has the world lost? How many cures for cancer, aids, ebola, and hunger has the world lost due to the tragic deaths of so many unborn? How many artists, philosophers, and entrepreneurs has the world lost due to the deliberate, methodical destruction of innocent human life?

    If you cannot support your stance with universal principles (truth), reason, and evidence, then your position is indefensible. If you want to argue with me, then bring your best truth, reason, evidence, and an open mind. I was pro-choice until I applied my principles, then I became anti-abortion. I became enlightened. I invite you to come out of the dark ages of violence against children.

    • ChristinaDunigan

      I’m surprised Josh didn’t address the “You might have aborted a great scientist!” argument with you! The clever prochoicer will point out that you also might have aborted a serial killer! “You would have aborted Beethoven!” can be countered with “You could have aborted Hitler!” Our argument needs to be that everybody deserves a chance to make the best of his/her life, and that all lives are of equal value, be that person a severely mentally and physically disabled middle-aged refugee or a scientist who is developing a cure for cancer or yes, even Ted Bundy. (Though I would argue that to value Ted’s life equally to any other life would require us to fry him; he had already escaped twice to kill again so he had to be removed from the earth or we’d be valuing his life MORE than the lives of those he would surely victimize if he ever got the chance.)

      Josh addresses this in terms of intrinsic value (This is a human being.) versus extrinsic value (This person would be the next Mozart.).

      It’s the matter of intrinsic value that makes me oppose the use of victim impact statements in deciding the punishment for murder. It’s just as wrong to murder a friendless, mentally ill, drug-addled hobo whose family has long since cast him off as it is to murder a kindly grandma who baked cookies for orphans and put a dozen foster children through college. The harm done to loved ones should be treated as a separate crime. That allows justice for those harmed in addition to the murder victim without codifying the idea that some murders deserve more punishment than others because of how many people loved the victim. The victim’s movalue should not rest on how many people loved and/or depended upon him/her. Draft laws that penalize depriving somebody of the love and companionship of that loved one, and the theft of financial and/or practical support. The guy who kills Homeless Joe should get the same punishment for the MURDER as the guy who kills Granny Goodheart. But the person who killed Granny also deprived orphans of love and cookies, and the grandchildren of love and companionship, and children in need of foster care of an education. Punish separately for the theft.

  • ChristinaDunigan

    I just finished listening to your bit on “and then you can kill the baby” bills and it got me to thinking about the big, big bugaboo I’m having with standard prolife legislative approaches. They feed into the abortion-rights paradigm that the battle is between waged by politicians and busybodies against women and their doctors. Every informed consent law, waiting period law, ultrasound law, etc., feeds into that paradigm. And I know from listening to National Abortion Federation tapes that the clinics themselves use the paradigm to steer women away from the informed-consent provisions. “Antichoice bullies have pushed through a law requiring us to offer you misleading and unscientific material designed to try to shame you and to make this situation as stressful as possible. Do you want to view this material?” Who is going to say “Yes”?

    Way back in the day, David Reardon and Feminists for Life drafted a model of a Women’s Right to Redress bill. The basic idea was putting the power in the hands of the woman. The woma wouldn’t even need to show actual injury — mere “buyer’s regret” would siffice. If she had known X at the time, she would not have had the abortion. Regret alone would be enough for a wrongful death suit. It would then be contingent then upon the abortionist to show in court by preponderance of evidence that the woman had been fully informed of all of her other options as well as the full nature of the fetus targeted for abortion and that she had specifically chosen abortion, rejecting those other options, and articulating why. (Roe and/or Doe actually contains language that could be used as an underpinning.

    Imagine the abortion lobby trying to argue AGAINST taking power away from businesses and putting it in the women’s hands!

    The original Reardon bill was, I think, cumbersome and put too much responsibility on the state, but the underlying idea is sheer genius and I really wish the prolife movement would start talking about the idea. This is one where I think a HUUUUUGGGGGEEEE number of prochoice people would be demanding serious answers. A Right to Redress law boils down to the idea that the practitioner should have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do if he or she decides to withhold information from a woman. Who could oppose that? Seriously?

  • Mia Engberg

    Hi there,

    I hope you don’t mind asking you a few questions regarding your views on abortion. For me, its quite simple what you stand for: A womans right NOT to choose. Its quite interesting that not many of the Pro-lifers are not mentioning or want to discuss the consequences to a woman who is forced to bring a child to this world unwanted, cause thats just what it is.

    Its very simple. You are “PRO-life”. I can then ask you what a life is worth if I am taken away all the rights to decide for myself. The life of a woman, who has gained knowledge thru out her life, tackled difficulties, had millions of experiences forming her to what she is today, and now, she had made the decision to NOT have a child that she can’t or want take care of, and made a decision that she can’t give this child all the love that it deserves, because its unwanted. How can anyone argue against that decision?

    You dare writing about “Human rights violation”. Tell me what is not a human rights violation if you by FORCE telling a woman, she must feel, she must love, she is not a human herself enough to make that decision. It is a human right violation against the woman, and NOT the fetus and i am soo astoned that you can’t see that.

    If a child gets sick and needs a transplant from he’s mother does the woman have the right to say no to that transplant or are YOU going to step in and tell her that she is forced to donate her own kidney?

    And yes, the fetus in her womb, does NOT have the same rights as the mother who can make designs on what is best for herself AND her unborn child. Its does not have a choice simple because of the fact that it is just a fetus who CANT make decisions what is best for the mother and the fetus…How can that be so unclear to you?

    I also ask you to think about this situation, IF a mother is by force giving birth to a child she does not want, there IS a possibly, that she will not be able, or want to give this child a good life, and yes I am sorry but you can NOT go in and force people to feel anything. It is a HUMAN RIGHT to feel and does NOT come by force. Is there a slight possibility, that the mother, even though she did her best and talked to hundreds of people about it, could feel so bad and end up in a depression that made her hurt herself OR her child? If there is ANY possibility of this to happen, then I think we can end the debate right now.

    How can you tell another person that you don’t have the slightest idea of who she is for what she has gone through, to have a child that is not wanted? A child should be WANTED. That is LIFE. The so called “pro-life” you are behind is the absolute opposite of life.

    A child ONLY deserves to be born in to this world with all the love it can get from the parents or the mother alone. It deserves to start their life welcomed and wanted and planned. How can anyone argue with that?

    You are violating the womans every right to be a human being and make decisions based on the fact that she can’t give this child a good life. Who are you to say that a woman who is making this huge and big descision, is not capable to make it?

    Maria