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Tilting at Windmills

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December 27, 2005

DE FACTO ABORTION BAN....The reality that women seeking abortions in conservative states often have enormous practical hurdles to clear is not new, but this front-page Washington Post piece was nevertheless helpful in capturing the difficulties women who want to end their pregnancies face in South Dakota.

The waiting room at the Planned Parenthood clinic was packed by the time the doctor arrived -- an hour late because of weather delays in Minneapolis.

It was clinic day, the one day a week when the only facility in South Dakota that provides abortions could take in patients. This time it was a Wednesday. The week before it was a Monday.

The day changes depending on the schedules of four doctors from Minnesota who fly here on a rotating basis to perform abortions, something no doctor in South Dakota will do. The last doctor in South Dakota to perform abortions stopped about eight years ago; the consensus in the medical community is that offering the procedure is not worth the stigma of being branded a baby killer.

South Dakota is one of only three states to have only one abortion provider -- North Dakota and Mississippi are the other two -- but at nearly 76,000 square miles, the Mount Rushmore State is the biggest of the three. What's more, the state's lone clinic offers abortions once a week, but which day each week depends on when out-of-state doctors will visit.

Of course, South Dakota is also home to some of the nation's poorest counties, which makes it awfully difficult for women with meager resources to travel several hundred miles.

In this environment, the fight over Roe is secondary to a de facto ban on abortion that's already in place.

Steve Benen 12:06 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (152)

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Comments

In a fair & just world, abortion clinics would be as ubiquitous as Subways. :), if I may

Posted by: Grumpy on December 27, 2005 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

The Taliban has nothing on the misogyny of the Right in the U.S. Were it up to millions of Republicans (both men and women) the old adage "pregnant, barefoot and busy in the kitchen" would hold true for the women of this country.

Posted by: steve duncan on December 27, 2005 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

I thought abortions were supposed to be "safe, legal and rare"...so, what's the problem?

Posted by: Nathan on December 27, 2005 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

I thought abortions were supposed to be "safe, legal and rare"...so, what's the problem?

That doesn't mean completely inaccessible.

If pro-lifers in South Dakota were really concerned about the welfare of children and their parents, they would be handing out free birth control in those poor counties to eliminate the need for abortions in the first place.

Posted by: Doctor Gonzo on December 27, 2005 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

Dear namesake -- safe, legal and rare implies that there is also ACCESS. If there is no access to an abortion, then it is not safe. If the lack of access is due to statutory restrictions, then it is not legal. In this situation all it becomes is rare, and that is not the idea.

Posted by: Nathan Rudy on December 27, 2005 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

What's that? They've gone and made it difficult to kill babies in South Dakota?!?

Fascists.

Soon they'll be trying to put more roadblocks in the way of rape and murder too, and then where will our freedom be?

Posted by: Tom P. on December 27, 2005 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Like Gloria Steinem once said, "If men got pregnant, abortion would be an sacrament."

Posted by: Mazurka on December 27, 2005 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

I thought abortions were supposed to be "safe, legal and rare"...so, what's the problem?

Posted by: Nathan on December 27, 2005 at 12:24 PM

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"rare" because of safe, reliable contraception for all, even minors. Rare because of realistic, frank and practical sex education for all, especially minors. Rare because parents provide a progressive, understanding home enviroment for questions and explorations of sexual issues, not a dogmatic, religious outlook that speaks only of abstinence. "Rare" is less possible because many pharmacists & doctors, the clergy and the government go out of their way to be sure once conception has occurred the egg is implanted instead of safely interrupted. If the Right, theocrats, meddling bureaucrats, ignorant parents and schools fearful of all the above mentioned factions didn't conspire to make "rare" possible there would be less abortions.

Posted by: steve duncan on December 27, 2005 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Well said.

Posted by: ScottM on December 27, 2005 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately the only solutions I see are to either (1) pay more doctors to go offer abortion services in unserved areas, or (2) provide more assistance to women in those areas to travel to where the services are provided. There's not much interest in Washington in mandating availability nationwide (nor IMO should there be; it shouldn't be a federal issue). Nor, I gather, is there much chance of changing SD's political culture.

Posted by: Shelby on December 27, 2005 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Last I checked, people do have the right to hold those they consider unsavory characters in low esteem.

Posted by: Derek Copold on December 27, 2005 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Correction: "If the Right, theocrats, meddling bureaucrats, ignorant parents and schools fearful of all the above mentioned factions didn't conspire to make "rare" IMPOSSIBLE there would be less abortions."

Posted by: steve duncan on December 27, 2005 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

I've never opposed abortion until recently when the Holy Spirit's messages on The Holy Inheritance blog and The Christian Prophet blog have been convincing me that there are so many adoption alternatives and even in the case of rape there is spiritual damage to the mother who aborts her child.

Posted by: A Christian Prophet on December 27, 2005 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Shelby, the "only" solutions you see are to:
1. Pay doctors more money to kill the babies.
2. Provide transportation to the slaughter house for the pregnant women.
Thank God you are not in any position of power to implement your solutions.
How about focusing on preventive solutions. I agree abortions are necessary in some instances and need to be an option for women, but our society focuses on reaction instead of proaction. Let's teach birth control, self restraint and (yes) abstinence and limit the number of women and babies that have to go throught this horrific process.

Posted by: Jay on December 27, 2005 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Are there statistics on "back-alley" abortions in SD, ND and Miss?

Posted by: Ugh on December 27, 2005 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Jay,

Prevention's fine; I also favor minimizing the number of abortions. However, I don't consider it murder; hence my comments. I see no reason we can't both reduce demand for abortions and reduce the difficulty and misery of obtaining them. (I don't think conventional supply/demand economics play much of a role here.)

Posted by: Shelby on December 27, 2005 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

I am in favor of abortion rights, but I have a hard time getting my ire up on this. This is essentially the free market at work.

What's the solution?? We can't insert abortion providers into the community. We have to realize you can't shop at Tiffany's in rural SD, you can't get a heart transplant there, and you may have trouble getting access to abortion, as well.

Posted by: Jeff from WI on December 27, 2005 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

I would imagine that "back-alley" abortions, being "back-alley", would be fairly resistant to good statistics.

Posted by: Ugh on December 27, 2005 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

isn't it telling that from the looks of it, all the commenters are male -- hardly the demographic that has a clue, nor may i add, any fucking right to tell any woman what to do with her body. but i guess, wrap it in jesus or the flag, and you can justify any intrusion.

welcome to christofacsism -- one state at a time.

Posted by: linda on December 27, 2005 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Dear namesake -- safe, legal and rare implies that there is also ACCESS. If there is no access to an abortion, then it is not safe.

What's that got to do with this post, or this comment thread? There IS access to abortion in South Dakota. The good people of that state and a number or doctors and a bunch of people in black robes have ensured that it's A) safe B) legal and C) RARE. "Rare" is different from "non-existent".

Face it, libs, y'all never were comfortable with Slick Willie's formulation, 'cause y'all never believed it, and have always resented the implications for morality implicit in Bubba's words. After all, why on earth should a constitutionally guaranteed FREEDOM be rare? Ain't freedom a wonderful thing we should only have more of? Heh.

South Dakota is a vision of MOST of the country -- I bet at least 30-35 states -- once the Constitution is taken back in 3 or 4 years, and communities increasingly get to decide for themselves what type of abortion regime they prefer. Oh, wait a minute, I almost forgot, you libs have nothing to fear, as "studies" and "polls" have consistently "shown" that "the vast majority of Americans" agree with your position. Double heh.

If Roe is overturned voters will be perfectly comfortable with severe restrictions on the procedure in vast swaths of America and we all know it.

Posted by: Job on December 27, 2005 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

It's pretty clear that abortion is already rare and inaccessible in South Dakota so adding more barriers is pretty much a waste of energy.

Just another example of so-called "pro-life" folks manufacturing issues to get all worked up about. If only they'd redirect their energy into preventing unwanted pregnancies via health care, sex education, and free contraception thus eliminating the need for abortion...at the very least they could support welfare policies that help single women take care of their already born children.

But I suspect that they really don't want any of that. They seem to enjoy being self-righteous and judgemental about people they don't even know and they'd miss calling people "babykillers" far too much.

Posted by: zoe kentucky on December 27, 2005 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

I support abortion and think everyone has a right on his/her body.

Posted by: Mike Gerts on December 27, 2005 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Linda-
I don't want to tell you to do with your body, nor do I claim such a right. Quite frankly, I couldn't care less about your body or what you do with it.

I *am* however concerned about your baby's body, because, like it or not, he/she's an independant person from you with rights of his/her own. And that right includes (or, rather, *should* include), the right not to be killed by you.

Posted by: Tom on December 27, 2005 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Hey linda, it takes two to conceive a child, so you are not the only one affected by this decision, not to mention "the baby" that women in your selfish position have zero regard for. On second thought, you should never have children considering your completely selfish and ignorant rant, and I feel sorry for your husband or "partner".

Posted by: Jay on December 27, 2005 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

I would imagine that "back-alley" abortions, being "back-alley", would be fairly resistant to good statistics.

Or the number of abortions that are done in hospitals but reclassified as some other procedure or miscarriage...

Or any statistics on women who are injured or die from complications of 'back-alley' abortions...

Posted by: tinfoil on December 27, 2005 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

I think the answer is for all the doctors in SD to agree to perform abortions. Any member of the local community that is disgusted by the thought of being treated by one of these "baby killers" is free to travel to somewhere where there's a doctor that won't provide them, because that doctor has the luxury of being in a big enough centre that he doesn't have to be a one-stop-shop for basic medical care. This would actually allow the doctors in SD to follow the hypocratic oath, rather than violating its spirit out of peer pressure.

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on December 27, 2005 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

I am in favor of abortion rights, but I have a hard time getting my ire up on this. This is essentially the free market at work. This is essentially the free market at work.

Um, no. This is a testament of the success of 20+ years of violence and terroristic threats against abortion providers and clinics at work. This is medical schools offering abortion as an "elective" or only teaching it after students pressure their schools to do so. This is taking a personal, private medical decision and making it a political football at work.

As stated by another female commenter above, this is christofascism at work.

Posted by: zoe kentucky on December 27, 2005 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

I think the answer is for all the doctors in SD to agree to perform abortions. Any member of the local community that is disgusted by the thought of being treated by one of these "baby killers" is free to travel to somewhere where there's a doctor that won't provide them, because that doctor has the luxury of being in a big enough centre that he doesn't have to be a one-stop-shop for basic medical care. This would actually allow the doctors in SD to follow the hypocratic oath, rather than violating its spirit out of peer pressure.

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on December 27, 2005 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Tom:

A fetus is a human life.

A fetus is not, however, an ontological person with the same rights as you and me.

No memory, no experiences, no cognitive individuality -- nothing which maps on to what we take for granted as establishing our personhood.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 27, 2005 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

I would imagine that "back-alley" abortions, being "back-alley", would be fairly resistant to good statistics.

Or the number of abortions that are done in hospitals but reclassified as some other procedure or miscarriage...

Or any statistics on women who are injured or die from complications of 'back-alley' abortions...

Posted by: tinfoil on December 27, 2005 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

zoe, a little fact that has escaped you, the current spending on welfare entitlements, much of which is aimed at women and children in poverty, totals nearly $360 BILLION. During the Clinton Administration the largest amount spent in any one year was $190 BILLION. You might want to check your facts before accusing conservatives of not doing enough for those in need. It also serves as a reminder that strictly throwing money at the problem is not the solution.

Posted by: Jay on December 27, 2005 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

I would imagine that "back-alley" abortions, being "back-alley", would be fairly resistant to good statistics.

Or the number of abortions that are done in hospitals but reclassified as some other procedure or miscarriage...

Or any statistics on women who are injured or die from complications of 'back-alley' abortions...

Posted by: tinfoil on December 27, 2005 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

I am torn on this issue,

I do support these women's right to make their own decisions, but I also support the communities right to disaprove. I'm not sure what I believe about a physician, and their right to decline to provide medical procedures they believe to be unethical. That's a tricky one for me.

However, If you live in an area where most people consider abortion a form of murder, you will still have the legal right to have one, but you will have a lot of social and institutional barriers to securing one.

That seems okay to me. If you really want one, you can get one. It won't be easy, but you can exercise your rights.

Rural access to specialized health care is difficult for everything, not just abortion. Its part of the cost of living in a rural area. I would certainly be in favor of improved health care in rural/poorer areas, but not particularly because of abortion.

Posted by: derek g on December 27, 2005 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Let me get this straight. Abortion is legal but not easily accessed because most doctors won't perform it. Some of you are suggesting that we force doctors to perform abortions, whether they want to or not. These doctors don't work for the state and don't receive state funding, but the state should force private individuals to undertake actions that they do not want to perform and may in fact find deeply repugnant.

How about this? What if a 2nd Amendment supporter living in Northern California couldn't find a gun shop near his home? Would this crowd be calling on the state of California to force Costco to sell guns?

I don't think the state has a role to play in either of these cases, but I am grimly amused that people who advocate either of these positions actually call others "fascists".

Posted by: slightlybad on December 27, 2005 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Bob (rmck1):

I'm glad you feel qualified to determine which human lives are deserving of rights, and which ones are not. That's a pretty tall task, considering the moral consequences of getting your answer wrong. (As I'm sure you know many people have in the past, with blacks, women, jews, children, etc. How can you be sure your bias against fetuses won't be looked upon in 200 years with the same disgust?)

Posted by: Tom on December 27, 2005 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

It seems to me the people os SD want it this way. Who are you to speak of changing their minds. Perhaps live and let live here would be the solution ( as opposed to force them to think like you and force them to kill babies there). That's how they would say it.

I do know this: the only sure way to not get pregnant is not to F...! Sex ed doesn't prevent anything. In fact it gives minors who don't watch a lot of media (TV) ideas about what they shouldn't know about. Protection doesn't always work. Drugs are just that and sometimes kill innocent people (yeah they do).

So the argument here is not what you want but what the people in SD, ND, and Miss. want, and they aren't all dumb crackers or brainwashed religous nuts either So get off the high horses and leave them alone.

Posted by: bud_bink on December 27, 2005 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

The mark of a fascist is the urge to stick the government into all areas of life.

Morality Jesus-quoting fascists are fascists.

And those who oppose the ability of an adult in possession of her faculties to control her body as she sees fit are fascists.

slightlybad is a fascist, for instance.

Posted by: POed Liberal on December 27, 2005 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Some of you are suggesting that we force doctors to perform abortions, whether they want to or not.

I don't think anybody is suggesting that. What is clear in the story is that there are doctors who would perform abortions if it weren't for the death threats, protesters, etc.

Posted by: Doctor Gonzo on December 27, 2005 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Its been about 30 years since Kinky Friedman wrote Rapid City:

Just a ragged kid in overalls, he thumbed a ride one day
He told me, anywhere youre goings on my way.
But as we passed by big als drive-in his eyes began to flash
He was leavin rapid city mighty fast.

He said, i hope to God she finds the good-bye letter that I wrote her
But the mail dont move so fast in rapid city, south dakota

Well, he left her just a blanket of snow upon the farm
And that dont keep your conscience very warm.
He said his friends were too durn country and his pa was too damn mean
And there werent no money pumpin gasoline.

And her gentle eyes, the merchandise of dreams the peddler sold her
Who left her there alone in rapid city, south dakota.

Now the reason he was goin, I aint sure I could say,
Mightve been the rodeo in santa f.
theres a doctor in chicago, I know shell be all right
He told himself as he stared into the night.

And he said, i hope to God she finds the good-bye letter that I wrote her
But the mail dont move so fast in rapid city, south dakota

And all her people treatin her just like they never knowed her
Lord, the winters passin slow in rapid city, south dakota.

Posted by: Downpuppy on December 27, 2005 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Dismayed Liberal: " This would actually allow the doctors in SD to follow the hypocratic oath, rather than violating its spirit out of peer pressure."

You do realize the Hypocratic Oath banned abortions?

rmck1: good point, but you do realize that argument applies to infants and the severely retarded as well?

Posted by: hmmm on December 27, 2005 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK
A fetus is not, however, an ontological person with the same rights as you and me.

Which rather heavily depends on your personal, a priori criteria for ontological personhood.

I personally think it is more likely to be productive to address the issue by trying to discuss what rights we have as persons first; I think if we approach from that angle, there's a good chance that a solid case can be made for a robust right to abortion without even addressing fetal pershonhood.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 27, 2005 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

This whole debate illustrates, yet again, to a Christofascist, life begins at conception, ends at birth, and starts up again at brain-death.

You never hear of the rights of the siblings of the fetus, and the rights of the mother to decide whether she wants to spend 18 years enslaved to the fetus.

In Missouri, the christofascists have cut way back on medicare, foster parenthood support and any support for actual people. At the same time, they are rallying their zombie fascist followers to oppose somatic cell nuclear transfer research.

For the fascists, life has no rights if it has rights, and rights if it has no rights.

Posted by: POed Liberal on December 27, 2005 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm -
You do realize that the reason the Hippocratic oath(named for Hippocrates) has an injunction against abortion is because the most reliable method was hemlock?

And the others were similar in that a sizable proportion of the time, they killed the mother as well as the fetus ...

I.e. the injunction was actually against providing treatment that would probably kill or severely harm the woman.

Posted by: kenga on December 27, 2005 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

hmmm,

If the Hippocratic Oath banned abortions, doctors wouldn't be able to perform them. Here's the part of the Hippocratic Oath (thanks for at least recreating my spelling error rather than pounding it down my throat!) that I think they're violating by deciding to not provide a legal service such as abortion, not out of moral belief but out of fear of retribution:

"I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God."

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on December 27, 2005 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

bud_bink, yes, the only way to ensure that you don't get pregnant is to not have sex...unless you are raped, which isn't something that one can always necessarily choose.

But aside from that, most people have sex because they like it and it's a biological imperative, like eating. And being a crazy liberal, I believe that the more information people have, the better decisions they will make. That's why we need more sex ed, not less. All studies show that the more sex ed kids have, the less sex they have and the less likely they are to get pregnant. That's reality. I find it odd that you think it's a good idea to keep people ignorant.

Posted by: Doctor Gonzo on December 27, 2005 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Doctor Gonzo: I find it curious that you classify as a biological imperative "like eating" something that large numbers of people voluntarily go without for very long stretches, up to and including the duration of their lives. Try that with eating, and the "duration of your life" will be pretty short.

Posted by: Tom on December 27, 2005 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Just because people choose to remain abstinent doesn't mean that they have no sex drive. They just ignore it or fulfill it in ways that don't involve sex with other people. The urge to reproduce is still a very powerful biological imperative.

The fact is, people are going to have sex because we are hardwired for it. People who choose not to have sex are not morally superior to those who do have sex or vice versa. Given these facts, it seems logical to give people as much information as possible so they can make good choices with regards to sex. I never hear people argue that kids shouldn't be taught nutrition because it may make them want to eat Big Macs every day.

Posted by: Doctor Gonzo on December 27, 2005 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Tom,

For an individual to not have sex is fine, but it is clearly a biological imperative as important to our species as eating is. In the grand scheme of things, if humans stopped eating today, they'd die out after some 200,000 years of wandering about aimlessly on this rock, while if they stopped having sex, they'd all die out after 200,080 years or so. Yes, a person can go a long time without sex, even forever, but the species can't, and that's why people are all driven to try to procreate. This is not a social phemomenon, it is biological.

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on December 27, 2005 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK
If the Hippocratic Oath banned abortions, doctors wouldn't be able to perform them.

Why? Except that (rather heavily) modified versions of it are sometimes still used in some graduation ceremonies at medical schools -- and even there have no force -- the Hippocratic Oath has little but historical connection with medical education or practice in the modern world.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 27, 2005 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Dismayed Liberal: my only point was that no one "needs" to have sex, particularly over a short-run time frame. The same is not true for eating.

As as for things that are biological imperatives on a species-wide level, sex isn't -- reproduction. Abortion and birth control divorce sex from reproduction, which is not what nature intended. (Our sex drives are meant to lead us toward reproduction.)

Posted by: Tom on December 27, 2005 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

A fact I rarely see addressed is that making abortion illegal or just making legal abortion difficult to obtain is only for and has always been only for the poor. Rich women have always had access to abortion, previously from physicians willing to perform illegal abortions for the right women for the right money and later because rich women could afford to travel to other countries, then other states for safe abortions. This isn't about preventing abortions; this is about preventing poor women from obtaining abortions. Paying for your sins is for the poor; the rich can purchase absolution.

Posted by: greennotGreen on December 27, 2005 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Abortion and birth control divorce sex from reproduction, which is not what nature intended.

That's an interestig line of thinking. I would also argue that modern cuisine divorces eating from survival, which is also not what nature intended. Does that make processed foods, fast food, or basically any prepared foods wrong?

Posted by: Doctor Gonzo on December 27, 2005 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

dismayed liberal:

the oath has been modified for modern sensibilities. the original banned abortions (and one poster to the contrary)...we don't know specifically why.

Posted by: hmmm on December 27, 2005 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Like Gloria Steinem once said, "If men got pregnant, abortion would be an sacrament."

Wow, does that mean that boners are a sacrament???

Posted by: ogmb on December 27, 2005 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

"Abortion and birth control divorce sex from reproduction, which is not what nature intended. (Our sex drives are meant to lead us toward reproduction.)

Posted by: Tom on December 27, 2005 at 2:15 PM"

So Tom, should getting a vasectomy be made more rare, more difficult to obtain and subject to laws, barriers, reviews and limitations similar to those affecting abortion?

Posted by: steve duncan on December 27, 2005 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

The medical profession is self-regulating. While there are obviously legislative decisions made about what constitutes medical care, no decision made by Congress or state legislatures could be implemented if the respective professional body of doctors said that the decision violated good medical practice.

While the Hippocratic Oath may not itself be binding, the professional bodies still have far more control over what medical care can be provided than any legislative body in the country.

In fact, the professional body controls who is permitted a license to practice, and they could choose to disbar any doctor who refused to perform services that are legal, for which he has received adequate training.

I realize that this is a bit of a pissing match, as Congress is the one that has granted these privleges to professional organizations in the first place, but I don't really see how Congress could withstand criticism and disobedience by these professional bodies, because Congress has already said that they're far less equipped to regulate these businesses than the members already involved in it.

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on December 27, 2005 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

So Tom, should getting a vasectomy be made more rare, more difficult to obtain and subject to laws, barriers, reviews and limitations similar to those affecting abortion?

Posted by: steve duncan on December 27, 2005 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK


Well, I certainly don't think there's a "fundamental right" to a vasectomy hidden anywhere in the Constitution. So if states wanted to pass restrictions on vasectomies they should certainly be allowed. That being said, this is, of course, different from abortion in that vasectomies are purely personal procesdures, whereas abortion inevitably involves a third party (the fetus).

Posted by: Tom on December 27, 2005 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

As as for things that are biological imperatives on a species-wide level, sex isn't -- reproduction. Abortion and birth control divorce sex from reproduction, which is not what nature intended. (Our sex drives are meant to lead us toward reproduction.)

Boy, I sure am glad that you're not in a position of power. The "nature intended" arguments are some of the most intellectually shallow positions to debate from. Did nature intend us to have guns? to fly in airplanes? to drive in cars? to wear glasses? (and so on...) If you following that kind of reasoning to its logical conclusion we should all be living in caves. (Nature certainly never "intended" any of us to be commenting on a blog comments board on the unnatural internet.)

The fact that reproduction and pleasure are connected for many species is a fact of nature-- nothing more, nothing less. There is no "intent" unless you are using "nature" as a substitute for "God."

Posted by: zoe kentucky on December 27, 2005 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Tom, in the spirit of granting the legislature the rights you do, could they enact a law decreeing it illegal to withdraw your penis from the vagina before ejaculation? Could they ban Catholics from charting a woman's cycle? Difficult laws to enforce yes, but would you agree they could pass such laws? Neither would violate the Constitution, as I see nothing of penises and vaginas in my reading of it.

Posted by: steve duncan on December 27, 2005 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

I wish I could agree with you, but unfortunately the argument is always going to be viewed as a rights conflict between mother and fetus. I see no way to mount a consistent argument that doesn't highlight the fundamental difference in personhood between the two.

Even Samuel Alito has concurred with the SCOTUS that a fetus is not a "person" in a legal 14th Amendment sense. I see further ontological justifications, albeit I'm probably incapable of producing an airtight philosophical argument for it.

Nonetheless, an argument could be made by a better thinker than I.

Tom:

Doubtless you support the death penalty as well as the state's right to wage war. Doubtless you also support the time-honored tradition of justified homicide in the name of self-defense.

So if you support breaking the "Thou shalt not kill" commandment in other contexts, you're hard-pressed to define how a fetus is a fundamentally different situation, when fundamental rights collide.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 27, 2005 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

P.S. I do hope that you're aware that using the "nature intended" argument has historically been used to defend a bottomless list of discriminatory practices. To name just a few-- equal rights for women, African-Americans, Native Americans, gays, people with disabilities, poor people, "mixed-race" marriages, etc. People have often argued that something is "not natural" as a justification for bigoted beliefs.

Posted by: zoe kentucky on December 27, 2005 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

zoe kentucky:

That argument (the appeal to nature) isn't even cogent on its own terms.

The gratuitous gratification of sex drives wholly divorced from reproduction is extremely common in the animal kingdom.

Anybody who doesn't think so has never visited the monkey cage in the zoo :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 27, 2005 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

This is getting silly.

Steve: of course they could ban "pulling out." In fact, it is arguable that many states had exactly such a ban (against "sodomy") before the Supreme Court recently decided to change all that. (Though of course these laws were never enforced, except occasionally against gays.)

As for banning Catholics from charting, that would probably run up against the right to a free press, which is in the first amendment.

---

Bob (rmck1): um, no, I don't support the death penalty, although I don't think the parallels between that and abortion are as clear as you want to pretend. But if it matters to you, I would gladly outlaw the deatyh penalty.

And the only wars I support are those in strict self-defence. (And no, Iraq does not meet this test). It's okay to defend yourself when someone is trying to kill you. *Unborn babies are NOT trying to kill their mothers!*

Posted by: Tom on December 27, 2005 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Tom on December 27, 2005 at 2:00 PM:

that large numbers of people voluntarily go without for very long stretches

Or involuntarily...sigh...

Jay on December 27, 2005 at 1:19 PM:

totals nearly $360 BILLION...You might want to check your facts before accusing conservatives of not doing enough for those in need.

Can we check your facts? Please provide a URL or other source for your statement. It's too easy to throw numbrs around with little context attached to them.

Posted by: grape_crush on December 27, 2005 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Zoe Kentucky:
(1) Where are you from? I'm originally from KY - though now in Boston.
(2) I wasn't saying that anything is wrong because it was against what "nature intended" -- that was a mere side comment. (And I'm aware that nature doesn't "intend" anything.) I was merely pointing out the (wholly trivial) fact that it is reproduction, not sex, that is essential to the survival of the species. And that sex just happens to be how we reproduce. And that they can, in fact, be divorced (as happens with birth control).

Again, it's a trivial and obvious point, but it needed to be made in teh context of the conversation at the time.

Posted by: Tom on December 27, 2005 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Tom:

As soon as you allow one exception, you're on the slippery slope, bro.

It no longer stands as a moral principle.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 27, 2005 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

I am in favor of abortion rights, but I have a hard time getting my ire up on this. This is essentially the free market at work.

This is the fallacy of seeing medical care as an extension of the free market, subject to its rules, as opposed to a basic human right.

What's the solution?? We can't insert abortion providers into the community. We have to realize you can't shop at Tiffany's in rural SD, you can't get a heart transplant there, and you may have trouble getting access to abortion, as well.
Posted by: Jeff from WI

actually, we can. As a doctor, I have mixed views about rural OBs that refuse to perform abortions. Much like activist pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions they object to, these OBs are in the position of limiting medical care because they choose to practice in hicksville.

If you don't feel comfortable with abortions, or dispensing emergency contraception, then don't practice in south dakota. You're doing your patients a disservice and dishonoring your oath. In california, you have the luxury to indulge your "morality." Not so among the rednecks.

If you're in the unfortunate position of being the absolute ONLY practitioner in an area, and the choice is either you or nothing, then I have some more sympathy. Otherwise, get the fuck out of SD.

and of course, our domestic terrorists which reinforce threats and violence against abortion providers shoulder a significant portion of blame.

Posted by: Nads on December 27, 2005 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Tom:

Fetuses try to kill their mothers all the time, Tom.

That's why virtually every flavor of pro-life argument allows an exception when the life of the mother is at stake.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 27, 2005 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Tom:

As soon as you allow one exception, you're on the slippery slope, bro.

It no longer stands as a moral principle.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 27, 2005 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK


This may be the stupidest thing I've read all month. And you wouldn't believe some of the garbage I've been reading.

Posted by: Tom on December 27, 2005 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Tom:

If it's so stupid, why not refute it with a simple rhetorical swat from the back of your hand? :)

Because you *can't*, that's why.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 27, 2005 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Tom on December 27, 2005 at 2:15 PM:

Abortion and birth control divorce sex from reproduction, which is not what nature intended.

Heh. I'd like to see your source for that statement...Just exactly how do you know what nature intends?

Tom on December 27, 2005 at 2:30 PM:

That being said, this is, of course, different from abortion in that vasectomies are purely personal procesdures, whereas abortion inevitably involves a third party (the fetus).

Wrong. If every sperm is sacred due to its potential for life, ditto for every egg, ditto for every zygote, then vasectomy and tubal ligation procedures 'inevitably involve a third party.'

Not that I'm agreeing with your classification of a fetus as a 'third party', complete with its own separate set of rights.

Posted by: grape_crush on December 27, 2005 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

"If you don't feel comfortable with abortions, or dispensing emergency contraception, then don't practice in south dakota. You're doing your patients a disservice and dishonoring your oath."

Uh, there's a bit of difference between those two things. The fact that you think the moral qualms about distributing contraception are no different than the moral qualms about performing an abortion, illustrates why the pro-choice side of the discussion has such a hard time even though they're in the majority.

Mike

Posted by: MBunge on December 27, 2005 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that you think the moral qualms about distributing contraception are no different than the moral qualms about performing an abortion, illustrates why the pro-choice side of the discussion has such a hard time even though they're in the majority.
Mike
Posted by: MBunge

explain how ... in both instances we have activists, usually hiding their moral effluvience behind the mantle of "religion," effectively limiting medical care to an underserviced portion of the populace through a combination of threats, intimidation, and (when they're lucky) legislation.

Posted by: Nads on December 27, 2005 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Skipped over most of the thread to post this -- I'll have to go back and read what I skipped over; looks like some first-class invective's been happening here. Good -- that will make my take seem less slightly less fascist in comparison -- that being:
South Dakota is, not coincidentally, one of the redder states out there, "prairie populism" notwithstanding. SOME -- though clearly not all -- of these women are in some small part responsible, if only by omission, for this state of affairs.
If I were dictator -- well, if I were dictator, abortion would be legal, unrestricted, and sliding-scaled, along with reality-based sex ed and access to birth control, day-after meds, pre- and post-partum support, and sliding-scaled hi-quality child care, etc etc. So scratch that.
If I were just the dicator of that one clinic, I'd be asking every client if they'd voted, and if so for whom -- and then asking for some concrete evidence thereof. Voted red -- or didn't vote at all? Too bad -- no abortion for you. Reap what you have sown.
Blaming the victim? They're not victims if they didn't take at least THAT much responsibility.
Yes, I'm an asshole. But people have got to learn.

Posted by: smartalek on December 27, 2005 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

yes Mike, please do explain.
I mean, we have pharmacists refusing to dispense emergency contraception for the very reason that they feel there is no difference between doing so and providing an abortion.
Those pharmacists, by the way, seem pretty likely to fall on the "pro-life" side of the issue.

Posted by: kenga on December 27, 2005 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

I personally think it is more likely to be productive to address the issue by trying to discuss what rights we have as persons first; I think if we approach from that angle, there's a good chance that a solid case can be made for a robust right to abortion without even addressing fetal pershonhood.

Sounds interesting. Care to give it a shot? I, like Bob, think that in terms of the morality of abortion, the argument comes down to a conflict of rights. However, I'm not so narrow minded to believe its the only possible outcome and thus would appreciate reading your thoughts on it.

Posted by: Edo on December 27, 2005 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

hmmm,

rmck1: good point, but you do realize that argument applies to infants and the severely retarded as well?

Uhh...no it doesn't, unless you concoct some really strained thought "experiments". There is no conflict of rights between two entities as there is with a fetus.

Posted by: Edo on December 27, 2005 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

The ontological status of a fetus:

Okay ... this is an infinitely complex and difficult subject, and doubtless I'm going to have exceptions stuck up my ass in furious refutation -- but I thought I'd at least give it a try.

I believe that, while "life" may begin at conception, *personhood* begins at birth. Prior to being born, a fetus has no experience with the world.

I would argue that experience with the world is the defining characteristic of being fully human.

I know, I know .... there are blind people, deaf people, people in comas, severely autistic people who live in their own private universes ...

But I do think that personhood starts with a fundamental engagement with the world.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 27, 2005 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

South Dakota is a poor example state because it is 89% white and the whole state has only 770,000 people. The demand for abortion is not going to be high enough to support more than one clinic.

Posted by: sf on December 27, 2005 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Ultimately the decision of when either "life" OR "personhood" begins is a religious one. All the data in the world as to when "cognition" or "self awareness" or "viability" -- with or w/o life support technology -- ultimately doesn't mean jack. A person of certain religious bent will say "at conception," others will say "not til birth" -- there can be no objectively "correct" position (and isn't it interesting how most Christians ignore the fact that for most of Christendom, lfie didn't happen til birth -- "at conception" is a historically recent wrinkle).
Given this, people arguing from different religious perspeectives will have a hard time finding common ground, and ultimately some positions will be irreconcilable.
Because of this, I have never understood why the Roe v Wade decision was based on the "penumbras" of privacy in the Constitution. Seems to me, the constitutional basis for any abortion or birth-control regulation has to start from a premise that the state CAN'T mandate "when life begins;" that's clearly within the province of religion.

Posted by: smartalek on December 27, 2005 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Permit me to draw a comparison between this thread and the creation/evolution debate. It is no coincidence that more often than not, the people who insist we came from a puddle of slime are the ones who will insist that we should have the right to kill unborn babies.

Yes, I understand how upset you all get when you are called "baby killers". The sad truth is, that is exactly what an abortion is - the murder of an unborn child. You can sidestep the issue all you want by calling it "reproductive rights", taking the focus off of the dead baby, and yet every abortion results in a dead baby. An abortion reveals the selfishness and irresponsibility of the parents.
My 23 year old un-married daughter is 4 months pregnant right now. The father has shown no signs of marrying her, and when the baby is born it will cause her and those closest to her a great deal of difficulty and angst. The easy way out would be for her to abort the baby. I would much prefer her not to be pregnant right now.
She hasn't decided what she will do yet. The only thing she knows for SURE, is that she will never abort the baby. Her predicament is not the baby's fault.

Posted by: DaveP on December 27, 2005 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

DaveP,

My condolences for your daughter and the terrible position she is in.

An abortion reveals the selfishness and irresponsibility of the parents.

over-generalize much? A person close to me had to under go an "elective" abortion as her "baby" had no brain or major organs. If she had taken her pregnancy to term, the "baby" would not have "survived" more than a few weeks at best. My friend, meanwhile, would have had put her life at risk and would have not been able to have any more children. Hmmm...what to do? Should she become a "baby killer"? Hmmm...

Thankfully, she choose the procedure, and her first born still has her mother, and her 3rd pregnancy was successful and now she has a second healthy child.

Her abortion was elective. She wouldn't have been able to have her second healthy child if she had aborted. She is *not* a baby killer; screw you for insuinating that she is.

Posted by: Edo on December 27, 2005 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

What is the illegal trade in abortion pills like in SD?

I bet the rich people send their girls out of state for a "cure".

Posted by: bakho on December 27, 2005 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

She wouldn't have been able to have her second healthy child if she had aborted.

whoops. Make that "She wouldn't have been able to have her second healthy child if she had *not* aborted."

Posted by: Edo on December 27, 2005 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

For those of you who think abortion should be illegal:

Imagine you're at pregnant 15 year old girl. Knocked up by your father, an uncle, your pastor, pehaps a teacher or your brother. Some imbecile says you're not smart enough to know whether an abortion is right and therefore you have to tell your parents and get their permission.

Isn't this about the point where you'd start thinking of ways to commit suicide.

And you hear about some knuckleheads a thousand miles away who say abortion is immoral.

Yeah, go ahead and think about it. You're a pregnant 15 year old girl and somebody else is telling you you're immoral for wanting to abort.

Idiots. Steinem was right.

Posted by: MarkH on December 27, 2005 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK
Fetuses try to kill their mothers all the time, Tom.

Not unless you are using an unusually strained definition of the word "try".

That's why virtually every flavor of pro-life argument allows an exception when the life of the mother is at stake.

No, the reason why virtually every flavor of the pro-life argument allows an exception when the life of the mother is at stake is because (1) continuing pregnancy can pose, in certain circumstances, an extreme risk to the life of the mother, and (2) while the parameters in law may vary, it is widely accepted that a moral right of self-defense exists -- and is, a component, in a sense, of the right to life -- and therefore militates against punishment in certain cases.

This is not the same thing as the fetus trying to kill the mother.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 27, 2005 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

Oh hell...flame on...

DaveP:

Permit me to draw a comparison between this thread and the creation/evolution debate.

Permission denied to compare apples and oranges. But you'll do it anyway, I'm sure.

It is no coincidence that more often than not, the people who insist we came from a puddle of slime

Mmmm - What's cooking? I smell a self-righteous ass. However, I'd like to clear a technical point: I'm insisting that you, o arrogant one, are the one rising up from the puddle of slime...I'm actually more of a oceanic-fumarole kinda-guy.

are the ones who will insist that we should have the right to kill unborn babies.

Looks like you have spent too much time staring at the Operation Rescue page. It's a bit like staring at the sun; it makes you blind and a bit crazy.

Yes, I understand how upset you all get when you are called "baby killers".

You are giving yourself way too much credit. Pat yourself on the back any harder and you'll break your arm.

The sad truth is, that is exactly what an abortion is - the murder of an unborn child.

The sadder truth is, you are wrong.

You can sidestep the issue all you want by calling it "reproductive rights"

More posturing. Yawn.

taking the focus off of the dead baby, and yet every abortion results in a dead baby.

So does every miscarriage, so where's your rant against God?

An abortion reveals the selfishness and irresponsibility of the parents.

I guess that your pregnant daughter has your full support. So much for family values.

My 23 year old un-married daughter is 4 months pregnant right now.

So that abstinance-only home school sex education wasn't very effective, right?

The father has shown no signs of marrying her

It is because you scare him, or are him? Because if it's the latter, that's kind of sick.

and when the baby is born it will cause her and those closest to her a great deal of difficulty and angst.

And here I thought having a child was a joy. Guess I know who will be the pariah at the DaveP family reunion. I bet your daughter feels bad for being an inconvenience.

The easy way out would be for her to abort the baby.

That is an option. I'd hesitate to call it easy, especially in South Dakota.

I would much prefer her not to be pregnant right now.

But then again, no one gets their way all the time. Do you have control issues?

She hasn't decided what she will do yet.

I'm sure that you will tell her.

The only thing she knows for SURE, is that she will never abort the baby.

Even if it kills her?

Her predicament is not the baby's fault.

What baby? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Posted by: Johnny Storm on December 27, 2005 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK
Sounds interesting. Care to give it a shot? I, like Bob, think that in terms of the morality of abortion, the argument comes down to a conflict of rights.

Sure, but if you can make an argument that the right balance of rights would be to allow abortion even if the fetus were granted the moral status of "personhood", for instance, you can avoid the entire argument over fetal personhood by rendering it moot.

My personal view -- and its pretty much an a priori view, and one which, even so, could certainly use further definition in its parameters -- is that there is an inherent and essential right -- at least in the sense of necessary freedom from state action, if not an actual moral right -- to use necessary force in defense against severe and persistent intrusions into one's bodily autonomy. This includes deadly force if and only if less deadly means are not available that would deal with the intrusion without substantial additional risk to the life or health of the person acting in their own defense. Even if it could be taken without substantial risk of killing you, and even if it could be restored without killing you, the state should not be empowered to compel you to allow your kidney to be borrowed, either intentionally or not, without your consent.

This, it seems to me, is an essential component of the concept of liberty, a value not less important than the right to life itself. It would justify abortion, regardless of fetal personhood, at any time before viability, and in most cases after as well (except where induced live delivery wouldn't pose additional risks to the mother).

Posted by: cmdicely on December 27, 2005 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK
A person of certain religious bent will say "at conception," others will say "not til birth" -- there can be no objectively "correct" position (and isn't it interesting how most Christians ignore the fact that for most of Christendom, lfie didn't happen til birth -- "at conception" is a historically recent wrinkle).

For most of the history of Christianity, the dominant view was something like life beginning at quickening (when the fetus was first detected moving) since that was the first noticeable evidence that the fetus was "animate" rather than "inert".

The change of Catholic doctrine to the understanding that it began at conception was a response to relatively modern technology which allowed the observation that the there was something "animate" before quickening.

Other than pointing out that empiricism doesn't get you answers to moral questions since you need, ultimately, to resort to a priori moral principles to decide how to apply the empirical evidence, I'm not sure what this all gets you, though.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 27, 2005 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

thank you for the response.

to use necessary force in defense against severe and persistent intrusions into one's bodily autonomy

Is this a fair examination of the fetus, though? Is the fetus "intruding"? Don't get me wrong, but I absolutely agree with the personal autonomy aspect to this.

But the fetus still has a right to life. I agree that the mother has a right to personal autonomy/liberty. Hence, the conflict of rights. Perhaps the distinction between our views is public policy vs. morality.

Posted by: Edo on December 27, 2005 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

Don't get me wrong, but I absolutely agree with the personal autonomy aspect to this.

that should read: "Don't get me wrong, I absolutely agree with ..." There's no "but" about it.

(Dang...i've been using the preview button...)

Posted by: Edo on December 27, 2005 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

Your argument is fine, Chris, save in the cases when giving birth does not jeopardize the life of the mother.

Giving birth is not equatable to having an organ removed, because nothing is taken from the mother save, of course, the time and energy required, which is substantial (they don't call it "labor" for nothing).

But it's not rendering permanent damage afterward, so I fail to see how your involuntary organ removal analogy comes into play.

I respect your choice of a-prioris. Doubtless a different fetal ontology suffices as an a-priori as well.

I don't feel you made a strong enough case not to require it.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 27, 2005 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

"This is *not* the same thing as the fetus trying to kill the mother."

Of course not, Chris. It was just a metaphor.

The metaphor was loosely meant. But by anthropomorphizing
and personifying that which has no human will nor human
personhood, the metaphor fails precisely to the
extent that it makes my ontology argument :)

Woah ... clever, huh? :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 27, 2005 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK
Your argument is fine, Chris, save in the cases when giving birth does not jeopardize the life of the mother.

I'm not talking about defense of life, I'm talking about defense of bodily autonomy as independent right from defense of life.

Giving birth is not equatable to having an organ removed, because nothing is taken from the mother save, of course, the time and energy required, which is substantial (they don't call it "labor" for nothing).

I'm not talking about giving birth, I'm talking about continuing a pregnancy. And I would argue that the only way it differs from having an organ "borrowed" is that it isn't limited to a single organ, but virtually your entire body.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 27, 2005 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK
Is this a fair examination of the fetus, though? Is the fetus "intruding"?

Not in the sense of a culpable intrusion, but then I think it is a defect and intrusion on essential liberty for "defense" exemptions to turn on the guilt of the party against whom defensive action is taken, rather, they ought to turn on the absence of legal privilege. Its something of a fine point, to be sure, but a significant one. Certainly a guilty party is acting without privilege, but an intrusion w/o privilege may occur without culpability.

But the fetus still has a right to life. I agree that the mother has a right to personal autonomy/liberty. Hence, the conflict of rights. Perhaps the distinction between our views is public policy vs. morality.

Perhaps. I see a right, in the relevant sense, as an area principally free from government intrusion. It may also be an area where the government ought to affirmatively protect one's interests against others, but there is more of a balancing test here. In the case here, I don't think the fetus should be "punished" for its intrusion by the state, for it clearly hasn't committed a culpable wrong. It had no ability to choose any other action. And if the woman decides to carry the fetus to term, she shouldn't acquire, for instance, a cause of action in law for damages against the fetus, either, for the same reason. That would be beyond ridiculous.

At the same time, however, the government should not punish her action in defending her bodily autonomy against the unwelcome pregnancy, using reasonably necessary force, if she elects not to tolerate the pregnancy. Even if that extends to means which produce the death of the fetus. This does not imply that it is morally right for her to pursue the action, only that it is morally wrong for the state to punish it.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 27, 2005 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

Here is a solution:

The Abortion Mitigation Act of 2005: Democrats cannot seem to figure out how to continue supporting a womans right to choose and still get elected in Red States. Let me help them. Propose a law that establishes a national adoption database that right to lifers can sign onto. When their name reaches the top of the list they get the next unwanted child born, no matter. Signing on would contractually obligate them to take the next child regardless of color, gender or health. Failing to comply would result in a $100,000 non-dischargeable fine, which would go into a fund for the child. Until right to lifers have some of their own skin in the game they will continue to show no regard for the rights of women or the unwanted children they are forced to bear. By pushing this law Democrats would show they really do care about life, both lives, the childs and womens. Then it would be up to the right to lifers to show how much they really care about the lives of full-term babies.

By Stephen Pizzo
Raconteur at large
April 7, 2005

Posted by: Mazurka on December 27, 2005 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

understood. I now better understand your position for a right to abortion, but not for public policies that fiscally support the exercise of that right. Fair 'nuff. I'll leave the legalisms to better minds such as yours. My interest is in the personal, as opposed to state, morality questions on this topic.

Posted by: Edo on December 27, 2005 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

Just a question thrown on the waters:

If this is a "de facto ban on abortion," is a custodial parent's moving to another state a "de facto ban on child visitation"? Say you're in South Dakota, and your divorced spouse got custody and moved to Florida. The only difference I can see is that the pregnant woman in SD would have to leave her state once, whereas the non-custodial spouse would need to travel every time s/he wanted to see her/his children. If the first is a "ban," surely the second is.

Posted by: waterfowl on December 27, 2005 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

Here's the problem with your otherwise unimpeachable civil libertarian formulation:

It's one thing to speak of negative interference by the state. It's quite another to speak of positive benefits of state involvement.

Reproductive freedom is far more than merely keeping a woman and her doctor from being criminalized for having/performing an abortion. Aborrtion facilities are regulated by the state, even if they're not necessarily publicly funded. The situation in South Dakota seems to represent an expression of community will against abortion which does amount to an impediment on abortion almost to the extent of a de-facto ban. The formulation you set forth says nothing about the justice of this, since you recognize the inherent "immorality" in killing a fetus in exchange for preserving an inviolable liberty that the state cannot take away.

The only way you can persuasively argue for proactive state involvement in providing abortion along with reproductive healthcare is to take the immorality out of the equation.

The way you do that is by examining the nature of the fetus itself and questioning how it's different than you and I, who are possessed of agency and autonomy.

I've not come up with an airtight argument, I realize. I just remain convinced that this is the direction we should travel.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 27, 2005 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

For all you lefties out there shoveling hypocracy like it was horseshit. Instead of blaming conservatives put your money where YOUR mouth is. Since abortion is not illegal in SD then it is not illegal to help someone go somewhere they can get an abortion. Why are the pro-abortion folks not using some of that money they collect to spend on lefty politicians to help these young women? Why isn't the for profit Planned Parenthood using some of the money they make to help these young women? Why are there not more abortionist doctors willing to provide more than four man-days a month to help these women? Why are you lefties all whine and no go when it comes to helping these women? This is not an insurmountable problem if pro-abortion lefties and the organizations they fund actually wanted to do something more than bitch about the problem. The problem is that there is no political hay to be made by helping these women. Lefties in action. I love it!

Posted by: Fat White Guy on December 27, 2005 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

Fat White Guy:

You're the reason I support abortion, dude.

Mandatory retroactive abortion.

Get your ass to the euthanasia clinic. Your time is up.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 27, 2005 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

Why are there not more abortionist doctors willing to provide more than four man-days a month to help these women? Why are you lefties all whine and no go when it comes to helping these women?
Posted by: Fat White Guy

I believe it has something to do with all those cracker christofascist terrorists y'all are supporting on the right.

Posted by: Nads on December 27, 2005 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone elese vote for Johnny Storm being asshole? And I by-and-large agree with his view on abortion, but joking about how DaveP might be the father of his daughter's child is beyond disgraceful. Do you think that he was just making shit up to add weight to his argument, Johnny "the Dickhead" Storm, or do you think he was just being candid? Or do you give a shit?

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on December 27, 2005 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

What is the illegal trade in abortion pills like in SD?
I bet the rich people send their girls out of state for a "cure".

There are rich people who willingly live in SD ?

Posted by: David on December 27, 2005 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

I believe it has something to do with all those cracker christofascist terrorists y'all are supporting on the right.

Posted by: Nads

Another stupid lefty opens his mouth without thinking. Pretty typycal bullshit. Name calling and mudslinging. Planned parenthood's clinic does not seem to have any problems. Don't let the truth that you lefties don't really care stop you from making stupid comments.

Posted by: Fat White Guy on December 27, 2005 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

Get your ass to the euthanasia clinic. Your time is up.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1

Another stupid lefty steps up to the plate. I only asked honest questions. Like why don't the organizations and people supporting abortion rights step up to the plate and put their money and resouces where their mouths are? The answer is they care more about making political hay and gainung some political advantage than helping these women. We are only talking a volunterr on each end and a few hundred dollars to get a desperate and needy young women to some doctor that would do a pro-bono abortion. Pretty simple solution except you lefties are too busy whining to do anything constructive. I love it!

Posted by: Fat White Guy on December 27, 2005 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

Fat White Guy:

I'm just dying to do something constructive.

Like run your sickeningly flabby ass through a meat grinder and make sausange, which I'll then proceed to BBQ and feed to all my Republican friends in the neighborhood.

MMMmmmmmMMMm. Tastes just like chick-*cough*! *choke!* *wretch*! *vomit!* What *is* this Mystery Meat?

WhiteyBurgers :):):):)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 27, 2005 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

Fat White Guy:

In other words -- don't you *dare* expect me to take you seriously :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 27, 2005 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

Don't let the truth that you lefties don't really care stop you from making stupid comments.
Posted by: Fat White Guy

why don't you embrace the abortion clinic bombers, fat cracker? they are your natural allies.

fat crackers like you have been blind to the atrocities and terrorism committed by their side for so long internationally, it only makes sense for you to similarly turn a blind eye to these christofascists domestically.

Posted by: Nads on December 27, 2005 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

fat crackers like you have been blind to the atrocities and terrorism committed by their side for so long internationally, it only makes sense for you to similarly turn a blind eye to these christofascists domestically.

Posted by: Nads

This shows how truly stupid you happen to be. Just because someone votes with thier pocketbook and doesn't go to an abortionist doctor is not a teerrorist act or illegal in any way. I have never advocated violence and have only shown that you lefties can do nothing but spew insults when confronted with ideas that would actually help those women. Except the left doesn;t really care about those women enough to actually do something to help them. Lefty organizations are all talk and no go. All they want is political advantage and none of you lefty fools have proven anything different. Actually your insults and asinine comments only confirm what I have been saying.

When it actually comes to doing something all you lefties want to do is bitch and insult. Where are all all those lefty abortionist organizations when someone actually needs their help? Could it be that they don't really care all that much? Maybe there is not enough money in it for them or not enough press or they don't care because it's red state? Maybe all they care about is their cause and political power and not the people in need. I love it!

Posted by: Fat White Guy on December 28, 2005 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

rmck1,

I greatly appreciate the intellectual honesty you bring to this discussion. While debating the dice-man, you also have time to rip Fat White Guy a new asshole. I like that.

Where I would say your discussion breaks down with cmdicely (and he has picked up my argument in mid-debate with Don P before on this very subject) is that the self-defense rationale makes the exact determination of a feutus' legal staus irrelevant. It is not the right to privacy on which he and I feel that abortion ultimately hinges on (jump in any time cm, because I may be speaking out of turn), but rather the right to self-defense, which doesn't require, IMHO, the measuring of the status of the fetus, since the fetus is drawing on the mother to such an extent that she has the right to stop the parasitic activity whenever she wants. This is also why the two of us have argued (again jump in cm) that viability is the point at which the legal right of the mother changes, because at that point she has the ability to separate herself from the fetus without destryoing it, now making such an act unnecessary for the survival of the mother.

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on December 28, 2005 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

With all due respect, there is no right to abortion; there is, rather, a right to privacy which has been interpreted as extending to abortions.

That abortions, as a practical matter, happen to be unavailable may be regrettable - as is the unavailability of many other items. There are doubtlessly many South Dakotans who lack adequate housing or dental care, for example.

But it is not the deprivation of a right.

Those who contend otherwise are not advocating Roe v. Wade. Roe, at most, would be a proxy for their actual beliefs.

Posted by: Thinker on December 28, 2005 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

rmck1,

I greatly appreciate the intellectual honesty you bring to this discussion. While debating the dice-man, you also have time to rip Fat White Guy a new asshole. I like that.

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal

Another stupid lefty that can only appreciate that another idiot spews some inane imsults. With the idea that insults rather than an actuallul response is tearing someone a new asshole. Pretty hilarious stuff!

When one of you fools actually takes some time and can pull your heads out of each other's asses. Tell me why all the so called abortion activists and organizations are doing nothing to allieviate the problem in SD. A lot could be done with realtively few resources and yet they do nothing but bitch about it. Of course if you actually risked the headache and thought about it. You wouldn't like the answer. They don't care enough to do anything about it. I love it!

Posted by: Fat White Guy on December 28, 2005 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

Thinker,

I would argue that any general practicioner in SD that is qualified to perform an aboriton but won't do so could be stripped of their medical license if the SD medical association decided they were unfit to practice medicine, as a result of their refusal to perform abortions.

The doctor does not have the right to apply his training to society as he sees fit. He has the duty to apply his training to the benefit of society, as determined by his profession, whether he believes in the manner in which he benefits society or not, or even whether his behaviour in fact benefits society. If he doesn't like this arrangement, he can stop practicing medicine.

This "defacto" abortion ban is nothing more than the cowardice of the SD medical community.

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on December 28, 2005 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

Fat White Guy,

You are the guy who wanders into a discussion mid-debate between responsible parties to spew invective. I can hardly fault one of my intellectual sparring partners for taking the time to skewer your bloated carcass because he's worried that he'll be tainted by your ridiculousness.

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on December 28, 2005 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

When it actually comes to doing something all you lefties want to do is bitch and insult. Where are all all those lefty abortionist organizations when someone actually needs their help?
Posted by: Fat White Guy

Providing abortions, obviously. ... stupid dipshit.

Posted by: Nads on December 28, 2005 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

That abortions, as a practical matter, happen to be unavailable may be regrettable - as is the unavailability of many other items. There are doubtlessly many South Dakotans who lack adequate housing or dental care, for example.
But it is not the deprivation of a right.
Posted by: Thinker

But they lack these things NOT for lack of buildings or dentists ... the availability of providers is a different sort of right, onw which most of us do take for granted. This isn't a specialty procedure ... this is routine medicine.

... and it helps to not think of health care as a commodity, but as a right.

Posted by: Nads on December 28, 2005 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

Dismayed Liberal:

Here's the thing ... I'm just thinking out loud. Like most of us, I believe that reproductive autonomy qualifies as a sovereign human right. Like many of us, I have questions about the way that Roe was decided. If we had it to do over again, I dunno if basing it on the penubrual doctrine enumerated in Griswold is such a sound idea. I'd rather see it founded in the 14th Amendment as a sovereign right of US citizens. Or better yet, I'd like to see an explicit Privacy Rights Amendment.

I'd like to take the immorality out of abortion, because I feel it's misplaced. I don't think the rights of a parasite in any way override the rights of its host. While I accept the general trimester framework and draw a distinction between abortions before and after viability, I question the state's interest in the life of the fetus even beyond that point.

I'd like to come up with a rock-solid, ironclad argument that a fetus has a different ontological status than you or I -- a different status than a person.

I don't know if I can do it without making an a-priori moral argument. But I'm trying to work my way towards this direction.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 28, 2005 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

See, the thing is that conservatives don't give a rat's pattoot about what goes on in anyone's bedroom as long as we don't have to pay for the results.

I'm sick of paying for birth control, triple cocktails, social services, abortion services, penicillin, etc.

Want to keep conservatives out of your bedroom, keep your bedroom activities out of our wallets. Stop insisting we pay for your triple cocktails, illigimate kids, viagra, penicillin, etc. Give us a break from paying for your bedroom activities, for crissakes!!!

Posted by: A Suburbanmom on December 28, 2005 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

Want to keep conservatives out of your bedroom, keep your bedroom activities out of our wallets. Stop insisting we pay for your triple cocktails, illigimate kids, viagra, penicillin, etc. Give us a break from paying for your bedroom activities, for crissakes!!!
Posted by: A Suburbanmom

I certainly wouldn't want to pay for neil bush's health care, that's for damn sure.

But I digress ... your ignorant position will simply ensure that the rich, drunk texan debutantes will be the only ones to get HIV meds, abortions, and syphillis treatments.

as it is, I suggest you relax. as a suburban mom, you likely don't make enough money to be contributing much financially to the common good, anyways.

Posted by: Nads on December 28, 2005 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

Suburban Mom:

The thing that conservatives refuse to understand is their connection with all of society. You want it in economic terms -- how about you can pay a little now or a lot later.

Even back in the Gilded Age, blueblooded New York City robber barons subsidized the installation of indoor plumbing in slum tenements because, you see, cholera and typhus can spread even to the Upper West Side.

So ... would you prefer to pay for condoms -- or would you prefer to pay for a prison sentence? Would you prefer subsidizing healthcare for the poor, or for the increased costs of a beefed-up legal system?

It's your call ... the only thing you *can't* do is duck out from the problem. They'll get you now, or they'll get you later -- and it's always *much more expensive* when society deals with it later.

And WTF is a "triple cocktail?"

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 28, 2005 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

Nads, how right you are on so many levels.

fortunately, I don't concern myself much with contributing towards the common good. Anyways.

Posted by: A Suburbanmom on December 28, 2005 at 2:01 AM | PERMALINK

Suburban Mom:

So you *admit* you're a troll?

Okay, how about the Troll Theme Song !

*pitchpipe middle C*

I'M A TROLL
FEED MY GOAL
FLUSH ME DOWN THE TOILET BOWL
I HAVE SUCH AN UGLY SOUL
WRITING POSTS THAT MAKE YOU SCROLL

TROLL TROLL TROLL
TROLL TROLL TROLL

SOME MAY THINK THAT I'M A MOLE
OR THAT I LACK SELF-CONTROL
WONDER WHAT I'LL NEXT EXTOLL
ARGUE BLATHER SPEW CAJOLE

TROLL TROLL TROLL
TROLL TROLL TROLL

EVER WATCHFUL ON PATROL
AS I CLIMB THE GRASSY KNOLL
STEEP ENOUGH TO FALL AND ROLL
DOWN INTO THE DRAINAGE HOLE

TROLL TROLL TROLL
TROLL TROLL TROLL

UGLY SMELLY NASTY TROLL
TOUCH ME WITH A TEN-FOOT POLE
STUFF MY STOCKINGS UP WITH COAL
JUST GIVE ME A STARRING ROLE

TROLL TROLL TROLL
TROLL TROLL TROLL

MY NAME'S NOEL
I'M A TROLL
SITTING ON THE TOILET BOWL
ALL MY BEST IDEAS I STOLE
VERBAL SPHINCTER DECONTROL

TROLL TROLL TROLL
TROLL TROLL TROLL

{rinse 'n' repeat}

Posted by: rmck1 on December 28, 2005 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

well done ... we can re-write the troll song to be sung in tune with the Thong Song.

Posted by: Nads on December 28, 2005 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

Bob, I'm actually for health care for everyone. I'm just sick of seeing our costs continue to rise to cover so called anchor babies and the like. We pay enough for coverage, why should we cover those who don't think enough of our country to even try to become real citizens?

Why should our co-pays continue to go up to cover those who don't pay at all?

Posted by: A Suburbanmom on December 28, 2005 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

And WTF is a "triple cocktail?"
Bob
Posted by: rmck1

a triple cocktail is the combination of anti-virals used for HIV treatment. the mutation rate of the virus is so rapid that single drug treatment INVARIABLY leads to formation of a resistant strain.

evolution in action ... for the suburbanmom and other ignorant red-staters out there.

Posted by: Nads on December 28, 2005 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

Dismayed Liberal:

Anyone elese vote for Johnny Storm being asshole?
--hand raised--
Oooh, me! Me! Pick me!

joking about how DaveP might be the father of his daughter's child is beyond disgraceful.
Guess you missed the part about being called a "baby killer". Besides, DaveP strikes me as the "family tree with no branches" type.
Fight fire with fire, I always say.

Do you think that he was just making shit up to add weight to his argument, Johnny "the Dickhead" Storm, or do you think he was just being candid?
Uh, the nickname is "The Human Torch". Veep Cheney has dibs on "the Dickhead" superhero name.

Or do you give a shit?
Bingo. Even if DaveP's daughter's situation is real, the supposedly tragic aspect of it is probably a big drama he's playing out in his head to his daughter's detriment. Poor kid; he's never going to let her live this down.

Posted by: Johnny Storm on December 28, 2005 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

Suburban Mom:

You're not for healthcare for everyone. If you were, you wouldn't be trying to blame the problem on the bottom rung of society.

Healthcare for all is healthcare for all. You either see it in social terms, or it's a war of all against all -- with the littlest guys getting the most screwed.

Why should "anchor babies" have to pay for the sins of their parents?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 28, 2005 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

rmck1, how clever of you to have discovered I'm a troll several months after I started posting here. Kudos to you and yours.

And, kudos to me for nestling in as a little troll family, complete with husband and kidlets. We're so proud!!!

Warm fuzzies to you and yours :*

Posted by: A Suburbanmom on December 28, 2005 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

Bob, I'm actually for health care for everyone. I'm just sick of seeing our costs continue to rise to cover so called anchor babies and the like. We pay enough for coverage, why should we cover those who don't think enough of our country to even try to become real citizens?
Why should our co-pays continue to go up to cover those who don't pay at all?
Posted by: A Suburbanmom

why try and cover your initial ignorance with empty racist rhetoric ... your initial statement had nothing to do with illegals, but was an explicit whine about not wanting to pay for what you ignorantly consider to be lifestyle medical care (for lack of a better term).

your blather NOW about universal health care if not for all those illegal, presumably brown, people rings somewhat hollow. but being a suburbanmom, I expect some baseline racism.

Posted by: Nads on December 28, 2005 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

Suburban Mom:

The troll business was probably a little heavy-handed, and I'm sorry.

I just had that troll song from the glory days of the Howard Dean blog and felt in the mood for a reprise ...

Look, you come on a decidedly liberal blog and start complaining about paying for other people's healtcare -- I mean, what do you expect?

It's not like you presented a lucid policy argument or anything.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 28, 2005 at 2:27 AM | PERMALINK

Nads, take a prozac or something.

As a Seneca I could challenge you on many levels. It is you who are racist.

Yup, I'm a suburban mom. But it is you, apparently who chooses to stereotype w/o knowing who you are talking to, you fool.

Posted by: A Suburbanmom on December 28, 2005 at 2:28 AM | PERMALINK

Nads:

It's the politics of resentment. I'm not at fault -- everybody else is.

The blame shifts from people with "lifestyle diseases" to immigrant babies at the drop of a hat.

Oh it's not *my* fault; *my* motives are entirely pure. Why I'd be a bleeding-heart liberal just like you if it weren't for all those Other People ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 28, 2005 at 2:30 AM | PERMALINK

Yup, I'm a suburban mom. But it is you, apparently who chooses to stereotype w/o knowing who you are talking to, you fool.
Posted by: A Suburbanmom

seneca ... what the fuck ... like 1/16th or some such. If you were any more than that fraction, then you are a fucking disgrace to your tribe. I guess there is only so much oppression by the white man you could take before you sold out.

pathetic.

Posted by: Nads on December 28, 2005 at 2:33 AM | PERMALINK

Suburban Mom:

Condoleezza Rice and Clarence Thomas are both African-Americans.

They're both reactionaries as well.

The fact that you're a Seneca means exactly nothing. As being African-American means exactly nothing to the politics of Rice and Thomas.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 28, 2005 at 2:34 AM | PERMALINK

Nads:

Blaming the guy on the lower rung than you. Kicking the weaker.

A time-honored American tradition -- no matter what your own origins happen to be.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 28, 2005 at 2:39 AM | PERMALINK

A time-honored American tradition -- no matter what your own origins happen to be.
Bob
Posted by: rmck1

agreed ... it always bothers me when I see it in people who I figure should know better, though. Historical ignorance is another american commonality.

It's late and the articles I'm reading are getting a little dry. The flaming is more to amuse me and keep me awake for a little while longer.

Posted by: Nads on December 28, 2005 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

Well, "Bob",you're right. It really means nothing, which was my point all along.

I do find it amusing though when someone calls me a racist, especially when they are waaaaay more in the majority, racially speaking that is, than I.

I am, however, a Suburban mommy. I have married an English engineeer, we have 4 kidlets and live in the suburbs of upstate NY.

If someone calls me a *racist* simmply because I'm a suburb dweller and they choose to make assumptions I will call them on that and remind them of the true *racist* heritage of the USofA.

Posted by: A Suburbanmom on December 28, 2005 at 2:47 AM | PERMALINK

Suburban Mom:

Your racial heritage would never come into the equation if you didn't start ranting about "anchor babies."

I mean, c'mon -- that's what you call a nativist preoccupation.

If you're upset that you're spending all these healthcare dollars subsidizing other people with terrible diseases like AIDS, or defenseless children of illegal immigrants -- has it ever occured to you what a whopping fortune you're helping to make the insurance and pharmaceutical industries?

I mean ... why not place the blame where it's more appropriate -- on the people *above* you, who make the decisions and decide how expensive your healthcare will be?

Doesn't that make more political sense than trashing the weakest among us -- the ones who have the *least* power, the *least* say, on where your healthcare dollar is going?

Even if they get allocated a share of it through insurance and/or government subsidy -- they still have exactly zero power in the system.

The fact that you don't seem to see this makes us suspect your entire worldview, including your motives.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 28, 2005 at 2:56 AM | PERMALINK

Bob, I don't place blame anywhere, I just want my taxes to stop going up, especially when others don't pay any taxes at all.

How about those hospital in so cal that have gone under simply because they are innundated with anchor babies and illegals?

Do you not agree that the nurses and doctors and aides should be paid? Who should pay them? Everyone BUT those who are seeking treatment?

Posted by: A Suburbanmom on December 28, 2005 at 3:03 AM | PERMALINK

If someone calls me a *racist* simmply because I'm a suburb dweller and they choose to make assumptions I will call them on that and remind them of the true *racist* heritage of the USofA.
Posted by: A Suburbanmom

you're a racist for bitching about anchor babies, which is practically code for brown people invading my country. your heritage makes you a sellout.

you're a moron for complaining about the realities of medical insurance. I don't get to opt out of car insurance because my plan happens to cover old people and teenagers ... that's how insurance works, you dumb bitch ... the risk is minimized over several participants.

On a happier note, Chappelle Show was showing reruns ... I just saw Black Bush and the Wayne Brady clips ... absolutely fucking ridiculous!!!

Posted by: Nads on December 28, 2005 at 3:09 AM | PERMALINK

Suburban Mom:

Well, you completely ducked my question. And you
contradicted yourself, besides. On the one hand you
say that you you're "not blaming anyone." Then you go
off on another rant targeting the broke and defenseless.

What would you prefer, that these children *don't*
get healthcare? That they starve in the street, or
work as slave labor until such time as they can pay
back all the debts they incur in the healthcare system?

If the insurance and pharmaceutical industries would
stop cherry-picking and price gouging, healthcare
would be a helluva lot cheaper for *all* of us.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 28, 2005 at 3:12 AM | PERMALINK

Bob, I don't place blame anywhere, I just want my taxes to stop going up, especially when others don't pay any taxes at all.

This selfishness really is what encapsulates it all right there.

How about those hospital in so cal that have gone under simply because they are innundated with anchor babies and illegals?

for an upstate newyorker, you have a lot of opinions on so cal hospitals. no facts, but opinions. poor management contributed more to the closing of king drew than did any anchor babies. the vast majority of drew's patients were african american, and legally born here to apparently "legit" americans.

Do you not agree that the nurses and doctors and aides should be paid? Who should pay them? Everyone BUT those who are seeking treatment?
Posted by: A Suburbanmom

as it happens, I happen to be a southern california doctor, and 70% of the kids I see have zero insurance or medical. I have complaints about the system, but MY pay rate and the nures' pay rates don't come into that equation. We're compensated fine.

I also tend not to blame the anchor babies, by which you presumably mean the latino kids which comprise approx 50% of who I see.

My criticisms focus predominantly on the insurance industry which continues to gouge health care, the government which is reluctant to nationalize health care, and the ignorant selfish money-grubbering suburbanmoms nationwide which have no fucking clue about the realities of medical care and finances, yet still feel qualified to opine on it.

Posted by: Nads on December 28, 2005 at 3:18 AM | PERMALINK

Nads:

You da man :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 28, 2005 at 3:19 AM | PERMALINK

No, Bob, I didn't duck you question, I simply didn't answer the way you wanted me to.

And yes if health care gurus would stop cherry picking it would be a wonderful thing.

I'm all for universal health care, that's something we can agree on, yes?

Nads, who pays you?

Posted by: A Suburbanmom on December 28, 2005 at 3:25 AM | PERMALINK

Suburban Mom:

If you want universal healthcare, the very first thing you need to do is get over the idea that healthcare is a commodity.

It is not. It's a captive market. People don't get sick because they want to pay the doctor. It's not like buying, say, a car, where the market actually works by delivering a range of choices.

And the health of people is not merely a private good. If your neighbors are sick, that increases the chances of you getting sick or your children getting sick. Or the convenience store clerk you see every day, or whoever. The point is, the more healthy we all are as a society, the more we all benefit.

Now you gotta ask yourself why an MD like Nads would support universal healthcare. It would seem to eat into his earning potential. In fact, many doctors support single-payer healthcare. The American College of Surgeons has endorsed it.

But powerful lobbies like the AMA still oppose it, because they support the right of a few doctors to become fabulously wealthy. And of course the insurance and pharmaceutical industries hate it like poison. Single-payer healthcare would destroy the private healthcare insurance industry.

And about time. They are inefficient middlemen who add nothing to the quality of healthcare while skimming vast amounts off the top.

They need to be annihilated.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 28, 2005 at 3:39 AM | PERMALINK

Bob, I understand the fences.

My dd (dear daughter) has a bone lesion. It isn't cacerous yet but it needs to be checked every 6 months. Well, last year dh (Dear Husband) was laid off and we couldn't afford to do the annual bone check. We now have insurance and she has an appointment next Thurs.

I HATE this country's pharmaceutical's fixation on the viagra-type fix-its. Let's cure shyness and the like. Just today I read an article that talked about how there's no money in HIV treatment so the major drug gurus don't want to waste their time on it. Mean while thousands of poeple will go without what they really need. It sucks.

The only reason drugs cost so much is because most of them are for *quality of life cures* and people just want to keep taking them.

Anyway, I have blathered on too long. I think we agree on many of these issues. And, you're right, the evil ones need to be annihilated. Determining the exact target is the sticky widget though.

Posted by: A Suburbanmom on December 28, 2005 at 3:57 AM | PERMALINK

I HATE this country's pharmaceutical's fixation on the viagra-type fix-its. Let's cure shyness and the like. Just today I read an article that talked about how there's no money in HIV treatment so the major drug gurus don't want to waste their time on it. Mean while thousands of poeple will go without what they really need. It sucks.
Posted by: A Suburbanmom

you read wrong ... HIV treatments make money. There is no financial incentive, however, for an HIV vaccine.

as for who pays me ... salaried semi-academic tertiary/quaternary care children's hospital. which STILL often gets better reimbursement from MediCal than it does from bluecross ... the fuckers.

people in private practice make more, and tend to see fewer uninsured/underinsured. single payer may lower their perceived reimbursement, but the savings from simplified paperwork and reduced hassles about approvals for meds and procedures may make for an improved bottom line.

however, being good MDs, the ones I know would still prefer to see everyone covered. and they don't blame latino babies.

Posted by: Nads on December 28, 2005 at 4:09 AM | PERMALINK

Suburban Mom:

No, the private healthcare insurance industry needs to be annihilated. B-52 runs over Hartford, Connecticut is the only way.

Seriously. That's, in fact, precisely what single-payer healthcare would do. Shut down the private healthcare insurance industry. All of it. Wipe it off the face of the earth.

There's no efficiency to be gained by competing insurance companies. All that does is create an incentive to cherry-pick an optimal risk pool. The idea of insurance, though, is to spread risk. Think of how much tbe risk would be spread with the entire country under a single insurer.

Of course, you start talking this way and people (especially Republicans) start freaking out because "the government's going to run healthcare!" Horror of horrors. Everybody thinks it will become a cumbersome, inefficient bureaucracy with no incentive to do a good job. But ask doctors now -- how "efficient" is a system with a zillion different health plans and an office staffed with white-wearing clerical workers just to handle all that paperwork?

A single-payer system, with a reasonable choice of care options, would create so much efficiency that the lack of "market discipline" wouldn't begin to bog things down to the extent that they are now.

And I agree with you about middle-class lifestyle-enhancement drugs like Viagra and Paxil for "social anxiety disorder," formerly known as garden-variety shyness.

These drugs are profitable because of the vastly inefficient way healthcare is delivered. An overabundance of marginally necessary "treatments" for worried well-off people. Barely any preventive care for the 40+ million of us with no medical insurance.

The underlying problem is the profit motive. It has no place in the helping professions.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 28, 2005 at 4:54 AM | PERMALINK
Bob, I don't place blame anywhere, I just want my taxes to stop going up, especially when others don't pay any taxes at all.

Taxes are the price you pay for a social system that allows you to be wealthy and alive while those people pay no taxes (by which, I presume, you mean "no federal income taxes because their income doesn't reach the level at which those kick in", because they sure pay other taxes) are poor. It is simply the combination socialization and outright coercion imposed by organized society which allows you to control property outside of your immediate presence; those who gain the most benefit from this feature of society naturally should be expected to return the greater share of what income they have to support the social system which produces that benefit.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 28, 2005 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Nads,

you're a racist for bitching about anchor babies, which is practically code for brown people invading my country. your heritage makes you a sellout.

"Anchor babies" may be of any race, Nads. That most are "brown people," as you charmingly put it, has something to do with the existence of a much-poorer country and a long, sparsely-policed border to our south. It is much harder to get into the country illegally from other points of entry.

If I were bound to my (white) "heritage," I suppose I'd have to be a bigot, right? I guess I'm a "sellout" too.

you're a moron for complaining about the realities of medical insurance. I don't get to opt out of car insurance because my plan happens to cover old people and teenagers ... that's how insurance works, you dumb bitch ... the risk is minimized over several participants.

Ummm . . . my understanding of car insurance is that high-risk drivers do pay more. You pay according to your driving record, according to your age and sex, according to your goddamn ZIP code, fer Chrissake. Unless you live in some rare place where car insurance is literally flat-rate, your description of "how insurance works" is a massive pile of hooey.

Of course, I may be merely another "dumb bitch." But I doubt the rules in your end of CA are different from those here at the other end.

Incidentally, I find it interesting that the only word you capitalize infallibly is "I." Just noticin'.

Posted by: waterfowl on December 28, 2005 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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