Thursday, March 22, 2007

The ‘liberal’ Donald Tusk and friends


They are radical; they are liberal; they are the great Platforma Obywatelska (Civic Platform), fighting for freedom of the individual everywhere. Not.

Maybe they never read real liberals like J.S. Mill.

Donald Tusk, leader of the so-called ‘liberal’ Civic Platform, was on TV yesterday commenting on the abortion amendment to the constitution proposed by ultras like the Giertychs et al, that in no circumstances may a woman have a termination. Even if she has been raped.

Nice.

This is in spite of the recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that Poland seriously violated the human rights of Alicja Tysiac, when she was denied an abortion, even though the pregnancy threatened to blind her completly . She can now only see five feet from her face.

Donald Tusk, is against the idea. Radical, isn’t he?

Not really. On TV last night he said: “The compromise [on abortion] that we came to has been a great success”.

The ‘compromise’ which has been a ‘great success’ he is referring to was when Poland banned abortion in 1993, except in very rare circumstances, such as rape, incest, if the pregnancy seriously threatened the woman’s lifer health (as the Tysiac case did), or if the foetus had a major deformity.

So Tusk supports one of the most repressive laws in Europe.

Nice.

Radical, progressive, ‘liberal’...

Abortion verdict splits coalition, Reuters, March 21

60 comments:

nemeczek said...

'Repressive laws'?! Repressive to whom? A fetus? 'Progressive' is not always synonymous with 'better'. Alicja Tysiac won her case not because the Polish abortion law is 'repressive' but because its provisions that allow termination in certain cases were ignored by her gynecologist. Poland does not allow abortion on demand simply because it regards the unborn as human beings. Others may have a different view on the issue, but it does not make them more 'progressive'. Just different. Mind you, in countries that do allow abortion on demand, the law is often very schizophrenic. In these countries, a person can be convicted of a MURDER of a fetus (when, for instance, one kills a pregnant woman). The following case amply demonstrates this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Peterson
The logic of this dichotomy is lost on me.

varus said...

I generally agree with what Nemeczek said. In my experience the 'abortion on demand' has been missued in Britain. Many people (both men and women) view abortion as a means of contraception. It removes the responsibility of two people having sex. They can have a one night stand, not use contraception and then just go and have an abortion if a pregnancy results. - The 'compromise' means that people (manly the young) have to think more carefully about their relationships. In my view this is good. As nemecek said, the ruling of the European court was to do with the present law not been applied correctly.

Michael said...

I happen to be 100% Pro-Choice, however I am also against abortion. Nothing about the whole abortion debate is strictly "black and white", nor should it be treated as such. I have the right to my beliefs, but I have no right whatsoever to decide what another person can do with their experiences. I can find abortion used as a method of birth-control repugnant, but I have no right to take away that choice. No one has that right, and no one should have that right. As for Tusk, well unfortunately in Poland, if he wants the votes, there's not much room for him to really speak his beliefs on the matter. Granted, I'm not too sure what his exact beliefs on the matter are, but I do think that if he comes out as saying the current laws in Poland are repressive and/or wrong, he loses a lot of votes and angers a huge majority of Poles. But the worst thing about this, is that nothing in Poland will change for generations. I just wish people would wake up and realize that nothing in life is "black and white" and that no one has the right to decide what one can do with their body. Whether it be euthanasia, abortion, tattoos, whatever.

opamp said...

Some context on the Alicja Tysiąc case as I have a feeling this is being misrepresented.

She did qualify for abortion under the current law. The problem is however that the doctors are allowed to refuse performing an abortion in legal cases (!) citing ethical concerns. (Some say that these ethical concerns misteriously vanish if a monetary compensation is involved). And this is precisely what happened in her case: she was technically allowed to have an abortion, but unable to find a doctor who would perform it. So the main problem is that the current law is not enforced.

And regarding Tusk's statement that the 1993 law is a compromise. Well, BR, you apparently weren't here back then. It is a compromise in a sense that originally a more strict law was being proposed, namely: (1) no abortion to be allowed under any circumstances and (2) women who had an abortion to be punished with a jail sentence. Whereas current law states that: (1) abortion is illegal, however in certain cases (the ones you listed) it is not punishable and (2) the women are not punished for the illegal abortions, only the doctors are. Enforcement is another matter: you can say that it is being enforced selectively and one way only.

Of course, nobody really cares about women (or foetuses, for that matter) here. The idea is that the abortion should be banned, so the politicians can say that there are single abortions per year and get unconditional Church blessing and political support, while if you need it and have money, you can have it done with no problem. If you don't have money, well, too bad.

Excuse me, I am going to vomit now.

opamp said...

But the worst thing about this, is that nothing in Poland will change for generations.

Well, the reason why the political forces oppose referendum on this since 1989, is that there is a widespread feeling that if there was one, the reasult would have been overwhelmingly pro-choice. However, for most people that are pro-choice, it is simply not fashionable to state such opinion publicly (believe me, you don't want to put yourself at odds with the Church here). But, once you get to vote in secret...

eulogist said...

I would agree with the two first comments that the prevention of unwanted pregnancies/births is not primarily a matter of having a liberal attitude towards abortion in a country. It's really about having a liberal attitude towards sex. When it comes to preventing teen pregnancies and abortions, sex education in schools - and I mean *real education, not anti-sex propaganda - from an early age (say 10) is the only thing that actually works. It is not a coincidence that, among the countries with liberal abortion laws, only those with liberal sex education (e.g. Scandinavia, the Netherlands) actually have low abortion figures.
That's right, religious bigots kill babies.

Which is not to say that you do not need liberal abortion laws as well. So far, I still have to see any evidence that completing an unwanted pregnancy is in the interest of the child that is born - whether its parents keep it or give it away for abortion.

(BTW I don't think that Scott Peterson case is relevant in this discussion - his wife was 8!! months pregnant, which is well over the "abortion limit" in any country)

eulogist said...

I wrote: "...whether its parents keep it or give it away for abortion"

But I meant of course: "...whether its parents keep it or give it away for *adoption*"

geez said...

A few responses/questions to comments:

I have no right whatsoever to decide what another person can do with their experiences

I have no right to take away that choice.



Is a human fetus (not a hippopatamus fetus) simply an experience or a choice?

If I experience feelings of rage, doesn't society have a right and/or an obligation to enact laws so that I may not channel that rage into the experiences of others manifested in "choices" that are injurious to human life and well-being? Even if it is not a matter of rage, can't many individual "choices" be injurious to other human beings? Shouldn't these choices be limited by law?

no one has the right to decide what one can do with their body. Whether it be euthanasia, abortion, tattoos, whatever.

A human fetus posed as the equivalent of a tattoo? And are "ethical suicide AND tattoo parlors" next? An interesting Kurt Vonnegut JR. short story btw, minus the tattoo parlor angle.

So far, I still have to see any evidence that completing an unwanted pregnancy is in the interest of the child that is born - whether its parents keep it or give it away for adoption.

Really? How much of a personal introduction would you like me to give you? I'm sorry but that is really a horrendous thing to say! And who is to decide what is in the interest of the child that (WHO actually) is born? Talk about the interests or the rights of the mother all you want, but in all cases please don't take it upon yourself to impose your will or choice upon me. That detracts from my rights a bit, wouldn't you say, heh?

I don't think that Scott Peterson case is relevant in this discussion - his wife was 8!! months pregnant, which is well over the "abortion limit" in any country

So why have any limits on rights at all? Aren't such laws repressive?

And why set limits at 8 months? Or 7? Or 6? Or 5? Or for that matter 4? Might science soon make it possible for a human fetus to survive outside the womb at 4 months? So at one point in history abortion is ok at 5 months and another point in time it's ok at 4 months?

Look, I really don't know when individual human life begins. I even have doubts that we can say it begins at conception because of the process of twinning.

And I'm all for lots of sex education that includes information about and provision of preventative birth control (as long as it's not injurious to someone's health).

But then again what about the *rights* of a majority in society if that majority is in disagreement with me?

So it goes.

Finally a warning to all. This blogger system is acting crazy again, eating up posts. Make sure you save your post off the blog before you click on the publish your comment box (I've even been having problems simply copying my post) or your comment may be jettisoned into cyberspace to be aborted forever and ever unto all eternity.

nemeczek said...

elogist wrote: BTW I don't think that Scott Peterson case is relevant in this discussion - his wife was 8!! months pregnant, which is well over the "abortion limit" in any country)
You make a valid point. However, post-viability abortions are still legal in many jurisdictions (although in CA severe restrictions are probably in place).

jannovak57 said...

This whole issue is really about the backward social pressures the church is able to exert on polish society. There is no majority support for the existing abortion law let alone a tougher new law, however social pressure restrains most people from expressing their opinions.

Sex education in schools is no reduced to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church on human sexuality and the family. This means very little information on methods of contraception and you can bet little information on sexual transmitted deceases like AIDS. The consequence is dangerously ignorant young people.

When you add the ignorance to a national history of using abortion as a method of contraception the results are bleak. Prior to 1989 it was difficult to get contraceptives even condoms were of the poorest quality however abortion on demand was available.

This problem goes back a long way in Polish history in the 1930’s there was a section of elevated train tracks crossing the border (unsure of exact location), when young women left home to have that unwanted baby they would use this train to solve a problem. When the train reached the elevated track, the babies would fly out the window.

Abortion is a business; doctors avoid giving abortions for any reason despite the law, on the basis of the 'conscience clause'. However with a fee equal to one-month salary the conscience is eased and an abortion is possible in a private surgery.

The 2004 official statistic on abortion 212 while the estimated illegal abortions is believed to be 80,000 to 200,00. These numbers as a proportion of live births are some of the highest rates of abortion ever.

And now to get myself excommunicated:

-proper sex education and family planning should be taught in Polish schools independent of the catholic clergy
-birth control legalized and a private matter between the women and her doctor
-abortion laws determined by nation referendum

The last point would require Donald Tusk to grow some balls, in the mean time a catholic church that deals with the rape of children by it priests as something on par with a double parking offence should shut the F**k up on matters related to sexuality and reproductive rights.

geez said...

This whole issue is really about the backward social pressures the church is able to exert on polish society

Forget the RC Church. Forget the law. When does human life begin?

Also, to the extent that we all presumably agree that the number of abortions should be minimized, how does Polish society best achieve that goal?

beatroot said...

This post is about two things: one the meaning of ‘liberal’ and two the ‘rights’ involved in the abortion debate.

Firstly – Tusk is again and again labeled a ‘liberal’ in the Polish and sometimes foreign press. He is not a liberal. He is a free-market conservative, much in the same mould as the very un-liberal, Maggie Thatcher.

Secondly – the ubiquitous photos of ‘smiling’ fetuses over the years (especially since the new 4-D photo technology was developed a few years ago) have misled people to thinking that a 12 week old fetus (the vast majority of abortions take place before 12 weeks) is an emotional, conscious individual, much like you and me.

It is not.

It is only in the very final stages of the pregnancy that the brain develops in such a way as to make this possible.

So if something is not a conscious individual then it can not have ‘rights’ in the same way as the mother. So all this talk of ‘fetus rights’ is just balony, I am afraid.

Now, why I mentioned JS Mill in my post was because he made a clear distinction about what the limits of the state are. And rights over one’s body are way out of reach of the state.

Unfortunately, it is not just conservatives (like Tusk) who feel that the state has rights to put controls over our bodies. Modern day ‘liberals’ seem to think it’s OK to go there too. Look at the constant way they try to affect our behaviour in countries such as the UK and America – I am thinking particularly of the ‘green’ lobby, with its great new idea for taxes to make us behave ourselves in regard taking more cheap flights etc etc etc etc etc .

So the right of the mother over her own body should be absolute and above everything else.

Period.

geez said...

br wrote: It is only in the very final stages of the pregnancy that the brain develops in such a way as to make this possible.

And this begins when?

And rights over one’s body are way out of reach of the state.

Just want to make sure exactly when you think one has rights over one's body.

beatroot said...

Right begin when someone becomes a conscious individual. That is why we have children’s rights.

But note that we do have children’s rights. Meaning they are slightly different from adult rights. It’s when we are judged to be adults that we (should) have full and complete rights over our bodies.

beatroot said...

As for the first part of question, Geez (forgot, sorry) then how about this

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/1797/

geez said...

And someone becomes a conscious individual when? Bar Mitzvah? When the moyl does his thing? Oh, I'll look at the sparked link but I weary. Confused, I've consciously concluded that consciousness is not all its cracked up to be.

Children have no rights over their bodies? That should make a few teachers, priests, rabbis, shamen, witches, postmen, soldiers, et. al. very whatever it is that it makes them.

BTW, what is the full code to hyperlink a url?

beatroot said...

Children have no rights over their bodies?

Geez, don’t be silly. I never said that. I was simply pointing out the obvious.

We have such a thing as children’s rights to designate that they are special in some way. And different from adults. They are special because they do not have full rights, equal to an adult.

So that is why we can drag them along to the dentist, even though they are determined they are not gonna go. Ever! You could not drag me along to a dentist without me calling the cops! And that’s because I have an autonomy that a child does not.

As far as consciousness goes: consciousness is what makes us different from animals. And that means they are conscious they are an individual..and, later, that they have ‘rights’.

My dog does not really think about these things. He wouldn’t know what a ‘right’ was if one came and bit him on the arse.

That’s why ‘animal rights’ is a slight misnomer.

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beatroot said...

Link code –



Put the url in between the “ ” and the word you want to link in between the > <

opamp said...

-birth control legalized and a private matter between the women and her doctor

Huh? Contraceptives are legal in Poland.

geez said...

So what's the libertarian position on NAAMBLA? If you don't know what that stands for, it's North American Association for Man-Boy Love something-or-other. You get the idea. Y'know, Tommy's uncle Ernie?

And please provide an answer as to *when* human consiousness comes into being. You've been dancing around that one throughout this discussion.

europejczyk said...

At the time being, SOME contraceptives are legal in Poland. E.g. sterilization isn't, though it's a well-proven method and used in many countries by couples who already have enough children.

I did not follow the debate about the so-called "The Pill After" in Poland, but I remember that there were strong objections to make it legal. Does someone know more? It must have been available in Poland, since one of Simon Mol's partners revealed that she took "the pill after" even several times.

If the proposed change of the constitution will pass, all drugs or intrauterine devices (e.g. "the spiral") that prevent a fertilized egg from lodging will also be illegal. And what about extrauterine gravidity - which always is life threatening to the woman (and doesn't give the fetus a chance for survival).

The problem with anti-abortion laws has always been that they are class-sensitive: women from the upper strata of society always have found their abortionist, if need be, somewhere abroad. Only the women from the lower classes of society have always been forced to give birth to an unwanted child.

And with regard to the RC: in my (and my wife's) opinion, how can an all-male institution that forces not only celibacy upon its members, but also demands total sexual abstinence from them, claim to have the right to decide on women and their sexual behavior, including their reproductive scheme?

Michael Farris said...

"So what's the libertarian position on NAAMBLA?"

I'm not sure, but probably that NAMBLA members should be free to say and write whatever they want, but that children are not competent to make certain decision, including that of sexual consent and thus sexual relations with them are (and should be) illegal.

"provide an answer as to *when* human consiousness comes into being"

No one can, it's not a discrete phenomenon but a gradual cumulative one (like learning language).
I'd hazard a guess that babies don't achieve anything like consciousness until quite some time after birth.

But this is off-topic. The question is why are certain factions of the government so anxious to enact changes in legislation that the majority of the population doesn't want? (making unpopular legislation even harsher and less popular)?

geez said...

michael farris wrote in italics:

children are not competent to make certain decision, including that of sexual consent and thus sexual relations with them are (and should be) illegal.

So at what age should children be considered competent to make that decision? If you say it depends on the individual, then what if some kid insists (s)he's mature enough at 13? Great Balls of Fire!

I'd hazard a guess that babies don't achieve anything like consciousness until quite some time after birth.

So let's jettison "consciousness" as a determinant of at what point in a pregnancy abortions should be allowed.

The question is why are certain factions of the government so anxious to enact changes in legislation that the majority of the population doesn't want?

Maybe because they believe that as Catholics and elected representatives, they should take a position on the issue. If voters don't like their unpopular position, they can vote in somebody else.

I only wish Hillary and certain other Dems in the US would be so forthright.

geez said...

Euro wrote: And with regard to the RC: in my (and my wife's) opinion, how can an all-male institution that forces not only celibacy upon its members, but also demands total sexual abstinence from them, claim to have the right to decide on women and their sexual behavior, including their reproductive scheme?

It's not an all male institution. My wife happens to be Catholic as are nuns and many administrators, teachers, etc. I'm Catholic and nobody in the Church is forcing me to be celibate. Not even all priests are required to be celibate. And when was the last time any layperson not held responsible for teaching Catholic doctrine was excommunicated for using a rubber or an IUD or even for advocating a women's choice to abort her whatever-you-want-to-call him/her/it?

Harry said...

When does something have life? When it can live by itself. Sure, give it all the help that modern medicine can give it but if it can not live by itself with that aid it is not alive. If it must suck the blood from a living creature then it is a parasite or a tumour and as sich the person on which it grows/feeds should be able to demand that it is removed.

nemeczek said...

europejczyk: And with regard to the RC: in my (and my wife's) opinion, how can an all-male institution that forces not only celibacy upon its members, but also demands total sexual abstinence from them, claim to have the right to decide on women and their sexual behavior, including their reproductive scheme?

Following this logic, only murderers should be entitled to express their opinion on murder, rapists on rape, and alcoholics on drink-driving. Besides, the church does not limit your rights in any respect, as you do not have to pay attention to its teachings – burning on the stake went out of fashion a long time ago. The Church simply regards abortion as a mortal sin.

nemeczek said...

beatroot wrote: As far as consciousness goes: consciousness is what makes us different from animals. And that means they are conscious they are an individual..and, later, that they have ‘rights’.

If that is your argument for abortion then infanticide should also be OK, as newborns (even infants) lack consciousness according to certain consciousness tests. People in coma fall into the same category. The problem with a woman’s human rights vs. a fetus’ rights is that you try to argue that the fetus’ right to life is inferior to the woman’s right to comfort (or whatever her reasons for abortion are).

nemeczek said...

Harry wrote: When does something have life? When it can live by itself. Sure, give it all the help that modern medicine can give it but if it can not live by itself with that aid it is not alive. If it must suck the blood from a living creature then it is a parasite or a tumour and as sich the person on which it grows/feeds should be able to demand that it is removed.

You just want to be controversial, don’t you? If something/somebody needs support to live, this fact does not render it/him/her not alive. After all, the support keeps it alive. And something cannot be alive and not alive at the same time. Parasite? Tumor? I do not think so.

Anonymous said...

... it is a parasite or a tumor?

...that looks just like a human being or an elephant?

... just as this turnip I have looks like a beet.

Sucks blood, too?

A little vampire?

Anonymous said...

A little vampire?

This calls for abortion by wooden stake!

beatroot said...

??????????????????????

Anyway…..

Geez: What’s the libertarian position on pedophilia? Let’s not beat about the bush – that’s what you mean.

I would have thought it was obvious from everything else I have said – the children’s rights distinction – that, as Mike said, children can not make certain choices over their own bodies. If the parent wants them to go to the dentist then they go to the dentist. So children are not in a position to make a choice of sexual partners. And any man that thinks they are is…a pedophile.

It’s a no brainer, Geez.

So at what age should children be considered competent to make that decision?

Again, another no-brainer. There are a whole host of laws that define ‘adult’ status. These are confused in many cases – drive a car at 17, go to war at 19….but in Europe the average age is about 16. I think that is correct but there is a lot of debate about that, and society should debate that.

Consciousness cannot be got rid of because it really is the thing that makes us human and different from animals. As soon as the baby is born it starts to experience something unique and personal to itself. It immediately starts to interact with others – albeit in a limited way. But it’s fully human.

But here we are into the ‘meaning of life’ debate. And of course it’s that debate that is crucial here. And that’s not easy.

Michael Farris said...

"The problem with a woman’s human rights vs. a fetus’ rights is that you try to argue that the fetus’ right to life is inferior to the woman’s right to comfort (or whatever her reasons for abortion are)."

My (very unpopular) position is that a fetus has no inherent right to be born until it's capable of existence outside the mother. Traditionally this has been at about 6 months.
I'm not sure how much medical advances will really change this, what's the earliest premature birth that survived into childhood (age 5 or 6?)

geez said...

I just don't think you guys are getting the distinction I'm trying to make although I also realize you probably don't think it's important. I do.

Considering myself a liberal Catholic (my views and beliefs are generally reflected in the editorial oeuvre of the Tablet in the UK and Commonweal in the US), I think it's important to have agreed upon laws -- and whether you are talking about the point during pregnancy at which abortions should be prohibited or the age at which legitimate consent kicks in, you better make clear cut legal distinctions. And within the context of the law, while debate is to be expected and not at all a bad thing (unless it starts dehumanizing us), the law is the law (at least until it is definitively changed).

On the other hand, we obviously have philosophical/religious differences about the origins and meaning of life.

I guess not all of us even think it's important to minimize the number of abortions if all the fetus amounts to is a bloodsucking tumor or parasite.

And the problem indeed remains that there are "a host of laws" that vary on these crucial issues. Seems to me ultimately only one can be "right." Otherwise, we wind up always sliding down the slippery slope of relativism. And as long as we rely solely upon the current state of science (5 months but then probably 4 months as to when a fetus/baby can survive outside the mother's womb -- and maybe the day of pod babies will come sooner than we all expect)in determining when life begins, relativism is the condition into which we're locked. I know some folks are comfortable with that; I'm not.

And there are many matters of life, death, and consciousness which science, I don't think, will ever be able to explain. For example, what about all the documented cases of people in a vegetative state who suddenly, for a brief period, pop back into consciousness for a brief period before kicking back into a vegetative state? And there are indeed documented cases of people who have been legitimately diagnosed as being in a vegetative state and ready, even by Catholic Church standards, to have certain kinds of life support removed. But somehow they come back to what I think we all agree is "conscious" life. Well, maybe not Harry.

Anonymous said...

Revealing statements made by former abortion industry personnel.
These are direct quotes from men and women who worked in abortion facilities.

http://heavensdaydreamer.blogspot.com/2007/03/end-abortion.html

Bruce

Harry said...

Of course it is best to minimise the number of abortions. Women generally don't have abortions because they're bored and there's nothing on the telly.

As for when something is alive, if it can not live by itself even while it is given all the help modern science can give, it is not alive.

Tom Gradgrind said...

Women generally don't have abortions because they're bored and there's nothing on the telly.

Of course not, they do it to remove bloodsucking parasitic tumors from their bodies. Better not to let any of them survive.

beatroot said...
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beatroot said...
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beatroot said...

And I notice that the link to the pro life blog given above http://heavensdaydreamer.blogspot.com/2007/03/end-abortion.html

starts its latest gem of a post with:

Abortion is murder
No matter what the doctors say, 'its just a feautus a clump of tissue', life inside you has been conceived…

I have trouble, sometimes, spelling it the British English way, too, but you would think on a pro life blog that they would be able to spell the word foetus (fetus)….

beatroot said...

Of course, the pro-life brigade – which I am glad to see is out in reasonable force on the blog – don’t stop abortion. Desperate women go to desperate means. Depriving women of the right to a termination discriminates against the poor, particularly, as more well off women can afford the many private clinics here in Polish cities.

And what are the risks of backstreet abortions?

Every year 40 million induced abortions occur globally (IPAS) and according to the 2000 estimates (WHO) 19 million unsafe abortions take place each year. According to WHO around 68,000 women die as a result of complications of unsafe abortion and between two million and seven million women each year survive unsafe abortion but sustain long-term damage or disease (incomplete abortion, infection (sepsis), haemorrhage and injury to the internal organs, such as puncturing or tearing of the uterus).

Can you hear that pro-LIFErs? 68,000 women a year dead.

That’s a strange idea of what ‘pro’ life is

geez said...

Can you hear that pro-LIFErs? 19 million a year dead.

If you are going to cite data, BR, please be consistent. You cited data of 68,000 women dying as a result of unsafe abortions across the globe. Then you inflated it to 19 million. I don't assume you were counting female fetuses. OF course, any (and either) number is a terrible trajedy.

I wonder, however, where most of these deadly abortions took place.

And I wonder how many of these botched or successful abortions could have been prevented by the option of a better safety net, the option of adoption, or the use of prophylactic devices.

In the US, nonetheless, there is the (not so) strange phenonemon of the number of abortions being less under Clinton than under either of the Bushes.

Maybe (or not) we can all agree on legislation that is more in line with the 95-10 Initiative being advocated and advanced by Democrats for Life:

http://www.democratsforlife.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=48&Itemid=45

beatroot said...

I actually spotted my mistake and changed it a while ago.

Of course there are many better ways to live your life than having an abortion. But it happens, Geez. And when it does then the state, or you and me, has no right to intervene in what happens next.

nemeczek said...

beatroot wrote: Every year 40 million induced abortions occur globally ....According to WHO around 68,000 women die as a result of complications of UNSAFE abortion

How many women die after a SAFE abortion is performed? How many suffer permanent/long-term physical or mental damage after a SAFE abortion? Is a SAFE abortion automatically re-labeled as UNSAFE if the woman dies or suffers physically/mentally? How many women die in SAFE labor? Besides, it is like arguing that rape is less repugnant when the rapist wears a condom.
The pro-choicers’ problem with Alicja Tysiac's case is that she has a 6-year-old daughter who, in my opinion, could be a perfect poster girl for the pro-life crowd. If it was not for the bad doctor, she would not breathe, walk, smile, play, or have a conscience. Just let the nature do its magic and see what an amazing thing can grow out of a parasite. This parasite, had Alicja had her way, would have been incinerated.

europejczyk said...

To geez and nemeczek @ RC:
As an INSTITUTION, the RC is all male. In the parish, it is the .
- male - priest who has the saying. And from there up it goes, all male. The hierarchy - can you tell me a single female bishop, not to mention a female pope? That women are allowed to do the rank and file work and may be simple members such as you and me doesn't change the structure of the institution as such.

Celibacy is obligatory for a member of the hierarchy, from the parish priest up, not to mention monks and nuns. JP II more than once confirmed this stance, and B XVI won't change it either. Well, I know that there are a handful of married protestant ministers who converted to catholicism and were ordained. They were not forced to divorce, but strict sexual abstinence is demanded from them. The same holds, btw, for someone who married a divorcee (like I did). If you don't believe it, ask a Polish priest. For that reason my wife and I ceased going to confession - making love to one another is an integral part of our personal relation, and we won't miss it nor hear again and again from the priest that we are evil sinners ("adulterers") and should stop doing it.

Sexuality is far, far more than simple biological reproduction, and if mating results in a child, the problems begin after the birth of the child. I raised five children of my own (they are long since grown up and have their own families) and since 8 years I've been raising two wonderful kids of my wife's (who was abandoned by her husband) together with her. Someone who has never had the possibility (!) of experiencing love between a man and woman in its full extent, who never experienced decades of fears and sorrows (and joy, too) of a parent cannot tell me how to lead my intimate and/or family life. Would you employ in your house a plumber who never held a pair of pliers and a soldering iron in his hand? Or would you appoint such a person to a committee on gas and water pipe safety?

Your argument: "Following this logic, only murderers should be entitled to express their opinion on murder, rapists on rape, and alcoholics on drink-driving," sorry, is "a no brainer," as BR would say. The RC does not simply "express its opinion." This may hold for a free country such as the U.S., and if you live there, you should be glad about it. But in many European countries, not only in Poland, the RC is politically very influential and can make that its "opinion" is cast into laws that force every citizen to behave according to these "opinions," even if s/he is not Catholic or a liberal one. E.g., making divorce legal and civil marriage possible was the outcome of a century long struggle in Europe. And can you tell me, for example, why in Poland voluntary sterilization is illegal, whereas you won't get into trouble if you, say, have a part of the body removed that is not necessary for reproduction? E.g. your right thumb?

nemeczek said...

europejczyk wrote:
can you tell me a single female bishop, not to mention a female pope?

Sinéad O'Connor is probably a bishop by now... She might even be a self-proclaimed deity.

Would you employ in your house a plumber who never held a pair of pliers and a soldering iron in his hand?

No, but if a non-plumber tells me it is not good to have leaking faucets, I would tend to agree with him. You are not a plumber, but you still know when you need one, right?

And can you tell me, for example, why in Poland voluntary sterilization is illegal, whereas you won't get into trouble if you, say, have a part of the body removed that is not necessary for reproduction? E.g. your right thumb?

After I crossed my legs tightly, I went on to check your facts on sterilization. You are right (and it did surprise me), the permanent sterilization in Poland (voluntary or otherwise) is illegal. OK, they went a bit too far on this one. By the way, no doctor would perform thumb removal if you asked him to. The index finger maybe, but never the thumb. And you clearly overestimate the Church’s influence on Poles who choose not to be part of it. I have some friends who customarily slam the door in a priest’s face when he wants to visit them after ‘koleda’. Even people who consider themselves practicing Catholics are selective in which bits and pieces of Church’s teaching they follow. It is not as bad as you paint it.

beatroot said...

I was shocked when I discovered that vasectomy was illegal in Poland.

That is a law that stinks, because it can only be inspired from religious doctrine. Not reason.

And that is a truly medieval situation for a country in the 21st century.

Top debate, BWT.

steppx said...

sex education should be about teaching young adults how to prevent STDs and to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The reactionary and moronic leaders in warsaw simply cling to church doctrine....like masturbation being a mortal sin.

Sex should be enjoyed free of guilt and anxiety --- and statistics tend to prove societies that teach sex education in a honest way have fewer abortions and less disease.

geez said...

euro:

I'd have no problem with female priests and bishops and even a pope. Married or gay (as long as they are open about it). Or even gay and married. BTW, there are some Eastern Rite priests, as I recall, in communion with Rome who are married and I also seem to recall they are not required to be celebate. In any event, if the Church is to survive, things will have to change.

I bet that even in Poland, you'll find a priest who won't bust your chops about your wife's divorce. Alternatively, if you don't believe it's a sin, don't confess it -- if it is, then some day you're going to have some explaining to do. Or don't even go to confession to a priest. Just confess to God and receive Communion. Of course, if I'm wrong about this, our asses will all be burning in hell. Mine however many times over for writing all this. I'll take my chances. And I'll keep saying I'm Catholic even if some fat dumbass bishop excommunicates me. And I'll still find some Catholic Church to recieve Communion. Granted, I don't flaunt my position in person. But I think most American Catholics basically feel the same way. At any rate, I hope and pray you and your wife and your/her kids will find a way to Mass and to recieve Communion.

Finally, the Church hierarchy and the clegy is only as powerful as you let them be.

europejczyk said...

Thank you, geez, for your sympathetic comment!

steppx said...

and Nem....
I dont think its possible to OVERestimate the church influence in Poland. Yes a few people are fed up....but its small small small minority. And to admit most poles pick and choose what they want to believe simply speaks volumes about the utter hypocricy of the entire situation. One is not supposed to cherry pick religious doctrine. But this points to how absurd a good deal of catholic doctrine is.

Christian teaching....and a good deal of specific catholic scripture is beautiful and inspired...but enough of the fanatics running the vatican.

geezer ebeneezer said...

One is not supposed to cherry pick religious doctrine. But this points to how absurd a good deal of catholic doctrine is.

But we ALL do. Or we interpret the doctrine (or ideology or philosophy) differently. Or we just out and out shake our heads in incredulity at it. Bennie is reversing a lot of the emphases and directions established by JP2. Weirdly enuff, he's now reversing positions he took when he was Prefect of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith when he was pushing JP2 in certain directions and/or disagreeing (and on certain issues even rebuking) him! Yea, I've been called "a cafeteria Catholic" countless times. But there are certain orthodoxies that I share with the most Rydzik-like Catholics who I would not describe as "ultra-Catholic" (as BR has done) but rather as bizarre Catholics who care more about authority, obedience, and Jews than anything like agape. And there are Catholic Workers just as there are Opus Dei. And in the US and UK, at least, there are all sorts of reformist groups seeking and working for change in the Church (not to mention more than a few schismatic characters and groups).

Let's not forget, too, that some of the "fanatics" running the Vatican have forcefully spoken out against the war in Iraq, for a preferential option for the poor, and more than a few other good things. And Catholic charity far surpasses US charity. What I'm getting at here is that no institution is perfect and it's not a good idea to throw away the baby with the bathwater. And that's it's important not to tarnish an entire institution in too broad and undifferentiated brushstrokes.

beatroot said...

Sorry Geez about the ‘ultra-catholic’ tag. I do worry about the political adjectives we use these days, as you know if you have been reading the blog for a while: ‘liberal’? ‘conservative’ ‘right’, ‘left’ ‘progressive’. It just don’t work anymore.

The ‘ultra’ is another one. And I take your point about Maryja.

How about ‘medieval, dark ages’ catholic?

For a humanist I am unusual in that I have nothing against religion per se…at least a committed religious person is committed to something outside of themselves…something our modern day secular ‘liberals’ have a problem about (much too busy worrying about ‘work-life balance’ or some such navel gazing.

And lots of liberals sneer at religion as irrational and then run off to the homeopathy shop for some chalk pills. Who is the more irrational? Same difference.

It’s just the content of many religions I have a problem with – bigotry being quite common - and the fact that they often think that change is going to come into their lives from a higher power, not by their own efforts.

So sorry about ‘ultra’ and I will try and do better in the future.

geez said...

I don't think Rydzik et. al. are all that medieval. Dark ages, yea, that a pretty good fit.

I don't think its the content of religions so much as how people pervert the content. But there's some of the former, too, unfortuantely.

And I think that the change comes from both a higher power AND our own efforts. Otherwise, free will is kaput.

steppx said...

Geezer eb;
Well, I take your point. However, since no Catholic Wokers...nor Dorothy Day have been beatified....while fascists like the Croation Ustache cardinal...forget his name...Stepenic(?) have been, as well as the founder of Opus Dei, one has to regard leadership has ...well .... leaders. And the Vatican is, IMHO, a totally corrupt institution.
But i understand, of coure, there are religious people of great piety who believe in church teaching....and shape it the way they choose. I suppose thats valid ....who am I to say. I guess my point is that the leadership and its doctrines represent a backward looking and often very anti-woman set of positions...as well as all too often supportive of very reactionary governments. And on sex, you gotta admit, its just absurd.

Anonymous said...

If two people have sex without effective birth control, a pregnancy could be the result…. People know that, but alas…………….

REASONS GIVEN FOR ABORTIONS: AGI SURVEY, 2000-2001 [8]

Reason or situation…….number……% of abortions

not using contraception…..4,957 ………..46.40
forced to have relations……~64 …………0.6
using contraception………5,726…………53.60
contraceptive failed…….~1,808…………16.9
(despite proper use)

………………total….10,683………..100

http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/abreasons.html

Among women who had an unintended pregnancy in 2001,

52% had not been using a method during the month of conception.

http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/psrh/full/3904807.pdf

If only people would choose to use an effective birth control,
(or two).

They wouldn’t have to make another choice……..

http://www.sexual-health-resource.org/hormonal_birth_control.htm

Cash payments for using birth control…………..

http://serr8d.blogspot.com/2007/02/project-preventionthe-road-as-opposed.html

I know their are a number of people who can’t use birth control for one reason or another.

But is that true for all types of birth control,
there are many different types to choose from,
surely one to suite most every-one.

I would suggest that the number of people that can’t use any of them at all would be very small

but many use this as their reason.

Also:
Revealing statements made by former abortion industry personnel.
These are direct quotes from men and women who worked in abortion facilities.
http://heavensdaydreamer.blogspot.com/2007/03/end-abortion.html
Abortion is a subhuman act.
http://www.abortionfacts.com/literature/literature_927hh.asp



Bluey Zarzof

geez said...

Amen, Bluey, except for your bit about abortion being a subhuman act.

Women who resort to abortion are not subhuman.

Let's stick to seamless garment arguments, heh?

Otherwise, YOU start to sound like Hitler.

geez said...

For anyone who wants to consider a scholarly treatment of the issue of abortion from a "liberal," "pro-life" perspective, click here

geez said...

Arrgh, try:

http://www.mirrorofjustice.com/mirrorofjustice/sargent/prolifeprogressivism.pdf

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