The Gross National Debt

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wait long enough...

MA posted this piece a while back. Something in it bothered me and I could not think what it was. No, not what you're thinking and yes what you are thinking.

Anyway, by the time my waterfowl decided to behave, I lost the link.

Now that it's back, I can 'splain. Lemme pull two quotes from the article:

"In fact, I’ll concede the point and for the rest of the article work on the assumption that a fetus is a human life."

"No other human being is obliged to give up an organ for me, even if it would save my life. Nor bone marrow, nor blood, nor skin."

Keep these two statements in mind. Everything below hangs off them. If you change these two statements, then the rest of this blog becomes irrelevant. offers this definition murder. Cornell Law University offers this definition. These being legal websites, their definitions are always going to be qualified with the word "legal" and "illegal" inserted somewhere.

In other words, it ain't murder if the death happens within the bounds of the law. That's a bit high and tight for me, but we'll run with it.

So, the fetus is a human - her word, granted.

She is not obligated to give up something to support another human, granted. This is inaction. Do nothing.

If the fetus is a human, no one can force her to save that life.

However, unless she gets a court order to end that human life, has she committed murder? Wellll, as one of the folks on MA's thread said, if two people are hanging from the ropes in a crevasse on a mountainside and they cannot be pulled up together, can the upper person cut the rope? That means the lower person has to die, but the upper person lives.

Yow. I can't make that call.

Certainly the person on the bottom end of the rope can cut it, sacrificing himself to save the other. 

What about someone drowning? If they try to take you down with 'em? Sure you are within your rights to clobber that person and save yourself. Could a third person clobber the drowning one to save you? 

Yow. Again.

The problem comes down to support. You are absolutely under no obligation to support anyone unless you want to.

Now, I come back to this blog after several more days of letting it gestate.

Here's the problem with the above matters:

A person is hired to perform an abortion. A person is brought in, sought out, found, paid. In the above cases, the matter is an emergency. The people in dire straits didn't have a few days, or weeks, to mull options, consider prices, look over complications and implications.

With abortion, the pregnant woman brings in a third party, a disinterested third party. Someone who has to be sought out. Someone who must be physically found and brought in for the specific and avowed purpose of ending a life. Someone who is hired to end this life. Call him a doctor just so we can keep things straight.

If the doc is not paid, he won't do it. Arrangements are made ahead of time for payment.

In the case of the emergencies above, there's no time for detailed negotiations, signatures on paper and money exchanging hands.

The doc comes in and kills a human being (the fetus) for no other reason than another human being (the mother) found supporting the fetus intolerable.

When a person is hired to kill someone, without a court order, how would you define that killing?

Simply killing someone because you don't like 'em is not legal (a situation MANY of us should be thankful for).

However, taking an action to end that life, unless there's a court order or it is for self-preservation, that is murder. Well, murder at least as I see it. YMMV.  Lemme reiterate, I'm running off assumptions and statements the author in the OP uses.

If that person in need of an organ transplant is on a life-supporting system and you disconnect it without that person's permission and the person dies, that's murder,

I realize the woman in the link at the top of this writing is in a position of involuntarily supporting another human life. However, to safely end the pregnancy, she must involve at least one more person, possibly more. These people are also paid. If you run the extensions on this reasoning, they go for miles. I could walk that road the end, but I shan't.

There's probably something I'm missing in here. Let me know what and I'll revise and give you credit.


TC offers this: All that given, how can the en utero person consent to its own destruction? 


TC comes back: 
It occurs to me that once the personhood of the fetus is accepted, it's rights take precedence over all other considerations. Abortion no longer becomes a question of women's rights, but rather parental responsibility. The mantra of 'protecting the children' cannot simply be abandoned to the scythe because we don't like where the child is or how it got there. That argument wouldn't wash in any family court if the child was a few days or hours out of the chute. It shouldn't matter if the locale happened to be a womb either.

Other comments have been posted to the FB thread on this, but they change the subject or deviate from the two statements offered by the author in the OP. (Hijacked threads do not bother me at all.) Briefly, abortion-related comments are:

• Post-abortion feelings

• Abortion as a profit-generating business


  1. You're right; according to the author's concession that a fetus is a person, it is murder.

    I think the majority of the pro-life/pro-choice debate comes from the determination of when the embryo and/or fetus "becomes" a human life. I, like you, have an opinion that isn't up for discussion. Abortion is never an easy choice. Emotionally-charged arguments are never going to be won. There will forever be opposition to any decision that is made because of fundamental differences in opinions (and we all know what people say about opinions being like butts; everyone has one and they all stink).

    1. I agree totally. The real debate is about whether there is a soul and at what point that soul enters the body. Since that is an entirely theological/philosophical debate and not a scientific one (so far, anyway), I believe that we can't impose our theology/philosophy on another human being. The decision should be between a woman and her doctor.

      Also, I suspect the author of the article was conceding the point that the fetus is a person because they didn't want to get off on that tangent, and wanted to get into the ethical thought experiment area (who do you throw out of the lifeboat, do you deflect the train to kill one person instead of the three people on the other track, is it okay to torture a baby to death to stop a war that kills millions, etc.). I always thought those were silly, pointless exercises for people who were avoiding the actual practical problems that real people face.


Hi. I welcome lively debate. Attack the argument. Go after a person in the thread, your comments will not be posted.