Labour to reform abortion law

Written By: - Date published: 6:36 am, February 17th, 2018 - 327 comments
Categories: abortion, Andrew Little, gender, health, law - Tags: ,

Newsroom reported yesterday:

Andrew Little surprised observers today when he revealed that a draft referral on reforming New Zealand’s abortion law had been circulated to New Zealand First and the Greens. Little said today that he received a letter from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after the coalition was formed directing him to begin the process of reforming the law. Once the two parties give feedback, the referral will be sent to the Law Commission to make a recommendation.

Abortion in New Zealand is a crime under the Crimes Act, although the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act of 1977 allows a woman to have an abortion if she meets certain criteria and proves her need to two physicians.

Critics argue that the current legislation is out of date, inequitable, and the cause of unnecessary distress.

So far there has been little detail from the Government on what the reformed law would look like or when the legislation would be introduced.

During the election campaign, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressed her personal view that should abortion be taken out of the Crimes Act so it is likely that this will form some part of the reform.

On Tuesday, Andrew Little refused to give much detail on what reform might look like, but suggested it might be broader than taking abortion out of the Crimes Act.

“There are more issues than just what’s in the Crimes Act … it’s also the hurdles that have been put in the way of women who are faced with making that decision,” he said.

The vote would be a conscience vote, meaning MPs would be given the ability to vote freely without following a party line. Reform is likely to be supported by the Prime Minister, liberal members of her party and the Green Party.

Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn:

During the election campaign, Jacinda Ardern promised that if elected she would decriminalise abortion. Now Labour are taking the first step towards that, with a review by the Law Commission

Justice Minister Andrew Little intends to ask the Law Commission to update the archaic law on abortion, including looking at decriminalising it.

This morning, the Abortion Supervisory Committee (ASC)​ told Parliament that the 41-year-old law was impractical and made the difficult lives of women seeking abortion even more difficult.

The committee added that it had been years since it had seen any meaningful engagement from Parliament, including over three years since a minister had met with its members.

A review by the Law Commssion is a good idea – it will formally document how badly the current archaic law works, while examining more modern laws from overseas (e.g. Victoria). And it should give us decent draft legislation for any change.

The question is whether it will pass. In order to get enough votes, any bill will need substantial support from National, but their current leadership contest shows that even “liberals” like Amy Adams are grovelling to the Christian right and defending the status quo. That might not last – there’s nothing as two-faced as a politician – but its a bad sign. There’s also a real danger of wrecking amendments such as mandatory scolding “counselling” or parental consent requirements, which may undermine the right to abortion in practice. So we may end up with a great proposed law, which we can’t pass due to too many National misogynists in Parliament. Though given the expected length of time for a review, it’ll probably be the next Parliament which has to deal with this anyway, so we’ll at least get a chance to fix that first.

From the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ) Change the Law pages, talking about the The Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act 1977 in the context of abortion being also in the Crimes Act 1961:

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion abortion regulations are more about controlling women’s fertility than about making health care safe. It becomes even more difficult if you read the Report of the Royal Commission on Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion.

In it, you see men of the 1970s trying to cater for a system that reduces the number of women dying of sepsis in unsafe, illegal abortions, while still forcing most women to give birth in most cases whether they like it or not.

The Commission focused on the reason for the abortion. A woman being “severely sub-normal” in the eyes of the law was a good reason. A woman being raped was not a good enough reason, because the Commission assumed women would just lie to get abortions.

ALRANZ’s 16 Reasons to Change the Law

327 comments on “Labour to reform abortion law”

  1. Antoine 1

    > In order to get enough votes, any bill will need substantial support from National

    Why is this? Is a 2/3 majority needed, or does NZ 1st oppose any reform in this area, or …?

    A.

    • It’s a conscience vote, there are (unfortunately) conservatives in the Labour caucus, and NZ First consists almost entirely of conservatives. So they’ll need support from some of National’s less-conservative MPs to push this through.

      • Kevin 1.1.1

        The conscience vote of 120 MP’s rather than 4 million citizens.
        Not sure why their conscience is more important than everyone elses.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1

          That’s why we elect them – to exercise judgement on our behalf. Some of them will canvass their constituents – or know their electorate well enough already. Others will do what they think is right. Some will do what their imaginary friend tells them.

          Of the latter group, some of them will also vote enthusiastically for war as often as they have the opportunity.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1

            That’s why we elect them – to exercise judgement on our behalf.

            That’s why we elect them – unfortunately that’s not what they actually do.

            Some of them will canvass their constituents – or know their electorate well enough already.

            Translated: They’ll ask their mates who already with them.

          • patricia bremner 1.1.1.1.2

            So true AOB.

          • KJT 1.1.1.1.3

            Unfortunately they have come to think of themselves as
            “leaders” or in Nationals case “Managers”, not representatives!

            The requirement to reflect the wishes, and best interests, of those who put them there, is part of a romantic past.

        • Psycho Milt 1.1.1.2

          Their conscience is more important because NZ is a representative democracy, ie those 120 MPs are elected to represent us. That’s the whole basis for us having a parliament, elections etc. It’s not there to deprive you of a say on abortion law reform, it’s there so that you don’t have to familiarise yourself with every bill currently proposed. You should be chuffed at having been let off that task.

          • Kevin 1.1.1.2.1

            I just think that this change in legislation is far too impirtant for women to be left to a small group of people who may or may not be exercising their vote according to their constituents wishes or their own.

            • Psycho Milt 1.1.1.2.1.1

              In this particular case, a binding referendum open only to women would certainly be preferable to having Parliament’s conservative men spend hours pontificating about what women should be allowed to do. Not much chance of that, though.

              • KJT

                You may be surprised which way women vote.

                The women close to me, are much more illiberal about abortion than I am.

                Considering it should only be to prevent physical harm to the mother, and after rape.

                Generally I tend towards right to choose. But I have my own reservations. About removing a potential child, just for convenience. Especially when they are able to survive outside the womb, and are no longer just a collection of cells.

                Then what are we saying to disabled people, if we consider them something to be purged.

      • SpaceMonkey 1.1.2

        Well they can forget any votes from National then. They seem to be block voting on conscience issues these days.

        • They’ll block vote against everything this government does – as they promised when they lost the election.

          Remember: National doesn’t actually have a conscience. Just greed for power and wealth.

        • KJT 1.1.2.2

          National will prove that they are not concerned about making the country work.

          Just getting back into power as soon as possible, so they and their mates can continue their thefts of our assets.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2

      …or the answer is right there in the OP. See if you can find it.

  2. Antoine 2

    Well, have faith, maybe if the bill is good enough, even left wing conservatives will support it.

    (The Govt will look effin stupid if they get a bill together and then _can’t_ pass it)

    A.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      Once again, Antoine proposes that nothing should be done because risk.

      • Antoine 2.1.1

        No, no, absolutely they should go for it.

        A.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.1

          While you set up false criteria and white-ant them the whole time.

          • Antoine 2.1.1.1.1

            They won’t mind if I do! (But I don’t plan to)

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.1.1.1

              So your previous comment was unplanned. You fell over and accidentally proposed some false criteria. You got drunk and can’t remember, perhaps.

              • funstigator

                Are you a nasty bully IRL, or do you save it for the anonymity of your multiple online identities?

                • Antoine

                  Do you mean me or OAB?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I have one online identity. If there’s any bullying going on, it’s Antoine’s assertion about the government looking “fucking stupid”.

                  • Brigid

                    But you understood that funstigator was talking about you.

                    That is encouraging. This first step to change is accepting one needs to change.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Your faux-psychological “advice” is another form of bullying: projecting your opinions onto my mind in much the same way that an anti-choice activist might project their feelings onto your medical decisions.

                  • Anon

                    If they can’t do it, especially if they can’t do it because their own members vote against, then they will look stupid. More importantly if they can’t do it they’ll be failing an election promise, not to mention the uterus bearers of New Zealand.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Disagree. That entirely depends upon the arguments and motives behind the “no” campaign. It could just as easily leave the National Party perceived as beholden to the religious right.

                      It will be a conscience vote. Perhaps you (or Antoine) can provide an example of where a conscience vote was presented as being “government policy”.

                      Perhaps you can cite the “election promise” you’re talking about. On the NZLP’s website as opposed to Jacinda Ardern’s personal views, that is.

                    • Anon

                      Jacinda made the promise in one of the first leaders debates, if she misrepresented her own views as party policy then that’s her problem.

                      The only person who mentioned conscience voting at the time was Bill English, and he beheld himself to the religious right already. Bill made it clear his views were personnal, and implying a National government wouldn’t bring it up. Jacinda said, more or less, “I will do this”. As the leader of a political party at a political debate “I” means Labour, not Jacinda personally.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      if she misrepresented her own views as party policy then that’s her problem.

                      [citation needed]

                      If she murdered the Duke of Edinburgh that’s her problem too, but if you think she misrepresented NZLP policy that’s up to you to demonstrate.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      …and even if you do manage to demonstrate it, which party will look the more “stupid”? Labour, for making the attempt, or National, for block-voting on a conscience issue?

                      It’ll make the Nats look like wreckers: sore losers who’d turn on women for entirely petty political reasons.

                      The ‘make Labour look stupid’ narrative rests on a false premise.

                • weka

                  I can’t log in on my phone but my suggestion to everyone is don’t derail this thread as I will moderate when I get back to my laptop.

                  • cleangreen

                    Yes Weka my blogs got stuck in the slow lane when trying to add them so the system is looking a bit slow but perhaps busy?

                    May sort itself out later?

                    • weka

                      Not sure if it’s running slow today, but I don’t login on my phone, preferring to not be in moderator mode when I am out and about.

  3. Gristle 3

    Having debates occurring on both abortion and euthanasia legislation introduces a nice symmetry.

    I guess that some people will only need one set of arguments and only have to replace the subject.

    • Anon 3.1

      They’re both human rights issues, if anyone has a valid arguement against bodily autonomy and human rights I’d like to hear it.

      • Antoine 3.1.1

        You wanna see all drugs made legal? If we have complete bodily autonomy, then we should be able to inject whatever we like. And 9 year olds should be able to get tattoos, too.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1

          Reductio ad absurdum 🙄

        • Psycho Milt 3.1.1.2

          You wanna see all drugs made legal? If we have complete bodily autonomy, then we should be able to inject whatever we like. And 9 year olds should be able to get tattoos, too.

          Anon asked if anyone had a valid argument against bodily autonomy and human rights. You have two arguments there in your response but neither meets the required spec:

          Argument 1: We ban dangerous (I know, but it’s a separate topic) drugs; it is right to ban dangerous drugs; therefore we should not have bodily autonomy. This one fails because the ban is, or should be, on the production and supply of dangerous drugs to other people. The government has no right to, and shouldn’t legislate to, criminalise the voluntary use of a dangerous drug by an individual, because bodily autonomy and human rights.

          Argument 2: We don’t allow children full bodily autonomy; therefore we should not allow it for adults either. The problem with this one is so obvious I shouldn’t need to mention it.

          • Antoine 3.1.1.2.1

            On your argument 1, you must realise you take an unusual view on drug policy and you cannot expect everyone to follow that line.

            On argument 2, your point is that a child has less right to bodily autonomy than an adult? Because the child cannot give informed consent? Then straightaway we get into questions about whether an elderly and sick adult can truly give informed consent to euthanasia. Again bodily autonomy is not a universal right.

            A.

            (Anyway, this conversation is a bit of a side track to the post. The Govt’s case for holding a review does not depend on this bodily autonomy principle. So I’ll step out of this subthread now)

            • Psycho Milt 3.1.1.2.1.1

              …you must realise you take an unusual view on drug policy and you cannot expect everyone to follow that line.

              The popularity or unpopularity of a claim is irrelevant to the argument for it.

              On argument 2, your point is that a child has less right to bodily autonomy than an adult?

              Nope, it’s that a child is under the protection and authority of its parents, which necessarily limits the bodily autonomy a child has. Adults are not under the protection and authority of their parents, pretty much by definition. It’s a very specific limitation, not a blanket “less right to bodily autonomy than an adult.”

              I don’t believe this is a side-track to the post, because the right to bodily autonomy and the refusal of conservatives to recognise such a right is at the very heart of the problem under discussion.

        • You wanna see all drugs made legal?

          Yes.

          If we have complete bodily autonomy, then we should be able to inject whatever we like.

          Correct.

          And 9 year olds should be able to get tattoos, too.

          Nope. The concept of people reaching adulthood and that before then their parents/caregivers are responsible for them has been around for a long time.

      • Hornet 3.1.2

        This issue really comes down to how you view the nature of life. If you view life as beginning at some point early inside the womb, then the ‘human rights’ and ‘bodily autonomy’ of the mother have to be weighed against the ‘human rights’ and ‘bodily autonomy’ of the unborn child. If you view the contents of the womb as nothing more than a collection of cells (which frankly ignores most of the science), then those arguments have potential, they just carry enormous philosophical and practical baggage.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.2.1

          The main problem with the anti-choice argument is that the majority of people who pay lip service to it also vote for wars.

          If they really believed in the sanctity of life, they’d be calling for an inquiry into Operation Burnham etc etc.

        • Psycho Milt 3.1.2.2

          If you view life in some fantastical, religious way, as opposed to a rational, reality-based way, the contents of women’s wombs can appear misleadingly relevant and you might find yourself spouting meaningless gibberish like “unborn child.”

          I held our dead 6-months’ miscarried baby in my hands and felt the loss of all the the things I thought that daughter was going to be, of all the love I was going to have for her and of all she would have had in store for her, but much of the emotional pain was in recognising the truth that that daughter never actually came into existence. Don’t base your life on pretence, it only creates society-wide clusterfucks like anti-abortion laws.

          • weka 3.1.2.2.1

            thanks for that PM.

          • Hornet 3.1.2.2.2

            We share a similar experience.

            But science tells us that that unborn child was life. Not potential life. Life.

            • Psycho Milt 3.1.2.2.2.1

              “Unborn child” is a delusional term used by fantasists who prefer to live a life based on pretence.

              But, leaving that aside, yeah. Well, duh – of course it was life. So are all the bacteria my body is busy killing right now, the flies I just sprayed in the kitchen, the mould I killed in the bathroom last month. There’s nothing particularly special about life – at least, not on this planet.

              I was mourning the loss of a person I’d been expecting to exist in the future, not an actually-existing person. And we don’t (shouldn’t, at least) get to poke our noses into other people’s business on behalf of non-existent third parties we’d like to pretend actually exist. I get that religious people are used to pretending that non-existent things actually exist, but that doesn’t entitle them to inflict consequences of their pretence on others.

              • Hornet

                We aren’t discussing killing bacteria, though, are we?

                • We’re not discussing killing people, either (except to the extent that conservatives are willing to accept a number of women’s deaths in the maintenance of their own pretence-based philosophy).

                  • Hornet

                    When a life is taken without justification, it is killing. When a life is taken to assuage some distorted view of autonomy or entitlement, it is killing.

                    • Like I said, I kill things all the time and there’s nothing unusual about that, because everybody kills things all the time. Your claim is predicated on abortion killing a person, but you’re still leaving a yawning logical chasm where your compelling argument for considering a microorganism to be a person should be.

                    • Hornet

                      “Your claim is predicated on abortion killing a person…”
                      My claim is predicated on abortion killing a human. Yes. That is what the science clearly demonstrates.

                      “…but you’re still leaving a yawning logical chasm where your compelling argument for considering a microorganism to be a person should be.””
                      You haven’t demonstrated a ‘yawning logical chasm’. If there is one at all, it is on the side of those who argue for expedient and entitled ‘right’s’, but don’t extend those same rights to the vulnerable.

                    • You fail to see the logical gap in your argument because you’re a fantasist operating a level of emotion and wishful thinking, but I’ll spell it out anyway on the off-chance that other people happen to read this.

                      Your argument goes:
                      Premise 1: A blastocyte/embryo/foetus is a person.
                      Premise 2. Killing a person is wrong.
                      Conclusion: Therefore, killing a blastocyte, embryo or foetus is wrong.

                      Logical gap: premise 1. Calling a microorganism a person is, on the face of it, just plain wrong. That premise requires its own argument, in which you demonstrate how a microorganism (or, more generally, something that’s inside a person’s body) is itself a person. That’s one hell of a logical hurdle to get over, and pretending it doesn’t exist doesn’t get you over it.

                    • Hornet

                      “Logical gap: premise 1. Calling a microorganism a person is, on the face of it, just plain wrong. That premise requires its own argument, in which you demonstrate how a microorganism (or, more generally, something that’s inside a person’s body) is itself a person. That’s one hell of a logical hurdle to get over, and pretending it doesn’t exist doesn’t get you over it.”

                      You are confused over both science and logic.

                      1. My argument follows logically. There is no logical gap in the argument itself.
                      2. What you describe as merely a ‘microorganism’ is established by the science as being both life and human.
                      3. Your own assertion that that the foetus is mere ‘microorganism’, and that in of itself is not entitled to consideration as a human being, is a logical hurdle far beyond anything I have claimed. That logical dilemma creates enormous ethical dilemmas. Dilemma’s you seem unwilling to even contemplate.

                      I have provided substantiation that the foetus is life.

                      Labour to reform abortion law

                      I have provided argumentation that the foetus is not merely human cells but a human being.
                      https://lozierinstitute.org/a-scientific-view-of-when-life-begins/

                      And I have provided a well resourced timeline of foetal development.
                      https://www.babycenter.com/0_fetal-development-timeline_10357636.bc

                      Logic and science are both on the side of a pro-life perspective.

                    • There’s no gap in the logic itself, apart from that yawning chasm where you just declare that “science” says a single-celled organism is a person, and those of us who have a basic grasp of science and logic face-palm and exclaim “What the fuck?”

                    • Hornet

                      “There’s no gap in the logic itself, apart from that yawning chasm where you just declare that “science” says a single-celled organism is a person, and those of us who have a basic grasp of science and logic face-palm and exclaim “What the fuck?””

                      Then that is the limit of your understanding. Of both biology and logic. Because even if your understanding is limited to that, it does not excuse your kicking the ethical dilemma’s associated with killing a human being down the road to a time when e.g. the life is multi-cellular. Therein lies the problem with your position.

                    • There is no “killing a human being” to have a dilemma about. A new person exists at the end of a pregnancy, not the start – try and claim otherwise and you find yourself with the logical fail of trying to pretend a microorganism is a person. Some people, yourself included, seem quite happy to base your approach to this on pretence, but there’s no reason people who don’t should have to respect it.

                    • Hornet

                      “There is no “killing a human being” to have a dilemma about. A new person exists at the end of a pregnancy…”
                      You’re deploying terminology to justify killing, as if by debating the semantics of ‘personhood’ somehow let’s you off the ethical hook. The unborn child is human life. That is a biological fact.

                      “Some people, yourself included, seem quite happy to base your approach to this on pretence…”
                      No, I base this on science and logic. You are willing to end the life of a human being 60 seconds before birth (the logical extension of your comment above). I argue we should give that life a voice, just as I argue we should give all vulnerable human beings a voice.

                    • The unborn child is human life. That is a biological fact.

                      So were the skin tags I had removed and that lump the surgeons cut out of me. They weren’t people though, which is why no-one felt compelled to make any laws about whether I should be allowed to have them removed or not.

                      I base this on science and logic.

                      You base it on bald assertions and quotes from fundie nutbar sites, which are very different things from “science and logic.”

                      You are willing to end the life of a human being 60 seconds before birth (the logical extension of your comment above).

                      I am willing to recognise when something is none of my business, which is what a pregnant woman’s decision-making about her pregnancy is.

                      I argue we should give that life a voice…

                      More accurately, you argue that you have a right to interfere in other people’s business on behalf of people who don’t actually exist. The government’s calling bullshit on that, and good so.

                    • Hornet

                      “So were the skin tags I had removed and that lump the surgeons cut out of me.”
                      No, I’ve already explained the difference between human cells and human life.

                      “You base it on bald assertions…”
                      No, on the science.

                      “I am willing to recognise when something is none of my business…”
                      Because you deny the science. And only because you deny the science.

                    • No, I’ve already explained the difference between human cells and human life.

                      Can’t say I noticed you doing it. But, yeah, well duh – there is a different between human tissue and a person, that’s exactly my point.

                      Because you deny the science.

                      You keep referring to “the science” as though it were some trump card you held, rather than a figleaf term for your fantasies and the religious propaganda you’ve read. I do deny those things, yes, but they’re not “science.”

                      Let’s just repeat McFlock’s statement from earlier:

                      A bunch of guys are, once again, debating philosophical concepts concerning an issue that can never be any of their business, even if they were entitled to impose their existential beliefs on others.

                      Because we have indeed been having a jolly old philosophical debate about something that can’t possibly ever affect us, tightly focused on a fringe issue: your bizarre idea that a microorganism can be a person.

                      However, fringe issues aren’t the point. Even if we were to indulge your delusion and pretend that an embryo is a tiny little person, that still wouldn’t give you the right to compel a woman to grow that tiny little person (into what? Apparently it’s already a person! But I digress…) in her uterus.

                      For me, the sideshow’s over, it’s become grotesque. Feel free to declare that my leaving the circus demonstrates how true it is that micoorganisms are people – it would be as true as anything else you’ve said on this thread.

                    • Hornet

                      “Can’t say I noticed you doing it. But, yeah, well duh – there is a different between human tissue and a person, that’s exactly my point.”
                      Then why bring up skin tags?

                      “You keep referring to “the science” as though it were some trump card you held, rather than a figleaf term for your fantasies and the religious propaganda you’ve read. I do deny those things, yes, but they’re not “science.””
                      Yes, they are.

                      “A bunch of guys are…”
                      So is your problem casual sexism, rather than ability to understand the arguments?

                      “Because we have indeed been having a jolly old philosophical debate about something that can’t possibly ever affect us…”
                      Taking someone’s life doesn’t affect us?

          • Antoine 3.1.2.2.3

            @PM

            I have had some experiences too, I suspect lots of us have.

            _My_ experiences leave me with the firm conviction that an unborn baby is a (very small) person from the moment of conception.

            I don’t expect you to change your view on personhood based on anything I say, and you shouldn’t expect me to change mine either.

            Because of my views, ‘woman’s right to choose’ arguments have very little sway with me. Even if we grant that a woman has total autonomy over her own body (which is simply not the case in 21st century NZ), I don’t accept that she also has total rights over the unborn baby.

            Nonetheless I accept that abortions happen, we need a framework that permits them under certain circumstances and governs how they are carried out, and we want that framework to function well. Which involves giving the mother more rights and more respect than they get now. So I support the review.

            I suspect my views are similar to those of a large chunk of the population and a large chunk of Parliament, and I expect they will carry the day (unless the Nats decide to be annoying and block vote the Bill down).

            (Edit: That is, I expect we will come out of this with a better process, but we won’t get complete deregulation of abortion from this Government, any more than we will get legalisation of all drugs.)

            A.

            PS My convictions are not religious, I am an atheist

            • Psycho Milt 3.1.2.2.3.1

              I don’t expect you to change your view on personhood based on anything I say, and you shouldn’t expect me to change mine either.

              Someone who believes a blastocyst to be a person is operating a definition of “person” that would cover everything from microbes on upwards, so yes we should expect you to change your view because your view is demonstrably wrong. It’s the fact that this view is demonstrably wrong that leads me to use words like “pretence” when describing it – the refusal to face obvious facts can only be described as willful self-delusion.

              • Antoine

                I am unconvinced, and there it rests.

                A.

              • Incognito

                The blastocyst is the very early stage of development; there are different stages before (and after) birth, e.g. embryonic and foetal. The debate must include all stages of development to be comprehensive and meaningful, including after birth (post-partum).

                • Sure – I was just responding to Antoine’s claim that a foetus is a person “from the moment of conception.”

                  • Incognito

                    Understood and I hope Antoine (and others) reads these comments in the way they’re intended: to encourage debate, not to make assertions in absolute terms.

        • Incognito 3.1.2.3

          The whole point is that we’re not viewing an unborn as merely a collection of cells. Thus, we have the moral and ethical dilemmas that we must debate, on an ongoing basis and not just once every 41 years or so. Some of the arguments may be about a situation in which the quality of one or both lives are or will be severely and adversely affected or at risk even by not terminating. In other words, under what circumstances has a woman valid and justifiable reasons that allow her to ‘opt out’ and is this acceptable to and within the society of said woman. I think it would be wrong to see this as a pure and absolute personal/individual choice or decision because each and every individual (human being) belongs to a (human) society of some kind. NB I have deliberately left out any political angle here because it inevitable becomes a partisan or tribal war of words if the debate is run along these all too familiar (battle) lines.

          • Hornet 3.1.2.3.1

            Well said. I was not saying anyone here WAS viewing the unborn in either way I outlined, but many do. My point has been to respond to the idea that abortion is simply an issue of ‘bodily autonomy’ and ‘human rights’. If one takes the view that this is the case, and if one also takes the view that at some stage from conception to birth the unborn is a ‘human life’, then there is a huge ethical dilemma that I am yet to see properly addressed. So far the responses to my post have been gratifying in both sincerity and reason, which is not always the case on this issue.

        • weka 3.1.2.4

          This issue really comes down to how you view the nature of life. If you view life as beginning at some point early inside the womb, then the ‘human rights’ and ‘bodily autonomy’ of the mother have to be weighed against the ‘human rights’ and ‘bodily autonomy’ of the unborn child. If you view the contents of the womb as nothing more than a collection of cells (which frankly ignores most of the science), then those arguments have potential, they just carry enormous philosophical and practical baggage.

          Not really. I can view life as starting at conception and still believe that it’s the woman’s right to choose. Women themselves, the ones who have the actual abortions or have the baby, have a wide range of feelings, thoughts and beliefs about abortion and the nature of the unborn child. That’s doesn’t meant that women should be denied access to health care.

          • Hornet 3.1.2.4.1

            “I can view life as starting at conception and still believe that it’s the woman’s right to choose. ”

            Ah yes, but that was not the point I was addressing. I was responding to Anon here https://thestandard.org.nz/labour-to-reform-abortion-law/#comment-1450019 about ‘bodily autonomy’ and ‘human rights’. My point is this; if a woman possesses those, are they to the exclusion of all OTHER humans bodily autonomy and human rights? Including the human they are carrying?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.2.4.1.1

              Reductio ad absurdum: is there any practical sense in which a fetus has bodily autonomy? Of course not.

              • Hornet

                The answer is based on how one views the foetus. That is my point. For example, if one backs the science, and views the foetus as a living human (at least at some stage of pregnancy, if not from conception), then that living human does have bodily autonomy and human rights. It may not know it, but it is then beholden on civilised society to protect it, just as we protect the mentally and physically incapacitated.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Which “science” in particular? Peer-reviewed meta-analysis, philosophical treatise? If you have a specific paper in mind please cite it.

                  I don’t think this a matter of ‘science’ – we pick and choose between life-forms on a daily basis: those decisions – to pull weeds, slap mosquitoes, eat cows or exterminate liver flukes, whatever – are commonplace.

                  From a legal perspective what’s left? The feelings of people who in other contexts vote for the death penalty, or turn a blind eye to rheumatic fever.

                  Nah, this issue is about control. As Weka says, how many laws that affect your bodily autonomy are gender-specific?

                  And how many other laws are underpinned by such one-eyed sophistry?

                  • Hornet

                    “Which “science” in particular? ”

                    Moore, K. and T.V.N. Persaud. 1998. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology (6th ed.), W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia.

                    Larsen, W.J. 1998. Essentials of Human Embryology, Churchill Livingstone, New York.

                    O’Rahilly, R. and F. Muller. 1996. Human Embryology & Teratology, Wiley-Liss, New York.

                    There’s plenty more.

                • McFlock

                  But that’s a slide.

                  “Science” doesn’t regard a fetus as a “living human”. It is “living human tissue”. In the same way a fungus is “living fungal tissue”. And taking random scientific phrases and bunging them alongside philosophical ideas like “bodily autonomy” is simply a way to cloak your personal beliefs in pseudo-rational terms. The eugenicists and phrenologists were ahead of you in that queue.

                  • Hornet

                    The American Heritage Dictionary of Science:

                    Life is “the form of existence that organisms like animals and plants have and that inorganic objects or organic dead bodies lack; animate existence, characterized by growth, reproduction, metabolism, and response to stimuli.”

                    • McFlock

                      Yes. “Living” like plants or fungus. Does grass have bodily autonomy?

                    • Hornet

                      ” “Living” like plants or fungus. Does grass have bodily autonomy?”
                      We are discussing the ending of a human life, not grass.

                    • McFlock

                      Then perhaps you should have copied the “scientific definition” of “human” as well.

                    • Hornet

                      “Then perhaps you should have copied the “scientific definition” of “human” as well.”

                      You’re the only one confusing humans with grass.

                    • McFlock

                      So there’s no definition for “human” in that scientific dictionary, huh?

                    • Hornet

                      “So there’s no definition for “human” in that scientific dictionary, huh?”

                      I don’t know. But here, this may help you…

                      http://www.dictionary.com/browse/human-being
                      “a person, especially as distinguished from other animals or as representing the human species: ”

                      And this…
                      “To begin with, scientifically something very radical occurs between the processes of gametogenesis and fertilization the change from a simple part of one human being (i.e., a sperm) and a simple part of another human being (i.e., an oocyte usually referred to as an “ovum” or “egg”), which simply possess “human life”, to a new, genetically unique, newly existing, individual, whole living human being (a single-cell embryonic human zygote). That is, upon fertilization, parts of human beings have actually been transformed into something very different from what they were before; they have been changed into a single, whole human being. During the process of fertilization, the sperm and the oocyte cease to exist as such, and a new human being is produced.”
                      https://www.princeton.edu/~prolife/articles/wdhbb.html

                    • McFlock

                      So a general web dictionary and a pro-life claim that a fertilised egg is a “whole human being”. Sans eyes, sans ears, sans brain, lungs, legs and every other organ of the human body, yet is a “whole human being”.

                      Reading further, it’s a “single cell human being”, no less. Gosh. Bold claim, no support.

                      But still nothing in the scientific dictionary that was so near to your hand when you looked up “life”.

                    • Hornet

                      “But still nothing in the scientific dictionary that was so near to your hand when you looked up “life”.”
                      So you missed my earlier references?

                      “Sans eyes, sans ears, sans brain, lungs, legs and every other organ of the human body, yet is a “whole human being”.”
                      Well you fell in, so I’ll lend you a hand. https://www.babycenter.com/0_fetal-development-timeline_10357636.bc. Educate yourself, and then try to extricate yourself from the hole you’ve dug. Or am I to assume you support abortion only until those features have formed? (silently laughs).

                    • McFlock

                      your earlier references? You mean the out-of-context extracts in the prolife propaganda that argued a whole human being is a single-celled organism?

                      It’s really simple: you gave a scientific definition of life. Now give a scientific definition of human being.

                    • Hornet

                      “your earlier references? You mean the out-of-context extracts in the prolife propaganda that argued a whole human being is a single-celled organism?”
                      Translation “I didn’t know which references you meant, so I’ll pretend I read one of tem and claim you quoted it out of context”. No, if you had paid attention you would have realised I was referring to scientific publications I referenced earlier. https://thestandard.org.nz/labour-to-reform-abortion-law/#comment-1450972. Please pay more attention.

                      “It’s really simple: you gave a scientific definition of life. Now give a scientific definition of human being.”
                      I already did – https://thestandard.org.nz/labour-to-reform-abortion-law/#comment-1451343. Pay attention.

                      And here’s some more:
                      “A member of the primate genus Homo, especially a member of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other apes by a large brain and the capacity for speech.”
                      https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/human

                      And then there’s this article that distinguishes the difference (from a scientific perspective) between human beings and human cells. https://lozierinstitute.org/a-scientific-view-of-when-life-begins/

                      Did you seriously think there was no scientific definition of human being?

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, prolife organisations might not be the most impartial place to get your list of out-of-context mentions of what “science says”.

                      The Charlotte Lozier Institute is the 501(c)(3) research and education institute of the Susan B. Anthony List, an organization dedicated to electing candidates and pursuing policies that will reduce and ultimately end abortion.

                      But thanks for reiterating your link list – I figured you’d probably plagiarised it from somewhere, and it turns out you plagiarised it from that princeton prolife directory.

                      So human is “homo sapien”. Is an homo sapien a multicellular or a monocellular organism? Take your time.

                    • Hornet

                      “Actually, prolife organisations might not be the most impartial place to get your list of out-of-context mentions of what “science says”.”
                      Actually I’m more interested in accuracy than confirmation bias.

                      “The Charlotte Lozier Institute is the 501(c)(3) research and education institute of the Susan B. Anthony List, an organization dedicated to electing candidates and pursuing policies that will reduce and ultimately end abortion.”
                      Well done.

                      “But thanks for reiterating your link list – I figured you’d probably plagiarised it from somewhere, and it turns out you plagiarised it from that princeton prolife directory.”
                      Perhaps you should look up the definition of plagiarism. You clearly have no idea what it means.

                      “So human is “homo sapien”. Is an homo sapien a multicellular or a monocellular organism? Take your time.”
                      Ah, no…you’re losing the debate and so you’re shifting. Perhaps it’s time you admitted you didn’t know there was a scientific definition of human being.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually I’m more interested in accuracy than confirmation bias.

                      Then you’d be able to provide an accurate scientific definition from a scientific dictionary.

                      “But thanks for reiterating your link list – I figured you’d probably plagiarised it from somewhere, and it turns out you plagiarised it from that princeton prolife directory.”
                      Perhaps you should look up the definition of plagiarism. You clearly have no idea what it means.

                      You claimed you’d linked to scientific perspectives. In fact, all of those links were from the prolife website that took quotes from those sources well out of context. I bet you’ve never even read the links that you put up, you just got them from the prolife blogpage that agrees with you.

                      “So human is “homo sapien”. Is an homo sapien a multicellular or a monocellular organism? Take your time.”
                      Ah, no…you’re losing the debate and so you’re shifting. Perhaps it’s time you admitted you didn’t know there was a scientific definition of human being.

                      Shifting? The prolife site you actually read said that a fertilised egg was a “single cell human being”. The answer to the question of whether the scientific definition of “human being” includes whether people are multicellular or single-celled organisms points directly to the accuracy of your prolife source. If you were smarter, I’d say that this was why you avoided answering the question. But you’re a stupid fellow, so I figure it might just be because you didn’t understand the question.

                      Let me rephrase: Does a human being have more cells than a virus?

                    • Hornet

                      “Then you’d be able to provide an accurate scientific definition from a scientific dictionary.”
                      I already have. https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/human.

                      “You claimed you’d linked to scientific perspectives.”
                      That’s right. https://thestandard.org.nz/labour-to-reform-abortion-law/#comment-1450972

                      “Shifting? The prolife site you actually read said that a fertilised egg was a “single cell human being”. The answer to the question of whether the scientific definition of “human being” includes whether people are multicellular or single-celled organisms points directly to the accuracy of your prolife source.”
                      As I said, shifting. You’re assuming every pro-lifer argues against abortion from conception. They don’t. The huge ethical contradictions with the pro-abortion position remain.

                      “Let me rephrase: Does a human being have more cells than a virus?”
                      Irrelevant. A virus is not human. The difference between human cells and human beings is amply explained here https://lozierinstitute.org/a-scientific-view-of-when-life-begins/.

                      The pro-abortion argument often gets down to evasion, because the logic and biology of the pro-life position is so overwhelming. Your arguments are feeding that beast.

                    • McFlock

                      “Medical” does not always mean “scientific”. Sadly.
                      Otherwise you wouldn’t have had to swap dictionaries and ditch the “scientific” dictionary.

                      The slide your antiabortion site uses is conflating two definitions from merriam-webster into one. A single-celled organism has no “organs separate in function but mutually dependent” and therefore by that definition a fertilised egg cannot be a living being.

                      A fertilised egg is more like a virus than a human. It is human tissue, but it is not a complete organism. It’s essentially a cancerous cell, a human cell multiplying to the detriment of its host, forming organs maybe but not becoming a complete human being until well away from the host.

                    • Hornet

                      “Otherwise you wouldn’t have had to swap dictionaries and ditch the “scientific” dictionary.””
                      I didn’t. I gave you some options. More than one.

                      “The slide your antiabortion site uses is conflating two definitions from merriam-webster into one. A single-celled organism has no “organs separate in function but mutually dependent” and therefore by that definition a fertilised egg cannot be a living being.”
                      Wrong. “The conclusion that human life begins at sperm-egg fusion is uncontested, objective, based on the universally accepted scientific method of distinguishing different cell types from each other and on ample scientific evidence (thousands of independent, peer-reviewed publications).” https://lozierinstitute.org/a-scientific-view-of-when-life-begins/. That is about as clear as the science can get.

                      “A fertilised egg is more like a virus than a human. It is human tissue, but it is not a complete organism. It’s essentially a cancerous cell, a human cell multiplying to the detriment of its host, forming organs maybe but not becoming a complete human being until well away from the host.”
                      Again, you’ve missed the point of the difference between human cells and human beings (https://lozierinstitute.org/a-scientific-view-of-when-life-begins/).

                      I’ll leave you with this:

                      “Human embryos from the one-cell (zygote) stage forward show uniquely integrated, organismal behavior that is unlike the behavior of mere human cells. The zygote produces increasingly complex tissues, structures and organs that work together in a coordinated way. Importantly, the cells, tissues and organs produced during development do not somehow “generate” the embryo (as if there were some unseen, mysterious “manufacturer” directing this process), they are produced by the embryo as it directs its own development to more mature stages of human life. This organized, coordinated behavior of the embryo is the defining characteristic of a human organism.”
                      https://lozierinstitute.org/a-scientific-view-of-when-life-begins/

                      The science is settled.

                    • McFlock

                      I gave you some options. More than one.

                      Then I’d like to see the definition of “human being” listed in “The American Heritage Dictionary of Science”, please. In it’s entirety.

                      “the science is settled”.
                      Only fucking morons say that.

                      “Human embryos from the one-cell (zygote) stage forward show uniquely integrated, organismal behavior that is unlike the behavior of mere human cells. The zygote produces increasingly complex tissues, structures and organs that work together in a coordinated way. Importantly, the cells, tissues and organs produced during development do not somehow “generate” the embryo (as if there were some unseen, mysterious “manufacturer” directing this process), they are produced by the embryo as it directs its own development to more mature stages of human life. This organized, coordinated behavior of the embryo is the defining characteristic of a human organism.”

                      Does that mean that a sea urchin zygote is a human organism? According to “science”, of course. Because literally every species that has a zygote “produces increasingly complex tissues, structures and organs that work together in a coordinated way”, and use the same mechanisms to progress their growth.

                      Also, if the zygote “directs” the organs it grows, does that mean that people with congenital anomalies were just really shit project managers when they were single-celled complete human beings?

                      And why were you so shit at directing the development of a functioning brain?

                    • Hornet

                      “Then I’d like to see the definition of “human being” listed in “The American Heritage Dictionary of Science”, please. In it’s entirety.”
                      You interest me. Why?

                      “Does that mean that a sea urchin zygote is a human organism?”
                      No.

                      “Because literally every species that has a zygote “produces increasingly complex tissues, structures and organs that work together in a coordinated way”, and use the same mechanisms to progress their growth.”
                      Yes, and so do humans.

                      “Also, if the zygote “directs” the organs it grows, does that mean that people with congenital anomalies were just really shit project managers when they were single-celled complete human beings?”
                      You misunderstand the meaning of the term ‘directs’.

                      But then you have a habit of misunderstanding a lot of things when it doesn’t suit you. And as with others, you are arguing at the fringes. When you can mount a reasoned argument around the huge ethical dilemmas of aborting a human at the various stages of pre-birth development, you might get some traction.

                    • McFlock

                      Why? Because it’s the only source you’ve mentioned that simply lists scientific definitions, rather than being a propaganda piece. If there truly is a broad scientific definition that portrays a fetus as a whole living person, you’d then be able to get onto the moral argument. But there’s not so you can’t. Until you can, an abortion is morally no different to getting a tatto.

                      But then you have a habit of misunderstanding a lot of things when it doesn’t suit you. And as with others, you are arguing at the fringes. When you can mount a reasoned argument around the huge ethical dilemmas of aborting a human at the various stages of pre-birth development, you might get some traction.

                      Fuck off. I didn’t come up with the idea that a single-celled fertilised egg is a whole human being, your antiabortion links did. If you didn’t want to discuss it you shouldn’t have brought it into the discussion.

                      The emphasis on “directs” points out that although you and the propaganda sites that feed you your thoughts are claiming “science” says something, your constant use of words that imply intellectual autonomy and action to a non-sentient cellular growth imply that a foetus is the same as a conscious human being. It’s not. It has more in common with a cancer than it even has with a toddler.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Abortion. Recognise it for what it is. Destroying human potential as it is in the process of being realised.

                      Make legal medically conducted abortions available by all means. But don’t pretend that it doesn’t involve destroying a probable human being in formation.

                    • McFlock

                      potential?
                      Probable?

                      Well you’ve just fucked Hornet’s little “whole human being” line.

                      I suppose if we’re talking potentialities and probabilities, contraception and men wanking are bad, too.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hi McFlock, thanks for your revealing flippancy.

                    • McFlock

                      I’ve just spent days debating with someone who argued that a fertilised egg was a single-celled whole living human being. Now you want to bring up potentialities?

                      Every seed in my loins is a “potential” human being, no?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hi McFlock, thanks for your word games.

                      After 10 weeks gestation is completed without complications, the chance of a baby being born alive moves over 50:1.

                      Hence my choice of the word “probable.”

                      Unless you kill the foetus of course and destroy that probable human being in formation.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, so you’re only applying the potentiality argument to fetuses with no complications.

                      In general, yeah, every perfect fetus with zero complications is potentially eventually going to be a human being. “Probable” might be confused with “probably is” rather than “probably will be, eventually”.

                      Potentialities and probabilities are not “is” and “are”, though.

                      And even if improbable, any one of my jizz is still potentially going to be a little mini McFlock.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      What is it exactly which makes you think that your bodily fluids are so precious?

                      Especially in comparison to a developing human being that is in the rapid process of full formation?

                      Abortion dismembers and kills that potential dead.

                    • Abortion dismembers and kills that potential dead.

                      Yes. And your point is…?

                    • McFlock

                      Not yet human, but potentially so.

                      Being “in the process of full formation” is a bullshit term that means “not formed yet, but might be”.

                      And if it’s only potentially going to be a human, you’re not killing a human. What it is is not what it might become.

                      Whether it’s jizz, an egg, or a fetus.

                    • Hornet

                      “It has more in common with a cancer than it even has with a toddler.”

                      So you, as with most pro-abortion lobbyists, refuse to address the ethical dilemma posed. I’m not surprised you argue around the fringes when you have so little to debate with.

                    • McFlock

                      There is no “ethical dilemma” to address.

                      A bunch of guys are, once again, debating philosophical concepts concerning an issue that can never be any of their business, even if they were entitled to impose their existential beliefs on others.

                      That’s what’s funny to me.

                      The issue is purely hypothetical for half the population. As soon as it’s a moral problem, cut that number by another half, simply because no matter what god-botherers and magic books say, people tend to prioritise their immediate healthcare over eternal damnation. And that’s none of your or my business. We have neither the right nor the power to impose our philosophical or religious whims upon others. It’s no more our business than whether someone likes a little bit of anal sex every so often.

                      Not my business, so no ethical dilemma.

                      You brought the fringes of “whole single-celled human beings” into it. Don’t bitch if I keep laughing about it.

                    • Hornet

                      “Not my business, so no ethical dilemma.”
                      So nothing that you are directly connected to is your business? Are you poor? If not, the poor are not your business. Are you a victim of crime? If not, the victims of crime are not your business. Are you the victim of injustice? If not the victims of injustice are not your business. So sit back in your comfortable world and ignore what is going on around you. And none of us will wonder that you can’t understand the ethical dilemma.

                      “You brought the fringes of “whole single-celled human beings” into it.”
                      Yes I did, because the science is very clear. And I gave you an out; I asked you to answer to the ethics of abortion AFTER the period we disagree on. And you have remained silent.

                    • McFlock

                      The poor are human beings and a part of society.

                      A fetus is neither.

                      Additionally, if aiding the poor meant imposing medical procedures on third parties against their will, I would categorically oppose that.

                      But my main reason for it not being my dilemma is that it is expressly none of our business. We have absolutely no right to get involved in any person’s decision to have an abortion. We have no right to demand the details for why they want this intimate procedure. They have no obligation to justify their decision to us. Any attempt to impose my beliefs, one way or ther other, is arrogance of the highest order. Any woman who wants an abortion does not have to explain herself to anyone else (morally if not, currently, legally). What, you’re going to parse her reasons and symptoms, do your own differential diagnosis, before you graciously decide the procedure is warranted or not?

                      You mentioned poverty: an abortion should be like a benefit should be. You go in, say “I want it”, and you get it. Without explaining yourself to anyone else. Without them asking intimate questions, or demanding that you be in emotional distress before they grant you assistance.

                      It’s none of our business. So there is no dilemma.

                    • Hornet

                      “The poor are human beings and a part of society. A fetus is neither.”
                      The fetus is both!

                      “Additionally, if aiding the poor meant imposing medical procedures on third parties against their will, I would categorically oppose that.”
                      No-one is imposing medical procedures on anyone. Childbirth is an entirely natural process that has part of the human experience for as long as we have inhabited the planet. But if you’re worried about being imposed on, how about abortion as a cost, and all of the post abortion services, being imposed on the taxpayer?

                      “But my main reason for it not being my dilemma is that it is expressly none of our business. We have absolutely no right to get involved in any person’s decision to have an abortion.”
                      So we have no right to get involved in a persons decision to commit suicide? Your position is nonsense. We have a responsibility to protect the vulnerable. It really is as simple as that.

                    • McFlock

                      “The poor are human beings and a part of society. A fetus is neither.”
                      The fetus is both!

                      That is your belief. You have not demonstrated it to be fact.

                      “Additionally, if aiding the poor meant imposing medical procedures on third parties against their will, I would categorically oppose that.”
                      No-one is imposing medical procedures on anyone. Childbirth is an entirely natural process that has part of the human experience for as long as we have inhabited the planet. But if you’re worried about being imposed on, how about abortion as a cost, and all of the post abortion services, being imposed on the taxpayer?

                      Look up the maternal mortality rate during childbirth. Compare it with the risks of an abortion. That’s what you’re imposing.
                      And did you just equate a minute proportion of your taxes with maternal mortality? 🙄 Fucking tories.

                      “But my main reason for it not being my dilemma is that it is expressly none of our business. We have absolutely no right to get involved in any person’s decision to have an abortion.”
                      So we have no right to get involved in a persons decision to commit suicide? Your position is nonsense. We have a responsibility to protect the vulnerable. It really is as simple as that.

                      Actually, euthenasia is an interesting question – but at least we can communicate with the person affected directly. You can’t communicate with a fetus, because it’s not a person.

                      But more to the point, even if we did have some duty to protect a small lump of non-sentient tissue, it is impossible to do so without impacting on a third party, the woman. And she’s much better placed to balance her “obligation” than we are. What would you do to “protect” this small parasite if you decide that you know better than the woman?

                    • Hornet

                      “That is your belief. You have not demonstrated it to be fact.”
                      Yes I have. It is a necessary part of your ideological position that you deny it. IN the face of the evidence.

                      “Look up the maternal mortality rate during childbirth. Compare it with the risks of an abortion. That’s what you’re imposing.”
                      “A 2004 study from Finland looked at national medical records from 1987 to 2000. It found that the mortality rate for women giving birth was 28.2 per 100,000. The mortality rate associated with abortion one year after the abortion was 83.1 per 100,000, nearly three times as great. Finnish studies for both 2015 and 2016 employing the same sort of national data found suicide rates for women following an abortion were about six times what they were for women giving birth. Indeed Pike notes that the risk of suicide was decreased after birth by almost 50% compared to non-pregnant women. Risks for accidental death and for homicide were also found to be elevated after abortion.”
                      http://righttolife.org.nz/2017/11/13/abortions-negative-impact-on-womens-health-maternal-mortality-part-one/

                      (That’s the first shot to your own foot. Another to follow).

                      “And did you just equate a minute proportion of your taxes with maternal mortality”
                      No. I equated how abortion imposes a cost on society with how you claimed a pro-life stance imposed a decision on a pregnant woman.

                      “Actually, euthenasia is an interesting question…”
                      I didn’t mention euthanasia. I mentioned suicide. Try contemplating the issue alongside teen suicide.

                      “ – but at least we can communicate with the person affected directly. You can’t communicate with a fetus, because it’s not a person.”
                      Hang on to your hat, McFlock.
                      “The new research suggests that babies began to absorb language when they are inside the womb during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy — which is earlier than previously held. Newborns can actually tell the difference between their mother’s native tongue and foreign languages just hours after they are born.”
                      https://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20130102/babies-learn-womb#1
                      “Behaviorally speaking, there’s little difference between a newborn baby and a 32-week-old fetus. A new wave of research suggests that the fetus can feel, dream, even enjoy The Cat in the Hat.”
                      “Whether or not a fetus can taste, there’s little question that it can hear. A very premature baby entering the world at 24 or 25 weeks responds to the sounds around it, observes Als, so its auditory apparatus must already have been functioning in the womb. Many pregnant women report a fetal jerk or sudden kick just after a door slams or a car backfires.”
                      “Along with the ability to feel, see, and hear comes the capacity to learn and remember. These activities can be rudimentary, automatic, even biochemical. For example, a fetus, after an initial reaction of alarm, eventually stops responding to a repeated loud noise. The fetus displays the same kind of primitive learning, known as habituation, in response to its mother’s voice, Fifer has found.”
                      “But the fetus has shown itself capable of far more. In the 1980s, psychology professor Anthony James DeCasper, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, devised a feeding contraption that allows a baby to suck faster to hear one set of sounds through headphones and to suck slower to hear a different set. With this technique, DeCasper discovered that within hours of birth, a baby already prefers its mother’s voice to a stranger’s, suggesting it must have learned and remembered the voice, albeit not necessarily consciously, from its last months in the womb. More recently, he’s found that a newborn prefers a story read to it repeatedly in the womb – in this case, The Cat in the Hat – over a new story introduced soon after birth.”
                      http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/tul/psychtoday9809.html

                      (Second shot to the feet. Well done you).

                      “But more to the point, even if we did have some duty to protect a small lump of non-sentient tissue, it is impossible to do so without impacting on a third party, the woman.”
                      So? When we protect a vulnerable young child by removing it from it’s abusive family we impact a third party. When we take tax from high income earners to support the vulnerable, we impact a third party. Where does it stop?

                    • McFlock

                      IN the face of the evidence.

                      In the face of unconvincing evidence from biased or unrelated sources… when you have demonstrated you have access to a perfectly adequate scientific dictionary that you refuse to use any more. For some reason.

                      “Look up the maternal mortality rate during childbirth. Compare it with the risks of an abortion. That’s what you’re imposing.”
                      […]
                      http://righttolife.org.nz/2017/11/13/abortions-negative-impact-on-womens-health-maternal-mortality-part-one/

                      (That’s the first shot to your own foot. Another to follow).

                      Well duh. Unwanted pregnancy can indicate a pattern of risky behaviour. But what’s the perioperative mortality rate ratio? (clue: if it was higher, “righttolife” would have stopped looking and reported that. Like all your antiabortion sources] Shot missed.

                      “And did you just equate a minute proportion of your taxes with maternal mortality”
                      No. I equated how abortion imposes a cost on society with how you claimed a pro-life stance imposed a decision on a pregnant woman.

                      Several months of being forced to incubate, followed by a an increased risk of mortality when the birth happens.
                      I’ll do your thing of a random list of links that agree with me that I got from soewhere else:

                      Bartlett LA; Berg CJ; Shulman HB; et al. (April 2004). “Risk factors for legal induced abortion-related mortality in the United States”. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 103 (4): 729–37. doi:10.1097/01.AOG.0000116260.81570.60. PMID 15051566.

                      Trupin, Suzanne (27 May 2010). “Elective Abortion“. eMedicine. Archived from the original on 14 December 2004. Retrieved 1 June 2010. “At every gestational age, elective abortion is safer for the mother than carrying a pregnancy to term.”

                      Pittman, Genevra (23 January 2012). “Abortion safer than giving birth: study“. Reuters. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2012.

                      “Actually, euthenasia is an interesting question…”
                      I didn’t mention euthanasia. I mentioned suicide. Try contemplating the issue alongside teen suicide.

                      Euthenasia is the person electing to die. Just with more paperwork. Age is immaterial.

                      “ – but at least we can communicate with the person affected directly. You can’t communicate with a fetus, because it’s not a person.”
                      Hang on to your hat, McFlock.
                      […]

                      “LeaderU”? Really? Do you have a list of nutbar religious propaganda sites, or do you just search the web for articles you agree with and they all turn out to be on those sites? Oh, and webmd.
                      Anyhoo, a dog remembers it’s name and people it likes, and even responds to commands. Babies, not so much. But babies don’t rely on turning one specific person into an incubator to exist, so “protecting” them doesn’t mean putting someone else into literal forced labour.

                      “But more to the point, even if we did have some duty to protect a small lump of non-sentient tissue, it is impossible to do so without impacting on a third party, the woman.”
                      So? When we protect a vulnerable young child by removing it from it’s abusive family we impact a third party. When we take tax from high income earners to support the vulnerable, we impact a third party. Where does it stop?

                      It stops when the thing we’re protecting needs to be protected by threatening and endangering someone else. That’s specfically excluded in the crimes act – you can defend yourself against a threat to life, but not if it means beating the shit out of someone other than the threatening person. And the thing we’re protecting isn’t even a person.

                      But yes, you keep bringing up money in a debate that you think is about life and death. Shows how deep your concern goes, I guess. You’ll force someone to have a kid, but how do you feel about the taxes needed to give her a DPB to raise it?

                    • Hornet

                      “Well duh. Unwanted pregnancy can indicate a pattern of risky behaviour. But what’s the perioperative mortality rate ratio?”
                      That wasn’t your claim, though, was it (see below).

                      “Several months of being forced to incubate, followed by a an increased risk of mortality when the birth happens.”
                      And so you repeat the statement, knowing it to be false.

                      “Euthenasia is the person electing to die. Just with more paperwork. Age is immaterial.”
                      At the same time our society is debating euthanasia, we are also trying to reduce teen suicide. Why is that, McFlock? Is it because we understand the tragedy of wasted potential? That we value young life? That we are willing to ‘impose’ that broken young life on parents and wider society in order to protect it?

                      ““LeaderU”? Really? Do you have a list of nutbar religious propaganda sites, or do you just search the web for articles you agree with and they all turn out to be on those sites? Oh, and webmd.”
                      It was your claim. You could have supported it, but chose to shoot the messenger. That says a lot. But here’s more, just to confirm your ignorance:
                      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/babies-can-detect-mothers-touch-10409649
                      http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2013/08/babies-learn-recognize-words-womb
                      https://www.parenting.com/article/what-babies-learn-in-the-womb

                      “But yes, you keep bringing up money in a debate that you think is about life and death.”
                      You brought up the issue of ‘impacts’. Abortion is paid for by taxpayers. It’s a logical extension of your own argument.

                      Someone who can claim “You can’t communicate with a fetus”, and believes the “maternal mortality rate during childbirth” is higher than ‘the risks of an abortion’ is clearly entering this discussion without all their marbles.

                    • McFlock

                      Yawn.
                      Yeah, I should have explicitly said “perioperative mortality, not any random correlation your right to life crowd can cherrypick and you can parrot”.

                      The thing about communicating with a fetus is that it (allegedly) might respond to familiar stimulus, but there’s no “communication”. Unlike with a dog.

                      we’re trying to reduce suicide in general (age is immaterial) because it’s usually an impulsive act made in extremis that is regretted by survivors who took that decision. Sometimes it is a rational act, hence euthenasia debates. A fetus is not a human being, though, unlike people who attempt suicide.

                      And yes I rip shit out of your sources, because the people you link to have history of misrepresenting scientific research in order to further their own agenda. And that includes clickbait.

                      You brought up the issue of ‘impacts’. Abortion is paid for by taxpayers. It’s a logical extension of your own argument.

                      Yes, you think the impact of losing an undetectable amount of taxed money from your paycheque is a “logical extension” from dying from complications of childbirth. That’s my point. You’re a fuckwit pretending to care about ethics when it suits you.

                    • Hornet

                      “The thing about communicating with a fetus is that it (allegedly) might respond to familiar stimulus, but there’s no “communication”.”
                      The material I posted makes it quite clear there is. You made a ridiculous claim and don’t have the integrity to admit to it.
                      “More recent studies have expanded on the idea of fetal learning, indicating that newborns already familiarized themselves with sounds of their parent’s native language; one showed that American newborns seem to perceive Swedish vowel sounds as unfamiliar, sucking on a high-tech pacifier to hear more of the new sounds. Swedish infants showed the same response to English vowels.”
                      Babies who had heard the recordings showed the neural signal for recognizing vowel and pitch changes in the pseudoword, and the signal was strongest for the infants whose mothers played the recording most often. They were also better than the control babies at detecting other differences in the syllables, such as vowel length. “This leads us to believe that the fetus can learn much more detailed information than we previously thought,” Partanen says, and that the memory traces are detectable after birth.
                      http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2013/08/babies-learn-recognize-words-womb

                      “we’re trying to reduce suicide in general (age is immaterial) because it’s usually an impulsive act made in extremis that is regretted by survivors who took that decision.”
                      Impulsive or not is irrelevant. Whether an act is premeditated or not may not influence the ethics of it. But ironically, your description would fit nicely alongside abortion.

                      “A fetus is not a human being…”
                      Yes, he/she is. And so far you’re making a piss poor job of convincing anyone otherwise.

                      “And yes I rip shit out of your sources, because…”
                      …you are unable to make the case for your own ideology. And because I’ve caught you out making false claims. I notice you haven’t said anything about the majority of the sources I have used, though.

                      “Yes, you think the impact of losing an undetectable amount of taxed money from your paycheque is a “logical extension” from dying from complications of childbirth. That’s my point. You’re a fuckwit pretending to care about ethics when it suits you.”
                      That’s rich coming from someone who is wiling to suppress free speech and supports the indiscriminate termination of human life.

                    • Hornet

                      “Behaviorally speaking, there’s little difference between a newborn
                      baby and a32-week-old fetus.”

                      “Birth may be a grand occasion,
                      says the Johns Hopkins University psychologist, but “it is a trivial
                      event in development. Nothing neurologically interesting happens.””

                      “Among other mental feats, the fetus can distinguish between the
                      voice of Mom and that of a stranger, and respond to a familiar story read to it.”

                      https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199809/fetal-psychology

                    • McFlock

                      “The thing about communicating with a fetus is that it (allegedly) might respond to familiar stimulus, but there’s no “communication”.”
                      The material I posted makes it quite clear there is. You made a ridiculous claim and don’t have the integrity to admit to it.

                      No, the material you posted shows a response to stimulus. It does not show whether the fetus understands any message, or whether the fetus can send any message to anyone else. At least a dog sits when you tell it to, showing understanding of your message and a sense of agency in actually performing the action of sitting. Like your “sucking at unfamiliar vowel sounds” link, that’s stimulus response. The assumption of understanding is simply projection. The quote you posted restricted claims to familiar vs unfamiliar stimulus. But at least you’re learning to use vaguely scientific source to argue your scientific point, even if you probably are just plagiarising the links from antiabortion sites again.

                      Impulsive or not is irrelevant. Whether an act is premeditated or not may not influence the ethics of it. But ironically, your description would fit nicely alongside abortion.

                      Impulsive goes to the rationality of the decision. And no, abortion is not impulsive. Nobody pops by their doctor for a checkup and thinks “gosh, while I’m here I might as well get an abortion, even though the thought had not be considered by me before at all”. But people do go for a walk and decide to take a jump.

                      “A fetus is not a human being…”
                      Yes, he/she is. And so far you’re making a piss poor job of convincing anyone otherwise.

                      No it isn’t. And it is impossible to convince an idiot who thinks that having their tax bill increased by 1/1000 is a “logical progression” from increasing your chance of dying on an operating table by 1/1000. It can, however, be quite amusing to look at their tricks.

                      “And yes I rip shit out of your sources, because…”
                      …you are unable to make the case for your own ideology. And because I’ve caught you out making false claims. I notice you haven’t said anything about the majority of the sources I have used, though.

                      Well, actually I have, because the majority of your sources either were antiabortion propaganda sites that cherrypick the quotes they take out of context, or were those quotes taken out of context.

                      You did have one source which seemed reasonably impartial, but you keep refusing to look up words in it.

                      “Yes, you think the impact of losing an undetectable amount of taxed money from your paycheque is a “logical extension” from dying from complications of childbirth. That’s my point. You’re a fuckwit pretending to care about ethics when it suits you.”
                      That’s rich coming from someone who is wiling to suppress free speech and supports the indiscriminate termination of human life.

                      I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you’d be wanting to elevate parasites above their status. I thought you were projecting your status as a human being upon a single-celled lump of tissue, but I now suspect you’re more concerned about your status as a parasite.

                    • Hornet

                      “No, the material you posted shows a response to stimulus. It does not show whether the fetus understands any message, or whether the fetus can send any message to anyone else.”
                      You’re sidestepping and digging a bigger hole at the same time.
                      “In the 1980s,psychology professor Anthony James DeCasper and colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro devised a feeding contraption that allows a baby to suck faster to hear one set of sounds through headphones and to suck slower to hear a different set. With this technique, DeCasper discovered that within hours of birth, a baby already prefers its mother’s voice to a stranger’s, suggesting it must have learned and remembered the voice, albeit not necessarily consciously, from its last months in the womb. More recently, he’s found that a newborn prefers a story read to it repeatedly in the womb–in this case, The Cat in the Hat–over a new story introduced soon after birth.”
                      “…the fetus can listen, learn, and remember at some level, and,”
                      https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199809/fetal-psychology (Not a pro-life source).
                      It’s damned hard to ‘learn’ when you don’t ‘understand’!

                      As to the foetus communicating with others:
                      “Every mother knows that newborns are social creatures just hours after birth. They prefer to look at faces over objects, and they even imitate facial expressions. Now a study sug­gests that the propensity for social interactions exists in the womb. Twins begin interacting as early as the 14th week of gestation.”
                      “The results suggest that twin fetuses are aware of their counterparts in the womb, that they prefer to interact with them, and that they respond to them in special ways. Contact between them appeared to be planned—not an accidental outcome of spatial proximity, says study co-author Cristina Becchio of Turin. “These findings force us to predate the emergence of social behavior,” she says.”
                      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/social-before-birth/

                      “Impulsive goes to the rationality of the decision.”
                      Not necessarily. Many who have abortions suffer deep regret, sometimes debilitating.

                      “No it isn’t. And it is impossible to convince an idiot who thinks that having their tax bill increased by 1/1000 is a “logical progression” from increasing your chance of dying on an operating table by 1/1000. It can, however, be quite amusing to look at their tricks.”
                      But that’s not what I claimed, is it? You spoke of ‘impacts’. Taxpayers paying for other peoples abortions are impacts. And you claimed “Look up the maternal mortality rate during childbirth. Compare it with the risks of an abortion. That’s what you’re imposing.” You are ill-informed, and can be quite dishonest when your backpedalling.

                      “Well, actually I have, because the majority of your sources either were antiabortion propaganda sites that cherrypick the quotes they take out of context, or were those quotes taken out of context.”
                      Yet no examples. And no counter sources.

                      As for the majority of my sources being ‘anti-abortion propaganda sites’, I’ll inform Science Magazine, Psychology Today and Scientific American of your concerns. (Giggle).

                    • McFlock

                      It’s damned hard to ‘learn’ when you claim the fetus doesn’t ‘understand’!

                      Pavlov differed in that opinion.

                      “Impulsive goes to the rationality of the decision.”
                      Not necessarily. Many who have abortions suffer deep regret, sometimes debilitating.

                      And many who have kids, likewise. But that doesn’t mean the decisions, either way, were made impulsively.

                      “No it isn’t. And it is impossible to convince an idiot who thinks that having their tax bill increased by 1/1000 is a “logical progression” from increasing your chance of dying on an operating table by 1/1000. It can, however, be quite amusing to look at their tricks.”
                      But that’s not what I claimed, is it? You spoke of ‘impacts’. Taxpayers paying for other peoples abortions are impacts. And you claimed “Look up the maternal mortality rate during childbirth. Compare it with the risks of an abortion. That’s what you’re imposing.” You are ill-informed, and can be quite dishonest when your backpedalling.

                      I said “But more to the point, even if we did have some duty to protect a small lump of non-sentient tissue, it is impossible to do so without impacting on a third party, the woman.”

                      Several months of forced incubation, at the very least. That’s the minimum impact on the woman. The impact on the taxpayer is not a “logical extension” of that. I know you think it is, but that’s because you’re a fuckwit. Normal people would view pregnancy as significantly different to paying a fraction of a percentage more tax.

                      “Well, actually I have, because the majority of your sources either were antiabortion propaganda sites that cherrypick the quotes they take out of context, or were those quotes taken out of context.”
                      Yet no examples. And no counter sources. I’ll stand by Science Magazine and Psychology Today.

                      Yes, and you’ll continue to intentionally confuse a response to familiar stimulus with “communication”.

                      You’re the one claiming that a single-celled egg is a “whole human being”. If your were right, you’d only need one decent source, rather than a bunch of bullshit.

                    • Hornet

                      “Pavlov differed in that opinion.”
                      That doesn’t explain why you made such a silly claim.

                      “And many who have kids, likewise. But that doesn’t mean the decisions, either way, were made impulsively.”
                      No, but it doesn’t rule it out, either.

                      “The impact on the taxpayer is not a “logical extension” of that.”
                      Of course it is. You’re invoking an ‘impact’ that you are then using to justify killing a human being. I’m logically balancing that by outlining just one ‘impact’ of an abortion. I could give you many more.

                      “I know you think it is, but that’s because you’re a fuckwit. Normal people would view pregnancy as significantly different to paying a fraction of a percentage more tax.”
                      Different yes. But an extension of the logic nonetheless.

                      “Yes, and you’ll continue to intentionally confuse a response to familiar stimulus with “communication”.”
                      Quote:
                      “The results suggest that twin fetuses are aware of their counterparts in the womb, that they prefer to interact with them, and that they respond to them in special ways. Contact between them appeared to be planned—not an accidental outcome of spatial proximity, says study co-author Cristina Becchio of Turin. “These findings force us to predate the emergence of social behavior,” she says.”
                      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/social-before-birth/You’re the one claiming that a single-celled egg is a “whole human being”.

                      ‘Respond’. ‘Interact’. ‘Planned contact’.

                      Care to explain how these are NOT forms of communication?

                      For me, I’ll consider the findings of researchers and neuro-scientist’s rather more informed than your ramblings.

                    • Hornet

                      I’m going to repost your claims:

                      “The thing about communicating with a fetus is that it (allegedly) might respond to familiar stimulus, but there’s no “communication”.

                      Labour to reform abortion law

                      “It does not show whether the fetus understands any message, or whether the fetus can send any message to anyone else.”

                      Labour to reform abortion law

                      No communication. No understanding. No messaging. They are your claims.

                      Now here is the reality.

                      Researchers and neuroscientists have found that foetus’ ‘respond’, ‘interact’ and engage in ‘planned contact’. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/social-before-birth/
                      Behaviourally, a foetus at 32 weeks is little different from a new-born baby. And a foetus can feel, see, hear, and here’s the kicker – learn and remember. https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199809/fetal-psychology
                      “Now researchers in the US and Sweden have found evidence that we start learning language before we’re even born.” LEARN language. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-22457797

                      McFlock, the only way you can continue to stand by your claims is by wilful ignorance.

                    • McFlock

                      Every single one of your links projects meaning onto stimulus/response patterns.

                      Touches twin in womb more than walls? Fine. That doesn’t make it intentional social interaction. It could be a reflex, or anything.

                      Sucks more when hears language pattern of parent? Maybe that’s just associating familiar sounds with feeding reflex. It doesn’t mean they understand the language.

                      And so on. Rem patterns in womb? Maybe just a product of fetal brain development.

                      But you and your links are committing the cardinal flaw of projecting meaning upon behaviour, like a 1950s naturalist looking at the behaviour of mammals in the wild. They might be conscious, thinking, sentient life forms. But they might just be basic meatbots showing showing complex responses to complex stimulae.

                      FWIW, I find newborns to be unimpressive shit machines for the first few weeks or months, too. But we’ve covered that already – there’s no need for a sixth-trimester abortion argument, because someone else can deal with it if the mother doesn’t want to.

                    • Hornet

                      I’m also going to call you out on your delusional rant about mortality.

                      You first claimed:
                      “Look up the mortality rate during childbirth. Compare it with the risks of an abortion. That’s what you’re imposing.”

                      Labour to reform abortion law


                      You very clearly said ‘during child birth’.

                      A short time later you wrote:
                      “Look up the maternal mortality rate during childbirth. Compare it with the risks of an abortion.”

                      Labour to reform abortion law


                      That was your first change. Maternal mortality is NOT the mortality rate during childbirth. It is “Maternal death or maternal mortality is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes.”
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maternal_death

                      And so I responded to your first claim. And when I showed that the actual data contradicted you (https://thestandard.org.nz/labour-to-reform-abortion-law/#comment-1452699), you tried to change tack AGAIN:

                      “But what’s the perioperative mortality rate ratio?”

                      Labour to reform abortion law


                      Now the perioperative mortality rate is defined as “any death, regardless of cause, occurring within 30 days after surgery in or out of the hospital”. Any death. Regardless of cause.

                      You’re a slippery one McFlock.

                    • Hornet

                      “Every single one of your links projects meaning onto stimulus/response patterns. “
                      Foetus’ learn language. They respond, interact and engage in planned contact. I’m enjoying your Houdini act though.

                      “That doesn’t make it intentional social interaction”
                      The researchers disagree with you.

                      “But you and your links are committing the cardinal flaw…”
                      …of believing that you might accept that researchers, neuroscientists, psychologists etc might actually know more than you.

                    • McFlock

                      You’re the one that brought up a study of suicides a year after an event compared with maternal mortality, and now you criticise me for 30 vs 42 days (and some standards go out to 90 days for perioperative mortality).

                      But researchers talking about “planned contact” give the game away – unless the subject can communicate “I am now going to touch that thing”, planning rests entirely in the eye of the beholder.

                      Seriously, show me that in utero activity is any more conscious than spiders fucking and I’ll regard abortion as more morally significant than killing a spider.

                    • Hornet

                      “You’re the one that brought up a study of suicides a year after an event compared with maternal mortality, and now you criticise me for 30 vs 42 days (and some standards go out to 90 days for perioperative mortality).”

                      No, I criticise you for changing from child birth mortality to 30 days to 40 days. And for what I suspect was deliberate sidestepping.

                      “But researchers talking about “planned contact” give the game away – unless the subject can communicate “I am now going to touch that thing”, planning rests entirely in the eye of the beholder.”
                      There you go again! Sidestepping, moving the goalposts. You originally said communicate. Now you want the foetus to talk, as well as feel, see, hear, learn and remember! Seriously you write like someone who knows they’re wrong but simply cannot admit it, and so squirms into a new position every time you’re found out. Perhaps I should list you different positions on communicating, as I have done with your different positions of mortality?

                      “Seriously, show me that in utero activity is any more conscious than spiders fucking and I’ll regard abortion as more morally significant than killing a spider.”
                      So you accept the foetus is ‘life’ then? Well that’s some progress.

                      Other than that, you clearly have delusions of intellect, when you can flagrantly ignore the considered views of your betters.

                    • McFlock

                      No, I criticise you for changing from child birth mortality to 30 days to 40 days. And for what I suspect was deliberate sidestepping.

                      I said mortality. I envisioned that to be “related”, as in “perioperative”. You went to the antiabortionists for:

                      “A 2004 study from Finland looked at national medical records from 1987 to 2000. It found that the mortality rate for women giving birth was 28.2 per 100,000. The mortality rate associated with abortion one year after the abortion was 83.1 per 100,000,

                      Mortality for women giving birth – maternal mortality – vs all causes mortality for a full year after a termination? Fuck off.

                      nearly three times as great. Finnish studies for both 2015 and 2016 employing the same sort of national data found suicide rates for women following an abortion were about six times what they were for women giving birth. Indeed Pike notes that the risk of suicide was decreased after birth by almost 50% compared to non-pregnant women. Risks for accidental death and for homicide were also found to be elevated after abortion.”

                      Note slide from “all cause mortality” to a comparison of suicide rates, accident and homicide. Deaths associated with risky behaviours (oh, and socioeconomic status) in the short term. They didn’t mention medical conditions or overall mortality, though. funny.

                      You and righttolife are full of shit.

                      “But researchers talking about “planned contact” give the game away – unless the subject can communicate “I am now going to touch that thing”, planning rests entirely in the eye of the beholder.”
                      There you go again! Sidestepping, moving the goalposts. Seriously you write like someone who knows they’re wrong but simply cannot admit it.

                      They claim it was planned. They did not demonstrate planning. So, yeah, nah.

                      “Seriously, show me that in utero activity is any more conscious than spiders fucking and I’ll regard abortion as more morally significant than killing a spider.”
                      So you accept the foetus is ‘life’ then? Well that’s some progress.

                      I think I’ve always said it was living tissue, like cancer. Do spiders have some human-being level moral significance for you? Are your best friends spiders? You do know “Charlotte’s Web” was fiction, right?

                      Other than that, you clearly have delusions of intellect, when you can flagrantly ignore the considered views of your betters.

                      Appealing to the authority of antiabortionists and popscience publications. Next you’ll call the Daily Mail “reputable”.

                    • Hornet

                      “I said mortality.”
                      And then when you were shown to be talking rubbish, you changed the definition. I spelt out your nice sidestepping here https://thestandard.org.nz/labour-to-reform-abortion-law/#comment-1453194. It isn’t going away.

                      “Note slide from “all cause mortality” to a comparison of suicide rates, accident and homicide. Deaths associated with risky behaviours (oh, and socioeconomic status) in the short term. They didn’t mention medical conditions or overall mortality, though. funny.”
                      Yeah it’s inconvenient when you’re shown something that doesn’t match your claims, eh. Scramble away.

                      “They claim it was planned.”
                      They are the researchers, the scientists. You aren’t. But you’re free to continue to believe and spout your delusions. I won’t try to suppress your free speech. Just continue to show you’re wrong.

                      “Next you’ll call the Daily Mail “reputable”.”
                      I’ll inform Science Magazine, Psychology Today and Scientific American of your concerns about their pro-life bias. I’m sure they’ll be in touch.

                    • McFlock

                      All you have left is an appeal to authority.

                      “suggest” and “appeared to be planned” is as far as the researchers went in the article on in utero movement. You read into it whatever you wanted.

                    • Hornet

                      “All you have left is an appeal to authority. ”

                      That’s the best you can do? The appeal to authority is only a problem if there is disagreement over the authority of the source. Have you heard back from Scientific American, Psychology Today, and the various other researchers, scientists and psychologists you think are all in cahoots with the pro-life movement?

                      I also haven’t seen you address your rather naughty habit of sidestepping when you’re caught out. https://thestandard.org.nz/labour-to-reform-abortion-law/#comment-1453194

                    • McFlock

                      Meh.

                      What you think of as “sidestepping” was merely me not anticipating the extent of the dishonesty of the antiabortionists you get your talking points from. My bad. If you look at the mortality for the same period from a birth or an abortion, giving birth is associated with a higher rate of all-cause mortality. Is that an incorrect statement?

                      As for your appeal to authority, like I say – the researchers didn’t actually make the claims you say they did. They reported their observations, and speculated about what the observations suggested. You repeating that speculation as fact is the appeal to authority you’re relying on.

                    • Hornet

                      “What you think of as “sidestepping” was merely me not anticipating the extent of the dishonesty of the antiabortionists you get your talking points from.”
                      No, it was you claiming something, being shown to be wrong, and then shifting the goal posts. Very sneaky. https://thestandard.org.nz/labour-to-reform-abortion-law/#comment-1453194

                      “My bad. If you look at the mortality for the same period from a birth or an abortion, giving birth is associated with a higher rate of all-cause mortality. Is that an incorrect statement?”
                      If you had done any serious research you would know the data (even ignoring misleading and changing definitions) has been abused by pro-abortion activists.
                      There have been claims made by Planned Parenthood, eg, which have been thoroughly unpicked (eg http://wecareexperts.org/sites/default/files/articles/Abortion-Related%20Deaths%20Compared%20to%20Childbirth-Related%20Deaths.pdf). Yet pro-abortion advocates continue to use that data as definitive.

                      At the most charitable to you, your claim (remebering how narrow it is – eg why 1 year?) is not supported by the evidence. There is a comprehensive summary of the Finnish study here http://afterabortion.org/2000/abortion-four-times-deadlier-than-childbirth/, which sets out very clearly how the data was derived, and how the results were interpreted.

                      There is also a Danish study (http://www.lifeissues.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/danish_medical_study_9_12.pdf) that found:
                      “Compared to women who delivered, women who had an early or late abortion had significantly higher mortality rates within 1 through 10 years.”

                      “As for your appeal to authority, like I say – the researchers didn’t actually make the claims you say they did.”
                      Of course they did, because I quoted directly from the references. You chose to elevate your own unsourced, uninformed ideology above that of scientists and researchers.

                    • Hornet

                      Further cites:
                      An example of findings consistent with claims by Planned Parenthood picked apart:
                      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22270271

                      Further Danish study:
                      http://afterabortion.org/2012/multiple-abortions-increase-risk-of-maternal-death-new-study/

                      California study:
                      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12190217?dopt=Abstract

                      “RESULTS:
                      Compared with women who delivered, those who aborted had a significantly higher age-adjusted risk of death from all causes (1.62), from suicide (2.54), and from accidents (1.82), as well as a higher relative risk of death from natural causes (1.44), including the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) (2.18), circulatory diseases (2.87), and cerebrovascular disease (5.46).”

                    • McFlock

                      lol did you mean to include this one:

                      METHODS:

                      We estimated mortality rates associated with live births and legal induced abortions in the United States in 1998-2005. We used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System, birth certificates, and Guttmacher Institute surveys. In addition, we searched for population-based data comparing the morbidity of abortion and childbirth.
                      RESULTS:

                      The pregnancy-associated mortality rate among women who delivered live neonates was 8.8 deaths per 100,000 live births. The mortality rate related to induced abortion was 0.6 deaths per 100,000 abortions. In the one recent comparative study of pregnancy morbidity in the United States, pregnancy-related complications were more common with childbirth than with abortion.
                      CONCLUSION:

                      Legal induced abortion is markedly safer than childbirth. The risk of death associated with childbirth is approximately 14 times higher than that with abortion. Similarly, the overall morbidity associated with childbirth exceeds that with abortion.

                      Whatevs.
                      So, okay, let’s say “hotly debated”. That still means the antiabortionists are still forcing women to incubate and that might well increase the woman’s chances of death.

                      At least you’re learning to sprinkle the references from propaganda sites amongst links to more scholarly articles that you probably got off the propaganda sites.

                      A good example of why I don’t like your propaganda sites is your “comprehensive summary of the Finnish study” not getting basic facts like timeframes right (my italics):

                      […]age-adjusted odds ratio of women dying in the year they give birth as being half that of women who are not pregnant, whereas women who have abortions are 76 percent more likely to die in the year following abortion compared to non-pregnant women.

                      The issue I have with that study is they didn’t have socioeconomic comparisons. But then they were only exploring the desirability and difficulties of data linkage between record sets, rather than looking at the issue per se.

                    • Hornet

                      “lol did you mean to include this one:”
                      Well yes. If you had read my post properly you would have seen the reference was accompanied with this:
                      “An example of findings consistent with claims by Planned Parenthood picked apart:
                      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22270271”
                      You see the pro-abortionists distort and lie to push their pro-death agenda on the public.

                      “That still means the antiabortionists are still forcing women to incubate and that might well increase the woman’s chances of death.”
                      There are many activities that ‘might well increase the’ chances ‘of death’. Walking across the road. Going to work. Eating too much fast food. But we don’t accept killing another human being to assuage our sense of entitlement.

                      “At least you’re learning to sprinkle the references from propaganda sites amongst links to more scholarly articles that you probably got off the propaganda sites.”
                      What you call ‘propaganda sites’ are Science Magazine, Psychology Today and Scientific American. They are the sort of references I would expect you to use to support your own contentions, but instead you consider your uninformed opinion of higher value than researchers and studies in Finland, Denmark and California.

                    • McFlock

                      “An example of findings consistent with claims by Planned Parenthood picked apart

                      Oh, you mean the unreviewed comment at the bottom of the link that rests heavily on the Gissler work (which itself includes the comment “Our study covered deaths after births and abortions well, but it may underestimate the real number of pregnancy-associated deaths after miscarriage and deaths occurring during pregnancy. These deaths were found only if the woman was hospitalized, or if the pregnancy was mentioned in the death certificate. The mortality rate within one year after the end of a pregnancy was 38.5 (=41.42.9) per 100,000 pregnancies. Assuming that the mortality risk level during pregnancy is similar, the mortality rate for pregnant women should be 24.4 (adjusted by gestation length) instead of the found 2.9 per 100,000 pregnancies, suggesting that many deaths of pregnant women are missing from our data”. You really should read the links you crib off propaganda sites).

                      I liked the line “Despite this artifice, it is an indisputable fact that every study which has employ record linkage has found that mortality rates associated with childbirth are significantly lower than those associated with abortion.2-8”. “Every study” should raise flags with you if the issue is “hotly debated”, and then of course the comment cites a letter from “afterabortion.org”. lols – alleging intentional misconduct (“artifice”) then citing antabortion sites.

                      There are many activities that ‘might well increase the’ chances ‘of death’. Walking across the road. Going to work. Eating too much fast food. But we don’t accept killing another human being to assuage our sense of entitlement.

                      We don’t force people to do those things. You want to force women to be incubators. And abortion isn’t “killing another human being”.

                      What you call ‘propaganda sites’ are Science Magazine, Psychology Today and Scientific American. They are the sort of references I would expect you to use to support your own contentions, but instead you consider your uninformed opinion of higher value than researchers and studies in Finland, Denmark and California.

                      No, the antiabortion sites you get your links from are the propaganda sites. The popscience magazines you list are summaries of the papers and tend towards more consumable headlines than technically-rigorous terminology. The papers themselves don’t make the claims you say – like all good scholars, they report observations, shortcomings in their methodology, and any inferences they draw is clearly identified as supposition. Like how they never said the in utero movement was planeed, just that planning might be suggested. Nor did they make any inference at all that a fetus was as sentient as, say, a spider. Spiders can apparently plan movement. Is squashing them wrong?

                    • Hornet

                      “Oh, you mean the unreviewed comment at the bottom of the link…”
                      Yes, didn’t you read why I posted that?

                      “ that rests heavily on the Gissler work”
                      No, it rests heavily on the credentials of the author. Which trump yours.

                      “You really should read the links you crib off propaganda sites).”
                      Propaganda sites, like Science Magazine, Psychology Today and Scientific American? How are you going with that correspondence, McFlock?

                      “We don’t force people to do those things. You want to force women to be incubators.”
                      They are all still risks. And only taken with a persons own life. Abortion effects a second life, and guarantees death – even more reason to impose restraint.

                      “And abortion isn’t “killing another human being”.”
                      Yes, it is. And all the evidence points to that reality.

                      “I liked the line…”
                      Yet ignored the studies. Well done.

                      “No, the antiabortion sites you get your links from are the propaganda sites.”
                      The difference between you and I is that I have a variety of sources, all of whom present a consistent picture pf mortality and the nature of life. You have presented nothing of authority or substance. But how are you going with your communication with Psychology today etc?

                      “Like how they never said the in utero movement was planeed, just that planning might be suggested.”
                      Really? Clearly you didn’t see this:
                      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/social-before-birth/
                      “These findings force us to predate the emergence of social behavior,”
                      Or this:
                      https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199809/fetal-psychology
                      “As if overturning the common conception of infancy weren’t enough, scientists are creating a startling new picture of intelligent life in the womb.”

                      And I’m really interested in how you respond to this:
                      “Birth may be a grand occasion, says the Johns Hopkins University psychologist, but “it is a trivial event in development. Nothing neurologically interesting happens.” “
                      So if nothing ‘neurologically interesting’ happens at birth, how do you feel about infanticide?

                    • McFlock

                      Yes, didn’t you read why I posted that?

                      Why you post something and what you actually post are frequently distant relatives. I thought you were talking about the article itself, not a comment down the bottom from random dude 57.

                      “ that rests heavily on the Gissler work”
                      No, it rests heavily on the credentials of the author. Which trump yours.

                      David Reardon? Who the fuck is he? His comment has nothing about his “credentials”. His name hyperlinks to a few comments about abortion. That is it.

                      “You really should read the links you crib off propaganda sites).”
                      Propaganda sites, like Science Magazine, Psychology Today and Scientific American? How are you going with that correspondence, McFlock?

                      No, like antiabortion sites. We’ve been through this before. You’re an idiot.

                      Dude, if you’d read the Gissler article rather than an antiabortion site, you’d know its issues with undercounting, and that other studies had linked data and found no change in their numbers.

                      “We don’t force people to do those things. You want to force women to be incubators.”
                      They are all still risks. And only taken with a persons own life. Abortion effects a second life, and guarantees death – even more reason to impose restraint.

                      No, it doesn’t affect a second life, unless you count spiders. If you’re talking about a second human life, you’re wrong.

                      And you’re a bold man to force other people to take risks against their will. Fuck off.

                      “And abortion isn’t “killing another human being”.”
                      Yes, it is. And all the evidence points to that reality.

                      No, it isn’t and it doesn’t.

                      “I liked the line…”
                      Yet ignored the studies. Well done.

                      I read the studies you plagiarised from antiabortion sites, fool. You didn’t.

                      “No, the antiabortion sites you get your links from are the propaganda sites.”
                      The difference between you and I is that I have a variety of sources, all of whom present a consistent picture pf mortality and the nature of life. You have presented nothing of authority or substance. But how are you going with your communication with Psychology today etc?

                      No, you don’t. You pretty much just have antiabortion sites and popscience editorialising (that you probably plagiarised from the antiabortion sites, like before). If you can’t see that, it’s not my problem. I don’t need to take it up with anyone else, you’re the idiot in front of me.

                      But why have you refused to look up your scientific dictionary again? Did the definitions not suit your argument, or was the definition itself something you plagiarised from an antiabortion propaganda site?

                      “Like how they never said the in utero movement was planeed, just that planning might be suggested.”
                      Really? Clearly you didn’t see this:
                      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/social-before-birth/
                      “These findings force us to predate the emergence of social behavior,”

                      my bold:

                      The results suggest that twin fetuses are aware of their counterparts in the womb, that they prefer to interact with them, and that they respond to them in special ways. Contact between them appeared to be planned

                      So no, not the statement of fact you rest on.

                      Or this:
                      https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199809/fetal-psychology
                      “As if overturning the common conception of infancy weren’t enough, scientists are creating a startling new picture of intelligent life in the womb.”

                      Or creating a startling picture of stimulus-response that a spider would consider stupid. Heart rate increases for unfamiliar stimuli? You really consider that human-level intelligence? Fuck off.

                      And I’m really interested in how you respond to this:
                      “Birth may be a grand occasion, says the Johns Hopkins University psychologist, but “it is a trivial event in development. Nothing neurologically interesting happens.” “
                      So if nothing ‘neurologically interesting’ happens at birth, how do you feel about infanticide?

                      Against it, because you don’t need to fuck up a real person’s life to keep an infant alive. If they don’t want/can’t care for it, you give it to someone else. Unlike forced incubation. But I’ve said before that babies are unimpressive until they actually start developing a bit of personality. You know, becoming tiny humans.

                    • Hornet

                      “David Reardon? Who the fuck is he?”
                      Really? Google is your friend.
                      http://afterabortion.org/1999/david-c-reardon-biographical-sketch/
                      “David C. Reardon, Ph.D., director of the Elliot Institute, is widely recognized as one of the leading experts on the aftereffects of abortion on women, a field in which he has specialized since 1983. He is the author of numerous books and popular and scholarly articles on this topic. He has been a noted advocate of healing programs for women, men, and families who have lost children to abortion, miscarriage, or neonatal death.
                      His studies have been published in such prestigious medical journals as the British Medical Journal and the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and have proven that abortion compared to childbirth is associated with higher rates of maternal death, psychiatric hospitalization, subsequent substance abuse, clinical depression, and numerous other complications.”

                      “His comment has nothing about his “credentials”.”
                      I compared his credentials to your lack thereof.

                      “No, like antiabortion sites.”
                      But I’ve quoted from Science Magazine, Psychology Today and Scientific American. Are those anti-abortion sites?

                      “No, it doesn’t affect a second life…”
                      Yes, it does. There is ample evidence that the foetus is a life and that it is human.

                      “I read the studies you plagiarised from antiabortion sites, fool. You didn’t.”
                      I did. You quoted from a refence I specifically said was pro-abortion as if I’d claimed it wasn’t, because you don’t read properly.

                      “You pretty much just have antiabortion sites and popscience editorialising….”
                      …from Science Magazine, Psychology Today and Scientific American…

                      “The results suggest that twin fetuses are aware of their counterparts in the womb…”
                      …no. “These findings force us to predate the emergence of social behaviour…” That’s very clear.

                      “Or creating a startling picture of…”
                      Again you are placing your own lack of understanding over the researchers and experts. That’s intellectually dishonest.

                      “Against it, because you don’t need to fuck up a real person’s life to keep an infant alive.”
                      Being in-utero is the only difference. That’s your argument? So you concur with the quote. You see no difference between the new born baby and the unborn baby, other than one is inside a mother, and the other isn’t.

                      Go away and reflect. You’ve just shot your argument to smithereens. Because if that is the only difference (and be clear that IS what you said), then the unborn child 1 minute before birth is as human as the newborn.

                    • McFlock

                      “David Reardon? Who the fuck is he?”
                      Really? Google is your friend.
                      http://afterabortion.org/1999/david-c-reardon-biographical-sketch/

                      lol more propaganda.

                      “His comment has nothing about his “credentials”.”
                      I compared his credentials to your lack thereof.

                      You know even less about my credentials than you do about his. Oh, by the way – you’re concentrating on an appeal to authority again.

                      “No, like antiabortion sites.”
                      But I’ve quoted from Science Magazine, Psychology Today and Scientific American. Are those anti-abortion sites?

                      No, two are popscience magazines that aren’t peer-reviewed. The excerpt you took from Sciencemag was a non-reviewed news piece that still at best said “suggested”, and the peer-reviewed article it was commenting on made little to no projections whatsoever, discussing instead neural synapses and pathways.

                      “No, it doesn’t affect a second life…”
                      Yes, it does. There is ample evidence that the foetus is a life and that it is human.

                      No it doesn’t. See how that works? You’re making an excellent case against idiots learning much outside of the womb.

                      “I read the studies you plagiarised from antiabortion sites, fool. You didn’t.”
                      I did. You quoted from a refence I specifically said was pro-abortion as if I’d claimed it wasn’t, because you don’t read properly.

                      If you read the studies (rather than commentaries you agree with), which page is this from:

                      In New York City, only one new pregnancy-related death was found by using a record linkage, but 13 new cases were found when using other methods (9).

                      “You pretty much just have antiabortion sites and popscience editorialising….”
                      …from Science Magazine, Psychology Today and Scientific American…

                      Yeah, they editorialised.

                      “The results suggest that twin fetuses are aware of their counterparts in the womb…”
                      …no. “These findings force us to predate the emergence of social behaviour…” That’s very clear.

                      …ly an opinion, for given definitions of “social behaviour”.

                      “Or creating a startling picture of…”
                      Again you are placing your own lack of understanding over the researchers and experts. That’s intellectually dishonest.

                      No, it’s refusing to misunderstand their use of the word “intelligence”. If you’re going to appeal to authority, make sure you understand what the authority is saying. “Intelligence” does not always mean “human-level intelligence”.

                      “Against it, because you don’t need to fuck up a real person’s life to keep an infant alive.”
                      Being in-utero is the only difference. That’s your argument? So you concur with the quote. You see no difference between the new born baby and the unborn baby, other than one is inside a mother, and the other isn’t.

                      That’s a big “other”, though. And if you’re reduced to saying that third-trimester abortions are bad because the fetus is similar to a newborn, all you’re really doing is arguing against emergency medical treatment.

                      Go away and reflect. You’ve just shot your argument to smithereens. Because if that is the only difference (and be clear that IS what you said), then the unborn child 1 minute before birth is as human as the newborn.

                      How many abortions take place a minute before birth?

                    • Hornet

                      “Oh, by the way – you’re concentrating on an appeal to authority again.”
                      You’ve shown before you don’t know what an appeal to authority is. Do you or do you not accept that Reardon is an authority in this area?

                      “…two are popscience magazines that aren’t peer-reviewed. ”
                      Which of these are ‘pop science’ magazines:
                      1> Science Magazine.
                      2> Psychology Today.
                      3> Scientific American.

                      “How many abortions take place a minute before birth?”
                      You either didn’t understand the nuance, or you know what’s coming next.
                      I asked you this:
                      ‘So if nothing ‘neurologically interesting’ happens at birth, how do you feel about infanticide?’
                      You replied:
                      “Against it, because you don’t need to fuck up a real person’s life to keep an infant alive.”
                      So you are saying that the only difference between an infant and an unborn child is that an unborn child is inside the mother.
                      That is totally inconsistent with your previous stated view that the unborn child is not human life. Thanks, but gee it took you a while.

                    • McFlock

                      “Oh, by the way – you’re concentrating on an appeal to authority again.”
                      You’ve shown before you don’t know what an appeal to authority is. Do you or do you not accept that Reardon is an authority in this area?

                      I have never heard of the guy so I have no idea. Really. I don’t give a shit, either. Why do you care?

                      Science Magazine.
                      2> Psychology Today.
                      3> Scientific American.

                      2 and 3. Science does have peer-reviewed content as well as the subjective news content you linked to.

                      “How many abortions take place a minute before birth?”
                      You either didn’t understand the nuance, or you know what’s coming next.
                      I asked you this:
                      ‘So if nothing ‘neurologically interesting’ happens at birth, how do you feel about infanticide?’
                      You replied:
                      “Against it, because you don’t need to fuck up a real person’s life to keep an infant alive.”
                      So you are saying that the only difference between an infant and an unborn child is that an unborn child is inside the mother.
                      That is totally inconsistent with your previous stated view that the unborn child is not human life. Thanks, but gee it took you a while.

                      Lol
                      note the phrasing “real person” vs “infant”. Sure, an infant has more cells than a virus, but trying to run a sort of Zeno’s Arrow Paradox between a shit machine and a single-celled “whole human being” is a bit shallow. Firstly, you’re assuming humanity has some liminal point of conferment. Secondly, you’re assuming that this point occurs some time before birth. And thirdly, you’re assuming that someone needs a telescope to see where you’re coming from whenever an antiabortionist brings up teh baaaaayyybbbbeeeezzzzz.

                      But oh, look, what’s this from four fucking days ago:

                      FWIW, I find newborns to be unimpressive shit machines for the first few weeks or months, too. But we’ve covered that already – there’s no need for a sixth-trimester abortion argument, because someone else can deal with it if the mother doesn’t want to.

                      Not only have you not read the scientific articles your wee antiabortion sites pointed you towards (otherwise you’d have given the page number of the quote from one of them), you can’t even keep up with the thread anymore.

                      The status of babies as “conscious, living humans with moral worth” – purely from a philosophical point of view – is irrelevant because all real duress and endangerment of others has been removed from efforts to keep the baby alive (regardless of its moral status as “human”). In some periods, children weren’t even baptised or mentioned in wills until well into primary school years because of their tendency to drop dead before becoming full members of society.

                    • Hornet

                      “I have never heard of the guy so I have no idea. Really. I don’t give a shit, either. Why do you care?”
                      Because the appeal to authority fallacy is dubious, at best, where the reference is from a source acknowledged by both parties as authoritative. That you didn’t know this isn’t surprising, considering the content of your contribution..

                      “2 and 3.”
                      I’ll inform Psychology Today and Scientific American of your concerns. They’ll likely laugh in your face.

                      “The status of babies as “conscious, living humans with moral worth” – purely from a philosophical point of view…”
                      …is a good sidestep, McFlock, but back to what we are actually discussing…

                      “note the phrasing “real person” vs “infant”.”
                      I can see I’m going to have to work overtime to keep you honest.
                      The original quote was this:
                      “Birth may be a grand occasion, says the Johns Hopkins University psychologist, but “it is a trivial event in development. Nothing neurologically interesting happens.” “
                      Nothing about ‘real person’ v ‘infant’.

                      Then I asked you this:
                      ‘So if nothing ‘neurologically interesting’ happens at birth, how do you feel about infanticide?’
                      Again, nothing about ‘real person’ v ‘infant’.

                      You replied:
                      “Against it, because you don’t need to fuck up a real person’s life to keep an infant alive.”

                      You are saying that the only difference between an infant and an unborn child is that an unborn child is inside the mother.

                      That is totally inconsistent with your previous stated view that the unborn child is not human life. You screwed up, McFlock, and whether you’ll admit it or not your argument is shot to pieces.

                      As to the sources, you are in denial of three reputable studies about the mortality rates, and of researchers and experts on the nature of pre-born life. It’s hard to know what you have left, other than your hand mirror.

                    • Hornet

                      “The status of babies as “conscious, living humans with moral worth” – purely from a philosophical point of view – is irrelevant because all real duress and endangerment of others has been removed from efforts to keep the baby alive (regardless of its moral status as “human”).”
                      Strange that you would again try to change the subject. My argument has been based around the overwhelming physical evidence that the unborn child is human and alive. Human life. The moral status (if you mean that in the sense I assume you do) is something else again.

                      “In some periods, children weren’t even baptised or mentioned in wills until well into primary school years because of their tendency to drop dead before becoming full members of society.”
                      Well that beats abortion. Abortion kills the unborn child, and the impacts on the mother are statistically more detrimental than for childbirth (based on the Danish, Finnish and California research).

                    • McFlock

                      “I have never heard of the guy so I have no idea. Really. I don’t give a shit, either. Why do you care?”
                      Because the appeal to authority fallacy is dubious, at best, where the reference is from a source acknowledged by both parties as authoritative. That you didn’t know this isn’t surprising, considering the content of your contribution..

                      And if I’ve never heard of him, how am I supposed to judge his status? As far as I can see, he gets paid by antiabortionists to publish “research” that they agree with. There were many qualified scientists publishing research for the tobacco industry as well. I have no idea about his integrity or international status. Literally the firt thing I read about him was that he only comments on pubmed on articles that suggest abortion isn’t as terrible as you’d have us believe.

                      “2 and 3.”
                      I’ll inform Psychology Today and Scientific American of your concerns. They’ll likely laugh in your face.

                      What concerns? They serve their market. But they’re not peer reviewed, and they’re designed with an emphasis on audience diversity rather than publishing original research. If you’d read the actual journal articles mentioned in your links, you’d know the difference between approachable writing and scientific precision.

                      “The status of babies as “conscious, living humans with moral worth” – purely from a philosophical point of view…”
                      …is a good sidestep, McFlock, but back to what we are actually discussing…

                      If this isn’t a moral debate then it can give absolutely no guidance as to whether abortion should be on demand or banned.
                      You brought up what antiabortion sites told you about what “science says”. Newborns might be homosapiens and alive, but they do none of the things that separate humans from spiders. But even without the impulse to keep them alive, we might as well anyway because it’s not like we’d be risking anybody’s life or forcing them into slavery to do so.

                      “note the phrasing “real person” vs “infant”.”
                      I can see I’m going to have to work overtime to keep you honest.
                      The original quote was this:
                      “Birth may be a grand occasion, says the Johns Hopkins University psychologist, but “it is a trivial event in development. Nothing neurologically interesting happens.” “
                      Nothing about ‘real person’ v ‘infant’.

                      Then I asked you this:
                      ‘So if nothing ‘neurologically interesting’ happens at birth, how do you feel about infanticide?’
                      Again, nothing about ‘real person’ v ‘infant’.

                      You replied:
                      “Against it, because you don’t need to fuck up a real person’s life to keep an infant alive.”

                      exactly. A newborn is indistinguishable from a full gestation-1 day fetus, but this is irrelevant if both are massively different from a complete human being. Which they are.

                      You are saying that the only difference between an infant and an unborn child is that an unborn child is inside the mother.
                      That is totally inconsistent with your previous stated view that the unborn child is not human life. You screwed up, McFlock, and whether you’ll admit it or not your argument is shot to pieces.

                      let’s make this simple:
                      Late term fetus is completely different to adult human being or even a two year old.
                      Late term fetus is virtually identical to newborn.
                      therefore… you can complete the rest. Maybe.

                      As to the sources, you are in denial of three reputable studies about the mortality rates, and of researchers and experts on the nature of pre-born life. It’s hard to know what you have left, other than your hand mirror.

                      I actually read those studies. You didn’t. You barely even read the commentary pieces about those “reputable studies”.

                      “The status of babies as “conscious, living humans with moral worth” – purely from a philosophical point of view – is irrelevant because all real duress and endangerment of others has been removed from efforts to keep the baby alive (regardless of its moral status as “human”).”
                      Strange that you would again try to change the subject. My argument has been based around the overwhelming physical evidence that the unborn child is human and alive. Human life. The moral status (if you mean that in the sense I assume you do) is something else again.

                      “Human life” is fundamentally different to “living human tissue”. A brain dead motorcyclist on life support is “human and alive”, but also not a living human being. That’s why they’re allowed to turn off the machines and harvest the organs – living human tissue.

                    • Hornet

                      “And if I’ve never heard of him, how am I supposed to judge his status?”
                      Do some research.

                      “What concerns?”
                      That they are propagandists. (Chuckle).

                      “If you’d read the actual journal articles mentioned in your links, you’d know the difference between approachable writing and scientific precision.”
                      The Psychology Today was about research being conducted by Janet DiPietro of Johns Hopkins University.
                      The Scientific American was reporting the findings of Researchers at the University of Turin and the University of Parma.
                      The California study was a published study. As were both the Finnish and Danish studies.
                      You seem to have the view that research/science you disagree with is not credible. That’s your shortcoming, not the authors.

                      “If this isn’t a moral debate then it can give absolutely no guidance as to whether abortion should be on demand or banned.”
                      We can make a judgement based on applying the science to how we treat other human beings in law and in society generally. For example we actively discourage youth suicide. Killing an old person because they are no longer independent is illegal. I’m quite content to have the ‘moral’ debate, but the basis I have been arguing on is the science. I’m just calling you out on moving the goal posts.

                      “Newborns might be homosapiens and alive, but they do none of the things that separate humans from spiders.”
                      You conceded that the only difference between an infant and an unborn child is that an unborn child is inside the mother. So you have realised that to extricate yourself from that you need to question the nature of the new-born. Keep digging.

                      “A newborn is indistinguishable from a full gestation-1 day fetus, but this is irrelevant if both are massively different from a complete human being.”
                      “Complete”. Mmmm. Yet another qualifier. Slippery, slippery, slippery.
                      A new-born is a human and is alive. A foetus one day from birth is human and alive.

                      “Late term fetus is completely different to adult human being or even a two year old.”
                      Ah ‘adult’ now. More scrambling with semantics. Yes an adult does look a bit different to a late term foetus. Good spotting McFlock. But no, they are not ‘completely different’. They are both homo-sapiens. The differences are of ‘degree’ not of ‘kind’. But you’ve already spent that bullet, by admitting that the only difference between an infant and an unborn child is that an unborn child is inside the mother.

                    • McFlock

                      “And if I’ve never heard of him, how am I supposed to judge his status?”
                      Do some research.

                      Ok. Based on gooogling so far, no, he's not a relevant "authority". Might be to biblethumpers, but not to me.

                      “What concerns?”
                      That they are propagandists. (Chuckle).

                      I said they’re popular science magazines, not that they’re propaganda. You even asked the question, see?
                      You’re having difficulty keeping up with your own stupidity.

                      “If you’d read the actual journal articles mentioned in your links, you’d know the difference between approachable writing and scientific precision.”
                      The Psychology Today was about research being conducted by Janet DiPietro of Johns Hopkins University.
                      The Scientific American was reporting the findings of Researchers at the University of Turin and the University of Parma.

                      It was not the research, and it was not peer-reviewed. It was a news piece with lots of opinion.

                      The California study was a published study. As were both the Finnish and Danish studies.
                      You seem to have the view that research/science you disagree with is not credible. That’s your shortcoming, not the authors.

                      You read none of them. The research is credible, what you say the research says is merely incorrect. Because you’re an idiot who can’t keep up with his own bullshit.

                      “If this isn’t a moral debate then it can give absolutely no guidance as to whether abortion should be on demand or banned.”
                      We can make a judgement based on applying the science to how we treat other human beings in law and in society generally. For example we actively discourage youth suicide. Killing an old person because they are no longer independent is illegal. I’m quite content to have the ‘moral’ debate, but the basis I have been arguing on is the science. I’m just calling you out on moving the goal posts.

                      Well, if the law should have nothing to do with morality, what has the law got to do with science? Are corporations scientifically people? Because legally they are. And we switch off life support machines all the time.

                      “Newborns might be homosapiens and alive, but they do none of the things that separate humans from spiders.”
                      You conceded that the only difference between an infant and an unborn child is that an unborn child is inside the mother. So you have realised that to extricate yourself from that you need to question the nature of the new-born. Keep digging.

                      Before you even brought it up I’d pointed out that newborns were little more than shit machines, dick.

                      “A newborn is indistinguishable from a full gestation-1 day fetus, but this is irrelevant if both are massively different from a complete human being.”
                      “Complete”. Mmmm. Yet another qualifier. Slippery, slippery, slippery.
                      A new-born is a human and is alive. A foetus one day from birth is human and alive.

                      Are they living humans, though? Are they people? A cancer is “human” and “alive”. Are you anti-chemotherapy, too?

                      “Late term fetus is completely different to adult human being or even a two year old.”
                      Ah ‘adult’ now. More scrambling with semantics. Yes an adult does look a bit different to a late term foetus. Good spotting McFlock. But no, they are not ‘completely different’. They are both homo-sapiens. The differences are of ‘degree’ not of ‘kind’. But you’ve already spent that bullet, by admitting that the only difference between an infant and an unborn child is that an unborn child is inside the mother.

                      Indeed, a newborn and a late term fetus are indistinguishable.

                      They both to nothing that people do other than shit, sleep, and cry.

                    • Hornet

                      “Ok. Based on gooogling so far, no, he’s not a relevant “authority””
                      It took you that long and still you can’t get it right.
                      “David C. Reardon, Ph.D., director of the Elliot Institute, is widely recognized as one of the leading experts on the aftereffects of abortion on women, a field in which he has specialized since 1983. He is the author of numerous books and popular and scholarly articles on this topic. He has been a noted advocate of healing programs for women, men, and families who have lost children to abortion, miscarriage, or neonatal death.
                      His studies have been published in such prestigious medical journals as the British Medical Journal and the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and have proven that abortion compared to childbirth is associated with higher rates of maternal death, psychiatric hospitalization, subsequent substance abuse, clinical depression, and numerous other complications.”
                      http://afterabortion.org/1999/david-c-reardon-biographical-sketch/

                      BTW his religion seems to bother you – some casual bigotry there?

                      “I said they’re popular science magazines, not that they’re propaganda.”
                      You called it propaganda (on more than one coccassion) and ‘pop’science’ (https://thestandard.org.nz/labour-to-reform-abortion-law/#comment-1454754). Rather ignorant of you.

                      “The research is credible, what you say the research says is merely incorrect.”
                      I quote directly from the research and the reports.

                      “Well, if the law should have nothing to do with morality…”
                      Not for the first time, you’re contradicting yourself. You wrote “We have neither the right nor the power to impose our philosophical or religious whims upon others” (https://thestandard.org.nz/labour-to-reform-abortion-law/#comment-1452597). So you would not accept a moral argument against abortion informing our law even if you accepted the validity of such an argument!

                      But here’s something for you to chew on. We live in a post-modern world. What is the basis for your morality? Large parts of our law are based on Judeo-Christian views of morality – will you agree therefore that that is the basis of any discussion we have about abortion? And if I reject your morality, or vice versa, what is the foundation for our discussion?

                      “…what has the law got to do with science?”
                      As far as abortion law is concerned, a lot. Science tells us much about the status of the unborn, perhaps more than ever before. That makes it ever more difficult to argue for it’s destruction, as your rather lame attempts are demonstrating.

                      “Before you even brought it up I’d pointed out that newborns were little more than shit machines, dick.”
                      Yes, but you had not at that stage conceded that they only differed from an unborn by virtue of location. That was a huge admission on your part, and you’ve been squirming ever since.

                      “Are they living humans, though?
                      Yes.

                      ““A cancer is “human” and “alive”.”
                      I have posted links previously about the difference between cellular life and human life here https://thestandard.org.nz/labour-to-reform-abortion-law/#comment-1451660.

                      “Indeed, a newborn and a late term fetus are indistinguishable.”
                      So logically you support infanticide?

                      “They both to nothing that people do other than shit, sleep, and cry.”
                      “Contrary to popular opinion, infants can do a lot more than eat, sleep, and poop. Here are ten scientifically proven baby superpowers that we were all capable of…once upon a time.”
                      http://mentalfloss.com/article/61830/10-reasons-babies-are-tiny-superhumans
                      Babies also experience pain http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2015-04-21-babies-feel-pain-adults, in fact it seems babies can even do things adults can’t https://www.quora.com/What-are-babies-capable-of-doing-which-cant-be-done-by-adults!

                      There’s so much more. Do some reading, McFlock, there really isn’t any excuse for your ignorance.

                    • McFlock

                      http://afterabortion.org/1999/david-c-reardon-biographical-sketch/

                      I saw that. The opinions of a propaganda site do not interest me, especially as he’s the head of the institute that is associated with the propaganda site. He probably wrote it himself, ffs.

                      BTW his religion seems to bother you – some casual bigotry there?

                      It means his “scientific” opinion might not be purely dispassionate and impartial when it comes to philosophical concepts such as the nature of humanity.

                      “I said they’re popular science magazines, not that they’re propaganda.”
                      You called it propaganda (on more than one coccassion) and ‘pop’science’ (https://thestandard.org.nz/labour-to-reform-abortion-law/#comment-1454754). Rather ignorant of you.

                      Popsci. Contraction of “popular science”. Which those magazines are. The antiabortion sites are outright propaganda. Hence my comment that you linked to “You pretty much just have antiabortion sites and popscience editorialising”. You really have reading comprehension difficulties, don’t you.

                      “The research is credible, what you say the research says is merely incorrect.”
                      I quote directly from the research and the reports.

                      No, you quote directly from unreviewed subjective pieces that selectively quote from the reports. If you had read the reports themselves, you’d be able to identify the page number on which “In New York City, only one new pregnancy-related death was found by using a record linkage, but 13 new cases were found when using other methods (9).” appears.

                      “Well, if the law should have nothing to do with morality…”
                      Not for the first time, you’re contradicting yourself. You wrote “We have neither the right nor the power to impose our philosophical or religious whims upon others” (https://thestandard.org.nz/labour-to-reform-abortion-law/#comment-1452597). So you would not accept a moral argument against abortion informing our law even if you accepted the validity of such an argument!

                      That’s my moral position. You’re welcome to support the position that we have the right, even obligation, to force women to become incubators regardless of their reasons for wanting an abortion. It would be an argument above your skillset, though.

                      But here’s something for you to chew on. We live in a post-modern world. What is the basis for your morality? Large parts of our law are based on Judeo-Christian views of morality – will you agree therefore that that is the basis of any discussion we have about abortion? And if I reject your morality, or vice versa, what is the foundation for our discussion?

                      1) subjectively egalitarian with one or two categorical imperatives
                      2) Nope. Because JCM is merely the shroud for preserving conventional power structures.
                      3) Completely intractable, but fun because you are talking about shit you obviously haven’t read.

                      “…what has the law got to do with science?”
                      As far as abortion law is concerned, a lot. Science tells us much about the status of the unborn, perhaps more than ever before. That makes it ever more difficult to argue for it’s destruction, as your rather lame attempts are demonstrating.

                      Science tells us it is no more complex than requesting the removal of some other parasite from the body.

                      “Before you even brought it up I’d pointed out that newborns were little more than shit machines, dick.”
                      Yes, but you had not at that stage conceded that they only differed from an unborn by virtue of location. That was a huge admission on your part, and you’ve been squirming ever since.

                      No it wasn’t, because premature babies are just fetuses without a womb. frankly I’m suprised you didn’t take that angle – it’d be quicker. Because the real question is where we regard humanity begins along the continuum of development from jizz, through monocelled fertilised egg, through other stages and then into adulthood. And is it a binary situation of “nothuman/humanbeing”, or is it a more gradual situation where the substance/organism is accorded more status as it is developed further? Inside vs outside the womb is irrelevant. My position is simply that one might as well err on the side of preservation outside a womb, because one’s choice does not impact a second party. A real impact, not just a fucking tax increase, dickhead.

                      “Are they living humans, though?
                      Yes.

                      Nope. That was easy.

                      ““A cancer is “human” and “alive”.”
                      I have posted links previously about the difference between cellular life and human life here https://thestandard.org.nz/labour-to-reform-abortion-law/#comment-1451660.

                      Again, the lozier intitute is another propaganda site.

                      “Indeed, a newborn and a late term fetus are indistinguishable.”
                      So logically you support infanticide?

                      No, logically I’m not particularly opposed to it, although emotionally I have an issue with it. More importantly, logically there is nobody who can argue that they and only they are unfairly impacted by the continued existence of the infant, therefore there is nobody who can demonstrate a personal need to terminate it. So we might as well discurage infanticide, given that birth is a useful arbitrary point for some legislation.

                      “They both to nothing that people do other than shit, sleep, and cry.”
                      “Contrary to popular opinion, infants can do a lot more than eat, sleep, and poop. Here are ten scientifically proven baby superpowers that we were all capable of…once upon a time.”
                      http://mentalfloss.com/article/61830/10-reasons-babies-are-tiny-superhumans
                      Babies also experience pain http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2015-04-21-babies-feel-pain-adults, in fact it seems babies can even do things adults can’t https://www.quora.com/What-are-babies-capable-of-doing-which-cant-be-done-by-adults!

                      jesus christ, mentalfloss and quora? seriously? And as for the Oxford press release, you missed “suggests”. But then spiders might feel pain too.

                      There’s so much more. Do some reading, McFlock, there really isn’t any excuse for your ignorance.

                      You can’t even be bothered reading the studies upon which your news and propaganda stories are based.

                    • Hornet

                      “I saw that. The opinions of a propaganda site do not interest me”
                      So you really aren’t interested in his credentials then. Is that because you accept my point about your not understanding the argument from authority fallacy?

                      “It means his “scientific” opinion might not be purely dispassionate and impartial when it comes to philosophical concepts such as the nature of humanity.”
                      Really? So you may not be purely dispassionate because you have no religious belief?

                      “Which those magazines are.”
                      I’m sure they will be trembling at your concerns. Meanwhile, the reports they quote from seem o escape your understanding.

                      “No, you quote directly from unreviewed subjective pieces…”
                      No, I quoted from the references directly.

                      “That’s my moral position.”
                      But you have, by your own admission, no right to impose it on anyone else. You’re running out of bullets, and feet.

                      But here’s something for you to chew on. We live in a post-modern world. What is the basis for your morality? Large parts of our law are based on Judeo-Christian views of morality – will you agree therefore that that is the basis of any discussion we have about abortion? And if I reject your morality, or vice versa, what is the foundation for our discussion?
                      “1) subjectively egalitarian with one or two categorical imperatives”
                      Which means your morality and my morality are simply competing ethical guidelines with no greater claim to validity. That’s the reason I discuss science and you discuss feelings.

                      “2) Nope. Because JCM is merely the shroud for preserving conventional power structures.”
                      We’re discussing morality, not power structures. Your subjective morality is your way of imposing your power structure (your ‘rights’ over the ‘rights’ of the unborn) on others.

                      “3) Completely intractable”
                      Exactly. Which is why I invoke science, and you invoke subjective morality.

                      “Science tells us it is no more complex than requesting the removal of some other parasite from the body.”
                      Only if you deny the evidence.

                      “No it wasn’t, because premature babies are just fetuses without a womb.”
                      But you’ve since admitted that the foetus only differs from an unborn by virtue of location. You’re so far out of your depth you’re losing track of your own argument. So I ask again…are you ok with infanticide.

                      “Because the real question is where we regard humanity begins…”
                      That’s another sidestep. That is not the real question…the real question is whether at ANY stage in-utero, human life begins.

                      “My position is simply that one might as well err on the side of preservation outside a womb, because one’s choice does not impact a second party.”
                      Again you are contradicting yourself. Your position is that the unborn child only differs from a newborn by virtue of location. So why err on the side of preservation ‘outside the womb’? Why not kill an unwanted child at the age of, say, 2? That was your cut off after all.

                      “Again, the lozier intitute is another propaganda site.
                      Again, no rebuttal of the argument.
                      “No, logically I’m not particularly opposed to it…”
                      Of course you’re not, because you would have to admit being an even greater fool than you have demonstrated to date. So, where’s the cut off, McFlock? At what point do you begin to oppose it? Your earlier comments seem to suggest around the age of 2. At the age of 2, however, there are still many differences between a child and an adult.

                      “jesus christ, mentalfloss and quora?”
                      Yes, I’m trying to simplify things for you. But as you failed to do so yourself, here are some of the sources used in that article:
                      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11389286
                      https://www.livescience.com/47298-babies-amazing-brain-growth.html
                      https://www.americanscientist.org/article/why-is-human-childbirth-so-painful
                      https://news.byu.edu/news/babies-understand-dog-speak-byu-study-finds
                      https://www.livescience.com/13527-twin-babies-conversation-video-explained.html

                      No doubt they are all secretly pro-life propagandists, aye.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Baba Yaga called: he wants his entire rhetorical style back.

                    • McFlock

                      “I saw that. The opinions of a propaganda site do not interest me”
                      So you really aren’t interested in his credentials then. Is that because you accept my point about your not understanding the argument from authority fallacy?

                      His credentials as reported by himself say nothing. His employment to operate an antiabortion site says quite a bit.

                      “It means his “scientific” opinion might not be purely dispassionate and impartial when it comes to philosophical concepts such as the nature of humanity.”
                      Really? So you may not be purely dispassionate because you have no religious belief?

                      Seriously, are you stupid? I mean, seriously – do you honestly think that an absence of an interest that causes bias in one direction must therefore cause bias in another direction? Are you genuinely that fucking stupid?

                      “Which those magazines are.”
                      I’m sure they will be trembling at your concerns. Meanwhile, the reports they quote from seem o escape your understanding.

                      I know which bits are quotes and which bits are opinion, because I read the reports. You didn’t.

                      “No, you quote directly from unreviewed subjective pieces…”
                      No, I quoted from the references directly.

                      Then on what page of which article does the comment “In New York City, only one new pregnancy-related death was found by using a record linkage, but 13 new cases were found when using other methods (9).” appear? If you’ve read the primary sources, you can answer that simple question.

                      “That’s my moral position.”
                      But you have, by your own admission, no right to impose it on anyone else. You’re running out of bullets, and feet.

                      I’m not imposing it on anyone. No person is being forced to get an abortion. You want to force women to be unwilling incubators. You need to justify that imposition or I personally will oppose any and every action you take to carry it out.

                      But here’s something for you to chew on. We live in a post-modern world. What is the basis for your morality? Large parts of our law are based on Judeo-Christian views of morality – will you agree therefore that that is the basis of any discussion we have about abortion? And if I reject your morality, or vice versa, what is the foundation for our discussion?
                      “1) subjectively egalitarian with one or two categorical imperatives”
                      Which means your morality and my morality are simply competing ethical guidelines with no greater claim to validity. That’s the reason I discuss science and you discuss feelings.

                      No, you pretended that general scientific opinion regards a single-celled fertilised egg as a living person, a “whole human being”. You did this in an attempt to equate abortion with murder, which (I assume) we both believe is wrong.

                      So far you haven’t demonstrated that the organism killed in infanticide is any closer to a person than it is to a spider. Species, yes. But an individual organism with no agency, sense of self, or object permanence. By that measure, some spiders are smarter than newborns.

                      “2) Nope. Because JCM is merely the shroud for preserving conventional power structures.”
                      We’re discussing morality, not power structures. Your subjective morality is your way of imposing your power structure (your ‘rights’ over the ‘rights’ of the unborn) on others.

                      Dickhead, you opened the door on the origins of our legal system. It has always been about preserving power of one social group or another, from the codifications of Hammurabi or Justinian right through the Magna Carta (1297 version) or Bill of Rights (1688). It’s all about power.

                      “3) Completely intractable”
                      Exactly. Which is why I invoke science, and you invoke subjective morality.

                      You reckon that’s what you’re doing? Looks more like you’re cherrypicking evidence to support your philosophical beliefs, but whatever.

                      “Science tells us it is no more complex than requesting the removal of some other parasite from the body.”
                      Only if you deny the evidence.

                      Which you can on ly do if you actually read it, rather than looking for clickbait or propaganda to interpret it for you.

                      “No it wasn’t, because premature babies are just fetuses without a womb.”
                      But you’ve since admitted that the foetus only differs from an unborn by virtue of location. You’re so far out of your depth you’re losing track of your own argument. So I ask again…are you ok with infanticide.

                      No. Logically I’m not particularly opposed to it, but emotionally I have an issue with it. More importantly, logically there is nobody who can argue that they and only they are unfairly impacted by the continued existence of the infant, therefore there is nobody who can demonstrate a personal need to terminate it. So we might as well discurage infanticide, given that birth is a useful arbitrary point for some legislation.

                      “Because the real question is where we regard humanity begins…”
                      That’s another sidestep. That is not the real question…the real question is whether at ANY stage in-utero, human life begins.

                      Fair enough. The answer is “not really, depending on the context of your question and whether you regard a cancer as human life”.

                      “My position is simply that one might as well err on the side of preservation outside a womb, because one’s choice does not impact a second party.”
                      Again you are contradicting yourself. Your position is that the unborn child only differs from a newborn by virtue of location. So why err on the side of preservation ‘outside the womb’? Why not kill an unwanted child at the age of, say, 2? That was your cut off after all.

                      Because babies start to be less boring for me around a few months old, and sentience is a continuum. Some time after birth babies start to show a sense of self, object permanence, and it’s also easier to project more complex emotions on them whether it’s just a bit of gas or not. So, given that there are no other ethical considerations after birth, one might as well err on the side of caution and just ban babykilling. And I could always be wrong. You haven’t demonstrated it, but it’s a theoretical possibility, so we might as well minimise the harm in that instance.

                      “Again, the lozier intitute is another propaganda site.
                      Again, no rebuttal of the argument.

                      When it’s primary goal is to “promote” a certain point of view, its statements cannot be trusted.

                      “No, logically I’m not particularly opposed to it…”
                      Of course you’re not, because you would have to admit being an even greater fool than you have demonstrated to date. So, where’s the cut off, McFlock? At what point do you begin to oppose it? Your earlier comments seem to suggest around the age of 2. At the age of 2, however, there are still many differences between a child and an adult.

                      Not so much a cut off as “gradually give more of a damn, philosophically speaking”.
                      The practical point for a cut-off is birth, because after birth you don’t need to weigh whatever significance the fetus has against the rights or existence of any other person. It’s more of a continuum of development, rather than being a strict binary, but you need to draw a line somewhere.

                      “jesus christ, mentalfloss and quora?”
                      Yes, I’m trying to simplify things for you. But as you failed to do so yourself, here are the sources used in that article:
                      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11389286

                      Familiar stimuli was perceived by person biologically wired to project emotion on subject to stimulate an emotional response. [slow clap]

                      https://www.livescience.com/47298-babies-amazing-brain-growth.html

                      According to a popular science magazine, newborns are 1% bigger brained than 1 day before birth, and have three-fifths the brain capacity of a postneonatal baby. Supports the idea of a continuum of development, no?

                      https://www.americanscientist.org/article/why-is-human-childbirth-so-painful

                      …for mothers. According to a popular science magazine.

                      https://news.byu.edu/news/babies-understand-dog-speak-byu-study-finds

                      News release says 6 months after birth, babies begin to show emotional understanding from tones. Gotta love that progression towards full personhood.

                      https://www.livescience.com/13527-twin-babies-conversation-video-explained.html

                      Popular science site notes that at 17 month olds have the idea of conversation, but haven’t quite mastered it yet.

                      Personhood here we come!

                    • Hornet

                      “His credentials as reported by himself say nothing.”
                      They say he knows more than you.

                      “do you honestly think that an absence of an interest that causes bias in one direction must therefore cause bias in another direction?”
                      No. I’m simply throwing the stupidity of your comment back in your face.

                      “Then on what page of which article does the comment “In New York City, only one new pregnancy-related death was found by using a record linkage, but 13 new cases were found when using other methods (9).” appear?”
                      Is it in there or not?

                      “I’m not imposing it on anyone.”
                      You are. You’re imposing it on the unborn child. You’re imposing it on society by way of the costs of abortion.

                      “No, you pretended that general scientific opinion…”
                      Evasion. Answer the point I raised about your subjective morality.

                      “So far you haven’t demonstrated that the organism killed in infanticide is any closer to a person than it is to a spider.”
                      It really doesn’t need explaining, or are you that stupid?
                      So tell us all how old should a child be before killing him should be illegal?

                      “…you opened the door on the origins of our legal system.”
                      Evasion. You raised the moral question, not me. You raised the possibility of morals being imposed on others, not me. You’re running out of feet.

                      “Fair enough. The answer is “not really…”
                      So combine that with your agreement that the only difference between an unborn child and a new born is the location, and you have an approval of infanticide.
                      “Because babies start to be less boring for me around a few months old”
                      Which is completely subjective. And not the basis for public policy.

                      “When it’s primary goal is to “promote” a certain point of view, its statements cannot be trusted.”
                      How do you know? Are you saying you write off all evidence posted to any website simply because the host site is established to ‘promote a certain point of view’?

                      “…because after birth you don’t need to weigh whatever significance the fetus has against the rights or existence of any other person.”
                      What nonsense. The ‘right’s of the parents have to be weighed. Parents might not be able to afford a baby, they might not like the baby, they might having a baby decidedly inconvenient.

                      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11389286
                      “Familiar stimuli was perceived by person biologically wired to project emotion on subject to stimulate an emotional response. [slow clap]”
                      Quote:
                      “Specifically, previously exposed infants exhibited fewer negative facial expressions while feeding the carrot-flavored cereal compared with the plain cereal, whereas control infants whose mothers drank water during pregnancy and lactation exhibited no such difference.”

                      https://www.livescience.com/47298-babies-amazing-brain-growth.html
                      “According to a popular science magazine, newborns are 1% bigger brained than 1 day before birth, and have three-fifths the brain capacity of a postneonatal baby. Supports the idea of a continuum of development, no?”
                      What the article demonstrates is the brain development that occurs in-utero, through birth and childhood. But you knew that.

                      https://www.americanscientist.org/article/why-is-human-childbirth-so-painful
                      …for mothers. According to a popular science magazine.
                      Quote:
                      “What mothers do for their babies is meet their enormous metabolic needs, enabling baby brains to grow big before and immediately after birth.” (Emphasis mine).

                      https://news.byu.edu/news/babies-understand-dog-speak-byu-study-finds
                      “News release says 6 months after birth, babies begin to show emotional understanding from tones.”
                      Emotional understanding is not just shitting sleeping and crying, though is it!

                    • Hornet

                      You’ve excelled yourself McFlock.

                      Advocating for both infanticide and the suppression of free speech in a matter of months. Must be some kind of record!

                    • McFlock

                      “His credentials as reported by himself say nothing.”
                      They say he knows more than you.

                      Even if that’s what they, so did tobacco industry scientists.

                      “do you honestly think that an absence of an interest that causes bias in one direction must therefore cause bias in another direction?”
                      No. I’m simply throwing the stupidity of your comment back in your face.

                      A prior belief in the humanity of cell clusters because your religion says cell clusters are human might interfere with your ability to rationally consider the possibility that cell clusters are not in fact human. A lack of religion in that case means that one is more open to the concept that the cell clusters might or might not be human, because neither option conflicts with one’s religious beliefs.

                      “Then on what page of which article does the comment “In New York City, only one new pregnancy-related death was found by using a record linkage, but 13 new cases were found when using other methods (9).” appear?”
                      Is it in there or not?

                      If you read your primary sources, you’d know. You’re asking me, so obviously you don’t know and have lied about reading the scientific articles. If you’d read them, by now you’d have smarmily responded with a three digit page number (clue there) and we’d have moved on. For that reason, I now believe you to not just be an idiot, but also a liar.

                      “I’m not imposing it on anyone.”
                      You are. You’re imposing it on the unborn child. You’re imposing it on society by way of the costs of abortion.

                      The fetus isn’t a person, so there’s no imposing on anyone.

                      “No, you pretended that general scientific opinion…”
                      Evasion. Answer the point I raised about your subjective morality.

                      I did.

                      “So far you haven’t demonstrated that the organism killed in infanticide is any closer to a person than it is to a spider.”
                      It really doesn’t need explaining, or are you that stupid?
                      So tell us all how old should a child be before killing him should be illegal?

                      Illegal? Like I said, birth.

                      “…you opened the door on the origins of our legal system.”
                      Evasion. You raised the moral question, not me. You raised the possibility of morals being imposed on others, not me. You’re running out of feet.

                      But you raised the legal question. Or are you the only one who is allowed to introduce new aspects to the discussion?

                      “Fair enough. The answer is “not really…”
                      So combine that with your agreement that the only difference between an unborn child and a new born is the location, and you have an approval of infanticide.

                      No. Not really. It just worries me less than, say, killing a doctor. The newborn case is like “ah, shit, sucks for the parents and it could have been someone good one day”. The doctor murder is like “ah, shit, what arsehole murders a doctor who simply provided healthcare and made people better?”. Good doctors, not Mengele or anyone. That case is more “good riddance, but I need to remember it should have gone through the courts”.

                      “Because babies start to be less boring for me around a few months old”
                      Which is completely subjective. And not the basis for public policy.

                      In a democracy, the subjective is the basis for all policy. Individual votes, dickhead.

                      “When it’s primary goal is to “promote” a certain point of view, its statements cannot be trusted.”
                      How do you know? Are you saying you write off all evidence posted to any website simply because the host site is established to ‘promote a certain point of view’?

                      If it concerns the issue that the site is paid to promote in a particular way, yes. Again, it’s a continuum. This time of mistrust.

                      “…because after birth you don’t need to weigh whatever significance the fetus has against the rights or existence of any other person.”
                      What nonsense. The ‘right’s of the parents have to be weighed. Parents might not be able to afford a baby, they might not like the baby, they might having a baby decidedly inconvenient.

                      So they can adopt it out, or if they’re negligent it gets taken into care. Killing it would be considered an overreaction.

                      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11389286
                      “Familiar stimuli was perceived by person biologically wired to project emotion on subject to stimulate an emotional response. [slow clap]”
                      Quote:
                      “Specifically, previously exposed infants exhibited fewer negative facial expressions while feeding the carrot-flavored cereal compared with the plain cereal, whereas control infants whose mothers drank water during pregnancy and lactation exhibited no such difference.”

                      Exactly. Exposed infants were given familiar stimuli (because they’d been exposed to carrot juice in the womb), the facial expressions were interpreted by the mothers. Who might merely have been projecting emotional gradients over familiar vs unfamiliar.

                      https://www.livescience.com/47298-babies-amazing-brain-growth.html
                      “According to a popular science magazine, newborns are 1% bigger brained than 1 day before birth, and have three-fifths the brain capacity of a postneonatal baby. Supports the idea of a continuum of development, no?”
                      What the article demonstrates is the brain development that occurs in-utero, through birth and childhood. But you knew that.

                      Of course it does. But at what point does a milieu of reinforced synapses and additionally-grown cells make one a person? When the structures are evident but tiny? When synaptic connections achieves a certain threshold? Sheer number of neurons? A combination of the above?

                      https://www.americanscientist.org/article/why-is-human-childbirth-so-painful
                      …for mothers. According to a popular science magazine.
                      Quote:
                      “What mothers do for their babies is meet their enormous metabolic needs, enabling baby brains to grow big before and immediately after birth.” (Emphasis mine).

                      Yup. Two thirds as much again in the first month after birth. I assume the emphasis you failed to add was on the “before”? Fetuses have dicks before birth, too, but it doesn’t make them capable of making someone pregnant.

                      https://news.byu.edu/news/babies-understand-dog-speak-byu-study-finds
                      “News release says 6 months after birth, babies begin to show emotional understanding from tones.”
                      Emotional understanding is not just shitting sleeping and crying, though is it!

                      It’s a beginning. And that’s six months after it was a fetus.

                      Advocating for both infanticide and the suppression of free speech in a matter of months. Must be some kind of record!

                      Nah, that can’t be a record for your level of idiocy when it comes to what other people actually say, fucko. But then you’re also a liar who claims, repeatedly, to have read things that you obviously have not.

                    • Hornet

                      “Even if that’s what they, so did tobacco industry scientists.”
                      Reardon is not a tobacco scientist, McFlock. That’s like arguing against evolution because some nutcases planted evidence.

                      “A prior belief in the humanity of cell clusters because your religion…”
                      What religion? What relevance?

                      “A lack of religion in that case means that one is more open to the concept that the cell clusters might or might not be human…”
                      No, the lack of religion can create exactly the same sort of bias as the presence of religion.

                      “If you read your primary sources, you’d know.”
                      I do know. I’m asking you if it’s there. You’ve confirmed it is. So the point is you’re getting desperate.

                      “The fetus isn’t a person, so there’s no imposing on anyone.”
                      The fetus is a living human being.

                      “Illegal? Like I said, birth. “
                      So you are ok with it, but think it should be illegal?
                      “But you raised the legal question.”
                      No, you linked legality and morality. I’m arguing from the science.
                      “Or are you the only one who is allowed to introduce new aspects to the discussion?”
                      I doubt it. You’ve been all over the place…remember how you changed the terminology around mortality three times to squirm out of getting caught out?

                      “No. Not really. It just worries me less than, say, killing a doctor.”
                      From your own keyboard:

                      Labour to reform abortion law


                      “No, logically I’m not particularly opposed to it, although emotionally I have an issue with it.”
                      And https://thestandard.org.nz/labour-to-reform-abortion-law/#comment-1455244
                      “Not so much a cut off as “gradually give more of a damn, philosophically speaking””.
                      Which is it? Worries you less, logically not opposed to it, or not give a damn? Just another example of how many opinions you try to hold on the same subject!

                      “In a democracy, the subjective is the basis for all policy. Individual votes, dickhead.”
                      So if individuals (subjectively) elect a PM who legislates to execute all pro-abortionists, that’s ok with you?
                      But returning you to reality, in a democracy individuals vote, but collectives make public policy. Subjective opinion should always give way to an evidence based approach, otherwise you end up with science denial, religious oppression, thought policing…oh I see, you’re actually ok with that stuff.

                      “If it concerns the issue that the site is paid to promote in a particular way, yes. Again, it’s a continuum. This time of mistrust.”
                      In the absence of you actually doing any research of your own. That’s become fairly obvious.

                      “So they can adopt it out, or if they’re negligent it gets taken into care. Killing it would be considered an overreaction.”
                      But not by you. You’re logically not opposed to killing a newborn.

                      “Exactly. Exposed infants were given familiar stimuli (because they’d been exposed to carrot juice in the womb), the facial expressions were interpreted by the mothers. Who might merely have been projecting emotional gradients over familiar vs unfamiliar.”
                      You missed the part where they were videotaped as part of the research.

                      “Of course it does. But at what point does a milieu of reinforced synapses and additionally-grown cells make one a person?”
                      You claimed the newborn was nothing like a mature human being. You stuffed up, and I’m throwing it back in your face.

                      “Yup. Two thirds as much again in the first month after birth. I assume the emphasis you failed to add was on the “before”? Fetuses have dicks before birth, too, but it doesn’t make them capable of making someone pregnant.”
                      It’s part of what makes them human though!

                      “Nah, that can’t be a record for your level of idiocy when it comes to what other people actually say, fucko.”
                      Did you or did you not agree with the banning of speakers from university campus’s?
                      Are you or are you not logically not particularly opposed to infanticide?
                      Let’s see who’s telling lies McFlock.

                    • McFlock

                      “Even if that’s what they, so did tobacco industry scientists.”
                      Reardon is not a tobacco scientist, McFlock. That’s like arguing against evolution because some nutcases planted evidence.

                      No. It’s simply like not trusting self-professed authorities when their funding depends on them “finding” specific results.

                      “A prior belief in the humanity of cell clusters because your religion…”
                      What religion? What relevance?

                      read on, MacDuff

                      “A lack of religion in that case means that one is more open to the concept that the cell clusters might or might not be human…”
                      No, the lack of religion can create exactly the same sort of bias as the presence of religion.

                      Nope. An absence of pre-existing belief cannot introduce bias. Bias is a pre-existing inclination towards or away from a particular interpretation of results or study design. No belief means no inclination either way.

                      “If you read your primary sources, you’d know.”
                      I do know. I’m asking you if it’s there. You’ve confirmed it is. So the point is you’re getting desperate.

                      LOLZ
                      What page is it on, then? If you read the paper and know its contents what page number is that quote on, you lying liar?

                      “The fetus isn’t a person, so there’s no imposing on anyone.”
                      The fetus is a living human being.

                      Nope.

                      “Illegal? Like I said, birth. “
                      So you are ok with it, but think it should be illegal?

                      Not entirely comfortable with it, but the main reason I suggest using that point as the legal threshold is that it provides a clear delineation to aid understanding and enforcement.

                      “But you raised the legal question.”
                      No, you linked legality and morality. I’m arguing from the science.

                      Who said “Judeo-christian”, again?

                      “Or are you the only one who is allowed to introduce new aspects to the discussion?”
                      I doubt it. You’ve been all over the place…remember how you changed the terminology around mortality three times to squirm out of getting caught out?

                      Then stop bitching if the discussion wanders into related territory.

                      “No. Not really. It just worries me less than, say, killing a doctor.”
                      From your own keyboard:

                      Labour to reform abortion law

                      “No, logically I’m not particularly opposed to it, although emotionally I have an issue with it.”

                      And https://thestandard.org.nz/labour-to-reform-abortion-law/#comment-1455244

                      “Not so much a cut off as “gradually give more of a damn, philosophically speaking””.

                      Which is it? Worries you less, logically not opposed to it, or not give a damn? Just another example of how many opinions you try to hold on the same subject!

                      No, another example of your failure to understand non-binary concepts. I’m not particularly opposed to it, but morally I give much more of a damn about a newborn than a 1st trimester cell cluster. I barely give a damn about the latter at all, and certainly not enough to tell a woman what she must do with her body.

                      “In a democracy, the subjective is the basis for all policy. Individual votes, dickhead.”
                      So if individuals (subjectively) elect a PM who legislates to execute all pro-abortionists, that’s ok with you?

                      Sometimes my subjective opinion does differ from the subjective opinions of many other voters. 2009-2017, for example. But democracy is still subjective.

                      But returning you to reality, in a democracy individuals vote, but collectives make public policy. Subjective opinion should always give way to an evidence based approach, otherwise you end up with science denial, religious oppression, thought policing…oh I see, you’re actually ok with that stuff.

                      More delusions again.
                      And you’re not the Vulcan you think you are.

                      “If it concerns the issue that the site is paid to promote in a particular way, yes. Again, it’s a continuum. This time of mistrust.”
                      In the absence of you actually doing any research of your own. That’s become fairly obvious.

                      Says the guy who hasn’t read his own primary research to the guy who read it for him.

                      “So they can adopt it out, or if they’re negligent it gets taken into care. Killing it would be considered an overreaction.”
                      But not by you. You’re logically not opposed to killing a newborn.

                      I have emotions, too, moron. Logic isn’t the only thing in the world.

                      “Exactly. Exposed infants were given familiar stimuli (because they’d been exposed to carrot juice in the womb), the facial expressions were interpreted by the mothers. Who might merely have been projecting emotional gradients over familiar vs unfamiliar.”
                      You missed the part where they were videotaped as part of the research.

                      Indeed I did. How were the facial expressions interpreted?

                      “Of course it does. But at what point does a milieu of reinforced synapses and additionally-grown cells make one a person?”
                      You claimed the newborn was nothing like a mature human being. You stuffed up, and I’m throwing it back in your face.

                      I’m going to double-down and say you’re nothing like a mature human being. But you still have more agency and personality than a newborn. Newborns might be shit machines, but they’re not fuckwits.

                      “Yup. Two thirds as much again in the first month after birth. I assume the emphasis you failed to add was on the “before”? Fetuses have dicks before birth, too, but it doesn’t make them capable of making someone pregnant.”
                      It’s part of what makes them human though!

                      The existence of a penis is part of what gives one agency, intelligence, personality, memory, and social skills? Gosh.

                      “Nah, that can’t be a record for your level of idiocy when it comes to what other people actually say, fucko.”
                      Did you or did you not agree with the banning of speakers from university campus’s?

                      Which is not the same as “Advocating for […] the suppression of free speech”

                      Are you or are you not logically not particularly opposed to infanticide?

                      Which is not the same as “Advocating for […] infanticide”

                      Let’s see who’s telling lies McFlock.

                      “Then on what page of which article does the comment “In New York City, only one new pregnancy-related death was found by using a record linkage, but 13 new cases were found when using other methods (9).” appear?”
                      It’s a quote from one of your sources. You claimed you read the paper. You claimed you know the answer. FFS, you’ve had time enough by now to actually walk to a fucking library and look it up, even getting the damned thing shipped in via library interloan. You’re not just a liar, you’re a lazy liar.

                • ….if one backs the science, and views the foetus as a living human (at least at some stage of pregnancy, if not from conception), then that living human does have bodily autonomy and human rights.

                  Leaving aside for a moment the highly dubious idea that “science” says a foetus is a living human, a foetus pretty much by definition does not have bodily autonomy. There’s only one person’s bodily autonomy involved in this issue, and only that person should get a say.

                  • Hornet

                    You are confused about the meaning of autonomy in this context. Autonomy is the right or capacity to make decisions about ones existence. We have an ethical tradition in which we protect those who have this right but not the capacity. My argument is simply that the unborn child should be afforded the same protections.

                    • There is no child. Children live outside their mothers’ bodies. You’re arguing that you have the right to refuse bodily autonomy for an actually-existing human on behalf of a third party who doesn’t actually exist, which is why rational people reject your argument.

                    • Hornet

                      “Children live outside their mothers’ bodies.”
                      Says who? A child of one hour old is virtually biologically indistinguishable from a child one hour from being born.

                      “You’re arguing that you have the right to refuse bodily autonomy for an actually-existing human on behalf of a third party who doesn’t actually exist, which is why rational people reject your argument.”
                      Well they would, if that was what I was arguing. My argument is that bodily autonomy is not absolute. Suicide is actively discouraged. So is self-harming. The simple truth is that the unborn child does exist (otherwise we wouldn’t be having this discussion) and is vulnerable to the point of deserving protection from entitlement.

                    • Says who? A child of one hour old is virtually biologically indistinguishable from a child one hour from being born.

                      Says people who base their views on reality rather than pretense. And “virtually indistinguishable” is a bit optimistic – that umbilical chord is a dead giveaway.

                      Suicide is actively discouraged. So is self-harming.

                      Do they belong in the Crimes Act?

                      The simple truth is that the unborn child does exist (otherwise we wouldn’t be having this discussion)…

                      Non-sequitur. Gods don’t exist, but there’s been no end of people in my life who wanted to blather on at me about them. The fact that people insist on believing things that don’t exist doesn’t somehow miraculously bring those things into existence.

                    • Hornet

                      “Says people who base their views on reality rather than pretense. ”
                      Really? Yet you don’t even try to justify that assertion.

                      “And “virtually indistinguishable” is a bit optimistic – that umbilical chord is a dead giveaway.”
                      That umbilical cord is what defines ‘virtually’.

                      “Do they belong in the Crimes Act?”
                      Good attempt at diversion, but that’s not what we’re discussing.

                      “Gods don’t exist, ”
                      ‘Gods’ are not physical, animate objects. An unborn child is. A ‘God’s’ heartbeat, movements and activities are not palpable. An unborn child’s is.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      There is no child. Children live outside their mothers’ bodies. You’re arguing that you have the right to refuse bodily autonomy for an actually-existing human on behalf of a third party who doesn’t actually exist

                      You’re right, the unborn baby isn’t a child yet.

                      The issue is why you’re not willing to recognise that it is a probable child in formation, and that given just another couple of months could indeed be a child living outside their mother’s body.

                      By the way “bodily autonomy” is an interesting intellectual idea, but it is not a real moral principle. In my experience most people who mention it don’t actually believe in it.

                    • The issue is why you’re not willing to recognise that it is a probable child in formation…

                      Your assertions about what I recognise or not have a nett value of 0.

                      Of course a foetus is likely to become a child if/when a pregnancy goes full term. The relevant part being that it is not actually a child (or any other variant of “person” that you might use) until then, which is why we have the terms “blastocyte,” “embryo” and “foetus” in the first place.

                      By the way “bodily autonomy” is an interesting intellectual idea, but it is not a real moral principle.

                      Do try to keep in mind the nett value of your assertions.

                    • Hornet

                      “Of course a foetus is likely to become a child if/when a pregnancy goes full term. The relevant part being that it is not actually a child (or any other variant of “person” that you might use) until then, which is why we have the terms “blastocyte,” “embryo” and “foetus” in the first place.”

                      I realise that was directed at CV, but I want to again call you on your semantics. The word ‘child’ can be defined in a number of ways. For clarity, I use the term ‘unborn child’ based on this definition of child:
                      “an unborn or recently born person” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/child). In fact the inclusion of unborn humans in the definition of child is more common than not, based on definitions at http://www.dictionary.com/browse/children, http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Child, https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/child, https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/child.

                      Now you can debate that definition, but in doing so, you are falling into the same trap as McFlock: invoking semantics to mask the logical and ethical shortcomings of your argument. A foetus is human. A foetus is life. Thus it is human life. Whether we call it a ‘child’, a ‘foetus’, or we give it very specific names representative of it’s stage of growth matters not. The foetus is human life.

                      But by all means advocate to have a child, one minute from birth, violently and painfully ripped from it’s mother, and keep doing so in denial of the science and ethics of the matter.

              • weka

                the problem with that argument is what happens when we have scientific advances that can keep a foetus alive? Better imo to base the law on women have the right to choose full stop, irrespective of what happens to the foetus.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Edit: none of what follows should be taken as a counter-argument to a woman’s right to choose.

                  …irrespective of what happens to the foetus.

                  That’s a bit scary…carried to full-term in a prenatal adoption facility…which quickly becomes a service for anyone who wants an “easy out”, as it were.

                  …and how women would start being coerced into using the “service”. I have to stop thinking.

                  • weka

                    What I meant is that women have the right to choose to abort (i.e. kill the foetus) irrespective of whether science now says it can keep said foetus alive. The right to choose should be established on its own grounds, without qualifications around what is viable life.

                    So in my sentence, irrespective of what happens to the foetus means whether it’s a living thing being killed or a clump of cells or something else in-between.

                    Edit, once we start making the right to choose conditional upon science, we risk losing that right with scientific advances.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      My response is based on the thought that, “what happens when someone invents a machine that can carry an ‘aborted’ foetus to full term”?

                      In any event, in the world we live in, I support the right to choose.

                    • weka

                      are you saying that you might want to reduce or revoke the woman’s right to choose if such a machine were to be invented?

                      Abortion to me means killed, not simply removed from the uterus. We need a different word if we are talking about removing a live foetus and keeping it alive.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No, I’m saying that I would still support a woman’s right to choose, because the reality of such a machine has such potential to be a dystopian nightmare, especially in the context of human trafficking and slavery.

                      Sorry, like I said I should stop thinking.

                    • weka

                      That’s an argument for controls on science imo 😉 And we should start now, not wait until we’re closer to the nightmare.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      controls on science

                      Who says any new science is required? If it were, how can you tell in advance which branch of science to control?

            • weka 3.1.2.4.1.2

              Yes, they are. That’s the pro-choice argument. Women have the right to make choices that affect the unborn foetus, irrespective of how one views that foetus. This is not comparable to other situations of other human beings already born and outside of their mother’s body.

              • Hornet

                “Women have the right to make choices that affect the unborn foetus, irrespective of how one views that foetus. ”
                Invoking ‘right’s when discussing taking the life of human being some rather entitled. No-one has the ‘right’ to take life. No-one.

                “This is not comparable to other situations of other human beings already born and outside of their mother’s body.”
                You’re forgetting the ethical dilemma that arises from late term abortions. Tell me the difference between infanticide and late term abortions.

                • weka

                  We have different sets of rules around different stages of pregnancy being aborted. I think you will find that most women who are pregnant have their own set of ethics in that regards too. In other words, the whole late term abortion thing is a red herring. No-one is suggesting that women should or would routinely have late term abortions simply because they don’t want to be pregnant or give birth. If access to contraceptions and very early term abortions was good then second term abortions would also be less of an issue.

                  “Invoking ‘right’s when discussing taking the life of human being some rather entitled. No-one has the ‘right’ to take life. No-one.”

                  Sure they do. The state sanctions doctors to turn off life support. Some countries have death penalties. We also let people die by way of hospital waiting lists e.g. for cancer treatment. And we allow an acceptable death rate from things like traffic and pollution.

                  Women are entitled to terminate life in their own bodies when they judge it is right to do so. They can take an emergency pill, or they can have a medical or a surgical abortion. Unless you are arguing that women shouldn’t be allowed contraception that interrupts a pregnancy, your assertion is meaningless. If you believe that life starts at conception, then what is the difference between say taking oral contraception and taking the morning after pill?

                  • Hornet

                    ” the whole late term abortion thing is a red herring.”
                    No, it isn’t. It speaks to a number of aspects of this discussion. It particularly points out the huge ethical dilemma confronted by those who argue abortion is simply a matter of ‘rights’, and the rest of us should move aside.

                    “No-one is suggesting that women should or would routinely have late term abortions simply because they don’t want to be pregnant or give birth. ”
                    I disagree, some do argue that.

                    “The state sanctions doctors to turn off life support. Some countries have death penalties. We also let people die by way of hospital waiting lists e.g. for cancer treatment. And we allow an acceptable death rate from things like traffic and pollution. ”
                    When we turn off life support, we do so to let nature take it’s course. When we let people die on waiting lists or as the result of pollution we do so ignoring our own humanity. When we abort a human being, we deliberately take life. There is no comparison.

                    “Women are entitled to terminate life in their own bodies when they judge it is right to do so.”
                    That is mere assertion. It takes no account of the rights of the unborn human being. It takes no account of the ethical dilemma society is left with when the value of life is demeaned in such a way. It takes no account of the inconsistency with society’s fight to reduce youth suicide (to paraphrase your argument ‘a teenager is entitled to terminate their own life when they judge it is right to do so’). It takes no account of any number of ethical dilemma’s faced when this life changing decision is based on entitlement.

                    • Incognito

                      I think you’re one of the few who’s really exposing the fuzzy boundaries and the ethical dilemmas that these throw up. I’ve read your comments with great interest!

        • D'Esterre 3.1.2.5

          Hornet: “This issue really comes down to how you view the nature of life. ”

          No. It isn’t.

          This is a distraction from the actual issue. Abortion is a medical procedure; all women need to to be able to access it as of right, if that’s what they choose.

          It isn’t my business – or that of anybody else – if a woman chooses to terminate a pregnancy.

          I do hope that the government can get this legislation passed.

          Some of you obviously think that you’ve got skin in this game; unless you’re a pregnant woman wanting an abortion, you don’t. Get out of the way.

          • Incognito 3.1.2.5.1

            Some of you obviously think that you’ve got skin in this game; unless you’re a pregnant woman wanting an abortion, you don’t. Get out of the way.

            Are you suggesting that only 15,000 (my wild guess based on the stats) women should be allowed to debate this and nobody else? The Law applies to everyone without prejudice …

            • D'Esterre 3.1.2.5.1.1

              Incognito: “Are you suggesting that only 15,000 (my wild guess based on the stats) women should be allowed to debate this and nobody else?”

              Nothing to debate. The law needs to be changed, such that abortion is legal and not hedged about with busybody regulations.

              Not your business, not mine. Step aside.

              • Incognito

                Hmmm, we live in a democratic society in which moral issues can and must be debated in an open public manner without exclusion, bias or discrimination or fear of prosecution. This is a debate that potentially affects us all, but some more than others. You cannot dictate or rewrite the rules, neither here on TS nor for public discourse in NZ. Do you want to exclude me too from making a submission to the Law Commission?

                I realise that this is a highly emotive issue but you’re way off this with your dogmatic and exclusionary stance IMO and you come across as a totalitarian rule-maker. You have been making similar comments here on TS and as a fellow-commenter I would like to ask you to stop this behaviour.

                • D'Esterre

                  Incognito: “we live in a democratic society in which moral issues can and must be debated in an open public manner….”

                  You may well see this as a moral issue: the rest of us do not. It’s a healthcare issue. We’ve been round and round the gooseberry bushes (as my late mother was wont to say) over this.

                  Go ahead: see it that way if you wish. Nobody is forcing you to have an abortion. But your moral perspective on this issue cannot influence legislation, such that women’s access to an essential gynaecological service is crimped. Worse: that said service is criminalised.

                  I’d add that, with regard to “moral” issues, were you to be consistent, you’d apply that label to other forms of contraceptive, along with – for instance – orthodox medical treatment for ectopic pregnancy.

                  Your stance is essentially religious; go argue the toss with other theists if you want to, but don’t try to insert your views into the long-overdue decriminalisation of abortion.

                  • Incognito

                    It is both a moral and a (mental as well as physical) health issue. At no stage did I say or imply that it was only a moral issue. The reason that moral issues are much harder (to debate) is that we cannot rely on experts (no, ethicists cannot be relied upon for a solution or decision) whereas with healthcare issues we can rely on medical experts and delegate responsibility for decisions, to some degree, based on their expertise and our trust that we place in them.

                    The rest of your comment is trying to box me in and stick a nice wee label on me. Given that I’ve already stated that I’m thinking hard about this topic (as well as about euthanasia; https://thestandard.org.nz/alranz-16-reasons-to-change-the-abortion-law/#comment-1450554) and given that I’ve yet to come to a more or less firm position, at the present time, I think you should back off and stop being overly aggressive.

                    Let’s for the moment and for argument’s sake assume that abortion is only a healthcare issue. You seem to think that in this case the only person that matters is the woman. But the whole support network of the healthcare system is made of people, e.g. doctors/clinicians, nurses, counsellors, admin people, etc. All these people play a role in the process of abortion, they contribute (professionally) and they participate (professionally). They are all trying to help! [NB This is one reason why I find the general distrust in medical practice hard to stomach] But what’s more, these professional people are also involved emotionally, as fellow human beings, with various degrees of compassion and empathy, and even co-suffering. They may hide this behind a professional façade or persona with a pretence of authority, objectivity, rationality, and control (and self-preservation) but this does not mean that they don’t invest in helping the ‘patient’, fix her, care for her, nurse her, support her, wish her a good future, etc.

                    Very similar arguments can be made about friends and family of the pregnant woman. They also play a smaller or bigger role. All these people together play a role in overall story that’s the abortion process or they may play a story in the avoidance/prevention of the woman going through with the abortion, e.g. if she feels there will be sufficient wrap-around support and love for her and the yet unborn. For example, some pregnant women may want to terminate when there’s a high chance of Down syndrome. Others might not and carry on, literally, because of their personal circumstances and different outlook.

                    You see, it is not just about the woman and it involves a whole lot of people in fact. By analogy, it takes a whole village to raise a child.

                    If one then also includes cultural and religious taboos & dogmas surrounding abortion and (unwanted) pregnancy it gets even more complicated but it never ever is only about the woman.

                    This is a sensitive topic and I have tried to be as inoffensive and respectful as I can be.

            • weka 3.1.2.5.1.2

              15,000?

              • Incognito

                I did say that it was a wild guess based on the stats; in 2016 there were 12,823 officially registered abortions: https://www.stats.govt.nz/topics/abortions

                Apparently, in 2014 216 people had their requests declined. https://thestandard.org.nz/alranz-16-reasons-to-change-the-abortion-law/

                So, I took a stab and came up with 15,000 because of lack of hard up-to-date data …

                That’s a high rate compared to other OECD countries.

                • weka

                  Right, but that’s per year. Far more women have had abortions or will need one.

                  • Incognito

                    Yes, good point, but the debate is held at a given point in time, quite possibly in the foreseeable future and it is a direct response to D’Esterre’s comment @ 3.1.2.5:

                    Some of you obviously think that you’ve got skin in this game; unless you’re a pregnant woman wanting an abortion, you don’t. Get out of the way.

                    So, not all the women in the past or the future but at present and hence my wild guess at that number, which doesn’t seem so wild when you consider the context.

          • Hornet 3.1.2.5.2

            “Abortion is a medical procedure; all women need to to be able to access it as of right, if that’s what they choose.”
            There is no ‘right’ to access abortion. There is no ‘right’ to take another life.

            “It isn’t my business – or that of anybody else – if a woman chooses to terminate a pregnancy.”
            Actually, it is our business. It is always our business to defend the vulnerable. The unborn child has no advocate in your system of thought. That is morally and ethically repugnant.

            “Some of you obviously think that you’ve got skin in this game; unless you’re a pregnant woman wanting an abortion, you don’t.”
            We all have skin in the game. We all should be speaking out in defence of the vulnerable.

            • Psycho Milt 3.1.2.5.2.1

              It is always our business to defend the vulnerable.

              Oh, the irony…

              • Hornet

                What irony? There is no irony. Not in my argument.

                • KJT

                  Says the one that argued long and hard, for disadvantaged children to be left at the mercy of untrained Teachers, and school administrations motivated purely by profit.

                  Only a few days ago.

                  • Hornet

                    No, what I argue for is to allow children to flourish, as they are, away from state schools, if that is best for them. You are married to an ideology that appeases the unions over children’s best interests.

                    And given your claim to be some kind of ‘expert’, you are clearly being dishonest in repeating claims I have previously discredited.

                    And I’ll do it again:

                    “…untrained Teachers…”
                    You are clearly confused about what ‘trained’ means. Partnership and State schools employ ‘unregistered’ teachers. And both also employ registered teachers.

                    “…and school administrations motivated purely by profit.”
                    Yet almost all PS’s are ‘not for profit’.

                    As with our previous exchange, I will go over your head to others who may have a genuine interest in the Partnership Schools debate.
                    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/101461262/charting-a-different-course-a-lesson-for-the-education-minister-and-his-boss

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      🙄

                      Right wing ideologue agrees with right wing ideology. Right winger finds it persuasive.

                    • solkta

                      If a given teacher is in fact trained why would they not seek registration?

                    • Hornet

                      “If a given teacher is in fact trained why would they not seek registration?”

                      Good question.

                      The term ‘trained’ can be misleading (which is likely why KJT used it). Traditionally when someone claimed to be a ‘trained’ teacher, that would have been understood as meaning a teacher who had graduated through a teachers training college or the equivalent, and studied over a period of 3 years (give or take) to achieve a professional and recognised teaching qualification. Today, with an increasing number of diverse and specialised subjects, professionals from outside the teaching profession have a pathway to teaching that is far shorter than that (https://teachfirstnz.org/). This is an excellent innovation, because it brings into play people with specialised, practical knowledge that may not be immediately or readily available from within the teaching profession itself. An example is in the teaching of Te Reo. The teachers unions and (strangely named) groups such as ‘save our schools’ hate it, because they fear a loss of control. And they generally oppose innovation.

                      Moving on, today teachers can choose from a selection of academic pathways. Registration is a step in that professional pathway that most teachers choose to take up. But not all. My understanding is that in ECE, for example, registration has never been mandatory.

                      Registration can have it’s benefits, but it should be remembered that virtually every teacher who has been in the press recently for abusing children or other misdemeanours has been registered. I have also dealt with non-registered teachers who were excellent, and registered teachers who I wouldn’t leave in charge of a duster. I make those points simply to say it is a worthwhile process, but by no means a guarantee.

                    • KJT

                      Well you got that wrong didn’t you.
                      I am one of the skilled people at the top of my profession who started Teaching later in life.
                      Like any Profession, Teaching requires a mix of training, learning, practical skills and a desire to do it well, to succeed.
                      Despite being involved in Teaching adults all my life, I found much of the ideas and range of approaches learnt during Teacher training, invaluable.

                      Training was short enough. The even more shortened pathway, that National introduced, just shows their ignorance and contempt for teaching as a profession.

                      Charter schools, so far in New Zealand have combined rote, regimented learning with high exclusion and expulsion rates.
                      Just like the USA.
                      Hardly the variety of learning, second chances, exposure to excellent teaching and choice, you claim.

                      Many of us would like to offer that in State schools, but found National’s insistence on testing and distrust, too much.

                    • Hornet

                      “Charter schools, so far in New Zealand have combined rote, regimented learning with high exclusion and expulsion rates.
                      Just like the USA.”

                      No, they don’t. More lies.

                    • KJT

                      Hornet. I was Teaching in one off the State schools that are picking up the pieces from the Whangarei charter school.

                      I leave the “fake news” to the supporters of privatised schools.

                    • Hornet

                      “I was Teaching in one off the State schools that are picking up the pieces from the Whangarei charter school.”
                      Yes, PS’s are allowed to fail. Hopeless state schools just get money thrown at them.

                      “I leave the “fake news” to the supporters of privatised schools.”
                      …which are of course the ones being favoured by parents. You know who the parents are eh? The ones who are voting with their feet when it comes to Partnership Schools in particular.

                      I get the feeling the state system is probably the only place you can find work.

                      [lprent: Equating your idiotic assumptions is just simpleton bigotry that has no obvious confluence with reality. Then introducing it into a debate as if it is some kind of obvious fact about someone who you don’t know at all is just dumb. More importantly it is a really daft troll technique of no debate value.

                      Basically you are a ignorant fuckwit with no manners nor debating finesse. With that kind of stupidity it isn’t worth having you around to troll on these old posts. So I’ll treat you as you choose to treat others – with assumptions. Banned for 4 weeks for simple minded stupid trolling. ]

                    • KJT

                      No Hornet. I am currently working for a large corporate. For multiples of a Teachers pay.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      Having debates occurring on both abortion and euthanasia legislation introduces a nice symmetry.

      The kind of symmetry with deeply negative spiritual implications.

      • JohnSelway 3.2.1

        “The kind of symmetry with deeply negative spiritual implications”

        Other people’s rights don’t end where your spiritualism starts

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.1

          This isn’t about rights, it’s about responsibilities to the vulnerable and responsibilities to protect and nurture life where we can.

          And the recognition that not doing so has spiritual implications.

          • JohnSelway 3.2.1.1.1

            “And the recognition that not doing so has spiritual implications.”

            No. Making decisions/laws or whatever based upon your own personal spiritual beliefs is wrong and stupid. You can’t take someone’s decision to end their own life (in the euthanasia sense) because it offends your spirituality.

            My rights don’t end where your silly beliefs start

            • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.1.1.1

              I will simply say that if someone wishes to end their own life, they should take the responsibility for doing so themselves.

              And not demand that others do it for them and for others to accept that.

              • JohnSelway

                “they should take the responsibility for doing so themselves.”

                I think the issue is that some people don’t have the ability to do it themselves or access to safe and effective methods of completing the act

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1.1.2

            That’s right. People who are made to jump through hoops at difficult times of their lives can easily become dispirited, and can be targets for religious manipulation.

            It is the duty of the state to protect the dispirited from such predation.

            • Hornet 3.2.1.1.2.1

              …at least they get a choice. And a taxpayer funded abortion and support. The life taken received nothing. Not even your advocacy.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                The mother is the best person to make that call.

                • Hornet

                  The mother is the best person to make a call about whether she will receive a state funded abortion and state funded after-care? The mother is the best person to make a call about taking a life that, in your world, would have zero advocacy? You have strange and contradictory ideals.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Better than you or any other individual, and most particularly, better than god-botherers and faux-moralists who will do nothing to support any life that isn’t their own.

                    • Hornet

                      You’re drawing a false dichotomy. Who said any one individual should make this decision? This is a decision for society to make, not any individual or group alone. This goes to heart of how we value life, and how that speaks to our society as a whole. Taking life, and justifying it on the basis of entitlement, is not healthy for any society. Just as compromising life (by the various means you often rail against) is not healthy for any society. It is your short sightedness that precludes from connecting the dots.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      OK, you’ve convinced me: while you make circular arguments that have already been done to death on this page, Parliament can go ahead and decriminalise abortion.

  4. Anon 4

    I’d given up hope they were ever going to even mention abortion again.

    • D'Esterre 4.1

      Anon: “I’d given up hope they were ever going to even mention abortion again.”

      So had I. I’m very glad that the government is taking action.

  5. Ad 5

    According to ALRANZ,

    http://alranz.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/McCulloch-and-Weatherall2017.pdf
    “on the whole, women in New Zealand have good access to safe and affordable means to terminate unwanted pregnancies.”

    According to Stats NZ, the number of terminations has been going down for years.
    https://www.stats.govt.nz/topics/abortions

    So I am not sure why this issue needs solving.

    ALRANZ also states:

    “The best way to reduce abortions is to reduce unintended pregnancies through comprehensive sexuality education, prevention of gender-based violence, and access to woman-centred and effective contraception.”

    Which seems perfectly sensible: if the government’s policy goal is to reduce unintended pregnancies, surely this would be the more effective route rather than legislative change.

    • Antoine 5.1

      There must be some value in making the process of seeking and obtaining an abortion less traumatic for all concerned

      A.

      • cleangreen 5.1.1

        Watering it down time for Antoine I see, so are you just another “minimalist” .

        National Party is full of these.

        Like the National Party policy of “slowly slowly catchie monkey” eh???

    • weka 5.2

      Apart from you not understanding the reasons what is your objection the law being changed?

      • Ad 5.2.1

        It’s up to the government to show that changing the legislation is going to bring down the number of unwanted pregnancies. ALRANZ is stating that this is not the effective means to do so.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1.1

          More false criteria. It’s up to you to justify why reducing the abortion rate is the only valid reason to remove abortion from the Crimes Act.

          • Ad 5.2.1.1.1

            I’m not proposing to alter the legislation.
            This government is.
            So the onus is on them to explain the policy reasons for doing so.

            Plenty of things in this country are legal after difficult processes.
            Plenty of those processes are altered as new significant issues emerge, and they always have really clear policy explanations, which are provided by the relevant Ministries. It’s a basic part of making a government decision that you set your evidence out.

            The government needs to set its case out.
            So far that case on policy grounds hasn’t been provided.

            • Antoine 5.2.1.1.1.1

              You don’t need a business case to begin a review. Producing the business case is part of the review.

            • weka 5.2.1.1.1.2

              I’m not proposing to alter the legislation.
              This government is.
              So the onus is on them to explain the policy reasons for doing so.

              Plenty of things in this country are legal after difficult processes.
              Plenty of those processes are altered as new significant issues emerge, and they always have really clear policy explanations, which are provided by the relevant Ministries. It’s a basic part of making a government decision that you set your evidence out.

              The government needs to set its case out.
              So far that case on policy grounds hasn’t been provided.

              Well, you know Labour, putting information out in a timely manner hasn’t been their strong suit. I agree that as the process unfolds, Labour will need to front foot explanations about what they intend and why it’s important on policy grounds. I would think that expecting them to do that today is premature.

              In the meantime, there are many experts in the field who have explained why the change is needed and those explanations are in the public domain. You can educate yourself, or not, as you choose. I suggest ALRANZ, the sources they link to, and NZ feminist writers, as good starting points. Or maybe even strike up a non-patronising conversation with some of the women here who are politicised around abortion rights.

              Until you do that, when you try and frame the abortion debate around law changes as being about reductions in the number of women having abortions, you just come across as anti-abortion. You either have a profound lack of understanding what the issues here are (see paragraph 2), or you have an agenda. My preference for people who want less abortions is that they be honest in the debates about that.

        • It’s up to the government to show that changing the legislation is going to bring down the number of unwanted pregnancies.

          No it’s not.

          The government also must change the law when an injustice is occurring because of the law.

          Abortion being criminalised is an injustice.

        • patricia bremner 5.2.1.3

          No, the main idea is to take it out of the crimes list.

          To have it looked at under health and safety. To provide less hurdles and more safe venues.

          Now if politicians believe that the life of the fertilised egg is more important than the woman’s or her family, they will vote No.

          If politicians believe there are circumstances where abortion should happen more easily and not be a crime, they will vote yes.

          This is not a vote about having an abortion, it is a vote changing perceptions of a crime. imo This will assist the poor who have less resources.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.3

      “on the whole, women in New Zealand have good access to safe and affordable means to terminate unwanted pregnancies.”

      On the whole…

      Translation: some women in New Zealand do not have access to safe and affordable means to terminate unwanted pregnancies.

      The rest of the reasons for change are clearly laid out on ALRANZ’s page, so your inability to understand why this issue needs a solution is, I suggest, a load of sophistry.

      • Ad 5.3.1

        From the ALRANZ site:

        “Sadly, in many parts of of the country, access to abortion services is limited and many women have to travel long distances in order to obtain an abortion.”

        This is the core reason ALRANZ gives.

        They do no state how changing the legislation will assist this.

        The government needs to provide evidence that changing the legislation will bring down the number of unwanted pregnancies – any faster than they already are.

        [if you are going to cut and paste, please provide a direct link. I googled that phrase and got no hits. We can’t see that quote in context, and so can’t assess your use of it. Please provide a link now. – weka]

        • Antoine 5.3.1.1

          It doesn’t need to. It could justify the bill on the basis of some other benefit.

          A.

        • The government needs to provide evidence that changing the legislation will bring down the number of unwanted pregnancies – any faster than they already are.

          No it doesn’t and you continually repeating that lie isn’t going to make it true.

          It will make you a liar though.

        • weka 5.3.1.3

          moderation note for you to respond to.

          • veutoviper 5.3.1.3.1

            I am not taking sides here in this exchange, but I googled the quote “Sadly … etc” and came up with this ALRANZ Fact Sheet (PDF)

            http://alranz.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/the-law.pdf

            This quote is the second sentence in the second paragraph on the first page under this heading – “I thought it was easy to get an abortion in New Zealand?”

            Note – it did not come up on first try; only when I set the country filter to New Zealand.

            • Incognito 5.3.1.3.1.1

              First hit in Google without any filters or special search settings.

              • weka

                No results found for “Sadly, in many parts of of the country, access to abortion”.

                That’s google.com, not filters.

                I eventually found it using by site search and the word sadly.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Funny. Using Chrome, Google says “no results found” and then the top link is the ALRANZ pdf with the exact quote highlighted in the preview, including the “of of” typo. Go figure.

                  • weka

                    Weird. I can see that now too, in FF. Google can’t have adjusted that in the last few hours surely?

                    It’s not there in Safari.

                  • veutoviper

                    I had not even noticed the double “of”. What I do is select the item or sentence or phrase I want to search for, right click and then click
                    Search Google for (it quotes the selected item, words etc) and off we go.

                    • weka

                      that is so cool! Sometimes it gobsmacks me that I’ve been using a computer for so long and didn’t know such a simple thing.

                      I wish I could do a by site search like that.

                • Incognito

                  Interesting. I searched your exact same sentence with quotation marks in google.com and did not find the target site/link either. Same in google.co.nz but when I then limited the search to New Zealand under Tools – Any country bingo, the first hit is that fact sheet again. The idiosyncrasies of search engines and their (hidden) algorithms 😉

              • veutoviper

                Interesting. I retried (chrome) without country filter and still nothing in the first three pages. Hits related mainly to overseas – Ireland, Texas etc. Added the NZ filter, and it was first up.

            • weka 5.3.1.3.1.2

              Thanks for the link.

              The issue isn’t that I couldn’t find it, it’s that I had to look. Commenters need to put the link to what they are quoting. Too many people selectively quote to spin an argument, which appears to be what Ad has done here.

              • veutoviper

                Re your second para, fair enough but there is also a question of consistency of application. No, I am not questioning moderation etc, I am one myself elsewhere (not NZ nor politics), Just happened to notice 5,4 below.

                • weka

                  5.4 is PM quoting Ad. It was Ad who was quoting from offsite without linking.

                  Most people put up links when they quote. Of those that don’t, I pick my battles, because honestly, it’s pretty tedious having to keep pulling people up on this. I focus on the ones that look like they are trying to spin something and where the link would undermine that.

                  Some people get it and start posting links, others don’t. Make of that what you will.

        • veutoviper 5.3.1.4

          Ad – see my 5.3.1.3.1
          Please note my remark about my neutrality in this exchange. I am not feeling masochistic today. In fact feeling quite good as just gave myself my overdue hydroxocobalamin injection and batteries are recharged for the next week or 10 days. LOL.

        • greywarshark 5.3.1.5

          I thought that the object of abortion was based on a woman not being forced to carry on with an unwanted pregnancy if she couldn’t cope with it, being a large responsibility whether undertaken by one or two people. The numbers being lessened nationally wasn’t a main objective I thought.

          • weka 5.3.1.5.1

            It’s also to make access equitable, and in line with other health services, relative to the necessity (e.g. you obviously can’t have long waiting lists like you can for some surgery). There have been places in NZ where historically you haven’t been able to get an abortion because of the conservative nature of the people in charge of the health services i.e. the hospitals not employing doctors who will provide the service, and employing certifying consultants who are conservative.

            Women’s organisations used to run under the radar support for women, supporting them with advice on how to lie about where they live so they could get an abortion in other areas. There are obviously significant barriers – travel, cost, knowing how the system works so the right lies can be told, having to make up a story for family/friends about where they are going, extra time off work, childcare etc, in addition to having the actual abortion.

            ALRANZ also lay out other issues, like the cost to the state of the certifying consultant process (which is unnecessary). Even in the post, the comment about the Abortion Supervisory Committee is relevant. It’s hard not to see Ad’s comments here as other than disingenuous.

        • red-blooded 5.3.1.6

          Ad, NZ is an outlier amongst OECD countries, and our current law was written before the introduction of medical abortions (pills, taken prior to 9 weeks). Our approach means that on average a woman waits 25 days between seeking an abortion and accessing one (vs 7 days average elsewhere). That’s a significant difference, especially given how distressing an unwanted pregnancy can be. Plus, linked to that wait, NZ has a significantly lower use of medical abortions and a much higher rate of surgical procedures. 62% of UK abortions are medical – 15% in NZ. Surgical intervention is more distressing, more uncomfortable, riskier.

          Plus, NZ’s archaic law stipulates an abortion must take place in a clinic. This was an attempt to stamp out back street abortions – reasonable when the law was written but not now. Rural women have to travel considerable distances to sit in a clinic and take a pill (if they can get the approval from 2 specialists before the 9 week mark) – an unnecessary barrier.

    • ALRANZ also states:

      “The best way to reduce abortions is to reduce unintended pregnancies through comprehensive sexuality education, prevention of gender-based violence, and access to woman-centred and effective contraception.”

      They’re right, but that isn’t an argument for failing to take abortion out of the crimes act and making the process easier. It’s an “also,” not an “instead of.”

    • Incognito 5.5

      According to Stats NZ, the number of terminations has been going down for years.
      https://www.stats.govt.nz/topics/abortions

      So I am not sure why this issue needs solving.

      Excuse me?

      Still 12,823 officially registered abortions in 2016 means that even more have officially applied and failed because of the archaic act. The formal process is archaic because the act is archaic and makes it even more traumatic for those involved than abortion already is. And there are no official stats on the number of ‘backyard’ abortions. This pales into comparison with the number of road fatalities, for example, or (youth) suicides. But as long as the number is going down we don’t have to do anything and can just wait till it reaches zero by year 20xx if (big “if”) it keeps following the current trend. Yeah right!

    • weka 5.6

      “Which seems perfectly sensible: if the government’s policy goal is to reduce unintended pregnancies, surely this would be the more effective route rather than legislative change.”

      If you have evidence that Labour’s goal is to reduce abortions, then please provide some evidence. If you don’t have any, then please stop framing this debate as being about abortion reduction.

    • Anon 5.7

      It’s a human rights issue, the nation deserves better law even if the need for abortions ended tomorrow.

    • D'Esterre 5.8

      Ad: “So I am not sure why this issue needs solving. ”

      I’m surprised that you could make a statement of this sort. The fact of abortion being illegal-but-with-loopholes is tacit acknowledgement of its essential place in the range of healthcare procedures for women. There was no reason at all for this state of affairs to be put in place in the 1970s; there is no reason at all for it to continue. Such restrictions don’t apply to other gynaecological procedures.

      I’ll take a punt that you’re a person of the male persuasion. That being so, if you decide to have a vasectomy – a procedure with much more profound implications for your future fertility than an abortion carries for a woman – you can just go to your GP and request one. No laws, no regulations except the usual ones in respect of consent, quality and safety which apply to all healthcare procedures. No having to prove that your mental health would suffer without having it done. No need to have two specialists to certify it.

      In virtue of what should you suppose that males are more competent to make such decisions than are women wanting an abortion?

      “….if the government’s policy goal is to reduce unintended pregnancies…”

      As I understand the situation, the government’s objective is to decriminalise abortion. I’ve seen nothing to suggest otherwise.

  6. solkta 6

    “The government needs to provide evidence that changing the legislation will bring down the number of unwanted pregnancies”

    Why? You present no argument for this statement.

  7. jcuknz 7

    I do not see how changing the legislation will have any effect on unwanted pregnancies .. for that to happen there needs to be a culture change with those involved.
    I support de-criminalisation and anything that makes it hard for a woman in this situation to sort out her problem.

  8. Delia 8

    Right now women have to go before two consultants to get an abortion usually on mental health reasons, yet being pregnant and not wanting to continue it is not a mental health issue. I believe that abortion should between a doctor and the woman and than referral for counselling and the termination should follow and that should be the end of the matter…not others knowing your health status. I also think good reasonably priced easily accessible contraceptives will bring the abortion rate down which has been happening over the last few years.

  9. James 9

    This is one of those topics that there is no right or wrong answer and each “side” will have passionate arguments.

    Truth is each and every story when it comes to abortion is different and no matter what the law makers decide – there will still be negative outcomes.

    Never have been in the position of having to even discuss one – I cannnot understand the anguish that people face on this matter.

    On this I hope that all MP’s do take the time to talk to people, hear stories and truly represent their voters in the most honest way possible on this.

    Personally I would hate to have to be in the position to have to vote on this.

    • This is one of those topics that there is no right or wrong answer and each “side” will have passionate arguments.

      No it’s not. There’s one right answer – abortion should be legal, readily available through the public health system and have the necessary support systems in place as well.

      Anything other than that is BS.

      • Antoine 9.1.1

        I think you start down that road, but then you find yourself in difficult territory and realise there have to be some restrictions and some checks and balances. Possibly not as many as there are now, though.

        A.

        (Edit: when I say ‘you’ I mean some policy maker, not you, DTB)

          • Antoine 9.1.1.1.1

            Hate to state the obvious, but for instance, third trimester abortions prob need to stay restricted, people carrying out an abortion need to be licenced, the person having the abortion needs to give consent, etc etc

            A.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1.1.1

              But nothing to actually restrict the availability of abortions?

            • Anon 9.1.1.1.1.2

              I disagree, in all instances where abortion remains a safer option than birth (however low those risks and however slight the difference) pregnant people should have the choice to abort, at most death of a fetus should only be barred when birth/live removal is the safest option.

              The fetuses right to life is trumped by the carriers rights at all times, including third trimester.

              • Antoine

                Ya, when I said ‘restricted’ I meant ‘regulated’ not ‘banned entirely under all circumstances’.

                A.

      • James 9.1.2

        Just because it’s your view does not mean that it’s the only or right one.

        • Using logic and facts come up with one reason as why abortion shouldn’t be readily available.

        • Grey Area 9.1.2.2

          @James.
          But it just might be. Consider that.

        • Anon 9.1.2.3

          Whatever your view on abortion there’s no need to restrict by law, if your view is against abortions then don’t have abortions. Simple. This is a law against individual choices with individual outcomes, society has no right or moral authority to insert itself into such decisions.

        • So, if you can’t even come up with one reason for the opposition, then is there really two sides to the argument?

    • Incognito 9.2

      You’re correct in that there is no right or wrong. It comes down to values and whether what’s imposed on you and others by the (democratic) majority is consistent with those values.

      The point is to alleviate negative outcomes not to abolish them in absolute terms.

      Personally I would hate to have to be in the position to have to vote on this.

      Disagree strongly with this. We have a bad habit of passing the hard stuff & responsibility to others such as the democratically-elected representatives in Parliament – people elected by you and me – to avoid having to exercise personal responsibility and/or taking a (moral) position. This way, we believe that our conscience is clear & clean and the blame for unintended or negative consequences always lies with someone else …

    • weka 9.3

      So basically you are arguing that women should have their health care restricted if MPs get enough stories to support their personal anti-abortion values.

      Why is that exactly? Would you also be in favour of restricting access to other kinds of health care?

    • mary_a 9.4

      James (9) … I know where you are coming from here and I agree with your sentiments (something I don’t do often). Abortion is a highly complex and extremely emotional issue, for both sides of the debate. Any vote has to be made objectively.

      However, if I had the vote on abortion, I’d vote for decriminalisation, making it a legal safe option during the first trimester.

      To make women jump through hoops to satisfy a few medical personnel they “qualify” for a termination, is controlling, totally degrading and emotionally draining for the woman concerned! And it also disregards her right to operate as a functional human being.

      Her body, her choice, is the way it has to be.

  10. cleangreen 10

    100% correct James.

    Shit I agreed with James???

    What’s happening to me??

    I thinks the Catholic Church did indoctrinate heavily on this so there are many that will take the church approach we all need to see.

    Church and state should keep apart though.

  11. Sparky 11

    Yes the legislation is backward and primitive and certainly in need of reform. That said there is a compelling need to fix NZ’s broken underfunded healthcare system to complement any changes in legislation that impact on peoples health and well being.

    PS Jacinda. Its a shame your govt could not keep its stated position whilst in opposition on the TPP deals too. Then we would have a govt everyone could be proud of.

  12. jcuknz 12

    Clean Green at 10 ….. It is my opinion that the basic reason for the Catholic Church and one ex-co-leader wanting more children in the world is a numbers ‘game’. The leader was I think honest about it but the Church dresses it up with morality.

    My basic reason is that while abortion is wrong until those getting pregnant [ men and women equally [ir-]responsible] the world doesn’t need more if it is going to sustain the human race in the now or future.

    • Anon 12.1

      “abortion is wrong” – why?

      • jcuknz 12.1.1

        Because it is killing ,,,, but equally wrong is to start the process though lack of attention to what one is doing …. and to force the woman to endure /enjoy nine months
        of carrying it because killing is wrong.
        So many wrongs that hopefully a new law will correct some of them.
        That the greater wrongs will give way to lesser wrongs.

  13. AsleepWhileWalking 13

    This is needed to bring the law in line with the changes to welfare law.

    Currently you’re choice once you are pregnant (and receiving a benefit while caring for another child) is be a criminal or sustain the penalty until you can earn enough for the punishment to stop. Or get rid of one or more of the children through some other means. God.

  14. Jum 14

    Referendum just for women. i.e. how many already on this thread are actually women? Don’t tell me; I’m just making a point – men deciding what women should do, think, agree to…

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      The way I see it, this is a “man problem”, ie: the denial of a woman’s right to choose is for the most part perpetrated by men.

      Everyone has a responsibility to confront these men.

    • In Vino 14.2

      Yeah, true… But I see also another aspect. The pro-Choice people allow anti-abortionists to hold their beliefs and live by them. They do not interfere with anti-abortionists.
      On the other hand, the pro-lifers are so inebriated by the exuberance of their confidence in their beliefs that they assume that they are entitled to ram those beliefs down everybody else’s throats.
      They should fuck off, live the way they want to, and allow others (especially women!) to do the same.

    • newbie 14.3

      Have been a long time reader of TS but never commented. My understanding of what Andrew Little said on TV One news was that a paper was to be circulated to the Law Society to look at taking the abortion law out of the crimes act and putting into Health. I also heard that they were not looking at changing the terms of what was considered legally viable for what was considered to be able to sustain life outside the uterus which at this stage I think is 24weeks. I have had two children both of which were prem births at 32 weeks and were cared for in neo-nates. However I did had more problems with the second pregnancy and had to consider termination when I found out I was pregnant. Thankfully my specialist helped me make a decision and I continued with it but found out at week 22 that there were health problems for which I was hospitalized and basically told that if things didn’t change I would have to have a late termination or a very prem baby at 24 weeks as at that stage the baby was considered viable. Both options affected my mental health late termination because I had already become attached to the unborn child and having very prem baby in neo-nates where I had seen the results of early birth with all associated problems of keeping a very prem baby alive and witnessed the agony of parents having to deal with these situations. It should always be the choice of a women carrying the baby as to whether she terminates or not. Medically Drs can only advise on what options are available to you and what the outcome may be. Both options are mentally draining whether we choose to terminate or not

  15. Tanz 15

    NZ First won’t vote for this, and nor will National, so good luck at having the numbers. This should be put to the public vote, especially as Labour don’t have a mandate for this, which is nothing but more meddling into social engineering. If passed (unlikely) will be huge vote loser for the COL, and they should know that. Ungodly to the max. Not something that even Helen Clark touched with a barge pole.

    • It’s a credit to just how open-minded the Standard’s moderators are that something that so consistently fails the Turing test is able to comment here. Kudos, that’s taking welcoming diversity to the max…

    • D'Esterre 15.2

      Tanz: ” Labour don’t have a mandate for this, which is nothing but more meddling into social engineering. If passed (unlikely) will be huge vote loser for the COL, and they should know that. Ungodly to the max.”

      Think what you like, Tanz, but it isn’t your business. It’s the business of the pregnant woman wanting an abortion: nobody else’s.

  16. Tanz 16

    It simply won’t get passed. Without National and NZ First, they won’t have the numbers, so will end up looking impotent and silly. Relief though. God really is in charge!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1

      That’s what you said about marriage equality 😆

    • Incognito 16.2

      What won’t get passed? I think you’re suffering from premature speculation; it has been referred to the Law Commission for review and nothing else has happened (yet)!?

    • Daveosaurus 16.3

      Which god? Wotan? Aphrodite? Tagaloa? There are hundreds to choose from – do you have them all on speed dial?

    • D'Esterre 16.4

      Tanz: “It simply won’t get passed. Without National and NZ First, they won’t have the numbers…”

      According to the statement above, it’ll be a conscience vote. It’s likely that some members of both parties will wish to vote for the government bill, whatever it turns out to be. The end result may not be as clearcut as you’re suggesting.

      “God really is in charge!”

      Ha! Which god would that be? The Anglican? Methodist? Mickey-drip? Presbyterian? Baptist? Muslim, even: they all seem to have different rules….

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