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10 surprising quotes from abortionists
liveactionnews ^ | January 5, 2013 | Lauren Enriquez

Posted on 01/06/2013 1:32:20 PM PST by NYer

They’re threatened by informed consent. They’re traumatized by the limp body parts they look at every day. They’re torn by the contradiction that they became doctors to preserve life but use their profession to end it. Here are some eye-opening confessions from current and former abortionists.


They [the women] are never allowed to look at the ultrasound because we knew that if they so much as heard the heart beat, they wouldn’t want to have an abortion. –Dr. Randall, former abortionist

Even now I feel a little peculiar about it, because as a physician I was trained to conserve life, and here I am destroying it. -Dr. Benjamin Kalish, abortionist

You have to become a bit schizophrenic. In one room, you encourage the patient that the slight irregularity in the fetal heart is not important, that she is going to have a fine, healthy baby. Then, in the next room you assure another woman, on whom you just did a saline abortion, that it is a good thing that the heartbeat is already irregular… she has nothing to worry about, she will NOT have a live baby… All of a sudden one noticed that at the time of the saline infusion there was a lot of activity in the uterus. That’s not fluid currents. That’s obviously the fetus being distressed by swallowing the concentrated salt solution and kicking violently and that’s to all intents and purposes, the death trauma… somebody has to do it, and unfortunately we are the executioners in this instance[.] -Dr. Szenes, abortionist

Telling those women their fetuses feel pain is heaping torment upon torment. These women have real pain. They did not come to this decision easily. Creating another barrier for them to get the medical care they need is really unfair. –Abortionist Dave Turok

forecepts

Foreceps.

This is why I hate overuse of forceps – things tear. There are only two kinds of doctors who have never perforated a uterus, those that lie and those who don’t do abortions. Anonymous Abortionist

I got to where I couldn’t stand to look at the little bodies anymore. -Dr. Beverly McMillan, former abortionist

I think in many ways I’ve been lucky to have been part of this. If I hadn’t gotten involved, I would have gone through life probably being perfectly satisfied to go to the medical society parties and it would have been very, very dull. I would have been bored silly. -Dr. Jane Hodgson, late abortionist

Sorrow, quite apart from the sense of shame, is exhibited in some way by virtually every woman for whom I performed an abortion, and that’s 20,000 as of 1995. The sorrow is revealed by the fact that most women cry at some point during the experience… The grieving process may last from several days to several years… Grief is sometimes delayed… The grief may lie sublimated and dormant for years. -Dr. Susan Poppema, abortionist

If I see a case…after twenty weeks, where it frankly is a child to me, I really agonize over it because the potential is so imminently there…On the other hand, I have another position, which I think is superior in the hierarchy of questions, and that is “who owns this child?” It’s got to be the mother. -Dr. James MacMahon, abortionist

We know that it’s killing, but the state permits killing under certain circumstances. -Dr. Neville Sender, abortionist


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: abortion; abortionists; medicine; prolife
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To: exDemMom

“Every method I mentioned prevents pregnancy.”

No, they do not. One of the functions of the pill is to harden the endometrium so that the embryo cannot implant into the wall of the uterus.

“I think there is a *huge* difference”

If you were to take that same embryo and implant her in another woman, she, would grow and develop just like any of us. This is how IVF works. They take that exact same embryo that you are aborting and implant her into the mother.

This is why the pill is an abortifacient.

“consisting of a few formless cells”

If this were so, we couldn’t confirm parentage. These ‘few formless cells’ have a genetic code distinct from the parents such that we could tell who the parents are just from the genetic code.


51 posted on 01/08/2013 1:48:38 PM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: JCBreckenridge
If you were to take that same embryo and implant her in another woman, she, would grow and develop just like any of us. This is how IVF works. They take that exact same embryo that you are aborting and implant her into the mother.

Actually... probably not. Most zygotes fail to implant. Of those that implant, about a third fail to grow and end up miscarrying. I've seen estimates where only about 10-25% of fertilized ova are actually capable of resulting in a newborn baby. With IVF, several blastocysts are placed into the uterus, with the hope that one will result in a pregnancy.

“consisting of a few formless cells”

If this were so, we couldn’t confirm parentage. These ‘few formless cells’ have a genetic code distinct from the parents such that we could tell who the parents are just from the genetic code.

I chose to use the word "formless" because it conveyed the idea I was trying to convey better than any other non-medical word. I couldn't call them "undifferentiated" because they actually have differentiated into the cells that will become the placenta and those that become the embryo by the time they implant. But they have not formed any structures, and any of those cells can become anything at that point.

Since I happen to have a life sciences Ph.D., I think I'm very aware of the nature of the pre-implantation blastocyst. True, it has a full individual complement of DNA. But cells scraped from my cheek would also have a full individual complement of DNA. It seems that every time I have blood drawn for a test, millions of cells, each with a full individual complement of DNA, perish. That's far more cells than that blastocyst contains. This is why I place more importance on the physical structures those cells form than I do on their DNA content. A blastocyst has no organs or nervous system. It is not aware, nor can it feel. Fast forward a few weeks--say, to the time when a woman might be suspecting pregnancy--and the physical characteristics of that blastocyst are completely different. It has all of the limbs and organs it will ever have. Its nervous system is rapidly developing, and even though it can't move yet, it probably feels. It is undeniably a distinct human being at that point (at 4-6 weeks after implantation).

52 posted on 01/08/2013 6:36:12 PM PST by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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Comment #53 Removed by Moderator

To: Tzar
The point that other posters are making, if I may paraphrase, is that the legal and philosophical arguments which legitimize contraception form the foundation for pro-abortion arguments. Roe was based on earlier court decisions which overturned the Comstock laws for married couples and then later, by virtue of our beloved equal protection clause, unmarried couples. The majority in Roe reasoned that abortion was a necessary failsafe for contraception. Similarly the Anglican Church started off by supporting contraception only for married couples who demonstrated a dire need and in in successive Lambeth Conferences wound up supporting abortion.

As much as I try to understand the viewpoint against contraception, it is not something that makes any kind of logical sense. Legalistic and philosophical arguments are divorced from logic and reality; they can basically say anything anyone wants them to say. If one can use the idea that a fertilized ovum=embryo=fetus as a justification for abortion, then what's to prevent you from expanding that to =newborn=toddler=pre-teen=adolescent... and so on?

But by considering actual physical characteristics--not legalistic or philosophical mumbo-jumbo--and using objective scientific measures to determine whether the "products of conception" are capable of being aware and feeling, then there is a clear rationale for restricting abortion while supporting contraceptive use. From a purely logical standpoint, one *must* support contraception if one is genuinely pro-life, because 1) women who conscientiously use contraceptives rarely get pregnant, and 2) the vast majority of abortions are committed because the abortion client didn't bother with contraceptives. If you don't believe part 2), then I suggest reading the accounts of abortion clients, or talking to them. They often describe the circumstances of getting pregnant, and sometimes offer excuses to rationalize terminating the baby, but a glaring and very telling omission from those accounts is a mention of any attempt to avoid pregnancy. In many of those accounts, they don't even offer excuses for killing the baby; clearly, abortion is their primary choice for birth control--they don't consider it a "back-up" method at all.

As I said previously in this thread, I fully understand the abortion industry's discouragement of contraceptive use. Those people have no empathy, no conscience, and are driven by pure greed. But so-called pro-lifers who discourage contraceptive use make no sense.

54 posted on 01/09/2013 3:55:49 AM PST by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom

“Since I happen to have a life sciences Ph.D.,”

“fertilized ova”

Which is the zygote. Egg and sperm cease to exist at fertilization.

“Most zygotes fail to implant”

No zygotes implant. Not a single one. Embryos implant. Embryos are frozen from IVF and kept on storage for later.

If you’ve got a life science PHd then you should be using the correct terminology.

“I chose to use the word “formless” because it conveyed the idea I was trying to convey”

Hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? No. Which is the problem. The idea that you are trying to convey is wrong. There is a continuity of existence from the zygote all the way to the newborn. This is why we can sue men for child support. We are relying on this basic assumption that the child conceived in the womb, is the same child outside of the womb.

“But cells scraped from my cheek would also have a full individual complement of DNA.”

But that’s not what I said. I said the zygote has an individual distinct complement of DNA - DNA distinct from the father and mother. If they did not - then IVF would not work. Do the cells on your cheek have a distinct complement of DNA? No. But the zygote does. The same set of DNA as the embryo, as the fetus, and as the newborn. The exact same.

“This is why I place more importance on the physical structures”

And it’s also why you are wrong. There is continuity of existence. There has to be because otherwise it makes no sense to call anyone a father because they aren’t fathering anything. Unless of course you believe that fatherhood is simply whomever the mother chooses.

“It is not aware, nor can it feel.”

So why are these things important? Is someone who is comatose - are they aware? Does that change who they are as a person? Someone under anaesthetia? No. And the same applies here. Just because at this stage of development people are not aware, doesn’t change the fact that they will become aware, and that they possess the capacity to become aware. A bucket is a bucket even if it’s not full.

“It is undeniably a distinct human being at that point (at 4-6 weeks after implantation).”

In which exactly nothing has changed- all this capacity was there before. It’s the same person - then as now.


55 posted on 01/09/2013 6:07:26 AM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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Comment #56 Removed by Moderator

To: JCBreckenridge
No zygotes implant. Not a single one. Embryos implant. Embryos are frozen from IVF and kept on storage for later.

If you’ve got a life science PHd then you should be using the correct terminology.

If you're going to get hung up on terminology, then perhaps I should point out that those of us in the life sciences are fairly flexible about terminology. Specific words are not important, as long as we use them the way we define them. I think it's pretty clear what I mean when I use the term "fertilized ovum" (which is perfectly correct) as opposed to zygote or blastocyst. Also, the word "embryo" is fairly non-specific; it is applicable at any time until birth.

Hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? No. Which is the problem. The idea that you are trying to convey is wrong. There is a continuity of existence from the zygote all the way to the newborn. This is why we can sue men for child support. We are relying on this basic assumption that the child conceived in the womb, is the same child outside of the womb.

No offense, but your understanding of biology is quite basic. As I said, I have a very good understanding of reproduction--it was necessary information for my PhD research. It's almost a no-brainer that the child has both father's and mother's DNA; I am not sure what your point is in bringing it up. Nor why you feel it necessary to point out that the child in the womb is the same child outside of the womb after birth.

The idea that I am trying to convey may not be all that apparent to someone without my training. Embryonic/fetal development is a process, starting with the formless, undifferentiated fertilized ovum, which, over a period of time, gains in complexity and function, until it reaches its full development at about 25 years of age. At the very beginning of that process, right after fertilization, there is little chance that that particular product of conception has the ability to grow into a fully mature human being. Not counting abortion, fewer than 25%--possibly as few as 10%--of fertilized ova will ever make it to birth. I honestly can't get worked up about something that isn't even likely to develop into a baby.

Now I will try to convey my major point again. A blastocyst contains two kinds of cells--those that will form the placenta, and those that will form the embryo. Beyond that, those cells are completely undifferentiated. That is, they do not form any kind of limbs or organs. That blastocyst has no awareness. It really is just a clump of cells, similar to cells that might be removed during a biopsy or a blood draw. As far as I know, no one is particular concerned about the cells in biopsy samples, either--even though they, too, have a full set of human DNA and could even be manipulated to form an embryo. In order for that embryo to gain awareness, it must start to develop a nervous system. That happens at around 3 weeks after fertilization. At that point, it is no longer an unaware mass of cells. It has awareness, it can sense its surroundings. Probably in a very rudimentary manner at first, but awareness increases over time. When it is aware, it is completely immoral to take its life.

As for my own personal view, I consider implantation the point at where life should be protected. Where a fertilized ovum has little chance of survival, an implanted embryo has about a 2/3 chance of surviving.

About continuity: notice that I never mention the "beginning" of life. There is no such thing. Sperms are alive, ova are alive, and when they fuse, the fertilized ova are alive.

So why are these things important? Is someone who is comatose - are they aware? Does that change who they are as a person? Someone under anaesthetia? No. And the same applies here. Just because at this stage of development people are not aware, doesn’t change the fact that they will become aware, and that they possess the capacity to become aware. A bucket is a bucket even if it’s not full.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly certain that someone who is comatose or anaesthetized still has a functioning nervous system. They sense their surroundings even if they don't remember it when they wake up. Since an early embryo has no nervous system, there is no place for awareness to be. It is as aware as the human cells that I grow in lab for experiments (which is to say, not at all aware). I guess, in your world, I'm a murderer several billion times over for all of the human cells I've killed. They also had unique DNA...

57 posted on 01/09/2013 6:24:52 PM PST by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: Tzar
The Dutch support infanticide and elder-killing. I expect the same to occur within a few decades in the USA. The early contraception movement was simultaneously a eugenics movement. Read Sanger’s Pivot of Civilization if you doubt that point. The Eugenic worldview on one hand mankes perfect sense and the Catholic, previously pan-Christian, world view on the other hand also makes perfect sense. It is the muddle minded middle which makes no sense. Society existed for millennia with minimal abortion and contraception. Abortion use skyrocketed only after contraceptive skyrocketed for the precise reason that the Supreme Court stated in Roe. Abortion is a necessary failsafe for contraception. Once you get into your notion that pregnancy should be planned and that sex should be spontaneous and promiscuous it is only a matter of time before the butchering begins.

Contraception isn't killing. Nor is abortion a "necessary failsafe" for contraception. Although genuine contraceptive failure is fairly rare, a woman does have options other than abortion. Your attempt to philosophically equate the prevention of life with destroying life makes absolutely no sense to my logical mind.

Do you really think a woman having a physical relationship with her husband is promiscuous? Do you really believe that married couples should not have physical relationships unless they are specifically trying to conceive? Maybe you manage to achieve that in your marriage, but you must try to understand that a platonic marriage is not workable for most couples.

BTW, abortion use skyrocketed only after abortion was legalized. Contraception was around for a long time before that.

58 posted on 01/09/2013 6:35:27 PM PST by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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Comment #59 Removed by Moderator

To: exDemMom

“those of us in the life sciences are fairly flexible about terminology.”

Not true at all. Different stages of development are well-defined. Life sciences are very broad - the scientists that focus on human development and embryology have specific terms for specific stages. Just because you have a PhD, in say, Botany, doesn’t say anything about this particular discipline. We’d be best to talk about development in the womb with embryologist.

“Specific words are not important, as long as we use them the way we define them.”

Yes, words are important, because words have specific scientific definitions attached to them. This is like saying to a layperson that “it doesn’t matter whether it’s a class or a family”, when it’s very important to cladistics. The same thing here. Perhaps you believe it’s unimportant - but to the people who actually study this stuff, it is important.

“I think it’s pretty clear what I mean when I use the term “fertilized ovum” (which is perfectly correct)”

It is incorrect, because sperm and egg cease to exist at fertilization. There is no ovum anymore. There is a zygote and this is a very important point to understand. Not getting this point leads to other errors, which you’ve already demonstrated.

“Also, the word “embryo” is fairly non-specific; it is applicable at any time until birth.”

Also untrue. I suggest you consult a textbook on Embryology.

“It’s almost a no-brainer that the child has both father’s and mother’s DNA”

The important part is that the child existence begins when these combine - at fertilization.

“The idea that I am trying to convey may not be all that apparent to someone without my training.”

We’ve already established that your familiarity with this topic is equivalent to laypeople.

“Embryonic/fetal development is a process, starting with the formless, undifferentiated fertilized ovum”

Again, a fertilized ovum does not exist. When fertilized, sperm and egg combine to form the zygote, a single cell with a distinct genetic code formed from the combination of sperm and egg.

“At the very beginning of that process, right after fertilization, there is little chance that that particular product of conception”

Product of conception? This is a child. You’ve already stated that the child’s existence begins at fertilization.

“I honestly can’t get worked up about something that isn’t even likely to develop into a baby.”

She is already a child and a baby at fertilization onwards. This is the bright line and where development begins. She does not become a baby, she already is a baby. Every single child begins their life at this stage of their development - you were a zygote, you were an embryo.

“That blastocyst has no awareness.”

And? Your point being? The blastocyst has the same genetic code as the subsequent embryo, does it not? As the subsequent fetus and the subsequent infant. Same genetic code, same person.

“It really is just a clump of cells”

It? When do children acquire their sex?

“As far as I know, no one is particular concerned about the cells in biopsy samples”

Simple cell biology would demonstrate to you why these things are not the same. The DNA of the blastocyst is not the same as the DNA of the cells taken from you in a biopsy. The cells in the biopsy are your cells. The cells of he blastocyst, the cells of the child - not the mother and the father. We can identify this through genetic testing.

If in fact, this were the case that these cells were the same - sexual reproduction would not work.

“have a full set of human DNA and could even be manipulated to form an embryo.”

Umm, no, they cannot. You are gravely mistaken.

“When it is aware, it is completely immoral to take its life.”

So if I knock someone out it’s ok for me to kill them afterwards because they are no longer aware?

“I consider implantation the point at where life should be protected.”

The problem is that genetically, nothing changes at implantation. Implantation is simply a change in place, not a change in the substance of the embryo. The embryo remains the same in substance prior to implantation and subsequent to implantation. It’s the same embryo.

This is why IVF works - you can ensure that the embryo is fertilized by the father and the mother, and that this same embryo implanted into the mother is the same child that is born of the mother later on.

“There is no such thing. Sperms are alive, ova are alive, and when they fuse, the fertilized ova are alive.”

Yes, but the life of an individual person begins at fertilization - because at fertilization you have a distinct genetic code, distinct from either the mother or the father. Every person alive today, had their life begin here.

“still has a functioning nervous system.”

So you’ve shifted goal posts now.

“Since an early embryo has no nervous system, there is no place for awareness to be”

That doesn’t change the fact that left by herself, the embryo will develop a nervous system in due course.

“I guess, in your world, I’m a murderer several billion times over for all of the human cells I’ve killed. They also had unique DNA.”

Depends on what you do for a living. I’m sure you’re well aware that these are the same human beings, which is why you’ve rationalized by saying that implantation is the crucial point - because it allows you to do things like PIGD to select away defective embryos.


60 posted on 01/09/2013 8:37:39 PM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: exDemMom

“Your attempt to philosophically equate the prevention of life with destroying life makes absolutely no sense to my logical mind.”

Did you not just say that “we don’t know when life begins?”

Absolutely the pill is an abortificiant, that ends the life of small children because it prevents embryos from implanting into the endometrium.

“Maybe you manage to achieve that in your marriage, but you must try to understand that a platonic marriage is not workable for most couples.”

This is a category error. You are assuming that one cannot maintain a marital relationship sans contraception.

“BTW, abortion use skyrocketed only after abortion was legalized. Contraception was around for a long time before that.”

His (and my) thesis is that contraception use drove abortion demand, which is what history shows - legalized abortion came after a delay of a generation after contraception became licit at Lambeth.


61 posted on 01/09/2013 8:44:43 PM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: Tzar
True contraception doesn’t involve killing but abortifacients, which are often falsely described as contraceptives, do. In any case, I never said that contraceptives kill. I only stated that they lead to a worldview which necessitates abortion. Abortion is absolutely a necessary failsafe for contraception.

A woman who uses contraceptives does not end up being rabidly pro-abortion. There are plenty of pro-life women here on FR and elsewhere who have nothing but contempt for those who use abortion, and criticize them for not using contraception. Logically, if you're pro-life, then you want women to use contraceptives. The rate of contraceptive failure is low enough that it does not excuse the practice of abortion. Furthermore, there is reason to think that a woman who is pro-life who does not want children is going to seek the most reliable contraceptive possible and use it as correctly as possible. That's because she has a strong motive to not get pregnant. And if she's the 1% for whom the contraceptive fails, she won't suddenly become pro-abortion.

Your logical mind needn’t understand my post. You only need to understand Roe v. Wade and the Lambeth conferences, both of which occurred without any imput from me. Seven of nine Supreme Court justices as well as hundreds of Anglican bishops agreed that pro-abortion policies are firmly grounded in pro-contraceptive policies. Feel free to disregard my beliefs but think twice before summarily dismissing the wisdom of these men.

Roe vs. Wade was about using the fiction that women were dropping like flies from "back-alley" abortions to justify legalizing it. It had nothing to do with Anglican bishops. It had nothing to do with contraceptives being legal. There was a lot of gibberish about it being about women's rights, and a lot of other trash. The pro-abortion viewpoint has little, if anything, to do with contraceptives. Abortion mills don't profit from women using contraceptives; they profit from as many women as possible getting pregnant with children they have no intention of bearing alive.

Natural family planning has been shown to be as effective as artificial contraception. And no, I do not feel motivated enough to find a link to the study so if you are interested you will have to search for it yourself. Contraception is primarily about enabling extra-marital, including so called pre-marital, sex and secondarily about controlling family sizes of married couples. The later function is so that we can all have precisely 2.1 children and thus have more time to store up earthly treasures and be good little workers for the benefit of our social betters.

From what I can tell in PubMed, "natural family planning" methods have a fairly high failure rate, and are not suitable for all women. I wouldn't have been able to use such a method even if I'd had a philosophical reason to do so (which I didn't). In the real world, very few couples choose to use that method, less than 5% (according to some abstracts in PubMed). I've also read about and even met women who won't use contraceptives because of religious reasons, but abort every time they get pregnant.

There are very valid reasons to limit one's family size. Before the modern era of good medical care, people used to have large families in the hopes of ensuring that at least one child would survive to carry on the family. These days, there is a reasonably high chance that children will survive to adulthood. Not everyone can afford a large family. It is valid to wonder if there are resources to continue to sustain everyone if the population keeps growing. There are three times as many people now as there were when I was a child; while we're still able to produce enough food, there really will come a time when, even if we were to convert all wild areas to agriculture, we won't be able to keep up if population growth is unrestrained. While replacement rates are lower than the 2.1 children needed to maintain the population, that could be a natural response to the size of the current world population.

One last remark: there are enough couples that cannot naturally have children that no child who results from contraceptive failure would ever be homeless. In fact, I think that it is the lack of children for those couples to adopt that led to practices such as IVF. I think IVF is extremely unwise, and will cause an overall decline in human health (there are indications we're already seeing that effect, and IVF has only been used for a generation). Stigmatize abortion, improve adoption laws, improve education/resources for young pregnant women--there is no reason for elective abortion to remain legal.

62 posted on 01/12/2013 2:14:28 PM PST by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom

You might find this book and information interesting given your concern and comments about resource depletion and popultation. Otherwise, you’re spot on in your comments.

http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Resource-Julian-L-Simon/dp/0691003696/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358040647&sr=1-4 The book is a bit a pricey.

http://www.juliansimon.com/writings/Ultimate_Resource/ this covers the same material and wiki is very good too:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ultimate_Resource

It’s an interesting counter-argument to the linear thinking that population will outstrip resources. So far Malthus has been wrong.


64 posted on 01/12/2013 5:45:27 PM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: Tzar
You keep saying that an anti-abortion person must be pro-contraception in order to be "logical". Martin Luther was a pretty logical guy. So were most of the popes from Peter to Benedict II.

I'm pretty sure abortion as a legally sanctioned alternative to contraceptives did not exist during the time of Martin Luther. And I'm going to leave the popes out of this, because the Catholic Church has always pushed this bizarre belief that it is somehow violates the will of God to use contraceptives. This is the belief that I have never understood, and I doubt anyone will ever be able to explain it in a way that it makes logical sense.

The logical part is this: contraceptives prevent pregnancy. A child cannot be killed if it never exists in the first place. Insisting that women not use contraceptives is equivalent to insisting that women constantly get pregnant. And women who constantly get pregnant are either having a lot of abortions, or a lot of babies.

Women do on average become more pro-abortion when they have so called unplanned pregnancies. Polling has shown that a so called unexpected pregnancy often switches antiabortion people into pro-abortion ones, at least for their own case.

Really? Is your opinion of women's intelligence and morality that low? Do you seriously believe that a woman who never would kill a baby suddenly finds baby-killing okay if she has an "unexpected" pregnancy? That we have no firm sense of morals? How utterly insulting and condescending.

Planned Parenthood has profited because it has encouraged people to have sex when they lack the means or will to raise a child. More contraception means more sex out of wedlock which means more unwanted children which means more abortions. Until someone invents a 100% effective 100% idiot proof form of contraception, contraception will create a market need for abortion

Planned Parenthood does everything it can to discourage the use of contraceptives. On the surface, it might look like they're selling contraceptives, but the clear message they give in the sales pitch is that contraceptives are horribly dangerous and don't work. Somewhere in an earlier post in this thread I described the sales pitch that was presented in my high school biology class, a sales pitch which is probably almost identical today. In fact, their message about contraceptives is almost identical to yours; the only difference is that you claim to be pro-life, but PP is openly pro-death.

The abstracts I saw on PubMed said NFP works well. Of course, there were six pages of hits. Maybe there is a doctor out there who can inform us on this subject but it appears to be as successful as artificial contraception.

Using the term "natural family planning efficacy", I found 116 pages of results spanning the years 1974 to 2013. That is a *very* low number of results. And a large proportion of those articles were not about "natural family planning" at all; they cover a range of related topics. Very few articles claim a high success rate with "natural family planning" methods. BTW, I guess you missed the fact that I *am* a doctor and know how to read and interpret medical articles?

Just about everyone could afford a large family if it were a priority. We live in the richest nation which ever existed. People whose great grandfathers never left their hometowns drive to the airport in a new SUV and jet halfway across the world for vacation. Heck, even our ghettos are lined with new model vehicles. There are very few people who actually can't afford three or four children.

How on earth do you come up with that? Using welfare queens as proof of how everyone can afford large families if they want--seriously? Do you realize that most people have almost no money when they are young and able to have kids, but have enough money to take the fancy vacations only when they're beyond having kids?

65 posted on 01/13/2013 12:21:24 AM PST by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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Comment #66 Removed by Moderator

To: JCBreckenridge
“those of us in the life sciences are fairly flexible about terminology.”

Not true at all. Different stages of development are well-defined. Life sciences are very broad - the scientists that focus on human development and embryology have specific terms for specific stages. Just because you have a PhD, in say, Botany, doesn’t say anything about this particular discipline. We’d be best to talk about development in the womb with embryologist.

My PhD is in biochemistry and molecular biology, and I am a medical researcher. I know more about how the body functions than most MDs. (I don't know how to fix what goes wrong, that's what MDs are trained for.) Because I have no intent of standing on a soapbox and talking down to people, I try to avoid using the scientific jargon that would cause most people to just tune out completely. When I am trying to communicate with people who clearly do not have a scientific background, I try to make myself understandable by using $1 words instead of $20 words. Plus, I have been working in medical research for long enough that I am *very* familiar with the flexibility of terminology. The major challenge in terminology (when you're actually a medical professional) is recognizing when two different people are talking about the same thing and using two different vocabulary sets.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that I don't know what I'm talking about just because I'm not peppering my posts with things like descriptions of how spermatocyte acrosomal process fusion with the oocyte's zona pellucida initiates the acrosome reaction, which eventually leads to endocytosis of the paternal DNA into the oocyte nucleus.

Yes, words are important, because words have specific scientific definitions attached to them. This is like saying to a layperson that “it doesn’t matter whether it’s a class or a family”, when it’s very important to cladistics. The same thing here. Perhaps you believe it’s unimportant - but to the people who actually study this stuff, it is important.

See above. The specific words are *not* important. The important part is to clearly define the words and to use them consistently. If I call a specific protein "ARNT" and someone else calls it "HIF-1 beta", we're talking about the same thing. Part of being one of the people who actually studies this stuff means not only understanding the flexibility of the terminology, but understanding what someone else is talking about when they're using an alternate terminology.

It is incorrect, because sperm and egg cease to exist at fertilization. There is no ovum anymore. There is a zygote and this is a very important point to understand. Not getting this point leads to other errors, which you’ve already demonstrated.

I haven't made any errors yet. I see that I am not making my points clearly enough, but that is a different issue. In the fertilized ovum, all of the material that was in the unfertilized ovum is still there, with the addition of material that came from the sperm.

Also untrue. I suggest you consult a textbook on Embryology.

I suggest you consult a dictionary, or become more familiar with the field.

We’ve already established that your familiarity with this topic is equivalent to laypeople.

What we've established is that you dislike a purely objective scientific description, and that you do not have an understanding of biology. You have a rather mystical view of early embryogenesis, which will not be shaken no matter how many facts are presented.

She is already a child and a baby at fertilization onwards. This is the bright line and where development begins. She does not become a baby, she already is a baby. Every single child begins their life at this stage of their development - you were a zygote, you were an embryo.

Shall I go over this again, even though it is clear that you do not want to understand?

Most fertilized ova do not survive until implantation.
Many fertilized ova that implant die soon after.
The chance that a fertilized ovum will continue to survive and develop to birth is estimated to be between 10 and 25%.
A fertilized ovum does not have the higher order structure necessary to possess qualities we associate with human life. Feeling and awareness are functions of nervous tissue, which the embryo won't have until it is about 3 weeks old. Therefore, I see no need to get upset about the use of IUDs, which prevent implantation of unfeeling, unaware clumps of less than 200 cells.

And? Your point being? The blastocyst has the same genetic code as the subsequent embryo, does it not? As the subsequent fetus and the subsequent infant. Same genetic code, same person.

Ah, the mystical view of DNA. Whenever you have blood drawn, millions of blood cells with your genetic code are removed from your body and eventually are killed. Does their DNA make them people? If you were to subject some of those blood cells to the proper mix of growth factors in the proper sequence, they could develop into embryos. Does that make killing them wrong? Since I see from your post that you do not believe that somatic cells can develop into embryos, may I suggest you learn about Dolly the sheep? She was cloned from somatic cells. Many other animals have been cloned as well.

So if I knock someone out it’s ok for me to kill them afterwards because they are no longer aware?

Does their nervous system cease to exist just because you knock them out? Try to understand: an embryo up until the age of 3 weeks does not have a nervous system. The higher order structure necessary for any kind of awareness does not exist. This really is not a difficult concept.

Yes, but the life of an individual person begins at fertilization - because at fertilization you have a distinct genetic code, distinct from either the mother or the father. Every person alive today, had their life begin here.

Not really. Half of your DNA is identical to your mother's, and half to your father's. Except for the couple of hundred mutations that arise in the germ cells, your DNA is not at all distinct from your parents'. In any case, distinctness of DNA doe not have the significance than you seem to give it. While human DNA is necessary for us to be human, it does not make us human. Only higher order structure does that. Fertilized ova that die within a couple of weeks or become tumors might have distinct DNA, but they will never be human beings.

The same can be said for all of the millions (maybe billions) of cells that I have grown in the lab. Their genetic material is probably not the same as that of the original tissue donor, especially after I insert genes into them. They live separately from the original donors. They continue to exist independently of the donor--in some cases (e.g. Hela cells), the donor died decades ago but the cells are still alive. Although these living human cells have unique DNA, I do not consider them human beings whose lives need to be preserved--and no scientist does. What if I were to take two sets of cells, from two donors, and artificially fuse them, so that they have DNA from two people--just like fertilized ova? I'll say that they *still* won't become human beings. Because being human is a function of higher order structure, not DNA.

Did you not just say that “we don’t know when life begins?”

No, I did not say that. We (scientists) know that life began about 3.6 billion years ago, and it has been a continuous process ever since. Fertilization is a biological process within the continuum of life which causes a transition from a haploid genome to a diploid genome, but life processes do not initiate because of it.

67 posted on 01/13/2013 3:48:25 PM PST by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom

“My PhD is in biochemistry and molecular biology”

Which means you are great at organic chem. Wonderful field, not helpful for this particular topic.

“I know more about how the body functions than most MDs.”

Drilling down - yes, you have a better understanding of the mechanics, and why things work the way they do. The structures we are talking about here are a whole layer above the ones you work with.

“I try to avoid using the scientific jargon”

And by doing so, this exposes you to error. That’s why the jargon exists in the first place. I understand the point you are making here. However, we’re specifically discussing the jargon, which is why it’s helpful to use the correct jargon.

“I am *very* familiar”

I am sure you are familiar with your terminology and what you encounter on a daily basis. However - this is not your field.

“is recognizing when two different people are talking about the same thing and using two different vocabulary sets.”

The problem is that you’re not talking about the exact same thing. You are making assumptions as to what that thing is and selecting jargon that reinforces these perceptions and assumptions.

These assumptions are at the core of our argument here. Is the unborn child a person? You say no - so your jargon reflects what you believe, even though the scientific evidence demonstrates otherwise.

This is the point that I’m trying to drive home here. The correct terms are the ones used by embryologists. This is their field, and not yours.

“I don’t know what I’m talking about”

Hardly. You know *exactly* what you are doing here.

“I’m not peppering my posts with things like descriptions of how spermatocyte acrosomal process fusion with the oocyte’s zona pellucida initiates the acrosome reaction, which eventually leads to endocytosis of the paternal DNA into the oocyte nucleus.”

Which, in simpler terms, describes exactly why the ovum ceases to exist at fertilization.

“The specific words are *not* important.”

Absolutely the specific words are extremely important.

Is, fr’nstance, methanol the same thing as ethanol? Would it matter to someone if you picked up a bottle and drank one that had been switched?

“Part of being one of the people who actually studies this stuff means not only understanding the flexibility of the terminology, but understanding what someone else is talking about when they’re using an alternate terminology.”

The problem is that there exists a correct terminology, and getting the terminology wrong, you end up making mistakes.

“I haven’t made any errors yet.”

Yes you have. You’ve consistantly denied continuity of the person from fertilization on - which is consistant with your terminology. This is an example of how bad terminology leads to bad theory.

“In the fertilized ovum, all of the material that was in the unfertilized ovum is still there, with the addition of material that came from the sperm.”

This is a category problem. The ovum is, by definition, no longer in existence after fertilization. Could you extract the ovum out of a zygote? Bad terminology = bad theory.

“a purely objective scientific description”

It’s not purely objective, because your description contains error. You are asserting that the ovum’s existence continues after fertilization, which is not true.

“you do not have an understanding of biology.”

Do you deny that the genetic code of the zygote is distinct from the code of the sperm and ovum?

“Most fertilized ova do not survive until implantation.”

And how is that relevant to the question of what an embryo is? Also, again, you are using the incorrect term.

“A fertilized ovum does not have the higher order structure necessary to possess qualities we associate with human life.”

Who is we? Is this an opinion? An opinion is not empirical, and neither is this argument. Is there a specific date which can be established with measurable consensus? No. You have an opinion, and that is all.

What is empirical, is that the same genetic code ties everything together. Zygote to embryo to fetus to infant to toddler. We can prove this quite easily, in fact, I have already argued why this is the case. IVF requires this assumption to be true in order to operate successfully - the embryo conceived in a petri dish has to be the same child that is eventually born.

When does this specific genetic code arise? At fertilization. No sooner, no later. Is there scientific consensus on this topic? Absolutely.

This is why my argument is empirical, and yours is not.

“Ah, the mystical view of DNA. Whenever you have blood drawn, millions of blood cells with your genetic code are removed from your body and eventually are killed.”

Again, this is the same category error. Three things exist.

Your DNA
Your child’s DNA
Your blood sample.

One of these things is not like the other. Which one?

“Since I see from your post that you do not believe that somatic cells can develop into embryos, may I suggest you learn about Dolly the sheep? She was cloned from somatic cells. Many other animals have been cloned as well.”

She was not cloned solely from skin scrapings from other sheep. If you are a molecular biologist, you should know this. No, Dolly required viable sheep ovum in order to be successfully cloned.

“This really is not a difficult concept.”

Neither is the fact that the DNA of your child is distinct from the DNA samples taken from your blood. Again, this is basic scientific knowledge.

“Not really. Half of your DNA is identical to your mother’s, and half to your father’s.”

Yes, and this is very simple equation. AB + CD -> BC.

BC != AB BC != CD. But C = C and B = B, so we can confirm that AB + CD = BC.

“your DNA is not at all distinct from your parents’.”

Absolutely my DNA is distinct from my father. My DNA is distinct from my mother. Ergo, my DNA is not identical to either my mother or father. Again - this is basic science.

“While human DNA is necessary for us to be human”

So when do we possess human DNA that is distinctly ours? At fertilization. Not before, and not after.

“Only higher order structure does that.”

According to whom? You? Again - this is hardly an empirical standard, and is simply opinion. What qualifies as ‘higher order’. If two people disagree on what constitutes ‘higher order’, does that mean that the person who believes that someone lacks ‘higher order structure’ is correct? Does it mean that that same person can kill another person based solely on their belief that they lack ‘higher order structure?

“but they will never be human beings.”

They already are. I’m not shocked to see you compare an unborn child to a tumor. I’ve been waiting for that rhetoric to come out. No, the two are not the same. Far from it.

“the donor died decades ago but the cells are still alive.”

What if I told you that the donor was not dead?

“Although these living human cells have unique DNA, I do not consider them human beings”

Again, this is merely opinion. I understand why you believe what you do. In fact, I would argue that your position is absolutely essential in order to do what you do. However, your position is wrong. These are human beings, and they are persons.

“What if I were to take two sets of cells, from two donors, and artificially fuse them”

If you were to take sperm from one person and an egg from another person - you would create a third person. Their child.

“Fertilization is a biological process within the continuum of life which causes a transition from a haploid genome to a diploid genome, but life processes do not initiate because of it.”

The life of all individual human persons begins here.


68 posted on 01/13/2013 6:14:55 PM PST by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: Tzar

I will be honest, the more you go on, the more your position sounds like the pro-abortion position.

I’ve never seen a woman have an abortion because of contraceptive failure. Yet there you are, advocating the idea that abortion is a back-up for contraceptive failure just as avidly as anyone who has a financial stake in committing as many abortions as possible, or who has emotional reasons for rabidly advocating abortion. You strongly advocate using a method with a known high failure rate and discourage using more reliable methods—pretty much like I would expect from someone who has a strong financial or emotional interest in the matter.

I’ve also never seen a woman who had a true unexpected pregnancy have an abortion. I seriously question the existence of a poll that supports the idea that women who are pro-life suddenly become okay with murder when they have an unexpected pregnancy. I have seen that claim before, but it didn’t come from any fictional poll. It’s a meme frequently repeated on pro-abortion forums by pro-aborts trying to convince themselves that pro-life women don’t *really* have principles. Portraying pro-life women as hypocrites who are even quicker to have abortions than those who are openly pro-abortion serves another purpose, as well: it helps to spread the fiction that a majority of women have abortions.

Of course Planned Parenthood has a strong financial stake in discouraging the use of contraceptives. Yes, they do it in such a way that it superficially appears they are promoting their use. Saying one thing and doing another is such a basic characteristic of leftists that it’s rather puzzling that you would question the concept.

Although I’ve brought up, over and over, that killing a living child is infinitely different than preventing its existence, I haven’t seen you really address that issue. Instead, you keep equating the two—again, a position I expect from someone who is pro-abortion. Because the last thing a pro-abort wants is to admit that the unborn baby actually is a living, breathing human being with rights of his/her own. Instead, you keep bringing up vague references to bishops conferences, which looks a lot like you’re trying to portray the pro-life position as merely a religious position—which is exactly the tactic pro-aborts use to try to discredit the pro-life position.

I suspect you are, in the current terminology of the internet, a troll.

If you really are pro-life, then maybe it’s time for you to do some deep soul-searching and ask yourself why your supposed pro-life position sounds so much like a mixture of pro-abortion caricatures of pro-lifers, and outright pro-abortion propaganda.

Otherwise... well, it won’t be the first time I’ve run across someone trying to pretend to be pro-life, who really isn’t.


69 posted on 01/13/2013 7:19:56 PM PST by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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Comment #70 Removed by Moderator

To: JCBreckenridge
“My PhD is in biochemistry and molecular biology”

Which means you are great at organic chem. Wonderful field, not helpful for this particular topic.

No, that has no bearing at all on my proficiency in O-chem, which I took back in the 1980s. What it means is that I understand everything about the life functions/processes of living (and even non-living (i.e. viruses)) organisms. The "molecular biology" part of my education covers all aspects of DNA structure and function; the "biochemistry" part of my degree covers the structure and function of everything else, starting at the level of individual proteins or lipids in the cell and going all the way up to how those cells behave within the context of a multicellular organism. That means that there isn't a physiological process in the body that I do not understand.

“I know more about how the body functions than most MDs.”

Drilling down - yes, you have a better understanding of the mechanics, and why things work the way they do. The structures we are talking about here are a whole layer above the ones you work with.

My statement is completely true. As I said above, biochemistry/molecular biology is an extremely comprehensive subject, which covers the how/why of life processes in far more depth than the average MD studies during his/her training. MDs study symptoms and learn how to treat and diagnose. I know the physiological reasons for those symptoms (and actually have a fair idea of the diagnosis), but I won't try to treat them. The structures we are talking of are not "a whole layer above the ones you work with", as you put it. Those structures are the context for everything I know.

“I try to avoid using the scientific jargon”

And by doing so, this exposes you to error. That’s why the jargon exists in the first place. I understand the point you are making here. However, we’re specifically discussing the jargon, which is why it’s helpful to use the correct jargon.

Although I sense that you're trying to "trip me up" by fixating on the fact that I choose not to use the technical jargon, I can assure you that I am neither oversimplifying nor using words incorrectly. I take care to choose words that best convey the idea that I am trying to communicate, or else I explain what I mean when I use certain words. It should be clear even to a layperson that I have been using the term "fertilized ova/ovum" in a more general fashion, and the word "blastocyst" when I am referring to a fertilized ovum at a very specific point in development, prior to implantation, when it has a specific structure.

“I am *very* familiar”

I am sure you are familiar with your terminology and what you encounter on a daily basis. However - this is not your field.

It *is* my field. As I said above, biochemistry/molecular is the study of life processes. It does not matter what life process you want to specify; it takes biochemists to figure out all of the fine details of what is going on and describe it. Without biochemistry, we actually would not have *any* scientific details about embryogenesis.

“is recognizing when two different people are talking about the same thing and using two different vocabulary sets.”

The problem is that you’re not talking about the exact same thing. You are making assumptions as to what that thing is and selecting jargon that reinforces these perceptions and assumptions.

The problem is that you're not a scientist, and you're making assumptions about how scientists should talk and behave. When I say that different people have different vocabularies to describe the exact same thing, I mean exactly that. I do not mean that I read something unfamiliar and assume that the author is talking about familiar things but using a different vocabulary; that doesn't happen. The main reason that people use different vocabularies to describe the same thing is that they each discovered the thing, named it, and published about it at the same time; they will always continue to use their own name for it in all subsequent publications. It's a real challenge when you want to discuss (for example) a particular protein, and there are four different names for it.

These assumptions are at the core of our argument here. Is the unborn child a person? You say no - so your jargon reflects what you believe, even though the scientific evidence demonstrates otherwise.

You will notice that I have never said being unborn means someone is not a person. What I have said, over and over, is that for a person to exist, it must be aware. Awareness resides in the nervous tissue. A fertilized ovum prior to implantation has no nervous tissue--there is no mechanism for it to be aware. This state of non-awareness continues until about three weeks after fertilization, when nervous tissue begins to form. Your own life experience should be enough to tell you that just because something is alive and human does not mean it is aware or that its life processes should be preserved/protected; by bringing up the example of tissues removed for biopsy, I was trying to drive that point home.

Let's not forget that this conversation started because you disagree with me about the use of contraceptives; you called some of them "abortifacients", as I recall, because they act to prevent implantation. I find it hard to be emotional about something that physically does not have the ability to know it is alive. OTOH, the routine murder of babies who are five weeks or older--who are aware and able to feel--is a horror that should not be allowed in a civilized society.

Although the rest of your post equally indicates a lack of familiarity with scientific concepts and/or terminology, I do not care to address it point by point at this time. I *may* take it up later... no promises.

71 posted on 01/15/2013 6:08:16 PM PST by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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