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John Simkin

Abortion and Nazi Germany

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From today's "Key West Citizen":

KEY WEST — Sarah Bleckley's parents cried as a guard led their daughter away in handcuffs Wednesday to begin a five-year prison sentence for leaving her newborn baby in the stairwell of a Key West hotel in May of 2003.

Bleckley, 25, pleaded no contest to manslaughter. Her sentence includes an additional 10 years of probation after her release.

Judge Mark Jones had to decide on a prison sentence between three and seven years, giving Bleckley credit for the 352 days she had already spent in the Monroe County Detention Center.

In 2003 Bleckley, then 23, gave birth to a baby girl in the Radisson hotel in Key West. She wrapped the infant in towels, placed her in a plastic bag and left the bundle in an outdoor stairwell. A hotel security guard later found the bag and began to deliver it to the garbage, but while separating the hotel's towels from what he thought was garbage, he found the dead newborn.

Kill a baby a day before it is due, no problem.

Kill a newborn baby, get five years.

Something is wrong with this picture!

Sending that lady to jail for five years is a disgrace. In the United Kingdom or Ireland she would probably not have spent a day in jail.

Edited by Gregory Carlin

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Andy:

Is anyone going to enforce the rules of this Forum?

Frankly I have to believe that posts such as Nic's just discredit the entire web-site among civilized intellectuals of whatever political persuasion.

It is also ironic coming from someone who emphasized in her posts alleged name-calling by anti-abortion demonstrators (a phenomenon I never encountered when I worked with them).

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Thank you, Mr. Gratz, for further proving my point that you have to attack me instead of actually bringing up stats & facts beyond what your bible says. I'm no longer interested in this conversation, as it's going nowhere.

Andy, I am genuinely sorry for the effect this has had on the forum, however you must admit that it is an insanely "hot button" topic that obviously a lot of people feel passionately about. It's difficult to restrain such strong feelings, ever.

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Nic, you call me an anus, I object, and you claim that I am attacking you?

It's both pathetic and funny at the same time.

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Andy, I am genuinely sorry for the effect this has had on the forum, however you must admit that it is an insanely "hot button" topic that obviously a lot of people feel passionately about. It's difficult to restrain such strong feelings, ever.

Thanks. I agree by the way that it is difficult to restrain strong feelings on this topic. I feel very strongly in favour of the woman’s right to choose and get very angry when confronted by blatant misogyny dressed up unconvincingly as "religion".

However it is important to engage on the issue rationally and calmly. Thus no matter how tempting or indeed apposite it appears to label Mr. Gratz "anus" we should restrain from doing so :D

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Andy wrote:

I feel very strongly in favour of the woman’s right to choose and get very angry when confronted by blatant misogyny dressed up unconvincingly as "religion".

Andy I am interested in this statement.

Please name several opponents of abortion whose opposition is, in your opinion, motivated by misogyny rather than a sincere belief that life in the womb is human life worthy of the protection that almost all civilizations since Sumeria have afforded to human life. (I do not mean to imply that all civilzations have opposed abortion but rather that almost all civilizations protect human life as such; the debate, of course, is whether life in the womb is indeed "human life" such that it is entitled to societal protection.)

Then would you please offer any evidence you have that the persons you name are misogynists.

Since presumably only God can read a person's mind (and I suspect you do not believe in God in any event) absent evidence I think it not appropriate to impugn a person's motives.

I suspect people would get upset if I compared the operators of abortion mills to the Nazi storm troopers who ran the Jewish death camps. I prefer to view proponents of abortion as people who sincerely believe that because the continuation of a pregnancy imposes significant costs on women (including a small chance of death) society ought not extend the traditional protection of life outside the womb (i.e. life after birth) to life inside the womb.

Perhaps your feelings would not be as strong if you accorded opponents of abortion the same courtesies you expect them to accord persons sharing your position.

Is it that difficult to understand that those from a different perspective or world view a person could easily view abortion as tantamount to murder, murder in which the victims are truly as helpless as could possibly be?

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Re Andy's post, it should be noted, of course, that opposition to abortion need not be grounded on religion.

Almost all civilizations (even those not in the Judaeo-Christian-Muslim monotheistic tradition) have recognized the sanctity of human life.

Modern science compels a conclusion that the organism inside the mother's womb is a separate and distinct living human being.

It would be easy, then, even for an atheist, to conclude that the protection of all human life is such a priority that it must take precedence over the claims of the mother to do what she wants with her body--since it is indeed not only her body but that of a separate person.

And some atheists do indeed oppose abortion. Dr. Bernard Nathanson grew opposed to abortion while he was still an atheist.

The choice is not misogyny versus religion, Andy. There is a critical, fundamental issue at stake here. Perhaps it is best characterized as a metaphysical issue.

Edited by Tim Gratz

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On reading his last posts Mr Gratz might appear to some to have had some conversion to the "sanctity of human life".

This would indeed be good news if it equated in reality to an opposition to war and imperialism or indeed the semblance of a commitment to social justice.

I fear however I have have misunderstood his motives.

It is clear that he desires to control women absolutely and/or perhaps he really does want to take us back to Medieval times ideologically.

Anyway I suspect that trying to debate rationally with young Tim on this or any other issue might be as productive as trying to open up to reason that other God-fearing, anti-gay, teetotal, anti- women, authoritarian traditionalist who believes that a women's place is in the home, that young people shouldn't cheek their elders and that all crime should be punished severely.... I speak of course of Osama Bin Laden :devil3

Ironic isn't it that the followers of Bush and the Islamist terrorist movement should have so much social policy in common?

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Guest John Gillespie
I think it is rather unfortunate that this thread has been allowed to degenerate into name calling and unpleasantness.

I would urge members to continue to make their points as firmly as they like but within the parameters of acceptable academic discourse.

Mr. Walker,

This is a courtesy copy to you of an email I have sent to Mr. Simkin:

"John,

I don't know to what extent you're able to read the various threads but, while you and I can disagree as gentlemen and while I and others can poke fun at each other, Ms Nic Martin engages in rhetoric that is beyond mere immaturity and is vulgar, to wit:

'Your views are stuck somewhere between, "BITCH FIX ME SOME PIE," and not letting women vote. The 50's is over, there aren't any June Cleavers today. Telling a woman that she has to die so you can sleep better that she didn't have the right to stop it, is a really scary idea. It sounds a lot like what a serial killer's thought process would be like - taking control of a woman's right to her OWN LIFE, and only letting her die. And you have the balls to call ME a murderer?

I'll give you fair warning now, if you can't actually put up facts, or attempt to shoot mine down, I'm no longer interested in your immature bickering. You've proved your point, you're a close-minded asshole that can't support anything you believe in with fact - and I've proved mine. To use a common phrase, "Put up or shut up." '

This is just the latest. The most striking part is in the second paragraph wherein she accuses Tim of immature bickering. That's remarkable. I cringe when I see a posting of her's and wonder why she actually has supporters and gets a pass on this profanity.

Finally, I realize most respondents to Tim don't approve of his ideologies. So what. The unfortunate part is that he takes some heat simply because he responds to these rants.

Andy Walker summed it in a September 3rd posting that sadly paints with a broad brush: "I think it is rather unfortunate that this thread has been allowed to degenerate into name calling and unpleasantness. I would urge members to continue to make their points as firmly as they like but within the parameters of acceptable academic discourse."

It is not members as in plural.

Regards,

John Gillespie

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I think it is rather unfortunate that this thread has been allowed to degenerate into name calling and unpleasantness.

I would urge members to continue to make their points as firmly as they like but within the parameters of acceptable academic discourse.

Mr. Walker,

This is a courtesy copy to you of an email I have sent to Mr. Simkin:

Mr Gillespie

It is a very simple process to cc an e-mail. There is no need to post private e-mail on this public forum and I rather wonder why you have?

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Andy,

I am glad he did. I know there are others who share John's viewpoint.

Perhaps you and John Simkin will understand that it cheapens the Forum when you do not enforce the rules that you yourselves promulgated. There is no reason to resort to vulgarities in what is intended to be a serious debate on important social issues. I assume you would agree with that.

Edited by Tim Gratz

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This thread started out as a discussion on abortion in Nazi Germany (30th March). As is often the case, Tim hijacked the thread in order to express his extreme right-wing opinions. He joined the debate with the following statement:

“Regardless of one's position on abortion, does any one really dispute that human life begins at conception? That's science, not religion.”

The point that Tim is trying to make here is that all abortion is the taking of human life. In other words, abortionists are murderers and that women who agree to having abortions are accompanists to murder.

Of course, most sane and rational people reject this argument. That is why abortion is legal in the vast majority of countries.

As usual, Tim was reluctant to debate these points directly on the Forum and instead relied on posting links to anti-abortionist websites. He also posted comments explaining how abortion is about “a doctor ripping apart an innocent, eight month old female fetus within her mother's womb, when the abortion is solely for the convenience of the mother.”

On 18th August Nic posted an interesting account of what a young woman thinks about anti-abortionists like Tim. In the posting she used the term morons to describe those protesters outside abortion clinics who scream that the women are guilty of murder. I considered the term “morons” to be an accurate description of these people and despite Tim’s protests refused to delete the term.

In a later posting she used the term “nitwits” to describe these protesters outside abortion clinics. Colourful language but not in my opinion unreasonable. It was not as bad as Tim’s claim that all “communists are liars”. Especially when Tim went on to explain that this included anyone who had ever been a member of the Communist Party.

I have never attempted to censor Tim. After all, his right-wing ramblings in defence of George Bush and his cronies, provides a good reason why no one in America should be supporting this moron. However, freedom of speech is not enough for Tim and so he tries very hard to stop others from expressing their opinions on the Forum.

Nic is a highly valued member of this Forum. I cannot say the same about Tim. Like most members I rarely read his postings. But if you can’t take the criticisms your extreme views are going to encounter, I suggest you leave and post on Forums that share your views.

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Nic is a highly valued member of this Forum. I cannot say the same about Tim. Like most members I rarely read his postings. But if you can’t take the criticisms your extreme views are going to encounter, I suggest you leave and post on Forums that share your views.

I couldn't agree more John

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John, when you say criticism I assume you imply "rational criticism".

I take it, then, that you consider calling someone an "asshole" a rational criticism and consistent with your own rules?

I also consider it rather strange when you imply my postings are meritless while you say in the same post you rarely read them. I'm not sure how you can judge the quality of posts you have not read. I do notice that you seem to prefer reading that reinforces rather than challenges your political positions.

I also object to your comment that I have tried to prevent other people from posting on the Forum. I welcome debate. I objected, of course, only when I was libeled by being wrongfully accused of participating in a conspiracy to commit murder. You would object as well if you were wrongfully accused of participating in a murder plot.

I also find your defense of Nic interesting. As you know, one of her "defenses" of abortion was that people "kill" grass when they mow it. I asked her whether she thought all killing of any living things including plants should therefore be banned. She did not reply. I hardly consider this a rationale debate.

And do you imply it is insane to consider abortion the taking of a human life? You may consider that unborn life is not entitled to societal protection, but to question the sanity of those who differ with your position seems rather bizarre.

Edited by Tim Gratz

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In this debate, I find myself empathizing with both Nic and Tim. I think I understand where they both are coming from. In my 44 years I have been the father of three children who didn't reach birth. One girlfriend acknowledged that she had an abortion and the other 2 had miscarriages while I was out of town and forgot to tell me for a few days. That's right: 3 girlfriends, 3 dead babies. In each instance I wanted the child to live. In fact, I had a fourth ex-giirlfriend who told me she'd lost our baby after we split as a way of weasling money out of me, only she later confessed she'd never been pregnant and had lied.

Tim, you're right--a fetus is a life and it deserves protection. We, as a society, should decide the appropriate protection.

Nic, you're right about almost everything else. Men have NO rights to tell women what to do with their bodies anymore than women have the right to tell men not to masturbate. Men who ejaculate regularly have a 50% less chance of getting prostate cancer and a woman who tries to interfere with a man's ejaculation is putting his health at risk. Similarly, women who don't have children or decide not to carry a child full term drastically decrease their chances of many health problems, mental and physical, and no man should have the say-so on how they protect their bodies. If we, as a society, feel it best to pass laws regarding abortion, men should be 100% excluded from the voting process. 100%. Even in the Bible belt, the majority of women are pro-choice, so Roe v. Wade will stand, as long as MEN DON"T TRY to take women's right to choose away from them. Nic knows this, Tim, and that's why she is so insulted by your attitude. You know damn well that a woman with female problems is like a man with erectile problems--the last thing they need to hear is how deficient they are. Consequently, although Nic was the one who was verbally abusive, I believe you were the one who was being more cruel. I feel you should have cooled your rhetoric when it became apparent that she had highly personal reasons for feeling the way she feels.

I'm also surpised that you seem unaware of Project Rescue and these other groups that go out and intimidate young women attending abortion clinics. They've been in the news for 25 years at least and are treated in some segments of America as genuine heroes. Some years ago they targeted my ancestral home of Sioux City, Iowa, and put posters of aborted fetuses literally everywhere and tried to intimidate the local populace--heavily catholic--from having abortions. BTW, Tim, the religion in America which has the highest percentage of abortions is indeed catholic, because the last Pope, in his infinite wisdom, issued an edict of papal infallibilty that using CONDOMS is a sin. In the words of Monty Python "every sperm is sacred."

Sorry if this devolved into sex talk. When I was in the third grade I learned about the birds and the bees and became the resident "sexpert" at my elementary school. Years later, a guy came up to me in high school and accused me of spreading disinformation when we were in elementary school together, as he'd taken from my lectures that babies came out of a woman's belly button on a slide.

Edited by Pat Speer

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