ProChoice Arguments

Ep 29 – Tomi Lahren, Abortion, & the Constitution

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“I’m pro-choice and here’s why. I am a constitutional… someone who loves the constitution. I am someone that is for limited government, so I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say ‘I am for limited government but I think that the government should decide what women do with their bodies’. I can sit here and say that, as a republican. And I can say ‘you know what, I’m for limited government so stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well’.

I get a lot of attacks from conservative women as well. Equal hate from all sides for me.”

On today’s episode, I discuss this quote from republican ‘talking head’, Tomi Lahren. Here’s the interview:

This episode was recorded live on Facebook (sundays at 3pm).

If you enjoyed this or thought it was absolutely terrible, let me know in the comments below, on the facebook page, private facebook group, twitter, or by email (FetalPositionPodcast@gmail.com). Thanks so much for reading/listening!

Ep 28 – A More Realistic Violinist Analogy | The Fiddler in the Womb

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Hello everyone and welcome to the Fetal Position Podcast, episode 28. On today’s episode, I am fleshing out the details of an analogy that [I think] is unique to me. To listen to this in a new window, click here!
I haven’t heard anyone else make this analogy, so if you know someone that has… let me know and I’ll promote his/her work. But if not, allow me to explain my response to Thomson’s Violinist analogy, by using my own analogy.

Links:

And onto my analogy.
I am calling it… “The Fiddler in the Womb” because it’s catchy and kinda funny. But it is, more importantly, a more realistic violinist analogy than the analogy created by Judith Jarvis Thomson in her paper, “A Defense of Abortion“. For what it’s worth, I have already dissected this analogy and concluded that it does not justify abortion in almost any case. I did this during episode 9, and you can find that by going to TheFetalPosition.com/9.

As I explained in that episode, the violinist analogy attempts to justify abortion by showing that even if the unborn is a human person, the mother still ought to have the right to an abortion. I point out that this analogy fails in 3 morally relevant ways, some of which Thomson concedes in her original essay. Yes, no analogy is perfect (cuz if it was perfect, it wouldn’t be an analogy). But in order to be a relevant analogy, it has to be morally parallel to the actual situation. The 3 points are as follows (and this is taken from the show notes of episode 9):

  1. In the analogy, you are bedridden.
    Statistically speaking, a woman is very rarely bedridden during pregnancy, let alone bedridden for her the entire length of pregnancy. There are certain situations in which a woman will find herself on bed rest (problems with her cervix, preeclampsia, etc), but this doesn’t happen until later in the pregnancy for most. If it does occur earlier in pregnancy, that is due to a preexisting medical condition that is very rare within our society.So, in order for this analogy to be applicable, the pregnant woman must be unable to remove herself from her bed during the entire 10 months of pregnancy.
  2. In the analogy, the person connected to the violinist is not responsible for being connected.
    In the vast majority of cases, the pregnant woman has consented to sex. One of the possible consequences of engaging in sexual intercourse is the creation of a dependent human being.
    We’ll talk more about the ‘responsibility objection’ later, but I’d like to point out that we, as a society, recognize the responsibility objection as legitimate. If you are responsible for causing someone to be in a dependent state, you have an obligation to them that goes beyond the obligation you have to someone else. Even if the other person is in a dependent state but placed into dependency by someone else. The person responsible has a unique obligation. We expect fathers to provide for their children, either by going to work and putting food on the table, or by paying child support. Avoiding that responsibility is socially unacceptable because we recognize the responsibility objection as legitimate.So, in order for the analogy to be parallel, the pregnant woman would have to be a rape victim who subsequently became pregnant, and she must immediately go on bed rest for the entirety of her pregnancy.
  3. In the analogy, the relationship between the violinist and the connected person is that of a stranger.
    In the overwhelming majority of cases, the pregnant woman is carrying her own child. This is even the case when it comes to rape victims. As awful as rape is (and I’m not denying that rape is a horrendous evil), the child being carried by the rape victim is her child, biologically. The only time where a woman bears no biological relationship to the child in her womb is when a woman volunteers her body to be a surrogate for another couple.This is getting a bit strange, don’t you think?
    In order to create a real-life, morally parallel situation to the violinist analogy, we need to have an immediately bedridden woman who was used as a surrogate for someone else’s baby, against her will.

Because of these 3 morally significant oversights, I fail to see how the original violinist analogy accurately represents pregnancy at all. After all, I don’t know of a single situation where a woman is immediately bedridden after being used as an involuntary surrogate for someone else’s baby. And because those are the morally relevant problems with her analogy, pointing these out is a legitimate critique.

So what is a more morally relevant analogy to pregnancy?

Junrey Balawing

Let’s imagine that you’re a stinking jerk and poisoned your violinist cousin, Junrey Balawing. Balawing is the smallest man in the world at under 24 inches tall. He was going to die of a kidney ailment, but your kidneys are able to keep him alive. All you have to do is stay connected to him for 10 months and then you can both go on your merry way. You can carry him around in a backpack. He doesn’t mind.

This analogy hits on all the right morally relevant parallels that Thomson’s Violinist does not. You are not bedridden, you are responsible for putting him into a state of dependency upon you, and Balawing is a member of your family.

… now that we’ve changed it, doesn’t it seem as though you have a moral obligation to stay connected to the little dude that you caused to be in his current situation? He is related to you, his existence doesn’t cause you to be bedridden, and you are the jerk who caused him to be dependent. You certainly have an obligation to stay connected so that he doesn’t die.


And that’s my contribution to this discussion. If you enjoyed this or thought it was absolutely terrible, let me know in the comments below, on the facebook page, private facebook group, twitter, or by email (FetalPositionPodcast@gmail.com). Thanks so much for reading/listening!

– Elijah

 

Ep 26 – Should Pro-Choicers Be Willing to Perform Abortions? & “Thinking It Through”

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Hello friends! Thanks for listening to the Fetal Position podcast!
To listen to it in a new window or download it, please click here!

In this episode, I discuss a potentially new argument against abortion that says “If you support abortion, why does seeing it make you so angry?” where I conclude that it isn’t an argument we ought to use. I think it has potential, but it needs to be fleshed out more.

I also toss in some clips from a podcast I was on in December called “Thinking It Through” with Jerome Danner. I had an awesome time discussing this pro-choice article with him. To listen to that episode, click here! It’s not the most amazing article, but it does argue in a way that many pro-choicers argue for their position.

Thanks again for listening!
Let me know what you think by contacting me on the facebook page, private facebook group, twitter, email: FetalPositionPodcast@gmail.com, or you can comment on this post.

Talk to you on Sunday, March 11th, when I go live for the first time at 2:30EST.

Guest Appearance on Thinking It Through w/ Jerome Danner

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Hello my friends!
So… I’ve failed you! I was on a couple of podcasts and totally forgot to promote them here.

But hey! You know what?
Better late than never I suppose. I’ve never questioned that saying because it helps me. Lol

Anyway, I was on Thinking It Through with my buddy Jerome Danner at the end of December, and you can find that episode… HERE!

Jerome has all of the links to the things we discussed on his page, so head on over there and listen to us tear apart an article, and then address some silly pro-choice memes 🙂

Enjoy!

Ep 21 – That Clump of Cells is Just a Parasite!

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Thanks for joining me for episode 21!
Click here to listen to it in a new window.

Here is my claim:
The unborn is a living, human organism.
I will use this episode to defend this claim.


How do we know that the unborn is alive?

One of the reasons that we describe life is because it’s hard to define life. If we define it in a certain way, it might include something like a virus or a tornado, and those are things that we know are not actually alive. I have a coffee mug (see image) that accurately describes life in a way that coincides with most professional biologists on the topic.

Life can be described as having the following features:

  • Irritability
  • Growth
  • Propagation
  • Inheritance
  • Movement
  • Metabolism & energy conservation

All of these things are qualities that the unborn has, so therefore the unborn must be alive.

Counter claim: “Alright, the unborn is alive. But it’s certainly not human!”

How do we know that the unborn is human?
I recorded an episode on this exact topic. Visit TheFetalPosition.com/11 for that.
But I have a few more thoughts on this.

One of the reasons pro-choice people think pro-life people are crazy is cuz they think that the human is constructed like a car, rather than developed. Human beings are developed from within (like a Polaroid picture), rather than constructed (like a car). This is a morally relevant difference because the entity developing in the womb is a whole human organism, unlike a car that may be considered a car when it gets the engine or the paint job or whatever.
There isn’t a heart added at 6 weeks, the unborn develops a heart at 6 weeks.

The unborn isn’t a potential human, it is a human with potential.
If someone claims that the unborn is merely a potential human, ask the question what is it before it becomes a human. If it is a potential X, it must currently be an actual Y. What species is it before it becomes a member of the species Homo sapiens?

Counter claim: “Alright, so the living human entity, but it’s just a clump of cells! Or it is alive in the same sense that a skin cell is alive!”

How do we know that the unborn is an organism, not just a clump of cells?
One of the more quick responses is to point out that technically we are all “clumps of cells”, but I think that might confuse things. The pro-choicer is suggesting that the unborn is a clump of cells that does not function as an organism. They believe it functions more like a bag of marbles rather than a living being.
Working  off of the fact that the unborn is human, we have to ask… what do we mean by “human”? Well, gametes, somatic cells, embryos, and toddlers are human in the adjective sense, only the newly created human organism is human in the noun sense.
A skin cell is human, but it is not A HUMAN.
A fetus is both human AND A HUMAN.

If the skin cell of a male gynecologist enters the woman’s uterus during an examination, no one thinks that she will become pregnant because of that. But if a human (in the noun sense) enters the uterus, she will likely become pregnant.

This is why it’s so stupid to suggest that masturbation is genocide, or that we ought to mourn every period.
It’s a confusion of parts and wholes.
It’s a confusion of adjectives and nouns.

So what is the difference between an organism and a clump of cells?

An organism is a collection of biological parts that function together to sustain the existence of the whole being that possesses the qualities of life.

A clump of something is often used to describe something that exists as a loose collection of things that do not interact for the good of the whole. When given time, nutrition, and the proper environment, an organism will mature into a more developed member of its species. But a clump of cells will not.
When the embryo begins to exist, it has a new goal-oriented development (or telos). It now has its own aim in development.  It is no longer like an organ or a part of the woman’s body because parts of the woman’s body participate in the function of the body as a whole. The new human being is a new organism that has its own ends that it develops towards.
It’s parts are working towards the good of its own whole.
My cells are my parts working towards the good of my whole.

This is one of the reasons I refuse to use the term “product of conception” when referring to the unborn. The unborn is clearly a human organism, that is not a part of the woman’s body. Plus, the placenta is technically a product of conception, and we have to distinguish between the unborn human organism and the placenta. It’s possible for the mother to live if the unborn child dies; likewise, it’s possible for the unborn child to live if the mother dies. This could not be so if they were truly one body. Additionally, a Chinese zygote implanted in a Swedish woman will always be Chinese, not Swedish, because his identity is based on his genetic code, not on that of the body in which he resides.

Counter claim: So if the unborn is alive, a human, an organism, and completely dependent upon the mother… wouldn’t it be reasonable to consider the unborn to be a parasite? 

Is the unborn a parasite?

(my voice goes up in pitch during this part of the episode and I have no idea why. lol)

It’s interesting that so many people think that in order to be a distinct entity, the unborn child must be detached from the mother. Yet in the same breath they describe the unborn as a parasite, which is a distinct entity that lives off of the host.
You can’t have it both ways. Either it’s an organism or it’s not.
And clearly it is, as we’ve demonstrated.

Before diving into the science of parasitism, let’s ask a philosophical question.
Is a parasite the kind of entity that has a right to life?
Clearly not. In fact, we do our best to rid ourselves of parasites!

So the argument at this point could go either way.
Either we can rightly classify the unborn as a parasite and therefore it does not have the right to life, or we cannot rightly classify the unborn as a parasite and therefore we cannot kill it without proper justification. If you don’t want to get into the science, ask your interlocutor this question:
Do you agree that every adult human being has the right to not be killed? So do I.
But what exactly is it that makes that right something that all human beings have? It can’t be consciousness, IQ, brain development, or anything else that exists on a gradient. You cannot ground an unchanging right to life on something that exists on a gradient, because that would entail that some people have more of a right to life than others.

So what is it that gives all human beings a right to life?
It is the fact that they are all human.
And if the unborn is human, the unborn must have a right to life.
And therefore the unborn must not be a parasite, because a parasite is something that does not have the right to life.

Perhaps your opponent will remain unconvinced.
No scientific or philosophical backing.
It’s a dehumanizing factor.
Time to bust out the science.

What do we mean by parasite?

Technically it does not have to be a separate species, which is contrary to what a lot of pro-lifers claim. There is something called intraspecific parasitism. One of the more obvious examples is usually referred to as brood parasitism, and birds do it to other birds. Cuckoos will lay their eggs in the nests of other birds (either other cuckoos or another species) and the mother will feed that chick like it’s her own.
Ultimately this is a degree of dependency argument because a parasite is completely dependent upon the host. Arguably, if we can place the fetus in this category, we can also call newborn babies a parasite.

I have a microbiology text sitting in front of me, as well as multiple websites from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the national library of medicine (NLM), and absolutely none of them list the fetus as a parasitic organism. I like this summary of the difference between a parasite and the unborn baby:

A parasite reduces the fitness of its host; a baby increases the fitness of its parents.

There may be a superficial similarity between the baby and a parasite, but when you actually get into the details, those similarities fade away.
If you look at the way a host and parasite typically act, the host is trying to get rid of the parasite by increasing its immunological defenses. The parasite then responds by evolving more complex attacking mechanisms that circumnavigate the host’s immune system. But the relationship between the mother and the baby is intrinsically cooperative. We have even discovered that the unborn child’s stem cells can be used to help heal the mother’s hearts.

Ultimately, it all depends on what the goal of the two organisms is. In a host-parasite relationship, the host’s primary desire is to rid itself of the parasite while the parasite fights off the host’s immune system. In a parent-child relationship, the goal of both is the survival and development of the child. It get a little interesting because of the rH factor, but that is actually considered a misfiring; a mistake. The mother’s body isn’t performing correctly when her immune system attacks the baby.


Alright! I hope you enjoyed this episode!
Don’t forget to share the show with your friends. And if you review the show, I will totally give you a high-five if I see you.