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LOL... Virginia Governor Northam had a Train Wreck Week First there was Northam's support for killing babies born after a botched abortion (making sure to resuscitate the baby first). "Would be kept comfortable" and "then a discussion would ensue" about killing a baby is awfully considerate, doncha think? The Internet and fake news media melted down over that one. But now this: Flashback: Ralph Northam Decried Ed Gillespie’s ‘Racist Rhetoric and Fearmongering’ You can read it, but the tweets in the article say it all: Northam in the campaign: Now Northam in office, after some people started digging: Blackface and KKK? Dayaamm! Now the meltdown is at Defcon 5. Ralph Northam's reputation just aborted, but... it's still barely alive. So, at the very least, Northam should be "kept comfortable" while "discussion ensues" about killing his term of office as Governor and, by extension, his political career. Michael
[http://wsscherk.hostingmyself.com/trumpAbortionTalk.htm] QUESTION: Hello. I am (inaudible) and have a question on, what is your stance on women's rights and their rights to choose in their own reproductive health? DRUMPF: OK, well look, I mean, as you know, I'm pro-life. Right, I think you know that, and I -- with exceptions, with the three exceptions. But pretty much, that's my stance. Is that OK? You understand? MATTHEWS: What should the law be on abortion? DRUMPF: Well, I have been pro-life. MATTHEWS: I know, what should the law -- I know your principle, that's a good value. But what should be the law? DRUMPF: Well, you know, they've set the law and frankly the judges -- I mean, you're going to have a very big election coming up for that reason, because you have judges where it's a real tipping point. MATTHEWS: I know. DRUMPF: And with the loss the Scalia, who was a very strong conservative... MATTHEWS: I understand. DRUMPF: ... this presidential election is going to be very important, because when you say, "what's the law, nobody knows what's the law going to be. It depends on who gets elected, because somebody is going to appoint conservative judges and somebody is going to appoint liberal judges, depending on who wins. MATTHEWS: I know. I never understood the pro-life position. DRUMPF: Well, a lot of people do understand. MATTHEWS: I never understood it. Because I understand the principle, it's human life as people see it. DRUMPF: Which it is. MATTHEWS: But what crime is it? DRUMPF: Well, it's human life. MATTHEWS: No, should the woman be punished for having an abortion? DRUMPF: Look... MATTHEWS: This is not something you can dodge. DRUMPF: It's a -- no, no... MATTHEWS: If you say abortion is a crime or abortion is murder, you have to deal with it under law. Should abortion be punished? DRUMPF: Well, people in certain parts of the Republican Party and Conservative Republicans would say, "yes, they should be punished." MATTHEWS: How about you? DRUMPF: I would say that it's a very serious problem. And it's a problem that we have to decide on. It's very hard. MATTHEWS: But you're for banning it? DRUMPF: I'm going to say -- well, wait. Are you going to say, put them in jail? Are you -- is that the (inaudible) you're talking about? MATTHEWS: Well, no, I'm asking you because you say you want to ban it. What does that mean? DRUMPF: I would -- I am against -- I am pro-life, yes. MATTHEWS: What is ban -- how do you ban abortion? How do you actually do it? DRUMPF: Well, you know, you will go back to a position like they had where people will perhaps go to illegal places. MATTHEWS: Yes? DRUMPF: But you have to ban it. MATTHEWS: You banning, they go to somebody who flunked out of medical school. DRUMPF: Are you Catholic? MATTHEWS: Yes, I think... DRUMPF: And how do you feel about the Catholic Church's position? MATTHEWS: Well, I accept the teaching authority of my Church on moral issues. DRUMPF: I know, but do you know their position on abortion? MATTHEWS: Yes, I do. DRUMPF: And do you concur with the position? MATTHEWS: I concur with their moral position but legally, I get to the question -- here's my problem with it... (LAUGHTER) DRUMPF: No, no, but let me ask you, but what do you say about your Church? MATTHEWS: It's not funny. DRUMPF: Yes, it's really not funny. What do you say about your church? They're very, very strong. MATTHEWS: They're allowed to -- but the churches make their moral judgments, but you running for president of the United States will be chief executive of the United States. Do you believe... DRUMPF: No, but... MATTHEWS: Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no as a principle? DRUMPF: The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment. MATTHEWS: For the woman? DRUMPF: Yes, there has to be some form. MATTHEWS: Ten cents? Ten years? What? DRUMPF: Let me just tell you -- I don't know. That I don't know. That I don't know. MATTHEWS: Why not? DRUMPF: I don't know. MATTHEWS: You take positions on everything else. DRUMPF: Because I don't want to -- I frankly, I do take positions on everything else. It's a very complicated position. MATTHEWS: But you say, one, that you're pro-life meaning that you want to ban it. DRUMPF: But wait a minute, wait a minute. But the Catholic Church is pro-life. MATTHEWS: I'm not talking about my religion. DRUMPF: No, no, I am talking about your religion. Your religion -- I mean, you say that you're a very good Catholic. Your religion is your life. Let me ask you this... MATTHEWS: I didn't say very good. I said I'm Catholic. (LAUGHTER) And secondly, I'm asking -- you're running for President. DRUMPF: No, no... MATTHEWS: I'm not. DRUMPF: Chris -- Chris. MATTHEWS: I'm asking you, what should a woman face if she chooses to have an abortion? DRUMPF: I'm not going to do that. MATTHEWS: Why not? DRUMPF: I'm not going to play that game. MATTHEWS: Game? DRUMPF: You have... MATTHEWS: You said you're pro-life. DRUMPF: I am pro-life. MATTHEWS: That means banning abortion. DRUMPF: And so is the Catholic Church pro-life. MATTHEWS: But they don't control the -- this isn't Spain, the Church doesn't control the government. DRUMPF: What is the punishment under the Catholic Church? What is the... MATTHEWS: Let me give something from the New Testament, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." Don't ask me about my religion. DRUMPF: No, no... MATTHEWS: I'm asking you. You want to be president of the United States. DRUMPF: You told me that... MATTHEWS: You tell me what the law should be. DRUMPF: I have -- I have not determined... MATTHEWS: Just tell me what the law should be. You say you're pro-life. DRUMPF: I am pro-life. MATTHEWS: What does that mean? DRUMPF: With exceptions. I am pro-life. I have not determined what the punishment would be. MATTHEWS: Why not? DRUMPF: Because I haven't determined it. MATTHEWS: When you decide to be pro-life, you should have thought of it. Because... DRUMPF: No, you could ask anybody who is pro-life... MATTHEWS: OK, here's the problem -- here's my problem with this, if you don't have a punishment for abortion -- I don't believe in it, of course -- people are going to find a way to have an abortion. DRUMPF: You don't believe in what? MATTHEWS: I don't believe in punishing anybody for having an abortion. DRUMPF: OK, fine. OK, (inaudible). MATTHEWS: Of course not. I think it's a woman's choice. DRUMPF: So you're against the teachings of your Church? MATTHEWS: I have a view -- a moral view -- but I believe we live in a free country, and I don't want to live in a country so fascistic that it could stop a person from making that decision. DRUMPF: But then you are... MATTHEWS: That would be so invasive. DRUMPF: I know but I've heard you speaking... MATTHEWS: So determined of a society that I wouldn't able -- one we are familiar with. And Donald Drumpf, you wouldn't be familiar with. DRUMPF: But I've heard you speaking so highly about your religion and your Church. MATTHEWS: Yes. DRUMPF: Your Church is very, very strongly as you know, pro-life. MATTHEWS: I know. DRUMPF: What do you say to your Church? MATTHEWS: I say, I accept your moral authority. In the United States, the people make the decision, the courts rule on what's in the Constitution, and we live by that. That's why I say. DRUMPF: Yes, but you don't live by it because you don't accept it. You can't accept it. You can't accept it. You can't accept it. MATTHEWS: Can we go back to matters of the law and running for president because matters of law, what I'm talking about, and this is the difficult situation you've placed yourself in. By saying you're pro-life, you mean you want to ban abortion. How do you ban abortion without some kind of sanction? Then you get in that very tricky question of a sanction, a fine on human life which you call murder? DRUMPF: It will have to be determined. MATTHEWS: A fine, imprisonment for a young woman who finds herself pregnant? DRUMPF: It will have to be determined. MATTHEWS: What about the guy that gets her pregnant? Is he responsible under the law for these abortions? Or is he not responsible for an abortion? DRUMPF: Well, it hasn't -- it hasn't -- different feelings, different people. I would say no. MATTHEWS: Well, they're usually involved. Anyway, much more from the audience here at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. We'll be right back.
Hello everyone, I had some questions regarding the Objectivist positions on abortion and the rights of the fetus/child that I was hoping someone could clarify. At what point, from conception to adulthood, does a person attain their rights (or, at least the most basic right to life)? I do see how a fetus is not afforded rights within the first trimester, since it is at that point little more than matter and, therefore, afforded no more rights than an animal; however, at some point during prenatal development, is it not afforded the right to life? (I don't mean to diminish the woman's right, and could certainly see how, if her life were in jeopardy from pregnancy, an abortion would be entirely morally permissable.) I have read all the Objectivist non-fiction and agree with it, but have not heard any convincing argument by Rand that the rights of the mother supercede that of the unborn. Thanks for your replies.
I realize this news article is a year old but thought it might be of interest. I know many Objectivists have found similarities with and even go so far as to practice Buddhism but this is an event that surprised me. I have been reading up mainly on Theravada Buddhism recently to try to understand the interest among Objectivists with Buddha's philosophy. This is one stark example of how in addition to Buddhism's overall embracing self-sacrifice, Theravada (which is as close to the original teachings of Buddha himself) embraces mysticism despite it's tacit rejection of it (i.e. atheism) and Buddhism's rejection of a God as well as its many followers touting it being a philosophy and not a religion. “Those who become bored by conventional “Bible” religions, and seek “enlightenment” by way of the dissolution of their own critical faculties into nirvana in any form, had better take a warning. They may think they are leaving the realm of despised materialism, but they are still being asked to put their reason to sleep, and to discard their minds along with their sandals.” - Christopher Hitchens, "God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/nov/25/abortion-reform-buddhism-thailand The discovery of more than 2,000 foetuses stored at a Bangkok temple has made front-page news across Thailand. As most abortion is illegal in Thailand, the case has shone a spotlight on a massive backstreet industry and sparked national debate about the country's current abortion laws, which date from the 1950s. With abortion routinely recognised as a "sin" in Theravada Buddhism, religion has played a significant social and political role in this debate. The undertaker at Wat Phai Ngern is accused of accepting regular deliveries of foetuses in plastic bags from an intermediary, who was paid by clinics to dispose of them discreetly. Buddhist temples are often used to store bodies prior to cremation but, with the local crematorium out of order, complaints about the smell led to the discovery of the operation. The bags are thought to have come from up to 20 different locations, sparking a crackdown on 3,900 suspected illegal clinics nationwide. In 1993 the Thai health ministry estimated there were 80,000 illegal abortions a year. An earlier study suggested the total was closer to 300,000. In urban areas doctors are responsible for many of the illegal abortions by providing them for congenital disorders and HIV infections. This is despite the fact the law only permits abortions in cases of rape or physical risk to the woman's health. Illegality means that medical standards remain low – a study in 1993 found that over 1% of women attending regional hospital for illegal abortions subsequently died due to complications. Theravada Buddhism in Thailand is a socially conservative force. About 95% of the population are Buddhist and Buddhism remains closely tied to the state. Sociologist James Hughes explains that most eastern Buddhist commentators, through an acceptance of karmic rebirth, believe consciousness begins at conception. Therefore, "all abortion incurs the karmic burden of killing". While some monks such as Phra Thepwethi believe in a "middle way" (which regards abortion as a sin, but sometimes as the best option) the framing of abortion in terms of sin still has a significant cultural influence. A survey of women who had had abortions found that more than half were fearful of community exposure and a third worried that they would suffer bad karma. Andrea Whittaker, in her book, Abortion, Sin and the State in Thailand also explains that "fear of bap (sin) is the most common reason given by women with unplanned pregnancies for why they didn't abort". Thai Buddhism has also had a key political role in maintaining current abortion laws, which have remained unchanged since 1956. Public discussions on reform began in the 1970s and culminated in 1981 by passing of amendment in the House of Representatives. This proposed widening the legality of abortion to include considerations of mental wellbeing, congenital abnormalities and some cases of contraceptive failure. However, Major General Chamlong Srimuang mobilised a powerful religious coalition to successfully lobby against the amendment. Chamlong's intervention marked a more overt role for Buddhism in politics. He is a member of the Buddhist movement Santi Asoke, whose founder, Phra Phothirak, challenged the idea that Thai monks should not comment on contemporary social issues. Phothirak believed that monks had a duty to speak out to oppose abortion as the killing of human life, arguing that "those who say they are religious but who don't say anything don't know about religion or morality". The Santi Asoke sect, which broke away from the Buddhist sangha in 1989, has been described as "radical Buddhism" for its anti-modernist conservatism and strict monastic codes. Chamlong, now a leading political figure, is responsible for the political wing of the Santi Asoke movement. For these followers, abortion is linked to the influence of western promiscuity and is "un-Buddhist, anti-religious and therefore un-Thai". Members from the mainstream Buddhist sanga also continue to oppose the liberalisation of abortion laws. After a conference in 2006 where NGOs called for the wider legalisation of abortion, a monk named Phra Mahamanoj responded: "We Buddhists … firmly disagree with legal abortion and the destruction of life. If you don't want something to happen, don't do it." Following the recent temple discovery, leading monks have again been speaking out. Phramaha Vudhijaya Vajiramedhi was unequivocal: "In [the] Buddhist view, both having an abortion and performing an abortion amount to murder. Those involved in abortions will face distress in both this life and the next because their sins will follow them." The scandal has given momentum to calls for political reform. A Democrat MP has proposed a bill on "consensual and necessary abortions", which would liberalise current laws. This has been supported by Maytinee Bhongsvej, of the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women (APSW), but she believes that change will be difficult to implement. "People's attitudes are the major obstacle. For Thai society, abortion is a sin," she says. The prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, has ruled out any legal changes, saying that the current laws are "good enough". Thai advocacy groups like Women's Health Advocacy Foundation point out that liberalising abortion laws would be in line with public opinion, would align the law more closely with the realities of current abortion provision and would also significantly reduce preventable medical complications. However, any reform must contend with Theravada Buddhism – which, with its integral part in political and social structures, retains a significant influence over the debate on abortion in Thailand.