Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Abortion: Is It Violence?

Violence has lately been a huge issue lately in political arenas as the G.O.P. and Democrats fight over the benefits of Planned Parenthood. In Indiana, the G.O.P. is attempting to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood all together (http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2011/04/19/Indiana-measure-targets-Planned-Parenthood/UPI-92391303236407/).

For those who don't know what Planned Parenthood is, according to its site, it is "a trusted health care provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a global partner helping similar organizations around the world. Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide." Its basic offers But its main services can be summarized in the categories of abortion, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, general health care, and education. What is igniting debate all over is the fact that the G.O.P. views Planned Parenthood as an abortion machine.

Let's hear what Scarlett Johnansson has to say about it.

Michele Bachman, a conservative Minnesota Republic Congresswoman, has gone on to say that Planned Parenthood is the "LensCrafters of big abortion." Wow.

So is abortion violence or murder? For some, it definitely depends on the timing and pregnancy cycle of the actual abortion and what constitutes "life." Is all abortion thoughtless and disgusting murder of unborn babies? Or does it even matter, because women need to be given a choice to live their lives?

Read more about the ongoing political debate at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/20/us/20iht-letter20.html?_r=1&src=ISMR_HP_LO_MST_FB


  1. With one side believing that a women's freedom to her own body is at stake, and the other side seeing human lives being in the balance, its no wonder that the cutting of federal funds of Planned Parenthood arouses such strong feelings from both sides. No doubt both sides bring with them strong convictions and convincing points, but ultimately the central question remains, when does someone become a person with legal protections? At birth? Conception? Somewhere in between? Some might actually not really care about this question and see abortion as necessary whether or not we consider it the taking of human life (like Camille Paglia) but this is definitely a minority position. Its ultimately a philosophical question though, which I don't know if its possible to have a conclusive answer. But the line has to be drawn somewhere...

    I'm personally ambivalent about the topic of abortion, but I definitely am annoyed with extremists on both sides of the issue who tend to ignore what is at stake for the other side. Anyone who dismisses the opponents of abortion entirely and fully believes that there is no issue of human life at stake should take a look at the harrowing pictures or videos of real abortions, which you can see in Tony Kaye's documentary Lake of Fire (a very even-handed and fair movie on the topic which I definitely recommend to anyone who's interested). And at the same time though, you cannot deny the very real problems of unwanted babies being born and the problems the mothers face and perhaps the social havoc which results (a point that is made by Steven Levitt in Freakonomics, where he tries to attribute the increase of crime rates in the last 50 years to the passage of Roe v. Wade).

    I'm glad that you pointed out though that Planned Parenthood provides a whole bunch of other services to young women that aren't just abortion related, so it is very unfair of Michele Bachman to characterize it as the "LensCrafters of big abortion". But the fact that it does happen to support the use of abortion, even if its not its only purpose, is undeniably going to create some fireworks in this debate... we'll definitely see some shenanigans from both sides as this debate continues on.

  2. That is a very loaded question and causes a lot of debate about the issue of what constitutes life. I, for one, support planned parenthood and what they do for thousands of women. I have no answer to whether or not a fertilized embryo is a person but I think a woman should decide what happens to her own body. I also get annoyed at extremists and that quote from Michele Bachman really gets to me because its creating such a misleading image of planned parenthood. But there are also misleading images coming from her opposition therefore fact and fiction become indiscernible. I dont think that supporting abortion means that they will dole it out to whoever wants it (which is what Bachmans quote is getting at) ultimately the decision of when life begins will rest with the law makers because they are the ones that will have to decide in order to make and enforce new laws.

  3. It is always tough to cut spending on social programs when the level of debt is rising uncontrollably. By cutting out Planned Parenthood, it would save the U.S. about $317 million. Normally, I do not think a program like this would be cut but something has to go and this is just the Republican's way of killing two birds with one stone (that sounded a little inappropriate but I don't mean it in a voilent way). As for abortions being violent, they are, especially when done in a illegal environment. If we were not to permit abortions I believe we would be putting even more women in danger by forcing them to seek unsafe and unqualified medical attention in order to fix their problems.


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