Zygotes ≠ “Persons”

While it may be argued in the most technically extreme biological sense that “life begins at conception” as devoutly religious people maintain to be the case, it is a complete absurdity to contend that a fertilized egg (aka a zygote) should be regarded for legal purposes as having the status of “personhood”…

Even so, the likely approval of ballot Initiative 26 in Mississippi today will amend that hopelessly backward state’s Constitution to affirm the nonsensical fiction that zygotes are “persons” – presumably, with all the legal rights of fully-fledged human beings.

Les Riley, the director of Personhood Mississippi who launched the dopey “Yes on 26” drive, notes the significance of the amendment: “You know this will be the first time in history that a state has recognized the humanity of the unborn and their God-given right to life. It would make abortion illegal within our borders and would also challenge notions about abortion.” And birth control… but that’s another matter.

Also, someone from the “get the government out of my personal business” party should immediately start investigating why 30-70 percent of the newly minted Zygote People are going rogue and deviating from the miracle of life by routinely and wilfully committing “suicide” as they choose not to achieve uterine implantation!

Surprise Update: Against the odds, common sense prevailed and the loopy Initiative 26 was soundly defeated, thereby avoiding the public policy disaster that would have resulted otherwise.

Rules, Schmules…

This is quite a long video, and seeing as vita brevis, I don’t expect many to actually watch the whole thing, but it’s quite an instructive, albeit maddening, exercise do so.

You may recall that at the start of the 112th session of Congress, highly juiced by Tea Party sentiments, House Republicans implemented a new rule stating that all bills must include a statement “citing as specifically as practicable the power or powers granted to Congress” to enact the measure. But how does that work when the measure being proposed is blatantly unconstitutional? Well, just watch and see!

I look forward to future bills being introduced into Congress by Democratic lawmakers with an incoherent, “uga booga baka bonga” preamble and seeing whether the same standard of technical rigour will be applied with respect to the new constitutional justification rule…

Rep. Chris Smith Unplugged

Has Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey told you recently about his views on abortion and how President Obama’s “focused health care reform” proposals would fund abortions in addition to deleteriously affecting “those with cancers… [and] their unborn children” and how it would do “grave injury to those who are sick”? If not, then enjoy this clip:

Never mind Sarah Palin’s ridiculous “Death Panels” meme that was flogged to boredom by the mainstream media —sheesh, that’s so last month’s old news. The Democrats’ wimpy, industry-prostituted healthcare reforms now grinding through the congressional sausage factory have been re-branded as the “Abortion Industry Bailout Bill of 2009” — a heinous piece of legislation according to Congressman Smith that will “cause hundreds of thousands of additional abortions per year” — apparently through a wickedly clever combination of marketing, public subsidies and government funding of mysterious “new venues” (for abortions).

Oh, you may think Rep. Smith is a crackpot, but he confidently asserts he’s got “empirical evidence” on his side verifying that flaunting wads of cash in front of “vulnerable women” who feel they have absolutely “nowhere else to turn” has been proven to “tip the scales” in favour of incentivizing them to expeditiously liquidate their fetuses rather than turning to a local “pregnancy care center.”

Rep. King is also a bit ticked off at the all the political “bickering” in Washington that started immediately after January 20th and would prefer instead to characterize his vehement disagreement with the Obama administration simply as a matter of “standing up for fundamental human rights”…

Randall Terry Gets Punted

From TPMV, footage of the disruption staged by anti-abortion crusader and batshit crazy lunatic Randall Terry at a town hall meeting in Reston, Virginia and his subsequent ejection.

Here’s another view of Terry on his way out of the building:

Update: The demented sickness of “pro-life” fanatics…

Parochial Deathmatch

Lawrence O’Donnell and Pat Buchanan debate the faux outrage over Notre Dame inviting President Obama as its commencement speaker in May and to receive an honorary degree (something the University of Arizona declined to grant him, but that’s a whole other faux outrage).

The Douchebaggery of Zygotes


I don’t often delve into the raging culture wars about abortion/reproductive rights that are enthusiastically engaged in by numerous other blogs, but I did find this post highly amusing:

The votes are in, and 9 out of 10 fetuses prefer defrocked Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to President Barack Obama, according to RenewAmerica. In his weekly column, Reverend Michael Bresciani, who speaks fluent blastocyte, randomly samples a series of wombs, and reports that while Obama remains popular among America’s post-born youth, he enjoys far less support from members of the intrauterine electorate.

If nothing else, it’s worthwhile for coining the expressions “fluent blastocyte” and “intrauterine electorate.”

Liberal Hypocrisy on Abortion?

Pictured: Tom Wappel’s parliament office window. (Credit: Stephen Taylor)

Shocking! Say it ain’t so!

Well, Stephen Taylor would certainly like people to think that there’s some kind of a “double-standard” with respect to Stéphane Dion’s views on abortion because of the absolutely startling revelation that Tom Wappel (whose strident pro-life stance is quite well known) has a “Defend Life” poster from the Knights of Columbus (of which he’s a member) displayed in his office window. Yawn.

He also cites past statements from a handful of Liberal MPs that have expressed anti-choice sentiments, or at least have equivocated on the issue as proof of that “Liberals are hypocrites on abortion.” Again, ho-hum. Last time I checked, I don’t believe there was any requirement for members to fall into lock-step with the leader on this controversial issue and it’s fair to say that Dion’s position is entirely representative of the vast majority of the caucus.

Presumably to address where Harper stands on the issue of abortion, Taylor offers up a quote from his address to the 2005 Conservative Convention (which interestingly he retrieves from the extreme right-wing U.S. website Free Republic) where he said: “And, while I’m at it, I will tell you that, as prime minister, I will not bring forth legislation on the issue of abortion.” That’s reassuring, especially seeing as Harper’s not one to break promises. But let’s assume he’s good to his word, how do “social conservatives” within the party feel about that?

I Thought Harper Was a “Leader”

Ever since Stéphane Dion took over the helm of the badly listing Liberal ship following the party’s defeat in 2006 and a prolonged leadership contest that followed, we’ve been told by the Conservative party and its supporters that the former academic and cabinet minister is “not a leader.” By contrast, Stephen Harper has been touted as the embodiment of “leadership” — a principled man of conscience that’s unconcerned by the whims of popular opinion polls and is unafraid to stake out forward positions on a range of controversial issues. Or so the story goes.

Yesterday, in response to a question at a town hall meeting about the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, the pending bill that would make it a criminal offence to harm an unborn child during an attack on its mother, Dion stated that he opposed because it might infringe on women’s access to abortion. “We need to protect everyone against crime but, at the same time, it happens that I believe in the rights of women to choose and I have a lot of respect for the people who have a different view,” he told the crowd.

Dion then went on to ask that Stephen Harper to state his own position on abortion. “I think all Canadians have the right to know what the party leader thinks,” he said. “I gave my opinion. I want to hear the opinion of Stephen Harper.” A fair enough question it seems.

So how did our fearless “leader” respond? Harper had Darren Eke, some flunky in the PMO, send an e-mail distancing the government from the private member’s bill and further stating that the government “no intention to reopen the debate on abortion.” Wow. That was quite some “leadership” there. So much for appealing to the “silent majority” of social conservatives that have long been ignored by the media, but are supposed to living in what’s imagined will soon become “Harperland” after the next election.

Above & Beyond Obama’s “Pay Grade”

In another one of the “defining moments” from last weekend’s Saddleback forum (and yes, I promise this will be the last post on it), Pastor Warren asked each of the candidates “At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?”

Atrios cutely reframes the question by recalling Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill’s response to a similar query posed by Tim Russert on Meet The Press some years ago: “What are you asking? When does an embryo become ensouled?” Now that would have been a sharp comeback!

Unfortunately, Obama felt compelled to first point out the difference of opinion that exists depending on whether one was “looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective” (which led to the “pay grade” remark) and then launched into a rambling, err “thoughtful” discussion about the “moral and ethical dimensions” of the abortion issue.

Personally, I thought his response was just fine, if a little windy, but it was generally panned by the pundits and of course it most certainly didn’t go over well with the mainly evangelical audience. Many right-wing bloggers immediately seized on his remark that bringing specificity to the question of when life begins was “above my pay grade” — presumably because they viewed this as a craven abdication of responsibility, or maybe due to their inability to comprehend the notion that anything could possibly fall outside the ambit of presidential authority.

By contrast, McCain’s terse response to the question was, quite simply: “At the moment of conception.” Well, that’s just fine as a matter of religious dogma I suppose, but as Duncan points out:

Believe what you want, but the important question for politicians is how such things get translated into… policy. And when McCain says he believes life begins at conception (cheer!) it’s pretty meaningless unless he’s asked to explain how that would be translated into policy. Are blastocysts entitled to child support? Do all late periods need to be reported to the Ministry of Health? And, of course, my favorite: Are those who implant multiple embryos during IVF treatments, knowing full well that most will die, guilty of negligent manslaughter?

Most excellent questions and perhaps ones that should be kept in mind for future reference when dealing with our own home-grown fundamentalists and “fetus-fetishists” (you know WHO THEY ARE) in their neverending and utterly tiresome efforts to roll back the clock and have women’s reproductive rights curtailed or rescinded altogether in the name of God®.