Monday, February 12, 2007

Liberal Politics in Portugal

I know this blog is primarily focused on U.S. issues, but the abortion debate that has been rekindled in Portugal has gotten my attention.

Says the Washington Post: Portugal's prime minister said he will enact more liberal abortion laws in the conservative Roman Catholic country even though his proposal to relax restrictions failed to win complete endorsement in a referendum. [...] However, under Portuguese law more than 50 percent of the country's 8.9 million registered voters must participate in a referendum to make the ballot valid. The turnout Sunday was 44 percent.


Believe it or not, yours truly is (sorta secretly) anti-abortion. However, this is such a tricky debate because the minute a society starts selectively enforcing religious dogma as law, all hell can and will break loose. If Roe v. Wade were to be overturned here in the States, what would happen to other progressive laws?

An even harder question, when and how did the debate over the pursuit of happiness get tied up in the abortion debate? Speaking as a man this may be terribly shortsighted of me to say, but still, we are talking about the ending of a life. And the ending of that life is for the benefit, and perhaps, longterm happiness of another.

I wish I could look at this issue in black and white...

12 comments:

Gene said...

"Believe it or not, yours truly is (sorta secretly) anti-abortion." I believe it. Absolutely. It isn't too much of a stretch to say that everybody is anti-abortion.

There are no songs about the "joys of abortion, tra-la."

The discussion is about the right to access to safe procedures.

The discussion is whether or not these procedures are 1) safe, 2) legal, and 3) RARE. (If this is not the discussion, oughtn't it be?)

James Henry Bailey said...

Many Christians consider the fetus a human life upon conception, but offer no evidence or proof to support their contention other than the Bible.

You can't subjugate reason and science to religion in any debate concerning life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Science has shown that a fetus is not an actual human life. It is a potential human life. If a fetus were to be considered a human life, then so would the sole egg and the sperm, and the destruction of either would also be criminal (which, by the way, is the position of the Vatican).

Thus, a fetus cannot have superior rights over the mother. A truly free woman must be able to exercise her own right to life by having total control of her reproductive organs. Limiting that control in any way by federal interference is totalitarian.

As for Roe v. Wade, it will be overturned someday. And the issue will return to the states, where it belongs. The notion that the federal government is responsible for providing access to "safe" abortions to all women is nonsense.

James Henry Bailey said...

Correction. Upon re-reading my comment, I see I misspoke:

The notion that the federal government is responsible for providing access to "safe" abortions to all women is nonsense.

Roe v. Wade did not make the government responsible for providing safe access to abortion for all women (though it may as well have), it simply protected the (non-existent) right of all women to have access to safe abortion., and extended federal protection therein.

My apologies.

Berdo said...

I think the biggest problem with the abortion debate is the irresponsible, demonizing ways each side tries to caricature the other. Generally, the left attempts to make the right look like a bunch of religous fanatics who could give a shit about women's rights. The right attempts to make the left look like a bunch of hedonistic baby killers with no respect for human life. And the truth is that the VAST majority of both parties are pro-abortion up until the point where a fetus has its own heartbeat and brain activity, which is somewhere during the second trimester. If both sides stop trying to make the other side look like the devil, they may realize they're not really all that far apart on this issue at all.

GCL said...

Gene, I beg to disagree that everybody is anti-abortion. There are t-shirts out there saying "I Had An Abortion." My girls on Sex and the City talked about getting abortions the way they talked about getting a bikini wax -- a necessary evil.

JHB, I do believe that life begins at conception. If you let that seed grow it's going to become a person. Now, let me be clear, there is a huge difference between a seed and a three month old fetus.

I'm not calling for the illegalization of birth control, but that might come from some self-serving beliefs. Gay rights are intrinsically tied to a woman's right to choose -- it's just another liberal issue for middle America.

ThatGayConservative said...

, but offer no evidence or proof to support their contention other than the Bible.

How about the definition of life which is that which differentiates organic and inorganic things? Are you willing to tell me that there's no difference between a fetus and a human corpse?

I would say that an ovum as well as the yolk of an egg are potential life.Once it's fertilized and starts to grow, it's alive. If it didn't grow on it's own and only by the sheer will of the mother, I might be inclined to agree with you. And it's clear that a spermatozoan is alive. Otherwise it would just sit there moving only when it shoots out your dick.

If a plant is alive, why wouldn't a fetus be alive?

James Henry Bailey said...

A fetus is a clump of cells that does not constitiute a human life any more than a sperm or an egg. It represents a potnetial human life. Under the right conditions, life will evolve.

You can't hold a woman's freedom hostage to an clump of cells.

ThatGayConservative said...

A fetus is a clump of cells that does not constitiute a human life any more than a sperm or an egg. It represents a potnetial human life. Under the right conditions, life will evolve.

You can't hold a woman's freedom hostage to an clump of cells.


Pardon me, but aren't those cells living? Further, if you planted some tomatos and I came along with a shop-vac and sucked them all up, wouldn't you be pissed off? Why or why not?

Let's be honest. Abortion has nothing to do with women's "freedom" as it is all about pushing the liberal agenda. Abortion is the sacrement of the liberal cult. It's not about "freedom" as they want you to believe because they don't give a rotten damn about that.

James Henry Bailey said...

I agree that abortion is the one and only right that liberals feel is sacred. All other rights pale in comparison. Unfortunately, their support for Roe V. Wade is misguided.

As for the tomato plant analogy- I'm not sure it makes much sense to me. I would equate this "clump of cells" with the likes of those that are killed off by alcohol consumption- they are every bit as active and have just as much purpose. If I had a brain tumor and a portion of my brain tissue would need to be removed to rid me of the disease, I doubt that anyone would accuse me of killing-off life.

ThatGayConservative said...

I would equate this "clump of cells" with the likes of those that are killed off by alcohol consumption- they are every bit as active and have just as much purpose.

Sooooooooooo.....brain cells could grow into a human being? I'll be damned. So much for my Mississippi public school edumacation. I sure as hell didn't know that. Hell, for that matter, why not let pregnant women drink? WTF, eh?

If I had a brain tumor and a portion of my brain tissue would need to be removed to rid me of the disease, I doubt that anyone would accuse me of killing-off life.

If that's your thinking, with no due respect, I don't think you'd have much to spare.

ThatGayConservative said...

BTW, could somebody please explain to me what the hell killing babies with a shop-vac has to do with gay rights?

I know David won't answer my question. Perhaps some of you might?

The only correlation I can imagine is folks using it to prevent having a gay child, thereby ensuring the establishment of a pure race, but that's just me.

James Henry Bailey said...

Sooooooooooo.....brain cells could grow into a human being?

I did not say that brain cells have the same potential as fetal cells.

If that's your thinking, with no due respect, I don't think you'd have much to spare.

That's exactly the kind of insult-disguised-as-debate I would expect from a liberal.