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Published: Friday, Aug. 29 2014 2:08 p.m. MDT

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ECR
Burke, VA

So why does anyone, especially the DN editors, care what Richard Dawkins thinks? Why was this incident or opinion, of all the opinions across the country, highlighted for an editorial essay?

Mr. Dawkins obviously has a different set of standards to live by than most of the readers of the DN, or not. So why use this page to highlight his opinion rather than just ignore it and not publicize it. How many of the readers of the DN would have even known about his tweet had it not been highlighted in this essay?

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

Personally I think the point of abortion rights is that a woman gets to choose for or against such actions herself within limits.

That's his opinion, probably wouldn't be mine carte blanche.

To the point of the article though, the voice of the other end of the slippery slope no choice at all is in full throttle in America. Personhood amendments, and legal regulations on providers are rampant.

You find one voice on the left and sound the alarm while casually mentioning two slopes, when in fact the right hand slope is up, greased, fully functioning.

It's like when the media has a discussion regarding climate change with one supporter and one nay sayer, when in fact it should be 97 supporters and one nay sayer.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Do we choose for ourselves the terms and conditions for giving life? Will we find that it is ethical to abort female babies or male babies? Will we find that is is ethical to abort a baby that doesn't have blue eyes, or brown or hazel? What are the conditions that we will accept as being the "perfect" baby?

Mankind has only been given the option to invite children into the world through the creative act. God decides whom to send. Each person has infinite worth. Each person has a purpose and a mission. The world needs every type of person to soften us, to teach us to care for those who are not "perfect", to remind us that some have physical flaws that handicap them, but that all of us have hidden flaws that handicap our eternal progression.

We need to deal with life as it is, not as we wish it were. Babies are precious and they should all be treated as gifts from God.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Who the heck is Richard Dawkins?... and why does ANYBODY care what HE says?

It's his opinion. Just because he thinks it... doesn't mean we have to do it!

Do we just follow Evolutionary Biologists, or other people who tell us it's OK to abort your babies???

I mean it may make you feel more OK about your decision to hear that other people agree that you should abort... but I doubt anybody's going to go out and get an abortion because this guy (who evidently has some clout in some circles) said to.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@pragmatistferlife – “the right hand slope is up, greased, fully functioning.”

Thanks for adding some accurate perspective to a topic that typically has none.

And to ECR’s point, I think the whole reason for printing the article (despite the faux-protestations of the 1st two paragraphs) is to give justification for this extremism on the Right.

But if we take those two paragraphs seriously (even when the author does not) we should recognize that this issue will never go away if the extremists remain the only voices at the table. We could end this issue (at least being a hot button perpetual political issue) once and for all if a reasonable compromise we’re enacted into law.

How about this – pick a time period when a fetus develops most of the characteristics of being a person, say somewhere between 7 and 20 weeks, and make abortion illegal for any time after that (life of mother exceptions, etc…) - prior to that it is between the parents and their doctor.

Now which side do you think will oppose this vehemently? And so this issue will never go away until all blastocysts are issued social security cards.

GZE
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

From an evolutionary biology point of view, where you are are talking about genetic traits becoming more common in the species over time, his statement probably makes sense.

To people dealing with real life, it doesn't.

He's entitled to express his opinion. The rest of us are entitled to ignore him.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Tyler D,

A human being is teachable until he reaches teenage years, but until he is about four, he doesn't have enough "skills" to comprehend much. His vocabulary is too small. His frame of reference is too limited. If we used your logic, it would be permissible to terminate life whenever YOU have decided that that person doesn't "qualify" for life. How about the aged? With a glut of "baby-boomers", at what age would you give them the dreaded "pink pill" to terminate their lives, after all, we can't have anyone around that inhibits our idea of a perfect and pleasurable life.

When a woman has consented to sex (not rape and not incest), a pregnancy should not be terminated. I know that some would say that when the health of the mother is in question, that abortion is allowable. Many families have faced that possibility, including ours. We choose to NOT abort. A innocent life must never be destroyed because we are too involved in our own life to care about those who are the most innocent among us.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

Mike, you have your opinion and you have a right to it and to express it. In perspective however you are the right slippery slope I talked about.

"God decides whom to send." I absolutely disagree with this as do many (millions) of others. Therefore in terms of public policy my opinion and the millions of other like me count as much as yours. Therefore in the course of policy discussion we, as the citizens of the United States get to decide at what point a fetus should be protected. If that has eternal consequences so be it, I doubt it though.

The fact of the matter is we have had that discussion and it resides in Roe v Wade. 26 weeks is the standard. At the same time there is nothing in the law that requires you or your family to abort a fetus at any stage. So if you think it's wrong and has eternal consequences don't.
Many of us don't.

Now if you can prove that God exists and that the single agreed upon God has spoken in terms procreation policy, I'm all ears.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Mike Richards – “If we used your logic…”

Mike, my logic was all about not going down any slippery slopes, which again was the (disingenuous) point of the article. Going from a fetus still developing a brain stem, limbs, organs, etc. to terminating toddlers is a place you went to all on your own.

Your point seems to suggest that we cannot draw any lines on this issue, yet our entire legal framework is built on the fact that we draw legal lines all the time (e.g., under 65mph legal, over 65mph illegal).

So let me ask you a question – when does a soul enter a body? Does that happen at the moment of conception or at some point in fetal development?

Also, please tell us how you would force mothers to carry all pregnancies to term, especially early on? If they used, for example, the morning after pill do you advocate prison terms for this offense?

These questions become increasingly relevant as medical technology continues to make birth control and early term abortions easier to obtain all the time.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Tyler,

Re: "Now which side do you think will oppose this vehemently?"... (limiting abortion to somewhere between 7 and 20 weeks)...

Your question has already been answered!

2013... Texas tried to limit some abortions after 20 weeks ("20 weeks" is a more palatable way of saying a "5 month old", just 3 months from full term).

Remember the excessive response from Planned Parenthood, Abortion Advocates, and Democrats nationwide? It lead national news for weeks!

Remember beautiful blond layer Wendy Davis?

"On June 25, 2013, Davis held an eleven-hour-long filibuster to block Senate Bill 5, a measure which included more restrictive abortion regulations for Texas. The filibuster played a major role in Senate Democrats' success in delaying passage of the bill beyond the midnight deadline for the end of the legislative session".

She became a Democrat HERO for her filibuster. (note: Republicans who filibusters are villains... Democrats who filibuster are heros) anyway... she became an overnight sensation for her filibuster. Now she's running for Governor of Texas. Some want her to run for PRESIDENT!

There were no protests from the right....

It happened!

It answers your question, "Who would oppose this vehemently"??

OHBU
Columbus, OH

Mike,
"Many families have faced that possibility, including ours. We choose to NOT abort."

Here's a point many on the right ignore...the pro-choice crowd absolutely supports you in that decision. You even referenced choice. Pro-choice advocates don't mean you SHOULD abort when the mother's health is at risk, but that she should have the right to do so.

Abortion really boils down to the same thing all laws boil down to: When you have two people's rights clash where granting to one diminishes the other, there must be a compromise. Here, the baby and the mother are those two people. Why is the mother not "innocent"? If a mother gets pregnant, only to find out 4 weeks later that her life is at serious risk and the baby is unlikely to survive, why should be we deny her the right to survive?

The compromise was reached in Roe v Wade where abortion was granted up until the point it was deemed the baby was viable outside the womb--that being the determination that it was a fully-formed human being.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Isn't it interesting that those who were allowed to live now choose to destroy other lives that are coming to earth. Who gave them that "right". The Constitution, if we believe the same-sex "marriage" crowd, tells us that we are all equal and that we must be treated equally. Surely destroying a life is not treating that person equally, especially when that person has done nothing wrong, nothing against society, except to accept the invitation offered to come to earth.

What kind of barbarians has society become when people think that they can kill whomever they wish as long as they "say" that the life is inconsequential? Who made that life inconsequential? Did our Creator, who made all things so that life could exist, or did some of the people on this earth who have taken to themselves the role of judge, jury and executioner?

We look with disgust at societies that destroyed those whom they thought inferior, including the NAZIs. How will our society be judged when we are shown to have allowed over 55,000,000 of the unborn in America to be destroyed?

OHBU
Columbus, OH

Mike,

You say destroy other lives, I say prevent lives from even beginning. In other words, they are not a human being in the early stages of pregnancy. They have to potential to become so, naturally, but that doesn't mean they are. You are ignoring the fact that you too are making a determination at which point you are satisfied that they are human. Many believe using condoms to be immoral because it destroys sperm. There is some Biblical justification for this point of view (Gen 38:9). Each use of a condom destroys, on average, 180 million potential lives. Many believe that only to be the seed, and it's not a human until the egg is fertilized. For me, a seed is not a tree. A seed placed in the ground is not a tree. It's not a tree until it sprouts into one. A fetus which lacks the possibility to live outside the mother, regardless the intervention, is a part of the mother's body, not an independent life.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

ECR, 2 Bits, and Tyler D,

People care about Dawkins because he is a constant (shrill) voice against those who hold a religious opinion.

He certainly does not represent all atheists but he certainly does speak for some. Irrespective of that, when someone of his stature speaks something so abhorrent, it should be noted and spoken against.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Pro Choice simply asserts that women are sovereign over their own bodies. This has been a long time in coming. Traditionally a female goes from being her father's property to being her husbands property. Many still think this (this is stridently the view in Islam).

So what about a situation where sex is forced on a woman, in or out of marriage? This is rape, and in that case a woman has a right to abort a pregnancy which results.

conservative scientist
Lindon, UT

There is no question that Hitler would agree with Mr. Dawkins. He is putting himself in good company.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

The typical DN reader would learn an enormous amount by reading one of Dawkins' books.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Re: OHBU "Many believe using condoms to be immoral because it destroys sperm. There is some Biblical justification for this point of view (Gen 38:9)..."

In fact in Bible times was it not believed that the entire human being was in the male seed? In that scenario the woman was essentially just a flower pot. So spilling one's male seed on the ground was literally taking life.

We now understand that half of a new life comes from the woman. But we are slow to understand that women have rights equal to men. A lot of our social conflict centers on this fact.

snatick
Sandy, UT

I agree with the basic premise that Richard Dawkins' tweet was appalling. I don't understand, however, the assertion that he's talking from the "bottom of the slippery slope." I see no express assertion by him for or against abortion. Certainly I see no slippery slope argument being asserted.

The discussion of a slippery slope is confusing and misses the bigger point: that what his deplorable position actually reveals, apparently unwittingly, is a deeply troublesome aspect of current American law: that a person could electively abort an unwanted child for essentially any reason. Nothing in the laws prevents that—for the price of a genetic test, a couple could take the steps he promotes.

L White
Springville, UT

Who had a choice? Did the 55,000,000 unborn babies who were aborted have a choice? When did they get to speak? Who represented them?

My hubby did a little checking for me. He said that the average number of live births per year in America, starting with 1976 and ending in 2013, was about 3,800,000. So, 37 times 3.8 million is about 140.6 million babies born. There was one abortion for every 2.5 live births!

Then my hubby did a little more research and found that only about 6% of pregnancies are "high risk" where either the baby or the mother could be at risk. So for the approximately 200 million women who were pregnant during that time, only about 12 million would be in the "high risk" category. That means that 43,000,000 babies were aborted where there was no medical "high risk" reason to destroy that unborn baby.

Who spoke for those babies? Did they have a lawyer represent them?

Would a moral nation destroy its unborn babies?

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