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Source: (consider it) Thread: Rape and incest are the hand of the Almighty
teddybear
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Wasn't sure if this should be posted here or in Hell, but since it is directly related to anti-abortion legislation decided to put it here. If Hell is a better place for this, feel free to move it.

I am totally speechless about this. In particular this quote:
quote:
The Idaho bill’s House sponsor, state Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa, told legislators that the “hand of the Almighty” was at work. “His ways are higher than our ways,” Crane said. “He has the ability to take difficult, tragic, horrific circumstances and then turn them into wonderful examples.”
Another article about the bill .

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LutheranChik
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So the inscrutable ways of the Almighty are made manifest via rape and incest but not via abortion...or, one suspects, via the activities of the political opposition.

As the Church Lady on "Saturday Night Live" used to say, "Well, isn't that convenient? "

PS Also a reason not to look to politicians for theological profundity.

[ 10. April 2011, 17:51: Message edited by: LutheranChik ]

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Bran Stark
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Um I hardly think it's a novel assertion that God can use the fruits of foul deeds to bring about His will. From the last chapter of Genesis:

And Joseph said unto them, "Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."

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Horseman Bree
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I guess I don't believe in the God he believes in.

Or is it just one more reason not to be associated with publicity-oriented Christians?

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LutheranChik
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I'd wager that this politicians "pro-life" scruples don't extend to killing post-born children in the context of, say, war, poverty, pollution, etc.

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pjkirk
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Croesos'
quote:
Pro-life*


*offer expires at birth

seems slightly appropriate here.

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Louise
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Is this grandstanding which is likely to be struck down in the courts or is there any real prospect that they can get away with this?
L.

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pjkirk
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quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
Is this grandstanding which is likely to be struck down in the courts or is there any real prospect that they can get away with this?
L.

Very possibly the latter. The states are allowed to restrict abortions only on certain grounds, and one of those is viability. Most states have their laws written directly as such, but some set week limits on them. They'll have a very hard time, imo, arguing that 20 weeks is old enough for a child to be considered viable. 24 or 25 weeks would be a more defensible cutoff. Their rationale for choosing 20 weeks doesn't lend itself to a ready defense.

Looking at http://www.guttmacher.org/statecenter/spibs/spib_OAL.pdf , this would certainly be at the extreme end, though North Carolina also has the law state 20 weeks (may not be enforced, according to the pdf). Another site says that no state has tried to defend the specific week requirements in court yet, so this may be somewhat uncharted waters still.

The lack of provision for rape victims etc also appears to not have hit high courts. From the pdf:
quote:
Public Funding: 17 states use their own funds to pay for all or most medically necessary abortions for Medicaid
enrollees in the state. 32 states prohibit the use of state funds except in those cases when federal funds are available:
where the woman’s life is in danger or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. In defiance of federal
requirements, South Dakota limits funding to cases of life endangerment only

This makes me think that the limitations may not be something that Idaho can uphold. It would depend on the specifics of the new law and Roe v. Wade, etc,.... At the least, it looks like they can't block a medicaid patient from getting an abortion for these reasons past 20 weeks.

Honestly, with the current Supreme Court, I'm not sure how a case would filter through. I personally think they'd dodge the case.

I also just learned that my state has the fewest restrictions on abortion. I doubt it's ever come up as an issue here politically - I'll have to dig through the state senate database sometime perhaps. I certainly haven't heard about it at state level in the last 15 years.

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Beeswax Altar
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We will know when Anthony Kennedy decides in the next couple of years.

It's possible. I wouldn't be surprised either way. My guess would be...probably.

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Beeswax Altar
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x posted with pjkirk

The important case to consider is not so much Roe v. Wade but Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Kennedy voted twice to uphold bans on partial birth abortion even when it didn't include a provision for protecting the life of the mother. The rape part of the law will probably not be an issue. The question is the ban in the second trimester. He could go either way on that but my guess is he defers to the states.

On the larger issue, rape is an interesting conundrum for the pro-lifers. Most of them favor allowing abortions for victims of rape. However, who decides if shes a victim of rape? If an actual conviction is necessary, viability becomes an issue.

Perhaps, that is the real reason for the Idaho decision.

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joan knox

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'The Handmaid's Tale' suddenly springs to mind. This has all the hallmarks of the dawning of a Republic of Gilead...

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LutheranChik
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quote:
However, who decides if she's a victim of rape?
Oh, dear...we mustn't have the actual rape victim categorizing herself as such.

Let's pull out Teh Bibel! Yeah -- she needs male WITNESSES to confirm that it was a rape.

Otherwise she's just another loose woman who needs to be stoned to death (but not while pregnant, because that would be wrong).

[Projectile]

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
quote:
However, who decides if she's a victim of rape?
Oh, dear...we mustn't have the actual rape victim categorizing herself as such.
Actually, didn't the GOP in some state (Montana, I'm thinking?) float a bill to not allow a woman to say she'd been raped unless and until her alleged rapist was convicted?

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LutheranChik
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Some flyover bastion of anti-women right-wingers.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
We will know when Anthony Kennedy decides in the next couple of years.

It's possible. I wouldn't be surprised either way. My guess would be...probably.

If we use the Carhart II decision (the most recent U.S. Supreme Court decision touching abortion) they'd probably uphold such a law, if passed. The Roberts Court has adopted a form of minimalism to hollow out statutes it doesn't like without actually overturning them. In other words, while abortion remains legal and, in the terms set out in Casey, may not be subjected to restrictions that cause an "undue burden", the probability that the Roberts Court would find any specific burden "undue" is close to zero.

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Beeswax Altar
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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
quote:
However, who decides if she's a victim of rape?
Oh, dear...we mustn't have the actual rape victim categorizing herself as such.

Let's pull out Teh Bibel! Yeah -- she needs male WITNESSES to confirm that it was a rape.

Otherwise she's just another loose woman who needs to be stoned to death (but not while pregnant, because that would be wrong).

[Projectile]

That would be one possibility to consider.

Does she have to report the rape to somebody other than the abortion clinic? I'm thinking that won't be acceptable most pro-lifers. On the other hand, most of them accept women can have an abortion if she is raped? Is reporting the incident enough? Does she need a doctor to say conclusively she's been raped? How about a district attorney, grand jury, or ultimately a jury?

Depending on how you phrase it, a rape exemption can either be a loophole for extending the status quo or ultimately meaningless. Technically, the same thing can be said about the life of the mother. To me, you have to say abortion should be legal or it isn't. Trying to carve out those three exemptions isn't really practical.

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mousethief

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That's a good reductio, BA. It is inhuman to force a woman to bring to term a child gotten on her by rape. But there is no objective way to tell that. But we can't have these kinds of exceptions; it either has to be all one way or all the other way.

Therefore abortion should be legal for all.

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Beeswax Altar
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or take the position of the politician from Idaho

Donald Trump decided he was pro-life. The Donald was pro-choice. Then, he met people who didn't want children, had children, and loved them. It changed his mind. That and deciding to run for president as a Republican.

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sharkshooter

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
It is inhuman to force a woman to bring to term a child gotten on her by rape. But there is no objective way to tell that. But we can't have these kinds of exceptions; it either has to be all one way or all the other way.

Therefore abortion should be legal for all.


Of course, with a small change in assumption, that reads:

quote:
It is inhuman to force a woman to bring to term a child gotten on her by rape. It is also inhuman to kill an unborn child. But we can't have these kinds of exceptions; it either has to be all one way or all the other way.

Therefore abortion should be illegal for all.

Of course, I am in neither camp. I believe there can be exceptions. I believe that love does, on an extreme exception basis (like the rape situation), provide, not permission, but forgiveness.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by sharkshooter:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
It is inhuman to force a woman to bring to term a child gotten on her by rape. But there is no objective way to tell that. But we can't have these kinds of exceptions; it either has to be all one way or all the other way.

Therefore abortion should be legal for all.


Of course, with a small change in assumption, that reads:

quote:
It is inhuman to force a woman to bring to term a child gotten on her by rape. It is also inhuman to kill an unborn child. But we can't have these kinds of exceptions; it either has to be all one way or all the other way.

Therefore abortion should be illegal for all.


Hmm. You missed out the "inhuman" part. That was an essential part of my argument. There was an enthymeme: we should not do things that are inhuman. I thought we would all agree to that. Guess not.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Hmm. You missed out the "inhuman" part. That was an essential part of my argument. There was an enthymeme: we should not do things that are inhuman. I thought we would all agree to that. Guess not.

[tangent] I've noticed that the things bearing the descriptor 'inhuman' are often things that only humans do (or that only humans do on that scale). [/tangent]

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
[tangent] I've noticed that the things bearing the descriptor 'inhuman' are often things that only humans do (or that only humans do on that scale). [/tangent]

Yes, I believe that is the point of the adjective. Otherwise you'd use something like non-human.

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Bran Stark
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quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
Depending on how you phrase it, a rape exemption can either be a loophole for extending the status quo or ultimately meaningless. Technically, the same thing can be said about the life of the mother. To me, you have to say abortion should be legal or it isn't. Trying to carve out those three exemptions isn't really practical.

I agree, and hence fall into the "total abolition in all cases" camp. I'm guessing that quite a few others stand with me, but put on the life and rape exceptions in order to present a respectable face to the world.

quote:
Originally posted by sharkshooter:
Of course, I am in neither camp. I believe there can be exceptions. I believe that love does, on an extreme exception basis (like the rape situation), provide, not permission, but forgiveness.

Legal forgiveness or spiritual forgiveness?

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sharkshooter

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quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
... However, who decides if shes a victim of rape? If an actual conviction is necessary, viability becomes an issue.
...

I think there are ways to assist the doctor in making the determination. I doubt a conviction is a realistic line to draw in the sand, partly because time would be of the essence, and partly because of the need to protect the mother. That being said, an ad hoc committee comprised of medical, legal, law enforcement officials could evaluate the cases and provide advice. I would expect the doctor makes the final call, or it could require a consensus of the committee.

The number of rape/pregnancy cases is likely very small, so the committee approach is reasonable.

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Beeswax Altar
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So, you are willing to make an exception for rape. However, a board decides if it is rape or not? If the board says it isn't a rape and it is, you force the woman to carry the baby to term and call her a liar on top of that. This defeats the purpose of having an exception. If the board says it is a rape and it isn't, a fetus is aborted that shouldn't be which defeats the purpose of banning abortion in the first place.

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Crœsos
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Plus there's the the squicky misogyny of a "We'll Tell You if You Were Raped, Young Lady" Board.

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Soror Magna
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And in Canada, hospital abortion committees were struck down years ago. OliviaG

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Plus there's the the squicky misogyny of a "We'll Tell You if You Were Raped, Young Lady" Board.

Oh good, it's not just me.

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sharkshooter

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It seems you all misread my post. The doctor decides, on advice of a board of professionals.

That being said, to not allow the exception ever seems worse. If you prefer for all rape/pregnancy cases to force the woman to carry to term, fine. I was looking for an out, which it seems you all reject out of hand. For me the option of abortion on demand is never on the table. Likewise, a claim of rape must be reviewed to some degree. What constructive ideas does anyone else have on how to do it?

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North East Quine

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I see that the bill also bans termination on the grounds of fetal abnormality post 20 weeks (the time when most such abnormalities are picked up by scan here.)

I've been in this situation and chose to carry our baby to term, but I fully support those who choose to terminate. In the event our baby was still born, but during the pregnancy, when we were planning for the birth of a baby with gross skeletal deformity, it was obvious that the costs were going to be massive; the hospital were assuming that after the birth our baby would spend weeks, possibly 3 months in the Special Care Baby Unit, initially high dependency. He may well have faced several operations through his childhood. All this would have been paid for by the NHS (thank-you, British taxpayers!!) Also, it was unlikely that I'd work again in our son's lifetime, so I'd have been claiming state benefits as a carer, plus state benefits for our son as a disabled person.

How does this work in America - what provisions are made for the massive medical and social costs of a baby like this?

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sharkshooter

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quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
... If the board says it is a rape and it isn't, a fetus is aborted that shouldn't be which defeats the purpose of banning abortion in the first place.

No system is perfect, and allowing abortion on demand is one of those. If we allow abortion on demand, in case there is one situation where it should be allowed, we allow thousands of improper abortions for the sake of one proper one. In my way of thinking, we should make laws that fit the majority of cases, and allow exceptions for the exceptional.

A case wouldn't come to the board unless there is a claim of rape. So, the initial onus is on the mother.

As I said, if the only option is for all to carry to term, fine.

My assumption would be that if a rape had been reported to a psychologist, the police, a doctor, a minister and/or family members, the board would take that into consideration. If it had never been reported to anyone, they would also take that into consideration. So the decision is not the people sitting on the board in a vacuum (and I would hope there would be a significant number of women on the board, possibly 100%).

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North East Quine

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quote:
if the only option is for all to carry to term, fine.


No, it's not fine. Rape and incest are crimes; which other victims of crime does the senator regard as being in a situation in which they might be "wonderful examples". Suppose he was criminally injured in some way. Would he expect that he'd be able to get assistance to minimise the impact of the crime? Or would he prefer to have the injury impact on the rest of his life in the hope that he'd be a "wonderful example"?
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sharkshooter

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quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
..No, it's not fine. ...

Which is why I was exploring options. Duh!

If there is a field of wheat with some weeds in it, do you burn down the whole field to kill the weeds?

If Osama bin Laden is in Afganistan, do you carpet bomb the whole country with nukes?

No. Of course not. Likewise, I don't believe allowing abortion on demand is the answer to the rare case of rape/pregnancy. You make the rule for the majority, and allow for exceptions when they must be made.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. [Psalm 19:14]

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North East Quine

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# 13049

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Sharkshooter, I'm just musing here. When I was pregnant with our ultimately-stillborn child, the medical advice was to terminate. In fact, I was still being offered a termination at 7 months pregnant which was distressing. At least one doctor thought my husband and I were "in denial" so I'm not sure what a psychologist would have made of me.

My husband and I felt we were having to second guess the medical staff. If we got upset, then the staff suggested we couldn't cope. If we put a brave face on, then we were in denial. We were trying to choose a way of presenting ourselves which made our choice to have our baby seem acceptable.

I'm trying to imagine handing the decision of the outcome of my pregnancy to a panel of professionals. Now, husband and I are both university educated and well able to argue our corner. And the hospital care was uniformly excellent. But I knew that the health professionals didn't agree with our decision to continue with the pregnancy. I'm trying to imagine a situation when I didn't have a supportive husband and felt my life choices were out of my hands and in the hands of a professional panel. I think I would have been terrified. I don't think I would have trusted them to make the right decision. So I have huge sympathy for the woman in exactly the reverse situation - the woman carrying a child she doesn't want to bear, knowing that the decision will be made for her by a panel. I imagine a rape victim would do what we did, try to come up with a narrative, maybe not strictly accurate, that would produce the desired result.

Does that make sense?

(Edited to add - this is in no way a criticism of our medical care or any of the hospital staff. They were excellent, and we're grateful for their care.)

[ 12. April 2011, 12:29: Message edited by: North East Quine ]

Posts: 6414 | From: North East Scotland | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Liopleurodon

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TBH, I'm thinking that in a great many cases, the trauma of having to go before a board to persuade people that you were actually raped, combined with the trauma of the uncertainty about their response (and probably delays in getting this all sorted - professionals can't fit these things into their diary at short notice) and the trauma of the rape itself (and all the stress about whether or not to report), would probably be enough to persuade women to go back to backstreet abortionists to forego the whole thing, even at the risk of their own lives.

The people most likely to be able to cope with it (the board scenario) are women who haven't been raped but are prepared to lie in order to get the abortion - with all the consequences that might occur for the father of the child.

Then of course, you get a few cases where the lies fall through and suddenly every woman who is raped and wants an abortion is automatically seen as a liar. Adding more trauma.

Not to mention that unless you can persuade all doctors that abortion is wrong (which I doubt you'll ever do) there will be many members of these boards who think the law is an ass and will certify rape as a rubber stamp action in all cases, just as there have always been doctors who are prepared to say that the mother's mental health is threatened in all cases.

ISTM you're likely to get the worst possible outcomes in a great many respects.

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Louise
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quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
I see that the bill also bans termination on the grounds of fetal abnormality post 20 weeks (the time when most such abnormalities are picked up by scan here.)

I've been in this situation and chose to carry our baby to term, but I fully support those who choose to terminate. In the event our baby was still born, but during the pregnancy, when we were planning for the birth of a baby with gross skeletal deformity, it was obvious that the costs were going to be massive; the hospital were assuming that after the birth our baby would spend weeks, possibly 3 months in the Special Care Baby Unit, initially high dependency. He may well have faced several operations through his childhood. All this would have been paid for by the NHS (thank-you, British taxpayers!!) Also, it was unlikely that I'd work again in our son's lifetime, so I'd have been claiming state benefits as a carer, plus state benefits for our son as a disabled person.

How does this work in America - what provisions are made for the massive medical and social costs of a baby like this?

I notice you didn't get an answer to that. I suppose we're back to Croesus' "offer expires at birth".

L

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sharkshooter

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quote:
Originally posted by Liopleurodon:
...
ISTM you're likely to get the worst possible outcomes in a great many respects.

Worse case from your point of view is that all rape/pregnancy situations must carry to full term. Worse case from my point of view is abortion on demand. My proposal would see some (hopefully most or all) the victims of rape/pregnancy have the option to terminate. How is that worse than either extreme?

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
quote:
Originally posted by North East Quine:
How does this work in America - what provisions are made for the massive medical and social costs of a baby like this?

I notice you didn't get an answer to that. I suppose we're back to Croesus' "offer expires at birth".
The answer, of course, is that no provisions are made, and the parents are on the hook for the full cost. It may be that they are covered by insurance, if lucky. If they are really lucky the insurance will have maximum out-of-pocket caps which means they will be able to come out of it without going bankrupt. Odds are slightly better, however, that they will in fact go bankrupt, and still probably not get all the medical care the child needs; I would say the prognosis for the child would not be good, even if it could have survived and throve (thriven?) in a civilized country with universal coverage.

In short, offer expires at birth. The most strident abortion foes are also the people most violently opposed to extending health care to the "least of these." Go figure. Offer expires at birth.

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LutheranChik
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What happens in America is...the family is reduced to indigency in order to qualify for Medicaid; and then must stay indigent in order for Medicaid to continue paying for the child -- families can only have about $2,000 in assets, plus one vehicle and their house -- the latter, in most states, destined to be taken over by the state upon the death of the Medicaid recipient; at least that's true in the case of older people.

So basically state-enforced poverty, in return for medical care for the disabled child, is how it works here. There's a Puritanical streak in the American political psyche that tends to want to punish people in financial straits for needing help.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
What happens in America is...the family is reduced to indigency in order to qualify for Medicaid; and then must stay indigent in order for Medicaid to continue paying for the child -- families can only have about $2,000 in assets, plus one vehicle and their house -- the latter, in most states, destined to be taken over by the state upon the death of the Medicaid recipient; at least that's true in the case of older people.

So basically state-enforced poverty, in return for medical care for the disabled child, is how it works here. There's a Puritanical streak in the American political psyche that tends to want to punish people in financial straits for needing help.

You missed the GOP-sponsored spending bill currently before congress. Kiss Medicaid goodbye.

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LutheranChik
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"Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons?"

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Timothy the Obscure

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Prisons we got...

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When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.
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Leaf
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quote:
Originally posted by Bran Stark:
And Joseph said unto them, "Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."

Please note a Very Large Difference between the Scripture quote and the OP: In the story of Joseph, this theology is presented as being Joseph's interpretation of his own suffering. To interpret your own experience of suffering in this way is one thing. To interpret someone else's experience of suffering this way is callous, horrible, unethical.

The politician mentioned in the OP might have been trying to proclaim something of God, but it comes across as a bullshit-frosted way of saying, "Suck it up, buttercup."

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North East Quine

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# 13049

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Thank you, mousethief and LutheranChik.

So, if I was in America, I'd probably have chosen to terminate post 20 weeks, if we couldn't have afforded the massive costs involved in giving our precious baby a fighting chance of a life.

Obviously I'm seeing the abortion debate from a slightly unusual viewpoint, being pro-choice but having chosen, myself, not to terminate. Having been in this situation, I have inevitably had others approach me with their story and the aspect I've learned from this is the sheer love and compassion which compels many people to abort their precious babies.

Perhaps it is a lack of faith that God will make "wonderful examples" of their children; but are the pro-life lobby working towards the "wonderful examples? And, to return more directly to the OP, are they campaigning for support for the rape victim upon whom they'd foist single parenthood? Single parenthood is tough, especially if the woman explicitly didn't want to be pregnant in the first place; how would they make it easier? How do they support the child growing up knowing they were the result of a crime of violence?

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LutheranChik
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NEQ: One of my former coworkers had a severely physically handicapped son who has had to spend his life in a wheelchair, who needs an attendant 24/7, needed at-home schooling, a series of painful and dangerous operations, etc. Because in this country one has to be absolutely poverty-stricken in order to receive assistance with this level of medical services, he and his wife divorced. That brought her income down to the indigency level demanded by Medicaid in order for her son to get the care he needs.

It's a fairly common scenario -- families who have to break up in order for a disabled child to receive help.

That's how "the greatest country in the world" treats families with seriously handicapped children.

[ 13. April 2011, 11:41: Message edited by: LutheranChik ]

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North East Quine

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# 13049

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That's appalling, LutheranChik. Thank you for your reply.
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art dunce
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We are called upon to take up our own cross not to go around foisting them upon others.

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Taliesin
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sorry, art dunce, but what on earth do you mean by that?

It almost sounds as if you think a family should be entirely responsible for things they can't possibly do...

I've probably misunderstood you. But in a culture where people aren't expected to sit down with a severely disabled baby/child and allow him or her to die in their arms (and that's a whole other debate) Just as people, generally, are expected to get treatment for a whole raft of things people used to just die of, and indeed still do in (two-thirds?) of the world, then it has nothing to do with carrying your own cross.

I think, actually, Jesus had something to say about 'whatever you failed to do for the least of these, you failed to do for me'?

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LutheranChik
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# 9826

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Not to mention, "Bear one another's burdens..."

Perhaps A-D has confused Jesus and the Apostles with Ayn Rand. That happens a lot in certain political circles.

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art dunce
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Not at all. The topic at hand is rape and incest being the hand of G-d and the resulting pregnancy if there is one being part of some plan. I was raised in a world where the response to this and other such events was " it's your cross to bear". It seems part of many people's theology to habitually going around deciding this for others Instead of allowing that we are to choose this for ourselves. I don't quite get the lack of generosity in your response though. I will bow out.

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