A Veto for Oklahoma’s Quixotic Abortion Bill

May 24, 2016

By Matt Ford

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin vetoed a unprecedented bill Friday that would have made it a felony for physicians to perform abortions in the state, saying the proposed law would not survive the inevitable legal challenges against it.

“While I consistently have and continue to support a re-examination of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, this legislation cannot accomplish that re-examination,” Fallin said in a statement.

Senate Bill 1552 would have imposed a one- to three-year prison sentence for performing an abortion and stripped providing physicians of their medical licenses—a direct violation of Roe v. Wade that was virtually guaranteed to be struck down by the courts.

Oklahoma’s Senate approved the bill by a 33-12 vote on Thursday. The Oklahoma House previously passed the legislation in April by a 59-9 vote.

Fallin, who strongly opposes abortion, signaled Thursday she could veto the legislation after it passed the Senate. “The governor will withhold comment on that bill, as she does on most bills, until she and her staff have had a chance to review it,” Fallin spokesman Michael McNutt told the Washington Post at the time.


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42 comments on “A Veto for Oklahoma’s Quixotic Abortion Bill

  • According to the BBC report, she will veto the bill because it will not stand up to legal challenge. despite the fact that she opposes abortion.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-36348728

    Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has vetoed a bill that would make abortion a criminal offence in the US state.

    Although she opposes abortion, she said the measure was vague and would not withstand a legal challenge.

    The state senate on Thursday backed the bill that would have punished doctors who terminate a pregnancy with up to three years in prison. They would also be barred from practising medicine.

    To override the veto, lawmakers require a two-thirds majority in each chamber.

    Abortion is legal in the US, and abortion rights activists have already described the bill as unconstitutional.



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  • caelon #2
    May 25, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    The implication is that secularists and atheists have to believe in abortion. Why?

    Atheists don’t have to believe in anything, but rational atheists should be evaluating issues on their merits in terms of anticipated effects on human individuals, families and populations.

    There are clear cases where the future prospects of mothers and babies are very poor, so abortions may be appropriate in their best interests.

    Supernatural dogmas do not normally play any part in atheist judgements, although some may unthinkingly carry over cultural memes from the religions of their families or cultures.



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  • caelon #2
    May 25, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    The implication is that secularists and atheists have to believe in abortion.

    Of course the main theme of this discussion is about the stupidity of ill informed local state legislators interfering with federal legal rights and medical judgements on the basis of their personal superstitions.

    There was a similar case of ignorant stupidity here!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/05/state-mandated-mourning-for-aborted-fetuses/



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  • The implication is that Republicans who are “pro-life” continue to be irrational, hypocritical, greedy and stupid – supporting a reactionary, sick bill like this (which won’t pass) while feeling not even a modicum of compunction about sending drones to kill our eternal enemies and killing innocent real human lives along with it, or about being neo-cons (fascists) and supporting immoral wars of expansion and power, or about supporting capital punishment, or about opposing universal health coverage which would save many lives.

    Or about supporting Trump who doesn’t believe in climate change, something that will eventually destroy us all, all of “God’s children.” No, the Republican party –the religious right, in particular – is serving the Devil. No question about it.



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  • Dan #5
    May 25, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    The implication is that Republicans who are “pro-life” continue to be irrational, hypocritical, greedy and stupid

    Most of those who claim to be “pro-life” are simply anti-abortion dogma parrots, who have no idea what “life” is, but think it starts with soul-woo at conception!



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  • Dan #5.

    I wonder if anyone’s studied the correlation in viewpoints there, and the reasons why.
    i.e Why should someone who is “pro-life” statistically be more likely to be pro-capital punishment (and hawkish warmongers and anti-“socialist medicine” and the rest of the package)?
    There’s no obvious reason why one’s views on the economy should not be made independently of one’s views on reproductive issues, and yet it’s clear that the majority of people do not form these views independently, because one can be predicted from the other.

    Is it “peer pressure” perhaps, the clubbability of saying “I’m a Republican” or “I’m a Democrat” and then going with the party line on a package of issues?

    Look at Trump, he’s batshit-crazy far-right on almost all Republican issues (or says he is), but because he appears tolerant of LGBTs he’s just not Republican enough for his party 😉



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  • @ MadEnglishman

    I would suggest googling Noam Chomsky; his interviews, lectures, articles, etc. I don’t know what you think of him, but I think he is probably the person best qualified to address the complex question you’ve asked.

    (In a recent interview he said that the Republican party is no longer a political party; it’s a radical insurgency. He then quoted someone named Ornstein: “You can tell that even by the votes. I mean, any issue of any complexity is going to have some diversity of opinion. But when you get a unanimous vote to kill the Iranian deal or the Affordable Care Act or whatever the next thing may be, you know you’re not dealing with a political party.”)



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  • I don’t think that Mary Fallin has ordered any drones to be sent over anywhere to kill enemies. Sure ethical issues should be judged logically, and personally I can quite see the logic of a view -the physiological truth- that a child before he’s born is no different from a child afterwards; I assume noone is advocating legal infanticide. Whether religious people also hold this view or not is irrelevant to whether the bill should be passed. It’s an ethical not a religious issue



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  • caelon #11
    May 26, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Sure ethical issues should be judged logically, and personally I can quite see the logic of a view -the physiological truth- that a child before he’s born is no different from a child afterwards;

    It is of course a fallacious circular argument to pretend that a zygote, blastocyst, embryo, or early stage foetus, is a “child”!

    the physiological truth- that a child before he’s born is no different from a child afterwards;

    There are very clear biological differences at all stages of development, so an assertion of “truth of no difference” is nonsense!

    I assume no-one is advocating legal infanticide.

    Infanticide is a legal term which means illegal killing, so if destruction of human tissue is legal, it is not by definition “infanticide”.
    “Legal infanticide” is oxymoron semantics!

    Whether religious people also hold this view or not is irrelevant to whether the bill should be passed. It’s an ethical not a religious issue

    The whole assertion that zygotes are “children” is an unscientific argument based on the religious claim of “ensoulment at conception”.

    Science based ethics looks at the merits of the development stage, foetus viability, and future life prospects of the prospective child and mother.

    You make no case on those ethical issues concerning the potentially interested parties.



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  • Infanticide is the homicide of a newly-born infant, and it is illegal.

    The child begins to exhibit voluntary movement inside the womb, usually around 14-16 weeks. At this point the child is able to react to external stimuli, which is held as the standard for life. I has a brain, skeleton and all internal organs. The thalamus is formed by 20 weeks. The child is thus no different at this point from a child after birth, it just puts on more body weight. But my concern is not about abortion, but the demands which seem to be being put on secularists because of it.

    Richard Dawkins says we should not be “species-ist” (as he puts it) and we should be kind to animals. Religious people may say we should be kind to animals because they are God’s creatures. Although an atheist, this does not make Prof Dawkins wrong. Same with other atheists about abortion.



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  • Infanticide is the homicide of a newly-born infant, and it is illegal.

    The child begins to exhibit voluntary movement inside the womb around 14-16 weeks. At this point the he is able to react to external stimuli, has a brain, skeleton and all internal organs. The thalamus is formed by 20 weeks. The child is thus no different at this point from a child after birth, it just puts on more body weight. But my concern is not about abortion, but the demands which seem to be being put on secularists because of it.

    Richard Dawkins says we should not be “species-ist” (as he puts it) and we should be kind to animals. Religious people may say we should be kind to animals because they are God’s creatures. Although an atheist, this does not make Prof Dawkins wrong. Same with other atheists about abortion.



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  • caelon #13
    May 26, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    caelon @11- caelon a child before he’s born is no different from a child afterwards; I assume no-one is advocating legal infanticide.

    Infanticide is the homicide of a newly-born infant, and it is illegal.

    it is quite clear from context, that you linked “infanticide” to abortion @11 unless it was simply an irrelevance!

    The child begins to exhibit voluntary movement inside the womb, usually around 14-16 weeks. At this point the child is able to react to external stimuli, which is held as the standard for life.

    It is not “a child at 14 – 16 weeks! It is a developing foetus.

    At this point the child is able to react to external stimuli, which is held as the standard for life.

    The leg of a dead frog can respond to external stimulus in a laboratory. This does not make a human being!

    It has a brain, skeleton and all internal organs. The thalamus is formed by 20 weeks.

    AT 26 weeks, Air sacs form in baby’s lungs, but lungs are
    still not ready to work outside the womb

    The nervous system is not developed enough to control some body functions until 27 to 30 weeks!

    The child is thus no different at this point from a child after birth, it just puts on more body weight.

    Whoever told you this nonsense, knows nothing about embryology or foetal development.

    https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002398.htm

    Week 22

    Lanugo hair covers baby's entire body.

    Meconium, baby's first bowel movement, is made
    in the intestinal tract.

    Eyebrows and lashes appear.

    The baby is more active with increased muscle development.

    The mother can feel the baby moving.

    Baby's heartbeat can be heard with a stethoscope.

    Nails grow to the end of baby's fingers.

    Weeks 23 to 25

    Bone marrow begins to make blood cells.

    The lower airways of the baby's lungs develop.

    Your baby begins to store fat.

    Week 26

    Eyebrows and eyelashes are well-formed.

    All parts of baby's eyes are developed.

    Your baby may startle in response to loud noises.

    Footprints and fingerprints are forming.

    Air sacs form in baby's lungs, but lungs are
    still not ready to work outside the womb
    .

    Weeks 27 to 30

    Baby's brain grows rapidly.

    The nervous system is developed enough
    to control some body functions.

    Your baby's eyelids can open and close.

    The respiratory system, while immature,
    produces surfactant. This substance helps
    the air sacs fill with air.

    Weeks 31 to 34

    Your baby grows quickly and gains a lot of fat.

    Rhythmic breathing occurs,
    but baby's lungs are not fully mature.

    Baby's bones are fully developed, but are still soft.

    Your baby's body begins storing iron, calcium, and phosphorus.

    Weeks 35 to 37

    Baby weighs about 5 1/2 pounds.

    Your baby keeps gaining weight,
    but will probably not get much longer.

    The skin is not as wrinkled as fat forms under the skin.

    Baby has definite sleeping patterns.

    Your little one's heart and blood vessels are complete.

    Muscles and bones are fully developed.

    Week 38 to 40

    Lanugo is gone except for on the upper arms and shoulders.

    Fingernails may extend beyond fingertips.

    Small breast buds are present on both sexes.

    Head hair is now coarse and thicker.

    In your 40th week of pregnancy, it has
    been 38 weeks since conception,
    and your baby could be born any day now.

    But my concern is not about abortion,

    Really?

    but the demands which seem to be being put on secularists because of it.

    What demands?
    Abortion provision for the given reasons (in UK law) is enabling, NOT demanding, with where the requirement is taken up, every encouragement is given to take up the service at the earliest stages possible. – Preferably between 9 and 12 weeks of development.



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  • No, I mean the demand appears to be that secularists should support abortion for no other reason than that some religious people oppose it.



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  • 17
    Pinball1970 says:

    @caelon
    The guys who should be driving the agenda are the scientists obstetricians embryologists. In terms of the social side school teachers social workers prison workers MPs and the police.
    These are scientific and social matters so secularists and the religious are unlikely to agree on moral issues of this nature.
    When the argument from a religious person begins “As a Christian…” you know evidence is not going to be part of the argument.
    We don’t disagree for the hell of it and not all atheists and secularists are pro choice anyway.



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  • caelon #16
    May 26, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    No, I mean the demand appears to be that secularists

    First of all secularists are people of religion or none, who do not support any one religion dictating the drafting of law according to their own dogmas.

    should support abortion for no other reason than that some religious people oppose it.

    I realise it is difficult for those who blindly follow dogma, to understand those who think through issues for themselves on the basis of resolving conflicts of interest between various parties on an equitable basis, but excluding the requirements to afford “rights” to any imaginary gods.

    It is the mistaken theist view that there is some “default god or beliefs”, which require only faith – no evidence or proof, and that atheists are some how in denial of this god.
    Atheists do not accept the existence of ANY supernatural gods – so recognise ancient mythology for the human writing which it is.

    Atheists do not generally make judgements on the basis of taking an opposite line to dogmas. They simply regard the dogmas as irrelevant to the decision making process.
    After all there are thousands of religions and denominations with thousands of conflicting dogmas, so why would atheists even be interested in these superstitious dogmas, unless their followers were intruding in their lives or in the law-making processes of their societies.

    When I make decisions about biology or medicine, I consult modern studies on biology – not theology from bronze-age preachers!



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  • caelon #16
    May 26, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    No, I mean the demand appears to be that secularists should support abortion for no other reason than that some religious people oppose it.

    You may have noticed, that in this discussion and similar discussions, others have provided very well informed detailed information, on how and where medical and ethical issues are dealt with, while you have provided nothing credible to support your claims.

    It would be difficult to derive a material viewpoint from taking an opposite view to one which has only semantic circular rhetoric and no evidenced substance.



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  • The claim I’m making is based on this discussion thread which was emailed to me by the RDF with the words

    “Flying in the face of Roe v. Wade and a host of other Supreme Court rulings Oklahoma lawmakers somehow think they can get away with making abortion providers felons” etc etc

    I think most people would agree that the implication of that choice of words is that secularists should all oppose it; it certainly isn’t being balanced, and nowhere does the above paragraph mention religious dogma. Thus it ought to be an irrelevance to the stated intentions of the RDF, which is supposed to be reason and science, not tendentiously presented ethical issues.



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  • caelon #20
    May 27, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    The claim I’m making is based on this discussion thread which was emailed to me by the RDF with the words

    “Flying in the face of Roe v. Wade and a host of other Supreme Court rulings Oklahoma lawmakers somehow think they can get away with making abortion providers felons” etc etc

    I think most people would agree

    While this is probably simply a wrong assertion, it is of course an appeal to the ad populum or band wagon fallacy. (The ad populum fallacy is the appeal to the popularity of a claim as a reason for accepting it. – The number of people who believe a claim is irrelevant to its truth.)

    that the implication of that choice of words is that secularists should all oppose it.

    Actually, the implication is that law abiding citizens should oppose unconstitutional attempts by state politicians to go outside their jurisdiction and contradict national laws

    it certainly isn’t being balanced,

    The clearly stated legal position, is not balanced against what? – Theological assertions? Your personal opinion?
    The ruling on the law at the highest level, was quite explicit.

    Roe v. Wade and a host of other Supreme Court rulings, have repeatedly spelt out what the position is in terms of expert scientific advice and constitutional legal requirements.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/49315.stm

    Roe v Wade: Key US abortion ruling
    Abortions were made legal in the United States in a landmark 1973 Supreme Court judgement, often referred to as the Roe v Wade case.
    The court’s judgement was based on the decision that a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy came under the freedom of personal choice in family matters as protected by the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution.

    and nowhere does the above paragraph mention religious dogma.

    Actually the religious dogmas featured prominently and were clearly identified and debated in those cited court cases.

    Thus it ought to be an irrelevance to the stated intentions of the RDF, which is supposed to be reason and science,

    The reason, science, and law, are stated quite clearly – although not in your posts, which seem to be made up as you go along according to preconceived dogmas.
    You have asserted personal opinions containing various errors, but have certainly presented no credible supporting evidence.
    Pretending that historical evidence is irrelevant verges on the comical!

    not tendentiously presented ethical issues.

    You really do like making this stuff up!
    Asserted innuendo, is no substitute for an evidenced and reasoned argument, – especially when the heavily evidenced opposing position is cited and on the historical record!

    @OP – Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin vetoed a unprecedented bill Friday that would have made it a felony for physicians to perform abortions in the state, saying the proposed law would not survive the inevitable legal challenges against it.

    Even their own anti-abortion governor told them their attempts at legislation were illegal, unconstitutional, and beyond their jurisdiction.



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  • caelon #16
    May 26, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    No, I mean the demand appears to be that secularists should support abortion for no other reason than that some religious people oppose it.

    The whole basis of a series of your posts, appears to hinge on some belief in an unstated, assumed “default view of morality”, which others are allegedly challenging.

    In this OP unconstitutional attempt at legislation, it is quite clear that religiously motivated individuals, are attempting to contradict national laws, because they share your similar faith-based preconceptions, and like yourself, make up pseudo-facts and fallacious arguments in attempts to justify this.

    caelon #13
    May 26, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    The thalamus is formed by 20 weeks. The child is thus no different at this point from a child after birth, it just puts on more body weight.

    Such assertions are utter nonsense as my earlier link to medical information on foetal development shows!

    Your fallacious arguments seem to assume, that denial of stages of foetal development, doubt-mongering about the evidence based reasoned ethical views of others, or disputing on-the-record legal requirements, will somehow cause views revert to some asserted self-evident “default” theological anti-abortion viewpoint.

    caelon – I assume no-one is advocating legal infanticide.

    As I explained earlier, “infanticide is the illegal killing of children.

    Therefore your statement actually says: –

    caelon – I assume no-one is advocating legal illegal killing of children.

    Which is a nonsensical oxymoron, combined with a question-begging fallacy of trying to slide post birth laws into the different area of law covering pregnancies.

    Semantic shufflings, pretending that lumps of human tissue are sentient humans, is simply nonsense, while disregarding the rights and interests of actual mothers and families, is immoral!

    I also note, that when challenged with clear cut evidence, you do not attempt to revise your views, by correcting your mistakes – perhaps a well known effect of “faith-thinking”!



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  • There are two sides to every argument. If the RDF opposes this law on religious grounds – ie any religious rationale is by definition invalid – then it should say so.
    It is impossible for politicians to act outside the law, but changing the law is part of their job. If the majority in Oklahoma want to change or outlaw abortion then that’s their choice – whatever the rationale. It is merely for science, including the RDF, to present the facts and let people make up their own minds 🙂



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  • @Caelon #24

    There are two sides to every argument. If the RDF opposes this law on religious grounds – ie any religious rationale is by definition invalid – then it should say so.

    Can you rephrase this. Expand on what you are trying to say. I don’t understand what this means and so can offer no response.

    It is impossible for politicians to act outside the law, but changing the law is part of their job.

    The Oklahoma politicians who enacted this law did act “Outside the Law” by ignoring the Supreme Court decision in Roe V Wade. That set out the law in the USA on this issue. Any departure from that is Outside the Law.

    Politicians are there to make laws for all of the people. If the politicians Make a Law, based on what their personal god is telling them to do, then try through legislation to Force the rest of the citizens to obey that particular god, then how are they any different from ISIS, who want to force people to obey their personal god, only they use a gun, instead of an act of parliament.

    Never enact a law, based on what your personal god tells you to do because not everybody is a fan of your personal god, who is just one of millions of gods.



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  • What I mean is that the RDF should say on their site something like what you yourself are saying viz “Never enact a law, based on what your personal god tells you to do.” Fine. Instead, the blurb I got from the RDF in my email inbox was all about legal precedents as if rationalists were under some sort of obligation to support it. This may be a perfectly sensible approach for the individual to take, but has nothing to with science and is therefore irrelevant to the stated intentions of the RDF. I’m not American, but I would imagine it’s quite constitutional for Roe versus Wade to be challenged.
    What the RDF should say is something like; “These are the facts about pregnancy and the development of the unborn child” etc etc, and leave the electorate and their politicians to make up their own minds. That’s Freedom of Thought.



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  • caelon #24
    May 29, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    There are two sides to every argument.

    This is one of the flaws in thinking based on dogmatism!

    The dogmatist can only see “two sides to a question”. – The dogma, and opposition to the dogma!

    A scientists can examine evidence and see a whole range of possible answers which have various implications and merits which need to be evaluated.

    If the RDF opposes this law on religious grounds – ie any religious rationale is by definition invalid – then it should say so.

    RDFS supports scientific methodology which includes testing evidence to establish reality as far as possible, and then using evidence based reasoning to arrive at conclusions. This is a very different process to blindly accepting dogma on faith!
    RDFS opposes the notion that laws can be conjured out of thin air without examining the evidence and expert opinion on the evidence. This has nothing to do with opposing religious views per-se. If some religious view happened to get it right by chance (rather than process) and come up with the same answer derived by evidence based reasoning and consideration of the interests of the parties involved, it would not be opposed, simply because some religious group supported that view. As I pointed out earlier, competent secular decisions are made on their merits, regardless of some religious people considering their faith-based dogmas as a central feature of the world and societies.

    It is impossible for politicians to act outside the law, but changing the law is part of their job. If the majority in Oklahoma want to change or outlaw abortion then that’s their choice.

    It is not their choice to legislate in Oklahoma, matters which are constitutionally decided in Washington by the federal government. They may campaign if they like, but the Roe V Wade court ruling has already definitively answered this question.

    – whatever the rationale. It is merely for science, including the RDF, to present the facts

    Science offers expert advice, and competent politicians are expected to seek and act on expert advice.

    This bunch of clowns cannot even act on the clear-cut long standing legal ruling that it is outside their jurisdiction, let alone competently evaluate scientific evidence.

    and let people make up their own minds

    Er no! The world does not run systems of law in large technical societies, by allocating important decisions to any scientific and legal illiterate Tom, Dick or Harry, “making up his own mind” on behalf of everyone else!
    Areas of competence and responsibility are defined, in order to keep clueless interfering incompetents away from important features of the administrative structures.
    Unsurprisingly, in civilised countries, the main input for medical ethics, comes from doctors’ expert professional bodies.



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  • caelon #26
    May 30, 2016 at 4:12 am

    What I mean is that the RDF should say on their site something like what you yourself are saying viz “Never enact a law, based on what your personal god tells you to do.”

    You really are totally focused around decisions based on voices in the head from god-delusions, or regurgitated from indoctrinated preconceptions.

    RDFS says base your decisions on science, evidence and reason, along with empathy for others.
    This implies that irrational or delusional processes should not be used, as they have been consistently shown to produce unreliable results and negative outcomes.

    Fine. Instead, the blurb I got from the RDF in my email inbox was all about legal precedents as if rationalists were under some sort of obligation to support it.

    I explained earlier, that this is a legal question which has been definitively answered.

    This may be a perfectly sensible approach for the individual to take, but has nothing to with science

    Apart from science and constitutional rights absolutely being the core basis of the Roe V Wade High Court decision.

    and is therefore irrelevant to the stated intentions of the RDF.

    Your “faith-interpretation-blinkers” really do look lame propping up your position of denial. As I pointed out earlier, it is common for the faith-based fallacious thinking to assume that disputing or doubt-mongering on the record information, will somehow cause a default shift to some unevidenced dogma! If you have any credible scientific or moral argument against early stage abortions (or contraception), you have yet to present it.

    I’m not American, but I would imagine it’s quite constitutional for Roe versus Wade to be challenged.

    It was the definitive step in a long line of challenges, but an effective challenge requires credible evidence, and “my god-delusion’s voices in my head told me this wrong”, is not credible evidence. Neither is, “some bronze-age scribe, dark-age chronicler, or would be infallible pope, said so”!
    Hence the long string of failed challenges.

    What the RDF should say is something like; “These are the facts about pregnancy and the development of the unborn child” etc etc, and leave the electorate and their politicians to make up their own minds. That’s Freedom of Thought.

    Those who seek abortions are already able to make up their own minds, while RDFS debates the merits of various options. (Unlike the theistic black or white dichotomous thinking.)

    What the RDF should say is something like; “These are the facts about pregnancy and the development of the unborn child”

    As I recall, that is precisely what I did @11 and @15, but you have made no attempt to follow up and debate these issues or correct you mistakes.
    What you seem to advocating is ignoring this evidence and sticking with indoctrinated preconceptions, based on blind faith in the face of the evidence.

    What anti-abortion busy-bodies are not allowed to do, is interfere in other people’s arrangements with medical services, preventing those who require abortions, from obtaining them within the legal and ethical framework based on carefully considered expert advice.

    That’s Freedom of Thought.

    Theists are free to think what they like.
    They are not free to irresponsibly impose their confused thinking on other people’s lives.



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  • Areas of competence and responsibility are defined, in order to keep clueless interfering incompetents away >from important features of the administrative structures.

    This the standard rationale advanced by capitalists against democracy, it being unthinkable that the plebs should actually be permitted to influence public policy. It is also the rationale behind religious dogma, which Prof Dawkins claims to deplore.
    Actually, poor people’s brains are no smaller than an “experts’.” Speak for yourself, but IF the information is properly presented with all available evidence then of course people can make up their minds. Richard Dawkins once remarked somewhere that if someone presents an argument that is not clear and comprehensible, it’s not worth any attention. If an “expert” presents his arguments in such a manner that people cannot follow it then he’s no expert. That’s free-thinking -and democracy



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  • caelon #32
    May 31, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    IF the information is properly presented with all available evidence then of course people can make up their minds.

    Perhaps you should try reading a peer reviewed research paper on a specialist subject in a scientific journal some time. – Perhaps an engineering paper including chemical formulii and complex mathematics! It could be very educational in illustrating what cannot be readily understood by the public at large.

    Richard Dawkins once remarked somewhere that if someone presents an argument that is not clear and comprehensible, it’s not worth any attention.

    I am impressed by your standards of accurate citation in a style which ensures correct contexts!!! 🙂

    If an “expert” presents his arguments in such a manner that people cannot follow it then he’s no expert.

    Perhaps you could explain the basis of that claim, to designers of Radioisotope thermoelectric generators, and VASIMR rocket engines, so any Tom, Dick, or Harry can be employed in their construction!

    it being unthinkable that the plebs should actually be permitted to influence public policy.

    Speaking personally, if I require the services of an airline pilot, or a cardio-surgeon, I won’t be asking a barman who has read a summary of the procedures, to do the job!
    Similarly for medical advice, I ask doctors and biological researchers, rather than conducting and exit poll of crowd opinion at a football match!

    That’s free-thinking -and democracy

    Nope! It’s wish-thinking cluelessness, trying to seek authority from the ad populum fallacy I mentioned earlier.
    All opinions are NOT equal, and all individuals do NOT have an equal capacity to learn or understand complex issues.

    The collective opinions of twenty ignoramuses do not add up to an intellectual work of genius!

    It is also the rationale behind religious dogma, which Prof Dawkins claims to deplore.

    The rationale behind religious dogma is the posturing of pseudo-authority, which is the fallacy of an argument from “authority” which is not backed by evidence.
    Expert authorities can back up their advice with supporting evidence, and retrospectively with predicted results. The technology of the world runs on this basis.

    Doubt-mongering expertise in general, still makes no case for your shuffling position on the illegal activities of these politicians, or for any claims you may wish to make about abortion! !



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  • caelon #32
    May 31, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    If an “expert” presents his arguments in such a manner that people cannot follow it then he’s no expert.

    @33 – Perhaps you could explain the basis of that claim, to designers of Radioisotope thermoelectric generators, and VASIMR rocket engines, so any Tom, Dick, or Harry can be employed in their construction!

    Here’s a little project for you to prove your point.
    The requirements are clearly spelt out on this link!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioisotope_thermoelectric_generator

    Let us know how you are getting on with the little construction project!

    (The designers are proven experts, as their predictions of the performance of these devices have been retrospectively confirmed by them working reliably for years in very difficult environments!)

    The inability of the uneducated to understand clear expert explanations, is not usually the fault of the expert, but can normally be attributed to not having spent the required number of years of study, or more often, simple denial, or an unwillingness to learn.

    The whole notion that the uneducated ignorant should be taking key decisions on behalf of whole communities, is a question-begging ploy by whimsical faith-thinkers, to take decisions out of the hands of those experts who have studied subjects in depth, and hand the decisions over to them and their irrational, unsupported, antiquated, dogmatic, preconceptions!

    This is a feature of Dunning-Kruger false confidence!



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  • 35
    caelon says:

    I think most people would agree that the issues of abortion are not all that complicated for the public to understand. It’s an ethical issue, and it’s not for science as such to either oppose or condone it, but to present the facts, and IF any legislators are passing laws purely from a ‘faith’ perspective, or purely from an atheist’s perspective, then the public’s attention should be drawn to that too. Roe v Wade is not the eleventh commandment.



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  • caelon #35
    Jun 4, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    I think most people would agree that the issues of abortion are not all that complicated for the public to understand.

    They really aren’t once expert medical research is examined and foetal development understood, although closed minded dichotomous thinkers do seem to have difficulty in identifying progressive steps or stages in continuous developmental processes.

    It’s an ethical issue,

    it is indeed an ethical issue which in countries which respect scientific knowledge, expertise and education, has been examined in great detail, and then incorporated in the ethics of medical codes of conduct and national laws.

    and it’s not for science as such to either oppose or condone it, but to present the facts,

    This is in fact so, but it is important that the “facts are examined by people who actually understand the science and the social implications of the decisions, rather than being whimsically decided by the “gut feelings” of the ignorant, or by those who are simply parroting unthinking knee-jerk answers they have blindly accepted from others who do not understand the science or social implications.

    and IF any legislators are passing laws purely from a ‘faith’ perspective,

    This can certainly be pointed out to the public, but for key decisions to be competently taken, subjects need to be looked at in detail by committees and based on expert advice (For example UK parliamentary select committees, or doctors professional body ethical committees,) for codes of conduct and legislations to be drafted.

    or purely from an atheist’s perspective,

    While particular religions have dogmas and doctrines, there is no such thing as some standard ” atheist’s perspective!
    Atheists think through issues as individuals, with scientific ones seeking high quality information on which to reason out conclusions.

    Humanist perspectives (not quite the same as atheist – atheism is simply a lack of belief in gods), do have empathy for fellow humans as an ethical basis for their perspectives.

    then the public’s attention should be drawn to that too.

    You seem stuck on the false idea that atheism is some sort of opposite view to A religion! It is not!
    Atheists simply regard dogmas based on blind faith as information derived by flawed processes, and irrelevant to their thinking.

    (The effects of behaviours of those using those flawed processes on societies, is of course not irrelevant to their thinking, so rationally derived conclusions may well be in conflict with those blindly accepted on faith – especially those based on faith in conclusions from the ages of historical ignorance made by people who did not have access to modern scientific information, or the technology to properly investigate the topics.)

    Roe v Wade is not the eleventh commandment.

    Roe v Wade is the legal conclusion of a lengthy debate of medical evidence and consideration of the rights of the citizen in the USA.

    The conclusions are very similar to European laws and codes of medical ethics, where the rights and interests of citizens have been considered by medical, social and legal experts.

    If anyone wishes to challenge these, it is up to them to make a credible case as to why the limits are set at chosen stages of development when a zygote, blastocyst, embryo of foetus is recognised as not yet being sentient and capable of living independently as a human being. – Preferably a human being without disabilities resulting from a premature birth, or genetic flaws.

    It is also important to look at the prospective life of the mother family and circumstances into which babies are born.

    For example: in many refugee camps unfortunate babies are born to starving mothers and quickly starve to death or die of disease within a short time after birth. An abortion or effective contraception, would have avoided their suffering.

    Abortion is of course a natural process.
    Around 70% of fertilised eggs naturally abort before reaching birth.
    It is one of nature’s ways of rejecting deformed foetuses and protecting undernourished mothers.

    It is only those whose thinking is based on delusional indoctrination, and ignorance of biology, who think every egg is “ensouled” and sacred!

    https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/miscarriage.html

    A miscarriage is the loss of pregnancy from natural causes before the 20th week of pregnancy. Most miscarriages occur very early in the pregnancy, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant. There are many different causes for a miscarriage. In most cases, there is nothing you can do to prevent a miscarriage.

    Factors that may contribute to miscarriage include

    A genetic problem with the fetus. This is the most common cause in the first trimester.
    Problems with the uterus or cervix. These contribute in the second trimester.
    Polycystic ovary syndrome

    A miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy. (Pregnancy losses after the 20th week are called stillbirths.)

    A miscarriage may also be called a “spontaneous abortion.” This refers to naturally occurring events, not to medical abortions or surgical abortions.

    Abortions are confidential matters between women, doctors and families. Busy-bodies really have no material interest or rights in such matters!



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  • 37
    caelon says:

    Well fine but the email I got from the RDF said;

    “Flying in the face of Roe v. Wade and a host of other Supreme Court rulings Oklahoma lawmakers somehow think they can get away with making abortion providers felons.”

    Legislators pass laws -that’s their job. If the message had stated for example something like “lawmakers somehow think they can get away with using FAITH to make abortion providers felons” it would have been more credible. The tone of this message implied there was something objectionable about the mere fact that Oklahoma’s government was proposing to legislate about abortion.



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  • caelon #37
    Jun 4, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Well fine but the email I got from the RDF said;

    “Flying in the face of Roe v. Wade and a host of other Supreme Court rulings Oklahoma lawmakers somehow think they can get away with making abortion providers felons.”

    Legislators pass laws -that’s their job. If the message had stated for example something like “lawmakers somehow think they can get away with using FAITH to make abortion providers felons” it would have been more credible.

    This subject is not their job!

    I think the point that their thinking was based on the confused process of faith based wish-thinking, has been made very clear,and is entirely credible!
    This laws does not apply to me, because I don’t like it and have stuck a religion badge on my views“, is very much a feature of delusional faith-thinking!

    Local state legislators, local councils, boy scout committees, golf club committees, knitting circle committees, barrack-room lawyers, or debating clubs, cannot overturn national laws regardless of what resolutions they may pass!
    Why do you find this so difficult to understand?

    The tone of this message

    We haven’t come down to vacuous tone-trolling in the absence of a coherent argument – have we?

    The tone of this message implied there was something objectionable about the mere fact that Oklahoma’s government was proposing to legislate about abortion.

    Of course there IS something objectionable!
    Their actions are illegal, and they are exceeding their terms of reference and area of jurisdiction! They have no authority to legislate on such matters, and no right to try to pervert the law of the land.
    Unfortunately faith-thinking tends to make people impervious to evidenced reasoned arguments and legal requirements!

    Citizens and official bodies are required to obey national laws, and cannot simply pick and choose which ones they would like to obey or which ones they wish to ignore!

    I thought I had made that absolutely clear in this earlier comment @27!

    @27 – It is not their choice to legislate in Oklahoma, matters which are constitutionally decided in Washington by the federal government. They may campaign if they like, but the Roe V Wade court ruling has already definitively answered this question.



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  • @OP – Senate Bill 1552 would have imposed a one- to three-year prison sentence for performing an abortion and stripped providing physicians of their medical licenses—a direct violation of Roe v. Wade that was virtually guaranteed to be struck down by the courts.

    This is typical of the faith-deluded ignorant, attacking people who provide invaluable services to their communities!

    In this case they are a determined gang of the assertive ignorant, wearing their Christian-know-it-all badges. – a very similar situation to those assassinating polio vaccination teams in Pakistan – wearing Islamic-know-it-all-badges, and in India the killing of people (in some cases falsely) accused of eating beef, by fanatics wearing Hindu-know-it-all-badges.
    A 50-year-old man in northern India has been killed in a mob lynching allegedly over (false)rumours that his family had been storing and consuming beef at home.

    Oklahoma’s Senate approved the bill by a 33-12 vote on Thursday. The Oklahoma House previously passed the legislation in April by a 59-9 vote.

    The numbers of legally illiterate elected representatives, blinded to their responsibilities by their fundamentalist religious views, should be a clear warning to educated voters!
    After all, employing representatives to draft local laws, when they cannot even READ and understand existing national laws, can offer voters no confidence in the standard or competence of their work!

    These are classic examples of faith-based pseudo-knowledge blocking out real understanding of how things work in the real world, rendering those besotted by such thinking, blundering incompetents, whose destructive activities are a plague on the rest of the community!



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  • caelon #37
    Jun 4, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Well fine but the email I got from the RDF said;

    “Flying in the face of Roe v. Wade and a host of other Supreme Court rulings Oklahoma lawmakers somehow think they can get away with making abortion providers felons.”

    Legislators pass laws -that’s their job.

    In view of the detailed earlier replies to these assertions, (see below) regarding federal jurisdiction, I think this reply is what is known as “ducking the issues, and pressing the mental re-set button”!

    caelon #24
    May 29, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    , . . but changing the law is part of their job. If the majority in Oklahoma want to change or outlaw abortion then that’s their choice – whatever the rationale.

    Perhaps you should look up the definition of binding or mandatory “LEGAL PRECEDENT”, to improve your understanding of Roe v. Wade and legal issues!

    https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_precedent
    In common law legal systems, a precedent or authority is a legal case that establishes a principle or rule.[1] This principle or rule is then used by the court or other judicial bodies use when deciding later cases with similar issues or facts

    The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has stated:

    A judicial precedent attaches a specific legal consequence to a detailed set of facts in an adjudged case or judicial decision, which is then considered as furnishing the rule for the determination of a subsequent case involving identical or similar material facts and arising in the same court or a lower court in the judicial hierarchy.



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  • @OP- a direct violation of Roe v. Wade that was virtually guaranteed to be struck down by the courts.

    Clearly these wish-thinkers either believe, that if they keep asking the court the same question, maybe someone will pluck a random answer out of the air, and tell them what they want to hear! –
    OR maybe they are just trying to use tax-payers’ money to make a nuisance of themselves in court.

    Anyway, their own governor has vetoed their silly illegal actions.



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  • Perverse religion based anti-abortion legislation is causing problems as usual, but the internet, is providing some (rather basic) solutions.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-36595448
    Fears over the Zika virus have contributed to a “huge” increase in the number of women in Latin America wanting abortions, researchers say.

    Estimates suggest there has been at least a doubling in requests in Brazil and an increase of a third in other countries.

    Many governments have advised women not to get pregnant due to the risk of babies being born with tiny brains.

    The findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    Sixty countries and territories have reported cases of Zika being spread by mosquitoes. More than 1,500 babies have been diagnosed with microcephaly caused by the virus.

    Zika prompts abortion dilemmas

    A termination remains illegal in many parts of Latin America, but women simply turn to unofficial providers.

    Women on Web, which advises women online and then delivers pills to end a pregnancy, is one of the largest.

    The analysis of countries that advised against getting pregnant suggested Brazil and Ecuador had had more than twice the expected demand for abortions.

    One woman from Peru told Women on Web: “I’m very concerned, I’m two months pregnant and in my country Zika has been detected.

    “We are all very alarmed and I do not want have a sick baby, please, I do not want to continue my pregnancy because it is very dangerous.”

    Another from Venezuela said: “I contracted Zika four days ago.

    “I love children, but I don’t believe it is a wise decision to keep a baby who will suffer. I need an abortion. I don’t know who to turn to. Please help me ASAP.”

    Dr Catherine Aiken, one of the researchers, from the University of Cambridge, told the BBC News website: “Everywhere governments said, ‘Don’t get pregnant’ and there was Zika transmission, there was a tremendous surge in the number of women taking matters into their own hands.

    “There were huge increases in abortions across the region.”

    Dr Aiken criticised the countries’ “very hollow” messages to delay pregnancy that had generated “fear, anxiety and panic with no means to act on it”.

    Meanwhile Abigail Aiken, an assistant professor from the University of Texas at Austin, said: “Accurate data on the choices pregnant women make in Latin America is hard to obtain.

    “If anything, our approach may underestimate the impact of health warning on requests for abortion, as many women may have used an unsafe method or visited local underground providers.”



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