Pro-choice Argument: A Woman Should Have Control Over Her Own Body

In a fallacy that appeals to the heart, the arguer uses emotional appeals rather than logical reasons to persuade the listener. The fallacy can appeal to various emotions including pride, pity, fear, hate, vanity, or sympathy. The appeal to sympathy is actually a formal fallacy labeled ad misericordiam.

Generally, the issue is oversimplified to the advantage of the arguer. For example, in 1972, there was a widely-printed advertisement printed by the Foulke Fur Co., which was in reaction to the frequent protests against the killing of Alaskan seals for the making of fancy furs. According to the advertisement, clubbing the seals was one of the great conservation stories of our history, a mere exercise in wildlife management, because “biologists believe a healthier colony is a controlled colony.”

Have you ever run into this?  For instance, take the following pro-choice argument. Is it a principle or a fallacy?

Pro-choice argument: A woman should have control over her own body.

This statement, while arguably true when applied to the individual, does not address a number of details.

First, her baby has its own body, brain, heartbeat, blood type, sex, and genes–half of which was donated by the father.  Does that mean the baby is half his, legally?  Or is possession truly nine-tenths of the law?

Second, it neglects the controversy of whether it is a ‘fetus’ or a ‘baby’.  (A popular Right to Life slogan is, “If it’s not a baby, then you’re not pregnant.”)  If it is a fetus, a mere sac of blood and tissue, surely it is within a woman’s right to have it removed, the same as one would have a cancerous tumor removed.  If, however, it is a baby (thereby implying that the woman is indeed pregnant and not simply experiencing a random growth or venereal disease), then one wonders what rights the unborn child is allowed to possess.

The “woman should have control over her own body” argument appeals to a liberal, human rights slant.  It fuels the emotional certainty that we should all have consummate control over our bodies and what goes on inside them, while neglecting the same control for the unborn child.

In heated issues where positions are characterized by a high emotional index, it is common for antagonists to hurl fallacies at each other, but this is immature. When considering such a devisive topic as abortion, it is often difficult to separate emotions from rational debate (but not impossible.)

Pro-choice is said to follow from the widely accepted principle that individuals have a right to control their bodies.  The counterargument would have to examine to what extent the principle is applicable. For example, do people have a right to kill themselves?  To damage their bodies through self-destructive habits such as drinking, smoking, taking narcotics or mountain climbing?  If yes, do women have that right in full when they are pregnant or do mothers have obligations to limit self-destructive habits when they are pregnant?

To the extent you weaken the premise on which the argument depends, to that extent do you weaken the conclusion for pro-choice.

Are You Sure That’s FAIR?

(I just ran across an old college paper from years ago. Figured I kept it to put it to use, right? So, here it is.)


 

“While news is important, news interpretation is far more important” – H. V. Kaltenborn

The article titled, “Abortion Coverage Leaves Women out of the Picture” by Tiffany Devitt (Special Issue on Women, 1992) asserts that the news industry repeatedly neglects to focus the abortion issue on women, instead turning the debate into an issue that is often political in nature. The author believes that the media has tended to discuss the abortion issue from a distance; a distance much too far away to involve themselves in determining the feelings and view points of those immediately impacted by the issue – women (and arguably, unborn children).

“..as is the case with other social policy issues such as civil rights or welfare, abortion is more often covered not from the perspective of those most affected by the issue, but from the standpoint of Washington politics. According to the National Newspaper Index of major dailies, there were more articles on how the issue of abortion has affected various political candidacies, races and parties than there were articles on how women with unwanted pregnancies are affected by growing restrictions on funding and counseling.” (Devitt, 1992)

Devitt makes a number of poignant arguments throughout the article. She states that one article in the Los Angeles Times debated whether women reporters could objectively write about abortion and points out that the article never even asked the same question about men. Devitt also shows how there have been a number of incidents where abortion legislation has been passed and interviews with the women who will be affected by the legislation have been non-existent. At one point, she even makes the assertion that “stories regularly [carry] the soundbites of abortion-rights representatives and anti-abortion spokespersons” but fail to glean the other side’s perspective. She does not, however, back the latter up with any examples.

This last point is especially timely for me, as I recently received a call from a distraught friend over the same phenomenon. This friend works as a legislative representative for the state Right to Life office and, as part of her duties, occasionally goes on radio and television interviews. This one radio debate, in particular, left her feeling railroaded. She knew from the opening comments between the interviewer and the third person on the line that the interviewer was already very pro-choice. As the debate progressed, it became more and more apparent that she was there merely to help portray the image that the radio station was conducting impartial forums on controversial issues. Not only was she cut off in mid-sentence during the few chances she attempted to break into the conversation, but she was also forcefully excluded from the conversation until the end when she was simply asked if she had any closing remarks. It appears, then, that the tendency to illicit supporting views at the expense of objectivity is universal.

As was the case with this article.

There were a few items that I found interesting about Devitt’s article. First, it is hosted on a website for an organization called FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting). “As a progressive group, FAIR believes that structural reform is ultimately needed to break up the dominant media conglomerates, establish independent public broadcasting and promote strong non-profit sources of information.” (FAIR, 2003) They go on to further describe themselves as being an “anti-censorship organization” and their mission as being one of fostering “greater diversity in the press”. For a group that calls themselves “Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting”, I saw little of it in their limited collection of abortion papers. What I saw was a collection of articles that supported one point of view; the very antithesis of what FAIR says they stand for. While Devitt was attacking the news media for a pro-life slant, she was stomping her biased feet to support the pro-choice camp. Not once did she attempt to illustrate a slant from the opposing side.

Finally, one might also notice that FAIR offers links to NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) and Planned Parenthood from their website, but they stop there. One would think that if an organization were trying to build a name for themselves as being forthcoming and accurate with the facts, they would make sure their readers had full access to all points of view.

After all, wouldn’t that be the FAIR thing to do?

 


References

Webster’s Book of Quotations. (1992). New York, NY: Pamco Publishing Co., Inc.

Devitt, T. (1992). Abortion Coverage Leaves Women out of the Picture. Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting. Retrieved April 2, 2003 from the World Wide Web: http://www.fair.org/extra/best-of-extra/abortion-coverage.html

Cohen, J. (2003). What’s FAIR?. Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting. Retrieved April 2, 2003 from the World Wide Web: http://www.fair.org/whats-fair.html

Bucher, R. (2000). Diversity Consciousness: Opening Our Minds to People, Cultures, and
Opportunities. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Special Issue on Women 1992

This graphic depicts the abortion debate as two hands tugging at a rag doll– suggesting that the debate is about an “unborn child” rather than about women’s rights (Los Angeles Times, 7/22/90).

Abortion Coverage Leaves Women out of the Picture

By Tiffany Devitt

As a background graphic for reports on abortion, TV has sometimes used a depiction of a late-term fetus hanging in space, with no connection to a pregnant woman. The “floating fetus” logo is in sync with the media’s tendency to push women out of the public’s mental picture of the abortion issue.

In recent years, national media have heavily covered the issue of abortion. In 1989 and 1990, close to 1500 articles on abortion appeared in major dailies; the weeklies — Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report — have featured stories on abortion more regularly than any other social policy issue.

However, as is the case with other social policy issues such as civil rights or welfare, abortion is more often covered not from the perspective of those most affected by the issue, but from the standpoint of Washington politics. According to the National Newspaper Index of major dailies, there were more articles on how the issue of abortion has affected various political candidacies, races and parties than there were articles on how women with unwanted pregnancies are affected by growing restrictions on funding and counseling.

Though former Gov. Bob Martinez of Florida will never have an abortion, a Washington Post headline declared (8/1/89): “Governor at Risk on Abortion Issue.” While it is individual women, not political parties, who confront the choice to terminate a pregnancy, a Wall Street Journal headline stated(10/20/89): “Abortion Debate Proves Painful for Republicans.”

National news outlets have occasionally shown themselves willing to deal with the painful reality of abortion for women and the tragedy of unwanted children — but usually only when discussing abortion policies of foreign governments, in particular the policies of Eastern European countries under Communism. For example, Newsweek published an article titled “When Abortion Is Denied: What of the ‘Unwanted’?” (8/22/88), discussing the consequences of Czechoslovakia’s ban on abortions. And the Washington Post ran a poignant article (6/17/90) on restricted access to abortion in Romania under Ceausescu. But the human consequences of restricting access to abortion in the U.S. have seldom made news.

What is striking in the coverage of abortion in mainstream media is the lack of opportunities that U.S. women have to speak for themselves and articulate their concerns. Although stories regularly carried the soundbites of abortion-rights representatives and anti-abortion spokespersons, the women affected by specific restrictions were rarely cited as sources in abortion stories.

For example, the Supreme Court decision that enabled states to require women under the age of 18 to get parental consent before getting an abortion was widely covered. However, while more than 1 million teenagers become pregnant each year, and thousands of them are affected by state legislation requiring parental consent, reporters almost never sought their reaction, covering the legal change without consulting anyone in the group that it impacts.

Articles on the recent cuts in Medicaid funding for abortion, and on President Bush’s veto of a provision that would have granted an exception in cases of rape or incest, similarly failed to quote the women who would be affected — poor women, largely women of color, and rape and incest victims. Rather, the story was played as a political skirmish, with members of Congress and administration officials, mostly male, squaring off against each other and trying to appear principled.

One recent challenge to abortion rights has been in the realm of abortion referrals and counseling. In September 1990, the Supreme Court was asked by the Bush administration to uphold federal regulations that prevent doctors, nurses and counselors at federally funded family-planning clinics from discussing the option of abortion or referring patients to abortion providers. An exceptional front-page article in the Washington Post (10/30/90) interviewed women who count on the services of these clinics and contemplated what it would mean if they closed. But most stories on the issue merely reported that the “U.S. Files Narrow Defense on Abortion Counseling” (New York Times, 9/9/90) and were relegated to the back pages.

Not only have women been undercited as a source in abortion stories, but much space has been devoted to questioning their capacity to speak on the subject altogether. (See Extra!, 7-8/90.) The Los Angeles Times (6/3/90)devoted 28 column inches to exploring the question, “Can Woman Reporters Write Objectively on Abortion?” — without pondering whether male reporters can.

The Suicide Felt Around The World

On June 11, 1963, a Buddhist monk named Thích Quang Duc was among the procession of approximately 350 monks and nuns who surrounded the intersection at Phan Dinh Phung Boulevard and Le Van Duyet Street, just outside the Cambodian embassy in Saigon, South Vietnam.

Thich Quang Duc burning monk

“Thích Quang Duc emerged from the car along with two other monks. One placed a cushion on the road while the second opened the trunk and took out a five-gallon gasoline can. As the marchers formed a circle around him, Thích Quang Duc calmly seated himself in the traditional Buddhist meditative lotus position on the cushion. His colleague emptied the contents of the gasoline container over Thích Quang Duc’s head. Thích Quang Duc rotated a string of wooden prayer beads and recited the words Nam Mô A Di Dà Phat (“homage to Amitabha Buddha”) before striking a match and dropping it on himself. Flames consumed his robes and flesh, and black oily smoke emanated from his burning body.

“The last words of Thích Quang Duc before his self-immolation were documented in a letter he had left:

‘Before closing my eyes and moving towards the vision of the Buddha, I respectfully plead to President Ngô Dình Diem to take a mind of compassion towards the people of the nation and implement religious equality to maintain the strength of the homeland eternally. I call the venerables, reverends, members of the sangha and the lay Buddhists to organise in solidarity to make sacrifices to protect Buddhism.’

(Thich Quang Duc, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thich_Quang_Duc, retrieved November 27, 2011.)

Thích Quang Duc—and those who would later follow his example—was protesting the systemic religious persecution of Buddhism by the Roman Catholic government under President Ngô Dình Diem. It is estimated that 70-90% of the Vietnamese population was Buddhist at the time.

The photo of Duc’s death—taken by Associated Press journalist, Malcolm Browne—quickly spread around the world. It is said the image of fiery self-immolation sparked a turning point in ending the Vietnam War, in part by piercing the Western world’s sleepy awareness regarding the social evils and religious persecution occurring in Vietnam.

Self-immolation by fire had been going on for centuries prior to this. Often, the suicide was seen as a show of great respect, in honor of Gautama Buddha. In the case of Duc, self-sacrifice was used as a public outcry against religious persecution. It is doubtful Thích Quang Duc could have fully foreseen the worldwide impact of his death, though the presence of the media had indeed been encouraged. The day prior to Thích Quang Duc’s death, a spokesperson for the Buddhists had informed U.S. correspondents that “something important” would be happening at the intersection the next day.

These suicide protests helped bring awareness to the languishing Vietnam War, making suicide a tool of shock, used to break through human apathy. On its own, Thích Quang Duc’s self-immolation—without a worldwide audience—would not have had the same impact. The press was a necessary partner, rendering the act considerably more effective as a result.

In Regard to the Concept of Respect

An environment of religious inequality and disrespect had already been fostered by the Diem regime. Signs of unrest included:

  • The Buddhist flag had been banned
  • Aid was being directed toward Roman Catholic villages, neglecting Buddhist villages whom refused to convert
  • Weapons had been taken from Buddhist soldiers and given to their Roman Catholic counterparts
  • Military officers converted to Roman Catholicism in order to gain access to promotions
  • Forced conversions under the threat of violence were becoming more prevalent
  • Buddhist protests were growing in frequency and size
  • Government intervention, intended to quell the protests, had already lead to numerous deaths

Vietnam was deep in the throes of conflict and the Buddhist majority railed against the growing atmosphere of intolerance.

In circumstances where respect for a population is extremely low, dissent will spring up, giving rise to civil unrest. The effect of the widespread disrespect by the Diem regime is obvious in this case, but where does the self-immolation of Thích Quang Duc and others fit into the concept of respect?

If suicide is an ultimate sign of self-disrespect (I think it is safe to state setting oneself on fire would not be a sign of physical respect,) what happens if it is used as a tool for ending disrespect against a people? In Thích Quang Duc’s own words, his death was a plea for “religious equality.”

Regardless of which religious belief systems were involved, I believe what matters is the idea that one group was ostracized by the other. In order to bring greater awareness to the issue of religious disrespect, Thích Quang Duc made his last act a symbol to be captured and promoted to the world.

Could Thích Quang Duc’s statement have been made as powerfully any other way?

Planned Parenthood Admits Abortion Kills the Life of a Baby

In the beginning, it appears everyone was on the same page. Below is a Planned Parenthood pamphlet on family planning, as printed in 1952. Quote:

Is it an abortion?

Definitely not. An abortion requires an operation. It kills the life of a baby after it has begun. It is dangerous to your life and health. It may make you sterile so that when you want a child you cannot have it. Birth control merely postpones the beginning of life.

Planned Parenthood pamphlet admits abortion is killing a baby

Planned Parenthood pamphlet admits abortion is killing a baby

Sanctity of Life, Pro-Life and Capital Punishment

If someone you loved was assaulted and murdered, wouldn’t you demand justice?

Wouldn’t you want to protect your family, friends and others from such a brutal event ever happening again?

Wouldn’t you want the murderer permanently removed from society?

To ensure a murderer never kills again, wouldn’t the surest and quickest way be to end the murderer’s life?

Throughout history, many cultures have supported the “eye for an eye” justice system, whereby an offender is granted an equal punishment to match their wrong-doing. In the case of killing another person, this often meant death.

Surprisingly, most pro-life organizations do not take a position on the death penalty. While sanctity of life is often discussed in those circles, the tendency is to focus on right to life for unborn babies, the elderly or the infirmed. This may be for several reasons.

  1. The notion that life is sacred and worth protecting is an easier pitch when showing pictures of cooing babies or regal elderly than it is to argue a convicted serial murderer’s life has intrinsic value and should be spared.
  2. To be most effective, many organizations targeting cultural change opt to pick a single goal and focus on achieving it with laser-fine intensity. The idea is to achieve more with focused effort on a single cause than to thin your efforts over the herculean task of social change using a scattershot approach. In furthering the sanctity of human life movement, pro-life organizations predominately target protecting unborn babies. They do this through a number of activities, including lobbying, traditional marketing, educating and assisting community groups such as churches, pregnancy service centers and student organizations.
  3. Still, why not simply state a position on capital punishment and then let it rest at the sidelines? Why maintain a stance of “no stance” on the death penalty at all? There may be a feeling that addressing capital punishment—even at a surface level—gives the pro-choice opposition more ammunition. Think about it. If you are a pro-abortion leader who is trying to do your part to undermine the pro-life argument, which would you rather bring to your audience’s attention?

    1. The pro-life movement supports the right of the unborn to continue living; a right they say supersedes any desire the mother has to be free of the pregnancy.
    2. Or

    3. The pro-life movement wants to protect the murderer who slaughtered someone’s son or daughter, husband or wife, mother or father.

Right. Option B would be much harder to defend. In the United States, up until the late 1960’s, people were still being mob-lynched for race, religious beliefs and criminal activity. Other places across the globe are still seeing terminal mob-justice today. For example, following the earthquake that rocked Haiti in 2010, suspected looters were lynched by angry mobs. In South Africa, drug dealers and gang members have recently been hanged by vigilante groups.

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Pro-Choice Mom Believes Any Reason Will Do

Recently, I stumbled across a blog that stated the following:

“As you all know, I am pro-choice. I don’t believe in parental notification laws. I believe you can have an abortion for whatever reason you want. And yes I am a mother. And yes I was upset when I miscarried cuz that was a baby to me. However, IT IS MY CHOICE!!! And that’s what the abortion debate is about. […] Fine, if you are prolife. I don’t push my opinions on you and I expect you to do the same.”

A few things struck me here:

  1. This person is a mother and still believes—even after having gone through the whole pregnancy and childbirth experience—that abortion (the right to kill her baby in utero) is still something she thinks she wants to defend.
  2. She admits she is aware there is a baby within. (Pro-abortionists usually favor referring to an unborn baby as a zygote or fetus—anything to avoid calling it a baby, because really—who wants to kill an innocent, defenseless baby? Killing babies is just bad mojo.)
  3. She illustrates defensiveness over anyone telling her what she can and cannot do with her body. This appears to be the main foundation upon which she rests her entire pro-choice position. One can only wonder if she takes other physical mandates as personally. After all, it’s against the law to physically assault others with your body. It’s against the law to neglect buckling your body into your car. It’s against the law to walk in public while nude. We have all these laws that tell us what we can and cannot do, where we can and cannot go and even what we can and cannot say.
  4. She says it’s not her place to tell others what to do. Isn’t this what laws are? Rules, created by people, set to define appropriate behavior? We live in a world of laws; otherwise we live in a world of chaos. Daily, we choose to either work within those laws (citizen), without those laws (criminal), or on the laws (lawmaker.) Throughout our lives, most of us have donned two or three of these roles at one time or another, to varying degrees.

I think the most troubling idea here is the notion this mother knows there is a baby in the womb but thinks her “right” is more important than her baby’s life. Some questions I’m struggling with:

  • Does this rigidity offer her a much needed sense of control or certainty in her life?
  • Does she feel her life is so restricted by laws that tell her what she can and cannot do with her body that she simply cannot bear one more law?
  • Is it that she was influenced by someone close to her in her past and now subconsciously clings to the pro-abortion paradigm that was originally given to her?

And the biggest question of all:

  • What pushes this young mother to defend this pro-abortion mindset even after seeing her baby for the first time? Can a new mother truly look at her newborn baby after enduring 10 months of pregnancy’s highs and lows and think, “Yes, I should definitely have had the right to kill this child while she was inside my body?”

Really?

Suicide for a Higher Good?

An example of a “loving” suicide is shown in the following Buddhist fable:

The Starving Tigress

the monk and the starving tigress“Born into a family of Brahmans renowned for their purity of conduct and great spiritual devotion, the bodhisattva became a great scholar and teacher. With no desire for wealth and gain, he entered a forest retreat and began a life as an ascetic. It was in this forest where he encountered a tigress who was starving and emaciated from giving birth and was about to resort to eating her own newborn cubs for survival. With no food in sight, the bodhisattva, out of infinite compassion, offered his body as food to the tigress, selflessly forfeiting his own life.”

(Shakyamuni Buddha – Jataka, http://www.himalayanart.org/image.cfm/50191.html, retrieved October 20, 2011.)

What then becomes of a sanctity of life position when life is given out of the highest form of respect?

Sanctity of Life and the Hippocratic Oath

Notice how the Hippocratic Oath has changed since inception.

Original Hippocratic Oath, translated into English

I swear by Apollo, the healer, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath and agreement:

To consider dear to me, as my parents, him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and, if necessary, to share my goods with him; To look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art.

I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.

I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.

But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.

I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art.

In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves.

All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.

If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot.

Modern Hippocratic Oath, most used today

In 1964, Dr. Louis Lasagna, former Principal of the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences and Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, drafted a modernized version of the Hippocratic Oath. Notice the references to abortion have been removed. This is the version of the Hippocratic Oath that is commonly used today.

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

I will not be ashamed to say “I know not”, nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given to me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

Sanctity of Life Quotes

The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.
“I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life . . .”
~ Deuteronomy 30:19

“We hold these truths to be self-evident . . . that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these life . . .”
~ Declaration of Independence

“Thou shall not kill.”
~ God

“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
~ Albert Einstein

Abortion Quotes

“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”
~ Blessed Mother Teresa

“Nothing we do to defend the human person, no matter how small, is ever unfruitful or forgotten. Our actions touch other lives and move other hearts in ways we can never fully understand in this world. Don’t ever underestimate the beauty and power of the witness you give in your pro-life work.”
~ Archbishop Charles Chaput
(view The Little Things Matter, a video series on the Butterfly Effect, by motivational speaker, Andy Andrews)

“Pro-choice and pro-life activists live in different worlds, and the scope of their lives, as both adults and children, fortifies them in their belief that their own views on abortion are the more correct, the more moral, and more reasonable. When added to this is the fact that should ‘the other side’ win, one group of women will see the very real devaluation of their lives and life resources, it is not surprising that the abortion debate has generated so much heat and so little light.”
~ Kristin Luker

“An abortion kills the life of the baby after it has begun. It is dangerous to your life and health.”
~ Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 1952
(see the pamphlet)

Capital Punishment Quotes

“We oppose the death penalty not just for what it does to those guilty of heinous crimes, but for what it does to all of us, it offers the tragic illusion that we can defend life by taking life.”
~ Most Rev. Joseph A. Fiorenza

“You can’t save a man if he’s dead.”
~ Unknown

Respect Quotes

“That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong.”
~ William J. H. Boetcker

“I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”
~ Jackie Robinson

“Men are respectable only as they respect.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suicide Quotes

“Here in the bathroom with me are razor blades. Here is iodine to drink. Here are sleeping pills to swallow. You have a choice. Live or die. Every breath is a choice. Every minute is a choice. To be or not to be. Every time you don’t throw yourself down the stairs, that’s a choice. Every time you don’t crash your car, you reenlist.”
~ Chuck Palahniuk

“Suicide sometimes proceeds from cowardice, but not always; for cowardice sometimes prevents it; since as many live because they are afraid to die, as die because they are afraid to live.”
~ Charles Caleb Colton

“Settle down, precious. I know what you’re going through. Ten minutes before you got here, I was gonna jump too.”
~ Unknown

“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.”
~ Ben Okri

“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”
~ Phil Donahue

“Anyone desperate enough for suicide…should be desperate enough to go to creative extremes to solve problems: elope at midnight, stow away on the boat to New Zealand and start over, do what they always wanted to do but were afraid to try.”
~ Richard Bach

“To make yourself something less than you can be – that too is a form of suicide.”
~ Benjamin Lichtenberg

“All healthy men have thought of their own suicide.”
~ Albert Camus

“The only reason I don’t end it all is because I keep waiting for it to get better, to make friends, and be prettier.”
~ Unknown

“No one ever lacks a good reason for suicide.”
~ Cesare Pavese

“Nine men in ten are would-be suicides.”
~ Benjamin Franklin

War Quotes

“He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.”
~ Albert Einstein

“Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country.”
~ Bertrand Russell

“The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.”
~ David Friedman

“There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.”
~ Sun Tzu

“There is nothing that war has ever achieved that we could not better achieve without it.”
~ Henry Ellis

“There was never a good war, or a bad peace.”
~ Benjamin Franklin

“War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.”
~ John F. Kennedy

“What is the use of physicians like myself trying to help parents to bring up children healthy and happy, to have them killed in such numbers for a cause that is ignoble?”
~ Benjamin Spock

“You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.”
~ Jeannette Rankin

“Man has no right to kill his brother. It is no excuse that he does so in uniform: he only adds the infamy of servitude to the crime of murder.”
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

“Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.”
~ John F. Kennedy

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”
~ Voltaire

“All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers.”
~ Francois Fenelon

“An unjust peace is better than a just war.”
~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

“I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.”
~ George McGovern

“If it’s natural to kill, how come men have to go into training to learn how?”
~ Joan Baez

“If we don’t end war, war will end us.”
~ H. G. Wells

“In modern war… you will die like a dog for no good reason.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower