This post is quite a bit shorter than my previous post that addressed Trumps Travel Ban as this one is dedicated to a few of the smaller arguments I’ve seen put forth. This (and my other political articles) will likely be updated as things evolve.
2. The Second Amendment Angle
3. There Were No Violent Protests when Obama was Elected
4. Trump has helped people, he’s a good guy
5. Won’t Someone Think of the Children
I’ll get this out of the way right now: arguing about what a woman can and cannot do with her own body is not something men should be doing. Period, case closed. That said, abortion has been and likely always will be a hot topic, but it seems to have resurfaced as Trump talks about de-funding Planned Parenthood. If you’re wondering, Trump is currently pro-life, here is a nice site that tracks Trumps stance on abortion over the years. It seems that once again, science and facts are taking a back seat to religious or moral based opinions. I’m here to bring the science and try to shed a little light on why legal abortions are a good idea.
First we need to clear up a few terms. Babies are born; what a woman carries during her pregnancy, specifically after 8 weeks, is a fetus. Life does indeed begin at conception, with the forming of the zygote. A zygote does not constitute an entity with legal personhood or autonomy.
Let’s first address what happens when you outlaw abortion or create laws that make it incredibly hard to have one.
Outlawing something doesn’t make the market for it disappear. What happens is you end up empowering criminal elements that benefit from your stricter laws while you simultaneously hurt those that are in the most need. Not going to take my word for it? Good. The American Prospect has a great article going over what happens when the laws are too strict or abortion is outright made illegal. The Center for Reproductive Rights has an 84 page report (mentioned in the American Prospect article) on the effect of criminalizing abortion in El Salvador. Just want some of the facts without the reading?
Alright, here are some pertinent ones:
1. “In El Salvador, suicide is the cause of death for 57 percent of pregnant females between ages 10 and 19”1
2. “21.6 million women experience an unsafe abortion worldwide each year; 18.5 million of these occur in developing countries”2
3. “47,000 women die from complications of unsafe abortion each year.”2
4. “Deaths due to unsafe abortion remain close to 13% of all maternal deaths”2
5. “According to the Agrupación Ciudadana’s investigation, the women most affected by El Salvador’s criminalization of abortion are young women from a lower socioeconomic class.”3
So what happens if we make abortions illegal? Well the demand won’t go down and the supply won’t either, it will all just be that much sketchier. What you end up with is women having unsafe abortions, with no safety oversight. This absolutely will result in an increase of deaths for those seeking abortions. Those who feel like they can’t get an abortion may, as highlighted above, opt for suicide instead. Do those seem like pro-life solutions?
But let’s ignore that for now, one of the arguments seems to stem from the man not having a say (in most states anyway) in whether the woman can terminate her pregnancy or not. The Supreme Court has already ruled on this and says father should not have a right to choose. Nevertheless, the argument goes that allowing the woman to choose to terminate but not allowing the man to “opt out” of the pregnancy (and therefore not pay child support) is a double standard.
The problem with that is you are telling a woman that she should not have a choice over what she does with her own body. As the (horribly grainy, sorry) picture below highlights, this is tantamount to telling a woman she has less right over her body than a corpse does. I think it would be hard to argue that doing so is a good thing.
In case you can’t read it:
There’s a concept called bodily autonomy. It’s generally considered a human right. Bodily autonomy means a person has control over who or what uses their body, for what, and for how long. It’s why you can’t be forced to donate blood, tissue, or organs. Even if you’re dead. Even if you’d save or improve 20 lives. It’s why someone can’t touch you, have sex with you, or use your body in any way without your continuous consent.
A fetus is using someone’s body parts. Therefore under bodily autonomy, it is there by permission, not by right. It needs a person’s continuous consent. If they deny or withdraw consent, the pregnant person has the right to remove them from that moment. A fetus is equal in this regard because if I need someone else’s body parts to live, they also can legally deny me their use.
By saying a fetus has a right to someone’s body parts until it’s born, despite the pregnant person’s wishes, you’re doing two things.
1. Granting a fetus more rights to other people’s bodies than any born person.
2. Awarding a pregnant person less right’s to their body than a corpse.
Others try to use their faith as the basis of their argument. That is a bad idea, the First Amendment pretty well covers our right to religious freedom. If a person getting an abortion does not adhere to your religious belief, tough luck friend, they have a constitutional right to believe something other than you do.
Another interesting point is that, as the Supreme Court has already ruled this unconstitutional, it’s odd that lawmakers keep introducing laws they know are unconstitutional. That represent a waste of time and taxpayer money as the lawmakers already know they are trying to push unconstitutional legislation. This seems like fairly basic pandering and fiscal conservatives should be annoyed at this waste. However, I have yet to see any conservatives stand up to this blatant waste of resources.
The Second Amendment Angle
So this was something I saw posted on Facebook (some of my post here is taken directly from what I said there) and one of the more blatant bias confirming stories. There’s a lot to unpack here, other than the fact it’s literally from a site called the Conservative Tribune. Try and bear with me as I had to dig through a few of the other linked stories to get to the real source here.
Other than being an obviously biased source, the meat of the article is that Trump would uphold our Second Amendment right, even going so far as to say “Once you get into that, you start getting into a situation, the slippery slope where all of a sudden you’re going to really violate the Second Amendment. I don’t want to do anything to violate the Second Amendment. To me, the Second Amendment is very important.”. His travel ban infringes on multiple Constitutional Amendments and rights, making this statement an odd thing to highlight.
If stricter enforcement via longer sentences was effective then the government would be able to say that the war on drugs is a success. That isn’t true. What is true is that it’s been a burden on society and an effective tool for Cartel and Mafia organizations to keep power. Another thing to consider here is what those criminals do when you put them back on the street after their sentence. As with the war on drugs, you end up with a cycle in which a person is repeatedly pulled into the system with little hope of escape. That doesn’t sound like a solution.
Sidenote: Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell, a fantastic YouTube channel, has a great video on the war on drugs here if you prefer that medium.
The mental health statement is unfortunately weak. There is no substance to the statement other than “yep, we should do that” so I’m not sure why they’re highlighting it here. There are no details on what he would do other than take those he deems “a danger to themselves and others” off the streets. That sounds like a fairly broad statement and a very abuse prone policy if enacted.
Finally, there is also this bit at the end of the article: “Of course, liberal anti-gunners will hate this, but their opinion on the matter is of little concern to us “people of the gun,” of which Donald Trump is apparently one.” Here’s my opinion on that, as a gun owner: Absolutely fuck this author and this poorly written shit streak of an “article”.
A statement like that is dangerous and the height of stupidity in a society where having an opinion is a Constitutional right. Ironically it is a right that the author used to construct and publish that very article.
There Were No Violent Protests when Obama was Elected
I’ll start by saying I don’t condone violent protest, I think it’s harmful to the message you want to send and outright stupid. I’d also point out that it seems there were dedicated anarchist groups that were there to stir up trouble, and equating all of the protesters to those groups is incorrect.
You may not have been aware of the violence that protests saw during Obama’s election and subsequent re-election. There’s a decent video recap here that includes Trump’s own tweet calling for protests after Obama was er-elected for his second term. There were also other reported acts of violence, such as the burning of a church in response to Obama’s re-election.
You will also want to bear in mind that while the inaugural marches saw 230 arrests, the women’s march drew more than half a million participants in DC alone, and yet there was not a single arrest reported.
Trump has Helped People, he’s a Good Guy.
Trump used his personal 727 to fly a sick child to a hospital. This did happen, but it was in 1988. Many people seem to think this happened recently, which isn’t true. Keep in mind how much your views have changed in the past year, now apply that to nearly 40 years and you can see how this shouldn’t be used to judge Trump as the person he is now.
Another story I’ve seen is about when he gave a child with what is described as a crippling bone disease a few thousand dollars. I haven’t been able to verify when this took place (one source has it as the year 2000) or how much he actually gave, but the quality of the video indicates this was the early aughts.
Along with my earlier assertion that people change, imagine if you were a wealthy person with political aspirations looking to make an easy score via emotional manipulation. What would be your first choice? I’m not saying this is what happened, I’m just saying that using these things that happened years ago as a defense in the face of what he is doing now is not going to work well.
Won’t Someone Think of the Children
This one seems to be mostly based on a video put out by The Washington Free Beacon. It’s only a minute long but the premise is that children saw all the signs from the women’s march and heard what Madonna said. They are now scarred for life. This is ironic in that they put those kids in front of TVs and forced them to watch it while they filmed.
This argument is attractive on the surface, and probably mostly because of what Madonna said (which was stupid and poisonous), but it makes a very poor argument. Consider, if you will, that these same children almost certainly have unfettered access to the internet at large. Yea, little Jimmy over there has seen some shit. It’s an easy argument to disarm, but if that doesn’t convince you then there’s an even better counter argument in the fact that Trump was even elected.
Trump is actively spreading a message of hate and ignorance. Instead of seeing it for only a few days, as with the media coverage of the women’s march, children are going to be seeing it for no less than 4 years at the highest level of our government. If you want to question anything then perhaps you should question what kind of message that sends to our youth. What kind of message does it send when our president decides to persecute people based entirely on their religion? What kind of message does it send when our president decides to stop taking in refugees rather than helping those in need? What message does it send when our president says things without making sure they’re factual? What kind of message does it send when our president knowingly ignores science?