Pharyngula

Smacking down more lies about Plan B

It’s really not that hard to understand, but what’s blocking acceptance are the amazing lies people say about Plan B emergency contraception. Ema found a ghastly op-ed that got everything wrong; try reading my summary of Plan B, then the op-ed by Abby Wisse Schachter, and see if you can spot all the errors. You won’t be as thorough as Ema, though, who has posted a wonderfully detailed, complete annihilation of Schachter’s article.

Comments

  1. #1 Ichthyic
    August 18, 2006

    hmm, I can think of one important difference (especially to parents who never get enough sleep for the first two years):

    one minute after, it’s breathing air (and usually lets you know about it right away).

  2. #2 Ichthyic
    August 18, 2006

    bah, that’s some pretty pathetic logic.

    by that logic i can claim that an unimplanted, fertilized egg won’t develop into a human being either.

    or an implanted blastula that doesn’t recieve proper blood supply.

    etc., etc.

    your line is just as arbitrary as the “one minute” line you mentioned above.

    the wonder of Roe V. Wade is that is was an eminently PRAGMATIC decision, based on weighing more than when somebody arbitrarily decides “it’s human” or not.

    In fact, the very durability of that decision speaks to the pragmatic nature of it.

  3. #3 Ichthyic
    August 18, 2006

    [quote]The right to life isn’t granted to us according to our chances of completing our “four score years and ten”. [/quote]

    your arguments are quite simplistic. the answer to this question entirely depends on the where and when.

    yes, there have been times and are places where your very right to life depends on your answers to political questions, let alone how long you’ve lived.

    There is no absolute morality that decides this issue.

    There is only pragmatism, which just happens to be how this issue fell out within our legal system.

    the rest is subjective morality, which you have no more or less evidence for than any other arbitrary legal definition we choose to apply to “personhood”.

    you say you prefer the idea of “personhood” starting at fertilization, but really you have made no evidentiary argumentation supporting such a position.

    so essentially you have not made a case for why things should be any different than they are now.

    I’ve seen women make cogent arguments for why they should have rights in how far the government can intrude on their personal decisions, and provide hard evidence to support that.

    you may not like it, but that’s what really counts in the end.

  4. #4 Ian H Spedding
    August 18, 2006

    Ichthyic wrote:

    The right to life isn’t granted to us according to our chances of completing our “four score years and ten”.

    your arguments are quite simplistic. the answer to this question entirely depends on the where and when.
    yes, there have been times and are places where your very right to life depends on your answers to political questions, let alone how long you’ve lived.

    People have behaved badly. We know. It doesn’t mean we have to do the same. It doesn’t mean we can’t work out better way. It doesn’t mean we can’t do better.

    There is no absolute morality that decides this issue.

    I agree. We decide it for ourselves.

    There is only pragmatism, which just happens to be how this issue fell out within our legal system.

    Like you said, there’s no absolute morality. The nice thing about a pragmatic morality is that it can be modified.

    If enough people can be persuaded to agree.

    the rest is subjective morality, which you have no more or less evidence for than any other arbitrary legal definition we choose to apply to “personhood”.
    you say you prefer the idea of “personhood” starting at fertilization, but really you have made no evidentiary argumentation supporting such a position.

    It’s hard to provide ‘evidence’ for something that only exists as a concept in people’s minds. Other than to show that they hold it.

    As I see it, it’s quite simple. We are alive and we have a legitimate interest in staying alive because, for the most part, it’s better than the alternative. If you’re atheist that is.

    The right to life is a guarantee of that interest.

    Most of us think of the right to life applying to us as we are now. But to get to ‘now’ we had to go through a lot of ‘then’ – ‘then’ being all the stages of development that preceded the stage we have now reached.

    It just seems like a good idea that all those preceding stages in our life should be be guaranteed like the current and future stages.

    so essentially you have not made a case for why things should be any different than they are now.

    You mean I haven’t persuaded you. Or anyone else here as far as I can tell.

    Obviously, I’m not a very effective advocate.

    I’ve seen women make cogent arguments for why they should have rights in how far the government can intrude on their personal decisions, and provide hard evidence to support that.

    I’m sure you have. Cogent arguments based on the human right that protects citizens from unwarranted intrusions by the state into their privacy.

    That right isn’t absolute, though. It certainly doesn’t mean that a pregnant woman necessarily has a special right to kill.

    And, unless the fetus is already dead, it does get killed during an abortion.

    A fetus that otherwise might grow into an adult human being just like the rest of us here.

  5. #5 Ichthyic
    August 24, 2006

    Ian said:

    People have behaved badly. We know. It doesn’t mean we have to do the same. It doesn’t mean we can’t work out better way. It doesn’t mean we can’t do better.

    and then promptly responded to my comment here:

    There is no absolute morality that decides this issue.

    with this:

    I agree. We decide it for ourselves.

    that was my point, Ian. How can you determine what is “better” objectively?

    Your attempts are entirely subjective, hence the reason that they don’t fly on this blog, especially.

    It’s hard to provide ‘evidence’ for something that only exists as a concept in people’s minds. Other than to show that they hold it.

    oh? I think perhaps you should spend more time checking out relevant court cases and the literature. I’ve seen plenty of evidence presented for both sides of this issue, not just opinion. though indeed a lot of that ‘evidence’ is often selective intepretation of observation, much along the lines of an artifical demarcation as to the start of ‘life’.

    In fact, I think you would gain a lot of perspective if you actually went and read the trasncripts from Roe vs. Wade, and especially the notes the judges made on their decisions.

    As I see it, it’s quite simple. We are alive

    as has been pointed out by innumerable philosophers for ages, that is not a simple statement on the face of it.

    The right to life is a guarantee of that interest.

    and it’s already written into the constitution. you are quibbling over what constitutes “life”, not whether there is a right to it or not.

    It just seems like a good idea that all those preceding stages in our life should be be guaranteed like the current and future stages.

    and defining it as the moment of fertilization is just as arbitrary as defining it as the moment of birth.

    you still haven’t provided any kind of objective evidence to indicate otherwise.

    You mean I haven’t persuaded you. Or anyone else here as far as I can tell.

    Obviously, I’m not a very effective advocate.

    well, at least you’re an honest one. I respect that.

    I took a course in biomedical ethics when I was an undergrad (long long ago in a galaxy far far away), and found reading the transcripts of roe v wade instrumental in thinking about this issue. I again highly recommend you take some time and read the whole thing.

  6. #6 Ian H Spedding FCD
    August 28, 2006

    Ichthyic wrote:

    Ian said:

    People have behaved badly. We know. It doesn’t mean we have to do the same. It doesn’t mean we can’t work out better way. It doesn’t mean we can’t do better.

    and then promptly responded to my comment here:
    There is no absolute morality that decides this issue.
    with this:
    I agree. We decide it for ourselves.

    that was my point, Ian. How can you determine what is “better” objectively?
    Your attempts are entirely subjective, hence the reason that they don’t fly on this blog, especially.

    I am as aware of the naturalistic fallacy as you are. I have never claimed that moral standards can be derived from observations of nature.

    What I have argued is that the concept of human rights has its roots in a recognition of common interests. We are all alive, we all have an interest in staying alive as long as we can – most of us anyway – so it makes sense if we agree to a rule of behaviour which requires us to respect each other’s life, in other words, the right to life.

    Ultimately, though, it is a subjective view, I agree.

    So is yours.

    So each of our positions are equally unairworthy.

    None of the above, however, prevents either of us from trying to persuade others to accept our arguments, does it?

    It’s hard to provide ‘evidence’ for something that only exists as a concept in people’s minds. Other than to show that they hold it.
    oh? I think perhaps you should spend more time checking out relevant court cases and the literature. I’ve seen plenty of evidence presented for both sides of this issue, not just opinion. though indeed a lot of that ‘evidence’ is often selective intepretation of observation, much along the lines of an artifical demarcation as to the start of ‘life’.
    In fact, I think you would gain a lot of perspective if you actually went and read the trasncripts from Roe vs. Wade, and especially the notes the judges made on their decisions.

    I read Roe v Wade, but it was some years back so I had to read it again more recently, in particular the dissenting opinion of Justice Byron R White:

    I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 States are constitutionally disentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on the one hand, against a spectrum of possible impacts on the mother, on the other hand. As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to do what it does today; but, in my view, its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.
    The Court apparently values the convenience of the pregnant mother more than the continued existence and development of the life or potential life that she carries. Regardless of whether I might agree with that marshaling of values, I can in no event join the Court’s judgment because I find no constitutional warrant for imposing such an order of priorities on the people and legislatures of the States. In a sensitive area such as this, involving as it does issues over which reasonable men may easily and heatedly differ, I cannot accept the Court’s exercise of its clear power of choice by interposing a constitutional barrier to state efforts to protect human life and by investing mothers and doctors with the constitutionally protected right to exterminate it. This issue, for the most part, should be left with the people and to the political processes the people have devised to govern their affairs.

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