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Boldfaced statements are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.

Italicized/emphasized comments prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.

My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text and are prefaced by my initials (MB).

This is the second of a four-part reply. Select the "Go to next reply" link at the end of each part to read the next part of the reply.

So, where does "God's gift" come in as far as your religion is concerned? Sex certainly feels just as good to unmarried partners as it does to married couples. Also, your argument isn't reflective of the reproductive patterns of practically every animal species on the planet. Females of most species go into estrus and become receptive normally only from once to a few times each year. Copulation with their mates must occur during these rare periods or there will be no offspring produced that year. There is no pleasure aspect at all that drives this instinct, it is purely a matter of species survival. Even if those species engaged in constant copulation throughout the entire year, there would be no increase in the number of offspring. In light of the realities of biology, your arguments fail quite resoundingly.
(R) This whole "God's gift" thing you are bringing up is really a red herring. It has nothing to do with the abortion debate.
(MB) Actually, it does since you are determined to link "responsible" sex with the avoidance of unwanted pregnancies. In this argument, "responsible" equates with the teachings of your religion and "God's gift" is one of those teachings, is it not? Therefore, sex outside of marriage does not conform to those teachings and that makes it "irresponsible" in your eyes, right?

(R) However, God's gift of sex is not just the physical act because sex is a lot more than just a physical union.
(MB) Actually, sex *is* nothing more than a physical union. The pleasure aspect, the "God's gift" aspect, and the "responsibility" angle are additional considerations.

(R) In the Christian world-view, sex is not just a physical act but a spiritual act of connectedness and oneness between a man and his wife.
(MB) Why does being married (or Christian, for that matter) change anything? Unmarried people and married non-Christians can express the same emotions through sex that married Christians can. Also, what about those married couples for whom sex is a "duty" rather than any act with spiritual overtones?

(R) Also, you did not specify which particular argument "fails resoundingly" in light of biology.
(MB) Go back a few paragraphs and reread what I said about your arguments not beign reflective of the reproductive patterns of practically every animal species on the planet.

(R) Also, your evolutionary view of biology is about a hair shy of materialistic mythology. As such, I reject it as a reliable basis for judging ANY arguments.
(MB) If you wish to reject reality for fantasy, be my guest. However, don't expect that such a stand will win you many points. You're still going to have to confront reality for your views to be taken seriously.

Oh, really? Just how "fantastically unlikely" is it and how do you arrive at those figures? Even at that, you can't just ignore the unwanted pregnancies that will inevitably occur. You sound like you are an advocate of telling the woman that she just got unlucky and will have to pay the price for her bad luck.
(R) I read a report that said that only 0.9% of all abortions are performed on women who have been pregnant as a result of rape.
(MB) And, of course, this number is so "infinitesimal" that it can be safely ignored, right? Out of every 1,000,000 total abortions, 0.9% would mean that there were 9000 performed on rape victims. Since your fundamentalist views don't seem to able to accept even *one* abortion case, how do they deal with 9000 cases? Do you just brush them off as "fantastically unlikely"?

(R) Again, you use faulty arguments by framing the situation as the baby being a "price" to be paid as if it was some kind of punishment. You have yet to demonstrate that a baby is a blight as opposed to a blessing, and so does every other woman who thinks killing her own unborn child is somekind of moral "option."
(MB) This is lunacy. Do you really consider a baby conceived via rape to be a "blessing" for the woman? Doesn't this attitude show incredible disregard for the crime committed against that woman? It gets even worse if you will try to explain the conception as "God's Will". Does God really intend to "bless" certain women by having them conceive and bear babies via rape?

What's this nonsense? There's only one ovulation cycle where the woman could possibly become pregnant from any particular act of rape, incest, etc. Once again, you must deal with the unwanted pregnancies that do occur rather than ignoring them by some warped rationalization about how "unlikely" they were to have happened.
(R) I already have dealt with the miniscule number of rapes that result in pregnancy.
(MB) I have shown that you have no concept of what your percentage figures translate into in real-world terms. I have also shown that you feel you can just brush any real-world occurrence aside by labeling it "miniscule" or "infinitesimal". In this case, you go so far as to try to sugarcoat the act of rape by rationalizing about how "unlikely" it is that it will result in a pregnancy. The problem here is that we're not talking about rapes in general. We're talking about unwanted pregnancies that occur as a result of rape. That is what you are going to have to deal with.

(R) Abortion has not been shown to be any kind of a solution for the act of rape.
(MB) Neither is prison time for the rapist. The woman is not "un-raped" by sending her attacker to jail. By your rationalization, we should not send the rapist to jail since that is not a solution for the act he committed. One major point of considering rape pregnancies is to quash the incompetent argument about blaming unwanted pregnancies on the woman for her having "irresponsible" sex. Unless, of course, you're one of those who believes that all rape victims are "asking for it".

(R) All abortion does is destroy an innocent human life. It does not reverse a rape from happening nor does it resolve the violation that women experience emotional or physically. It is a risky procedure in some instance that can endanger a woman's life. But abortion fails as a solution to rape-pregnancy for another reason. It many times adds one mental trauma to another. Its is hard enough for a women to deal with the absolute violation she experienced as a result of a rape. The last thing she needs is to compound that trauma with post-abortion trauma that most women go through. A reasonable percentage of women experience this post-abortion trauma for years afterward the abortion. Again, you are failing miserably to demonstrate that abortion is a positive solution to anything.
(MB) Once again, you are wearing blinders as you argue. You invoke "mental trauma" as an argument against aborting a rape pregnancy, but completely fail to consider the much greater trauma that the woman would have to go through by being forced to bear and raise that unwanted child. Every day would be a constant reminder of the rape. It's difficult to see how such a child could be loved and cared for in the same way as a wanted child conceived with her chosen life partner. The child, also, will have to confront the reality of the situation when it gets older. There must certainly be a severe and uneraseable stigma associated with the knowledge that you were conceived through a violent act committed against your mother rather than being the wanted and desired child of life partners.
    The bottom line here is that the woman must be free to choose her own course of action after thorough consideration of all factors. That is what I advocate and what you wish to deny.

There are many reasons why couples don't achieve a successful pregnancy as soon as they start trying. Perhaps one or both partners are less fertile than average. Perhaps the egg doesn't implant in the uterus. Perhaps the body spontaneously aborts the zygote shortly after fertilization. These things are rather common. Other couples occupy the opposite extreme and are so fertile together that the woman can seemingly get pregnant if her husband merely occupies the same room with her (or so jokes one of my relatives who has six kids).
(R) I would not deny that. However, the fact that pregnancy does not occur during every ovulation period would effect the case study scenario that you created in order to make your ridiculous points.
(MB) Once again, you completely ignored what I said in favor of making another false and irrelevant claim which proves only that you don't understand the case study. The birth control effectiveness percentages used in that study take *all* factors into consideration. If you can't understand or accept that, what percentages do you think should be used? I guarantee you that you could take almost any percentage, run the numbers, and still come up with an uncomfortable result that you will have to deal with. You can't continue to run from reality. BTW, my aforementioned relative is now pregnant with #7. For what it's worth, she's Catholic.

What does *that* have to do with anything? Incest is still incest, whether it is consentual or not. The facts remain that a conception resulting from incestuous sex has a much higher-than-average chance of birth defects. This is the primary reason why incest is illegal under our legal system and under many others as well.
(R) It is applicable to the issue of abortion because if a women gets pregnant as a result of a willful act of incest, that women would be responsible for her own pregnancy and any birth defects that occur would be the product of her own carelessness and irresponsibility with her body. Still, a baby with birth defects is still a human, and posseses human life. Thus, it should be protected, not abolished.
(MB) So, a baby is a baby is a baby, right? If so, what difference would it make if the act of incest was willful or not? It wouldn't matter to the child that might be produced, would it? This is why I asked the original question. Also, even willfully incestuous sex does not mean that the woman is responsible under our legal system if she is still a minor. That is the situation with most incest cases, isn't it?

Younger women are more fertile and more sexually active, so this would seem to be a no-brainer. Don't misunderstand me here. I don't advocate that abortion should be relied upon as a method of birth control to the exclusion of any or all other methods. But, when other methods fail and when accidental or unwanted pregnancies occur (as they inevitably will), I see no reason why the woman should not be allowed to choose from all available options. It is her decision and hers alone (in conjunction with her partner, of course). It is *not* the decision of those who claim to occupy some sort of moral high ground.
(R) You apparently are missing the fact that the whole debate is over whether or not abortion should be an "option" in the first place.
(MB) How can I be "missing" that when it has been my central point? I advocate abortion as just one option from which the woman may freely choose. I would force no woman to have one for any reason whatsoever if she freely chooses not to do so. This is not dependent upon her reasons for her choice. On the other hand, you advocate that abortion is never an option and, indeed, should not even be allowed. You wish to force your morality upon the woman no matter what the circumstances are and what her views on the matter might be. Your only support for what you advocate is the doctrine of the particular brand of Christian fundamentalism that you practice. You seem to think that the woman should be forced to believe as you do despite the fact that there are thousands of other belief (and non-belief) systems practiced by the world's population.

(R) The only reason it is currently a legal option is because 6 out of the 11 Supreme Court Justices ruled in favor of it in 1973 while the other 5 did not.
(MB) It's absolutely amazing how you can be so adamant in your views when you can't even get the simplest facts of the matter correct. In 1973, there were 9 Supreme Court Justices (not 11, as you said). Also, the vote in the Roe v Wade case was 7-2 and not, as you said, 6-5. Justices voting with the majority were Blackmun, Burger, Douglas, Brennan, Stewart, Marshall, and Powell. Justices White and Rehnquist constituted the minority vote.

(R) All it takes is for one or two more votes and unbortion will become illegal.
(MB) How will "one or two more votes" reverse a decision that was 7-2?

(R) Also, whether or not you realize it, those elected officials who made abortion an "option" presumed the place of some "moral high ground" the minute that they proclaimed abortion legal.
(MB) This couldn't be more wrong. The vote affirmed that the issue of abortion is a matter of law and not one of morality. Indeed, they could not reasonably have done otherwise. To do so would have been to make a decision which was solely based on the doctrine of a particular religion and that is unconstitutional.

(R) By proclaiming something legal, they are proclaiming something to be acceptable. Things that are claimed to be acceptable are things claimed to be "right," while things that are unacceptable are said to be "wrong." By saying that abortion is not "wrong," they were making claim to some "moral high ground."
(MB) "Right" and "wrong" are moral judgments and not legal ones. The decision does not say that abortion is "right" or "wrong". It only says that abortion is legal under the constitution. This is not a moralistic judgment in any way, shape or form. Therefore, your argument is baseless.

Since you can't apply retroactive solutions to correct the initial cause of the unwanted pregnancy, there is no choice but to address what you euphemistically call the "symptoms". You say that my logic fails to address all the "future issues at hand", but you don't say what any of those "issues" are. Is this just a catch phrase?
(R) I have presented retroactive solution to the initial cause of unwanted pregnancy. It is as simple as this --- If there are no sperm in the women's body during her ovulation phase, it is 100% impossible for her to get pregnant.
(MB) I can see that you also do not understand what a "retroactive solution" is as opposed to a "preventative" one. A retroactive solution is essentially an "I told you so". That might make you feel morally superior, but it does absolutely nothing to address or correct the situation which is immediately at hand. That situation is what I'm trying to get you to come to grips with instead of brushing aside with simple moralisms.

(R) (Unless she's the Virgin Mary)
(MB) This is another interesting subject for debate. If there was no sperm in Mary's body, where did the other half of Jesus' DNA come from? If there was no "other half", then Jesus could not have been male since the mother only supplies the X chromosome.

(R) That is the solution--and if women who absolutely cannot have a baby want to continue to have sex, then they should be ready for the prospect of parenthood or they shouldn't be having sex.
(MB) Same old meaningless moralisms and retroactive "solutions". Not to mention that it totally ignores the rape and incest scenarios in favor of yet another advocacy of "responsible" sex. It also ignores the cases of married couples (even Christian ones) who do not want children but still want or need the "spiritual" benefits of sex. All you're doing is making blanket "feel good" statements without applying adequate thought.

Exactly! Now, the question remains whether or not we will allow the woman to choose from all available options. If not, why not?
(R) Of course a woman should be able to choose from all available options. Abortion should not be an available option to begin with.
(MB) Whether you think that abortion "should not be an option" is not the question. It *is* an option. It *is* legal. Yet, you *still* advocate forcing the woman to adhere to your version of morality. You can't do that and still say that she should be able to choose. All that does is say that she should only be able to choose from the options which you decide are acceptable to you.

Besides the question-begging about whether or not an unborn baby can actually be "killed", you need to specify what this "new problem" is that you say will be created.
(R) Besides your hair-splitting over the word "kill," the new problems that are produced as a result of the legality of abortion on demand is wide-ranged. 23 million unborn humans are murdered in their mother's womb every year---that's one.
(MB) Just what "problem" does that create? Seems to me that 23 million fewer unwanted babies per year would be a great benefit to society. Now that you've supplied a specific number, let's go back to a couple of your previous arguments and see how you're just making speeches without consideration of what you're really saying.
    As concerns abortions as a result of rape pregnancies, you threw out a figure of 0.9% in support of your blindly labeling them "fantastically unlikely". Simple math shows that this actually translates to 207,000 abortions per year as a result of rape-induced pregnancies. Does this number qualify as something which is "fantastically unlikely"?
    Also, you've gone to great lengths to blast my case study on unwanted pregnancies as being "unrealistic" while I said that I toned down the numbers to give you the benefit of the doubt. Now, here you are offering up a number of 23 million abortions each year. This number is nearly 100 times greater than what my case study produced. Yet, you *still* deny its results as being "too high". I think we can finally lay that dispute to an ignominious rest.

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