Comment: Stab at it...

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Stab at it...

The problem for me in the debate about whether abortion should be sanctioned as legal, is that we rarely debate the crux of the issue.

We get divided by definitions and therefore fail to get to the crux of the decision we face, as a nation, as states, as individuals -- depending on how our laws shift about.

Start with "life." Even the name folks against abortion have chosen for themselves degrades the argument -- pro-life.

There is no question that even the first incarnation of a fetus is life. In fact the sperm and the egg are both lives, meeting the biological definition. Goodness gracious, when I go out for a hard run, I kill muscle cells that are alive. When my monthly egg fails to get fertilized, it dies. As does a zillion of my husband's sperm cells when we use contraception or when my egg is done with it. Even when procreation does occur, a zillion minus one of my husband's living sperm cells die.

If you believe in God, he built a whole lot of death right into the process.

Most cells in our bodies are life; sex cells are no exception.

The next bit of jargon that obscures the real question is "human." There's no question that the muscle cells I kill when running or the zillion eager, doomed sperm cells are human. Human is an adjective that further defines the type of cell. These cells are "human life" as opposed to "wolverine life" or "duck life."

We should not be arguing about whether the zygote or fetus is either living or human. We've defined life and human to encompass even the liver liver cell I'm kill off by drinking too much wine this evening.

The question is when human life demands protection either through moral codes, social pressure, or government degree.

Unique in the jungle of living human cells is our sex cells, the gamates that, when combined, created a unique sort of cell, one that with luck and given time and a womb will become a separate being. This is a quite different process from a human liver cell. The one I'm killing off with boxed wine right now will be replaced with a replica of itself in short order. It has no potential outside of being a replica of the lost cell. It can't become a teenager who will talk back to me and get a girl pregnant and fail to go to college. But I digress.

My fertilized egg, on the other hand, is a living human cell, which most certainly will. And it will have its own liver cells it can someday abuse to boot.

So a fetus is living; it's human; it's unique among all the living human cells we've got.

The question is should we kill it.

If we were to actually debate this question, I think we'd at least have a fighting chance at it.

That's what I started off to say. But now that I'm this far, I'm going on. What I really want to debate is the question: Should we kill it? Should Libertarians kills it? Should pagans? Communists? Agnostics? Republicans? Democrats? A Babylonian from whatever B.C. or a future woman in 3000 A.D.?

This question precedes, I think, whether it's Libertarian or anything else to give the state license to either protect or abandon it.

Libertarian philosophy is built upon natural rights; we work from the ground up, from fundamentals up.

In the state of nature, my right to life extends as far as I can defend it. Women have been eating strawberry leaves (okay I just googled that and apparently strawberry helps you not miscarry, but there are other leaves to help you miscarry) for millennia to miscarry. Men have been clubbing each other over the head for millennia to get rid of a foe. Women have been clubbing men and men clubbing women. It's the an old story we still see played out in the everyday bullies and bullied everyday. Along the way of our advancing culture, we cried "Foul" or we cried "We can do better." We came up with moral codes (or we opened our ears to a god who'd been telling us all along). But that wasn't good enough. Because a woman could still eat strawberry leaves to kill the undefended and a man could still club his foe and his woman. We cried, "Foul" and we cried, "We can do better." So we came up with the notions of government to enforce the nascent morals we'd embraced.

In short order we became communists and socialist and Shri-law-ists, and Republicans and Democrats and Libertarians. All the subdivisions still with the same aim of improving upon the state of nature where my right to anything hinges on my ability to defend it.

Oddly, under all those systems men don't get to club weaker men without retaliation from their fellow men or the state. Under most of them, men don't get to club women without retaliation socially and/or criminally. Men don't even get to club their fetuses. But women can. We've decided, as a culture that's moved beyond the state of nature, beyond moral codes, and now beyond government, that women don't count on the nature-moral-government spectrum. We women call foul and privacy because our weapons aren't big sticks. We've only concerned with men hitting each other with the weapon du jour. Oh, and also hitting us.

The courageous women who met in Seneca Falls, NY, in 1848 to declare their own war of independence, stated in their Declaration of Sentiments a list of grievances toward men who had so recently won their own freedom, "He has made her, morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes with impunity...."

The "crimes" toward which the whole thrust of human history and institutions of law and government have been concerned are those that leave the weak at the mercy of the strong.

There is no question of "life" and no question of "human" when it comes to the even that first zygote cell. There is only the question of weak and strong. And where moral codes and government force should intervene.

I am not arguing that we, as members of this culture and as citizens of the United States should not, debate the circumstances we will permit, either by shame or by government force, the strong to overcome the weak. I'm just saying that THIS IS the argument.

I would be overjoyed were we to debate this.

Should the debate content on such real terms, I'd argue for the full force of female rights. Like the women in Seneca Falls, I'd argue that women must be equally responsible for the lives they have the power of force over. Strawberry leaves and abortionists or fists and guns. The weapons are different but it comes down to might makes right. Moral codes and political philosophies are all ways we seek to move beyond that. It's time women joined the fray. We're morally culpable when we kill human life over which we have a disparity of force just as men are culpable when they do.

Oh, it may not be all "powerful" and "immediate" to stake a moral ground in our wombs. But the rubber hits the road where you have power. There's a moral shame in the XX America, which calls for zero tolerance for spousal abuse, while calling herself an "irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes with impunity."

I'm tempted to go on even more, but I've killed innumerable liver cells and the rest would just be a bunch of ideas I've had from reading feminist theorists who postulate that most of the horrors men have visited upon women are perverted so that women visit them upon women -- foot binding, genital mutilation, I forget the rest -- but somehow abortion is the anomaly.

xRegardsx, I meant to take your points one by one and discuss them, but got waylaid with a bunch of stuff I'd been trying to thing about coherently. I thank you for delivering the opportunity and kick I needed to lasso my thoughts.