Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Abortion

The DUP is Not Okay

Not to be discouraged by a hung parliament, British Prime Minister Theresa May now intends to govern with the aid of the DUP, the “Democratic Unionist Party” of Northern Ireland. This is unbelievably reckless and puts the security and future of the British people at risk.

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Mike Pence Really Could Be Worse Than Trump

As the talk of impeaching President Trump has ramped up, a lot of people seem to be really excited by the prospect of his removal. I’m afraid I can’t share the enthusiasm. Why? I’m a Hoosier–I grew up in Indiana, the state Vice President Pence governed from 2013 to 2017. My parents still live there. Every year I come back from grad school in the summers and over the holidays to reconnect with my roots, and even when I’m faraway I make a point to stay up to date on the happenings in my state. This means that for the last four years I’ve had a pretty detailed look at Pence. Most Americans seem to view him as some kind of serious, responsible, adult Republican. This understanding is grounded in the way Pence has presented himself on the national stage–as this taciturn, businesslike bridge between the different Republican factions. Pence has done an impressive marketing job getting people to view him this way, because when he’s in power it’s a very different story. Let me tell you some Mike Pence tales.

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Trump’s Abortion Comments are Consistent with the Anti-Abortion Position

Donald Trump recently claimed that abortion should be criminalized and that the women who get them should be punished:

Establishment republicans immediately pounced, claiming that only abortion doctors should be punished, not the women who seek them. Trump uncharacteristically backpedaled on the comments soon afterwards:

If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman. The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed–like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions.

This whole controversy is being covered very poorly. There’s more to this than “Trump said something outrageous again”. Let me unpack it for you.

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Hillary Clinton Isn’t Particularly Good for Feminism

In reply to my post from the other day about the differences in economic ideology between Bernie Sanders (the Keynesian egalitarian) and Hillary Clinton (the neoliberal), some are replying that Hillary is still worth supporting because a Hillary presidency would be an important victory for feminism. Indeed, there are prominent women accusing female Bernie supporters of being traitors to feminism. Madeleine Albright says that women who don’t support Hillary are “going to hell”. Gloria Steinem says that female Bernie supporters are doing it to chase boys (she has since apologized for that remark). Yet in some places, Bernie continues to enjoy the support of the majority of women under 45–winning as much as 64% of that demographic. These women are making the right choice. Hillary’s feminist credentials are much weaker than is popularly believed, and if elected there are strong reasons to think that she would do little for the feminist political cause.

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The Planned Parenthood Video Doesn’t Matter

A new anti-abortion video has been doing the rounds. The video accuses US healthcare provider Planned Parenthood of profiting from the sale of tissue from aborted fetuses:

Planned Parenthood issued a video response in which it denied profiting from the sale of tissues and pointed out that the tissues are used for medical research:

Factcheck.org investigated and determined that the video is quite misleading–sections were edited out that indicate that the money PP receives merely helps to offset the costs of collecting, storing, and managing the tissues. Other researchers corroborated that account, pointing out that clinics generally take a loss. The law prohibiting the sale of tissues explicitly contains exemptions for these cost offsetting practices, and they are commonplace in medical research.

None of this likely to assuage abortion opponents because their objection has little to do with whether or not a profit has been made and everything to do with persuading the public that the use of fetal tissue for medical research is in and of itself morally disgusting. It’s for this reason that they opposed embryonic stem cell research regardless of its profitability for clinics. Their argument should not be persuasive. Here’s why.

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