Indiana Abortion Drama

Published April 7th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

“I mean, do a group of old white ladies govern what goes on with my balls? No. They don’t. But this is what happens in America. Old white men who believe in an invisible man in the sky get to say what goes on in all women’s vaginas.”  — Ned Hepburn, Death and Taxes.

Old white men

Death and Taxes magazine has an enlightening article on the showdown in Indiana over abortion you might want to check out.

Some background information: Indiana republicans are attempting to pass a bill to make abortions illegal after the 20th week.  Democrats are opposed, and back and forth discussions have turned nasty – at one point Eric Turner, a republican House of Representatives member, suggested women may fake a rape in order to get an abortion.

As much as I want to stay away from political (and emotionally charged) issues, it seems that there is something more insidious happening here that needs attention.  It’s plain this is less about governing and more about pushing a conservative, religious, agenda.  More and more we’re seeing this brazen attitude where government officials are doing “God’s work” – not always explicitly declared, but not uncommon, either – and more worryingly, no longer is this seen as an extreme position by many.  A disturbing number of people don’t see anything wrong with this, they somehow think that state capitals and courtrooms are a proper venue for these ideological battles. 

Regardless of personal views on abortion, we all have an interest in keeping these discussions out of government. At a time when the economy is on the edge of collapse, when we are fighting multiple wars, when millions are unemployed or underemployed, our government is spending time arguing over personal ideology. This is precisely why religion was meant to be kept out of government.

What do Pastafarians think about the abortion issue?  I for one believe that Life begins at the Creation of the sperm, and that sperm, as potential human lives, deserve equal protection given to fetuses and grown children.  Think of the billions of sperm needlessly killed by such things as hot tubs and tight-fitting underwear.  In the future we will learn to save every sperm Created, so these potential lives can each develop into human adults as the FSM intended.  Who’s with me? 

Join me at Save-Our-Sperm.org  (a work in progress).


122 Responses to “Indiana Abortion Drama”

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  1. Fitzy says:

    Okay, i don’t think the comparison between fetuses and sperm is the best way to go about this. I’m an atheist, pro-life person. I’ve been told by my parents that I had a SSN BEFORE I was even born. So the gov’t classified me as a ‘person’. When does one give the title of ‘separate human life’ to a fetus? Do its genes not differ from the mother? (I’m actually open to discussing this!! Please, share your opinions.)

    • Bhevarri says:

      I’m curious where you live that fetuses are granted social security numbers?

    • Phyve says:

      Yes, please, tell us where and when you were given an SSN… erm… Prehumously(?).

      • Fitzy says:

        Like I said, that’s what I was TOLD. From what I’ve just gathered, it most likely didn’t happen.

        What ‘magical force’ makes birth the point at which a person becomes a person? Talk about being spiritual. Here in Portland a while back, a pregnant woman was killed, and the murderer was convicted of the death of both the mother and child.

        • Insightful Ape says:

          Nice. So you’re not even sure it happened. But yet that somehow is so paradigm-shifting? As for the “magical force” that turns you into a person upon birth: how about the life-altering, potentially fatal event that it is for the mother?

        • Gordon_UK says:


          Personally I thought the ‘magical force’ was the point where a child lives independently of the mother which normally happens at birth.

          I do not like abortion but I understand that a ban or restriction is not the answer, the key is with better sexual education.

          For years our government (in the UK) has tried to put together a better curriculum for sex education but has been repeatedly hampered by both the CofE and RCC so by the time it’s gone though the houses of parliament and the house of lords it’s no longer fit for purpose. We need to give our kids a better chance of making the right decisions / taking the actions by giving them the knowledge they need/deserve, in other words deal with the reason rather then symptom.


    • Noodlity says:

      Technically, an embryo becomes a fetus sometime around the 11th week of pregnancy… which generally corresponds with the time when abortion becomes medically inadvisable. So, no argument here.

      On the other hand, an %embryo% is very much a part of the mother, and is often absorbed back into her with little consequence. Not to mention that most pregnancies already end in miscarriages – before even any signs of pregnancy occur. Abortion is merely the intentional causing of a natural process.

      And gov’t classification of what a “person” is, is entirely arbitrary anyway. If you want to make a point, there’s not much to go on in that regard.

      • Fitzy says:

        This is a great answer here. Now, what do you say about abortion AFTER the 11th week? Legal, or not?

      • Noodlity says:

        I’d say it’s something of a moot point, really. Apart from cases where the mother’s life is threatened by the pregnancy, doctors would refuse to perform the operation anyway. As 10 weeks is more than enough time for the mother to make her own choice, anything later is best left to the trained professionals.

      • I'm Brian and so's my wife. says:

        “Abortion is merely the intentional causing of a natural process”

        I’m am atheist and pro-choice, but that really is an asinine statement. Death is a natural process. So is murder “merely the intentional causing of a natural process”?

        • Noodlity says:

          Yup, yes it is.

          I never said it was *nice*.

          This only goes to show that the choices and responsibilities are ultimately our own, and any law regarding that will be as arbitrary as the next, both in principle and application.

          After all, if there already were definite empirical answers to these debate, we would not be having them, now, would we?

        • I'm Brian and so's my wife. says:

          The problem is with your use of the word “merely”, which implies that there is effectively no meaningful difference between a process happening unconsciously and it occurring as the result of artificial intervention.

          This is so self-evidently false, I shouldn’t need to give an illustrative example.

        • Noodlity says:

          From a biological standpoint, there really isn’t.

          On the other hand, there *is* a difference between abortion and death, regardless of the causes. While death, even of natural causes, is nearly always a tragedy, most spontaneous abortions, as it turns out, are barely registered at all. It’s hardly fair to lump one with the other in terms of impact. I view them with regard to *what they are*, and not how they occur.

        • I'm Brian and so's my wife. says:

          Causes don’t matter in biology, only the effect? Don’t be silly.

          In any case, you’ve contradicted yourself here. On the one hand you’ve, quite rightly, drawn a distinction between spontaneous abortions and death “in terms of impact” on others, but refuse to do the same between spontaneous abortions and artificially induced abortions which also differ significantly “in terms of impact” on others. You insist they are the same. As you said – “It’s hardly fair to lump one with the other in terms of impact”.

          Either you view ALL biological events “with regard to *what they are*, and not how they occur” or you don’t. You can’t arbitrarily introduce subjective ‘impact’ distinctions where it suits you.

          Frankly, I don’t believe that you view murder as “merely the intentional causing of a natural process”, because that is an almost comically absurd nihilism. The idea that a law based on consensus rather than definite empiricism must be arbitrary is clearly not true. It may be subjective, but it isn’t arbitrary.

        • Noodlity says:

          OK then, show me how an induced abortion is so different from a spontaneous one; unless it’s a botched up backalley job, of course. Are there any different medical consequences or concerns? Really, I’m curious.

          And yes, as nihilistic as it may sound (to you), murder is just that – death by slightly unnatural causes. Thing is, death, by *any* cause, is bad enough. And while we can’t exactly hold a river responsible for drowning people (the Persians already tried that, didn’t work) , a murderer is easier to deal with accordingly.

          By the way, do *you* see a difference between murder and, say, euthanasia? Or even medically assisted suicide? Should doctors be tried for relieving the pain of a consenting patient? Are they killers, saviors, or somethng else entirely?

          * * *

          The morality of an action is decided by more than vague definitions and wordplay. Mutual consent, collateral damage, awareness of consequences – they play a far greater role, yet have only now begun to be treated accordingly. And while they still leave room for an arbitrary decision, I’d hardly call it nihilistic to value them.

        • I'm Brian and so's my wife. says:

          “OK then, show me how an induced abortion is so different from a spontaneous one; unless it’s a botched up backalley job, of course. Are there any different medical consequences or concerns? Really, I’m curious.”

          Why do you think elective abortions come with counseling both before and after? There are serious psychological implications of making such a conscious decision, as opposed to a spontaneous abortion which goes largely unnoticed. In a purely cold medical sense there are also clear differences. Approximately 86% of abortions in the US are surgical. Do I really need to spell out the potential “medical consequences or concerns” of invasive surgery vs an unnoticed spontaneous process? Even the 14% that are chemically induced (usually by RU 486) carry greater risks than natural infertility, with 12 reported deaths and more than 1,300 reported adverse effects, with 336 being serious enough to require hospitalization and 172 requiring blood transfusions.

          Still curious?

          “By the way, do *you* see a difference between murder and, say, euthanasia? Or even medically assisted suicide? Should doctors be tried for relieving the pain of a consenting patient? Are they killers, saviors, or somethng else entirely?”

          Is that a serious question? Of course their is a difference. One involves consent. You’re all over the place logically here. YOU are the one claiming there is no difference between murder and death by natural causes. By that rationale, there should also be no difference between murder and assisted suicide, yet you are implying in your rhetorical question that you can see the difference. Which is it?

          “The morality of an action is decided by more than vague definitions and wordplay. Mutual consent, collateral damage, awareness of consequences – they play a far greater role, yet have only now begun to be treated accordingly. And while they still leave room for an arbitrary decision, I’d hardly call it nihilistic to value them.”

          That’s what I’ve been saying all along and you have been arguing against with your insistence that laws based on anything other than pure empiricism are arbitrary. You understand that arbitrary means random, right? There is nothing random about considering consequences, consent or collateral damage. When legislators or judges decide that murder should be illegal, but arbortion not, they don’t just flip a coin.

        • I'm Brian and so's my wife. says:

          Also, what did you mean when you said…”Mutual consent, collateral damage, awareness of consequences – they play a far greater role, yet have only now begun to be treated accordingly” ?

          Legal principles such as mens rea and actus reus have existed since the earliest written legal codes designed by the Sumerians about 4000 years ago and in every one since. How have they “only now begun to be treated accordingly” ?

        • Noodlity says:

          Why do I get the feeling that you’ve lost your train of thought, and now you’re picking fights for their own sake?

          So far, I think I’ve gone out of my way to differentiate between death as a biological process, and as a social event. One involves such details as cause, intent, circumstances etc. The other is basically the same chemistry all around (bar the occasional fugu-fish poisoning, natch). Failing to tell which is which is your own error, not mine.

          As for abortions, the first-week unnoticed miscarriage is much more similar to the effects caused by a contraceptive pill, rather than a direct pregnancy termination. A second trimester spontaneous abortion, on the other hand, is a wallop in every sense, and involves just as much medical concerns as the induced kind, if not more. In short, you have no footing here as well.

          And no, “arbitrary” means “based on a subjective choice”, which is hardly the same as “random”, unless you’ve borrowed Tony’s dictionary. That’s the thing – with all the knowledge we have right now, medical and otherwise, ultimately the decisions still rest on personal perspective and even on educated guesses. Far more preferable than *un*educated guesses, but imperfect still.

          As for legal principles, you might wanna check current policies on the four-letter sexual minorities (LGBT, BDSM, etc.). Homosexuality has only recently been taken off the mental illnesses list, even in developed countries. Same goes for BDSM. And both are wholly about mutual informed consent, aren’t they?

          Have you any more misinterpretations to make, or are you done with this sharade?

        • Noodlity says:

          At any rate, I’ve said all I wanted to say, and clear enough, at least from where I’m standing. Perhaps this has all been a pile-up of misunderstandings, perhaps not. Either way, if you want to keep at this, you’re on your own. Since it seems both Fitzy and Tony have vacated the premises, arguing with another fellow Pastafarian instead is not what I’d call productive.

          Be at peace, live long, and Pasta.

        • I'm Brian and so's my wife says:

          “Why do I get the feeling that you’ve lost your train of thought, and now you’re picking fights for their own sake?”

          Probably because I answered your deliberately condescending question and you’re much happier getting the last word in?

          I really couldn’t be bothered going around and around in circles with you repeatedly contradicting yourself. You tried to conflate spontaneous termination of a pregnancy with deliberate abortion, because the end result is the same in a narrow biological sense, but when challenged that this is a self serving and asinine way of looking at the problem, you acknowledge qualifying factors, yet still claim you’re right? Who’s arguing for the sake of it again?

          I took issue with your original statement because it was both absurd on the face of it and because it is just the kind of narrow, emotionless rationalizing that perpetuates the stereotype that non-believers have no morals.

          I’m quite happy to end this “Sharade” right now, but whoever this Tony is, you might want to ask him how to spell it.

        • Gordon_UK says:

          Hi Noodlity & I’m Brian and so’s my wife

          In away your debate proves one thing, that this subject has no relation to peoples religion (or lack of) but instead how one views the world and therefore opinions vary even within the same denomination.

          Tony started this all off by claiming (indirectly) that Atheists are pro choice due to their lack of morals and that Christians are pro life as they have the necessary morals thanks to the bible. Not only does your debate above prove this wrong (i.e. your on the same side religiously but differ on this subject) the fact that even within the religious groups they the same sort of arguments. For example in a recent survey of Roman Catholics (to coincide with the popes visit to the UK last year) found that just under 70% supported abortion in some form despite what the RCC would have you believe.

          Anyway fellas it’s Friday and it’s time for beer!


        • I'm Brian and so's my wife says:

          Completely with you Gordon. That’s why I reacted the way I did. In my view, Noodly’s assertion that “Abortion is merely the intentional causing of a natural process”, reinforces the old canard that atheists have no moral compass, which like you I suspect, I find infuriating.

          Time for that beer!


    • Insightful Ape says:

      Interesting. Well the “government” considered this question settled decades ago, but clearly that wasn’t the last word for you And yet the same government giving a fetus a number means so much? As for “having different genes”, if that is how you identify a “person”, most malignant tumors (not to mention abscesses) will count as people.

      • Thomas L. Nielsen says:

        “……if that is how you identify a “person”, most malignant tumors (not to mention abscesses) will count as people.”

        That explains some people I could name……

        Regards & all, and rAmen,

        Thomas L. Nielsen

    • Onan says:

      That is so cool, Fitzy. I up-voted your comment — it’s the best!

      Do you think I could get a social security number for every one of my spermatazoa? It might put Social Security in the white (err, I mean black) again.

      We’d need to add a few more digits to the SSN, but it would be worth it!

      • Keith says:

        If it was in Australia, all of the sperm would be forced to sign a “mutual obligation” contract (meaning they get a pittance and have to jump through hoops to satisfy the authorities). After a short time they’d be put on a “work for the dole” scheme.

  2. Stephan Ahonen says:

    Clearly this philosophy should be given equal time in sex-education classes.

  3. Hieronymus Fortesque Lickspittle says:

    Whatever you do, please, be RESPECTFUL when discussing these “old white men.” https://www.venganza.org/2010/12/an-emerging-trend/ You wouldn’t want to be considered rude while they impose their religious values on you and everyone else.

  4. Brap Gronk says:

    Every sperm is sacred.
    Every sperm is great.
    If a sperm is wasted,
    God gets quite irate.


    • Pesto says:

      I was going to post this, but you beat me to it!:)

  5. theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

    I’m conflicted on this one. While philosophically I’m pro-choice, you have to admit abortion is the worst form of birth control. And why can’t it be done in the first 5 months?

    • I'm Brian and so's my wife. says:

      I’m with you on this. I would never choose abortion, but that’s the point, it should be a choice. However, 20 weeks is not only plenty of time to make that choice, it’s also well past the point where we’re talking about an unrecognizable mass of cells.

      • Assinine says:

        So now the ability to be recognized is the defining point for life?

        Here is where I stand, whether you like it or not: For better or worse, there is no one, NO ONE, more qualified the make decisions over abortion than a mother/father couple and their doctor. Most certainly not a bunch of “old white men” in suits playing politics and self-righteousness. What your personal feelings on abortion are, what mine are, what the Pope’s feelings are, all are irrelevant. And I believe that is the point that this article is trying to make.

  6. Hereticchick says:

    You cannot get a SSN before you are born. That’s a lie. The gov’t cannot afford personhood to a fetus, trampling the obvious living breathing woman carrying it inside her body. Abortion as BC is bullshit. It doesn’t happen as often as you think. It would be painful and expensive! You can’t get an abortion after 22 wks in most states. FFS people, can you not Google abortion statistics?

    • Assinine says:

      Agreed. It is, strictly speaking, possible that your parent did get one for you before you were born, but that would have been tax fraud, and probably means they were cheating on their taxes.

  7. Phyve says:

    Pro-life as a political/ religious stance, is simply a way to increase their “mean”. The more people you having walking around a pile of shit, the more likely it is to spread, no matter how much it stinks.

  8. TiltedHorizon says:

    As a man my views are largely that I should mind my business on the subject, therefore I guess I am reluctantly ‘Pro-choice’. I will say that I hope women are informed of their other options. As a father, who spent 15 years attempting to have children naturally (only succeeded once), I represent the many who are in search of families to call their own. I would gladly take the ‘burden’ of their child’s life off their hands.

    • chadachada123 says:

      There are also many many children that are born with unwanting parents, or that are stuck in a hell-hole of a system. Somehow this situation needs to be sorted out a bit (so that those that want to adopt and those that need to be adopted can both be satisfied, as can our taxes).

      I highly doubt that many of the religious (or even non-religious) pro-life people would take the time to raise an unwanted child, though. They don’t care about life at all, in that sense. They would have people born just to let them starve and be uncared for, while still maintaining that they care about helping humanity.

      • Assinine says:

        Saying that pro-life people don’t care about like is a pretty hypocritical statement. In my experience, most pro-lifers are because in their narrow field of view, they are protecting life. Again, in my experience, they often lack the insight to recognize that many children are born into crappy situations, to starve, beaten, sold, or worse.

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