Sunday, May 31, 2009

Here lies an unwanted late-term fœtus, rest in peace (or something)


A slightly unusual set of circumstances surrounded one of today's late-term abortions, one of dozens or even hundreds practiced around the nation on a daily basis. Chaos ensued inside a local church, Reformation Lutheran (motto: "Unraveling the Reformation every Sunday so that we can be nicer people"), today when one late-term fœtus aborted another in a slightly less well-controlled environment as that which usually surrounds such terminations, though conditions in this case were certainly comparable in terms of sterility and general professionalism.

"We're all shocked here," said a churchgoer who identified himself as Jimmy. "It was really weird to see this late-term fœtus, who's been a long-time member of our church and who called himself 'Tiller', lying in a pool of blood, since he's usually been the one that reduces, excuse me, progresses other fœtuses towards a non-lifey state. So yeah, it's been an abnormal day, and last week was even worse - we had to kick out of our church a member who we discovered had been kicking his dog from time to time when he was angry. Talk about unacceptable behavior!"

Witnesses reported at least two other significant ways in which this abortion was dissimilar to others performed by Tiller, the aforementioned late-term fœtus, on slightly less-late-term fœtuses in the past. One was described by Mary Smith, who told us, "There was no mention of any shady financial transactions funneled from the federal government, through Planned Parenthood, to the abortician. It seemed like he was working pro bono, which is not unheard of, I understand, especially in poor minority neighborhoods, but it was strange all the same."
Sharimrakar Pamarayitsupatel, another long-time member and teacher of Reformation Lutheran's popular "Sunshine, Veda, and Transcendental Meditation" Sunday School class, mentioned the other: "The late-term fœtus in question seemed to utilise a projectile-emitting implement to perform this procedure, rather than what the other one usually uses, or so I understand, which was a suction implement, a handheld bladed implement, and/or a chemical weapon implement, depending on the situation. So this was a little off the beaten path, shall we say, but it still effectively got the job done, and it certainly seemed to be pretty painless, much less painful than taking a dip in a cocktail of scalding chemical agents, let me tell you."

"It's so weird," said an unnamed passerby whom we interviewed. "They have 'No firearms allowed in building' stickers on their doors and everything, as plain as day."

"Aw, peas!" complained 15-year-old Renée Nauchtupp, when informed of today's abortion. "Now I'm gonna hafta lie about my age and my 24-year-old boyfriend at someone else's cutting parlor. This really sucks, but not as much as it's gonna suck for my baby when I find another one, if you know what I mean."

Police have informed us that they have one significant lead, whom they are pursuing with a warrant for arrest on misdemeanor charges of practicing medical procedures without a license. In the state of Kansas, this can carry a punishment of up to $5000 and 30 days in jail, though most fœtuses convicted of this crime usually end up with approximately 90 hours of community service.

Fœtus Tiller will receive the benefit of a burial in a cemetery most probably, rather than being incinerated in a toxic-waste furnace or deposited in a city waste-disposal dumpster along with yesterday's used coffee cups and McDonald's wrappers. The church congregation is not widely expected to learn much from today's experience.

The Associated Press did not contribute to this story.
This story is dedicated to the memory of George Tiller, whom the Lord mercifully prevented today from murdering any more than the thousands of babies he already has.


Matt said...


Nice post in bringing out the devaluing of human life inherent in abortion. While assassinating an abortionist is itself a lawless act (and one that should be condemned and punished), we can only hope that the Lord will be more merciful to the unborn...

Yet, I fear that one day He will be, except that instead of taking the life of an individual serial killer, He will bring death and destruction upon our wicked society, which has not only failed to seek justice for the helpless, but has actively and intentionally advocated their bloodshed. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if He allows this abomination to continue for some time further, in order that we might fill up the measure of our iniquities. Certainly, as a society, given our rejection of Him and His Law, we deserve such a fate.

May our Lord grant us repentance as a nation, and revival as a Church, in order that we might seek to walk according to His ways, and protect the lives of the helpless.

NAL said...

Nobody can justify murder like a Christian, they've had so much practice.

And you get to mock another Christian's faith.

A two-fer.

neil said...

Sometime ago I commented that you where most likley a decent enough chap.

I would like to retract that statment.

Rhology said...


Where did I justify the murder in the slightest? And what makes you think Tiller was a Christian?


What makes you say that?

Paul C said...

I don't have much to add, except to point out that your repulsive personality isn't linked to your religious beliefs, but merely that those religious beliefs give you a rationale for your repulsive personality.

evenshine said...

While I am usually nodding in agreement with your posts, Rho, on this one I'm going to have to demur. This is low. This guy was low, too, but you surely don't have to stoop.

Rhology said...


Please note that this is satire, playing on the logical outcome of the pro-baby-murder crowd's sensibilities.
It's not like I'm giving the gunman a pass. What he did was wrong, but Tiller's actions are far worse. I'm focusing on a different part of the issue here.

Anonymous said...

I'm not at all surprised to see such thoroughly disgusting writings on this subject. It reveals the deep darkness that exists within blind fanatics of either conservative or liberal politics and religious persuasion. But let me try and add some facts and sense to this, even though it won't change your mind.

Firstly, I'm a Christian. I am generally opposed to abortion. However, I understand that not all agree with me, and I must respect that. Further, I understand that some situations exist in which, however tragic, an abortion may indeed be the best choice.

Second, pursuant to that, it needs to be understood that Dr. Tiller's "late-term" abortions were usually performed on early second-trimester fetuses (or babies, if you prefer). To call these "late-term" abortions is a mis-statement. And here is where I came to a better understanding of what Dr. Tiller did. You see, a friend of mine is a geneticist who referred women to Dr. Tiller on occasions when it was discovered that the children they were carrying had a disorder of such horrible magnitude that they would either die in the womb, or immediately upon birth. I know that staunch pro-lifers will not accept that as a valid reason, but some of the more clear-thinking readers might see that, on occasion, the situation is of such gravity that an abortion is indeed the lesser of two evils.

We need to develop in America a culture that treats sexuality responsibly -- and I'm not talking about abstainence only. That won't work. Ask Bristol Palin. If we could kick our puritanical aversion to all things fleshly, we could properly teach our children how to deal with their sexuality and how to prevent pregnancies that are not wanted. And guess what -- abortion rates will plummet (compare European abortion rates to ours).

I'm probably just talking to a brick wall here, but maybe someone with some sense will read this. Alan, keep writing. It drives people further from the disgusting "logic" employed by extremists.

Rhology said...

Hi Anonymous,
First of all, thanks for stopping by. 2nd, thanks for at least having the decency to insult the viewpoint rather than the man; you can see that others of my interlocutors are not so courteous.

-disorder of such horrible magnitude that they would either die in the womb, or immediately upon birth.-

You know, such diagnoses are sometimes wrong.
I don't know if you hunt, but if you did, would you shoot at whatever rustling in the bushes you observe, or would you wait until you're sure it's a deer and not your fellow hunter?

-(Abstinence) won't work. Ask Bristol Palin.-

What?!? Bristol Palin did NOT abstain! This is a pretty ridiculous statement.
Might as well say "Condoms don't work. Look at my friend Jay - he didn't wear one and his girlfriend got pregnant."

-If we could kick our puritanical aversion to all things fleshly-

I'll have you know that my friends and I like sex an awful lot... to our partners in marriage.
We're opposed to irresponsible behavior and sex outside of committed relationships. Big, big difference.

-It drives people further from the disgusting "logic" employed by extremists. -

If the quality of your own thinking leads you to write things like "Ask Bristol Palin. It won't work", then I'm feeling pretty good about my position right about now.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps I wasn't clear about Bristol Palin. I refer to the fact that she, a poster child for abstainence-only education, didn't abstain, and has recognized and stated that abstainence-only education is impractical. People are going to have sex. Abortion rates would fall if they were equipped to prevent pregnancies.

Anonymous said...

Sorry. I should have responded to your other point in the same posting. Regarding the wait-and-see approach: in this day and age of genetic testing and highly advanced medical equipment, diagnoses that lead to an abortion are unbelievably accurate. It's pretty dang clear if a fetus has a severe abnormality that would lead to its natural death. Not to mix issues, but I would assume that you support the death penalty. By your own logic, and by proven fact, we have put to death people who later were shown to have been innocent. Thus, we should stop the death penalty, no?

Rhology said...

People don't reliably use condoms either. So I guess education about contraception is impractical. People are going to have unprotected sex.

If by "unbelievably accurate", you mean "usually accurate", I agree. But not always. I go back to the rustling in the bushes.

Maybe we should stop the death penalty. I do support it, but let's just grant that the death penalty isn't good for that reason. Doesn't that eviscerate your point?

Anonymous said...

It would only eviscerate my point if you actually agreed that we should halt the death penalty for the same reason that we should halt abortions. But you don't agree. Instead, what right-wing-nutjobs who rejoice in the murder of abortion docs have in common with left-wing-nutjobs who would like to hand out "free abortion" coupons on the street corner is that both are quite willing to play God as long as they get to play God on their own terms.

There is a middle way. A way that admits that grey areas exist in this wondeful reality that God created. Sometimes abortions are regretfully necessary. Sometimes the death penalty is appropriate. It's a messy world.

Rhology said...

Did you miss where I granted the death penalty point for the sake of argument?

So I guess what you're saying is that, since <1% of pregnancies end up with these serious disabilities or diseases or whatever, we should allow abortion all the time for whomever, for whatever reason? Why?
Plus, since medical opinion is often wrong, why kill the baby? Why not let the life take its course? What justifies our killing what we think might die, but what might not?

Anonymous said...

I saw that. But the hypothetical granting just doesn't cut it. That's just typical argumentative masturbation and it exposes the two-faced-ness of those who support the death penalty but want to outlaw abortion.

And no, I don't support abortion on demand. However, unlike those who think it should be legislated against, I'm more interested in seeking a comprehensive solution that lowers abortion rates. Abortion is a fact around the world, and there is no way we are going to outlaw it (even if I were to agree that it should be outlawed, which I wouldn't). What we CAN do is work on making it rare. I'd be willing to allow abortion on demand in the first trimester, and thereafter only in cases of medical necessity or rape/incest. Couple that with the development of a culture that accepts that sex will happen and therefore we should provide easy access to contraceptives, and I believe our abortion rates would plummet, in comparison with those of European countries.

Here we are, a supposedly "Christian" nation and we have a higher abortion rate than the "secular" European countries. What's wrong with this picture?

Rhology said...

You've apparently never heard of "thought experiments".

And yes, reducing abortion rates is the goal, to be sure. I'd like for there to be fewer murdered babies by whatever means. And outlawing abortion and then executing any aborticians who continue to do it is one of my favorite approaches. It sounds like we're in agreement about outlawing abortion, at least.

Anonymous said...

But Alan, you're still playing God. You have decided that abortion is wrong in all circumstances (where I would argue that God's gift of science has given us a responsibility to make some tough decisions) but you get to decide what adults get executed. You have set yourself up as God. Fail.

NAL said...


It's not like I'm giving the gunman a pass.

Bullshit! Every time you refer to abortion as "baby murder" you give the gunman a pass.

Matt said...


Interesting conversation with Rhology, but I must jump in at this point:

You have decided that abortion is wrong in all circumstances (where I would argue that God's gift of science has given us a responsibility to make some tough decisions)So, when God says "Thou shalt not commit murder", He was actually leaving a loophole open for "scientifically enligthened" individuals who would come along thousands of years later? How do you justify that Scripturally? And on what basis do you justify taking the life of a human being, who is not an enemy combatant in war, and who has committed no crime worthy of the death penalty? It sounds to me like you're trying to use "science" to justify murdering innocent people (even in so-called "tough" circumstances), which is a very wicked thing to do.

Rhology said...

Not at all! God has also decreed the death penalty. See Romans 13:6, Genesis 9:6, and the Mosaic Law. I'm not sure if you're the same Anonymous as claimed to be a Christian, but either way, let me recommend you brush up on your Bible.

How exactly do I give the gunman a pass? He murdered Tiller. How many dozens of times have I said that murder is wrong on this blog?
Doesn't change the fact that abortion is baby murder.

Anonymous said...


How do you get around it when it comes to the death penalty? YOU get to decide where you think the death penalty should be applied. I agree that sometimes it is justified, just as I agree that sometimes abortion is justified. I don't think I have to proof-text every decision made in life, as do those who worship the Bible as an idol. God has given us scripture, but He has also given us reason. We have knowledge today that was unavailable 2000+ years ago, and we have to do our best to seek the right way of dealing with the developing world we live in. And eventually, we do have to play God, for we were charged with overseeing Creation, which means making some difficult choices. But no one person gets to play God. We arrive at a consensus through reason and our government.

Please pay attention to the stated fact that I don't like abortion. But, having an extensive scientific background, I'm not completely comfortable with the "life begins at conception" argument. As I stated before, there are difficult grey areas to work through. It's simple to deny them, but it's folly.

Anonymous said...

Alan, quit the condescending remarks about my Bible knowledge. Let me assure you that my knowledge of the Bible approximates that of yours. I'm aware of the usage of the death penalty in Biblical times. However, we live in a different age -- an age of Grace, and that Spirit should guide us away from the letter of the Law (which is, as you know, death).

NAL said...


How exactly do I give the gunman a pass?

You portray the gunman as someone who had stopped the murder of babies. The same, according to your worldview, as if the gunman had shot someone murdering babies in a hospital nursery.

If someone stopped the murdering babies in a hospital nursery, I'll call him a hero, not a murderer.

evenshine said...

Rho- I'm not so completely clueless as to not have realized that this was satire. There may be a time and place for satirizing murder, but this was not it. You'll notice how your commenters are reacting. As a fellow Christian I'm trying my best to let you know that this was inappropriate. Hope you can take it into consideration.

Rhology said...


This is not a match of "who knows more about the Bible", but you cited the Law when I cited Genesis (pre-Law) and Romans 13:6 (New Testament). Further, "the letter of the Law" which is death is not related to the issue of what is right and wrong, but rather with how one is saved from one's sin. Please try again, and please do better than you have been as far as rightly interpreting the Scripture.

And the Law defines exactly for what crimes the death penalty is appropriate. So does Genesis 9. Rom 13 does too, actually - it's what the state defines. So try again with your "you're playing God" stuff. It's not working.
Besides, you destroy your own line of reasoning thusly:

-And eventually, we do have to play God, for we were charged with overseeing Creation, which means making some difficult choices. But no one person gets to play God. We arrive at a consensus through reason and our government.-

This is crap reasoning, but more importantly it blows up your argument.

-having an extensive scientific background, I'm not completely comfortable with the "life begins at conception" argument.-

Then I'd be interested in what you have to say about this.

Rhology said...


That's exactly what the gunman did. The only diff is that Tiller's murders are legal. But that makes all the difference with respect to what I as a pro-lifer am permitted to do about these legal murders.
And you have demonstrated over and over your moral blindness and lack of a moral foundation on this blog, so who you'd call "hero" makes zero difference.


Thanks. I just happen to think that all this eulogising of Tiller and all this "Oh, he's not with us!!!!!" about the shooter has gone way too far, that we're in danger of losing sight just who Tiller was and what kind of church he attended.

NAL said...


... so who you'd call "hero" makes zero difference.

If the gunman had shot someone murdering babies in a hospital nursery, would you consider the gunman a hero?

Rhology said...

Yes, of course.
And "hero" actually has meaning on my worldview, but not on yours.

PChem said...


Your line of reasoning is not making sense. It seems that you have completely ignored the possibility of God intervening in those "tough" situations. An obvious example is John 9. Do you really believe that God will not work in at least some of these instances? Then, why should we be so quick to "mercifully" kill those individuals?

Moreover, you are assuming that the doctors have correctly diagnosed the disease and then provided correct information to the parents. Let me give you a personal example, my sister was diagnosed with trisomy X. My parents were told that she would at the minimum be mentally retarded and possibly deformed. Her doctor advised her to get an abortion. Fortunately, my mother decided to verify what her doctor was saying, and discovered that the information was incorrect and out of date. My sister is perfectly fine. I realize this is just one example, but it does illustrate the danger of playing God in these situations. It also raises an important point. Doctors may not (and certainly in some cases, do not) have all the information.

About Bristol Palin. Rhology effectively demonstrated that it was pointless. However, if you want to cite Bristol Palin be sure to get your facts straight. On Good Morning America (May 6, 2009) she was supporting abstinence as the best and safest choice. She claims that she is misquoted.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Out of interest Rho, do you think that the opinions posted on this site:

are accepted wholesale by developmental biologists, MDs and bioethicists (presumably the people best placed to answer the question)?

of course, this is a rhetorical question, because even minimal research shows this not to be the case (and I should point out that folk like LeJeune not surprisingly had/have religious commitments in addition to their scientific and medical ones - although, that of course doesn't mean I'm saying pro-choice folk don't have any biases, and neither am I necessarily saying your opinion of when life begins is actually incorrect):

Lewis Wolpert, for example, says (quoted on Pharyngula by another developmental biologist, PZ Myers who also disputes that human life begins at fertilisation):

"What I'm concerned with is how you develop. I know that you all think about it perpetually that you come from one single cell of a fertilized egg. I don't want to get involved in religion but that is not a human being. I've spoken to these eggs many times and they make it quite clear ... they are not a human being."or as Dr Jaclyn Friedman (IVF doctor) states in response to the varied results of a poll asking when life begins:

"We can't tell [Colorado] voters the right or wrong answer, because our results suggest there isn't one,"or you have the opinion of Jonathan Glover, a bioethicist and director of the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics at King's College London

""People ask when does life begin, as if there's a sharp moment, but one of the difficulties is that all of the proposed boundaries are fraught with problems,"Additionally, searches for a couple of the folk on your link were a bit strange:

Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni didn't seem to have any department webpage, which is a little odd - in fact all the links that came up for him on the first few pages were simply copies of the quote provided on the link you posted. (although he might well be a real MD)

NAL said...

If the gunman had shot someone murdering babies in a hospital nursery, you would consider the gunman a hero. You consider an abortionist to be the moral equivalent to someone murdering babies in a hospital nursery. Therefore, you must consider a gunman who shoots an abortionist, the moral equivalent of a hero.

Dr Funkenstein said...

And "hero" actually has meaning on my worldview, but not on yours.Really? I'm fairly confident there's no God and last time I checked the word hero was quite easy to understand for anyone who speaks competent English:

In mythology and legend, a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods.

A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life

A person noted for special achievement in a particular field

The principal male character in a novel, poem, or dramatic presentation.
All quite easy to understand without appealing to non-existent magical beings.

Dr Funkenstein said...

I'd love to know why blogger has suddenly decided to start messing around of late with the formatting of spaces between sentences and paragraphs...

Rhology said...

It's annoying, isn't it?
I solve the Blogger problem by inserting a hyphen at the beginning and end of my italics tags.

There is no commendation nor condemnation on atheism; that's what I meant by the hero comment.

I love how Wolpert falls into one of the classic blunders, by confusing human nature with ability to perform a given task.

Yes, all the boundaries are fraught with problems. That's why the one that makes the most sense is conception; all the others require an arbitrary deciding factor.


One either reads what I've said before or one doesn't.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Yes, all the boundaries are fraught with problems. That's why the one that makes the most sense is conception; all the others require an arbitrary deciding factor.presumably Glover was including your definition as well in his list - I can't see it's any less arbitrary than any of the other options (eg you are no doubt aware of Catholics who claim any sort of barrier to conception should not be used during sexual intercourse, which goes even further back for what constitutes a starting point for life than your view does, and Myers also points out in the link that some might consider the sperm or oocyte to be living).

as for the Wolpert quote, it was merely to point out that there are all sorts of people with genuine authority when it comes to knowledge of this field with differing views on the matter - obviously any website (on either side) can gather a list of the ones that support their particular view, but usually it doesn't really mean an awful lot since they obviously don't have anything to gain for their movement by giving air to contrary views

Anonymous said...


The difference here is that you believe the OT moral code is still completely applicable. In by understanding, it isn't. (I'm not including the Ten Commandments here) We are in a new age of grace where such draconian moral laws and punishments are done away with. So, we have to agree to disagree here. You want to apply the OT, and I reject that application. I'm not saying that this is an age of moral relativism, or that right/wrong do not exist. Only that we are not bound by the old code.

And "crap reasoning?" Really? Is that the best you could do? Perhaps you'd like to take your legos and go home rather than discuss.

As for when "life" begins, you resort to something very black-and-white. This is to be expected from an Evangelical Christian. My experience leads me to be unsure about when "life" begins (I tend to want to peg it at "viability," but I haven't come to be completely comfortable with that, and even that is an arguable point in time). I see a lot of grey.

I hope that, as I respect that your system of beliefs leads you to some very definite answers to difficult questions, you will respect that some of the rest of us who are Christians see things differently and spend many restless hours trying to understand the world God has given us.

PChem: how long ago was your sister born? How does the state of genetic and medical testing differ since then? I didn't say this was an easy issue. It's fraught with peril, but that is life. It's difficult and we have choices to make. What can't be denied is that there are unborn children who will die in the womb or immediately upon birth. Abortion upon detection of these fatal abnormalities is an option that I think should be on the table. You may disagree with that if you choose.

NAL said...

Put a space after the ">" closing tag. Then two carriage returns.

PChem said...

PChem: how long ago was your sister born? How does the state of genetic and medical testing differ since then?

My sister is 16. The point is that either the doctor was not aware of the advancements in his/her field or he/she was deceptive. Either scenario is dangerous when it comes to terminating a life, and could happen as easily today as it did in 1993.

What can't be denied is that there are unborn children who will die in the womb or immediately upon birth. Abortion upon detection of these fatal abnormalities is an option that I think should be on the table. You may disagree with that if you choose.There are larger issues that you seem to ignore. For one, do you reject the possibility that God may intervene in those circumstances? If not, how can you support terminating those children? I am curious how you justify your position with your Christian faith, especially given the clear example of John 9 where a man is born blind simply to show God's glory. Maybe a child will be diagnosed with Tay-Sachs for the purpose of healing that child immediately after birth. Additionally, where does the line get drawn as to what constitutes a life worth living and who gets to draw it? Under this system someone will have to determine which diseases qualify for termination. Earlier you alluded that this is determined by the consensus of the people via the government. Do you seriously think that is a good way to determine these things? Rho has devoted a considerable amount of time arguing against such a notion.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Maybe a child will be diagnosed with Tay-Sachs for the purpose of healing that child immediately after birth. Don't take this personally, but views like this are just utterly ludicrous - they are simply not based on anything to do with the real world (see such examples as people taking their kids with diabetes off of insulin on the advice of faith healers for the result of what happens when people put the supernatural to the test on such matters - it never ends well).

Do you seriously think that is a good way to determine these things? In the real world we have to deal with real situations, not fantasy ones derived from the bible or other such works. While MDs and scientists are not infallible and there is never a guarantee a cure will be found for any given disease, as well as the fact that govts and private institutions sometimes undermine research and funding for political or personal gain, successful appeal to supernatural cures doesn't even register on the radar compared to those derived via scientific research.

PChem said...

Why would I be offended by a comment from someone I've never met on a board that I don't run? By the way, you missed a key part of my post. I am responding to the reasoning of a fellow Christian and asking him to square his opinion within the context of Christianity. Of course I wouldn't expect an atheist to find find the idea of God healing anybody convincing.

I am well aware of how scientific progress works, including abuses of the system. Frankly I don't see what this has to do with my post to Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

The killing of baby-murderers should be safe, legal and rare.

And no, I'm not defending murder.

God's judgement has fallen, and now will fall on the murderer of the murderer.

Anonymous said...

In case anyone read's me wrong...that was intended as a mockery of the "abortions should be safe legal and rare" crowd.

Not an encouragement for murder.

Just had to get that off my chest.

Rhology said...

Dr Funk,

Your analogy is way off.
PChem is suggesting we not kill a child - who knows what could happen in the future? Could we please not wage chemical warfare against children?
To equate that to withholding medicine from a living person is a terrible equation. The only thing in common between the 2 is faith for a better outcome in the future. There's good reason to expect the former and not good to expect the latter.

Even on the purely natural level, diagnoses are often wrong about the severity and even the presence of these debilitating conditions. But of course, science has nothing to say on what we SHOULD do, only on what IS.

I'm with you, mostly, especially when it comes to venting. Let's keep shooting aborticians safe, legal, and rare. And yes, I'm all about mockery of the pro-baby-murder crowd and its absurd and blind views.