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Posts tagged ‘Planned Parenthood’

Worst argument against marriage equality EVER

I think we should file this under the “You can’t make this up” category (emphasis added):

WASHINGTON — Marriage should be limited to unions of a man and a woman because they alone can “produce unplanned and unintended offspring,” opponents of gay marriage have told the Supreme Court.

By contrast, when same-sex couples decide to have children, “substantial advance planning is required,” said Paul D. Clement, a lawyer for House Republicans.

This unusual defense of traditional marriage was set out last week in a pair of opening legal briefs in the two gay marriage cases to be decided by the Supreme Court this spring.

This argument from shotgun wedding pretty much shows how opponents of marriage have no real arguments. That’s why they’ve come up with an argument that actually comes up with a reason to support same–sex marriage. Also juxtapose how many of those who oppose marriage equality also attack Planned Parenthood and seek to restrict access to abortion and contraception.

The apparently disturbing thing about this argument is that it has been used before and apparently accepted by some US court.

Via Lawyers, Guns, and Money.

So much for being anti–abortion

Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives voted 240–185 to end all funding for Planned Parenthood and eliminate Title X. The supposed rationale, that Planned Parenthood supports child sex trafficking, is utter bullshit. Lie–la Hosebag, one associated with the James O’Keefe circle, released videos in an attempt to discredit Planned Parenthood. Since Hosebag’s videos were edited, as were O’Keefe’s against ACORN, to rational people their credibility is shot. Furthermore, Planned Parenthood performed the proper action by informing the appropriate authorities.

Nor can the House be doing this because of opposition to abortion. Only a tiny fraction of Planned Parenthood’s funds go towards abortions, and furthermore the Hyde Amendment prohibits the US government from funding abortions (in most circumstances). In other words, none of Your Money™ goes towards abortion.

Indeed, most of Planned Parenthood’s funds go towards screening for STDs and cancer, or towards contraception for poor women. The first improves healthcare, and the second increases access to contraception, which is the number one way of reducing unintended pregnancies and therefore the abortion rate (cite, cite, cite). This continues the socon pattern of always taking the opposite position of what one would rationally take if they were truly against abortion. That’s because they are really motivated by a sick obsessive desire to control female sexuality, and not by any belief in the “sanctity of life”.

Personally, I doubt that this law has a realistic chance of passing. It has to get through the Senate and then past Obama’s veto pen. Furthermore, this is likely an unconstitutional bill of attainder. Still, Democrats have shown a disturbing tendency to compromise….

If there’s any good news, an atrocious refusal clause regulation has been rescinded (h/t: Echidne).

Argumentum ad Sangerum

At CNN, Ruben Navarrette Jr. has a commentary on the stimulus package recently passed by the United States House of Representatives. He makes two arguments, both of which are bad.

One of them is the fact that funding family planning is unnecessary for stimulating the economy. He somehow thinks that advocates of including contraception in the stimulus package think that “babies who would otherwise have been born were destined to become dependent on welfare and other public services”. I wonder what makes him think that every baby born will not end up that way, (that is, the assertion that all children born during a recession will end up dependent on welfare is as baseless as the assertion that none of them will). Also, including contraception in the stimulus package would have saved money, $200 million over five years to be precise. He also says that, in a paragraph of its own, “[t]here is nothing more private — that is, none of the government’s business — than the personal decision that a family makes about how many children to have. Besides, [Nancy] Pelosi’s comments had an ugly ring to them.” Rather ironic considering that contraception allows people to control the when and number of children, and that making access to it more difficult means the government is interfering in the childbearing decisions people have. By denying it to poor people, the government is making it harder for them to do that. The net result is that sex becomes an expensive luxury for the rich and dangerous for the poor.

In addition, he makes a fallacious argument by tying birth control funding to Margaret Sanger and eugenics. Margaret Sanger did indeed advocate eugenics, an evil thing, for which she is rightfully condemned. She also advocated the use of birth control. However, the fact that she advocated one evil thing has no bearing whatsoever on whether the other things she advocated were also evil because of her. To do so is to commit what is called the association fallacy. Since Sanger, her advocacy of eugenics, and the organization she founded, Planned Parenthood, are often involved in the abortion debate, and the fact that she advocated eugenics is often mentioned in an attempted to discredit the others, I feel that this act of playing the Sanger card happens often enough for me to dub it argumentum (or reductioad Sangerum. This faulty reasoning can also go in reverse, by arguing that since Sanger was opposed to something, that something must be good. As according to Wikipedia, Sanger was opposed to (some) abortion (for at least part of her life), this means that since Sanger was “evil”, and she was opposed to some abortions, this means that abortions must be “good”, right social consies? Playing the Sanger card this way can sure turn the abortion debate on its head.

As I explained the argumentum ad Sangerum is a special form of the association fallacy. The following example demonstrates why the association fallacy, and hence the argumentum ad Sangerum is fallacious: Adolf Hitler (I know about Godwin’s Law, but please bear with me) advocated and committed various hellish acts, such as anti-Semitism, genocide, mass murder, war crimes, and so on, and is rightfully considered an evil man. Hitler did not make those things evil; genocide and the others are evil in of themselves. Basically, Hitler is evil because of the things he did and advocated. To assert that something is bad just because Hitler advocated it commits what is known as the argumentum (or reductio) ad Hitlerum, which is a special form of the association fallacy. As explained above, Hitler is evil because of his actions; his actions are not evil because of him. In other words, Hitler did not make genocide and the others evil; genocide and the others were evil before him, and they are still evil now that he is dead. To assert that Hitler made his actions evil leads to ridiculous conclusions; after all, since Hitler was a vegetarian and was evil, based on this line of reasoning, other vegetarians, like Gandhi, were also evil. The absurdity of this conclusion shows that the argumentum ad Hitlerum is fallacious. The same reasoning applies to the argumentum ad Sangerum.

Of course, just because someone is committing the argumentum ad Sangerum fallacy does not mean in of itself that their conclusion is wrong; to do is to commit another fallacy, the fallacy fallacy. What they need instead is a new argument. The same logic applies to everyone else.

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