Author: has written 5267 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
Return to: Homepage | Blog Index

29 Responses

  1. sophonisba
    sophonisba October 10, 2006 at 2:59 pm |

    I think that the person who didn’t wear their seatbelt should have as high a level of medical care in the case of an accident as the person who drives with a seatbelt and a helmet on. I think that the person who eats french fries and potato chips occassionally should have the same access to heart surgery as the health nut who would never touch fried food.

    I do, too. But I don’t think much of comparing consensual sex to a vice or a crime.

  2. Kelley
    Kelley October 10, 2006 at 3:29 pm |

    Just because a woman has consensual sex does not mean she has voluntarily given up any of her personal bodily autonomy. Trying to justify abortions restrictions based on the fact that the sex was consensual is a ridiculous argument. It’s a red herring designed to draw the debate away from the autonomy and privacy issues involved, not to mention the fact that abortion restrictions are based on the aforementioned sexist moral judgments.

  3. CJ
    CJ October 10, 2006 at 3:43 pm |

    The phrasing seems very distancing. There is no mention of the delights of your own children, which would be a more traditional way to raise sympathy for anti-abortion arguments. Just don’t think that it could be you pregnant with an unwanted child due to rape or incest or anything else.

  4. Fred
    Fred October 10, 2006 at 4:03 pm |

    If you are raped in South Dakota and get pregnant, the rapist was God’s instrument in creating life. If you don’t get pregnant the rapist is a criminal and not God’s instrument. New century, new faith, not like the old time religion……

  5. Silver Owl
    Silver Owl October 10, 2006 at 4:17 pm |

    If you vote to repeal HB1215, you’ll be voting for the death of 800 babies that didn’t have anything to do with rape or incest.

    The truth! Repealing HB1215 is for wide-open abortions, not just rape and incest exceptions.

    If you love babies, and see those cute little babies in the park, grocery store, mall, or cafe, think very carefully about your vote to repeal HB1215.

    When you vote, are you going to vote to end the life of a baby, or are you going to vote to give that baby a chance to live? Vote Yes on 6.

    State Sen. BILL NAPOLI
    Rapid City

    It’s hard not to come away with the distinct impression that Napoli gives women a huge, “I hate you and Fuck you!”

  6. Casey
    Casey October 10, 2006 at 4:37 pm |

    I love how he promises that NEXT YEAR there will be exceptions for rape, incest, and health of the mother. “We’ll get around to it, I totally pinky swear!” He dismisses the fact that if he didn’t include that in the first place, he’s not terribly worried about ever getting around to it. Unless, of course, his fantasy of a brutally sodomized virgin walks into his life, I guess.

    Also, wide-open abortions. Because Planned Parenthood is wait-listed like Wicked. Women are getting pregnant JUST to have abortions! It’s the new black!

  7. Lizard
    Lizard October 10, 2006 at 4:53 pm |

    If you love babies, and see those cute little babies in the park, grocery store, mall, or cafe, think very carefully about your vote to repeal HB1215.

    The phrasing seems very distancing.

    Yes, exactly….his argument relies largely on the availability as props of attractive, remote babies who aren’t your responsibility or your expense. Ugly babies? Babies with disabilities? They don’t help the cause. Babies who have stinky diapers or whose need for sustenance means you might have to look at a woman’s boobie? Best not to think about those. Babies who might end up costing you money, perhaps because their parents didn’t have the resources or the desire to raise a child in the first place? Uh….those are confusing. Pretend they don’t exist and focus on blaming their mothers for being sluts. (Happily, these babies will seldom be encountered at the “cafe.”)

    And babies who have the poor judgment to grow out of their privileged demographic? Well, we already know they’re screwed.

    The fetishization of “cuteness” to the exclusion of common sense never fails to enrage me. I worked for years in animal shelters, and one of my jobs was to educate kids about responsible animal care, including the importance of spaying and neutering. I’d say to groups of children, “Raise your hands if you love puppies and kittens and think they’re cute!” Every hand would shoot up, and I’d say “Now, can anybody think of a reason why you wouldn’t want to have TOO MANY puppies and kittens, even if they’re all cute and cuddly?”

    I used that line on probably three thousand kids over the years, from ages four to twelve. They were all able to figure out, eventually, that cuteness did not guarantee sustainability, and that their own need for warm fuzzies was secondary to the pets’ right to lead a life of quality or no life at all. It’s too bad that Bill Napoli hasn’t reached that level of maturity yet.

  8. wolfa
    wolfa October 10, 2006 at 6:22 pm |

    How does the rape exception work? Do you need a police report? A conviction? Just the woman’s word? (I would absolutely lie about being raped to a doctor if getting medical care were contingent on it — I am not disturbed by ethical considerations, I just don’t understand how they work in practice.)

    Also, and unrelatedly, I am seriously irritated with Gilmore Girls, where one 20ish girl gets pregnant (on her first time having sex), and says she doesn’t want the baby at all, and neither she nor her 20ish best friend ever mention abortion, just that she’ll be a better mother than random celebrities. I mean, really, in what universe does that happen?

  9. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte October 10, 2006 at 6:25 pm |

    I’m remembering Katha Pollitt’s essay about making just supporters of this shit live with their actions—I don’t love babies everywhere, so can I keep my rights? ;)

  10. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte October 10, 2006 at 6:26 pm |

    Shorter that ad: If you keep your mind focused on babies long enough, eventually you’ll forget that women are human.

  11. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte October 10, 2006 at 6:29 pm |

    How does the rape exception work? Do you need a police report? A conviction? Just the woman’s word? (I would absolutely lie about being raped to a doctor if getting medical care were contingent on it — I am not disturbed by ethical considerations, I just don’t understand how they work in practice.)

    Good question. I do believe this is why “exceptions” are sugar to make the poison go down. Exceptions are ungrantable, so they make not as well exist.

    In the pre-Roe days, some states with exceptions had a panel of men to hear women plead their cases on why they “deserved” abortions. The judgements were subjective, of course, but one important factor for the nosy bastards was it gave them permission to ask the woman a bunch of invasive and titilliating questions about whether or not she was a good girl.

  12. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl October 10, 2006 at 6:33 pm |

    If you love babies, and see those cute little babies in the park, where they’ve been abandoned grocery store they’ve been marked down. Look for the pyramid next to the cheese, mall K-Bay-Bees, next to the Waldenbooks, or cafe I like my babies to be spreadable and served on a bagel, think very carefully about your vote to repeal HB1215.

  13. Raincitygirl
    Raincitygirl October 10, 2006 at 7:33 pm |

    Good question. I do believe this is why “exceptions” are sugar to make the poison go down. Exceptions are ungrantable, so they make not as well exist.

    In the pre-Roe days, some states with exceptions had a panel of men to hear women plead their cases on why they “deserved” abortions. The judgements were subjective, of course, but one important factor for the nosy bastards was it gave them permission to ask the woman a bunch of invasive and titilliating questions about whether or not she was a good girl.

    Used to happen in Canada and the UK too. Hell, that’s a major part of the reason the Canada Supreme Court struck down our old abortion law, because women had to go before a panel and beg for an abortion, and the results were so arbitrary. Certain panels were rubber-stamps, granting every request, and others were incredibly restrictive. Your access to abortion was totally dependent on where you lived and the political beliefs of your local hospital board. It was at the point where sympathetic GPs in areas with known hostile panels were finding reasons to recommend their patients apply for an abortion in another health authority which applied the rules about abortion less strictly. Or telling them to skip the interview process altogether and scrape up the money to go to the US.

    And I remember reading an account by an Englishwoman who had an abortion before it was legal, and was sent to a psychiatrist who essentially coached her until she said the magic words “If I have this baby, I’ll kill myself,” and then he put in a psychatric recommendation that she be allowed the abortion. But of course, if she’d been sent to an unsympathetic psychiatrist, she would’ve been shit out of luck.

    Yes, I’m grateful that in the bad old days there were doctors and therapists who gamed the system. Kind of like the nurse BB talked to, the one who made sure to let her know what the ER doctor’s criteria were for Emergency Contraception before she saw the doctor. I’m guessing plenty of women would say, fuck it, I’ll pretend to be married if that’s the only way I can get it. But there’s no way in hell access to reproductive freedoms *should* depend on whether or not you happen to encounter sympathetic healthcare workers.

  14. exangelena
    exangelena October 10, 2006 at 7:40 pm |

    I think I wrote this comment elsewhere, but in the Marie Claire with Sarah Jessica Parker on the cover, there’s a fascinating story about the South Dakota abortion ban.
    Apparently, in the report from the state legislature’s commission that preceded the abortion ban, they claim that a baby conceived of incest may be in the genius level of intellect – and that’s a reason for outlawing abortions even in cases of familial rape. I just about threw up when I read that.

  15. sophonisba
    sophonisba October 10, 2006 at 7:56 pm |

    where one 20ish girl gets pregnant (on her first time having sex), and says she doesn’t want the baby at all,

    And doesn’t even like her husband much, or want to tell him.

    and neither she nor her 20ish best friend ever mention abortion,

    Exactly what I thought watching it. Someone brought that up on the TWOP discussion boards and the reaction went, oh, abortion’s too heavy a subject for a dramedy. You know, not like unwanted pregnancy, which is light and fun.

  16. Tapetum
    Tapetum October 10, 2006 at 9:31 pm |

    Oh yuck! Exangelena – I guess those of us with families of high average intelligence should get busy with the incest then, huh?

    Oh wait…hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell anemia…maybe this forced inbreeding thing isn’t such a good idea after all.

  17. Casey
    Casey October 10, 2006 at 10:25 pm |

    RE: Gilmore Girls and unwanted pregnancy, I thought the same thing on Desperate Housewives when Gabrielle got pregnant. Her husband’s in prison, she doesn’t want a baby, she doesn’t want to be pregnant, she’s rich and could afford the medical procedure, and abortion is never brought up.

  18. Jinny
    Jinny October 10, 2006 at 10:25 pm |

    I’ve been kind of disappointed with this new season of the Gilmore Girls too, I just dont think the writing is as good or the plotlines as plausible. I am not sure that Lane is sure that she does not want to have a baby though, I think she is nervous maybe. And after all, I think they said she was only 3 weeks along, so it could come up later. Its kind of stupid that they did that to her though. I thought the handling of the Luke and Laurelei thing was not well done at all though either.

  19. wolfa
    wolfa October 10, 2006 at 10:30 pm |

    She never liked her husband, really. Or maybe I never did, since he’s a jackass. But now she told him and, hey, still no abortion discussion.

    I no longer read the TWoP forums at all because they are filled with such idiocy, and I am debating quitting the site altogether because of the “he’s not her father cause she’s adopted” line in the Heroes recap. Also, the writing style is starting to grate.

    But seriously — pregnancy is filled with funny stuff about, you know, pickles and ice cream, and then CUTE BABEEZ, but abortion is, like, political. I can understand not wanting to cover abortion on that show, actually, but then just don’t create a situation where it’s an issue — ie, an unwanted pregnancy in a place where abortion is legal and to a woman who cannot afford to have a baby.

  20. Dan S.
    Dan S. October 10, 2006 at 10:41 pm |

    “I like my babies to be spreadable and served on a bagel, ”

    wow. All hail the Mighty Ponygirl!

    And somebody bring me some babies and lox . . .

    “Hey everybody Look over here! Babies!! Cute gurgly babyporn!* Aren’t they adorable!! Pay no attention to the actual women behind the curtain!

    * In the same sense as kitty- or food-porn, of course. And to make an almost entirely unrelated tangential comment off of Lizard’s, it’s a bad sign when you catch yourself referring to someone’s infant as such a cute kit – I mean baby!

  21. zuzu
    zuzu October 10, 2006 at 10:44 pm | *

    RE: Gilmore Girls and unwanted pregnancy, I thought the same thing on Desperate Housewives when Gabrielle got pregnant. Her husband’s in prison, she doesn’t want a baby, she doesn’t want to be pregnant, she’s rich and could afford the medical procedure, and abortion is never brought up.

    It’s like the only place you can get an abortion anymore is on HBO or SciFi.

  22. exangelena
    exangelena October 10, 2006 at 10:47 pm |

    Hey Tapetum – for a stunning expose of the effects of chronic inbreeding check out the book Royal Babylon. Truly astonishing … And hopefully will wipe our minds clean of that disgusting justification :)

  23. Technocracygirl
    Technocracygirl October 11, 2006 at 9:00 am |

    Re: Gilmore Girls (which will probably include SPOILERS for last week’s episode)

    I’m so glad that someone else had that thought too! I was watching, and x says she’s pregnant. And immediately, my mind jumps to: Your relationship isn’t the most stable in the world. You’re not making a whole lot of money. Your dream job is potentially manageable with a two- or three-year-old; have you thought about how to deal with an infant? Will Mom be the uber-babysitter? Umm…why is abortion not even coming up in this conversation?

    Unfortunately, I think the new writers are either going to go with “Oh, look, the kyuuuuute baybee will make everything all better!” or she’ll have a convienient (yet heart-wrenching) miscarriage.

  24. ks
    ks October 11, 2006 at 9:17 am |

    RE: Gilmore Girls and unwanted pregnancy, I thought the same thing on Desperate Housewives when Gabrielle got pregnant. Her husband’s in prison, she doesn’t want a baby, she doesn’t want to be pregnant, she’s rich and could afford the medical procedure, and abortion is never brought up.

    I’ve never watched Gilmore Girls, but that was about the point when I stopped watching Desperate Housewives. I swear, that was about the most unrealistic storyline ever, in a show filled with unrealistic storylines.

  25. Hugh Mannity
    Hugh Mannity October 11, 2006 at 9:55 am |

    Back in the dark days of the 1960s, I was raped and became pregnant. I was 17 and naive as so many of us were back then. Because I didn’t report the rape, there was no “evidence”. The law in the UK at the time was that a woman could get an abortion if she was raped, a victim of incest or if her physical or mental health would be endangered. The woman had to be referred to both a psychiatrist and an OB/GYN by her family doctor and all 3 had to agree that she “deserved” the abortion. Both my family doctor and the OB/GYN I saw were in favor of “abortion on demand” (not the best way to describe not putting barriers between a woman and the abortion she needs,but it’ll have to do). They didn’t really care how or why I was pregnant, they wrote what was necessary on the paperwork.

    The psychiatrist was a slightly different matter. He asked me several questions, I knew he was trying to get me to say something, but I wasn’t sure what. Finally after circumnavigating several shrubberies, he asked: “So, tell me, if you are obliged to continue with this pregancy, do you feel you will still have a life to live?” Light dawned. “No doctor. If I can’t have an abortion, my life won’t be worth living. I’d kill myself.” He did everything short of saying “In order for me to sign off on the paperwork I have to have reason to believe you’re suicidal. Give me that reason!”

    Of course, the problem with all those hoops to jump through, meant it was pretty late when I finally did get the abortion. 2nd trimester. Not fun.

    We have to fight this stuff. We’ve got far too much to lose to go back to those days.

  26. Sally
    Sally October 11, 2006 at 10:13 am |

    Spoilers! They’re speculative, but if I’m right, they’re still spoilers! Warning! Achtung! Possibly spoilers ahead! Or possibly just incorrect speculation, but since I don’t know, it’s best to put in a lot of text so no potential spoilers show up on the recent comments!

    Hmm. I have taped all three episodes of Gilmore Girls and haven’t watched my tapes yet, and you guys have totally spoiled it for me. Assholes! (Just joking.) But seriously, if the pregnant character is Lane, I guess I wouldn’t mind that nobody brought up abortion. Lane grew up in a super-conservative Christian household, and she hasn’t fully rejected the sexual morality with which she was raised. That’s why she chose not to have sex until she was married. It seems possible to me that Rory, who knows Lane as well as anyone in the world knows Lane, would know that Lane would never have an abortion. That doesn’t mean that Rory didn’t think anyone in that situation should have an abortion, but that she was trying to do what would be helpful and appreciated by this particular friend.

    Now, if Paris got pregnant and nobody mentioned abortion, then I’d be pissed off. Because I don’t think that Lane, the character whom we’ve come to know over the past six years, would have an abortion, but I definitely think that Paris would.

    But also, I think a Lane-has-a-baby plot has the potential to be kind of subversive. GG obsessives may remember that way back in season 1, Lane’s mom and Lorelei had a heated discussion in which Mrs. Kim said that she didn’t want Lane to end up like Lorelei, which is to say having a baby at 16. And Lorelei said that that was something they could agree on. Lorelei has always been completely upfront about the fact that having a baby that young was really, really hard. So now Lane has done exactly what her mother wanted her to do: she stayed close to home instead of going away to college, she waited to have sex until she was married, she married young, she got pregnant. If it turns out that doing it the Mrs. Kim way can lead to heartbreak and struggle, too, that kind of undercuts the true love waits message that conservative Christian girls like Lane get fed.

    (Or maybe Lane isn’t the pregnant one, in which case I apologize. But I hope she is, because I think that’ll be interesting.)

    (And after I wrote that, I saw your post, Hugh Mannity. That’s a terrible story. I’m sorry you had to go through that.)

  27. JJ
    JJ October 11, 2006 at 12:18 pm |

    Coming from a pro-life family, I’ve gotten the pleasure of reading several of their pamplets about why abortion should be illegal all the time. Their reasons get even worse than these. One said that conception from rape is impossible due to the trauma of the attack (therefore anyone claiming to need an abortion due to rape is a lying whore). Another stated that aborting a “baby” that resulted from incest would get rid of any evidence of the incest. Therefore one would be unable to stop the incest. That pamplet went on to say that incest really isn’t a problem anymore, because treatment is now available. I’m not making this shit up. You can go on many “Right to life” websites and they have links to these brochures. The references they use to back up these hideous statements are simply other anti-choice propaganda. This isn’t the shit they feed to the public…they know it would be torn apart. It’s to convince the people already on their side that women who get abortions are lying whores, to feed the hatred already there, to make them fight even harder to stop abortion. These people are fucking evil.

  28. twf
    twf October 11, 2006 at 12:31 pm |

    I now understand that the purpose of my body is to produce cute babies for everybody else to look at.

    On the topic of TV shows, I started watching Judging Amy in syndication a little while ago. That show rocks and is incredibly feminist. And when Amy, a single mother with lots of money, lots of family and other social support, and a strong interest in children, gets pregnant, she and her mother discuss what they’re going to do about it. They begin with the assumption that she’ll have an abortion (though they don’t use that word… too sensitive for network TV I guess) and move on from there. She ends up deciding to continue the pregnancy, but it’s made very clear that the characters consider abortion to be a completely ethical and logical choice.

  29. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe October 14, 2006 at 11:54 pm |

    I’m utterly baffled by this phrase, “Abortion on demand.” What the hell do these fools want? Abortion at random? By lottery?

Comments are closed.

The commenting period has expired for this post. If you wish to re-open the discussion, please do so in the latest Open Thread.