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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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27 Responses

  1. RKMK
    RKMK March 15, 2007 at 10:27 pm |

    Meanwhile, the Catholic Church has taken this moment to assert that Catholic politicians are “especially” obligated to oppose abortion, same-sex marriage, and right-to-die legislation. So, while tens of thousands of women die of illegal abortions every year, while war rages around the world, and while people across the globe continue to die of starvation and disease, the Pope is here to remind you that the real problems are marrying someone you love and deciding when you have children.

    Aaaaaaaaaaand cue the irrational screeches of one Bill Donahue…

  2. A Pang
    A Pang March 15, 2007 at 10:51 pm |

    While safe abortions have been made accessible to more women, speakers at the conference said the practice was still not seen as totally socially acceptable, especially in more rural conservative communities.

    “It is still seen as a taboo. This is often why women come for terminations late in their pregnancies,” said Makhatini.

    In other words, stigmatizing abortions — and making them more difficult to acquire — increases the likelihood of women getting later-term abortions, which people are also likelier to feel moral qualms about. Can’t win for losing?

  3. randomliberal
    randomliberal March 16, 2007 at 1:54 am |

    And in other Catholic church news, the Vatican has censured an El Salvadoran Jesuit, Jon Sobrino, for preaching liberation theology. All in a day’s work.

  4. Deborah
    Deborah March 16, 2007 at 9:30 am |

    Some women regret choosing abortion, and that’s unfortunate. But would outlawing it really help?

    Why must women be protected from making regretable decisions? Jesus fuck, we’re allowed by law to marry, and lots of us end up regretting that.

  5. blondie
    blondie March 16, 2007 at 9:35 am |

    If the Catholic Church is so all-fired interested in the politics of “life,” why is it not also emphasizing that Catholic politicians are “‘especially’ obligated” to oppose the death penalty?

  6. blondie
    blondie March 16, 2007 at 9:37 am |

    Seriously. If the Catholic Church feels such an urgent need to impose its positions upon governmental policy, why is it not coming out against all those “tough-on-crime” death penalty proponent Catholic politicians?

  7. Dianne
    Dianne March 16, 2007 at 9:57 am |

    Naturally, the United States is pouring millions of dollars into funding anti-choice and abstinence-only “education” groups, which actively contribute to killing women around the world

    Of course. That’s what it’s for. It is in the US’s interest to make people in most of the world as miserable as possible and killing and maiming women is one way they do it. Plus anti-choicers get off on the idea of women being hurt. Oh, there are people who believe that they are saving lives by preventing abortion. I suspect that the higher ups in the anti-choice industry refer to them as “useful idiots”. But the average professional anti-choicer is dedicated to enslaving, maiming, and killing women. Period. There is no desire to “save babies” there.

  8. scott
    scott March 16, 2007 at 10:57 am |

    I’m a Catholic, and it really makes me weep. The guys in skirts take the Gospel of love and turn it into a convenient device for subordination and control. From the inside, I can tell you that the hierarchy seems primarily motivated by a desire for power over others rather than a desire to serve them, which again is what I always thought Jesus was about. Silly Scott, Trix are for kids!

  9. Craig R.
    Craig R. March 17, 2007 at 10:47 am |

    I’m a former mackeral snapper, (treatment of women, refusal to recognize that the world has a limoited carrying capacity, the last two papal office-holders turning their backs on the real problems in most of the world, and the hypocicy inherent the shuffling around of pedophile priests drove ne from the church. aafter being “unchurched” for several years, nowadays I worship with a small episcopal congregation — having joined them just before the election of the NH bishop that caused (and still the cause) for much protestation, alurms & excursions.

    We in this country have to remember that many of the zealots do not recognize either the principle of seperation of church and state, or the actual concept itself.

    In regards to the Catholic politicians, the Vatican is failing to recognize, or ignoring, the duty of elected officials (at least in the US) to represent their constituencies, within reason.

    This pressure is why some U.S. catholics seem to be shying away from elected office. (for the latter I have anecdotal evidence only)

  10. bmmg39
    bmmg39 March 17, 2007 at 11:04 pm |

    “But the average professional anti-choicer is dedicated to enslaving, maiming, and killing women.”

    — nice to see there’s still level-headed commentary from the — well, what would they be? If the other side is “anti-choice,” I guess it would be the “anti-life” side.

  11. Dianne
    Dianne March 18, 2007 at 4:54 pm |

    bmmg: What other grounds could there be for supporting policies that don’t actually stop abortion from occuring, but do result in the maiming and death of hundreds of thousands of women but hatred of women? What grounds could there be for demanding that women allow their bodies to be used by another entity, whether “human” or not, against their wills, except for a desire to enslave women? If the “pro-life” (which, as Jill pointed out, is actually quite anti-life) side is so sure that a single celled organism is a baby why aren’t they interested in preventing early miscarriages? Are you really telling me that if 80% of babies died within the first two weeks of their life you’d just say c’est la vie and ignore the problem? Well, some ah, pro-lifers may feel that way, but given the amount of money spent on the few actual babies at risk (ie premies, children with congential abnormalities, etc) I’d say that this is not the view of the average person. So, either you don’t mind that most babies die in the first two weeks of life or you don’t really believe that morulas are babies either. In which case, what other motive for demanding that all pregnancies, no matter how dangerous, be completed could there be but hatred or jealousy of fertile women? These questions are not, in fact, rhetorical and if you have an alternative answer, I’d be happy to hear it.

  12. bmmg39
    bmmg39 March 18, 2007 at 5:46 pm |

    “(look at the abortion laws in the developed world to the developing, and look and which countries are more prosperous),”

    The moral of the story: Children make your nation less prosperous. Destroy as many as possible. Heck, some of the more prosperous, more industrialized nations in Europe are moving the bar further, and becoming more and more permissive of infanticide. Their success requires that we follow their lead. Right?

    “What other grounds could there be for supporting policies that don’t actually stop abortion from occuring…”

    Laws forbidding rape and abusing your wife or husband don’t completely stop those from happening, either, but that doesn’t mean we should push to legalize them and merely to “educate” people to order to reduce rape and spousal abuse.

  13. JackGoff
    JackGoff March 18, 2007 at 6:19 pm |

    Children make your nation less prosperous. Destroy as many as possible.

    Or you can go the conservative, pro-life route and not give a shit about the children who are already born. The snowflake babes are the ones we should be worried about, of course.

    BTW, I LOVE the massacre of logic, bmmg39. You rarely see that many fallacies piled into one comment. Truly astounding!

  14. Dianne
    Dianne March 18, 2007 at 6:21 pm |

    bmmg: Laws fobidding abortion don’t even slow the rate of abortion. Look up the Romanian experience some time. I have no good explanation of why laws are apparently effective in changing some behaviors while apparently ineffective in changing others, but it does appear to be so. At least in this case. I notice that you’re afraid to answer the question about why the so-called “pro-life” movement isn’t interested in stopping early miscarriages. Are you sure that you believe that undifferentiated masses of tissue are babies?

  15. ginmar
    ginmar March 18, 2007 at 6:23 pm |

    I love it how you compare a woman having an abortion to a rapist. No strawfeminist too vile, eh?

  16. Rebecca
    Rebecca March 18, 2007 at 9:11 pm |

    Dianne,

    As a pro-lifer, I am *definitely* for the enslaving, maiming and killing of my three daughters… (catch the sarcasm there?)

    Get real Dianne. Project much?

  17. preying mantis
    preying mantis March 18, 2007 at 9:30 pm |

    “I have no good explanation of why laws are apparently effective in changing some behaviors while apparently ineffective in changing others, but it does appear to be so.”

    If you try to legislate away a necessity or pass a law that 90% of the population privately regards as bullshit, or not for them, or extremely detrimental to their families, it’s not going to work. That goes doubly when you can’t control black-market availability of the banned good or service or effectively monitor likely purchasers of said good or service.

  18. bmmg39
    bmmg39 March 19, 2007 at 3:20 pm |

    “Or you can go the conservative, pro-life route and not give a shit about the children who are already born. The snowflake babes are the ones we should be worried about, of course.”

    If you can demonstrate exactly where anyone has said it should be illegal to kill unborn children but legal to kill born ones, then you will have a cogent point. Until then…

    “BTW, I LOVE the massacre of logic, bmmg39.”

    By the looks of things here, where allegedly millions of Americans wish to see women maimed and killed, if you’re a regular poster here, logic might not be your forte.

    “At least in this case. I notice that you’re afraid to answer the question about why the so-called ‘pro-life’ movement isn’t interested in stopping early miscarriages.”

    As you place quotation marks around the term above, it doesn’t come to a surprise to me that you allege another position to a movement that hasn’t actually come forward with it. I don’t know of anyone who is in favor of women suffering miscarriages.

    “I love it how you compare a woman having an abortion to a rapist.”

    I don’t mention rape lightly, and many pregnant women feel the anguish of their decision when considering an abortion, but the two are similar in that there is an aggrieved party with each.

    “Empowering women makes your nation more prosperous. Treat them like human beings.”

    And we do not treat women like human beings when we tell them that their pregnancy is a disease that must be irradicated, when we tell them that a woman’s biology makes her inferior to a man, when we pit mother against her child. The early feminists recognized that fact, and many pro-life feminists do today. Sad that so many don’t grasp it.

  19. bmmg39
    bmmg39 March 19, 2007 at 3:21 pm |

    *eradicated

  20. Dianne
    Dianne March 19, 2007 at 9:18 pm |

    Project much?

    Not nearly as much as you seem to. So what’s your answer to my question: If you care about every blastulocyte, why aren’t you screaming for research into ending the death of up to 80% of “babies” in the first two weeks of life? Seriously, if you believe in “snowflake babies” how do you possibly justify ignoring this pandemic?

    If one of your daughters was raped and became pregnant, would you try to force her to bear her attackers child? If so, then you are pro-enslavement of your daughters, however you sugarcoat it. (Hey, don’t feel too bad. You’re in good company: Thomas Jefferson enslaved his children too.) Would you demand that one of your daughters carry a child to term even though it was highly unlikely that she would survive the pregnancy? If so then you’re in favor of murdering your daughters, no matter what your rationalization for that belief. Would you want your daughter to maintain a pregnancy even though the pregnancy was destroying her liver, kidneys, or other organs? Then you’re in favor of maiming your daughters, no matter what your reasons.

    Or would you make an exception just for your children and perhaps yourself? That’s not uncommon for “pro-life” women: the desire to forbid all abortions but the ones they or their families desire. Every person who works in a women’s health clinic inevitably has stories about women who sneak into the clinic, have their abortion, and return to protesting out front.

  21. Dianne
    Dianne March 19, 2007 at 9:28 pm |

    I don’t know of anyone who is in favor of women suffering miscarriages.

    bmmg: Are you trying to be stupid or is your righteous anger getting in the way of your reading comprehension? Ok, maybe you just don’t know anything about biology or medicine. Here’s the background: It is estimated that somewhere between 60% and 80% of pregnancies end before the pregnancy is “clinically apparent”. That is, before the woman has a missed period or other signs or symptoms of pregnancy (but after, obviously, high sensitivity HCG tests can pick the pregnancy up). Most of these miscarriages are due to failure of implantation, though other factors may play a role. Many of the concepti have genetic defects, but not all. Not much is known about them because the funding for studying them is rare to non-existent. It’s generally not considered much of a public health problem. Yet if all concepti from fertilization on are babies then it is really a huge problem. As many as 80% of babies are dying! So where are the pro-life foundations dedicated to ending this plague? Why don’t Focus on Family and Operation Rescue send out emails asking their contributors to lobby congress for more funding of the problem? In short, why are you concentrating on a few “murders” when most people die of disease? Inconvenient question, isn’t it?

  22. Dianne
    Dianne March 19, 2007 at 9:36 pm |

    Actually, now that I think about it, I’ve never seen a “pro-life” group show any interest in later miscarriages either. Do any of the “counseling” services offered by such groups offer support for women who have had miscarriages? Do “pro-life” groups fund studies into the eradication of (post-implanation) miscarriage? Do they urge the NIH to fund such studies? Or studies of premature labor? The causes of birth defects? I don’t know for certain that they don’t, but I’d be fairly suprised. I’ve certainly never heard a “pro-lifer” say anything like, “Abortion’s bad, but we’ve got to do something to help babies who can’t stay in the womb long enough to survive because of natural causes–and their mothers.” In fact, I’ve never heard a “pro-lifer” spontaneously mention miscarriage at all. Yet 15-20% of clinically evident pregnancies end in miscarriage. Quite a loud silence, really.

  23. bmmg39
    bmmg39 March 20, 2007 at 1:43 pm |

    “If so, then you are pro-enslavement of your daughters, however you sugarcoat it.”

    If that’s the case, then you are pro-killing of human beings, no matter how much YOU sugarcoat it. Are you beginning to understand why we use the terms “pro-choice” and “pro-life” as a convenient courtesy to those who prefer to be called those things, as opposed to “woman-haters” and “baby-killers”? (Actually, I doubt that you get it yet, but I’ll continue trying.)

    “bmmg: Are you trying to be stupid or is your righteous anger getting in the way of your reading comprehension?”

    I was less stupid with my response than you were with your comment with regard to miscarriages.

    “Ok, maybe you just don’t know anything about biology or medicine. Here’s the background: It is estimated that somewhere between 60% and 80% of pregnancies end before the pregnancy is “clinically apparent”. That is, before the woman has a missed period or other signs or symptoms of pregnancy (but after, obviously, high sensitivity HCG tests can pick the pregnancy up). Most of these miscarriages are due to failure of implantation, though other factors may play a role.”

    I was aware of all of that, but thanks for taking your time.

    “So where are the pro-life foundations dedicated to ending this plague?”

    Perhaps they don’t consider it a solvable problem at the current time. You seem to think that because several unborn children die of natural causes it should be perfectly all right to kill them intentionally. Would you then favor infanticide in nations where the infant mortality rates are very high? (And, lest you folks are having difficulty with the concept, that’s not a straw-feminist argument; it’s the extension of your own “logic.”)

  24. Dianne
    Dianne March 20, 2007 at 2:08 pm |

    Perhaps they don’t consider it a solvable problem at the current time.

    Err…maybe you need a little general science background as well as medical background. The point of research is to understand an area that is not currently understood. The specific point of medical research is to improve survival in diseases that are not currently well understood or curable. If the reasons for all miscarriages were understood I would be asking you why pro-life groups don’t spend money on helping women get proper treatment so that they wouldn’t miscarry. Or maybe not worrying about it at all because they were doing all they could to lobby for health care for pregnant women, etc (though that is unlikely to say the least.) However, the etiology of most miscarriages is unknown. Hence, the need for research into the problem. Again, if 80% of babies died of an unknown disease in the first two weeks of life, would you really not want to do anything to find out why they were dying just because infanticide also happened at times? Well, according to your belief system, that is just what you are doing.

    Surely anyone who sincerely believed in the personhood of single celled organisms would be interested in both curing the disease that causes so many deaths and stopping the murders. Most people can manage to concentrate on two things at once, you know, even in the face of limited funds. For example, in the 1980s gays lobbied for both status as a protected group under hate crime laws AND funding for research into AIDS. Today, many cities and states include sexual orientation in their hate crime laws and bar discrimination based on sexual orientation. At the same time, our ability to treat HIV has expanded enormously. HIV is now a chronic disease which kills over decades rather than (as it did initially) over months. Furthermore, we can now sometimes prevent infection of exposed individuals by post-exposure prophylaxis. This works especially well in newborns. Proper treatment can drop the rate of vertical (mother to child) transmission of HIV from 50% to 1-2%. This progress occured thanks largely to groups like ACTUP which fought for better funding of research into the cause and treatment of AIDS. I know that conservatives don’t like to take gay folks as an example, but there you have it: an example of how to successfully reduce death from both disease and violence simultaneously. So, why doesn’t the “pro-life” movement want to devote any time to working to prevent the majority of “babies” from dying in miscarriages? If you’re claiming that they’re simply too stupid or too lazy to do both simultaneously and therefore have decided to concentrate only on one…well, you said it, not me.

  25. Dianne
    Dianne March 20, 2007 at 2:20 pm |

    If that’s the case, then you are pro-killing of human beings, no matter how much YOU sugarcoat it

    Can’t deny the accusation, I see, so you have to go back to the old “baby-killer” line. Come on. Can you really believe that a thing with no self-awareness, no consciousness, no brain, indeed, no neurons or differentiated tissue of any sort at all is a baby? Ok. It’s an interesting definition of personhood and one that leaves an interesting problem at the end of life (when do you declare someone dead?), but beliefs are beliefs. But why don’t you want to save the sick babies as well as the ones in danger of violence? I’m not saying that you have to consider the two problems equally morally relevant or even equally important, but ignoring one totally is just bizarre. It’s not how people normally behave in other areas of life. People spend time and money arguing for both health care reform and ending the death penalty, to give another example of how to lobby to decrease death by both disease and murder…if you really believe that the act in question is murder.

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