“Pro-Lifers” care about women’s lives so much that:

They deny confidential pre-natal care to pregnant teenagers. Because scared, pregnant girls should have to choose between telling their parents and getting decent medical care.

“Vast generations have been born without the type of medical care and prenatal care that we have today,” said Rep. Dan Ruby, R-Minot. “It’s great that people get the treatment early, but we don’t need to do something that is going to take away the authority of the parents, who are responsible for paying the bills.”

They outlaw abortion, which is guaranteed to make the practice much more dangerous, and will jail you for up to a decade for performing an illegal abortion. There is a life exception, but not one for the pregnant woman’s health — so if she was, for example, going to go blind if she gave birth again, she could not terminate the pregnancy. The bill also has a rape exception, but no incest exception. Rape exceptions from “pro-lifers” are always interesting to me, because they’re a pretty accurate reflection of just how much anti-abortion legislation is about punishing women for sex, and not about the fetus at all. Women who get pregnant after rape — that is, women who had no agency or choice in sex — should have access to this medical procedure. But women who have sex because they want to should not. As usual, being “pro-life” is slut-punishing at its finest.

They instruct doctors and nurses to figure out if rape victims are ovulating or if one of their eggs has been fertilized — and refuse to offer them emergency contraception (Plan B) if they are. Call me crazy, but I think that if you refuse to provide patients standard medical care, you should probably not be in the business of providing medical care.

They smack down any dissent which would actually affirm the humanity of women, gay men and lesbians. Even more telling, “Last week, the Vatican rebuked a Jesuit priest in El Salvador who is a leading scholar of liberation theology, which emphasizes religious advocacy for the poor.” After all, if there was one thing Jesus hated, it was helping the poor and the downtrodden.

All of this reminds me why I love Eliot Spitzer. And why I’m glad we have an “assholes” tag.


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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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33 Responses to “Pro-Lifers” care about women’s lives so much that:

  1. Krystel says:

    It’s simple: These people aren’t pro-life, they’re pro-abstinence and pro-punishing “those damn sluts.” After all, it worked for their generation, so why do we need even better medical care for those who need it? Even that poor innocent baby doesn’t deserve the best because it was concieved inside of a “slut.”

    And yes, one more for the pile of evidence that modern Christianity hates Jesus.

  2. Bitter Scribe says:

    I wonder what these folks would say in the case of an underage girl who wanted to have the baby, and didn’t want to tell her parents about her pregnancy because she was afraid they would pressure her to have an abortion? How long do you think “family values” would last in that situation?

  3. Mnemosyne says:

    “Vast generations have been born without the type of medical care and prenatal care that we have today,” said Rep. Dan Ruby, R-Minot.

    Vast generations lived without all kinds of medical care that we have today. Does this mean that Dan is now renouncing any heart surgery or cancer treatment that he and his family may need in the future because, hey, vast generations did without it?

    Yeah. That’s what I thought. It’ those dirty sluts who don’t deserve modern medical care, not nice people like Dan and his family.

  4. AJ says:

    Wow, I had no idea that the governor of my state was so cool. Go NY!

    As somebody who would have benefited from *real* sex ed when I was a young teenager, it really disgusts me to see people trying to keep information about sex, pregnancy, contraception, etc, from kids. Because it doesn’t help them in the long run. It doesn’t really help anybody.

  5. Alex says:

    “Vast generations have been born without the type of medical care and prenatal care that we have today,” said Rep. Dan Ruby, R-Minot.

    Yeah, and vast generations routinely died in childbirth, you asshole.

  6. Holly says:

    Yeah, has that guy never heard of infant mortality rates, and life expectancy, and all sorts of… I don’t know, what the hell, all the REASONS we developed modern medical care and keep trying to improve it? People who are “conservative” enough to insist that we should roll the clock back even in terms of how people get health care should be forced to live in a real simulation of how life used to be. Oh except he’s probably a rich white guy. I guess maybe he’d get gout, that’s about it. Now it all makes sense.

  7. bean says:

    All of this is true (and I too appreciate the assholes tag). But there have been a few victories of late that are worth noting (particularly since they’re what keeps me going). Keroack resigned. And Mexico City is set to legalize abortion there and provide it for free at city facilities.

  8. Cara-he says:

    and for possibly the first and last time I have to say that I wish I lived in Mexico.

  9. Caja says:

    Freakin’ Connecticut Catholics. Still unclear on the concept of how emergency contraception works, and still in denial about what the medical meaning of “pregnant” is. What the hell kind of compromise is demanding a pregnancy test from a rape victim, anyway? And what’s so fucking hard about having someone on hand or on call who isn’t Catholic and has no qualms about giving a rape victim EC, anyway? Gah.

  10. Caja says:

    Also, it’s really telling (in the story about the guy getting rebuked for liberation theology) that the bishops were riled up about the sexuality brochures because they “are written in a very popular and lively style, and from what the bishops knew, they were very widely distributed.” Yeah, we wouldn’t want the little people to -understand- opposing views, only what -we- have to say.

    The news about Spitzer is great! A nice bit of balance to what seems like always negative reproductive rights news.

  11. Raincitygirl says:

    I suspect the pregnancy test compromise was a strategic move by the pro-Plan B people (i.e. the non-insane people of Connecticut). Think about it:

    a) a pregnancy test will only detect if a woman is *already* pregnant, and the hormone levels don’t change enough to get a positive test until several weeks after conception. So a rape victim seeking medical care within the 72 hour window for Plan B is guaranteed a negative result. Unless of course she’s already pregnant at the time that she’s raped, in which case it wasn’t the rapist who impregnated her.

    b) if a woman is already pregnant, Plan B won’t do jackshit to make her un-pregnant. It’s not the abortion pill. So it would be medically pointless to give Plan B to a woman with a positive pregnancy test.

    As far as I can see, the sane ones are sneakily playing on the ignorance and desire for control of the insane ones. I like it. Personally I think it would be humiliating to have to have a pregnancy test while getting the rape kit. However, it’s a lot better than being forced to make your way to another hospital at a time when you’ve got enough crap to deal with already.

    This is a ‘compromise’ that would make the idiots think they’d gotten a concession, but wouldn’t actually restrict any woman from getting Plan B if it were medically appropriate. Unless there’s a high incidence of false positives. I wouldn’t know, never having had to take one. Anyhow, I don’t *like* it, but it’s better than nothing.

    BTW, I think I need to look into a hysterectomy.

  12. gaia says:

    Rain – it isn’t the pregnancy test that bothers most people, it’s the ovulation test. “Oops, you’re ovulating, no EC for you”. Because, of course, if she’s ovulating then she deserves to lose any hope offered by the EC.

  13. Maybe (probably) I don’t fully understand the deal with ovulation/timing/pregnancy, but doesn’t the ovulation test requirement basically say that the woman can’t get EC if she’s at risk of getting pregnant right then? In other words, we’ll only give it to you if we can ascertain that you don’t need it anyway/it won’t have an effect?

  14. er, need it as much anyway/won’t be as likely to have an effect. I don’t know that little about pregnancy.

  15. Raincitygirl says:

    Sorry, I didn’t read the article carefully enough the first time round. Please ignore the above.

    basically say that the woman can’t get EC if she’s at risk of getting pregnant right then? In other words, we’ll only give it to you if we can ascertain that you don’t need it anyway/it won’t have an effect?

    Well, yeah. Duh! If those sluts didn’t want to go through nine months of pregnancy followed by hours of agonising labour, they shouldn’t have been dumb enough to get themselves raped. That’ll teach them not to wear short skirts.

  16. LS says:

    The bill also has a rape exception, but no incest exception.

    I don’t want to defend these idiots at all, but there’s a small bit of my brain demanding that I ask — isn’t it a fairly safe bet that most if not all incest would be rape?

  17. hanna jörgel says:

    It sounds like they are trying to restrict the usage to the “ovulation suppression” scenario. I believe Ema at the Well-Timed Period said this was the most likely mechanism for how Plan B worked.

    The other two, less likely (or less common) ways it could work would be through stopping fertilization or preventing implantation.

    So, yeah, sigh, it really seems to be that if you really need it right now and let’s hope one of those less likely scenarios takes over, they won’t give it to you.

    As an aside, I’m not in CT, but I looked into what the closest hospitals to me are in case something would ever happen. Catholic, Baptist, Catholic, Catholic were all the closest. All much closer than the nearest non-sectarian hospital (which also happens to be the only world-class institution in the city). Reminds me to go procure some EC for myself.

  18. Nico says:

    Jill: Rape exceptions from “pro-lifers” are always interesting to me, because they’re a pretty accurate reflection of just how much anti-abortion legislation is about punishing women for sex, and not about the fetus at all. Women who get pregnant after rape — that is, women who had no agency or choice in sex — should have access to this medical procedure. But women who have sex because they want to should not. As usual, being “pro-life” is slut-punishing at its finest.

    Yeah.

    One of my favorite examples of pro-life as slut-punishment comes from South Dakota State Senator Bill Napoli, who helped drive that state’s hardcore abortion ban — the only exception being when the mother’s life is at risk. Not even the usual “rape and incest” exceptions, although he said that in practice those could be found under life of the mother provision. When pressed for such a scenario, Little Billy said:

    A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.

    Would you care for some spittle and heavy breathing with your misogyny, young lady?

    Here’s a pic of this guy. http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a228/mortaljive/napoli.jpg

    The source of the above quote is at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/law/jan-june06/abortion_3-03.html

  19. Nico says:

    Also re slut-punishing…. That comes through nicely in the current Gardasil controversy, where the same pro-life crowd, here pushing abstinence as birth control, elects to forego HPV prevention, which makes sex safer, because safer sex lessens the ‘consequences’ of sex itself. In this case, not slut-punishment so much as slut-prevention.

  20. peg says:

    One might think that those who choose to label themselves as “pro-life” would carry the ‘pro-life’ position to it’s logical bounds. That is, based on the ‘pro-life’ assertation that life begins at the very moment that Mr. Sperm meets Ms. Egg, then appropriate medical care would be equally available from that very moment on.

    But, based on Ruby’s statement, a grandparent’s right to “know” trumps the pregnant mother’s right to appropriate, confidential medical care. HUH???

    Wait a minute…it’s zealots we’re talking about here–agenda before logic…

    And don’t even get me going about this asisnine statement of his, when brought into the context of the fact that teen mothers are statistically more likely to go into pre-term labour and give birth to premature and/or low-birthweight babies…or that lack of prenatal care can increase infant mortality as much as FOUR times…gah…stop me before my head explodes.

  21. Jill says:

    I don’t want to defend these idiots at all, but there’s a small bit of my brain demanding that I ask — isn’t it a fairly safe bet that most if not all incest would be rape?

    As I understand it, rape exceptions for abortion may require some sort of report of rape, not simply telling your doctor that you had been assaulted. Now, I could be completely wrong about this, but if the abortion is coming after charges have been filed, a family member might be charged with the crime of incest without being charged with the crime of rape. So, technically, no rape means no abortion.

    But I’m just speculating here so who knows.

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  23. MDtoMN says:

    The rape exception is particularly strange when you remember that the same political movement often argues that women make too many false allegations of rape.

    So, (1) The only way for a woman to obtain an abortion and avoid giving birth to an unwanted child is to claim that she was raped. (2) This seems like it might INCREASE false allegations of rape or a tendency to view “borderline” coercion as coercion after the fact right? Now, personally I do not think that most of these rape allegations are actually borderline, and I think false allegations are rare (though unfortunately not unheard of). But, if I thought as the right-wingers did, that would be one concern I would have about this type of exception. Just saying.

  24. Geez. If you’re fifteen years old, and you end up pregnant, but your parents will literally kick your ass if they find out, your options are pretty limited. With new limits like this, you’re going to see a lot more babies left in dumpsters or on doorsteps.

    Not very “pro-life”, is it?

  25. DAS says:

    When pressed for such a scenario, Little Billy said

    Alas, writing the quotation doesn’t do justice to what Little Billy (hey — I like that!) actually said: he emphasized certain words in such a way that it sounded like he was relishing the mental picture he had of what he was describing.

  26. DAS says:

    With new limits like this, you’re going to see a lot more babies left in dumpsters or on doorsteps.

    Not very “pro-life”, is it? – Jenny Dreadful

    It’s all about going back to the Middle Ages, ain’t it? I guess they figure the babies will be left at Nunneries?

    Or maybe not … the Middle Ages were a time of Catholic Orthodoxy, weren’t they.

    Yet the anti-choice crowd seems to figure so long as the baby survives long enough to get baptized, s/he’ll be part of the army of God. OTOH, listen to the anti-choice crowd talk about “abortion clinics” — they make it sound like for every abortion performed Planned Parenthood is able to harvest another soul for Satan. They talk similarly about gay rights — as if the gays were trying to win souls for Satan.

    Just like Bill Donohue gets into serious Docetic territory whenever anything relating to Jesus and teh sex comes up, the anti-choice/anti-“gay agenda” crowd does sound downright Manichean. I have friends who are as conservative/Catholic as they come and they cannot stand these people — simply because they are in fact, by Catholic standards (even when they claim to be Catholics) heretics!

  27. Nico says:

    Yeah, just reading Little Bill’s words, it could almost sound like a pitch for a new show on CW or Fox, or maybe a photo shoot on America’s Next Top Model.

    But when you actually see the video (or the pic of him clutching the diagram of the female reproductive system with the word DEED in big bold letters on top), you might take it as a mockumentary on the Right To Life movement (“my concern for these girls goes to 11″), or Sexual Predators (“isn’t my new ankle bracelet just divine!”).

    But there’s nothing mocku about it.

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  29. Luna says:

    Krystel in comment 1 said it best, “It’s simple: These people aren’t pro-life, they’re pro-abstinence and pro-punishing “those damn sluts.””

    They don’t give a rat’s ass about life. Mine, yours, fetuses, babies, or anyone else’s (except their own, of course). These assholes just want control. The power to push their personal agendas on the rest of the world. And they’ve co-opted the terms ‘pro-life’ and ‘Christian’ to do it.

  30. Laser Potato says:

    When I linked to this on ProChoiceTalk, this was Mugen’s response…
    ——-
    “Could this person get any more in left field?”
    Quote:
    “Rape exceptions from “pro-lifers” are always interesting to me, because they’re a pretty accurate reflection of just how much anti-abortion legislation is about punishing women for sex, and not about the fetus at all ”
    “This always amuses me. It is for this reason that I am opposed to abortion in cases of rape. And yet I guarantee if I informed this person of that, they would use it as another example of hating women. This kind of intellectual dishonesty is not debate. It is propaganda.”
    —–
    Gaaaaaah.
    Mugen’s always accusing pro-choicers of intellectual dishonesty, propoganda, name-calling, bullying, etc. Needless to say he’s a rabid pro-lifer. Notice how pro-lifers tend to project like that?

  31. False Flag Operative says:

    [quote]Jill: Rape exceptions from “pro-lifers” are always interesting to me, because they’re a pretty accurate reflection of just how much anti-abortion legislation is about punishing women for sex, and not about the fetus at all.[/quote]

    That is quite interesting. You would think that the “pro-life” camp would say that abortions even for victims of rape and incest are forms of “murder”. Imagine my complete lack of shock!

    Anyways, I love reading this blog and I think I will stay a while. :)

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