Do Professional “Pro-Lifers” Care About Women?

Only so long as they can use them as political ping-pong balls.

The latest example is none other than Dawn Eden.* Dawn has done some nasty things in the past, but this is particularly disgusting. She found a pro-choice feminist’s very personal blog about her abortion and she’s now using it as “proof” that abortion is psychologically harmful and should therefore be illegal.

In medias res, the pro-choice blog, is written by a particularly brave woman who has decided to write honestly about an abortion experience that doesn’t fit into the ideal pro-choice narrative. Here is her story. What she experienced is not universal, and there are many other abortion stories out there, but it is hers. She is owning it, and she is sharing it, even though it doesn’t fit neatly into any ideological boxes. Her abortion sucked. It was painful. It was long. She got a rare infection. She feels a sense of loss that conflicts with her feminist politics. She writes:

I lost a baby, a baby that never got a name. Lost it on purpose, days after the thirty-fifth anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It was my first, one accident dropped into years of carefulness. I had wanted it in an abstract way for several years, but it came at a time that wasn’t right, and it didn’t have the father I would want to raise a child with. The feminist in me shrinks away from talking about the pain of that loss. Even though my heart believes I sent it back so it could return at a better time, there’s fountain of pain and a kind of aloneness I had never experienced that seems to gush interminably.

The interminable is relative, of course. Time has passed. I cry less. My body that for five weeks swelled in anticipation fits into my clothes again. I’m no longer avoiding the hugs of friends to protect my sore breasts.

I dream about the baby, the one with no name. In the dreams, I am overwhelmed with trying to find someone to help me care for it, of hearing it call the babysitter “mama” because its mother can never be there. When this happens, I feel like I made the right choice for myself and the children that will come. But I still grieve.

And I am more pro-choice than ever.

Her feelings, and her experiences, are valid. And she is not the first feminist I’ve spoken with who feels loss or pain after abortion. Unfortunately, there are huge disincentives for women to be honest about their abortion experiences. Women who don’t grieve, or who simply feel relief and not pain, are accused of being selfish, heartless, or deluding themselves, assumed to be putting off the real pain that’s bound to come. Women who say “I had an abortion” without mentioning guilt or pain are accused of “bragging.” Any woman who isn’t apologetic is at the very least an irresponsible whore. Women who do admit some ambiguity in their emotions are inundated with religious anti-choice rhetoric about how they’re surely grieving about killing their baby, and they should join this or that “pro-life” or “post-abortive” ministry. Whenever pro-choicers try to create a space for women to speak about abortion, it’s infiltrated and abused by shameless anti-choicers with an agenda.

And that’s exactly what Dawn is doing here. The blogger at In medias res has asked that her story not be used as anti-choice political fodder. And despite Dawn’s supposed concern for the blogger’s mental health and well-being, she puts up a post that the blogger in question has made clear is doing her emotional harm.

The writer has said that while the experience was painful, she learned from it and she feels she’s stronger for it. She has written about feeling better. Despite her words being twisted around to support an ideology she vehemently opposes, she still has the courage to write honestly.

I hope she’ll continue, and that this experience with self-righteous assholes doesn’t make her censor herself. I hope she knows that she has the support of pro-choice feminists like myself, and that we will respect her experiences and her feelings — even if they don’t fit perfectly with all of our ideals. I hope she keeps writing.

I hope Dawn is ashamed of herself. She should be.

(And just so we’re clear — I have In medias res’s permission to write about this, and if there’s something she objects to or is causing her further stress, I’ll take it down).

As a final note, I wonder how anti-choicers would react if stories of post-partum depression were trotted out as “evidence” that child birth is horrible, and forced abortions are the right “choice” for some women? To reference a comment to this post, Is there any childbirth experience ever so horrific that any of you would look at it and say, “Yeah, in that case maybe childbirth wasn’t such a good idea after all”?

I say leave it up to women to decide whether childbirth or abortion is the best choice — and I have a whole lot of scientific data to back up the fact that psychological trauma goes hand in hand with being forced to take a particular reproductive route, whether that’s forced childbirth or forced abortion. But to argue that gives anti-choicers too much credit; it assumes that they actually care about women’s psychological health. Clearly, they don’t.

___________________________________
*A bit of background: Dawn is the author of The Thrill of the Chaste, a book telling young women to wait until marriage for any sexual activity. She has a long history of misrepresentations and flat-out lies to further her political agenda. You’ll see more than a few if you casually browse her site. Perhaps most notably, she was fired from her job as a copy editor at the right-wing New York Post for injecting her anti-choice views into a reporter’s story about in-vitro fertilization (something that copy editors are very clearly not supposed to do). She’s been embraced by anti-choice groups ’round the country, and spends her says criticizing Planned Parenthood on her blog, mostly because PP has the audacity to offer contraception and realistic, sometimes funny, accurate sexual health information. Like many establishment “pro-lifers,” Dawn claims to oppose abortion, but she also is against standard birth control — the most effective way to decrease the abortion rate. And she isn’t above using other women’s very personal and painful stories to her own advantage.


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174 comments for “Do Professional “Pro-Lifers” Care About Women?

  1. February 11, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    Yep, there’s nothing about that story that upholds the notion that all women want to be procreating all the time under all circumstances. Dawn’s getting kind of desperate, huh? Thanks for sharing the story.

  2. February 11, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    I’m gonna be a real asshole here and ask how long do you think it’ll be before Dawn reaches menopause and loses her chance to put her money where her mouth is and start making all the babies she thinks the rest of us are obligated to be making?

  3. Dana
    February 11, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    I’ve asked this a few times on a couple pro-life blogs and I’ll ask it again here…

    If a pro-life couple is married and doesn’t want any more children (say they have 4 already and can’t afford more), and they don’t believe in birth control, do they just stop having sex?

    I just don’t get the logistics of it all. How can you be against abortion and against birth control and for sex after marriage despite how many children you can’t pay for?

    If pro-lifers didn’t have such dissonant ideas, I think they’d have a lot more followers…

  4. February 11, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    why is it that feminists are not allowed to feel pain and loss? an abortion can still hurt, you can still grieve the loss, but it was your choice to make…that is the whole point! is anyone really arguing that abortions are easy and pain free? oh, i forgot that we as feminists make it part of our weekly routine…right after having our morning latte…swing by the abortion mill. puh-leeze!

    these things don’t make it any less an issue of choice…dawn is reaching into places respectable people wouldn’t go…no surprise there…

  5. Dianne
    February 11, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    No, of course not. Next easy question?

  6. February 11, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Yeah, the prochoice woman who posts a painful abortion story is brave, in that she is stepping into a minefield. Her allies will lambaste her for admitting to pain that is very uncomfortable for them. Abortion is supposed to be palliaitive. Admitting that it can be a horrible experience is “playing into the enemy’s hands.” And the prolifers will say, “Then why would you want anybody else to suffer such a miserable experience?”

    I have a question for the prochoicers: Is there any abortion experience ever so horriffic that any of you would look at it and say, “Yeah, in that case maybe abortion wasn’t such a good idea after all.”?

  7. February 11, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Her allies will lambaste her for admitting to pain that is very uncomfortable for them.

    And yet, here we are, the only people who give a shit about her and her pain, expressing sympathy and pointing out that because some decisions are hard doesn’t mean that we should lose our right to make them.

  8. February 11, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    I have a question for the prochoicers: Is there any abortion experience ever so horriffic that any of you would look at it and say, “Yeah, in that case maybe abortion wasn’t such a good idea after all.”?

    The abortion? Or the right? Because I oppose any abortion that’s forced. But freely chosen ones, no.

    No one promised that abortion is fun. I highly recommend avoiding unwanted pregnancy. Which is why I—unlike all anti-choice organizations—recommend contraception.

    Is there any heart surgery so painful that you think the right to have it done should be revoked?

  9. Emily
    February 11, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Christina–

    To answer your question: it’s not MY call. That’s the whole point.

    Geez.

  10. February 11, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    I always thought that most rite-to-lifers wanted someone to push around. Randall Terry was a used-car salesman in one of the poorer neighborhoods of New York. Noo respect for him. Then he hitched his ill-educated ass to the RTL movement and the national press listened to him.

    The women (foot soldiers) seemed to be more true believers. That babies began with zygotes and killing them was evil. Recall that for most of these lassies, motherhood is the best they can hope for. No Ivy League (or any college) for them. Crappy, low-wage slavery jobs and the only bright spot are the kids and grandkids. How might you react if you were watching your careers and positions tossed away?

  11. zuzu
    February 11, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    I’m gonna be a real asshole here and ask how long do you think it’ll be before Dawn reaches menopause and loses her chance to put her money where her mouth is and start making all the babies she thinks the rest of us are obligated to be making?

    I think she’s my age or a bit older, so it won’t be too long. Considering that she said in that Salon interview with Rebecca Traister that she didn’t really want kids, I think she’ll just never quite find the right husband before menopause hits, you know? Either that, or she’ll do another 180.

  12. GottabeMe
    February 11, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Bravo Amanda! Exactly. Thousands of surgeries go wrong in the US every year, yet nobody is saying “Oh, we have to outlaw heart surgery so that this can never happen to anyone again!”

    My boyfriend’s uncle had a heart procedure done and developed an infection and the incision site, despite excellent care. Well, I guess it was so horrible he should just give up and let his heart give out.

    Nobody here has “lambasted” the woman who wrote about her abortion experience. And Christina, do you think that feminists are naiive or stupid enough to expect abortion, even one free of complications, to be simple, easy, and nothing more than a minor inconvenience?

    Women do not make the decision to terminate a pregnancy lightly. It’s not something they decide to do on Girl’s Night Out as bonding experience. As Wanda Sykes says, it’s not as if a woman calls up a girlfriend and says “Girl, I feel like doin’ something crazy tonight. I know!…”

    And I don’t think anyone expects it to be free of pain, either emotional or physical. I know two women who have terminated pregnancies (that I know of) and I think they made absolutely the smartest choices, and neither of them made those choices lightly. They thought long and hard about it, and concluded that it was the best for everyone involved, including the future child.

    We support this writer, and condemn Dawn Eden for co-opting and exploiting her very personal story. The write was incredibly brave, and did a service to help remove the stigma and misconceptions that surround abortion.

    I admire and applaud her.

  13. February 11, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Her allies will lambaste her for admitting to pain that is very uncomfortable for them.

    Well that’s strange. I could have sworn that I just read a really supportive post and a bunch of really supportive comments — in fact, the only comment that hasn’t been supportive so far is that coming from an anti-choicer.

    Any pro-choice person who did react in that way would deserve a (mostly figurative) good hard smack upside the head. I imagine that most others who identify as pro-choice would agree. Let me add my voice to the chorus of those saying that abortion is not always neat and easy, no one ever said that it was, and that I support the right of any woman to tell her personal story with abortion, including those that are painful. In fact, including those that are painful even by those who try to use their stories to deny other women the same choice — though I may disagree with their motives and message, those women still deserve to talk about their experiences without judgment.

    I’m very glad that the blogger wrote her story, particularly so if it in any way helped in her process of coming to terms with her choice and healing. I’m glad that she’s feeling better. And I’m flat out furious at the way that some people will stop at nothing to further their own agenda, no matter how many non-consenting women have to be exploited in the process.

  14. LindaH
    February 11, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    I have a question for the prochoicers: Is there any abortion experience ever so horriffic that any of you would look at it and say, “Yeah, in that case maybe abortion wasn’t such a good idea after all.”?

    Many years ago, during the O.J. Simpson, I thought probably marrying O.J. wasn’t such a good idea. That didn’t mean I thought we should outlaw marriage altogether. Should people have jobs assigned to them because they may pick one that makes them unhappy? Should we sterilize the entire world because some parents are abusive? Having a choice, any choice, means that at some time someone will make a bad one. That’s just the way it is.

  15. Betsy
    February 11, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    I have a question for the prochoicers: Is there any abortion experience ever so horriffic that any of you would look at it and say, “Yeah, in that case maybe abortion wasn’t such a good idea after all.”?

    Sure. People (my friends, even!) do things all the time that I don’t think are good ideas. They marry people I’m not crazy about; they make career choices that are not in their best interests, they dye their hair abominable shades of fuchsia. Sometimes these decisions cause them pain, and sometimes they even regret them. Does that mean they shouldn’t have been ALLOWED to make them? Of course not.

  16. February 11, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    Zuzu, I don’t know if she’ll do a 180. My personal belief? She gets off on trolling Technorati looking for people like me to bother…that and trying to scare other people out of sex. Maybe her legacy will be an entry in the DSM that captures her particular variety of unwell. I would like that.

    Thanks for your supportive comments over here. I told Jill I find some of the things I wrote cringe-worthy after the fact, mainly because they can be twisted to mean something I did not intend. When you really want to have a baby, especially after seeing a parade of adorable nieces and nephews for a few years, it can hurt like hell to have the opportunity and turn it down. But I don’t regret my choice for a second, despite there having been a lot of sadness in the situation for me.

    Eh…and you know? My story doesn’t match my feminist ideals, but the fact that I can tell it and have it be ok? That makes me crazy proud to be a feminist.

  17. February 11, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    I have a question for the prochoicers: Is there any abortion experience ever so horriffic that any of you would look at it and say, “Yeah, in that case maybe abortion wasn’t such a good idea after all.”?

    I just updated the post to include this, but is there any childbirth experience ever so horrific that any of you would look at it and say, “Yeah, in that case maybe childbirth wasn’t such a good idea after all” and support forced abortion?

    No?

    Then why do you think that bad abortion experiences justify forced pregnancy?

  18. Gina
    February 11, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Hi Christine,

    I read your blog a couple of weeks ago and was incredibly moved by your story. Thanks for being so brave about putting it out there.

    I told Jill I find some of the things I wrote cringe-worthy after the fact, mainly because they can be twisted to mean something I did not intend.

    I’m glad you didn’t censor yourself. It’s not your fault people are misusing your words.

    Gina

  19. SarahMC
    February 11, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Anti-choicers, because they see everything in black and white, do not understand complexity.

    One can feel sad about a decision she made without regretting her decision.
    One can feel a whole HOST of emotions about something she’s done without regretting her decision.

    Hell, one can regret her decision without wanting to keep other women from making their own decisions.

  20. Gina
    February 11, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    P.S. I’m sorry if this is a dumb question, but I don’t understand what you mean when you say “My story doesn’t match my feminist ideals.” Just because abortion may be the best option in some cases doesn’t mean it’s an easy option.

  21. February 11, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    I’m gonna be a real asshole here and ask how long do you think it’ll be before Dawn reaches menopause and loses her chance to put her money where her mouth is and start making all the babies she thinks the rest of us are obligated to be making?

    Amanda, are you aware that this is a sadistic fantasy?

    I’m not sure what Dawn thinks is sadistic — wishing menopause on someone, or wishing they’d start making babies like they think everyone else should? You little sadist you.

  22. February 11, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Anti-choicers, because they see everything in black and white, do not understand complexity.

    One can feel sad about a decision she made without regretting her decision.
    One can feel a whole HOST of emotions about something she’s done without regretting her decision.

    Hell, one can regret her decision without wanting to keep other women from making their own decisions.

    Oh Sarah, don’t be silly. See, whenever someone makes a decision that makes them feel kinda crappy, or whenever someone regrets doing something, clearly the answer is to illegalize it. Like tonight, I just ate a huge brownie hot fudge sundae that I didn’t really want, but I was out with a friend and she got one, so I did too. Now I feel sick, and I have a really bad sugar headache, and I really wish I didn’t eat that sundae. Starting tomorrow, I will be picketing Ben & Jerry’s.

  23. SarahMC
    February 11, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    I bought a pair of shoes that turned out to be sorta painful so I don’t wear them. I wasted $50! Therefore, women should not be allowed to pick out their own footwear.

  24. February 11, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    I bought a pair of shoes that turned out to be sorta painful so I don’t wear them. I wasted $50! Therefore, women should not be allowed to pick out their own footwear.

    You think too small. Obviously the lesson here is that women can’t be trusted with their own money. We should go back to the days when women couldn’t have credit cards or checking accounts in their own names, and had to get “allowances” from their husbands.

    …and it comes full circle, right back to the actual anti-choice goals of social control and a return to an image of the family that never existed in reality.

  25. February 11, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Hey Gina, in really general ways, it doesn’t match my feminist ideals because I needed to have it in the first place. Contraceptives don’t always work, and we also don’t live in a world in which having children is a real option for some people because of structural, societal problems; in other words, it sucks to need to make a choice like that because you can’t afford a baby, childcare, etc., and feel physically and emotionally threatened by the father and worried about the world into which you’d be bringing a baby.

    In technical ways, I left myself loopholes to be attacked, and I wish there had been some completely unambiguous way of simultaneously describing the hurt and the conviction that it’s the right choice.

  26. February 11, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Jill @ 21: Well, babies are punishment for the sinful sex in Dawn’s eyes, I suppose, so it’s sadistic of me to want her to be punished? I’m sure she’d deny thinking babies are punishment, but it’s clearly the only way her statement makes sense.

  27. February 11, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    In technical ways, I left myself loopholes to be attacked, and I wish there had been some completely unambiguous way of simultaneously describing the hurt and the conviction that it’s the right choice.

    There is absolutely nothing you could have done to prevent them from attacking you. They were looking for a target, and they would have found one no matter what you did. You didn’t bring this on yourself.

  28. ahunt
    February 11, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    Oh jeez, Christine. I’m sorry dishonorable people are using you in this vile manner.

    Yet you maintain your dignity, grace and perspective.

    What a gallant woman you are.

  29. Justin
    February 11, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Why is pro-life bad?

  30. I'd Rather Not Say
    February 11, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    I’m not sure what Dawn thinks is sadistic — wishing menopause on someone, or wishing they’d start making babies like they think everyone else should?

    It’s sadistic to wish menopause on someone who wants to bear children but hasn’t been able to have them yet.

  31. February 11, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    It’s the Dawn Eden’s of the world who have helped me start doing something this year I haven’t done in a long, long time: start giving to Planned Parenthood. As those who have read me for a long time know, I started out pro-choice, and then went through a deep religious conversion that led to a three-year sojourn in the pro-life world. It’s a common enough story (and exasperating to many).

    One of the things that brought me back to the pro-choice movement was waking up to who my new allies were: people who were less interested in protecting the vulnerable than in shaming women.

  32. ahunt
    February 11, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    Oh please, Jason. Not today, and not on this thread. Okay?

  33. February 11, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    It’s sadistic to wish menopause on someone who wants to bear children but hasn’t been able to have them yet.

    Sure. But that ain’t Dawn. Dawn has expressed no desire to have children; she just wants to force everyone else to.

  34. February 11, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    Oh, and I don’t think Dawn meant that Amanda was a sadist for mentioning menopause; I think Dawn meant that Amanda is sadistic for saying that Dawn should have to bear children, just like she wants to force everyone else to. Dawn thinks that pregnancy is a punishment, and Amanda’s suggestion that perhaps she should go through it if she wants to make the rest of us do it reads to Dawn like a sadistic fantasy. Of course, it’s not sadism when she does it.

  35. February 11, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Why is pro-life bad?

    Justin, I would suggest perusing the archives. Start with the “reproductive rights” or “culture of life” categories.

  36. roses
    February 11, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    If a pro-life couple is married and doesn’t want any more children (say they have 4 already and can’t afford more), and they don’t believe in birth control, do they just stop having sex?

    Well, you might get one of three answers to that.
    1) It’s our duty to be fruitful and multiply which means continue procreating until menopause. It’s not for us to decide whether we’re going to have more children, it’s up to God to send us children or not.
    2) Yes. Sex is only for procreation so when you’re done procreating, you’re done having sex.
    3) (This is a more recent one) You can use Natural Family Planning. Which, with modern technology and when used correctly, is actually quite effective.

    Of course, a lot of pro-lifers are just hypocrites who use birth control in private but condemn it in public.

  37. denelian
    February 11, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Don’t let them get to you Christine.

    *I* love you, and i don’t even know you. I respect your right to be a person, and make your own decisions.

    be sad. cry. i went a talked to a bush in a park every night for a month. whatever you need, to be complete in yourself.

    and fuck the rest ;)

  38. susan
    February 11, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    It’s not just nasty to comment on someone else’s personal narrative in the way that Dawn did – it’s another manifestation of sexism. The idea that each woman should experience “female things” in a certain way is a cornerstone of sexism, and feminism, to me at least, means having the freedom to choose how I relate to my body as well as choose what I feel comfortable doing with it. The idea that a woman should feel nothing about an abortion since it’s her constitutional right is just an extension of the idea that the female body is public property. I can just see a paternal figure saying, ‘we gave you this right – now you can’t complain’. The right to abortion is the right to take control of our own reproductive capabilities, which is a big and meaningful part of being a. female and b. human. There’s a huge difference between being pro-choice and pro-abortion, between favoring comprehensive sex education and being ‘pro’ premarital sex. It’s sort of sad that the polarizing nature of this debate has distracted many of those of us who are pro-choice from the real gift of a pro-choice society – the space to talk about what it means to be female and have the ability to bear children. To whomever wrote the blog in question, you are a hero to me, as a woman and especially as a feminist.

  39. ahunt
    February 11, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    And, as usual…comments at DE’s ask the age-old question:

    Why are pro-choicers so angry?

    Oh, I dunno…maybe it is because anti-choicers are panty-sniffing zealots who seek to deprive women of our rights to full participation in society via government control of our reproductive lives. Just a guess.

    Geez, that poor dead pony had only one trick while still standing. Will the flogging never cease?

  40. February 11, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Dawn is, plain and simple, an attention whore. She scans Technorati for juicy posts that mention Planned Parenthood so she can be showered with positive and negative attention when she makes posts like this one. She’s one of the people who believes that PP hands out birth control and provides sex education in order to encourage teens to have sex and drum up more abortion business.

    She claims that her conversion to Christianity miraculously cured her suicidal depression, but she doesn’t just have issues, she has entire subscriptions. Recently she told a regular commenter that her children will end up dying from a drug overdose like Heath Ledger because she’s such a “bad” parent (i.e. wouldn’t lock her kids up in a tower if they had sex as teens.)

    She’s a poor poster girl for waiting to have sex until marriage, crowing about how wonderful chastity is when she only stopped having sex a couple of years ago. Preach it to the bitter 30-year-old virgins in your parish, Dawn.

    I’m a Catholic feminist and against abortion, but I have nothing to do with the movement since the vast majority of the people involved in it disgust me. I think that most of them mean well, but are misguided and don’t understand how to DO well. I have the crazy idea that maybe we should try preventing pregnancies in the first place.

    Dana @ 4: The answer is that yes, they’re supposed to stop having sex if they can’t handle more kids. From the pro-life point of view, sex and the potential to produce children are inextricably linked–you can’t have one without the other without being put on an express train to hell. They can depend on Natural Family Planning/Fertility Awareness Method. Or use birth control and not tell anyone.

  41. zuzu
    February 11, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    I think Dawn meant that Amanda is sadistic for saying that Dawn should have to bear children, just like she wants to force everyone else to. Dawn thinks that pregnancy is a punishment, and Amanda’s suggestion that perhaps she should go through it if she wants to make the rest of us do it reads to Dawn like a sadistic fantasy. Of course, it’s not sadism when she does it.

    It’s sadistic because it would mean an end to the chastity gravy train. Why, if Dawn gets married and opens the marriage to children, then she’s just another Catholic mother-martyr. But if she’s the former-Jew-former-slut who found Holy Mother Church and chastity, she’s special! And because she’s special, she can hold forth on subjects like marriage and children and married sex and how great it all is, even though she hasn’t got a single bit of experience with any of it. Really, reality dulls the fantasy.

  42. Rosehiptea
    February 12, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Recall that for most of these lassies, motherhood is the best they can hope for. No Ivy League (or any college) for them. Crappy, low-wage slavery jobs and the only bright spot are the kids and grandkids. How might you react if you were watching your careers and positions tossed away?

    I’m sorry, but this reads as very classist to me. Not every woman who doesn’t go to college (or have a chance to) is anti-choice; not every woman who is looking at a low-wage job wants to be a mother or wants to force someone else to be. And I’m all for calling people on being anti-choice but dismissing them as being obviously desperate and undeducated isn’t really right either in my opinion.

    Is there any abortion experience ever so horriffic that any of you would look at it and say, “Yeah, in that case maybe abortion wasn’t such a good idea after all.”?

    If a woman told me she had an abortion and she regretted it and wished she hadn’t done it, I’d listen to that. (That’s not the case here, but if it were.) If she told me she didn’t, then I’m going to listen to that to.

  43. February 12, 2008 at 2:09 am

    Yep. No sex for married people if they aren’t ready to welcome any pregnancy with open arms. DE commenters have told me point blank that I don’t love my husband because I don’t give my fertility to him (funny, he doesn’t want it), and don’t love my children because I don’t want a dozen more just like them.

    Because you should always shower those you love with things they don’t want, and make people more special by treating them as batch lots, I guess.

    A choice may be regretted. The ability to make a choice, never should be.

  44. February 12, 2008 at 2:11 am

    Yeah, the prochoice woman who posts a painful abortion story is brave, in that she is stepping into a minefield.

    Unless you mean a minefield of anti-choice assholes who will use her story to try to get all abortion outlawed, you are mistaken. This entire thread disproves you. Pro-choice people are well aware of the dangers of surgery, both mental and physical, and abortion is surgery.

    Antichoice people, however, wish to see more of this happening, only it will be in more unsafe conditions than are currently available and at a greater level of risk for the mother. Abortion has never ceased with its prohibition. It has only gotten more dangerous and more lethal.

  45. February 12, 2008 at 2:20 am

    What JackGoff says is true. Women have been inducing abortions since the first time someone figured out how to dilate a cervix or take just the right combination of herbs.

  46. February 12, 2008 at 2:30 am

    Women have been inducing abortions

    And dying from it. And in greater numbers than in countries that legalized abortions. I’m assuming that you are using this as some sort of ignorant argument against abortion due to your linking to the Vatican’s website, so here goes: The Catholic Paradise of El Salvador is as close to hell for pregnant women as can be imagined. The Catholic Church is responsible for a large amount of the neglect of birth control in areas where Catholic missions are prevalent. Contraception, used correctly, helps make sure that abortion is not needed. The Catholic Church rejects this in favor of abstinence education, an idea that has NEVER WORKED.

  47. February 12, 2008 at 7:50 am

    The point that should be made about women (and midwives) inducing abortion for much of human history is that it was only when male medical establishment became institutionalized that abortion became an issue, even for the church.* It had been something that women did, and when men became involved abortion became something to control. Among other medical procedures and practices, abortion was used to control women by the patriarchy.

    *I’m not trying to romanticize the past. I’m very glad that abortion has become a safe medical procedure.

  48. February 12, 2008 at 10:04 am

    And yet, here we are, the only people who give a shit about her and her pain . . .

    If you read the comments on in media res’s blog, you will see that the prochoicers are not “the only people who give a shit about her and her pain.” It’s true that some prolifers who commented were extremely insensitive, but by no means all. She got strong statements of empathy and support from posters who identified as prolife.

    As far as the Catholic Church’s position on abortion though the nineteenth century — the notion that the fetus was not a person until the fourth month or so — that position would of course have to be substantially revised in light of what science has proven: fetal heartbeat, for instance, is detectable at 12 days gestation, which would be well before most women even knew they were pregnant. It’s dishonest to deny that the presence of what objectively speaking is another human life makes abortion a bit different from other types of routine surgery. No one feels a sense of moral and ethical dilemma, regret, or emotional trauma after scheduling heart surgery.

    Mainstream femininsm needs to acknowledge that abortion is traumatic, and not just for those who are emotionally compromised, fragile, or damaged already. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a pro-life feminist (yes, we exist, and have since the first wave of feminism — do the research) who has had an abortion, as well as other forms of pregnancy loss.

  49. February 12, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Mainstream femininsm needs to acknowledge that abortion is traumatic, and not just for those who are emotionally compromised, fragile, or damaged already.

    We do acknowledge that abortion is traumatic for some women. We also acknowledge that childbirth, child-rearing and adoption are traumatic for some women. But many of us have read the research which demonstrates that the most traumatic reproductive experience is a forced one — women who were unable to obtain wanted abortions and were forced to give birth are the most likely to have serious psychological issues as a result. Further, women are more likely to experience psychological issues like depression after childbirth than they are after abortion.

    But no pro-choicer will use that to argue that childbirth should therefore be illegal. That’s the difference — we recognize that sometimes, the choices we make will be hard. Sometimes they will hurt. But the possibility of pain or regret is not enough of a reason to make something illegal.

  50. February 12, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Is there any childbirth experience ever so horrific that any of you would look at it and say, “Yeah, in that case maybe childbirth wasn’t such a good idea after all”?

    That’s easy: Andrea Yates. She and her husband insisted on having as many kids as possible even though Andrea’s health was declining with each one, and they overestimated how many she could handle before she snapped. By the time her husband figured out how bad the problem was, it was too late.

  51. preying mantis
    February 12, 2008 at 11:27 am

    “Mainstream femininsm needs to acknowledge that abortion is traumatic, and not just for those who are emotionally compromised, fragile, or damaged already.”

    And women who’ve had abortions and don’t feel traumatized are what? Lying? In denial? Too stupid to understand that their abortion ended a pregnancy and ergo in need of guidance by the benevolent but firm hand of the state?

    That some women are traumatized by abortion doesn’t mean that we need to just admit that adult women are too idiotic to make certain decisions already and deputize the state to act as their uteruses’ guardians. It means that we need to increase realistic options for girls and women who want to carry to term, fight harder against deliberate attempts to make abortion traumatizing, and get comprehensive and accurate sex ed into every classroom in the country.

  52. February 12, 2008 at 11:29 am

    is there any childbirth experience ever so horrific that any of you would look at it and say, “Yeah, in that case maybe childbirth wasn’t such a good idea after all”?

    That’s easy: Andrea Yates. She and her husband insisted on having as many kids as possible even though Andrea’s health was declining with each one, and they overestimated how many she could handle before she snapped. By the time her husband figured out how bad the problem was, it was too late.

    Andrea Yates was suffering from psychosis. She shouldn’t be considered representative of all women who are ambivalent about having children. You’re making the same argument in reverse that people make when they claim that only emotionally disturbed women suffer post-abortioin trauma.

    Also, it’s hard to prove that AY’s husband “forced” her to have these kids; they were married and Christians, and for most people chidlren is an expected outcome of marriage.

  53. February 12, 2008 at 11:35 am

    My last phrase should read: “for most people having children is an expected outcome of marriage.”

  54. February 12, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Pentimento, not every woman finds abortion traumatic. I speak advisedly on this, so I suggest you just shut it. And some do find it traumatic or unpleasant, but still don’t regret it. Much like, um, Christine. How about that!

    And pro-lifers who push adoption should admit that giving up your child for adoption is traumatic. I’ve got friends who were suicidal after doing it. Would any of these so-called “pro-life” people look at them and say, “Gee, maybe it wasn’t the best option after all?”

    For that matter, pregnancy and childbirth are traumatic. I know of several women who damn near died during their births, and know of one woman who suffered severe PPD, but I don’t see anyone wringing their hands over limiting the choice to give birth in order to protect women.

  55. Dianne
    February 12, 2008 at 11:46 am

    fetal heartbeat, for instance, is detectable at 12 days gestation

    So what? Brain activity doesn’t significantly appear until at least the late second trimester. The cerebral cortex may not be active until birth. The heart has no particular significance. It can beat independently of the brain or even (for a short period of time) a body. A transplanted heart does not change the identity of the recipient. It’s just a pump.

  56. Sizzle
    February 12, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Please, no generalizations. I would suppose that abortion, like so many life experiences runs a wide range of experiences for the women who choose to abort (or so horrifingly, have them forced). Mine was the right decision, realtively straight forward and non-painful. There was no hemming and hawing, it was the only logical choice. Occasionally I will think about it, abstractly since it was a minute complex of cells, and then move on. I am not traumatized, but I have all the empathy in the world for those women who have been by the experience. To women like Pentimento, do not assume that we all suffer from this decision.

  57. Dianne
    February 12, 2008 at 11:53 am

    And pro-lifers who push adoption should admit that giving up your child for adoption is traumatic. I’ve got friends who were suicidal after doing it. Would any of these so-called “pro-life” people look at them and say, “Gee, maybe it wasn’t the best option after all?”

    The research on adoption suggests that it is virtually always traumatic and sometimes causes long lasting, possibly life long depression (I’ll get some references if anyone’s interested but won’t clog up the spam filter with links otherwise). Not an easy option. Not always the wrong option either–some women find peace with their decision and feel happy to have given another person a chance to raise a child. But it must be their decision to take that risk.

    For that matter, pregnancy and childbirth are traumatic. I know of several women who damn near died during their births,

    Yep. I would probably have died if I had given birth anywhere except a good hospital in a highly industrialized country and anytime except the past maybe 30 years. I’m one of the people who was saved because the OBs had a very low threshold for performing c-sections. If they’d waited I probably would have gone into septic shock and died before they could have gotten me to the OR. I certainly wouldn’t have left the hospital with a healthy baby 3 days later. I don’t regret the pregnancy or birth in any way, but the experience underlined for me the need for every pregnancy to be voluntary. Putting someone through the kind of torture pregnancy and childbirth can be when they don’t agree to it is inhuman.

  58. SoE
    February 12, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Since my sister started training to become a midwife I get to hear all sorts of stories what can go wrong and that doesn’t even include what happens when people are back home and get post-partum depression. Scary.

    That said all sort of medical procedures can go wrong but that’s why doctors have to explain possible consequences beforehand so patients can decide whether they want to pursue them or not. Imagine everyone would have to sign a waiver before having sex which details consequences as STD’s, pregnancy and its possible complications…

  59. February 12, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    “Also, it’s hard to prove that AY’s husband “forced” her to have these kids; they were married and Christians, and for most people chidlren is an expected outcome of marriage.”

    For most people, the desired number of children is a hoped-for outcome of marriage, taking into account the ability to care for them, the resources of the family, and the well-being of the parents as well as the children.

    There, fixed that for you.

  60. Mhorag
    February 12, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    I have a question for the prochoicers: Is there any abortion experience ever so horriffic that any of you would look at it and say, “Yeah, in that case maybe abortion wasn’t such a good idea after all.”?

    Every illegal abortion resulting in sepsis, loss of fertility, and/or death. The sad part is that each and every one could be avoided through 1) contraception, and/or 2) legal abortion.

    Pentimento:

    Also, it’s hard to prove that AY’s husband “forced” her to have these kids; they were married and Christians, and for most people chidlren is an expected outcome of marriage.

    And he was well aware that his wife needed those psychotropic drugs which she was UNABLE TO TAKE during those five pregnancies because the drugs would harm the fetus. Therefore, not only was Andrea riding the hormonal rollercoaster of pregnancy, she was also being denied drugs which helped control her medical condition. He also isolated her from friends, family, expected her to run the house and home school. I’m willing to bet he was already planning the 6th kid when she snapped.

    If he really loved her, he would have been happy with 1 or 2 babies, kept her on her medication, and made sure she had a support system of friends/family. But he didn’t do any of those things, did he? Bastard …

    I wonder how many babies he’s got with the new wife now?

  61. February 12, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    I am a pro-life nut and so can’t be a feminist

    There, fixed that for you.

  62. February 12, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Also, it’s hard to prove that AY’s husband “forced” her to have these kids; they were married and Christians, and for most people chidlren is an expected outcome of marriage.

    Sounds a bit too much like “a husband can’t rape his wife” type reasoning.

    Andrea Yates was suffering from psychosis.

    Which never happens to any other woman who gives birth. What about people whose bodies reject organ transplants? Should we ban all organ transplants?

  63. zuzu
    February 12, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Also, it’s hard to prove that AY’s husband “forced” her to have these kids; they were married and Christians, and for most people chidlren is an expected outcome of marriage.

    You’ll note that nowhere did Kyso claim that Andrea Yates was “forced” to have children; in fact she mentioned that both Andrea and Rusty decided to have them. At some point, however, she deteriorated and they both overestimated her ability to handle them.

  64. Typhlichthys
    February 12, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    I’ve long lurked here, and I occasionally comment, but for reasons obvious to most people here, I’m posting this semi-anonymously. This is in regards to the comment that mainstream media needs to acknowledge that abortion is traumatic.

    Abortion is tough. I think no feminist will deny that. It is absolutely a hard choice to make. But sometimes it is a necessary choice, and the ONLY person who can make that final decision is the woman herself.

    I’ve had an abortion, and was glad to have the choice. I was in a committed but emotionally unstable relationship with a man who did not want children, I was not financially or emotionally prepared to take on the care of a child, and I was also without health care at the time. Furthermore, my partner smoked, and I’d been suffering health issues, and I didn’t feel that that was the best start for a zygote. My family also has a history of depression, and while I knew I would suffer some post-abortion depression, I didn’t think it would be as bad as full-on post-partum. I did look into the idea of adoption, but worried I would be emotionally unable to give the resulting child up, or that it would trigger my depression problems even more.

    I also had people tell me that if I got the abortion, I would always regret it. They meant it sincerely, and they cared about me, but they were wrong. I felt sad for a period of time, I grieved, I accepted, I moved on. I did NOT think that abortion would be a walk in the park. I did a lot of research on the internet, regarding fetal development, parenting, the alternate options. I even looked at quite a few “pro-life” sites, but being an agnostic, I was kind of annoyed at the religious spin most of them had.

    When I made the appointment to get the abortion, I researched my options between the abortion pill and the surgery. I decided on the surgery, since there is a chance that the pill won’t clear out all the tissue, and you may have to go in for multiple follow-up visits anyway. When I went to the clinic, my boyfriend went with me and waited. The waiting room was full of women of all ages, some of whom were accompanied by mothers or older female friends, and a few that were accompanied by their partners or husbands. I was struck in particular by a well-dressed couple in their late 40s. One girl, I gathered, had travelled several hundred miles from an Indian reservation, which would not offer the medical services she needed there.

    At the clinic, I was scheduled to see a counselor, who made sure that I knew about ALL my options, and who asked me multiple times if I wanted to make this choice, if it was MY choice, was I being pressured by anybody, and so on. They then showed me some videos about the surgery and information about the aftercare, and THEN asked me again if I still wanted to go through with it. After all this, we finished the paperwork, and they sent me in for my sonogram. (And predictably, even after the sonogram, they asked me yet again. Believe me, stories about abortion clinics greedily rushing hapless young women through en masse are just scare tactics and sensationalism.) Once I worked up the courage to ask one of my nurses if she had ever gone through this, and she told me she had both given birth and had an abortion.

    My surgery was short. I don’t remember most of it. They gave me anaesthesia, and I was out like a light. I woke up in a recovery room that had about five other beds, one of which held the woman in her 40s. The nurses gave us some food to settle our stomachs, and began discussing after care with us. We were supplied with heating pads for our poor aching muscles and given thick pads, and told that if we soaked the pads in less than an hour, we were to call the clinic or get to a doctor immediately.

    Those of us who asked for it were given a 3-6 months worth of birth control, although we were all told not to resume sexual relations until we were cleared at our two week appointment, when they would make an assessment of our health. We were also given pain medications and antibiotics to combat potential infections. After a few hours of rest, we were released. (Nobody was allowed to leave without visible form of transport. A taxi was arranged for me and my boyfriend, as we had walked to the clinic.)

    Throughout this staff was kind and helpful and above all, concerned that whatever choice I made, it was mine to make. I cried a little bit when I got home, and my boyfriend held me and was extra nice throughout the following days.

    And life went on.

    It is now six years since I found myself pregnant. My life has changed a lot, but it is still a good life. I’m in a new relationship with a man who has mentioned marriage and children, and we’re working to get ourselves into a position where any child we bring into the world will arrive in a family that wants it and is financially and emotionally prepared for it. (We still don’t feel quite ready, mind you.) And that child will have a mother whose health problems have been addressed, who has been eating healthily, exercising regularly, and whose depression has been treated or kept under control.

    I do not feel trauma over my abortion. I realise that I am somewhat lucky in this regard, that other women did not have the experience I had. But I don’t think it’s an entirely atypical experience either. Furthermore, while I spent a time feeling sad, I eventually healed. I might feel a pang now and then, as one will when one thinks of something bittersweet, but my life and the life of my future children is and will be immeasurably better because I didn’t go through with the pregnancy when I was unprepared.

    I will not wear a scarlet letter my whole life to give credence to the anti-choice rhetoric that you’ll always regret it, or that it will traumatize you so much that you shouldn’t have the choice. Sometimes choices are hard, and they come with an emotional cost, but sometimes that cost is worth it. The choice should always be the woman’s to make. Not somebody who is protecting her from a made-up monster of fear and guilt.

  65. ElleBeMe
    February 12, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Mainstream femininsm needs to acknowledge that abortion is traumatic,

    It does. It acknowledges that it is traumatic for some women. For me, it was far more traumatic being pregnant at 19 with an asshat of a partner who wasn’t going to stcik around and having to face the real possibility that my life as I had envisioned it would not happen if I had a child. The pregnancy was traumatic. The abortion was gratifying therapy.

    and not just for those who are emotionally compromised, fragile, or damaged already.

    And to each her own. Feminists acknowledge this.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I am a pro-life feminist (yes, we exist, and have since the first wave of feminism — do the research) who has had an abortion, as well as other forms of pregnancy loss.

    Well I am a pro-choice feminist who has had an abortion, a miscarriage, and who has a child and is currently pregnant. Now, how is your experience or mine relevant at all to the topic at hand?

  66. Typhlichthys
    February 12, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Correction to my long post above–in the first paragraph, I say “mainstream media”. I meant to say “mainstream feminism”, re: Pentimento’s assertion in post 48 that mainstream femininsm needs to acknowledge that abortion is traumatic.

  67. ElleBeMe
    February 12, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    No one feels a sense of moral and ethical dilemma, regret, or emotional trauma after scheduling heart surgery.

    Really? What about people who get transplants thanks to organ donation? You don’t think the reality of where their organ came from has some moral/ethical dilemma?

    Best not to make blanket statements…

  68. February 12, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    And he was well aware that his wife needed those psychotropic drugs which she was UNABLE TO TAKE during those five pregnancies because the drugs would harm the fetus. Therefore, not only was Andrea riding the hormonal rollercoaster of pregnancy, she was also being denied drugs which helped control her medical condition. He also isolated her from friends, family, expected her to run the house and home school. I’m willing to bet he was already planning the 6th kid when she snapped.

    If he really loved her, he would have been happy with 1 or 2 babies, kept her on her medication, and made sure she had a support system of friends/family. But he didn’t do any of those things, did he? Bastard …

    Thanks for clarifying that, Mhorag, I didn’t know that. It is truly tragic, and her conviction was a real injustice.

    Zuzu, my use of quote marks was not meant to imply attribution of my term “forced” to Kyso.

    Abortion is a difficult decision; I really believe that Christine’s back was to the wall, and I hope that she finds peace and healing. I believe that most women choose abortion because they feel, paradoxically, that they have no choice. I’m assuming some of you are familiar with Ani DiFranco’s “Lost Woman Song,” which sums it up pretty well when she says, “Mine was a relatively easy tragedy.” Note that she did consider her own abortion to be a tragedy.

    JackGoff, your argument about organ transplants defies logic. And, incidentally, PPP is extremely rare (PPD is pretty common).

    Sarah in Chicago, I’m assuming your insulting comment was meant for me. Name-calling really drags the level of this argument down. You need to do a little research into feminist opinion on abortion — there are several books of essays available, and The Progressive has long published opinion on abortion rights that dissents from the mainstream leftist position, for starters — before you start assuming that feminism is monolithic on this topic. I’ve made the last of my comments here, however, so let your vitriol flow. While I respect your opinions, the tone of self-righteous anger and juvenile mockery in your comments and others’ would never induce me to stand on the same side of this issue as you.

  69. ElleBeMe
    February 12, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    While I respect your opinions, the tone of self-righteous anger and juvenile mockery in your comments and others’ would never induce me to stand on the same side of this issue as you.

    By all means stand along-side the domestic terrorists who bomb clinics, cheer on clinic violence, think women should not have safe, legal medical care and who view pregnancy as punishment. They are so much more inclusive and non-judgemental. Their actions really do speak for the virtues of “life” .

  70. February 12, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Late to this party, but the brain started rolling upon reading Post #3:

    If a pro-life couple is married and doesn’t want any more children (say they have 4 already and can’t afford more), and they don’t believe in birth control, do they just stop having sex?

    Yes.

    Really. I once knew a man who was as loudly evangelical as it gets- didn’t come from no monkey, didn’t believe in the pill, etc. He was a science teacher, which was funny. Guy was actually able to teach evolution…

    One time in (once again) sharing his views on sexuality, he offered (once again) that he was chaste until marriage. Only this time he admitted that he and his wife had only had sex three times in their lives.

    They had three kids.

  71. Dianne
    February 12, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    What about people who get transplants thanks to organ donation? You don’t think the reality of where their organ came from has some moral/ethical dilemma?

    I remember reading an article about a kid (about 2-3 years old) who had gotten a heart transplant for some condition, I’ve forgotten what. He still needed a lung transplant (not sure why they didn’t do both at the same time as would normally happen.) Anyway, the article ended with the kid’s mother saying, “I’m praying we’ll get a lung soon.” That statement creeped me out: basically the woman was saying that she was praying that someone else’s kid would die as a toddler so that her’s could have his/her organs. Sorry, but that struck me as not so perfectly moral. I suppose she meant it as “praying that someone who has experienced a tragedy will donate the organs rather than letting them go to waste” rather than “praying that a van full of preschoolers is in a bad accident” but still it seemed rather self-centered. There are definitely moral issues surrounding organ donation and will be until we figure out how to use stem cells to grow replacement organs. Oops, the pro-lifers don’t like stem cell research either.

  72. February 12, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    While I respect your opinions, the tone of self-righteous anger and juvenile mockery in your comments and others’ would never induce me to stand on the same side of this issue as you.

    The only reason you’d take a stand on an issue is if the people on that side are nice to you?  That’s your reasoning?

    You also haven’t expanded on your “all abortions are tragedies” stance.  Perhaps people on the side of assuming all women have the same reactions to everything were nicer to you when you were formulating your opinion.

  73. February 12, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    By all means stand along-side the domestic terrorists who bomb clinics, cheer on clinic violence, think women should not have safe, legal medical care and who view pregnancy as punishment. They are so much more inclusive and non-judgemental. Their actions really do speak for the virtues of “life” .

    I don’t think I need to add anything more than what ElleBeMe so wonderfully says.

    If you don’t think women should have bodily autonomy, including their own reproductive choices, then you’re not a feminist. Period. I’ve been a part of the feminist movement for a long time, studied our history and academics, and teach gender theory, sexuality and general social theory, and nothing I’ve seen even remotely shows me anything other than that.

    Course, call yourself one all you want if that is what you want. Everyone is entitled to their fantasies. But you’re welcome to come back to feminism whenever you’re ready however.

  74. Mhorag
    February 12, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    JackGoff:

    What about people whose bodies reject organ transplants? Should we ban all organ transplants?/blockquote>

    Pentimento:

    JackGoff, your argument about organ transplants defies logic. And, incidentally, PPP is extremely rare (PPD is pretty common).

    My 2 cents on this:

    I spent 4 1/2 years working in a Liver Transplant department. I became familiar with patient qualms about accepting organs from cadavers – not for fear of contracting Hepatitis C or something similar, but because someone *died* in order for them to live. More and more transplants are being done from live donors – parents donating part of their liver to an infant or older child, adult children donating part of their liver to an ailing parent or sibling (the liver is the one organ that can regenerate itself, so both the donated part and the remainder will grow back to normal size and function for donor and recipient). But that generates its own set of ethical and moral questions regarding transplant – usually along the line of “do I deserve that kind of sacrifice?” for the recipients, and “what kind of person am I if I refuse to be a donor?” on the donation side. Donation is strictly voluntary, because it is MAJOR, MAJOR surgery, involving pain, risk of infection, and even death, but it is not uncommon for people to essentially be “guilted” into donation. Also, people who have signed the “organ donor” line on their driver’s licenses if they should be killed in an accident frequently end up NOT being donors because their families refuse to allow the organ harvest – *against* the wishes of that person. Where’s the morality in that?

    Now, here’s the part that specifically addresses Pentimento’s quote. Many (NOT all) of the people who experience organ rejection do so because they CHOOSE to not follow the medical regimen ordered by the doctor. They cheat on their anti-rejection drugs (the side effects can be pretty fierce), or ignore diet instructions, or dabble in recreational pharmaceuticals … there’s a whole list. I provided support for the medical team dealing with these patients and saw it repeatedly. The medical team cannot FORCE these people to do what’s best for them, and so many of the recipients end up with second transplants or even dying.

    Does that mean organ transplantation should be banned for *everybody*, because *a few* make some pretty self-destructive choices?

    So where does JackGoff’s organ transplantation example “defy logic”? The parallel is that these are two procedures that involve CHOICE – you don’t HAVE to have an organ transplant. You don’t HAVE to be a donor. And with abortion, you don’t HAVE to have an abortion. But the choice should be available to you.

    (hmmm)

    Sorry for the lengthy post.

    BTW, does anybody know what PPP and PPD stand for? I never used these abbreviations while at the Liver Transplant Unit. I tried googling them in conjunction with organ transplantation, but no luck.
    Thanks.

  75. Dianne
    February 12, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Donation is strictly voluntary, because it is MAJOR, MAJOR surgery, involving pain, risk of infection, and even death,

    For comparison, bone marrow donation (which does not involve surgery usually, but rather mobilization of stem cells and collection from peripheral blood) is about 10X safer than the average pregnancy. Kidney donation is about twice as dangerous as completing the average pregnancy or about as dangerous as completing a pregnancy for the average black woman. Liver donation, I’m not sure of. Sorry.

    does anybody know what PPP and PPD stand for

    I think in this context they stood for post-partum psychosis and depression.

  76. February 12, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Mhorag –

    I don’t think PPP and PPD are referring to liver transplants … I think they’re references to Postpartum Psychosis, and Postpartum Depression.

    I could totally be wrong however.

  77. Mhorag
    February 12, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Diane and Sarah: Thanks for defining PPP and PPD, for me. That makes more sense. Guess I got spoiled by the medical literature where you have to define the term before using the acronym. :)

    Liver transplant from a live donor is dangerous mostly because the liver is such a blood-rich organ (rivaled only by the spleen). It also has several large blood vessels, which if not tied off correctly upon removal and sutured together properly upon insertion, can cause some major problems for both recipient and donor. Live donors for liver transplant are truly brave, generous people, and many lives have been saved that would have been lost waiting for cadaveric livers.

    A single person who chooses to donate upon their death can positively affect the lives of up to 50 people, as the following can all be donated: Corneas, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys (2 people), small bowel, pancreas, ligaments, veins, bone, and skin (for burn patients – cadaveric skin protects the burns and helps prevent infection until grafts from the person’s own skin can be done). I have seen little babies who were practically pumpkin-colored from the impurities in their blood, all belly with spindly little arms and legs, barely conscious and within 3 days of a liver transplant, their color clears, the belly goes down, their limbs fill out, their eyes clear – it’s truly miraculous what such a gift can do. It truly is the gift of life, and certainly the most generous act a person can do.

    Can you tell that transplant is one my personal causes? :)

  78. February 12, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Because I run a site called I’m Not Sorry I am frequently accused of not respecting that some women do regret their abortions or feel loss afterwards. I know Jill steered media res to me and we’ve exchanged a couple of e-mails, so thanks for that. Being a pro-choice woman I have always acknowledged that and I would be the last to discount those feelings. However, I wonder how much of that emotion comes from the endless ramming home of the idea (and both sides do it) that abortion is the last resort, that no “decent” woman wants one and that it’s always a “difficult” or “painful” choice. As someone far wiser than me once said, it seems that no matter what you choose to do with your uterus someone’s going to hate you for it.

    On a humorous note Dawn Eden had a field day when she came across the site a couple of years back; she nicknamed me “Miss Odious” like that was supposed to upset me. After you get called a baby-killing cunt a few times “odious” is like an endearment.

  79. February 12, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    JackGoff, your argument about organ transplants defies logic. And, incidentally, PPP is extremely rare (PPD is pretty common).

    Good to see you can understand why the argument that abortion should be illegal because some women have had bad experiences is preposterous.

  80. Kristen from MA
    February 12, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    If you don’t think women should have bodily autonomy, including their own reproductive choices, then you’re not a feminist. Period.

    Thank you Sarah!

    (O/T, but isn’t it Dawn Eden’s goal to meet ‘Mr. Right’ and get married? But she doesn’t want kids? Isn’t it wrong (in her little mind) for couples to ‘contracept’ (sic)? So is she looking forward to a sexless marriage? Illogical…illogical…does not compute…)

  81. Dianne
    February 12, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    it seems that no matter what you choose to do with your uterus someone’s going to hate you for it.

    No matter what you do period someone will hate you for it, if you’re a woman. If you don’t have sex then you’re a frigid, uptight spinster and probably too ugly for any man to be interested anyway. Or you’re a tease. If you have sex then you’re a slut. If you use birth control you’re an unnatural slut who’s risking her life due to some ill defined danger. If you don’t then you’re trying to “trap” a man with a pregnancy. If you get pregnant, marry, have the kid, and raise it then you are an evil slut who succeeded in trapping a man. If you get pregnant, don’t get married, have the kid, and raise it then you’re an evil, welfare/career single mother. If you have the kid and give it up for adoption then you’re an unnatural woman who would abandon her kid. If you have an abortion, fergettaboutit, you’re obviously asking for being called every name possible. Not even counting the miscellaneous non-sexual judgements (i.e. if you get married, stay home, and clean the house then you’re a lazy leach, if you get a job then you’re a ball-busting feminist–a compliment in my opinion, but an insult to the average pro-lifer.) The common theme here is hatred of women. What a shock.

    I love your site, incidently. I’ve never commented there because I’m too lazy to get a blogger account, but I read the blog and the site regularly.

  82. February 12, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    How long will you people persist in your laughable unfecund coupling and Molech worship? The poor woman whose blog is being argued over is luckier than the like of most of you because she has the emotional capacity for giving that causes the sense of loss and sadness. You “women” can’t even recognize what sanctimonious, emotionally-stunted solipsists you’ve made of yourselves.

  83. ohsohappy
    February 12, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    I believe that most women choose abortion because they feel, paradoxically, that they have no choice.

    This statement bothers me, but I am not sure why. I haven’t been in the position to have to consider abortion as anything more than abstract (if I get pregnant…) but several of the woman I know who went through an unplanned pregnancy felt like they had no choice but to continue it. Familial and societial pressures being what they are, and having kids being the default and everything. Fortunately, those women had some sort of support group, so it turned out well.

    Sometimes all of the choices are bad (in the opinion of the person making the decision) and you just have to go with the least bad. But it’s still a choice, and still absolutely up to the single woman to make the decision.

  84. February 12, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    How long will you people persist in your laughable unfecund coupling and Molech worship?

    Hopefully for at least a few more decades. Unfecund (or fecund, whatevs) coupling is fun.

    How long will you people persist in your pathetic guilt-ridden masturbatory emissions followed by tears and prayers for forgiveness?

  85. BabyPop
    February 12, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    …she has the emotional capacity for giving that causes the sense of loss and sadness. You “women” can’t even recognize what sanctimonious, emotionally-stunted solipsists you’ve made of yourselves.

    Wait? I thought that we were too emotional and can’t be trusted with our own decisions. Which is it?!?!?!

  86. February 12, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    I’m assuming that you are using this as some sort of ignorant argument against abortion due to your linking to the Vatican’s website

    Uh, no, I’m using it as an argument about why it’s so ignorant for pro-life people to think that they can make abortion illegal and it’ll go away. And the link is a joke, which should have been a little more obvious if you saw my previous comment. But maybe not, since most people hear “Catholic” and then their eyes glaze over.

  87. February 12, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    I am a pro-life nut and so can’t be a feminist

    There, fixed that for you.

    Since when does “thinks abortion is bad, uses birth control and votes for Democrats” turn into “pro-life nut?” You’ve got some kind of fucked up fantasy world here, Sarah.

  88. February 12, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    Ah, thought you were talking about my comment. Carry on. Gotta learn to read blog comments chronologically.

  89. February 12, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    You “women” can’t even recognize what sanctimonious, emotionally-stunted solipsists you’ve made of yourselves.

    I’ll have you know I’m VERY aware of my sanctimonious, emotionally-stunted solipsistry!

    So there!

    ;)

  90. February 12, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    That’s okay Bernadette, I could have done better with my tags on that quote anyway :)

  91. February 12, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Seeing as fecund coupling would be a serious physical risk in the service of an end-goal neither I nor my husband want, we intend to keep on with our laughable unfecund coupling from here on out.

    And really, isn’t all sex rather laughable? I’m pretty much never more likely to break down giggling than in the middle of some or another improbably awkward maneuver. It’s fun that way.

  92. louise
    February 12, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Mhorag, a second cousin of mine’s daughter passed away unexpectedly a few months ago- she was 19, pregnant with her first child and died of an asthma attack. As horrible as this has been, there was recently some good news- her donated organs helped at least 3 people that we know of and her mother has gotten a touching “thank you” note from a man who says she saved his life. Something good has come from a horrible tragedy…

    My driver’s license is up for renewal this year. I will be signing myself up for organ donation on my license for the first time and will do it from now on.

  93. February 12, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Wow, stupid breaks out all over the internet. Dude, Molech was an ancient Phonecian god. Medieval texts portray him as a demon who steals children from their mothers. And, um. . .That’s more in line with forced childbirth and adoption. *Ahem*

  94. louise
    February 12, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    How long will you people persist in your laughable unfecund coupling and Molech worship?

    Tell ya what- if we stop, will you STFU?

    Yeah, I thought not.

  95. louise
    February 12, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    No, no, NO, Tapetum- sexual intercourse is pleasurable just for the man and an obligation for the woman. And then done solely for the purpose of creating LIFE.

    Honestly, didn’t ya get the memo??

  96. February 12, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    And really, isn’t all sex rather laughable?

    Speak for your heterosexual-sex-performing self! ;)

    I’ll have you know lesbian sex is so beautiful it’s like a bloody Disney cartoon come to life, all flowers and singing birds, and smiling baby animals and rays of glorious sunshine peaking through the trees, all surrounding the thicket of soft and down-like grass on which we make love, complimented seamlessly by a backing track of soft but incredibly meaningful classical music, rising in crescendo at the moment of our mutual simultaneous orgasms!

    We’re frigging hallmark cards people!!!!

    *grin*

  97. February 12, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    But maybe not, since most people hear “Catholic” and then their eyes glaze over.

    Nope, I, as a former Catholic, am well aware of what the catechism says. You could call yourself Catholic, but the church would disagree with your assessment should you say anything about allowing abortion to be legal. Let alone contraception.

  98. February 12, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    You “women” can’t even recognize what sanctimonious, emotionally-stunted solipsists you’ve made of yourselves.

    LOL. Yeah, your comment wasn’t dripping with solipsism or sanctimony. Again, LOL. Do you people even read what you post? I can’t believe it, the cognitive dissonance would make my head explode if you actually mean what you say.

  99. Justin
    February 12, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    I still want to know why pro-life is bad. And yes, I went through the stuff in “reproductive rights” and “culture-of-life”.

  100. louise
    February 12, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Hopefully “No Child Left Behind” also works on reading comprehension, eh?

  101. February 12, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    And yes, I went through the stuff in “reproductive rights” and “culture-of-life”.

    Obviously not.

    “Pro-life” ideology is bad, first and foremost, because it has always led to increased infant mortality and mother mortality in countries where it has been implemented. Secondly, there is no way to be “pro-life”, i.e anti-choice, and maintain that women have the same rights as everyone else. You must categorically deny that women have the right to body autonomy in order for your ideology to be put into place, something you would never do for a man with prostate cancer or a man with a broken bone. They are granted a right to maintain their own health status quo, and so is a woman. She does not have to carry to term anything she does not wish to.

  102. February 12, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    “Pro-life” is bad because it in no way, shape, form, or manner actually promotes or protects life.

    Also, what JackGoff said.

  103. signthelist
    February 12, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    There’s a fun little ad on this blog for saving the unborn. Think of the children, Feministe! And, um, candy for abstinence.

    I poked around on the site and apparently, they sell their own pregnancy tests. And you have to PROVE that you’re pro-life because they ONLY sell to pro-life people so you have to write “100% life-affirming” (or “100% slut-shaming” whatevs) on your order form. AND the pregnancy tests come with 5 FREE FETUS FOOTPRINT PINS!!!! OMG, ya’ll. OMG. Havin’ a baby bucket has never seemed so exciting!

  104. Justin
    February 12, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Hey, I really did go through that stuff!
    Okay so then could you explain how the mortality rate is increased?
    The rights too. I don’t understand.

  105. February 12, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    There’s a fun little ad on this blog for saving the unborn. Think of the children, Feministe! And, um, candy for abstinence.

    Yeah… we’re working on that….

  106. February 12, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Okay so then could you explain how the mortality rate is increased?
    The rights too. I don’t understand.

    Ok, I’ll lay this out for you as simply as I can:

    The pro-choice position involves giving women all the tools they need to plan their families. No woman wants to have an abortion; many women, however, feel that it’s a necessity or the best choice given their situation. So pro-choicers advocate for tools that help women to prevent unintended pregnancy in the first place: Birth control, comprehensive sex education, and a general worldview that sees sex as both a pleasure and a responsibility. Basically, we look at the countries with the lowest abortion rates in the world (the Netherlands, Sweden, etc) and try to do what they do. In those countries, abortion is free or really affordable; birth control is universal; and sex isn’t demonized or highly moralized.

    “Pro-life” groups, on the other hand, are anti-birth-control. They oppose the very things that have been proven to decrease the abortion rate: Birth control, sexual health education and a realistic view of sex. Their position is less about abortion and more about pushing a particular worldview — one in which sex is only for procreation, women are mothers and nothing else, etc. It’s a view that’s radically out of step with the ways in which most people live their lives.

    When you look at countries that apply “pro-life” laws (see, for example, Brazil, El Salvador, Chile, Peru, etc), you see countries that have some of the highest abortion rates in the world. They also have some of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, because women there are forced to seek out unsafe and illegal abortions.

    If you look at the statistics, there is no correlation between strong anti-abortion laws and a low abortion rate. None. There is, however, a very high correlation between anti-abortion and anti-birth-control laws and high maternal mortality rates. Yet “pro-life” people push policies that make abortion more dangerous. “Pro-life” legislators in the United States also tend to push policies that are bad for children and for low-income families; in a recent survey by a children’s rights group, 100 percent of the worst legislators for children were “pro-life.” Most of the best legislators for children were pro-choice.

    It’s the pro-choice side that’s actually promoting policies which decrease abortions and help families to raise healthy children.

    That’s why “pro-life” is bad.

  107. Justin
    February 12, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Okay, so to be called a pro-lifer, do I have to believe in all the wicked, self-righteous, and hypocritical things they are doing?
    Because I don’t agree with most of that stuff.

  108. Verrueckte_Fem
    February 12, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    If a pro-life couple is married and doesn’t want any more children (say they have 4 already and can’t afford more), and they don’t believe in birth control, do they just stop having sex?

    The couple might use Natural Family Planning. It’s healthier & more natural for the woman (none of the side effects of using contraceptives like the Pill) and it has a higher success rate than the Pill.

  109. February 12, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Hey Justin.

    Hmm. My response to that question would be, well, you don’t have to believe in anything to claim a label for yourself But if most people heard that you called yourself “pro-life,” the position that Jill laid out is the position they’re gonna think you believe in. If you want to reclaim the label to mean something else, more power to you (I think it’s a misnomer for the movement anyway, since they’re more accurately anti-choice or anti-reproductive-justice than “pro” anything), but I don’t know how effective reclaiming is gonna be.

  110. February 12, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    The couple might use Natural Family Planning. It’s healthier & more natural for the woman (none of the side effects of using contraceptives like the Pill) and it has a higher success rate than the Pill.

    Maybe in anti-choice LaLaLand, but in real life, the pill is almost 100 percent effective when used correctly and consistently. NFP is not even close.

    NFP is a fine choice for women who can’t or don’t want to use hormonal contraception. Use it all you want, and more power to you. Lots of women like it. But it simply is not as effective as hormonal methods, and spreading outright lies doesn’t help your position.

  111. Justin
    February 12, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Umm…
    Then I don’t know what to do.

  112. February 12, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    it has a higher success rate than the Pill

    o_O . . .

    I just checked my sexual health manual* and here are the numbers:

    Natural Family Planning:
    Perfect Use = 97% effective
    Typical Use = 75% effective

    Oral Contraceptives (“the Pill”):
    Perfect Use = 99%+ effective
    Typical Use = 92-97% effective

    *Heather Corinna, S.E.X. (2007), pp. 253 & 261.

  113. February 12, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    [Natural Family Planning] has a higher success rate than the Pill.

    Completely and absolutely false. No study has ever shown this to have any grounding in reality. You are either lying, stupid, or ignorant.

  114. February 12, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Justin . . . I’d suggest that it’s actually totally possible to be pro-choice AND advocate for life and human well-being. In fact, I see my pro-choice ethics as most emphatically about life-giving ethics–it’s fundamentally why I’m pro-choice.

    Being pro-choice is part of my advocacy for a world in which fewer people die through lack of health care or economic resources, through the violence of war or at the hands of their own governments. Many religions have thoughtful positions on ethics of care that help us think about what it means to live as nonviolently as we can in the world, and promote the well-being of others in a comprehensive way. I don’t know if you are religious, but I would suggest, if you’re really interested, looking at some religious and philosophical thinkers on these issues. Most theological traditions are much more complex than the typical sound-bite of the “pro-life” argument. For example, check out this paper at Catholics for Free Choice.

    I’d also recommend looking at the work being done by SisterSong on reproductive justice, which tries to consider reproductive politics in a truly holistic, life-giving way.

  115. February 12, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Then I don’t know what to do.

    Well, I can recommend not advocating taking away women’s body autonomy as a start. Looking at women as people with rights similar to your own might also help.

  116. February 12, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    If a woman wants to use NFP, good for her. But you don’t get to tell other women what’s more “natural.” The constant monitoring, hyperawareness, and restrictions that come with NFP sure as hell wouldn’t feel “natural” to me.

  117. EG
    February 12, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    How long will you people persist in your laughable unfecund coupling and Molech worship?

    Hee. This makes my life sound so much more exciting and pleasurable than it actually is! I’m totally gonna start using it when people ask after me.

    “Hey, EG, how was your weekend?”

    “Pretty awesome. I spent the days engaged in uproarious unfecond coupling and the evenings worshipping Moloch. Yours?”

  118. February 12, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    “o the usual–corrupting innocent youth to unspeakable perversions, seducing women into leaving their husbands, killing their children, practicing witchcraft, and foregoing bras in public, plans to TAKE OVER THE WORLD PINKY, spot of brunch, you know.”

  119. February 12, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    p.s. Jill, you’re a mensch.

  120. preying mantis
    February 12, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    “Umm…
    Then I don’t know what to do.”

    If you align with the anti-choicers because you care about children and families, you can instead give your support to politicians and organizations whose work actually decreases the need for abortion and promotes healthy families. You know, the folks out there pushing for or providing comprehensive sex education, reduced-cost or free birth control, STI screening and treatment, prenatal care, parenting classes, well-baby programs, effective social support measures for women and children, etc. Too frequently, it’s an either/or proposition, but your time and energy might actually accomplish something positive if you look at what people do rather than what they say.

    “It’s healthier & more natural for the woman (none of the side effects of using contraceptives like the Pill) and it has a higher success rate than the Pill.”

    Setting aside the bullshit about the success rate, you are aware that a lot of women are on the pill not just because it prevents pregnancy but also because they need it for medical reasons, yes?

  121. zuzu
    February 13, 2008 at 12:01 am

    [Natural Family Planning] has a higher success rate than the Pill.

    Sure, if you define “success” as pregnancy.

    They don’t call it “Vatican Roulette” for nothing.

  122. Kristen from MA
    February 13, 2008 at 12:12 am

    none of the side effects of using contraceptives like the Pill

    like shorter, lighter periods, with no cramps? or fewer PMS symptoms? or clear skin?

  123. February 13, 2008 at 1:23 am

    No, I just don’t support lobbying to force people aren’t members of a specific religion or any religion at all follow my religion’s rules. If wanting better quality of life for the people already here is enough to send me to hell, then so be it. I don’t like the existence of abortion, I don’t like that it’s legal, but it can’t be legislated out of existence.

    Damn these critical thinking skills I got at my secular college!

  124. Neil C.
    February 13, 2008 at 2:20 am

    She claims that her conversion to Christianity miraculously cured her suicidal depression, but she doesn’t just have issues, she has entire subscriptions. Recently she told a regular commenter that her children will end up dying from a drug overdose like Heath Ledger because she’s such a “bad” parent (i.e. wouldn’t lock her kids up in a tower if they had sex as teens.) >>>

    And by doing that, Dawn pretty much drove away the final posters who dared disagree with her from posting at her blog. It’s made me give up commenting about the zealots there. Just not worth it.

  125. ohsohappy
    February 13, 2008 at 8:08 am

    If you’re still paying attention, Justin, then I’ll tell you something: sometimes not knowing what to do is a good place to start.

    Look up information about the “pro life” groups; look up information on Planned Parenthood, I suggest their own websites, not other’s reviews of the information available. Look up statistics on true pro choice countries; look up infomation on anti choice countries. Take it all with a grain of salt, because most of what you read will be written through the lens of whatever the writer believes.

    Digest everything. Think about what it means to you, to anyone currently in your family who may be affected, to any people in your future family who may be affected. You may come to a conclusion which I, as a woman who is very much pro choice, don’t like, but you will have arrived at the conclusion yourself, honestly.

  126. February 13, 2008 at 8:22 am

    “Hey, EG, how was your weekend?”

    “Pretty awesome. I spent the days engaged in uproarious unfecond coupling and the evenings worshipping Moloch. Yours?”

    You win the internet.

    Also for Dianne and others, the INS blog is now syndicated so you don’t need a Blogger ID if you want to come visit. There was a pretty good game of Dueling Bible Verses going on last time I checked.

  127. February 13, 2008 at 9:36 am

    it can’t be legislated out of existence.

    The Church routinely asserts that it can and should. You may have critical thinking skills, but the Pope doesn’t. And neither do a large amount of Catholics.

  128. February 13, 2008 at 9:47 am

    The Church routinely asserts that it can and should. You may have critical thinking skills, but the Pope doesn’t. And neither do a large amount of Catholics.

    Actually, the vast majority of Catholics in the United States believe that birth control should be legal and accessible, despite what their religion says. Many of them even use it (and many of them have abortions). There are Catholic groups that agitate for reproductive rights. Being Catholic does not automatically make one a self-righteous asshole, so let’s back off of Bernadette and other pro-choice Catholics now, ok?

  129. February 13, 2008 at 10:06 am

    Being Catholic does not automatically make one a self-righteous asshole, so let’s back off of Bernadette and other pro-choice Catholics now, ok?

    Will do.

  130. Mhorag
    February 13, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    louise:

    Mhorag, a second cousin of mine’s daughter passed away unexpectedly a few months ago- she was 19, pregnant with her first child and died of an asthma attack. As horrible as this has been, there was recently some good news- her donated organs helped at least 3 people that we know of and her mother has gotten a touching “thank you” note from a man who says she saved his life. Something good has come from a horrible tragedy…

    My condolences for your loss. I have so much respect and admiration for families who can make the decision for organ donation at such a time, who reach past their own pain to help other families. It’s that kind of generosity that is truly “pro-life.”

    My driver’s license is up for renewal this year. I will be signing myself up for organ donation on my license for the first time and will do it from now on.

    As the slogan goes, “Don’t take your organs with you. Heaven knows we need them here!” Bless you for your thoughtfulness and generosity. (cyberhug)

  131. February 13, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    Will do.

    Gracias.

  132. February 13, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Actually, the vast majority of Catholics in the United States believe that birth control should be legal and accessible, despite what their religion says. Many of them even use it (and many of them have abortions). There are Catholic groups that agitate for reproductive rights. Being Catholic does not automatically make one a self-righteous asshole, so let’s back off of Bernadette and other pro-choice Catholics now, ok?

    This pro-choice Catholic thanks you.

    And if you needed any more clarity about how anti-choice is really all about punishment, shaming, and keeping women in their place, check out this Catholic school teacher who was asked to resign because she was pregnant and unmarried. Way to way to foster a culture of life there, guys!

  133. February 13, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    (I think it’s a misnomer for the movement anyway, since they’re more accurately anti-choice or anti-reproductive-justice than “pro” anything),

    Not really. The pro-life movement also encompasses the fight against euthanasia, the advocacy of such bills as the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, and the like. It continually amazes me that pro-choice advocates will say that women who seek partial-birth abortions/intact D&E/any late-term abortion are those struggling with a horrific choice, want their children, and are in the position of saving their own lives or averting massive suffering for their children. Yet, when a bill is introduced that would mandate that women be offered anaesthesiology for their children during the procedure, pro-“choice” advocates fight it with everything they have.

    I cannot help thinking that, if a late-term abortion is medically necessary, it would ease many women’s hearts to know that the child they have wanted, loved, and carried for five or six months will not suffer during the procedure – that, as we cannot know whether or not a fetus will feel pain, we can err on the side of caution and assure her that it will be as humane as possible.

    Likewise, after a child has been born, there is little reason to let it die on the operating table. Query why any humane person who believes in the sanctity of life would give legal sanction to a physician who lets an infant die. That is not “choice” or an exercise of bodily autonomy; that is neglect and infanticide.

    As medical technology improves, we will encounter bioethical dilemmas that simply did not exist in the twentieth century. The pro-life movement approaches all of these issues – caring for people in a persistent vegetative state, organ donation, embryonic stem cell research, in-vitro fertilisation – with an ethic focused on the sanctity of human life. We understand that adult stem cells are more promising than embryonic stem cells and that nearly every advance in stem cell research has come from adult stem cells. We understand that adult stem cells are superiour to embryonic stem cells, as there would be no issue with genetic compatibility and a potential rejection of the implant or the need to take immunosuppressant drugs. Given the choice between a morally questionable option, in which some humans are called upon to be the sacrificial lambs for others, and a morally neutral alternative, we encourage the latter. We do not think that starving Terry Schiavo to death is the right of her husband; if such a cruel death were to be inflicted upon an animal, our society would rightly condemn the actor.

    I firmly believe that, as any individual who beileves his life is not worth living need not be compelled to continue to live, there is no reason to deny life to those already alive on account of hypothetical potential suffering. After conception, that human is already in the world; it happens to be located in utero, but it is among the humans on the planet Earth. It cannot be killed to better provide for others, an elderly grandfather, whose estate would ease the burden of another child, may be killed to better provide for others on Earth.

    Contraception (in any of its forms), not abortion, is the proper mechanism to avoid having “too many people.” (Note, please, that the United States is barely reproducing at replacement rate; if not for immigration, our population would slowly diminish. Britain’s population will halve itself every thirty-five years. For those who intend on having a social safety net upon retirement, consider whether or not there really are “too many people” on Earth. Note – I do not much care what colour, race, ethnicity, or nationality those unborn persons happen to be; the fact that African-Americans disproportionately abort, to an almost genocidal extent, is a stain upon America and the feminist movement. That Margaret Sanger would be proud is an abomination.) Once a person exists, however, she cannot be disposed of on account of being inconvenient, a potential waste of resources, a potential criminal (which has the effect of enacting a death sentence against those with a slightly elevated probability of committing non-capital crimes), or any other reason save presenting a threat to the life of another.

    Pro-life.

  134. February 13, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    “It cannot be killed to better provide for others, an elderly grandfather, whose estate would ease the burden of another child, may be killed to better provide for others on Earth”

    Insert a “no more than” between “others” and “an”.

  135. A Hypocrite
    February 13, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    3) (This is a more recent one) You can use Natural Family Planning. Which, with modern technology and when used correctly, is actually quite effective.

    Of course, a lot of pro-lifers are just hypocrites who use birth control in private but condemn it in public.

    My wife and I use NFP, and it has been quite effective. That works for us, and we promote it. But I wouldn’t support legislation requiring it – that would have to be someone’s choice. I mention this because there seems to be a pattern of putting “pro-life/anti-choice” and “anti-contraception” in the same pile. The difference is that if you believe that a fetus is a human life, then it becomes a moral necessity to protect that life – as a society, through legal regulation. Regarding birth control, I can have passionate convictions that I want to share with people, but at the end of the day I don’t think society should have a say in or legislating that choice for people.

    Finally, regarding the whole “hypocrite” thing: Oscar Wilde observed that hypocrisy is the toll vice pays to virtue – in other words, only in a society where there is no right or wrong, good or bad, and everything has become relative can “hypocrisy” be hissed as the ultimate sin. So, with this “accusation”: “a lot of pro-lifers are just hypocrites who use birth control in private but condemn it in public.”, how would anyone know something like that? Why would someone condemn birth control in public and use it in private? Or does this reflect the conviction that no couple could actually ever practice NFP – too much monitoring, no spontaneity, etc?

  136. Pedro
    February 13, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    This was grossly unjust on Dawn Eden. You’re twisting reality to fit your own evil purposes.

    Besides, what if “her feelings and her experiences are valid” (what the hell does that mean)?. She still had an abortion. She still killed her baby. Not only it was hurtful and painful. It was a crime. It was a sin. Don’t try to paint that with pretty words.

  137. less13lee
    February 13, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Okay, Pedro, if what she did was a crime, how much time in prison should she serve?

    If men had any empathy or compassion whatsoever for women abortion would not be an issue.

  138. zuzu
    February 13, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    It’s a crime? Where?

  139. Verrueckte_Fem
    February 13, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    none of the side effects of using contraceptives like the Pill

    like shorter, lighter periods, with no cramps? or fewer PMS symptoms? or clear skin?

    Actually, I was thinking of the weight gain, lower sexual desire, nausea, breast tenderness, headaches, depression, anxiety, blot clots, risk of stroke….

  140. Dianne
    February 13, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    theo: The problem with the “born alive infant protection act” is that it basically mandated futile care, demanding that extraordinary measures be taken in cases in which it is clear that the child will not survive and these measures will only prolong its death, making it more painful for both child and parents. When a child is born prematurely, whether because of induction or natural premature labor, its prognosis must be considered before aggressive treatment is initiated. No 20 week GA newborn is going to survive, particularly not one with anencephaly or similar malformation and treating it as though it were, say, an otherwise healthy 25 week GA newborn is foolish and inhumane. Sometimes comfort care is the best option.

    Similarly, the “unborn pain awareness act” is based on bad science and rather insulting to both doctors and patients. Naturally, any doctor is going to discuss issues such as anesthesia and its risks and benefits with a woman undergoing late abortion. Many times, the anesthesia given during an abortion is what kills the fetus, rather than any of the gorier sounding procedures sometimes necessary to safely extract the body. (No, late abortions aren’t pretty. But neither are the conditions that lead women to receive them. I’ve yet to see documentation of a single third trimester abortion performed for non-medical reasons.) The best research available suggests that the earliest a fetus might be able to feel pain is about 30 weeks. Prior to that, specific anesthesia for the fetus, either for surgical procedures or for abortion, is clearly unnecessary. Afterwards, it depends, again, on the circumstances. Is the fetus ancephalic? Is it even living at the time the abortion is performed? Clearly, a one-size-fits-all legislation is going to do more harm than good.

  141. Dianne
    February 13, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Actually, I was thinking of the weight gain, lower sexual desire, nausea, breast tenderness, headaches, depression, anxiety, blot clots, risk of stroke….

    So don’t smoke if you’re on the pill. That reduces or eliminates the majority of the serious health risks (except for some increased risk of blood clots for people with some exotic conditions like factor V leiden, etc). The pill isn’t for everyone and not every pill works equally well for every woman. If it doesn’t work for you, definitely drop it and try a different method. But that doesn’t imply that it doesn’t work and work well for anyone ever.

    One thing to remember when considering side effects of various methods of contraception, though: For a woman age 35 or less, THE most dangerous method of birth control, more dangerous even than taking the pill and smoking, is using no method whatsoever. Pregnancy and childbirth are dangerous, more dangerous than any of the much discussed pill dangers. The second most risky: NFP, again because of the risks of pregnancy and childbirth. After 35, these methods drop to 2nd and 3rd, after taking the pill and smoking. IIRC, taking the pill never becomes more dangerous than no method for non-smokers.

    BTW: If NFP works well for you and you can do it consistently then it sounds like the best option for you. And I’m certain that it works well for some others. But not everyone. (I’m a barrier protection woman myself, despite a latex allergy. Modern plastics: they make life worth living.)

  142. Dianne
    February 13, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    Ubrigens, Verrueckte, sind Sie Deutsch?

  143. Rosehiptea
    February 13, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    The pro-life movement also encompasses the fight against euthanasia

    I’m actually generally against euthanasia (and I hope I won’t get slammed for that) but I’m starting to reconsider my support for the anti-euthanasia movement only because it puts me in the same boat with people who want to take away abortion as an option for women.

    Why would someone condemn birth control in public and use it in private?

    Because they don’t want their friends and family to know they’re doing something they “shouldn’t.” Because they watch their friends and family have large families and don’t want that and are scared, so they make compromises so they can live. It does happen.

  144. zuzu
    February 13, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Contraception (in any of its forms), not abortion, is the proper mechanism to avoid having “too many people.” (Note, please, that the United States is barely reproducing at replacement rate; if not for immigration, our population would slowly diminish. Britain’s population will halve itself every thirty-five years. For those who intend on having a social safety net upon retirement, consider whether or not there really are “too many people” on Earth. Note – I do not much care what colour, race, ethnicity, or nationality those unborn persons happen to be

    If you’re not concerned about what “colour, race, ethnicity or nationality” those unborn persons happen to be, why are you griping about the birth rates of native-born Americans and Brits? Why worry about immigration?

  145. Dianne
    February 13, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    Contraception (in any of its forms), not abortion, is the proper mechanism to avoid having “too many people.”

    No, the purpose of contraception is to avoid conception by people who do not desire to reproduce at the current time. The “avoid too many people” argument only comes in if you are planning to use contraception as a form of social control. A very anti-choice argument and one possibly revealing of underlying assumptions.

    (Note, please, that the United States is barely reproducing at replacement rate; if not for immigration, our population would slowly diminish.

    So? As long as the overall population of the world increases, where’s the problem? In fact, the US has a higher birth than death rate: people are reproducing less but living longer. Are older people meaningless simply because they are no longer young?

  146. BabyPop
    February 13, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Oh, zazu. Take a look at her “Pro-Life Apologetics” and it will tell you all you need to know.

    I do have a question about the fetal pain thing, though. Supposing a woman undergoing abortion receives anesthetic, wouldn’t that numb everything in her body, including the fetus?

  147. February 14, 2008 at 12:13 am

    BabyPop – if it’s general anesthetic, yes. If it’s a spinal, no.

  148. Pedro
    February 14, 2008 at 1:20 am

    To answer your comments les13lee,

    – that would be better determined by the legislators of the place. I don’t know how much time does a person has to be in prison for comitting infanticide in her country.

    – you’re comitting a logical error by blaming it all on “lack of compassion”, but it’s not your fault: you’ve been taught to think like that. I feel compassion for women who suffer due to the conditions of their pregancies, but I don’t condone the actual killing of the baby. (Can you realize what we’re talking about: ruthlessly killing a living human being?) I actually stand for justice. Some decades ago my country went through a horrible military dictatorship and many people -women and men, adults and children- suffered death and prosecution at the hands of the regime. I, therefore, want freedom for all. And first of all, freedom to live. The military regime didn’t think we all had a right to live. Neither that woman who killed her child did. I do, and that’s why I call it a crime, and a sin, no matter how “valid” her feelings are. I cannot justify the killing of a baby, in the same way I cannot justify the killings of thousands of people under Pinochet’s regime.

    I hope you realize that there are people -both women and men- that _actually_ care about women on the “other side” of the argument, and yet still chose to side with the truth: that no human being is to be allowed to kill another defenseless human being: a truth which is hard to adhere to these days.

  149. February 14, 2008 at 1:29 am

    This is obviously a popular tactic used by anti-choicers — This woman got hurt by abortion somehow. No abortion for anyone! In the name of protecting women, they are lumping women together, when we are a very heterogeneous group. Each woman is different, and their experiences with reproduction in general are subjective. Any complications that may arise after abortion are worth the risk if it means I have control of my own body.

    When an unintended pregnancy occurs, many women are in an avoidance-avoidance conflict. That is, whichever decision she makes, there are significant drawbacks. Everyone encounters these conflicts, but for whatever reason, people want to resolve this conflict by making laws against choice. There are people right now battling with themselves and their families about whether to take care of their terminally ill grandmother at home or to place her in a nursing home. Imagine if the state intervened and made that decision for you. Just because a decision is difficult and painful to make doesn’t mean laws should be created to take your choices away. It might be easier on you because you won’t have to think about it anymore and you don’t have to be responsible for the outcome, but it causes hopelessness and a lack of autonomy and individuality.

  150. EG
    February 14, 2008 at 1:35 am

    Oscar Wilde observed that hypocrisy is the toll vice pays to virtue – in other words, only in a society where there is no right or wrong, good or bad, and everything has become relative can “hypocrisy” be hissed as the ultimate sin.

    Yes, well, François, Duc De La Rochefoucauld (1613–1680) said “Hypocrisy is an homage that vice renders to virtue.” Is that what you mean? Because Oscar Wilde was known for making fun of hypocrisy. And what de la Rochefoucauld’s quotation means is that vice depends on being hidden.

    Now Oscar Wilde, he came out with things like “Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious,” “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars,” “A handbag?,” “All women become their mothers; that is their tragedy. No man does; that is his,” “The only way to get rid of temptation is to give into it,” “It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.” Guess which one you are.

  151. February 14, 2008 at 1:40 am

    Contraception (in any of its forms), not abortion, is the proper mechanism to avoid having “too many people.” (Note, please, that the United States is barely reproducing at replacement rate; if not for immigration, our population would slowly diminish.

    First, what zuzu said. There always seems to be a racist element in the anti-choice wing. Theo, who do include in the “our” part of “our population”? Should you maybe think on why you do this?

    Your ideological allies want to ban emergency contraception as well. I expect you to denounce the idea that Plan B constitutes an abortion wherever possible, were you to pretend to be ideologically consistent. Let alone denounce the bullshit peddled by morons who advocate NFP instead of condoms and the Pill.

    Then again, I don’t trust you to do any of this, because I think you are full of shit when we get down to brass tacks. You don’t actually care, you just like the feeling you get when you wag your index finger.

  152. February 14, 2008 at 2:06 am

    The pro-life movement approaches all of these issues – caring for people in a persistent vegetative state, organ donation, embryonic stem cell research, in-vitro fertilisation – with an ethic focused on the sanctity of human life.

    Without any notion of the aspect f choice in each and every person’s life. A man cannot be pregnant, thus pregnancy is inherently unequal to women. Thus, any attempt at allowing for the “sanctity of human life” must inherently entail a notion of choice in pregnancy. Work on the artificial womb if you have problems with this, but the assertion remains valid. An ideology which asserts necessarily that women are less than men in one that is useless and misogynist.

    Which also doesn’t get into the other inanities of your position, namely the fact that many people choose euthanasia as an option as opposed to withering away slowly over time. I hope you never have anything to do with my own final destination, as I plan to tell whomever can make the decision to pull the plug if it comes down to it.

  153. EG
    February 14, 2008 at 2:55 am

    To say nothing of how embryonic stem cell research is being done specifically to improve the quality of human life when people find themselves in truly horrifying conditions.

  154. berenike
    February 14, 2008 at 7:40 am

    “But no pro-choicer will use that to argue that childbirth should therefore be illegal. That’s the difference — we recognize that sometimes, the choices we make will be hard. Sometimes they will hurt. But the possibility of pain or regret is not enough of a reason to make something illegal.”

    Come on, the argument for illegalising abortion is not that it’s traumatic for women. If someone put it forward as one, then they are daft. though not much dafter than the people wasting their time here writing about what a silly argument it is.

    But if the fact is put forward merely as a counter to the kind of assumption that abortion is just a perefectly normal alternative to pregnancy, then it seems a fair point. The first thing the doctor said to my aunt when she came to see him on discovering she was pregnant – and she was then a woman in her early 20s in perfect health – was “when would you like to get rid of this?”. Seems a bit off, that. A bit of pointing out to the over-zealous that actually, on the whole abortion is a bit shit, is not really out of place. Good for the woman whose blog DE pointed out, for not being more devoted to an agenda than to reality.

  155. zuzu
    February 14, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Come on, the argument for illegalising abortion is not that it’s traumatic for women. If someone put it forward as one, then they are daft.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy did just that, in his majority opinion in Gonzalez v. Carhart upholding the Partial Birth Abortion Act:

    Respect for human life finds an ultimate expression in the bond of love the mother has for her child. The Act recognizes this reality as well. Whether to have an abortion requires a difficult and painful moral decision. Casey, supra, at 852-853 (opinion of the Court). While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained. See Brief for Sandra Cano et al. as Amici Curiae in No. 05-380, pp. 22-24. Severe depression and loss of esteem can follow. See ibid.

    In a decision so fraught with emotional consequence some doctors may prefer not to disclose precise details of the means that will be used, confining themselves to the required statement of risks the procedure entails. From one standpoint this ought not to be surprising. Any number of patients facing imminent surgical procedures would prefer not to hear all details, lest the usual anxiety preceding invasive medical procedures become the more intense. This is likely the case with the abortion procedures here in issue. See, e.g., Nat. Abortion Federation, 330 F. Supp. 2d, at 466, n. 22 (“Most of [the plaintiffs’] experts acknowledged that they do not describe to their patients what [the D&E and intact D&E] procedures entail in clear and precise terms”); see also id., at 479.

    It is, however, precisely this lack of information concerning the way in which the fetus will be killed that is of legitimate concern to the State. Casey, supra, at 873 (plurality opinion) (“States are free to enact laws to provide a reasonable framework for a woman to make a decision that has such profound and lasting meaning”). The State has an interest in ensuring so grave a choice is well informed. It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns, only after the event, what she once did not know: that she allowed a doctor to pierce the skull and vacuum the fast-developing brain of her unborn child, a child assuming the human form.

    It is a reasonable inference that a necessary effect of the regulation and the knowledge it conveys will be to encourage some women to carry the infant to full term, thus reducing the absolute number of late-term abortions. The medical profession, furthermore, may find different and less shocking methods to abort the fetus in the second trimester, thereby accommodating legislative demand. The State’s interest in respect for life is advanced by the dialogue that better informs the political and legal systems, the medical profession, expectant mothers, and society as a whole of the consequences that follow from a decision to elect a late-term abortion.

    Daft? Sure, but now it’s the law and we have to deal with it.

  156. SarahMC
    February 14, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Contraception (in any of its forms), not abortion, is the proper mechanism to avoid having “too many people.”

    Then why don’t any “pro-life” organizations promote contraception? Why do they actively oppose it?
    Why would you want to take part in a movement that does not recognize what you just said?

  157. Pedro
    February 14, 2008 at 11:14 am

    SarahMC:
    pro-lifers oppose contraception because:
    – it is morally wrong,
    – and actually increases the rate of abortion. They go hand in hand. They’re ideologically and statistically related.

  158. preying mantis
    February 14, 2008 at 11:56 am

    …how, exactly, does something that’s extremely effective in preventing pregnancy increase the abortion rate more than the absence thereof? I mean, you do realize that abortion is not a new thing, and that people have been ending pregnancies/exposing infants on account of not being able to support another child for millennia, right?

  159. Dianne
    February 14, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    pro-lifers oppose contraception because:
    – it is morally wrong,

    Why? That is, what is the argument for the moral wrongness of contraception?

    – and actually increases the rate of abortion.

    Evidence?

  160. ElleBeMe
    February 14, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    pro-lifers oppose contraception because:
    – it is morally wrong,

    How is preventing pregnancy wrong? Where is the moral superiority in having more children than one can/wants to handle?

    Furthermore in this day and age of AIDS and other diseases, why is it wrong to try and prevent those maladies from spreading?

    – and actually increases the rate of abortion. They go hand in hand. They’re ideologically and statistically related.

    How is something that prevents pregnancy encouraging abortion? That makes no sense. A person who uses contraceptives intends to neither get pregnant and have a child nor get pregnant and have an abortion… Explain please how prevention = an increase in abortions….

  161. February 14, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    I think Pedro might be surprised to learn that a vast majority of people (nearly all) believe that sex is fun and pleasurable and should be enjoyed without the stress and anxiety of possible pregnancy when one doesn’t want children.

  162. February 14, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    pro-lifers oppose contraception because:
    – it is morally wrong,
    – and actually increases the rate of abortion. They go hand in hand. They’re ideologically and statistically related.

    How does not getting pregnant increase the abortion rate? Oh, I know what you mean. Sluts who think they’re protecting themselves as they run around being immoral get themselves pregnant anyway and then have abortions. Because we should all abstain from having sex unless we want children, even those of us married women who’ve had ill effects from past wanted pregnancies. Even if my husband and I wanted to abstain, I’d still have to take The Pill. The psychological side effects from my irregular cycles have a seriously negative impact on my son and husband.

  163. zuzu
    February 14, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    pro-lifers oppose contraception because:
    – it is morally wrong,

    So don’t use it. My morals say different.

    – and actually increases the rate of abortion. They go hand in hand. They’re ideologically and statistically related.

    Yeah, I’d love to see the wingnut pro-lifer propaganda for this one.

  164. zuzu
    February 14, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Oh, unless ol’ Pedro here is saying that the Pill is actually an abortifacient. Which is why the Jeebus freak pharmacists won’t give it out.

    Mind, that doesn’t explain barrier methods. What’s wrong with those, Pedro?

  165. February 14, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    I like the “ideologically related” comment. Why yes, they are. They’re both part of an ideology that says women are human beings and that sex is a natural, healthy part of human existance which we have a right to enjoy. I happen to like that one much more than the ideology of the “pro-life” crowd which says sex is a dirty sin and women should be punished for it.

  166. sminbrooklyn
    February 14, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    The idea that contraception increases the rate of abortion is the idea that contraception increases sex, period. Data from around the world tell a different story.

    You’re right, Pedro – until the Pill was invented, no one had sex for pleasure. Also, the female orgasm is actually a modern, feminist myth.

  167. less13lee
    February 14, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Sorry, Pedo, I’m not buying it.
    I don’t see abortion as infanticide and guess what? I’m an actual womb-bearer which means that I will (and have) experience(d) pregnancy and childbirth in a way that you, as a man, never will.
    But that doesn’t stop you from telling me and others that abortion is a sin and crime and that no woman should ever receive one despite her circumstances. I disagree, I believe that every women deserves access to all reproductive services from contraception to abortion, if necessary. I don’t need to be all moralistic about it, some women will make a choice that I might not agree with, but I firmly believe the choice should be theirs to make.
    You lack empathy and compassion for living, breathing women.

  168. February 14, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    – and actually increases the rate of abortion.

    Correlation, not causation, for starters. And it is by no means proven that contraception increases abortion. As effectiveness of abortion increases, abortion rates decrease dramatically. And, in countries with high fertility rates, the inverse relationship between the two is even more pronounced.

  169. less13lee
    February 14, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Also, Pedro, this comment:
    “you’re comitting a logical error by blaming it all on “lack of compassion”, but it’s not your fault: you’ve been taught to think like that.”

    I’m not even addressing the first part because folks more articulate than I can go there, but in regard to the second half of your comment-there is no need for you to be presumptive and condescending. You know nothing of what I’ve been “taught” and what conclusions I’ve drawn on my own. No need for you to apologize for me, like most feminist women, I say what I mean and mean what I say.
    And furthermore, I would recommend you actually listening to the women in your life when they talk about issues like sex, pregnancy and childbirth. You might learn an awful lot if you just listened without judging.

  170. Dianne
    February 14, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Ever notice that all the entities that the “pro-life” position defends (people in PVS, embryos, embryonic stem cells, occasionally even cell culture derived from embryonic cells) have one thing in common: they can’t speak for themselves. Real, living, breathing, thinking people are generally of less importance to the anti-choice crowd. Witness not just their willingness to allow women to die in futile pregnancies rather than allow an abortion that might save their lives, but their insistance that every person in a PVS be kept alive, even if that person previously made a living will explicitly stating that they did NOT want to be kept alive that way.

  171. February 14, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    As effectiveness of abortion increases

    Whoops. Should read “As effectiveness of contraception increases”

  172. Pedro
    February 14, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Dear less13lee,
    sorry if I appeared condescending. But you accuse pro-life men of lack of empathy and compassion. Wouldn’t you at least consider the possibility that there are people who actually care about women, who actually feel empathy towards them, who actually listen to what they say, and yet -can you imagine!- chose to defend the position that abortion is wrong, always and in every circumstance? Because it involves killing. Terminating a life. Consciences are sleeping when they fail to see what’s wrong with killing another human being. Would you stick a knife in another person’s heart? If not, why would you feel justified to stick an scalpel in another person’s body?

    About contraception and abortion: it’s easy to see the ideological link between the two from historical sources. In every country where abortion has been legalized, contraception is first introduced and promoted, then legislation is enacted to add contraception to whatever package pf basic medical care the country has. Then, two things occur. The fertility structure of the population starts to change, with the availability of contraception, with the consequent lowering of the average expected family size; and the age in which teenagers start having sex tends to lower as well. These two factors tend to rise the demand for abortions, and this is where abortion is legalized. There’s a Guttmacher Institute article somewhere that partially recognizes this trend. In short: first you form a contraceptive mentality in the population, then you legalize abortion as a logical extension of that mentality.

    Astrae: nobody said that sex is dirty and that women should be punished for it. You have a right to enjoy it. (You have also responsabilities related to that right, like everything else in life, but that’s another story). When it comes to abortion, it’s not pleasure we oppose: It’s the killing we oppose and deplore.

    Zuzu: I wasn’t saying that the contraceptive pill is abortifacient. I haven’t seen evidence of that. And the statement “my morals say different” is tremendously troublesome because: if you have your own morals (that is to say, a canon or rule by which some acts are deemed good and some other acts are deemed evil), and other person has her own morals -different to yours-, there could be an act which you would judge good, but the other person would judge evil; but positive law must chose between the two. And, under the assumption that two different people are equal in dignity, so their morals had to be considered equally important, positive law would find itself unable to praise or condemn the act; so, given enough different morals, there could be no positive law, so there could be no Rechtsstaatt or rule of law, so not even basic liberties could be secured. It all becomes a tyranny of the current authority (be it a President, a Congress, a Supreme Court, a Dictator…) The recognition of an absolute law, valid everywhere is the only guarantee of the State and of a society. But let philosophers explain that.

  173. Justin
    February 18, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    OK so I went through my thoughts and figured that I will oppose abortion, but still maintain my belief in people’s rights, which seems to be what these debates are really about.

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