Thanks for Choosing Life! …now piss off.

Title stolen from Doug, who basically says everything I would have.

It’s not an uncommon story: Teenage girl grows up in a conservative town; teenage girl gets pregnant; teenage girl has baby; town is scandalized. But here, the teenage girl got her life together — being a mother pushed her to be more responsible, and she got her grades up and stayed in school, despite having the odds stacked against her. Her fellow students took notice, and wanted to write a yearbook story on her — but the conservative, likely “pro-life” administration would have none of it.

Her classmates decided to write about Shipman’s story of choices and challenges in the yearbook.

But school administrators said the article would glamorize pre-marital sex and send the wrong message.

Mr. Crummel said that Ms. Estes and Ms. Shipman were well spoken and articulate at the board meeting. He believes principal Cash made his decision because the yearbook story was in conflict with the school’s position of abstinence-only education.

And therein lies the entire crux of the anti-choice movement: They are willing to actively deny reality in order to promote their ideals.

Ms. Shipman’s existence, and the existence of her child, are in conflict with the school’s position of abstinence-only education. The majority of Americans conflict with the school’s position. Reality conflicts with the school’s position. As Doug writes:

Ahh, now we see what this is really about: that “abstinence-based curriculum” failed dramatically in at least one instance, and now they want to make sure that instance is kept under wraps.

The Shipman case is a microcosm of everything that is head-slappingly screwed-up about the right wing’s attitudes toward sex and pregnancy. Basically, the way they think things should work is this: If you’re in high-school, you should only be exposed to an inaccuracy-laden form of sex education that is no more likely to keep you from having sex than other forms of sex ed. When you do go ahead and have sex anyway, chances are you get pregnant, because you never got any accurate information about birth control or contraceptives. Once you get pregnant, you have to carry the child to term, because abortion is wrong — but even if you do keep the baby, we’re still going to shun you and treat you as a leper because you never should’ve had sex in the first place. And God forbid you work hard, finish your schooling and make something of yourself, because then you’re “glamorizing” teen pregnancy and demonstrating to your peers that God doesn’t automatically make pregnant teens spontaneously combust in a fireball of shame. Here’s a question: How many pregnant teenage girls will see a story like this — in which another girl did everything she was “supposed” to do in handling her pregnancy, yet still got treated as damaged goods by the Powers That Be — and figure that, if that’s as good as things get when you actually “choose life,” they might as well get an abortion?

Of course, working to create circumstances that will actually increase the demand for abortion is nothing new to the right wing. But not only are they working against reducing abortions, they’re working against teenagers — particularly girls — at every single step of the process.


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21 comments for “Thanks for Choosing Life! …now piss off.

  1. Thomas
    February 14, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    proof if more was needed that their agenda is to punish women. The woman’s life wasn’t ruined by her pregnancy, leaving them with this empty, dissatisfied feeling.

  2. February 14, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Yes. She’s not become destitute, like they said all the evil sluts would be. Thus, you must remind her that she’s nothing but an evil slut and has no right to be heard or celebrated.

    Wonderful, as always.

  3. February 14, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Wow, great post–both yours and Doug’s but he sure did get trolled in those comments! whew.

    Burleson, TX is one of the reasons I still live in Dallas County.

  4. February 14, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Well, she didn’t do what was demanded next—hide her “shame” by going off to a maternity home, delivering the baby in secret, and handing it over to a “deserving” straight, white, married couple.

  5. ahunt
    February 14, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    From Doug’s comments:

    Fourth, Mistakes, you aver, are okay and consequences for our actions should not exist. Should we look at the child rapist who has served his term in prison with the same “compassionate” eyes?

    So choosing “life” and raping children are comparable in the bizarre thought processes of pro-lifers? May someone with more wit than I takes this and run with it…preferably over at Dawn Eden’s blog.

  6. sigh
    February 14, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    i tore down some “Are You Pregnant? call us to talk about your options for choosing life” posters w/ little detachable cards from my building’s bulletin board today. choose life my ass. they just want to harangue, intimidate, and frighten all the white girls into delivering and then giving up their babies. It’s not much in the way of protest, but throwing that crap into the bin made me feel like the day wasn’t a complete loss.

  7. February 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    A little bit off topic, but when I was in high school yearbook, they wouldn’t put in an obituary for a girl who had killed herself (maybe in part because she was hispanic and our town was overtly racist) until family and friends made a huge fuss (then they put a tiny notice among the ads), though they gladly put a nice big obituary for the popular white girl who died in a car accident. School administrators are full of crap.

  8. February 15, 2008 at 12:30 am

    I had a friend in high school who was pregnant, parents found out, and threatened to kick her out of the house. So she goes to a crisis pregnancy centre figuring they might be able to help. Well, once they established that she wasn’t considering abortion, they went straight into the whole adoption push. She wanted to raise the baby herself, but that wasn’t very important compared with how wonderful it would be to put the baby up for adoption. Needless to say, it wasn’t the CPC that helped her fill out forms to get social assistance and emergency housing if she did in fact end up fucking homeless. Now, as it happens, her parents calmed down eventually, but if they hadn’t, she would’ve been in a very vulnerable position. And she went to these assholes for help.

  9. February 15, 2008 at 2:41 am

    this is exactly the kind of hypocrisy that drove me from the church when i had the Kid. here i thought i was doing the “responsible thing”, but suddenly i wasn’t allowed to teach anymore, and all they wanted from me was a big fat “i’m sorry i have a kid” apology to all the young people i taught. the anti crazies can’t have it both ways! either you don’t want us to have teh evil!!!111!!! abortions or you don’t want us to have babies! which is it? just so i know the rules!

  10. February 15, 2008 at 2:48 am

    My daughter brought home a flyer yesterday from her public school. The school was going to let the kids each pay a dollar today, Valentine’s Day, in exchange for getting out of having to wear their uniforms. Where was the money going? To an anti-choice clinic so they could buy an ULTRASOUND machine. Swear to god!

    Here’s the flyer!

  11. February 15, 2008 at 2:48 am

    Okay, well that didn’t work. Let’s try again. Here is the flyer:

  12. VGC
    February 15, 2008 at 3:12 am

    Wow gentaggard. That’s absolutely disgusting that a school (a public one at that) would do something like that. It’s not like this clinic actually helps anybody.

    I’ve heard from many an anti my own age (I’m 20 and in college) whine and complain about things like high schoolers or recent grads getting scholarships if they’re teenage mothers. They’re complaining because these dirty sluts are being rewarded for having a baby in high school when that money is much more deserving for the smart, chaste, and moral students!

    There’s also this one guy that truly thought that an obviously pregnant girl shouldn’t be allowed to attend her (private) high school graduation ceremony. He STFU when I mentioned John 8:7.

  13. February 15, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Well, frak me.

    A PUBLIC school????????????? Now I’ve seen everything. Can you raise hell about this or wouldn’t it do much good?

  14. Halfmad
    February 15, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Holy crap, gentaggard! Report that!!!

  15. SarahMC
    February 15, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Gentaggard, I would DEFINITELY make a fuss about that if I were you. That sort of thing does not belong in a public school (if anywhere).

  16. February 16, 2008 at 2:52 am

    gentaggard, i would so raise a big ol fuss if i were you! that is just unbelieveable…i wonder what would happen if a group of students sent similar fliers around raising money for education services at PP…be that would have been a whole different matter altogether…

  17. Emily
    February 17, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Lorelei Gilmore said it best, she wouldna done what she did again but she’s so pleased as punch she did what she did.

    I think there;’s something in that for all of us.

  18. Emily
    February 17, 2008 at 9:04 am

    she din say that i’m paraphrasing

  19. Annie
    February 19, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Just for my own curiosity. Who collects and maintains the statistics on STD’s in these areas/schools that teach “Abstinence Only” for their sex ed. curriculum? Is it accessible by the general public? I’d hate to have to comb through all the county/parrish data to see what the numbers might be for comparison. BTW ARE there any schools in America presently teaching a “full knowledge” sex ed program?

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