40 vs. 4000

On February 17th, anti-choicers started the “40 Days for Life” campaign, where they show up at abortion clinics and harass patients and employees even more than usual. Now there’s a great (and informative) response: 4,000 Years for Choice. The conclusion: Women have, forever, been trying to control their reproductive capacities and determine for themselves the number and spacing of their children.


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8 comments for “40 vs. 4000

  1. March 2, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    It’s a bit parochial (where is the celebration of the 1967 Abortion Act, which made it legal for any woman in mainland UK to get an abortion up to 28 weeks? or the celebration of the European Court of Human Rights decision that no country can stop anyone from travelling to another country to get an abortion that’s legal there?) but it’s a lovely idea.

  2. Henry
    March 2, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    3,000 years ago it was acceptable to place unwanted babies out for the wolves (ancient Greece) or later on to sacrifice the first born child (Phoenicia, ancient Ireland). Instead of celebrating our advances at having to no longer resort to these barbarous methods to control population growth/family growth, we get these 40-day protestors when a woman chooses to terminate a pregnancy in the early trimesters or uses a morning after pill. Perhaps they would prefer to return to a more conservative era when people, lacking access to safe abortions, simply abandoned/murdered unwanted babies after they were born.

  3. Evrybdy44
    March 2, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    I go to church. Please, no criticism. I was visiting a new one once and I knew I was never ever going back. The pastor talked politics the whole time. Dude! If I wanted to go to a political rally. . . well, I would have. But I digress. . . I was approached after the service by what I’m sure were well meaning people(I’m trying not to judge them) about signing up for a shift at 40 days for life. I looked at them and just said. No thank you. I think PPH is an awesome organisation that isn’t pushing abortion on people like you say and helps thousands of young women. And I’m pro choice. The look on their faces were priceless. One was mortified and the other cocked her head and really heard me. That seed was planted. I hope it grew. And that maybe she shared what I said w/someone and so on and so forth.
    Pro choicers are everywhere and I think this 40 days for life crap is a good time to get out there and share!

  4. March 2, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Perhaps they would prefer to return to a more conservative era when people, lacking access to safe abortions, simply abandoned/murdered unwanted babies after they were born.

    One of the most bizarre discussions I ever had with a pro-lifer stemmed from that very point: she wrote a post about how reading about how “it was common for parents to abandon unwanted newborns, leaving them somewhere to die. It was so deeply troubling to me, and I could never figure out what was going on there: how on earth could this have happened?!” had made her prolife, to which I responded:

    Well, quite simply: unwanted newborn babies are abandoned to die in all cultures, all societies, where women do not have access to reliable contraception and safe legal abortion.

    Where women get to decide how many children to have, and when to have them, newborn babies are not abandoned to die.

    Being pro-choice means opposing the return of a society in which babies, and pregnant women, are abandoned to die.

    Being pro-life means supporting the creation of a new society in which women are forced against their will to bear children no one wants in order to let those children be abandoned to a slow, miserable death.

    I gave up trying to argue with the pro-lifers after a while, but the discussion did go on for quite a while… until I finally accepted that so long as you are arguing with pro-lifers who have the unacknowledged aim of trying to punish women for having sex with unwanted pregnancy/childbirth, but who publicly and under all circumstances pretend that what they want to do is SAVE BABIES, rational discussion is not possible. So I stopped.

  5. preying mantis
    March 2, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    “it was common for parents to abandon unwanted newborns, leaving them somewhere to die. It was so deeply troubling to me, and I could never figure out what was going on there: how on earth could this have happened?!”

    I suppose she could try asking an older Romanian woman, if she really wants to know.

  6. Dawn.
    March 2, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Great idea. We need a positive response to this 40 Days for Life intimidation and propaganda campaign.

  7. Caroline
    March 2, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    From the resource list on the webpage, I would love to second the book “Eve’s Herbs,” and the website Sister Zeus (great for more resources and DIY healthcare, especially if you don’t like hormonal BC).

  8. haley
    March 3, 2010 at 12:30 am

    I find it frustrating to converse with vehemently pro-life people because overwhelmingly, they are unable to formulate any sort of logical consistency in their arguments.

    Many of them want abortions to become criminalized but have put little thought into the legal ramifications. So if a woman has an illegal abortion, does she go to jail for 25-Life for killing a human being? Does she get the death penalty? If a fetus is granted the status of person-hood, than logical (and legal) consistency would require that you answer yes. Some pro-lifers do answer yes (to hell with women) but many more just go “uhh”. It seems they never thought that far ahead into consequences.

    Of course the people in Utah, like Gov. Gary Herbert are thinking ahead. A new bill (yet to be signed) states that a woman can be charged with HOMICIDE for “reckless behavior” during their pregnancy. Quite literally, under the vague wording of the bill (what warrants recklessness?), women can be charged with murder for a miscarriage if it was deemed preventable. This bill and others like it, will have truly horrendous consequences on the mobility, status, rights and autonomy of all woman.

    The reactionary bill was triggered by a case of a teenage girl who payed a guy to physically beat her in order to induce a miscarriage. The pro-lifers response to this sad case was anger that there wasn’t a provision in the justice system to provide legal punishment for her, instead of looking at what social, economical or physical factors were keeping this girl from seeking medical services.

    Cases like that are just the tip of the iceberg should abortions become illegal (though some states like Utah have so many stipulations, they effectively are). Pro-choice people understand that making abortions illegal won’t stop women from seeking them…..it will only mean that women will have to seek unprofessional or unsavory methods. Without medical care and with legal protections women will either be stripped of choices, die , or go to jail.

    And thats exactly what pro-lifers want. Humanitarian ethics, logical consistency and autonomy are not what they care about. They care about punishment, religious zealotry and restoring women to their “proper place”.

    I know that sounds harsh of me, but if you follow through on the logical conclusions of their arguments, thats what you are left with. One only has to look at the countries were abortions are illegal, to understand how the overall rights, health, and political status of women are effected and intertwined.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/utah-abortion-bill-punishing-miscarriages-preventing-crime/story?id=9955517

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