Reproductive rights and the art of extended metaphor

A recent conversation:

ME. Okay. Try this: Say we’re dating.

HIM. How does The Boy feel about it?

ME. It’s a metaphor. Roll with it. So we’re dating, we’re living together, and you bring home a dog, and I’m pissed.

HIM. You like dogs.

ME. I like big dogs. This is a little terrier kind of dog, and he’s twitchy and yappy and clingy, and he chews on stuff, and he keeps peeing.

HIM. Is this about Skip?

ME. No, this isn’t about Skip. This is a metaphor. He’s a metaphorical dog. His name is Vehicle. So we break up, and you move out.

HIM. Why do we break up?

ME. Probably because you interrupt me all the time. You move into an apartment that doesn’t allow pets, so I’m stuck with Vehicle.

HIM. Why do–

ME. [glare]

HIM. Sorry.

ME. He’s chewing stuff up, he’s peeing everywhere, I can’t have friends over because the house is in such terrible shape, I have to be home with him all the time to keep an eye on him–it sucks. And I decide to take him to the Humane Society.

HIM. Why would you do that? I want him.

ME. I’m sure you do, but your apartment doesn’t take pets. And he can’t stay in mine.

HIM. Well, he’s half my dog.

ME. He sure is. But I don’t want him in my house. Can you keep him somewhere that isn’t my house?

HIM. And my apartment doesn’t take dogs?

ME. No.

HIM. Well, no, then, but I can still help take care of him.

ME. What, can you watch him for me 24 hours a day?

HIM. I can give you money.

ME. Money isn’t going to un-chew my baseboards. It’s not going to replace my grandmother’s sofa that he ruined. If this were just about money, it would be an entirely different story. This is about permanent changes to my life.

HIM. You don’t just get to give him away. I have half rights to that dog.

ME. But you don’t have any rights to my house. I’m the boss of my house. You don’t get to just keep your stuff there, tearing my stuff up, making irreversible changes to my house and my lifestyle, just because you don’t have anywhere else to keep it. You don’t have the right to tell me what to do with my house, whether your dog is staying there or not.

HIM. But it’s my dog.

ME. But it’s my uterus.

HIM. …

ME. …

HIM. So… the Bulldogs, yeah?

ME. Pretty strong recruiting class this season.

HIM. Yeah. Pretty strong.

Fin.

Author: has written 266 posts for this blog.

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107 Responses

  1. SgtPiddles
    SgtPiddles August 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm |

    HIM. But it’s my dog.

    ME. But it’s my uterus.

    HIM. …Have you been sleeping with Skip?

  2. Angel H.
    Angel H. August 11, 2011 at 5:34 pm |

    Oooooooooh! I see what you did there. ;-)

  3. Chally
    Chally August 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm |

    Perfect.

  4. Nahida
    Nahida August 11, 2011 at 5:41 pm |

    I love this.

  5. Kaline
    Kaline August 11, 2011 at 6:25 pm |

    This does a good job of illustrating the central conflict, but for me it also illustrates the pitfalls of analogies.

    One of my first thoughts as I was reading the early parts of the argument was: it was his choice to move to an apartment that doesn’t accept pets. He could have chosen another apartment, or he could choose to board the dog full time, etc etc. If he wants the dog it is his responsibility to provide for it.

    The big difference between this situation and an unwanted pregnancy is that in a pregnancy there is absolutely no physical way for Him to provide alternate housing for the fetus. This doesn’t change the basic issue: your baby, my freaking body. But it does make me more sympathetic to Him, because he literally has no options.

    I also wonder-if it was possible to transfer that baby to another home right away, would you be ok with that? I mean if someone invented uterus teleportation, would you then be obligated to give the baby to Him if he wanted it? I don’t really like that idea. Those are my genes. I want control over not just my uterus but also my decision to spawn. Functionally a non-issue, but it was an interesting question for me.

  6. Tori
    Tori August 11, 2011 at 6:44 pm |

    I like how my dog is reading this over my shoulder.

  7. Geek
    Geek August 11, 2011 at 6:44 pm |

    “I mean if someone invented uterus teleportation, would you then be obligated to give the baby to Him if he wanted it?”

    No one can make you open the door of your house, but if the dog doesn’t get.. sent to the Humane society… once it’s out of the house, then really you have no cause to complain.

    Unless you have patented your genes, in which case you can charge money. Men don’t get control over their decision to spawn after sex, why should we get control post-aboration? It’s not your body at that point, it’s just the zygote/fetus thing. Just like it’s not his body if you decide to keep it (or not).
    I couldn’t stretch the metaphor any more.

    Anyway, everyone knows teleportation kills the teleported parties.

  8. Gabrielle
    Gabrielle August 11, 2011 at 7:21 pm |

    LOVE IT SO HARD.

  9. Josephine.e
    Josephine.e August 11, 2011 at 8:25 pm |

    This. Is. Awesome!

    I will steal it. :)

  10. Kierra
    Kierra August 11, 2011 at 8:26 pm |

    Anyway, everyone knows teleportation kills the teleported parties.

    Not in Star Trek, unless you’re wearing red, of course.

  11. Ens
    Ens August 11, 2011 at 9:51 pm |

    You could teleport the baby by teleporting away that part of the woman’s torso temporarily, but not the brain or any thinky parts, then moving the foetus with your hands, the regular way, then teleporting the woman’s torso back on. Assuming that procedure is 100% safe.

    We don’t have anything close to that magic, but I think assuming you can make it unequivocably safe, then I think it would be justifiable to say that it had to go to a willing surrogate rather than aborted, provided there is an ample supply of willing surrogates. It’s your body so it’s your right to not have a foetus in there, but it’s not specifically your right for that foetus, having left your body, not to be in anybody else’s body. Much like men don’t (and shouldn’t) have that right when they find out their offspring is growing inside of somebody else.

    But we’re so far from that if it can ever happen, and even when the day comes there will always be cases where there are no surrogates.

  12. Shaun
    Shaun August 11, 2011 at 11:07 pm |

    Ens:
    You could teleport the baby by teleporting away that part of the woman’s torso temporarily, but not the brain or any thinky parts, then moving the foetus with your hands, the regular way, then teleporting the woman’s torso back on.Assuming that procedure is 100% safe.

    ….. …. …D: …. I would not volunteer for this procedure.

  13. Prathama
    Prathama August 12, 2011 at 1:04 am |

    Kickass!! Love it!

  14. this is awful.
    this is awful. August 12, 2011 at 1:24 am |

    Who would kill their ex’s dog? That is a terrible metaphor. It is inconveniet taking care of your ex-boyfriends dog for a while until he can make other arrangements, it is in no way similar to having a baby. And as usual feminists don’t care that a lot of women are in the same position as the guy who lives in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets. If you have to kill your “pet” because you will end up homeless that is not a free choice. Everybody doesn’t have the freedom to choose their choices. This is metaphor for why feminism is irrelevant to most women.

  15. suspect class
    suspect class August 12, 2011 at 2:24 am |

    This is the best derail ever.

  16. 2ndnin
    2ndnin August 12, 2011 at 2:33 am |

    While the analogy does help to explain somethings I can’t help but feel that a large section of the narrative has been left out.

    1) He doesn’t bring home a dog randomly, both you and he entered into a raffle together that you both knew could result in you winning a dog.

    2) You and he knew that only you could house the dog for the first 9 months until his lease expired on his current property so that he could move to a place suitable for a dog.

    3) You both accepted this risk.

    4) Then you won and the rules changed.

    This is really an analogy against abortion since it shows you both agreeing to something and then one party unilaterally deciding to back out of the arranged situation. While yes it does remain your body and your choice I have read way too often on Feminist(and -positive) blogs that the reverse situation requires the man to simply step up and accept the situation because he rolled the dice. Biology dictates that a woman can have a say for longer however this analogy does not back up that premise at all because of all the pre-knowledge that must exist for this to happen.

  17. SnowdropExplodes
    SnowdropExplodes August 12, 2011 at 4:14 am |

    @2ndnin:

    Not really. It’s more like, you go to a funfair together where you are automatically entered to the raffle on entry, unless you tick a box on a form to say you don’t want to be. But maybe he lied that he had ticked the box, or maybe one time you’d forgotten to tick the box for that day, or maybe they just lost the appropriate form and entered you anyway (i.e. he didn’t wear a condom and you did it in the dark so you couldn’t see; you forgot to take the pill one day; or the condom split; or any number of possible accidents).

    In the analogy, the “reverse situation requires the man to simply step up and accept the situation because he rolled the dice” is covered, in a way:

    ME. What, can you watch him for me 24 hours a day?

    HIM. I can give you money.

    ME. Money isn’t going to un-chew my baseboards. It’s not going to replace my grandmother’s sofa that he ruined. If this were just about money, it would be an entirely different story. This is about permanent changes to my life.

    Let’s say she lied about ticking the box on the form at the funfair (i.e. she stopped taking the pill but didn’t tell him). He still has no responsibility for the dog while he’s living at his current address, and has no obligation to move to a home where he can look after it after that (he can quite happily stay living where he is). She’s already accepted responsibility for the permanent changes to her life, by making the decision to lie about ticking the box (in the reverse situation, where he lied, he hasn’t had to take responsibility for anything). If he wants to complain about being expected to put funds towards the dog’s upkeep, then he should direct his criticisms at all the people who live in “no dogs” apartments, who take people to the funfair without ticking the boxes (either lying about it or relying on myths like “you can’t win if your ticket ends in a 7″ – i.e. “you can’t get pregnant if you…” type myths), and leave a string of people all over town lumbered with dogs they didn’t want. Because those guys won’t take responsibility unless they’re forced, and all those poor dogs need to be cared for by someone. So when the tables are turned, there’s no way of telling whether he’s one of those people, or if he really has been suckered by someone who really wanted a dog.

    (This feels like stretching an analogy to the point of plastic deformation, but anyway…)

  18. Pseudonym
    Pseudonym August 12, 2011 at 6:44 am |

    Wait, what? If she lies about “ticking the box” it doesn’t matter because, uh, she accepted responsibility, um, by choosing to lie? Because, in theory, if he lied, he might be able to get away with it? And because other guys are deadbeats, so he probably is too? At that point, why does it even matter if the, uh, “dog” is related to him or not? Or if he even went to this hypothetical “funfair” or not? Because those same arguments would apply to him.

  19. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date August 12, 2011 at 7:00 am |

    We need Lois McMaster Bujold’s uterine replicator.

  20. Complicated
    Complicated August 12, 2011 at 7:39 am |

    I can’t help feeling something is lacking in this analogy. Its not like the dog absolutely can’t live anywhere except your apartment. In real life you would try to give the dog to another good home before having it put down. And if taking it to the humane society didn’t mean having it put down, then it seems like its more analogous to adoption than to abortion. (And actually I think the law does say the father can stop the mother from giving the born baby up for adoption even if he isn’t in a position to raise it himself just yet. )

    Ens: You could teleport the baby by teleporting away that part of the woman’s torso temporarily, but not the brain or any thinky parts, then moving the foetus with your hands, the regular way, then teleporting the woman’s torso back on. Assuming that procedure is 100% safe.

    WTF? I don’t understand. Assuming you could teleport anything, why would you do that? Why not just teleport the fetus itself? Typically even when you assume teleportation exists, if you break something apart during it it doesn’t magically not bleed to death.

    If the issue was teleporting into another woman’s uterus, there’d be a limited supply of volunteer uteri. But if we invented an artificial uterus, there’d be a big social issue. If we forced women who wanted abortions instead to send their babies into the artificial uteri… then who’s responsible for those babies? Do they all get adopted? Do they track down their families later? It would have far-reaching consequences.

  21. Complicated
    Complicated August 12, 2011 at 7:42 am |

    I still much prefer the kidney-donation metaphor. Anyone who tells me I should be forced to go through with an unwanted pregnancy better be not only willing to donate their kidney to a stranger, but willing to put in place laws so that any person past puberty can be forced to give up their kidney at any time, with only a couple months notice, no matter what else they were planning on doing at that time.

  22. 2ndnin
    2ndnin August 12, 2011 at 9:03 am |

    @SnowdropExplodes
    The analogy doesn’t run to that. Every time you visit the fun fair (have sex) you accept an implicit risk that a pregnancy will occur irrespective of contraceptive methods used. At current with abortion laws as they stand the roll of the dice is as far as the man gets a say with the woman getting a say further however this analogy really supports removing that since you agreed to the 9 month tenancy if the dice landed badly. I would assume you support choice for men (paper abortions) then as well if you feel this strongly about the right to an abortion since having a child will change both parent’s lives to some extent?

    On your second point you assume a dead beat dad, the fact that he offered support suggests that he isn’t one but again this is biology, the risk side for the woman is higher than for the man when you accept the roll of that dice.

    @Complicated
    If you don’t ever want to risk pregnancy why have a form of sex that can induce that situation? Abstaining isn’t really difficult neither is choosing to only have oral sex for example. There is no situation someone can really enter into whereby a kidney-donation is a valid outcome other than kidney-donation. If someone was suggesting that abortion rights be removed for rape cases or similar then yes there is a link but on regular pregnancy inducing sex there isn’t really a link to arbitrary organ donation.

    If we are divorcing sex from reproduction then we really need to make it clear in advance so both sides can make their options known and be forced to stick to it.

  23. 2ndnin
    2ndnin August 12, 2011 at 9:06 am |

    @Complicated
    Doesn’t that wide scale social issue exist already but only for 50% of the population? Adoption and forced financial support would seem the response if artificial uteri existed in a similar way to now because the foetus’s right to life would trump your no-longer violated rights, and when it became a child it’s right to support would trump your rights to not pay.

    Seriously I feel a lot like a troll but I think these need to be brought up. I’m not anti-abortion however this framing of it seems very problematic, and the addressing future situations whereby there is no tenancy period or it can be moved seems an important area to consider if we are going there.

  24. matlun
    matlun August 12, 2011 at 9:40 am |

    @2ndin: I agree that the addressing of future situations is very interesting.

    Many jurisdictions draw some kind of fuzzy line at the point where the fetus is “independently viable” which is calculated assuming use of all that modern medicine has to offer.

    As long as that type of criterion is used, the state of technology is directly applicable to abortion rights.

    (I am not even trying to map this to the analogy. Does this mean that this post should be disqualified?)

  25. matlun
    matlun August 12, 2011 at 9:43 am |

    I also have a problem with the analogy in that assumes you have a dog from the start. An alternative could be that you had a magic dog statue that would turn into a dog after a couple of months.

    Would it be Ok to break this statue if you did not want a dog?

  26. Catherine
    Catherine August 12, 2011 at 9:43 am |

    By “give it to the humane society” you mean “put it down via suction-aspiration,” right?

  27. zatarra
    zatarra August 12, 2011 at 10:05 am |

    Me: keep the dog and dont ever talk to me again.

  28. Mickie
    Mickie August 12, 2011 at 10:27 am |

    “Vehicle” is a lousy name for a dog.

  29. suspect class
    suspect class August 12, 2011 at 10:31 am |

    matlun:
    I also have a problem with the analogy in that assumes you have a dog from the start. An alternative could be that you had a magic dog statue that would turn into a dog after a couple of months.

    Would it be Ok to break this statue if you did not want a dog?

    But a magic dog statute does not represent how a fetus and a uterus interact. A fetus doesn’t just chill in your uterus like it’s some kind of waiting room, it sucks nutrients from your system! It makes your ankles swell! It makes you vomit every day for months at a time! It makes you get diabetes or thyroiditis! A fetus may be a wonderful thing to have inside of you, or it may not be, but it is not just hanging out not affecting you while it gestates.

  30. IrishUp
    IrishUp August 12, 2011 at 10:37 am |

    @suspect class: could it be an *evil* magic dog statue? [puts pinky to corner of mouth]

  31. matlun
    matlun August 12, 2011 at 10:40 am |

    @suspect class: Ok, so perhaps we should extend the analogy so that the magic statue causes these effects? ;)

    The magic dog statue part was to avoid the framing that the embryo/fetus is ethically equivalent to an infant from conception.

    Any sane jurisdiction should accept that the very early embryo is just a clump of cells and there are no problems with abortion at this stage. It is qualitatively different from a fully gestated fetus just before birth.

  32. DoublyLinkedLists
    DoublyLinkedLists August 12, 2011 at 10:40 am |

    I think the best analogy is the one where you say “This is my torso, and you don’t get to decide anything about it, so fuck off”

  33. matlun
    matlun August 12, 2011 at 10:51 am |

    Mickie:
    “Vehicle” is a lousy name for a dog.

    Tongue in cheek or missed reference?
    Definition of metaphor from About.com (just the first google hit):
    ‘A metaphor expresses the unfamiliar (the tenor) in terms of the familiar (the vehicle). When Neil Young sings, “Love is a rose,” “rose” is the vehicle for “love,” the tenor.’

  34. R. Dave
    R. Dave August 12, 2011 at 10:56 am |

    Yeah, this metaphor really doesn’t work, partly because it fails to address the issue of whether she agreed to keep the dog at her house (which does, in my opinion, limit her right to just change her mind), but mostly because “take him to the Humane Society” != aborting a fetus. A much closer analogy would be if she decided that she didn’t want the dog in her house so she was just going to kill it and then argued that he had no right to demand she wait a few months until alternate arrangements could be made.

  35. Andie
    Andie August 12, 2011 at 10:58 am |

    matlun: Tongue in cheek or missed reference?
    Definition of metaphor from About.com (just the first google hit):
    ‘A metaphor expresses the unfamiliar (the tenor) in terms of the familiar (the vehicle). When Neil Young sings, “Love is a rose,” “rose” is the vehicle for “love,” the tenor.’

    I kind of want a dog named Vehicle now. ‘cept I don’t much like dogs.

  36. Jadey
    Jadey August 12, 2011 at 11:05 am |

    Do people get that the point of a metaphor is not to be an exact representation of every detail of an issue or concept (if that were the case, it would hardly be a metaphor – it would just be a literal description), but rather to illustrate a basic principal or concept? *Any* metaphor has limitations in terms of how much it can describe, and it’s hardly a slam-dunk counter-argument to point that out. I wish there was more focus on how well the metaphor addressed the point it was actually making (i.e., the difference between having a claim on an object versus having a claim on where that object is housed), as opposed to how well it covers every other aspect of the abortion debate. The point is not how effectively dog = fetus.

  37. Esti
    Esti August 12, 2011 at 11:30 am |

    I appreciate what this metaphor was trying to do, but I’m not sure it fully works. I still think that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Defense_of_Abortion#The_Violinist
    is perhaps the only really good metaphor for abortion, and that’s in large part because it equates abortion with ending a life — unless your metaphor proceeds from that assumption, it’s unlikely to be persuasive to anyone who isn’t already pro-choice. The beauty of the violinist is that it defends abortion even if the fetus is a fully-formed human being.

  38. Jadey
    Jadey August 12, 2011 at 11:45 am |

    My interpretation of this metaphor was that it’s not intended to get at the hard-core pro-life set so much as address that particular (usually male or at least non-uterus-possessing) leaning-pro-choice set that can’t quite wrap their head around the idea that impregnating someone doesn’t actually give them any rights over that person’s uterus/body.

  39. Thomas MacAulay Millar
    Thomas MacAulay Millar August 12, 2011 at 11:46 am |

    What Esti posted is often referred to as the Judith Jarvis Thompson argument. As Esti points out, it completely avoids debates about fetal personhood and relies entirely on bodily integrity. I’ve been a JJT stalwart since my teens; it in, in my view, impossible for antichoicers to answer without taking a position palatable only to those already committed to their cause above all others.

  40. R. Dave
    R. Dave August 12, 2011 at 11:58 am |

    Jadey: I wish there was more focus on how well the metaphor addressed the point it was actually making (i.e., the difference between having a claim on an object versus having a claim on where that object is housed), as opposed to how well it covers every other aspect of the abortion debate.

    The problem is that by ignoring (or worse, misrepresenting) contextual aspects, a metaphor can obscure rather than illuminate. In this case, for instance, having the whole situation be the result of unilateral and intentional actions of the boyfriend alone establishes a background narrative of lack of consent/agreement on the part of the woman, and having her get rid of the dog by taking it to the humane society rather than killing it sidesteps the issue of whether his “claim on the object” comes into play if she decides to exercise her “claim on where that object is housed” by destroying it rather than simply evicting it.

  41. R. Dave
    R. Dave August 12, 2011 at 12:09 pm |

    Thomas MacAulay Millar: in my view, impossible for antichoicers to answer without taking a position palatable only to those already committed to their cause above all others.

    I disagree – I think the “tacit consent objection” and the “responsibility objection” are persuasive arguments even to a pro-choice person. I know I find them persuasive, which is why the question of when fetal personhood arises continues to be a crucial point in my own views on abortion.

  42. Tanya
    Tanya August 12, 2011 at 12:32 pm |

    @Esti – for me the violinist and Caperton’s dog analogy have the same flaw, as pointed out by 2ndnin, that they both assume that the initial arrival of the dog in your home / hooking you up to the violinist were done entirely without your consent or even knowledge. This makes it a suitable analogy for some pregnancies (e.g. those resulting from rape) but not all. (As a side note, I think the issue of whether or not a woman chose to have sex and thus knowingly took the risk of becoming pregnant is more complex than just “was she raped?” – I think there are degrees of choice, but that’s a slightly different issue). In order to make a robust defence of abortion rights we cannot pretend that the majority of pregnancies just occur without any participation on the woman’s part.

    I’m pro-choice, or perhaps more accurately ‘anti-forcing women to carry pregnancies to term when they would choose not to’, and I think the purpose of this dog analogy is that it’s a useful counter to the claim that if a woman doesn’t want a baby but the father does, she should just give it to him once it’s born. Such claims imply that it is only having *a baby* that causes major irreversible changes in a woman’s life, whilst *being pregnant* is just some kind of dead time in which your life goes on absolutely as normal. This dog analogy graphically illustrates that that is not the case.

  43. Esti
    Esti August 12, 2011 at 12:35 pm |

    Jadey: My interpretation of this metaphor was that it’s not intended to get at the hard-core pro-life set so much as address that particular (usually male or at least non-uterus-possessing) leaning-pro-choice set that can’t quite wrap their head around the idea that impregnating someone doesn’t actually give them any rights over that person’s uterus/body.

    No, I get that, but the problem with using metaphors is that the debate almost always becomes more about the similarities/differences in the two situations than about the underlying argument — most people’s instinctive response to someone arguing by analogy is to look for reasons the analogy isn’t equivalent, because the metaphor becomes totally irrelevant if the ways that it’s different are the very reasons they hold the position they do.

    Abortion is a really, really hard area to try to create a metaphor for, because pregnancy/abortion/passing down your genes are incredibly unique situations. The violinist is so genius because you can tweak that metaphor to become virtually identical to abortion and still make your point: even if the woman knew there was a chance that she might end up hooked up to the guy, even if the violinist is a genius who contributes enormously to the world, even if he would die without her, it’s hard for anyone to say that she shouldn’t be able to unhook herself from him.

    But this dog metaphor is unlikely to convince anyone, because it’s different in ways that are likely to be the very reasons that the OP’s friend and men like him believe what they do: a) you have more rights to, and usually feel much stronger about, your child than a dog you adopted; b) men continue to have responsibilities regarding their children even if they don’t want them, whereas the dog guy could have just walked away; c) the dog guy had total control over both getting the dog and whether he could keep the dog, whereas (most of the time) both men and women take actions they know risk pregnancy and the man has no legal rights regarding the abortion decision; d) abortion means the loss of life, or at least potential life; and e) the harm to her of having her house messed up significantly understates the burden of pregnancy.

  44. Alvin
    Alvin August 12, 2011 at 12:38 pm |

    I think these kinds of thought experiments just bolster anti-choice feelings—at least, they certainly bolster MY anti-choice feelings. Actions that lead to the death an ailing violinist are okay if they prevent nine months of personal discomfort? I very much agree with the above commenter that there need to be “artificial, external houses” where fetuses can gestate without danger to women. Once we reach that post-pregnancy society, though, I think that the mental contortions that 20 and 21st century people went through to justify abortion are going to seem ridiculous.

  45. Brandy
    Brandy August 12, 2011 at 12:44 pm |

    Alvin:
    Actions that lead to the death an ailing violinist are okay if they prevent nine months of personal discomfort?

    Forcing someone to share the use of their kidneys with a stranger is okay?

  46. Andie
    Andie August 12, 2011 at 12:50 pm |

    Alvin:
    nine months of personal discomfort

    Nice way of erasing the risks involved in pregnancy. Toxemia, Gestational Diabetes, risk of blood clots (for some)… these are things that definitely constitute more than ‘mere discomfort’.

  47. Rare Vos
    Rare Vos August 12, 2011 at 12:53 pm |

    There was really only one pro-choice metaphor (or sorts) I’ve ever seen that I felt really brought the point home.

    I was heading into a PP clinic for EC and there were, of course, people with nothing better to do than shout misogynistic insults at the women going in.

    one woman, who I think was a clinic guard (what are those actually called?), approached one of the protestors and asked her if she wanted an apple.

    And then gave her a handful of seeds and said, “It’s the same thing, right?”

    The stunned look on the protestor’s face said everything.

    +

    That said, I think this one works well. He kept insisting it was his dog too, but he wasn’t providing anything for it beyond money – and even that wasn’t volunteered until she objected to being forced to keep it, wasn’t even inconveinenced by the dog, while her life was completely altered and controlled by it.

    Its more than a little sad that people are still objecting to the idea that women have every bit as much of a right to life as a man does. A real life, not one subject to the whims of someone else, if she doens’t want that.

    Fetuses are seeds. Women are human beings.

  48. Rare Vos
    Rare Vos August 12, 2011 at 12:55 pm |

    they certainly bolster MY anti-choice feelings

    Translation: I’m a dude.

  49. matlun
    matlun August 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm |

    Jadey:
    My interpretation of this metaphor was that it’s not intended to get at the hard-core pro-life set so much as address that particular (usually male or at least non-uterus-possessing) leaning-pro-choice set that can’t quite wrap their head around the idea that impregnating someone doesn’t actually give them any rights over that person’s uterus/body.

    Probably right. But metaphor/analogy can be a problem in that it is a way of framing the situation that may contain hidden assumptions. If you are just saying “Here is a similar situation. Argue.”, this might well be an invalid framing. Arguing that there are key differences between the metaphor and the real situation might be very valid if you do not want to accept that framing.

    (It might also be just having fun by continuing and adapting the metaphor into absurdity)

  50. B
    B August 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm |

    ME. Money isn’t going to un-chew my baseboards. It’s not going to replace my grandmother’s sofa that he ruined. If this were just about money, it would be an entirely different story. This is about permanent changes to my life.

    Tell me Skip didn’t ruin the sofa!

  51. Thomas MacAulay Millar
    Thomas MacAulay Millar August 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm |

    R. Dave, I don’t think so at all. There’s no set of circumstances other than pregnancy where we’d allow someone to be obligated to the use of their organs by another based on “oops.” If somebody suddenly got hooked up to the violinist because they signed the wrong form, that would be a manifest injustice, even if they knew that a forseeable risk of signing any form in the hospital was that they might sign the form that made them the violinist’s live support. Further, the tacit consent and responsibility arguments are oriented around the anti-choicer’s favorite scenario, consensual sex they disapprove of. They are not persuasive for contraception sabotage, rape, and abuse; or really even for contraception failure or unsuccessful risk avoidance — see the wrong form corollary above.

  52. Brigid
    Brigid August 12, 2011 at 2:26 pm |

    Esti: I still think that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Defense_of_Abortion#The_Violinist
    is perhaps the only really good metaphor for abortion, and that’s in large part because it equates abortion with ending a life — unless your metaphor proceeds from that assumption, it’s unlikely to be persuasive to anyone who isn’t already pro-choice. The beauty of the violinist is that it defends abortion even if the fetus is a fully-formed human being.

    Thomas MacAulay Millar: What Esti posted is often referred to as the Judith Jarvis Thompson argument. As Esti points out, it completely avoids debates about fetal personhood and relies entirely on bodily integrity.

    Thanks, you guys, for pointing to the violinist analogy. I wasn’t aware of it, but I’ve long thought that when life begins is not an argument I want to waste my time on. The violinist analogy (though, I think, imperfect: many people end up “tied to the violinist” without having been “kidnapped”) helps me see how to get past that argument when I come up against it.

  53. MFA
    MFA August 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm |

    This is not too useful an analogy, I think, for many of the same reasons pointed out above; in particular I suspect you will lose any hope of convincing a ‘leaner’ by the very act of comparing a fetus to a dog. Most leaners, in my experience, are individuals who see human life as a separate class of existence from other animals–perhaps with a sliding scale for developing human life. It is also culturally limited, as some cultures consider dogs more or less as disease-ridden vermin, and others consider them edible.

    “So we break up, and you move out.”

    If the point of the analogy is a partner (male or otherwise, as a good analogy would hold up for insemination as well) has any claim on your disposition of the dog-baby, then the analogy must deal with the particulars of the break-up*. Did you kick “Him”/her out knowing s/he had no place to keep Vehicle? Or did s/he dump you and leave Vehicle behind? People are likely to see the morality of giving away/putting down the dog-baby without consent from the ex-partner quite differently over that specific point.

    I happen to agree with the poster who said, more or less, “it’s your torso, no one else gets to have a say”. I comment because think the Vehicle analogy actually weakens that argument.

    *Or the analogy shouldn’t depend on a break-up at all. Make it stand up whilst the two of you remain partners and you’ll take away that wiggle room.

  54. Medea
    Medea August 12, 2011 at 2:45 pm |

    IrishUp: @suspect class: could it be an *evil* magic dog statue? [puts pinky to corner of mouth]

    The Disreputable Dog! Or Disreputable Bitch, if you want to get technical.

  55. Ledasmom
    Ledasmom August 12, 2011 at 3:03 pm |

    Thoroughly distracted now by the idea of a funfair that tries to trick you into entering a raffle to win an evil magic dog statue. Worst funfair ever.

  56. Complicated
    Complicated August 12, 2011 at 3:54 pm |

    2ndnin:

    @Complicated
    If you don’t ever want to risk pregnancy why have a form of sex that can induce that situation? Abstaining isn’t really difficult neither is choosing to only haveoral sex for example. There is no situation someone can really enter into whereby a kidney-donation is a valid outcome other than kidney-donation. If someone was suggesting that abortion rights be removed for rape cases or similar then yes there is a link but on regular pregnancy inducing sex there isn’t really a link to arbitrary organ donation.

    If we are divorcing sex from reproduction then we really need to make it clear in advance so both sides can make their options known and be forced to stick to it.

    The kidney thing is an ANALOGY. Currently, people are not expecting to have to donate their kidneys against their will. The point is to imagine a world where they WERE, and see if you approve.

    Also, your idea that if you don’t want the worst case scenario to happen you shouldn’t take any risks doesn’t hold up either. For example, if you ever get in a car or even near a street, there’s a certain likelihood that you will be hit by a car and die or be maimed horribly. By your logic, by going near a street you have consented to the possibility of being seriously injured or dying in a car accident, and so if it happens to you, you should have no right to go to a doctor to try to have the damage reversed. If your arm is cut off in an accident, the ER doc will say sorry, I can’t sew it back on because if you didn’t want your arm to get cut off, you shouldn’t have put yourself in a situation where it could happen by accident. Oh, you tried to prevent it? Well, you knew that trying to prevent it wasn’t fullproof, so you’re stuck.

    And I’m not sure what your second point is. Both sides – being men and women, I assume – ARE currently aware that birth control is available and abortion is legal and so they do know their options ahead of time. Why not say to the man, if you don’t want to risk someone aborting your fetus, don’t ever have sex at all. Or at least, don’t ever have sex with a woman who isn’t explicitly trying to get pregnant by you. That should solve your second point.

  57. Complicated
    Complicated August 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm |

    2ndnin:
    @Complicated
    Doesn’t that wide scale social issue exist already but only for 50% of the population?

    Now, that’s actually a good point. It is pretty similar to the situation that exists currently for some men, so it wouldn’t be that different for individuals. But it would mean more unwanted babies overall, and that would affect society. I’m not saying its necessarily a good or bad thing, just that it would be complicated and the results might not be obvious. Would make a good speculative fiction story, or several.

  58. Azalea
    Azalea August 12, 2011 at 6:01 pm |

    Kaline:
    This does a good job of illustrating the central conflict, but for me it also illustrates the pitfalls of analogies.

    One of my first thoughts as I was reading the early parts of the argument was: it was his choice to move to an apartment that doesn’t accept pets. He could have chosen another apartment, or he could choose to board the dog full time, etc etc. If he wants the dog it is his responsibility to provide for it.

    The big difference between this situation and an unwanted pregnancy is that in a pregnancy there is absolutely no physical way for Him to provide alternate housing for the fetus. This doesn’t change the basic issue: your baby, my freaking body. But it does make me more sympathetic to Him, because he literally has no options.

    I also wonder-if it was possible to transfer that baby to another home right away, would you be ok with that? I mean if someone invented uterus teleportation, would you then be obligated to give the baby to Him if he wanted it? I don’t really like that idea. Those are my genes. I want control over not just my uterus but also my decision to spawn. Functionally a non-issue, but it was an interesting question for me.

    Very murky waters there because if it could be moved without destruction to the woman, her body or the fetus that changes things. Would she still have a right to destroy something that is 50% his because she doesnt want it to exist anymore since the “my body” thing would be a non issue if it could be moved. Yeah I don’t like where that is going..

  59. Azalea
    Azalea August 12, 2011 at 6:10 pm |

    Rare Vos:

    Fetuses are seeds.Women are human beings.

    Although I agree that fetuses are not quite human beings they are certainly more than just seeds. An unfertilized egg is a seed, a sperm is a seed but once they get together they form an entirely different entity than what they were apart.

  60. Becky
    Becky August 12, 2011 at 6:32 pm |

    Azalea: Although I agree that fetuses are not quite human beings they are certainly more than just seeds. An unfertilized egg is a seed, a sperm is a seed but once they get together they form an entirely different entity than what they were apart.

    A seed is a plant embryo, not a plant egg or a plant sperm. So I think a seed is an appropriate analogy for a human embryo. Although when the transition is made from embryo to fetus in humans (after 10 weeks of pregnancy/ 8 weeks after fertilization) it might make sense to say it’s more than a seed (plants don’t have a fetal stage…) but the majority of elective abortions occur in the embryonic stage so I think the analogy holds.

  61. NoName for this post
    NoName for this post August 12, 2011 at 7:55 pm |

    When I got pregnant and didn’t want the child, but my then boy friend now husband did want the baby, I would have frozen the 12 week old fetus the way fertility clinics freeze embryos if the option was available.

  62. Azalea
    Azalea August 12, 2011 at 8:08 pm |

    Becky: A seed is a plant embryo, not a plant egg or a plant sperm.So I think a seed is an appropriate analogy for a human embryo.Although when the transition is made from embryo to fetus in humans (after 10 weeks of pregnancy/ 8 weeks after fertilization) it might make sense to say it’s more than a seed (plants don’t have a fetal stage…) but the majority of elective abortions occur in the embryonic stage so I think the analogy holds.

    The thing is a seed still needs fertile soil to be implanted into before it can begin to grow into a plant or a tree. Once a seed has been implanted into fertile soil and starts the process of developing it’s no longer just a seed it has become something else altogether. Same thing with implanted human embryos.

  63. Rare Vos
    Rare Vos August 13, 2011 at 7:51 am |

    The thing is a seed still needs fertile soil to be implanted into before it can begin to grow into a plant or a tree. Once a seed has been implanted into fertile soil and starts the process of developing it’s no longer just a seed it has become something else altogether. Same thing with implanted human embryos.

    Which makes the seed analogy stronger. The entire point is that, yes, the seed/embryo will grow into the end product but that it doesn’t compare to the end product.

    Apple seeds are toxic when ingested, after all. Doesn’t compare to a nice, juicy apple.

    now, of course, they shift the argument back to “well, without the seeds, you’d never have apples! seeds are vital!”

    And, OF COURSE THEY ARE. The argument has never been that embryos aren’t important. Just that women aren’t less important.

  64. 2ndnin
    2ndnin August 13, 2011 at 10:02 am |

    Getting onto seeds / embryos gets the debate into murky territory because at some point the foetus becomes viable without further support from the mother (23 weeks at current is the earliest I have heard of survival but technology may bring this forward). At that point you don’t have a seed debate you have a dependant person and donor person debate which gets messy since everyone draws the line at different places.

    Rare Vos: I don’t think anyone here is making the argument that foetus > woman however there is the question of how far the analogy / real life goes with sex being the point of consent to offer support for another life. For men it’s a hard line, for women it’s a softer one which is where the arguments begin.

    If we take further the kidney donor one a random person being selected is unlikely to be an acceptable outcome, however there are many relationships where the loan or donation of a kidney would be seen as natural even if it offered 9 months of discomfort and potential complications. Typically parent -> child is the strongest, sibling->sibling, and child-> parent would be next with others being less socially enforceable. If you frame the abortion debate in this sense then a woman accepting sex that could result in pregnancy should be willing to accept the pregnancy that may result because she made a choice… for abortion rights that is a bad stance to take.

    Really there is no analogy to the abortion debate that makes sense because large parts of the abortion debate do not make sense because really there aren’t many situations where we enter into a situation where we aren’t willing to accept the potential consequences of it. We can make analogies to parts of it and they will be flawed in some area, in the dog debate because you accepted the risk and pre-knowledge, the violinist because it isn’t random and again you were aware of the risk, and the apple analogy because we are again dealing with pre-knowledge and support of risk.

    Complicated, I accept those risks when I go out in a car or onto the street. Accidents happen and I am well aware of the risk but I consider the other outcomes to be worthwhile in relation to that risk to continue doing it. On the other hand I am not currently at the stage where I could accept / support a child in my life so I abstain from that particular activity to minimise my risks.

  65. rox
    rox August 13, 2011 at 2:34 pm |

    “I very much agree with the above commenter that there need to be “artificial, external houses” where fetuses can gestate without danger to women.”

    What scares me about this is that our social environment, especially among the educated and those who research child development, is that single and poor mothers are not as good as stable two parent homes.

    If we are going to say the embryo is alive, and we want it to stay alive and since we can move it from her body, is it societies choice to make sure the embryo becomes a person, what if the woman actually DOES want her child and she doesn’t WANT someone else to take her child, but she is also concerned that she has limited resources and ability to give the child a good life? Unless we are going to HELP HER in a very meaningful way— it seems horrific to force women who have an accidental pregnancy to supply others with a child. Especially considering at least SOME women are getting abortions because they don’t believe the embryo is living or a person YET, but they would love that person once it meets their definition of personhood? And they would not want to lose that person?

  66. Bunny
    Bunny August 13, 2011 at 5:17 pm |

    The external uterus also ignores one important thing. Human rights regarding parent-child relationships. Sperm donors can no longer donate anonymously in my country, since the resulting children are considered to have the right to know their parents. Many adopted or fostered children go on to seek out their birth parents.

    Right now, since I don’t ever want children at all, in any way, but am in a longterm and loving relationship, my choice is to keep using contraception until the doctors relent and allow me my sterilisation, and hope to the gods I don’t have a contraception failure in the meantime. But if I do, I can abort and no problems.

    If artificial wombs became a thing, I could find myself dealing with a contraception failure and knowing that even if I don’t want to keep the pregnancy and pass it over to the doctors to be implanted elsewhere, 15 years down the line I could have a knock on my door from someone I never wanted to exist.

    Widespread use of artificial wombs for this purpose would require a cultural shift in how we prioritise genetic relationships.

  67. 2ndnin
    2ndnin August 13, 2011 at 5:35 pm |

    Bunny, again this issue already exists for 50% of the population, that should contraception failure occur there is no recourse. Either we should see this as something addressable now (removing genetics from parenthood or having parenthood as an opt in type of system) or we have no need to address it when we reach that stage because the existing laws are acceptable.

  68. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler August 14, 2011 at 12:38 am |

    Andie: I kind of want a dog named Vehicle now. ‘cept I don’t much like dogs.

    Actual dogs or metaphorical dogs?

  69. Azalea
    Azalea August 14, 2011 at 11:09 am |

    Bunny:

    If artificial wombs became a thing, I could find myself dealing with a contraception failure and knowing that even if I don’t want to keep the pregnancy and pass it over to the doctors to be implanted elsewhere, 15 years down the line I could have a knock on my door from someone I never wanted to exist.

    Widespread use of artificial wombs for this purpose would require a cultural shift in how we prioritise genetic relationships.

    Ths already exists for men who experience contracption failure and the women they impregnate refuse to have an abortion. This is not to say that these women should be forced into abortion but to give a stronger argument for making parenthood an “opt in” thing or as the commentor above mentioned, removing the high importance of genetic relationships with parenthood. In other words, whether or not you are the genetic parent is les simportant than if you chose to be a parent and have established legal parental rights. I think to make this system work there hsould be a preference given first and foremost to biological parents who choose to parent by default but if a biological parent chooses not to, male or female they should be held to any parental responsibility. Just as a cis man can not terminated an unwanted pregnancy, if artificial wombs were created abortions would terminate the pregnancy but would NOT terminate the embryo and considering the embryo/fetus is onl 50% her genetic material she would no longer have 100% say over whether or not it could be dstroyed. She’d only have say in whether or not it would be removed.

    I am not trying to make this a “what about the menz” thing but nobody wants to be held responsible for a child they never wanted to exist in the first place.

  70. rox
    rox August 14, 2011 at 4:02 pm |

    “I am not trying to make this a “what about the menz” thing but nobody wants to be held responsible for a child they never wanted to exist in the first place.”

    Yeah those fucking kids being born and ruining the helpless adults lives. They suck! Everyone knows adults are helpless and consensual sex is something adults have no ability to manage therefore no responsability for the people who they create as a result of their actions.

    It’s amazing how consenual sex just happens to people and they are helpless to be responsible for the people they create and hurt as a result of it! Whew, I’m so glad the feminists and MRA’s can team up on this one against those damn unwanted bastard children going around having needs and shit. Blech. No one is responsible for them of course!

    These kinds of discussions make me certain I never want to be associated with the term feminist. If we want to tell women that it’s ok to embrace our sexuality, we also have to be willing to be responsible human beings and care about the well being of any children we create as a result of that.

  71. Rare Vos
    Rare Vos August 15, 2011 at 11:47 am |

    I’m so glad the feminists and MRA’s can team up on this one against those damn unwanted bastard children going around having needs and shit. Blech. No one is responsible for them of course!

    Burn those strawmen, baby! Don’t bother reading what was written, make up shit on the spot!

    These kinds of discussions make me certain I never want to be associated with the term feminist. If we want to tell women that it’s ok to embrace our sexuality, we also have to be willing to be responsible human beings and care about the well being of any children we create as a result of that.

    Translation: bitches ain’t shit.

    Thanks for showing us that you know fuck-all about feminism, understand nothing about this topic, but still feel qualified to comment. Its been so long since the pig ignorant were heard from.

  72. Greg
    Greg August 16, 2011 at 5:49 pm |

    Rare Vos:
    Translation:bitches ain’t shit.

    This, sir or madam, is perhaps the most fucking well-constructed strawman I’ve ever seen; the poster before you has nothing on this. You deserve a medal.

  73. Greg
    Greg August 18, 2011 at 10:09 am |

    Author, if a couple is going to have sex, they both need to accept responsibility for what they potentially create. It’s not a “fun fair.” People need to grow up, take a whiff of reality, and be mature and responsible for their actions. Terrible metaphor, constructed without consideration of all points (as I guess all metaphors are, but this takes the cake), and as I said in my comment that was deleted, it still does not justify the destruction of the fetus (which, by definition is murder, because it is destruction of an individual human life).

    It highlights the arguments of those pro-choice, but it does not clarify the issue, because it only presents one side. In order to clarify the issue, you would have to present both sides in equal light and decide which has the stronger case. Pro-choice and pro-life people are actually arguing about two different things–it just has the net effect of resulting in contrasting positions on the abortion debate. Your metaphor assumes that choice is the only important thing in question; if that’s your position, fine, but do not say that this clarifies the question. I, on the other hand, would posit that neither a woman’s choice nor a man’s choice outweighs the right of the fetus to live, and that further, as has been said herein several times, they made their choice anyway when they decided to “make babies.”

    Sex has serious consequences, physical, psychological, and emotional. It’s a very special thing, and, I believe, only belongs in a particular type of relationship in which both parties are ready to have a baby anyway. We in our age are trapped, however, between an ever-shrinking age of puberty (due to the availability of healthy food like never before) and an ever-growing age of maturity (due to government regulation of what is considered an “adult,” and frankly, due to the character of people) that has created what we call “adolescence.” During this time period, people who are sexually active do not consider themselves responsible for their actions (of course many adults don’t either); thus we have seen the increase in recent years of the number of unwed, irresponsible mothers and uncaring, irresponsible, or unloving fathers.

    So what’s the solution? I’m honestly not sure. I just know that murder is not the answer to this crisis/issue.

    See what I did there? Did I clarify the issue in question at all? No, I merely clarified my stance on the topic. It then comes to argument to determine whether my stance is right or yours is right; a metaphor (or a monologue, for that matter) simply will not do.

  74. ObviouslyOtherGreg*wink*
    ObviouslyOtherGreg*wink* August 18, 2011 at 10:25 am |

    Author, if a couple is going to have sex, they both need to accept responsibility for what they potentially create. It’s not a “fun fair.” People need to grow up, take a whiff of reality, and be mature and responsible for their actions. Terrible metaphor, constructed without consideration of all points (as I guess all metaphors are, but this takes the cake), and as I said in my comment that was deleted, it still does not justify the destruction of the fetus (which, by definition is murder, because it is destruction of an individual human life).

    It highlights the arguments of those pro-choice, but it does not clarify the issue, because it only presents one side. In order to clarify the issue, you would have to present both sides in equal light and decide which has the stronger case. Pro-choice and pro-life people are actually arguing about two different things–it just has the net effect of resulting in contrasting positions on the abortion debate. Your metaphor assumes that choice is the only important thing in question; if that’s your position, fine, but do not say that this clarifies the question. I, on the other hand, would posit that neither a woman’s choice nor a man’s choice outweighs the right of the fetus to live, and that further, as has been said herein several times, they made their choice anyway when they decided to “make babies.”

    Sex has serious consequences, physical, psychological, and emotional. It’s a very special thing, and, I believe, only belongs in a particular type of relationship in which both parties are ready to have a baby anyway. We in our age are trapped, however, between an ever-shrinking age of puberty (due to the availability of healthy food like never before) and an ever-growing age of maturity (due to government regulation of what is considered an “adult,” and frankly, due to the character of people) that has created what we call “adolescence.” During this time period, people who are sexually active do not consider themselves responsible for their actions (of course many adults don’t either); thus we have seen the increase in recent years of the number of unwed, irresponsible mothers and uncaring, irresponsible, or unloving fathers.

    So what’s the solution? I’m honestly not sure. I just know that murder is not the answer to this crisis/issue.

    See what I did there? Did I clarify the issue in question at all? No, I merely clarified my stance on the topic. It then comes to argument to determine whether my stance is right or yours is right; a metaphor (or a monologue, for that matter) simply will not do.

  75. Surnandy
    Surnandy August 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm |

    Casey Anthony maintains a blog! Wow!

  76. Azalea
    Azalea August 22, 2011 at 8:33 am |

    rox:
    “I am not trying to make this a “what about the menz” thing but nobody wants to be held responsible for a child they never wanted to exist in the first place.”

    Yeah those fucking kids being born and ruining the helpless adults lives. They suck! Everyone knows adults are helpless and consensual sex is something adults have no ability to manage therefore no responsability for the people who they create as a result of their actions.

    Are you prolife? Because this sounds like the same shit prolifers throw around all of the time. IF YOU DONT WANT KIDS YOU BETTR CLOSE YOUR LEGS!!!!

    rox:

    It’s amazing how consenual sex just happens to people and they are helpless to be responsible for the people they create and hurt as a result of it! Whew, I’m so glad the feminists and MRA’s can team up on this one against those damn unwanted bastard children going around having needs and shit. Blech. No one is responsible for them of course!

    Consensual sex sometimes DOES happen in the spur of the moment. I don’t know of many people who have sex appointments on their calendars, who can schedule consent anyway? But, just to be clear, humans like dolphins and a few other sentient beings on planet earth, have sex for PLEASURE and/OR reproduction. Sometimes, it’s only for pleasure. Sometimes, its only out of a duty or strong desire to reproduce. However, women aren’t breed mares who can just havebaby after baby without causing damage to themselves or their fetus. We were not built for that. But just as some men can pull an airplane with his teeth, some women can have 20 babies and maintain good health. These are exceptions, not the norms.

    The “people” you talk about are fetuses . You may not know this but almost half of all embryos and fetuses are destroyed naturally before the woman even knows that she is pregnant. After that, there are still fetuses and embryos that are destroyed naturally AFTER the woman finds out that she is pregnant, there are pregnancies that damage a woman’s health or organs, pregnancies that result in a dead fetus being delivered, pregnancies resulting in a fetus that lives only to die slowly shortly after birth, pregnancies go perfectly well and the parents ABUSE THE FUCK OUT OF OR MURDER THEIR OWN NEWBORN. But those incidents does crappy things to your all inclusive every pregnancy can be a healthy pregnancy and every child can be loved by each set of biological parents because children is the best thing ever for everyone ever right?

    Look some people don’t want to be pregnant, so they have abortions. Some people don’t want to be parents or feel that they can’t be parents, so they find a good hokme for the child. Some people think they would hurt the baby and in their last loving act hands the baby over to a Safe Haven instead of leaving them in a dumpster to starve to death or suffocate.

    Where does this abundance of parental dedication and self sacrifice come from exactly? You think that having heterosexual sexual desires or in cases being raped means that you are somehow agreeing to be a good parent?

    rox:

    These kinds of discussions make me certain I never want to be associated with the term feminist. If we want to tell women that it’s ok to embrace our sexuality, we also have to be willing to be responsible human beings and care about the well being of any children we create as a result of that.

    You don’t think they care? Fetuses and embryos by legal and medical definitions are not yet children. So aborting either has nothing to do with whether or not someone loves the children they create unless they abort because they need to dedicate all the resources they have left to taking care of the children they currently have.

  77. rox
    rox August 22, 2011 at 9:34 am |

    “The “people” you talk about are fetuses ”

    You’re talking about “opt in” parenting. Which means you are giving people absolute permission to create human beings and abandon them with absoluetely no responsability to the human being they created. A human being is not a fetus. A fetus can be aborted, a BORN human being should not be tossed aside like garbage and if we are attempting to create a society where people create children and then “just don’t feel like giving a shit about them” and everyone thinks that’s fine?

    I think that’s horrific. We are encouraging men and women to be monsters.

  78. rox
    rox August 22, 2011 at 9:36 am |

    Here is my part, you are talking about actual born human beings as if they are as worthless and undeserving of rights as a fetus.

    If this is what pro-abortion gets us– complete disregard for living human beings needs— I will quite honestly change my position. If we are going to make this “kids needs for parenting” vs “moms self absorption to get rid of her kids and not give a shit” I will be fighting tooth and nail for the rights of kids.

  79. chava
    chava August 22, 2011 at 9:41 am |

    Wait, what? Are you really against Safe Haven laws and legal ways for women to give up unwanted children they felt a moral opposition to aborting?

    “Shoulds” and “should nots” aren’t really the issue here. You can argue the relative morality of giving up a live birth vs. aborting. But practically? I don’t see how abolishing Safe Haven laws does anything but hurt children.

    rox:
    “The “people” you talk about are fetuses ”

    You’re talking about “opt in” parenting. Which means you are giving people absolute permission to create human beings and abandon them with absoluetely no responsability to the human being they created. A human being is not a fetus. A fetus can be aborted, a BORN human being should not be tossed aside like garbage and if we are attempting to create a society where people create children and then “just don’t feel like giving a shit about them” and everyone thinks that’s fine?

    I think that’s horrific. We are encouraging men and women to be monsters.

  80. Azalea
    Azalea August 22, 2011 at 9:47 am |

    rox:
    Here is my part, you are talking about actual born human beings as if they are as worthless and undeserving of rights as a fetus.

    If this is what pro-abortion gets us– complete disregard for living human beings needs— I will quite honestly change my position. If we are going to make this “kids needs for parenting” vs “moms self absorption to get rid of her kids and not give a shit” I will be fighting tooth and nail for the rights of kids.

    So what exactly do you think works best for children? Forcing parents to raise them? You honestly think if they just woke up every 2 hours for feedings at night, got pissed on or shit on, couldn’t go anywhere because they couldn’t find a babysitter, be too tired to do anything, listened helplessly whil a colicky baby cried for hours that they would ust magically fall in lvoe with parenting? You think the resentment would build? You think that wouldnt show in a lack of affection or love? You think that resentment would never manifest itself into abuse? What do you say to a child who was forced to deal with knowing or strongly believing theyr BIOLOGICAL parent feels like they wish they were never born and living in that environment every day of their lives?

    This isn’t the land of unicorns and rainbows where everything is as it should be. I totally agree that in an ideal world every child born would be wanted. But this post was about ABORTION and bodily autonomy then morphed into including parental rights and responsibilities. For the fertile, parental rights includes the right to choose NOT to parent via abortion OR adoption. THe worse thing that could happen to a child concieved of an unwanted pregnancy or born to bio parents who have no desire to parent is not to be aborted or placed with a loving caring, open adoptive parents. The worst thatcould happen is that they face a lifetime of resentment of emotional neglect/physical, mental, verbal or sexual abuse. The worse that could happen is that their mother scared of the daunting task of unwanted motherhood before her leaves them for dead in the midst of winter outside in a receiving blanket or in the garbage can as if they were a piece of trash. The worse that could happen is that their father rapes them everyday and their mother beats them everyday but HEY at least their parents are raising them right? At least they are being responsible! Not like those hussies who abort or place!

  81. rox
    rox August 22, 2011 at 9:49 am |

    I am speaking as the mother of a child whose father impregnated me while I was passed out drunk. No fucking way does he deserve to back out of child support “because he doesn’t feel like it”. And the motherfucker finds it extremely difficult to put the needs of children first but he HAS put forth great effort to try to be the kind of father he never had in his supervised visits with his son. I’m proud of where he has come. He knew that as an adoptee I had a really hard time with abortion despite being pro-choice— so he KNEW that if he could manage to impregnate me I would have a really hard time getting an abortion. So no, I don’t want to hear hime whine about opt in parenting rights. It’s bullshit for self absorbed assholes, and it’s equally as shitty when women do it as when men do it.

    I support the right to an abortion and if a woman wants to exercize that option then I support that right. But if you are talking about a BORN HUMAN BEING that you had consensual sex and then created—- you should be held accountable for their well being. Creating an adoption arrangement is different than opt-in parenting. Until a caregiver (either the state or an adoptive family) take over rights, the mother who birthed the child is responsible for that child. My point is no child should be born without certainty that someone will be responsible for them. If that responsability can be shifted in a way that is in the child’s better interest that is fine, but opt in parenting means you are allowing children to be born with no accountability from the parents. It’s bullcrap and it’s anti-child.

  82. Azalea
    Azalea August 22, 2011 at 11:53 am |

    First, I’m sorry to hear that you were raped.

    I wont go much further than tat on your situation because I think rapists, male and female should not be allowed to parent the children created from that crime because they should be rotting in prison the rest of their lives.

    As far as opt in parenting. We have a breakdown in communication here, I should have clarified. If the mother decides she does not want to parent the next person in line is the bio father (assuming he is not a criminal). If the bio father decides he did not want to be a father AND the bio mother has decided to parent, he can opt out. Either situation makes a single parent out of the person who *wants* to parent but the child is with a parent who wants them.

    In the situation where neither bio parent wants to parent the child, they would have a responsibility to find a loving home for that child with the aid of an agency or social worker to give background checks etc. In this situation bio parents are opting out, adoptive parents are opting in.

    I fail to see where this leaves children without anyone. I can understand your strong feelings on this subect given your own life story. What I don’t get is how your story can be applied to every other single pregnant or potential bio parents’ story or choices. That the father of your child “came around” to being what you consider to be a good father is NOT the norm. The vast maority, VAST MAORITY, of children who are abused in ANY way shape or form are abused by their bio mother or father who resented them. THAT is why the idea that punishing fertile people with parenting is horrid, it hurts them but more important, the innocent child you are inflicting them on. You can force a parent to pay child support, you can force a parent to spend time with that child you can NOT stop them from beating, raping, demeaning, belittling, taunting, tormenting or torturing that child if you insist that they are left alone to raise this child against their will under the guise that it is ust best to be raised by your bio parents because they owe you.

    I am a mother too and my feelings on this are so strong because I know that parenting is no cake walk, its stressful, its daunting, it comes without thanks for a very long tim but for m a person who wants to parent , who adores my children every smile I get, every hug, every kiss everytime they run to me or get excited to see me every stress, every overwhelming obstacle is worth it. That is not the case for everybody, you can’t make them feel that way and trying to only affirms what to a child who thinks their mother or father doesn’t love them that its true.

  83. Andie
    Andie August 22, 2011 at 12:13 pm |

    Hershele Ostropoler: Actual dogs or metaphorical dogs?

    Oh Metaphorical all the way. I’m not responsible enough for real dogs.

  84. rox
    rox August 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm |

    But you’re forgetting that people are forced to parent all the time.

    If a mother with a seven year old suddenly doesn’t feel like it, you wouldn’t pressume she could suddenly stop because “no one should be forced to parent”

    I am saying that having consensual sex IS an act of assuming potential parental responsability. The same way you would expect a mother or father with a seven year old to cultivate love and parental responsability for their child in themselves EVEN WHEN ITS HARD; I think it should be expected that anyone engaging in sex should be prepared to do that for their potential children.

    If they can prove that they have found an alternate and BETTER environment for the child and new parents want to take over responsability that is fine—- but NOT if there are no new parents. Meaning the biological parent is responsable in the event there is not potential adoptive parent wanting the child.

    I am saying it should be illegal to dump your kids on the state saying, “You just don’t feel like it”. We should not create an environment where people see this as justified behavior. This is sociopathic, and while I think we SHOULD have compassion for people with empathy defecits, that does not mean anti-social or abusive behavior should be immulated or not called what it is.

  85. chava
    chava August 22, 2011 at 3:57 pm |

    So yes, you’re against Safe Haven laws. And you believe that women, even in cases of rape, incest, or not being able to afford an abortion, should buck the fuck up and parent UNLESS they can prove the child is going to “better” circumstances. (Who decides “better,” btw?)

    Look, you can’t simultaneously believe that no women would give up their baby if not for dire societal circumstances AND that there is some lineup of “sociopathic” women waiting to abuse SH laws.

    And yeah, I’m sure there are some asshats who would give up their baby, after not having an abortion, because they can. But even assuming that there are a minority of women who do so…how is making it illegal GOOD for the babies? You seriously think those women aren’t going to be abusive parents or just kill the baby, because hey, its all illegal anyway.

    In all honestly, the idea that SH laws encourage women to abandon babies is like saying that the availability of late-term abortion causes women to recklessly abort viable fetuses.

    rox:
    But you’re forgetting that people are forced to parent all the time.

    If a mother with a seven year old suddenly doesn’t feel like it, you wouldn’t pressume she could suddenly stop because “no one should be forced to parent”

    I am saying that having consensual sex IS an act of assuming potential parental responsability. The same way you would expect a mother or father with a seven year old to cultivate love and parental responsability for their child in themselves EVEN WHEN ITS HARD; I think it should be expected that anyone engaging in sex should be prepared to do that for their potential children.

    If they can prove that they have found an alternate and BETTER environment for the child and new parents want to take over responsability that is fine—- but NOT if there are no new parents. Meaning the biological parent is responsable in the event there is not potential adoptive parent wanting the child.

    I am saying it should be illegal to dump your kids on the state saying, “You just don’t feel like it”. We should not create an environment where people see this as justified behavior. This is sociopathic, and while I think we SHOULD have compassion for people with empathy defecits, that does not mean anti-social or abusive behavior should be immulated or not called what it is.

  86. rox
    rox August 22, 2011 at 4:11 pm |

    I think by default of requesting to abandon a child, a woman has proven she is sociopathic and the state has grounds for taking custody of the child. However if you have a severe empathy defecit to the degree that you are capable of creating a child and wish nothing more than to be rid of “it” and to never have any further responsability toward “it”– then it should be fine for CPS to have you down in their information should you want to apply for a job working with children or other human beings where having in tact empathy functioning should be required for the job.

  87. chava
    chava August 22, 2011 at 4:26 pm |

    Rox, I know you’ve mentioned that you have faced some extremely difficult circumstances around adoption and parenting.

    What you say below, however, is sickeningly abelist and classist.

    rox:
    I think by default of requesting to abandon a child, a woman has proven she is sociopathic and the state has grounds for taking custody of the child. However if you have a severe empathy defecit to the degree that you are capable of creating a child and wish nothing more than to be rid of “it” and to never have any further responsability toward “it”– then it should be fine for CPS to have you down in their information should you want to apply for a job working with children or other human beings where having in tact empathy functioning should be required for the job.

  88. rox
    rox August 22, 2011 at 4:32 pm |

    How so?

  89. rox
    rox August 22, 2011 at 4:37 pm |

    Trauma, PTSD, personality disorder, child abuse— all of these things can impair empathy. I believe that compassionate and in depth services (to an extent which are not available now) should be offered to anyone facing such issues in order that they might recover. However if you have a severe empathy defecit, it wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the human race to not acknowledge it for what it is. We can’t pretend that abusive behavior such having consensual sex while knowing you would abandon any child you created if it so happened on accident—- we can’t pretend that it isn’t horrifically damaging to many children.

  90. groggette
    groggette August 22, 2011 at 4:43 pm |

    rox: I am saying that having consensual sex IS an act of assuming potential parental responsability.

    What? No. I’m sterilized and still insist my male partners wear condoms. I’m pretty clearly not willing to accept “potential parental responsibility”… that’s why there’s at least 2 forms of birth control present. And if both forms failed, and I didn’t spontaneously miscarriage, you bet your ass I’d get an abortion. Sex is NOT consent for pregnancy or parenthood.

  91. rox
    rox August 22, 2011 at 4:53 pm |

    I want to add that I believe in being compassionate for the many reasons that people abuse, neglect, and abandon children. I refuse to say that abusing, neglecting, or abandoning children is not a sign of empathy defecit, because it is wrong to condone such treatment of children and it is wrong to encourage women to be so callous in the creation of human beings and claiming they shouldn’t have to be responsable for them.

    Research into mother infant bonding is finding that seperations that happen between mothers and infants have notable biological affects on children. In depth studies on seperating mothers and babies even for very brief periods have deleterious affects on the biology and behavior of both humans and animals. Adoption studies have found that removing rats from the mothers at birth and giving them to adoptive rat mothers changes the very biology of the offspring when they are in adulthood.

    Deliberately having consensual sex when you know you would abandon any child born as a result is cruel. I think that having sex is a natural normal thing. So is having babies and being there for them as best you can.

    I also want to restate that I am pro-choice. If you review the effects of adoption on adoptees and don’t want to do that do a child, aborting a fetus is likely the best option. The child is an innocent and was completely helpless to prevent the parent from having sex. If you put a child at risk of being born when you know you would abandon them even if it caused lifelong issues for them, there is only one victim and it’s not you.

  92. chava
    chava August 22, 2011 at 6:30 pm |

    –Some women do not have access to abortion services or cannot afford an abortion. Saying they should not have sex is classist.

    –Some women do not know they are pregnant until it is too late to abort.

    –Some women have mental or physical illnesses and do not wish to or cannot parent. Suggesting that they be barred from working with children because of an “empathy deficit” is absurd. Suggesting that a woman with “trauma or PTSD” who cannot deal with the end result of her abuse (the baby) be barred from working with children is even more absurd.

    –Some women are terrorized by an abusive family member and can neither have an abortion nor arrange for an open adoption.

    –Some women might have been able to obtain an abortion, but believe that giving the child a life, even with a chance of that life being permenantly affected by the adoption process, is superior to abortion.

    I could go on, but I think you get the point.

    rox:
    How so?

  93. rox
    rox August 22, 2011 at 6:52 pm |

    Chava– would you use any of those conditions women face to justify letting a child starve in front of you? My point is that even in these difficult circumstances a mother is still responsable for a dependent child.

    If she has PTSD that causes her to not care how a child will be affected by being abandoned, then yes, she should have to find recovery before working with other children. Not because she is bad, but because if you have a mental health condition that causes you to not care how you damage your own children, it should be addressed before you plan to work with other children.

  94. rox
    rox August 22, 2011 at 6:56 pm |

    And I dedicate my life to improving access to resources for women facing trauma, childhood abuse, mental illness and disability that impairs their ability to parent.

    My entire life is dedicated to that goal. If you CAN’T parent because you are differently abled, then it is not a case of a mother failing her child, but of society failing a woman with disability issues (in my perspective).

  95. chava
    chava August 22, 2011 at 7:10 pm |

    Giving a child up as a ward of the state is an entirely different thing from letting him/her starve in front of you.

    Suggesting that a woman with PTSD who gives up her child is so uncaring that she cannot be trusted around other children is still ridiculous.

    rox:
    Chava– would you use any of those conditions women face to justify letting a child starve in front of you? My point is that even in these difficult circumstances a mother is still responsable for a dependent child.

    If she has PTSD that causes her to not care how a child will be affected by being abandoned, then yes, she should have to find recovery before working with other children. Not because she is bad, but because if you have a mental health condition that causes you to not care how you damage your own children, it should be addressed before you plan to work with other children.

  96. rox
    rox August 22, 2011 at 7:17 pm |

    “Suggesting that a woman with PTSD who gives up her child is so uncaring that she cannot be trusted around other children is still ridiculous.”
    How is it ridiculous? If she is not safe enough to care for her own child, then she certainly has issues that should be dealt with before caring for other children.

  97. chava
    chava August 22, 2011 at 10:35 pm |

    1) You’re suggesting stigmatizing and signifigantly impacting the career of a victim as if she were an offender.

    2) Giving up a child which is a direct product of the trauma causing your PTSD does NOT make you “unsafe” around other children. Explain to me how it makes her unsafe, without resulting to hand waving about the heartless, heartless women who abandon their babies.

    rox:
    “Suggesting that a woman with PTSD who gives up her child is so uncaring that she cannot be trusted around other children is still ridiculous.”
    How is it ridiculous? If she is not safe enough to care for her own child, then she certainly has issues that should be dealt with before caring for other children.

  98. chava
    chava August 22, 2011 at 10:35 pm |

    “resorting,” not “resulting.”

  99. Azalea
    Azalea August 23, 2011 at 8:42 am |

    rox:
    “The “people” you talk about are fetuses ”

    You’re talking about “opt in” parenting. Which means you are giving people absolute permission to create human beings and abandon them with absoluetely no responsability to the human being they created. A human being is not a fetus. A fetus can be aborted, a BORN human being should not be tossed aside like garbage and if we are attempting to create a society where people create children and then “just don’t feel like giving a shit about them” and everyone thinks that’s fine?

    I think that’s horrific. We are encouraging men and women to be monsters.

    At this point I believe you are projecting. There are women who sees the unborn child as a person who does not deserve death just because *they* do not want to parent the child. These women seek out safe loving parents/homes and place the child with them. Then as I already stated, there are women and lots of teenagers who are not ready to be a parent. Sex is not all about parenting and if you believe that you’d be a hypocrit to ever use birth control or get an abortion. Does that idea fill your heart with glee? Would having more children than you have the time, energy, finances or resources to care for give you this unimaginable love that you are expecting of every biological female who gets pregnant and delivers a child?
    So the alternative to adoption would be forced abortions. Not every woman is ok with getting an abortion, doesn’t matter how legal or free or accepted society sees it there will be women who will never want one. Again I ask how does a baby get abandoned when the bioparents have found a home for them?

    rox:
    But you’re forgetting that people are forced to parent all the time.

    If a mother with a seven year old suddenly doesn’t feel like it, you wouldn’t pressume she could suddenly stop because “no one should be forced to parent”

    I am saying that having consensual sex IS an act of assuming potential parental responsability. The same way you would expect a mother or father with a seven year old to cultivate love and parental responsability for their child in themselves EVEN WHEN ITS HARD; I think it should be expected that anyone engaging in sex should be prepared to do that for their potential children.

    If they can prove that they have found an alternate and BETTER environment for the child and new parents want to take over responsability that is fine—- but NOT if there are no new parents. Meaning the biological parent is responsable in the event there is not potential adoptive parent wanting the child.

    I am saying it should be illegal to dump your kids on the state saying, “You just don’t feel like it”. We should not create an environment where people see this as justified behavior. This is sociopathic, and while I think we SHOULD have compassion for people with empathy defecits, that does not mean anti-social or abusive behavior should be immulated or not called what it is.

    Parenting is a decision that you can not take back, which is why is *must* be optional. Forcing someone into 18-25 years of repsonsibility for the life of another person doesn’t make sense when it has been made clear that they did not intend to create this person and they do not want to parent.

    Currently there are more people waiting to adopt a baby than there are babies out there. The problems comes when people shamed into raising children they did not want to take care of culminates into the neglect or abuse of said children who are now older and must be forcibly removed from their parents’ custody.

    This isn’t to say that all adoptive parents are better than biological parents, hell no. I am a proud bio parent of two kick ass rock awesome little boys that I raise with their proud bio father- my husband.

    BUT how fair is it to force a person to raise a child they do not want, how fair is it to be forced as a child to live with someone who resents you and may even see you as their punishment for having sex? Show me some studies on the effects of living with bio parents who resent you to high hell. Show me the studies on the effects of living with parents that YOU wanted you aborted or adopted out. Show me the studies of the effects of living with parents that you know by their actions and words absolutely have no love for you.

  100. rox
    rox August 23, 2011 at 9:49 am |

    If safe haven laws exist to prevent women from murdering their babies or leaving them to starve somewhere, then it’s an abuse of the existance of safe haven laws to say that women having consensual sex should pressume no responsability for offspring they produce purely because safe haven laws exist.

    Yes safe haven laws exist to prevent children from women who are capable of murdering their living children. That should not be a standard of behavior that feminists work into the rhetoric as justification for bearing no responsability toward human beings you create through consensual sex acts.

    If you are capable of neglecting/abusing/abandoning/hating the shit out of your own child then sure, put the baby somewhere safe from you. But the reason getting the baby somewhere safe is legal is not for the convenience of mothers who cant be bothered to care about their own children. The reason it is legal to relinquish responsability is only when it is in the interest of the child. This is why a parent with a seven year old who turns up at CPS and says, “I’m bored, parenting stinks I want to dump this little pain in the ass on you and be done with it” can be charged with neglect and held accountable for her behavior toward her child. Because NO ONE WANTS A SEVEN YEAR OLD. Going into state custody/foster system is traumatic for kids and being in the care of a foster family who doesn’t actually want you EITHER but is being paid by the state to care for you, isnt exactly as rewarding and fulfilling for kids as you might think.

    In the event of pregnancy resulted from assault, of course a woman has not made a commitment to become a parent in the same way a person having consensual sex has assumed responsability for children they might accidentally produce.

    Using feminism to say “No one should have to think of the well being of children they produced during consensual sex” is disturbing to me. It makes me wonder if we are teaching skewed values about what sort of responsponsability being sexually active should entail. As feminists, I don’t think we should be teaching young women still figuring out their sexuality and ethics that it should be pressumed they should have whatever kind of sex they want, and if they fail to use birth control, or if their birth control fails they shouldn’t have to care about the child they are responsible for having created.

    It’s a disturbing ethic because it means producing children who have to go through the experience of being unloved in the womb, being given away at birth, and processing what that means to them the rest of their life; which will mean more or less to different people but for many can be devestating.

    I think we are fogetting that human beings are in fact capable of cultivating love. We are capable of asking ourselves to stop dwelling in self pity and self absorption and find joy in considering the well being of those around us, such as our dependant children, as well as our own well being.

    If people are truly losing the capacity to do this, I am afraid of the kind of society we are creating. A person incapable of empathy is either impaired due to biology/life circumstances etc; or they are perhaps being encouraged by society to deliberately choose self absorption over the well being of others. Either way, it’s really concerning that within feminism I see a lot of people moving beyond treating a fetus as a being whose welfare is meaningless to fully born children, claiming women should have the righ to see a fully born child they created as equally irrelevant and unworthy of love as a fetus to the women who create them.

    Opt in parenting is a disturbing philosophy and what disturbs me the most is that people can’t see how disturbing it is to tell women (or men) that it’s perfectly acceptable to have sex even if you know you would abandon a living child should an accident happen and a child be born.

  101. Rare Vos
    Rare Vos August 23, 2011 at 10:12 am |

    But the reason getting the baby somewhere safe is legal is not for the convenience of mothers who cant be bothered to care about their own children.

    So, its better to force them to have them, and force them to keep them if that’s the reason they don’t want them? Still pretending to care about the kids, are ya?

    Using feminism to say “No one should have to think of the well being of children they produced during consensual sex” is disturbing to me.

    Mmm tasty, tasty, blatantly misogynistic strawman. Yum!

  102. rox
    rox August 23, 2011 at 10:24 am |

    “So, its better to force them to have them, and force them to keep them if that’s the reason they don’t want them?”

    No, I certainly don’t think that sociopaths who are capable of child murder should be required to parent. I am saying that the REASON it is legal for sociopaths to relinquish custody in this manner is that it is in the interests of the child to get away from such a person. The reasoning behind safe haven laws is that children should get away from dangerous people.

    The fact that children should get away from dangerous people is not justification for women in general to plan to have no accountability to children they produce as a result of consensual sex.

    How on earth is that a strawman. I am an adoptee, I live with the effects of this. We who live with being abandoned are real people and we exist. You can claim our experience of life should not have to matter to women who create us as a result of consensual sex, but I will argue against that.

    Causing harm to a living human being should not be considered ethical behavior. Opt in parenting means that parents have no responsability until they agree to.

    I am not opposed to OPT OUT options. what opt out options mean is that until an adoption arrangement has been created, or a safe haven act has been carried out, the parent is still reponsable for making sure the child stays alive and is as well cared for as she is able. Opt in parenting means that whenever a child is born there is no accountability of parents to a living child they created.

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