Facts, myths, and blankety-blank lies about Planned Parenthood and the Susan G. Komen Foundation

As the furor over Komen’s de-funding of Planned Parenthood continues, more and more myths about PP, its mission, and the impact of this cruel and foolish decision are getting thrown around. Frequently, those myths get lost and go uncorrected in the presence of bigger and more ideological arguments.

That’s really not fair.

Alas, this is merely the tip of the bullshit iceberg. As the Komen debacle is nowhere near coming to an end, we can expect new and exciting myths and lies to arise, like the head of a Hydra, as others are debunked. To that end, watch this space, and by all means contribute your own debunkings in comments.

Definitely myths:

1. Planned Parenthood mostly does abortions. In fact, only about three percent of services provided by PP are abortions. The vast majority of their efforts and funds go to well-woman care, care for women who are or want to be pregnant, STD tests, Pap tests, basic gynecology services, education, and, yeah, breast exams, among a bunch of other things. PP provides health care for millions of men and women who might not otherwise be able to afford it. The Komen funds paid for 170,000 breast cancer screenings and 6,400 mammogram referrals a year–that’s 170,000 women who might have breast cancer and not know about it until it’s too late.

2. There’s a link between abortion and breast cancer. This one’s been thrown out a lot recently–“Why would Komen give money to Planned Parenthood when there’s a proven connection between abortion and breast cancer?” Well, first of all, see #1. Second, that connection doesn’t exist. A National Cancer Institute workshop of more than 100 experts studying findings on cancer and pregnancy “concluded that having an abortion or miscarriage does not increase a woman’s subsequent risk of developing breast cancer.” (What is linked to breast cancer? Full-term pregnancy.) Says the American Cancer Society, “… [T]he public is not well-served by false alarms. At this time, the scientific evidence does not support the notion that abortion of any kind raises the risk of breast cancer or any other type of cancer.”

3. Planned Parenthood doesn’t provide mammograms. Planned Parenthood clinics don’t perform mammograms on site (and PP doesn’t claim otherwise). (My gynecologist doesn’t, either–mammograms are performed by radiologists, not gynecologists.) Instead, PP refers women to radiology offices for the procedure and then foots the bill themselves. If you got pissed off when you mom said she got you a massage for your birthday and then handed you a gift certificate and not an actual masseuse, this will bother you. Otherwise, you’re probably okay with it.

(Update: I’ve started seeing a lot of other breast cancer-related myths popping up–the radiation and/or compression in mammograms cause breast cancer, that sort of thing–so I thought I’d link to a few few thorough debunkings of those myths, too.)

Probably a myth:

Komen’s de-funding of Planned Parenthood isn’t politically motivated. Now, it would be irresponsible and potentially libelous to say that Komen’s newest excuse is utter and fetid bullshit. But I can point out that just days ago, the excuse was that PP is under investigation, and Komen’s new self-imposed policy is not to partner with organizations that are under investigation. Now it appears they totes forgot to mention that it’s also (or possibly instead; their stories are not entirely clear here) because their “new granting strategies and criteria”… do something, and something about impact, and never turning their backs on the women who need them the most, and nothing hinting at why PP no longer figures into all of that. Like I said, I can’t declare outright that Nancy Brinker is a filthy liar. I can, however, point out a couple of things that are

not myths:

1. Komen’s new senior vice president, Karen Handel, is openly and explicitly anti-Planned Parenthood. When she ran for governor of Georgia in 2010, her platform was de-funding Planned Parenthood.

First, let me be clear, since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood. During my time as Chairman of Fultno County, there were federal and state pass-through grants that were awarded to Planned Parenthood for breast and cervical cancer screening, as well as a “Healthy Babies Initiative.” … Since grants like these are from the state I’ll eliminate them as your next Governor.

2. The brand-new “Komen doesn’t fund organizations that are under investigation” policy is… questionable. According to Komen board member John D. Raffaelli, the policy was put in place after the Congressional investigation started, basically to give Komen an excuse to stop funding them.

John D. Raffaelli, a Komen board member and Washington lobbyist, said Wednesday that the decision to cut off money to 17 of the 19 Planned Parenthood affiliates it had supported was made because of the fear that an investigation of Planned Parenthood by Representative Cliff Stearns, Republican of Florida, would damage Komen’s credibility with donors.

… “People don’t understand that a Congressional investigation doesn’t necessarily mean a problem of substance,” Mr. Raffaelli said. “When people read about it in places like Texarkana, Tex., where I’m from, it sounds really bad.”

So the Komen board voted that all of its vendors and grantees must certify that they are not under investigation by federal, state, or local authorities. But for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, being the target of partisan investigation is part of doing business. So Komen’s new rule effectively ended their longtime partnership and seemed to the health services provider an unacceptable betrayal of their common mission to save women’s lives.

… When Komen’s board voted on the policy, several members asked who would be affected by the new policy. Elizabeth Thompson, Komen’s president, said, according to Mr. Raffaelli, “Planned Parenthood is the only one we know of. If we find others, those would be impacted, too.”

The Atlantic has more background on this one.

3. The congressional investigation that’s causing so much trouble was initiatives by an anti-choice organization. I’ll give you a moment to recover from your shock. Stearns’s investigation came at the urging of the group Americans United for Life via 30 pages of unsupported accusations guaranteed to keep investigators digging for a good, long time. This is despite the fact that under the Hyde Amendment, Planned Parenthood has to submit yearly audits anyway–which have never turned up any wrongdoing. Your tax dollars at work.

Did I miss anything?


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65 Responses to Facts, myths, and blankety-blank lies about Planned Parenthood and the Susan G. Komen Foundation

  1. Mztress says:

    Funny how someone who is so concerned with the welfare of fetuses wants to eliminate funding to an organization that does pre-natal and parenting referrals to clients who got pregnant willingly and want to stay that way. Good old right-wing douchebaggery.

  2. Emolee says:

    concerned with the welfare of fetuses

    Because they are not. They are concerned with limiting women’s sexual and reproductive rights. Yes, I beleive there are pro-lifers who care about fetuses, and that is why they are pro-life. But I don’t think those are the motivations of those at high levels within these political organizations. At that level it is all about a war on women’s rights. (If any people at that level do care about fetuses, that care is way below their hostility towards women’s sexuality and autonomy.)

  3. Well done! This is a great resource for people to link to, since you cover so many of the arguments.

  4. LoriK says:

    On the subject of Koman’s policy supposedly not being politically motivated, it’s worth noting that they just gave a $7.5 million grant to the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, which is affiliated with Penn State, which is under federal investigation.

  5. Aunti Disestablishmentarian says:

    Some interesting revelations about Komen’s anti abortion and conservative connections- with links:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/01/1060885/-Behind-the-Pink-Curtain-Komens-Political-Agenda

    And yeah, I am a total chump linking to dk, but it seems to be the source.

  6. tigtog says:

    Komen haven’t stopped funding Penn State – aren’t they under investigation for covering up child rape by their employees?

    So much for that shiny, shiny rule of theirs.

  7. Moira Lynn says:

    The Right-Wing, Conservative Politicians can take their “Ivory Tower viewpoints,” and put them on another planet…not on this one… where real women need real services that Planned Parenthood so adequately and efficiently provides.

  8. Alexis says:

    One you’ve missed–I’ve read a lot of comments congratulating SGK for no longer funding abortions, which they do not do. Their funds go directly to breast exams and nothing else, it isn’t as if they go into some general funds pool.

  9. laprofe63 says:

    Thanks for this. It’s clear and fair. My first activism as a feminist was to gather signatures for Planned Parenthood, when I was in high school in the late 70s, early 80s. I’ll never forget the arguments I had on the streets of Manhattan with miscellaneous people. It put grit under my nails that will never be washed away.

    Planned Parenthood deserves our support, regardless of how many or how few abortions they provide. Abortion is legal. It’s ridiculous we are still having to defend that.

  10. vanessa says:

    Wait, Komen funds Penn State? Please explain.
    Caperton, this post is awesome enough that I am almost over your dislike of Bridesmaids.

  11. Miranda says:

    I’m not sure they can claim to care about the welfare of fetuses when they boast about defunding ‘Healthy Baby’ initiatives. Hello, there is a connection between fetuses and actual born babies…

  12. Jon says:

    Okay, I’m gonna call this one out. As a med student, I’ll just go ahead and inform you that full-term pregnancy is a NEGATIVE RISK FACTOR (meaning, PROTECTIVE) against breast cancer.

    This has been known for almost 40 years.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5312521 (“Age at first birth and breast cancer risk” 1970)

    In fact, it’s still known today.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18787212 (“Evidence that an early pregnancy causes a persistent decrease in the number of functional mammary epithelial stem cells–implications for pregnancy-induced protection against breast cancer” 2008)

    So please, don’t flat out lie. If you really care about women, give them the truth.

  13. Caperton says:

    American Cancer Society, in re: the NCI workshop:

    In February 2003, the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) held a workshop of more than 100 of the world’s leading experts who study pregnancy and breast cancer risk. The experts reviewed human and animal studies that looked at the link between pregnancy and breast cancer risk, including studies of induced and spontaneous abortions. Some of their findings were:

    * Breast cancer risk is increased for a short time after a full-term pregnancy (that is, a pregnancy that results in the birth of a living child).

    That was in 2003. If you have more recent data on the subject, of course I’ll make corrections.

  14. Crystal Elle says:

    Actually, the breast cancer screening done by planned parenthood is the same screening as women can do at home. Which, if they charged women for said screening it would be a HUGE waste of money for the women, but instead Komen paid the bill… which is still a huge waste of money (that could have been used for cancer research or treatment).

    To laprofe63: You don’t have to defend the legality of abortion; you’re right, its legal. You do, however, have to defend the justice of abortion or “freedom of choice.” What choice does that baby have in if they get to live or die? What if your mom had exercised her “right to choose?” I bet you wouldn’t be so eager to fight for other’s right to choose… oh, wait… you wouldn’t be alive to choose. Your rights end where someone else’s begin. And, if there is some correlation between a fetus and a baby (and we all know there is) then that baby has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, too.

    Alexis: You would be correct in that the funding from Komen was earmarked for “breast exams,” but money that funds one part of an organization frees up money to be used in other areas of the organization. Which means Komen was, even if only indirectly, funding abortion.

  15. Maroc says:

    Jon, you’re comparing apples and oranges here. Yes, having children is a negative risk factor for breast cancer, and yes, all the statistics say that the protective effect is magnified by having children relatively young.

    However, this isn’t the argument that anti-choice propaganda makes. That argument — debunked repeatedly by solid research — is that induced abortion increases the risk of breast cancer as an independent factor. Not that it prevents or might prevent a woman from benefiting from the protective aspects of a full-term pregnancy, and not that it puts a woman who has an abortion in exactly the same risk category that she would be in if she had never been pregnant at all, but that it increases her risk.

    Knowledge is a fluid thing, of course, but this has been studied fairly intensively, and been thoroughly discredited. It’s disingenuous at best to pretend otherwise.

  16. thinksnake says:

    Well, I can’t speak for others, but my mother certainly did exercise her right to choose with me. She chose to keep me. What, did you think choice only means one option?

  17. MadGastronomer says:

    Blahblah, lying, derailing, anti-choice, anti-woman bullshit, blahblah. Go away, misogynist assholes.

    And Jon? Pregnancy being a negative risk factor doesn’t make abortion a risk factor, because, oddly, having an abortion doesn’t mean never carrying a pregnancy to term. You lie. Shut up.

  18. Caperton says:

    Okay, ease up on Jon. All he was saying (unless I’m reading it wrong) was that he thought my facts were incorrect. He pointed out that, over a lifetime, full-term pregnancy is a negative risk factor. I pointed out that while that is true, according to the NCI it’s a positive risk factor for a period of time immediately following the pregnancy. I didn’t see his comment as commentary on the health risks of abortion.

    He was, however, accusing me of lying about a statement for which I provided citations in the sentences immediately before and after, and I won’t pretend that didn’t get my back up.

  19. Lili says:

    Thanks for the post, though using words such as “totes” instead of totally does not help to get your point across. It just makes you sound silly.

  20. Amelia ze lurker says:

    The sentence “During my time as Chairman of Fultno County, there were federal and state pass-through grants that were awarded to Planned Parenthood for breast and cervical cancer screening, as well as a ‘Healthy Babies Initiative.’ … Since grants like these are from the state I’ll eliminate them as your next Governor” makes my head spin. What the actual fuck?

  21. Ledasmom says:

    You’d think it would be more difficult than that to come out as being opposed to Healthy Babies, wouldn’t you?

  22. I’m so sick and tired of everyone’s hidden agenda. Can all of the aholes in DC take their ball and bat and go the #%@& home already.

    Let stop and get to the real issues. We are the US of A. Are we so clouded by ego and the all mighty dollar, which is now worth a piece of bazooka (showing my age) that we forgot why we became a country in the first place.

    Regardless of my beliefs, I’m not an idiot (I’m sure that debateable, if you look at my spelling). Planned Parenthood has a very important place in society, especially in lower incomes and teens in trouble (regardless of their income).

    Stop the madness!

    Yeah, I said it. Sue

  23. Jillian says:

    I live in dfw, the home of SGK, and the local news channel even seemed to call them out. Sgk gives money to parkland, the Dallas public hospital and they are also currently under investigation for the mistreatment of mental health patients and for mishandling pelvic exams. Funding has not stopped to them. The news also stated donations to pp have surged and it will be a little bit longer if skg feels the fallout.

  24. Odin says:

    Crystal Elle –

    First of all, not every woman _knows_ how to do a breast self-exam — PP does education as well as screenings. And even if a woman knows how to do a self-exam, she might not really understand what she’s looking for, or she might not be sure if what she’s found is cause for concern or not. So in those cases, low-income women can go to PP and get screened by a professional who _does_ know what they’re looking for, and who can do other types of screening or refer them to a radiologist for a mammogram if there is cause for concern.

    Second, some women do know how to do self-exams and know what they’re looking for. But if they find something worrisome, they can’t give themselves referrals.

    Third, middle-class women who can afford to go to a regular gyno will also usually get a breast cancer screening of that sort with their annual exam. So breast cancer screening by a medical professional is a part of the routine care women who can afford annual exams — why shouldn’t low-income women get the same standard of care?

    And finally… um, I am the result of a planned pregnancy, so my mom did exercise her choice. I’m very happy that she did, since it means I exist and all that. And it seems like it would be kind of shitty to know you owe your existence to people forcing your mom to carry to term against her will.

    Roughly half of all US pregnancies are intended, which means people are _choosing_ to become pregnant. Of those half that aren’t intended… Planned Parenthood provides more than just BC and abortions, y’know. There’s also counseling (including information about WIC and other state and federal support for low-income families), and at some locations, prenatal care.

    (I know, I know, don’t feed the troll and all, but I did my best to stay on the topic of cancer screenings and point out things that plenty of people might not immediately realize on that subject, especially if they’re male-bodied.)

  25. Andie says:

    Crystal Elle, that’s such a bullshit argument – “what if your mom had exercised her right to choose?”

    A) as a commenter above noted, choosing to carry to term is still exercising that right

    B) I’m pretty sure, in the other scenario, I wouldn’t be so bothered, not existing and all. What if my mom decided to stay on b.c.? What if she decided not to date my dad because he initially wasn’t her type? What if she had married my sister’s genetic benefactor? All these are things that would have prevented me being here to argue. So freaking what?

    If my mom aborted me, I wouldn’t have to listen to inane anti-choice arguments from people like you.

    To laprofe63: sorry to jump in when she was addressing you, hope I didn’t step on any toes.

  26. EG says:

    What if your mom had exercised her “right to choose?”

    As other people have noted, she did. She chose to get pregnant, and the she chose to carry me to term.

    As to my rights ending where somebody else’s begin, you are quite right, but you’ve got the results the wrong way round. Nobody has a right to use my body against my will, fetuses included. I can throw an unwanted guest out of my apartment, and I can do the same for my uterus.

  27. SunlessNick says:

    What if your mom had exercised her “right to choose?”

    I refer to my answer here.

  28. Pingback: Quickies: 02/03/2012 - Queereka

  29. L.M. says:

    “You would be correct in that the funding from Komen was earmarked for “breast exams,” but money that funds one part of an organization frees up money to be used in other areas of the organization. Which means Komen was, even if only indirectly, funding abortion.”

    Oh noes!

    This is about as silly as saying we should worry about women taking affordable mass transit because they might be using the money they save on not having a car to procure an abortion.

    Help! The sky is falling!!!

    “Actually, the breast cancer screening done by planned parenthood is the same screening as women can do at home.”

    Mmhm. My GYN does this exact same screening when I go in for a pap smear. Why? Because she might find something I missed.

    What choice does that baby have in if they get to live or die? What if your mom had exercised her “right to choose?

    1. No one gets a choice to use someone else’s bodily resources against the body owner’s will.

    2. My mother is pro choice. Thanks much.

  30. Anecdotal says:

    Anyone interested in signing a petition through CREDO ACTION, here’s a link:

    http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/komen_foundation/

  31. Alara Rogers says:

    Yeah, I shouldn’t feed the troll either, but…

    My mom was offered the option to abort me. She turned it down. Cause see, that’s what “choice” means. However, she was raped when she was 14, and became pregnant, and did get an abortion then. Odds are, if she had had to carry that pregnancy to term, she would have missed her window to start dating my dad. So, in fact, I and my two brothers today are alive because my mother aborted the child of a rapist, who is not around to be unhappy about it.

    I owe my existence to abortion. Many, many born human beings do too. And since anti-abortionists tend to be the kind of asshats who would harshly judge their own mothers and slut-shame or victim-blame them for sexual activity or for being raped, I will bet you ten to one that a large, large number of anti-abortionists exist because their mothers aborted a different baby before they were born, and they don’t know about it because that’s not something their mothers would be willing to admit to judgemental asshats like them.

    Also. Why does the baby get a choice about whether or not it is allowed to live IN MY BODY? If the homeless guy down the street would really like to live in my house, where it’s warm and there’s electricity, I’m not obligated to let him. Why the fuck would I have to let someone live in my body when I don’t want them there?

    And trying to argue that consenting to sex is exactly equivalent to consenting to pregnancy is kind of like arguing that consenting to give the homeless guy twenty dollars and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is like consenting to let him come in your house and steal your purse (which actually happened to me, and I’m pretty sure that your average tough-on-crime conservative wouldn’t try to make the argument that he deserved my purse *because* I offered him a peanut butter sandwich.) Or like arguing that consenting to get in a car is the same as consenting to get in a car accident. The vast majority of sex acts do not result in pregnancy, so no, consent to sex != consent to baby, and if no consent to baby, baby has no right to live in Mommy’s body. The fact that it will kill baby to remove baby is irrelevant; we’re allowed to kill rapists and home invaders, and babies can do far, far more damage to a woman’s body than a guy who just breaks in to steal her TV and jewelry and leaves her alone.

    For that matter, why is it okay to refuse to let a man inside your body for ten minutes, consider that a horrifying violation, and even acceptable to kill him to prevent it, but not okay to refuse to let a fetus live in your body for NINE MONTHS? Innocence is no defense; if a man has a mental illness such that he’s convinced you’re his wife and you love him, and he can’t understand you saying “no”, you’d still likely be acquitted for killing him to stop him from raping you. So if you argue that the simple fact that a baby is human entitles them to access to their mother’s body for nine months, I hope you realize that you’re also arguing that rape is no big deal and that you have no right to shoot home intruders unless they are about to kill you (and if you’re one of those “no abortion even if the health of the mother is at stake” people, then you don’t have that right even then, because just because a guy is waving a gun in your face doesn’t mean he’s *necessarily* going to kill you, and he’s a human life! You don’t have the right to take a human life just because he threatens you with potential grievous bodily harm!)

    When we invent transporters and artificial wombs, and babies can be safely and painlessly transported out of a woman’s body to be incubated in an artificial womb until birth, then I’d agree that abortion is unnecessary. As long as people need to grow inside the bodies of other people, it’s totally fucking irrelevant that they are people and “deserve to live”; if what you need to live is for my blood to flow through you and my body to surround you and the nutrients and oxygen I take in to be supplied to you, and I don’t choose to give you those things, then you have no right to them and you need to die. Sorry, but the fact that this is not blatantly obvious to the same people who think it’s okay to shoot a teenager for stealing a bicycle is just due to misogyny.

  32. Rob in CT says:

    The whole “what if your mom had aborted you!? huh-huh” line of argument is incredibly lame.

    In that case, I wouldn’t exist. “I” wouldn’t care about anything, for there would be no me.

    Just like if my mom had miscarried. Or decided she didn’t want kids. Or just decided to wait a bit longer before having kids… any number of things that all would’ve resulted in the same non-existence for me.

    “Pro-lifers” seem to be really dumb.

  33. Q Grrl says:

    What if your mom had exercised her “right to choose?”

    In case you haven’t noticed, birth has a 100% mortality rate.

    Who are you to decide when I get to die? I mean, if I had to choose between you deciding when I should die, and my mother deciding when I should die, I’m going to go with my mom every time. Go Mom!

  34. Q Grrl says:

    Which means Komen was, even if only indirectly, funding abortion.

    How is this problematic? Abortion is a legal procedure.

  35. Crystal Elle says:

    “As to my rights ending where somebody else’s begin, you are quite right, but you’ve got the results the wrong way round. Nobody has a right to use my body against my will, fetuses included. I can throw an unwanted guest out of my apartment, and I can do the same for my uterus.”

    That’s like inviting your mom over for dinner and then throwing her out the second story window. Seriously?! That fetus got there by the *choice* to have sex. I’m sure a baby just got in there just to use your body… and just because they are unwanted by you, you have the choice to exterminate them. Where is the justice for that baby?

    Babies are a gift, not some virus using your body to come into existence. And you have the choice to treat them like garbage you take to the curb.

    The choice of life is not anti-woman. It’s pro-woman because of how many WOMEN have died because of your right to choice. Abortion has killed over 25,000,000 babies, and you don’t care. Those babies were not given the choice to live. They were made by treating sex irresponsibly and like there should be no repercussions to using it cheaply. Here is an idea: stop sleeping around and you won’t have a baby knocking at your door trying to use your body.

    And, because I know someone is going to bring up rape and babies that are sick or moms that wouldn’t survive the pregnancy: Those two categories only equate for 2% of abortions, meaning 98% of abortions are because of unwanted or untimely pregnancies, so women treat them like dog crap and scrape the babies off their shoe (or technically off their uterus). This is sick. People need to take responsibility for their actions and stop murdering babies because they aren’t convenient. Rise up and care for something other than yourself!

  36. What choice does that babyembryo/fetus have in if they get to live or die?

    FTFY, first of all, and second, about the same choice as the respiratory infection that took up residence in my sinuses and lungs last week. Interfere with my existence against my will, get flushed out of my body. Unmanaged reproduction at all costs is not a positive societal rule, and neither is reproduction only managed by force of will and random chance. We can do better for ourselves and our potential descendants, and we should.

    What if your mom had exercised her “right to choose?” I bet you wouldn’t be so eager to fight for other’s right to choose…

    Wrong. If my mother hadn’t been ready and willing to raise a child, she had every right to stop gestation rather than be forced to bring her pregnancy to term and either suffer unnecessary stress and anxiety, or cough me up to the crapshoot of adoption and hope reasonable, compassionate, rational people adopted me. I would have never achieved the awareness to give more than a neural firing about the subject of my own existence, and as far as I’m concerned it is more ethical to end a pregnancy than give birth to a child that cannot be properly cared for from day one. Education and access to control technologies are far better means of putting a lid on uncontrolled population growth, and the resulting individual and societal stresses, than mindless propagation of methods purely reliant on behavioural resistance to basic reproductive urges and ostracism of those who fall afoul of those rules.

    I like being alive, it’s pretty neat and interesting, but I don’t think my own existence is so essential or amazing that another should have been forced to suffer against their will to bear and raise me.

  37. Past my expiration date says:

    That fetus got there by the *choice* to have sex.

    Babies come from choosing to have sex?! This is a biological explanation I have not previously heard.

  38. EG says:

    That’s like inviting your mom over for dinner and then throwing her out the second story window.

    No. It’s more like going out for a walk in the park, forgetting to lock the door, and then coming home to find a stranger sitting in my apartment, eating my food, using my stuff, and causing deeply uncomfortable and sometimes permanent changes to my body. That stranger does not have the right to be there, even if I left the house and forgot to lock the door. And if that stranger does not leave, I will call a professional and have him/her thrown out.

    And that’s if I even buy your nonsense about embryos being babies with rights.

    Babies are a gift, not some virus using your body to come into existence….They were made by treating sex irresponsibly and like there should be no repercussions to using it cheaply. Here is an idea: stop sleeping around and you won’t have a baby knocking at your door trying to use your body.

    So babies are a gift…but also a punishment for using sex “cheaply” and “sleeping around”? How does that work, exactly? Make up your mind: an wanted pregnancy is either a gift or a punishment. If it’s a gift, the recipient who does not want it should be able to get rid of it. If it’s a punishment, why shouldn’t those of us who don’t think sex is something women should be punished for accept it?

    I like how you assume that pregnancy results only from promiscuous, casual sex. It’s funny, because when my best friend needed an abortion, it was due to the sex she was having with the man she was with for seven years. Personally, that doesn’t sound like “sleeping around” to me.

    They were made by treating sex irresponsibly and like there should be no repercussions to using it cheaply.

    And what on earth makes you think that an unwanted pregnancy and an abortion isn’t a “repercussion”? Trust me, there’s a reason even those of us who are pro-choice and have no problem with having an abortion don’t like missing periods.

  39. EG says:

    And as a follow-up to comment I just made that’s still in moderation: it really doesn’t matter whether or not a fetus means to use my body. First of all, it doesn’t have intentions, because it doesn’t have consciousness rather later than the vast majority of abortions take place. Second of all, it’s not OK to use my body against my will if doing so is just a by-product, not your main intention. And finally, of course that’s the plan for the fetus! That’s how biology works! Try bringing an embryo/fetus to full term without using a woman’s body.

  40. EG says:

    They were made by treating sex irresponsibly and like there should be no repercussions to using it cheaply.

    By the way, why should there be repercussions for women be who sleep around? There aren’t for men. Unless, of course, you also advocate that mean who contract STDs through sleeping around should be refused treatment, so that they don’t go around thinking they can have sex without “repercussions.”

    As for caring for someone other than myself–tell it to the mothers who have abortions so that they can continue to afford to feed their other children. Or the daughters who have abortions so that they can continue with their education, get a decent job, and take care of their parents. Or the teacher who has an abortion so she can continue to provide free public education to the children of her city.

  41. Jeannette says:

    Excellent post, very clear and logical.
    Crystal Elle,
    We get it, you don’t believe in abortion. However, you don’t get to decide what I do or don’t do with my body. You don’t get to make choices for anyone but yourself. Think all babies are “gifts”? Then happily have 3, 5, or 19 kids; I don’t care. This is what it means to be pro-choice–you have the right to make the decisions YOU believe are right.

  42. Emolee says:

    What if your mom had exercised her “right to choose?” I bet you wouldn’t be so eager to fight for other’s right to choose… oh, wait… you wouldn’t be alive to choose. Your rights end where someone else’s begin.

    If rights end where someone else’s begin, then why don’t the rights of the embryo/fetus end where the woman’s begin? The embryo/fetus is inside her body, and she has rights to bodily autonomy. Do you think we should force parents (including fathers!) to be organ donors for their children?

    I can understand the argument that you think the woman would be making the *wrong* choice to have an abortion, but I cannot understand the argument that it should not be her choice to make.

  43. FashionablyEvil says:

    This is sick. People need to take responsibility for their actions and stop murdering babies because they aren’t convenient. Rise up and care for something other than yourself!

    Can we just skip ahead to the “You are obviously all incorrigible murderers! Flounce!” part and save us all the trouble of repeating these arguments again?

  44. Kaz says:

    As far as the “what if your mother had aborted you” argument goes, I’ve never understood it. Yes, if she had I’d never have existed. But the same would go for if she and my dad had not happened to have sex at the precise moment they did, or if she’d gone to uni in City A instead of City B and had therefore never met my dad, etc. etc. etc. and none of those things are therefore morally wrong. In fact, I can say pretty certainly that my brother would never have existed if my grandfather hadn’t died, and (for ultimate hammering in of the point) that neither us nor my mother would have if WWII hadn’t happened. Saying that those things were therefore good seems to me a bizarrely egocentric way of seeing the world, and I’m not sure where abortion is meant to differ.

    Also, it strikes me how ridiculously awful the “but they *chose* to have sex!” argument is. Okay, so you don’t like promiscuity, you think it should be punished. Great – well, I disagree stringently, but I am following you so far. But pregnancy? You actually want a child to be born, a new human being to come into existence, in order to punish someone? What the hell did the kid do to deserve being used that way? I mean, this is totally irrespective of whether you think women having sex is wrong or not or how wrong it is, because I cannot think of any circumstance where “they should be forced to have a kid!” follows from “this person is doing something I find morally wrong.” I find it remarkable that people are defending this and claiming they are pro-children.

    If you want punishment, whatever happened to, idk, fines? I would again disagree stringently but at least the logic there makes some form of twisted sense.

  45. Caperton says:

    Thanks for the post, though using words such as “totes” instead of totally does not help to get your point across. It just makes you sound silly.

    Whatevs.

    • Jill says:

      Thanks for the post, though using words such as “totes” instead of totally does not help to get your point across. It just makes you sound silly.

      Thanks for the comment, though commenting just to criticize the author’s use of a common slang term does not help you get your point across. It just makes you sound silly.

  46. vanessa says:

    Komen has reversed it’s decision, which leaves PP with MORE money than they would have had if Komen had never made the stupid decision!

  47. Anniecat says:

    Crystal Elle, I am the daughter of what used to be called a “shotgun marriage” — my mother got pregnant with me and had to get married. This was in 1955, pre – Roe.

    I wish my mother had had the choice of abortion. Even though that might mean I would not have existed, I believe she should have had that option. It would have saved her a lot of physical abuse at the hands of my father. Because of that abuse, she had a lot of trouble with the pregnancy, I was born 2 months early, and my mother had a LOT of problems also adjusting to being a mother.

    Take off your rose colored glasses, girl. My mother loved me, and she eventually adjusted to parenthood and learned how to be a mother (her description) but I was not a gift to her.

    And by the way, something like 60 percent of women who have abortions already have children and (IIRC) are in a stable relationship with the father of those children, and are pregnant in that relationship, and are having an abortion because they can’t handle another child.

  48. Katya says:

    Babies are a gift! A gift given to stupid sluts who have promiscuous, careless sex! And if they don’t like the gift, they should shut up, because they are being punished for being stupid sluts!

    Seriously?

  49. IrishUp says:

    Had my moms not had the right to safe legal abortion, I would not have my mom right now. Sorry sib that I never had, I guess I am just more attached to my fully-organ-differentiated mom. It’s a tough ole world you were never born into.

    Jon, please check out the Guttmacher Institute; the vast majority of women who have/will have/have had abortions will have /have had/have children. These are not mutually exclusive decisions across an entire reproductive history!!!!!

    In sum:
    – Hx of abortion does not increase risk for Br CA
    – Hx of term pregnancies with BF decreases risks for Br CA
    – These are INDEPENDENT RISK FACTORS; both, neither, or either can be in the medical history of uterus-bearing persons!

  50. Chataya says:

    Babies are a gift! A gift given to stupid sluts who have promiscuous, careless sex! And if they don’t like the gift, they should shut up, because they are being punished for being stupid sluts!

    Seriously?

    You know what I do with unwanted gifts?

    I get rid of them.

  51. Alison says:

    You know what I do with unwanted gifts?

    I get rid of them.

    OMG White Elephant Fetus Party!

    Also, count me in the “I’m likely only here BECAUSE my mother had a previous abortion” group. I have two older siblings. A few years prior to having them, my mother had had an abortion. She and my dad had only intended to have two kids. They had my brothers, and then my mom got pregnant again, and they though…eh, okay, let’s go for one more and see if we get a girl (and they did!). After I was born (like…*right* after, lol) my dad got a vasectomy. Now…if my mother had not had that earlier abortion, and my middle brother was the third kid…then dad would have had that vasectomy and I would never have come along.

    And of course, I wouldn’t give a shit about that because it’s hard to care all that much about anything when you DON’T EXIST.

  52. Andie says:

    White Elephant Fetus Party

    This site gives some of the best band-and-album name ideas.

  53. Alexis: You would be correct in that the funding from Komen was earmarked for “breast exams,” but money that funds one part of an organization frees up money to be used in other areas of the organization. Which means Komen was, even if only indirectly, funding abortion.

    Complete and total poppycock.

    This is based upon the assumption that Planned Parenthood is trying to perform abortions and is limited in the number of abortions they perform by funding, which is such an asinine assumption that only the most hateful, or most unthinking, could entertain it for an instant.

    Moreover, many charities (and Planned Parenthood in particular) have to keep grants in lock boxes where they can only be used to support the activities for which the grant is applied. Put the right strings on it, and no support for abortion is given.

    Yes, I know – it’s heartbreaking, the people who hate Planned Parenthood worked long and hard to come up with that explanation, it’s the best the could come up with, and it’s completely pathetic. Nevertheless, it’s true. Komen’s money to Planned Parenthood did not fund abortion.

    My donations to Planned Parenthood might, in an indirect fashion. But then, I didn’t donate to a fund explicitly designated for performing breast cancer screenings.

  54. Pseudonym says:

    Okay, I’m gonna call this one out. As a med student, I’ll just go ahead and inform you that full-term pregnancy is a NEGATIVE RISK FACTOR (meaning, PROTECTIVE) against breast cancer.

    This is true. But why should it have any effect on a woman’s decision whether to abort an unwanted pregnancy? If she had wanted to obtain that decrease in the risk for breast cancer (along with all the increased health risks that attend any pregnancy) then it wouldn’t have been an unwanted pregnancy in the first place. Or do you think young women are trying to get pregnant just so they can reduce their breast cancer risks?

  55. Unree says:

    @57 Yeah, the comments have made mincemeat of Jon–I wonder which dubious medical school let him in, assuming he isn’t lying–but there’s yet another riposte: Let’s give Jon his premise just for argument’s sake. If I get pregnant and don’t abort, I have a lower risk of breast cancer.

    But why is that the end of the story? Maybe I’d rather have a higher risk of breast cancer than a pregnancy. It could be a perfectly reasonable preference.

    But ooh, sez Jon, the Komen Foundation is all about breast cancer. Anything that removes the benefit of a lower risk of breast cancer–that is, staying pregnant when you don’t want to be–is the position Komen must take to be consistent with its mission.

    Except not. Komen has lobbied against Medicaid funding of breast cancer treatment, research to investigate environmental causes of breast cancer, and research into a breast cancer vaccine. (Hope that link worked. I need Preview!)

  56. Caperton says:

    Have to repeat, in defense of Jon (and I do hate defending Jon): He isn’t incorrect that full-term pregnancy is a negative risk factor for cancer, and I’m assuming the NCI isn’t incorrect that full-term pregnancy also can be a positive risk factor for cancer, because sometimes medicine is complicated like that, which is why they have special schools for it and stuff. From what I could tell, he didn’t say or imply anything about abortion or Komen–he was just being douchey about trying to catch me out lying.

    I’m not saying I like him any, but I hate to see someone getting ripped up for something they didn’t actually (I think) say.

  57. shfree says:

    That’s like inviting your mom over for dinner and then throwing her out the second story window. Seriously?! That fetus got there by the *choice* to have sex. I’m sure a baby just got in there just to use your body… and just because they are unwanted by you, you have the choice to exterminate them. Where is the justice for that baby?

    Babies are a gift, not some virus using your body to come into existence. And you have the choice to treat them like garbage you take to the curb.

    The choice of life is not anti-woman. It’s pro-woman because of how many WOMEN have died because of your right to choice. Abortion has killed over 25,000,000 babies, and you don’t care. Those babies were not given the choice to live. They were made by treating sex irresponsibly and like there should be no repercussions to using it cheaply. Here is an idea: stop sleeping around and you won’t have a baby knocking at your door trying to use your body.

    And, because I know someone is going to bring up rape and babies that are sick or moms that wouldn’t survive the pregnancy: Those two categories only equate for 2% of abortions, meaning 98% of abortions are because of unwanted or untimely pregnancies, so women treat them like dog crap and scrape the babies off their shoe (or technically off their uterus). This is sick. People need to take responsibility for their actions and stop murdering babies because they aren’t convenient. Rise up and care for something other than yourself!

    You are free to feel about it however you want, but unless your body is the pregnant one, your philosophical position about abortion doesn’t matter. And if it happens to be the pregnant one, your opinion only matters for your pregnancy.

    So really, I don’t care about the number of fetuses that women have aborted. I guarantee you the number is, in fact, much much higher, because women have been aborting their pregnancies for as long as there has been unintended pregnancy. Only they were far more likely to die along with the “babies” you weep and moan about.

    If I thought you cared about the health and well-being of other women, I would ask you if you would prefer if women died as a result of illegal abortions, but I have a sneaking suspicion that you would say that is what we filthy whores would deserve, so I’m not even going to bother. Thus, I will just say that you suck, and feel free to go pound sand.

  58. EG says:

    Shfree! You are the only person in my entire life besides my father and myself whom I have ever heard/seen use the expression “go pound sand.” My dad says it’s a railroad expression. Is that where you got it from?

  59. Peanutcat says:

    Crystal Elle, I notice you still haven’t addressed that the “right to choose” also includes the right to NOT have an abortion. Would you like to comment?

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  62. Jon says:

    Unree (58): I happily don’t have to defend my credentials nor the credentials of the academic institution where I am enrolled, especially to someone on the internet. With that said, I never actually said or implied anything that you attributed to me. The previous comments only made mincemeat of straw men.

    Caperton: Thank you. Despite our differences in opinion on what I’m sure are a great many things, you are one of the more level-headed persons here. I was specifically responding to this statement in your article:

    “What is linked to breast cancer? Full-term pregnancy.”

    The issue, I believe, is that that is not quite the entire story. The NCI’s article on the issue (this is not the link you posted) does state that, “women who have recently given birth have a short-term increase in risk that declines after about 10 years”.

    However, as I’m sure you’re aware, that article also explains the different protective effects of pregnancy at earlier ages, increased number of births, and longer periods of breastfeeding on breast cancer. There is also evidence – here – that links gestational age also affects breast cancer risk both positively and negatively (short gestation = bad, long gestation = good).

    That is all I felt should be addressed, because that one liner of yours in the article can be very misleading to someone who is not as versed in the issue as you appear to be.

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