Choice: It’s None of Your Business

It’s that age.

I have one friend who is hosting her baby shower. I have another friend who is waiting at an abortion clinic.

Another friend—of the friend who is having a baby—just bought a pink blanket with baby elephants on it for the baby shower. I’ve been sending my other friend funny text messages all morning—she is too strong and fierce to let me wait with her at the clinic, no matter how much I pleaded.

Both girls made the perfect choice. Because both girls made their choice—something that will shape what the rest of their lives look like.

So, I want to write about choice today—being a woman, republicans and how the choices we make are no one’s business except our own.

Having a baby at age 22 doesn’t look easy—but as her birthday is around the corner, we celebrate her upcoming arrival. Having an abortion at age 22 doesn’t look like an easy decision to make—but having that option is something to celebrate. Neither are tragic or to be despaired. As much as those who are pro-choice lament a young woman being saddled with a child not being able to have as much freedom as her childless friends, at some point her choice to become a mother needs to be accepted and celebrated. As much as women hear about another woman having an abortion and feel nauseas, sympathetic and upset at imagining—or remembering—that decision, it’s important to respect that choice as something responsible for the future. After all, she is in good company—one in every three women gets an abortion, and sixty percent of those women are already married.

Sometimes we don’t use as much protection as we should. Sometimes we use every type of protection possible—and despite the fact that it is 99% effective in conjunction with another form that is 99.7% effective, we are the .03 percent. Until there is a radical revolution in biology, and men can also get pregnant, we will always be at a disadvantage—as we fight for workplace and economic equality, leadership positions, and careers and contributions to the world around us that go far beyond the domestic sphere, it’s important that choice is available, affordable and accessible.

It’s a difficult choice to make—no one is in danger of trivializing it. But the social stigma and forced tragedy of it seem to only make it worse.

So, I would like to say a few words to all of the Republican (and Democrat) legislators trying to make abortion inaccessible—first through manipulating insurance plans away from covering it, then through enforcing mandatory counseling, mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds designed to guilt women about their choice and then through absurd regulations designed to shut down abortion clinics, making abortion nominally legal but inaccessible.

Those words? Fuck. You. All.

You are all men. You have no idea what it is like to be a woman, and what it is like to be pregnant, not be sure if you are pregnant or even any grasp of how much taking a pregnancy to term affects every aspect of daily life—and then the future thereafter. You can have children, see them when you come home, and continue your career (as an ideological terrible politician) being as absent as you choose to, or not to be.

Your desire to control women’s bodies is sickening. The painstaking effort you are taking on legislation to choke our right to choose from the outside, all the while cutting funding from institutions that actually matter would be absurd—if it weren’t so immediately dangerous to our lives and futures.

As men who wish to be called men, you have no role in the abortion debate other than to unquestioningly support women in whatever choice they might choose to make. Politicians, we are not your daughters, and even if we were you have no right to compromise our futures with one stroke of your patriarchal pen. Boyfriends, lovers, flings, sex buddies and men we knew for a night, this is not your choice. It is ours. We will figure it out. Trust us.

134 comments for “Choice: It’s None of Your Business

  1. Azalea
    July 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I love your support for your friends. You hit the hammer on the head, there are pro-choice people who will act like hearing from a friend “Im pregnant” means the same as “Im going to prison for the next 18 years.” and also Kudos for respecting your friend’s decision to go to the clinic alone, I might have been the jerk waiting outside in my shades and hat making sure nobody was harassing her on her way in or out.

  2. July 7, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Excellent, wonderful, and all around awesome post! Thank you for this!

  3. EG
    July 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    My only amendation would be that I don’t give a flying fuck if any of those legislators are women–the only choices they get to make are their own.

  4. July 7, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I am down with this post, but I wonder if there’s a way to recognize that although the fight for reproductive justice is heavily gendered, the actual possession of a uterus and physical capacity to bear children/have an abortion is not. Women /= uterus, uterus /= women. (While still absolutely agreeing that the policing of uteri has everything to do with the cissexist assumption that women DOES = uterus and vice versa.)

    Maybe it was even this line in particular, “As men who wish to be called men” that made it feel like trans men were being erased from this conversation.

    And also, EG’s comment about how women legislators don’t get to decide about other women’s bodies either makes me feel like, yes, this is more than about women as a homogenous group vs. men as a homogeneous group. Gendered power differences and social roles play a massive role in this, yes, but basically no one gets to decide what happens in my uterus but me, no matter who that person is or how I identify myself.

  5. July 7, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Word, word, word to everything you said, and to EG too! This was a lovely Middle Finger of Solidarity post to come back home to!

  6. Chataya
    July 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    There are men capable of becoming pregnant who must also face this choice.

  7. Chataya
    July 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Should add that I abosultely agree with the message, though. It isn’t anyone’s business but the pregnant person’s.

  8. DonnaL
    July 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Thank you , and yes to all of this, and to EG’s and Chataya’s comments as well (as in the fact that there are women legislators, too, who want to deprive other women of choice — even though they do know what it’s like to be a woman and/or to be pregnant — and, yes, there are men who can get pregnant. Just not cis men).

  9. SophiaBlue
    July 7, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Cosigning Chataya’s comments. Of course, those pushing anti-choice legislation 1) probably understand being transgender even less than they understand being a woman, and 2) would not accept a trans man as a man anyway.

  10. bhuesca
    July 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    It should not have to be the responsibility of the commentariat to point out, yet again, that women can legislate and men can gestate.

  11. July 7, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Ugggh, in mod purgatory again @ 4 (whhhhhhhhhhhhhy), but short version is absolute co-sign with Chataya, Donna, and Sophia.

  12. arlene
    July 7, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    fierce words. i’m with you until the very last sentence — until the words “boyfriends,” because the fact is, that in some cases pregnancy is something that happens to a couple, not just to a woman, and always and completely leaving the man totally out of the decision is isolating and immature. legislature should absolutely never have any part in it, but the choice to have or not have a baby shouldn’t be kept entirely out of the control of a loving and supportive partner.

    and bhuesca — i think we still live in a world with genders, whether you like it or not. a post-gender world certainly wouldn’t still be arguing about something so arcane as the right to choose, and your comment feels to me like it missed the point of the article.

  13. July 7, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Arlene, a loving and supportive partner WON’T be kept out of the decision. If a woman decides to make the decision all on her lonesome, she’s usually got a damn good reason not to involve her partner in the decision.

  14. SophiaBlue
    July 7, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    arlene, it’s not “immature” for a pregnant person to want to be the one in control of their own damn body. They don’t have to always leave their partner out of the decision, but if they’re the one who’s going through the pregnancy then they’re the one who ultimately gets to make a decision about what happens to it.

    And of course we don’t live in a “post-gender” world. The point is that man /= inability to be pregnant.

  15. Tomek Kulesza
    July 7, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    but the choice to have or not have a baby shouldn’t be kept entirely out of the control of a loving and supportive partner.

    No, it should be totally out of control of even a loving and supportive partner.

    Sure, talking, seeking advice (from partner or from random homo sapiens on the street), or even voluntarily asking someone else to make a decision you don’t want to, whatever flies your boat, but control? No, just no. You don’t get any rights over another person body by being their boyfriend or anything else.

  16. July 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Sophia, I’d modify to say that a cisgendered man / = inability to be pregnant.

    But in all other respects, hear hear.

  17. Tomek Kulesza
    July 7, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    she’s usually got a damn good reason not to involve her partner in the decision.

    And even if her reason is damn bad, she still has the right.

  18. Tomek Kulesza
    July 7, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    she’s usually got a damn good reason not to involve her partner in the decision.

    And even if her reason is damn bad, she still has the right.

  19. July 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    but the choice to have or not have a baby shouldn’t be kept entirely out of the control of a loving and supportive partner.

    That choice is a matter of exercising bodily autonomy, so only pregnant people themselves can have a say in that choice. A truly loving and supporting partner wouldn’t want to control their partner’s body.

  20. arlene
    July 7, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    tomek–thank you, control was the wrong word. you’re completely right. what i really find reprehensible is the idea that having a baby is always something that a woman does alone. it’s not–but i shouldn’t have used that word!

    and sophia–i guess the gender debate is on. if you mean “identify as” man, then of course you’re right. but if what we’re really talking about here is a bodily ability, then i’d say the lack of a uterus becomes pretty important.

  21. July 7, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    sophia–i guess the gender debate is on. if you mean “identify as” man, then of course you’re right. but if what we’re really talking about here is a bodily ability, then i’d say the lack of a uterus becomes pretty important.

    No, there is no gender “debate”. This is about the fact that not all women have uteruses and, more importantly in this case, some men do. Okay? There are no questions here. There are men who possess the biological capacity to gestate a foetus, give birth, and have abortions – these men should not be utterly erased from the conversation. These men exist. They don’t need to dominate the discussion and their existence certainly doesn’t change the sexist roots of this injustice (although recognizing them also calls attention to the cissexist roots of this injustice as well), but pretending they don’t exist or pushing them aside is wrong.

    There. Are. Men. With. Uteruses.

    No debate. No erasure.

  22. DonnaL
    July 7, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Thank you, Jadey. I don’t know why it’s so difficult for some people to accept the use of trans-inclusive language and then just move on, instead of trying to have a debate about it (and acting as if anyone who brings up the desirability of using inclusive language is derailing the conversation. Because of how tiresome it is to remember, and all that.)

    Arlene, it isn’t simply a question of there being people with uteruses who “identify as” men, as if they aren’t really men and you’re humoring them. They *are* men. Just as there are women who never had uteruses who *are* women. See? It’s easy.

  23. sophia
    July 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    good lord. can we take a step back? this is an article about a woman’s right to choose–an entertaining, well-written article that, let’s face it, preaches to the choir (doubt a lot of anti-choice bigots are reading feministe)–can we all just take a few chill pills, enjoy the communal righteousness, and leave the gender debate (because even if we don’t want it to be one, clearly it is) out of it? the anger here really seems to be taking anonymous internet arguing to a wholly unnecessary level.

  24. July 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    My social justice includes challenging cissexism as well as sexism and not pursuing one at the expense of the other.

    If there were more trans-inclusiveness in the first place and less ridiculous push-back every time we try to compensate for this in the comments, then there would be no derail.

    As for being annoyed and vocal about bigotry, well, surely that’s out-of-place and inappropriate here. This is just a hat blog, after all.

  25. sophia
    July 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    jadey–you might want to learn to use dialogue that will convince people who don’t already agree with you. unless you’re not interested in furthering your cause, and only WANT to preach to the choir.

    and arlene — come on, girl, you know the internet is no place for an intelligent debate!

  26. sophia
    July 7, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    i mean, jadey, you literally just wrote “if everyone agreed with us, there would be no debate”.

    …seriously?

  27. DonnaL
    July 7, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    the anger here really seems to be taking anonymous internet arguing to a wholly unnecessary level.

    I guess you haven’t spent much time on the Internet?

    There’s really no need to be so dismissive. If people are bothered by the fact that a commenter is so resistant to the use of trans-inclusive language, is it really up to you to decide that they’re overreacting, and to get all “good lord”-y about it? And to say the equivalent of “lighten up”? I know that it all must seem ridiculous and inconsequential to you, but not everyone feels that way. Believe it or not, there actually are a few trans people and trans allies here, who do care about inclusive language. And this is, after all, supposed to be a trans-friendly forum.

  28. SophiaBlue
    July 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Thanks Jadey, you said what I wanted to say better than I could.

    sophia, there wasn’t much anger initially, merely an attempt to make sure that trans men were included in the discussion. Anger only happened when arlene brought up the ideo of a “gender debate” and, well, when people decide that my identity is up for debate, damn straight I’m going to be angry.

  29. DonnaL
    July 7, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    arlene — come on, girl, you know the internet is no place for an intelligent debate!

    OK, right, I think we know where you stand now. You’re pretty much like the people who want to have an “intelligent debate” about abortion and evolution and whether gay people should be allowed to marry each other, and whine about how biased it is not to allow “both sides of the story.”

    Guess who’s derailing?

  30. July 7, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    if you mean “identify as” man, then of course you’re right.

    Wow, that’s some powerful condescension in those quote marks, there. Jadey said pretty much everything I wanted to say, though, so I’ll just add that women who do not accept all women as women are doing the exact same damn thing as the slut-shaming victim-blaming forced-birthing stereotyping douchewaffles in Congress who happen to be women: hurting all of us. Fucking stop it with the gender policing already.

  31. July 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    jadey–you might want to learn to use dialogue that will convince people who don’t already agree with you. unless you’re not interested in furthering your cause, and only WANT to preach to the choir.

    Well, fuck me, is “intelligent non-bigoted human being” the definition of “choir” these days? If only.

    sophia, there are academic papers, 101 blogs, hundreds of individual posts by people cis, trans and everything in between, Wikipedia, encyclopedias, information websites and *gasp* books that explain, perfectly politely, the concepts we’re trying to deal with here. If what you want is cuddles and puppies, go there. While in a non-101 space, a better strategy would be: don’t show your ass and expect it not to get spanked.

    Um, and gender identity is not up for “debate”. Any more than any other identity people claim to hold. Okay? Jesus.

  32. Chataya
    July 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    good lord. can we take a step back? this is an article about a woman’s right to choose–an entertaining, well-written article that, let’s face it, preaches to the choir (doubt a lot of anti-choice bigots are reading feministe)–can we all just take a few chill pills, enjoy the communal righteousness, and leave the gender debate (because even if we don’t want it to be one, clearly it is) out of it? the anger here really seems to be taking anonymous internet arguing to a wholly unnecessary level.

    You realize that there is a large portion of the trans* community that refuses to identify with feminism precisely because of attitudes like this? This kind of erasure should not be tolerated. It’s like focusing a debate so that it only acknowledges white or heterosexual people.

  33. July 7, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    jadey–you might want to learn to use dialogue that will convince people who don’t already agree with you. unless you’re not interested in furthering your cause, and only WANT to preach to the choir.

    Sorry, what form of sugar-coating would you require before you felt like treating trans people with respect? Is there a flavour which makes swallowing your cissexism easier? Because while I am quite annoyed (and very close to getting angry), I have not called anyone names or even cursed (unusual for me)! All I have said, as explicitly and unapologetically as I could, is that I will not compromise my values for the sake of my values, as that defeats the purpose of having them.

    Fortunately, the Internet is a big place with a lot of people lurking and reading. I learned from lurking and seeing what arguments I believed and who seemed to be full of shit – it’s to the lurkers I speak. I have long ago learned that running after disinterested assholes who would like to see me beg before they dismiss me is a waste of energy and time, and to the extent that you seem like one of those people (which, based on what you’ve said, seems to be the case), I’m not going to bend over backwards for your pleasure.

    If you actually want to be a more just person, that should be motivation enough itself. If you want me to get into a debate with you over whether trans people’s gender and sexual identities should be recognized and respected – NO. Get your 101 on somewhere else. I won’t insult trans people in this space by pretending that’s a conversation worth having here.

    I am done responding to you and to anyone else who feels like questioning the importance of trans-inclusion on Feministe, as I think this point has been made many times in the past by commenters and moderators. I am also requesting some mod presence on this thread, if there is a mod available – nipping this in the bud would be preferable.

    I am killing myself laughing over the idea that you think this is typical Internet “unintelligent” debate. Does “intelligent debate” in your world mean “everybody agrees with me and then we have cupcakes”? Because we definitely fall short if that is the case.

  34. July 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Any more than any other identity people claim to hold.

    Wurgh. Just realised that came off transphobic in itself. I meant to say that the identities people claim for themselves – religion, culture, sexuality, gender, nationality (in some cases) – is pretty much self-determined and honestly ought to be off-limits. I don’t go around Hindu-policing people or telling Nepalis they ought to be Indian nationals because they used to be part of some random British collectivised colony; why, then, should I feel I have the right to go around peeking down people’s pants instead of listening to their actual perspective?

  35. July 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    (trying again – first one got modded)

    jadey–you might want to learn to use dialogue that will convince people who don’t already agree with you. unless you’re not interested in furthering your cause, and only WANT to preach to the choir.

    Sorry, what form of sugar-coating would you require before you felt like treating trans people with respect? Is there a flavour which makes swallowing your cissexism easier? Because while I am quite annoyed (and very close to getting angry), I have not called anyone names or even cursed (unusual for me)! All I have said, as explicitly and unapologetically as I could, is that I will not compromise my values for the sake of my values, as that defeats the purpose of having them.

    Fortunately, the Internet is a big place with a lot of people lurking and reading. I learned from lurking and seeing what arguments I believed and who seemed to be full of shit – it’s to the lurkers I speak. I have long ago learned that running after disinterested assholes who would like to see me beg before they dismiss me is a waste of energy and time, and to the extent that you seem like one of those people (which, based on what you’ve said, seems to be the case), I’m not going to bend over backwards for your pleasure.

    If you actually want to be a more just person, that should be motivation enough itself. If you want me to get into a debate with you over whether trans people’s gender and sexual identities should be recognized and respected – NO. Get your 101 on somewhere else. I won’t insult trans people in this space by pretending that’s a conversation worth having here.

    I am done responding to you and to anyone else who feels like questioning the importance of trans-inclusion on Feministe, as I think this point has been made many times in the past by commenters and moderators. I am also requesting some mod presence on this thread, if there is a mod available – nipping this in the bud would be preferable.

    I am killing myself laughing over the idea that you think this is typical Internet “unintelligent” debate. Does “intelligent debate” in your world mean “everybody agrees with me and then we have cupcakes”? Because we definitely fall short if that is the case.

  36. July 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    WAUURHG MODBOT GRRR. What have I done to displease thee??

    jadey–you might want to learn to use dialogue that will convince people who don’t already agree with you. unless you’re not interested in furthering your cause, and only WANT to preach to the choir.

    Sorry, what form of sugar-coating would you require before you felt like treating trans people with respect? Is there a flavour which makes swallowing your cissexism easier? Because while I am quite annoyed (and very close to getting angry), I have not called anyone names or even cursed (unusual for me)! All I have said, as explicitly and unapologetically as I could, is that I will not compromise my values for the sake of my values, as that defeats the purpose of having them.

    Fortunately, the Internet is a big place with a lot of people lurking and reading. I learned from lurking and seeing what arguments I believed and who seemed to be full of shit – it’s to the lurkers I speak. I have long ago learned that running after disinterested assholes who would like to see me beg before they dismiss me is a waste of energy and time, and to the extent that you seem like one of those people (which, based on what you’ve said, seems to be the case), I’m not going to bend over backwards for your pleasure.

    If you actually want to be a more just person, that should be motivation enough itself. If you want me to get into a debate with you over whether trans people’s gender and sexual identities should be recognized and respected – NO. Get your 101 on somewhere else. I won’t insult trans people in this space by pretending that’s a conversation worth having here.

    I am done responding to you and to anyone else who feels like questioning the importance of trans-inclusion on Feministe, as I think this point has been made many times in the past by commenters and moderators. I am also requesting some mod presence on this thread, if there is a mod available – nipping this in the bud would be preferable.

  37. July 7, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Lol….I confused sophia and SophiaBlue for a bit and got confused as hell about why SB was making transphobic remarks. I r dim.

  38. July 7, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    *sigh*

    I’ve just been modded three times in a row. I don’t know what’s wrong with that comment, but when someone gets around to it, you can delete the second two and just post the first, please.

    Shorter: Everything that Donna, SophiaBlue, Mac, Chataya said.

    @ Sophia: Fine, there is a “debate” in the sense that there are transphobic assholes out there who erase and disrespect trans people. There is no “debate” in the sense of a conversation which has a valid place in a just feminism.

  39. July 7, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    It’s pretty simple folks.

    If you identify as a woman, you’re a woman. If you identify as a man, you’re a man.

    This, ideally, would be how these conversations would go:

    “women get to choose, being as they have the uteruses.”
    “um, some men have uteruses.”
    “Oh, right. Sorry about that. What I meant was, people with uteruses get to choose, as they have the uteruses.”

    See how easy that is? No derail necessary. The derail doesn’t come by asking for trans-inclusiveness, it comes when people keep arguing and whining about not feeling trans-inclusiveness is necessary.

  40. DonnaL
    July 7, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Also, Sophia, if you want to find a place on the Internet where it’s considered acceptable to “debate” issues of trans identity — and where you don’t have to worry that any actual trans people might interrupt the conversation! — I could name a dozen of them without even looking them up. But I have a feeling that you’re already quite familiar with places like that.

  41. July 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    And I should have been less binary about it, but if you don’t identify as either and just want to identify as person or human or keeper of all things awesome, then that should be acceptable as well.

  42. July 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    On an side-note.. This derail might end up being the only discussion here, because really, who here is going to argue with the gist of the OP?

  43. tinfoil hattie
    July 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    don’t show your ass and expect it not to get spanked.

    Not a great turn of phrase.

  44. Alara Rogers
    July 7, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Another thing to point out, aside from the cissexism of “men can’t get pregnant”, is that actually, many of the legislators working hard to ensure that people with working uteruses do not have the right to choose whether they bear children or not *are* in fact women. The statement “You are all men”, directed at Republican anti-choice asshats in legislatures, is incorrect.

    It may be correct specifically for Michigan, but last time I checked the virulently anti-choice Michelle Bachman was still a Congresswoman, and Sarah Palin certainly would never have signed an Alaskan law expanding abortion coverage for women, even if as governor she didn’t have the power to *make* anti-choice laws.

    I do not believe there are any female Democrats who are anti-choice, but just as there are a small number of anti-choice Democrats (who I think are all male), there is a significant number of anti-choice female Republicans. Having a working uterus doesn’t necessarily mean that you believe others with such a thing deserve the right to control it.

    (I am conflating male and female with the possession of a uterus in the context of legislators because I do not believe there are any trans legislators in Congress. At least, if they are, they are fully closeted. In the context of the entire population, there are men who have uteruses, but if any of them are in Congress they are being forced to pretend they are women in order to get votes.)

  45. July 7, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    don’t show your ass and expect it not to get spanked.

    I know you’re not condoning victim-blaming for sexual harassment, but you really should have phrased your point better.

  46. July 7, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Alara Rogers, you make an excellent point. Those Serena Joy types probably wouldn’t like the society they’re trying their damnedest to bring, though.

  47. July 7, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Ugh. Tinfoil, Mxe, you’re totally right. I’d never even thought about that as a victim-blaming statement (jesus, looks like I have some internalised issues there). Sorry!

  48. marx1
    July 7, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    pretty sure if any of you wanted to affect actual change, you’d be out in the world doing it, rather than in a liberal vocabulary pissing contest on the internet.
    ms. lekas miller, i apologize on behalf of all reasonable people for this completely immature and sidetracked debate. you wrote a beautiful article.

  49. shfree
    July 7, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    I have always maintained that what a person does with their uterus has really been none of my business, and it has always pissed me off when people who are involved in the abortion-related field, or are pro-choice, still think it their business, and it DOES happen. Like the article I’ve read about pro-choice Catholics who’ve lectured a women for having more than three abortions, because clearly they’re being irresponsible. Or the father who was trying to set up an appointment for an abortion for his teenage daughter, and he was pissed that she was pregnant, because she should have “known better”, as he was a long time donor and volunteer for Planned Parenthood. Or the time a client came in with her counselor, and whose parents were apparently pressuring her hardcore to have an abortion, and she kind of didn’t want to have one. I personally felt, given her life circumstances, that it probably would have been the best of a bad situation, but I refused to schedule her for a procedure, because she kind of sort of didn’t want one, and it wasn’t my uterus, so regardless of my feelings and my personal opinions, IT’S NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

  50. cherrybomb
    July 7, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    @shfree–
    Thank goodness for people like you, who respect women’s rights to choose, even if that choice is to continue the pregnancy.
    I had scheduled an abortion, and ended up not being able to go through with it. (At the very, very last feet-in-stirrups-cervix-getting-numbed minute). I was crying, and the doctor told me, “you know, you don’t have to do this.”
    No one knew, so I wasn’t being pressured into anything. I though, at 19, an abortion was the most logical choice. And I’d already had one before (about 7 months prior), so what was a second?
    I don’t regret my first abortion, and I certainly don’t regret having my son. Both decisions were the “right” decisions for me at the time, and I’m glad that the doctors and staff were respectful of my choices in both instances.

  51. marvas1
    July 7, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    last time i checked, there are plenty of books that disagree with one another. so jadey, i find your tone condescending, i find your argument unconvincing, and (to everyone) i think that if any of you wanted to make real change happen, you would do that in the real world, rather than in an anonymous internet debate. everyone’s real big and important when they know nothing about each other.

    not to mention, a conversation so overrun with political correctness that every sentence needs a million qualifiers can’t be productive for anyone.

    feminism is often accused of isolating itself — this is a perfect example of a community making itself totally innaccessible to anyone else. how can that be productive?

  52. July 7, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    I don’t know about the pro-life scene in the US, but in Great Britain there are many female pro-lifers. If a woman’s choice is “the perfect choice” whatever it might be, do you give the same value to women’s choices to be pro-life?

  53. amblingalong
    July 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Or the father who was trying to set up an appointment for an abortion for his teenage daughter, and he was pissed that she was pregnant, because she should have “known better”, as he was a long time donor and volunteer for Planned Parenthood

    I’m with you on everything else, but this seems likes a strange thing to call out. I mean, is it really inappropriate for parents to be upset when their teenager gets someone pregnant/ gets pregnant? Particularly in the case of not using protection and having an accidental pregnancy, I think it’s entirely compatible with feminism and choice for a parent to say “that was risky and irresponsible behavior, you’re grounded.”

  54. July 7, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    If a woman’s choice is “the perfect choice” whatever it might be, do you give the same value to women’s choices to be pro-life?

    Um….my wife is militantly pro-life…. for herself. I’m militantly pro-abortion…. for myself. We both absolutely respect the right of any person who gets pregnant to carry that pregnancy to term, keep the baby, give it up, abort the foetus, whatever they choose – for themselves – and we don’t see our viewpoints as opposing ones at all. The point is CHOICE; all choices here are of equal validity. The major difference between us and the forced-birthers is that they want to impose THEIR choices on US. And that’s just not cool.

  55. amblingalong
    July 7, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    If a woman’s choice is “the perfect choice” whatever it might be

    Nobody said that, and nobody believes it.

  56. marvas1
    July 7, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    gerry — as far as i see it, choice refers to a woman’s uterus and her uterus alone. so of course, she can choose not to have an abortion. she can think it’s the wrong thing to do for herself. but no, choice does not cover a pro-life point of view that includes other women’s bodies. choice is personal.

    also, amblingalong, hear, hear. thank you. feminism does not mean the same thing for every person.

  57. amblingalong
    July 7, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    all choices here are of equal validity

    I’m not sure I’d go that far. All choices here are equally the right of the one making them, certainly, but I don’t think the choice to have an abortion is totally remove from the realm of ethical inquiry.want someone wants to get an abortion because they don’t want a female child, for instance, I will support their right to do that, but I’m still going to criticize their notices, and I don’t think doing so is antithetical to supporting choice.

  58. amblingalong
    July 7, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    If someone wants*

  59. shfree
    July 7, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    I’m with you on everything else, but this seems likes a strange thing to call out. I mean, is it really inappropriate for parents to be upset when their teenager gets someone pregnant/ gets pregnant? Particularly in the case of not using protection and having an accidental pregnancy, I think it’s entirely compatible with feminism and choice for a parent to say “that was risky and irresponsible behavior, you’re grounded.”

    Being pregnant =/ not using contraception. I used protection when I got pregnant, so who is to say that this person didn’t? And I don’t think a parent should be making an appointment for their teenager, as it isn’t their body.

    Me, personally, as a parent, wouldn’t ground my daughter for getting pregnant from not using contraception, or having it fail. I think having to deal with the consequences of a unplanned conception would be enough of a lesson that she wouldn’t need any consequences levied by me.

  60. July 7, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    I don’t think the choice to have an abortion is totally remove from the realm of ethical inquiry

    Which is precisely why I said “valid” rather than “of equal value”. I would side-eye someone who chose to abort based on sex hard – as an Indian woman, how the fuck can I not? – and I certainly wouldn’t consider it on the same level as, say, a woman wanting to end an ectopic pregnancy. But I wouldn’t force them to continue a pregnancy even if I thought their reasons were bullshit. The choice might be highly problematic, but it’s still a valid one.

  61. cherrybomb
    July 7, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    is it really inappropriate for parents to be upset when their teenager gets someone pregnant/ gets pregnant? Particularly in the case of not using protection and having an accidental pregnancy, I think it’s entirely compatible with feminism and choice for a parent to say “that was risky and irresponsible behavior, you’re grounded.”

    Who says the teenager wasn’t being careful? Shit happens. I got pregnant on the pill. Do we expect teenagers to not have sex ever?

    If my child impregnates someone he’ll either be splitting the abortion cost or paying child support. He won’t be grounded, because that really wouldn’t solve anything. I don’t expect my son to wait until he 30-35 with a great job and ten years of savings before he starts having sex, that would be silly. If he says he didn’t wrap it up he will get a “wtf were you thinking?” But grounding teens for having sex, for needing an abortion…. Really?

    I can’t afford another child, but I would like the option of having an orgasm that isn’t solo. People without job security have just as much a right to sex.

  62. July 7, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    It is a big mistake to reduce the massive moral and practical disaster of abortion restriction to men telling women what to do. Restricting abortion is horrible regardless of whether it is men trying to do it or women trying to do it, and there is nothing magical about being a woman that enables the recognition that abortion is a fundamental human right.

  63. kungfulola
    July 7, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    I don’t think the choice to have an abortion is totally remove from the realm of ethical inquiry.

    I would add that the choice to have a child is not exempt from this scrutiny, either. Children have non-negotiable needs, and people unprepared to meet those needs are acting unethically when they choose to have children. We hold the hard work of parenting in such low esteem that people take it as a given that just anyone can do it with an arbitrary level of engagement.

    I feel that the choice to have children is even more ethically weighty than the choice to have an abortion. An abortion does not result in the creation of a helpless human being who has the inalienable right to safety, shelter, food and nurturing.

  64. cherrybomb
    July 7, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    I would add that the choice to have a child is not exempt from this scrutiny, either.

    … It’s true, mothers just aren’t scrutinized enough.

  65. July 7, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    It is a big mistake to reduce the massive moral and practical disaster of abortion restriction to men telling women what to do. Restricting abortion is horrible regardless of whether it is men trying to do it or women trying to do it, and there is nothing magical about being a woman that enables the recognition that abortion is a fundamental human right.

    No one here is saying that it’s not as bad when women try to restrict abortion. I don’t know where you got that from.

  66. July 7, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Um….my wife is militantly pro-life…. for herself. I’m militantly pro-abortion…. for myself. We both absolutely respect the right of any person who gets pregnant to carry that pregnancy to term, keep the baby, give it up, abort the foetus, whatever they choose – for themselves – and we don’t see our viewpoints as opposing ones at all. The point is CHOICE; all choices here are of equal validity. The major difference between us and the forced-birthers is that they want to impose THEIR choices on US. And that’s just not cool.

    There is no such thing as being pro-life for yourself. That is still technically being pro-choice. If someone were truly pro-life for themselves that would mean that they would want the government to pass a law outlawing abortion just for them.

  67. DonnaL
    July 7, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    … It’s true, mothers just aren’t scrutinized enough

    Absolutely! I’m amazed that nobody’s ever thought of scrutinizing mothers before, and I think it’s a brilliant idea.

  68. miga
    July 7, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    The music video is possibly fatphobic (I’m not sure what role those people are playing in the vid), but otherwise I will let Salt n’ Pepa speak for me:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q96-e042bk&feature=player_detailpage

  69. DonnaL
    July 7, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I don’t know where you got that from.

    I think it’s directed at Anna’s post, which is directed exclusively at men.

  70. kungfulola
    July 7, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    … It’s true, mothers just aren’t scrutinized enough.

    I meant the choice is often not scrutinized by the people making it, not outsiders. And, in general terms (not individual cases), I think it would benefit everyone, especially mothers, to normalize talking about having children as a choice, and not a given. Like I said, the work of parenting isn’t valued and taken seriously. Everyone knows that it’s given lip service, but nothing is done to demonstrate its actual worth to society.

    On my FB wall, one of my friends wrote: ” My office-mate credits me with opening eyes to the fact that procreating is a thing that you can consider carefully and then decide to do or not do. And he and his partner have now tentatively decided not to do it.”
    How can this simply not occur to people?

  71. amblingalong
    July 8, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Being pregnant =/ not using contraception. I used protection when I got pregnant, so who is to say that this person didn’t? And I don’t think a parent should be making an appointment for their teenager, as it isn’t their body

    I’m pretty sure it’s entirely acceptable for parents to schedule their kids medical appointments. Kids typically aren’t used to doing things like dealing with insurance providers. If he was forcing her to HAVE the abortion we’d agree, but this is totally normal.

    Me, personally, as a parent, wouldn’t ground my daughter for getting pregnant from not using contraception, or having it fail. I think having to deal with the consequences of a unplanned conception would be enough of a lesson that she wouldn’t need any consequences levied by me.

    The grounded thing was me being flippant, but yeah, I still think its entirely acceptable for parents to set boundaries on his old their children have to be to have sex, and enforce them. I mean, of my (hypothetical) thirteen year old wanted to go over to someone’s house to have sex, I wouldn’t hesitate to shut the idea down. Eighteen year old, not so much.

    Re: abortion being a valid choice, I agree with everyone who replied to me. I just don’t like the idea that being pro-choice means you have to be behind any personal choice with regards to abortion, ever- but that’s not what you were saying, so we’re on the same page.

  72. amblingalong
    July 8, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Being pregnant =/ not using contraception. I used protection when I got pregnant, so who is to say that this person didn’t? And I don’t think a parent should be making an appointment for their teenager, as it isn’t their body

    I’m pretty sure it’s entirely acceptable for parents to schedule their kids medical appointments. Kids typically aren’t used to doing things like dealing with insurance providers. If he was forcing her to HAVE the abortion we’d agree, but this is totally normal.

    Me, personally, as a parent, wouldn’t ground my daughter for getting pregnant from not using contraception, or having it fail. I think having to deal with the consequences of a unplanned conception would be enough of a lesson that she wouldn’t need any consequences levied by me.

    The grounded thing was me being flippant, but yeah, I still think its entirely acceptable for parents to set boundaries on how old their children have to be to have sex, and enforce them. I mean, if my (hypothetical) thirteen year old wanted to go over to someone’s house to have sex, I wouldn’t hesitate to shut the idea down. Eighteen year old, not so much.

    Re: abortion being a valid choice, I agree with everyone who replied to me. I just don’t like the idea that being pro-choice means you have to be behind any personal choice with regards to abortion, ever- but that’s not what you were saying, so we’re on the same page.

  73. July 8, 2012 at 12:50 am

    “Both girls made the perfect choice. Because both girls made their choice”

    If you live in a society where every choice is of equal value whatever it is, you will find your hard-won freedoms start to evaporate. For example, does the right of a girl below the legal age of consent (ie below an age where she can legally consent to anything – which in England is 13) have the right to enter what law enforcement agencies would class as a forced marriage? Or does a woman’s decision to remain in street-prostitution rather than undergo detox mean that the men who use her services are not, in many cases, abusers?

    These seem extreme cases, but these are the areas where rights are fraying at the edges. No choice is absolutely free, but rather subject to a complex web of considerations both within our control and outwith it.

  74. shfree
    July 8, 2012 at 1:00 am

    I’m pretty sure it’s entirely acceptable for parents to schedule their kids medical appointments. Kids typically aren’t used to doing things like dealing with insurance providers. If he was forcing her to HAVE the abortion we’d agree, but this is totally normal.

    Abortion is a completely different animal than other medical procedures, and it was our clinic’s policy that in order fully schedule an appointment, we had to speak to the person having the procedure done, full stop, no matter the age of the person who is having the abortion. I HAD to have an answer to the question of whether or not they were comfortable with their decision before I hit that little “enter” key, and just talking to a parent isn’t going to do it. I needed to speak to the pregnant client about their personal medical information regarding their current pregnancy status, and whether or not they wanted an abortion FROM THEIR OWN MOUTHS. And to hear that they understood the basics of the process, and that they had no questions, FROM THEIR OWN MOUTHS. And the age of the client didn’t matter, I had to speak to THEM, not a parent.

    The grounded thing was me being flippant, but yeah, I still think its entirely acceptable for parents to set boundaries on how old their children have to be to have sex, and enforce them. I mean, if my (hypothetical) thirteen year old wanted to go over to someone’s house to have sex, I wouldn’t hesitate to shut the idea down. Eighteen year old, not so much.

    Well, I would like to think that my thirteen year old, soon to be fourteen year old isn’t having sex yet, but when she decides she is ready to I hope she will talk to me about it. However, I’m not anticipating that she will seek my permission or tell me that she is going over to have sex with her girl/boyfriend, whoever she prefers, should she ever get around to expressing an interest. I just hope that all of the lessons I’ve tried to wedge into her past her “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU MOM” covered ears as I tried to even broach the subject of sex sank in a bit.

  75. Jade
    July 8, 2012 at 6:17 am

    I’ll preface by saying that I have read only a few of the previous comments. So, I apologize in advance if my ideas have already been covered by someone else.

    I greatly appreciate the acknowledgement that choosing to have children at a younger age is not an intrinsic tragedy! My husband and I married at quite a young age and our first pregnancy followed shortly after. Though we were both younger than most people in the US would intend to be when they marry and become parents (We were both 18 to be exact.), our marriage was entirely because were in love.

    People assumed falsely that I must have been pregnant already to be getting married so young. People assumed that our considerable youth automatically meant that our first pregnancy had been a result of carelessness or an “accident”. The truth was that our first pregnancy was not the result of actively trying to conceive, but the conscious decision to stop using any birth control and welcome pregnancy if it should happen. When it did, we were prepared for it (as prepared as anyone can be without having been pregnant before. lol). The pregnancy and the birth of our first daughter were and are very happy and welcomed events in our lives.

    Some may see becoming a spouse and parent at such a young age as the death of one’s youth, but I do not. Being a young parent definitely carries it’s own challenges, but it also has it’s own benefits. We are still young enough to remember vividly how tough growing up can be and we will still be young enough after our kids are grown to fully enjoy travel or pretty much any hobbies we want to get into. Sure, we still had a LOT to learn about life and adulthood at 18, but I’ve come to realize that a wise person is never truly done learning about life.

    I won’t deny that there have been times where I think about or fantasize about what my life would be like if I had gone to college first (versus waiting until my kids are both is school) and put off having children or chosen to be child-free. I would imagine that most parents think about those types of things from time to time (whether or not they admit it). However, I don’t regret my life or decisions.

    The decisions my husband and I have made were ours to make and they’ve gone quite well for us. We’re still happily together after 10 years (next month); our kids are wonderful, intelligent, thoughtful, and respectful little girls whom we are raising to be strong, intelligent, free-thinking, and independent young women. We’re happy, healthy, stable and I wouldn’t change our family if I could. It’s been so worth every single up and down.

    I also would never dream of telling other people that they should/have to/need to make the same decisions that I have. I am living the right life for me and in the best interest of my young family. I don’t consider myself to be above or beneath any other person. My life is my own to live and I respect that fact for others. I firmly believe that if the people who are so hellbent on controlling other people’s lives put that much effort into their own lives, they would have much happier, better, and more fulfilling lives. Plus, they wouldn’t have so much time to spend trying to police things that are none of their business in the first place.

  76. Azalea
    July 8, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Arlene, a loving and supportive partner WON’T be kept out of the decision. If a woman decides to make the decision all on her lonesome, she’s usually got a damn good reason not to involve her partner in the decision.

    Like she cheated and it may not be his (being a loving and supportive partner does NOT mean she will not cheat women can be and have been supreme cheating assholes JUST as men have been), or like knowing that he wants to be a father and it would hurt him if he knew she was pregnant and decided on an abortion. I think if she loves him it’s her responsibility to inform him that he’s impregnanted her and that she wants to have an abortion. She should care enough about him not to hide that from him and allow him to make the decision on whether or not that’s a dealbreaker, whether or not that hurts him so there can be a discussion on why and better forms of birth control (he may opt to both use a condom with spermicide and pull out to do his part in making sure he doesn’t impregnant her again). But to completely exclude someone you “love/respect” and is in a relationship with from knowing you’re pregnant- that’s fucked up.

  77. Azalea
    July 8, 2012 at 7:52 am

    The first paragraph is not mine, I meant to blockquote it ><

  78. Azalea
    July 8, 2012 at 8:15 am

    If my child impregnates someone he’ll either be splitting the abortion cost or paying child support. He won’t be grounded, because that really wouldn’t solve anything. I don’t expect my son to wait until he 30-35 with a great job and ten years of savings before he starts having sex, that would be silly. If he says he didn’t wrap it up he will get a “wtf were you thinking?” But grounding teens for having sex, for needing an abortion…. Really?

    In some states the mother of the child can go after the parents of a minor father for child support. Meaning if you’re in one of those states, YOU will be paying child support for your GRANDCHILD and will be obligated by law to pay for his sexual activity.

    Even if your son was a minor and raped by an adult woman she can sue him for child support and if he is too young to get a job you’ll be paying his rapist child support.

  79. kungfulola
    July 8, 2012 at 8:23 am

    But anyway, the assumption that people just don’t think about whether or not not they have kids is infuriating.

    Some people do, some people don’t. But everyone should. It’s too important a task to just shrug your shoulders and go “whatever”. We feel free to judge people who buy puppies because they are cute, and then don’t bother socializing them or exercising them properly. But it’s ok to do that to a human being?

    Our country (and our history) is filled with people who think they should have a say in who deserves to have kids, and who doesn’t.

    I am aware of that, and that is why I clarified that I was speaking in general terms only, about attitudes, not public policy. If the conversation included as a given that parenting is labour-intensive, important, and optional, it would create a climate of respect around parenthood. It would alleviate the double-standard towards mothers, and shut down the constant judging of the childfree. Everyone would win.

    Poor woman without a ton of resources does not a “bad mother” make, nor is a privileged person with lots of resources by default going to make a great parent.

    That is why I said “safety, food, shelter, nurturing” and not “a minivan, a swimming pool, a pony and Montessori preschool”. Mothers, no matter how poor, find ways to provide the basics for their kids. My problem is not with fictional “welfare queens” (hate that phrase), but affluent people who think it’s enough to throw some Baby Gap on their little angel and keep them from setting the house on fire. They don’t think about mindful parenting, they leave the work of teaching consequences and discipline to teachers and coaches. They aren’t emotionally engaged with their children as individuals and think of them as extensions of themselves.

  80. EG
    July 8, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    OK, where’d the post about Christianity, religion, and the left go? I make one, oh, OK, two, exasperated comments and then it disappears? Not playing fair.

  81. July 8, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I was kind of looking forward to seeing how discussion was going to go down on that one.

  82. Tomek Kulesza
    July 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    amblingalong,

    The grounded thing was me being flippant, but yeah, I still think its entirely acceptable for parents to set boundaries on how old their children have to be to have sex, and enforce them. I mean, if my (hypothetical) thirteen year old wanted to go over to someone’s house to have sex, I wouldn’t hesitate to shut the idea down. Eighteen year old, not so much.

    Imagine that today someone you’re (hypothetically) completely dependend on (financially, legally, etc) decides you can’t have sex or you will be grounded. What would you do? Well, most likely you will try to defend your autonomy – dodge, pretend to agree, lie, use passive resistance, hide your feelings from that person, shut down communication, and try to sneak and have it anyway.

    Guess what a kid will do in similar case.

  83. EG
    July 8, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Seriously. At what point do you imagine your kid saying “Ooooh. You don’t want me to have sex? Oh, OK, Dad/Mom. No problem. I’ll hold off until you approve.”

  84. July 8, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    I am so glad I discovered you. You are terrific.

    I have no problem being supporting of a woman who has a baby in her early 20s. My grandmothers, my aunts, my mother, my friends’ mothers all had their children in their 20s and early 30s. Young mothers are wonderful for kids. All of them went back to college and work by the time they were 35 and 40 and had long careers largely free of the young children/work split. No one needed fertility treatment. Having a baby at 22 makes more biological sense than having a baby at 42. Being an older mother might work for you, but it isn’t going to work for your child who has to deal with a career, young children, and aging parents without the support of grandmothers.

  85. DonnaL
    July 8, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    OK, where’d the post about Christianity, religion, and the left go? I make one, oh, OK, two, exasperated comments and then it disappears? Not playing fair.

    I saw the post and wondered what kind of reception it would get. I wish I had seen your comments before it all got scrubbed!

  86. EG
    July 8, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Being an older mother might work for you, but it isn’t going to work for your child who has to deal with a career, young children, and aging parents without the support of grandmothers.

    Gee, thanks for the judgment! I really feel that as a woman who has had to put child-bearing off and will probably not become a mother until her late 30s, if not 40, I don’t get enough of that. I mean, I totally did it out of selfishness. “Gee,” I thought, “It would totally be easier on my body to have a baby now, and I’ll absolutely have more energy to follow a toddler around, and my joints and back are so much more supple now, allowing me to get down on the floor and stuff, but I want to make my future kids’ lives harder, so I’m going to let 12-20 years pass before I have a kid. It has nothing at all to do with the rigidity of my professional environment, my lack of financial resources, and/or my singleness. I’m just trying to screw things up for my kids.”

    Further, speaking as the daughter of a young mother, not all grandmothers provide support. Some of them provide quite the opposite.

  87. cherrybomb
    July 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    In some states the mother of the child can go after the parents of a minor father for child support. Meaning if you’re in one of those states, YOU will be paying child support for your GRANDCHILD and will be obligated by law to pay for his sexual activity.

    My state doesn’t require child support from grandparents, but it doesn’t mean I’d be unwilling to help. If my son procreates, at any age, I will be a doting grandma. It’s not that terrifying a prospect that I may have to help my son out financially in various stages of his life, including after the birth of a child. I kinda signed up for the gig when I decided to have him.

    Even if your son was a minor and raped by an adult woman she can sue him for child support and if he is too young to get a job you’ll be paying his rapist child support.

    I’m not even sure what this has to do with the topic of whether or not teens should be having consensual sex, or abortion rights.

  88. DonnaL
    July 8, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Being an older mother might work for you, but it isn’t going to work for your child who has to deal with a career, young children, and aging parents without the support of grandmothers.

    That’s really, really unfair to make that kind of generalization. I know of a number of situations where things worked out just fine for children whose mothers were in their late 30’s when they were born. With or without grandmothers (or grandfathers) who were able to give support.

  89. July 8, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I was kind of looking forward to seeing how discussion was going to go down on that one.

    Ditto. That’s probably the reason Anna deleted that blog entry, though.

  90. DonnaL
    July 8, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Sorry, EG, I posted my comment before I saw yours. You said it much better!

  91. EG
    July 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Never any need for apologies for posting from you as far as I’m concerned, Donna!

  92. Chiara
    July 8, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Sorry if this is a bit off topic but I’m not sure about the whole child support thing…

    Abortion rights, as far as I see it, gives women the ability to choose when is best for them to have a child so if they don’t want to have a child or if having a child would seriously mess up what they were planning for their lives at that moment, they have the option not to if they get accidentally pregnant.

    However for guys if they accidentally get a women pregnant they have no such similar way out and they are forced to pay money. Now I’m not saying that being forced to pay money for a child you don’t want is the same thing as being forced to take care of a child you don’t want, obviously it’s much less severe. But I’m still very uneasy about it. When I hear people defend it they say ‘well if he gets her pregnant he has to take responsibility and face the consequences’ — well isn’t this just the same as ‘she should have kept her legs closed’ but turned round on guys instead?

    I’m definitely not saying that guys should be automatically given a say in whether the woman has an abortion or gives the kid up for adoption (unless the woman wants the guy to be part of the decision). But I don’t really know what I’m saying exactly or what the solution is. It just seems unfair to me, you know.

  93. miga
    July 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Meh. My parents had 2 rounds of kids. Round one when they were young and round two (me) when they were in their late 30’s. We turned out all right,although since black don’t crack (heh) people are surprised that they are as old as they are.

  94. im
    July 8, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Human happiness and unhappiness does not ignore choices, especially those made with poor logic or poor priors, so for the greater good I cannot fully suspend judgement. However, against those who claim a need for control, I must generally lend my support to choices. Arguments and influence can provide the desired regulation to all things that the Republicans would control by coercion and shame.

    “But grounding teens for having sex, for needing an abortion…. Really?”

    I would punish my hypothetical child if there was evidence that he or she was not attempting to take precautions. Incidentally, since teenagers have sucky risk-reward prediction abilities, I do not think that the small chance of major harm of having an unintenitonal pregnancy would be a good deterrant. Feelings of invincibility, or low chance of high harm, lead to a lot of pregnant or drug-addled kids out of all those who do fine.

    “I would add that the choice to have a child is not exempt from this scrutiny, either.

    … It’s true, mothers just aren’t scrutinized enough.”

    Yeah, there are problems but a lot of it ends up just being ill-targeted. I have heard tales of girls seduced by immediate emotions, completely unknowing and uncaring of the twenty years of parenthood and thousands of dollars that would have to be spent. In general, it’s a super-important issue with NO default state if you accept the risks of intercourse.

  95. July 8, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    It is unfair to make generalizations about older women. But I am a bit tired about reading so many articles and posts extolling the benefits of waiting until you are older to have children. I am 67; all my 45 cousins are now struggling or have struggled with balancing the needs of their aging parents with the rest of their lives. And they had their kids in their twenties and thirties. I specifically was talking about women in their 40s. I was almost 37 when my last child was born.

    Until you have dealt with aging parents, you have no idea how challenging it is.

    My grandma was only 48 when I was born; my mom was 50 when she became a grandma. I was almost 62. My grandma lived to meet 23 great grandchildren (7 children). I will be fortunate to see my grandkids get married.

  96. July 8, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I know this is going to be unpopular, but sometimes women tend to want it both ways. if the guy and the pregnant woman are in a serious relationship or married, he certainly should at least be included in the abortion or adoption decision since it can affect the rest of his life.

    We cannot demand that men take equal responsibility for children and then turn around and say he should have no voice.

    It is a very complex issue. I think it is wrong to have an abortion without discussing it with the man who is the father if you are in a relationship with him. I vividly remember being in a consciousness raising group with a woman in a relationship with one of our best friends. She got pregnant and had an abortion without telling him. She swore me to secrecy, and I honored it. I felt I was somehow betraying my friend though.

  97. July 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    We cannot demand that men take equal responsibility for children and then turn around and say he should have no voice.

    People with uteruses can and should do just that, because only the people who can get pregnant have a say in whether they can be pregnant or not. Of course it’s okay for couples to discuss having kids, but once the voice of people without uteruses becomes controlling in this regard, they are necessarily violating the bodily autonomy of people who can get pregnant.

  98. Jen
    July 8, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Cassandra,

    I think it would be ideal for partners to discuss family planning and agree on values, preferences and decisions, too, but since they do not always agree, it’s important that the people who can get pregnant have the legal right to terminate pregnancy without consent from any outside party. Otherwise, we are talking about compulsory pregnancy.

    I think it’s also important to consider that about 85% of single parents are single mothers, so, clearly, the people who typically get pregnant are also the people who typically wind up responsible for the lives of children–all the more reason to support unilateral choice and bodily autonomy.

  99. kungfulola
    July 8, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    It just seems unfair to me, you know.

    For me, the apparent “unfairness” just boils down to the fact that it takes two people to make a baby, but only one carries it. It’s just biology. Bodily autonomy is worth far more than creating artificial fairness out of an amoral biological fact. When I think of it that way, I realise how silly it is to cling to the notion of fairness in this regard.

  100. July 8, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    There’s a difference between having a right to know and having a say in the final decision. I would say that if you are in a safe loving relationship that the father, ideally, should be informed simply for the sake of maintaining trust. Note that I say “ideally”. Oftentimes, things are less than ideal, and this is where I hesitate to try and conflate what’s moral and what should be law.

    However, I do not think that the father would be entitled to a say. I only think disclosure (again, in the context of an open, loving relationship) would be less detrimental to the relationship in the long term than keeping it secret.

  101. Partial Human
    July 8, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Gerry – are you one of Nadine Dorries+ little followers? Your bizarre comparisons and bogus ‘facts’ are setting off my ‘not in good faith’ alarm.

    Children in the UK do not have any rights handed to them at 13.

    They can drink alcohol at home at age 5, but have to be 18 to be able to order at a bar, or buy it in a shop.

    There is no set age for medical consent. If a child is capable of grasping the consequences of accepting or refusing treatment, then they can give or withhold consent. There was a ten year old who refused a heart transplant, children have refused repeat chemotherapy, others have chosen surgical or medical treatment after considering the alternatives.

    They can consent to sex at 16, as long as there is no power differential like teacher/student.

    They can move out at 16, and marry with parental consent
    .
    At 17 they can apply for their provisional driving license, and start preparing for the theory test, hazard perception test, and practical.

    At 18 they can marry without parental consent, and buy a packet of cigarettes and a drink to celebrate.

    So, if Emma is 12 and needs a termination, and her doctor is convinced she understands exactly what will happen, then she can have one if it’s in her best interests and if telling her parents/guardians would put her at risk. (That’s what the Fraser Guidelines are for).

    Not only that, she can go home and have a glass of Chateau bel Shite to calm her nerves. No cigarette though.

  102. July 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    if the guy and the pregnant woman are in a serious relationship or married, he certainly should at least be included in the abortion or adoption decision since it can affect the rest of his life.

    So, er, what if the pregnant person’s partner is physically abusive? What if they are emotionally abusive? What if they have good reason to believe that their life will be in danger if they choose to get an abortion (or to not get an abortion)?
    What if their partner raped them [spousal rape. It happens]?
    Should they still get to help decide?

    And if the answer is “no, of course not! This only applies to healthy/loving/good relationships.”
    I would reply that we, as outsiders, cannot know whether a relationship is good/healthy. So we don’t get to judge pregnant peoples’ decisions not to involve their partner. As a general rule, I would note that any pregnant person who choose NOT to involve their partner probably has a pretty damn good reason to do so.

    Moreover, there is, in fact, a major difference between sharing the burden of childcare and childraising, and sharing the burden of pregnancy. Namely: while partners can share the burdens of child raising (and thus typically have an equal say), it is physically impossible for them to share the burdens of pregnancy. The person with the uterus bears both the risks and burdens of pregnancy. There is no way to change this, or to magically give the person without the uterus 50% or 100% of the burden.

    From the moment of conception to the moment of birth, the person with the uterus bears 100% of the risk and responsibility for the pregnancy. It is their body. And it is thus ultimately their choice. The person bearing the risk gets the choice.

    Up to the moment of conception, their partner can do everything to avoid the aforesaid conception (using contraceptives, not having forms of sex that lead to conception etc.). But once you get someone pregnant, the choice – at least until the baby is born – is out of your hands.
    And if you want to have a child, and your partner doesn’t?
    You can find another willing partner. Or you can adopt.

    Which is not to say that I don’t think couples should EVER discuss it. But the choice ultimately resides in the hands of the person bearing the child.

    Here’s a more extreme example: surrogacy. If your fetus is being borne by a surrogate, should you get the last call on whether or not to carry the fetus to term? By virtue of the fact that it’s your genetic material (and presumably, your money), do you get to force a someone to carry a pregnancy to term? Can you also force them to have an abortion, if you decide that ultimately, you don’t want the child?

    No. You don’t.

  103. cherrybomb
    July 8, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    However for guys if they accidentally get a women pregnant they have no such similar way out and they are forced to pay money.

    Men have a say in whether or not to create a child, it’s called a condom. If the condom fails, yeah, he does have to pay child support. But so does she.

    For me, the apparent “unfairness” just boils down to the fact that it takes two people to make a baby, but only one carries it. It’s just biology. Bodily autonomy is worth far more than creating artificial fairness out of an amoral biological fact. When I think of it that way, I realise how silly it is to cling to the notion of fairness in this regard.

    ^What kungfulola said.
    If you don’t like it, blame God, blame evolution, blame just about any spiritual or physical force you want. But not the uterus-havers, since we didn’t get a say in our uterus-having. (baring a hysterectomy)

  104. Tomek Kulesza
    July 8, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Okay, since it came up, i want to say that:

    Right to abortion is in no way comparable to the situation of being a parent against (or regardless of) your will. If anything, the right to give up a child for adoption after one give birth to it would be comparable. So, no, no partners have any right to bodily autonomy of the pregnant person, again. Nothing, absolutely nothing changes that.

    That said, i’m not particularly enthusiastic about kids being linked to people who have no say in this. So yes, ideally i would like people to have an option (say, month or two long period during which they can decide if they want to pick up the responsibility to be parents). If they (oh, that’s true plural. I am all for multi-parenthood) don’t, i think they should not be obliged to child support or anything, regardless if they are a partner of the person who gave birth, or the other biological parent. But – and it’s very important but – the state should step in and support the child financially.

  105. EG
    July 8, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    I specifically was talking about women in their 40s. I was almost 37 when my last child was born.

    Oh, so if I am lucky, and my child is born when I’m 38, that’s cool, but if I have a partner and so can have a second child three years later, that’s not? Sure, that makes perfect sense.

    My grandma was only 48 when I was born; my mom was 50 when she became a grandma. I was almost 62. My grandma lived to meet 23 great grandchildren (7 children). I will be fortunate to see my grandkids get married.

    Oh, cry me a river. My grandad was 48 when I was born and he still hasn’t seen any of his grandchildren get married. And yet he bears up under the strain. If possibly not living to see my grandchildren marry is the worst worry of the rapidly approaching latter half of my life, I’ll thank my lucky stars.

    Yes, caring for aging parents is hard. And being a younger mother is hard. And being an older mother is hard. And a best friend’s untimely death is hard. And divorce is hard. Life is hard. No matter what age I have my kids at, life will be hard, for them and for me. My having given birth twelve years ago would not have made my kids’ lives easy, believe me.

  106. alina
    July 8, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    i think all of these — never ending, insane and sane — comments prove only one thing: there is a different choice for everyone. that’s the point i believe the author was trying to make, and i’m not sure why everyone always thinks they should air out allll of their opinions, all the time. it’s the internet. we should all be living our lives. in the world.

  107. EG
    July 8, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Money is not the same as one’s body. Men have bodily autonomy; women have bodily autonomy. Both men and women are financially responsible to any offspring. These rights are equal.

  108. EG
    July 8, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Still, you’ve convinced me. Caring for aging parents on one’s own is a burden. I’ll make sure to fuck men only if they’re at least 10 years younger than me from now on. After all, if it’s parental age you’re concerned about, rather than just scolding women who don’t do what you did, Cassandra, surely the father’s age matters just as much?

  109. cherrybomb
    July 8, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    It’s really funny how people act like child support is this terrible thing women do to men. Child support is for the child. If you make a child, whether it was purposeful or not, you are obligated to pay for said child’s raising.
    If you have a penis and want to be pretty sure you wont have kids, wrap it up. If you want to be absolutely sure, don’t have sex with people who have uteri.
    If you have a uterus and want to be absolutely sure you don’t have kids, don’t have sex with penis having person.
    If you happen to make a child, that child has a right to food, clothes, shelter, etc. and his/her makers are the ones who should provide it.

  110. July 8, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Money is not the same as one’s body. Men have bodily autonomy; women have bodily autonomy. Both men and women are financially responsible to any offspring. These rights are equal.

    Amen to that!

  111. alina
    July 9, 2012 at 12:00 am

    i think all of these — never ending, insane and sane — comments prove only one thing: there is a different choice for everyone. that’s the point i believe the author was trying to make, regardless of the exact choices each person makes.

  112. EG
    July 9, 2012 at 3:47 am

    That said, i’m not particularly enthusiastic about kids being linked to people who have no say in this.

    Does that extend to siblings? Because I had absolutely no say in being linked to my sister or she to me. And I’m pretty sure that, given the choice, neither one of us would have signed on to the other.

    Family is about being linked to people without any say in the matter. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes it doesn’t. It seems far more problematic to me on the kid’s side, as zie can’t just walk away and send a check.

  113. Tomek Kulesza
    July 9, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Does that extend to siblings? Because I had absolutely no say in being linked to my sister or she to me. And I’m pretty sure that, given the choice, neither one of us would have signed on to the other.

    Family is about being linked to people without any say in the matter. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes it doesn’t. It seems far more problematic to me on the kid’s side, as zie can’t just walk away and send a check.

    Siblings are not responsible for each other the way parents are for their children. Family ties are something different, they exist mostly in people minds and there is no law stopping you from terminating any contact you have with them (yes, it’s not strictly true, as there is for example a difference in court – at least here you are able to deny being a witness if it would put your family in trouble).

    And i’m all for kids having more say in pretty much everything but i don’t know how that could apply that to infants choosing parents…

    Money is not the same as one’s body. Men have bodily autonomy; women have bodily autonomy. Both men and women are financially responsible to any offspring. These rights are equal.

    Yes, money is not the same. Yet, the pregnant person does have a choice when it comes to being a parent – either by abortion*, or (though i am not sure there), by adoption. So, while the right after the birth (or shortly after it) are pretty much equal, they are not if one looks at the whole situation. That’s why i think there should be a short period following the birth when that choice is available.

    But that’s not even that important – the situation is not all right on its own, since it’s (the child support/parentage) something that could happen to a person who has no say in this and who did not want it in first place.

    *Well, not here, but that’s beside the point.

  114. Tomek Kulesza
    July 9, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Wow, a pro-life:

    If you have a penis and want to be pretty sure you wont have kids, wrap it up. If you want to be absolutely sure, don’t have sex with people who have uteri.
    If you have a uterus and want to be absolutely sure you don’t have kids, don’t have sex with penis having person.

    libertarian:

    If you happen to make a child, that child has a right to food, clothes, shelter, etc. and his/her makers are the ones who should provide it.

  115. cherrybomb
    July 9, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Wow, a pro-life

    yes, I am vehemently pro-life. Because anyone who points out basic facts like piv sex might result in a child, and if one makes a child, one has legal responsibilities to said child is obviously anti-choice. It’s not, like, matters of biology, or US law or anything.

    Really, up until I got pregnant I didn’t expect anything to come from piv sex except for sunshine and unicorns. Boy, was I surprised!

  116. EG
    July 9, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Siblings are not responsible for each other the way parents are for their children. Family ties are something different, they exist mostly in people minds and there is no law stopping you from terminating any contact you have with them

    No. You just have to put up with them all day every day until you move out. Their existence just affects your quality of life for better or for worse. But since you don’t have to pay cash, I guess that doesn’t matter. And next of kin does in fact have legal significance and responsibility.

    Yet, the pregnant person does have a choice when it comes to being a parent – either by abortion*, or (though i am not sure there), by adoption. So, while the right after the birth (or shortly after it) are pretty much equal

    No. The rights are entirely equal. Biology is not. The pregnant person has some months more in which to exercise her bodily autonomy, because pregnancy takes place in her body. When the other partner is willing and able to bear those risks and difficulties, he too can have those extra months. Until that day, he’s perfectly welcome to take any and all steps within his bodily autonomy to make his choice. Or he can have all sex partners sign a pre-sex contract agreeing that he can leave them and any offspring in the lurch, and see how far that gets him.

    Money is not one’s body. You don’t get the same rights.

  117. Combray
    July 9, 2012 at 8:54 am

    When I hear people defend it they say ‘well if he gets her pregnant he has to take responsibility and face the consequences’ — well isn’t this just the same as ‘she should have kept her legs closed’ but turned round on guys instead?

    The phrase ‘she should have kept her legs closed’ is used primarily by anti-choicers to argue for childbirth as the only legitimate consequence of unwanted pregnancy. The fact is, when a person with a uterus gets pregnant, zie can’t escape all consequences, because zie has to deal with either giving birth or having an abortion. Men without uteri escape all physical consequences of pregnancy. When the argument is put forth that a man should be exempt from child support if he has no say in whether the fetus is aborted and if he doesn’t want the baby, it’s essentially an argument in favour of relieving men of any and all consequences, including financial, of an unplanned pregnancy, which he’s at least partially responsible for. Why should men have the privilege of opting out of all consequences while people with uteri shoulder them all?

    Child support is paid in order to ensure the welfare of the child. If a man is unwilling to participate in the costs of bringing up a child, the only way to avoid it should be to make sure he never participates in conceiving one.

  118. cherrybomb
    July 9, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Oh! And if one is extra concerned about the possibility of one’s penis costing oneself future child support payments, I suggest doubling up on birth control– vasectomy and condom.
    See? Two methods entirely within the penis having person’s control! No need to worry about vindictive money grubbing welfare queens coming after your money to support your offspring. Exercise your choice to not have kids (without telling people what to do with their uteri)!

  119. July 9, 2012 at 9:21 am

    The fact is, when a person with a uterus gets pregnant, zie can’t escape all consequences, because zie has to deal with either giving birth or having an abortion.

    This. When one faces an unwanted pregnancy, there is no pleasant option. Unwanted pregnancy bites, having to get an abortion bites, adopting out a baby bites. All of these things have potential for life-long damage.

    Anti-choicers who are all like ‘BEHAVIOUR HAS CONSEQUENCES!’ don’t realize that ALL OF THESE OPTIONS ARE CONSEQUENCES.

  120. July 9, 2012 at 9:23 am

    When I say ‘bites’ I mean that they have the potential to be really frigging unpleasant if not devastating. Not that any of these is a bad or wrong decision. Because, again, CHOICE.

  121. July 9, 2012 at 9:56 am

    If you have a uterus and want to be absolutely sure you don’t have kids, don’t have sex with penis having person.

    Wow, it only took 111 posts for someone to blame women for having PIV sex in the first place.

    Not only do I disagree with the attitude, your comment is untrue, at least in terms of the word ‘absolutely’ unless you are defining rape as ‘having sex.’

    If you have a uterus and want to be ABSOLUTELY sure you don’t have kids you need to have your uterus removed. Y’know, it doesn’t surprise me that women would like a few other choices.

  122. Partial Human
    July 9, 2012 at 10:11 am

    +1 to Combray.

    Anti-choice arguments are always framed to demonise women, and frame men as victims. (Anti-choice narratives are strictly cissexist and binary, so I’m reflecting their views, not mine).

    So, someone gets pregnant. She’s a slut, the one who got her pregnant is the victim of a cock-trapping spermjacker.

    She aborts – she’s a heartless murderer, he’s grieving because she’s victimised him twice. First by “killing” his “baby”, then by not giving him a say.

    She carries to term and places the baby for adoption – she’s callous and cold, he’s been robbed of his chance to be a father.

    She keeps the baby – if she’s a SAHM then she’s a money-grabbing welfare queen, who’s cruelly stealing his money for child support.

    If she works she’s a bad mother, abandoning the kid in daycare. She’s draining him dry for child support, even though she has an income of her own.

    It’s Adam and Eve rehashed, over and over.

  123. Katya
    July 9, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    When I hear people defend it they say ‘well if he gets her pregnant he has to take responsibility and face the consequences’ — well isn’t this just the same as ‘she should have kept her legs closed’ but turned round on guys instead?

    Nope, not the same. As has been pointed out, but should be emphasized, child support is for the sake of the child. It’s not imposed to punish men, its imposed because it has been decided that it is better that both parents pay for the child’s upkeep than that the state pays for the child’s upkeep. It is a totally separate issue from the bodily autonomy of a pregnant person. The person with the pregnancy gets to make decisions about that pregnancy. Once a child is born, both parents have obligations to that child, but neither parent’s bodily autonomy is at stake. They are just two totally separate issues.

  124. cherrybomb
    July 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    If you have a uterus and want to be absolutely sure you don’t have kids, don’t have sex with penis having person.

    Wow, it only took 111 posts for someone to blame women for having PIV sex in the first place.

    Not only do I disagree with the attitude, your comment is untrue, at least in terms of the word ‘absolutely’ unless you are defining rape as ‘having sex.’

    If you have a uterus and want to be ABSOLUTELY sure you don’t have kids you need to have your uterus removed. Y’know, it doesn’t surprise me that women would like a few other choices.

    That quote followed where I said men needed to not have sex if they wanted to be absolutely sure they wouldn’t have kids, and thus be drained of child support by an evil evil uterus having woman who chooses to give birth.

    I don’t expect people to give up sex, or to have hysterectomies and vasectomies before having sex. I was being facetious, trying to make the point that piv sex amongst fertile people may result in a baby which deserves child support, and if someone with a penis wants to avoid paying child support they can avoid doing things that result in children, because once a woman is pregnant he doesn’t get a say on the abortion issue– that’s her call.

    But being pro-choice doesn’t mean one will necessarily choose to abort. If I get pregnant in spite of contraception I really don’t know what choice I’ll make the next time. I’ve already had a child, I’ve already had an abortion. Both choices were necessitated by my having piv sex. Shit happens. There is no way to *know* what you will do in that situation until you are in that situation, and every pregnancy is different/has different circumstances.

    If that did come across as rape apology I am really sorry. I was trying to make the point that shit happens during consensual sex, and sometimes that = child, and child = child support.

    This post is pretty much a rehash of what I said before on this thread, sorry to be repetitious. To be as clear as possible, my stances are as follows:
    Abortion is a choice only the uterus-having person (should) get to make.
    Shit happens, and if you create a child, regardless of your gender, you owe said child at least financial support.
    No one gets to tell a woman she should have an abortion because they don’t want to pay child support.
    Rape is horrible, and not the fault of the victim.

  125. the_leanover
    July 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Er, as much as I’m all for snorting at whiny MRA ‘men have no reproductive rights!!!’ nonsense in general, I do think some of you are being a little too easy on the status quo. I really don’t feel that this:

    it has been decided that it is better that both parents pay for the child’s upkeep than that the state pays for the child’s upkeep

    is a good justification for anything, ever. ‘It has been decided’ that the state isn’t responsible for all sorts of things, depending on which state we’re referring to. ‘It has been decided’ that the US state should not be responsible for providing universal healthcare. That doesn’t mean it’s an ideal way of running society. Certainly I’d agree that right now, in realistic political terms, child support is the best option because otherwise a lot of mothers and children are going to be severely fucked over, and the burden on men is very clearly not enough to justify that. But in a better society, I’d ideally like to see the two-biological-parents model of childrearing responsibility become a little less dominant and yes, in my ideal world, single parents of any gender would be able to access full financial support from the state (or the anarcho-syndicalist community, or whatever). And not just because of the burden on the poor men: the notion that biologically determined child support is the best, the only way of doing things is a function of the whole anti-choice narrative and heterocentric familial ideology around which this system is built. It would be lovely if we could stop viewing children as either retribution for having sex or the carefully engineered ‘products’/property of biological parents, and recognise that investing in caring for children, educating them, keeping them healthy and happy is a positive investment for all of society, not just for the people from whose loins they happened to spring.

  126. the_leanover
    July 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    And don’t get me wrong, btw, I definitely don’t want to lend any support to the notion that child support is an issue remotely comparable to abortion rights, and it’s absurd and offensive when introduced as such. But when it’s brought up as a fairly reasonable and non-combative aside (as it was in this thread by Tomek @106) I don’t think it’s something worth attacking as a completely anti-feminist issue.

  127. cherrybomb
    July 9, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Sigh, longer comment in mod, but in response to:

    Wow, it only took 111 posts for someone to blame women for having PIV sex in the first place.

    Not what I was doing. Not the theme of my comments on this post. But since I’ve apparently been unclear, my stances are as follows:

    Abortion is a choice only the uterus-having person (should) get to make.

    Shit happens, and if you create a child, regardless of your gender, you owe said child at least financial support.

    No one gets to tell a woman she should have an abortion because they don’t want to pay child support.

  128. cherrybomb
    July 9, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    oh, modbot, how have I angered thee?

  129. mary
    July 10, 2012 at 9:50 am

    No one needed fertility treatment. Having a baby at 22 makes more biological sense than having a baby at 42.

    Look, I’m sincerely happy for those 22 year olds whose reproductive organs are fully functional and who have the financial and psychological readiness to bring a child into the world. But I think it’s nasty to imply a “lack of biological sense” on the part of women who may not have had those things at age 22. And the dig at fertility treatment comes off as a bit cruel.

  130. tinfoil hattie
    July 10, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Don’t worry, macavitykitsune. I screw up on the internet all the time.

    Besides, “I’ll give you something to cry about,” LOL!

  131. July 10, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    @tinfoil,

    *gigglefit*

    and thank you!

Comments are closed.