Up Is Down? Anti-Choice Movement on Freedom of Choice


The Family Research Council has launched an ad attacking
Senator Obama for his support of the Freedom of Choice Act
(FOCA) – legislation that would simply codify that which the Roe v. Wade decision affords
- legal abortion access for women. The Family Research Council says they want to reduce the number of abortions in this country but attempt to block government from instituting laws, like FOCA, that will actually protect women’s health and lives.

If enacted, FOCA, as a federal bill, would override all
state legislative abortion restrictions – which is especially important (but not only) if Roe v. Wade were to be
overturned. It is a deceptively simple bill that is almost painfully difficult
to read in that it’s hard to imagine women still need this kind of explicit
legislative protection from government control over reproduction. The bill
states that every woman has the
fundamental right to bear a child, to terminate a pregnancy before viability, and
post-viability only when necessary to protect the life or health of the woman. FOCA
prohibits governments at all levels from interfering in those rights. But since
our two presidential candidates hold entirely different positions on Roe v.
Wade and access to legal abortion, FOCA is a critical consideration in this
election season for reproductive and sexual health advocates and anti-choice
activists alike. 

The Family Research Council is using FOCA in yet one more
political attack this presidential election season, a $100,000 advertising
campaign trumpeting Obama’s support for the bill. Scott notes
the method behind the madness: "What the Family Research Council will not tell
you is that one of the reasons they want to overturn Roe v. Wade is not simply
to return the issue to the states, but to attempt to pass a federal abortion
ban outlawing all abortions in all fifty states."  No doubt that for anti-choicers, FOCA is a step in the wrong direction.

First, some background.

Roe v. Wade, in theory, strikes as close to a balance as
this country is likely to get between the rights of women to privacy and bodily
autonomy when making the decision to terminate a pregnancy and the rights of a post-viability
fetus that is able to live outside of the woman’s body.

However, Roe, thanks to never-ending state and federal legislative
challenges and an anti-choice movement more suited to crafting scripts for
dramatic storytelling than to advocating for true reproductive health care, has
been chipped away at so steadily that only a shadow of abortion access
protection remains for certain groups of women in this country.

Three years after Roe was enacted, Republican members of
Congress jumped in to mitigate what they saw as too much leeway for women’s
bodily autonomy. The Hyde Amendment passed, barring low-income women protection
from Roe. Hyde prevents federal taxpayer funds from covering abortion services
for women who cannot afford it. What does this mean for the low-income women whose access
to legal abortion was supposedly bestowed by Roe? It means Roe doesn’t exist
for them. Add in various state restrictions including mandatory waiting
periods, coercive ultrasounds, spousal consent (later ruled unconstitutional),
rights of refusal for health care providers who do not support abortion working
for public health care institutions, parental consent laws, mandatory biased
information and finally even a Supreme Court decision upholding
a ban on certain forms of late-term abortion without medical exceptions for a
woman’s health and life and, again, Roe v. Wade is often nothing more than a
hollow promise at this point.

That Supreme Court decision, Gonzales v. Carhart, upholds the so-called Partial-Birth
Abortion Ban – the ban that spurred the re-introduction of the Freedom of
Choice Act in 2007.

Because FOCA would undo years of erosion of the right to
access safe, legal, funded abortion, it pushes every anti-choice button.
According to Celine Mizrahi, Legislative Counsel for the Center for
Reproductive Rights, "FOCA would supersede existing restrictions and prevent
state legislatures from enacting measure that deny or interfere with a woman’s
ability to continue or end a pregnancy – thus avoiding the unjust disparities
that would result from individual legislatures determining the availability of
abortion in their state."

Where do the candidates stand on FOCA?

Laurie Rubiner, VP of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund
says, "Barack Obama has consistently voted in favor of a woman’s right to
choose and supported efforts to reduce unintended pregnancies. Barack Obama is
not only a co-sponsor of FOCA; he says he will sign it into law."

John McCain would not. McCain supports
reversing Roe v. Wade and, as Emily notes, his running mate, Sarah Palin (as
well as the Republican party platform) opposes
abortion access
even for women who are the victims of rape or incest.

Anti-choice religious leaders are up in arms – they’ve even sent
a letter to the
110th Congress urging them not to consider FOCA. But what’s at stake
is not only the protection of legal abortion in all fifty states but the fundamental problems anti-choicers have
with insuring women’s access to a full range of reproductive and sexual health
care.

It may go without saying that the primary reason
reproductive health advocates want to see FOCA passed is not just as a protection
against anti-choice challenges to Roe, but as a means to protect women’s health and lives. Access to legal abortion
saves women’s lives, protects women’s health and ensures women and their
families the opportunity to plan for the families they want and care for the
families they have. It’s really that simple.

In countries where abortion is severely or entirely
restricted, illegal and unsafe abortions are responsible for upwards of 70,000
deaths, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Guttmacher has also found that "reducing
the incidence of unsafe abortion would result in an immediate and substantial
reduction of maternal mortality and improve maternal health."

But.

Anti-choice religious leaders lobbying against FOCA have
decided that this is not at all the case, arguing (without credible evidence)
"we can’t reduce abortions by promoting abortions." It should be noted,
however, that in the next sentence they also state that programs that promote
access to contraception do not reduce abortions either. For them – and
organizations like the Family Research Council – the only way to reduce
abortions is by, well, simply banning them – all scientific and medical
evidence to the contrary.

It is indisputable that access to safe, legal abortion
improves women’s health and lives. If our common goals are to ensure access to
care, promote comprehensive prevention strategies and protect the lives of
women and their families, FOCA would help get us there.

But if this is about waiting out a Supreme Court, which is
only slightly tipped towards safeguarding Roe v. Wade, the anti-choice movement
has a plan. FOCA would codify Roe so that regardless of who the next President appoints
to the court, women’s access to legal abortion would remain in all fifty
states. Without FOCA in place, overturning Roe would result in one of the worst
public health disasters this country has ever seen.

Anti-choice organizations like the Family Research Council
and others are terrified of the power that the Freedom of Choice Act holds. It
is a powerful piece of legislation, to be sure. Its power lies in the
opportunity it brings – ensuring that women, regardless of geography, age,
ethnicity, or income level, have equal access to abortion services, a public
health benefit by any standard.

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  • http://www.LifeNews.com/about.html invalid-0

    Geez, where to start…There is so much incorrect information my head is spinning.

    First, the bill doesn’t simply codify Roe. It would oeverturn every single measure designed to limit or reduce abortions including informed consent, parental involvement laws and limits on taxpayer-funding of abortions.

    But don’t just take my word for it.

    “[The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA)] would sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws, policies” – National Organization of Women web site

    “The legislation (FOCA) would invalidate existing and future laws …” Planned Parenthood web site

    So essentially this bill you support will do the following:

    * deprive women of their right to information about abortion’s risks and alternatives

    * force people to pay for abortions with their own money

    * overturn laws protecting doctors and medical personnel from being forced to do abortions

    * prevent parents from knowing when their minor daughter is considering an abortion

    Oh yeah, there is Maryland… The state approved a FOCA type bill. This has not led to a reduction of abortions in the state, but appears to actually have had the adverse effect of increasing the abortion rate in Maryland .

    According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rate in the United States has declined nine percent since 2000 to 19.4 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age in 2005. By contrast, the state of Maryland produced a rate of 31.5 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age, an increase of eight percent since 1991.

    More abortions, fewer rights for women, no choice for doctors. Gee thanks. Right to choose my rear….

  • invalid-0

    please, please, please actually read the post. I understand that you do not want to see FOCA signed into law. And I understand the reasons why – I clearly outline them in the post. 

    Here’s the first part, since you seem not to want to read the actual post:

    If enacted, FOCA, as a federal bill, would override all
    state legislative abortion restrictions
    – which is especially important (but not only) if Roe v. Wade were to be
    overturned. It is a deceptively simple bill that is almost painfully difficult
    to read in that it’s hard to imagine women still need this kind of explicit
    legislative protection from government control over reproduction. The bill
    states that every woman has the
    fundamental right to bear a child, to terminate a pregnancy before viability, and
    post-viability only when necessary to protect the life or health of the woman. FOCA
    prohibits governments at all levels from interfering in those rights.

    and then again here:

    Three years after Roe was enacted, Republican members of
    Congress jumped in to mitigate what they saw as too much leeway for women’s
    bodily autonomy. The Hyde Amendment passed, barring low-income women protection
    from Roe. Hyde prevents federal taxpayer funds from covering abortion services
    for women who cannot afford it. What does this mean for the low-income women whose access
    to legal abortion was supposedly bestowed by Roe? It means Roe doesn’t exist
    for them. Add in various state restrictions including mandatory waiting
    periods, coercive ultrasounds, spousal consent (later ruled unconstitutional),
    rights of refusal for health care providers who do not support abortion working
    for public health care institutions, parental consent laws, mandatory biased
    information and finally even a Supreme Court decision upholding
    a ban on certain forms of late-term abortion without medical exceptions for a
    woman’s health and life and, again, Roe v. Wade is often nothing more than a
    hollow promise at this point. 

    In addition, reducing the number of abortions because of lack of access does absolutely nothing to improve women’s health and lives or maintain public health. Again, because you don’t feel like reading my post, restricting access to abortion only leads to unsafe abortion which leads to nothing but public and individual health disasters:

    Access to legal abortion
    saves women’s lives, protects women’s health and ensures women and their
    families the opportunity to plan for the families they want and care for the
    families they have. It’s really that simple.

    In countries where abortion is severely or entirely
    restricted, illegal and unsafe abortions are responsible for upwards of 70,000
    deaths, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Guttmacher has also found that "reducing
    the incidence of unsafe abortion would result in an immediate and substantial
    reduction of maternal mortality and improve maternal health."

    What reproductive health advocates and most Americans want to see are plans and policies that: improve the lives of women and their families, strike a balance between the rights of women and society’s interest in protecting potential life, promote prevention strategies that work to reduce unintended pregnancies, allow for minimal governmental interference in personal and private medical decisions (which is why, paradoxically, we need FOCA on the books- the anti-choice movement has so clogged the legislative, ballot intiative and judicial process with anti-choice laws/measures/cases, we need a way to put an end to the constant chipping away of women’s constitutional right to privacy), comprehensive sexual health education for young people proven to help them make the healthiest choices for their lives, access to contraception and family planning – again to reduce unintended pregnancy and allow women the opportunity to plan their families, and more. 

    You may disagree with FOCA but without relying on ideology, so far the anti-choice movement has yet to be able to refute the medical and scientific evidence that access to safe, legal abortion saves women’s lives, allows families the opportunity to make personal, private medical decisions free from governmental interference and raises the status of women – a benefit for all. 

    Amie Newman

    Managing Editor, RH Reality Check

  • http://www.LifeNews.com/stevenertelt.html invalid-0

    Amie, I did read the post. There is no need for that kind of accusation. But, perhaps you could be more consistent in your description of the bill.

    You don’t even make it past the first two paragraphs with the contradiction of “legislation that would simply codify that which the Roe v. Wade decision affords” and then saying it “would override all state legislative abortion restrictions.”

    Which is it? Because those are two quite different things…

    If it just codifies Roe, which the Supreme Court has interpreted over the years to include things like Hyde, like Casey-style abortion reduction limits, etc. that’s one thing. But if it overturns every abortion reduction limit in the country that’s something else entirely.

    Abortion advocacy groups, and apparently you, are willing to admit that every single abortion limit is overturned but then you sell it, in shirt, as a measure that just codifies Roe. If goes much much further than codifying Roe into the sphere of forced abortions, forced funding of abortion, partial-birth abortions and more.

    “And I understand the reasons why – I clearly outline them in the post.”

    I beg to differ. You did not point out how medical professionals are forced to do abortions, that women will be put at risk by having non-doctors do abortions, that people will be forced to pay for abortions here and abroad, etc. You did no such thing.

    “In addition, reducing the number of abortions because of lack of access does absolutely nothing to improve women’s health and lives or maintain public health.”

    Nor does denying them information about abortion’s risks and alternatives, nor does forcing doctors to do abortions, nor does failing to follow the FDA protocol on drug usage, nor does overturning the supposed “between a woman and her doctor” mantra by letting unqualified people do abortions.

    “You may disagree with FOCA but without relying on ideology, so far the anti-choice movement has yet to be able to refute the medical and scientific evidence that access to safe, legal abortion saves women’s lives.”

    We have. Many many, many, times, but you would rather deny it and leave women in the dark by denying them the right to informed consent.

  • invalid-0

    FOCA does nothing more than codify that which Roe v. Wade affords – allowing the women of this country to access legal abortion with the restrictions agreed upon by the Supreme Court. Roe v. Wade does not say that legal abortion access should be available only to women who have the means to pay, it does not say legal abortion should be available only after waiting 48 hours as agreed upon by the government, that legal abortion should be available only after you are forced to sit through anti-choice propaganda. 

    FOCA allows for women to maintain or terminate a pregnancy without government interference. It IS simple. And the fact that anti-choice forces consistently attempt to ban, block or restrict is an infringement on women’s human rights. 

    As for your claim that FOCA would "force" providers to do abortions, that is simply wrong Steve. We’ve got FEDERAL conscience clause laws in this country – the Church Amendment being the first, enacted into law right after Roe v. Wade to ensure that institutions/providers can opt out of providing abortions if they so choose. 

    I’m not sure where you got the idea that FOCA would "put women at risk by allowing non-doctors to perform abortions" – some states already do have laws that allow for nurses to perform first trimester abortions. In Canada, England and other countries that is already the law. There is no evidence to show that abortion is more dangerous for women when performed by nurses. Please understand that when reproductive health advocates talk about abortion being a personal and private decision best made between a woman and her doctor – the idea is not that it’s because it’s a physician but because it’s a PRIVATE MEDICAL decision – regardless of the trained health care provider one consults with. 

    Finally, Steve, I’m assuming you’ve either worked in or spent a lot of time in womens’ health centers? Because your idea that women don’t receive comprehensive information about abortion, as a medical procedure, in addition to pre-counseling, is not correct. As an employee of one for seven years and knowing how women’s health centers work, I consider it simply a straight out attack on physicians, nurses, medical assistants and other health center employees to claim that women are not given the highest quality care when coming in for an abortion. Health care providers do not need anti-choice advocates to craft information about "the risks of abortion" for them – nor do they need legislation forcing them to discuss abortion alternatives. Providers already discuss all options with women who come in for an abortion ( including the risks) – carrying the pregnancy to term and becoming a parent, adoption or abortion. And women make the decision that is best for them at that time. FOCA would do NOTHING to change that. If anti-choice advocates are so concerned that women receive information about the risks associated with medical procedures for women, what plans do you have to address the fact that the United States ranks 41st in the world (!) for maternal mortality rates – that is, our mothers are dying from preventable and treatable conditions in pregnancy and childbirth – and I have heard not a peep from the anti-choice movement. It’s surely an issue we can all work together to help combat, no?

    The anti-choice movement is rooted in the belief that women need government interference when making these private, medical decisions. Again, 65% of women who have abortions are already mothers. If you feel so certain that women need more government interference to carry or terminate a pregnancy, why are you not following this 65% of mothers who access abortion to make sure they carry their pregnancy properly with government interference and engage in childbirth with governmetn interference? Why are you so concerned that they are being forced and coerced into abortion, not able to think or advocate for themselves, and yet absolutely, 100% without the need for your oversight during pregnancy and childbirth?

    We simply disagree about what is best for women’s health and lives. As a reproductive health advocate, I side with the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the Guttmacher Institute, the NIH and public health professionals which all report that when women are denied the rights and ability to control their reproduction and family planning, their lives are endangered and society suffers. 

    The one question I have though is that if abortion is a moral wrong why would that change whether it’s left to the federal government or state government? Why would it be okay to allow states to decide on the moral wrong of abortion but not the federal government? 

    I’m sorry if I seemed flippant in my last comment. I just feel that I’ve addressed these issues and that we disagree in the most base sense. We come from different places on this but I appreciate that we can dialogue about it. 

    Amie Newman

    Managing Editor, RH Reality Check

  • invalid-0

    There is something about FOCA that remains unclear to me. This article states, “The bill states that every woman has the fundamental right to bear a child, to terminate a pregnancy before viability, and post-viability only when necessary to protect the life or health of the woman.” What maternal condition would require the baby to be exterminated inside the womb and then expelled dead to preserve the health of the mother? Could not labor be induced, or an emergency C-section performed, and the viable baby be delivered and receive medical treatment, without compromising the health of the mother? Please let me know of any medical conditions that can only be remedied if the viable fetus is killed before it is removed. Beyond that, I would be interested to know what the word “health” would be assumed to encompass. I fear that without set limitations, “health” could be interpreted vary loosely to include non-emergency-medical situations such as “emotional distress.” Any information on this would be greatly appreciated.

  • invalid-0

    Perhaps if I’d been aggressive and outspoken like Steve I would’ve received a prompt response, as well. Maybe I can find somebody else to ask.

  • invalid-0

    In all of the discussions above about protecting “women’s health and lives” with this legislation, who is protecting the unborn child’s health and lives? Women should have protection under the law, but not children?

  • mellankelly1

    What are you babbling about?  Children are protected under the law.

  • invalid-0

    To Mellankelly1, First of all, 2 sentences is not babbling. If it is, then you are babbling also. Second, let’s not get mean. I asked a legitimate question. Who is protecting the “UNBORN CHILD”? It’s definitely not the pregnant mother that chooses abortion. She is protected by abortion laws. Who is protecting the person growing inside of her?

  • invalid-0

    …just looking for an opportunity to preach.

    The rights of a sentient, born women outweigh the rights of a foetus. It’s very simple, really. Now, you may believe that a woman’s rights should be subordinated to those of her foetus, which is indicative of a complete and utter disregard for women.

    Women make the best decisions for themselves at the time. You can pretend all you like that women have abortions because they’re evil, callous psychopaths, but that is just not the case. Women are perfectly capable of moral reasoning – we know our situations and capabilities better than anyone else, particularly better than a bunch of ideologues who think one solution is applicable to every situation.

    I wonder why it is that anti-choicers feel this abnormal degree of identification with foetuses. Is it indicative of some kind of pathology? Does anyone know?

  • mellankelly1

    To Mellankelly1, First of all, 2 sentences is not babbling. If it is, then you are babbling also

    a) I found your sentences to be incoherent or meaningless. b) one is certainly capable of babbling using two sentences.  Further, I merely stated the fact that children are protected by the law.

     I asked a legitimate question. Who is protecting the "UNBORN CHILD"

    I think not.  That’s ridiculous emotive babbling… like who is embalming the undead corpses?  There is no child to protect until birth just as there is no corpse to embalm until death.

    It’s definitely not the pregnant mother that chooses abortion.

    I disagree.  The pregnant woman & zygote/embryo/fetus relationship is unitary.  I believe that the pregnant woman is the most qualified person to decide the course of her own pregnancy… there is certainly no reason for her to be forced to bring an unwanted child into this world (that would certainly not be in any childs best interest.)

    Who is protecting the person growing inside of her?

    Your personal opinions about what a pregnancy should mean are completely irrelevant to anyone other than you.  You are perfectly free to believe that a zygote is a person but you certainly cannot expect that simply because you believe it, it is the truth. 

  • invalid-0

    I called no one names and asked one question about rights of the unborn, because yes, I do believe that life begins earlier than you two and you call me preachy,you say I have a disregard for women,you say I think that women that have abortions are evil callous psychopaths, you call me abnormal and pathological, you say that I am a babbler and Mellankelly1 had to look up babble in the dictionary to call my words “incoherent and meaningless”, and you called me ridiculous and emotive. Let’s take a breath people. The law is on your side and has been most of my life. Why are you getting so nasty, judgemental and defensive? What you are promoting is legal. You guys know nothing about me to use such words. I am not in any movement, I have never protested, I am not looking at this from a legal, political, or religious viewpoint. I have been to church about 6 times in 2 years. I’m no monster, I don’t even kill bugs. I catch them and let them go outside. My husband took me hunting once and I cried when he killed the ducks. We don’t hunt together anymore. There are 3 people that are very close to me that have had abortions between the high school and college years. I didn’t judge them then and I don’t now and we are still very close.
    I am not even looking at this from a moral stand point, but more from a mom and an adoptive mom-in-waiting standpoint and a common sense one, as far as when life begins. I have taken part in creating 2 zygotes and have had one live birth in my lifetime. The moment that I went from passive on the issue of abortion to the “Oh my God, what are we doing to our own children!” phase was when I saw my zygote’s heartbeat at about 5 weeks gestation on an ultrasound. And as we had more ultrasounds, due to my health, we would see organs and chambers of the heart and limbs and fingers and toes and even hair and we found out that are zygote was a boy! Pure common sense tells me that this thing growing inside me was a person and I really have no idea how this can be argued by an educated person that it wasn’t. I am not preaching or making any accusations here, I am asking you to tell me from a pro-choice view what made him not a person at this stage inside of me? Is it because he was relying on me for life through the cord? Is it because his body hadn’t seen the light of day yet? He had hiccups almost everyday, when I went to bed he inevitably decided it was his time to wake and move, when I would touch a ticklish part of him he would move, if I ate something that disagreed with him he got very uncomfortable. He came out looking exactly like the ultrasound pictures and still has the same nose at 6yrs old. What about the old saying that if it looks like a duck and acts like a duck it’s probably a duck. People sent me congratulatory cards on the “baby” growing inside of me, not the fetus or the zygote. Hallmark is pretty p.c. and they don’t even have cards for those! I have a nephew that was born by emergency c-section weighing 6lbs 2oz and was 3 months early. He needed alot of health care at the time. Would you consider him a zygote because he couldn’t breath on his own , or a baby because he was out of the womb. Mellankelly 1 says “there is no child to protect until birth”. How do the surviving aborted infants fit into this equation that Obama voted to deny healthcare to in Illinois? Technically they are born and showing signs of life yet left to die? Is this right in your eyes and if it is, you are going against your own statement.
    Emma said that I would have an utter disregard for women if I think that her fetuse’s rights outweigh the mother’s. I think that my point of view shows more of a respect for women. I think most women choose to have protected or unprotected sex with the knowledge that they could get pregnant, right? If she happens to get pregnant, I don’t think it is just about her anymore. She has played a part in creating something that, inarguably, will some day become a person. Why not give that future person a chance to become a part of the world. There are many many people out ther waiting to adopt. Wouldn’t the mental strain of carrying for 9 months and giving up for adoption be less taxing on a woman’s psyche than aborting something that she helped create? From the few people I have known in both situations, it is.
    Emma said “I wonder why anti-choicers feel this abnormal identification with foetuses.” I think it’s more that anti-choicers are pro-lifers and they feel a normal compassion for those that can’t speak for themselves. I could also reply and say I wonder why pro-choicers feel this abnormal identification with dead foetesus, but I didn’t.
    Mellankelly1 said “there is certainly no reason for her to bring an unwanted child into this world (that would certainly not be in the child’s best interest)”. To that I ask you, is it in the child’s best interest to destroy it’s chance at life? If you are actually talking about the child’s best interest here, wouldn’t it be far more fair to the child to give it a chance at life with a family that does want it? Adoption is free and can be anonymous for the birthmom if she chooses. And Mk1 also says “you are perfectly free to believe that a zygote is a person but you certainly cannot expect that simply because you believe it, it is the truth”. To that I respond that of course you are free to believe that a zygote is not a person, but does that make it true? I think that I’ll stick with the if it looks like a duck thing and err on the side of caution.
    I am very sorry for rambling, and frankly I had know idea just how strongly I felt on this topic until you both sparked somthing in me, so thank you Emma and Mk1. I have to go now and work on my former zygote’s robot costume and carve a jack-o-lantern with him. Happy Halloween!

  • invalid-0

    Wow, they seem awfully defensive don’t they, Betsy? Angry, really, that you’d dare challenge the pro-choice stance. You’re obviously a preachy, babbling, woman-hater who feels a creepy attachment to lifeless fetal blobs – all this is plainly evident because you brought up an inconvenient perspective, that of the child – whoops, I mean zygote. Embryo. Whatever sterile medical language appeals to one’s sensibilities (or lack thereof). You’d think those who hold women in such high regard would put a little effort into considering a woman’s opinion and responding genuinely and graciously. Well, if they are unwilling to do so, then I will:

    Don’t be discouraged by these thoughtless comments from strangers. The way you value the most vulnerable members of the human race speaks volumes about your character. Society is built upon the backs of nurturing, protective, motherly women like yourself.

    I also am the mother of two zygotes, one of which resulted in live birth. He just learned to giggle this month.

    Prior to the abolition of slavery, many people of intellectual backgrounds sincerely denied the humanity of the African slave (“It’s not really a baby”). Even those who were morally opposed to owning slaves themselves (“I’d never have an abortion, but other people should be able to choose”) argued that slavery was an economic necessity and granting rights and protection to these lesser people would be dangerous (“unwanted children are better off aborted”). Besides, it was a legal right (“a woman’s right to choose”) and a matter of personal decision (“keep your laws off my body”) to own slaves.

    In the present times, you would be ridiculed for supporting slavery. Yet the arguments for slavery seem to parallel the arguments for abortion. The pro-life movement isn’t about disregarding women or forcing religion on anyone; it’s about defending those who have no rights and advocating for their equality. Ranging from the stress of an unplanned pregnancy to the crisis of rape, can we only offer another tragedy as a ‘solution’ for tragedy? Can a woman’s dignity and healing only be preserved through destruction? Can we not approach these sensitive situations by providing complete care for both the woman and the underdeveloped child inside of her?

    I’m convinced we can achieve the best possible results for both the expecting woman and unexpected child without feeling the political pressure to chose between the two.

  • mellankelly1

    Why are you getting so nasty, judgemental and defensive?

    Oh good golly gosh, I don’t know why women would take offense to the fact that a person expresses their outrage at the lack of concern for a zygote/embryo or fetus and not once mentions concern for the pregnant woman.  I don’t have any idea why someone would imply a lack of regard for pregnant women to a person whose primary concern is with a pregnancy (and the life, opinions and personal belief systems of the pregnant woman appears not even to be a secondary concern.)   Um, just as an aside… Mellankelly1 (me) was perfectly clear on what babbling meant, which is why the word was used to describe the referenced post (I suppose some of us just have a thing for words.)

    I am not even looking at this from a moral stand point, but more from a mom and an adoptive mom-in-waiting standpoint and a common sense one, as far as when life begins.

    Fabulous, so long as you understand that your opinions about when life begins are only relevant within the realm of your life, not mine.

    How do the surviving aborted infants fit into this equation that Obama voted to deny healthcare to in Illinois?

    I suppose, if such a scenario existed, it would be relevant to this discussion but seeing as your statement isn’t based on factual information, it does not "fit into this equation."

    I think that my point of view shows more of a respect for women. I think most women choose to have protected or unprotected sex with the knowledge that they could get pregnant, right? If she happens to get pregnant, I don’t think it is just about her anymore. She has played a part in creating something that, inarguably, will some day become a person

    Over half of all women who became unintentionally pregnant were using some form of contraception during the month that they became pregnant… those women were actively taking steps to avoid becoming pregnant.  A pregnant woman’s life doesn’t somehow become less compelling because she is pregnant… it is still her life, no?  Certainly it can be argued that many (in some studies nearly 75%) of all fertilized eggs fail and most certainly do not become people.

    There are many many people out ther waiting to adopt.

    And there are many children out there waiting to be adopted (they just may not necessarily be perfectly healthy, white babies).  So, while I think it’s lovely that you would be willing to voluntarily relinquish your child for adoption (if you ever found yourself facing an unwanted pregnancy) I don’t believe that we should force pregnancy and childbirth upon the women who are not willing to do so (for the record, less than 1% of women voluntarily relinquish their children.)

    Wouldn’t the mental strain of carrying for 9 months and giving up for adoption be less taxing on a woman’s psyche than aborting something that she helped create? From the few people I have known in both situations, it is.

    First, I would like to offer that the effects of pregnancy can last for more than simply nine months and that you or I are in no position to judge which women would have more of a "mental strain" by gestating and relinquishing their newborns as opposed to terminating their pregnancies.  In addition:

    875,000 woman experience one or more pregnancy complications

    458,952 babies are born to mothers without adequate prenatal care

    154,051 children are born with Birth Defects

    11% of pregnant woman are diagnosed with Postpartum Depression

    27,864 infants die before their first birthday

    240,000 pregnant women are subject to domestic violence (40% of assaults begin during the first pregnancy, Pregnant women are twice the risk of battery)

    Further, I believe that there are women who are at peace with their decision to parent, adopt out and terminate as well as women who regret their choice to parent, adopt out and terminate.  The decision should be left to the individual facing the unwanted pregnancy.

    To that I ask you, is it in the child’s best interest to destroy it’s chance at life?

    No matter what your personal belief system regarding personhood and life, there is no child until birth which is why I will reiterate my belief that it would most certainly not be in a child’s best interest to be unwanted. 

    To that I respond that of course you are free to believe that a zygote is not a person, but does that make it true?

    And that response makes sense… we do not know, which is why it is best to leave the decision making to the woman who is facing the unwanted pregnancy.  I would not force my personal beliefs on her – if she believes that a person is present upon conception and that gestation and adoption (or parenting) is her best option I would fully support her…  that is the beautiful thing about supporting choice.

    ps. you’re welcome ;)

  • invalid-0

    Thank you, J Verchot, for your well thought out and thought provoking reply. I can’t agree more that there has to be some middle ground solution between the suffering of a pregnant woman and the ending of a new life(or to be pc, a zygote that instantly becomes a person just because it sees the light of day when it passes out of the vagina). I know adoption isn’t always the perfect solution, but it sure seems like the best there is, so far.

    The reason I was on this site in the first place is that I have actually been checking back periodically to learn more about your question from Oct. 17th. In every case I know of, when either life was in danger, there was an emergency c-section done and the health of each individual was then attended to. I always thought the issue wasn’t that the child needed to be destroyed to save the mother, but that the risk was that it may be too early for the infant to survive being outside of the womb?

    Congratulations on your giggler! I LOVED that stage. I still remember vividly, my son’s very first belly laugh and it just makes me smile all over again!

  • invalid-0

    I don’t know you personally, but your posts convince me that you are actually the one longing to preach. Betsy’s original post was not harsh or accusational. You say that she didn’t mention any concern for the pregnant woman during your justification for being judgemental and nasty, but why would that be necessary? The article that spawned this discussion already dealt with the pregnant woman as priority, so Betsy brought up another aspect. Is she obligated to include a clause detailing her regard for the mother just to guard against negative assumptions? It would appear so.

    I love healthy discussions of controversial topics and if that is what you’re promoting, I salute you. But your condescending remarks lead me to believe that your primary interest is asserting your opinions with little desire to learn from the opinion’s of others. (Examples: “Oh good golly gosh,” “I suppose some of us just have a thing for words,” and “p.s. you’re welcome,” from this post alone.)

    In response to your claim that there is no child until birth and the question of when life begins is exclusively a matter of personal opinion and beliefs, several medical experts assert that it is a scientific fact that life begins at concepton: Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni, Dr. Jerome LeJeune, Professor Hymie Gordon, Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth, Dr. Watson A. Bowes, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, Dr. Landrum Shettles, to name a few. You say, “we do not know,” but scientific study seems to leave no doubt in the minds of many professionals.

    But truthfully, I don’t believe that any evidence or sound reasoning or credibility matters in the effort to ban abortion. Our culture wants and allows for abortion on demand and so it will continue indefinitely. Historically speaking, what is right and what is permitted are often very separate things. Still, I’ll continue to acknowledge and mourn those lives lost.

  • invalid-0

    To my knowledge, when the life of the mother is in danger than the life of the baby is automatically in danger. Therefore, the medical team will attempt to save the mother’s life for her sake and the baby’s sake, and if they baby inadvertantly dies during the attempt (due to prematurity or accidental injury or illness) it is not considered an abortion. Since these safety measures are in place, I question why abortion is ever necessary for the health of the mother, ESPECIALLY when the baby is viable. Even in the case of ectopic pregnancy (an embryo implanting outside of the uterus), which is screened for during the first trimester, the woman’s body will often “absorb” these pregnancies that cannot thrive. But if she is closely monitored (which is standard procedure) and the body doesn’t self-correct the misplaced pregnancy, she will most likely die without intervention. So it is not considered abortion to remove the embryo as it would inevitably die if the woman dies.

    Again, this is “to my knowledge” and I genuinely wanted to know if there was a maternal condition where the baby HAD to be terminated in the womb and then removed.

    Thanks! Baby giggles are the best!

  • invalid-0

    Mk1, Your last paragraph was all about choice and not forcing personal beliefs upon anyone. Point taken.

    “I would not force my personal beliefs on her – if she believes that a person is present upon conception and that gestation and adoption (or parenting) is her best option I would fully support her… that is the beautiful thing about supporting choice.”

    The Freedom of Choice Act mentioned above, that Obama wants to sign immediately upon taking office, would, among other laws (such as parental notification), automatically overturn:

    36 states’ laws requiring counsel before abortion
    27 states’ conscience protection laws for institutions
    46 states’ conscience protection laws for individual health
    care providers

    That would mean that those physicians that take an oath to “first do no harm”, and want to abide by that oath and their conscience and their individual beliefs that life begins at conception, would face federal prosecution if they refuse to practice this procedure.
    For a movement whose core philosophies and principles are based upon CHOICE and even named after such a philosophy it seems more than a bit hypocritical to be removing the physicians’ choice by means of facing federal prosecution and a criminal record and/or losing their license to pratice medicine.

    Maybe instead of calling yourselves “Pro-Choice” you should call yourselves “Pro-Choice As Long As The Choice Pertains To Only Us”.

  • invalid-0

    Hello,

    I would agree that there needs to be some middle ground found on this issue. I believe a woman’s “right to choose” comes into play before she has sex and that a right to terminate should only be used if THAT right has been taken away from her. I also believe there is no reason to terminate past 3 months. I also do not believe that simply because a child is “unwanted” that they can not be something to someone and make the world a better place, or at least have a chance to do so.

    But as it stands now I do not agree with what Obama wants to put into place regarding this issue of “choice” and others that he would actually be taking away.

  • invalid-0

    36 states’ laws requiring counsel before abortion
    27 states’ conscience protection laws for institutions
    46 states’ conscience protection laws for individual health
    care providers

    If true (and that’s so doubtful because the stridently ‘pro (some) life’ amongst us tend to lie constantly and reflexively) I am even more pleased and proud to be able to vote for Senator Obama. I’m so tired of hearing about the so-called consciences of men and women who have condoned and enabled the invasion and occupation of Iraq and the torture of it’s citizens. I’m disgusted with people who vote for men who write laws extending health care to fetuses but not the woman in whose body the fetus resides. (and may I say, when the GOP pulled that one with the enthusiastic support of the religious right I found it so revealing of everyone concerned.) There’s something insanely cruel about men and women who would force a woman to die in childbirth or to carry to term the child of her rapist in order to uphold a set of ‘values’ that has all the depth of a mud puddle. Y’all should be looking to yourselves rather than focusing with such malignant cruelty on the what you imagine to be the lives of women you do not know and who do not wish to know you or anyone like you.

    Why should anyone care about your precious atrophied consciences?

    Maybe instead of calling yourselves “Pro-Choice” you should call yourselves “Pro-Choice As Long As The Choice Pertains To Only Us”.

    Now, ‘Betsy’ lets not get mean here.

  • invalid-0

    So………..it’s a little fuzzy, but I’m guessing your answer would be no, health care providers should not have a choice in whether or not they perform this procedure. They should face federal prosecution and a loss of their license because they have an opinion on when life begins. Good solution! That’s the “middle ground” I was talking about!

  • mellankelly1

    That would mean that those physicians that take an oath to "first do no harm", and want to abide by that oath and their conscience and their individual beliefs that life begins at conception, would face federal prosecution if they refuse to practice this procedure.

    Oh, that’s simply not true.  No physician has ever been forced to perform an abortion in order to continue practicing medicine and the Freedom of Choice act makes no mention of forcing doctors to perform abortions.  What the Freedom of Choice Act does state is the following:

    To prohibit, consistent with Roe v. Wade, the interference by the government with a woman’s right to choose to bear a child or terminate a pregnancy, and for other purposes.

    It goes on to say such things as:

    (1) The United States was founded on the principles of individual liberty, personal privacy, and equality. Such principles ensure that each individual is free to make the most intimate decisions free from governmental interference and discrimination.

    and…

    (2) A woman’s decision to commence, prevent, continue, or terminate a pregnancy is one of the most intimate decisions an individual ever faces. As such, reproductive health decisions are best made by the woman, in consultation with her medical provider or loved ones, without governmental interference.

      … which I’m sure must sound just horrific to you.  Imagine… a statement that women are most qualified to make their own medical decisions… how downright absurd, eh?
  • mellankelly1

    They should face federal prosecution and a loss of their license because they have an opinion on when life begins.

    Please quote the part of the Freedom of Choice Act where it actually states that doctors who refuse to perform abortions will be prosecuted and lose their license…  I’ll be waiting.

  • invalid-0

    oops,a typo–my nephew was 2 lbs. 3oz. and 3 months early -and not a zygote:)

  • invalid-0

    “So………..it’s a little fuzzy”

    Yes, I imagine that’s a frequent symptom as you go about your day.

    If by ‘this procedure’ you mean what most people mean by abortion than I would prefer that abortions were performed by trained physicians who won’t kill women. Nobody has ever been ‘forced’ to perform an abortion nor will they.

    “They should face federal prosecution and a loss of their license because they have an opinion on when life begins.”

    Under what circumstances are you claiming that a ‘health care provider’ would be subject to this result. What would ‘they’ be charged with under federal law and why. Try to calm down and focus now and provide a cite to back up the overwrought histrionics.

  • invalid-0

    You are quite entitled to believe there is no reason to terminate beyond three months, despite the fact that in doing so, you ignore a fair bit of evidence to the contrary. What about foetal abnormalities that are not compatible with life? Maternal renal failure? Bear in mind that pregnancies terminated late are generally wanted pregnancies. Where this is the case, the decision and process is already traumatic. It is incredibly cruel to force a woman to carry a child to term when it’s likely to kill her and/or the foetus is not going to survive. Terminating the pregnancy allows her to grieve and move on – and live, where her life is endangered by the pregnancy.

    Those who claim terminating a pregnancy that’s a result of rape is worse for the women – well, in some cases, that may be true. In other cases, it’s going to worsen and prolong the trauma. Only the woman in the situation is in a position to know which will be the case for her; no one else has the right to make that decision for her.

    Giving a child up for adoption is also traumatic for some women. It is more likely to be poor women who end up in this position, and due to that fact, it’s discriminatory. Furthermore, there are many children out there who need to be adopted. Unfortunately, they are often older children, minority children, children with disabilities and children who have been affected by trauma. Sadly, most people don’t want to deal with them. Bringing more children into the world when there are already so many unwanted children living in institutions or bouncing from foster home to foster home is unfair to everyone involved. Why are pro-lifers so seldom interested in advocating for these kids? Why are they less worthy of advocacy than foetuses?

    I would suggest the commenters here read this article about abortion statistics worldwide – it might open your eyes to the effects of abortion bans on women.

  • invalid-0

    I’ve tried to reply to Mellankelly1 and then Emma twice now.
    The first time I included links and was told that my post was in review. I’m hoping it will show up Monday. The second time I didn’t include links thinking it would go through and it said “access denied”. This 3rd time I am using a different email address.
    About the states laws thing and the physicians, first I referenced the author of this blog and the first line of her second paragraph. She and “steve” discuss this. I also linked to an article from the very liberal MSNBC site regarding both politicians’ views and FOCA. I’m not going to include links now because I don’t want to go under review or have access denied again. Everyone knows how to do a search. Lastly I linked to an article by Tom McClusky. This was the most comprehensive that I could find and it included many footnotes from Pro-choice sources. Footnote #4 is sad.
    To “colleen”, I don’t want women killed either. But I also don’t want their fetuses being partially delivered alive and then have the backs of their skulls punctured and have their brains taken out for the purpose of ending their lives. That’s footnote #4 as it quotes the legal description of a partial birth abortion. I hope my links show up tomorrow. I stumbled upon this site to learn more about FOCA. I am done here. Like I said in my post under review, please start replying to “Steve” or “J Verchot”–they know alot more that I do!

  • invalid-0

    And like I said in my post under review–”Steve” and “J Verchot” don’t have typos! :)

  • mellankelly1

    Regarding the Freedom of Choice Act and your claims that:

    They [doctors] should face federal prosecution and a loss of their license because they have an opinion on when life begins.

    and

    That would mean that those physicians that take an oath to "first do no harm", and want to abide by that oath and their conscience and their individual beliefs that life begins at conception, would face federal prosecution if they refuse to practice this procedure.

    … are completely and utterly untrue.  This is all very easily researched… simply read the Act.  You have not been able to (and will continue to be unable to) prove that doctors who don’t perform abortions will be prosecuted and/or lose their license to practice medicine because your claims are unsubstantiated.

  • invalid-0

    It’s already being done in Maryland. Please read the following from the article by Tom McClusky. I hope this post doesn’t get held up for review as well.

    Many of the organizations that support the federal FOCA argue that removing state restrictions on abortion will actually decrease the number of abortions. According to NARAL, seven states[12] have codified abortion on demand as defined by Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. In Maryland, Freedom of Choice-type legislation has been on the books since 1991. Since that time, Maryland law has provided for abortion on demand even late in pregnancy, granted abortionists immunity from legal action, allowed abortionists the discretion to perform abortions on minors without notifying a parent, and denied health care workers the right to refuse to make abortion referrals as a matter of conscience.[13] This has not led to a reduction of abortions in the state, but appears to actually have had the adverse effect of increasing the abortion rate in Maryland . According to Planned Parenthood’s Alan Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rate in the United States has declined nine percent since 2000 to 19.4 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age in 2005. By contrast, the state of Maryland produced a rate of 31.5 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age, an increase of eight percent since 1991.[14] Pro-abortion advocates argue that eliminating laws designed to protect women, parents, children and health care providers will make abortion “safe, legal and rare.” While it is highly questionable whether such actions make abortion safer, allowing for unrestricted abortions only increases the likelihood of abortion, certainly not making it rarer.

    Look at what the author of this blog says in the first line of the second paragraph. What part of “removing state’s restrictions and laws don’t you understand?” The bill will abolish ANY state law that gets in the way of woman having an abortion. If a physician refuses to perform an abortion that is getting in the way of the patient seeking an abortion that is “getting in the way”. It is already BEING DONE in the above mentioned state. How can this be made any clearer to you? Learn more about the implications of a bill before blindly pushing for it.

  • invalid-0

    “Please read the following from the article by Tom McClusky”

    This is not a cite. You even fail to provide a link to the source of your misinformation.

  • invalid-0

    Did you read that I have been put under review and then denied access when I add a link? My original reply with links was sent SATURDAY and is still under review and hasn’t shown up. How can we have an open forum if this site won’t let me prove my points? I had to use a different email address and name just to get back in. That is why I don’t. Please do a search for family research council and Tom McClusky.

    And again, look at the second paragraph, first line of this blogs author. FOCA WOULD BE A FEDERAL BILL THAT OVERRIDES ALL STATE LEGISLATIVE RESTRICTIONS ON ABORTIONS. If you don’t believe your author, reply to her. Also read Steve’s posts above and reply to him. How can it be made any clearer?

  • invalid-0

    Did you read the article I linked in my last comment? If I remember correctly, the subject heading of the comment was ‘a dose of reality’. Link is just near the bottom of the post.

    Since you’re having trouble posting links, perhaps you could read and discuss the one I provided.

  • invalid-0

    The Family Research Council is not a credible source. It was originally part of Focus on the Family, a brainchild of James Dobson. Not credible.

    The Family Research Council is a homophobic, misogynistic, racist, ultra-conservative Christian, dominionist organisation. The only information they provide on their site is that which they find ideologically agreeable.

    Are you getting all your information from Dominionist sources?

    I linked an article for you in a previous comment. You haven’t mentioned reading it, so here it is again.

  • mellankelly1

    If a physician refuses to perform an abortion that is getting in the way of the patient seeking an abortion that is "getting in the way". It is already BEING DONE in the above mentioned state. How can this be made any clearer to you? Learn more about the implications of a bill before blindly pushing for it.

    Nowhere in the quoted article (nor in the articles entirety) does it state that a physician would be forced to "perform an abortion". You are either intentionally misrepresenting FOCA (and the very article you’re quoting) or you just didn’t understand what you were reading.  Now, if a doctor was unwilling to discuss all pregnancy options, he or she should be required to refer their patients to another doctor who would be willing to discuss all of the available options (all perfectly legal options).  But that is a far cry from the proclamations made by Betsy and yourself that doctors who are morally opposed to abortion be forced to perform the procedure.  So, are you being dishonest or did you just misunderstand FOCA and the article that you were referencing?

     

    Please provide proof that doctors will be forced to perform abortions or risk losing their license… I’ll be waiting.

  • mellankelly1

    I researched this article and it doesn’t even state that FOCA will force doctors to perform abortions against their will or risk losing their license.  Do you wish to know why?  Because FOCA would not force doctors to perform abortions… they have never been forced to perform abortions and they never will be forced to perform abortions.  Your assertion is false.

  • invalid-0

    “Did you read that I have been put under review and then denied access when I add a link?”

    I don’t believe that is the reason you were denied access. I’ve managed to post links here with no trouble whatsoever. Perhaps you had difficulty with the html and/or were being verbally abusive.

    The Family Research Council is not a credible organization or cite. Why would I wish to speak with professional grifters and liars ?

  • invalid-0

    I apologize for misreading as to how this FOCA-type of law applies to Maryland. When I read in Steve’s post that Dr’s. would be forced to perform abortions and I researched more, I read so fast that I missed the “referrals” part. This explains it better than I:

    What does the Maryland law say about health care workers who, because of their religious faith or personal beliefs, refuse to refer patients to abortionists?

    On May 14, 1991, an additional bill, H.B. 1217, was signed by Gov. Schaefer to amend both S.B. 162 and the 1968 law. It removes protection from health care workers who conscientiously object to making elective abortion referrals.

    Section 20-214(D) of the law specifically subjects health care providers and hospitals to law suits, disciplinary action, or other recriminatory action for refusal to make elective abortion referrals if it is claimed that failure to refer is “the cause of serious long-lasting injury” and is “contrary to the standards of medical care.” Under the law, “serious long-lasting injury” means any claimed adverse impact, including “anxiety” or “emotional distress.” “Standards of medical care” mean those standards set by abortion providers, whose guidelines call for elective abortion referrals regardless of the moral convictions of other health care professionals.

    You have to admit that this does still take away the choice for those doctors that want to play no part in the abortion process whatsoever. They are still required, by Maryland law, to refer to an abortionist. Can’t the patient just choose another doctor who will be able to refer her to an abortionist or find her own abortionist?
    As for the rest of FOCA in my research on sites on both sides (NOW and Planned Parenthood, included) am I understanding it correctly when I say that if FOCA is signed all state laws regarding abortion will be abolished and replaced by a federal abortion-on-demand type bill? That is why I came on this site in the first place. I wanted to learn about FOCA from both sides. I want to be done here now. You put up a good fight (and my son was not just a zygote), but I’m sick of sitting at my computer! I’ll take my answer off the air. —Betsy/Access Denied

  • invalid-0

    So, would you suggest that a woman should have to go to doctor after doctor until she finally finds one who’ll do what doctors are supposed to do and put their patients first and either perform an abortion or refer? That would be prohibitively expensive for many women, not to mention exhausting, stressful and time consuming.

    The job of a doctor is to treat her/his patients, not to impose his/her religion or morality on them. If their delicate sensibilities are offended by having to refer to someone who’ll provide a legitimate medical service, then they’d be better off going into an area of specialisation that won’t require them to be in that situation.

  • mellankelly1

    I apologize for misreading as to how this FOCA-type of law applies to Maryland

    Don’t feel like you have to apologize, the anti-abortion extremists are very good at twisting factual information and you certainly aren’t the only person to have been misled.

    You have to admit that this does still take away the choice for those doctors that want to play no part in the abortion process whatsoever

    Actually, the only thing that I feel I must admit is that giving patients all of their legal options is simply good medicine.  Any doctor who would willfully withhold all of a patients options from him/her is essentially lying by omission and certainly not putting their patients health first.  I fully support any law (although I believe it shouldn’t require the passage of a law… that should be quite evident with that whole "First do no harm" business) that requires doctors to provide a patient with every one of their perfectly legal options.  Particularly if that patient has specifically stated their desire for all of these options.  If the physician is morally opposed to sharing every available option to his or her patient I believe that the very least they could do is refer their patient to someone who would be willing to be forthcoming regarding these options.  You are aware that simply discussing these options with a patient doesn’t consititute "taking part in the abortion process", right?  Every woman who has her options explained to her will make the best decision for herself and her family.

    Zygote: The cell formed by the union of a male sex cell (a sperm) and a female sex cell (an ovum). The zygote develops into the embryo following the instruction encoded in its genetic material

     

     

  • invalid-0

    wow, you are obnoxious.

  • invalid-0

    First of all… OBAMA!!!! amazing.. momentus..

    Just read all the above and have a few questions and or concerns. I’ve always been pro-choice but not really comfortable with the idea of abortion. Tonight I heard statements from a friend that FOCA would force doctors to perform abortions.. which led me to this site, now that I see that is not true,
    My issues here would be as follows:

    1. I believe parental consent is important or at least parental notification. What would be an argument against this especially for particularly young children i.e. 12? If the child is scared to tell the parents because of abuse then a report would be filed and investigated.

    2. Without mandatory state or federal laws (maybe there are?) stating to the patient the risks involved with abortion or even the alternatives what would keep predatory doctors from raking in the cash because they become the “easy place” to get an abortion? i.e. “Stacy got an abortion at such and such.. she is only 12 and they didn’t ask any questions or make her read anything or watch any videos.. you should go there”

    3. As for leaving the viability of the pregnancy up to the doctor doesn’t this also leave room for abuse by practices trying to get more business? i.e. “I thought you were getting an abortion.. what happened? – I got too scared but now I’m in my third trimester and I need one – this place is the easiest, I told them the pregnancy is making me mentally insane so they gave me a third trimester abortion”

    I suppose my main argument would be that like most things a little bit of regulation can go a long way. If you more strictly define viable… and you make mandatory parental notification for anyone under 16? I think the issue is so polarizing that very little middle ground is made. It seems to me that much of the pro-life legislation is to work towards no abortion at all.. and then on the other side is a big backlash to keep government completely out of the issue.
    I also think that sex education is key and a perhaps a mandatory discussion (for those not raped or otherwise in a health risk situation) on sex education and contraception methods and options could help prevent a second or third abortion.

    More still needs to be done on making the morning after pill available and the population educated on it.

    Also how would FOCA address the fact that many places do not have abortion clinics and people have to travel.. it states that 87 percent of the counties do not have abortion facilities.. does this mean that all counties would have to have one? or does this simply mean that all counties would legally be allowed to have one under the federal law?

    Thank you in advance for any insight.

  • invalid-0

    Roe and Doe Are Now Pro-Lifers
    Neither of the two women whose cases were originally brought to the Supreme Court had abortions. Norma McCorvey (Roe) had claimed she was gang raped in order to gain sympathy for her attempt to have an abortion in Texas. Her lawyer, Sarah Weddington, knew the rape story was a lie when she argued the case before the Supreme Court, but she chose to keep that information from the court and the public. The truth did not surface until 1988, when Norma McCorvey herself confessed to the lie. In 1995, McCorvey joined the pro-life movement.

    Sandra Cano (Doe) had appealed to a lawyer for help in reclaiming her children, who had been taken from her at a time that she was unable to provide for them. Attorney Margie Pitts Hames siezed the opportunity to use the unwitting Cano, who was pregnant at the time, in the effort to legalize abortion in Georgia, even though Cano had never wanted an abortion.

    The lawyers did not come through on their promise to help Cano, and when the Supreme Court decision came down, both the lawyers and Cano’s family tried to force her to have a late term abortion. She had to leave the state to avoid the abortion they scheduled for her. Cano tried to publicize her opposition to abortion shortly after the 1973 decision, but the media paid no attention to her.

    Both McCorvey and Cano testified to their opposition to abortion at a Pro-Life Action League conference in Chicago on April 20, 1996.

  • invalid-0

    In practice, physician-abortionists have been killing babies at nine months gestation in one room of a hospital while doctors labor to save the life of a prematurely born baby at five months gestation in the next room. These babies when aborted have developed their heart, brain/skull, bones, and other body parts!! How can one say that there is no life?!

    In addition to Norma McCorvey aka “Jane Roe” (the symbol/icon of abortion, whose case legalized abortion nationwide) and Sarah Beningson, let’s not forget other people who have left the abortion road and became pro-LIFERS, such as Dr. Bernard Nathanson. Dr. Nathanson, who had done so much to bring the decision of Roe v. Wade about in 1970s, confessed to fabricating abortion statistics and began to rethink his position months after abortion was legalized. In 1990, he came out of the closet and said that his abortion team swayed public opinion by creating abortion statistics which claimed 10,000 women a year died from illegal abortions when the real figure was probably closer to 200. “I am deeply troubled by my own increasing certainty that I had in fact presided over 60,000 deaths. There is no longer serious doubt in my mind that human life exists within the womb from the very onset of pregnancy.”

    Dr. Nathanson was a founder of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws. It was later renamed National Abortion Rights Action League. Dr. Nathanson commented on NARAL’s opening of a new headquarters in Montclair, New Jersey on June 24, 1990: “In over twenty years, NARAL has learned nothing and forgotten nothing. They’re still perpetuating the same lies Larry Lader and I invented two decades ago before abortion was legal. To sway public opinion we created abortion statistics which claimed 10,000 women a year died from illegal abortions when the real figure was probably closer to 200. I helped unleash the abortion monster which since 1970 has claimed the lives of 25 million children. All that has changed with NARAL in these years is that their lying has become more audacious, their budget has become more bloated and their murderous intent more nakedly obvious.”

    Personally, if the abortion was due to MEDICAL PROBLEMS (ex. huge risk of dying leaving a husband with children) or RAPE, I would leave that decision to the mother. But ABORTION SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A BIRTH CONTROL. Use contraceptives if you must. It should be limited to needy and desperate situations. PLANNED PARENTHOOD gives me chills. THINK AND PLAN IT BEFORE YOU HAVE SEX. NOT AFTER, then say OOPS!! CARELESSNESS < RESPONSIBILITY!!!