What Would FOCA Really Do?


Melinda Hennenberger has a
few strong words for the President-Elect.  Sign the Freedom of
Choice Act (which, any reproductive health advocate could tell you,
Congress is a long way away from passing), and Barack Obama will be
responsible for hobbling our entire, already-compromised health care
system. Why? According to Hennenberger, FOCA would require Catholic
hospitals to perform abortions, and the church hierarchy would rather
"turn off the lights" than provide comprehensive reproductive health
care. 

FOCA targets state laws that
limit abortion access, yes.  But FOCA would not have the conscience
clause repercussions that Hennenberger suggests it might. 

Hennenberger writes, "While
there is strenuous debate among legal experts on the matter, many believe
the act would invalidate the freedom-of-conscience laws on the books
in 46 states. These are the laws that allow Catholic hospitals and health
providers that receive public funds through Medicaid and Medicare to
opt out of performing abortions. Without public funds, these health
centers couldn’t stay open; if forced to do abortions, they would sooner
close their doors. Even the prospect of selling the institutions to
other providers wouldn’t be an option, the bishops have said, because
that would constitute ‘material cooperation with an intrinsic evil.’"

Would FOCA do as Hennenberger
says – force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions? 

Unequivocally no, says Jill
Morrison, senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center. Federal conscience
clause law
, such as the Church Amendment, states
that simply receiving public funding does not turn a hospital into a
"state actor," Morrison explains.  "FOCA must be read consistently
with existing federal law, unless the new law explicitly provides that
it is intended to repeal existing law." 

Morrison adds, "A hospital
is not a state actor, and cannot be magically transformed into one due
to its getting Federal funding, as set forth in the Church Amendment." 

Hennenberger goes on to defend the Department of Health and Human Services’s proposed new, expanded provider conscience regulations that would allow providers to refuse to refer women
for critical medical care – like abortion in the case of life-threatening
pregnancy, or emergency contraception after sexual assault – that
a provider may opt out of providing him or herself.

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  • invalid-0

    if given the right to chose between life or death to a human being under development, why does the unborn not have the same equal right?
    Why do people believe that is “ok” to kill some but not others?
    Seems that we have become a society that is picking up where Hitler left behind, the choice to kill or let some live.
    If you don’t want a pregnancy, and you are not raped, be responsible and do not become sexually active or use contraceptive.
    The blod shed must stop, we are becoming an unethical people who choose to deny freedom to some but not others. Aren’t we suppossed to be an equal persona, ‘member our constitution, hello!

    • mellankelly1

      If you don’t want a pregnancy, and you are not raped, be responsible and do not become sexually active or use contraceptive

      Women do become unintentionally pregnant when using contraception… over half of all women who became unintentionally pregnant were using some form of contraception during the month that they became pregnant.  So, it’s okay to terminate a pregnancy if you were actively attempting to prevent the pregnancy?  So, it’s okay to terminate a pregnancy if the sex was not consensual?  Are these zygotes, embryo’s and/or fetus somehow different than others?

      • therealistmom

        … someone flagged this comment. Does asking legitimate questions make some anti-choice people feel threatened or something?

        • invalid-0

          anti-choice what a nice word for somthing so ugly. How about using the words that really apply Pro-Life and Pro-death

      • invalid-0

        What is the source of the over half if unintentional pregnancies statistic?

        Also, the previous post suggested only rape as a possible justification, not failure to take personal responsibility. I happen to disagree with the point, but at least be accurate in your argument.

        A separate soul is created at conception. Those of us who believe that have no logical option than to conclude all abortion to be wrong, except when the abortive result occurs ancillary to actions taken to save them mother.

    • invalid-0

      I supported Obama this year and I will feel saddened if he signs this bill. I honestly thought he was going to be fair to both sides- pro-life and pro-choice. I really thought he wanted to make sure women who were raped, were in incest situations, or their life was at stake do the pregnancy was the reason he was supporting this bill.

      Now I am seeing the bill is going to far. Abortions should not be funded by taxpayers money and Catholic hospitals should not be required to perform abortions.

      It is unfair to make Catholic hospitals perform abortions. There are plenty of places people can go to receive an abortion, but to infringe on a Catholic Hospital is wrong.

      I really respect Obama’s legal mind. I remember Biden saying he did not want abortions being paid for by taxpayer money.

      Now I am feeling cheated. I campaigned for Obama, I changed parties for him and Biden, and now one of my most important issues is being compromised more than I expected.

      I hate having to face family and friends who say, “I told you so.”

      Please Obama, the Senate, and Staff come up with a solution that will not place Catholics in an unethical situation.

      Aboriton is not the answer to poverty. Keep exceptions for the above mentioned issues only.

    • invalid-0

      I agree with the original comment. I honestly haven’t spent much time researching this topic. On THIS page, I think both sides have legitimate complaints, whether I agree or not… but here’s a question: is instant gratification always good? It’s nice, but is it good for society in the long run? My personal opinion is that it is not. How will we learn to deal with the consequences of our actions or if we can just fix everything the instant we make a mistake (or a condom fails)?
      I do agree that rape victims should have the choice, and that termination is legitimate if it threatens the mother, but, to me, abortion is NOT a means of birth control.
      This is not criticizing anyone or their beliefs… Please don’t jump down MY throat for what other people say.

  • invalid-0

    I got an inspiration from the title of the Cornell link on FOCA in Wikipedia: “Sterilization or Abortion”–The article is about “conscience” exemptions, but what if STERILIZATION became the new CHOICE?? Rather than abortion! Planned Parenthood could remain the provider and continue its megabucks megabusiness, no human beings would be sacrificed on the altar of reproductive rights, and for another whopping fee (sit up and take notice blood suckers) the tubal ligation could be reversed by Planned Parenthood when/if the parents are ready to be parents. Women need a better choice. Given a choice, wouldn’t women rather prevent a pregnancy than terminate one?? I think American ingenuity could come up with a reversible sterilization procedure, if they haven’t already. Come on Planned Parenthood–step up to the plate–provide invaluable services with clean hands! Shift over, retool, make more money! What are the relative risks between the two procedures?–I betcha the ligation is less risky, or, at worst, as risky as abortion. Might even be able to use most of the same clinics and paraphernalia–clean, safe, local anesthetic. Come on women–step up to the plate–chose not to untimely conceive–without abstinence, without risky hormones (maybe just risky STD’s but that’s a different issue). You’d get a tatoo, wouldn’t ya?? Isn’t sterilization a lot more easily reversible than that? Hey, I realize this is not an ideal alternative, but it’s way better than the slaughter. I don’t think the pro-life community would oppose it–I wouldn’t and, as may be obvious, I’m an evangelical pro-lifer.

    • invalid-0

      Planned Parenthood already provides many different forms of contraceptives. Or do you really so ignorant that you think all they do is perform abortions? That’s only a very small part of their full range of reproductive health services.

    • invalid-0

      Planned Parenthood already provides many different forms of contraceptives. Or are you really so ignorant that you think all they do is perform abortions? That’s only a very small part of their full range of reproductive health services.

    • invalid-0

      I agree with your points 100%. I keep trying to figure out what the difference is between killing an unborn child, and killing a born child. If we as a society, which knows full well, that upon conception what you have is a human being, continues to rationalize and sterilize this subject. Aborting a child, is murder, there is no other possible view. Others have talked about men and women being responsible by using contraceptives, I say, if you want to be sure, don’t have sex. The idea about having a reveresible procedure to prevent pregnancy is I think a viable option. Abortion is never the answer. The damage being done to women is unconscienable. The CDC began tracking the results of legal abortions, and it is my understanding they stopped keeping data after only two years, because the statistics were so bad. Women are being premantly damaged, both physically and emotionally by abortions, woman are dying from legal abortions. I understand why atheists find no problem with abortions, because they believe we all crawled out of the primordial sludge so we are no different from a bug, but come on you who claim Christ as your Savior, can you truly read scripture and think Jesus would ever be accepting of the destroying the life He created? Wake up.

  • invalid-0

    Abortion rights are not something that should be decided by the Federal Government. There are different feelings about this all across the United States and it makes more sense for the State Governments to determine what is legal. If the citizen’s of the State disagree with the law they can change it, but why the Federal Government dictate this nationwide.

  • http://antoinethompson.com invalid-0

    “Abortion rights are not something that should be decided by the Federal Government”

    In the same vain should they be decided by someone other then the parents themselves? What if the only doctor qualified in a given area is of the opposite position of the parents, what then? In reality the doctor would also be deciding for the patient in the same way.

    • invalid-0

      The parents can always go to a doctor that is of the same position as the parents. Are you suggesting that a doctor shouldn’t have a choice of whether or not they perform abortions??

  • invalid-0

    “Women do become unintentionally pregnant when using contraception… over half of all women who became unintentionally pregnant were using some form of contraception during the month that they became pregnant.”
    Mellankelly1

    How many abortions were performed on women who did not use contraceptives? That’s a more important statistic.

  • invalid-0

    I heard somewhere that FOCA would require medical students to perform an abortion in order to be certified as an M.D. Is there any truth to this?

    • therealistmom

      FoCA’s purpose is to place into federal law the right of women to seek abortion care. It would have NO affect on what is required by universities to award a medical degree, nor does it change any requirements for doctor licensing on a state level.

  • mellankelly1

    How many abortions were performed on women who did not use contraceptives? That’s a more important statistic.

    Why is that "more important?" I believe that both stats are equally important.  The most recent statistics reflect that 49% of all pregnancies are unintended and of those, 48% end in abortion.  Oh, and I found this information regarding pregnancies in 2001 – out of the 6.4 million pregnancies in the US, 3.1 million were unintended; approx. 1.4 million resulted in birth, 1.3 in abortion and 430,000 in miscarriage.

    *

    Regarding women who were not using contraception during the month that they became unintentionally pregnant:

    Forty-six percent of women who have abortions had not used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant. Of these women, 33% had perceived themselves to be at low risk for pregnancy, 32% had had concerns about contraceptive methods, 26% had had unexpected sex and 1% had been forced to have sex

    ~Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health (Jones RK, Darroch JE and Henshaw SK)

     

  • invalid-0

    Why do so many look at abortion as a choice?? It is taking the life of an innocent child. Although many would disagree; you are killing a baby. There are so many different choices out there. So many people these days are unable to have children. For those that are not ready to be a parent you have the option to have the child adopted. In most cased the adoptive parents pay the medical expenses during the pregnancy so money should not be a problem to consider either. There are so many people that will go to the ends of the earth to help you during the pregnancy just so that you would not consider abortion. You just have to ask for help. It is always there! It is so hard to understand the fact that we as a nation fight harder for the rights of animals (PETA) than we do for the rights of a child.

    • invalid-0

      Only God and each person knows the motives of his own heart. Murderers choose to murder, rapists choose to rape, thieves choose to steal. So we make laws to protect the innocent. We shouldn’t change that.

    • invalid-0

      The key is not to judge but to provide services and emotional support to women confronted with unwanted pregnancies for whatever reason. So much time and money is spent attempting to legislate against abortion where little money or time is spent supporting these women(children themselves often) and unborn children. No mention is ever made of the health consequences of abortion to the mother. The few shelters to house these women often come with strings attached, e.g. keep the baby, adopt a certain cultural or moral code. While private adoption seems like a monetary solution, babies cannot be sold in our culture for the obvious reason and certainly the emotional needs of the mother are not addressed. Having housed mothers with unintended pregnancies when told “there is no room at the inn” elsewhere,I see that little has changed for these women/girls paralyzed by a pregnancy. Unless some value is placed upon women/girls in these circumstances, the lives of babies will be lost. It takes a village of love and support.

    • invalid-0

      Not that it’s an excuse, but the most state systems already have too many abandoned or orphaned children then they know what to do with. The more realistic choice that women with unwanted pregnancies have is: abortion or have my child raised by the system that is full of abuse. The adoption system that we have today must truly be reevaluated. Although it can be strongly argued that a child would prefer to be alive and abused than dead, I think we, as a society, can do better.

  • invalid-0

    I am currently 18 weeks pregnant and so happy that I am having this soon-to-be baby as a CHOICE. Since becoming pregnant I am even more pro-choice than I was before. Human life does not begin at conception. That’s like saying my ovaries contain thousands of babies. They just don’t. Miscarriage–whether intentional (abortion) or natural–is an everyday reality for millions of women across the world. Sometimes nature, or God, takes an embryo/fetus because it’s not right for it to be born. Likewise, abortion enables women to choose what to do with their bodies. Until there’s a way to remove an embryo safely from a woman’s body and gestate it artificially, it is part of the woman’s body. Period. I love this fetus in me, but I love him or her more knowing that I have the choice to nurture it, the choice to care for it. Because right now it’s a part of me.

    • invalid-0

      So you are saying women should hav the same powere as God?

    • invalid-0

      I agree! A child should always be wanted and not merely tolerated.

  • otaku1960

    to say you speak fo r all woman who’ve had an abortion. Some have no scars whatsoever and feel only relief.  The right to decide properly belongs only to women because we are the ones most affected by pregnancy, therefore women are better qualified than government to decide what is best for us.

     

    Your grievance shall be avenged.

  • invalid-0

    Whe we think of the word, “right,” it has a positive connotation– something good as opposted to something bad. Something bad would be a wrong. Abortion, however, is never something good. It is a sad thing. No one really wants to have an abortion. Women don’t grow up thinking, “Oh, yes, I’m going to have an abortion someday!” However, in calling it a “right,” our society has whitewashed this hideous practice in the minds of our people. Girls grow up thinking that they have a nice, entitled little failsafe. Abortion is called a “procedure” and the unborn child, “products of conception.” Many young girls have been led to believe that having an abortion is no less traumatic than having a tooth pulled. The reality is completely different.

    Having an abortion leaves scars– physical, mental and emotional. A first time mother usually thinks in terms of “my condition” until she actually feels life. It is very hard to visualize the baby. The next pregnancy is very different. Many women have had abortions and have only realized the horror of what they have done when they carry their first child to term. Then they are devastated.

    A Right also should be for all people. The right of freedom of speech, due process, assembly, etc. However, the right to kill an unborn child is only given to women. Why should women have such a terrible right? If a man makes a woman pregnant, and she choses to carry to term, he has no choice but to pay some sort of child support. He can’t say that he chooses abortion and wash his hands of his offspring. I am a woman, but I do not believe ANYONE should have the power of life or death.

  • invalid-0

    Here is what I don’t understand. Why do we need to GOD into this debate. I do not consider myself “pro-life” but rather “anti-abortion”. The reason being is I believe in a separation of church and state. The fact is a baby is alive. They may not be able to live outside that womb anymore than if they were born and I choose not to feed them. In both cases they would die. I am currently 33 weeks pregnant and if I was hit by a drunk driver and killed, they would be charged with double homicide. I understand that parents can find out some pretty tough things in later ultrasounds that would make them consider a partial birth abortion. I believe people who choose a partial birth abortions are parents who wanted to give birth to a healthy baby and feel that they are sparing the child and themselves from pain. Does that mean that if my baby developed a fatal cancer that I have the right as a parent to end their life rather than see them suffer? No! If you want to help stop legislation then bring common sense into the debate and leave GOD at church. Medical Science is enough and it will get you further in this debate.

  • invalid-0

    In recent months having heard and being greatly concerned about the Caylee Anthony case in which a little girl was murdered possibly by accident or intentionally by a mother who maybe didn’t want her it has made me more concerned for these babies. Because everyone is all up in arms about finding this baby’s body and describing it as disturbing. Why is it not disturbing when what looks like a baby in a womb is also destoryed even more so ripped apart. Yes its not fare that the mother should have to take the brunt of this guilt and responsibility but thats what should change mens attitudes should change and they should respect and care for women in an appropriate manner. This can only happen through how women percieve themselves. The sexual revolution has done nothing but cast women into a system in which there bodies are more important than their souls.

  • invalid-0

    In recent months having heard and being greatly concerned about the Caylee Anthony case in which a little girl was murdered possibly by accident or intentionally by a mother who maybe didn’t want her it has made me more concerned for these babies. Because everyone is all up in arms about finding this baby’s body and describing it as disturbing. Why is it not disturbing when what looks like a baby in a womb is also destoryed even more so ripped apart. Yes its not fare that the mother should have to take the brunt of this guilt and responsibility but thats what should change mens attitudes should change and they should respect and care for women in an appropriate manner. This can only happen through how women percieve themselves. The sexual revolution has done nothing but cast women into a system in which their bodies are more important than their souls.

  • invalid-0

    In recent months having heard and being greatly concerned about the Caylee Anthony case in which a little girl was murdered possibly by accident or intentionally by a mother who maybe didn’t want her it has made me more concerned for these babies. Because everyone is all up in arms about finding this baby’s body and describing it as disturbing. Why is it not disturbing when what looks like a baby in a womb is also destoryed even more so ripped apart. Yes its not fare that the mother should have to take the brunt of this guilt and responsibility but thats what should change mens attitudes should change and they should respect and care for women in an appropriate manner. This can only happen through how women percieve themselves. The sexual revolution has done nothing but cast women into a system in which their bodies are more important than their souls.

  • therealistmom

    The law deals with reality- not with whatever mythology an individual follows. The reality is a woman is an autonomous individual who needs to have the choice on whether to be pregnant or not. Any spiritual concerns are between the woman and her relationship with deity, should she have one. The "sexual revolution" is not to blame for abortion- it has always existed. What it has done is empowered women to make their own decisions, including being able to use contraception and not bear unwanted children. Those of us who don’t buy into your sky-daddy mythos shouldn’t have to be constrained by a misplaced sense of the "purpose" of sex, or by a specific idea of personhood not supported by scientific fact.

  • colleen

    "It is unfair to make Catholic hospitals perform abortions. There are
    plenty of places people can go to receive an abortion, but to infringe
    on a Catholic Hospital is wrong."

     

     had you actually read the article you would notice that nobody, much less Catholic hospitals can or will be forced to perform abortions. 

     

  • invalid-0

    I have spent the afternoon researching this FOCA bill and have found that it does state abortions can only be performed in beginning pregnancy unless life issues are presented and it also states that hospitals and doctors can refuse to perform them due to their religous or moral convictions,so I do not understand what the differance now.I became pregnant in 1974 and was told by the school nurse that they could arrange an abortion for me without my parents knowing.That I would be taken to hospital in morning and be back by the time school was out and no one would ever know.I personally could not do that and have a 35 year old daughter today,but that was my choice.I don’t feel that I have the right to make that choice for everyone.I do believe this bill will get more counseling and contraceptives to the ones that needs them;I also believe this will cut down on AIDS.Thus resulting in fewer abortions.I think this country needs to fight harder for the rights of women as my lovely daughter that I am so thankful for, has a job and health insurance,but her insurance won’t cover birth control,but does cover viagra.Where is the rational thinking in this country?Health care for all is the bigger fight.

  • invalid-0

    You wrote: “I supported Obama this year and I will feel saddened if he signs this bill. I honestly thought he was going to be fair to both sides”

    I wonder how many times we will hear people that voted for Obama come to the realization that they really did not know what they were getting when they voted for him?

    He has almost no experience and very little track record to even know how he was going to govern. This is what all of us were screaming when we saw he was getting so many votes.

    Well now you all can live with what you elected just like the rest of us have to.

    Oh, and thanks a lot.

    • invalid-0

      If you really want to get an idea what you might be getting from your vote for Obama (or dare to find out what you are getting, even though you didn’t vote for him) then, I suggest you TAKE THE TIME TO READ THE BOOKS HE’S WRITTEN, particularly the later one, “The Audacity of Hope.” He discusses issues such as this fully & openly, and I find him to be intelligent, articulate, honest, & forthright. He understands how difficult these issues are & won’t sign anything that forces Catholic churches to perform abortions against their will. Don’t buy into the conservative right’s definition of what the bill will do without actually reading it, or trying to look at unbiased sources for information on what it might do. Politics are never that simple, abortion is always a difficult issue, but until you do your own research, I suggest you reserve judgement. This bill, as I read & interpret it, WILL NOT FORCE institutions to perform abortions against their will. Perhaps, a change to the bill can be sought to make that more clear–which, in my opionion, would be a GREAT compromise. I’m pro-choice, but fully support anyone’s right NOT TO BE MADE to perform an abortion. I doubt if there are many pro-choice supporters that would want that to happen….calm down regarding your fear of Obama & take the time to read his book. After reading it, I now have great faith in the man! I think that this country is really lucky to have elected a President of such intelligence and fairmindedness….he is the sort who is willing to look at both sides of an issue and to seek compromise. Please, read the book…..get to know the man that we have elected!

      • invalid-0

        Thanks for your insight. There is a lot of fear mongering even in my church. I heard the head of our local Catholic hospital say she was not afraid of FOCA ( if it resurfaces).
        I thought she was wise to keep her head and look at the reality involved.
        If anything, it would be a great opportunity for civil disobedience. Some people including some Bishops just want to scare people as a method to win a policy dilemma.
        For obvious reasons this is a very sensitive and passionate issue. Not easily resolved. I recommend that we all keep trying to put ourselves in the other persons shoes and be compassionate and understanding and ready and willing to step in and help when the opportunity arises.
        And now I await the passionate responses.
        John

    • invalid-0

      oh please. he is going to do the best damn job of anyone who could fix any of the financial mess Bush created. You just wait and see. Women have the right to choose. If I was raped I would want the right to choose, as well as if my daughter was raped I would want her to be able to have an abortion so she isnt scarred for life by having to carry a baby for nine months, being reminded every day of the trauma, then having to keep it OR give it up is just beyond traumatic. Obama is the best thing thats come along in a long time and anyone who thinks otherwise will just have to deal, he has a nightmare to deal with now and Thank GOD he won last November. Its about time…………..

      • invalid-0

        If your daughter was raped, wouldn’t you want to KNOW what she was doing and KNOW she was going to have an abortion, because if this bill passes she won’t have to tell you

        I also think it’s pretty funny you thanked God for it, pretty ironic

    • emma

      Dennis Kucinich would have been my choice. Pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, anti-war, anti-death penalty, pushed for impeachment of Cheney and Bush, pro-single payer health care, opposes exploitative ‘free’ trade agreements, and so on and so forth. He’s even a vegan!

       

      He would have kicked ass as a president, although in an entirely metaphorical sense, as he is a pacifist.  

  • invalid-0

    From my point of view, everyone just needs to worry about their own body and lives and stay out of others. I hate when people say, “Well if you don’t want to have a baby then don’t have sex.” Umm, excuse me?? So because you are more financially stable or because you are in the point of your life where you want to have a baby that means that you are allowed to have sex and I am not?? Everyone goes through the same experiences and it is not fair to tell someone “JUST DON’T HAVE SEX” ESPECIALLY if you would never be willing to do the same. It is not practical to tell EVERY 20-something year old couple to not have sex! Sorry, but not everyone thinks it is necessary to wait until they are ready to have a kid to have sex–and that is a life fact. I am a biology major about to graduate school in a couple of months, and if I got pregnant by my boyfriend (of 3 years) I would NOT have the child. Are you going to pay my bills? Are you going to go to school for me? Is it okay that my absolute dream in life is to be a doctor yet pro-choice people would rather see me struggle in a low-wage 9-5 job while a babysitter takes care of my child? There are too many babies born out there to young kids who don’t know how to raise them or cannot financially support them to give them proper education and life experiences. That’s unfair to me.

  • invalid-0

    *pro-life people, not pro-choice.

  • invalid-0

    Hopefully, far less than the people who realized how much of a screw up W. was.

  • invalid-0

    When I read through everyone’s discussion there is one point that no one ever discusses which I believe to be the most important issue. Actual versus Potential. A pregnant woman is an ACTUAL person. A fetus has the POTENTIAL to be person. Why do anti-choice persons give more weight to the potential of life than a person whom is actually living? Women have been having abortion, forced miscarriages, for as long as people have been around. Even Cleopatra used birth control, a sponge dipped in honey. Abortion, forced miscarriage and contraception are not new, they have just been taken out of the woman’s world. When WE had complete control over these issues no one complained because they were PRIVATE. As a midwife I live with these topics everyday. There are a few more points I’d love to make. How can one complain about over-population and be anti-abortion at the same time? How can someone be pro-life and pro-death penalty/pro-war at the same time? How can someone against abortion believe “every life is sacred” while this world is full of death, violence, war, rape, poverty, murder….? If you think abortion is murder….I’d like to know ….How many children have YOU adopted?

  • alexm

    Women having the power to give or deny life threatens their very existence. 

    The personal is political.

  • invalid-0

    I guess I’m pro-abortion. Women should be able to choose whether they have a child or not. Conctraceptives are not 100% effective. Abstinence is not 100% effective (and certainly not a real option for most people in the world today). Women will get pregnant and should be able to choose whether they have their baby or not.
    It would be wonderful to live in a world where people were responsible and recognized that sexual intercourse is not only for personal pleasure. However, we live in a real world and people do not change. We must accept the fact that people will have sex and women will get pregnant. I am a man and it is my opinion that abortion should only be allowed in cases of rape, incest or threatening the mother’s life by having the baby. However, I am not going to push my opinions on a woman. Women should be allowed to choose for themselves. They are the ones who have to deal with the overwhelming life change that having a baby will bring. Men do not and cannot fully understand this concept.
    As a society it is our responsibility to educate men and women on sexual relationships. We should also provide easy and affordable access to contraceptives. At the very least we should try and make it less likely that unwanted pregnancies will occur. I hope that is one thing everyone can agree with.

    • invalid-0

      Actually abstinence is 100% effective. Those persons who abstain from sexual intercourse rarely get pregnant.

  • invalid-0

    Umm, your ovaries contain eggs… not babies! Hence, the reason you must have a sperm to make a baby. Seriously people? Have you lost your minds? You’re killing a life that has the right to be born… just like you were!
    Please get an education before posting. Thank you.

  • invalid-0

    Will those of you that believe that a developing human embryo does not yet warrant the most fundamental of human rights, try to understand that others may have the plausible belief that destroying the same embryo because 1) the mother or family is not financially able to raise a child, 2) continuing the pregnancy may will cost the mother her job or chance at continuing her education, 3) the child will be born with mental or physical deformities, or 4) any of a whole host of other reasons for choosing to abort; does not constitute “Health Care” but “Inconvenience Care”.

    Only in the rare instances of a real threat of maternal fatality due to carrying a pregnancy, could an abortion be considered “Health Care”, but the instances are so rare that blanketing all abortions as “Health Care” is an exaggeration.

    “Health Care” would include resources to prevent unwanted pregnancies such as education and access to contraceptives. “Health Care” would include prenatal care and counseling, labor and delivery care, and post partum care.

  • therealistmom

    … because you don’t like the way it looks is "convienience care". Choosing not to carry a pregnancy is NOT. Nine months of having another organism literally hijack your body then going through the process of birth and then subsequently parenting the child or surrendering… this is NOT an "inconvienience". The chances of dying from a pregnancy, though fairly small in a developed country, are still very real, and signifigantly greater than the risk from a first-trimester abortion.

    "Health Care" would include resources to prevent unwanted pregnancies
    such as education and access to contraceptives. "Health Care" would
    include prenatal care and counseling, labor and delivery care, and post
    partum care.

     Yes it would. It would also include abortion services in those circumstances when contraception fails, or a rape occurs, or any other circumstance when an unwanted pregnancy occurs. The sad thing is, many, in fact the vast majority of vocal anti-choice advocates don’t want to make contraception and education available, either.

  • mellankelly1

    Only in the rare instances of a real threat of maternal fatality due to carrying a pregnancy, could an abortion be considered "Health Care", but the instances are so rare that blanketing all abortions as "Health Care" is an exaggeration.

    Right, because "that which does not kill us, makes us stronger", eh?  You can certainly feel free to risk your health (cute little quotes notwithstanding) for your pregnancy but you simply cannot force each woman to risk her health to satisfy your personal beliefs.  Some common complications of pregnancy include (but are certainly not limited to) gestational diabetes, high-blood pressure/pre-eclampsia, hyperemesis gravidarum, placenta abruption, placenta previa, premature or pre-term labor & toxoplasmosis.  Again… "common complications" of pregnancy.  No person should be forced to risk their very lives and/or health (no matter how much some people wish to belittle the "health" of women) against their will.  Certainly you are free to believe that any and all threats to a woman’s health (or "health") are simply a matter of "convenience", no matter how abhorrent those sentiments may sound… what you cannot do is impose these beliefs onto others. 

  • otaku1960

     is is not realistic. Single people will continue to have sex no matter how loudly the moralists pout and stamp their feet. To expect married couples to abstain from non procreative sex is simply insulting. 

     

    Your grievance shall be avenged.

  • invalid-0

    To all of you, An abortion is between a woman her doctor and her god. You have no place in this decision. I have never heard a fetus ask for life or death. They rely on the decisions that the mother makes.

    Obama was right to free women to make their own decisions without the chorus of fools who demand to control their wombs.

    Now you lie about the outcome of the FOCA act and the fact that it will force hospitals to give abortions. No such law has been made . Get over it. If you don’t like abortions then don’t have one!

    But leave the decision to have or not for the person in the situation.

    PEACEOUt

  • invalid-0

    I can’t believe how selfish all of you sound talking about let me go out and sleep around if i choose its my choice. What is life all about anyway we’re all going to meet our maker someday and children whether we’re ready for them or not teach us more about ourselves than we could ever know. It is not a choice to take a life because it inconviences you. If you want to prevent pregnancy yes abstinance works if you can’t do that then obviously your mature enough to either put the baby up for adoption or raise him or her yourself. Yes its a sacrifice for 9 months but you are doing something beautiful which nobody seems to recognize you are giving someone life which no man could ever do! Thats the power that women possess that the womans movement doesn’t even recognize.

  • therealistmom

    …you sound thinking you should be able to dicate what a woman does with her own body because you value a potential person (ie, a bunching of human cells less than an inch long in the case of the vast majority of abortions) over the grown woman who actually has the capacity to think, feel, and could potentially be endangered by the process of pregnancy and childbirth. The majority of women who seek abortions, amazingly enough, already are mothers, and another majority of them were responsible but had contraceptive failure. It’s also another truth that a majority are married or in long-term relationships, not that it should matter because sex is a part of human existence and shouldn’t be denied women simply because we’re the ones who can end up becoming pregnant.

    It’s "mature" to recognize that you are not in a situation that would make you an appropriate parent at a given time. It is "mature" to make decisions about your own life and health. And I’ve already met my "maker"- my mother is a wonderful woman who both was at my side when I had an abortion and adores the three beautiful grandchildren she has now. Not everyone is religious, and laws cannot be based on religion but on fact.

  • invalid-0

    I am “anti-abortion”, but I am not “pro-life”. I believe the term “pro-life” should go way beyond being against abortion, such as against the death penalty, war, poverty, and everything that results in premature death. In other words, things that so-called “pro-lifers” DO NOT support. That’s why the term “hypocrite” was created for these people (I might also add “coward” with that). So to those of you who want to abolish killing the unborn but want to save murderers from suffering in prison, or exterminate anyone who does not worship or believe in the so-called ONE TRUE GOD, or allow people to reach higher social classes, quit hijacking the term “pro-life” and call yourselves “anti-abortion”. Otherwise, you may end up with “W” and the other hypocrites in a very special place…in hell!!!

  • invalid-0

    A slight correction, not things that so-called “pro-lifers” DO NOT support, but things that so-called “pro-lifers” DO support.

  • invalid-0

    I have one simple question for everyone in the blog that is a Pro-Lifer….if you want to ban abortion, than I hope you also support ending the Iraq war and any other conflict that involves murder, and that you also fight to eliminate the death penalty in your states.

    If you honestly believe abortion is murder, than you must also agree that ALL forms of killing, justified or not, are murder also…let’s just be clear in our beliefs, religion aside.

    That’s what I am tired of, either you are PRO-LIFE, or you are not…let’s quite hiding behind the fact that one is an unborn child, and the other forms or murder are justified.
    Curious to see how many pro-lifers agree…

  • mellankelly1

    What is the source of the over half if unintentional pregnancies statistic?

    Oh, I got it from here… but you’ll need to follow the references in order to properly find where all of the info came from.  You may also feel free to research this information yourself if you happen to have the time or the inclination to do so.

    Also, the previous post suggested only rape as a possible justification, not failure to take personal responsibility

    You may want to read over the quote that I was responding to as the author made the following statement:
    "If you don’t want a pregnancy, and you are not raped, be responsible and do not become sexually active or use contraceptive"
    My response that over half of all women who became unintentionally pregnant were using some form of contraception during the month that they became pregnant (thus, acting responsibly) was spot on, my friend.
    A separate soul is created at conception.
    That is a fine belief, but it is not a Universal belief.  Your personal belief system does not suddenly trump the personal beliefs of the pregnant woman.  Further, your personal beliefs are not compelling enough to force gestation, childbirth and parenthood on another person.
  • mellankelly1

    So you are saying women should hav the same powere as God?

    So, are you claiming that God menstruates, has sex and is capable of becoming unintentionally pregnant?

  • invalid-0

    I go by the side of science. According to Biology, at the moment of conception, an embryo, whatever, is human life. It has human dna, absorbs nutrients, will grow, etc. That is science. Therefore, an abortion, by definition, ends a human life. Not a potential life, not a partial life, not an animal life, a human life. Any attempt to end that life falls under the murder statue (if you remove the abortion clauses in them of course…. which is why the clauses are there).

    By the way, murder is UNJUSTIFIED killing. War and capital punishment are fundamentally different from abortion.

  • mellankelly1

    According to Biology, at the moment of conception, an embryo, whatever, is human life

    Right.  Biology will also tell you that both the sperm and the ova are alive and if they are human, one could certainly refer to them as "human life."  And by all means you are free to believe that the biological life of a zygote (embryo and/or fetus) is on par with the lives of pregnant women… but you absolutely cannot compel others to adhere to your beliefs.

    Any attempt to end that life falls under the murder statue

    Murder is the killing of a person by a (sane) person with intent, malice aforethought and with no legal excuse or authority.  Your statement fails on every count. 

    War and capital punishment are fundamentally different from abortion.

    War and capital punishment involve the killing of people.  Abortion involves the killing of a zygote, an embryo and/or a fetus (effectively ending a pregnancy.)  Yes… fundamentally different, indeed!

  • invalid-0

    Great, no pre-natal medical treatments to override the consequences of ones actions.

  • invalid-0

    And whats the difference between a fetus that results from rape and one that doesn’t? That still remains un-answered.

  • invalid-0

    How will we learn to deal with the consequences of our actions or if we can just fix everything the instant we make a mistake (or a condom fails)?

    Who decides what “consequences” have to be dealt with, and which can be “fixed”? If you get a headache, do you “deal with it,” or do you take an aspirin? If someone catches, say, syphilis, do they “deal with it” or do they take antibiotics, get cured, and get on with their life?

    but, to me, abortion is NOT a means of birth control.

    I doubt that anyone on this site considers abortion to be a means of birth control, let alone an option equivalent to a condom, Pill regimen, IUD, or the like.

    This is not criticizing anyone or their beliefs…

    Unfortunately, it is. You are critical of women who have abortions as “birth control” for their own “gratification.” I suggest you read up on women’s stories of their own abortion experiences (Aspen Baker has been doing some great work in this area) to gain a better understanding of why they underwent the procedure. Because the scenario that you have in mind when you reason about this is, basically, a cartoon that does not reflect reality.

  • invalid-0

    If a separate soul is created at conception, then explain what happens in the development stage where the fertilized egg splits up into 16 totipotent cells.

    Which twin gets the soul, by the way?

  • invalid-0

    First of all I would like to say that I am a Catholic and do not think that abortion is ever a “good thing.” But in most cases it does not meet the defition of murder either. To make abortion illegal we would have to change our entire legal system.
    Murder is defined as the deliberate taking of the life of an innocent human person. To be a legally a “person,” one must have self awareness and consciousness. In the first few weeks of development, the fetus does not have enough brain development to be conscious and aware. Therefore, a first trimester abortion is not murder because the fetus at that stage does not meet the criteria of personhood.
    If the abortion procedure is done in the later trimesters and is medically necessary because the mother’s life is at risk, then technically, you cannot define the fetus as “innocent.” I am not saying that there is intent on the fetus’ part to endanger it’s mother, but because simply continuing on with the pregnancy is a threat to the mother’s life. In a legal sense, there is no murder if the person is defending her own life.
    Given legal reasoning, one could only define an abortion as murder if it occurs beyond the first trimester and if done in the second or third trimester when there is no threat to the mother’s own life. The vast majority of abortions are done in the forst trimester.
    In addition, there is no way that safe, legal abortion can be illegal and inaccessible in a democracy. There are many people in the United States who are Christians or religions, or who have no religion, that do not define abortion in the same light as “pro-life” Christians. This is not a theocracy (yet) where we impose our religious beliefs on everyone. We have religious freedom in this country, which allows us to come to our own conclusions about matters of religion, and to follow our own consciences.