• invalid-0

    The stigma of abortion cannot be removed as easily as Ms. Zurek would like. The fact is that, aside from the legality of the issue, the majority of Americans are morally uncomfortable with the procedure. Because abortions kill human fetuses and embryos most Americans (check any Gallup, Zogby or Pew poll) are at best “mildly uncomfortable” with it to at worst considering abortion to be murder. Common Ground would dictate that the minority, people who have no moral objections to the procedure, should acquiesce to the majority. And the majority would affirm this statement to be true: “Having an abortion is a difficult and morally complex decision for a woman to make. Therefore, I encourage social policies that result in fewer abortions being performed.” Of course, some of you in the pro-abortion pro-choice ivory tower just don’t get it.

  • alexm

    I’m so happy to see that we are starting to move beyond the ideological clash that hampers women’s rights in the global West.  The next step after ensuring that women are legally afforded the right to choose when to be pregnant is making sure that women have the resources to exercise that choice.

     

    The onus is on us, the pro-choice activists, to make sure this important work gets done. 

     

    The personal is political.

  • invalid-0

    I believe that these religious groups are anti-women. Why,because I do not see them marching or fighting to end the death penalty, or wars which kill thousands of innocent children. They need to realize that death and murder happens to the born as well as the unborn. The ones that do not see it, they just do not want women to advance in the world. What really is bothersome is women who are against themselves! They must have be really brainwashed by these religious male dominated cults.

  • invalid-0

    A writer writes—”Having an abortion is a difficult and morally complex decision for a woman to make”
    Well it’s the Religious Right who wants to make this a Morally complex decision! If they would stay our of our lives it would become the right of the woman to make this necessary decision only!

  • alexm

    So true.  After all, the religious right has made a business out of very late term abortions on the citizens of Iraq.  Who’s profiting off a "culture of death" now? 

    The personal is political.

  • alexm

    If we’re looking for common ground on the issue of abortion, that line about women feeling guilty after "killing" their children has to go.  Why do women feel guilty?  Because they are told that they should by a society that allows anti choice nutcases to dictate the rules.  How can we alleviate the very real pain and trauma of the abortion procedure?  By offering safe, legal medical care that is sensitive to each woman’s needs and wishes.

     

    The personal is political.

  • invalid-0

    If you think for a minute that abortion is only morally complex because of the actions of the religious right then your views are terribly naive. Women of all religions and political persuasions have abortions and their feelings and reactions vary from relief and being unaffected by the procedure to severe regret for what they consider to be the murder of their own child. We should have a national dialogue about abortion. But it is utterly stupid for pro-choicers to assert that that dialogue should never mention any stigmas related to abortion. Newsflash: A dialogue should let people speak their minds freely as long as they don’t advocate violence. We should have a national dialogue on the abortion issue, but we must make sure EVERYONE gets to have their say.

  • therealistmom

    … because those people are heathens and anti-American. They aren’t likely to fall in line to the Right’s sense of correctness and become good Christian Americans. Fetuses, on the other hand, have the potential to be born into the "correct" culture and be indoctrinated as children. They claim Planned Parenthood, a non-profit organization, is in the "abortion business" for the money… what about all those nice little children they want to bring up to tithe into the non-taxable coffers of the church?

     Yes, my tongue was in cheek for that post. But only partway.

  • pcwhite

    Comment edited to meet with our civility standards

    Have you taken a look inside the windows of our "ivory tower" lately?  (just curious…do you even know what an ivory tower is?)  Pro-choice activists talk about reducing the need for abortions EVERY DAY.  Have you even taken a cursory look through RHRC itself?  One of our hugest issues is about providing comprehensive sex ed and access to safe, reliable contraception.

     

    Btw, your attempt to appeal to public opinion doesn’t even make sense.  The majority of people are "uncomfortable" with abortion, so we should…make it illegal?  Make women jump through asinine hoops in order to get one?  "Uncomfortable" does not equal "finds abortion morally wrong."  Hell, I’m "uncomfortable" with stomach surgery, but that’s no argument for making it illegal.

  • invalid-0

    what if the ‘stigma’ you speak of is not a stigma? Can there be such thing as moral truth? If one accepts stigma with no presuppositions then one must allow for the possibility of truth, that abortion is wrong. Less than 5% of abortions are because of rape. This means that 95% of pregnancies have been results of two people’s choice to partake in an act that has tangible consequences. May we talk about the ‘stigma’ of an unwanted and burdonsome child?

    • mellankelly1

      Less than 5% of abortions are because of rape

      What difference does that make? The moral and/or physical status of the zygote, embryo and/or fetus conceived through consensual sex is in no way different than the zygote, embryo and/or fetus conceived through non-consensual sex.  Right?

  • invalid-0

    It is easy for you ,you are a man, you can easily run away from a child who will need you forever. Not so for women. We are emotionally and physically attached from the start. Whether that is too bad or not for women, in this day and age it is VERY difficult to raise children alone. There are too many absentee fathers and so what does ‘two’ people really mean-it means the women get stuck with the burden of either making a decision to terminate a pregnancy or raising a child alone with totally inadequate and unequal pay and health insurance. When is the religious right and church going to force fathers to stay with the mothers and make them pay too????? I am not holding my breath.

  • invalid-0

    I agree with what you are saying. As a man i cannot relate to what women go through. Women are very strong; pregnancy, birth and motherhood demand this. You speak of some very serious problems and obviously many consequences. There are answers, there is hope; but can you see that abortion is not the answer to the problems you speak of, it has nothing to do with them. I can say this without any mention of religion, much less the religious right.

    • invalid-0

      Sorry you still do not get it. Abortion is the issue. Women are the ones who have the babies whether they like it or not. I guess you feel we should have no choice? I believe that no choice is highly discriminative. It is like saying that women can not be reponsible to take charge of their own bodies. Would you want the government telling you as a man to get sterilized or else? What about the church telling you to get castrated or else and DEAL with it. Sorry this does not fly with me.

  • brady-swenson

    DerekP, your implication that those who might be morally uncomfortable with abortion are indeed proponents of making abortion illegal is misleading. In fact the most recent Gallup polling on the issue reveals that 82% of Americans believe abortion should remain legal. 28% say abortion should be “legal under any circumstances” and 54% say it should be “legal under certain circumstances.”
    .
    In fact, if you look at the trend over the past 35 years or so public opinion on the issue has remained relatively stable.
    .
    I can’t find any polls that use your comfortable and uncomfortable language.

    • invalid-0

      I wish people would read my comments instead of reading what others write about it. No where in my posts have I advocated making abortion illegal. Instead, I believe that our country should have a national dialogue about the morality of the issue. And Brady, this link will take you to a website run by Pew that summarizes polls which support what I said about public opinion regarding the MORALITY of abortion. (Scroll down to table 3)

      http://people-press.org/commentary/?analysisid=119

      One note – these polls represent views from 2003-2005. 2006 Pew research confirms these findings but there are far fewer polls that ask people about the morality of abortion compared to its legality. In general, the most recent poll by Pew says that about 70% of the population believes abortion is totally or somewhat immoral. Only 26% of people think abortion is not a moral issue. This 26% are the minority I wrote about who, like many on this blog, aren’t comfortable with language referring to reducing the number of abortions and prefer talking about reducing the need for abortion. Common ground is in reducing the number of abortions, not so much its “need.”

  • invalid-0

    So women are strong because of their reproductivity. Hmmm. Women are strong because they live day in and out in a world of men (and, unfortunately, some women) who see them first as sexual and reproductive recepticals. IF we are lucky, we encounter fellow human beings who put that aside, and see us as imperfect humans who sometimes have to make difficult sacrifices. These special people also don’t hold us responsible for upholding perfect virtue in a world of greed, warmongering, torture, etc. Goddess/Universe bless us all.

    Peace.

    We were not placed on an planet that was assembled by an anthropomorphic man-god who revealed a text of truth to a lone human. We, like everthing on this magical planet, emerged from it. We are stardust!

  • invalid-0

    i know it’s really easy to take a bunch of people who have one “label” in common (Christians) and stereotype them as all being this, that, and the other. By doing so it makes it easier to judge them, not take the time to engage in dialogue with them, and even hate them. I am a Christian and I am also a democrat, have been against the war in Iraq from the start, am against the death penalty, a supporter of comprehensive sex education, and am pro-life. I challenge all of us to make the effort to get to know people who don’t think exactly like we do. Maybe then we can either reach a true common ground or agree to disagree. These conversations aren’t easy but the alternative-seeing who can yell louder-doesn’t help anybody. And also if you spend time with a lot of pro-lifers you’ll realize that for many, abortion is so much more than just a “woman’s issue.” It’s just too easy to say that pro-lifers are anti-women.

  • invalid-0

    I am sorry you can not have it both ways. Jesus gave us a CHOICE to follow His ways or not. Where do humans come in saying that you can not have a choice? Religious humans are not God and should not pretend to be by preaching. We know the facts it is our decision not the governments or religions. This is why I left the church. The church is run by men for men and women are only second class unimportant beings for men to toss around at will. Walk the walk before you start preaching please. You must of had a perfect sheltered life from violent men, from rape, from male controled marriages etc. etc. You do not know the pain of women worldwide.

  • invalid-0

    Mary, do you really think that calling Christians “anti-woman” is really off the mark? You’ve read the Bible. Women pretty much are property. Yes, I know there are a few redeeming quotes for women. But the scriptures demand that women be subserviant and uphold virture whereas men are allowed to go to war, have more than one wife, etc., etc. Yes, I know that Christian scriptures fix some of those inequities, but Paul pretty much sees women as good mothers and obedient wives. Jesus was much cooler than Paul.

    Pro-choice folks cannot help but notice how anti-choice men are so vocal about women never having an abortion but are nearly silent about telling men to never have sex outside marriage and to tell women who try to seduce them “no.” Maybe they talk to each other about it, but I don’t see them stopping men from carrousing bars or strip clubs like they try to stop women from entering women’s reproductive clinics. Can we be honest? Not only do they feel compelled to tell women what to do and not do with their bodies, they may be afraid of being beat up by the men at the bars and strip clubs.

    Moreover, compare “anti-woman” with all the ugly names Christians call pro-choice folks on their thousands of radio and tv stations. I’m not going tho repeat them here. I’d much rather be called anti-woman or anti-man.

    Let’s all remember the blog entry that inspired this thread of comments: Fredrick Clarkson is concerned that anti-choice folks want the number of abortions to be reduced to zero. In other words, “reducing the number of abortions” will mean the same as “ban abortions.”

    Most thoughtful religious folks know deep in their hearts that banning abortions isn’t going to stop them. It will just make women’s lives more owned by those who live to judge them.

    Peace

    We were not placed on an planet that was assembled by an anthropomorphic man-god who revealed a text of truth to a lone human. We, like everthing on this magical planet, emerged from it. We are stardust!

  • invalid-0

    i realized that i didn’t clarify what i meant by being pro-life. I should of explained that i am not pro-life in the sense that I am against people having the right to choose abortion. I do not believe that abortion should be illegal. I am pro-life in the sense that I am not in favor of abortion. I’m probably not explaining myself well-it’s a long conversation. I agree with anonymous that Jesus did give us a choice and I personally would never want to live in a country that is governed by any religious “group” -even Christians.
    The point that I was trying to make is not to stereotype-if you read the comment that others made, that’s exactly what happened. For one, the comment was made that I don’t know the pain of women worldwide. I spent two decades in Ethiopia working with women who were domestically abused both physically and sexually. I have seen and heard stories that will stay with me forever and I am still in close contact with a number of the women that I built friendships with there. Another comment was made about men-especially Christian men-the way they think, etc… Maybe you know men like this personally. But I know many men who think nothing like this. If you read my original post you’ll see that all I was asking is to engage in conversations with people who think differently from you-maybe then it would be less easier to assume that 1) because I’m against abortion i must have lived a sheltered life and have no idea what women’s lives are like worldwide and 2) that men who are a part of the Church all think the same and are “against women.”

  • invalid-0

    I had carefully read your remarks. I’ve been on the planet for closing in on six decades and have discussed this issue hundreds of times. So far, I haven’t met one woman or man who is “for abortion” as if they take it lightly. It’s a serious decision, but one that ultimately belongs to the woman.

    And I’ve discussed this issue in a respectful way with people who don’t agree with me. I don’t waste time addressing the issue with those who would dismiss what I just said with a bumper-sticker response, like “It’s not a choice, it’s a child.”

    Usually, I don’t discuss the issue with Christian men who are strongly anti-choice because the ones I’ve talked to see women’s main purpose as good mothers and wives with the most important function of procreating and that women who choose to terminate their pregnancies are committing the one sin that must be confronted and stopped. Maybe they haven’t gone to women’s reproductive clinics and tried to stop them from having an abortion. But they are sympathetic with those who do.

    When I ask if they would start a group of men who would stop men from carrousing bars and strip clubs in order to stop men from impregnating women, they say “no” because it’s not the same as stopping an abortion. However, it could very well stop unwanted pregnancies. And they’d be in “their own backyard” by preaching what they belive,i.e., not having sex outside of marriage, to their own gender.

    I really don’t need to invest a lot of my time with anti-choicers to understand them. I can turn on the TV or radio any where and any time to understand their interpretations of their religious text and the choice of scpriptures they make.

    Christians who understand that banning abortions is not an option and non-Christian, pro-choice folks like me don’t have a voice on mass media like the anti-choice folks do.

    Therefore, we can only seek each other out.

    Peace

    We were not placed on an planet that was assembled by an anthropomorphic man-god who revealed a text of truth to a lone human. We, like everthing on this magical planet, emerged from it. We are stardust!

  • invalid-0

    Not once did I mention my religious belief. But the responses to my post were riddled with anit-church sentiment. I sense a lot of bitterness and, as I’ve seen the popular church act, it’s understandable, but not necessarily justified. What I don’t comprehend is the expression that pregnancy is something dastardly, something that’s attacked a woman, similar to a cancer, and in effect something that is unfairly placed upon a woman, instead. Men and women are responsible, cradle to grave. I don’t think my time here is helpful to anyone but it seems divisive. In defense of my wife, who has had one child and has one more on the way, I have failed as a husband and man if I look at her as a means to my end, to my desires, and as a ‘sexual receptical’. God have mercy on me and the men of this generation.

  • invalid-0

    I checked the comments, and I don’t interpret any comments as an “expression that pregnancy is something dastardly, something that’s attacked a woman, similar to a cancer, and in effect something that is unfairly placed upon a woman.”
    I’ve heard anti-choice folks project that sentiment onto pro-choice folks by Christian televangelists, Fox News hosts, right-wing talk show hosts, etc., etc., etc. on the “liberal media.” I get a big kick out of that canard.
    Please don’t set up a straw man argument, take your ball, and go home. If you say that you don’t look at your wife as a sexual receptacle (correcting my own spelling here), then that is true. How could I possibly project onto you personally anything else. However, the general comment that “Women are very strong; pregnancy, birth and motherhood demand this” is not the only reason why women are strong. Many women chose not to become pregnant or cannot. Are those women not strong because they aren’t demonstrating their strength through pregnancy and childbirth? Besides, not all men and women are “strong” for many reasons.
    And why are we “bitter” for expressing our rejection of certain religious scriptures? You do understand that when people are called “baby killers,” etc., and told that women just don’t want to be “inconvenienced” by unwanted children that those people will respond. One way to respond is to look at the religious texts that anti-choice folks quote. After all, most anti-choice folks say that the Bible is “God’s Word,” and that it justifies their words and actions. You cannot quote the Bible and then call people “bitter” who question it, or interpret it differently, etc.
    I look at the Bible as partly historical and partly an expression of how some people have expressed their cosmology. Where I find inspiration in it, I acknowledge it. However, I will not ignore the second-class status of women in a number of scriptures. I think only two books in the Jewish texts were “written by” women. The Bible isn’t the only religious text that relegates women to second-class status.
    Best wishes, health, and joy to you and your family.
    Peace
    “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the POWERS OF THE EARTH, the separate and equal station to which the LAWS OF NATURE and of NATURE’S GOD entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
    …from the Declaration of Independence (emphasis mine)
    We were not placed on an planet that was assembled by an anthropomorphic man-god who revealed a text of truth to a lone human. We, like everthing on this magical planet, emerged from it. We are stardust!

  • invalid-0

    i agree with you. i was only making reference to the number of cases in which there are choices that precede and lead to conception.

  • invalid-0

    i’m sorry, i’m having a hard time letting it go. My response would be, is not the proof in the pudding (Making reference to my use of the word ‘dastardly’)? The proof being an action of terminating something unwanted? And also the attention and energy given to demanding this right? Indirectly, this makes a value statement to that which is unwanted.

    I resent a lot of the lambasting coming from the ‘right wing.’ I sense that women feel hated, belittled, disregarded, judged, etc. Being a pro-lifer i apoligize for this inappropriate action, from the evils of rush to the evils of oreilly. It saddens me. Personally, i hold to a truth that there is hope and a better solution, for the mother and child. Yes, i believe abortion is wrong but no more wrong than my selfish pursuits or pride. I wish to express my feelings concerning the unborn child without sacrificing respect and love to the mother.

  • invalid-0

    I’ve read and re-read it, but I’m not understanding your point. It’s not ungrammatical or anything like that. I’m just truly not understanding it. And thanks for appoligizing for the less tactful folks. The fact that we are trying to understand each other is proof that neither of us wants to intentionally hate, belittle, disregard or judge the other. We’ve already, in a few written conversations, overcome the hurt and ugliness of both sides. May these respectful entries be a testament to the fact that people can disagree without disrepecting one another.
    I cannot in good conscience call the issue of early pregnancy a child. I’m not dismissing the gravity of a decision to continue or terminate a pregnancy either. And as far as women demanding the right to anything is about determining their future.
    And very often that includes making decisions about the well-being of the children both women AND men already have. There are many reasons, each one very often provided and analyzed.
    For thousands of years after agriculture, women took matters of childbearing into her own hands as best they could. Prior to a steady food supply, women couldn’t produce many children: Starvation mode renders women infertile. You may not accept this anthropological explanation. But abortion and contraception are not new, even if you believe homo sapien sapiens have been around for only 6,000 years.
    So my point is that women have been highly motivated to control the size of their families and when to become mothers for at least 6,000 years if not 10,000 years, since the advent of agriculture. It’s no less of an inbuilt drive in women as it is to for humans to have sex, to eat food, to seek shelter, to protect and care for our children already born, to seek love, friendship, and understanding the great mysteries of life.
    I think not understanding women’s motivations about when to become mothers has to do with the fact that history has pretty much been “his story,” making “her story” somewhat strange at best and a footnote at worst. And only within the context of a narrative do we understand human motivation. Even cultural anthropologists who have studied other cultures, often didn’t really study the women as much as they studied the men of those cultures. I think that field is changing to address those deficiencies.
    Historically speaking, women’s lives were relegated to their own private sphere. It hasn’t even been 100 years since women had the right to vote in this country. I can’t tell you how many changes have occurred since I was a young girl back in the 50s and 60s. It’s abosutely amazing.
    Don’t let go–especially don’t let go of hope.
    Peace
    “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the POWERS OF THE EARTH, the separate and equal station to which the LAWS OF NATURE and of NATURE’S GOD entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
    …from the Declaration of Independence (emphasis mine)
    We were not placed on an planet that was assembled by an anthropomorphic man-god who revealed a text of truth to a lone human. We, like everthing on this magical planet, emerged from it. We are stardust!

  • mellankelly1

     i agree with you. i was only making reference to the number of cases in which there are choices that precede and lead to conception.

    Thank you for the clarification. Regarding the choices that precede and lead to conception; studies reflect that over half of all women who experience an unintended pregnancy were using some form of contraception during the month that they became pregnant (although the majority reported having used this method inconsistently.)  Do you think that the choice to use contraception is not a valid point to consider when speaking of abortion, even when the method fails (or is used inconsistently?)  I would agree that discovering better methods of contraception, better education regarding their usage and greater access to these methods (especially to low income women) would be a step in the right direction in order to reduce the instance of unintended pregnancy.  But ultimately I firmly believe that the person most qualified to be making decisions regarding her pregnancy (regardless of the circumstances leading up to conception) is the pregnant woman.

  • invalid-0

    All of this hand-wringing over the loss of zygotes, etc. through abortion leads me to wonder why no one wails for the poor gametes that are lost due to abstinence?

    After all, each and every gamete is unique. Two gametes got lucky to make me: same for you. If my two gametes had never gotten together, the loss to the world (and to me!!) would have been exactly the same as it would have been if my mother had had an abortion.

    Maybe that is where we can find some common ground. One side already heartily approves — insists on, really — of abstinence. What that means, bottom line, is that the world can get along just fine without some gametes growing up to be the doctor who will discover the cure for AIDS.

    Others are already quite comfortable stopping what a couple of rebellious gametes have begun via abortion.

    Now all we have to do to end all this bitterness is for all to agree that it’s OK to have sex just for fun. Hmmm? Well, I tried anyway.

  • invalid-0

    So what happens to those unique little buggers any way? I think they are just reabsorbed into the body. Can you imagine every male gamete (sperm) meeting up with a female gamete (egg)? I don’t think the evolution of life for sexual organisms (as opposed to asexual organisms) as we know it would have turned out the same at all.
    I have two sons, one in his 20s and the other is 16. We’ve always taught them that sex is pretty complex and being fun is one of those complexities. But it’s most fun with one partner whom you can trust and love (which coincides with responsibility), so a special relationship must be forged first. My older son waited until he got out of high school and he is married to the best daughter-in-law I can imagine, and I’m pretty certain that my younger son is waiting too. So far all is good.
    I hope you are having lots of fun and lots of love and trust that makes the fun “funner.”
    Peace
    We were not placed on an planet that was assembled by an anthropomorphic man-god who revealed a text of truth to a lone human. We, like everything on this magical planet, emerged from it. We are stardust!

  • invalid-0

    You sense right. Having gone to church since I was born in the Catholic faith until the age of 18. I learned my lessons well. Women were always second class, unimportant, even with reproduction,citizens. But it is not just church, although that is where most of it starts. It was society, teachers, the media, mens comments even today men put other men down by using comments like “little girls”,”ladies” etc if they are trying to goad them to be stronger. Back to the abortion issue. Women are sick of being told what we can not do. We have already proven ourselves and our worth over and over. We have avery difficult road and the Gov. and the church should let us alone on these PERSONAL decisions.
    Oh I left the church at 18 until they ordain a female Priest!

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