Citizen “Entrapment”: Lila Rose and 21st Century Stealth Pro-Life Activism


Twenty-year-old
Lila Rose suffers from a condition that afflicts many new activists, a condition known as myopia. Those who suffer from myopia experience an
inability to see nuance in the world and seek comfort in absolutes.  While thought to be more pronounced among the
young, myopia can infect people of all ages with varying results, and the
results of Rose’s particular strain of this cerebral infection have only just
begun to make themselves known.


One of Lila Rose’s undercover visits to Planned Parenthood, this one in Memphis, Tennesee.

It’s
not clear how Rose became involved in the pro-life movement – it is a question
she studiously avoids answering. Perhaps it is no surprise that a girl who grew
up with seven siblings in an Evangelical family in San Jose, California, would
become passionate about putting a stop to abortion. But religiosity is not a
sure path to fanaticism, and as easy as it would be to demonize this young
woman as a misguided anti-abortion extremist, or undermine her position by
focusing on who is pulling her marionette strings, that view ignores Rose’s
power over her own actions. But when we engage with her controversial methods
and explore the (largely one-sided) response they have elicited we find Lila
Rose is intent on appropriating some of the principles upon which the social justice
movement is founded.

Rose,
a history student at UCLA, is the founder of the somewhat pornographically
named "Live Action Films," the ultimate goal of which, says Rose:

is to use educational media to help create a world
where the life of every human being, even the smallest or least developed, is
protected.  We are student journalists and work to expose sexual
abuse cover-up and racism at the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned
Parenthood.

The group uses police-quality
undercover equipment to record a loosely scripted conversation in which Rose
and her cohorts bait Planned Parenthood employees into violating the
organization’s policies. Videos of the in-person and phone conversations are
then posted on YouTube and the Live Action Films website. Welcome to
twenty-first century stealth pro-life activism, folks.

Rose’s
methods do simply replicate those used by police officials (and Dateline NBC)
to apprehend prostitutes, drug dealers, and child sex offenders. Though those
methods raise many worthwhile ethical questions, few would have batted an eye
had she not captured a handful of questionable encounters with Planned
Parenthood staff, the most damning of which shows a service provider at Planned Parenthood Greater
Memphis Region telling Rose, who the provider believes to be a 14-year-old
girl, that Rose can protect her 31-year-old boyfriend by lying about his age
when she seeks an abortion.

The
encounters are not as sensational as Rose would like you to believe. The brief
moments she chooses to focus on take place within a lengthy conversation–Rose’s
encounter with the Greater Memphis affiliate lasted 28 minutes–in which the
context of particular statements is not always clear. Although the Memphis video is
available ‘in its entirety’ by Live Action Films, seemingly a move toward
transparency, some of the dialogue curiously remains muted by Rose. Because
Rose isn’t the adolescent she claimed to be and Tennessee’s law gives health professionals the benefit of discretion in deciding which cases to report–merely encouraging rather than requiring a mandated heath care provider
to notify legal authorities if abuse is suspected–none of the employees
actually committed a criminal act. Even so, despite not being illegal, the
employees’ actions are ethically questionable, and still run afoul of Planned
Parenthood’s policy of reporting suspected statutory rape.

The
extent of the "problem" of unreported statutory rape is enormously unclear;
Rose has not been forthcoming in stating the precise number of clinics she has
visited so her sample size is unclear (is this an anomalous situation in one out of 100 or 500 clinics visited?) nor has she disclosed how often clinic staff responded appropriately to
her created dilemma.  Since it is clear
that in any large health care system some missteps are unavoidable–to err is human, after all–and that a few employees
out of the over 30,000 people who work with Planned Parenthood will exhibit
less-than-stellar practices, it is misleading for Rose to cherry pick the worst
offenders as "proof" that the cover up of sexual abuse is widespread within the
organization without further context.

Since
Rose has videotaped patients inside a health care facility and made that video
publicly available, some have voiced criticism at the potential
violation of a patient’s right to privacy
, others have decried Rose’s
script as entrapment,
and others still have demanded that Rose compensate
Planned Parenthood for wasting the organization’s resources. The latter two are
the easiest to respond to: the services Rose availed herself of are typically
offered at no cost, and so there is nothing for her to reimburse. As far as
entrapment is concerned, since Rose is a private citizen, not a law enforcement
officer, this line of legal argument fails to apply.


The
privacy rights issue is more difficult to discern. Since laws vary by state, it
is unclear the rights of the patients who appear in Live Action Films are being
violated when their likenesses are not actually displayed publicly. (Live
Action Films has blurred the faces of the patients on the videos they have
released.) We also don’t know which states’ laws may apply, as the locations of
the clinics are only divulged when Live Action Films chooses to release the
selective footage.

If,
legally speaking, neither Rose nor Planned Parenthood has done anything wrong,
what is so special about yet another argument regarding abortion and morality?
Morality is, after all, largely in the eye of the beholder. I realized why I
was so bothered by Rose’s expertly tailored media persona while listening to an
interview she did with
radio host Laura Ingraham, and found myself nodding in agreement with Rose about
elements of her argument.

Here’s
what Rose told Ingraham: "[The pro-choice movement] should demand the best from
their abortion providers…they need to demand the best behavior and the best
law-abiding protection of women from these supposed people on their side." Any
health care provider requires regular self-assessment regarding both the
protection of patients’ rights and providers’ responsibilities. It is the
responsibility of the provider to ensure staff are not only effectively trained
at the time they are hired, but also that they continue to comply with the
organization’s policies and procedures throughout the duration of employment. Rose’s
examples, however out of context they may be, hit home the point that providers
and pro-choice advocates are already aware of and work to address: ensuring an
impeccable quality of care is enormously important and needs to be a high
priority for both health care providers and the pro-choice movement.

Rose’s
use of feminist and anti-racist language on Ingraham’s show made me ponder why she
seemed so keen to channel SisterSong’s vision
of reproductive justice
, and why she appeared to be speaking to her
opponents instead of to her comrades. I had convinced myself this was a
momentary lapse from Rose until a similar argument purporting to demonstrate her
concern for women arose when she appeared in an interview with Glenn Beck ("Planned Parenthood
institutionally covers up sexual abuse to procure secret abortions for little
girls and then sends them back to the sexual abuser") and once
more on Hannity’s America ("79% of
[Planned Parenthood’s] clinics are in minority neighborhoods, and an African
American baby is almost as likely to be aborted because of this as it is to be
born. Abortion is truly impacting, devastating the African American community
and Planned Parenthood is behind that.")

Obviously,
this was not a temporary lapse. Lila Rose is using a tactic that has been utilized
by anti-abortion activists to combat global reproductive health services for
the past 30 years: to co-opt the rhetoric of the Left – in this case, specific
reproductive justice concerns and commitments – in order to use it against
them. As Michelle
Goldberg details in The Means of
Reproduction
, in the 1980s feminists fought for a paradigm shift in
global reproductive rights by criticizing the cultural imperialism of
population control advocates who believed in the necessity of decreasing
population growth in "undeveloped" countries only to have this same criticism
thrown back at them by the same conservative groups a decade later. Rose hasn’t
found a new tactic, just new packaging.

The
anti-abortion movement has always been good at using the media to popularize
their message. Rose has been featured on several Fox News segments, and she
also publishes a newspaper, The Advocate,
through her university. Live Action Films has been sending out press releases
detailing their activities on a nearly biweekly basis since September 2008, and
the frequency has increased in recent months. This could be the beginning of a
rebranding of the pro-life movement.

So
far the Left has been largely silent about Rose’s activities- a mistaken
underestimation of the power of media and the ability of the Right to shape the
debate by putting the pro-choice community in a weaker, defensive position. It is difficult to debunk a story that has
surged unchecked throughout the blogosphere and appeared on credible
media outlets
; but more than that, if established, it will be nearly
impossible to unravel a pro-life discourse that removes the Left’s claim on
fighting racism and sexism within reproductive health.

Feminists and health advocates
need to respond publicly to Rose’s dubious assertions that Planned Parenthood is a
nefarious organization that facilitates sexual abuse and racial genocide. They
need to point out that her paternalistic attitude toward women and minority
groups only serves to perpetuate the institutionalized sexism and racism that
permeates our society by denying them affordable health care services from an
organization that offers a range of services, 97 percent of services are preventive services (gynecological exams,
contraception distribution, STI testing and treatment, cervical and breast
cancer screenings, sexual health education, etc) and where, according to
Planned Parenthood Federation of America spokesperson Diane Quest, "any removal of public funding
would only serve to deny women, men, and young people critical preventive
health care."

Advocates also need to talk about supportive ways to hold Planned Parenthood and other
abortion providers accountable to their own policies: providing financial and
in-kind support for staff professional development and monitoring of policy
compliance, advocating for pro-choice legislation, reporting policy infractions
to executive staff and other already-established regulatory bodies, conducting
research to identify best practices, and building coalitions among pro-choice
organizations and groups that work to support girls who are sexually exploited,
to name a few. They also need to point out that what Rose is doing may put
clinic staff in danger, as some of the information made public in her videos
could be used for perilous purposes (for example, the days the doctors are in
the clinic and the process by which discarded tissue is disposed of). They need
to talk about all of the women and people of color who are employed by Planned
Parenthood who are at risk of losing their jobs if the organization loses
funding.

Lila
Rose believes that her goal is righteous, and the pro-life community does too.
She received a $50,000 Life Prize in February from the Gerard Health Foundation to
work toward her goal of "continuing to do nonprofit educational work to reach
the public with the message that all human beings are created equal, and should
be protected by law and by individual choice." It’s time for the Left to start
talking about these videos and these tactics. We cannot allow feminism
to act as a cover for misogynists with short-sighted, myopic objectives.

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  • progo35

    “They need to point out that her paternalistic attitude toward women and minority groups only serves to perpetuate the institutionalized sexism and racism that permeates our society”

    Wait just a second-isn’t that what the LEFT does when it accuses conservatives of being racists whenever they oppose busing, support school vouchers, and advocate wellfare reform? If the argument Rose is making is parternalistic, than so are the Left’s.

    “by denying them affordable health care services from an organization that offers a range of services, 97 percent of services are preventive services (gynecological exams, contraception distribution, STI testing and treatment, cervical and breast cancer screenings, sexual health education, etc) and where, according to Planned Parenthood Federation of America spokesperson Diane Quest, “any removal of public funding would only serve to deny women, men, and young people critical preventive health care.”

    Planned Parenthood is not the only place to get preventive health care services, moreover, Planned Parenthood could offer those resources without peforming abortions,if it so chose. Moreover, this response to PP’s location in poorer neighborhood’s ignore’s Rose’s point that PP is one of the biggest providers of abortion in the country. Rose isn’t arguing that people in minority communities should be deprived of basic care, she is saying that abortion clinics set up their on purpose because they know that women in these communities are more likely to be suffering from violence or poverty and are therefore more vulnerable to abortion, which makes PP a lot of money. Moreover, it is paternalistic to imply that a minority community’s ability to access preventive care depends on PP being in their neighborhood.

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    • invalid-0

      “Planned Parenthood is not the only place to get preventive health care services, moreover, Planned Parenthood could offer those resources without peforming abortions,if it so chose. ”

      Yes, but it is often the least expensive if one doesn’t have any sort of insurance. Both for regular checkups and birth control pills.
      And they do offer abortions because they are NEEDED. And they will continue to because they are NEEDED.
      DEAL with it.

      • progo35

        I guess I’d better re-write my former comment about the left’s attitude toward’s minorities being paternalistic, since it seems to have been deleted with Emma’s response to it just hanging out in space. The far left’s attitude toward minorities is extremely paternalistic. The  far left acts as if everything they do is for minority communities and anyone who opposes their way of doing this is a racist. Get over it-being a conservative does not make someone a racist!!!! Some on the left act as if the Latino, black, LGBT, and disabled community’s survival depends on bigger government coming in and saving us from ourselves by denying school vouchers, making racially based decisions, and basically treating us like we are the Save the Children fund.   

         

         

        "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    • emma

      Nice right-wing talking points. There is nothing paternalistic about the state offering affordable housing, a decent public education system and income support for people who need it. It’s people who advocate ‘welfare reform’, decimating public schools and removing public housing who are discriminating against people living in poverty.

      And in case you missed it, Planned Parenthood also offers low cost gynaecological exams, contraception, and so on. Are you suggesting that poor women should be denied pap smears?

      I do not understand right-wingers who want women to keep children they can’t support, but whine about any social policies that will actually help them do so.

    • invalid-0

      Planned Parenthood sets up in those neighborhoods because they don’t want to make it any more difficult for someone of a lower socioeconomic status to get an abortion if they choose to have one. Not everyone has the resources to drive to a clinic that is several miles away, or bus fare, or cab fare, or the means to get other kinds of transportation. I think that the presence of PP in poorer neighborhoods is just a sensitive way of dealing with the fact that poorer women need easy access to ALL of PP’s services–not just the abortions.

  • progo35

    And pro life people will continue attempting to help low income women find other ways besides abortion. Deal with that.

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    • invalid-0

      The erroneously named “pro-life” movement only considers entities human until they are born. Then they discard them (“pro”-lifers are the ones who created the “dumpster baby” fashion); don’t adopt them (how can they? They’re too busy breeding their own), and then withhold money for education and health care for the kids once they have the misfortune to be born into world they must share with “pro”-lifers.

      My advice to all fetuses, especially females: don’t be born, because if the anti-lifers have their way, this is the only time in your life you’ll ever have any rights as a human being.

  • invalid-0

    Here in Indiana a creepy guy got custody of his half sister when he was 25 and she was 11–proceeded to rape and molest her for years. Some of the babies she had were given up for adoption–and NO ONE checked to see who was getting her pregnant! And I doubt there are very many adoption agencies that are doing so–just more hypocricy from the anti-choice people

  • progo35

    Ah, yes. Well, the point is that PP is not filled with saintly people who love women all the time. PP has a financial and ideological investment in women having abortions, and, in some cases, counselors were willing to overlook abuse to facilitate those abortions. Moreover, you haven’t said which adoption agency she went to or whether they reported it and it wasn’t sufficiently investigated. In contrast, Lila Rose obtained PROOF that counselors at Planned Parenthood were willing to overlook abuse.

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

    Moreover, I resent the author’s implication that Lila rose suffers from a neurological disorder that makes her do something that the author views as wrong. That is insulting to disabled people and isn’t any better than saying something is “gay” when one means that it’s wrong.

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    “Citizen “Entrapment””

    Does the author even know what entrapment is?

    It is a distinct legal definition. Entrapment is when someone is coerced into actions that they wouldn’t normally do under real circumstances. I have seen Lila’s videos and she gives a very realistic story and asks realistic questions. She doesn’t try to force people into anything. She doesn’t threaten employees or anything into doing unethical / illegal acts. That is not entrapment. It is standard investigative journalism.

    Why use the title you use when you go on to state:

    “As far as entrapment is concerned, since Rose is a private citizen, not a law enforcement officer, this line of legal argument fails to apply. ”

    • invalid-0

      So I guess your definition of entrapment must also include a bunch of anti-choicers setting up fraudulent clinics, posting fraudulent ads on buses saying they care about women, for the purpose of snaring vulnerable pregnant women, then, once they have the victim in their clutches, trying to brainwash the woman out of having an abortion, and guilting her into having a child she doesn’t want and will ruin her life (not to mention how the unwanted kid will feel). These religious nutcases only see a woman as a place where sperm is deposited with a womb at the other end, not as a human being with a life.

      I agree — these victimized women should sue these clinics for millions.

    • invalid-0

      I think the author is discussing this as entrapment in the context of Lila Rose and her inner crusade, not the going into PP and recording. She discusses this idea of a person who is entrapped in an ideology, finding comfort in absolutist notions that are contrary to her self interest. See, as the article explains, Rose discusses some issues that in ways are logical, but then extends them into illogically reasoned absolutist terms (yes, we should expect workers at PP to adhere to the organization’s policies, but Rose then extends this to indicate that since she caught ONE worker not doing that, then PP is evil and abortion is evil and PP should be shut down…see?)

      The thing is, I find it extremely difficult to believe that women who advocate for anti-choice policies fully grasp what the issue is really about: the whole abortion debate is not about ‘life,’ it is not about cute little babies and all that jazz, it is about power. Control. Roe v Wade is based on the premise that women’s bodies, lives, and decisions are WORTH something, that they should be respected. That a woman has a unique condition that men will never experience, and women should retain the sole right to make decisions regarding this unique experience. The push-back to abortion didn’t really occur until the beginnings of the feminist movement; abortion is, at its core, primarily about keeping women in their “place.” It is about oppression and control of women as a class, nothing more. This is so incredibly apparent simply by looking at the policies advocated for by anti-choice activists: they will oppose welfare and programs created to help pregnant and single mothers including WIC, SCHIPS, and medical care for pregnant women, because they have a general distaste for those on public assistance programs. “Life” is not what they advocate for because they will support war. I cannot tell you the number of women who tell me how “pro-life” they are and then proceed to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol during pregnancy. This is preserving ‘life’?

      No, this article is about entrapment of seemingly articulate women into an ideological frame of mind. It is a ploy to get women to advocate for their own cultural depression–to push for policies that signal to our society that women are stupid and unable to make important decisions about their bodies without some paternal government involvement. THAT is the entrapment.

  • progo35

    I do appreciate that the author used the correct term, pro life, rather than the demeaning “anti choice” term to describe Lila Rose and other activists on that side of the issue, a rare case on this site.
    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    “Well, the point is that PP is not filled with saintly people who love women all the time.”

    Don’t even pretend that the anti-abortion crowd loves women all the time. As evidenced by your comments above they do NOTHING to help women who want to keep their children, or even the children who make it out of the womb that aren’t lucky enough to be born into the upper & middle classes.
    You’re projecting dear.

  • invalid-0

    Mandy’s post is one of the best I’ve read on RH Reality Check. A thorough review of the facts followed by very thoughtful consideration of what this anti-choice tactic means and how pro-choice people and organizations can respond to it. A great job that seems to have been overshadowed by the dueling responses to the “anti” who commented first.

    • http://bitchmagazine.org/blogs/on-the-map invalid-0

      Thank you, Bill, for your kind and encouraging words.

    • invalid-0

      Thanks Mandy for this excellent essay!

  • invalid-0

    A more accurate description of Lila Rose would ba, “pathological liar.” She goes into family planning clinics and passes herself off as something she is not. The clinics should sue her for defamation.

    • invalid-0

      My daughter is clinic manager of a planned parenthood, and this so called woman went into her clinic with her fake glasses with video recorder recanting some dumb ass lie about her boyfriend etc…my kid ran her ass outt!!!!! I didn’t raise a dummy, and she is the light of my life, she is extremely concerned for all people male and female, and is desperately wanting to make a difference in their lives by educating them about STD’s , pregnancy, and the whole sex thing…she has kids coming in pg, while the parents are sitting in the lobby stoned…who is gonna care for them? why doesn’t that beotch take the money and open a daycare for young woman so they can work…oh shit that means doing something constructive…not gonna happen is it…btw I am a conservative…hardcore….but I see the beauty in what PP is doing …so I say kudos to them and I think I’ll go make a donation to them in Lila Rose’s name…put that in your pipe and smoke it…

      • invalid-0

        I love this comment and agree totally!

      • invalid-0

        I dare anyone who supports abortion to go to the website
        http://www.blackgenocide.org
        Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood was a RACIST!!!

  • invalid-0

    Abortions are 3% of the services Planned Parenthood provides and they consistently lose money on the services because they are reimbursed by medicare at a rate lower than what it costs the health center. Birth control and pre-natal care are a much bigger proportion of income – so the argument that PP is providing abortions just to make money falls flat when faced with the facts.

  • progo35

    Your worldview, in my opinion, is completey warped. People of all persuasions, including myself, support taking care of people from conception until death. Mother Theresa, who gave her entire life to the poor, was pro life.

    As to the whole, don’t be born thing, have you ever read anything by Madeliene L’Engle? Your reasoning strikes me as similar to that of the Echthroi, or malevolent entities, that antagonize the main characters throughout the story. In the book, Echthroi are beings that "x" people and things, ie, they make them cease to exist. In "A Wind in the Door, Echthroi attack Margaret Murray’s little brother, Charles Wallace, who is also being tormented at school for being different, and Margaret and several companions from different galaxies go inside Charles Wallace’s body to fight off the Exchthroi. In the novel’s climax, an Echros says to Margaret, "Don’t you understand that the Echthroi are your saviors? When everything is nothing, there will be no more war, no more slums; no more starvation!" That, to me, is the argument you are making when you "advise" all fetuses not to come into the world because of hardships they may face. You think they would be better off being "xed" via abortion. You seem deaf to the message in the words of another character, Calvin, who answers the echthros, "there will never be another meal around the table; no one will ever break bread, or drink wine with his companions." To you, it seems that pain is all there is to life. You don’t seem to appreciate the simple, good things that are appreciated by people all around the world.

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

    I know, SF, all us "unwanted" children should be killed in the womb!!!! Wipe us off the face of the earth! A fake clinic is one that says it performs abortions and then doesn’t. One that says openly that it does not is not a "fake clinic," no matter how much you hate what their doing in encouraging women not to have abortions. I try to be calm when I post on here, but your statement about how "unwanted children feel" is intensely insulting to me as an unplanned, "unwanted" child. I feel fine, thank you very much. Don’t pretend that you care about the "unplanned child" by encouraging women to abort him or her.   

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    • invalid-0

      Progo, there is an enormous difference between an “unplanned” pregnancy and an “unwanted” pregnancy. If I got pregnant tomorrow, it would be unplanned, but certainly not unwanted. Then again, I am 28 years old and happily married with a solid, stable job.

      • therealistmom

        I, myself was the product of an "unexpected" pregnancy. My sister and I are close to 8 years apart; my mother had divorced my sister’s father and been married another time and divorced before she was with my biological father, and had never concieved during that time.  My mother found out she was pregnant shortly after my bio father died unexpectedly. Being 1972 in Washington state, a state that usually has been fairly progressive in reproductive rights, she might well have had an abortion, but she CHOSE NOT TO. Unexpected but in the end not unwanted, she decided she wanted to continue the pregnancy that resulted in me.

        The thing is, if she HAD chosen not to continue the pregnancy, I simply wouldn’t exist. No existential angst here that she might have considered abortion. (I don’t know if she did, but it seems rather likely as a single mother and new widow.) It’s all about CHOICES and giving women the ability to choose by making all options available.

      • progo35

        Well, I think it’s a far cry to say that my birth mother "wanted" to carry me for nine months. I don’t think she thought to herself, "oh, joy, an unplanned pregnancy-I really want to do this!" In fact, I know from speaking to my biological father that she did consider abortion several times. He was against it. I don’t know what made her decide to carry me to term. I feel strongly that I have a right to be disturbed by the idea of my being snuffed out in the womb, even if I wouldn’t be aroud to regret it now. For that matter, if someone walked into the room right now and shot me in the head, I wouldn’t be around to regret or be upset about that, either, but it would still be wrong. 

         

         

        "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    • invalid-0

      Too much extremism here folks. Too many generalizations: conservatives are racist and don’t really care about women; liberals pro-choicers are anti-life, support murdering children and are paternalistic.

      Please, these diatribes don’t describe reality.

      I have friends who are extremely religious and conservative but they are not extremists, do not call for killing medical providers who can perform an abortion and may themselves be poor or people of color. Most of my friends are liberal and I consider myself liberal. I do not condone murder of anyone and I really try to check my righteousness at the door to get at the heart of the issue in terms of how it effects people’s lives on a daily basis.

      Let’s try to apply President Obama’s call to: find common ground.

      Everyone agrees: children deserve love, protection, care, and at least the basics – food, clothing, health care, education and housing.

      Everyone agrees: both women and men deserve health care and accurate medical information so that they can make informed choices about their own care.

      Everyone agrees: people of all colors and persuasions deserve respect and empowerment.

      How can we move forward in this discussion until everyone recognizes these basic agreements?

      We as a nation have to stop attacking one another and try to listen and learn from one another.

      We only have one another.

      The violence of today at The Holocaust Museum, the murder of Dr. Tiller, the shootings at the Unitarian Church were all committed by extremists from a conservative leaning. Do I blame all conservatives?

      No.

      But I do think we all need to take responsibility for the tenor of our arguments and realize how this rampant attack mode does nothing to bring us together as a nation.

  • emma

    Some people do depend on government provided income support and social services. Do you take issue with that?

    If racism weren’t so rampant among the political right, the ‘far left’ wouldn’t need to call it out, would we?

    I love hearing conservatives complain about ‘big government’ (by which they mean social services for the icky, nasty poor people), when they support massively expanding government for the purposes of deciding what women do with their uteri and torturing Arabs to ‘keep Americans safe’. It’s the height of hypocrisy, and you just can’t even see it.

    I can see why you’re sensitive about implications that you’re racist, though. If I supported torturing Arabs, I would be, too.

  • emma

    No offense, but have you considered the possibility that you seem to spend a really excessive amount of time contemplating the possibility that you could have been aborted? It’s like you’re here to fulfil some psychotherapeutic need to convince yourself that you really do deserve to be alive. It’s a little bizarre.

  • progo35

    Emma (if that’s really your name)

    I do not support torturing "arabs" I support waterboarding the three men that we waterboarded who wouldn’t answer questions about terror plots against our country. If those terrorists happened to be white or purple, I would take the same position. So, sorry, not racist, but throughly disgusted with your characterization of all conservatives as such.  As I said to someone over on the abortion vs. adoption thread, go jump in a volcano.  

     

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    • invalid-0

      let’s see, progo35 is YOUR real name?

      • progo35

        Meghan 

         

         

        "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

     Emma-have you contemplated the possibility that you spend a lot of time "obsessing" over defending anon’s  and similar bizarre statements about "unwanted" children? In my opinion, your contention that I am "obsessed" over the fact that I might have been aborted is elitist. You seem to be okay with the idea that it is in the best interests of unplanned children to be aborted before they grow into unplanned children. That, in my opinion, is a disgusting perspective, because it dehumanizes those of us who are here and implies that our very lives are instruments of oppression or that feeling bad about being unplanned is the acceptable response to such circumstances. 

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    Progo35, get over yourself. I’ll give you something new to worry about: What if your father had used a CONDOM during sex? Or what if your parents just weren’t in the mood that night! ZOMG!! You wouldn’t exist!! Cue the existential angst, and advocacy against all contraception and abstinence!

    Seriously, if a woman becomes pregnant, and she doesn’t want a child, then she’ll get an abortion. If she wants to roll with things and give birth to an “oops” child, then she can do that, too. Our bottom line is that no woman with an unwanted pregnancy will be forced to carry that pregnancy to term. Sucks that this view somehow “dehumanizes” you, but you know what? If I took out a scale, put your feelings on one side, and the woman’s life on the other, your feelings would go flying through the roof from the unbalance. Unless you happen to be the pregnant woman in question, your feelings really don’t matter here. Yes, we know that you, and many other people don’t like abortion. We’re very clear on that. It is irrelevant.

  • progo35

    For your information, Anon, my father DID USE A CONDOM DURING SEX, AND MY MOTHER TOOK BIRTH CONTROL PILLS. Sorry to burst your bubble, but my parents were practicing safe sex, it just failed. I think I’d know a lot more about what my parents did than you, so don’t go around pretending that you have ESP and KNOW that contraceptives weren’t involved, because they were.

    I know you don’t like hearing about my "feelings" on this site, but it’s my opinion based on my own experience that abortion does stop the existence of a unique being, and I think that many pro choice people are simply uncomfortable when confronted with that fact, particularly by an unplanned person whose mother was a prime candidate for an abortion. We’re here, and we like it. Get over that. 

     

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • emma

    Yes, Emma is my real name.

     

    Haven’t you said in the past that you support torturing every person in Guantanamo Bay and at Baghram Air Base? In other words, have you not decided that everyone detained in those places was deserving of torture – including the ones who were released after years because there was no evidence against them?

    Why are you now going around telling people to throw ourselves into volcanoes? Translated, it would seem to mean ‘go kill yourself’, don’t you think?

    • progo35

      "Haven’t you said in the past that you support torturing every person in Guantanamo Bay and at Braghram Air Base?"

      No, Emma, I said NOTHING of the sort. I’ve never even heard of Braghram Air Base, let alone discussed it on this forum. And no, I don’t support torturing everyone at Guantanamo Bay, just the three people that we waterboarded at our discretion when they refused to divulge information about upcoming terror plots. I believe that our president should have the option to have the final say on when such interrogation methods will be used after all other interrogation methods have failed.

      "Why are you now going around telling people to throw ourselves into volcanoes? Translated, it would seem to mean ‘go kill yourself," don’t you think?"

       No, because the phrase is being used as a figure of speech. In the context of what I said, it’s just a more colorful way of saying "go jump in a lake" in response to being called a racist by you and having someone else compare my adoption to a sale in which my parents "bought" me from an adoption agency.

       

       

      "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

      • emma

        So, you’re basically saying you believe the president should have the power to violate US and international law – i.e. commit war crimes. Do you think the leader of every country should have the same power?

         

        And if you haven’t even heard of Baghram, why do you keep acting as if you’re this great authority on what’s going on in the ‘war on Terror’, the efficacy of torture, and so forth? Also, the FBI agent who initially interrogated Abu Zabaydah – one of the men your government tortured at its discretion – without torturing him testified before congress a couple of weeks ago that they *were* getting information from Zabaydah without torture, and that he shut down and stopped talking when the CIA contractors were brought in to torture him. 

         

        Are you saying that racism is not rampant among conservatives and republicans? That the government’s torture policy hasn’t been specifically directed at Muslims? You really don’t think that has anything at all to do with the relatively high levels of support for torture amongst certain populations?

  • emma

    Ok…look, my Ambien is kicking in, so that could be why your post is making little sense to me.

     

    I don’t have any particularly sweeping beliefs on whether it is optimal for women to terminate pregnancies in the case of severe foetal abnormality. I believe that the person best equipped to make that choice is the pregnant women. I have no investment in other women’s decisions, which is as it should be.

     

    I’m not sure to which anons you’re referring. Yes, I do prefer to defend people when I think they’re being given a hard time. I don’t think there is a danger of it reaching the point of a compulsive behaviour.

     

    My head aches, and I’m going to bed (not to jump in a volcano; sorry to disappoint).

  • invalid-0

    For your information, Anon, my father DID USE A CONDOM DURING SEX, AND MY MOTHER TOOK BIRTH CONTROL PILLS. Sorry to burst your bubble, but my parents were practicing safe sex, it just failed. I think I’d know a lot more about what my parents did than you, so don’t go around pretending that you have ESP and KNOW that contraceptives weren’t involved, because they were.

    Condoms and the Pill, eh? Your parents just had all the luck, didn’t they?

    And yet they still decided to have sex, when they could just as well have not. Heck, your mom could have said, “Let’s try out this position I read about in Redbook,” and you wouldn’t be here today. The past is infinitely fungible, Progo35, and for you to focus only on the abortion aspect of it is not only dishonest, it deliberately ignores the fact that your existence here today is an accident of exceedingly small probabilities. All you can do, as everyone else does, is take comfort in the fact that what’s done is done, and that time travel into the past contravenes the laws of physics.

    I know you don’t like hearing about my “feelings” on this site, but it’s my opinion based on my own experience that abortion does stop the existence of a unique being, and I think that many pro choice people are simply uncomfortable when confronted with that fact, particularly by an unplanned person whose mother was a prime candidate for an abortion. We’re here, and we like it. Get over that.

    Nice. You conflate our view of a woman’s abortion option, and of people born from unplanned but not unwanted pregnancies, to make it seem like we’re denigrating you, and thereby delegitimizing a woman’s abortion option.

    Progo35, save your crocodile tears for the pro-life sites. If a woman wants to bring an unplanned pregnancy to term, then that is her choice and we respect that, as we respect the person born of that pregnancy just as much as anyone else. And if a woman wants to abort, then we respect that, too. You obviously don’t—and it’s too bad you’re not even willing to own up to that, and instead make your anti-choice position all about not hurting your poor widdle feelings.

  • progo35

    "Save your crocodile tears for the pro life sites." Sorry, it’s more fun to cry them here!

    "anti choice position all about hurting your poor widdle feelings." No, it’s about ending my existence. My "feelings" have nothing to do with that, most of all because I don’t care about whether you "respect" me as an unwanted/unplanned person or not.  I do care about women aborting because they think they have no other good option, because pro abortion people tell them adoption is bad, because they think their lives will be ruined if they don’t, and thus ending the existence of fetuses which had no say in the conception, gestation, or abortion. 

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    Here’s one better for all of you pro choice for murder against helpless human beings – babies. The next goddamn time there is another school shooting do NOT ask why you know why. The abortion business has set into motion murder is fine and “legal” By being allowed to continue so carelessly murdering babies in the most painful and torturous ways imaginable, they pp and their supporters have taught everyone the fact that no one is worth a thing.

    WHY worry when another kid blows off several kids’ heads in a lunch room? All of those supporting abortion don’t you see it doesn’t matter because the kid who killed those kids does NOT matter and is worthless – just like the helpless millions of babies murdered every single day at planned parenthood.

    If you do not believe tearing someone’s head off, ripping someone into pieces, letting them be partway born then jamming sharp scissors into the back of their head, or forcing them to swallow chemicals that are toxic and burn the body is not painful or torturous then you are insane!

    Remember you that so violently support pro choice are indeed ADVOCATING and SUPPORTING for these and many acts of death and torture to be carried out on helpless innocent babies. If you feel uncomfortable or angry about this post then take that as a sign these very things you support are wrong and should be stopped. Also take it as a sign you don’t really know what you support or the truth about what actually goes in in an abortion clinic and how much pain the babies go through before they finally die, but all you care about is looking good to those you know who support these “legal” murders and being “heard”.

    Find the movie “Silent Scream” and SEE how they are murdered. I dare you to find the real truth to what you so support!

    Too bad you creeps who support “legal” murder are such bleeding hearts for those who were subjected to torture under former bush admin, but yet in same breath you SUPPORT and fight to keep these murders ongoing!

    NO pp does NOT lose one penny of money providing the obviously worthless birth control because the states reimburse them. IF the birth control was such a valuable asset they hand out then WHY are there so many “unplanned” pregnancies in the first place? Believe this no one can plan a pregnancy it is not like a boob job just go ask those who are trying to plan this.

    • invalid-0

      So you get to say that I support murdering anyone and everyone who’s walking down the street, but then you say that if I get mad at ridiculous hyperbole like that, it’s a sign that my position is wrong?? Please.

      And I’ve got news for you: I’ve been sexually active since I was 18 years old. I’m closing in on 29 now and have had plenty of sex. The only pregnancy I’ve ever had, which turned out to be ectopic, was a result of not using a condom one time. So I’d say that you can plan pregnancies, by consistently using birth control. Something that Planned Parenthood can teach and readily supply. Oh, and I had to have surgery to remove the fetus that ruptured my fallopian tube and would have eventually killed me due to the internal bleeding. Is that okay with you, or was that murder?

    • invalid-0

      You are….an idiot.

      Why do you come to this website and spout this crap off? You just look crazy. And ignorant. Oh my gosh where do people like you COME from!!! Yuck. Go to college.

  • therealistmom

    as well as the blind ignorance in regards to how abortion procedures are performed and when.. the vast majority before any kind of real differentation takes place, and pretty much none after the nervous system has developed enough for a fetus to feel any kind of pain, though many doctors will anesthesize the fetus just in case in a later term procedure… almost NO saline abortions exist now and there are NONE that make the fetus "swallow poison", that would be impossible…pretty much says you drink the extremist kool-aid and have nothing legitimate to say on this topic. Add in the asinine idea that ending an early pregnancy of an embryo/ fetus that is an inch long or so is somehow equivilent in ANY way to waterboarding living, breathing, feeling people and that shooting living, breathing, feeling kids are somehow morally equivilent, sorry Anony you’re a flake of the highest order.

  • invalid-0

    I do care about women aborting because they think they have no other good option, because pro abortion people tell them adoption is bad, because they think their lives will be ruined if they don’t, and thus ending the existence of fetuses which had no say in the conception, gestation, or abortion.

    Feel free to push for policies that provide pregnant women with the resources they need to go all the way. Lord knows the pro-choice/progressive side has done that, not for the mere aim of pre-empting abortions, but to make it possible for everyone to have good prenatal care and a healthy childhood in general.

    Even with all that, however, women are still going to have abortions. There may be some who say, “I can’t have this baby,” but there will still be those who say, “I don’t want this baby,” and all the wheedling in the world won’t get them to change their mind. Don’t fall into the same delusion as Marysia.

    and thus ending the existence of fetuses which had no say in the conception, gestation, or abortion.

    Let me remind you that the notion of a fetus being something that can have or be denied a “say” in the first place is a point of faith, one that many people disagree with. It’s particularly a stretch if the fetus doesn’t even have a functional brain yet.

  • invalid-0

    I’m also having trouble understanding how the fact that you are the result of an unplanned pregnancy means that I should be forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term and deliver a baby that I don’t want.

  • invalid-0
  • invalid-0

    and here’s one more excellant article http://blackgenocide.org/sanger.html

  • therealistmom

    … doesn’t make them any more true. YES we know Sanger supported eugenics- many bright minds of that era did, sadly that and "social Darwinism" (no relationship to actual natural selection theory) were considered philosophically sound. She may actually have been a bit racist- but much less so than even the prevailing attitudes of the day. (Try reading H.G.Wells about other races!) Henry Ford and Charles Lindburgh both publically supported the aims of the Nazi party yet I see very few people boycotting transatlantic flight or assembly line vehicles.

  • progo35

    RM-Sanger didn’t support racist policies "less so than the prevailing attitudes of her day." Irregardless of all her good work, she was a racist, period. And, the difference between boycotting Ford and boycotting Planned Parenthood is this: cars don’t prevent people of certain races and abilities from being born. Abortion does. So, that’s not a valid comparison.
    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • therealistmom

    Abortion has always existed, ever since women understood how to tell their bodies were pregnant and what herbs or methods could be used to end the pregnancy. It was perfectly legel even in the US to advertise abortion medications ("brings on the menses") in the newspaper. Planned Parenthood and Sanger do not = abortion. It was already there.

    When you want to compare Sanger’s feelings to Ford’s, they ARE equivilent, because  Planned Parenthood does NOT actively advocate for aborting fetuses because of race or disability. It’s basing a founder’s ideas against modern ones. And it is NOT unreasonable to say in general Sanger’s feelings on race were probably less reprehensible than many of the day… the scientific community regarded the "negro" as "subhuman" etc… there is no way to know for sure, since the only quotes attributed to her in regards to race are often very out of context.  In fact, PP probably performs fewer abortions because of disability than most providers, since the women they are seeing are NOT going to an OB for prenatal care and getting tests run in general, they are seeing women who specifically want to end a pregnancy. Women who feel the need to end a wanted pregnancy for disability would be more likely to have the procedure done in a hospital or specialist environment, particularly as it would be later in pregnancy.

    If you don’t believe in abortion, fine; don’t have one. But you can’t claim that its not hypocritical to condemn one organization for the beliefs of one of its founders if you are unwilling to apply it across the board. There is no reason to believe PP encourages minorities to abort- they simply may offer services to a greater percentage of minorities than other clinics because of the sad fact that minorities are over-represented in the communities that lack health care. It’s all a big ol’ straw man that can be blown away in a puff of wind.

  • invalid-0

    I’m arguing with a person on this forum, and was wondering what people think I should say in response:
    What I said:
    sex-ed seems to be working much better than abstinence-only. I also think it would be very important for parents to talk to their kids about sex and the importance of it. I think that would go a long way..
    What he said:
    Seems to be? By the way there are no true abstinance only programs out there when kids are being bombarded with commercials pushing contraceptives and a culture that promotes promescuity.

    Children having sex is wrong. Telling kids it is ok to have sex as long as they take a pill or wear a device is no better than telling kids it is wrong to do drugs and then spending lots of time telling them how to do drugs “safer”.

    We should be making abstinance outside of marriage a basis of all classes dealing with resproduction.

    What I said:
    There is a very large amount of people working to prevent and educate people about AIDS right now, along with STDs. And though it’s true that women have died from various contraceptives, I don’t think it’s accurate to say more are killed by it each year than those killed by parachutes or by sharks. Also, abortion isn’t only caused by sex outside of marriage. A lot of mothers who have abortions are already married, though it would certainly help a great deal if the amount of teen pregnancies went down.
    What he said:
    There are also the women being killed in abortions, not to mention the millions of children. Bottom line is that sex is being used as a recreational activity. This activity has real risk of resulting in pregnancy or death. Those who take risks and are not willing to live with the results of those risks are engaging in irresponsible activity. It is right to point out when people act in an irresponsible manner.

    Abortion within marriage is essentially the same as abortion outside of marriage. If a married couple is not able to take care of another child they should abstain or be willing to do right by the child.

    This is just such a stupid answer, but I want to give a reasonable answer to make him see my side of the debate.

  • progo35

    RM-I am not blaming PP for the beliefs of it’s founder, I am responding your statement that Sanger as "less racist than the prevailing beliefs of her day." First of all, this indicates that you view Sanger’s beliefs in these matters as important, or you wouldn’t bother to attempt to soften them by assuring as that she was somehow "less racist" than the people around her. My post had to do with correcting that particular statement, not assigning blame to PP because of it’s founder’s actions. Thus, what I said has nothing to do with erecting a "straw man." 

     

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

     
    "Are you saying that racism is not rampant among conservatives and republicans?" Yes, that’s what I’m saying, Emma. 

    "And if you haven’t even heard of Baghram, why do you keep acting as if
    you’re this great authority on what’s going on in the ‘war on Terror’,
    the efficacy of torture, and so forth?"

    Well, for that matter, if you’re such an expert on people’s suffering, why haven’t you heard about the euthanasia abuses occuring in the Netherlands and Oregon? As for Baghram, it hasn’t become the rallying cry that Guatanamo Bay has. Obama did not sign a decree shutting down Baghram or talk about it extensively in his speaches. Like I’ve said, I believe that when thousands of lives are at stake, I would rather waterboard one person. THat does not make me immoral or racist, it makes me practical. To me, it’s analogous to performing an abortion if a woman’s life is at stake. Both choices are bad and the doctor, or government, has to make a hard choice to prevent the worst possible outcome. 

     

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    Actually, you don’t have to go all the way back to Margaret Stanger to find alarming stats. Since 1973 there has been a 25% reduction in America’s black population. It’s also true that 80% of Planned Parenthood clinics are in minority neighborhoods. By the end of WWII, one out of every three Jewish people in the world were dead. Here, its been 26 years and its one out of four but its still a genocide. Lila Rose doesn’t suffer from any condition. She’s just bringing attention to a fact that is very unwelcome to many Americans.

  • http://exliontamer.wordpress.com invalid-0

    the rich will always have easy access to abortion. even if they make it a capital offense for everyone else.