Jill Stanek Doesn’t Want to Prevent Abortions


Steven Waldman proposes the following hypothetical situation: more premarital sex and fewer abortions. Would pro-lifers accept this trade-off?

Jill Stanek wouldn’t, as she explains to Waldman. First, she makes it clear that she thinks that contraception and sex education lead to more unintended pregnancies. This argument will go on (not forever, let’s hope), and Waldman ignores it for now and so will I. What both Waldman and I find more interesting is Stanek’s unconditional opposition to sex ed, even if she believed that it did help reduce abortions.

First, it’s hard to evaluate such a hypothetical (“if Stanek believed that sex ed prevented abortions”), because Stanek clearly doesn’t believe that and doesn’t believe that she will ever believe it. But Waldman’s post helps illuminate the way belief travels in people who oppose abortion and contraception and sex ed.

She says she would never support sex ed because:

a) "The logic behind them is hypocritical. Assuming you’re married, would your wife send you out of town on a business trip after slipping a condom in your suitcase and saying, "Honey, I want you to be faithful, but here’s protection just in case you slip up…"?

b) Contraceptives are the root of abortion. "Contraceptive" means anti-conception. Contraceptives establish a mindset of hostility toward the blessing of children.

c) Sex outside of marriage is a sin…. We do not say, don’t murder but here’s how in case you can’t resist…. We do not say, don’t commit adultery but here’s how in case you can’t resist. We have to resist the culture and think the same way about premarital sex."

Stanek assumes that pre-marital sex is just as morally unacceptable as adultery within marriage. This is what’s most difficult to understand about the anti-contraception movement: it assumes that other Americans, besides themselves, are waiting until marriage to have sex. How can they take themselves seriously when their philosophy on sex ed and contraception relies on behavior that, for the most part, doesn’t exist in this country—that is, abstinence until marriage?

Stanek, who doesn’t see a way around pre-marital sex (it’s a sin, period), has to reconcile this with the assertion that educating people about sex and providing them with tools to avoid unplanned pregnancy and STIs is good for our society (and reduces the need for abortion). So she has no choice but to defer to the claim that sex ed and contraception lead to more STIs and more unplanned pregnancies. Otherwise, as an anti-abortion crusader, she’d be in a real pickle.

To Waldman’s surprise, Stanek doesn’t acknowledge degrees of sins—she doesn’t allow that contraception might be a lesser sin than abortion. I, for one, am not surprised. Stanek calls upon theology to defend her point:

"The idea of authorizing ‘lesser sins’ to decrease ‘greater sins’ is not Scriptural. In fact, Scripture teaches the opposite phenomenon occurs: Little sins lead to bigger sins. They don’t sate. You should know satan works in quite the opposite direction, enticing us in small, seemingly innocuous ways."

But there’s something much more immediate and practical in her refusal to consider contraception a “lesser evil.” If she did, she would be admitting that she, and all religious fundamentalists, are wrong. She would be ceding ground to safe sex, to free condoms in bars, to Planned Parenthood!

Let’s not forget that even Jill Stanek, with her superior knowledge of Satan’s works, is human. She has her pride to think of.

Would pro-lifers accept more premarital sex if it meant fewer abortions? Waldman asks. A significant contingent of pro-lifers have always done their part to ensure that more abortions happen by resisting sex ed, resisting funding for contraception, and by teaching their children (and other people’s children) that condoms don’t work. So, no. We’re going to have to look elsewhere to reduce unplanned pregnancies. Jill Stanek is not interested.

 

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  • invalid-0

    Regardless of what we should or should not encourage, won’t people still need education even if they wait until marriage? It isn’t like every couple who gets married wants to have kids right away. I had a friend who waited until she was married, and before her wedding she discussed birth control with her fiance (who had a phD in animal science). He was actually confused because he thought that women could only get pregnant one day a month, so why didn’t they just refrain from having sex while she was in heat? He thought women worked the same way cows do. Great job, abstinence-only sex education!!

  • crowepps

    Jill Stanek seems to have missed the part of civils class where they explain that imposing one particular religious belief on everyone is specficially NOT ALLOWED under our system of government.

    If Jill believes extramarital sex is sinful that’s her belief. If lots of other people agree with Jill, that’s their belief. Their beliefs about ‘sin’, however, have nothing to do with the civil laws in our country that are imposed on people who believe something else.

    Civil law has no business discouraging sin, punishing sin, or absolving sin. It is designed to keep people from infringing on each others rights and freedoms. Using civil law to ban medically necessary abortions, to ban birth control, to outlaw extramarital sex or premarital pregnancy, to establish ‘acceptable reasons’ for early elective abortions and to use the law to impose punishments on violators in all of those cases based on religious beliefs about ‘sin’ is a theocracy and we don’t have or want that in the United States.

    Religious people can make every attempt they wish to PERSUADE people they are right, but they don’t get to use the law to punish people who don’t agree with them or who agree but go ahead and break their rules anyway.

  • invalid-0

    A-freaking-greed. I’m now married and using information about my sexual health that I first learned a decade or more ago. Sex-ed classes are the best chance these kids will ever get to learn this information–they don’t come to you again when you get married and hand out pamphlets saying “Here’s the rest of the information”. I’m extremely grateful for the sexual health education I got because not only was it comprehensive (including abstinence, for the nitpickers), but looking back I don’t know that I would today have half a clue about contraception and the like, information that didn’t come in handy when I learned it but that is very pertinent now. Had I not gotten that education, I would likely only know about NFP as a birth control measure (thank you, Catholic Church!)

  • colleen

    Jill Stanek seems to have missed the part of civils class where they
    explain that imposing one particular religious belief on everyone is
    specficially NOT ALLOWED under our system of government.

     

    Unfortunately most of the Federalist society missed that class too, not to mention the American anti-abortion movement in it’s entirety.

     

     

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • heather-corinna

    No kidding.

     

    I cannot begin to tell you how totally, completely tired I am of hearing endless conversations around all of these issues which a) assume all people are religious and b) that for those of us who are, we all share the same religion or spiritual beliefs.

     

    Because we are talking about matters of law, I cannot for the life of me figure why any of us even needs to hear any discussion around religious beliefs even once, let alone endlessly.

     

    This is what’s most difficult to understand about the
    anti-contraception movement: it assumes that other Americans, besides
    themselves, are waiting until marriage to have sex.

     

    It also assumes that all of us a) can get married in the first place and b) want to.   As well as assuming that everyone’s marriages are monogamous, not just in execution, but by design (plenty of poly folks are married), and assuming that every male-female couple who is married wants children and/or doesn’t have a limit on how many children they want or can adequately parent.

  • heather-corinna

    My understanding of Stanek’s stance is that she’d disagree with that and does not support the use of most contraceptive methods in marriage, and also doesn’t consider NFP contraception (don’t ask me to explain that line of reasoning: I couldn’t to save my own life). She also never seems to discuss anything BUT hormonal methods, IUDs and NFP.  Barrier methods, for instance, don’t ever seem to get talked about.  Vasectomies or tubals, same deal.  But it is possible I have overlooked address from her on all methods.

     

    But I agree with you: as a sex educator who primarily work with teens, I often have to explain I am not just giving that information to them for NOW.  Even if they don’t need it now, they will probably want or need it at some point in life.

  • invalid-0

    Stanek is on the fringe of this debate in America to say the least. “The new study uses data from several rounds of the federal National Survey of Family Growth to examine sexual behavior before marriage, and how it has changed over time. According to the analysis, by age 44, 99% of respondents had had sex, and 95% had done so before marriage. Even among those who abstained from sex until age 20 or older, 81% had had premarital sex by age 44.”

    http://www.guttmacher.org/media/nr/2006/12/19/index.html

    It’s nothing short of miraculous that these people have any credibility at all. Don’t you think there’s a HUGE both vocal and silent majority that would welcome real and comprehensive sex and contraception education?

  • kater7

    Anon,

    I read Jill Stanek’s blog everyday to find out what the anti-choice take on things are. It’s an ignorant, hateful, read – but both enlightening and addictive!
    I agree with you that the majority of people in America will not stand for the far right-wing, anti-choicers taking away their choices regarding contraception, sex ed. and abortion. But the majority of America, despite our best efforts, don’t think the anti-choice people want this. The anti-choicers have somehow managed to take control of the subject, set the terms, and hide under code words: parental notification, babykillers, family values, traditional family, partial-birth abortion. They lie and mislead so many people about the truth: that they hate women, women’s sexuality, feminism, women’s equality, contraception, and abortion.
    We HAVE to figure out a way to take control of the language and make Americans see that what we’re fighting for isn’t “babykilling” but reproductive health that the majority of women and families take for granted: family planning, women’s health and the services involved in those.
    On a personal note and off-topic: This was my first time posting here since finding the blog and joining. I really hope I made sense and helped the discussion along! This is such a great source for me – it’s so nice to have the sanity after reading Jill’s blog.

  • http://www.2secondsfaster.com/ invalid-0

    First, the difference between NFP and birth control (btw, Jill is opposed to NFP…she has the same problems you have with it…sees it as just another form of birth control) is like the difference between allowing your terminally ill grandmother to die, and putting a bullet in her head. One is the natural way of things, the other takes matters into your own hands.

    Next, artificial (hormonal) contraception, unlike other “medications” which take something that is broken and attempt to fix it, take something that is working properly (the reproductive process) and break it.

    Lastly, Sex Ed is fine. But it has NO place in the school system. If it were to be offered as an after school program, subject to parental approval, I (and I think Jill) would have no problem with it. It’s when it is inserted into the everyday curriculum that the problems begin. I want abstinence (not “only”) taught, you want comp. sex ed. The solution? A voluntary program AFTER school hours taught by a registered nurse.

    • invalid-0

      “It’s when it is inserted into the everyday curriculum that the problems begin. I want abstinence (not “only”) taught, you want comp. sex ed. The solution? A voluntary program AFTER school hours taught by a registered nurse.” Teenagers will NOT sign up for a voluntary sex ed class. That is no solution at all. Honestly, with this idea you seem out of touch with teens. The only sex ed I received was from my school (other than what I “learned” from my classmates and porn). I’m very appreciative of the sex ed I got from my health teachers. It was VERY important for me. I’m not sure what the “problems” are with the schools teaching sex ed. If a parent is concerned with what is being taught they can always talk to their own child and give them his or her viewpoint.

    • emma

      MK, do you have any idea just how extreme it is to oppose other people’s use of various types of contraception? Seriously, from my perspective, it just looks insane. It is incredible to me that some people are so convinced that they know The Way – The Only Way – that it is perfectly reasonable to impose those beliefs on everyone. It’s not within the realm of normal belief systems; it’s extremist and fanatical. It honestly, genuinely astounds me.

       

      (Oral contraceptive pills and Mirena IUDs are sometimes used to treat medical conditions like endometriosis, btw, so yeah, in fact, they are sometimes used to fix things that are ‘broken’.)

       

      Regarding the OP – I think it makes sense that Jill Stanek doesn’t want to reduce the abortion rate. If abortion didn’t exist, what would she spend her life railing against? Who would pay any attention to her? She’d hate it.

  • colleen

    First, the difference between NFP and birth control … is like the difference between
    allowing your terminally ill grandmother to die, and putting a bullet
    in her head. One is the natural way of things, the other takes matters
    into your own hands.

     

     Some of us recognise other differences: one prevents unwanted pregnancies far more effectively and the other has a high failure rate. But way to go with wack-a-doodle analogies. I wasn’t aware that using an effective form of birth control was anything like murdering a grandmother. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • invalid-0

    “Lastly, Sex Ed is fine. But it has NO place in the school system.”

    Why not? We teach kids about other aspects of their bodies and health, why not something as important as their sexuality? And since you seem fine with more that abstinence being taught, as long as it IS taught, what’s the problem? A good sex ed program ALREADY does that! And not only that, it will talk about the relationship aspect of our sexuality, focus on making your own choices and not allow yourself to be pressured into it, to think for yourself. These are life lessons that EVERY child should be allowed to learn.

  • paul-bradford

    Just because Jill Stanek gets her name into gazillions of articles about the abortion debate doesn’t mean that she’s the most effective spokeswoman for the human rights of the very young.  The reason she’s so well knows is because she helps shape the debate as a mud-wrestling contest rather than as an opportunity find common ground between America’s desire to advance the welfare of children without putting the welfare of their mothers at risk 

     

    Here’s what we need:

     

    1) Everyone who is having sex or who might be having sex should be well informed about the various forms of contraception available to him/her.  We should all know about ‘artificial contraception’, NFP and about the pros and cons of abstinence.  Ignorance is not going to keep young children safe.

     

    2) Contraceptive devices ought to be available to everyone.

     

    3) Contraceptive devices ought to be affordable to everyone.

     

    4) Religious organizations such as my own Catholic Church ought to recognize the difference between giving moral instruction to its members and setting public policy.  Church teaching on contraception really is a matter of religious belief.  (See mine of 3/26: The Pope’s Comments on Condom Use.) The Church’s stand against abortion, on the other hand, is a matter of justice.  Everyone, no matter who, no matter where and no matter when is morally obligated to respect the human dignity of the unborn; and everyone has the right and duty to remind others of that moral obligation.  Contraception, on the other hand, is a much different matter.  The church dissipates its moral authority to speak about abortion when it makes too much of an issue about contraception.

     

    By the way, informing and empowering people on the issue of contraception isn’t the same as promoting "more premarital sex".  People who are well informed about all aspects of human sexuality are also well informed about the numerous drawbacks of engaging in sex outside of marriage.  Stupidity is not the same as morality, and education is not the same as license.  

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • modernmouse

    I always am annoyed and confused when I see statements such as "I want abstinence…..you want comp. sex ed."   What is it about the word comprehensive that is not understood?  Comprehensive sexuality education INCLUDES abstinence education!!!

  • modernmouse

    Mr Bradford, I respectfully disagree that the church’s stance against abortion is justice and not religious belief.  First, justice assumes law and as you know it is perfectly legal to have an abortion.  But more importantly it is arrogant to assume that because I am pro choice or I may choose to have an abortion or that I believe human life begins at live birth that I am anti religious.  That is what you are suggesting.   The Church’s moral authority ends at the door of the church and I truly resent one church proposing their beliefs on all.  Really sir, don’t have an abortion.  I’m fine with that!

  • http://rockforlife.org invalid-0

    Contraception and sex-ed DOESN’T lower pregnancy or abortion rates: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1198228/6m-drive-cut-teen-pregnancies-sees-DOUBLE.html

  • therealistmom

    Especially considering the Mail is a right-wing paper that regularly distorts data to promote their agenda… such as trying to say that women who dress provocatively or drink alcohol are more likely to get raped, etc.

  • invalid-0

    The real issue is whether those who call themselves pro-choice and those who call themselves pro-life can find some common ground to work toward reducing the number of abortion, a goal which I believe both groups share. Now, that can be done in one of two ways, but truly seeking common ground, which is the point of the exercise, or by just shifting the topic under dispute from abortion to contraception, which accomplishes nothing toward the goal.

    Frankly, as a pro-lifer who opposes artificial birth control and believes NFP should only be used in extraordinary circumstances, but who would still be very willing to work with pro-choicers to find agreed to ways to reduce abortions, I find this constant insistence that we compromise on our views regarding contraception disheartening. It demonstrates that the goal of the pro-choicers who insist upon it (and that is not all) really are not interested in finding common ground to advance the goal, but in winning a victory of some sort.

    I have repeatedly defended the right of others to have access to contraceptives, though I find their use gravely sinful, but I oppose further efforts BY GOVERNMENT to promote their use. If pro-choicers want to promote their use, let them do so in the same manner my wife and I have promoted alternatives to abortion, by giving from their private resources. If pro-choicers can push legislation through to fund this through the government, however, please refrain from trying to get anti-contraceptive pro-lifers (the only true pro-lifers, I believe) from aiding you in passing legislation which we oppose.

    As I have said repeatedly in other venues, however, that does not mean that we should not find areas of agreement and work on those areas. Giving greater subsidies to adoption, creating more opportunities for women who want to give birth and keep their child the option of making that choice, etc. In this regard, let’s make choice really an option and not a mere catch phrase. To really be a choice, choosing to give birth and either place the child for adoption or to have the resources available to keep the child must be realistically available.

    Again, all this debate over contraception, an area on which we cannot agree merely serves to make finding true common ground less likely and cause into question the sincerity of those who insist that it be part of the discussion.

    The question for the pro-choicers, then, is whether you really want to find common ground or just want to find new issues to fight over.

  • paul-bradford

    it is arrogant to assume that because I am pro choice or I may choose to have an abortion or that I believe human life begins at live birth that I am anti religious. 

     

    When did I suggest that anyone was "anti-religious"?  When did I suggest that I would be distressed by someone who was anti-religious? 

     

    What I’m trying to do is to distinguish a ‘religious’ belief — which people of one particular religion affirm but people not of that religion deny — from a belief in justice.  I’m actually pretty cool about whether or not you share my ‘religious’ convictions, but I would have a problem if you weren’t ready to agree to the principle that everyone ought to be treated fairly.  I’m happy to live in a pluralistic country where some people put their faith in God and others claim that God doesn’t exist, but I’d really have a problem living anywhere people asserted that they didn’t have to treat me fairly or didn’t have to recognize my humanity.  

     

    I’d make a real fuss about that — I’d be willing to get pretty ‘arrogant’ (your word) in my defense of the idea that all people have an equal right to justice.

     

    justice assumes law and as you know it is perfectly legal to have an abortion.

     

    Are you serious???? Are you so unfamiliar with the ways of the world that you fail to realize that there are some things that are legal that aren’t just, or that there are unjust laws? 

     

    The Church’s moral authority ends at the door of the church and I truly resent one church proposing their beliefs on all. 

     

    One of the things that churches, and synagogues and temples do is to work for a better, fairer world.  Many people who have no use at all for religion are working for a better, fairer world.  I think a person becomes more human when s/he makes it her/his business to care about the well being of others.  Moral authority is asserted, not by upholding specific doctrines, but by behaving in a just and moral way.  For me to stand up for your rights is to stand up for the idea that I’ve got some moral authority to work for the betterment of others. 

     

    Really sir, don’t have an abortion.  I’m fine with that! 

     

    If it were simply a question of you and of your life I wouldn’t have any problem with you getting an abortion either!  What I get worked up about is the idea that your unborn child would be getting an abortion.  I’m arrogant enough to claim that abortion is a bad thing for the unborn. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • invalid-0

    Frankly, as a pro-lifer who opposes artificial birth control

    You’re not a pro-lifer. You care more about controlling people’s sex lives than saving unborn children. Whatever common ground on abortion turns out to be, it sure as heck isn’t going to cater to people like you.

  • crowepps

    While I certainly do understand why you personally might feel that contraception is not acceptable in your own life, I find it difficult to grasp the basis for your imposing your beliefs on everyone else.  Obviously this wouldn’t be something you would support, but that’s your personal decision, and your support isn’t necessary.  The majority of people in this country have in the past and will in the future use contraceptives, just as the majority will drive a car, buy a house, seek medical care or buy tomatoes from Mexico.

     

    Government provides information, assistance and funding in many areas: student grants and loans, mortgage loans, licensing and certifying hospitals and medical professionals, supervising vehicle mileage ratings, building and maintaining roads, etc.  In addition, government evaluates and licenses drugs, inspects foods, tries to reduce environmental toxins and tracks and fights outbreaks of disease.

     

    With the general public apparently very satisfied to have government involved in all these others areas of life it seems peculiar that in this one particular area suddenly tax monies can’t be used to assist the poor, scientifically accurate information cannot be provided, and the ‘moral view’ of a tiny segment of the population requires that everyone one else be kept in ignorance and unable to access what they want.

     

    The appropriate use of tax monies is determined by the will of the majority of the people.  Christian Scientists can’t demand their taxes not be used for others medical care, the Amish can’t demand their taxes not be used to determine mileage standards for others vehicles, the White Nationalists can’t demand their taxes not be used to support brown people, and people opposed to all forms of contraception have no special and superior right to insist their issue and their taxes are unique and that they alone have a veto over the majority’s wish to dedicate funds to this or any other public purpose.

  • therealistmom

    The government has NO right to impose medical morality on us and push the use of medications on anyone! I find many of the government’s stances to be morally objectionable.

    For one thing, I don’t want them “promoting” the use of anti-statin medications or cholesterol-lowering drugs. People should learn to use Natural Family Eating. People need to learn self-control and not eat fatty foods. If they unexpectedly die, well, they only have themselves to blame. They should have abstained.

    The same thing with insulin and diabetes medications. The Flying Spaghetti Monster did not intend for us to disrupt our hormonal systems with artificial means. Heck, insulin often comes from PIGS! It is completely un-natural to inject yourself with pig hormones. They should be promoting the Rhythm Sugar Method. Any failure by slipping and eating sugar might cause death, but again, they need to live with the consequences of their immoral behavior.

    That is just the tip of the iceberg! Who will join me in petitioning the government to stop promoting medical advances as the answer to immorality?

  • invalid-0

    Will you post a pro-life comment?

    Life is beautiful; the action of unimpeded intercourse brings life into the world. All of these noisy posts I see are full of anger and righteousness and venom. But…

    What Stanek knows, and what Pope Benedict XVI knows, and what the Catholic Church knows is that life, your life and my life, and even the life of a tiny, unborn baby is absolutely precious. And because life is so precious, it should be carefully kept. And the best environment to nurture a young life is in a stable home with a mother and a father who are married to each other for life. And saving the procreative act for marriage is such a wonderful gift that the sex life of those who wait until marriage to engage in intercourse is phenomenal.

    I’m asking that in the quiet of your heart, you consider this idea. (Give it time to foster, don’t just have a knee-jerk, negative reaction; just ponder it for a while.) Imagine the possibilities for real, true, lasting love and happy families if everyone put this way of life into practice. In the quiet of your heart, I bet you hear a gentle, “Yes, it’s true.”

    • invalid-0

      “And saving the procreative act for marriage…consider this idea…Imagine the possibilities for real, true, lasting love and happy families if everyone put this way of life into practice.” You actually make marriage sound like a good thing. Unfortunately, we all live in the real world and not on fantasy island. Civil marriage is not much more than a draconian welfare program. I met a guy a few years ago who lived in a trailer park while he was making support payments (alimony) to his ex wife. She lived in a 3,000 sq foot home! Please tell me why a working man should sign up to be a part of this? And why would anyone hold off on sex before signing up for this? BTW The average age for a person’s first marriage is 27, not 13 like it was in Biblical times. Ask yourself if what you’re proposing is anything more than a fairytale.

    • jayn

      My biggest issue with what you’re saying is the idea that sex is only about procreation.  It’s not.  Even within the context of a stable marriage, sex isn’t just for making babies.  It’s a bonding act, where you share yourself completely with another person, and there isn’t anything else in the world that can compare to it.  Your viewpoint would deny that to loving, committed couples (like myself and my husband) who don’t want a child just then, on the basis that sex can only be about creating life.  You’re completely ignoring other reasons for having sex, such as love.

    • wendy-banks

      If humans were designed to have sex only to procreate, we would go into heat like animals. This is not, nor never has been the case. Who CARES what the pope thinks? What right does HE and his rapeing priests have to tell US citizens what to do? No right at all. Stay out of my bedroom and mind YOUR OWN genitailia. Get real– and get lost.

  • emma

    Paul, in response to your previous subject heading ‘who speaks for the unborn?’ – pregnant women do. You may not like the choices some pregnant women make; you may not like the fact that it’s pregnant women who have the final say in what they do with their pregnancy; you may not trust their ability to make decisions and think someone else is better equipped to do that, but ultimately, that’s the way it is: anything else would be unjust. It’s women who have to deal with pregnancy, and it’s women who have to make the best decisions they can for themselves, their families and yeah, their foetuses (no offense, but I hate this whole ‘the unborn’ thing. Every time I read or hear it, I start thinking about Dracula and ‘the undead’. I’m sure you don’t mean to evoke images of vampires and zombies, but…). In any case, I’m a little fed up with the idea that foetuses are so endangered by callous, selfish pregnant women that they need other people to speak up for them. Perhaps you weren’t trying to suggest that, but it’s really the impression I’m getting from your comments.

     

    It’s just…foetuses can’t be treated as equal people. It’s just not possible. Like it or not, a foetus cannot be truly separate from the woman who’s pregnant with it, because it’s sharing her body, her nutrient supply; because it can’t survive as an independent entity. You just can’t change that. As long as a foetus is residing in a woman’s body, its interests cannot be separated from her interests.

     

    Abortion is a reality. Chances are it’s been around for as long as humans have. Women have abortions whether it’s legal or not, and the fact that women risk their health and even their lives should indicate to you that it’s an integral part of women’s reproductive lives. There is just no way around it. Romanticising foetuses – and I’m sorry, but you are romanticising – does absolutely nothing for women who are, for whatever reason, unable or unwilling to continue a pregnancy.

  • invalid-0

    In any case, I’m a little fed up with the idea that foetuses are so endangered by callous, selfish pregnant women that they need other people to speak up for them.

    Yes, yes, Emma! That is exactly what irks me when people say they’re “speaking for/supporting/defending the unborn”. It’s the same when people posit a fetus as “innocent” and therefore ultimately deserving to be brought to term. Never mind that it makes no sense – a fetus is neither right nor wrong, since it has no experience of either it is neutral – but the use of the term itself implies that there is a guilty party that must excise it’s nebulous guilt by bringing the precious snowflake to term. It’s really easy to romanticize and imagine that a voiceless something would agree with you. It takes no effort at all, and completely circumvents entering into any actual dialogue with living women who would have actual opinions that may disagree with your opinions on their bodies.

    Even if the pro-lifer is female, it’s still annoying, because it’s the same myopia. What gives you the right to presume that YOU speak for other women’s pregnancies? It’s in her body, not yours. The fetus is NOT a separate entity, but treating it that way and imagining that you are standing up for an “oppressed minority” (the fetus) is actually a form of oppression itself. Its easy to erase the woman from the equation to make yourself feel good, and to avoid thinking about the fact that you’re being a misogynist asshole.

  • http://figleaf.blogspot.com invalid-0

    I’m a bit stumbled that neither Stanek nor pretty much anyone but the first anonymous commenter seem aware that not all intercourse (let alone all sex) in marriage occurs with pregnancy as the intention.

    It’s possible that Princess Rot, above, was speaking tongue in cheek about “precious snowflakes” or the wonders of intentionally procreative intercourse but exactly how is that incompatible with intentionally non-reproductive sex, with or without contraception, inside marriage?

    The point being that *even if* you accept Stanek, et. al’s proposition that sex (or at least the subset of sex that includes PIV intercourse) is valid only inside marriage, that it should be abstained from until marriage, that it should happen only between individuals who are married to each other, etc., then what, exactly, is the basis for her *blanket* opposition to contraception?

    I don’t mention this idly. Nor do I mention it because I’m married. Nor do I mention it because except for a brief period where I chose to be made surgically fertile with my marriage partner’s and my specific intent of having two planned, wanted children I’ve been intentionally sterile my entire adult life. Nor is it that despite having had an… above average sex life before marriage most of the sex I’ve had in my life has been inside what after just short of two decades certainly *seems* like an enduring marriage.

    I mention it because, as with nearly all discourse on abortion, pro and con, the assumption appears to be that the only single people want or need to have non-reproductive sex, only single people want or need contraception, and only single people ever want or need abortion services. Instead most sex happens in marriage, most contraception happens in marriage and (although I may not recall correctly) I believe at least half of all pregnancy terminations happen within marriage as well.

    Consequently Stanek, at the very least, needs to unhook her slut-shaming business from routine reproductive-rights. And dear sweet mother of pearl her opponents have to stop buying her constructions of the argument. And I say *that* not because the rights or needs of the unmarried and “promiscuous” are unimportant but because the message “Jill Stanek is trying to destroy connubial relationships between spouses and destabilize family management” will require *her* and her kind to expend energy defending her position — something she’s entirely free from when arguing on her terms.

    Just saying.

    figleaf

  • heather-corinna

    Figleaf: stepping aside from the fact that I hate discussing any of this around married/not-married because I think it’s heterosexist and otherwise ridiculous to divide people that way, my understanding of Stanek’s stance on that is that, as seem to be the stance of many who comment at her blog, is that a married couple is supposed to always be open and welcome to the possibility of a pregnancy and a child in any kind of sex they have at any given time.  (And my sense has been that there’s a lot of radio silence there around married couples — and to some degree, anyone — having the kinds of sex which do not present risks of pregnancy.  There’s a lot of talk around abstaining from sex when you don’t want kids or having as much sex as you want when you do, which seems to suggest you’re either having intercourse or not having sex at all.)

     

    In other words, the message seems to be that, essentially, hetero and married sex isn’t ever supposed to be non-procreative, even if pregnancy doesn’t occur, even if the aim at a given time of sex is about things other than procreating. Some part of it is always supposed to be about welcomed maybe-kiddo.

  • invalid-0

    The statement, “…the action of unimpeded intercourse brings life into the world.” Is true (given a healthy husband and a healthy wife).

    I don’t say “The ONLY reason for intercourse is to make babies.” I agree with you that marital intercourse is also always a unitive act, a “bonding” act, if you will. That goes without saying. It is not “contralove” procedures and devices that Jill Stanek is opposed to; it is contraceptive procedures and devices. You can’t (in all truth) deny this simple fact: “…the action of unimpeded intercourse bring life into the world.”

    To the comment, “You actually make marriage sound like a good thing.” Marriage is a great thing! When a man and a woman truly love each other and sacrifice for each other and hold sacred their marriage vows, marriage is a thing of beauty.

    You go on to state, “Unfortunately, we all live in the real world and not on fantasy island.” I live in the real world too, and I’ve been married for nearly nineteen years. My marriage and the marriages of many others I know are not some sort of “fantasy”; we pray to God for help, we do our best, we forgive each other, we kiss and make up and face the next day together. The real, dirty work of making a marriage work is in no way a “fantasy”; it is what real, undying love is all about.

    I said, “Imagine the possibilities for real, true, lasting love and happy families if everyone put this way of life into practice.” Imagine if we did…

  • jayn

    The fact remains, though, that the basic message is ‘if you don’t want kids, don’t have sex’, which isn’t realistic for a young couple that is either not yet emotionally or financially (or both) ready to have a child.  My parents were married for the better part of a decade before they chose to have me–should they have abstained for that entire time? And for the 20-odd years between having me and Mom finishing menopause?  Or should they have had a dozen kids like my grandparents did, regardless of if they were able to take care of them or not?  Hell, even the Catholic Church teaches NFP so married couples can try to have sex without getting pregnant.

     

    To maintain that sex has to always include the possibility of pregnancy (infertility issues aside) is to deny couples a chance to grow together, so that when children do come into the picture they are fully ready for them.

  • invalid-0

    Jayn writes, “Hell, even the Catholic Church teaches NFP so married couples can try to have sex without getting pregnant.”

    The Catholic Church approves of spacing children (so that, among other things, parents are not financially, physically, or emotionally overwhelmed by too many children). But, the Catholic Church also teaches that that couples are not to practice NFP with a “contraceptive mindset”. All those who have posted that the Church teaches that openeness to the possibility of children must be accepted with every marital act understand the true teaching of the Church.

    Should your parents have postponed marriage if they were not ready to have children? Yes.

  • invalid-0

    “Jill Stanek seems to have missed the part of civils class where they explain that imposing one particular religious belief on everyone is specficially NOT ALLOWED under our system of government.”

    Uh, you missed the history class part on the laws the founders passed like Northwest Ordinance saying religion and morality, both necessary to good government, shall be encouraged forever.

    Your problem is you assume that if one is religious, one cannot have a say in the moral direction of this country. By such reasoning, there should be no abolitionist groups against slavery, since those who ran them were Christian evangelicals with religious and moral objections to slavery.

    The first amendment only forbids Congress from establishing a religion. It says nothing about morality informed by religion or whatever. And oh by the way, what you suggest where religious folks should not have a say on laws and morals is actually you advocating Congress restrict their free exercises of religion, as well as speech, contrary to what the first amendment say. Sorry, but it appears you need to take civics class.

    And the article is another abortionist lie- pro-lifers do want to cut abortion down. Just because they do not believe birth control work does not mean they want to keep abortion number up. It is a pathetic claim to make.

    As to the folks who say the difference between pro-lifers and Taliban are miles apart, I would say pro-abortionists who adovate murdering the unborn on the whim has far more in common with the Taliban with the usual disrespect for human life than pro-lifers.

    And the difference between abortion doctors and Nazi doctors are decades apart. And the fact abortions here killed far babies then all those the Nazis killed combined in the death camps.

  • crowepps

     Uh, you missed the history class part on the laws the founders passed like Northwest Ordinance saying religion and morality, both necessary to good government, shall be encouraged forever. Your problem is you assume that if one is religious, one cannot have a say in the moral direction of this country.

    And you seem to have missed, right in the middle of the quote you imported above, the phrase

    imposing one particular religious belief on everyone

    Catholics may indeed believe all KINDS of things about sex and marriage and contraception and certainly are absolutely free to do so.  They are NOT free to use civil law to impose that ‘particular religious belief’ on people of other religions who do NOT believe the same.

     

    It would broaden your mind enormously if you could understand that some of the people on here who disagree with your position on contraception actually ARE religious – just not YOUR religion.

  • invalid-0

    “Catholics may indeed believe all KINDS of things about sex and marriage and contraception and certainly are absolutely free to do so.” – -True!

    “They are NOT free to use civil law to impose that ‘particular religious belief’ on people of other religions who do NOT believe the same.”- -They don’t!

    “It would broaden your mind enormously if you could understand that some of the people on here who disagree with your position on contraception actually ARE religious -just not YOUR religion.” – – The fact that abortion is a crime trascends religion; it is a basic black/white issue with no gray area that people of all religions can agree on. Killing unborn babies is reprehensible. The day will come when the citizens of this country see that abortion is worse than the slavery issue was – -another time, another issue, but one in which some of the people felt that others were not fully human and treated them inhumanely. At that time, as in this time, people of good will from all religious backgrounds came to see the truth and right a wrong.

  • invalid-0

    The fact that abortion is a crime trascends religion; it is a basic black/white issue with no gray area that people of all religions can agree on.

    Um, Episcopalians don’t agree that abortion is a crime. In fact, some prominent leaders within the faith hold that the availability of abortion is a blessing. So your statement is actually incorrect.

    The day will come when the citizens of this country see that abortion is worse than the slavery issue was

    Okay, and when that day comes, then you can pass laws making abortion illegal. Until then, however, we’ll just have to leave the decision to the women themselves.

    At that time, as in this time, people of good will from all religious backgrounds came to see the truth and right a wrong.

    Well, lots of people of good will from all sorts of religious backgrounds believe that abortion is a good thing, and believe that very strongly. So the “as in this time” part doesn’t apply.

  • invalid-0

    Since abortion is a crime against natural law, but is “on the books” in our country, it is an unjust law and must be overturned. *****
    There were those pastors during slavery who believed and preached that it was a blessing and God’s will for Africans to serve whites. Obviously, they were wrong.*****
    When you state, “…lots of people of good will from all sorts of religious backgrounds believe that abortion is a good thing…”, I remind you that there were slave owners who considered themselves “good” as well. Just because someone bakes a pie for a sick neighbor does not mean that they’ve come to the ethically correct decision on abortion.*****
    Abortion is a terrible crime, and one day our nation will realize the terrible tragedy we’ve committed by killing our unborn citizens.

  • invalid-0

    When you state, “…lots of people of good will from all sorts of religious backgrounds believe that abortion is a good thing…”, I remind you that there were slave owners who considered themselves “good” as well. Just because someone bakes a pie for a sick neighbor does not mean that they’ve come to the ethically correct decision on abortion.

    Yes, there are a lot of people who consider themselves “good” who oppose a woman’s right to an abortion. They don’t see the pregnant woman as being fully human, so they have no qualm in taking away her basic human rights. Shameful, isn’t it?

    Abortion is a terrible crime,

    Uh, you mean, denying a woman the right to an abortion is a terrible crime.

    and one day our nation will realize the terrible tragedy we’ve committed by killing our unborn citizens.

    No, we’ll realize what a crime against half of our population it is to deny them control of their own bodies. As our society’s sexism and patriarchal attitudes slowly fall away (sometimes too slowly), more and more people will recognize the evil of depriving them of bodily integrity.

  • invalid-0

    “Yes, there are a lot of people who consider themselves ‘good’ who oppose a woman’s right to an abortion. They don’t see the pregnant woman as being fully human, so they have no qualm in taking away her basic human rights. Shameful, isn’t it?” === Of course the pregnant woman is fully human; no one claims pregnant women aren’t human! The unborn babies seem to be having a difficult time of getting abortion activist to recognize their humanity. It is the innocent, unborn babies who are being murdered that are the true victims of the abortion lobby. Life is precious!!!
    *********************************************************
    “Uh, you mean, denying a woman the right to an abortion is a terrible crime.”====Of course denying abortion access would not be a terrible crime! Killing unborn babies is a terrible crime against natural law.
    **********************************************************
    “No, we’ll realize what a crime against half of our population it is to deny them control of their own bodies. As our society’s sexism and patriarchal attitudes slowly fall away (sometimes too slowly), more and more people will recognize the evil of depriving them of bodily integrity.”==== “…depriving them of bodily integrity”? Who creates this rhetoric? Babies are being murdered!!!!Little children – -little women babies are murdered in abortions – why aren’t feminists enraged?

  • http://www.heypcs.com invalid-0

    unmarried sexers , you bear the abortion guilt. Whether or not in your particular instance a baby is conceived and aborted is really irrelevant. If you have unmarried sex there is a high likelihood any resulting unborn baby will be painfully excruciatingly aborted. You even subconsciously or consciouly know this and it is part of the gruesome act. On top of leaving your partner emotionally high and dry you also bear the guilt of the damn spot of bloodguiltiness the driven insane by it lady Macbeth could not wash away. And for what? Saving the few $ a marriage license costs and enjoying the offspring as God’s gift. Instead you get God’s everlasting judgement on yourself, your partner and the murdereee.