Here We Go Again: Early Morning Amendments Threaten HIV Prevention, Research, Reproductive Health


UPDATE 1:43pm ET – Both the Souder Amendment, to prohibit any money in the appropriations bill from being used to fund needle exchange programs, and the Pence Amendment, to prevent any money in the bill from funding Planned Parenthood, were introduced and spoken on for 10 minutes shortly after 1:00pm ET today.  Votes on both amendments were postponed.  

UPDATE 2:45pm ET – Congress overwhelmingly defeated (by a vote of 247 – 183) the Pence amendment to H.R. 3293, the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill. The amendment, if passed, would have denied family planning services to millions of women, men and teens by restricting Title X federal family planning funds from going to Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers.

The Souder amendment, aimed at maintaining the longstanding federal ban on funding of needle exchange programs, failed by a narrow 211-218 vote.

The HHS-Labor-Education appropriations bill subsequently passed 264-153.

Here we go again:

Several amendments introduced by Republican conservatives for this morning’s House vote on the House FY 2010 Labor, Health, and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill (Labor-H) are intended to roll back recent legislative gains on HIV prevention, evidence-based programs, and reproductive health.

If you are nostalgic for the anti-science, anti-intellectualism of the previous administration, you will have ample opportunity to walk down memory lane by watching these votes.

Attempt to ban syringe exchange 

On Thursday, July 23rd, the Rules Committee approved for a vote an amendment to the appropriations bill proposed by Representative Mark Souder (R-IN) which would prohibit HHS funding for programs which distribute sterile needles or syringes for hypodermic injection of any illegal drug.  The amendment flies in the face of evidence-based approaches to preventing the spread of HIV and other infections both among drug users as well as from users of drugs to others.

Safe and certain access to sterile syringes is widely regarded as among
the most effective methods for preventing the spread of HIV and
hepatitis B and C viruses among injection drug users (IDUs)

If this amendment passes it will almost certainly ban federal funding
of syringe exchange in the U.S. and may disrupt current syringe
exchange operations, thereby unnecessarily consigning people to infection and disease.

Attempt to de-fund research among marginalized populations

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) plans to offer an amendment Labor-H bill that would rescind the funding for the following three currently funded, peer-reviewed grants that that focus on HIV/AIDS prevention.  He contends these are an example of "wasteful spending."

Grants Cong. Issa seeks to defund:

1)   Substance Abuse Use and HIV Risk Among Thai Women:

The proposed collaboration study between Ms. Usaneya Perngparn, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand and Dr. Nemoto, Public Health Institute, California, will investigate the sociocultural contexts of HIV risk behaviors and drug use among Thai female and male-to-female transgender (kathoey) sex workers in Bangkok. Research is currently needed to develop and adapt HIV prevention models that take into account sociocultural factors so that the further transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infections can be averted.  Participation in these types of studies also can provide a way for persons suffering from the health consequences of illicit sexual activity to receive treatment while contributing to our knowledge of prevention and treatment outcomes in these populations.

2)    HIV Prevention for Hospitalized Russian Alcoholics

Investigators are adapting a prevention approach that has been demonstrated to be effective in decreasing high-risk HIV related behaviors in the U.S. for use in Russia, a country with a rapidly expanding incidence of HIV.  The approach, called Health Relationships Intervention, involves the development of a plan of action for each client to increase social support and reduce high-risk behaviors.  This includes the disclosure of information to family and friends on the client’s health, social needs and condition thereby assisting the client in maintaining low risk behaviors.

3) Venue-based HIV and Alcohol Use Risk Reduction Among Female Sex Workers in China 

Research has provided evidence linking alcohol-related, high risk sexual behavior with HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections.  Research has also provided rich descriptions of social, cultural, and economic contexts in which people engage in alcohol-related sexual risk behaviors.  More specifically, alcohol use characteristics (e.g., binge drinking) have been linked with sexual risk-taking that occurs in a range of high risk environments. The investigators have proposed a 5-year study to develop, implement, and evaluate a theory-guided, multiple components, and venue-based HIV and alcohol use risk reduction intervention among commercial sex workers (FSWs) in China.

Given that HIV/AIDS is a global epidemic that has already killed more than 25 million men, women, and children and 33 million people worldwide are currently living with HIV, it is clear that prevention of HIV infection should be a priority area of research funding.

"The research is easy to ridicule if it is taken out of its public health context," says one advocate involved in the process.  "The fact is, scientists need to explore a range of research avenues in vulnerable populations around the world to learn the best ways to control the transmission of HIV."

Researchers and advocates point out the following:

  • NIH uses a rigorous peer review process to determine which grant applications to fund.
  • NIH’s scientific peer review process is the gold standard for determining the quality and relevance of grant proposals. 
  • Thousands of scientists each year submit applications to the NIH requesting funding for their scientific proposals. Applications are evaluated initially by the NIH’s Center for Scientific Review and peer review groups composed of scientific experts from around the U.S. and the world.  These groups (also called “study sections”) assess and rate the scientific and technical merit of the proposed research or training projects. 
  • Projects reviewed in a particular session are scored and ranked in relation to each other.  The applications are then assigned to one of the 27 institutes and centers at NIH. 
  • A second level of peer review is conducted by the NIH National Advisory Councils of the respective funding Institutes or Centers, which are composed of both scientists from the research community and public representatives.  These councils ensure that the NIH receives advice from a cross-section of the U.S. population in its deliberation and decision-making.
  • This system ensures that research conducted and supported with taxpayer dollars is scientifically meritorious and serves to improve the lives of all people equally. Approximately 70 percent of meritorious, scientifically valid proposals do not receive funding through this process.   The grants that receive funding, however, are the best in their fields.
  • In response to previous congressional concerns about whether sexual health research should be funded by the agency, NIH reviewed the entire NIH sexuality portfolio in 2004. That investigation found that all of the NIH grants in areas of sexual health met the rigorous standards of scientific and ethical quality, that they were not funded out of proportion to the public health burden of these diseases, and that the merit review system had been followed.


Amendment to defund Planned Parenthood

And then we have an amendment by Congressman Mike Pence to defund Planned Parenthood.

The Pence amendment states:

"None of the funds made available
under this Act shall be available to Planned Parenthood for any purpose
under title X of the Public Health Services Act." 

In short, Pence, who professes to be "pro-life," wants to de-fund the single largest publicly funded source of preventive reproductive health care in the United States. 

Planned Parenthood has more than 850 affiliate health centers across the country, providing primary and preventive care. Every year, they provide nearly one million cervical cancer screenings, more than 850,000 breast exams, contraception to nearly 2.5 million patients, more than three million tests and treatments for STDs, including HIV, and nearly 50,000 colposcopies.

According to a recent report
by the Guttmacher Institute, more than six in 10 patients who receive
care at a women’s health center like Planned Parenthood consider it
their primary source of health care.

One in four women
who receives contraceptive care does so at a women’s health center. 
One in six women who obtain a Pap test or a pelvic exam does so at a
women’s health center, as do one-third of women who receive counseling,
testing or treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

Cutting off contraceptive care…..good way to reduce the need for abortion?

Sum total of these amendments?  Yet one more strike against evidence, against public health, and against reality.

Hopefully, there will be enough common sense in the room to defeat them.

If you want to take action, here’s a way to do more:

To defeat the ban on syringe exchange, click here.

To support NIH funding of research on HIV prevention, click here.

 

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To schedule an interview with Jodi Jacobson please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • heather-corinna

    I’d also add in that my impression is — in the States — that Planned Parenthood clinics are where a majority of teen and college-aged women get their reproductive and sexual health care, contraception and STI testing.  So, that’d not only cut off one in four women from those services, many of the women it’d cut off from those services are some of the most vulnerable; those with the greatest need for those services, those in the window for the highest rates of STIs and unplanned and/or unwanted pregnancies.

  • invalid-0

    The fool just said “blood born pathogens like Hepatitis A” in his opposition to harm reduction.

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

    An interesting post, however, with respect to the defunding of Planned Parenthood, I think it’s fair to point out that millions of American disagree with ending the life of unborn children in the womb – and do not wish their tax dollars to support such a practice.

    In America, the right of one’s conscience is central to our liberties, and right now the consciences of many Americans are being violated. I believe that abortion is immoral – and I shouldn’t be compelled to pay for something that violates my conscience.

    My guess is that you might object to your tax dollars funding houses of prostitution or pornographic films, for example.

    I also question the integrity of the phrase “reproductive health.” I’m afraid that violating the human rights of our most vulnerable citizens cannot be described as “health.”

    Thank you for letting me post. I appreciate it.

  • invalid-0

    I swear that Obey said “I don’t have the time” when his colleagues were likely encouraging him to oppose the Issa amendment which removed $5million in specific HIV research… well, that sucked.

    on to Planned Parenthood.

  • invalid-0

    I think it’s fair to point out that millions of American disagree with ending the life of unborn children in the womb – and do not wish their tax dollars to support such a practice.

    Millions disagreed with the Iraqi War, too, and did not wish their tax dollars to support such a project. If you think your taxes should only go to things that you personally approve of, then you have a very naive view of how government funding works.

    I also question the integrity of the phrase “reproductive health.” I’m afraid that violating the human rights of our most vulnerable citizens cannot be described as “health.”

    Yes, the human rights of pregnant women must not be violated, and doing so cannot be described as “health.” Which is why it is very important to uphold access to reproductive health services as a human right.

  • airina

    This is something I’m perpetually confused by.  Title X funding dollars cannot legally fund abortion: therefore, your tax dollars are not funding anything you object to.  You are funding cancer prevention, and sexually transmitted infection checks for low-income patients, and birth control which in the long run prevents abortions.  Do you object to those services?

  • crowepps

    An interesting post, however, with respect to the defunding of Planned Parenthood, I think it’s fair to point out that millions of American disagree with ending the life of unborn children in the womb – and do not wish their tax dollars to support such a practice.

    Aside from the fact that these particular programs don’t have anything to do with "ending the life of unborn children", you’ve also overlooked the fact that millions of Americans respect Planned Parenthood and donate private dollars, and would fully support having THEIR tax dollars used to pay for reproductive care for women, including abortions. 

    In America, the right of one’s conscience is central to our liberties, and right now the consciences of many Americans are being violated. I believe that abortion is immoral – and I shouldn’t be compelled to pay for something that violates my conscience.

    I certainly understand your position, however defunding OTHER programs run by Planned Parenthood because their entire organization is ‘contaminated’ by the small portion of abortion services would violate the right of all those other people whose conscience has come to a different conclusion.

    My guess is that you might object to your tax dollars funding houses of prostitution or pornographic films, for example.

    I have a great many more objections to my tax dollars funding war, colonialism, overseas religious evangelizing and environmental degradation, and strong objections to the fact that those taxes are higher than they need to be because they must fill in the funding shortfall created by religious organizations being tax-exempt.

     

    Using your logic, programs run by the Catholic Church to feed the poor and shelter the homeless should be ‘defunded’ on the basis that ‘some people’ object to their tax dollars being ‘used to support’ the tiny minority of priests involved in sexual abuse.

  • invalid-0

    Yes, the human rights of pregnant women must not be violated, and doing so cannot be described as “health.” Which is why it is very important to uphold access to reproductive health services as a human right.

    One has to remember that medically speaking, i.e. defined as such in embryology text-books, and unborn child is a human being. The logical extension of the above statement is that the rights of a pregnant woman, and specifically her “human right” to reproductive health services (abortion), must be held above what can only be claimed as the “human right” of the unborn child to life.

    I think it is helpful to clarify the meaning of these claims, and perhaps meditate on them to fully realize what is being said. I should think that the right of a human being to live outweighs the rights of another human being to health services, whatever kind they may be.

    As such, I find that to wish that no funding go to Planned Parenthood to be a sound judgment concerning human rights.

  • invalid-0

    One has to remember that medically speaking, i.e. defined as such in embryology text-books, and unborn child is a human being.

    Last time I looked through the embryology literature, it never declared that an “unborn child” (by the way, the proper medical term is “fetus”) is a “human being” beyond being alive and having human DNA. Can you provide a reputable citation of where it does?

    The logical extension of the above statement is that the rights of a pregnant woman, and specifically her “human right” to reproductive health services (abortion), must be held above what can only be claimed as the “human right” of the unborn child to life.

    The “unborn child” does not have any human rights, because it is not yet an autonomous human being. The state may take an interest in promoting the health and welfare of the fetus, but so long as it is inside its mother, any rights assigned to it come at the expense of the mother’s own rights, which is impermissible.

    I think it is helpful to clarify the meaning of these claims, and perhaps meditate on them to fully realize what is being said. I should think that the right of a human being to live outweighs the rights of another human being to health services, whatever kind they may be.

    Human beings often need health services to live, which makes me think that you could use a little more meditation yourself.

    As such, I find that to wish that no funding go to Planned Parenthood to be a sound judgment concerning human rights.

    This is because you are ignorant of the broad range of services that PP provides, and the very large number of people who depend on them.

  • invalid-0

    Here is one citation:
    “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed…”
    [O'Rahilly, Ronan and Müller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996, pp. 8, 29. This textbook lists "pre-embryo" among "discarded and replaced terms" in modern embryology, describing it as "ill-defined and inaccurate" (p. 12}]

    This citation was taken from the Princeton Pro-life page which has many more citations, and can be found at http://www.princeton.edu/~prolife/articles/embryoquotes2.html

    The point to make is that biologically speaking, the beginning of a human life begins at fertilization, and given the proper care, will grow and live a complete life, all the way to natural death.

    The “unborn child” does not have any human rights, because it is not yet an autonomous human being. The state may take an interest in promoting the health and welfare of the fetus, but so long as it is inside its mother, any rights assigned to it come at the expense of the mother’s own rights, which is impermissible.

    This is an arbitrary claim. Even a born child is not autonomous. The famous Princeton Professor Peter Singer rightly points out that if it is okay to kill a “fetus”, it is okay to kill a newborn child.

    (by the way, the proper medical term is “fetus”)

    Yes, the proper medical term is fetus, all the way to birth. But can you really claim that there is any metaphysical difference between a fetus just prior to birth, and a baby just after birth. No. So if it is okay to kill a fetus, it is by extension okay to kill a baby, since both are not autonomous.

    So what medicine can tell us is that there is a real biological change that happens at fertilzation to form a new human organism where none existed before. After that, all stages are developmental milestones, but before and after each of these milestones, there existed a human organism that only needed the proper care. These are biological claims. Your claim that the rights of a human at an early developmental stage has fewer rights simply because it is not autonomous, 1) has no place in biology and 2) is arbitrary and 3) contradicts the law which protects born children that are also not autonomous.

    Human beings often need health services to live, which makes me think that you could use a little more meditation yourself.

    Thank, you for this helpful comment. Perhaps I should be more clear. Health services can be life saving and life improving. I dare say that very few times in places like the U.S. will the life of a pregnant woman be at odds with the life of the fetus living inside of her. I acknowledge that such cases do exist, and leave such cases aside. My comments concern the vast majority of abortion cases where the life of the mother is not threatened, and in such cases, again we arive at the question, which is more important, the life of one human, or the health of another. Such a simple statement will obviously favor the life of one over the health of another.

    As stated before, to distinguish between humans on the basis of autonomy is either arbitrary if babies have rights but fetuses don’t, or if not arbitrary leads to conclusions such as: 1) Infanticide is permissible, 2) Fully developed animals have more value than do unfully developed humans (babies). Peter Singer has developed the latter thoughts quite well. There are only two intellectually honest choices, to proclaim that human life must be protected at all stages, or to follow the line with Peter Singer. As such, the following statement

    but so long as it is inside its mother, any rights assigned to it come at the expense of the mother’s own rights, which is impermissible.

    is an arbitrary claim.

    This is because you are ignorant of the broad range of services that PP provides, and the very large number of people who depend on them.

    For those who understand that human life must be protected at all stages, Planned Parenthood, as an agency that actively promotes and provides abortions, is an agency committing crimes equivalent to any group guilty of the massacre of human beings chosen for their classification, be it any of the genocides in Africa, the murder of dissenters in oppressive governments, or the holocaust of the Nazis. It is therefore reasonable for a person to wish them to receive no money because the harm they do far outweighs the good.

  • invalid-0

    Here is one citation: “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed…”

    Ooh, a human organism. That’s exactly the same thing as a human being, isn’t it?

    The point to make is that biologically speaking, the beginning of a human life begins at fertilization, and given the proper care, will grow and live a complete life, all the way to natural death.

    Um, “given the proper care” for the first nine months entails pregnancy. You may find it conscionable to force a woman to provide that care against her will. I do not, and neither do people who respect women’s rights and agency.

    This is an arbitrary claim. Even a born child is not autonomous. The famous Princeton Professor Peter Singer rightly points out that if it is okay to kill a “fetus”, it is okay to kill a newborn child.

    “Autonomous” doesn’t mean it can hold down a job and fend for itself. It means that it is not physically tied to any other person. A baby can be taken care of by anyone willing to do the task. But a fetus inside a woman can only be sustained by that woman—a fact which does not negate her right to not provide that care.

    Talk to me about Peter Singer when a large segment of the population supports his views.

    Yes, the proper medical term is fetus, all the way to birth. But can you really claim that there is any metaphysical difference between a fetus just prior to birth, and a baby just after birth. No. So if it is okay to kill a fetus, it is by extension okay to kill a baby, since both are not autonomous.

    Um, before birth, a fetus is capable of killing the woman in whose body it resides, via pregnancy complications. Your argument makes sense only because, like most pro-lifers, you focus entirely on the fetus to the exclusion of the pregnant woman.

    So what medicine can tell us is that there is a real biological change that happens at fertilzation to form a new human organism where none existed before. After that, all stages are developmental milestones, but before and after each of these milestones, there existed a human organism that only needed the proper care. These are biological claims. Your claim that the rights of a human at an early developmental stage has fewer rights simply because it is not autonomous, 1) has no place in biology and 2) is arbitrary and 3) contradicts the law which protects born children that are also not autonomous.

    You’re saying that a “human organism” can deprive a pregnant woman—a full “human being”, by the way—of her right to bodily integrity, something which we don’t even allow born human beings to do. It’s a good thing that your misogynistic understanding of “human rights” is not widely accepted.

    Thank, you for this helpful comment. Perhaps I should be more clear. Health services can be life saving and life improving.

    Which abortion often is!

    My comments concern the vast majority of abortion cases where the life of the mother is not threatened, and in such cases, again we arive at the question, which is more important, the life of one human, or the health of another. Such a simple statement will obviously favor the life of one over the health of another.

    Except the fetus is not a human being that is accorded those rights. It is a “human organism,” but that’s not the same thing. You could give human rights to a human organism, but only if you take them away from the woman in whose body it resides (just like you could give human rights to bugs, but then you’d have to severely restrict people’s freedom of movement to prevent them from stepping on any).

    As stated before, to distinguish between humans on the basis of autonomy is either arbitrary if babies have rights but fetuses don’t, or if not arbitrary leads to conclusions such as: 1) Infanticide is permissible, 2) Fully developed animals have more value than do unfully developed humans (babies).

    The distinction is that the fetus’s presence in the woman’s body matters. It is not just “a small difference in location.” As long as the fetus is there, it exercises a very significant and direct impact on the woman’s health and life. I don’t know if you’ve ever been pragnant—personally, I believe you’re not even physically capable of it—but I doubt you’ve given much thought to the enormity of the impact it can have. And if you’re going to say to women that they have to go through with that, whether they want to or not, then you are advocating for a full-throated violation of their human rights.

    For those who understand that human life must be protected at all stages, Planned Parenthood, as an agency that actively promotes and provides abortions, is an agency committing crimes equivalent to any group guilty of the massacre of human beings chosen for their classification, be it any of the genocides in Africa, the murder of dissenters in oppressive governments, or the holocaust of the Nazis.

    So, you’re saying Planned Parenthood is as bad as the Third Reich? Talked with any Holocaust survivors lately?

    It is therefore reasonable for a person to wish them to receive no money because the harm they do far outweighs the good.

    When you compared PP to the Nazis, you gave up any claim to “reasonable.” Have a nice day.

  • invalid-0

    Perhaps then we can accept that the fetus just prior to birth demands the same level of respect, whatever it is, as the baby just after birth. Okay, the argument for the permissibility of abortion and the impermissibility of infanticide lies in the distinction that the human cannot rightly be killed, except for the fact that it places an undue burden on the woman thereby allowing the human to be killed on such grounds. The reason why this cannot hold is that, in the vast majority of cases, the human life began by the free choice of both the man and woman who had sex. The growing human life made no choice to be there. The woman did. I leave aside cases of rape and incest, and instead discuss the vast majority of abortions where the woman must take responsibility for having sex, and the natural consequences of it.

    You’re saying that a “human organism” can deprive a pregnant woman—a full “human being”, by the way—of her right to bodily integrity, something which we don’t even allow born human beings to do. It’s a good thing that your misogynistic understanding of “human rights” is not widely accepted.

    This quote, representative of the majority of the last comment, disregards the fact that the life that was created had no choice in the matter, while the pregnant woman’s right to bodily integrity was within her control when she decided to have sex. Pro-lifers are not misogynistic. They strive to protect human life, when it is the most vulnerable, and when it was given no choice of where and when to begin. That choice was made by the men and women who chose to have sex.

    Which brings us to the critical point:

    Except the fetus is not a human being that is accorded those rights. It is a “human organism,” but that’s not the same thing.

    This quote is why I compared Planned Parenthood to the Nazis. It is a reasonable comparison given certain limitations, so let me clarify. I do not claim that Planned Parenthood tries to overwhelm the world, and inflict pain and torture and humiliation on people as the Nazis did. But their fundamental flaw is the same. Humans are being called less than human simply because of their classification. The Nazis did it to humans that were Jewish. Abortionists do it to humans that are at an early stage of development.

    There are not different kinds of human organisms. There are not human organisms that are human beings, and others that are not. There is no way to make such a distinction. Any line drawn in the life of a human organism to say that afterwards it is a human being whereas before it is not is an arbitrary distinction. As I said before, to remain intellectually honest, and argue that adult human beings are more valuable than fetuses is a utilitarian argument, clearly spelled out by Peter Singer, and leads to the conclusion that there is nothing that is inherently valuable about being a human. What is valuable is the realized capacity of reason, and all the potency and utility that comes with it. This is the basis for denying fetusus fewer rights, because they are not as useful. As such, a cow is more useful than a baby, and therefore, more valuable. Such arguments are, to some, grotesque, yet they are intellectually honest extensions of a certain principle, that human beings are not inherently valuable, but are only valuable for their abilities. This axiom cannot be disproved, but it need not be accepted. But I claim that human beings are inherently valuable. There is something special about a human being, in and of itself, not just what it is useful for. As such, there is no line that can be drawn where you say from one minute to another a human organism became a human being. All human organisms, no matter how small are human beings.

    I claim that all humans are persons. Singer claims, in essence, that there is no such thing as personhood. You claim that some humans are persons and some are not. What non-arbitrary criteria is there for such a claim?

    I wish to reiterate that pregnant women in cases of rape and incest face a terrible situation in which they were also given no choice, which I believe fundamentally changes the considerations that are made. These women deserve deepest sympathy and care, and their situation requires an entirely different discussion.

  • invalid-0

    The reason why this cannot hold is that, in the vast majority of cases, the human life began by the free choice of both the man and woman who had sex.

    Of course. They had sex, and so they must be “punished” for it.

    The growing human life made no choice to be there. The woman did. I leave aside cases of rape and incest,

    Of course you do. Because you’re not really interested in saving fetuses…

    and instead discuss the vast majority of abortions where the woman must take responsibility for having sex, and the natural consequences of it.

    …your real goal is this. To make women accept the “natural consequences” of engaging in sex. All your philosophical yapping is rationalization of this point.

    I claim that all humans are persons.

    And yet, you “leave aside cases of rape and incest.” Why? Because the fetuses conceived under those conditions are not persons? Or because you still have a twinge of conscience telling you that women don’t deserve to be punished for being raped?

    This quote is why I compared Planned Parenthood to the Nazis. It is a reasonable comparison given certain limitations,

    I’d love to see you say this to Elie Wiesel’s face. It’s a shame that there aren’t that many Holocaust survivors around anymore. Because they could give you a much-deserved slap in the face for trying to score cheap political points by invoking the horror of what they went through.

    I wish to reiterate that pregnant women in cases of rape and incest face a terrible situation in which they were also given no choice, which I believe fundamentally changes the considerations that are made. These women deserve deepest sympathy and care, and their situation requires an entirely different discussion.

    Yes. Because they’re not guilty of being “promiscuous.”

    All throughout history, women have had control of their bodies and their sexuality denied them by patriarchal social orders that devalue and denigrate their capabilities and contributions. You carry on the torch of a shameful legacy. And I am thankful that while women in this society still have a long way to go before equality is achieved, we’ve come a long way already, and we will never go back to the retrogressive regime that you’re after.

    • invalid-0

      I find it sad that you cannot see past your own anger and bitterness to respond in a respectful and reasoned manner. No insults were thrown at you, only reasons, and yet all you can do is side step those reasons with hateful comments.

      Regarding my comparison of the practice of abortion in this country to all genocides, including the holocaust, this does not cheapen the experience of the Jews, nor is it my original thought, but indeed the comparison has been made by many Jewish Rabbis, and by many calm, learned, gentle and thoughtful men and women. Your accusations of misogyny ignore the fact that these same arguments have been made by accomplished and learned women, some of whom are mothers, and others who remain single by choice.

      And a parent myself, I am insulted that you would call pregnancy a punishment. It is one of the greatest gifts a person can receive, and yes it is the natural consequences of sex. I don’t know why you are advocating that we shirk the natural consequences of our actions. Without personal accountability for what we freely choose to do, the world would fall apart. Indeed, I think it is on its way there already.

      You are not an honest person, and anyone can see that by how you ignored my reasons, and how you jumped in with an angry mindset and decided to fling insults and ignore argument.

      If you are angry about sexism that was rampant in the past and still lingers today, you are right to be angry. But it does you no good, nor anyone else, to abandon calm and reasoned discussion. And evil done to women in the past and present does not justify evil done to human beings in the present. I am saddened that I am probably not writing these words for you, as you will most likely throw them in the garbage as you have done with the rest of my “yapping” as you call it. But I hope that someone else will realize the gravity of abortion. All you need do is look at the pictures of gruesome abortion procedures, and you’ll realize that they look every bit as horrifying as those from the holocaust

      Here, I’ll make it easy for you. Tell me what you think: http://images.google.com/images?q=abortion

  • invalid-0

    I find it sad that you cannot see past your own anger and bitterness to respond in a respectful and reasoned manner. No insults were thrown at you, only reasons, and yet all you can do is side step those reasons with hateful comments.

    Hateful? No. Scornful. You want women to be hostage to their own bodies, so you’re going to get as much respect as you’re showing them. If you were a white supremacist, you’d get the same exact treatment.

    Regarding my comparison of the practice of abortion in this country to all genocides, including the holocaust, this does not cheapen the experience of the Jews, nor is it my original thought, but indeed the comparison has been made by many Jewish Rabbis, and by many calm, learned, gentle and thoughtful men and women.

    Who nevertheless have not experienced the Holocaust firsthand, and have not availed themselves of the written record of survivors enough to realize why the comparison is ludicrous and enormously disrespectful to the Jewish people.

    You know who else likes to use “Holocaust parallel” arguments? PETA. And it is reprehensible for exactly the same reason.

    And a parent myself, I am insulted that you would call pregnancy a punishment. It is one of the greatest gifts a person can receive

    And because you personally had a great experience of pregnancy, that means that everyone who doesn’t want to be pregnant—be it for their living situation, career, health, or life—is wrong, and should in fact feel the same way about their pregnancy as you did?

    I like Coca-Cola Classic and pizza with mushrooms, but I sure as heck don’t labor under the delusion that everybody else does as well, let alone should!

    and yes it is the natural consequences of sex. I don’t know why you are advocating that we shirk the natural consequences of our actions. Without personal accountability for what we freely choose to do, the world would fall apart. Indeed, I think it is on its way there already.

    You know, when antibiotics first came out in the 19th century, there was a bishop who railed against them, because they could be used to treat syphilis. And this was seen as “escaping” the “natural consequences” of fornication.

    You are not an honest person, and anyone can see that by how you ignored my reasons, and how you jumped in with an angry mindset and decided to fling insults and ignore argument.

    You want to force women to remain pregnant against their will. You want to deny them agency and control over their own bodies. Believe me, I’ve heard your arguments many times before, and they don’t merit the “honesty” you’re wishing for.

    If you are angry about sexism that was rampant in the past and still lingers today, you are right to be angry. But it does you no good, nor anyone else, to abandon calm and reasoned discussion. And evil done to women in the past and present does not justify evil done to human beings in the present.

    I agree. And yet women are paid less, denigrated more, and exercising independence (from men) and control over their own bodies is still controversial in our society. Next, I suppose, you’re going to inveigh against hormonal contraception because it can prevent tiny little human beings from implanting in the uterus, so it’s basically the same thing as abortion. And why not? That argument has already been offered up in all seriousness by pro-lifers.

    But I hope that someone else will realize the gravity of abortion. All you need do is look at the pictures of gruesome abortion procedures, and you’ll realize that they look every bit as horrifying as those from the holocaust

    You want a “reasoned discussion,” and yet you’re arguing that a medical procedure should be considered morally suspect if it can produce unsavory photographs? Are you seriously trying to advance the point that “if it grosses us out, we should ban it?” Boy, I hope you never lay eyes on a medical examiner’s photo record, because then the entire pro-life movement will turn its guns on autopsies.

    (Seriously. Drop that argument. Neither you nor I could watch a typical surgical procedure without losing our lunch—I wouldn’t even rule out nightmares. This is standard territory for medical professionals, and the only point that your “but look at the photos!” argument makes is that you clearly aren’t one.)

    (And this isn’t even getting into the fact that a lot of what passes as “abortion photos” are in fact not actual aborted fetuses, but miscarried fetuses and even Photoshop fabrications. How many of these come from a reputable source, that doesn’t have an obvious motivation to shock the viewer?)

  • invalid-0

    All I can say is thank you for proving my point.

  • invalid-0

    “You want to force women to remain pregnant against their will. You want to deny them agency and control over their own bodies. Believe me, I’ve heard your arguments many times before, and they don’t merit the “honesty” you’re wishing for.”

    Not the person you been debating, but let me put in my two cents.

    By your own rhetoric, Susan B. Anthony and other classical feminists would be women haters, too, given they themselves saw abortion as “child murder,” evil, etc.

    Where there is another human life is involved, it is not control over woman’s own body anymore but over another. And of you believe woman should have that right to control her own body, over whether or not she remains a mother or gets rid of her baby while yet unborn, then be principled about it and support the right of men who help bring the child in conception have the right to choose or not choose to be fathers.

    It is fair right. You claim you are for equal rights, right? If the mother can decide not to be mother anymore by getting rid of the child by abortion, why then does the father be responsible for that child from conception, which is the result of sex between father and mother?

    No, radical feminists are not interested in equal rights here, but in special rights for women to do what no others in society can- murder to get rid of anyone inconvenient to their existence.

    The reason photos of abortions exist by the way is because they show abortions for what they are- murders of innocent human beings.

    You advocate women having control over whole classes of human beings to point of killing them.

    You can claim those who defend life are hating women. Your words show you hate babies when they inconvenient you.

    And oh yes, many abortions worldwide are done at females. Guess you cannot oppose that either, if those doing it are doing it out of their own freewill.

    I could oppose that destructions of the female sex since like I said, abortion is murder, and when done out of convenience or to aim to reduce a race or gender (usually female), it is not just murder, but mass murder on a grand scale worthy of genoicide.

    And since you say to the other poster that poster’s words don’t merit the honesty, guess what? Proves the point- certain pro-abortionists like yourself lie to themselves and don’t engage in honest debates with others.

  • invalid-0

    Not the person you been debating, but let me put in my two cents. By your own rhetoric, Susan B. Anthony and other classical feminists would be women haters, too, given they themselves saw abortion as “child murder,” evil, etc.

    Sorry, Punisher. Susan B. Anthony’s opposition to abortion came from a different time and place, for reasons that no longer apply today.

    And of you believe woman should have that right to control her own body, over whether or not she remains a mother or gets rid of her baby while yet unborn, then be principled about it and support the right of men who help bring the child in conception have the right to choose or not choose to be fathers. It is fair right.

    No, it’s not. The right is not “to become a parent or not,” it is “control over one’s body.” A man’s body is not involved in the process after the sex act. While he retains the same control of his body as the woman retains of hers, it has no consequence as to his paternal duties.

    You claim you are for equal rights, right? If the mother can decide not to be mother anymore by getting rid of the child by abortion, why then does the father be responsible for that child from conception, which is the result of sex between father and mother?

    I’ll grant men “equal rights” over the pregnancy when they share equally in its physical and medical burdens, as well as deaths from pregnancy complications.

    No, radical feminists are not interested in equal rights here, but in special rights for women to do what no others in society can- murder to get rid of anyone inconvenient to their existence.

    I’m going to let that statement stand on its own. Have a nice day, Mr. Punisher.