My Call for Common Ground Gets Answered


There are so many of my colleagues who cringe at the thought of common ground.  Initially, I was one of them.  And how can you blame us?  Especially now, after another one of our doctors was murdered.   It would be unreasonable to expect any of us to sit at the same table as someone who supports killing abortion providers.  And generally speaking, pro-choicers like myself believe we are the common ground.

I admit that I am troubled by the thought of sitting at the same table with people who vilify me.  But I believe that there are reasonable pro-life individuals who are as upset as I am about the current negative and hateful rhetoric propagated by the lunatic fringe of the pro-life movement.  And although we will likely never change our core principles and beliefs about abortion, we can agree that there is no place in either movement for violence, intimidation, or harassment.  We all care about public safety and the quality of life in our communities.  So why shouldn’t we cultivate and encourage a joint effort?

Over the first few weeks after the murder of Dr. George Tiller, abortion protesters in Allentown, PA increased their visibility and their hateful rhetoric.  Although the entrance to the Allentown Women’s Center is behind the building, protesters moved their demonstrations to the street in front of the building, displaying enormous graphic billboards of bloody, dismembered fetuses.

On June 10, I decided that it was more important to inform people about the acts of terrorism in my own community than to risk my personal safety by making a public appearance on the Rachel Maddow Show.  I never imagined the outpouring of support I would receive, nor who I would receive it from.

The following day I was contacted by the Rev. Dr. Manfred K. Bahmann, a local Lutheran Pastor who told me his wife saw me on the show.  As you may imagine, our clinic is not used to being approached by clergy unless there is an anti-abortion church demonstration going on outside.  And we have pretty strict security guidelines, so when he first showed up unannounced on our doorstep he was turned away.  But I cannot be more thankful that he did not give up so easily.

When we finally met in person, Pastor Bahmann expressed his concern over the level of terrorism being experienced by a clinic in our community, as well as outrage that a Lutheran doctor was murdered in Kansas.  When I described the harassment and intimidation that clinic employees and patients endure here, he asked me how he could help.  I had trouble believing what I was hearing, but at the same time I experienced an overwhelming sense of relief.  After providing Pastor Bahmann with some background, we decided to meet again after he had a chance to confer with some of his colleagues.  

In the meantime, a woman by the name of Patricia Wilburn published a letter to the editor in The Morning Call, Allentown’s local newspaper.  In it, she argued to leave the graphic images out of abortion protest. She never said whether or not she is pro-life or pro-choice, but she did say that she didn’t want her 3 children forcefully subjected to unwanted images.  This article brought about some poignant voices on both the pro-life and pro-choice sides that conveyed that there are better and more peaceful ways of getting pro-life messages across.

These are examples of the kind of reactions Patricia’s letter received:

“I will say that not all Pro-Life organization publicly show graphic pictures. We do have the freedom of speech and to stand up for what we believe in but I think a beautiful picture of an live baby in the womb is at times much more affective. The prayer group I peacefully protest with holds up a sign simply stating that we are praying for the unborn child accompanied with a picture of the Our Lady of Guadalupe. There is hope for a more peaceful and respectful pro-life movement.”

”for me this isn’t a choice of whether abortion is right or wrong. it’s about whether the image of it is too graphic for a public setting which after reading the writer’s letter i feel it is too extreme for children”

“Liberals and conservatives don’t want their children to be exposed to the obscenities that these domestic terrorists push on to the unsuspecting public.”

“Its morally irresponsible to force young children (1-10 years old) to view photos of dismembered babies. THAT is what this article is about. Patricia is NOT discussing religious or abortion agenda.”

“Pictures of aborted fetuses don’t offer any kind of educational value whatsoever and serve only to use various "pleas to emotion" fallacies.”

A few days later, Pamela Varkony, a local republican commentator wrote an op-ed piece after she was offended by receiving an image of a mutilated fetus sent to her by one of her facebook “friends”.

These women took incredible risks to publicly take a stand on a controversial issue.  But it wasn’t all for naught.  Remarkably, soon after these two articles were published the protesters outside the Allentown Women’s Center almost completely stopped displaying their signs in the busy street (although they are still displaying them around the clinic’s parking lot and at the homes of clinic staff).  

In early July, Pastor Bahmann and I met again.  About a week later we decided to hold an open house at the Allentown Women’s Center for members of the clergy to learn about the problems with protesters at the clinic and talk about the related public safety concerns in our community.  I had no idea how the clergy members felt about abortion – and that wasn’t the purpose or focus of our meeting.  

Clinic staff and an interfaith alliance of local clergy leaders came together on the issue of public safety and improving the quality of life in our community.  We agreed that a) it is unacceptable for people in our own community, specifically abortion providers and women seeking abortion services, to be harassed, intimidated or threatened; and that b) it is reasonable for the city to enact some safety measures that will protect clinic patrons and staff entering the clinic, without violating the rights of those who wish to demonstrate peacefully outside.

Although it was a small meeting, it was an enormous success and we plan to build upon the outcome of this meeting with more community clergy members in the near future.  The goal is positive social change that improves the quality of life for people in our community.

From my recent experiences, I believe the potential benefits of engaging in common ground – to eliminate hateful rhetoric, admonish violence, promote peace and focus on prevention – outweigh the risks.  And I’m not going to give up an opportunity to sit at the table and make sure that my voice and the voices of women I have helped over the past 15 years are heard.  

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  • invalid-0

    Even though we are at opposite ends of this issue, I can agree with all that you say in this column. I am particularly heartened that you have come to know that true pro-lifers are just as opposed to violence as pro-choicers.

    • invalid-0

      Jim, before this blog got all messed up, someone asked you if self-defense were OK and you said sure. Then he asked you if defending others were OK. Let’s continue from there.

    • invalid-0

      Jimmy, “pro-choicers” are not opposed to violence. It is their metier.

  • invalid-0

    I personally do not believe that the issue of “common ground” is valid or worthy of negotiation. The law of the land states that a woman has the right to choose her own maternal destiny according to her needs and beliefs. This right is not an issue to be bent or distorted to another’s beliefs as to what is good or bad for that individual. The “Pro Life” faction has taken the offensive to infringe upon individual rights of others by intimidation and other means of stampeding their emotions. The decision to terminate a pregnancy is a matter of privacy between the patient and their physician. There is no justification to negotiate with a group seeking to disturb a person’s fundamental right to govern what happens to their body and their subsequent life. Just because the drum has been beating so long and so loudly does not lend validity to the noise.

  • invalid-0

    I believe common ground is critical for both antichoice and prochoice groups with one exception–those against any form of contraception and for abstinence. Those folks will likely never seek common ground but will find their voices marginalized if not silenced when the majority speak up.

    So where does that leave people who seek common ground? I argue that it leaves them on solid footing to speak out against violence and bullying, to urge communities to demand safety and dignity for all women seeking healthcare and to demand that city ordinances and police stop being deliberately indifferent to the realities of protesters harassing women and trashing neighborhoods with their obscenities.

  • aspen-baker

    Hi Jen. Thank you so much for taking us on a journey with you and providing us all with the chance to experience what common ground work can look like and feel like. I admire your courage to take risks and your willingness to stay open-minded in the midst of such disheartening and hurtful attacks. I hope you continue to share your experiences – the good and the bad – as you continue down this path.

  • http://www.FaithAloud.org invalid-0

    How very sad that it took a murder in order for clergy to come forward in Allentown. There are tens of thousands of clergy who privately support women who choose abortion, but who succumb to cultural pressures to stay out of the public debate. The result is the erroneous public perception that clergy are like the protesters: harsh harbingers of eternal damnation upon those whose lives don’t go according to plan. Clergy in every city need to step forward and talk about their religion’s call to compassion and peace.

  • invalid-0

    Hi Jen,

    My name is Patty Wilburn, the author of the letter to the editor to which you referred. I couldn’t agree with you more about trying to reach a common ground. Kudos to you for trying to head down this difficult path. Whether we’re pro-life or pro-choice shouldn’t matter when trying to end violence. Public welfare and safety for all should be paramount. Harassment, violence, hateful intimidation, and the display of graphic images has no place in this debate. I pray for you in your endeavor and wish you the best in furthering your call for common ground.

  • invalid-0

    Jen, thank you for your thoughtful piece. You have a lot of courage and I admire you for speaking out. I agree with you that abortion providers ARE already Common Ground. There is nothing that abortion providers are doing that is against the law. Just because some folks disagree with that law does not give them the right to murder, which of course does not even make sense. When I see and hear responsible pro-life people openly condemning not only Dr Tiller’s murder, but also the vile, vicious, inhumane treatment of patients seeking a legal medical procedure, then I will consider sitting at a table with those people. But they are silent! A recent front page article in NYT described at length what Dr Tiller endured for years. Yet even from prison cells his enemies are still talking murder. Where are the condemnations of that behavior from the pro-life folks? Randy Terry is still preaching murder and inciting his membership to do it again.

  • invalid-0

    Any of the protesters I have talked will unashamedly admit, if asked, that God’s Law trumps all. Those of us who think civil law should be our guide here on earth will find no common ground with them.

    Since the anti choice folks are acting in God’s name, it is logical that the first responders to the call for reason should be clergymen. But the danger of this thuggery is to all of us who cherish our rights under the constitution.

    The threat from people who listen to God endanger us all. We should have no trouble finding common ground with just about anyone who is aware of what is going on.

  • marysia

    Jen, you bet there are prolifers who don’t want this atmosphere of violence & hatred either! Some of us have been challenging it for decades.

  • http://rhrealitycheck.org/commonground/2009/08/04/my-call-common-ground-gets-answered invalid-0

    I have the honor of being one of the volunteer escorts at the Allentown Womens Center where Jen Boulanger is Executive Director. It has often dismayed me that the first impression our patients get of our community are the angry shouting voices of the protestors and their offensive pictures. I have personally witnessed the fear and pain caused by protestors telling patients that God will punish them or they won’t go to Heaven. It is vitally important that the diverse voices of the Faith Community speak out and I commend Pastor Bahman and his colleagues for having the courage to do so.

  • jodi-jacobson

    Not only for this post, and for your incredible courage in speaking out, but also for the courage it takes for you and the staff in Allentown–and those in other clinics throughout the world–to walk through those doors despite the violence and harassment and enable women to exercise their basic rights every day.

    Thank you.

    Jodi Jacobson

  • invalid-0

    Kudos to Patty Wilburn for writing the wonderful letter to the Morning Call in Allentown, Your letter was spot on. And thanks for joining the conversation here as well. I repeat your refrain, “Harassment, violence, hateful intimidation, and the display of graphic images has no place in this debate.”

    Absolutely.

  • paul-bradford

    When I see and hear responsible pro-life people openly condemning not only Dr Tiller’s murder, but also the vile, vicious, inhumane treatment of patients seeking a legal medical procedure, then I will consider sitting at a table with those people. But they are silent!

     

    Am I talking to a brick wall?  Read Reacting to The Tiller Verdict from Mar 26. Read The Power of Words from June 4.

     

    There are plenty of responsible Pro-Life people around to talk to.  Some of us root our objection to abortion in our non-violent beliefs.  The noisy ones don’t speak for us, and they don’t do a bit of good for the unborn.  

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • invalid-0

    Public images of what abortion actually is and who or what is aborted has every place in the abortion debate. If it is not murder and no human being got killed by abortion, then why are the picture of that so offensive to abortionists?

    If anything they would want to use those pictures and images as their proof no murder took place in abortion!

  • invalid-0

    Something tells me John,Erich, and Nathaniel aren’t going to be using the Center’s services anytime soon. Kudos to them for finding a moment to post in the midst of caring for all those hard to place children they’ve adopted.

  • invalid-0

    As I’ve said elsewhere, there is a time and a place for everything, and public view is NOT the place for images of a surgical procedure. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about abortion or open-heart surgery, it is simply not suitable for that arena. Have some common decency.

  • invalid-0

    Erich,
    The Department of Homeland Security was correct when they published a 9-page article about the threats of domestic terrorism, including the religious who disagree with the laws of the land and listen only to laws of their God. It’s a dangerous moment in our history. And sadly, the wave of thuggery seems to have increased exponentially since President Obama’s election. Fear is rampant.

    It’s like the 21st version of the Crusades.

  • invalid-0

    But common decency is not in their lexicon. Priests molesting children is not common decency. Lying about it is not common decency. Telling unsubstantiated threats (they consider facts) to women entering the clinic that they will die, that two will die, that they will get breast cancer or never had children IS NOT common decency. Telling women that their baby will look like road kill is not common decency. Screaming at two toddlers whose mother is going to work at the clinic “Your mommy is a baby killer” is not common decency.

    So the images, particularly the image of their dead poster child Malachi, speak volumes about their notion of common decency. They have none. They have no respect for women.

    Some of the protesters used to show compassion but they now seem to favor yelling, bullying and frightening patients with falsehoods. As I said, no common decency.

  • invalid-0

    Dear John, Life expectancy , age statistics suggest that you may be gone long before any of those women whom you threaten with your remarks.

  • lisa-schulter

    Jen, that’s wonderful news! I also had a rough time coming to terms with this idea of “common ground” – how can two sides so polarized come together for any type of rational discourse? After reading your story about Rev. Bahmann, I realized: this common ground we’re seeking isn’t about political/scientific/religious views on abortion. It’s about how those who are opposed to a woman’s choice express their opinion – without endangering the lives of others. This has been a long time coming.

  • invalid-0

    Dunkle, you keep using the words “sane” and “insane” – that’s a legal definition, not a medical one. Since you agree to go by that as common law, then therefore you should support the other aspects of common law, namely that abortion is legal in this country.

    If you prefer God’s law, try this one on. There is no such thing as innocent (again, a legal definition rooted in common law); “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23 Therefore, fetuses are sinners and are not ‘innocent’ – they are predestined to sin and fall short.

    Really, you need to do your research before you represent the Pro-life side instead of spouting off the same rhetoric and hate? And yeah, I’m baiting you….troll.

  • invalid-0

    Here’s how Bullywatch009 sees things. Nathaniel and Cap’n Crunch are in a battle over the terminology—not terms of endearment BUT terms of the insane. You are insane! No. You are insane. You don’t know Catholicism. No, you don’t know Catholicism. I’m a better Kat Lick. No, I’m a better Kat Lick. Gobble,Gobble….You two are Capons.

  • invalid-0

    Jesse, Adrien, Jonathan, Cindy, et al., reread Anonymous’s posts. Who is the gay-basher around here?

  • invalid-0

    Look at the postings on this blog and you will see why there is a need for common ground, why there is a need, as Jen has written, to eliminate hateful rhetoric, admonish violence, promote peace and focus on prevention.

    What we have here is a written postings that are demonstrations of the level of absurdity, thuggery and projection from those who will sadly never come to the table to find common ground.

    I laud those who are working to find the peace we all seek for all the women in this world.

  • invalid-0

    AMEN!!

  • jen-boulanger

    I’ve asked the moderator to remove posts from individuals who are known to support the use of force to stop abortion. There is no place for violence in common ground work.

    Let’s keep the discussion about positive change and less about attacks on individuals on either side. The latter only serves to weaken the process.

  • invalid-0

    Can the moderators/admin’s please please please ban or block these two posters: “Cap’n something or other” and “the troll”?

    They are just derailing the conversation for the hell of it which is ironic because this is after all, a discussion about common ground.

  • invalid-0

    How come I got deleted? I never said anything about supporting violence here…or anything ridiculous, that I know of.

  • invalid-0

    What happened here? Nothing makes sense anymore!

  • invalid-0

    We have agreed to stop all talk on our side. All we ask is that you stop all administration on yours.

  • invalid-0

    I think there should be common ground on the
    facts: one million abortions per year in the U.S.
    Just like building a house, you need a blueprint, and
    the person’s blueprint (I.E. DNA) is fully complete at conception. Common ground that violence is unacceptable when in disagreement on abortion, like in the civil rights days. Common ground on this last point would be key: finding different ways to reduce the amount of abortions held in our country to very low levels, which might mean a shift in our views and values on life.

  • invalid-0

    A, you’re writing nonsense here. Let me just examine one point: “reduce the amount of abortions.” You can reduce the nnumber of abortions to zero if you castrate all pre-adolescent males. So, unless you, go deeper, you write nonsense.

  • crowepps

    Just like building a house, you need a blueprint, and the person’s blueprint (I.E. DNA) is fully complete at conception.

    This is a really bad analogy if you actually want to convince anybody.

     

    If the fetal "blueprint" is supposed to mean it has some kind of "special rights" to continue to grow I suggest you buy a lot and take a set of  house plans to a local construction company and tell them that because you have the lot and blueprints and they are in the business, they are OBLIGATED to supply all the materials and provide the labor to build your house.

    • invalid-0

      Crowepps’ mistake is equating a house to a person: the house does not grow on its own; the person does, but, of course, the word (blueprint)has to be made wood, or flesh, first.

  • cristina-page

    Hi all. Some comments were removed from this thread because they violated our commenting policy. So those commenters have it, here is the policy:

    Our Commenting Policy

    We understand that the issues discussed on this website are divisive. Unlike many forums that concern these issues we embrace and encourage a civil discourse about them. We will continue to allow open commenting that is of a civil nature and that seeks to engage the debate, but we will delete without further explanation comments that threaten, demean, or decrease the civility of discussion.

  • crowepps

    The person doesn’t ‘grow on its own’ either — if it did, removing it from the woman wouldn’t have any negative effect. You are ignoring the physical strain on the mother which the metabolic load caused by the fetus imposes. The ‘blueprint’ is for a process in which the woman’s organs are highjacked and her food and oxygen used at one remove to create a new person. As any woman who has ever been pregnant can tell you, this is work, even though like most of women’s work that work has always been unpaid.

  • invalid-0

    So how come the “capons” comment is still visible? Demeaning and decreasing the civility…guilty on 2/3 of the counts

  • invalid-0

    Speaking from professional & personal experience, controversial conversations are difficult. Talking about abortion and women’s reproductive rights is clearly a controversial conversation. As this blog and its posters have demonstrated, showing respect for persons is difficult when we have trouble identifying with others, when we are unable or unwilling to feel what they feel, unable to empathize. But empathy is critical.

    “Empathy shines its light on our deepest needs, never allowing us to forget that our very survival depends on our ability to accurately understand and sensitively respond to each other.” by Arthur P. Ciaramicoli & Katherine Ketcham.

    Without civility, without empathy, our words are only incoherent noise.

  • cristina-page

    Can’t seem to find it…what username was it posted under?

  • cristina-page

    If we learn only this we will have made great progress. Thanks Kate

  • invalid-0

    Sounds OK, CP, but whom should we empathize with, the woman who wants to get rid of the baby or the baby who is about to have her arms and legs pulled off. Kayhaitchers like Kate empathize with the woman; prolifers like Nathaniel empathize with the baby. Where’s the common ground?

    • invalid-0

      I think what you meant is “the woman who wants to get rid of the parasite forming in her womb, leeching her resources, and causing acute and chronic health problems”. If you’re going to accuse a woman of wanting to rip off her “baby’s” limbs (which abortion procedure is that, anyway?), you might want to include what the “baby” does to her body. Pregnancy isn’t rainbows and sunshine, it’s a serious health threat and a threat to a woman’s autonomy.

  • invalid-0

    Sweetpea, is that really your name? Your writing style is more akin to John Dunkle’s style. Nonetheless, my point about civility and empathy means how we all talk to, about and with each other, as a starting point of a conversation. Setting up an argument about fetus vs woman or calling me a kayhaitcher seems more of a detractor and less of any attempt toward finding common ground.

    • invalid-0

      Kate, I noticed Saturday Dunkle attempting to share ground with you and the Coward. All three of you have been censored by Jen and he wanted to form The Anti-Bully Club. And what did you do? You ran away from him. That’s not sharing!

  • invalid-0

    bullywatch009

  • invalid-0

    Kate, another reason why individual, one on one efforts are my focus. In the heated atmosphere of Keats street, how do you expect to maintain civility? Suppose you and I were to attempt a discussion between us there; do you think for a moment that Gerry, Joe, etc on my side and Sharon or Matt on yours would not swoop right in and devolve everything into one big free for all? Online, in a forum like this, the same applies. The only difference is that its not in person.
    Another point in favor of my idea (which admittedly you set up for me with your now-defunct bullywatch blog) is that there are “fault lines” between members of the same side. Generalizations which we bring up in group discussions will break down as each differs from supposed views he does not accept. You mention pro-contraception vs anti-contraception in your piece. I can name several rifts on your side which would bring trouble for any “common ground” efforts. I still hold out no hope for any kind of common ground efforts other than those between individuals and with a view toward conversion.

  • invalid-0

    I would say we are empathetic to both woman and child; not to the extent of empathizing with her desire to abort the child, but empathizing with her position of helplessness and offering her assistance to avoid the worst outcome: allowing the death of the child and the ensuing consequences on the woman

  • invalid-0

    SILLY? NO, NOT SILLY IN THE LEAST. IT’S PURE LOGIC! SOMETHING THE NEANDERTHALS CANNOT COMPREHEND WITH THEIR LIMITED DEPTH.

  • invalid-0

    GOTCHA DUMKLE…..CAUGHT YOU WITH YOUR PROVERBAL PANTS DOWN!

  • invalid-0

    Boss, if you rub out one post, you really ought to rub out posts that respond to it. Otherwise, nothing makes sense. And who is this Dunkle they’re so obsessed with.

  • invalid-0

    John Dunkle, do you really think people are obsessed with you? Do you, sweetpea, think that this post facilitates the common ground conversation? I’m guessing that all the aliases for John Dunkle and Nathaniel, together, have absolutely no interest in finding common ground. Otherwise, we would read something wholesome, something solid, something that speaks to our core that we care about each other and care to move forward together. Or is it possible that some don’t care? I know I do.

  • invalid-0

    Could you rephrase this?

  • invalid-0

    I have never posted anything on here using anything other than my actual name. In addition to this I have already spelled out which common ground efforts will be productive and which I think are futile. Then again, evidently neither you nor anyone else in the escort corps ever really listen to anything I say. So I expect this. It’s just routine

  • invalid-0

    Natanial be da man.

  • invalid-0

    NICE TRY NEANDERTHAL….BUT YOUR RHETORIC IS REALLY MEANINGLESS. TO CLARIFY THOUGH, MALES OF THE SPECIES, ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO JUDGE WHAT A WOMAN DOES OR DOES NOT DO WITH HER MATERNAL DESTINY. PHYSICIANS, EITHER MALE OR FEMALE, PERFORM UNDER THEIR HIPPOCRATIC OATH AND PROVIDE HEALTHCARE SERVICES REGARDLESS OF PERSONAL FEELINGS. UNLESS YOU ARE A PHYSICIAN, IT’S A CONCEPT OUT OF YOUR REALM OF UNDERSTANDING. THE DRUM YOU ARE BEATING IS BOTH OLD AND TIRED LIKE YOUR MINDSET.

  • invalid-0

    I think I’ve heard it all now — a kayhaitcher using the Hippocratic Oath to defend the work of the ex-MD turned killer. Here’s a euphemism here for utter nonsense: “common ground.”

  • invalid-0

    IS THAT THE BEST YOU CAN DO DUMBKLE? YOU SEEM TO BE AT A SERIOUS LOSS OF INTELLIGENCE ON THIS MATTER. YOU SHOULD JUST FADE AWAY AND LIVE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE OUT OF EVERYONE’S WAY.

  • invalid-0

    Do you have to shout?

  • invalid-0

    THERE IS NO SHOUTING DUMBKLE, IT’S JUST YOUR ERRONEOUS PERCEPTION. MY MESSAGE IS SOFT AND TRUE AS AN ARROW IN FLIGHT FROM AN EXPERT ARCHER. YOU HAVE HEARD MY WORDS OF IRON, NOW JUST GO AWAY. YOU ARE OF NO IMPORTANCE.

  • invalid-0

    I usually scoff when someone signs “Anonymous,” but in your case I advise you to stick with it.

  • invalid-0

    YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW ME.

  • invalid-0

    No wonder your words flop in a foot or two.

  • invalid-0

    Habitual liars occasionally, and always inadvertently, tell the truth.

  • invalid-0

    Habitual liars occasionally, and always inadvertently, tell the truth.

  • invalid-0

    Habitual liars occasionally, and always inadvertently, tell the truth.

  • invalid-0

    Habitual liars occasionally, and always inadvertently, tell the truth.

  • invalid-0

    This machine beat me.

  • invalid-0

    Maternal destiny? Lady, read your own line again and see how destiny’s outcome is for the child to be born. As far as your Hippocratic oath, read it for once (which you probably haven’t). If you have, read it slowly until you get to the part that says “And I will not grant to a woman an abortion remedy…”

  • invalid-0

    Geico dot com. So easy, you can do it.

  • invalid-0

    Oh where does one start with vomit like this! Where do babies get their arm and legs pulled off? At the AWC and every other little Auschwitz. Ask Cindy Rodriguez the “autoclave supervisor” who counts to make sure the five parts have been removed. What does a baby do for the mother? Each one made my wife more beautiful.

  • invalid-0

    More nonsense. No parasite can ever be the consequence of reproduction of the supposed “host”. You fail to cite any “acute and chronic health problems”, and indeed only rarely do these occur. How then does a doctor classify a woman who has had a child as “healthy” if what you say is true? How come women who have had kids aren’t dying in the streets due to it? Either you’re making a rule out of the excepton (a major no-no in itself) or this is just another lie driven by some sentiment of overworked emotion. As for resources, these can be provided with aid from the community (didn’t Hillary once say It Takes A Village?). As for “autonomy”, it’s an illusion if it doesn’ respect the autonomy of others

  • invalid-0

    1) she didn’t ask where it happened, she asked what procedure you’re referring to. 2)That’s a pretty subjective, limited and biased thing to say, that it made your wife more beautiful. Your wife is not me, or my mother, my SILs, my friends, etc. You do not get to say what’s best for us based on what you’ve seen happen to your wife.

  • invalid-0

    1. Four methods are used to kill a young person before she’s born: D&C, Suction, Hysterotomy, and Saline. The first two involve cutting the baby into pieces. The autoclave supervisor’s job is to see that no arm, leg, etc. is left in the carrier’s body to cause infection.

    2. Why not?

  • invalid-0

    What does a baby do for the mother? Each one made my wife more beautiful

    Wait, so your argument is because having babies made your wife more beautiful to you, that means that a woman who’s struggling to provide for her existing children should be forced to bear one more child she can’t feed? Because your wife became more beautiful, this means that a rape victim should be forced to carry her rapist’s baby? Because it made your wife more beautiful, it means that a woman gives up her right to bodily autonomy, no matter what the consequences of pregnancy might be to her?

    Your perception of your wife’s beauty is nice, but has absolutely no bearing on how any other woman should conduct her life.

  • invalid-0

    No, that’s not my argument. My argument is that no one should be allowed to kill someone else before she’s born.

  • invalid-0

    Don’t fret Dunkle. You thought “common ground” meat that people on both sides of this issue would get together to talk things over. You didn’t realize that only those who want to keep abortion legal would be invited to participate.

  • invalid-0

    Trying to ban abortion is looking at the wrong end of the supply-demand equation. As long as women want abortions (and they always will, because there will always be situations where it’s medically appropriate), there will be someone supplying them. Banning abortion merely prevents women from getting it done in the safest possible manner. It would be better to talk about ways to prevent women from wanting abortions, like by promoting effective birth control, because if they don’t find themselves in situations where an abortion is desired, then no abortions will happen, and banning the procedure won’t be necessary.

    Lets be honest, by the time a woman finds herself considering an abortion, the situation already sucks. It would be better if those situations could be avoided in the first place. Unfortunately, many pro-life activists aren’t willing to talk about that, either, beyond the ‘abstinence is good’ meme, and they try to make it harder for sexually active women to avoid pregnancy.

  • invalid-0

    This very silly argument keeps popping up. Look — take any other horror: rape, pederasty, bestiality, euthanasia, slavery, et al. Will any of them ever end? Of course not. Therefore, should we make them legal? Of course not. When it comes to child killing, though, people who would never think arguing to make rape, for example, legal think nothing of arguing to keep it legal. Why is this?

  • invalid-0

    For one, the ‘wrongness’ of abortion is still highly debated, and I doubt there will ever be consensus. The idea that the unborn have a right to be born is largely philosophical (and since you mentioned euthanasia–people ARE working to make it legal for those who want it, and in some places I believe it is). While both sides of the argument want fewer abortions to happen, their reasons for wanting that are quite different. Secondly, there will always be times when it is appropriate (except for those who think women should die before terminating a pregnancy, which few people support), so an all-out ban wouldn’t be a good idea anyways. Thirdly, how many of those wrongs you listed could be made less damaging by making them legal? Making abortion illegal would actually lead to MORE harm, not less, as the number of women having them wouldn’t change significantly, and the methods would of necessity be cruder.

    • invalid-0

      It’s hard to find the truth when someone is trying to win a debate. Look, A, I concede: you win. You’re smarter than I am and I give up. Here, you offer ten reasons why abortion should remain legal. I can only go one at a time. Let’s just look at this one: the number of women having abortions stays the same whether it is legal or illegal. You realize that’s ridiculous, don’t you? You realize the law is a great teacher, don’t you? Think what would happen if we made dog fighting legal. Isn’t it obvious that rings would spring up in almost every town and city in the USA, certainly those with significant Hispanic populations. Isn’t it obvious that legality would result in tens of thousands of dogs getting killed instead of the hundred or so that succumb in the back-alley rings where Vick got caught?

  • invalid-0

    You’ve mentioned several different things, but none of them are close to as personal as abortion is. Can rape become more positive if we legalise it? No. Is there ever a time when it makes sense for a person to commit rape? Of course not. Abortion, however, is for many women a positive thing, and preventing them from having safe access to it would be harmful to them.

  • invalid-0

    I mentioned only one thing — dog-fighting. You then switched the topic to rape. Why.

  • cristina-page

    When we started this forum we were keenly aware that there are individuals who do not want common ground to be explored or achieved. There are people who are profoundly threatened by any attempts to find solutions to this conflict. They seek to obstruct productive dialogue. They are a lot like those who come to public meetings with the goal of disrupting them so nothing can be achieved. We are in favor of freedom of speech but one person’s expression of his or her opinion should not serve to intimidate or silence someone else from expressing theirs. Those who do not want common ground discovered seek to degrade the conversation intended to explore it. Several of the commenters in this post clearly do not want a discussion that results in mutually agreed upon solutions to take place. We have deleted some post that we’re particularly out of line. They continued to inflame the discussion. As a result, we are taking the unusual step of disabling any more comments on this post. From now on, I encourage those who are interested in finding common ground through this forum to not engage in the volley of angry and mean-spirited debate. Just ignore these commenters (and I will delete their comments when they cross the line.) Opt instead for the new, and refreshing, discussion that awaits.