What Does Football Have to Do With Abortion Again?


Round two of asking the question "What
does abortion have to do with football?"
In this case, Florida Gators
quarterback Tim Tebow is trying to marry the hyper-masculine world of football
with the hyper-patriarchal belief that women should not have a basic right to
control their own fertility. Focus on the Family has dumped millions
of dollars
into an ad to play during the Superbowl (which CBS has agreed to air despite its own "anti-advocacy policy) that tells the story of
how Tebow’s anti-abortion mother Pam Tebow refused to abort a problem
pregnancy, and risked her life to give birth to a boy that would go on to win
the Heisman trophy.

There are many reasons to object to this ad. For those of us
who don’t find the existence of the Heisman trophy, much less any particular
winner, a compelling enough reason to give up our basic human rights, the
implicit anti-choice argument of such an ad is hard to swallow. For those of us
married to logic, the fact that there are billions of former fetuses walking
around without a Heisman trophy seems to undermine the implicit promises made
to women in the ad. For those of us who are already anxious about the
hyper-masculine culture of football, tying ads arguing against women’s basic
human rights to the sport is an alarming display of open worship of male
dominance. For those of us who just like to watch football, spoiling the game
by tying arrogant anti-woman attitudes to it is insulting.

But what I find interesting is that while most people who
watch this ad will understand that it’s meant to be an argument against a
woman’s right to abortion, in fact what I’m seeing is even more evidence that
the right to choose is critical to women’s dignity and equality.  I’m
far from the first person to point out
that the religious right has fallen
into the habit of celebrating women who made the choice they approve of, and by
accident, this puts them in the position of celebrating choice. But it really
goes deeper than that. This strategy of celebrating women who have babies when
others might not really points out how the dignity of all women—including
anti-abortion women—requires the right to choose.

Pam Tebow is being celebrated as a maternal hero right after
Sarah
and Bristol Palin got a cover for In Touch magazine
celebrating their
happiness at making a choice that the pro-choice movement fully supports, which
is the right to choose to give birth. The common denominator in all these
stories is that the woman at the center is being celebrated for her bravery in
making a specific choice—and that if she didn’t have the right to choose,
then she wouldn’t be a hero at all.

Under an anti-choice regime, women are not
regarded as moral actors who can do things like make choices that can be
evaluated by outsiders according to their own moral compass. If these women
weren’t given the right to choose, they would be reduced to walking uteruses,
whose feelings and choices are essentially irrelevant, since they, like all
women, make babies with pretty much no say in the matter.  But because these women live in a society that
gives them a right to choose, they are being treated like moral actors—like
real people, even!

Not that I think the religious right particularly desires to
uphold women as moral actors who make choices. Obviously, the hope behind all
these ads and covers is to take that right away and return to a situation where
the state assumes women aren’t capable of making their own choices. These ads
are about putting a positive spin on a misogynist message. "Look!" the ads and
magazine covers say, "We don’t hate women. We celebrate them as heroes!" But of
course, they only do that because they have to, because the existence of
abortion rights has put them in this situation. Without abortion rights, even
disingenuous celebrations of women’s autonomy will dry right up.

I’m sure someone could disagree with this assessment by
pointing out that the main message of the Tebow ad and the Palin cover is that
because these women are happy with choice A, then all women should be happy
with that choice, and that therefore other choices should be eliminated. (This
is especially dangerous when considering that Pam Tebow had an often fatal
condition, and that she may be encouraging other women to die in the vain hope
of producing a football star.)

But if you think about it for a minute, the message falls
apart. To argue that because woman A is happy with choice A, woman B should be
happy with choice A is to say that all women are exactly alike.  "All women are alike" is a standard sexist
assumption, and so people will buy into it.  But by the measurement of their own
arguments, you can see they don’t believe this—they’re admitting that
different women make different choices, and that therefore different women are,
gosh darnit (like Sarah Palin would say), different. And so maybe the same
exact choice is not right, since different people have different needs and
desires.

The anti-choice argument is that women who make choice B
might be different, but that’s because they’ve strayed from their one true
path. The implication is that Pam Tebow and the Palins are on that path. But
what’s the evidence to say that Tebow and the Palins have it all figured out,
and that women who have abortions don’t? The Heisman trophy isn’t enough,
because most of us know at least one person (our mother) who has chosen to give
birth and didn’t get a Heisman trophy winner. Most of us know hundreds and
possibly thousands of such women.  And to
say that Sarah Palin made a choice that worked out for her is to invite someone
to ask about the choices of all the billions of women who aren’t Sarah Palin. I
can’t wear her clothes or sleep in her bed, so why do you think her exact
choice is the right one for me? If you can trust Sarah Palin with a choice, why
can’t you trust me?

The standard sexist strategy throughout history has been to
hide women from the public eye and force women to adhere to a single standard,
to prevent these threatening questions from rising to the surface. But because
of feminism, the right wing has to at least pay lip service to the idea that
women are a diverse group and are also moral actors. Since they admit that women are
human beings, we should seize the moment and point out that therefore women
deserve freedom and dignity.

Like people capable of making choices.  

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Follow Amanda Marcotte on twitter: @amandamarcotte

  • crowepps

    To argue that because woman A is happy with choice A, woman B should be happy with choice A is to say that all women are exactly alike. “All women are alike” is a standard sexist assumption, and so people will buy into it.

    The corollary, of course, is that “all men are alike” or the even more damaging “all people are alike” which is why the right wing insists that everybody would be ‘happier’ and society would be ‘safer’ if all joined the majority in being (or pretending to be) heterosexual, Christian, married, parents, etc., etc. No difficult choices or possible errors in making them because everyone would already have the pattern of their life laid out for them and a handy checklist of rules to follow in all circumstances.

     

    It is wise to keep in mind when dealing with authoritarians that they not only need everyone else to “Be Like Them” but that they REQUIRE someone to tell THEM what to do as well. It doesn’t matter whether the ‘ideal’ is enforced by government, social pressure or religion, they NEED to have only two patterns of person, and to have all persons forced into those molds.

     

    I came across something that led me to do a little research. Even in these modern times, in some Scandinavian countries, a person’s occupation or career is predetermined by what their father does. If your father is a doctor it is your ‘place’ to be a doctor. If your father is a plumber it is your ‘place’ to be a plumber. Talent, intelligence, preference, none of that matters.

     

    The root of it apparently arises from the medieval idea that God predetermines your life before you are born and that wherever you are ‘placed’ by God’s plan is where you should be content. No striving to better yourself, no rising above your ‘station’, no rising in ‘class’, no indulgence for individual passions or expression of unique natural talent, no attempts by education to ‘better yourself’ — people are supposed to exactly duplicate their parents’ and grandparents’ lives because ‘that’s natural’.

     

    This is so antithetical to American individualism that most here would reject it instinctively, and yet this is the exact same argument that is used to urge women to ‘fulfill God’s plan’ by allowing themselves to get and remain pregnant and to ‘submit willingly’ to being considered second-class citizens.

  • jgbeam

    Nothing. Absolutely nothing. So why are you trying to make a connection? What does any ad on any tv show have to do with the content of the show? Nothing. Would you be complaining about a pro-choice ad during the super bowl?

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • harry834

    can’t take a stand on an issue. Their policy. Why make an exception for anti-abortion ad? They definitely wouldn’t do that for a pro-choice ad (unless you know something I don’t)

  • crowepps

    Just like we all should look to Hollywood movie stars for advice on marriage, we should make our reproductive decisions based on the advice of single, childless, rich football players because after all, he’s won the Heisman trophy!

     

    I mean, even if his mother had died in childbirth, it be WORTH IT, right?  Since civilization absolutely DEPENDS on having football players, right?

  • tonsandbunches

    Don’t you think it is all very hypocritical. I mean, if you are truly pro-choice, what is the choice? To have an abortion or not to have an abortion. What is the problem in voicing an opinion to not have an abortion. After all, that is one of the choices. Otherwise, call it what it really is, pro-abortion. If their is not another side to "pro-choice", then it is not really a choice.

    • prochoicegoth

      Tebow is saying that just because her choice turned out for the best, that other women should take that as a reason to risk their lives and health. Pro-choice means ALLOWING a woman to CHOOSE for herself. I’m fine with Tebow’s choice to carry to term and find her lucky to have been able to give birth with no ill effects. However, suppose a woman with an ectopic saw that ad and thinks to herself "well gee, if Mrs Tebow was okay, maybe I will be too!" as she’s bleeding to death because the fetus burst her fallopian tube? Just because it worked out for Tebow, DOES NOT mean it will work out for other women.  

       

      It’s pro-choice or NO choice.

  • colleen

    were you home schooled?

     

     

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

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • tonsandbunches

    No, I was not home schooled. Were you?

  • gatorbritt

    What are you afraid of? Last time I checked in America we have freedom of speach.  I guess when Christians want to exercise free speach your panties get in a wad.  I am always amazed at how organizations like this want to stomp on everyone elses constitutional rights, but as long as the message is one that supports your agenda you could care less how it affects the minds, moral fiber and character of our nations children.  It must be diffucult to be so double-minded all the time.

  • jodi-jacobson

    In fact your conclusion is totally incorrect.

     

    It is the hypocritical nature of CBS’s approach to advocacy ads (and that of other networks) rather than a free speech issue. If that were at issue, then you should be asking why ads during the Super Bowl and other periods of high viewership were rejected by CBS because they contained "content on a sensitive social issue," involved advocacy positions, and so on. Ads proposed and paid for by MoveOn, by the United Church of Christ, and others were rejected.  Yet when UCC wanted to pay for an ad talking about the need to end discrimination against GLBT persons, that was rejected, but an ad by Focus on the Family, a virulently anti-gay, anti-woman, anti family organization, that ad gets accepted. 

     

    If we had freedom of speech here, we’d have a diversity of ads and they would all be subject to the same test.  They are not.  That is the problem.

    Jodi Jacobson

  • any

    You write, "celebrating women who have babies when others might not really points out how the dignity of all women—including anti-abortion women—requires the right to choose."

     

    I wish more woman on both sides would give as much thought to this topic.   I am glad to read the writings of a woman who does. Hugs to you.

  • bambino106

    A pro-life ad is an anti-women’s ad? What planet do YOU live on? I’d write more, but if I’m dealing with someone who makes such an asinine leap of (il)logic, anything I type would be fruitless.

    You’re right. Let’s go back to commercials of scantily-clad, beer-sipping bimbos in our sports commercials, or more Viagra commercials – because it’s by far so much better to shove cheap sexual images down ours (and our children’s) throats over and over.

    Your right to exercise your opinion: Pass. The worthiness of your opinion: Fail.

  • amanda-marcotte

    You didn’t even read the post! 

     

    I have one question for you: Clearly, your mother didn’t abort the pregnancy than resulted in you.  Where’s your Heisman?

  • amanda-marcotte

    Personally, I don’t care if anti-choicers can spout their silly fantasies, but I think everyone should get a chance to air an ad, which is of course what Jodi points out is not happening.

     

    But what I don’t understand is this: I criticized the ad and the magazine cover.  Criticism isn’t censorship.  Free speech doesn’t mean the right to spout of right wing nonsense without being criticized.

  • amanda-marcotte

    Pam Tebow’s right to choose.  I just wish she realized that when she praises herself for choosing, then she should not then turn around and say others can’t choose.

     

    Also, I have to ask everyone who loves this ad: You weren’t aborted.  Where’s your Heisman?

  • amanda-marcotte

    How is opposing forced pregnancy supporting sexist objectification of women?

     

    You really just seem hostile to sex in general, I have to say.  Pro-mandatory pregnancy, anti-Viagra.  I have to admit, your "concern" over the bikini beer ads seems less rooted in a feminist concern about how women are objectified in our culture, and more just a knee-jerk hostility to anything that implies that sexuality is a normal, healthy part of life.

  • tonsandbunches

    You are right. The issue is not about stated your beliefs and not being criticized. Nor is criticism censorship. BUT, that is not what is happening here. It is not criticizing the Tebow’s beliefs, it is trying to not allow them to share their beliefs on the air. That is up to CBS. They do not have to let anyone buy an ad if they so desired. On the other hand, they could allow anyone they wanted to purchase an ad. Where the freedom of speech issue comes in is that there are groups trying to pressure CBS to not allow the ad to run only because they do not agree with the position of the Tebow’s. That to me seems intolerant and anti-choice.

  • cfomama

    It’s almost comical if it weren’t so vile. Once again, the moral bunch in America (us right winger, fundamentalist Christians) are to be placed in the time-out corner with duct taped mouths.

    Let’s take a few steps back, Ms. Marcotte – how about women exercising their FIRST right and that is to the right to choose to prevent pregnancy if they don’t want a baby? How about abstaining until marriage, keeping your knees together, using some form of contraception?

    Don’t confuse a baby’s right to live with your right to choose what’s best for your life. You should have thought about that BEFORE sex. Not AFTER your lack of self-control and inability to think ahead produced what you call an unwanted pregnancy.

    And how dare you parallel pro-life with anti-woman. What are you thinking? (other than of yourself)

    It is such a testimony of our society . . . Do what you want when you want and deal with the consequences later. Oh, and Hey, don’t worry if that "consequence" is an unborn child – we can help you get rid of that, too.

    How about a call to good, old fashioned moral values and self-control. Not to mention, taking responsibility for ourselves, our actions and our bad choices. Speak on Tebows, Palins and whoever else has the moral guts to take a stand on what I consider to be the single greatest sin committed by human beings – the murder of unborn children.

    Quit clouding the issue by involving football and Heisman trophy winners.  ANY life is sacred – ANY child has a right to live to serve ANY purpose on this earth whether it be acknowledged by few or many. 

    What if your mother’s doctor had given her the same advice as was given to Pam Tebow?  How might she have chosen?  You haven’t won a Heisman, but you are impacting your world through your God-given abilities (even if it is to support an agenda that is wrong).  You are, I’m sure proud of your accomplishments and feel as though you have contributed something worthwhile through your work.  EVERY HUMAN BEING SHOULD HAVE THE SAME OPPORTUNITY.  STARTING WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE BORN.

    I dare you to think about it and then call your Mom and thank her for giving you such an amazing opportunity. 

    • emma

      what I consider to be the single greatest sin committed by human beings – the murder of unborn children.

      Interesting. So, you’re saying that killing a foetus is worse than murdering a born person, or starting a war?
      This is why I keep mentioning foetolatry – a form of idolatry involving the worship of foetuses. It is impossible not to conclude from statements such as yours that you value foetuses more than you do born people. The Christian fundamentalist god doesn’t like idolatry so much, if I recall correctly.

       

      This has been addressed somewhat, but do you actually think ‘what if your mother had had an abortion?!!!’ is an original and/or terribly clever ‘gotcha!’? Because, uh, no. It’s one of the favourites of anti-abortion types. Heard it before; responded to it before, and it’s just silly. If my mother had had an abortion, I wouldn’t be here, and I’d never know or care. I’m not actually egotistical enough to believe that my life is particularly significant, in the scheme of things.

       

      Finally: do you ever get bored with your whole moral superiority schtick?

    • lexiedi

      Did you really say that you’re more moral than others because you’re right-wing, Christains? That’s a pretty self-rightious statement.

       

      Again, you seem to be claiming that only women should be responsible for pregnancy even though men do half the work of getting a woman pregnant. Are you saying it’s okay for men to have sex but women shouldn’t because they may have a baby? Also, contraception doesn’t always work and women should be able to have sex when they want to (though they should be smart and safe about it, just as MEN should be).

       

      I mean, kind of calling all women who have abortions sluts… which is wrong. My biggest issue with your argument is how you focus just on the women being the ones at fault when it takes a man to lend the sperm. Please explain why men should not be held repsonsible for helping to make a baby or acknowledge that they too have just as much responisiblity as females.

       

      Let he or she who is without sin cast the first stone, you know. 

       

      -Lexie Di

  • cfomama

    Are you serious?  It’s not about the Heisman, football or any of that. 

    Quit ignoring the real issue at hand - a woman’s right to first choose sexual responsibility –  NOT to kill a baby when unprotected sex results in an "unwanted pregnancy". (which is code for "Oops, I have such little self-control and such an inability to think responsibly that I am now pregnant)

     

     

     

    • prochoicegoth

      You are aware that more than half of women who abort were trying to prevent it through a method that unfortunately failed them, right? There are no infants involved in abortions. Even if a woman has sex responsibly, she can find herself with an unwanted pregnancy. What she does with said pregnancy is no one’s business but her own. 

       

      SO much for your "only irresponsible sluts abort" ASSumption. 


      It’s pro-choice or
      NO choice.

    • lexiedi

      Why should women be the only ones to have "self-control"? Don’t you think it’s just as much the man’s duty to say "Oh! Here, let me grab a condom!" or "Oh! Wait, we’re not married and ready for kids, let’s not have sex!"

       

      Why is it "I have such little self-control and such an inablility to think presponsibly that now *I* am pregnant"? The man HAS JUST AS MUCH TO DO WITH IT!

       

      I can have sex if I want to, I can have just as much sex as I want with however many partners I want and I will do my best to be safe, but that doesn’t always work! People lie…. What if the man doesn’t really put on the condom? What if the condom breaks? What if birth control fails? I did everything right, I was repsonsible but I’m still pregnant. 

       

      My point is this… WOMEN deserve to have sex too and not have to have "self-control" against their sexual desires just because they may get pregnant. Women AND men should always have birth control methods at hand if they don’t want to get pregnant, but it is by no means only the woman’s responsibility and she should NOT have to control her desieres for sex. PERIOD.

       

  • jodi-jacobson

    The issue is not one of not "wanting to hear the Tebow’s position because of disagreement with it."  I think it is kind of hard to avoid the fact that Tim Tebow shows up with biblical passages across his face at every game, that he by his own admission speaks to his faith at every opportunity, and so forth.

     

    The issue is one of the inconsistent, untransparent and hypocritical application of "policies" by CBS–which uses the public airwaves–to deny ads to organization after organization and then turn around and let Focus on the Family–a racist, anti-choice, homophobic organization with an obvious political agenda–to buy an ad. 

    CBS refused to air ads by: MoveOn.org; United Churches for Christ  (an ad on how UCC welcomes all persons, including GLBT persons as members (how unchristian!!); and other ads that were considered "advocacy ads representing political viewpoints that were too controversial." CBS also refused to air an ad explaining the role of condoms in preventing unintended pregnancy…the ultimate hypocrisy given it is now giving air space to an anti-choice, anti-woman organization.

    As far as the Tebows go….i think we can not say this enough.  Pam Tebow had a choice, she made her choice, the one that was best for her in her circumstances, given her family, faith, resources, and her own calculations of risk and health.  yet she and her son espouse policies that would take away that very choice from other women.  We are not all Pam Tebow.  We don’t need to glorify Pam Tebow.  Women make courageous choices every day of the week on behalf of their families and sometimes they choose to carry a pregnancy to term and sometimes they choose to end an unintended pregnancy, or a pregnancy that involves grave risks to life and health, and these are all choices that deserve respect.

    So yes, we celebrate the choices of all women, including Pam Tebow.  Unfortunately, she and her family do not do the same.  I am not clear why in a pluralistic society we have CBS offering air time to such a group unless they want to air ads on the various viewpoints of various denominations of Jews, the majority of Christians of all denominations including the majority of Catholics in this country,  Hindus, Buddhists and others….all of whom have different takes on the issue.

     

     

    Jodi Jacobson

     

  • bambino106

    I just can’t figure out how an intelligent person writes this:

     

    "For those of us who are already anxious about the hyper-masculine culture of football, tying ads arguing against women’s basic human rights to the sport is an alarming display of open worship of male dominance. For those of us who just like to watch football, spoiling the game by tying arrogant anti-woman attitudes to it is insulting."

     

    1. "Tying ads arguing against women’s basic human rights…" Talking about going through with a pregnancy (a PERSONAL CHOICE to do so, at that) is arguing against women’s basic human right?  Is that even a logical point?  Amanda, I’m sorry, but that’s an utterly preposterous remark.  Mrs. Tebow has every right to say what she wants in 30 seconds that you have to type on this page.  Your point, it seems, is that a woman’s basic right is to abort every pregnancy she has if this ad – as you clearly claim – is AGAINST a woman’s basic human right.  Again, your logic: FAIL.

     

    2. "… open worship of male dominance."  Someone here apparently hates men.  So, no comment there.

     

    3. "… by tying arrogant anti-woman attitudes to it is insulting." Anti-woman attitudes???  CHOOSING to give birth is anti-woman?!?!  Were you home-schooled by a Nazi?  Every mother on this planet who gave/gives/will give birth is anti-woman by choosing to go through with a pregnancy????  Excuse me, "arrogant" anti-woman attitudes???  Amanda, you’re so off-base, I can’t even take your points seriously.

     

    FYI, I particularly enjoyed your assumption that I must be hostile to sex in general.  Coupling that comment with the entirety of your blog/article/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, I have to assume for myself that you, Amanda, MUST be in favor of mass orgies in public places and then aborting every single fetus resulting from said orgies. 

    Yeah, that sounds like such a wonderful place to raise kids…

     

    Oh, wait! You’re obviously anti-kids since you’re pro-abortion!! (That was sarcasm, at the same time implementing your oh-so-brilliant line of thinking.)  

     

    • emma

      "… open worship of male dominance." Someone here apparently hates men. So, no comment there.

      I’m not following. Are you suggesting that if you don’t worship male dominance, it means you hate men? That supporting gender equality = hating men? Why?

       

      Otherwise, do carry on constructing strawpersons against which to argue, if it pleases you to do so.

  • bambino106

    Yes, Amanda.  I also dare you to call your mother and thank her for not aborting you.

  • liberaldem

    I’d like to see Planned Parenthood or the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice submit an ad to CBS for placement during the Superbowl and see whether CBS accepts it.

    I think CBS actually just wants to captalize on Tim Tebow’s popularity, and that’s why they are going to run this ad.

  • ahunt

    Snerk…

     

    Absolutely Amanda…I double dog…no…triple dog dare you to call your mother right this very minute and thank her for her exercise of CHOICE!

     

  • ahunt

    It’s almost comical if it weren’t so vile. Once again, the moral bunch
    in America (us right winger, fundamentalist Christians) are to be
    placed in the time-out corner with duct taped mouths.

     

    Interesting. So am I to infer from this that anyone who is not rightwing, fundamentalist  and christian is NOT moral?

     

    how about women exercising their FIRST right and that is to the right
    to choose to prevent pregnancy if they don’t want a baby? How about
    abstaining until marriage, keeping your knees together, using some form
    of contraception? 

     

    I’ll keep it simple: consent to sex is not consenting to pregnancy.

     

    Don’t confuse a baby’s right to live with your right to choose what’s best for your life.

     

    There is no confusion. Pro-choicers believe that women can be trusted to make their own reproductive decisions.

     

    ANY life is sacred – ANY child has a right to live to serve ANY
    purpose on this earth whether it be acknowledged by few or many. 

     

    Really? ANY life?

  • harry834

    NOT to kill a baby

     

    What should one do when

    A.) you know someone has killed their child?

    B.) you know someone has aborted their child (assume it was illegal)

    Shouldn’t the answer to each be the same?

  • harry834

    Does anyone here think that the ad isn’t telling women to not abort? If so, please explain. I’m all ears.

    Another possibility: the ad isn’t "telling women what to do" it’s encouraging them to not abort. Ok…but even then we can challenge the reasoning of that encouragement: 

    "Don’t abort even if your doctor tells you your life is in danger. Look at the great hero that baby can be!"

    Does anyone here that this isn’t the message of the ad? If so, please explain. 

    I keep hearing that the ad is "meant to inspire". Inspire to do what? Please explain.

  • harry834

    using some form of contraception?

     

    Thank you for supporting contraception. Now tell the pro-life organizations to advocate for it. Tell abstinence-only advocates to stop discouraging it.
    And, when your ready, I hope you will answer my other questions listed on this comment thread.

  • kate-ranieri

    Women’s first right is the right to all thefreedoms accrued to all citizens on this country. These freedoms include theinalienable right to bodily integrity, to privacy, to enjoy sex or not, to havesex with a man or a woman or both, to use contraception or not, to remainsingle or not, to vote or not, and so forth….you get the drift. Women also havethe right to ignore judgmental, misogynistic, moralizing individuals.

     

    As for moral values and self control, they stillexist in all circles of life. In other words they are not the distinct domainof Pailin and Tebow. Both Pailin and Tebow chose their own paths because oftheir own beliefs and because they were free to choose.

     

    That’s the absolute beauty of this country forwomen. Freedom to choose the path that is right for yourself without theconstraints of one person’s religious or moralistic dogma. 

  • crowepps

    You might want to read up on this — this was her fifth WANTED child and there was a medical complication in her pregnancy.  That doesn’t have anything to do with failure to use birth control.

  • prochoiceferret

    It’s almost comical if it weren’t so vile. Once again, the moral bunch in America (us right winger, fundamentalist Christians) are to be placed in the time-out corner with duct taped mouths.

    That would be nice, if they didn’t already have such an outsize voice in one of the two main political parties.

    Let’s take a few steps back, Ms. Marcotte – how about women exercising their FIRST right and that is to the right to choose to prevent pregnancy if they don’t want a baby? How about abstaining until marriage, keeping your knees together, using some form of contraception?

    Not every woman wants to get married (or wants to get married now), we’ll continue having sex when we want to thank you very much, and what makes you think we don’t use contraception?

     

    Oh, and while we’re at it… since you seem to agree with us that using contraception is a good thing, could you sit down and have a chat with these people? I’m sure they’d be interested in hearing from someone with your views. Oh, these folks too.

    Don’t confuse a baby’s right to live with your right to choose what’s best for your life. You should have thought about that BEFORE sex. Not AFTER your lack of self-control and inability to think ahead produced what you call an unwanted pregnancy.

    You’re making a lot of assumptions there about people’s self-control and mindfulness. Just because this may have happened to you, doesn’t mean that everyone acts the way that you did.

    And how dare you parallel pro-life with anti-woman. What are you thinking? (other than of yourself)

    Oh, sorry, we just thought that forcing women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term was kind of, you know, anti-woman. (I suppose you think domestic violence is pro-man-of-the-house, and not anti-woman, too?)

    It is such a testimony of our society . . . Do what you want when you want and deal with the consequences later. Oh, and Hey, don’t worry if that "consequence" is an unborn child – we can help you get rid of that, too.

    If the woman does not consent to having an "unborn child" within her, it should most certainly be ridden of. Why do you think it is at all appropriate to make these kinds of medical decisions for other people?

    How about a call to good, old fashioned moral values and self-control. Not to mention, taking responsibility for ourselves, our actions and our bad choices. Speak on Tebows, Palins and whoever else has the moral guts to take a stand on what I consider to be the single greatest sin committed by human beings – the murder of unborn children.

    So don’t have an abortion, then. Problem solved. Other people don’t feel the same way you do, and they can decide whether or not to have an abortion themselves. Just because you think it is oh so terrible! doesn’t mean you can make that decision for others, just as I can’t hate pork enough for it to be okay to make it illegal for everyone else.

    Quit clouding the issue by involving football and Heisman trophy winners. ANY life is sacred – ANY child has a right to live to serve ANY purpose on this earth whether it be acknowledged by few or many.

    What if that child is a woman who becomes pregnant for one reason or another but doesn’t want to be?

    What if your mother’s doctor had given her the same advice as was given to Pam Tebow? How might she have chosen?

    What if my mother had a headache the night I was conceived?

    EVERY HUMAN BEING SHOULD HAVE THE SAME OPPORTUNITY. STARTING WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE BORN.

    What about the opportunities open to a woman if she terminates a pregnancy that may cost her dearly in time, money, emotion, and/or health? Remember, pregnancy complications can include disability and death.

    I dare you to think about it and then call your Mom and thank her for giving you such an amazing opportunity.

    Would you say this to someone who had an abusive mother who was forced to go through with her pregnancy against her wishes?

  • amanda-marcotte

    The point is that you can’t have abortions because look!  This one won the Heisman! 

     

    Well, I figure that there are over 6 billion non-aborted fetuses walking around, but not many of them have Heisman trophies.  The argument in the ad is based on a weird, easy to disprove premise—that you should sacrifice your basic rights because of how awesome and world-changing that baby will be!

     

  • amanda-marcotte

    1) An ad that’s aimed at banning abortion played during a football game is tying control over women’s bodies to football. 

     

    2) I don’t think men have to dominate and control me in order to prove I like them.  Equality will do.  I want men and women to be equal.  How is that "man-hating"? 

     

    3) The ad is aimed at depriving women of their right to choose.  Since you admit that the right to choose is important for women’s dignity, then you admit that any move to deprive women of that is misogynist.

     

    And that you scrambled up Viagra, bikinis, and abortion, I have to point out the only thing those things have in common is sex. So yeah,you’re radiating hostility about sex.  Jeez, most misogynists at least allow that men should get Viagra.

  • amanda-marcotte

    I totally exercise my right not to get pregnant in the first place—successfully, in fact!  I’ve never been pregnant, thanks to contraception. 

     

    Contraception doesn’t always work, of course, so having a back-up is a good idea. 

     

    Your nasty hostility towards sexuality (why abstain, or as you quaintly put it, hold your knees together?) tends to dissuade me from thinking you’re not about punishing other people for having lives with pleasure in them.  Really, your outrageous anger and desire to interfere with other people’s sex lives is alarming, and indicates that it’s really not babies that concern you, but what’s going on in your neighbor’s bedroom.

  • harry834

    you have called abortion murder:

    the single greatest sin committed by human beings – the murder of unborn children.

    So I ask again: what should I do if A.) someone has killed their child? B.) someone has an (illegal) abortion

    Should the answer to A and B be the same? 

    Or we can change the timing: what would you do if you knew someone was going to A.) kill their child B.) have an (illegal) abortion.

    What would your answers to the above be if it was your sister who did these? your mother? your female friend or co-worker? your boss?

    Answer for both A and B, and consider each of the examples of woman I gave 

    • cfomama

      harry834:

      My answer is the same for any person who has killed a child inside or outside of the womb.  Either way it is the murder of a human child.

       

  • amanda-marcotte

    I’m actually quite glad my mother had a choice.  It makes me feel loved and wanted.  Due to the fact that I don’t hate my mother, I would be very distressed if she was forced to give birth against her will, as the Tebows would have it.  Since she loves me, I think she feels the same about me. 

     

    It’s sad to me that misogyny interferes with people’s own ability to respect their mother enough to want her to have choices.

    • cfomama

      You have arrogantly (or is it idiotically) misstated Pam Tebow’s decision to carry her son and give birth to him.  She wasn’t forced to give birth against her will. 

      My mother did have a choice.  She chose to have sex responsibly and was prepared to carry a child if that sex resulted in pregnancy.  Thanks, Mom!

       

  • tonsandbunches

    The issue does go back to you not wanting to hear the Tebow’s position on CBS. CBS is a broadcast company that is in business to make money. Period. As long as they do not violate any FCC policies they can allow or deny any ads they wish. Again, they are in business to make money. They will air whatever they wish in order to make money. According to you, the beef is really with CBS and not the Tebow’s. You are against the fact that CBS will allow Focus on the Family to air a commercial and yet refuse others, such as: MoveOn.org and United Churches for Christ. So because of this you have organized and written a letter to pressure CBS to not run the ad. I could possibly buy this arguement if you could provide information showing how you came against CBS when these other groups were not allowed to purchase an ad for the Super Bowl. I am sure the outrage was just as profound and you rallied everyone together to stop the "inconsistent, untransparent and hypocritical application of "policies" by CBS".

    As for the Tebow’s, what is the problem with them telling their story? Fear that some woman might rethink her individual situation and not have an abortion? I mean, that is about the worst thing that could come of this. Is it not?

    I have yet to hear the "policies" that Tim Tebow espouses. Although, you are right on one thing. Tim Tebow seems to never miss an opportunity to share his beliefs. And neither does Amanda Marcotte or Jodi Jacobson. 

    Which brings me back to where you are not clear: "I am not clear why in a pluralistic society we have CBS offering air time to such a group unless they want to air ads on the various viewpoints of various denominations of Jews, the majority of Christians of all denominations including the majority of Catholics in this country,  Hindus, Buddhists and others….all of whom have different takes on the issue". Again, CBS is in the broadcast business and they could, if they chose to, allow each and every one of these groups buy an ad. The problem is that you would only rally to protest against those in which  you do not believe.

  • harry834

     

    Fear that some woman might rethink her individual situation and not have an abortion? I mean, that is about the worst thing that could come of this. Is it not?

     

    this is a problem considering that the choice to not abort was done against doctor’s words that it would risk her life. The ad doesn’t talk about what kind of medical resources Pam had that other women do not. This story to encourage women to think twice about aborting…against doctors recommendations, with the fantasy of having a baby grow into a hero (assuming the mother is still around and hasn’t died from not heeding the doctors words), this is what we are concerned about when YOU say this ad could make a woman "rethink her situation"

  • crowepps

    As for the Tebow’s, what is the problem with them telling their story? Fear that some woman might rethink her individual situation and not have an abortion? I mean, that is about the worst thing that could come of this. Is it not?

    Well, no, actually – the Tebow’s story frames the question as ‘good women do not kill their babies because those babies could potentially be wonderful’ which means that women who do NOT rethink and shun abortion are ‘bad’ women and doctors who provide the service are ‘evil’ doctors and so the worst thing that could come of this is women with pregnancy complications dying from them and more doctors being shot.

    Again, CBS is in the broadcast business and they could, if they chose to, allow each and every one of these groups buy an ad.

    But that’s her whole POINT — why were the other issue ads rejected and this issue ad accepted?  CBS charges exactly the same amount of money for running ads, so it isn’t about ‘making a profit’.  It’s about CBS using the public airways to allow one group to promote their view while refusing to allow other groups to promote their views because they are ‘controversial’.  Personally, I don’t think encouraging women to die in childbirth is a great idea.  This particular story turned out well — others don’t and both mother and fetus die.  What’s the tag line at the end going to be, "Good Mothers Chose Death"?

    The problem is that you would only rally to protest against those in which  you do not believe.

    I’m finding a little difficult to think of a situation in which any people would protest the airing of opinions which they believe in.

  • crowepps

    I dare you to think about it and then call your Mom and thank her for giving you such an amazing opportunity.

    Would you say this to someone who had an abusive mother who was forced to go through with her pregnancy against her wishes?

    He already has said this — to me.  My mother is dead, but frankly, after surviving her and my father’s abuse, I wish I had never been born.  Personally, I don’t see life as an "amazing opportunity" but as something to endure in quiet desperation.

    • paul-bradford

      My mother is dead, but frankly, after surviving her and my father’s abuse, I wish I had never been born. Personally, I don’t see life as an "amazing opportunity" but as something to endure in quiet desperation.

       

      crowepps,

       

      First of all, I only started posting to this thread today — I say that in way of explanation for why I’m responding to something you wrote ten days ago.

       

      I can’t deny that I’m very touched by your words.  The toughness required to endure the condition I refer to as ‘existential hopelessness’ is something I greatly admire.  At the risk of convincing you that I’m even more stubborn and stupid than you thought, I will tell you that my opinion is that ‘choosing life’ when life seems all but unendurable takes even more courage than that required to choose life in the midst of pregnancy complications.

       

      There has got to be a correlation between how much a mother wanted her child and how much that child, or grown child, valued her/his life.  My circumstance is diametrically opposed to yours as I was utterly and completely wanted.  No doubt this plays into the different take you and I have on the abortion question.  You endure life in quiet desperation (nod to Thoreau) whereas I experience frequent outbreaks of fundamental joy.  I wish you knew the joy I know.

       

      It is possible for a person to be overrun with that joy and, to my knowledge, it is not necessary to believe in a deity (or a higher power, or a true self, or a universal principle, or any other hoo-hah).  It’s certainly not necessary to be a Catholic.  The seeds for joy are the same as the seeds for justice and compassion — and you have those in abundance.  I urge you to believe that you are well regarded, and to give in to joy. 

       

      Paul Bradford

      Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • bambino106

    Taking this year’s prize in the category of Most Cavalier Attitude Towards Ending Fetal Human Life is Amanda Marcotte with this gem:

     

    "Contraception doesn’t always work, of course, so having a back-up is a good idea."

     

    Aborting human life = a good "back-up" idea.

     

    Congratulations, Amanda. This will be my last post because I cannot, under any circumstances, engage in any kind of worthwhile debate with someone who has no qualms about stating something like that.

     

    Mutilated human fetus = good back-up plan.  I have seen the light.

     

     

     

     

  • harry834

    look below. if you really feel abortion = murder, my questions shouldn’t be too hard.

  • harry834

    in the sense that we as pro-choicers are obligated to support whatever reproductive choice a woman might make, even against doctor’s wishes. That is why we call for maternal care/pre-natal/post-natal care along with th full range of health support for the woman no matter what her choice is. That is why we want abortion to be legal and safe and done by doctors who don’t have to fear for their lives or image anymore than any other doctor. The doctor-patient relationship, with all the support we can give them whatever the patient’s decision, is what we want. We want healthy patients, regardless of what they decide.

    But doctors and advocates must also give real medical information, not wishful fantasies, to patients deciding their choices. I don’t know what the doctors saw that I did not, and neither did you. But the ad tells the story of a patient who went against doctor’s advice and got a great reward. Was she lucky? Were the doctor’s wrong? We don’t see answers to this in the ad.

    Only the message that "even if your doctor tells you this pregnancy will kill you, consider not-aborting, and you’ll have a chance to be the mother of a hero" 

    This is hope, wishful thinking, no reference to medical facts of a woman’s situation. In fact, it encourages going against the medical facts in preference for a fantasy.

  • kate-ranieri

    So long to Bambino106. I’m not convinced that your histrionics have any value to the conversation. So, glad to read that the above is your last post. 

  • prochoiceferret

    Congratulations, Amanda. This will be my last post because I cannot, under any circumstances, engage in any kind of worthwhile debate with someone who has no qualms about stating something like that.

    A woman who enjoys sex, doesn’t want to be pregnant, and uses contraception and (if necessary) abortion to stay non-pregnant—that is pretty mind-blowing, isn’t it?

  • prochoiceferret

    I’d like to see Planned Parenthood or the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice submit an ad to CBS for placement during the Superbowl and see whether CBS accepts it.

    I get that, but at >$2 million a pop, that’s not going to come cheap.

     

    It may not be necessary, either, as CBS appears to have acknowledged a change in their policy:

    CBS says they will run the spot during the Super Bowl, but will also consider other "responsibly produced" advocacy ads in its Feb. 7 broadcast. Presumably that means pro-choice advocates could purchase equal time … CBS said Tuesday that, under its new policies, the UCC ad would have been accepted for airing.

  • paul-bradford

    The religious right has fallen into the habit of celebrating women who made the choice they approve of, and by accident, this puts them in the position of celebrating choice. But it really goes deeper than that. This strategy of celebrating women who have babies when others might not really points out how the dignity of all women—including anti-abortion women—requires the right to choose.

     

    Amanda, 

     

    Even though the term ‘religious right’ isn’t one I’d use to describe my associations or my views, it is the term you use to describe them so I will respond as if this comment were directed to me.  I will certainly admit to attending religious services and to to urging others to regard the lives of the very young (which is more than enough, on this ‘site, to earn the designation ‘right winger’) so I will adopt your terminology for the purpose of this post.

     

    What you imagine to be ‘by accident’ is, at least for me, by design.  I certainly support, and celebrate, a woman’s right to make her own pregnancy decisions and I am more than mindful of the fact that women such as Bristol Palin and Pam Tebow chose life freely and not due to duress and coercion.  If we had a situation such as the situation that exists in Nicaragua, women who had powerful and valid reasons for deciding not to have a child (or not to have another child) would be compelled to give birth to a daughter or son who would likely be born into a situation much worse than those of children born to mothers who eagerly awaited their arrival.   I certainly don’t want that for us.

     

    It seems to me that there is no difference between your opinion and mine as to the question of whether women should have the right to choose.

     

    With choice, some women select the option I approve of and others, as we well know, select an option I deeply disapprove of.  I wonder if you, and some of the other posters who become frustrated with my stubbornness and ignorance, understand that I don’t believe that the underlying problem with the abortion choice is an insufficient promulgation of my disapproval.  From my perspective, the underlying problem is that the members of the society, generally, do not value and cherish the unborn life that is all around us.  That’s the problem I seek to correct by engaging in dialogue with people who disagree with me.

     

    What would be different, in the United States, if more of us valued unborn life is that more of us would be concerned not to initiate activities that might lead to conception unless and until they and their partners had established a workable plan to care for any child that might result from their intimacies.  I don’t expect that an increased respect for life would increase the birth rate, or increase the rate at which ‘unwanted’ children were born.  I do, however, imagine a situation where both men and women are more careful and thoughtful about the consequences of their actions.

     

    Respect for life involves respect before birth.  It also involves respect before conception

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    WOMEN deserve to have sex too and not have to have "self-control" against their sexual desires just because they may get pregnant.

     

    LexieDi,

     

    I was all set to say "Right on, Sister!" after reading your comments about the things men could do, and should do to prevent unwanted pregnancy — then I read this and I’m not so sure we agree.

     

    Obviously, in the bad old days (and in most of Mississippi today) women were held to a much higher code of sexual conduct than men were.  That was bad.  That was unfair.  That was sexist.  OK, so what’s the solution?  My solution is that men should be held to the same high code as women have always been.  Your solution seems to be that women should be allowed to adopt the same low code of conduct that men always have.

     

    Every time there’s an abortion some father somewhere loses a child.  Losing a child is no picnic for women and it’s no picnic for men.  My message to men is that we have some power to prevent having to endure such a loss.  We can have enough respect for ourselves and our children to make it a priority to avoid unwanted pregnancy.  "Take responsibility for your own sperm."

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • seraph

    And bear in mind that we’re talking about a fairly large number of women here, as we’re talking about every woman who has ever had an abortion (no statute of limitations on murder, after all), but what should their sentence be?
    Conspiring with a third party (the doctor) to murder their fetus is not only first-degree murder, it has special circumstances. This makes women who’ve had abortions eligible for the death penalty in states that have it, life imprisonment for those that don’t. Is that what you had in mind?

  • crowepps

    Respect for life involves respect before birth.  It also involves respect before conception

    We’re never going to get there until there is an equal respect for life AFTER birth.  Happened to run across this:

    Thirty-year-old Aneesha Jones does not know where she and her 15 year old son will sleep tonight. They are homeless. And Wilmington area shelters tell her they don’t accept boys who are older than 13.

    Many local shelters acknowledge they do not accept the older male children. Some tell Action News the policy protects younger children from the teens and protects the adolescent boys from adult women and men. Some women’s shelters contend they don’t have separate bathrooms for older boys staying with their mothers.

    The policy leaves families like Lashonda Smith and her 15-year-old son, a 9th grader at a local high school, out in the cold scrounging for shelter. "Me and my son slept in an abandoned apartment with no heat, no water, nothing for the last three days," Smith said.

    Smith became homeless after a series of heart attacks rendered her unable to work.

    http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=7206551

    This was also interesting:

    One in 50 children is homeless in the United States every year, according to a report released Tuesday.

    The report, by the National Center on Family Homelessness, analyzed data from 2005-06 and found that more than 1.5 million children were without a home.

    Other highlights in the report, "America’s Youngest Outcasts: State Report Card on Child Homelessness:"

    • 42 percent of homeless children are younger than 6.

    • African-American and Native American children are disproportionately represented.

    • More than 1 in 7 homeless children have moderate to severe health conditions, such as asthma.

    • Approximately 1.16 million of homeless children today will not graduate from high school.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/03/10/homeless.children/

    While children are living on the streets, cold and hungry, I just can’t give much priority to the ‘suffering’ of zygotes.

  • crowepps

    When Communities ‘Choose Life’

     

    Oregon rejected the anti-tax zealots and voted for tax increases. Colorado Springs wasn’t so lucky

     

    Judging by Tim Tebow’s much-hyped Super Bowl ad, "choose life" remains conservatives’ favorite abortion shibboleth. But really, the phrase better captures the stakes in the Great Budget Wars of 2010.

     

    Plagued by deficits, communities everywhere must now decide between tax reform and public spending cuts — between economic life and death. And thanks to two Western bellwether states, we know what each choice means.

     

    Choosing death means mimicking Colorado Springs — a Republican red tattoo on Colorado’s purple heart.

     

    As a venue for political experiments, the sprawly GOP enclave is as pristine a conservative laboratory as you’ll find in America. If the city has garnered contemporary notoriety at all, it has achieved infamy for domiciling right-wing groups like Focus on the Family and infecting the world with viruses like Douglas Bruce — the father of draconian initiatives that seek to prohibit governments from raising levies.

     

    When the tea party movement’s anti-tax activists refer to the abstract concept of conservative purity, we can turn to a microcosm like the Springs (as we Coloradoans call it) for a good example of what such purity looks like in practice — and the view isn’t pretty.

     

    Thanks to the city’s rejection of tax increases — and, thus, depleted municipal revenues — the Denver Post reports that "more than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark; the city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops; water cutbacks mean most parks will be dead … recreation centers, indoor and outdoor pools (and) museums will close for good; Buses no longer run on evenings and weekends; (and) the city won’t pay for any street paving."

     

    Meanwhile, even with the Colorado Springs Gazette uncovering tent ghettos of newly homeless residents, the city’s social services are being reduced — all as fat cats aim to punish what remains of a middle class. As just one example, rather than initiating a tax discussion, the CEO of the Springs’ most lavish luxury hotel is pushing city leaders to cut public employee salaries to the $24,000-a-year level he pays his own workforce — a level approaching Colorado’s official poverty line for a family of four.

     

    This is what Reaganites have always meant when they’ve talked of a "shining city on a hill." They envision a dystopia whose anti-tax fires incinerate social fabric faster than James Dobson can say "family values" — a place like Colorado Springs that is starting to reek of economic death.

     

    Choosing life, by contrast, means doing what Colorado’s governor and state Legislature are doing by temporarily suspending corporate tax exemptions and raising revenue for job-sustaining schools and infrastructure. Even more dramatically, it means doing what voters in Oregon did last week.

     

    As deficits threatened their education and public health systems, Oregonians confronted two ballot initiatives — one modestly raising taxes on annual income above $250,000, another hiking the state’s $10 minimum corporate income tax.

     

    Despite these measures’ exempting 97 percent of taxpayers, conservatives waged a vicious opposition campaign, trotting out billionaire Nike CEO Phil Knight as their celebrity spokesperson.  But this time, the right’s greed-is-good mantra failed. In a swing state that had killed every similar initiative since the 1930s, voters backed the tax increases — and chose economic life.

     

    No matter where we live, this same choice will soon face us all in some form. It is a choice embodied in President Obama’s pragmatic initiative to end his predecessor’s high-income tax breaks, a choice for which future local and federal elections will serve as proxies.

     

    Inevitably, anti-tax zealots will attempt to obscure what this choice is about — but the choice is now crystal clear.

     

    Tax reform or draconian cuts, life or death — the decision is ours.

     

    David Sirota

     

    http://www.salon.com/news/us_economy/index.html?story=/opinion/feature/2010/02/05/colorado_springs_ext2010

  • crowepps

    Jaclyn Friedman

    February 2, 2010
    “…
    I’m hardly the first to point out that the Super Bowl’s fans, athletes and institutions aren’t always friendly to independent women. The commercials that air during the game seem to actively compete for the Most Jaw-Droppingly Offensive Ad Award, and they feature only two kinds of women: one the one hand, sexually available and easily manipulated hotties in various states of undress, (as in this ad, in which men can literally control elite racecar driver Danica Patrick and compel her to take off her clothes, get into a shower and make out with another woman); or, on the other hand, unlovable shrews who make men miserable (as in this ad, in which we discover that football refs know how to keep their cool under pressure because they’re already used to their wives screeching at them at home). For decades, these spots have appeared to target either 12-year-old boys, or men with the equivalent level of emotional maturity.

     


    Enter the Focus on the Family ad, thirty seconds of squeaky-clean “family values” that make the astonishing claim that women shouldn’t have abortions because they might be gestating a future male sports star. There’s a lot wrong with this argument, not the least of which is the statistical reality that it’s significantly more likely that women who choose to carry their fetuses to term will give birth to rapists or murderers than to Heisman Trophy winners. But what makes it such a perfect fit for the Super Bowl is its blatant cynicism about the role of women when it comes to the big game. It’s not enough that we be always available, conventionally beautiful sex-objects. Now we have a CBS-sanctioned ad telling us that if we get knocked up as a result of all that (relentlessly heterosexual) sex, we have only two choices: have the baby, or become an enemy of Football Nation. Though perhaps we should be grateful that Focus on the Family’s commercial adds a third acceptable role for women in Super Bowl advertising: alongside available hottie and repulsive shrew, we apparently can now be hero-incubators.

     

    The ad becomes even more disturbing when we consider who it’s trying to reach. Assuming that Focus on the Family operates with the same mindset as most Super Bowl advertisers (and there’s really no evidence to suggest otherwise), it’s also safe to assume that men are one of the primary targets of this spot. So now what we’ve got is an ad telling men that it’s wrong for women to abort their potential children, lest those children not get the chance to grow up to be famous quarterbacks who paint Scripture references into their eyeblack. In light of new research revealing that about a third of women who report partner violence also report that their partners try to pressure them into pregnancy and motherhood (as do 15 percent of women who had never reported relationship violence), this male-targeted argument is particularly chilling.

     

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20100215/friedman

  • crowepps

     There has got to be a correlation between how much a mother wanted her child and how much that child, or grown child, valued her/his life.

    I have had my joys in life, and experiences of transcendence, but the point you are missing here, and have missed in the past, is that a child’s ‘wantedness’, the place in the family which the child holds, the character of the child’s parents and the upbringing which he or she experiences, all are permanent.  There are no do-overs for the child just because Daddy decides to quit drinking years later or Mommy finally gets treatment for her bipolar.

     

    When the child’s experience is of being an unwanted intruder into a home where he or she is not welcome, his or her needs always secondary to the emotional dramas and/or mental illness and/or fundmental selfishness of his or her parents, that child feels a deep sense of unworthiness to be loved.  That child is not going to be able to ‘choose joy’ just because it escapes that toxic environment as an adult.  This type of emotional abuse/neglect has physical effects on the structure and development of the child’s brain and lifelong consequences for that child’s quality of experience and ability to trust others even as an adult.

     

    This is one reason why I am so repulsed by those who mindless parrot glib phrases like ’what if your mother had an abortion’?  There are a lot of people out here besides myself who if given the choice now would say, ‘boy, I wish she had – that would have saved a lot of anguish.’

     

    What do you think suicide is all about, Paul?  Some people have more despair than they can tolerate any longer and are willing to die to escape the pain.  A facile statement like ‘the seeds of joy are available’ or ‘choose joy’ is akin to telling the blind they just need to look harder or the deaf need to try harder to hear.  Perhaps now you’ll see why I get so irritated with your promotion of the idea that women are supposed to ‘put their own needs second’ and ‘live for others’.  That’s precisely what my parents demanded – them first, their children way at the bottom, giving, giving, giving.

     

    And that’s what you think women’s lives in general should be like, right?  Giving, giving, giving, secondary to everyone who might want to use them including those zygotes you find so precious, until they’re all used up.  Happened to run across this today and thought it was a pretty accurate commentary on the actual value society holds of women:

    Last year local church authorities defended a man in Macerata, a small town in central Italy, who had attempted to kill his wife because she asked for a divorce. Francesca Carletti-Baleani wanted to leave her husband because he had cheated on her. Bruno Carletti responded by beating her until she was unconscious, wrapping her body in a plastic bag and dumping it into a trash bin on the outskirts of town.

    Carletti-Baleani miraculously survived, and her husband confessed to attempting to kill her. "It was an act of love," wrote Father Igino Ciabattoni, a leader of the White Cross Catholic organization. The priest also accused the victim of "torturing her husband" because she refused to take him back.

    http://www.alternet.org/rights/145527/westerners_who_condemn_so-called_%22honor_killings%22_must_confront_gender_violence_within_their_own_culture?page=2

  • colleen

    There has got to be a correlation between how much a mother wanted her
    child and how much that child, or grown child, valued her/his life.  My
    circumstance is diametrically opposed to yours as I was utterly and
    completely wanted.  No doubt this plays into the different take you and
    I have on the abortion question.

     

    If so, then being "utterly and completely wanted" results in a remarkable degree of narcissism and insensitivity.

     

     

     

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

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • crowepps

    Empathy is the ability to understand other people’s emotional state.  Perspective taking is the ability to understand another person’s world view.  I’m not sure what the deficit is called that makes a person unable to recognize that others HAVE their own emotions and perspective, although it’s certain evident in authoritarian personalities who assume that everyone is (or should be) exactly like oneself, share ones own political views, emotional reactions, religion, etc.

     

    ‘As a man I’ve never been pregnant but that doesn’t mean I don’t understand pregnancy because I used to be a fetus.’

    Uh-huh, just like if a person rode in an airplane once, they’re competent to build, repair and fly an airplane.

     

    ‘As a man I understand what would make women happy.’

    Uh-huh, just like since my being White qualifies me to understand what it would be like to be Black.

     

    ‘As someone who’s full of joy, I’m sure people who are in despair can also choose to be full of joy.’

    Uh-huh, just like people who have cancer can choose to be well.

  • ahunt

    And that’s what you think women’s lives in general should be like,
    right?  Giving, giving, giving, secondary to everyone who might want to
    use them including those zygotes you find so precious, until they’re
    all used up
    .

     

    Pretty much. Have you ever heard the patronizing "sermons" on the "many hats" women must wear?

    Wife, mother, daughter, employee, friend, ad nauseum

     

    Fuck that noise…maybe if enough women slapped on the football helmet bearing the phrase…me first, I’m next and if there’s anything left, I’ll take it!…the point could be driven home.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • crowepps

    The problem isn’t men being selfish and self-centered — women are used to their unconscious sense of entitlement.  The problem is OTHER WOMEN insisting that any female who puts herself first is ‘selfish’, ‘a bad wife’, etc., etc.  Once we stop letting the old ladies gossip us back into line we may get somewhere.

     

    A lot of is motivated entirely by schadenfreude – ‘Make abortion illegal so other women will suffer just like I did.  I had to give up all my personal hopes and dreams when I got pregnant and my parents made me marry a guy who turned out to be a jerk so why should any other woman be able to fulfill HER dreams?’

  • ahunt

    Ah but crowepps…take heart…a significant minority of women have made their own choices, and if reports are accurate, as of this year, women will comprise the majority of the work force.

     

    The landscape is changing, because our daughters are changing.

     

    Editing…and the finger-pointers are our age and older…we’ll be dying off sooner rather than later. ;-*

  • crowepps

    I do realize there is a minority of women who refuse to step on the heads and toes of their sisters, and hopefully the number will increase as tough economic times lead us to pull together rather than compete,  however I will quibble with your assertion that the fingerpointeers are our age and older.

     

    My daughter caught major grief in junior high (AND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!) from the other girls because she wasn’t interested in having a ‘boyfriend’ and being ‘in luuuuurve’.  I even had a few of her female teachers question her ‘emotional maturity level’ because she waited until what I thought was the sensible age of 15 to start dating.

     

    Most of the pressure to wear fashionable clothes, get manicures, sport tattoos, get hair professionally cut, HAVE A GUY/ANY GUY, etc., comes from women in her own generation.  When she points out that she has two kids for whom she first has to buy shoes, they sneer at her for missing the point – it offends them that she’s dismissing the importance of their fashionista/hot momma competition.

  • ahunt

    Rural, midwestern, 3 sons, way different dynamic, crowepps.

     

     

  • crowepps

    My son was a classic ‘nerd’ and I sure don’t remember any of his friends giving him grief about not having a girlfriend — of course they too were nerds and so none of them had a girlfriend either!  All of them were focused on copping as many scholarships as possible and getting into really prestigious colleges.

  • paul-bradford

    a child’s ‘wantedness’, the place in the family which the child holds, the character of the child’s parents and the upbringing which he or she experiences, all are permanent. There are no do-overs for the child just because Daddy decides to quit drinking years later or Mommy finally gets treatment for her bipolar.

     

    crowepps,

     

    What I don’t get is why you think I don’t get that.  In fact, my whole point was that children who were unwanted have a harder time feeling that there life is valuable than children who were wanted.  I’m strongly of the opinion that the biggest indicator of happiness is the quality of parenting one received.  So where do we disagree?

     

    An ideal way to cause misery in the world is to conceive (or father) a child you’re not ready, willing and able to raise well.  It’s a two-fer since it will make both you and your child miserable.  Where do we disagree?  I don’t get it.  What point are you making that I’m missing.  What point are you making that I disagree with.

     

    I don’t know anyone who’s more firmly convinced than I am that we need to decrease the incidence of unwanted conception and unwanted pregnancy.  I’m really trying to figure out your point.  Are you saying that people who suffer from alcoholism and manic/depression need to be told that they can’t have children?  That’s the kind of anti-choice sentiment that I would expect out of me, not you. 

     

    That child is not going to be able to ‘choose joy’ just because it escapes that toxic environment as an adult. This type of emotional abuse/neglect has physical effects on the structure and development of the child’s brain and lifelong consequences for that child’s quality of experience and ability to trust others even as an adult.

     

    ????  Look, my job is to provide emotional support to people who’ve had particularly neglected or abusive childhoods.  I don’t know why you’re giving me this lecture.  I deal with these obstacles day in and day out.  The way I work is to approach my clients with a very high sense of hope and eagerness.  That’s the way that I’ve found that works to ‘bring joy’ to the lives of people with emotional difficulties. I have definitely found that a capacity to care about the well-being of others or about the world in general is a very good indicator of a client’s capacity to improve.

     

    But where’s our disagreement????  I swear, I get the idea you’re satisfied simply to say stuff we agree about in an argumentative tone — you don’t bother to propose a different viewpoint.

     

    What do you think suicide is all about, Paul?  Some people have more despair than they can tolerate any longer and are willing to die to escape the pain. 

     

    Frankly, crowepps, that’s pretty much what I do think.  I use the word psych-ache to describe the pain that leads one to contemplate suicide.  In order to lower your client’s risk of suicide you’ve got to address the degree of psych-ache they’ve got to cope with.  Suicide prevention is the #1 Pro-Life issue I’m involved with.

     

    This is wearying.  I make points.  You make similar points and then complain I don’t get it.  Then you grouse about stupid things other Pro-Lifers say like, "What if your mother got an abortion?".  That’s another thing we agree about.

     

    Perhaps now you’ll see why I get so irritated with your promotion of the idea that women are supposed to ‘put their own needs second’ and ‘live for others’. That’s precisely what my parents demanded – them first, their children way at the bottom, giving, giving, giving.

     

    The idea I promote is that emotional health (among adults, at least) involves a capacity to perceive and to meet other people’s needs.  This is no more true for women than it is for men.  I am especially of the opinion that PARENTS need to be adult enough to subordinate their needs to the needs of their children.  Your depiction of your parents demanded is practically the opposite of what I believe. 

     

    It seems to me that you’re looking for somebody to disagree with and I’m not meeting YOUR needs. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • progo35

    Here are the ads:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je0lYPUvTZc&feature=player_embedded

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BIOTItUwvk&feature=player_embedded

    Gasp! THE HORROR!!!

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

  • ahunt

    Yah…we appreciated the tone-down,

     

     No really…google, and learn of the CBS backpeddle.

  • lexiedi

    I would say we agree, Paul.

     

    I don’t think that anyone’s code of conduct when it comes to sexuality should be lowered… My post wasn’t about being more or less responsible as much as it was about being equal between the sexes. (Though I can see the confusion there, and thank you for pointing it out.)

     

    I think that people have a responsibility to be responsible especially when you could bring another life into this world. No woman WANTS to get an aboriton, it’s ignorant to think that anyone is PRO-abortion. 

     

    Anyway, getting back to the point… I can’t imagine the pain a man would go through knowing that his child was aborted. Just because a man doesn’t get a belly-bump doesn’t mean he doesn’t
    feel the pain of losing a child even if that child was unexpected. I
    know my daddy loves me just as much as my mommy does. I do think, however, that the way many (not all) men, for lack of a better word, throw their sperm around isn’t good nor is it taking the time to realize what could rise from that action.

     

    I don’t think that women OR men should sleep around just to get their jollies, but that’s my opinion and my preference. (I’m nearly 21 and a virgin, though I don’t feel sexually oppressed in the least.) However, I do feel that there cannot, by any means, be a double standard for men and women when it comes to sexuality. A young man should not be encouraged to sew their wild oats while a young woman is told to cover up and not go out with that boy because he’s up to no good. With that attitude, a parent is telling his or her son to do exactly what he or she does not want done to their daughter and that’s foolish.

     

    I think what men and women want to do should be left up to him or her self. If a man wants to have many partners without committed relationships, I can only advise he be honest, educated, and careful with himself and his partners. I can only ask that of a female who wants the same, though I don’t feel the right to look down on either gender more or less. A woman who does that is no more a "slut" than a man who does that.

     

    In the end, I’m sure we agree. This isn’t something that is just the responsiblity of the woman, but the responsibility of those in sexual union.

     

  • crowepps

    In fact, my whole point was that children who were unwanted have a harder time feeling that there life is valuable than children who were wanted.  I’m strongly of the opinion that the biggest indicator of happiness is the quality of parenting one received.  So where do we disagree?

    We disagree because you have repeatedly stated that you don’t think the fact that the child is unwanted should be allowed to make any difference in whether the pregnancy continues and I believe it should.

    Are you saying that people who suffer from alcoholism and manic/depression need to be told that they can’t have children?  

    If I were queen, Paul, everyone would have a permanent lock on their germ cells, and have to pass a tough exam before being allowed to reproduce.  Persistent pedophiles would be the first to have their privileges permanently revoked.

    ????  Look, my job is to provide emotional support to people who’ve had particularly neglected or abusive childhoods.  I don’t know why you’re giving me this lecture.  I deal with these obstacles day in and day out.  The way I work is to approach my clients with a very high sense of hope and eagerness.  That’s the way that I’ve found that works to ‘bring joy’ to the lives of people with emotional difficulties. I have definitely found that a capacity to care about the well-being of others or about the world in general is a very good indicator of a client’s capacity to improve.

    My POINT, Paul, which I will reiterate one last time, is that for their daughters to have "a capacity to care about the well-being of others" was exactly my parents’ goal — for US to care about the well-being of THEM.  Your description sounds as though you predicate treatment on the delusion that the way for the patient to ‘improve’ is to buy into the idea that the problem is not the inherent abusiveness of that but instead that the person doesn’t sufficiently ENJOY being entirely self-abnegating.  The problem I stuggle with is the exact opposite – a capacity to perceive and to meet MY OWN needs.  

  • paul-bradford

    LexieDi,

     

    I endorse every word you wrote.

     

    We should all keep in mind the fact that a woman can’t control when and where her ova travel as much as a man can control when and where his sperm travel.

     

    I say this a lot — I believe that no one should have sex (by ‘sex’ I mean heterosexual coitus; I have nothing to say about other methods of attaining sexual arousal and gratification) unless and until they and their partner have worked out a legitimate plan to care for any child that might result from their intimacies.  Obviously, people aren’t going to be persuaded to follow that rule until they begin to value the lives of the unborn.  I might add, though, that male respect for unborn lives is as effective as female respect for unborn lives when it comes to promoting more responsible attitudes about sex.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    crowepps,

     

    Well, you managed to get through to me and I understand where our disagreement is. 

     

    you have repeatedly stated that you don’t think the fact that the child is unwanted should be allowed to make any difference in whether the pregnancy continues and I believe it should.

     

    An unwanted pregnancy is likely to result in an unhappy child (and added unhappiness for the parent/s).  I feel safe in saying that we’re in 100% agreement on that.  We both think that’s a big problem worthy of a comprehensive solution.  I think the solution is 1) prevention and 2) more support for distressed families.  You think the solution is to terminate the life of the person "causing the problem".  Is that a fair assessment of our differences?

     

    I know you will say that the mother is the one to decide what to do about an unwanted pregnancy (actually, we agree on this as well — except I insist that the rest of us have a responsibility to ‘do something’ about unwanted pregnancies).  We both say "choice".  But we’re also both suggesting a preferred solution — and you’re suggesting the solution of abortion. 

     

    If I were queen, Paul, everyone would have a permanent lock on their germ cells, and have to pass a tough exam before being allowed to reproduce. Persistent pedophiles would be the first to have their privileges permanently revoked.

     

    Please admit to the fact that our thoughts on this are nearly identical, and that we’re in a small minority of opinion — a very small ANTI-CHOICE minority. 

     

    My POINT, Paul, which I will reiterate one last time, is that for their daughters to have "a capacity to care about the well-being of others" was exactly my parents’ goal — for US to care about the well-being of THEM.  

     

    crowepps, you have demonstrated over and over in your posts a genuine concern about injustices perpetrated against women, against the poor, against people in foreign countries.  Wherever it came from, you have turned into somebody who ‘cares about the well-being of others’ and it shows.

     

    You describe your parent’s child rearing techniques as ‘inherent abusiveness’ and you also credit them with instilling your characteristic of self-giving.  Has it ever occurred to you that you have become a caring adult IN SPITE of their parenting rather than because of it?  I raised a daughter who cares about social justice issues almost as much as you do and I’m quite certain she would not claim that her parents were abusive. 

     

    Your description sounds as though you predicate treatment on the delusion that the way for the patient to ‘improve’ is to buy into the idea that the problem is not the inherent abusiveness of that but instead that the person doesn’t sufficiently ENJOY being entirely self-abnegating. The problem I stuggle with is the exact opposite — a capacity to perceive and to meet MY OWN needs.

     

    I believe, and I tell my clients, that compassion for others and compassion for oneself is the exact same thing.  To be self-abnegating is to preclude the possibility of being authentically compassionate.  I also believe, and I also tell my clients, that we learn to be compassionate by first being the recipient of other people’s compassion.

     

    You’re a smart cookie — I expect you to be able to figure out what is misleading about your comment that I quoted above. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • crowepps

    I think the solution is 1) prevention and 2) more support for distressed families.  You think the solution is to terminate the life of the person "causing the problem".  Is that a fair assessment of our differences? … we’re also both suggesting a preferred solution — and you’re suggesting the solution of abortion. 

    No.  Abortion is not my "preferred solution".  BUTTING OUT is my preferred solution. I think any kind of compulsion or persuasion of the mother herself about wantedness or the ‘value of life’ by "the rest of us" does more harm than good and my preferred solution would be change the societal portions of the wantedness/value problem such as shaming and blaming, stigmatization, access to contraception, economic inequalities, failures to provide shelter, food and education to the poor, etc.  IF all those problems were solved FIRST, my bet is that very few women would be chosing abortion unless therapeutically.

    …you also credit them with instilling your characteristic of self-giving.  Has it ever occurred to you that you have become a caring adult IN SPITE of their parenting rather than because of it?

    My parents didn’t ‘instill self-giving’ – my parents trained us that our only path to ‘worthiness’ was to curry their favor with service and ego-balm, and by being useful as weapons in their psychological battles.  My reaction wasn’t ’self-giving’ at all, because it wasn’t voluntary, but instead an acceptance of their belief that one has no right to say no, no right to boundaries, no right to individuality, no right to defense of ego or body.  The empathic sense isn’t from a wish to voluntarily experience another but defensive.

     

    Physical and emotional abuse develops extremely sensitive emotional antennae exquisitely tuned into the emotions of others, but the reason is not to empathize with another but instead out of fear -emotional hyperalertness as an early warning system, constantly scanning in order to avoid pain from others, a state far less akin to ‘compassion’ than to ’Take my wallet, don’t hurt me’.

  • lexiedi

    Paul Bradford,

     

    It’s wonderful to encounter a man who seems to be quite feminist (or, as many people don’t like that word, Equalist).

    I feel that sexism hurts men as well as women as it forces men to act a certain, often violent way and makes them feel like they have to repress emotions of love, sadness, joy, and pain.

    Anyway, I’m getting off track, here. Just wanted to say that your responses were very interesting and I’m glad that we agree! 

     

    Big Smiles!

    -Lexie Di

  • bambino106

    A lot of flap over the commercial that actually aired? Thirty seconds of Tim Tebow’s mom sweetly talking about how tough she and her family are? No mention of abortions or being pro-anything…

    You people need to get a life if you’re going to get your panties in a bunch over THAT. Kinda ironic that this website is named “realitycheck” – I think some of you seriously need one.

    Here’s some humor for your day: Why did God create Adam first? So that he could get a word in. :)

  • ahunt

    Had you done your research…you would know that  the ads were edited, eliminating any reference to abortion.

     

    [The full Tebow ad with an explicit pro-life affirmation is posted at the Focus on the Family website. You can watch it:

    http://www.focusonthefamily.com/nsc/box/video_tebow.aspx