40 Days of Harassment: Anti-choicers Avoid Self-Reflection During Lent


When I was growing up, I was told that Lent—the period
commemorating the days before Jesus’ execution—was a period for believers of
self-denial in the service of self-reflection. 

I’m not a Christian, but I always had respect for the idea
of Lent, from its usefulness in helping people break bad habits by giving them
up for Lent to the idea of taking time out of your life for self-reflection and
contemplation of your own mortality. Anti-choicers, on the other hand, have
taken this venerable tradition and turned it into a circus of avoiding
self-reflection.  On Ash Wednesday,
a traditional day for believers to repent, anti-choicers kicked off the “40
Days for Life” protests, so believers can avoid focusing on their own sin and
instead scream at others for perceived sexual sin, while also avoiding thinking
about their own mortality by demanding others give life against their will.

I spoke with a number of clinic workers and escorts about
how they and the clinic patients they assist react to the 40 Days protests and
to protests in general, and, not surprisingly, no one noted that the protesters
were engaged in self-reflection or repentance for their own sins. 

It’s hard to make the mental space for repentance and self-reflection when you’re aiming your ire at others who you believe must be doing
something wrong according to your own moral assessment.  Martha Stahl of Planned Parenthood of
the North Country New York noted, “[I]t is heartbreaking to see the look on the
face of a patient, someone just trying to get the health care she needs and
deserves, when she is told she will go to hell if she comes into our
building.”  Stahl also noted that
the heavy judgment that anti-choicers express towards women scares many women
off in her small community; the fear of having to face your neighbors as they
judge you for a strumpet has that effect on them.

The overall impression from clinic workers and escorts was
that the 40 Days protests do not increase the amount of self-reflection and
repentance on the part of protesters; they simply increase the number of people
who are willing to donate time to harassing women over private medical
choices.  My interviewees noted
that the protesters that come out are younger than the usual crew, and far more
aggressive.  In many cases,
protesters judge and shame women in the most passive-aggressive manner
possible, praying and generally trying to lay a guilt trip on them. 

But for the 40 Days, you get a lot more
aggression.  An abortion counselor
at one clinic described the difference: “They have big billboards with obscene,
gruesome, scientifically inaccurate images. They try to physically touch
patients, which is illegal.” 
Patients are quite aware that what’s going on is not outreach (as
anti-choicers claim), but pure judgment and abuse.  “Patients usually react in one of two ways: visible anger
that the protesters are so disgustingly disrespectful, or terror that the
protesters will physically harm them in some way.”

Escorts from the Washington
Area Clinic Defense Task Force
noted that the main effect of the 40 Days protests
was simply to make life harder for women seeking abortion care as well as other non-abortion related health
services
provided by women’s clinics in the area. Even though a younger
crowd does come out, they mostly stick to the passive-aggressive methods of
trying their hardest to guilt-trip the female patients they perceive as
sexually wayward. 

However,
patients and escorts have good reason to fear for their safety, since there are
also some lone operators who show up unaffiliated just for the sheer pleasure
of harassing women.  One escort (you
can read more from her here)
noted, “The unconnected protester, the one who
is a loner, those are the ones that pose a real danger typically to a
clinic.”  Danielle Geong, from the
same organization, noted that 40 Days brings out one particularly worrying character.  “She runs down the sidewalk to try to
get around the clinic escorts beside the patient, she’s pushy (like pushes you
to get close to patients) and accuses us of illegally blocking her path in a
twisted interpretation of the FACE Act."

One thing that came through clearly in all the accounts is
that anti-choice claims that clinic protests are about love and outreach ring
false not just for escorts and clinic workers, but also for the patients
themselves.  Patients have no
illusions about being “loved;” they know exactly what’s going on—they’re
being shamed by strangers who have an unhealthy obsession.  The screaming, the passive-aggressive
praying, the physical intimidation doesn’t really send that love vibe.

Patients react like you do when ugly
people judge you unfairly. Some,
as one escort said, “recognize the harassment for what it is, and dismiss it
accordingly.” Others are upset at
being judged, but proceed anyway. 
Some avoid the clinic on heavily protested days, but more because they
don’t want to deal with judgmental blowhards, and not because they’ve been hit
with a love bomb and repented for living a fairly normal life with some sex and
sexual health care in it.

While I’m not a Christian, the mobs of angry people eager to
judge women for their private sexual choices do remind me of a passage in the
Bible, in the book of John.

The teachers of the law and
the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before
the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of
adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you
say?" They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis
for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and
started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning
him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without
sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

Jesus lets her go, telling her not to sin anymore. While Jesus and I may disagree about
what a “sin” is when it comes to sex, I can’t help but admire his willingness
to see through the misogynist motivations of this woman’s accusers. And how they would prefer to obsess
about a woman’s sexual choices than to look inward and attend to their own
sins. And I think how far from
this lesson are the angry mobs of protesters coming out to guilt-trip women in
what’s supposed to be a period of repentance and self-reflection.

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  • kate-ranieri

    Reflection, examining the self, seems to suggest the need for an open mind. The act of reflecting on one’s actions, motivations and thoughts, requires a sense of honesty as well. And pondering the impact of your life’s work on others is an invocation for humility. But sadly the anti choicers have not an open mind, a sense of honesty or humility. They are emboldened by their own insane worldview, busily condemning those who don’t agree, easily stigmatizing and shaming. I’ve observed the sidewalk bullies in Allentown PA. When there is a call for compassion for the woman with an unplanned pregnancy, their response is to force women to give birth. They are simply unable to have an open mind about the realities of the lives of women.

     

    In their twisted perspective where truth is a rarity, telling women lies and half truths about regret, depression, breast cancer and worse is their form of compassion. Offering help for a trip on a one-way street called MyWay, is their version of hope and help. Because they think they know what is best for ALL women, they show no humility.

     

    So, Amanda, you are spot on for the thugs at AWC —no self reflection, no repentance. It’s 40 days of Circus of the Absurd. 

  • jgbeam

    “I spoke with a number of clinic workers and escorts about how they and the clinic patients they assist react to the 40 Days protests and to protests in general, and, not surprisingly, no one noted that the protesters were engaged in self-reflection or repentance for their own sins.”

    Please explain how they can possibly know that. Please tell me.

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • amanda-marcotte

    That clinic workers, patients, and escorts don’t know how they’re being treated is extremely, unbelievably condescending.  That they are majority female doesn’t make them stupid.  Attempts to gaslight the entire female population—and the men who help them—are cute, but ineffective.  Blanket claims that pro-choice women cannot perceive reality will not work.

  • lexcathedra

    about what a “sin” is when it comes to sex…”

    Please do tell us, Amanda, exactly how Jesus defines sexual “sin.”

  • kate-ranieri

    You seem to be baiting Amanda. Why not just come out and say what you want to say? 

  • lexcathedra

    Hardly. She invited the challenge by suggesting that she knows the mind of Jesus perfectly well when it comes to the question of what is and is not sexual “sin.”

  • kate-ranieri

    I’m puzzled how you developed such an interpretation. Your construal of her writing seems to be clouded by a defensiveness of your faith in the presence of someone who is admittedly not of your own belief system. I cannot comprehend how her words were a challenge to her readers, including you, or an admission of being omniscient to know what a dead man thinks. It’s incomprehensible how you have arrived at such conclusions. In fact, it’s preposterous.

  • amanda-marcotte

    Called the Bible.  So I don’t have to "mind-read" to know Jesus’ opinion on certain subjects that he spoke freely about, I suppose.  No more than I have to "mind-read" to know how people behave, and how that differs from their stated beliefs.

  • emma

    I find it bizarre, lexcathedra, that you would choose to focus on that one sentence out of Amanda’s post. Do you spend a great deal of time contemplating Jesus’ concept of sexual sin? Given that Amanda wrote at least twice in that post that she’s not a Christian, it doesn’t really make sense to assume she believes she knows the mind of Jesus or wtf-ever.

     

    The fact that your storybook hero says ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone’ in the context in which he did would suggest that he did indeed think the woman’s conduct constituted a sin – the verse, as I understand it, is about not judging others and not being hypocrites. I’m not Amanda, obviously, but I would disagree with your storybook hero’s [implied] idea of sin in that I think sex is fine as long as it’s consensual, doesn’t involve kids, and so on. 

     

    I can’t believe I just wrote a whole comment on What Jesus Thinks About Sex. We need some emoticons to illustrate the silliness of this, I think.

  • emma

    Sometimes, Jim Grant, Pro-lifer, one can observe people’s behaviour and, based on that behaviour, deduce what is likely to be going through those people’s heads. Now, if I were observing a bunch of people screeching and screaming at, abusing, harassing, condemning and invading the privacy of women, and who did so day after day after day, I would probably reach certain conclusions myself, no clairvoyance required.

     

    I would say that if someone is devoting a considerable amount of time and energy to deciding people have sinned, then screaming at, abusing, harassing and condemning their target group, that person is probably not the most introspective of people. Someone who thinks it’s their right to judge, condemn, harass, and so on, is probably not spending a great deal of time contemplating her- or himself with anything resembling honesty and humility.

     

    Shorter answer: even we, the womenfolk, are able to make observations and reach conclusions based on those observations. 

  • lexcathedra

    You throw out a "preposterous" assertion of omniscience and expect it to go unchallenged, and when called on it you retreat into snarkiness. Meanwhile, your pals here attack me for daring to call your bluff.

     

    You were pleased to cite the story in "a book called the Bible" of a woman caught in adultery, so you probably also know that Jesus told her to go and sin no more. Could this be what you meant by not agreeing with Jesus that adultery constitutes sexual "sin?" 

  • chibi

    " she knows the mind of Jesus perfectly well"

     

    don’t be foolish. that’s what you and all other christians spend your lives doing. you’re just annoyed someone else claims to know better than you, i suppose. because you are an almighty christian.

     

    christians would do well with a closer, intelligent reading of their own book. most don’t have a clue and lie when they call themselves christian. 

  • concernedmom

    A bit presumptuous by stating that [all] proLIFErs don’t have an open mind, a sense of honesty, or humility? The whole point of the protesters coming to abortion clinics is to ask each woman coming in for an abortion if she’s absolutely aware of the irreversable impact this decision will have on the rest of her life. Because this choice will terminate another seperate being’s existance is not ONLY impacting her, but a new human being as well. The way ProLifers see it is if a woman doesn’t want her baby, let someone else who does, be permitted to adopt her baby when he/she is born. By terminating that child, she has robbed the baby of its right to live. Only God has the right to decide if a child should be born, or not…

  • lexcathedra

    between the Mosaic Covenant -which demanded the death of adulterers, see Leviticus 20:10- and the New Covenant that Jesus would ratify with his death, and which would be binding on all who woulod call themselves his followers. That is, Jesus would not impose the death penalty for adultery, nor would he condone it.

  • lexcathedra

    I have never aspired to being an "almighty christian." How about you?

  • kate-ranieri

    Returning to the subject, then, is the reality that there is little to no quiet contemplation only deflection, obfuscation, and tautologies from those who are beckoned to lenten observances of humility and self reflection. 

  • concernedmom

    It seems to me, you’re desperate to discredit a worldview that respects & protects the most vulnerable of human life: the unborn. Apparently, it is typically CHRISTIANS who rally to the call to defend unborn children from the brutal & selfish act of abortion… Shame on those compassionate Christians! How dare they say only God has the right to give or take a life…

  • colleen

    I have never aspired to being an "almighty christian.

    And yet you have no apparent sense of humility whatsoever as you lecture a reluctant audience about what a bible verse really means.

     

     

     

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

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • lexcathedra

    what does the passage about the woman caught in adultery REALLY mean, if you would be so kind as to enlighten us.

     

    BTW, I must confess that Dr. Warren Hern’s "apparent sense of humility" escapes me as he lectures a rapt audience here at RHRealityCheck.org about what the American anti-abortion movement can be likened to. 

  • lexcathedra

    But of course you only meant those nasty supposedly Christian anti-choicers who participate in the 40 Days protests at abortion clinics, the ones that Amanda railed against, and not the entire world’s population of Christians, some of whom may actually be spending their Lents with observances of humility and self reflection, right?

  • harry834

    ever comment on this blog? or any blog? It would add to the discussion to know what He thinks rather than always having some human speak for Him.

    While God has never done an interview, humans can’t seem to AVOID talking to the media, or blogging, or whatever. Surely God has more powerful communication devices/powers than humanity.

  • amyc

    You believe that everything’s life begins at conception. Two years ago I had a miscarriage, but I was only 6-7 weeks pregnant. In fact, I didn’t know I was pregnant until the miscarriage happened. Should I have mourned the loss of a child? No. Granted I was not happy, but I did not have a funeral either. A fetus is not the same as a human life.

    Additionally you claim that instead of abortion, these women should put their babies up for adoption. Who is going to adopt these kids? Pro-lifers themselves talk about the enormous amount of abortions that happen in this country. If all of those pregnancies were carried to term, who would take care of all those children? Most women who get an abortion are not well-to-do. They are usually poor/poorly educated. The reason they get the abortion is because they know that they will not be able to take care of the child. Our system for unwanted/removed children is already clogged. These kids spend their entire life being bumped from foster home to foster home. They often don’t do well in school, which leads to high drop-out rates. High drop-out rates lead to (you guessed it) criminal activity, drug abuse, and high risk sexual activity which then leads to more unwanted pregnancies. Maybe if you lifers weren’t so against gay marriage as well, then gay people would be allowed to adopt and take care of some of these children.

    Also if lifers really are against abortion, and not just being judgemental, then they shouldn’t want to stop legal abortions, they would work to prevent them. Comprehensive sex education in high school/junior high could significantly lower abortion rates. My sister got pregnant when she was 18. This happened because she honestly believed that it was impossible to get pregnant your first time. Her highschool did not provide comprehensive safe-sex education-it offered only education stressing abstinance. If it had offered real education, she would have known the truth about sex and it’s complications. She had her child, and married the guy who got her pregnant. Now it’s 11 years later, and guess what, neither parent has the money or time to get a higher education. They live just above the poverty line with four children; they also both work full-time jobs. Our family does what we can to help, but we’re all stretched thin right now.

    I’m not saying she should have gotten an abortion, because she is morally against it. I’m saying we should prevent the need for them. She is lucky. She has a supportive family and people who were able to help her in life. Other women are not so lucky. If you are against abortion, then logically you should be for safe-sex education. It has been shown that in the "Bible Belt" states that do not support safe-sex education that teen-pregnancy, female drop-outs, and divorce are all higher than in so-called "liberal" states that have safe-sex education. 

    My sister should have gotten the education that we all need and deserve. This education would have given her a fair chance to use contraceptives/birth control. She would have been able to choose when to have children, thus affording her and her husband the time/money to get a better education. That education would have helped them to build a better life for their future children, if they so chose to have any. It’s this choice that is key to women’s reproductive care/rights. Remember, it was less than 50 years ago that all contraceptives were illegal in many states. Maybe lifers should ask themselves if they are absolutely aware of what it would cost the child, the mother, and the rest of society if she didn’t have an abortion. Or maybe they should use lent as a time for self-reflection, and stay out of everyone else’s business.

  • concernedmom

    Aren’t you ignoring that 40 Days for Life is a reflection on the Sacred value of human life in its most vulnerable form? While I don’t condone anyone “harrassing” women going into abortion clinics, those who are willing to approach that expectant mom & plead for the life of her unborn child are trying to remind her there ARE other ALTERNATIVES besides termination. What it sounds like Amanda is doing is demonizing proLifers all into one big lump. What’s fair about that?

  • concernedmom

    God happens to be Spirit- so its His way to let His believers, the faithful servants of Christ, come forward to reason with opposing viewpoints. While the Enemy is Satan, also a spirit, whispers lies into the minds of those who refuse to bow the knee to God Almighty. Question is, who do YOU serve?

  • prochoiceferret

    God happens to be Spirit- so its His way to let His believers, the faithful servants of Christ, come forward to reason with opposing viewpoints. While the Enemy is Satan, also a spirit, whispers lies into the minds of those who refuse to bow the knee to God Almighty.

    How do you know that Satan hasn’t tricked you into thinking he is God Almighty?

  • crowepps

    While I don’t condone anyone "harrassing" women going into abortion clinics, those who are willing to approach that expectant mom & plead for the life of her unborn child are trying to remind her there ARE other ALTERNATIVES besides termination.

    Not everyone going into Planned Parenthood is pregnant, not all of the pregnant women who go into Planned Parenthood are planning to have abortions, and some of the pregnant women planning abortions need them because they are medically necessary.  Most of them have, at some time in their life, heard of adoption, because they’re not stupid.

    What it sounds like Amanda is doing is demonizing proLifers all into one big lump. What’s fair about that?

    Amanda made it pretty clear she was speaking about proLifers who demonstrate at clinics, a tiny minority of the whole.  Her combining them into one big lump seems just as fair as demonizing every woman walking into Planned Parenthood.

  • crowepps

    "You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?" Matthew 7:16

    Does their behavior demonstrate the love that is essential Christianity?

    4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 

  • prochoicegoth

    those who are willing to approach that expectant mom & plead for the life of her unborn child are trying to remind her there ARE other ALTERNATIVES besides termination.

    Um, women who have chosen to abort are not idiots. They KNOW they have other alternatives, but they also KNOW that abortion is the right choice FOR THEM. Just because there are other options, DOES NOT mean those options are right for everyone. Some women choose adoption because it’s right for them, while others choose motherhood and others choose abortion. Why? Because they know it’s the best choice.

    You lifers need to stop treating women who choose differently from what you deem right as idiots.


    It’s pro-choice or
    NO choice.

  • crowepps

    Self-reflection and repentance are not usually associated with screaming insults, accosting strangers and focusing on the sins of others.

  • prochoiceferret

    Um, women who have chosen to abort are not idiots. They KNOW they have other alternatives, but they also KNOW that abortion is the right choice FOR THEM. Just because there are other options, DOES NOT mean those options are right for everyone.

    It’s like if these folks stood in front of a McDonald’s and harangued everyone going in with "The food in there is bad for you! There are other, healthier alternatives!", they’d expect people to respond, "Gosh, I never realized that! Well, off to Whole Foods I go!"

     

    Including the mom with three screaming children who want their Happy Meal and want it NOW.

  • crowepps

    You lifers need to stop treating women who choose differently from what you deem right as idiots.

    From what I’ve seen in the various ProLife venues, they believe ALL women are idiots who need men to tell them what to do.

  • amyc

    You’re willing to plead for the life of the child, but once this child is born, would you be willing to help the mother and child? Have you ever adopted a child, been a foster parent, or volunteered at an orphanage? If you answered no to these things, then obviously you don’t care about the welfare of the child once it is born, you only care about judging the mother who would choose not to have a child that she cannot take care of. What’s fair about forcing poor women/girls, who were not given the education they needed to prevent the pregnancy in the first place, to go through the process of pregnancy and raising a child that they don’t have the means to support?

  • amanda-marcotte

    Maybe it would help to read the whole article, and engage the argument, which is that time spent judging others, trying to control others, trying to guilt others into believing their bodies belong to someone else and not to themselves, etc. is not time spent on repentence and self-reflection.

  • jgbeam

    What does your comment have to do with mine?

     

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • jgbeam

    Is a peaceful vigil, as most vigils at abortion clinics are.  I would like to see proof of any harassment at a 40 Days vigil.

     

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • amanda-marcotte

    I do realize you’re trying to change the subject to distract from the ugly realities that anti-choicers profess a faith and then don’t seem to bother with even the most basic aspects of it.  But I didn’t "dodge" anything.  I pointed out that the story’s fundamental point was that the stone-throwers use women they perceive as sexual sinners to scapegoat and distract from their own sin, and Jesus called them out. 

     

    The point is, even if you believe that women who use birth control and abortion are wayward sluts,  Jesus chastised those who put all their energy into controlling and punishing female sexuality instead of looking to self-reflection.

     

    I do not agree that sexual activity for women or men is immoral.  I’m not a big fan of rules against polyamory, premarital sex, or contraception.  I’m really not a fan of Christians trying to force their religious beliefs on the rest of us.  But the point is, even if you do believe these women are sinful, Jesus still doesn’t support your stone throwing.

     

    Did I get this through "clairvoyance"?  No. I can read.

  • amanda-marcotte

    While I don’t condone anyone "harrassing" women going into abortion
    clinics, those who are willing to approach that expectant mom &
    plead for the life of her unborn child

     

    That’s harassment.  No matter how passive-aggressive you are, when you walk up to someone and imply that she’s too stupid to know what she’s doing and what she wants, and that she owes you a listen even though she—like all Americans—has heard your arguments a million times and rejected them, you are harassing her and need to tend to your own garden.

  • crowepps

    Under the United States Code Title 18 Subsection 1514(c)1. Harassment is defined as "a course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress in such a person and serves no legitimate purpose".

    The Modern Penal Code section 250.4(MPC) defines harassment as a petty misdemeanor if, with purpose is to harass another, he: 1) makes a phone call without a legitimate purpose; or 2) insults, taunts or challenges another in a manner likely to provoke violent or disorderly response; or 3) calls at inconvenient hours or in offensive language; or 4) subjects another to offensive touching; or 5) engages in any other course of alarming conduct serving no legitimate purpose of the actor.

     

    http://www.uslawbooks.com/books/harass.htm

  • amanda-marcotte

    That they have a "legitimate" purpose, but of course, all harassers think that.  I’ve never seen a harassment situation where the victim wasn’t perceived by the assailant as disorderly and needing to be brought under control.  This is true of stalkers, wife beaters, online harassers, and people who bother women at clinics.

  • concernedmom

    That ProLifers are too stupid to ASK to speak to a client going into an abortion clinic? Like “Excuse me, may I have a minute of your time?” If she refuses, do you think we club her for ignoring us? I think not. If a client is ALREADY a bit hesitant she is doing the right thing, THIS will be the one who stops & talks to a Life advocate. If a client is already firm on having an abortion, there’s nothing more that we will do. After all, that is her ‘choice’… The only reason we are there is to speak to those who might yet listen to an alternative view…

  • lexcathedra

    "The subject" included everything that you wrote. I wanted to know how you know what Jesus defines as sexually sinful, and you still haven’t provided a clear answer. 

     

    I’m not responsible for the fact that some "anti-choicers profess a faith and then don’t seem to bother with even the most basic aspects of it."

     

    The story’s fundamental point to you is what it is to you, but it never occurred to me that the stonethrowers were trying to distract attention away from their own sinfulness. They rather thought that their own sinfulness was immaterial to the situation at hand and what the Law of Moses required. Jesus convinced them otherwise, and in effect, set the Law of Moses aside. What I wonder is why the woman’s lover wasn’t also dragged out into the street.

     

    For the record, I don’t believe "that women who use birth control and abortion are wayward sluts." Some may very well be, but I wouldn’t throw stones at them in any case. That’s just not nice.

     

     

  • crowepps

    Instead the ‘sidewalk counselors’ ignore pleas to ‘leave me alone’ and ignore statements of ‘I don’t want to talk to you’ and even ‘get away from me’ and continue to follow people and ‘witness’ at them.

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1prCdEyGG2o

     

    The bullhorns certainly don’t give the impression that the ‘counselors’ are ‘asking’ either.

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pbFGE4bmug

     

    Youtube is just SO valuable in this kind of discussion

  • concernedmom

    I’d be willing to help that child born to the kind of mother you described! That’s the whole idea- there ARE people waiting to ADOPT! Why do you insist sentencing an unwanted pregnancy to termination is such a viable.option? Why not analyize other alternatives that don’t sacrifice an unborn infant on the altar of MY INCONVENIENCE WILL NOT BE ALLOWED…

  • crowepps

    What I wonder is why the woman’s lover wasn’t also dragged out into the street.

    Traditionally sexual purity laws are enforced by punishing the woman.

     

    The man, of course, has the excuse that men have used since Adam, "she tempted me".

  • amanda-marcotte

    That someone owes you  her time and attention simply because you look down on her as a wayward girl is harassment.  Can we please stop the dishonesty?  I’m so tired of antis pretending this is anything but an attempt to make women feel bad for no other reason than to punish them. At least in the old days, sidewalk protesters didn’t pretend that their harassment was "help".

  • amanda-marcotte

    That I can read.  And everything comment from you since then has been an attempt to distract from the obvious parallels between those who stone adulteresses and those who gather around women they believe are sexual sinners to punish them with harassment and humiliation.  A narrow reading of this as "Jesus just isn’t down with killing them" is silly and probably dishonest.  He didn’t say, "Humiliating them is great, but killing them is maybe a bit over the line."  He said, "Let he without sin, etc." 

     

    You’d have to be willfully stupid not to see that it’s fundamentally a story about how female sexuality and condemning of it is how people allow themselves to feel self-righteous while still being awful people.

     

    It is interesting how anti-choicers are so attached to shaming and judging, so interested in sadistically seeking out sexual women for humiliation, that they will deliberately seek out the most nonsensical reading of the Bible to preserve their hobby.

  • crowepps

    DA links fundamentalist "training" to Paradise girl’s death

    By TERRY VAU DELL – Staff Writer

    The Schatzes were arrested Saturday morning after their adopted daughter, Lydia, age 7, stopped breathing. She was subsequently pronounced dead.

     

    Her 11-year-old sister, Zariah Schatz, remains in critical condition at a Sacramento children’s hospital, though she is showing some signs of recovery. The two were adopted at the same time with an infant girl, now 3, from the same African orphanage about three years ago,

     

    Prosecutors allege the two victims were subjected to "hours" of corporal punishment by their parents on successive days last Thursday and Friday with a quarter-inch-wide length of rubber or plastic tubing, which police reportedly recovered from the parents’ bedroom.

     

    Police allege that the younger girl was being disciplined for mis-pronouncing a word during a home-school reading lesson the day before she died.

      

    http://www.chicoer.com/news/ci_14388171
  • concernedmom

    Then there’s no chance then that a YouTube video MADE BY pro choicers wouldn’t be STAGED, or anything like that? I mean, wouldn’t YOU automatically ask that, if you saw a video of ProLife counsellors peacefully speaking to a woman/girl wavering on her decision to have an abortion? You have never failed to DIScredit any form of media we cite for what we’ve seen from our lenses. So can’t really take a YouTube video as what REALLY happened, unless I was there.

  • kate-ranieri

    A ‘Life Advocate’ makes me laugh because it replaced the old term, sidewalk counselor, and because it ignores the very real life of the woman with an unplanned pregancy. You see, ConcernedMom, there are those of us who value the life of and advocate for the woman. There are those of us who trust women to make the best decisions for themselves based on counseling by professionals (not religious whackadoodles with biased, dangerous literature and ideas) who fully disclose their options. Life Advocate really means fetus advocate. You and your ilk didn’t like it when, as a sidewalk counselor, you were told to go counsel the sidewalk. Now you’ve renamed yourself into something closer to the truth of your practice of groveling and begging for your fetus fetish.

  • concernedmom

    It must make more sense [according to y’all] to just save those unwanted pregnancies from any chance of being adopted by a criminal, by never allowing them to live in the first place? My, what twisted logic THAT is!!

  • kate-ranieri

    It’s entirely presumptious to think that prolifers have a right to subject their interrogations on women who are absolute strangers. It’s also an amazing act of hubris to presume that women don’t realize the irreversibilty of abortion. My god, woman. Think about it. Do you really believe that they don’t know that? 

     

    But let me tell you something you may not know, based on academic research from recognized scholars, abortion for the majority of women is a decision that causes no regret, no depression, no breast cancer. In other words, abortion is not a decision that will have an impact on the rest of her life.

     

    But it’s OK if you believe in what you do, just don’t foist your beliefs on the unwilling woman. If you do, in that moment, you’re no different than a rapist. If she says no to your interrogations or pleas, she means no.  

  • crowepps

    If that means you’re going to restrict your future posts only to what happened when you were personally present that’s terrific.  This site already has far too much ‘evidence’ against Planned Parenthood that’s based on what somebody told somebody happened to a friend of theirs or on highly edited videos produced by admitted liars.

  • kate-ranieri

    I’ll let you answer your own baiting questions. 

  • amanda-marcotte

    But I don’t think you’re fooling anyone with your strained reading.  I don’t know why you bother, honestly. It’s transparent that the need to judge and harass women is conflicting with a religious text that openly chastises the behavior you participate in.  You could give up Christianity, or you could give up freaking out on sexually active women, but what you choose to do instead is simply write strained interpretations of straightforward texts.

  • crowepps

    If I were working at an adoption placement agency, I would be really reluctant to place a child with a fanatic who thought they were ‘saving the child for the Lord’, because that attitude seems to me to be an indicator of a dangerous instability.

  • amanda-marcotte

    It’s disingenuous and passive-agressive to hide your harassment techniques behind terms like "ask".  Getting up in someone’s face is getting up in someone’s face, even if you put a question mark on it.  Demanding someone’s time and implying she is too stupid to have thought about her decision is what it is, even if you slap a question mark on it.

     

    Patients, escorts, and workers are aware they’re being harassed.  Denying they understand their realities is a classic abusive tactic used against women in many ways, so of course it’s being used here.

  • kate-ranieri

    Staged videos? Get real? When was the last time you were at a clinic where the anti choicers were peaceful, prayerful? Where is this clinic? I’ll admit the fact that there are tiny percentage of protesters at the Allentown Women’s Center who are truly prayerful and peaceful but only because they mind their own business. The rest of them are aggressive old white men and women screaming ‘don’t let them turn your baby into road kill’ or ‘mommy, daddy, don’t let them tear my arms and legs off’ or ‘the blood of that child will be on her hands’ and the aggression continues ad nauseum. Even if they said nothing, there mere presence is alarming for women. But I guess that doesn’t matter.

     

    And if that’s not enough to harass and shame, their so-called literature shows bloody, gestationally-inaccurate images of bits of fetal parts, uses scare tactics about lethal outcomes, and worse.

     

    So visit a clinic in your state. From the way you write, you have either never been to a clinic  with the screaming sidewalk mongrels or your clinic is lucky to have the rare prolifers who mind their own business.  

  • invisiblepinkunicorn

    I’ve never had an abortion, never been to a PP, but I’m rather baffled by the attitude pro-life "street counsellors" seem to have.  There’s a difference between "You’re murdering your baby!", "You’re going to hell, slattern!", and "Hey baby, I got a swing like that in my back yard"?  Each of the speakers thinks their statement earns them the right to converse with whoever their words were aimed at.  Each thinks the recipient of their attention should be thankful for it.  Each thinks that what they have to say is so immensely important that common courtesy must be discarded and that their target owes them their time and attention. Oh, and each of those can become very irate when blown off. 

     

    Can we add "entitlement" to the list of sins? 

     

    Here’s a refresher course in conversation between strangers:  don’t do it.  Random people, whatever their sex or gender, don’t owe you a moment of their time.  They do not owe you politeness and consideration.  They do not have to feel appreciation for your "concern" or skeevy "compliments".  You–yes, even pro-lifers "who just want to give you one last chance to save your child and your soul"–are dripping with entitlement if you think otherwise.  Women know your spiel, we’ve heard it before, and we disagree (and if one of us should give you a suggestion regarding what you should do with your excretory-tract after you’ve inquired about our reproductive systems, don’t be surprised or play the victim.).   (*crosses fingers that paragraphs don’t vanish when I hit post*)

  • lexcathedra

    What religious text openly chastises behavior that I participate in? You don’t know jack shit about my life besides what I’m doing right now, responding to your unfounded assertions in this thread of yours that is full of sneering contempt for "anti-choicers."

     

    I tell you what I think and you basically call me a liar, but I will tell you that I have never in my life protested at an abortion clinic, and that I have never in my life wanted to stone a woman who was caught in adultery. Does that help? I doubt it.

     

    It appears to me that yours is the very strained reading of John’s account of the woman caught in adultery, warped as it is by your woman-as-victim-of-beastly-men mentality. Perhaps you should read it again, this time from the perspective of an Orthodox Jew who wants to keep faith with Moses, if you can…  

     

     

     

  • crowepps

    Why would an Orthodox jew have an governing opinion about what would to them be a heretical text discussing someone who, in the Orthodox Jewish opinion, falsely claimed to be the messiah?  Particularly when the authenticity of the story is suspect even for Christians?  And I certainly don’t see why her interpretation is ‘strained’ since that’s the one I have always heard.

    Jesus Forgives a Woman Taken in Adultery

    This story, beloved for its revelation of God’s mercy toward sinners, is found only in John. It was almost certainly not part of John’s original Gospel. The NIV separates this passage off from the rest of the Gospel with the note, "The earliest and most reliable manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53–8:11." That is, the earliest Greek manuscripts, the earliest translations and the earliest church fathers all lack reference to this story. Furthermore, some manuscripts place it at other points within John (after 7:36, 7:44 or 21:25), others include it in the Gospel of Luke (placing it after Luke 21:38), and many manuscripts have marks that indicate the scribes "were aware that it lacked satisfactory credentials" (Metzger 1994:189). Furthermore, it contains many expressions that are more like those in the Synoptic Gospels than those in John.

     

    These opponents have a commendable zeal for righteousness, but theirs is a shallow righteousness that shows no concern for the soul of this woman. They are also being rather deceitful. There is no evidence that this law was carried out with any regularity, so they are raising a question in the name of loyalty to Moses, using a part of Moses’ teaching that they themselves most likely have not kept. Furthermore, since the law says both the man and the woman who commit adultery are to be killed, we are left wondering why the man was not brought in as well. It may be that he had escaped, but the fact that only the woman is brought raises suspicions and does not speak well of their zeal for the law of Moses; for if they were really committed, they would have brought the man as well. Indeed, the law makes it clear that stoning could only take place after a careful trial, which included the chance for the condemned to confess his or her wrong (m. Sanhedrin 6:1-4). The hypocrisy of the opponents is evident.

    This situation is apparently just an attempt to entrap Jesus (v. 6). If he is lax toward the law, then he is condemned. But if he holds a strict line, then he has allowed them to prevail in their ungodly treatment of this woman and has opened himself up to trouble from the Romans, for he will be held responsible if the stoning proceeds. The leaders of Israel are putting God to the test in the person of his Son, repeating the Israelites’ historical pattern on more than one occasion in the wilderness at Meribah and Massah (Ex 17:2; Num 20:13; cf. Deut 6:16; Ps 95:8-9; 106:14).

    The third stage, Jesus’ response to the opponents (vv. 6-9), is very memorable. While remaining seated he bends over and writes with his finger on the ground. This act of writing on the ground is itself very significant. Kenneth E. Bailey has pointed out (in unpublished form) that it was unlawful to write even two letters on the sabbath but that writing with dust was permissible (m. shabbat 7:2; 12:5). If this were the eighth day of the feast, which was to be kept as a day of rest, then Jesus’ writing on the ground would show that he knows well not only the law but also the oral interpretations.

    Furthermore, his writing echoes an Old Testament passage, thereby turning it into a symbolic action (Jeremias 1972:228): "O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the Lord, the spring of living water" (Jer 17:13). Here "written in the dust" probably means the opposite of being written in the book of life (Ex 32:32; Dan 12:1); those who have turned away are consigned to death because they have rejected the one who is the source of the water of life. Thus it appears that Jesus is associating his opponents with those whom God condemns for forsaking himself and whom he consigns to death. The judgment that they suggest Jesus execute on this adulterous woman is in fact the judgment that he visits upon them for their rejection of him–the one who has offered them God’s living water (7:38-39). In rejecting Jesus, they are forsaking God, and thereby committing a most shameful act. Adultery is shameful, certainly, but they themselves are acting in a shameful way worthy of death.

    All of this is conveyed simply by Jesus’ action of writing on the ground, which alludes to this passage from Jeremiah. This action could have this meaning whatever it was he wrote. Not surprisingly, many people have proposed theories of what he actually wrote on the ground. Perhaps the most common suggestion is still the most likely–that he wrote out some form of condemnation addressed toward them. This interpretation has been strengthened in recent years by the publication of a papyrus fragment from 256 B.C. (Zenon Papyrus 59) that uses the verb found here (katagrapho) in the sense of writing out an accusation against someone (Bauer, Gingrich and Danker 1979:410). So perhaps Jesus cited commands he knew them to be guilty of breaking, or it could be he cited Jeremiah 17:13 putting, as it were, a caption under his symbolic act. Or maybe he enacted Jeremiah 17:13 by actually writing out the names of the accusers. Since they did not get his point right away, perhaps first he cited Jeremiah and then, as they persisted, he began to write their names. Such suggestions are obviously speculative, but they indicate possible explanations of what is happening.

    When Jesus calls for the one without sin to cast the first stone he accomplishes several things: it relieves him from the charge of having instigated a stoning; it ensures there will not be a stoning, since none of the accusers will want to take responsibility for it; and it causes them to reflect on their own sinfulness before God. It has often been suggested that the eldest accusers were the first to leave (v. 9) because they recognized their own sinfulness more readily. However, leaving in this order may simply reflect the custom of deferring to the elders. In any case, their withdrawal was in fact a confession of sin. Those who came to condemn ended up condemning themselves by not casting a stone.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/John/Jesus-Forgives-Woman-Taken

  • heather-corinna

    The way you’re describing how it goes with protesters outside clinics is pretty incredible.

     

    Especially for those who have worked at clinics and/or done escorting or BEEN someone going into a clinic as a patient (or all three) and have experienced something vastly different than the rosy picture you’re painting.

     

    I have to ask: do you think we’re stupid? Because I’m having a tough time figuring out why else you’d tell some of us how things go when you’ve got to know many of us know better from direct experience.

     

    (Mind, I have never seen anyone club anyone.  But the rest of what you’re putting out here simply is not accurate for abortion clinic protestors as a whole IME.  For sure, I’ve seen some protestors who do just stand quiety wth their signs — often unpleasant, inaccurate or harassing in and of themselves, but still — and also a couple who simply sit with roasaries across the street and quietly pray. That tends to be the exception, though, not the rule. I haven’t seen any of this lovely please-and-thank-you business, and I have seen a whole lot of very intense harassment, yelling and many protestors HARDLY just waiting on the sidelines unless a patient wants to talk to them, and not even remotely leaving women be who don’t want to engage with them.)

  • lexcathedra

    I’d also read that this account of the woman caught in adultery may have been fabricated, but I’m not the one who made it the centerpiece of a total blast against "anti-choicers" at 40 Days events.

     

    The answer to your question, "Why would an Orthodox jew have an governing opinion about what would to them be a heretical text discussing someone who, in the Orthodox Jewish opinion, falsely claimed to be the messiah?" seems to me to be obvious. It is to know one’s enemy.

     

    So, you honestly believe that it was to deflect attention away from their own sinfulness that the "stone throwers" behaved as they did? That is Amanda’s contention, but it doesn’t jive with what you posted above, that it was to trap Jesus as a lawbreaker that his enemies posed this test.

  • crowepps

    So, you honestly believe that it was to deflect attention away from their own sinfulness that the "stone throwers" behaved as they did?

    No, I don’t believe that.  I think they behaved as they did because they were interested in earthly power, and there’s no better way to obtain that power than to self-appoint yourself as God’s champion against the unrighteous and no better way to reinforce that power than to pick out a powerless victim and punish them publicly.  If you can entrap one of your opponents in the process by getting them to argue compassion, that’s a bonus.

     

    Self-righteousness and a strong warning to any who might oppose you all in one neat package, and there are always plenty of disposable poor women whom society is eager to agree are ‘unclean’.

     

     

  • lexcathedra

    I honestly don’t know what you mean by writing, "there are always plenty of disposable poor women whom society is eager to agree are ‘unclean’." Really. It offends me deeply that you would even make this kind of argument. No one is disposable!

  • lexcathedra

    your understanding of the mind of Jesus with regard to what constitutes sexual sin, PERIOD, but you have blown it completely out of proportion.

     

    Have you read what crowepps posted about the story of the woman caught in adultery? Read it carefully, as I have, please.

  • emma

    So you go to a lot of them, Jim grant, Pro-lifer? You like to hassle and guilt trip women, I take it. Did something happen in your childhood to make you obsessed with vaginas and foetuses? I’m curious about the psychology/psychopathology of men who hang around in front of clinics invading strangers’ privacy.

  • lexcathedra

  • lexcathedra

    Have you been a foster parent, or volunteered at an orphanage? If you have done any of these things, then I salute you as a lover and saver of life! Thank you!!!

     

    On the other hand, if you have done none of these things, then what is stopping you???

     

    To everyone reading this, seize the day! You don’t know how long you have to make things right!

  • kate-ranieri

    Take a look at the protesters at the Allentown Women’s Center. This video is posted on the Enough! Basta! Stop Sidewalk Bullying at Women’s Center Facebook. 

     

    http://media.causes.com/714205

     

  • mechashiva

    I worked at a clinic in CA, where FACE is typically enforced pretty well and clinics are often set up with less opportunity for protersters to get right up in patients’ faces.

     

    Our protesters liked 40 Days For Life so much that they did it 2 or 3 times each year, not just during Lent. I think they liked it because making it into a formal event allowed them to invite more well-known (to them, I’ve never heard of most of the people they think are so brilliant) speakers, and it attracts more people. More people plus a few whackos equals larger, louder, more aggressive protests. I think they honestly enjoy being abusive, but only let that out when they think there is an excuse or it is sanctioned by others.

     

    During regular times of the year, our protesters were annoying, but things always got worse during 40 Days. Normally, protesters approach slow-moving cars as they entered or exited the parking lot. During 40 Days, we were often informed that they were actually blocking the entrance and exit. Normally, they stayed on the sidewalk. During 40 Days, we would occassionally find known protesters in groups inside the building, pointing at and discussing the location of our office. Normally, most of the protesters were older women who were generally soft-spoken and one or two men who yelled a lot at us and our clients (and clients of other offices in the building). During 40 Days, the crowd was primarily made up of men who yelled, and the women became much more aggressive in their presence. Normally, protesters had signs advertising their CPC. During 40 Days, their signs were gory, insulting/shaming, or fear-mongering about the risks of abortion.

     

    40 Days For Life is absolutely NOT keeping with the tradition of Lent. It is NOT about self-reflection, it is about making a bigger crowd, being more aggressive than individual protesters would normally consider appropriate, and patting each-other on the back a lot. 40 Days For Life was also not effective. We often had more patients than usual, and we had fewer cancellations during it. Harassment, even of the passive-aggressive sort, never changed anyone’s mind. In short, there is nothing positive to say about 40 Days For Life.

  • crowepps

    The maternal mortality rate among black women is at least three times higher than among white women. Black women also are more susceptible to hypertension and other complications, and they tend to receive inadequate prenatal care. Three studies have shown that at least 40% of maternal deaths could have been prevented with improved quality of care.

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/80743.php

    I agree with you that those women shouldn’t be considered ‘disposable’ but I think our public policies reflect the fact that as far as the power brokers are concerned, that’s precisely what they are: "not important enough for anyone to raise a fuss over their deaths".

     

    Take a look at the kill rates racked up by serial killers who fly under the radar of law enforcement so long as they restrict their hunting to prostitutes, because the brutal deaths of prostitutes are dismissed as "a consequence of their lifestyle".

     

    And of course, listen to the posters here, who seem to think that a woman’s only ‘moral’ choice when there are pregnancy complications is just go ahead and die.

  • emma

    OMFG. The second video in particular…what a bunch of utter freaks. They’re clearly wanting to harass and intimidate, not ‘help’ – they’d have to know that no one would actually be inclined to stop and chat to a bunch of raving lunatics waving bibles and screeching into bullhorns. They’re the kind of people who you’d cross the road to avoid in any other situation, because walking through a group of religious maniacs is scary as hell. They would have to be aware of that. They just want to terrify and intimidate. It would be very nice if some of the commenters here would stop trying to pretend otherwise.

  • crowepps

    From Protest to Retribution: The Guerrilla Politics of Pro-life Violence 

     

    In the 1990s, pro-life violence signaled a move away from protest and toward retribution. Pro-life litigation and legislation, especially as described in an underground manual titled Firestorm: A Guerrilla Strategy for Pro-Life America, also indicate this trend. In fact, pro-life guerrilla warfare and pro-life ”guerrilla legislation” function together politically, even if they are not orchestrated. Close analyses of Firestorm and other primary sources show that pro-life ideology accommodates retributive violence not only implicitly and in practice, but explicitly and in principle. Pro-life retribution is seen as a way to restore the order of God. In this light, the phenomenon of killing for ”life” is revealed not as an oxymoron, but as a logical consistency and a political manifestation of religious retribution.

     

    http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a713687891&db=all

  • crowepps

    The video link I posted was fairly mellow but to me it had a disturbing feel — in the dark a young man, unrecognization in his hoodie, is purported to be standing outside a woman’s car door so she can’t open it, trying to get her to talk to him.

     

    When the clinic escorts arrive with a camera he allows her to get out, and then, despite her requests that he leave her alone, he hustles along beside her across the lot, informing her there’s a ProLife center down the street, and saying, just come with us, just come with us.

     

    I mean, hey, Dude, I’m sorry, but no woman in her right mind would walk off into the darkness with a creepy stranger.

  • lexcathedra

    In the end they answer to God, as do we all. My interest, here, is arguing that ALL human life is precious and should be accorded ALL due respect, but according ALL due respect is quite frankly what I don’t see here, and I wonder why that is.

     

    If a pregnancy must be terminated for health reasons, then why SHOULDN’T every effort be made to save the child’s life, FOR ITS OWN SAKE, if it is at all possible?

     

    I for one am SICK TO DEATH of the argument that the unborn child should be thought of as the PRIVATE PROPERTY of its mother, and it baffles and frustrates me that so-called feminists would consider this a legitimate argument for equality with men, since men NO LONGER regard women as PROPERTY, and can’t as a matter of law.

     

     

     

     

  • emma

    Is there any particular reason you need to worship foetuses reflect on sacred life in front of clinics? Why can you not do that at home or in church? I call bullshit: protesters aren’t reflecting on the sacredness of life; they’re busy focusing on what other people are doing with their reproductive systems. I know that when I’m reflecting on something, I don’t go out and yell at people, because that takes the focus away from me and whatever I need to reflect on, and displaces it onto someone else.

  • jayn

    If a pregnancy must be terminated for health reasons, then why
    SHOULDN’T every effort be made to save the child’s life, FOR ITS OWN
    SAKE, if it is at all possible?

     

    I suppose that would depend on what negative impact that would have on the woman’s health, and the child’s actual chances of survival.  Remember, there’s two lives here, and childbirth–natural or otherwise–isn’t exactly easy on a woman’s body.  Of course, that’s an issue for the woman in question to discuss with her doctor.

     

    I for one am SICK TO DEATH of the argument that the unborn child should
    be thought of as the PRIVATE PROPERTY of its mother, and it baffles and
    frustrates me that so-called feminists would consider this a legitimate
    argument for equality with men, since men NO LONGER regard women as
    PROPERTY, and can’t as a matter of law. 

     

    I’ve never actually heard this argument in regards to abortion.  Usually, what I hear is the opposite–that a woman’s body should not be thought of as public (as in, not solely for her use) property.  It’s really hard to make the argument that the right to life is absolute without also limiting the autonomy of a woman to control her own body–I’d be surprised if such an argument was possible (and also curious what it was).  While a child is not property, neither is the mother, and some of us feel that right to life or not, the fetus has NO right to use of the mother’s body, even to sustain its own life.

  • colleen

    I think they behaved as they did because they were interested in
    earthly power, and there’s no better way to obtain that power than to
    self-appoint yourself as God’s champion against the unrighteous and no
    better way to reinforce that power than to pick out a powerless victim
    and punish them publicly.  If you can entrap one of your opponents in
    the process by getting them to argue compassion, that’s a bonus.

     

     This is a wonderful response, Crowepps.

     

     

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

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • kate-ranieri

    ConcernedMom, 40 Days for Life is a reflection on the Sacred value of human life in its most vulnerable form? Only for the virulent protesters. Lent is a season of sacrifice, prayer & introspection and almsgiving. Nothing about Lent or 40 Days was ever about a marketing tool to drive prolifers to abortion clinics. 

     

    Talk about revisionist history! 

  • crowepps

    If a pregnancy must be terminated for health reasons, then why SHOULDN’T every effort be made to save the child’s life, FOR ITS OWN SAKE, if it is at all possible?

    Why do you jump the unwarranted conclusion that this isn’t being attempted?  What do you think premature births are?  Why do you think all those babies are in neonatal intensive care?  Unfortunately, this option is not available until the pregnancy is quite a ways further along than it apparently is in this case and the woman will probably be dead before the fetus is large enough to survive.

    I for one am SICK TO DEATH of the argument that the unborn child should be thought of as the PRIVATE PROPERTY of its mother, and it baffles and frustrates me that so-called feminists would consider this a legitimate argument for equality with men, since men NO LONGER regard women as PROPERTY, and can’t as a matter of law.

    I don’t consider the fetus "the private property of its mother".  I consider the UTERUS the private property of the woman.

     

    If you think men no longer regard women as property, you haven’t seen the domestic violence stats or read about the men who murder wives and girlfriends who try to escape them.  As is obvious by the abortion controversy itself, there is as big difference between the way people ‘regard’ things and what the law says.

  • ack

    >>>That’s the whole idea- there ARE people waiting to ADOPT!>>>

    In my state, at least 2,000 kids are waiting to be adopted. 

     

    >>>Why not analyize other alternatives that don’t sacrifice an unborn
    infant on the altar of MY INCONVENIENCE WILL NOT BE ALLOWED..>>>

     

    To me, the alternatives are preventing unwanted pregnancy and supporting women. Pro-choicers advocate for comprehensive sex ed and programs that help women who want to continue their pregnancies and those who wish to care for their children. But if a woman is pregnant and doesn’t want to be pregnant, she has the right to terminate that pregnancy. 

    Pregnancy is not an inconvenience. It’s a very, very big risk. Forcing a woman to undergo an unwanted pregnancy is akin to torture, and requires the equivalent of governmental or societal mandates that we would never place on anyone else. Bodily autonomy isn’t even debatable when you’re dead, only when you’re pregnant. 

  • lexcathedra

    According ALL due respect to "the fetus" is not even on your radar, as it "has NO right to use of the mother’s body, even to sustain its own life."

     

    What the hell else can it do? Apologize for the intrusion and beg for mercy? You are one twisted sister, Jayn.  

  • crowepps

    People tend to forget that Christ’s bitterest opponents were the Pharisees, who stood on the letter of the law and forgot the heart of it.

     

     

  • lexcathedra

    still allows abortions for medical necessity. Save the lives that you can save.

     

    It’s good to read that YOU at least don’t regard the fetus as "the private property of its mother."

     

    I’m not responsible for men who act like beasts toward women. May they be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

  • colleen

    I tend to give up on Christianity and then I meet folks like you. Thank you so much for posting here.

     

     

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

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • lexcathedra

    from Dr. Hern? What possible good does it serve?

  • colleen

    What possible good does it serve?

     

    It speaks the truth

     

     

     

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

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • ahunt

    ALL human life is precious and should be accorded ALL due respect

     

    Well no…such is not the case, has never been the case, and is unlikely to ever be the case.

  • ack

    In my state, one only needs to prove a series of acts (2 or more) over any time period that would alarm, harass, or annoy a reasonable person to obtain an Injunction Against Harassment. It’s my understanding that this is fairly common language throughout the US. For some petitions, these acts happen over the course of an hour. It would be interesting to see a patient who experienced harassment on the way into the clinic during 40 Days of Harassment obtain an IAH against all of the protesters she encountered. If you could show that they shouted, followed, or touched you after you told them to leave you alone, many judges would grant one. It would be valid for a year, so the petitioner could simply make an appointment at any time during the next protest and call the police on that day. (Or better yet, become a volunteer! Injunction Against Work Harassment!) From a risk perspective, the protesters named on the order may not attend at all, since they would have no idea if she would show up on that day.

    I understand that from a political perspective, clinics themselves can’t do this. I also understand that most patients wouldn’t put themselves out there like this; their concern is health care. But I thought it was interesting…

  • concernedmom

    A storybook hero?! It amazes me the depths that the condemned will sink to justify their hard hearts. Sorry, if you deliberately take an innocent life, you ARE condemned. What difference does it make if that life hasn’t been born yet?

  • concernedmom

    “Well no…[all human life is precious & should be accorded due respect]…such is not the case, never been the case, & unlikely to ever be the case.”
    If that isn’t a quote from the Prince of Darkness, I don’t know what is!

  • ahunt

    Well just call me the Daughter of the Princess of Reality.

     

    Get over yourself, CM, and demonstrate to me how all human life is, or has been, "precious" ….or can ever be accorded the respect implicit in Lex’s posts.

     

    Between now and then, I’m coming down on the side of women making the decisions best for them, and for their families.

  • mechashiva

    Value is determined by society. Throughout history and across all cultures, certain groups of people have been considered worth less (or worthless). Therefore, it has never been the case that "all human life is precious." Based on our history, we can very easily predict that humans will always place less or more value on certain groups.

     

    As for how things should be, that’s all a matter of personal opinion, and when it comes to embryos we obviously don’t all agree. I sincerely doubt that society on a whole will ever truely consider embryos equal in status to born children or adults, as this has never been the case in any culture at any time in human history. Never. And, no, I don’t think that has anything to do with our understanding of developmental physiology. I don’t think that ultrasound or other forms of fetal imaging will change this.

     

    Our culture values the woman’s individual autonomy more than we value the life of the embryo she is gestating. We might set lower limits for accessing elective abortions, but we will always leave some avenue open for women to end an unwanted pregnancy (even if it means crossing state lines). Some states may want more restrictions than others, but the country will always protect the right to choose somewhere. It is just a question of whether the ability to choose is equally feasible for women of all different socioeconomic backgrounds.

  • lexcathedra

    but not ALL human life is accorded due respect.

     

    Why shouldn’t embryos be accorded equal status to born children or adults? Is it strictly because of where they happen to reside that they are regarded as "worth less (or worthless)?"

     

    It is a perverse culture, even one in love with death, that values "the woman’s individual autonomy more than" the "value the life of the embryo she is gestating."

     

    What "would be nice" becomes "what actually is" when YOU choose to make it so.

  • lexcathedra

    I’m not Muslim and don’t know Arabic. I don’t wear a turban or sport a beard. I’m opposed to beheading women, and here’s a favorite quote: 

     

    "I dream…of a world where we can commit our social resources to the development of human life and not to its destruction!"  Benazir Bhutto

    I should add that Benazir Bhutto was an ardent pro-lifer and not a member of the Taliban.

     

    You can read more about this remarkable woman here: http://www.feministsforlife.org/news/ffl-remembers-benazir-bhutto.htm

     

     

  • emma

    Should I have said ‘fairy tale prince’? Because that works just as well for me.

     

    Anyway, now that you’ve accused ahunt of being satan and given the freaky funniness of various other comments of yours, I’m coming to the conclusion that you’re a parody troll. :)

  • emma

    Yeah, that was fairly creepy. I sure as hell wouldn’t go wandering in the dark with him. (Actually, he looks like a guy I once met through a uni friend about ten years ago…we heard some time later that he was being questioned in connection with a murder involving garrotting. Digression, sorry.) The second video was just kind of (sorry to use the word, but) exotic to me in its weirdness, with the arm-waving Pentecostal Americanness.*

     

    *I think that might sound more offensive than it’s intended to be. Pentecostalism is newish as a phenomenon in Australia, and I still associate it with early morning American televangelist shows.

     

     

  • rebellious-grrl

    It’s your opinion that it’s an "ugly" quote. Yes, you are entitled to your own opinion and your own take on reality. There is a similarity of oppression of women that is displayed in the anti-choice Christian fundamentalists and the extremist Muslim group the Taliban. The main similarity of both groups — they use religion to oppress women.

    Do you remember something called the witch trials? (The Catholic Inquisition was set up by the 4th Lateran Council in 1215 A.D. by Pope Gregory 9th to institutionalise what had been going on for years. It was handed over in 1232 to the Dominicans (Domini canes "the hounds of the Lord"), the Papal secret police. The Inquisition was dissolved in 1870. (the hostility to sex and women – http://www.atheistfoundation.org.au/articles/witch-hunts-and-christian-mentality).  Women were brutally killed because they possessed knowledge about how to control their own fertility. It seams like the modern day Christian fundamentalists still think women who control their own fertility/bodies are still witches. They are still raging on with their battle against women. They know, If you can control a women’s fertility you can control her.

  • amyc

    In fact, I never spoke of anyone’s inconvenience. And you didn’t actually answer my question. Have you ever volunteered as a foster parent, adopted a child, or volunteered at an orphanage? If there are people out there who want to give these children a home, then I ask you: Where are they? I made the same comments in a much longer post at the beginning, but nobody responded. Go read that post, research what it’s really like to be an orphan in America, and then tell me that these women should all go through with the pregnancy. When we can find a home for all the children who are already orphans in America, and we can stop the cycle that I mentioned in my original post (to which you did not reply) then we can say no more abortions. But we all know that’s impossible. The best we can do is try to prevent women from needing abortions by teaching comprehensive sex education in school. If young people have the information they need, then the rate of teen pregnancies would drop, the spread of std’s could slow down, and the rate of highschool female dropouts would decrease. Work on prevention, not obstruction of a right that has already been afforded us.

  • amyc

    No I have not adopted a child or volunteered to be a foster parent. Reason: I’m 22 and in college. I don’t do those specific things because my home probably wouldn’t be much better than being an orphan. They’re aren’t any orphanages that I know of in my area. I don’t have the resources to take care of a child right now. I have however volunteered in a few soup kitchens. I helped with "big brother-big sister", and I work in a church nursery every Sunday. I also donate to organizations that will help these children find a home. Unfortunately not everybody does that, and the people who do have the resources to take care of these children usually already have a family/are not allowed to adopt because they’re gay/are not looking to adopt/they’re too busy protesting at abortion clinics. (that last one was obviously a joke)

  • mechashiva

    You cannot argue that all human life is precious if all human life is not "accorded due respect." Something does not have worth unless we treat it as though it does, because "worth" is subjective. It isn’t as though gold (or anything else) has innate value.

     

    Continuing on…

    Actually, yes, the embryo’s location makes all the difference. Two entities residing within the same body cannot have equal rights. One will always have more right to determine how the body is used than the other. Since the two entities reside within the woman’s body, the woman is the one whose rights should take precedence.

     

    You can see this attitude illustrated in our laws concerning 3rd trimester abortions. 3rd trimester fetuses are generally considered separate entities deserving the right to life (no elective abortion, fetal homicide laws, etc). However, if the pregnancy conflicts with the woman’s health, she has the right to terminate (if she can find a provider). Her right to her own wellbeing trumps the fetus’s right to life in that situation. Individuals might disagree with that decision, but our society generally agrees that the law is correct (consider recent bans in conservative states that were shot down by the voters on the basis that there were no health or sexual assault exceptions made).

     

    As for the "what might be nice" comment, that was directed at you in particular (I am comfortable with how embryos are valued). You can make different value judgements for yourself, but you cannot force your value system onto an entire population.

  • rebellious-grrl

    Gee ConcernedMom, it seams like you KNOW a lot about hostility. I can hear it in your posts. Maybe a little self projection there? Hmm

  • jgbeam

    I go to vigils to pray that an unborn child may be saved.  I have never hassled a woman in my life.

     

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • jgbeam

    I believe you are a relativity new poster here.  You will soon be aware, if not already, that the pro-choicers on this site simply do not acknowledge that every pregnancy involves three persons.  The father is NEVER discussed here and the baby is just an inconvenient tissue, not a human life.  It’s only about the woman.  I happen to believe that all three persons are equal but one is unable to defend itself.  My prayers are for the baby.

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • rebellious-grrl

    I’m sorry but that is ridiculous and do you believe in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the Tooth Fairy, and Santa Claus? Seriously get real. I have personally witnessed this type of behavior by anti-choices for 15 years plus. Many of us have personally witnessed this behavior. Do you think that pro-choicers spend all of their time making fake videos to condemn the anti-choice side? Really?

     

    Thanks crowepps for posting the videos. 

  • crowepps

    God will still hear you if you pray at home.  The hassle is implicit in your presence in the mob of ‘women are evil and God hates them’ protestors.

  • crowepps

    No, you’re not personally responsible for men who act like beasts, any more than you are personally responsible for women who have abortions.  But your efforts to insert yourself and your opinions into the decisions of the women do make me wonder why you don’t also feel compelled to protest the actions of the men who get them pregnant and then fail to give them the emotional, financial and social support they would need to be able to complete the pregnancy.

  • lexcathedra

    The American anti-abortion movement even includes atheists and agnostics! See: http://www.godlessprolifers.org/home.html

     

     

  • rebellious-grrl

    Ok, let’s review this again. I am a woman. If I get pregnant it’s a fetus not a baby. The rights of a fetus to NOT trump my rights to MY body. Abortion is not a new invention. It has been around for thousands of years and for the same amount of time men have been fighting the power women have to control their bodies. Your attitude doesn’t surprise me at all. It’s expected and way overplayed.  

  • crowepps

    In order to get an injunction for harassment, I believe it is necessary to have a NAME for your harasser, because as we’ve seen in the case of Scott Roeder, the organization promptly disavows any connection to individual protestors who have crossed the line and protests that THEIR members are all innocents following the law.

     

    As a matter of fact, there’s a fair number of posts in this string in which people say they personally never do that, the ‘legitimate’ members of their organization don’t do it, they just can’t IMAGINE anybody screaming or yelling or grabbing patients, etc., so THEIR presence shouldn’t be barred.  The fact that their mass presence provides a protective screen in which the violent and assaultive can hide from the cops is ignored.

  • crowepps

    Unfortunately, those who follow Ambrose Bierce’s definition of Christianity are getting all the press: 

    CHRISTIAN, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.

  • lexcathedra

    "and your opinions into the decisions of the women" by leaving posts here in the hope that they will be considered by any "undecided" women who happen to stop by this blog?

     

    You shouldn’t suppose that I am not furious with men who behave like fucking boys and essentially abandon their pregnant girfriends to their own devices. Such men/children should be held up to public ridicule, if not castrated. Sure, give them fair warning, then if they persist in their fuckingly irresponsible ways, cut off their nuts. Call it according ALL due respect.

  • princess-rot

    Sorry, if you deliberately take an innocent life, you ARE condemned. What difference does it make if that life hasn’t been born yet?

    Are you implying that deliberately taking a life doesn’t matter if that life cannot be defined as “innocent” in accordance with your agenda? Do note that innocence is subjective, and is usually accorded on the basis that defining the subject as innocent suits the person doing the defining. This includes defining pregnant women as subject to and servant of their fetuses, using the belief that a woman who has engaged in sexual activity and wants an abortion must put all others above and beyond herself, regardless of how it will affect her (sometimes, ironically, regardless of how a new baby will affect her existing family – the very same people she is expected to martyr herself for), in a show of repentance for being sexual when she wants to be and also for not wanting to be pregnant and serve another. In short, the pro-life model is mostly about delagating punishment to those whom the pro-lifer(s) feel don’t match up to their idealogical beliefs about how they think a certain person or group “should” behave. Bloviating about innocent babies is just a cover for an agenda of domination and submission.

  • julie-watkins
    I had an elective abortion when my IUD failed. This happened in 1981. Nothing has happened since that made me regret my decision. Do you have anything to say to me? The difference is the amount of resources that the pregnant woman has to commit to (attempt to) bring a pregnancy to term. I was being responsible, in my opinion — that’s why I had an IUD. We weren’t ready to be parents at the time and the world was already overpopulated. I thought it would be irresponsible to bring another child into an overpopulated world if I didn’t really, really want to be a mother. We could have managed it — we probably would have had to find a new appartment and get rid of a lot of non-child-friendly stuff — our families probably would have helped. We would not have been a good match for being parents; I would have had to learn how to drive and probably caused accidents on the roads (me and automobiles are also not a good match), … and a lot of other reasons. I scheduled the abortion as soon as possible, and then got my tubes tied since IUD wasn’t a good match for my body. If abortion wasn’t legal at the time I probably would have had my tubes (reversibly) tied earlier, since I didn’t want to be forced into a pregnancy before I was ready … and "ready" was never (I’m now in menopause). Luckily, there weren’t protestors. I think I might have gotten angry and done something stupid if someone kept trying to give me advice aften I said "no thank you, I don’t want to talk to you".
  • lexcathedra

    must be seen as innate, otherwise it becomes disposable.

     

    "Two entities residing within the same body cannot have equal rights." Agreed, but consider the obvious, that the woman can live without the embryo, but the embryo can’t live without the woman, so shouldn’t the embryo’s claim to system resources take precedence? Your argument appears to be that the woman’s claim takes precedence because she was here first.

     

    I’m happy to read that "3rd trimester fetuses are generally considered separate entities deserving the right to life," and accept that "if the pregnancy conflicts with the woman’s health, she has the right to terminate (if she can find a provider)," but I wonder what justice there is in your assertion that "Her right to her own wellbeing trumps the fetus’s right to life in that situation." Why should ending the pregnancy mean the death of the fetus, if it is at all possible to save its life for its own sake, for the sake of its own INNATE value?

  • ahunt

    Your argument appears to be that the woman’s claim takes precedence because she was here first.

     

    No, the woman’s claim takes precedence because she owns her uterus.

  • prochoicegoth

    the woman can live without the embryo, but the embryo can’t live without the woman, so shouldn’t the embryo’s claim to system resources take precedence? Your argument appears to be that the woman’s claim takes precedence because she was here first.

    Um, NO HUMAN, person or otherwise, has the right to use another’s body or organs without their consent or against their wishes. You CANNOT give an embryo/fetus a right that NO OTHER HUMAN has. If you give a fetus the right to use a woman’s body, then you might as well give a rapist a right to rape, or a dying patient the right to steal a life-saving organ. A woman’s bodily autonomy DOES NOT end when she conceives.

    As for your question on late term abortions. What if giving birth is deadly to the woman? What if a C-section is too risky as well? It’s either save the woman’s life or let them both die.


    It’s pro-choice or
    NO choice.

  • emma

    I go to vigils to pray that an unborn child may be saved. I have never hassled a woman in my life.

    And again, why can you not worship foetuses pray for The Unborn at home or in church? Instead, you appear to feel the need to violate the privacy of strangers and intimidate them with your self consciously pious presence.

     

    I’m sure it’s not at all that you enjoy looking at those young, sexual women. I’m also sure it’s not at all that you believe women’s bodies are public property, and you want them to know it.

  • crowepps

    And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. Matthew 6:5

    I think you’re ignoring the thrill they get while the group takes turns admiring how holy each of them is being.

    Self-righteousness is a feeling of smug moral superiority derived from a sense that one’s beliefs, actions, or affiliations are of greater virtue than those of the average person.

  • prochoicegoth

    Why do you feel the need to do such a thing? If your god wanted to save that fetus, wouldn’t he do it himself? And if you feel the need to pray, why not do it in a church or your own home? Why do you need to violate a woman’s personal space? 


    It’s pro-choice or
    NO choice.

  • paul-bradford

    But for the 40 Days, you get a lot more aggression. An abortion counselor at one clinic described the difference: “They have big billboards with obscene, gruesome, scientifically inaccurate images. They try to physically touch patients, which is illegal.” Patients are quite aware that what’s going on is not outreach (as anti-choicers claim), but pure judgment and abuse.

     

    Amanda,

     

    There are a lot of things not to like about these ‘protesters’ from a Pro-Choice perspective.  They’re assaulting women with violence, disrespect, intimidation and bullying.  They’re impeding the delivery of health care services to women.  They’re causing a public nuisance.  Have I forgotten something?

     

    There are also a great number of things not to like about them from a Pro-Life perspective.  Chief of which is the fact that their actions increase the number of abortions.  Any Pro-Life witness, if it is to be effective, has to be supported by the practice of non-violence and compassion.  These so-called witnesses are harassing mothers at the very moment they most need support.  The better supported the mothers of the unborn are, the less likely they are to get an abortion.  These people are going in the exact wrong direction (if, indeed, they are Pro-Life).

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • crowepps

    Do you spend time on Yahoo Answers explaining to young men that ‘if you don’t like condoms you shouldn’t have to use them’ is not acceptable male reasoning?  Some of the kiddies on there are taking absolutely NO responsibility and I’m sure could use advice from a man.

     

    Do you seach the internet for sites where young men are discussing issues of relationship responsibility and scold them as you are scolding women here?  Or is getting women’s sexuality ‘under control’ a higher priority?

  • rebellious-grrl

    Wow shocking lexcathedra, you noticed another group that oppresses women. Oh please, the website owner is a conservative republican (yes you do sense sarcasm). You’re not dazzling me with you knowledge or wit.

  • mechashiva

    This is the last thing I am going to say about value… Human life IS disposable. It always has been. Just ask any veteran of humanity’s numerous wars (or anyone who has had to register for compulsory military service). There will always be things we are willing to sacrifice human life for, on small and large scales.

     

    That isn’t to say that human life has no value, but that we, as a species, think that individual human lives are less valuable than the things we sacrifice them for (otherwise we wouldn’t make those sacrifices). In that vein, I would argue that embryos are not worthless, but that they are worth less than the ideals we hold concerning individual autonomy. That is one of the reasons our culture is unwilling to criminalize abortion. The other would be that we have sufficient evidence to suggest the population on a whole is healthier when abortion remains safe and legal.

     

    With regards to 3rd trimester abortions, it is important to keep in mind that most of those pregnancies were planned and wanted. The parents involved typically do look for any other option. Also, note that in most pregnancies that threaten the health of the mother, the fetus is also effected by disease. If born, these children typically only live for a few hours (if that long).

     

    Some women do decide to continue carrying to term or induce early (almost as difficult to find a physician willing to induce early as it is to find one who will perform a 3rd trimester abortion). Other women decide that abortion would be the more humane option because their child would never experience pain (the fetus recieves a lethal injection a day or two prior to being removed from the uterus). Or the decision is made based on the level of risk, as early induction or continuing the pregnancy is much more dangerous than abortion would be (and/or much more expensive, sad as that might be as a factor in such a decision).

     

    Because it is the woman who will undergo the medical procedure (induction or abortion), it is her medical decision to make. We, as a nation, are not fond of the government making medical decisions for patients, particularly not such personal, heartwrenching decisions. The government cannot tell a woman to induce, carry to term, or abort in such circumstances.

     

    Those are the only two options:

    1. The government decides whether the woman induces early (placing the fetus and mother at greater risk, typically results in a terminal newborn), carries to term (placing the woman at greater risk, typically results in a terminal newborn), or aborts (least amount of risk to the woman, always results in a dead fetus). Since this must be done on a case-by-case basis, there would have to be some kind of legal procedure in place for making this determination.

     

    2. The government mandates that the woman (in consultation with her doctor) is the only one who can decide what to do in such an instance.

     

    Personally, I am a fan of less government interference and would rather go with option #2.

  • lexcathedra

    but I’ll look into it, and hold a hope that anything that I post with regard to being sexually responsible will be taken to heart.

     

    Have I been scolding you, crowepps?

  • lexcathedra

    A conscript can always refuse to fight and go to jail, or he can go to war willingly and self sacrifically. In any case, he does not regard his own life as “disposable.”

     

    Without life there can be no “individual autonomy,” and I don’t doubt that abortions performed legally by actual doctors are “healthier” than the do-it-yourself variety.

     

    With regard the 3rd trimester abortions, I wonder how many of them involve perfectly healthy pregnancies where the mother has simply waited too long? I wonder that chopping her baby to pieces in utero could actually be safer for the mother than inducing labor and delivering a live baby. 

  • rebellious-grrl

    Sorry, but that’s a difficult argument to swallow when “Pro-life” Pres. George W. Bush started an unnecessary war in Iraq and an estimated 95,000 to 104,000 Iraqi civilians died. I’m sure many of those were babies and children. How is that respecting human life?

    And for late term abortions, they are less than 1% of all abortions. Late term abortions have to be medically necessary to be performed. For example if the fetus is dying, the mother is in peril, or the mother is a child rape victim. It is ridiculous to say that a woman would have a late term abortion just because she was lazy and waited too long.

  • rebellious-grrl

    Sorry, but that’s a difficult argument to swallow when “Pro-life” Pres. George W. Bush started an unnecessary war in Iraq and an estimated 95,000 to 104,000 Iraqi civilians died. I’m sure many of those were babies and children. How is that respecting human life?

    And for late term abortions, they are less than 1% of all abortions. Late term abortions have to be medically necessary to be performed. For example if the fetus is dying, the mother is in peril, or the mother is a child rape victim. It is ridiculous to say that a woman would have a late term abortion just because she was lazy and waited too long.

  • mechashiva

    So much for being done… I should have known better.

     

    “Go to war, or go to prison,” is not the mark of a government giving the individual a choice. I suggest you read up on the history of Conscientious Objectors. In war, draftees and enlisted soldiers are put in risky situations in which the government knows at least some will die because the goal is considered more important than the loss of human life required to achieve it. Also, this entire time I was referring to our culture’s valuation of life on a whole (not an individual woman’s valuation of her embryo or a soldier’s valuation of his own life). Context, context, context.

     

    Yes, I am aware that without life there can be no individual autonomy. That does not change the values of our society. Ever heard the phrase “Give me liberty, or give me death?” That’s a fine quote from the Revolutionary War that still rings true with our culture today. Look up Patrick Henry. Americans are willing to sacrifice life for freedom, but not the other way around.

     

    And as for 3rd trimester abortions, it is dispicable that you would even suggest they are done for convenience. Additionally, 3rd trimester abortions do not involve “chopping her baby to pieces in utero.” Such surgeries are done with the Intact D&X technique (“Partial Birth Abortion” to you). If you really want to know about the dangers of early induction, the information is out there. It is not my responsibility to give you more history and biology lessons. Educate yourself, for goodness sake.

  • crowepps

    “I wonder that chopping her baby to pieces in utero could actually be safer for the mother than inducing labor and delivering a live baby.”

     

    I’m not surprised that you wonder, because your ignorance of the realities of pregnancy and childbirth are obvious from your posts, but the smallest amount of research would make it clear to you that abortion is indeed safer than inducing labor and delivering a live baby, for a number of reasons but particularly because labor has complications such as hemorrhage and death.  600 women die from complications of pregnancy in this country every year.  Without abortion, the number would be higher.

  • prochoicegoth

    And as for 3rd trimester abortions, it is dispicable that you would even suggest they are done for convenience. Additionally, 3rd trimester abortions do not involve “chopping her baby to pieces in utero.” Such surgeries are done with the Intact D&X technique (“Partial Birth Abortion” to you).

    What do you expect? The anti-choicers want to make women out to be monsters who wait until the last minute to go in and have an abortion procedure that resembles the murder scene of a Clive Barker horror movie. These are also the quacks who would rather a fetus be dismembered in utero, than delivered whole with just a small incision in the back of the skull that can be covered if the woman wants to hold the fetus afterwards.

  • ldavid56

    I am an escort at said clinic. I will be there, standing proud to assist women in accessing the building safely because it’s the right thing to do.

  • lexcathedra

    but the Intact D & X procedure, a.k.a., “partial-birth abortion,” is an induced breach delivery, but it’s no longer legal as an abortion procedure, last I heard. In any case, you can only imagine the baby dead that would be “delivered” by this means because it can’t possibly be healthy, or the mother would not be terminating her pregnancy, right? Fine. I’d like to save the baby’s life if it is at all possible, and for its own sake.

  • prochoicegoth

    First off, the fetus IS dead prior to the procedure via euthenasia. Second, a late term abortion occurs because the fetus CANNOT be saved. You CANNOT cure Dandy Walker Syndrome or any of the other conditions a fetus is diagnosed with that makes a woman choose to abort. What sounds better to you? A painless death via a shot that stops the heart, or prolonged suffering until the fetus finally succombs?

     

    Why not let the woman make that decision?

  • amyc

    You know the “lifers” would choose the longer more agonizing route because according to them that’s “natural” or “god’s decision”. Except of course when somebody does die (or almost dies), then we’re allowed to stop the death and put that person on machines the rest of their life. Even after this person has been in a coma for 10 years, and shown zero signs of recovery, they will yell and holler and try to even get the Prez to stop a spouse from excersizing their full legal authority to pull the plug. Of course, they’re not prolife when it comes to war or capital punishment. Those are always ok, but if a woman wants to end a pregnancy that would lead to A) an unwanted orphan, B) a dead fetus C) a dead mother or D) both B and C, then they must be stopped by all means possible.

  • emma

    Sorry to go completely off topic, but a study published in The Lancet medical journal estimated over 600 000 Iraqi civilian deaths at that point. More recent estimates I’ve seen suggest a current death toll of over one million Iraqi civilians since the invasion.

     

    But yeah, I guess by any estimation, GWB, who Values Life, is a mass murderer.

     

    (Apologies for OT nitpicking!)

  • mechashiva

    It seems you are unclear on what the Partial Birth Abortion Ban actually did. That would be… nothing.

     

    The ban makes it criminal to perform an intact D&X on a living fetus, which was never done in the first place. As I already mentioned elsewhere, part of a 3rd trimester abortion procedure is an injection of digoxin to the fetal heart one or two days prior to the surgery. Digoxin stops the heartbeat immediately, so in all cases the fetus is dead prior to the abortion. So, this has nothing to do with what I “can only imagine” or even the woman’s reasons for aborting. It is standard procedure.

     

    The ban changed nothing. The surgery is still done the same way it was before. All that is different would be a change in documentation (something to the effect of a checkbox on the operative report for “no fetal heartbeat detected”).

     

    As for doing everything possible to save the baby’s life (translation: induce labor early or carry to term in the case of a risky pregnancy), I addressed that in a previous comment. I stand by the notion that this decision is rightly made by the woman and not the judicial system.

  • emma

    Lex, Muslims don’t generally wear Turbans, as far as I know. You’re probably thinking of Sikhs. Guess those swarthy people are all the same to you, though.

     

    Also, the main language (although certainly not the only one) spoken in Pakistan – y’know, the country Benazir Bhutto led – is Urdu, not Arabic.

     

    Ms Bhutto certainly wasn’t Taliban, but she was corrupt and nepotistic as all hell. And although the Taliban is certainly active in Pakistan, they’re generally associated with Afghanistan, and I have a sneaking suspicion you’re mixing up countries.

     

    Just sayin’.

  • emma

    I should’ve known you’d be an MRA as well. Stop whimpering. Fathers don’t gestate foetuses. Walking, talking incubators Women do. It’s funny, isn’t it, the way you anti-choicers seem to ‘forget’ that she’s involved at all.

     

    (You just tipped your hand somewhat, btw. But of course you don’t hate women. Not at all. Naturally.)

  • wendy-banks

    Body language is also an open book for those whom know how to read it. And whether overt or covert, the anti’s ‘language’ is MORE that readable.

    Focus on YOUR OWN failings during lent, right-to-lifers– And not others peoples. And keep your nose in your own business.

  • wendy-banks

    Because truth is ugly! Reality can be too– But that’s life. But I’ll take that over pretty lies any day…

  • wendy-banks

    Atheists are some of the MOST moral people I’d ever met– And fundamentalists some of the LEAST moral. Man created god, not the other way around. And religion and the whole demi-divine sarifice is far, far older than christianity. Do your homework before you yap on about religion. Hopefully, someday mankind will evolve beyond the need to NEED gods as a crutch. And just be good because it is the right thing to do. Deal with your own issues before you condem others.

  • wendy-banks

    Yep! *chuckles*

    And I wanted to adopt before I had my daughter (now 8) whom nearly killed me when I was pregnate with her. (I had to be hospitalized twice). But I was told even though I would be happy to adopt a older or diabled child that ‘they do not adopt to single woman and people of my faith (or lack thereof)’. So, because I was not a married christian kiss my ass… I don’t require my kid to be religious –Only a decent, humane, human whom is a benifit to humanity. Of course, if she want to be a scientest, doctor, etc, I’m good with that ;)

  • wendy-banks

    We all know what you people are there for, false concern troll. Besides Planned Parenthood does give all the options, with no lies– And then lets the WOMAN deside. If you tried to intimidate me/touch me, I’d pepper spray you and then file harrassment charges on you. I don’t put up with crap from godbots like you whom stick there nose where it is not wellcome.