Pro-Choice Catholics Welcome Liberalization of Abortion Laws in Spain


Marysa Navarro-Aranguren, Chair of the Board of Catholics for Choice, welcomed the victory on Wednesday for women in Spain, after Spain’s senate voted to ease the country’s restrictions on abortion. In doing so, they rejected the opposition of the Catholic bishops and the Vatican over access to safe and legal abortion in that country.

Navarro, who is from the Basque country, said:

“The Spanish government has done the right thing in liberalizing the abortion law. There is widespread support in the country for reform. Despite the best efforts of the Catholic bishops to argue otherwise, Catholic politicians know that you can support access to abortion and continue to be a good Catholic.”

The new law, which will come into affect in June, recognizes a woman’s right to an abortion, legalizes the procedure up to 14 weeks gestation and allows 16- and 17-year-olds to have abortions without parental consent. They must inform their parents of their intentions.

Navarro continued:

“This is another example of politicians in a heavily Catholic country telling the church hierarchy that they cannot control public policy and legislators’ votes through threats. We have seen legislators in Portugal, Ireland, Colombia and Mexico City ignore intimidation from their bishops and do what is best for their constituents. The more often this happens, the likelier it is to happen again and again. Women and their families around the world are the beneficiaries when politicians do what is the right thing to do, which is not always what their bishops want them to do.”

A recent poll by Catholics for Choice shows that the Spanish public, which is at least three-quarters Catholic, largely rejects the position of the Catholic bishops on abortion. Two-thirds of Spaniards (68 percent) disagree with the bishops’ opposition to abortion, while fewer than two in ten (19 percent) say they stand on the side of the bishops.

There is strong, widespread support in Spain for abortion to be legal in a range of diverse circumstances women may face. Over eight in ten Spaniards believe abortion should be legal when a pregnancy poses a serious threat to a woman’s life (87 percent), when it poses a serious threat to a woman’s physical or mental health (86 percent), or is the result of rape or incest (82 percent). Another 79 percent believe abortion should be legal if test results show fetal malformation.

Beyond extenuating circumstances, a large majority of Spaniards support a basic right to abortion. Fully six in ten (62 percent) say that abortion generally should be legal during the first trimester of pregnancy, leaving the decision up to women and their doctors.

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  • progo35

    Yeah, it is so consistent for Catholics to celebrate the right to abortion up until the point of birth if the fertus has a disability.

  • crowepps

    It is not ‘Catholics’ who have passed this law, but instead secular politicians some of whom may be Catholic responding to the wishes of their constituency some of whom may be Catholic.  The Church was and is still adamently opposed to the law.

     

    Your position would be clearer if you could separate ‘malformation incompatible with life’ (pre-dead) and ‘disability’ (viable but disabled).  There is absolutely no point whatsoever in requiring a woman to continue a pregnancy when it is known that the fetus has no kidneys, no heart, no brain, or any similar malformation because there is absolutely no advantage at all to the fetus in merely getting larger before it is removed from the life support of using the woman’s body.  A woman who chooses to continue the pregnancy because of her personal beliefs should have her choice respected, but to force women to do this would be truly vile.

  • paul-bradford

    A woman who chooses to continue the pregnancy because of her personal beliefs should have her choice respected, but to force women to do this would be truly vile.

     

    crowepps,

     

    This is your position when fetal impairment is so profound that the fetus can be characterized, in your words, pre-dead.  This is also your position when the fetus is completely healthy and normal, shows every indication of being able to remain so and the pregnancy poses no significant health threat to the mother.  Neither the health of the fetus nor the health of the mother have any effect on your conviction that the woman whose ‘personal beliefs’ lead her to continue her pregnancy should have her choice respected as should the woman whose ‘personal beliefs’ allow her to terminate her pregnancy.

     

    You and I agree that pregnancy decisions should be informed by ‘personal beliefs’.  You seem less concerned than I am about informing ‘personal beliefs’ with the truth.

     

     


  • crowepps

    “Neither the health of the fetus nor the health of the mother have any effect on your conviction that the woman whose ‘personal beliefs’ lead her to continue her pregnancy should have her choice respected as should the woman whose ‘personal beliefs’ allow her to terminate her pregnancy.”

     

    Yes, I do absolutely respect the constitutionally protected right of women to have freedom of conscience and to make their own decisions.

     

    “You and I agree that pregnancy decisions should be informed by ‘personal beliefs’.  You seem less concerned than I am about informing ‘personal beliefs’ with the truth.”

     

    What ‘truth’?  Your assumption that the women who make these decisions IF you don’t like their final choice must be ignorant of some amorphous ‘truth’ is insulting, as for that matter is your assumption that if you had the ability to promulgate that ‘truth’ the women would change their minds.

  • colleen

    You seem less concerned than I am about informing ‘personal beliefs’ with the truth.

    I would say, rather, that your version of ‘the truth’ is profoundly flawed

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

      Dr Warren Hern, MD
  • crowepps

    The Idea of Universal Truth itself is profoundly flawed.  In this country, at least so far, everybody is entitled to have their own personal understanding of ‘the truth’ as their own conscience dictates.

     

    Certainly America was founded on the principle that no person or group gets to impose their personal ‘truth’ on others, due to the Founders’ recognition that this false belief has caused more trouble than any other, and that over the history of the world millions have suffered and died because of it.

     

    “The first thing a principle does is kill somebody”. Dorothy L. Sayers

  • paul-bradford

    What ‘truth’? Your assumption that the women who make these decisions IF you don’t like their final choice must be ignorant of some amorphous ‘truth’ is insulting, as for that matter is your assumption that if you had the ability to promulgate that ‘truth’ the women would change their minds.

     

    crowepps,

     

    I am so happy we’re talking about this, because this is the very crux of the matter.  What ‘truth’?  What truth indeed!  I hope we can agree that it would be pointless to propose some passage of scripture to determine ‘truth’, I’m equally hopeful that we agree it would also be pointless to submit our understanding of the truth to the results of a public opinion poll, or to the elucidations of a papal encyclical, or to the majority opinion of a SCOTUS decision.  No simple way to establish truth — but I contend that truth is still worth pursuing.  

     

    Suppose you and I were contending with a member of the KKK who insisted that blacks, Jews, Catholics, women and foreigners were inherently inferior to American-born white Protestant men.  Would you consider it insulting to the KKK member if someone were to claim that he was ignorant of the truth of human equality?  Would you declare that the KKK member’s ‘truth’ was as valid as any other truth and that the rest of us ought to resist the urge to promulgate a competing version of the truth that asserts, for example, that women are the equal of men and that no ethnic group is superior to any other?

     

    It matters whether somebody else believes in sexual and racial and religious equality.  We can’t afford to be ‘liberal’ or ‘pluralistic’ about these matters.  I would say to the KKK member, “You are wrong and I am right.  You do not have your own version of truth.  You have falsehood.”  What would you think of my attitude then?

     

    As for women changing their minds, a lot of women and a lot of men have changed their minds on this issue.  The woman who believes that her unborn child has a life as valuable and as worthy of protection as her own would not need to be coerced to continue a pregnancy against her will.  As you yourself pointed out, that would be vile.

     

    <Why has RHReality Check done away with my signature line???>

  • crowepps

    “I contend that truth is still worth pursuing.”

     

    Certainly, I agree.  The problem starts when people are convinced they’ve caught it and are entitled to enforce it on others.

     

    “It matters whether somebody else believes in sexual and racial and religious equality.  We can’t afford to be ‘liberal’ or ‘pluralistic’ about these matters.  I would say to the KKK member, “You are wrong and I am right.  You do not have your own version of truth.  You have falsehood.”  What would you think of my attitude then?”

     

    Do you really think saying that will change your hypothetical KKK member’s beliefs (or his behavior)?  Or will he just volley back his truth, “You are wrong and I am right.  You do not have your own version of truth.  You have falsehood.”

     

    A man who believes that women have lives as valuable and as worthy of protection as their unborn fetuses would not suggest that she should continue a pregnancy against her will.

     

    Don’t know what happened during scheduled maintenance, but I am finding posting pretty clunky right now.

  • paul-bradford

    crowepps,

     

    You are right to point out the difference between your point of view and colleen’s.  She believes that my idea of truth is flawed.  You believe that the idea of truth itself is flawed.

     

    How do you reconcile your belief that  “America was founded on the principle that no person or group gets to impose their personal ‘truth’ on others” when our founding document begins by asserting self-evident truths?  Do we tolerate conflicting truths about whether or not all [people] are created equal?  About whether or not we have inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?  I think it would be more accurate to say that America was founded on the principle that people have the right and duty to depose institutions and renounce practices that contradict the truth.

     

    I say that my life matters as much as yours and that yours matters as much as mine.  We’re going to get into trouble if there’s disagreement on that point.  We’ve got to act as if there is a single undeniable truth on the matter of our equality — and, frankly, we both have to consent to that truth.  It’s not the kind of thing that can be imposed on people against their will.

     

    Look at how much human history is wrapped up in the question of who counts as much as whom.  And, as you rightly point out, people have been killed in the process of finding answers to those questions.  I believe in compassion and non-violence, and I believe they are elements of truth — unchanging truth, like the speed of light.  I don’t think they’re simply idiosyncrasies of my own.  I have no interest in shoving compassion and non-violence down your throat — but I want you to come alive to those ideas.

  • paul-bradford

    A man who believes that women have lives as valuable and as worthy of protection as their unborn fetuses would not suggest that she should continue a pregnancy against her will.

     

    Fortunately — and for some reason, you never seem to pick this up from my posts — there are a thousand better, more effective ways to protect the lives of the unborn than to insist that women continue pregnancies against their wills.

     

    You might already have responded to this on another thread, but I think it’s alarming that so many people on the ‘Choice’ side insist that any abortion choice is as valid as any other.  Abortion questions are a subset of the broader issue of parents making choices that affect the well being of their children.  You’ve been very frank about your own parents’ shortcomings. As I post this, there’s a child somewhere being abused in the same way you were.  What is your disposition toward that child?  Do you want to protect her/him, or do you take the attitude that parents can raise their kids however they see fit?

     

    It seems to me that you and I could find some agreement here.  Surely you would admit that some of the choices parents make are better than others.  You would also admit, I think, that what’s best for the parent isn’t always what’s best for the child.

     

  • julie-watkins

    When I had my abortion I was not a “parent”. My IUD failed, so I used abortion as followup.

    <blockquote>You might already have responded to this on another thread, but I think it’s alarming that so many people on the ‘Choice’ side insist that any abortion choice is as valid as any other.</blockquote>

    In the first trimester, deciding 1) abortion or 2) attempt birth are morally equal. Expecting otherwise is systemic sexism classism. As I said earlier (I don’t believe you answered) Nature’s Sexism is less stringent than what your Increase. Since I want all women and poor people to be equal to men and rich, it’s my position that (attempting to) give birth should be a gift not an obligation. 2nd & 3rd trimester abortions are more a case for medical standards than laws. (I don’t think elective abortions that happen in 2nd trimester are an ethical problem for the women who are denied access and delayed through TRAP laws — that’s more a moral failing of the politicians.)

  • crowepps

    “our founding document begins by asserting self-evident truths?  Do we tolerate conflicting truths about whether or not all [people] are created equal?  About whether or not we have inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?”

     

    After the Founders proclaimed those noble sentiments, they decided that the laws which should govern ‘the people’ would hold in especial esteem white men but that there would be seperate and unequal laws governing their ‘inferiors': white women, all Blacks, all Native Americans, and in some colonies, non-Christians.

     

    There isn’t much point in proudly settling on a ‘universal truth’ and then making a bunch of laws which contradict that truth on their face.

     

    Your assertion that ‘all people from zygotes to decay are created equal’ is contradicted by your simultaneous belief that the period from zygote to birth is uniquely deserving and has an entitlement to transfer its metabolic load to another person’s body and loot that other person’s body for the materials to construct itself, even when that other person is unwilling.

     

    Your slight of hand lies in your solving the conundrum that results by insisting the women should be propagandized that in order to be considered ‘moral’ and ‘more fully human’ they should be willing.  This disguises the unequal value you are assigning each party by leaving the ZBEF as the superior interest and dividing the inferior female parties into ‘moral because willing to sacrifice equality for ZBEF’ and ‘unwilling to be pregnant but not entitled to actual equality with ZBEF because immoral’.  Very good demonstration of ‘heads I win, tails you lose’, but NOT equality.

  • saltyc

    Well I, for one take the position that some choices are not as valid as others, for instance my daughter’s young cousin became pregnant as a freshman in college, and chose, probably due to conservative “morality” to have a baby, dropped out and is now on TANF and other assistance, and the baby’s dad is not contributing. She postponed her own social-cultural development because of this fiction that a fetus or embryo has intrinsic value outside of the woman’s circumstances. I wish she had aborted early, finished her education and then had a child if she wanted one. An accident is a terrible reason to make a baby.

     

    A fetus only has potential value, whereas the timing of parenting is absolutely important. THAT is truth.

  • crowepps

    It the fetus had that value to her, whether because of ‘conservative morality’ or any other reason, then she was absolutely entitled to do that. I agree with you that it might not have been an optimal situation, but it isn’t anybody else’s business to tell her what choice to make or to judge her for making the choice that’s right for her.

  • crowepps

    “Surely you would admit that some of the choices parents make are better than others.  You would also admit, I think, that what’s best for the parent isn’t always what’s best for the child.”

     

    Certainly, as in the cases where the parents put their socioreligious beliefs before what’s best for the child and choose to continue a pregnancy even though they know from an early stage that the fetus is nonviable, allowing the fetus to continue to develop to the point where it is aware of pain, thus inflicting unnecessary suffering between its birth and inevitable death.

     

    “You’ve been very frank about your own parents’ shortcomings.”

     

    Well, I can do that, because both my parents are dead and my frankness can’t hurt them.  Parents screw up sometimes, parents are selfish sometimes, parents are mentally ill or acting in accordance with delusional beliefs of one kind or another or buckle under to social pressure.  The thing is, you have to recognize that those parents, even when abusive, are probably doing the best THEY can with the hand they were dealt.  If they were raised by screwed up, selfish or delusional people (and we won’t go into what my grandmas were like – shudder), then they didn’t have  a healthy model.

     

    Sure, I think society has an obligation to do more than it is doing to alleviate the negative effects of parental dysfunction on children, NOT from a punitive ‘their parents are evil’ viewpoint but rather because the entire family, parents included, isn’t particularly happy in that dysfunction, and having an exaggerated respect for ‘parental autonomy’ just allows the dysfunction to be passed on down through the generations while the individual members of the family have negative impacts on society as a whole.

     

    Does equating abortion with child abuse and encouraging people to have children whom they didn’t plan and aren’t happy to welcome improve anything about this situation?  No, I think it would make it much worse.

  • saltyc

    Yes you are right, I support her in that, and she was absolutely entitled to do it. I sent her a nice box of gifts for her baby shower (I’m not in the same state) and I would never tell her that she made a mistake, or not help her when I’m able to. Now that she has a baby she needs all the help she can get and should get it. But I would still say it was a bad decision compared to waiting til she was more developed. People are entitled to make bad choices.

    I would definitely advise my daughter in a similar situation to have an abortion, as my mother advised me when I wasn’t ready though I was considering staying pregnant purely for “moral” reasons. It would have been a bad decision for me, and I’m glad someone did advise me that way, young women too often feel confused and isolated, and it would be terrible of the only ones giving them guidance are the anti-choicers.

    But if she did choose to have a baby, in whatever situation, I would be there to help 100%. I also hear about mothers who threaten to kick a daughter out or otherwise withhold support for getting pregnant, and that’s inexcusable.

     

    Thank you for letting me elaborate on that.

  • paul-bradford

    Nature’s Sexism is less stringent than what your Increase.

     

    Julie,

     

    Would you please say this another way? I can’t understand your meaning.

     

    When I had my abortion I was not a “parent”.

     

    Well, again we get down to ‘brass tacks’.  You claim that the mothers of unborn children don’t have parental responsibilities to their children.  I claim that such women are, indeed, parents and do have a responsibility to be concerned about their children’s welfare.  Not only that, I claim that the partners of such women also have parental responsibility as fathers and should do whatever possible to try and carry as much of the load as the mothers carry (this, from my point of view, is the way to deal with “nature’s sexism”).

     

    My attitude is that everyone who has sex takes on parental responsibility for the child they might produce.  I don’t think any couple should have sex before they’ve worked out a plan for child care.  When I say ‘sex’ I mean heterosexual coitus.

     

    We disagree, and there’s a good chance that we won’t reach agreement before day’s end, but I’m hoping we can make some progress toward agreement about a slightly smaller issue.  What is your opinion of my idea that the execution of parental responsibility is something that has a profound effect on the well-being of any society?  I say that we ought to be concerned about doing well by any children we happen to have, but we need also be concerned about finding ways to educate and support other parents so that they will do a good job caring for their children.  Child rearing is everybody’s business.  To put it another way, do you think I owe it to my society to respond to other people’s poor parenting?

     

    Obviously, once we allow that the society has an interest in promoting parental responsibility we find ourselves asking, “Who is a parent?” and “What kind of responsibilities do these parents have?”  Do you agree with me that it is untenable for members of society to hold such widely divergent attitudes about these questions as you and I have?  It’s not as if ‘agreeing to disagree’ is an option for us.  I claim that it’s absolutely necessary for people like you and me to really listen to each other and work toward getting past the impasse we’re at.  That means that we’ve got to respect each other.  That means we’ve got to behave respectably when we participate in these sorts of conversations.  The goal has to be that, in the future, people will have this sorted out.

     

    it’s my position that (attempting to) give birth should be a gift not an obligation.

     

    You know, this issue of ‘gift’ and ‘obligation’ is one that I spend a lot of time thinking about.  I wonder how you respond to my attitude about an issue we’re both very concerned about, poverty.  Do you think that providing for the needs of the poor is something I can choose to do, that charity is a ‘gift’ from me to them?  Perhaps you think the way I do, which is that I have a duty to care for the poor.  Do you think that addressing poverty is an issue of justice, one that I can’t ethically ignore.  Do you understand where I’m coming from when I say that for me to overlook the plight of the poor would be more wrong than for a woman to abort her child.  We would each be committing the same sin, thinking that our duty was optional, but I would be committing the sin all the time whereas she would commit the sin on a particular occasion.


    2nd & 3rd trimester abortions are more a case for medical standards than laws.


    We certainly agree that the abortion problem can’t be settled with laws. Medical standards are a part of what I would call ‘societal norms’. Abortion decisions need to be shaped by societal norms, and societal norms are established through discourse.

  • ahunt

     I claim that such women are, indeed, parents

     

    Oh for God’s sake, Paul…are we back to this again? From the moment of conception…women are mothers?

     

     

  • paul-bradford

    I’ve got to tell you, I like your approach a lot better than the ‘coy’ remarks I hear — the ones that run along the lines of, “It’s all up to her.  Whatever she decides is best.”

     

    A fetus only has potential value

     

    Your attitudes are consistent with your beliefs and I appreciate that.  If I held the position that a fetus has only potential value (like a sperm or an unfertilized ovum) I would go a lot further than to become ‘Pro-Choice’.  I would absolutely take an actively ‘pro-abortion’ stance with a situation such as your niece had.  And for all the same reasons.  I believe that both parents ought to be ready, willing, and able to do a good job of raising a child before they have one.  I believe that overpopulation is too pressing a concern for us to accept ‘willy nilly’ pregnancies.  I believe that girls and women ought to get a good education before taking their adult role (which may or may not include motherhood).  We certainly agree that “an accident is a terrible reason to make a baby.”

     

    You say that fetal personhood is a ‘fiction’.  When do you believe that you became a person?  How did you arrive at that belief?  It’s obvious to me that personhood isn’t something you can test scientifically.  For me to accept you as a person takes an act of faith on my part.  Whether or not I believe you’re a person has a great impact on whether I treat you as I’d want to be treated or whether I treat you as a thing I can utilize for my own benefit.  Is the ‘belief’ in personhood the same as a ‘fiction’ about personhood?

     

    I have no way of proving to you that I have a ‘soul’.  You’ll have to take me at my word.  On the other hand, though, I can prove to you that I have a living human body.  That’s the test of personhood for me.  If someone has a living human body I treat them as a person.

     

    On another matter, you asked me a question some time ago about whether I thought the loss of a human life due to spontaneous abortion was as lamentable as the loss of a human life due to procured abortion.  I certainly do!  As I understand it, 10% of all pregnancies in the US end in miscarriage.  If improved prenatal care brought that down to 9% it would represent 60,000 lives saved.  That would be as much of a cause for rejoicing as a change (like increased male responsibility in matters of contraception) that lowered the procured abortion rate by 60,000.  A life is a life.

  • paul-bradford

    I think society has an obligation to do more than it is doing to alleviate the negative effects of parental dysfunction on children, NOT from a punitive ‘their parents are evil’ viewpoint but rather because the entire family, parents included, isn’t particularly happy in that dysfunction, and having an exaggerated respect for ‘parental autonomy’ just allows the dysfunction to be passed on down through the generations while the individual members of the family have negative impacts on society as a whole.

     

    I agree with every word.

     

     

    Does equating abortion with child abuse and encouraging people to have children whom they didn’t plan and aren’t happy to welcome improve anything about this situation? No, I think it would make it much worse.

     

    We certainly agree that it would be tremendously stupid and destructive to be “encouraging people to have children whom they didn’t plan and aren’t happy to welcome”.  Our only disagreement is in deciding at what point a couple “has” a child.  When has the stupid and destructive deed been done?

  • crowepps

    Paul is entitled to ‘claim’ anything that he wants.  It doesn’t make him right, of course.  I mean, he could as reasonably ‘claim’ that such women are elephants.

  • crowepps

    One of the things that I find the hardest about having a life’s worth of hard won experience is that those who are most in need of it aren’t much interested. The consistent manner in which the young make suboptimal choices about this type of thing seems to indicate that biology trumps knowledge just about every time.

  • paul-bradford

    Salty,

     

    I only now notice that you took a different approach to the issue after crowepps shared her viewpoint.  When I made my earlier post I was responding to your first comment.

     

    How do you reconcile the two positions?  Could it be that you’re convinced your daughter’s cousin made a bad choice even though you recognize the insanity of attempting to ‘coerce’ women to make good pregnancy decisions?  If that’s your position then we have a lot of agreement.  It makes sense to try and persuade a woman to make the right pregnancy decisions (given the fact that her decision will impact a lot more people than just her), but it doesn’t make sense to try and force her against her will.

  • crowepps

    Whether or not I believe you’re a person has a great impact on whether I treat you as I’d want to be treated or whether I treat you as a thing I can utilize for my own benefit.

     

    This says more about your character than it does about the other creature’s value.

     

    A person of character treats EVERYONE and EVERYTHING as they would themselves wish to be treated and doesn’t have a separate set of exploitive behaviors that are sufficient in dealing with inferior creatures or things.

  • paul-bradford

    A person of character treats EVERYONE and EVERYTHING as they would themselves wish to be treated and doesn’t have a separate set of exploitive behaviors that are sufficient in dealing with inferior creatures or things.


    crowepps,

     

    I really want to make sure I understand you!  Let me assure you that, on the one hand, I treat my daughter with the utmost respect and regard while, on the other hand, I think nothing of crushing a cockroach that crosses my path.  Are you saying that if I were a person of character I would treat both my daughter and the cockroach with equal tenderness?

  • crowepps

    You have several times made statements on here about how people who agree with your views on various matters are “more fully human”.  Don’t you agree that a person who simply removes the cockroach from their home without killing it could be considered to have a more compassionate, and therefore more congruent, character?

     

    Certainly when Jains or Buddhists state they believe that ‘all life’ should be respected, they don’t draw arbitrary lines with ‘human’ on the inside and everything else on the outside.

     

    Full disclosure: I mercilessly crush spiders that happen to appear inside my living space, but I do feel that is a moral failing since my actions arise out of the fact they majorly creep me out.

  • crowepps

    From my own experience, I would say when it is born alive. All too often, the attempt to have a child naturally doesn’t reach that conclusion.

  • paul-bradford

    are we back to this again?

     

    You should know, ahunt, that you have completely convinced me that things would be much easier for women if zygotes and blastocysts could be treated as ‘potential people’ instead of people.  Of course, I was already convinced that things would be much easier for women if embryos and fetuses could be treated as ‘potential people’.  We could even solve some problems if infants were treated as ‘potential people’.

     

    At what point does a woman become a mother?  Whatever point that is I’m sure we will agree that it’s the same point that a man becomes a father.  My belief is that it’s as easy for a woman to become a mother as it is for a man to become a father [well, actually, I suppose that depends on who's on top].  The hard part, for women, is the first nine months after becoming a mother.  

  • crowepps

    The hard part, for women, is the first nine months after becoming a mother.

    The pregnancy, no matter how onerous, actually is a breeze compared to the 21 years which immediately follow. For women. Men, of course, can wander off and do something else ‘more important’.

  • julie-watkins

    Look at the thread on the 1st page of “Let’s read 101 reasons not to have an abortion”. I wrote:

    Thinking about what SaltyC http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/comment/reply/12526/35695 and others have written about the low percentage of fertilized eggs that result in a live birth in relation to what I say about Nature’s Sexism … in a way, Nature mitigates the burden of pregnancy. A ZBE is much more fragile than a F — a lot of things can prevent a pregnancy from progressing. IE, Nature does (somewhat) give pregnant women a choice. If it’s a really bad time (stress, not enough food, woman not healthy enough, bad genetic mix), the pregnancy ends in miscarriage. There’s an evolutionary aspect for this: since pregnancy does take such a high biological toll, having a mechanism (manmade or from nature) to end a pregnancy that happens at a bad time means those resources are preserved for a better time where the mother and child are more likely to survive. So I think the principle of “[attempting to] give birth is a gift” has much a validity as being “natural” as “[attempting to] give birth is an obligation”. Nature is OK with shades of grey, I wish Pro-Life people weren’t so rigid in their expectations.

    I also wrote later in the thread:

    I don’t think it’s right to imagine an ethic whereby we disproportionally put obligations on part of a population to the advantage of the ruling oligarchy. The rulers have been massaging these ethics for thousands of years; they have the resources to support the theologians & philosophers who arrive at answers they like. I feel no obligation to sign on to millenia of misogyny, … especially when Nature is less stringent in her demands on women than society’s/law’s rigid gender roles.

    You objected, and wrote I’ve been describing you as a “bastard” (your word) and this wasn’t how you saw yourself. I replied:

    Your misogyny is internalized. No one wants to be a bastard, unless they were trained to be a bully as a child and it’s a defense mechanism of some sort. However, when you keep writing what you do about ZBEFs and obligations, you are using your beliefs to justify Society’s Systemic Increase of Nature’s Sexism.

    … Which is what I was referring to when I wrote

    Nature’s Sexism is less stringent than … your Increase. [extra nonsense word deleted, sorry for the confusion]

    For the rest of that thread, as best I can tell, you replied to crowepps and not to me. What Elyzabeth just posted & and an exchange crowepps had with her (I think) about the biology of reproduction being very inefficient or wasteful — it applies & supports my position above. I’m wasn’t remembering the right keywords to google & find it to quote. Basically, evolution seems to arrived at a process that puts good outcomes (“the right gene combination at the right time”) as more important than preventing miscarriages. So, to repeat myself, I think the principle of “[attempting to] give birth is a gift” has as much (or more) validity as being “natural” as “[attempting to] give birth is an obligation”. Nature is OK with shades of grey, I wish Pro-Life people weren’t so rigid in their expectations.

  • crowepps

    “I don’t think it’s right to imagine an ethic whereby we disproportionally put obligations on part of a population to the advantage of the ruling oligarchy. The rulers have been massaging these ethics for thousands of years; they have the resources to support the theologians & philosophers who arrive at answers they like.”

    The whole point of the ruling oligarchy/theologians/philosphers trying to set up ethics around sex/reproduction is the power inherent in getting people to surrender to your will around a strongly driven biological issue so intensely private and central to their lives.  If the ruling oligarchy, theologians and philosphers can get people to accept that the powers that be, rather than the people themselves, have the right to set the boundaries of this area of their lives, what other area could possibly be off limits?

     

    Once you’re forced to marry someone you don’t want to marry because he forced sex on you, have to continue to have sex with someone you find repulsive, are forced to have children you cannot feed, have to die in childbirth as a ‘consequence’ of the sex you cannot refuse, then how could anyone object to the lesser offenses of stealing away most of the value your work creates to support the ‘leader’, marching your sons off to war and getting them killed, and blighting your daughters’ lives with propaganda about how her only worth is in her ‘giving’ until she’s used up are bagatelles.  

     

    If religious authorities get to decide whether and with whom people have sex, then it follows that religious authorities get to control everything else about peoples lives as well.  The grossly disproportionate overreaction to people ignoring their edicts (for instance by being openly gay) is precisely because its a sign that their authority is slipping and people are beginning to find them irrelevant.

     

    This is evidenced by the people who participate on these threads who just gobble with OUTRAGE when somebody says something like ‘who cares what the Pope thinks’ or ‘I don’t respect proclamations by preachers’.  How DARE anyone not acknowledge that religious opinion is rightly empowered to be IN CHARGE of their most intimate actions and personal lives.  Freedom in their view can only be granted to those content in the narrow band where everyone accepts that’s being herded in and controlled is ‘for their own good’.

     

    Paul has said several times that we can’t get along with all this DIVERSITY OF OPINION but he has never explained why he feels compelled to control the thoughts and actions of strangers when those thoughts and actions have no direct effect on him whatsoever.  What is at stake for Paul?

     

    I can only speak to what others of like mind have revealed – they have been convinced that there are harsh consequences for error, and believe that in religion they have found the ‘approved list of human behaviors’ and that there is no more need to consider and make moral choices, that they are protected from error and its harsh consequences, because a respected heirarchy above them is eager to assume their individual responsibility to do exactly that in exchange for their freedom.

     

    They recognize that the ‘approved list of human behaviors’ has harsh consquences disproportionately on some portions of humanity, that a lot of pain is caused by an insistence on its enforcement, even that some of the items on the list defy common sense altogether, but by golly, it’s worth defending the list as it stands because then they can shove all the responsibility for that pain off on the heirarchy.

     

    In war this is known as the comfort of being able to do anything, no matter how vile, in the belief that “I was just following orders”.

  • julie-watkins

    Something from last June:

    Paul’s Lament

     

    It has not escaped my notice that life would be much, much easier on all of us if the unborn were expendable. It has also not escaped my notice that life would be much, much fairer if the burden of caring for an unwanted life did not fall entirely on the mother. It’s wrong for a woman to conceive when she doesn’t want to conceive. Such a conception is to be regretted and to be avoided. But deliberately causing another person’s life to end is also wrong — and two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Julie’s corollary to Paul’s Lament

     

    It has not escaped my notice that life would be much, much easier on all of us if we didn’t have to pretend women weren’t born to be servants. It has also not escaped my notice that life would be much, much fairer, since the burden of caring for an unwanted life must fall entirely on the mother, if women weren’t born with free will. It’s wrong for Nature to make a woman fertile even when she doesn’t want to conceive. This fact of Nature is to be regretted, but we must accept she is a servant and help her to accept her fate. Deliberately causing another person’s life to end is also wrong and should be avoided. Thankfully, it must be remembered that when a woman becomes pregnant she is old enough (unlike the tiny human inside her) to somewhat defend herself, so it is appropriate that we accept her to do her duty.

    You (Paul) keep writing things such as

    Do you agree with me that it is untenable for members of society to hold such widely divergent attitudes about these questions as you and I have?  It’s not as if ‘agreeing to disagree’ is an option for us.  I claim that it’s absolutely necessary for people like you and me to really listen to each other and work toward getting past the impasse we’re at.

    as if there’s this imperative that there can’t be shades of grey. As if dozens of pro-choice posters here telling you “you’re not listening” isn’t a sign that … you’re not listening. I am listening. I understand your points, and I disagree. That isn’t “not listening”. The anti-choice movement is one more iteration of the milennia of social pressure directed at women “your duty is to serve” and the poor “your duty is to support your masters” … and it’s relentless because, dang it, women keep being uppity and the poor keep organizing for a fair share.

  • julie-watkins

    I like how you put that.

    .

    The whole point of the ruling oligarchy/theologians/philosphers trying to set up ethics around sex/reproduction is the power inherent in getting people to surrender to your will around a strongly driven biological issue so intensely private and central to their lives.  If the ruling oligarchy, theologians and philosphers can get people to accept that the powers that be, rather than the people themselves, have the right to set the boundaries of this area of their lives, what other area could possibly be off limits?

    .

    I am saving this link for future citations …

  • paul-bradford

    crowepps,

     

    The day will come when medical science will advance to the point where a fetus can be removed from her/his mother’s uterus, put into a super-duper incubator and develop until s/he’s ready for birth.  On that day it will be completely possible for fathers and mothers to share equally in the responsibility of child rearing.  Until then, the nine month period from conception to birth is one time where a father can’t possibly take on 50% of the burden.

     

    You know what a stickler I am about paternal responsibility.  The fact that men “wander off” (and some women, too) and neglect their children is as much of a blight on society as abortion is.  Maybe more.

  • ch

    <blockquote>Abortion decisions need to be shaped by societal norms, and societal norms are established through discourse.  </blockquote>

     

    Um, no.  Abortion decisions need to be shaped by women, their partners and their doctors.  Society does not get to, particularly in this singular circumstance, make unilateral decisions for women.  Society at large does not get to “discourse” upon my or any other woman’s reproductive decisions.  You do understand that was the reasoning behind Roe v. Wade

  • paul-bradford

    As if dozens of pro-choice posters here telling you “you’re not listening” isn’t a sign that … you’re not listening.


    Julie,

     

    Life is unfair and nature is sexist.  We know that because we know that in order for an unwanted child to be born the mother has to endure a significant amount of danger and discomfort whereas the father is undisturbed (at least physically).  Perhaps one of the obstacles to my listening to you clearly is my awareness that for a wanted child to be born the mother has to endure a significant amount of danger and discomfort whereas the father is undisturbed.

     

    Wanted child, unwanted child … equally sexist, equally unfair.

     

    As you know, I have proposed that a man be levied a hefty fine (in the order of $50,000) in the event he impregnates a woman against her will.  I have also proposed that we strengthen laws to insure that paternal support of children after they are born is at least equal to the support that mothers provide.  I’ve also suggested that men have to take an equal responsibility for contraception.  I’ve also reminded the ‘Pro-Choice posters’ that I agree with them that a woman should be given free choice about her own pregnancy and medical decisions.  Where does my opinion diverge from yours?  I think it is important to remind both men and women that it would be tragic to lose a child to abortion and that, in order to avoid this, one must approach sex with the idea that in the event that sex causes reproduction both partners have an ethical obligation to provide care for the child.

     

    I am such a poor listener, Julie, that I can’t even figure out what you’re saying to me that I’m not hearing.  But I’m a persistent son-of-a-gun.  As long as we can stay on the good side of your endurance I will be asking you to spell out for me what remedy for sexism and classism I would endorse if I fully appreciated the difficulties faced by the poor and by women.  I’m also eager to understand what modifications I would make to my own ideal of child rearing if I weren’t burdened by the misogynistic assumption that women are born to serve.

     

    Of course, if we are ever to arrive at that happy point where we are both listening we both will have to understand a woman’s perspective and we both will have to understand a man’s perspective.  Please contemplate, for a moment, what a disaster it would be for a man to have a child if he didn’t want to become a father.  I have raised a child to adulthood and I can assure you that nothing I have ever done comes close to the amount of effort and expense that fatherhood required.  It seems to me, and I want you to listen to this, that to ask a man to provide these things against his will would be to ask a great deal.  Do you have any sympathy for men in this situation?  What relief would you propose (if any)?

  • crowepps

    The fact that men “wander off” (and some women, too) and neglect their children is as much of a blight on society as abortion is.  Maybe more.

    Certainly any society which really valued the lives of children wouldn’t tolerate the current institution of parental ownership of children and the consequent abuse and neglect which it makes possible, nor would a society which really valued the lives of children leave them hungry, homeless, ill or ignorant so that as hostages they might be useful in inspiring their parents to “personal responsibility”. 

     

    If our society really did value children as so many claim that it does, abortion would be very rare.  Our social policies and the statistical evidence however make it clear it isn’t ‘children’ that are valued but instead enforcing rigid gender roles and monitoring the sex lives of strangers.

  • crowepps

    Wanted child, unwanted child … equally sexist, equally unfair.

    Well, no, they are not equally unfair.  In one case, the child is wanted and the mother voluntarily assumes the inconveniences and dangers.  In the other case, she does not want to be pregnant and other people force the woman to suffer those inconveniences and take those risks for a fetus she doesn’t want.

     

    It’s the difference between being moved to empty your pockets for a panhandler and getting mugged.

  • julie-watkins

    OK, you’ve got one new quetion this time I’ll answer.

    Wanted child, unwanted child … equally sexist, equally unfair.

    So? Not really. [Attempting to ] give birth is a “gift”. That point more helps my position than yours. I like crowepps summary, the giving money to a beggar and getting mugged.

    .

    Now a few of many possible examples to quote

    https://ms1.express.cites.uiuc.edu/wm/mail/fetch.html?urlid=1a38075b2a64c9596ed02f8f7a913cc81&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rhrealitycheck.org%2Fcomment%2Freply%2F12699%2F36946

    A question here you asked me, I answered, you didn’t reply–not even to say “Oh, thanks, now I understand what you meant, I already responded to that concept in another thread.”

  • Not listening.
  • About fining men, back in July, (I think there are other examples) http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/commonground/2009/07/31/a-double-standard you wrote:

    Rather than simply give lectures to boys and men, let them know that — in the event a woman finds herself carrying his child — he can be made liable to compensate her for the pain and suffering of dealing with an unintended pregnancy.

    crowepps answered:

    After putting the women in this position of power over the man (owed compensation), how do we protect her from the man’s ‘taking care of the problem’ through violence? The leading cause of death for pregnant women is partner violence.

    you answered:

    I do think that a fair allocation of responsibility does work.

    …and didn’t answer — wouldn’t even acknowledge — the partner violence aspect.

  • Not listening.
  • .

    [edited for formatting & a crowepps comment]

  • crowepps

    A better analogy might be the difference between voluntarily joining the peacetime military and being drafted into it.

     

    I really get annoyed with the argument ‘you were born female, too bad for you – if you don’t want kids, stay a virgin’.  It just reeks of male privilege, especially when they insist that ‘rape isn’t an excuse’.

     

    ‘Men who are strangers to you may stalk you, drug you or run you down, and violently force you to have sex with them, and while we just DEPLORE their terrible acts and think they’re very, VERY bad, it’s your duty to allow your body to grow them children afterwards.  If you don’t want the child, that’s okay, just incidently my wife and I happened to want one for ourselves.’

     

    They need to make up their minds; either we’re equal citizens or we’re prey.  Then they wonder why some women loathe and distrust men. 

  • paul-bradford

    Certainly any society which really valued the lives of children wouldn’t tolerate the current institution of parental ownership

     

    crowepps,

     

    It certainly can’t have escaped your notice that you and I have basic agreement about what it means for society to value children and what it means for a parent to value her/his child.  We’re also both concerned about the way the society, and many parents, fall short of what we would consider minimum standards for good childcare.  

     

    I wonder, though, if you realize that you and I are equally indifferent to the sexual exploits of strangers but for one major detail.  I believe that when the result of sex is that a man becomes a father and a woman becomes a mother, both man and woman incur significant parental responsibilities.  You and I are in agreement that it’s lamentable, even tragic, for ill-equipped individuals to become parents.  Unlike you, though, I can’t see moral justification for remedying unhappy circumstances by bringing a human life to an end.

     

    Paul Bradford and crowepps do not disagree about the importance of good childcare, we do not disagree about the importance of privacy when it comes to sex, we do not disagree about the issue of equality for women or about the freedom we all ought to enjoy to emancipate ourselves from rigid gender roles.  We agree that “a child has the right to be properly cared for” we simply disagree about the definition of ‘child’.  My definition is more expansive than yours.

  • paul-bradford

    Julie,

     

    I hope you will grant me this much by way of ‘benefit of the doubt’.  I do not always have the opportunity to respond to, or even notice, all the posts that are addressed to me.  If I had the time and energy I would respond directly to every comment that is sent my way.

     

    crowepps pointed out that certain men, if they are required by law to behave justly toward others, might lash out in violence.  Are we, as a society, to cower in the face of potential violence and stop attempting to require people to behave justly?

     

     “If you try to make me do the right thing I’ll wring your neck”

     

    “Oh.  Sorry, Mr. Violent Man, you just go ahead and do anything you like.  Your threat of violence gives you carte blanche to walk all over me.”

     

    What is your advice to women (and children, for that matter) who are caught in abusive relationships?  Always give in to the threat of violence?  Never seek the help of the law?  Keep quiet about the whole thing?  Do you actually think that violent people are pacified through compliacence?

     

    You may think I’m just climbing up on a soapbox in order to shout you down, but there’s a lot more to it than that.  You talk about nature’s sexism.  Let’s talk a little bit about society’s sexism.  Don’t you think the fear of violence is at the heart of the difficulty we face in overcoming society’s sexism?  We owe it to women (and children) to quell that violence.  Don’t you agree with me that sooner or later we’re going to have to stop giving in to it?

     

    As far as the other question goes, your link didn’t work for me.  If you ‘cut and paste’ the comment I’ll respond.

  • julie-watkins

    Please look at the quote.

    • Paul: makes a proposal
    • Crowepps: that will increase violence without helping anything
    • Paul: [ignores the concern about increasing violence] it will help

    ….not listening….
    .
    I don’t want to debate partner violence; my observation was that you “weren’t listening” when you ignored crowepps apparently valid concerns. Plus you keep bringing up interations of this proposal as if it will solve something and you aren’t responding to concerns raised by people who have practical experience.

    .

    Sorry the link didn’t work. I was having a hard time with formating/postling last night and I’m not surprised. Look downthread to my entry “Paul, your first question”, posted Feb 28., quoting from a discussion on “Let’s read 101 reasons not to have an abortion”.
    .
    In summary: Evolution seems to have arrived at a process that puts good outcomes (“the right gene combination at the right time”) as more important than preventing miscarriages. I also believe shouldn’t be treated as second class by laws or social norms. Therefore, I think the principle of “[attempting to] give birth is a gift” has as much (or more) validity as being “natural” as “[attempting to] give birth is an obligation”. Nature is OK with shades of grey, I wish Pro-Life people weren’t so rigid in their expectations. Comments?

  • paul-bradford

    I really get annoyed with the argument ‘you were born female, too bad for you – if you don’t want kids, stay a virgin’.

     

    crowepps,

     

    Is this directed toward me?  Haven’t you noticed that every strategy I’ve ever come up with for protecting the unborn involves making unwanted pregnancy easier on women and harder on men?  It’s been well established that I’m a cement-head when it comes to understanding women; but I actually do know one or two things about men and I’ve come to the conclusion that a motivated man will move mountains whereas an unmotivated man won’t lift a finger.

     

    Want to lower the rate of abortion?  Lower the rate of unwanted pregnancy.  Want to lower the rate of unwanted pregnancy?  Make it so that unwanted pregnancy hurts men.  Drink and drive/lose your license.  Impregnate a woman/pay big bucks for a long, long time.  Don’t want kids?  Maybe the guy will want to stay a virgin.

     

    I’m loathed and distrusted.  I’m also so stupid I have trouble working out how my ideas are misogynistic.

  • paul-bradford

    Crowepps: that will increase violence without helping anything


    Julie,

     

    Why is it so hard for us to partner around the issue of reducing societal sexism?  Both of us, I’m quite sure, can point to a long list of policies and laws that make it so that child rearing is more of a burden on mothers than it ought to be, and less of a burden on fathers than it ought to be.  I say, “That’s not fair.  We ought to change the laws.”

     

    OK. OK. crowepps says, “That will increase violence without helping anything.”  You say, “Listen to her!”  I listen, and I find the both of you to be despairing and defeatist.  I also find myself very challenged to be patient with an arrangement that eases the load on fathers and increases the load on children, mortally so.

     

    My overarching theme is that male violence and selfishness does more to cause abortions than anything that women do.  I don’t know if I’ve convinced you of that or not, but you seem to be convinced that attempts to curb male violence and selfishness will cause more problems than it solves.

     

    I say this again and again.  If you want to protect the unborn you have to start by protecting their mothers.  Reducing societal sexism means less abortion, not more.  Abortion is a symptom of female subjugation.

     

    I’m a big fan of Darwinism; but I’m totally opposed to Social Darwinism.  We ought to learn all we can about evolution, but it’s downright dangerous to let our understanding of evolution inform our ideas of justice and right relations.  Perhaps the Law of the Jungle is, “Only the strong survive”; but it’s a lousy battle cry for a society that has any intention of being humane.

     

    My belief, which crowepps soundly rejects, is that evolution has favored violent and dominating males.  Civilization is our attempt to soften some of nature’s rough edges.

  • paul-bradford

    It’s the difference between being moved to empty your pockets for a panhandler and getting mugged.

     

    crowepps,

     

    The impulse that leads a person to give aid to the poor is the same impulse that ought to prompt parents to provide care for their unborn children.

     

    I’m amazed at how much of a thicket you and I wander into when we discuss morality and free will.  I believe that a recognition of other people’s humanity is the cure for the soul’s ills.  How many times have I proposed that people treat people like people?  Can you understand that these things are very, very high on my lists of concerns even though I fully understand that one cannot promote compassion and non-violence by putting a gun to people’s heads.

  • julie-watkins

    I said I didn’t want to debate partner violence with you. I then asked if you could comment about Nature putting a higher value on outcomes than preventing miscarriages. Your reply asks me to reply about the first and doesn’t comment on the later.

    If you goggle “Julie Watkins” “Paul Bradford” and “protect the unborn” on the search box at the top of the screen I think we’ve already had that discussion.

  • crowepps

    Unlike some people who participate here I don’t repeatedly sort people into two groups and assume that all of them have identical feelings, beliefs and patterns of behavior.  Not all women distrust men.  Not all men deserve distrust.

     

    It’s my understanding that while you don’t ‘approve morally’ of abortion, you don’t advocate making it illegal.  I was directing this comment to those people who believe that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape.

     

    I don’t think you’re a misogynist who “hates women” but I do think your posts demonstrate a repeated pattern of distrust of them making their own decisions instead of letting ‘wiser’ men tell them what to do.

  • paul-bradford

    others have written about the low percentage of fertilized eggs that result in a live birth in relation to what I say about Nature’s Sexism … in a way, Nature mitigates the burden of pregnancy.

     

    Julie,

     

    I very much would like to challenge some of your anthropomorphized notions about nature.  Nature, or evolution, is not moved to ‘mitigate the burden of pregnancy’.  Pregnancy carries the mitigated and unmitigated burdens that it carries because our ancestors, who bequeathed our DNA to us, out-survived and out-reproduced those with different DNA who have no descendants.  There’s no ‘moral to the story’.  There’s no goal or purpose.  There’s no force of nature or evolution that’s interested in getting us to like our bodies or that’s concerned about repairing the characteristics of our bodies that trouble us.

     

    Human beings care about these things.  You care about them.  I care about them.  Nature, not so much.  Perhaps our success with breeding other plants and animals has gotten us used to thinking about life forms that have ‘evolved’ to human specifications.  That’s definitely not how we evolved.

  • ahunt

    New evidence suggests that Nature “cares” enough to have provided women with a mechanism to “flush” in the lean and stressful times, Paul.

     

    http://sitemaker.umich.edu/snre-faculty-bobbilow/files/nepomnaschy_et_al_pnas_20061.pdf

     

    Evolutionary theorists, however, propose that aborting unhealthy,
    defective, or otherwise substandard embryos, or those
    gestating under ‘‘impoverished reproductive conditions,’’ can
    be reproductively advantageous (39–45). Our results indicating
    an association between high cortisol levels and increased
    risk of miscarriage should be considered within the latter
    context. ‘‘Impoverished reproductive conditions’’ refers to
    reductions in the quality of females’ environment andor
    health status, such as droughts, infections, or social conflicts.
    Miscarriage under such conditions could help minimize the
    cost of pregnancies with diminished chances of success, preserve
    valuable resources to be invested in future offspring with
    higher fitness prospects, and free those resources to be used on
    a woman’s own survival and already existing offspring, which
    could be crucial during a crisis (43–45).


     

  • crowepps

    What is your advice to women (and children, for that matter) who are caught in abusive relationships?  Always give in to the threat of violence?  Never seek the help of the law?  Keep quiet about the whole thing?  Do you actually think that violent people are pacified through compliacence?

    Your assumptions are way over the top.  Did I say any of this?  None of this has anything to do with what I said at all.

     

    To reiterate what I do believe, one of the techniques used to trap women in abusive relationships is tricking them into getting pregnant, so that the child can be used as a hostage to keep them in a relationship with their abuser.

     

    I SEE this in my work, Paul.  I listen to these guys justify their behavior and I see the way they skate by pleading ‘he said/she said’ and the very short sentences they are handed for various assaults right up until they finally kill her.  I see the custody orders which force the woman to share custody with these control freaks because ‘being a bad husband doesn’t mean they’ll be a bad father’.

     

    You think it’s easy to call the cops when a visitation exchange goes sour and have them haul off Daddy in front of a crying 4-year old?

     

    You think it’s easy to explain to that child why Mommy can’t do anything to fix things when he’s upset from Daddy’s whining that he’s “all alone and sad at Christmas because Mommy doesn’t like me”?

     

    You ever heard of ‘punitive litigation’, where the woman has enormous expenses from being dragged back to court, over and over, because Daddy doesn’t like the school she picked, or the daycare she used, or the friends she lets in ‘my child’s home’, or the church she goes to, or objects to the character of the stepdad?

     

    You need a lot deeper understanding of this issue before you start dictating choices to that woman.  Saying ‘she ought to call the cops’ and ‘stand up to violence’ when she has, over and over, and she’s still caught in the same dysfunctional drama, is both patronizing and blind to reality.

  • crowepps

    I believe that a recognition of other people’s humanity is the cure for the soul’s ills.

    I don’t believe I’ve ever said that you aren’t entitled to that belief.

     

    What I have said is that judging other people as deficient because they aren’t meeting your personal standards in “recognition of other people’s humanity” is ALSO not an effective way to promote compassion and non-violence.  I deplore your focusing your efforts in the specialized area of getting the 1% of humanity who are pregnant women to recognize the humanity of zygotes instead of paying more attention to getting the 99% to cure THEIR soul’s ills.

     

    If every pregnant woman on Earth agreed with you tomorrow and decided to attempt to complete every single pregnancy, leaving aside the likelihood that the maternal mortality rate would skyrocket, the 99% whose souls remained ill, the fathers, family, employers, coworkers, neighbors and religious leaders, continuing in their greedy selfishness, would be content to leave those women and their children’s lives a misery.

     

    If you really want to accomplish a mighty task, get the fathers, family, employers, coworkers, neighbors and religious leaders to stop shrugging off their obligation to be moral onto female scapegoats, inspire THEM to treat their neighbor as themselves, and the abortion problem would solve itself without any further effort.

  • crowepps

    There’s no ‘moral to the story’.  There’s no goal or purpose.  There’s no force of nature or evolution that’s interested in getting us to like our bodies or that’s concerned about repairing the characteristics of our bodies that trouble us.

     

    Human beings care about these things.  You care about them.  I care about them.

    Well, actually, no, a lot of us don’t care about these things at all.  A lot of us just take the body we were issued and make the best of it without focusing on it a whole lot, because the characteristics of our bodies like miscarriages are just part of the package.

     

    I still haven’t seen anything that explains just why ‘society’ has a huge stake in whether a particular woman completes a pregnancy with a particular blastocyst at 15 or why it creates a huge problem for society if she ends that pregnancy and instead completes one with a different blastocyst at 20.  The changes of getting a child likely to grow into an adult who makes a positive contribution to society are much, much greater in the second scenario.

  • julie-watkins

    I very much would like to challenge some of your anthropomorphized notions about nature.  Pregnancy carries the mitigated and unmitigated burdens that it carries because our ancestors, who bequeathed our DNA to us, out-survived and out-reproduced those with different DNA who have no descendants.

    Nature doesn’t have a concious agenda, but the way Evolution works, “success” is measured by survival of the species, usually by number of offspring. Since the effects systemically disadvantage human females, I don’t believe I’m anthropomorphizing — it’s just a shorthand. The number of miscarriages and wasted immature eggs isn’t “important”. What determines “success” is number of offspring that in turn mature and produce offspring. Looking at the biology helps determine what is possible and/or pointless. Your insistance that ZBEF=person doesn’t make biological sense. Some members of Society have put great “importance” on ZBEFs because the oligarchy funding the philosophers/theologians/politicians who say that find the concept useful.

    I decline to discuss your 2nd paragraph.