The Ethical, Spiritual, and Moral Foundation of the Abortion-Provider Community

Those who provide access to abortions have ethical, spiritual, and religious wisdom that this world needs.

I say this because of my own involvement with a part of this community and the absolutely incredible people that are involved in it. These people, mostly women, get something about life. They, in my experience, are more able than the average-joe to look at human suffering and remain engaged with it honestly. They don’t dismiss or trivialize human suffering, they don’t say “hey, it all happens for some mysterious reason.” Instead, they say “let me listen to you and do what you say you need me to do because I trust you…”

I do not mean to romanticize here. I was talking to somebody within the abortion-providing community, somebody who spends each day dealing with the realities of getting women abortion services. As she put it: “I’m not thinking ‘wahoo reproductive justice’ each day.” Because of lack of resources and the urgency to meet the needs of women, working in the abortion provision field is often hectic and stressful (like many other non-profit contexts). However, many who work in providing women access to abortions stick with it for awhile…there is something about it that draws them (and me). There is something special within these communities, something important and wise. Focusing on what these “something specials” are is I want to do.

I want to focus on these “something specials” because I think there is significant moral and theological wisdom within abortion-providing communities. Dr. Beverly Harrison wrote Our Right to Choose: Toward a New Ethic of Abortion, where she says:

When through courageous moral action, we anticipate an alternative, historically liberating mode of being in the world, a new sense of God’s living presence unfolds. Out of a moral struggle to embody deeper patterns of human community, freshly empowering visions of God are born.

Now, Harrison is a Christian social ethicist and she uses the word “God” more easily than I do. What she, you, or me understands the word “God” to mean is a tricky matter and there are bazillions of definitions. In my faith tradition, which is the spiritual home of many humanists and atheists, we just avoided the word altogether, preferring “Spirit of Life,” “Great Mystery”, “Source of being”,  etc, etc.  I personally like Gandhi’s definition: “God is Truth.”

But why that word “God” is important, particularly for the abortion-providing community, is that this word God invokes meanings of power, goodness, morality, and justice. Regardless of whether you “believe” or not, I do think the abortion-providing community does need to claim and celebrate its power, goodness, morality, and justice. I believe liberal religious and secular communities need to claim and celebrate the goodness, morality, and justice of the abortion providing community.

Harrison suggests that in broader culture (perhaps even within the abortion-providing community itself) there is a myth than anti-abortion advocates are somehow morally superior, that “religion” and “morality” are somehow on their side. According to Harrison:

Moral legitimacy seems to adhere to their [anti-choice/pro-life] position in part because traditionalists have an array of religio-moral terminology at their command that the sometimes more secular proponents of choice lack…We must do our homework if we are to dispel this myth of moral superiority.

I want to do this homework.  For, if there is something like what I think we might mean when we use the word “God,” then it’s working through the hands and hearts of those who get and give women abortions.

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  • kate-ranieri

    What could be more profoundly, morally, powerfully good than to take the hand of a woman who trusts you (and who you trust) on the righteous journey of determing what is best for an unplanned pregnancy? Taking that journey means dealing with all the biggies–sex, death, religion, familly–and the abortion care community knows that in the inner depths of their souls. It is with overwhelming compassion and deep respect for women that abortion care providers do their work today and every day. What could be more sacred in health care than this work?



  • jgbeam

    “Those who provide access to abortions have ethical, spiritual, and religious wisdom that this world needs.”


    Why aren’t medical procedures spoken of in these terms?  Spiritual and religious wisdom?  For removing a gall bladder?  Abortion is not a medical procedure.  Abortion is not health care.


    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • rebellious-grrl

    People who work in field of reproductive health are courageous and provide a very needed service. I admire those doctors, nurses, and clinic staff, who listen to women, to help women, to hear what’s in their heart. Because there are many religions, as well as there are many different views of spirituality besides Christianity there are many ways to view reproductive healthcare for women. The Christian right focuses on solely on abortion outside the realm of the entire picture of a woman’s reproductive health.

    Kate Childs article, “I am a prochoice Catholic” is a great read in which explains her position. She said, “Where abortion is prohibited or stigmatized, women do not all of the sudden decide to carry pregnancies to term. Decisions pertaining to family are greater than law or custom. Instead, women seek out abortion where it is available. Where it is illegal, more often than not abortions are unsafe………..Even worse, in some countries where abortion is illegal and women come into hospitals to seek medical attention for a botched abortion, they aren’t treated with the care they need. Rather, they are treated as criminals, left to suffer on an examination table as the doctors and nurses are forced to call in a police examiner.
    …………..being prochoice does not end at supporting the right to safe and legal abortion; it extends to discovering the best methods to prevent unintended pregnancies. Contraception promotion, comprehensive sexuality education, and access to affordable child care and healthcare are just some of the methods that are paramount to reducing the need for abortion………..
    Finally, I am a prochoice Catholic because my Catholic faith tells me I can be. The Catechism reads, “[Conscience] is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.” Even St. Thomas Aquinas said it would be better to be excommunicated than to neglect your individual conscience. So really, I am just following his lead. After years of research, discernment and prayer, my conscience has been well informed. Being a prochoice Catholic does not contradict my faith; rather, in following my well-informed conscience, I am adhering to the central tenet of Catholic teaching — the primacy of conscience.
    My hope is that together the hierarchy of the Catholic church, the antiabortion movement and the prochoice movement will help people of all faiths and no faith to develop well-informed consciences. However, this can only be done by talking about the whole picture — from the dangers of unsafe abortion to the importance of preventing unintended pregnancy. By narrowing our focus to the legalization/illegalization of abortion, we are ignoring the realities which women and families face around the world. And that’s not serving anyone.”

    I think Kate Childs is a courageous and moral woman. Abortion is part of a full range of reproductive healthcare for women. It’s healthcare not murder! It’s an embryo not a baby, there is a big difference.

    Thank and abortion provider today and everyday.

  • concernedmom

    That’s right, cuz someone aborted it before he/she could be born! Not against PREVENTING fertilization, as long as sperm & egg don’t join. I would certainly advocate teaching kids about birth control in public school, as long as abstainence is one of those options. Some kids will always experiment with sex, so they need to know how to protect against STD’s/pregnancy. But they sure don’t need self serving money making organizations like Planned Parenthood coming into their classroom since P.P.also happens to benefit from providing abortions for those who STILL get pregnant. When my child is old enough to receive Sex Ed, I’m going to be very aware of exactly what is being tought on this subject.

  • concernedmom

    Jim. I couldn’t put it any better!

  • truth

    From the Catechism of the Catholic Church p. 547 – 549.

    Read this and tell me: How can you be a Catholic if you don’t believe what they teach?” Maybe you should start your own church, one that ‘rebels’ against the Catholic Church – “Oh wait!” – I found one… It’s called The Protestant Church. Within the huge mass of Protestant Churches I know Unity Church allows you to believe whatever you would like to believe – they readily accept everyone including those who worship the Prince of this World – Satan, Lucifer, etc.



    2270     Human life must be respeted and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.

    Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you (Jer 1:5; cf. Job 10:8-12; Ps 22:10-11).

    My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth (Ps 139:15).

    2271     Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, this is to say, abortion willed either as an end or means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:

    You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.

    God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.

    2272     Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae, by the very commission of the offense,” and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

    2273     The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a consitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:

    “The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.”

    “The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them , the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined….As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.”

    2274     Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its intergrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.

                Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, “if it respects the life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its safeguarding or healing as an individual….It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence.”

    2275     “One must hold as licit precedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing, the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival.”

               “It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable biological material.”

               “Certain attempts to influence chromosomic or genetic inheritance are not therapeutic but are aimed at producing human beings selected according to sex or other predetermined qualities. Such manipulations are contrary to the personal dignity of the human being and his integrity and identity” which are unique and unrepeatable.




  • prochoiceferret

    From the Catechism of the Catholic Church p. 547 – 549. Read this and tell me: How can you be a Catholic if you don’t believe what they teach?”

    You think that everything they teach is representative of Christ’s teachings? I suppose you think molesting young boys is Catholic, too!

  • truth

    Christian = One who follows Christ

    So yes, everything the Catholic Church teaches is directly related to Christ’s teachings – it’s His Church!


    We are all tempted by sin – Priest’s are no different.



  • concernedmom

    To bring this up [like the true Accuser Satan is]…
    No Institution of Man is immune to finding those within who may fall into temptation & a snare. Do you think becuz a man becomes a Priest, he ceases to be tempted? Those Priests that DO succumb to the sin of such a dispicable crime as child molestation are de-frocked, accordingly.

  • prochoiceferret

    Christian = One who follows Christ So yes, everything the Catholic Church teaches is directly related to Christ’s teachings – it’s His Church!

    I dunno, I don’t think Christ would have said “We have laws, we have a discipline, we have a doctrine of the faith … This is not just theory. And you can’t start backpedaling just because the real-life situation carries a certain human weight.”

  • prochoiceferret

    No Institution of Man is immune to finding those within who may fall into temptation & a snare. Do you think becuz a man becomes a Priest, he ceases to be tempted?

    Oh, of course not. Lots of people who claim to be all righteous and pure and good turn out to be not very Christ-like after all.

    Those Priests that DO succumb to the sin of such a dispicable crime as child molestation are de-frocked, accordingly.

    Yeah, once their victims get around to accusing the Church in a court of law. Until then, they just get re-located, accordingly.

  • crowepps

    Well, no, actually what happens is the priest is ‘counseled’ about how his actions are ‘naughty’, and then he is moved to another parish where his prior history is kept a secret even from his supervisors, and he is allowed to move right into parish work with families.  Meanwhile, the child who reported the incident and his parents are pressured to stay away from the police, ‘forgive’ the abuser, and keep the whole thing a secret.


    What happened, over and over and over, was that the Church as an Institution knew that certain priests were child molestors or violently beat children or sexual abusers of women and  KNOWINGLY enabled them to continue their abuse because the most important thing was not the children being abused, or the women being abused, or even the priests sinning, but instead avoiding bad publicity for the Church.

  • crowepps

    So yes, everything the Catholic Church teaches is directly related to Christ’s teachings

    Certainly would be interested to see any reference in Christ’s teachings to purgatory, homosexuality, abortion, burning ‘witches’, priestly celibacy, anti-semitism, the idea of ‘priests’ itself, a ‘princely heirarchy’, a Pope, etc. You may be able to find some support for some of that in the later epistles from those who highjacked the faith, but you’d be hard put to dig up anything He said to justify any of it.

  • rebellious-grrl

    Like Fox News and their commentators (like Rush, Glen Beck, etc.) and right wing Christian fundamentalist organizations (Focus on the Family, etc. etc.) that make money off oppressing women and using this issue to polarize people and make money.

    Planned Parenthood (PP) is not “getting rich off abortion.” That’s a bogus claim, being that 3% of PP services are abortions. If you can make a profit from 3% of your business than you are a financial genius. PP has it’s annual report online at

    Abortion is part of reproductive healthcare. Other facets of reproductive healthcare are, contraceptives (birth control); emergency contraception; screening for breast, cervical and testicular cancers; pregnancy testing and pregnancy counseling.


  • prochoicegoth

    Jim, just because you say something, doesn’t make it fact. In your fantasy land, abortion may not be healthcare or a medical procedure, but in the real world, it is. Get over it.

  • frolicnaked

    Why aren’t medical procedures spoken of in these terms?

    Some are, as are some other medical counseling situations. I’ve experienced them (or known others who’ve experienced them) in other areas of reproductive health care. Only, it’s not always positive.


    For example, at age 30, my mom was told she should be sterilized because it was immoral and irresponsible for someone with bipolar disorder to reproduce.


    After I was raped, the person giving me emergency contraceptives wondered aloud to me if it wouldn’t be better if I “just let God’s will happen” and didn’t take the pills.


    There are, of course, the numerous health care providers who referred to my endometriosis and adenomyosis as the “curse of Eve” and counseled that I should “accept [my] fate as a woman” as a way of dismissing valid medical concerns. Also the doctor who refused my sterilization/ablation request with the reasoning that I wouldn’t be able to do what God designed me to do and bear children.


    And the nurse who admonished my close friend for going on birth control pills “just in case” — as in, to plan ahead in the event she wanted to become sexually active. “Good girls,” the nurse informed my friend, didn’t think like that.


    Female sexual and reproductive health care is frought with morality judgments. For some of us, merely the absence of condemnation reveals a world of wisdom.

  • elyzabeth

    Tell me, ConcernedMom, during what part of fertilization does “personhood” begin?  “Fertilization” is an arbitrary name given to a certain stages of rather complex, multistage process.  Do you become a human when the spermatozoa binds to the zona pellucida of the oocyte?  During the subsequent acrosomal reaction?  Do you start being a person when the zona pellucida is penetrated?   Does is happen after the spermatozoa and oocyte fuse their membranes?  What about after the sperm is engulfed by the oocyte but before the decondensation of the sperm nucleus?  Can you be a person before the cortical reaction and the formation of the zona block and vitelline block?  Formation of the male pronucleus?  Syngamy?  Is an ootid a person? 





  • truth

    You should begin studying it. I don’t have time to go over a lifetime of research here but I could provide you with some good sources if you’re interested. A great resource is “The Catechism of the Catholic Church” itself because you can delve into exactly what the Catholic Church teaches on each individual topic. From there your journey begins…It has all the referenced documentation so you can branch off and prove to yourself where their conclusions were drawn.


    As far as protecting life is concerned, this is really just good old common sense. You cannot murder innocent human life – period. It’s too bad that not everyone has common sense.

  • truth

    2274     Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its intergrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.


    The beginning is a that exact moment when the sperm enters the egg and this is commonly known as fertilization. This newly formed zygote is the beginning of what can be nothing else than a human being.


    Trying to confuse people doesn’t make the fertilized egg any less human.

  • prochoicegoth

    No one denies a fertilized ovum in a human female is human. To deny that would be be ludicrous. However, that does not make the zygote a PERSON. Even if it did, that STILL does not give it the right to remain in the woman’s body against that woman’s will. You CANNOT give a z/e/f a right that NO OTHER HUMAN(person or not) has. 

  • crowepps

    I found it unconvincing and derivative. My journey begins and ends with the Gospels, not the grafted on patterns borrowed from the worship of Sol Invictus to keep the Roman Army from rebelling against Constantine.


    I too oppose allowing innocent human lives to perish — those of the pregnant women.

  • rebellious-grrl

    I was quoting a woman who is Catholic and pro-choice. I left the Roman Catholic Church years ago. I was raised Catholic, attended Catholic school, attended a Methodist college, and have spent many years studying the bible and Christian theology. I feel I am “culturally Catholic” because that’s how I grew up. At heart I have always been a pagan. I have always believed in a God but not a male or female God, not a patriarchal God, but a God/Goddess that understands the complexity of life and the decisions a woman has when it comes to her bodily autonomy.

    From Catholics for Choice, “The morality and the legality of abortion is an important personal and political issue throughout the world.  Catholic support for legal abortion is grounded in core principles of Catholic theology, which respect the moral agency of all women.  It is bolstered by respect for the religious freedom and rights of people of all faiths and no religious faith, by respect for plural and tolerant democratic societies and, most importantly, by adherence to the Catholic principle of standing with the poor and marginalized of the world who are disproportionately women.”

    Now, I’m going to take a break and go outside to enjoy a warm semi-sunny day.

    Thanks to RHReality Check for this awesome website, and a sincere thanks and shout out to ProChoiceFerret, ProChoiceGoth, crowepps, frolicnaked.

    Peace everyone.

  • mechashiva

    Elyzabeth, I think I have a big fat feminist nerd-crush on you.

  • jayn

    You cannot use another person’s body as if it were your personal property–period.   It’s too bad that not everyone has common sense.


    Oh wait, I forgot, “We don’t need common sense, we have faith*.”


    (*shirt seen worn by Christians.  I wish I was making it up.  I really do.)

  • mechashiva

    I have to say you summed it up pretty well, Kate. This is why abortion has dominated politics for so long. It really is indicative of how our core value system works, and I agree that people who work in areas of birth, death, sex, family, and religion all have a unique perspective on morality/ethics/religion and life in general.

  • mechashiva

    Her point was that fertilization is not instantaneous, it is a process. There are many different things that happen during fertilization, and she wants to know what the criteria are for establishing the instant at which personhood begins.


    Example: When the sperm fuses cell membranes with the egg, the two nuclei are still separate and contained within their nuclear membranes. So, at this point while there are two nuclei, there is not a fully integrated set of genetic material. Is the fertilized egg a person yet, or do the two sets of DNA need to combine before you’d consider it a person?

  • kate-ranieri

    I’m guessing the CC is digging through the pages of her holy book, finding nothing relevant (not that she ever does find anything relevant) and has moved on to the internet to figure out all those big words. My favorite, thanks for the biology refresher, has long been the zona pellucida. It almost sounds almost cosmopolitan…

  • concernedmom

    Makes their big bucks from abortion. DUH. Their business is based on its founder Margaret Sanger’s keen distaste for the “breeding” of poor minority races. That’s why they’re moving into that 6 story bank bldg in Dallas, to open the Super Walmart of all Abortion/late term abortions mega centers. Oh, & what a co-incidence, its in a majority black/hispanic neighborhood! But that wouldn’t convince you of the truth to P/P’s motives a bit, would it??

  • concernedmom

    You think women perish for having a baby to come to term?? Where do you radicals come up with this stuff??

  • concernedmom

    You ARE making it up!!

  • colleen

    We are all tempted by sin – Priest’s are no different.

    you have missed several points.

    1. The thing is, pedophilia isn’t so much a ‘sin’ as it is a felony. Indeed, to dismiss pedophilia and the institutionalized cover-up of child abuse as a mere ‘sin’ we’re all prone to is inaccurate and decidedly creepy.

    2. The problem for you and your hierarchy is that you pretend to be above the law. Rather than call the police when they discovered that priests were molesting small children your hierarchy decided to cover it up, silence and sometimes punish the victims and reassign the ‘problem’ priests to a position where they were able to CONTINUE molesting children or adolescents. They did this time and time again in state after state, country after country and parish after parish. The rot is so deep and widespread that we haven’t exposed half of it yet. And yes, I have links to mountains of evidence to substantiate this.

    3. When confronted with illegal behavior that genuinely harms children a decent and responsible adult does not behave in this manner nor do they excuse those who do. If School Superintendents dealt with teachers who were raping children in this manner, those men and women would lose their jobs and be sent to jail along with the rapists. The fact that the Catholic church dealt (and continues to deal) with cases of pedophilia as if the real problem is that someone may find out is ample proof of a deeply corrupt institution and no amount babbling on about how zygotes are persons and how members of the GLTB community are ‘disordered’ and no amount of pretending that the sexual abuse of children is just another sin will change that.

  • concernedmom

    To trap us?? When egg & sperm join, the tail falls off, the cells devide. This is NEW LIFE beginning. What is your point? We consider that life DOES have personhood, as it is forming into a new human being from the moment those 2 cells devide.
    It isn’t a real life to you, however, unless its WANTED, correct?

  • mechashiva

    Why do we care about what criteria you have for determining the beginning of a new life? Speaking for myself, I want to understand your position better so that I can argue against it more effectively. You could say I want to know what your logic is so that I can poke holes in it. Oh, and also I like doing this kind of thing because it illustrates that pro-choicers (on a whole) tend to understand what actually happens during embryonic development a lot better than pro-lifers typically do. I find that amusing, because pro-lifers should know more about this stuff if they care about it so much. That should be obvious.


    So for you, it’s a new life/person following the first mitotic division of the zygote. That would mean that you do not consider the single-celled zygote (“fertilized eggs” to you) a person. Which begs the question of, “What does a blastocyst have that a zygote doesn’t have?” However, based on your usual responses, I’d be willing to bet you actually messed up in the previous comment, because you DO actually think zygotes are people… which would bring us back to our initial question…


    “At what point in the process of fertilization do you consider the new life to begin?” Personally, if I thought life began “at conception” I would go for the moment the two nuclei (paternal and maternal 1n nuclei) integrated and the zygote was in interphase just prior to the first mitotic division… but that’s just me, and I don’t actually think that “life begins” at that time.

  • elyzabeth

    “When egg & sperm join, the tail falls off, the cells devide. This is NEW LIFE beginning. What is your point? We consider that life DOES have personhood, as it is forming into a new human being from the moment those 2 cells devide.”


    If I write that on my Reproduction test next week, I’m going to fail.  Fertilization, like every other biological process, is not an on/ off switch (read: person/ not-person).  You are describing a simplified cartoon version of reproduction appropriate for children, and then accusing us us trying to confuse you when we ask to have a meaningful and precise conversation about it. 


    It is not simply “an egg and sperm joining and the tail falling off.”  You would tell kids that because, frankly, the details would bore them.  However, if you are writing legislation (or Catechisms) about this and making decisions that actually effect other people, you need to be more precise than that.


    Is it the fact that the spermatozao has entered the oocyte?  If so, why is that particular moment so significant?


    Is it the fusion of genetic material?  If so, why?  What does a zygote (nuclei have fused) have that an ootid (male and female nuclei are present but unfused) doesn’t have as far as personhood?


    Is it the ability to divide?  Would a zygote with a chromosome abnormality rendering it incapable of division (as I think 12% of them are, but I’d need to check that figure) still be a person?  Is a zygote that cannot divide not a person while a zygote that is capable of division and hasn’t gotten around to it yet is?  What’s the difference?


    Once the zygote has started dividing, up until the 8-cell or 16-cell stage, each cell is totipotent.  That means that if placed individually in the correct environment, each cell can become its own individual.  Therefore, during in vitro fertilization when cells from a zygote are removed to check for hereditary diseases, is that test the equivalent of shooting a 4-year old child in the face simply because that totipotent cells are capable of growing into an individual? 


    More disturbingly, since each of us went through the 16-cell stage, we could have become that many individuals instead of just one.  All of those potential siblings, just selfishly absorbed into our bodies!  This isn’t just about potential siblings–according to one study I read, researcher think that as many as 1 in 8 human pregnancies start out as multiples.  One twin just dies and gets reabsorbed. 


    Knowing this, how do you act morally?  How do you come to terms with how little regard biology has for your sacred fertilized egg?  What action do we take to prevent our bodies from murdering the vanishing twins?  All zygotes are people, right?  So you can’t do nothing and just let our bodies get away with this, right?


    I apologize for being abrasive, but your position gets absurder the more I think about it. 


  • concernedmom

    So now that you’ve done your research on the Internet, what does this have to do with the fact that a woman doesn’t even find out she’s pregnant til at least 6 weeks after conception? As far as I’m concerned, there’s no trace of doubt that embryo is developed into a recognizably human & thriving new being. So all your medicalese is wasted on this point, isn’t it?

  • kerewin21

    Hey antis, why don’t you go to your own websites to preach to each other?  We aren’t interested in your misinterpretations of the Bible.  This blog entry is about respect and trust, not about embryos. 

  • elyzabeth

    2 weeks dear, not 6 weeks. The embyro implants on the uterus after about two weeks, and then home pregnancy tests can detect the hGC (a hormone secreted by the developing placenta) in her urine and the woman knows she is pregnant. 


    You’re the one that said it matters.  You said that it matters because (I’m paraphrasing) life begins when an egg and sperm meet and the tail falls off.  Since that is a uselessly-childish way to phrase what occurs in the biological process, I asked you what precise event is the start of personhood.  You accuse me of talking to you in medicalese and said it didn’t matter. 


    Now you are saying that personhood does not start until the woman knows that she is pregnant?  Or it doesn’t start until the woman can know she is pregnant?  Or personhood doesn’t start until the embryo is thriving and recognizably human? An embryo is recognizably a mammal at 6-weeks, but human, not so much. 



  • mechashiva

    The point at which you think life begins doesn’t have anything to do with how long it takes women to find out they are pregnant. So… why did you bring it up?


    Are you trying to ask why defining the begining of life is important to the abortion debate? I would think that’s a no-brainer.

  • concernedmom

    With you, honey. As long as you’ve decided you advocate abortion, this angle you’re teasing me with is a moot debate. Nice try, tho.

  • concernedmom

    A place where the radical left wants to ‘preach’ their views, preferably unchallenged. What’s wrong with a little challenge if you’re so secure in your beliefs?

  • rebellious-grrl

    I’ve really had enough of your crap. You are constantly commenting on this website. Do you have a life? Listen to yourself, read what you post. You sound like a child. I feel sorry for you that you have nothing to do but try to manage a rebuttal to women who are much smarter and wiser than you. Nothing you have said has been a challenge to my beliefs. Nothing you have said has been accurate or truthful.

  • ahunt

    a woman doesn’t even find out she’s pregnant til at least 6 weeks after conception

    Come again?

  • ahunt



    If you did even cursory research, CM…you might avoid these idiotic and demonstrably false assertions.

  • mechashiva

    You know what your problem is, CM? You aren’t actually difficult to argue against. I haven’t struggled with a single one of our arguments, because your positions and debate style are just too easy. You come in here spouting your religion, and then when people argue with you about it, you get all butthurt (as my brother likes to say) and run away like you did above. Heck, with this last one, you brought in a “point” we hadn’t even been discussing to question us on how it was related, then when we gave you answers you threw your hands in the air and flounced off claiming moral superiority as the be-all end-all of the abortion debate. No wonder we don’t take you seriously.


    Give us a challenge. Come on. Do it. A pro-lifer hasn’t actually posed a challenge to me in around 8 years.

  • truth

    …so help you God!


    Your wrote, “‘The Catechism reads, “[Conscience] is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.’”


    You cannot just take excerpts out of the Catechism using them outside overall context of what is being said.


    If you bothered to ACTUALLY research what these ProChoice Catholics were saying and not just believing it because it suits your current lifestyle, philosophy, etc. you would find the following:


    II. The Formation of Conscience

    1783     Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.


    1784     The education of the conscience is a lifelong task. From the earliest years, it awakens the child to the knowledge and practice of the interior law recognized by conscience. Prudent education teaches virtue; it prevents or cures fear, selfishness and pride, resentment arising from guilt, and feelings of complacency, born of human weakness and faults. The education of the conscience guarantees freedom and engenders peace of heart.


    1785     In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light for our path; we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. We must also examine our conscience before the Lord’s Cross. We are assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided by the witness or advice of others and guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church.

  • rebellious-grrl

    I shouldn’t take things out of context like you do?

    To refresh, I AM NOT CATHOLIC! (Or Christian) I quoted a pro-choice Catholic. I quoted the article because it was a beautiful article from a young woman who spent a lot of time contemplating her decision to change from being pro-life/anti-choice to pro-choice. I left the church because of people like you! And don’t bitch at me about not studying catechism! After 12 years of Catholic school, a degree from a Methodist (Christian) college, and a lot of time spent reading the bible, studying Christian theology, studying other religions besides Christianity, and attending what could be thousands of masses, you have no flipping right to lash out at me! Hell, I grew up almost literally in the shadow of the church that was down the street. I don’t believe in the authority of the bible. I don’t believe in the patriarchal authority and leadership of the Roman Catholic Church. And what is your almighty claim to knowing all things biblical? Are you a biblical scholar? I kind of doubt it because I don’t think you would act like such a jackass if you were.

    I find it funny that you tell me,

    “You cannot just take excerpts out of the Catechism using them outside overall context of what is being said”

    when you and your cronies are constantly quoting scripture out of context. I, at least cite where my sources are from. And the fact that you are quoting the vatican’s website like you are some church authority on the bible, please it’s laughable. 

  • ack

    “More disturbingly, since each of us went through the 16-cell stage, we could have become that many individuals instead of just one. All of those potential siblings, just selfishly absorbed into our bodies! This isn’t just about potential siblings–according to one study I read, researcher think that as many as 1 in 8 human pregnancies start out as multiples. One twin just dies and gets reabsorbed.”

    If all cells with the potential to become babies are people, and the cell that became me may have eaten another cell that could have become a person, does that make me a cannibal?

    Mind = Blown

  • truth

    in its entirety. You quoted it (making it yours), and I am pointing out to you that your quoting Kate Childs who is quoting The Catechism of the Catholic Church out of context. So I’m trying to help you by correctly filling in the “left out” context, which specifically states that Abortion is wrong and that the formation of one’s conscience (especially if they claim to be Catholic) most certainly cannot disregard what Christ’s Church teaches.


    The term Pro-Choice Catholic is mutually exclusive. The two cannot share the same space – Oxymoronic.


    As far as leaving the Church because of people like me, I don’t understand… You left because there are people who want you to accurately portray what they stand for ACCURATELY? When you put forth an argument that is invalid – shall I leave you to wallow in your ignorance? I don’t think this would be very loving – do you? I think you left the Catholic Church because what they/we teach is different than the way you’ve decided to live your life, right? I mean, do you want to belong to an organization where the individuals that make up the whole know not what they believe?


  • ack

    The people who insist that abortion providers are murderers blatantly ignore the fact that making abortion inaccessible is essentially murder. They attempt to enact public policy that has been shown, historically and modernly, to place women’s lives at risk. The choice is clear: abortion is either legal and therefore safe, or illegal and therefore unsafe. When it’s illegal and unsafe, women still have abortions. They use desperate measures, and often die. Abortion providers risk their own safety in order to save women’s lives. I think that’s pretty admirable.

    An amazing piece on the reality of pre-Roe abortion:

  • ack

    Worldwide statistics make it clear that safe abortion is most definitely health care. 70,000 women die each year from unsafe abortions.The methods that women were using in the US pre-Roe are no different than the methods women in developing countries use today.


    Samples of Unsafe Abortion Methods Used

    • Drinking turpentine, bleach or tea made with livestock manure

    • Inserting herbal preparations into the vagina or cervix

    • Placing foreign bodies, such as a stick, coat hanger or chicken bone, into the uterus

    • Jumping from the top of stairs or a roof

  • jayn

    Thanks for this, ack.  We’re fortunate to be alive in a time where women don’t feel forced to go to the lengths this girl did.  I want it to stay that way.

  • paul-bradford

    No Institution of Man is immune to finding those within who may fall into temptation & a snare.

    What’s going on?  You started out advocating for the rights of the very young and you ended up trying to defend pedophile priests.  Yowza!  You’re not going to win many arguments that way.


    The Culture of Death is a culture of despair.  A woman aborts because she has despaired of being able to build a satisfactory life for both herself and her child.  Who’s fault is that?  It’s the fault of the culture itself.  Instead of being dedicated to the principle of caring for others we have fallen into the trap of believing that life is the free pursuit of our own whims.  That’s not something young women dream up.  That’s imbedded into our culture.


    You’ve heard it said that it takes a village to raise a child.  I say that it takes a village to bear and deliver a child.  There’s no way to care about the unborn unless we start by caring about their mothers.  Instead of talking about criminalizing abortion we should be talking about Universal Health Care — particularly prenatal care.  Instead of delivering lectures to unwed mothers we ought to be delivering child support demands to their partners.


    And leave the Bible out of this.  Except the part that says, “Love your neighbor”.

  • crowepps

    If you really want your mind blown, consider the ethical question involved with “fetus in fetu”, a rare congenital abnormality in which a nonviable, parasitic fetus grows within the body of its twin.



    Since removing this malformed ‘growth’ and saving the life of the healthier twin means the “fetus” will die, are the doctors who perform such an operation ‘murderers’?  Does the healthy twin survive by ‘killing his brother’?


    And what are we to think when what is believed to be a ‘tumor’ turns out instead to be miscellaneous body parts?  Should that doctor have been charged with murder for ‘killing an innocent child’?

    “A doctor in Colorado found a surprise when removing what he thought was a benign growth from a newborn’s brain. Instead of a microscopic tumor, out popped a tiny foot, partially formed hand, a thigh and another partially formed foot.”

  • paul-bradford

    the most important thing was not the children being abused, or the women being abused, or even the priests sinning, but instead avoiding bad publicity for the Church.


    So, how did that work out?  Can you imagine a scenario that would have generated MORE bad publicity for the Church?

  • crowepps

    Astonishingly, even though cover-ups have historically been shown to have a disastrous effect and to make things worse every single time, the first instinct people have is to attempt to keep it all secret, muzzle the witnesses, pretend nothing has happened, and maybe nobody will find out.


    The fact that the Church is STILL attempting to cover things up, to excuse those high in the heirarchy who were complicit, to hide the names and locations of the guilty, to deny the just claims of the victims, makes it pretty clear just how hard it is to get this lesson through to people or institutions.

  • rebellious-grrl

    Not sure where to start without writing an entire thesis on the subject. I used the quote by Ms. Childs to illustrate that many Catholics are pro-choice without going into listing survey results. But if you want facts, here you go,

    * Catholic women have abortions at the same rate as women in the population as a whole. In a study of more than 10,000 women over the age of 17 obtaining abortions, 27% were Catholic. Catholics make up almost 25% of the population. (Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2002)
    * Less than one-quarter (22%) of Catholics in the US agree with the bishops’ position that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances.  (Belden Russonello & Stewart, 2004)
    * Only 25% of Catholics believe that church leaders should have the final say on abortion.(Life Cycle Institute/National Catholic Reporter poll, 2005).
    * 58% of Catholics believe you can be a good Catholic without following the bishops’ teaching on abortion. (National Catholic Reporter poll, September 2005)

    During my catechism classes, I was taught to have a deep regard to obey my conscience. Church teachings have been flawed in the past, for example The Inquisition. The church is a living body. This is why scholarly study of church teachings along with one’s life experiences inform new teachings and new thought.

    Although the Catholic catechism contains only six paragraphs on abortion as a moral evil the reasons for judging abortion sinful have changed over time. St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas did not believe the fetus in the early stages of pregnancy a person. Early prohibition on abortion was not based on concern for the fetus but on a view that an abortion would hide “forbidden sexual activity.”  Being that church teachings have been influenced mainly by men over the centuries and women have been excluded from this process I question the accuracy and validity of church teachings.

  • crowepps

    I question the accuracy and validity of church teachings.

    Since the majority of the population isn’t Catholic, the accuracy and validity of church teachings isn’t anything most people care much about anyway.  I have no more interest in those “church teachings” than I do in the “teachings” of the Church of Latter Day Saints, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Christian Scientists, or the Fundamentalist Baptists with their modern invention of the ‘Rapture’.


    This is a country whose founders enshrined religious freedom in its founding documents because of their experience with the problems caused by entangling religion and government in Europe, to the detriment of both, but also to the detriment of the conscience of individual citizens.  Anybody who tries to argue that secular law should enshrine the “church teachings” of ANY religion is a threat to the freedom of both those who don’t believe in any God and those who have deep and sincere beliefs in a particular faith.


    Theological arguments have NO PLACE in discussions about secular laws.  The ‘faith’ needs to survive on its merits, without coopting the power and threat inherent in government intervention to an attempt to force its own laity to give up ‘sin’.

  • mechashiva

    “The ‘faith’ needs to survive on its merits, without coopting the power and threat inherent in government intervention…”


    YES. You really hit the nail on the head with this statement. Too bad ConcernedMom and Truth probably won’t read or respond to it. Just like they probably won’t have anything to say about your fetus-in-fetu information.

  • wendy-banks

    Go, science geeks! Uh, uh science rocks, go science uhhuhuhhuhhuh–

    Wow, that really sounds like a MIT cheer doesn’t it? Man, I am such a nerd…. *L*

  • wendy-banks

    Absolutely! *claps*

  • truth

    Imagine you are a police officer testing your new state-issued weapon at the firing range and you are hitting the target and doing a great job…  Then someone taps you on the shoulder and says, “Hey…there is a 50/50 chance that there is a human being directly behind that target your shooting at!” What do you think that police officer has a duty to do?

  • prochoiceferret

    Then someone taps you on the shoulder and says, “Hey…there is a 50/50 chance that there is a human being directly behind that target your shooting at!” What do you think that police officer has a duty to do?

    “How old is this human being, sir?”


    “Six days since conception!”


    “Are you a member of the range staff?”


    “Well, no, but I—“


    “Hands where I can see them, sir. SECURITY!!”

  • mechashiva

    1. First and foremost, what does this have to do with the separation of church and state that Crowepps was talking about?


    2. Are you seriously making a Schrodinger’s Fetus argument? It was ridiculous enough when it was a cat, but it was more acceptable because it was being used to illustrate the absurdity of quantum superpositions.

  • prochoicegoth

    Sorry lady, but you’re as challenging as a game of duck-duck-goose. I’ve seen no “challenges” spewed from you because everything that you have typed here has been refuted or it’s based on religious OPINIONS. Give us a real challenge already…..or can you not?

  • prochoicegoth

    rebellious grrl already refuted your claim. I guess you don’t like reading comments that prove you wrong. Abortion is barely a blip on the radar of profits they receive. Here’s the link again for you to read, but you probably will ignore it again because you’re a child who thinks ignoring the truth will make it no longer a truth. *rolls eyes*


  • prochoicegoth

    Apparently, there’s a theory that lefties in this world MAY have been twins in utero who absorbed their siblings…..So it’s possible I was a twin who ate my sibling……now that’s hardcore and disturbing. lol

  • princess-rot

    Assuming the blastocyst gets to the zygote stage, there is then a long journey to implant in the uterine wall, where we both know this is where many fail. Reproduction itself is naturally wasteful, and it is often fails for no apparent reason, making the cynic in me think that the natalist bill in Utah are just covers to excuse the persecution of pregnant “undesirables”. We know who will be targeted and why – it’ll have a lot to do with age, wealth, immigration status, skin color, politics and religion.


    Even for the antis who are not religious, I have found that there is a strong prediliction among them to believe in what Amanda Marcotte who blogs here calls “sperm magic” – basically, the belief that shoring up male pride in virility trumps the bodily autonomy of women. Entitling the fetus to special rights is a by-proxy way of ensuring females and their reproduction remains under patriarchal control, evidenced by the fact that mainstream pro-life groups tend not to give a damn about anybody outside the womb.


    I have always thought that trying to justify calling a zygote, embryo or fetus a person and a separate individual is beyond ridiculous and cannot be justified in scientific terms. It is an argument so poor it needs belief in the will of invisible beings to shore it up, mainly because the “will” of that omnipotent being can be construed to suit anything the person claiming to speak for that being wants it to be. To define something that requires another to survive for months until it can stand a chance by itself as a unique individual requires a lot of magical thinking, primarily that reproduction can be divorced from the systematic oppression of women. Historically, the personal and the political, at least for women, have been separated, and their issues shoved quietly into the private sphere where they are expected to suffer alone with the consequences and reponsibility for what the powerful thought was best for them.

  • princess-rot

    With you, honey. As long as you’ve decided you advocate abortion, this angle you’re teasing me with is a moot debate.


    Ah, so you’re copping out. If she doesn’t believe the same things you do, she’s automatically wrong and doesn’t deserve an answer to her intelligent and reasonable questions. Yeah, right… more like you haven’t got an answer, so you’re going to evade answering because you can’t be bothered to learn about anything or even listen, and you really haven’t thought this through beyond “I like babies and so should everyone else”.

    She isn’t asking you to support abortion, she’s asking you to logically back up your repetitive claims that life “begins” at conception and why you think that this widely varying and spectacularly (naturally) wasteful process duly trumps a born person’s right to determine the course of their lives, and how exactly you can divorce the complexities of real life, oppression and politics from reproduction. 

  • truth

    Stop diverting. You’re telling ConcernedMom that you don’t like her arguments because they are religious. This question is not religious – answer the question.

  • princess-rot

    Are you claiming that the “target” is a metaphor for a born, living woman behind whose abdomen resides a precious zygote? And “she” is being shot at by a man (metaphor for abortion doctor?) using his government-sanctioned weapon (birth control device)? Is this a particularly twisted version of the old canard that silly women are tricked by evil “abortionists” into aborting their pregnancies, because women are stupid and will always happy being/doing anything anyone else tells them to? She’s an inanimate object who doesn’t even figure into anything except as a mindless vessel, and it’s everyone else’s (powerful men) responsibility and “duty” to ensure that the vessel comes to no harm and produces a real person correctly?


    Wow, strong on the woman-hate today, Truth.

  • truth

    Can anyone just answer this very simple (i.e. Not Complex) question?

  • truth

    It always funny to me how, like children playing in a sandbox, scientists examine down to each tiny granular of sand – maybe even start to rearrange the sand here are there or add H20 to the sand or other elements to “create” other “things.” They never seem to take the time giving credit to the creator of the sand. Instead of giving credit where credit is due they would rather just say, “It just appeared here by chance – not really sure – just showed up here.” “We don’t bother explaining that part of the equation because it takes away from us analyzing each granular and rearranging the sand to make sandcastles, etc.” Like little ungrateful brats who after awhile think they created the sand.

    The essence of a fertilized ovum — the sperm / egg combination — is that unique set of chromosomes making up the individual, unless interfered with fatally by miscarriage or abortion, it will become a born human baby. That is its nature — the same nature that gives you a right to life. To purposely terminate is Murder. Not to mention; extremly ungrateful and self-serving.

  • truth

    What the majority of Catholics do, and what the Catholic Church actually teaches are two very different things. There are many people, like Ms. Childs, who label themselves Catholic and they are not. We know this by their actions. The Catholic Church is very precise on what it believes, it has to be becuase it’s attacked regularly from people like Ms. Childs. So there should be no excuse for not knowing where the church stands on almost any subject.


    As far as Church teaching regarding The Spanish Inquisition are concerned, the Church didn’t teach anything about this officially. Like the indulgences during Martin Luther’s time, this was some “group think” going on within the Catholic Church that was severely misguided. It has since been corrected and amended where possible.


    Look, the Catholic Church is made up of humans and therefore has its problems (like any human institution). It is guided by the Holy Spirit in matters regarding Faith and Morals. The Pope is able to speak about Faith and Morals without fail.


    Papal infallibility is the dogma in Roman Catholic theology that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error[1] when he solemnly declares or promulgates to the universal Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals as being contained in divine revelation, or at least being intimately connected to divine revelation.


    Just look back at the last 2010yrs since Christ’s death. Of the 264 Popes since St. Peter not one has faltered in this duty. And believe me there have been some Popes that did not live according to what the Catholic Church teaches – look up Pope John XII. This guy turned the Papacy into an all out orgy fest.


    The point is that you have to research what the Church actually teaches, and not just assume that we are all misogynists. Afterall, what other Christian Religion are you aware of that extols a Woman like Our Mother Mary?

  • mechashiva

    The major difference I see here is that one of you defines a religion by what it’s members actually do, and the other defines a religion by what church leaders teach.


    Personally, I think that what people do is more indicative of their belief system than what they say.


    I wonder just how much variation there is among Catholics worldwide in contraceptive and abortive practices. I hypothesize that Catholics in any given area don’t do things much differently from the rest of the local population.

  • rebellious-grrl

    You just don’t want to listen to it.

  • mechashiva

    1. You do know there are religious scientists, right? Hell, my university used to have symposiums on the intersection of spirituality/religion and scientific endeavors. My freshman chemistry professor held a seminar on the topic of intelligent design, and I was the only non-Christian in a group of 50 students. By the way… this was in California, not exactly the Bible Belt.


    2. Are you mocking science while using a computer? *laughing* I don’t need to say anything about that one.


    3. In order to learn something, you have to acknowledge that there is something you don’t know. Perhaps you are suggesting that religious people know everything? We all know that’s coddswallop and poppycock, so it’s ludicrous to mock scientists (while using a computer *snicker*) for seeking answers to things they don’t know.


    4. 60-80% of fertilized eggs do not implant in the uteran lining (meaning… the zygote/blastocyst was flushed without a pregnancy ever occuring). So, there’s a slight chink in your argument that fertilized eggs just naturally will become babies. I have actual proof to back up my arguments… all you have is belief that there is some “essence” of a zygote that makes it a person.


    5. Rights are a human social construct. ‘Nuff said.


    6. People don’t have to be grateful for a pregnancy. Sometimes, it just isn’t a joyful thing. Also, if you are shaming people for being self-serving, then you must think that we should be serving someone other than ourselves. Gee, I wonder who/what you that should be? Oh, right… that thing that not everyone believes in and you don’t have any proof for.

  • jgbeam

    Thank you, grrl, for being so honest.  You have rejected the Church and say so.  So much better than rejecting the Church and still claiming to be a Catholic.


    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • julie-watkins

    Here’s a link to Letter to Women of John Paul II (& some excerpts)

    The creation of woman is thus marked from the outset by the principle of help: a help which is not one-sided but mutual. Woman complements man, just as man complements woman: men and women are complementary. Womanhood expresses the “human” as much as manhood does, but in a different and complementary way.

    Putting herself at God’s service, she also put herself at the service of others: a service of love. Precisely through this service Mary was able to experience in her life a mysterious, but authentic “reign”. It is not by chance that she is invoked as “Queen of heaven and earth”. The entire community of believers thus invokes her; many nations and peoples call upon her as their “Queen”. For her, “to reign” is to serve! Her service is “to reign”!

    In this perspective of “service”-which, when it is carried out with freedom, reciprocity and love, expresses the truly “royal” nature of mankind-one can also appreciate that the presence of a certain diversity of roles is in no way prejudicial to women, provided that this diversity is not the result of an arbitrary imposition, but is rather an expression of what is specific to being male and female. This issue also has a particular application within the Church. If Christ-by his free and sovereign choice, clearly attested to by the Gospel and by the Church’s constant Tradition-entrusted only to men the task of being an “icon” of his countenance as “shepherd” and “bridegroom” of the Church through the exercise of the ministerial priesthood, this in no way detracts from the role of women, or for that matter from the role of the other members of the Church who are not ordained to the sacred ministry, since all share equally in the dignity proper to the “common priesthood” based on Baptism. These role distinctions should not be viewed in accordance with the criteria of functionality typical in human societies. Rather they must be understood according to the particular criteria of the sacramental economy, i.e. the economy of “signs” which God freely chooses in order to become present in the midst of humanity.


    emphasis added.


    Being a woman raised Catholic, I disagree with this kind of attitude (& the vatican teachings about homosexuality). I used to say I was “lapsed”, but now I label myself “former”, & not even “culturally Catholic”. I think another principle behind this stress of “sex roles” is that things happen for a reason. If one believes that being born man or woman is a sign of what god want you to be, it’s OK to expect certain things of pregnant women, or women who might be pregnant.


    Unfortuately, that is systemic discrimination of women (because they are expected to give of themselves more than men) and poor people (because unwanted pregnancies affect poor more than rich).

  • mechashiva

    You replied to a comment about the separation of church and state with something about whether or not to fire a gun if there might be a person in the target range. If anyone is diverting, it’s you. Stop getting so pissy for being called out on it and your ludicrous Schrodinger’s Person Behind Target scenario.


    As for what anyone (including an off-duty police officer) should do if someone breaks the rules at a shooting range… sure, I’ll humor you. Inform the staff so they can remove the individual from the premisis.


    Alternatively, you must mathematically model the situation such that there is both a person behind the target and there is not a person behind the target.


    Now, mind telling me what in samhill that has to do with abortion, which is the greater topic at hand?

  • rebellious-grrl

    I live for absurdity. Just kidding, Seriously, once again this is why I am an ex-Catholic! Are you Catholic? Are you a biblical scholar?

    And for you to belittle me by saying 

    The point is that you have to research what the Church actually teaches, and not just assume that we are all misogynists…….So there should be no excuse for not knowing where the church stands on almost any subject.

    That is a ridiculous claim. Even biblical scholars and Catholic theologians can’t claim to know EVERY teaching of the church.

    BTW, I spent many years in college studying Christian theology.

    I’m guessing you are Catholic? If you are, then follow the teaching on the Declaration on Religious Freedom, The Second Vatican Council’s. This reinforced the call for Catholics to respect the positions of people of other faiths. And yes, I was taught this when I was a Catholic.

    “10. It is one of the major tenets of Catholic doctrine that man’s response to God in faith must be free: no one therefore is to be forced to embrace the Christian faith against his own will.(8) This doctrine is contained in the word of God and it was constantly proclaimed by the Fathers of the Church.(7)

  • truth

    That is one of the major points that I am trying to get across to these so-called Catholics for Pro-Choice, etc. Just say that you disagree wholeheartedly with the Catholic Church instead of trying to fit your opinions/beliefs into it. It’s not a big deal, just go find another church or whatever…


    For those people who only look at statistics and say that because a large majority of Catholics don’t follow the Catholic teachings, and therefore the Catholic Church should change doesn’t follow. I think this is because most of us come from the Westernized World View of a Democracy and we insert our perceptions of “having a voice” into what is The Kingdom of God. You don’t question the King; however, you are free to leave the Kingdom. Not sure why you would even want to stay. Martin Luther didn’t. Henry the VIII started his own Church – The Church of England.


    The Pro-Choicers could start The Church of Choice or something…

  • mechashiva

    The Good Egg

    Discover Magazine of May, 2004. Think link starts you off on the 3rd page, as this is where our topic is addressed. I encourage you to read the whole thing. Discover is reputable and easy to read… and it just so happens they address the quandary of how to view the beginning of life.




    The article states at least 60% of fertilized eggs never implant, and 33% of the ones that do are miscarried (13.33% of all fertilized eggs). That leaves only 26.67% of fertilized eggs that lead to a viable pregnancy.


    AGI’s 2008 report indicates that around 50% of all US pregnancies are unintended, and around 40% of those are aborted (we’ll ignore the intended pregnancies that are aborted, because they are statistically insignificant).


    So, we can extrapolate from this information that around 5% of fertilized eggs result in an unintended pregnancy and are aborted (half of all pregnancies = 13% of all fertilized eggs result in unintended pregnancies, 40% of unintended pregnancies = 5% of all fertilized eggs result in abortion).


    So, by conservative estimation using the lowest numbers and rounding down) 6o% of fertilized eggs don’t implant, 13% miscarry spontaneously, and 5% are electively aborted. That means that 78% of fertilized eggs do not result in a baby.


    In case you don’t like me mixing stats from two sources, those figures actually do match the ones given to us in my college embryology class a few years ago (the professor broke it all down by category like I did above and showed us that 80% of all fertilized eggs result in no baby). I just wanted to provide some sources and math rather than just telling you what I learned in class. More concrete that way.


    Plus, I like wasting time here and soundly whipping you in debate. So much for your claim that zygotes are people because they naturally result in babies. I claim they aren’t people because they naturally result in nothing a vast majority of the time, and I have numbers to back it up. All you have is some vague notion of “essence.”

  • concernedmom

    So glad you take the time to post here, where the Jackals are feeding!

  • concernedmom

    I think it really bugs you that somebody has the guts to come on this blog & remind you that one day you are going to have to stand before your own Holy God & Creator, & give an account for the “choices” you’ve made…but for here we’ll just focus on your claim that women can take the fruit of their wombs & discard it as just so much medical waste, so long as she doesn’t want to accept responsibilty for giving birth.
    My heart breaks at your incorrigably hardened hearts- I pray each one of you, so convinced of being justified to advocate the “choice” to kill, can one day come to turn back to God, to see His love is waiting to take you out of the clutches of the Enemy.

    In your blindness, you mock, you boast intellectual superiority. For what? Does it make you feel self vindicated for spewing such venemous hatred towards those who DEFEND the unborn?

    “They gather themselves against the soul of the Righteous, & condemn the innocent blood.”

    Psalm 94:21

    • wendy-banks

      No dear, I frankly don’t care about your god — becuse HE ISN’T THERE!

      I personally just think you are a raving loon– A massively self-deluded sad, sick human being– You need help to come down off your religious addiction.

                Symptoms of Religious Addiction

        Religious convictions are stated as black and white
        Isolation from people who do not share the same beliefs
        Think of the world and flesh as inherently evil
        Obsessive about praying, going to church, reading the Bible, attending crusades, watching television evangelists, sending money to missions
        Excessive fasting
        Hearing messages from God
        Judging others; often angry and violent toward “heathens” (pagans)
        Brainwashing – attempt to persuade family and significant friends to their way of thinking
        Compulsively talking about God, religion or quoting from Scripture
        Conflict of ideology with hospitals and schools
        Discourage thinking for oneself, doubting or questioning
        Sexuality seen as dirty or bad
        Cannot accept criticism
        Suffer tension, stress, often develop physical illnesses, such as eating disorders, depression and anxiety
        Often stare, go into trances
        Erratic personality changes
  • rebellious-grrl

    You want “truth and facts” but dismiss science and statistics.

    This is so timely, Yesterday a coalition representing 59,000 sisters from Catholic religious orders sent a statement in support of health care reform to Capitol Hill. The nuns took a stand against their own church hierarchy, as represented by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which opposes the bill.


    I would love to see it if all of the pro-choice, pro-contraception, feminist Christians left the church. How would the church sustain itself financially and otherwise?


    Truth, I think we will have to agree to disagree. I will keep fighting for the rights of women to have access to a safe and legal abortion. I will fight on for reproductive justice!

  • rebellious-grrl

    MechaShiva, excellent post! Thanks! Glad you are on my side I would hate to debate you.

    Yours in pro-choice solidarity, rebellious grrl.

  • mechashiva

    I never did understand how religious people can call agnostics, atheists, or people of a different faith “blind.” You don’t have any proof of your god, you only have… blind faith. Want some more stones to throw around your glass house?


    Yes, I feel vindicated. Winning every single argument with you does make me feel good.

  • mechashiva

    Thanks! I genuinely like reproductive physiology and embryology, so I make a point of educating myself. I keep related articles in a favorites folder so I can pull them up at will. If I learned anything in college, it is that sources are everything when it comes to making a point.


    It’s shocking, shocking I tell you, that pro-lifers don’t deliver squat when it comes to debate. I mean, it would almost lead you to think they don’t have anything to back up their arguments.

  • truth

    …and so the answer must be that you don’t want to answer. You don’t want to be challenged. Listen, those of us who seek the truth don’t have a predetermined conclusion to what the truth is. It’s a journey. One that can only be authentic if you are not already “locked-in” to your conclusion. You need logic in life to navigate through decisions that need to be made daily and so on…


    The answer to the question is that you must, immediatly upon the knowledge that there is a chance of a human life being in the line of fire, stop shooting. Then you may investigate what is behind the target.


    The analogy is a perfect one as it relates to the chance that abortion may be the killing of an innocent human being. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at consensus as to when life begins – it is our duty to assume that it is a human life until proven otherwise.


    But I think you all know this – it’s like Frances Kissling always states that abortion is an ugly business and we all know what it is. We shouldn’t try and call it something that it isn’t – we’re killing a human life – period. I’m not sure why the pro-aborts here don’t just call a spade a spade. It’s kind of cowardly. You’re in favor of killing a new life for the sake of your own.


    It’s reminds me of the movie Shutter Island a bit… It is better to create the delusion that your doing something good for humanity than to admit that you’re a monster. The nazis thought they were helping humanity too.

  • truth

    1. I took religion out of it. In fact, I am not the one who brought religion into it – Rebelliousgirl began this entire string by quoting a Pro-Choice Catholic who was quoting (out of context) from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I corrected her by quoting all of the text having to do with the “formation of conscience.”


    2. I don’t know or care who Schrodinger is. This was an analogy I formulated many years ago – I’m sure I wasn’t the first.


    3. MechaShiva – you talk a big game but you haven’t actually formulated any arguments that I can see here. Do you have an argument to put forth? You can start by answering my question regarding the police officer shooting at the target… Any thoughts?

  • elyzabeth

    The reason we don’t understand each other is that we have completely different worldviews.  To me (and the rest of the scientific community), nature is entirely amoral.  There is no over-arching plan for us.  In nature, there is no purpose except continuing life by any means necessary–it isn’t magical or supernatural at all. 


    In my world, the earthquake in Haiti didn’t happen because Haitians made a pact with the devil–it happened because of the interactions between two tetonic plates.  In my world, women don’t give birth to disabled children because they previously had abortions–nature doesn’t care and nature isn’t going to punish you.  In my world, it is perfectly consistent for nature to design (via natural selection: the word “design” does not imply any conciousness or purposefulness) a reproductive system in which the vast majority of fertilized eggs die without become chubby-cheeked little babies.


    Biology doesn’t care about our feelings and our perceptions of right and wrong.  It is also, eventually, completely comprehendable.  There are no mysteries (no mind of god) that humans will not understand, provided we don’t wipe ourselves out before the technology advances far enough. 


    Humans created right and wrong.  This is based on a system of behaviors that everyone must practice to stop society from collapsing.  There is evidence that some of our morality comes from biological imperatives (ei altruism), but there is no supernatural absolute truth.  There is no permanent good and evil–only useful conventions. 


    Those are not just my beliefs–those are facts and science falls apart if you do not accept them as facts.


    Truth and ConcernedMom, you seem to be living in a world where some arbitrary system of justice is imposed on us by supernatural means.  It is a very clean world and everything is black and white.  All choices are easy.  The supernatural regularly intervenes and tells you what to do.  He rewards you for being good and punishes us for being bad.  Us non-believers will  be tortured for all eternity after we die, and our suffering will be a very good thing because your magical friend is completely just and fair, and we should have known better.


      Reality and biology don’t need to make sense, because the supernatural will hand-wave away any inconsistencies.  You can yell at us scientists who insist on complicating your clean world, and it can make feel all warm and satisfied inside, because your magic friend knows you did a very good thing.  You can band together and hurt women very, very badly, and still feel full of the love of your imaginary friend.  You can do all sorts of things that us logical sorts decided are bad, such as taking away women’s bodily autonomy and making them suffer and sometimes killing them, and feel that it is good and you are right and your magical friend will surely see what good little people you are. 


    Truth, you accused me of not acknowledging the nature and the essense of things.  You’re right, I don’t believe in your arbitrary system of magic, with natures and and essenses, just like I don’t believe in the theory of the four humors or that gravity works because it is the nature of things to fall to the earth. 


    I never addressed the issue of abortion in this post, because we disagree on a much, much larger issue.  Until we work past that, we will never be able to even begin having a rational conversation. 

  • elyzabeth

    Also, sand plus H20 makes wet sand.  I hope you didn’t need a scientist to tell you that. 




  • rebellious-grrl

    Thanks Elyzabeth! Beautifully stated!

  • mechashiva

    Allow me to quote myself:


    “As for what anyone (including an off-duty police officer) should do if someone breaks the rules at a shooting range… sure, I’ll humor you. Inform the staff so they can remove the individual from the premisis.”


    That’s from the middle of my previous comment. Now, stop saying no one has answered your question.


    If you don’t see any arguments I’ve made (I assume by “here” you mean in the comments section, not just this thread), then you are obviously reading with the same level of comprehension that lead you to think your question hadn’t been answered yet.

  • rebellious-grrl

    For real? So far Concerned Mom has told me I’m a jackal and I’m speaking from the pit of hell. And now you compare me with Nazis? Wow that is rich. I guess I should just throw up my hands and say “To hell with the right to decide what happens to my body, I’ll just be pleased as punch to see abortion outlawed, and watch my sisters go through forced pregnancies.”

    As long as we are being silly, let’s sing this little song by Monty Python,

    (You can listen along at

    I’m a Roman Catholic
    And have been since before I were born
    And the one thing they say about Catholics is
    They’ll take you as soon as you’re warm

    You don’t have to be a six footer
    You don’t have to have a great brain
    You don’t have to have any clothes on
    You’re a Catholic the moment Dad came

    Every sperm is sacred
    Every sperm is great
    If a sperm is wasted
    God gets quite irate

  • mechashiva

    The abortion debate is not about what an embryo is. An embryo in a human womb can only be human. An embryo has to be alive, or else it would miscarry (eventually). So, there isn’t any question as to whether something that is alive and human dies during an abortion. There’s no 50/50 chance of killing a person (like rights, personhood is a social construct… a mater of cultural opinion rather than a fact). There is a 100% guarantee of destroying an embryo, and the disagreement is whether or not that should be a legal choice for women.


    I say yes because it is better for society to have legal abortion than illegal abortion and because our culture values individual freedom above all else, even human life. I’ve gotten pretty deep into this with Concerned Mom before, and she just slunk away without anything to say. If you want to read my arguments (because I’m not going to do it all over again in this thread), go here:



    Also, I suggest you look up Godwin’s Law. Might as well look into Schrodinger’s Cat while you’re at it, since it might make you think twice about offering an argument based on a 50/50 chance of something, but Schrodinger was a physicist, so it might go over your head or make it explode. Be careful.

  • crowepps

    Starting with the assumption that the police officer is at a range that is approved for use by police officers, one that has the normal safety protocols and supervision, then in that case I’d say his duty would be to arrest the person who tapped him on the shoulder for attempted murder.  The only way the person could believe there was a 50% chance of someone being behind the target would be if that person had put someone there.

  • crowepps

     it is our duty to assume that it is a human life until proven otherwise. … You’re in favor of killing a new life for the sake of your own.

    It would be equally logical to say that it is our duty to assume that it is NOT a human life until proven otherwise because if ‘human life’ is the thing with tremendous value, that of the woman herself is self-evident and would deserve all the protection possible before giving any to a merely speculative ‘human life’.

    The nazis thought they were helping humanity too.

    No, the Nazis clearly were focused on helping their ‘tribe’ as defined by ‘racial purity’ and promoting their own beliefs.  Kind of like ProLifers, who insist that they are the only ones who are ‘moral’ and that everyone who doesn’t conform should be punished.

  • concernedmom

    You have, as is typical of your cronies, taken something totally untrue & twisted my words. Beelzebub! Is that you?

  • concernedmom

    Those supposed “59,000” nuns, in Seems there was a BIT of an exageration there. It was really only 59!!

  • rebellious-grrl

    The best part of participating in reading and commenting on this site, is that I’ve learned a lot from my fellow pro-choice sisters/brothers and I appreciate your comments and ability to deal with the antis with wit and intelligence. We are sharing information and wisdom and I think that is what this article discusses.

  • concernedmom

    Mechashiva. It doesn’t matter WHEN the exact second a fusion of DNA takes place becuz its ALREADY HAPPENED by the time a woman detects she’s pregnant! So that’s after she missea a period, & the ovum has implanted into the wall of the uterus by then, and is a new individual creation starting to grow. UNLESS of course, Mom says oops! And runs to make an appointment to get that innocent being’s life scraped out of her uterus. As long as people choose to be their own god, the most helpless & vulnerable so unfortunate to be conceived in their wombs, will pay the price.

  • ack

    Does it make you feel vindicated to spew such venomous hatred toward people attempting to protect women from what we KNOW will happen if abortion is made illegal?

    The pro-choicers have just been pointing out the gaping holes in your poorly knitted argument. (To be fair: If I were on the other side of a debate with Mech or Elyzabeth, I might resort to prayer, too. More realistically, I might cry a little.)

    I’m honestly a bit confused as to why you continue to post here. You’re not changing minds; you’re not even challenging people’s beliefs or honing your debate skills. The “arguments” you post have no weight with most of us, as we don’t believe in your version of religion.

    I love a good debate. This isn’t good debate, however. The article basically stated that anti-choicers don’t have the moral high ground, even if they’d like to think so. You answered, “Believe what I believe or you’re going to hell.” Then you repeated it. Then you repeated it again. And again.

    If someone prompted, “Discuss vegetarian diets,” and you repeatedly responded, “I like hot dogs,” we’d be in basically the same place.

    If you want that type of “discussion,” I suggest you frequent a religious board where your posts will be accepted at face value with no real examination.

  • kate-ranieri

    Like the anti-choicers at the Allentown Women’s Center, Allentown PA, their counterparts here (such as Truth and ConcernedMom) on this blog have several common denominators. First, they are suffering from what seems to be a psychological fetus fetish. The fetish is the fantasized presence of a fetus in women who are complete strangers. Functioning under the delusion of this fetish, they fixate on all fetuses as a fully formed human being.


    Second, in an unconscious act of denial of their own behaviors, they project those same behaviors on to others. For example, ConcernedMom wrote that this blog is for the radical to ‘preach’ their views, preferably unchallenged. When in fact, ConcernedMom and Truth do NOT want to be challenged in what they believe is the one, the only, the absolute Truth. Another example from ConcernedMom is quite obvious when she wrote that she thinks we are bugged by those who have the guts to come on this blog and challenge you. I am of the opinion that neither Truth nor ConcernedMom want to be challenged. The anti-choicers in Allentown PA certainly do no want to be challenged. In another example, Truth insinuated that we think it is better to create the delusion about doing something good for humanity than to admit that were are monsters. I can think of absolutely nothing more egregious, nothing more hateful than a bunch of strangers attempting to shove pamphlets with pictures of bloody fetuses in your face, shouting at you, calling you a coward, stigmatizing your presence at an abortion clinic?


    Third, as with our anti-choicers in Allentown PA, the anti-choicers on this blog feel that they are the ones who are being mistreated, harmed and maligned. Poor ConcernedMom whined that we were trying to trap her. Like CC, our anti-choicers have absolutely no regard for the emotional harm they inflict on women when they foist their god-deluded ideology on them. And while every attempt is made to shield these women from the onslaught of these menacing individuals, we can’t stop the sounds emanating from their hate-filled mouths. Like I said in an earlier post, as abortion providers, what could be more profoundly, morally, powerfully good than to take the hand of a woman who trusts you (and who you trust) on the righteous journey of determining what is best for an unplanned pregnancy?


    Finally, I would argue that morality and truth are multivocal, contextual and contemporaneous.






  • concernedmom

    Reaches far enough around to pat yourself on the back! PRIDE is one of Satan’s favorite traits!

    “What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities- His Eternal Power & devine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made… So man is without excuse.”

    Romans 1:18

    Let me ask all you smug pro “choicers” something. Do you believe you have a soul?

  • concernedmom

    I have just prayed for you. By the way, I guess you don’t believe you have a soul, from all you’ve said? How could you, if you reject God. Well, my prayer is one day very soon, in an encounter in one of your typical days, you will meet a genuine Christian, that can catch your attention with how different they look at life, treat people, values they have, etc. I pray God sends someone to show you the love of Jesus Christ. It isn’t too late for you, Elizabeth. God loves you! If you could just believe this, and come to Him, surrender your heart to Him one day, your soul will be spared a horrendous Eternity. What happens, the minute you die?
    I’m not going to take any chances with MY soul. How bout you?

  • crowepps

    Stop representing your own peculiar blend of sanctimoniousness and hostility as typical of Christians.  It’s MY prayer that one day very soon, YOU can meet a genuine Christian, who will redirect your efforts from haranguing others to charity and perfect love by helping you learn some much needed humility.

  • concernedmom

    “Flounce off” as you put it. Just wasn’t here yesterday to answer.
    I was reading my Bible the other night, & this Verse kinda jumped out:

    “…When Jesus left there, the Pharisees & teachers of the Law began to oppose Him fiercely, & to besiege Him with questions, waiting to catch Him in something He might say.”

    Luke 11:53

    Now me being a follower of Jesus and all, I find it amusing how the same spirit of the Pharisees has transcended over the past 2000+ years, virtually unchanged… Indeed.

  • concernedmom

    “In the last times, there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. These ar the men who devide you, who follow mere natural instincts, & do not have the Spirit.”

    Jude: v.17-19.

  • mechashiva

    Yeah, and one of Ganesha’s favorite things is candy. So remember that every time you eat sweets, you are indulging in something that is associated with a Hindu diety. I bet it will mean about as much to you as Satan’s association with pride does to me.


    Your quote is interesting. So… God has invisible qualities that have been clearly seen, huh? And people just know about them because your god told them? Riiiight. I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I’m willing to let go for a reasonable price. Did you have a point you were trying to make with that quote?


    As for souls and what I think of them, that depends on what you think a soul is. The short answer is a simple “no” because I don’t think souls (as most Christians think of them) exist. A long answer would be “yes, but” or “maybe, however” with lots of talking about Ghost Hunters (yes, the tv show) and Eastern religions. I’ll forego further explanation for now because I doubt that you have a genuine interest in what an agnostic-ish atheist thinks about your religion’s concept of souls and the afterlife.

  • concernedmom

    As if there’s anything I COULD say that you wouldn’t eagerly deny & discredit!
    I truly pray for you to somehow see that abortion takes a LIFE, and if a woman CHOOSES to abort her baby, that is MURDER.
    That is my position, just like y’all have yours. Deal with it!

  • concernedmom

    That is just too funny, how your post went under mine!

  • crowepps


    A coalition of Catholic nuns took a very brave stand this week by defying church hierarchy in support of the Senate’s health care reform bill. In a letter to Congress, the leaders of more than fifty Catholic women’s orders and organizations, including the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents over 53,000 American Catholic nuns, urged lawmakers to pass the measure.

    Kudos to Sister Campbell and the 53,000+ other nuns for focusing on the millions of uninsured Americans, and those who die each year as result of poor or no health care, and for considering what their lives are worth.

  • paul-bradford

    You all have talked about a desire to be challenged.  I share that desire.  I feel challenged to identify and articulate the premise that divides the Pro-Choice and the Pro-Life viewpoint.  I hope my efforts have some value.



    Premise: at least according to Paul Bradford’s understanding.  “Human beings have a moral obligation to respect the human rights of any people who happen to be living inside their body.  Respect includes the obligation to take reasonable precautions to make sure that the person living inside your body is able to sustain her/his life”


    Those who believe that this premise is valid take the Pro-Life position; those who assert that the premise is invalid take the Pro-Choice position.  I’m not going to try to develop any arguments in support of the premise except to take note of the fact that to accept the premise is to buy into the idea that a person’s freedom can be subordinated to the needs of others.  I’m aware of six arguments to refute the premise although I may have overlooked some.  Please feel free to add to the list.


    Argument from Moral Relativity:  Even if this premise is valid for some people that wouldn’t prove that it is valid for all.  The Pro-Life position is that every human being has a moral obligation to respect the life of every person inside their body.  In actual fact, some people adhere to religions or schools of thought that assert that the premise is valid whereas others adhere to the school of thought that the premise is invalid.  The Pro-Life position requires that 1) everyone adhere to the idea of Universal Morality and 2) that Universal Morality include the stipulation to respect life inside the womb.


    Argument from Sexual Equality:  If the premise is valid, the burden of upholding the moral obligation falls entirely on women and places no burden on men.  If the premise is invalid, no burden is placed on anyone.  To take the first position is to assert that there can be a moral precept that is completely, even absurdly unequal.  To the the second position allows a person to contend that moral precepts must place the burden of upholding them equally on all people.


    Argument from Bodily Autonomy:  Each person has complete authority over her/his body.  To interfere with this authority is to violate the person’s autonomy.  This argument gives rise to sentiments like these: “Keep Your Laws off My Body” and “Keep Your Rosaries off My Ovaries”.  My own observation is that this argument generates more indignation than any of the other arguments.


    Argument of Non-Personhood:  This is the argument that the moral obligation stipulated in the premise can never be violated because there can never be a ‘person’ living inside the body of another person.  The biological development going on inside a pregnant woman is only a ‘potential person’.  No human rights can be given to someone who hasn’t yet been born.


    Argument from Moral Cowardice:  This argument is that people take the Pro-Life position out of a fear of hellfire.  Adherents to the Pro-Life position neglect to do any thinking of their own and merely accept the assertions of religious authorities under the belief that such acceptance will make things go better for them in the afterlife.


    Argument from Intellectual Feebleness:  This argument is that Pro-Lifers are incapable of comprehending the objections raised by Pro-Choicers.  The premise is accepted because the cognitive capacity to comprehend an alternative to the premise is lacking.


    It seems to me that a person would take the Pro-Choice position if s/he was convinced by any one of these arguments even if s/he didn’t accept all six.  Quite possibly there is tremendous variety among Pro-Choice advocates based upon how strongly each of the arguments is accepted.

  • mechashiva

    A lot of those are stawmen, Paul. Pro-choicers certainly wouldn’t pose those arguments in the same way you do. To those, however, I’d add an argument from a public health standpoint. Those on the pro-choice side would point out that keeping abortion legal results in fewer maternal deaths and is generally better for the population. Those on the pro-life side… well actually, you tell me what pro-lifers think about the public health argument.



  • paul-bradford

    PLCC also supports the Senate’s health care bill.  Among the many arguments in favor of the bill is the fact that abortions will decrease when all women have access to pre-natal care and when every child is guaranteed pediatric care.


    Is it brave to simply do what you’re supposed to do?  Catholics are required to stand in solidarity with the poor.  The bishops’ objections to the bill are all based upon a overblown fear of committing the sin of ‘material cooperation with evil’ by supporting a plan that will enable a woman’s access to abortion.  The bishops are on the wrong side of this one.


    I liken the abortion problem to a tea kettle on a stove.  The steam coming up from the kettle represents abortion.  The water in the kettle is human life.  The fire under the kettle is the pressure to abort.  How do you stop the steam from forming?  Do you plug up the spout of the kettle or do you turn down the heat.  The bishops are attempting the first strategy.  The nuns are attempting the second.

  • paul-bradford

    … on whether the Pro-Lifer in question supports criminalizing abortion.  The issue of heightened maternal death rates only comes up in societies where abortion is illegal.


    In actuality, the fear of dying from a botched illegal abortion would tend to encourage a woman to go to term, wouldn’t it.


    Do you suppose that a woman who believes that abortion is immoral would try to procure an illegal abortion?

  • ldan

    Some of us belong to religions in which women are, in fact, expected to have the responsibility, honor, and power of choosing whether or not to bring life into the world. So those appointments are, in fact, part of what our gods expect of us.


    I find it immoral to place the rights of potential people, who can’t feel or think or even care about their fate, above the rights and interests of those already in the world. The mistreatment of fully alive chickens who can feel pain and fear and are subjected to both in the process of producing our morning eggs and chicken nugget dinners moves me more.  (and for the record, I still eat eggs. I just try to make purchases from folks who aren’t enormous factory farms when that option is available.)

  • mechashiva

    Well, I’m sure you are capable of saying you think separating church and state is a good idea. In fact, I’m sure that when it comes to religions other than your own, you’d even agree. You wouldn’t like the idea of Sharia law, would you? Well, that’s how those of us who are not fundamentalist Christians feel about incorporating your religion into our government.

  • mechashiva

    The fear of a botched illegal abortion has never stopped women from trying to abort. I’d think that you would know that, since you’ve been here a good while. Women have abortions at roughly the same rate in countries where it is illegal as they do in countries where it is legal.


    Yes, I do think that women who think abortion is immoral would try to have an illegal abortion. I think this because I had anti-abortion patients who attempted to self-abort before coming to our clinic. This happened on several occassions over the years I worked there.


    Pardon, I forgot that you mostly frame the debate in terms of whether abortion is bad or not, rather than whether it should be legal. For the purposes of defining pro-life vs pro-choice arguments, I don’t think that’s the best approach since most pro-lifers do want abortion criminalized. But, I suppose you could turn that into a separate argument on your list.

  • crowepps

    In actuality, the fear of dying from a botched illegal abortion would tend to encourage a woman to go to term, wouldn’t it.

    That depends on how desperate she is.  Her alternative solution may be drinking bleach or throwing herself down the stairs or outright suicide.  At least with the illegal abortion she has a chance of surviving since only a small percentage are botched.

    Do you suppose that a woman who believes that abortion is immoral would try to procure an illegal abortion?

    Certainly, most of the time the fact that people believe something to be immoral doesn’t stop them from going ahead and doing it anyway.  Just check out all those quotes from Family Values politicians who cheated on their wives and who when caught plainly admitted, “I know it was wrong but….”

  • ack

    In actuality, the fear of dying from a botched illegal abortion would tend to encourage a woman to go to term, wouldn’t it.>>


    For me, it wouldn’t. Had I become pregnant as a teenager, and abortion were illegal, I would have done everything I could to induce one myself. I may not have used the knitting needle/coat hanger method, though. I would have drank a bottle of liquor and sat in a hot bath, or thrown myself down a flight of stairs. I would have starved myself. I would have taken pills, read about herbs on the internet, obtained a prescription for counter-indicated drugs.


    And yes, I’m being serious. I would have been desperate. And when those methods failed and my parents found out, I was privileged enough that they would have found a way to obtain one for me.

  • truth

    As I have said before, the ideals of Pro-Choice and Catholic are mutually exclusive and therefore cannot share the same space. I don’t deny Paul’s “claim” that he is still Catholic – I believe that he believes this and he is free to “claim” anything he wishes. He can “claim” to be a woman while having the genitalia of a man, but this doesn’t make him a woman. Even if he decided to have a sex change and mangle his manhood – he would still be a man. So you see, it is not I that deny his election into or out of the Catholic Church – it is his choice, his decision that has precluded him from the Kingdom. He can return, but he must repent and amend by publicly reversing his current pro-choice status to pro-life. He must publicly do this since he is part of an organization who publicly preaches heresy by “claiming” they are Catholic when they clearly are enemies of the Church. You see when Paul decides to “go public” with heresy he may be leading some of His sheep to the slaughter. So Paul’s sin carries more weight than simply believing he can be Pro-Choice and Catholic in the comfort of his own home. Paul is attempting to lead other Catholics away from the Church – not good.

  • elyzabeth

    I live in Texas, where Christianity is composed entirely of building the biggest, flashiest church possible to show off the size of your Jesus-penis.  You Christians need to get your act together before you come after us.


    I am passingly familiar with the Gospels.  Jesus said many wise and subtle things that are especially pertinent to this conversation. Case in point: we have an obligation to protect those that would be hurt by a self-righteous pharisee class. 


    I never saw the part where Jesus claimed that “having faith” and other intangible mysticisms were more important than the concrete realities of how we treat other people in this life time.  In fact, I’m convinced that your 2nd century counterparts made it all up to feel good about themselves without doing any actual good work.


    As Gandhi said (and I’m paraphrasing), ” I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians, for they are so unlike your Christ.”  



  • wendy-banks

    CM you don’t have the IQ of a head of cabbage, do you? The only thing I would thank you and Truth for is sodding off this planet you f-ing lying hypocrite. If you had more than two brain cells to rub together you’d know that the majority of the the crap you spout is just that– crap.

  • ack

    Would the Pope excommunicate him for this? If not, he’s still Catholic. That’s part of the fun of being Infallible.

  • rebellious-grrl

    She exercised her freedom of choice!

  • prochoicegoth

    When you bring me something backed by the scientific and medical community, then I will give you credit where credit is due.


    I don’t deny that abortion takes the life of an embryo or fetus. That still does not make abortion murder, as murder is a legal term when one PERSON UNLAWFULLY kills another PERSON. The fetus is not legally a person yet and abortion is not unlawful. It’s your OPINION that abortion is murder, NOT fact. So YOU deal with it.

  • frolicnaked

    In actuality, the fear of dying from a botched illegal abortion would tend to encourage a woman to go to term, wouldn’t it.

     As others have said, perhaps — perhaps not. From years of participation in a variety of female sexual health and wellness forums, I can say that there’s a certain amount of misinformation regarding herbal abortifacients. (The topic comes up relatively infrequently, probably for a wide variety of reasons, so I can’t make any claims about how large a proportion of participants believe this misinformation.) But when I see it, the wrong information always errs on the side of herbal abortifacients being more effective and less dangerous than they actually are. For this reason, I can easily imagine a situation in which a woman perceives that an herbal abortion would be less harmful to herself than would carrying the pregnancy to term.


    Do you suppose that a woman who believes that abortion is immoral would try to procure an illegal abortion?

    I’m sure this is something that would vary a lot from individual to individual. There are some circumstances in which I’d make what I considered the morally correct choice no matter who was or was not watching; there are others where I’d act immorally (according to my own determination of what was moral) if I thought I could get away with it. And I’ve known people of different religions (and who professed different degrees of adherence/devoutness) who’ve admitted this would be true for them as well. So while I’m sure there are some women who’d choose to carry to term no matter what, I can also envision scenarios where women who deemed abortion immoral might still try to procure an illegal abortion if they thought they wouldn’t be “caught” at it.

  • elyzabeth

    “It doesn’t matter WHEN the exact second a fusion of DNA takes place becuz its ALREADY HAPPENED by the time a woman detects she’s pregnant!”


    Okay, so syngamy (your DNA fusion) is the start of personhood.  That’s all you needed to say.  Since we are all adults here and we are having a civil conversation, I actually want to know your reasoning.  I must ask why is that moment any more magical than say, when both sets of chromosomes are present in the oocyte but haven’t combined?  Surely that has almost as much potential to be a person as an egg cell with the fused DNA does.  Is it a person halfway through the DNA fusion, or only when the fusion is complete? What if there is something wrong with the chromosomes (as there often is) and the zygote in incapable of division?  Is it still a person?  A person doomed to never grow larger than a single cell? 


    Also, you act like the exact timing doesn’t matter because you think is never comes up.  Every hear of embryonic stem cells?  How about in vitro fertilization?  Your precious start of personhood matters very much to some people in those contexts.


    “So that’s after she missea a period, & the ovum has implanted into the wall of the uterus by then, and is a new individual creation starting to grow.”


    Well, no.  IUDs and the morning-after pill catch it before it implants. 


    “UNLESS of course, Mom says oops! And runs to make an appointment to get that innocent being’s life scraped out of her uterus. As long as people choose to be their own god, the most helpless & vulnerable so unfortunate to be conceived in their wombs, will pay the price. “


    That early in the pregnancy, most women get the pill, not the procedure.  Anyway, how is that in anyway different from a natural miscarriage?  Disregarding the many, many embryos that fail to implant due to natural causes, nature aborts an astounding quantity of already-implanted embryos for the slightest provocation (stress, temperature, hormone levels, nutrition). 


    If you people really cared about saving embryos rather than controlling women you would be working to reduce the number of embryos that just die naturally.  If an abortion is the equivalent off cutting up a three-year old with a chainsaw, how come letting an embryo die naturally isn’t the equivalent of callously watching that same child die of malnutrition or small pox or some other “natural” means and not doing anything to stop it


    How can anti-choicers say they want to save every embryo, but you never hear them lobbying for funding to research to reduce spontaneous abortion?  You never hear them calling for programs to improve the nutrition of poor women to lower their risk of miscarriage.  How can you be in favor of natural abortion but not man-made ones?


  • concernedmom

    How about someone the woman trusts giving her wise counsel as to what is best for both her AND her unborn child? How about considering that there are resources at her local CPC who will help her plan the birth of her own precious child, with the support/supplies that she needs provided by the CPC?
    There is always a way to avoid abortion. This blog would prefer you didn’t get reminded of that!

  • concernedmom

    Wendy. So your insults have no impact on me whatsoever. If you didn’t hate God for His Holy Soverenty, you wouldn’t lash out at those who defend the unborn, like you do.

    I am praying for you, by name.

  • concernedmom

    Amen, & High Five!!!

  • princess-rot

    So sweetie, what do you think happens between “sperm/egg combination” and “will become a born human baby”? Do you think it’s like mixing cake batter and shoving it in an oven for a few hours? I notice no mention of a woman required to build that, ahem, individual into a actual individual, nor an acknowlegment of the provable fact that a lot of time zygotes result in nothing, yet we now have a bill that effectively criminalizes women who fail to produce a live birth as battery hens sorry, women, should.

  • concernedmom

    I may not be able to post all the time like you radical libs do… But I am glad your reasoning gives you such comfort.

    Wonder what God will think, on your Judgement Day??

    I’m looking forward to mine.

    Are you…?

  • rebellious-grrl

    Some fake clinics coerce and intimidate women out of considering abortion as an option, and prevent women from receiving neutral and comprehensive medical advice. They are typically run by anti-abortion volunteers who are not licensed medical professionals. CPC are not real pregnancy clinics.

    Contrary to what they want you to believe, these fake clinics repeatedly make false medical claims to dissuade and delay women from obtaining comprehensive medical services, particularly abortion and birth control.


    There is a petition at feminist campus to stop federal funding for CPCs.

  • truth

    2272     Formal Cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incures excommunication latae sententiae, by the very commission of the offense,” and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable human harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.


    This excerpt is taken directly from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (p. 548).


    It is very clear that “formal cooperation” is grounds for excommunication latae sententiae. If Paul Bradford wants to believe that abortion is okay in the privacy of his own home, then he is not formally cooperating as long as he doesn’t ACT on this belief. Paul Bradford has started an organization called, “Pro Life Catholics for Choice,” and therefore he is cooperating formally with people looking to procure abortion(s). Paul can say whatever he wants. He can say that by standing up for choice he is actually lessening the number of abortions, but he would be wrong. There are approximately 1MM abortions each year in the U.S. So Paul, through his public proclamation that abortion is okay, is formally cooperating with this intrinsic evil and is thereby excommunicated – Latae sententiae.


    The good news for Paul (and others like him) is that, “The Church does not…intend to restrict the scope of mercy.” This means that Paul Bradford can repent of this grave moral offense, and he must do it publically by renouncing his affiliation with any organized group formally cooperating with abortion like Pro-Life Catholics for Choice. Again, it is Paul’s public preaching of his position that excommunicates him automatically. He is free to believe in the confines of his home that abortion is okay and remain Catholic, although he would be in the state of mortal sin (but that’s another discussion) and he would not be excommunicated for this – only separated from God’s grace.


    I know that most of you don’t really care about what our Church teaches, but I think it is important for people to understand that it is very offensive to true Catholics when people like Paul Bradford espouse heresy either through their word, actions or affilitions. One of the main reasons for this is that our enemies love to use Catholic statistics to point out that most in the Catholic Church don’t follow the teachings of the Catholic Church. While these statistics mean nothing to me (because I know these Catholics are not truly Catholic) they can cause someone to say, “Wow, well the most morally steadfast institution on the planet doesn’t really put in to action what they preach!” Especially for young people this is like a golden ticket to go have sex outside of marriage, take drugs, live eccessively, etc. I know it was for me…


    I guess maybe someone could answer this question for me, “Why don’t these so-called Catholics like Paul Bradford start their own gig?” I mean, “Why belong to a “club” where core beliefs differ so greatly?”


    When I belong to a group – you better believe I want to know everything that group believes in, and if I can’t agree then I don’t want to belong. What gives?





  • princess-rot

    The answer to the question is that you must, immediatly upon the knowledge that there is a chance of a human life being in the line of fire, stop shooting. Then you may investigate what is behind the target.


    The analogy is a perfect one as it relates to the chance that abortion may be the killing of an innocent human being.

    We are not doing a philosophical exercise. We are talking about beings that exist inside the bodies of others, so logically the “target” is a woman behind whose abdomen resides a fetus, the “human being” behind the “target”. In the real world, we don’t compare living women to targets for policemen to shoot. We also do not assume that “innocent” only applies to fetuses, and that “innocent” is the single trait on must have in order to “deserve” full autonomy, and that autonomy can be removed from you when you become fertile, since your position assumes women are not really people and that their sovereignity can be subjugated at whim.


    There are no other ways to translate this analogy into anything resembling sense unless you take for granted that women are stupid, mindless vessels who are threatened by evil doctors into aborting their pregnancies, because they are stupid and will do anything anyone tells them. Even so, that doesn’t really make much more sense because it doesn’t explain what a fucking tester at  a shooting-range has to do with abortion. Your analogy is stupid and nonsensical, to give it any meaning at all one has to plumb such depths of cynical misogyny, illogic and dehumanization it is unbelievable. 

  • concernedmom

    I am glad you are defending your convictions in such a hostile environment!


  • princess-rot

    Wrong. In fact, there are Puerto Rican women in New York city who swallow stomach ulcer pills because they have the same effect as mifepristone, the abortion pill. It is called “bringing down the period” and a lot of the time these prescription drugs are bought on the black market and could be contaminated, which endangers the lives of these women, not to mention incorrect use of a drug that was not really meant for that purpose. This is in a city where there are many Planned Parenthoods and abortion is completely legal. Some of these women are undocumented immigrants, so there is that as a barrier to healthcare. Mainly, though, it is because there is such a strong (religious, in this primarily Catholic community) stigma against premarital sex, contraception and abortion the women rightfully fear they will be ostracised and possibly have violence enacted on them if anyone finds out. I read an article where a PR woman said it meant condemnation if one was seen outside a women’s health clinic, even for something as uncontroversial as a pap smear. Like antis who think every woman going into Planned Parenthood is there for an abortion, people won’t want to hear the facts. They don’t care about you, they only take interest  if you’re not behaving as they think you ought to. This should be evidence enough that the legality of abortion is not enough, we have a lot more to counter than that. The abortion debate has a lot to do with fear of females and wanting to control them. Control reproduction, and you’ve got a lot of power.

  • frolicnaked

    There is always a way to avoid abortion. This blog would prefer you didn’t get reminded of that!

    While this is true, the realities that some people would face in avoiding abortion are quite grim. At various points in my life, I’ve had physical health issues, mental health issues, and relationship issues that all would have made carrying to term dangerous for me.


    So, yes, I would prefer not to be reminded of the fact that sometimes, for some women, the alternative to abortion is death. But you’re absolutely right: that’s a reality that needs to be faced.

  • airina

    Is it possible to flag this ENTIRE COMMENT THREAD?  Because I really kind of want to!


    OK, yes, I am exaggerating a little bit.  But I really have never seen a trainwreck this awful on this site!   “Catholic turd!”  “Beelzebub!”  “Heretic!”  Please tell me in what way these ad hominem attacks follow the policy “We will continue to allow open commenting that is of a civil nature and that seeks to engage the debate, but we will delete without further explanation comments that threaten, demean, or decrease the civility of discussion.”


    And for the record, Truth, ConcernedMom?  Paul Bradford of Pro-Life Catholics for Choice, who you are calling a heretic and Beelzebub, is pro-life.  He has “check[ed] the Catechism of the Catholic Church on Abortion and Euthanasia. ”  He lives by it.  I do not always agree with what he has to say, but I appreciate how he has come by his position thoughtfully and is always willing to answer questions about it.


    Did that make you change your mind about your comments?  Then I would seriously ask you consider why you would throw that kind of personal attack at someone regardless of whether they were pro-choice or pro-life.

  • airina

    I would just like to state, for the record, how much I’m enjoying the thoroughness of your posts on this entry and how frustrating I’m finding it that none of your questions are getting answered.  Curiosity!  You mentioned that you’re a scholar– what field?  (Or what sort of field, if you don’t feel like giving out identifying information.)

  • concernedmom

    Whenever the idea is raised of directing those who are considering an abortion to ALSO investigate the services of Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPC’s) their posts are immediately eraced. My thinking is, if abortion is just an option (or “choice”) as so many here exclaim, why aren’t CPC’s given a warm embrace, since they too, are a “choice”?

    Wouldn’t be cuz pro choice isn’t really about SAVING the pregnancy, but about the right to terminate as the preferred “choice” in this blog?

    Looks that way!

  • truth

    Just trying to keep logic and reason alive in our morally corrupt world. Unfortunately, since our country is now made up of moral relativists this task is probably fruitless. Their argument that everyone is right and no one is wrong is very difficult to change because it allows for everything and restricts nothing. The same thing happened in Rome – it seems to be happening even faster here.

  • concernedmom

    “Pro Life” & “Pro Choice” at the same time?? Is this his idea of a moral hybrid??

    If he is pro choice, that is ALL I need to know. And for the record, all the anti lifers that address the views of either I or Truth’s been in sneering condescension. But guess that’s OK, as long as you promote abortion as your favorite “choice”…?

  • ack

    “Beelzebub!” was my favorite. Although “Catholic turd” was a new one to me, and I was raised Catholic. It could potentially be a great name for a Catholic grunge band.

  • truth

    I am only clarifying for Paul and others that a person cannot be both pro-choice and Catholic – it is impossible. I have cited precisely in the Catechism of the Catholic Church what the Churches position is on the subject at hand. I have also provided where the Catholic Church would allow Paul to rectify his situation if he so chooses. If clarifying is threatening, demeaning or not civil then I stand guilty as charged.


    You wrote, “I do not always agree with what he has to say, but I appreciate how he has come by his position thoughtfully and is always willing to answer questions about it.”


    I think you and others here like Paul a whole bunch because he is weak minded. First of all, anyone who in the same sentence claims to be Pro-Life and Pro-Choice have a definite conflict of interest going on. Then to make the claim entirely oxymoronic he calls himself a Catholic. Again, I respect much more those who just call a spade a spade. Paul is a bigger problem than people who outrightly worship Satan – at least – you know where the Satanist stands, right?


    Sorry, I know you hate this but….


    I know thy works, that thou art neither cold, nor hot. I would thou wert cold, or hot. But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16)


  • ahunt

    I think you and others here like Paul a whole bunch because he is weak minded.


    Snerk. Ridiculously idealistic, wildly self-entitled, deeply enamoured of maternal stereotype, and able to get on my very last nerve in a matter of seconds…absolutely.


    Weak-minded? Methinks not.

  • airina

    –but he’s NOT pro-choice.  That’s what I was saying.  To my understanding– and please feel free to jump in and correct me if I’m wrong, Paul– he is adamantly pro-life.  He wants to lower the number of abortions and thinks abortion is morally wrong.  He disagrees with you on the most effective ways of producing that change.  But he fundamentally agrees with you on the points you seem to feel are most important.  If you had spent the time to 1.  ask him what on earth he meant by calling himself a “pro-life catholic for choice,” 2.  look at things he has said in the past, it would be extremely evident, then that would have been clear.


    I also, for the record, pointed out personall insults on both sides of this conversation.  I don’t think it’s productive for either side.

  • airina

    Ack:  Are there a bunch of Catholic grunge bands?  I’m Jewish, so… not so familiar.

  • airina

    Truth– to clarify, saying someone’s views do not fit into Catholic doctrine (which, to my understanding, Paul’s do, as he is pro-life, and possibly you should directly ask him what he means by his moniker instead of assuming it means he supports abortion) is certainly reasonable, and not an ad-hominem attack in any way.  Calling him a heretic?  Calling him weak-minded?  Calling him (not that you did, but ConcernedMom did) Beelzebub?  Those are personal attacks, and should be treated as such.

  • airina

    ahunt– also, that comment assumes we have to like someone bunches and bunches in order to treat them with basic respect.  I find that… kind of disturbing, actually!

  • crowepps

    The whole point of ProChoice is that a person with that attitude doesn’t believe he/she has the right to impose her/his personal beliefs on others.


    I can certainly see why you would say that a person could not be both a ‘good’ Catholic and believe abortion is moral, but I don’t see why a person could not be a ‘good’ Catholic and at the same believe other people have the right to a different opinion.


    Paul does not believe that abortion is moral at all, in any circumstances, as I understand his position, even in the most heart-wrenching cases.  But he is also smart enough to acknowledge that in a free country his role, and his Church’s role, in the moral decisions of others must be restricted to persuasion and that merely making abortion illegal again won’t actually stop women from having them anyway.


    Perhaps you might consider how this is analogous to a ‘good’ Catholic agreeing with the Church that divorce is immoral but understanding that holding that religious belief doesn’t entitle them to demand the law be revised to ban divorces between those who aren’t Catholic.

  • paul-bradford

    From my Pro-Life perspective it makes a great deal more sense to look for ways to reduce the pressure to abort than it does to look for ways to get in between a determined woman and access to the procedure.


    Princess Rot brings up what I consider to be a very good point.  Even in places where abortion is legal, women may encounter so much social stigma against the practice that they elect to seek a clandestine abortion.  That sort of stuff does nothing to reduce the pressure to abort.


    I’ll give you some examples of ways to reduce the pressure to abort.  How about men offering meaningful support to their partners when they become pregnant?  How about men taking more responsibility to use birth control effectively?  How about schools and workplaces offering accommodations to pregnant students and workers?  How about an investment in day care?  How about a reduction in domestic violence?


    I strongly disagree with the attitude that a mother’s choice is the only factor that causes an abortion.  An abortion is the end result of a great number of factors — some completely out of the mother’s hand.  To be Pro-Life is to be concerned about all these factors.

  • truth

    Are you kidding?


    First of all, divorce is neither moral or immoral. What might have caused the divorce (e.g. adultery) could be. Divorce is a civil construct dealt with in the civil courts. The Catholic Church doesn’t recognize divorce. To the Catholic Church divorce is just saying that the two married people are not getting along and are separated. If the couple seeks an annulment of their marriage then the Catholic Church would investigate and grant annulment if the investigation proved that one of the other party was incapable at the time they entered the vow to actually follow through (e.g. mental illness) with the vow(s).


    Abortion is the taking of an innocent human life, or to state it in more liberal terms the possibility of taking an innocent human life. I have put forth valid and sound arguments showing that even with a 50% chance of a human life being present we cannot commit abortion. It is irresponsible. So, due to the gravity/magnitude of this sin the Catholic Church takes a stand in defense of that human being being mistreated. No different than if a tribe was committing genocide/infanticide against another in the Middle East or Africa.


    To compare Divorce with Abortion. Look, I don’t mean to insult your intelligence but my God woman – you’ve got to be acting, right?


    You wrote, “…that merely making abortion illegal again won’t actually stop women from having them anyway.” Sure it would. You actually think that 1 in 3 women of child bearing age are going to grab their medical spoons and hangers and take care of business? I thought you trusted women. As for those women who would look to the black market or take matters into their own hands, my heart goes out to this very small percentage of women. However, in a civilized society you cannot regard one human life better than another – period. You must save both the woman and her child. Although your intentions might be good, as I’m sure Paul’s are too, society cannot say that it is “okay” to murder so that we might save a woman’s lifestyle. This isn’t war or self-defense. Oh, I know, what about the woman’s health, right? I’ll wait for your response to cover this one…



  • kate-ranieri

    Women know when they want to continue, thus obstetrician, and when they want to terminate a pregnancy, thus a gynecologist. 


    No one is avoiding anything except the fact tha CPCs are onerous places, at best. 


    And in case you don’t know it, blogs like feti are not sentient. Saying “This blog would prefer you didn’t get reminded of that! make it seem as if this blog has some animated agency. More fairy tales from ConcernedMom. 

  • crowepps

    It’s interesting that you equate allowing women to make their own decisions with someone deciding “to have a sex change and mangle his manhood”.


    Women making their own decisions does not result in the penis falling off.

  • kate-ranieri

    Truth wrote”you must save both the woman and her child. Although your intentions might be good, as I’m sure Paul’s are too, society cannot say that it is “okay” to murder so that we might save a woman’s lifestyle.”


    Women choose abortion because they need to save their LIFE not their lifestyle. Call it what you want in your fairy tale land, but women are protecting their lives and the lives of their children. Something you will never comprehend. 


    You obviously have so much respect for the truth that you seldom use it.

  • crowepps

    The Catholic doctrine on divorce may be summed up in the following propositions:

    • In Christian marriage, which implies the restoration, by Christ Himself, of marriage to its original indissolubility, there can never be an absolute divorce, at least after the marriage has been consummated;
    • Non-Christian marriage can be dissolved by absolute divorce under certain circumstances in favour of the Faith;


    In other words, “divorce is immoral”.  My point was not to compare the ‘morality’ of divorce and abortion but instead to point out that in a country with freedom of religion it is ridiculous to advocate making either thing illegal on the basis that ‘the Church doesn’t approve’.

    You must save both the woman and her child.

    In the real world that isn’t possible.  There are instances in which the choices are death for both or abortion to save the woman.  Insisting on a moral position that doesn’t recognize reality is unconvincing.


    If the blastocyst has implanted in a place where its growth threatens to rupture the woman and kill her, it’s possible to save her life but it’s not possible to save the blastocyst.  Banning abortion in such a case means BOTH of them will die.


    If the woman is two months pregnant and needs immediate chemotherapy, refusing her an abortion means BOTH of them are going to die when the cancer kills her.


    Saying that somehow both MUST be saved is pointless because that just isn’t possible.  Women who have pregnancy complications die now.  Making all abortions illegal will increase the number of deaths.

  • truth
  • In Christian marriage, which implies the restoration, by Christ Himself, of marriage to its original indissolubility, there can never be an absolute divorce, at least after the marriage has been consummated;

    The Church doesn’t recognize divorce because, “…there can never be an absolute divorce…” Again, you make me repeat myself, divorce is a civil construct of the courts – to the Catholic Church it means nothing. Divorce in and of itself is neither moral or immoral, however, the cause of the separation might have been caused by some type of sin (which would be immoral).


    With regards to an “out of place” or Ectopic pregnancy, which are fairly common, this is not considered an abortive procedure and would not be classified as such should abortion be banned in certain states. Since the fertilized egg cannot be properly nurtured should it accidently plant outside its intended placement in the uterus there is no moral issue with this procedure.


    In the case of chemotherapy. Assuming the child is not yet viable (i.e. <24 weeks old), since it needs its mother for its growth we must first look at making sure the mother can live. If in the course of saving the mother’s life the child perishes this is not considered a selective abortion to preserve the mother’s lifestyle.


    Save both; doctor, that is the Hippocratic Oath. Do no harm.

  • mechashiva

    You’ve already gotten an answer to this, but you seem to need repetition.


    CPC’s are not reputable businesses. They use misleading advertising to lure in clients, and they lie about the effects of abortion to scare women away from that option. After convincing the woman that abortion would be highly detrimental, they immediately push adoption. They have been known to be quite verbally abusive with clients who want to raise their children, and they often try to convince women that they are not capable of parenting. Their adoption contracts and practices are often discriminatory towards the birth mother, and at times involve isolating the woman from her support network (such as having her travel to a different state with more lax adoption laws to give birth and sign the baby over…. diminishing her safety and her rights as a birth mom). In this vulnerable state, she is taken advantage of.


    CPC’s are terrible organizations, and this is why no one who is pro-choice supports them. We are fine with adoption, and support reputable adoption agencies. We are fine with parenting, and support social services to assist parents. We are not fine with misinformation and agencies that see pregnant women as opportunities for other people to get babies.

  • crowepps

    Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition


    2384 Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery: …


    2385 Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society.


    With regards to an “out of place” or Ectopic pregnancy, which are fairly common, this is not considered an abortive procedure


    Most recently, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reiterated these principles:

     ·   In the case of extrauterine pregnancy, no intervention is morally licit which constitutes a direct abortion.[2]

    If in the course of saving the mother’s life the child perishes this is not considered a selective abortion to preserve the mother’s lifestyle.


    Nicaraguan authorities have withheld life-saving treatment from a pregnant cancer patient because it could harm the foetus and violate a total ban on abortion.

    A state-run hospital has monitored the cancer spreading in the body of the 27-year-old named only as Amalia since her admission on February 12 but has not offered chemotherapy, radiotherapy or a therapeutic abortion, citing the law.

    … he joined conservative foes in backing a church-led iniative for a total abortion ban. There are no exceptions for rape, incest or health risks to the mother. Even an anencephalic or ectopic pregnancy, which are incompatible with life, must be carried to term.

  • princess-rot

    You know, for once I actually agree with you, though I will never be a pro-lifer. Choice is more than hand-waving and philosophical arguing.


    I digress. Let’s not forget that racism is probably a strong factor in this, too. After all, women and children of color are more likely to be poor, more likely to be unable to access healthcare, more likely to be undereducated, more likely to be victims of violence both inside and outside of their community, and less likely to access the things white people take for granted.

  • princess-rot

    Paul is pro-life, dude, he just doesn’t agree that stigmatizing, shaming, shackling, and criminalizing sexually-active women is conducive to being pro-life. I rarely agree with him, but at least he seems intelligent and he’s not foaming at the mouth and demanding we burn the sluts. I see too much of the latter type of pro-lifer, so, I guess it’s a welcome break to debate someone who can string a paragraph together and avoid quoting scripture like it’s a substitute for an actual opinion.

  • mechashiva

    Honey, darling, baby, schnookums, boo-boo kitty-fuck…


    There’s no such thing as “Judgement Day.” When I die, my body and all its vital energies will be broken down (I plan on a green burial) and redistributed into other living things. That is the way in which I gain the sense of immortality that you rely on your religion for. I don’t require delusions to be comfortable with death.

  • truth

    1. Sounds pretty self explanatory. I didn’t think the Catholic Church would state immorality, but since it goes against the Natural Law I can see their point. Your example that Divorce and Abortion should be comparable is ludicrous seeing that the gravity of a human life hanging in the balance is far greater than whether two people are happily married.


    2. Key words: direct abortion

    In the process of removing the fertilized egg from the wrong location it is destroyed – indirect abortion.


    3. Crazy. I don’t believe this is going on… Check your sources – probably peddling the idea of mobile Abortion clinics or something.

  • mechashiva

    You’d think that’s what being pro-life is about, but it isn’t. It is still currently about limiting abortion access. The emphasis is on things like insurance coverage of abortion (both private and federal plans), placing ridiculous structural restrictions on buildings for clinics that provide abortion, insisting on hospital association (not required for other types of outpatient surgery centers), insisting women are told lies about abortion during a mandatory counseling session, forcing women to look at the ultrasound prior to aborting, and requiring parental consent or notification for minors. The pro-life lobby additionally focuses on keeping abstinence-only sex non-education in schools, limiting access to contraceptives (esspecially for minors), and just generally has a sex-negative outlook they want to impose on the country.


    I disagree with you on a lot of things, but I’d rather have pro-lifers like you than Truth and ConcernedMom.

  • mechashiva

    Ectopic pregnancies can actually grow quite large, depending on their location. If the blastocyst implants on the liver or intestines, the pregnancy can actually last for several months (some have even gone full term). At my clinic, we once had a patient with a 12-week pregnancy in her abdominal cavity. She had to have a pretty major surgery at a hospital to have it removed. Even when the ectopic pregnancy is in the uteran tube, it might grow for several weeks before rupturing. In terms of their development, ectopic embryos and fetuses aren’t much different from those in the womb.


    Their lives are certainly equally valuable (and innocent), which is why the Catholic church takes a stance against all abortion except in the case of imminent maternal death. The method of killing the embryo does not matter (direct vs “indirect” abortion). If you know that your actions will result in the death of a human, then such an action is wrong and to be avoided at every cost. The problem is this… by the time a pregnancy (ectopic or not) becomes an emergency that fulfills the “imminent maternal death” requirement, it is often too late.


    This is why women in countries with laws based on Catholic doctrine are dying when they have complicated pregnancies. They are not able to recieve a life-saving abortion because doctors are too afraid of being taken to court in a dispute over whether or not the abortion was warranted. It’s effectively the same problem we have here with doctors changing the way they practice medicine because they are so afraid of malpractice lawsuits… except in these countries the doctor faces the punishment associated with murder charges.


    So, yes, the pregnant woman being denied both chemo and abortion is real. Horrific, isn’t it?

  • rebellious-grrl

    My point is, there is dissent in the Catholic Church. If you don’t want to believe that, then that’s fine. I don’t care. If you and the church leaders don’t want to acknowledge dissent, let the pope deal with it. I don’t care. And for those who are dissenting, I hope they continue to dissent and reform the church from within. But many like me will be frustrated and leave.

    On another posting, TrustingWomen commented on the Catholic tradition of disobedience.

    I am so glad I’m excommunicated! I don’t have to live under the rule of the patriarchal Roman Catholic Church. I’m free!

  • rebellious-grrl

    Why don’t you identify the pro-choice Catholics, notify the Pope so that they can be excommunicated. I would love to see that headlines in the news on that one.

  • concernedmom

    CPC’s listed in the phone book & Abortion Alternatives comes before abortion in the headings! These wonderful organizations give crisis pregnancies new hope & structure for their imminent needs, as well as support & encouragement these women need so badly. It just seems so obvious by Rebellious girl’s post above that she really wants to eliminate all the “choices” to only ONE…abortion!!

  • concernedmom

    Being one who has visited/donated to CPC’s, the only thing “onerus” would be how anti lifers such as yourself keep bashing them for competing with the abortion industry!!

    Boo hoo hoo… How dare anyone try to persuade a woman she doesn’t HAVE to resort to abortion, if the CPC can assist her with all the resources she needs, instead! Shame on those bad CPC’s for helping save babies!

  • concernedmom

    You heard about one rogue CPC that supposedly did these things you claim (I’d love to see a newswire story to back this up) …so thus, that makes ALL CPC’s disreputable?? That would be like me citing stories I’ve read (lately) bout botched legal abortions where the women died, & thus concluding that ALL abortion clinics are subject to averting the laws they are supposed to be liable to obey & are a great risk for harming the women who patronize them?

    Anyway, I bring this all up cuz I highly support Abortion Alternative Organizations, who are valliantly serving women with crisis pregnancies & giving them resources & support as a BETTER choice to that one you anti lifers seem so keen on!

    And by the way, if someone knows they have health problems that would be putting them at great risk if they became pregnant, what’s wrong with having tubes tied, so getting pregnant isn’t a risk, to begin with? I fully support using birth control, & giving teens information about it, along with abstainence being discussed, of course!

  • rebellious-grrl

    It just seems so obvious by Rebellious girl’s post above that she really wants to eliminate all the “choices” to only ONE…abortion!!

    Sure, your right “I want every pregnant woman to have an abortion.” (Obviously this is sarcasm)

  • mechashiva

    I’ve got something even better… the report presented in the House of Representatives after an investigation of federally-funded CPCs.


    Just for grins, here’s a 39 page report on the underground investigation NARAL did of CPCs in VA (Lila Rose, eat your heart out). I doubt you’ll read it, since it is by NARAL, but perhaps someone else will be interested.


    As for opportunistic adoption policies, I will freely admit that is not as common as the misinformation, but it is still around. In fact, it has even been discussed here after an article was initially published by The Nation. Here’s that article (it includes stories from several women coerced into giving up their babies, books those women have written, and names a couple of organizations they started in response to their experiences).


    Have a good time reading.


    As for “just get your tubes tied,” I really shouldn’t be suprised that you even mentioned that. First, not all women who know they would have risky pregnancies decide to never take that risk. Some of them do want to risk it because they really, really want to have children biologically. They may not always be in a position to be able to handle a difficult pregnancy, though, so they will still have periods of time in which they don’t want to be pregnant. During those times, contraceptive practice is a grand thing.


    Second, for women who never want to be pregnant (or never want to be pregnant again) for whatever reason, it is not always easy to obtain a tubal ligation. It can be near-impossible, depending on how old you are, how many children you have (if you have any), if you have children by your current sexual partner, what your marital status is, and how much money you have (if you are insured, if it is covered, etc). Doctors rarely (if ever) sterilize women who are under 30, are single, and/or do not have both a boy and a girl child by their current sexual partner (if they have one) already.

  • concernedmom

    Where do you find the time to dream up all this crap?? I’d have to spend a 1/2 hour alone just writing down your talking points BEFORE actually writing the responses!

    What about IVF? Have a problem with that, whenever it involves “selective reduction” of too many fertilized eggs produced. Exception would be if they are donated to another mom who carries them to term.

    The issue is not about how many natural miscarriges happen, cuz that isn’t a conccious choice by the mother. Abortion, of course, is. It just comes down to how you like telling yourself nothing’s wrong with abortion.

    And I will NEVER agree with you.

  • frolicnaked

    And by the way, if someone knows they have health problems that would be putting them at great risk if they became pregnant, what’s wrong with having tubes tied, so getting pregnant isn’t a risk, to begin with?


    Well, first of all, not all health issues are permanent. It’s certainly possible to temporarily have an illness or condition that puts one at risk but then to have their health improve. It’s entirely possible — and reasonable — that such women may not wish to sterilize themselves for what they perceive (and maybe hope) to be a temporary situation.


    It’s also incredibly difficult for some women to undergo a sterilization procedure — namely, young women who do not have children. Maybe the litigious medical atmosphere is to blame, but a fair number of doctors are worried that women will change their minds and then sue for their loss of fertility. Even for someone with a long-term medical concern, it can be next to impossible to find a provider who’s willing to perform a tubal ligation or other sterilization procedure.


    And of course, this assumes the woman can afford the procedure. With the number of people who are currently uninsured or underinsured — and since some insurance providers consider tubal ligation elective surgery and do not cover it — this isn’t a given.


    Additionally, even sterilization isn’t 100% successful. According to this, from MedLine Plus, about 1 of every 200 women who undergo a tubal ligation will have a future pregnancy. With roughly 10 million U.S. women who rely on tubal ligation, that’s still about 50,000 pregnancies. Tubal ligation (and all forms of permanent birth control, really) are among the most effective contraceptive methods in use, and they drastically lower the risk of pregnancy. However, it’s not true that pregnancy “isn’t a risk to begin with.”

  • concernedmom

    Is THAT what praying for someone is?? Well I guess I should pray for each one of you even more, since only God will be able to open your eyes.

  • concernedmom

    Elizabeth! Really bugs you that there are people who defend their faith in God & opposes the bloodthirsty abortionists you keep in business? If we didn’t come on here to counter your OWN self righteous vindications, you might get the rediculous idea that what you believe is shared by everyone else?


  • jgbeam

    “Women choose abortion because they need to save their LIFE not their lifestyle.”


    Maybe 5% max.  For the other 95% it’s all about lifestyle.  Inconvenient, can’t afford one right now, don’t want to overpopulate the earth, got too many already, too old to have one, just don’t want any at all, it was just a one night hookup, blah, blah, blah.


    Abortion is not health care.


    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • jayn

    I really don’t know if this’ll do any good, since CM seems to have her blinders on, but details the problems with CPCs, lists known ones, and offers alternative resources for women looking for help with their pregnancies.


    We don’t want to reduce women to having one choice, we want them to be able to make a choice, and CPCs work against that. If we talk a lot about abortion, it’s not because we think it’s preferable, it’s because no one is trying to limit a woman’s right to give birth.  If you know anyone trying to pass a law making childbirth illegal, let us know and we’ll be right beside you in opposing it.

  • kate-ranieri

    Whether you use abortion services or not is irrelevant to the larger medical community who recognize abortion as part of the larger spectrum of health care for women who so choose. 


    And statistically speaking, Jimbo, 1 in 3 women choose abortion for their life, not lifestyle. Whatever their life needs are of no concern to you.


    You and your ilk seem to use lifestyle as a derogatory term. Imagine if you all were told that you choose a lifestyle of being pro life? It’s a lifestyle buddy. You could as well choose to be pro science, pro medicine, pro logic but instead choose a god-deluded lifestyle. Does “lifestyle” work for you or would you rather say that you choose what you choose because of your life? 

  • paul-bradford

    You’d think that’s what being pro-life is about, but it isn’t.



    You mentioned eight ‘Pro-Life’ policies.  I’m opposed to all of them.  I don’t believe that a single one of your policies will lower the abortion rate and some of them might even raise it.  I urge you, when you consider a policy, to ask yourself three questions: 1) Is it feasible?  2) Is it appropriate? 3) Is it likely to be effective?  Stop assuming that the more you do to legally restrict abortion access the better job you’ll do of protecting the unborn.  In Nicaragua, where abortion is completely illegal, the rate of abortion is 35.0 per 1000 women of childbearing age (it’s 19.4 in the US).  In Denmark, where it’s legal, the rate is 7.7.  Which country do you think is more Pro-Life?  (I already know what you’re going to say.  You’re going to say Nicaragua is more Pro-Life because it has adopted what you believe to be a Pro-Life policy.)


    I say that Denmark is more Pro-Life and I’ll tell you why.  The culture in Denmark, even more than in the US, is about guaranteeing health and education to its citizens.  They are a less violent country than Nicaragua (or the US).  Women have better opportunities there.  Women are more likely to take control of their own lives.  All of this, I claim, is Pro-Life.  I say it’s Pro-Life because it promotes the protection of born life and it promotes the protection of unborn life.


    You’ve made me curious, though.  What do you think the Pro-Life position is on these issues: 1) The Death Penalty 2) The Invasion of Iraq 3) Universal Health Care 4) The Environment or 5) Aid to the homeless?  I suggest you google documents from the Vatican or the USCCB before you answer.

  • frolicnaked

    Maybe 5% max.  For the other 95% it’s all about lifestyle.

    Except that a lot of folks, including insurance providers, use a very narrow definition of what constitutes a “medically necessary” abortion.


    Severely anemic with a hemoglobin level of 7.0? Nevermind that anemia can be caused by or worsened with pregnancy — elective abortion. (When I inquired with my own insurance company, this was the determination.)


    Any mental health issues where the stress (physical, emotional, financial) of pregnancy or the circumstances of the pregnancy (e.g., if the sex that led to pregnancy was nonconsensual)? Abortion is elective, not necessary.


    An intimate partner relationship wherein the woman’s life may be in danger if her partner discovers she’s pregnant? “Unnecessary” abortion.


    Personally, I don’t consider “this decision will significantly increase the chances of me staying alive” to be a “lifestyle choice.”

  • mechashiva

    I’m pro-choice… I thought you knew that. From the way you responded, it sounds like you think I am a pro-lifer who supports the “policies” I mentioned, so I am a bit confused. I’m quite aware that what pro-lifers are doing does not reduce the abortion rate.


    As for the other issues you raised, they are not generally considered a part of the pro-life movement from what I have seen. Pro-lifers do not have a unified stance on any one of those issues. To be pro-life is simply to think abortion is immoral and should be illegal (eventually, if not immediately).


    The term “pro-life” is a misnomer. It does not properly describe the vast majority of people who are anti-abortion. It is simply the term they choose for themselves, which is why I use it here. Personally, I prefer “anti-abortion” (or the more inflamatory “anti-choice”) because it is a better descriptor of the “pro-life” movement.

  • elyzabeth

    ” Maybe 5% max.  For the other 95% it’s all about lifestyle.  Inconvenient, can’t afford one right now, don’t want to overpopulate the earth, got too many already, too old to have one, just don’t want any at all, it was just a one night hookup, blah, blah, blah.”


    Giving up the next 18 years of your life, all your plans, the rest of your education, your career, and probably your relationship is an inconvenience?    Road construction is an inconvenience.  The guy in the drive-thru forgetting your fries is an inconvenienceInconveniences are, by definition, not life-changing events.  The only logical interpretation of your statement is that you find other people’s lives so trivial that they should just drop whatever they were doing and forget whatever they were dreaming of and working towards because of your arbitrary and factually baseless beliefs. 


    “Can’t afford one right now”


    By calling it a question of lifestyle, you are framing it as a choice between buying a new 42′ TV this year or having a child, with money being the only consideration.  How about a choice between finishing college and not having to work 2 minimum wage jobs the rest of your life and having a child?  How about a choice between affording a decent nursing home for your aging father and having a child?  How about a choice between having your utilities shut off and having a child?  Questions of money aren’t trivial to people who have to deal with them in real life–not from behind a keyboard.  Questions of money are too important for you to casually hand-wave away as “lifestyle” choices. 


    “don’t want to overpopulate the earth”
    How often does this one even come up in developed countries?  Do you think that it is the only reason driving flocks of women to abort?  A handful of hard-core environmentalists aside, it seems like a flippant answer a woman would give to a busybody that seemed too interested in the state of her private parts.  Additionally, it’s just as legitimate as your concerns about single-cell personhood.

    “got too many already”


    Yes, having 8 kids is a completely trivial lifestyle decision, which is why everybody still does it.  Hell, if women in poor African nations push out an average of 6.7 kids per vagina and raise them on so few resources, it must be a piece of cake for us moneyed Americans.


    Given that 61% of women who have abortions are already mothers, this argument may be one of the strongest reasons for being pro-choice.  This isn’t just a question of the women’s lifestyle–it’s a question of her children’s quality of life.  As in, can I afford to feed the kids I already have if I have another baby?  Can I afford to heat the house in winter?  Will I be able to send them to college?  Why don’t these seem like important questions to you?


    “too old to have one” 


    Pregnancy gets extremely complicated in older women.  This is a life or death question for many women, and you have no excuse for not knowing that.  Disregarding the medical implications, this is very closely tied to money and the child’s quality of life.  If you’re older, you can’t work 2 jobs as easily as a younger person can.  Can you juggle your own medical problems and raising a child?  What about caring for a new baby and your aging parents?  What about resuming your career after the child goes to school–again, not as easy as it would be for a younger person?  How can you call the people who are facing these decisions selfish just because they disagree with you on a matter of religion? 


    “just don’t want any at all”


    Does their selfishness know no bounds?  No everybody wants the same thing out of life you want.  Again, do their lives matter so little to you that they should just drop everything?


    “it was just a one night hook up”


    Clearly, you never had a truly awful hook up.  And it would merely be inconvenient to carry that horrible, awful hook up’s child in your body for nine months and then spend the rest of your life raising that terrible hook up’s child by yourself?  Is that just what sluts deserve for not keeping their legs closed? 


    You seem to misunderstand the entire point of hooking up.  You hook up because it will be at best, really fun, and at worst–only one embarrassing night of your life that you never have to think about again.  Either way, hook ups aren’t supposed to have life-changing emotional implications.  You aren’t supposed to evaluate the guy (or girl, but I’m only talking about hook ups that can get me pregnant) for fatherhood potential.  You do understand that not everyone has sex the way you do–which I can only assume is in marriage, in the missionary position, and for the purpose of procreation–and most other people’s ways are just as legitimate as yours? 


    You didn’t even address the issue of whether or not the activity that lead to the pregnancy was consensual, but that’s a different argument to you people. 

  • leftcoaster

    so-called “unborn child,” will you stfu, CM?

  • leftcoaster

    A day after the emergence of a report on the rape of nuns by priests, the Roman Catholic Aid Agency, Cafod, has confirmed that it showed the Vatican the report seven years ago.


    The leaked report said that priests and missionaries across several continents were forcing nuns to have sex with them.

    On Tuesday, the Vatican confirmed that such abuse had been taking place, but denied that it was so widespread.


    The vatican says it will investigate internally

    Among the abuses detailed is the case of a nun being forced to have an abortion by the priest who impregnated her. She later died and he officiated at her requiem mass.


    A day after the emergence of a report on the rape of nuns by priests, the Roman Catholic Aid Agency, Cafod, has confirmed that it showed the Vatican the report seven years ago.

    The leaked report said that priests and missionaries across several continents were forcing nuns to have sex with them.

    On Tuesday, the Vatican confirmed that such abuse had been taking place, but denied that it was so widespread.


    The vatican says it will investigate internally

    Among the abuses detailed is the case of a nun being forced to have an abortion by the priest who impregnated her. She later died and he officiated at her requiem mass.

  • leftcoaster

    Women should face no pressure to make ANY decision not in their best interest, and not self-directed.


    Women will *ALWAYS* abort at a relatively steady rate, for any number of reasons. Often planned pregnancies are terminated following the development of an unanticipated obstacle or crisis (the death of a spouse, the grave/terminal illness of an existing child).


    With all due respect, it’s not your business who aborts or why, and any attempt to “reduce” abortions is obnoxious and manipulative.

  • saltyc

    Women need more than resources to give birth. There’s also loving  supportive  care network, lifelong educational and extra-curricular activity support, health care and nutrition, and childcare for the first twelve years how do CPC’s help with that, except to refer to AFDC, foodstamps and WIC? A child requires  a  whole lot more than you can offer, and women should know that before they come into a biased bait-and-switch (“Oh! we’ll HELP you have a child!! –Oops don’t ask for too much now”) CPC. It’s no wonder that CPC’s attract very young, gullible women and girls, BTW do you report to the Fed’s when a girl is under 17? You work their dreams and can’t help but dissappoint.

  • concernedmom

    Crisis Pregnancy Centers that are on the front lines to defend women in a critical quandry between the destruction of new life in their womb, or the information & free resources they need to save that life!

    Check out this TRUTHFUL representation of these courageous CPCs: http//

  • concernedmom

    But only if YOU go first! :)

  • paul-bradford

    With all due respect, it’s not your business who aborts or why, and any attempt to “reduce” abortions is obnoxious and manipulative.




    In actual fact I’m not at all interested in who aborts or why, my interest is who is aborted and why.  What it boils down to is this: Am I going to treat a fetus as a person or a thing?


    You commented about abortions caused by “an unanticipated obstacle or crisis”.  Let’s talk about that.  I read an article recently about a couple who were happy to learn that their second child was ‘on the way’.  Their happiness turned to concern when the husband lost his job and they determined it was not the ‘right time’ to increase their family size.  As a result, the mother aborted the child.  How’s that for an example of a couple that didn’t show the kind of concern for their younger child that they do for their eldest?  The first child is treated like a person, the second one was treated like a thing.


    Do you suppose that, in the event they had treated their born child like a ‘thing’, it would be “my business” to be concerned about that child’s mistreatment?  Would it be “your business”?  Do you agree with me that we ought not ignore the plight of a child who is mistreated by her/his parents?  If we choose to ignore that mistreatment we’re part of the problem.  We’d be treating her/him like a ‘thing’.


    You see, when I heard you say, “it’s not your business” I detected a strong note of indignation on your part.  You’re not alone in that indignation.  I’m constantly reminded that a woman has the right to bodily autonomy and I know that — but I also know that a fetus has the right to bodily autonomy and I become indignant when I see that right violated.


    You’re entirely correct that there are people making obnoxious and manipulative attempts to reduce abortions.  Those attempts are famously ineffective.  There are, however, effective ways to reduce abortion.  Do you know that the abortion rate in the US has gone down 33% since 1980?  The reason, I think, is that there is a lot more social and governmental support for unwed mothers than there was in 1980.  Thus, the pressure to abort is less.


    So, women don’t *ALWAYS* abort at a steady rate.  When a society becomes more humane and does more to benefit women, the abortion rate goes down.  When a society leaves women exposed to abuse, and poverty, and inadequate health care the abortion rate goes up.


    I’m of the opinion that the better our society treats its citizens, the better the parents in our society will treat their children.  What’s your opinion?

  • paul-bradford

    “Pro Life” & “Pro Choice” at the same time?? Is this his idea of a moral hybrid??




    You should know that I am positively delighted that you have expressed an interest in my views.  


    The way I see it, there are two approaches to eradicating abortion — attempting to prevent women from accessing the procedure or attempting to support women to choose life.  In the first case, a woman would be forced to bring her pregnancy to term.  In the second, she would choose to do what is in the best interest of her child.


    I don’t see any way to protect the very young that doesn’t involve mothers choosing life for their children.  Respect for a woman’s right to make her own pregnancy decisions is the starting point for concern for the unborn.


    I am, however, proudly anti-choice in this regard — I don’t believe that people have a choice about whose human rights they should uphold and whose they can disregard.  It’s not possible for me to coerce a woman who is considering abortion; but if I neglect to do what I can to make it easier for her to choose life I’m disregarding the human rights of her child.

  • paul-bradford

    I think you and others here like Paul a whole bunch because he is weak minded.




    Well, you’re wrong on two counts.  I’m not weak minded and there aren’t a lot of folks on this ‘site who like me “a whole bunch”.  At least the folks on the Choice side say nasty things to me right to my face.  I didn’t even realize you’ve been saying things about me because you haven’t been responding directly to my posts.  I haven’t taken the time to read all four pages of comments on this thread but maybe I should.



    Paul is a bigger problem than people who outrightly worship Satan


    Truly , I am stunned by your cruelty.  I don’t, as you’ve pointed out, “outrightly worship Satan” but I’ll tell you what I’m in the habit of doing and that is to spend a lot of time meditating on the inherent lovability of all human life.  The effect of these meditations is that I am the opposite of spiritually luke warm.  I am, in fact, white hot in my desire to see people treat people like people.


    On this ‘site, or anywhere for that matter, I try hard to imagine myself in the position of the person I’m talking to.  I generally do pretty well in assuming that people want to be respected, and be listened to, and to get closer to the truth, and to become as spiritually and mentally healthy as they can be.


    I want to listen to you too.  I want to know whether you’ve noticed that people mean different things when they say ‘Pro-Choice’ and that it’s important to know a person’s meaning if you’re going to communicate effectively with her/him.  You say a person can not be Pro-Choice and Catholic.  You and I seem to disagree about whether Pro-Choice and Pro-Life are opposite.  I would certainly agree that being a Catholic entails a willingness to submit yourself to the discipline of respecting life at all stages of development, but do you really think I’m unfit to worship with you because I’ve arrived at the conclusion that the most likely way of supporting a woman’s obligation to respect the life of her unborn child is to show respect to her life?


    Do you imagine that one can find “precisely in the Catechism of the Catholic Church” where we are instructed how to engender a respect for life in other people?  My own opinion is that some people respond to a strident Pro-Life message whereas others respond to a more gentle Pro-Life message.  I suspect that we’ve already won over all the people who are going to respond to a strident message.  I myself learn something new every day about respecting life and I’m one of the people who doesn’t respond at all well to strident messages.


    My goal is to engage in respectful and productive dialogue.  I hope I can have such a dialogue with you.

  • paul-bradford

    deeply enamoured of maternal stereotype.



    You do me great injustice here.  You could hardly find someone more willing to admit that there are many women whose happiness depends on them NOT becoming mothers, nor someone more open to non-traditional approaches to motherhood.


    Where did you get the notion that I’m enamored of maternal stereotype?

  • paul-bradford

    Calling him (not that you did, but ConcernedMom did) Beelzebub?




    How did I miss that one?  Beelzebub!  That’s pretty rich.  


    You would be surprised how many Catholics are terrified of the thought that orthodox teaching is being adulterated by heresy.  Fear is the only way to explain why someone as orthodox as myself could have such a charge laid at his feet.







  • paul-bradford

    The whole point of ProChoice is that a person with that attitude doesn’t believe he/she has the right to impose her/his personal beliefs on others.




    Opposition to abortion isn’t about ‘personal beliefs’.  It’s about upholding somebody else’s human rights.


    You mentioned divorce.  You and I both know that in 21st Century America it isn’t necessary to oppose divorce in all cases.  But in biblical times opposition to divorce was about upholding the human rights of wives and children.  In that era, divorce was a way for a man to unburden himself of the responsibility he owed to his family.  It doesn’t make any sense to ‘oppose divorce’ now, but it does make sense to insist that a man meet his responsibilities.  I certainly hope your beliefs include a belief that a man has a responsibility to his children and to their mother, and I hope you feel motivated to ‘impose’ that belief on recalcitrant men.

  • paul-bradford

    I guess it’s a welcome break to debate someone who can string a paragraph together and avoid quoting scripture like it’s a substitute for an actual opinion.


    Princess Rot,


    You’re making me blush!  As you noted, I do “avoid quoting scripture” as I think it’s generally counter-productive unless you’re addressing an audience that believes the Bible is the inspired Word of God.  Funny thing, though, I thought of you folks at RHReality Check while I was listening to today’s gospel reading.  It was about the woman caught in adultery (Jn 8, 2-11).  The scribes and Pharisees drag a woman before Jesus and tell him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.” (v 4)


    The thoroughly gruesome thing about the story is the fact that it overlooks the obvious fact that no woman can possibly be ‘caught in adultery’ unless she’s accompanied by somebody who’s committing adultery with her.  Nothing in the story mentions her partner.  When I was a child I just assumed that he was a fast runner.  Now I know better.  There’s a certain mindset that believes that sexual sins are committed by females and that males are simply innocent bystanders.  Like, what’s up with that?


  • kate-ranieri

    Perhaps if the Vatican and all their followers would pay more attention to their own behaviors and worry less about our abortions, they’d stay busy enough to get out of our bedrooms, our legislators, our uteruses and ovaries…..Wouldn’t that be grand? 

  • wendy-banks

    God loves me? He/she never calls, never writes…

    Pray for me? Who cares! As the next thing to a Atheist I do not hate god I simply denigh that he/she/it exits. If you really want to waste your time “praying” for me it’s up to you–It’s a free country. But, I do warn you it’s futile.

    I prefer science and rationality to iron-age goat-herds’ foolishness any day of the week. Yeah, yeah going to hell– Really dear, how can you go somewhere that doesn’t exist? Hopefully one day humanity will grow beyond the need for crutches like religion, drugs, and fear of death– But untill then kiss my lilly-white. So sod off, eh?

  • wendy-banks

    How creepy, eh, leftcoaster? I also think that the catholic church needs to police their own before they open up their yaps about other peoples morals don’t you?


  • crowepps

    You and I both know that in 21st Century America it isn’t necessary to oppose divorce in all cases.

    I wasn’t making a comment on whether or not divorce should be ‘opposed in all cases’, although my position is that having divorce available is absolutely necessary and not the business of anyone except those actually involved, but rather on the fact that the Church hasn’t changed ITS position on divorce at all, but is not out there agitating to get the law changed and enforce its view that women (and men) in disastrous relationships are stuck with them.  At least, they’re not doing that YET.

  • wendy-banks

    CM go read the note I left just for you on page three– “Pray for me” *smirks* It is to laugh…

    You and ‘truth’ ‘morally corupt world’ ROFLMAO. Really you two– You need to get laid… As if you could… *snickers*

  • crowepps

    I am praying for you, by name.

    I have run into this phrase used in this way before, but it always makes me sad.

    Please believe that not all Christians announce they are praying for someone when obviously it’s a gesture of contempt or a way to insult someone or to threaten them – “I’m going to tell GOD on you and HE’ll see I’m right and HE’ll make you sorry!” This is actually the antithesis of Christianity.

  • wendy-banks

    “Beelzebub”? Sounds like a Death-metal band! Rock ON Dude! It’s like totally loud! My speakers just fell off the shelf!

  • ack

    This is PRECISELY what the AZ legislature signed into law last year. They mandated that providers discuss what social programs may be available to mothers while simultaneously gutting every program meant to help mothers in budget bills. This year, they’re kicking 50k kids off health care. The hypocrisy. It hurts.

  • ack

    It’s all part of intersectional oppression. But I appreciate your analysis of the analogy: the poster seems to think that both women making choices and men seeking gender reassignment surgery are a threat to patriarchy. Which they are.

  • ack

    It’s all part of intersectional oppression. But I appreciate your analysis of the analogy: the poster seems to think that both women making choices and men seeking gender reassignment surgery are a threat to patriarchy. Which they are.

  • ack

    Ummm… I think we just created a Battle of the Bands for high school students. Tickets are $5, and chaperones will occasionally be checking your water bottles for vodka.


    I don’t really know if there are a lot of Catholic grunge bands now, but I bet there were in the early 90s…

  • ack

    That is all.

  • wendy-banks

    *grins* Party on!

  • wendy-banks

    And I’ve said much the same to this fool ‘Truth’ in the past. Too bad we can’t give the antis’ the ‘bums rush’ out of here.