(ACTION) Eyes Wide Open: On Nebraska


Today, in a blatant bid to shut down late-term provider Dr. Leroy Carhart, the Nebraska Legislature overwhelmingly passed a virtual ban on all abortions beyond 20 weeks. The so-called “Pain Capable Unborn Child Act,” LB 1103 does not only affect women and families from Nebraska. (Nor is it really about fetal pain, a concept that both the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologist disavow as a possibility this early in fetal development.)

As Speaker Mike Flood, who introduced LB1103, and anti-choice organizations like National Right to Life have made clear, passing LB1103 in Nebraska is part of a calculated bid. The intention of its supporters is to bring an abortion rights challenge before the United States Supreme Court, where they’re counting on Justice Kennedy to be their swing vote, based on the language he used in his brief from the Gonzalez vs. Carhart decision in 2007. Make no mistake: this is a national issue that impacts us all.

Shutting down Dr. Carhart, one of four remaining late-term providers in the U.S., will not stem the need for late-term abortions any more than did the murder of my mentor and Dr. Carhart’s colleague, Dr. George Tiller, last May. It just means that yet more women all over the country will have no access to safe, legal later termination of pregnancy. That doesn’t mean that women will stop needing or having abortions — only that they’ll go to greater risks and expense to get them.

One of the greatest cruelties of LB 1103 is that it strips parents of their right to make decisions for their families at what should be the most private of moments. Many parents who opt for late-term procedures do so because they find out about severe fetal anomalies late in pregnancy — at or past the 20 weeks specified in LB 1103.

Take Tim Mosher, who testified before the Nebraska Judiciary Committee this past February at the request of Trust Women PAC. Tim and his wife, Dawn, learned at 20 weeks that their baby was suffering from the most severe level of untreatable Spina Bifida. After consulting with medical experts and their families, they decided, in Tim’s words, that, “We couldn’t force our little girl to live in constant pain and suffering before dying a pre-mature death.” But under LB 1103, if the woman’s life isn’t in danger — one of the few health exceptions in the bill — parents who find themselves in the same situation as Tim and Dawn in the future will be forced to carry these painful, ultimately fatal pregnancies to term.

In the weeks leading up to today’s vote, nearly 1,000 women and men nationwide have signed Trust Women PAC’s petition calling for Nebraska’s legislators to vote against LB 1103 and against government interference into families’ private healthcare decisions. LB 1103 may be destined for the judicial system, but you can still join them in understanding the national implications of this seemingly local bill and taking action. 

TAKE ACTION whether you live in a red or a blue state. Here’s how!

Get involved in a state-level political race in a red state. (Remember, these bills that shut down providers locally, and may go all the way up to the federal level, start in state legislatures!) You can do this by volunteering your time, donating money, providing housing for campaign staff, and supporting third party efforts to defeat anti-choice candidates. Some states to watch for beside Nebraska include New Mexico, Colorado, and Oklahoma.

It is more important now than ever to understand and act on the implications of seemingly local politics on women and families nationwide. So keep your eyes wide open, sign up for Trust Women PAC’s Action Alerts by subscribing through our web site , and GET ACTIVE on the local level. That’s where bills start that ultimately determine the level of freedom and decision-making afforded to all women and their families across America.  

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

  • progo35

    Once againm, you’re using disabled people to push your agenda of late term abortion.

  • jodi-jacobson

    How exactly is it that a parent with a wanted pregnancy whose child would suffer tortuous pain only to die is “using disabled” people?

     

    And what “agenda of late abortion?”  Do people who want effective heart disease prevention, treatment and care available to everyone have an “agenda of heart disease surgery?” Or can you envision that they want to make sure everyone has the highest quality care available to them and everyone else to make decent life choices?

    Really….these comments make me more angry than anything else. You have people struggling with the most painful life decisions and you feel positioned to judge them.  Wow.

     

    Jodi

  • crowepps

    It seems to me that minimizing “the highest level of untreatable spinal bifida” by describing it as a ‘disability’ rather than a tragic diagnosis of nonviablity is using their personal tragedy to push your agenda that the disabled are being discriminated against and anybody who disagrees with you hates the handicapped.

  • progo35

    Once again, both of you conflate nonviable with disabled to the point of possibly dying early.  Many times, doctors give parents the worst case scenario in order to encourage them to abort, even though the doctor doesn’t really know what is going to happen to that child if he or she is born. For instance, one of the essays in the Disability Studies Reader on selective abortion was written by a pro choice woman with spina bifida. She is not against abortion, but very concerned about the use of late term abortion to screeen out fetuses with spina bifida. On http://www.benotafraid.com, one couple described being told that there was nothing they could do for the fetuses’ spina bifida, but in fact, corrective surgery was available and they sought it out, no thanks to the doctors who didn’t bother to tell them about it.

  • concernedmom

    In Nebraska! Now abortion practitioners must engage in better screening & give women a chance to file lawsuits over post abortion mental health problems. The other law banning abortions over 20 wks will be especially frustrating for LeRoy Carhart, who is known to perform post viability abortions in Nebraska, as late as 30th week of pregnancy. These bills were passed in part, from complaints against Carhart & affidavits from former Carhart employees. For years LeRoy Carhart has taken advantage of Nebraska’s outdated post viability statute which contains a health exception loophole you could drive a Mack truck through. With this new law, the more narrowly defined medical emergency exception with an objective standard, should go a long ways toward closing the loopholes in current Nebraska statute.

  • gabbyhayes

    The agenda is that women have full access to health care all the time. My aunt was forced to lie in a hospital bed with a dead fetus inside of her for days before the rotting corpse inside her threatened her life enough to allow the doctors to remove it. In other words, she was on death’s door before she could have the dead fetus removed. That’s not health care. That’s a nightmare. But it happened to women all over America because of antiquated laws made up my ministers and perfervid “christians” instead of allowing medical decisions to be made by patients and their doctors. A late-term abortion is nearly always for the purpose of saving the life of the woman. If there are late-term abortions that are made by the woman’s choice, another great percentage would be by women who didn’t realize that they were pregnant until it was nearly too late to have an abortion by law. Please stop pretending that congressmen understand medicine better than doctors or that church ladies understand the needs of women of child-bearing age better than those women do. Keep your filthy hands off of other people’s medical decisions. If you don’t want an abortion, don’t have one. That is as far as Christ would take it. Not a word is spoken against abortion by Jesus or God in the entire bible, while hypocrisy such as yours is condemned on virtually every page.

  • squirrely-girl

    Many times, doctors give parents the worst case scenario in order to encourage them to abort, even though the doctor doesn’t really know what is going to happen to that child if he or she is born.”

     

    So are you insinuating that YOU know? Or that state representatives know? If you’re claiming that even DOCTORS (those cute little folks that went to medical school and specialize in MEDICINE) don’t know, they why on earth should we listen to somebody else on this matter?

     

    Yes, “corrective surgery” is available for SOME cases of spina bifida. But whether a family can afford that or feels as though it would be in their or the child’s best interest is THEIR decision, not some politician and not some fundamentalist religious group. FAIL!


  • concernedmom

    Gabbyhayes. Obviously she had a quack for a doctor, to be leaving a dead fetus “inside her for days”. Don’t think the allowing of abortion to save the life of the mother is in any danger of being revoked, either. And as far as what the Bible says about abortion, would giving you some Scriptures make any difference? You sound like you wouldn’t care one way or another. Instead, you just hurl insults at people who think the unborn are the most vulnerable forms of human life & should be defended.

  • crowepps

    Obviously she had a quack for a doctor, to be leaving a dead fetus “inside her for days”.

    Perhaps she lives in a state with laws that require doctors to jump through multiple hoops before doing an abortion and threatens them with long prison terms if they forget any of the steps.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen clearly stated in ANY of those laws something along the lines of “nothing in this law applies in any way whatsoever to a case where a fetus is dead and doctors in those cases can take whatever steps they feel necessary to remove the fetal corpse without fear of penalties”.

    Don’t think the allowing of abortion to save the life of the mother is in any danger of being revoked, either.

    Why not?  The Catholic Church has gotten laws passed in South and Central America that require women to die from pregnancy complications and they’re trying to do the same thing here.

    And as far as what the Bible says about abortion, would giving you some Scriptures make any difference?

    There aren’t any scriptures that deal with abortions although there are a couple that deal with miscarriages, one of which suggests the person causing one pay a monetary fine to the father and the other of which has the priest dose the woman with a abortificant and then use any resultant miscarriage as ‘proof’ of her infidelity.

     

    But the main problem is, quoting Scriptures is pretty much irrelevant, because in a diverse country with freedom of religion, Christians don’t get to pass laws based on their particular sects’ understanding of the Bible and then impose them on people of other sects or other faiths.  It is unConstitutional for the government to favor one religion/sect over others.

  • jayn

    CM, what I got from her post was not that the doctor was a quack (although that may have played into things), but that abortion laws are so restrictive wherever she lives that the doctors couldn’t do the procedure without breaking a law before that point.  Restrictions on abortion tend to do more harm than good (assuming there is any good that comes of them), and this is a perfect example of that.  Leaving the ‘life of the mother’ exception means that the mother’s life has to be put in danger first, which is something I think we’d all rather avoid.

     

    I”m reminded of a story where a woman spent a week trying to get a D&X after a miscarriage, because it’s safer than a D&C, and allowed the doctors to determine the cause of death.  The reason it took her so long was because after the partial-birth abortion ban, there’s been a drop in doctors who will, or even can, do the procedure.  Had she gone with the D&C, she never would have found out why she miscarried.

  • julie-watkins

    if the law says this:

    “nothing in this law applies in any way whatsoever to a case where a fetus is dead and doctors in those cases can take whatever steps they feel necessary to remove the fetal corpse without fear of penalties”.

    there will be people saying such as “the baby wasn’t dead before the doctor killed her” “he faked the evidence” — one reason legislations/protestors giving for wanting “no exceptions” is that illegal elective abortions will happen under the pretense that “the baby [sic] was dead” or “the mother’s life was in danger” when that wasn’t the case.

    That’s what the AG Kline was saying about Dr. Tiller when he kept hounding him.

  • crowepps
  • colleen

    Don’t think the allowing of abortion to save the life of the mother is in any danger of being revoked, either.

    If the Catholic church or it’s allies writes the legislation it most certainly will:

    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2010/02/20/pregnant-nicaraguan-woman-denied-treatment-metastatic-cancer

    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2009/03/06/this-what-religious-objection-abortion-looks-like

    May I say that the “we’re not extremists” arguments from people like you are really very unconvincing?

  • crowepps

    I just cannot deal with the global lack of trust that kind of attitude shows. Can’t trust the women to make their own decisions. Can’t trust the doctors to tell the truth. Can’t trust anybody because everybody knows most women hate having children.

     

    Really makes me wonder just how reluctant all those people were to have kids themselves and what a horrible imposition on their lives they found parenthood to be. Or maybe they just believe that all women deserve the death penalty for having sex.

  • crowepps

    Gee, if the men rights’ guy were still around we could certainly clear up whether our ‘lack of respect’ for their posts was because as radical ‘senior citizen’ feminists we disrespect men. I find ConcernedMom equally illogical and equally focused on promoting her own ‘issues’ at the expense of women whose pregnancies have disastrous problems.

  • crowepps

    You realize that if she pulled her usual scam there and went in and pretended to be a teen considering abortion, they’d have to report her to the prosecuting attorney for investigation as a possible sex criminal/victim. Only positive I can see that might come out of such a bill.

  • progo35

    Squirrely girl-I am talking about this issue from a disability rights/diversity standpoint, not a religious standpoint. My point in saying what I said is to point out that many pro choice women in the disability rights community have the same concerns. Might I suggest that you go and read something by Adrienne Asche, the essays in the Disability Studies Reader, or another disability/feminist resource that addresses this issue before you turn this into a religious or non religious issue.

  • wendy-banks

    Truely sad story. Poor woman…

  • wendy-banks

    @ gabbyhayes

    What a dreadfull thing for your Aunt to go through– Did she suffer any long-term conquences from not being allowed a prompt abortion?

  • princess-rot

    The MRA guys expected us to listen with child-like credulence and respect to their increasingly idiotic ramblings while they reserve the right to passive-aggressively call us dilapidated old hags (senior citizen feminists – seriously?). I read that thread and I’ve not forgotten the constant orders to amend our “tone” and “listen to arguments that could broaden our minds” as if we are a bunch of stroppy children. It’s strange, an anti-feminist (won’t call it an MRA, that’s another name for a butthurt conservative) has a curious ability to infantalize and degrade the aged at the same time. It’s almost like they are privileged and accustomed to being the only voices heard and taken seriously, or something crazy like that.

  • princess-rot

    “Everybody knows” – two words that have left countless bruises down the centuries.

  • concernedmom

    Most women hate having children”? Is that so? What a silly presumption THAT is! Most women LOVE children, & long to be mothers themselves, one day. The exceptions are people such as you, who scorn motherhood & perpetuate the culture of death, like this website seems to be so proud of.

  • prochoicegoth

    You do know she was being sarcastic, right? Or do you just read something and automatically ASSume things because we’re pro-choice and you have this image of us being baby-hating monsters? I guess you seem to CONVENIENTLY forget that pro-CHOICE embraces the choice of motherhood and adoption as well as abortion. Would a culture of death do that? 

  • saltyc

    But not all, not right now and not just because they’re pregnant and that’s the work cut out for you isn’t it, CM, the ones who are pregnant but don’t want to be, you need to trick, harass and emotionally coerce them into changing their minds. Just how many young women do you push to tears in your good work, CM?

     

  • rebellious-grrl

    Wow, I remember reading this story a few years ago and being horrified at what this woman had to go through.

  • rebellious-grrl

    Not all women want to have children, including me. It doesn’t mean we hate children or don’t have children in our lives. I don’t scorn motherhood but I know it’s not the right thing for me. I don’t want to be a mom and I’m very happy being the cool auntie. So please don’t scorn me for my decision that is the right thing for me.

  • concernedmom

    Love your posts, too! Well, if you are so pro for life & adoption, how come all these blogs talk about is how important it is to have the right to terminate a pregnancy, for any & every reason? I would love to read one topic discussion that said motherhood is an honorable & respected occupation! I only read relentless militant propaganda that elevates abortionists to the level of sainthood. PUH LEEZ. (*snorts with disgust*) How bout doing a post about the great work Obstetricians do, bringing new life into the world with their assistance? Would you folks here even consider a fair look at the OTHER choice’s merits? I may of missed the discussion if its been done, so by all means, let me know the address to read it!

  • julie-watkins

    These are wanted pregnancies; the pregnant women are wanting decision rights for birthing also! (VBAC is not the only wanted-pregnancy issue that’s been discussed here.) And the comments are pro-choice for birthing choices and no one comes in saying “you should have aborted”, contray to the “culture of death” we’re being accused of.

  • jayn

    CM–

     

    First of all, we fight to keep abortion open to women because we need to.  There is no need to change laws to allow women to carry to term, or to adopt.  Those things are legal, and no one is trying to ban them.  So we focus our energy where our energy is needed.

     

    Secondly, do you even read most of this site?  There’s articles about adoption, birthing, breast-feeding, etc. here–basically, anything to do with sex, pregnancy, or motherhood.

     

    I don’t know what you think pro-choice means, but most of us are pro-ALL-choices, and we want to help make those choices possible for women.  Abortion is probably the largest area to work on here, but it’s certainly not the only one, and we do spend energy on the others as well.

  • bj-survivor

    You must have missed all the non-abortion related posts that discuss: LGBTQ rights; shackling of laboring prisoners; ability to choose VBAC/midwives/non-hospital births, forced C-sections, child marriage, female genital mutilation, et cetera, ad nauseum.You also missed those posts regarding several pro-choice women’s positive stories with adoption. There wasn’t a single pro-choicer who blathered on and on about how the only moral choice was to abort. Unlike many of your kind, who state over and over that women should die trying to bring doomed pregnancies to term. Now which is the “pro-death” side, hmm?

     

    Google and this site’s search function are your friends.

  • bj-survivor

    ALL women, deep down, want to bear children until their uteruses fall out. It’s those evil feminists who have brain-washed you into thinking that aborting and refusing to have children is okay. Pregnancy and motherhood are really, really easy and ANY woman can do it. Once a woman holds that precious baby in her arms, she will fall instantly in love and will never regret having it/them. She will then recoil with horror at ever thinking of murdering them while they were in what should have been the safest haven of her womb. And, of course, she will never resent or harm those precious, precious lives. I mean, it worked so well for Susan Smith and Casey Anthony, no?

  • rebellious-grrl

    The Doula Movement: Making the Radical a Reality by Trusting Pregnant Women
    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2010/01/27/raising-unheard-voices-compassionate-care-across-spectrum-pregnancy

  • crowepps

    The exceptions are people such as you, who scorn motherhood

    LOL – my two adult children, in order to have whom I had to endure a total of four pregnancies, think I’m the greatest mother ever.

     

    If “Most women LOVE children, & long to be mothers themselves” then obviously there would be so few abortions done that the entire controversy would disappear.

  • captcourageous

    Don’t doubt it.

  • captcourageous
  • captcourageous

    …. got a chance to read the original, unexpurgated content of that thread. In fact, they still do.

  • ahunt

    Yes, it is interesting how the world views women as members of one huge hive mind…as in…the choice du jour. There is only one choice, dammit and all others are wrong!

     

    Essentially, if some women Somewhere make some choice, and other women living in Somewhere make different  choices…it is a social crisis. For women, there is only one path to true happiness and fulfillment…the choice du jour.

  • captcourageous

    It’s good to read a refreshing point of view here.

  • captcourageous
  • captcourageous

    Yes, it is interesting how the world views women as members of one huge hive mind…as in…the choice du jour.

    confused-smiley-014.gif

  • mechashiva

    You do know that crowepps was being dramatic to illustrate her point that the level of distrust people have towards women making these decisions is ludicrous, right? I mean, just read the previous two sentences. The only way you could possibly have the reaction you did is by taking that sentence completely out of context. So please, try to connect ideas together within a paragraph. It will help you out.

     

    You’re welcome.

  • princess-rot

    I honestly don’t know how you read that as a blanket assertion. Crowepp’s was pointing out how the tendency to distrust women has harmed them, because of the pervasive folk myth that “everybody knows”: if women aren’t pressured into bearing children, “everybody knows” they won’t do it of their own free will because “everybody knows” women can’t be trusted to make their own decisions.

     

    Hence the stupidity of “everyone knows”; a fallacy which you are making again, but from the other extreme. The world’s female population is not separated into mothers and monsters. Culture of death? Seriously? Do get a grip. Motherhood is not some sacred be-all-and-end-all, and neither is nullipary. Humans are more complex than simple binaries.

  • saltyc

    I’ve been trying to figure out what the articles have to do with outlawing abortion, and I think I understand now.

    It’s the you gave us too much rope so we should not give it to anyone else or they might hang themselves line of reasoning to take away our rights.

    Some women decide they’re unhappy with the choices they made, and if they weren’t so privileged with the choices, they would have been happier with the traditional way. Because their preference, it dawns on them late in life, would have been the traditional way. So fewer choices and rights would have suited them just fine, contrary to what they previously believed.

    Now the connection between this and the not fighting to keep those rights for everybody anyway, is… a leap of faith.

  • crowepps

    Obviously it is just as ludicrous to assume that all men think, feel and act in exactly the same way.

  • crowepps

    I would love to read one topic discussion that said motherhood is an honorable & respected occupation!

    Since so far as I am aware, nobody here disagrees with it.  Except, of course, for those who keep insisting that women won’t be mothers unless they are FORCED to do so.

  • princess-rot

    Well, gee.

    I was surfing the front page this very morning and there is loads of stuff about non-abortion-related activism! “Catholic Church Fights Connecticut Law Repealing Statute of Limitations on Child Sexual Abuse” PHB: President Directs HHS to Expand Rights of LGBT Families Under Medicaid, Medicare” “Youth and STDs: The Epidemic in our Midst” “Lancet: Number of maternal deaths worldwide have declined” “Challenge to Florida VBAC ban intensifies” and the older stuff from the breastfeeding and shackling of pregnant prisoners threads.

    If you don’t like it here, what is productive about you staying here? If you want to read a site that is 100% about babies, go to a parenting blog. This is obviously not the place for you, since you seem unable to utilize the search function or comment on anything unless it’s to tell us how evil we all are.

  • ahunt

    Basically Cap’n…I’ve noticed that MRA’s often like to trot out the latest article written by some woman somewhere bemoaning their feminist choices… as definitive proof that all feminist women are regretting their choices, and if women actually do not have regrets…well, they should. Because all women are supposed to be alike…or something.

     

     

  • bj-survivor

    The exceptions are people such as you, who scorn forced motherhood

     

  • squirrely-girl

    Capt, 

     

    The article you posted was about a woman who later regretted her desire to not have kids. I find this to be in a similar vein as people who regret their abortions and those who regret having kids. YAY FOR REGRET!!!!! We ALL have them. Should we REALLY write laws that affect EVERYBODY because SOME people will inevitably regret their decisions? Seriously? I’m not directing this toward you, personally, but I find this position to be rather laughable – “Oh, let’s protect people who are too ignorant to make the RIGHT decisions from their own selves…”

     

    If we all stop and think REAL hard about some of the decisions we’ve made and later regretted, we’d have a MILLION more laws to start writing. It’s not the job of the government to protect ADULTS from making decisions, particularly when that decision will only affect them. Heck, if anything the pro-life/anti-choice side has it backwards… maybe we should be protecting all of the “unborn babies” from their future parents?!

  • crowepps

    Actually that’s consistent with the Men’s Rights Movement idea that there’s only one right way to be a man, that all men are or should be the same, and that men who don’t conform to the rigid stereotype aren’t ‘real’ men but have somehow been ‘contaminated’ with girl cooties, probably by feminist mothers or elementary school teachers.

     

    It never seems to occur to either the male or female pro-patriarchy groups  promoting ‘tradition’ that the tradition they are promoting is NOT upholding the way people ‘just naturally’ act but instead promoting the ‘tradition’ that it is necessary to PREVENT people from acting the way they actually ‘just naturally’ act through immense efforts in training, education, enforcement and punishment.

     

    Most people are not a good fit for their stereotypes.  THEY aren’t even a good fit for their stereotypes, which is what makes them so insistent that outside social pressure is necessary to force everyone into the rigid roles.  After all, if they themselves have buckled under to the social pressure to live a fake life, why should anybody else have freedom?

  • paul-bradford

    If “Most women LOVE children, & long to be mothers themselves” then obviously there would be so few abortions done that the entire controversy would disappear.

     

    crowepps,

     

    There are, of course, women who long to be mothers just as there are women for whom motherhood is a bad option.  Which group has the majority of women?  Let us imagine a world where the majority of women LOVE children.  Would the abortion problem, as you suggest, ‘disappear’ in such a world?  I say it wouldn’t.

     

    I can’t imagine that you need me to point this out to you, but many a woman who ends up having children and finding fulfillment in motherhood has an abortion at one point in her life.  The woman who LOVES children wants to have children when the experience of motherhood fits into her lifestyle.  A woman might LOVE the child she has at twenty-five but abort a child at twenty.  A woman might have a number of children and then abort once she’s decided she has all the children she wants.

     

    The abortion problem won’t go away if more women wanted more children.  The abortion problem will go away when men and women make parent-related decisions (like when to have sex and whether to abort) based on what’s best for their child, rather than on what is best for them.

     

    The woman who LOVES children and then has one or two or three of her own isn’t necessarily taking a ‘Pro-Life’ stance.  She might very well be making all her decisions from a ‘Choice’ perspective and might very well choose to abort if she becomes pregnant at a time when it doesn’t suit her to give birth.

  • saltyc

    The abortion problem will go away when men and women make parent-related decisions (like when to have sex and whether to abort) based on what’s best for their child, rather than on what is best for them.

    What.

     

    Have you even spoken to people who had abortions?? When I had an abortion, the biggest reason was thinking about the potential child. I don’t wish to go into all the details here but trust me, it wasn’t time. It was NOT a selfish decision. At all. The man who was involved was also thinking about what kind of life we could provide for such a child, and knew we didn’t have what every child should get.

    It was one of the most well-thought. least selfish decisions I ever made, thank you very much.

    Sure you choose to believe that an unconscious embryo has all the rights of a hoping, fearing, desiring child, but I sure don’t and didn’t. But everyone would have to think like you in order for you to be correct that couples have abortions for selfish reasons.

    Answer me this: If there were a pill that guaranteed to end all spontaneous abortions for whatever reason, would you wish that every woman and girl just prior to first ovulation take it, to prevent the 200 million spontaneous abortions a year, including those (most) that the woman never even notices? Is it the Catholic ideal that as many babies are born as possible, no matter what kind of life awaits them? Is more misery better?

    The “abortion problem” will end when people who want to make a big moral deal about it look at themselves and stop being so cruel and heartless. When you think about the potential children instead of your own self. It will end when women can talk freely about their own abortions, everywhere. It will end when others do like me and reassure women who had abortions that they are responsible and caring. When people like you become remorseful for your callous disregard for what is really going on, and take time to reflect on your sins, while asking women why they aborted, without judgment.

     

    I’m reminded of Dr. Tiller’s quote about first needing to understand the heart of a woman, and the very fact that you could denigrate the soul searching process that precede abortions shows that you have no clue, none, of what’s in that heart.

     

    You can keep the plate.

     

  • ahunt

    Answer me this: If there were a pill that guaranteed to end all spontaneous abortions for whatever reason, would you wish that every woman and girl just prior to first ovulation take it, to prevent the 200 million spontaneous abortions a year, including those (most) that the woman never even notices?

     

    I just wanted to see this againA similar question was asked of a strident anti-choicer dominating the thread in another forum. No answer, and the poster abruptly vanished.

  • ahunt

    and that men who don’t conform to the rigid stereotype aren’t ‘real’ men but have somehow been ‘contaminated’ with girl cooties, probably by feminist mothers or elementary school teachers.

     

    Subtle.

     

    Yet this is the one that always has me scratching my head…the incessant complaints about women elementary teachers. There is nothing preventing men from going into the primary education. Indeed my best guess is that  men would be headhunted heavily for elementary teaching positions…if such a pool of candidates existed.

     

    In short, this is yet another complaint that men themselves could readily address. The ongoing failure to do so suggests to me that MRA’s have little interest in actually “doing” childhood education…they just want to armchair quarterback. 

     

    BTORSP

  • crowepps

    Preschool teachers are the lowest paid, elementary school teachers do better, teachers get a raise at the Junior High/Middle School, High School teachers get the top wage in public education and college professors get the most.  Following the money, college professors are predominantly male, and high school has most of the male teachers in public education because the men get the higher paying jobs.

     

    Men, particularly noncustodial dads, get really hostile to elementary school teachers who are ‘picking on my kid’ by banning belching, beer t-shirts and bullying, and ‘trying to make my boy into a wimp’ by not allowing him to punch the other students.  Like a ‘real man’ should be able to do, you know.  Geez, those teachers even push all this sissy stuff like reading and science and want the kids to LEARN stuff and then next thing you know the boy will think he’s smarter than good old dad or something.

  • crowepps

    Concerned Mom’s statement was:

    Most women LOVE children, & long to be mothers themselves, one day.

    And that just is not true.  Some women do indeed long to be mothers, some of them verge on totally irrational about it, but for the majority of women having children is something that’s optional and while they may not DISLIKE the idea they aren’t LONGING for it.

     

    For that matter, I don’t think most women “love children” in general, although certainly they might love their OWN children.  And of course some women loathe and detest children, those of others and their own.

     

    I’m not going to second-guess what motivates individual women to have children or to have abortions or any combination thereof, because it really isn’t any of my business.

     

    The point of my post was that it is silly to say that “most women LOVE children” and AT THE SAME TIME complain about an epidemic of abortion, unless you have some way of solving the cognitive conflict, which for all too many nitwits is the illogic string – ‘MOST women love children’ BUT ‘women abort their pregnancies’, THEREFORE ‘the problem is that women getting abortions don’t realize there’s an actual child involved’.

     

    Well, yeah, in experience they actually do.  Of course, all too often the ProLife side doesn’t seem to be able to grasp that there’s an actual, live WOMEN involved (why can’t they just deliver the baby?) so I suppose it makes sense to them that the other side would be equally blind.

    The abortion problem will go away when men and women make parent-related decisions (like when to have sex and whether to abort) based on what’s best for their child, rather than on what is best for them.

    Many middle-aged men have the focuse change as they approach grandparenthood (and the need for Viagra) and suddenly discover that all that irresponsible, promiscuous sex of their youth that heretofore had looked back on fondly as a lot of fun is something that the young men of today should be prevented from imitating.

     

    I’ve never been sure whether that’s the wisdom to ‘teach from our mistakes’ or pure unadulterated envy of the potent young felt by those whose bodies are signaling upcoming decrepitude.  Judging by the percentage who try to deny their fear of mortality by a second bout of indulging in irresponsible, promiscous sex with girls their daughters’ age, I’d guess envy.

  • crowepps

    Some women decide they’re unhappy with the choices they made

    Anybody here who’s over 40 has got at least a few friends who bring up occasionally that they wish they’d gone to college, or they wish they’d worked a few years before they went to college, or they wished they’d chosen a different major, or they wish they’d joined/hadn’t joined the service, and why did they ever give up on that dream to be a dancer/actor/musician/writer/forest ranger, etc., and where it that girl/boy they loved so much in high school.

     

    If we’re going to authorize the the authoritarians to “prevent people from being unhappy with the choices they made” then there’s isn’t going to be any area of our lives at all we’re going to able to prevent these people from butting into and trying to control.

  • paul-bradford

    When I had an abortion, the biggest reason was thinking about the potential child. I don’t wish to go into all the details here but trust me, it wasn’t time. It was NOT a selfish decision. At all. The man who was involved was also thinking about what kind of life we could provide for such a child, and knew we didn’t have what every child should get.

     

    It was one of the most well-thought. least selfish decisions I ever made, thank you very much.

     

    Salty,

     

    The issue of whether or not you are selfish is an issue I wish we could set aside.  You took offense at my suggestion that the way to eradicate abortion is for us all to think about the best interests of the child.  To you, that sounded like I was leveling an accusation of selfishness against those who abort after determining that they can’t provide sufficient support to a daughter or a son.  I don’t want to get you to think you were being selfish.  I want you to think of yourself as having been entrusted with another person’s life.  That would require that you change your mind because, when you aborted, you didn’t believe your child had a life.  You believed that you would have given a child a life if you had remained pregnant.  I understand that, and I understand that many people believe that, but I also understand that that belief causes millions of people to lose their lives — so I’m interested in challenging the belief.

     

    Being Pro-Life isn’t about censuring women.  Being Pro-Life is about respecting human dignity.  You and I would agree that it’s wise, even necessary, for couples to develop a workable plan for caring for a child before producing one.  It’s tragic that so many children come into the world with parents who aren’t ready, willing and able to give them good care — but even those children’s lives are valuable.  You accuse me of being callous.  I come to my way of thinking out of a desire to NOT be callous — my own opinion is that it would be callous to decide for someone else whether or not the disadvantages of their situation make their life not worth living.

     

    I’m not of the opinion that the ‘heart of a woman’ is materially different from the ‘heart of a man’.  We all need to develop a heartfelt respect for each other’s dignity.

  • saltyc

    So really what you said should be

    The abortion problem will go away when men and women <first are made to believe that full human status begins at conception, then> make parent-related decisions (like when to have sex and whether to abort) based on what’s best for their child, rather than on what is best for them.

     

     

    OK, so you could go a long way to challenge the belief that it’s not a just a potential life but an actual life (not just living tissue) by answering the question: would you want a pill that makes spontaneous abortion impossible, and that all girls and women should take it. It would save far more lives than eliminating induced abortion. If that’s what you are after -saving lives, not just guilting women- there would be a far greater payoff here.

    So while a woman takes birth control pills to prevent ovulation, she would also have to take the anti-spontaneous-abortion pill so that just in case she does inadvertantly ovulate and it is fertilized, she will give birth to a baby, in whatever condition. What age would you want girls to start taking it? 12? 11? 9?

    Why is there no discussion among pro-lifers about preventing spontaneous abortion?

     

    I’d say, that the first step in getting others to believe something is to actually believe it yourself.

     

     

  • julie-watkins

    about “what God does with human lives”

    … When a female’s body decides that pregnancy would not be in her best interest because of she is under too much stress, has too little nutrition, is sick, or a host of other factors, it spontaneously aborts or miscarries the pregnancy.  If you believe that God designed human physiology in his/her image or to further his/her agenda or with a plan or however you choose to phrase it, then you must acknowledge that s/he created “natural abortions” to protect the health of the mother and her current or future children.

     

    Biology has not caught up with our modern lives, and has no mechanism for accounting for non-physical contraindications to pregnancy …

    see here:

    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/comment/reply/13264/40574

    on article:

    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/reader-diaries/2010/04/15/want-taxes-abortion

    I think this is a good alternative to Paul being sentemental. He wrote:

    Being Pro-Life isn’t about censuring women.

    Paul’s way to be Pro-Life is about enforcing Nature’s Sexism because the cluebus hasn’t arrived yet about his own misogyny. Nature is very sloppy about the process because the big deal isn’t the ZBEFs, it’s “good outcomes” and “good genes” and “the right time”. However, in Pauls sentimentalized world view, it’s OK to put social and legal pressure on women and poor people to “do the right thing” (which just happens to help preserve the political power of people who support that world view)(that world view developed over millenia, by the people in power patronizing the philosopher’s and theologians who supports their views and undermining philosophy & theology that threatened their power)

  • crowepps

    Setting aside the issue of “selfishness”, (without denying that’s exactly what you do believe), and then using instead the term “callous” doesn’t seem like a great improvement to me.

     

    Your assumption is that any life, no matter what the disadvantages or how horrible it actually is in process, has ‘value’ and that therefore the correct decision is always to make the choice to inflict that horror on a child.

     

    You have stated a number of times that it is flat-out wrong for anybody to disagree with you.  It is a little hard for me to figure out just exactly how you are going to AVOID censuring language and at the same time tell people they have failed their trust to care for another person’s life, killed their ‘child’, violated human dignity, and been irresponsible by having sex when they didn’t want to be parents.

     

    ‘I have no intention of hurting your feelings but I feel compelled to point out in my opinion your actions are evil’ is passive-aggression at its finest.

  • paul-bradford

    A similar question was asked of a strident anti-choicer dominating the thread in another forum. No answer, and the poster abruptly vanished.

     

    ahunt,

     

    What do you suppose the odds are that I’m going to “abruptly vanish”?

     

    Here’s the question Salty posed, and it’s one I’d love to respond to:

     

    If there were a pill that guaranteed to end all spontaneous abortions for whatever reason, would you wish that every woman and girl just prior to first ovulation take it, to prevent the 200 million spontaneous abortions a year, including those (most) that the woman never even notices?

     

    First of all let’s see if we can agree on the numbers.  There may be 200 million spontaneous abortions somewhere, but in the United States there are a total of 6 million pregnancies per year.  70% of those pregnancies end in birth.  20% of those pregnancies end in procured abortion, and 10% of those pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion.  In addition to the pregnancies, there are six million to twenty five million instances where a conceptus is discharged before implantation.  It’s hard to get an exact number because, as Salty pointed out, most of these are situations the mother never notices.

     

    ahunt, you know full well that I earnestly support developments in prenatal medicine that lower the rate of spontaneous abortion.  If we could lower the rate from 10% to 9% it would represent 60,000 lives saved.  Good thing.  You also know that I value the worth of the lives of zygotes and blastocysts and would support the development of advances to improve the likelihood of any given blastocyst implanting.  We’ve been over all of this before.

     

    You’re concerned that the advances I wish for would so curtail the lives of women as to make their lives unbearable.  This, of course, is not what I wish for.  My wish is to empower mothers to better protect the lives of their children.  We’re accustomed to losing 50-80% of conceptuses before implantation.  Those numbers seem “normal” to us because we’ve never had the power to improve on them.  I’m not too confident that the pill Salty envisions will ever materialize; but I do think we could improve the odds.

     

    In 1910, the mortality rate for infants was 11%.  Now it’s down to about 1/2%.  We’ve improved survivability for infants, we can do the same for the unborn.  It is a good thing, an advance in our respect for the dignity of human life, that we’ve improved the survivability of infants.  It will also be a good thing if we can improve the survivability of fetuses.

     

     

  • paul-bradford

    Why is there no discussion among pro-lifers about preventing spontaneous abortion?

     

    I have no idea why.  I can assure you, from the bottom of my heart, that I believe that saving a person from a spontaneous abortion is as important as saving her/him from a procured abortion.

     

    I do think that things are getting better.  Prenatal medicine is advancing and this promises to lower the rate of spontaneous abortion.  Healthier mothers also mean better health (and survivability) for their unborn — so we should do everything we can to improve women’s health.  As I’ve said over and over again, we can’t be good to the unborn unless we’re good to their mothers.

     

    By the way, I appreciate your bringing up the issue of spontaneous abortion.  I lost four siblings that way so it’s a matter of some personal concern.

  • ahunt

    But you didn’t really answer the question, Paul.

     

    Historically, your view has been one of bringing social pressures to bear…in the nicest way of course…in order to convince less evolved women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term.

     

    The question remains…if such a pill existed…would you wish that all sexually active females of reproductive age ingest? Even those actively contracepting females?

  • paul-bradford

    Julie,

     

    I wish there were some way to progress past the impasse we’re in!  Allow me to explore your understanding of my misogyny.  Do you suppose that if I were more fully aware of the suffering that an unintended pregnancy can inflict, and more concerned about the women who suffer from those pregnancies, I would abandon my defense of the unborn?  You do realize — I hope you do — that I want very much to protect women from unwanted pregnancy and that, additionally, I believe it’s vitally important for partners, families and the society in general to do a better job of assisting women who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy.  Tell me that you and I are in agreement this far.

     

    My vision of a world with fewer abortions isn’t a world with more unwanted births.  It’s a world with fewer unwanted pregnancies.  Nature may be, as you point out, very sloppy about the process of reproduction but that’s no reason for us to be sloppy.  To me, a Culture of Life is a culture where a woman wouldn’t conceive a child, nor would a man father a child, unless they were both ready, willing and able to do a good job of raising that child.

     

    We human beings have the power to exert ourselves and to improve the chances that other human beings will survive.  When we do this, we do nothing to assist the “selfish gene”; but I wonder whether you agree with me that these exertions are what life is all about?  Nature doesn’t care about us when we’re ZBEFs — it also doesn’t care about us after we’re born.  Any care we receive must come from people.

     

    You obviously care about the well being of women and the well being of the poor.  I believe you can’t go wrong caring about the well being of others — particularly the powerless and vulnerable.

     

    I claim to want to eradicate injustice.  Your belief is that I — as a well educated, prosperous, middle aged, healthy, white, male, heterosexual Christian — am only interested in seeing to it that the injustices tilt my way.  I suspect — and I’m interested in hearing what you think about this — that if my motivations really were as you suspect, the prospect of my own mortality would be unbearable to me.  I doubt anyone will remember Paul Bradford a hundred years from now; but even if somebody does, what good would it do me?  Surely, you’ve made the same observations about your own life.

  • crowepps

     

     

    Altogether, 750 cases of spontaneous abortion between the fifth and 25th week of gestation were analyzed cytogenetically by the direct-preparation method using chorionic villi. The majority of cases (68%) were derived from early abortions before the 12th week of gestation. The frequency of abnormal karyotypes was 50.1%; trisomy was predominant (62.1%), followed by triploidy (12.4%), monosomy X (10.5%), tetraploidy (9.2%), and structural chromosome anomalies (4.7%). Among trisomies, chromosomes 16 (21.8%), 22 (17.9%), and 21 (10.0%) were prevalent.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1683793/pdf/ajhg00094-0061.pdf

     

    Chromosomal abnormalities are found in more than half of embryos miscarried in the first 13 weeks. A pregnancy with a genetic problem has a 95% probability of ending in miscarriage.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miscarriage

     

    If we could lower the rate from 10% to 9% it would represent 60,000 lives saved.

    So the current incidence of serious birth defects is less than 1% of births, and you want to double that?  I mean, considering that 30,000 of those lives saved will have chromosonal abnormalities that cause serious developmental error.  Aside from the major medical intervention that will be necessary to attempt to keep them alive at the beginning and the multiple operations required to repair some of the most serious damage, many of these babies are going to need pretty massive support from and supervision by society life-long, so how will we finance the necessary care?

     

    Or is the ‘prevent spontaneous abortions’ intervention also going to somehow miraculously ‘prevent abnormal karyotypes’ as well?

  • paul-bradford

    You have stated a number of times that it is flat-out wrong for anybody to disagree with you.

     

    I’m certainly going to be doing penance for my impatience for a good long time! Speak in haste, repent at leisure.  

     

    Obviously, it doesn’t matter whether or not a person agrees with Paul — but it does matter whether they agree with the Truth.  Should we respect the humanity of the unborn?  Obviously, one of us is flat-out wrong about that one!  Clearly, you believe that I’m the one who’s flat-out wrong — but don’t express yourself in a way that leaves you open to the kind of criticism I regularly bring upon myself.

     

    ‘I have no intention of hurting your feelings but I feel compelled to point out in my opinion your actions are evil’ is passive-aggression at its finest.

     

    You’re zeroing in on exactly the matter that has been absorbing my attention!  Help me find a less passive, less aggressive way to move the focus of attention away from the feelings that get stirred up when somebody questions our behavior and toward the matter of behaving in a humane way toward each other.  It does me no good whatsoever to make a woman feel crappy about the fact that she’s had an abortion.  I’m interested in partnering with others to protect folks who might otherwise die in a future abortion.  You well know that I was complicit in an abortion.  Were my actions (and inactions) evil?  Well, whatever they were, they resulted in an evil being done to my child.  Hell, I don’t want to hurt my OWN feelings!  My child didn’t die because her/his parents were evil, s/he died because we were deceived about the value of her/his life.

     

    I don’t like feeling bad about the things I did, and didn’t do in the past; but I really am glad to have an appreciation for unborn life.  If I’m going to appreciate someone’s life I’m going to be “compelled” to want to preserve it.

     

    Your assumption is that any life, no matter what the disadvantages or how horrible it actually is in process, has ‘value’ and that therefore the correct decision is always to make the choice to inflict that horror on a child.

     

    What do you have to say about the millions — billions, even — of children who are currently alive who are in “horrible” situations?  Do their lives have value?  Do you suppose that it would be a charity to “put them out of their misery”?  Honestly, crowepps, I want to know your stand on the world’s wretched.  My assumption, as you correctly point out, is that these are valuable lives.  We know what I believe.  What do you believe?

  • crowepps

    Honestly, crowepps, I want to know your stand on the world’s wretched.

    I think the world’s wretched would be a lot better off if even one-tenth of the money currently being funneled into the obsession over forcing women to remain pregnant was spent on actually taking care of children who are already alive and suffering instead.

    • paul-bradford

      I think the world’s wretched would be a lot better off if even one-tenth of the money currently being funneled into the obsession over forcing women to remain pregnant was spent on actually taking care of children who are already alive and suffering instead.

       

      crowepps,

       

      Some people, perhaps, equate defense of the unborn with an attempt to “force women to remain pregnant”.  I don’t see how an attempt to force women could be effective, and I don’t see that many fetuses would benefit from such an effort.  I’m interested in challenging what I consider to be a pernicious belief that the unborn aren’t fully persons.  If we lived in a world where we all understood and accepted that unborn people deserve a right to life as well as any of the rest of us do, we could then follow Dr. Tiller’s advice and ‘trust women’ to figure out for themselves how their children ought to be treated.

       

      But as to your point, I regularly chide myself for not spending enough time and effort helping others in trying to secure justice for the world’s poor.  Even without your prompting, I wonder whether my efforts on behalf of the unborn interfere with my obligations to “children who are already alive [sic] and suffering”.  I’m learning to do more for the suffering of born children but I have a long, long way to go.

       

      So, why the emphasis on the unborn?  Let me give you an example.  I recently sent $100 to support a water reclamation project in Africa.  I did it, naturally, because the people there — particularly the children — have a just claim to clean water.  My money, I’m sure, helped; but it certainly didn’t help “enough”.  But here’s what I notice.  Nobody has objected to my efforts on behalf of Africans.  If I were to spend some time thinking about and praying for the people who lack clean water and decided to work harder to promote justice for the poor and then decided to send another $100 you wouldn’t give me a hard time.  I might even stir up some guilt feelings in you and you might send some money!

       

      The biggest obstacle to justice for the poor is a lack of funds — but no one objects to efforts to bring more funds.  The biggest obstacle to justice for the unborn is people like you who are absolutely determined to hinder the work that folks do on behalf of our fellow human beings.

       

      You and I talk a lot about what people THINK and what people FEEL.  By and large, people think and feel that Africans deserve clean water.  There’s a disconnect in that most people don’t DO very much for the poor, but they at least will admit that it’s a shame that poor people suffer.  The way some people think and feel about the unborn you can’t even get them to admit that an abortion is a pretty bad piece of luck for a fetus.

  • saltyc

    Why is there no discussion among pro-lifers about preventing spontaneous abortion?

     

    I have no idea why.  I can assure you, from the bottom of my heart, that I believe that saving a person from a spontaneous abortion is as important as saving her/him from a procured abortion.

    Well don’t you think you should figure this one out, BEFORE trying to convince everyone that full moral status starts at conception? Because it looks like your movement doesn’t believe it, or they and you would do something about it, (especially when you were personally affect by it. Were you personally affected by abortion?) instead of being content with “I dunno.<shrugs>” And BTW, your mom probably had more than four spontaneous abortions. If it occurs in the early first trimester, when most abortions are performed, she might have just thought it was a heavy, late period.

  • julie-watkins

    Do you suppose that if I were more fully aware of the suffering that an unintended pregnancy can inflict, and more concerned about the women who suffer from those pregnancies, I would abandon my defense of the unborn?   

    I believe the way you sentimentalize “the unborn” prevents you from fully appreciating what you are asking of women and poor families.

    I believe it’s vitally important for partners, families and the society in general to do a better job of assisting women who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy.  Tell me that you and I are in agreement this far.

    I agree social services are lacking and government should spend more money helping the people and less helping corporate welfare cheats.

    It’s a world with fewer unwanted pregnancies.  Nature may be, as you point out, very sloppy about the process of reproduction but that’s no reason for us to be sloppy.  To me, a Culture of Life is a culture where a woman wouldn’t conceive a child, nor would a man father a child, unless they were both ready, willing and able to do a good job of raising that child.

    Looking at Nature shows how our system works and our guiding philosophies should take How Things Actually Work into account. When you say “no reason for us to be sloppyThat’s trying to force a square peg into a round hole (or it’s ok to try to claim “Red is Blue”). That’s misogyny. On the other hand saying [attempting to] give birth [give life] is a gift, not an obligation is, from my PoV, is a better match with the reality of Nature & is more like putting a round peg in a round hole. You get very very worked up about needing to protect “the very young” … and it’s something that’s very hard to do well because of the square peg/round hole situation. Then you’re asking this very hard thing of people who already  on the bottom society’s pyramid.

    .

    You keep writing as if I agreed ZBEF was a “person” (I don’t) that I would change my mind. I’m not in favor of giving ZBEFs a right (legal or moral) that no other person has. Speaking of charity, when I choose to donate, it’s my choice which charity and how much money or time.  The way you want potential parents to treat their potential obligations (I could quote you saying that society can’t handle disagreement about this situation) it feels more like a government’s approach to “the public good” rather than a charity’s request “choose to be one of the people who helps us”. In regards “for the public good”, I don’t have a choice about taxes. I have to pay my appropriate taxes, and no one is excused. (Unless your someone like GE who puts all the profits in other countries and all the losses here.)

    .

    You/other pro-Lifers are taking a goverment approach, why we keep making complaints about “Treating pregnant women & poor as public property”. Collectively, you’ve decided to use social pressure (and laws) to tax women & poor people more than men & people with more resources. *

     .

    No, I’m not convinced.

    We human beings have the power to exert ourselves and to improve the chances that other human beings will survive.

    Government (Society) should be concerned with the public good. However, when the strong force the weak to follow the agenda of the strong, that’s not justice.  You claim

    I claim to want to eradicate injustice.

     To the extent you (and Pro-Lifers in general) want to coerce (or force) that ZBEFs are “people” you are perpetuating millennia-old injustice against women and poor people.

    .

    *current laws & politicians already perpetuate this injustice for the benefit of Big Business and Big Religion. I’m sorry and dissapointed you’ve let yourself be tricked into furthering their agendas.

  • saltyc

    You really wondered if Crowepps thinks we should kill people because they’re poor Really?

    You could ONLY ask such a ridiculous question if:

    You keep thinking that everyone believes what you have failed to show that you actually believe: that ZBEF = person

    You keep thinking that everyone believes that people are entitled to use someone else’s body to stay alive.

    You keep thinking that everyone believes that continuing a pregnancy is expected as the sun rising, rather than a generous, elective gift.

    You don’t do anything to prevent sponaneous abortion.

    You don’t donate bone marrow or a kidney.

    You don’t shut up about what everyone else ought to do and think yet don’t feel required to step up to the plate.

     

    And all this (lol) in the name of justice.

  • crowepps

    You really wondered if Crowepps thinks we should kill people because they’re poor Really?

    No, he didn’t really think that, but it was a great way to change the subject and avoid actually thinking about what I was really saying.

  • paul-bradford

    In Paul’s sentimentalized world view, it’s OK to put social and legal pressure on women and poor people to “do the right thing” (which just happens to help preserve the political power of people who support that world view — that world view developed over millenia, by the people in power patronizing the philosophers and theologians who support their views and undermining philosophy & theology that threatened their power)


    Julie,

     

    We both know that it is religion that has been the great generator of “social and legal pressure” against the oppressed.  Do you suppose that it is my ‘sentimentalized’ world view that enables me to see that? 

     

    You don’t seriously think you’re going to get an argument out of me when you point out the fact that powerful people have long used religion to prop up what you call the patriarchy.  Nor are you going to get an argument out of me when you say that there are grievous injustices in that social order that benefit men in the establishment and enfeeble women and the poor.  If what appeals to you about the patriarchy is the injustice, you’re certainly going to oppose abortion — you’re going to oppose anything that promises to open up options for women other than motherhood.

     

    Of course, if you want to maintain the injustices of the patriarchy what you’ve got to oppose most strenuously is women’s education.  Education is the great liberator.  Education empowers.  Education fosters organization and cooperation.  Education is the enemy of the patriarchy.

     

    I hope you realize, though, that religion can be put to other purposes besides defending an unjust social order.  Religion can also enable people to transcend their cultural limitations.  It’s possible to practice religion in such a way that it brings about a personal transformation.  You can become the kind of person who finds lasting happiness in living a principled life, and in fulfilling your obligations to others.  If that’s what attracts you to religion you’ll also be opposed to abortion, because you’ll be in solidarity with all people — including the unborn.

     

    Count on it, Julie, I’m not interested in having you experience social and legal pressure to bring your pregnancies to term.  What I’m interested in is your experiencing the personal transformation that will cause you to acknowledge a debt of obligation to the unborn, and motivate you to want to defend them.

  • ahunt

    What I’m interested in is your experiencing the personal transformation that will cause you to acknowledge a debt of obligation to the unborn, and motivate you to want to defend them.

     

    By what mechanism, Paul? Just wondering. Julie wakes up one day with an epiphany? What?

  • crowepps

    I suppose a secular alternative might be a lobotomy.

     

    Or perhaps senility.

     

    And there’s sure nothing like sterilization and/or being too old to reproduce oneself to suddenly cause a blinding revelation of the “debt of obligation to the unborn” that OTHER people ought to feel.

     

    Frankly, this kind of turns my stomach. I’m sure sick and tired of men who are incapable of listening to women, men who hold tenatiously to their vision of ‘The Good Mother’, appointing themselves to a mission to transform the Godless femi-nazis/lesbians/clueless females by replacing their ‘bad female thoughts’ with more appropriate ‘good male approved thoughts’ that will convince them subservience is their rightful place.

  • paul-bradford

    considering that 30,000 of those lives saved will have chromosonal abnormalities that cause serious developmental error. Aside from the major medical intervention that will be necessary to attempt to keep them alive at the beginning and the multiple operations required to repair some of the most serious damage, many of these babies are going to need pretty massive support from and supervision by society life-long, so how will we finance the necessary care?

     

    crowepps,

     

    Which bothers you more?  The fact that 300,000 genetically normal fetuses are spontaneously aborted, or the fact that 30,000 genetically abnormal babies are born?  What are your feelings about the children who ARE born who require “major medical intervention”, “multiple operations”, “massive support” and “life-long supervision by society”?

     

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to let them all die?

  • paul-bradford

    It looks like your movement doesn’t believe it, or they and you would do something about it.

     

    Salty,

     

    My movement????  I have more objection to most of what the Pro-Life movement does than you do!  You point out the very inconsistencies that bother me about Pro-Lifers.

     

    I’ll bet you’re pretty good at logic.  Do you see the logic in this:

     

    Even if every man who hates, and fears, and wants to control women is anti-abortion, it doesn’t mean that every man who is anti-abortion hates, and fears, and wants to control women.

     

    Have you ever noticed that a lot of Pro-Lifers are insufferable creeps?  So have I!

  • paul-bradford

    Looking at Nature shows how our system works and our guiding philosophies should take How Things Actually Work into account. When you say “no reason for us to be sloppy” That’s trying to force a square peg into a round hole (or it’s ok to try to claim “Red is Blue”). That’s misogyny.

     

    Julie,

     

    Oh! Oh! Oh! We sooooooo disagree.  If by “our system” you mean the way we ought to live I would insist that we ought to live in a way that promotes rationality and justice.  You can look forever at Nature and you’ll find damned little rationality or justice.  Nature doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the sanctity of life.  That’s an entirely human idea — in fact, it’s the idea that MAKES us human.

  • crowepps

    Which bothers you more? The fact that 300,000 genetically normal fetuses are spontaneously aborted, or the fact that 30,000 genetically abnormal babies are born? What are your feelings about the children who ARE born who require “major medical intervention”, “multiple operations”, “massive support” and “life-long supervision by society”?

     

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to let them all die?

    Yes, obviously it would be cheaper just to let them all die, but people aren’t willing to do that, are they? Once children are born, people advocate that every effect be made to fix and alleviate and support. That’s precisely why I asked you just where you foresaw the necessary monies coming from, a question which your distraction into ‘shame on crowepps for thinking about money’ has helped you to avoid answering entirely.

     

    So I’ll ask it again. From which current program are you going to divert these funds? Exactly how are you going to finance caring for the results of your massive intervention into natural pregnancy wastage?

  • paul-bradford

    I’m sure sick and tired of men who are incapable of listening to women, men who hold tenatiously to their vision of ‘The Good Mother’, appointing themselves to a mission to transform the Godless femi-nazis/lesbians/clueless females by replacing their ‘bad female thoughts’ with more appropriate ‘good male approved thoughts’ that will convince them subservience is their rightful place.

     

    crowepps,

     

    You know.  When it gets like this, when it gets to the point when you’re putting stupid words into my mouth about ‘godless femi-nazis/lesbians/clueless females’ I find myself really, really, really wishing you and I listened to each other.

     

    You know how I know that I’m not doing a good job of listening to you?  You TELL me I’m not doing a good job of listening to you.  Here’s a news flash — you’re not doing a good job of listening to me.

     

    I do not believe that it is ‘rightful’ for women to be subservient to men.  I do, however, believe that it is rightful for all of us to be subservient to the truth.  I’ve gotten into deep trouble with you, and you’ve rightly complained, when I’ve come off sounding as if I were insisting that people agree with me.  I’ve thought a lot about our arguments on that point.  I want you to know that I was frustrated and confused.  Here’s what frustrates me:  I’m not sure how to cope with the fact that when I say “The unborn ought to be treated as persons” you don’t say, “You’re wrong, Paul, the unborn ought to be treated like tissue.  They’re only potentially persons.”

     

    If, when I say, “I’m right, you’re wrong” you said, “No.  I’m right, you’re wrong”, I’d feel as if we were two people who had the courage of our convictions.  But that’s not what happens.  You say, “Oh Paul, you don’t appreciate the fact that other people disagree with you.  Women disagree with you (you never admit, croweppps, that there are a great number of women who AGREE with me).  You need to listen better.”

     

    I do not think that the process of me being transformed by the truth is something different from the process of you being transformed by the truth.  They are simply two different aspects of the same phenomenon.

     

    I’m not concerned about “bad female thoughts”.  I want you to give me a reason to think that you want something more from your life than the freedom to pursue your own desires.

     

    You know, I think about our conversations a lot; and I respect you a hell of a lot more than you give me credit for.  If I didn’t respect you I wouldn’t bother to tell you that I think you’re wrong — and that you’d be happier if you changed your mind.

     

    I honestly believe I’m right about some things that you’re wrong about — but I don’t arrive at that belief by noting that I’m a male and you’re a female.  What interests me about you is the differences of our minds, not the differences of our genders.

  • crowepps

    I do not believe that it is ‘rightful’ for women to be subservient to men.  I do, however, believe that it is rightful for all of us to be subservient to the truth.

    Yes, yes, yes, Paul, ‘The Truth’ being that the reason for human existence is creating lots and lots and lots of babies and that women should be subservient to their UTERUS.

     

    The reason I cannot join you over there is that I am hopelessly mired in physicality, aware of and trying to discuss the consequences of the actual realities of biology and pregnancy, and you keep insisting that what I am and others who agree with me ought to do is ‘convert’ to the World of Wish, where a ‘spiritual transformation’ to ‘service thinking’ will somehow cure all the world’s ills and either magically prevent women from dying or imbue their ‘sacrifice’ with honor as they are martyrred to serve the cause of a nebulous and ill-defined ‘justice’ based so far as I can tell on avoiding thoughts of inevitable death.

     

    I’m sure you’re not going to be able to grok this, Paul, but when you make statements like “It’s possible to practice religion in such a way that it brings about a personal transformation” and “You can become the kind of person who finds lasting happiness in living a principled life, and in fulfilling your obligations to others” and “What I’m interested in is your experiencing the personal transformation”, the combination of all of that comes across as really patronizing and religiously elitist, and contains the explicit insult that anyone who does not ‘see the light’ and agree with you ipso facto does not have within their grasp “lasting happiness” and lacks principles.

     

    The effect is heightened by your self-identificatioln as Catholic, a Church which has a history over almost a couple thousand years as an oppressive tool of authoritarianism in the service of not just patriarchy but also the perpetuation of aristocratic privilege and a promoter hysterical xenophobic repression.

     

    You don’t seem to be able to see the cognitive dissonance even though you included it in your own post — “Education is the enemy of the patriarchy.”  Being educated in reality, I find the missionary/guru call to ‘change your thoughts and change your life’ a clarion call to live in fantasy, where the ‘ideal’ is the only thing that is important, and to voluntarily blind myself to reality by turning my back on the evidence of all the pain and suffering and misery that has historically been the fruits of your ‘ideal’.  The Church has been promoting exactly that ‘ideal’ for all these years and in actual reality what ‘service’ has turned out to be is ‘lay down while your ‘betters’ put their foot on your neck’.

     

    Education is indeed the enemy of the patriarchy, and that is precisely why I don’t agree with you.

     

    You might be less confused by my posts, by the way, if in your attempts to have both sides of the conversation in advance by deciding what my response posts are going to contain, you jettison your insistence on dichotomy.  I understand that you believe ‘the unborn are persons’ but what you don’t seem to grasp is that my response is not ever going to be the easily refuted ‘the unborn are tissue’ but instead ‘what does that mean in the real world where reproduction is messy and natural wastage is built into the process for good reason’.

     

    Again, we keep talking past each other because you insist on focusing on your ‘calling’ to change what people to THINK and FEEL, and I insist on stubborning talking about what actually WORKS in the real world of physical reality in which, by and large, the evidence known to me seems to indicate, biological reality is not affected one iota by changing what people THINK or FEEL.

  • colleen

    I don’t struggle like this because I wish you ill

    you ‘struggle’ like this because you’re too much of a coward to talk with the women in your ‘set’ about your beliefs about how they should live their lives and prioritize their beliefs. You know what that tells me Paul? It tells me that you understand that you and your regurgitated dogma are deeply disrespectful and insulting to any woman with a shred of self respect and dignity. It tells me that you understand quite well that the problem for most women is trying to limit and control our fertility because otherwise our lives would be hell. You understand this and your child raping clergy understand this.
    And I do not believe for a second that you or they wish any of us but ill.

    • paul-bradford

      [T]he problem for most women is trying to limit and control our fertility because otherwise our lives would be hell.

       

      You know, colleen, you’ve got to stop insisting that you and I don’t agree on anything because I couldn’t possibly agree with what you said any more than I do.  “Limiting and controlling fertility” is as vital a woman’s issue as there could possibly be.

       

      You know the issues that get me worked up because they’re the issues I keep bringing up — girl’s and women’s education, maternal mortality, domestic abuse, universal access to women’s health, support for poor and single mothers, enforcement of paternal support.  Does the fact that I make a big deal about those issues somehow make you doubt that I’m concerned about “limiting and controlling fertility”?  That’s one issue that’s of significant personal concern to me.  I have an eighteen year old daughter and I’m more than a little anxious that she not provide me with a grandchild now when it’s more important for her to be thinking about getting the kind of grades that will enable her to get into a good med school.  Obviously, I would still love my daughter if she found herself taking the motherhood route, and I would be 100% supportive of her — but, if I’m going to be honest, I have to tell you that I’ve got my heart set on her making a splash in the world and that’s going to be extra difficult for her if she’s got a little nipper to look after.

       

      What more reason do I need to be concerned about a woman’s need to limit and control her fertility?  Maybe, if I were scouting around for reasons, I might consider the fact that an overwhelming percentage of abortions result from an inability of a woman to exercise reproductive choice.  It stands to reason that anyone who cares about the well being of the unborn has got to want women to learn everything they can and to do everything possible to avoid unwanted pregnancy.  What’s more, I want partners to do everything they can do to be supportive in this area.  I also want families and the society itself to get on board with helping women “limit and control their fertility”.

       

      But, let’s set aside the abortion issue.  That’s an issue we disagree about.  Let me bring up an issue that doesn’t get mentioned nearly enough.  That’s the issue of unwanted BABIES.  There are, as you probably know, more than two million unwanted pregnancies in the US every year.  Not all of them end up in a procured abortion.  750,000 result in a live birth.  These 750,000 unwanted babies have lives that are decidedly different than the lives of the 3.5 million wanted babies.  They are poorer, less educated, more prone to health problems, to crime, to substance abuse.  They live shorter lives than their “wanted” counterparts, they produce less of value to the society and they disproportionately use social services.

       

      Even if I didn’t give a damn about women or a damn about the unborn I’d be interested in helping females “limit and control their reproduction”.

       

      I would be happy to discuss any of the things we disagree about — but I think you ought to settle your mind about whether we disagree about this issue.

  • julie-watkins

    You can look forever at Nature and you’ll find damned little rationality or justice.  Nature doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the sanctity of life.  That’s an entirely human idea — in fact, it’s the idea that MAKES us human.

    Contrary to how you responded I wasn’t talking about “rationality” or “justice”. Rather, I was talking about how our biology shapes what is reasonable vs. what is not the way our biology works. It is an injustice to ignore physical realities and true physiological costs when making broad philosophical statements about what “MAKES us human” and what is moral or not.

    .

    I’m talking about the physical cost of the burden, and you answer with senimentality and platitudes about “justice”, typical Paul.

  • julie-watkins

    Considering what it takes to do this:

    if you want to maintain the injustices of the patriarchy

    insisting on

    a debt of obligation to the unborn

    is sufficient condition to support the misogyny of the patriarchy. Even if you also “support” education and you “support women, you’re putting up social pressure so the burden on women and the poor will be higher than it needs to be.

    .

    Your worldview not only embraces Nature’s Sexism, it embraces contradition. I hope one day you have an epiphany and understand the contradictions we keep pointing out, unpack your baggage and stop being misogynist.

    • paul-bradford

      unpack your baggage and stop being misogynist.

       

      Julie,

       

      I’d like you to consider something.  Please consider it as a philosophical ‘thought problem’.

       

      Human beings have been around for 1-2 million years, and we’ve always had the kinds of brains that are needed to reflect upon our lives and to plan for the future.  It has ALWAYS been true that unwanted pregnancy has represented a threat to the happiness and well-being of women, and women have ALWAYS been able to think about the problem — either as an immediate concern or as an abstract consideration — and they have ALWAYS been able to share their thoughts in conversations with other women (or in conversations with men — for all the good that would do!).

       

      For most of human history, we have lacked reliable techniques for inducing abortion; and for most of human history, the most utilized ‘family planning’ technique has been infanticide (are you familiar with Steven Pinker’s Why They Kill Their Newborns?  I could post a copy if it would interest you.)  In those bygone days, before abortion was accessible, infanticide was both socially accepted and commonplace.

       

      Imagine, if you will, that you and I were living under the conditions of our ancestors.  Imagine, further, that I were promoting the idea that people should stop the practice of infanticide because it’s immoral.  Would you say that I was “embracing Nature’s sexism” when I did that?

       

      I don’t expect that you’ll find this question easy or obvious.

      • julie-watkins

        female bodies making biological “reproductive choices” in self-defense, and how this supports that female minds should make “reproductive choices” also. Infanticide is beside the point (and still takes place in other cultures) — current USA culture is sexist/classist. All the cultures I can think of that do or did practice infanticide are also sexist/classist.

        I’m not interested in changing the subject. The subject I’m discussing is: “I think Paul’s views about “the unborn” and moral obligations of “parents” are misogynistic and classist. See my other post.

  • paul-bradford

    I asked you just where you foresaw the necessary monies coming from, a question which your distraction into ‘shame on crowepps for thinking about money’ has helped you to avoid answering entirely.

     

    No. Not “shame on crowepps for thinking about money”. Shame on crowepps for letting a desire to save money be a reason to let people die.

     

    If we care for more people, there will be less to go around for the people we’re already caring for.  To put it another way — if we stopped caring for the neediest, there would be more to go around for the ones who aren’t so needy.  The more poor or disabled people we turn our backs on, the less taxes YOU have to pay!  Everyone understands that kind of thinking.  Theologians call that kind of thinking ‘temptation to evil’.  What do you call it?

     

    The better job we do of caring for the disabled, the less money you’re going to have to buy whatever it is you buy when you’re not helping the disabled.  That’s the tradeoff.  If this weren’t a pressing issue with people there’d be no such thing as Republicans.

  • paul-bradford

    I was talking about how our biology shapes what is reasonable vs. what is not the way our biology works.

     

    Julie,

     

    I very much want to get past the ‘sentimental platitudes’ you find so annoying.  Please talk more about “how our biology shapes what is reasonable”.  It seemed to me that your logic is that since lots of people “naturally” die, it’s “reasonable” that lots of people should die.

     

    Do you understand why I’ve pointed out (on numerous occasions) the fact that one hundred years ago 11% of all babies died in their first year and now that rate is about 0.5%?  If someone, in 1910, were to argue that an 11% mortality rate were “reasonable” because it’s “natural” what do you suppose they would make of all the “unreasonable” efforts we’ve made over the past 100 years to create an “unnatural” survival rate?

     

    People didn’t decide they wanted more infants to survive because there’s something “natural” about infants surviving.  We humans imposed our very human will on the natural order — and we did it for reasons that had nothing to do with science, or biology, or natural selection.  We did it because it’s HUMAN to prefer life to death.  The “natural” world seems to be entirely comfortable with death.

     

  • colleen

     

    Shame on crowepps for letting a desire to save money be a reason to let people die.

     

    What is the matter with you? She didn’t say anything close to that.

    You’re just making crap up to avoid her question.

     

    Theologians call that kind of thinking ‘temptation to evil’.  What do you call it?

     

    Thinking like a ‘pro-life’ conservative. Rather than presume to lecture Croweeps and further engage in the sort of deliberate attempts at character assassination that have become your hallmark on this blog why not go talk with some of your own?

  • paul-bradford

    [B]iological reality is not affected one iota by changing what people THINK or FEEL.

     

    crowepps,

     

    Once again, let me commend you for your cooperation in moving our conversation past the cathexis of ‘personhood for the unborn’ and toward the underlying issues.

     

    The “biological reality” I would like to consider is the reality of either being alive or dead.  I would argue that this particular reality is profoundly affected by what people think and feel.  I contend that the biggest reason any one of us has for being alive is that other people THINK and FEEL that they ought to do what needs doing to sustain our lives.

     

    Let’s examine a concrete example.  Take a look at this document from the World Health Organization. Do you think that it is “biological reality” that compels a team of experts in New York to develop procedures for insuring care to mothers and newborns in Myanmar?  I don’t.  I think the cause of it is that there are a whole lot of people in this world who THINK and FEEL that they ought to look out for vulnerable and powerless people halfway around the globe.

     

    WHO believes, and I believe, and I’ll bet even YOU believe that the efforts of the strong to help the weak result in a change of “biological reality” as it pertains to life-or-death among Third World mothers and their newborns.  At the root of it is what people THINK and FEEL.  There are all kinds of ways to stir up humanitarian sentiment and the practice of religion is only one of those ways.  

     

    You say, “the combination of [all your World of Wish thinking] comes across as really patronizing and religiously elitist, and contains the explicit insult that anyone who does not ‘see the light’ and agree with you ipso facto does not have within their grasp “lasting happiness” and lacks principles.”  Let me respond.

     

    I believe that what crowepps THINKS and FEELS has a direct effect on whether or not other people live or die.  What’s more, I have a decided preference for people living over people dying.  I also have a decided preference for people to be well over people being sick.  I’m not sure we can even come to agreement on this much.  Believe me when I tell you that I’m constantly looking for ways to come across less patronizing and less elitist.  I do this, not because I want you to have a higher opinion of Paul Bradford, but because I want to do a better job of getting you to THINK and FEEL that you have much, much more than “one iota” of power to change certain undesirable “biological realities”.  You’re insulted because I suggest that you’re not as powerful as you might be.  The pain of insult prevents you from hoping.

     

    You think I’m incapable of grokking the fact that you’re “hopelessly mired in physicality, aware of and trying to discuss the consequences of the actual realities of biology and pregnancy“.  Truly, I ‘grok’ you being hopelessly mired in cynicism.

     

    I don’t even know how to respond to, “[The Truth according to Paul is] that the reason for human existence is creating lots and lots and lots of babies and that women should be subservient to their UTERUS.”  You’re not willing to believe that women can have control over their own reproductivity without the ‘liberation’ of an option to abort.  Why should the path to women’s power and freedom run over the dead bodies of their children?


    Being educated in reality, I find the missionary/guru call to ‘change your thoughts and change your life’ a clarion call to live in fantasy, where the ‘ideal’ is the only thing that is important, and to voluntarily blind myself to reality by turning my back on the evidence of all the pain and suffering and misery that has historically been the fruits of your ‘ideal’.


    Please tell me that you haven’t entirely dispensed with the hope you can change your life by changing your thoughts simply because SOME PEOPLE who said SOMETHING LIKE THAT turned out to be deceived by a fantasy and ended up causing “pain and suffering and misery”.  You’re far more than smart enough to see the flaw in that line of logic.

     

    We can discuss my ‘insistence on dichotomy’ some other time.

  • ahunt

    You’re not willing to believe that women can have control over their own reproductivity without the ‘liberation’ of an option to abort.

     

    Got a six+ footer that says “stuff happens,” Paul…despite consciencious efforts to the contrary.

    • paul-bradford

      ahunt,

       

      In 2010, the control women have over their own reproductivity is imperfect — but the factors that enable a woman to take control have changed over the years.  I’m hoping that the future will be a future where women have more control than they have now.

       

      But what about the imperfections?  As you say, “stuff happens”.  To me, an unwanted pregnancy is like a traffic accident.  We work to prevent accidents but we also take care to support those who suffer in accidents.

       

      Let’s pretend that we’re in a ‘Twilight Zone’ episode.  Suppose someone is made a quadriplegic by a traffic accident, but he is told that he can be restored to perfect health as long as he agrees that somebody who nobody knows has to die.  Somebody nobody knows!  What an offer!  Especially when the quadriplegic is suffering so badly.  Why go through the hassle of being in a hellish spot when you can get out of it?

       

      I don’t know how you’ll resolve the Twilight Zone dilemma but I’m sure everyone agrees that we’ve got to do more to prevent traffic accidents.

  • crowepps

    “CHICAGO: The governor of Oklahoma is considering tough new abortion bills that would allow doctors to withhold test results showing foetal defects and require women to answer intrusive questions.

    The results of the questionnaires would be posted online.

    Women would also be required to have a vaginal ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the embryo or foetus in a third bill passed by the legislature on Monday.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/antiabortion-bill-to-block-foetal-test-results-20100421-szqu.html

    I understand what these men think and feel – the only purpose women exist for is having babies and if they don’t want to, then it’s acceptable to use physical and mental torture to attempt to change their minds. 

    • paul-bradford

      I understand what these men think and feel – the only purpose women exist for is having babies and if they don’t want to, then it’s acceptable to use physical and mental torture to attempt to change their minds.

       

      crowepps,

       

      Let me ask you this.  Do you suppose that my engaging women in a discussion about the value of unborn life is the same thing as using “physical and mental torture to attempt them to change their minds”?  Denying people access to accurate medical information or forcing them to reveal private details about their lives are not strategies I’d approve for protecting unborn life.

       

      Twice now you’ve taken the opportunity to muse — on a thread where we are having a discussion — that “some men” feel that the only purpose women have to exist is to have babies.  Is this just some sort of odd coincidence or do you account me among that group of men?  If you do, you’re a VERY poor listener!

    • wendy-banks

      Yeesh! That’s just appaling! Why don’t they just slap us in leg irons? Sick…

  • ahunt

    Ya think?  Humiliate, degrade, shame, violate, etc.

     

    Assholes!

  • prochoiceferret

    I understand what these men think and feel – the only purpose women exist for is having babies and if they don’t want to, then it’s acceptable to use physical and mental torture to attempt to change their minds.

    But but but… I thought they wanted women to have all the available information (even if it’s false) so that they can informedly consent to abortion!

  • ahunt

    But but but… I thought they wanted women to have all the available information (even if it’s false) so that they can informedly consent to abortion!


     

     

    Nice catch. PCF.

     

    There is so much evil here…women would no longer be able to trust their own doctor. Good God, my head is exploding.

  • crowepps

    After all, if he doesn’t ‘approve of’ your compliance with ‘bed rest’ he may decided to run off to court and get an order allowing him to strap you to a bed, and if he doesn’t ‘approve of’ the fact that you won’t quit smoking he may have you arrested for ‘endangering the fetus’, and if he doesn’t ‘approve of’ the way labor is going, he may decide to run off to court and get an order overriding your objections that allows him to cut you open.

     

    Frankly, the more reports hit the news about doctors who insist their ‘ProLife conscience’ and ‘respect for the unborn’ entitles them to think of themselves the doctor for the fetus alone, and to override women’s medical decisions and treat women’s bodies as though there was no actual mind present, the less likely it is that any woman will ‘trust her doctor’.

     

    It would be my bet that underlies a great deal of the increased demand for midwives and home births.

    • wendy-banks

      That’s really, really scary *shudders*. Boy, am I glad I’m fixed!

  • ahunt

    Good point.

     

    Been with mine for so long that I just cannot imagine him as my enemy.

     

    Good Lord.

  • crowepps

    Glen Beck has ALSO had The Plan revealed to him.  And he wants everybody to follow HIS plan, because he really FEELS it is right.

    As for the content, it’s always simultaneously vague and grandiose. He describes a lot of his crazy theories, which we often see illustrated as fact on his chalk board, as things that he’s “felt but didn’t understand.” Or as Stephen Colbert once said, “Anyone can read the news to you. I promise to feel the news at you.”

    “It’s darkness and I can just feel it coming,” he says. What’s coming? We don’t know. He didn’t say, other than it has to do with a plan and some form of “darkness.” But we ought to look for the answer. To what question? Is “darkness” a question? And where do we look? We ask God, of course.

    Naturally, this intentionally blurry Beck-inspired Question Time with God will yield all varieties of answers from all varieties of people based on their wide varieties of life experiences, values and biases. Never mind all of that, though, because whatever God says to you personally (okeedokee) is irrelevant because the plan, Beck says, is “hard for people to understand.” But don’t worry about trying to suss it out. Glenn Beck has the answer. God has delivered unto him The Plan:

    The problem is that God is giving The Plan, I think, to me [...] I think the plan that the Lord would have us follow is hard for people to understand. But I’m telling you, here’s what I feel with everything in me.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-cesca/glenn-beck-the-televangel_b_546417.html

    Why should I give preference to what Paul feels when I can instead choose to pay attention to what Glen Beck feels.  After all, Glen Beck has a BOOK!

    • paul-bradford

      Glen Beck has ALSO had The Plan revealed to him. And he wants everybody to follow HIS plan, because he really FEELS it is right.

       

      crowepps,

       

      I am once again reminded of the fact that you are more attuned to our culture than I am.  I had no idea who Glen Beck was until I just read his Wiki entry.  You certainly would get my attention by claiming that I think as he does!

       

      Let me learn from you.  I will ask you a ‘big’ question.  You needn’t give me a definitive answer.  What I’m looking for, from you, is your insight as to how to APPROACH the question.  It’s the kind of question that — for better or worse — calls me to investigate my own ‘feelings’.  I presume you have a more reliable, more rational way, to answer the question.  I’d be very interested in hearing what it is.

       

      Here’s the question: “Shall I organize my life around the goal of attempting to satisfy my own personal desires, or shall I organize my life around a more universal goal, such as cooperating with others to build a world of justice and peace?”  I dare say that you’re right when you suggest that my decisions on questions such as that one are informed by by feelings.

       

      Here’s another question: “Paul claims that the purpose of human life is to experience and share joy.  Is he right?”  I’m at a loss to imagine how you can assess the role of joy in your life without referring to your feelings. 

  • crowepps

    Personally, I think the AMA needs to step up and clear things up by changing the terminology.  Perhaps divide ‘doctors who provide prenatal care’ into two sets – one group that sees their role as providing medical care to pregnant women and another group that sees their role as providing medical care to maximize the best outcome for fetuses in spite of the selfishness and stubborn stupidity of the idiot female who happens to be surrounding it.

  • julie-watkins

    It seemed to me that your logic is that since lots of people “naturally” die, it’s “reasonable” that lots of people should die.

     

    ZBEFs, in my opinion, aren’t “people”, since there isn’t room in 1 person’s body for 2 people’s rights, so the above is not my logic, and you are summarizing me incorrectly.
    .
    If you were honestly listening, the statement would be:

     

    It seems to me that your logic depends on “ZBEFs not being people”, but I believe people are people from conception, and what that means to me is you want me to believe that since lots of people “naturally” die, it’s “reasonable” that lots of people should die.

     

    Then we could be discussing our core disagreement on if ZBEFs are people rather than your calumny that “Julie’s logic is that it’s OK for people to die if it mimics Nature”. If you want to discuss my logic, please do a better job of summarizing, and I’ll be less testy.
    .
    To get back to the point I was actually making: I was discussing the burden on the pregnant woman’s body [see the repost of Liz's list], not that many ZBEFs die in Nature’s Sloppiness. The death of ZBEFs isn’t the main problem, the failed pregnancies are but an outcome of the real main problem: what it takes to build a child out of a woman’s flesh, bone and blood. Evolution has evolved human biology so there are natural mechanisms that cause miscarriage to protect the body and the woman’s future fertility. Because of the huge burden on the woman’s body (acknowledged by Nature’s Sloppiness) it is my belief that bringing a pregnancy to term should be optional (a gift) not an obligation (tax).

     

    Do you understand why I’ve pointed out (on numerous occasions) the fact that one hundred years ago 11% of all babies died in their first year and now that rate is about 0.5%?  If someone, in 1910, were to argue that an 11% mortality rate were “reasonable” because it’s “natural” what do you suppose they would make of all the “unreasonable” efforts we’ve made over the past 100 years to create an “unnatural” survival rate?

    People didn’t decide they wanted more infants to survive because there’s something “natural” about infants surviving.  We humans imposed our very human will on the natural order — and we did it for reasons that had nothing to do with science, or biology, or natural selection.  We did it because it’s HUMAN to prefer life to death. The “natural” world seems to be entirely comfortable with death.

     

    I don’t have statistics ready to quote, but I believe part of the reason child mortality could have decreased would be that women were treated less like property and having more control about when to have sex/possibly become pregnant, so there were also possibly less infants being born into high risk situations.
    .
    A lot of my cataloging work at my library is agribusiness technical reports, because we’ve got a large business agriculture department. Your quote makes me think of some of those tech reports. I’m probably misremembering the details but there was the study about how a sheep farm could produce more healthy lambs if the female sheep were corralled and artificially inseminated all on the same day and then corralled again when it was close to birthing time: more control meant a higher percentage of pregnancies producing healthy lambs. Then there was the report about how it’s expensive to dry fodder-seed, especially since the grain must be hydrated again to feed to the cows. The study was about what % moisture to leave in before bagging, and how long to let it start to rot before giving it to the cows. The cost of drying is much less & the fermenting process adds nutritional value in some respects.
    .
    This is a digression, but I’ll go even farther: the only reason why the factory farm system works (where the animals are treated inhumanely) is because feed grain prices are kept artificially low by price supports (and small farmers get tricked into arrangements that don’t pay off as promised, but they can’t back out because they’re in debt for the equipment). Without price support grass grazing is better for the animals and less pollution. This is a roundabout way of saying I think society as a whole would be better off if the rubrics were “higher quality of life for everyone” not “how to best harvest the labor & resources of the bottom of the pyramid for the most profit to the oligarchy”.
    .
    Back to your statistics. Paul, I have read that many times and it took me a long while to realize they squicked me because I was hearing agribusiness jargon. I know you are really, really concerned about “the very young” but there isn’t a way to make that kind of increase without doing a lot of agribusiness-type social engineering and social action (coercion or legislation) to change how women and poor people act. In many ways modern technology has increased the quality of life for a lot of people (though making some areas that used to be self-sufficient into extreme poverty), but to target ZBEFs for concern, you’ll be needing to “engineer” live hosts. Insisting there are non-sexist was to “be extra careful not to get pregnant” isn’t going to cover it, … because Stuff Always Happens, and obligate pregnancy will burden women and poor families more which is sex & class discrimination.
    .
    Really, abortion can be reduced if women & poor families get paid more equitably and have better government support, and they are many wanted pregnancies & pregnancies that would be wanted if finance/medical was better. You don’t have to be on this obsession to convince people they’re obligate parents when they don’t want to be, sheesh.

    • paul-bradford

      There was the study about how a sheep farm could produce more healthy lambs if the female sheep were corralled and artificially inseminated all on the same day and then corralled again when it was close to birthing time: more control meant a higher percentage of pregnancies producing healthy lambs.

       

      Julie,

       

      Gee, Julie, doesn’t this kind of arrangement strike you as being — I don’t know — anti-life?  Improved survival rates for infants and the unborn is something I support; but don’t accuse me of supporting any measure — no matter how draconian or inhumane — that some scientist comes up with to lower mortality and morbidity rates.  This is precisely what ahunt tried to do to me when I announced my belief that increased medical research would increase our capacity to improve blastocyst survival rates.  ahunt ridiculed me by suggesting that we’d have to tie every fertile woman to her bed to prevent any sharp movement that might harm a conceptus (or potential conceptus).

       

      We did improve infant mortality rates over the past century and we didn’t have to confine, restrain or otherwise corral women in order to do it.  We can reduce incidents of miscarriage as well.  If I’m going to be concerned about fetuses who die in a procured abortion why shouldn’t I be concerned about fetuses who die in a spontaneous abortion?  Dead is dead, right?  When you’re dead there’s no comfort in knowing that no-one intended for you to die.

  • crowepps

    Please talk more about “how our biology shapes what is reasonable”.

    For a comprehensive and easily readable explanation of biology and “parental investment”, I highly recommend “Mother Nature” by Hrdy

    It seemed to me that your logic is that since lots of people “naturally” die, it’s “reasonable” that lots of people should die.

    I almost hate to be a pedant and point this out, Paul, but it isn’t “lots of people” that “naturally die”. EVERYBODY naturally dies. The idea that death is “unreasonable” is entirely a construct of human awareness of and fear of their own mortality.

    • paul-bradford

      I almost hate to be a pedant and point this out, Paul, but it isn’t “lots of people” that “naturally die”. EVERYBODY naturally dies. The idea that death is “unreasonable” is entirely a construct of human awareness of and fear of their own mortality.

       

      crowepps,

       

      You’re not being a pedant, you’re focussing the discussion on what’s important.  Your comment leads me to the idea that you think a fear of our own mortality is some kind of flaw in the human temperament.  I would propose that human life, minus its terror of death, wouldn’t be nearly as compelling an enterprise as it actually is.  Railing against the inevitable is what makes us interesting.

       

      Honestly, crowepps, are you suggesting that you don’t have a share in the human construct that death is somehow “unreasonable” and “wrong”?

  • princess-rot

    The governor of Oklahoma is considering tough new abortion bills that would allow doctors to withhold test results showing foetal defects [...] Women would also be required to have a vaginal ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the embryo or foetus.

    So we have to listen to detailed descriptions of how precious the wee babby is, but we aren’t allowed to know if it’s got an ass where it’s brain should be? Awesome.

  • julie-watkins

    This is precisely what ahunt tried to do to me when I announced my belief that increased medical research would increase our capacity to improve blastocyst survival rates.  ahunt ridiculed me by suggesting that we’d have to tie every fertile woman to her bed to prevent any sharp movement that might harm a conceptus (or potential conceptus).

     

    We did improve infant mortality rates over the past century and we didn’t have to confine, restrain or otherwise corral women in order to do it.

     

    Using social means (morals and laws) to define ZBEFs as “people” is a means of “confine, restrain or otherwise corral”, and sufficient means to cause extensive discrimination. When [attempting] to complete a pregnance is an obligation (tax) not optional (a gift) that’s misogyny, and classism.

  • crowepps

    Honestly, crowepps, are you suggesting that you don’t have a share in the human construct that death is somehow “unreasonable” and “wrong”?

    If you’re asking if I’m come to terms with my own mortality, yes, I have. I see no point whatsover in wasting my or others time railing against the inevitable.

     

    Certainly I think it’s sad when people die early, especially it’s from idiotic causes like war, starvation, accident caused by risk-taking and pregnancy complications, but it doesn’t freak me all out, because that has always been the human condition and I’m aware that change is always incremental.

  • crowepps

    We did improve infant mortality rates over the past century and we didn’t have to confine, restrain or otherwise corral women in order to do it.

    ‘All’ we had to do was invent antibiotics and vaccination programs and scientifically based comprehensive medical care.  Mere bagatelles.

     

    Did you know that up until WW I, the leading cause of all deaths was septicemia?  Blood poisoning consequent to infection?

  • colleen

    Even if I didn’t give a damn about women or a damn about the unborn I’d be interested in helping females “limit and control their reproduction”.

    So when you babble on about research designed to “increase the blastocyst survival rate” what you’re really about is ‘helping’ females control and limit their reproduction?

    Or are those two different things

  • paul-bradford

    So when you babble on about research designed to “increase the blastocyst survival rate” what you’re really about is ‘helping’ females control and limit their reproduction?

     

    Or are those two different things?

     

    colleen,

     

    You’ve probably heard me say, on numerous occasions, that every zygote should be a wanted zygote.  I’ve also said that if you can’t be a mother (or father) you shouldn’t become a mother (or father.)

     

    My idea is that people who don’t want children shouldn’t produce zygotes, and that people who produce zygotes should want those zygotes to develop and thrive.  Are they “two different things”?  I suppose so; but I don’t see that it’s inconsistent to believe both of them.

  • crowepps

    Here’s the question: “Shall I organize my life around the goal of attempting to satisfy my own personal desires, or shall I organize my life around a more universal goal, such as cooperating with others to build a world of justice and peace?”  I dare say that you’re right when you suggest that my decisions on questions such as that one are informed by by feelings.

    Personally, I also feel best organizing my life around a more universal goal, such as cooperating with others to build a world of justice and peace.  Just so that you can see that many other spiritual people join you and I in doing exactly that, I recommend to you a little browsing at The Quaker Agitator:

    http://quakeragitator.wordpress.com/

    I found his post for April 4th particularly moving.

     

    Now what I would NOT recommend, what I would strongly suggest that you NOT break your heart and continue to beat your head against the wall by doing, what will destroy your joy and rouse all of your worst emotional reactions, is organizing your life around attempting to convince other people that your ideas of justice and peace are superior to their own, especially using the technique of informing them that your spiritual beliefs are purer, your religion is The Truth and they should convert to it, your concepts of justice more encompassing, and they should commit to your theories of ‘a better life for all’.

     

    The problem I see, and this is the reason why I annoy you by repeatedly recommending history and biology books to you, is that you are not widely read enough at this point to be aware of what happened in the past when ideas very like yours were already tried as society attempted to ‘solve’ the problems of male promiscuity, unwanted pregnancies and excess children.

     

    I really, really think that abortion is a much better solution than infanticide or child abandonment or withholding breastfeeding to kill the infant.

    Let me be absolutely clear – I didn’t say that I thought abortion was a GOOD idea, but in my opinion, early abortion in particular creates infintesimal  pain and suffering compared to drowning the neonate in a pail of milk or burying it alive or leaving it by the side of the road or dropping it off at a foundling home with a 90% mortality rate before age 1 or giving it water instead of breast milk and watching it slowly starve.

     

    People in the world right NOW who do not have access to abortion STILL use all those techniques to discard excess children in whom the family does not want to invest.

    Here’s another question: “Paul claims that the purpose of human life is to experience and share joy.  Is he right?”  I’m at a loss to imagine how you can assess the role of joy in your life without referring to your feelings. 

    You might try being ruthlessly honest with yourself about whether your focus in chosing activities is actually ‘experiencing and sharing joy’ or perhaps some other emotion.  Do you spend adequate time experiencing and sharing joy?  If you don’t, why do you continue activities where the emotional payoff you are receiving is some other emotion instead of joy?

     

    As a for instance, I certainly have not gotten the impression from your posts that the responses we write to them brings you ‘joy’, but rather rage and frustration, so if the purpose of life is to experience and share joy, just how does your participation here advance your life goal?

     

    How do your suggestions about minimizing abortions advance the goal of ‘joy’ in the life of others?

     

    How would your recent suggestion that research attempt to ‘save’ genetically disordered zygotes from spontaneously aborting so that women could substantially increase the number of children who are grossly deformed advance the goal of ‘joy’ in the lives of those women or infants?

  • paul-bradford

    Julie,

     

    When you and your partner have coitus it’s an act of generosity to the child you (might) conceive.  Your actions, both of yours together, enable another person to have life.  That’s the gift.  Your mother and your father gave you the gift of life.  I certainly agree that the giving of gifts — particularly such a large and ‘expensive’ gift as life — ought to be optional.  No one ought to be forced to give that gift.

     

    What I’m concerned about is the issue of a couple giving the gift of life to their child and then they (or just the mother) decide the gift is too expensive so they take it back.  Do you consider it a ‘tax’ to be told that if you give a gift freely you can’t take it back?

     

    I don’t believe a mother has the right to take the gift of life back from her child once she’s given it; but a concern over the ‘rightness’ of a mother’s conduct isn’t what keeps me interested in this issue.  The fact of the matter is that even though two people had the power to give you life, it takes much, much more than that for you to sustain your life.  To a greater or lesser extent millions of people have contributed to the sustenance of your life.

     

    The unborn aren’t the only people who are vulnerable.  We’re ALL vulnerable.  Not one of us is ‘viable’.  This foundational reality of human life leads me to conclude that I have an obligation to help sustain the lives of others.  EVERYONE has a moral claim to my support, and I have a moral claim to everyone else’s support.

     

    There are all kinds of dangers facing all kinds of people and we’re dependent upon OTHER people to protect us from these dangers.  The unborn are in a unique situation in that their danger is that people believe that they’re not even people.  The natural obligation of one to help the other is severed in the case of the unborn.

     

    That’s what I’m on about.

    • julie-watkins

      Paul:
      There are all kinds of dangers facing all kinds of people and we’re dependent upon OTHER people to protect us from these dangers.  The unborn are in a unique situation in that their danger is that people believe that they’re not even people.  The natural obligation of one to help the other is severed in the case of the unborn. That’s what I’m on about.

      and some other quotes:

      Paul:
      colleen once suggested that I consider myself the “priest” for RHReality Check.  There’s some merit in that observation.  I certainly do feel a calling or a mission to do what I do.  I’m completely convinced that everyone would benefit if abortion rights advocates and the advocates of the unborn were able to view each other with greater respect and appreciation.  I consider that “holy” work.  The fact that it’s as hard as it is to have productive interchanges is a great impediment to my joy — so abandoning the project doesn’t seem to be the right thing to do.  The risks of “negative feelings” aren’t nearly as important to me as the hope that we might learn to better relate.

      .

      Paul:
      We did improve infant mortality rates over the past century and we didn’t have to confine, restrain or otherwise corral women in order to do it.

       

      Julie’s reply, correcting Paul’s mistatement:
      Using social means (morals and laws) to define ZBEFs as “people” *is* a means of “confine, restrain or otherwise corral”, and sufficient means to cause extensive discrimination. When [attempting] to complete a pregnancy is an obligation (tax) not optional (a gift) that’s misogyny, and classism.

      .

      Paul:
      Women are responsible for their own bodies.  But each one of us is responsible for respecting or disrespecting other people’s rights.  Not many people besides me on this ‘site call out posters who refer to fetuses as “potential people” or “a mass of cells” or other things just as bad and worse.  Don’t you see how discriminatory that is?  Can’t you understand the link between language and behavior?  A woman is going to decide for herself whether to bring a pregnancy to term, but is she going to make that decision with the understanding that somebody else’s bodily autonomy is at stake?  What you say influences what other people do.

      Paul:
      The injustice of abortion is the immorality of a young person’s right to receive care being disrespected.  Care for the unborn places a burden — a sometimes terrific burden — on an individual who always happens to be a woman and can never be a man.  A person doesn’t lose her/his rights simply because the burden of upholding those rights is difficult.  Morality is more than simply doing “good” things and avoiding “bad” things.  Morality is about respecting people’s rights and doing what’s necessary to uphold those rights. [emphasis added]

       

      .
      All this adds up to: It’s ok to disproportionatly tax women and poor families because “A person doesn’t lose her/his rights simply because the burden of upholding those rights is difficult.” — and you insist ZBEFs are “people”, and you insist it’s immoral to ask for unfair rules to be changed because we have to do what’s “right”, and because Paul is sure there’s a way to encourage a social norm of “be very careful not to become parents if you don’t want to be” that won’t be sexist/classist. I don’t see how … and it certainly isn’t the case now.

       

      Paul also said:
       The biggest obstacle to justice for the unborn is people like you who are absolutely determined to hinder the work that folks do on behalf of our fellow human beings. 

      .
      Julie has said:

      [Attempting to] give birth (give life) is a *gift* not an obligaion, or women and poor families are unjustly being declared 2nd class.

      .

      Or, the biggest obstacle to justice for women and poor is people like you who are absolutely determined to enforce sex and class roles and (perhaps unconciously) making it easier for the oligarchy to perpetuate the unjust status quo. (On the other hand, when we keep giving you examples you keep replying those aren’t proof, … it’s looking more and more willful)

      .

      I’ve said before about tained misogynist theology & philosophy:

      Julie said:
      In Pauls sentimentalized world view, it’s OK to put social and legal pressure on women and poor people to “do the right thing” (which just happens to help preserve the political power of people who support that world view)(that world view developed over millenia, by the people in power patronizing the philosopher’s and theologians who supports their views and undermining philosophy & theology that threatened their power)

       

      If anyone wants to “maintain the injustices of the patriarchy” insisting, as Paul puts it, on “a debt of obligation to the unborn” is sufficient condition to support the misogyny of the patriarchy. Even if Paul also “supports” education and “supports women”, he’s still putting up social pressure so the burden on women and the poor will be higher than it needs to be.

      .

      Paul, you can say,

      Morality is about respecting people’s rights

      but that doesn’t negate the misogyny of your sexist/classist motivations, quoted above. when you say,

      for Choice

       

      you’re just pretending you’re an ally. I don’t believe it.

       

      PS: i tried to fix the formating & it just got worse…

  • crowepps

    Nobody has objected to my efforts on behalf of Africans.

    I’m not aware that there is any evidence whatsoever that the Africans don’t WANT the help.  Instead, I believe that they actually REQUEST it.  Which of course is the different between ‘helping’ and ‘interferring’.  If your efforts consisted of, perhaps, trying to persuade them to do something they do NOT want, I believe objections might be forthcoming shortly.

    The way some people think and feel about the unborn you can’t even get them to admit that an abortion is a pretty bad piece of luck for a fetus.

    Well, I hope you’re not including me in “some people” because I agree that being aborted is bad luck, whether the abortion is spontaneous or elective.

     

    So is being born in poverty, or being the 13th child, or being a girl in India, or having a ‘shoot and run’ father who makes a lot of trouble for mother about ‘having a say in my son’s life’ but doesn’t offer support, or being in any other disadvantaged situation where parental investment is minimal.

     

    The focus on ‘getting born’ seems kind of pointless without a far greater committment on ‘being able to grow up’.

  • paul-bradford

    Certainly I think it’s sad when people die early, especially it’s from idiotic causes like war, starvation, accident caused by risk-taking and pregnancy complications, but it doesn’t freak me all out, because that has always been the human condition and I’m aware that change is always incremental.

     

    crowepps,

     

    Look how we agree!  We both think it’s “sad” that people die from war, starvation, risky accidents and pregnancy complications.  But do either of us have anything more than the FEELING of sadness to inform us?  How do I know that the right thing for me to do is to support the “incremental” change toward peace, and prosperity, and public safety, and adequate health care?  Some people die early.  How is that either good or bad?  How do I know?  Have I got anything to go on besides that “feeling” of sadness that comes up in me when I reflect upon their early deaths?

  • crowepps

    Imagine, further, that I were promoting the idea that people should stop the practice of infanticide because it’s immoral.

    I’m sure all those people would be perfectly happy to drop those infants off at your house and let you take care of them. Go for it!

  • crowepps

    But do either of us have anything more than the FEELING of sadness to inform us?  

    No.

    How do I know that the right thing for me to do is to support the “incremental” change toward peace, and prosperity, and public safety, and adequate health care?

    You don’t know.

    Some people die early.  How is that either good or bad?

    That is the human condition, we’re stuck with it.  Whether it is good or bad depends on our emotional reaction to people.

    How do I know?

    You can’t ‘know’.

    Have I got anything to go on besides that “feeling” of sadness that comes up in me when I reflect upon their early deaths?

    No.  People are sensitive to stories that fit archtypes. 

    I would note, most people can be coaxed into feeling really ‘sad’ about the deaths of historical figures who resonate with them, even though EVERYBODY ELSE from that time period is also dead.  Shoot, people can be outraged over the deaths of and sad about authors having FICTIONAL characters die.  The artifact of emotional reaction is not a reliable guide to finding situations in which ‘something must be done’.

  • crowepps

    When you and your partner have coitus it’s an act of generosity to the child you (might) conceive.

    Paul, most people have sex because it feels great.  They have no intention of “generously” conceiving a child.  That’s the whole point of birth control.  That’s the whole point of getting sterilized.  That’s why women’s sex lives improve after menopause.  People like pleasureable physical sensations and will have coitus for that purpose alone without considering for one second that they might create a child.

     

    Your insistence on assigning this unnatural motivation to everyone is just really unrealistic.  Since they had no intention whatsoever of giving a ‘gift’ to anybody else, it isn’t a matter of ‘taking the gift back’.  It’s a matter of, ‘we thought we had the door locked, nobody invited YOU, get out of there.’

    There are all kinds of dangers facing all kinds of people and we’re dependent upon OTHER people to protect us from these dangers.

    But other people quite often fail to do so, and in fact may be the cause of the danger in the first place.  Check out the latest from Sudan.

     

    Many other mammals are capable of reabsorbing fetuses when life conditions change and reproduction is no longer a good idea.  Stretch your mind a little and imagine that primates were also capable of starting a fetus and then, exposed to intolerable stresses, reabsorbing it so that it were as it the pregnancy never happened.  In those conditions, when it was an entirely ‘natural’ process not under the woman’s control, would that be okay?

  • crowepps

     I’m hoping that the future will be a future where women have more control than they have now.

    Gee, and I was hoping that we could DOUBLE the effort going into preventing unwanted pregnancy by getting men to step up to the plate and fulfill THEIR responsibility.  The new temporary clip looks very hopeful – let’s see what we can do about selling that concept to guys.

     To me, an unwanted pregnancy is like a traffic accident.  We work to prevent accidents but we also take care to support those who suffer in accidents.

    Fortunately, the only who is liable to ‘suffer’ right after this accident is the pregnant woman, and allowing her to promptly have an abortion if she wants one takes care of that.

     

    If the option given to the quadraplegic is not ‘somebody nobody knows has to die’ but ‘somebody nobody knows who might have been born won’t be born’, betcha most of them take it like a shot.  Isn’t that what fetal stem cell research is all about?

  • princess-rot

    To me, an unwanted pregnancy is like a traffic accident.  We work to prevent accidents but we also take care to support those who suffer in accidents.

    Well, to continue the automobile analogy, which sex ends up with the higher insurance premium to pay in the event of such an accident?

  • princess-rot

    Many other mammals are capable of reabsorbing fetuses when life conditions change and reproduction is no longer a good idea.

     

    Rabbits can absorb fetuses. I don’t know how much control the rabbit has over this, but I’ve heard it can be voluntary. Anyone with vetinary qualifications/experience breeding rabbits care to weigh in? I sometimes wonder, if evolution had equipped human females with a voluntary ability to reabsorb pregnancies, would we be even having the abortion debate or would it add an extra layer of misogynist control practices so that women wouldn’t “selfishly” reabsorb the sacred fetus?

  • paul-bradford

    I certainly have not gotten the impression from your posts that the responses we write to them brings you ‘joy’, but rather rage and frustration, so if the purpose of life is to experience and share joy, just how does your participation here advance your life goal?

     

    crowepps,

     

    Here’s another question about FEELINGS.  When you’re pursuing joy, is it best to engage in activities that rarely cause you to feel any disturbance and that have a high likelihood of success — or does it sometimes make sense to tackle a difficult project that might cause you a lot of distress but which, if successful, would make a significant improvement in those factors that cause joy?

     

    I regularly give expression to the frustrations I feel here from time to time.  I will also say that I sometimes feel apprehension or even dread when I anticipate the posts that I am likely to read.  I’m carried forward, though, by the hope that I will make some progress in doing what I’ve set out to do — which is to have respectful and productive discussions with people who are on the other side of the abortion question.

     

    As you’ve noted on several occasions, I’m often hindered by my own personal shortcomings.  Of course, I’d have to deal with these even if I never gave a thought to the abortion question.  There are several things I need to practice in order to raise these conversations to the level I want them to be, but I see (maybe you’ll say it’s just my imagination) progress — and the hope of progress gives me a lot of joy.

     

    colleen once suggested that I consider myself the “priest” for RHReality Check.  There’s some merit in that observation.  I certainly do feel a calling or a mission to do what I do.  I’m completely convinced that everyone would benefit if abortion rights advocates and the advocates of the unborn were able to view each other with greater respect and appreciation.  I consider that “holy” work.  The fact that it’s as hard as it is to have productive interchanges is a great impediment to my joy — so abandoning the project doesn’t seem to be the right thing to do.  The risks of “negative feelings” aren’t nearly as important to me as the hope that we might learn to better relate.

  • paul-bradford

    I’m sure all those people would be perfectly happy to drop those infants off at your house and let you take care of them. Go for it!


    crowepps,

     

    I was actually hoping that Julie would address my question, but your response is revealing.  You’ve just pointed out that efforts to eradicate infanticide have to go hand-in-hand with better options for women who give birth to children they can’t, or don’t want to care for.  An offer from me to let mothers drop their infants off at my house would improve options somewhat; but I’d become overwhelmed pretty quickly, so I’d need help from other people, besides me, who could help open up options.

     

    This business of “opening up options” would place demands on me, and on anyone else I could find to help.  Infants, like the unborn, are a burden.  In some instances they can be a terrific burden — so what could motivate a person to bear such a burden?  That’s the question I ask myself all the time.

     

    I claim that infanticide is immoral.  That’s different than me saying that women who practice infanticide are “bad” and those who eschew the practice are “good”.  From my perspective, morality is about respecting other people’s rights.  Saying that “infanticide is immoral” is, to me, the same as saying that infants have a right to have the burden of their care taken up (by somebody).  Morality is about doing what needs doing to make sure that people’s rights are upheld.  It’s not always possible to allocate blame for each injustice.

     

    The injustice of abortion is the immorality of a young person’s right to receive care being disrespected.  Care for the unborn places a burden — a sometimes terrific burden — on an individual who always happens to be a woman and can never be a man.  A person doesn’t lose her/his rights simply because the burden of upholding those rights is difficult.  Morality is more than simply doing “good” things and avoiding “bad” things.  Morality is about respecting people’s rights and doing what’s necessary to uphold those rights.

  • paul-bradford

    I’m not aware that there is any evidence whatsoever that the Africans don’t WANT the help. Instead, I believe that they actually REQUEST it. Which of course is the different between ‘helping’ and ‘interferring’. If your efforts consisted of, perhaps, trying to persuade them to do something they do NOT want, I believe objections might be forthcoming shortly.

     

    crowepps,

     

    You’re smart.  You see the flaw in this line of reasoning.  Don’t you?

     

    When I donate money for the water reclamation project, I’m working for justice for Africans — and, as you pointed out, the Africans aren’t objecting.  When I make a plea to eradicate abortion, I’m working for justice for the unborn.  To my knowledge, no-one has ever objected to the fact that her/his right to life was respected before s/he was born.

     

    A mother isn’t the intended beneficiary of justice work on behalf of the unborn.  The mother is the one who’s being asked to bear the burden of upholding justice for the unborn.  If we’re looking for a corollary with the water reclamation project we would say that the Africans are the intended beneficiaries and the contributors are the ones upholding the rights of the Africans.

     

    I want to take this analogy further.  Africans shouldn’t have to rely on the whims of contributors to get clean water.  Governments ought to take responsibility for making sure clean water is available to everyone within their jurisdictions — and wealthy governments ought to be obliged to assist poor governments in meeting their responsibilities.  

     

    Let’s say I’m a Senator, and let’s say I introduce a Foreign Aid bill that obligates our country to make certain that all the governments in Africa have the means to provide clean water to their people.  What would happen?  I would get objections!  The other Senators would tell me that their constituents don’t want to bear the burden of providing clean water.  The constituents are the ones who are feeling that they’re being “interfered with” by being told that they need to uphold justice for Africans — but they don’t want to take the burden up.  The constituents are no different from the mothers who turn a deaf ear to pleas that they carry their children to term.

  • paul-bradford

    Many other mammals are capable of reabsorbing fetuses when life conditions change and reproduction is no longer a good idea. Stretch your mind a little and imagine that primates were also capable of starting a fetus and then, exposed to intolerable stresses, reabsorbing it so that it were as it the pregnancy never happened.

     

    crowepps,

     

    I want you to help me understand where you and I get into trouble.  What is one of us trying to say that the other isn’t listening to?

     

    First of all, it positively delights me that you have so many facts about animal science to share with me.  I learn so much from you!  I find it fascinating that some mammals are capable of reabsorbing fetuses.  Are you and I in agreement about the fact that the REASON these mammals can do this is that they have evolved to have this trait — and that the reason human females don’t reabsorb their fetuses is because our species has evolved to have DIFFERENT traits? 

     

    If we agree this far, can I get agreement from you that the reason different species evolve in different ways is because of NATURAL SELECTION.  Natural selection is about favoring genetic combinations that produce life forms that do a superior job of surviving and reproducing.  That’s all that natural selection can do.  That’s all that evolution can do.  Favoring certain genetic combinations based on survival and reproduction.

     

    What evolution CAN’T tell us, and what natural selection can’t tell us, and what the study of science can’t tell us is the answer to the question, “What is just?”  We know that certain mammals reabsorb their fetuses under certain conditions, and we know WHY they do it and the reason why they do it has nothing whatsoever to do with justice.

     

    The question I’m interested in, and the one I’ve asked you to take up is this: “Does a human fetus have the RIGHT to care and nurturance from her/his mother until s/he’s born?”  I’m asking you this sincerely, crowepps: How does the detail about mammals absorbing their fetuses contribute to answering this question?

  • paul-bradford

    The artifact of emotional reaction is not a reliable guide to finding situations in which ‘something must be done’.

     

    crowepps,

     

    I’ve got it in my head that ‘something must be done’ to help the poor.  I don’t see how ‘helping the poor’ will necessarily benefit the non-poor — in fact, I can think of a lot of reasons why helping the poor would HARM the non-poor.  And yet, this is what I think — or FEEL.

     

    Is it your opinion that the impulse to help the poor is always a ‘religious’ impulse?  I’ve taken note of this impulse in people who aren’t religious or who are atheists.  Maybe you have a more expansive definition of ‘religious’ than the one I’m using now.  Religion is one way that the impulse to help the poor gets stirred up — but I don’t think it’s the only way.

     

    So, why do so many people — religious and non-religious — have the impulse to help the poor?  Would you say it depends entirely on unreliable “emotional reaction”?  Is there any way to reliably determine situations in which ‘something must be done’?

  • crowepps

    What we were discussing when I made my comment was people dying, and whether the fact that hearing about people dying makes us feel ‘sad’, and whether the fact that we were ‘sad’ was an indicator that dying was a bad thing.

     

    My POINT, which seems to have slipped your grasp as you veered the conversation to one about ‘the poor’, is that our ‘emotional reaction’ is an unreliable indicator, and of course it is also an unrealiable indicator when it comes to helping the poor.

    Is it your opinion that the impulse to help the poor is always a ‘religious’ impulse?

    No, not at all, although various religions do demand that the money be channeled through their hands so that they can take a cut to support their own personnel and attempt to control what ‘the poor’ are allowed to do with the money. The impulse in the generous giver tends to be “there but for the grace of God go I.”

     

    Just as a for instance, I can certainly understand the pity and compassion which might inspire someone to empty their pockets into the hands of a street begger, but when that begger promptly spends it on a supply of Everclear and then passes out on a night that hits 40 degrees and dies of exposure after his binge, the emotional reaction of pity enabled someone to kill himself.

    Is there any way to reliably determine situations in which ‘something must be done’?

    No, there really isn’t, certainly not based on emotional reactions which are biased by culture, and even if everyone involved is clear that this is indeed one of those situations, what the something is that must be done isn’t equally clear.

     

    As I’m sure you’re aware, there have been thousands of instances in which a group decided ‘something must be done’ and then, through an inability to recognize their own biases and false assumptions, made things immeasureably worse than they were before they intervened.

     

    It’s my experience that the way to figure out in which situations ‘something must be done’ is to estimate the amount of harm being done to society in general, and the way to figure out what to do about it is to LISTEN to the people actually involved. The sex worker ‘problem’ springs to mind as one in which the assumptions of the persons who want to ‘stamp out prostitution’ have very little to do with the real and pressing problems that the sex workers themselves identify as vital in finding a solution.

  • crowepps

    I don’t think it’s a matter of ‘justice’ to provide anyone with clear water. I think it’s purely a matter of public heath, one that is to the ultimate benefit of the people donating the funds to get the clear water in the positive effects of a reduction in the number of epidemics which may spread to them.

     

    See, this is the problem with thinking ideologically about stuff. When you get in the habit of labeling your impulses as all noble and self-sacrificing and congratulating yourself on what a terrific fellow you are for doing ‘important work’, you start talking about getting one more group away from the natural, eons long reliance on microbial water, a situation which was quite common EVERYWHERE a hundred years ago, that still exists in many places in Alaska today, as a matter of fact, as redressing an ‘injustice’.

     

    Frankly, Paul, nobody OWES those people a well. It is not ‘justice’ to see that they get a well. It is purely and simply a nice thing to do and people do nice things. Quite a few of the groups of people who are provided with wells are actually able to finance the wells themselves by selling off some of the cattle herds they keep as a status marker, but the, relatively speaking, ‘rich’ who own the cattle don’t want to do that.

    Africans shouldn’t have to rely on the whims of contributors to get clean water. Governments ought to take responsibility for making sure clean water is available to everyone within their jurisdictions — and wealthy governments ought to be obliged to assist poor governments in meeting their responsibilities.

    Assuming, and I realize that this is a stretch, that the ‘governments’ are democractic ones, what you are talking about is governments ‘of Africans, by Africans and for Africans’ taxing themselves to fund civic improvements like public utilities. You might want to spend some time considering just exactly why they haven’t ALREADY done that, and why instead their governments instead seem to divert all the money they can get their hands on, including money MEANT for wells, into soldiers, weapons and status displays.

  • crowepps

    I claim that infanticide is immoral.  That’s different than me saying that women who practice infanticide are “bad” and those who eschew the practice are “good”.  

    You need to make up your mind here, Paul.  If the accepted and normal practice of rejecting parental investment in a newborn over thousands of years was infanticide and/or abandonment, then apparently that is a behavior which was ‘selected for’ in human evolution.

     

    You might also keep in mind that infanticide is NOT something which ‘women practice’ but rather something which societies practice.  It’s a pretty nifty theory that Daddy isn’t involved at all and just hasn’t noticed that her belly’s flat again but there’s no kid around.  Particularly in light of the historical evidence, which makes it pretty clear that while the woman may have done the deed, (or her mother, or the mother-in-law) it was quite  likely to be Daddy who ordered that it be done.

     

    Just as, at the present time, sometimes the tipping point in the abortion decision is that the father greets the news of pregnancy by stating that he didn’t order any kids and he sure hopes she’s not deluding herself that HE’S going to support kids he didn’t want.

     Care for the unborn places a burden — a sometimes terrific burden — on an individual who always happens to be a woman and can never be a man.

    Yep, which is why ProChoice people really give the fish-eye to those ProLife activists who insist the woman be required by law to bear that terrific burden and AT THE SAME TIME complain bitterly about how their taxes go to support ‘sluts and their bastard children’.  An obsession in ‘justice for the unborn’ that evaporates instantly when that the burden begins to impact someone other than the woman seems to me less like justice and more about monitoring sexuality and a punishment as in ‘let Jane see what she got herself into’.

  • crowepps

    Well, of course Paul’s view are sexist and classist.  Didn’t you see his explanation that he likes to think of himself as a ‘priest’ fulfilling a ‘holy calling’?  Looking at the power structure with the cynical eyes of an older woman, from what I have been able to see, the whole POINT of holy callings is to make women as miserable as possible, all for their own good, of course.

  • colleen

    Didn’t you see his explanation that he likes to think of himself as a ‘priest’ fulfilling a ‘holy calling’?

    I must say that Paul’s obsessive mission as self appointed Spiritual Mentor to the Harlots rings every finely tuned intuitional alarm I’ve developed over the years. He’s not just absolutely sure we need his ‘help’ and that he’s our spiritual superior, he’s anxious to shamelessly lie, spin and manipulate to prove it.

  • julie-watkins

    I’m glad whatever observation of yours that prompted Paul to write that paragraph. I will probably quote it again, as appropriate.

  • julie-watkins

    and anytime I see his “for choice” I go “no”. I dislike “for your own good” sessions that are much more lecturing than listening. colleen definately got it right.

  • colleen

    I think I made an observation about Paul’s self appointed role here in an attempt to point out to him how inappropriate this behavior was and is. It’s unfortunate that Paul has convinced himself that it’s a holy calling to ignore women when we say “no”.

  • crowepps

    I believe he thought you were complimenting him.

  • colleen

    I believe he thought you were complimenting him.

    If so, that’s fairly delusional on his part.