Diocese of Phoenix Maligns Nun, Errs on Canon Law


The recent news about a woman in Phoenix who received an abortion in a Catholic hospital has raised again the issue of Catholics, abortion and excommunication.

The bishop of Phoenix has declared that a nun who is a hospital administrator and a member of the ethics committee is excommunicated because of her alleged action, or inaction, in regard to the pregnant woman’s care.

To defend the bishop’s announcement that Sister McBride was “automatically excommunicated” for her actions, the diocese has published a document called “Questions & Answers Re: The Situation at St. Joseph’s.” While the questions are timely, the answers unfortunately misrepresent the church’s law.

For example, one of questions reads: “Does that mean that all women who have had an abortion are excommunicated?” The incorrect answer the diocese provides reads: “Yes, anyone who has had an abortion is automatically excommunicated. But so are those who encouraged the abortion, helped to pay for the abortion, or performed the abortion, including those who directly assisted in its performance.” This claim is simply not supported by Catholic canon law.

The real answer to that question is: No. Not every woman who has an abortion is excommunicated. The Catholic church’s law on crimes and punishments is very strict, and, as in secular criminal law, provides a range of characteristics that would make a person incapable of committing a crime (for example, being under the age of seventeen, or acting in self-defense). There are also mitigating factors that would make a person who committed a crime ineligible for punishment or eligible only for a lesser penalty. These include people who act in fear or in case of necessity.

Another wrong answer is provided in response to this question: “From the news reports we were told that Sr. McBride also consulted with others who agreed that the abortion should be performed. Are they also excommunicated?” The diocese says: “Yes. Those Catholics who gave their consent and encouraged this abortion were also excommunicated by that very action. So too is anyone else at St. Joseph’s who participated in the action; including doctors and nurses.”

The real answer is, again: No. The Catholic church’s law does, in limited circumstances, provide penalties for accomplices, but the scope of people who might be eligible is even smaller than in the first case. In the situation at St. Joseph’s, even if all the requirements were met, the penalty of excommunication would only be available for someone whose participation was so necessary that the abortion would not have been provided without his or her action. It’s not clear that this is the case for Sr. McBride. Canon lawyers have long agreed that the actions of hospital administrators rarely if ever rise to the level that would consider them “accomplices” according to canon law.

It is unfortunate that once again, given an opportunity to show compassion and understanding, the Catholic hierarchy has instead taken the low road and persecuted a Catholic who, in good conscience and based on her experience, provided her opinion in a difficult medical and ethical situation. The bishop’s response was to publicly damage the good reputation of a woman who has, by all accounts, dedicated much of her life to caring for those in need. In the Catholic church, Sister McBride has a right to her good reputation and a right, as well as a duty, to follow her conscience. It’s notable that the diocese isn’t talking much about those provisions of canon law.

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  • jgbeam

    On what authority do you base your position?

     

    “Can. 1398 A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.”  From the Code of Canon Law.

     

    There is no room for misinterpretation.  That’s all there is to the applicable canon law.

     

    Abortion is not health care.

     

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer.

    • motherofthree

      As a proud mother of three, who barely survived my last pregnancy due to severe pre-eclampsia, I am in a better position to comment on this than many. The fact is, once pre-eclampsia occurs, there is absolutely no way, with current medical technology, to stop it, short of delivering the baby. Once this illness occurs, the woman’s body begins to shut down and ultimately, and fairly quickly, will lead to her death and her child’s death. A dead mom equals a dead baby. There was no chance…even remotely…that this woman could have carried her baby to a viable term (an additional 10 weeks)…or 24 weeks. NO CHANCE.

      I gave birth to a 1 lb. 3 oz. 24 weeker (known as a micro-preemie) on the edge of viability, who I adore. I wanted him with every ounce of my being. However, I also had a moral obligation to my other two children, the second of whom had just been adopted from a foreign orphanage, to live to raise them. My micro-preemie did survive. He was born in a Catholic hospital, and I am very glad that there was no hesitation to save my life. In the past nine years since my son was born, never once has the Catholic Church offered to help pay my son’s extensive medical bills (he has Cerebral Palsy), offered to pay or provide child care for my family so that we could take him to the doctors and have surgeries. Not once. I would have, at a minimum, expected the hospital to forgive the $500K medical bill for his stay in the hospital. They didn’t.  

      I had a right to live and to choose life. Full-stop. When the day comes when men are put in the position of choosing to live or die during child birth, and the Catholic Church chooses to care financially for the parishioners whose lives are devastated due to the birth of a premature baby or death of the mother…then I will give opinions like those of Jim and other “pro-lifers”…who have been in my shoes…some merit. Until then, they don’t have a clue.

  • crowepps

    Sr. McBride did not “procur a completed abortion”.

  • wendy-banks

    The bishop’s response was to publicly damage the good reputation of a woman who has, by all accounts, dedicated much of her life to caring for those in need.

    Thanks for your insight on this matter Jon.

    In the time I knew her (I worked at St. Joseph’s for 4 years) Sr. Margaret always seemed like a decent and careing human being. Sr. Joan was another careing and compassionate person who loved and cared for animals as much as the humans she was called upon to help. Unfortunately, there was more than one of the staff there that I couldn’t say that about.

  • mea

    Abortion IS healthcare and under many circumstances it is life-saving, as it was in this incidence. I find it always ironic that so many men are immovable in their position on abortion under any circumstance is wrong, since they do not have pregnancies.

     

    It would NOT be anyone’s choice to make in this situation but the mother’s to decide whether her life or the baby’s life should be spared. As far as we know the baby might not have survived anyway.

     

    My cousin found out when she was 5 1/2 months pregnant that her fetus had NO LUNGS at all. It would die the second it was born. Of course they chose to have an abortion! What would have been the point of carrying the pregnancy to term and go through labor to deliver a dead baby? Families must have the right to make those decisions themselves. For a while they were afraid to try again because it was a birth defect that could be inherited that afflicted that baby, but they later had 2 little boys who are perfect. People should mind their own business and that goes double for the Catholic Church, ,which goes ape over something like this but shut their eyes for many years about the abuse of children by its own priests.

  • jgbeam
    Sr. McBride procured an abortion.

    Main Entry: pro·cure
    Pronunciation: \prə-ˈkyr, prō-\
    Function: verb
    Inflected Form(s): pro·cured; pro·cur·ing
    Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French procurer, from Late Latin procurare, from Latin, to take care of, from pro- for + cura care
    Date: 14th century

    transitive verb 1 a : to get possession of : obtain by particular care and effort b : to get and make available for promiscuous sexual intercourse
    2 : bring about, achieve <procured the prisoner’s release>intransitive verb : to procure women

    pro·cur·able \-ˈkyr-ə-bəl\ adjective

  • invalid-0

    I find it interesting that you refer to these women as “mothers”. 

  • julie-watkins

    from both medical personel (even if Catholic) who deal with realities instead of theory — and from theologians, who are supposed to deal with  theory.

    Bureaucrats are bureaucrats, end of story.

  • jodi-jacobson

    the argument for excommunication given Jon’s analysis is weak–to say the least–on many grounds.

    The Catholic church’s law on crimes and punishments is very strict, and, as in secular criminal law, provides a range of characteristics that would make a person incapable of committing a crime (for example, being under the age of seventeen, or acting in self-defense). There are also mitigating factors that would make a person who committed a crime ineligible for punishment or eligible only for a lesser penalty. These include people who act in fear or in case of necessity.

    First, if someone’s life is in danger and they act to protect themselves, they are considered to be acting “in self-defense.”  Likewise, a woman whose life is in danger as the result of a pregnancy would, under this aspect of the law be able to act “in self-defense.”

     

    Likewise “in case of necessity,” especially when taking into consideration not only the necessity of keeping the woman alive for her own sake, but also in consideration of the wellbeing and “necessity” of her presence for her four children and her family.

     

    Moreover, if some like Jim Grant argue that there is no reason not to excommunicate Sr. Margaret given her actions, then the sum total of the number of Catholics in the United States just dropped by at least a third, because Catholic women have abortions and recent data show they have them at a higher rate that others who identify as a person of a specific faith community.

     

    It is useless to argue with Jim Grant over what the entire public health, medical and human rights communities recognizes as health care–including abortion–because he has proved time and again he neither understands public health or medicine nor does he care about the human rights of individual women to live.  Period.

     

    More important, to my mind, is to underscore for rational and reasonable people in the broader public the very real consequences of restrictions on women’s choices, made by women, their doctors and their families, in the best interest of themselves and their families.

     

     

     

  • dominickj
    Isn’t this refreshing to read?  The Bishop of Phoenix is WRONG and should be removed from his standing as Bishop if not for misleading information, but a heartless action.  Oh BUT wait they don’t remove these men of faith (?) THEY Just MOVE them to another location.
     
    Bravo for the Nun, standing up for human decency and for doing the right thing.
    Dominick
  • squirrely-girl

    but they later had 2 little boys who are perfect.

     

    Crazy but true, MANY women (about 50%) actually who obtain abortions ALREADY have at least one child.

     

    Likewise, many women who receive abortions go on to have a child later on. 

     

    Contrary to anti-choice rhetoric, not all women getting abortions are young slutty women who don’t ever want to be mothers.

     

  • david-j-nolan

    Catholics for Choice has a couple of brochures on what canon law actually says.

     

    They can be read here:

    Notes on Canon Law No. 1: Catholics and Abortion

    and here:

    Notes on Canon Law No. 2: Rights in the Church

  • squirrely-girl


     

    So sorry for the double post.

  • edifranco

    I am a registered nurse who has worked in both labor and delivery as well as the intensive care unit. I have also had two spontaneous abortions, both at 8 weeks. I don’t know if Jim is acquainted with the dangers associated with pregnancy, but as one who looked at my own blood spattered around the walls and floor of the emergency room, I can assure him that it is an uncomfortable position, especially when you have two small children at home.

    The standard medical procedure for an impending miscarriage is a D & E. where the fetus is removed. This is routine procedure for a spontaneous abortion. This goes on all the time b/c approximately 20% of all pregnancies end in spontaneous abortions. If the D & E is not done, the mother will bleed to death.

    It seems to me that to be “pro-life,” one must safeguard the health and welfare of all members of society. The catechism states quite clearly that all human beings are permitted to defend their lives, even if the agressor is killed in the process.

     

    Although TV might make pregnancy and childbirth into a  bloodless media event, it is serious business. The fetus harnesses every single one of the mother’s organ system in order to  survive. Sometimes the mother’s body cannot handle the stress and different systems break down, causing the mother to become very ill. Mothers are human beings and should not be sacrificed without their consent.

    Sister Margaret did the right thing.

    Eileen

  • lizgs

    Sister McBride sought to PROCURE (i.e. achieve) saving the life of the mother, and thankfully she and the other Board members succeeded. With your single-minded focus on an unviable fetus growing in the patient’s womb, you’d actually prefer to have both the woman and her fetus succumb, rather than save a human being’s life?

     

    This is misogyny carried to its nth degree merely to satisfy some personal religious belief. 

     

    Men have NO part in this argument and discussion until and unless they can carry a fetus to term. Likewise the Church has no jurisdiction over a human being’s body and what decisions that person makes unless they abdicate personal responsibility and/or sign over their lives TO the Church. As far as I’m aware the woman in question did not give the Church (in the person of the Bishop) ANY right to decide her life or death.

    Any hospital, Catholic or otherwise, has a duty first and foremost to the PATIENT! The patient in this case is the woman in the hospital bed being treated. Saving her life is paramount. They did their duty. Case closed.

     

    The Bishop overstepped his bounds in attempting after the fact to interfere in what is purely a secular matter.

  • claire-keyes

    Since more than 50% of the women who have an abortion in the US are Catholic and since most of them bring a partner, parent, friend, many of whom are also Catholic, the church may be excommunicating more than three quarters of a million people in the US alone each year.  France, Italy, Spain are all considered Catholic countries and abortion is both legal and accessible.  Are those women and their families also excommunicated? 

    I’m sure it was not lost on people everywhere how quickly the church acted to excommunicate the nun who voted to save the life of the woman in her hospital, yet looked the other way for decades as the priests raped, molested, sodomized children in their care.

    No wonder the Catholic church is gasping for breath in this country!

     

     

  • captiver

    I know the church treats killing of adults differently than it does abortion for various reasons (that don’t make too much sense to me), etc. etc., and that this is an old saw, but I can’t help trot it out in the context of this case and the absolutism surrounding abortion that it displays:

    Imagine if the church both had and acted upon such a zero-tolerance policy for the kind of killing that goes on in war and is going on at the hands of NATO, the U.S. and the Taleban etc. right now. I know, I know, canon law and innocence and all that, but to the lay person, this zero tolerance re abortion versus the fact that I never hear anyone in the leadership of the church going out on a limb against war always leads me to the conclusion that the church fights for ‘life’ only when that fight doesn’t involve going up against other powerful institutions. Targeting gays and women is much easier. The child abuse scandal is yet more evidence for this. 

    I liked Claire Keyes’s point above, and wonder: Do all the Catholic women who have had abortions know they’ve been excommunicated?

     

  • amolibri

    How lovely to live in your world, Mister Grant.  I wish for you a peek at the great suffering of women around the world.  I’ll pray.

  • jgbeam

    I find nothing in either brochure that lets Sr. McBride avoid excommunication, unless, that is, she is under the age of 17 and/or lacks the use of reason.

     

    Abortion is not health care.

     

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • jgbeam

    are as important as everyone else’s rights.  And everyone else’s rights are as important as women’s.  Don’t you agree?

     

    I judge no one, including you and the other pro-choicers on this site, but when canon law says that procurement of an abortion results in excommunication I take the law to mean exactly what it says.  So, yes, there may be many fewer Catholics in the world than statistics would indicate. 

     

    I have been reading columns and posts on this site for about a year, originally because I saw a reference to the Common Ground section.  I have been trying to understand what it is that makes you believe that it is acceptable to kill a baby in the womb and I thought there may be some real common ground from which I could begin to comprehend your reasoning.  For a while, I almost believed there was some common ground but, as evidenced by your pulling the section off the site, there is none.  Not a square inch.  There is absolutely no justification for killing one human being to benefit another.  And the fact that most abortions are done for convenience is incomprehensible.

     

    This is my last post on rhrealitycheck.org.  It has been a real reality check for me.  Don’t bother replying.  I won’t be checking in to witness your celebration.

     

    Abortion is not health care.

     

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer.

  • invalid-0

    Actually, 100% of women who obtain abortions have…

    …well… had at least one child.

  • jennewinn

    Please add to your list of pro-abortionists all those PRIESTS forcing their (forbidden) female, pregnant partners to get abortions because there is no provision in the catholic church for using any of those millions Jesus expressly told them not to scheffel to pay patrimony for the kids the padres couldn’t have fathered if they had followed Paul’s kinky celibacy idea.

     

    Another group I have not heard mentioned once in all this pedophile priest discussion are those priests – and this group must be somewhere near 100% – who dispensed absolution to lay men abusing children.

     

    Most of the time Jesus was a loving, forgiving person who deliberately included minorities and underdogs. But sometimes he got very definite about what was NOT acceptable, even to someone as tolerant as himself.

     

    There is NO PARDON for ANYBODY who harms children. (Matthew 18, a good read)

     

    There is NO PLACE IN HEAVEN for those who pile up money on earth, specifically he got very cross with the money-makers at the temple: “Ye have turned my Father’s house into a robber’s den!”

     

    Maybe they think they are proving their piety by chucking out paying members.

    Or maybe they just don’t think. Who knows?

  • jsmitchell619

    I thank God, the Father, that Jesus will be our judge and not each other or any priest or Bishop.  He always looks for extentuating circumstances as He never wants to condemn anyone.  It is men (including women)  who are quick to condemn,  men who are inflexible and rigid.  That’s why Jesus says, “Judge not lest ye be judged” as it is His job, not ours.

    That said, I do not believe the Catholic law has no inflexibility in it.  There have been times in the confessional when I confessed what I believed to be a mortal sin only to be questioned by the Priest and told, because of the circumstances in my case, it did not reach the level of a mortal sin

    Aborting a perfectly healthy baby deserves excommunication, however, not every circumstance is the same.   I know a girl whose mother died in childbirth because she listened to her priest instead of her doctor who told her it was suicide for her to try to finish the delivery, nor would the baby survive.  She died in great pain and the baby died as well.   She left small children at home, including this girl who to this day hates the Catholic Church, hates priests, and hates religion.

    It seems to me that its pretty easy for a man to tell a woman what she should do when he isn’t the one lying there terrified in excruciating pain and bleeding to death.  I also believe that the Church teaches it is murder to commit suicide.  I believe the person who is directly involved in the suffering and experience should be the one to weigh and decide what is right, not some self-righteous bystander.  I do believe it is a valid consideration if the mother has small children at home who need her and only she should have the right to make that decision.

    The Jehova Witnesses do not believe in blood transfusions and pressure their members to bleed to death rather than save their lives.  They too feel just as strongly that it is the moral high ground.  I also know of a mother who died because she listened to their lies and left her children without a mother.  I consider it murder.  They murdered her.

    In the same way, when a priest or Bishop talks a woman into refusing a medical abortion that will save her life by using guilt, I call it murder.  If the woman wants to be a martyr it should be her decision without any pressure from religion, nor should she be ostracized or excommunicated for her decision.

    When the body naturally aborts the baby it is usually because something is wrong and it is nature’s way.  With better prenatal care etc., it is possible that some babies who 50 years ago would have naturally aborted make it longer term but still can’t survive.  The mother shouldn’t have to die too.

    If you are right and the church’s cannon law is a one size fits all, then it is wrong, evil, uncompassionate and should be changed.  In good conscience no woman should accept it.  It is wrong to leave your children motherless.  It is wrong to allow yourself to die out of some man’s grandiose idea of noble sacrifice about right and wrong for you.  Especially when he knows very well that he will never have to face such a sad choice.

     

  • prochoiceferret

    The rights of women are as important as everyone else’s rights.  And everyone else’s rights are as important as women’s.  Don’t you agree?

    Yes, women have the same right not to have their bodies hijacked against their will as anyone else.

    I judge no one, including you and the other pro-choicers on this site, but when canon law says that procurement of an abortion results in excommunication I take the law to mean exactly what it says.  So, yes, there may be many fewer Catholics in the world than statistics would indicate.

    World’s most popular religion: Islam

    And the fact that most abortions are done for convenience is incomprehensible.

    Yes, women having control over their bodies is certainly incomprehensible to you.

    This is my last post on rhrealitycheck.org.  It has been a real reality check for me.  Don’t bother replying.  I won’t be checking in to witness your celebration.

    You promise?

     

     

    And to end things in your trademark manner:

     

    Jim Grant is not a tin-eared, morally-destitute misogynist.

     

    ProChoiceFerret, Pro-choicer.

  • mariekw

    Jim,

    You don’t have a uterus. Therefore you don’t get to have a side in this debate. In fact I suspect you were not even born, you were spawned. Now go back where you came from and leave us alone.

  • kocher

    someone whose opinion is asked is not an accomplice under canon law. this canon law specifically uses the word procure.

     

    after the abortion had been already procured, before it occured the hospital administrator was asked an opinion. there is no court in any church which would define procurement to mean to know about.

     

    regardless of how to judge in this case, procurement does not apply. this administrator did not procure this abortion.

  • kocher

    40% of all pregnancies abort. 90% of all conceptions fail before pregnancy occurs.

     

    how is abortion not health care. the human body itself aborts. god built abortion into it.

     

    aas for health care, where abortion is forbidden, abortion rates remain the same but maternal deaths increase, infant mortality increases,

     

    where healthcare is free including free abortions, the abortion rates go DOWN.

    some countries have zero maternal death rates such as Finland and Iceland. Some have stastistacally zero, although it occurs.

     

    check out across the board and lower maternal deaths always results in fewer abortions.

     

    prior to modern medicine, most women died giving birth. one in three survived to menopause. in pre-agricultural human society most children lost one or both of their parents before adulthood. and most parents lost most of their children.

     

    right to life is the right of the living. all of the living. provide health care to women and they will stop having abortions. outlaw abortion and they won’t stop. right to life must include the living or it is self righteousness a sin.

     

    no man can or should have anything to say about abortion: they have no stake. it is self righteousness. you can’t have one unless you are pregnant.  abortion is biologically natural. and a woman is responsible to god not you or me or the pope. unless the pope gets pregnant. you and i can’t die from any pregnancy and every woman has a  god given right to life like you and me.

     

    go procure yourself a pregnancy. just try.

     

  • crowepps

    I’ve got to admit, my reaction to his leaving in a huff was NOT ‘what a shame’ but instead a lot closer to ‘my prayers have been answered’.

     

    LOVED the Calvin/Hobbs!

  • crowepps

    There is absolutely no justification for killing one human being to benefit another.

    Which is precisely WHY I think therapeutic abortion should be legal world wide, because there is absolutely no justification for allowing the woman to die just because it MIGHT benefit a fetus.

  • jacqueline-s-homan

    Abortion is not health care.

     

    But deliberately KILLING the mother, the woman, by denying her the only treatment that was sure to save her life IS healthcare?

  • goatini

    There is absolutely no justification for killing one human being to benefit another.”


    Translation:

     

    Abortion in a life-threatening pregnancy is evil because the woman would “benefit”, i.e., LIVE. 

     

    But it’s perfectly okay in a life-threatening pregnancy to let the fetus kill the woman… because the fetus would not “benefit”, i.e., it would also die.

     

    So:  Woman killing for self-defense BAD.  Fetus commits murder/suicide GOOD.

     

    However….

     

    If one applies Catholic dogma to the tortured logic above, it changes the whole situation.

     

    Catholics consider suicide a mortal sin.

     

    If the fetus commits suicide, then it is no longer innocent, it is in a state or mortal sin.

     

    So does the sinful fetus now no longer have the right to murder the woman?

     

    With personhood comes accountability.  If the fetus is equal to (or in the forced-birther’s mind, greater than) the woman, then the fetus must be held equally accountable.  No exceptions (as the forced birthers and Catholics are so fond of saying).

  • wendy-banks

    My cousin found out when she was 5 1/2 months pregnant that her fetus had NO LUNGS at all.

    Wow… How horrible for her and her family! I’m so sorry! That HAD to be pure hell.

  • wendy-banks

    LOVED the Calvin/Hobbs!

    Me too!

  • suburbangrrrl

    this blog.

  • invalid-0

    Captiver, if they’ve been to Mass anytime in the last few years, they do.

  • invalid-0

    Sexist much?

  • invalid-0

    Jon O’Brien,

     

    The Catholic Church is never going to change its stance on abortion.  I will pray for you.

    • catseye71352

      And good riddance to bad rubbish.

  • faultroy

    I was wondering if there would be any way as a legitimate journalist if you  could do a follow up on this and get more particulars–especially contacting the Nun and finding out what specifically this means in terms of her order.  There are logistical issues for the Nun–she lives in a convent and is supported by the Parish and the Church.  When a Nun (as in this case) is excommunicated, does that mean that she is required to leave the convent?  And what about being reinstated.  If an individual recants, can one (in this case she) be reinstated? And on what circumstances.  Furthermore, are there secular legal steps that she can take? (i.e. lawsuit, administrative hearing, file for unemployment, Dept of Labor intervention?) The possibilities are really intriguing.  I would do the legwork myself, but as you know, people do not want to talk to you unless you represent a viable news organization.  I’ve had the pleasure of knowing two nuns intimately, one remained in the order and another was a former nun.  They are the most interesting of women. 

  • emma

    You’re hardly in a position to be complaining about sexism, arex, raging misogynist that you are. Men do not have a stake in the legality or illegality of abortion. Women do, given that we are the only people who have to deal with pregnancy and all that it entails. Given that men are not the ones who experience pregnancy and its related risks, it is grossly intrusive for men to attempt to dictate what women should or should not do with their pregnancies. That you think it’s your right to take from us the ability or right to make decisions about something that specifically affects our bodies suggests to me that you see all women as your property.

     

    Your total and complete focus on foetuses ignores the fact that there are living, breathing, thinking women attached to those foetuses. Given that it’s our bodies that are affected, it is appropriate for us, not you or anyone else, to be the ones to make decisions about what goes on in our bodies.

     

    And you’ve got to admit that it’s more than a little creepy when men develop an obsessive focus on women’s reproductive systems.

  • mechashiva

    Untrue. I grew up in the Church, and I’ve been to a few services since I left. Abortion has never been mentioned in any Mass I’ve been to. There are more important things to talk about at Church that don’t risk alienating a sizeable portion of the congregation.

  • paul-bradford

    This is my last post on rhrealitycheck.org. It has been a real reality check for me.


    Don’t bother replying. I won’t be checking in to witness your celebration.


    Abortion is not health care.


    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer.

     

    Jim didn’t witness the ‘celebration’ but I did.  Your glee at his departure makes me wonder what it’s going to take for those of us who wish to protect the lives of the unborn to engage you all in productive conversation.

     

    I’ve been visiting here for nearly two years and I’m not inclined to leave anytime soon — but the better job you all do of driving Pro-Lifers away, the lonelier it gets for me.  Do you really think you’re better off when Pro-Lifers only talk to other Pro-Lifers?

     

    What I’ve longed to get into a conversation about — but have been unable to — is how we, in our society, can show greater respect for life in ways that don’t involve forcing a woman to do something she doesn’t want to do.

     

    Maybe I’m impatient.  Actually, I’m SURE I’m impatient and I’ve got to learn to be more patient.  Maybe we can talk about what DOESN’T work to increase respect for life.

     

    It doesn’t work for the Church to excommunicate those who procure or support abortions.  We Catholics should simply scrap the whole strategy.  The goal needs to be more health and safety for the unborn — but excommunication isn’t getting us any closer to our goal.

     

    Another thing that DOESN’T work is to put the focus on the woman who’s pregnant.  When an abortion takes place there are a lot more culprits disrespecting life than just the mother.  Let’s lay off women who are pregnant — they only account for 1% of the population anyway.  I’m more interested in figuring out what those of us in the 99% can do to develop a culture that respects life.  One thing I’m SURE we’ve got to do is to make life better and easier for women of childbearing age.  The worse we treat women, the worse it is for the unborn.

     

  • harry834

    but it is enlightening to have you express your views here, even if no one, including myself, chooses to engage you in conversation or to adopt your views.

    It is good that you expressed interest in doing what you do without forcing the woman to do what she doesn’t want. It seems you aim to use persuasion rather than coersion in getting woman to choose alternatives to abortion.

    But regardless of what words we use to talk to you, or whether we talk to you at all, the one thing that your worldview will always separate you from is the needs of women who genuinely want to abort, who have aborted from genuine need, and who see themselves as likely to abort about of genuine need if this or that situation popped up.

    We here who call ourselves pro-choice – who are all about making sure women are not coerced in anyway regarding their reproduction – are here to fight for women to be supported WHATEVER they choose. But you seem to be hesitant to support women when they choose abortion or consider doing so. And maybe you can’t help it. And maybe we have to all accept that. And calling you names (unless they are accurate labels) or making accusations (unless demonstrably true) is no good to anyone.

    So I say this: Keep coming back, and keep saying your views. Everyone else, consider not responding back to Paul, unless you have some critical points to make. The angry back and forth between Paul and everyone else seems an endless use of time. I won’t call it a waste of time because I’m rarely around and can not judge the best use of everyone’s debate time or even what the debate is about, because I have been distracted. But I advise all here who disagree with Paul, myself included, to consider just ignoring his comments rather than doing another super-long argument that may go nowhere and distracts from the task of spreading ideas to make sure ALL women are supported WHATEVER their choice.

    Paul’s support hesitates when women make one particular choice. We can’t change that. Is it productive to rehash that point over and over and over again. Or does the pro-choice movement – in all its full promise – have more work to do? Don’t we have more powerful people to bring down?

    Paul’s statements about what anti-abortionists should NOT do is a sign, among many things, that Paul, if he can be accurately classified as an anti-choicer, is at least somewhat more tolerant than the other anti-choicers. Let’s leave it at that.

     

  • julie-watkins

    Everyone else, consider not responding back to Paul, unless you have some critical points to make.

    I haven’t answered the last few direct questions that Paul has addressed to me, except to refer back to an unfair comment he made and, though I’ve asked six times, he hasn’t explained or withdrawn it.

    But your request has me in a quandry. It’s critical to me that Paul keeps labeling himself as “for Choice” when he isn’t; he wants the “right” choice to be made. In addition, something I’ve asked him multiple times, which he hasn’t answered, is to give us some info on his group. He’s refered us to his group’s website … and the link was to a personal blog on USAT. This makes me suspect there might not an organized group, just him. So I feel that any time he posts as “Pro Life Catholics for Choice” he’s misrepresenting himself doubly: he’s trying to redefine the meaning of “choice”, and he’s presenting himself as a spokesperson of a group instead of as an individual.

    If he isn’t challenged, he can give the impression of being someone in the middle. It’s when he’s challenged that his word choice is less careful and the misogyny is easier to see.  … and I would be sending this in a private note if I could find that option again on this website. It used to be there, I can’t find it now.

  • mechashiva

    Do you really think you’re better off when Pro-Lifers only talk to other Pro-Lifers?

    Yes, I do. I think society in general would be better off if pro-lifers just went off and lived in caves with each other. Pro-lifers do not bring anything to the table, not on this site, on any other site, or in real life.

     

    I think we are better off talking amongst ourselves rather than rehashing the same arguments with pro-lifers time and again, which is all their presence on sites like this will result in. Discussions pro-choice people have with each other are generally more productive. Our movement is called “progressive” for a reason. Our organizations are the ones that provide solutions to reproductive health problems. Pro-lifers are “regressive,” and their organizations do nothing but suck up tax-dollars in endless legal battles and ineffective outreach programs based on dispensing lies.

     

    Do I think there is common ground? Sure, but “common ground” is just what we call strategies that pro-lifers eventually get around to supporting decades after we implemented them. To this day, pro-life organizations either reject contraception or they will not state a firm position on it. Pro-choice organizations have supported contraception from the get-go, and we have been the ones fighting for access to it. And who were we fighting? The same people who seem to think we owe them our time now.

     

    Pro-lifers want us to include them so that they won’t feel so ineffective. By insisting that pro-lifers can bring “reverence for life” to the table, they suggest that pro-choicers can’t or don’t already take the ethical ambiguities of abortion into consideration. Just like the other “common ground” issues, thanks but no-thanks, pro-lifers, we can handle this one just fine on our own. Adoption reform, contraception, accessible pre-and post-natal care, universal pediatric care, sex education… If you want to catch the boat late and join in with us on things we’ve already been supporting for years, that’s great, but stop suggesting you had any positive influence in their development.

     

    I’d been thinking about writing a Reader Diary post asking everyone what purpose the pro-lifers here serve and why any of us bother talking to you when it is such an obvious waste of energy. You all derail conversations at the drop of a hat just to argue about the same old crap over and over again. You bring about as much to the table as those Men’s Rights trolls did. A “different perspective” is not valuable just because it is different. I wish people with such “different perspectives” would stick to their own forums so we can talk in peace without some self-righteous members of the opposition taking up all the focus like a five-year-old smearing food on his face at the dinner table.

    • wendy-banks

      I totally agree with you on your whole post MechaShiva!

      I’ve been around here both as myself and as a ‘lurker’ due to no internet access of my own (library, work), low band-width (dial-up), and finally DSL and found that those like Paul (and the more fanatical), have stated the same old lies and crap for years– Only the “handles” changes… *Sighs*

  • harry834

    Yes, I really haven’t been paying attention to the debates. What you describe sounds like critical points to me. Maybe I was just imagining “uncritical points”. My bad.

    Yes, it is important to challenge those that seem moderate. And thank you for illuminating those points about Paul’s “group” (or lack thereof).

  • julie-watkins

    should be challenged. It’s fine for me to “agree to disagree” with someone who’s anti-choice and honest about it, or is talking about what God wants when I’m an athiest.

    On the other point: If you google “Pro Life Catholics for Choice” there’s no website. It’s a lot of matches for Paul Bradford commenting at RHRC & other places, but other member in the group that I can see. Possibly it’s an advocacy group that’s just in his home town, and doesn’t have enough members to need separate office space or a website.

  • truth

    We are simply voices of the unborn; protectors if you will – we are fending off narcissistic predators like you.

     

    As for debate, well… I’ve not seen one of you on this site even formulate a reasonable argument. The reason is that you’re unable to do so… Your ‘Culture of Death’ movement doesn’t have the main component necessary to formulate and see the argument to its natural end – LOGIC. Roe v. Wade itself is illogical as is the argument for contraception and any other means of or attempts at controlling or abolishing NATURE.

     

    You are deviants who are socially inept and incapable of Loving. The word Narcissist describes you quite well. Your need to control is fueled with PRIDE. Your arguments end with, “We just want to do what we want to do and that’s it – you cannot stop us!” Like rebellious children you only see through your own EMOTIONAL eyes and are incapable and unwilling to look objectively; logically at the situation from a third-party omniscient perspective.

     

    You are trapped in your own EGO.

     

    “If you want to get into it; you’ve got to get out of it.”

  • prochoiceferret

    We are simply voices of the unborn; protectors if you will – we are fending off narcissistic predators like you.

    So fetuses are like ventriloquist dummies to you. You must be very good at throwing your voices.

    Roe v. Wade itself is illogical as is the argument for contraception and any other means of or attempts at controlling or abolishing NATURE.

    I guess all of modern medicine is illogical, then. I’m sure you’ll remember this the next time you need a prescription or surgery.

    You are deviants who are socially inept and incapable of Loving. The word Narcissist describes you quite well. Your need to control is fueled with PRIDE. Your arguments end with, “We just want to do what we want to do and that’s it – you cannot stop us!” Like rebellious children you only see through your own EMOTIONAL eyes and are incapable and unwilling to look objectively; logically at the situation from a third-party omniscient perspective.

    Yes, I guess if you’re an omniscient third party, you don’t have to worry about women being forced to continue unwanted pregnancies against their will. Or dying, for that matter. You can just sit back, and bask in the adulation of your worshippers.

    You are trapped in your own EGO.

    Yes, much like the Founding Fathers, or the leaders of the Civil Rights movement. So selfishly and narcissistically caring about their own rights! They should be ashamed of themselves.

    “If you want to get into it; you’ve got to get out of it.”

    I prefer the phrasing, “You spend a few hours struggling to get out, and the rest of your life struggling to get back in!”

  • crowepps

    Your glee at his departure makes me wonder what it’s going to take for those of us who wish to protect the lives of the unborn to engage you all in productive conversation.

    I am unable to think of any post, ever, from Jim Grant which could possibly have formed a part in a “productive conversation”.  Jim considers himself to be 100% right, considers everyone who disagrees with him in any particular to be 100% wrong, and was not here to convince but rather to berate.  It is a relief not to have to read his bumper sticker slogans and vitriol.

    Do you really think you’re better off when Pro-Lifers only talk to other Pro-Lifers?

    I have rarely seen a Pro-Lifer here who is capable of having a respectful productive conversation which gives serious consideration to the view on all sides.   What then is the point of talking?  There is no ‘conversation’ but instead either slogans, insults or ‘evidence’ to support a smug reaffirmation that ProChoicers are immoral and the ProLifer can justifiably feel superior because he/she is willing to kill women for his/her principles.

  • princess-rot

    Roe v. Wade itself is illogical as is the argument for contraception and any other means of or attempts at controlling or abolishing NATURE.

    I shall have to ask, do you eat your food raw and sleep in a tree? Do you walk around naked, because we aren’t born wearing clothes. Do you walk on all fours? Drink from rivers? Hunt wildebeest with your bare hands?

     

    Or is biological determinism not okay when it applies to you? You should have the full spectrum of bodily rights and get to live how you see fit, have a family if you want to and not because you have to, use the best of modern medical science and healthcare available to you – but women don’t because they have wombs?

  • crowepps

    Not the kind of nature that would involve MEN giving up flush toilets or heart bypass operations. Instead it refers to the kind of nature where men get to pass the obligation of being ‘natural’ to women so they can honor the concept while not actually having to endure the reality, just as they pass the obligation to be ‘moral’ to women so they can honor the concept while not actually having to deal with the frustrations of being ‘good’ themselves.

  • ahunt

    logically at the situation from a third-party omniscient perspective.

     

     

    Is it just me, or does this really compute?

  • invalid-0

    I’ve been to a few services since I left”?  What, like, for giggles?  Go again – I bet it’s brought up.

  • invalid-0

    If abortion isn’t the intentional killing of a defenseless human being, I couldn’t possibly care less about a woman’s reproductive system.  In fact, I’ll happily go join pro-choice marches if that’s the case.

     

    Your misogynist accusations are, at best, baseless.  Grow up and join the debate like an adult and stop the name-calling. 

  • crowepps

    I suppose at the point where one has made the illogical leap to assign the fallible, second-party, ideologically blinded human self as the interpretor/explainer of the “third-party omniscient perspective”, one gets to DEFINE ‘logically’ however one wants.

     

  • prochoiceferret

    If abortion isn’t the intentional killing of a defenseless human being, I couldn’t possibly care less about a woman’s reproductive system.  In fact, I’ll happily go join pro-choice marches if that’s the case.

    Then I’ll happily see you at the next NARAL march, because abortion is the termination of an unwanted or unsafe pregnancy, not the killing of a defenseless human being. (Unlike, say, capital punishment.)

    Your misogynist accusations are, at best, baseless.

    The men in Middle Eastern countries who punish married female rape victims for adultery feel the same way you do.

  • ahunt

    Yah…the “middleman” theory of logic….

     

    I’m gonna go plant stuff.

     

     

  • mechashiva

     

    Nice assumptions, it really shows what you think about people who leave the Church. I took my mom to Mass on Mother’s Day, went to a few weddings, attended Mass while visiting Catholic friends (I’ve done the same thing with Protestants and members of other faith), and attended my best friend’s baptism (my friend worked with me at an abortion clinic, her priests knew about it, and it wasn’t a problem).

     

    I was a Catholic for 12 years, and I was an altar server every single Sunday morning for 8 of those years. Additionally, my church was in a small town in Alabama, and if I didn’t hear about abortion in such a conservative area, I don’t doubt that other churches avoid the topic as well.

  • colleen

    Like rebellious children you only see through your own EMOTIONAL eyes and are incapable and unwilling to look objectively; logically at the situation from a third-party omniscient perspective.

    I’m assuming you DO look at the world through a “third-party omniscient perspective”?

  • emma

    And perhaps, Arex, if your obsession with women ‘killing defenseless human beings’ didn’t happen to require an obsession with controlling what women do with their bodies, then the accusation of misogyny might indeed be baseless.

     

    Unfortunately – and despite the fact that you would prefer to ignore this fact – a foetus is, in fact, attached to, and indeed part of, a woman prior to parturition. The very fact that you refuse to so much as acknowledge that (a) women have far more at stake regarding the legal status of abortion than men do; or (b) that banning abortion requires policing women’s bodies to an extent to which men’s bodies will never be subject is further indication that you are, indeed, a misogynist.*

     

    Whether you believe a Z/B/E/F is a person with rights or not, there is no getting around the fact that, as long as they are residing in a woman’s body, taking away the right to abortion means that the state controls what goes in inside a woman’s body – because a Z/B/E/F is in her body. As long as you advocate this, you are, in fact, a misogynist.

     

    ‘Grow up’ is an admonition commonly used by those whose arguments are inadequate. But if you want to play that game, Arex, then a piece of advice for you: adults acknowledge the unsavoury consequences of their beliefs.

     

    *Apologies for the run-on sentence.

  • emma

    Did ‘Truth’ just suggest that ze is god?!

     

    (I imagined the ‘we are the protectors of the unborn’ bit said in a gollum-voice.)

  • catseye71352

    He’s baaaaa-aaaaaaack.  He _lied_ when he said he was leaving.

  • catseye71352

    Didn’t your gawd say something about removing the beam in your OWN eye before considering the mote in your neighbor’s? You really need to follow this advice.

     

    And why don’t YOU die to sustain an unviable pregnancy?

  • nataliespider

    why do grownups argue about completely unprovable ideas (religion)?  none of us will ever know the truth about God until we die.  You might have some REALLY strong feelings, taught to you by your family or conjured up in your own mind while reading certain books… meanwhile, other equally valid, completely contradictory ideas from other books conjure up the same level of certainty in other people who disagree with YOU … so who is RIGHT?  you don’t know, and neither do I.  Meanwhile, women in the real world die because of such unprovable things?  How insane is this? 

     

     

  • jan

    Who are YOU to try to be judge and jury over what goes on in someone else’s body?  You will NEVER be in that horrible position where a fetus that could have been very much wanted in this case, becomes a parasite and you are it’s host.  I find the irony of the Catholic Church’s hate and misogny of women that they consider her an indespensible vessle and worth throwing away HER valid life- as a woman is a born, named, loved by her family REAL person, a human being (unlike the fetus, which is a potential one) and her life trumps any piece of tissue or kidney bean sized invader to her body and uterus.  Mind your OWN bodies and business.  In your next life I can only hope that you come back as a woman who has to face something like that…that would be perfect KARMA.  In the meantime, why don’t you work on removing the pedopile priests from your religion, because this subject ( a woman’s life at stake so abortion is the ONLY OPTION for her to live which  Jim, DOES equal HEALTH care) combined with that one makes the Catholic Church less and less attractive for women to bring up children in.  Women are leaving the church with their children in DROVES and they aren’t coming back… because they see the supreme discrimination against women, gay people, and children…. and men thinking that they can get away with doing anything even raping a 9 year old and getting away with it and still being in the grace of the church, while the child who has been violated and her mother that got her the life saving abortions for her CHILD is ex-communicated…  if you can’t put yourself in the women and children’s shoes in these horror stories, then you truly should do some soul searching yourselves because there is a HUGE black stain on your souls for defending that!  

  • ederlore

    Although you’ll never personally experiance pregnancy I really don’t think you should call yourself ‘pro-life’.  From other stories I read regarding this situation, the woman in question was suffering from pulmonary hypertension.  The only way to save her life was to terminate the pregnancy.  Now if you were the woman and made the decision to forgo the operation so you could ‘commit holy suicide’ then that would have been your choice.  In any case the fetus definately would have died.  At least one life was saved.  Screw the Catholic church.  Jesus would have exercised far more compassion than these pathetic priests.  Jesus said to follow the spirit of the law not the letter.  I guess this Bishop was just trying to take the attention off of the pedophiles and all the lives they destroyed. 

  • truth

    As human beings we are gifted with the ability of Abstract Thought, and this allows us to view a situation objectively. To view a situation that we find ourselves in as if we were but a “fly on the wall.” In this way, we can then use Logos or Logic to determine the morally correct course of action. By the way, the Greek word Logos was also used for God. God is all logic. Working with the Natural Laws of the Universe one can determine the correct answer. Like math – there is a right answer and a wrong answer – the same is true with Logic.

     

    However, a person who simply wants to justify their actions as “correct” is not going to be interested in Logic because this means that they may be wrong about their decision to terminate their children. In order to follow Logic one cannot be “tied” to the outcome. You must be willing to let Truth lead you to your conclusions.

     

    Logically your “Culture of Death” doesn’t have a valid argument, and so you repel logic and refuse to debate the topic. Instead you play on the emotional heartstrings of humanity and demonize anyone who disagrees with you. We are simply asking you to put forth a logical sound and valid argument that a moral society should include slaughtering its own children as something that will benefit the overall good of that society. Justice Blackmun couldn’t do it – can you? Can anyone? Hippocrates specifically said that a Doctor was not allowed to help a woman procure an abortion – why do you think he specifically mentioned this one medical procedure out of the many that he could have?

     

    Think people; think. Please stop the evil and live.

    • crowepps

       In order to follow Logic one cannot be “tied” to the outcome. You must be willing to let Truth lead you to your conclusions.

      But you’ve made it very clear that you also are “tied” to an outcome – you decided before you ever boarded your train of logic that it would be arriving at the station labeled ‘abortion is evil’ and so you ignore or devalue any facts which might slow down its passage.

       

      Your assertion that the only person who could possibly be objective and logical is a person who has no interest in the outcome disqualifies you.

    • catseye71352

      <…However, a person who simply wants to justify their actions as “correct” is not going to be interested in Logic because this means that they may be wrong…>

       

      Better watch those 3 fingers pointing back at YOU, darlin’. You are passing judgment on women whose circumstances you don’t know about and furthermore don’t CARE about. If I remember correctly, believing you know better about a situation than the individual in the situation based upon what YOU think your god would want is blasphemy and hubris.

    • emma

      Logically your “Culture of Death” doesn’t have a valid argument, and so you repel logic and refuse to debate the topic. Instead you play on the emotional heartstrings of humanity and demonize anyone who disagrees with you.

      Innocent, defenceless unborn babies! Slaughtering children! Culture of death! Babies babies defenceless innocent unborn bayyyybeeez!! Speaking of ‘repel[ling] logic’, ‘play[ing] on the emotional heartstrings of humanity’ and ‘demoni[sing] anyone who disagrees with you’ and all, that was possibly the most classic textbook example of projection I’ve ever seen.

       

      Glad to see you realise most people don’t find ‘the womenfolk should be forced to die if it might possibly save a foetus’ the most attractive argument. Most people, I imagine, would have trouble watching a woman die a painful death in front of them whilst claiming it was the morally superior thing to do, because most people have the capacity for empathy as well as logic. Those who lack empathy are commonly known as psychopaths. Sometimes they’re fanatics, and sometimes both.

       

      I have trouble not demonising people who’d have me die a painful death, Truth. If you can’t comprehend that, I’d point again to that psychopathy/fanaticism thing.

  • saltyc

    Truth, you are the one with the culture of death, you and passive-aggressie Paul and all the other misogynists. I don’t see abortion as death, you have to be born to die. You obsess over death, and the “pro-life” moement wallows in blood and gore. So much so that you’ll find that your own tactics backfire, as another article here points out, that when women are forced to view ultrasounds they sometimes feel relief that what they see is not what pro-lifers carry around in placards. The actual thing is not the bloody thing you portray, so that the more people are aware of the actual truth, the more pro-choice they become. This is also why abortion is more common in Catholic countries where sensationalist propaganda about abortion is louder than the truth about abortion, since it is underground and silent, than in secular societies where women are less ashamed to tell what it is really like. I’ll tell you first hand: it is not violent, it is not murder, nothing like it at all. I also find that those loudest about evil and such are projecting their own evil to the rest of us.

  • mechashiva

    Yeah, honestly I’m getting really sick of their presence on this site. The more often they comment, the less often I feel like commenting. I don’t come here to fight with pro-lifers, I come here to discuss reproductive health issues. None of them have anything to say but, “My religion is great!” or, “I want to save babies!” They sprinkle in snide remarks here and there, but that’s basically the only thing they have to say.

     

    I’m sick of every post devolving into black-and-white arguments about personhood (or lack thereof) of embryos and the merits (or lack thereof) of religion. Hello, there are a lot more things we could be talking about if the pro-lifers would shut their damn yaps. These kinds of fights end up alienating religous pro-choicers and pro-choicers who think embryos have value. We’d be able to talk amongst ourselves about these varied views within the pro-choice community if the pro-lifers would butt-out and stop taking up everyone’s attention. And I bet we’d do it a lot more respectfully without the hostility that comes from being on opposing sides of the debate.

  • harry834

    1.) we can’t stop them from commenting, but we can choose to not comment back, and coninue to comment amongst ourselves about the issues we want to discuss

     

    2.) maybe we should comment back. if not to convice them, but to challenge them for all to see. Someone here reminded me of the importance of not letting their stuff go unchallenged.

     

    option: only comment back (or address comment to everyone) if they state some data/medical stats that are false. There is a lot of false data being thrown around by the antis…

    but maybe this too can get repetitive, and perhaps ignoring them is more productive.

    I think it’s about what the pro-choice folks here think is most productive/justified/necessary

     

     

  • saltyc

    as a confessed troll feeder, I heartilly agree with you. I can’t help respond to the irritants, thinking I’m like a mother of pearl, but instead of pearls I just end up with shit balls. I alienate myself sometimes. There can be some deep discussions around the many facets of reproductive choices, many many shades of gray. I for one will really try to just respond to the sincere pro-choice posters. I feel like it’s not about woman vs fetus, but I get that way from defensiveness and the worst feeling is when someone like Paul Bradford starts trying to appeal to the sympathies I had for the one I aborted, I get the supreme heeby jeebies then and I just want to say something to get him to shut up and it never works.

  • wendy-banks

    You know, it occured to me several days ago that ‘Truth’ might be a priest– He/it sounds waaay to much like that anti-choicer nutcase lieing jerk asshat priest on Youtube, Frank Pavone… And rosary films *blech*, what a load of inaccerate drek. If you are going to be against something, have the courtisy to get your facts strait. I learned mine from medical books, so I know the real facts. Facts are what drove me away from religion as well. But, that’s neither here nor there.

    Ladies and gentelmen, your bets on ‘Truth’s ID please?

    Well, got to harvest my cyber-crops and see if my cyber-chickens laid eggs yet. Ta…

  • wendy-banks

    I can’t help respond to the irritants, thinking I’m like a mother of pearl, but instead of pearls I just end up with shit balls.

    Sounds like a couple of my ex-boyfriends *L*

    Yeah, I really got to bite my lip sometimes, myself. Waaay too hot-tempered for my own good… I swear I just pick fights with people cause they look at me wrong. I’ve been know to stare 6+ footers down. And I’ve made fundies run in fear on more than one occassion. I have to scare ‘em silly, I have asthma, I can’t outrun ‘em– Ah, well…

    I dyed my hair purple just to shake people up in this narrow-minded hick town I live in. Nobody that lives here screws with me any more, they all know ME and know I’m not above having it out with them *nasty grin*. Strangely, a lot of people like it, and have asked me were I get the color, They think it’s a ‘fun’ color and a ‘cute’ hair cut. Well, I stand out in a crowd, I’ll give you that.

  • mechashiva

    Yeah, I think each of us just has to decide how much time and energy they are willing to spend on these people.

     

    I loved to argue with pro-lifers up until very recently. After reading Ethics for the New Millenium by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, I lost all interest. I think it is because I finally read something about ethics and morality that satisfied me and required far more thought and consideration than anything I’ve heard in debates on specific subjects like abortion (which is mostly where you get in-depth consideration of ethics). Being so satisfied by a general approach… I don’t know, I just don’t feel like throwing pearls to swine anymore.

     

    I think another big part of it was one of my last fights with ConcernedMom. Really seeing the way someone will exploit your emotions, levy personal attacks against you, and ignore all the time you spent collecting links and typing out a well-reasoned response is a huge de-motivator. And then there’s arex, who I once thought was worth talking to. His disinterest in prevention and insistence that decreasing access really is the best way of reducing abortions really fucking depressed me. It completely ignores human suffering, which I think is an important thing to consider in any ethical dilema (particularly those involving legislation). I hadn’t seen someone so blatantly say, “I don’t care if people suffer, as long as they aren’t doing this thing I disagree with,” in a long while. Sorry (not really), but if you lack empathy and compassion, talking to you is a waste of time.

     

    I’m actually glad that other people are more willing to engage with them than I am. If no one was challenging them, I’d feel obligated to do so. I also try not to let their presence stifle my sharing of personal experiences, though I hate the way they co-opt our feelings for their cause or try to use them against us. It’s dehumanizing, and it makes me angrier than almost anything else they do. For now, I’m saving my comments for people who deserve my time and consideration (or for those rare times when a pro-lifer says something particularly stupid, like that NFP-loving chick, ManyMiles).

  • princess-rot

    Like math – there is a right answer and a wrong answer – the same is true with Logic.

     

    Life is not made up of logical absolutes, and it is true that a skilled accountant can hide the most flagrant embezzlement in pretty numbers without breaking any of the hard and fast rules of mathematics. It’s easy for the unfeeling and the unintelligent to live in a world of black-and-white dichotomies, but it doesn’t compute everywhere else. There are times when cold, hard logic will need to be replaced with actual thought, reason, empathy, and the common sense of, oh, I don’t know, the average snail? Remember that one plus one (pregnant woman and fetus) does not always equal two.

  • ahunt

    Blisteringly stupid indeed, PR…it has been thirty years since my intro logic class…so let us review…logic is not truth and truth is not logic…

  • wendy-banks

    I’m for ignoring them. No matter how much correct information we feed them, they are of the “Don’t confuse me with the facts I’ve made up my mind…” type.

    *sighs* At least when I find out I wrong I admit it, and appologized to the person I argued with.

    Like gays, I was raised in a gay-hateing family, heard the same lies– And you know what? I when I moved out, I got educated about life, met some gay folks, and I don’t think like that any more! And I think rageing queens are a hoot *Think, Hugo Weaving in a dress made of flip-flops! Grins. Now how many guys, strait, bi, or gay could pull that off?* Plus, I learned more about myself that way.

  • crowepps

    Like gays, I was raised in a gay-hateing family, heard the same lies– And you know what? I when I moved out, I got educated about life, met some gay folks, and I don’t think like that any more!

    The fundamentalist tendency to go on and on and on about gays or feminazis or liberals in the most outrageous and frightening possible stereotypes tends to have its downside.  When their children meet actual real live gays or feminists or liberals and discover they are nothing like the lies of the stereotype, the moral imprinting tends to evaporate.  Which may be why over 80% of children raised in fundamentalist churches abandon those faiths when they become adults.

  • julie-watkins

    Using “save the children!” works as a means to protect against self-refection. It’s a useful barrier, and is being used quite cynically. One of the signs I’ve seen on the ‘net is: “God made us heterosexual, who may you homosexual?” Note the “us” and “you”. This is their way out of the “when did you decide to be heterosexual?” challenge. Everyone is born heterosexual (their God wants everyone to be the same and know their place). Homosexuality is, by definition, child abuse — because only recruitment by perverted gays in the schools is the only way kids are turned. Because no good christian parent would abuse their own kids, right? It has to be the public schools. And all the “recruitment” and “sexual predators” calumny. Gets me so angry when I see that.

    For instance, I went to a link Jill Stanek told us to “check out what [she] was really saying” and I asked her “Why the anti-gay?” and asked her to defend why she wrote “corruption and homosexuality” as if they go automatically go together … no reply. It’s one of those worldview differences. Get people mad at gays/slutty women/etc. then they aren’t getting mad at the upper 1% — and the upper 1% likes that fine.

    80% of children raised in fundamentalist churches abandon those faiths when they become adults.

    That helps. Sometimes when a child comes out as gay, that’s enough to change the fundamentalist’s parents’ worldview. On the other hand, I have been in tears reading some of the stories of children thrown out of houses when they out themselves or are outed. :-(

     

  • crowepps

    I would have, at a minimum, expected the hospital to forgive the $500K medical bill for his stay in the hospital. They didn’t.

    I suppose it would be pretty mean of me to reverse the canard about how the ‘abortion industry’ promotes abortion because ‘those doctors are only in it for the money’ and point out that the Church’s insistence that ‘delivering the baby early and giving it all the medical support possible is the best option’ seems to have a healthy effect on the bottom line in their intensive care nursery?

     

    Oh, what the heck, I’ll say it anyway. Insisting that the parents’ medical decision be overruled, that pregnancy complications can never have abortion as an option and that extremely premature fetuses be ‘delivered’, and then turning around and charging tons of money to the parents for what they DIDN’T WANT is really outrageous.

  • emma

    I’m shocked, crowepps! Shocked, I tell you! That you would so cruelly malign the Most Charitable paedophile ring Institution on the Face of the Earth! Next you’ll be saying that they’re paedophilic murderers who are happy to sit by while evil baby-killing sluts women die from sepsis and pulmonary hypertension and ectopic pregnancies! Don’t you know Arex’ family has been Catholic for 300 years?!

  • motherofthree

    This is MotherofThree again…I forgot to mention that I had an eptopic pregnancy during my first pregnancy…technically, that fetus could have eventually been viable too…well, except that my fallopian tube burst and I was bleeding to death. Should they not have done the surgery there to save my life? At the time, I didn’t have any other children, so no moral issue about leaving children…by the way, that children was desparately wanted too..I spent more than a year taking my temperature every morning, etc…

     

    I just wanted to add that I don’t begrudge on dime spent on my micro-preemie son and I thank God everyday that I was at 24 weeks and he had a chance.  I just cannot stand the self-righteousness that drives this argument when the person making the argument hasn’t walked even a quarter of a mile in my shoes…

  • wendy-banks

    Sometimes when a child comes out as gay, that’s enough to change the fundamentalist’s parents’ worldview. On the other hand, I have been in tears reading some of the stories of children thrown out of houses when they out themselves or are outed. :-(

    So much for ‘unconditional love’ when your own parents throw you out for being gay, or send you to a camp to ‘cure’ you. Sad… I read about one kid who called CPS on his own parents ’cause they were trying to ‘beat the devil’ out of him along with metal and verbal abuse. They got jail, he and his sibs went into foster care– and his sibs blamed HIM! And they wonder why so many gay teens are depressed and/or do drugs and kill themselves…

     

  • wendy-banks

    I’d still rather apply the ‘Board of Education’ to them…  *Temper, temper Wendy…* I’m a Hawk not a Dove I guess. (Anyone whom doves are peaceful should watch pigeons having a knock-drag-out in the park.)

  • ack

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. 

  • crowepps

    And yet I don’t really think that there is some evil doer up in the accounting office rubbing his/her hands together with glee, saying ‘continuing to risk the mother’s life isn’t as important as prolonging this until we can get another cash cow premie into ICN’.

     

    I just get really tired of the accusation that ‘the abortion industry’ is all about the money as though only THEY have a financial interest in reproduction. There is a lot more money involved over on the side where IVF helps couples conceive and babies are resuscitated no matter what and in ‘the adoption industry’ and the money involved in all those areas ALSO seems to come first before respecting the rights of women, as many different complaints make clear.

     

    Ran across a thought provoking quote in “The Means of Reproduction”:

    …Mark Mzungu asked. He warned of the “danger” in the protocol’s reliance on the “western secularist view of women primarily as a citizen with ‘equal rights’ regardless of her ‘marital status’ and not as a loving, caring wife and mother’.

    I have been turning that over in my head for a couple days, trying to decide just exactly why a citizen woman with equal rights would lose them if she got married, or why equal rights would prevent someone from loving and caring.

     

    Still trying to find a link to the original op-ed in the Kenyan ‘Sunday Standard’ to see if the context explains it, but I just find it a really weird statement, as though the only way to get women to love and care is to foreclose all their other options.

  • princess-rot

    …on first read, but I think I can easily explain it. There is a thread of thought in the antichoice and anti-contraception movements, for example, that women will not voluntarily choose motherhood without being passively forced into it by removal of other options. It ties in with the belief that women are not real human beings, not real people, and we inherently don’t deserve to define our lives the way we want to, because in a sexist’s mind, we exist primarily as avatars for their “ideal” society in which they are, convieniently, on top.

    It is the cry of fear from a class of people used to having the privilege of expecting female labor (often invisible) to support them and their worldview. You cannot have a patriarchal, theocratic society without women to exist as scapegoats (for the exteriorised things we discussed in another thread), women to be complicit in their own oppression for the modicum of physical and pyschological safety and/or power it accords them, and as incubators and helpmeets. Essentially, we are a means to an end, and that end is to accomodate and make life easier for men.